Wednesday, November 30, 2011

T'was The Night Before December 1st.

Twas the night before December first...

It's actually the afternoon before...

I've got nothing "Christmasy" done here.  Sure I'm making Christmas stuff, but none of it stays here.  I've got Christmas music on constantly, I've planned out Big D's present, I even did some Cyber Monday shopping.  This should count for something, right?

But now what?

I need to do so much more.
  • I already told the kids we weren't putting up the tree til mid December that buys me some time..  Believe me, with little hands we learned early on. 
  • I also have to plan the "production we call Christmas"  here.  We have elves that watch naughty kids etc.  You know what I mean.
  • I have to bake and send.
  • Write the Christmas letter
  • Send out 175 Christmas cards.
  • Send out 175 Christmas cards.  (That deserved two lines)
  • Clean house, no I mean really clean.  Under beds and stuff. YUK!
  • Have a budget ( I know, I'm laughing too)
  • Wrap and hide.  Wrap and hide. Be like my mom and forget that I had another present for a kid that's still in hiding. "Oops! Give me that crinkled up wrapping paper that Jessica is sucking on.  I forgot to wrap another present for Cody. YES I know we are around the tree opening! Play with what you have and I'll be right back," I hiss at Big D and family, take my frazzled self into the seclusion of my bedroom to start digging. 
  • Still keep blogging - as much as I can.

With that said, on the way back to her dads on Sunday, my daughter Ash and I were discussing my blog. For being 12, she's a mastermind of creativity.  We came up with this:

Each day I should come up with a memory to share, as well as telling my readers what a Fairchild Farmgirl asks for Christmas from her family.  I do come up with some crazy stuff, but I assure you, just like a little kid in a toy store;

"I could use everything! I just want it, K!?!"

I'm also going to list a lesser known charity each day to shed some light on other foundations, you know, in case you are in a giving mood.  My blog entries will not only be a feast for the reader's mind, but you'll learn a lot and it'll be good for your heart and funny bone. 

I know I'm a dork.  But it's Christmas and you aren't allowed to hate or call names during this season or your gonna get dirt wrapped up from Santa, so you have to love me.  Na na na boo boo!

Fairchild Farmgirl

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

An Update

So, as I was thinking about what I was going to write about tonight I got a little worried. 

"I'm not doing anything interesting lately...just being same old me."

Interesting....hmmm....let us see...we sorted and loaded cattle yesterday.  That was a little interesting.  I was in the middle of a pen of 150 cows with 30 of them being frisky bulls.  GAME ON.

It was the weather; cool, breezy, and morning.  A sure fire recipe for horny bulls...

There I stood in a sea of testosterone...except here's the funny...they're all banded.

There was bulls fighting, pawing and flinging poop up higher than I am tall (I was smart this time and wore my old sweatshirt) bellering and falling on their front knees and rubbing their big necks in the mud showing off.  Some of them trying to rush me (that's what I call it when they run at you and stop about 3 yards away from ya). 

Some day I'm going to wear a helmet cam.  That way I can get pics for you.  Or maybe I'll put it on Facebook when we're going to sort and I'll make a bunch of popcorn and you all can sit in and watch.

As big and scary as some of them try to be, I'd rather be in a pen of 30 of those ding-a-lings than 30 cows off the range.  Most bulls are like big dogs, their bark is worse than their bite.  Cows on the other hand...ugh!


That's not what the Farmgirl is going to talk about tonight. 

I'm getting creative for Christmas. 

Does anyone else enjoy making Christmas gifts?  I really get into the old fashioned gift giving idea, I think most people enjoy getting something that's really made well..  Some of the time making stuff is a necessary thing.    Especially when you have a some great people in your life, but you know that all your money has to go for gifts for your kids and bills. 

A few years ago we made bread platters out of cottonwood burls.  I walked past those big old trees that had their middles burned out in our grove fire, and I thought that someday I was going to do something with them.  The next year we took some of the trees and made magazine racks.   Ron even used the chainsaws to shape and grind them.  It was cool.  I love doing projects like that together. 

Well, this year I had no idea what I was going to do.  Then it dawned on me.  I was going to make grapevine wreaths.  I wanted to make a little more money off the grapes.  I got to work. 

I didn't know what I could use to decorate them.  I walked in the woods and found great stuff to be used for Fall wreaths, but nothing for winter Christmas wreaths.  Until I walked down to get the mail, right past the corn stalk bales. 

I could figure out how to make a poinsettia out of a corn husk right? 

Then the stakes got higher.  I was not going to make a single wreath the same. 

I haven't yet. 

Challenge me.  Have me make you something that you can't find in the stores.  I'm good at that! =)  I'm selling each wreath for $40.  If it needs to be shipped you pay the shipping.  I've already sold a few and it's my goal to raise my Christmas money this year. 

Go Me!
Fairchild "I'm my own cheerleader" Farmgirl

Friday, November 25, 2011

Friday Shorty - Black Friday

Black Friday to us means hauling manure.  Happy shopping as we are moving poop!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Last Day Of Vacation - Back To The Hacenda

Can you believe that we had to leave this?Yep, Sunday we were headed back to the grind.  The babysitter threatened us that we BETTER come back.  No, she's a sweetie and we are grateful for her.

You know that you are Sally!

Next year we want to take a week long vacation and bring her along with all eight of the kids.  She's game.  Lucky for us, she's fun.  It'd be a blast. 

We have to save up. =)

Can you see our hotel nestled on the hill?  Good bye peace and quiet!

We got home at about 6PM...

 Hello eight kids screaming, giggling, and excited to see us.   I wouldn't have it any other way. 

Happy Thanksgiving.  I'm thankful for those eight kids that make my life great, Big D, a warm house and all friends.

Fairchild Famgirl

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

2nd Day of Vacation - Buffalo Sale!

Heh?  A bison sale?  What the heck? I know....were cattle and hog people.  But if there was a snail show, I would have suggested it.  As long as we were out of Dodge, it was in the Black Hills and there was a nice hotel. 

So anyway, the night before had terrible weather from Hermosa to Deadwood and beyond.  Our hotel, the Deadwood Lodge is on a "mountain" and when we finally got to the driveway, there was people having to turn around mid road and start again. 

Needless to say it was stressful. 

Until we got in the hotel. 

Awesome place.

Awesome employees.  These are people that you could just sit and chat with.  They were fun!  They were so customer service oriented it was amazing.

Here's a link.

Check it out, it's gorgeous. 

My camera takes unbelievable crappy photos, but this is the lobby floor.  There's beautiful photography, western leather furniture and accents.  The rooms were just as beautiful. 

So after we ate a fabulous breakfast (at the hotel they have 2 restaurants, a gym, a casino etc.  If I would have looked closer I'm sure I would have seen a partridge in a pear tree).  We were off to Custer Sate Park.  We were warned about the bad roads, but holy cow the roads really were terrible.  Big D had told me that if I squeezed the door handle anymore it might come off.  He also asked about my pretend break and how that was holding up. 

Let me tell you, I thought I'd put my foot through the floor I was so scared!  I tried to fiddle with my camera so as not to look down into the valleys as we got higher and higher up (where was this damn sale anyway?)

Finally! They had the best set up...D and I talked about wanting their chute system...hey, cull cows are just as mean as a bison! =)  Ron said he went there to see something get wrecked. 

It turns out that we are the only ones with crappy working equipment.  He was disappointed.  No, it was really cool to see how they handled them and we got a few tips for working our own stock here at the farm.

After the sale, we went into Rapid to see Prairie's Edge  the neatest place that held so much art, furnishings, etc.  You gotta see it!  Then we headed down the street to a little shop called Reflections Gallery.  They had the most gorgeous things to buy.  I knew I was going to get something...but what?

Here it is...this big basket made out of Dogwood, bark, deer antler, pheasant feathers and a rabbit pelt.  We both have to agree on our buy, I actually picked out a smaller one, but Ron wanted this...who was I to say no? =)  The gallery is called Reflections gallery of South Dakota.  Here's the link:

Then downtown Deadwood, where here again we were pleasantly surprised.  Usually we stay in Deadwood to go to our favorite restaurant (which isn't our favorite anymore, now its the Deadwood Grille)  but we hang out in Keystone and Hill City.  I mean, you see one slot machine and you've seen them all.  Right?  For us anyway because we aren't gamblers. 

When going out to Deadwood the first time we were so upset to see a town with so much history, laden with gambling and nothing to show but a sign hanging here and there about what happened to a certain building.  BUT...the last time that changed when we went to the Adam's House Museum and saw some great stuff!  I know gambling had saved Deadwood's life in the past, but there is so much more to that town or at least there could be. 

The one thing that I was THRILLED about was when we went downtown this last time was an art gallery!  Woohoo!  They had turned it into a strip mall kind of (can't remember what the name of the building was) there was a candy shop, a gift shop, restaurant, casino and the gallery upstairs.  It's called The Spotted Pony (it only holds local art.)  Her email is:  her name is  Karen  Mahoney and she does some great photography herself. In fact, I want a large gallery wrap photo of a buffalo.   Here's the general store link on the first floor and they have some great stuff too:

So anyway, this spot was cool!  Amidst the junk (gift) shops here was this place that was trendy, artsy, CLEAN, with a real uptown feel.  Loved it.

Then back to our hotel for a great dinner, (so great in fact it was exactly what we had the night before!).  This was the dinner salad.  Candied walnuts, green apples, bacon and blue cheese on a butter lettuce wedge.

This was the main course, Asiago mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus and bacon wrapped buffalo tenderloin.  It brought tears to my eyes to know that I was finished eating. 


Until tomorrow,

Fairchild "laying on the bed to zip my jeans" Farmgirl

Monday, November 21, 2011

First Day Of Vacation - South Dakota Treasures

I thought for sure I was going to blog from the road.  Then, about ten miles from our house on our way out I looked at Ron and noted that was not going to touch a computer for the weekend.  This was going to be a break from everything.   So off we were, out into the great state of South Dakota.

The above picture is taken as you go past Chamberlain.  This is my favorite or almost favorite part,where you see the landscape start to change, that's when I feel we are really on vacation.  Ron and I got to talk alot on our trip, since we feel like we just can't at home. 

I don't know why we feel we can't. 

I mean, doesn't everyone have meaningful conversations while holding 3 kids and changing a diaper or when your being run over by a cow while trying to fix your hot shot...isn't the conversation always sweet and thoughtful? =)

Look away if you must, but we did a lot of this...

Eegads!  Don't you know what happens when this starts? =) After 7 years, were still nerdy lovebirds..  Or Ron stays because child support will kill him. 

The first stay of our trip was very special to me.   Every time we go out to the hills, I always mention to Big D that I want to "get off the trail" and take some back roads. This time we did and I got to meet a great lady that I have been corresponding on and off for about a year. She is a Lakota Indian on the Pine Ridge Reservation in Southwest South Dakota. She works for the Sacred Heart Catholic Church as a secretary as well as many other jobs that she handles effortlessly throughout their church.  

Never having been on a reservation, it was something to see.  Ron and I are both history buffs and love all the stories of the Plains Indian Wars (both sides) as well as Native American history.  We visited the Rosebud first where I sent Ron and Cody on a turkey hunt this spring. 

Then on to the Pine Ridge to meet up with my friend, Angie. 

I wanted to take more pictures.  I was in awe of what I saw and didn't even think of it.  Both reservations were amazing places.  I have a bunch of words to describe  them, especially the Pine Ridge...

Vast, sad, beautiful, broken, wondrous, proud, dilapidated, sacred....

What an experience.  If you have the time, google the Pine Ridge, better yet, visit.  Also, if you are on Facebook, like Sacred Heart Church Pine Ridge. 

What's neat about Angie is she really takes care of her community.  While we were there, someone came in for a food donation and with a "no-nonsense" approach, she directed him to where he needed to go (they have a stocked food shelf there).  Then she began showing us around.  She has a great attitude and didn't make anybody feel out of place.  We met the lay person as well as his grand kids. Charles was a super guy. 

Ron and I went there to donate three garbage size bags of clothes, mostly baby stuff, which she said was in high demand.  The neat thing is this:  their church puts a minimal price on things (unless it's for a foster care situation) that way, this society is learning that even though a piece of clothing is .10 for example, they are paying money and feeling pride because they bought it for themselves and are taking care of their family. 

That's cool. 

Unfortunately she brought us to a corner where there was a pile of clothes that weren't fit for anyone to wear.  It's a shame that people would give stuff that was so dirty and ripped that it wasn't wearable.  She also mentioned a time where they got a load of left hand gloves.  What?  She laughed and said, "what, are we supposed to put our other hand in our pockets?"  Too bad my sister Sarah didn't know about this, she would've went down there and showed them how to make glove rooster stuffed animals.  =)

Big D and I left there feeling warm, accepted and a feeling of, "what could we do to help them out more?" 

We talked all the way up to Deadwood about the reservation, the hope you felt in that church, the prejustices that they face, etc.  I had someone ask me why I cared about them so much, saying that they are just lazy and drunks, etc. 

I care so much because they are people just like you and me.  They live in extreme poverty the way I did before my parents moved us to town.  They are a  proud people, where a great many are finding ways to climb to independence and not be dependent on others. As once a single mother I understand that.  After all, how far would a carpenter get building a house with no tools?  In a sense they have no tools and that's what they need. 

It is a whole other world there and I wish more people would visit it.  Not only to see that people right in our own backyard need help, but experience the beauty, pride and hope that abounds there. 

If you have anything to send them or would like to learn more about them, you can send an email or mail to:
Sacred Heart Church
State Hwy 18
Pine Ridge, SD 57770

Here's what I'm doing.  The first five people that send a $30+ gift card to Walmart or Target for the Catholic Church to the address above with a note that tells Angie to let me know who did it, I will make them one of my Christmas wreaths for free. 

Thank you and open your eyes and heart to people, no matter what.  It's a great feeling.
Fairchild Farmgirl


Thursday, November 17, 2011

We're Outta Here

500 or so bales are here, hay, straw and corn stalks.

Our Fairchild Pumpkin Patch is done and it was so much fun!  Thank you to the community for coming out.

The new greenhouse is going up (it should have been up a month ago but whose counting days?)  We need to have it up in the next 2 weeks.

All that black color is cows, so that shows you the feedlot is full.  Can I hear an "Amen"? =)

Grapes are done. 

There's only about 15 pigs left, most of them we will just bring down to the buying station.

Oh, enough with the pictures!  We finally got enough stuff done to where we can go on vacation! 

Picture it...

Ron and I ...the open road. 

In our coveralls. 

No we aren't on motorcycles, we're going to the buffalo auction at Custer State Park.  We knew we needed to go somewhere.  Especially when Ron told the bank teller that he talks to her more than me. 

If you think about it, that may be a good thing. 

Ron is so game with any weird crazy idea that I have.  One day I mentioned the Black Hills and he was all about it.  Now I'm just trying to mercifully scrub the hog poop out of my nails and try to look somewhat presentable.  Good thing I can still take my barn boots, I won't feel like a fish out of water. 

I may blog from the road.  I promise not to post Ron letting his hair down. 


Tavelin' Fairchild Farmgirl

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Well...I Guess We'll Have To Hook Up.

As we've all noticed, it's gotten pretty cold outside lately.  So we've closed the book on a lot of things on our farm, but we've opened a few too.  One in particular is mating. 

Yup...I said it. 

Don't get all excited...

Ron and I...well we usually are done in September.

 I'm so kidding. 

I needed to make an article about "duck sex" funnier than what it really is.  Actually, the act between two ducks is hysterical.  I watch it take place with the oddest of pairings on the farm through my kitchen window while I do the morning dishes.

Two things...who says being a farm wife isn't exciting and who needs America's Funniest Home Videos?

By the way, it happens on or near my front porch, like clock work around eightish every morning. 

Here's the drake right here.  The green headed duck with the curled up tail feather.  I call him Sean Connery, he certainly has an ere of sophistication about him, eh?

Here's the female.  I call her Edith from All In The Family.  For being so prim an fancy looking, she's a ding dong.  Do you notice the pom pom of feathers on the back of her head? 

Here's where the funny comes in. 

Every morning, around eightish said female is getting out of the dog's water dish after her morning bath.  Sean Connery duck sneaks up on her, jumps on her back and (this is something to see) grabs a hold of her pom pom and tries know.  He mounts her but keeps falling off either side, still holding onto her pom pom. 

After a few minutes of climbing, falling, climbing, feather pulling, head pulling, trying to hold on for dear life with his beak, it's done. Then he lays down next to her.  He never messes with the other females, just her.  I'm thinking if they all had pom poms he'd be a busy guy. 

This is the meanest goose around that frightens little children, cats and even dog at times.  He's always milling around with the ducks like a protection dog.

I think he sees me watching the whole affair some mornings and shoots me a look as if to say, "shows over, get your damn dishes done.  I'm sure it's not pretty in your bedroom either."

"I really need a vacation when the goose starts shaming me"
Fairchild Farmgirl

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Farmer Wife Workout

So...I'm chubby and this is a hard pill to swallow.  I don't say fat because that sounds hopeless.  Chubby still sounds like I have a chance at losing weight.  Even if I've been on this weight loss roller coaster for 20+ years. 

When I became Mrs. Fairchild I packed on 40 pounds and Mr. Fairchild lost 40 pounds.  Apparently I found every single last one of his. AND, because he started eating broccoli.  AND because I had to start eating cheese on it so everybody else would eat it.

Also my absolute love of cooking doesn't help either.  Nor does my love of dairy.  Ice cream rocks. 

The "ah ha" moment happened recently when I was trying to zip my pants by laying on the bed.  Maggie thought I was playing a game and she laid on the bed too. But I stopped because I didn't want her to do the "roll off the bed" like I have to.  She'd probably fall off and break her arm. 
So I figured I should start working out.  Today I chased cattle. Here I'm thinking, "the weight should be peeling off my body by running away from these cattle."  Especially when Ron climbed the fence and said, "get in there and chase them up!"  I finally realized one good thing, I won't die of obesity, only fright.  One of these days my body will be smeared against the tin on the side of the feedlot.  My headstone will read, "At least #40  didn't get hurt.  She had Suzanne to cushion her pummel."

I also started a workout tape at naptime, but it wasn't fun anymore after I was trying to march in place and "grapevined left" right onto a small lincoln log.  Ouch!

Now, Big D and I are going on vacation at the end of the week.   It's Monday today and I plan on losing 50 pounds by Friday. 
Okay, that's not realistic. 

I'll safely try for 30.  Maybe I'll be attacked by the cougar roaming around here and he'll eat my fat thighs and leave the rest of me to wear the same pants I did in high school. 


"I can find a rainbow in everything" Fairchild Farmgirl

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Boy That Misses His Mark

I bet you thought that I was going to talk about Cody during these few weeks of deer hunting...

No...I'm going to discuss the perils and pitfalls of raising a little boy during potty training.  Just look at that face.  Could you really get mad at those cheeks and that sweet little chin?  I find it hard.  Even in this picture I just want to kiss that little chin.

Okay....I'm lying.  It gets easier day by day.  He's a wild man.  A peeing wild man.  He seldom lifts the seat and this morning, all blurry-eyed from my five precious hours of uninterrupted sleep I sat down in...(are you ready fro this?)....his pee. 


I'm on a "bottle of Lysol" a week habit, trying to get the pee smell out of my bathroom and it's not working.  I never had this problem in the summer because just like a well trained pup, he would ONLY pee outside.  Even if I begged him to pee in our bathroom.  He'd wake up in the morning, then from his room to the great outdoors ( usually the front step), only to come back in and ask what was for breakfast. 

Unless it was storming outside.  Then he reluctantly went on the toilet.  That was after standing at the door crying waiting for the thunder to pass.  When it was almost peeing his pants time, he gave up and went to the potty. 

No I'm wishing for warmer weather and a special on Lysol at the store.


Fairchild "Always Check The Toilet Seat Before You Sit Down" Farmgirl

Sunday, November 6, 2011

What You Want vs What You Can Have

Yesterday, Kara and I went down to the cities and had a lot of fun. We met Ash, her grandma, my friend Beth and her daughter Malory for lunch, then we took Ash with us and headed to my little sister's baby shower. 

I don't think I ever looked that cute pregnant.  My cousin Erica was there and they are due around the same time.  Both adorable. 

I even got to meet my little brother's girlfriend.  It was a great time. 

As hard as it was, I stuck to my diet.  I only screwed up a few times on my diet, I was proud.  I needed those few extra calories to help my brain figure out where I was when I got lost in Minneapolis 4 or so times.

After the shower, I spent a little bit of time with my siblings before I hit the road to head for home.  I was already excited to get closer to home and follow a oversized tractor and digger and not locked into a swarm of cars going who knows where (really, who knows where I was going...I was lost half the trip).

In Robbinsdale, we spotted an Old Navy in a complex of stores and my travel buddy said that we "just had to stop".  I was sure that my rural gravel hadn't ever graced the sides of the Mercedes parked next to our 2000 GMC pickup covered in it.  I actually wanted to wipe some cow poop off the bottom of my door and put in on the fender of the princess automobile in the next parking spot, but then I thought that I'd be arrested for a terrorist act or something so I thought,  "even though it would be funny at our place (cow poop is the source of many a good time here) it wouldn't be here".  So I kept on moving.

We got in the store and I have to admit, there was a lot of great stuff in there.  For me.  Sure for my kids, I looked at cute dresses for them, then put them back on the rack.  Knowing them, they'd love them too but they'd sneak out of the house while wearing them to chase the geese, pick up kittens or try to tame hogs in them and they'd be nothing but a stain in an instance. By the way, I speak from experience...hogs don't tame easy.

I never buy stuff for me.  It's a mom thing.  You take care of others first.  Mom comes last (sometimes even after the dog)...but in this non-Walmart store there was so many things that I liked!  When you live out here and you have eight's Walmart. (We have a love hate relationship, Walmart and I.)

As I was lured to an end cap with pretty scarves and sweaters, I thought of how I haven't bought a sweater since I was pregnant with Grace.  As I touched my favorite one, I remebered that I just bought Kara a pair of jeans earlier.  Oh well.  Someday.  After all, I have a transmission for my Yukon to buy. 

THEN I remembered my socks didn't match when I took off my boots at the shower and with my sister Jenn laughing at me, Ash yelled, "HEY!  That polka dotted one is mine!"  So I bought myself a few pair of socks and a pair of jeans.  I felt like I had won the lottery. 

Then the phone the phone rang.  "Hey guess what?  I lost reverse in the green pickup.  It needs a new tranny.  See you when you get home."


So I got in the last vehicle that we owned that worked and headed for home.  It wasn't the Mercedes next to where I was pulling out of, but it's a good one all the same.  After all, mine could haul hay and a ram sheep.  It can also push a Webb bull back in a feedlot pen with me safely inside it.  I don't suggest pushing a bull from the WEBB cattle company in on foot. 

With the cities in my tail lights and farm country in my left headlight (the right one just went out) we stopped at McDonalds for supper and laughed all the way home.  Especially about how I had to put oil in at Glencoe and didn't use a funnel and old trusty smoked like it was going to light up.

You know what? It's always nice to visit...even nicer to come home. Even to all this crap.

The Thankful Fairchild Farmgirl


Friday, November 4, 2011

Cute Stuff

So in the morning Big D is taking Cody deer hunting, while Ash, Kara and I get to go down to Minneapolis to my little sister' baby shower.  YES!

The little cutie pictured above was watching me work on Sarah's present this morning when she asked,

"Mom, when are you leaving for Sarah's baby wash?"

I thought it was cute.  Have a great weekend!
Fairchild Farmgirl