Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

I hope this isn't how you feel this morning.....

"Who are these people and how did I get here?"
We are suffering a deep freeze so after morning chores to make sure all the 2 and 4 legged animals are fed, watered and comfortable, we are holing up in the house, watching the Rose Bowl Parade with both the corn stove and wood stove going full blast. We may not go outside until spring.

On the farm anything can happen and when you have trouble with water works in the winter and thirsty cattle, that's not a good combination. Sister, Carol, was reminiscing about their father, Leo, going out at all times of the night to run water from hydrants to keep water lines from freezing overnight. Last week Bruce had trouble with a switch in the well pit, July 3, 2012 that same problem caused a water line, under cement no less, to blow apart. Getting that fixed the day before a holiday was pure luck. At least it was summer.

Bruce didn't take any chance, he sent me to Marcus to buy a new switch, $32.00 is a small price to pay to avoid other problems. He said later that was the switch that gave brother in law, Foof, trouble the winter we took a vacation to Puerto Vallarta, MX and the bottom fell out of the temps.

At that time, Bruce not only had cattle, but hogs, Foof and Janet spent several hours at the farm getting the water flowing again to waterers in below 0 temps. Everytime they went in the house, they found Leo wringing his hands and bemoaning, "Poor Bruce, poor Bruce, he's down there, worrying about the weather at home, and not having a good time!"

Finally Foof couldn't take it anymore and exploded, "Poor Bruce, HELL! What about 'Poor Foof'??"

In reality 'Poor Bruce' was basking in 80 degree temps, lounging on the beach, floating on air mattress' in the water, taking in the sights in shorts and t-shirts, thoroughly enjoying himself, not at all worried about home since he left everything in the capable hands of Foof! This was a pre-cellphone time for us, we never called home to see how things were, had no idea how cold it was.

(In hindsight we should have called home because we found out his mom, Marie, had worries of her own. That we would fall off a cliff, drown in the ocean and no one would know!)

Our first inkling of the cold weather was when we went through customs in Phoenix on the way home, the woman checking us said her son lived at West Bend, IA and it was -20 there that morning, YIKES!!

Those were the good old days, when we used to escape the cold IA winters for a few days and frolic in warm weather - well, except for the ill fated trip to Steamboat Springs one winter for skiing with friends and finding their slopes way more than my limited experience on skiis could handle. At one point I was lying on the side of a steep mountain, after running off a little snot-nosed kid who wanted to help me with my ski pole, thinking, "Where is the sun, sand and surf of Hawaii?? I work in the cold, I don't want to PLAY in the cold!!"

The last trip we made was to Todd French's storybook wedding at a swanky resort near Los Cabos, MX, wonderful memories were made and a hard lesson was learned. Never, NEVER land in Omaha, NE at midnight in the middle of the winter and expect a good trip home. But that is another story for another time, we made it home because we had livestock that needed us.

Weather like this tends to make us stay close to home in the winter......
and this......
"You wouldn't go off and leave me home alone, would you?"


  1. If I wasn't feeling so lazy and just wanting to stay home (even if it is snowing), I, too, would long for some warm sand and cool surf on my feet. But, it just feels good to lay in my warm bed with my computer and dream of spring! It is 1:00 and I haven't let me chickens out, gotta go..............

  2. Julie I must commend you on a beautifully clean and cleared kitchen, isn't it nice to have the kitchen remodeled?? Much easier to put things away since it's so purty..........I am as you know quite whiney already re: this frigid weather..and then I remember Dad talking about the old days 'the snow drifts were so high you could touch the telephone wires' or some such tales. Time away in MX sounds delightful, doesn't it?? I don't remember Foof's retort to Chief, that was a good one and I'm sure he'd about had it from Dad. Things do tend to go sour when you two leave the farm!! Stay warm and your kitchen is just too, too inviting!! Love ya and Happy New Year, CG

  3. Wow the picture of the kitchen belongs in some farm and ranch style cookbook or something! Gorgeous! Don't you just love it!?? "pioneer Julie" thats who you are!