Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Who needs cat toys!

Yes, this is our Festus or as Jake would say, "his cat" as opposed to my cat Mo who does not spend too much time indoors since the arrival of Festus. I will probably be one of those parents who takes the most random pictures of their children doing the strangest things. But for now I will just practice on the pets. I remember my mom always wondering why she bought us toys since we found so much more entertainment in pots, pans, and laundry baskets. These photos are proof that the same logic works for pets too!

Festus kept himself entertained with this bag for quite some time last night and graciously posed for these photos. I do apologize for the quality. I took them with the cell phone.

Needless to say he is pretty cute! At least we think so. ~mrs. c

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Farmers Creed

As I was going through a binder at the office today, I ran across a copy of the "Farmers Creed." As Jake and all of the other California farmers are busy harvesting all of our crops, I thought that sharing this anonymous writing was appropriate. Next time you eat a meal, think of this creed and thank a farmer. ~ mrs. c

Farmers Creed

I believe a man's greatest possession is his dignity and that no calling bestows this more abundantly than farming.

I believe hard work and honest sweat are the building blocks of a person's character.

I believe that farming, despite its hardships and disappointments, is the most honest and honorable way a man can spend his days on this earth.

I believe farming nurtures the close family ties that make life rich in ways money can't buy.

I believe my children are learning values that will last a lifetime and can be learned in no other way.

I believe farming provides education for life and that no other occupation teaches so much about birth, growth, and maturity in such a variety of ways.

I believe many of the best things in life are indeed free: the splendor of a sunrise, the rapture of wide open spaces, and the exhilarating sight of your land greening each spring.

I believe that true happiness comes from watching your crops ripen in the field, your children grow tall in the sun, and your whole family feels the pride that springs from their shared experience.

I believe that by my toil I am giving more to the world than I am taking from it, an honor that does not come to all men.

I believe my life will be measured ultimately by what I have done for my fellowman, and by this standard I fear no judgment.

I believe when a man grows old and sums up his days, he should be able to stand tall and feel pride in the life he's lived.

I believe in farming because it makes all this possible.

Author Unknown

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Jack the Beanstalk in Chico?

It all began last spring when this random weed sprouted from our gravel covered side yard. At first we all thought it was a hearty sunflower. However after months of growth and no blooms, we realized this was just a weed. I of course thought it was cool. Jake on the other hand like any good farmer was irritated by its presence. It grew to a lengthy 6ft or so before Jake cut it down for good...at least that is what he thought.

Fast forward to the spring of 2008. Its Baaack! Who knows why this weed has chosen our yard but it did. When it returned we had already begun the yard transformation for the hosting of our wedding rehearsal dinner in early July. You would think with the impending gala Jake would immediately remove the pesky weed. However his then soon-to-be-wife (that’s me) became fond of the weed and asked for its life to be spared. After all, it grew with such vigor that maybe it was Jack the Beanstalk?

As the weeks and months passed, the weather became warm and we hosted various back yard gatherings, we made sure to note the presence of the odd weed now turned tree to our many guests. It is interesting to note that we don't even know what kind of weed this is. With Jake being a farmer and myself also working in the industry, we obviously have friends who also partake in a farming career. It was these people who we also asked their opinion on the variety of this hearty vegetation. The verdict was milkweed. I just assumed it was a tree.

July came, we hosted our rehearsal dinner, became husband and wife and the weed now tree remained. A few of our family and friends recall the "bean stalk" and ask if it is still growing strong. It was rising five feet above the gutter of the house, until Monday, Sept 1. You see, Sunday night brought a gusty bought of wind to Chico. The bean stalk did not fall down of course - it now has a sturdy trunk. It did however beat against the gutter of the house all night and interrupted my husband's slumber. I was advised to say my goodbyes to my bean stalk because upon Jake's return home that night from work, he would bring out the chainsaw and cut it down.

Now he has threatened this before so I kind of thought he was joking. Boy was I wrong. The chainsaw roared before he even opened his beer. And if you know my husband, anything taking place before he opens his beer is pretty serious! Jack the Bean Stalk is now gone. My fairy tale is over…for now. Stay tuned. It might be back in 2009. ~mrs. c

Monday, September 1, 2008

Just another weekend...

As I write this entry today, it is Labor Day and while I should be cleaning house, because that is what I planned to do today, I decided to take a break from the grime and post an entry. Jake is at work. Not really a big surprise as it is harvest time and as we all know crops and cows still have to be cared for even when the rest of the world is on holiday.

The weekend has been pretty low key and we needed a low key weekend. Friday got off to a stressing start as my work laptop decided to crash - something about the mother board? Sounds like a alien space term but nonetheless, I was without a computer and the verdict on the "one year old device, really good quality" laptop is that it would have to be returned to the company for repair. "What? I am going to be without my computer?" I don't think so. You see I purchased my computer from a local company. This was good idea number one. I also purchased their three-year "we'll take care of it if it breaks" plan. This was good idea number two. So the computer is covered under warranty and the local company I bought it from is providing me with a replacement and they are loading all of my program and files on to it. I have to pick it up today (I guess computer guys don't believe in holidays either?) but I am sure the loaner lap-top will be better than the alternative - no laptop! So if you are ever in Chico and need a good computer place, check out PCI Computers. The guys in there are very responsive, pretty quick to get me answers to my problems, (even after I threw a little fit) and they are funny!

Moving on to Saturday, not much here. I had a little yard sale in the morning. I got rid of some clothes and kitchen wares and made a few extra bucks. I took the extra bucks and went and bought my husband some new work pants - Tractor Supply here we come! You see, I sold all of the old ones at the yard sale. Of course they we all to small and had to go. I guess I can cook since he now wears a size bigger.

Jake had to work on Saturday but was able to accomplish all of his tasks by about 1 pm and came home. He proceeded to assume the position and took a three hour nap!

As I mentioned earlier, Jake has been busy with harvest so "Colleen time" has been limited. He did however make up for it Saturday night when he took me to dinner. And better yet, he had to talk to me while we ate. You see Jake has this habit of needing a newspaper or magazine or book when he is eating at a restaurant. But not this time. I really think he forgot to bring something but I will take it as he really did want to spend time with me!

Another business plug if I may. Jake is a food snob. Yes a harsh statement to make but true. There are not many restaurants that he will dine in once let alone twice. So this time I got to choose and I was really excited to take him Original Pete's. Nothing fancy - Jake is not fancy. But I thought this place offered some pretty good home-cooked kinda food with a ton of Italian influence. Now I know this is a chain restaurant but I was really excited to take Jake because I knew he would be able to find something on the menu to make him happy and consider a return visit.

And I was right! I think the selling point of our evening was our service. Our server was excellent! She smiled, was happy and accommodating. And she really liked her job. Jake said she was by far the best server he has had in a long time! Moving on to the food. Gotta love a place that serves beer by the pitcher. And it was cold. Also very important. Next up appetizers. Jake and I love seafood and we love calamari. Granted it was fried but who was counting calories. Not me even though I should have been. Home run number two. Jake loved it and there was nothing left. Of course all good restaurants serve a nice salad with their entrees. Fresh greens and loaded with garbanzo and kidney beans. Yummy! As you can imagine, we did as most and loaded up before our entrees arrived. That's okay though. We ate some and took the rest home. Lasagna (Jake's choice) and cheese tortellini with mushroom and Gorgonzola sauce (this was luscious and my choice) will heat well on Sunday for lunch.

All in all a great evening with my husband!

Sunday usually starts out the same. Reading the paper in bed, fighting over the Food Network and Car shows and for breakfast, bagels and cheese . After this traditional lounging, Jake did have an hour or so of work to complete. So while he was changing irrigation water and checking sprinklers, I cleaned up around the inside of the house. When he returned we mowed the lawns, and called it a day. Granted it was only 11am but we had done enough for Sunday. We went to Patty's for a few minutes, headed to Tractor Supply for those new work pants and came home to the couch. Gotta love a Sunday on the couch. Only thing that would have made it better is if we got some Preseason NFL on our local stations. I am so excited for the regular season to start this Thursday! Woo Hoo Go Niners!

It was obviously my lucky weekend as Jake offered to make dinner. It was also - let's try all the new things we got as wedding gifts - dinner. This included the food processors (large and mini), the new cutting boards and the ice cream machine. Jake fried up some bread clams, zucchini and summer squash and cream cheese won tons. I was in charge of the green salad and the homemade vanilla and toasted almond ice cream. The only negative of Jake making dinner (and I say this with all my love) he makes the biggest mess and does not do dishes. But I love him!

With that said, I am going back to the household chores. Thanks for reading. ~mrs. c


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