November 26th

Monday, November 26th, 2018

Sometimes, I know myself really well.

Do you ever have those moments?

For example, when you find a mini cookies and cream chocolate bar in your camera bag because it’s your favorite, and you placed it there knowing you’d enjoy finding it as a treat later.

Do you ever do that? Leave yourself a little gift that you find later, and love yourself for it?

We all have those insecurities that make us love ourselves a little less. Maybe that sounds harsh, but I’m calling it as it is.

So when I have those moments when I see myself as a friend, who fills her own cup, who surprises herself, who encourages, who says “hey, I know you, and you’re bigger and better than those nagging voices,” it makes me softer towards myself.

Today, that little reminder came in the form of this leaf. A little splash of fall color that reminded me that change can be beautiful, and that made me smile.

The best part is where I found it – my wallet.

It’s more than likely been there for over a month, hiding in the coin purse (an area I never go), just waiting for the day God would have me open it, just when He knew I’d need it the most.

Tiny pleasures, friends. Sometimes the best days are made of them.

November 23rd

Friday, November 23rd, 2018

If you know me, you know I am not: 1. A shopper, and 2. A fan of crowds and busy parking lots.

So put those two things together and the outcome is that I am definitely NOT a Black Friday shopper. Although I do enjoy a good deal, the previously mentioned outweighs the money saved.

So instead, Paul and I opted outside. It felt marvelous, and was probably one of the last comfortable above-freezing days we’ll have until March.

On our walk in the woods today, we came across this downed log that had three perfect circles bored out of it. Our best guess was that a woodpecker had made the tree it’s home after it had died, and had three entrances (must’ve been quite the place!) before the tree came down.

If anyone else has any guesses as to what may have caused this, I’d love to hear them!

November 14th

Wednesday, November 14th, 2018

This man.

You’ve all heard it before: Paul’s basically the best.

He worked all weekend, into the week, and he comes home and doesn’t stop. We had a list of home projects a mile long this morning, and he tackled it.

Here you see Paul in his natural habitat, conquering the snow fence install. Not pictured: Penny the chicken for the assist.

November 2nd

Friday, November 2nd, 2018

It was a gorgeous fall day for a walk through Crow Hassan with a good friend.

I’m not sure if this is a real phenomenon on not, but I swear bodies of water become darker and bolder colored in the fall. Paul and I call it “fall water.”

Today there was little wind, so protected pools like this one looked like glass, but even on windy days in the fall water seems to hold deeper color.


October 26th

Friday, October 26th, 2018

The swans are a-movin’!

Flocks of 20+ birds have been flying around all day. Paul and I were outside all day working on a super fun personal project (more on that tomorrow…), and they kept flying over.

While this image isn’t overly pretty or technically great, it was at least not taken on my phone 😉

Can’t wait to share about our project tomorrow!!

October 21st

Sunday, October 21st, 2018

The sun was just starting to peek through the thin layer of clouds this morning when I looked out and saw this.

The swans are on the move, and they’ve chosen our pond as one of their flocking up points. By the end of the day, we had over 40 swans on the pond.

It was quite noisy.

They trumpet and coo and playfully splash with one another, which is loud in itself, but the taking off the water is the truly noisy part. It rings through the air and sounds like it should – pairs of massive wings and webbed feet slapping the surface of the water as they run across the water trying to gain speed and altitude. But, in contrast, when they come in to land, it is a soft sound; their wings are cupped, and their big, webbed feet break the surface of the water and they gently glide over the top until they settle all the way into the water. It’s nearly silent.

Combined with the sounds of our fields getting harvested today, there wasn’t much quiet.

Those who came out to the patch today got quite the treat though – the swans were constantly landing and taking off, essentially buzzing the field as they do, and the combine was in the field for the majority of the afternoon, which we all don’t get much of an opportunity to simply stand and watch them work.

A busy day for all.

October 19th

Friday, October 19th, 2018

We live in a fall wonderland!

Maybe only for today with the wind that’s picked up this afternoon, but it felt magical while it lasted.

Because this is my blog, and I call the shots, I’m going to share more than one image today for those of you who don’t get to experience it themselves because they’re not in MN today (thinking of you, Janis!).

I should start by saying that I’m not normally a lens flare girl (see image above), but it was created in-camera, and it seemed to radiate joy in this image. The brightness, yellow leaves, and lens flare encompasses how I feel about the sunshine, warm weather, and company I had while strolling through the woods today.



October 17th

Wednesday, October 17th, 2018

Golden waves (of beans).

During the day, these soybeans just look dead and brown. However, wait for the warm evening light, and things turn magical.

Although I grew up on a farm, we never experienced harvest as a family. We grew and baled our own hay, but rented out all of our fields to local farmers who did corn and soybeans. To this day, that’s still how we operate; the soybeans surrounding our house right now is a crop that will be harvested by our neighbor.

We get the farm feel without the crazy harvest hours and hard work.

Man, do I respect the farmers.

So many variables out of their control; so many things you couldn’t even begin to forecast, but you go into the season with faith. Field conditions, soil PH balance, fertilizer ratios, germination percentages, rain totals, drought, hail, strong winds, disease, pests, weeds. We deal with all of those things on a minor scale with our pumpkins, so to think of all of those things impacting hundreds of acres, hundreds of thousands of dollars of investment, you’ve either got to have nerves of steel or strong faith (ok, maybe a bit of both).

Paul and I have been following MN Millennial Farmer on YouTube (and I’ve been following along on Facebook too), and we’ve loved watching his videos. We jumped in right at the right time too, just about a month and a half ago, so lots of harvest prep and actual harvest time. Because he lives in Minnesota, it makes us feel even more connected; the weather we get is very similar to what they get, meaning we get to live it just a little. Paul and I had said to each other multiple times last week when it was raining “I wonder how Zach’s doing?” or “I wonder what Zach’s going to have to say about all this rain.”

Technology can be a really cool thing sometimes – in this instance, I’m glad we live in a world that has it! Makes us all feel just a little more connected in a positive way.

October 15th

Monday, October 15th, 2018

I live in the old Hassan Township.

The city of Rogers annexed the township in 2009, but the long seeded history of the township lives on through the generations of farming families in the area, structures such as the church Paul and I got married in, and the trees.

Wait, trees?

Yep. The trees.

The name “Hassan” is derived from the Dakota word chanhasen, meaning Sugar Maple Tree. As the then-township of Chanhassan had recently been established, the “chan-” was dropped to avoid confusion.

Settled by German immigrants in 1854, the area at the time (called “The Big Woods”) was mostly covered by oak, elm, basswood, and maple. Although the settlers removed much of the timber to farm the area, large areas of woods still stand, including the ten acres on our farm.

Sugar Maple trees turn bright yellow or gold in the fall, and certain areas of our woods are primarily Sugar Maple, including the main entrance to our woods.

One of my favorite places in the world.

October 11th

Thursday, October 11th, 2018

The weather forecast says sun tomorrow.

I may be a bit desperate for the sun. Fall just doesn’t seem like fall without that cozy, warm sunshine.

I was drawn to my Sedum plant this afternoon, as it’s cheery burgundy color definitely brought a smile to my face! Especially because I don’t know that since we’ve lived here we’ve ever seen it in fall bloom – the deer always get to it first.

It was breezy today, and focusing on small objects when they’re moving is difficult. I did my best, and did get some sharp images. Although, when I came in to edit I was drawn to this imperfectly focused image. The movement in it just felt so lovely.

I tossed in a little extra yellow into my white balance for the warmth my eyes are currently hungry for, and I enjoyed the coziness. It almost feels summery, and I’m ok with that.

October 9th

Tuesday, October 9th, 2018

Amidst the rain, I was determined to find and photograph fall color today.

The sumac never fails for brilliant color, although I don’t recall seeing such a vibrant yellow in its leaves before. Maybe I just assumed they were always red because that’s what I’ve come to expect to see.

Either way, it sure did perk up my day today.