Spring Projects – Wagons and a Stanchion

Spring Projects – Wagons and a Stanchion

Spring is always full of projects, and I basically keep a running project list. This past weekend was the weekend for small refresh projects. I went around the farm and analyzed what was in good shape, could be refreshed, and what needed to be flagged for a dump run. I love the idea of donating, but apart from baby gear, most things around here surpass donate quality or else we wouldn’t get rid of it.

Saturday morning, I ran to the city for basic supplies, I didn’t plan far enough in advance and everything here was closed. I try to buy local when reasonable, but lately I suck at planning. I had a turkey in my fridge all week because I couldn’t seem to plan enough to get the dang thing to thaw! It made a great Mother’s Day dinner though.

My favorite thing about buying supplies at a farm supply store is that the labels speak my language. For example, I was looking for paint, wasn’t real sure what I wanted, but it would be used for a picnic table and whatever else needed paint. The perfect gallon stood out to me “Siding, barn, fence, and general outdoor paint”. Yup, that covers the jobs I have – SOLD. Next came spray paint, I wanted a good red for the wagon and maybe toys. What did I find? Farm and implement paint in Massey Ferguson Red. Yes, tractor red was perfect & it sounded like it should hold up to kids.

We did some divide and concur for farm projects, and I must admit, they all benefit me, so what could be better for a Mom’s weekend? I took care of painting the picnic tables, the wagon, and Tonka trucks, and Hubby built a stanchion for shearing goats and trimming the hooves for goats and sheep.

The Tonka trucks were probably my most work, I had to tape off the plastic the best I could after washing them, and to be honest, these things ae super ugly, so I couldn’t get real into protecting the super faded black. I chose orange in hopes it would do a better job covering the parts starting to rust. They turned out pretty good, though they kind of look a bit like a Cheeto truck fleet. Overall, they look a heck of a lot better than they did before.

This guy above didn’t get a lot of attention for detail.

The wagon is probably my favorite fix up just because it’s such an emblem of American youth, and it turned out pretty good.

Hubby built the stanchion out of scrap lumber we had saved from other projects and things that have been taken apart or repaired. He built it out of his head, so I don’t have any plans share. It’s a basic frame with deck, and then there are two 2×4’s pinned in place using 6in 5/8th bolts with lock nuts and washers. That allows the arms to open and close to hold the goat in place, he also placed a couple wood blocks to prevent the arms from moving too much. He set it up so we could chain at two different points so that it didn’t matter if we used it for lambs, sheep, goats, or kids (hahahaha – goat kids not mine – no worries).

I’m most excited for the stanchion, the shears should arrive Thursday so the ladies will be getting a trim next weekend. Stay tuned for that, it should be entertaining. I also have fabric for making goat sheets, so we will see how that project turns out. I used to sew blankets for Breyers all the time as a kid, had a little mini business for it, so it shouldn’t be too hard right? HAHA

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Saving Seeds

Saving Seeds

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As a person that works for a seed company I often hear confusion and complaints around the idea of “saving seeds”. When I first started working in Ag, I too was confused on the concept. I mean really, what do you do with the leftovers?

Let me use wheat for example, and clarify that I am not in any way speaking on behalf of any companies, and all companies have contracts on the topic (allowing or not allowing).

All sates have an agriculture department that monitors regulated seed. Regulated just means that somewhere along the way someone managed to perfect (usually by breeding, but GMO would fall into this as well) a seed and give it a name, file some paperwork on it to claim the specific breeding of seed. In Washington the department that monitors this for wheat is called Washington State Crop Improvement Association. Their job is to monitor and make sure seed doesn’t get we’ll say impersonated or counterfeit, that customers can trust that it is what they are told it is. They do this with a certification process.

Now to clarify more, no one is required to buy certified seed. The benefit is that it has documented results, where as with non-certified seed there is no real way to know what you have. Think buying a papered dog, papers mean its not a mutt.

However, if you choose to buy certified seed, you will often be required to enter into a contract agreeing that should you not use all of the seed you will either return the seed or dispose of it. This clause prevents “mutts”, it’s the spay or neutering of ag.

Scenario 1: farmer Joe goes out and buys seed to grow 100 acres of wheat, he is farming dry land and his field is in a good area, no real risk of disease or other issues. After planting he realizes he has seed leftover. If he purchased non-certified seed, he’s free to store it and use it again next year. Doing so he risks quality and contamination. Depending on his end goal, this may not be of concern, which is also why he may prefer non-certified seed. This is the scenario most people think about.

Scenario 2: Frank has a field in an area that tends to have issue with disease, he is limited on land, and his customer is looking for high protein levels. After researching he finds that company x has a product that seems to fit his needs. He talked to neighbor farmers and decides that he is going to purchase wheat seed 2468. The company goes over the contract with him explains the certified guarantee and the no seed saved clause. Frank gets the benefit of perfected plant breeding and if his crop has a bunch of off types or problems, the company will work with him and have some kind of resolution where he would get compensated. The company gets the benefit of the no seed saved clause so they don’t have to worry that Frank will harvest his field and then start selling the seed to neighbors – basically considered pirated seed.

When you think of it as seed its harder to see what the big deal is and why they can’t save seed, I mean they purchased it after all. But if you look at it as if it were a different product it would make perfect sense.

Look at software for example. Generally, people don’t question why when you buy Microsoft office you can’t buy one license and then download it on your computer, all the computers at the middle school, and all the computers at the high school too. Most people think, no, you need a license per computer or an agreement for multi-user.

Look at DVDs, its not considered okay to buy the movie and then distribute copies of the movie to all your neighbors. Yes, you bought it, and you bought the blank DVDs, but the base material was not yours to duplicate.

Basically the work behind the scenes is considered intellectual property. The seed itself is not the prized possession, its the breeding that went into it.

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Baseball Birthday

Baseball Birthday

This past weekend my baby turned 1. I avoided thinking about it as long as I could , but at a certain point I had to accept that my baby is getting to be a toddler and let him have his day. Hubby’s mom was up from out of state, so the family would all be at the house, and that alone is a full house.  Just hubby’s family made a house of 9 little ones and 8 adults. We kept the party limited as we expected to need to be indoors, and I’m not sure about you, but that basically maxes out my home especially having that many kids running around. However, we had a great surprise in the form of an 80 degree sunshiny day.

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Thinking back it turned out great, but I really do owe it all to hubby. You see, I decorate, and plan, and fuss over the minor details. He on the other hand implements.  He’s the one that remembers the practical stuff; the things I wouldn’t use personally and therefore don’t think to buy, pickles, tomatoes, extra chips. I also don’t seem to understand how much food kids eat. The family gathered at our house the night prior too, the chips were eaten, the veggies were eaten, dinner was eaten, and popcorn was eaten. I was out of ideas, and one of my snackers was gluten and dairy free. I was in a bit of a panic for the next day. All I had planned was hot dogs, popcorn, and cracker jacks. Hubby to the rescue! He picked up all the practical stuff and no one was hungry at the end of the night.

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And since he took care of the real party needs, I got to set up cute baseball theme decorations. Baseball invitations (sample pic below) which turned out perfect!

Vintage Baseball Ticket Invitation - Baseball Birthday Party Invitation - Boy Birthday Party - DIY Printable

I ordered those here. Baseball toddler photos curtesy of me. Thank you. Baseball baby smash cake, I’m not a cake decorator, but I think it turned out pretty good. Baseball themed party supply table with a couple pictures of the guest of honor. And my awesome sister hooked us up with slip and slide baseball.

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We couldn’t have asked for a better family evening on the farm.

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Prayer Wall Project

Prayer Wall Project

When we first moved into our mini farm home, hubby brought me home an old large picture window frame. He thought it would be great for one of my photography or craft projects. I loved it! However, I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do with it. This window has leaned against the wall in our home oddly fitting in with the décor it was hiding behind. There it sat for going on 3 years.

Last week an idea popped into my head and I decided we needed a prayer wall in our home. Somewhere to post pictures of those we pray for, inspiration, big goals that seem unattainable, whatever fits. I wasn’t sure what this was going to look like, then one night a picture floated into my thoughts and it was the frame. And so, my prayer wall has taken shape.

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While cleaning the frame I became distracted by spider webs/nests. Took a few minutes to come back from my mobster mentality of killing anything spider related.  But I digress.

After cleaning the window (both sides), I hot glued mini clothes pins randomly across the glass. Next I printed some pictures I had that symbolized my prayers, and I printed them onto regular printer paper.

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Using some tags I picked up at a craft store at some point, I glued the pictures to the tags.

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I took some extra tags and wrote a few favorite scriptures. On the back of a couple of the pictures I jotted down my prayer.  Earlier a speaker at the bible study I attend gave us moms scripture cards.

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You can find those here. Those fit in perfectly.

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I’m kinda in love with this little project. Not too over the top, and fitting for my family.

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By the way, when I told hubby my window idea, he thought I was talking about the giant picture window that is the front of our house. I believe its 12 ft by 8 ft. the mental image makes me smile.

Spring Top 5:

Spring Top 5:

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.1.           Fresh green growth – Living in a desert I love the new spring green fresh look and smell. Trees are getting their leaves back, grass is growing, and plants everywhere are starting to wake up. Gone is the death valley of fall and winter, and back is the fresh feeling of a new start and a new year.  By the end of January most snow has gone, and left in its wake is a gray drizzly landscape that screams seasonal blues. April brings the rain and wind, but with that the color comes back too.

.2.           Jeans and sweatshirts – When winter is here I look like the little boy on A Christmas Story. I’m bundled to the max and cold all the time. Spring comes and I get to be outside in jeans and sweatshirts or sweaters, and sometimes I can skip the sweater. I would live in summer wear if I could handle the weather, so when I have to bundle up….blah. Hubby dreams of Alaska while I dream of Texas. Washington is a compromise with its 4 seasons, negative winter temps, and summer days that reach 100+. Spring and summer are my months.

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.3.           Spring Sports – This year my son will be in his first year of rookies baseball. As much as kid sports test my patients, I love them. I love sitting on the side lines, chatting with other moms, and soaking up the sun. The kiddos get to burn off some energy, and I get to soak up some sun.

farm-land-love-baseball (this little cutie is 7 now, this is a pic from his first season, my baby was 4)

.4.           BBQ – It’s the season of cooking outdoors. I love the smell, and the natural draw to hosting friends and family. We live in cattle country, and with that comes flies. I absolutely hate files so that’s inconvenient, but during the spring I can open the doors and windows and we’re usually bug free.  After having the house sealed up all winter, the air flow is a great change of pace.

.5.           Sweet Tea and porch sitting – This is really my number one, but its hit and miss in the spring and is more my summer past time. In my opinion there is no greater peace then relaxing in a chair with a glass of tea watching the kids play. If you’ve never made your own sweet tea, let me hook you up:

Sweet Tea:

Bring 2 quarts water to a boil, and 1 cup of sugar, and enough tea bags to brew 1 gallon of tea. I usually use about 8 regular tea packets. Mix for about 1 minute while boiling (be sure to keep the tea bags upright, sometimes the grinds seem to fall out). Remove from heat and let brew about 5 minutes. I wrap the tea bag strings around a large wood spoon and lay it across the pot. Next pour the tea into your container(s) and add enough cold water to make 1 gallon. I usually use 2 large mason jars (I think they hold about 1 liter), I split the tea evenly between the two jars and finish filling with cold water. Makes the perfect Tea.

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Fill a large Jar (grandma used to use a giant pickle jar) with water; add appropriate number of tea bags for the amount of water. Holding the strings of the tea bags outside the jar put the lid on and set it in the sun. Once it looks the darkness you like, it’s ready!

 

Funny Farm & Auctions

Funny Farm & Auctions

Not too far away is an auction house, or at least that’s what I’m going to call it. It’s really a big chunk of property where a business is located that hosts several outdoor auctions year round. So my “house” comment may be misleading. Should you attend, and manage to stay for the entire auction, you will leave with either heat exhaustion or hypothermia. Usually the crowd is filled with farmers, ranchers, retired farmers/ranchers, hired hands, and the odd and end person that just enjoys auctions. You can buy anything from a combine to a pogo stick. The items always surprise me. We went as a family one day and my son wanted to bring home an old race car trailer. His logic was that there was also a bed it in, ummmmmm, no thank you.  It was probably a 1980s model, converted goose neck, with what would be considered by some to be converted living quarters. It was more junky mobile mechanics trailer than camp trailer. I wish I would have taken a picture. I can only imagine my son was picturing being a human version of Lightning McQueen. In fairness, the trailer was red.

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For obvious reasons, the trailer was not purchased that day. However, my son had caught the bidding fever. We told him that if he was good, then when it got to the toy part of the auction, we would see if we could get him a toy combine. Turns out there is a high demand for said toys. We stopped bidding at about $75 which was well past my comfort zone already. The bidding goes up, and my son who sees that I’m no longer throwing my hand up, starts to throw his up in an attempt to bid! Thankfully the auctioneer laughed, and I was able to hold his arms down, but we owed him a toy after we left. They ended up selling for $150 apiece. The catch was that you got your choice of tractor, and some were collectors.

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This story was really not my point, but I got caught up. You’re used to that in me by now. Ha-ha.

My actual point is, that this auction also created an auction monster in my husband. He goes with his dad, and you never know what they will come back with. One auction trip they came back with a truck and trailer load. Of course when I looked at it I was mainly confused as to what the stuff would be used for. I was given explanations like, “well I really just wanted this, but it was on a pallet with all that, and it was too cheap to pass up.” Haha. Well then!

However, this last auction turned out great. I must admit, I was a bit concerned when hubby asked how much $$ was in the checking account. Now, kudos to him for remembering that I transfer any extra money into saving almost as soon as checks hit so that the money doesn’t get absorbed. I’m not sure how, but if I don’t move money to savings right off, it seems to just disappear. The comment/question still made me nervous. However, I should give him more credit. He bought fence posts (much needed), and a 20×30 shop-ish. We have plans to build a shop, but in the meantime he has stuff out in the weather (lawn mower, trailer he’s putting a new deck on, ect.). So this temporary shop he bought is actually quite perfect.

It will look something like this:

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With getting this, the shed he previously used is now getting moved and converted into a new chicken coop / feed storage building. We will be building a wall to split the shed in half so one side will be for chickens, and the other will have the feed stored (stay tuned). Plus there will be a trap door to reach through for egg collection from the feed room side! That is the part I’m excited about. Everything is getting re-vamped to be more user friendly. I’ve always been more partial to the hooved farm animals, so anything to limit my interaction with the feathered, peck at you farm variety, I love.

So far, we’re (like how I keep saying “we” – ya that may not be accurate) still in the early stages, but the shop has started going up!

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I took baby out of a field trip to watch daddy work. It was quite entertaining. He couldn’t bend at the waist well, so needless to say, he laid down for the sled trip. At 8 months, baby is wearing 18 month old clothes, so the baby carrier I would have used was too small when I got him bundled up.

Love of all things rustic

Hello all! It’s been a while since my last post, I’ve been seriously slacking. Actually life has been so hectic that things fell by the wayside. All my life craziness has apparently caught up with me, because now, with a baby due in April, I’m hanging out at home on bed rest. This is day 2, and do you know what there is to do on bed rest? SIT AROUND! Needless to say I’ve signed up for Netflix, and busted out embroidery projects to work on. The little things about living on my little farm that didn’t seem like a big deal before, are now feeling a bit restrictive. For example, until moving here I had lived in the town with the first fiber internet, boasted to be the fastest internet in the country. Do you know what I have now? Satellite internet that bounces off a potato shed a few miles away! Loading. Loading. I was once asked by a friend from the wet side of Washington if we had internet and phones and stuff like that in my area. I laughed and said, “Nope we jump up on the roof and yell from house to house”. Well, I may have been being sarcastic at the time, but I’m starting to feel that way with my internet. But it’s okay, Netflix still mails DVDs.

Anyway, that’s really not the point of my post today. Since I have time to sit and plan, I’ve been planning my schedule, and getting excited about this spring/summer. One of my favorite things coming up is the variety of vintage shows throughout the area.

When adding new pieces to my home I like them to have stories behind them. For example, Hubby and I had a little weekend getaway, and on the way home stopped at this cute shop in the little town of Reardan, and found this great desk. It’s not a monumental moment for us, but the desk is now something I see and remember our mini road trip weekend.

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Honestly I don’t remember much about the weekend, but I remember the quality time of our drive, and stopping at the little shops on the way home. I have a fun “sign” I found at the Vintage Faire in Okanogan, it was a fun girl’s trip with a friend I’ve had since middle school. The sign is made using an old seed bag from Othello. Although the seed company I work for is a town over, Othello is close enough that it was a little piece of history from my area I could incorporate in my home.

I’ve compiled a list of great events in the Eastern Washington area and most are coming up soon:

Antiques & things – April 4th at the O’Sullivan Grange hall between Moses Lake and Warden off Hwy 17

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The Vintage faire – April 25th (yearly, last Saturday of April) Okanogan Fair Grounds, Okanogan WAvintage faire

Farm Chicks – June 6th Spokane

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Love of Junk – June 12-13 Walla Walla

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