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Farm Life

The sign that would’ve saved me…

April 8, 2015
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We went to the auction again this year, and they have a new method of selling at the auction now…kinda wished they had employed this technique 2 years ago when I BOUGHT THE WRONG TRACTOR. sigh, if only they’d had the sign on a stick, it would’ve saved me so much embarrassment.

Here’s the tale in case you haven’t read it: Tale of 2 Tractors…

There wasn’t much to be had this year at the auction, at least not for us…(unless you count the fries from the chippy wagon). I had my eye on a few landscaping items, especially a beautiful Royal Star Magnolia bush that was about 5 feet tall. I lingered around that bush for awhile, waiting for the auctioneer and his posse to come around and start the bidding and by the time they got there, so did the rest of the world. I didn’t even get a chance to throw my card up, that thing sold higher and faster than the space shuttle. The Hubs had phoned our ‘tree guy’ before the bidding began, so we knew when to drop out…he told us not to go any higher than $60 and the bush sold for $115. (if you ever need an informative, and reasonably priced ‘tree guy’ or landscaper in our area, try – www.littlecreektreefarm.com )

After the auction we spent some time cleaning up around the house, and we were able to remove the laneway markers. IMG_1251

This is a clear indicator of spring…kind of like how Wiarton Willy, Jimmy the groundhog, or Punxsatawney Phil predict spring….this is how the Garretts notify you that spring has indeed sprung.

Speaking of the groundhogs…did you see the video of Jimmy this year?

That one makes my stomach flipitty flop, but that mayor stays so composed!

Have a wonderful day folks….and remember, April showers bring May flowers!!

 

The christmas tree crackle…

April 5, 2015

In the few days of spring like weather we had last week, we were able to scratch a few chores off the to-do list that I had been itching to tackle. Minor things, but it starts the project list off at a slow pace in which my sloth-like winter body can handle! Soon enough it will be planting a garden, raking the stones out the lawn from the snowblower and edging the flower beds….I’ll take these simple chores while I can.

I make them even simpler by employing my little farmwife-y trick … brew a coffee right before you rally the troops to do a chore and lo, waste not want not, you must bring said coffee with you while you take pictures. There, both hands full!

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This day, we decided to hold a country burn…this is one of those beautiful perks to living in the countryside. Although we have to pay per bag of garbage here, we’re able to burn whatever garbage is burnable and compost any kitchen scraps, so it leaves us with very little to have to go into the landfill.

I’m not sure how many of you are able to burn your garbage, but there’s one particular item that I love to burn….call me a crazy pyromaniac, but there really is a small thrill in listening to this thing crackle.

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So the kids hauled it over to the field and the Hubs put our burnable garbage around it and lit ‘er up!

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Because I love you, I decided to videotape the crackle so those of you who don’t burn your trees can grab a cozy cup of tea and warm up by the Festive fire! Just think of it like the fireplace channel on Christmas morning….except that it’s, you know, an Easter fire.  (Sorry about the quality, its on my phone.)

 

Did you see the field catching fire? The Hubs was a little worried that might happen, I, with my coffee in hand assured him there was nothing to worry about…such a good bystander I am. At least he and the boy thought ahead and grabbed the shovels. 

There was a time, about 2 years ago now, that we weren’t so lucky.  It was  in the fall, the corn had been harvested, and there were sticks and cardboard to burn, so we made a nice heap in the corner of the field and lit it up. We watched it roar, then settle down into a nice ember glow…at this point we typically go about our business until it peters out and then throw a couple shovels worth of dirt on top to put it out. This time around things didn’t go as planned, and as we walked away to work in the yard, the embers decided they weren’t quite done with roaring yet, and up they lit into a nice steady flame. I happened to turn around when I reached the far side of the house and the orange flames caught my eye…the flames had rallied around and were licking their way through the field.

The problem with field fires, is that their borders grow exponentially, as the flames grow, so does the border of the fire and it heads away from it’s centre point in a circle. By the time we reached the field, the border had reached about and 80×80 foot circumference and was growing.

(There are farmers who regularly burn their fields to get rid of old dead grass and to promote new growth, and it really works….when you’re prepared for it and have tankers of water at the ready. We, on the other hand, were not prepared for this field burn and weren’t trying to promote any new growth…we were good with the old dead grass … it may have been ugly, but at least it was safe.)

I felt like Sarah in Sarah Plain and Tall (Can be found here..) (I read this book to the kids and we watched the movie afterward …so good) When the farmstead was in a drought and the fire came..how they used just about anything they had to put it out…there I was with a shovel and a bucket that the kids loaded up and brought back and forth…The Hubs was whacking the field like a maniac and we were surrounded by smoke. It took us a good 20 minutes before we had it under control again, talk about harrowing. By the time it was over, his eyebrows and beard had been singed and our faces were as red as a beet.

You can see why he questioned if we should even burn the Christmas tree this year. Since the epic field fire of 2013, we’ve been employing an old rusty barrel to burn our garbage in, and it’s great when you’re burning small stuff, but a 12 foot tree needs an open space…so it was time to put aside our fears and try, try again.

Hope you enjoyed :)

 

A Tale of 2 Tractors…

February 25, 2015
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(There’s a shame factor that has prevented me from sharing this story until now. I still blush when I think about what went down this day..)

 

I could hear the calls from afar, shouts and hollars, the loud speaker ignited with the rolling babble of the auctioneer. The smells of the old and new items up for bid, mingled with the deliciously deep fried smell of the food trucks.

We had spent most of the morning walking through the buildings, scouting out the wares. There were sprawling wagons and tables of new and used everything. You name it, and it was there … don’t believe me? Name a few things…

Playground equipment, RV’s, couches, gardening supplies, tractors, hay balers, manure spreaders, golf clubs, dog food, rabbit hutches, paintings, trees, canoes, motorbikes, hot tubs ..and the kitchen sink y’all.

I had my eye on just a few specific items…the landscaping area had just about all I would need to get the lifeless dirt bed in the front of house up to snuff. Then there was the shiny pink bike that I knew Ashlyn could use, as she was becoming a little too big for the family hand-me-down, the red, blue and rusty number that each kid has learned to ride with.

And finally, the piece de resistance….a gorgeous little red Massey compact tractor that had all the fixins, a bucket, a back hoe attachment, and a mower….a gardeners dream come true. It looked like a spaceship compared to the clunkers it sat beside, and there were rows of them, none as shiny and new as my little red tractor. I oogled over it and when the Hubs said ‘put it on your list’ …I knew I had a chance.

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A few hours in and there was our pick up truck loaded with plants, bushes, trees, flower pots and nice shiny pink bike. My auction card had gotten a work out and I was privy to the ways of the seasoned buyer…the wink, the finger lift and the head nod. The callers knew to look in my direction,  waiting for the next item that struck my cheap fancy. As I checked my watch, I knew it was time to move my card outside  … I bid the landscape men adieu and went to find the tractor callers.

The Hubs decided that he would bring the truck load home and unload the auction items and the whining children…apparently the spring auction just wasn’t their idea of fun(….whaaaat?!)  He figured the pretty red tractor would be up for bids right around the time he got back.

He was wrong.

I slipped into the crowd gathering around tractors, and elbowed my way past the farmers young and old…(I stuck out like a sore thumb in my nike hat and pretty spring coat, – note to self: wear carhartt overalls and rubber boots next year…) Did I mention I was the only GIRL in the crowd of say 60 men? As I got near the front of the crowd, I realized I was JUST in time…the auctioneer trailer had rolled up in front of my tractor and was already calling numbers for the Massey…ACK!! I took a deep breath and was nonchalant about getting my card ready, always keeping in mind that if I show excitement, someone else will smell it and bid me up.

I couldn’t believe what I heard “three, three, three, who will give me thirty-five, three, threeeee..” I was stunned…the hands were slowing down and my little red tractor was only at $3000…The Hubs and I had previously discussed that we would only go as high as $5000, knowing full well it would be a miracle if it sold this low, when in reality this tractor should have sold for well over $10,000.. so my heart was aflutter at the thought of possibly bringing this beauty home!

I raised my hand for $3200 and waited, all eyes were suddenly on me. I have to admit, I may have felt a sinful moment of pride here as I watched the faces of the farmers stare.

I bid my way up to $3500 and that’s when I heard the sweet sound of victory, ” Going, going….SOLD! to the Little lady up front” … I was elated, being able to represent my husband at this moment was so great, He would be so proud of me, Proverbs 31 was here in the flesh…and being called a ‘Little Lady’ too? Well Shucks, this was my day!! I knew the farmers were still staring, so I decided to put a little icing on the cake and I let out a “Woo-hooooo” and did a really nice high fist pump to show my pride.

~This moment is etched into my memory so deeply, it shall never be forgotten. I bear a burden of shame for my pride. If this were a play, I would now be reaching for mask of tragedy and would be putting it upon my blushing cheeks. ~

I was still relishing from my big purchase when I heard the words that nearly brought me to my knees. I looked behind me to where the crowd was now….All of the farmers, gathered around MY tractor…and numbers were being called. I couldn’t compute…all along the auctioneer had been spouting numbers for the Massey tractor…which I thought was my red tractor…so what were they doing now?? I peered through the crowd trying to determine what was the last item that would have been sold, the item to the right of little red….it was a blue jalopy with the blazing black word “Massey” on it… the sinking feeling nearly killed me. This is when I realized at no point did the auctioneer distinguish between a blue or red Massey tractor, and I had jumped the gun…

I was the new owner of a 1968 Massey Ferguson 300.

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What kind of individual buys the wrong TRACTOR?? That would be me.

I did what any rational woman would do. I called my husband. Although he could hardly understand me through my shaking vocals, he quickly recommended that I speak with the auctioneer. I was sick….what if they wouldn’t let me ‘return’ it ?? what if I had just spent $3500 of our hard earned dollars on this big, ancient beast that really wouldn’t hold any purposeful spot on our farm?

I approached the back of the auction trailer and slowly opened the door (I might add that he was auctioning off the little red tractor whilst I was begging for forgiveness….oh the irony…) The woman who assists the auctioneer saw me and said  ‘Oh girl! Good for you for buying that tractor!! I was so proud of you!’… Ouch. My head hung low as I went on to explain that I had made a terrible misjudgement and was wondering if perhaps I could return my purchase, when the extremely loud auctioneer caught wind of my pleas. He did not release me in a gentle and forgiving manner, rather he roasted me within and inch of my life on his loud speaker and explained to the gathering crowd what I had just done. …

All I could think was ..Oh, Lord, take me now….if ever there was a perfect time in my life for rapture, this would be it.

I bore the shameful confession and apologized profusely when the auctioneer asked if I would please come and sit upon the little red tractor while he auctions it off…. I politely refused and walked away from the trailer with my knees knocking.

When The hubs finally found me, I retold the entire event from the corner I had currently been hiding in. The look on his face was of pure delight, He found such amusement over the whole ordeal. He made me repeat the woo-hoo and the fist pump wanting to see what kind of a spectacle I had made of myself…

You can thank him for photographing the tractors, he decided we needed proof of the event, and here, 2 years later…I guess I’m thankful to have them to show you.

I can just imagine the story that went home with the farmers that day … sitting around their dinner table telling the tale of the of the two tractors…and the crazy, fist pumping lady. *blush*

Simple Beauty…

February 5, 2013
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Just put this little sheboppy together….thinking of using it in our school room downstairs.

And I had a good peruse-y through some of my ol photos and loved this one of the girls…that tanned skin makes me drool for summer.

 


And then theres this ol fave:

 
 
Annnd one more for good measure …
 
 
 I ordered myself a whole whack of seed catalogues to stir that old dirt desire right up and get it percolatin’ through my green thumbs. This picture reminds me of when we moved in and lovingly planted all that triple rated, grade A, high-end, super pricey grass seed and ran out, so we spread a little extra over the whole she-bang …we found that ‘little extra’ in an old freezer at the farm…I do believe it should’ve been labelled properly as ‘Weed seed’ but alas…it was free…and we are cheap. So in doing so, we tainted the whole lot (heh heh…our whole lot..) with this beautiful specimen.
 
Of course, as we were diligent Dave Ramsey followers, we were waiting to ensure the proper fundage and best deal for our grass hacker .. and as we scoured the net and used equipment sites, the heavens opened and poured much needed rain all over our parched seeds. Seemed as though our ‘weed seed’ was extra strength and though most of our grass seed had dried up, that mustard flower was just a waitin’ for a drink.
 
Lo and behold a week later we had a full 2 acres of the most brilliant yellow, ya ever did see. T’was a sight to behold. A beautiful house in the midst of a field of flowing weeds. Wasn’t long before those weeds were knee high and full of bees. So much so, that our poor children couldn’t even run to the trampoline for fear of a sting.
 
I threw all good sense to the wind and bought the first lawnmower my eyes did see that had a reasonable price tag. It wasn’t green, I can assure you that. More of an aged orange..or terra cotta. To be honest, that first ride as it shook my internal organs and flung my body forwards and back with every move of my untrained hand (I was used to a foot control, like a car, not a hand control…like a car for the disabled..) I couldn’t have cared less. It was me against those freaking yellow flowers and it felt gooood. The wilder the better…if it was hurting me, it was hurting them more. ‘Take THAT you friggen flower freaks!! Ha haaa!!’  It was the pinnacle of power! And I WON.
 
They were gone. I woke up to brown cracked earth with slain yellow flowers strewn all about. I grinned smugly to myself as I sipped my morning coffee. Good Riddance.
 
It wasn’t until I had uploaded those early photos of the building lot and this little jewel popped up, that I actually saw the beauty in it all. The more I stared, the more I saw. What simple beauty I had missed. 


The Pond..

May 4, 2012
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There’s this place at the back of our 50 acres that brings me back to life every time I see it. It may not be much to some, but to me, it’s impossible to be there and not be filled with serenity.

Welcome to … The Pond.

This day the pond had a gently floating cover of tree fluff.

God is so good. He’s provided me with a place to ‘Be Still..’

Le Discing

May 4, 2012
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It’s there. Rumbling in the backyard. The big ol’ JD is waiting for this little lady (snicker) to get in there and get discing.
Ques que cest – le discing? you ask, well its something we lady farmers (snicker) do after plowing and before cultivating, to work the land in yet another manner..breaking down the clumps and clods and trying to prepare a luxurious seed bed for our…well…seeds.
As am I slightly inept at pulling large implements near fence rows, the hubs has taken it upon himself to disc the headlands for me (he really just needs his fix of the musty cab of the big green tractor, the dust flyin’, and the air seat bopping to the tunes of the christian station)

My Turn!

Grass

October 19, 2011
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It’s a blustery one here today. The goods are baked, the tea’s been sipped, and the lids are heavy.. I’m afraid these days are here to stay, too soon the wet dirt will be replaced with waves and ripples of freshly fallen snow. We’re hoping to see the little green sprouts come shooting up before the first snow fall, what a good feeling that’ll be, to see the grass give us a preview of 2012.

The lists are being made already…landscaping, gardens, clothesline, chicken coop… I’m sure my ‘outdoor file’ will be bursting by April.

Eden has made herself a nest on the floor, parked in front of tvo kids, and I think I may just join her…toots for now.

Snow bomb 2010

December 9, 2010
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The BIG snowstorm of 2010 resulted in almost 5 ft of the white stuff here where we live. And it’s still snowing as I post this. Kids were off for 3 snow days so far, and this morning we’re waiting to see if the 2 hr delay becomes day 4!
Hope y’all are staying warm!!

Final Wedding On the Farm

October 14, 2010
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This is Dwights sister on her wedding day…Isn’t she lovely? The wedding was here on the farm and although a bit drizzly it was a wonderful time for family to gather. This was back in August, and because I’m such a poor blogger … well you know.

This was the final wedding of the Garrett girls, all 5 are now in wedded bliss. Dwights mom is now considering a full time postition as a wedding planner, as she’s got it all down to an art :)

Foggiest.

November 21, 2008
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A foggy day back in the summer. As it’s snowing here right now, I just relish in the memory of slipping into my crocs, grabbing my camera and heading out into the morning mist. The dense humidity in the air, my nostrils inhaling both fog and oxygen.
I couldn’t see the cows in the field, but as I quietly called them in the thick blanket of silence, they appeared one by one. Trotting out of the clouds to investigate.
Gabe on Trike. Enjoying the ‘smoky’ day.
2 girls in the field.

Well worn road and line of maples.

Driveway.