NEW SUNRISE, NEW MOMENT, NEW DAY – WHAT FUN WILL IT BRING?

Today day is going to be fun Friday!  I have decided that things in the world (in general) have been way too serious and it is bumming me out – big time!  So, I have decided that one day a week – Friday – I am going to delegate my writing to something off-the-wall, fun, funny, or just all around cute. (Not like my writing isn’t already semi-silly, but I want to push it a bit farther.)

This may be about things on the farm, or it may be related to something I saw or read.  Today is something I read via my email newsletter from them:

Newborn mountain lion is the poster kitten for wildlife corridors by MNN

mountain-lion-kitten-photo national parks(Photo by National Park Service)

Now how can anyone resist that face?  The story that goes with it is also wonderful!  I strongly urge you to read it and, if so inclined, sign up for their new letter.  It a wonderful read about all kinds of earth-related items.  Since this is Earth Day Month – perfect time to do so!

On a more silly note,

4-6-17 unwanted secretary

Apparently, this is my secretary/assistant today?  I have knocked it off my desk several times, but it keeps popping up on something.  Maybe it just is trying to get me to throw it outside?  There are a number of wild birds perched in the tree outside the door.  Pretty sure they would love it if I did!

Then there are these freakazoids:

 

Apparently, they do not know  IT’S APRIL!  Bloomin fools, with fool being the operative word here.

This extra little fun kicker just happened over the last couple weeks:

mic n rick caddy 4-7-16

I remember when my brother-in-law bought this beautiful old caddy (can’t remember it’s year – 60’s something), and it immediately went into their garage.  That was decades ago, and it was in there or storage ever since.  He had always wanted to fix it up – but life goes on as it does.  Now he has passed it down to his son and grandson, and the two are having a blast rebuilding it!  Can’t wait to see this beauty in action when they are done.

Finally, for this fun Friday, I would be amiss if I did not do something for the farmer in me.  So I will leave you now with this beautiful thought that someone shared with me:

super power bacon

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CAN YOU FARM WITHOUT SEWING?  (or sewing gone all wrong)

I do not consider myself a very good seamstress.  I am very proud of my yarn art, crafting, painting, card making, gardening and many other things, I can even change the tires and oil on my vehicles;  but sewing not so much.  One of the many reasons maybe that on my very first attempt I ran my finger over (mom could not quit laughing at the threads hanging from the finger when I asked for her help!?).  Since half that finger is now gone, no worries – right?

finger-after

Then there was my first attempt at trying to make a piece of clothing.  Three rainy days in Wisconsin.  I was in my late teens.  I had purchased my first sewing machine, all the tools of the trade, and a great pattern for a jacket like the one Don Johnson (look him up youngsters, yes he was/is an actor) had with the patches on the elbows (from the TV show).  It was gonna be great!

Three cold, rainy days I worked away at it.  Three soggy, nasty, frigid days I gave to that sucker.  Then, on the third day, the angels sang “it is finished” – sort of.  I went into the bathroom so I could see how it looked in the mirror.  One sleeve was about four inches shorter than the other – IDIOT!  HOW DID YOU NOT NOTICE THAT??  That left a scar for many, many years to come.

sewing sleves off (Not my jacket but same issue.  Just make my bad sleeve about six more inches shorter than the other – boo hoo!!)

I limited my sewing abilities to hand embroidery and hand patching (got pretty good at both), and sewing or mending very simple things.  If there was a big project to be done, I passed it off to my mother with a lot of begging – pleeeease!!

The old sewing machine she had, managed to stay with her through all our moves.  It was a Singer, but it had these cool knob thingys.  You selected the knob by the picture that was on it.  Stuffed it into a hole on the machine and then turned it to match the line for your selection and – bam – you were sewing a special stitch!  She loved that machine.

old singer sewing mach(closest pic I could find to hers)

When she passed, it stayed with us – at least until the fire.

When we started rebuilding our lives, I knew one of the major things we were going to need was a new sewing machine.  You cannot properly manage a farm without means of patching and mending.  So, “NEW” is the operative word here!  I had no clue how much the “new” beasties had changed.  I knew that vehicles, music and the like had upgraded to digital; but I was blind-sided by how much sewing machines had transitioned that direction too.

brother sewing machineThey are still the same basic size and shape as the have always been, but the computer programming in these suckers is scary!  I had to read the instruction manual (yes, guys – I do that from time-to-time) just to figure out how to make a straight stitch!?  I am not a computer dummy by any means, nor am I a proficient geek about them; however, this new one really did scare me!

My sewing was rough at best before; now it was pure torture!  I am determined to get a handle on this monster, how soon that will be is anyone’s guess.  I managed to make some basic flannel curtains for our smoke room/porch.  They turned out really nice (which was great for my seamstress ego)!  My thought is to keep it all simple and basic for now.  One day I hope to try a new stitch a week, not now mind you.  Oh, and this devil has an embroidery feature to it that the only thing I have to do is program the picture and change colors when it stops and tells me to – show off!  It can do in hours what it takes me days to do by hand.  Not sure I like that?embroidery pic 1

Sure it’s pretty.  Yes, it is fast.  But does it put the blood, sweat, and tears – oh and the love – into its work?  I think not!  Ha Ha machine – gotcha there!  (F.Y.I.  I got REALLY STUPID and purchased a serger at the same time as the Beastie.  Can you say, IDIOT!?)

love heart pic 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

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YOU ARE KIDDING, RIGHT?

I get a great newsletter from a group called MNN (Mother Nature Network).  It carries a ton of different bits of information.  The latest one that caught my eye had something to do with me, or so I thought.

What is microsleep – and did you experience it?

guy-micro-sleeping

Microsleep – I thought it was going to be information that could tell me why I can’t seem to get more than 4 hours sleep a night – nope!

The article states that a bunch of us (me included) go through micro – sleeps during our day – WHAT???  Apparently, I have been doing this for decades and didn’t even know it had a name.  I hate to say it, but I am also guilty of the driving micro – ouch!

The article goes on to tell me that the only cure is to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night (yes, I am laughing hysterically right now).  Well, that was just a big help wasn’t it – not!

sleepy-squirrel

It is nice to know that I am not alone when I do this.  It is also nice to know that it can happen to anyone at any time.  It would be better to know ways to stop or cure it.  Here are my tried-and-true methods for handling this epidemic:

1)      THE MICRO IN THE CAR CURES:

  1. Bag-o-chips: doesn’t matter what kind you favor. The crunching seems to help to keep me alert.
  2. Heavy duty mint gum: (or cinnamon if you prefer) the taste and smell help to keep me from drifting off.
  3. Open windows: WARNING”  this one may cause your sleeping passenger (in this case my sister usually) to slap you upside the head for making her freeze.
  4. Turn up music: “WARNING AGAIN” for the same reason the open window may not work – – unless it happens to be her favorite rock song.
  5. Sing along with the song: “HUGE WARNING” If you cannot carry a note, do not attempt this method of staying awake.  It may cause a black eye and several bruises (especially if you don’t get the hint!).

Well weary warriors, hope these micro shares help you in your endeavors.  A little side note:  Should you microsleep when you are gardening – got with it!  My suggestion is to simply lay down on the warm ground and take a good nap.  If you are really lucky, no one will ever know, and you can wake up refreshed!

laughing-seal

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DO YOU LOVE RESEARCHING? Or a visit to South Dakota?

I absolutely love researching!  I think it goes hand-in-hand with my passion for digging in the garden and trying new things.  When I research I have to watch myself closely.  I get side-tracked very easily.  I was cleaning up my email this morning and I get one from Mother Nature Network titled : Mount Rushmore’s Hidden Chamber.   SO COOL!!

If you have seen the National Treasure movies – specifically the 2nd one Book of Secrets, then you may find this interesting also.

national-treasure-2

The article goes on to say that there is actually a cave that was built into Mount Rushmore.  It was never completed, but the concept was pretty awesome.  They wanted the cave to house some of American history – including the creation of the Monument.

mount-rushmore

I know this has nothing to do with farming or gardening, but it does have to do with travel.  We have been researching places to take my grandson to this summer.  Those of you that have been following me know how much of a challenge this is.  He is A.D.H.D./Autistic – meaning – very VERY low attention span.

He has never flown and we are just not prepared for that fiasco yet – so staying on the ground is a must. I love to drive, always have, so this is not a problem.  (It is one of my let my mind wander times.)  The others in the car with me (usually my sister) may sleep part of the time, which leaves me to my own thoughts.  Most of them are about the farm and changes I would love to see accomplished.  So, I guess this is sort of in the relm of discussion – researching a possible trip to North Dakota.

Well, this article caught my eye because I have not been back to see that site since they started building the carving of Crazy Horse Memorial.  It is one thing to see the completed faces, totally better seeing one created.  It is amazing seeing them up close and personal!  Since my grandson loves rocks, fossils and digging; thought he might just like this too.  Now if we can see the cave that would make our visit worth the drive.

Days like this I wonder how we, as the human species, can create something as outstanding at this; but then turn around and belittle, degrade, and damage each other and our earth?

I would love to hear from any of you that live near, or have recently visited the site!  I may have to check into a train ride to it since he loves trains also.

old-passenger-train-car

(Yes, I know they do not look this way anymore, but it still would be fun to see the inside of one like this that has been refurbished!)

For now, I guess I will just have to stick with my researching.  Maybe I should switch topic to “how to tie your wild grandchild down in the car for a road trip?”  Before you all think I am an evil grandma from hell, I did purchase many “fidget” toys for him.  He also has his own tablet for reading and games (games mostly).  I do have things that SHOULD keep him occupied, however he gets bored with them so fast that none of them work.  Maybe I will just have to drive really, really fast.

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Does Your Mother Cook?

If she does, be glad!  My mother could not cook.  We loved her dearly but she would be the first to tell you that her cooking stinks!  This is not being mean, but rather being factual.  She hated cooking.  I think this was a major reason for her marrying our dad.  He loved to cook and was great at it!

To explain just how much our mother hated cooking I will need to share two stories with you.

*****************************************************************************

Once upon a time there was a woman who really hated to cook.  To say she hated to cook is not completely accurate.  She was not very good at it which led to her hating it.  Early in the course of her life she met a man.  This man LOVED to cook, and he was very good at it.  The two fell in love, were married and proceeded to have three silly daughters.

One perfect summer day, the woman thought she would make something simple for her family to eat.  Noodles and tomatoes should be simple enough, or so she thought.   The woman was born and raised during the Great Depression, and this dish was one of her favorite family dishes.  In her time, growing and making your own was a normal way of life.  Noodles and tomatoes – all homemade/homegrown – perfect!

She had every good intention of putting together this wonderful, family favorite, easy dish for all to enjoy.  The woman did not take into consideration her numerous distraction on the farm where they now live.  She started out with a smile filling the metal pot with water.  A warm breeze was flowing through all of the open windows and doors.  She could hear her daughters playing joyfully outside.  She placed the pot of water on the gas stove, added about a tablespoon of salt (as you do with noodles), turned the flame to the appropriate height, and went about her chores.

This is where her distaste of cooking comes into play.  While she was going about her chores, cleaning, laundry, checking on the animals and kids;  the pot continued to boil.

  • It boiled till it was a rolling boil.
    • It boiled until there was no water left in the pot.
      • It boiled until it melted all over the stove.

She and the girls all saw the smoke billowing out of the kitchen.  She told them to stay put as she ran in to find the disaster.  To this day, this beautiful, warm, touching family moment is shared amongst siblings during any moment of childhood recollections and laughter abounds.

flaming-pan-on-stove

(This picture gives you an idea – sort of – it did not flame, it just melted, caused a ton of smoke, and a huge mess.  We, unfortunately, do not have any pictures of that ordeal – this is the closest I could come to it.)

**********************************************************************

This second story is a bit of a history lesson.  During my high school years (mid to late 1970’s), we moved around a bit.  It was also the time that the “microwave oven” came out and was all the rage.  It can cook anything – ya, sure!  The reason I remember this historical fact is due to my mother and her cooking inabilities.

The only thing she really could do well was boil water (unless she got distracted).  This just happens to be the main necessity for noodles.  Thus, noodles were her specialty of meals.  Stoves were another thing of distrust.  Then came the microwave cooker!  Now, don’t let the name fool you as it did her.  She only caught the “cooker” part and began assuming (there is that darn “ass” word again-grr) that this new wonder of the world would be her savior.  This miracle of science would not turn her into some type of Julia Childs.  Ahh, such is the thing that dreams are made of!

Dad happily purchased one of the miracle workers for mom during our 2nd (maybe 3rd) move.  We were very strapped for cash, so a purchase of this kind had to be especially special.  Excited as mom was she could not wait to try her beloved noodles – so sad.

She read all the instructions so carefully, just as a normal female does (jab jab male species).  Took her time.  Obtained the appropriate container (this alone was a shocker).  Put in the correct amount of water and salt.  Added her noodles and put the wonder to work.  Approximately 20 minutes later we had a marvelous bowl filled with mush!

My amazing mother, the eternal optimist, tried again – and again – and again.  When she final got discouraged, Dad made supper and all was satisfied.  After this fiasco, she came to the conclusion that a microwave cooker was not for cooking any more than the stove was.  That moment on she swore to only use it to re-heat food, and thus it went.

She got so good at the re-heating part, that one year for Christmas my younger sister bought her a book called “101 Things to do with Ramen NoodlesRAPTURE!  She was now going to be able to cook, and had a goal of making every single recipe in the book (which she did with great flare!).

         ramen-noodle-book     micrwave   ˭

valentine-heart-filled-with-hearts

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Is Yours the Mother of All Fights?

Mom was creative, outgoing, and seemed to find the fun in everything.  Her sense-of-humor was beyond reproach!  My little sister (yes, the same one I share the farm with now) and I fought like cats and dogs constantly!  One day, Mom stepped into one of our blow-outs and handed each of us a butter knife.

butter-knife Now, for those of you that do not know your way around a kitchen, a butter knife is just that – a blade no sharper than to cut butter.  WE FREAKED OUT – mom just handed each of us a knife!  What were we supposed to do with it?

When she put them in our hands she yelled:

“Now try to kill each other!”

In a very firm voice, I must say!  We just stood there looking at the knives and looking at her, then back at each other.  She started mumbling something under her breath, turned and walked out of the room.  We were still standing there mortified!

Mom gave us each a knife – MOM GAVE US EACH A KNIFE – WHAT??  After what felt like an eternity, we sat down right where we were standing.  Knives still in hand we glanced at them and then to each other.  This whole shocking situation must have gone on for at least an hour.

Then, as we sisters always did, we scooted closer to one another.  We began questioning what was wrong with mom, and just what were we supposed to do with these knives?  We were, in fact, only about 5 and 7 years old at the time – what were we going to do with any kind of knife?

Well, Mom, the smartie that she was, knew that we never really wanted to kill each other, but she was fed up with our fighting.  Pulling out a real possibility of damage caused the two sisters to band together (she was so smart) to solve our dilemma.

The thing about the two of us that disturbed mom is how we could be so mean to each other, but should an outside source attack one or the other, we immediately bonded together against the foe!  She and her siblings were never like that, so she just could not fathom why we could not play nice with each other.  We remained this way until…oh wait, we still do it on occasion!?

However, no matter how many times we fought, bit, punched, or ran off on one another; mom managed to flip it into a her vs. us situation.  She had this fantastic way of defusing any issue.  To this day, whenever my sister and I have any issues we cannot resolve; one or the other of us will hold up our fisted hand like we still have that butter knife in it and wave it at the other.  Within seconds neither of us can stop laughing.  This small memory of our mother still calms any of our tense circumstances.

We have also created a new stress-relief moment….75¢… that is all either of us needs to say, at any given bad moment, to result in instant smiling relief (want to know why, read my past blog: https://helbergfarmstories.com/2017/01/25/2295/ ).

Mom embedded many outstanding mom-isms into us as we grew.  A great many times we had no clue, at the time, what was happening.  Now, as we are old enough to understand all the true meanings of her methods, I am in awe of her!  How did she manage to stay sane with all of us wack-jobs around her?  How did she manage to not only keep her humorous nature but somehow instill it into her children?  What an amazing woman she was!  Thank you mom!!

thank-you-heart

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HAPPINESS IS WHERE YOU FIND IT – NOT!

You can look till you are blue in the face and you will not find it – you have to choose to make it!
I can say this because this is what I do, I choose to be happy. I will gladly share with you examples of this work of attitude adjustment.

skeleton-parts(PARTS IS PARTS)

I had to have half my left index finger amputated just one month after our house fire took everything (including my 4-year old grandson, but that’s for another time.). I will admit when the Doctor first announced this I was shocked. Started crying hysterically. Thank goodness my younger sister was with me so she could get me back to reality.
I was expecting him to tell me I would need pins or something, but I never thought of lopping it off. Well, after the initial shock subsided, I planted my feet firmly on the ground and started to think about the things that I would have to change to accommodate this circumstance. I am a yarnie and crafter by nature. If you know anything about knitting and crochet, you know your fingers hold the yarn. As I am a right hander, and as I was taught to carry the yarn in my left hand – the major player was now going to be absent forever. Now, this was my first thought.
My sister, on the other hand, looked me straight in the eye and said:
“How are you going to pick your nose now?”
That poor Doctor! He left the room with a woman shocked and hysterical over the news he had just delivered. Now he walked into a room with a couple of dizzy broads laughing so hard; humor leakage was all over the place. Then my sister states:
“Where’s the bathroom, I have to pee?” and bolted out.
There are some times in life that you just do not think to take a picture at the moment. This was one of them. This poor young Doctor was beside himself, and it was obvious that he had no clue what to say.
The amputation was done in June 2014 and went off without a hitch. It took several weeks to get through recovery and therapy. During the process of this, the Doctor noticed I was having difficulty raising my right arm. He ordered x-rays and found that there was no ball left in my socket (let me know when you stop laughing. It’s ok because I still get teased by family and friends on this one – no ball in my socket- ha ha!).
He proceeded to order more x-rays and tests which told us all that I have osteoarthritis (arthritis in my joints – oh lucky me!). To lighten this up a bit, I went on to have six major surgeries within 12 months. I was also handling all of the fire cleanup, remodeling, insurance, investigators, etc., etc., etc.

8-4-14-right-shoulder-replacement-001(my new right shoulder – full reverse replacement)

It just so happens that Halloween fell in the midst of all these surgeries. I consider myself extremely lucky to have had some fantastic doctors with great funny bones. My first (they guy that took ½ my finger) also did my shoulders. Those of you that have been lucky enough not to have it done, you end up with your arm in a sling for about three months. This sling provided a perfect hiding spot!
I had to purchase all new things for our home – this included holiday decorations. The first were to be for Halloween. Then it hit me – skeletons. I also purchased a package of those rubber tips you put on the end of your fingers to help turn pages of paper. My sister had to help me from here. She cut a small slit in the tip of one of the rubber tips. Then cut off the little finger from the skeleton. Shoved the fake bone through the slit and glued it to keep it in place. Then she painted the rubber a skin tone which left the white bone sticking out of it. It fit perfectly onto my new Ms. Stubly.
We’re off to see my doctor, the wonderful doctor of osteo…(yes, you have to sing this to the tune of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz). As with any doctor office, the nurse assisted us into the room first. She had not seen our Halloween surprise because it was hiding in my sling. My doctor came in, set my file on the counter as he was asking so naively: “How are things going?”
“Fine,” I said, “But I have a few concerns about my finger, should it look like this?” “It does make it easier for me to knit now.”
It took all my sister, and I had to stop giggling until he turned around and saw my Ms. Stubly with the fake bone sticking out from the end. He burst out laughing at us – now that’s a doctor! Then he went out and told the nurse, who told a couple of others, and before long we had several people in the room. It was all great fun.
When things calmed a bit, we then noticed his attire for the day – plaids and stripes? My sister very nicely asked him if his wife knew he left the house looking like this today? Once again, we could not stop laughing. I swear, from that visit on he made sure his wife helped him pick out his clothes – at least on the days he knew he would see me.
This is part of how I teach myself to create my own happiness. I have many more stories to share, so I hope you will tag along and have some fun!

finger-before         finger-after         half-finger-hand

(Yes, that is a bone sticking out – but not the fake skeleton one we used-LOL!)

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