Monthly Archives: March 2013

Mud Bog Madness, Races for the Whole Family

WV mud bog truck

WV mud bog truck

 As the spring rains pour down and the sticky clay mud gets thick, one thing pops into my mind, “Mud Bogs”. My son Cody and a  group of his friends shared a new hobby with us old folks. It turned out tobe a lot of fun for the whole family and we will be at some races this year.

  I know that every area of the country has its own version of ways to tear up, show off, and enjoy their trucks. Here in the east it just rains so much that everyday life in the country involves mud. Mud Bog races are a just a natural country way to blow off steam and share an afternoon with your friends. Racers come on many levels, they included the family owned trucks used everyday, to the most high-tech nitro injected speed racers that are on the market today. Some of the teams are just families out for a good time and other racers get sponsors and tour the summer working with companies like Summit Racing. It is unusual in this modern world to see both ends of the money spectrum working in the same open fields under the same conditions laughing and joking together. It is the atmosphere of good clean fun ( or maybe dirty depending on your point of view) that made our first Mud Bog Race so impressive. 

  Fathers day weekend ( 2012) my family  joined my oldest son( Cody) at one of his favorite weekend events. Tom thought it would be a nice way for the families to celebrate Father’s day so we jumped in the pickup and headed out to our first official “Mud Bog Race” at Holly Gray state park near Flatwoods, W.V.

Holly Gray state park and the truck waiting to race and the fans in the sun

Holly Gray state park and the truck waiting to race and the fans in the sun

    As my family got comfortable in the grass and set  up our chairs and coolers, I took off with my daughter-in-law to get photos of the racers trucks. We talked to some of the wonderful people and got up close to some of the most expensive trucks at this event. The noise was deafening on the other side of the pit. The engines roared and smoke-filled the air, the constant rumble of the ground made all of  us excited. We could not wait to see the prize winner at  the end of the day. My two sons,ages 3 and 21 , waited with excitement to see who got stuck in the sticky mud and who was able to power through. Many of the trucks would need help to get back out of the pits. Tractors and Track  Hoes were standing by to drag many of the race trucks back  out this day. The best trucks were able to make several passes through the pit and reach the finals. Ending the day with  the truck with the fastest time claiming the 1500.00 in prize money.

nitro injected race truck

nitro injected race truck

Ford truck stuck in the mudd

Ford truck stuck in the mud

   I  was  happy and relieved to see that their were lots of venders and food carts at the event. The food was great and added that festival feeling.We eat hot Bratwurst and pizza in the sun and drank homemade birch beer and cream soda from huge mugs. The races last all day and at times,the raceing continues into the night, families come and go as time passes. The cost for these events is very afford able for a family. We paid 5.00 per adult and 2.00 for Christopher who was under 6 at the time. A little better price then a local movie and  the food was cheaper than a large popcorn .

  Tom and I eventually picked out some trucks to cheer for and I took pictures of the ones we thought had the best chances of winning their heats. My personal favorite of the day was a truck from Morgain Town, W.V. titled “SunStroke” built on an antique Willies frame painted bright orange. He was not the over all winner this day but the truck did  get through several rounds of races.

SunStroke plowing through the mud

SunStroke plowing through the mud

  Tom on the other hand waited  to see some of the high performance racers hit the pits… their were several that were worth watching and reminded me of drag cars. This one was one of the fastest in the pits this day.

high preformance mud racer Wild 1

high performance mud racer Wild 1

  Tom, Christopher and I ended our day around 6:00pm that afternoon. All three of us were a little sunburned ( I got the worst of it) and learned a lot about the hobby of thousands of West Virginians. We were totally surprised that the roaring engines did not bother either of the young ones we took with us. They loved playing outside in grass and watching the speeding trucks as much as we did. It was great way to share family time in the outdoors in a friendly atmosphere. I can now understand why Cody invited his Dad to advent like this on Father’s Day. It was a very  bonding day for my boys and their Dad. I am sure that if their is another race this Fathers Day we will be ready to play in the mud again.

my family and friends at the Father's Day Mud Bog Race

my family and friends at the Father’s Day Mud Bog Race 2012

Categories: family fun, mud bogs, State Park activities, West Virginia | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

The Longest Winter

The Longest Winter

Maybe I am selfish,
 another week of the this has made me mad,

I have flowers to transplant, land that needs tiled,

a shed in need of a new coat of paint.

I have reached the end of my rope,

the house needs cleaned, the windows need washed,

I need to get out of this house.

Maybe I am selfish,

but I think this is the longest winter to ever pass.

.

Categories: poem, writing | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Crackers in Bed

I don’t write a lot about my, day to day ,activities with my kids, but I will share this.

another sick week.. he is finally sleeping

another sick week.. he is finally sleeping

1:12 AM, Christopher……….MAMA? MAMA?

1:12 AM  Me……………..Yes, Christopher? Come here. I am on the couch sleeping.( Tom has the flu and I am having trouble sleeping and up watching T.V).

He climbs up on the couch and gets under the blanket for a few minutes.

1:30 Am Me…………………are you ready to go back to bed?

1:30 AM  We head off to his room and he crawls back under the covers and snuggle down.

1:35  AM Christopher………………….MaMa, I need someone to snuggle with.

1:35 AM……….. I climb into his bed snuggle down and warm the cool sheets with my body.

1:45 AM Christopher ………..MaMa, I am hungry… I need soup crackers.

1:45AM Me…. …..Do we need to have soup crackers? or can we have toast (thinking that there are less crumbs from toast).

1:50 AM Christopher……………No, I need soup crackers.

2 am snack for Christopher

2 am snack for Christopher

I head to the kitchen, it is 2:00 AM, and return with 3 soup crackers and a small cup of milk.Knowing that at 4 years old he is not able to keep the crackers from breaking apart and turning into a mountain of crumbs in the bed.

I pull the covers up to try to keep some of the chunks of cracker from being deposited in his bed and snuggle up to him. I hear the crunch of every bite, the smacking of lips and the swallow of milk in his sippy cup. Then the genital breathing of a tired, sick boy who has spent most of the night up coughing.

I know the bed is full of crumbs and know that I will surely fall asleep in this bed tonight.  Tom is sick also and needs to rest as much as possible. I realise that  the crumbs don’t matter anymore, that a wonderful night snuggled up to the child I love has over ridden my desire to disturb him.

Last night I discovered why there is the old saying ” I wouldn’t throw them out of bed for eating cookes”…or in a more farm friendly version ” I wouldn’t throw her out of bed for eating oats”. I wouldn’t have through my son out of bed for eating those crunchy crackers for a million dollars. I slept peacefully and so did he.

Again at about 7:30 this morning I hear “MaMa” but this time close to my ear… ” I need soup crackers” from a boy who has not  fully opened his eyes. I lie in the bed and am so thankful I am  sleeping with a few crumbs.

sharing this onthursday favorite things button

Categories: Christopher, poem, writing | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Five Facts Friday

                    a found flower in the mountains of Colorado

 

As some of you know I have tried with some success in writing a blog post every week. The last few weeks have been very trying.. sick kid, sick and hurt parents and a ton of work to do. So I will again steal Nancey Claeys “FIVE FACTS FRIDAY” she blogs from www.aruraljournal.com .  More info you never knew about me and my life on a friday morning. 1st…. I don’t own a coffee maker.. we are a tea only family.. yea I know, the I miss the smell of a hot cup of coffee but I just never liked the stuff well enough to drink it. I actually have 4 kinds of tea in my house now and love southern sweet  icetea the best. 2nd … I am dyslexic, you may not know this but it is a learning disability.  In my case affects my short-term memory, my spelling and number functions.. so being a blogger is a labor of love. It takes me twice or three times as long to write a blog as a “normal” person. But typing seems to bypass the trouble spots and makes me spell better and remember things better. 3rd…. I have a B.A. degree and don’t use it. Like hundreds of thousands of others, I got a college degree and have never ever worked in the field it was for. Art and Art education were a dying field we I entered college,so no regular job for me. I will never regret the time I spent in college but I was realistic, I was never going to make my living as an artist. Instead I craft with a 4 year old and take photos for fun and share them here. 4th… I  love old houses, barns, buses, cars and trucks and to quote a friend ” rusting hulks of dyeing junk”. So I will be posting photos of them and writing about their past and future. One of my favorites is our local library built during the late 1800s.

historic entry to the local library Weston WV

historic entry to the local library Weston WV

a 4 story mansion donated to the city of weston for use as a llibrary

a 4 story mansion donated to the city of Weston for use as a library

 5th.. I love to cook, eat and share it with my friends and family. So I am always making some kind of mess in the kitchen. This winter I have been on a soup bender. I have tried and made at least 3 new soups. The one I liked the best is pea with ham that was left over from Christmas. It was perfect with sweet corn bread.
Splitpea and ham soup corn bread and sweet icetea on a very cold winter night

Split pea and ham soup, corn bread and sweet tea on a very cold winter night

 Thanks for stopping to take a look and maybe next week I will have some thing more important to write about and visit my friend at her blog for Nancy’s 5 facts.http://www.aruraljournal.com/

Categories: Five Facts Friday | Tags: , , , , , | 9 Comments

Everything that is Old is New Again

this is where we started about a year and a half ago

this is where we started about a year and a half ago

   It seems normal to homesteaders and farm families to look at something and see the future, the potential of an object or location. I am not sure if this is a blessing or a cures but it is part of who I am. My mother was not overly thrifty,but she was careful with what money she had. My father passed away young and left her with 4 children to raise on her own. I am the youngest and was the one who watched what could be done if you were wise with money and as a teen bought many of my clothes at clearance sales.When I got older and realised how expensive things really are I started shopping at thrift stores and second-hand stores.Never realising this was a life style choice that would stay with me through out  my life.                   

with help we were able to repair the back porch that was 4" off level from front to back

with help we were able to repair the back porch that was 4″ off level from front to back

Tom spent most of last year working on this old house the porch/ sunroom was the worst of the repairs that need to be done

Tom spent most of last year working on this old house the porch/ sun-room.

   Tom grew up on a farm with a large family of 9 children living on one income, at times they struggled to make ends meat. He was tought early on that you repair everything you can to save money. His father was able to teach him to repair cars and motorcycles and he learned to work on houses in vo-tech school. The importance of these skills was never wasted on Tom. He knew how much money his father was able to save when he was able to fix the families truck or tractor.

  Because of these childhood experiences we generally see life the same way. We just naturally are thrifty people and “new” is not a requirement for our families happiness. The house that we live in is only one of the many things that Tom and I have redone. I seems that we see recycling ,upcycling as a daily part of life. That it is a necessity if you want to beat down rising prices and the 100% mark up that you find on retail products. It is a simple and fun way for us to afford our hobbies and keep me at home with our son. It allows us extra money in our pockets,because we don’t buy new items and at times produce money from salvaging items for recycling.I am unwilling to let trend and a copy cat life style dictate to me what is beautiful or useful. I find that I am most happy when I am finding a hidden treasure at a yard sale or Auction. We purchase about half of our families clothing at thrift stores and all of my home electronics through E-bay at about 1/2 the cost of retail. 

  Over the past year I have been wanting a couple of new things for the house. Frist I really needed a new computer desk and I unwilling to buy anymore pressed wood furniture for my house…I am not 21 looking for something quick and cheap anymore. I want lasting power and great looks and I am willing to spend time and energy to get what I want at the price that I think it is worth.

   This week I decided to spend under 250 dollars for a “new to me ” wood desk.I knew that the desk needed to measure under 45 inches long to fit on the dinning room wall. My frist  thought was to look at a local used and antique furniture stores in our area. Rochells’ ( a used/ antique furniture store) takes up a city block and three floors. The store has anything and everything that you can by at an auction without the hassle of waiting all night for the good stuff. So after 4 rooms and a trip upstairs in the 1940 building we found it  my ” NEW” desk.

late 1960s cherry wood desk with damages top

late 1960s cherry wood desk with damage to the top

   The desk top is cherry with  two sold dove tailed drawers with wooded pulls. The legs appear dark walnut, giving the desk a two-tone effect. The top is water damaged and has a large scratch on the upper right side.Tom and I talked over the desk and Tom will be able to re-finish the top no problem. With the price of the desk, sand paper and varnish, I have an antique desk made of sold cherry and walnut for less the 125.00 dollars. Yes, it will take Tom about 6 hours to remove the old varnish and replace it but it is time well spent for a desk that we all love. Then to my surprise Tom saw something at the store and said that he really liked.  He wanted a set of tables that he had seen while we were shopping.  The tables tops are mixed wood and laminate. They are in great condition and some how I stayed on budget and still bought three tables and desk.

this is the used coffee table set that we picked up too

this is the used coffee table set that we picked up too

  The furniture we bought is not the latest style, but very functional and nice looking.They will serve us well in the years to come and if my 4-year-old damages the top of this coffee table it is less of a heart-break then if we bought new. I also realise that this is just our life style and not everyone will agree with me. We are ” Old School” and still believe that repair of something valuable is always the first step, then replacement. If you have a car you try to fix it first, then if that is not a reasonable option, then you buy new. This concept has served us so well that I saved thousands of dollars each year just by looking for a deal. It is my way of feeling like I have beat the system and won. 

 The other great thing about living this way is donating what it is we are replacing. Toms mom with receive the old coffee table and end tables when we get their tops finished. Thiers no fixing the desk and it will not see another home. I often donate our families cast-offs to a local homeless shelter or church. It makes more sense  to our family to give away what we have then to sell it. We feel blessed to own things like the desk and should pass that blessing on.  

  I find that repurposing, recycling,and being green all have their place in our lives.Tom and I have just taken the idea a little farther, and shaped our future being less and less dependent on the retail market. Less Wal-Mart prefabricated junk and more refinishing of family treasures. I think we just see the beauty in “Everything that is Old is New Again”.

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Categories: furniture, recycling | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

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