a tale of tails, tenacity, and tedium, as told by me, usually barefoot and bellowing

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

StitchinByTheLake...

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.

28 comments:

Vroomans' Quilts said...

What a wonderful visit and thank you for sharing.

FabricFascination said...

Thanks for sharing your background. Glad to meet you!

Visiting from Marlene's blog.

Katidids said...

Sounds like a wonderful childhood
Great to get to know you better

Primitive Stars said...

What a wonderful post Gail, love hearing your childhood stories and about now. Very intersting life you lead, enjoy visiting you on your blog and you got that right, I am never bored....... I like you, always bring a rock home from wherever I`m visiting......Blessings Francine.

StitchinByTheLake said...

Gail this was a totally awesome post - I loved every word of it. I can't do all that you do but I embrace all that I can. The idea of living on a farm is a part of my life dream, but I didn't grow up that way and at this age would never last with all the work necessary. And hubby wouldn't go with me. :) I'd love to have a few chickens though! blessings, marlene

Buttons said...

Oh Gail I know now why I love you you are a wonderful woman coming from good stock and I admire that.
I loved this post you have touched my heart sharing this. Thank you. I love rocks better than flowers too. We have a lot in common my friend. Wow I really love this life you have carved out. Hug B

SaucyKod said...

Gail, we both grew up more or less the same way, except me on the ocean floor and you on the farm. We both learned the important lessons of life from our parents and grandparents. I saw quite a bit of life around hear too travelling with my Dad in the armed forces (I think we used to be called Army Brats) how uncool was that - we were the nicest people too, warm and honest and helpful to others. I have learned much about you in your letters and have come to the conclusion that at the top of my bucket list, you might just see me at your family shop at the top of the farm one day, patiently waiting for it to open. I am sure I would indeed find a treasure or two. GREAT READ. THANKS A BUNCH FOR SHARING.

Sandra said...

i told you yesterday you are a SUPER woman, and all this proves my point. wow. talk about gifts and talents... you go girl.... loved your story

Mary said...

Great post. I feel like I've known you for years and I've only discovered your blog today.

Jodie Knapp said...

HI there!! Thanks for commenting on my blog - loved reading about you!!! I love that you and your family support one another -so nice to hear. You sound like a very industrious person - I love dogs and think it is great you rescue them (oh, and I like rocks too!!) Have a great day.

Roses around the door... said...

lovely post gail, your childhood is what dreams are based on. Thank you for sharing your story. best wishes jackie x

TexWisGirl said...

a good woman - close to the earth. as it should be. :)

'instead of roses he brings me rocks' love it!

Linda Wildenstein said...

Gail, loved you before, know you better now. We too have lots in common as has been cussed and discussed before but these details sort of embroider and fill out the portrait of you. Thanks for sharing this. Oma Linda

LindaG said...

I'm not much older than you. I wish I had your experience.
Have a great day, Gail. ♥

Jan said...

Oh oh, see what happens when you leave the door unlocked?

Seriously, nice to meet you, I'm enjoying poking around your blog. I'll be back, for sure!

Jan

Sandy said...

I love your post on the family, farm, and the shop.

So hubby rocks your boat I see, lol..... I love rocks, especially the unique ones. There are just so many things one can do with rocks.

Thank you for sharing with us.

Lynne said...

I thought I knew alot about you . . . this told me even more. Family, Faithfulness, Furgal, Frank, I had met . . . also have met, Resourceful, Tender, Committed, Loving . . . .

You are a good, solid, soulfilled woman.
I call you,
Friend . . .

Country Gal said...

Awesome post , takes me back to my farming day and all that we were raised with , good honest hard work just like you said here in the house and on the land ! Amen for farming ! Have a great day !

Teresa F. said...

Hi neighbor,
I'm visiting from Portugal.
Thank you for sharing your life story with us, it was nice to know a little about you.
Hugs,
Teresa

carolina nana said...

Wish we lived closer we have a lot in common. Hard working country girls are diamonds in the rough !!!
Blessings
Marilyn

Candilynn Fite said...

Great post! Thank you for sharing. :)

Far Side of Fifty said...

I have heard of that diamond field ..what an adventure! Great blog! :)

Josie Two Shoes said...

I loved this post,Gail!! And I must say that 1954 is a really good year to be born, much like vintage wine. I made my debut in February that year. :) What I loved most about reading this is something we've seen manifested on your blog, DIVERSITY! You are clearly an inside/outside can do it all type of girl, and that's a wonderful way for any child to be raised up! Curiosity questions... what was your most favorite and least favorite part of returning to farm life?

Vivian said...

Loved your post. I am a fellow Arkansan from Paris (near Mt. Magazine State Park). I love to follow the lives of people that live in the same state.

GardenofDaisies said...

What wonderful memories you have of your childhood and the moves your family made. And it sounds like farm life suits you to a t! I wish I could do more of the things you mentioned. I love that your husband brings you rocks. That is very sweet.

Sue said...

You're right. I am never bored visiting you. Your life fascinates me, and I love all the history.

Wish I knew you "in person."

=)

Pat said...

Wow. And I thought I knew you BEFORE I read this! Sounds like a wonderful childhood. Hard work, family, farm.

I collect stones/rocks. I try to pick one up from places we visit, too. But my memory is so bad that I can't remember where the rocks are from anymore. :(

Vickie said...

Hi Gail - I'm a little late to this party, but I enjoyed getting to know more about you. My kinda person alright - fair, square and honest. Brought up with a buncha the same traits about hard work, loving your family, respecting others, and making do that I was. "You're welcome at my fire anytime." (The Man From Snowy River) :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...