Farm Tour Adventures

The other day I got you wondering what all of these plastic-covered shoes were all about:

Well here's the rest of that story!

Evan grew up knowing the terms mastitis, sire, and oxytocin; he was able to differentiate a field of alfalfa from barley at a young age; and he knew the meaning of hard work. Even now that he lives in the city he reminisces about the smell of milk replacement powder (mmm, pudding) and the wonderful bouquet of smells that are home to a barn. He will forever appreciate manure. As you may have guessed, or already knew from this post, Evan grew up on a farm. A dairy farm, to be precise.

Sapa Ska Farm, in Lake City, Minn., was founded by Evan's grandpa and is currently run by Evan's dad and uncle. The National Dairy Convention was held in Minnesota this year, and Sapa Ska Farm (which means black and white in some Native American tongue) was lucky to be one of the few properties to be toured by the convention participants. After a lot of hard work cleaning up the barn and renovating the old cheese house to hold the calves, Evan's family opened their doors to about 200 people from around the country. It was an exciting day to be a part of the family, and as you can imagine, I had a blast photographing the event. Here are a few of my favorite photos:

Farmer Denny

Evan's sister Riley painted these -- how clever! I loved them and couldn't help but take a photo.

Evan's cousins, granddaughters of Farmer David, keeping each other company as they survey the newcomers with some trepidation.
Evan's sister Tessa enjoys the day.
Turn up your speakers and enjoy the slideshow! If your computer is able, select for it to be played in HD (a button appears once you hit play).

Mr. P's Summer Job?

E and I were hoping to have the satisfaction of constructing our own fence this summer, but after coming across a great deal from some contractors, we decided to sit this one out. There'll be plenty of other things to construct, right? (deck, patio, etc).

Well, last night when I came home expecting to find some men working in our yard with Evan happily checking his sport scores and relaxing inside, you can imagine my surprise when I saw this through the window:

And this:
Looks like Mr. P has found a new summer job! Maybe I shouldn't have been too surprised; I know how he loves his house projects and learning new things - what better way than alongside the pros themselves! (of course he was just helping dig holes and measure the yard, not lay the cement or anything too intense... I think legally he can't do all that, and I don't want anyone thinking he was crossing any lines).

This is what the fence looks like right now:

The rest of the posts should be set tonight or tomorrow, and then the fence should be up within a week! Can't wait!

Patriotic Adventures

Question: What animal has a record of only 20% reaching adulthood? Can see up to 2 miles away? Loves living along the Mississippi? Makes the biggest nests of any North American bird; up to 6' across, 13 feet deep, and weighing 1 ton?

Ok, well maybe I kind of gave it away... ; )

Answer: this fellow!

He kept moving his head! But I like the effect in this one! His head isn't white yet because he hasn't yet matured.
This was during a presentation where we got to see him eat a mouse!

On the 4th of July we headed down to Lake City for a picnic with Evan's family. Well, it was raining, so we ended up eating at the Chickadee Cottage, a little cafe run by Evan's aunt and uncle. After brunch it was still coming down so we decided to take an impromptu trip down the river to Wabasha to visit the National Eagle Center. We didn't realize we had planned such a patriotic outing until we saw all the other people milling about in their festive red white and blue garb - what a perfect activity for a rainy 4th of July! It was great fun learning about and observing our national bird. (Did you know that it is called bald because that used to be the word for "white"?)

After walking around the Eagle Center and enjoying some flag cake outside, Evan and I went for a little hike in Frontenac State Park, which overlooks the river and parallels the bluffs of Wisconsin. We ate dinner at the St. James Hotel - where we spent our wedding night and also a fun evening last June. We are always impressed with their food and it is nice sitting on their patio overlooking the river in Red Wing. We made it back home just in time to walk over and catch the Edina fireworks (which we were joking were designer fireworks, with their intricate patterns)! The night before we watched them at Canterbury Park - also a great show. We missed the horse racing so will have to head back there sometime this summer so we can yell "C'mon Dover, move your bloomin' arse!" (My Fair Lady anyone?)

Here's a little montage I made encapsulating the weekend events:

...It's about time!

Wow, I guess I've had a bit of a blog vacation... oops! I'm discovering that it's a lot easier to keep up with the blog in the winter time. These long days keep us outdoors working in the yard, going on walks, traveling to weddings and various family events, and just living life... so long story short, I have a ton of pictures but not a lot of time to blog about them! So here's a little overview of the recent adventures of E & C:

We've been busy replacing the old interior doors in our house with brand spankin new ones. We really only needed to replace the bathroom door (pretty warped and peeling), but since it's nice to keep everything cohesive and they only cost $20 a pop (well, minus the doorknobs and hinges), we decided to tackle all of them. You saw in an earlier post how we trimmed the doors down to size, but unfortunately the doorframes weren't perfectly square, so even after all of that we had to take the sander out and sand down edges to finally get the doors closed. We're done with the bathroom, office, and bedroom doors. All we have left now is the closets! It's a nice project because it doesn't really invade our living space too much; we can decide to tackle one door in a night and be done with it. I think we're really getting the hang of it now!

We've had visitors!

We're making progress in the yard!

Now for a photo hint to what we were up to celebrating the 4th last weekend -- full story to follow soon:

Any guesses on why these troopers had their shoes wrapped in plastic? I'm hoping to finish editing and creating a slideshow shortly, so stay tuned to find out!

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