Saturday, December 24, 2005

Here is the completed upscale, fancy, chicken mansion!! I haven't decided if they are grateful yet, because now they aren't really laying eggs. One a week, maybe. Click on last photo to see larger version.
Here is a shot of the 'old one' and the 'new one'. Quite a difference, eh?
Then, Ed pushed it into position with the tractor. It had runners on it, but they were rotten so Ed replaced them with treated lumber.
We set up a couple of jacks to hold it while we drove the trailer out from under it.
Here we are unloading it at home. We put a chain on the front of it and tied it off to a tree, and drove the truck out from under it.

Hey Mom, this is for you!! Here is our chickens' new digs!! And they love it!!
Here they are loading it on our trailer.

Well, lets see. How did my week go? Pretty uneventful, I think. I went to visit my former boss and took her some of my mulberry jelly, (the berries came from a tree on her farm), and a jar of the maple syrup that we made this past February. She was delighted with her gift. I also added a couple of extras this year, a Peach Plum Jam, and a Gingered Pear Jam.
I went over to the barn and talked to Enrique and the new manager. We talked for over an hour. The new manager asked me lots of questions about the horses and their former care and little quirks . He didn't know anything about the horses that he is responsible for, such as the fact that Stealth had coliced badly a few years ago because he doesn't drink enough water in the wintertime. And that Mickey had foundered several times, that Minnie has not been trained to ride, that Iris Anne has always been very round, (read, FAT). Little quirks and idiosyncrasies of the individual horses that he didn't know. Said he really appreciated my stopping by and talking with him.

Our chickens are taking a winter break. We have 8 hens and we are getting one egg about twice a week. I think they don't like cold weather! Well, neither do I!

Last Sunday we drove up to Lebanon and ate too much at the Wolfe Christmas get together. There was a lot of family there. It was nice to see everyone. The trip up there was slow and slick as it was snowing most of the way up there. The roads were slick and busy. It was nice to get home safely, even though it was 7:00 PM and the horses wondered what happened to us, as their supper was 2 hours late!

On an online Horse Training Discussion Board that I'm a member of on the internet, we decided to play Secret Santas. One member took the names and passed them out to others and we had a 10.00 limit to spend on a gift. It was a lot of fun. Here is a photo of the gift I received and I still haven't figured out who it is from!

Monday, December 19, 2005

So what is Kenny up to here?? Teasing someone, I'm sure. Wouldn't life be boring if we were never teased or whatever? Saturday was a fun day! All of us girls, and Mom, and a couple of the neices and nephews, all met at Lois and Kenny's home to bake cookies. We try to do this every year before the holidays, but sometimes there are too many other commitments that get in the way and it never happens. This year everything worked out well. It was a good thing Lois has two ovens. There were about 4 kinds of cookies baking at once!
The tasting was soooo good tooooo!!!! Oatmeal Raisin, Chocolate Chip, Potato Chip Cookies, Peanut Butter,
Molasses Crinkles, Sugar Cookies. I am sure I've forgotten some too. They were all good. We will have a cookie exchange and everyone will take home some of each. Sarah Beth and Timmy did a nice job of decorating the sugar cookies.

The BBQ sandwiches Lois made for lunch were yummy too. I love BBQ sauces. Try it on scrambled eggs! Ed says that is 'sick', but it is not bad at all, especially for those of us that like catsup on our eggs! But then, Ed doesn't like BBQ sauce. Gotta be something wrong with a man that doesn't like the taste of BBQ, right??

The good company was the best part though. The visiting and the catching up with each other, over a cup of hot coffee and a good cookie or two, or....three.
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Saturday, December 10, 2005

We have 6 inches of snow. No ice. Except what is hanging from the eaves and gutters. It isn't going anywhere fast when the daytime temps are only 24° ! Oh, where is spring????

The 4 young chickens (three hens and a rooster) haven't seen snow yet. (They haven't started to lay eggs yet, but should any day now). I made them go out of their house yesterday, and they squawked and hollered. I had to make them go back inside (it was 14° ) before they froze! The wouldn't even walk in it at all, just stand there, squawking! Their heated water bowl is outside in their pen, about 18 inches from the doorway. I even cleaned the snow away so they wouldn't have to walk in it to get a drink! I don't know if they came out or not. I guess if they get thirsty they will. The older hens in their own pen, would come out and drink their warmed water, then go back inside. The food feeders are all inside their houses.

Yesterday, I saw a squirrel jumping, running, hopping, up the middle of the back pasture. I don't know where he came from, but he was out in the open and if our little dog, Missy, (see above) had seen him, he would have been lunch, because he was a long way from any trees.

I saw a diferent bird at our feeder yesterday. I found out after looking it up in the birdbook, that it was a Carolina Wren. Haven't seen one at the feeder before.

I'm off to make some Christmas cookies. Ed had to work until noon today. They are doing inventory at work.

Friday, December 09, 2005

How is this for snow!!! YUCK!!! I hate winter! It was 9° this morning. Brrrr! Makes me want to hibernate like a bear. Just go in a hole and wait until it is at least 45° out there. The horses are in the shed, but are invisible!

This morning Ed didn't leave for work until about 8:00, because he waited for daylight so he could use the Kubota with the snowblower and clear the driveway. Since our driveway is just short of a 1/4 mile long, it took him awhile. He broke a shear bolt about half way through and had to come back to the garage and find a replacement. Then he finished by clearing a path for me to run my wheelbarrow up to the shed to feed the horses. I put a bale of hay in the wheelbarrow and push it up there, then throw it in the hay rack.

Poor Sis, she has been here since August 29, and the other three still won't let her near them. Well, Katie and Solomon won't. Maddie don't care one way or the other. But they run her out of the shed quite often, and she isn't aggressive enough to stand up to them. So she stands outside and watches them eat, even though she is hungry too. So I go up and make a place for her and she will go and eat as long as Katie, (who is the most aggressive towards her) stays on the other side of the shed. (It is divided down the middle with a wall). She stays out of their way. Katie has pinned her in a corner a few times, and she is very wary of her.

Lois called me yesterday from CoCoa Beach? Florida. She said it was 67° ! Made me jealous. I told her about going out to eat, and she said she would rather we all just come to her house like usual. Suits me. Cheaper. More personal than a restaurant. So...something to think about. Hey, Jeanie, you all come too. I wish you could.
Well, I guess this is enough rambling for now. Gotta go and get a sweater on!!!

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Sunday, December 04, 2005

Today, Ed and I drove down to meet Sarah at Bedford. I expected to find Dustin with her, but Mom came instead. Dustin had bagged a second deer yesterday, and they were going to process it themselves, (Dustin and Sarah) and she wanted my book on taking care of wild game. It has a lot of color photographs on how to make the right cuts of meat, etc. We met Sarah at Bedford to loan her the book. We had a lovely visit.

But I sure don't envy Dustin his job! I have processed a couple of deer and that is a messy, icky job. When it is all wrapped in the white paper and labeled and put in the freezer, then I like venison.
Here's a little trick I learned. If you have some that you think has a little more gamey flavor than you like, soak it in milk in the fridge for a couple of hours. Just rinse it and cook it. Makes tasty venison, with NO gamey flavor.

I finally got some Christmas decorations out! Last year I didn't even open the boxes! We go visit relatives before and during Chrismas, so I thought...why bother? I would just have to take it all down again!! And I didn't want to bother just for us.
But this year I think I will bother!! Ruth, maybe your photo inspired me??
When I get done, I'll take a couple of pictures if you want to see what I have done.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Now do you suppose they overloaded this poor donkey???? I just wonder if such a thing had happened to him before? I sure hope his load was made significantly lighter!!!

My today was pretty ordinary. I did some laundry and folded it and put it away. At noon I took some hay out to the horses for their lunch. They started munching right away. I peeked in the hen house and yep, there were 4 eggs in the nest box! Winter isn't a good time for getting lots of eggs. The hens slow down their production until the days start to lengthen again. (We could put lights in their house but haven't done it yet). We get more than we can use as it is.

For supper we had sliced turkey breast, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, and for dessert, we has some wonderful chocolate chip cookies that a friend in Illinois sent me! They were yummy!

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Sunday, November 27, 2005

We had a 'Girls Day Out' today in Brown County. We drove into Nashville to do some Christmas shopping in the shops there. It is a neat place to spend the day. There are shops selling everything imaginable. Crafts, fudge, candles, clothing, Christmas decorations, food, country decor, antiques of all kinds, artwork and lots more. Everything. We try to get all the 'girls' together once a year, and have fun. We had lunch at neat little place called the Hob Nob Pizza Place. The sure make HUGE salads!!!

Here we are during our day. It was rainy all day but that wasn't so bad. It kept the crowd thinned down a bit. Usually it is very crowded, but today was not bad at all.

I so enjoy our time together. It doesn't happen often enough. I'm grateful for such a loving family, that we can spend time together and want to do it again!
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Saturday, November 26, 2005

Today I tried explaining to Maddie about our Thanksgiving dinner. And this is her opinion of Turkey and Pumpkin Trifle!! She wanted to gag, obviously!! She has strange tastes too though, she like to eat birdseed, and she isn't even a bird! I guess, we all have odd tastes if you really think about it.

Ed and I went to the sawmill and cut another truckload of firewood. We have more wood now, than we have ever had at one time! Lets hope that that doesn't mean we are going to have an extra cold winter! So far, winter has been rather kind. Pretty warm and unseasonable. But I like it this way. This make winter seem shorter, right?? Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 25, 2005

Here is a Thanksgiving photo of 'The Girls'. Being scattered around the country it is not easy to get everyone together. I am thankful for a wonderful family, loving parents and sisters. We get along well together (thanks to our parents) and enjoy each others company. The dinner on Thanksgiving Day was soooo gooood! Can we have a Thanksgiving day monthly, where everyone brings something? Especially Shoo Fly Pie and Pumpkin Trifle??? Yum!!!

It was hard to leave and go back home, but Ed was waiting for me. I took him home a plate full and he enjoyed his too. He went hunting, but didn't get anything. It was 19° and pretty windy when I got home at 6:00 PM and he was so cold from sitting out in the wind in a tree, that he was shaking! I hate being cold so that is something I just could not see me doing!
'Ain't' no venison worth that kind of weather.

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Sunday, November 20, 2005

We had a busy day today. Ed got up REAL early to go and freeze his bum off, sitting in a tree! No, he didn't get a deer. He saw one that was out of range, but that was all.

The farrier came at 9:30 and trimmed all the horses. She showed me how to do some touch ups in between her 5 week visits. By trial and error, we have discovered that she was trimming Katie and Maddie too short, and they were lame for about 2 weeks after her trims. So the last time she was here, I suggested that we try something different, and leave them longer. An experiment. Katie didn't have a lame moment!! KJ liked the results, and we did the same this time, and Katie and Maddie are good! The weekly touchups are to keep the toes from growing too long.
KJ is from Arizona and the horses feet out there are on dry, sandy, rocky soil, and here, they are on soft, often wet or muddy soil. The feet grow totally different, and she is trying to get used to having to trim differently. She does a good job, learning, as she does different things, now that she is in Indiana.

Ed and I finished putting the kick boards up in the run in shed for the horses. This is to keep the horses from coming in contact with the metal siding and possibly kicking and getting a foot through the tin.

When we finished that job, we cut pieces of roofing tin to extend the roofing along the back of the shed roof. The rain has been running down inside and soaking the floor. This should help getting the water to run away from the wall and hopefully to keep it dry inside.

Today was warm and breezy. Just perfect for working outside. The sun was shining and it was 54°. Real nice for mid November.

Poor Kitty, am I mean? I put bird seed out on the deck, and this chipmunk stuffs her cheeks, and then disapears under the deck to stash it in her winter den. Then she returns for more. Kitty sits here watching and wanting, but to no avail. That chipmunk has run back and forth right in front of the window, knowing Kitty can't get her. I enjoy watching her, but I don't think Kitty does!!

Friday, November 18, 2005

It was 18° this morning and in my book that is cold enough! I'm not a winter person by any means. I'm ready for March and April already! At least the sun is shining. That makes it appear warmer anyway. I bundled up and went out and fed the chickens and let them out into their runs. Even the chickens thought it was cold! They would tuck one foot up into their feathers to warm up, then switch feet and warm up the other one! They do tend to spend more time in their new chicken house too, now that it is cold outside.

I spent a couple of days this week making mulberry jelly. There was a mulberry tree on the horse farm where I worked last summer. And it had a bumper crop of berries. There were two employees that worked there. Myself, and the maintance man, Enrique, a Hispanic. We had worked together there for 8 years. Last summer we each collected the berries and froze them. He asked me if I would make him some of the jelly. (I had made some in the previous years also and gave it as Christmas gifts, so he had tasted some of my jelly). I agreed if he would buy the sugar, and canning jars. So, he brought me out all these frozen packages of mulberries!! He had at least 20 gallon bags of mulberries!!!!! I expected 7 or 8 bags, not 20!!!!!!
So I made the jelly. It made 4 cases of pints, that is 48 pint jars of jelly. Don't tell him this, but I saved 4 of those bags for myself since I put in all the work! And that is what I was doing this week, making those 4 gallons of frozen mulberries into jelly. It is rich, and soooo tasty! It tastes a bit strong to taste it on a spoon, but on a toasted Enlish muffin, there 'ain't nuthin better' !!! Since I don't work there anymore, these were the last ones I had. I will miss my mulberries. These were huge, big berries. Love 'em!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

When I was a very little girl, I remember visiting some family friends at their home. We lived in eastern Kentucky at the time. My Dad had his reel to reel tape recorder along and this couple played the guitar and sang some lovely old gospel songs. I enjoy them so much that I thought I'd play a little of them here.

Some of these songs I've never heard anywhere else. They were sung out of a small handwritten notebook. There were recorded about 1963 I think. I still listen to them and just love the 'country flavor' of the singers.
this is an audio post - click to play

Saturday, November 12, 2005

My sunset photo. I can't get away from the power lines, since we live almost under them. The sunset was so pretty, I took several photos, as it changed every minute or so.

Today was such a nice day, it is hard to believe that it is the 12th of November! It was 70° and breezy and just a wonderful day! We moved all the equipment out of the shed behind the barn and made space to put the horse trailer under the roof for the winter. Then we rearranged everything else and put it back. (The tractor, the bush hog, the manure spreader, the riding lawn mower, and various other stuff). That is something we have been wanting to do for a long time. I'm glad it is done. We can even get it out in a hurry if we need too. But at least it won't sit out in the winter weather. Now it will just be a home for the birds that roost under the shed at night. OH, well, I guess they need shelter too!
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Friday, November 11, 2005

This has been a busy week. Ed was home all week and that limited my time to add to this, somewhat. He wanted to go hunting, but the first part of the week was too warm, so we just caught up on things that needed doing before winter really sets in with a vengence. I followed him from job to job, handing him tools or whatever.
This morning, it was 28° and he left waayyyy before daylight to go and sit in a tree!! Me??? If I was going to sit in a tree, I'd want to do it when it was 55° in the mornings, instead of 28°!!! But then...I don't plan on sitting in a tree, unless it is with a camera!

We very nearly had a bad accident this afternoon. Ed has an old homemade hay wagon that he put 2 foot tall sides on. He took it to the sawmill in Spencer this afternoon, and had them load it with two scoops of sawdust. (That will usually last us a while, for bedding the horses stalls, when the weather is bad). Since the pickup can't pull the loaded wagon up our driveway, Ed parked it up by the road and came to the house and got the tractor. He hitched it to the wagon and started down the hill with it. But the wagon was just too heavy and pushed his tractor sideways, and over a bank. Three feet more and it would have gone into a sinkhole!! Anyway, the wagon jacknifed against the tractor tire and it was stuck!! I stood on the front porch and watched this happen, with my heart in my mouth. I was expecting it to roll over, since it was down over the bank. Ed later said he thought that too!! Just by the grace of God, that tractor and wagon didn't roll and do some real damage or injury.

It took Ed 4 hours to extract it from its predicament. He had to off load the sawdust into the pickup truck, drive it up to the house and unload it, twice. The wagon was too heavy for the truck to try and move it from its jammed position.

Finally, he could hitch a chain to the back of the wagon and pull it sideways enough to get it off of the tractor tire, and we could hitch it to the tractor again and pulled it up to the barn!! Whew, I don't want to see such a thing again!!

Now you know why we want to move to a flatter piece of property. Everything,and I mean every square inch of this place is either uphill or downhill and is dangerous when using the tractor!!

I spent the day making Gingered Pear Jam. I made three batches. I was quite surprised that Ed liked it. Usually if it isn't grape or strawberry, he won't bother, but he liked it very much. Even suggested it as a birthday gift for a family member!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Ed has been home this week to go hunting, but it has been too warm. So we have been trying to catch up on 'stuff' that needs doing before it gets REAL cold. I have tried to do some of my pears in between helping him with this job and that one, so my pears aren't getting done very fast. Today a managed to get 6 small jars of Gingered Pear Jam done. It tastes really nice. There was none left to try on a piece of toast, but I did get to like the spoon!!

Yesterday we moved the chickens to their new chicken house. When I have more time I will post some photos of it. The chickens think they have died and gone to heaven!!!

Now...if I could just get my house cleaned like Ruth did hers!!!

Monday, November 07, 2005

On Saturday I drove down to Mom and Dad's and we worked in the garden all day. My baby sister came too, and we got a lot done together. With teamwork I think we rearranged it a little. We dug up the old railroad ties that divided it into sections. Most of them had rotted, so we dumped them on the trash pile.

I used Dads tractor and pulled out the old T posts and to drag out the old ties. We were going to rototill the garden when we got it all done, but the rototiller wouldn't stay running long enough to get the job done. I got frustrated with it, trying to restart it every few minutes. I gave up on that and parked it!

It was a beautiful day for November, sunny and 70°. Mom made a yummy lunch of turkey sausage links cooked with potatoes, gravy, steamed broccoli, and corn. For dessert we had homemade chocolate covered candy bars. Mmmm!

Friday, November 04, 2005

I didn't know if I should publish this here, but I couldn't resist! Ed brought me this from work.

If They Only Knew...

Calling in sick makes me uncomfortable. No matter how legitimate my illness, I always sense my boss thinks I'm lying. On one occasion, I had a valid reason, but lied anyway because the truth was too humiliating. I simply mentioned that I had sustained a head injury and I hoped I would feel up to coming in the next day. By then, I could think up a doozy to explain the bandage on my crown. The accident occurred mainly because I condeded to my wife's wishes to adopt a cute little kitty. Initially the new acquisition was no problem, but one morning I was taking my shower after breakfast when I heard my wife call out to me from the kitchen. "The garbage disposal is dead. Come reset it." I protested, " You know where the button is. Reset it yourself!" She pleaded, "I am scared! What if it starts going and sucks me in? C'mon, it'll only take a second." So out I come, dripping wet and buck naked, hoping to make a statement about how her cowardly behavior was not without consequence. I crouched down and stuck my head under the sink to find the button. It is the last action I remember performing. It struck without warning, without respect to my circumstances. Nay, it wasn't a hexed disposal drawing me into its gnashing metal teeth. It was our new kitty, clawing playfully at the dangling objects she spied between my legs. She had been poised around the corner and stalked me as I took the bait under the sink. At precisely the second I was most vulnerable, she leapt at my most private area and snagged it with her needle-like claws. Now, when men feel pain or even sense danger anywhere close to their masculine region, they lose all rational thought to control bodily movements. Instinctively, their nerves compel the body to contort inwardly, while rising upwardly at a violent rate of speed. Wild animals are sometimes faced with a "fight or flight" syndrome. Men, in this predicament, choose only the "flight" option. Fleeing straight up, I knew at that moment how a cat feels when it is alarmed. But, whereas cats seek great heights to escape, I never made it that far. The sink and cabinet bluntly impeded my ascent; the impact knocked me out cold. When I awoke, my wife and the paramedics stood over me. Having been fully briefed by my wife, the paramedics snorted as they tried to conduct their work while suppressing their hysterical laughter. At the office, colleagues tried to coax an explanation out of me. I kept silent claiming it was too painful to talk. "What's the matter, cat got your tongue?" If they had only known.
Here is another photo of my 'little buddy'. I have been putting bird seed out on the deck and as you can see by his full cheek pouches, he is packing it away!! I have also seen him picking up leaves in his mouth and using his front paws, he packs them in too, then disappears under the deck. I suppose he is insulating his nest for the winter hibernation. I think this one is a female but don't know for sure.

P.S. by clicking on a photo, you can usually get a larger version to view. Posted by Picasa
I had a busy day today. I left the house at 7:10 this AM to go and take some photos of the fall colors. I put quite a few miles on my truck. I was taking a photo of a little white church surrounded by orange maple trees, when a farmer from the neighboring farm walked down to where I was. He wanted to know if I was surveying for the water lines!! He was older, and said he told them the water lines are in his cow pasture and he thinks they should find them because if he dies, and a mean person gets his farm, no one would know where they were! I guess that makes sense.

I got home about noon, and started working on canning my pears again. I put a roast in the crockpot with some potatoes. That is one thing less to have to do this evening. It is also one of Ed's favorite meals.

I carried a milk crate and a 5 gallon bucket of shelled corn down the back pasture to refill the deer feeder. It was nearly full already so that was a useless trip. We love to watch the deer. Usually there are at least three and sometimes more that come out to eat. If the dog isn't around they usually come out about 5:30. I hate it when they eat my blackberry bushes, and get in my garden, but I love watching them. A couple of them walked through the horse pasture this evening and the horses just watched them go.

I squeezed in some laundry in between slicing pears a slicing my thumb. I wanted to use the leaf bagger on the lawn mower, but ran out of time to get it all done.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

This is rather crude, but I laughed out loud when I saw it! Someone had to have a very active imagination to think up something like this for advertising!! Even the shirts match in color!!

I took a long drive out on the back country roads of Owen County today, looking for some nice fall scenes to photograph. I found some, but also found some sites that I need to come back to in the early morning to photograph. If I can drag myself out of the house that early, that is what I am planning to do tomorrow morning. I also forgot my tripod and had to turn off my truck (to lessen vibration) and use the top of the door to set my camera on it.

We are having a photo share at the Photography Club and I need twenty images to submit. Some of them are from photos I have taken this last summer, but I need some fresh ones too. Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 28, 2005

This old barn has sheltered many animals in its long life. A families milk cow, for cream and butter. A flock of chickens for eggs for breakfast. A horse or two to help work the farm. There is character here, in its well used appearance. I like looking at this old building that sits across our back pasture in the neighbors field. I wish it could tell me some of the stories, that it holds in its secret places.
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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Here is another one of my photos from my chilly trip up the hill this morning. We live very close to a high power line, so I used this in my composition, since I couldn't really get away from it. It was in the way, but I likes this one. I did a little bit of editing on this photo, but I liked it, since it has the promise of a bright and cheerful day ahead. Posted by Picasa

This morning I walked up to the top of Dick's hill to take some early sunrise photos. It is the highest hill around here to see the sun wake up in the mornings.It was COLD out there! I had gloves on but they just got in the way of my camera controls. I was hoping to see some deer but they were all hidden and didn't show themselves. Here is one of the photos I took this morning.

This afternoon I thought I would bake a cake. This one is for the little ghosts and goblins. It is called Boogers and Slugs! It had such a cute name I just had to make one. It is basically a spice cake but it has 4 cups of diced green tomatoes in it and yellow raisins and nuts. Together these give it an unusual look. But it tasted wonderful. It was moist and fruity. Ed like it also. I put Caramel Frosting on it, and it complimented it very nicely. Now, the only problem I see with this cake is that there are only two of us to eat it, and I don't want to eat that much cake!! So I may send some to work with him tomorrow!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Here is an example of last years fall colors. Indiana did us proud and I think we could have rivaled anywhere in the northeast! This is a county road that was being used as a detour, since the main highway was closed due to the removal of a hill and straighening of a dangerous curve. If we had not been detoured, I would never have known this road was there! It was worth the extra time to see these beautiful October scenes. Posted by Picasa

We have finally gotten our barn full of hay! We spent the day Saturday hauling hay and stacking it in the barn. It has 590 bales in it and it is full! We are feeding 4 horses, and their sole diet is hay, so this should feed them until new hay is cut in early summer. Lets just hope this will be a mild winter, OK? Now the two barn cats and one wild, feral tom cat can find a warm place to sleep this winter!

The fall leaves haven't been very pretty this year. We haven't had a frost yet, so they have mostly just started to turn brown and fall off. There is a little color here and there, especially the maples. Here is an example of the color this fall.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Since I couldn't get this one to post, I will try again here:

Each day we never know what color eggs we will get. It is like an Easter Egg hunt!

Jelly and Eggs!!

Last Sunday I found some wild grapes growing up in a scrubby tree in the fence row behind the barn. Ed was using the tractor at the time which gave me an idea. When he finished his job I asked him if he would help me pick those grapes and this was his answer:

I mashed the fruit and strained out all the stems and seeds and this was the result of my efforts. Ed said it is pretty tasty, as he had some on his toast this morning.

Our chickens are in a laying frenzy right now. We have 7 hens, of which five are pullets that just started to lay in mid September. We are getting 4 to 7 eggs a day! Our farrier came to trim the horses feet this morning and I sent two dozen home with her. She said they eat a lot of eggs, especially her 3 year old daughter. These are such pretty eggs too! Here is a photo of todays eggs.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

It is a beautiful morning. Crisp and cool at 44° this morning. We haven't had a fall frost yet, so the leaves really don't have much color. But I expect that will come soon. I am enjoying these cooler days after the heat and humidity of August. The horses are loving it too. They are more frisky and NO huge horseflies to bother them.

I was sitting here working on my computer when I had a little visitor outside my window. I suspect he lives inside the wall of the house. I hear a thumping and rattling like nuts being moved around. The cat finds him very frustrating. Sometimes he will run across the deck and tease her. She is inside looking at him from 10 inches away, and he is on the deck, running back and forth, and sometimes stops and sits in front of her as if he is saying, "Ha ha, he he, you can't catch me!" Poor kitty, she twitches and switches her tail, but to know avail, and he knows it!

A couple of days ago, I watched two hen hummingbirds having an argument over the rights to the feeder. They flew at each other repeatedly, and knocked each other off the feeder many times. They did this for 15 minutes. They were oblivious to me, as I took photos of them. I stood about 18 inches from the feeder and shot many pictures. They knocked each other down into the wet grass once and lay there tussling and writhing with each other. Then, they flew up to the feeder and settled down and drank for a long time. Then repeated the performance! This was about 7:30 AM, and it was quite a cool morning. Here they are tanking up for the second go-round.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

I think summer is over and soon it will be cold again. But in the meantime, I am enjoying these warm summery days. I picked a couple of large bowls of sweet peppers and diced them up and froze them in zip lock plastic bags. We love to use red and green peppers in our omelets, along with onions, mushrooms, and a little sausage. Sprinkle cheese on it and enjoy. Oh, don't forget the eggs too!!

Ed planted 7 or 8 plants and they all prduced well. Some of them are just huge! We also dug three sweet potato hills, to see if anything was there worth digging. Two of them were nice large lovely sweet potatoes and the other one wasn't worth bothering about. But there are 4 or 5 more to dig later. We found one that was really in a twist, here is a photo. I've never seen a sweet potato that looked like this one.

Ed and I saddled Katie and Sis and went back on the Nature Preserve for a ride. Sis isn't conditioned enough to ride far, so we didn't stay long. She didn't want to go. She did with some coaxing, but I wonder if the saddle is uncomfortable for her. She is gaining weight, but is still thin. So we will give her more time to fill out. I haven't been riding much in the last few years, but I have been trying to ride Katie everyday in the last week or two. I have missed about 3 days. She is so used to being a pasture ornament that she hasn't taken to it real well either.
But in the last 3 days, she has been more willing to go without getting too bent out of shape about it. She will get better as we keep at it. We are getting a little farther from the barn and her buddies each day. I sure have missed riding.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

We woke up to RAIN this morning and it is still raining at 9:00 PM. Ed got bored and decided to drive to Greencastle (gas prices didn't cross his mind?) for breakfast!! This is a tiny little Mom and Pop restauant. It used to be a depot stop of the Monan Rail road. It is full of train memorabelia and other antiques. They also make good coffee!!

We each had an omelet, which was quite tasty. And I had some of their good coffee! Yum! We visited a Tractor Supply store then returned home. Since it was raining, raining, raining, we pretty much stayed inside.
We had to go out and seperate Sis and Katie though. They got along pretty well for awhile, but now Katie is chasing poor Sis and picking on her in the run in shed, where they were all congregated to escape the rain. So...Katie was banished to the barn for the afternoon, and there was peace again, at least with the horses.

But, one of the banty hens has decided she wants to be a mother. When they are in their broody state, they don't lay eggs, and will sit on an empty nest for weeks. So...she has been banished to the empty end of chicken house all by herself, and the nest box covered up so she can't nest in it at night. I've read that if you can break up their broodiness within the first couple of days, then within seven days they should start laying again. Don't know if it wil work, but we are trying it. It is too late in the year, we don't want to raise any more chicks right now.

Yes it is still raining!

Friday, September 23, 2005

Right now, at this minute, I'm so glad I don't live in Texas anymore. I sure feel for the people that have to leave and don't know what, or if, anything will be there when they get back. It would be a difficult place to be, especially if you have large animals, such as horses, as we do. I can't imagine the stress and upset that that would do to me. I hope and pray that everyone stays safe.

When Ed got home from work, we left immediately to go and pick up a load of hay that was on a wagon waiting for us. We loaded 115 bales, all we could haul, and brought it home in the dark on a winding, twisty, hilly, rural road. I was so glad to get home. (I'm a wuss, especially in the dark)! As we unloaded it and I was putting bales on the elevator, I was thinking how ordinary a thing we were doing and all those people trying to get out of east Texas were sitting in that huge 100 mile traffic jam. What a lot of stress and emotion for them.

I rode Sis on Wednesday when Ed was there to help. Since I don't know her history, I was hesitant to ride her but he led her around the round pen with me on her, then let us loose and she and I did just fine. She walked off and even trotted a little. She is not very soft in the bridle, but she will get better, I'm sure. I love the John Lyons training method and use it with all my horses. It is gentle with the horse and they learn quickly.

I have been working Maddie in the round pen too. We started with outside turns, and she did pretty well. She attempted to turn inside several times and after cutting her off and turning her back to the outside, she quit trying, mostly. Well, then I tried to teach her inside turns and she thinks that is the wrong thing to do now! So we are having some trouble getting them. She isn't reading the difference in my body language yet, but that will come. We just need to do more. I wear out before she does, and I have to stop and get my breath before continuing. But we will get there.

Friday, September 16, 2005

This is the day that the Lord hath made!!! I love that song! It is such a happy tune! Today was a wonderful day. It was cloudy with a good breeze blowing. Temperature was 70°.
Since it was nice working weather, I decided to take the riding lawn mower with a trailer hitched to it and clean the horse manure out of the dry lot. I wanted to put it in my round pen to make the footing softer. It has a clay footing that dries as hard as concrete and when wet is so sticky and slick. So...I hauled 6 loads and dumped in there. I probably need 20 more! There might be 5 or 6 more that I can pick up, I just ran out of time. I sure hope it makes a difference.

A couple of days ago, I happened to look out the back window about 4:45 PM and saw three strange horses coming up the back pasture into the barn area. I ran outside and got some grain and a halter and tried to get them to come to me. But they took off to the neighbors house. I yelled for the neighbors and they came running and helped me catch them. We put them in our round pen and when Ed got home we finally tracked down the neighbor they belonged to. It was quite late by then so we gave them hay and water in the round pen and waited until the next day to take them home.
Their Mom came with some halters and I helped her lead them home down our back pasture, through the woods, and then across a hay field and into their own pasture. She invited me to her home for a glass of ice water, which tasted so good after that trek!
She showed me her emu's, a pair of golden pheasants, and assorted house pets. She is an interesting lady. I didn't know her before this, as she lives on a different rural road than we do.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Today we went to an abandoned sawmill and picked up two pickup truckloads of firewood. Some of it was very heavy stuff. Hickory, oak, some poplar, a few pieces of locust. Some of it we had to split, the rest we just loaded and brought it home and threw it on the woodpile. It was very hot today, and humid to boot, about 89°! We sweated quite a lot! After the last load we went to Burger King for some burgers and to sit in an air conditioned place to eat it!

We are having a problem with our horses, and I don't know what the problem is. Three of them are lame. I attributed it to the farrier trimming their feet too short last Monday, but now Sis is lamer than she was yesterday. I am suspicious of the hay. None of them are getting any grain, only hay, but I think something must be wayyyyy out of balance in this hay. It isn't moldy or dusty. But we have a problem somewhere. And no, they are not getting any grass either, they are on dry lot. How to find out where the problem is???????? I switched them to some other hay today, it is much richer, has some alfafa in it, but we will give it a trial and see what developes.

Some time ago, Ed brought me a Rice Cooker. Some one at work had a yard sale, and he was throwing away all the stuff that didn't sell. So Ed brought some of it home. The rice cooker was barely used. Yesterday, I made a banana bread in it, and for supper I made spaghetti in it. I put the dry spaghetti in and added a jar of sauce on top and let 'er cook! I had to stirr it pretty often but it made some good spaghetti. I cooked a half pound of hamburger and added that to it, and a can of mushrooms. Yummy.

There were two boxed of assorted dishes and I gave them to a young family that had everything stolen out of there house. She is 6 months pregnant and has a 2 year old too. I took her shopping to get the babies some clothes and she wanted to go to the Goodwill Store so that is where we did the shopping. She got a lot of stuff for the kids and some for her self too. So far, they havent' gotten any of their stuff returned.

Today is the anniversary of 9 11. I went to a couple of places and looked through some of the photographs of the destruction. I hope a lot of people did that and stop and think about why we are at war in Irak. One reason is because if we didn't do something about these terrorists, we would be fighting them here on our turf, in America. I think President Bush knows that. Even though his popularity rating is very low now, someday, people will thank him for what he did for this country. Maybe not in his life time, but they will eventually.

Monday, September 05, 2005

We had a nice weekend. The grandchildren (4 and 2 years old) and their parents came down and brought their camper and parked it in the driveway. They brought their 4 wheeler and the kids went on long rides back in the woods with Papaw and their dad. Papaw even took me for a ride!! First time on a 4 wheeler for me!

Ed made homemade French Vanilla ice cream with the kids. They were intrigued with the icecream maker. I made an angelfood cake from scratch to go with the ice cream. It was the first time I ever made one and it turned out well. The ice cream was very good also.

They brought their big Tonka trucks and dug holes and moved dirt from here to there. And got very dirty, but they loved every minute of it.

We had our meals out on the porch since it was so pleasant outside. The humidity was very low for a change. We all had fun.