You can find Grama Sue's Rainbow Eggs at:

The Hy Vee on Agency in Burlington, IA


Wednesday - Friday 9am to 1pm at the farm 1/2 mi east of the Nauvoo-Colusa Jr. High then 3/4 mile North on 1050.

Wednesday 3-7 pm at the Painted Corners on HWY 96 in Lomax, IL


7 - 11 am Keokuk Farmer's Market at the mall

Monday, July 28, 2008

Western Illinois Old Threshers


The garage sale will be closed this weekend. We’ll be packing it up and hauling it down there for the flea market. Hopefully we’ll be able to get the goodies in the garage down to a manageable amount. For the time being, I’ve quit taking donations. We’ve decided to limit things to what we can fit in ½ the garage.

So if you want to look me up, you can find me at:


Grampa Tom is still planning to hit the farmer’s markets this weekend.


We started selling our eggs in at Ducks and now we really can’t keep up with demand! Grampa has skipped the Carthage farmer’s market for the last 2 weeks because he hasn’t had enough to sell there. Marvelous problem!


Seems I’m getting nothing done craft wise. To busy with the garden and taking care of old people. Oh well! Winter is coming.


We’ve finally got sweet corn, green beans, tomatoes and cucumbers. They are going as soon as we can pick them! I didn’t go to the Nauvoo Farmer’s Market last week because I needed to make noodles. Grampa told everyone the reason I didn’t come was because he had to beat me off of the tomatoes and not to go out to our place because they’d have to put him in jail if they saw me.

The herbs are finally coming on well too. Next year I need to devote more space to them, green house some and stagger the plantings.

We’ve decided to grow more sweet corn next year too.


Saturday was so much fun! I didn’t make a whole lot of money with the garage sale, but a couple of people came in that made it all worthwhile.

First, a lady came in who was in a quandary about what to do with her son. He hadn’t been doing well in school and she wanted to home school him but didn’t know how. By the time she left, she was very relieved to know that home schooling isn’t as hard as it sounds.

The other lady ... well I have to back up to Friday night. Our church has a Praise and Worship service on Fridays and during the service I closed my eyes. Suddenly, I saw a picture of a little old lady with deep wrinkles, hair sticking out all over the place and a big toothless grin. I asked God what this picture was about and I felt Him say, “Isn’t she beautiful?” When He said that, I could see how beautiful she really was.

Just before we closed on Saturday, Martha walked in.

Isn't she Beautiful????

I was astounded, this was the woman I had seen the night before! I told her that I had seen her and that God loved her very much and that He thought she was so beautiful. It brought tears to her eyes and I was so blessed!

Some people say Christians can’t have fun, but there really isn’t anything more fun than seeing others be blessed.

God Bless You All!

Monday, July 21, 2008

My Favorite Husband

This is only about the business in a round about way, but I figured I really needed to brag about the great man I’m married to.

Grampa Tom always has the status of “my favorite husband” simply due to the fact that he is my only husband, but this weekend, he really earned the title.

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that I’d like to have a party for my 50th birthday, but I just didn’t have enough time to get my house clean enough for a big shindig, much less plan a party. I was whining about how I’d missed my 40th, because I was to busy taking care of my grampa, and now the business was taking to much time for me to do anything this year. At this rate, I lamented, I may never get over the hill! So, he talked to a friend of mine and arranged to use her house. Then he invited a bunch of people, and bought a cake and a bunch of munchies, but he didn’t tell me!

Saturday, he told me we were going to get dressed up and go out to eat to celebrate my birthday. Then we were going to drop some eggs by Becky’s house. I was so impressed! He’s put on a suit 3 times since I’ve known him: Once for our wedding, the other 2 times for our boys’ weddings. Here he was putting on his suit for my birthday! WOW!

We went out to eat at the Warsaw Brewery. We hadn’t been there before. Not a very romantic atmosphere, but the food is fantastic! On our way out of the restaurant we ran into an old friend so we sat and talked with him for a while, then we were off to Becky’s.

Thinking back on it, there were probably a couple of clues, but I was oblivious to the fact that the house was full of people. I walked through the door and couldn’t figure out why my FIL was there, then I noticed my MIL, my son, my grandkids and several of my good friends. They yelled “Surprise!” and Becky blew her shofar. I was flabbergasted!

He really pulled it off! The thing I totally don’t understand was thatthe granddaughter who had been staying with us knew about it and she didn’t tell me. How did that happen? She can’t keep a secret at all!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

State of the Projects

Our granddaughter went out to the big garden the other day and yelled, “Grampa, where are you?” He said, “I’m over here hoeing the corn.” She said, “Oh, I thought you were a scarecrow!”

Grampa is really enjoying this summer. He says it is going very fast. He told me he even enjoys all the hoeing he’s been doing. He says he may not be making as much money as he used to, but at least it’s his money and he’s not working to make someone else rich anymore.

One objective of this blog is to let people know what is working for us and what isn’t. So here’s a “State of the Projects Report”

1.The garage sale

So far this year this has been a big disappointment. Between the wet, cold spring, the flooding and the gas prices we’ve not had near the business we’ve had in the past. I’m going to have to turn down donations for a while.

I met a lady the other night who runs a similar business up near Burlington. Guess what it is called? Aunt Sue’s! She says her business has been way down this year too.

2.Pastured raised eggs

We aren’t getting as much per dozen as we would like yet, but we have been able to move all the eggs we produce. We need to increase our production and are discussing ways to do that next year. We are also planning to get into breeding Welsummers next year. They are a rare breed of chicken that lays a very dark brown egg. They bring a pretty penny. We’ve seen hatching eggs go for $20 or more a dozen.


The sheep are doing great. We’ve got to many for the amount of pasture we have, but Grampa wants to lamb them one more time before he downsizes. These sheep live up to all the things we’ve heard about them as far as heartiness and prolificness.


Unless we get more pasture, this is one project that’s not going to grow. The cow and the two bottle calves we currently have are doing fine though.

5.Egg noodles

It’s amazing, but people are really buying my noodles. Given the right equipment I could probably add to the value of every egg we produce by 500% or better. However, that would require me to spend all day every day rolling out noodles. I enjoy it, but not that much! Still, it’s a good use for the “B” grade eggs we get.

6.Natural and recycled crafts and craft supplies

So many ideas, so little time! My decorated eggs are selling well. I really want to work more on my recycled rugs and a few other ideas I have for old fabric, but I just can’t seem to find the time right now. Maybe this winter ...

7.Great Pyrenees dogs

Pinky is growing beautifully. She’s also become quite the guard dog. She’s busy all night patrolling. I absolutely love this breed! They are so gentle and easy to train.

8.Honey bees

We started out with 2 hives and now have 4, two of which now have honey supers on them. It’s not terribly common to get much honey in the first year, but I think we’ll have enough for us anyhow.


This is another “if I only had the time” project. I currently have 4 customers. It’s enough to keep me going with it.

10.Farm crops from the 10 acres we own with our son

Had a horrible time getting CPS to come spray the beans this year. We’ll make money on them but not like we should. Next year we are going to plant a large portion of it in sweet corn.

11.Garden produce

We NEED more garden space! Herbs are an especially hot item. We'll have corn, tomatoes and cucumbers next week. Everyone has been asking for these for weeks.

12. Affiliate marketing

No luck with this so far, but again, it’s not something I’ve worked at a whole lot either. If we make some money, fine, if not ... Hey, it can’t hurt can it?

13. Building low maintenance gardens

Absolutely no time for this project this year! Maybe next year.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Garage Sale

It’s official! I’ve lost 20 pounds since Grampa Tom started seeing the good doctors at the Rexroth Clinic. People ask me what diet I’m on. I tell them I’m on the “Keeping Up With Tom” diet. For the past several years he’s slept so much. Now he gets up at 5 or 6 and goes all day. He’s down 50 pounds. Neither of us are trying, it’s just all the activity!


Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve had a several donations. The garage is overflowing. If you come early tomorrow, expect a mess! I’m trying to get it all organized, but everything won’t fit. Gonna have to put some of it outside. Among the treasures: homeschool books, a complete set of 1949 encyclopedias, a large Child Craft collection, lots of Magic School Bus books, flash cards, games, girl’s and women’s clothing, some very pretty formals, a coffee peculator, an ab exerciser, tons of new toys, a cute little rocking chair, I could go on and on! Come check them out!


Farmer’s markets have been picking up a little. Nauvoo is the one that is going the best for us right now. I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to sell my noodles for the price I needed, but I can’t keep up. I need more food dryers! If you want to catch us we’ll be at:
Carthage Mondays 2:30-5:30, on the Square
Burlington Thursdays normally 5-8pm at Crapo Park
Nauvoo Fridays 3:30-5:30 at the Winery
Keokuk Saturdays 6:30 am - 11am at the mall (if we have anything left)


We are currently harvesting onions, green beans, carrots, basil, oregano, chives, sage, cilantro, lemon balm and lettus. Is there anyone out there who knows a lot about the different types of basil? I planted a variety that I think is either Thai or Holy Basil, but I lost the package and I’m not sure what it was. It's got a reddish stem with red flowers.

We’ll have tomatoes, zucchini, potatoes and cucumbers soon. We got a ripe tomato off a plant in our new beds the other day. I honestly have never tasted a tomato with so much flavor! Can’t wait for more.


Getting close to done on the rug. I’ve learned so much!
1. Braid and sew as you go. I cut the strips and sewed them into big fabric balls and then made one long braid which I made into a ball. It was very unruly. Now I’m just adding strips and braiding as I go. It works better.
2. Fold the edges in as you braid. I’ve got a lot of rough edges that will probably fray because I didn’t think of this.
3. Strips look better if you cut the fabric diagonally and sew the diagonal edges together.
4. You can actually lace a rug together instead of sewing. I tried it, but I had already been sewing so I decided to wait until the next rug before I start this.

A couple of weeks ago I was given a bunch of old goose eggs. I plan to demonstrate how to blow them out this weekend if anyone is interested.

(tips, recipes and ideas for saving money)

Put egg noodles in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before rolling them out. It makes them less sticky and they roll out much easier.

God Bless You All! ~Grama Sue

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Sleeping Around

Well folks, I’m late with this again! This time I have a really good excuse. You know the sleeping around job I have? (Clean up your mind! I do elder care.) Well, usually I stay with Maxine for one or two 24 hour shifts a week. This week, the other two ladies who help her were unavailable and I wound up staying for 5 days! Finally got home last night. I was so tired! Last night I got 6 hours of sleep in a row!After getting up with an old lady 3 or 4 times a night for so long it feels wonderful, but my house looks like my husband and an 8 y/o have been living here. HELP!!!!

At least the gardens look good. Here’s a few pictures.

I'm not gonna show you the house.

Our granddaughter has been a really big help. She has been taking good care of the baby chicks. She feeds and waters them every day in addition to giving them a ride in the wagon! How cute! She’s already bored and wants to go home though. Somehow, I knew her determination to stay the whole summer wouldn’t last long ;(

Gotta get the kid up and try to get things back into shape. Will try to give a “state of the projects” next week or at least get back to the regular format!

God Bless You All!