Cleaning the Barn

Every spring I clean the barn out completely – all the pens with dirty bedding and in the case of the chickens – all the spilled feed. I just knew I couldn’t do it all myself this year and for the past 3 years 2 high school boys did it for me. They are graduating however so are not available.

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Our church youth group is going to Costa Rica on a mission trip in August. Several kids from other churches in Garner are also going along and this group is raising money for their trip expenses. They advertised as Do A Chore Fundraiser and I hired them to clean my barn.

This is a no brainer, you say? I’ve tried this before and it just didn’t satisfy me – either the kids didn’t come, they were too busy on their phones or they had to be told every move to make. I was afraid and nervous that they might not even show up this morning. Then what would I do? I could hardly sleep for worrying about it.

I am so happy to tell you that they did a splendid job! Three adults and 6 young people showed up and they knew how to work! I couldn’t be happier and they were happy with their paycheck. It was a win/win for all of us. I took their picture when we finished even though several had already left.

Here they are “in action” – Hazel and Telly, too! Oh, they had a great time!

Look at these nice clean pens with new straw bedding.

They came about 8:30 and they were done by 10:45! Wow! Thank you to the Costa Rica Mission Team!

As I sit here at the table I am watching 3 grosbeaks, an oriole, a mourning dove, a chickadee, a nuthatch and an absolute FLOCK of goldfinches! And the wrens are back and Rick has made several more wren houses – I love those sassy little birds!

Rick also ran a cable around the two maple trees for me to hang feeders from – the little birds like to sit there, too. Oh, it is so much fun to watch these birds and I wonder if one of the grosbeaks that are out there eating is the one I held in my hand. It was so shocking to have it in the palm of my hand and it did feel so fragile that I was afraid I might hurt it. This experience was almost as special as the young owl last year.

Reed also helped in the barn today and then we took time to prepare his binding – next he’ll sew it to his quilt and then comes the handwork.

Oh, I am tired but not too tired to hit the sewing machine and watch The Crown on Netflix. Happy Mother’s Day to all you mothers reading this!

39 thoughts on “Cleaning the Barn

  1. Judy In MO

    Happy Mother’s Day to you! You have nurtured more than children, all of the birds and four legged creatures in your life count too.

  2. Felicia Hamlin

    Happy Mother’s day to you, Mary! You are mother to so many, doggies, kitties, goats, chickens, birds and many more and a great mentor to Reed.

  3. Peggy S

    And Happy Mother’s Day to you, too, Mary. . . You are a great “mother” to so many in need!!
    Have a great day. 👍🏻

  4. Caryn Goulden

    What a great group of helpers! After some of the things I hear and see about young people today it is comforting to know there are those who are conscientious and willing to work for what they want. And you found them! All those little birds must be a delight to watch. So much energy. Thanks for sharing, Mary!

  5. Marilyn

    What a great job they did in cleaning the barn and you supporting them on the mission trip. A win win for all of you.
    What kind of bird food do you feed your birds. My birds go through seed like crazy.
    I feel sad because I will be gone for 3 weeks and don’t have anyone to feed them while I’m gone..

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Marilyn – I feed mostly a fruit and nut blend – what they like most are the shelled sunflower meats/nuggets. I don’t buy the cheapest food that’s mostly millet. They just push that onto the ground. I also keep suet out most of the year. I’m sorry your birds won’t get fed for 3 weeks!

  6. patti leal

    happy mother’s day to you, mary. you seem to have that trait that makes you mother everything and every body. that is a good thing as there are not that many with that trait. the world is a better place for having you in it. thanks lots. patti in florida

  7. Becky from IA

    Happy Mother’s Day to you Mary… are such a good mother to so many and such a good mentor to Reed! So glad that your barn got clean for you….what wonderful helpers you got! Yeah!!!!

  8. Nikki M in Tx

    Had a great day also. Am in Ft Worth with son for couple of days. Son said taking the 3 Moms in his life out for breakfast Saturday morning since he has to work Sunday.. so had us up at 6:30 am..on road by 7:30 am in hard pouring rain…drove to Waco for breakfast at Magnolia Table ( Chip & Joanna Gaines restaurant). After breakfast went to The Silos, The Bakery,2 antique shops, The Texas Ranger Museum ( not the baseball team..State Law Enforcements), had lunch at a fabulous taco restaurant..Fuego’..,on way home stopped in West got some wonderful sausage to bring home with us.. rained entire day until we were about 15 miles from home. But son, dil, granddaughter ,great grandson, and Ms Maci & I had a wonderful time & made great memories. Look like a drowned rat and tired but so worth it.
    So glad the youth group worked out Barn looks great..wish could travel here I would hire that group of workers.

    Love Martin & have always wanted a Martin house, they are such a beneficial bird too.

    Oh, yesterday found a beautiful String of Pearls succulent, and 2 others, can’t wait to get them home & replanted.

    Have a wonderful what is left of the weekend.
    Thanks for all you share with us (your readers) & the others in your life.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Nikki In TX – we see all the heavy rains in Houston and TX in general on the news – Connie wants to travel to Magnolia Market but not me even though I think it looks beautiful! I’m also glad you found string of Pearls! You did have a full day!

      1. Nikki M in Tx

        Magnolia was an experience. Operates like well oiled machine. Can say been there, done that, have the T shirt (literally). Don’t think will return, not a special trip anyway. My personal opinion is most merchandise overpriced. And most items embellished with company logo…not my thing! But hey, smart,smart business people & successful. Yes Houston & San Antonio having horrible flooding problems, And the tanker/barge collision in the ship channel with resulting spill isn’t helping. Waco pretty much dead center of Texas & Ft Worth 90 miles north up highway 35.

  9. helen freese

    I think it is great that they worked for their money and it will help them to be great missionaries. Our church did that several years ago with a previous youth director. In January they presented the church with their talents and looked for subscriptions. The girl we “hired” made us a home-made pie each month–we could choose what flavor and she delivered it. It took planning and preparation on her part. We were happy to give her a little extra. We get a note from a relative looking for money for their mission trip no effort–just looking for hand-outs–poor example!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Helen Freese – funny – I get solicitations for support from relatives, too,but don’t send- I will hire these kids again! I need the help!

  10. Susan the Farm Quilter

    Good for the church for teaching the kids to work for what they want! Obviously the parents have trained these youngsters right because they have a good work ethic. So glad they did such a nice job on the barn and you got to support their mission trip to Costa Rica…everyone wins with that combination! Love hearing about your birds…we have a murder of crows or ravens in the neighborhood this year, so while I’m hearing a few different birds, I don’t get to see many of them. Have a blessed Mother’s Day!

  11. Jo in Wyoming

    Thank You, Mary for your Mother’s Day wish. Being an old operator, we learned celebration are not day specific, so ours will be on Monday. No crowds, less noise, being together is the important part.
    You don’t have to be a mother to be a mom, and you are a mom to many. So…
    Happy Mom’s Day to you.

  12. Kathy Hanson

    What a fantastic job those young people did, I suspect they had a lot of fun doing it too! They have another adventure ahead and your donation will make it even more special. A sure win/win for you too!
    Aren’t the birds just so beautiful this time of year?!

  13. Jackie B

    Happy Mother’s Day! Love your story about the Grosbeak. Enjoy your Sunday.

  14. Angie Rowland

    In Ireland they have Mothering Day as so many women are like Mothers to others so they are recognized as well. So to all the mothers out there biological or non, Happy Mothers Day.

    1. Joyce

      Angie.. I Love the thought of a Mothering Day.. that’s perfect and fits so many!!

  15. Chris H

    Have a blessed Mother’s Day, Mary. You are a mother to so many of God’s creatures.

  16. Maryjane

    Did you know that today is National Dog Mom Day? That’s what they say. That’s my day.

  17. Kathy Schwartz in SW MN

    Those kids did a great job!!
    The bird houses are really, really, nice.
    Are the small yellow birds finches? They look like males, as they are so bright; the females are not as “pretty.”
    The mailman brought me a special package today—-my new quilt book! I can’t wait to read the stories. All of the quilts are just beautiful. Thanks to both of you for all your work.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kathy Schwartz- the bright yellow birds are male goldfinches and there are dozens of them – just as many goldish geeenish brownish females but they’re harder to see!

  18. Dee T.

    Happy Mother’s Day from all your fur babies and feathered friends. Our roof finally came 3 weeks ago B4 all the rains came. This was from the huge hail storm last May. There was so much damage from it. We didn’t have leaks so we were near last to be done. Several hundred roofs were done, siding and windows. Tomorrow we will have our satalite dish back. This antenna that attaches to the windows has me going crazy because of all the big trees surrounding our home and all over our property. This goes for the dish also. I wasn’t watching much TV with that thing of a antenna. Still haven’t been to sew much either yet. Finally found out that my pains in the lumbar area since my spine surgery is coming from the nerves on the spine. I have seen 10 different docs. Therapy hasn’t worked either. Now I have to locate a chiropractor that that correlates the pain with the right nerves and excerise for correction. It is confusing. Hope it will work. My husband is feed up and said he was going to drop me off at Mayo. He should have this pain. Hope you have a wonderful day tomorrow and get some rest. Later.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Dee T – go to Mayo! They will figure it out and it’s all so organized and prompt and coordinated! All other medical facilities pale in comparison after you’ve experienced Mayo! I have lived in constant pain in the past and once I found the right doctor, it was a blessing! Let us know how it’s going, Dee!

  19. Paula Philpot

    Happy Mothers Day to YOU, think of all the animals you have mothered over the years. You are so special. Paula in KY

  20. Beth

    Happy Mother’s Day!!! What a wonderful group of young people. And you must be breathing a sigh of relief that the barn is clean for another year. I rejoiced when our yard guys arrived yesterday to mow… Just in advance of the RAIN. Now, once the rain goes away I have to head our to our garden areas to weed. I wonder if I can do it easily having only one arm available. The rotator cuff repair is “SLOWLY” coming around but it sure does slow things down. It hasn’t stopped my sewing though and am now awaiting the Gameboard pattern so I can start gathering up fabric (from my STASH naturally) to get to work on it!!!!

  21. Jessica

    Happy Mother’s Day, Mary! I agree with everyone who posted before me…you are an incredible Mother to many animals and fabulous mentor to Reed and the other many children you interact with.

    What a blessing to have so many show up to clean the barns! And so fast!! Heck, I would’ve flown them here to do my sewing room! LOL It took me almost a week before I could see the floor and I still need to organize the fabrics by color.

  22. Diane in WI

    Happy Mother’s Day! So glad the kids and adults came to help you out. It is such a good feeling a help others. Our church served the community meal last night. The people were so appreciative and thanked us. It is a beautiful day so far. Hope it continues so the farmers can get in the fields. Have a good day.

  23. Mary

    Happy Mother’s Day, Mary You are mother to so many creatures on this earth. Like your idea where the finches are feeding. I will put a tray in my unlined planter.

  24. Karen Gaither

    Happy a Mother’s Day Mary! All your babies have unconditional love many with 4-legs. I am sure they all appreciate the cleaned barn. So glad all worked out for you with the Mission Group Volunteers. Sounds like with a large group, they got the work done quickly. So happy it all worked out. I wish my church youth did that, I could use their help. I think the kids at my church, the kids are too spoiled to get their hands dirty or the girls might break a nail.

  25. Donna Sproston

    My mother died at age 39. I was 8. I have two beautiful daughters, and two wonderful grandsons. I am blessed to be a mom and gramna, but I was also blessed to be surrounded by nurturing neighbors, teachers, scout leaders, and mothers of friends. When I see you and your outreach to the elderly, blog friends you have never met, your church, Reed and his family, all the creatures great and small on your farm, I am reminded again nd again of the power of love and compassion. Happy mother’s day to all those who have nourished us.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Donna Sproston – that’s just about the sweetest thing anyone has ever said to me or about me! Thank you!

  26. Frances Carter

    Happy Mother’s Day to you Mary! All you did and feather friends love their Momma! So glad your barn clean out was successful.

  27. Mrs. Goodneedle

    Happy mother’s day! You are blessed to have had youth who understand a work ethic and actually are earning their mission trip money! A win-win, for sure!

  28. Elaine Kopischke-Trejo

    So happy for you that you got good workers!!! They are a blessing for sure!

    FYI….because of your blog a high school classmate contacted me after over 50 yrs… amazing!!

    Thank you for keeping the blog even though you don’t have the shop anymore. Loved going there when you did!!!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Elaine – I love stories of connection like a high school classmate contacting you! Isn’t that something? You both must be quilters.

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