Symbols of My Country Life

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Walking around our place today, I thought about all the things that say, “This is country!”  Icons that have been part of my life for as long as I can remember.

Oh, there have been interruptions in my country living.  College, time in California, and the early days of teaching and marriage.

Through it all, I always knew I wanted to return to the, country life!

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We made the move in the late seventies by purchasing a few acres, where we built a barn, and then our home.

We put many hours of BST into our, “little patch of heaven,” and over the years, it has become ours not only on paper, but by imprint and memories.

So here’s a few glimpses of the things that make it ours.

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If you know anything about Kansas, you recognize the post rock, that has served many purposes throughout our states history. In pioneer days, where lumber was scarce, rock was plentiful. Homes, barns, and fences were built from this plentiful material. We used a couple of these beautiful specimens as an accent to our front walk. If only they could talk!

symbols of country life 018Many items around our Ranchette have special meaning and memories. This bird feeder isn’t that old, but it is special, in that, I gave it to my dad one year for a birthday present. So, when he passed away I brought it back to Kansas with me. It’s a nice reminder of him.

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Our porch swing was constructed by our neighbor, and friend Mark Andres. I always had a porch swing growing up, so it was natural that our porch graced one too! I gave Mark the design, and being the craftsman that he is, this is the result. A beautiful, sturdy swing, made of cypress that will last long after my derriere no longer occupies it.

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My husband grew up in Nebraska and he managed to salvage a few things that were used by his father and were part of his everyday life on the farm. The vice was his dad’s as well as the corn scoop. And, if you’re from Nebraska, you know how important the corn scoop is and was. Both have seen a lot of ware. That is what makes them so beautiful!

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Barns, horses, tack and tanks have been part of our lives as well. My husband has always loved and owned horses. When we moved to the country it was understood that we’d have them too! Our children showed in 4H, and now, our grandchildren enjoy riding. There’s something special about a barn filled with critters and hay.

symbols of country life 017A gift that I gave to my husband one year, was this old weather vane. Weather, and the unpredictability of it, holds life in the balance for those who love the rural life. Rain, or the lack of it, can mean economic survival or ruin.  And so, we keep our eyes trained on the skies, the radar, and the, once-upon-a-time, weather vane!

symbols of country life 015Since we both had, and have careers in the arts, you’ll find works of art around our place. The Buffalo sculpture is one we acquired from, Kansas artist and sculpture, Pete Felton.

 I love this little guy, he represents so much about the plains and our heritage. Pete works miracles with the stone he carves.This sculpture stands strong after years weather, and my accidentally hitting it with the riding lawnmower one summer.

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We have a lot of Osage Orange trees…aka… Hedge trees in Kansas. They were planted after the devastating Dust Bowl years to prevent soil erosion. This interesting piece is from one of those iconic trees. My husband is always scouting around the back pasture for nuggets of artistic value. One day he brought this mangled, gnarled piece up to the house.”Isn’t this interesting?” he said. I knew what that meant. I have to admit, it is interesting and intriguing to say the least. It also makes a good scratching post for our cat, Shadow, too!


And. “What!” You may you ask, are these floating horse heads, out-back of the house?” Well, I can explain. Again, a friend, and Wichita, Kansas artist, Gino Salerno  made these for us. Each were carved out of tree stumps from our Ranchette. Cool, huh?


And finally…my glass-dish flower. I’m sure we’ve all seen these decorative plates and serving pieces in our mother’s cupboard. I found this one at an Iowa craft festival. Had to have it! When things dry up and wilt… this baby stays beautiful, and erect!

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Corrals and fences are an important fixture around the place. They keep things in, and things out!

My husband fooled around and made a coyote fence like the ones he’s seen in New Mexico. If you haven’t noticed, we appreciate Southwest architecture and design.

Wherever you hang your hat, or call home, I’m sure there are many symbols of your life!

Take a look around.


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