Sunday, August 29, 2010

Catch Up!

I t has been a busy week so I have some catchin' up to do! The last several days I have been up to my elbows in pears! Pears are the hot climates apple! You can grow apples here but you won't get a bumper crop,pears on the other hand...well, one big tree will make more than you know what to do with! My pear tress are just tiny sticks but I am lucky enough to have a friend who gave me about 2 bushels!

Now, don't judge these pears by how they look! Like apples there are many different pears for different uses. These are caning pears and they are usually "ugly" and hard as brick bats! Perfect for caning! Let me tell you, peeling this many brick hard pears is hard on the hands but I persevered and got every single one put up! I have quarts of pear halves in syrup, bear butter,pear preserves and diced pears in syrup. Also, lots of happy critters because everyone from goaties to chickens loved the pear peelings!

On to farm happenings!  We said good by to Sir Loin ...this picture is at a bad angle, he was much plumper ....

and all this springs sheep babies...

and hello to my new freezer! With these and the chickens and rabbits I am looking at not buying meat for a year! Plus our animals were totally grass feed and chemical free and if you were to put a price on that meat...well, it would be a considerable amount more that the stuff in the grocery store! I am really excited by how much we will save by not buying meat for a whole year! Now if I can get a decent fall garden I am estimating saving around $ 400 a month in groceries! I will still have to buy stuff like flour and sugar and oatmeal but for the most part we will be eating our own farm raised goodness!
We replaced Sir Loin,meet the new Sir Loin and his momma Sadie! Yes, he is alive,he is just napping!

They are both Dexter cattle. This will give us 3 cows,now we just need a bull and our herd will be complete. Their calves will give us meat and and extra to sell every year to make hay money if we need to buy some hay.

I haven't shown you the goaties in a while and Isobelle was asking about them so I took some pictures this morning while I was visiting them. Butter Bean is always looking for treats!

Look at his tongue sticking out trying to get a hold of my skirt! Crazy goat!

Here is Mr.Tumnus looking suave and debonair..

Sweet Pea is napping in her and Nibbles' favorite spot, it is an old ash pile where we burned some wood. For some reason they love to lay in it. Doesn't she look sweet....she looks like she is praying an a little light from heaven is shining down on her.

Doodah is ..well, Doodah!

Lola, Doodahs daughter, is getting big! She is a wild goat but she will still come up for some scratchins' if the mood hits her! I think she has crazy eyes and she chews cud at warp drive! Maybe she has goatie ADHD!

Her brother Harley is sweet,calm and gentle.  He lives in the buck pen with his daddy and Butter Bean and him and Bean play all day long! I am hoping to sell him this fall when he is a little bigger. Someone will be lucky to get him as a herd sire because he has such a great disposition .We already sold his brother, Bo Diddly, and we didn't even advertise him for sale!

And I can never forget our Nibbles girl! She is by far our most beloved girl, just look at her sweet face! Her boys are long gone to a home together to be pets for 4 children.

Just for the heck of it I thought I  would throw in one of Clyde! He is such a funny looking fellow,little skinny legs with a barrel body and big ole long skinny head! He is sweet as the day is long! You can let him "donkey lip" all  over you and he will never bite.

Now you all have the whole week of the Laughing Duck farm catch up! Hope you enjoyed it!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Pickled Carrot Sticks

I got a bee in my bonnet,so to speak, to make pickled carrot sticks! I just can't seem to get enough pickled stuff this year for some reason!

I looked up several recipes and ended up with my own combination of ingredients!

Of course,you all KNOW I had to put a jalapeno in every jar,lol!

And a clove of garlic because,really,what are pickles with out a little garlic! I just went the easy route with these,jalapenos ,garlic ,pickling spices and brine. Hot water bath 10 minutes. You can just make a jar and put it  in the fridge if you don't want to can a batch. I don't know how these taste yet ,but the sure look pretty!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Junkin' with the MIL

Hubby's folks were just down for a few days and mine and my MIL's favorite pastimes when we are together are junk store shopping, antiquing,oh and eating pie !!! Eating pie is very important! Sometimes we find treasure sometimes we don't ,it's all about the hunt really! Here are a couple of treasures I found...

This cast iron black cat doorstop...

I  just found this cat too cool to pass up and it was on sale! Besides, cast iron doorstops go great in old houses,right? One of the other great treasures I got for just a dollar and I am tickled pink by them...

A box of vintage note cards!  It has 4 different designs...                                                                                                                                                                             





OK,I don't really think they are "vintage"  but they are old and for just a $1 I consider them treasure for sure! I looked up the company and they started in 1950 so I know they can not be older than that and I doubt they are that old, more likely the 60's or 70's. I really hate to date any thing from the 70's as old...ahemm... seeing as I was born in '71 one! It is funny how a neat little thing for just a $ can make a persons day!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Back to School

I know I have been gone this past week has just been busy! Endless trips to town,orthodontist,chiropractor,homeschool co-op ,back to school shopping, hubby came home ,in-laws came down.....well,I guess I don't need to go on you all get the picture!

I don't talk a lot about our home schooling on this blog but it is a big part of our homesteading life!  I have noticed a lot of folks showing what they are choosing for their lessons this year so I thought I would post about what we are doing too.

First off, I would like to say we do not even attempt any sort of schedule and we generally do school year round. I do not "plan" a course to last a school year. The Boy is a fast learner and I don't believe in holding him back ...I let him go at his own fast pace! Also, if he is interested in something we are not studying we may put something aside and pursue  his interest . I guess I should tell you The Boy is 13 and I believe that is 8th grade in public school but most everything we do is considered higher grade levels I think....grade levels become so unimportant in homeschooling!  Also,we use almost entirely  Christian based curriculum .

So here we go!  We will be finishing up this math in a month or so and going on to Algebra 2 with the same curriculum . These Teaching Textbooks are the best math courses ever! They come with CDs that work out every single problem in the book! So,if they get stuck on something they can just pop the CD in the computer and see how it is done!

We will also be finishing up this science in...hmm...about 3 months probably and then move on to Biology. I already have the pickled specimens waiting in the cabinet, ready for dissection! Living here on the farm he has already seen his fair share of guts!

We started these two last month...

 I got this to add to our grammar lessons....

This is our first year with a co-op and he will be taking a High School Government class using these...

I have not done a planned out history course in several years because The Boy has a voracious appetite for reading history and learns plenty on his own! This year we are going to  use these books and have a little more organized learning! American history will go  well with the government class I think.

We've  got to have some of this to build up those big,juicy brain cells!

Let's see what is left....I got this for his extra reading because he loves,loves, loves being able to debate with non-Christians over  stuff like this!

Also for some extra reading these SAT prep books so he can see where he is at and what he needs to be working towards.

Of course, our year will be filled with lots of reading of various interest and writing projects and computer skills and on the farm shop classes and animal husbandry and  well...the learning possibilities are endless! He is my only child so I have to make sure he is extra smart....I want a luxury nursing home when I get old!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Sasquatch, Pineapples and Roses

 I had to buy The Boy new shoes this week. This is a normal occurrence when you have children....but I am not so sure the size part is normal! Have a gander at this....

No,I do not have a freakishly small foot! I have a woman's size 8! This still may not look strange to you until I tell you The Boy is only 13 and this is a size 11 1/2 shoe! Before you even ask the answer is NO,I did not have an illicit affair with Big Foot!  And yes,I know I have sausage toes,my Hubby is always reminding me by pointing and laughing at them! may remember awhile back I made some yummy pineapple pickles. I decided to to try and root the tops and grow my own pineapple plant. The site I read said you have a 50/50 chance of getting them to root...well I had 2 and it  looks like that was true!

This was easy! All you you have to do is cut out your top so it is v shaped and let it dry for a few days and remove all but a few leaves on top and stick in dirt and keep it watered. I have seen these for sale in Home Depot  every once in a while and was not willing to pay the price for them!

 On to roses! I love this rose! Even in this heat, with a little watering of course, it gives me beautiful sprays of classic scented roses!

This is considered a heritage rose and is called Buff Beauty...the flowers are not huge but they make up for it in numbers! 

So that's it for now...hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Back to Farm Life

The tomato seedlings...

 have become tomato plants!

Thanks  to everyone who told the stories of their lives in the 80's ! It is always fun reminiscing....

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Show me Your 80's...I Dare You!!!!

Due to the heat and lack of anything better to post about, and possibly...  the fact that,because of the heat, I may be slightly loosing my mind,lol, I give you the following.... 

Awhile back me and Polly from Polly's Path were commenting on  Going Gently about the 80's.  I had said how The Boy refers to this time as,and I quote,"The decade time wants to forget."  Polly said she wasn't fond of this time either...hmmm...I though it was great!  Maybe I am in denial..... Granted,my prime teenage time, which begins after you get a license at 16, was in the later half of the decade so I  think I missed the shoulder pads and big,geometric  plastic earings!  No, my 80's consisted of torn jeans, rock star hair,black concert t-shirts and heavy metal bands and it was great! I loved every minute of it! Seriously, how could you not feel terrific blasting Motley Crue or Poison and just cruising around with your friends!   Being young enough that your body could take going to a rock concert and  staying out all night then getting up after a couple hours sleep and going on with your day none the worse for wear!  So, now I am going to show you the few,and I have only a few, pictures of my 80's and I am issuing a challenge to all my blogging friends,if they are brave enough, to SHOW ME YOUR 80's !!!

First I have to start with hair!  You can always tell an era...hmm.. do the 80's qualify as an era.... by the hair! When you think about it, rock star hair pretty much sums up the whole time!  I can see the PBS documentary now...The Era of Rock Star Hair, yours free with a $ 200 donation.....see,I told you my brain was getting baked! You would be hard pressed to find any one with the ability to make bigger hair than me! You will have to excuse the quality of this picture,it was in Hubby's wallet for many years! You hear a lot of jokes about Aqua Net  but let me tell you  with  that stuff ,in the hands of an expert, any thing is possible  deranged brain went to the little blue pill they advertise on TV...little blue pill, you don't need no little blue just need a can of Aqua Net! Sorry Sorry sorry,I know that was tacky! Plus, that would be the wrong kind of expert!

 To achieve this kind of gravity defying, practically bullet prof, act against all things natural in hair care  on ones head requires the proper balance between hairspray build up, high heat  curling irons, the right calculations of added spray, the right ratio of picking and teasing and knowing the the perfect moment to give it that finial "sealing" spray! It is a combination of genious and science really!

OK,this next one is of my 1965 mustang and that fellow with the mullet is my Hubby! We can not forget the importance of the permed mullets in our little cultural review! Hubby's was naturally curly so he didn't have to get his neck rug permed! No, this car did not have Texas/Arkansas the summer. Boy, I must have been tougher back then! It also had rusted through floor boards for the first 6 months or so I drove it! I just looked at it as an extra window,one that I could actually see what I ran over....

This is me before a Kiss and Slaughter concert! be so skinny again! I actually got my ticket autographed by one of the guys from Slaughter...I am sure it is worth a whole $1.67 on e- bay right now! Notice the this day I can not wear flat ,straight hair! Don't worry I have long recovered from my Aqua Net addiction which, by the way I have heard but not confirmed, has been equally compared to trying to kick heroin!  My hair these days is rarely over a inch tall...OK fine!!!...Some days it is still over an inch!

This next one is a rare moment when I have not Aqua Netted up,I think we were camping!

 Notice though,I am not with out the coveted purple eye shadow! My hair is not flattened from swimming because no self respecting Hair Queen would go swimming and let  the tower of bangs get wet and deflated! All us girls could  go into the water and get our entire head wet but not the tower of bangs,they would remain  proud and tall  and dry!

 So there you have it,my own personal trip through the 80's! Has the heat baked my brain enough to let me show you these glimpses into The Decade Time Wants to Forget?  Hmmm... maybe! So now it is your turn...are you brave enough?

Sunday, August 8, 2010


Well, as most everyone knows is hot!  So there is not much farm happenings to talk about these days. I have been doing something new though....

Yep! I have been making pillow cases! OK ,so far it is just one pillow case...  but it is my first and I have to say a big ole thank you to my blogging sister TEXAN, who has done a great job at not only teaching me how to make these but inspiring me to get back to sewing! My friend has talent with the sewing machine let me tell you! She used to sew professionally and she knows some pretty nifty tricks!

My next challenge, after I finish the other pillow case, is to make matching dust  ruffles! These are for the spare has 2 antique  iron twin beds in there. So yeah,if you visit me and you are married you have to sleep like Lucy and Desi ! 

I love my old beds,one was mine that I slept on as a child that came from my great grandma ! I don't have many family treasures like that!   So, even though it is too hot to do much work around the farm I have no shortage of things to keep me busy in side in the blessed air conditioning! I tell you what ...if I was a pioneer and I came to this baking hot state in the summer...I would have loaded up my covered wagon and headed north! Oh well,that is just me,a lot of folks love the heat...! So here's to great friends with great talents that they don't mind sharing and to air conditioning! I hope you all are staying cool!