Howdy, There!

[Previous Rural Farmgirl, June 2010 – January 2012]
Hi, there, old farmgirl friends and new! Since this is my first blog post, I thought I’d introduce you to a few of the fixtures on the farm – the things that I love and see daily (at least!). There will be more as we go, of course, but here’s a little introduction to who I am, and where and how I live…

First off, there’s me. I’m a 38-year-old farmgirl, mother, farmwife, writer and lover of all things good.I moved to this small Utah town almost 12 years ago – and it’s been such a wonderful thing for me. I live on a really old family farm, in an old family farmhouse. If you want to know more about my home and my relationship with it, please go to http://www.maryjanesfarm.org/KeepingInTouch/ and click on “She’s a Keeper” in the “Past Listings” category. I love my family, home and farm, and I hope to share with you what I learn and experience here.
 Muddy Boys!
Next, please – meet my two little boys, William and Arthur. William is on the left and Arthur (with the ahem…still…ever-present pacifier, affectionately named “Mimi”) is on the right. Will is 6, and Art is 3 – I have never had such fun in my life as I have with these two. They’re so full of energy, love, sunshiny smiles – and their own fair share of mischief. These loves of my life are absolutely full of spirit – here they are yesterday, hand-forming “clay” pots out of deep field soil – which really IS pretty much just clay. The pots were subsequently thrown on the ground “just to see if they would break.” They did. These two are “outside” children, and they are both so proud to be “farmboys.” In fact, that’s what Will says he is when people ask him what he likes to do. I love it. They just headed outside this morning to play sticks and rocks (I’m not kidding). Have you noticed that no matter how many “toys” kids have, they somehow gravitate toward dirt, water, sticks and rocks?
 Ahhhhhh....the whitest whites
The next currently prominent “fixture” in my life (aside from my husband, whom you’ll meet later) is the clothesline – yes, it certainly is a constant now that summer has officially “turned on” down here, complete with watering fields with dirt ditches, two little boys and a farmstead. It’s been here forever – or at least 75 years. It’s a four-stringer on metal “T” posts – a kind I would HIGHLY recommend. I always love hanging the whites the best – they somehow just are more satisfying. I find that it’s a very nice meditation time – I’m doing something fairly mindless, hanging, while keeping my body busy. It’s one way a busy farm mama can take a “break” while not wasting time!
 Evelynn...the loverly milk cow
The next farm character I want you to meet is Evelynn, my Jersey milk cow. I’ve had her for 2 years now, and I have to say it’s been a love story the whole time. She’s just beautiful, and calm, and kind. But really, what would you expect from the daughter of another farmgirl’s cow (thanks, Aunt Jenny!!!). I just started milking her in December, and she faithfully gives us our daily dose of dairy while keeping me spot-on schedule with milking. At around 4pm every day, I can depend on her to announce to me that it’s milking time if I happen to have gotten a little too busy and lost track of time. She’s just a wonderful addition to our farm…
Farewell for now, my farmgirl friends, and I can’t wait to do more “introduction” and share more of my farmgirl-on-the-farm experiences with you, and to hear what you have to say about it all. So please… join me on the farm – grab a cold drink (it IS summer, after all!), pull up a chair and check out what’s going on!

Leave a comment 58 Comments

  1. Genevieve says:

    Welcome, Libbie!

    I can’t wait to read more…

    Genevieve

  2. Mary Rauch says:

    It is great to meet you Libbie Zenger of central Utah! The reason I bother to pop over here and read is because the ones that answer seem to be "real" people-just the kind I like! I’m an original West Virginia farmgirl, imported into Ohio and turned career girl, now retired and still looking for a patch of dirt to plant things (veggie and flowers).

  3. PAT says:

    Hi Libby thank you for sharing your farmgirl information. I am Farm Girl # 227.
    Although not a farmer I live in Rural Virginia.
    Looking forward to your blog. Pat

  4. Hi,
    Loved to see a different view of Utah, than my own from SLC’s westside "barrio" area. Thank you for the lovely "view" of you and yours. I am a farm girl stuck in the city, trying to live "country" the best I can. Nice to meet you!

  5. julie jo says:

    Hi Libbie,
    julie jo here 30 years old, living the farm dreams here on the northern tip of California in Fort Dick, where the giant redwoods meet the ocean and so does the Smith River. Anyhow, I’m looking forward to hearing more of your farm into the future, as I bet we share lot’s in common, and love to hear how others "get er done".
    Evelynn looks a lot like our last milk cow "CoCo" we got her from friends who said she just didn’t match their herd so we got her out of the big open grazing fields and slowly started to work with her so we were both comfortable milking. However this was our very first milk cow and we were learning a ton while doing, and of course we made mistakes, and in the end we gave her back to the open country as we were given an already "tame" gentle and sweet milk cow by the name Bessie, you can see her on our web site listed above. She recently freshened, gave birth to "Lucy aka. Mi Mi" and I am loving the cream in my morning coffee and home made cheeses, and our pigs are also loving the milk too. I am waiting for the rain to stop and the sun to heat up our temps and then it will be home made ice cream time too.
    Anyhow, again look forward for more to come,
    in the mean time, be well.

  6. CJ Armstrong says:

    Welcome Libbie! It’s nice to meet you and hear all about your farm and family. I look forward to reading the topics you will be writing about. It’s gonna be fun!!!
    God Bless you!
    CJ . . aka "ceejay48"

  7. JoEllen says:

    Welcome Libbie! I know you will meet a lot of new friends on your blog — sounds like you are one busy lady! I don’t live on a farm, and didn’t grow up on one, but oh I wish I would have! My parents had one of those clotheslines in their back yard when I was young and I remember her hanging up the wash with the wind whipping around her. I even liked hanging them up and I was a youngster! My brother and I especially liked making up running games centered on these two poles. What good memories! Of course the wonderful smell of the clean air is priceless. Have a great day!

  8. Gary says:

    Welcome to the Bloggie Libbie…!
    I’m happy to see the Rural Bloggie will continue, and look forward to your Posts.
    GodSpeed to Y’all…!
    Gary
    in Tampa

  9. Peggy Beck says:

    Hello and I just want to say I am in love with your lifestyle so far. It’s a dream I have had and still have. Your blog has lifted my spirit and I look forward to seeing your next post and living the life through you.

  10. Julie Wemken says:

    It’s great to meet you Libbie! I enjoyed what you shared about your farmlife and I can’t wait to hear more! Looking forward to more of your blogs! Blessings!

  11. HI Libby…I’m very happy to meet you. My name is Heather :) I really enjoyed learning about your family and your home :) I would love to live in an old farmhouse someday.
    The laundry line…I live in an apartment complex and we’re not allowed to have them. HOWEVER, I work around that by hanging my cltohes on a portable clothes rack and placing that right in front of my sliding door..that’s okay as long as inside :) :) :) In the summertime, I love to take advantage of the natural sunlight/heat to dry my clothes :)

    I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts :) Have a great weekend.

    Greetings from Oregon, Heather :)

  12. tammy says:

    Greetings from NEbraska. So nice to meet you and look forward to getting to know you more and more. always nice to meet a fellow farm sister.

  13. meredith says:

    Welcome! You have arrived on my computer in our old stone house which has been in the family since the mid 1700’s- my daughter is generation #8! The history here is amazing- I know you understand! We raise Hereford cattle, have 6 chickens, 7 horses and three donkeys. Life is wonderful as a farmgirl! Cant wait to read more from you- your boys sound fantastic, and Evelynn too! Welcome to the family of MaryJanes Farm! -Meredith

  14. Wow! I feel like I already know you (and our cow Evelyn!) through our mutual friend, Aunt Jenny!!!

    I’m "suzy in ‘bama" but Aunt Jenny is probably the best friend I’ve ever had although states and physical miles separate us!!!

    It is so exciting to see you here with your precious little boys and I’ll be looking forward to more of your writings here!!!

    I’m a writer too, having "retired" from more than 30 years as an investigative/crime reporter and now write only argricultural and homesteading articles! So it’s SO NICE to read about you and all you’re doing there on your beautiful farm in Utah!

    I’ll be looking forward to the emails notifying me that more of your blogs are coming my way!!!

  15. Darlene says:

    Hello Libbie!
    So great to read about your farm and your life. I just read my husband the bit about your boys going out to play "sticks and rocks". He laughed because our kids used to do things like that all the time. You’re right, there isn’t much better than mud, sticks, rocks and water! :) I look forward to reading your posts in the future. Would love to hear more about your life with Evelynn. I would love to have a milk cow like I did when growing up!
    Take care!

  16. MissC says:

    Welcome, Libbie! What a lovely post. Your photos are really nice – I look forward to more of them! I especially admire the one of your meditative best friend, the clothesline. I can almost smell the fresh air on the clean laundry as it blows in a slight breeze. With those two beautiful boys and summer’s muddy chores, I can imagine those four lines have stories to tell through you! May your musings on this blog flow as easily as a wispy cloud in a Utah sunset.. warm wishes, MissC

  17. Debbie says:

    I’m sending out a big farmgirl welcome Libbie!

    Thanks for sharing a little of your Rural life with us! All of your critters are adorable… INCLUDING those two little farmboy’s of yours!

    Deb~

  18. KimberlyD says:

    Welcome, glad to meet you, my name is Kim. I lived in Utah for a few years in the early 2000’s. I am now living in Michigan it the rual are we call "the thumb" of Michigan. I live out in the country and enjoy it.

  19. Kathy says:

    I so enjoyed reading your blog, what a wonderful family & life!!

  20. Cathy K says:

    Welcome aboard! I love seeing another Utah farmgirl here. I work on a farm – Wheeler Farm (a working historical farm) in Salt Lake County. Although I’m only a bookkeeper (and former kids’ summer camp counselor) I love everything about the farm – my "home away from home" that is one short block away. We have cows (a wonderful Jersey and several Holsteins), lambs, pigs, horses, chickens, ducks & geese, turkeys, goats and donkeys. There’s always alot of work here for all of us, and our farmgirls muck stalls, drive tractors, exercise the horses, haul hay, hoe the gardens, etc! At home I garden, embroider, sew, cook and…. well, just the usual stuff. :-) BTW, do you make cheese from Evelynn’s milk? Look forward to reading more from you! Hugs, Cathy in Murray, UT

  21. Skye says:

    Nice meeting you and look forward to your inviting blog postings in the future…I’m on my way now to check out your farm…Very much enjoyed reading this article, thank you!!

  22. Donna n Sunny Florida says:

    Hello Libbie, Looking forward to seeing pics…enjoyed your article…Have a Great Day!

  23. Rene' Groom says:

    Hi Libby.. welcome to the "Rural Farmgirl Club"… you’ll find, that there are many of us. I enjoyed so much "meeting" your "Crew".. thanks for taking the time to introduce us all to all those you love…I look forward to reading more. Welcome!!!

  24. Mary Anne says:

    Dear Libbie, Welcome aboard! Read your story about your home and felt so happy that you are living there! "this is the place" really can have a deep meaning when we finally get there. Look forward to your postings!

  25. Welcome, Libbie! So glad to meet you…lookin’ forward to learning more with you!

  26. Lorene Hopkins says:

    I really loved reading about your Farm, and your Boys. I remember my days on the Farm, where I grew up, you brought back so many memories for me. I would love to move back to the Farm, but alas, things didn’t turn out that way. I have enjoyed reading and living it again through your writings.
    Thank You.

  27. Jean Beaird says:

    I enjoyed reading your blog about your family, farm house, animals and even hanging the wash. I grew up on a farm in Iowa, and then we moved to AZ when I was 13. My sisters and I would always find something to do outside like your boys. We would make our own games and would build forts out in the grove of trees. We burned our own garbage and had a special place to put tin cans, etc. When I wanted to be by myself, I could always go out and take walks in the cornfield and find peace and quiet from my 3 sisters. My dad had a herd of cows(don’t remember how many but LOTS) that he milked by himself every morning but my sisters and I were his hired hands in the evenings, either throwing hay down to the cows or washing the cows teats and putting on the milking machines, emptying them into the cans and rolling them to the tank room. Dad would have to dump them since the cans were too heavy. I learned to drive a John Deere tractor at age 12. I would never give up the special memories of growing up on a farm.I could go on but then I’d have my own blog. Till you post again….

  28. Aunt Jenny says:

    Oh Libbie!! How fun to see YOU here. I am so excited that even though you are only an hour away I will be able to keep up with you and those cute boys better!! And Evelyn has grown up to be just lovely! I sure hope Mona’s calf this year will be just as sweet. (still waiting)
    I got an email from my dear friend Suzy in Alabama telling me that you were the new rural farmgirl blog..how fun!!!
    HOpe to be able to see you in person sometime soon…I miss you!!! Have a wonderful weekend..isn’t this summer weather (finally) great?????
    love, Jenny

  29. Carrie Meerwarth says:

    Welcome, Libbie! Thanks for introducing us to yourself, your kiddos, and the lovely Evelynn! Looking forward to meeting all the members of your farm :)

    I feel the same way about my clothesline…just love summertime and hanging out my laundry. Is there anything better than crawling into bed at the end of a long day, onto sheets that smell like spring air?? Ahhhh!

    Till later-
    Carrie M

  30. Marylyn says:

    Libbie, Wow, a rural farm girl…with chickens, milk cow, and two great little boys. My boys are grown now. I love living on my family owned farm and I love ‘Mary Jane’…I am glad to see a ‘rural farmgirl’ blog….good luck…can’t wait to read more!

  31. Jess says:

    i’m so excited to read your blog!! i know what you mean about the toys…..mud is soooo much better!! I love my clothesline also. we don’t live out in the country yet, but are working towards it…..and i can’t wait! can’t wait for your next blog!

  32. Marti Bee says:

    Welcome, Miss Libbie. I’m looking forward to hearing your tales and observations. I’m already in love with your beautiful cow.

  33. Tara says:

    hello there from Florida! It is very nice to meet you and I look forward to reading about you and your family. Your boys are adorable and I guess I’m partial to children of that age becuase I have a 7 and a 3 year old; both girls. Your comment about the whites made me laugh because I too LOVE to hang whites on the line and just stand back and look at them. There is something so satisfying to see that bright white set against a backdrop of nature. Very relaxing indeed. You can let your mind relax and wander but still keep your hands busy… add in the background sounds of my girls laughing and playing hide and seek through the clothes and it is Heaven!

  34. JoAnn says:

    What a wonderful life, having a farm. Every time I get close to getting goats, my work schedule pulls me back. Someday soon, I hope.

  35. What a fun way to meet you Libby! I adore how your farmhouse has been passed down through The WOMEN in your family and that you have the opportunity to live there now!
    I adore your clothesline with whites and tons of clothespins.

    Your farm your children are growing up on and playing with rocks if fabulous. Let them play outside with boys toys and their imagination FOREVER! I hope we get to meet Maybeline and see your wavey glass door soon.

    Smiles, Cyndi

  36. G’day Libbie!

    I’m so looking forward to hearing more about the farmgirl life in your little corner of the world. Welcome, welcome!

    Shery J ~ the MJF ranchy farmgirl

  37. carollynn says:

    Hi Libbie,I love your Blog.It is so down to earth and fun.We live on a small farm.We love it.Your sons are so cute.I have a 5 yr old grandson and I want to teach him all about animals and outdoors.
    Take care Carol

  38. Kim Withrow says:

    Hello Libbie, I enjoyed your story. I can’t wait to hear more. I’d love to have a milk cow someday. I envey you, still having your family farm. I think it is neat to say you have your great great grandfather’s home he built. There is just something special I think, about that. Have a great day:) p.s. I love to hang out clothes also!

  39. Amy Kingery says:

    I am so pleased to meet you vicariously through this site. I have recently moved from Southern California to a small town, Powhatan, Virginia. My children are grown ups now, so my new found rural experience is mostly just my husband and myself. We so wanted to get away from the crowds and all. I just love it here…except for the CLAY soil! Too bad I don’t have those beautiful little farm boys to play with my clay.

  40. Marie says:

    Welcome! I’m looking forward to your posts.

  41. Ardell Hofer says:

    Hello Libbie,
    It is great to meet you and I’m looking forward to learning more about you, your family, and the farm. We have a few things in common because I too have a Jersey cow named Buttercup due to calve in August. I also have 2 boys and a wire clothes line that sees alot of use. Your farmhouse must be out of this world and with it being family it is a treasure.
    Fellow farmgirl
    Ardell Hofer

  42. Sandra Ange says:

    Hey, FarmGirl! I already feel a connection to you…My Great Grandfathers name is William Arthur Respess and I have a dear Aunt Jenny too! Love reading about your little boys…I have 2 sons and a daughter. My "little" boys are now 33 and 31, daughter is 29. I miss those years terribly! We had such fun farming and sadly, had to give it up in 1985. Terrble years for farmers. So, happily, I get to read about yours. Carry on, FarmGirl. :)

  43. Nora in CT says:

    So glad to meet you! I’m not a farm girl (yet?), but love knowing there are many of you still living and loving this way of life. I look forward to getting to know you better. Your family is beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

  44. Vicki says:

    Hi Libbie,
    Really glad to meet you! Loved meeting you, your boys, and your beautiful cow, Evelynn. Can’t wait to read more.
    A farm girl from Wisconsin.

  45. Jenny Wren says:

    Hey there, Libbie!
    I absolutely love Jersey cows- the sweetest of all with those big brown eyes. Welcome, welcome- I look forward to (re)living vicariously through your blog posts. I am stuck in suburban Portland, OR- but dream of one day moving back to farmland.
    Looking forward to learning more about you-

  46. Juanita says:

    Hi Libbie, Noce to meet you. I love hearing about your farm, and all about your family. I have a garden and I call that my farm and I am a farmgirl at heart. I like to sew and cook and can and freeze, all the stuff that farm girls do. I have dreamed of being a farmers wife and living on a farm. Any I love the farmgirl connection and all that we do. I am farm sister #1020 and am enjoying every minute of it. Keep up the good work. Love it, Juanita

  47. Welcome Libbie.
    I enjoyed reading your story.

    We live on a small farm in Massachusetts with 2 horses, angora rabbits, ducks, chickens, kittens and a bulldog.
    Looking forward to reading your posts !

    Happy day!

  48. carol Branum says:

    Hi,Welcome,I am a farmgirl too!Good luck in your ventures!Carol Branum,Lamar MO.

  49. Reba says:

    Hi Libbie! It is so nice to meet you, your boys, and hear about your farm life. Isn’t it amazing how sharing the farm stories "cultivate" the desires and dreams of others for living the farm life?? I know it helps to kindle the dreams as well as rekindles the memories in me. My mom was a true farmgirl in heart and I am so thankful that she placed those in me. So I am looking forward to hearing and sharing more of the farm. Welcome!!!!

  50. bonnie ellis says:

    It’s nice to meet you Mom, wife, clothes-washer, dish doer and cleaner-uper. I have two boys two and although they are grown I love to see younger families and their enthusiasm for life. Welcome aboard Libby from Bonnie, farmgirl #298

  51. Kate says:

    It was so nice to see your introduction letter and pictures.
    You have a way with words and your place sounds beautiful. I can imagine the weather is cooler there as well! I live in a small town in Central Texas and it is pretty hot here in the summers. Fans always on in the barn, even at night! We have 5 horses, 3 dogs and two cats. Will look forward to hearing more from you and seeing those wonderful pictures!

  52. Thanks for the great introduction and pictures.. Glad you are here. Can’t wait for more.

    Small time farmers are the way of the future.

  53. Cora says:

    Welcome Libby, It was great to read your blog. I am always so thankful when I see young parents teach their children the importance of farm life and family.

    I have two grandsons, age 4 and 2 who come to our 3 acre spread regularly. Poppy and I try to teach them about nature and let them "help" with gardening, etc.

    I grew up one of twelve in Ky and was taught a lot at an early age regarding gardening, housekeeping, sewing, etc. It is something I am very thankful for.

    Keep up the good writing. I very much enjoyed it.

  54. Kate Talley says:

    Libbie, My-More-Than-Sister!
    Your intro was just lovely and the photos were great. I miss you so much my heart hurts. Give those sweet farmboys a love from me and be watching your post…until we can see each other in person! Love you
    Kate

  55. Debbie Bird says:

    Hi Libbie, I love you blog. I am a 52 and just not starting life anew. I have 15 acres of mountain meadows, trees and streams with a bunch of run down buildings including a 100 year old barn. I can see forever from my kitchen window. Now I just have to figure where to get started. I raised two boys and a daughter. Those years you have ahead of you are blessed as hard as it can be at times it is all worth it. God Bless you and yours. I look forward to reading and knowing you more. Sister #1700 Deb

  56. Rene Foust says:

    Your life sounds so wonderful! Some day!

  57. Kim says:

    Libbie, so nice to meet you! I am new here to MaryJanes Farm and am loving it! Nice to talk to other women who are of kindred spirit. I am 52(geeez I don;t feel that old) and live on a small ranch in the middle of the desert in New Mexico. I have 4 horses, 15 hens, 3 dogs, 9 cats, a snake, afish and a turtle named Broadway from New York City.(soon to own miniature donkeys.. woo hoo!) I garden and recycle things into crafts, in fact my family teases me about not dying anywhere close or Kim will make something out of you! hahaha. I am not that bad,,, but close. Thanks for all your blogging., I love it!

  58. GRACEE says:

    Welcome! I too, am a new comer. I LIVE ON 3 ACRES IN PENNSYLVANIA NEAR THE WVA. BORDER. I HAVE A MODERATE SIZE GARDEN ,6 CHICKENS, A CHIWEENIE DOG,A CAT AND A 12 YEAR OLD GRANDSON.WHEN I DISCOVERED MARYJANES MAGAZINES I THOUGHT CAN’T BE–SHE IS READING MY MIND AND MY LIFE!!

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