Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Lady

I stopped at a garage sale yesterday coming home from town with hubby. Hubby was annoyed - he not a garage sale person, but ended up buying $60.00 worth of stuff for his shop. I spent $2.00 and got this lady. She will spend the summer on the deck and the winter in my office with me.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Keeping up with the Jones' .....LOL!

I just couldn't resist I just had to show you some of my treasures, most of which I found in a junk pile in the bush when we moved here.
The first one is a steel wheel and laying at the base is a buffalo horn. Hubby found the horn laying in the field when he was tilling.

Next is an old bed headboarad, sadly the climbing rose was one of the casualities of the rotten spring, but it is coming back.

Then an old bicycle tire which make a wonderful peony ring, the legs are made from an old TV antenna.

A cream seperator which I actually bought for 50.00 bucks at a garage sale. I thought of repainting it but I kind of like the distressed look. I have an old rusty cream can that ususally sits under the spouts but as you can see the deck is falling apart and we are supposed to be rebuilding it so I haven't put the can out this year.

And finally my water pump (complete with bird poop), which sits in the rose garden.
I have also found an old hand built wooden wheel barrow (hubby was hauling it to the burning pile horror of horrors). I have to drag it up to the yard and figure out where it is going to go. I'll probably just plunk a pot full of flowers on it this year.

Monday, June 22, 2009


It's raining, it's pouring and the old man is snoring....

Well, actually he's up, but it is raining! We've received 1/2 an inch so far and they are saying another 1/2 before it's over. It's too late for some of the farms to the south of here, their crops are too fried to come back. There are a record number of forest fires burning to the north of us, the fire fighteres will be doing the happy dance right about now, they are getting the bulk of the rain.
Before we moved here 5 years ago, we lived 200 miles to the south in an area where drought was not uncommon. Down there if you got 2 bales of hay to the acre you thought it was wonderful, up here if you get 2 bales you disgusted by how bad the crop is!
Drought is such a horrible thing to watch, the fields dry up, the crops don't grow, the pasture doesn't regrow after the cattle have grazed it, the waterholes slowly begin to dry up and there is nothing you can do about it. In 2002 we went through a bad one down there, we managed to get through it but it was hard on the nerves, that's when hubby started talking about moving further north. It remined me of the pictures of the "dirty thirties and the dust bowl days", blowing dirt all day, cattle looking poorly and farmers standing out in their fields, hat in hands staring at the sky looking for a cloud.
When this spring, we didn't get any moisture for 2 months, I could see that "look" on hubby's face again. This morning he's got a grin from ear to ear!!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Rose

I had a nice gift last night......
In the beginning - I started school in a 3 room school, with 3 grades in each room, by the time I started grade 3, I had finished it in grade 2! I didn't want to go to the next classroom and leave my friends, so I spent grade 3 helping the teacher. I planted her garden , did janitor work and taught some of the grade 1 students. There were a few Ukranian children who couldn't speak English, so I helped them.
When we moved back up here 5 years ago I met a woman named Helen, when she heard my name she kept saying OMG, OMG, you're Anna's grade 1 teacher! (Anna was her little sister) - seems all Anna remembers about grade 1 was the fact I taught her - which honestly I don't remember much about it. Anyway last night Helen stopped in with a beautiful rose bush, Anna heard that I had lost some of my roses because of the nasty spring and had bought me a new one to plant to say thank you for teaching her all those years ago (45 years to be exact).I think that was just the sweetest thing!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Rain

I woke up this morning to the sound of rain coming down, a wonderful sound!

We had a lot of snow this winter which melted slowly and soaked into the ground giving us good moisture to start the spring, but since the beginning of May we've had no precipitation. After a normal start to the season, the temperatures remained cool or should I say cold - it froze at night right until the 1st week of June - then turned abnormally hot and windy.
The pastures have begun to show stress and the cattle are running low on grass, something that doesn't happen usually till August. The lawn which I cut every 5 days or so hasn't needed cutting for 10 days now, only the dandelions are having a hay-day cause they have such long roots. The grass has turned brown and is crunchy, the garden isn't growing either. I did water the it a couple of times, but it was from the well which has very cold hard water - not something germinating plants like. I did notice yesterday the potatoes are beginning to poke out of the ground, but the peas which are usually up within a couple of weeks have made no appearance yet, the spinach either. I've been suffering too with patches of red itchy dry skin (I refuse to think it might be something associated with getting old *sigh*).

The sound of the rain this morning when I woke up was so relaxing, it's only a short shower, probably only a 10th of an inch but it is a start. It seems once the cycle of dry is broken it will keep raining and they are forecasting showers for the next 4 days.

I really feel guilty complaining, we have friends to the south, only about 100 miles away who are in much worse shape. They had no or very little snow this winter, no rain and are having to sell cattle because they have no pasture left and the watering holes are drying up. A person can always buy feed to get you through a dry spell, but when there is no water you have no choice but sell off your herd.

The rain has stopped now and the sky is beginning to break up to the south, but it was lovely while it lasted and the air smells so fresh!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Apple Blossom Time

It has been so cold here this spring I was worried about my apple tree blossoms, we're still getting the odd frosty night - horror of horrors!
I bought this crab apple and an apple tree last year - the trip home and the transplanting were a little hard on them and they didn't produce. This year they are covered in buds and are starting to open, I'm so excited ( doesn't take much huh!).
I wonder if I'll get enough fruit to make some crab apple jelly..................mmmmmmm!!
My Dad had an apple orchard he started up here, he said he missed the apple trees in Missouri. Folk told him it was too cold up here for anything but crab apples, but he planted the eating kind of apples and they did produce. Now with all the hybrids they are coming out with all sorts of fruit trees - plums, pears, cherries - all to survive our climate. I'll add some more trees next year - maybe a plum tree or two, or cherries. I love cherries!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Grandpa Tell Me About The Good Ole Days

Grandpa, tell me 'bout the good ole days.
Sometimes it feels like this world's gone crazy.
Grandpa, take me back to yesterday,
Where the line between right and wrong didn't seem so hazy.

Did lovers really fall in love to stay?
Stand beside each other come what may?
Was a promise really something people kept,
Not just something they would say?
Did families really bow their heads to pray?
Did daddies really never go away?
Whoa oh Grandpa,Tell me 'bout the good ole days.
I saw this picture today and the song by the Judd's has stuck in my head ever since. The picture although not of my direct line is of my relations. The man in the bed is William Franklin Gamblin (1822 - 1903) he would have been my 2nd cousin 5 times removed. The picture was taken sometime before 1899 as his wife Martha who died in 1899, is sitting on the bed beside him. His sons are standing on the left with Martin Monroe sitting beside him and his daughters in law standing to the left.
I don't know what it is about the picture but something draws me to it, maybe the bed? It's wonderfully handcrafted with I would imagine, hand sewn blankets. I wonder what their life was like, were they happy? Did they suffer any illness? They travelled from Mississippi to Texas with their children, did they go by train. or did they go by horse and wagon? Why did they leave Mississippi? Was it because of the Civil War? What hardships did they endure?
If only pictures could talk! Maybe somewhere out there the answers are hiding, maybe with a descendant in an old bible or old letters or just passed down by word of mouth.
Maybe someday................

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Teddy Bears Picnic

If you go out in the woods today
You're sure of a big surprise.
If you go out in the woods today
You'd better go in disguise.

for every bear that ever there was
Will gather there for certain
Today's the day the teddy bears
have their picnic.

I went for a walk in the woods today I didn't see any bears but I did see some of God's handiwork

A beaver dam. Mr. Beaver saw me coming and made a quick dive -he must be shy.

Wood violets

Saskatoon flowers

They grow on bushes that can reach about 12 feet high. Their berries are a little like blueberries with bigger seeds and make wonderful pies, jams and jellies.

I saw marsh marigolds, we call them buttercups.

The grow in the low places and are one of the first spring flowers here.

Going for walks with my dog always soothes my nerves. I love nature, listening to the birds sing, finding the first blossoms of spring, I even saw a red fox today.
We had a red fox a couple of years ago who was injured. She had raised her pups in our barnyard and I had helped her feed them, so I guess she figured I'd help her a little when she was hurt. After the pups left she hung around and eventually learned to come up to the back door for her supper. Folks warned us she would kill my cats, but they seemed to get along. In fact she would back away if one of the cats went near the food I put out for her. I called her Little Pretty and she would come when I called her.
She stayed with us most of the winter but left in early spring when nature called. I still see her now and then and when I call her name she will still come, but not very close. It's best she stays wild but I do miss her curled up in the snow at the door waiting for her treats.
I called to the one today but it skidaddled like the devil was on it's tail - maybe one of Little Pretty's pups?