There was a full moon already high in the sky, shining over my shoulder as I took the laundry off the line.
The temperature was absolutely perfect, with a slight breeze ruffling the leaves.
I sat on the side porch and simply pondered the years and years people have done the same things as I have done in this very place. I pictured the people who worked in the barns throughout the last 147 years. I could almost see the mothers taking clothes off the line, kids scattering food for the chickens, fathers fixing holes in fences. I looked up into the trees that were planted by those original homeowners. Trees which shaded untold numbers of friends and family as they rested underneath.
At one point, the train whistled, as it does every night. A train sounds very different when you are listening to it in the dark, on the porch of a house in the middle of 200 acres of corn, while contemplating the generations of families who have sat in the very same spot. To me, the train can be one giant nuisance. Besides getting in my way when I'm trying to get somewhere, my dogs insist on howling back at the whistle, every single time, early morning or dark of night.
But to the families who lived here 140 years ago, the train meant something very different. It meant supplies. And fast travel. And progress. An expanding world.
I am so blessed to live in this old house, on this beautiful piece of property.
For my list this week, I thought I'd take you on a tour of things I am so happy to have here on our property as well as the things we are able to have because of the property.
To make it even better, some of the tour will be in video form!!
Well, that was the plan.
Problem #1: I don't know how to use my camera phone. I forgot the important fact that when I hold the camera sideways, I can see the scene properly, but when it downloads to my computer, it is sideways.
Problem #2: A pig escaped while Cuckoo had the camera. While it made for funny and "Aww, ain't he cute?!" footage, it wasn't exactly the intro to pigs I was hoping to give you.
Problem #3: It has rained/stormed almost every minute we've been home, so I was limited in my photo opportunities.
I will do my best.
1. I am thankful for the chicken coop. We get so much enjoyment from raising chickens, and the fresh eggs are miles above store-bought eggs in all ways. The chicken video is the first one we shot. Cuckoo is taking the video, in true Cuckoo form, while I toss some cantaloupe to the hens. Once again, the video is here more for the audio. I just can't get enough of that child's voice. And you will notice at the end, I do a little foreshadowing...
2. I am thankful for the pig barn. You had a good look at this barn in the pig video yesterday. I swear it did not look like that in April. This bunch of pigs has been more destructive than any we've ever had. They have practically torn down one of the barn walls. I'm just praying they don't knock the whole thing down before they go to the butcher on Wednesday. Which, by the way, is why I'm thankful for the pig barn. We can raise pigs.
I know many people don't think they could raise something only to have it butchered for the freezer. If a person eats meat, this really is the best way to go. The pigs are fed well and have a happy life. When it is time to go to the butcher, the work is done at a small operation, where we know everyone who works there. It is very open-door, so we know exactly what happens. We are able to have an entire year's worth of high-quality meat in our freezer with very little cash out of our pockets. (We sell the other two pigs to cover most of the cost of raising all three.)
3. I am thankful for the main barn. I posted a tour of the barn a while back. It was built in 1901. We know this, because the date and names of the kids who lived here are etched in the cement of the doorways. The kids have had so much fun playing in that barn. When I had my photography business, it was used many, many times for portraits. It's just a great, old barn.
4. I am thankful for all of the space we have to grow our own food. I had never planted a seed before we moved here. Not even the grass or flower seeds some kids do in class. Now, we have a huge garden and a small orchard which gives us an abundance of food. I get a thrill every single time I put something on the dinner table that we grew or raised ourselves. Just two days ago, I picked this for our meal.
It tasted sooo good. And there are more where this one came from.
5. I am thankful for the hundreds of trees on the property. They give us tons of shade, and between the shade and the ever-present breeze in the country, even the hottest days aren't too hot. Plus, there are climbing trees for all ages.
|I don't lift kids into trees. If a child wants to sit in one, he has to get into the tree himself. Turken is finally big enough to get into some of them.|
|Can you see Turken in "his" tree? He would want me to tell you he climbs much higher than this, but this is the only spot with a break in the leaves good enough for a photo. The red oak tree behind Turken's is the best "big kid" climbing tree.|
|He was in a picture-taking mood. He insisted I take a photo in the other tree he can climb.|
|The view from one of my second-floor, bedroom windows.|
7. I am thankful for the characteristics of our old house. Walking through our house is like a little history lesson. So many details in the house are original and really show how things were back when the house was built. In the basement visitors will find the low section in the floor where ice was kept, the gas lamps in the walls, the coal shoot, and the 4-brick thick foundation. Throughout the house a person will find original glass in the original windows, original mantels around the fireplace, wide interior walls (which are hollow in the middle except for the ladders allowing access), a gorgeous curved staircase, and a plate above the front door inscribed with the name of the builder and the year the house was built.
8. I am thankful for the opportunity to show our kids the value in trying new things. We moved to this house having never laid eyes on a chicken which actually had feathers and a head. Each and every year the kids see us come up against situations we have never before seen. They get to see us find solutions, and many times they get to be a part of the solution. I want them to be unafraid to try new things. I want them to have grand adventures and soak up every single experience. We only get one life on this earth, and I want them to make the most of it. Showing them is the best way I know to teach them.
(The next two are completely unrelated to the house and property. That #8 pretty much summed it all up, so I'm moving on to a couple of other things for which I'm grateful this week.)
9. I am thankful for Lizzi giving me the chance to guest post. On Monday, she had things to do on other people's blogs, so she asked me to write a post for hers. All she said was, "Can you write something about good parenting?" Maybe I shouldn't have used quotes. It was something like that. I wasn't feeling especially good at parenting the week my post was due, and I rewrote that post at least 10 times. Two hours before the deadline, I finally, finally came up with a way to do it. I am so glad she asked me. There were some things swimming in my head that I never would have written down if she wouldn't have nudged me to do so. And I'm grateful to her for the support and encouragement she is constantly showing me.
10. I am thankful for the years I have spent teaching and working with kids in general. When Cuckoo told me Friday morning that he wanted to do a craft, it took me all of 45 seconds to come up with an easy one we could do with just a few materials. He could not have been more thrilled. All we did was make a jack-o-lantern lantern out of construction paper. It took us 10 minutes, and that includes collecting the materials. When we were done, he carried that lantern around all morning. He played cards with it (War, specifically. At one point he asked me, "Which one wins? A jack-o-lantern or a three?") and held it while he watched Sid the Science Kid.
Clearly, I need to dust off the cobwebs in my brain and do some more crafts with the kid.
That's it for me! Let me hear all the things for which you are thankful this week.
Have a lovely day!
A Fly on our (Chicken Coop) Wall, Considerings, Finding Ninee, Getting Literal, I can say mama, I Want Backsies, Rewritten, Steps into Parenthood, Thankful Me, The Wakefield Doctrine
OHHHHHHHHH But he is so PRECIOUS! I don't even mind the fingers (totally and completely) in the way for the joy of hearing him call it "Tan'a'ope" :)ReplyDelete
I had to stop my music to 'listen' to your introduction better - it was postively poetic, and really took me on a journey. Beautifully written, and lovely that you live in a place which makes you think those thoughts.
The barn looks like great fun, and the woodwork on those stairs is GORGEOUS! I do like a good bannister!
Good for tree-climing Turken. Niece and Neff like climbing trees when they can, and they can go as far as they like, as long as it's under their own steam, because then when they yell, I can tell them "You got yourself up there - you can get yourself down". I even did that this year, on holiday, from the other end of the garden at the holiday house, from my sun lounger, with my hat still pulled down over my eyes. They were fine :)
(also, you growded your own WATERMELONS! That's so awesome :D )Delete
I say the same thing to my kids when they get too high up in a tree!Delete
Thank you for your kind words about the intro. The fact that you turned off the music says it all. :)
I could listen to his voice all day long, as long as it isn't his whiney voice, of course.
We did grow our own watermelons. Our spoiled rotten first world children aren't happy that they have seeds, though. We have only purchased seedless watermelon for years, so seeds are considered a nuisance. They are delicious, though!
YaWHAT! They're doing it wrong then! You SAVE the seeds on the side of your plate, load them into your mouth all at once and then spit them forcefully all over your younger sister...Delete
Yes, yes, okay, in the garden if you INSIST!
We tried teaching them the beauty of spitting the seeds. The only time they are actually allowed to spit. They weren't impressed.Delete
They've been exposed to far too much wholesome goodness! Seed spittin's HILARIOUS fun.
Your life on that farm just sounds perfect, especially the growing food and the chickens. I really wondered how you'd deal with the pigs. Are you going to buy new pigs, once these are gone? The jack-o-lantern craft sounds fun. I might do that with Sweetie and Lily ;-)ReplyDelete
Have a great weekend, Christine!
While it isn't perfect by any means, it is a wonderful life.Delete
Each year in April we buy four pigs weighing 40ish pounds. We raise them all through the summer, and by September they are pushing 300 pounds and ready to go to slaughter. This way, we don't have to keep them all winter, nor do we have to do the work of breeding and weaning.
It is a simple craft, but every one of my kids has enjoyed doing it.
I was waiting for the tour since yesterday and seriously your farm house is just perfect. Thank you so much for wanting to share this with all of us. And I got to tell you something about that staircase picture reminded me of the old staircase in the show Dallas. I loved that show as a kid and sounds crazy but I saw that picture it reminded me of that staircase. Anyways, you have a lovely home and so jealous of the home grown watermelon!! Thanks always for co-hosting and Happy Weekend now, too!ReplyDelete
Not perfect (I was doing the thankful list. I could come up with an equally long pain in the neck list.) but wonderful for us.Delete
Ha! That's funny. I didn't really watch Dallas, but I seem to remember a winding staircase.
See, now you make me want to be a fake farmer when you write all those lovely things...especially, well, there's no especially to it. It just sounds great.ReplyDelete
Also no offense, but Cuckoo does not look all that thrilled with the craft, if I simply look at the picture...JK! :) But he did do a fantastic job (as we've come to expect) on his videography skills. Awesome! :)
The world could use a few more fake farmers, I think. :)Delete
I know he doesn't look happy, but that is his Concentrating face. He must pay close attention to make sure he doesn't miss a single thing on that TV.
loved the staircase!*ReplyDelete
ain't video cameras fun?
excellent barn (and photography) and model...lol
(from my fishing days, I will say I can identify with the feeling of ...isolation (in the limited and positive sense of not being crowded) that is so...something in the early morning hours.)
seeing how I am clearly a master of the written word this morning, I will stop, say "Great Post!" and come back a little later in the day after a visit to the thesaurus store.
lol liked the vid
*no, that does not say a thing about me
They can be.
Thank you. :)
I imagine the isolation is much more acute on a fishing boat, seeing as how you can't just get in your car and drive somewhere if you are in the mood.
Look forward to seeing you around this weekend. :)
Such a beautiful post about your farm house! Old houses have so much character! I, too, love the beautiful staircase! The old barn is wonderful and it will be sad when it has to be torn down. I love hearing your little guy's voice. How cute!ReplyDelete
Thank you! I will actually cry when that barn comes down. I hate to be the one to make it disappear after all this time.Delete
It is a great voice. :)
my home is my absolute haven however I could live in a place like that! And I want the staircase included please... but yknow I am NOT running after that pig... not that Im above that its just that I have to do that just about every day with chickens! I loved both videos (pig and chickens) and the commentaries ... Tell me is the chicken photographer a Clark?ReplyDelete
I remember your house being quite lovely. I would love to not run after a pig myself. I don't blame you for not wanting to do it, either. :)Delete
Glad you liked the videos. Not completely sure about the clark/roger/scott. I'm really leaning towards him being a scott. He works a room like I've never seen before. At every party we've ever gone, I will find him at a table completely surrounded by adults, entertaining them all.
the Doctrine is good, but I think I would need to have a little more to go on than that! lol that being said, who did not hear the scott in the video?Delete
we talk about the scottian worldview as resulting in a person who has presence and is alert to their surrounding at nearly all times!
Oh, he's alert to his surroundings alright. At all times. Not even nearly. At ALL times.Delete
yeah, the Scott is the obvious choice for sure...but did you catch the deliberate angle on that vid? I mean...talk about going at it from a different perspective!Delete
Ha!! Very true... :)Delete
I'm so happy you love your farm. Nothing wrong with that. It's a far more simple life and that's a good thing. You'll live much longer I'm sure.ReplyDelete
Have a blessed day. :)
It is simple in some ways, for sure, but in other ways, not at all. In the city, I certainly wouldn't have to chase after any pigs!Delete
I'm hoping I do! :)
You're living in the sort of place where I would love to be - acres and acres of nothing would be absolute bliss compared to where I currently live.ReplyDelete
Silly question maybe but I have to ask - if you have three pigs and only one goes to the butcher how do you decide which one? I know that sound like a joke but it's not, it's a serious question.
Not silly at all. They all go to the butcher, actually. One is for our freezer, while the others fill the freezers of friends who buy the meat from us.Delete
Please, always feel free to ask any question you have about our little farm.
Hi Christine...I haven't "visited" in awhile. I love your post!!! It reminds me of home. we have the local mill lighst, however, for added light at night. We can still see the stars, though. Do you homeschool? I love your staircase!!! Hope you have a great wknd!ReplyDelete
Thank you. I'm glad it reminds you of happy things. We do not homeschool. The kids go to a Catholic school 20 minutes from our house.Delete
The staircase is one of the many things that sold us on the house.
Glad to hear from you again!
Oh my goodness, you live in such an amazing place! I would love to be able to live somewhere where I didn't have to put curtains on the windows! What a wonderful environment for your children to grow up in - growing your own food, climbing trees, having so much space to explore. Those photos of the watermelon look so good, my mouth is watering! And I LOVE your staircase. I used to dream about living in a house with a fancy staircase when I was a little girl :) We have some chickens as well - only three of them, but being able to cook with freshly laid eggs is such a nice feeling isn't it? Thanks so much for this insight into your home and your beautiful family.ReplyDelete
It is a fun place for kids. We try to have as many over as possible to let everyone have the experience of the farm.Delete
It was a good watermelon. The best crop we've ever had.
I never dreamed of having a staircase, but I did want to live like Scarlett from Gone with the Wind (before the war, of course).
There is nothing like a fresh egg.
Thank you for stopping by!
I wouldn't have minded being pre-war Scarlett either! I just read your 'about me' page and I see that you do not have facebook. I was under the impression that I was the only blogger in the blogosphere without facebook! So nice to see I'm not alone ... and how funny that your dad bugs you to get a FB account :)Delete
Ah, I really need to update that page. I finally caved to my dad. I do have a FB page, but I am very picky about who I "friend". Only certain relatives and friends outside the country. Sorry, you might now be the only one without one. :)Delete
The photos of the barn and the trees and the kids in the barn and in the trees and the watermelon and WOW, so much to love about this post. You make me want to move to the country. Live amongst the corn. Have wide open spaces. Also? That might be the coolest staircase I've ever seen. Like ever, ever.ReplyDelete
There is so much to love. but have you seen my pig posts? It's not all fun all the time. :)Delete
It is an awesome staircase. And it's creaky. No kid will ever be able to sneak out of the house.
I did actually see the pig post recently, where you had to reign one back in. Fun but maybe not fun until after the fact??? And wow, most excellent that no kid can sneak out on that staircase. That's one benefit I didn't even consider in oohing and awing over the beauty of it. Total win, there!!Delete
Complete win on the creaky stairs. Since none of our windows even open, the children don't have a chance of fleeing in the night to get into untold trouble.Delete
My sore body says catching a pig isn't fun even after the fact. Fortunately, I can laugh about it.
Really nice tour of your beautiful farmhouse. I enjoyed the art and crafts too. He seems to love it so much. :) Have a nice rest of the weekend.ReplyDelete
Nice, nice and very nice! This evening I went out and sat on my porch, didn't take my phone or anything techy...and just listened to the sounds. What I expected and what I got were two different things. I expected it to be outdoors-y and nature-y and relaxing. I don't live in the country like you, but I do live in a VERY little town in rural Nebraska. I did hear crickets chirping and the gentle breezes blowing -- but, I could all too clearly hear the vehicles on the highway a couple miles away and some idiot a block or so away revving his engine and another dummy a few blocks away skidding out on the gravel. *sigh* Ahhhh, it made me WISH I lived in the country. But, the cool Autumn breeze and the pretty moon and bright stars (I am able to see those quite clearly even in town) were nice and I am glad I took the time to enjoy it.ReplyDelete
This was a long comment not having much to do w/ your post, but... yeah. ;)
You have much to be thankful for--a very beautiful post!
We do have some of those sounds, too, sometimes. About a 1/4 mile down the street is a little square of about 15 houses, with another 15 spreading out from the square. Sometimes there are parties with loud music. Sometimes, if the wind is just right, I can hear people's conversations. It's quite weird, actually.Delete
I'm glad you were able to go out and enjoy the evening outdoors. I really need to do it more often.
The watermelon looks so yummy!ReplyDelete
We had the same tree-climbing rule for our kids: if they wanted to climb a tree, they needed to do the climbing.
The view from your house is beautiful, as is your banister and barn.
I love to hear Cuckoo's voice, too.
It is a very sensible rule.
Oh, good. I thought I might have pushed it too far with a second video of nothing. :)
What a wonderful home & garden you have - it takes me back to the time we lived on a farm 2 miles from the nearest, tiny, village, and the freedom this gave both myself & my hubby - but especially our only child, who took to life on a farm like - if you'll pardon the pun - a duck to water! :)ReplyDelete
I'm glad I was able to spark some good memories for you. While I doubt any of our kids will become true farmers, they do enjoy the room to play. The only wish they have is for kids to live closer so they don't always have to play with their siblings. :)Delete
beautiful entry! I think my brain thought I had started a new novel, and when the italics portion ended my brain was all, wait, why are we stopping??ReplyDelete
You have gorgeous kiddinkies and such a unique life (these days it's unique) to share with them. Very cool! I love that I get to read about it. I enjoy your blog very much. I remember my aunt had a ranch when I was a teen and I would spend summers with her. She had chickens and my favorite thing was to go fetch the eggs. :)
thanks for a great post.
Thank you. And my brain did the same thing. :)Delete
This life is certainly unique to anyone we know. Kids love to visit our farm, and egg collecting is always a highlight.
Thank you for all of the kind words.
"Mom, der eating tantelope!" Be still my heart! Oh that voice. So precious.ReplyDelete
I loved your narration at the beginning. I love the history of your home and the beauty it offers you and your family. That staircase is beautiful! And that barn!! Lovely. Are really beautiful life you get to share with your kids there in the country!
I know, I just can't get enough of that voice. I will come back and listen to these posts hundreds of times as he grows older and gets an older boy's voice.Delete
It is a great life in many ways. We love this place (when we aren't cussing it out for something else that went wrong). :)
What a lovely home you described. It really sounds amazing.ReplyDelete
It is a great house. I feel I can say that without it sounding like I'm gloating, since I had nothing to do with the building of it.Delete
I had no idea that you were a novice at farming. This is so fascinating to me! How long have you been doing it?ReplyDelete
I truly enjoy your blog! And like everyone else his voice melts me, makes me want to shrink my kids back quite a few years. lol
Bless you for saying that! We moved here 8 years ago. Chickens came with the house (we actually negotiated, asking if they had to) and we decided to go "whole hog" (pun totally intended) and try our hand at pigs 5 years ago. We read a book and said, "Sure, we can do that."Delete
Thank you! I am going to miss that voice so very much when he grows up.
Love the tour. LOVE IT! And you will never, ever go wrong putting anything that Cuckoo narrates on the blog.ReplyDelete
Isn't it amazing how that staircase is still in such great condition? Imagine it - nearly 150 years of feet going up and down it!
The barn reminds me a little of the tv show Laugh In. And you'll have to look it up on YouTube, since you're too young to remember the show and what part I am referring to. Clark will know.
I loved climbing trees when I was little. My next door neighbor and I climbed trees every day in the summer. We were in a tree more than we were out of it some days.
That boy is serious about his tv watching! Oh, and I make nearly the same craft with my pre-k kids. It's a great cutting project.
I really was worried that I went too far putting this video clip. I figure if people didn't want to hear it, they didn't have to.
There are a few steps which seem to be pulling out of the wall, but other than that, it has held up very well for 150 years.
I know the show, and now that you mention it, clearly that is what I was going for! :)
I, too, was a tree climber. Even after I fell out of one and landed on a post right between the legs, I still climbed trees. Still do when the mood strikes.
All of my kids look like that when the TV is on. They rarely watch it, so they must concentrate and soak it up when they have the chance.
What a beautiful place for your children to grow up.ReplyDelete
Also tip for you, when you take a photo with camera phone you can hit edit, then rotate and save so that when you upload it will be the right way :)
For real!?!?!? You know, a person (me) should really be familiar with the capabilities of her own phone. Thank you so much for the tip!Delete
And now I shall have to apologize to all my readers for their unnecessarily crooked necks.
Those pitchas of Turken are amazing. Then there's your house and the barn and the other barn and the coop and...I LOVE IT! How wonderful. You, indeed are blessed! :)ReplyDelete
Thank you! I'm glad you like them.Delete
We are blessed beyond anything I could have wished for.
What a fantastic list. I sometimes I think I would love a farm. But then I remember something...bugs.ReplyDelete
Ha! What bugs? Bugs are the least of our problems. :) I have more trouble with winged creatures and four-legged wild mammals.Delete
It's worth it, though. We love it here, despite the troubles.
Like Lizzi, I loved your intro. I also often think about the people who have been before - not so much in our house since it's only 30 years old, but back where I grew up, as there our ancestors go way back.ReplyDelete
Your house and grounds are beautiful.
I hated history classes when I was growing up. However, as an adult, I have realized I love history. Walking around old buildings, wondering what the people who walked there before were like, is just plain enjoyable to me.Delete
Please keep "videoing" with Cuckoo!!! His voice makes my heart melt!ReplyDelete
I'm not a watermelon person but yours looks absolutely deeeelicious!
He keeps begging me to let him video things, so it shouldn't be a problem. :)Delete
Watermelon isn't my first fruit choice, either, but I am enjoying these. I'm guessing the hard work we put into them makes them taste better.
Oh My Nuts... I was surprised to see an almost fiction like piece, though I suppose it was more non-fiction, starting off your post. I was jealous "Even the Pig Wrangler is writing more than I am..." Not that that is a bad thing. I say write more! Pay no mind to me ;-)ReplyDelete
And then there was video...
That is awesome! Cuckoo is great, and I love he kept his finger over the lens a majority of the time. What happens in Pigwrangloria when all the piggies are made into bacon? :-(
Wow, that watermelon looks delicious. It's so bright and so red... You can feel free to Fed Ex me one or five. I'd imagine it tastes better then the store bought melons I ate over the summer. Granted the Farmer's Market had some, but for their petite sizes, they seem grossly overpriced. If you grow an abundance, you could always sell fresh produce via a Farmer's Market, no? I wonder what sort of licensing is required for that exactly.
Like most everyone else, I really like that staircase. Now... that being said, it creeps the @$%& out of me! In fact, the entire reality of your farmhouse and property is the premise of a horror story. The cornfields, the barn, the remoteness, the everything @$%&ing thing!! I refuse to believe your property isn't haunted.
I'm glad you did the guest post, even if it was difficult to do at the time. It was a pretty emotional topic and you did great! I see more guest posts from you in the future! dun Dun DUN!
And... whoa. Look at that intense stare in that final photo. Don't even let that kid start gaming. I've a feeling he would be one to rage if someone walked in front of him if he was playing them and maybe even throw a controller or three :-)
Jak at The Cryton Chronicles & Dreams in the Shade of Ink
your 'grateful' posts are the best! Love that staircase!!!ReplyDelete