Farmhouse Fling

Can you go home again?

Attic Find April 27, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — diskam @ 3:22 pm

I found an old map case in the attic.  I assume it’s a relic from the schoolhouse across the way, but I don’t really know.  It seems a little old for that.  One of the posters is copywrited in 1904, and can only be described as ‘pro-prohibition’.

That seems a little strong, doesn’t it?  So does this:

I wonder what sort of fact checking they did in the early 1900’s.

I wonder if this is the 1904 equivalent of “This is your brain on drugs.”  Frankly, it’s more entertaining than it is frightening, but maybe the thought of appearing in public in a red undershirt was a deterrent in 1904.  It’s interesting that women are barely mentioned, this is clearly aimed at the men of the era.


Springtime April 20, 2010

Filed under: Farming — diskam @ 5:43 pm

It’s springtime here on the farm.  It’s time to for Dad to work the ground:

I do NOT miss the days when it was my job to wash the tractors.  Although they were never as bad as the combine.  That was a dirty scrungy mess to clean, and there is no way to do it without getting pretty scrungy yourself.

When they’re ready to move to the next field, the sides of the implements fold up to make it easier to travel down the road.  Well, and it keeps them from taking out every sign on both sides of the road between this field and the next.

After the ground has been worked, they’re ready to plant.

Here my brother is planting end rows, the rows around the edges of the field.  The tractor is run manually while doing the end rows, so the marker is down on this side of the planter to make a rut so he can see where to plant the next pass.

The markers are up on both sides here because the tractor is steering by GPS.  The computer calculates where the tractor needs to be in this pass in relation to where it was in the last one and moves accordingly.  The driver only needs to turn at the end of the field and then the steering takes over.  The system also has a handy alarm as the tractor approaches the end of the field just in case the driver isn’t paying attention.

The planter folds too, otherwise it would be much too wide to go down the road.  Corn seed comes in sacks (think a giant bag of dog food), and is loaded by hand into the yellow bins.  It didn’t occur to me at all to get pictures of that.  I’ll try to get some shots before they finish.


Picnic April 12, 2010

Filed under: small town — diskam @ 12:19 pm

Saturday night we had a spur of the moment picnic at Harper’s, a farm located a mile or so from our house.  It’s where we did this last fall.

These picnics usually go like this:  Someone decides to have an outing within the next couple of hours.  Some frantic phoning begins where we call whoever happens to cross our minds and whoever can come shows up.

Everyone brings their own chair, drinks and food.  Sometimes we go as far as having a fire, and people bring hotdogs etc.  Usually though, it’s just whatever people happen to drive through on the way.  Oh, and everyone always seems to bring a dessert.  There were 13 of us Saturday and we had three desserts.  Actually, when Pete’s involved, no one really needs to bring anything.  He’ll have enough food, drink and chairs, napkins, garbage bags, plastic silverware, plates and whatever else crosses his mind to take care of the whole town.   

The kids play in the timber and come home muddy, damp and very very tired.

Buster usually has a blast sniffing everything in sight, although he is careful to take breaks to remind everyone how close he is to fading away for lack of food.

I thought for a minute or two about crossing this log:

But I came to my senses before I got halfway across.  Actually it was the camera holding me back.  I wouldn’t mind falling in (well, not that much) but I’d be really irritated if I ruined the camera.


Treasure Hunting March 26, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — diskam @ 4:13 pm

The kids are on spring break this week and Tuesday was a gorgeous gorgeous day.  They played outside in the morning, and then made themselves a picnic.  As far as I could tell, the picnic consisted mostly of bacon and was shared equally between the kids, the dog and the cat.

I’ve asked them several times in the last few weeks to pick up sticks under our trees so we could burn them.  Finally I insisted that they get it done.  So we spent an hour or so picking up the bigger branches and making a pile out in the field.  Then, not for the first time, we were distracted by shiny things.

In the field near our back door is an area that once must have taken the place of our weekly garbage pick up.  It’s got pieces of tile, random bits of brick, broken up cement block that looks like it once was the foundation of something, and shards of pottery that make me feel like an archeologist.  In amongst it all, there are lots of pieces of glass.  We spent over an hour hunched over looking at the ground, occasionally performing spontaneous happy dances when we found an especially pretty piece.  Anyone driving by must have wondered what on earth we were doing.

We have a family friend with a beachside cottage.  She has a small dish with pieces of sea glass that she’s found over the years.  Those pieces are frosted from the sand and all the edges are gently rounded.  These are still sharp and jagged although I imagine some of them were in the field for decades before we pulled them out.  SNL and the shards ‘o glass gift for children kept running through my head.  Still, in the right light (and with a good scrubbing) they’re quite pretty.

I also found this little marble, stuck the roots of a corn stalk.  I have no idea how long it’s been out there.  I checked with Dad, he says it’s not his.  I think it must be older, it’s not really round and it’s got little air bubbles in it.  But I don’t really know that much about marbles so it’s just a guess.  I suppose I should just look around for someone who looks like they might be missing a marble or two and ask if it might be theirs.


Happy Birthday! March 5, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — diskam @ 12:53 pm

Happy Birthday Grandpa, we miss you!


Gallbladders and Eyes, Oh My! March 4, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — diskam @ 5:29 pm

Late one night last October I came home to find Pete curled up on the bathroom floor.  I called my mom to come watch the kids and I drove him into the hospital.  The 30 minute drive was one of the longest of my life.  Not that it was life-threatening, just that he was so miserable the entire way.  Well, that and he was barfing.  30 minutes of close quarters barfing is a lot.

We got to the hospital (Which, incidentally, is just a couple of blocks from our old house.  He could have crawled it if we’d still lived there.) and he paused long enough in the parking lot to tell me that if we found out it was nothing, I needed to bring him out and hit him until something broke.  He didn’t want my mother to have come to our house at 10:30 for nothing.  I assured him that I would be happy to help, but the doctor ended up diagnosing him with a wonky gallbladder.

We spent the next several weeks arguing over when he should have it out.  He wanted to wait until he was less busy at work, a state of affairs that I suspect will coincide with his retirement.  I thought he should have it out ‘rightthisveryminute’ going with the argument that if he had another attack in the middle of a blizzard in January he’d have to walk to the hospital because we wouldn’t be able to drive down the lane.  Very few things have made me feel as isolated in the country (and sort of like I’m living in 1873) like the knowledge that if there’s an emergency in the winter, there is a chance that we would not be able to get ourselves to help or help to us.

In the end, we ended up waiting.  Not because either of us really agreed with the other one’s position, but because the doctor that was recommended wasn’t added as an agreed provider to our insurance plan until just recently.  Really, it was worth the wait.  Today he had the pesky thing out.  And he’s already apologized 10 times for not being nicer when I had laproscopy surgery a few years ago.  Which makes the whole thing TOTALLY worthwhile in my opinion.

Then there was me.  After all my “What if there’s a blizzard and we’re stuck” talk, I ended up with an eye infection in January.  It bothered me for a few days, and I didn’t do anything about it.  Then a blizzard hit and I couldn’t do anything about it.  I finally ventured out to have it checked at Promptcare, only to get halfway there and realize that it was A Very Bad Idea for me to have driven myself.  When I finally made it in, the doctor assured me that the eye would be completely better by the next day, or the day after at the latest.  The day after my eye was even worse, but our lane looked like this:

There was no way our little car was going to make it down there.  So I put off a follow up appointment.  Until the next day when the eye was much much worse.  I ended up calling my parents to drive me to the eye doctor when I realized there was no realistic way a.) that I was going to get down the lane and b.) even if I could manage the lane, there was no way that I was going to be able to keep both eyes open long enough to make a 30 minute drive to the eye clinic.

Anyway it should be spring soon, and we’re both on our way to better health.  Next year I’ll be insisting on full physicals for all of us before the snow flies.  Being cooped up is no fun, being cooped up and sick is even worse.


Buster March 1, 2010

Filed under: Buster — diskam @ 11:22 am

Buster loves the snow.

He’s also a fan of cat poop and anything that’s been dead for more than a week, so I wouldn’t take him too seriously.