Monday, January 24, 2011

I Need an Appointment with God

Photos my #2 Daughter sent me of her new journal and Bible study.

Today is a check-in day for B90 Days. I fell behind this week in my reading, about 5 days behind. But I know I can and will catch up. I plan to be caught up by next week. My family have all been sick this week, and we slept a lot. So not as much reading going on! But I did attend the #B90days twitter party which ended a minute ago. I always learn so much by seeing what the other ladies are learning from their reading. I have decided that I need to be more disciplined and scheduled in my relationship with God. I try to spend time with the Lord every day. But I have decided that I will be much richer in my relationship if I plan my time with God, instead of just letting it happen. I try to get up at 5:30, but when you don't go to bed until 12 or later, that is hard to do. Actually, it has not been more than a "thought" at this point. So if this is important to me, I have to plan my whole day around meeting God in His word. Maybe make a point of being in bed by 11? My husband would love it! I'll keep you posted how this journey is going.
Now for farm news. We have LOTS of baby animals to tell you about. Saturday, my husband found a new calf at one of the rented pastures. Then today Pappy found twin lambs (one red and the other smoky like the Barbedos) and another baby calf. So we are doing pretty good for January. I think another lamb will probably come in the next day or two. One of my ladies is staying by herself today, so that is usally a sign. We still have a lot of births to come! But in my opinion, nothing is cuter than baby lambs! I will try to have pictures soon.
The Grand-boy went home today. We always miss him when he is not here. I picked up his toys and put away his clothes. We'll see him again in a few days.
Its getting late. May be more snow here Wednesday. I'll keep you posted. Pray for my progress in scheduling Bible time, and in catching up on my reading. Talk soon! Honey

Monday, January 17, 2011

Thoughts on Life

Today is our third check in with Mom's Tool Box and Bible 90 Days. I am caught up, except for today's reading. So I am happy about that. Yesterday I was behind a few days, because the Grand-boy stayed here while he was sick this week. But I was able to get caught up, and I am thankful.
The ladies in my group, and the other ladies and and gents who are reading (there are over 900 of us!), are so insightful. It is so amazing and refreshing to read what they pick up from the readings. I have a problem with push, push, pushing to get something done, because I am always busy and need to finish. But in this, I miss a lot of Joy that I would notice if I took more time to slow down. I have really focused on this (finding Joy) in the last six months. I have been slowly collecting reminders of Joy, and putting them around my house to remind me to search for the Joy in each day and each moment. So I am really blown away by the happiness so many are getting out of reading the Bible. I am going to make an effort to slow down this week and see what God has to say to me!
When Pappy and I were young marrieds with three beautiful baby girls 2, 2, and 1, we bought a house. Our neighbors were an older couple. They came to introduce themselves and to meet our girls. Our girls were all in diapers then, and now one has a baby of her own! Our neighbor's husband passed on many years ago. Now the lady is 92, and in the nursing home, in her last days. I know she doesn't have much time left. She told me she wants to die, that she is praying to die. I told her she may be ready, but I'm not! I am missing her all ready, and feeling guilty that I don't want her to go yet. She is one of the best examples of a Christian woman I have ever known. When my girls were little, she would make sure they got off the bus, because my husband worked third shift, and if the driver didn't see him at the door, she wouldn't leave my girls. So my neighbor would double check, to make sure they were OK. She would share her dinner with us sometimes, calling me to say she cooked too much soup or beans, to bring a bowl and pick some up for our dinner. She said someone helped her when she was young and worked, and she wanted to do the same. She would call me with gifts from her garden. She watched my children occasionally when they were sick, so I could go to work. She taught my girls to shuck corn, and taught us all how to put up turnip greens! We attended church together for about 17 years. It seemed she was old when I met her, and now we are both a lot older! Twenty years older! I love her.
Have a good week, and I'm praying for all those who are reading! Honey

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sick Grand-boy!

The pictures above are some taken this week in our snow. Daughter # 1 and her gentleman-caller made the snowman. The other one is a view from our house toward the pond.
I don't know where this week went! Grand-boy is here, and has been since yesterday. He is sick and his Mama took him to the doctor. He has a very bad cough, fever, flu type symptoms. He is pretty miserable. We didn't get a lot of sleep around here, to say the least.
Schools here, for the most part, are still closed. I don't ever remember schools here closing for a week because of snow. The county schools were we live will open tomorrow for about half a day, but all the others are closed. I will try to go to work tomorrow as well. Oh, well. I did get a lot done around here while it lasted. My grandmother always said that if snow laid 3 days, another would come. So I guess we are in for another yet. I believe Sunday it will be in the 50s here, though.
Today one of the things I did was to process 2 large pumpkins that I had been holding downstairs until I could get to them. I cut them in two, and scooped out the insides. I baked them skin side up, until soft. Then I peeled them, and measured out 2 cup increments into freezer bags. I got 10 bags, so we won't need to buy any pumpkin for baking. I had three pumpkins put back, but one had a lot of bad places when I cut into it, so we gave it to the goats. Now I wish I could find some marked down mushrooms in the produce department, because I need to make some more cream of mushroom soup to can. I am down to my last two jars. It is fantastic!
It's getting late here and I have to get up really early to get the Grand-boy and I ready to leave and get to work on time with the ice. I will see you all again tomorrow! Honey

Monday, January 10, 2011

Bible in 90 Days Check In - Day 8

Today is Day 8 of the Bible in 90 Days Reading group. It is also check in. Tonight before I go to bed, I will be caught up for the week. I tend to finish my reading before I go to bed. I just read through the postings of the other members of my group. They are all amazing and so informational. What is really interesting to me is that we are all reading the same material, but we get different important ideas out of it. This is because the Lord speaks to each of us as we need to hear. That is what is so amazing about this activity. We will all hear what we need. I learn so much from reading what the other ladies have to say. I'm so happy to be a part of this.

Snow, Decluttering, and "Junk" Shopping

Our small town got 11 inches of snow! And more is on the way for tomorrow. So I don't know when we will get thawed out here. But Pappy said regardless, he has to drive around the county and feed the cows Wednesday, or we will have a mess on our hands, with cows out everywhere.

Well, as you can tell, I'm not very good at page design. I can never get the photos where I want, etc. I need to take lessons I guess. Any suggestions?
I went "junk"shopping, as we call it, Saturday with the Grand-boy. We went looking for work pants at the thrift stores for Pappy. He is a big tall guy, and it is hard to find clothes to fit him anywhere, let alone at a second hand shop. But I don't like to pay full price for his work clothes, because they get torn up and worn out pretty quickly. Well, I went to the next bigger town over from us to check their thrift stores. You know, January is a great month to shop thrift stores if you have a list of the items you are looking for, because a lot of items get donated then. So I found Pappy four pair of jeans and a heavy pull over. I got me 4 long sleeve t-shirts (I don't seem to know where I put mine. I've tried wearing short sleeves and a long sleeve blouse, but not as warm.) But the great score of the day, in Grand-boy's eyes, was the John Deere collection. I got the riding toy above, priced on the Internet at $80, for $9. I also got the John Deere toy bin rack priced on the Internet for $150, for $12, and a toy plastic tractor that is really a book, priced on the Internet for $2o, for a buck! So Grand-boy had a great day, as did we all.
I made a resolution to de-clutter my house this year. I decided to do 10 items a day. This seems like a lot, but we have had a lot of change in our house this past year, and need to clear items out. Two daughters and the Grand-boy moved out (and in and out, etc). We have had grandmothers pass on, etc. I sold and closed a business, you get the picture. So each day I do 10 items, or weekly I do 70. I did good the first week, and plan to continue. Items count if I pass them on to others, donate, box up and pass on to the rightful owner daughter, or trash. I'm not keeping a list, I started to, but it got to be a chore. So now I have two boxes labeled donate or books. I also make bags for people, with their name on them. The two boxes stay in my kitchen. The bags go to the car. I make hash marks on the kitchen calendar each day to see how I am doing. So far so good. Wish me luck!
I'll be back later today to post about B90 Days. Talk later! Honey

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Waiting for Snow (again!)

Not much going on here, except that it is COLD and we are getting ready for a winter storm. Since we never have those here (the last one was in 1988), everyone runs around like crazy. The grocery stores were empty of merchandise (not people), even meat was little to be had. People were buying tons of stuff, but I just got my normal weekly list. Pappy went and fed all the cattle at all our pastures today, because they are saying starting tomorrow we will have snow through Tuesday. We are execting 8 inches. So we will see how this turns out. Stay tuned!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Go to to enter a giveway for a copy of Children are A Blessing. I've entered, and I hope I win!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Waiting for Warmer Weather

Another view of our barn.

Today was an easier day than most. Pappy went to check all the rented pastures for hay, baby calves, fence problems, etc. Then he went to our rental house that is empty to paint. I picked up the Grand-boy and went by to talk to him about some possible tenants. While I was there, another man stopped to look at the house and talk. So at least there has been a lot of interest in the house today. Maybe we'll rent it this weekend.

The Grand-boy played outside at the farm while Pappy finished up some chores. I fed the chickens some left overs. #1 Daughter made some Oreo truffles today. She got the recipe at work from her boss's wife. They are really good. I tried a new recipe tonight for dinner. I took some left over sloppy joe meat and sauce, and added it to Alfredo sauce and a can of rotel. Then I added a third of a package of Velveeta type product ( I use store brand). When this was all melted together, I poured some prepared spaghetti in a 9X13 pan. I poured the sauce mixture over it, added grated cheddar, and baked until bubbly. The family ate the whole thing, so it was good.

This weekend I am looking forward to taking down the Christmas decorations. Have a fantastic Friday! Honey

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Rainy Day!

Photo from Christmas Morning!

What happened to twenty percent chance of rain? It has rained and been cold and miserable all day. Now "they" say we may have snow again Friday and Sunday. We never have snow in Alabama. I always get the paper for Pappy to have the weather for the next seven days. Well I got the paper today, after I heard about the snow news on the radio, and it does not mention snow. So who do you believe?

Not a lot to tell today. I ran a lot of errands and went to Bible study. I also cooked dinner. Pappy worked on the basement that he is finishing out, and the greenhouse. He also made jerky from several sources like turkey and ham.

I have an update on the sick child I mentioned last night. The family is Hispanic, and I got the information from the dad on the phone last night. Well we had a bit of a communication problem. Today when I saw him in person, I learned they have a NEW baby, and the new baby (3 weeks old, 1 month early) is the sick baby in the hospital with a tube in her side going into her lung. So pray for baby Emma, and her entire family during this difficult time.

Come back tomorrow. I'll be waiting here for you! Honey

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Tuesday and I'm Tuckered Out!

This shot is of some of our sheep and one white goat. This breed of sheep is Barbedos.
Hi Ladies and Gents,
Welcome back to our home. I hope you had a lovely day. It was cool here, but sunny so that was nice. Today was a busy day. Pappy worked at a rental property, painting and such. He also tried to clean up three years' worth of unraked leaves. The yard will be an ongoing project! He also moved some goats from another pasture back to the farm for the winter. He worked on the driveway some more. This has to be done a little at a time, so it will hold, and not crumble apart. Now he is working on the walnuts.
When I got to work this morning, #2 daughter was waiting in my parking lot. She wanted a little encouragement before she went to an interview across the street. She banged on my window and scared me to death! I rushed around like a crazy woman after I got off at noon. I went by the grocery where #1 daughter works, then to the insurance office because they needed photos of our farm-type trucks. I went to the post office boxes, and then to the bank with the daily rent. I found out a tenant of ours has a family member in the hospital. His 1 year old daughter has been in the hospital with RSV for 3 weeks. I think I will take some things by the hospital tomorrow. I am praying for them and especially their beautiful little girl.
I met Pappy at the rental to see the progress he and our #3 daughter have made to get in whipped into shape. It is greatly improved!
I also got gas, and ran by the drug store with an errand for Pappy. I hurried home to unload the car at 3:30, in case I had to pick up kids tonight. We had scheduled a dinner "party" for the children at our church. They came to our farm for sloppy joes and hot dogs. For desert we had fruit and Carmel dip, chocolate graham crackers, and pie. I think they had a good time, and it is back to school for all of them tomorrow. My #1 daughter picked up and dropped off kids for me, which was a big help! We have three daughters, born in one calendar year! The twins are 21, and our "baby" is 20. It used to be very busy with kids, but now that part of our life has quieted down some.
So it seems we didn't do lots of farm things today, but we do little things everyday. Things like feeding all the critters. I've also pledged to declutter this year. My goal is 10 items a day, or 70 a week. So far I'm on track, but we are only on day 4!
That's all the news today. I'm reading along with the B90 day group. It sounds like the ladies in my group are doing an Awesome job! I hope I can keep up with them! Honey

Monday, January 3, 2011

Bible in 90 Days - Day 1, and Farm Living

Pappy and the Grand-boy!

Our barn. Our sign says "Five Feathers Ranch" and shows an Indian dream catcher with five feathers, for us and our three daughters. It also says "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord". Our horse, miniature donkey, and some Brahman cattle are in this photo.

Today was a rushed tiring day. Back to work after two long holiday weekends. This was the first business day of the year, so when you are in real estate, that means running around trying to collect rent! I thought it would be a good collection day, but I was mistaken! Usually when the first of the month falls on a Saturday, the month is good. I guess that doesn't hold true if the weekend is a holiday!

Today the Grand-boy came and spent the day with Pappy, as I told you yesterday. He had so much fun he didn't want to leave. He came in his PJ's at about 5:30 am, and went back to bed. I forgot to lay out some clothes for him. When I got home, his red button-down church shirt had paint on it! Oh, well. I guess I'll lay out his clothes next time.

Today is Day 1 of Bible in 90 Days reading group with Moms Toolbox. I am a mentor to one group of ladies who will be reading the Bible in 90 days. I'm excited to be cheering them on. If you would like to jump in with us, email me and I'll tell you how to get started. It is an awesome experience!

Tomorrow some children from church are coming for dinner. I promised them I would take them to lunch while on holiday break as part of their Christmas present. So instead they are coming for sloppy joes tomorrow night, and getting their presents. They are always good kids.

This afternoon the tire man came to fix tires on the tractor and two trailers. While he was here he fell in love with Pappy's German Shepherd. I tried to give it to him, but he can't have pets. Pappy said, " you tried to give away my dog? " I reminded him he wanted to give it away a few weeks ago, but I would have asked him first.

This morning while watching the Grand-boy, it was too cold to take him out. So the chores were done inside. My husband wants you to know he cleaned the kitchen! He also cut up and started jerkey for the smoker, cracked and shelled more walnuts, and worked with his retirement funds.

Around lunchtime it warmed up and the Grand-boy went out to play. My husband started dragging the driveway. When we have a lot of rain, it gets rutty, and this has to be done. The next thing I know, my Husband will be wanted to order more gravel! He also painted the ladder for the water tank.

After Grand-boy left, Pappy went to pick up more firewood, but someone had already taken it. We have started planning a little of the garden. Pappy wants me to come by an empty rental house of ours that we actually lived in. He thinks there may be some of my roses that I'll want to move to the farm while the house is empty. I hope so. If there is still a rose there, it was my mothers peace rose, and must be 40 years old. This will be its second move, and definitely the last. We'll never move again, Lord willing. Pappy also went to check our leased pastures, to look for calves. No Calves yet for 2011!

One day down, four more work days to go! Have a blessed week! Honey

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Church and Chores

Hi everyone! Welcome back. Today is Sunday, January 2, and we started out the day by going to church. Our Grand-boy slept till 9:30, so we were late to Sunday School that started at 10:00. We got there about 10:20. After church we came home and ate lunch. My #1 daughter and Grand-boy went to babysit for friends who had a death in their family. I started out the afternoon by planning what's for dinner: beef stroganoff (because we have mushrooms to use in the fridge), and fresh bread. The beef stroganoff was made from scratch, our own beef chopped steak, and home canned cream of mushroom soup. Pappy said it was delicious. Now tonight, as I start the office and computer work, there are cookies baking in the oven and tea to make for tomorrow, before bed.

I also emailed my ladies in the B90 Day reading group that starts tomorrow. I renewed our ads on craigslist, and answered some rental calls. Now on to the farm chores.

Before we start there, I wanted to show you what I got for Christmas. A LEM Dehydrator. I read up on how to do some drying today, but didn't start. I was going to do some oranges, but it sounded like more work than I had time for today. So we'll schedule that project for another afternoon.

My dehydrator - a gift from Pappy

After Church, Pappy started the day by picking up a free load of firewood at one of our rental properties. He then went to one of our pastures and repaired the cows water line.
When Pappy got home, he serviced the tractor, and worked on the feed wagon again. We need to plan to get a load of propane this month, and a load of livestock feed. Pappy updated his Nationwide account. He retired recently, and he plays around with his retirement money account, making money on trades.
The last chore of the day for Pappy is working on walnuts. You may not know this, but black walnuts are almost impossible to shell. Pappy does about 50 nuts at a time. He preps the walnuts for shelling by letting the hulled nuts set up inside for a week to dry thoroughly. This makes them cleaner and easier to take the hull off the nut. After he is done, he passes them along to me for the year's baking.
So now Pappy has gone to bed, because the Grand-boy is coming tomorrow to stay with Pappy. He'll arrive about 6:00. His daycare is closed for New Year's Day. I'm sure they will have a grand time together. And it is back to work for me. I can't complain, because I only work part time. So here's wishing you a wonderful week! Honey

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year, New Blog!

Hi, I'm Honey! Welcome to our farm. Well, today is January 1, 2011! I know this is going to be a GREAT year! My husband and I have talked about starting a farm blog for a while. Finally we decided that we would start on January 1, 2011. Guess what today is! Oh my gosh. I don't know if I'm ready. But anyway here we go.
A few years ago, my husband decided we should move. We needed a bigger house, but I thought we would add on to the country home on two and a half acres we already owned. But my husband, Pappy, had a different plan in mind. We started looking for homes with acreage. We finally found the home of our dreams, on 15 acres with an acre pond and several out buildings and a barn. The farm even came with its own goat! How perfect was that! So we bought the farm, and that is how this story begins!
After we moved to the farm, every day when I came home from work, there was a new animal in residence. It started with ducks, and went from there. Now we have a little of everything: ducks, chickens, guinnies, peacocks, doves, turkeys, rabbits, cattle, horses, donkeys, goats, sheep, and your usual dogs and cats. We garden, grow, and put up our own organic food; process our meat, milk our goats, and make our own cheese. We get eggs from our chickens. We are at a point in our journey where we purchase very little of our food. That is what this blog will be about. The day-to-day operation of a small family farm. What we do each day to keep things going. We didn't grow up doing this, but we're doing it now. You can too. Check back with us each day to see how we're doing. We'll be here!
Today is Saturday, and to most people it is a holiday. But life doesn't stop for holidays on a farm. Pappy started out the day cutting a metal plate to repair our feed wagon. Then he had to fix the broken water line in the rabbit house. The break was due t0 the freezing weather and snow we had the last week. We never, hardly ever, get snow in Alabama; but we had a white Christmas this year! Pappy also tried to plug the tractor tire, but he doesn't think that worked too well. We'll check on that again tomorrow. He fed hay to the sheep and goats. We keep a round bale of hay in both pastures along with feed, and give fresh square bales a couple of times a week. Usually fresh hay every other day, and feed (a five gallon bucket) twice a week.
My morning was pretty busy as well. I met one of our tenants to collect rent, and talked to two more looking to rent something. I went to the local thrift store, where today was half-price day in honor of the holiday. I had my list in hand, and got a cart full of stuff for $20. Didn't really find any the things on my list today, but got gift items for the rest of the year, Easter baskets, valentine goodies, etc. Also got a few items for our food storage. Those light sticks that kids like, and Coleman ponchos in the package. Then I picked up our Grand-boy to spend the night and came home to watch the ballgame with Pappy. Alabama played at 1:00 so we planned an early break. Roll Tide!
As usual, on New Year's Day, our menu is the same year after year. We have black eyed peas, turnip greens, and ham. We do this as a tradition, for luck and money in the new year. I guess I've eaten black eyed peas on every New Year of my life. That would be 47 of them!
Well it is getting late. Still need to get the grand-boy in bed, and wash the dishes. Hope y'all have a good night. Talk tomorrow, where we will report more exciting things, share a recipe maybe and no telling what all. It is flooding here, so we may have to work on the driveway. Thanks for stopping by! Honey