Tag Archives: cemetery

The Detour

14 Sep

I said I’d share the detour I am taking to the sale barn back when things were rather boring.  It’s been crazy busy, but it’s such a pretty drive, I still want to share it with you.  My normal route actually is a longer trip, but it’s all paved.

The detour is pretty direct, but it’s all gravel.

Pretty much every gravel road in the area has a warning about high water.  Of course, right now I don’t have to worry about it with the drought.

My farm is the start of hills.  North of it is pretty flat, but to the south, there are hills that make it hard to have large flat fields, so there’s small fields, pasture, and lots of trees.

I’ll get back to the church in this image.

My son makes fun of me for driving like an old lady on gravel, but there’s a good reason I drive that slowly.  You never know what’s going to jump out in front of you.

Deer on the road

There’s a lot of old farms and old barns and buildings along this route.

I also get to go past this old church, in the middle of nowhere.  It’s the Union Chapel church which was founded in 1877.

It has a cemetery behind it.  Do you see those stones in the front–they are all cousins of mine.

In the old part of the cemetery, I have more relatives.

I have three sets of grandparents buried here.

Shelby Baker is my 4th great grandfather.

A bit closer to home, there’s the Clear Creek Wildlife Area.

Clear Creek Township is where my great-grandparents lived.  In fact, their old barn is still standing, but I missed taking a picture of it.  No wonder I love my hills.  I have deep roots in this area.

Can’t Take Another Day Like That

29 Mar

Saturday started out like most of the last couple of weeks in self-isolation.  I have been off the farm only to deliver milk and get Popcorn back from my mom since March 19th. Pretty routine working for the off-farm job and farm work.  Of course, it was another rainy morning.

a wet, cranky Odie

Then I saw the girls out in the field again.  I had to put them in, and then I decided to pour all the goats on that side for lice since the rain had quit. I had checked them the evening before, and it had to be done. The weather was horribly sticky out there in pasture.  I mean oppressive humidity, and I really worried we’d end up with more storms in the afternoon.

Hera, Moira, Bubbles, and Penelope

When I got back inside I was ready to do more work for work. Believe it or not, part of my work in the morning included trying to make a brain out of noodles.  Really. Don’t ask. Anyhow, in the early afternoon, my phone popped up a tornado watch for my area.  It wasn’t too long after that my phone alert sounded for a tornado warning.

noodle brain failure

I called my mom to make sure she knew, and as we were talking, the warning finally came on the television, and it was headed right for my farm and the town just north of my farm.  Looking at the warning, she decided to come out to my place because she doesn’t have a basement.  In the meantime, I grabbed my Bob cat and shoved him in a pet taxi and took him to the basement.

“She shoved me in a pet taxi. Sure, I was irritated, but I’m always irritated. Whatever.” -Bob

Then I tried catching Rocky to take down, but Sky was going crazy by this time and chased Rocky upstairs.  I finally caught Rocky and took him to the basement and threw him in the Kill Room (don’t ask–it’s a Criminal Minds reference).

“The dog chased me; the human chased me. Then she took me to the basement and threw me in a little dark room with the big roaring monster (furnace) and called it the kill room. Of course, I was traumatized.” -Rocky

Then I got the harness on Sky just as my mom arrived, and we headed for the basement.  I could not get that dog to go down there.  He fought me until he slipped out of the harness.  Then he stood at the top of the steps and whined as my mom and I tried coaxing him down.  I never did get him to come downstairs.

“The weather was crazy; the human was crazy. She wanted me to go down the long, narrow passage to a place I’d never been. I was terrified. And then she abandoned me in the upstairs! How could she?” -Sky

Then the electricity went out.  It was nice to see my mom though.  We did our best to maintain our social distancing.

photo was cropped; she was really farther away

After the warning expired, we came back upstairs, and it was all fine.  We went outside, and it looked like there was nothing but a bit of rain.  Since she was here, I took my mom out to meet Astra’s triplets, and then Mom went back to her self-isolation.

Astra feeding Jester (in front) and Avril (in back)

She did call me just a short time later to say that my nephew saw a tornado just to the northeast of my farm on the edge of town.  It hit the Catholic cemetery and really damaged the trees and some headstones.  Since I had to charge my phone in the car because my electricity was still out, I decided to drive to the cemetery and check it out.

While at the cemetery, I did run in to some people who shared that my neighbor to the south had taken a picture of a tornado right on the edge of his property.  You can see the video my neighbor took HERE (but be warned there is profanity) and another video of it HERE.  It was an exhausting day. I am so grateful that we made it through without damage after seeing so much devastation in other parts of the country.  My heart goes out to them.

A Day Off the Farm

13 Jul

It’s so rare for me to do anything but work off the farm and work on the farm that I decided I was going to share my day off the farm yesterday.  My sister came down and we had some quality bonding time by taking a day trip to Villisca, Iowa.  On the way, we stopped at the cemetery in Grant, Iowa, to visit our great-great grandparents.

We had a picnic with them.

Me by Seth and Sarah (Bennett) Smith’s headstone

It had probably been twenty-two years since I stopped here. It was my sister’s first visit.  I was a bit disappointed to see how much their stone had worn since my last visit. It’s largely illegible now.

Me and my sister

After lunch, it was on to Villisca, Iowa.  The one thing Villisca is known for is the famous Villisca ax murders which happened on June 9, 1912.

hanging on the kitchen wall

Josiah and Sarah Moore, their four children, and two visiting girls were all killed that night with an ax from their woodshed.

Reflected selfie with the Moores and two of their children, Herman and Katherine

Nobody was ever tried and convicted for the crimes.

I had read the book The Man From the Train by Bill James last winter, and that renewed my interest.  I will say, if you are interested in true crime stories, it is a compelling book that claims to have solved the murders.

My sister and I took the day tour (you can spend the night) because of our interest in history, and it really was a major event in our state’s history.  The tour begins with signing in in the old barn, which has been converted into the office.

The house had been lived in by several families after the murders, but they’ve done an excellent job of restoring it to the condition it was in at the time of the murders.  None of the furnishings are original, but they are authentic to the time period.

cook stove in back and wood stove in front

washing machine

upright piano

old-fashioned telephone


Books from the period

You know I take pictures of everything, and when the tour guide saw my camera, she gave some tips for making sure to go outside and take pictures of the windows and take two consectutive images to really know if you’ve captured anything.  Well, I hadn’t even thought about the fact that the house is haunted and there are frequent ghost sightings, but I figured the worst case scenario was having duplicate images–easy peasy to delete with digital photography.

She also encouraged us to play ball with the children, but she also warned us that they will sometimes scratch.  We went upstairs where there are frequent encounters.  Obviously, there are bells on all the doors, but we never heard any while we were there.

toys from the time and modern ones mixed in

We did decided to roll the ball in the attic, and I’m not going to lie.  It was odd.  After rolling the ball back and forth a few times, I noticed it would take odd curves.

It wasn’t like it was hitting the edge of a board–we saw that too, but it would be a graceful curing arc.  First it would curve one way.  The next time, it would curve in the opposite direction.  It was very odd.

My sister in the doorway–no ghost

I did find this doll to be the most creepy thing in the house.

Anyhow, we made the trip around the house taking pictures, and I didn’t see anything.

The door Mr. Moore’s brother entered when they discovered the crimes.

Then I put them on the computer at home so I could make them larger.

That’s when I noticed this window (which has been cropped from the unedited version of the image above.  I swear there’s a boy’s face.  You can click on the image to enlarge it.

Straight out of camera–only cropped in on this window

lightened and sharpened

In the next image (taken immediately after the first with the continuous shooting feature on my camera) you can still clearly see the power lines reflected, and the light spot is there, but the face is fading.

There were three young boys murdered in the house that night.

The Moore children who were killed that night

Which one do you think it is?

Oh, and happy Friday the 13th. 😉