Rebel, July 4th, 2019 at Forrestel Farm

Rebel, July 4th, 2019 at Forrestel Farm
“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.” — Elliott Erwitt


Saturday, August 15, 2015


If you live on a farm or have grown up on one, you know what a "farmie" is.  When you have animals depending on you and gardens to take care of, you need to be there no matter what.  It can be pouring, -20 degrees, 95 and could be sick, on crutches or having company.  The show must go on.  When we moved here in 1981, our kids were still very young (9 and 11).  After cleaning out the barns that were full of car parts, cow stanchions, cow manure and other things we started putting up fences.  At the time we were boarding our first two horses and we were preparing for their arrival.  That meant reconfiguring the cow barn and creating stalls.  After Masterpiece and Shadow arrived, we took on several camp horses that were boarded by friend's kids and we found out what living on a farm was all about.  Stephanie and Jennifer started doing chores that included feeding, cleaning stalls and paddocks, grooming etc.  When it was haying season, they participated.  Eventually, Jennifer became the barn helper and Steph (not all that into horses) had to do chores around the house.  Having to be responsible has shaped them in many ways.  They are both very strong (physically) and caring....know what the word "work" means.  Now their four children come to the farm and I hope they are learning some of the same values picked up by their Moms.  Because I am the "horse" person and take my job very seriously, my time is not the same as my friends who don't have animals.  A lot of what I do has to fit into a schedule, dictating going out to dinner, having company, not going on vacations, never sleeping in, wearing barn clothes all day etc..  During my last 13 years of teaching at the High School, there were 7 or 8 horses here and I was in the barn (flying) by 5:30am so I could be in my classroom at 7:30.  That included feeding, cleaning stalls and turnout.  Believe me, I was tired as I had to start all over again a couple hours after getting home.  Then...I made dinner and passed out if I was not in an upright position.  Gary said I needed vitamins.  So here I am, turning 72 this month, we are still doing hay....and it still feels good when it is unloaded and stacked in the barn.  
(Of course I did not have to do a lot of the heavy lifting...because we had good help).

Now, for today.
 After chores, Karen went out to pick apples.  The tree is between the pasture and outdoor arena and we don't want the horses to eat too many.

 Around 2pm she returned with a truck and flatbed (belongs to her boss who has a landscaping company) so we could go pick up 50 bales of hay at a local farm.
Normally, we have hay delivered, but this year we passed on first cutting and have chosen to buy second cutting grass.  My 30 year old mare, won't eat the other stuff and does well with this.  Hopefully, our regular suppliers will have what we need in the next 4 weeks.
 Normally, this farmer only sells to big shippers going to race tracks or south.  His daughter boarded here many years ago so he made an exception and agreed to sell me a few bales.  We have to pick it up, and that's not easy without having our own truck.  Scott has helped us twice.
 In a normal season he makes 40,000 bales.  Incredible!!!!
 Lucky for us,
 Tom used a front loader to put the bales on the trailer. Slick.
 (Being a short person) the truck we were using is so high off the ground (16 years old) I could hardly get in it!
 Jenny joined us for the unloading when we got back to the farm.
 She was doing this over 25 years ago and is still game to help us.
 Of course Gary can be counted on.  Fortunately he has not had to do this for years.
 We were all hot by the time everything was in the barn.
 These two farmies are the best....
and you don't want to mess with them!!!!

There were all kinds of good things ready for pickin' in the gardens.
Made my first batch of pickled beets.

Today there was an article in the Democrat and Chronicle about our campaign.  They also posted electronically.  Things are going to start ramping up.
 Gary finished the rocking chair he has been working on.  It's a beauty.
 Pretended to read for awhile and fell asleep before chores.
 Obviously, the girls are still rolling in the mud.

 Dinner at 8....very late.
All veggies.
Tomato sandwiches, beets, deviled eggs and leftover coleslaw.
 Night all.


  1. I am amazed at how hard you all work, and still have the energy to do so much for your community.......and hold down outside jobs! It has sure been an education reading your blog for the last many years. Thank you for all you share with your readers.

    1. Marcy Doane. I really appreciate your comment and would like to return one on your blog. So far it's not working. Thanks.

  2. There are so many of us in your age group and older, ( as I am by 3 years) with farms, small lifestyle blocks, and our blogs, and we seem to work as hard as we did years ago. Admittedly there are some more mod cons to make life easier, but stacking hay, feeding horses, doing all the garden ( and that is huge, as ours is), local community involvement ( I pass on that one) and anything else at home, you with your art students, down here we had a Bed and Breakfast for many years, family commitments, and being there for friends at any time. I thought you were still a chicken, when I read of how busy any normal day has been, can truly say with huge admiration, no wonder your words at the end of the post are " Night All". and I forgot to mention picking the paddocks and the inside!!!

  3. It is a lot of hard work but so rewarding. We find that non-farmy friends do not understand our constraints around getting together for BBQ as we organize our day around the animals. They are fed dinner before we eat.


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