Saturday, December 27, 2008

TrackHoe !!!

Sheila eat your heart out!!! hehe Love ya!!

The neighbors behind us have rented this BIG trackhoe through New Year's to dig themselves a pond. He has loaned it to all of us who need any work done-He's done all he can do. Unfortunately-it started raining( go figure!) AGAIN and now it way too wet to do much. Jeff's older brother, Curtis,Jr. is a whiz operating heavy machinery and he is gonna dig himself a pond. Curtis got the drainage ditch dug for the culvert the county put in the road in front of our house(and put it in at the wrong angle-the water was draining into Jeff's shop). He also got the sweet gum tree pushed around and off the fence that fell during IKE . We were hoping to get some work done on our pond-but with all the rain-it's just to wet for that heavy a piece of equipment in our back pasture. Sure don't want to bury that thing out there!! We got another cold front in this afternoon and the temps dropped 20 degrees in about 20 minutes with rain and thunder.

We're going up to our friends-Sheila and Alfred's-for the evening. They are having some family over for fellowship and snacks-always a GREAT time! With the weather cold and drizzly-we'll probally have to stay inside instead of out around the fire :( We all really enjoy just sitting around an open fire and talking.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

And The Stockings Were Hung........

...And there's NO ROOM for more!!!! Our family continues to grow-which is a blessing-but I told the kids I have No more room for any more stockings-That means that even though I LOVE my grandkids- Everyone needs to just slow down on that page for AWHILE! There are currently 14 stockings hanging and there ain't room for even 1 more!!

Our typical Texas weather's been at it again!! It was nearly 80 degrees on Saturday, only to not get over 40 Sunday and yesterday. Then we got our normal sleet and freezing rain over night on Sunday. Today it's raining and will be in the 60's-low 70's tomorrow and low 60's for Christmas Day. Then another cold front for the weekend. We've had NO sunshine for what seems like weeks-and it's really starting to get to me-I need my vitamin D!!!!

I started some Christmas cooking yesterday-until I ran out of butter-What's up with that? I'm always stocked up with all I need-So I had to call Julie at Wal-Mart and have her bring me some home. She was glad to be reminded-she was nearly out and would need extra to bake her Buttermilk pies! I made No-Bake fruit cake (which is the ONLY kind we'll eat!) and No-Bake Cookies (OH-is there a pattern here-I thought I was BAKING!) yesterday and will BAKE the Christmas Muffins, Pecan Pie, and Christmas Tree cakes today-I think.
Well, in case I get too busy over the next few days and don't get back here-MERRY CHRISTMAS to everyone-Have a safe and happy time!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

New Wood Heater!

Rascal wants to know where in the heck are we taking HER heater????
Jeff setting up the new heater-with his consultants-Jordan & Kaytlynn-looking on.

Rascal trying it out for the first time-I think she approves!!

We finally broke down and did it!! Sunday morning we decided we'd had enough of all the smoke coming in the house and called Tractor Supply to see if they had one in stock. Of course they did!!! I dearly have LOVED the heater we have-We traded 2 pigs and $20 for it from an old friend-it had a glass front and I could watch the fire burn-which I love to do!!! The only problem was every time you opened it to put more wood in-smoke just bellowed out of it. We tried everything to stop it-even rerouted the stove pipe up through the ceiling and roof(leaving a most beautiful hole in the wall behind the heater). Anyway, the new one is a little smaller-but has a blower attached to the back and is lined with firebricks-which the old one had neither of. Rascal has taken to this one, too, but I haven't caught her underneath this one yet. She is SO cold natured-we had to take her harness off for fear she'd get trapped underneath the old heater. She seems to be content to just lay beside this one on the tiles-the blower must be helping! Now if we can just get past all the burning paint and curing smell we'll be fine!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Shopping!!

I think I'm finished with my shopping!!!! WooHoo!!! For a family that wasn't gonna do a big Christmas this year-it sure took alot to get it done!! The weather has turned off cold and dreary again-our typical East Texas weather!!! The fog was so thick when Alana and I left Livingston yesterday-but I'm now finished shopping-OH-durn-I just remembered 1 other thing I have to pick up :(
The kids are almost through with school, too. Jordan's last day is tomorrow and Hailey has a half day on Friday. I haven't worked yet this week and really would like to-but no openings are available!! Jeff has to work next week-he's off for Christmas for 2 days-then has to go back on Friday. Then his vacation starts -he won't return to work til after Near Year's. He can't wait!! We are gonna try to get down to the beach and get some work done on the lot-weather permitting. And we have some fences that need to be worked on around here-so as usual-lots to be done!
I didn't start the Amish bread the other day-I counted up and I'd be baking Christmas day-I have enough to bake that day!! So I'll start it in a few more days I think! Sheila-Congrats on your truck-How bad did Alfred's head spin putting on the part?? hehe Everyone have a great day-Stay warm!!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Slow Weekend ?

I was thinking that we had a pretty slow weekend (probally 'cause I got a nap in each day-WOW!!), but when I got to thinking about all we had done-we were busy. Went to Conroe on Saturday morning - after I had an hour & a half phone call from a dear friend that had the beach house next to us. Pat-I SO enjoyed talking to you and Congrats again on the first grandbaby-a little girl!!! Got a BIG roll of hay in Conroe-payed too much for it-but it's REALLY good hay. Also picked up Jeff's beehive-they didn't have the top or bottom boards-but he can easily build them. We went to the outlet mall-with a HUGE roll of hay in the back of the truck!!! You wouldn't believe the questions we were asked about it!!!. Anyway-I needed to go the Kitchen Store to get a peel and a bread stone to try out a new bread recipe. Then when we got home-I took a nap-after breaking out in hives-go figure! Later we got ready to go to Jeff's Christmas Party for work. It wasn't a very good party this year- not many people showed up-it was catered with fried catfish-it was alright-I didn't care for the DJ at all. Well, Sunday, we got busy around here trying to get some clean up outside done-It's been in the high 60's to low 70's since the snow the other night. We got the chicken tractor moved closer to the big chicken pen and the old layers-who are laying better than the young ones right now-put them in with the other hens and put the bitties in the chicken tractor so they'd have more room. And got the new rabbit cages hung in the rabbit shed. I should have 3 litters due in the next month. I tried out the new bread recipe-I really liked it. Jeff took some to work with him-so I guess he liked it too! It's an artisan bread thats REALLY easy-and it makes 4 loaves-the dough just stays in the frig for up to 2 weeks. I'm gonna make up the Amish Friendship starter today-I think. My Grandmother gave me some 20 years ago or more. We loved it! I still have the original instructions she gave me with her handwritten notes on it-it'll be the one I use and give out with the starter to friends.
I was hoping to get to work today-but no phone call this morning :( This 4 1/2 day week is the last to go on next months paycheck-I've only worked 3 days this time! And Alana wants to go do some last minute shopping without the kids-she's babysitting today-so no go today!
The weather is changing YET again!! The temp has dropped 6 degrees since I sat down at the computer! It started out at 60 degrees and is dropping to 39 by early afternoon-East Texas weather!!! Shorts yesterday-Coats today!!!! Have a great day!!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Snow Day!!!!!

Never say NEVER!!! We got our first REAL snow in more than 30 years! I remember getting snow when I was 12 years old-but it wasn't anything like we got last night!! Like I said earlier-We usually get ice/sleet storms here. Randy got to make his first ever snowman-Isn't he proud??!!!
Hailey stayed home from school-I hated it 'cause she messed up her perfect attendance. But I know I would have kept my own kids home today so they could play in the snow. It could be YEARS before we see this again!

Snow on the brocolli.

Snow on the cedar logs in the pasture-These will be fence post before too long!


Snow on a pile of firewood.

Hailey standing on the firewood.

Snow on the ground.

Snow on the Century plant coming into our driveway.

And snow on the wagon wheel coming into the driveway.

The weather man says it would melt by 8:00am-But it's almost 8:30 now and still about 29 degrees. It shows no signs of melting yet!! It looks So different outside-I'll hate to see it melt away. The traffic in Houston is just awful this morning(we're an hour or so North of Houston) with all the overpasses iced over-We're just not used to this kinda weather!! But, boy-I'm gonna enjoy it while it's here!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


We NEVER get snow in our area of East Texas!! It gets cold and we might get a ice storm every few years-but nothing like what's happening tonight!! 30 degrees at 4:00pm is a little cool even for here!
This is the sleet that we started getting about 4:30 this afternoon.

Then by nightfall-there was enough ice for the grandkids to really start playing in it. They thought it was snow!! They aren't old enough to ever have seen this kind of ice storm before!

Randy thought he'd get in on the fun, too!! He ran and jumped up on the trampoline with the kids-only managing to fill his pants with sleet pellets!!

Madyson is not sure about all this cold stuff everywhere!

Jordan, Cayden, and Hailey on the trampoline.

Hailey making her first ever snow angel.

The snow that had accumulated on the bbq pit in the back yard-This is before it really started snowing!

Randy catching snowflakes on his tongue. By this time-the snow was REALLY falling!! Some of the flakes are as big as 50 cent pieces!! We've NEVER seen snow like this in our lives!

Kimberly and Mady-Kim's lived in Colorado and she said she doesn't ever remember seeing snow fall like what we are getting right now!!

I'm sorry to just be going on and on about this-BUT S-N-O-W is something we haven't really seen in like 40 years around here. Like I said-we get ice storms where everything freezes over and power lines snap. Can't wait to get up in the morning to see what everything looks like!!! It is sticking now and should look just beautiful in the daylight!!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Jerky and Milk

I made 2 batches of deer meat jerky for Randy-One on the right is already done-The other is just starting to dry. This stuff doesn't last long around here-It gets eaten like candy -better for you, too.

Jeff milked again tonight and the onorary old cow put her FRONT foot in the bucket just as he was finishing up! Dang her~~ Had to give the milk to the pigs!!! And it looked like at least a gallon tonight!! Maybe I should start looking into buying a milking machine-sure would be easier on Jeff's back!!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Jeff with the fresh milk-not much for the first time-but it'll get better!
Jeff, Alana, and Hailey Suzanne-He had LOTS of helpers this morning!

Jeff and Wyatt-Wyatt had never milked a cow before!

Cleaning off her bag to get ready to start milking.

We separated the calves from Mama Cow yesterday-so Jeff milked for the first time this morning in a year. We dried her up on Thanksgiving week last year cause it was cold and we were going out of town every weekend to the beach and no one wanted to come over and milk for us. Anyway-Jeff got 3 quarts of milk-He hasn't milked yet this evening-we've had a crazy kinda afternoon. I got 5 more rabbits today-so I have to decide where to put them-they came with cages-but don't fit right in my shed. I need major overhauls on ALL of them!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christmas Tree Farm Visit

This year's tree-the last from our favorite tree farm!!Jeff and Mady cutting their tree.
Jeff and Hailey cutting our tree.

Jeff and CayCay cutting our tree.

Jeff, Julie and the girls at the tree farm.

Well we made our annual trip to the Christmas Tree Farm in Tarkinton yesterday afternoon.

Only thing-it was so SAD!! There were hardly ANY trees there!! WE did manage to pick out 2-then took them up front to be shook and bagged. While talking to the owners, we found out that this is their last year-OH NO!!! We've been bringing our kids and grandkids here for YEARS now!! It was the end of a tradition!! We left so depressed that something else is now gone from our lives.

Mom's heart tests all came back fine!! What a relief!!!! She had just about worked herself into a tizzy over it-but she's OK!!! We did a little shopping afterward and she was great!!

I get to babysit today-Julie's 2 youngest-Cayden & Madysen. It'll be a fun day-Trying to keep a 22 month old out of the Christmas tree and all the decorations-Maybe I'm getting TOO old for this!!! I love them to death-BUT they can be a handful!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Cold Outside!

Well, the old saying around here goes-If you don't like the weather today-Wait 'til tomorrow!! When I got up yesterday-it was warmer than when we went to bed on Tuesday night. It stayed warm all day-off and on little showers-of course after I put 2 loads of laundry out on the line to dry! They did manage to dry-then right after 9:00-the cold front ARRIVED! The temps started dropping FAST. Now this morning its 40 degrees and not expected to get out of the 50's all day-now that's pretty cool for this neck of the woods!
Randy shot his first deer in over 10 years on Tuesday (actually only the 2nd one he's ever got!). Talk about one excited big ole boy!! He was still shaking even after him and his dad got it cleaned!! So we had fried deer steak for supper last night! YUMMY!
Mom will be here in a few hours-I have to take her back over to Conroe for her next heart test-this time echo with the dye. Tomorrow we go back for all the test results-she is so nervous! I told her if she didn't just calm down-she's gonna make herself sick!!
I'm gonna stop by one of the feed stores over in Conroe today to see about picking up Jeff another bee hive. All of our old ones have just about rotted away. We did manage to scrap together an old one last week-he's trying to capture 2 different hives from trees. One is behind Mom's house in a neighbor's yard-and the other is in a tree at his brother James' house. This tree was blown over during IKE and is just full of honey and bees!! So Jeff's gonna try to lure them into the hive body and bring them home. We haven't had hives in years and he really wants to get started with them again!! Wish him luck!!!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Green Things!

Here is grandson, Jordan, bringing in the GREEN STUFF from the garden and chicken pen yesterday. Jeff cut the biggest of the broccoli-I picked 5 more snow peas to add to my collection in the freezer ( I should have enough to cook in a week or two ! ) and the 1 and only egg (what's up with that !) we got yesterday-a green one. I meant to cover up the remaining squash plants-there are a few small ones left-because it's really cold out there this morning-29 degrees @ nearly 6:00 am. Frost all over the windshields-which reminds me-gotta go warm up the Jeep so I can go to work. Have a wonderful day!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving Holiday ?

This is the same beach where the picture of Jeff and I was taken that is posted on our about us page at the beginning of our blog. We were sitting with our backs to this part of the beach -although that spot is now under water. You used to be able to drive down the beach quite a way from the dunes-what is left of them in this picture is the black hump with the waves crashing off it. Homes were built right up next to them on the left side.

Sheila and me standing in front of what's left of the beach house. It just looked so much worse this weekend. I'll say it was because the weather was so gray and gloomy.

We have been home so little these last 4 days- it seems like home is a Bed & Breakfast!!!! Thanksgiving was wonderful-the weather was warm enough that we basicly stayed outside in the yard visiting with everyone all day. That meant we never left to go see anyone else either :( Alana and I got to Wal-Mart - and home without any problems-but it was a mad house. Couldn't believe the news later that someone had been killed in the mass going in the one in New York!! That's just horrible!! No amount of money saving is worth someone's life!!! WE came home-Jeff and I took a nap-then headed to Livingston. We stood in line for over an hour to check out in Baskin's. I know Jeff's back was killing him!! We made a few more stops-then ran by Mom's-then by Sheila & Alfred's. We later met them in Cleveland for supper. Before we found a place to eat-their son Jeremy called-they were admitting him into the hospital in Conroe with blood poisoning in his hand. So we ran over there and checked up on him. They kept him over night and released him Saturday night. We met them again on Saturday morning and took a drive down to the beach-they hadn't been since IKE. It just seemed SO much worse this time-maybe because it was overcast and windy. We found a few more things buried in the mud in the yard. And we drove down to Crystal Beach for the first time-MAN-It looks like a bomb went off down there!!! It's just awful! There is debris everywhere. Nothing that we saw was even open and doesn't look like it will be for a long time. There are still abandoned cars along the sides of the road and ruble is everywhere. It is just heart breaking to see. We decided we were blessed to have all of our stuff gone-than to have to deal with that kind of cleanup!! Sunday morning it had turned out REALLY windy and cold-And of course-the greenhouse is coming apart-AGAIN!! Jeff says now we need more of the clamps that I found at the dollar store-the same one we had bought at Lowe's! Yesterday was the first day I had been able to even check on it-I needed some green onions for the seafood gumbo I was making-which turned out great-and the beets are coming up! Still waiting on the lettuce and the spinich. We had to go up to Mom's and load some logs of Shorty's to take to Alfred's sawmill and to get a roll of hay for the cows. Again it was right at dark by the time we got home to feed. So the whole holiday I've had just enough time to load the dishwasher and wash a few loads of clothes. My house is a WRECK!!! I think I might could fill up a new vaccumn cleaner bag with just the dirt off the carpet in the livingroom floor!! And all the kids are wanting to go to the Christmas tree farm and get our trees-My house has to be cleaned up first-I can't start dragging all those decorations out with the mess in here! Guess I'll just have to get in gear today and get busy!!!