Monday, December 31, 2012


We've had a new baby!  Her name is Holly (thanks Ann!) and she's about a week old in these pictures.

She came about 3 weeks early and was a surprise to both my dad and I.

She's strong, and fast and proved these facts to be true the day after she was born.  Crazy 8 (her Momma) gave birth out in the cold, snowy pasture, so my dad set out to move 8 and Holly up to the warmer and dryer barn.  I'd never seen a day old calf move so fast!  She was doing laps around my dad as he spun in circles trying to corral her into the barn.  Update: She's still fast as ever.  This explains my lack of close ups.

We usually try to pin Momma's with their little calves in the barn for the first 3 or 4 days of the their life.  But we learned a few years ago Crazy 8 doesn't take to kindly to being pinned up.  The longer she's pinned, the crazier she gets (thus the name).  And since little Holly was doing so well, we left Momma and calf unpinned.

Today, I found Miss Holly hanging with Bruce.  He's now a month and a half old and also camera shy.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Christmas To All

I hope you all had a nice Christmas.  I know I sure did!

Lots of time was spent with family, relaxing, reminiscing, and just having a grand ole Christmas time.

Christmas Eve came and Arren and I helped my dad and the Lyon's Club distribute Christmas baskets to fellow Arcolians.  These are good, hard working families who have fallen on hard times or found themselves sick.

Then Christmas Eve night we ventured over to Uncle Bill and Aunt Janet's for some Christmas cheer.  The Nacke's have always has a Christmas Eve get together since before I was born, and each year the family party has grown bigger.  In fact, at this gathering, 14 of my 17 second cousins were corralled and brought by their moms and dads (my first cousins).  That meant 14 little kiddos were bouncing off the walls for Santa, for presents, and for the few extra sugar cookies they had eaten that day.  It's always great catching up with family members and as an added bonus, chowing down on some very tasty food.

In years past, the Nacke family has always drawn names for Christmas presents, but this year we did a white elphant-ish gift trade.  It was a success.  As for what Arren and I got... we now have two 1,000 piece puzzles to pass the time while our scentsy keeps the place smelling wonderful!

The next morning Santa did not disappoint.  Arren and I kicked off the early morning by opening gifts at our place.  Arren (I mean Santa) did an awesome job.  He hand picked a necklace and earrings for me to wear on our wedding day and managed to replace Dorothy in a Wizard of Oz book with my own name.

Then we headed over to my parent's for some more gift opening and ate until we were stuffed and then ate a little more.  Being an only child, my parents have always gotten me way too much on Christmas.  And even though my mom insisted she had cut back, it was no different this Christmas.  My favorite gift would have to be the bright red Kitchen Aide Mixer my parent's bought for me.  I mean it's so red and shiny and really just reminds me of Christmas cookies.  Note to self: I must start baking more.

That afternoon we headed over to Arren's family Christmas party.  A good time was had by all!  We of course had to play a family game and this time it was a tricky little ditty called headbandz.  We all had to wear head bands with note cards attached and then use clues to figure out what our note card said.  At one point I was a mustache and soon after that, Abe Lincoln. 

In all, Christmas 2012 was a success!  I'm sad it's over.  I don't want to take down my decorations or our drooping tree.  2013 is right around the corner and I can't believe how fast this year flew by.  Did you all have a great Christmas filled with family and good food?  Did you get something that just made your jaw drop?  Or did you give something that made the receiver beam with joy?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

All Things Christmasy

I live for candy canes, Christmas music and have to watch at least 10 Christmas classic movies this time of the year.  I even have Frosty the Snowman (my all time favorite) on DVD.

I think I owe my love of all things Chritmasy to my mom.  For as long as I can remember, every December, my mom transformed the house into a winter wonderland.  A lot of the decor has been around since I was little and it holds a fond place in my heart.

So with out further ado, I give you the official Christmas tour of my parents humble abode!

This little tree made of Christmas bulbs was on "Oprah's Favorite Things" list several years back.  My dad loathes this thing.  I swear every time he passes by, he give it the stink eye.  Sadly, this year the lights finally died on "Oprah's tree"...  My dad's volunteered to throw it out!

This has been my advent calender since I was a wee little one.  Every day, a little stuffed figure is taken out and hung on the tree.  I use to be very meticulous in making sure every figure had it's own space on the tree.  That meant saving the little one's for the top as the spaces got closer and closer together.  Now when ever I go home, I have catch the tree up to the current date.  After all these years, it's still one of my favorite things to do!

I've always loved Christmas villages and my mom's is awesome!  For a while every year we would add to the collection until one day we had an abundance of decor, so that the village was soon a bustling city.  Now, here sits my mom's peaceful little Christmas city, happily gleaming with warm holiday light.

Last year my Mom helped me start my own little village by buying my first two buildings.  In case you're wondering the village is from "The North Pole Series" made by Department 56. Right now it's not much, but in a few years, I'm hoping to have the beginnings of my own Christmas town!

Saying my parents have tall ceilings is a vast understatement.  So finding a tree can be tricky.  There are certain qualifications a tree must have.  It must be a giant, an eleven footer, and a most massive evergreen.  It also has to be a long needled white pine per my mom's yearly request.  This year my dad quickly found this little thing.

It's the smallest tree (by feet and width) we've ever had.  But due to the ever shrinking long needled supply of evergreens this is the best my dad could do.  My mom went to town decorating this little smidgen of a tree.  Grandma Nacke handmade the fabric ornaments pictured below.  They were my favorite as a little girl and still are.  I also seriously wish I had the skills to make ornaments half as great as these!

My mom's decked the rooms, the halls, and the new front porch.  As the sun starts to set, my mom heads out and plugs in the decorations which light up the windows with some festive holiday cheer.

The Pinterest bug has bitten my mom in the form of this awesome homemade decoration.  She bought the evergreen branches, pine cones and had the mason jars and basket sitting around.  She filled each jar with Epsom salt and then added electric candles.  So Martha Stewart-esq! 

I hope you enjoyed this little Christmas tour!  I'm off to watch some Frosty on DVD.  What are some of your favorite things about Christmas... the tree, the decorations, the food, the chance to give to others?  Or are you just a Grinchy-Grinch when it comes to the Holidays?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

I'm Baaack!

Um hi, remember me?  That girl who use to post on this blog. 

Well after about a month break, I'm back!  And I fully intend on making this stint of blogging worth your while.  As in 2-3 posts a week.  Maybe more if you're lucky!

This post really has no purpose other than to annouce my return from a long blogging hiatus.  I can just hear a collective cheer as you read this post.  Right?... OK maybe gleeful cheering might have been pushing it, but I'm sure doing a happy jig at the chance to start blogging again.

A lot has happened, so stay to tuned to see what you all have missed at Green Nacke Acres.  

Monday, November 12, 2012

Bruce Banner

Our 2013 calving season has started.  And that's no bull.  Actually, that is a bull. :)

I can hear the collective groan at my attempt at bull humor.  Sorry for that as well as the poor photo quality and the demon cow eyes.  It was dark outside and I only had the awful barn lighting.  An iphone can only do so much and a red eye reducer works no wonders with starry eyed cattle.

This little baby boy was born last Thursday.  I've decided to call him Bruce. As in Bruce Banner. As in the dude who turns into the Hulk.  As in I've been watching way too many super hero movies with Arren.  But this little booger is a chunky monkey!

We bought his Momma last Feburary with a bull calf already at her side.  Infact, here he is right here causing all kind of michief.

Momma's last calf was born in December which means Bruce came a month early.  So our 2013 calf crop has started 2 months early.  Not a bad way to start out a year that hasn't even began yet! 

My dad and I are in a heated arguement over who Bruce's daddy is.  I think it's Mo's offspring.  We bought Momma at a mid January sale and the dates coincide with a Momo baby.  My dad thinks the calf is too high quality to be Mo's...  Oh ye of little Momo faith.

Monday, November 5, 2012


The porch is finished, finito, done! This may be the first project my dad has actually followed through with 100% since moving into the Green Acre's homestead 23 years ago.  He's just a little proud... and he should be.  He took my parent's falling apart front porch and converted it to a now insulated, somewhat warm despite the onset of cold weather, country-chic room.

He started with a little insulation action in the newly built outside walls.

Then some tongue and groove boards started to go up.

This part took a little longer than expected.  My dad had to use some precision saw skills so that the new boards were flush with the old wall.

After the far wall was complete, it was onto the long side wall which went much faster.  Then he trimmed around the windows.  After all the boards were up, the porch was warm and a much happier place with some pretty wooden walls.

My dad didn't stop there.  The new walls received a coat of country white to match the already painted inside walls.  Then, when everything was dry, it was time to move back in!  Much to his dismay, my dad realized that their old freezer was now a half inch too long to fit back onto the porch.  So, in true Mark Nacke style, he went out and bought a brand new, smaller deep freeze to take its place.  After all, a new porch deserves a new freezer.

So without further ado, I give you my parents new front porch, furniture, deep freezer, and all.

And just for the heck of it, here is a comparison shot of before and after.

So whatcha think?  Pretty awesome right?  Anyone else doing some last minute outside home projects before winter finally sets in?  

Monday, October 29, 2012


So I thought I'd do a fun little post about blogs this blogger reads...

Young House Love:

This was my first blog.  I started reading, and I was hooked.  I don't know what it is about John & Sherry Petersik, but they've got me along with thousands of other readers mesmerized!  Literately, they have page views in the millions... and that's just monthly.  They were very much my inspiration to start this blog.  They mainly post about home DIY things, but they will also throw in random posts about their adorable daughter Clara, cute little Burger dog, and anything else they might be up to.  They just finished their first book and holy cow I can't wait for it to hit shelves!

OK, enough drooling over 2 strangers who strangely feel like friends..

Next up is Nice Girl Notes:

This chick is hilarious!  Her witty style of writing has me rolling with every post.  She's been known to throw out the occasional misplaced rap lyric and drop some great internet memes.  (By the way apparently it is pronounced "meams", not "mee-mee's" like I've been saying for the past year.  Who knew?)  But seriously, if your day is in need of some brightening up, check her blog out!

The Pioneer Woman:

I don't know how this lady does everything she does.  Not only does she have her own full time blog, she has a cooking show on the Food Network, a fully operational family cattle ranch, family of 6 (or is it 7), and home schools her kids. I just feel tired after typing all that.  Not only that but her posts are an awesome read.  They are short and to the point and full of wonderful pictures.  Oh she's also a seasoned photographer... Jealousy is a cruel thing.

Then there are a few others I drop in on occasion.
Bower Power.  Full of cute stories of DIY and little people (aka children).
Centsational Girl.  Good home upgrade ideas for those on a budget.
Our Fifth House.  After 5 houses these people have decor down to a science.

Well there you have it.  A look into some of my blogging super heroes.  If I ran into any of these people on the street I'd probably just run away, hide, and laugh giddily that I actually got to see them!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Engagement Pics

We recently had our engagement photo session.  It went great.  Cold, but great!  Of course the morning we picked just happened to be one of the coldest mornings so far this year.  You would think early October could give us a break, but fall struck back at our optimism with a 45 degree wake up call. Arren and I toughed it out like champs though!

I was a little afraid of how the session would go.  Arren and I are by no means professional models (however much I say Arren should take up a career in modeling) and are novice posers.  We usually resort to the arm wrap around the back and smile.  Not to knock the pose, but as far as versatility goes, we were lacking.  Our photographer Kara Kamenski was great in this aspect.  She was full of suggestions and helpful hints on making our pictures awesome.

We started at Allerton Park on that chilly Sunday morning.  We were dodging the U of I cross country team, but the lighting was great!  We went up into the tall tower and took some awesome shots.  Kara knew the place and where we should go for the best pictures.

We then went to a meadow area just outside of Allerton.  It was pretty and sun struck and allowed us to get some pretty nature shots.

Finally we ended up at the Monticello train museum.  It apparently has a stellar reenactment of the Polar Express and Kara made sure we knew to take our future children!   By the time we got to the tracks it was unfortunately blustery, cloudy, and seemed if possible even colder.  We tried a variety of shots but my hair was not cooperating with the crazy wind.  Luckily our great photographer was able to get some more great shots.

Thanks to the ever helpful site Pinterest I got the idea of making our wedding date with wooden numbers hang from twine.  I got the numbers from Michaels and then spray painted them navy blue (our main wedding color).  Then I took some twine and used a staple gun to fasten them.  It turned out pretty good!

As far as our outfits, Arren and I went shopping a few weeks ahead of time and picked them out together.  We are not fancy or dressy people by any standards.  Our wedding will be the first time I've ever seen Arren in a tie or jacket.  That's reflected in our clothing choices for our pictures.  Jeans and a nice shirt was our theme.  We tried to pick complementary colors.  In our first set we both had shades of red and then in the second a shade of gray.  

So there you have it.  A run down of our engagement pic session.  And now I'd like to throw in a little plug for our awesome photographer Kara Kamienski!  I can't express how warm she was and how relaxed she made us feel.  She let us make some choices but also directed us which, as I stated was a huge help.  If some one asked me if I knew a great choice for a photographer I'd 100% recommend Kara!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Becoming Elsie Again

Our pups is walking!  Well more like hobbling, but she's getting better everyday.

It all started last Saturday.  My parents said she stood up and took two big jumps before she fell over again.  Then Sunday she was up and making it 10 or more steps before having to take a break.  She has progressed since then and now can make it from the house to the barn and back again.  She's standing up to eat and loving every minute of being able to freely go where she wants with out us toting along behind her.

Yesterday she even took off after a little bunny that raced across our yard.  She's becoming Elsie again and it's great!

My parents took her to the vet last Thursday and the whole staff couldn't believe how well she was getting around.  They were so impressed with her strives to get better, we didn't even have to make another check up appointment.  She still is on pills for nerve damage, pain, and an antibiotic.  The vet also suggested we try weekly shots of vitamin B12 to help correct any nerve damage.

She still can not move her tail or poop on her own.  Which is a little unnerving to me.  I'm hoping there isn't paralysis in the very back part of her hips.  But her gains in the past week have been huge and she is continuing to get better and stronger everyday.

She also has lost quite a bit of weight.  My parents have been feeding her roasts day and night for the last 6 weeks and the pups has ate their freezer dry!  But again, her ability to move around should bring her appetite back.  She is probably the only dog I know who could eat 5 pounds of meat a day and loose weight.

Elsie has made new friends of the feline form.  She doesn't mind them much as long as they don't get too close to her food or bones.  Then she'll take off after them in a wild, flailing, growling rush.  Just another way she is becoming Elsie again.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Big Red Barn

Hello Darlin', it's been a long time!

Way too long.  I've been dying to post just have been incredibly short on time. 

Sadly, I also have not been able to visit Green Acres nearly as often as I would like to.  I've been zero to no help on projects or with the animals.  I know, I'm slacking!

That being said I do have quite a bit of new posts to type up for all you great and patient readers.  Including an exciting update on Elsie, new porch walls, a much needed cow update, thoughts on our engagement photo session, and just some awesome fall things in general.

But onto what this post is really all about.  Our barn now has a shiny red exterior thanks to my Uncle Jim and lots of family friends.  This however is no thanks to me.  I didn't lift a finger in this project.  In fact I didn't even get to see any of the painting taking place.  Remember when I said I'd been busy.  Well apparently this is true.  And this is why there are no action photos of our big red barn being painted.

The worst part of painting the barn wasn't the painting at all, it was preparing to paint.  Power washing the dirty scummy old barn took a while and finally ended on a 50 degree rainy day.  My dad and a family friend (crazily) stood out in the drizzle, their breath visible in the cool fall air, spraying down the last side of the barn.  They were within 10 minutes of finally finishing the whole thing when the main hose blew.  Water was shooting up in the air and the power washer would unfortunately not complete its task that day.

My dad quickly replaced the hose and finished the last small section the next day.  Then, it was onto painting!

We bought a paint sprayer two years ago when we undertook the project that was painting our picket fence white.  It's a huge help and with 20 gallons of primer and 20 gallons of red paint our barn went from wood to wow!

The prime went on first.  Then that same day, my dad and his helpers busted out 2 red sides of the barn.

The next weekend, before anyone could blink, the barn was painted and looking snazzy.

Stay tuned for lots of new updates and post from Green Acres!

Saturday, October 6, 2012


This is an Elsie update.

It's been a month since our pups was hit in our own drive way.  And it's been a long, hard month.

Elsie can home a drugged up pups who couldn't even sit up.  She was out of it and miserable and we didn't think she could do this.  We didn't think she would be able to get better.

But Elsie started to make strides, she started sitting up, eating more, and walking on her front legs.  The vet's office gave us a sling to use to help her walk.  We put the sling under her belly and hold up her back legs and then she takes off, 90 miles an hour, venturing all around the yard.

At first, her back legs hung limp in the sling, but now they are showing some gain.  She'll pump them back and forth, acting like she wants to walk.  I know she wants to walk to so badly.

When Elsie started sitting up, she started scooting everywhere and anywhere.  A bad sore developed on her side and it only got worse.  The vet gave us some spray.  Bandages would be futile.  She would either tear them off or scoot them off.  So every day, twice a day, when we get her up, we spray her sore and let the magic spray do it's work.

The vet also suggested that we make a cart.  They had a smaller template that my dad used to make our own larger, Elsie version.

Here it is in all it's cart glory.  We mis-measured though, and sadly it's too short for Elsie to move around in.  Her front legs are perfect, but her back legs drag on the ground.  We got her up in the cart the other night.

She took it fairly well for being strapped into some weird contraption.  She would even move around the patio when trying to get closer to our new kitties.  The cart is still too short for her back legs not to drag, but she can stand there with no help from us.  This is a huge improvement.  She hasn't stood for a month on her own, and with just a little support from the cart, she's standing.

Elsie has two more weeks until she goes back to the vet.  It's then that we decide if she will continue to improve, or never be able to walk again.  It's really hard to tell at this point if our therapy is working.  But living life laying down and only being able to stand with the help of a cart is no life for a puppy.

My parents made it clear that the vet gave us 3 weeks and we've got 2 left. So we will continue to work with Elsie and hopefully she will continue to get better.  Just in the past 4 weeks, Elsie has made huge strides to getting better, so with a little hope, we can and will get her better again.