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The Way Back Machine

February 20, 2012

Winter is a good time to do spring cleaning…and get rid of stuff or take a hike down memory lane while scanning old photos and ephemera.

Randy.  1982

My brother’s rescue Aussie, Randy.  Notice anything funny about him?

9.5 cords shake bolts.  1984

A load of Western Red Cedar shake bolts headed to the mill.  All these bolts were cut from old growth salvage logs, either windfalls or from old corduroy skid roads.


What did bloggers do 30 years ago?  They recorded minutiae in little books.  Or at least this one did.


Thirty years ago it looked like I was propagating dwarf conifers, and loading cows to take to the “yard” on Sunday for the Monday Sale.  2.4 inches of rain, but despite that I thought it was a nice day.  My best guess would be that it was a warm rain like we had today –  50°F and blustery.

Just thumbing through the  AT-A-GLANCE other important entries read just as interesting.

December 29, 1981   Brought cows home.   We rented a farm down the road and drove the cows the mile and one half each way, spring and winter.

February 23, 1982  Made 3 batches of soap. 

March 29, 1982  Walked the block.  Palmer’s balls fell off.    The block is a loop road near here, 4.5 miles around, and Palmer became a steer.  In my cheerio days…

May 6, 1982  Rotovated, planted, sunny.

June 5th, 1982  Bought a calf at Meadowland, $65.00, Cecil.  He turned out to be a big gentle giant, a sweet Holstein, I still have his horns.

June 24, 1982  Don and Sam brought the Guernsey calf, $25.00, 3 or 4 days old.  Myra.  This post shows Myra as a baby and all grown up.  Funny, a bull calf cost me more than my sweet Guernsey girl.

July 21, 1982  Hauled hay, started big ram for garden. 

September 13, 1982   Storm from the east, two rainbows.

October 16, 1982  Butchered two of Johnny’s cows.  We had a neighbor whose cows always got in with ours, and rather than try to separate them and haul them home, he would sell them as butchering beef and just shoot them…

October 31, 1982   Made 9 gallons of Graventstein cider.

I didn’t write something down everyday, lots of entries that just say volumes with one word:  fence, tamped posts, bees, got wood, cuttings, twin bulls, congested bag.  Just the everyday scribblings of a day in the life of a farmstead.

And the funniest thing I ran across in my keepsake box was this letter and newspaper clipping that my mom had saved.


That’s me with a bike I won in a coloring contest.  I remember that day and that awful dress with the scratchy sewn in slip!  I went to the bank the other day and parked right where that photo was taken so long ago.  The bike and the dry goods store are no longer,  but my memories still linger.

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24 Comments leave one →
  1. Sheila Z permalink
    February 20, 2012 9:54 pm

    Randy the 3 legged dog, was that an accident of birth or life?

    • February 20, 2012 9:58 pm

      Sheila, life unfortunately. He hit a car, I know sounds backwards, but he was crossing the road to hitch a ride in the pickup and the neighbor was going to work, he ran straight into her car. Good vet, vibrant dog, it happened when he was 1 1/2 and he lived to 17.

  2. February 20, 2012 10:03 pm

    A remarkable post. A treasure!

  3. February 20, 2012 10:09 pm

    seventeen! wow! I could have stood having Rufus around for another four years. I guess not getting around so much might actually be good for a dog.

    That was a fun trip down memory lane. thanks for taking us with you.

    • February 20, 2012 10:25 pm

      Paula, actually he got around quite well like a before. My brother lived a mile away and Randy preferred to run through the woods to get to our house, twice a day. It never really slowed him down at all except the first month after he was hurt. The vet left his leg on and we did physical therapy for some time, but the feeling never did return, so he amputated the leg at the shoulder. He would try to shake with his phantom leg…and spent most of his leisure time on top of the fuel tank in the back of my brother’s pickup. He was a proud dog, never really asking for help, when he got so stoveup at 15 that he couldn’t get in the pickup by himself, he just never went near it again. He knew. He was a magnificent dog, I never could understand how his previous owners could have abused him.

      Sorry about your Rufus, no matter how long we have them, it always seems to soon when they go. :(

  4. February 20, 2012 11:57 pm

    My husband grew up with an Aussie named Freckles who was a total spaz. UNTIL she lost a leg. She was shot (we don’t know if it was accidental or malicious) and lost a front leg which slowed her down to a perfect speed, weird as that sounds. She was such a love. <3

    I also saw my neighbor's cat hit a car once. He bolted into the street and ran directly into the hubcap of a passing car. THWONG! He was a little dopey before that, but after – hooboy!

  5. February 21, 2012 5:17 am

    What a great post… LOVED it!

  6. February 21, 2012 5:24 am

    What a wonderful post and definitely a wonderful walk down memory lane. Oh goodness we used to go out and find those cedar logs and cut those shake blocks on weekends. One year we even did a helicopter fly out to a landing where we got a semi load. That was a LOT of work. Your brother’s dog is/was a beauty. Love the picture of you with your bike. I hated dresses too. Hope your week is a good one.
    Maura :)

    • February 21, 2012 6:52 am

      Maura, thank you. You’re not kidding, the splitting was a job. We did the helicopter thing too, lots of steep terrain. Amazing wood, 40 rings to the inch!

      Gah,that dress was a torture device for sure, funny I remember that but not what I colored for the contest :p

  7. February 21, 2012 5:39 am

    June 18th, 1965—my birthday! :-)

  8. February 21, 2012 7:10 am

    I’ve been reading your log for around 2 years I think. Many, many good posts. This one I loved. Can’t put my finger on it, but it really spoke to me. Thanks.

  9. Attila permalink
    February 21, 2012 8:14 am

    Your 3-legged dog reminded me of a wire haired terrier that lived on one of the routes we used to take pony-trekkers. He would lay in his driveway, hiding the fact that his right hind leg was missing, and when the horses went past he would leap up and start barking, chasing us a way down the road. (Horses were used to him and barely batted an eyelid.) I loved hearing the startled reactions from the riders; some of the adults would think they’d been drinking too much!

  10. February 21, 2012 8:17 am

    This was a very nice post. I really enjoyed it.

  11. Lucy permalink
    February 21, 2012 12:09 pm

    My DIL had a tripod dog for many years. Not the brightest creature, she made a trip through the cut-ditioner. Lost part of her tail too.

    We just moved our “office” to a recently vacated bedroom and in the process I have found many forgotten things, including one of those pocket sized At-A-Glance books from 1994!

  12. February 22, 2012 2:36 am

    I’m impressed that you remember so many details about your notes after so many years. How long did you keep your journals for?

    Isn’t it amazing how much you can actually express through touch-typing rather than manual writing? Though it does worry me that some people can barely write these days…take my husband, he always asks me to write addresses on envelopes since no one can read his Kindergarden chicken scratch scribbles ;)

    • February 22, 2012 5:26 am

      Tanya, I kept those journals only for about 5 years, they seemed so unimportant at the time, but I sure like looking back and reading the funny notations. Many things have changed, no more stockyards nearby, logging is just about shut down, and people have died. My memories of that year seem like yesterday, hard to believe it was 30 years ago!

      Yes, oh my gosh, word processors compared even to a manual typewriter! My cursive has suffered terribly…I have to be very careful when I write, and most of the time I fall back on printing since it is much more legible!

  13. jeannette permalink
    February 23, 2012 6:15 pm

    i love your daily one-word messages in the bottle from the past. thanks for sharing them, and the pictures too, with us.

  14. Janet permalink
    February 24, 2012 11:28 am

    what neat memories. Love the pic of you with your bike! My daughter hates scratchy clothing of any kind. She would have hated that dress with a passion! Interesting to read about the prices of calves etc.

  15. February 24, 2012 11:53 am

    I watched a pug run right into a car yesterday while out working. It chased my truck, I managed to avoid it, chased a rig he avoided it…and so ran straight into the side pannel on a car, litterally. He jumped straight up into the car. I am not sure if he lived through the experience but I was astonished.

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