My home in Missouri and our animals

Describe your home(s) and surroundings during early childhood.

I was born in the MCI hospital in Independence, Missouri, March 18, 1982. My mom is Sheralyn Strong from Richland, Washington and my dad is Cornelius Randall (Randy) Peterson from Provo, Utah. I was the 4 child of 10 children, the third girl. I lived at 409 Redwood Rd in Blue Spring, Missouri from birth to around age 8 at this address. Then around June of 1990 we moved to 28714 Moreland School Rd. My parents bought a 10 acre farm and a goat named Yuruba and by that time eight kids and moved us into a four room, 1,200 square foot house that we later called the front house. In fall of 1995 my parents dream house was completed. The first two acres were sectioned off to go with the front house and the other 8 were put with the 6 bedroom around 4,000 square foot house in the back. I lived in that house until I left to go to BYU in the fall of 2000.

The barn housed goats, chickens, a pony named Cinnamon and a black ill tempered pony named Shorty. Cinnamon pulled a cart when she first came to us and that was fun for a while. She had a prediliction for biting people and I was bit a few times. Once when I was riding Cinnamon, my sister Bonnie started chasing us with a stick. I got bucked off and sprained my wrist. I wasn't very fond of riding from that time forward.  Eventually Cinnamon had to be put down many years later. She was very old and bony and Animal Control had been called several times with complaints. My mom let Cinnamon eat grain in our garage at that point and the person was shown that she wasn't maltreated just was old. So we had someone come out to shoot her. Mom had a tenant who had a back hoe. He dug a big hole and then the horse was led over into the hole with a bucket of grain. And what do you know, when she was shot she kicked that bucket.

My parents had goats to help us learn to work hard. Yuruba was the first. She was a completely black Swiss alpine goat with a swiss bell around her neck so we could hear her coming. We actually picked up Yuruba from a farm when we were still on Redwood and hadn't moved yet. That was interesting. We all took turns milking the goats. Every winter the goats would kid and then we would have to milk in that cold barn in the winter. We didn't have any billy goats that we kept but we had to have one over every fall to get the baby goats. Those billy goats stank so much. They were pretty rank. They would try to jump on any lady goat.

One Christmas America went out to milk and get eggs and a possums had been killing the chickens. My dad killed those possums with a sledge hammer. My Dad, not having a gun, had to kill them like that. 

We had to muck out the chicken coop and barn from time to time. Originally, the barn had farm equipment and an old riding lawn mower that the Hostetters had left. They were from our ward. Their parents lived next door in a trailer and taught America flute lessons for a while. By the time we moved there, both families had moved on to Colorado I think. So we had been into the house to play a few times before we actually moved there. They also used part of the woods as a land fill so we would find some of the remnants of that business around the side yard when we went exploring. When we did go exploring, we rarely went into the very back. You had to cross a big stream and it was fun to play there, but there were a lot of weeds and trees to bother with.

Mom and Dad had to fence off the whole place to keep the goats in. It was a never ending task. They can jump or go under all sorts of small places. They were always over at Joe Kirk's house next door which was an underground house. I guess my parents were sued for the goats once and also for their septic tank which he claimed to constantly smell. My parents didn't really believe it but were ordered to put in a septic pond. Where that pond is now we used to have our burn pile. Including of Darkwing the white goat who was named after Darkwing Duck. She got bloated and had to be burned.

We fed the baby goats out of baby bottles and they were really cute. After a while it became more of a chore to feed those babies, but we had to do it or they would drink all of the milk.

For a while we had rabbits behind the barn for the Barnhardts. Behind that barn was a garden which sometimes had a lot of things growing in there. We just had to be vigilant about keeping the goats out.

One year we had a cow which we were raising. We called him Black Beauty. Too bad when he was accidently poisoned by leaves our friend put in from a tree from their yard.

We had a small pond that we would hunt for frogs or swim around in sometimes when it had water in the summer. We didn't put our heads in because it was mucky, but we mostly waded. One time the Creek twins, Hannah and Hailey were over and they were chewing gum and going under water in that pond. And it was gross.

We had a dog named Major for a while, who ran away from his previous owner and what do you know, did the same thing to us. We had some barn cats and kittens some of which were tamer than others. Then once the house in the back was done, we got Durago as a puppy. He was solid black like the first Yuruba. He had a problem with testosterone and killed our neighbors dog. It was very sad and that ruined our friendship with the Kones. Bonnie went over there sometimes alone and played. One time she found a wild bee's nest and got very sick from the venom. She continues to be wary of winged stinging things.

I had a fish at Redwood which went the way to the porceline highway. I also had a chameleon which I sent to school with Cookie  for show and tell and it died there.

Bonnie had a pet rat that she had in her room. She also tried keeping a baby chick in her room and probably other things. We weren't very nice to her sometimes and teased her about her rat.




Learn from the past, improve the present, inspired...
LaVera James


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