Friday, June 28, 2013

The Three Little Pigs

Today was the hottest day we've had so far this summer.  I would just like to say how grateful I am for air conditioning.  It wasn't even that hot compared to what folks in other parts of the country experienced today, but still hot enough for me!  It's rare for us to have the kind of humidity that causes things to fog up, but this evening there is a whole lot of moisture in the air.  It made for a pretty picture of my little town.

This morning I loaded up the kids and headed over to my old stomping grounds to pick up some piglets.  We took a quick tour of Cascade to show my kids where I grew up and then stopped in Ulm for the pigs.  Originally we had planned to get six weaned piglets from the little gal that raises them for her 4-H project.  But the day I had planned to pick them up, I ended up in the hospital instead.   By the time I got the all clear from the doctors, she only had three left.  So here are our three little pigs....

They are a Red Wattle cross.  Red Wattles are a critically endangered, heritage breed and I am all over that.  I also love their little wattles!  So dang cute!  Now I am off to study up on how to raise pork in the healthiest, most natural way possible.... Wish me luck!

Bye for now,

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Things That Are Important

My body is angry.  I was in the hospital over the weekend with some pretty serious health issues.  I won't bore you with the details.  But it is one of those situations that makes you stop and think. And pray.  There is absolutely nothing like staring at your own mortality to make you realize the things that are important. (If I take good care of myself I should be just fine, so don't worry just yet.)

Love becomes more real and raw.  You want the people that mean the most to you to know down into their bones how much you love them.  I love my babies so much it hurts.  Down to their precious, pink baby toes. When I say "babies" I mean all of them. Today my "big boy" is my baby too. Tonight I snuck in while they were sleeping to inhale their innocence.  I'm so grateful for my dear friends (ya'll know who you are) and my family that I can't even put it into words....

Today it felt like it was impossible to ignore the beauty that God put before us.  I'm grateful to have the opportunity to really see and feel what matters and what doesn't.  Today I remembered to open my eyes and slow down. 
Tonight's sunset.


 Some of the beauty in my yard.

So take a moment, just because, and look around.... 

 What are you most grateful for right now?

Bye for now,

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Fullness of Nothing

Sometimes there is a lot of substance to nothing.  Interior designers are always clearing out spaces just as often as they are adding to them.  In emptiness there can be peace.  One of the things I find most beautiful about where I live is the enormous emptiness.  While others might feel overwhelmed by it, I thrive here.  Wanna see what I mean?

This is the view to the West of the house.

This is what we see to the Northeast.

Looking directly North.
Behind Miss Gwynne is the pasture to the East.

Of course the Southern view is always impressive!
My little fleece covered friends live in my Southeastern view.  But you'll notice I don't have any human neighbors.
My grandparents love to come over in the evenings and just "porch sit".  We sit and revel in how beautiful it is and they love to watch the animals. I'm so thankful that I can share this part of their lives and enjoy the fullness of nothing with them.

Bye for now,

Monday, June 10, 2013

Pistol Packin' Momma

*Disclaimer: If you are anti-gun, you may not want to read this post.  But it's ok, I'll still love ya....*

Tonight I got to sneak out and ride my Fancy mare.  She's enjoying becoming a horse again after a year of pretty intense training.  She isn't used to being ridden out in the world right now.  The safe confines of the arena are what she has gotten used to.  So out across the pasture we go.  Looking at every little thing, spooking at the dogs when they pop up out of the grass.  Not so fun for me, but necessary....
After our ride....
After she had settled a bit and we were slowly walking up to the barn gate we heard a slight buzzzzzz.... Oiy! Snake!  Fancy jumped backwards and shied away.  I hung on while hoping I wouldn't get dumped on top of a rattle snake!  I hollered across the field to Prairie Granny, who was out in the yard with the rugrats.  "There's a snake!"  Then, "Get my gun!"  I led Fancy to the house, calling the dogs along so they wouldn't get snake bit.  Unsaddled, turned Fancy loose and grabbed my gun.

At first I couldn't find him when I went back.  Of course.  But just as I was hopping back on the four-wheeler, there he was climbing up the big manure pile next to the corrals.  I quickly aimed at his beady little head and fired.  Missed!  That was actually the very first time I shot my gun.  It's a .41 caliber, single action revolver. I have sot some .45's so I figured it would kick a bit.  But it wasn't too bad.  Mostly it was just really loud!  Shoulda wore ear plugs, but I didn't....  I couldn't hear a thing for a few minutes after the shooting.  So when I'm a really deaf old lady, we'll know why!  I promise I'll have ear protection next time!

Anyway, I shot that dirty bugger three more times.  There is no better target practice than a rattlesnake on a manure pile!

See how well they hide?  It's easy to step right on them!
Prairie Granny dragged him out so I could take a better photo.
After we disposed of Mr. Snake, we did our evening chores to the chorus of a pack of coyotes somewhere nearby.  Ugh.  But it's ok, Momma's gotta gun....

Bye for now,

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Small Town Fun

Today, this tiny town of 266 or so swelled in population!  Maybe to even a thousand or two!  Today was the annual "Geraldine Fun Day".  This town goes crazy on this day.  There's a parade of course, games, bed races down main street, beer tastings, cowboy shoot outs and live music.  I never make it to all the events. But I make a point to do the parade.

Our friend Dustin is the shady character in the purple shirt.
Dan is all ready for the bed race!

Watch out! The kids are all driving!
Payson and I entered our little Topper in the parade.  Most folks around here haven't ever seen an alpaca before.  With his funny summer haircut, he got a lot of looks and laughs.  He was a perfect gentleman the whole time we were in town and made us proud.

I'm so glad to be living in this tiny, prairie town. 

Bye for now,

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Ordinary Not So Ordinary Day

It seems the ordinary day for me is now pretty much anything but ordinary.  I sat down to write tonight and thought, "I don't know if I have anything to write about.  Nothing extra ordinary happened was just an average day."  But wait just a minute.

This morning I got up and actually put on clean jeans and did my hair and makeup before going to do the chores.  No, I haven't lost my mind.  This morning we had a visitor that was due to arrive right at chore time.  A lovely young gal from Oregon came by the farm to interview us for the Fort Benton newspaper. We got to give her the grand tour.  We showed her how we are now raising the calves so we will be able to sell grass fed beef.  We showed her the young Barred Rock pullets that will soon produce fresh, all natural, free range eggs for us.  She got to meet the lambs and the horses and of course the alpacas.  The main focus today was on the alpacas.  It's a new industry in our area and folks might like to see more about them. 

It was also fun to ask Miss Bethany questions.  I learned she up and moved from Oregon to take the job at the newspaper and for some reasons of the heart. Seems there is a lucky farm boy between here and Fort Benton.  She might just end up another of a long line of women who found themselves out on the prairie as a farm wife.... I guess we'll see.  But it sure was fun to show her around and I hope the article lets people know what we're up to out here.

This afternoon I just spent some good quality time playing with the rugrats.  Sometimes the pressure of getting this farm going makes me forget to just play with the kids.  Yes they love going with momma to do chores, pull weeds, plant things, water things and move critters around.  But sometimes we just need to hang out and do nothing productive at all.  Then I had to go haul hay....

My big boy came with me for that and he's becoming a lot like his momma and took his camera.  My little staff photographer.  I'm glad he likes taking pictures.

Tonight we also had another not-so-ordinary sunset.  I wonder if I'll ever get tired of seeing the amazing evening skies we get here?  I hope I never take them for granted.

Bye for now,

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Tenant

Ok, it's time ya'll met my "tenant".  (I once lived in Texas long enough to claim the use of the word "ya'll".) When I bought this farm, the sellers found an adorable cabin over in western Montana.  It was perfect for them.  Except for one thing.  Sherry's prize elk mount would in no way fit in the house.  The ceilings of the little cabin are not vaulted.  So they asked me if I minded if he stays right where he is until they figure out what to do with him.

If you know me personally, you know I have never hunted, not counting gophers.  (But I am pro-hunting, as long as it's not me doing the hunting.)  I haven't ever sought to hang any mounts on the walls of my home.  Never was a look I was going for.  However, Sherry's elk was absolutely not in the way, hanging on his wall, below the skylight.  So of course I said he could stay as long as he needs to.

I've become quite fond of him really.... I don't know how long he'll get to stay, but I think I'll miss him when he goes.

Sherry shot this elk near here, in an area on Arrow Creek.  So to my readers that are hunters, come visit!  You don't have to travel to wild and obscure places to hunt trophy elk.  Just Geraldine!

I had a thought....  Would this happen anywhere else?  I think I might be the only person with this kind of "tenant".  But it's another reason I love this place.

Bye for now,