Saturday, April 5, 2008


Well, after nearly a week of walking down Memory Lane (probably more enjoyable to me than to most of you!), I thought I'd just give you a quick update of what's happening here in our house.

We've enjoyed beautiful weather this past week, culminating in temperatures close to 60 degrees yesterday. It was so beautiful that I couldn't resist a spontaneous impulse, and so I gathered the kids in the car after throwing a few snacks and cookies, sodas and milk, into our picnic basket. Armed with a change of clothes for Tony, we went down to the farm, I handed him the clothes, and told him he had five minutes. We invited our nephew Clinton to come along (even though at this point no one but me knew what was going on), and then we were off! I dropped everyone off at the local park then ran over to Pizza Hut to pick up a pizza (and it wasn't even April Fools Day, Liz!). Our Pizza Hut has this really nifty drive up window, so within a few minutes I was on my way back to the park. Thinking the road to the park was "right there," I stayed in the "suicide lane" (a.k.a. center lane) before realizing it was further than I I slid back into the driving lane for another hundred yards or so before getting in the turn lane and turning left. Why am I telling you all this? Well, just as I was making my turn, I noticed flashing red lights behind me. WHAT???? And careless me didn't have on my seat belt! I opened my car door but stayed inside, and the officer approached asking the timeless question "do you know why I stopped you?" Well, by this time, I had started reaching for my drivers' license only to remember I'd put my tiny wallet in my jacket pocket and, since it was such a lovely day, I didn't wear my jacket. Great. How bad was this going to be? At this point, I really had no clue why I was pulled over. Did he see I wasn't wearing my seat belt? MN law now allows you to be pulled over for only not wearing a seat belt. Was he REALLY that petty? Okay, law, safety, I know! I started babbling, "No, I don't, and you won't believe this but my driver's license is in my jacket home, and all I wanted to do was be spontaneous and have a fun time with my family!" He's looking at me like I might have to take a breath-alizer at this point, too...when he told me I was traveling in the center lane and you can't do that! I ever so politely told him I was aware of that...I'd dropped my husband and kids off at the park, went back to Pizza Hut to pick up a pizza, thought the turn was much closer than it was, realized it wasn't and got back into the traveling lane before again having to go in the turn lane right before it was time to turn. He asked my name and birthdate, if I was a resident of Park Rapids, then returned to his patrol car. Meanwhile, I'm thinking Tony is going to be FURIOUS! We can't afford a ticket, let alone all the other seat belt, no driver's license, and he STILL didn't put the insurance card in the car from when HE got stopped last year for speeding (okay, he didn't get a ticket, only a warning...could I be so fortunate, too? Please, God, I learned my lesson! Was this $10 outing going to end up costing hundreds of dollars?). After about 3-4 minutes of inhaling pizza, wondering if it would be totally rude and show a lack of respect if I started to dig into the pizza right there (hey, it was 5:45 and I hadn't eaten lunch!), the officer came back with a warning for driving in the center lane and reminded me to always carry my driver's license since it's illegal to drive without one. Yeah, I know. Thank you, officer, and thank You, God!

All in all, we did have a really fun evening at the park! Things are going to start getting busier here very soon...and the weather was starting to turn colder and windier towards the end of the evening. And as I was waiting for the pizza, the weather report came on...we are under a winter storm watch from tonight (Saturday) thru tomorrow, with parts of the area possibly getting 12 inches of snow! We are forecast for 6-8 inches accumulation. Great. Just when almost all the snow was melted, more snow! Welcome to Minnesota!

Tony has been busy making bears and chickens as well as keeping track of new calves. Out of seventeen expected calves, ten have already made their appearance. We usually are still waiting for calves to be born sometimes up into June, so it's great having more than half of them born already when things are much slower!

Luke started music classes through the homeschool association on Thursday and absolutely loved them! Singing, instruments, dancing, imitating rhythms and beats, you name it. He had a blast. He is also loving to tell him there are only four more weeks???? Last week he learned about being helpful and came home showing me the picture he colored of a boy taking out the garbage and informed me that HE could do that, too. So now Tony ties up the bag, takes it out of the can, and Luke takes over from there!

Susanna has made the final transition in always using the big potty -- she was pretty set on using only the training bear potty that Tony had made, and wasn't welcoming the idea of using the big one at home (although those in other places are a fascination to use!). I started getting her used to the idea of only the big potty by telling her last night that the baby bear potty was missing his Mama and soon Mama Bear was going to come and get her baby. Susi immediately perked up and said, "I will leave the door open so she can get in!" She wanted Mama and baby reunited as soon as possible. And sure enough, when she came downstairs this morning, she found out that Mama came and got Baby...and she is thrilled! As am I!

As for me, I'm busy getting things together for a huge Watkins open house/good tasting party I'm holding at a local hotel on Saturday, April 26. For those of you in the area who want to stop by, it'll be at the AmericInn (across from our market) from 10:00 to 2:30. I'd love to see you there! I'll be sampling lots of goodies and other products as well as doing a few door prizes and drawing. Lots of things to purchase.

I'm also working on revamping our website and will let you know when the new site is up (still the old one) -- I'm really excited about it, so much information will be available! And I'm also soliciting recipes and fun facts about the produce we grow. If you have recipes and other things to share, PLEASE email me or post them in the comment section here. There are tons of recipes available online, but I'd really like to feature tried and true recipes from family and friends. If it can be made using our produce, I'd like to feature it! What do we grow? Well, to name just some of the things: asparagus, rhubarb, cucumbers, strawberries, raspberries, melons, tomatoes, zucchini, peppers (sweet and hot), egg plant, cabbage, broccoli, sweet corn, green beans, peas (shell and sugar), squash, and pumpkins -- I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but that'll give you an idea. Please, I'd really appreciate shared recipes!

As if that isn't enough, we're heading toward the end of the AWANA year. I'm trying to get a jump on things by advance ordering of awards and such.

And yippee! Green Star's new catalog just came out! Now I'll be sending out some letters with the new catalog to folks I met in St. Cloud as well as calling on some folks here in town and doing cold-call letters to other farms and specialty venues here in Minnesota.

So...that's the scoop...although I'm sure there is more I could tell you. Like the cute things the kids are saying and doing (Susanna: "Now listen here, Luke! You must obey me!" Luke: "Mama, it would be really nice if we maybe made breakfast for you and brought it to you in bed."). But for now, I'll leave you with another blast from Tony's past!

Clinton (now MUCH taller) and Tony

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