Monday, November 30, 2015

Gift Guide For those Nasty Chilly Midwest Winters

This is my least favorite time of year.  The lack of sunshine puts me in hibernation mode; which isn't good for my mood nor my waistline, and the fact I'm packing around some extra love around my waist from having mini Martin a couple of months ago anyway, thrills me to no end.  

But this week beyond the darkness we have added 24/7 rain....the chilly, misty, cloud burst kind of rains that makes everything sloppy and disagreeable.

Before this week the landscape still had those lovely gold and dusky purple tones that I just love.  And when that setting sun hit those orange leaves the woods and grasses glowed. It's like the rain has washed away all that color - leaving a muddy miserable sloppy mess behind; like a mucky watercolor painting. 

In coming to terms with the fact that snow and ice and blustery Northern winds are just around the corner I've complied a list of a couple gifts to help cope with the winter.  If we must endure winter, at least we can be cozy and downright stylish to boot!  In honor of Cyber Monday - a little shopping list for all those farmer and rancher friends who have to fight the weather!

1) Stormy Kromers.  I got one for the hubby a couple of years ago.  He was skeptical at first and my father-in-law teased him about wearing it.  He thought it was a little "Elmer Fuddish" I thought they were both nuts.  Since that first day however, its my husbands go to winter weather hat and now the father-in-law wears one too.

2) Wild Rags.  Where we live the wind is always blowing it seems. Hubby works outside and has long complained about the wind blowing down his neck.  Naturally a scarf would be the answer but he has a problem with their length and bulkiness. So we found Wild Rags.  These colorful little scarves can be tied around the neck and help keep the wind out.  Another winter essential and something Hubby doesn't leave the house without.  I also have one - and it also doubles as a cute fashion accessory!  We've purchased rags from NRS and Wild Rags by Doris.

3) Socks.  Hands down the best cold weather accessory.  Wool, tall, whatever. 

4) Under Armor Long Underwear. 

5) Muck Boots - for those cold sloppy days.

6) Gloves - now I have yet to find the perfect winter glove that does it all - keep hands dry and warm and allows you to actually use your hands.  I typically layer gloves or wear mittens when outside working.  If anyone has the ultimate glove I would love to learn about it!

In the end - anything that keeps you safe and dry in my book makes a wonderful Christmas gift!!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

A Small Introduction

After much consideration it seemed the best thing to do was just start over.  Fresh start.  So welcome to the Purple Martin - I know its a funky little title.  But that's us.  I'm going to do my best to honor that title and post about a variety of things that interest me and hopefully a few of you.

For those of you just tuning in here is a little bit about ourselves.

My husband and I have been married for four years - good lord how that time has flown by.  We are pretty comfortable with each other.  That happens when you work cattle together, move four times (yes once per year) and come down with the stomach flu together in a one bathroom apartment (sometimes real life can be rough!) and eventually we decided to start a family.  We welcomed a healthy baby boy this fall. To say our lives have been forever changed and how blessed we are is a huge understatement.

We fancy ourselves as farmers or ranchers depending which side of the county you live on. A couple of years ago we bought 4 Hereford heifers and slowly began building our herd.  If all goes well we will have 7 head of our own by the end of this year.  Our goal is to buy a legit farm and have our own cow/calf operation. So yes that means we will be moving again...eventually and while 7 is not a huge number we are pretty proud and it's a honest to goodness start especially when starting from scratch. We have some BIG ideas; just need time.   

In the midst of this I juggle a career and I'm learning to be a mother and not freak out at every slight noise our mini Martin makes.  My husband and I are trying to find a new balance and keep moving toward our goals.  That's the long and short of it.  

Until next time.