Sunday, December 21, 2014

1/2 century, bicentennial farm, millennial kingdom, eternal living...

WOW! What a landmark in time for my life this year. This is the BIG 50 for me. And I am SOOO glad.

For years I have always enjoyed the idea of getting older. I welcomed the gray, the pains, and the seasoned attitude about life. I am not sure why, but I have always liked the idea of becoming an older man. And now the time is here. I can actually say that I am an "old" man.  And I like it! As a result, some of my students at school call me grandpa now, and I am growing to like the endearing term.

Meanwhile....back on the farm. My newest work has been to restore the barn doors that were taken out years ago for the beef operation that was in operation here. A new neighbor friend needed a barn taken down, so I am helping by salvaging the doors and adding them to my barn. I am trying to keep the look of the barn the age that it is by not adding new material to it. This next spring I will be cutting them apart, and adding hardware to make them Dutch Doors.  YEAH!



 This is the back side of the machine barn that I was able to build a door for as well. I just attached it with a few screws for now, since it is so cold out, and come spring, will attach it to the track.

 And in the weigh station I created another needed door to to keep some of the wind out of the barn. Last summer I had the scale area filled with dirt, and now use this area to park the big van.

 And the inventing is still in swing. Since I freeze practically everything, I came up with this structure that would hold a ziplock bag without using my hands. I am able to set the bag on it, pour what I need into it from a pot, a pan, or the sink, and it holds itself up. The day after I made one I took it to school and sold EIGHT of them to teacher friends. My next stop.....SHARK TANK! :)
 And a few weeks ago I created Scarlet, another one of the sassy pigs I have been working on at school. She is a librarian fit with hipster glasses and a nose stud. The next one, Fong, is already started, and I am finishing her hair when I return from break.
 Phone photo from my back porch of the pond a few weeks ago. Did I mention that I love living here on the farm?

Friday, October 31, 2014

on the creative side . . .

Got to love those crazy kind of conversations you have with your children.

                                    video

 Gresham is going to public school this year. And part of the public school experience is sometimes not knowing what is going on, or where things go! In this case, he had made some artwork during art class and is not really sure where the artwork ends up. I found it considerably funny because I am actually and ART TEACHER in the public school system. Not as his school though. And I know the ins-and-outs of it from the teacher's perspective, and now get to hear it from the student's point of view.

Some random phone photos from this past summer/early fall. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE living here on the farm.
 And a couple of my newer inventions...I do think that I should have become an engineer/inventor. This is the undergarment/sock carousel. It fits up to 70 items and swings with the wind! It helps by giving us more space on the lines. Made from a upcycled cycle rim.
 And my laundry basket/bag jack stand. I used a restaurant jack stand as a model for it, and made it to fit in an unused section of the bathroom closet.
And at school I am currently on a "decorating the pig" kick. We had a United Way penny drive and each class decorated a pick to put in the display case. I decorated this one for the Office, and worked on another the other day for the United Arts (art, pe, music teachers) team. It's one of those things that once I get into something, I run with it!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

best of both worlds . . .

Love so many things happening on the farm, and elsewhere! Asher, and a new FOUTFOLK FARM friend spent a few hours butchering a goat the other day. It was a great experience for him to process another animal and help create a business here at the farm.

 And last week I took a few of my people to the BEST amusement park in the world! Cedar Point. Since they had not been to a park like that before, it was hard to get used to the crazy rides.
 Nolan, Cail and I spent most of the day riding the LARGE, FAST rides like this one.

Even though it is nice to go to the city, and do the park things once in awhile, it is still great to come home to the quite, peaceful farm. It's like we have the best of both worlds.

Friday, June 27, 2014

graduation dance . . .

Yet another one done with schooling here at home!



This past week was our celebration of Amory's High School Graduation.  And we did it with a BARN SQUARE DANCE. Instead of following the traditional graduation party with stuffy old people sitting around eating and talking, and having the graduate thank them for coming while they hand them cards and money, we decided that we would throw a party that had all the participant, young and old, have to interact with one another and learn something new.
It was a fun night for us here. And it seemed that almost all that attended had a great time as well.
HAPPY GRADUATION AMORY

Thursday, May 1, 2014

spring garden . . .

I am right in the midst of the whole 2014 garden thing again!  And it seems like spring comes, and then I am suddenly thrusted into the larger picture and find myself wanting to just till a small garden spot, and throw the plants in it.

Instead, I am going to stay focused, and continue to remind myself that I am doing the work for the future of the soil.  That I am not going to sell out and just "plant a garden" knowing that I am tearing away the life from the soil.  That I am actually trying to do something that BRINGS life back to this hard, clay ground.

These are the permanent rows that are going in the third garden spot. They appear diagonal but they are actually curved in an "S" shape.  We lay a two foot wide path of manure down and then space them with a two foot walking path that is covered with mulch.  This week I am in the process of covering the beds so that the grass and weeds won't have a chance to get any larger than they already are.
 The greenhouse is finished with the seed trays now.  I experimented with heat/temperature control in there and have now the ground mulched and electricity out to it.  I bought an electric blanket off of Ebay and am using it at a seed tray heater to keep the soil at an even 80 degrees.
 At night, when I have the lights on, it looks like a beacon for gardeners! It's about 300 feet from the house and it's pretty to see all lit up at night.  The beams of light shoot up to the sky refracting through the glass.
 And behind the greenhouse Gresham and I have made a wood sculptural obstacle course.  The disks of wood were dropped off by the tree company that gave me all the mulch. We arranged them so we could jump from one to another, and play follow the leader on them
Did I mention that I LOVE spring on the farm?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

10 years later . . .

MANY years ago, Miss Leisa came on one of her many visits to the US.  That year was 2004.  And since she is here now, EXACTLY 10 years later, it was only appropriate to take another photo just like the one back then.  This photo is the one now, with some of the children grown, some a lot older, and a new addition to the family.  

Sunday, February 9, 2014

ice skating . . .

Over the Christmas break this year I took the children ice skating. This is the seven year old at it!
video

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Let it snow. . .

The weekend has brought another surprise, snow! Actually not a surprise at all, being that we have had PLENTY of snow these past couple weeks. Nevertheless, the aftereffect of the latest snowfall was BEAUTIFUL . . .














Our beautiful foal. . .

We now have an official "flock" of sheep!





These past couple days have been those of enjoying the snow, from the comfort of right next to the stove :)




Post by MacyAnne

Saturday, January 25, 2014

traction . . .

Ask me how happy I am with my new/used car.  Go ahead, I DARE YOU.  :)

Two weeks ago I bought the car that I have been wanting for YEARS.  A Black, Volvo Station Wagon.  I know, it seems like an old man's car, but hey, I AM an old man.

It is a 2002 AWD V70 with leather heated seats, and a trunk that is waist high.  Since I bought it I put new brakes on, and just now had to replace the steering wheel pump.  But since I got a great deal on it, it was not a big deal to get those things fixed.  In fact, I still have spent WAY less than the KBB suggested price for it.

The traction on it is excellent, and the features on the car make my ride to school a pleasure.  And since I have newer wheels to get me to and from, I gave the girls the Chevy Malibu as "their" car to run themselves around.  Amory takes it to college two days a week, and both Amory and Macy use it to get to orchestra practice together.  And since Macy has orthodontist appointments, she schedules her own times and drives herself there.  YEAH for me.


Thursday, January 23, 2014

downloading files . . .

For me, backing up files/photos is not necessarily fun work to do.  Maybe that's why I never got into the IT world.  However, what is fun, while doing it, is going through old photos of the children and LAUGHING about the types of things we did with them when they were younger.  Hence, the 2003 Halloween costumes made from recycled clothes!  Which, by the way, seems like only yesterday to me.
 And speaking of yesterday, my little baby girl became an adult!  YIKES.  Now I have two grown children and time seems to be going even faster than it ever has.

Amory,
You have been a JOY to have and to watch grow.  I could not be happier about who you have become.  Let God direct and guide you.  Love people like they are your family.  Enjoy the time you have with your family and friends (it goes by quickly).
HAPPY BIRTHDAY