Monday, November 30, 2015

Soup Kitchen

Another cold rainy day. At least the temperatures are in the mid 30s thankfully it is all rain instead of snow or ice. I think this may have been the 5th day in a row with no sunshine and rain. The mud is getting hard to keep out of the house and off the floors.  We walked anyway and by the time we finished the rain had soaked through my winter coat, the sweat shirt and the t-shirt thoroughly chilling me down to the bone. I should have worn a rain poncho but the rain didn't start until we were half way through with the walk. The car heater was on full blast all the way to work.
The vet clinic was called to make an appointment for wolf teeth removal for Roxanne and Rosaleigh. We also want Dr. Hoerr to check Marika to make sure her's have been removed before she goes to Bridlewood and Oksana needs a preg check. Dr. Hoerr is going to come tomorrow afternoon. Hope I get home in time. Emily is going to Carlock tomorrow to pick up Soul who is now done with her under saddle training.
Rhoda has her cantering balanced on demand, bowing and laying down while under saddle. Soul will be going back out to Middle Grove on Wednesday when we go to bring in Jewel's colt for weaning. He leaves for his new home in Texas in a week.
After work today I worked on updating the website. I only worked on one page, the list of when mares are due. I think it looks much better, check it out by clicking HERE.
Pictures were added and each picture linked to the mare or stallion page.
Mom sent over turkey soup for dinner with home made dumplings, Mark had no idea what these were. How does one explain a dumpling? Thanks mom the soup was delicious. Anytime you decide to open a soup kitchen we will be your best customers.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Time For Fire

Another cold damp morning and extra work at feeding time. An animal, I would think a mouse but the damage was more like what a raccoon would do) had gotten into a grain bag and made a mess dumping it this morning. At least the spilled grain was on a tarp and easy to clean up. The other bags were moved up on top of the cans. The cats have been doing a great job keeping the rodent population down and this is the first damage we have had since Emily brought the cats.
We sure look forward to Sunday's around here. There were a lot of visiting families today that came for the Thanksgiving holiday and stayed for the weekend. David had the morning service and Willis had the afternoon. Have I ever mentioned how blessed Peoria is with their ministers?
After church we needed to move a new round bale in for the new mares except their paddock is pretty muddy so we decided to move the bale in the paddock with the new shelter and just moved the mares over there. They were all excited to be in a new place running around meeting Jenis and Marika on one side and Valiant on the other. It was raining again this afternoon while we were working on the bale and while I was watching the mares to make sure they wouldn't break a fence. One of them got too close to the electric fence while flirting with Valiant and once she got shocked I didn't have to worry about that fence anymore. I came in wet and cold. Mark got a good fire going in the wood burner after church and the house is warm and inviting this evening. The dogs are about as close to the wood burner as they can be, Mark is in one lazy boy while I'm in the other. All 4 of use are within 5 feet of the fire Ahhh sheer bliss.
Rhonda finally posted a picture of her new grandson Max Jacob born Nov 19th, 2015. Proud parents are Jacob and Andi and here he is with his big brother Charlie

Saturday, November 28, 2015

A Christmas Tradition

Even though it was cold and damp outside Mark and I had outdoor jobs planned and were able to accomplish them. Mark drove in to Peoria and picked up Nick who was looking for work. They went first to Meister's and took apart pallets then loading the wood up in Mark's van. When they got here we unloaded it onto the porch as kindlin for our wood burner. We find pallet wood is the best for starting fires then once it is going well we throw in a log or two.
Mark and Nick took both the truck and the car into the indoor arena and changed the tires, taking off the summer set and putting the snow tires on both the van and the car. I worked on the garage moving things out of the way so the car and golf cart could be pulled all the way in. Karin arrived to work horses just as I was ready to move the parts cart into the front of the garage and gave me a hand with that then stayed for lunch. After lunch Mark and Nick worked on fire wood while Karin and I went up to the barn to start working horses. Marika was round penned first.

 She was feeling good and was glad to get out of the mud to run. The rest of her pictures were placed on the Horsemeister Facebook page. If you would like to see them click HERE. She put on quite a show. Jenis was brought out next and given a good groom while Karin tacked up Marika for the trail ride. Hannah and Faith rode double on Jenis while Karin took Marika on the 'death trails'.

Evan saw them coming down the lane and took off running and bucking just trying to show off to the girls. Too bad he was muddy, They were not that impressed.

The rest of Evan's pictures from today were also placed on the Horsemeister Inc Facebook page. Click HERE to see them. He had fun bucking and galloping around swinging his braids.
These trails really were dangerous today. Jenis started sliding getting ready to jump the creek, fell then slid right into the water. Both girls were able to slide off her before she hit the water. Jenis laid there shocked so Karin got off Marika and started taking pictures and videos.
 Above Jenis is down and below she is struggling to stand in the slippery mud. 

 Above Faith looks on while Hannah tries to help Jenis. The picture below shows how deep the creek bed is. Usually the horses jump it but Jenis lost her footing before the jump.
In the video clip below Hannah is asking Jenis to jump up out of the creek bed.
Karin decided there was no way she was going to make Marika try to jump it with her so dismounted and asked Marika to cross on her own.
I took Nick home to Pekin then came back to make a light supper of  asparagus only. You see tonight was the night Rachel and David put up their manger scene and when they do that they invite the neighborhood to come celebrate by singing then feasting.
She made 2 big pans of hot ham and cheese sliders and a crock pot of bacon wrapped wienies

 and served that with whole table full of goodies.
Faith is checking out the home made buckeyes and candies and no, she does not have 3 hands. That other hand is Spark's and we caught that hand swiping a buckeye before the prayer. After the Christmas carols were sung and the prayer said the living room filled up fast with hungry singers.
This tradition gets us all in the Christmas spirit. Our parents did this at the Baer House and our family has been continuing this tradition (Thanks to Rachel and David) for as long as I can remember and I'm OLD!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Pitch Black Friday

Sometime after midnight the electricity went off in this neighborhood. Talk about a Black Friday, with the rain and cloud cover the house was pitch black. Ben & Taunya's family were staying at the apartment. It was so black there they decided to load the kids up and drive them over here in hopes we had candles or flashlights. We didn't but we were able to get the stove going and had a pot of coffee ready. Coffee grounds ended up all over the stove and counter tops as it was so black in the kitchen it was hard to tell exactly where to pour. We were hoping the electricity would turn back on before breakfast needed to be cooked but it didn't. When Jon and Kim came down we decided we would try to take everyone out to the Hog Trough for breakfast but just to make sure they were open tried to call and no answer. Mark decided to drive in to Hanna City to see if they were open and came back with the answer they were not and the outage was more widespread than we thought. Jon and Kim decided to just leave for their home in Elgin. Ben and Taunya left for their home in Bloomington about the time Rhoda and Lee came over. Rhoda wanted a hot shower so they decided to head for home too. Phil came over with the 3 girls as Anna had to work. He was so happy to find out we had coffee. By this time there was just enough light coming in the kitchen window to start cooking so we made bacon and eggs and served that with Kim's delicious pumpkin bread. A fire was started in the wood burner to warm the house up. The temperatures were above freezing but not by that much, pretty much mid 30s with rain all day. Phil is amazing. He brought an inverter with the truck and was able to bring enough electricity into the house to charge the phones, ipad and run the television. I watched Disney's Tarzan for the first time ever! It didn't quite follow the books by Edgar Rice Burroughs which I read over and over as a child. I still remember having nightmares about Africa after reading those books and wondering why anyone would want to visit there. Just for the record I was very young, maybe around 9 or 10 when I discovered these books.
The farrier arrived at 1:00 pm and we only had Marika done. It was just too cold wet and dark to think about doing the foals. After 15 hours of darkness the lights suddenly came on around 4:00 pm.
Ruth and Fedi on the other hand had electricity all day. That meant they had all the company today. The cousins all got together to play games and best of all that meant Ruth had to feed them!

Mom didn't go to Ruth's she was too busy decorating her house for Christmas in the dark. She was hanging lights and kept plugging them in to see if they were working before hanging and was reminded each time that she had no electricity. I give her credit though she didn't quit and only tonight now that the power is back on will find out if she needs to take any strands down. Mark worked on getting room in the garage for the car.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thankful For Thanksgiving

What a wonderful day. Our country set this day aside to give thanks to our Lord, our God, our Savior. I'm thankful our country realized the need to be thankful. David Obgerfel had the Thanksgiving service this morning, giving us a brief history of this set aside day, ending with so many reasons we have to be thankful.
After church the oven was turned on and the food that had been prepared yesterday all popped in the oven. The day was mild and not raining so the kids decided to hold off the meal until 1:30 pm and go running to work up an appetite. I was glad for the extra half hour, that  was about how long it took to get the food hot. Jon and Kim arrived from Elgin and we drove over to Phil and Anna's together. Below are a few pictures of our afternoon and evening. The kids eating the first course at the kid's table.

 The second course was truly a feast for the senses, that is the sight and taste part. Each bite was better than the first. 
 Below is a typical plate of the bountiful delicious dinner.
Of course for the last course we had much pie as anyone wanted and even after that we still had pie. But..I guarantee by tomorrow evening all the pie will be gone. 
After dinner the kids were busy playing train while the adults visited. 
 Mark, Jon, Kim and I decided to head to Joan's to crash their party. We walked in to find these four busy playing carbols. What was funny about this game was every once in a while someone would burst into song. We were not sure if it was because she was winning or she was trying to mess with the other's brains.  What ever the reason, it was beautiful.
 We went downstairs to find Rodney and Kristin's dog standing in the open door way begging to be allowed inside but Joan, who is taking care of him this week does not allow dogs in her house. That is most dogs in her house, I noticed Miss Molly had made herself at home on a chair INSIDE the house.
 Joan and Tim had around 40 people come for dinner, the strangest guests by far are pictured below. Just who in the world is this little floozy?
 Nancy enjoyed the evening and enjoyed the hair too. 
We don't know what next year will bring but have much to be thankful for this year. Our tummies are full, the guests are settling down and we are heading now to our soft comfortable bed.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thanksgiving Food Preparation

Thanksgiving Eve and right now everything is done and the house is quiet. It wasn't this way earlier. Sarah arrived while I was still on the walk to help clean the house for company. She had the bathroom done even before I came inside. What a nice surprise. Daughters are the best! The first job on the list of things that had to be done today was the pie baking. Uh I way over did that, didn't mean to but somehow the pumpkin pie filling was like the loaves and fishes or the cruse of oil, it just kept filling the pie shells until I ran out. Eight pumpkin pies later and it was time to start on the pecan but of course that meant making more pie crusts and we don't just make one crusts, may as well make 3 so we have 2 pecan pies and 1 deluxe chocolate cream pie. With 11 pies to feed around  21 people we may have just a few too many this year. Oh well maybe I can take a few over to Joan's house, she is hosting the Meister family this year.
The turkey was put in the oven next along with sweet potatoes then the timer was set and I got busy chopping onions, celery, an apple and some sausage to start on the stuffing. About an hour later I realized the oven had turned off. This new fangled cooking machine will turn itself on or off when I accidentally hit the delay start instead of the timer. Once the stuffing was stuffed inside of the fridge I took a break from cooking to work on laundry then head outside for a short walk to check over the horses.
Ben, Taunya, Addyson, Jack and Jace came this evening to spend the night at the apartment. We had a nice visit. I grabbed the camera when the kids all started climbing on Ben's lap as he was talking to Mark. They were little wiggle worms tonight.

The turkey is now de-boned and the carcass is boiling in a big pot of water for soup on Friday. The sweet potatoes are mashed and in the casserole dish and in the fridge. The gravy turned out just about perfect. Tomorrow things should be so easy, just heat up the food and drive the short distance to Phil and Anna's new house.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


Emily got a text from the daughter of the lady that now owns Killian. I believe this daughter is all of 9 years old. Killian was taken to Friesians of Majesty for driving training and the daughter told Emily, everyone there was amazed at how quiet Killian was.   He is still a stallion and yet this 9 year old girl could ride him bareback and ask him to bow and lay down and he did in front of a crowd of admirers!
 It is nice to hear they are enjoying him. The people there could not believe how well behaved this 4 year old stallion is. What we think is funny is we expect our horses to be well behaved and would be shocked if they weren't. We really do have the best trainers in the world! That really isn't bragging if it is true right? And its not because they arrived here bomb proof and dead broke.
Emily was telling us this on the way to Berean. She is now on Thanksgiving break and came to help. It was great to have her back. If you would like to read about our very successful day there click HERE.
As soon as we got back from that office Emily and Justin took the truck and trailer out to Middle Grove to pick up Marika and Jenis. Marika has an appointment with the farrier on Friday
and I wanted Jenis here for when our company comes over this long holiday weekend. Above is Marika and below is Jessica riding Jenis.
They had to park out on the road and hike in. Karin had already arrived and was out training horses in the big field. They were able to lead these two down to the road pretty quickly and got back with daylight to spare. They were put in the middle paddock and buckets hung for their grain.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Snow Melt Mess

We expected the temperatures to rise a bit quicker than they did which meant the snow didn't melt as fast as we hoped. By late afternoon the outdoor arena was a soupy mess. Emily is now on a break from nursing school because of the Thanksgiving holiday and spent the day here working horses. I didn't make it back to watch the first 3 horses but did get to see her work Evan.
She worked Rosaleigh and Roxanne first. Today they were introduced to a saddle. They both accepted the saddle better than expected. Once they were finished with the round pen reasoning work Emily took them in and braided their manes. We are just hoping both of these amazing manes will stay long and thick and the braids give them the best chance.
Valiant was worked next. Emily reported he was very well behaved and is going off her legs. It won't be long before she will be able to ride him bridleless. He was also taken into a stall and his mane braided up.
I needed to head down to the Peoria post office to pick up the Berean mail today as Ellen is out of the state visiting her daughter. The post office lady told me I was going to need a cart to get the mail today as there were 3 of the tubs full. It turned out that 2 were full, one was less than half full.Tuesday is going to be another record day. From there I drove to East Peoria to Aldi, picked up a 20 pound turkey, canned pumpkin and pecans for the pies. Once the groceries were dropped off at home, the car was loaded with the goodies that were left over from the parenting conference then it was off to Sam's Club where the rest of the groceries were picked up. Poor Mark, he footed the bill today from both stores and they weren't small bills. The Berean mail plus all the goodies were dropped off at the Berean office. By the time I finally arrived home Emily was riding Evan. Below are a few pictures.

Check out the standing water in the arena, Evan was throwing water and sand which each stride. Evan is becoming much more balanced and the soft soupy arena didn't throw him off at all. He too got the beauty treatment from Emily once he was done with the work. We are going to have to buy more small rubber bands.
We are going to have an early night tonight, we have been up since 4:00 am and are both starting to drag.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Handel's Messiah

It was a cold 11 degrees this morning when we got up, it was really hard to pull ourselves out of our toasty warm bed onto the cold farmhouse floor. Did I ever mention there isn't a lot of insulation on this 150 year old house. That is slowly changing, Mark had the basement insulated and 2 sides of the house insulated and wrapped but the east side we felt cold air blowing in through the wall this morning. Enough so that Mark went down into the basement to see if a window down there was broken. Nope it's just that the walls are that thin.
We had a really great day today. Two Spirit filled sermons and then an amazing afternoon and evening spent at Grace church in Morton listening to Handel's Messiah. Phil Witzig was the conductor, one of his daughters, Larissa was the soprano soloist and another daughter an alto in the choir. We could see Phil's HUGE smile as he was conducting. Truly this was so beautiful that it hurt my chest. God allowed us a small glimpse of what heaven will be today.
The sound of music filled the room to the rafters. At the end it was hard to leave the church, it was like a huge family reunion with people from the past all glad to see each other. Many many happy voices raised in greetings.
We joined Tim & Joan's family for dinner at the Pizza Ranch. That was crowded with people that had also attended the concert. Just as we were getting ready to leave Matt Larson came up to say hello. Matt was on Ben's gradeschool basketball team. 
Melissa posted a pictures of Xerxes (Marika x Valiant) at his new home. He looks like he has settled in fine.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

First Snowfall

We awoke to wet falling snow coming down fast and furious. We didn't expect more than about 2 inches but ended up with around 4. Sarah and Nolan spent the night as Nolan went out hunting early this morning. Rhoda brought Israel over and we all had breakfast together. The people coming to pick up Marika's colt decided to leave last night and arrived right after breakfast. They brought a pony to make the long drive back with the colt and had them get to know each other in the indoor arena for a bit before loading. When I got back to the house Marika's colt was marked sold. He is a typical Valiant son, loved people from the moment he met people, right after birth.
The next trailer to pull up in this snow storm was the trailer coming to pick up Zoey. She was led out of the stall, through the arena and walked right into the waiting trailer. She is a typical Evan daughter. Once she learns something she is good to go but each new thing needs to be presented a few times before she agrees to do it.
By the time that trailer pulled out the snow was getting deep. Mark decided he'd better shovel the drive before it got too heavy.
Rhoda decided both dogs needed a bath, Darcy was put in the tub first then Emma. Darcy loves her bath, Emma tolerates it.

Israel wanted to go outside to play in the snow and when told he would have to wear boots put on Nolan's big hunting boots.
 Those didn't work out too well, he couldn't even take one step. He was helping grandpa clean the drive with the broom.
When the snow stopped and the sun tried to break through the clouds the snow was just beautiful.

Karin came over to play along with Hannah, Faith, Berlica and Mackenson
 The snow was wet and packed great so of course we needed to have a snowball fight.
 I asked Karin if we could get a few pictures of the new mares playing in the snow. Below Hannah is leading Roxanne to the outdoor arena.
 Roxanne is in the lead in the picture below followed by Rosaleigh. This was the first time for them in the outdoor and they weren't sure about the wet sand under the snow.
 Below Hannah is leading Rosaleigh back while Karin brings Roxanne.
The kids dumped all of the snow out of the buckets and the horses were grained before we headed in to get some hot chocolate. They wanted to hike home instead of taking a ride on the golf cart but were not allowed to hike home by the woods, too many hunters around. 
Phil came over and installed the new computer. It it much faster than the old one but will take a bit to get use to how to find all of the programs I use to edit and post.