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.


 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.

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!

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

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Christmas break 2013 . . .

Christmas 2013 has come and gone . . . even though I am STILL on Christmas break!  The weather has been so cold here that school has been cancelled for now the THIRD day in a row.  Certainly no complaints from me.  In fact, it has given me a few days to do all the projects I have wanted to do over the break, but didn't do because I spent WAY TOO MUCH TIME watching online television shows.  :)

This past break started out with all of us sick for two to three days.  And then just about a day or two before Christmas we all got our "sorts" back and started watching the television series of ALIAS.  Three to four episodes a day, with some food and chores intermingled, made up most of the days.  We did do a couple of outings, like ice skating, and visiting friends, but most of the time was spent watching shows.  (now we are on the first series of LOST)

For Christmas this year I got the children the types of things they wanted/needed.  It seems the older they get, the harder it is to find things that they will enjoy and use.  I spend most of the year listening to the types of things they talk about, then try to use the information I gather to get them items the really want.  It is always a guessing game for parents, and I am glad that I have the type of children that are content with whatever I give them.  And this year was no different.  It seemed that they all were elated with what I got for them, and what they got/made for each other.

And we also made some newer updates to the house this season as well.  Since our oven went out several months ago, (we do have a basement kitchen with an oven/and a wood cook oven as well) I replaced the old oven with a new scratch/dent buy that I got a GREAT deal on.  And it was the EXACT same size as the hole in the cabinet.

 And since I replaced the oven with stainless steel, I sold the fairly new white refrigerator to a friend, and got the matching Frigidaire side by side refrigerator.  Something that I had originally wanted anyway.
 And then there was the white dish washer that we never used.  We always hand wash the dishes, so I removed the unit and replaced it with a storage barrel and our old style ice cream maker.  I plan to have a cabinet built in it that matches the rest of the kitchen.
 And since the children were young, we always had the same chairs/love seat that we used in the music room.  They are all older now and often spend time in that room playing music with friends.  I wanted to create a more comfortable place for them to "be," so I replaced the older pieces with a couple of gently used items.  A friend from town that owns a used furniture store gave me a great deal on some used Ashley Furniture pieces that now complete the music/living room.
 And today was the day to take all the decorations down.  :(  I LOVE having Christmas decor for the holiday time.  Down came the tree, and the snowflakes that the children cut and taped to the door.
I am jazzed that I have another day of this break time tomorrow.  I'll probably spend the time shoveling so I can drive the car down the lane for school on Thursday.  That's IF we have it!