Losing Cook Dollar Barn was one of the worst experiences we have lived through. It wasn’t just a store; it was an important social hub for the Pajari Girls, and our little town, too. Every day, the list of people and things we miss gets longer. And when people told us that there must be something even better around the corner, we KNEW they were lying.
Now, we are headed back. Back in “A“ Barn, if not “The Barn”.
So here’s the scoop: barring zoning, insurance or licensing issues, Her Highness The Queen of Poo (Lois) is hoping to open the Peterson family homestead as a petting farm/ event location this summer! Can we get a whoop whoop??
Yes, fans, it has finally happened. I got the office I have been petitioning for, AND recognition as Employee of the Month!
Take a video tour here!
Thanks everyone for making it happen! Lois finally caved in and did what her heart told her was right. I don’t even care that she is in denial about her motives. (She thinks she meant it as a prank, but I know that deep deep down she wanted to recognize my outstanding efforts!)
Please visit The Barn’s Facebook page if you don’t want to chime in on here. Thanks, everyone!! Loveyabye!
Any activity outside when the high temp is one degree above zero and the low is 17 below zero is an adventure. Eldest Spawn and New Guy Clint took this lovely family photo on their way to their next Christmas, while Middle and Youngest Spawn stayed in the house, and Lois, Big Guy and I watered and fed the herd.
Next, we decided the herd needed some extra calories for Christmas and cold weather. I made a short video of their approach. This bunch is VERY food-motivated. I was pretty sure this video would end up on a 48 Hours Special as my death sequence.
After that, we needed a kettle of hot water for hot chocolate and Ice Hole Butterscotch Schnapps. And a little nap. Merry Christmas from our barn to yours!!
We said our final goodbyes to Stinky on Friday, when it became apparent that the cancer was hurting too much for the pain meds, and he started throwing up. There are so many things I want to say about this gentle giant, but for once I’m pretty much speechless. Here’s to the world’s biggest lapdog, Mr. Stinky Droolface, aka: Harley the Mastiffosaurus Wrecks.
The following is a WordPress Gallery, which is a fancy, foofy name for a slideshow. Click on any image to start.
It was so fun to bring people up Lois and Steve’s driveway and watch their faces when Stinky came to investigate. “What the HELL is that??” they’d ask.
But I love living, working, and raising a family with a small town. Yes, I said with. Some days we call friends in a panic, because a truck showed up early, my arthritis is kickin’ my butt, and Walli has to pee, all at the same time.
More than once a friend or family member has walked in to grab a snack or a pair of reading glasses and found us surrounded by boxes -almost in tears with the sheer overwhelming RETAILNESS that is having a small business- and pitched in. Thank you all!
Now THIS was a great idea… The 3/50 Project began as a blog post on March 11, 2009, asking, “What would happen if just half the employed population chose 3 local brick-and-mortar businesses that they would hate to see close, and spent $50 there per month?” The answer? $42.6 billion in revenue– 68% of which stays in the local economy! (More than that in many cases.) This is a great resource for small businesses AND their customers–please visit them!
Small businesses also support schools, clubs, teams, organizations and each other through donations of time, money, ideas, and volunteer labor. We work harder, stay later, and start earlier (well, Lois does…) because we love being a part of this community.
If you are in the Cook area this Saturday, November 12, stop by the local businesses for Ladies’ Night…we will be staying open late to show off Christmas inventory and thank you for keeping us employed and open! Wine, appetizers, drawings, and specials will abound, too. (More likely hard liquor at The Barn) Festivities start at 4 pm and end at 8 pm.
Also, the dogs of Cook businesses will be kicking off a fundraiser/pet food drive to feed local pets. More on that later.
As always, if you like this post, say so! Like, Share or Comment below. How else will I know if anyone is listening? 🙂
PS: If you found this to be Employee of the Year stuff, go vote for me! Peer pressure the heck out of my big sister!
Poultry scares the living crap outta me. Too many negative experiences with geese, turkeys, roosters, and chickens as a child, I guess. (Did you know that chickens are the closest living relative to the T-Rex???) It’s not that an angry Charolais mama cow or a Belgian draft horse in training aren’t unnerving…but they can’t FLY. They don’t have creepy, naked, talon-y feet and BEAKS. They are too big to really sneak up on a girl.
My sister the Shrew tried to adopt two 3 year-old guinea hens from our friend Jacqueline in August. Or maybe one is a hen and one’s a rooster…whatever. That lasted all of about 15 minutes. In her defense, she thought they were properly contained, and Jai, the Ginormous White Slobbering Dog created a diversion by running off into the woods. While BigGuy (Shrew’s husband), the Shrew, Danny Boy and I were running/driving around the neighborhood looking for Jai, GusGus (Walli the Corgi’s little brother) evicted them from the barn.
After a night or two we were pretty sure a fox, coyote, wolf or logging truck had done them in. I was relieved, to say the least. Birds are FOOD, not friends. Then neighbor Elsie called Lois to ask if she was missing some funny-looking, big, gray and white birds. Neighbors always call Lois when strange creatures appear at their homes. (Itchy the pony was under Barb’s deck once, and the big horses went to Cook for coffee years ago.)
Lois rounded up a posse of friends and their children, complete with a roll of netting and landing nets. After a good bit of whining, I went to observe only. I had a gun, just in case, but didn’t really want to shoot the birds in front of other people’s children.
It ended up being a moot point; Guineas are like the Harrier aircraft we saw at the airshow this year– they can take off straight up. And then they blend like ninjas into the northern MN swamp. I was pretty sure they would make their way to my house, to eat me in my sleep.
Over the next few weeks, they were spotted at three other neighbors’ houses. All attempts at capture were futile. At one point, Lois & Co. even tried guns and mirrors (Guineas are notoriously vain). She briefly had them back at the Funny Farm, locked in a horse trailer, hoping they would learn The Farm was now home. No good; they were back at Lori and Steve’s not a week later.
Just when I was hoping Mother Nature had disposed of them for me, I got a Facebook message from yet ANOTHER neighbor. We tried to give her the fowl for her birthday, but she didn’t buy it. Smart woman.
As soon as the neighbors saw that we would shoot them if we had to, to make the neighborhood safe, they decided the Guinea Fowl weren’t so bad. “What’s a little bird poo, weird noises, roosting on vehicles, and feathers compared to the benefits of the birds?” they asked. So they eat ticks. Yay. Ticks are gross, and deer ticks spread Lyme’s Disease. Eat ’em all, I say, but stay away from my house. I will spray us all with DEET instead. And keep the lawn mowed. Maybe even build a moat.
Why did the Guinea Monsters cross the road? Apparently Neighbor Carol feeds them and they like the company of her chickens. She LIKES them. Thinks they are cute, even. They come when she calls. I think we were all pretty ok with Prickles and Eggo (yes, Lois let Anthony name them-makes it even harder to shoot them.) living out their creepy birdy lives across the road.
But they like to roam.
What is GF Peaches looking at? Guinea Monsters in my Great Aunt Emily’s Rugosa roses. IN. MY. FRONT. YARD.
There is one other redeeming quality that has kept them alive thus far: they run like hell from me. Even when I’m not actually chasing them.
Today, however, I see that they dug up the sage I planted.
I know, I know, they didn’t actually damage the plant-they were just looking for bugs. But still. Poultry. Right next to my house. Sort of messing with my plants.
I wonder how long they would need to be in the slow-cooker to get rid of the gamey taste…
Very nice, informative article here. They really are great for gardening, if you can get over the whole bird thing. Feel free to post recipes, if not.
The Weekly Photo Challenge asked that we write about what “Big” means to us. I chose one of my sister’s dogs, Jai. He lives at The Funny Farm and is a rescued Great Pyrenees PUPPY (14 months, 120 lbs). Jai is short for Ginormous, White, Slobbering Dog. Think puppy brain in a pony-sized body….He digs BIG holes, runs BIG laps, needs BIG toys, and cleaning up after him is a BIG job.
Great Pyrs are bred to protect livestock. Lois is hoping he will help keep farm creatures IN the fence, and deer, coyotes and wolves OUT of the fence. These dogs are mostly nocturnal , gentle with children, and love to roam their territory. They are working dogs, but Jai takes naps, too. He’s just a baby.
Mr. Stinky Droolface, the Old English/Bull Mastiff Grampa dog of the farm is actually bigger than Jai. Stinky weighs about 180 lbs, but at 10 years old is slowing down considerably. When he was a puppy we called him the Mastiffosaurus Wrecks. At one point my physical therapist recommended I stop visiting my sister until he outgrew the puppy stage. He kept knocking me over by accident.
Of course Walli the Corgi refuses to be left out. She’s 6 months older than Jai, and one-tenth his size. And come to think of it, ten times the attitude. Size is relative.