Saturday, November 20, 2010

first through sixth . . .

We lived in a small two bedroom home on the edge of our little town.  In fact, half of the road was considered city, and the other half of it was country.  I was fortunate to see both worlds of country and city.  On one hand, I was part of a neighborhood, and then on the other hand, I was able to watch farmers plow beans, wheat, and corn annually.  And I was able to track back into the woods and pick berries during the fall.  I also enjoyed running through the corn fields!

It wasn't until I was a little older, probably by the time I was eight or so, that my dad built a new room onto the house where my brothers and I moved.  Prior to that, my sister shared a room with her two younger brothers.  That was probably a drag for her.  I was elated to move to our HUGE bedroom and it was great to finally have space to fit our beds and our toys.

First grade to the sixth grade was a normal school experience filled with Christmas programs, eating in the cafeteria, and recess filled with fun.  I remember so many activities that happened during the years at Oaklief Elementary.  I distinctly remember sliding down the HUGE metal slide in the winter and sliding on the blacktop after the ride.  Once our class walked to the junior high to watch the high school play that was being performed that year.  They always did a dressed rehearsal performance for the elementary to work out all the bugs before opening night.  Since our school was so small, like our town, I spent my entire school years having a locker next to the same two people.  All the way through high school!

It was in elementary that I began to realize my art talent.  It seemed that my work, art work that is, was slightly better than the rest of the students.  They started recognizing me as the one that could "draw real well."  I am sure that set me up for the rest of my life as an artist.

Friday, November 19, 2010

metal/concrete graveyard find . . .

Here's another UP-CYCLED farm project that is now being used in the house.  Nolan and I came up with this idea after seeing an example of it in our copy of Back to Basics homestead book.

It started with some metal rings that we found out in the metal/concrete graveyard.  The metal/concrete graveyard is a place on our farm where the people before us (like ALL of the people before us) threw all the extra stuff that they did not want to deal with.  Currently we are digging through it to find treasure items like this to turn into functional tools for the home.

I cut a piece of wood for the bottom, screwed the rings in at a log's length, then attached the top together with some wire.  It works great to store wood in the house.  It is upright keeping all the wood off the surface area of the floor.  It also gives air the opportunity to flow through and dry the wood if need be.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

small . . . real small

This is me . . . when I was REALLY young. My mom had pictures of all of her children taken at three months old.  So this is what I looked like at three months.  That was forty-five years and some months ago. :)

I was born in 1964, in a small rural town in Ohio.  It was the kind of town where high school football was BIGGER than life, young people hung around the Dairy Queen parking lot to talk, and EVERYONE knew everyone's business.  It was small, real small.

I don't have any memories prior to kindergarten, but what I have been told is that I only weighed 5 pounds and 4 ounces.  Even though I was little, the doctors let me go home under the condition that I did not lose any of my ounces.  My mom said I kept my weight and was able to stay home.  :)  I was the second son, the third child, of John and Pat Fout.  Both my parents grew up in even smaller towns and moved to Kenton, Ohio where they spent most of the rest of their lives.  Six years after my arrival my parents had another son.  So the final count was three boys and one girl.

This is my very first school picture.  Kindergarten.  Oh the memories of Kindergarten.  :)  I attended a school quite far from my house so my mom drove me to school each day.  Like my brother and sister did before me, I went to Espy Elementary.  AM class for me for the year.  My mom said that we went to that school because no other elementary had kindergarten!

I remember sleeping on my rug during nap time, sliding down the metal slide at recess, and attending a birthday party once where I brought the little girl the exact same purse that four other boys brought her!  Those are just a few of the several memories I have of the first year of school.  All of which were good.  Thank God.

Friday, November 12, 2010

family scrapbook . . .

My last post got me thinking about something I wanted to do a few years ago, but never started it.  It was a fleeting thought, in the car as I was driving to school on day, that turned into a desire that just never developed.  Until now.

Along with that, a couple of years ago, I thought about my children getting older, marrying, and leaving my home.  (which makes me sad by the way)  I thought that this blog would become a "family" affair where all of us, no matter where we were, could contribute and tell our stories, to one another and others who wanted to read, and it be a family scrapbook of sorts.  It would also be a place where the children and grandchildren could "get to know" extended family members who did not live close enough to have frequent times to spend with each other.  It would be a place, a "story", that could be read to find out about one another.

With that in mind, over the next several weeks, I am going to add some personal posts that tell my story for my grandchildren's children to read.  Posts that tell about my life up to this point.  Snippets of who I am and how I got where I am today.  I want them (my great grandchildren) to be able to hear about where and how I grew up, the types of things I liked and hated, and to have a glimpse of who I was.  I want them to have a story to read that gives them a sense of who I was.  These posts being that story.

For those that are interested, follow along to get a peek into my world for a season.  For those that are not, I am still going to post updates on family life here on the farm, and include pictures of course.  You can just skip the personal posts!  :)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

us now . . .

It has been a VERY long time since we have taken a family picture.  For some reason, we just can't seem to get everyone on board with getting a picture with all of us in it.  It seems to never work.

However, today, we finally got a picture.  I look at pictures like this and think "is this all?"  wondering where everyone else is . . . as if there are others.

The Opel's visit was fantastic.  They shot arrows, rode on the Gator, rode Lady, cut some wood, and did a whole bunch of visiting.  It is refreshing to spend time with friends sharing ideas . . . experiences . . . our lives.  This weekend we heard the whole story of how Kurt and Anna met and the time leading up to their marriage.  We had fun laughing and sharing.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

This past summer the Opel family came to the farm to visit.  They live in Michigan now, but years ago their family and my family all attended the same church.  In CALIFORNIA!


Through a series of moves around the country (and in their case out of the country) our families have ended up only a couple of hours away from each other.  GREAT for us!  So last summer, when work brought them down to Ohio, they stopped in for an evening meal, a tour of the farm, and a nice time of good old fashion visiting.  It was great to see them again, and reconnect in a completely different context.

That evening they came was a time where we got to know each other a little better and discovered that our family vision and direction was following a similar path.  It was quite natural to ask them to come back down and spend some more time getting reacquainted and finding out more about how God has been changing our lives in a more agrarian sort of way.  As a result, this weekend they are coming to stay with us for a night!

I am thinking that it would be nice to have them put some farm clothes on and help us out with the many things that have to be done before the winter sets in.  We have walnuts to harvest, wood to cut, barn windows to replace, and barn doors to repair.  I am hoping they want to come a get their hands dirty with some real farm work!

If not, I am sure I'll be OK with being talked into sitting around in the warm house (it is 42 degrees out right now as I write) drinking some coffee and laughing a lot.