EMZ-Piney Post

Quilting, Farming, Variety

Friday, July 13, 2018

One of God's Greatest Gifts

I have always thought one of God's greatest gifts to us is music; those seven notes, infinite ways of expressing happiness or sorrow, solo or in harmonic chords and cadence. Even the birds can sing the notes from God.

If ever I've been envious of something, it's the musical ability some people have to play instruments by ear. Mama's family was a family of music makers, by voice and instrument: fiddles, guitars, pump organ, and brothers and sisters gathering round one another and singing those notes from God.

I always wanted to play the piano. Miss Pauline came to the school auditorium each Wednesday to give piano lessons to those whose parents could afford 50 cents each week for a lesson. I could hear those notes -- learned them by heart -- yearned to play them.

In the spring of 1955, Daddy had sold his horses and bought a little John Deere tractor. He hitched the horse-drawn plows, planters, etc. to the tractor, taught me to drive, and I helped him put in the crop of sorghum cane and cut the hay. As the school term approached, he agreed to pay for piano lessons, so I took the money I had earned working in the peaches and he bought a piano for me; a $100, big, heavy, not-so-pretty piano, but it had the seven notes from God. I ordered a "note finder" to slip over the center keys and before lessons started I was picking out tunes.
I whizzed through the beginners' book; after all, I knew those little lessons by heart, and by December I was ready for my first recital. I felt a bit out of place, being fourteen years old and playing pieces along side elementary students. All went well until the ending and I had to cross my right hand over my left; of course I played the wrong note -- one time.
Mama made a "formal" for me to wear; lots of nylon net in a light green color.

I only took lessons that one year; I had learned enough to play hymns at church and it just seemed I had come to the end of my being able to learn the more difficult pieces. These last few years, when my cat stayed inside, I didn't play much; it seemed to annoy him. I'm rusty at playing now, the piano is out of tune, but I'm feeling an urge to try again, because I love those notes from God, written in praise to him.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

A New Chapter in My Life

Yesterday I started a new chapter in my life.  I became great grandmother to a 7lb 4oz  baby girl, Emalyn Claire.  I haven't seen her yet, only a picture right after her birth.  Of course she's beautiful!  I'm Mama Charlotte to the grand kids, so now I suppose this makes me Great Mama Charlotte. ;) 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018


The farmer has cut hay again, and as hot as the day was it was ready to bale the next day.  The drought is taking a toll on things so there were only 27 bales, but hey, every bale counts. It takes a lot of hay for the cattle.  Some days, this past winter, he put out as many as seven to eight bales each day.

We enjoy raising cattle even with all the work that goes with it.  In the spring we freeze branded our heifers for identification in case one wanders away or gets stolen.  This method didn't seem to bother them as much as branding them with a hot iron, and I liked it much better with no stench of burning hair.  When the hair grows back it is supposed to be white and should show up well.

After our encounter with the neighbor's dogs killing two of our calves a couple of years ago, he has kept them at home and we haven't had a problem with them since.  But, some of our calves kept stepping through the barbed wire fence onto his property.  To put a stop to that, we've just had 1500 feet of steel pipe fencing put up between us and another neighbor, and some cross-fencing that made a large pen connected to the barn lot.  This pen will be useful when we are weaning calves.

And while the welders were here, we had fencing built along the feed troughs.  Now we can pour feed into the troughs without lifting the heavy buckets over the fence.   Gotta make it easier for these old farmers.

Something else on the farm:  spring kitties

and 50,000-plus week old chicks.

It's a wonderful life!

Almost everyone who commented on the last post mentioned how busy I am.  Now I don't mean for it to sound that way because I'm not out all the time working.  I make time to do sewing or quilting projects.  For instance, I'm quilting a baby quilt now and I'm certainly not enjoying it!  There are too many seams to cross and my stitches can't be as small as I like to make them.  All in all, I feel better when I'm busy.


Thursday, June 7, 2018

Hot, Dry Farm Work

Everyone complained about how cool April was and then how fast the hot weather came in May.  Well, here we are in June, expected to be hot and humid, and everything is dry.  Perfect weather for cutting and baling hay. 

We started the hay season yesterday and continued today.  I wondered, at age 70, if I could make it through that season, and here I am at 77, still in control of my senses and physically able to drive the tractor and rake the hay for the farmer.  

You never know exactly what to expect when doing farm work.  Take today for instance: I was raking the last of the hay when I noticed something on the right front tire.  Assuming it to be a stick I decided it needed to be removed, so I put the tractor in neutral, set the park brake and got out to see what it was.  Surprise of all surprises!  This is what it was!

A deer shed!  Deer antlers grow in the spring, mature in the summer, then are shed in the winter.  They are rarely found in nature because they are eaten by rodents since they are rich in calcium and other nutrients.  Anyway, a rodent didn't find this one, I did!  I had sense enough not to pull it out of the tire and when the farmer caught up with me, he took a small saw from his tool box and cut it off, leaving a "plug" in the tire.

I watched the tire carefully all the way home to make sure it wasn't going flat.  The farmer took it off and has taken it to town to have the tire repaired.

Another incident to record in our journal of farm happenings.

Stay cool,

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Finally!!  A beautiful warm spring day!  The sweatshirt needs to be shed in exchange for a cotton shirt.  When spring comes, even if the days are still cold, do you have a yearning to put seeds and plants into the ground?  I certainly do, and so I buy flower seeds, sow them into little containers filled with potting mix, and set them in the south window to germinate.  Like a hawk, I watch them every day for the first signs of tiny sprigs of green.  They're my babies to take care of; now how much do I water them?  Are they drying out?  Are they too crowded in the containers?  Maybe I should take a few and set them outdoors.  Then comes another spell of freezing temperatures and strong winds, even a heavy rainfall and poof! they're gone.   My hopeful green thumb just turned into a discouraged brown.  But, on this warm day, I transplanted a few and kept them on the porch.  These are coleus plants:

One day I happened onto a very interesting blog, https://www.gypsyfarmgirl.net/ and fell in love with the March 21, 2018 post about using rusty finds as flower pots.  I realized there were several rusty things around the farm, so I dug this old chicken feeder from the metal heap and planted hens and chicks in it.  I think it looks great!  Hope it fills up with "chicks".

We haven't always had access to plastic pots and they aren't nearly as interesting as the rusty things.  Old coffee cans, lard buckets, chipped dishpans and cooking pots, and even old washtubs made excellent planters years ago.  I can remember the farmer's grandmother's pretty flowers that sat around the edge of her porch: begonias, geraniums, petunias.  And she was always willing to share   cuttings from them, a perfect way to start new plants.

They grew strong, thick stems, overflowing with blooms, in a rich mixture of soil and manure from the barn; no puny potting mix.

I have a few more old containers and when the weather brings in spring for good, there I'll be with that hopeful thumb.  Do you plant in plastic or rusty?  Is your thumb green or brown? 


Friday, March 30, 2018

New Apron

This apron was quite a challenge.  It was big and full to work with; I had to make bias edging, baste, rip out, baste again; on and on.  I think it is a pinafore apron.  The pictures are not good; I don't have anyone to model it for me, nor do I have a dress form to display it on, just the good old bed. ;)  First is a close-up of the fabric and the bottom front:
The whole front view:
Upper front view:
Back view:
The Pattern, which I don't plan to use again ~ soon, that is:

 There is a copyright number for the year 2007, but it might still be available.  I've had it for several years.  The contrasting color bias would have been nice on my apron but I couldn't fine anything that matched well enough to use.

Oh well, one never knows without trying. 


Saturday, March 17, 2018

Pass It On

This is all that's left of my favorite sweater
after I decided to pass it on to Isabelle.
I had worn it until it had holes.  She loves it!  And, see her new sneekers?  They were a Christmas present from me.

The little picture on the washstand is one of my mother around the age of three.