FESTIVAL OF OWLS WEEK

A WISE OLD OWLMarch 7-11 is Festival of Owls Week.  These wise old birds are amazing to watch – and hear…  hold your ears!  I used to hear these barn owls often when I stayed with my grandparents.  If you don’t know what it is, it sounds downright creepy.  If you think owls just say WHO… WHO…  then you’ve never heard a barn owl.

https://youtu.be/JDmRmRb2OpE

Barn owls don’t usually live long lives.  In North America the oldest known barn owl in the wild lived to be 11 years old.  In Holland, a wild barn owl lived to be 17 years old.  In England, a captive female barn owl was retired from breeding at 25 years old.

Wow... you humans sure look weird!
Wow… you humans sure look weird!

 

Flying and screeching... screeching and flying.
Flying and screeching… screeching and flying.
I lost my tree... dang it - I LOST MY TREE!
I lost my tree… dang it – I LOST MY TREE!
Don't hate me because I'm beautiful.
Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.
I'm a barn owl - in a barn. Go figure.
I’m a barn owl – in a barn. Go figure.

Now we hear the WHO…  WHO from the eagle owl.  Can you believe those eyes?  They are absolutely gorgeous and captivating.

https://youtu.be/ynl-L8L3Ui8

The Eurasian eagle owl lives in mountain regions and other relatively remote places.  It’s a nocturnal predator, hunting for small mammals but also birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and large insects.

Wow... you humans sure look weird.
Wow… you humans sure look weird.
Get my good side...
Get my good side…
Soar and hoot... hoot and soar.
Soar and hoot… hoot and soar.
Every move you make, I'll be watching you...
Every move you make, I’ll be watching you…
I know I look good.
I know I look good.

 

And yesterday, I saw this post on twitter: https://twitter.com/planetepics

 

I came home, pulled back the curtains and saw this beautiful animal. Looks like I’m headed to Hogwarts!
I came home, pulled back the curtains and saw this beautiful animal. Looks like I’m headed to Hogwarts!

I don’t know who specifically came home to find this little cutie, but I just had to share this.

Enjoy this wonderful poem by Lucinda Berry Hill.

GRAMMIE AND OWLS

Many people in the 1970’s collected all things owls.  I also knew some who collected elephants (something about luck in the home) – but owls represent wisdom.  For fun, I wondered how many photographs of owls I could find on common everyday things.  Here’s what I came up with:

I could use a symbol of wisdom first thing in the morning - for sure!
I could use a symbol of wisdom first thing in the morning – for sure!
It's an owl necklace watch! Here it is closed.
It’s an owl necklace watch! Here it is closed.
Here it is open.
Here it is open.
Here's a little owl writer and music lover.
Here’s a little owl writer and music lover.

How about owl origami?  Give it a try – it’s really fun!

http://www.origami-fun.com/origami-owl.html

We all agree that owls are cute – albeit scary…  sharp beaks, talons and stares with no blinks…  don’t you wonder what they’re thinking?  Maybe we really don’t want to know.  🙂

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NOVEMBER 18-24 IS NATIONAL FARM-CITY WEEK

TL 11-18 THRU 24 IS NATIONAL FARM-CITY WEEK

Kansas is rich in agricultural traditions.  As you drive along our state’s highways you can’t help but notice the lovely quilt of farmland with the occasional horse, herds of cattle or sheep, and of course the state flower, the sunflower.

The farmers of Kansas provide food and other resources for the rest of the country.  It’s a proud heritage to be a farmer, but it certainly won’t make you rich.  Maybe it does make you rich, it’s just not from monetary gain.  There is a rich satisfaction in farming… knowing that you’ve done a good day’s work for your fellow-man is worth more than money.

You know when I think of a Kansas farm, I think of the Peterson Farm.  Those guys are crazy…  yep – they’re Kansans alright!

https://youtu.be/hSp9mGcaESc

When I think of Thanksgiving, it’s natural to think of harvest.  I can’t imagine living in a big city where harvest is just a concept and not a reality.  Something about having harvest as a way of life just makes me more thankful than I would be otherwise.

A WORKING FARM

It’s a silly memory, I know…  but I remember taking field trips to my 5th grade teacher’s farm around this time of year.  Maybe it had to do with this holiday – who knows?

It’s important for children to be exposed to farm life once in a while.  They need to know that they’re milk comes from a cow and eggs come from chickens.  Some of those city kids might decide they want to move to a farm one day and enjoy a slower, more structured, simple life.

The only downside to farming is the butchering of livestock.  I know some don’t have a problem with it, but I’m just a bit of a squeamish soul, I suppose.  I thought it would be fun to have a herd of sheep and sell wool.  There is a new kind of farm emerging on the horizon that sounds interesting – Alpaca farms!  Alpaca fleece is softer than cashmere and is in demand.  As an alpaca farmer you can raise the animals and not have to butcher them – just shear them.  I think I could handle that!

FARM COMFORT

One more video from the Peterson farm.  https://youtu.be/toyN81wZzLw

I hope sometime this week you will take a city kid to visit a working farm – maybe even the Peterson farm!   The only way we can encourage kids to appreciate the food they eat is to show them where it comes from – and all the work involved in making it happen.  Have a great week!  🙂

 

I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE

TL I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE (2)

What was happening in America on Saturday, September 18, 1909???

The largest crowd to ever watch a baseball game, up to that time, turned out in Shibe Park as 35,409 spectators watched the Philadelphia Athletics beat the visiting Detroit Tigers, 2–0, on the pitching of future Hall of Famer Charles “Chief” Bender. The A’s were second to the Tigers in the American League pennant race.

IMG_1056
SEPTEMBER 18, 1909

Guess what else happened???  My Grandpa married my Granny!  I don’t have wedding photos – I’m not even sure there are any – this plate is my precious possession to remind me of my Grandpa Frank & Granny LaVella’s wedding day.  Mama told me that it was hand painted by a family friend and neighbor.  It’s not valuable – but it sure means a lot to me.  Granny kept this plate hanging in their bedroom on the farm.

People really do get married at an older age these days.  These two crazy kids were married at 16 years of age!  I think they were married at a judge’s house, if I remember the story correctly.

They had a piece of farmland willed to them, built a little house on it and started growing wheat, horses, cattle and children – by the time it was said and done – EIGHT kids!

Grandpa Frank also drove a truck to supplement their income.  Granny did some sewing and took in washing to help out.  They didn’t have to buy stainless for the kitchen or even entertain the notion of indoor plumbing…  but they were two of the happiest people ever!  They had the same beliefs and the same dreams for their family.  They embraced faith in God above all and were faithful to each other until the end.

I get to thinking about that sometimes.  In their life, they were so firmly rooted in family and values, the fancy stuff wasn’t important.  I loved everything about staying at the farmhouse when I was little because something as simple as snuggling down in one of Granny’s quilts meant more to me than anything fancy and showy.  That squeaky bed was the best, and using homemade soap every morning and eating farm fresh eggs…  well those are memories that will never fade from my memory!

You have to have a dream so you can get up in the morning.  – Billy Wilder

In our day, it seems like we place so much importance on possessing the best of things and less emphasis on growing a strong family.  In the end, what difference does it make if we have a hardwood floor or linoleum?  I wouldn’t want to have an outhouse…  let’s not get nuts!

I miss that farm in Oklahoma…  I felt so safe and secure there in that squeaky bed with Granny’s quilt tucked around me.  It gives me such comfort to know that Grandpa, Granny, mom and dad are in heaven waiting for me.

Happy Anniversary in heaven, Grandpa & Granny!!!

They are with Jesus, and one day I’ll join them.  Maybe I could have that squeaky bed and one of Granny’s quilts in my mansion.  I may not need it since there is no night there and I won’t get tired.  Hmm…  I have to re-think that, don’t I?  Wink!  😉

 

 

DAY TRIPPIN’ AROUND KANSAS

DAY TRIPPIN' AROUND KANSAS

I know to people outside of Kansas this may seem a little silly…  but we get excited about the state flower…  the SUNFLOWER!

I LOVE KANSAS

FARMER TED'S SUNFLOWERS (1st week of September)

Early September in Kansas is pretty amazing!  There is a field of sunflowers about 3 hours northeast of Wichita – and we just got word that they now have ONE MILLION sunflowers in their field – and what a sight it is!  The farmer’s wife posted on her facebook page that on September 5th the flowers were wide open.  This is how Kansans know that autumn is around the corner!  They only stay open for two weeks.  They don’t stay open long, so it’s important to go see them right away – or you’ll miss them.  We didn’t get to the field until the 10th of September, and sadly, the rain came the night before, so the sunflowers looked a little sad.  Their little heads were bowed.  😦

IMG_1024
Muddy field and heads bowed low…

My Scrapbook-screenshot

Sunflower Panoramic (1)
Muddy field and heads bowed low…

https://www.facebook.com/GrinterFarms

Visitors call it the “sea of sunflowers”.  Farmer Ted Grinter has been growing sunflowers for almost 30 years. More than 10,000 visitors came last year.  I get a kick out of reading posts from the farmer’s wife – she is so funny!  She wants to make sure we know that there are no restrooms (apparently, she’s been asked that a few times through the years).  😉

IMG_1020
Muddy field and heads bowed low…

She also said that they are a row crop farm that just happens to grow a few sunflowers.  A few?  Yeah – one million!  But sunflowers are the essence of Kansas.  They are the Kansas state flower.  We wake up in September – the sunflowers brighten our wit and give us energy!

IMG_1030
Muddy field and heads bowed low…

And guess what?  Kris, farmer Ted’s wife – has a blog!  Check it out:

http://krisgrinter.blogspot.com/

May God bless the one who made this You Tube video!  It’s amazing.  Grab a cup of coffee and take a tour of the sunflower field for yourself.

https://youtu.be/EtoMQSrDrcI

It was an amazing trip!  Soon we will go to the State Fair eating Pronto Pups, but that’s for another blog post.  Now…  be honest, don’t you wish you lived in Kansas???  Wink!  😉

 

 

 

LIFE ON THE FARM

TL LIFE ON THE FARM

FARM COMFORT
2014 is the year of the family farm. There are still a few of them around, but as generations die off, fewer people are interested in carrying on the traditions on the family farm. I’m thankful for the small family farms. They are the backbone of our country!

Although my family members are happy in heaven, my mind goes back to a time when they were all very much alive and well on planet earth.

I suppose it’s because Spring has arrived. The jonquils are blooming and so are my allergies! These subtle signs trigger memories of the past and I have no choice but to re-live them! They are happy memories and I treasure them so very much.

Every year around my birthday, we made a special trip to grandpa Frank & granny LaVella’s farm in Oklahoma. I looked forward to it because I always got to ride my horse, Ol’ Blue, a Palomino with the prettiest blue eyes! Granny LaVella made my favorite meals and you can be sure we ate three squares! We went back home to Wichita with some extra pounds, but preparing meals was granny’s way of showing love for her family.

There were chores to be done and conversations to be engaged in. We talked about everything in my family from the weather (farmers are great at talking about the weather) to the newest feed available for the stock, to the latest project that granny LaVella had going on. She was always doing something for somebody. She knitted little caps and crocheted booties for every baby in their community, I think!

It’s funny how the senses can take you back in time. The bed I slept in on the farm was an old metal spring bed that was probably an antique back then! Every time I moved that thing made the most unusual noise. I especially enjoyed being wrapped up in one of granny’s quilts. I always felt so safe and secure all snuggled up.

The only real problem was if I had to visit the outhouse. I made sure I didn’t drink anything before bedtime because even though I felt safe indoors, venturing out at night to an outhouse is a real experience – one I tried to avoid as much as possible.

I’m thankful to God for precious memories of childhood. I pray that I never lose them. I’m thankful that spring has finally arrived. Peace to you today! ❤