Ice Cream Month is coming to a close. Hopefully you've been following Dan on Twitter as he's been eating ice EVERYDAY this month! (When you work as hard as him, you can do that!) But you may be surprised to know that Dan isn't the biggest ice cream lover I know; his Grandpa Pete is! There is a joke in our family that Grandpa Pete & Grandma Mary would NEVER be out of ice cream at their house and we'd all be horrified if it happened!
So, in honor of Ice Cream Month I decided I'd do a little interview with the biggest ice cream lover I know.
Lynn: Do you remember the first time you ate ice cream?
Pete: No, but I do remember that in the winter my mom would hang an old one gallon syrup pail full of ice cream on the clothes line and as the wind rocked it back and forth it made ice cream. We, of course, made it ourselves in the hand freezer and it was a treat when we had it, so when we had it, we ate it!
Lynn: Any other childhood memories of ice cream?
Pete: When I was a child you could get a 5 cent cone at the little grocery stores that were located in most neighborhoods. I remember walking all over Waverly one day with my Aunt Mary to find one that was open to get an ice cream cone. We walked to 3 different ones before finding an open one!
Lynn: What about as you got a little older?
Pete: Well when I was in 7th or 8th grade my good friend and I would ride our bikes around and eventually would each buy quarter gallon of ice cream, eat it all, and then ride home. I was only about 80lbs for that much ice cream filled me up!
In high school our principal left for the day for a meeting in Ames and while he was gone there were some shenanigans that went on, so when he returned he asked who was in on it. Each time, I fessed up but no one else did. He said if I'd done it all on my own he was impressed and gave me money to go get myself a few malts at the corner drug store while the rest of the class got to stay late.
Then as I entered young adulthood, my love for ice cream was still known to those around me. While in G.I. Farm School, one of the guys was graduating and everyone was going out to the local tavern. They guys knew that I didn't drink alcohol but still wanted me to go along so they arranged for the bartender to make me a malt instead – which made some of the other guys jealous because it wasn't a typical offering.
In our family years we'd often have ice cream parties where a few families would all bring their ice cream hand freezers and we'd make big batches together and then of course, eat it.
Lynn: What's the most ice cream you've ever eaten?
Pete: Well back in 1959, the year after Dan's mom was born, we got snowed in for 3 days. Every night for those 3 nights, the neighbor family came over and we made a freezer full of ice cream and then ate it all.
Lynn:What do you eat ice cream on?
Pete: All of the normal desserts and fruit of course but after a trip to Ihop in Des Moines when our kids were in grade school, we started putting it on pancakes & waffles at breakfast! And now I make apple cinnamon oatmeal in the morning and put ice cream in it too! If you don't have coffee creamer a dab of ice cream works great! And my sister-in-law always thought I was crazy but I always liked ice cream with banana jello, too.
On the first day of our local county fair there's a big pancakes breakfast. And to this day, since I introduced it over 30 years ago, they still serve ice cream with the pancakes. The first year I did it, people told me they didn't need that much “butter” on their pancakes.
Lynn: Do you have a favorite flavor?
Pete: Now that's a hard one. Vanilla goes with so many things, like pie, cake, oatmeal, and fruit, that you always need to have some on hand. As for flavors, it depends on the day and the situation but if you had to nail me down a REALLY GOOD strawberry ice cream would top the list.
** At which point Grandma Mary interjected that if she had to choose his favorite ice cream she would have no idea!
** Full Disclosure: This interview is completely true although answers are not verbatim but have been reviewed by Pete himself. Thanks!
Most kids are sure to get their first bite of cake on their first birthday, which Miss Muffet did, but Great-Grandpa Pete also needed to make sure she got her first taste of ice cream too! Which, she wasn't impressed with at the time, but now loves!
Things kept chugging along this week, which is what we want. It's hard to believe it's almost August!
Dan headed up on the roof to talk with the building contractor on Wednesday and took the opportunity to show us all what you can see from the top. Here's the views from roof...
A few other things got done as well. The legs that the bulk tank will sit on were poured which means hopefully the bulk tank (where the milk is store after the cows are milked before it gets picked up) will arrive in about 2 weeks and then we can start finishing off the milk house and guest house!
We also got another cow waterer. The kids and I brought Dan a picnic breakfast this morning and got to watch the action up close! And we met with our contractor for inside the guest house space to figure out more details there... it's all coming together!
I couldn't help making this image big... it makes it look even more real with steel on! Most of the long sides won't have steel because they'll have curtains to allow better air flow and ventilation but the ends will and it looks so good!
We also had visitors this week! Dan's cousin from Colorado came through with a friend to see Dan's grandparents and they all paid us a visit, along with Dan's other grandparents too! It's always fun to have visitors - we want to have lots of people visit over the coming years! So start making your plans now!
Prayers would be especially appreciated this week as things are going to be looking a little different for a few weeks. To make a long story short Dan is having surgery to reattach a tendon in his ankle on Tuesday morning, which means he'll be immobile for awhile. We know long-term this is the best option as it will only become harder to do the longer we wait and problems in your feet transfer to your knees and then back and we don't want that! We're so thankful we were able to get scheduled for surgery fast and that all of our family has been so supportive. I'll be helping at the farm more and doing daily check-ins (if not more) at the building site. Thankfully we have a little lull at the moment of BIG things happening and Dan should be back on his feet and healed up for the end of building and getting things up and running.
Until next time (when you get to see all 31 days of Dan's Ice Cream Month!)...
Things kept coming along this week with insulation & steel going up on the south side of the roof. We also brought lunch up for our building crew and had a picnic with them and Dan's parents and the kids' cousins.
Thursday was a rain day but our amazing crew worked on Saturday! It's beginning to feel like a barn and real structure! Can you get a feel for it with the pictures? Remember you can click on the pictures to open them up bigger with captions.
The radiant floor heat loops were installed and then concrete was poured over them in the guest house and milk house spaces. Then it was polished up and big concrete "tiles" were cut out. The plan is to have the exposed concrete as the flooring in the guest house (and the milk house).
The concrete crew also poured the ramp into the manure storage area, we checked the robot out a little more, and Dan took a view from the current farm up to the progress. We also had cow waterers (where they drink from) and planters arrive this week!
Just a reminder to head to our Facebook page, click on the photo of us feeding calves and LIKE it to help us win! Plus, at the end of the month I'll be posting all of Dan's ice cream pictures.... have you have your July Ice Cream Month ice cream yet?
I think we're close to being halfway through building... hoping to be done by November! We made some significant progress this week as now the south side roof matches the north side roof. Even though they're not finished with the roof, it's big enough to be over the area where the robot will sit, which means next week they're moving on to putting insulation & steel on the area of the roof they've put up. That way we can start working on getting the robot area ready! Here are photos throughout the week.
Another HUGE move forward this week was getting our milking robot! She arrived on Tuesday and is now all tucked in until her permanent home is ready in a few weeks. By the way, she doesn't have a name yet, and people are asking, so we're taking suggestions before we decide. Ideas???
Dan had lots of meetings this week too! We had a visit by some guys from Galaxy USA, our milking robot company - including the guy who will be helping us at "start-up" - the intensive beginning when the cows (and us!) are learning what to do in this new milking system. Do you know how to interact with cows and want to help us get started that first week? Let us know and we'll let you know how you can help!
Dan also met with a dairy nutritionist (that's right, cows need to eat the right stuff & have special nutritionists!), a guy about the bed area that the cows will sleep on, made a visit to our county FSA (the USDA Farm Service Agency) to get a few details ironed out on our cropping acres, and the manure equipment dealer stopped by to do some things for the manure system! Plus we had some new calves and some sick cows at the current farm. It was a busy week to say the least!
Remember to vote for us on the Coalition to Support Iowa Farmers' Facebook page! Head to our Facebook page and it's the top pinned post. Click on the picture to open it up and then LIKE it. And we'd love for you to share it too! We're the only obvious dairy farmers (or livestock farmers at all) entered so far. Thanks!
Here are some pictures to show how the progress on the barn is coming. While Dan's cousin was visiting he noted that we'd made a lot of progress since the end of April, when we had our "Groundbreaking Ceremony". It was encouraging to hear since no matter what you're working on it almost always seems to go slower than you want it to (although fast to those further from the project/situation/child)!
And on a very bright note, less than 2 weeks after our little setback we're further ahead than we were when it all came tumbling down. There are different pieces built as they are still waiting for a few important unique items to arrive that were destroyed in the wind. But our little setback was truly just that, little.
Our last utility arrive this week... phone, and more importantly these days, internet!
The manure storage area continued to progress by starting to build up the ramp that will go down into the pit to scoop it out a few times a year.
The foundation wall in the milk house/guest house was also redone along with setting foam into the floor area. The radiant floor heating tubes and then concrete slab should go in this week!
One of the last things to happen on Friday afternoon was prepping an area for our AMS (automatic milking system) or milking robot to arrive this week! Eventually it'll go in the barn, but since it's not quite ready, for now we prepped a raised area to set it on when it arrives.
And we had visitors on Friday! Dan's cousin Jared and his family were visiting for Independence Day and came to see the progress. I suppose boys will be boys and they decided to climb up the barn... I'm guessing it's not the first thing they decided to climb together!
Did you know July is Ice Cream Month? Dan does and he's making sure to eat ice cream everyday this month! And he's tweeting about it too! You can join him at #31daysoficecream. Here's a sneak peak at what he's had so far....
How do you eat your ice cream?
Growing up a city-girl, after marrying my dairy farmer husband and spending a few years abroad, we came home to expand the family dairy farm and want to share our journey & farm life with you!