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Shutter Love Tuesday – Summer Fun

Goodness – 3 blog posts in less than 24 hours?  Sorry about that!


Here’s my entry – Adam and his Gramma O




The Ugly Daughter in Law

Last week in Annie’s Project (Farm Management for Women Class), I learned some new vocabulary:


“If a guy is in farming with his dad, and the son dies, what does the Ugly Daughter-in-Law get?”

“Ugly Daughter-in-Law?” I asked.

“Yeah, you know – the daughter in law from the city, didn’t grow up on the farm, who knows nothing about farming, and doesn’t understand the CULTURE of agriCULTURE.  She thinks the sofa comes before the tractors.  It’s a common term that the Good Old German Boys used.”  He said this as if this was prerequisite knowledge before taking the course.


I guess I’m the Ugly Daughter-in-Law.

My husband’s family is German.

I did not grow up on a farm.

I knew very little about farming when we began.

I want a new couch.

Oh, and I’m a democrat.  Apparently farmers are supposed to be republican.  (My Father in Law declared that I would have to “become a republican now that you’re a farmer!”)


So really, have you heard this term before?  Am I an ugly daughter-in-law?  My father in law says (with a grin) that he’s heard of the situation, but not the terminology.  I googled it, and the only place I could find it was in a Chinese proverb literally translated to English, and a paper written by, guess who?  The Annie’s Project instructor.

Summer Summary

Warning – Picture Heavy Post

After a little hiatus, I just did 15 scrapbook pages in less than 90 minutes.  I love digital scrapbooking.

You’ve seen a lot of these pictures, but some are new, and will need more explanation in future posts. :)

I’m posting small versions so you can see the two page layouts, but click on them if you want to see a larger version!

Summer 2010 - Page 001 Summer 2010 - Page 002 Summer 2010 - Page 003 Summer 2010 - Page 004 Summer 2010 - Page 005 Summer 2010 - Page 006 Summer 2010 - Page 007 Summer 2010 - Page 008 Summer 2010 - Page 009 Summer 2010 - Page 010 Summer 2010 - Page 011 Summer 2010 - Page 012 Summer 2010 - Page 013 Summer 2010 - Page 014 Summer 2010 - Page 015

Weed Whackers

I know ya’ll pretended not to notice, but I need a weed whacker.  The one my hubby got me for $1 at a farm auction doesn’t work.  Surprise, surprise.

See?  (Or maybe I should forget about the weeds and save some $ for the siding instead…then I could put pretty plants around the house instead….but really, I’m just posting these pictures so you’ll feel sorry for me and comment.)



But I’m pretty sure if I don’t take care of the weeds soon, the neighbors are going to think I’m crazy.

Oh wait, they already think that because I’m outside taking pictures of my house (weeds) while they are cutting and baling my pasture.  And I decorated my front porch when roughly 1/4 of my house has no siding.  Whatev.


Anyway, any recommendations?  Lightweight would be really good since I’ll be doing the weed whacking. I’m thinking battery operated?

My neighbors will thank you!

Farmhouse Porch

I’ve shown you my new patio, but there is another outdoor area that we enjoy on a daily basis – the porch.

Our 100+ year old farmhouse is lucky enough to have a small, but beautiful porch, shaded by a large sycamore tree. On nice days (and cool mornings) I sit on the porch while Adam plays in the shade of the tree.

queen anne house porch
vintage antique pepsi ads
red white enamel bowls
vintage tray chalkboard

When I look at pictures of the porch, I can’t help but notice the chipping paint and rotten siding and remember all the work we have left to finish, but I also see a perfect place to have a little snack on a hot summer afternoon, or relax with a cup of coffee early in the morning, and the chipping paint doesn’t seem quite so important.

Shared at Saturday Night Special

Turkey Tuesday

Last week in Annie’s Project, we used a super cool website that shows aerial images of Iowa (more up-to-date than Google Earth is for our rural area) and you can see my farm!  Here it is!



How cool is that?  The trees are surrounding Squaw Creek.  You can see both sets of “finishers” for the older turkeys, and the brooder house.


See the dark gray, square roof at the bottom of the photo?  That’s our house.  A the top of the photo is the brooder.  The two gray buildings in the middle are OLD turkey buildings.


Cool, huh?



I earned a $500 Marriott gift card for my Creative Memories sales this spring (in addition to my commission!  Woot!) and I am going to use it in Chicago.  We are going the 3rd weekend in August  to a wedding, and my parents, siblings and I are going a few days earlier to vacation while my husband stays home with his turkeys.

We want to see the Shedd Aquarium.  (According to my dad, that Shedd guy was from Iowa.)


Field Museum


Navy Pier


Anything else?

Dad likes history and tractors, Mom and I like antiques and junking, little sister likes shopping and little brother likes…um, I dunno.  I also like gardens and historic homes.

How many days should we plan to spend there?

Anyone been to the Children’s Museum?  Is it good for a 2 year old?

Any other suggestions?

Happy Father’s Day

If I wasn’t such a procrastinator, I could have made these printable and shared them BEFORE Father’s Day.  But, I was standing at Walmart last night, looking at ridiculously priced cards and I found this adorable line of jungle themed ones.  I took pictures on my cell phone, and came home and made them in StoryBook Creator Plus using the Discover Zoo Additions and Color Me Happy Digital Kit.

(These pics show the outside on the left and inside on the right…not exactly how I printed them.)

fday cards - Page 001

(And I guess I should mention, Adam calls his grandpas, “Bompa, Bompa O, Beeg Bompa, and the last two are Gate Bompa.”


fday cards - Page 002 fday cards - Page 003  fday cards - Page 005

I love how super-simple they are.  And I thought about printing the words, letting Adam color all over the card, and then cutting out the picture to put it on top of the coloring, but SOMEONE isn’t cooperating this morning.

I think I’ll go ahead and schedule this post to publish AGAIN in early June, 2011.  :)

(Oh, and I guess I should say something nice about my husband, father, father-in-law and grandpas – they’re the best!  Adam is so blessed to have such great male role models in his life, and I LOVE watching them become kids again with him.  We are truly blessed!)

Now you see it, now you don’t! How to Clone in Memory Manager

I just want to show you something cool:
my husband.
Just kidding.  I mean, that is him, but what I want to show you is the pole coming out of the top of his head.  Not so cute.  Been kind of bothering me.
But look at this!
Yep, I made him cut down the pole, and then re-shot the photo.
Just kidding again!  (Geez, I’m funny today, aren’t I?)
I actually used Memory Manager to take out the pole.  And it’s SOOOO easy!
img_2039 img_2039
Doesn’t it make the picture, like, 100x better?
So here’s how you do it.
In Memory Manager, click on the “Touchup” Ribbon.
Click “Clone.”  Change your brush size and pressure (I start with the largest brush size appropriate for the picture, and a light brush hardness, so it blends better.)  Then click the part you want to copy – that’s the + in the trees.  The 0 on the pole is where I’m going to copy the trees to.
“Paint” over the pole.  Your + will move as you paint.  If you need to pick a new location for the +, press shift and click the new point.
To get close to his head, zoom in, and make your brush smaller.
(And while you’re at it, add some more hair!  Just kidding again!  But this is totally cracking me up!!!)
If you mess up, just “undo last brush stroke.”  And when you’re done, click accept!

Cool, huh?
Oh wait, you don’t have Memory Manager from Creative Memories?  Visit www.mycmsite.com/katieolthoff and buy it from me!  You’ll have awesome pictures and I’ll love you!

Turkey Thursday

Yeah, I know it’s supposed to be Turkey Tuesday, but we’ve been busy!

This week, I want to tell you about Annie’s Project.


Annie’s Project is a 6 week class designed to “empower farm women.”  It focuses on problem solving, record keeping, and decision-making skills for farm women.  It is currently offered in 23 states.

imageAnnie was a woman who grew up in a small town in Northern Illinois. Her goal was to marry a farmer and she did. Annie spent her lifetime learning how to be an involved business partner with her farm husband. Together they did great things, but it wasn’t easy. This is Annie’s Project – to take her experiences and share it with farm women living and working in a complex business.


I call it my “Farm Wife Class” and it’s pretty awesome so far.  It costs $50, but you get a really nice leather binder (I’m a dork, I know) and snacks and drinks during class!  And it’s good for other reasons, too…

Week 1 was heavy on the “wife” part.  We talked about “Real Colors” (Personality Instrument) and how to communicate with our hubbies and other partners in the farm.  Totally interesting stuff.  (I’m green, by the way, and now everything I do seems to be a “green” thing.)

Week 2 focused on household finances, including life insurance, retirement, and DISABILITY.  Disability coverage is SOOO important for farmers, and we need more.  (Kate, let Lucas know, would you?  We have an appt. next week.)

Week 3 (last night) we talked about farm finance.  This is why I signed up for the course.  We learned how to a make a balance sheet, income statement, figure our “working capital,” and equity to asset percentage.  Now, these are all things I’ve heard of before, and our banker has helped us figure them out.  But you know when you’re sitting in the bank VP’s office for hours hammering out ag loans and you don’t want to ask too many stupid questions?  Oh, you’ve never been in that situation?  Lucky you!


The presenter last night is a farm wife who is also a former high school business teacher turned ag lender.  She was my computer teacher in high school.  And she yelled at me because I never took a business course.  Oops!

Then, another presenter talked to us about GPS in tractors, and all the soil mapping stuff that goes on now.  Amazing stuff!  But since I have NO grain, I facebooked during that time.  Until he said that there is a movement towards giving each animal an ID number, like a SSN, so that if a disease breaks out (think Mad Cow) we can find out where the animal came from.  Great idea.  UNLESS YOU HAVE 20,000 TURKEYS AT ONCE!  Sheesh!  Can you imagine?

And after last night, let me just say that I am SERIOUSLY glad I don’t have to market grain.  Sounds stressful.  It’s like playing the stock market, people.  With your entire livelihood at risk.  Yikes!


Okay, so if you’re not a farm wife, you may be bored to death.  If you are a farm wife, find out if you can take the class!  It will be so worth it!

I don’t bake.

I blame it on Rachael Ray.

But maybe I’m changing my ways.

Exhibit A:
I bought her at a garage sale last week for $5.  That’s right.  $5.
img_2158 img_2159  img_2174
She looks fabulous with my vintage enamel ware (including the table top.  For more pictures of the cupboard and shelves, click here.)
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Exhibit B:
I just made some of these.
But once you see how incredibly easy they are, you’ll want to make some, too.  I found them on my new friend Jackie’s blog, House of Sarager.  Click the fabulous picture (by Jackie) get the super easy recipe!  (Yeah, I stole the picture instead of taking my own.  I’m lazy like that.)
They have 3 ingredients!  And they are so delicious!  (But if you want yours nice and flat, smoosh down the dough.  Mine rose, and my cookies are more like balls.)