Monday, May 25, 2009

Funny Farm Tip

Funny Farm Tip #1:

Chickens love chasing and pecking at flip-flopped feet with red toe nails...just so you know...

Roses and Dreams

We’ve had a busy and productive weekend!!
Friday was the boys last day of school, and so it was Play Day. Both did well. That was our last play day for J. Next year it will be real track meets instead for him.
Summer will be here soon. The baseball practices have started and soon it will be games and talk of getting a move on the fair projects. I might gripe a lot, but I just love this time of year.
Friday afternoon we spent at the farm with my dad, just kind of tinkering around. T is doing entomology for 4-H this year, and has started looking for different bugs. I dug up a shoot of my grandmother’s wild rose bush that she planted to hide the propane tank. I also dug one up from my mom and dad’s. Dad tells me my great grandmother planted it there. That one has big pretty roses, which are almost white with just a touch of pink to them. I can’t remember what the wild rose bush puts out. I was thinking yellow, but remember for sure.
Speaking of rosebushes, the picture above is my Grandma Moreton’s.(Granny Nanny) She died in 2001. A couple of days after she had passed away we were helping mom clean out her apartment and I kept looking at the rosebush, almost panicking. She has planted it there right after she has moved in and it had been there ever since. I was afraid that the next people to move in wouldn’t take care of it or just rip it out so I started hinting around to my poor husband that I’d like to take it home with us. By that evening, me, D, and my Aunt Karen, with our scratched up arms, were digging that darn thing out and we drug it home with us. I don’t really think any of us had any hope that it would make it, but it sure did. I need to remember to cut it back this year. I always look at it and smile. She always pointed it out to everyone when it was blooming.
I guess it may seem strange to some people that I get attached to things such as rose bushes instead of heirloom things like jewelry. =-) I can’t wait to see what my other rose bushes I drug home do!
I stopped to think today about the turn my life has taken on the past couple of years. 3 years ago we were making plans to fix the old farm house up and move to the country. I had all these dreams of a bright red barn with cows, chickens, raising rabbits and a HUGE garden.
Those plans fell through and we began to make new plans. My brother and his wife have taken on the farm house. I am really happy about this as it was hard to walk away from it, and watch it begin to fall down. However, it was still hard to walk away from the dreams we had. Today, I realized, I have my chickens, my big garden, we have our rabbits, and next week we will be getting cows, all while slowly fixing up the old barn out there…and painting it red, of course. My dad’s made it very clear to all of us that we each have a spot out there. We may not be living out there, but it's still very important to me to be able to be out there. There is so much family history out there, as well as the sentimentalism of watching my boys run around the place where I grew up. And I want my boys to experience a bit of farm life. I look around and smile...God had a plan. Sometimes it’s not clear till later, but it all fits together in the end. It’s not what I had imagined in my head, but somehow, all works out and I am pretty darn happy with our life.
So, as I mentioned before, we are getting cows this weekend. Only 2 baby Holsteins to start out, but will slowly build up to a small herd. Or that’s the plan anyway. I’ve always wanted black and white milk cows. (I have no idea why…I just think they are cute.) I remember asking my dad one time, when I was 8 or 9 if we could get a b/w cow. They went to a sale and brought home ANOTHER red bull! HA! I am not even sure we will stay with Holsteins after it’s time to get rid of these, but I am excited to FINALLY have black and white cows.
The basement project has taken ANOTHER screeching halt. It’s patiently waiting to be sanded and painted, and then after the carpet is laid at least the front part will be done. I REALLY need to find the time to just get that done!!!
My garden just keeps growing!! I can’t believe the thrill I get going out just to see how much things have grown since the previous day! I still haven’t mulched the rest, but I think my plants are all big enough now that I could probably do it.
We spend part of Memorial Day at the farm. D got a rocket kit from me at Christmas that takes digital video as it goes up. He was waiting till things greened up a bit to fly it and today was the day!! However, the wind carried it into the tree row and we spent a hour or so looking for it. *I* finally spotted it up in a tree, and Monkey Man D climbed the tree to snatch it. We watched the video on Dad’s computer…very cool!!
While we were looking for the rocket, I looked down to see something flip off a plant and I found the biggest caterpillar I have ever seen! It was as big around as a hot dog, and longer than my pinkie. T ran and put it into a jar and we brought it home to see if we could find what it is. As we were putting it in the jar, it barfed up this dark green slime…very cool to a 9 year old!

Anyway, it’s called a White Lined Sphinx Caterpillar and will turn into one of those HUGE hummingbird moths. He wanted to keep it to watch it change, but we read that they bury and change into moths underground, so we let that bad boy go. 11 years ago, I never thought I would willingly be helping a little boy put a mutated barfing caterpillar into a, how my life has changed!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Spring is so EXCITING!!

What a great weekend this was!!
Saturday the boys had their very first baseball practice of the season. T was a bit nervous, but I just dropped him off and went home. He does so much better with things if his parents are no where around. Picked them back up and T’s been playing baseball ever since and begging anyone that looks like they might have a free moment to play catch with him. I am pretty sure he would sleep with his mitt if we let him. He even made the comment about being ready to play his first game. That boy has come a long way this past year!
J has all but 4 of his babies sold. They are all bucks. I think he’s going to hang of to them for at least a month to see how their points come in and then get rid of the ones he doesn’t want to show. He’s really got a plan!!
D built a new chicken coop area this weekend. He secured the fence a bit better and extended it out so the gals have more room out there. Before we started this little adventure I always thought of chickens as being gross little creatures. I admit I still find them gross, but they are also a lot of fun to watch. You can’t help but smile when you watch them all scratch around the yard without a care in the world. We are really enjoying them. Plus, they pretty much give birth every single day…that demands a bit of respect!! =-) Some of those eggs HAVE to hurt!
My garden looks awesome!! I have little baby lettuce coming up in my tub I planted it in. All my plants are up, except for the corn. I did have one row of green beans that just kinda disappeared so I don’t know if they got eaten or what, but they WERE there,(I saw them I swear!) and then were not. D thinks I just didn’t plant that row…like *I* would do something like *that*!! I need to replant them. The pumpkins have started to poke through the ground too! We planted 3 different kinds.
My flowers are really looking good!! My Poppies are HUGE this year. We did cut down a couple of small trees, so I guess they liked the extra sun. I ran to Dodge Saturday and picked up a few bedding plants to plant out back in the garden some color. I also bought a Fushia plant. My mother in law had one about 10 years ago or so and I just fell in love with it. She had hers on her porch and a little bird had made a nest with eggs in it. I had never been able to find a big one, but just happened to stumble across one when I was there. The Hispanic lady that checked me out told me that Mexicans call them “earring” plants because of the way the bizarre blooms come down. My mom also bought me a Martha Washington geranium. It’s beautiful and HUGE! It’s one of those things I would have stopped and admired, but never bought for myself---Even at 30, sometimes it’s just nice to be spoiled by your mom! My Bleeding Heart plant that I was so excited about broke off the first storm that come though after I got it into the ground. And then what was left was stepped on repeatedly by my boys. I don't think I will see that thing again till next spring!
We grilled out this evening and it was amazing! We grilled some pork chops D seasoned up, as well as corn on the cob left in the husk. We had never made corn this way, but it was AWESOME!!!!!
The last week of school is here!! I can’t believe it’s already over!
BTW---if you’re here, please leave a comment. They make me smile!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Back in November I really got into genealogy and have really been enjoying finding things about my family. My mom’s family has been difficult, and I grew very frustrated so I stopped with hers. I find if I walk away from it for a while, I will usually find something I missed later or someone else will find something and I can find more THAT way. I should really start again with hers and see what else I can find. Hmmm...
My dad’s family I have researched back 16 generations on his dad's side. The earliest event I have found was a birth in 1502. I have found when the Burts’ came to America from England . The most exciting thing I have found was a copy of a will from 1617. It reads:

The will of Henry Burtt of Harberton (co. Devon), clothier, dated 10 Jul 1617. To the poor of the parish of Harberton 30 sh. To my son Henry and his heirs and assigns, my close of land situate in Harberton Ford, called by the name of Racheparke, together with the house that John Tummells now dwelleth in and the house that George Causie and John Pearse now dwell in and the house that Andrew Pearse and Edward Adams now dwell in, as also the orchard, nursery, herb gardens, backsides and other appurtenances belonging. To the said Henry, my son, the mansion house of that land commonly called Crobers Land which Thomas Wood now dwelleth in, together with the sheep pen, orchard, herb garden and bakehouse, during the term of his life. To my said son Henry L100 to be paid within a year after my death. Isett, my wife, for life, one chamber over the shop, called the forechamber, with the bedstead and bed that I use to lie in. My wife shall have yearly during her life, L6 13s. 4d. issuing out of the land or tenement called Crobers Land; and the executor shall find one to attend her, during her life, sufficient meat, drink and firewood for her own use; and if my said wife do dislike her diet and do leave it, then my will is that she shall have L3.s 8d in lieu of her diet, out of the lands aforesaid, for her life. To my said wife and son Henry the half of my household stuff equally divided between them; and the other half to remain to my executor. To Raddegan, my daughter, L60, to be paid within three months after she shall be of the age of twenty-one. To Allies, my daughter L40, to be paid at the age of twenty. To Agnes, my daughter, L40 at the age of twenty. To Elizabeth, my daughter, L40 at the age of twenty. Whereas I promised my son-in-law, Chrispine Saunder, L40 at his marriage, and because he is not yet paid, my executor shall pay it. Also I promised him other L20 when my daughter Johan, his wife, for the term of her life or for fifty years determinable upon her life, should be assured of that tenement that Thomasine Saunders now dwelleth in or of some other as good, then my executor shall pay him L20 towards the same. To Joseph Saunders and Samuel Saunders, my grandchildren, L5 each. To my brothers' and sisters' children 2s each. To every one of my godchildren 12d. To Nycholas Hyans, my apprentice, 30s., to be paid at the end of his apprenticeship. Residue to my son John Burte. Witnesses: Will Huxham and Thos. Colton. Proved 19 Sept 1617."

"Inventory, taken 10 Sept 1617 by Thomas Colton and Paule Symons and exhibited 19 September 1617, includes apparel, L8; cloth and yarn, L102; money L70; 93 sheep,L31, 32 lambs, L6; other farm stock; an estate in certain grounds, L61; an estate in house, meadow and garden, L20; two pairs of lumbes, warping pins, raggles, quilt torns, and one spinning turn with sleyes, l2.10s; brass pans, cauldrons and pots, L10.13s4d; for household cloth already made, L3; 13 silver spoons, L3; desperate debts, L140; total L602.7s.9d (Archdeaconry of Totnes)."

I love the way it reads.

Genealogy can be very addicting. When I am on a roll, it’s like crack. I can’t seem to stay away from it because I am always afraid I won’t be able to find what I have found ever again. My family suffers, dishes pile up, and the kids start crying because I hog the computer. Neither understands it, but hopefully someday when they find all the information, they will appreciate all the times mom stared cross eyed at the computer or squealed in delight when I got a lead! =-)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

What a great Mother’s Day it was! I got up early…way before any of the rest of my family was awake. I sat in the silence, listening to the rain softly fall outside. It was wonderful. Did I mention how QUIET it was??
We got our garden planted. YEAH! Next I am on a mission to find straw to mulch it with after my plants get a bit bigger. This is our first year for this spot, and the grass is horrible in it. I have spent hours and hours pulling grass out, and the very next day I swear it’s back!! I think I am going to be battling this all summer long, but am hoping I can get it mulched and at least cut back on some of it. The potatoes are looking so good!! T is even into gardening this year, and planted some broccoli in a tub all of his own to take care of. Not real sure if that grows well around here though. He is also growing a cabbage they handed out at school!
We spent a good part of the afternoon at the farm. E and K are remodeling the farm house, and discovered a nest of baby owls in the rafters when tearing out some of the ceiling. I think they decided, after a majority vote, to leave them there till they are off on their own, and then secure everything back up so they can’t repeat the cycle. This makes me very happy as I was afraid that if they were moved, their parents wouldn’t take care of them. We are kind of goofy about owls in my family, and I am happy they are doing this instead of “getting rid” of them. They are really beautiful creatures…who found a very nice, warm, safe home for their babies....till the big guy with the ladder came along!
I went treasure hunting today while I was out there. I came home with a couple of old wash tubs, some really cool pails and a neat bowl to plant flowers in. Most of them will go out in the garden to “pretty” it up a bit. I wonder what my Grandad thinks of me planting flowers in the pail he put all his nuts and bolts in. Now I need to get to Protection to fill them up with some flowers.
The baby buns are all grown up. One has already left for his new home, and two others will be leaving this week. That will leave us 4. J’s got a pretty good idea which one he wants to use to show.
I can’t believe school is almost out. I am ready for break from the schedules and homework drama, so I am sure they are too!! Now, just need to find enough stuff around here to keep them busy and not fighting with each other!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Friday Thoughts

Well, it’s been a week since the infamous chicken slaughter at the Bruckner house. The two birds that survived, Chirpy and Tyson, are both almost back to normal. Tyson received a bit of babying—she had a chuck taken off her back, as well as an injured leg, but it all seems to have paid off. She’s back with the rest of the flock now only limping a small bit. I am really missing Nugget from our original flock. She laid green eggs. The guy we got her from was excited. He had a green egg layer a couple of generations back, but hadn’t had one since. They were a really pretty olive green shell. =-(
So we have 10 new birds, and before I list the new names, please keep in mind that my BOYS named them!! They are: Butterscotch, Jack #2, Wren, Bella, Torak, Vanessa, Burpy, Cena, (as in John Cena, the wrestler), Chicken Little, and Batista (again, another wrestler).
The baby buns are going to be weaned this weekend, much to their mom’s relief. I tend to humanize our animals, and every time I see her all spread out in the cage, with all these little babies jumping around on her or trying to nurse on her, I swear she looks at me with the “Please just take them…I need a break” look. There are 2 out there I am anxious to see how they fill out and do when they are older. One has some really nice dark points on him. We have lost 2, having 7 now.
D’s going to be busy this weekend. We started finishing our basement so we can put a family room down there about a year and a half ago. The first major step was getting the dang thing cleaned out, as we had never cleaned it out, and the guy who lived here before hadn’t either. Then we had to put a hole in our living room floor so we could put in stairs. The stairs that lead down there before are HORRIBLY steep, and have tiny little step. So, D made our new stairs nice and big, not steep, with in opening you could set a car down into if you wanted. And then it kind of stopped there for a while so we could save up more money and figure out exactly what we wanted to do down there. We finally have it all figured out and he’s been busy ever since. I’m getting excited! There was so much wasted space down there I can believe we hadn’t used before this!
Still haven’t gotten our garden planted. I am getting frustrated! Our potato plants are looking good though.
My Poppys in my front yard should be exploding soon. Poppys remind me of my grandma. She died when I was 9. She was THE country woman. She always had beautiful flowers, she sewed for us, and the baked the most amazing cookies and bread. And cherry Kool-aid. I miss her even still to this day. I would love to have her advice on gardening and my flowers. She also raised my dad and his four brothers and sisters and didn't kill any of them so parenting advice would have been most welcome too! She loved birds. Especially owls. In fact, I think, in weird, freaky kind of way, that its super cool that a pair of barn owls have taken up living in the old farm house. We've kicked them out,and patched where we thought they were getting in, but they always find a way back in. Maybe they are just suppose to be there. Anyway, I always smile when I see a red cardinal in my yard because she would always stop and point them out to me. And Blue Jays. And Orioles. I remember I always thought they were called Oreos. HAHA