Thursday, May 3, 2012

Neighbor Girls

I grew up on a dairy farm here in NW Wisconsin, about 8 miles from where we now live. Eventually I married the neighbor boy and after living in Arizona for a short time, we came back and settled in the area.

Lots of water has gone under that bridge.

 Holstein Heifers resting in the pasture

I remember that even as a kid, there was a kind of security I felt because we lived on a farm. I'm sure my parents didn't feel the same sense of security as they were working long hours to make ends meet -  my dad working on the farm and my mom working away from home from the time I was 9 years old.  I'm pretty sure they didn't work that hard just because it was fun. But there was always something about owning land and barns and having all those big Holstein cows that made a child like me feel safe -  and gave me an affinity to the land that has never left me. I remember always thinking that the important thing was the land, rather than the house sitting on it. In reality, there is nothing romantic about the hard work of farming. 

Some people will never understand what I mean about the importance of the land. But years later I read O Pioneers! by Willa Cather and realized that she knew exactly how I felt.

 'Um, move over Lady. Three's a crowd!'

And here I am so many years later, still living in the country. My husband is a contractor and we rent out our tillable acres.. We've lots of space out here, plenty of room for kids to run and play and build forts when they were young, and a large vegetable garden that my daughter-in-law and son are going to share with us this year - and access to a creek and a woods. I love it.

Who can resist a face like that???

And, of course, we have plenty of yard to mow, weeds to pull, and burdock to try to eradicate. I'm thinking that goats would have been a good idea. But right now, my immediate problem is trying to figure out what to do about all the moles that seem to have migrated to our place over the past couple years. I don't want to set out poison because Bridger and Misty could get into it.

But the moles are really taking over our yard.

Do you have any good and pet-friendly ideas for getting rid of moles?

And I'm also wondering if you grew up in the city or in the country and how you felt about it.


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Yenta Mary said...

Born and bred in NYC - prissy city girl to the extreme! I can appreciate the peace and quiet of the country, though I don't get there very often; I'm in my glory when I get to just sit and enjoy a gorgeous garden like the one my neighbors had last summer. (Moved in the fall, have to plant my own now!) I thrive upon cities - the excitement, the abundance of things to do, the miles you can walk with new sights at practically each step, the energy, the food, the variety of people and cultures ... I need a "big city" fix now!

Eileen H said...

I'm here in the UK and I was born in England in the city of Manchester but moved to north Wales with my parents when I was a girl. I live on the coast and the beach is just a fifteen minute walk away, but walk the other direction and we have fields with sheep. I love to see the spring lambs with their mothers but of course they then go to slaughter for Welsh meat.
I love animals and not sure if I could cope with living on a farm.
I like my life just the way it is.

Your life sounds wonderful. I wish I knew a pet friendly way to get rid of your moles for you!

Anonymous said...

Good morning :)
That sounds lovely where you live, out on the country side. I grew up on the countryside in Sweden. My grandparents farm was next to us, and sometimes we helped out there. I loved it.
Have a lovely day my friend!
big hugs

Chatty Crone said...

Well I am sorry I don't know how to get rid of moles - we just got rid of a squirrel who has lived in our attic for over a year (and boy we tried everything).

But I may not know exactly about how you feel about land - but I feel very blessed and attached to my home. Feel so lucky to have it.

I'm a city girl but I love ready aabout farms and living on a farm.

Love, sandie

Unknown said...

You know I grew up in the Midwest and although we didn't live on a farm, we lived in a small town surrounded by farm land. A lot of my friends were farmers kids - land is so very important and I think so many of us get so wrapped up in our busy city lives we forget that. Personally, after living in a small farm community and living in the big city, I'd take the small town life any day!

Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

I'm a suburban girl :) No glitz of the big city and no quaintness of a small town, just good old retail franchise suburbia. I'd love to live on a farm, it seems like a great place to live & raise a family. Not easy, of course, but really, what in life that's worth having is easy?

Ruth Kelly said...

I had a split childhood. I lived in a small town in Idaho and spent a few years in the country with my grandparents - my grandfather owned the only store in the village but he raised 200 chickens so I learned to gather eggs, put feed down and one year I even painted the chicken coop which was rather large. Then we moved to larger cities but I still spent summers in the country.

cgammeter said...

I know exactly how you feel, only in my case, we had a 5 acre farm. Raised feeder pigs, shipped in, fed them, shipped em out. My father was a skilled tradesman, at Chrysler, my mother sewed and sold her wares. They had 4 slave Us girls did all the work on the farm, housework, barn cleaning, mowing, feeding, gardening, what the hell do I miss about that..... the security, like you.... Are you Norwegian, by any chance, too?

Mama Hen said...

I always wanted to live on a farm. I think that is why I bring Little Chick to the farms around here often and why I had her around horses so young. I love animals and I like being in nature. I understand what you are saying. I know that having a farm is a lot of work. I am sure your parents worked really hard to keep things running. It is lovely that you had such a great childhood. Have a great day!

Mama Hen

cgammeter said...

Oh yea, the moles, hose them out, if it's not going to affect your house foundation.
Mr. Nelson says to throw an 110 electrical current to the ground and when they come up, because they will, stomp'em. I'm surprised he did give me the "Caddy Shack" method to tell you.

Debra Hawkins said...

You know what is funny? My mom is a total farm girl and my aunt a city girl. My mom married a doctor and ended up living in the city and my aunt and vet and lives on the farm. It took them both awhile to get used to their new places. :)

Heide at ApronHistory said...

I am not sure if I am city or farm. The farming blood runs deep in our family and in spite of having city parents we all have a bit of the country in us.
Currently, it is city (which is becoming too big city-ish!)
Hopefully, some day it will be back to the country for us!

Lois Christensen said...

Oh that was a nice post! Enjoyed the pictures of the cows! How fun that you're still living, finally, in the same are you grew up! Would love to see pictures of your vegetable garden! Enjoy your day!

Cynthia said...

I am now a follwoer.


SImple and Serene Living said...

I grew up in a small town, although we owned a farm too. I loved my growing up years. It was wonderful to know so many of the people in the town and to be able to wander all over. I am not sure of a safe way to get rid of the moles. We had some in North Carolina, but they moved on over to the neighbor's yard :)

Judy S. said...

Hi Judy! Check out the song More Moles at!/id507675499 . It won't help you irradicate yours, but you will get a big laugh from the words. The only way that's worked for us wouldn't work with dogs....good luck; they're destructive little critters. We always loved visiting our Granpa's farm near Appleton. Those were fun days.

Unknown said...

I was born in the city limits, but moved to the country before I was 7. I love living in the country. Woods and fields is my middle name. Love the pics.
So cool. Great post!

Carla from The River said...

Great Post!
I grew up in the country. My parents are dairy farmers. I loved growing up on a farm and am thankful my parents still have the farm for the boys.

We live in town. I dream of living in the country!

Christa said...

I was raised in a small rural town in the south. My parents had cows, pigs, a horse or two, chickens, ducks, you name it. They always had a garden in the summer and fresh vegetables in the winter. I hated everything it! Couldn't stand going outside and wanted to get away as soon as humanly possible. When I did, I was gone for seven years. Guess where I am now? Two doors down from my parents. With goats, chickens, ducks, and a horse. As that old saying goes, "you can take the girl out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the girl." It's true. There's no place like home!

Anonymous said...

Hi Judy, those cow pics are so lovely! I grew up in town, Hubby and I have been on our homestead for about 11 years. I prefer the country!

Have a great weekend.

Rachel said...

I'm a city girl but I have to admit I enjoy visiting the country (my parents now live in a small town so I experience that whenever I go "home"). Maybe one of these days I'll invite myself up for a visit? Especially during the spring when all those pretty flowers are out! :)

I try not to think of cows as being too cute- I enjoy eating beef too much. :) I don't want to start getting too emotionally attached. :)


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