wants us to get acquainted, so howdy from a farm girl in Arkansas. Marlene, remember you asked for it.
Born in '54 the baby girl of three girls, we did a lot of traveling with Dad while he followed construction work. Mom finally decided it would be better for students to stay at one school more than a few months so we moved home to our top farm and began farming. Dad came home on weekends from road construction and tried to help catch up the work. You who farm know the work is never done.
As children we raised rabbits and red worms for pocket money. We also had hens, barn cats and working dogs. We had grapes, strawberries, apples, black berries, dew berries and pears in amounts big enough to sell. We had one milk cow, a jersey/guernsey mix, who was milked twice a day. A truck would come by and pick up our milk can. We also sold fresh vegetables in the summer. We learned both sides of farm work, the field side and the house side.
We learned that hard work, honesty, and family is important. We all learned to cook, sew, preserve food and how to build fence and haul hay. Most of all we learned how to give a day's work for a day's pay, how to make your word your bond and how to make do with what you had. These were good lessons and have carried us through our life.
Before we stopped traveling with Dad, we saw many states and many places. One place I remember is just across White River. Blanchard Springs Caverns where we were allowed to explore the cave through the natural entrance before it was a public attraction. Dad helped clear that land and helped build the road and the parking lot for the park. My second favorite place was Murfreesboro Diamond Field where Dad was involved in the same job. We were there before it was a state park. Every weekend we would go rock hunting there. I remember how the wet clay would build up on your shoes and also how much fun it was to play in the amethyst field where the dirt was black.
So I'm a natural rock hound and never visit a place without bringing a rock home with a memory attached.
The water garden above is constructed of rocks we've collected through the years. The farm house is covered with a sandstone collection with some odd looking rocks. The fireplace is all from our rock collection. The center is an old grinding stone surrounded by petrified wood, fossil rocks and many strange formations. Dad has rocked the chicken house, shop and hog house through the years.
I always see the rocks.
I see the oddities, the color, and have been known to struggle home with one almost too big to carry because it's special to me. Hubby knows me well and instead of flowers he brings me rocks.
Our spring fed valley in North Central Arkansas was once inhabited by Native Americans. We have a huge collection of spear points, grind stones and arrow heads to which we hold the bragging rights.
After Mom passed we moved back to the farm in a small lodge behind the main house. Dad had Alzheimer's and we helped our sisters with his care. We built an addition that made the main and the lodge become one building. It's not perfect but we call it home.
Hubby and I (both retired) have been married over forty years. We have two grown daughters and three grandsons. The oldest grandson lives with us. Andrew makes the fifth generation of our family that has lived here.
My oldest sister Marcy has a house next door. Many of the photos you will see are from her early morning walks.
We have a family shop on the top farm where we are selling five generations and nine households of items including arts and crafts. We saw so many things ruined from being stored that this generation has decided we are cleaning house. The five thousand square foot shop is opened when we have time since it is really only a yard sale but we do have some treasures.
We've been forced by the drought the past two years to thin our herd of Gelbvieh Cattle to a handful of seed stock. Marcy has chickens and cats. We have dogs. Dad's dog, two Border Collies, two herding mixes, a Jack/rat mix and a Cairn mix. Seven dogs stay busy. Four work the cattle and used to work horses when I had them. All keep down the poisonous snake population and various varmints that come too close to the chickens.
We grow our own...not pot!...food. We let the deer eat our apples and other fruit hoping to harvest one when the season is in.
I paint, sew, read, write, collect dogs (rescues). I can cook a meal for weeks after Hubby and grandson think we have nothing to eat. I can embroider, crochet, hook rugs, make quilts, jelly and wine. I do hunt and am proud to be a gun owner.
Sometimes I'm funny, sometimes I complain but you are always welcome to stop by and see what I'm up to at the moment. The only thing I can promise is you will not be bored.