Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday Drive

Last Sunday we went for a Sunday drive around the lake.

We have lived here going on 2 years and never driven around the whole lake.We have been too focused on working on this place.Finally we have come to the realization all work and no play makes us grouchy!We have vowed to take life a little easier,not to become lazy good for nothings, but to just take time to smell the roses.

Here is a picture of the bridge closest to our house.

Further around there is another bridge across the river that feeds into the lake.

This is the old bridge.They left it when they built the new one.I love bridges,especially these old ones.When I find one of these it is like going back in time for a few minutes,even more so if they are still open to drive across.Lighthouses and old churches are other things we hunt down.We spent a whole trip to Norway once just traveling around trying to find as many lighthouses and old churches as possible!It was a great time,because they have a lot there and it is a beautiful place to travel.Sigh...I miss traveling.

This one is no longer part of the main road but is still open so you can drive across it.No, it is not leaning.I was too lazy to get out of the truck to take the picture,so I just
hung out the window!

Roll down the windows,smell the air scented with the river...ahhh,nostalgic.I almost expect to see Andy and Opie fishin'on the bank.

This is the view of the river.Looking at this it is hard to believe we were so burnt up and drought ridden this summer.

This is a cool sculpture of an Indian.It has nothing to do with the bridge theme,but it was on the drive and is too interesting to leave out.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Boys,how do they make it to men?

There comes a time as a mom of a boy you have to let go and let them walk down that road to mandom.Hmm...maybe that should be man-dumb?I think it hits most of us when our boys get around 10.Don't get me wrong I am not a man basher,I love men!But how many times have we heard "It seemed like a good idea at the time.".

You realize all your efforts are futile,the testosterone has won!So you just brace for impact.
You have to let them use the power tools and chainsaws, blow things up and crash things and here in Texas, shoot guns.All the crazy stuff they have to do to become men.Then listen to them brag,
" Look how my finger bends now!"
"Cool ! My whole eyebrow is gone!"
Ladies,you know what I am talking about here.The men are all going"Yeah! Way to go,coool!"All the while you are planning the fastest way to get to the emergency room and hoping you remember all your first aid training! Those of you who know Hubby know I have plenty of experience in these areas.There was a period of a year or two that every 3 months we were at the emergency room!Thank goodness above that he has slowed down in his old age!
There are times when I know I have to take a deep breath,walk away and just brace for the impending explosion or the like.Today was a prime example.I am sitting in the living room and I hear The Boy imitating Forrest Gump,and doing a darn good job on the voice if I do say so.

"I may not be a smart man.......but I know when to set somethin' on fire."
I didn't even want to know.I just took a deep breath,went outside and was thinking to myself"I don't think that was actually in the movie." What's a mom to do?!?!?!?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Getting Ready to Garden

This is Hubby leveling out my garden spot some.It is slightly on a hill and has a low spot that is hard to deal with in the wet spring weather.

Look at his face.I can tell you exactly what he is thinking."Woman,you are making me stop work to take a picture,good thing I love you so much."

Today and tomorrow are good days to plant if you go by The Almanac.I try to follow the advice.I figure all the old time gardeners do,and look at the gardens they produce.

Besides,I need all the help I can get.My garden here has not been my best.OK fine,it's the worst garden I have ever raised!We have a different climate here than I am used to and black gumbo type soil.Last year I managed to get some tomatoes from the summer garden.There is something good here though.Two growing seasons!Last year my fall garden did great!Winter veggies did great too,well,until the chickens got in there and devoured everything.Took me awhile to figure out what was happening.They were sneaky!I know,not a character trait you think of when you think of chickens!Oh,but don't be fooled by their cute little fluffy butts!After I would go back in the house, after tending critters,to fix me and The Boy some food,they would sneak into the garden commando style.Laugh if you want,but it is true I saw them out the kitchen window.They would get against the fence line, under the cover of trees and run down to the garden.Then they would all run out of hiding and attack my helpless cabbages,brussel sprouts and broccoli,then dissapear back into the trees! It was pure carnage,those innocent veggies didn't stand a chance.Bad chickens,Bad!

That won't happen this year,I have a fence between their yard and the garden.All summer I told myself I was giving up on gardening.All the hard work then to watch it fail because of the drought and heat.But,it is a disease,an addiction.Once you taste that first tomato you might as well have smoked crack! Your nails will never be clean or pretty again.Fingernails?Pshaw,look at this tomato I grew!Farmers tan? Is there any other kind?
It's really that way about all farm life.Once you become a farm woman you way of thinking changes.Instead of perfume,makeup and clothes it's weather,manure and chipper shredders.What's in heat,and I don't mean the weather!So and so is looking particularily plump and fine,boy he's gonna be tastie!Laugh if you want,but you other farm girls out there know where I coming from!
Some of your old friends won't understand.When they stop by and ask you to go to the mall and you say you can't because you have to slaughter a dozen chickens and would she like to stay and help.You even offer to give her a couple.Their eyes will glaze over and they will slowly back away!
Some of you out there think I am joking.I challenge you.Get you a 5 gallon bucket,punch some holes in it.Fill it with organic potting soil and stick you a tomato plant in it.See if you can beat the addiction!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What to do with Your Old Front Porch

The Turkeys are in their new home.

Hubby built this nice pen to keep them from getting their little turkey heads bitten off by coons and 'possums.I made the mistake of putting the first batch of baby turkeys in the rabbit hutch.It is high off the ground and covered in tiny square rabbit wire.It was a mistake.In the morning I had only 3 left .A 'possum climbed up an grab their toes and pulled their legs through.I was heart broken.I know that sounds gruesome ,but that is life in the country folks.We,by we I mean Hubby,will put on a real roof later.

This pen is a good example of recycling.Most of the wood came off the super ugly closed in porch that I tore off the front of the house shortly after we moved in.Hubby first used the wood to build The Boy a tree house,but he didn't finish it.Then Ike dropped a huge limb on it.So it just sat there until a few weeks ago,because this is a hillbilly-redneck family,we just considered it lawn decor.The other day I was looking at it and pondering what to do about it.Then it just hit me,like good ideas most often do,turkey coop!

Poor Hubby!He is always having to build something for some critter or another!He is a good Hubby and deserves some kind of medal or plaque or possibly a t-shirt because me and The Boy are always dragging home some new critter!Just the morning before yesterday I woke up and said" I want a milk goat,Boy,look on line and see what you can find."And that night we came home with Doodah!

These are Bourbon Red turkeys.They are a heritage breed.I saw a while back in a magazine,maybe Mother Earth News,where they did a taste test on turkeys.Bourbon Reds were the second tastiest!

Here is a bonus picture that has nothing to do with turkeys.

This is The Boy and Hubby flipping over the goatie house so The Boy can shovel out all the built up goat poop.Then,before putting it back down,soaking the ground in cheap yellow dish soap to keep away fire ants.Just in case you didn't know, fire ants won't stay where cheap yellow dish soap is in the ground,a good safe way to get rid of the little devils with out risking poison around your critters.Time for a Boy Quote.The Boy says"Fire ants had to be created by the devil."I tend to agree with him.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Meet Doodah !!!

Meet the newest addition to our farm...Doodah!

She is a Nigerian Dwarf goat.The Boy and I drove out and picked her up last night.She is hopefully going to give us little Doodahs in about 3 months!Then yummy,yummy milk.
Nibbles wasn't real sure about this stranger at first.She watched atop her barrel and discussed it with The Boy.He assured her Doodah was a nice goat.Butter Bean was doing goatie dances..Yippee!It's another girl Goat!

Everybody had to check out our new goatie!
Anna Belle and Sir Loin are having a calf conference!

And the quack squad stopped by to stare!

Nibbles decided it was safe and hoped down from her barrel.See,she and Butter Bean are showing Doodah their box.

The Boy loves to tell his Nanna,sorry Nanna I have to tell this,That the goaties are her Grand-Kids!She denies being the grandma to any goats,dogs ,chickens of other farm animals.This just delights The Boy even more 'cause he can pester her about it.He gets that from his daddy!
"Nanna,don't you want to pet your Grand-Kids?""Nanna,your Grand-Kids are nahhh-ing for you!"

Nanna informed us she left instructions with other relatives that if she should die,The Boy was not to be allowed to do her obituary because she didn't want it to say she left behind Grand Goats and Grand Dogs and Grand Chickens! I don't think she was joking either!Well,she probably has a legitimate worry,because The Boy would do that.

You don't have to worry about Nana though, she is tough wrapped up in a little package.The Boy all ready towers over her.She made it through raising my,trouble is his middle name,red-headed,mischievous Hubby without killing him or ending up in a nut house.

Just look at that face,you can tell he's thinking up mischief just by looking at him!
He has a brother and sister,but I think they were mainly his victims.The stories that woman can tell!She could probably curb population growth just by telling folks that are thinking about having babies stories about Hubby as a child!The Boy won't do her in, believe me.
Anyway....welcome Doohdah!I know your gonna love it here!

Friday, August 21, 2009

I Love a Man With Smoked Meat

This is Hubby with a big 'ole plate of steaks he just grilled!Yum!

I love when he is home for many reasons.High up on that list is his excellent grilling abilities.The man loves to cook meat.Sometimes we eat off the grill every night while he is home.It's that good.Seriously.Is your mouth watering yet?

New Babies

We have finally started getting a little rain.It is amazing how fast things start to green up around here!

I won't lie this has been a long hard summer on the farm.The heat and drought put me in a state of despair.It is wonderful how something as simple as rain and new sprigs of green can refresh a parched soul!Here is the sunset the other night after the rain.

We have a new momma!This is Whirley Comb Jr.

She is the very first baby chicken that hatched out here on the farm.Her momma was a black and gold bannie named,you guessed it,Whirley Comb and her daddy was Elvis.

This is her second batch of babies this summer.She got her momma's broodie nature,but not her gentleness.Whirley Jr. is mean as a dickens,what ever a dickens is.She will peck a hole in you if you try to mess with her or her babies!Whirley Sr. is very gentle,one of The Boy's pets.He was disappointed her daughter was not the same.Many a times I've seen him scratch his head in disbelief as he's tried to tame down Whirley Jr.

Still,she is a good Momma and that is what counts.

Here is a photo of another weird chicken.

Her daddy has to be the polish,'Ole Baldy,she has some of his weird hair do!We have no clue who her momma is.She is going to be an interesting character for sure!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


This is Elvis right in the middle of a cockle-doodle-do.He is the top rooster in the chicken yard.Yes,we name our chickens!Well most of them,the ones not intended as future suppers! I hate to eat things with names.I hate it,but I still eat them.

When we moved here the first farm animals we got were chickens.We mail ordered them.We got a cold,damp spell when they were delivered and we lost a few,but most of them did well.

I guess chickens are the first thing most folks get when they start"farming".There is something satisfying about going out to the nest boxes and finding fresh eggs.It is like an easy treasure hunt. In the evenings it is relaxing to sit in the shade and watching the chickens scratch and peck.We Have Buff Orpingtons,Easter Eggers or Araucanas,Cuckoo Marans,and Bannies or Bantams.

I choose the Orpingtons as a good all around bird,good layers and big enough to eat too.The Easter Eggers(green and blue eggs) and Cuckoos(chocolate eggs) for their interesting eggs and Bannies because they are so gosh darn cute with a knack for being good moms.We have a couple of Polish because The Boy likes them.Those have been more trouble than they are worth,but fun to look at.

This hen below is named Tina Turner.This rooster above is Baldy.He has a big bald spot plucked in his head poof.All the others love to peck these polishes heads.If it gets really bad we put their head feathers in a pony tail to protect their heads until their feathers grow back.No,I am not joking,we actually put our chickens feathers in ponytails.

I have to say I was shocked the first time I cracked open a farm egg.It almost didn't look real! The bright orange center compared to the sickly yellow of store bought eggs.Now it make me shudder to have to eat a store bought egg!Our chickens are pastured all day then penned up at night.We have about a half acre fenced in for them.This is also where I have started my orchard.Eventually it will give them more shade and protection from hawks and they will have a feast of fallen fruit and,in exchange, give me bug control and fertilizer.

We had a few episodes with hawks ,but nothing really bad.Our real enemies are the coons and 'possums.We put the chickens up at night,but they like to roost out side in the run attached to their coop in the summer.The run is completely covered in chicken wire but if they get close to the wire at night the varmints,AKA coons or 'possums,will grab them and bite their heads off through the wire.I know,your thinking what kind of animal sits there and lets a 'possum bite off it's head,right? Time for The Boy quote of the day.....The Boys says chickens go comatose at night.That describes it pretty well. So we have run rabbit wire along the bottom of all our chicken pens so they can't reach their mean little 'possum paws through to our chicken's heads anymore.I really need a good dog to put back there.We have 4,all of them untrustworthy and useless!Two of them are little,hmm....OK maybe not little,overweight is more like it, house dogs.

The other two are Hubby's mentally disturbed Red Heelers.Talking about those two's mental deficiencies will take up a whole post!

This is one of them eating a piece of cement.Yes, I said eating,not just chewing on or playing with,eating.If you knew these dogs that would not shock you.
Back to chickens.Hubby fixed up an old leaning shed that was on the property for the coop,because we try to live green and frugal by reusing everything we can. I need to finish painting it,but I probably won't until this fall 'cause it is just too hot and I am not a hot weather person,neither is The Boy.Give us snow and freezing temps and we are happy as clams.Yeah,I know we live in the wrong place,but this is where Hubby's job is.These days you don't want to mess with that!
We have had a bounty of baby chicks this year.Earlier in the summer we had over 35 hatch within 2 weeks of each other!There are some funny looking ones out there!Elvis is the dominate rooster ,but we have a polish and bannie rooster too.Apparently those two have a way with the ladies if ya know what I mean!

The best we can figure this is 'Ole Baldy's son by a Cuckoo hen.Look at the weird feathers growing out of the top of his head.There are quiet a few like this in the yard.I wonder how they will look full grown?You know, you might be a hillbilly farmer if one of your favorite games is "Guess the parentage of freaky chickens!"Me and The Boy play all the time!

Wordless Wednesday

These are past photos from the farm,after The Hurricane!



Monday, August 17, 2009

Did you say free!!??Yes,yes I did!!!!

Broken Teepee and Uprinting are giving away 200 Custom Postcards.

That's right folks,free to two lucky winners! Free stuff is one of the many great things about blog land.You can use these for Christmas cards or a lot of other great stuff.She tells you all about it over at Broken Teepee.So my few readers,you know who you are,go over and check it out and leave her a comment.It is that easy.Seriously.It's free.

Fiona,queen of the Bossy Cows!

This is Fiona.She was my Christmas present last year.I know,most of you girls out there are saying "A cow?You didn't ask for jewelry?"No I am a farm girl through and through,I never wear jewelry,except for my wedding ring and a cross necklace that I never take off.It is also about my fourth or fifth wedding ring.Not because I have had that many husbands!I just loose them.Which is what happens to all the jewelry I have ever owned.Last year one of my gifts was a chipper-shredder I had been drooling over.I love my Hubby,he knows what I like!

Anyway....Fiona is an Irish Dexter Cow.We choose her for many reasons.Irish Dexters can live totally off grass and only need an acre per cow.Although this year is a drought and the pasture is almost gone so she gets hay,not as good,but we do what we have to to get by.They dress out at a higher % of meat per cow pound and their milk has higher % of butterfat.Plus they give only 1-3 gallons a day,more than enough for a family of 3.Perfect for the small homestead!
Then at the end of April, Fiona gave me her own adorable little present.Meet Anna-Belle.She likes laying by the water trough because it is cool,and let's face it it is hot as you know where here in Texas!

She was a surprise because we thought she was due in May.Me and The Boy went out one April morning,like every morning,to feed the critters and I look over to the pasture and there is this tiny black calf standing next to Fiona.The Boy still likes to tell how loud I hollered when I saw that baby!
Fiona was a 4-H cow.This makes her very tame,but with an attitude that she is better that all other creatures!She is the Queen of Bossy Cows!I wanted her for the purpose of being my milk cow,and of course making little cows.I could not wait to start milking her.Apparently she could not wait to kick me in the head!My ever so gentle cow became a pro soccer player with my head as her ball.I am gettin' old,but not so old as I couldn't move fast enough to duck out of her way!We tried hobbles,too dangerous to try to get them on.So I turned to the all knowing Internet.Hubby,bless his heart for putting up with his crazy hillbilly wife,built me a milking stall.It was now me and the cow in a steel cage death match!OK, not really,she still kicked,but I finally persuaded her to stop by a swat with a pvc pipe to her very generous butt area!Don't get your gander up,I didn't beat her,just a swat to get her attention.

It worked,thank goodness!I am not the queen of fashion,I have no idea how to accessorize a hoof dent in the forehead!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

It's been a few days

It's been a few days since my last post.The Boy has had the flu.Not a really bad case,we are of a hardy stock,if we get sick it usually will not be bad.Still,even a mild case of the flu is no fun.So we have not done anything of interest lately.I got a new camera so maybe my picture quality will start to improve!So I will just give you some pictures of why we love the farm!

Clean blue skies!

Boys and Goaties!

Fresh eggs!

Funny little roosters!Meet Earnest,he is a bantam rooster.

and baby ducks!

Life is good!