Monday, May 16, 2011

Where Have I Been? Anyone Interested?

Well, I'll tell you anyway.  It's been almost a month since my last post.  What has been happening here?  First, let me tell you, I had a birthday.  A BIG one!  I'll let you try and guess which one from the pictures. 

It was a nice day with all of my family gathered.  It also happened to be Easter Sunday.  So, we did the Easter Egg hunt for all the little ones, and we also had wonderful Mexican food from a local restaurant.  My dear BB and my daughter catered the event since I told everyone I wasn't doing anything that day like cooking, cleaning, or doing ANYTHING.  It was my day off.   Don't I look like I'm having fun?

And for presents, each person brought a memory gift and explained the memory to everyone else as I opened them.  It was very touching that each person had such a great memory of something to share of me.  Here's a list of the particular memories:

1)  A cherished 1970 Chevy Nova and Black Sabbath (I LOVED that car!)
2)  A can of hairspray, some matches, and a fireplace incident (911 was called.... nuff said!)
3)  Some bits of lace for a pair of jeans  (My dear Mother's idea..... not a good one!)
4)  A couple jars of sand and a sandbox (this was a new memory for me! )
5)  A pair of shearing scissors and a wall  (sister, sister.....tried to kill me!)
6)  A box of Kleenex and a tissue stuck up a nose (there's a picture somewhere of this one!)

Now I got your interest huh?  Someday I might tell all my secrets, or maybe not.  It was a glorious day and I was happy all the way to the end.   Even after SOMEONE, who shall remain nameless (daughter!) thought it would be a hoot to smash my face in the cake!


What else have I been doing?  Well, not getting on the internet much since Hughes.net has been giving me NO SERVICE, or at best, very SPORADIC SERVICE.  Frustrating as hell.  I've called for a technician to come out and check our satellite dish settings because it's possible our dish got disturbed from its setting a little during Hurricane Ike in 2008.  And then all the high winds we've had this past winter and into Spring may have contributed too.  But, whatever it is, I hope it get's fixed soon.  I'm lost without the internet.  I have been using my iPhone to check blogs, but it isn't like I can use the phone to do postings on my blog.... that would take like, forever!  So, if I haven't left you comments on your blogs, that's why.  I can usually view pretty good, but writing comments and stuff isn't the greatest with my phone.  I decided to try and post today since I seemed to have a window of opportunity.  I get service, then I don't get service... then I get service, then I don't get service.....  frustrating.....Hughes.net customer service is not very prompt.  I'm still waiting..... are you reading this Hughes.net?  I'm about to switch providers if I don't get this problem fixed pronto!

I had a little accident with the truck too.  I was transporting an antique armoire, dresser, and triple dresser with mirror that I had won at an auction the night before.  Well, I did fine all the way home with it (over an hour's drive with stiff winds and lots of knuckle busting holding onto the steering wheel).  I was tired once I arrived home and decided to back the truck up to the carport for easier unloading.... I neglected to remember how tall the armoire was and heard an awful sound.  Yep, I backed up to far and rammed the armoire into the top of the carport hard enough for the armoire to tilt backwards on top of the truck cab.  Which in turn put enough pressure against the back window of the cab and it promptly shattered.  Oh man, was I in trouble.  Really didn't need to have to put out the money to replace the rear window.  But, no choice in the matter and a couple days later it was fixed.  It didn't turn out to be as expensive as I thought it would be though. I did put a noticeable dent in the top of the cab, and that will serve as a reminder of the stupid thing I did, because it's not getting fixed any time soon.  Lesson learned.... don't drive when you're tired.  Or at least don't back up to the carport when you have a large, tall item in the bed of the truck.  Believe it or not, the armoire only had a minor scratch on it! 


I also have discovered that I have mice in my house.  Yuck!  Our pest service is trying to help us with this little problem by leaving glue traps in various places sprinkled with pheromones to attrack the little buggers.  I have caught one!  Our cats have caught a little, teeny, tiny baby one.   I have heard little scratching noises in a couple of different places in the wall.  The cats sit and stare at the wall, and occasionally swipe at it like they can reach through the wall and get at the mice.  I don't like having mice in my house.  I realize I live in the country and there are mice, but please stay out of my house!   I plugged up any and all holes with steel wool that might have allowed the mice to gain entrance into our house.  So now it's just a matter of getting the ones inside to come out to the traps.  Hopefully that will solve the problem.  If not, there's always the SNAKE that I found on my screened in back porch.  EEEKKK!  I open the door to step out, and there's a snake.  Not a poisonous one, but still..... I'm sure it was following the mice scent.  My little dog Pickle went ballistic on the snake, but alas, it got away.  Pickle is a Westie, so he should have had that darn snake!  Terriers are great at that kind of thing, and it wasn't a lack of trying on his part.  But the snake was faster and squeezed out a little hole in the side of the porch..... I tried to get the door open quickly so Pickle could get out to round up the snake, but it slithered under the A/C concrete slab before Pickle got to it.  I haven't seen it again, since I plugged up that hole with steel wool too!


Oh yeah, and in the middle of all of the above, I got sick.  Like flu sick.  And I'm still trying to recover.  Still have a cough, and lots of sinus stuff going on.  I was down for the count most of 2 weeks with this stuff.  I think I'll survive but I really felt like 2 tons of dog poo and didn't really want to do anything... except water my garden and feed the animals... those things I absolutely HAVE to do no matter what.

Tomorrow I'm off to Las Vegas, and then driving to Kanab, Utah with my Mom.  We are volunteering at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary for a couple of days.  I hope to do a post about that when I return, IF I have internet service restored properly.... keep your fingers crossed.

Have a good day all!

Monday, April 18, 2011

No Picture Monday, but an Important message all the same!

It's that day today.  You know the one you dread every year (if you are not expecting a refund that is!).  Yes, it's tax day.  And Oh My God, is it ever tax day!  Mr. Tax Man is not a very nice man this year.  He insists we owe him lots of money and I just don't get it.  What did I do to deserve such a severe penalty?  Was I un-American?  Did I sit home on my butt and not pay my fair share to live in the best country in the world?  Did I insist that someone else pay my way, buy my food, cross over my borders uninvited to have my babies so they were considered legal and could partake in my hard earned money (that I now have to go in debt to give away to others?).  NO, I didn't do any of those things!  I worked until my government decided it wasn't important to have a space industry anymore.  Then I took the lay off and happily accepted the severance payment to pay off my middle class debt.  I became debt free and thought I was going to live the good, ole American retirement.  Yeah, right.  Now I get to go into debt AGAIN, to pay the tax man.  It's not that I didn't prepare for this day, Oh yes I did save money for this day... I just didn't save enough.  Oh well, that's the American way of life right?  I am grateful to be in the country, and I am grateful to have my own home, and my cars and my animals, and the freedom to have all of those things.  I will pay Mr. Tax Man what he says I owe him and move along because I like having my home and cars and all the things I own.   My message today is a rant and I am sorry if I offend anyone with it.  But, I can write these words because I have the freedom to do such things, and I am grateful for that.  But think about this:

How many zeros is in a billion? (This is too true to be funny)

The next time you hear a politician use the word 'billion' in a casual manner, think about whether you want the 'politicians' spending YOUR tax money.

A billion is a difficult number to comprehend, but one advertising agency did a good job of putting that figure into some perspective in one of it's releases.


A. 
A billion seconds ago it was 1959.
B. 
A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.
C. 
A billion hours ago our ancestors were Living in the Stone Age.
D. 
A billion days ago no-one walked on the earth on two feet.
E.  A billion dollars ago was only 8 hours and 20 minutes, at the rate our government is spending it.


While this thought is still fresh in our brain...let's take a look at New Orleans   ...
It's amazing what you can learn with some simple division.


Louisiana Senator, Mary Landrieu (D) is presently asking
Congress for 250 BILLION DOLLARS to rebuild New Orleans .  Interesting number... What does it mean?  (not that I would wish that tragedy on anyone again, because it was very tragic).  But, there is a limit to my charitability senses.

A.  Well .. If you are one of the 484,674 residents of New Orleans (every man, woman, and child) you each get $516,528.
B. 
Or... If you have one of the 188,251 homes in New Orleans , your home gets $1,329,787..
C. 
Or... If you are a family of four....your family gets $2,066,012.

Washington, D.
C.      HELLO!  Are all your calculators broken??

Building Permit Tax
CDL License Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Federal Income Tax (Fed)
Federal Unemployment Tax  (FU TA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax
Inventory Tax

IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax)
IRS Penalties(tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
Luxury Tax
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service charge taxes
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax (Truckers)
Sales Taxes
Recreational Vehicle Tax
School Tax 
State Income Tax 
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Tax
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges Tax 
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge
Tax
Utility Tax
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax
(And to think, we left British Rule to avoid so many taxes)


STILL THINK THIS IS FUNNY?


Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago.....And our nation was the most prosperous in the world.
We had absolutely no national debt.... We had the largest middle class in the world..... And Mom stayed home to raise the kids.


What happened?  Can you spell:

'POLITICIANS!'


And I still have to Press '1' For English. 

Don't misunderstand me:  I still love my country and wish to be no where else in the world.  And if you don't like my message, you are free to leave whatever kind of comment you like.  Of course, I am free to disagree with it too!  Love you all!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

What do you collect?

I collect.  I'm a collector.  My collection(s) are varied and over the years I've had different collections of things.  Once upon a time I collected pig items.  It started innocently enough when I was on a chili cook-off team at work and we were called "Pig Chili Cook-Off Team".  Well, we had to have pigs for props right?  So I started buying some pig paraphernalia.  A few things here, a few things there and all of a sudden I'm known as the Pig Lady.  Birthdays, Christmas, Anniversary.... I got pig related things.  People at work brought me pig related things.  I got some really cool pig things.  Then before you know it, I had a HUUUUUUGGGGGEEE pig collection.  Hmmm, what to do with it?  I sold some of it in my resale shop, but most of it is packed in boxes in storage now.  I don't want to bring it back in the house.  I'm over pigs. 

Now, a few years ago, I also started collecting Vaseline depression glass.  Do you know what Vaseline glass is?  It's glass items that have uranium in it so when you shine a black light on it, the item glows bright green.  Really cool stuff.  Depression glass items are described as machine-pressed, tinted glassware mass-produced during the 1920s and 1930s.  There is also Early American Pattern Glass or EAPG.  EAPG, also known as simply "pattern glass", or Victorian glass is pressed glass tableware (& some related novelty glass items) made only during the Victorian period ca 1850-1910, only in America, and in "sets" such that all of the pieces in the set matched in design (definition is from: http://www.patternglass.com/Ask/Granny.htm - lots of good information there if you're interested in collecting).  Admittedly, there are lots and lots of reproductions being passed off as EAPG or Depression glass, and one has to be very savvy as a collector to know the difference.  That's not me yet!  I know I've got reproductions, but I like them just the same.  Maybe someday I can consider myself an expert in knowing the difference.  I have some cool pieces though, and some I think are the real thing.  If not, I hope no one bursts my bubble!  I also have some clear glass, ruby glass, and pink glass items.  My glass pieces include makers and patterns like Fenton, Kings Crown pattern, Westmoreland, etc. (too many to list all the glass makers and patterns of glass here).







Isn't the glow under blacklight cool?

This is a Fenton piece.

This is a Westmoreland piece.

I also collect vintage items like this Jaguar TV Lamp.  When I was a little girl I so fondly remember my Grandma having one of these on her TV and when I saw one at auction, well, I just had to have it!  It has a light on the backside of it and it's in mint condition. 


I recently started acquiring (or trying to anyway), Jadeite pieces.  So far, I have a grease jar collector with a rooster detail painted on it, and I have some kitchen canisters that just came in the mail, but sadly one of the pieces was shattered.  Darn it!  I will still use the flour, coffee, and grits canisters though..... the sugar was the shattered piece.  So, anyone have a sugar Jadeite kitchen canister they want to donate to me?  Fire King, by Anchor Hocking is the REAL Jadeite I would like to collect, but those pieces are expensive.  I might acquire some real pieces mixed in with the reproductions.  What I have now are of course, reproductions.  That's OK for starters.  One of my blog reads, Pioneer Woman, collects the real Fire King Jadeite stuff and I know she has a fortune invested in her pieces.  It's pretty stuff, and I like green (i.e. see green Vaseline glass above). 



I collect other things too (Coach bags and purses, Thomas Kinkade paintings, horse paintings and drawings), to name a few.  So, that's some of what I collect.  What are your collections?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What a Sad Day for Houston

I just had to post today about how sad I am to see that Houston and the NASA, Johnson Space Center was not chosen to receive one of the retired Space Shuttles when the Program ends this summer.  What a tragedy for this area of Texas.   With the end of Space Programs as we've known it for the last 4 decades, this area of Texas - Houston - loses a huge amount of work for it's residents.  The fact that one of the Space Shuttles could retire here would have been a great boon for our economy, and would have created hundreds and hundreds of jobs for it's laid off space employees.  This area will be devastated even more economically now.  The Johnson Space Center area of Houston employed thousands, and thousands of employees.  Now there is nothing!  Why does New York get a Space Shuttle?  Why, when New York has an economy that is so diverse, and Houston has a failing space economy, does New York get a Space Shuttle?  I just don't get it!  I am sick to death of politics playing a role in EVERYTHING these days.  And this is so obviously politically motivated, in my honest opinion.  I am very sad for this country.

Thanks for letting me rant.

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Flower Child Memory

About 5 years ago, a co-worker gave me one of those boxed flower bulb gifts that are so prevalent during the holidays in stores like Walmart.  It was labeled as "Amaryllis", but in actuality is probably a  HippeastrumThis bulbous flower is often used in mass production with the name Amaryllis, more commonly called Naked Lady or Belladonna Lily (see this link for more info if you're interestedhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amaryllis).  Anyway.....I brought it home and threw it in a nice pot with some potting soil I already had in there from another plant that probably died on me.  I haven't ever really considered myself to have a green thumb (but here I am trying to grow a garden this year.... I'm just sayin'!).   The pot was outside, in and out of full sun or wherever I happened to move the pot as it got in the way, and I occasionally threw some water on it if I happened to notice it was dried out.  Fast forward 5 years, and somehow this flower sprouted out this year!  I began watering it in earnest this past fall up until now.  It's still in the same pot, and has now taken a place in my new landscaped area with the rest of the beauties.  I can't believe this thing lived this long and is even throwing out a nice flower for me!  Now that's a persistent little bugger if I do say so myself!

Yesterday afternoon, I was out in the barn and paddock picking up horse and donkey poop and discovered this:

I was immediately transported back to my youth remembering that I used to go hunting for things like this with my very bad friends.....except that I think we were looking in cow patties for these, and then boiling them down to a tea to drink and experiencing the worst mind trip I've ever been on.  Yes, I am talking about those days when I was open to, shall we say, different experiences.... but I'm older and wiser now and know better.  Hey, I am a product of the 60's and a flower child at heart, which means I did experiment with illegal substances once in a while at some point in my youth...... but I guess if something grows from cow poop it isn't considered exactly illegal, right?  Oh well, you may or may not know what I'm babbling about, but if you do, I can tell you I NEVER LOOKED FOR MUSHROOMS IN COW PATTIES AGAIN AFTER THAT ONE TIME!  (Sorry if you're reading this Mom.... I wasn't exactly an angel all of my life.  I did do things I'm not proud of, but I hope I'm redeemed as your favorite daughter these days!  Love you Mom!).

Oh the memories of youth.  Some good, some bad.  Glad I'm a responsible adult now!  And on that note: good night!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

All the Pretty Flowers.....er, I Mean Weeds!!!!!

Today was another busy day.... hmmmm, I'm detecting a pattern to my days.  They all seem to be too busy lately.  But, wait - tomorrow maybe I can have a restful day.  Sure.  Keep dreaming. 

I love Spring time more than any other time of the year.  I love seeing everything flowering and blooming.... that is except my pasture flowers..... I mean, weeds.  The fields have erupted in beautiful and flowering weeds.  It was time to call in the tractor guy to mow them down for me.  We don't have our own tractor, but I sure wish we did.  It's an expensive item and one I just don't have the funds for.  The few times I need my pasture mowed I call a local gentleman with a tractor to come do it for me.  Much cheaper than a tractor payment.  But it sure would be fun to do it myself!  Next, we'll need to fertilize to get rid of the weeds.  Even though they are weeds, the different colors of all the weed flowers is such a pretty sight to see. 




I cleaned out the chicken coop today (again).  I changed out the bedding in 8 nest boxes, swept up all the old litter on the floor and put in new; set up housekeeping for the 10 new Rhode Island Red pullets I got yesterday; cleaned out chicken waterers; introduced myself to the new chickens by picking each one of them up, holding them in my lap, inspecting each one thoroughly for any signs of illness or injuries, and caressed each one until they went to sleep.  I'll get some pictures of the new little ones tomorrow (while I'm getting some rest you know :-)  ).  They are about 12 weeks old, so it will be a bit yet before they start laying eggs. 

I managed to capture a picture of my Pekin duck in her new egg laying spot.  She has picked the rosebed on the side of my carport for her laying place.  She thinks we can't see her there!  Whenever she's in there and we walk by, she flattens herself out like she's sure we can't see her.  After she lays her egg, she goes back to her pond.  She faithfully lays an egg every day, but they will never hatch since I don't have a drake for her to mate with.  Oh well, maybe I will try to find her a mate this year. 



I planted all of my strawberries in the border boxes.  I hope this works out well.  I'm trying something new this year.  I used cedar window boxes for the landscape border and planted strawberries in one section of them.  I plan on planting pretty flowers in the rest of them.  I worked some more on the side house landscaping too.  I got my Hyrangeas in the ground.  I hope they grow well and thrive.  I remember Hydrangeas from  my childhood and it's a very fond memory, so I'm trying it out to see if they do well in this hot, humid Gulf Coast area.  I'll keep you posted on the progress.  Speaking of progress, I attached a picture of my veggie garden too!  Growing, growing, growing.  Can't wait to enjoy the fruits of my labor.



So now it's time for bed.  I think I will sleep soundly tonight after all the hard work today.  Like any good farmer girl should!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ducks for Breakfast and Rude People

That got your attention huh?  You wondered: "did she eat ducks for breakfast?"   No, but I do have ducks around the farm, and I get a buttload of wild ducks that stop by every morning and evening for their meals.  They are Black-Bellied Whistling Wood ducks and they are cuter than ever.  They don't quack like my white Pekin duck (you know the duck, like the one in the commercial - AFLACK!).  No , these little ducks actually have a whistling call.  They also are pretty colorful, with orangey pink legs and beaks.  Their bodies are mixes of green, brown, black and white pattern.  My Pekin duck loves it when they visit and gets all excited running around them quacking and head butting (I think this is some kind of ducky communication that is akin to flirting and showing readiness to mate).   I managed to get a video clip of the ducks a couple of months ago fighting over the breakfast grains and thought I would share.  It's very entertaining around here at feeding times!  (Turn your volume up so you can adequately hear the ducky voices).


video

The second part of this post is kind of a rant about rude and immature people.  Me and a few friends lease spaces at a local antiques/resale shop named Dixieland Antiques and Resale (in Alvin, Texas if anyone wants to drop in for a visit!).  This afternoon was a day that 3 of the rudest dealers I've ever encountered moved out (Thank God!).  These 3 individuals have been causing a great deal of problems at the shop for a long time.  They were constantly quibbling over other dealers at the store and gossiping out loud and rudely while customers were in the store.  Left a bad taste in the mouth for the customers, some of who commented to the store managers about it.  These 3 people bad mouthed any other dealer they "didn't like", which was quite a few, and were actually the problem makers themselves.... you know those kind of people I'm sure.  Well, today, while I was at the shop moving into a bigger space, these 3 people were packing up and moving out to another store.  They were bad mouthing to every customer that was trying to have a nice shopping experience, saying nasty things about the shop and trying their mightiest to ensure the customers never came back.  HOW RUDE and DISRESPECTFUL to the remaining dealers, and how IMMATURE can you be people?  Give it a rest why don't cha?  Just get your stuff and get out if you're not happy, but don't try to slander the shop to it's customers.  I kept my mouth shut for the most part until one particular comment was made about the "back stabbing shop dealers", all while customers were milling about, and so I simply said out loud: "hey, not all of us are back stabbers".    While I'm glad they are finally gone, there is a lesson here that I want to pass on..... there are always going to be nasty people around, but in the end, the good ones get their just reward.  Nasty people will always get what's coming to them eventually.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My Back Porch Rooster

Doesn't everyone have a back porch rooster? No? Well, today's blog is about my back porch rooster. His name is Roosty Roo. I know. Original, but hey I try to keep it simple around here. I stopped naming the hens a long time ago. Too many of them, and they look alike, so I can't tell them apart anyway.

Back to my back porch rooster. How did he become a back porch rooster you ask? Well, last summer I noticed one day that he came up lame. I wondered if he had bumble foot, but I couldn't see that anything looked amiss, and his foot kept getting bigger and bigger and he kept getting lamer and lamer. I finally relented and took him to the vet. That was an expensive experience. They did all kinds of tests and x-rays and said: "Well, we can't really tell you why, but it looks like he's always going to have this swollen foot; but we could do surgery on it and scrape out all the swelling that has turned to a cottage cheese like substance". Oh yeah, I say? And how much will that be and what are the risks and recovery, etc. "Oh, it will be around $800 and he'll have a big, open wound that will eventually heal over with time. You'll need to doctor it everyday and change bandages, but that will only be for a couple of months". UUUUUHHHH, I don't think so! I love my rooster and all but.....

We finally settled on us giving him twice daily tubings of pain medication and antibiotics. Plus, soaking in epsom salts. The vet taught us how to tube him without killing him.... or so we thought. Anyway, after a few days of tubing the poor guy, he was so overwrought with it that one morning he decided to put up a fight when I tubed him.  Right about the time I was stuffing that tube down his throat. You have to be careful that it goes in the right hole at the back of the throat because chickens and birds have 2 holes: one to the esophagus and one to the lungs. Get the medication in the wrong hole and you force liquid down into the lungs. Of course, the chances of them dying of pneumonia then is pretty high. I managed to get half of the liquid down the wrong hole that morning. I thought he was a goner for sure! I called the vet crying asking if I had just killed my rooster. They said if he is breathing without gurgling too bad that maybe he had a chance. He didn't seem to be gurgling though (OK, maybe a little), so we just watched him carefully for the next couple of days, and he lived. BUT, I decided then and there - NO MORE TUBING! If this rooster lives, then we are going to find another approach. He lived. The vet tried convincing me he would be in pain and I should just put him down. I had already spent an ungodly amount of money on him at the vet, so I wanted to give him a chance and see if he improved at all. He did.

I now live with the rooster on my back porch at night. He limps around during the day in his chicken yard, separated from the main flock and the big, bad alpha rooster. I alternate putting a couple of girls in with him each day so he feels like a rooster again. But Roosty Roo gets around pretty good. He is even back into mounting his girls, just not like he used to be able to do. A little awkward, but he seems to be happy enough. He doesn't seem to be in pain, and has accepted the way he is. He is pretty special to me. Every night, I go put his girls to bed with the main flock, and tell him it's time to come inside for the night. Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket
He waddles up to the house with me and goes into his "nightie night crate".
 Photobucket
He gets his treat for the night (usually some scratch with some meal worms mixed in), and when I close his door on the crate he always tells me "night night" in his chicken chuckle voice.
 Photobucket He has a fantastic crow; you should hear it in an enclosed porch!   He always seems to be in great spirits and is quite alert and has gained a lot of his weight back (he did lose some at the beginning of all this).  He was a free bird I got several years ago, and the people I got him from had no idea how old he was.  I think he is pretty old, and the vet actually agreed with me on that.  He is a mix of Ameracauna and Golden Laced Wyandotte.  He's very pretty and very big.  Anyway, he's a good boy and lets me pick him up and never tries to peck at or attack me.  I love putting him in my lap and stroking his head and back feathers while he takes a nap, comfy as you please.  He's a cool bird.  He would get beat up by the alpha rooster if I didn't separate them.  So..........that's why I now have a back porch rooster.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it! 

Good night all !

Monday, March 28, 2011

Community Poop and A Quick Roll in the Sand

Sorry I've been away so long. I think I mentioned in my last post that I had lots and lots of chores going on.... I got a little overwhelmed with the gardening, landscaping, setting up my new antique shop space, doing all the Spring activities with the animals and so on. Throw in some family birthdays, moving my daughter and grand daughter into their own place, emptying out storage space, and well, talk about March Madness! I've had my share this month.

Now I'm back and I pledge to posting something every day again, or a least several times a week anyway!

So, what's been happening in my life? Well, I finally got all my gardening planted. I'll have some more updated pictures soon, but for now, below is a little look mid stride at some of what I was doing:
Garden plots
I now have all my fruits and vegetables planted.... I have tomato, peppers, cantaloup, lots of herbs, raspberries, blackberries, grapes, as well as pear, apple, peach and orange trees. I still need to get my potatoes and rhubarb planted though.

In addition to the garden plots and trees, I was overly ambitious about wanting a nicely landscaped area to the one side of my house. See, I had purchased all these plants and bushes and landscaping stuff, and it just had to get done. It's finally coming together and looking much more appealing to the eye when I drive up to my house. More eye popping colors instead of the basic green and brown. I can't wait to see everything mature and blooming! All in good time. Here's a look at the beginning of the project. Again, more finished photos coming soon:
Landscaping

I also took some time with the animals doing all those time consuming Spring chores with them. Got all the equines vaccinnated, wormed and trimmed. Got all the fowl dusted, cleaned coops out with disinfectant after the long winter months, and other general housekeeping adventures. My one hen hatched out 2 babies, but one of them died from pasty butt I think. This is the first time I have had that happen to a chick and I don't know why or how, but it did, and I hope it wasn't something I lacked in doing for it. The hen only hatched 2 out of the 5 eggs she was setting. So only 1 surviving chick that I'm pretty sure is going to turn into a rooster. Darn it!
Photobucket
I also have 10 more RIR hens I have to pick up this week. I lost one of my hens last weekend to that damn Bobcat. Right in front of me and my BB too! We weren't more than 25 yards away when the cat jumped over my neighboring property fence and grabbed one of my chickens. The hen initially got away and ran into a falling apart kennel built into the side of our property, where I promptly ran over to and trapped inside. While BB ran into the house to get the gun, I was watching it and guarding the door so it couldn't get out. Just as BB came back with the gun, the dang thing found a small opening in the kennel roof and in one smooth leap, was out that hole and running through the woods. Drats! Another missed opportunity to kill the thing. He didn't get his kill, but still, I lost a good hen to his shinanigans.

I've been very good about trying to keep all the donkey and horse poop picked up in the paddock and barn, but I admit there were a couple of days that I just didn't get to that chore with everything else going on. I grabbed a picture of the "community poop" pile that the donkeys leave if I neglect to pick up poop every day. I have never inquired from other donkey owners, but if anyone out there has donkeys, can you tell me: do your donkeys poop in a community pile? or do they spread their poop out over a larger area? I have always been amazed at the intelligence of a donkey, but I have to say, I'm baffled that they would do their poops in a large pile day after day... in the same place. It's like, they roam all over my 10 acres, but hey when it's time to poop, they take the time to walk to their poop pile to leave their gift, then resume what they were doing. Weird. But I weirdly admire that about my donkeys. Does that make me weird? Probably, but we've covered that in other posts before!
Community Donkey poop

I grabbed a couple of shots of my one donkey, Doodle, doing a roll in the sand. It's always amazing to watch the horse and donkeys roll in the dirt and sand. They usually do it when they are wet from a bath and freshly groomed too. But I still love to watch them roll and then stand up and shake like a cat! Funny animals.
Rolling in the sand Photobucket Going for a roll Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

Well, you can see I've been busy. Life on a farm is never dull or boring, that's for sure!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Where Does the Time Go?

Hey everyone, I didn't fall off the edge of the earth, I promise!  Life at the farm has been very busy for me.  Spring is in the air..... that means busy time getting gardens planted, trees planted, grasses mowed, chickens wormed and dusted, horse and donkeys vaccinated.... and the list goes on.

I did manage to get a few trees planted, and I gotta tell ya.... digging holes by hand is VERY hard work.  I have 7 trees I am planting this year:  2 apple, 1 pear, 2 peach, and 2 Poplar shade trees.  I dug 3 holes for 3 trees in one day, planted the trees, filled the holes in and built up a mulch borders.  Then I called it quits!  I was exhausted!  I will hopefully get the rest of the trees planted this weekend.  Keep your fingers crossed for me.  I also have to finish planting my raspberries, blackberries, grapes, and strawberry plants.  Then I have some hydrangeas and fire bush to plant along side of my house.  I got creative with the landscape border and went with cedar window boxes.  I am planning on planting strawberries in the window boxes as my border.... I'll let you know how it works out.  The window boxes are pretty and I figured I'd kill two birds with one stone.....a border and something edible in the border.    I hope I can keep the birds and chickens out of them.

In between all of the farm work and life, we helped our daughter and granddaughter move into their own apartment.  They  have been living on the farm for the last 14 months while a divorce and custody battle raged on.  I think life will now start getting back into some kind of "normal".... if there even is such a thing!

I helped a friend pick up her new horse this week.  He's a pretty boy.....he didn't load in the trailer so great, nor did he want to get off the trailer so great, but we managed.  I know my friend is going to be really happy with this new boy.  He seemed to have some really great past training, but is a little rusty.  I know my friend will have him whipped into shape in record time though! 
Trying to decide if he wants to leave the trailer.





He got a nice mouthful of yummy grass after unloading from the trailer!  His reward for being a good boy.


My daughter and granddaughter (N & R) helped me in the barn by brushing Jack and picking up poop. It is so therapeutic working in the barn and around the animals. Anyone who has animals knows how utterly wonderful they are, especially when you just spend time with them. In this picture, N & R have just had a conversation with Jack about how pretty he was, then gave him a kiss. He kissed R right back!

Then she got to go for a little lead-line ride.... see that smile?

I'm thinking about buying a pony for the grand kids....not that I need another animal, but all 3 of my girls love the horse and donkeys, and I would love to see them learn to ride. Call me crazy, but I so want my grand kids to have the horsey bug! I did all through my childhood and didn't get to have my dream of owning a horse come true until my 40's and my husbands support of my dream. I'm so lucky!

Well, off to bed..... see you tomorrow, same bat time, same bat channel!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Divets, Leaks, and Floats - in that Order!

What a busy time it's been the last  3 days.  Since my horse Jack got out of the pasture and had a merry ole time running around the property late last week, we were left with lots of deep divets because the ground is so soft.  Lots of very deep gouges..... can we say tripping hazard?  So, I enlisted help from my daughter and grand daughter to help fill in the holes with sand.  Wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow full, shoveling sand, filling holes, stomping the holes after filling them with sand (that was my grand daughters job!), but we ran out of sand before we finished filling all the divets, so we didn't get to finish.  Oh well, that's for another day. 

Back at the beginning of December, right before our first freeze, I had some dirt work done on the paddock behind the barn. We've had a leak on the other side of the paddock fence ever since then, so either the tractor was so heavy it busted a pipe under ground, or we have a pipe running under one of the fence posts and the tractor hit the post causing a pipe to bust. My BB and I tried digging around to find the busted water pipe, but since the weather was freezing and the ground was hard, we couldn't get that job completed until this past weekend. Our water pressure was affected by the leak too. Not as strong as it could be. Also, a water leak creates a lot of mud and a lot of "where is the leak coming from" discussions. Boy, digging in mud is tough. We finally located the water pipe after a couple hours of digging....and wouldn't you know it! The pipe was right under the fence post that must have been hit with the tractor. It took us digging a few holes until we found the right location. The pipe was actually running through the cement used for the fence post! About 2 and a 1/2 feet under the fence post. So of course we had to remove the fence post first, which means we had to tear out a good portion of the fence mesh wire, and break concrete to get to the busted section of the pipe. When I say we were covered in mud, believe me! Sorry, there's no pics of all this because I was covered in mud... did I mention we were covered in mud? Anyway, after a few hours, we got the pipe repaired and the fence (somewhat) put back together. I gotta say, even though it was a tough chore, we feel relieved that our water is running at full strength again and this job is over!
The "before" shot of the water leak.  See the standing water?

Today was dental float day for Jack. For all the non-horsey people, that means he had a date with the dentist! First, the horse gets sedated. That's always fun to see....the animal gets so loopy from the sedation but does a magical job of somehow staying on their feet, but does some swaying sometimes. After a few minutes to let the medication take affect, the dentist then inserts a metal contraption into their mouths, lifts their head up through a rope looped over the barn roof rafter, then proceeds to turn on an electric dental filing machine. The dentist files the teeth back into an even and smooth form. A horse chews it's food from side to side causing the teeth to wear uneven and sometimes causing "hooks" or "points" on their teeth which can become quite painful to them. My horses teeth had a couple of points which caused a couple of mouth ulcers. Imagine having mouth ulcers in your mouth....might be a little painful eating right? All in all, Jack was a pretty good patient, and the procedure was uneventful. He eventually came out of his stupor and is now eating fine.

After the dentist left, I got out the old trusty wheelbarrow again and cleaned up the barn stalls of all the horse and donkey poop! After these last 3 days, I too am totally "pooped"! And my body is sore like you'd feel after a vigorous work out. Not that I ever go to a gym and work out.... I have my own gym called farm work!



I caught the fog rolling in Friday around dusk time.  It was really weird watching it coming on really fast.  I saw the donkeys standing in the field watching something intently and when I turned around, this is what I saw.  They were enthralled watching the fog roll over them.  In just under a minute, our whole property was covered in fog and the air became a lot cooler.  It was kind of creepy, but awesome at the same time!