Friday, January 29, 2010

Fridays on the Farm

Today I want to introduce you to the "ladies". Peeps, this is Lavern, Lavern, meet the peeps! She is one of a pair of Belgian draft horses that make up a team. Some years ago our two oldest sons worked during the summer for a friend of ours, and for their pay he took them to Indiana, to an Amish horse and buggy sale and bought them this team. The "ladies" were just babies at that time, and it was the job and delight of our sons, to break them and teach them how to become a team that would actually pull a wagon. Here is the other lady, Shirley. She had been out to water and was across the pasture so you can't see her very good. Their real names are Birdy and Purdy. But I had the darnedest time keeping them straight, and so our #1 daughter suggested Lavern and Shirley, which worked for me. Lavern is taller and a bit more head strong in the harness, while Shirley is shorter and pulls better. Out in the field however, it's Lavern that is more people friendly, and Shirl is somewhat offish with folks. Both are truly gentle giants tough. Not a mean bone in their bodies. It's unbelievable how much strength they have. It's a little bit scary I think, sitting up and a wagon behind them after they haven't been in the harnesses for a while.

Winter time on the farm in the 60's. The Mr. and his two brothers. Oldest brother Errol in the middle, youngest brother Allen on the left and the Mr. wearing some kind of face mask, on the right. They are west of the granary.

Must be cold. I just keep looking at that that hay and thinking about the other stack yards that were there on the farm at that time, and that it was all hauled and stacked by hand in those days. And these boys, were the guys who helped their dad do it! Lots of work.
This picture has their dad in it. I think the Mr. is the photographer.
(FIL) the Mr. and his younger brother Allen. This younger brother died in May of 2000.

The snow today, in almost the same spot as the last picture. Looks like more than I thought we had.

When I came to live on the farm in 1979, everything was a treasure to me! I started right them dragging in old things and using them. My FIL used to laugh at me good naturedly. An older woman in our area once asked "what's with all these young girls these days? Everything we threw out the door and replaced with new modern things, they're bringing back in". And it was true. We do have an old wood burning cook stove that is out in a shed, that is coming inside after the remodel. I am trying VERY hard to convince the Mr. that it will need a chimney!
As you can see, it needs some fixing and scrubbing.........:-D I am looking forward to it being in my family room area.
(there really is a stove under there LOL)

It's a slower time on the farm in during the winter months. The Mr. is working on making the small bedroom under the stairs into an office. He is building a wall of bookcases. When that is done we can start on the rest of the remodel plans. (pictures for another post)
Wish me luck with the chimney! LOL

Have a fun week-end!
Carpe diem.......Seize The Day

Monday, January 25, 2010

Well, I couldn't get these pictures to do what I thought they should, so I just tossed them on anyway. Left are all 6 of our children, 15 years after my story, an the picture on the Right is of our oldest 2 children, daughter # 1 and #2. Next, is a family picture of all of us at the time of my story. Aren't they so cute and Innocent? DH's glasses are GyNORMOUS, and he looks soooooo young. No gray and silver hair there! LOL The bottom picture was 7 years after my story.

This post today is for any of you mothers out there who are busy doing many many good things but feels frustrated and worried and tired at the end of the day, and wonders if you are doing ok as a mom and a wife. (Hey there is a Michael McLean song that says these same words almost) Maybe it will make you smile. It does me. It also makes me realize how hard it is to raise kids. How much time and love you pour into doing so. The struggle to find the balance between husband, children, church, family and self. Learning how to manage the check book, cook and keep up on the laundry. These really are the best years! So after you read this story I don’t want any of you too feel sorry for me, or think I had a bunch of bratty little kids. On the contrary. I want you to smile, and think about a story of your own that makes you laugh. I have learned over the years that babies are just that for so very long and it’s not worth the rush to get them all grown up so fast! (I think this may be something I have learned as a grandmother LOL) Some things fade away but the love of a tender child we dearly hold tight right next to our hearts throughout all of this life and the next one to come!

Here’s a little background for my story……
I had just had baby # 4. We had two girls ages 5 ½ & 4, & two boys, aged 2 and new born. I had decided to go to Vernal, which is 48 miles away to go to K Mart. (no wal mart for years yet) The speed limit was 55 and there were no passing lanes along the way, and the road was full of twists and blind turns and blind hills. So I packed up my diaper bag, purse, lunch, (money was tight) and four kids under the age of 5 ½, in our small truck with the nice camper shell on the back which had a nice carpet kit in it. Remember those ladies? Before car seats were mandatory and before the seat belt laws? And off we drove for our hour’s trip to town. When you go that far, you have a list and need to get what you need because it’s too far and too much gas to come again the next day. I don’t remember where I went first or even if k mart was the last stop I made, but this is what happened in K mart on that particular day.
I am in the store, I have a cart which has the baby in his chair in the top portion, and a two year old and a 4 year old in the basket part and my sweet little 5 ½ year old is walking by my side. Everyone is clean and scrubbed and in their nice “town” clothes which I have sewn for them. Their little baby faces are all chubby and pink and I love them all so much. La lala la lalal la. We make such a charming little picture.
I made the mistake of going down the Barbie isle. Daughter #1 who was walking decided she was going to have a new Barbie. And not only did she want a new Barbie, she wanted a designer Barbie, you know the ones I mean. Well this Barbie was over 30 dollars which might as well have been the moon in those days, and having a new Barbie was not on my list. I told her no. After all these years the exact events are somewhat fuzzy, in the end however, my no was a firm answer. My sweet little daughter just as firmly told me she wasn’t leaving without the Barbie. I told her how sad that was because we were leaving and I would miss her and it was at that point that she threw herself on the floor and locked her little 5 year old hands around my ankle. Now, here I am, with a newborn who is by this time crying, and 2 year old who is also crying, and the 4 year old is yup, you guessed it starting to cry. I pride I because I managed to refrain from doing any yelling or even being very mad. (Pet peeve I have to see moms yelling at their kids in the stores…) But no was no, and there wasn’t much use of arguing and like I told my daughter, it was most definitely time to go. The worst was, I had some items in the cart I needed to buy, and so I had to take all of my crying kids through the cheek out line. Daughter # 1 is still on the floor holding on to my ankle as I am pushing my cart to the front of the store… I am dragging her along. YES!!! I am embarrassed. I know, you are all telling me what you think I should have done……. However, I tried to just remain calm in the face of this huge fit, and keep my dignity in tact and also teach my daughter you don’t always get what you want, no matter what kind of drama you bargain with.
That when mom says no, that means no, no. What I wanted to do was paddle her little behind all the way out to the car! But my arms were full, and I was alone and couldn’t take her to the bathroom without taking the entire kit and caboodle along with us. I just decided the best thing to do was leave. Anyway, As we were waiting our turn in the check out line, a couple of very nicely dressed middle aged women (about the age I am now) were in the next check out line, eyeing me up and down with frowns on their well manicured faces, and one of them was making little “tut tutting” noises with her tongue. I couldn’t believe it! Here I was at wits end, three little babies crying and one bigger one on the floor crying and screaming for a Barbie and they were judging me like I was something that had nasty black mold on it!
Now you have to know, I was a shy little wren of a person, just 27 years old, and it was NOT in my nature to be bold. So what came out of my mouth at that time is still a shocker to me.
I just smiled at them as I picked up my newborn and tried to calm my other two, with #1 still on the floor, I heaved a very big and audible sigh and told them sweetly “thank heavens the other 4 kids are in school”.
They just kinda sucked in their breath and one of them said “well” and they huffed and turned away from me and stood there having their own little snit!
As soon as I had said this untruth, I felt so much better. I laughed. My kids for the most part had stopped crying, and by the time I was checked out and had reached the door #1 had gotten off the floor and stopped crying too.
I was glad I hadn’t lost my temper that day. I was glad I didn’t beat my daughter or screeched at her, like I’ve seem moms do. It wouldn’t have made any of it better; it would have only made me feel worse. I don’t know why these women didn’t think to help me. Or even smile at me kindly, anything but what they did would have been nicer.
I have never forgotten the way I felt that day with those two women watching me. Hopefully it has helped to be a little kinder to others.
I didn’t always manage to keep my cool when shopping with my kids, but I didn’t stop shopping with them and they learned they didn’t get to have what they thought they wanted when we went to the stores. Sometimes it was me who arrived home almost in tears!
But they are all grown up now. Daughter # 1 is one of my dearest friends. She and her husband were blessed with twin boys 7 years ago. These darling little busy boys have a 2 year old brother and a newborn baby sister. Their mom gets to take them shopping! 
Sometimes I get to go and help out! And sometimes we go down the Barbie isle!

Carpe diem.......Seize The Day

Friday, January 22, 2010

Fridays on the Farm & raggedy hearts

ML at House of Whimsy is my inspiration for Fridays on the Farm. I really enjoy her Wednesday posts, and so I have decided to share a bit of our old farm on Fridays. I'll start today, by showing you around the farm yard. Our farm when homesteaded, raised sheep. The land was all sand knolls, covered with sage bush, bull berries, rabbit brush, grease woods, cotton wood trees and cactus. It all had to be cleared and leveled. This was done with a team of horses and by hand. Fields were planted and plowed, fruit trees and shade trees were planted as well. There wasn't much water until they built the canals and creeks and diverted it from the high lakes. Which was also done by horse team.

After some years, the sheep went and were replaced by beef cattle. Which is what we still raise today. That and alfalfa. So come with me for a little walking tour around the yard.

This old guy was a gift from my uncle to our oldest son when he was a teen. It was to be re-built......... the grandsons love it. I think it needs a more dignified spot to call home, maybe this summer ...........

I want to move this closer to the house.......

Hauling wood is an everyday chore.

The front of the Stone House. The stone is there, walls 2 1/2 ft thick under the siding. Our yard is surrounded by Elm trees.

Looking east of the house. This is the only road in or out.

Looking west of the house up to the fields

North of the house sits the cabin and the corrals. The Stone House burnt down in the late 30's, well, the inside of the house burnt, and at that time this cabin , which was also a homestead cabin from the other side of the family, was taken apart moved here and reassembled and built on to. That's where the family lived while they re-built the inside of the house. And where my in-laws lived for a time after they were fist married.
In front is the old water well, which still works. You crank the handle and there is a chain with cups on it that bring the water up. There is also a spout on the side where you can hang a bucket and fill it up.

West end of the cabin. My sons are going to take this apart and move it again, to another place on the farm and use it for over night camping with their kids.

Looking east from the back door, out towards our fire pit and picnic area. You can see a corner of the old garage.

Newest hobby of son #2 and DH, sheep.

Goat in the pig pens.......doesn't everyone have a goat in their pig pens?

Corrals. And behind them, runs the creek.

This is (DH"S) Grandpa's original homestead cabin. He came here as a young man from Sweden and lived as a bachelor when he first homesteaded. He later met and married G grandma Naomi, and her father was a stone mason, and together they built the Stone house. This cabin is now the grainary and tack shed, where Mr. G (cat) lives. Off to the left side is the chicken run.

Old Beau dog. Spends most of his time in the back room on the floor sleeping. # 2 son bought this old dog 15 years ago.

BUT this is the old dog! LOL she is 16 ! I didn't get a picture of the "young" dog because he was off somewhere

This is the back or north side of the Stone House, and the cabin.
No morning chores are done here anymore, no cow to milk, nothing. And electric heaters in the water make it much easier! We just get up, DH goes off to work and the teen to school.
In the evenings, cows are fed, chickens are fed and the "egg" or maybe two or three are gathered (they are really "fair weather" layers LOL), wood is hauled, chore cows ( bull, beef steer we are fattening, and maybe some calves we are feeding), sheep and horses are fed. The truck on my header lovingly know as "old red" is the feed truck. When they use ton bales, they use the tractor to feed with. Most nights there is also a sled pulled behind old red and the teen rides it before and after the cows are fed.

So now come in, and take off your wet boots and set them in front of the stove so they can dry off. Sit down and warm up and I'll show you the hearts I've been making from an old quilt found here at the Stone House.

When we moved here I found an old quilt stuffed in a box out in the garage. As you can see it was in shreds. I brought it in and washed it up and used it for this and that. Lately I've made some Valentine hearts from it. I've backed them with an old cotton table cloth that came from an aunts belongings. I love them. They are little pieces of days gone by here at the farm. I don't even know who made this quilt which I feel kinda sad about. Grandma Naomi? Grandma Stokes? G Grandma Mitchell? G Grandma Smithson? Maybe my father in laws first wife, Jean?

Made a pattern for 3 sizes

These are my 3 favorites. I think I'll keep them for myself. :-)


But I want you each to take a set of 3 home with you as a remembrance of being here on the farm.....

I really love living here. I love the history of our home, as well as the history of our area, the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation. I love the red cliffs and red sand, & the sage brush. I enjoy hearing the coyotes howl even though it gives me chills, and seeing deer in the fields at nights.

I hope you enjoyed your visit out around the farm yard, and will join me on many more Fridays as I share ordinary bits and pieces of what life is like for us here on the farm.

Carpe diem.......Seize The Day

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Life has just been busy. I know I'm behind on what is going on in your lives. I miss you when I don't blog. Karen, I was glad to hear that Your DH is going to be OK.
Nothing exciting going on, just the "normal" stuff. Thank you all again for your concern. We are doing better here. :-) I won't go into details, but we've been blessed. I think we may survive! At least it feels like it.

Our SIL , who works for DNR, was down by Ticaboo, ( I just love to say that name!) which is in the southern end of our state, catching wild buffalo!
It was fun to see his own videos. Really awesome flying and jumping going on! LOL They chased the bison from a helicopter, and shot them with a net gun and then they were lifted through the air, set down, checked, tagged, given shots, and loaded in trailers. They caught 40 yearling calves. Mostly cows I think.

They will be bringing them back here, to the Bookcliffs sometime this week. If you have an interest in a short little news clip, just click on the link below. - Bison move to new home after stop on Antelope Island

We have some new snow, not much really, but it covered up the all the dirty stuff! The forecast is calling for snow this entire week. Maybe we'll get a goodly amount. We do need some more.
Tonight we have pea soup. It's pretty thick fog out there.
I don't know about you girls, but I think I have "cabin fever" ! LOL ( are you singing the Cabin Fever song from Muppet Treasure Island? )
If it keeps getting warmer like it was today, Mom and I can get ourselves back outside to walk! I haven't been skiing yet, but I think I'll get my skis out and go tomorrow. (Cross country ) It's warmer than it has been, I might not freeze!

So looking forward a couple of weeks................ are you making plans for a Ground Hogs Day bash? Are you diehards like us, and watch the movie every year?

Do you look forward to this end of winter ritual? Because, after Feb. 2nd, one way or the other, THERE IS ONLY 6 MORE WEEKS TILL SPRING! Yaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
(I told you I have cabin fever.........)
Take care of yourselves! Enjoy your winter!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Hi ladies. I'm so sorry that I wore my heart on my sleeve earlier today. I decided I needed to delete that post from my blog. I want to thank those of you who left me comments, for your advise and friendship. I know your hearts are filled with compassion, love and tenderness. Thank you for taking the time today, to help me feel some peace. Julie, I didn't get your email. Could you remail it? (
There is a light, tonight at the end of the tunnel, and I am going to cling to that and with my chin up, persevere!
Even Though I haven't met you dear friends in person, I want you to know, I love you. Thank you again for today.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

who? me?

This is our little P-Jo, wearing 3-D specs ..... but the look on her face , matches my mood today! Shock! Panic! Unbelief!
I'm putting away my Christmas.... (enough said huh)
....and I'm wondering what to do with everything that used to be did I get so many things? Really, Where has it all come from?
AHHHHHHHHH! I need a maid!!!!
As we start this remodel job, I am realizing just how much STUFF I really have and how much of it needs to GO! It kind a feels like taco salad. You know, you order it cuz it sounds soooo good, it comes and it's gynormous, and you eat away at it and it is good, but the more you push it around your plate with your fork, the more it grows, and then, by the time it's time to go, you put in your take home box more than what originally came on your plate ! LOL and just like the taco salad that I love, I love all my many treasures!Woman. Thy name is fickle.
Ugg! I'm a pack rat! (true confession)
Is there a pack rats anonymous out there? Tell me, is there some hope for people like me?
I guess it's time to load it up and take it back to the TS! LOL

BUT, I'm gaining! :-)
I know, I'm such a whiner.....So I'll stop and wish you all a good weekend.
See you back next week, and hopefully this old house will be less filled with so many "treasures" than it is now!
Wish me luck!
Enjoy your day.