Friday, February 8, 2008

Journals of a farm girl, Chapter One

Long, long time ago, I was afforded the life of living on a farm outside Houston. It was a little girl's dream. We had sheep, dogs, pigs, chickens and horses. I was introduced to my first love when my father accepted payment for services in the form of three shetland ponies. I guess that's when it all began. There were the Quarter horses, but I had my own Tony, my pony. A beautiful palomino stallion. Yes, a stallion. That's what I learned to ride on...with hay ropes and a burlap sack. I'll never forget the day my father went to the trunk of the car and pulled out a brand new saddle for me. I thought I was the new Dale Evans. From then on, my love for animals has grown and so has my desire to be back out in the country.

Now, I have been afforded the opportunity to get back to the country... a small pecan orchard out in the farmland of the Brazos Bottom. Buddy and I have been trying for the past year to get completely moved out there from our rural neighborhood but have been met with numerous obstacles. First of all, we've been waiting for a water well since last April...yes, that's just two months shy of a year. Last summer we had months of rain that kept us ankle deep in mud. With the occasional showers since, the ground is still soft in spots but we can't figure out why the delay. Yesterday, after the well service man came out and said it's going to be another week or two, we contacted another service. We think we've been more than patient.
So, yesterday was a day of picking up sticks and starting to burn the piles of limbs since the burn ban was lifted. We've had lots of fires in the surrounding counties. As a matter of fact, we were watching the pile burn and within an hour, the wind had changed directions more than 90 degrees. Buddy decided that burning off one pile was enough for the morning. He'll wait until the wind dies down to burn off more. Besides the never-ending chore of picking up sticks, our next project is thinning out trees. We're constantly trying to learn all about pecan farming and understand that the trees need to be at least 30' apart. That gives them more sunshine to produce more pecans. Last year was supposed to have been an ON year but we had so much rain, we had pecan scab and most of the pecans were not good. We did not have them harvested. We've still got tons of pecans on the ground.
We've got three horses out there now keeping the weeds down and providing much entertainment. Buddy always said that when he gets old (nope, we're not quite there yet), he wants to be able to sit on his back porch, drinking his coffee and while looking out at the horses can say "that's a nice 'ol SOB". We bought back Theresa's barrel and pole horse and turned her out to retire. She'll be 22 yrs old next month. Then there's Bridget, the pony for the grandkids. We recently purchased another mare who has yet to be named. Unbeknownst at the time we bought her, she's bred to the hilt. We just knew she was built and I liked her for me. Horses are a good prediction of the weather... they're not starting to lose their winter coats yet which means we've still got some winter days ahead.

Well, I could keep going but will close out this session. This has been a tidbit of information of where I've been and where I'm going. Our plan is to build our home at the pecan orchard and have a place where our children and grandchildren can come out and enjoy a taste of the life that Buddy and I have both known. God has blessed us tremendously. With God by our side, we are continuing our journey.

Happy trails...

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