Saturday, February 27, 2010

Oh wring

Yesterday we finally got a few O rings in the mail for the cream separator. We tried looking in Minot for someone that had the right size but each place we looked at said to try a different store and we didn't find any the right size. Dad found one online at: We had to have an order of more than five dollars so we ordered a few of each in different materials.

This morning I tried fitting them where they would go on the cream separator and one of the sizes fits perfectly. We had gotten two of that type so now we have a spare.  If you have a old DeLaval cream separator that needs a new seal for the cone shaped spinner, get this one: Buna-N 427 Size O-ring, product no: ob-70-427 from that website. It may not be a food-grade rubber material, but we will use it until we find a better one.

We got two different sizes and three different materials.  The set on the right was the size that fit best.
I poured water through to test if it leaked.  Thankfully it didn't!  When we have a few more gallons of milk to skim we'll try running it through and see how it works for real.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Fixing up cabinets


This afternoon I went upstairs to glue in one of the side panels of a cabinet that I've been fixing up. We were given a set of oak-faced cabinets from some friends that live down near Bismarck a few years ago but until now they hadn't been fixed up or arranged to fit where we would like them. The carpenter that built them built them in place and glued them to the wall so there was a little bit of damage that happened when they were pried off the walls. We just need to replace a few broken boards and add a few sides to some of the cabinets and they turn out really nice!

We found a way to position the counters and cabinets so that we don't have to do much cutting of the sections and it works out pretty nice. There is also a nice sink that will go under the window in the kitchen, and a dish washer spot is already there so we can install the dishwasher that came with everything. I think that will be nice. It has been so long since we lived in town and had a dishwasher that I don't think I remember how to use one!

Jonathan has worked on a separate counter/cabinet and had to add two sides so he has practice with staining and varnishing. I'll have to ask him for help to show me how to finish the end wall on the cabinet I'm working on. The one I was working on is the side that is being clamped in the picture below. While we were working on the cabinets, Dad was working on sheet rocking the kitchen wall. We haven't tried our hand at mudding and taping sheet rock yet, but we are just about ready to start.

This afternoon a homeschool family stopped by to look at what goats we have for sale.  They just wanted to see what we have before they decide if they want to buy any from us.



Monday, February 22, 2010

Quick post

This will be pretty short. I'm supposed to go get into bed right now...

On Saturday we played a 45 minute music program in Westhope at the nursing home there. It is a little less than a hour drive to get there from here. We are going to try to record a few of the songs from our program before we get out of practice again. It takes quite a while of practice before you can feel like you are reasonably good at a certain song. We still are a long way from sounding anything like the bands that we enjoy listening to!

I have been figuring out what we will need to do to fence some pasture for the animals in the spring. We will probably start with a 10 acre electric fence beside the driveway.  We are going to fence a few large paddocks that are partly in the woods for pasturing the pigs next year too.

Eventually I would like to expand our cattle herd and implement the rotational grazing ideas that Joel Salatin talks about that would make our land so much more productive!

Continued another time.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Guess what came in the mail today...

...our business cards! I think they turned out really nice. We came up with a few different versions of cards (Dad made one, Andrew made one and I made one) and then I combined a little of all three and came up with this one. We edited it and it looks real nice. We also ordered two small stainless steel carriers to keep them in so they don't get bent in your pocket. A bent business card is not very impressive.

Now I feel like giving one to everyone we see!


Saturday, February 13, 2010

To Lansford!

We just got back a little bit ago from the annual Republican dinner held in Lansford ND.  We played a few songs for entertainment during the meal at noon.  We had to all pack into the car and fit all the instruments and the sound system into the trunk and cargo carrier.  We can fit the two speakers and two microphone stands on the the top of the car but we have to cram the 3/4 size bass and the other instruments in the trunk and the sound board with all the wires. 

Andrew and I played chess on the way over but had to start over a few times when we hit a bump and the pieces fell off the board!

Lansford is a pretty small town with not too many stores on main street.
We were going to play for a certain amount of time but the panel discussion lasted longer than expected so we played during the meal.  Nobody seemed to pay much attention but we played anyway. 

We had the usual meal: meat, potatoes, corn and gravy.  Whenever there is a meal offered somewhere, it is usually that same combination!

Governor Hoeven came for part of the meeting today and stayed for a while.

Just as we were ready to hop into the car to leave, I slammed the trunk door and felt my thumb pop.  I guess I sprained it again!  This is the fourth time this year.  Jonathan put a comfrey/slippery elm poultice on it and I have that on my hand right now.  Dad read out of one book we have that if you press on the most painful spot until you can't stand it any longer and hold onto it for a minute, then let off, you will feel less pain.  I tried it, but you only feel less pain afterward because you quit pressing on it!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


I just thought I'd say I made butter this morning and timed the churn to see how long it took. We got two and a quarter pounds of butter in 4 minutes and 45 seconds out of a gallon of cream. I think that is pretty fast but I'm not sure.

I don't think we are getting the water/buttermilk out of the butter very thoroughly. Does anyone have any hints? We have a butter paddle and a book that talks about pressing and folding but I'd like to have someone else show me how to do it right.
The kid is doing pretty good now. It is getting a little more playful and independent.

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Monday, February 08, 2010

Adventures in the Turtle Mountains

It all started a couple days ago when we heard that we were going to get a change in weather. I needed to go vacuum on Monday (today) and there were some people coming to have a tour of our place in the afternoon Monday, so I decided that it would be better to get it over with as soon as possible. I don't usually go to vacuum on Sunday, but I think that God arranged everything to work out really well!

Yesterday morning I was not feeling like going over to work, but after thinking about it I figured that I'd just get it done so I wouldn't have to worry about getting snowed in. I am not licensed to drive alone yet so Jonathan rode with me in the truck. We thought we'd take the truck so we would be sure not to get stuck but I have only driven the truck on the road once before, even though I have had plenty of practice and can manage the gears pretty well. The truck tends to take a long time to warm up (choke needs adjusting) and so when we got to the mailbox it stalled and wouldn't start up again. Jonathan got out and propped the choke open with his Gerber and I started the truck again. We drove for a little ways further and then the truck died again. Jonathan got out and held the choke open again and we continued on. It didn't quit again until we got to the church. I told Jonathan I could call home and tell Mom he was on his way back and to check on him if he wasn't back soon. I have a routine that I follow each time and is doesn't include any phone calls until I'm all done, so by the time I walked inside and punched in my time card I forgot about calling!

Well, that was all I knew until I had finished vacuuming and washed the kitchen floor and called home for someone to come pick me up. Mom answered the phone and said, "They had to go pull him out again." "Who?" I asked. "Oh, you didn't hear about it I suppose. Dad and Andrew and David had to go help Jonathan pull a guy out of the ditch. Can you just hang on for a bit?" I said I could wait and then finished cleaning up. It took a while and then Dad came driving up in the car to pick me up. He said that I missed out on the adventure!

I wasn't there to see how it all happened but from what I gathered, Jonathan was on his way home (the truck didn't stall at all) and came upon an older looking man in a pickup truck with a plow on the front, stuck on the side of the road about 3/4 of a mile from our driveway. Earlier in the day, Andrew had stuck an extra grain scoop shovel in the back of the truck along with the other one that was already in there and so there was two good shovels for digging along with a logging chain and my cover-alls (that I brought in case we needed to dig ourselves out if we got stuck). Jonathan offered to help pull the guy's truck out of the ditch with our truck and so they hooked up. They dug out a lot of the snow that was around it using the two shovels and pulled on the truck. It was on a pretty steep ditch and the wheels of the truck that were off the road didn't want to come back up onto the road. By this time the brothers and Mom at home began to wonder about Jonathan so Dad took the car and Andrew and David and they drove down the road and found Jonathan shoveling. If I would have remembered to call, Jonathan would have had help sooner! With some more digging and pulling they got the truck out of the ditch.

Now the truck is out and Dad turns the car around and heads home with Andrew, leaving David with Jonathan. Jonathan pulls our truck over to the side of the road so the truck they pulled out (red colored truck) could get around him on the road. The red truck pulled out around our truck (the blue truck) and pulled too far to the side and slid into the ditch again on the other side of the road!

Now Dad is back at home and Jonathan is there shoveling again until it looks like he could pull the red truck out for the second time. The other guy (turns out to be maintenance man for the restaurant near by) offered to help but was already tired from shoveling so he needed to rest. So Jonathan began shoveling and cleaned a lot of the snow away from the red truck and hooked our logging chain to it. The tow belt that the other man had had broken because it was old and frayed so he used our chain. Then, to add to the excitement, Jonathan hooked the chain too short, so our truck was not on the middle of the road. With a jerk, (I am just guessing at this part) our truck strained backward and slid off into the ditch.

Now there are two trucks in the ditch and nobody to pull them out! Jonathan and David started digging and had to dig a path in the snow about 30 yards long in order to get our truck out. Now that our truck is out Jonathan headed home to get some help and loaded a bunch of big eighty-pound logs into the back of the truck for extra weight and went back out to the red truck. Dad took the car in case it would be needed but it wasn't. Now they dug out the snow and it was a simple matter to get the truck out of the ditch. The guy (I don't know his name) offered to buy the whole family a tenderloin dinner at the restaurant he works at with meat "THIS THICK!" he said holding out his fingers about an inch apart.

I wrote this story based on what Jonathan told me, so some parts might have happened a little differently than I wrote it.

Now there was a lot that could have made this not happen like it did. One would be if I had decided not to go vacuum on Sunday (which would have been easy to do), two would be if I had gone a bit earlier or later, three would be if I had called everything might have gotten done faster but I think God had had it all planned out just right!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

She's doing fine now...

The goat kid is doing pretty well now... Her mother is only giving at most a pint of milk at a time but the kid is able to walk around and nurse off of it's mother. Yesterday afternoon I'd noticed that some of the goats looked like they were ready to kid but when I was heading down to the barn to milk last night I heard a kid crying. It had just been born and was wet and cold but it had already stood up. We brought it in the house to warm up and it was able to walk around. It's not much bigger than a cat right now!

Henry was happy to help clean the milk off of the kid's face after we had fed it.

Dad and David went to pick up the azure standard order this afternoon and I got the gallon jars for milk finally. You don't always know if what you order is going to come until you go to pick it up and we had tried to get those jars in last month's order but they were out of stock for some reason. Peter

Monday, February 01, 2010

A Pleasant Surprise


I just came in from outside helping my brother Andrew pull an old moto-ski snowmobile out of the snowdrift by the semi trailer. He wants to get it going now using parts from the other two we have.

I guess you might be wondering what our pleasant surprise was? Thursday evening we got a call from the Bornneman family saying they were going to be in the area the next day to look at a grain cleaning rig near Landa. We generally don't get to see many of our friends very often so we were exited to get some company! They said they were coming in the afternoon and that Andrew Bornneman would like to stay at our house until Sunday. Of course we said that would be fine with us and Mr. Bornneman and Cora, Jacob and Andrew all came for a short visit the next afternoon. They stayed to visit for a little bit and then had to leave to get home before chore time so we didn't really get to visit a whole lot.

We all had a fun time with Andrew and he helped us figure out what we need to do to get the old cream separator going again as well as fixed a few things on the snowmobile to make it run better. He sure knows what he's doing when working on engines! We played some games in the evenings and music too. Thanks for coming and staying with us Andrew!
This afternoon Dad and Jonathan were going to town so I rode along with them to go vacuum at Metigoshe Ministries. I usually get dropped off there to work but when we drove in we could tell there were a lot of cars in the parking lot so I ran in and checked to see if I should vacuum. Nope. I will have to come back on Wednesday. There was a bunch of people quilting and something going on in the church area so I ended up riding along to town with Dad and Jonathan. I can't remember the last time I went to town, but I think it must have been almost two months ago or so. I'd rather be home working on something here.


I just came in from milking... One of the goats had a kid this evening and it seems to be doing just fine. It was a goat that was born this spring so both the mother and the kid are small.