Leather & Blades

I fear that one of America’s oldest forms of social recreation may be fading into the mist of history. I hope I’m wrong. In winter, fresh air is just as important to the body & mind as it is at any other time of the year. And, in this farmgirl’s opinion, we need to get out and breathe it in deeply … skates or no skates.

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  1. Joyce Wiley says:

    I remember Ice Skating on the ranch in Wyoming, my big sisters leaving me behind as they skated on Rock Creek all the way to the bridge, and of course I was usually the one who fell through the thin ice!

  2. Karin says:

    Love this. Our weather in Missouri has been really mild unlike last year but I work from my home and sometimes feel trapped in my office. I love getting out and getting the "stink off". My Grandfather used to say that (We stayed with my grandparents when growing up). I go out every morning and feed dogs cats horses and donkeys but there is a need to sometimes just get out…. to get out of the routine truly getting the stink off. Of course those urges hit me when it is coldest outside. I love skating but our ranch only has creeks that are spring fed and do not freeze but sometimes the ground thaws enough it is slippery. Does that count? I have a healthy respect for the ice and need to work on that also. I prefer staying on my feet and last year spent enough time like an unpside down turtle in 2 feet of snow. (My bottom was my center of gravity if you can imagine, just arms and feet sticking out the snow). I thought I was a goner several times but that ol faithful dog was there for me to hold on to and get myself out. Thank you for such a great article.

  3. Debbie says:

    Hahahahah! Love your dad’s saying! I’ve never been good on roller skates, ice skates or skies. But, this post reminded me of the fresh air of the Sierra during our cross country skiing days! Now, that was fun and definitely created some giggling! I did used to fall quite a bit, but at least I wasn’t going too fast when I did it! Great images and I love the one of Ribbon wearing skates.. Perhaps it’s time for a long walk in the winter air!

    Thanks for another ( gem ) Shery!
    Stay warm!
    love and hugs,
    your beach blogging sister- friend!


    Thanks Deb :o)  I hafta tell you though that the horse in that photoshop pic isn’t mine. I found it on the http://www.  ~ shery j


  4. Grace~katmom says:

    Oh Shery,
    as a child I to would go with my girlfriends and skate (at skate parks where you had to pay) what fun we had. Then somewhere along the way, I grew up,,,,and had not been on a pair of skates for 10+ years…. After all my bragging my hubby brought me & another couple to a Indoor Skate Park… Ummmm well, let’s just say, my skating memories were a lot better then my actual skating abilities! lol!
    I do have a pair of ice skates that hang by the entrance door of our home (year round) and with each season I replace the flowers to reflect the season. I also have a pair of wood/metal ice skates that lay by the fireplace.
    I am a true believer that one does not have to limit ones self to only the current seasonal decorations… so yes in Summer I have ice skates hanging with flowers and in Winter I have have bird houses & sunflowers & flamingos!…. I am just quirkey that way!
    Speaking of bird houses, I just acquired a new bird house that looks like a trailer (on my blog)…. I am so ready for Summer & Glamping,,,how about you? Happy Trails!


    Oooooooooooo, a birdy trailer ? :o) Cuuuuuute! I’m gonna try and twist my farmgirl pal, Michele, into creating a junky trailer birdhouse. I can do the graph paper part…and hopefully she’ll agree to do the woodworkin’. Got your ears on Michele?   shery

  5. Ruth says:

    What wonderful memories this evoked! As I young person, I remember ‘living’ outdoors in the winter; skating, sledding, snowmobiling….anything just to be outside in the snow and cold!

    My uncle had a pond that became the neighborhood gathering spot for kids and adults (summer and winter). Many a game of ice hockey was played there as well as just plain zooming around like crazy people on the ice just for the fun of it!

    My uncle had built a cabin adjacent to the pond, complete with a big pot-belly, wood-burning stove. If we weren’t outside on the ice, we were inside warming our fingers and toes, guzzling hot chocolate, hot cider and every sweet treat imaginable from my Grandma who was a wonderful cook and loved feeding us!

    Thanks for allowing me a few moments to ‘be’ in that place again. Like you, I ‘observe’ more than I ‘do’ lately, but I still enjoy!

    Oh, how I miss those days….

  6. April says:

    This was a great post! I loved all the pictures too! We havent been skating this year as the temps have been so all over the place. It’s snowing today, so it definitely puts me in the mood to skate or sled!

  7. OH, I love to watch people ice skate. I’ve tried it myself and it’s always ended in failure…so far…but I still love it 😉 🙂 It’s fun to watch people glide on the ice. It’s like they’re flying and for a moment you aren’t bound by gravity 🙂 🙂 Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather 🙂

  8. KimberlyD says:

    I use to ice skate till I had my first back surgery for scoliosis when I was a 11 years old, my parents wouldn’t let me after that. I did continue to go sledding up till about 9 years ago I was still sliding down the hills on a sled! But not now, my back can’t take it anymore. In Michigan we haven’t had much snow, it comes and melts the same day or in a day or two. Which is fine for me for that means the roads aren’t messy and I hate driving in it. But loved it as a kid, playing in it and making forts and tunnels and snow angels, now if I make a snow angel it isn’t because I wanted to its because I fell…LOL!!!!

  9. Treese says:

    I grew up on a ranch in Colorado. We did a lot of snow skiing and roller skating, but no ice skating. I went to Harvard for my education. Boy, did I learn to ice skate! There are ice-rinks everywhere. I crashed and burned too many times to count, but finally got the hang of it.

    I am back on our cattle ranch in Colorado after many years of being away; and once again no ice skating rinks anywhere near where I live. I do miss the fun I had with my friends.

    We have had very little snow this year so far and a growing fear we are headed for another drought just like last year.

  10. Lacey says:

    We live in Saskatchewan and we have many Ice Rinks indoor and out, Plus we usually like to build one on the front lawn in the winter months. However this year has been unusually warm, so the ice has seemed to melt away 🙁 Some of the best times I had as a child were spent doing winter activities and I am truly enjoying teaching my son that winter can be just as fun as summer, when it comes to playing outdoors! This year we started working on an Igloo…contrary to popular belief we Canadians Do Not live in them! We used a plastic swimming pool as the roof and propped it up with a few pieces of scrap wood with a fabric curtain doorway, So even though we only have a few inches of snow we can still have a true winter hide out! And our dogs have been occupying it at night! Everyone is Happy! Enjoy your winter activities, for soon it will be Caving season….and we will be too busy to fully enjoy the snow! 🙂

  11. Sharon says:

    Great post Shery! Fun, inspirational pictures too!! I love ice skating and I am not the most active of adults. I really miss it this year. Our winter has been so mild in Maine that lakes and ponds haven’t frozen over enough yet. Just last week the state had to cancel it’s biggest ice fishing competition for safety reasons. Granted there are still ice rinks open, but if I’m going to make the effort I prefer to be outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine. Here’s hoping it’s cold enough some where for people to enjoy the sport the way it was meant to be.

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“If I ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been owing more to paying attention, than to any other talent.” ~ Isaac Newton

Some words are little and don’t have much personality. Other words may be of medium character and they too need the assist of words with more dimension if they hope to amount to anything. Then, there are words that need a lot of room. They are the giants. Words that can change the landscape, change lives, change borders, medicine, books, culture, the way we look at things and even at ourselves. “Discover” is such a word.

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  1. Grace~katmom says:

    Oh Shery,,, you made me giggle this morning, reading your blog… and never were truer words spoken… especially "Menopause poaches your Brain"! OMG! now I know what happened to mine! Thanx for that clarification!
    Oh & I uber luv the cute ‘trailer pot holder’…
    Happy Trailes to you & yours!

  2. Kristy says:

    My daughter taught me to put new, unused, and unfluffed out (flat) garbage bags in the bottom of the garbage can, under the bag that I’m currently filling. They take up almost no space and and are even handier than than they would be in a cupboard or the top suitcase, in a pile of old suitcases. I use the same size can liners in both the laundry, and the kitchen so I’m not trying to stuff a whole box of them in one location. Now you can save something else or more frivolous in that old train case. My vote is for frivolous.


    OhMyGosh….eXXXcellent idea!  Thanks for taking the time to share it :o)

  3. Lois says:

    Loved this piece! The word moxxiest really made me giggle, so my moxxiest thoughts are coming your way! Lois

  4. Treese says:

    I’ve always figured some of the good things in life were free. Sometimes you have to slow down a little bit and enjoy seeing what life has to offer. I took my horse out for a ride on Monday night in the full-Wolf Moon. The moon looked so close I thought I could touch it. The trail thanks to the moon was so bright it looked like I was riding with a spot light in front of me. I live on the front range of the Colorado Rockies and the mountains sparkled like they were covered in fairy dust. I saw something shine on the ground. Normally, I would have ridden on, but I stopped and found a little brass pot. I took it home and since then have had a good time trying to figure its history. Where did it come from? Who did it belong to? Ah, discovery stimulates the mind.

    Treese/Colorado Cowgirl

  5. Linda says:

    I don’t think I’ve left a comment to you before, but I have been enjoying all your articles and photography.
    I can’t believe you live in a mobile home! From your pictures, I don’t know how it all would fit!!
    Possible solution for transforming your workroom-Michele??
    A discovery- frame and sell your photography??
    Love your blog!!


    Linda,  How nice of you to take the time and leave kind words :o) thankyouthankyou. Ya, know I’ve thought about selling photo, but *I* don’t buy photos or decorate with them. So, its kinda hard to imagine other folks being that impressed with my pics when I haven’t even had very many of them developed…much less framed. ‘And thats the truth’ said Edith Ann. I really do appreciate the encouragement though. That means more to me than anything.  shery

  6. nameTerry wright says:

    I’d wondered if you were going to do Pinterest. I too feel like I’ve come out of hibernation and I can’t seem to get enough of Pinterest and the ideas. Now, as you say, I’ve got to look for more time and energies.


    Hi Ms Terry!! Sometimes all we need is a nudge of inspiration and it starts a ball rolling. Yea, Pinterest is doing that for a lot of folks I think.   shery

  7. Jan says:

    Hi Shery, Another wonderful post! I love this topic because I have been in the process of discovering myself for the past year and a half. In the past I was so busy with children, family and work that I kind of lost myself. This happen to anybody else? So now in my 60’s, me, myself and I are getting reaquainted. 🙂

  8. Nella Spencer says:

    Shery, you have a way with words! I love how you said you’ve "become slower and easier to find" being the same age as you, I am finding this true for myself also. I was just thinking today about needing more energy to do all the things I want to do and your blog was just what I needed–perfect! Thanks

  9. Reba says:

    This article was so funny. And it encouraged me to write about the discovery I made this year about myself. I had always considered my sisters (6 of them!) as the "organizers" of big events. However, I wanted to do something that was considered unheard of and unusual. What a way to find out that you really like this sort of thing! My great-nephew (and he really is!!!) was diagnosed at 2 yrs old with T-cell Lymphoma. Now he is 4 yrs old and finished chemotherapy. He is in remission!! The idea occurred to me that we needed to celebrate in a BIG way. We weren’t having a funeral…we were given life! Well, my "junk", as some have called it, came in handy at this event. We did a "farmstyle" Celebration of Life, inviting 50-60 people who had been a part of his healing and recovery. William craved farm fresh eggs while he was taking those awful steroids. There is no telling how many he ate. So this got me to thinking about how to celebrate. We live in the city, but I thought, we can have a farm celebration! Mary Jane has taught me that much! So-o-o, I pulled out all my "junk" and all the stops! We had dancing (hokey pokey, limbo, some modern stuff :o), country (natural and organic) cooking, apple-bobbing, sack races, and decorated my very small backyard like a farm! It was described by my nephew as "the perfect party." I had the best time! I never dreamed that I would do something like this! But we are so thankful! He is so full of life and has really taught us. Mary Jane has a saying in her book, "while we try to teach our children all about life, they teach us what life is all about." Amen, amen.


    And, amen that your family’s dear little boy is healthy. He’ll remember that party all the days of his life.  shery

  10. Shery, How about using your photos to make note cards to sell? I’m thinking that your actual photos would be inserted into a "frame" (of sorts)on one side of folded card stock (large sheet folded twice). Each card might be enclosed in a cellophane sleeve to keep it fresh until sold. Just putting the idea out there for you to consider.

    I really LOVE your blog and photos! Keep sharing with us.


    Maybe cards, hmmm. Thank you. Love hearing from everyone. That is the best part of this process. Everyone else loves the feedback, ideas & comments too!   shery

  11. Brenda says:

    A good post as always. Love your thoughts and that you share them. Your hens look happy. I hope they are providing you with a lot of eggs. And Pinterest, Oh how I love it. Hope to find your boards and see what we have in common!


    Brenda, my hens are on winter rest. I did get one egg the other day tho. I don’t have a light on for them. But, its ok. They’ll go back to work in the spring. Fortunately, our local grocer offers organic eggs from folks around here. Eating ‘production’ eggs after having the real thing is just not something I can do anymore. I’d rather go without.   shery

  12. Lacey says:

    Hi Shery! I purchased my very first copy of MaryJanesFarm about a month ago and this lead me to find your Blog…I just LOVE it!! I have read many of them aloud to my husband, and we have to agree that it’s nice to read about others that have a similar lifestyle to ours!! Thanks for all your amazing stories, insight and the great recipes! Can’t wait to see what you discover next!! Lacey (Saskatchewan, Canada)


    Folks hearing about MJF publications (hard copy & online) just keeps getting bigger. In a ‘down’ economy, that is really something. Uncertain times remind people to think long and hard about being more self reliant. It is how things ought to be ANYway. I’m so proud of the young adults in this era, those who boldly look at a future that isn’t painted as bright for them as it was for us. They forge ahead, determined to be good stewards of their world and live a highly responsible, creative, grateful and compassionate lifestyle. This world has become a place of polar contrasts. Where darkness seems to be on the rise, light even more so. Hope doesn’t surrender easily.  Have you noticed the abundance of COLOR in the arts & crafts so popular with younger women now?  Now, maybe I’m making too much of it, but I do believe it is indicative of younger folks looking at the age old promise of a rainbow and there is nothing worng with that.  shery 

  13. Colleen says:

    Your pictures are wonderful, you have no idea how much I enjoy them. I have downloaded a few onto my "work" laptop to take along with me "on the road", particularly anything red and anything with a horse (I miss my horse…)I love your photography. Thanks for a beautiful, inspirational blog. I read it faithfully.


    Ohhh, Colleen. You made my day. Thank you.  shery

  14. Brenda says:

    Hi Shery, me again. I did not put a light on our hens this year either. Planned on letting them rest also. But in the last 2 weeks they just started laying everyday again. Sometimes I get 4 the next day 8. We have 10 hens at this time. We have had to add the red heater lamp at night because it is getting so cold here in the last couple of weeks. I keep it on when the temp dips down in the 20’s or lower. Do not know if it that or the fact that they were not laying much from early fall until now. But we are in eggs again and I feel the same as you about the store bought eggs. I had bought some eggs from the grocer for some baking over Christmas when I could not get enough from our girls and had a dozen left that I decided to make some egg salad from. Just could not believe how un-flavorful it was for us.


    Hens stop laying in the early winter due mostly to short days (less light). But, when it is really cold…like -minus temps, they’ll stop too. I used to keep a light on, but I stopped. If it gets frigid like that though, I can always string a cord over to the coop.   shery

  15. Marcie says:

    Hello Shery,
    I love your stories and your photos that tell stories. When I open my email and see a MaryJaneFarm email and see that it is from you… well I get another cup of coffee and settle in for a treat. It is like a visit from an old friend. Actually, you remind me of a long ago friend from West TX whose name is Sher (she is a hoot)! I have two chickens (one is going into the molting stage… poor baby), but they are still laying their one egg a day.
    Keep up the good work lady … we appreciate you, and your fans will continue to look forward to your great stories…and stay warm Shery,
    Your fan from the Tennessee Smoky Mountains,

  16. Debra says:

    I am auctioneer’s daughter and my two boys are auctioneers. So I do know about junk and what you can do with. How fun it is to see what you do with it. I like your blog real well. Thanks have a blessed day.

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