Storms a Coming by Jane Miller – Guest Blogger

 

Storms a coming.

by Jane Miller 

My husband and I live with his mother in an old farmhouse with parts dating back to 1842. Except for the window lined porch that faces west, the house is structurally the way it was 100 years ago when the third generation of the Hunter family lived here. Their ancestors were a Scottish Presbyterian family who cleared this portion of Depreciation Lands.

Often my thoughts go to life as it may have been stretched out over a nearly 200 year history when the family sustained themselves with their labors in the fields and there were horses in the barn. Now the horses are gone. The farm is in transition. Our work of the day includes for me, the care giving for my mother-in-law, Lois—almost 90—and the patients my husband “sees” on a computer in his office that was at one time our dining room and in generations past, a kitchen. The beauty of the evolving nature is one constant. We especially enjoy our summer evenings.

On one of the first warm nights this year we sat together on the back deck after mom was in bed, I grieved the loss of the horses and a pasture plowed under by Farmer Beahm, who will soon plant field corn. The sun was heading for its sweet spot between the tree-lined hills as clouds gathered bits of gray.

I remembered an evening nearly 35 years ago on May 31, 1985, the evening a 25-mile long twister took out the trees of that hill and my mother and father-in-law, along with our three-year-old son, hit the basement. I think they wanted a room with windows to better see a storm a coming in addition to daily witnessing the beauty of nature.

On this May evening—one of the first ones a coat and blanket not needed—another storm was brewing. It was May 12, just before the world began opening up to our “new normal” and all of the unknowns this will bring. Then in the skies, a real storm collected clouds and we were fascinated as we watched where the sun would soon disappear in the West. Rick had a Scotch in his hand. I had my camera.

The beauty of the moment mesmerized us and we didn’t heed the warnings of the winds. Our eyes were on the skies, when rain pelted us. For the moment we laughed through the winds, making sure my camera was safe and Rick anchored down the furniture we had to evacuate.

I thought of the storms of the past and the ones that are brewing and a word came to my mind about life on the farm. Resilience. Crops fail. You replant. Animals that sustain you will die. It’s not a moment to moment feeling. It’s a joy that doesn’t depend upon what is happening to you. It’s about being grateful for every moment in every time.

Life goes on and it’s always day by day. Farmers look for their rewards at the end of the day.

Storm a Coming

Anna at the Alpaca Farm

My granddaughter Anna (15) is guest blogger today.

She photographed these alpacas at the Smith Mountain Lake Farm in Virginia last weekend.

 

She said the alpacas are nice and don’t spit at you like llamas They are like dogs. Plus they poop in the same place everytime..

Anna, thanks for sending the photos.

Stacking Wood the Ohio Way

This is the way Chuck and Sharon keep their home toasty warm in the winter. There were at least three huge stacks of firewood. I have a little plastic thermostat on the wall that I adjust, no real work involved.

I asked what kind of wood it is and Chuck says “Ash”.

When I got home I ordered this book for Chuck. not that he needs any tips on how to chop, stack or dry wood but just to read about the Scandinavian way.  ( It’s a bestseller- click title for article on how it became a “global hit”) – Norwegian Wood by Lars Mytting

I heard about this book when I visited Norway last fall.  I sent it to my brother in Okanogan. He heats with a woodstove, too.

Pepper, Penny and Charlie at the Farm on a Snowy Sunday

Saturday night after the anniversary party, we spent the night at the farm in Crestline. There was blowing snow, drifting across the roads. The roads too bad to drive back to the city in the dark.

Sunday morning we had a nice breakfast and watched Chuck blow and plow the quarter mile drive to the main road. Charlie has fun watching and the dogs were in and out.

Then Charlie bundled up and went outside-tried his hand at shoveling-  but not for long.

It was too cold.

 My camera lens fogged up with condensation from the temperature change, outdoors to indoors. 

Apples to Apples on the Blog over the Years

A few days ago I posted Erika and two of the grandkids walking in the apple orchard.

Then Steve’s art on the mantel with the Granny Smith apple. 

Just for fun I did a google search – Apple and rutheh. Quite a few photos of apples or some form of apples appeared in the results.  Many apple photos  over the years of blogging. Some other fruit appeared and even some tomatoes as I scrolled down.  Here are a few examples of apple photos from previous posts.

There is the Before they Get to the Store post showing how Honey Crisps are grown in Washington.

 

An early blog post from August 2009   Anna is 15 now

Like a science experiment.  Drastic temperature change.       Anna (5) said “Get your camera and take a picture. You could win a prize!”

So this is what it looks like when “the bottom falls out”!

Cider making in North Carolina in the first photo and a Cider Press in Pennsylvania in second.  

Apple Butter Annie Oakley’s Kitchen Southside Farmer’s Market

 

https://rutheh.com/2013/11/08/half-apples-baked-in-balsamic-with-a-dot-of-butter/

Olive Oil Apple Juice and Tiki Torch Fuel


There is a guest blog from Wildflour Bakery in Alaska 

My sister in law’s Apple Pie in Washington

Real fruit and Fake fruit in Hardy Virginia.  https://rutheh.com/2017/09/09/apple-picking-and-farm-market-checkout-line/

Driving by Cornfields, Waiting on Soybeans Train, Main Street – Fremont Nebraska -3 short videos

Three short videos from the heartland.

Driving by cornfields on the way to Fremont, Nebraska. That’s Maura’s voice on the WAZE app, she recorded all the commands/ directives when visiting.

Waiting at the railroad crossing for the soybeans train cars to cross. Patiently.

The soybeans processing plant in Fremont

Driving down the middle of Main Street, Fremont Nebraska

An Eagle Scout Project. St. Joseph Rosary Garden. Fremont Nebraska.

Knitting in Nebraska

Thursday I arrived in Omaha.  After lunch my friend Joanne took me to a couple of local yarn shops. I like to buy souvenir yarn from places I visit, usually a single skein of local sock yarn.

I got in the peacock pen to photograph the skein of Acid Peacock yarn by One Twisted Tree at  ImagiKnit.

Today at her friend’s farm and I tried to take a photo of the yarn AND the peacock.  You can see the focusing issues I experienced.

Joanne took the next four photos. A trunkful of yarn. Hotel morning selfie she took with her timer on. Me coming out of the peacock pen.

Photo by Joanne

Earth, Air, Water and Fire

Erica V. at WordPress writes about the photo challenge she created- elemental

“For this week’s challenge, explore the classical elements of earth, air, water, and fire. How do you capture something invisible like air, or the movement of water?”

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Denali from the train

IMG_0684Rainy windshield

 

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The wind captured by the flag in Florida

 

IMG_4090Snow and ice  Highland Park Pittsburgh Pennsylvania

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Falls in Washington with my sister-in-law
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Homer Alaska

 

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St. George Island Sunrise

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Rushing water in Alaska

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Train ride to Denali

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Burning Basket in Homer Alaska

 

20228766789_086e0f3569_kMaura running across a field at the farm in Crestline, Ohio

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Hard to feel the heat of the desert in a photograph- Arizona

 

and one of my favorite songs Fantasy by Earth Wind and Fire