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Showing posts from May, 2009

Hueston, We Have an Ohio Beach

Over Memorial Day weekend, when we weren't chasing pigs through the barn or cows down the lane, we thought it would be nice to get away for an afternoon of summer fun. So we headed over to Hueston Woods State Park to the beach on man made Acton Lake. If you are looking for a summer hot spot that offers pristine sandy beaches, high class amenities, crystal clear waters, good smells, and people wearing appropriate swim attire, then this is NOT the place for you. But guess what, we had a great little redneck holiday and the kids LOVED the sand. While we were the only family unit on the beach who didn't have at least one adult, child, dog or granny with a tattoo, people were friendly. For instance, when I laid down on our beach blanket, they didn't splash water on my thighs and try to drag me back in the water to rejoin my pod. I guess it was a classy place after all.

The Skunk Got Squashed, And There you Are

Until I met and married my husband, I had never watched an episode of Murder, She Wrote , Matlock or Columbo (although, this could be because I hadn't yet developed the TV habits of a 70 year-old widow.) The cultural exchange on my side included introducing Husband to a song that he swore my family made up. If you know the title, you know half the chorus: Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road. Caught in that tricky era between record players (ours was broken) and the Internet, we were unable to share the full reality of the song until my brother found a novelty song CD in a sale bin. Before you know it, Husband, and later, our son, were cruising down the highway belting out: It's dead, it's in the middle and it's stinking to high-high heav -van. I'm not sure why this song is such an integral part of my family life that I needed to be sure that my husband could hum along. I mean, our family loved the novelty songs. No one could change clothes without someon

Hey, It's Hay

Welcome to the sequel to my smash hit and highly educational post: Hey, That's Not Hay. Attention ignorant hayride riders the world over: THIS is hay. It is valuable cow food. No one would ever let you sit on it. Actually, this is hay when it has just been mowed. (Is it necessary to say here that BEFORE being mowed, this area just looked like a grassy area--that needed to be mowed?) Oh, and look what we have here: hay that's been raked. This must be how it feels to work in Martha Stewart's kitchen--where the next major step in every process is magically complete and ready to show. Now I will share a view from my patented hay-cam , showing exactly what a piece of hay sees right before it is raked or fluffed or molested somehow by this machine. After the hay is mowed and raked, it is baled. Please note--and this is important--that hay can be baled in large round bales (called round bales) or in smaller square bales (commonly known as square bales). NEITHER KIND IS

Reaping What you Sow

Last spring we ambitiously planted seeds in homemade egg carton starters. The plants grew up tall and spindly and even though we replanted, they all died. This year, I invested in very cool green starter kits that included biodegradable containers and really fun dirt pellets that expanded when wet. If nothing else, Justin and Morgan had a wonderful time making the pellets expand and they did a nice job planing their seeds. Yes, she is wearing her princess swimming suit. After a long winter, don't all Ohioans spend the early part of May just sitting around in their swim suits waiting for spring? They don't? I need to go talk to my husband about something he told me a long time ago. I'll be right back. Anyway, we planted our seeds in our eco -friendly containers and somehow even managed to take a decent photo of Justin. The biodegradable container proceeded to mold on top of my filing cabinet for a few weeks until the seedlings were just tall and spindly enough that

The Rainbow Connection

UPDATE: It was a fire rainbow . Sunday, we were outside at my grandmother's house and we saw this crazy cloud rainbow. My photos don't do it justice. The colors were bright and beautiful--like the ingredients of a rainbow were hiding in the clouds. It even seemed to move around and change as the clouds changed. Then, right above us, there was a circle of rainbow. I had never seen anything like this. A powerful reminder of the beauty of Mother Nature.

Dreaming of Thirsty Cows

There are many great things about farm life. But there are some downsides. Ask any farm wife: the farm comes first. The farm comes before weddings--boy did my college roommate screw up by getting married during the county fair. The farm comes before babies--four decades ago my mother-in-law rode in a pick-up truck across four states in January to ensure she would be with her husband when she had her firstborn. The farm comes before holidays--we can't see what Santa brought until all the pigs have had their breakfast. Once, just once, I would like the cows to approach their automatic water tub and say oh, #$%@! the lady of the house must be taking a shower! Instead of the other way around.

Coming of Age on the Farm

Farm kids have different milestones than other kids. While Suburban-Dwelling kids may mark growing up with the distance from the house they can travel on their bike or the hour at which they must come home for the evening, country kids find different ways to age. In our family, the rite of passage surrounds our annual spring pig sale--pigs we sell to 4- H'ers to take to county and state fairs. This event includes trucking over 100 pigs to a neighboring fairgrounds in the morning, spending the day washing and bedding them, and then all evening running the auction. Last year marked the first year Ryan was allowed to leave with the pigs in the morning, spend all day working, help with the auction all evening and stay up for our 11 p.m. thank you dinner to our helpers. Yes, allowed . Like past years, little sister Morgan spent the afternoon with her grandma, making an appearance at the sale and then heading back for a sleepover at bed time. Justin didn't spend the whole day

Master of My Domain

Recently, all the professional farmers in the family were either on vacation or off at a pig show (I count my seven year-old son as one of the professionals). By a crazy twist of fate, I was the only person left to be officially in charge of the farm for the day. So I did what any hardcore farm wife would do when left in charge of the farm--I went shopping. Luckily for me, Husband had retained the services of a real farmer to help with the feeding. My only real job was to make sure that everything was still here when the real farmer came to feed. After my shopping trip I took the inventory: Cows. Check. Road-kill munching farm dog with adorable patch on her eye. Check. Tractor. Check. Hay bales. Check. This thing. Check. Pigs. Check. Observational cat. Check. Fortunately, Husband found the farm in pretty good shape when he got home. I hope I get to be in charge again soon. I could use another trip to the mall.