Saturday, February 5, 2011

A good day trip

Today, the children and I made the trip to my parents farm.  V stayed home to work since he has deadlines for articles on both Monday and Tuesday.  It was a lovely day.  J16 drove both ways, getting in more needed driving time- including the drive back in the dark.
We helped out a bit around the farm, shoveling some of the 17 inches or so of snow that they got.  Fortunately, a neighbor came over with a tractor and blade and cleared the drive and also shoveled the front porch for them.  But the children and I cleared the back door and a path to the wood pile.  We also cleared a path to the gas pig- and another from the little pig that supplies the house to the larger tank that holds most of the supply.  The little tank is due to be filled soon so Dad needs to be able to get from the little tank to the big to attach the line for the transfer.
The real reason we went was to celebrate Dad's birthday.  We were a bit early since his birthday isn't actually until Monday but we celebrated nonetheless.
The birthday boy is waiting for his cake and ice cream!
We also did a bit of a seed swap.  Well, rather, I gave them some seeds for the garden.  Mom commented last year that she really liked the India Paint eggplant that I grew so I gave them a few seeds.  I also gave them some Amana Orange tomato seeds and a few of our new Tigger melon seeds. I think I may also start some cauliflower seedlings for them since I learned that (with his medications) cauliflower is the only brassica that Dad can eat.
But we definitely ended up on the better end of the deal.  They have been conditioning some Hickory nuts for us.  These are from Big Hickory trees that are much more uncommon and slower growing than the usual shagbark ones.  They have much, much larger nuts and are easier to crack out.  So, they have been moving seeds from the fridge to the freezer for the last month or so, giving them the cold they need to sprout in the spring.  We are hoping to plant them on our property as they thrive in wetter conditions than most hickories.  Of course, it will be 30 or 40 years before they really start bearing nuts but we're looking to the future here.  Who knows what 40 years from now will bring.  Maybe our children or grandchildren can harvest the nuts.
We also ended up with several sleds.  Years ago, my parents purchased a plastic sled for J16 that they kept at their house since we didn't have a good place to sled at the time.  They finally decided that it is time for us  to take it home.  We also ended up with two ancient Flexible Flyer sleds (or similar type) that need some work but are in basically working condition.  These sleds are probably 50 or more years old but still look like fun.  
And even better... Mom baked hickory nut sticky buns and sent a pan back with us.  YUM!!!


  1. Happy birthday to your dad! I've never had hickory nuts before. Sounds interesting. Ooh, and old sleds are awesome!

  2. Ooo happy birthday to the birthday boy! Hope he liked his cake :)

    I've no idea what a hickory nut is, I don't think I've even heard of one!

  3. Those flexible flyers last a long time. My daughter is now using the one that my mom had as a kid that also survived the beatings my brother and I gave it as kids. A little sandpaper to shine up the runners every year and it is good to go!

  4. Happy Birthday to your dad! He is looking fit as a fiddle from where I'm sitting! so nice of you all to dig out paths! I've never heard of Hickory nut sweet buns. But I'm sure they are delicious!! We have 2 large hickory nut trees in our yard. They are huge! The squirrels love them and hide them all over the yard. They are the smaller variety. The trees themselves are a beautiful yellow in the fall. We have Bob's mom's Flexible Flyer from when she was a small girl. If alive, she would be 94, so that's how old hers is, and then we have Bob's flyer from when he was a kid. Both are in great shape and will probably go to the Granddaughters next!! ...debbie

  5. It looks like a wonderful birthday! What a wonderful gift of hickory nuts to sprout! I hope that you get many baby trees.

  6. Your dad has such a sweet smile! I send him a happy birthday, too. I've never eaten hickory nuts. I'm intrigued. I just did a search which says the most common in Southern Indiana are the Shagbark and Shellbark. I have some relatives that live in Southern Indiana and I'm going to ask them to collect some for us to try. This site had some good information for me:

    Your post was so interesting as always! I wonder if we are going to see some pictures of those sleds in action. I'm so glad you enjoy blogging. I find your life fascinating.

  7. Suzanne- the Big HIckory is also known properly as the Shellbark Hickory. The Shagbarks, while much more common have much smaller nuts. But they are OH, SO TASTY!!

  8. my mom still has our sleds, too - it was neat seeing the boys sledding on the ones I did as a kid this year :) Happy Birthday to your dad!


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