Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The City Skyline

These pictures aren't great (remember, I want a new camera--this would be one more reason why). But, I thought they were cool. I took them the other evening when I was helping Mom get vehicles situated. I guess we were about 3 miles from town.

Happy "sprang up" along the railroad when it went through in the early 1900s. Grain elevators soon followed. The ones you see in the picture are concrete (a few may be metal, I need to go to town and check). Anyway, the original ones would have been wooden. I guess you'd call these "modern" even though some were built by POWs during WWII, which is a whole different post.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sowing Wheat

Mom has been busy sowing wheat--we plant winter wheat. My sister wanted me to post a few pictures of the process.

Mom pulls Dempster drills behind the tractor. If you look closely, you can see that the drills are really quite simple (I'm sure mom would say otherwise as she has had several chain issues this year.) A drive chain on the axle turns a rod that is inside the drill boxes. That rod turns and pushes the wheat into a hole in the bottom of the drill box. The wheat seed then travels down a tube that deposits the seed right behind a drill "shoe" that has made a small furrow in the ground for the seed. The press wheels are positioned behind the shoes to cover the seed. You can make adjustments on the drill that help control the amount of grain flow.

This is the front of the box. You can see the tubes coming out of the bottom--the grain travels down these.
This is a picture of the drill shoe. You can see that it makes a small furrow. The press wheels are in the background. I'm not sure why they call it a shoe--it's a very small sweep.
Sadie was excited this summer when we saw some of Leonardo da Vinci's machines at a museum, because she recognized the drive chain from the drills.
Originally, farmers might have only pulled one or two boxes behind their tractors, depending on the side. You can see that mom has 5 hooked together. We have a drill carrier to move the drills from field to field. Mom backs it over the drills (that are unhooked from the tractor), chains the drills to the carrier and lifts them up to transport. I'll try to get pictures of this soon. She has a grain truck that she carries the seed in. It has a small auger in it that she uses to fill the drill boxes. When planting, you have to make sure that all of the chains and rods are turning, otherwise you aren't sowing any seed. You also have to check you boxes and keep them full. Mom has been doing this enough to know about how long she should be able to go before filling the boxes.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I took these pictures of T.S.'s boots the other day. We were at the fair, and, of course, he didn't want his picture taken. He did, however, want me to photograph his boots. I wasn't thrilled with the background. (T.S. was actually standing on an over-turned trash barrel.) I changed the picture to black and white and antiqued it. I can't decide which I like best: color, black and white, or antiqued.

Black and White:


What do you think?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Happy Fall, Y'all!

We ushered in fall with a very cool front. The change in weather was nice. The kids and I picked pumpkins today. The picture is just of our bushel basket full of mini ones. We ended up with 17 white pumpkins and 27 orange ones. We've been busy with lambs, spelling lists, and life in general. The laundry fairy is doing a better job than she was, though.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Happy Happenings

The seasons seem to be changing around here. Tarantulas are on the move and we've seen evidence of snakes changing into their fall wardrobe. We're busy on the farm with chores, homework, a new instrument and life in general. I received my first "real" paycheck in nine years today.

On our way to the 4-H meeting tonight, I stopped at the post office to get the mail. I was greeted by a man as I came out. He was wondering where our gas station was. I glanced at my watch and told him he was out of luck...it was after 5:30. His expression led me to offer to get him some gas from our key pump. Just a little FYI--if you're traveling through and think it'd be fun to say you filled up in Happy, please try to make your trip on a weekday before 5:00 or 5:30. If it's a Saturday, get here before noon. We only have the one station. Quite a few of us have pump keys...but you can't always guarantee we'll be around.

I tell you this because the other evening a lady was shocked (or possibly dismayed) that we:
1. don't have a grocery store
2. don't have a convenience store (Jackie's is convenient if you are in town during the hours I mentioned before...he has fountain drinks, some candy bars, eggs on occasion and special treats for special customers sometimes, too.)
3. We can't eat out whenever we want or "run" to Sonic just because it is happy hour.

The nearest "conveniences" are about 15 miles away. Life in our small town takes planning and forethought. And, that's just the way we like it.

The joys of small town life are abundant.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Things Accomplished

Not trying to toot my own horn, but things are definitely looking up around here:
  • Laundry is caught up (for at least the next 4 hours).
  • I made two casseroles last night--one for supper, one for the freezer.
  • Last night, I also I cooked and cut up the chicken for another casserole on the menu this week.
  • Two of the three bathrooms are clean. You can see the floor in the utility room. The kitchen floor is swept.

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. It's a really long tunnel, but the light is there.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


I find myself in the Land of Overwhelm--where laundry, dishes, dirty bathrooms and more are screaming for attention. I am enjoying my job. It's been a nice change of pace, although I do miss my boys (probably more than they miss me). The one thing I am not enjoying is figuring out how to take care of the house, laundry, meals, kids, etc., etc., without 1-being totally exhausted and 2-feeling like I have no free time to enjoy anything.

I know that many of you have been doing this juggling act for years now. I am a mere novice, so today I'm asking for help. If you are a working mom/dad/person, what's a tip or trick for getting life in order?

Please share...my kids and husband will thank you for it and I will be forever grateful.