Monday, 22 September 2014

Twice Blessed

It happened to me again and I am feeling very blessed to have the opportunity to be published in The Chicken Soup Series of Books for a second time. As you may recall, the first time I received this honour was August 2013 when my story From Worker to Owner  was published in From Lemons to Lemonade.

The Farmers' Parade of Lights, is the title of my latest story. Books will be available for sale from me after the publication date of Oct 14, 2014. Because this is my second title with this amazing company, I am selling the books for $15.00 each (no tax). Normally, I would be selling them for $16.95( no tax), but everyone has been so supportive of my writing, that I would like to show my appreciation by selling my books at a lower price.

As a side note- this book is Canadian. Shop local and thank you for supporting Canadian writers.

Caroline Sealey aka The Overalled Story Teller

Monday, 25 August 2014

Keepers of the Land-Book Review

                                                  Keepers of the Land-Book Review

My grandkids gave me a copy of this book for a birthday gift this year. They know me too well.

Keepers of the Land is written by Carl Hiebert & Deb Cripps. The sub title of the book is A Celebration of Canadian Farmers. Published locally in 2007 by Gifts of Wings Publishing, Linwood, Ontario.

Inside the front cover is an animated map of Canada with farm related drawings, scattered from the east coast to the west coast.  Written on the front flap is," If you farm, you'll love this book. If you eat, you will be amazed by this book. If you care about the future, you must read this book."

The 168 pages of the book contain stunning photos of farms and farm families all across Canada. A short story about each farm accompanies the photos. Hiebert and Cripps begin their journey with Story #1  in Barriere, BC. The final story Cows and Quota, comes from Vermilion Bay, Ontario.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will display it proudly on my book shelf.

Thank you to Xaiden and Aria (my grandkids) for allowing me to enjoy Canadian farming across this vast country  I call home.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

The Brink

My passion seems odd
Bank barns get my nod

A camera's swift click
Seems to do the trick

A perfect shot,  I think
Brings me to the brink

The thrill of the find
History on my mind

Saturday, 19 July 2014

What happened?

What happened to the days when everyone knew the words to Old McDonald Had
A Farm? Children learned the names of all farm animals and what noises they made.
The days when milk came fresh from a cow and eggs were gathered  every morning.
 There was pride in meals, where everything on the table was produced on the farm.
Shop local wasn't a trend, it was the norm. Foodstuffs from other countries were
rare and a treat on special occasions.

Then things changed drastically. Children were taught that milk and eggs came from
 the grocery store. Most had never seen a cow or a chicken. A few learned that brown
cows gave chocolate milk and brown eggs were healthier than white eggs. Imported
foods came to grocery stores cheaper than locally grown or raised.

A revival has been seen in shopping locally. Education of non farm children and adults
 on where their food comes from, is on the rise. Consumers want to know where the
 food they are buying is grown or raised. Demand for  more locally grown products
is now the trend.

Will the trend continue? I hope its not a trend and shop local becomes the norm again.
Where neighbours support each other and people take pride in what they do.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Canada Day Eh!


Today is Canada Day and Canada is 147 years old. A local radio station has posted 147 reasons to like Canada. My photo shows a few of the reasons why I LOVE CANADA! There are so many, many, many more. I have so much to be thankful for living in this GREAT COUNTRY that I call HOME. Not just today but every day BE PROUD to be CANADIAN.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Tree Hide Away

With the beautiful spring weather outside, I have taken the opportunity to get back on my
 bicycle. Farther and faster into new territory, are the goals I have set until the snow flies

This hollowed out tree, I believe, was at one time, home to some of God's creatures. Now
 it is a place where teens can sneak out of the house, away from Mom and Dad and have
 their own little  fire. I'm sure other things are happening in the base of the tree but I see
 no evidence of it.

The rotting of the tree at the base caught my eye last year. As I approached the cave I
was cautious, expecting an animal of some sort to jump out at me. Thank goodness none
 did and I can enjoy the beauty carved out of this tree.

Bicycle riding, not only provides an opportunity to see new sites, it also provides exercise
 and fresh air. Oil up your chains, pump up your tires and escape into the great outdoors.
 Don't forget your camera!

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Final Rays

                                                        Final Rays

The setting sun casts its final rays of the day across the barn's face. A glorious spring
day, finished. Darkness, slowly creeps across the landscape.  Evening, a time for
 rest and reflection. Rejuvenation for the day next. Hope for days to follow.

Monday, 12 May 2014



As spring nears I get restless and my hands itch. The garden calls me to come and plant. Manure
 spread on the land, announces spring is in the air. The smell clears my lungs. Fresh cultivated
 soil smells, tickle my nose.  The rumble of tires from large farm equipment on asphalt,
 catches my attention. I wave to a neighbour.

My son works full-time at an off farm job. After hours he's a cash crop farmer. Spring came
 late for farmers this year. The push is on to get the land ready for seeding.

Knowing my son will put meals at the bottom of the "to do" list, I offer to bring him supper.
He's working local so I'm able to connect with him. Spreading manure is not the most glamorous job in farming, but I'll take any time I can spend with him.  (Really, I want to be in his position...
.a farmer). 

From the buddy seat of the tractor and the landing outside the cab, I watch my son load manure
into the spreader. The passion I see in his eyes for farming overwhelms me. Inside I'm bursting
 with pride.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Spring Lake

On my day off, I'm usually found searching for photo opps to write about in my blog. Today
 was no exception. My plans for todays blog was to find fields to photograph and show how
 far spring is progressing.

The top photo is on the left side of the road and the bottom photo on the right side of the same
 road. With some drying weather the field in the top photo will be ready for cultivating and
 planting. The field in the bottom photo was seeded in the fall and seedlings have emerged. It
 will be a long time before what I call "Spring Lake" dries up for the summer.

Normally at this time of year, the roar of tractor's engines can be heard in the night air until the
 wee hours of the morning. The harsh winter, late spring and plenty of moisture have delayed
 planting by a number of weeks.

 The sunshine and warmer days bring hope. Hope of a good year for farmers. Good weather, bountiful crops and decent prices.

Monday, 21 April 2014

I found winter in April

                                                                      Its Still Here

Winter is still here. It may feel 20C outside but winter is still hanging around on the back roads
of Mapleton Township. Its Easter Sunday, April 20, 2014, and I found winter. Exciting for me, but maybe not for you. There is a method to my madness. I LOVE WINTER.

The crunch of the snow beneath my boots is a sound I never tire of. On a -30C night I can see the
snow sparkling and when I breath in, my nostrils freeze shut. The air is crisp, clean and clear. I'm dressed in my insulated coveralls, favourite knitted sweater, big green boots, down filled mits, Farmers Feed Cities hat, Toronto Maple Leafs scarf and I'm HAPPY.

Really, I love all the seasons. Spring brings new beginnings. The birth of lambs, tulips poke their
heads out of the ground and the temperatures are cool to warm. Fall is harvest time. A time to reap
what you have sown. Combines glean through fields, leaves change from green to beautiful reds,
oranges and yellows, and God's creatures prepare for winter.

 Gardening, lawn cutting, walking and bicycling occupy a lot of my summer. A dip in a friends pool or pond keeps me refreshed. The HHH's and I are not compatible. Heat, Humidity and Haze I try to ignore.There is only so much clothes you can take off before the laws of Ontario kick in. Although outwardly not showing how miserable I feel, I am suffering terribly.

The winter of 2013/14 was a true Canadian winter. One we haven't seen for a number of years.
I enjoyed it more than most. My unofficial "I LOVE WINTER CLUB" has five members and there
is room for new members. When the temperatures hit 30C + and complaints are heard, I
smile and think to myself....I LOVE WINTER.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Two Small Pie Plates


                                                             The Pie Plate Lady

The ad, Pie Plates For Sale, on a Facebook Buy and Sell site, caught my eye late one night. A quick reply to the ad, a few messages exchanged  and  a pickup time was finalized between the seller and myself. Another addition to my list of errands on my busy day off.

After a short drive to a nearby town, I found the house where I was to pick up the pie plates. A middle aged lady answered my knock on the door  and introduced her mother-in-law to me. Lily, an elderly woman in her early 90's welcomed me into her home. With the sale of the pie plates complete, I shared with the two women what the pie plates were going to be used for. My friend, Dale, attends a United Church that does a Turkey Dinner Fundraiser at Thanksgiving. The ladies of the church decided that they no longer wanted to use aluminum pie plates, as they found the pie crusts did not cook properly in these plates. Dale had mentioned on Facebook that the church was looking for glass, ceramic or tin pie plates for their fundraiser. I told Dale that I would be happy to help her collect pie plates as I visited  the three thrift stores in a nearby town on a weekly basis.

Lily, was happy to help out with my search for pie plates. She went into her cupboard and found another ceramic pie plate to add to my collection. She also added two smaller plates and asked me
if I knew how old these plates would be. My guess was 40 years. She replied, "Many more than that."
I asked  if it was okay with her if I kept the smaller pie plates for myself as they wouldn't be used by  the church. She was in favour of the idea.

I commented on how beautiful Lily's home was and she offered to give me a tour. I told her it wasn't necessary and I did have an appointment to get to. She insisted and I couldn't resist her invitation. As
I bent over to remove my boots she told me not to worry about boots. At her age she didn't care about a little dirt. I felt uncomfortable as I walked on her white carpets and area rugs with my boots on. I guess if I was in my 90's I wouldn't care either. As we walked from room to room, Lily told me stories about her life. The writer in me wanted to stay and talk longer but I had to continue on with my day.

As I drove to my next errand, I thought about Lily and her home. I was thrilled to have met her and glad that I took time out of my day to listen to her stories. Each time I look at the two small pie plates she gave me I will remember Lily, in her early 90's, healthy, vibrant and still living in her own home.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

The Right Place At The Right Time


                                                       The Right Place At The Right Time

Last week I planned to  meet my friend, Bev, at the Drayton library. She needed some help with
her email. Joanne, one of the librarians, greeted me at the front desk. As we chatted, a lady walked in the front door, carrying a box. She set the box down on the desk and opened the flaps to reveal some baby chicks.

I'm sure my eyes lit up and the smile on my face got bigger when I saw the chicks. Joanne asked if I would take ten minutes of my time and help with the chicks. The March Break Children's program was about to begin.

Ten minutes. I'd take ten hours or even ten days if she wanted me to. I shared with the children and adults present, how to handle a chick and how to put a chick to sleep. Because of all the commotion, the chick had no interest in sleeping. Some of the children were uncomfortable with the
chicks but soon started petting and handling the chicks. A great experience for non farm children.

Ten minutes flew by and the chicks were placed back in the box. Their intended destination was Joanne's house. She was pleased to be starting her next crop of chicks.

The right place at the right time...I am so thankful for those moments and hope to experience a lot more of them.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Bringing Heaven To Earth

                                              Bringing Heaven To Earth

I was thrilled when my friend, Heather, agreed to an interview about her charity. Heather, her husband Dean and friend Terri Ferris started a charity to help people with special abilities. The goal of the charity is to raise funds to help with the purchase of special equipment, therapy and recreational items.

The Rural Route, so kindly published my story. It has brought an awareness of what the charity is all about  to the area the magazine covers. If anyone needs any further information on the charity the contact information is

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Winter Project


One of my winter projects is puzzle building. The challenge of completing the puzzle thrills
me. I usually build the border first and then choose an unusual shape or colourful object to
build next. The large parts like water, grass and sky usually get left to the last. They take a long time to complete and I want instant gratification with smaller areas.

In this puzzle I chose to work on the quilts first. That challenge complete I took a try at the
 barns and silos, my second choice. Sheep, my favourite farm animal came together easily.
 The large tree on the right, a challenge in itself, came together without too much frustration.
 Not so easy, the variety of flowers. With each piece the puzzle began to take shape. Lastly,
the water, trees and sky. My puzzle is complete.

Due to poor weather conditions, I am home for the day. Today is the day I photograph
my puzzle and take it apart. I think about all the hours it took to build the puzzle as I  drop each individual piece into a plastic bag. With the lid on the box and puzzle pieces safe inside, I think
about who I could give this puzzle to. My next challenge.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

                                                                Ringette Memories

     After work on Friday, I packed a few belongings and headed to King Township to
     spend part of the weekend with my daughter, Mamie, and her hubby, Jordan. Mamie
     was playing in a Ringette Tournament that started on Friday night. I looked forward
      to seeing her on the ice again. Mamie started playing ringette at the age of eight and
      remained active in the sport for a number of years. Hockey, then became forefront
      in her life, but she returned to ringette this year.

      Mamie  shared with me earlier in the day, that her cousin (my niece) Paula was to join
       Mamie's ringette team that night as the team was a player short. Mamie and Paula grew
      up together playing on the same ringette team. I was blessed to have been able to enjoy
      those years.

      As I sat in the stands with Mamie's husband, I shared memories of ringette games from
      the past. Unforgettable moments that filled her childhood. On the ice pad in
      front of me, a team of younger girls had started their game. My eyes filled with tears,
      as I found it hard to believe that Mamie was that age not so long ago.


     An hour later Mamie's team took to the ice to warm up. I didn't need to know her jersey
     number as it was easy for me to pick her out from among her team mates. She hadn't
      lost any of her ringette skills. The familiar stroke of her skate blades and the snap of her
     wrists that sent a shot high into the net, hadn't been lost over the years.

      Tears slid down my cheeks as the King Township sign faded from sight in the rear
       view mirror of my truck. Memories of  years gone by and new memories created this
      past weekend, played out before my eyes. Moments made to cherish.




Thursday, 13 February 2014


                                                               Sun's Rays

     Today was a beautiful day for a walk. I grabbed my little camera and truck keys and headed
out to a  quiet part of the country. A "No Winter Maintenance Beyond This Point" road was my destination. The road had been plowed to the first and only house on the road. I parked on the side
of the plowed portion and began my walk.

     It wasn't a particularly interesting road from a photographer's view but I enjoyed the lack
of vehicles and quietness. I walked to the edge of the unplowed portion and spotted two woodpeckers in search of a branch suitable for pecking. The snow looked deep on the unplowed portion but I decided to continue on. A jack rabbit scurried along the ditch as I had disrupted his routine.

     I followed a snowmobile trail for half a mile before I stopped and took this photo. My intention
was to write about the snowmobile trail and where it might lead. When I returned home and downloaded my photos onto the computer I knew the snowmobile story would have to wait. My
little camera had captured the sun's rays. I was shocked as I had not been able to do this before.

     My winter excursion turned out better than I ever could have imagined. The beautiful sunshine
warms the heart and soul. A promise that spring is just around the corner.



Saturday, 1 February 2014

The Rural Route

                                                            The Rural Route

The Rural Route is a local, rural magazine that is published  on a monthly basis. I have
been blessed to have numerous stories published in this magazine. Thank you to
 the magazine's editor and staff for all the hard work they put into the publication
of  this local magazine.
The first story I had published was in The Rural Route. It was in February 2011 that I
discovered the magazine in my mailbox. I noticed there was a call out  for stories to be
published in the magazine. As I look back now, I think I was pretty cocky at the time.
 I thought, I can do that. I sat down, prayed for God's guidance and started to write.
As the  pen  flowed across the paper, a story formed in front of my eyes. I submitted
my story and was shocked when I received an email from the editor that stated my
story would be published in the next month's issue.
I decided not to tell anyone about my story as I thought no one would like it. I waited
to hear everyone's comments. To my surprize I got a lot of compliments. I have been
writing on a regular basis since my first story was  published.
Thanks Rural Route!


Monday, 27 January 2014


     "Why don't we embrace snow days for exactly what they are; a rite of passage, a part of being Canadian. The snow day should be put on a stamp."
                                    Rick Mercer                    

                                                           Snow Day

Another snow day in Wellington County. One of many since winter started. Its a true Canadian winter this year. Plenty of snow, wind and ice. Temperatures hovering below normal. Wind chill
factors pushing temperatures lower.

As Canadians our lives center around the weather. Its one of the first topics mentioned in conversations after greetings have been exchanged. On most occasions we grumble about
the weather. Its too cold, too snowy or too windy. We never seem to be satisfied.

Winter is a beautiful time of the year. Spend some time outdoors enjoying its
beauty on our next snow day. It only lasts a few months so take advantage of the opportunity
every chance you get.

Why not embrace snow days like Rick Mercer suggests. They are a rite of passage and part
of being Canadian.  The snow day on a stamp? Why not....its Canadian!


Thursday, 23 January 2014

A Rare Find Bank barns dotted the landscapes of my childhood. Family farms consisted of a home, bank barn, shed/workshop and 100 acres. Over the years farming has changed and bank barns are no longer a necessary part of the farm. Most bank barns have not been maintained and in a state of disrepair have collapsed or been taken down. I was privileged to tour this bank barn. The previous owners were hobby farmers and chose to maintain the barn to its current state. Walls, floors and beams were all replaced with new lumber making it structurally sound. A few horses were kept downstairs, with hay and straw stored upstairs. The current owner is undecided on the use of the barn as he is a cash crop farmer with a full time job off the farm. As I tour the barn's upstairs, the swing rope and wooden ladders, remind me of simpler times. The smell of hay and straw fills my nostrils with a sweet aroma. Somewhere downstairs a barn door bangs against a door frame as a gust of wind catches it. Water drips from a tap into the water trough. A pigeon coos from a beam in the middle of the barn. A rusty hammer left years ago hangs on a bent nail. Left by weathered hands in days gone by. My finger tips become cold as I snap photos with my camera. I shed a single tear for times gone by and smile for the future. The bank barn, a piece of history and a rare find.

                                                                 A Rare Find

Bank barns dotted the rural landscape in my childhood years. Family farms consisted
of a bank barn, house, small shed/workshop and 100 acres of land. Over the years farming
has changed. The need for bank barns has decreased. Most barns have not been
maintained and have fallen down or have been taken down. 

I was blessed to tour the inside of this barn. Over the years the owners
replaced beams, walls and floors with new lumber. This allowed the barn to remain
structurally sound and usable today. The previous owners were hobby farmers. They
boarded a few horses on the bottom level and stored hay and straw in the upper level.
The new owner is undecided on the use of the barn as he is a cash crop farmer with
full time employment off the farm.

I treasure the time I spent inside this barn. The rope swing and  wooden ladders reminded
me of a time gone by. Loose doors banged against their frame each time the wind blew.
The smell of hay and straw tickled  my nose. Fresh air filled my lungs. My toes grew cold
inside my insulated boots. Precious memories flooded my mind. A single tear ran down
my cheek. A tear for a past life. A smile for  new beginnings and what the future holds
for this rare find.

Monday, 20 January 2014

                                                          Who Would Have Thought

I never dreamed that gravity wagons would be the highlight of my blog posts. I drove by the field
that had the gravity wagons in it from a previous blog.There was one lonely wagon in
the middle of the field. It may have a flat tire or may be just wasn't needed this past harvest.
It got me thinking about how much I miss seeing those wagons.

This morning as I gaze out my kitchen window at the farm next door I realize there is a row
of gravity wagons lined up by the shed. How could I possibly have missed them? Maybe it was
the poor visibility due to blowing snow or maybe I just wasn't paying attention. There they are
all lined up in a row.

I put on my insulated coveralls, big green boots, heavy mittens and toque. With my
camera in my pocket I climb threw the snowdrifts on my country property to the fence
line. Even though my camera is small I manage to get a photo. Its a cold walk back to
the warmth of my house but the sunshine is beautiful.

Thursday, 16 January 2014


                                                                My New Ride (I Wish)

I really enjoy seeing any type of farm machinery in my daily travels. Whether its in the
fields, on the road or parked like this one in a horse and buggy parking space in Elmira.
I was fumbling with my flip phone trying to get a picture of the tractor and
didn't even notice my daughter get out of her vehicle and walk up to me. I was so
into the tractor as MF is my favourite tractor. Its a common occurrence to see tractors
parked in Elmira. I wanted a photo of this one to post on my Facebook page.
"Muther, you didn't even notice me did you?" my daughter questioned.
I had to admit to her I didn't. She knows how technologically impaired I am so she
whips out her I-phone, takes a photo and tells me she'll send it to me. She's on her
way back to work so I thank her and say I'll talk to her later.
My mind gets one crazy thought going threw it.  I would love to own a
tractor like this and drive it to town to do my banking, eat a quick lunch and go back
to my farm and work for the rest of the day. What a wonderful thought and maybe, just
maybe, some day that will happen.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

                                                    Keep Me Going

I snapped this photo last summer on my daily bike ride. I love the fact that there are
more than one or two gravity wagons in one place. The wagons are on a hill. That's
why the picture looks like it is tipped. I knew  the wagons wouldn't be there
for long as harvest time was just around the corner.

Each day I looked for the wagons as the summer progressed. By mid August they
were gone. Out in the fields being loaded with wheat and hauled to the farm or
feed mill for storage or sale.  My bike ride wasn't the same after that but I
had the pleasure of watching the combine harvest the soybean field in this
photo. My farmer's heart was happy for one more day.

 As I pass by this area on my commute from work I enjoy the winter season
 with its snow covered fields- a time of rest. I equally enjoy spring with its
 new beginnings, summer with crops growth and fall with the harvest season.

Its the little things in life that count. The ones I look forward to every day.
The things that keep me going.


Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Ag More Than Ever

                                                   Ag More Than Ever

In the fall of 2013 I attended the Outdoor Farm Show in Woodstock, Ontario. I try to avoid the
sales pitch of most of the vendors. But, one of the vendors caught my eye and I was drawn into their booth.

Ag More Than Ever's booth was not eye catching, nor were they handing out freebies. THEY WERE
SELLING T SHIRTS FOR $5. That was enough to drag me off the main concourse into their booth. Now don't misunderstand me. There was nothing wrong with their booth and there may have been freebies but being the frugal person that I am, all I noticed was the t-shirts. How could I not get drawn in by farm t-shirts at that price.

Now was my chance to get myself another t-shirt that would promote agriculture.( My passion for agriculture is not a secret) The lady behind the tables was my kind of person. She didn't give me a sales pitch or push anything. She simply told me about Ag More Than Ever. Promotion of agriculture was their objective. I asked how they could possibly sell t-shirts for such a reasonable price. She said their purpose was to promote agriculture not to make money. The more she talked, the more I liked what she had to say.

I bought two t-shirts. One for my grandson and one for myself. I don't know if he will farm but its up to me to make him aware of where his food comes from. I wear my t-shirt proudly and am willing to
promote agriculture any way that I am able.

If you ate today, thank a farmer.