Engine 765…

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A couple weeks ago, we were working on breakfast, when all of the sudden, we heard the most unusual train whistle.  Now, we live about 300 feet from an active freight train line, so we have gotten to know a lot of the trains that go by often.   We can tell by the whistles which engine it is…  we love trains.  So when we heard this odd train, we knew something different was coming by.   We rushed to the window and sure enough, we saw an old steam engine plugging along!   It was SO cool!  Jessy hopped online and pretty quickly she discovered it was the old steam engine 765 from the Nickel Plate Road Railroad, historically restored by the Fort Wayne Historical Railroad Association!  And she was on excursion that weekend, making 4 trips past our little homestead!

Well, right away, we plotted when she might be back back the house and got ready.  It would be later in the afternoon.  Of course, there was an app to download that would keep track of her progress on the line so you could be ready at the various crossings.  We set our alarm and got on with the day.

When it got close to the time, we were ready.   Walked out to the tracks and was pleasantly surprised to see other people gathering, neighbors and other avid train fans!  It was like a little engine watching party!  A few people were putting pennies on the track for the engine to smoosh.  We were ready with our video and some cameras.   It was very thrilling.

The engine came along right on time and we were thrilled to be just feet away from this piece of history.  There is something so cool about these huge machines.  I got a neat video of the engine going by and put it on our Facebook page…

 

Click HERE to see the Nickel Plate 765 go by Windhaven Farm…  

 

The best part is that she came back by on Sunday, so we got two more chances to see the engine roll by!    And then Jessy figured out that since she would end up in Detroit to leave off her excursion riders, she would be coming by ONE MORE TIME to be parked back at the Historical Society on Monday morning!   The app gave her the information and so we were ready to see her one more time.

Our friends came out to visit and since Justin has several sons, we were all ready to see the train together.  The boys had puts out a few pennies to smoosh!

By the way…  it’s not possible to derail a train by putting a penny on the track.   That’s an old wife’s tale.  Of course, trains are extremely dangerous and you can get hit by one if you don’t get out of the way or are on multiple tracks.   We just have one track out front and were very careful to put out a few pennies WAY before the train was due.

 

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Thought this was very interesting…  hardly ever have seen an imprint left by a penny!  Usually the freight trains are so fast, they just seem to smash them so quickly there is nothing left on the rails.  The 765 was not going that fast, so maybe that’s why!

 

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Searching for our pennies!  We only found a few.  I think that when the metal detector cars go by, they make a killing in lost train pennies!

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I found one!  Yeah!   They are pretty cool.   That is a TON of metal in those large engines, it’s surprising that the pennies even make it through the process.  You would think they might end up totally thin and smooshed large as a pancake!

 

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On the app about the train and the historical society, we learned in August that they were having an open house!  You could come down for free and view the engine, check out one of the passenger cars that had been restored as well as see other projects that they were working on.   We just had to make the trip!   Fort Wayne is only about 45 minutes or so from us so we packed up a lunch and headed out.

 

There were all sorts of wonderful displays and the best part was being able to actually go into the 765′s cab and see how it all runs.   My gosh, is that thing up high! I know that sounds a little funny, but when you are up in the cab, you are pretty high up, higher than I would have imagined.  It was neat to see the boiler and hear the whistle from inside…  extremely loud!

 

The club car we toured was very posh.   I can’t wait for a chance to take a ride on the train someday.   We joined the society and every summer they schedule various trips to help raise funds.   Some are members only!   We’ll find out all the information in their mailings and on the website.  Maggie, especially, loves the trains and she hopes to be able to volunteer sometime!  We’ll have to see how that goes, I’m sure she would be a asset to them because she is one hard worker and not afraid to work hard or get dirty!

 

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Love the recliners and lovely club car…  the front part is a snack area and food service part.  We found it very comfortable!!!

 

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They had a smaller engine and caboose ready to give rides up and down their tracks in the yard for $5, but we decided to forgo that and instead join the society and Maggie got a way cool t-shirt.  The line was a bit long and it was mostly young families.  Still, it was neat that they offered it and fun to see all the little kids get excited about the ride.

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Jessy found her Christmas present from Santa a bit early!  Hahaha….   There was coal all over the tracks and yard and they didn’t mind if you took home a found piece.   It’s pretty cool stuff, very shiny and yet lightweight.  She took it home for her collection, being a rock hound, of course.

 

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One thing I loved is that they have several heavy draft horse hitches and wagons to cart folks around!   How cool was that…  I love seeing horses in harness.   There were a team of Clydesdales, Shires, Haflingers, and Spotted American Drafts.   Beautiful animals.  It was so neat that I could understand and identify the harness parts and how they all worked together with my experience with Cody Pony!!!   That kind of made my day!  It was a heavy metal and flesh and bone horsepower sort of day!

 

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We sure had a good time and you can tell by the smile on this kid’s face.   A picture with her favorite engine and new t-shirt!  I have to say, the t-shirt is really cool looking, the graphic is neat!  I think I might like one too!   Maybe next time!   What a fun day and what a cool thing to just happen to find out about while making breakfast and looking out the kitchen window!!!

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Baaaad Hoofies…

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Well, I tell you.  With livestock, it’s just hard to keep anything nice.  They are so good at trying to figure out how to wreck stuff.  I guess it’s partially because they have nothing better to do than to egg each other on.   I always imagine them sitting in the shade, with fat bellies, chewing their cud and all the sudden one says to the other…  Betcha can’t bust down that fence…   and the challenge is on.

Honestly.   this is why we can’t have nice things.

Our fence fix lasted just about 10 days.   And then the little buggers had to mess with it and pull it all out of whack.  I guess in hindsight we needed a little more wire on the thing.   But partially, I think they slid the wire down and just got it so they could wiggle through.

And wiggle through, they all did.   We woke up the whole flock in the middle yard, grazing it down for us.

Not a huge thing, but still, we were trying to let the middle grow a bit so they could eat it later on, when it was nice and long.  We haven’t had much rain and the grass is a little on the sparse side!   I suspect that we’re going to have to start sprinkling the grass in the late August weeks if we want to keep a nice middle space.

 

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Buttercup inspects the damage.    She claims she had nothing to do with this.   I believe her because she doesn’t want to upset her snack situation she has worked out in exchange for milking.  She is a very good girl lately.

 

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I’m suspecting these two characters.   They love to be in the middle yard.  It’s very likely that they were at least involved with the challenging…   the sheep are not ones to push the boundaries we lay down.  It’s the goats, every single time.  Of course, once there is a breach in the system, the sheep are glad to share of the baaaad behavior.   Daisy is the ringleader when it comes to escaping and busting stuff.   She is a real pistol that way.

 

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Well, we broke down and got a real hog panel for the span.   They are a little pricey…  $25 for 16 feet but the good thing is that they look nice and clean, and they are very hard for the critters to bust up or get under or just escape from.

I would love if we had about 20 of these babies just drop in from the sky!  haha….  not likely to happen, but a gal can hope, right?  So far, so good…   seems to be working.  We’ll have to see how it goes.

Life is never boring around the ranch!

 

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Just a few funnies…

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I leave Buttercup alone in the screen porch for just a few minutes and she has to get herself in trouble.   What a goof walking around with a bucket on her.   I guess she was looking for snacks…. she does love her snacks!

 

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While we were waiting for her son to be born, we played many games of Agricola to pass the time.   Buttercup was beating my butt at it.  she’s very good at Medieval agriculture games.

 

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Awwww…..  Duke and Luna just waiting out the goat birth while sitting on a bale of hay.   They rarely spend a lot of time together but I guess they were just as excited as everyone else at the birth of the little goat prince.

 

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Ratchet loves little baby anythings!   And he really likes little Blackjack.  He just follows him around and wags his tail, sniffing the baby and just being his friend.   Blackjack is so confident and unafraid of the dogs and such because of Ratchet!!

 

 

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