Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Country Living - Around the Farm

Wow, it's hard to believe that at the end of this week we'll be moving home again. The kids have mixed feelings about going back home. They are enjoying it here, but realizing that this is not truly home they also are ready to go home again. Once they are home they will realize how good they had it here and will be whining to come back again ... isn't that always how it goes?

I guess that also means I have a bit of catching up to do on the blog. We really didn't do anything extremely exciting, it was more just getting away from the city and relaxing that we focused on. We did lots of visiting and socializing, especially at first. And some of those projects I took along to tackle because I'd have so much extra time relaxing ... well they haven't even made it out of the box... okay not some ... most ... but regardless we've been having a good time.

One of the first projects the girls had to tackle after we moved in was weeding. Aggghhhhh!! The girls are attempting to make some money this fall by growing a few pumpkins and watermelon to sell. How productive this will be at the end of our driveway is questionable ... but hopefully they'll have fun and maybe make a little bit ... either way it's a learning experience. We had planted the seeds some time before we moved in, so the weeds were plentiful and they needed to weed directly around the plants ... good old handy roundup would take care of the rest! They picked a good day to get rid of weeds on the good-old hard rock clay ... just after a rain .... but oh what a mess they were when they came in, eventually they realized it was just best/easiest to go barefoot. At this point the pumpkins seem to be doing okay but the watermelons came up late due to the cold and dry spring we had and now they seem to be struggling or dying off due to the excessive rain we have been getting ... can't win ... but that's all in the lesson.

I must say it took the kids a few days to understand what living on a farm and out in the country meant. They really didn't know what to do with themselves and didn't wander much past the basic backyard. My encouraging them to go out and explore didn't seem to help much, even when I gave them ideas. Then one day they had a country friend over who seemed to help them broaden their horizons ... and off they went to explore and make use of the place they live at.

What's a farm without a tractor? Matthew has a healthy fear of equipment, something aI am very thankful for. He loves the tractor as long as it's quiet, as soon as it's on or moving around he stays a far distance away and watches it's every move. Especially at first the kids could be found playing on the tractor. After a ride or so from Rob they decided that a non-moving tractor wasn't near as much fun ... and so I haven't seen them on there as much lately.

What are trees without a fort? When the girls heard that grandpa had built a fort for mom (and sibings) when they were little they wanted a fort also. Well the fort we had as kids was a small house on stilts with a sandbox underneath it ... an extravagant fort, big enough for us to sleep in, etc. The girs went to work to build their own fort. Rebecca worked hard that first day at trying to get a nail through a piece of wood in order to make a ladder. She didn't want any help and was determined, but in the end I think she realized at that pace it would take several summers to get done. So they smiled nicely at Rob and begged him to help ...okay, to build one for them. So out came the spare wood that was hanging around and away Rob went to find a tree that could hold a fort ... thankfully he found one suitable and after that the girls had a place to hang out, read, play cards, eating lunch or snack. They attached a rope to a bucket to lift and lower things and had great fun making up plays or just simply playing. But like all things the novelty seems to have worn off and we don't see them out there so much anymore.

The kids would love to play in the barn, especially in the hay mow, but after a few times up there and a better look at the state of the barn it became apparent that it was rotting away far too much for them to be in there anymore. Instead they had to settle for climbing up and down the feed bin, feeling like they had gone quite the heights that way .... enough for me to watch them anyways

My dad made sure to put electric fencing around the big pond before they left in order to keep Matthew from attempting to swim in it. Thankfully he has never even gone near that area. Ever now and then we would turn off the fence so the girls could climb over and play in the pond. They went frog catching a couple times ... but once Rebecca decided she didn't like frogs (or any sort of critters for that matter) that sort of put an end to it since Marietta didn't want to go by herself and usually if they had friends over they all played together.

They also went fishing a few times. It was often hard to find time to be around the pond as it could only be done while Matthew was sleeping and for some reason nap time never seemed to work out (or the fishing rod wasn't around when it did - we were borrowing it). But they had fun when they did go out ... altho neither of them could be convinced to go digging for worms and put a worm on the end of their hook. Instead they insisted on using bread since Laura did on Little House and Prairie and it worked for her. As kids we would fish in the pond and there were so many fish we didn't need a bait, we just threw our hook in, walked a bit and pulled out a fish. So the girls were convinced they'd manage without worms ... so far no luck, but they really haven't tried very often or very long each time.

And with all this property comes a lot of lawn mowing ... especially on a year like this where it's been either cool or very wet. Even if it weren't so wet I'm sure Rob would still be out there mowing all the time ... not sure if it's his addiction for having things look just so or the fact that the lawnmower is so much fun to drive ... what do you think?? ;) Regardless it seemed he was always mowing lawn .... and if he wasn't mowing lawn he was "playing" on the tractor ... all work of course, tidying things up ... but I'd say it was playing as he was just having too much fun. Then there was the fact that there's a nice shop on the property (my brother's) so if the weather wasn't cooperating and the shop wasn't in use he could tinker on one project or another in there. All in all if he wasn't busy at work he was busy "playing". I think he's been enjoying himself, even if it means he hasn't gotten any reading done like he's suppose to be doing ... I know he's enjoying himself for I hear talk of moving to the country ;)


amymom24 said...

Glad you've had such an enjoyable time:) I'm sure your kids will have great memories from this experience! Praying that the transition back to the city will go as smoothly as possible:)

HH said...

Great update Steph, looks like you all had a fabulous time on the farm. I can't believe how everything is so green. Our summer kills everything, the colour is brown ;)

Steph said...

Oh it's usually brown here too ...and every other week or so you mow the lawn just to get rid of all the weeds that are sticking up.

This year we've been mowing it once a week and then we have to rake afterwards ... we probably should be doing it every 5 days or so.