Homeland Farm

Homeland Farm

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Winter of my discontent (ment)

   Ok..It is official. I am
truly, fully, exceptionally sick of winter. Now, I am not one to whine, (or wine, really) BUT! This seems to have been the longest.winter.ever. Can I get an AMEN?
    Now, I am the first to say I hope we have a white Christmas, and actually I don't mind a "nip" in the air. After all, this is MAINE..LAND OF FOUR SEASONS. But this winter has pushed the limits of my patience. Let me count the 12 peeves of Winter..

1. Spent all of Brogan's inheritance on pellets.
2. Spent all of Cameron's inheritance on firewood.
3. Spent all of Liam's inheritance on oil.
4. Lost all feeling in my fingers while in the barn digging in freezer, looking for something to eat.
5. Wonder why freezer is in barn anyway.
6. Sick of tripping over pails full of "beet pulp" and winter boots while trying to reach pantry shelves.
7. Tired of paying big bucks for veggies when I can grow my own in the sweet old summer time.
8. Tired of seeing a winter coat on every chair in the house.
9. Shoveling, shoveling, and more shoveling.
Just ask Liam..

10. Sick of washing bedding over and over, as dogs are laying on bed all day, every day..and there are a lot of dogs.
11. Is there any Roseanne/The Waltons/or Little House show I HAVEN'T seen??
12. The fine coating of ash/dirt/dust that seems to coat everything, every where. Even the cobwebs are coated. And there are plenty of those.

Roaming goats
   I know I am not alone, as there seems to be plenty of other people lamenting the length of this winter season. I am pretty sure Brogan and her barn helpers are more then ready for a change in the seasons too. And so are the animals...the horses are crabby..the goats have the urge to roam, and the cats are longing for fresh grass to throw up. So I will end with a poem called..what else...SPRING

           Spring ...(ahem)

Come on Spring,
we need you bad!
all this winter
is making me mad.

We long for flowers,
grass and lawn
too much winter only
makes me yawn.

So Come on Spring,
and make it soon
or I am afraid,
I'm gonna be crazy as a loon.

Time for bigger dog beds?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

500 Channels and not a thing to watch..

My view from the dialysis chair, If I don't watch TV
As many of you know, I have to do dialysis three times a week, which I am luck enough to be able to do at home. Three times a week, Brogan hooks me up to my home dialysis machine, and I sit for four plus hours while the machine cleans my blood and puts it back.
      Now, I am not much of a television watcher, but that is what I do during those four hours. I commandeer the remote control, and settle in to watch television. Or should I say, I TRY to watch television. My gosh...we have a ton of channels, and my gosh..there is nothing on any of them. In case you aren't privy to "Direct TV", let me enlighten you as to my choices today.
       I start out at channel 6, and work my way up to the upper 400's every time. It is a habit I can't seem to break. So, off we go!
       I start out with a couple shows that sound breath taking..
"MOP SMARTER, NOT HARDER", or perhaps "UNDER $10 FRENZY". Not sure about you, but they don't catch my attention at all. I'm actually afraid to go to the "frenzy" channel..not sure what I would be seeing.
       Then, there is "SHARK VS DYSON"..Now, I'm not sure who this Dyson fella is, but my money is on the shark. Too gory for me, so I decided not to watch that show either.
       Then I came to a show with a mess of dead guys.."JOHN DENVER, LOUIS ARMSTRONG, NAT KING COLE"..Figured I wouldn't find much on that show to catch my eye.
        A few numbers higher, and it was everything Hawaiian or Alaskan. There was "Buying...Building...and Frontier-ing" Alaska. Oh, and "Alaska Troopers"..them too. For Hawaii, you can "Buy Hawaii", or pretend to sample "Hawaiian Life".
Or watch "Dog the Bounty Hunter" and his gang round up bad guys in Hawaii. I saw all that bling around his neck and said..nahh.
         Then there were the shows about the men. Too many if you ask me. There was "Gator Boys", "Swamp Men", "Ax Men", and "Laz-y Boys". Boring, as well as lazy.
          Soon, I was in California show land. "Kardashians," "Rich Housewives of Beverly Hills", and a new show "Beverly Hill Rich Kids'. Seriously. I just want to slap them. Oh, and make them shovel manure. With a spoon. That is all I have to say about that.
           Then, I was off to infomercials. I saw 4 shows on the best..LADDER, BRA, BLENDER, AND HAIR REMOVER.
Not interested. Unless of course, you can remove the hair..with a blender, while on a ladder, wearing a bra..THAT I would watch. Heck, that I would DO!
           Finally..we were in the sad section of television land..the poor afflicted people. You know the ones..the ones that star in "Hoarders", "Rehab Addict", "Intervention" and the like. No thanks. Not my idea of fun television viewing.
          I thought I was doomed, but I managed to find one station that had something worth watching. My night was saved.
          "Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale,
            the tale of a fateful trip,
            that started from this tropic port..
            aboard this tiny ship......."

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


No insomnia to be seen here
Welcome to another episode of insomnia! We are so glad you are back. Our guest today is the lovely blog mistress Carmen C. Horton. She will now attempt to write a poem that rhymes despite the fact that it is the middle of the night! BUT FIRST! A word from our sponsor!

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       old french fries.) Now, back to our show!

        Welcome back to INSOMNIA, America! Now competing
         for our middle of the night poem medal is Carmen Poe
         Horton. Can we have quiet from the audience please!
         GOOD LUCK!

        Ahem...Insomnia, Insomnia
                     you are such a hag to me,
                     Insomnia, Insomnia,
                     you drive me up a tree

                     I'm churning and
                     I'm turning,
                     and desperate to sleep,
                     I guess I better get up,
                     I think I might just weep.

                     Insomnia, Insomnia
                     I guess you're here to stay,
                     Insomnia, Insomnia
                     you wouldn't have it any other way

                      Poor Cliffy is affected,
                      he is bothered half the night
                      He wishes he could kick me out
                      I think he really might

                      Insomnia, Insomnia
                      Time for you to go
                      Insomnia, Insomnia
                      why don't you make like the wind and blow

                       The End.    (Says the chick in the granny nightgown with bags under her eyes.)

                      OH SO CLOSE! The judges say that it does rhyme, but it is a lousy poem so you lose. (Awwww..says the audience of three dogs.)
                        We do have a lovely parting gift for you, Ms Horton. Show her what her gift is!
                         Your gift today is a ONE YEAR SUPPLY OF BLOAT-O PIZZA!  Cases and cases of Extra Crispy, Extra greasy, and the perpetual favorite..Extra Indigestion! Enjoy!
(limp applause from audience of dogs on couch.) (Light from computer is bothering them..they say go back to bed!)

Friday, January 10, 2014

Late Night Visitor

Homeland Farm

  As many of my blog readers know, we have had 5 generations of our family live here in this old farmhouse. Starting with my great grandmother Allie, it has been in our family for over 100 years. Many of my ancestors were born here, lived here and some even died here. Many as well, are buried in the back cemetery-Homeland Cemetery.
Homeland Cemetery
      Due to the long family history of this farm, my family believes that there have been many visitors from the beyond, and many of us have seen, heard or felt things that can not be "explained away". One of these experiences happened to me a couple nights ago.
       I was sound asleep when I woke up with a pain in my hand. As I lay in bed trying to go back to sleep, I suddenly heard a man's voice coming from the room upstairs over my bed. My 13 year old son Liam sleeps in that room, and I thought "he is supposed to be asleep!" I wondered why he was still up and who he was talking to. Then as I heard a deep voice again, I thought perhaps it was my older son Cameron in there talking to Liam, and perhaps telling him he better get to bed before mom catches him.
        I decided that I would get up, sneak up upstairs and surprise him, catching him in the act of staying up way past his bedtime. So, I got up, put on my robe, and headed up the stairs, which are just outside my bedroom door. I climbed up until I was about 4 steps from the top, and stopped, knealing on the step to listen.
        I was looking around the hallway, which has 5 doors, all closed except one. As I knelt on the step, I heard nothing..no talking, no sound at all. Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a flash of brilliant white light on the ceiling half way down the hall. I looked up where it had been, and there was nothing there at all. With all the doors on the front of the house closed, there was no way car lights could have done it, but as I stood there, I thought it didn't seem like car lights anyway.
     I continued to kneel on that step for a few more moments, while I looked all around, trying to determine if there was anything in that dark hall that could have made that flash of light. As I looked over at a large box in the hallway, there was another flash of light, in the same area as the first one.
This time I was almost looking at it, and a couple things occurred to me. First, it was a very quick flash of brilliant, white light, and also, as bright as it was, it didn't illuminate the hallway, like a car light, camera or light bulb would. It was only about the size of my fist..but SO very bright, and well-I would describe it as pure white.
       I had goosebumps on neck, and for some reason, I thought of my Uncle Billy. He and I were pals, and he used to take me with him to visit farms, and see cows and auctions and fun stuff like that. He taught me how to take good care of my animals, and was quick to call and say that we left a gate open, or that a horse (or two) were out, or that he saw a fox, better lock up the hens. He died at the young age of 64, and is buried over at Homeland Cemetery.
Me and one of my uncle's young calves

      I wasn't sure why I thought of him at that moment, but I dismissed it, and thought I would go check Liam, even though I hadn't heard a peep from him since I was standing on the stairs. So, I climbed up the rest of the stairs, and walked down the hall, casting an eye over head to the spot on the ceiling where I had seen the light. There was nothing to be seen, so I opened Liam's door, and he was sound asleep in bed, not moving or mumbling and certainly not saying anything.
       I walked back out in the hall and down to Cameron's room, knocked on his door and asked him if he had been talking to anyone. He said he hadn't been, nor had he heard or seen anything. I told him to keep an eye and ear out, and went back downstairs. Crawling back into bed, I glanced at the clock, and realized it was just after midnight.
       Cliff was awake, and I told him about the light I saw upstairs, and how I couldn't really explain the deep voice we had heard, other then to say I wondered if it was my Uncle Billy giving me some sort of message. I have smelled his "Brut" cologne before at the bottom of the stairs, and have often thought of him watching over the place.
      Cliff asked me if I knew what temperature the furnace was set on, and I told him I really had no idea. He lay there a moment, and said I think I will go check it. He got up and walked around the bed and into the bathroom to go out and check on the thermostat.
       All of a sudden, he exclaimed "Carmen! What is that? Come quick!"
        I could tell by the tone of his voice I had better go and look quickly. So I jumped up, and hurried to the bathroom where he was looking out the window.
       " Oh my god!" I hollered, as I looked out the window.
Across the backyard, over in front of the horse barn, we saw FIRE.
        I turned and ran into the hallway, and hollered up to Cameron. "Cameron! FIRE in the corral!" I heard his door opening, as I rushed out into the kitchen, looking for my shoes.
Cliff was throwing on his clothes as Cameron and I ran out into the big barn which is attached to our house. Cliff came running out behind us, and he and Cameron ran out back to the fence, while I yelled to Brogan in her apartment to wake up.
       It turns out that one of the water tub heaters Brogan uses to make sure the horses have fresh water in the winter, had ended up resting on the bottom of the tub.The newer heaters now all have a cage to keep it from resting on the bottom, but this was an older model, and when the tub emptied, it evaporated the last of the water, and melted down the tub until it caught fire. The smoldering tub then started to singe the back of the corral fence.
       I knew as I smelled all that melting plastic, and watched as they kicked snow over the burning tub, that that was the message my uncle wanted to send me. He is indeed still watching over this farm and all of us, and the bright light and perhaps the man's voice were all part of the chain of events that were needed to get us up and out to that corral during the middle of the night.
The farmhouse from the cemetery
       Some people might think that these were mere coincidences..I prefer to think it was ole Willie keeping a close eye on all of us, and that is a very comforting thought indeed.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Up close and (too) personal

We were in desperate need of a good fire starter, and I am nothing if not a women's liberation gal!
   Just was looking for a specific photo in my albums, and I didn't find it. What I did find, however, were many photos that should never have seen the light of day. SO..why not bust them out. It's hump day..a day in need of a laugh to make it through the rest of the week. Have fun!
Exhibit A..
I swear, a neck like that should only be seen on a football player..oh, and what is with that blonde 'fro?
Exhibit B..
Who looks the most pathetic? A toss up..

Exhibit C..
Never mind the moustache...there are more whiskers on that chin then on the goats in the barn! MAAAAA!!!

Exhibit D..

Even the horses run when they see me coming(esp while wearing a granny)..AND

Exhibit E...
Carrot Top? Is that you?

So..another day ends at Homeland Farm, where self esteem goes to die.Tune in next week to see what sad looking creature will appear on my blog!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

When a mud room is truly, a mud room

   Happy New Year to one and all. I hope everyone had a great holiday night, and I hope we all have a healthy 2014. We are off to a wonderful start, and by wonderful, I mean we are having a snow storm. Oh, and bitter cold. Oh, and I mean wonderful in a very sarcastic way.
     I spent the first two days of 2014 by doing what I do best...cooking and cleaning. Okay, I cook pretty well, but cleaning..not so much. It had to be done however, so I vacuumed, cleaned a few windows, ( Why do I have so many windows..just curious), and even dusted a bit. When I say 'dusted a bit', that means I pulled the sleeve of my sweater down over my hand, and did the worst spots. Then had to change, as one arm was really pretty dirty.
    I always start in the end of the house and work my way out to the kitchen, and finish in the laundry room, or as some people call it..the mud room. I have seen many so called mud rooms in all the house wife magazines I get and they are always so tidy. I mean, they have rattan baskets for each child to store their shoes and belongings, peg boards on the wall for organized coat hanging, and nice racks and boot driers for any boots that might get "damp".
     Let me show you a photo of a REAL MUD ROOM.
  Exhibit A....As you can see, this is a laundry room
Exhibit B...
Or is it a feed room?
Exhibit C..
okay, it is a feed room (warm mashes for a cold night)
Exhibit D..
Let's see..2 coats per person x 6 people..plus coveralls..and hats
Boots galore...Hats/gloves/mittens-stacked up and handy
Finally...Exhibit E..A mud room floor, complete with mud. So, now you know what a REAL FARMHOUSE mudroom looks like. It ain't pretty. I told you I am not an immaculate housekeeper. BUT! Did I show you the   picture of the pie I made??? Now THAT is pretty!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Year in Review

Cliffy and his new pal Molly Magoo

    Once again, it is December 31st. Once again, I say "where did the last year go?" My grandmother always said, the older you get, the faster time goes, and she was certainly right. I can not believe it is almost 2014.
     So, I will do one last blog for the year, and will make it a recap of the fun and frivolity that happened here at Homeland Farm in the last 12 months!
Ferg the pot belly pig came to live with us

Goat on the glider, ei ei ooooo
Doober dog on the well
Stewbeef roasting on an open fire..
Cowboy Cliffy rides again
skinny alpacas came to us from an auction
a wild chupacabra came to live with us in the spring
Speaking of spring, strawberry season was divine..
we were very busy all year..making jam by the case
hay by the ton
warmed baby pigs by the dozen..
paraded down Main Street..no really!
took care of baby bunnies
painted corral fences
fixed soggy corrals
fed good old Mabel and all her friends
fed fat pigs marshmallows.. and then it was fall...and time for..
walking your Belgian
and sunning your pig on the lawn..
and turning your goats loose..
and having a late fall ride before..
winter and snow again..blanket time again! So! Happy New Year to one and all and I hope 2014 is a spectacular year for us all! My resolution..write in my blog more often! Here's hoping I make good on that..for at least a month! :D