Monday, August 19, 2013

Market day with camera...

Last Saturday, we remembered to bring the camera with when we went to set up at the Albert Lea Farmers' Market with Mom. She hauls a large white beast of a van up to the market twice a week with her homegrown, chemical-free goods from the farm. Fruits, vegetables, fresh-cut flowers and free-range eggs that fly out of her van faster than our hands can hand them out!

We arrived Saturday around 7:30am for a 9am opening, staying until closing time around Noon to help clean up and pack the truck back up. Here are the snaps!


Friday, August 16, 2013

Around the farm...

We've been here two weeks and have been loving our new little rural plot - the quietness is both strange and comforting. We finally have internet hooked up and a little dish pointed to the south brings us way too many channels that we'll never have time to watch.

What we don't have? Any of our belongings from California. Yep... perhaps the air mattress will be burned after we have the house set up with our goods - I'm that tired of it. The items have at least been loaded on a big truck, yet at last check, said truck was still in CA. Oh joy!

The pups have been settling in well - they can't get enough of their grassy open range to pounce around in. This was Gus today, having a rest in the grass.

Dora, on the other hand, was distracted by a squirrel she is desperate to catch, instead of paying any attention to us. Thankfully the squirrel is quite the speedy little devil.

Mom pointed out the other day that, surprise, we have a special tree in our yard! We've driven and walked passed it several times and just never noticed.

Sweet! Look at those apples! Not sure what variety they are, but we can't wait to snag one off in a few weeks and see for ourselves.

There is another tree that is rather intriguing (Green Bean tree anyone?) in our yard...

I believe it is some variation of Catalpa, though not certain about that. I do think this one is going to become our enemy once fall comes and those thousands of long pods turn black, shrivel up and drift to the ground. Fun times!

I've even managed to get a couple of sweets made and photographed! One was this scratch German Chocolate Cake I made for my sister's birthday. I did have to drive over to Mom's place to make it since we have no equiptment here to make anything! This cake was spot on and one we'll make again.

Then, the other day, we plucked a bunch of blueberries from Mom's farm - with a little elbow grease, I was able to finagle these Blueberry-Lemon Cheesecake Bars at our house with the help of a sturdy wooden spoon, a large bowl and a foil pan. Fresh blueberries, a lemon-y cheesecake and a sweet graham cracker crust? Can't go wrong there!

Between working around our place, helping Mom at the farm and at the twice weekly Farmers' Market in town, we have been keeping ourselves busy. My plan is to take a few pictures of both Mom's farm and the Farmers' Market this week to give you another peek into our new life!

Friday, August 02, 2013


After a long three day drive, just under 2000 miles, we've made it to our new home! Unfortunately the rest of our goods won't arrive for quite some time due to the short notice and busy-ness of the current market. We will just make due!

Internet and TV are another issue - both were on tap to be installed, but DirecTV decided to back out until we get the rest of our TVs and the wireless internet that was suppose to be available isn't due to line of sight issues with their antenna. I have another plan for internet lined up, but that won't happen until Tuesday.

All of that pales in comparison to this though. This is what we woke up to.

Will write more once we've gotten back on-line!

Monday, July 29, 2013

It's that time again...

With time escaping us, the movers are due to arrive at any moment to once again transfer our goods to a truck for yet another adventure. Jeff and I will be packing up the car tonight, then head out with the pups early tomorrow morning to start the trek back to Minnesota. We think it will probably take around three days, starting with a long 12 hour drive tomorrow.

You have seen the house, but here is another view of the new hobby farm.

Can't you already picture some animals out there grazing?

On the other side of the property is a small pond. It was almost crystal clear when we saw it, watching tadpoles darting in every direction as we walked up. While we are not sure how deep it is or if it will stay that clear, Jeff and I can't wait to find out! I wonder if Gus and Dora will want to take a dip? Somehow I doubt it.

Speaking of those two crazy doggies, they definitely know something is up with the apartment stacked to the gills with moving boxes. Little do they know what kind of a playground we are heading towards! Here they are trying to take a snooze and soak in the sun during the flurry of activity.
We will check in once we arrive and have services hooked up. Hopefully that will be by the end of the week, but who knows!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Life is never dull...

I can not believe what I am going to tell you - I'm not entirely sure it has sunk in 100 percent yet.

Yes, with that sentence, I'm sure you know what is happening. We are moving, again. Care to guess where?

Drum roll...

Back to Minnesota, again! Crazy, no? I could write several pages worth to explain what all is happening, but I'll save you the time and condense it down. 

I decided not to share it at the time, but Dad passed away back in January. It was pretty unexpected how it all went down and I'm not entirely sure what else to say. Nonetheless, this left Mom by herself on the large family farm. Jeff and I have had discussions over the years on how we would eventually love to go back to our roots, end up on a farm, grow our own food and be more self-sustainable. While we didn't expect it to happen as fast as it has, we are diving head first into that dream!

Last weekend, we flew back to Minnesota to see what all was available, property-wise, and have a quick visit with family. We came across a 7-acre hobby farm and fell in love with not only the layout, but the charming 1913 farm house it contained. It does need a little love and updating on the inside, but it has lots of original touches that captivated us and we will work hard to keep those intact.

Little did we know, by the time we left, we had us a farm! The place is only about 5 miles away from Mom (bonus points for that alone!), keeping us close enough to run over and help out as needed, along with perhaps throwing us into the mix to try and grow her business a bit! Once we settle ourselves in, we'll be setting up a garden, raising chickens and perhaps a cow or three - exciting and scary all rolled into one big package.

Just how fast is this happening? Fast. As in less than two weeks we'll be packing up the car and heading out for the long drive, assuming plans fall into place! As Jeff always says "Life is an Adventure!". If only the pups had any idea what they are in for.

Care to follow along with us on this journey?

Friday, May 03, 2013

An outrageously late update...

Well folks, I don't know what to tell you. Frankly, time has just taken us by the hand, blinked and it has now been over 5 months since our last post. What the heck is with that?

First, everything is quite well. Yes, we have moved again... twice in fact. No, no... not what you are thinking - we just shuffled down the street to a new apartment complex. One move was to get us in, the other a month later was to get us into the apartment we have now. Why? Because we wanted this.

Yes, that is our view outside the windows in the living room. Unbelievable (that would be the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, by the way)! Not only that, our utility bills are no longer upwards of $450/month. You heard that right! We had an electric bill (only electric!) of that much for 1 month - it was a loft apartment, apparently had no insulation and the ridiculously small heater (set to only 60 degrees mind you) would run almost 24/7. Ugh. Oh well, you live and learn I guess!

This was one of our latest sunsets. Breathtaking!

It isn't a giant place by any stretch of the imagination, but it has a great flow and we're set for the next 10 months. Phew!

Meanwhile, in between packing, moving and exploring all the nooks and crannies of the bay area, I've been keeping myself busy in the kitchen. Here's just a snapshot of some of the goodies we've done lately.

I wish I could give a concrete answer as to whether or not we'll turn this blog around and get back into posting on some sort of a regular schedule, but to be truthful, I'm simply not sure. I can tell you that I miss it!