Homeland Farm

Homeland Farm

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Guess who is a Military Mamma?

   
 Good October 21st to everyone. Yet again, the summer just flew by like a bat outta hell, and they are FAST! I remember my grandmother telling me time goes faster the older you get, and as I am now OLDER, I fully understand what she meant. One month just melted into the next, and BLINK! IT IS OCTOBER!
        We were all very busy this past summer, and it seems grand kids, health issues and making home improvements were a big part of it. I guess I will begin with a brief synopsis of the crazy summer had by all here at Homeland Farm.
         Spring came and with it, a serious case of " We need to spruce up the place". I was the only one that suffered from the actual disease, but I was very good at spreading it around. (Insert evil grin here.) I worked diligently on my spring cleaning until I got to the kitchen. Then...the real fun began.
Cliff, Liam, Cam and I tore up the old kitchen flooring, and cleaned up all the fine dirt and dust that was underneath it. Then, Cliff and I tore off the old wallpaper, and painted like fiends. He painted the ceiling and I did the trim and doors, wainscotting and windows. Then, he and I put up new wall paper..lots of fun. He loves wall papering with me. Just ask him. (Insert evil grin here.)
Good looking wallpaper hanger, right there..
          I then decided I thought we also needed to sand all the cupboards. Bad move. Holy smoke...DUST. WAS. EVERYWHERE. I had to wash every thing that was in that kitchen. Every spoon..every spatula...every dish...every cupboard. OMG. Never again. On a good note...the cupboards look good. On a bad note..Cliffy isn't speaking to me. Just kidding. He is nothing if not the most patient person ever.
         Then, we moved to the laundry room...more of the same. Paint, paper, cleaning. Serious cleaning. So much better. I don't know why we waited so long to do it over.
          I apparently had way too much to drink one night had an epiphany.
          "Cliffy!", I said, clearly three sheets to the wind. "Ya know what we should do?? We should remodel the apartment." Did I mention he is patient? We have a small apartment in our barn that we want to set up as an air bnb, but it was in desperate need of remodeling. SO! The next two months, we tore out, cleaned out, painted, painted and painted. We had a carpenter come do the serious stuff, and then it was time to paper. Oh, did I mention I was also commandeering a small crew of painters OUTSIDE, as well. Cam, Liam and Nolan were busy working with me, and by themselves on outside paint jobs. We painted the ice cream building, the out building behind the house and the white board fencing. Plus...we put in a garden, planted flowers, cleaned house etc etc etc. You need to wear sunglasses when you travel down Middle Ridge Rd there is so much white paint. Blinding, and just the way I like it. (Insert evil grin here.)
"Blinded by the white.."
            It was time to start wallpapering, when Cliffy decided to buck the system, in a big way. He threw down his paint brush one day, and said "A QUADRUPLE BYPASS SOUNDS LIKE MORE FUN THEN THIS!" so, off he went.
            He had the surgery the first week of Sept, and it has been a long recovery for him. While the surgery itself went well, the recovery has been tough. He had to have fluid removed from his chest, he has had trouble with fluid collecting everywhere and needed a hospitalization to get that under control, and has had general overall weakness issues. However, I am hoping that he has FINALLY turned a corner, and at this now 7 week mark, he is starting to begin to feel better, and will only improve from here. Yay Cliffy! We love ya!
Cliffy recovering in the hospital
              My grand daughter Milly has been here on a daily basis and is a real farm gal. She loves her animals, being outside and hanging out with "gigi and bampy" as she calls Cliff and I. She is now 2 and very busy, as all 2 year olds are. She helps her "bubba" (mamma) do chores and loves to ride the tractor and on her pony, Meatball.
Milly and her pal Meatball...or "Buddy" as she calls him
              My oldest son Cam has been a big help this summer, being at my beck and call and Brogan has been very busy with the animal rescue work, chores, and of course, her mini me..Milly. Liam, my 17 year old, is now in the Army Reserves, as of 1:00 pm today.
              He has wanted to join the Army for years, and joined the reserves today, even though he is still a Junior in high school. He was to be sworn in today after his physical and testing, so naturally I wanted to be there.
              Cliff, Nolan (Liam's 13 year old cousin) and I went to the Military Enlistment Center to be there when he signed in, but it was more of a challenge then we thought it would be. We were told to walk in the door, and take the elevator to the third floor. We proceeded to get on said elevator and pushed the 3. Nothing. Pushed the 3 again. Nothing. Pushed the 3 about 15 times. Nothing.
              I got out the paper with the directions and saw that there was supposed to be a "talk" button that we were supposed to push. Well, we pushed every button we could find. We got in and out of the elevator 5 times. Not a soul in sight, mind you. No signs..no people...no nothing.
               "Hello?? HELLOOOOO???" We kept saying to...no one, as we pushed every button we could find. Now, I would like to say it only took us 2-3 minutes to realize we were probably on the WRONG ELEVATOR. But, alas, it was really more like 15. Finally, I said, "There HAS to be a talk button in the lobby or this isn't the right elevator."
                We got off and I walked out, leaving my roller buggy behind, with my purse dangling on the handle bars, the door open while I looked for that missing talk button. Cliff was ahead of me, Nolan behind.
                Suddenly, I hear Nolan say.." Ahhhh Auntie Carmen..there goes the elevator door..." Crap. I looked over and the door was closed. I thought.." For God's sake elevator...DON"T WORK NOW!"
Nolan hit the up button, and whew. It was still there, my lonely buggy and bag sitting quietly alone in the elevator.
                Frustrated, because we were going to be late, I told everyone to follow me, and we went down this long corridor. We were like rats in a maze, trying to find the secret Army Elevator. FINALLY! Around another corner there it was..complete with TALK BUTTON! We pushed the button...and a man's voice said..." WHAT DO YOU WANT?"
                Feeling a bit like Dorothy talking to the wizard, I said we wanted to go to the third floor.
               "Who are you here for???" came the voice.
                "We are here to see Liam Opie swear in." I said, wondering if the flying monkeys were going to be showing up soon.
                BING! The elevator opened magically and we got on, and pushed the 3. UP WE WENT!
The door opened...and WHOA! Guys with guns, xray machines, and a full body scanner were there to meet us.
                "This is a federal building and we need to scan your possessions, as well as your persons," said the big guy in front. Now I was like..ok, wasn't expecting this, but ok. Cliff and Nolan took off their belts, and cliff went thru fine. I was relieved he wasn't packing heat today..would have been hard to explain about our coyote problem. They didn't have a sense of humor. He had me pass my 4 wheeled go buggy thru the scanner, which of course set off beeps. I tried not to laugh as I watched him pick it up and shake it...flip it over, look under the seat etc. I was thinking..most fun that buggy has ever had. (Insert evil grin here.) Then, I went thru with no problem, collected my go buggy on the other side and sat to wait for Nolan.
                  I knew this was a serious time, but I had a really hard time keeping a straight face as I imagined what would have happened if that elevator had miraculously worked when my buggy and purse were the only things inside. I could see the doors to the third floor opening up and out rolls just my go buggy and a large dangling bag hanging from handles! KABOOM! The bomb squad would have detonated my purse or shot up "ole Blue" my go buggy. (Insert evil laugh here.)
                  Anyway..I digress. Cliff and I waited while Nolan had his turn thru the scanner. BEEP BEEP BEEP!! Oh no. Now what?
                  "Did you empty your pockets like I told you to?" the big guy asked Nolan, who was clearly confused. He assured him that he had, but he scanned him again..BEEP BEEP BEEP!
Turns out, Nolan, who was wearing giant calf high rubber boots, didn't realize that they were STEEL TOE BOOTS. We FINALLY got inside and were shown to the family waiting area.
                   As it turns out, we didn't need to rush, as it was almost an hour and a half later before LIAM MASON RHEA OPIE  was sworn into the UNITED STATES ARMY. We got lots of great photos, and I am happy to say, it was a lot easier getting out of the building then getting in. We stopped for a celebratory lunch, and made our way back home, new Private in tow.
Private Opie
                  Time now for fall work..we have firewood to stack, lawns to rake, and the apartment to finish. Cliff needs  to continue his recovery and I need to stay out of elevators. See ya Soon..Over and Out from Homeland Farm.Time to go play Taps outside Liam's door. Gotta get him used to this stuff. (Insert evil laugh here.)
Nolie and Liam..pals and cousins forever

Saturday, February 4, 2017

It's my birthday and I'll blog if I want to...

       


  Hello again. This blog is brought to you by an ever older Carmen C. Horton. Anyone else find that the older you get, the older you get? What do I mean? Well, let me explain.
          Generally speaking, I am not one to dwell on wrinkles, gray hair and saggy skin. Oh, and my favorite...chinny whiskers. Generally speaking, that is. I think it is due to the fact that my eye sight is so crappy these days I just can't see all of it as well as I used to.Of course, it helps that my light shades in the bathroom and bedroom are so well covered with a fine layer of dust, I can barely find my clothes to get dressed. Plus, on top of everything, I now have to take my glasses OFF to see anything anyways. What the??
           But then, one day you are glancing into your rear view mirror, or washing a window and catch a glimpse of your image in the clean glass and BAM! Where in GOD'S NAME did that long chinny whisker come from? Or, as is usually my case, where did that BILLY GOAT'S BEARD come from?? BAAAA!!!! Followed closely by.. how long have I been sporting it? And most importantly, how come no one noticed and clued me in?
           My daughter, bless her heart, is always quick to point out and pluck off the offending freakish, follicle dweller. Naturally, it is usually accompanied by a blatttttt...or a meowwww. I don't know...are cat whiskers less offensive then a goat beard? Six of one, half a dozen of another, really. I seem to have much darker face hair then head hair. How odd. Oh don't get me wrong, I have my fair share of long white hair..but as gray as my head hair is now, my face hair has made a concerted effort to maintain a naturally dark brunette. Thanks for that.
Who has more dark whiskers?? Hard sayin'...
           I was doing some "pruning" the other day while the sunlight was shining in the bathroom just right, giving me enough blinding glare to actually be able to see something. All of a sudden, I thought I was looking at a road map. Seriously. My forehead was WRINKLED..like not one or two frown line wrinkles. It was much more like a New York City subway drawing. Whoa. I pulled this way...yanked that...Try as I might, there was no smoothing it out. When did that happen? Now I am "smiley" person, so the eye wrinkles and crinkles are just "laugh lines", and to me, are not offensive. The twelve or so canyons across my forehead look deep enough to hide wild horses in, and trust me, no one would ever find them. I'm not even going to mention the long troughs running down both sides of my nose, nor do I even want to think about the two grooves running down to my chin, one on either side of my mouth. I know what is to be expected from those, having seen my grandmother and several great aunts blotting their faces as the ice cream they are eating gets caught up in the grooves and makes a milky river that needs constant wiping. Yep, it's coming.
Take the subway at 49th street.. get off at 51st street
           You know what else I am amazed at? How is it possible that my muscles have turned into..well..not muscles. I was a rugged farm chick, tossing hay bales and lugging grain with the best of them. Now, I hoist the 20 pound cat litter bag, and think I should qualify for the Olympics.Those strong arm muscles?Apparently gravity got to them because they now dangle on the UNDERSIDE of my arms.  My knees are shot, and passing gas has unfortunately become something I excel at. Why? I just don't know. Is it fair? Not to my poor, long suffering family. They are now used to "can you carry this for me?" and "someone grab me the mustard while you are out in fridge". Oh..and the aforementioned gas...well, let's just say having a granddaughter to blame is SO handy, Poor Milly. Too bad she is such a ripe kid. I hope she doesn't grow up too fast. At some point, she will be able to say "GRANNY DID IT, NOT ME!!"
"Your blaming me for WHAT??"
            So..what is a fifty four year old to do, on the eve of her birthday? Sulk. Nawww...that won't get you anywhere. Party like it's 1999? God no...no hangovers for this old gal. It would take me until my next birthday to recover. I think I will just celebrate those wrinkles, chinny whiskers, gray hair and saggy arms with a glass of bubbly, delicious food and the family. Besides, I am 'this side of the sod', and ready to rock 2017...Let's do this! Oh, and no thanks..no beans for me. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Bad Animal Selfies...





          I am amazed everyday when I see friends on Facebook proudly displaying their selfies. For the most part, everyone always seems to look great. Nice smile, hair combed, no double chin(s).
          Not one to be left out of the loop, I too joined the "selfie parade'. Unfortunately, I wasn't quite as successful as some of my friends in taking a great photo of myself. Actually, I wasn't successful at all. My "nice smile" always came off as a lopsided smirk, my hair is really never combed, and those double chins, well, better make it a triple.
Quadruple??
           As I was going through my online photo albums in search of a great selfie, I realized I am in good company.  Seems the animals here at Homeland Farm also have a real problem with selfies. Let me show you what I mean.
Here is Liam trying to model his military uniform..no thanks to Annalee
        Annalee is very much like me, as far as selfies go. I think she is Queen of bad animal selfies.She and I both have a lot to learn.
       
  Molly decided to give it a go. Almost nailed it Molly. Almost.

      
 Now to be fair, it isn't just the dogs struggling to take a good selfie. The other animals have had their fair share of issues as well. See the following examples of attempted animal selfies. See what I mean..they try so hard. You have to give them credit for the attempt, at the very least. They are all still cute, if somewhat photographically challenged. Sorry for that last one. Just thought I'd try it.

Nope, I don't think that's how it's done Paulie...
The fine feathered fowl seem to have the hang of it.

Close, Donkey, close.


Not bad, Dinkums, not bad.

Yeah. Not quite the look I was going for. At least you cant see my real mustache..
.








Thursday, December 29, 2016

Why blogging is SO HARD..by Carmen Horton



     How can blogging be hard, people might wonder.. You just sit down and type out whatever you want to say, right? Well, in theory, that is how it works. But then, real life happens, and you look and whoa! It has been months (and months) since you last wrote on your blog. So, you say I AM GOING TO DO BETTER...And you do...for a month or two. Suddenly, spring has turned to fall..or in my particular case, WINTER, and here you are playing catch up and trying to come up with good excuses as to why you haven't written. Oh...I've got excuses..AND PLENTY OF THEM. Here they are, in no particular order.
Milly thinking up excuses for Granny

    My biggest excuse for not having time to write..it MIGHT have to be my little friend Amelia aka Chummy Chumpkin. Last time I wrote she wasn't fond of Granny and her jokes, but now, she has come around to granny's way of thinking. We get to spend time together on most days and have lots of fun. See action shots below.


     What else?? Oh yes. Cooking. This farm doesn't run without food and it is my job to cook us up tasty vittles. Time consuming for sure. That and laundry and it is a miracle I find time to take a shower.
Mole-asses cookies
Chicken enchiladas..OLE!

     Next excuse...Would have to be Facebook and having to update my status. I know most people don't care what I'm doing or eating or wearing...BUT! There are those that do..and it is my job to keep the world informed. Oh..and my underwear today are pink..btw. Meant to post that earlier. ANYWHO...I digress.

     Well in keeping with the Facebook status updates..there is my need to post my selfies. I have a never ending supply because frankly...they are just so good. Someone should tell Kim K to drop me a note..I will fill her in on how to take a good selfie. She needs help. Seriously.

      Oh yeah! A major time sucker...animals. I am so busy everyday with these critters it is amazing I get a chance to even take a selfie. Dogs in..dogs out. Molly wants to be fed..Molly wants to be held. Molly wants a belly rub. Spoiled rotten. And makes it impossible to blog. Plus..there are the 4 cats. Of course they think they need food..attention..litterbox changing. Needy little beasts.
Molly and Annalee..aww cozy
Wants to come in..
Wants to go out...
Wants to come in...

      Plus..hair-do appointments. I mean..I have two a year..sucks up SO much time. Oh..and grocery shopping. Wow. Always running in the store for one or two things. Well..I don't run actually. Well, really I send Cliff...BUT I have to make the lists. Hours and hours I swear.

     Then of course..one must sleep/ Or try to, as is the case here. Dogs pushing on you..dogs snoring..too hot..too cold. Still..I do spend hours trying to do that task. Just don't manage to accomplish it very often. Or very well. However..I give it my best shot and try to be in bed no later then ..7. I know. Sad. But..that is another reason I cant blog. Need beauty sleep. Thank God its working.
no room at the Inn
Me and my teddie peke...

      Well...now you have a better understanding of why it is SO HARD to blog. This is now the point where I swear I will DO BETTER..WRITE OFTEN..BLAH  BLAH. See ya in April. :D

     

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Spring has Sprung at Homeland Farm

       Hello and welcome back! It is only mid march, and we are having an EARLY spring here on the farm. It is certainly very welcome by the  humans and animals alike, after last years record breaking snow and cold. We have had a very mild winter, and very little snow this year. I bet we didn't have much more then  a foot of snow in our area of Maine total for the entire season. Of course, we might not be done yet, but are getting closer to April. Bring on the sun and warm temps, says I.
Last year at this time..we had a ton of snow
        The unfortunate part of spring is here early as well, and that of course is MUD SEASON. Oh Lordie, it is bad this year. Mud in the driveway, mud where the lawn used to be, pull off your boot mud in the corral  and almost as much in my kitchen and laundry room. Bleck. Comes with the territory when you have a working farm, and lately, we are all working.
Look at that floor...ewwww

        Brogan, Jenny, Cass and Cliff have been building fences, cleaning piles of manure, picking up the winter messes. Cameron, and Liam have been doing  odd jobs for the rescue, and also have been helping me with the lawn work. It has been relatively windy this past week, and that has helped with drying things out so we can rake, pick up branches and various trash, hay strings and winter refuse lying about. Actually, I always enjoy spring cleaning...it is usually so dirty, cluttery and dusty that when you are done, you can definitely tell you have been working. My family probably does NOT share the same enthusiasm as I do but, they do admit it looks better when we finish.
Cliffy doing poop removal.
Unloading round bales
          The animals have fared well this winter, and the horses have all begun the annual spring SHEDDING marathon. Everyone that comes in the house is covered with animal hair. Horse, donkey, goat, alpaca (well, they have fiber, not hair) (oh, and don't really shed) (never mind.) I love when I cook a nice meal and when we all sit down to eat, the animal hair is just floating off sleeves and shirts down onto the table. The food. The glasses. Its amazing we don't all sit around and hack up hairballs.  Want a supper invite? Might want to wait until shedding season is over..say, June?
And if not hair, perhaps feathers..

            We have had many visits from Baby Amelia. She is just a cutie, and is almost 6 months old already. She is very alert and is very busy checking out her surroundings now. She loves to ride in her bouncey horse, and like the rest of the family, eats like a champ. Growing like a weed for sure. She will be up and moving on her own soon, and then Granny is going to be in DEEP TROUBLE. I will need a motorized GO BUGGY then just to keep up with her. Going to be fun for sure.
           It is a beautiful day, and I have a few outside jobs calling so I will wrap this up with a few photos and in honor of St Patricks day this upcoming week, a limerick.

       
"Avon calling! And you'd better BUY!!"

Jenny and her little friend

The dogs in the winter position


And now a Limerick....(ahem)...



                             There once was a place called Homeland Farm
                              If you have ever been there, you know it has charm
                              They greet you at the door with a grin,
                              but, if you don't watch where you step, they wont let you in
                              Cause your shoes might be suffering harm...

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Carmeo, Carmeo - where for art thou, Carmeo....

    Shakespeare would be very angry at the abuse of his famous words."Who is this..Carmeo, of which you write?"  Anyway,  I'm back, and now it is time to catch everyone up after a 5 month blogging vacation. It was an unintended break, because life kind of... happened, and now here we are 5 whole months later. Let me see...what did you miss??

   
     We had a beautiful sunrise one morning when Cliffy and I were up early to go to dialysis. Lovely..peaceful...serene. A far cry from most days when chaos reins.

     Anticipating the birth of my first granddaughter, we started to buy baby things, which Muffinhead and Stewbeef quickly took over as their own. As it turns out, the cats enjoy laying in these a lot more then the baby.
     It was a banner year for apples, and by September, we were ready to pick them. So we hired the best apple picker we could afford. He worked hard but we ended up with a lot less apples then we thought we would have. On a good note, he didn't need a ladder..

It was also a great year for the garden..here is an afternoons worth of canning.



     The end of September arrived and so did Amelia Horton Woodbury, my first granddaughter. Can you say too cute?? Yep...Proud Granny here. She is precious, and we all love her to pieces.
     Fall is upon us, and it is October. Leaves are changing and the horses are starting to grow their winter coats. The garden is done for the year, and the larder is full of tasty veggies I canned for winter. Now to get all the wood split and in the barn and we will be ready for snow and cold temps.

Apparently I never picked up a camera in November as I have no proof we were even alive. On to December!
 Fat, beautiful Christmas tree..I love Christmas. The smell of balsam fir, the crackling of the fire in the woodstove, the baking in your granny nightgown. Who doesn't enjoy that??
Of course, some of us enjoy it just a little TOO much. Snowball cookies washed down with coffee...a perfect December breakfast, if you ask me..ESPECIALLY if the coffee is brought in fresh by Juan Valdez himself.
 January arrived with little to no snow. The farm team loves it, as it  makes chores a little easier. By now, Miss Amelia, or Milly as she is known just LOVES HER GRANNY!! Finds me terribly amusing..see photo evidence below.



Yep, I sure crack her up. She LOVES to come here and hang out with Granny. She and I will look back on these one day and laugh...maybe.

The dogs love me though..and they love Cliffy too. All three were taking a siesta with Cliffy after a hard mornings work. Miss Molly, who is always a fan of her mother, looking fashionable in her fancy hat.
On to February, and I will end with a few photos of the animals we have now. Brogans rescue is very busy at this time of year, and we have lots of little critters living here this winter. Adorableness below.



So, now I will wrap this up and leave you with one last photo.

Punxsutawney Paca did NOT see his shadow this year, so that means an EARLY SPRING and all of us here at Homeland Farm can NOT wait! See ya soon..no REALLY! I promise!