Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Day in the Warm Sunshine

Our little chicks are two weeks old and growing so fast. The black ones are developing slower than the others but are just as active and healthy. The weather here is predictably unpredictable - hot one day and cold the next. The chicks are still in their brooders at night but we couldn't resist coming up with something for them to get out in the sun. While heading out the gate to the lumber store to build them a run, Buddy had a brilliant idea of converting the dog kennel into a day playpen for them until their house is ready, which should be no later than two weeks. So we stayed out til dark:30 finishing it up so they could go out today. I put them in there after it warmed up a bit and I wish I had a video of them. They were happy to try out their wings..I had little chicks going every direction.

Now, here comes the kicker....I have to round them all up tonight to put them back in the barn in their brooders. That's going to be a sight! Keep in mind, I cannot stand up in there..it's only 4 ft tall. This should be interesting...
Happy Trails...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Another End of Year Upon Us

Here it is almost the close of another year. It's the time that most of us sit back and reflect on all that has happened this past year, those new little babies that joined our families and those loved ones that have left us and gone on to their ultimate walk. So much has transpired on my own journey and I look forward to a year of making new memories.

We finally got moved out to the orchard and are looking forward to building our new home. Hopefully, I'll be able to capture the progress in pictures and post it to my blog. Santa was so good to me and brought me my new camera. Now all I have to do is figure it out. I was able to snap a couple of these pictures the other day while I was out where Buddy is working. What a view, huh?
Update on the chicks - all are doing extremely well. We're still keeping a close eye on Big Hilda; "she's" looking more like a rooster every day...uh oh!
Everything around the orchard has been in sort of a lull with the holidays. I'm actually looking forward to getting back to some sort of schedule again. The weather here has been typical, crazy Texas weather..one day it's hot and the same afternoon it turns cold and dreary.
I'm looking forward to the opening of our online store right after the start of the New Year. Don't give up on me - it's in the works.
Happy Trails...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas to All

Christmas Eve was a day of preparation. Buddy and I had a list of errands to run to prepare for businesses being closed and tying up loose ends with the builder before the holidays. We had to go buy hay and feed for the horses, separate the chicks and move them out to the barn. We even made a quick run through the grocery store. Then home again last night to a very quiet little RV to do my last minute baking and watch some more Christmas movies. Yes, I seem to watch the same ones and cry at the end of every one of them. My Christmas Eve's have changed over the years. I'm not complaining. I thoroughly enjoy our quiet evening but it gives me time to reflect back over the years. I remember making sure that everyone had their gifts ready, wrapped to perfection and that all the stockings were filled and hung, waiting for the little ones to run downstairs with excitement that Santa had indeed arrived. Now it is time for my children to be filled with excitement as they make preparations for their little ones. Oh, the joy of parenthood at Christmas time.
When I could hardly hold open my eyes, I waited for my movie to end and then bundled up to head for the barn to check on the chicks to make sure they were fairing okay on the first night out in the barn. As I walked out under a clear starry sky, I could not help but think of how Mary had to feel as she traveled to Bethlehem, trying to find a place to deliver this wonderful moving little creature in her belly. How scary that must have been. What faith she must have had. As I entered the barn, I again thought of how Mary must have felt as her belly began to contract with labor and the only place they could find for this miracle delivery was in a barn. There was no one around to help her. It reminds me that when we sometimes are at our lowest point, feeling all alone, we are really never alone. God is always with us to comfort us and see us through all our troubles. And what a gift we've received. Our Father's Son, Jesus, sent to save us all.
So on this Christmas day, I wish everyone a very blessed Christmas.

Happy Trails...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Big Hilda

Surprisingly, all 24 chicks are doing very well. Buddy comes home at night and talks baby talk to them and is naming them. This is Big Hilda. She's the lightest colored of the yellow sex links and she towers over all the others. She's got the cutest little tail and her wings were the first of the groups to start feathering. At three days old, they are all now starting to get their wing feathers.

Because some of these are sex links, it is known immediately after they're hatched if they are pullets or roosters. Either Big Hilda is going to be
a big hen or she's a rooster! Aha!..time will tell...

Anybody got any good hen names?

Happy Trails...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Peep Day!

I trekked over to Cameron this afternoon to pick up my day-old chicks from Ideal. At first, they had misplaced my order but they soon came out with my little box of chicks. This day has been long awaited.

Are these not the cutest little chicks you've ever seen? Okay, all baby chicks are cute...just little puff balls of soft down. The little black ones are sooo tiny. If you're wondering why the picture has a pink cast, it's because they're under a red heat lamp.

After sitting and watching these mice in my kitchen crawl out of the stove and hop in the plastic live trap, eat the baited peanut butter cracker and turn and get OUT, thumbing their little nose at me....I resorted to calling my friendly exterminator ...."HELP!" He advised me to find the hole where they're getting in...are you kidding me?! Other than that, out comes the black box baited with poison (no more peanut butter) and snap-traps. The black box sits outside so, hopefully, they will go off and die and then the snap-traps are right next to my stove. And, of course, just as soon as I crawl in a nice warm bed last night...SNAP!..okay, out of bed I go, get dressed and go out and pitch the little sucker. This is gross but in the last 24 hours, my pitch pile is getting big. Yuk...

I have to show you this picture of Gretchen..she's a very mini dachshund. Last week we had cold weather with sleet and snow and she just couldn't warm up. I went looking all around for her (keep in mind, there's not too many places to get lost in an RV!) and she finally stuck her head out of the dirty clothes basket. Aha! There you are!

Isn't she cute? I went out and bought her a little pink sweater with pom-pom's on it. What you don't see in the picture is the fact that she really doesn't like it. She's just not a sweater-girl!

I guess I'm gonna have to get with the program and put up some Christmas lights or something. Everybody's been posting some wonderful Christmas thoughts and pictures. My friend, Robin, has her house completely decorated with a Christmas tree in every room in her house. She could give Martha Stewart a run for her money! Your house looks awesome, Robin!

Happy Trails...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Cowboy Up!

Now I consider myself a country girl but when I met Buddy, I was introduced to a whole new world of "rodeo" lingo...some descriptive phrases I can do without but one that makes a lot of sense is "cowboy up", meaning that when the going gets tough, you get up, dust yourself off and keep trying.
This past week I have been telling myself repeatedly to "cowboy up" and persevere. First of all, I've been trying to get my online store up and running but I guess December is not the month to think that I'm going to find some quality, undisrupted quiet time to work on computer stuff that takes my undivided attention, especially in tight living quarters in a fifth-wheel RV. I'm not real computer savvy but can usually figure stuff out if I can have time to concentrate and be very patient. Unfortunately, it is not happening right now. I am still working on getting it up and running so please don't give up on me.

Speaking of living in tight quarters in a RV - as I've mentioned before, we are in the process of building our house out here at the pecan orchard and are living in the RV next to the house site. Well... I think every mouse in this county has moved in with us and are breeding right here in the walls! Yuk!! I sit here at the table, trying desperately to work on my computer and off to my side is a mouse coming out of the stove and staring at me like I'm irritating him for being here! Please... he has no fear! It is amazing how something so small can make so much noise. Being the creature loving person that I am, I decide to go with the ol' technique of putting out cotton balls soaked in peppermint oil to make them leave. Ha! I think they are using them to build their nests! So next I go out and buy some of those little plastic no-kill boxes that traps the mouse and you take them out and let them go. First, they go in and take the peanut butter cracker and somehow keep the trap door up and get out! ?!?! These little guys are so prevalent, I sit here and watch them! They could care less that I'm sitting here. So.... I've mastered setting up the traps...aha! Now I'm taking handfuls of little plastic boxes full of mice out far away every morning and letting them go. I think I'm going to start doing like those zoologist or animal behaviorist or whoever they are and tag these little guys because I think they're circling around and coming back in...they look mighty familiar!

Okay, I'm open for suggestions...can somebody recommend a webhost with an easy tutorial for the website design? I'm not giving up. And if anyone has any suggestions on getting rid of these mice, please leave your comments. If I thought they could be trained, I have enough for a three-ring circus with backup!

Happy Trails...

Monday, December 8, 2008

On The Run

Okay, folks, like everyone this time of year, I've been so busy running back and forth between San Antonio and home, trying to help out with the older boys so their mom can concentrate on taking care of the new baby and doing some healing herself. When I got to San Antonio last night, Jacob was working on a school project about The Battle at Bunker Hill. I thought it was so cool, I have to share a picture of it. I'm also including some pictures of Texas that I snapped while on the road...probably not a real good idea pulling over and taking pictures, but ohwell..

I love taking pictures of old houses and barns and this old stone home is over 100 years old..

Texas longhorns

Please....don't fence me in...

Happy Trails...

Give-Away Day #3 Winner!

Per a random number generator, congratulations go out to Donna from Texas for winning the food carrier! Thanks to everyone that stuck with me and added their comments. I have thoroughly enjoyed hearing from everyone.
Don't give up on me. RiverBend Farm Store should be up and running in the next day or two so don't go far. Come back and visit!

Happy Trails...

Friday, December 5, 2008

Give-Away Day #3

Here we are at Day#3...hasn't this been fun? Today I'm offering this insulated food carrier. It will keep foods hot or cold. It measures 12 x 18 and can easily accomodate a 9 x 13 pan.

For a chance to win, leave me a comment with some way that I can reply to you if you're chosen. I'm going to leave this give-away open til noon Dec 6th, CST. Thanks to everyone for being so patient with me until I get my online store open. I'm enjoying everyone's comments so much that I'm thinking I should do a weekly give-away until Christmas...what do you think?

Happy Trails...

Give-Away Day #2 Winner!

Congratulations go out to MaryAnne at Thrifty Craft Mama to all who stopped by and left comments.
Please come back and visit and check out my Give-Away Day #3. I'll post it shortly.

Happy Trails...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Big Give-Away Day #2

As promised, here's another chance to win something handmade. It's a set of four quilted Christmas coasters. These are great for gift giving or keeping for yourself for the holidays.
Please leave me a comment for a chance to win and one lucky person will be drawn by a random number generator after midnight tonight, CST. International participants welcome. When leaving a comment, make sure I have some kind of email to return a reply if you're chosen. Good Luck!

Happy Trails...

We Have A Winner For Day#1

First of all, I want to say thanks to the folks over at Sew, Mama, Sew for hosting the Big Blog GiveAway Day. That was fun! And second, I want to thank everyone that stopped by and commented on the Male Apron. There is one lucky winner of the apron but I was the winner in this. All your wonderful comments made my day! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

By a random number generator, the winner of the Male Apron is Hannah from Tampa, Florida. Congratulations!

Don't miss out on another opportunity to win another one of my handmade items to be posted soon on GiveAway Day #2. I should have my online store up and running in the next few days; if anyone is interested in purchasing a Male Apron, just send me an email by commenting to this post and I will get back with you. Thanks to everyone for participating in the GiveAway.

Happy Trails...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Big Give-Away Day #1

Today's the Day!
Here in Texas we love to cook...and eat! Both my boys grew up learning how to cook and are now culinary delights. Joe is more the gourmet cook that can just about match any chef out there while Luke is the master of some barbecue that will melt in your mouth. In our homes, the kitchen seems to be where everyone hangs out. So I thought I would make this 100% cotton twill men's apron with a zipper appropriately placed in just the right spot. I have to give the credit to my sister for this idea. She's made these for years and they always seem to be something fun for the master chef. Thanks, Judy!
If you would like a chance at winning this apron, please leave me a comment along with your email and/or blog address so I can contact you if you're chosen. International participants are welcome in this give-away. Today's give-away will end at midnight tonight CST and a winner will be announced tomorrow on Dec 4th. Come back tomorrow for my Give-Away Day #2. Good Luck!

Go over to Sew, Mama, Sew for the master list of all the participating blogs.

Happy Trails...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tomorrow's the Day!

Don't forget! Tomorrow is the Big Blog Give-Away Day started by the folks over at Sew, Mama, Sew! http://sewmamasew.com/blog2/ Be sure to check back by tomorrow and leave a comment to enter for a chance to win a handmade gift.
Since I'm still working on getting my store online, I've decided to give away something for the next three days starting tomorrow. So now you have three chances to win. One lucky winner will be chosen at random each day so please come back and leave a comment along with your email and/or blog address so I can contact you if you're chosen. You must leave a comment each day for a chance to win. International participants are welcome in this give-away. See ya tomorrow when I post my first gift. I look forward to hearing from you!

Happy Trails...