Friday, September 7, 2018


Today I'm feeling weary; blog weary.  It has reached the point where I don't seem to be able to come up with any subjects of interest to anyone.  Oh, there are the faithful few who comment each time I post something and I'm thankful for them, but it really isn't worth my effort or the time it takes to prepare a post now.   I know a lot of people have gone to Facebook, which I don't do, nor do I text, so perhaps that has taken its toll on blogging.

When I first started writing for the blog, it was to be about my quilting, but I never found many women who wanted to share words with me about this.  I made a few dolls, doll clothing, and stories from my childhood to write about.  I'm a FarmHer, and only one other person connected with me on work I do in the chicken houses and on the farm.

So, for now I'm going to be absent from my blog.   I'll continue visiting your blogs.

Thank you, and may God bless each of you.

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. ;) 

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,

Monday, March 12, 2018

Farm Update ~ Winter into Spring ~ 2018

At the end of last summer,  an eighty something row crop farmer told my farmer, "Well, I made it through another year!"  We felt a little the same way, having completed the hay season.   The last day we baled I was so tired that night I couldn't go to sleep for a while.  The rains were just right last summer for the meadows to produce grass for more than one cutting.  The farmer says we put up 1400 round bales of hay; that's a lot of grass and more than enough to feed the cattle for a year, but it's always good to have extra in case next summer is dry.

Of course row crop farmers can call an end to their harvesting "another year", but with chicken farmers it's "what goes around, comes around" with no noticeable beginning or ending to a new year.  We have just finished the first flock of chickens for this year, having had to keep them for eight weeks, longer than any we have ever raised.  The company wants a larger bird; I suppose consumers demand larger portions to eat.  When we first started raising chickens they rarely weighed as much as four or five pounds in six weeks times; however the word obesity was rarely heard of either.

Because of my cataract surgery last spring, we didn't have much of a garden, but by late summer we planted peas and I froze enough for the winter.  A lot of our fall and winter weekends would find us getting in firewood for the furnace.  The farmer took the tractor and dump trailer to the edges of the fields and brought in logs which he sawed into usable lengths, then split them with an attachment on the front of the BobCat.  I loaded the pieces onto the bed of the side by side and brought them to the house to stack.

In December, the farmer was sick; he thought he had the flu but it wasn't anything like I remember the flu being.  He continued feeding the hay and helping in the chicken houses then spending the rest of the day in his recliner.   Much of the Christmas joy was lost because we both felt bad for a while.  On the 21st of December we had been married for 57 years.

The Christmas card from our older grandson and his wife announced that we would be great grandparents in July, and since their "reveal" party we know the baby will be a girl; our first.

 The month of January was mostly very dry but we did get about two inches of snow and around 10 inches of rain fell in February.  Although everyone thought we had a really cold winter, I didn't think it was too bad.

I stayed busy in the sewing room too;  two aprons,

  two quilt tops, one large top and one baby top 

two baby quilts,

and two crocheted baby blankets.
The quilts and tops were all made using scraps; however, not to worry, I didn't use near all of them.

And now spring is upon us; robins are scratching through the old leaves, buttercups are waving in the March winds, and the cattle are searching for every little sprig of green they can find.  We'll start a new flock of chickens in two weeks and then only a short span of time until it'll be back to the hay meadows to start "through another year".


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Pictures and Cameras

This week I have started a project of scanning  old pictures from albums: the kind of albums with sticky pages and plastic coverings.  Over the years, most of the coverings have come lose and many of the pictures have come unstuck, falling out when the albums are opened.  I had also taken out a lot of the pictures to use when I wrote my book for the grandchildren.  Mama had given me two of her albums and others to my sister.  There are several pictures with no name(s), and while I remember some of them I want to record the ones I do know.

We didn't have a camera when I was little, so there are very few pictures from my early childhood. The pictures I have were mostly made by relatives who had come to visit my grandma, and some by the local photographer whose office was up a long flight of stairs in a building downtown on Main Street. 

Working with these pictures made me think of my passion for cameras in years past.  ( I wrote about the first camera I had in a post for August 17, 2011, The Camera.)   My sister, Wanda, bought a real camera while she was in high school and  my first real camera was given to me when I was in high school.  We only used black and white film; colored pictures were just too expensive for us. 

When the Farmer and I became seriously involved, we each chipped in $15.00 and ordered a 35mm camera from Sears, Roebuck, which was replaced several years later by a better 35mm, and we were able to make colored slides with it.  We took lots and lots of black and white pictures of our little girls too (duplicates show up everywhere!), especially after the Farmer began developing his own film.  He set up a darkroom in the bathroom and when the two oldest girls were teens, photography became a hobby for them.   (My maternal grandfather had his darkroom set up in his cellar in the 20s and the pictures were printed on postcard sized paper.)

How things have changed in just the last few years!  I now have a small digital camera but I can't take very good pictures with it because of hand tremors.  It has advantages over those first cameras though.  With those first black and white pictures, it might take weeks to complete the roll of film, then the roll had to be packaged up and mailed to be developed, and then returned, only to find some of the pictures were no good.  New cameras give one the option to delete anything she doesn't like.

And now there's the cellphone technology: instant viewing and sharing, even videos.  What can possibly be next?

Whew!  This is long!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Year 2016

When the year 2016 began, I thought it would be interesting to keep a calendar record of the days we had chickens.  I marked off each week with a colored marker and this was the result:

  Overall it was a good year for us.  However, with the growing demand for antibiotic-free products, we felt the results toward the end of the year.  It means we lose more birds but the cost of the utilities remains the same and our work increases.  

We had a very good year for hay, baling around 1100 round bales of good quality hay.  There were  at least 100 calves sent to market.  I missed out on working the cattle this fall; the farmer had three men who came and helped so I lost the job of catching them in the head gate, having ear tags ready, and keeping records on which cow or calf got what.  I like working the cattle; as I have mentioned before, it sends a flow of adrenalin through a person to get right in the middle of them and sort them into different pens.

2016 saw us reach the age of 75, still able to do the work with only an occasional Aleve, and a blood pressure pill for the farmer.  Our oldest granddaughter got married in December and the youngest grandchild turned 18 in November.  How fast they've grown up!

There was plenty of rain, except for one dry spell, to have a good vegetable garden.  I froze lots of purple hull peas, okra, and greens.  The dry spell came just as the corn was putting on ears so there was no corn this year.  The peas, tomatoes, okra and greens continued to produce into October.

I'll leave the sewing room projects for another visit.  Thanks to all who have stopped by to leave a comment even when I was lazy about blogging.  


Saturday, July 16, 2016

Mystery Solved

Ilene, aka therockwhisperer, identified the plant as an amaranth, the species being Love Lies Bleeding.  She said she has been trying for years to get one started.  And here I have cut the plants down!  The weeds we have in the pastures are also from the amaranth family and they take over if left.  They have sharp stickers and make millions of seeds; it's a terrible plant to have in a vegetable garden.  Maybe this plant wouldn't have been so aggressive but I just couldn't take the chance.  There are a lot of good pictures of its blooms on the internet and I'll admit, it's an interesting plant.

So thanks, Ilene, for sharing your knowledge.  Wish you could have had these plants.

And, thanks for all who commented about the mystery plant.


After reading some latter comments, I wanted to add that the flower in my header photo is called a Spider Lily.  They reseed every year, although I've never been able to get one started from purchased seeds.