Category Archives: Jo’s Journal

Thank a Farmer

We had beautiful weather here in Iowa in November and December and even the first half of January and then WHAM!  In about 10 days time we went from grass on the ground and okay temps to SNOW on the ground with record setting low temperatures.  AH.  I’ve shoveled snow four times and now it’s piled high.

This was our weather for the week as of Sunday….a snowstorm coming in Sunday night and a deep freeze settling in for this week.


Monday afternoon we moved to this.  Wind Chill watches and warnings.  The wind chill or feels like temperature is likely to hit -60 degrees.  YES, MINUS SIXTY DEGREES.


Kelli’s birthday is January 25th and Kayla’s January 31st.  I don’t EVER remember a year that we didn’t have nasty weather over that time.  This year it’s true again.

Years ago when we were living on the farm and the kids all lived at home a feed rep came and talked to Hubby after a long cold spell.  It had been a week long spell and then the farm waterers were much harder to maintain.  The feed rep asked Hubby if he was able to feed all the cattle all the days being it was so cold.  Hubby laughed.  Of course he fed them.

At supper that night Hubby relayed the story to the kids.  One of them, I can’t remember which one it was, piped up and said, “If the cattle weren’t fed we sure wouldn’t be sitting here down to eat.”  The other kids piped in saying “Ya, Dad would have had us all out there with wheel barrows carting feed if the equipment didn’t work”.  They were so right.

That’s the truth of a good farmer.  When your animals need you, it doesn’t matter what the temperature is outside, from temperatures over 100 to temperatures below -50 degrees, the farmer is there.

I saw this on Facebook….


To any of you farmers out there dealing with the weather, losses, poor prices or the like.  Here’s a HUGE shout out to you and your family.  We know farming isn’t a one man show!!  Take care today and every day.  THANK YOU!!

My Christmas…

I had a lovely Christmas.  I am ever so thankful that I gave up on making Christmas perfect for everyone and just let it unfold however it came.   When the kids were little I so stressed about the PERFECT gift….I would buy something in October on a sale only to return it in December when the kids told me they wanted something else.  At some point I gave up on that.  Ah…I’m so glad I did!!

We don’t do a lot of gifts….Hubby and I exchange a gift.  Typically it’s not a big present.

This year at Thanksgiving time Kalissa and Hubby started hounding me for some gift ideas.  I always feel so sorry for them as it’s my birthday and Christmas so close together.  It’s hard to think of one thing let alone two.  Often times I get something bigger and it’s a Birthday/Christmas present.  As a kid, I hated that.  As an adult, I love it.

These are the couple things that I thought of as honestly, I am so blessed and don’t need a single thing.  Plus, I don’t have extravagant taste and love a simple life.

Two things I put on the list were a “Grandma piece of jewelry” and a painting.  I was VERY specific that I wanted the “Grandma piece of jewelry” to be able to be added on to as I have two grandkids due in March.  I thought that might be a tall order as the design would have to live over time.

The painting I thought might be able to happen but the time frame was short.  I had seen this….


It’s a painting of a church but the background is of popular hymns.  The hymns are adhered to the canvas and then the picture of the church is painted.  I had wanted it done but didn’t quite know what I wanted.  We don’t have a “home church”.  We rotate between two and don’t have strong attachments to either.  We go to whichever one is most convenient for church time.  Odd I know but it works for us.

Well the kids went together and got a painting done for me that’s similar.  The artist is one of my childcare moms.  She does a great job.  You can find her Facebook Page here.

They got old hymnals and picked favorite songs…and they had the church where we got married replicated….


It’s lovely.  The back door here of the church is where several of our wedding photos were taken.  This church was the church Hubby grew up at.  This is the church where Hubby’s grandparents went too.  We both love it.

Some of the hymns that were picked were Softly and Tenderly….

Earth and all Stars…I am guessing Kayla and Buck picked this…

Joy to the World.  We had a pastor that this was his favorite song…He said it should be sung year round.  We happened to agree so it’s become a family favorite song.  He even had it as his license plate on his car.  He was a great pastor!!

Children of the Heavenly Father is a favorite of mine.  It played as each of our children were baptised.  My cousin sang it in Swedish at my dad’s funeral.

There are other songs too…I adore it.  As I am writing, we don’t have this hung yet.  We’ve decided it’s going in the dining room.  It’s big and will be a statement piece.

What was even more fun was that even though the kids weren’t all here, Kalissa got them all together on Messenger using a video conference call.  It was so fun!!  They were all able to see each other…and me!!

With the help of Kalissa and Kelli I got a Grandmother’s bracelet.

I know it doesn’t look like one but it is….See?? Continue reading

Junking: the Not So Glamorous

The life of a junker is WAY less glamorous than people would think.  We don’t go to auctions and find things in mint condition at “steal of a deal” prices.  It’s often a lot more like this….

Boxes and piles of junk that have to processed.  The set of nesting bowls I bought on a whim.  They are in good shape..have a USA stamp on the bottom and nest perfectly.  Well I don’t know if $3 was a good price and if I can make a profit on them until I look them up.

When looking on Ebay for prices, PLEASE don’t do what some people do….think that the asking price is what they are going to get in real life.  If you ever check a price on Ebay, type in the name of of your item then go to the far left column until coming to search criteria.  Check the box that says sold items.

For example I got the baseball bat you see on the table in a bundle of yardsticks.  I bought the bundle for the yardsticks for $5…BUT now I have this baseball bat.  It’s a Louisville Slugger.  It’s Henrey Aaron bat.  I looks on Ebay.  I was all excited…Someone had one listed for $45.  YAHOO…Jack pot.  Nope.  Actual selling price was about $10.  Okay.  That gives me a better idea of what I can ask for it if I take it to the antique booth.  When pricing things, one of the workers there suggested looking up the SELLING price on Ebay and then make it a little less.  For me, we don’t really have other baseball stuff in the booth…I’ll be happy if I get $6 for it.

In the picture above in the upper right corner is a box of jars.  Did you know that old glass peanut butter jars are something that is selling.  I went to a garage sale and bought the jars.  They were filled with nails and screws as the previous owner used them in his shop.  The jars were COVERED in dirt.  I bought them for 25 cents each and will price them at $7 each.  The dirt all has to come off first!  Oh no glamor in this job at all.

The kitchen island and sink are covered with stuff. The dishwasher is loaded and running.

…and then there’s a box of stuff on the stove.  See? Continue reading