Canned Goods

Just fired up the dehydrator.

The smell of garlic and tomato is still on my hands.

Got me in the mood for a little Greg Brown….

Do you have any memories of helping someone in the kitchen growing up…even if it was just snapping green beans?

Do tell…

I would love to hear your story! DM

Action photo of my mom teaching me how she makes salsa

Posted in christianity, enjoying life, faith, gardening, homesteading, Iowa, life, life in the country, personal, random, self sufficient, wisdom | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Amish Barn Raising Pictures

This afternoon these pictures of an Amish barn raising came across our Facebook feed.  As I scrolled through the comments, I noticed the photographer (Randy Fath) said he was fine with anyone wanting to share them.

He didn’t have to tell me twice….


As a carpenter, (from a safety perspective),  I have mixed feelings looking at some of these images…

That is all I am going to say about that. 😉 DM



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The Hula Hoop Tree

The Hula Hoop tree.


If you’re looking for a fun whimsical road trip idea, consider tracking down the Hula Hoop tree.

Here is a clue….it is located in Eastern Iowa…North of Iowa City, South and West of Dubuque.


No one knows who has been putting the hula hoops in the tree, nor why they are doing it.  It is  a local mystery. I occasionally pass the tree on a way to work.

This morning I saw on my face book feed a picture of the tree taken by a local photographer…Timothy Flynn.  Apparently, the tree had also caught his attention.   Here is a link to his business page

It is beautiful.

A work of art.

I was thinking that tree needed it’s own web page, so here it is.



Would love to hear your thoughts.






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Random Thoughts On Coffee

Mrs DM re-organized the closets again this  weekend, putting all of the medical supplies in one area.

I received five bags of Starbucks  French Roast (whole bean/ not ground) for Fathers Day …..  I didn’t have room for all of it on the regular shelf so I put it in the medicine cabinet.

This morning I told her about it.   “Coffee has a medicinal  role in my life.” I said with a smirk.

She  said that was the perfect place for it!   😉  DM




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It is possible


I remember reading the book Ordering Your Private World by Gordon MacDonald way back in the mid 1980’s.  I remember writing out various long term life goals, mostly in the interpersonal relationship realm, but other goals as well.

At the time, we were  living 1000 miles from home, on government assistance, renting a rat invested house, driving an old car that someone had given us, living from paycheck to paycheck.  Four little kids in tow…I could go on and on…anyway, I know what it feels like to feel trapped, crushed by  stress, some of it self inflicted, some of it not.

Hope awakened in my heart after reading that book.

I knew I needed to make drastic changes.

The people pleasing part of me had to die.


I  think it word pictures.

I remember having a word picture in my mind  of  a large ocean going vessel, headed in wrong direction.  Those ships can not turn on a dime, even if you hit the rudder hard.

It takes time to make a course correction.

I remember taping several pieces of typing paper on the wall in front of my desk, with this ship at various positions, until it was headed on a new course.

There is something exciting when ever so slightly you  begin to see a change in direction…

Long story short, saw that picture tonight  and thought, there is a nugget of wisdom I have tasted first hand.

That is my story and I’m sticking with it. 😉 DM


Posted in country living, enjoying life, life, life in the country, personal, self sufficient, wisdom | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Morning Cure

Morning Cure

6:00 AM

The sweet unmistakable smell of freshly cut drying hay greeted me this morning when I woke up….. it reminded me of a Grant Wood painting. DM


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Small stand of  rye


Took this picture Saturday morning, just as the fog was starting to burn off.   I planted some rye late last fall for a cover crop in the garden, decided to let it grow to maturity this spring.  There is something visually about a field of rye (or wheat)  that I find grounding.

That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.  DM






Posted in apple orchard, country living, enjoying life, farming, gardening, Iowa, photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments