Friday, December 24, 2010

Still Alive Here

Here I sit on Christmas Eve morning, having coffee and reading other's blogs. Yes, it's been awhile. One of my friends told me to just check in and let everyone know that I'm still alive so here I am. I just don't find what I have to say very interesting but here's the latest since forever. Wow, how God has been working in our lives! Here's a quick review.
My sweet little Gretchen is not with us anymore. She was extremely blind with cataracts and 9 days shy of her 11th birthday when yours truly ran over her out in the orchard. It will be a day and feeling I will never forget. We still miss her running this orchard.

On a good note, Button did come to live with us on the farm. What a hoot! This bottle baby was raised with the grandkids and the dogs and she still loves to run and play like she's a dog. Unfortunately for the dogs, Button's longhorns are growing and she doesn't realize how they hurt. We had to pen her up with the feeder calf for months because she was too friendly. It's pretty freaky to be walking the orchard and have a longhorn calf come running up behind you. She's better now about rubbing up against my leg. She'll come running and stop about 2 feet from me.

You can see our latest addition to the family in this picture with Button and Jasper. Gussie is a red heeler or Cattle dog. She is now 5 months old is my compadre.
Shortly after my last post, through a lot of prayer, Buddy started his own dozer business. God has blessed us richly. Looking back over the year, God has put in black and white our direction. In the past, I would wonder if we're making the right decisions but not now. God has been closing doors and slamming wide open others for His direction. With the dozer business, it has allowed Buddy the freedom to do God's ministry and, without a long drawn out story, Buddy is a cowboy church planter and is pastoring the start-up of a cowboy church in Navasota. It is amazing to see God's work being done. Buddy's old rodeo and roping buddies are pretty much taken aback when they find out he's a pastor. How often we hear "You're a...pastor?!" God works in mysterious ways. He's the potter and we're the clay! This is certainly not something we set out to do.. it is definitely a calling.
This is a pretty quick post to cover several months but I have a dirty house calling my name. Ugh.. I will try and keep up with this.
Happy Trails...

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch

In the last month, Buddy has changed jobs... hallelujah! He is no longer working an hour and half from the house (weather permitting) but now working on a 500+ acre Longhorn ranch that's only 20 minutes from home. It's certainly a change from running heavy equipment all day but I'm loving having him so close to home. Yesterday morning I went with him to go feed so I grabbed my camera...

Meet Hank... a wild turkey hen that came up to the ranch last summer and decided to stay. She is Buddy's compadre. She rides around in the Mule with him, sitting right next to him on the seat. She's not stupid..she knows to stay in the Mule or she'd be attacked by the donkeys. Each pasture has their own set of donkeys. Their job is to keep predators away...and they do their job well.

You will notice that when it came time for me to leave..there was the back of my truck.

Now this precious little girl is Latte Frosty's Star..otherwise known as Button, which is the name Buddy has also given our newest granddaughter. She has a calf named after her. She is one of twins which the mother abandoned. The other twin is a bull calf who is much larger. The little heifer calf is a free martin, meaning she is sterile because in utero, all the hormones or testosterone go to the bull calf. She will still grow big and get the traditional Longhorns but she will be sterile. Once she's weaned from the bottle, RiverBend Farm will be her new home.

Here's the bull calf...he's much bigger.

These next few pictures are taken as we went through and fed. Once I get off into the back pastures, I'll take pictures of the others.

Check this guy out..he's only 18 months old!...the horse, not the bull. The bull in the above picture is two years old.

Here's the colt's guard donkey...isn't he cute?

There are about 250+ head of cattle, horses and donkeys and it's in Buddy's job description to learn all their names. Yep, that's right...they ALL have names.

Happy Trails...

Friday, February 26, 2010

Yes, I'm back from a long blogging break..nothing wrong, just been in a slump dealing with everyday life consuming my days. Since I've been away, I guess I could make this post very long and winded but will spare everyone.

Now..what's wrong with this picture? This is Texas! It's not suppose to snow like that here. I will say that it was a sight to behold though.

Even the horses were wondering what all this white stuff was...

Big Hilda kept following me around as if she was saying "please take me back up to the house with you!"

Okay, I've got to get on my soapbox so bear with me...remember our precious Jasper, the golden retriever that someone dumped out here a year ago? Well.. making a very long story very short, the boyfriend of a renter down the road reported us and my next door neighbor for animal abuse/neglect because he felt like our dogs are too skinny! OH MY GOSH! He should have seen this dog when we rescued him out of the bar ditch. We have since learned that when others saw this dog in the ditch, they wanted to shoot him and put him out of his misery. This idiot should see all my other animals and their living conditions! The charges were finally dropped only after a vet submitted a letter of perfect health and the frivilous charge. People like this are dangerous. If they want to report someone for neglect/abuse, they need to sit out on the road and catch all the folks dumping their animals out here for us to fall in love with and add to our ongoing vet and feed bills. It is a sad day in our country when we have to take the time and money to defend ourselves from some idiot people who have nothing better to do. Okay...I'm done.

In the meantime, we are staying in and enjoying the wood stove and I can't wait for spring to get here!!

Happy Trails...

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Hot Dog Man

Ya'll are just gonna have to deal with my posts about my granddaughters because they are keeping me in stitches with their shannanigans. Nana might be a little slow and behind the times, but I'm learning. When I asked Ashlyn if she wanted her hot dog cut up or in a bun, she squealed "Hot Dog Man!" Here enters Hot Dog Man.

Yesterday while I slipped away to get a shower, Kenley decided to work on some personal artwork.

But this precious angel is always eager to help..
Happy Trails...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Texas women

I hope I don't offend any fellow Texans but I've just got to post about this. I come from a long line of family born and raised in Texas. Call it whatever, but when I was a kid growing up, I really thought Dolly Parton on the cover of True Confessions was to die for. She was always a lady..always had hair and makeup perfect. Now, as an older adult, I've learned she has gone off the deep end and looks purely plastic. Where did my idol go? But back to the point of this post.
Yesterday, while still in Dallas, I slipped out of the hospital and went down the road to pick up lunch for Theresa and her husband. They wanted Pei Wei, so off I went. Now, mind you, I live in a small town near a college town, home of Texas A&M, where it is not uncommon to see a lot of "kids" wearing flip-flops and pajamas pants or sweats. And, when I go out, I always have on makeup and clean hair, 99% of the time in jeans and a tshirt. But as I was sitting in Pei Wei, waiting for my take-out, I was blown away with the women coming in. The majority of them had something done to their hair...I've never seen such streaks and 'do's. And their makeup looked like war paint. And I don't know how they held themselves up with all that jewelry. Oh, and the Barbie heels...c'mon, do women really work in those? I've got to know... was this a freak sighting? I forgot about their purses..I guess you call that a purse..they were the size of an envelope. (Where do they put their gun? It couldn't be under that bodysuit...maybe it was hiding under all that necklace or tucked into all that cleavage...hopefully not there because if they needed it in a hurry, it would take them awhile to find it). I applaud women for getting up and dressing and looking professional but this was almost a joke.. when you got that many women together, it looked comical. Each one that came in looked just like the one before them. I do not consider myself to be leading a sheltered life. I know that not all Texas women look like that. I hope that folks outside of Texas do not think that is a true reflection of Texas women because it's not.
Happy Trails...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Leighton Anne

I have been given permission to post her picture, so here is my newest blessing.

Dear Journal...

Where do I begin? I traveled to Dallas on Monday to be here for the birth of my seventh grandchild. Words cannot express how God has blessed me. We were patiently but anxiously waiting the arrival of Theresa's third daughter. Theresa's actual due date was Jan 31 but for reasons I won't go into, it was decided for her to be induced. Theresa picked the 29th to be the day. Her doctor thought otherwise and asked if the 26th would be a good day. Theresa mulled it over in her head and decided the 26th would be a great day to have her baby. You see, Jan 26th marked the 20th anniversary of her father's murder. That is a whole 'nother story that does not need detail. It has just been a sad day remembered in my children's lives.
Anyway, Theresa has been having some hard regular contractions for several weeks at night and has considered heading to the hospital on different occasions but they soon subside. All preparations have been made and everything is ready. I, for one, did not think she would make it to the 26th. But the night of the 25th arrives and no typical 11 o'clock hour contractions...hhhmmm... She gets up the morning of the 26th with cramping and some regular contractions. Off to the hospital we seems that scheduled induction or not, God has chosen January 26 to be the birthday of Baby Leighton. You cannot imagine how it made my heart sing when Theresa held her baby, crying and repeating "this is now a good day".
To God alone be all the glory...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

It's Working

No pictures on this post..just a quick note to say that all my efforts on cutting back are paying off. I was anxiously waiting for the electric bill to come in to see if there was any difference. Buddy told me not to be too disappointed because the heater ran almost constantly when the temperature outside never got aboving freezing for three days. But the bill came in and I was pleasantly shocked...we REDUCED our bill by 27%! It does work! I used to go in a room and flip on the light (in the bathroom we have two fixtures with three lights each) ...don't do that anymore. I have learned to function in low light or when I do turn on lights, it's only a few with those corkscrew looking bulbs. At night, we cut down the heater and put more blankets on the beds. During the day, just layered on more clothes. It's the little things adding up.
No, we haven't cranked up the wood stove's been in the mid 70's here lately. What happened to winter? We got our winter bunched up into a week!
Happy Trails...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Porch Garden

My porch garden is finally coming together. Awhile back we found the antique fence and put it up. Then Buddy found an antique gate on one of his job sites and the owner told him he could have it so it got hung today. Yipee! With the weather we've been having, it won't be long before I can go out there and start planting. Come on spring! I pulled the Carolina jasmine out of the barn and put it back. It's been living in the barn with the recent ice storm. Can you believe it? One day it's 16 and now today it's 76. I figured as much... we get the wood stove put in and we have a Texas heat January.
The chickens are loving this weather. I've got 20 chickens and I'm getting 15 eggs a day. I love my chickens. They are mixed sex links and 5 Ameracaunas. I get 4-5 green eggs a day so I know the schedule of the Ameracaunas but I don't know which, if all, of the sex links are laying.
In the meantime, I've got lots of eggs.
I've been out of it lately...I just got word from Mandi over at Herban Homestead that I need to get my seed potatoes in the ground. Yikes! We just need to put the tractor back together. We've had the starter in the shop. Thanks, Mandi, for keeping me on my toes!
Happy Trails...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

An Egg or a Fart?

Can you see it? What would you call it? I don't think it's an egg. Probably just a hard shell fart.

And what's with the little outy belly button on the end? That's just nasty.

Calling all meat rabbit raisers. I need some help. We're working on getting some meat rabbits and I'm trying to decide on cages or hutches or whatever you want to call them. We had them when I was a kid and we had wooden hutches. I know that's not the preferred hutch due to sanitary conditions. So, do I get wire cages and hang them or put them in a wooden frame? I've also heard that stacking is not the preferred way. I will have these cages under a shed with access to fans for summer heat. I'm tossing around which is the best way to go so any and all comments and suggestions are welcome.
Happy Trails...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Our Latest Addition

Remember a few days ago I was moving around the furniture? Well, now I will tell you why...

When we built our home, we put in vinyl flooring throughout the house because here it's either mud or dust. Some of that had to come up this week..

To put down tile...

To cut a hole in the ceiling...
(you can't imagine how this hurt..I thought I was going to be sick!)

To add our new Jotul 500 wood stove. This was the designated spot for it when we drew up the house plans but just now got around to putting it in. We missed getting it in before this record cold snap but feel fortunate to have found one. After doing all the reviews and deciding on this one, we learned that the middle man distributor will no longer be carrying them and it was going to be difficult to get one in..they are built in Norway. This is all in our big scheme of becoming sustainable. With our luck, now that we have the stove, we're probably going to get a Texas Heat Wave. I'm still waiting on the back heat shield to come in.. should be today. Coming out of Maine, we checked the other day and it was in Illinois with the temperature there at 0. Then we'll be able to crank up this lil' puppy and stay snuggly warm.

Happy Trails...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Escape the Cold for a few minutes

Climb aboard and let's continue soaking in the warmth of the sun and viewing the countryside.

Don't you just love old barns?

Oh, give me a home...

of blue skies and sunshine...

Happy Trails...