Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Sweat socks, softball, sports and life

This ornament is the perfect reminder of my Uncle Hank. My dads youngest sibling. 10.5 younger than dad. 12.5 years older than me. Uncle Hank was one of the people who instilled the love of sports in me. I remember thinking he was a little crazy hollering at a TV and the game. Who gets that passionate? Hmmm, yeah friends, that's where I get it. 
He loved sports. Any sport. My oldest son reminds me a lot of him. It didn't matter if it was baseball, softball, football, hockey, soccer or who knows what else. If there was the chance to compete and hang with fellow enthusiasts, he was right there. 
At family reunions, he was the "adult" that made sure all the other adults got out there with is kids for annual Angle reunion softball game. Anytime we were together, he was pitching to us. Talking about improving your stance or loudly vocalizing how we could better field a ball. 
At Christmas, since Uncle Hank was the last kid at home, he came with Grandma and Grandpa if they came to our house on Christmas. This is in addition to our annual pilgrimage to GC. He always had another little extra gift for us. Did he get it did grandma? I will never know. Whoever did the shopping was very attuned to what he meant to me at that age and what my memory of him will always be. Sports. This Christmas sock ornament makes me think of the striped tube socks of the 70's that would be perfect example of the era. 
Remembering my first sports hero, 
From Tulip~

Friday, December 4, 2015

My mom always makes Christmas special

Since I was very small, actually as long as I can remember, my mom has always done some sort of handwork. She knits, crochets, and used to do embroidery. 
If my grandma made a lot of my clothes, my mom knitted a lot of my sweaters, mittens and scarves. Mom can sew too, but I think she likes to sit with us in the living room instead of off somewhere at a sewing machine. 
A huge percentage of the ornaments on my tree are homemade ones, made by my mom. The bell at the bottom is just one. Besides ornaments she made lots of other things for me. 
When I played with Barbies (yes I did believe it or not) she made some furniture clothes and things for them. I think she firmly believes in not having idle hands. Very glad that was passed on to me. I have a hard time even sitting still so doing something while I sit with my family is a plus. 
Thankful for a hardworking crafty momma,
From Tulip~

Memories of my childhood.

My grandpa Barnes had a sister. Bufa Mae or Mae Mae to us kids. We always went to her house for many holidays. She was an example of homemaker. She cooked and sewed. She quilted and baked. Made all sorts of crafts. She was a farmers wife. I should hope to be what she was. 
She had the most awesome sewing room. I remember being amazed by all the drawers and cabinets. They were filled with fabrics and trims along with every notion I had ever heard of. 
The most important cabinet was in the bottom where there were some assorted toys. Not sure that they were any more exciting than any other toys, but they were ones that we didn't get to play with often. So that made them more fun, or at least so we thought. 
The replica ornament at the bottom was the main toy in here cabinet, along with all the animal accessories allowed us town kids to farmers for awhile. 
So thankful for memories of Mae Maes house. Their cuckoo clock, farm toys, all the interesting mind toys that my cousin had and lastly the pretty ceramic church that sat in her bay window. It was a music box. Played (and still does) Amazing Grace. I was lucky enough to buy it at their estate sale. Now it graces my home. Currently it's sitting with the Christmas village. 
Thankful to share momentos with my kids from my childhood, 
From Tulip~

My Favorite on Christmas and Everyday

On our first Christmas, my MIL was looking at our tree and it was filled with ornaments that said my name on them. Along with a few first Christmas ones that was about it. 
A day or two later, she came back up to our house with a shoebox. Inside were David's ornaments from childhood. She said she didn't think he had as many as I did, but wanted to share his to help fill up our tree. This one was one of the several that were in the box. Sort of reminds of him. Simple, unassuming. 
One of the things I am most thankful for is my husband. For all that he does and all that he is to us and those around him. He's my voice of reason when I need it. He's the arms of comfort when I am sad. He's lips that kiss me sweetly everyday. In this world of everything is disposable and wondering if anyone knows what forever means, I never question it. I know. It's my Farmer. My forever. 
Thankful to called Mrs. David Hasekamp today and always,
From Tulip~

Christmas is Special

Obviously that's no earth shattering news. As Christians we realize the historical and spiritual significance of Christmas. But it's a special time of remembering those who mean the most to you. People show their love and affection in a multitude of ways throughout the year, but especially during the holidays. 
In the neighborhood I live in, there are a few things that just seem to ring in the holidays. Neighbor gifts of sweets are popular at Tulip. Sweet breakfast rolls, homemade pecan toffee, and my MIL's pies are some of the community favorites. 
As a kid growing up, one of the things I looked forward to was the personalized Christmas ornaments from my Aunt Ethel. I think the first one was a snow man in 1980. Then each year after for about 30 yrs we could expect some sort of sweet, cute awesomeness. We knew she looked most of the year at different ceramic and craft shops. Generally the choice was made in early fall and the order placed. All of the nieces, nephews, friends kids and more received these. 
We didn't need an ornament to know how special we were to her. She showed us everyday. Now that she is gone, I am thankful to have a box full of reminders of the time we were blessed to have her on this Earth. With each ornament placed on the tree, the memories come flooding back. She will never be forgotten by me or many others. 
Merry Christmas in Heaven Aunt E,
From Tulip~

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Love of Learning

While we are raising our kids as 4-Hers, I was a Girl Scout. While they didn't have a cattle showing badge, I think I learned some awesome life skills. 
Cooking, sewing, gardening, crafting and more. All things I utilize to this very day. We went on camp outs where we learned basics of taking of ourselves. Putting up the tent, building a fire, cooking over it, hiking. At the time probably s'mores and finding and casting deer hoof prints were probably my favorites. 
Something I never thought of at the time, but value it now looking back. I learned to rely on other adults. Leaders were great ladies like Patty Robinson Parrish, Karen Sage, Teresa Schneller, Susan Thornhill and Carmen Morrison. All had influence on my life and for that, I am thankful. 
Looking at this ornament I am reminded to simpler days when crafts, cupcakes and companionship with my peers were plenty to entertain us on a Saturday afternoon. Amazingly everyone was always there, no one had other things going on. Wish my kids lived in that quieter time. 
Looking at Santa and knowing my Christmas list would be very different than the first this ornament was on my tree,
From Tulip~

How Sweet it is!

The ornament pictured is a cheap ol Dollar General purchase. Not old. Or unique. But when I look at it, it brings back the sweetest memories. 
I am thankful to have the sweetest memories of Christmases away from my own home and at my Grandmas home. We lived in the same hometown with one set of Grandparents growing up and my memories of that set are many and of everyday things (I have some plans for a future series about them). I think the reason I seem to keep going back to my Angle side of the family in these Christmas posts is that at the holidays was the one time of year we always saw them. We always went to Granite City, my dads hometown. Growing up in a small town with only one railroad going through it, GC,IL was a whole other world. One I loved as a child and miss as an adult. 
I loved that you could smell the steel mill. I loved that there were stores that I had never heard of. I mostly loved that there were my grandparents, aunts uncles and cousins that I rarely got to see. 
My Grandma was an awesome cook. Although I couldn't tell you one specific dish she made. They were all good. The food that was most memorable, was the box of ribbon candy that always could be found at her house at Christmas time. Store bought. Not the Amish candy I was accustomed to at home and always wondered why my city family thought some ol peanut brittle was so wonderful? I know now that specialness sometimes is just something out of the ordinary. 
Life is a little sweeter when you have the opportunity to experience a diverse variety of things. For me, I am thankful to have grown up in a small town, but also getting to experience life in a city even if it was only once in a while. 
Seeking sweetness at Christmas and thankful for it,
From Tulip~

Many Christmases Later

The ornament at the bottom of this post is hanging on its 26th Christmas tree. We got it as a wedding gift. I remember in the  heat of the summer digging through our Christmas stuff for a string of lights so I could use the light socket plug with this ornament and watch the little porch light go on and then switch back and forth from the porch to the inside light. I guess I was easily entertained. A few years ago the light quit working. But the ornament still gets hung every year as a great reminder of the wonderful early years of our marriage. 
So thankful for those first years. We did lots of growing up and growing closer. In this world of disposal everything, I am thankful and blessed for the long lasting love and successful working relationship we share. 
Thankful for Christmases past and looking forward to Christmases future all shared with my Farmer and our old ornaments,
From Tulip~

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Christmases Past

Some of my favorite childhood memories are visiting my dads family. We were the part of the family who lived away from the rest. About two hours away. 
My memories of Christmas at my Grandma Angles are filled to the brim with family. Cousins, lots of cousins. My first cousins and my dads. 
I remember ribbon candy. Receiving special dated ornaments. Lots of games played at the kitchen table. 
Did we exchange gifts? Of course. But the love of family is what I remember the most. I am the only granddaughter out of nine grandkids on that side of the family. So that being said, the games were SPORTS. I had to be able to hit a baseball and hold my own with the boys. 
I remember the ride to Grandmas. Counting certain colored cars on the interstate. There was the year that the roads were very bad and it took twice as long as usual. 
The meal at Aunt Olivia's. Aunt Ethel's bubble lights. Aunt Ginny forget how many cards she bought in the game and after counting realizing she bought too many. Uncle Hank loudly rooting for his team in the game. Dad meeting us in his semi at the edge of town and then dropping him off so he would drive his next load to who knows where. Visiting tons of great aunts and uncles. Them visiting my grandparents when we were there. 
Ornament at the bottom was first my Grandmas, then my aunts, now mine. May it become part of my own kids Christmas memories. 
Enjoying the fact that my Christmas tree is my seasonal trip down memory lane,
From Tulip~

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Advent Season is upon us.

Social media creates trends in posting and sharing our thoughts and feelings about everything from political issues that are far reaching to the smallest social issue so personal that without the prompting most of us would never address. 
For several years it was the IN thing to do Thankfulness posts for the entire month of November. I played along. After a year or two I felt like I was repeating myself year after year. Now with Timehop on my Smartphone it became abundantly obvious that was certainly the case. As I met other bloggers, I tried to take it a step further. I added a Thankful Thursday post to my blog. Last year, I really went nuts and attempted to blog for 30 days about something I was thankful for. As if that was easier than a sentimental Facebook status update. 
This year I decided I wasn't going to participate. Not that I am not Thankful for the many blessings in my life, but I wanted to remind myself and others, thankfulness isn't a season, it's a lifestyle. 
With all of that being said, I am going to attempt to try my own version of being Thankful, sharing a little about myself and what's special to me. At the bottom of this post is an ornament. There's a picture of my family. This represents many of the things I am most thankful for. 
-A hard working husband. 
-4 happy healthy kids. 
-A beautiful farm to raise them on. 
-An awesome childhood friend who took the picture. 
-A magazine article that allowed us to share our life with its readers. 
-A beautiful Christmas ornament that at a glance reminds me of love, friendship and blessed life on our farm. 

Advent started at church this past Sunday with the lighting of the first candle and this morning with the first door opened on Seths calendar. And lastly as a blogger my sharing of a quick story about us. Will I accomplish blogging everyday of Advent? Maybe? I pray that this personal challenge accomplishes my goal of slowing down in the hectic holiday season, taking time to be thankful and savoring the moments. 
May your entire Advent and Christmas Holiday be Merry and Blessed,
Hope to see you back tomorrow,
From Tulip~

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Calving Season or Off Season

For many cattle breeders, fall is their chosen time for calving. At H&K, our herd is primarily late winter/early spring calvers. Reading social media yesterday, a fellow blogger, Laurie Link, of Country LINKed asked her readers to weigh in their guess as to whether the latest arrival was a bull or heifer calf.
This instantly took me back a few years to when our little cattle whisperer was maybe 6 or 7. She helped her daddy check cows, especially when we are calving. Honestly she'd be happy to go to school later in the day and help him everyday, but alas, she's hindered by law to only helping on weekends and off school times. 
It was one of those times, on a cold brisk morning as my Farmer and the whisperer were headed to check cows at a neighboring farm where we take care of a herd of Saler/Red Angus cross herd owned by a veterinarian who lives about 60 miles away. 
As they drove, of course the conversation was one of bovine in nature, as most conversations are with our sweet JH. Out of the blue, she asked the Farmer,"Do you know how to tell the difference between a bull and heifer calf?"
Assuming he knew the answer and interested in her take on this subject, my Farmer asks,"How?" To which, Miss Sass, the Great JH, rolls her eyes, lets out a disgusted sigh at what she must deal with and commences to schooling her daddy. 
So it seems, according to our local cattle whisperer, who at the time might have weighed 75 pounds and likely stood no more than 4 foot tall; that her father had no idea the proper procedure. While my poor simple Farmer was basing assessments purely on checking for the presence (or of course absence) of notably "hangy downy" parts (my ha ha spin and politically correctness); our sweet JH instructed him to simply look into the animals eyes.

Actually eyelashes to be specific.

Based on her intensive research during her many years as a cattlewoman, the most discerning of ranch folk could deduce from simple observation of the eyelashes of a newborn calf. And if one were to follow this philosophy the result would be quite simple. Long eyelashes, heifer calf obviously, and well those short eyelashes, were those of a bull, for sure. 
While my Farmer concentrated on keeping a straight face and not driving off the road while laughing hysterically (which he was thankfully able to hold inside), my first response to this report was much less muted, and I quickly retorted, 'has she ever looked at her own brothers eyelashes, apparently this scientific data she's collected doesn't carry over to other species.' (I think somedays, or MOST days, my Farmer is glad there are ONLY two of us GIRLS in the house) 
Since then she's decided that while her method mostly works for her, that there MIGHT be a few other more sure fire obvious ones. But she still likes to check the cows and calves with her daddy, calving season or not. 

Not calving season for us, but there is ALWAYS something to keep us busy,
From Tulip~

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


Here's another clutter busting article I recently read. There's something reassuring knowing EVERYONE has clutter. Knowing it's okay. Within reason. I have been taking steps daily to reduce ours. 
Some things that seem to be working:
~reading mail at trash can
~only buying what we are 100% out of at the store. I am in town daily anyway. Great excuse to indulge in one of my guilty pleasures and that's visiting with people I know in the grocery aisle. 
~set the table(s). Our kitchen and dining room tables have been catch alls. I have the kitchen one sat for next meal and dining room seasonally decorated, so far that is keeping the majority of things from landing there. 
~being a "FlyLady" follower, I try to shine my sink at night. For me that's not actually the sink, it's a 30 second pick up in the living room, kitchen and bathrooms but those things help make mornings a little brighter. 

If you've read the book, let me know your thoughts,
From Tulip~

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Takin' Care of Business

That is one of my favorite songs ever..........takin' care of business. I have decided to add a new feature to my blog and it will become a tab that you can click on and get direct links to ways I am takin' care of business around our home and farm.
I will never ever win any clean house awards, but its certainly not because of lack of effort. And while some areas need work, some are a work in progress, others are a work of art. So thanks to social media and elbow grease, I plan to share with others both the successes and failures. We are all human, and will never be perfect, but maybe if we work together, we can find some peace and happiness in our homes that are free of clutter and chaos.

The first link I would like to share is this:  List of things to Dispose of this was a link and article shared on Facebook by Real Simple, a favorite magazine of mine. If you strictly want to print 'the list' pages 3 and 4 are all you need. No sense in making EXTRA clutter!

Have a great day and please check back often to see us 'Takin Care of Business' and look for the tab to appear in the coming weeks as I gather more posts.

From Tulip~

Monday, July 20, 2015


Over the last several months there have been many changes around our place. I went from working a lot, to barely working. Two part time jobs that are neither one consistent have both ceased to need me. One because of its seasonal nature and in theory it should pick up next month again. Thought I had the opportunity to change that last month when a full time position became available, but alas it wasn't meant to be either.
Recently learned of a longtime business who is considering shutting its doors. One that I have a great interest in. Have made plans this week to meet with owner and discuss the possibilities. Don't know if we can handle being multiple business owners, but maybe this is the answer to WHY the other things haven't panned out. 
This isn't my first venture in the business world. The first one was with a partner and didn't work out so well. Thinking it may have happened to prepare me for this. Sometimes it takes a long time to find the lesson in things. If that was the WHY on that experience, guess I will take that. 
Don't normally ask for prayers in this blog as its normally my place to be thankful for prayers answered and blessings to be counted, but the enthusiasm of potential has made me think maybe prayers and support of my friends and followers could be needed. So if you feel so moved, please add us to your prayers. We are praying for peace and understanding throughout this process.
From Tulip,

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Every Day is a Gift

This morning my littlest and I got up well before daylight, dressed and drove to town. We stopped at the 'wrestling room' and he stepped on the scales. 2 pounds over. Calls were made and we headed home.
Some readers know what that means, but for those who don't here's the rest of the story. My boys are wrestlers. Oldest wrestled throughout his club/little league years and our middle son  has wrestled since he was in 1st grade and continues to as a Sophomore in HS. He's 35-4 for the year, is creeping up on some school records.
The littlest one is trying it out. I let some bad advice influence my better judgement and signed him up for a weight class lighter than what he's been weighing in after practice---my bad. He only gets the chance to wrestle on the weekends that the HS boys have off, so to not be able to go today, really stunk. But here comes the beginning of where the 'gift' is in this post. I was probably more upset than he was. He didn't realize that I had signed him up in the 'wrong class' then failed on my 'sworn-in wrestling momma oath' and didn't monitor his weight. His answer was, okay, so I wrestle in the heavier class next time. Then that smile that melts my heart broke out across his face.
We came home, scrambled eggs and went on about our day. I am appreciating the gift of an unplanned day off. Playing catch up around the house. The kids got a cooked breakfast, something that RARELY happens at breakfast time.
And while I am missing our wrestling family today as they sit those long hours on the bleachers, I am reminded something that has been the underlying theme since the moment I knew Seth was on the way into this ol' world. I thanked God for unanswered prayers then and again today. After four kids, I like to hope that I have learned to savor the moment more and quit being so busy looking forward that I forget to look around and enjoy the here and now.
Seth is my walking, talking, SMILING example of that everyday.
We will likely only do things like house cleaning and errands today. but we won't have to rush and we can do them together. He still likes to hang out with his momma.
Sitting at my desk enjoying the sunshine (from inside in the warmth) and savoring THIS MOMENT,
From Tulip~

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

W4DW----Easy Apple Coffee Cake

I love experimenting when I get the chance in the kitchen. And when those experiments go well, I obviously have to share. For several years, I was a stay at home mom and I had a lot of time to bake, sew, do whatever I wanted honestly. Looking back, I am not sure that I appreciated just all the time I did have. I  have entered the working world a couple of years ago and I will admit all day long every day how much I miss being at home. It's not because I don't love working, I do. I am a social person, being around others makes me smile. But I really miss have the time to spoil my family like I  used to. Baking has always been one of those ways that I spoiled them.
My Farmer's birthday was this week. He has a sweet tooth, but recently had a check-up that ended the way a lot of them do at our age, with the could really stand to lose a little weight. Sigh. No German Chocolate Cake this year. (note: make sure that appointment happens AFTER his birthday next year)
Well, doctors orders or not, I couldn't NOT bake him something. So a few weeks ago on Pinterest I noticed a recipe that I thought would be a hit at this house. So I pinned it, of course. I am such a visual person, I am not always good at checking back at the instructions, especially when I think I know what would work. So while in the grocery store, I made a point of buying the 'canned' cinnamon rolls. Just so happens this particular can had caramel icing, bingo, great compliment to my apple plan..........
Before baking I did head over to Pinterest to check out the instructions. I was surprised to learn that the original recipe was for home made dough............well, recipes are just a suggestion, right? I grabbed a couple of apples, the can of rolls and the experiment began.
I am the proud owner of a Pampered Chef 'Deep Dish Baker' I am not sure if they even still make those anymore, but boy do I love mine! I sprayed it generously. I peeled and sliced two apples. Popped the can open and began. I unrolled the first roll almost all the way, and slid an apple slice in between the cinnamon roll layers. I kept doing this and adding more strips of cinnamon roll dough until I had filled the pan, used the apples...........
I set the oven, per the instructions and planned to bake like I would regular rolls. I checked at the end of that interval and the dough wasn't quite as golden as I felt like it needed to be. Thinking that I ended up baking this about 15 minutes, but that could be my oven. Please watch yours closely. When it came out, I drizzled the caramel icing across the top. MMMMMMMMMMMMMM
What a quick, easy and inexpensive surprise for your family!
Smelled so good as it cooled and hoped I'd be able to wait for the Birthday boy to come inside so we can test taste it,
From Tulip~

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Farmer

Today is my Farmer's birthday. How will we celebrate? Well so far............we were up till after midnight last night, so I got the honor of being the first person to wish him a Happy Birthday. This morning slick roads meant the kids didn't go to school until 10AM, late-start, as the district calls it. So he got to leisurely eat his bowl of cereal and browse craigslist. Then, when he went outside, he unfroze the car doors, and scraped most of the ice off the windows. Popping his head back in the door to remind them that they would still need to start the car early to finish the thawing process. Then it was off to feed the cows.
His birthday is like most days, he's working. He's taking care of us. He regularly carries a heavy weight on  his shoulders-------us, this farm, the future. He takes it all in stride. It awes me and amazes me. How did I get so lucky?
Next year is a 'big' year, birthday-wise for him. While I would be shouting it from the rooftops and throwing my own party, that's not his style. It will be another day to him. He will continue to take care of us, amaze us and if he's his cereal and browse craigslist in the peace and quiet.
Since he doesn't like me making a big deal about him on this blog, I better stop with this,
Wishing my Sweet Farmer a Happy 49th Birthday,
From Tulip~