Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Homesteading stories

I can honestly say , life has and is interesting and I would never even consider changing a thing.
Buying our 15 acre farm in 1985 was the beginning of some wonderful ever exciting times. Our Charleston home had been vacant for 2 years, looked at by many, but maybe the toilet in the kitchen had something to do with it not selling, yes I did say that , no walls around it, sat right against the wall beside the table, I might add the only electrical plug in that kitchen was right behind the toilet, so that is where we plugged in our toaster and hot water kettle while we sterilized the old dining room for sleeping and keeping our new born son clean and safe and out of the way while we worked at the house in preparation to move the toilet and start to try and get 50 years of wallpaper off the walls. So bad we had a burn barrel in the middle of the room which filled twice a day, to be rolled out and burnt. The old linoleum on the kitchen floor was so thick in the middle from years of new being put over old , made for insulation from drafts coming up from the old rock walled cellar. The toilet got moved upstairs just before Chuck left again for work up North in the Spring of 1985, leaving myself and the baby(Clay) to try and take care of the little jobs until he returned in 9 weeks. Well now that was fun, the rain started that Spring which made drying painted floors a chore. Clay and I moved in with Aunt Janie and Uncle Ken for a few weeks while things dried ,which was like a vacation at the Beach for awhile. Chuck returned after 9 weeks to a Baby who was growing in leaps and bonds and that is when we both decided that making money was not the important thing, that watching our son and ourselves grow with Love and Family was first on the list. So no longer did he go away and our Little hobby Farm began.
The old Cape Cod was starting to come together, we hooked up our old Lunenburg Foundry Peacock Kitchen wood Stove and the smells of homemade bread began to absorb into the walls of our home to remain there to this day. We then got Goats, Pippy being our first ,Pippy was an Alpine Goat and some what of a spoiled Diva who would climb our wood pile and look in the kitchen window.Then came Anna a Nubian Goat, I had never in my years even seen a dog or cat being born and when Clay was almost two years old, Chuck was at work this one day, he was a Correctional Officer in Liverpool then, Anna the Goat was to give birth and I was ready with my birthing book and basket with all I needed to assist her so I thought, I popped out to the barn that morning to check on her and what do I see ? two hooves which would come out then in, well you should have seen me run for my birthing basket and Baby and that is where Clay and I spent the day in the barn eating our lunch while waiting for the birth, finally here comes a exciting and then here comes another , three in all and she didn't need my help what so ever, thank God because Chuck who has been around many big animals giving birth had instructed me on putting my arm where the sun doesn't shine to help the baby out, thank you Anna for doing it all yourself. So much fun as these kid's grew, Clay and I would walk Anna up our quiet dirt road while the Kids would romp and play behind their Mom as we walked along. We miked our Goats to the delight of our Foster Son Collin who was allergic to Cows milk, and we made Goat cheese .Those were the days. One Christmas Chuck bought me the biggest Christmas present ever, a milk Cow "Kate" we went to see and meet Kate one evening on our way to a movie in Bridgewater, we were dressed in our town cloths and after visiting Kate and spending some time getting to know her that evening before we moved her to our farm the following day we then headed out to our movie and were settling down to watch the flick when all of a sudden we could smell barn, yes it was us, I love that smell of a barn and always have. So Kate came home right before Christmas that year , I remember us following behind the truck she was in , it was a blustery wet snowy night and they covered her head with a blanket because her head was above the box of the truck and they didn't want her to get wet or frightened, well Kate arrived safe and sound and became a great friend and addition to our growing family for years . Kate was a lovely kind animal who would let me milk her from one side while children who were interested in learning how to milk a Cow milked her on the other side. We enjoyed her tasty milk and made butter with a homemade butter churn that Chuck built. The Foster Children who came and went over those few years then so enjoyed the experience of farm life and being with animals and learning the ways of a very simple ,healthy lifestyle. Yes we had our excitement during those years , chasing cattle through the woods when they escaped from their pasture. One day while Chuck was away at a stock auction of all things , I looked out to see my three almost grown Pigs in the middle of the road, thank God for a quiet dirt road, for there I was trying to con pigs into the barn, Chuck turned onto our road and saw ahead of him , my arms waving not to him but trying to herd pigs, pigs are stubborn. He left me watching the pigs while he went to the next farm for a portable pen in hopes of herding them into this pen, while he was gone I grabbed a coffee and stood over quietly beside the barn door waiting for his return, Long story short , the pigs being nosey heard the one pig that was still in the barn and came over to look into the barn. I stood there very still with my coffee and when the pig stepped halfway through the barn door , I slammed the door shut, I caught my first pig, then the next , so easy after the fact, then Chuck returned with the fencing to find me with a big grin and the pigs all tucked happily back in their pen. Of course I told him I got them in by simply saying to them"get back in the barn".
Now for the Little bull story, we had a Foster son come one day to stay with us, we knew right off the bat that this young man was not meant to live with us for long, he was a dear but more then we could handle with our small son beside us. His name was Timmy, well we were sitting on the deck one morning cleaning blueberries and we heard a commotion in the pasture , here was Chuck's son from his first marriage trying to convince Timmy to ride our bull "Bingo" well we flew to the pasture and arrived just in time to stop Timmy from lowering himself onto Bingo's back from the apple tree, that could have been bad, these are the kinds of things Timmy was willing to do for a bet, it was an interesting week with Timmy with us, I hope he made out OK over the years and hopefully he didn't try and ride anymore Bulls .

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