Tuesday, April 22, 2014

One Of My Babies Just Got Bigger

This is my Rachel.  She's as sweet as pudding and likes to hug anything in her path; dogs, dads, moms, siblings, assorted kids and sometimes the feed rep.  If she could hug the Schwanns man she would. 

She graduated Headstart today. 

Technically, she is going back next year with her little brother in tow.  Poor Sally and Lola, I don't think they know what they signed up for, two Fairchild kids could be good for your heart after all.

I had to have an inner chuckle (that's the kind you do so your kids don't think that your laughing at them).  She was wearing a crazy outfit with bright purple tights on.  "This is what she wanted," Ashlyn said rolling her eyes, (we have a lot of eye rolling at our house.  With a 14 year old and two 12's, eyes roll so much I'm surprised eyes aren't rolling down the driveway).

Anyway, as I looked at her outfit, I thought about how my mom would've handled this day and the clothing.  I mentioned to Ron that when our ship came in, we were going to have to buy all the girls some dress shoes, and then I wiped the mud off her tennis shoes with a wet rag and put them on her over the loud purple tights.  He mentioned back that either they would wear new dress shoes in the feedlot or take them off at the trampoline, then forget about them and Fluffybear would have a bunch of new chew toys. 

He's right you know.

My mom, well I know what she'd have done.  She'd have wiped the mud off of the old crusty tennis shoes and put them on over the loud purple tights and said how pretty we were.  That's her and I always pray that I take after her...love ya madre.  You too Rachel...I'm so proud of them both.

Happy Trails,

PS Find my mom's cool sewing stuff on Etsy. http://www.etsy.com/people/NancysNimbleThimble

It's A Little Smoky In The Mudroom

One minute I'm excited about the prospects of it.

Then one comes along and I'm like, "huh??"

That was this past Sunday.  I got hit with reality right between the eyes...(actually I got kicked by it; on the knee).

That's what I'll name the calf...reality!

Ron, Cody and I were sorting fats after church when we heard it: 


"Did you hear that?" Ron looked at me and it did it again. 

Yep...a baby calf.

We got it in the house and in the tub.  I know, but thats what us farmers do to warm up calves fast.  Give them a bath. 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

October...Frost On Your Pumpkins, Mice in Your House and Weirdly Dressed Little People

Rachel came in wearing this get up.  "Mom, this is what I'm going to be for Halloween!" She exclaims, puffing out her chest to show off the "S".  I didn't have the heart to tell her it was a boys costume, partly because she would have said that the wild wig made it a girls get up or, let's just face it...

She's a huge tom boy and wouldn't have cared anyway.

She did take this off ONCE today to go pick up my truck from her uncle Dennis' body shop, she replaced it with a pink cheetah print dress with a slit so high she had to wear shorts. I didn't notice it until I followed her into the Alibi and I could see her back.  Thank goodness Halloween comes only once a year.  I can't imagine what my kids would wear on a daily basis.

So are you already for fall?

I say this like I'm confident that I am ready for fall.  Do you want to know a secret? I'm not. I've got a Pumpkin Patch to start in officially 6 days and I have so much to do it's not even funny.

But, on to more important things.  Not the fact that we picked 3,000 pounds of grapes for the winery this fall, but something much more sinister...


About two weeks ago, the kids were ready to leave for school when it happened:

"Mom, I just saw a rat go into the laundry room." Levi said very matter-of-factly. Knowing that I would freak out to the ends of the Earth, Grace, my 8 year old says, "Levi you probably just saw a fly or a grasshopper. RIGHT?" I caught her looking at me to make sure I wasn't going to pass out.
"No, it was a rat.  I seen it. It came from the mud room and ran past Cody's backpack."
"How big was this rat" I asked him trying to remain calm.  Well, he showed me, and it was a "mouse size".  
Thank goodness, but still gross. 

 I made Ron set traps...all over. A combination of them.  

Well, the kids stepped on the glue traps. Clothes from the dryer fell out of the basket and were glued to traps.  The broom stuck to the traps and still no mouse and I was wearing my barn boots. 

It had been precisely an hour and half since the mouse sighting.
After Maggie came screaming into the bathroom with a victor trap on her finger, I decided to get the big guns...  

"Socks", the sheep barn cat was coming in. Of course, this was just one mouse or so I hoped, but I was going to get it before it invited its friends in.  I deliberated.  Because after all, what if she had fleas? What would be worse? One mouse or fleas? 

Definately one mouse...get the dang cat. 
Well, Socks came in, not knowing what fleas look like, I searched her entire body for weird looking skin.  She looked good and I put her to work.

After disappearing for half an hour, she finally came curling up to me acting like she could get used to the house when I felt her belly...she didn't "feel" full.  I put her down in the basement...she went up those stairs faster then me.  Finally someone that finds our basement as horrible as I do.  I did again and the look I got from her meant that she was going to shut me down there when she beat me to the top a second time.  I understood her look and then found her again relaxing under my bed.  

I threw her back outside.  

I waited...it had been 5 hours since the mouse spotting.  

Naturally I couldn't continue to do the laundry.  I was too scared.  What if I lifted up a pair of someone's undies and found it to be a perfect hiding spot for the mouse.  Nope. Not going in.

I thought about it and was going to clean the bathroom.  It's really to close to the laundry room.  I stayed away.  

I finally went barefoot.  I was daring. 

Finally, Ron came in.  He had caught the mouse in the last sticky trap that wasn't stuck to clothes, kids, broom or a wall.  

All is well that ends well.  


Fairchild "mouse free" Farmgirl

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Fall Into Fall on the Fairchild Farm

Have you ever heard of people "speaking in tongues"?

Here at the Fairchild Farm, we speak in projects.  Yep...projects.  I never even paid much attention until we got our foreign exchange student from Holland.  Him and I were making jam today, actually he was making it, I was telling how to do it.

(PS Never tell me that you've never cooked before and you are 17...I'll set you up.)

Anyway, we were discussing  what we were going to do next, talking in between learning about rolling boils as opposed to a regular boil when Lenn asked me what the next project was.

"We finished the hay, butchered the chickens, trimmed the grapes, we are working on wool now, then it's the Pumpkin Patch right?" He said.

Not exactly....

First we harvest grapes, we still have work in the garden, we have school next week and a wool show mid September.   Plus we have more chickens to butcher.  He also runs Cross Country for Canby and is even more excited to play basketball for Canby this next season since back in Holland, they don't have school sports.

Without skipping a beat, he starts to laugh and tells me how excited he is for winter...when he can just sit around and read a book, because "we just have to feed the animals right"?

He's never experienced a MN/SD snowstorm and shoveling...


All in all, we are thrilled that Lenn is here. He loves to keep busy, learn how to do new things and make us laugh.  He also loves to help with new ideas on how we should do things.  He's very smart.   Back home he lives 30 minutes from Amsterdam where there is 1150 people on the square mile.  He can't get over how WE  are it on the square mile. He loves the animals, the space, hanging out with all of us (or so he says, smile) and experiencing country life on a farm in a rural community.

But do you know what he really loves?

Jam, jam and more jam.  I've never bought so much bread in my life!

Fairchild Farmgirl saying "vaarwel"
Goodbye in Dutch. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

We Gone

Hi everybody.  Have you ever had a time in your life that you just needed to get away?

We did too.

For months we waited, dreamed and schemed about our friend's wedding in eastern Idaho.  Did I mention squirreled money away and didn't buy take out pizza?

We didn't (okay so not as often).

This vacation was amazing.  Just Ron and I roaming the west, exploring cool shops, small museums and great towns.  This is a picture of Ron in Yellowstone.  We were so excited to see some elk or something wild.  I'm sorry to say the only wild thing we saw was a picture of an elk on a sign saying caution.  It should have said, "but if you are driving behind the Fairchilds don't worry...they must have wildlife repellent. "

Still can't believe we saw NOTHING.

The wedding was awesome.  It was up on the grooms summer ranch at about 7,000 feet on Phelps mountain on about 1,000 acres.  Never before did I want endless cornfields and flat ground like I did as we wound our way up that mountain on a dirt logging road with no guard rails.  I "scaredy texted"  that's what I called writing 30 texts in about an hour when my phone didnt' even get signal.  Ron would get to a bad spot and he'd say, "you just k-e-e-p texting."  Or, "don't look this is BAD!"

The funnest town was by far Cody WY.  We stayed at the Chamberlinn.  I had to keep a secret from Ron...it was haunted.  I've mentioned the haunted hotel route before and it was a no go.  This time as I read the reviews on other hotels in town  on Trip Advisor.com, I knew this was the only option.

We woke up in that beautiful place the next day and he said that he hadn't had such a  good night sleep in a long time.  I on the other hand, barely slept a wink, worried the ghost, "Nancy" the chambermaid was standing over me.  I can't remember saying so many prayers in my life...with my eyes shut.  But over all that was the most beautiful, greatest place...where else would I get chocolates on my bed?  Okay, at home I guess, but that's because a bunch of kids have just snuck chocolate chips and they hid under my blankets to eat them while leaving brown smears on the sheets (from the chocolate of course)  Hee hee!

We also discussed how Butte Montana needed a guy like Joe Kolbach to fix it up.  There could be so much done to that historical city.

But after a few days, we started to miss the kids and the thought of all the work that needed to be done at home ate at us like my kids with a new bag of Nestle Tollhouse.

So we ended up cutting it short. The other night, Ron asked me "where we at this time last week?"
Well, I said as I put my arm around him..."we were coming down Phelps mountain. I didn't see much because I was in the fetal position hiding under my sweatshirt."
"Oh yeah, that's right", he said with a chuckle.

Good times....good times.

I'm back,
Fairchild farmgirl

In retrospect...wouldn't it be nice to have a maid?  Ghost or not.  I say if she can at least pick up the place, she can stay.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Momma Din't Raise No Fool...Or Maybe She Did, Just This Once

So I'm not proud of this.

My fingers got caught in the garage door to the shop. 

It hurts. Bad. 

You know what?  It was really stupid. I mean, a person knows that crease is going to close tight, with or without your fingers in it.  Case in point...my mom did raise a fool.

Now onto the other side of the spectrum...I am not raising fools.  I'm raising hard workers.  I promise not to brag too much...

But maybe if my kids read this, I may get an extra sink of dishes done or breakfast in bed.

A gal can try right?

Cody, our oldest has a 40 hour a week job working construction.  "Mom, do you know that I put $35 of gas into my car and it didn't even fill it?"    "Yes son, I put $95 into my truck and its only at 3/4 of a tank."

I wonder if he caught my sarcasm?

Ashlyn is picking rock and babysitting working towards a new phone and fun stuff at the Crystal Springs Rodeo.  I told her I got a phone when I was 30.  She was unimpressed.

Kara is picking rock and working for me on the produce section of the farm.  She's not only working to buy stuff at the rodeo, but she's doing all the record keeping here to use as part of a FFA project.  As a mom I'm super happy. 

Grace and Rachel even got in on a little rock picking.  When asked what Rachel thought she should make for three hours of picking, she thought her price would be about $100.   Grace said her other money making project for the summer was going to create artwork for the Gary art show during the 4th of July Festivities.  She was going to call it refrigerator art. LOL!

So what did I do for summertime work when I was their age?  Picked worms for a local bait shop.  $9 per thousand.  My sisters and I would make enough money each summer for buying school clothes in the fall. When I told my kids that I did that and asked if they ever would I got this reply:

"Gross mom," accompanied by a look like I was half crazy.  I think they'll just stick to picking rock for area farmers.

Have a great month of July!  Enjoy family, friends, and the town of Gary and surrounding areas.  There's so much fun to be had!

Fairchild Farmgirl

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The New Kid On The Block

Well, it happened.  Cocoa was getting to be the straw that broke the camels back.  She wouldn't let Grace lead her around, would put her ears back and chased her out of her pen and would try to buck her off. 

As a parent, I knew that there are way too many kid friendly horses that need a home and it was time to put wheels under Cocoa. 

At first I thought I'd miss her, you know, how she would wheel her butt around to kick when a person went in her pen...

But alas...we are back in love.

Welcome home Mitch. 

Even though you did get out of your pen this morning and we found you about 3 miles west of our place.  I sat on the phone waking up neighbors to see if they you were at their places.   We tracked your butt through soaking wet plowen, I rode the four wheeler with Grace in the rain looking for you til there was so much mud in our eyes we couldn't stand it anymore....

Did I mention it was 40 degrees and raining?

Then I walked you home over a mile with a hole in my boot (my bad I never remember to throw those away) again, in the rain, of course, uphill the whole way (not really), cold but sweaty (again, my bad, I'm out of shape).

After that, I still love you because when we FINALLY found you, you were spooked, but went right up to Grace like she was your very best friend. 

Fairchild Farmgirl

PS I'm out of coffee. 

(Of course).