Calkins Centennial Farm

Aunt Ada's Farm Diary

Volume II, to 1976

August 11, 1967 Friday

It was very chilly this morning. I had just crawled back into bed with a cup of hot coffee when Mrs. Haskell, Dot and Ginny came for breakfast. I made toast in the oven from the homemade loaf that Ruth gave us. I had started Ginny on cleaning the floor in the east bedroom, Mrs. H. on washing paint brushes and plastering equipment and Dot on chopping wood when Harry's family arrived. Harry and I looked the place over and discussed what electrical work needed to be done. Pat came with Harry's and she went back to shoveling the trench for the cable to the garage. After Pat, Dot, Kelly and Tony made a trip to the rock piles Dot's carload left. I put in the new window pane at the west end of the porch with some puttying assistance from Pat and Harry. We went to Mike's for lunch and Mike came back with us, as he took a half day of vacation. I took Kelly and we picked up Tom and then went to Cadillac to get things at the hardware. Tom helped Mike & Harry. Doris took her boys and went to LaFern's and then picked up Ruth and Pat and came back. I put in another window on the porch but discovered the other was a different size (22x28) so decided to go to Dighton and get one. Ruth and Pat went along and grocery shopped and I left them at home. We went to Vina's for Tom's birthday supper and then Doris, Tony, Harry and I went back and Mike joined us when he got back from town. I put in the other porch window and Mike and I both tried to fix the outer back door---with about equal success. They got the cable laid to the garage and buried; the yard light put up and four wall plugs put in the living room and two in the east bedroom. Mike went home and we went to Vina's for ice cream and cake. Harry remembered he'd left his axe and spade at my place so came back that way and got them on his way home. It was a long day!

August 12, 1967 Saturday

I straightened the house a little. Mike came & got his ladders. I packed and left for Battle Creek. I bought dishpans and a closet rod. Also paint & plaster.

August 14, 1967 Monday

I got to Mike's about 9:45 and had coffee with Ruth while Pat was eating. I came over to the house and unpacked and did more straightening up and cleaning. I knocked more plaster off over the stairs and swept the upstairs and stairway. Then I cleaned (mopped) the stairs. I painted the floors in the kitchen and stairs. I put putty around one window pane in the north room upstairs and a host of millers came out of the sides of the window when I took it out---some alive and some dead. I heard some animal in the wall by the pantry (kitchen) when I was painting in there---I heard him in the east bedroom too. The downstairs was terribly dusty after I swept up the plaster. I put up the rod in the closet. Before I painted the stairway I replaced the boards in the step, the floor board at the top of the stairs, and put the boards in place up to the rafter area by the south windows. The window next to the door in the back room was cracked nearly in two when I got here and finished breaking when I washed the windows out there. Pat was practicing driving so she and Mike stopped and Mike put the new part of the light in the east bedroom and also fixed the light fixture in the living room. After they left I took Tom's birthday gift to him, talked with Vina about the reunion, and got jugs of water. After I came back I spread newspapers on the east bedroom floor and spread out the carpet. I'll have to stretch it lenghtwise to make it fit. I put up the embroideried Lord's Prayer in the west bedroom.

August 15, 1967 Tuesday

I moved the furniture back into the kitchen. The floor was about dry---I stuck only in a few places. I tried out my oven by baking a cake. It turned out quite well. I tacked the carpet down in the east bedroom. Some of the splintered and broken places on the big, old chest I attempted to mend with Elmer's glue and tacks. I hung the bug-light by the wall light in the dining room. I washed windows in the east bedroom and put up the window shades. After lunch-time Don and Clara Sailor stopped for a little while. We had cake and coffee. I tacked the carpeting on the stairs but ran out of tacks. I took a board up in the floor upstairs to see if I could see what animal was making the noise. Later the noise came from a different place and I haven't heard him since. I washed some cans and bottles. I wrote a letter to Gin. I went to Mike's to mail my letter and get water. I had supper with them. I took part of the cake along. I went to Bill's and got tacks and electrical supplies--bulbs, extension cords, screw in outlets and plugs. When I came back I washed more bottles, etc. and put 44 bottles in the east bedroom widows. A few seem quite old; some are quite pretty. Some were very smelly! I finished tacking down the stair carpet. Ruth gave me transparent apples but I didn't get sauce made yet. I fixed a bedside light with one of the screw-in sockets, a lamp Dot traded me, and the old stool.

August 16, 1967 Wednesday

It was quite wet out this morning because we had a thunderstorm in the night but I decided to tackle the living room windows. I found all of the frames and all of the mouldings and pieces that were needed. Nearly all of them needed puttying and some panes needed replacing. It was quite a job but I completed it soon after lunch. After a short nap I decided to tackle the windows in the south room upstairs. That was a mess! The panes of glass were two inches wider than the others and the frames I had didn't fit. I could find only two that were fairly whole and the right size. I used the step ladder to get onto the roof of the cellarway and from there could get the storm window off and the piece of roofing. (There was a wasps nest under the roofing below the window.) The storm windows weren't the right length but I found two which were the right width. I decided to save the glass from the lower sections of the storm windows to put into the frames which fit the windows. Then I sawed the frames off at the right length to use for the other two frames and panes. After several other adjustments I finally got the windows in place---with only three of the four panes cracked! But at least there are windows where it was boarded up and they fit reasonably snugly. I pried off the boards from inside which covered the one window. After supper and making the applesauce I went to Mike's, then to Bill's where I got putty and 10x14 panes (3). I went back to Mike's and drank pop with them, filled my water jugs. When I got back I cleaned up the mess and put the board of the floor back in place as I haven't heard the animal at all today. I put peanut butter for bait on the traps and re-set them. I slipped my geraniums and glued the little light blue bottle.

August 17, 1967 Thursday

I put shades up in the south and north rooms upstairs. That used the last of the window shades. I went over and got Pat and we scraped paint in the living room. I started painting and she did some cleaning in the washroom. After lunch I continued painting woodwork. She pounded the nails from the pieces of linolium [sic] I had put down in the living room up so that we could take them up. I took Pat home and then went to Vina's for supper. She gave me a pint of strawberries. I came back and painted some more. Ruth and Mike stopped over for a few minutes to see the latest improvements. I finished painting the woodwork before I went to bed.

August 18, 1967 Friday

I looked over the woodwork I painted yesterday and repainted parts of it. Then I cleaned the floors upstairs. Next I cleaned the linoleum in the living room and, after a struggle, and finishing breaking it in two in the middle, I got it upstairs and put down in the front room. I found that the felt paper under it was stuck down so I decided to leave it. I cleaned along the edges of the floor, spread newspapers over the felt paper, and spread out the carpet. A piece is missing which was taken out when it was used upstairs but I found it in the garage and will take it back and wash it. I moved storm windows and extra window frames to the attic and put the storm doors in the washroom. For lunch I had strawberry shortcake with the berries Vina gave me. I wiped up the other floors downstairs. I tackled the window situation again. I made the west window in the west bedroom tighter and was about to do some puttying when the bumblebees chased me out. I must have disturbed their nest and eight or ten kept buzzing around. I put a new pane in the north window of the east bedroom and then replaced two panes in the washroom. I took out the attic window, and because the frame was so wobbly I replaced the whole frame. I discovered that under the lath and plaster layer is a layer of wallpaper and layers of newspapers.

I went to Mike's for his birthday supper and then I went up town with them. I looked for shades for the living room but couldn't find any the right size. I got a new door knob and a few nails. I had every water jug empty.

August 19, 1967 Saturday

I got organized and packed to leave to pick up kids at Lake Louise. While I was outside closing the garage door and such things the meter man came. He asked if I wanted the bills put on the vacation plan--pay April thru Oct. I agreed. He took down my Battle Creek address so they could be sent there.

August 24, 1967 Thursday

While I was in Battle Creek I had bought window shades for the living room and a lock for the back door. Also I borrowed curtains for the living room and east bedroom from Dot and got fixtures for those. Alice game me two chairs--a Maroon rocker which had been Ed's and a brown swivel chair that some lady gave her. Bud had a time getting them into the car so when I came up from Harry's I stopped and got Pat to come along and help me unload them. We got them out without too much trouble. The west window in the west bedroom had blown in--part of the glass was on the bed and the window shade cut. The traps were sprung but nothing in them. After looking the situation over, unloading the car and hanging grandmother's and grandfather's pictures we set to leave to go to her house for lunch. Before we left tho', we heard a crash and found that grandfather's picture had fallen breaking the glass all to pieces. I put up a different hanger and had better success when I tried again later. In the afternoon I decided I had to put in the window, even if the bees did bother me--and they did. I got stung only once, I think. I decided the other door should be blue too, so I scraped that and painted it. I clipped off the lilacs and put kerosene on them. I put weed killer on a little patch but it took too much water to use much of it. I worked on the carpet--sewed the piece in, did some mending, and tried stretching and tacking it in place. My bread was mouldy so I went to Dighton to get some. Saw Mike and Ruth there & they invited me to stop for ice cream. They had been over about suppertime and got a couple of plank which were stored in the barn. Ruth and I looked at the plums but they aren't ripe yet.

August 25, 1967 Friday

I finished getting the carpet tacked in place in the living room. Then I put up the curtain rods and curtains in there. Also in the east bedroom--heretofore called the ancesteral room. I moved the desk and my collection of five "easy" chairs into the living room. I put up the clothesline and put some things from the trunk out to air. Some things I threw away and many things I decided to just take back to B.C. to wash. I didn't realize there were so many things piled in and on it! There were night shirts, drawers, woolen underware, a sunbonnet, shawls, etc. I also aired a few things from the attic, including the pillows. I gave the door a second coat of blue paint. Then I washed windows. They look better but I still had to be careful of the putty. I picked my first bouquet of flowers--goldenglow and asparagus greens. I had finished painting one white chair when Mike, Ruth and Pat came over. They brought the mattress from Pat's bed which they took upstairs. They tried to take the springs up but they wouldn't go, so they put those in the garage. Mike fixed the hole in the living room floor and put the lock on the back door for me. We had coffee, iced graham crackers and fritoes. Pat was weary as she got up early and picked pickles & got her driver's license. I painted the other three white chairs before going to bed. My bee sting made the corner of my eye swollen all day.

(I saw a rabbit by the tank outdoors this morning and there was a frog in the tank.)

August 26, 1967 Saturday

I slept rather late and then painted the one chair a second coat and touched up the other chairs. I made up the double bed upstairs and cleaned up the fallen plaster in the attic. I put in a stake and tied up the rose bush by the west window. There was lots of packing, cleaning and arranging to do before I left to come back. I had put a plate with meat on it covered with a cup and a can of tomato soup covered with foil on the top step of the cellar stairs. When I went to get them the plate was covered with footprints and the foil had holes nibbled in it. There were at least two frogs in the tank today. I saw a snake when I went to stake up the rosebush.

April 16, 1968 Tuesday

I had quite a lot of things to load in the car and bring up with me. It was a nice day and I came to the farm and unloaded jugs, crocks, and various things I had taken to B.C. to clean up as well as new things--Christmas gifts, etc. I then went to Mike's with the old yellow table and stayed for supper. I came back to the house to sleep. I was glad I had brought my electric blanket along--it kept me snug and warm.

April 17 Wednesday

It wasn't very warm but with the oven, the electric heater and the wood burner the kitchen got quite comfortable. I decided to tackle the old tumble-down shed. I'd pull vines out, then stack some rotten boards and then remove some debris and then repeat the cycle.

Just before noon Ruth K. stopped and brought a quilt she had washed and a tablecloth which had been grandma's. It started to rain lightly about noon. I took Ruth to the hospital to see her father. (She stayed and rode home with Mike.) I stopped at Vina's and had a cup of coffee with her. Pat got off the school bus here and I took her home and went there for supper. I made a pan of brownies.

In the old shed I found two cow bells, two sheep bells, an old cracked churn which has been wired together. I also found the top of a churn but it doesn't fit this churn. Under the fallen in walls I found panes of glass which were not broken.

April 18 Thursday

It was very foggy and rather chilly. I worked again on taking down the old grainery. The door was the only part on which I needed a hammar [sic] or wrecking bar. I worked out by the road awhile in the afternoon. I cut lilacs and other brush and picked up along the back and on the sides of the steps. I found a picture frame and framed some of the ornate name cards. I stopped at Mike's on my way to Vina's for supper. After supper we went to Lois and Tom's house. She made coffee and we had cookies with it.

Herman Thomsen stopped and chatted for awhile in the P.M.

I found some clippings about family events--some pasted in and some loose in a book in the attic.

I bricked up the holes under the back step.

April 19, 1968 Friday

It was a bit foggy but cleared off and got warmer.

I broke up some apple branches for firewood. I did a little raking. The old dead grass is such a tangle! I decided that probably the only way to get rid of the lilacs is to dig them out so I started on that. It is a big job! I didn't get very far. I went to Mike's for supper. Rode along when they took Pat to play practice and to Dighton. They were going on up to the hospital to see Mr. Spooncer. I came back and diddled around here. I fixed another frame with name cards.


Made a bookcase of bricks and tableleaves. Put old books in it.

Mike hauled away the pile of brush from where the woodshed was, loads and loads of other debris, including the logs in front of and to the east of the house.

Tom trimmed the mock orange bush.

I took down the corncrib.

I took plaster off upstairs. Pat helped me. We "schuted" it into the cistern. Adolf made hay.

Found three horseshoes.

The bat was in the house.

Visitors 1968

Mike, Ruth, Pat Calkins
Tom Moffit
Marie Dusenburg
Lucile Taylor & Cathy Smith
Elaine Peterson
Lottie & Virgil Benedict
Ruth, Edward, Patty Darling
Peggy Darling
Dorothy & Colleen Carmody
George & Oleatha Fox
Aunt Lula Fox
Cal, Janet, Valarie, Rachel, Chuck, Susie, Leah, Ginny, Vicki & Jane Hill
Jim Calkins
Virginia & Margaret Hensley
Alice, Mark & Ann Springberg
Cheryl Milliman

Bud Springberg
Marian, Jeannie, David & Brejcha

July 2, 1969 (Wed.)

The refrigerator was delivered. Ruth and Sven brought over Aunt Orra's table.

Mike mowed the yard last night and the night before. Marion Thomson, 3 children (Nadine, Brian & Colleen) & 2 (Roger & ?) grandchildren stopped down on Tues. evening.

July 13, 1969 20 attended the family reunion here. Jim's family didn't come. [campmeeting, I think.]

July 11, 1969 Al, Elf, John and Peter stopped for a few minutes.

Aug. 9--Mike jacked up the front porch and we took off the rotten floor.

Aug. 23, 1969--Mike and Leslie rebuilt the front porch floor. They had worked on the foundation for it the week before. We went to Tustin and got the lumber for it. Also paint and I painted a first coat. Les had mowed the lawn earlier in the week.

Aug. 24--Harry and family and Donna Fay, Chris and Joe were here for a few minutes after finding me at Mike's.

1970 Mike and some of Vina's family started putting the siding on the house.

1971 Mike worked on siding and roofing the house.

Had luncheon preceeding Pat's wedding on Aug. 29 at 3:00 at So. Community Church.

1972 Mike finished putting on the roofing.

Mike finished putting on the siding. Consumers took down the wires and put up new ones from the road to the house after he completed siding the west end of the house.

He painted it too.

On Sep. 2 (Sat.) Mike, Ruth, Clarence, Vina, John and later Alfred & Tom came and we finished priming the raw wood and got some of the siding painted.

I finished the living room rug. Keith took up the other & took it upstairs for me.

Ruth & Mike gave me a metal dishpan and so did John for my birthday. Vina gave me a billfold. Alice game me a bottle book (I have some bottles like those in it) and pillowcases. Also note paper and spray cologne. Clarice gave me a white hobnail vase and Margie a nightie and housecoat & slipper set.

11/24/72 The day after Thanksgiving. Mike took the tractor & wagon to my place & I drove over & up to the house. We stacked the wood in the garage & threw some in the horsestable. Cleaned up the garage.

9/29/72 Ginny & I went to the farm. Pat, Jerry, Ruth & Mike came for lunch. It was rather cool.

[This diary "degenerates" into a copy of Great Aunt Lois (Fox) Darling's Fox book and the start of the Fox-Bullen Reunion book. These are circa 1950's.]

1976 - Had the family reunion.

Finished bedroom rug.

Mike pulled lilacs to the west of house and kept those in front mowed.

Alice S. & Barb Smith came for supper.

[There are also inserts missing from this Diary: Aug. 16, Aug. 25, and April 17. The outline of a picture can be seen.]