Sunday, May 30, 2010

"Wow is it hot out there!"

This weather around here has been unbelievably hot around here. Floating above the 80 degree mark everyday for over a week. We have had no rain and are now listed on the drought warning.
We are going through about 100 gallons of water a day for the animals and another 50 to 75 gallons of water for the gardens. I don't ever remember a time when it was so dry this time of year. Usually the farmers have a difficult time putting up dry hay for first cutting....not this year. Even hay silage is drying out before they get a chance to chop it. In a way, I would love for this kind of weather to stay but on the other hand we need a couple nights of some good rain. It would do the gardens, corn crop and hay fields good. Not to mention, then I could go pick nightcrawlers to go fishing with...not that I really have the time to go but still.
This weekend has been hectic but kind of relaxing. There are a ton of things going on that are keeping me busy but no too busy. I managed to get out into the pasture yesterday to brush the, do they look nice. Mama is finally starting to gain enough weight where you only see four of her ribs instead of every single one. She is starting to regrow her hair but what she does have is a nice glossy coat now. Her hair is still coarse but it is slowly coming back into shape. Her back is nearly healed now. Buck was stunning when I had him all brushed out. His coat is amazingly soft and so shinny. I wish I had taken a photo of him then so I could hang it on the wall. I will just have to get him all brushed out and get one taken.
The calves are all doing great. They all need a good brushing as well but getting them to sit still is like telling a two year old to sit still. I will get them all done before too long. Just going to have to fasten them down basically to get it done. I will probably leash them so they can't get too far and then fight them as they run around trying to get free. Davy is getting better at letting me touch him now but Danny is still spooky as all get out. Norman on the hand comes right up to me to have his horns rubbed and loves the extra attention.
The chicks that we are raising for meat are HUGE! They are about four pounds now and gaining more every day. We are going to butcher a couple of them in a week or so...I will let you know how they taste! :)
The turkey poults are growing very well too. The are nearly all feathered in now...but now it is difficult to determine the breed they are. The blue slates I can tell. The chocolate palm I can tell but beyond that....forget it.
The chickens are laying good...just not enough for demand. Our eggs seem to have grown in popularity since the last time we donated them to the church for their free-will breakfast. Rich and I have discussed it and we are going to get another dozen or so. What I really need to do is find a rooster, which I may have in the chicks that were given to us, and start breeding my own chicks. Buying them just isn't the most profitable way to get new layers.
Tom turkey has found a new home. He hasn't left here yet, but very soon. The idiot is still insistant on crossing the road to attempt thumping the blue tick. It never stops, that is why I decided to find him a new home...He drives me crazy most days!
We will have a video of our two tom turkeys fight on Youtube soon. We had a guy come fishing yesterday that thought that Tom was loose and tried to put him back in with the other tom. Let's just say it wasn't very nice and Tom didn't stay in there for very long. A animals were hurt in the recording of that video! Not one blood spot, not one injured animal. Just to make sure that everyone knows...that is the biggest reason why Tom the turkey is in with the chickens and not with the turkeys...too much fighting going on when you get those toms together.
Well, I am off now to go take pictures for the day and make a little money. I have a get together and bonfire to go to tonight that I have been looking forward to for over a month now. It will be good to just get out, away from the phones and computers to just relax with some great friends.
Hope that everyone has an enjoyable Memorial Day ... and that you remember and pray for our soldiers, fallen or not. We owe every single soldier a debt of gratitude for all that they do to keep us safe.
God Bless our Soldiers and keep them safe from harm. Lay your divine hand upon their lives and protect them as they do those of us at home. Please make sure they know they are honored, loved and respected by many. Thank you God for giving each and every service member to us. Amen.
God Bless

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Latest Activities

Can anyone point me to where this week has gone? I just realized that today was Thursday. These tight deadlines are killing me and I have been working so much on everything that we need to get to the bank that I have lost all track of the days somehow!
I have been through an emotional rollercoaster when it comes to this new business. I am tired of reading and rereading everything. Tired of all of the seemingly endless changes. Tired of people we are working with not listening and not completing the tasks at hand in a timely manner. Heaven help me, I just want this stage to be completed and move on to getting machinery set up and the doors open. Our opening date is actually set for July 1st and nothing seems like that will happen...but there seems to be a divine hand in everything that we do with this business, so I will just take each day as it comes and go from there.

The animals on the farm are doing great...they aren't enjoying all of this hot weather we have had lately but they are doing so well. Belle is steadily gaining weight and is looking better with each passing day. Buck is still is same typical self...full of piss and vinegar and a royal pain in the butt. Norman is doing great. He is healed up so that he is now running, jumping, kicking and playing with his two other playmates now. He is slowly adding more gain into his diet everyday and is growing like a weed now. Danny is eating tons of grain and packing on the weight like a mad man. He is up to almost 170 lbs. now and looks fantastic! Davy is doing well. He is eating the least grain out of any of the calves but seems to be managing well. They are all eating tons of grass everyday and drinking so much water that the 40 gallon drum has to be refilled about three times a day in this heat.
The chickens are doing well but aren't laying anywhere near the amount of eggs that we now have requested for each week. I may have to add in a few more laying hens just to keep up with the demand. We are now selling on average between 9 and 12 dozen eggs per week. Not bad for the 21 layers that I have. I have orders that I could fill for 16 to 20 dozen per week...that means that I would need about 40 laying hen to keep up with that kind of demand. Not sure if I could talk Rich into that one or not. Good project for over the weekend :)
The chicks are growing so fast it is unbelievable. They are all up to around 4 or 5 lbs. now. Either this weekend or next week we will butcher a couple of them for a bbq...then the rest will be divided into the coming weeks until they are gone and the next batch is here. The turkey poults are all doing great in their improved area. They are running around, inside still due to the potential of blackhead disease, but will be able to get out sometime over the weekend once the fencing is constructed. I want to keep them inside a fenced area until they are a little bigger and can fend for themselves a little better with the chickens and other turkeys.
The dogs have become whimps in this weather. They spend most of their time lounging in front of the air conditioning trying to stay cool. It has been nice with this heat though...things are quiet other than the tractors going up and down the road due to perfect dry hay weather.
Our garden is growing like wild fire. We planted three different kinds of tomatoes that are all looking a special tree tomato that you pick the small cherry like tomatoes from and then dry them in the oven so they look like raisins. We now have three different kinds of peppers. Two seperate kinds of cukes. Two varieties of squash. Three varieties of peas and corn. Then there is swiss chard, broccoli, califlower, basil, oregano, chives, onions, potatos, sweet herb (an all natural plant that grows to replace refined sugar) and beans. I have one large garden that is about 300 feet in length and about 30-35 feet wide, one small garden that is about 30 feet long and about 20 feet wide and then I have two raised beds that are approximately 5x6, 5x5 and 3x4. Thank heavens some of it is lined with plastic to cut down on the weeding but a little rain would be nice so I don't have to water the plants daily.
I will be busy this weekend. I have tractor and truck pulls that I am going to be the photographer for, just like I did on Labor Day weekend last year. That means two whole days of being out in the hot sun, standing on my feet. I love it though...just hope that it doesn't really stay in the 90's all weekend like it has this week. I plan on taking a huge cooler full of water but still, I will be out where there is zero shade!
I must return to finish some paperwork up that needs to be edited now so that it can be sent in for review tomorrow. Never ending battle but that is alright...I will get it all done someday, somehow.....
God Bless you all...and remember...everything happens for a reason. We just need to go along for the ride, don't question it too much and learn from each new experience. Have a great weekend...I will update if I have the time! Miss you all!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Hectic Weekend

Well, needless to weekend was packed full of things to do. We planted all of the gardens. We are now growing peas, beans, switch chard, spinach, broccoli, califlower, tomatoes, peppers, sweet corn(3 different varieties), cukes, two different kinds of squash and melons. It took almost six hours to re-rototil and plant the two gardens. We also worked on moving animals into new areas, mowing the rest of the lawn and thoroughly cleaning out the cow barn! And that was all on Saturday after chores and going to pick up the tomato and pepper plants.

Yesterday was full of adventures! I got to see one of my friends that I have not seen in way too long! I miss not seeing her more often but sometimes it is difficult with life being so hectic. I went to her graduation party to make sure she knows just how proud of her I am...she has accomplished something that I never have...and considering that she has a daughter, a full time job and is a single mom....that just confirms what I already knew in my heart! She is a fantastic person full of determination who refuses to let anyone get her down! I hope that she knows this about herself...I hope that she can see just what a special person she is to everyone's life that she touches. I know that she struggles sometimes with some personal issues...but the way I look at it..all she has to do is see her as I and so many others do. We all love her for who she is inside and out! know who you are, and honey, it doesn't matter what you weight or how you are one of the most beautiful women ever! You are kind hearted to those who deserve it and strong when push comes to shove! A smile on your face and laughter in your voice makes the whole world shine! Never let anyone make you feel bad about yourself...If they can't see you for who you are, then screw 'em and leave them in the dust as you head to new and better places!
As you can tell...I love this girl like a sister! She deserves so much out of life and I wish her nothing but the absolute best. Her luck is like mine...good when you expect it to be bad and horrible when you wish it was good! Yesterday during her party, her little one fell of the steps for the slide and bumped her way to the ground...after a trip to the Doc it turns out that she has a broken arm/wrist. What a way to celebrate...I feel so bad for both Mom and little one but, kids heal quick and she will be driving her mom crazy in no time...sorry big momma but it's true lol
After we left the party, we went to visit with our Granddaughter. She is a precious angel and loves her grandma very much. She was crying her eyes out when we got over to me she comes and haha guess what no more tears. She didn't cry one more tear while we where there. I love that little one to pieces. After that, we went shopping to pick up some more things for the animals and then we went to Rich's sister's house to visit with some more of the family. It was a good time!
Then it was home to do chores..and finally head to bed about 11...we had to go look at what kind of turkeys Rich and I are going to pick out to give to Rich's daughter and son-in-law for a wedding gift. It is going to be funny when Rich's whole family buys them livestock as gifts! I will make sure I get a ton of photos to share!
Well...I am off to get chores done...before it gets too hot this morning!
I will write more later...God Bless and stay cool out there today!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I have no words that can express to any of you the emotions that are whirling through me right now....After ten months of long hours, hard work and a boat load of research the business plan is complete! I am elated! There are no words to express the feelings of getting the final approval on the plan...I am so proud that I have completed this project in ten months. The feasibility study is back...and the project astounded the economic professor! I feel relieved, amazed, proud, and so much more...but now begins the real gritty portion of all of this. Time to file for LLC's, trademarks, EIN numbers and so much more....It doesn't seem like such a daunting task now though!
Our deadline is June 30th...and right now I am about three weeks ahead of schedule! So I will keep plugging away until I get this done! More late nights like last night when I was up until 1 am. But, as each step counts down, I feel a little bit more pressure come off me and a little bit more relaxed. I will keep everyone informed and I am hoping to have a website up tomorrow for you to review and think about!
Off to work more and then chores later! Rich's son should be here this evening so there is still much to get done today....
God Bless you all and enjoy your night...I will be back tomorrow!

Attention Chicken Farmers

I was involved in a conversation of the Hobby Farms website about how to clean and store chicken eggs....something that I have done wrong all of these years, kind of. I did some research and here is what I discovered on egg cleaning:
Dr. Christina Winstead of The Department of Animal Science Cornell University says the following:

"A household refrigerator can be used to store eggs from small flocks, but the low humidity will cause air cells to enlarge rapidly. Eggs may absorb off-flavors if stored with other produce such as onions.

Sanpaper, emery paper, or steel wool are useful for dry cleaning eggs. Egg washing is not recommended for small flock owners, but if done, an egg wash containing a sanitizer should be used. A temperature of 110 degrees F is preferred but a range of 90 to 100 degrees F. is suggested. Make sure the water is at least 20 degrees warmer than the egg but never more the 50 degrees. Wahing should not exceed 2 to 3 minutes and shoulb be followed by a rapid drying and cooling. Never wash eggs in cold water. It causes the egg contents to contract and draw-in the dirty water.

Egg quality declines as eggs get older, but the nutritional value is not affected. For maximum quality, eggs should be used within 2 weeks after being laid."

I also learned some valuable information about keeping eggs. I never knew that you could freeze them. To freeze the whites and yolk of eggs together, break the eggs and thoroughly mix the yolk and white. Can can use an electric mixer at a low speed, avoiding incorporating any more air than necessary. Pour the mixture into containers and freeze. If you want to greeze whites and yolks seperately, separate the eggs in the usual way. Be careful to avoid getting any yolk into the white; they will not whip if mixed with yolk. Mix the whites to a smooth foam-free consistency. Freeze in a suitable container. The frozen, separated yolks will gel unless salt or sugar is added when they are mixed. Add 1 teaspoon of salt or 2 tablespoons of sugar, corn syrup, or honey to each cup of yolks. Remember to allow for the salt or sugar in the added ingredients when using frozen yolks in recipes.
Hopefully, this will help people the same as it has me. I would be glad to research anything else that you may have questions on when it comes to eggs or poultry. I have a couple of great connections at Cornell that are always will to share information with me.
Well...back to work for me. Will update more when I can...Have a great day and God Bless !

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Deadlines and Advancements

Well, the newest information that I can share is that our plan for the new business is nearly complete! One last step to do and then we are still waiting for one part of the technical study to be completed....I have managed to secure enough money through Guaranteed Loan Programs now!!!! Today provided me with the final approval on everything!!!

Since August of last year, I have committed many, many hours to developing this business plan....The further I research and wrote, the more information I gathered, are all coming to an end with us actually having a viable plan! This all makes so much sense now that I have all of the information and I can't wait to get out there working with the "public" on this!

Our new deadline is fast approaching....everything needs to be set in stone by June 30th...but our goal is May 30th! I am so excited to be in the last and final stages of the planning part...I am so excited that we are getting so close to moving forward, to being able to get the machinery needed! I will keep everyone updated as I go...but time is short and there are still so many things to finalize details on.

The animals are all doing well...nothing adventurous with them today...Other than a lady driving by stopped to tell me that I have some beautiful cows!!! Now that was a nice surprise at 6:30 this morning! She sat in the drive and watched them for almost an hour as they ate (Buck and Belle) and played (Norman, Danny and Davy running, jumping, kicking and head butting). It was a peaceful day other than the ringing phones, beeping of arrived business e-mails and meetings! Tomorrow morning I will be spending extra time with the cows and chickens as both barns need a good cleaning...that will be an excellent project for my early morning work out! I would rather shovel, muck, spray and mop than exercise to a video anyday!

I am off now. Chores have been done for hours and I really need to get back to doing some more of my reading for work....then I will be off to bed. Good Night and God Bless you all!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Birthday Visits

Well, today was Mr. Farmer's birthday. Not quite a half century old but still old enough to have aches and pains all over.
The best part I like about birthdays is that family comes to visit. We visited with Rich's dad first today. He spent time with Rich while I printed off some photos for him. Then Rich and him spent some time with the animals. After he left, Rich and I went for a four wheeler ride around our pond. We didn't see any fish or go fishing but it was still a nice peaceful ride. Then we went to check out his sisters small pond and we managed to see a Canadian Goose family with just one baby. I will have to get down there within the next couple of days to get some photos of the new gosling.
We then came home and I read for a bit until our daughter came with the most beautiful angel in the world, our granddaughter. Rich took her over to visit with the animals and she got to ride on her first John Deere tractor...which made Grandpa very happy. Considering her daddy is a huge John Deere fan...I am amazed that it hasn't happened yet. We sat in the lawn for a long time enjoying the sunshine and watching the Little Miss play with the cat, the dog and the grass. She had tons of fun when she was flying over Grandpa's head as he lay in the grass. It is so healing to watch a baby smile. She is such a beautiful and sweet girl. She is four and a half months old and is learning so many new things in the world.
We took off to go visit with Rich's parents with the "kids" in tow. It was nice to see four generations all together. Everyone was smiling and laughing, having a great time. Little Miss got to eat her first real food today...a lunch of Gerber Sweet Potato! The faces she made we awesome. She would pucker up her whole face like it was really sour but she wouldn't spit any of it out. She is such a peach!
Now we are home, relaxing after I did my nightly chores and waiting to lock the birds up for the night. I will start the daily run down with the smallest animals first today.....The turkey poults are all doing great. They are finally discovering that those feathers on their wings are great to fly with. They are all zipping all over, flying from one end of the "brooding area" to the other. They are roosting on the wall divider now. It is amazing that two week old birds are flying like they are...and man what fast runners! Kind of hard to catch them now as they zip all over.
The chicks are going like they are on fire! Rich and I have come to the conclusion that they weight some where right around 1-1/2 to 2 pounds. The twenty of them are eating somewhere around 24 cups of food a day! It is amazing how fast they are growing...and to think that in another 5 to 8 weeks they will be between 8 and 12 lbs. Hmmmm, Hmmmm, they are going to be so yummy though!
The Rhode Island Red chicks are doing great since their move into the poultry barn. They are coming outside now to get grain in the morning with the rest of the chickens. They are sleeping in the nest boxes at night and are eating food right along with everyone else. The play hide and seek with me when I go out to check on them during the day. They are just too funny.
The turkeys are all doing good. Our two hens are gathering clutches of eggs now. Big Momma has five of them inside a wild rose bush out in the pasture that she is sitting on now. How so many managed to get in their so quick I have no idea. She is such a good momma. The other hen has just one egg so far, but she seems fairly broody, so we will leave her alone and see what happens....Maybe we will have some more poults in a month or so! Tom turkey is still trying now and then to come over across the road to beat on the dog but he seems to be calming down on that...or atleast today he did.
The calves are doing great. Norman's leg is healing up and some of his hair that he lost due to the bucket feeding is growing is growing back in Black though! Danny is doing good...growing fast and starting to finally get used to me. I think his adventure outside the fence the other day helped. Davy is still a little shy but he is getting more curious everyday. He will let me get within arms reach of him now as long as I don't reach for him.
Belle is doing great. Her back is nearly healed, she is gaining weight and is starting to get a beautiful glossy coat now that her hair is starting to grow back. Buck is being stubborn as usual but loves his attention. They are both getting along well until it comes to feeding time and then you see Belle do some body checking to keep Buck away from her food. They are doing amazingly well with the calves!
....I am so glad that all of my animals are healthy (or getting closer) and happy. It is wonderful to watch them lounging around in the shade or oming up to me for attention. I am so proud of all of my critters!
Anyways, I still need to fix something to eat and fasten up the barn. Good Night all and God Bless.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Saturday Adventures

My Saturday adventures include things like mowing the lawn, caring for the animals and rescuing my neighboors from the pond!
I woke up a little late this morning...not like me but with all of the stress going around lately I know why...and didn't make it to the barn until almost 8:30. Everyone was happy to see me, especially the cornish rock chicks...they were starving(or so they thought).
After morning chores, I watch a little tv while lounging in bed...It was cold in the house at 63 degrees this morning. So I enjoyed the extra few minutes relaxing under the covers. Then I played around online for a bit. I also decided after playing around that I needed to get something accomplished, so I went outside and mowed the lawn. Rich was still napping on and off so I decided to start across the road and get along the fence line and in the log yard done first. Some of the grass was so thick that I had to mow first with the deck way up and then go over it again. It hadn't been touch in about 4 weeks and was almost as high as the hay field. This rain has done wonders for the plants...too bad that includes the lawn. After it took me almost two hours to complete the areas across the road, I move on to the yard. First thing I do is blow the drive belt off the mower...never fails, almost everytime I use the mower it breaks one way or another! We have two sections of the lawn, the lower section is about an acre...with a ton of trees, horse shoe pits, barbeque, a flower bed and now a garden. The top part of the lawn, which is actually one about 1/4 of an acre, is the part that always gives me fits! Just after starting the top section, I get the mower stuck in the ditch, when it slids on the wet ground. So...I come inside, get Rich (who goes out in his boxers and socks and yes I did get a photo for memories sake) to push it out. As soon as he gets the mower out, I am back onto the mower to finish the last ten or fifteen passes...when the stupid thing runs out of gas!!! I refilled it and managed to finish up unscathed for the rest of the passes!
After mowing, I decided to refill all of the water dishes for the animals and to take my camera with me. As I am on my way, I notice a Killdear struting around in the corn field, so I managed to get a couple of really good pics! Then I go spend an hour or so with the animals, taking thier weekly photos that will go into the albums so that we can mark their progression.
After that, I come inside to order dinner for Rich...Pizza. His favorite and his birthday is tomorrow. When I am getting to leave, our new neighboor calls to ask if I would be so kind as to go rescue her father, mother and children from our pond...It was dinner time and they weren't answering their phone. I drive down with the truck, the bloodhound in the front set to get them for dinner. I end up bringing back just Grandma and Seth. Seth decided that food in his belly was more important that fishing!
On the way back out, with two people in the back of the truck, a turkey flies right up in front of the truck! A wild turkey was buried right down into the weeds and I could even see it until it flew up in the air.
After getting back home and finally being able to eat, then phone rings and Rich's sister decided that she was going to come up with their cousin and a friend to get eggs and visit the animals. Everyone who comes can not believe how friendly our animals are. The turkey (Big Momma) who comes to you to be pet, the steer(Buck) who thinks he is a dog, and Tom the turkey who will follow people all over are just the specific one's that you notice first thing.
What a day...but even with the "adventures" that came my way...I still did everything with a smile and even laughed at myself for all of the mishaps. The tension is gone today and there is a feeling of contentment that I have missed so much this past week. I feel normal again! Even though I am running late at locking the chicken barn up.
I am going to sit around tonight and not do too much at all...maybe I will read some more about the history of the United States....there are so many things I never realized....t
things like:
Did you know that the telegraph was first used highly during the Civil War?
That the first portable camera came into use around the same time?
That embalming came into high use during the same time?
That the Statue of Liberty was actually given by French Citizens, not the government?
That the Statue of Liberty was suppose to be in the states for the celebration of the first hundred years of America?
Did you know that the only piece to arrive by 1876 was the hand and torch?
Did you know that Lady Libery's skin is the same thickness as two pennies?

So many amazing things.....too many to list at the end of this note....maybe I will have to do another post on an upcoming rainy day all about the crazy things that I have learned through my new readings and research.
Anyway, I need to go do the rest of my chores! Good night and God Bless you all.

Friday, May 14, 2010


Well, there is nothing like miserable rainy misty weather to put people in a bad mood. I am not a person who stays that way for long, but other people are me are.
I am tired. Tired of so many things. Have you ever woke up in the morning to a grumpy significant other that has just destroyed any possibility of having a good day? That's how my day got started today. First thing, not even 6 am. There are days that all I want to do is sit and cry. Cry for dreams of better days and answers coming when they should. Cry for the life I wish I had. Not that my life is overly bad. I live in a great area, have wonderful and supportive friends, and I live the life I always wanted. It just seems completely empty to me this week. Nothing has gone right or on time, which has made Mr. Farmer absolutely miserable. I just don't what more I can do. I make the calls, I do my own complaining but I am still the one who ultimately pays the price. Days like today, I feel so very alone in the world. So small and insignificant.
The misty rain that is falling from the sky isn't helping my mood at all. Even the animals act off this morning, like they wanted to huddle up and not move. The chickens didn't even lay but two eggs by ten this morning when I usually have a dozen by now. I want the sun to come back out!
Today is going to be a thoughtful day, one when I remember the times when I have smiled and not been forced into so much stress that all I want to do is scream. I need to find something to lift my spirits, not sure how that is going to happen...but you can bet I will try.
I am tired of feeling like I am nothing...that I can't accomplish anything! I know that I can...I know that I just need to get it together and find the patience to deal with the situations at hand. It is just hard to do when you have someone slamming you into the ground every time they get a chance. Yeah, as you can tell, there are days that I hate my life, hate Mr. Farmer and unfortunately today seems to be one of those days. I just don't understand why I have had to struggle through every infinate detail of my life! Why can't one thing just go as planned and happen smoothly?
Enough of the drama......I have a ton of things to get done today before the weekend comes. I can already tell that this is not going to be a good weekend! *sigh*
I wish every one the best...may you find your dreams that God has planned for your life. God Bless you all for everything you have done for others.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Oh Happy Days

I don't think anyone is happier about the sun shining than I am today! No more cows in the barn all day pooping up a storm of their own! That means less cleaning for me! Atleast on the surface that is......
Well, Mr. Farmer man decided to come home early from work today...again, yeah I know! Don't remind me. It sets my whole planned day into a different turn of events. Nothing like trying to complete a task while being baraged with questions about something else entirely. Let's talk business while I iron clothes and do dishes. Let's talk about farm machinery while I am trying to email clients! irrate me beyond belief sometimes.
My day doesn't get any better....I had to borrow a friend's iron to iron the clothes that come out of the new super fancy ultra deluxe washer/dryer efficiency unit! I haven't had to iron clothes in years and now I have to do ironing after every load of laundry...even jeans! So much for new technology! Anyway...back to the iron...I borrow one from my friend Ann. It's old but in good condition. I plug it in, it works great..I get all of one shirt ironed but the sleeves, which by the way are the worst wrinkled, and all of the sudden, I get no steam! The iron is cooling. I have checked the breaker, it's fine. I have plugged into a different outlet...and nothing! So now, I broke my friend's iron and have melted carpet to mine!!! Great week! HaHaHa
Appointments that we have had this week have fallen through. Nothing is working out according to the "plan"....what can I say...I am sick of all the nonsense and just want to go away and not think about anything for a day! Not going to happen though. Too many things to do and get I sigh one more time, put a smile on my face...and now I am off to work some more..........

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Rainy Days

Unbelievable that it has been so nice, then so cold (we had snow on Sunday) and now rain for days! It makes the farm a mess! I have cleaned the barn out twice today due to all of the cow manure that is accumulating since the cows are hanging out inside. Oh the smell! I can't wait for a nice day...then I am going to completely clean the barn out....right down to nothing and spray it all out and then refill with a good bed of hay.

The chickens don't care if it is raining or not. They are out running around eating up the worms and bugs. Even the four chicks are out running all over...except for when the wind blows, then they hide under the barn or inside it.
The Cornish Rocks are huge! They eat so much food...I have no idea where they put it all. They are up to about 15 cups of food a day between the 20 of them. I have never seen animals eat so much or drink so much. They are drinking down almost 3 gallons of water a day now too....I bet they weigh almost a pound each now! Hoggers lol
The poults are all doing great. They are getting more feathers every day and are eating well. We lost a total of 7 birds, which makes me sad but I don't know what else I could have done. Maybe it was bad genetics or maybe it was the temperature fluctuations....all I know is that it had to be something that happened that was different than usual because I have never lost any birds prior to these. Other than the one that ran away on us last year!
The calves are all doing great! They are gaining weight like crazy now. Norman is up to 147 lbs, Davy is up to 148 and Danny is now a whopping 150 lbs. I wish I could add in videos here...It is adorable to watch them out running in the field. The chase each other, the chickens, Tom the turkey and head butt the ground! They are all good boys, even though Danny escaped the fence somehow today. I can tell you that he does not like to be haltered but, we managed. I think him and I came to an understanding about who is boss. I really need to start working with him and Davy more so that they get used to people handling them....That is definately a project for a nice day so I don't manage to land on my tush trying to keep them under control since they weigh as much as I do now.

Minestrone Soup for dinner tonight. It worked great since I left it simmering for about four hours today. It was done early enough so that I could actually enjoy my meal before chore time. I need to start doing more meals like that...maybe, okay more like hopefully, it will reduce some of stress levels. I have to learn how to plan a little better but sometimes my days are so hectic I don't even have time to go to the bathroom let alone fix a meal. I am kind of hoping that once my step son arrives this weekend, that it will relieve some of these issues. Will be kind of nice to have someone around that will be able to help out a little. I don't need a ton of help, just someone to clean the house, cook the meals, manage a business, pay the bills, take care of the animals....haha just kidding...I just need a little help out now and then...Then I could take a break for a few hours and enjoy a nice hot bath or even sit down to read a book that doesn't involve something for work or maybe even write some letters that I have been meaning to do for some time now.
Well, the sun will be setting here very soon. I still need to finish up a few barn chores and then lock the birdies in for nighty-nighty. Then, since I am still attempting to recoup from yesterday, I am off to bed to rest up for tomorrow.
God Bless and Good Night

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I woke up late this morning and not feeling very well at all. It is difficult to struggle through things sometimes for me. You see, about a year ago I was diagnosed with MS. Today is a rough day for me. I coughed and hacked most of the night last night, which left me exhausted today. I have severe tremors in my right arm and also in my leg. I am attempting to relax and do as little as possible. There are still phone calls to make, emails to send and paperwork that needs to be done....
We are still working on getting the final dates set for our gas lease and getting finalized paperwork for our first loan for the biomass business. Nothing seems to be progessing fast enough. We sit right on the edge of moving forward with a dream and a purpose that will not only help us but will help the local agricultural economy. Maybe we can get this done within the next couple of days but, if I continue feeling like this it is going to make it difficult. It is difficult to talk on the phone when all you do is cough.
Not much else to report as of right now. I think I will attempt to rest until chore time this afternoon. Hopefully that will help me feel better, that and some good sinus meds....
God Bless and stay well....

Monday, May 10, 2010

Funny Farm

This is a funny farm....that by the way, I do not find so amusing sometimes. Between broken gates, escape cows and mishaps, I can't decided which is the worst!
Today has been going okay until about an hour ago when I had a "mishap". I will explain our watering system this way....We had a wagon like the small one's you fasten behind a lawn mower, so we rigged this plastic barrel inside and since it had two openings on the top, we devised a way to put a spout in one of the holes so that we could run a valve. Once the tank lays inside the wagon and the wagon fastened to the four wheeler, we fill the tank with water and take it across the road to fill all of the animals water jugs. This tanks holds about 50 gallons. Needless to say, the ground around here isn't the smoothest and the stupid thing came off of the wagon...even through it was rachet strapped inside! No way can either one of us lift or want to lift 50 gallons of water in a tank back onto a trailer wagon, so out the water goes....I guess that section of corn crops will grow good! Haha!
All is better now. The cows have tons of fresh water, along with the chickens, turkeys and all of the chicks and poults. It is amazing how long it takes just to rinse out and fill water containers around here. But, atleast it is one chore done for the day and that means that there are only two more to do. Cow feeding at 7pm and chicken lock-up at dark. I should be fixing dinner right now, but after a day of endless phone calls and paperwork, this feels nice to just sit and relax for a few.
By the way, to those who know about our cow, her name was BeBe Booper. Not very suiting for a sweetheart like her, so I gave her a new name that seems much more fitting. Her name is now Belle. She reminds me so much of a southern lady. She is sweet and polite. Never pushy or mean. She is so patient with the calves. I have no idea how someone could ever neglect or want to shoot an animal like her....but she has a much better home now and is doing great! I can't wait for the day when all of her hair grows back, her wounds heal and she regains the weight she is lacking. She is going to be a beauty! The Belle of the herd!
I am looking for some suggestions on some new things that I can do with my "junior assistants". Does anyone out there have any great ideas for me?? I am always open to new ideas..........
Any way, I need to get off my tush and get something done. Hope everyone enjoys and God Bless you all.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Broken Fences

Well, just when I thought today was going great and that it would just be one uneventful day that passed by without any issues....Our fence gets broken and we have an escape steer running all over! The dumb steer, Buck, decided that he wanted to come outside of the fence and spend time on the other side. I guess as they say, he thought that the grass was greener on the other side of the fence.
One thing that you need to understand is that our house is on one side of the property and the barns and pasture are on the other side. We live on a hill and unfortunately live right where there is a blind spot when driving up the hill and another when coming down the hill.
So, here we are, attempting to herd a steer that weights some where around 1,000 lbs or more from running into the road. We managed to get him into the barn for his nightly feeding but, while attempting to repair the gate, he escapes again. This time to run right up the road, heading for the neighboors house. A car came down the hill and starting beeping the horn, which scared him causing him to run back down the hill into our front yard and on his way, kicking the whole time! He was running at full speed. He disappear behind the house. I went into the house to get a leash to walk him back but when I came back out the door, he came blasting around the opposite side of the house and straight across the road.
Rich and I managed to get him back into the pasture and without much help from Buck...who kept ramming his head and horns into the barbed wire fence and ripping it from our hands...we managed to get the fence repaired. He is now standing at the fence, staring out across the road toward the house and extremely unhappy that his adventure is over!
Me, personally, I am happy that he is back in and he has been informed that if he doesn't knock it off and stop being a butthead...he will in the freezer before he thought. That stupid steer has eaten up things that only a goat would touch and has just been a stubborn animal. Hopefully, this is the end of our adventures for the day. . . And now it is time to go lock the chicken barn up for the night and have dinner. Good night all and God Bless!

Graduation and Mother's Day

I am proud that I missed posting anything yesterday. I missed the day because we made a round trip to Buffalo, NY to watch our son graduate from Buffalo University. Both Rich and myself are extremely proud of our son(my step-son). It seems like just yesterday he was graduating from high school. He is now a proud graduate of the one of the best engineering school in the country with a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering.
The trip was a rough one. The high winds pushed on the front of the truck working like a brake. Then the wind would push from the side on literally move vehicles sideways. After the graduation ceremony, we sat in the truck waiting for everyone to come out of the building and watched the trees bend sideways and the snow start flying. This weather has been amazing but, I am ready for it to end.
We spent from 8am to 11:30am making the trip to Buffalo and then left at about 3:30pm, took the long way home via the scenic route and made it home around 8pm. It wasn't too bad, other than the weather.
Today is Mother's I hope all the mother's out there have a wonderful and relaxing day. As many of you know, I have tons of "kids" to take care of that unfortunately can't give me cards, flowers or candy. The don't provide me with hot coffee cups in the morning or even breakfast in bed. My children are not home, so this morning it was just me and Rich. And then, of course, the two dogs, the cat, the steer, the cow, the calves, the poults, the chicks, the chickens and the turkeys. The only downfall to my day today has been the inch of snow on the ground and the cooler weather today. I don't take days off but, this got me to thinking about some words that I would like to say to all of those mom's out there.

"No matter how tough your days get, remember that you do the most valuable job in the world. You have been blessed by God above with the ability to do the most thankless job in all the world. You have been chosen to care, teach and provide for children. What an honor God has bestowed on Mother's. The honor of carrying a child within your womb, to give birth to one of His creations. To watch as they take their first steps, get thier first tooth and read their first book. To watch as the go to school the first time, the day the play their first game and get that first homerun. To watch with tear filled eyes as they graduate from school and move on to college or career. To watch as they become married and have children. Through dirty diapers, painful earaches, skinned knees, broken hearts and broken dreams, mothers are always the one's with a healing kiss, a bandaid and the one's who piece together the broken parts of children's lives. Mother's help their children fulfill their dreams and to become responsible adults. Mother's work and worry about their children like no father can. We work without pay and sometimes recieve more attitude than we have ever deserved. The only payment we ask for in return is to see a smile on our children's face. No amount of money will ever take it's place.
I wish every child out there could understand how much a mother's love truely means, before it's too late. I know that not ever mother shares love the way they should and sometimes they don't really have the same feelings that I discribe above but, I know that there are millions of mom's out there who would give their own lives to save that of their child. Even though my mother isn't one of the good mother's out there, she still deserves respect for giving birth to me and showing me things that have eventually been valuable lessons in my life.
Today, I am going to end with a prayer, so God Bless and Good Night.....
God, will you please watch over all of the mother's out there that you have blessed with a most important job. Please give them the patience to deal with each day as it comes. Please provide them all with many, many years of memories and smiles from their children. Thank you God for providing mother's with a special and different kind of love, one that I know you feel every time you look down upon each and everyone of us. Thank you for providing the children of the world with mother's to watch over them. Thank you for sharing your kind heart and thankless work with us. I, and many other mother's, are blessed by your hand. I am humbled and honored by all that you have given. Thank you. Amen.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Tuekey Crossing

Today has been just one of those days.....Already and it is only 9:20 in the morning!

First off, I moved the Rhode Island Red chicks into the barn with the adult chickens. They are all huddled into a corner with a food dish and the hens are all inspecting them over and over. A couple of my hens are a little testy, so I will need to keep an eye on the situation but everyone seems to be managing alright so far.

Norman is lame again. He is in the stall...he went in by himself and is lounging around. He is walking stiff again, but that could have something to do with the rain that we got overnight. I worry about him.
Danny and Davy are doing well and are currently out eating up all of this wet grass. I wonder if it is sweeter after a night of rain. I do know that I am not going to be the one to go test it out.

Tom the turkey decided to be a butthead this morning....and now I need a turkey crossing sign. The idiot likes being around people so much that today, for the first time, he decided that it would be fun to run across the road. I chased him back across the road and back behind the barn assuming that he would decided that was a better place to be. Oh how wrong I was! As I ran, yes I did say ran, back across the road...he was right there on my heels! So back into the gated area I took him. Granted, you need to know that most of our birds go where ever they please and we do not officially have them completely fenced in. He decided to go around the other end...and again chase me right back across the road. I don't know which was worse...him not staying over by the barn or the bluetick hound, Raven, barking up a storm. Right now, he is over on this side of the road, gobbling his voice out in our garage. Ugg...what next????

To make the day even better...I have spilled a whole cup of coffee on the kitchen floor this morning. Spilled on the wet grass and fell on my tush. Got yelled at by a State Trooper for not having Rosie on a leash.....I can already tell that today is going to just be one of those days when I really wish that I could just crawl back into bed and sleep the day away. My patience are worn to thread bare already. And to think.....I have international calls to make today! Maybe I will get lucky and the phone will go out! Haha...doubt it.
Please God grant me the patience to just get through today! And then I can start over again tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Rough Patches and Animal Life

As you will probably notice, I have found the next books on my wish list. There is a series of 12 books (I have seen them in the past and Rich has read three). I would love to be able to get my hands on these books, but with everything the way it stands right now, it is going to be a bit before I can even afford the $13 for the first in the series. The whole collection is $207. I will manage to get them somehow, just need to watch out for them. If anyone sees them cheap and in good shape...please let me know.....
Unfortunately, we have hit a rough patch on the new business and with the lease....we will make it through but it isn't going to happen on the deadline that we have anticipated. I have been on an emotional roller coaster now for two, maybe even three days. I need a vacation so bad it isn't funny...just a couple of days when I don't have to work, take care of animals or stress about what needs to get done. If anyone ever tells you that owning or starting a business is easy....tell them to go to hell, because it just isn't true. This is the toughest work I have ever done in my life. It really isn't physically draining, but mentally, now that is a different story.
On another note, the dandelion syrup is a huge hit. Everyone who tastes it loves it. I am actually working on selling some it now....I need to get out and pick some additional flowers, but time is not on my side right now. The chicks and poults are all doing great...other than the one chick that I tried to smush under the feeder today...dumb thing ran right underneath it. I feel horrible, but it is all cuddled up with the turkey poults for the night and should be alright by morning.
The calves are all doing great. They are steadily eating more food (grain)and grass as each day goes by. Norman is up and walking normally but still isn't running. He is getting a little better each day. Davy is a spooky little one. He doesn't like anything that is different, like his shiney feed dish. I have to feed him from a plastic dish so that he can't see his reflection. Danny is the hog of the bunch. He sucks down all the milk he can, he eats a dish full of grain and still manages to find room in his tummy for a whole mess of grass. He is heavy and is going to turn into a fine bull. Ma is nearly healed on her back now, thanks to an oil from Melaluca. She has a great round belly now and has filled out a little in the rump. She eats almost constant still, but there are times when I have found her lounging with Davy out in the field chewing her cudd.
The big white turkey, Big Momma, is completely healed and taking a vacation from her pesting chicken friends. She decided late yesterday afternoon that she wanted to be inside the turkey barn and away from the chickens and the overbearing Thomas the tom turkey. She spent her day today with the other tom and his woman. She seems to be happy and enjoying herself.
Rosie and Raven have been enjoying themselves with the kids. They are loving all of the attention....although the cat on the other hand is probably ready to go live with the turkeys. Poor Midnight is picked up, carried and hugged more than she ever has been in her life...yet, when Caleb, the 4 year old, comes in the door she still runs right up to his legs....she should know by now that he is going to do all these things to her. She tolerates it, might even enjoy it...for about a half hour and then that is enough...outside she goes with Caleb right behind her while the two of them play hide and seek. Caleb is getting good at that and Midnight needs to learn some new hiding spots very soon.
Rich finally managed to get the back yard garden rototilled tonight. Tomorrow is going to be rock pickin' day! There are a few other things that I need to get done tomorrow building a gate, doing a few business things, dishes, laundry and housework (never ending), dog baths and cleaning out the stall in the barn. Yup, that will about take up the whole entire day. I want to work on getting some of my little projects done, but I think they are going to have to wait until a rainy day....
Well...this chick is ready to go roost for the night and my rooster is already fluffing his I am off to dream a little dream.
God Bless and Good Night.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Dandelion Syrup

Well, needless to say, the animals are loving the cooler weather today...and even the quick burst of rain that flew over today. It's one in the afternoon now and things are quiet around here. The birds are chirping, the neighboors have gone to town and traffic is down to nothing!

My adventure for today was to finish my new recipe for Dandelion Syrup. It is on it's last heating but, since I can't find patience today to save my own life, I have already tasted it! De-Lic-Ious as all I am going to say! Definately worth the time and materials! It reminds me of Wildflower Honey with a little bit of a lemony twist to it. The recipe is about as basic as it comes.

Dandelion Syrup:
4 large handfuls of dandelion flowers, stems removed
2 lbs of sugar (and for those of us who have measuring cups now...that's about 4 1/2 cups)
The juice of 1/2 of a lemon.
1 quart of water
You add the rinsed flowers to a pot with the water. Heat over a low heat until the water begins to boil...this takes a bit, but once the water starts to steam, keep a close eye for the boil. Once the bubbles start popping for the boil, keep it boil for 1/2 minute (I counted to 30 and shut it off, removing from the heat). Allow to cool overnight.
In the morning, strain flowers, pressing out all of the water from the buds. KEEP the liquid. Once strained (I used an old dish cloth after it had been disinfected and dried in the sun) add the sugar and lemon to the flavored water. Over low heat, bring up to temperature and cook until most of the water is gone. You will see the water laying on the top of the "juice" underneath. Once the water is nearly gone, remove from heat and allow to cool. I cheated and used to fridge to bring the temperature down to about body temperature. You then put the pot back over a low heat until thickened to about the same consistency of maple syrup! I then added the syrup to reused glass jars with metal lids that I scalded in very hot water for 15 minutes. The lids resealed themselves.
I am going to make my own labels to put on the jars and WA-LA Dandelion Syrup that tastes a lot like Wildflower Honey with a bit of a lemon flavor to serve over the next batch of pancakes or waffles. I am going to have the neighboors test it out later today....I will let you know what they think!!!
I am going to experiment with some other edible flowers as well. I will let you know exactly what "flavors" I come up with!
Now, I am off to make labels for my jars and to pick some more dandelions in a few (after the sun dries them off) to make a batch of dandelion wine that is a favorite around these parts! I am so proud of myself and happy that I have discovered another long lost delicious thing to add to our family meals!
God Bless and May all of you find as much joy in life as I have!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Cooler Breezes

I sit here listening to the TV and doing a little research on "old homestead" living. There are so many things that I have learned today.

Like how useful those pesky dandelions actually are! Right now, sitting on the stove, is a pot full of flowers that have slowly been brought to a boil and are now "resting" until morning. Then I will add the rest of the ingredients and hopefully by tomorrow night, have a couple jars of Dandelion Syrup on hand! Yes, that's right...I did say Dandelion Syrup. I found a recipe for it today on a website about old fashioned living.

I remember eating dandelion greens in salad when I was little. The are close to spinach in flavor, but the key is to pull them root and all before they flower. I also discovered that you leave the roots on until you are ready to prep the salad, but you don't through the root away....You can roast them and grind them as a replacement for coffee! Oh, and with as much coffee as I drink, you can bet your last dollar that I will be trying this! I will have to keep you updated on how all of this turns out. Tomorrow, (weather pending) I will be picking a whole mess more of the flowers to make dandelion wine, which is definately one of my favorite things to sip on a hot summer night.

Rich tilled the ground up for one of the garden today, which I discovered changed in area from year to year (the less he takes care of the smaller it gets). Tomorrow, we will be tilling the yard garden for the herbs and small plants, to keep the chickens out of them. We bought most of the seeds already, including a few more today. He will get the tilling done and then we will get everything planted and then it is on to harvesting the horseradish.

Hopefully, the weather will be cooler tomorrow too. I want to make up a batch of homemade pasta for dinner tomorrow. Since, we are going to be fixing fish that the "boys" caught yesterday. I am also going to make a new recipe that was shared by a friend. It is called Baked Potato Salad. It sounds delicious and I can't wait to fix some to try.

Well, my show is almost over. It has been great to watch and listen to the history of our great country! It is just another reminder that no matter how hard or difficult things get, we can make long as we stay strong in our hearts and learn how to survive.

Good Night and God Bless.

Sunshine and Sundays

I know that I missed a day or two, but things have been crazy around here. First the weather is freezing cold and snowing, and yesterday we hovered around the 90 degree mark. This weather is tough enough on us but worse on the animals. The cow and one of the calves sure were doing a whole ton of panting yesterday. The drank around 100 gallons of water between them.
Norman is doing great. He is slowly building strength in his hind leg but he is our jumping and trying to run with the other two calves now. Buck is getting bigger with each passing day and is huge! Momma cow is doing great. She is already starting to gain weight, the sore on her back is healing up good, her hair is starting to grow back and her coat is already getting that glossy coat to it. The two calves, Davy and Danny, are doing awesome. The are starting to eat more grain everyday and will be able to be fully weaned in about two or three weeks.
The Cornish Rock chicks seem like they have doubled in size in the last week. The are huge compared to the turkey poults. The four Rhode Island Red chicks are doing great. They are nearly all feathered out now and are learning that they can fly. The new turkey poults did not fair well with all of this temperature fluctuation. Three days ago, they were sent via the mail in 30 degree weather and then two days later, it is 90 out. We have lost 5 poults, something that is extremely rare. I feel bad, but unfortunately, the weather is out of my control and there really isn't anything more that I could have done to help them survive.

On another note, Rich went fishing with his Dad (alone) for the first time in over 20 years. The "boys" had a great time and caught a ton of fish. Rich's Dad was funny, he called Rich Thursday night asking him all kinds of questions and then yesterday when they made arrangements on what time to go...his Dad showed up here about 1/2 hour early. They spent about 5 hours out fishing and both of them came back with big grins on their faces and a stringer full of fish about 9:30 last night. The put the fish in water, put them in the fridge and agreed to fillet them out at 8 this morning. Rich wasn't even out of bed when his Dad pulled in at 7:30 this morning. I guess his Dad was excited and had a great time. I don't think he can wait to go again.
Well, we are off to go enjoy a ride around today. Just one of those nice days to take off with the camera and enjoy the weather. Hope everyone enjoy a peaceful Sunday. God Bless.