Life in the Country

The Blue Rock Saloon

December 7, 2017

The Blue Rock Saloon.  Saloon, as in western bar, John Wayne watering hole.  Swinging doors, yep, they have those.  Door handles that let you know, this is a ‘saloon’, not a salon.

I’d define the atmosphere a ‘Western Whimsical’.  Unlike Glory Farm, the Saloon has completed their Holiday decorating.

Every end of the Saloon is decorated.

Not completely a John Wayne style hang out, as a few servers have ‘Man-buns’ and there is ping pong.  

…and corn holes.A free pool table and shuffle board invites folks to play…

..or to just sit a spell.  It is My Loving Spouse’s new favorite place to eat.  The food is yummy and inexpensive.  Our Taco Tuesday feast, included 2 beers and the bill was under $20.

We’ve even managed to run into Number Two and Number Four Son here.

Well, not here….I suppose it is possible for My Loving Spouse to run into them here.  (Yes, he did take this picture of the urinals for me, proving ‘true love knows no bounds.)

There is a calendar of events posted to the wall and I cannot wait for next summer, when ‘line dancing’ will be re-scheduled.  I’ll be showing up in my dancing boots (those would be the ones that don’t have cow/chicken/horse poop on them) and do a bit of stomping and shuffling and having some fun!

…and I am blessed!

 

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Line Item

November 4, 2017

It has happened.

I believe it is now official.

It is not because we have more critters than people sharing our evening.

It is not because My Loving Spouse and I have just recently both been listening to the same local (ie. Country/Western radio station) and saying words like,

“That’s a good station!”

It is not because our free range chickens poop on the porch.

It is not because we have more barn cats than dogs, and I am not a cat person.

It was the line item on our budget for this month.

That one line item brought it home to me, that I am now a country person.

Planning on a purchase….

….the item simply spelled out…

Cow.

Indeed,

and I am blessed.

 

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Driving In Hay

July 7, 2017

I was driving in hay the other night.  Seriously, imagine me (born suburban girl) driving a truck and trailer through the edge of a hay-field.  The object was to drive slowly, stay out of the plethora of ditches, do not run into any fences or dogs and try not to actually drive over any of the cut hay.

Yes, I could do that…

My Loving Spouse and I were helping Our Neighbor The Fire Captain, who has a mid-sized hay operation.  Mid-sized means that he has all the fancy equipment to get the hay down and baled, but not the fancy equipment to get it picked up.  He does the picking up with hay hooks and muscle.  I drove through the back swath (back swath – fancy farm term for the perimeter of the hay-field, where the hay is first cut and baled and picked up, thereby allowing the tractor and baler to turn at the end of each row).  We were going to buy this hay for our herd, so by helping him load it onto our trailer, he could start work the next day baling the rest of his field.

I drove.   The Fire Captain walked along the trailer, hauling the bales up to My Loving Spouse who stacked them.

I could not hear the guys for any instructions and I couldn’t always see the bales behind me.  Frankly, I gave up trying to hear them and just idled through the field.  I figured, that if I was not going the right speed, one of them would eventually tell me.

Fresh cut hay smells so sweet.  It was a beautiful evening to be driving in hay, getting it all picked up.

I know I am living in the right place for me, because I loved every minute of it!

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Off To The Hills

June 18, 2017

Sometimes in life there is that friend.

The friend that inspires parents to say such things as, “If Johnny/Susie/Taylor jumps off of a bridge are you going to jump off of a bridge?”  Of course the ‘child’ always says, ‘No’.  However, if that friend invites them to jump off a bridge, then… they are probably jumping.

Which might be how on a certain recent evening The Hillbilly Rig was driven (noisily) up into the hills.  It was drizzling and the windshield wipers added more noise to the journey.  The road was shared with more cows than people, which was just perfect for our Hillbilly escapade.  We arrived at our location and enjoyed some appetizers.

…and a bit of ‘cheap’ beer.  I am a tiny bit embarrassed to say, that I did like the ‘cheap’ beer.  What can I say?  I’ve never been known as a beer connoisseur.Yes, that is a gun, and no, it doesn’t take bullets.  It is a pellet gun and it was so much fun!  We did a bit of target practice and this is considered the ‘proper’ form.

Who knows what kind of form I had, but not only did I actually hit a few cans, but I took the award for the most dents given to the cans.I’d probably be bragging a bit more, but I also earned the ‘one who had to pee in the woods’ award, so enough said.

We had fun!

So much fun, that more Hillbilly escapades are planned…quickly…. before My Loving Spouse sells the Hillbilly Rig!

That friend….every Thelma needs her Louise!

.

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Country Kid-City Kid

June 15, 2017

There are certain times in life when your phone rings, and your heart stops for a second.  The middle of the night phone calls, that wake you from a peaceful slumber to dread in a nano second.  Usually, your heart starts beating again, when it is a wrong number and all you get from the caller is, “Donde esta Juan?”  I also get a similar reaction when my neighbors call.  Let me clarify, we have 2 neighbors and we could NOT ask for better neighbors, however, when they call, my gut reaction is ‘Oh, Bad British Word’ and I often do not say ‘hello’, I answer with this country greeting, “Are my cows out?”

I was recently in town having dinner with our New Jersey City Guest, Number Two Son and My Girl, when My Sweet Neighbor Sue called and because we were eating, I did not answer.  I breathed a sigh of relief when she did not leave a message.  We finished our meal and headed home.  We were about a third of a mile from home, passing one of Our Friend The Farmer’s fields, when we saw a big black cow.  His cows were in an adjoining field so immediately we assumed, one of his cows was out….until we got closer.  Agnes!!!

I slammed on the brakes of the truck, and I might have said a Bad British Word and kicked all the kids out to help wrangle her, including our New Jersey City Guest who was wearing cute City sandals and slightly intimidated by the large beast.  My Girl and I quickly changed places, so she could drive the truck and I could help chase the cow.  These two kids of mine live in the country, but not actually on purpose.  The last time they truly wanted to be ‘country folk’ was about 20 years ago.

Number Two ran after Agnes all the time moving her toward the direction of our farm, extremely careful to not let her get farther out in the big field, because once that happens…well, let me just say, the bovine usually wins the race.  We moved Agnes at a trot/run from one field, across the street, through the neighbor’s yard, where she stopped to poop in his freshly cut hay, back toward the City Guest (who tried to wave her City arms, but gave up and went for cover when the large cow came her way), down the driveway, into another large field, luckily back out into the road, where My Girl moved her down the road with the truck, into the driveway and back into OUR field, where she went to get a drink of water.

All the time you are chasing your cow, you are thinking, ‘Bad British Word, how did she get out?  What fence to I need to fix tonight?’

These two suburban born kids are country kids now, whether they meant to learn how or not!  They know exactly what to do, when the cow gets out.  They might be wearing sandals and shorts, but they get the job done…and with sweat streaming down their faces say things like, “I hate that cow!”  I was so proud of them.

The fences were fine, so how did Agnes get out?  Well, not all of our kids are Country kids yet.  There may/might/probably will be some gate latching lessons the next time our City kids visit.

Who let the cow out?  Moo, Moo, Moo,  Moo!

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Riding in the Vineyard

May 18, 2017

Time to do fun stuff together (especially with our horses) is a constantly moving target.  Between My Loving Spouse’s schedule, the weather, my flue and the boys being shod, little has worked out.  We signed up for the Cave B Winery Prize ride, My Loving Spouse took the day off.  We knew we’d enjoy it, have fun and who knows maybe even win a load of gravel!  We also planned (as in talked about it, but the weather and life did not co-operate) to ride the horses a few times so we’d (horses and me) all have our spring jitters out of us.  Yes, that did not happen, best laid plans etc.  We did make it to the winery determined to enjoy our day.

We rode to the first tasting stop.  Easily setting up this first shot without My Loving Spouse spilling his wine.

A gorgeous location set just above the gorge of the Columbia river.  A beautiful day to be out and nothing beats Washington for beautiful cloud formations.  We tried to stay away from the other 118 riders, as more horses just add jitters to horses that haven’t been out.  You are not supposed to let your horse know you are jittery, so I worked hard at telling myself I was calm…..trying to fool at least one of us.

The only thing that could have made this day better, is if our horses just wanted to plod along and be lazy.  As is often the case on a first outing horses are hyped up on the green grass they’ve been eating.  They act skittish, dance sideways and seem scared of their own shadow.  We had just reached the red wine tasting location and needed to turn into this cloud formation.

The black cloud got blacker and we were now nearer the gorge’s edge.  It looked like a thunder and lightening show at any moment.  The day before we’d had a thunder and lightening storm at school, while the first grader’s were out a recess.  A drenched horde of crying, scared 6 year old kids came running into the library.  6 year old children have a bigger brain than a horse.  I was not enthused to ride into a thunder storm on a large animal with a small brain, near a cliff, who was already not comfortable to be out riding.

At that moment we decided to turn toward our trailer.  Beau got worse, refusing to step over a water line and I had to toss out the only glass of wine I’d been able to sample so far, so I could keep both hands available for managing my hyped up horse.  (Although I did manage to make up for it later once I was back on solid ground.)

Half way back to the trailer, Beau was worse and we needed to return through a row of staked grape vines.  I got off my beast, took the reins in my hand and we walked back in, well, I walked back in, Beau danced sideways almost the whole time, while My Loving Spouse and Sundance rode to the trailer as the hail started to fly.

I made the right riding decision for me, as I said, “There is a very fine line between ‘pushing the envelope’ and ‘it all going to hell in a hand-bag’!”

We did have a nice day.  We do have plans to return to the gorge to ride again…just not with an additional 118 horses and after we’ve had some more time in the saddle and possibly without a hail storm.
Am I blessed? You better believe it!

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Hillbilly Rig

It is official.  We own a hillbilly rig. The fact that the deal was made while two bus drivers (My Loving Spouse and Co-worker) were fueling their buses at a truck stop, does not make it a Hillbilly Rig.  The fact that we could pay for it with one trip through the ATM, does not make […]

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Signs of Spring

Spring is here!!! Everyone is so glad, after that winter we had, that almost no one is complaining about the wind! All the signs of spring are here….There are so many signs of spring, that even My Girl is leaving ‘signs’ for her brother.We do have spring bulbs peeking out of the dirt, the grass […]

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Chick, Chick!

Cheep, cheep! I say, “Chick Chick” to a class and the class says, “Cheep,cheep!” back, because we hatched! 6 little chicks hatched in our incubator and thanks to the live feed, we didn’t miss a beat!  To say that there was some excitement at our school, would possibly be the understatement of the year.  We […]

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Hatching A Plan

My Librarian and I hatched a plan.  We (the library) had incubators.  I (Glory Farm) had eggs.  I taught about ‘broody hens’, the difference between grocery store eggs, and eggs that had a rooster around, what jobs the mother hen did and how the incubator worked.  One dozen eggs from the hen-house to the incubator. […]

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Rocking It

We are rocking it!  Seriously!  In my purge of extraneous brown furniture, I ‘re-homed’ the brown love seats, moved the comfy couch to the living room (where it is looking great) and the family room has nothing left to sit on. That is not exactly true.  We have a lot of rocking chairs 7 to […]

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Why a Parade?

I do know something about parades. I spent many high school hours practicing with my marching band for parades…band reviews…marching, playing and looking good.  I grew up entrenched with the ‘Granddaddy of them all’, the Rose Parade, leading of this parade twice in the band.  If you’ve never seen the Rose parade in person, you […]

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