Tag Archives: farm

Our Saturdays in Pictures

Our Saturdays these last few weeks have been packed.  On September 19th we had our Stake Day of Service. Our ward joined our community, who also has a day of service the same day, and worked on different projects around town.  We helped out, with other ward members, at a group home. Scraping paint, raking, rearranging things, painting fences and the house, fixing the deck, and a bunch of other things.  All the kids pitched right in, and we had a blast working together as a family.

Stake Day of Service

The next Saturday Elizabeth had her boot off and was able to play in her first soccer game. The first week of October was General Conference, which we thoroughly enjoyed, Jacob and Em gave up soccer that day, though Elizabeth and Dorothy were lucky enough to only miss 10 minutes of their game. Then, the following week I was gone and missed these adorbale photos of James playing with Jacob’s favorite truck (I was amazed that Jacob even let him!). This last Saturday was Jacob’s last day of Little Big Kicks – he is #13.

Saturdays

“Hey, Hey, We’re the Monkeys!” After Jacob’s Little Big Kick’s and Emily’s soccer game in the morning, the girls and I had a bit of fun on our way back to the car.

The Monkeys

Elizabeth and Dorothy had their soccer game at 1:10 in the afternoon. Once they finished we piled in the car and took off to Heiser Farms for a fun filled afternoon of hay mazes, corn mazes, pumpkin lifting contest (between our kids), hay rides, and tractor riding/playing. It was a hoot.

Heiser Farms

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Filed under Dot, Em, Family, Jacob, James, Lizy, Nature, Sports

Barrel Racing

We knocked over the giant metal oil drums and rolled them to the edge of the pond. The once bright yellow and blue paint was cracked and peeling . Large ammounts of orange rust peered through, making them look like long forgotten cars in a heap of junk at the dump.

“Won’t they sink?” we questioned.

One of the wiser ones in our group of siblings spoke up, “Come on guys, they are empty and the air trapped inside will make them float just fine.”

“So, what are the rules? Are there any rules?” We looked at each other trying to decide.

“Anything is fair game except for hitting each other with the poles.”

We scavengered the nearby area for three large sticks that would work for poles. Then we gave the barrels a final push. The water gave way beneath them as they plumeted into the pond. We shrieked as we were showered with drops of filthy water.

Three of us mounted the barrels. The fourth stood on one side of the pond as the starter, and the fifth was on the other side to act as referee and to see who finished first.

The slippery barrels rolled beneath us as we dug our poles into the pond floor trying to keep our balance. No one was keen on falling into the murky water, heavy with goose droppings and other such unmentionable items.

“Ready, set, GO!”

We pushed on our poles hoping to shoot across the pond to win the race. Instead, poles stuck in the mud and we were left to wiggle and squirm trying to keep our balance as the barrels rolled and swayed beneath us. Giggles erupted as be began to develop the art of prodding ourselves along with out getting stuck. We were nearing the end of the race and two barrels wiere neck in neck, with one close behind, trying hard to catch up with out rolling into the water. Between the first to barrels a battle had begun.

A foot lashed out connecting fiercely with the side of the barrel, causing the end to swing out and the barrel turned. The unfortunate rider was left straddling the barrel, clenching his feet and legs desperately on each side of it to keep it from rolling and floating away. His arms were outstretched clutching his pole as he tried to regain control. Gradually he was able to pole his body and the barrel alongside the pole once more and, now in 3rd place, began a frantic pace to catch-up.

Meanwhile, Barrel #3 saw her opening as #2 was fighting for control and moved up swiftly behind barrel number one. With an eveil laugh she smashed into the side of barrel #1 and sent the barrel rolling so hard that the rider had no hope of staying on and sank beneath the mire. #2 crowed with delight as she saw her sibling resurface and plowed on to hit the finish line, but just before she did, #2 came back from behind, kicked her barrel and lunged in for the finish. Barrel #3 wasn’t about to land in the water, she was determined to at least hit ground. As her barrel rolled uncontrollably beneath her, she through her body towards the shore and hit, half in, halft out just after #2 cleared the finish line.

A laughing pack of 5 siblings stood laughing over their state.

“That was awesome!”

“It’s my turn to ride now.”

“And Mine.”

“I will ride.”

“You rode last time.”

“So did you.”

“How about if we use two barrels and team up – two per barrel and one can be the ref.”

And barrel racing was born.

What, you thought I was going to talk about THAT kind of barrel racing? Umm, nope, never done that.

*This account is as true as I can make it – we really did barrel race on the pond, though I can’t remember how an exact race went, I recreated one incorporating actual events from numerous races, and the possible conversation that went with it.

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Filed under Farm Stories, Writing

W is for White Wash

Encyclopedia of Me Meme

I loved Tom Sawyer as a kid, it has been such a long time since I have enjoyed his adventures. One of my favorite stories from Tom Sawyer was the white washing the fence story. 

Even though I enjoyed the story, I did not find white washing to be the funnest thing to do.  Of course, it was a lot better than picking rocks out of a garden that was at least an acre in size.  From time to time it would be time to white wash certain buildings on the farm so they wouldn’t look quite as dingy as before.  If anyone is uncertain about the technique of white washing, it is the same as painting, except the white paint is watered down to stretch further and not go on as thick.  There were times when we loved it though. 

There was a little one room building on the farm down by the barn that had housed geese, I think, at one point.  There were scraps of lumber strewn haphazardly across the rafter beams with rolls of chicken wire on top of them.  The little building wasn’t used for much, from time to time we used it for a club house, or a secret meeting place.  One day I pleaded with my parents to let me clean it and turn it into a play house.

I was delighted when they agreed and set to cleaning away all the goose droppings and scrubbing down the walls.  They even allotted me some paint to white wash the walls with.  There were glass-less windows that I hung some material over and got permission to move the little white wood stove and fridge that my mom had built into to building.  I accrued a small table, a cradle for a baby doll, and some other miscellaneous furniture.  I vaguely remember being allowed to put in an old bench, where the bench part was a little bookcase, with a large back going up.  I think my mom may have painted it cut it into the shape of a cat or something – in the Richard Scary style.  It is hard to remember if such a thing exists, or if I just dreamed it up.  There might have even been some kind of bed in there at one point – the memories fade after time.

Anyway, I loved that little cottage and played there for hours – when I wasn’t busy fighting off the monsters with my brothers, hanging out of tress, jumping into manure piles, or going scampering about the rafters of the corn crib.

So, the word ‘White wash’ carries a few endearing memories for me.  What sparked these memories?  Last weekend we were driving out to Tillamook when I saw this, and it reminded me to an extent of the old days.  Of course I made Paul stop so I could get out and take a photo.  I think it might just become the wall paper on my laptop. 🙂

Old barn

Here is a close-up of the barn, though I think I like the first photo better – something about that mist and the surrounding autumn feel.

Old Barn Close-up

I’d say that barn needed a good whitewash, but it would spoil its charm. 😀

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Filed under Farm Stories, Meme, Memory, Photography

E is For Egg

Encyclopedia of Me Meme 

 Much to my mother’s chagrin, when we were youngin’s on the farm, we used to lob rotten eggs onto the roof of the barn.  Well, we tried to anyway, usually they just smacked up against the side of the barn with a great resonating splat and horrible stench as we watched, in fascination, the remains dribbling slowly down. The side of the barn was pock marked with rotten egg remains for years – I don’t know if we ever successfully lobbed any onto the roof.

Oh and my favorite way to eat eggs are scrambled or in an egg-salad sandwhich – but those I like fresh, not rotten. 🙂

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Filed under Farm Stories, Meme

B is for Blueberry

Encyclopedia of Me Meme

Part of the 15 acres I lived on as a child in Pennsylvania was covered with marshes. During the long humid and hot summer months the marshes would burst with blueberries galore.  Each of us were sent out with a large bucket to pick bluberries for cobblers and jams.  I loved the way the bushes would curve and curl – many time growing so closely together that the branches would arch creating tunnels between them.  I would pretend this was the home for the pixies and elves, and occasionally miniature trolls who guarded the blueberries.  My fingers would get that delighted blue-ish purple stain on them as I poked the biggest juiciest ones I could find in my mouth.  We would trudge back to the house, not only with our buckets full, but with our tummy’s full as well, knowing that in the morning we would have a feast of blueberry pancakes.  Just the thought of them was  mouth watering.

It’s funny how over the years we forget our love for certain things and then the memory comes crashing upon down upon us.  I hadn’t had blueberry pancakes since those farm days. Then, one morning while at Paul’s paren’ts house in Montana, his mom served us delicious blueberry pancakes.  My eyes bulged with delight as I remembered this dear love I had forgotten and relished every bite.

So, what did you think I bought at the farmers market the other day? Why a flat of blueberries of course, and this morning we gathered around the table and enjoyed some blueberry pancakes.  YUMMMM!

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Filed under Farm Stories, Meme, Memory

Heiser Farms

To Prove I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth completely while trying to get everything set for Thanksgiving, I have a few photos from October to share with you. No Halloween photos yet, they are still in my camera . . .

The major drawback to not having a digital camera is not being able to write about and share events when the happen, but some time after when the film is finally developed. One of our October traditions is to take the children to a pumpkin patch/farm. We don’t usually pick out the pumpkins there, just enjoy the autumn festivities. This year we found a new place to go, Heiser Farms. They charged next to nothing for the corn and hay maze, the hayride was free, and they had lots of animal the children could pet. They had a giant pumpkin cannon that shot pumpkins way off into one of the fields. And a kiddie area with lots of small tractor/tricycles that the kids could play on and ride.


The hay ride took us out to the pumpkin patch and corn maze. We hopped off and had a fun romp through the pumpkins, admiring how huge they were. There were hay bales made up like giant spiders, and some with goody face painted on them. Here is the crew at the entrance to the corn maze. It was an awesome corn maze, very twisty and turny with lots of dead ends and paths that took you in endless circles. In fact, I’m surprised we found our way out, expecially with the kids leading!

Heizer Farms

Jacob enjoyed running through the maze on his own, but also enjoyed his comfy seat upon Dad’s shoulders when his legs got too tired.
One of his favorite things to do was to lean forward to give Dad a big kiss on the cheek. Then he would snuggle his cheek right up next to Dad’s for a hug.


(I do realize this heavily one-sided to Jacob, the reason to this is because it is his first real trip to the pumpkin patch where he can do stuff, we tended to take a few more pictures of him than the others. I have lots of pictures of the other kids too, but just didn’t get them all scanned in.)

What is this great orange ball?

The kids all had a blast riding around on the tractors – I just love how his jacket matched this little tractor.


So, this is just a bit of the fun we had in October, there way too many photos to post, I just put up a few of my favorites. (apologies to those who visit me on flickr, you’ve seen them all before).

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Filed under Dot, Em, Every Day Life, Family, Jacob, Lizy

Amendment (an attempt to clear my name of it’s dubious behavior, somewhat)

Weekly Anamnesis #16

It has been ages since I have done one of my farm stories, so here we go. Now, lest you all believe that I was the main center of mischief in our family I am submitting this amendment (correction) to my blog confessing my siblings’ follies. (I know it is a stretch for the topic at hand, but it is all I could come up with) I hope they will forgive me, but after all, I wasn’t an only child and they did many crazy things just like me, and as I witnessed most of them well . . .

We’ll start with Heidi. She was the oldest and I don’t know that I remember too much, other than the boys and I harassing her when she was babysitting to her wits end. I do remember a certain yellow plate rocket launched into space though. Paul, Kimball, and I were being especially obnoxious, sitting across the back of the kitchen table, and she got really, really mad. Before we knew it we had an UFO aimed right for our heads. “Beam me up Scotty!!” It missed us and shattered on the wall right above our heads. Were we scared, terrified, sorry? Of course not, we started laughing and said, “you are so lucky you didn’t break the window with that thing!” Hmmm. Ooh, and then there was the time when she was going to bake something in the oven and turned it on with out looking inside it first. I’m not sure why it was in there, but pretty soon there was an awful smell, flames, and lots of smoke! After about of gallon of baking soda was dumped everywhere she pulled out a very melted plastic cake/jello pan. See, I’m not the only pyro in my family!

Now Lisa, I cannot claim to ever having witnessed her particular claim to glory. Though I might have been watching it all from above as I was not born yet. I have heard the story a million times. I believe it was a beautiful day and they were someplace visiting someone and there was a pond. My sister was prone to delusions of grandeur, and on this particular day was delusioning about super woman. Maybe she was showing her older sister how it was supposed to be done, I can’t really say, I wasn’t there. Perhaps she was just under the impression that if she got a long running start down the hill she could take flight and soar across the pond. So down she went proclaim at the top of her lungs, “SUPER WOMAN!” I’m afraid there was no grand flight, or soaring into the sky. There was a loud splat though as she hit the mud at the edge of the pond. Heh. I sure wish I could have seen that one! 🙂

I was reminded of Kimball’s moment as I watched Looney Toons with my children the other day. I looked at my mom, pointed, and exclaimed, “Hey! That’s Kimball!” I’m sure there are many, this just happens to be the one I remember, and I hope he doesn’t shoot me if he reads this. 😉 My brothers had BB guns and one fine day Kimball was carrying his BB gun about. I’m sure he thought the safety was on. His finger was placed strategically over the barrel (to keep that silly BB from rolling out, heh). Apparently the safety wasn’t on and he got a nice little BB sized hole going through his finger. So the moment on the Looney Toons you ask? I believe it was Elmer Fudd putting his finger in the barrel a number of times to keep it from going of and his finger kept popping out and then in again. You might comment that maybe he watched too much TV and especially Looney Toons when he was a kid, but that argument won’t work; we didn’t have a TV. 🙂

Paul’s story involves BB guns too, and I was there to witness the whole thing! My family just heard the resulting crash. We were standing in our front yard looking out towards the slightly distant road. At the end of the yard just before the front pasture started there was a cement block. On the block in the yard at the beginning of the pasture sat a Robin. Now, my brothers were permitted to shoot pesky birds to keep them out of the garden and such, but Robins were not on the ok to shoot list. And as my brother took aim I reminded him of this. He shrugged, pesky sisters didn’t know what they were talking about. Then I informed him that if he missed the bird that he would hit the block and it would ricochet. “I won’t miss.” he said taking careful aim and squeezing the trigger. There was a pop, a whiz, a ping, a zing, and then a mighty crash. The Robin flew off and Paul stood in utter horror. I kindly did the little sister jig and said, “Oooohhh! You’re gonna get it now!” And promptly disappeared to hide in the barn so as not to be included in the mad-cap caper. What was the crash you ask? The large side van window. Heh.

So, you see, I was not the only contributor of trouble. I am just amazed that my poor mother managed to survive us all! How we do love her so!

(by the way I was interested to find as I looked at definitions of “amendment” that it also means ” a material (as compost or sand) that aids plant growth indirectly by improving the condition of the soil”. For a good story on the many uses of such an amendment read this. So now hopefully, this post won’t be such a stretch of the topic.)

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Filed under Anamnesis, Family, Farm Stories, Goofs, Humor, Writing