Gathered Close—If Only for a Brief Second, Thursday, August 5, 2021

Sometimes I am doing something when I see my hand

It shocks me, if only for a brief moment of time

For I think, I see my Momma’s hand.  It startles me for I know she is not here, she is beyond the Veil, somewhere.

This sudden ‘seeing’ of Momma started sometime this farming season, I can’t pinpoint when.

But there she is, just for a moment, reaching through the veil touching me, gathering me close, stirring my heart, filling my mind with the memory of her and her tender yet firm love of me.

I am now older than Momma when she died.  I no longer have a compass, a way to approach each day, year, or a single tiny bit of time.  She passed away, many years ago- the year 2000, when she just turned 71.

Thank you, Momma, for the brief, gentle time of walking with me, I know you are with me when I see your hands on mine.

From my heart to your heart,

Linda

 

 

What We Have Been Doing, Part One, —- Thursday, April 22, 2021

We spent all day Monday…from 9:00 in the morning until 6:00 in the evening (after irrigation and before irrigation)

Moving dirt.

You see our canal water is so full of dirt that settling ponds have to be dug; allowed to have the water flow into the pond, and the dirt to settle out, then the pond is dug out in the Spring.

Not to waste the dirt, or let it blow away in the ever-present wind

We load and haul the dirt to different spots on our farm.  Putting the dirt back into the SOIL of the ground.

A long day sandwiched in between the other stuff.

Your friend on a western Colorado farm,

Linda

Looking Forward — New Year’s Eve, Thursday, December 31, 2020

One of the most painful moments in a person’s life probably comes with the insight that an age has been reached when there is more to look back on than ahead.                     A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman

The snow came and left.  Watering the dry earth.  It was nice. I am also glad it is gone.

Here we go…heading into another year.

Good-bye 2020.  Thank you for everything, all the good, the lovely, and even the ugly.

Hang on world…here comes 2021!

Your friend on a western Colorado farm,

Linda

 

 

Working Off the Farm for the Farm, —- Thursday, September 24, 2020

We spent yesterday hauling dirt from the settling pond a mile away, back onto our farm to use next winter.

The smell of dirt, filled our nostrils from start to finish 🙂

We had an audience

They LOVE watching FARM TV.

From 8 in the morning until the setting of the sun; back and forth we went.

Although the work was revitalizing, in a comforting sort of way…it was also very exhausting — lurking right there under the current level of necessary energy.

Your friend on a western Colorado farm,

Linda

In the Full of Night—Harvest Continues, Thursday, November 2, 2017

Joe Cooper, a long-time reader and delightful contributor to this little blog, sent the following email and photo–

“Hi Linda.
Hope all is well.
I went to pick up my daughter tonight from a friend’s house after trick or treating.
9 o’clock and they are harvesting the soybeans.

NW corner of Stewart and Simons Roads
Plainfield, Illinois
10/31/2017 at 9pm

Just thought I would pass it along.
Thanks for giving me a good read every day.
Joe”

Harvest going on long into the night!

Thank you, Joe!

From the farming world to your heart,

Linda

 

Each Day a Brilliant Victory—Thursday, August, 17, 2017

Each  day we are moving closer and closer to fall…there is a wee nip in the air come first light, enough to make Boomer, Sam and Mindy curl into balls to keep warm. Those silly furry things still want to sleep outside, but soon they will [all] choose the warmed of the house.

It was 51* f here (10.55 c) when we got up this morning.  Very odd for August.  More like September…late September.

Still the view on the farm is green and gentle; the mild air warming up to a soft and lovely warmth.

Terry is baling hay in the lingering dew…too much and the bales will rot, not enough and the leaves fall off the stem, making the hay useless.  So carefully, at just the right time, the dried alfalfa is gathered by the baler and smashed into bales spreading that fresh hay smell throughout the farm.

Then later in the day we—and yes it is a true ‘we’— have been working on laying steel for the extension to the other building.

And I have begun painting the trim on the house. I want to get it done so I can paint some of the lawn furniture.  I also need to go down to the other place and paint the old chicken house.  I’ve been wanting to do that for several years, but can never seem to get the time.  I’m hoping this is the year I can get it done!

Anyway, not much going on here with the crops…changing water the big thing and the consistent work.

Your friend on a western Colorado farm,

Linda

Guest Post by Mr. Jim Wetzel, Curator Delta Museum, Thursday, October 15, 2015

The following history is Part 2 of three parts and was written in June, 1956 by Mrs. Cy Stone, wife of the field representative for the R.E.A. Telephone Loans Program. The history was prepared for Oliver J. Stone (no relation to Cy Stone) when he was Manager of the Delta County Co-operative Telephone Company the same year. This history predates the transition to dial telephones in the county. It has been edited for clarity.

Newsletter

Outside the Co-op Telephone office in Paonia – 1907. O.J. Stone second from left.

Oliver Stone carried a 30-30 along in his buggy, but said he only used it to kill coyotes. However, the area was not without its excitement.

Crawford, Colorado, was quite a rough town in the early 1900’s. Cowboys would whoop-it-up in the town theaters (saloons), and dancing girls decked out on the stage would sing some little ditty to the crowd. The cowboys would “catch on” to the words and sing in lusty unison, then punctuate the atmosphere with gun shots through the roof of the building. Oliver stone was very quiet and mild mannered, and claimed only to be an observer to such scenes of real western thrills, or chills.

On one of Oliver Stone’s first trips to Delta to repair phones in 1906, the first resident he called upon for repair work, curtly informed·him that “it was about time the phone was fixed”. Then added, “The only reason we keep the phone is because of that nice operator, Sadie Guyer.” Sadie was the first operator in Delta. Her folks ran a room and boarding house in Delta. Stone stayed there when his duties took him to that town. There he met Sadie’ s sister, Miss Ethel Guyer, who became Mrs. O. J. Stone in 1912. They had two daughters, Harriet and Shirley, and one son, Wendell, who served as Paonia Exchange manager and assisted his father for many years.

Subscribers with telephones began to pay their bills more promptly as Oliver Stone got around to getting them operating correctly. The original rates for the Co-op were residence, $1.50, and business ; $2.00, per month. Only two rate increases were initiated in the life of the Co-op. In 1931, rates on business phones were raised to $2.50, and residence to $1.75, which only raised residence rates 25 cents and business rates 50 cents per month. This was done so that tolls would not have to be charged between exchanges. The second raise in rates came in November, 1952 in order to meet rising costs of operation, which more than tripled during World War II.

By 1956, there were several pioneer linemen still residing in Delta County. One was W.M. Erickson, known as “Wes” to the folks at Paonia. He served as a lineman from 1911 to 1938 and was Exchange Manager. He started out on a salary of $85 a month. He came to Paonia as a carpenter three days after O. J. Stone, on July 4, 1906. “Wes” said that Oliver had been like a brother to him all his life. After Wes retired, he still operated a repair-shop. Stone claimed that Wes could fix anything that needed to be fixed.

Mr. H. H Addams, President of the Hotchkiss Bank, had been a director of the telephone company since 1924, and became President of the company in 1938, and was still president in 1956. Mr. Addams took a keen interest in the new plans for converting the system to dial phones. He observed that the growth and progress of the Delta County Co-operative Telephone Company closely followed the economic conditions in the county. He had high praise for Stone’s fifty-some years of service as a superintendent, secretary and manager of the company.

Sometimes the labor situation had its difficulties. In 1909, Ray Stanford and O.J. Stone built fifteen miles of telephone line at Crystal Creek, south of Crawford. They employed about a dozen Japanese workers. Cowboys told them to get the “Japs” out of the country. But Stanford and Stone were not easily intimidated. They went to the pool halls and told the cowboys they would not replace the Japanese unless they could get available help elsewhere. Thus, the Japanese men stayed on the payroll, digging holes for $1.25 per day.

Stone believed that the bigger the pole, the longer it would stand. There were some about two feet through at the butt. But he found out that the bigger they were, the harder they fell and they rotted off just as quickly as the smaller poles. The Forest Service was interested in the line at Crystal Creek because it provided a means of communication for fire alerts. The Forest Service provided a vat of creosote and a farmer supplied a hay derrick to lift three white spruce poles at a time to dip into the hot vats of creosote. The penetration was not very thorough, and these poles didn’t last much longer than the untreated poles

However, Juniper or cedar poles were bought by the company by the thousands, and a lot of lines were constructed from red cedar poles, costing $1.00 per pole, delivered on the ground. Many of these poles lasted the life of the company. Some of these were used in the main toll line from Hotchkiss, then across Redlands Mesa to Eckert. It was lots of work to get the poles out of the mountains and deliver them by team and wagon to Delta and Hotchkiss and surrounding exchanges. By 1917, an inventory of the system was made and there were 10,000 standing juniper poles and several thousand spruce poles. Stone says, “It’s hard to believe we can rebuild this system in a year and a half. We’ve been building it now for more than fifty years. There’s some that have helped a life-time too – like Wes Erickson, Grant Miller, Herman Schulte, – just so many people have cooperated with this project that I would like to give credit to all of them; in fact, the whole story would fill a book.”

In 1956, the Delta County Co-operative Telephone Company system had a total of forty-eight employees. There were seven operators at Paonia, five at Delta, five at Crawford, seven at Hotchkiss, eight at Eckert, and five at Cedaredge. Four exchange managers were in charge of repair and maintenance. They were Wendell Stone of Paonia, Ralph Crim in Hotchkiss and Crawford, Orville Hanson in Cedaredge and Eckert, and Vanoy Welch in Delta.

The system then consisted of approximately 1,934 miles of wire line in Delta County, 44 miles of wire line in Montrose and 10 miles of wire line in Gunnison County on a total of 416 miles of poles. Even though there were only 2,500 subscribers, there were about 10,000 people who made use of the phone system.

The records of the company were preserved exceedingly well. The Field Representative for the REA Telephone Loans Program observed that they were the finest ever encountered for any independent company applying for financial assistance.

O.J. Stone took over as Secretary for the company in December, 1912. Yearly audits of his books were always found to be accurate to the penny. The basement of the exchange in Paonia housed the records of the company. The first directory of the Delta County Co-operative Telephone Company was printed in 1903. The directories were all printed on the basis of money collected for advertising space by business firms, and the company never had to expend their own funds on a book. Several telephone listings were unchanged from 1903 to 1953, and they were Henry E. Welborn of Crawford, who operated a drug firm in Paonia in 1903, and Abner McKee of Paonia. The Independent Lumber Company listing in Delta also remained unchanged.

In Delta, the first telephone exchange was above the Stockham Hardware building (Columbine Mall, today), and then in 1911, office space was leased in the Delta National Bank building (City Hall building, today), later occupied by The Colorado Bank and Trust Company on the ground floor.

For thirty years (1908-1938) Judge Milton R. Welch advised the growing company as legal advisor and served as President of the Board of Directors for many years. He assisted the company greatly in solving its difficulties over the years. Judge Clyde H. Stewart filled his vacancy, along with other Board members, H.K. Ferguson, C.C. Hawkins and R.L. Stanford during the early years.

MUSEUM DIRECTOR:   Jim Wetzel    835-8905

MUSEUM:  (970) 874-8721  deltamuseum@aol.com

For your reading pleasure!  Your friend,

Linda

 

 

The Start of the Pinto Bean Harvest, Thursday, September, 17, 2015

FloodRight after breakfast and the next set of irrigation water on the alfalfa field, Terry, Boomer, and I header over to hook-up the bean puller and bar.

bean-pullerThis is the bean puller

730-and-bean-pullerAnd hook up the bar on the back of the 730.  You understand that Terry does most the work.  Boomer is off somewhere checking out the news and I’m pretty much there to give him a tool, or the handyman jack, or move something out the way.  🙂

bean-bladeThat’s the blade…the puller pulls the beans out the ground and the blade cuts off any stems the puller misses.

ReadyThe pinto beans are ready.  The plant is dry, with only the weeds staying green and growing.

Harvest-2Up and down, careful, careful…you don’t want to run over the plants and loose your crop.

Harvest-1Slowly, ever so slowly,

RowsThe beans are put into rows.  Once the day warms up, Terry stops— warmer air will dry the dew off the pods causing the pods to split and spill the beans.

Tomorrow (if all goes well) he will put on a different blade and go out and lift all the rows UP so they are fluffy and can have air circulate among the plants.

Then we wait.  Terry says (if the warm weather holds and NO rain), in about a week the green weeds should be dry and he can start combining.

Harvest!  A huge process with nice results.

Your friend on a Western Colorado farm,

Linda

A Big Thank YOU, Thursday, January 29, 2015

I want to give all of you a BIG THANK YOU for all the encouragement with my new endeavor with Sherlock Boomer!  The Chapter One is now posted with good reviews.  I shall continue until the very end, at which time there Should be a book.

The Adventures of Boomer will still continue on Friday, after all Boomer does tell about Farm life from his perspective.  Life on a Colorado Farm seen through the eyes of a beagle, so to speak.

Maybe I’ll figure out how to make Fuzzy and Boomer’s adventures into a true story yet, many of you suggested I give it a good try.  I’m open to suggestions if you want to leave me a comment or to email me.  As Sallie from The Traveling Grainvilles, and others of you pointed out Fuzzy was a vital part of the farm for a very long time.

Another thing you might notice is my blog got a mini-make-over thanks to Uncle Spike. (Uncle Spike is a farmer in Turkey.  You might head on over– his blog is very diverse and full of photos and cool adventures he has had over his life.)

Uncle Spike very graciously helped me get the comment section set-up so I can answer everyone’s comments right on the blog!  I like the idea of answering the comments right on the blog as it gives depth to the post it would otherwise not have.

Uncle Spike then set up the header with categories —under Fuzzy and Boomer you will find the Adventures of Boomer and the Adventures of Fuzzy and Boomer.  Life on a Colorado Farm is all other posts except Sherlock Boomer.  Sherlock Boomer will be the serial posts, which I hope will result in a book.

An Invitation is still there…I’m still thinking on it.  I like the idea of inviting people to sign-up but maybe it isn’t necessary.  I’m open to suggestions if you want to give them to me.

Terry and I and our neighbor have been working steady cleaning up the mess left from the logging of the trees. We must hurry as there is a storm due in here tonight (it might miss us) and we want to have as much done as possible —if it is a very wet storm.  Also, the cows are coming the middle of next week, which means me MUST get done down there and get the fence put back up.

Fire-1Once more THANK YOU!

Your friend,

Linda

 

 

Helping Each Other Out, (also Fences), Thursday, September 11, 2014

Visit-1A long-time friend of Terry’s needed a part for a piece of equipment.  This friend had been down to see if Terry had anything that Terry could part with and he could buy.

Visit-2Later on we drove up to Paonia, Colorado, to see if the part worked out and well…just to have a short visit.  Terry’s friend was right in the middle of cutting hay, but that didn’t stop the two from having a nice visit.

Fences-1While they talked I hiked around.  There is just something about a huge ranch that lends itself to the wonders of living.  Terry’s friend and his sister own over 1,000 acres with several grazing permits on the hills surrounding his ranch.

Fences-2He and his sister do all the farming, irrigation, ranching, and the taking care of their 223 head of cows and several bulls.

LandHis father bought the ranch, taking care of it for 6 years then died.  From that point on Terry’s friend and his sister have been the ones to move the ranch forward.  Old fences speak volumes of the way things were; new fences tell the story of how things are presently!

Head on over to Teresa’s blog to see many more fences and gates from around the world.  While you are there join in with some photos of fences or gates you have in your area!

Your friend on a Western Colorado farm

Linda