Saturday, December 22, 2012

Busy Times!

We have been pretty busy around here the last few weeks-but are hoping to slow down a little this afternoon-then by late tomorrow as well. We've had 2 deaths in our little community this week-one to be expected when God calls an elderly man home-but the other quite a shock when He calls home a man not much older than yourselves when he's just had stints added to his heart and should have been getting better. Funerals are today and tomorrow. Sad times here at Christmas!
We've had a good bit of cold weather/frost here as well over the last few weeks. Even after covering things in the garden-frost got the last of nearly everything-even the broccoli. We've never had the frost bother it before. Had to harvest it up fast! I'm sitting in the dark as I type-we are without power this morning-which is really strange considering that we had high winds this last week and it never even blinked off once!
 I posted the last 6 of the bunnies for sale as Christmas bunnies and sold them all in less than 24 hours-Whew! Off the fed bill! The little pigs we bought are doing well-had a little concern over them for a week or so. They kinda got sick with coughs-then scours. But we finally got them all cleared up-they never stopped eating though!
Jeff finally got a deer-thank you Lord! And a friend trapped 2 hogs on his place and gave them to us as well. Ed only wants a couple of links of sausage-which will most likely be delivered to him today!
School's out for the Christmas break-I go back on 1/7/13-so I have some time off. I hope to get some work done on my quilt and a little work on arranging some things in the house as well as getting started on the income taxes-yuck! But I have a whole drawer of receipts that have to be organized-and I do this every year-Heah-maybe that's a good job for the grandkids one day-I can put them to sorting and putting in order! I think I just solved that one!
Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Baby Calf-Finally!!!

 Sugar finally had her calf today-a little heifer!! So cute-looks almost exactly like her older sister-Oreo-but this one has a little more black on her face. CayCay gets to name this one-I believe she has chosen Sally-we'll see if it suits her or not. Jeff texted me a picture of her when he found her-I had to show my boss. I laughed and told her when you have 30 cows it's no big deal-but when you've only got 1 cow-it's front page family news!!
Kylie got to meet a rabbit tonight as well-she loved it! I couldn't get a pic fast enough-she was giving it kisses. Alana even put her in the hutch with them-she had a ball-her own little petting zoo!
Well, December is almost upon us and our calendars are beginning to fill up. It always is a busy time of the year-but much to be thankful for and happy about-I love it. I've tried to commit to not getting caught up in too much of the commercialism this year-to slow down and just enjoy the season this year. We've got most of our shopping done-only a few more gifts to buy-yeah-then we're finished and gonna sit back and enjoy it!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Fall Garden Pics

 Isn't this one of the cutest things ever? It's a baby eggplant-only about the size of a quarter. Hopefully it will have time to mature before we get any really bad freezing weather! It's supposed to be up near 80 by Sunday with our next front due early next week.
 One of the leftover tomatoes-with a smaller one in the background-still lots of blooms on them, too. We do have a few plants in the greenhouse. May have a few this winter!!
 The cabbage patch!
 One of the heads of broccoli-we finally got it to grow-after putting up a fence around them to keep out the rabbits!
And the potatoes-grown in old tree stumps and a 5 gallon bucket-we haven't tried this before-let you know how it turns out.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

New Pigs!

We bought 2 new pigs today after church. Jordan went with us and we took a trip into Cleveland to the old auction barn where people set up to sell their animals. Jeff and I had gone on Wednesday- but saw nothing we wanted to spend any money on! We thought we'd give it another chance today-boy were we glad! The first people with pigs wanted $90-100 each-and we really thought about getting one-they were really nice looking. We decided to keep looking and just a few trucks down-we found these for $60 a piece! We got a Poland China boar and a Duroc gilt. They are between 3 and 4 months old and are just as fat and healthy as can be. We still want to get Lucy bred and I guess she'll have just one more shot at it when this guy gets big enough.
And we got 9 eggs today-what a blessing to have fresh eggs and meat in the house. So many people these days have no idea where their food comes from-much less what the animals were fed or what they died of! It makes me sick just thinking about it sometimes! YUCK!!
It's back to work and school tomorrow-and I know that I'm blessed to have a job that I really do love! So many people are out of work or just working seasonal jobs at the moment-it is so sad. We are so fortunate and sometimes just way to forgetful of everything God has given to us. As we enter into this season of celebrating His birth-let's try to remember most of all what we are here for and what the real reason for Christmas is. Let's keep Christ in Christmas!!
Have a great week!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving (a day late!) & Wonderful News!

Hope everyone's Thanksgiving was as great as ours was-lots of family-although not as many as normal-but way too much food! We ate at Jeff's mom's and had family in and out all day. Randy & Casey came from home and even stayed the night before leaving for the Dallas area this morning to meet up with her family. And they surprised us with the most wonderful news-they are expecting! She hasn't been to the doc yet-but looks like baby is due in July. Two of Jeff's nieces are also pregnant and due right about the same time-so we'll have 3 new babies next summer!
Alana, Kylee and me did a little Black Friday shopping-if you want to call it that! We didn't get to the store until nearly 10 and hit just a few places-then came on back home. It still was much more crowded than last year-I felt like nearly the only person shopping last year.
Jeff is out hunting again right now-we are going to meet with Sheila & Alfred shortly to go out and eat. Jeff's gonna hunt again in the morning-he still hasn't even seen a deer-but a cool front is moving in-so he's hoping it will stir them up. Jason is coming out next weekend and they are gonna hunt together.
Here is a picture of the smoked ham when Jeff took it out of the smokehouse-oh my gosh it is SO good! He took the bacon down at the same time. I cooked a pot of great white northern beans with some of the ham in them-oh they were good! We are still getting eggs from the pullets-you can see a few in the background-no green ones that day though. And we had 2 litters of bunnies born-only 3 in each-so 6 Christmas bunnies will be available for sale!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Summer Sausage & Jerky!!

 We tried our hand at making Summer Sausage for the first time this week. We were using up some ground deer meat we had. This is what it looked like before curing over night in the frig-then cooking it. This was a total of 6 lbs of meat.
 And we also made up 14 lbs of deer jerky sticks. We haven't made the sticks in quite awhile-the casings themselves have gotten expensive-it took $9.99 worth for the 14 pounds! We had both dehydrators full!
And the final product-it turned out GOOD!!! We'll have a hard time saving some for Randy-him and Casey will be here for Thanksgiving and we're under strict orders to save him some!
Been busy-taking Mom back and forth to the Doctor-and my Dad's in the hospital now-a real mystery-but they think all the problems are being caused by a new med they put him on last week. He's had to have his gall bladder taken out-his liver and kidney functions still aren't real good and may have to have dialysis tomorrow.
The weather has turned a little cooler-Jeff and Darren butchered the smaller white sow yesterday-so we have sausage hanging in the smokehouse as we type!! We'll package up the pork chops, etc when we get home from Church-WOW-weatherman just said we are under our first frost warning of the season-better go get more firewood in-we'll need it in the morning!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Fall Flowers on the Farm-Apple Trees & Cheerleaders!

 My Angel Trumpet in full boom-again! The smell is SO sweet-but I haven't seen any bees buzzing around them.
 The 2 apple trees we bought at Lowe's today-they had them 50% off-so 2 for the price of one! We got 1 Dorset and 1 Anna-both green ones.
 Jeff's coral vine-we bought this one nearly 10 years ago in Brenham while staying there on our anniversary. It starts out growing really slow every year-doesn't do much of anything all summer-but after the first little cool snap we get-it just takes off growing like crazy-then blooms with the prettiest little blossoms!

Our little cheerleader-Hailey is really enjoying her time cheering! They are wearing the pink bandanas for Breast Cancer awareness month.
We've had to treat 1 of the hives for beetles-the weaker one had a pretty heavy infestation of them. We'll check tomorrow to see how many we've caught!
Jeff's had no luck hunting so far-and we've just been staying so busy-he's hardly had much time to hunt. We kinda took a personal day today-and spent a great deal of it in Conroe-just trying to get caught up on errands and get a little Christmas shopping done. We really had a good day and enjoyed each others company!
The weather can't seem to decide if it wants to be cool or down right warm! Today-it was in the mid 40's-Jeff had a fire going when I got up this morning-and now-we nearly turned the ac back on! Now the weather man is saying the high next Saturday will be in the low 70's-bring it on!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

MAJOR Update!

No-we didn't fall off of the face of the Earth-at least not yet! I really didn't realize that 3 whole months have gone by since I last posted-we've been SO busy! Our summer vacations went by quickly-but lots of fun! The off-shore fishing trip was a success-no one got sick! and they did bring in 2 sharks and a few sand trout. So-let's just start with some pics of a few of the things that have happened in the last few months:

 OK-Randy got married on August 25th to a wonderful young woman-Casey has become very dear to us in just a short time. And yes-Randy outgrew both Jeff & I a long time ago!
 She was such a beautiful and happy bride! They are SO good together-a match made in Heaven!
 They make each other laugh all the time-they are always smiling!
Now after the Saturday wedding-we stayed in Lake Jackson for 2 nights-on Sunday we got a call-my Granddad had passed away. He would have been 98 in Sept. He'd been pretty sick for awhile-we'd gone and visited with him a week or so earlier-he didn't seem to know me-but he pointed at Jeff a few times. Even when he was still living by himself in Winnie a few years back-he would know Jeff before he recognized me. He'll be greatly missed-he sure taught us alot about salt water fishing and a great love of the beach! School started the next day-so that started a whole new round of activity-football games and cheerleading-and lots of homework!
 Now to some really SWEET stuff-a little over 2 1/2 gallons of honey from the second pull! It is much darker than what we harvested in June.  But still oh so good!-And I did use the jerky gun to make 2 pounds of deer jerky from last years meat-yummy!
 September 15th brought our 33rd wedding anniversary! Yeah for us!!! We took a trip down to Galveston-by way of High Island and Rollover! I caught a keeper Red!! The guys behind me were ready to throw me in-we were catching lots of golden croaker and a few whiting! Fun-Fun-Fun!

And last but not least of the pics-Us at Murdoch's on Galveston Island! We always try to spend a little time in there when we go down to the Island.

Well-we planted some fall veggies-only to have something each them down to the dirt-no leaves-stems-nothing left! I finally got brave enough to replant yesterday-just covered 'em in sevin dust! The beet seed I planted is up and growing good-whatever didn't touch them. We bought a few lemon trees and an orange tree-the bees will love them when they start blooming again.
We went with Sheila and Alfred a few weekends ago to pick up their first hive of bees-they are So excited to have them.
Jeff has been bow hunting-no luck yet-he did see a deer across the road from our house, though. Maybe hunting close to home will be the trick this year! He's never bow hunted before-but Randy bought a crossbow last year-so Jeff's giving it a try.
Sugar is due to calf on Friday-we hope-she missed the last due date-and she's bigger than ever. This will be the last calf from Fozzie. Lucy-pig-wasn't bred either-she's been with a boar all summer-but we are still hoping! The other sow will go into the freezer with the first cool snap-and if Lucy shows no signs of being bred-the boar is in his own pen now-by the first of the year-she's going into the freezer as well! Feed's just too high to keep them if they aren't producing! The young pullets have started laying-we'll have more eggs than we know what to do with-wonderful news!!!
I'll try to keep up to date a little better in the upcoming weeks!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

All Things...... RED & GOLDEN!!!

 This is the fruits of our Harvest on Friday-Sugar-Free Strawberry/Fig Perserves; Picante Sauce; Stewed Tomatoes-and best of all-the first of the Honey!!
 Picture of one of the hives-the bees are coming in loaded with pollen on their back legs! This is such a wonder from God to watch-knowing they turn the yellow stuff into beautiful golden richness!
 The first frame Jeff pulled-almost completely filled with honey! Ricky stood by with the cookie sheet to hold the frames after Jeff removed all the bees. He took 3 frames out-then into the house for the uncapping.
The uncapping-Jeff used the electric knife this time-he really wants to invest in an uncapping knife. We saved the caps-I want to start working with the beeswax. I haven't decided if I want to do soap, candles, or ? Anyway-we harvested a total of 7 pints from the 3 frames-a great haul for the first time!! It's time to put the 2nd super on the 2nd hive we have-but the weather's been a little rainy the last 2 days-so it'll have to wait til another warm (HOT) day.

We just got home from Jeff's mom's house-we celebrated the 4th today with a big family BBQ-lots of good food and great people! She had a small jar of the honey-now everyone wants a jar of it! That's one of the great things about it-we can share with family and friends. Brandy's twin girls are really suffering with allergies right now-so I think a jar may go home with her to try to build up their immune systems. And Jason's wanting more cucumbers so he can make more pickles-the ones he's already made have been shared with his boss and friends-now he hasn't got any left for himself! Seems like that's how it goes sometimes! But the cukes are about done for-we might be able to find a few for him.
We are looking forward to next Sunday when we leave for our next vacation-at the beach again-only this time we'll be at the state park in Galveston. We haven't camped here in years! We used to go at the least twice a summer-but since Hurricane Ike-they don't have many campsites left-so it's hard to get reservations on the beach side. Can't hardly wait!
I have to go into work tomorrow for a 10 hour day-sure I'll be pretty busy playing catch-up for the last week of being off. We'll go up to Mom and Shorty's on Tuesday-he bought a new mattress last week-and it is being delivered then. We'll go and try to do a little cleanup before the movers get there. Friday we both have Doc appointments with the new Dr-sure hate to have to see someone new-but the new insurance isn't accepted by the old Dr.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Vacation 2012 - #1

We are on the first of our Summer Vacations! YEAH!! We are currently at an RV Park in Crystal Beach-the same one we stayed at last year. Been here since  Thursday-have to leave tomorrow to go home. I keep telling Jeff we can stay a few more days-but he says he needs to get home and check on his bees!
 Sweet-but messy Kylee-she turned 1 on Saturday! We had to leave the park and drive the 2 hours back home for her birthday party-then 2 hours back-what you won't do for Grandkids! Gotta love 'em! She really did enjoy that cake, though!

 My big catch yesterday-can't see them very well-but I caught not 1-but 2-hardheads at the same time-why could it not of been 2 trout or something else as good? We have caught a few small croakers-but it is really hot-and only 1 crab big enough to keep.
Jeff caught a shark at the beach this morning while we were wade fishing!! No-it wasn't big enough to keep-and no-I didn't fish anymore after this! He had several rows of sharp little teeth! We did find alot of shark's teeth on the beach this morning-more than we've found in years-we'll go back down this evening when it cools off.
The garden has really been keeping us busy this year-I need to update my Harvest tally soon. We even picked more peas, cucumbers and tomatoes-oh yeah-they finally started making!-when we went home on Saturday. We had to buy 2 more casesof canning jars last week-I haven't had to buy any jars for years.
We made a tough decision 2 weeks ago as well. Jeff took the Dexters to the auction to sell them-they brought absolutely nothing! We were disappointed for sure-they didn't even bring what we had bought them for-but we've had 3 calves from them. We kept the Hereford cow-simply cause she wouldn't get in the trailer with the dexters-and both calves. Sugar should be bred back-so we'll get another calf from Fozzie. Feed has just become SO expensive-and even though we still want to try to be as self-suffient as possible-some things may just have to go. Jeff butchered 7 rabbits the other day as well and a few more will be ready next week. It's becoming hard to sell them as well-feed costs are upping the prices. We are pretty sure the Hamp sow is bred-not for sure on the little york cross. She should have her first litter the last weekend of August-awfully hot time for that!
We have another-longer trip planned for next month-we'll stay camped at the State Park in Galveston for nearly a week-then will move over to Surfside for a few days. We've never been over to that area-but it's close to where Randy and Casey are. We are hoping to spend some time with them and get to meet her family before the wedding in August. Casey has planned a fishing trip for Randy an Jeff towards the end of July-so we may check on leaving the camper in that campground for a little while-even through the weekend of the wedding instead of trying to book hotels.
Guess I'll go for now-gonna see were Jeff and Rascal wandered off to!

Monday, May 28, 2012

And the Fields are Ripe for the Picking.....

 The Purple hulls we picked this morning-these are Louisiana Quick Picks-they are huge! We did have an infestation of army worms earlier in the week-wiped out the back part of the garden in just a few hours! Jeff got them sprayed-and thankfully-they've recovered nicely!
 Just an example of how big these things really are! Some are at least 12 inches or more long! We picked over 1/2 a bushel this morning-even after the worms! Next picking will be great!
One of the tomatoes-they aren't doing very well this year :(  the first one to get ripe had a big bug hole and the whole bottom was rotten!

We've spent the biggest part of the weekend canning! Yeah! We've put up 16 quarts of potatoes-oh yeah-we dug them on Saturday morning-didn't get as many as we'd like-but thankful for what we did get!-3 qts of pickles-11 pints of pickles-2 qts of green beans with potatoes and 1 qt of peas-we put the ones we picked today in the freezer to can later. Jeff canned 9 pints of corn from a friends garden earlier in the week and 7 pints of pickles as well. The squash is starting to ripen and we put 3 qts of it in the freezer, too.
Forgot to mention last few posts that something did get the momma turkey and all but 3 of the chicks-and all over night. We've got the last 3 in a cage and they are growing like weeds! And we've got rabbits coming out our ears!!! Jeff's got to butcher some and get them in the freezer and off the feed bill-boy has rabbit feed gotten expensive. I'm checking into some alternative feed sources-like Comfrey-they ate some the other day and really seemed to take well to it-I intend to dry some later today and see if they'll eat it that way as well.
We have 3 1/2 days of school left before summer break-well the kids do! I'll work until June 21st-I believe-then I'll have a few weeks off. We are planning a camping trip to Crystal beach where we stayed last year-then later a week at the State Park in Galveston-then leave from there for Surfside for a few days. We aren't familiar with that area-but thought we'd try some place different and it's close to where Randy is living at the moment.
Have a great Memorial Day!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Farm Update

 Newest pic of the garden-5/19-the Jacob's Cattle beans are really beginning to dry out-makes the front of the garden look bad-but looks can really be deceiving!!
 Saturday morning's yield-the first of the bell peppers and cucumbers #3-5!
 Just 2 of the MANY cucumbers on the vines-Jeff made 7 pints of pickles today! The first of many more to be put up!
And 1 of several watermelons we've found-one of them seems to grow nearly an inch everyday-how is that possible?
 The field corn is at least 8 ft tall now-most of it anyway! And it is putting on ears like crazy! The sweet corn is very short-but is making ears as well.
 The purple hull peas should be ready to start picking this weekend-I pray every night that the deer don't find them before we can pick them! We saw 2 does right up from the house on Saturday night and I saw a doe and an itty bitty fawn-SO cute-last night on my way to Church.
 Figs on the new tree-there are only a few-but such a good sight!
And last-but surely not least!-Kaytlynn lost her 1st tooth this afternoon! She was rinsing her mouth out with the water hose-so I turned it on her head and just cooled her off! It was 93 degrees when they got off the bus-hot!
We've canned 57 pints of green beans so far-they need to be picked again now! Alana froze 6 quarts for them-what a blessing after the deer got them all last year. I made 7 half pints of sugar free strawberry jam and put up a pint of jalapeno peppers on Saturday. The potatoes still need to be dug and the cattle beans continue to dry. We haven't eaten any of them yet-they sure are pretty-I hope we like them!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Garden, Bees, and Baby Turkeys!!

 This week's pic of the garden-we now have Jacob's Cattle beans that are about 5inches long! The green beans are blooming like crazy, the corn is coming right along, and so are the cucumbers! A few of the tomatoes are blooming in the raised beds up next to the house-and the comfrey is growing beautifully as well! We've had just enough rain to keep things growing-we did water a little on Wednesday-the cukes were looking a little droopy-but then we got nearly 2 inches of rain on Friday-thank you Lord!
 Jeff opened up the bee hive after Church today-and what a wonderful surprise! The bees have drawn out about 6 frames of foundation-and some are capped off! So all is progressing as should be. His second hive is due in this Friday from an apiary in Ohio-hopefully they will adjust and do as well as these have so far!
 First look into the hive in 2 weeks-surprise-they are building comb just like they should!
 And on Friday-the turkey hen hatched her eggs! She hatched 11 of the 12 she was sitting on-the 12th one she had pushed from the nest earlier in the week-guess she knew more than we did!
We've been having trouble keeping them in the pen with her-they go right through the wire on her pen. When we came in from Church today-she had flown out and was keeping up with them in the pasture. She even flew into the face of one of the cows who got a little to close! Now we have to decide whether to put her up-then pen the babies under a light in a cage-or just let her try to raise them on her on. I'm just scared the dogs will get them-or a night time visitor!
OK-I got a shock when I tried to log into the blog today-some of you already know-they changed the format-so it may take me a little while to get used to the change-but I did like the way they changed the picture downloads. I don't know how many times I've waited for pics to download-only to find I'd clicked on the wrong ones. Now we can see them ahead of time-YEAH!
The hummingbirds are finally showing up-we have at least 2 that are making an appearance-they were pretty busy this morning. We also weaned the calves today-it will be fairly noisy around here for the next few days until they get over not being with momma!
Have a great week!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

My Tulip Tree is Blooming!

My tulip tree finally bloomed! I bought the tree nearly 10 years ago when I was delivering mail with some money I had received. An elderly neighbor of ours when I was growing up planted one and we watched it grow as we did. One day she called by Mom-all excited-her tulip tree was finally blooming! Today I finally understand her joy! I can only see 2 blooms at the moment-and they are really up high. When we added on to the porch last year-Jeff wanted to cut it down-but I talked him into just kinda building around it-so far so good! Now it might just get to stay!!
Newest pic of the garden-although it was taken on 4/5. We are due some really tough weather here shortly-and we fertilized and plowed them for the 2nd time yesterday-so I'll try and remember to take a new pic in a few days! Everything is growing like weeds this year-we are SO very thankful to God! We tend to get a little tickled at each other-we'll walk down and check on it in the morning (I'm still in fear the deer will find it and wipe us out like they did last year!)-when we check again in the evening-we can see the growth from earlier in the day! It really is amazing! Kaytlynn & Mady played in the corn yesterday-just running up and down the rows. I can't wait for it to be taller than them and really watch them play in it. We kept catching Kaytlynn just laying out in the rows-staring up at the sky-oh the days of being young!!