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...

Mice.

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.  

Sincerely, 

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...

LOL!

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!

Anyway,
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. 

YOU ARE SO LUCKY!
Fairchild Farmgirl

PS I'm out of coffee. 

(Of course).

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

When Your Cow Discovers Social Media



It's some body's birthday month here at the farm. 

One of the kids?

Well not exactly...

Yes, it's Sweetie's  birthday.  In case you're new to this, my heifer is turning three years old as of mid March and she thinks she's one of the family.  Or may be we think she is and she could care less.  Not sure.  She does like the attention however. 

Anyway, back to the subject at hand.  My heifer....Facebook...it was a matter of time folks.  It started when I would put photo's up on my page about that goofy bovine of mine; how she would dig trash out of the dumspter, put a hole through my screen door, sneak in the shop and had diarrhea all over the floor (wait a minute, she's starting to turn into a liability instead of an asset).

Well, people got a kick out of her and her shenanigans.  Then someone suggested that she get her own page on Facebook, especially after the pumpkin patch this year when we thought she was at her peak of stardom.  I thought, 'hey, she's old enough for her own page, as long as she doesn't put up anything embarrassing of her herself.'

I kid...she hasn't mastered the computer yet since her hooves are too big for typing, LOL. Again, kidding. 

In less than a month that cow has buddies from all over the world.  Seriously.  She's almost up to 200. She has contests about Ag trivia and is has prize giveaways (which are non other than 8x10 glossy photos of herself.

So do I regret my decision?

Only if she gets more friends than I have. 

Sincerely,
Fairchild Farmgirl.

PS Her "handle" on Facebook is Sweetie Moo Fairchild.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

"MOM! Don't Clean My Room!" and More From A Disgruntled Housewife



"Guess what?" I ask my daughter as we pulled out of our meeting spot on a Friday night not too long ago.

"What?" she said with a smile that I knew was not going to last too long.

"We're going to clean your room," I say almost getting a kick out of what her response would be.

"Ugh! I hate it when you help!" She said as she slunked down into the seat of the gray ghost.  (Thats what I call a beat up Yukon that is apparently invisible to animals.)

You know, I don't mind cleaning, washing, feeding and all else that I do, but sometimes it gets to be a little much.

For example, I stepped outside the other day, and right on my front porch was a huge pile a la Sweetie. The irony in it?  Some how, there was a huge papertowel crumpled up laying right in the middle of it. 

HUH?

I know, "only at our place" is the only excuse I can give at this point.  The weird thing (yes, even more weird than a heifer lounging on a front porch) No one else had been out that day because it was so cold, did Fluffy try to help her?  Like, "Suzanne's going to be mad enough that you put a huge pile of poo on the steps, maybe if I clean you up she won't be as mad."

Not really, now I have a frozen terd pile with a huge paper towel frozen in it. 

On.my.front.porch.where.everyone.has.to.walk.around.when.they.come.over.

What's the point of this story?

That I could hire out my heifer for Charmin commercials?  No.  Well maybe, but I digress. 

I think the fact of the matter is, is that even I pulled out NINE bags of trash out of my daughter's bedroom, I pick up enough food off of my floor daily to make me wonder why we don't have a huge mouse problem (Big D says it's because "A mouse would walk in here and run out again..it'd think it was one big trap.).

The fact of the matter is, I do love my life.  My kids messy as they are, are pretty cool.  Them, along with my husband as caring as he is and as goofy as my cow is....

means I should be getting me one heck of a Valentines Day Gift! 

Sincerely,
Fairchild "Wading through the piles" Farmgirl