Christmas Wagon…

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Over the holidays, this giant box arrived on our doorstep.  Mysteriously, we were then emailed to say, Don’t Open Until Christmas!  It was Uncle Mark and Uncle Jon and Cousin Wesley making these secretive requests.

So we did.  We waited.  It was hard.  Trying to guess what might be in this large box!  We moved it around in the studio a wee bit, considering it closely with each new home it got.

Finally, the big day arrived!  We could open the box!  DSC_0655

A new farm cart!  Yah!  What a lovely gift…  We had this little yellow one when we first moved in and it served very well until it’s untimely death about three years ago.  We just plum wore it out.

This one is bigger and more sturdy!  It’s the farm edition one!  Maggie and Evee set to work at once putting the thing together as our Christmas dinner cooked.  It was not too hard, just required taking it a step by a step.  Maggie is pretty good at these things and she actually does read the instructions!

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Evee looks a little concerned.   Its not that she lacked faith in Maggie, but rather she was concerned as to how she would be able to jump around all the parts in the living room!  It has super nice big knobby tires and little fold down sides.  Fancy!

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Another lovely feature is that the handle converts to a towable tongue!  So this spring when we get a riding mower, we can hook up the little wagon to it and use it all over the place!  Yahooo!

What?  You didn’t know we were getting a riding mower this spring?  Well, we are!  We must!  Our old Toro push lawnmower finally gave up the ghost.  After four years of hard hard labor, it finally just gave up the ghost.  It would not start after so much work.  It was in very sad shape.  I’m sorry to say, it was broken and beat down.  It had given it’s all.  It was just not a mower for several acres!  We plan to get a nice used one somewhere.  We could really use one all over the homestead for numerous things.  Like leaf pickup in the fall and raking in the spring all the fallen branches and such.   Maggie used it today to haul firewood out to the pit!  It’s very handy!

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We have our trusty ice fishing sled for yucky cold snow and mud season, but this wagon will help out all the rest of the time, for sure.  Can’t wait to put it into service.  It was so nice of the guys to gift this lovely beast to us!   We love it.  Wesley saw the need when he was out visiting, and it was very sweet of him to think of us at the holidays in such a grand way!

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We had a simple Christmas, and enjoyed some lovely ham and fresh mashed potatoes…  all the trimmings. Got our Grandma Mildred’s china and eat in style!  It was lovely and relaxing and very yummy!  Since we are trying to watch our diets very carefully, we opted to just make up a batch of fudge for the holidays… one chocolate mint half batch and the other peanut butter chocolate!   It was so easy and so good…  Just warm up a can of sweetened condensed milk in the microwave with a 12 ounce bag of whatever chips you like!  All chocolate, great!  We had gotten a few whacky chips over the holidays and gave it a whirl.  I think it turned out great.  The girls were not as impressed, but I did see that the chocolate peanut butter batch disappeared pretty fast!  Good thing my elves don’t really like mint in their chocolate much!  More for me to spread out a teeny bit at a time!

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We didn’t do a lot of gifting this year and that was fine.  We probably will do a bit more next year, because we were a little disappointed that we let things slide.  We didn’t even put up our tree this year!  We thought that with three young kittens in the house, it would be chaos from the first minute.  We all voted and accepted this proposition.  However, in the end, it made for a rather simple and not quite right Christmas for us.   We did go and have a visit at the girl’s grandparents home up in Michigan.  That was very nice and good fun.  Maggie got a neat mini lathe for her Christmas gift and Jessy got to order some geeky fan girl stuff from a website she likes!  It was a win win situation, everyone was fine.

In the end, the house was tidy and quiet, all warm and snuggly.  I thought this picture just said comfortable and yes, it is.  Sure, there are things that really need to be done, but honestly, the place is finally settling and feeling great, like a house should.  It’s wonderful.  DSC_0717

Hope you had a merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, and good wishes over all of the holidays in this end of the year!  It’s been a much better year, this last year, then 2014 before it…  I think we are heading for the right port!   Just gotta keep on, keeping on!   Thanks for droppping back and reading all these posts and such.  I hope we are sharing some sort of usual information!

Best wishes for a happy New Year!!!

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Santa Brought Us a Truck!!!

DSC_0422It was a very good year for us…  we were able to actually get a farm truck!  Yahooo!

Meet our newest vehicle!  Tiffany!   She is a 1999 Ford F-150 extended bed, single cab pickup truck and we love her!

Maggie named her Tiffany…  And we think it fits.  She thought it would be funny to name a hard working big old farm truck a girly cute name.  So Tiffany it is.

She’s in super great shape, had our eye on her for months over at Jerry’s.  Been saving, and then some Christmas money (thanks Dad!)  and some sales of extra weaving stuff, and some t-shirt sales money (thanks Kathy) and just a lot of clipping corners made it happen!   We are sooooo happy!

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We loved Scotty, our old Pontiac Transport van, but he was old and a gift horse…  he was having some issues and we suspected transmission.  Way too expensive for a 23 year old van that no one really likes to drive.  (Have you ever driven a Transport van?  They are SO weird…  they have that huge front end and big big windshield.  Feels like you are driving either a spaceship or a dust buster!)  And he was having other issues…  just age!

He was a life saver for sure, but to be honest, we just needed a truck.

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We have resisted for years…  well, just wasn’t the right time and the right budget.  And we have made our way with a pair of old vans and a great old station wagon, but farm life took their toll on those beasts.  It was just hard work, hauling livestock and feed and hay…  wood, dirt and gravel.  We did it, but Tiffany is going to make those chores FUN!

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She’s in super good shape.  A little rust here and there, but just in excellent shape engine and mechanics wise.  Jerry and his gang really went over her and are ready in case we discover any little issues.  So far, nothing!  We love her!  Drives awesome…  a V6 so she’s a little kinder on gas.  Actually very comfortable to drive long distances!  I see some most excellent road trips for fun Craigslist stuff in the near future!

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Love the bed liner…  that is going to be very helpful with the various  things we fetch.

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Her first farm run was to get a load of hay.  The feed store guys were so happy!  I got a complete lesson in stacking hay on a F150 from Paul.  He thinks we can easily get 20 bales, maybe even 30 with a tie rope.  If we could only afford 30 bales at one time!   Well, it’s all good…  our gang goes through a bale a day…  so eight if perfect..  one a day and an extra for the week.  And we got a free Christmas tree!  How nice of them!

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Eight bales fit without any ropes or anything.  It was so easy to just whop those babies in there and go!   We could get eight in the van, but it was a lot of pushing and shoving and made the inside such a mess.

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Angus approves!  He wants to go for a ride!!!  Probably in the spring we will make some sides for Tiffany and maybe even a livestock cage out of cattle panels.  That would be cool.  Easier to transport pigs and such that way.  We have enough livestock for the most part, but I really like the idea that we can actually take an animal to the vet easily or trade critters, even drive someone to freezer camp in style and ease.  That makes a huge difference to us.

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And with Maggie’s blossoming wood working business, Tiffany really served us well on a major wood run to Toledo!   She hauled it all in style and ease.  More than we could ever get in little Pewter!   (But don’t underestimate Pewter, she is a heck of a wonderful sedan and can haul two bales of hay or 150 pounds of feed easily!   We love our Fords!)

Maggie gets these big bags of wood scraps from the wood working store for just $3 a bag! They are so perfect for her wood stove… small and easy to throw in and warm the place up for a few hours.  A big log lasts too long sometimes.  And the best part is that she often finds very usable bits and pieces for her products in there, so they work out to be free really!  Just one little piece will pay for the whole bag.  I think she likes them for the treasure hunt aspect, alone.

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Lots of good wood that she bought for real projects and such.  Beautiful stuff!

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Just so happy to finally have a truck!  I think we have our perfect ensemble of vehicles, now.  We have the lovely Pewter… 2003 Ford Taurus sedan, the perfect long distance, go-to-town, travel about cheaply and comfortably gal…  and now Tiffany, our farm truck for the big projects, yet ready for a comfortable long haul for a great deal!  Perfect combination!!!

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Merry Christmas to One and All!

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from us to you!

We had a little fun with all the critters on Christmas Eve…  they say hi, too!

Apparently, getting goats to wear hats is not the easiest thing!!!  haha…

 

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