"If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day." — E.B. White

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Junkers day o bliss (Lucketts II)

Well yesterday was a day  that made up for the craziness of the past week...
Yesterday began with a fun local country auction
and ended at Lucketts chatting w/Miss Mustard Seed.

B l i s s

In the morning we went just down the road to a beautiful historic farm.
It was actually a bit sad..
The gentleman and his family have farmed it forever...
Now that the patriarch passed away, they'll be selling the family farm.
Nearly 300 acres in two parcels.
He was an avid Clydesdale and foxhunting man among other things.
Many fun draft horse activities and hunt meets occurred there...
On one of the seats of a sleigh to be auctioned was a photo of someone dressed up like the Easter Bunny, driving a big white horse in that same sleigh...

As in most of our county, cows were a mainstay as well.
There was so much interesting old equipment sold.
I was actually happy to note that prices ran high...
The Land O lakes sign above, sold for over $200 I think
Everyone was eager to have a keepsake of this wonderful place.
I do really mourn the many many family farms sold n divided up these days...

These assorted harness/collar pads looked so neat hung in a row

The Acorn sign sold for over $60 and is destined for Ebay according to the buyer!

I have a special fondness for the old McCormick-Deering planters

This old stove was just beautiful and I hope it sold well to someone who'll treasure it.

Girls, if you're still single, these auctions can be a great source of single men...
This guy's hysterical shirt read:
"Hey Ladies, this could be you" with a box drawn for someone under his loving arm!
Behind him you can just see two pieces of furniture...
I got the beat up dresser on the left for $1
The other cabinet sold for $200+

These were folks from my area and I love 'em but what a difference to head west to Lucketts!
Lotsa fancy mercedes instead of pick-ups... 
Drop dead stunning painted furniture created by 
the one n only

Miss Mustard Seed!!!

She was sooo kind to take the time to try to talk with me despite the press of customers eager to buy her pieces... I heard many asking about how they could find her shop for more!
Several looked a bit baffled by her mention of HER BLOG so I hope they go discover what a rock star she really is!
I couldn't get any pics of her bigger furniture as folks were so crowded in her booth, but it was clearly the highest quality merchandise with best prices and presentation at the fair!

Her Fresh Oysters sign is even better in person.
Bet it's gone to a new home in no time...

I loved the variety of items she'd brought! These cool old lockers were covered in letters n butterflies made with german glass glitter ~ sooo pretty I had to buy some.
I also bought a darling child's shoe form and one of her painted buckets.
It was hard to keep within my budget as her pillows were really calling my name!

Sarah n Jack enjoyed meeting her cute boys and I was impressed by the support of her sweet Hubby, Mom n Dad. They are a fun family and I'm sooo excited because she said they'll be coming to play at our farm in Sept!!!

In case you're not a stalker  uber fan like me, there're plenty of other fun activities at Lucketts Fair too;
The kids climbed like monkeys on the playground, jumped on the moonbounce and then ran thru the cooling tent misters. I wished The Farmer had been able to join us as the bluegrass music in the gazebo was wonderful!

We tried waiting in line for the free rock climbing, but it was slow moving and HOT.
So instead we went for hand dipped ice cream. sooooo good!

I found lots of other inspiration around the amazing Lucketts Store yards too.
I covet these for my garden...

The artsy horsey stuff even appealed to this jaded gal.

It was all I could do not to bring this old screen door home for our pantry. But that door (like the others round our old farmhouse) is an odd size and I wasn't for sure this one could fit.

Good thing I have clients coming here today or I KNOW I'd be heading back with with measurements and mo money!
I know what I'll be dreaming about tho...

Hope your weekend is full of great junk!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I couldn't make this stuff up

 Wish I were creative and just thinkin up tall tales to entertain others...
As my BFF, Lori, has gotten me into saying ~
"Are you KIDDING me?!"

I'm sure by now folks have figured out that our farmhouse is a crazy place.
The chickens.
The goats.
The dogs.
Enough to scare away any sane person.
I'm known to run screaming out into the fields on occasion when it's all just too much...

But this takes the cake.
Here I am hosting a pony playdate...
(A schoolmate interested in riding lessons has brought her pony to play. Her not crazy mother staying to watch n chat.)
Trying to have house, barn, ring, kids, critters all lookin their best...
It's just insane not possible.
Our inner redneck just seems to have to show itself.

I'm sure this is what I get after busting on someone else yesterday who had colored Chritmas lights up on their rickety porch last night as we drove past...
Lit up.
In August.
I was on the phone w/The Farmer and made some joke 'bout hillbillies...
God was not amused!
Ya know~ "people who live in glass houses..."

After we'd finished riding and carefully groomed n put away the ponies, we came into the house for snacks and a nice civilized mommy chat.
Til we realized that while we thought the kids were outside playing,  someone was upstairs playing.
I cautiously went up and was met by Olivia sliding across the floor as she tried to dash back down.
She's never allowed upstairs...
Was she chasing a chicken or the cat?
Nope all accounted for.


Probably the same one that had been up to somethin in the hayloft earlier.
The Farmer quickly created a snare w/some copper pipe n wire. (He's very useful for wildman activities n such!)
Sadly it was acting even crazier than we were - approaching us again when let loose and The Farmer had to shoot it.

Hard to believe too that the sweet, not crazy momma still said nice things and left both daughter and pony here for an overnight!

I guess she figures at least we're not this kinda crazy~ YIKES!
(photo curtesy Google "crazy images")
Puleeeeze, somebody out there...
Has ANYTHING like this ever happened to you?!
Ever? Why me? ALL THE TIME?!
(Clearly we need to order custom $$$ screen doors ~Fast!)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Fresh cut flowers

I've always loved hearing those words.
Fresh Cut Flowers.
A good friend named her horse that...
Too cute!
These sweet smelling pretties came from The Farmer.
Kinda sorta.
Tho he is super nice, he's not that kinda guy really...
He'd say; "well you have so many flowers here..."
"I never know which look nice..."
Then he'd go out n build me an arbor instead.
Even better.
Yup, he's a keeper.
And he's really helpful to friends n neighbors too.
So after he mowed/cleared a big overgrown field for a friend who sells flowers at the farmers market
she sent home SEVERAL beautiful bouquets.
The Farmer earned the credit tho, right?

Can't ya smell them?
I wish you all fresh cut flowers on your table!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Garden gatherings

So much hope sprouts in the spring with a cleared patch of earth...
Now our garden is winding down and it never really even got going as well as I'd imagined. Though there were several failures there were also unexpected successes.

These beans did their thing for the Farmer. I always forget how much better garden grown beans are! There was even a hidden bonus beneath the weeds n beans...

Momma  guinea was trying to set some eggs. Wish I could encourage her but the fox will find her faster than the beans grew! Plus, baby "keets" are notorious for dying from dampness - dew or rains.

 I think my favorite find are the baby Reliance grapes. They're beautiful and delicious!

We did get a few potatoes, piddly peas and lettuce. The carrots and radishes were only so so. The melons, malnurished...

But the tomatoes and peppers are still going strong!

And our drought FINALLY broke! Unfortunately the winds n storms that came brought down a lot of immature pears. I've scavenged the best ones and want to try making pear butter.

I had blamed the drought on our wilting zucchini and cukes but learned too late about hateful squash borers! I mourn my dead pumpkins the most. Fixing that problem sounds daunting. I wanna just quit. waaaaaa

But LOOK ~ these sweet violas volunteered IN the old mortar walls of the farmhouse!

And volunteer sunflowers ~ awwwwww it don't get much better!

I really really want to love veggie gardening... I just do so much better w/flowers. Anyone else out there feel the same??? Next year I might try some straw bale gardening .

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

not so funny farm

I told you...
Goats are not my first home invaders.
This happens way too often.
We are not very good at closing doors and have no screen doors b/c all doors in this old house are very odd sizes ~either short or tall w/huge transoms above...
Too many flies n chickens have figured this out.
They seem to learn faster than my kids.

Two years ago we all left to run errands, inadvertently leaving a back door open...
Baby Jack was overdue for a nap, had fallen asleep in the truck and I was trying to quietly rush him to his crib...
I screamed when I hit the upstairs as I thought we'd been robbed/ransacked... ('Member that thought earlier in my housekeeping post? Sadly too common here.)
We have very deep window sills and I use them as shelves/display areas. All sorts of stuff was knocked down n scattered all over the upstairs floors.

Then I saw it.


I figured out that a feathered (not quite a) friend had been lost n looking for a way out.
It felt more  like Goldilocks as she'd clearly visited each bedroom...
I cautiously looked around, expecting something to launch at me any second...
Finally I found her.
A Rhode Island Red. They're always the troublemakers!
Nesting in Sarah's wicker hamper.
Due to LBB (life before blogging) I did not set crying baby on floor and take pictures.
Use your imagination.

I will further embarrass myself by adding another icky story...
Shortly after this (Jack was potty trained early) I found little people poopS in the grass by our playset!
Horrified, I asked 4 yo Sarah "WHY???!!!"
After trying to blame Jack, she admitted it just seemed "fun, like camping."
When I called my BFF for comfort she almost wet her pants laughing at me.
"You're the only girl I know whose chickens poop in the house and kids poop outside!"
I hung up and poured a tall glass of wine.

When she came for a visit she brought me the perfect door mat ~
It's worn to bits now.

Country life ain't for sissies.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Keepin' it real

Just in case you didn't get enough of my whining at the end of the horse show...
This is what I came in to find after I'd put the ponies to bed and needed to start dinner!
Scuze the pics, I think I was shaking as I grabbed the camera in disbelief.

The 2 legged kids had been responsible (ya, dumb to even think, I know) for walking Wilma n Bert while I did barn chores.

Good thing they had their blow-up "Super Striker" mallets that they won at the fair!
Take THAT Bert and get outta my house!!!!!

* Apparently the goats are even worse than my chickens bout finding an open door!
** Nobody ever asks me why I drink... ;-0

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Howard County Fair

Sarah on Neil Diamond
Today we took both kids and ponies to the Howard County Fair horse show. It was a low key outing for us as we're not at all competitive these days. In fact, this is the only show we go to all year. Last year Sarah (now 6) showed for the first time off the lead and this year she tried trotting alone. Last year was Jack's first leadline class. He had just turned three. When he realized that Sarah got to dress up and ride in the "real" ring he demanded to show too and not just be led in the warm up ring... Whew, that was a real last minute rush to get two sets of clothes n ponies ready the night before!
Jack kissing Neil Diamond
In my past life I was at horse events nearly every weekend riding and coaching older and more advanced riders and riding great big horses (ponies are all new for me). To say I became "burned out" is an understatement. I was soooo ready for a whole new stay at home life out in the boonies. Now I simply enjoy having fun with my horses and mostly, watching my kids have fun with their ponies. My dream is to have all my family riding beside me in the hunt field soon. That would be bliss!

The Howard County Fair set-up is really nice - lotsa shade trees around the ring and carnival rides, pig races, performances and ice cream too!  Both kids rode today in the lead line class, then Sarah switched ponies and rode alone at at the walk and (sporadic, mostly sullen) trot. We didn't impress the fancy hunter people who came with their gorgeous and obedient show ponies in huge trailers... But we did have lots of fun with our farm ponies and brought home a few nice ribbons.

Jack on Neil Diamond
Our two ponies are so different (just like our kids) and each present their own challenges... Our small welsh/x pony, "Neil Diamond,"  is an old curmudgeon ~ he likes the finer things in life (eats more than our nursing broodmares despite needing dentures) and tolerates the young uns! He's thin, frail and has a bit of a pot belly. At 25+ years he's well travelled and educated.... Still, I get the impression he mostly wants to be left alone in his snug stall w/a good book. He can get very grumpy and naughty when asked to do very much but is teaching the kids a lot. I love that I can trust him with Sarah riding loose through our huge hay fields. What confidence and determination she's getting from riding him ~ that's priceless to me!
Sarah on Lucky Duck
Our medium sized morgan /x pony "Lucky Duck" came from the hills of W. VA and often seems perplexed by the concept of manners and all things refined, but he adores his family and is a hard worker. Right now he's still a bit strong and uneducated for Sarah to show alone but he's learning. He really wants to do the right thing, he's just a baffled by our vocabulary and gets to be a bit of a bully when unsure. All is forgiven however when he walks away from his food and wraps his neck around the kids in a bonofide hug!

Sarah walk/trot on Neil Diamond

Sarah was very pleased to be riding alone this year and has been hounding me since we left about the next show ~ "don't they have another one next week, mom?" Let's see, cleaning 2 sets of  tack n ponies, washing show clothes, polishing boots, packing real clothes, baking cookies, making sandwiches n lemonade, remembering paperwork n camera n caring for all the farm critters extra early... Um, no, it wore me out and I think I might be getting sick. ~whimper~ Maybe when they can do more prep work themselves we'll travel more...  Meanwhile there's a reason we only go once a year! Tonight, we'll all (ponies too) enjoy a nice bath and early bed!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Walking with friends

Morning walks are a lot more fun lately...
There's a commotion on the farm as everyone gets used to our newest farm family members!
Lotsa bugged out eyes n snorts, squawks, growls n giggles!

Meet our goats ~ " Bert" a pet/companion wether Boer meat goat...

And "Wilma" an Alpine doe who we'll breed for a spring kid and milking!

They are a generous gift from my dear friend Chris, whose son raised them for 4-H and is now off to college.  I've been wanting goats for a looong time but have been nervous as I tend to go overboard n obsess, read too much and then get overwhelmed. Chris, who is newer to horses, says all the time "they're GOATS relax, they're EASY compared to horses!"

She's right - they were raised really well and are a joy to have around. They even come when they're called, follow us around, romp n play with the 2 legged kids! I've milked a friend's goats long ago as part of a farm sitting experience so we'll have to see if I can remember anything next spring. I'm excited to try making yogurt, cheese n soap!

These are my "test" goats... If they and we survive, I bet I'll get more soon!

The kids already have dreams of this for poor Bert!

Please bear with me - I can't get to any of my draft/saved posts on Blogger due to some major bug in my Mac's iphoto program! I have a ton of cute pictures I've been wanting to post... I'll need to get down to the Apple store but that'll take a whole day - which I just can't spare right now. grrr Macs are NOT perfect!