Monday, October 31, 2011

31 Days of My Real Farm Life - Day 31

Hello friends!  My Internet and computer are now working again, and I am back!  But I will start again for real tomorrow.  I was getting ready to fill you in on all the news, when my daughter called and told me they had been robbed, and she and the baby are on their way to stay the night.  So I am cleaning out his room so you can walk in there, and making the bed.  I'll see you all tomorrow.  Happy Halloween!  Honey

GrandBoy showing you how to "throw webs"

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Computer problems - May Not See Me For a While

h friends. Our computer got spyware. In the process of removing it, the electricity went off. When it came back on, the computer would not load. I have to get a friend to come look at it. I'm updating this for you on my Blackberry. 2 inch screen. If you don't see me for a few days, you'll know why. I will miss you.  I  think the devil is behind this. Hope to see you soon  honeyi

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

31 Days of My Real Farm Life - Day 19

31 Days of Life on Our Farm!

Today is the day Fall decided to arrive in North Alabama.  Pappy and I moved my plants inside, including two budding Christmas cactuses that will bloom next month.  We picked the garden, moved the baby animals, put lights on the birds, and all sorts of chores like that.  I thought I would share the last of the blooming flowers with you before the frost gets them.  That is one thing about living in the South.  You never know what the weather will be like.  Monday GrandBoy was taking a nap on a pallet under a tree outside, without his shirt.  Tonight it will freeze, and tomorrow's temperatures will not get out of the 50's.

This rose we gave to Daughter #3 when her son was born.  At the time, they lived with us.  It blooms all summer long. 

GrandBoy's lonely tire horse swing

Mums that Pappy got me last year for my birthday!

This is a few of "last year's" pansies.  About time to buy more. 

Hope you all have a great Thursday.  Honey

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

31 Days of My Real Farm Life - Day 18

31 Days of Life on Our Farm!

Well, I made it through dental surgery.  I went yesterday at 1:00 pm to have my tooth pulled.  It took an hour to get the tooth out.  That must be unusual, because they said it never takes that long to pull a tooth.  This tooth should have had one root, and it had three.  So I guess it was somewhat of a big deal.  I kept ice on my face religiously to keep the swelling down.  This morning when i got up, my eyes were almost swelled shut, and my mouth drooped on the side the tooth was pulled.  I hope this isn't permanent!  Other that a soreness, from the pressure of pulling on my jaw for an hour, I really don't have pain.  I'm afraid I may start to bruise tomorrow, but we will see.  I'm glad the tooth is out. 

I had a hair appointment today, but I cancelled it.  I had to stay home from work today because I didn't think I should drive since I had been on pain medication the day before.  I went back to bed and slept till 10:30.  Tomorrow I will resume my normal life.  I really didn't need to lose two days of business, but that happens sometimes.

The neighbors brought over 3 grocery bags of turnip greens, and a bag of cayenne pepper.  I put the pepper in two baskets until I can do something with it.  The greens went into the refrigerator outside until I can process them for the freezer.

So there really wasn't much going on at the farm today.  It stormed here tonight, and we really needed the rain.  Pappy worked at daughter's trailer today, and bush hogged one of the pastures this evening.  So tomorrow everything will be back to normal tomorrow.  See you then.  Honey

Sunday, October 16, 2011

31 Days of My Real Farm Life - Day 16

31 Days of Life on Our Farm!

Hello Friends!  Happy Sunday.  I hope you had a wonderful, restful day with your family.  A few days ago, I broke a tooth.  This tooth had actually been cracked for about four years.  Pieces had broken off twice since then.  But this time the tooth broke horizontally on the front.  It is broken off almost gum line, and I am afraid it will start hurting, if I don't get to the dentist quick!  The first appointment I could get is for tomorrow (Monday) at 1:00.  So far, the tooth area is tender, but not in killer pain.  So I am happy about that.

We may get our first freezing weather this week.  It will get to 35 or so mid week, so Pappy and I are keeping an eye on the situation.  If it does look like it will get to freezing, we have to do things in advance like move the doves to the green house, get all the house plants moved indoors, pick the garden one last time, and cut all the blooming flowers.  Some things I can cover with a sheet, like the mums.  I went ahead and picked all the tomatoes today.  I also picked that majority of the peppers, but left the small ones a little longer.  I picked the last of the beans, too.  I read this week that Fall is the country's favorite season.  Well, it isn't mine.  I think Fall is depressing.  Fall means that we are one step away from winter, and I hate to be cold.  It also means that year end is almost here, and I need to hurry up and finish all the things I need to have done before the year ends.  I'm a procrastinator, so there are always things I need to get done.  Pappy is one of the people who love Fall though.

These are the tomatoes I picked today.  Usually we have a lot more at the end of year, but because of the drought I guess we have slowed down here.

I separate the greens tomatoes from the red ones.  The red ones I will can.  I start out by washing them and then dipping them in boiling water.  The skin will split, and then you take them out and place them in cold water to chill.  Once cooled you can pull the peels off comfortably.  I will fill a jar with the skinned tomatoes.  Finish filling the jar with boiling water, add salt and lemon juice, and seal the jar with a hot flat and canning ring.  When all jars are ready, process at the specified time.  I use these tomatoes in tacos, spaghetti, soup, chili, anywhere and everywhere you would use canned tomatoes.  Some people also use them in garden salads, during the winter.  I haven't tried that, but plan to this year.

Each year I place my green tomatoes in this contraption to turn red and ripen.  And they do all turn red eventually.  I'm not sure what this is, because someone left it in one of our rental properties.  There are four spaces in it when fully extended.  I have all but one clipped together because I don't have that many tomatoes this year.  Some years the whole thing is full.  If anyone knows what this item is really used for, please let me know.  Pappy thinks it is a pie cooling rack.  Personally, I wouldn't want my pies swinging around in the air, but maybe others feel differently. 

Our neighbor just called us to see if we wanted to pick turnip greens tonight before the weather turns.  I told him that I would call Tuesday, after my dental appointment.  I don't think I will feel like fooling with them tomorrow.

Our neighbor also has more hot pepper.  That is kinds funny, because I just finished stringing the last of the pepper they brought us a month ago.  I did that yesterday while watching the Alabama Game.  I think I will make pepper sauce if I get some more this week.

My finished pepper strings.  These will dry, and can be used in cooking.  Just crumble into any recipe you would use pepper in.


I guess that is enough today from here.  I still have to find time this week to can apples.  I wish I had vacation time so I could get paid while doing some things around here.  If I can't figure out when to can apple slices, I guess I will put the apples in our roaster one night, and make apple sauce to can.  That will cook down on their own without my supervision.  I also purchased grapes to make grape juice to try. Just a couple of quarts.  I need to do that, too.

Come back to see us tomorrow.  Thanks for stopping by.  Honey

Thursday, October 13, 2011

31 Days of My Real Farm Life - Day 13

31 Days of Life on Our Farm!

Today was one of those days where all you do all day is put out fires!  Or at least that was the way I felt.  I got up at 5:00 because GrandBoy couldn't find his paci.  At that time, the house was fine.  Since I still had an hour till time to get up, I reset the clock to ring at 6:30, and laid back down with GrandBoy.  When i got up at 6:30, I took one step into the bathroom, and knew immediately that the floor was wet.  So was the seat!  I thought the toilet had maybe overflowed.  Instead, what had happened was that we had a hard rain, and the roof leaked in that bathroom over the toilet. 

I wiped off the toilet, took the photos of the wall, moved the toilet tissue, and wiped up the floor.  I got dressed, got GrandBoy dressed, and woke up Daughter #2 and Pappy.  The time is now 7:40, and I should have left for work 10 minutes ago.  I still had not packed a lunch, loaded the car, and those sorts of things.  I called into work, and left a message that I would not be able to come today.  After things started to open for business, I called our roofer.  He said he would work me in, and call back.  Two tenants had rent to be collected, so I made appointments for that.  I filled up my car, and went  to both post offices, but there was no rent at either place.  Pappy called to say that the other car was ready to be picked up from the shop.  So I made plans to pick it up when Daughter #3 got home from work.  I also picked up milk, and got a few other marked down items, like organic butter, cookie dough, yogurt, bagels, and a deli pizza.  I deposited the rent I was able to collect, and went home to meet Daughter #1.   The roofers came and got started.  I told them I had to run pick up a car, and I would be back in about 15 minutes. 

When I got back the roofers were finishing up.  Pappy and GrandBoy pulled up.  I paid the roofer, and told Pappy that there was a pizza on the stove for lunch.  I ran and got  some more rent collected and came back within an hour.  After I got home, I took a bite of pizza, and my tooth broke off!  I had known it was going to break, and I had scheduled a dentist appointment for Monday.  So far, I am pain free.  I hope it stays that way.  I am covering my tooth in prayer, you can believe!

So I will be on track tomorrow.  Hope everything goes more smoothly then.  Talk tomorrow.  Honey

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

31 Days of My Real Farm Life - Day 12

31 Days of Life on Our Farm!

Hey!  Welcome back!  Today was a rainy Wednesday.  It was really a nice fall day.  After work, I ran a few errands.  Daughter #3 wanted me to come by her work, and I did.  I got a set of Bob books to teach GrandBoy to read.  I have a few, but not the whole set, in the box.  I was glad to find that.  I also got a book titled "Gathering Manna - Finding God's Grace in Life's Wilderness" by Sue Fallin.  This book is about Sue Fallin, and how she overcame and was healed of several diseases using her faith.  I was interested in the book, and dropped it in my cart.  While I was standing in line, I realized while flipping through the book, that it took place in the next large city to where we live.  That made it even more interesting.  I got home about 4:00, and since then, I've read about half the book.  I always said I was going to be a writer when I retire.  I better give that some thought.  I also got the book "The Red Tent"  that I have read a lot about.

I went by the post offices to pick up rent.  We just had one envelope containing $150.  Not one of my best days.  Then I ran by the daycare to pick up GrandBoy.  I haven't been to the daycare in about 3 weeks, and he was so excited to see me there.  We stopped by the trailer where they will be moving.  Pappy was working there today and tomorrow.  We had a nice visit, and got home in time to get ready for church.

This weekend I have a large list of produce to process.  I have cayenne pepper to make pepper sauce with.  I think I will also string some up to dry.  I have to can the last of the tomatoes.  I want to freeze the bell peppers.  I need to can apples.  I'm thinking about doing pie filling.  And I have a cabbage to put in the freezer.  I can't decide if I want to pick the cactus pears this year.  Last year I juiced them, but I haven't done anything with the juice yet.  Maybe I should try some.  I did it because the cactus pears are suppose to make the prettiest red jelly for Christmas. 

Well, that about covers it for today around here.  Hope to see you tomorrow.  Honey

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

31 Days of My Real Farm Life - Day 11

31 Days of Life on Our Farm!

Today is Tuesday.  It has been raining here, which is always a blessing.  My car is in the shop, so I am driving an extra car we have.  It seems my car is going to be very expensive to fix, maybe $1,000.  I'm praying that is not the case.  I told my husband to take all the sheep to the sale, and we would just have to postpone Christmas!  He told me not to worry about it, it would all work out.  So I have been praying about it.

Guess what!  I just got back from picking up my car!  And it was only $166.  I am so happy, and so thankful.  It only needed a water pump.  My car has only had two cylinders for a few months.  The garage we used to go to was going to fix it, but they went out of business.  When the new mechanic found this out, he thought the car had a cracked head.  So I need to plan to have this fixed, but all that had to be done today was the water pump.  What a wonderful day!

Pappy is at the trailer again.  The appliances were delivered yesterday.  Still a lot to do though.  It is coming together.  Our daughter seems so excited.  More like herself.  I hope it does her good being back near home and her family.  Maybe she will remember who she is, and who she needs to be.

Our electric bill dropped by half this month!  Last month it was over $400.  This month It was $240, I believe.  That is great.  I was looking forward to having a cold winter here like last year.  We actually had snow a few times.  But we never have winters like that two years in a row in the South.  The Farmer's Almanac says we will have a mild, wet winter.  Wet will be good, since it has been so dry here.  And I guess mild will be good for our budget!  One good thing about winters in the South, they don't last long.

Well, I think I need to go cook supper.  We are going to have breakfast.  Eggs, sausage, and biscuits.  Maybe some sliced tomatoes.  Talk to you tomorrow.  Honey

31 Days of My Real Farm Life - Day 10

31 Days of Life on Our Farm!
Hi!  I'm so glad to be able to talk to you today.  I tried to yesterday, but my page wouldn't load, and I thought I might not ever see you again.  It was still messed up  this morning, but sometime during the day it fixed itself.  I'm so glad.

Yesterday I made wine.  I usually follow the Welch's Grape Juice Wine recipe.  But I change it a little because we are using  our own fresh squeezed grape juice instead of frozen concentrate.  We had four gallons of juice, which made 5 and a half gallons of wine. 

I start with one gallon of grape juice.  I pour about half the gallon into a separate container.  I put 4 cups of sugar and 1/2 tsp of yeast into a bowl.  I add about a cup of warm water.  Just enough to dissolve the sugar and yeast.  I add this sugar mix back to the grape in the gallon jug.  I stir, then add some of the extra grape juice to finish filling the jug.  I leave about 1 - 2 inches empty.  To finish, I put a balloon on the neck of the bottle.  I numbered the balloons in the order I bottled them. 

Inabout an hour, the balloons will start to inflate as the yeast starts the brewing process.  The wine bottles will sit in a cool place for 6 - 8 weeks.  I will check them daily.  Sometimes the balloon blows off, and I have to put a new one on, and hope I found it in time!  One day after about 6 weeks, we will go in and the balloon will be deflated.  When that happens, the wine is ready!  Then we will re-bottle it, or just put the cap on the jug.  You can drink it at that point, or it will continue to age and get better the longer you leave it.  This is the fourth year I have made wine.  Last year Pappy was bored because he had just retired.  He experimented with several types of juices.  Every one's favorite wine that year was blackberry!  But, we didn't get to have any cobblers or pies because he stole all my fruit out of the freezer!  Some people use a rubber glove instead of balloons, on top of their jugs.  That is a comical sight!

Here are a few of the jugs on day 2.  Notice how the balloons are inflated? 

Last night was the Bible in 90 Days Congrats Twitter Party!  Saturday was day 90.  So many were able to finish the Bible (some for the first time) and we celebrated that last night.  I have read the Bible though three times previously.  I am not finished yet this time.  I got a little too distracted with life, I guess.  But I am starting John, and I think I will be finished in about a week.

Thanks for stopping by!  Honey

Sunday, October 9, 2011

31 Days of My Real Farm Life - Days 8 & 9

31 Days of Life on Our Farm!
Hi all!  Hope you all had a peaceful weekend.  Ours was nice.  I am going to cheat and cover Saturday and Sunday with one post, so that I will be caught up.  I hope no one minds!  Saturday I got up about 8:00.  I piddled around with the computer and made coffee.  About 10, I went to the post offices to check for rent and cow checks and the bank to make a deposit.  Pappy wanted to me look to see if his cow sale check was here, because there will be no mail Monday.  He got it and we were very pleased!  We got $1,400 for our bull, like I said yesterday.  But the two calves we took also got $1,200.  That was a dollar a pound!  That was really good.  Next month, I'm going to sell a bunch of sheep.  I do that every year to pay for our Christmas. 

It was half price day at the thrift store, so I stopped by there, too, of course.  I had a shirt for Pappy to take back for credit because it was the wrong size.  I traded it for a deer feeder.  This is a stainless steel box with a door that can be pushed open.  The animal can feed at will.  It was marked $6.50, and the shirt I took back was $5.50, so they said we'd do an even trade.  I got a couple of other things, but for the life of me, I can't remember what.  No idea at the moment.  Oh, well.  Pappy liked the feeder.

After the thrift sale, I stopped at a yard sale, in a doctor's office parking lot.  The ladies all wore dresses, and I've been wearing skirts for about a year, so I picked up some clothes for me. 

About the time I got home, Daughter #3 called and was ready to drop off GrandBoy for the weekend.  She brought him over, and talked to her Dad about what she needed to work on at the trailer tomorrow.  She went over to drop off some appliances and paint the cabinets.  She hopes to move in the first of the month.

Yesterday was Pappy's 2nd annual retirement party.  Statistics say that police officers usually only live about five years after they retire.  Pappy has been retired a year October 1.  He says he is having a party every year the first five years, to break the curse!  Everyone had a great time.  GrandBoy thinks anywhere there are men, he is suppose to be there too.  So he was at the party, too. 

This morning we went to church.  Daughter #1 took GrandBoy with her to Sunday school, and I went for services.  I have fibroid tumors in my uterus.  I look pregnant, and strangers ask when I am due.  When I start my period, the first day is a killer.  I say that I only have one bad day a month.  My husband says that my bad days are rolling around more often than they used to.  So anyway, today was a bad day for me, pain wise.  But I can tell it is easing now, and tomorrow will be OK.  The only cure, per the doctors, is a hysterectomy.  Because of the size of my uterus and the number of tumors, I would be in the hospital for about five days for major surgery, and I would not be able to drive for 6 -8 weeks.  I just don't feel like I can do all that right now.  We are very busy people, and I take care of my grandson a lot.  Maybe in a year or two, when he doesn't need to be held or chased down, I will feel able to do the surgery.  But right now, I don't feel I can devote the time and energy to it.  Also, I am self-employed, so if I don't work, I don't get paid.  That is another reason.  I've been like this two years.  I was doing really well with taking some supplements and following an organic diet to control the growth of the tumors, and I lost a lot of weight in the process.  But when we had a tornado here in April, we were without electricity for a week, and I got off my schedule.  I have not really gotten back on it.  So I need to make an effort to do that and be healthier.  The tumors had shrank and I was doing well.  Now they are growing again, and so am I.  Sorry to go off on a rabbit trail.  I don't know what possessed me to go into all that. 

Earlier today I just laid around.  But this evening I had a good spell, and cleaned up a little.  Tomorrow after work, I will start our wine making.  I thought we still had plenty from last year, but we are down to about 6 bottles.  I also have some apples I need to can.

Saturday was day 90 of Bible in 90 Days.  I am half way through Luke.  So I will be finished in a week or sooner, but I didn't make the 90 days this time.  This will be the 4th time I've read the Bible through.  I'm so happy for all the ones who were able to finish.  It is a wonderful program and very encouraging if you decide to try it in the spring.

So that was our weekend.  It was warm here, and a little cool at night.  The trees are beginning to turn and lose their leaves.  And the deer hunters are driving along our property lines to the woods behind us looking for their next buck.

Talk tomorrow. Hope you have a good week.  Honey

Saturday, October 8, 2011

31 Days of My Real Farm Life - Day 7

31 Days of Life on Our Farm!

Hi friends!  I can call friends, can't I?  Well, some of you may have noticed there was not a post on day 7.  That is because I had car trouble, and a lot of other things.  But I am going to post Day 7 and Day 8 today, so don't tell the 31 Day people, OK? 

Yesterday was Friday.  I worked from 8 until 12, like usual.  I told the man that I contract for about my plans to be off Monday.  He said that was fine, but he wouldn't be in Tuesday.  He has to take his sister to the hospital to have a procedure.  Since we won't work together or talk for 4 days, I told him I would come Monday.  I, as a rule, don't work bank and postal holidays.  Monday is Columbus Day.  But I will go in, get the messages and deposits ready for Tuesday.  And maybe if we are slow like we probably will be, I'll leave early.  So much for my house cleaning.  Since there will be no reason to go the PO boxes and banks, I can start on my house at 1:00.  That will be the new plan.  I need a house helper.  A maid.  Does anyone have a daughter that would like to be an apprentice?  She can board.  Let me know if you know someone.  I'm trying to tell Pappy we need to find a couple to move on the farm and help out.  I have not had any luck convincing him.

When I got off work, I had to meet Pappy at the bank to sign his paper work that I signed yesterday when he was at the cow sale.  I was having trouble with my car overheating on the way to the bank.  Pappy put water in my car Monday, and it needed water again.  So we decided that I should take it to the shop.  Daughter #1 was coming to meet me to go shopping so we left my car at the bank to cool off.  Pappy filled it with water.  He was prepared with a five gallon can of water on the truck.  I guess farmers are a lot like boy scouts.  Or maybe retired cops are.

Daughter #1 said she had to eat lunch, so we stopped at the Jacks.  She told me to call Pappy and see if he wanted to eat, too.  He stopped by, and we had lunch.  Then Daughter #1 and I went to the final 50% off days of Kids Market.  Kids Market is a local consignment sale.  I may have told you that GrandBoy doesn't seem to have many clothes.  His mom sells them at the end of the season.  I know this because two years in a row I have bought him clothes and when the season returns, he has nothing to wear and he has not grown much.  He just turned three and still can wear some 2s, and he can wear 3s.  So this would have been the same clothes he wore at the end of last winter.  He has jeans and church clothes at my house,  but I can't find many sweat pants.  I like him to wear those outside on the farm, so he doesn't mess up his jeans or rip them.  At Kids Market I got 28 "pieces" for 30 dollars.  Two toys, a pair of rain boots, a pair of crocks for the spring (boys can wear teal, can't they?), 6 pair of underwear, a "Cars" sandwich box and water bottle set, a John Deere toboggan, a camo hat, eight pairs of sweat pants, a red turtleneck, a Christmas sweater vest for church, and four "Cars" shirts.  He loves the movie "Cars".  I was pleased, and now he is set for winter.  I already bought some clothes and sent those to his Mom's.  So he is now ready at both places.

Next we went to a store called "Dirt Cheap".  This is a consolidation type store.  It was confusing to me.  My daughters love it, and my tenants shop there, but I know I won't go back by myself.  You have to look at charts to figure out the price, and there are discount signs on each shelf.  How do I know someone didn't just set the item down on the wrong shelf?  Any way, I spent $40 there.  Got Pappy a air compressor for the truck that runs off the cigarette lighter.  I get more flat tires than anyone in the world.  Probably should put it in my car.  I got some fall decorations.  A couple of towels with appliqued pumpkins, fake pumpkins and gourds, Some expensive fall paper plates for desert on Thanksgiving, some Thanksgiving cards to mail to the Texas family, and I don't know what else.  Daughter #1 bought some clothes.

Since Daughter #1 works nights she was getting tired, so we didn't make it to Aldis as I had planned.  We went home.  We couldn't find the garage, so Pappy followed me back there to drop off my car.  I think it may be a hose leaking.  We will see.

Pappy's niece had a baby yesterday!  It is her second girl, and they named the beautiful princess, Amelia!  She has a big sister waiting at home.  I was going to post a photo, but we are having cell phone tower issues in North Alabama, and I can't send the photo from my phone to my email this morning.  Maybe next time.

I guess that is all for today.  Everyone have a great weekend.  I'll post about Day 8 in a while.  Honey

Thursday, October 6, 2011

31 Days of My Real Farm Life - Day 6

31 Days of Life on Our Farm!

Hi friends!  Today was Thursday.  Last night GrandBoy and I went to church.  He slept in his own bed, and he was so proud!  This morning I went to work, and GrandBoy and Pappy went to the cow sale.  I think it was quite a day.  GrandBoy wanted to stay out on the catwalk where you can see all the cows below.  But Pappy couldn't bid on the cows out there.  Grand Boy didn't want to go inside the arena, because he knew they would be sitting, and that's not fun for a three year old boy.  Pappy took two calves and a bull to the sale.  Our bull went for $1,400! That was a great surprise!  We were both very pleased.  Guess what!  I have always wanted a milk cow.  But they cost a lot of money, like $1,000.  And if I ever find dairy calves for sale, they are always bull calves.  So today Pappy came home from the sale with a Holstein!  She is six months bred, and he got her for about $600 for the pair.  That is amazing.  He will take the cow and calf back to the sale after the calf is born and make money off the transaction.  He told me if the calf is a female I can keep her for a milk cow!  We'll see how this goes, and I will keep you posted.  He also bought another bred cow.  AND he brought me a "present".  A box of apples!  He hadn't seen a need to try to buy any apples when I brought it up last week.  But when someone was selling them at the cow sale, he bought me a box because he thought of me!  He's so good to me.

Daughter #3 is so excited about moving to our place that we are setting up.  She asks me several times a day if we have done this, this, this.  It is just the 6th day of the month.  She will come over Sunday and help her Dad there, and paint the cabinets.

Today while Pappy was at the cow sale, I had to go to the bank to sign some paperwork.  While I was there, I got a call.  I had forgotten that I had an appointment with an insurance agent to give me a quote on the farm policy.  It is hard to find an insurance company here to insure farms.  So I told him I could be there in 30 minutes.  I met him at the farm and showed him around.  He will email me some questions, and hopefully we will get a better price.

Next on the errand list, I went to the post office boxes to pick up the mail, then to the bank to deposit rent.  I met a couple of tenants to get their rent in cash.  Pappy called, and I met him to get GrandBoy.  Then I waited about an hour to meet someone to pick GrandBoy up.  While we waited, we went back to the thrift store, where I got two skirts.  That's about the only place to go and wait in our small community that doesn't involve McDonalds and a play place.  I refuse to take GrandBoy to McDonalds.  So we browsed the thrift store for about 30 minutes while we waited.  I got the cutest book of blessings.  It is a child's book, and it was published in the 40's.  It is in mint condition and the illustrations are beautiful.

Tonight I was showing Daughter #1 some catelogs that came in the mail.  I had looked through them and marked several outfits I would like to duplicate.  I don't get catalogs like that, and I was surprised they came.  I enjoyed looking through them, and showed them to my daughter.  She liked them too.  I told her to look and see if they came to her by chance.  She looked, and laughed.  They weren't hers, and they weren't mine.  They came to the wrong address!  Oh, my.  Someone didn't get their catalogs.  But we enjoyed them, and I ordered them so we will get a set next time.

Daughter #2 asked me to meet her today for lunch.  She wanted to me pray with her.  Her relationship is ending, and she seems to be taking it hard.  She said she has been praying for two days and doesn't feel her prayers are doing any good or that God is hearing her.  I told her not to pray that things would work out with that man.  Pray that God will show her where He wants her to be, the path He wants her to follow, and the man He has chosen for her.  I did pray for her.  She was afraid her Dad and I would be disappointed about this break up.  She has made a lot of progress in the last six months since she returned home.  The man she was seeing is successful, but that doesn't mean that he is the one God has chosen for her.  I hope that she doesn't stumble through this, and that she continues to go forward in her progress.  I hope she is still, and feels God's hand on her life.  I'm praying for her.  God has great plans for her, I'm sure.

Daughter #1 is worried about her classes.  She is afraid her grades aren't as high as she would like and that she might not get into nursing school.  I'm praying for her, too.  I know that she will be successful, no matter what happens.

I noticed today that I need to pick the tomatoes.  I am planning to be off Monday in observance of Columbus Day.  I hope I will get a lot of things done at home.

Locally, today we got our first Aldi's Grocery Store.  I have wished for one here for a couple of years, and can't wait to go visit tomorrow.  My sister went today.  Most of you probably know that you have to have a quarter to get a cart.  My sister didn't have a quarter, so she carried things around the store in her arms.  Pumpkins were $1.99 each.  She got three.  I guess she kicked those around the store, or something!   She checked out three times, went to her car, and came back in for more.  The last time one man asked if he would see her again tonight!  She answered she thought she was done!  You also have to pay for bags, and she didn't bring her recycleables, so she carried items to the car herself. Milk was $1.99, and eggs .49 a dozen.  I'm pretty excited to try this store out.  Bananas were 28 cents a pound!  The bad bananas here that I buy are about 33 cents a pound.  This will be great, I think.

One of our peacocks are dead.  The young female.  Pappy thinks one of the turkeys may be sick, too.  I hope it doesn't die.  I'm afraid that the farmers around us (we are in the middle of 100 acres of crops.  Most years it is cotton, but this year it is soy beans) may have sprayed the crops again.  The soybeans are turning yellow, but I'm not sure if they die off like cotton does.  They spray cotton so the foliage dies, then they pick the cotton.  One year when they sprayed the fields we lost a sheep.  When we tried to figure out what happened, we noticed the sheeps' water was purple!  And we remembered the plane going over the day before.  So we dumped their water out, and no other animals died.  I hope that is not the case this time.

Well, I guess I should let you go.  Can you tell I don't have many lady friends?  I'm a busy, professional woman, and I think this is a problem for a lot of professional women.  Maybe all women.  Or maybe it's just me.  But anyway, its nice to talk to all of you.  Hope your evening is blessed!  Honey

31 Days of My Real Farm Life - Day 5

31 Days of Life on Our Farm!

Today in North Alabama, the temperatures were in the 80's.  Very nice if you need to be outside.  Our day started at 6:00, as usual.  I sat down in chair in ouroffice, and the phone rang.  Daughter #3 was on the phone, and was going to drop GrandBoy off at the road, if I would meet her there.  Our driveway is a half mile long.  No exaggeration!  So I met her at the mailbox, and picked up our boy.  When I got back to the house, the rest of the household was up, wondering where I had gone in my pajamas.  But they soon knew because GrandBoy let them know he was home as soon as he came through the door!  Daughter #1 watched him since it was her day off.  She also went grocery shopping and worked on party food for her Dad's party.

This  morning Pappy dropped off his trailer so the "barn dismantlers" could fill it with old hay.  Last night, the head guy helped Pappy load all the metal onto another trailer, and Pappy and GrandBoy unloaded it this afternoon.  GrandBoy would lift the corner of the next sheet, and hold it like that until Pappy came back from moving the previous sheet of metal.  GrandBoy was helping.  As he would say, he was "working"!

This is a sheet of the metal we purchased.  The barn was over 100 years old, with hand-carved oak beams and hand made nails.  We saved a couple of nails.  Pappy may buy some of the beams, when the guy decides how much he wants for them.  Pappy wants me to look up the metal we bought and see if it is 100 years old.  We will see.

Pappy went to Tennessee today and worked on one of the pastures we rent.  He sprayed the fence line and ditches.  He also checked all the fencing.  You have to have good fencing if you are going to keep cows.

The mobile home movers finally got finished.  They called me at 10 and wanted to get paid.  I told them I could meet them after 12, when I got off.  They wanted to come to my office.  I said "no".  We waited two days for them to get started.  They can wait 2 hours for me to get off.

When I got through going to the post offices and bank, I went by the house to pick up GrandBoy.  He and I went to the local elementary school where GrandBoy will go in the fall.  They have three year old preschool there.  GrandBoy could have gone this year, but his birthday is 2 weeks late.  He will definitely go in the fall.  The Preschool program is new here, and not available at each school.  So I wanted to make sure this program wasn't income based, and what the requirements were to attend.  The program is for any three year old who lives in the district.  So GrandBoy will definitely be going!  He was excited when he saw the playground.

Then we went to the local thrift store to return a vacuum cleaner I bought Saturday.  It didn't work, and I had 5 days to return it.  We looked around and picked up a few items.  GrandBoy wanted to look at the toys.  So that was the first stop.  We bought a bull dozier to play with in the sand box for 50 cents.  GrandBoy got a shirt, and Pappy got 2.  I got a book (but don't tell Pappy.  I told him I was trying not to buy any more books.  This made him very happy.).  I also got a Home Interiors Christmas picture that is framed.

Next stop was to Daughter #3's work.  This is GrandBoy's mom.  She works at a thrift store in the next big town to where we live.  I was carrying her some items that were at our house that she needed.  And while we were there, she asked me to pick up a few items for her.  She can't shop on a day she works.  She got some Christmas place mats.  I got some leg warmers to wear under my skirts, and some new Puma socks.  I also got Bubble bath.  I love bubble bath. I also got a rug for the bathroom, and a woven piece that I would like to make a rug out of.  We will see.

For dinner, I made hash out of the pork roast I cooked the other day.  I started by frying potatoes.  I love fried potatoes, but don't eat them often.  I added onions, green bell peppers, and a tomato that needed to be eaten.  When those veggies were cooked, I cut up the roast and let it heat through.  I added my favorite Soul Food Seasoning.  It was delicious.

Other than that, I'm still hanging out laundry, and I fed the chickens.  That about covers it here for the day.

Oh, I forgot to tell you.  Remember the guy who is in charge of barn demolition?  After I left yesterday, he told Pappy that he remembered where he knew me from.  Pappy said, "Well, where do you know her from?"  He said his brother used to rent from me.  And then he said, "And you know, she used to be married to a cop".  I was appalled that he thought I was divorced!  But Pappy thought it was funny.  He told the guy, "No, man, I am that cop". See Pappy has not cut his hair in the year he's been retired, so it is getting pretty long.  I guess he didn't look like a cop to that guy.  I guess it was pretty funny.  As long as I'm not divorced.  Honey 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

31 Days of My Real Farm Life - Day 4

31 Days of Life on Our Farm!

Hi!  Welcome to our farm.  We are so glad to see you!  Today the movers got our trailer moved to the lot down the road.  I don't guess they are finished setting it up, because they didn't call to get paid.  Daughter #3 and her son, GrandBoy, are going to live there.  She is getting excited.  She texted me and wanted to know if the trailer had arrived.  She wanted to know if she could  have the utilities transferred (No, there is no service there yet) and did we find a stove yet, because they will need one (No, when have we had time???).  Hope the movers will get everything finished tomorrow.

Tried to collect a lot of rent today, but didn't get as much as I'd have liked for the first of the month.  Maybe I'll do better tomorrow.

As I was driving down the road to the post office, I noticed a hand-made sign on the side of the road that said, "wood and ten for sale".  The "ten" was really barn metal.  They were dismantling a barn and selling the pieces.  I called Pappy to see if he wanted to go by and check out the metal.  He told me to go back and find out how much they wanted for it.  So I turned around and went back.  They said the pieces were 14 ft and 11 ft.  They had probably 40 pieces, and wanted $2 a piece, no matter which size.   I left and finished running errands.  I called Pappy and told him the price.  He told me to go pay the guy for all of it.  I went back and started to pay, but since they could see I was willing to pay, they came up with 75 pieces, and a few they would take $1 for.  I called Pappy, and told him he should come over and look at it.  So he came by and worked out a few deals with the guy.  He got all the metal for $160.  And he is going to take a trailer over tomorrow, and as they tear down the barn, they are going to throw old hay bales into the trailer.  Pappy is going to use them for seeding a pasture.  Busy, Busy.

When I got to the farm, I hung out some more loads of towels.  I got ready to start dinner.  I worked in the outdoor kitchen where Pappy's retirement 2 party will be held Saturday.  We have a lot of items brought home from empty rentals that were being stored in there until they could be sorted through.  Of course, Pappy wants them gone before his party!

Our party house

So that is how our day went.  Pappy's help didn't show up, so he had to do the bush hogging, and clean up the empty trailer lot, and all the other things he needed help for, by himself.  He is pretty sore and tired tonight. 

Well, I still need to send a couple of emails before bed.  See you tomorrow.  Honey

Monday, October 3, 2011

31 Days of My Real Farm Life - Day 3

31 Days of Life on Our Farm!

Hi!  Welcome back!  Today was not a real "farmy" day.  Hope I don't disappoint you!  I woke up, and it was COLD here!  36 degrees.  That is cold in Alabama in October.  I was not expecting it.  I panicked and thought I would have to clean out the garden and move my plants inside this week.  But the weather is only suppose to be in the 40s at night the rest of the week, so that can wait.  The first night the news calls for a "freeze"  - temps at 32 or below, we are very busy.  We move the doves into the greenhouse.  I pick any blooming flowers and bring them inside.  I can't bear for them to go to waste.  I go through the garden one last time, and gather the last of the vegetables.  All the peppers get picked, no matter how small.  Any stray beans, cucumbers, etc.  We pick all the green tomatoes and sit them out to "turn".  The will eventually ripen and turn red.  It just takes time.  I was glad not to have to face that this week. 

I began the day by getting Pappy and Daughter #2 up.  Usually I'm the only one up, but we were suppose to move a mobile home today, so that was why Pappy needed up.  Daughter #2 was up because her college classes began again today for the fall semester.  So everyone was trying to get ready at the same time, and it was a little rushed. 

I went to work till 12 noon, like usual.  The mobile home mover had not called as he said he would, so I called him.  He said they were just finishing the home that was suppose to have been finished Saturday.  He said they would arrive shortly, work for two hours, and move the trailer in the morning.  Another day.  So Pappy and his helper went up to our trailer park to work on some projects.

I went to both PO Boxes.  No rent at all.  I had an appointment to pick up some rent at a mobile home occupied by a Hispanic gentleman.  I helped him to get a mortgage to purchase the home and land, and we took a second mortgage for his down payment.  So he still pays me some each month.  I went by to pick up his payment.  No one was there.  A fat puppy as wandering around the yard, and all the chickens were lose.  The door was unlocked.  No cars in the yard.  Very strange.  Alabama just passed a new immigration law.  Rumor is that Hispanics are leaving the area in droves.  I have four Hispanic families.  I'm not aware of any of mine leaving.  But I began to wonder as I waited to see if anyone would come home so I could collect.  I told myself I would wait till 6:30.  At about 6:15, a young man pulled up in a car.  He didn't speak much English.  He paid half the payment.  No one has ever paid except my client, so I don't know.  I'll go back in a few days, and see if I can find Jorge and collect the rest of our money.

When I got back to the farm.  I started some laundry and cleaned the bathroom.  I thought about dinner, but waited to do anything.  I planned yesterday to have a pork roast for dinner.  But I didn't know that husband has a meeting tonight, and Daughter #1 will be in bed because of the shift she works this week, and Daughter #2 will be at her boyfriend's house.  So I will eat pork roast alone.  No reason to cook accompaniments, I'll just have fruit, chips, and bread. Alone.

I picked some tomatoes from the last of our garden.  I check for eggs, but didn't find any.  Our hens have taken a break, I guess.  I did find a large rat with a long tail, running along the edge of the roof, in the hen house.  Have to tell Pappy about that.

I made an appointment with a new insurance company to come out Thursday evening to give us a quote on a farm policy.  There are not many companies who will write farms here.  So I would like to get an idea if this one has better coverage, and a cheaper price.  Usually, if your cars are there, you get a break, and this is where our auto insurance is.  The Cattle men's Association sent out an email about them, and I jumped right on checking them out. 

Last night Pappy asked me to price raspberries and see if we could order some for fall planting.  We have already ordered blackberries.  He wants to sell them next year.  So I will do that in a minute.

I'm trying to finish up the Bible in 90 Days program.  Saturday is day 90, and I am on day 72.  I have a lot of reading to do if I am going to finish on time.  I have read the Bible through before, in this program a few times, and in a yearly program.  I hope I finish on time.  We'll see.

Pappy finished juicing the grape for wine.  I've never made the grape juice to can for drinking, that I'd planned to try this year.  I always wash and throw my grapes in a bag, and put them in the freezer.  When they are all ripe and ready, I do them all at one time.  Well, the frozen grapes didn't look like they would work well for my juice recipe, so I decided to put that off till next year, when I have fresh ones that haven't been frozen.  All the grapes this season will go to wine making.  We got three gallons of grape juice today, and I will start the wine process later in the week.  I've already bought the sugar.  It takes a lot of sugar to make wine.

I think that is all the news here.  I hope your day was blessed, and that you will visit again tomorrow.  Honey

Sunday, October 2, 2011

31 Days of My Real Farm Life - Day 2

31 Days of Life on Our Farm!

Hi!  Welcome to day 2 of 31 Days of My Real Farm Life.  I'm so glad you stopped by.  We started the day by going to church.  GrandBoy spent the night so he could go to church with us.  He spends every Saturday and Wednesday night here on the farm.  GrandBoy stayed in his bed all night by himself!  I guess three year olds do that!  I got GrandBoy ready to go, then I realized we were already late.  Good thing the church is only a mile away!  So I went to get dressed.  While I was gone, GrandBoy decided to change his shoes, and other things.  I got him ready again, and we left.  When we got to the church, I took GrandBoy to his class.  It is now 20 after ten, and class started at 10.  The teacher said, "I see you are late today!"  I said, "He's having a bad day today".  I guess we will work on getting ready earlier next week, and I guess I will get ready first!

So after church, I took home some children who needed a ride.  GrandBoy rode home with Daughter #1, so he could spend some time outside with Pappy, before he had to go back to his Mom's house.  When I got home, he and Pappy were juicing the grapes!  GrandBoy couldn't wait to show me that he could do it himself!

The juice you see above is for wine.  The juice I'm going to can is for grape juice.  The grapes that I need are still thawing out from the freezer.  So I may not get that part done till tomorrow.

I took GrandBoy to meet his Mom, and I picked up some rent while I was out.  The rent is slow getting started this month.  This is the first one I've collected for October, I believe.

When I got home, I got some meat out of the freezer for today and tomorrow.  Pappy went to bush hog a pasture we lease for cattle in Tennessee.  I'm sorry, but I'm not running up there to take photos today.  You'll just have to imagine that part of our farm day.  I planned to have pork roast tomorrow fixed in the crock pot.  We just picked up a whole hog at the processor last week.  We will be busy moving a trailer tomorrow, so that will be good to have dinner made when we get home.  Tonight we are having hamburger casserole.  I don't know when pappy will be home from bush hogging, so this can wait a while.

I fed the chickens this afternoon.  We give them feed, of course, every day.  But each Saturday, I try to clean out all the left over bread heals, stale chips, and anything in the fridge that needs to go.  I just dump it all in a large pan, then give it to the chickens.  Produce can go in there, too.  Some people are picky about what they feed their chickens, but I give mine just about anything.  So I don't feel so bad if something goes bad, because I'm not going to through it out.  Not much goes to waste on the Farm.

So now, here I am.  I just talked to the trailer moving company, and they will be running late tomorrow.  I guess I will wrap up today here, and start planning our week.  I have to plan my calendar, find out where everyone will be, and get a menu together.  On October 1, Pappy was retired one year!  So Saturday he is having a "gathering" of police officer friends.  Most police officers don't live five years after they retire, so he plans to have a party every year for the first five years!  That requires some planning this week as well.

Stop back in tomorrow and see how we are doing.  Talk soon.  Honey

Saturday, October 1, 2011

31 Days of My Real Farm Life - Day 1

31 Days of Life on Our Farm!

Hi!  A few days ago, I saw on The Modest Mom Blog, where she was going to link to a series for 31 Days.  She is going to talk about femininity.  That was a few days ago, so I still had time to think about it.  I thought that would be a good thing for me to try, to commit to posting on a single topic for 31 days.  I had forgotten, but I also knew about two months ago, that another blog I follow, MOD, was also going to participate. 

This morning when I got up, I saw on twitter the buzz about "31 Days".  It took me a moment to remember what exactly that was.  Then I realized it was October.  End of the months, and First of the months are busy for me.  I am a property manager and real estate investor with my husband.  We also have a farm.  At the end of the month, I am trying to make sure all the rent is collected, and any evictions that have not paid are forwarded to my attorney.  The first of the month, I am trying to shove rent money in the bank as fast as I can gather it up.  We have mortgages to pay, you know! 

So somehow I forgot that it is October now.  I guess because it is Saturday, and I didn't have to think so fast today.  When I noticed all the talk about 31 Days, I went over and looked at the links.  I tried to think of what topic I would write about if I were going to participate.  I really need to work for 31 days on "putting my husband first"  or "letting my adult children go"  or something like that.  My husband would say I need to working on "keeping a cleaner house". 

I am not a computer geek.  When I tried to link to the host site the first time, my button process didn't work very smoothly.  No photos popped up, so I chose a photo of our farm sign.  I thought a template would come up, because most of the buttons looked the same.  I never saw that.  Somehow my first button didn't work because the address was wrong.  So I made a second one, using my real blog button.  Since my button says "My Real Farm Life"  I guess that narrows down what I will write about.  Life on our farm.  For thirty-one days, I will tell you what we do each day on our farm.  I may still throw in a little about how I will try to remember to put my husband first, like a good Biblical wife.  Or how I am going to make our kids solve their own problems, as I was told I need to do.  And I WILL get this house clean before company comes from Texas on an unknown mystery date in the next month or so.  (That is how they do it in Texas, I guess.  They tell you ahead of time they will be coming soon.  Then they call and tell you they will be here in 3 days.  The next thing you know, they are having dinner in a town an hour away!  But we always have a good time when they are here, and if they notice my dirty house, they don't tell me.)

I hope you all stop by and keep me accountable on this new journey for me.  I hope to see you back here tomorrow!  Today on the farm, we will be making grape juice to can, and moving cows.  I'll write more about that later.  I just wanted to post something quickly in case you stopped by.  I hope you stop by!  Honey

This is a photo from our farm.  Our pole barn is on the left, and the Club House, as my husband calls it, is on the right.  That is where we have parties, and I do some of my canning.