About Me

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Married twenty-five years to my wonderful husband and best friend. We have 3 "home-grown" kids and 1 hand-picked by God from Africa. Our life is blessed. We are a close knit family with strong Christian beliefs. Come along with us on our journey…you might have a great laugh or two.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Taking back the land...

This past weekend was filled to the brim with farm work….with the occasional soccer games, swim practices and church thrown in.  It was even carried over to Monday afternoon having my husband take a half day off of work just to work on a few things.

We are taking back the land.  Ain't no beans about it.

For starters, we mowed, and mowed, and mowed and then mowed some more.  I promise you I have never seen grass so tall and so thick.  Of course, it hasn't helped that we have had our share and then some of rain.
My oldest son mowed for a really long time until Dad came and rescued him.  Notice how bad it is under the apple trees.  Every tree in the yard was like that.
Next my husband mowed….and mowed…..and mowed some more.
Of course, he had some help from time to time.


Next, it was tree work.  After you mow for hours on end and whack your head continuously on the low lying branches, you come to a conclusion…..every tree needs to be cut up about six feet.  Every single tree.

Of course, cutting back the branches is the easy part.  The hard part is loading branch by branch onto a tarp and then drag that pile to the burn pile.  Which I might add is ridiculously far away from wherever we were working on the farm.  It's six acres.  Six…..long…..acres.   As I dug my feet in and dragged those trees pile after pile, I thought of two things….

One.  We need a horse in a BAD way.  (It's not on the docket to get one, but it would come in very handy in a time like this)

And two.  I am losing weight at the speed of light doing this.  Yeehaw!  It's like the ultimate fitness bootcamp when you buy and maintain a farm.  Who needs a gym membership?  Just spend a weekend cutting, pulling, and sawing and you will lose weight.  You will do unlimited amounts of squats, bends and arm lifts.  Not to mention that I surpass my "fitbit" 10,000 steps marker all the time now.  Let me hear you say….Yeah!

On the flip side…..I drag, crawl, limp my way to bed every night after farm work.  My muscles are screaming at me.  "What crazy 44 year old woman begins the last half of her life with this much hard labor.  Don't you believe in retirement?"

Then I look out at this.  And realize why...

This is our farm.  The forever place.  No one will take better care of it than us.  It's one of those weird farmer kind of things I finally "get".

Friday, September 19, 2014

Today it was all about the grapes….

This morning the little ones and I went out to the farm for just a couple of hours.  I am dying to get to work out there but I must say that if I let it….it could be VERY overwhelming as to the vast amount of work that needs to be done.  So I decided it's best to take what I like to call "the spyglass" approach.

Close one eye.  Take your hands and put them in a circle to make a pretend spyglass and put it over your open eye (like a pirate would….arrrgh, mateys!), then focus that spyglass on one thing on the farm and get that done for the day.  Forget the entire picture.  It'll probably take us years to get the farm the way I see it in my head.  Just take one baby step at a time.  Rome wasn't built in a day, people.  And neither will this farm….whatever we decide to call it.  Of course with me doing a spyglass all over the farm my little boy thinks "pirate island acres" would be fun to call it.

I don't think so Tim.  (ahem, can you name that sitcom?)

Okay, so today it was all about the grapes.  Personally, I don't know anything about grapes.  Yet.  But I'm pretty sure that they will not survive in six feet tall weeds, no sun and intertwined among trees.  It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that one out.

So first…..pull out the weeds.

Before we started in the grapes
After….about half way done with the weeds.  Can you see the grapevine running horizontally through the middle of it?  That's what we were trying hard to get to.
Our next step is cutting down the three Mulberry trees that are going through the middle of the grapes.  I didn't have the chainsaw with me this morning.  Of course, I'm not allowed to use the chainsaw being as accident prone as I am (or so my husband tells me), so I'll just wait for help from him in the next few days to actually complete the job.  After the trees are gone, we'll shore up the vines with new wire and posts and then hopefully we'll be ready to do some pruning on them before winter.

Our grass on the farm is taking on a life of its own.  We have bought a very large lawn tractor, but it had to be specially ordered so it still has a few days to go before it gets here.  I can't wait.  This morning a really large frog jumped out from the tall weeds and scared the fire out of me coming right at me.

That thing is all mine when I get my tractor….

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

It's all ours….now what do we do?

Finally….we closed on our farm today.  And it was the longest process EVER.

I'll be honest.  I thought it would be easier than this.

We gave them ninety days to move out and still they were working yesterday morning (throwing away items) when I went over there to do our "final walk through".  We tried to be very respectful of this woman's emotions.  We realized that this was going to be very hard for her to do.  She had a TREMENDOUS amount of stuff in every house, outbuilding, barn and scattered throughout the farm.  We gave her ninety days (when most people give only 30) and only asked in return that she get rid of EVERYTHING that was hers.  And to continue to mow the property until the end.

Yesterday, they did not want to leave and we also saw that they had not mowed the property in probably a couple of months.  The weeds/grass are knee-high in some places.  Thankfully, things were in our favor.  She had already signed the papers so they had to leave but it made for a very difficult situation, during our final walk through.  I thought it was done.

Not quite yet….

After getting the keys, I went out this morning to the farm only to find the dumpster still on the property and the gate chain (the chain that goes across the driveway to secure the property) had been cut and removed.

So here's what I've decided.  There are some "not so nice people" still in this world.  Those people are the way that they are and are never going to change.  If we had given them 120 days, they would have taken 121.  They will never be anything different.  Even though we had been nothing but very kind to them.  They took out their frustrations on us.

However, I'm not going to let them steal my joyful heart over this moment.  I have wanted a farm for so very long and now it's ours.  I can't wait to get my hands on those apple trees and pull the weeds out from around the grapes.  The barn is a mess….I know.  But now it's MY mess and I can't wait to see what I can do with it.  I see it in my head.  It's just time to make it all happen.

Here's a few pictures from this morning's adventure.  I only had the two little ones with me and by the time we left we were soaking wet from the knees down.  But oh my goodness, it was fun!

These apple trees are screaming my name for pruning and care.

I don't even try to explain some things.

I know you can't see it now, but this will be my chicken coop.  I'll keep you posted on it's transformation.

For this….I have three words for ya.  You won't believe what I'm gonna do.  Okay, technically that's seven but you get my drift.

Oh yeah we did….buy a run down ol' farmhouse with no heat, no air and no dishwasher.    We are that crazy
Grapes from our farm.  It's what I could get to at this time. The weeds are as tall as me right now.
I'm trying to figure out what we should name our farm.  Don't ask one of the kids though, you'll get things like "fluffy farm" or "happy farm" or my favorite (from my oldest) "mosquito farm".  So I'm gonna have to think about that one for a while.  Patience is the word right now…..just don't think it goes with the word farm, though.

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Invasion

These things people…..

Physically chased us back into our house last night when we tried to cook s'mores and hot dogs on the fire pit.  They are by far, the orneriest, meanest, tiniest, little pistol pete's on the planet.

And they win…..ugh!

What was Noah thinking?