I Spy With My Little Eye


I spy with my little eye new life stretching out in the glorious spring sun.  The fields on our farm are awake.  Dainty flowers, climbers and clovers, and buds — all ordinary, yet extraordinary.  Come take a walk with me!



Birth Days


How sweet is it that my youngest son and my mother share the same birthday?  May 16.  How coincidental is it that my brother’s son and my father share the same birthday too?  October 16.  In our family, Grandma and Grandpa both have grandsons born on their birthdays.  However, my nephew ratchets it up a notch:  he has the same exact name as my father.  Good times on ancestry.com for future generations!


THE BIRTHDAY CAKE  ~by Victoria Chase

What goes into a birthday cake?

Sift and stir, and beat and bake

A cake that must be grand and fine

For a great big boy of nearly nine!


“What will he be when he grows up?”

High hopes are raised on the rolling board!

Fond, foolish memories that mothers hoard,

And love too full for a measuring cup!


Quick fear for the hurts the future holds,

Fierce anger, too, for the men of might

Who leave a world of pain and fright

As a heritage for nine-year-olds!


What goes into a birthday cake?

Sugar and salt, and smiles and tears,

Butter and eggs, and hopes and fears.

Sift and stir, and beat and bake;

That’s what goes into a birthday cake!


Momma’s Having a Hot Flash

Wine ordering websites need to come with an R rated warning.  S e r i o u s l y

After 10 minutes on wine.com, I need a room and a vibrator to go with my cigarette.  Who writes this stuff?

“Effusively juicy, rich and concentrated, showing plenty of snap to the crisp and well-spiced flavors of wild berry, dark currant and plum tart. Orange-infused chocolate notes linger on the exotic, mocha-filled finish.  There is real mineralite within this bouquet that, returning after 30 minutes, offers alluring ocean spray scents rolling in off the ocean.  It clams up a little towards the finish, shuts the lid tight and consequently there is the sensation of less persistency here compared to the Taylor’s or Smiths. But the Big Johnson has a knack of filling out with bottle age and becomes both gentle and generous with the passing years.

Somebody pry my fingers off that Johnson and bring me a towel and a cold compress.


More Horsepower


Planting time is here and, of course, we have breakdowns.  The 55 recently had a new fuel injector installed and when we tried to start it, all she gave was the sound of silence.  The dealer hauled it back to the shop with a promise that the tractor will be back in two days.  (insert skunk eye)

We also had a main hydraulic cylinder explode on the disk (which has only happened on one farm in the last 100 years) and replacement parts are a week away.  Typical.  Just about the time we are back up and running, the rain will be here to muck it all up.

Despite all the parts that work until we need them and the problems that crop up, we somehow manage to get our seeds in the ground on time.  Scaring them helps.  We name our tractors for that purpose. 

The fields start shaking and break open when the roar of our VelociPlanter gets close and then we stomp ‘em good with the big wheels just to lay a whoop-tail on ‘em.


Our stacks get to schmokin and the disks get to rollin and the packer gets to crushing.  Then we start digging, injecting, and cussing up a storm. There’s always a few wrench throws and busted hands or  broken backs when it comes to fixing on the fly.  Those moments are balanced by the “How Many Times Were You Flipped Off” Competion.  Each operator keeps count of how many California waves they get from the general public–who are always in a hurry.  We go as fast as we can, always, but drivers still get ticked off and make dumb decisions…like trying to pass us on a hill.

We put on our mean mugs

grab coffee jugs;

make our engines lug–

and get the job done.

Good times!

If You Feed Them, They Will Come



During this winter, in particular, the forest animals that scrape out a living on our Michigan farmland have suffered record breaking arctic blasts of wind and cold.  Last week, the mercury bottomed out at -26 degrees for days on end.  The wind chills are reported nightly at -30 and higher for extended periods.  Several astute shoppers reported a deer sighting in aisle 12 at the Walmart store, where long johns are sold.  Considering all that the squirrels, deer, and birds are enduring, it is amazing to me to see, in so many of them, a persistent cheery disposition.  It is more than I can say of myself.

The bunnies, skunks and racoons are bundled up in underground nests and haven’t stopped by to say hello in a long time.  I think my two fat nanny goats are still alive.  It is hard to tell because they have stuffed themselves into a small, straw filled dog house in their barn stall.  Their only sign of life this winter has been when I hear a bunch of scritch-scratching inside the dog goat house.  Eventually, one gets unwedged enough to stick a nose out to “see”  if I’ve got a treat in my pocket.    I found a fur-lined mouse nest in the corner of my barn that was chock full of the little devils and I didn’t have the heart to turn them out.

A little six point buck. We’ll let him grow another couple of years before he ends up in the freezer.









Our favorite pastime has been keeping the binoculars pointed at the blue corn can at the edge of our woods.  (I was going to write “forest” but I think “woods” is really more accurate.)   On Saturday mornings, we pour shell corn into the can.  Without this supplement, I think many of our pregnant does would perish or abort.  Then we keep a suet stash going for my woodpeckers and pour lots of seeds and nuts in the tube feeder.  When the first winter blizzard  hit, we noticed a clutch of hen turkeys spying the bird feeders and they couldn’t reach them.  Now I dump 25 lbs. of bird seed a week on the ground, at the base of the old shell bark hickory tree, for them.  We hit pay dirt last night with a hard count of 46 turkeys gobbling up the food. 










I’m fully expecting a kill-off at our pond this spring.  I hope not, but will not be surprised if all the fish have suffocated due to the thickness of the ice.  We had a fish kill situation about ten years ago and I had never seen anything like it.  Dead fish by the ten thousands were strewn up on the shoreline, suffocated and washed up.  Very sad.

This spring we will be watching something new and exciting in our woods.  Two eagles have claimed our land and have built a magnificent nest high in the tree tops.  Traditionally, eagles have only been spotted in northern Michigan.   We are happy to host them but they had better keep their beaks out of my hen house!  We didn’t lose any chickens to them last year so I am guessing that they are good fisherman on the big lake and even better  mousers in the fields.  Yesterday, I saw a couple of mackinaw clad ‘possums hitching a ride out of town on the noon train–obviously adopting a “better safe than sorry” strategy!

Look at Mr. Bushy-Tail




Famous Last Words

“When I die, you’re never going to get it this good.”  That’s what I tell my husband on Saturday mornings, while stirring his pot of Cream of Wheat. I make him beg for it.  And he does.

He loves my Cream of Wheat.

Haters, don’t hate on my Cream of Wheat until you have made it and tasted it my way.  It is a steaming, creamy bowl of hot deliciousness flavored with brown sugar and Vietnamese cinnamon that is topped off with a heavy pat of real butter.  Handcuff and arrest me now because this recipe is a crime.  Suck it Martha Stewart.


In two large cereal bowls, place:

1.5 tsp. butter

3/4 tsp. high quality cinnamon (there is a difference!)

one rounded tablespoon of brown sugar.

Set aside

Bring to a near boil in a pot on the stove:

(with medium flame and stirring occasionally to prevent burning)

4 cups WHOLE milk

1/2 tsp. salt

When milk is steaming and almost ready to boil, add:

1 cup regular Cream of Wheat (not instant)

stir constantly with a long handled spoon until mixture thickens

Pour pot contents into ready made bowls and stir.




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