Thursday, November 7, 2019

Snowy Halloween

I don't know what this means but we had snow on Halloween. A first for us living out here. Might be a tough winter ahead.

Went to let the chickens out and saw snow.

Blackberry patch covered in snow.

My truck with ice and snow.

My girls did not mind the snow.

buffalo grass 

sugar maple

Splitting wood

With the colder days we can get wood split for winter. We use our own fallen trees and we sometimes buy logs from locals. We heat by wood stove using logs and pellets. This pile of logs was from a felled tree on our pond. The tree fell into the pond and had to be pulled out with a tractor. After a year of sitting in the lean to it is ready to be split and stacked.

We started in the afternoon and it is now nightfall. We got the log pile and a truck load split and stacked. This is one of two splits we make to get through winter. Wood heat is cheap and warms you twice. Once when you cut it and once when you burn it.

 This wood stack becomes a winter home for chipmunks.
Our lean to keeps the firewood dry. The metal cans with lids keep our trash from the bears.

Fixing the fences

My studio in the winter. Wood stove for heat, all supplies on wheels to move around for animal emergencies, boots at the ready, old shepherd warm inside, and sewing machines at the ready. My studio is the real room of requirement on our farm.

Swing to watch the ducks.
This time of the yard gardening is done and canned. So now I can work on firewood and winter chores on the farm.

sugar maples

Splicing barb wire and fixing hot tape fences.

our woods as we walk and fix fences

poison ivy in its fall glory

rocks arranged by someone along our fence line.

deer busted though the electric tape

tree branches always falling in bad spots
There is always something to do on the farm.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Given a Brother

  My whole world changed this week after I opened a letter from a stranger. The letter said I have a half older brother. We share the same mother but have different fathers. He is just 4 years older than me. I had never been told about any other siblings, just myself and my younger brother. I was always the oldest but now I am a middle child. This was discovered after a DNA test and some sleuthing by my oldest brother and his wife. And for that I am so grateful.
  Thanks to their persistence I am able to get answers to what I felt I have been missing in my life. A hole I have felt but ignored. I was told there was a boy stillborn before I was born. I had no idea he was given to an orphanage.I have been lied to and about my whole life. A lie that has festered for 54 years of my brothers life. A lie that has moved us all over the country constantly running from some invisible thing my mother created.A demon that rode me and my older brother very hard in our life.
  But this week that all stopped. A huge wave of shock, sadness then fulfillment washed over me as I got to talk to my oldest brother. To hear the voice of someone familiar with French inflection that is wiser and very similar to my own. He calmly told me his family history, he knows who is his biological father and our mother thanks to DNA. He just wanted to meet his blood siblings and get to know them. Since this is the part of his life he has been missing.
  I have been given an loving older brother who has open arms and has welcomed me into his very  open life and loving family. There is no greater gift to me than having a family that also shares some of my DNA but also wants me around. I am looking forward to meeting him and his family in the flesh.
My older half brother Thomas 

Our grandparents

Our mother

It is ironic that I have located so many missing people and here a piece of mine fell right into my lap. I did not even know I was missing a piece.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Let it Go, Let it Go

After a decade of getting holding on to big stuff from auctions we decided to let it go. We were going to give it to the local charity but found out they are reselling very high instead of low for people in need. We live in the Missouri Ozarks.

After talking to some local friends we decided to give it away to whomever needs it. After less than a week a few needs came into our awareness via friends of friends. And it was not easy. Things had to be moved, measured and scheduled.

Several households now have what was taking up a lot of space for us now gives them a need filled. All it cost them was gas to get here.I am overjoyed that these will now be used instead of collecting dust. Letting go is hard but very good for the soul.

Hope this inspires you to get organized and help someone along the way.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Rockin' October Salsa

What do you do when a neighbors drops of a bushel of tomatoes? You make salsa and can it. This was me the day after our visitors left us. I got all my jars from the shop, cleaned and sterilized and got to making a lot of salsa. Since I had everything out I also thawed a 2017 bag of frozen homegrown tomatillos to make green salsa.

Hot Zesty salsa recipe from the Blue Ball canning book.

Odd pink Canadian tomato peeled

Gloves are a must with hot pepper work

green salsa made with tomatillo I grew and froze in 2017 recipe in the Blue Ball cookbook

The whole gang canned, labeled and shared. One was opened by the neighbor who could not wait. He loved it!

Far Away Friends

Last week our missionary friends from Tanzania stayed at our place. It was a busy fund raising/supply gathering trip for them here in the US. They are vegan and so all meals needed to be healthy and all veggie. I made lentils, bean enchiladas, oatmeal, and lots of other bean dishes.

Lentils from the book Vegan 101.

Vegan enchiladas from the 7 Secrets book.

Their son is now almost 18 years old. How time flies as we have watched him grow.

Taking the smooth tire off the one wheel and replacing it with a knobby off road tire.

The gang the 3 Tafts, the 3 Schochs and Alfreda and  Mr.Jean. This will be the last time they are all together here as they are no longer ordering Country Life co-op foods. We used to order food in bulk and all meet up at the local church for distribution. But their kids are leaving the nest, the Schochs are going back to Tanzania and Alfreda and Jean are getting married! I am so happy to see the young ones grow up into adults and the adults still falling in love. 

Monday, September 23, 2019

And they are outta here

Silver boy was a rescue of 10 weeks got adopted on a farm.

Three stooges hand raised from birth are now all living in new homes.

Bobtail and Torti live together in a new home/farm.

My Frosty cleaning the kittens.

This deaf boy got a special home. The adopter drove in 2 hours away to pick him up. She had raised deaf cats and was looking for a very rare flame point Siamese.

Always boxes of food and pee pads also great kitten cubbies.

Frosty can now rest after helping to teach the kittens how to eat, use the litter box and clean themselves. He is a great mom cat. Frosty is a kitten no one wanted one winter and so I kept him. He is a priceless silver tabby and my constant companion.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Furniture no Further

It amazes me how furniture styles come and go even here in the Ozarks. Several years ago at the local auctions nobody wanted antique wood furniture. They could not give it away bedroom sets. We had a trailer and could move the unwanted stuff. Then the milk paint craze took over and everybody painted everything white.  So we acquired a lot of antique furniture in our shop. Where it remained -for years. I wanted it out since we do not need it. We have a small house but a large shop.

And again antique furniture takes a back seat. Sofas and large flat screen TV's are hot and not big pieces of heavy wood furniture. So we offered to even take these pieces to the local charity- they don't want it. But a friend is expanding his headstone business and needs nice storage in a Victorian style. They are taking the largest pieces off our hands. I had to uncover them and take photos. I had forgotten how nice these were.

Our friend is handy and willing to clean them up and use them in his shop. I will be happy to have room in the shop. They are well made solid wood and do not need much work. But they are too large for our house -since I got the piano. We had hoped someone might want these pieces, a family in need. But even people who's house burned down did not want these antique pieces. I think people are very mobile these days. And if you move a lot, heavy furniture is not easy to move. You need more than two people to move "granny furniture" and a truck and muscles. Whatever the reason, I am glad they will be getting a new home/business instead of gathering dust unseen.