Monday, March 27, 2017

Taxes and the Farm Gas Pump

I remember The Old Farmer requisitioning the dining room table 
for several days each tax season.
Working a trade and being a farmer was no doubt complicated, 
what with the government paying you not to grow wheat and figuring the acres 
and yield and costs involved and the gas for the tractor...

Gas, now that was interesting...there was an old gravity fed tank 
at the back of the driveway circle. You would crank it up 'til it stopped 
and then reverse the direction and let it flow down, each cycle was one gallon of gas. 
The Old  Farmer kept a log of how much gas he pumped every time 
in a Half & Half tobacco tin kept under the tank.
 Of course I didn't know it then, but I suppose that had something to do with taxes.

Evenings when figuring taxes were frustrating The Old Farmer
 and there were occassional exclaimations, we were warned to play quietly 
and especially not to bother "anyone" with questions. LoL. 

I guess some things never change!

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Old Farmer's Wife has a Green Thumb

The Old Farmer's Wife had a green thumb.

 While The Old Farmer grew the vegetables and she canned them,
her real domain was the flower garden.
And in keeping with the season today I look at the indoor plants. 
African violets were in a room with westward facing window
and they thrived. Watered from the bottom when the top
felt dry to fingertip...

In the bay window was a large old snake plant,
impolitely mother in law's tongue
or ie sansevieria trifasciata.
These do not bloom often, I remember her's blooming.

  And the Christmas cactus, 
still living many years later.
Here it serves as a nice backdrop 
for this hat advertisement.
The trick to making these bloom
is 12 hours of daylight
and 12 hours of dark in the months
before Christmas.
And there is a peek at the
mother in law's tongue in
the background too!

Monday, March 13, 2017

The Old Road

When The Old Farmer moved his family to the farm
it was a crumbling one lane road. 

In the summer us kids roved up and down the road.
There may have been only about 10 houses in 2 miles.
Most to the south end, going up towards the old schoolhouse.
We'd visit the neighborhood kids and play at each others houses.
A favorite place to play was the corrugated steel culvert at the creek.

This was big enough to play in, splashing and slipping
and catching minnows.

Of course there were the tar bubbles
to pop on the chip and seal road
in the hot summer time.
I am sure The Old Farmer's Wife
liked us tracking that in on our shoes :  )

I think that statute of limitations is safely past 
to retell this story...The big hill at the top of the
road came down the escarpment, a land
feature Niagara Falls goes over. 
For me it was famous for The Old Farmer
putting me on his lap to pretend to drive
when coming down the hill to see how far
we could coast! We usually could make it
 past the culvert to the dip in the road where
we could not get up the other side~

Monday, March 6, 2017

The Swamp in Winter

While the swamp was spooky in the summertime,
In the winter it creaked and groaned as the frozen
trees blew gently in the cold breeze.

We would try to quietly tramp through the crusty snow
breaking through sometimes, good boots were a plus.
We would find tracks of aquatic mammals like muskrat.
An occasional deer track passed through, maybe it was
that big buck the hunters had reported. 
There was the elusive ermine, In the prized winter coat of a weasel.

If you stood quietly the squirrels would start to chatter
and run up and down the trees, occassionally leaping from one to another. 
Birds...there were kingfishers and crows. 
Hawks, woodpeckers, and starlings. 

Life was bountiful if you knew where to look,
even in the depth of winter.