Sunday, June 10, 2018

One Step Closer to Reality

Most of you know that my vision for our dining area is to have one, long table where as many as 16 can be seated. We've made do for the past (almost!) eight years by setting two or three tables in a row but it's never been my ideal. Scott and I have had many discussions about how he simply must build me the perfect table with lumber harvested from noTTafarm's own trees and a base that he designed. This table has taken its first step toward reality with the purchase of . . .
. . . two vintage, steel industrial table legs!

We were at A&R Salvage on Friday, in search of something else (story to come) when we saw a selection of industrial table legs. We couldn't resist this set. Even though they are solid steel and heavy as heck, the thin profile and elegant curves are going to add a lot of style to our dining room.

Now we just need to figure out how to make the whole thing go together. We may use some of the planks milled from the locust tree we removed to build the great room addition, and Scott may figure out a way to make the table expandable. I'm just hopeful that it won't take (almost!) eight more years to complete.
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Special Visitors for Uncle Scott's Birthday

On June 4, we celebrated Scott's birthday with help from a whole bunch of Camps. Andrew and Kate traveled up from Stuttgart, Arkansas and Katie and Alessio flew in from Portland, Oregon to join the rest of the Omaha-based family for a big dinner at noTTafarm. We had such a great time, catching up and spending a few (too brief!) hours together.
The only thing that could have made this photo better was if Pat & Kathleen could have been with us, too! (From left, Kate & Alessio, Pete, and Andrew & Kate)
The BIG news from our Portland kids is there's a baby on the way! Kate and Alessio made the announcement at a gathering they organized on Saturday with Alessio's dad and sister. We are over-the-moon excited to have a great niece or nephew arriving around December 1st. Kate and Alessio aren't going to find out the gender until the birth so it will be a true surprise!
We love you, Katie & Alessio!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Words for Wednesday

noTTafarmers have an affinity for cottonwood trees; there are several huge specimens around the acreage in varying stages of life. They continue to whisper to us as we go about the business of yard work and tending the garden. Be sure to listen during your next visit.
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Garden Gets Goin'

The vegetables were finally planted on May 22 - just in time for our first heat wave of the summer. This year, we are looking forward to eating and sharing:  red bell peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, green beans, and rhubarb. Plus, we'll have decorative gourds and Indian corn for autumn decorating.
Scott added a bag of top soil to each of the four raised beds to replenish some of the volume lost over the last two years. This will be our third year of gardening!
We planted one bed with three rows of Triomphe de Farcy beans (aka skinny green beans). The gourd seeds were planted outside the east wall of the fence. Scott is hoping they climb the fence like they did last year. (I still need to get out there and get the Indian corn seeds planted.)
The beds were ready to go and awaiting our helpers (Carl & Marita.)  
Speaking of just can't complete a task at noTTafarm without some help from a cat! Bibbers checked out the newly-planted tomatoes while Wilson patrolled the east fenceline. There are 8 total plants; 4 cherry and 4 standard size. I am anxious for my first BLT of the season!
Wilson checks on Dad and gets a bonus head-pat. Teamwork! 
Planting the gourd seeds.
By Memorial Day Weekend, the beans had sprouted. This shot was taken May 28 on day two of our 100-degree heatwave.
Marita decided to try broccoli this year instead of eggplant, a move I whole-heartedly agreed with! We've got six healthy plants, soaking up the sun. Yummy!
Stay Tuned for More Garden Progress!

Girl Power

The month of May has been quite spectacular for the noTTafarm family, particularly for the girls. We have celebrated the births of two baby girls, a Masters degree and a new business opportunity.

Our Niece, Chelsie . . . 
 . . . has been selected as one of five finalists in a contest sponsored by Cozad (Nebr.) Economic Development and could soon be the proprietor of a new shop. The winner of the contest gets free rent in a downtown building and all sorts of professional assistance to get the first year of the business up and running. This photo is a still from a video describing her business idea that she produced and submitted. A final presentation will occur in a couple of weeks. I hope I soon get to post that "Sweet Water Outfitters" is open for business!
Our Niece, Karli . . .
. . . graduated on May 5 with a Masters degree in accounting from the University of South Dakota. She accepted a position with Lutz and moved lock, stock and kitties to Lincoln, Nebr. the day after graduation. Her new employer is giving her the summer to study for the CPA exam and will then start working in September. And on top of all this success, she and David are getting married in October!
Our Great Niece, Kree Julene . . .
. . . was born on May 16 at 4:44 pm, weighing 6 lbs., 14 oz. and measuring 20 inches long. She is the perfect little replica of big sister, Kitra. Her middle name was created by combining the names of Tyler's grandmother (my mommy) Jolene and Monica's grandmother, Judith. A wonderful tribute!
 Our Great Niece, Charlee Samantha . . . 
. . . was born on May 19 at 11:50 am, weighing 7 lbs., 4 oz. and measuring 21 inches long. She is going to have a great life as the youngest of four girls (and as the cousin of baby Kree!) Big sisters (from L to R in this picture) are Bailee, Allie and Maggie. Nick and Brooke picked the name Charlee to reflect generations of Wards named "Charles." We can't wait to see these six little girls in action!

Congratulations, Girls!

Monday, May 21, 2018

Won't You Be Our Neighbor?

Have we got a deal for you.
Actually, it's not our deal to offer but we do hope something good happens when our neighbors to the south sell their 22-acre pasture. It's been recently listed for sale and the realtor's description suggests that the land could be divided into multiple home sites. We are holding out hope that a single buyer will come forward to build their own dream acreage, maybe with a sweet horse or herd of mini donkeys. A suburban development including streets and all the associated traffic would definitely take some of the charm out of our quiet country living. So, if you know someone nice that wants to build in the beautiful rolling hills north of the metro, be sure to pass along this info. Or don't. We're not in any hurry. 😉
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

"Some" Assembly Required

The first tool purchase of the new season has been made. Scott decided it would be a good idea to have a fertilizer/seed spreader to pull behind the mower. It would make spreading fertilizer much easier than walking a standard spreader around our multi-acre yard. He did his research and placed an order through Northern Tool. A few days later, assembly began. 
The Agri-Fab spreader has a 175-pound capacity (which is great) but it was delivered in a big box of loose parts. Scott sorted all of the nuts and bolts on the garage floor and carefully followed the 15-page assembly manual.
Assembly was a slow and steady process. 
The spreader also has a row of spiked wheels to aerate as it gets pulled along.
This is one of the diagrams included in the assembly manual. You can see why it took over 5 hours to assemble! Scott spent one entire Sunday, sitting on the driveway, putting this thing together. Once it was all together, he discovered that the hitch would not align with the back of the mower.
It took Scott another afternoon to hewn an adapter that would help the tongue of the spreader line up with the back of the mower. Luckily, he has a stash of steel in the barn. He found an appropriate piece, cut it to the right size and shape, grind off the sharp edges, drill bolt holes in the mower deck and the steel, add two coats of spray paint, and then bolt the whole thing together. Perfection in fabrication and utilization!
He was finally able to hook it up and spread 4 big bags of weed-and-feed around the property.
After all that work, it was a relief to have it operating correctly. Our yard should be dandelion free and lush and green. Get ready to run around barefooted! 
Check out this short video clip of the spreader in action! Good job, Scotty!
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!