Our Home Away from Home!

Our Home Away from Home!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Ice Ice Baby...

And no, I'm not talking about the song. I am talking about this....


This is a burning bush, but today it wasn't so hot!! :)))))
This Arborvitae bush was bent over in 3 different directions.
Poor little birds had to use ice picks to get to their suet. But they were trying, I'm sure it was hard as a rock.
We were supposed to get rain, then as the front moved North it turned into freezing rain (again). Now we are supposed to get snow. 1-3" on Thursday. I never trust those amount numbers. Sometimes when they predict them we get twice as much. I have been amused at how every blog has something to do with the weather. Whether it is snow, wind, rain, cold, or sleet, but have not heard anyone complain about the warm temps and nice sunshine. We won't be either when we finally get there. People keep saying "can't wait for Spring", "where is summer", or "this winter has been so long." That is what makes ours easier to bear, reading that others are suffering too.
 
Look at my poor White Pine tree. But by laying down on the ground at least the limbs don't break off.
Gypsy, see my clothes line? Won't be hanging clothes out any time soon.
We had to go to town today to pick up a few items. We saw many limbs down, some of them were large, no trees, only limbs. We had a lot of little limbs down but no big ones. It was dangerous out there taking pictures, the ice was blowing off the limbs, larger than sleet. It didn't really hurt when it hit you just freaky.

It amazes me that these bushes can bend so severely and then straighten up with no damage.
This beautiful purple is the color of the Lilacs that are on this tree every year. And they smell soooo good! 
Well did I make any of you cold with this post? No, yes, well I was cold the wind was terrible this morning when we went to town. One thing about winter that is inevitable every year... it makes you appreciate Spring that much more when it arrives.  Best wishes from cold, wet, miserable, Indiana residents.

Monday, February 25, 2013

They Said it Not Me...todays Anonymous Funny!



 I had to post this anonymous comment. Boy do you get some strange ones. But I thought you would get a kick out of this one.  Just so you know I don't think any of you are "brain dead."  :))))))  Guess we have to laugh at them, annoying as they are. 

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Campsites, ducks, and lakes...Fall color too.":

I tend not to write many remarks, but I read a few of
the responses here "Campsites, ducks, and lakes...Fall color too.".
I do have a couple of questions for you if you don't mind. Could it be only me or does it look like a few of the comments appear like they are coming from brain dead visitors? :-P And, if you are writing at additional sites, I would like to keep up with everything fresh you have to post. Could you list of the complete urls of your social community pages like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Working on Our Future Home....

Our ice is all gone, the sun was so warm today, and it felt "good!"  I have good news, I am all finished with the wedding flowers and decorations.  The problem with doing it so far ahead is storing it.  I covered the bouquets and they are safe, the boutonnieres and corsages are in their plastic corsage boxes and they are safely packed away.  The bows, that is another story. You can't store them in boxes or they become squished. So I attached them to hangers with floral wire and then covered them with trash bags, see....



Now that the wedding responsibilities are over (except addressing invitations) I am focusing on the camper.  One thing I wanted to do was redo our lights we hang up on our awning. We looked and looked for new ones when we bought the trailer but I couldn't find anything I liked so I did the next best thing and made my own; all except the light bulbs.  I had strung the bears and the pine cones on a flower string I had bought and removed the flowers but was never happy with it because it didn't look like pine needles. I looked at the craft stores but was not paying $50 for a string of fake pine. So I waited until Christmas and bought garland. Here is when I started...



And this is the finished product. You see I love anything pine,  the cones,  the trees, the smell.  And we have some little black bears that we put in the camper for decorations. The girls bought me these bears, they were a light string but the bears are so dark they didn't show up so they said I could cut it up and use them this way if I wanted. And it turned out really cute.



One of the things I wasn't sure about in the trailer was what I was going to do for a spice rack. I use spices all the time and I didn't want to hang anything up or just stack them in the cabinet, as you can't find them that way. Art's sub at the post office gave him a gift card when he retired to a kitchen store, and we went up there Saturday to check it out. I'm glad we did as we found this neat spice rack you put in a drawer....

I was also lining shelves and drawers with the non slip lining and my back started to hurt so I turned on the fireplace and put my feet up and rested a bit. It sure was cozy!!

Then I looked out the back and saw this big round orange sun going down.....

I wanted to know if others are having problems getting the photos on your blog where you want them since blogger changed how we load them. They don't automatically go in the center, and when I move them they go where they want. Frustrating!!! We are under a Winter Storm Watch for Tuesday....funny isn't it?? Oh well this too shall pass. Best wishes from us to you.
See what I mean this picture was supposed to be above the writing, and when I previewed the blog, it  went below. Anyone have any suggestions or help. Thanks in advance.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Look What Came in the Mail Today??

I'll get to our weather in a minute. Art skated out and got the mail today and came in with some exciting news.  I don't know if any of you heard this but Barney, George and Laura Bush's dog passed away on Feb 3rd. He was sooooo cute. The girls and I loved to watch Christmas at the White House every year just to see Barney. Miss Beasley, his play mate was cute too. I was so sad to hear that he had died.  He was only twelve but had been battling Lymphoma and he couldn't fight it any longer. I don't care if you are a King, Queen, President, Hobo or one of us, when you loose a pet it hurts. And those that love dogs and have been through this know what you are going through. So I sent them a pet sympathy card. I never expected any kind of reply to a card but this came today. Art comes in and says, "got a card from George W Bush." like that happens all the time here.  I was a little more excited, having never received anything from a President before.


Now I'm sure they still have staff that handles all their mail, so I don't expect this was addressed by Laura. But I am sure they saw the card.


I saw where they had a portrait done of him and notice the number 43 I thought it was because he was the 43rd President. Well come to find out it is because George W Bush painted it himself. Since the Presidency he has been doing portraits of dogs and people and he signs them 43. Isn't that cool??


Don't really see how you get George out of that but I guess signing your name as much as a President does it isn't that neat. Of course I know this is a stamp and he didn't sign everything.  Not like receiving it from them personally but I was excited.

The weather ended up not being "quite" as bad as we had originally feared. The drive way was a sheet of ice this am but we didn't loose power. They flickered a couple of times last night and I thought, "well here we go" but they didn't go off. They said on the news this morning that there were mutiple accidents, but none seemed serious. I know there were numerous flights canceled at the airport, but since we weren't going anywhere, it didn't bother us.  We stayed put! Not going to risk falling and ruining our future plans.
Thank for all the comments on the weather, and I want to welcome the new followers to the blog. Hope you all enjoy our adventures, and I would love to hear from you!!
                                  
                                         Best wishes to all from Indiana

Thursday, February 21, 2013

We're Getting Ice and More on the Ice Storm Story...

Yes, we are getting ice. Little white pellets that sound like popcorn hitting the window. It turned over to snow about an hour ago but now it is back to sleet. The driveway is covered in ice. It is all sparkly and pretty just don't dare step on it. It is very slick, I tried when getting these pictures, so I came in raised the window and cheated....

                                                    Ice skating anyone???


The ice pellets are so big that the flash is making them shine like little stars. It sure is pretty you have to admit that.


This is the grill about an hour after it started at 7pm. It is protected by the house too so it was coming down pretty hard to get this covered already. No grilling tonight :)


We were/are ready for a power outage. We filled pitchers and these 5 gal water totes just in case. Not enough to last for too long but surely we wouldn't be without power for days again. Or maybe we could.... The news said we could get up to 1 inch of sleet with 1/4 inch of ice. As long as the wind doesn't get too bad we might be ok, that makes those limbs snap.

The news said there are several accidents as the roads are so slick. Schools and businesses are already delaying for 2 hours, but if it gets worse I'm sure they will cancel school.  Thank goodness none of us have to be out on the roads tomorrow. Hannah doesn't have school and well you know we don't have to go to work.

I forgot to tell you in my story last night about our ice storm nightmare that I also had an accident after the power came back on. My parents had come up to the house to see us and my Mom took some dishes home to wash for me, they were kind of stacked up. We decided to go out and pick up some limbs. I was already worn out, living like we were, hauling water to the animals, and trying to entertain a 4 yr old with no power. Some one asked why we didn't leave, well we couldn't because we had too many animals to care for and leaving your home in these conditions is so vulnerable. We did stay at my parents for a few days for a break. Anyway, after we had picked up some limbs we were walking back into the house on the sidewalk. My foot caught on an edge that was high and I feel "flat" on my face. I was carrying some items my Mom had brought and I couldn't catch myself. I had this big abrasion on my knee about the size of a half dollar. It didn't tear my jeans but sure messed up my knee. We called my OB doctor and he asked if I could feel the baby move, I said yes, and so he said I didn't have to come in. Good! I don't think I could have made it to the hospital. I think falling on the items (which by the way I broke into pieces) took the fall off my pregnant belly.  I remember my Dad and Art had to lift me up off the side walk, I had no energy to get up. I went in the house and sat down and cried. My knee hurt so bad, and it hurt for weeks. I still have a scar on my knee to this day and that was 22 yrs ago.
Hannah was born safe and sound, we had power and all went back to normal. Well as normal as it could be with a newborn and a toddler.
                                     So from an "icy" Indiana best wishes!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Ice Storm Nightmare!!

Tomorrow we are supposed to get sleet and freezing rain with an accumulation of ice up to 1/2 "!  "Every time" I hear ice I get a little paranoid, why? Because in 1991 we lived through one of the worst Ice Storms to hit Indiana. We were living in Frankfort, In at the time which is about 15 miles north of where we are now. I just happen to be 8 and 1/2  months pregnant with Hannah. One night it was very late after midnight and it started to sleet. Lindsay was 3 at the time with her 4th birthday party that following weekend. We had picked up her cake that day for the party knowing the storm was coming and wanted to be sure we could get it. The sleet was hitting our kitchen window and it sounded like it was the size of peas. Of course Art and I couldn't sleep and I ended up with horrible indigestion due to the pregnancy and the storm. I was sipping on some soup around 2 am when the power went out. Well great! We stepped outside to see what other houses were out and it was like a war movie. You could hear limbs and trees crashing everywhere, and it was so dark you couldn't see the hand in front of your face. Can you say, "Eerie" We went back inside and around 4 am we saw a flash light peering in our window, then it moved and went to another window, then another, all around the house. Let me tell you I almost had Hannah right there and then.
Art finally went out and it was the Sheriff's dept. My Mom was so worried about us with me being pregnant and all, and the phones were dead, with no cell phones yet, so she called them to come out and check on us.  Took me hours to calm down.

The next day was unbelievable!!!!!  It looked like a tornado had gone through. Trees, telephone poles, power lines were down every where. You couldn't drive down many of the roads due to the damage. The ice that had formed on our antenna on the truck was the diameter of a banana. Our fence was a solid sheet of ice about 2 " thick. I-65 was closed due to power poles ( you know those HUGE ones in fields) were down and lines were laying on the interstate. It was a mess!  We had animals at the time and being in the country we had no water, with our own well and no pump. So we had to go and get water in buckets from our friend in town, oh that was fun!  We were without power for 19 LONG miserable days.
We lived in the kitchen mostly with our stove heating the place. The county we lived in was declared a disaster and only emergency vehicles were allowed on the roads. So no birthday party. We didn't go hungry though because no party meant a huge cake for us to eat! Took me until the following year to be able to look at another piece of cake. So when they mention ice.....well you can only guess the memories that come flooding back. If you don't hear from me for a while you know we are without power...now that is not funny!

                                         So from Cold Indiana Best Wishes.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

40 More Days......

I cannot believe we have only 40 days left and then we will be full time rvers.  This winter has both dragged and flown by. Some days it seems they will never end and others are over so fast. I have been consuming all my hours finishing up the wedding decorations. I wish I could share them with you but do not want to ruin the surprise for the wedding. I have  made so many bows I'm surprised I am not twisting the sheets in my sleep. 

Sunday we went through all our clothes again, knowing we had to decrease what we take, not enough storage for them all. We took 3 full bags to Good Will today. Art went through his closet and got rid of all his dress clothes he used to have to wear for work, and that filled up the bags fast. I still had some shirts I didn't want and a coat or two. We then took all summer items out and they are now in the Avalanche. We still have a ton of closet space so hopefully we can keep all our clothes in there.  I have been working so hard on the wedding so I get back out to the camper to finish lining shelves with the non slip lining, then we can load up more things from the house.

Today we went to the Indianapolis Sport, Boat and Travel show. Even though we have the new fifth wheel we love to see all the new models and all the different styles. And it is just amazes me how they get all those trailers in there the way they do. Some of them you couldn't put a hand between. Wow! Our salesman was there from the dealership we bought ours from and that was fun talking with him. Nice guy.  We also bought the neatest storage bag to use for our extra clothes and shoes. It is water proof and very sturdy but should store easier than a plastic tub. Art worked in the garage all day Monday sorting through tools so they can be divided up between the SILs.  Tomorrow we are removing pictures from the walls and shelves, taking them out of the frames so we can store them. And storing all our keepsakes that we can't bear to part with in plastic tubs. Hannah said we are more than welcome to keep them here. It helps so much with the emotional stand point knowing you don't have to part with items that mean so much.  I mentioned to Art I feel like I am waiting for open heart surgery and brain surgery combined. Such huge events in our lives coming up, it keeps a knot in your stomach.

 I know I cannot wait to get back down into the forest, back into nature. I feel like a different person out in the great outdoors. I find I don't have to find things to keep myself entertained like TV or books. Just sitting and watching and listening to the sights and sounds of the woods make me so happy.
And....I cannot wait to get that camera back out and start taking more pictures of our surroundings.
I know March will fly by because we have so many things going on it will make it go faster.  This has been a dream of ours for years and it seems so unreal that in 40 days it will all be coming true.  And we get to go back to Hardin Ridge in April and May to help open the park back up.  Then on to Turkey Run State Park in June, and back to Hardin Ridge until the end of Oct and then hopefully to North Carolina, then off to Florida for the winter.
Best Wishes to you all from Indiana.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Hilarious Moments on the Farm.....

OK, I have had some ask me to do more farm memories so I am happy to keep my readers happy....LOL!  I enjoy so much remembering all the happenings on the farm so I love to write about them. I was talking to my oldest daughter Lindsay, today and she reminded me of a couple of things that happened I had forgot about. She said you know these are at my expense? She did have a way of getting into some unusual and funny situations.  So I will start with one that is totally about her.

                                              Geese and rotten eggs.....
 
You know when people say nothing smells worse than a rotten egg??? Well they are right. Just ask Lindsay. One summer our geese had been sitting for quite some time. They had hatched one little gosling but the other eggs apparently weren't fertile.  Lindsay had gone into the barn to check on the little guy and one of the eggs had been disturbed and was out of the nest. Well Lindsay thought she would put it back under the goose in case it was fertile as she didn't want it getting cold. NOPE! Wasn't fertile. It was rotten and when she picked it up it exploded all over her. They do that, they blow up like a bomb because gases have built up and when moved they go POP! She came to the kitchen window and knocked on the glass. I opened the window and "oh my gosh the smell" I immediately shut the window on her. She didn't think that was funny! We ended up throwing some of her clothes away, as you would never have gotten all that odor out.  I'm sure that was the last time she ever messed with an old goose egg.  :))))))

                                             Mama duck and funeral procession.....

This has to be one of our most hilarious moments on the farm.  We home schooled both of the girls so we have several moments involving animals that involved the school days too.
One day we were breaking for lunch and I looked out the kitchen window and a hearse was stopped right out in front of our house, with the WHOLE procession stopped too. What on earth I thought??  We had a Mulberry tree right across the road from our house and the berries would fall on the ground. We also had a Muscovy duck at the time with about 9 babies and she would take them across the road everyday to eat the berries. Hilariously, she decided to walk back across the road right in front of the hearse.  Lindsay was so funny she said, "run Mom don't let them see us looking out the window!" I can only imagine what people way back in the procession were thinking...what on earth is going on?  And don't cringe about the ducks going across the road, they stopped traffic all the time but only one at a time up until this day. People would stop us in town and say, "had to stop the other day to keep from hitting your ducks."  I would be apologetic and they would say, "oh don't be we love seeing them."  Well Ok then, glad we could make your day. :))))

                                             No lambs at our school....just goats!!!

Home schooling on a farm had its down falls.  Oh they learned a lot about animals that is for sure, but the interruptions made it impossible some days to get all our work done. At the time we had around 14 goats. We had Nubians mostly which are milk goats, and a couple of Pygmys and Oberhasli. Now goats are a whole lot of fun and if the males are neutered you don't have the smell that most people think of when you mention goats. The girls played with them more than any animal on the farm. The kids (babies) would run and jump and twist, they could entertain you for hours. We used to get things for them to jump on and they would play king of the hill all the time.  So one day we were busy doing school, it was quiet and everything was going smoothly until......I look out the window and there goes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7,.......you get the point.  All of them had gotten out through a hole in the fence and they were headed for the nice green corn field.   Great !!!!
Now we had to stop school and go out and round up 14 goats, and of course they didn't want to be rounded up. Today it is funny, then not so much!! Lesson for that day, patience!


                                                    Rocks for Sale!!!

I think I should have entitled this blog Funny Stories About Lindsay, because this one is about her too. This one doesn't involve any animals but is really funny.  She had been bugging us and bugging us for a Game Boy. Now, I have never liked any kind of electronic game, because I wanted them to read or be outdoors, so we kept telling her no. But if you knew Lindsay she is persistent and just keeps at you.  So her Dad had an idea.
The farmer that lived here before us had brought in some rocks and spread them and they were big, and jagged and horrible on horses feet. Most of them were down in the dirt but when it would rain they would rise up. So Art told Lindsay if she earned enough money on her own she could buy the Game Boy. She was 10 at the time and so he tried to find a job for her size. He said if you pick up rocks I will give you five cents a rock and twenty five cents for the huge ones. Now he did NOT expect her to do this for very long,  I remember the day, it was very hot and muggy. I guess she really wanted that game boy because she picked up "700" rocks. I remember he came to me and said is she ever going to quit????  She was on a mission and planned to see it through. She would get the wheel barrel full and then Art would dump it for her. Now the funniest part of this whole story is that Art had to count them!!!!  Lindsay got her Game Boy and I know she appreciated it a lot more than if we had just gave her the money. Still to this day if she says she needs money, she will ask her Dad if she can pick up rocks. His answer is always no! :))))))

I hope some of these stories made you smile for that was my intention. It is fun remembering but mostly I like sharing them with you. So from Thorntown we send hugs and best wishes.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

113 Years of Birthdays!!

 Our future SIL Dan turned 25 on Jan 26th, our SIL, Tom turned 30 on Feb 8th and Art turned 58 on Feb 4th. So we celebrated them 'all' together on this past Saturday. A person can just handle so much cake, right?  The women are the same way all our birthdays are in a row so we celebrate them all together too, this year in April.  Here are the birthday boys, blowing the candles out on the Cheesecake that Hannah made for them. We typically pick other desserts, not just your basic birthday cake, like pie, a DQ ice cream cake, or a Cheesecake this year.

Dan, Art, Tom (gee such long names )

Art got a new tool box for the fifth wheel, Tom got the Halo Reach game for X-Box 360, and Dan got Apples to Apples and a travel coffee mug and Starbucks gift card. We draw names and we put a $20 limit on the gifts. 
Meredith is now into coloring. Just so cute.... She and Hannah were coloring what else? Farm Animals. I got a red rabbit to hang on the refrigerator, just darling. I can't believe she is old enough to color, why just yesterday she was born!!!

Such talent can color with both hands.  "Ah which color to use, too many choices."
I had to do this picture by itself. I love her hair up and the little bow. And she still has those long eyelashes.

I'm not sure who was enjoying it more, Meredith or Hannah. 
Her face is just so angelic here I had to put it on too. Believe me I could do blogs for days and days with her pictures. She is just so darn cute! And her little heart on her shirt.....Sweet :)

Her only words right now are no, yep, Elmo, a few others. However, even though she is short on her vocabulary list she can communicate in other ways. When she wants you she comes and grabs your finger and pulls, when she wants you to sit beside her she gets on the floor and then pats it for you to sit too. First, she got Papaw to sit with her, then she went and got Dan lead him in the living room and patted the floor to sit down. She looked so cute between these 2 big guys.

She was teaching them what blocks went into what shapes.
Waving at Hannah, drawing on her Magnadoodle, and watching Elmo.
That was Saturday. Then on Sunday Lindsay put together a surprise party for Tom as it was his 30th birthday. I didn't think she would pull it off, as he usually notices everything. But....she did. It was funny.

As you can tell he is a Colt's fan.
I'll leave you with this one of Meredith and Lindsay. The expression on Meredith's face is so priceless. They had just arrived and everyone has popped up and yelled "Surprise!"

"Uh Mom, what just happened?"
For those of you who like the farm stories I am coming up with a few more to post. So remember to check back in the next couple of days.  So from Thorntown, we send hugs and best wishes!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Can You Handle One More Blog on Farm Memories?

The reason I like to relive moments on the farm and post them is because I feel like the "family farm" is slowly becoming a thing from the past. When I was a little girl we used to drive around the country side looking at all the new born animals. Baby lambs, calves, piglets, colts, kids (baby goats) and now you don't see that any longer. It is rare to even see cows grazing in the field, or horses running around a pasture. And pigs rooting in the mud, well that is gone forever, since all swine operations are in buildings now, entitled ''swine operations." I find this to be so sad.  You know there are many many many kids today that do not know where eggs come from?  I grew up on a farm but Art was true born "city boy."  He teases that when we became married he didn't know he was taking not only me, but cats, dogs, chickens, rabbits, ducks, goats, pigs, turkeys, geese, and horses to have and to hold. :) He adapted very well. Now he even knows the difference between hay and straw!!  There was one more thing that I wanted to address about animals because I just love them so much and wanted to share this.

                                    Animals definitely have feelings.......

Even ducks.  Surprised? Well here is my story. We have raised every kind of duck there is.
Pekins, Cayugas, Muscovy, Khaki, Indian Runners, Mallards, Rouens, and one of our favorites little Call ducks. They are tiny little miniatures of regular ducks, just adorable.
Muscovys can reproduce like rabbits, they are great mothers and can handle up to 18 plus eggs. One summer we had several babies and so we were getting too many. Art knew of a lady that had a pond and wanted some ducks. So we gave her about 5 if I remember right.
A couple of them were Muscovy. She called me one evening and said she was worried about one of them, he wasn't eating or drinking and she was afraid he was going to die. So I told her yes, to definitely bring him back to us. The very minute she sat him down he ran over started eating corn and drinking water. We were all astonished. A duck being home sick, missing his home? Well this one did and he remained with us the rest of his life.

Most people know that horses are herd animals, they really need companionship. We had 4 horses  (2 Quarter horses, 1 Appaloosa, and 1 Arabian/Quarter mix and 1 miniature.)  The 4 big horses were all geldings (boys) and the little miniature was a little mare, so we kept her in a separate pen so she wouldn't get hurt.  3 yrs ago we had a unbelievable, horrible summer with them. One of our Quarter horses Bobby,  died of old age, he was close to 30. Then our Arabian mix Dan, developed cancer and died, and then the Appaloosa Z developed this horrible infection while we were on vacation and died. What a shock that was!!! Needless to say it ruined our vacation. Well this one was the buddy of our last Quarter horse Champ, that we had, and he took Z's death really really hard. Since he was the last of the big horses that was left he went into this depression. He didn't want to eat, or come out of the barn. He would eat if I went into the barn and fed him but he just stood in the corner. So not only was I was so upset over loosing Z, Champ was really worrying me. We didn't know what to do. We still had Whinnie, the miniature so we put her in a pen beside him and that seemed to help. So after a few weeks of that we put them together, as we felt she was safe with him. And wah-lah he was fine. 

Ok enough sad stories, this one is cute and cuddly.  You know how they say that girls, well most girls want to grow up and be moms?  Well chickens do too I guess. We had this one hen who just wanted babies so badly, she would sit on her eggs and then some bully would come and push her off, so they wouldn't hatch.  Not only were the hens hatching chicks that year but the cats were having kittens. One cat decided the best place to have hers was in one of the nesting boxes, smart cat.  So this hen must have thought, "surprise, the stork has arrived, instant babies."  She adopted them, and she would sit on them everyday and I or one of the girls would have to go out and pick her up so the mama kitty could feed them. Then she would get off and the chicken would resume her warming duties. Now how cute is that? You know we have pictures of all of this but they are packed away in a box, not on the computer, so you have to use your imagination.

I have more believe me but I don't want to stay stuck on one subject. I appreciate all the great and sincere comments that people have left after reading the farm blogs. This is what makes us all so unique we all have different backgrounds, and can share so many different memories. Making friends on this blog has been so much fun and enjoyable. Even though I haven't met any of you face to face I feel like I know you through your blogs and the comments you leave on mine.  So from Thorntown hugs and best wishes to you all.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Winter on the Farm...Oh What Fun!!

I have been reading a new blog that was referred to me because we seem to have a lot in common.  It is written by Julia and is titled Of Petals and Wool, they live and work a dairy farm. Now if any of you know anything about a dairy farmer you know how hard they work! I know it is very hard for them to go on vacations trying to get someone to fill in for them, and someone who isn't afraid of the cows :-) We had some friends that were dairy farmers and when she went into the hospital to have her baby she said it was like a vacation. While reading some of Julia's posts it brought back some memories of life here a few winters ago, so I thought I would share them for a good laugh. (And her post today just added more memories to mine. Oh boy what a day she had!!! )  One of my favorite ones didn't happen to me but to Art and the girls, but I was witness to it. I had gone in for a hysterectomy and had been home a couple of days when we were hit with a one bad ice storm.  Knowing that the barn lot was like a skating rink I took my pillow, pressed it hard to my stomach and went to the window to watch the guys feed.  It was so slick they could not walk, Lindsay our oldest daughter finally got down on her hands and knees and crawled to the barn door. I laughed so hard, well as hard as I could with a 10" incision on my abdomen oh it hurt so bad to laugh!  They, however didn't think it was funny.

This one they did think was funny because it happened to me.  Many times the hoses would freeze up, even though we would drain them before we came in. Thus, requiring us to carry 5 gallon buckets of water out to fill up the tanks and buckets. We typically would throw water or break out ice in the same spot so we wouldn't slip on it and fall. Well, I was off in another world one evening I guess because I walked right over our little hill of frozen danger, carrying 2 "full" five gallon buckets of water. I feel flat on my back, and yep you guessed it dumped all 10 gallons of water on to myself.  I was so mad I probably was steaming in the frigid air. My husband told me to go in and change but I just wanted to get the feeding done, get in the house and warm up. So I finished my work (which was feeding our 4 horses and filling their tank with water) and by the time I got into the house my clothes were frozen, seriously they were frozen stiff. The zipper on my sweatshirt was frozen closed and I couldn't unzip it. I had to pull it off over my head. Oh and two 5 gallon buckets of water was just a drop in the bucket...pardon the pun....we had to go to the hydrant and fill them many many many times when the hose was froze.
Oh and hoses are not all that freezes. When your gloves get wet and you touch a metal gate your hand immediately freezes on the gate. I did that one day it was so slick where the horses would walk that I went to fall, grabbed the gate, but my body was in motion to fall....needless to say I almost dislocated my shoulder as to the abrupt stop.

One of our favorite and fun animals we had was Annabelle. She was a Jersey, dairy heifer.
She was so tame and when she was a calf the girls played with her like a dog. Well she grew up, and weighed over 500 lbs. One December "Moo" as we nicknamed her decided she wanted to venture out of the barn lot and into our front yard. The gate was only opened a crack but they can see that a mile off I tell you and when she did there was NO stopping her. We had set up a manger scene in our front yard with a stable building that my Dad had made.  When Moo got out we knew we were in trouble as you don't just call a cow back like you do a dog. We yelled at Lindsay to go get feed to lure her back in. One thing that Moo liked better than freedom was her food. She saw Lindsay carrying the green feed scoop and off she ran towards her. Now being a pet has no significance when you are being chased by a 500 lb animal.  Lindsay took off running down the drive way and darted into the manger building right behind the 3 Wise Men. Moo was right after her but slipped on our icy driveway sliding on her side for about 50 feet. When she got up she had made this long solid smooth line down the snowy driveway. She wasn't hurt (thank goodness) and Art took the scoop and lead her back into her pen.  I can still to this day see her sliding on her side all 4 feet up in the air down our drive. 

Julia was saying on her blog today that she was mounted by a calf. Yep, had that happen to me too. Only Moo wasn't a calf when this happened. My husband and I were moving hay on a 2 wheel dolly from the hay barn into the horses barn.  On the way back to the hay barn I said hey give me a ride. So I stepped onto the dolly and he leaned me back a ways and off we go. Now where Moo was hiding and how she got to me so fast we still cannot figure out. She came "running" towards us jumped up ONTO me on the dolly with my arms pinned down to my side her legs on either side of my head, and a slimmy, cold cow's nose in my face. I was screaming "get off me Moo." Art, at that 'exact' moment became Superman~ because now he not only was supporting me on the dolly but this 500 lb bovine (cow) and we are going backwards! Now how he didn't fall I am still amazed at. We laugh now but at the time all we could see were the headlines in the local paper. Local Woman Crushed by Milk Cow see how it wasn't funny at the time? She finally got off me and Art's arms were shaking! Me...my whole body was.

Julia was talking about how in the winter you don't clean pens or stalls you just add to the bedding to make it cleaner. Then in the Spring when you go to clean out the barns you have 3 feet of packed half frozen, wet, HEAVY bedding to clean up.

Oh and one interesting tidbit...did you know duck's feet will freeze to a barn floor when they get wet? Well they do and you have to "unfreeze" them. How fun!

We don't have all the animals any longer to take care of in the winter. I miss it sometimes and then some days when the temp is -5 below, Nope don't miss it. Eggs frozen and broke, doors frozen shut, hydrants frozen, latches on gates frozen, gates frozen to the ground, fingers, toes, and noses frozen.

Winters on a farm can be so challenging and frustrating.....but boy do they make the memories. Thanks for strolling down memory lane with me.  Oh and the hot, humid months a whole other story........

                                       So from cold, Indiana, best wishes.

Friday, February 8, 2013

"Retarded Grandparents"

Wondering if this is what our grand kids will say about us one day? After babysitting Meredith yesterday, our 20 month old granddaughter I was almost too tired to write this.
Wow! Does that wear you out. I figured out when you have your own children you are watching them just like we were yesterday, however, you aren't just sitting down watching them, playing with them "constantly."  You go ahead and cook, clean, do laundry, kind of break up the "babysitting" part. Part of it is mental I think too, because you are terrified of them getting hurt on "your" watch.  When it was your kids I never even thought too much of that.  This was sent to me by a friend today and I thought you might get a kick out of it too.  Funny what comes out of the mouths of babes.

Written by a third grader , on what his grandparents do.

After Christmas , a teacher asked her young pupils how they spent their holiday away from school. One child wrote the following:

We always used to spend the holidays with Grandma and Grandpa. They used to live in a big brick house , but Grandpa got retarded and they moved to Florida. Now they live in a tin box that has wheels, but its strapped to the ground. They ride around on their bicycles , and wear name tags , because they don't know who they are anymore.
They go to a building called a wreck center, but they must have got it fixed because it is all okay now, they do exercises there , but they don't do them very well. There is a swimming pool too, but they all just jump up and down in it with hats on. At their gate, there is a doll house with a little old man sitting in it. He watches all day so nobody can escape.
Sometimes they sneak out, and go cruising in their golf carts. Nobody there cooks, they just eat out. And, they eat the same thing every night - early birds. Some of the people can't get out past the man in the doll house. The ones who do get out, bring food back to the wrecked center for pot luck.
My Grandma says that Grandpa worked all his life to earn his retardment and , says I should work hard so I can be retarded someday too. When I earn my retardment, I want to be the man in the doll house. Then I will let people out, so they can visit their grandchildren.

  
So from this ''retarded" grandparent have a good evening.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

A Stupid Decision = UNBELIEVABLE Night!

After we left Virginia we decided we might as well drive on to Brevard, North Carolina, to see Davidson River Campground, another Cradle of Forestry run camp ground. Dee, Al, Mickey, and Kevin (from Hardin Ridge) are there. We may be going there next year and we were missing our friends. It was about 156 miles so why not?  I'm very glad we went but we got into monsoon rains. Oh my gosh, did it come down. At times you couldn't see the road. I'm not sure how many inches they got but there was flood warnings out, and they were ready to evacuate some of the people around Davidson River.  We went out to dinner with everyone and when we returned Al and Dee were without electricity in the manager's cabin. Al said let's go to the motor home as they have a generator. However, it wouldn't start, so Al had to go out in the rain and work on it to get it started. He came in soaked and had his head light one....just had to get a picture.


Their new motor home was beautiful and we sure did appreciate having lights from the now working generator. 
Mickey, Kevin and Art were sitting on the couch talking with Al. I had held the camera on them for the longest of time to get them to smile. Finally I had to ask them and I got some big ole' grins. Of course Al and Dee's little dog Pearl was laying on her bed and looking so sweet so got a picture of her too. And last but not least is Dee.


I love this picture. It was in one of the hotels we stayed in. I love old log cabins and leaves so it was perfect. I still don't understand it but Art wouldn't let me take it hmmmmm.  :))
Kevin and Mickey took us to a gorgeous nature attraction just up the road from Davidson River. It is called Looking Glass Falls and it was running so fast and furious due to all the rain that they had received.

video


I could have stood there forever to listen to this, however, it was freezing!!!!!!! And the mist from the water was hitting us and that was making it colder.  
The picture at the top of the blog on the right is the Falls also. This is my first video upload. I am thrilled I learned how to do it. 
So now we are traveling on up the road to another amazing site.

This is a slide in the mountain stream that people slide down. Ah...no!  There are big rocks and bumps that are made of rocks, hello wouldn't that hurt?  And cold, it would have to be July before that water would be lukewarm. There is a life guard on duty because at the bottom it is 8 ft deep.  



video
How many of you would like to do this? I would if it was completely smooth but oh the rocks. Did you see the railing where the swimmers climb back up the slide. That would take some stamina to do I would think against the current.

After we said our good byes to Al, Dee, Kevin and Mickey we were on our way. We drove on up into the mountains towards the Blue Ridge Parkway, but unfortunately it was closed. However, the road we were on was beautiful. We arrived at Cold Mountain....

And it was appropriately named, it was freezing up there.
See...I wasn't kidding.  The water coming off the mountain was freezing into icicles. It was neat looking .
So now we are heading back to Indiana. Things were going great. The sky was blue, the traffic wasn't bad, and we were making good time...until we saw snow plows sitting on the interstate. There was no snow on the ground, no little flakes were flying in the air, so I called our daughters and said,"would you check the radar for us?" UH Mom, there is a huge snow storm headed for Louisville KY, and yep you guessed it we were headed right toward it. But being the smart level headed people we are we thought we can make it home, we have driven through major snow storms before, even ice. We have but others apparently had not!!! We left Brevard NC at 11:30am and we arrived home at 4:30 am. No that is not a misprint, 17 L O N G hours in the car. SIX hours stuck on the interstate surrounded and pinned in by dozens of big rigs and it was snowing and blowing like crazy. I thought I was going to loose my mind. Now with all our years of wisdom you would have thought we would have known that people drive like idiots in bad weather why would this night be any different? It wasn't! We were being passed while driving 30mph by people easily going 50 -60mph. And then guess what? They ended up in the ditch, thus requiring police and tow trucks to pull them out, thus stopping traffic. And when you add it up to hundreds of stupid people driving stupidly that is a bunch of delays. We would creep along at 2 mph for about 50 ft then stop, and wait and wait...then move a teeny tiny more. It took us 6 hrs to go 70 miles. FINALLY we came to an exit and we exited as fast as we could. We were back in Indiana now so we knew we could figure out a way to get home. Now I know what you all are thinking and asking yourselves...why didn't you stop and get a hotel room and wait out the storm? Well guess what, we at 2:30am started to ask the same thing. They were full :) Now "we feel" like the stupid people. I thought you were supposed to be wise in your old age....apparently we missed that gene in our development. We arrived home and if it hadn't been for the fact that I couldn't bend over because of being in a sitting position for 17 hrs I would have kissed the drive way. The only good thing is........next year we will be in Florida.
      Safe and sound in our warm home with snow on the ground we send best wishes.

Friday, February 1, 2013

I "Walked" On The Appalachian Trail :)

We are home. Oh you didn't know we were gone??? Well we were and now we are home.
Luckily we are home and I will tell you what I mean by that later on or in part 2 of this blog.  Where were we?  We went to Damascus Virginia to check out a Cradle of Forestry run camp ground to camp host in.  It is called Bear Tree and it is in the Appalachian Mtns.

We were driving on the mountain road to get to the park and Art said, "there is a sign for the Appalachian Trail." I was so excited!! I knew it ran right next to this camp ground but didn't know for sure we would see it. I am so fascinated by this trail. I am on my 3rd book about the trail and the hikers. If I was younger, a lot younger I would really like to do part of this trail. But, my back and the fact I am soft as a pillow I wouldn't get too far. But that didn't keep me from jumping out of the car and walking on the trail just to get the feel of it. So here is what I saw.....

I think it is a little blurry because I was so excited I couldn't hold the camera steady.
Then I walked over to the get the white blaze on the sign that everyone looks for when hiking the trail. I read that they have to be 6" long and 2" wide.

I guess a camp was up ahead I'm not sure. OK I didn't really care, I just was so excited to get this photo.
Then I DID it. I hiked ha ha....about 20 feet on the trail and took this picture. I could have walked on for miles, ok a hundred more feet, but Art and the dogs were waiting for me in the car, so I was hurrying.

You see the plant in the front with the long leaves? That is what they call Mountain Laurel. It is wild and we know it as a Rhododendron plant. They told me it blooms in the summer. That must look like heaven all those blooms because it is everywhere.  Just stunning even in winter.
This was the part of the trail that was across the road from the trail in above photo. It came down and crossed this bridge, crossed over the road, and then into the woods. You can see how matted down the area is, I'm sure many many hikers have camped here by this stream. The sound of the water was just mesmerizing.

This is the little foot bride and stream. It was very cold and windy.
Here you can see the bare land with matted down leaves. Can't you just imagine camping here?  Wow!
We drove on up this fun, curvy, winding mountain road. I was driving and in the Mini Cooper the steering is so tight and amazing you didn't have to break for curves just buzz around them. I loved it!  Art didn't!

When I downloaded my photos onto the computer this one was a favorite. Look at the coloring even in winter.   And this was the road we were driving on with all the curves.
While driving on the road, it followed this mountain stream all the way up the mountain. I told Art if I had a home on this I could sit out there for hours listening to the water rush over the rocks.
 
Can you hear it? I can only imagine how cold it was. There was still lots of snow melting from the top of the mountain. 

I was wishing I hadn't volunteered to drive when we hit all this. It was mushy and slick, you know how the snow pulls a car when it is slush....not fun!!
This was the other part that was fun, there were trees or branches down all over the road. It reminded me of the movie Twister when the combine and cows were falling in the road. It was right then left then right then left, made for an interesting obstacle course. 
OK, now we are in bear country. Black bears to be exact. "This" was new to me. I was asking Art, "they are hibernating, right?" I couldn't help it, every little snap you kind of jumped. I have never been around bears before, and I kind of figured with the cold and all they might be a little hungry and grumpy. But Yogi never appeared so we were fine. Here is one of the camp sites. They are paved and surrounded by Mountain Laurel, very private.

The snow was about all melted but still there in many shaded parts. 
Here is the one of the camp host sites. It was very big and they had built a little deck. You also sell firewood here.

I can just see our fiver and swing sitting here on this site. We are hoping to go here the summer of 2014.

                 I am going to end with that. I have lots more to share but it is late.                                             So from Indiana, we send hugs and best wishes.