Monday, June 29, 2009

Winged Creatures

I've enjoyed several of your blogs with a weekly challenge of particular pictures. This past Sunday was "things with wings". It's funny how a couple of my pictures for today ended up being with wings. The boys happened across this gorgeous moth last night - it's probably about four inches across. I'm hoping you can click on the picture and get a better close up of all the turquoise colors in this moth.

I know now that I'm asking Santa for a zoom lens for my camera.

My next winged creature is my broody hen. Why in the world she wants to get broody in triple digit temperatures, I have no idea. I'm all for letting her sit on a batch of eggs and see if they hatch out but this hen can't decide which nest box she wants! Seems every time she gets out to eat and drink, she returns to another box. I'd let her keep some of the eggs she was sitting on but then she changes her mind. Too heck with that...I just gathered up all the eggs last night. She seemed content to be left on a nest.

I'm open for suggestions on how to keep her on one nest to let her hatch some out.

I've given up on the back garden except for the watermelons and I think I'm gonna have to let the chickens have them too. I have watered and watered and it is so blasted hot here, the heat has literally sucked out all the moisture from the plants. And whatever is produced seems to turn bad in a day. Even the watermelons are splitting. So it's back to the drawing board on how to improve the garden for the next go-round.

Dottie doesn't have wings but she sure can fly up to some high places. There have been days when I have searched and searched for her and she eventually shows up. I think her favorite spot is back in this far corner above my kitchen cabinets.

If she's not up high, she's learned to open drawers and cabinets and get in there. I had no idea I was going to have to "child" proof my home for a cat.

Happy Trails...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Week in Review

Well, what a week this has been. Hopefully, this is not a picture of what is to come with weekly posts. I think I mentioned in an earlier post that I've gone back to work a couple days a week. No, I don't much like it but it'll keep my mind sharp...what? Who am I kidding? I don't need to get up and drag my big butt out in the wee hours of the dark morning to go tend to critters to keep my mind sharp! Okay, so I don't much like it but it helps pay the, that sounds better.
Let's see, I went to Farmers Market last Saturday and did pretty good selling eggs but Buddy called me while I was there to inform me that the dogs got one of the chickens. This is the one that kept flying over the fence to trek to the barn to lay her egg. A few days I would catch her and put her in the dog kennel with a nest in there, hoping she would like that. Nope, she'd lay her egg in there but as soon as I let her out during the day, there she would go to the barn. Well, Saturday she didn't quite make it to the barn...all we saw was feathers everywhere. My neighbor came over Sunday night to tell me the chicken was in her yard. Lovely.. So, one of the grandboys helped me wrangle as many chickens as I could and start clipping wings. Just to add this tidbit, after I get home from work yesterday, this grandson decides he's going to go finish the job so he goes out there and starts clipping wings with some little tiny folding scissors that he has had tucked away in his pocket. Holy Toledo!

I don't know what to do about the "guess the eggs" contest. If I were a chicken, I wouldn't want to be sitting in some hot nest box trying to lay an egg! Yesterday it was 104 here and predicted again for today. I have actually turned on the sprinkler for my chickens and they love it...they go run into it and do their chicken dance, run out and then run back in again. I never knew chickens loved water so much but when it's so dang hot outside, who wouldn't love running through the sprinkler?

Speaking of hot, here's another product review at the request of my husband..
Buddy works out in this blasted heat on a dozer and yes, his butt gets pretty raw. He came across this Anti Monkey Butt with calamine powder in it at Tractor Supply and says it's wonderful.. So, here's something for all the guys out there that work outside or anyone in the saddle all's Monkey Butt to the rescue! I have to confess, I used this stuff under the boobies and it's pretty good stuff. Especially for us old gray mares that have boobies that you can tuck into your pants.
So, for now I will close and hopefully be back before another week. I've got plenty on my to-do list today to keep me busy.
Happy Trails...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Summer Boredom set in with the Grandkids?

Please tell me someone remembers this game. My husband thinks I'm crazy. One of the grandkids came and told me earlier that he was bored and there was nothing to do by himself since his brother is totally absorbed in a book. And it's too blasted hot to go out and play so I pulled out a plastic gallon jug and some clothespins. Yes, when I was a kid we used to play drop the clothespin in the bucket. Well, you woulda thought this was a new invention! Grandma's pretty smart! He's been playing this now for about two hours and so proud of himself for getting the clothespins in. Truthfully, I had no idea he would enjoy it this much! Maybe you've got little ones around that might be entertained with it too.
Happy Trails..

I love GiveAways!

Don't you just love give-aways? I have been drooling over the nest boxes at Life on a Southern Farm made by her husband. They have now sold over 100 boxes and to celebrate, so they are giving one away...and I want to win! What chicken wouldn't want one of these? I think some of my girls would really like this because they keep flying out of their pens and wanting to find another place to lay their eggs other than the nest boxes they have in their house. Now what's up with that? My grandson even found an egg on the ground right outside the pen. I guess when we're finding about 6-7 eggs in one box, maybe they are getting a little over crowded in there. But some boxes only have two eggs...choosy chickens!

Trying to Keep Up

Wanted to share the morning view out my bedroom I blessed or what?
I have been trying to keep up with everyone's blogs but it's been a busy week. I've still got this cough hanging on that I can't seem to shake. Everyone keeps telling me I need to go to the doctor but, being a nurse, I seem to put that on the back burner. The sour economy is hitting us so I've resorted to going back to work a couple days a week. I have plenty to keep me busy here at the farm but it's not paying the bills. Last Saturday Buddy and I spent a long 4 hours out in the hot sun selling eggs and pecan wood. We had a little luck.
If you're keeping up with the egg count, you'll see that there's no consistency. It's been so blasted hot here, even the chickens have been standing in their water buckets trying to cool off. I've opened the door to the chicken house where their nest boxes are, thinking that it might cool it off in there a little bit.

I was working about an hour north of here this past week and it was 106 degrees. That's hot! And there is no rain in our forecast. Looks like we're going to have another year of no pecan harvest. We're having to give the chickens and the horses alfalfa because all the grass has dried up.

One thing that we do have around here on the farm is this sticky sap on everything. It's looks like dew but it's sticky. One picture is this yuk on the gate and the other is a picture of the window on my truck. It washes off with water but it's a nuisance! And it's not a good's actually aphids feeding on the pecan trees.

I hate to even post this picture but I can see how I've even neglected the garden. I'm ready to mow it down. We're still waiting on watermelons and corn but I'm plowing under all the rest...the beans never produced...lots of blooms but no beans. Too late and too hot. Same with tomatoes.. I'll go out there later and try to get some pics.
I'll still try and keep up with all your blogs.. there are some great posts out there.
Happy Trails...

Friday, June 12, 2009

Are We Having Fun Yet?

So...this is pretty much the way I've been feeling this past week..about the way that Eve looks... a little week in the knees, leaned back and just plain "give 0ut". Last Saturday I started feeling bad and to add to it, it's been blazing hot here. I'm keeping a couple of the grandboys with me this summer so Grandma is trying to keep up with their energy too. I went to Farmers Market last Saturday to try and sell some eggs...okay, so I didn't grab a tent (and I don't have a huge umbrella) so I go attempt to sell eggs out of the tailgate of my truck. If I heard it once, I heard it 25 times "Girl, you need ya an umbrella." "Those sure are small eggs "(I'm selling them for 50c less than everyone else's because there are some that are smaller!)"What are those green eggs?" "You need to get out of this sun", "what are those? guinea eggs?", "You need to get you some shade". After two hours and selling only two dozen eggs, I called it quits. Plus I wasn't feeling great..sore throat and scratchy throat. So I loaded up my table and my boys and headed home to put my eggs back up and head back to the grocery store. When Grandmas are not used to shopping with two boys, it's a real experience. We quickly went through HEB and then home again.. And my throat is really starting to hurt... We get home and I go unlock the door, throw my purse on the table and am leaving out when one of the boys brings in two sacks of cold/frozen foods and puts them on the kitchen table.. great! What help! I've actually got some help to bring in groceries! So as I'm turning to go back in the house with another load the younger of the boys turns and giggles and tells his brother he has locked the door! NO WAY! Oh, yes way! We are now locked out of the house with two sacks of cold groceries along with my purse and phone sitting on the inside of the house while I'm on the outside of the house with the rest of the groceries. This was not funny! Fortunately, the RV was still parked next to the house with the fridge plugged in so the cold stuff went in there. So all of you are thinking..why don't you just go get the hidden key...well, we recently moved in and quite frankly, I haven't given any thought to needing to hide a key just yet... but now I do! I try and find things that need to be done outside but there is always something that is needed from inside to complete the task. We sit and wait...I don't even my phone to call anyone. At least the boys have their bikes to where do they go? I look up and they're comes the younger one to tell on his brother...yep, they've been to the river. Now figure this... when I was kid I used to cover some territory on my horse... why is it that this grandma freaks out when the grandkids go to the river? How could I call anyone if something were to happen? I can't even yell my throat hurts so bad. What did our parents used to do? They didn't have cell phones.. heck, my mother never knew where I was most of the time. (hmmm.. maybe my mother didn't want to know where I was...) Anyway, we were finally rescued when Buddy came in from work five hours later. I was never so glad to see my shower.

The days pass and I'm still dealing with my throat and now a deep chest congestion cough but I'm the secretary (how I got roped into this duty, I'll never know..) for our family reunion of about 200 folks. It's my job to get the invitations sent out. We have a perforated postcard type invitation that tears off and you mail in your response. This same card has been sent out for umpteen dozen years. So I get them all done and to the post office only to hear that the post office will now not accept them because they are too small. Back to the address and stuff them in envelopes to get out to folks. Trust me, after all this, I'm passing the torch to someone else to be secretary!

My daughter came in from out of town to my rescue to help me while I was feeling so puny. This cough and congestion took it's toll on me this year. Theresa was a tremendous help with the kids and even helped give Harley her summer haircut. She feels so much better.

I hated to see Theresa leave after a couple days. She's missed out on being the recipient of daily treasures..

Yep, it was the younger one of the boys that came running into my bedroom the other morning to show me this dead rat he found.
Are we having fun yet?

Happy Trails...

Friday, June 5, 2009

Just a story

In the early hours of the morning while it's still dark and the sun just has it on it's mind about coming up, I grab a cup of coffee and sit at my computer. It's my time to catch up on other's blogs and try and post comments. I have learned so much from others. Lisa over at Laughing Orca Ranch has been taking me on road trips through New Mexico...places that I know I will never actually get to visit in person. So I'm sitting here trying to post a comment on Lisa's blog and I look up and out the window to catch a glimpse of a beautiful coyote as it's cutting through the orchard. As the early light catches it, I can see it's grace as it moves with purpose towards the road in front of the house. As I'm watching it move, I'm thinking "where are my dogs? and why aren't they barking and alarmed that something has entered their territory?" It continues to move through the orchard and around the front of the house and hits the road, running along it's path between our house and the huge open cotton field out front. I get up from my desk and move out on the front porch to watch it continue it's journey. "Where are my dogs?" About this time, Harley is out front and catches a glimpse of it (remember a past post about her vigil watching the sun come up) and she's up on all fours now. With lightning speed she leaps out towards the coyote and the chase is on. She doesn't even waste precious breath to bark. The dust is flying. They are both running for their lives at top rates of speed. "What's going to happen if Harley catches up with it? Where are all the other dogs? I've never seen Harley run so fast!" ...then they both stop. The coyote turns and they face each other. "Oh, my gosh, they're going to fight!" The coyote runs towards Harley and they meet and greet each other with an affectionate show of play and then the coyote turns and trots off leaving Harley standing there wagging her tail. "What just happened?" Harley watches it as it disappears against the horizon of the cotton field and then goes about sniffing the trail left behind. About this time, here come all the other dogs barking and carrying on as if to proclaim they just chased away a monster.
Happy Trails..

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Round Pen Work

I go out every night and put up my chickens...well, they put themselves up and I go out and lock up their little trap door so they can't get out and nothing can get in. Wednesday night is Bible Study night here and a couple ended up staying afterwards and visiting. It was great. We sat out on the front porch with a night's breeze. So it was late that I ventured to the back of the property to go lock up the chickens. I had my little trustworthy flashlight but still too dark to count fuzzy butts up on perches. I go out this morning and there's one out running around. Now why wasn't she in the house at dark? There's no telling where she was..maybe she has discovered she can get up in the tree. If you can see in the picture, our property backs up to farmland...this year being corn. So after thinking that I might be able to get away without locking up the girls, I figured I better not press my luck. I will continue to go out and lock them up every night. With days staying lighter later, I usually have to stand there waiting for all the girls to go up.

Several times a day I pass what used to be my round pen. I don't think I can really call it round when half of it isn't there. Last winter we didn't get finished closing in the hay and feed area of the barn so when the cold and rain hit, we hurriedly grabbed the panels to the round pen and put them temporarily up to enclose the hay and feed so the horses can come and go to their stalls. I think it's high time that temporary is about to come to an end. I need to ride. Last summer I had carpal tunnel surgery on my right hand and then broke my left hand after a fall while building the house. I'm longing to go ride. You can even see that the sand is missing out of the pen. When the guys were building the house foundation they needed a little bit more sand, so where did they go get it? Yep, out of the round pen. I have yet to replace it. So my project is to get my round pen back to being functional.

Girl, do something with that hair!!

Yes, I'm bad. Jess has been neglected. Look at her mane! She had such beautiful long mane and the other horses have just chewed it off. Now I need to go spruce it up.

I've got plenty to keep me busy with everything else I've got going on so better get to it.. hopefully soon, I can post "after" shots.

Happy Trails...

Monday, June 1, 2009

And the Winner of the May GiveAway is..

Thanks to everyone that stopped by and left such nice comments for the May GiveAway hosted by Sew, Mama, Sew. Several of you asked if I have an Etsy shop. I do not but we are opening an online store for the Farm which will include handmade items, collectibles and farm products. So all of you that visited the blog this week will get a sneek peek at the Farm Store. Be sure to come back and visit because we are getting ready to open and continually adding products.
The winners, chosen by a random number generator are
Affectioknit and Sarah (e4e8231) Congrats to both of you!