Monday, March 31, 2008
More Memories of the Farmhouse.
They say that March winds bring the April showers which brings the May flowers. Well, we did get some strong March winds, so far so good. Now we have to wait and see if we get the April showers to thaw out our still frozen ground. Will be nice to have the ground start to un-freeze, especially for the farmers who are in a hurry to start plowing and turning over the soil to get it ready for planting. I remember the year we lived on the family farm. The soil was so much richer there than the sand is here. I grew up next door to this farm and have many wonderful memories of time spent at the farm when one Aunt and two uncles still lived there. This farm once belonged to my father`s parents and the property where my Dad built his home was once part of the farm property as was the land across from where I grew up and a sister now lives. All this property now belongs to my oldest brother and later to his family.
In the past I spoke of all the fun times spent in those woods that stretch all the way from the farm house to the Canal located on the other end of the east side of the woods. In the winters we skied and skip-jacked down the steep road in the woods, and used our sleds going down the winding sloped other road. Snow time back then was so much fun. In winter we ice skated on the frozen canal and in the summer we swam at the home made beach in one place where the canal connected to the clearing in the woods. I remember the 2 -about 4-5 feet high by maybe 8 foot long -tall stone walls with the about wide opening between them to allow some water to flow from the canal threw the woods forming a lot of streams and one section that was so wet it was like walking on quick sand. We stayed off that area because if we started to put a foot on that soaked ground the foot would just keep sinking in. When we got a little older we did pull a fallen tree across a portion of that area to walk across on.That was faster than walking all the way around it. None of us ever found out how far we would have sunk into the ground if we had ever slid off that tree. God must have been with us when we were daring this walk. Just above this area was the greenest grassy area with an old apple tree sitting in the middle of this green grass. I remember when we were small, my younger brother always said he wanted to build his home on this beautiful area. This wonderful brother passed away back in 1994 from a bad heart. Him and I were always close and could read each others mind enough to finish the others sentence. He did build a huge 2 story home with a huge attached garage on land that was just as nice with green grass and with a swampy area out in back which he carried many truck loads of dirt to close off the water area and dried up the swampy area. Today there is plenty of nice green grass in the back where the swamp used to be.
To get back to the farm, there were many large open areas between the house and all the woods that went on two sides. There was what was called the night pasture where the horses were kept at night weather permitting. This was another very large beautiful green grass covered area. That was where I used to say I wanted to build my home. But when the girls got burnt (with a bottle of mercuric acid and battery acid combined - formerly used to de-horn the bulls) I got afraid of what else might be hidden in other places on that farm. So, we bought other property to build our home on. After we moved out, my younger brother lived on the farm for about a year, and later one of my younger sisters lived there for a short time. Today, our oldest brother owns the property and has lived for about 20 years. He remodeled the farm house and it no longer looks like the home I lived , nor does it resemble the farm house my fathers family once owned. it is a beautiful large modernized home, but I still miss the old place in my memories. I remember my Mother once telling me that our father would be so proud of how my bro had re-modeled the farm. I didn`t say anything because I personally think my father would feel as I do having all his memories being erased from sight.
I used to help my Aunt working in the pretty flower bed across from the back porch and the vegetable and seasoning smaller garden a ways from the house near the night pasture fence. The large area of raspberry bushes beyond the house have been removed, the blueberries on top of the hill near the woods was let go and finally they also disappeared. The apple grove was let go and finally the trees were removed and it became a grassy area. The black berry bushes next to the raspberries are also cleared out. The white birch grove where we had small picnics with our friends is also gone. I remember one Uncle adding a couple boards to one tree and placed a 2x6 board over the boards for a teeter tauter ( see-saw or what ever it might be called in other places) and we had a fun time- one sitting on either end of the board and the board raising us up off the ground and back down. We sometimes spent a long time taking turns riding on that board. It was more fun than the ones that were on our school play ground before our grade school burnt down when I was around 11 or 12. I remember our Aunt making up little sandwiches and kool-aid for our picnics and the old plastic table cloth she had folded up in the basket with the food. The table cloth was for us to sit on in case the ground under the white birch trees was damp.
These 3- the Aunt and 2 uncles- were my father`s brother and sister. When one Uncles wife died and his son was killed in an auto accident and his daughter got married, he came home to help his parents on the farm. Then later the other Uncle`s wife died in child birth and he came home with a new baby to raise and since the Aunt had also lost her husband and they had no children, she moved back home to help her brother care for his new baby. The farm house back then was so very large that they each had their own section to call their own apartment area. That is how my father`s 2 brothers and 1 of his sisters ended up still living in the farm house years later when I was young. Such wonderful people with a heart of gold- so like my father. There were all the type to help anyone who needed it and I never heard a single disagreement amongst them in all the years I knew them. They had such great respect and love for each other. I never knew my grandparents because they died a few years before I was born, but knowing their children, I know I would have loved them just as much. I would have loved knowing them. Their faces in all the pictures I have seen have such a friendly kind look in them. In the picture I have of my Dad``s grandmother, she is wearing expensive looking clothes for that generation. But her family were hard workers and lived a simple life. One Uncle had the cows he milked and horses and did the plowing and gardening for the potatoes, melons of all kinds, large corn fields, repaired the equipment and other things. The other uncle worked outside the farm and also raised pigs. The Aunt, besides her vegetable garden, also raised chickens for the eggs and for food. So, together they ran the farm. The bad part about the baby they helped their brother raise, she, like her mother, died in childbirth with her third child. This same Aunt moved to their home to care for the three children while their father worked. She gave up her life to raise children- first a niece and later this same niece`s three children. You have to respect her for putting the love and care of others ahead of her self. They were all special people, but this Aunt taught me so much- how to crochet, how to cook, how to care for flower plants and so much more. As for working in the garden, I learned from both her and my mother.
This is getting so long, I think I will save other memories for another time. I just want my family to know a little more about my Father`s family. He had a second sister who lived a short ways from them and since the daughter was my age, we grew up spending a lot of time together. We still keep in touch over the computer.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
March 18th -March 26th, 2008, Easter time
My son`s op went well. Now it will take some therapy to get the arm moving at the shoulder like it should. Hopefully time and hard work at therapy will take care of that.
First Amerilla`s blossoms have ended and those on the second plant are also about finished for this year. I tried to upload these 2 amerillas pictures, but having trouble. The first one had 4 large blossoms and the second plant had three blossoms. Since I couldn`t upload these from my camera, I have posted the 2 plants that were in bloom at Christmas time. Main difference is the amerilla plant with three blossoms now is a lot darker red color than those posted, but the 4 blossom one is the same color as ones posted.
The evening before Easter I attended a 25th Wedding Anniversary Party for a great nephew and his wife ( on my late husbands side of the family). I feel blessed that since losing Walt his family has continued to include me in all their events. There are so few of his relatives still living- just one nephew and a lot of great nieces and great nephews and their children, plus a few of his cousins children. They had a nice band, good food and it was fun seeing everyone again. The last time we got together was at a Graduation party for a great nephews son in late June. Before that was at my daughter`s wedding in early June. Everyone always has a grand time.
Easter was a nice day. My youngest invited me to have dinner with him, his girlfriend and her parents. He did the cooking at his place. I received a nice compliment from my son. Her parents told him he was a good cook, his girlfriend said he was a much better cook than she was. His reply to them was : I learned from my mother, thanks Mom. I simply said: I guess you must have really listened and he said: I did. No kidding , he is a good cook. I enjoyed spending the evening there. First time I ever met her parents. Ron had first dated this girlfriend when they were still in high school and after 20 years they are back together again. She once told me that her daughter asked her if she was ever in love when she was younger and she told her yes and I still love him. This daughter was dating one of my brothers grandchildren at the time. When my sister-in-law heard, she told the daughter he was her nephew and that is how they got back together again. They both have been thru bad marriages that ended before they met again. They both seem happy now.
I guess that brings me up to date on what is going on in my life since I first wrote on March 18th.
March 18th, 08
I have two Amerillas in bloom. One has 4 large light red blossoms and the second plant has three of those large dark red blossoms. They are so pretty. Now that two are blossoming, I will need to check the other Amerilla plants more often. I keep them upstairs on a large desk to rest for the winter. In the summer months they are placed out doors. They seem to blossom mostly in the late winter or in the spring or around Christmas and around Easter..
Today while I was getting ready to go to the Hospital Wellness Clinic , I noticed some blood on my right hand- very little, but when I looked all over my right hand there was no cut anywhere. Then I started looking at my left hand and saw I had a tiny cut on the middle knuckle of my pointer finger. It had already stopped bleeding. I washed it off and covered it with a bandaid so I wouldn`t have to worry while exercising. Not sure what I cut it on,-probably when I was forcing the left garage door open enough so I could back my car out. I am still trying to find a place that sells hinges that rise as they open. Those hinges would raise that garage door up away from the driveway as it opens. Just what I so badly need. On sunny mornings, I drive the car out and let it sit in the sun while I come back in the house to eat breakfast. Saves gas by letting the sun warm the car instead of keeping the car running till the car is warm. Looks like spring is on it`s way enough for the sun to be shining.
Went to the clinic where I use the exercise equipment. Today I started with 15 minutes on the Treadmill, then 15 minutes on the Nu-step, and then did another 15 minutes on the Recumbent Bike.
Funny how you can feel tired before you start, work hard and fast for 45 minutes without resting and leave the place feeling better and walking lots faster to the car in the parking lot. Today was the easy day because I did all this also yesterday, plus lots of exercises using the weights and the bands. Most days I add on 15 minutes on the rower and 15 minutes on the arm energizer, plus 60 lb pressure on the foot press and another few minutes pulling down the overhead using 60 lbs. I do sit-ups on the large sized ball, work weight exercises with only 8 lb weights every since my fall that injured my shoulder. I usually work out for 1 1/2 to 2 hours before stopping. But they say you shouldn`t do weights 2 days in a row. So, couldn`t do those today. Hoping for good weather again Friday so I can go back to the clinic for a third day this week. I don`t go out on bad weather days. Right now it is snowing again. Weather report says snow and sleet or freezing rain from now thru the night and up to tomorrow evening. Tomorrow is the first day of spring, and what a welcoming spring is giving us.
I hope tomorrow isn`t as bad as they say because my son is having his shoulder operated on tomorrow. If we get the layers of snow covered with ice and then more snow and more ice like they say, he might not be able to drive to the hospital. Weather report calls for dangerous driving conditions tonight and tomorrow. I am glad this op isn`t real serious in case it has to be canceled and done at a later date. We are hoping the op will find and remove the cause of his bad pain.
Last week I started my indoor planting for my garden plants and a lot of them are already sprouting up. Snowing outside and starting my plants for my spring garden. It has me asking myself- "Is it still winter, or is spring on it`s way? " Last year I didn`t start the seeds till the first week of April, and I ended up wishing I had started them sooner so they would be larger and stronger. So, this time I got the seeds planted the first week of March, giving them an extra 3-4 weeks for growing before re-planting outside. If they grow as well as they are doing now, I should have good luck. The garden last year grew great. Hoping for the same luck this summer.
I grow in the " Earth Boxes " which are sitting up off the ground on the standards I made to hold them. I call it "My stand up garden" because I can stay standing and care for the plants. The newer standards I made last year are lower than the origional ones I made about 5 or 6 years ago. The origional ones were so high that the first year I needed a step ladder to pick the tomatoes and the higher string beans. So, the next year I cut about 5 inches off the legs to lower the boxes. Still too tall. So, the third year I cut another 3" inches off the legs so I could reach the top of the plants without the ladder. I was smarter last year and made the newer standards a better height to work with, making it much easier to take care of the plants. I use potting soil in the Earth Boxes so there are no weeds to pull. The bottom of the boxes has a section for holding water, so only need to refill it every few days. So much less work than we used to do in our large ground gardens. Less work and still lots of fresh veggies to eat and can, or freeze for winter use.
I am so glad I gave in and finally bought a new kitchen stove. It feels good being able to bake again. I have to watch what I bake since there is noone here to help me eat it. All this exercising won`t do me much good if I bake too much, as I hate to see food thrown away. I do send the kids home with over half of what I baked when ever they stop in. I am learning how to make smaller batches, or make things that freeze well. One of the hardest things for me was learning to cook for one. I thought cooking for two was hard after cooking for a large family for so many years, well cooking for one is lots harder.
It will be Easter soon. I used to make pretty Easter dresses for the girls when they were small and later we used to have fun shopping for the new Easter clothes. Those were the good old days when I would cook a lot of eggs, decorate and hide them and let the kids go hunting for them. So much fun listening for the excited laughter as they found each egg. Later when they became Mothers, they repeated it for their children to enjoy. Wishing everyone a wonderful Easter.
March 18th - March 26th, 2008
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Happy Easter Everyone !!
I wanted to leave an Easter wish here for everyone since I haven`t had time to visit everyone`s site to leave this wish.
I am off to my youngest son`s place to have Easter dinner with him, his girlfriend and her parents.
He will be doing the cooking and I must have taught him right because he does serve good meals.
Or did he learn more by himself???.HaHaa.
Sorry I haven`t been around to all my wonderful friends sites lately, but think of all of you and miss reading and hoping to visit there soon.
For all my friends who had Easter yesterday, I hope your day was a nice one.
I`ll be back writing more soon.
Sunday, March 02, 2008
The Blessing Award!!
This tag is called the blessing tag.You are supposed to bless three of your blog friends.the tag was started over here -ukok.The idea and the rules of passing on the tag are:While it is my wish to bless all who read this blog, for the purposes of starting this little endeavour it is necessary that I ‘bless’ 3 blogfriends, who may in turn ‘bless’ 3 blogfriends.Let’s use a simple format, and let’s make it even simpler by suggesting that the recipient simply copies and pastes above picture when they become the recipient of a bloggin blessing themselves.The idea… it’s a game of tag with a difference, rather than looking inwardly, we look outside ourselves and bless, praise and pray for one blog friend. By participating in this endeavour we not only make the recipient of the blessing feel valued and appreciated, but we are having some fun too. We’re going to see how far the bloggin’ blessings can travel around the world and how many people can be blessed! Recipients of a bloggin’ blessing may upload the above image to their sidebar if they choose to. If you recieve a bloggin’ blessin’ please leave a comment on this thread here so that we can rejoice in just how many blessings have been sent around the world.Like Starrynights, I am having trouble trying to pick just 3.
I hope the picture of the award shows. I wasn`t able to use copy/paste, so I dragged it into my blog and then clicked the award to remove the marks left around it. So, Hope it works when I publish this on my blog.
In my heart I am picking this award for these 3 lovely friends that I still miss so much. My Heart sends this award off to Lifelessons, Chandy and Denny Shane. You may not know that Denny had another stroke and is no longer on the computer. His second blog told about what happened during each of his former strokes. He hoped his telling might help someone else going thru a stroke and those who are caring for others who had strokes. His stroke blog helped me better understand my oldest brother who has had a number of strokes and unable to walk and do anything. I am sure many of you will remember how much we enjoyed the wonderful blogs written by Chandy and Lifelessons. Reading about what it was like when they were younger was very educational and very interesting to read. They could make you feel like you were right there along side of them as they shared their memories with us.
Gone from the blogs, but never to be forgotten. God Bless them all. I will always be thenkful that I got a chance to meet them thru their blogs.
I am going to tag the following people. If any of you have already done this award, I won`t expect you to do it a second time. There are so many others who also deserve this award, but I need to let these nice friends add their names when they send on the award.
All names were written in blue, but for some reason only Walker`s name stayed blue when I posted it.
Saturday, March 01, 2008
More Memories from the past
Thinking of my father as I made some shredded wheat for breakfast. Poured hot water over it in the bowl to soften the cereal, drained off excess water, spread a little oleo on the shredded wheat and sprinkled it with a little splenda. Now where did I learn that-- from my Dad of course, except in his day there was no sugar replacements so he used reg. sugar as I used to do.
One Christmas I saw this pretty dress shirt in the store and decided to buy it for my Dad. Others told me he would never wear it. It was a pale pink color and back then pink was for girls, blue was for boys, right. Well things sure have changed since I was small. My Dad surprised everyone-- he loved the pale pink shirt and even wore it with his suit at weddings. It was a real dress style shirt. That realy surprised everyone as our Dad was one tall ,strong, broad shouldered man who was a mechanic and a machinest by trade. He was not only the provider, but the protector of our family. An honest, dependable, and very intelligent person who was welled liked by everyone. I never knew even one person who was ever angry with my Dad. People looked up to him and all of us thought the sun shone on him. We always knew he would be there for us if we ever needed him. And I needed him a lot when we first built our house and later after we moved into it. He taught me how to fix the furnace when it quit working while Walt was working and I was alone at home with all our little kids . Then it was the well pump, I sure learned how to prime it and how to put my ear onto the water pipe coming from the well and tell if water was flowing thru it. Pump learning was a lot easier than furnace settings and less to worry about. Furnace settings had to be exact to light safely. I learned how to take the foot ruler and measure the exact space needed between the fuel line nozzle and the points-- just so far behind and so far below so that it fired like it should. I remember one time when Walt was adjusting the points and scared the life out of me. I was upstairs getting supper ready, when I suddenly heard a loud blast. I went running downstairs to see if he was ok. He had blown some of the furnace pipes right off the furnace. Thats when he asked me what the settings should be. I went upstairs and got the foot ruler and went back to check. He had kept trying to start the furnace and of course each time he just sent more fuel into the furnace that wasn`t lighting. So, when he did get the setting close enough to light the fuel the over abundance lit and it was like an explosion. The furnace had run out of fuel, plugging up the opening in the nozzle so he needed to remove it to clean it and had jarred the points out of alignment when he was putting the nozzle back on. Everything worked ok again once the points were adjusted so they could light the fuel before it was able to build up. After that Walt never just guessed at the settings and learned how to measure it exactly. Many times he would ask me to come check it.
Well, to get back to the pretty light pink shirt. One year my dad told me he needed a new pink shirt for the coming Christmas as his was beginning to look a bit worn. So that was part of his gift again that year. He wore it for the few years he had left. No one ever again said he would never wear a pink shirt. I also bought one for Walt when I bought the second one for my dad. For some reason, I never did buy Walt a second pink one after his wore out. Who ever thought real men don`t wear pink didn`t mweet my Dad.
My Dad was always there to help whenever I had a car problem. I remember one time when he set the timing so it ran lots better and a week later when I drove the car the car was again running rough. Back to my Dad I went. He checked the car and told me someone had changed the settings again. This happened a couple times more in the next few months-- some fellow at the mill told Walt how to set it. Well, that fellow sure didn`t know what he was talking about. That next time my Dad told me he would reset it if I promised not to tell Walt he worked on it. So, after Walt drove it to work the next morning he came home and said " For some reason the car always seems to run better after you have driven it". I told him it was probably because I put better gas in it. Since I had added fuel, he actually believed it was the gas. I never told him the difference till years after my Dad passed away and Walt was retired and not seeing that so smart worker to talk with him about cars. I did learn somethings about cars from my Dad as he was always under someones car when I wanted to ask him something. I got into the habit of always asking him what he was working on now. He was a machinest week-days at the mill, but evenings and week-ends he worked in his garage making extra money by repairing others cars. Over the years Walt also learned more about cars from watching my Dad work on our car. Sometimes I think it bothered him to see that what my dad did always worked. Now if he had only asked my dad instead of the mill friend he might even have taught his friend something useful.
Tomorrow is one of my younger sister`s Birthday. I received a phone call a few minutes ago asking me to come down as her Husband ( also named Walt) was having a small birthday party for her. This may be her first birthday party as I can`t remember her ever having one before. This is the sister and her Walt who had the Double Wedding with Me and my Walt. We both married Walt`s, but they were the exact opposite. my Walt was more quiet, less pushy and less demanding and a better worker than her Walt. Mine was taller, thinner with blond hair ( later turned dark), while hers was shorter, got stockier and dark hair. They both made friends easy, but mine kept his friends longer. Mine was never abusive while she went thru a lot during the first few years of marriage until she finally got brave enough to stand up to him. Then things got better for her. He is the only brother-in-law we have left as both of my other sisters have lost their husbands.
Weather is supposed to be a little better tomorrow. We had about 14 inches of snow this past Wednesday, and about another foot last night. Seems we no more get the driveways cleared and it snows again. Banks are so high you can`t see over them to back out of the driveway. My daughter who lives next door told me a while ago that she thought it was neat-- hearing her husband and I talking in my driveway and her standing up higher on their back porch and she still couldn`t see us over the high snow banks. With the arthritis in my hands getting worse, I can`t work the gas pumps so they take my car and get it filled up for me whenever the car gets low on gas. my daughter could hear him backing my car out of the garage and out of the driveway, but she wasn`t able to see the car.
That reminded me of the year my youngest son had left his car parked on our other lot for the winter. One morning I got up and couldn`t see even the top of his car. It was completely covered with snow. I took pictures of it that year and took a second picture when the very top of the car was verily visable to show the car was really under the snow. You couldn`t even see a dip where the car was-- the snow was so smooth over the whole lot. Not quite as bad this year as that year was because we had some rain washing down the snow a little a couple weeks ago. We have had more snow this winter than in the past few years.
Hardly a day goes by when some memory doesn`t appear from some thing that happened from past years. Memories are what keep all those we loved always with us
Labels: remembering the past