Monday, January 31, 2011

'S' Is For Snow

A typical heavy snowfall over night.

Here in our part of Kansas we don't get very much snow.
I think the most I've ever seen in one large snowfall here is
about 12 the most.

As many of you who follow me know...I moved here from a ski village in the mountains of British Columbia and each winter we got somewhere between 40-60 feet of snow.

During an El Nino winter we sometimes got a bit less snow and more rain but it was always a white winter.

Me shoveling the roof the first time that winter

The picture above and the two below show a particularly 
bad winter where we had to shovel our roof off 3 times.
See that large window? At the end of the snow season as I was laying on the living room floor (split level home with another large window under that one) my children
walked past the upper window on snow that was higher than the bottom of the windowsill. 

My two oldest boys made shoveling the roof
fun. They'd make chairs and TV's out of snow
and do flips off the roof or slide off. 
See that lower roof level in the above picture...that all had to be shoveled off before the upper roof was shoveled onto it. Then it all had to be shoveled off again.

The picture above shows our old deck that was 14X28. 
What you see is the snow from only 1/4 of the roof
that had been shoved off onto the deck. Before we could do that
the deck itself had to be shoveled off to make sure there
wasn't too much weight on it. 
THEN all the snow you see there had to be hand shoveled off
and paths had to be shoveled to the garage and wood shed.
We had a 10hp snow blower for the driveway and sidewalks.

The picture above was taken in 1975.
That shed looks short but it's not and 
the door handle is at regular door handle height. 
Yes that's me pulling my oldest 
I was skinny...probably from all that shoveling ;)

This picture above is my two youngest
taken years ago sitting on the snow bank
at their grandparents in MARCH!
This was another bad winter with lots of snow.

Last but not least is an old picture of my oldest 
daughter standing on the deck showing how much
snow we had gotten over the weekend. 
The snow had already packed down by this time!

It was truly a WINTER WONDERLAND until the middle
of then 'cabin fever' was beginning to 
set in and we were all ready for the snow to quit.
Something that is pretty amazing is that school was 
seldom closed because of snow.

Even after 11 years of living here in Kansas it still
makes me laugh when I hear the schools are closed
because of a few inches of snow. 

I guess it's all in what you get used to.

I hope you have a wonderful week!
Maura :)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Critters Around The Farm

One of our little Black Australorp chicks

Today our temperatures are going to be 
hovering around 70F!
I'm going to be spending my day cleaning
out the coop and tidying around the yard.
That is if I can keep my head from exploding.
Time to bring out the Neti Pot.

So while our farm is looking a little sad
these days I thought I'd share some photo's
of some of our furry and not so furry
friends that live and have lived 
on our little farm over
the past year.

Butter Cup

Oliver or Olly for short


Olly really wanted to find a way to come and visit the new chicks

Eeyore our Mediterranean Jack 

This big raccoon was hiding in our old barn on the owl perch.
He never killed any chickens but he did steal some eggs.

Phoebe our little Mediterranean Jenny

Lizzy our daredevil cat...Olly's sister

Chelsea...the Shih Tzu farm dog

Percy one of two African gosling's we raised last year

This little fellow was sunning himself on the fence

Me as Mother Goose with Percy and Priscilla

Shep our Akbash and Bubba our other Shih Tzu 
are missing from these pictures but there were
just too many to go through and I'm itching
to get outside. 

I really hope you have a wonderful day
and that this weekend you get the 
chance to get outside and
breathe some 
fresh air.

Maura :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Random Reds

Taken just after last springs mild ice storm

I'm joining Sue over at 
It's A Very Cherry World's
I hope you'll pop on over and say hello and check
out all the other fellow bloggers taking part :)

These are just a few random photo's taken around
the farm since we moved here.

My favorite Buff Orpington Henrietta with a few of her 'sisters'

Shep at approx 3 months old

The chicken coop/garden shed

This time last year

One of our Buff Orpington chicks from last March

The Garden Shed

Reds in the pasture

From the garden

Red wheel gate

I hope you've enjoyed a little trip back in time 
with me. It's been a wonderful year and a half
living here in the country.
Wish we'd done it sooner.

Enjoy your day!
Maura :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Happy Memories

Loved this house

If you've been following my blog for a while you already know that I live in a little farm cottage in the country in rural Kansas. 

Before I moved here I lived in the mountains of beautiful
British Columbia Canada.
For a time we lived in a lovely English Tudor home 
right across the road from the local ski hill.

I LOVED this house.
From the living room and the loft and one upstairs bedroom and the kitchen you could watch the skiers going up and down the slopes. 
My children just had to walk across the road to ski and snowboard and on the evenings when the ski hill was closed early...they could toboggan down the slopes.
I could sit in the loft and watch them catch the chairlift and ride up the hill until they disappeared.
It was a WONDERFUL place to live and 
raise the kids.

Springtime in the mountains.
The apple tree is starting to bloom and
if you look to the right you'll see our 
old snowmobile waiting to be tuned up and put away until the next winter.

This is where all the action happened.
The kids played volleyball and badminton 
and lawn darts and we had a fire pit to sit around on  
cool evenings. All evenings are cool in the mountains!  

Through these beautiful hand made leaded and stained glass doors we could see the skiers going up and down the 'bunny tow' on the hill. The upper window was my oldest 
daughters bedroom. She could lay in bed
and watch the skiers.
It was beautiful at night when they were 'grooming' the hill.
The grooming machines go up and down the steep slopes at night... they're so bright that you can see the snow falling in the lights during a heavy snow fall. Believe me...when you get 40-60 feet YES FEET of snow per winter...there's a LOT of grooming to be done on the hill. 

The apple tree ready for picking.
The apples were delicious but that tree and 
the plum tree in the back of the house brought around the bears. They would start coming in early 
fall to check the fruit for ripeness.
You could just about bet that a bear would be around every night the closer the fruit got to being ripe. 
We had one large old male and one female with cubs
come every year that we lived there.

Me sitting under the apple tree.
See that dark hair!

Huge stone steps down to the lower level from the apple tree.

The creek behind the house.

By the time we moved we had ivy growing up that short stone wall with the lamp post.
Those doors were beautiful especially in the mornings when the sun came streaming in.

Another look at the entry landing and those doors.
My dad and step Mom came to visit.
These are my youngest children.
Drew was born while we lived in this house.

This is the view from the kitchen breakfast table.
If you look closely you'll see the glacier on top of the mountain. In the fall when the leaves were off the trees you could just see a bit of the Columbia River.

We had lots of wildlife come into the yard...bear, deer, porcupines, coyotes  and after we moved the people told us they saw two young cougar (mountain lions) run through the yard towards the creek. I'm glad they weren't around when we lived there...our large dog probably kept them away.
Behind the deer where you see the children's playhouse 
is the trail down to the creek where we had a hammock overlooking the water.

Here's my youngest son Drew in front of those 
beautiful doors.
Can you tell where we had been?

Here's a glimpse of the living room during one of our parties. If you look up you can just see the beams and the railing in the loft.
There was a beautiful HUGE fireplace that went right up to the open ceiling with a massive rack of elk antlers.
The bricks came from the local train stations roundhouse that was built in the late 1800's. 
All the bricks were cleaned by hand before being laid but they still had some of the black from the soot and the light color from the old mortar.  

In this picture above (with my son and his girlfriend...later wife) you can see the spiral staircase to the loft/office which adjoined my oldest daughters bedroom and then the hall bath and another large bedroom.
There was also another set of wide stairs at the back of the house leading upstairs and down to the basement.
The bricks you see is an arched doorway leading to the breakfast room and kitchen. 

My sister Janet (you can read how we met for the first time)
is pointing to the scratches on the apple tree made by the bears.
They would come around every night when the fruit was close to being ripe and sometimes during the day if they were bold enough.
The were pretty desperate to eat as much as they could before going into hibernation.
We tried to pick all the fruit as high up as we could reach but the rest was their's for the taking.
We even had a squirrel who would pick the ripe fruit and leave it sit on the huge boulders along the side of the house to dry. Then it found an opening between the basement ceiling and the floor above and packed all that fruit in there above the patio doors. 
We didn't even know it until I could see fruit flies on the ceiling and smell rotting fruit.
We were able to find the hole and close it up and killed the fruit flies but we weren't about to tear the cedar ceiling down so we put up with the smell until eventually the fruit dried up and the smell disappeared! 
There was never a dull moment in that house. 

I have a lot of wonderful memories from living in this beautiful home and it was hard to eventually leave it.
But it was time to move on and we moved to a home closer to school and the in-laws.
We still had the bears and deer and even a cougar came life was still exciting.
But I did miss watching the skiers in the winter.

Now I can sit under an apple tree (without bears) here on the farm and hopefully one day we'll have a pond with a windmill.
I may not be able to ski ...but maybe one day I'll be skating. Life is good.

Have a wonderful weekend!
Maura :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Random Shots

Is it just me or do you find it hard to think of things to blog about at this time of year?

Outside once the snow melts everything is brown and dirty least that's what it's like here at our cottage in the country. 

Oh it was pretty when it snowed but I never got outside right away and then the wind came up and all my pretty little snowy spots were blown away.
Lesson learned...get outside even while it's snowing and
TAKE PICTURES! I'm hunting for things to take pictures of or going through old pictures trying to figure out what you might find interesting. 
I've found a few pictures but I'm still searching.
I figured the next best thing was to just walk around and take pictures of things around the cottage. 
So without further ado...

I put this picture in because our bedroom door was finally open and you get a little glimpse of our bedroom...a room I have never taken pictures of.
Don't know why but I think it's because I feel like I'm not finished decorating in there.
The door on the opposite side is to our guest bedroom.

The tree is down and things are back to normal.
I put a crochet throw on the love seat for the barn cats that we finally allowed in the house.
It was a good decision ;) bring the cats in that is.

I think this is my favorite piece of furniture.
Isn't the grain beautiful and look at those curves!
I should have taken a picture of the glass on the upper part of the secretary...the center section is bowed on both doors.

These are some details on a little table that my husband got for nothing back in the 70's.
It fell of the back of a truck when neighbors were moving and they just threw it in the garbage. Hubby asked if he could have it and they said yes so he fixed it. One day they saw it and asked for it back...he said NO.
I'm glad.

Don't look too close or you'll see the dust.
Lesson #2 ....dust before you take up-close pictures!

Above is a picture of my favorite spot to read.
I bought the chair at a flea market and the table and the pillow I bought from a fellow blogger.

I found this little dog at a garage sale...I think he's cute.

I finally decided what pictures I wanted from artist 
Robert Duncan.
I thought these were perfect for the farm.

A bit of a glimpse at the guest room.

Lizzy was my photo stylist.

Love this little clock...a Hobby Lobby find.

I bought this lamp from a sweet little store in the town not too far from where we live. Unfortunately it closed down last year. I really miss it.

Well there you have it. I hope you enjoyed a little walk around the cottage with me...and Lizzy.

Are you finding it hard to post this time of year?

Enjoy your day.
Maura :)


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