Yard work on the farm

I’m a writer, so when I pick up a rake or shovel it is usually grudgingly. Still, work has to be done.

Last year, autumn changed into winter too soon. A lot of fall yard work was left until spring. Now besides fallen leaves, I have fallen branches to pick up. Those chores aren’t too bad, but raking has added issues.

With a gravel driveway, a lot of the stones were picked up when winter snow was plowed. Every spring raking that gravel adds to the work. Stones are much harder and heavier to rake.

Getting as much gravel out of the grass as possible is important. Hitting rocks would be hard on the mower, besides they can go flying and hurt someone.

Raking is good exercise. It also wears a person out.

After two hours of work, I was pooped.

Warm enough to roll up my sleeves.

It doesn’t help that there’s a lot more to rake. So this afternoon I’ll be out in the yard raking again. Good thing the weather will be in the 50s after lunch.

Writing is so much easier. At least it is when I have something to write about.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

Being best friends from a distance



Joyce and I have been friends since first grade. We started school together in 1956 and have been best friends ever since.

Even though Joyce lives in Illinois and I’m here in Wisconsin, we still manage to visit. For quite some time we used our telephones to talk to each other, but we are going high tech now and we use the internet.

For Christmas, Joyce was given a Facebook Portal mini with the idea of connecting to me. Well, we finally figured how to use it and instead of holding a telephone, we are now talking and visiting as we look at each other.

Joyce on my computer screen.

We are also playing Words with Friends as we talk and laughing a lot, too.

Susan on Joyce’s web portal.

Joyce and I are enjoying our visiting time together more than ever.

I also connected with writer friends the other day. There were four of us visiting at the same time.

Isn’t technology wonderful? Especially since we are all sheltering at home.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved



Happy Birthday to a friend

I received a reminder that my friend had a birthday today. Usually, a bunch of us would meet for coffee and cake to celebrate, but that won’t happen.

What could I do? I’m not big on singing the birthday song and I already sent a card, but there should be more I could do. I thought and thought. While going into a drawer for saved seeds, I found balloons leftover from a grandchild’s birthday.

The first balloon I tried to blow up, popped. It had a weak spot. The other three inflated without issue.

My stake for the balloons was an old clothes hanger I stretched out.

Getting ready to stick the balloons in the birthday girl’s yard.

I rang the doorbell (but I didn’t run away). We visited a bit from a distance. It felt good to talk to someone in person, even if I was in the yard and she was in her doorway.

Other people are reaching out to family and friends in creative ways, too. A lady I know is heading over to do a sidewalk chalk drawing for her friend’s 80th birthday. Now that’s being creative.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

Trimming trees

No, I’m not trimming any trees.

Two weeks ago WPS notified me that they would be cutting trees close to the electric lines by Sunnybook Farm. Well, they showed up today.

I went and took a photo last week of the trees before the trimming.

before the trimming branches surround the electric lines

I was worried about these trees getting tangled with the electric lines and causing all kinds of problems.

There were a lot of branches that needed removing.
The biggest one was the basswood … after its trim

Now, after all the branch trimming, I feel better. Hopefully, a wind storm won’t knock out electricity on Sunnybook Farm

This is a good thing. Only professionals should cut near electric lines.

Still, I would love to take a ride in that bucket that goes so high in the air. It would be great for picking apples in the fall.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

Pecan Pie–recipe included

No, I didn’t need it, but boy did I yearn for some pecan pie. Because of this crazing craving, I went searching to see if I had the ingredients. Happily, I did–well just about. I just had to convince myself that making a pie for myself was a good thing.

Here’s my easy Pecan Pie Recipe

Ingredients: 1 Cup light corn syrup (I was a little short, but it didn’t seem to matter); 3 eggs; 1 Cup sugar; 2 Tbs butter-melted; 1 tsp vanilla; 1 1/2 Cups pecans–rough chopped; and 1 pie crust (mine was frozen)

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Mix corn syrup, eggs, sugar, butter, and vanilla together. When well-blended add pecans and pour into crust.

Bake 60 minutes. Cool for 2 hours. Eat!

I should have put foil around the crust edge, but I forgot. My pie came out a bit dark, but boy oh boy it sure tasted great.

I’m taking small slices for myself, so this will last a few days. I’d rather share it with family, but we are all sheltering at our homes. I guess I’ll have to sacrifice and eat it all myself.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved