Wednesday, July 30, 2008


The Texas heat is exactly what makes Texas mornings so amazingly wonderful. After a day of 105 degrees, the morning 78 is almost cold. My days seem to keep me away from home a lot these days. So this morning I took 15 min to sit in the front yard at sunrise and just allow myself to be amazed. At times like these I know for a fact that there is a God and he is especially fond of every person on this planet to have created such a masterpiece. I wish I could share with you the smell of weeds and herbs as the cool breeze blew to me from the field. As the sun crested the horizon the sky was an amazing shade of clear blue with beautiful tufts of white and grey clouds. V's of white egrets flew right over my house sometimes so close I could see them turn their head down and look right at me. Hummers flew in and took long sips of the cool nectar waiting in 4 feeders hanging along my porch. Pictures never do scenes like this justice but I have to try. There is a peace (lined with longing) knowing that I will not be gardening at all this year. I may plant a large crop of garlic as this must be planted here around October, but until February, that will be it. The rest of the time will be spent building up raised beds and compost piles, finishing chicken coops and painting. That should fill up what is left of the summer. Can you believe tomorrow is July 31 and summer is almost over?

Sunday, July 27, 2008


What is in the air? Someone must have told the hummers that I was putting up a new feeder today because when I woke up and opened the door, there were now at least 10 hummers buzzing my front yard. I which I was quicker with the camera. I will try harder to get pics. But there was so much violence in the front yard it got the mockingbirds going. Now I live in the middle of a huge avian battlefield which I am sure will spread to the other areas and then will be on the news! Maybe I need to put valium in the hummer nectar? Today after work, I am going to clean the goat pens where my horse boards and bring that to the compost pile, rake up the pine needles and pile them in the back by the garden. They are good to mulch blueberries. The I am going to pull everything off the porch and prep the front of the house for paint. I don't have help so I will be doing this myself. This should be very interesting. I will work on the house til dark every night this week when I get home.

But before that I made coffee and sat in my chair in the front yard, watching the battle and listening the wind chime and the birds and enjoyed the morning so much. That is a dangerous thing to do though. I came up with all kinds of ideas!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008


I know that there are amazing places in the United States but for me Texas is perfect. (ok so maybe a white sand beach, rum punch and a cabana boy in attendance is perfect but you know what I mean!) Not too much cold, not too much mud, lots of heat. This morning was one of those mornings that make me grateful to be alive and living in Texas. At 7am it was cool. Drinking coffee and cleaning out the turkey pen the birds and cicadas where just waking up. I could hear the sound of my wonderful wind chime everywhere I went.

The hummers were swarming the feeder thankful for the fresh cool nectar.

In two hours I had mowed, cleaned and fed turkeys and started the compost pile. Since this year is kind of a wash for produce the plan is to work hard to prepare for next year. I must get the fence up to block off the garden area since Bull is convinced he is helping me by "ariating" my gardens. Then there is the chicken house. The plan is to get it finished in the next month (hopefully) so the chickies can get established before winter.

While working hard outside I happened to look up at Bull. I had put him up when I found that he had been gardening in the night. He had gotten his head caught in a large silver tarp and was waiting patiently for me to help him out. I have said it before...he is a special needs doggie....but I love him anyway.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


It must be Christmas. I brought home my first load of rabbit manure from a lady who raises show rabbits. So this is really fancy poo. I was half way home, talking on the phone to a very special friend, driving 60 MPH and I look over and sitting on the passenger seat is the biggest ugliest bug you have ever seen in your life! AND IT TURNED IT'S HEAD AND LOOKED AT ME!! It got away when I tried to kill it. Now all I could think was the bags of fancy poo in the back seat of my car must be teaming with the giant bugs that look at you. I had 10 more miles to go! I made it home and got the fancy poo out of my car, built my new raised bed and poured in some of the poo. The rest will go into the compost pile so those giant mystery larvae can grow and multiply. Maybe when they grow up we can have intelligent conversations.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Farm Doctor

Can you believe it has already been 10 days since Bull lost his marbles?? Well now what? The stitches have to come out but I have to go to work. How do you get a 78 pound hyper puppy to lay still while you cut and pull stitches in an area that he is not going to want you to mess with? Well I thought and thought. I let him help me water the turkeys, pick basil out of the garden, say hello to the hissy kitty, all of his favorite things. Then he got to go inside with must be Christmas. He really is a gullible doggy. I got the scissors and the tweezers. Then I got a cool wet rag to wash the area with and this was the key. I made him lay down and when I put the cool rag on the stitches, he completely relaxed. For the rest of the procedure he never moved but simply watched what i was doing. See I believe in miracles. Sorry Bull said no pictures!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Thankful for 100

This morning I walked outside to water the turkeys and thought my skin was going to melt at how hot the sun was even this early in the morning. So I wanted to post a photo reminding me why I am loving this 100 degree weather! I am so excited though because using an online classified site I found a person with a lot of rabbit manure available and I will be going to her house today to get a load!!! This I feel is the key. Nothing will grow in this soil and without getting a soil test I am pretty sure that due to the sandy nature of the soil the nutrients simply have leached out since the prior owners seem to have only grown and mowed grass here. Between my rabbit source, the turkeys until they are in the freezer, horse manure and goat manure from the barn I keep my horse at, chickens soon and grass clippings, I will soon have the earth here teaming with life! Have you ever thought about the simplicity of compost and how blessed we are with it?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Farm life is very true and very real. But it is also very hard sometimes. Some people have the time and money to raise nothing but pets on their farms. I do not have that luxury. Neither did my grand parents. I believe that God provided me this farm with so much potential for self reliance, but I need to do my part...even the hard part. But today I can see the benefit of partial vegetarianism. Culling a weak animal from your flock or heard may not be easy, but it is very necessary. As I was waiting for my friend to call me and trying to build up the courage to go out and kill my big tom turkey who had developed a hernia, I had an epiphany. If I did not overcome this hurdle, I never would. What was holding me back? Suddenly a mental wall went up and I knew right then that I could do this. I, in my pj's, slid on my tie died farm clogs, grabbed my hatchet in hands clad in yellow dish washing gloves, tied back my hair and off I went, briefly wondering what my neighbors would think if they saw me like this. My second thought (excuse) was if he wasn't within reach of the door of the cage I would not be able to do this. He was laying right in front of the door and simply stood up when I opened the door as if to say, "I thought today would be the day." I took his legs and wrapped my arms around him and did not make eye contact. He died quickly and calmly. I will get better at this. Maybe next time maybe I won't cry so much.

Monday, July 14, 2008


Well I had to wait til Tuesday before I dare step foot in Home Depot to get what I need to finish the chicken house. So I saw a spay and neuter clinic in Greenville was open today. I asked Bull if he wanted to go for a ride and the silly boy said yes! What was he thinking! I don't think he will ever go for a ride with his momma again.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Ok, it is time for chickens. I was watching videos on you tube last night of roosters crowing. I can't wait any more. The sucess with the fire has increased my self confidence and I know what ever I mess up Tommy will fix it when he comes home on leave. So here is the starting place...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A new accomplishment

Ok this seems small to a lot of you, but fear really does rule many areas of my life and prevents me from "blooming" into a real homestead woman. One of the things that I fear is having a fire, either a bon fire, fire in the fire pit, or burning trash, that gets out of control. I usually always wait until someone else is there before I burn. Sounds kind of silly right? Well tonight I had a fire all by myself! Very exciting. Bull needed a warm place to dry off after his bath.

Friday, July 11, 2008

A New Personal Challenge

Oil prices! Gas Prices! 1 Hour drive to work! Credit Cards! Calgon Take me Away!!!

Ok, so we can't hide from what is going on in the economy. It is taking it's toll on even the hermits I know. Most of us are not self reliant yet so what can we do to help our selves?

Well here is my own personal plan for the farm. It doesn't grow anything yet so I am stuck buying from the grocery store for now. I have only Bull and the kitties to play with most of the time so what new game can I play? HOW LOW CAN IT GO?

That is the name of my new game. I want to see how low I can get my monthly costs each month (without suffering too horribly...after all it is Texas in the summer).
Cell Phone
Gasoline usage
These are the items that are flexible...lets see how low I can get them

Other than house pmts, insurance and such, I have three credit cards with balances that need to go away....Total...(yikes) $4850!! This includes the tractor. My goal? 4 month pay off! Why else am I working so much overtime?

Cold Turkey Items

I have created a spread sheet to track my $ and will keep all my receipts.


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Bull's Family Reunion

Bull slowly came to realize that my farm was his new home. He missed his mommy dog and brothers and sisters but he loved his new family too. Lane and Kailyn were is pack babies and Karri and I were Mommy and Auntie. Uncle Tom came home for a short while and Uncle Matty brought sister Dixie Dog. She was so much fun! She taught Bull how to chase kitties and bite the toes off of the turkeys! But then something sad happened. The army called Uncle Tom, Aunt Karrie, his pack babies and Dixie Dog to NC. Bull didn't know she was gone at first. He thought she was hiding. He looked and looked for many hours, then when his heart was too heavy to keep looking, he just sat on the porch and waited for her. This made his Mommy very sad and she cried a lot those first few days. But we both got better with time. After a while, Bull told mommy he missed his brothers and sisters. Mommy had talked to another Mommy of sister Sugar Bea. She knew some of the other mommies and daddies and soon a party was planned. The first annual (or semi annual maybe) Bull Family Reunion. The mommies, daddies, doggies and adopted doggies all came and brought food. There was also an adopted sister dog and Bull's Aunt Christy brought Stuey Squishy Face. He thought he was the biggest doggie there. For 6 hours Bull was the perfect host. He welcomed cars, people and dogs, shared his bones, shared his pool and pond and they all ate hot dogs. It was a wonderful day. When he said good bye to the last car, bull's mommy couldn't tell if he was sad or just tired, But Bull slept very very well that night and dreamed about playing with his brothers, sisters and Sir Squishy Face.

Sunday, July 6, 2008


Ok, What does every great farm have? A lazy dog on the front porch of course. A dog who will protect and serve. So when I got the email from My sister about golden retrever puppies for free, I knew It was the perfect opportunity. My daughter in law was living with me and could help me potty train. And he would not be alone so much every day while I am at work. I already knew his name...Bull. I knew Jayden and Dakota (grandboys)should be the ones to pick him out. We traveled up to Princeton TX and walked into the home with 11 puppies. Dakota walked straight over, picked up the biggest one....Jayden looked at him and said, "Yep that's him". Thus there is Bull. Full Blood Golden Retriever. Sure enough Mommy dog was a beautiful Golden. Now girls you must admit that there are times in our lives when we make a decision based on other things than our good sense. Our hearts get lonely, and along comes the big, strong, silent type and he sweeps us off of our feet...or paws. Well by the time Bull was 2 months old we all knew who daddy had been. Not a golden but a Great Pyrenees! When Bull was 2 months old he could stand up and put his paws on the bathroom counter. 3 months old the kitchen counter. At 5 months old he weighs 63 pounds. He loves me so much. Almost as much as his mousie. And he loves grand kids...he just doesn't know how to control all 63 pounds yet.

Saturday, July 5, 2008


Ok I am doing it! Online with the hatchery, just typed in the 16 digit number for my credit card and hit enter. Not quite the way your granny ordered poultry, but it's they way I order poultry. Makes me wonder how my grand kids will order. I can't begin to explain how it felt when I hit enter. That was it. I am on the list. My turkey babies are going to hatch on April 14th. They will be at the Royse City post office at 6am on the 16th! Within moments (maybe seconds) of hitting enter, the weather came on...yep you guessed it...a blue northern!!! IN TEXAS....IN APRIL!! For any of you that are familiar with TX, April should be hot...or at least comfortable. No Northerns Allowed!! I believe it had something to do with my ordering turkeys. Yep on the morning I picked up the babies, the wind was whipping and it was about 38 degrees and I had no power in the shed and the wind? You guessed it...straight out of the East! the open side of the turkey pen! So guess where they slept? The guest room. Where all good civilized turkeys should sleep right? They were so cold...they must be. After all they had been in a cold deliver truck for 2 days. But I was ready! I had the heat light going...the big red one that the local feed storm sold me (the same kind that keeps your food hot and germ free at Luby's)...AND a space heater. Two had died enroute...20 left. I had read the book and knew what to do. I didn't know that they would try to go swimming in the water container. Try as I might one after another would get it's self wet, chilled and keel over and die. I had lost 6 when my mom and dad decided to go over while I was at work to see if they could figure out what was happening. I got the call that all aspiring farmers hate to get. " are roasting your turkeys a little early aren't you?" Ok so when a little one got wet it would get chilled if I didn't crank the heat right? Kind of, except the poor little things were probably trying to cool off since it was about 150 in the guest room. My dad opened the window while my mom took them and dunked their little feet into cold water to revive them. Dad got busy and boxed in the roost box outside so that they would have more room to get away from my good intentions. And 12 survived! Ok Now I know what I am doing! Really!!! Now I am ready for Chickens!!!

First day outside.2 wks 5 days old

Hoping to keep one

3 weeks old

5 weeks old

2.5 Months old!