Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Update

It has been over two months since I last wrote on my blog.  I have been having some health issues and so my blog hasn't been a focus.  Our farm is doing good overall.  We did have pumpkins for Halloween and I carved one of them with my kids.  We have had such nice Fall weather and it is so great for the kids to be able to play outside still.  I have kept my beets in the ground and covered them with hay and actually just had some for dinner the other night.  It is great to still be able to get vegetables from the garden. 


Our chickens are still doing good.  We tend to let them free range more often and they love that.  Our cat loves that too because she either goes in the hen house or teases them while they are out.  Max (our rooster) and Sylvia (our cat) were having some words today and oh how I wished I had a camera at that moment.  We are still getting about 3 eggs per day.  Life has slowed down overall now that Winter is headed our way.

Well, Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  Cheers!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

New Things

Wow!  Two weeks since I last wrote, I can hardly believe it.  Things on the farm are going well.  We are actually starting to get some vegetables from our garden.  We should have pumpkins in time for Halloween, so that will be fun for the boys.  My husband found a bunch of windows for sell and so this Fall/Winter he is going to build us a green house.  That is going to be so awesome, I can hardly wait.

My husband spent the past few weekends building a structure to add more counter tops in our kitchen.  They are in place now and the extra space is so wonderful.  My oldest sister is sewing kitchen cabinet curtains to put up instead of cabinets.  It is going to look great and she is almost done.  I will post a picture when it is finished. 

The animals are doing good.  I think Sam (our wiener dog) misses Oliver still, but he and Sylvia are doing great together.  I am so relieved about that.  She is starting to come out of the garage and I think at night she is busy exploring.  We have major crickets around the house.  Right now there is one chirping in the kitchen...ugh I can't find it and it is driving me crazy. 

Well, have a great day everyone.  Cheers!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Animals

Good Morning.  The weather has been so hot, in fact last night I had a hard time going to sleep because of it.  Next week it is supposed to cool down some and that will be nice.  It was 102 degrees yesterday, just too hot to work outside.  Our garden is doing okay with our new method.  One good thing with  putting the straw down is it holds in the moisture better.  Last night we went and checked the vegetables and we actually have some growing, hopefully they get big enough before the freeze comes. 

We got a barn cat a couple of weeks ago.  We named her Sylvia.  She is about three years old and we got her from our Vet.  She lives out in our barn/garage and is doing great.  She took about a week to come out of hiding and greet us.  She is a gentle cat and really nice.  I am not a cat person.  I have actually liked two cats my whole life.  I am surprised how nice she is since she was a stranded cat.  The boys really love her and she is great with them.

On a sad note, we had to put down our big black dog named Oliver.  I have had Oliver for over 11 years and he was almost 12 years old.  He was okay physically, but believe it or not he had major mental problems.  I have had to deal with his anxiety all his life, which has not been fun, but managable.  The past few months he just went down hill really fast.  He killed one of our chickens and he tried to get our cat and he almost succeeded.  It was a hard decision to make, but he had so many issues, we decided it was time for him to go.  It has been really hard for me at times.  I still think I see him laying around the farm.  We will miss him and it will take some time to get  used to him being gone. 

Well, have a great day everyone.  Cheers.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

This n' That

Wow!  It has been two weeks since I have blogged.  It really doesn't feel like it has been that long.  The camping trip I went on with my friend and her two boys was a flop (so to speak).  The camp ground we wanted to stay in was full and it was raining really hard off and on while we were there.  So, we ended up renting a room from a young family.  We got to go on hikes and stuff, but no camping that trip.  I told the boys I would set up the tent in our yard and we can try it that way.  While I was away for a few days with they boys on that trip, my husband surprised me and put in the new counters.  They look so much better.  He didn't finish the whole kitchen, but it won't be long until I have counters around my stove.  I can't wait!

Our garden is a nightmare.  We finally are trying a different method to see if we can salvage some of the vegetables.  My husband heard about a method from Ruth Stout.  You put straw down everywhere to keep the weeds out.  If you see a weed trying to pop through, you just put so more straw on it.  We are about half way down and it is a very itchy job.  Before we put down the straw my husband got the tractor out and disked as much of it as we could.  Hopefully this works because we are overwhelmed with weeds.  We also realized we just made our garden too big.  So, next year we are going to add a section of fruit trees, grape vines, raspberries and blackberries.

It has been so hot and I am ready for some Fall weather.  Have a great day.  Cheers.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

new (reused) counters

Greetings.  The kids are still asleep and I am enjoying some solitude (except for Max crowing like crazy).  Today we are going tent camping with a friend who also has two boys.  I have never tent camped with the boys, so this should be interesting.  I love tent camping and am looking forward to some fresh mountain air. 

My sister decided to get new counter tops installed and so she gave us her old ones.  Her kitchen is huge (and she doesn't even cook), so we will have enough to re due our kitchen plus add some over by our stove and put some in our mudroom.  I am excited and can't wait till we put them in and I am thankful she gave them to us.

Our garden is doing pretty good, but I did find squash bugs last night.  I had to kill them and look for all the eggs on the leaves.  There were a lot of eggs, but I think I got most of them.  I hate squash bugs and they are so hard to get rid of.  Hopefully, by finding them early I will keep them from eating up all our squash plants.  I do find lots of lady bugs in our garden, so that is great for getting rid of the bad bugs I miss. 

Well, have a great day everyone.  Cheers. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Garden

Good morning.  Yesterday we had a cooler day with rain and it was a nice break from the heat we have been having.  I try to avoid using the oven when it is so hot outside, because it makes our house even hotter.  So, last night I made meatloaf and baked a pie.  It was yummy.  It made me feel like Fall is just around the corner.  I have decided that I don't like the cold and I don't like the heat.  I would like to live where it was Spring and Fall temps year round.  I do enjoy watching the seasons change, so I guess that is a perk for living where we do. 

My husband and I have been working on the garden.  We are trying to get the weeds under control, so some of our vegetables are a success.  Some stuff looks good like our pumpkins and strawberries and other stuff looks terrible, like our beets and carrots.  We have a lot of learning to do with taking care of a large garden.  This year is just going to be our trial and error period and leave it at that.  Life is full of choices, sometimes we make the wrong ones, but as long as we learn from them, we are successful.  This winter I am really going to study about taking care of a large garden.  Hopefully, we learn a lot this year and have a fantastic garden next year.

Max, our rooster is crowing like crazy right now.  Our neighbors have a young rooster that just started crowing a few weeks ago.  I think they are competing with each other.  Well, have a great week everyone.  Cheers.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

New bathroom pictures

Good Morning.  We celebrated my youngest sons 3rd birthday yesterday.  I can't believe my youngest is already three.  They are growing up fast and I don't have babies anymore.  I posted two pictures from our bathroom remodel.  The pictures aren't the greatest because the room is so small, it is hard to take a picture of it.  Hopefully, it is good enough to give you an idea of how it looks anyway.  I posted pictures a few months ago of what it looked like "before".  It looks so great and they boys really like it.  I am happy with how it turned out.  We have been spending a lot of money on house projects this summer, so now we are taking a break from serious projects.  It doesn't take long to spend money, that is for sure.

I like to look at the messed up paint at Lowe's and we found a 5 gallon exterior paint color that we liked a lot.  We decided to buy it because it was only $25 instead of the normal $170.  That was an awesome find and the color is one we were contemplating anyway.  We will probably work on painting the exterior of the house this Fall.  That is really going to be a nice change.  I can't wait!  The neighbors probably can't wait either!!

Well, have a great day everyone.  Cheers.



updated bathroom


another view


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Busy Summer

Why is it that Summer always seems to go so fast?  We always have so much going on during the Summer months and the next thing you know it is Fall.  The weather is still really hot, but that is good for our garden.  It is finally starting to take off.  My husband tilled the empty rows yesterday because they were full of grass and weeds.  We have to get on top of the weeds or our vegetables aren't going to do very well.  Our neighbors have a small raised bed garden and it is so pretty.  Next year ours will be a lot better...this year has been trial and error.

We decided we have to break down and get a cat.  Neither of us really like cats, so we have avoided getting one for the farm.  However, the mice are everywhere and we need an outside cat that will catch a lot of mice.  We may even need to get two cats.  My boys of course are excited and we even looked at Pet Smart yesterday.  The cat we liked was shy, so needless to say that isn't going to work on a farm with two dogs, two kids and lots of chickens. 

The bathroom is almost done and I can't wait until we get it finished.  Hopefully, this week it will be done and I will post some pictures.  Well, that is all for now.  Have a great week everyone.  Cheers.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Summer heat

Good Morning-

Summer has arrived and with it very hot weather.  We hit 100 degrees yesterday and that is just too darn hot for me.  Today (so far) it is overcast, which is a nice break from the sun.  Yesterday my oldest son hurt his foot and I had to bring him in to the doctor.  We didn't do any x-rays, but if he is still in pain on Thursday, we will bring him back to see if anything is broken.  The irony of this being he pushed his little brother and he fell down on my older sons foot.  Yesterday at the hospital, I saw a glimpse of what my life is going to be like with two boys on the farm.

Max, our rooster, is crowing like crazy this morning.  Usually, once I open up their run he stops, but not today.  Our neighbors may not like hearing him crow at 5:30am.  The chickens are all doing good and I haven't seen any further mites on the others.  The hot weather is hard on them, but they have good shade so they will be okay.  Our raccoon family is still living in our old tree.  I thought they might have moved on to a new "home" but I saw them up in the tree yesterday.  My husband also found raccoon prints on our garden pipe this weekend.  Not a good sign for our future vegetables.  We will have to figure out a way to keep all those critters out. 

Well, a new day to begin.  Have a good one...cheers!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Bathroom remodel

We had such a busy weekend working on the boys' bathroom.  We didn't finish it because nothing ever goes as smooth as you hope.  However, we did get a lot done and my husband should be able to finish it this weekend.  I will post pictures once it is all done.  I decided to go with two tones of aqua and it looks great. I am glad the colors worked, as you never know if you will like them once on the walls.  It will be nice to not share a bathroom with the kids anymore.  I need some space without toys in it!

I have been working on the garden a little each day.  It is so over grown with weeds that it is overwhelming.  So, I decided to try and weed a row (and we have 12) every day or two so I can be in control of the weeds.  Everything is growing and I am looking forward to fresh vegetables soon.  Some animal is getting in to the garden because it ate some of my strawberries.  I am guessing it is a rabbit or a squirrel.  I am hoping it doesn't start eating everything in the garden or I am not going to be happy.

Well, my brain is dead and ready for bed.  Cheers!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Farm Life

Good Morning.  This week has been busy and I can hardly believe it is Thursday already.  I went with my husband out of town for two days and it was so nice to get away.  My parents live near us and so they watch the boys for us if we need a break.  I am so thankful for their willingness to take care of them.  Since I am a stay at home Mom, sometimes I get burnt out and need a "time out" so I can regain patience and understanding. 

We discovered a raccoon family living in one of our old cottonwood trees this past weekend.  I have been watching them and last night the Mom didn't come out of the tree.  I am thinking she got caught by a neighbor.  I just went and looked out the window and she is up in the tree, so she is okay.  I know I shouldn't want a raccoon family on my farm, but the animal lover in me can't help it.  I am pretty sure she has 3 or 4 babies.  They are so cute and stay up in the tree while she comes down to hunt for food.  We have chickens and a garden and I know raccoons don't mix well with those, so eventually we will have to figure out something. 

Today I have to spend some time weeding the garden and planting more seed.  The garden is looking pretty good, even though there are more weeds and grass in there than I would like.  Well, I am going to finish my coffee before I start my day on the farm.  The farm life...I love it!  Cheers.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Summer days

This week hasn't been too exciting overall.  However, Tuesday proved to be an interesting day.  I had Henrietta (one of my hens) out free because she was showing signs of infection.  I didn't want her to be around the other chickens and she doesn't like to stray, so I put her out in the yard.  Well, I took a shower, go outside and she was missing.  Finally, we found her but she was dead.  I think my older dog Oliver chased her to death.  She was a very spastic chicken and Oliver likes to herd, so needless to say, not a good combination.  Now we are down to seven hens.  Also, Tuesday I found a mouse in the kitchen.  I was able to lure him into the pantry and the mouse trap did the rest.  I was so glad I caught him before it was time for bed or I wouldn't have had a very restful sleep. 


The boys running through our field
 Our garden is looking good, although, we did loose a tomato plant because of the high winds we have been having.  We have a lot of projects that are unfinished and it is time to start getting them done.  My husband and I both feel a bit frustrated lately, but finishing up loose ends I know will help.  I love to sit outside and enjoy our views and that puts things back in perspective.  It is worth it, through the headaches, because I love our land.  Well, have a great day everyone.  Cheers.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The mouse was a bird

Good Morning.  This past weekend we decided to take some time off and do something fun, so we went camping.  It was great and so nice to get away for a couple of days.  We love to go camping and the boys are getting bigger, so each year is more and more fun.  The mouse I heard in our wall was actually a bird in our pellet stove pipe.  I figured out the scratching was in the pipe on Thursday and my husband opened it up and it was a bird.  He was alive and flew away, so that was good.  I don't know what the attraction is to our house with these birds.  I was relieved it wasn't a mouse, very relieved.

The chickens are doing well.  Max, our rooster, has been crowing a lot in the mornings lately.  He also won't let the hens out of the hen house.  I am not sure what is with that, but he must be sensing danger or something.  We have seen raccoon foot prints on our irrigation pipe, so Max may be aware of them. 

Our garden is doing well and what we seeded a couple of weeks ago is starting to emerge.  Can't wait to have tons of fresh vegetables to eat.  Summer is a fun time.  Well, that's all for now.  Cheers.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Snakes and mice

Good Morning.  I am up early today because I didn't sleep so great.  I was hot most of the night and my allergies were acting up too.  Not a good mix to enable sleep.  Life goes on anyway and I have to keep up with two toddlers with or without sleep.  Today is going to be another windy day, so I need to get stuff done outside before it starts up this afternoon.

We have a lot of snakes on our property and while they are the good type of snakes, they still freak me out every single time.  I had one slither across my foot the other day and I jumped out of my skin and screamed like a little girl.  My boys on the other hand come running if I tell them I just saw a snake.  They get so excited to see them and if they miss out they are bummed. 

Yesterday, I heard a mouse in one of our walls.  I do not like mice, while they are really just cute little things, they give me no peace.  My husband is going to have to put new mice bait under the house again.  I don't like the idea of a furry little thing getting in my house and running around at night, throwing a party, and inviting friends. 

The chickens are doing good.  This morning Max won't stop crowing...not sure what that is all about.  Well, that is all for today.  Have a great day everyone.  Cheers.

Monday, May 30, 2011

The end of a long weekend

Greetings-

Tonight ends the long weekend we were able to enjoy.  We did chores around the house and farm, but nothing exciting.  Just regular week to week stuff like, mowing, laundry, etc.  I did some landscaping around our house a few days ago and am trying to finish the edging around the deck.  We also put some more plants in my flower garden this weekend.  Overall, a nice weekend to enjoy family and enjoy our farm, instead of just working on it. 

The chickens are doing good.  The egg production has gone down for some reason, but today we actually got half a dozen.  We have been letting them roam around a bit this past week.  They love getting out and now every time I open the door to their coop, Sabrina comes running over and tries to get out.  All our chickens still seem healthy and don't have signs of Rosa's sickness.  I am really glad about that. 

It has been super windy the past couple of days.  Today it was a lot cooler too, we were sitting with blankets this afternoon.  I can hardly believe how cool it is when June is just around the corner.  We had gusts up to 65 mph, so some of our new plants are looking like they got beat up.  They will bounce back, but they look pretty pathetic right now.  Well, that's all for now.  Cheers.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sun

Good Morning.  Today the sun is shining without a cloud in the sky.  What a nice change, since we have had so many windy, rainy and cloudy days.   We are going to enjoy some time outside today, that is for sure.  Our garden should really starting taking off now that we have sunny days.  We planted a lot of new vegetables this year, so it will be fun to see how they do.  I have to make a list of plants that didn't make it from the ones I ordered online.  The list is long and I get so frustrated even thinking about how many plants didn't make it.  I learned a lesson and I will never order online plants again.  That was a mistake, a mistake I have to accept and forget about. 

The chickens are all doing good.  So far it doesn't look like the other hens are sick from Rosa.  It was hard to get rid of Rosa, but the day we have to get rid of Sabrina isn't going to be an easy day for me.  I actually don't think I can get rid of her and she will just become my pet chicken.  I was sitting by them this weekend and my husband came over and saw a chicken hanging out next to me.  He said, "let me guess that chicken next to you is Sabrina."  It was Sabrina, so I guess she likes me too.

Well, have a great day. Bye.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Birds, birds and more birds

Good Morning.  Well, it has been a long time since I have blogged two days in a row.  Yesterday we had a lot happen around here on the farm, so I thought I should enlighten you.  First of all, I discovered Rosa had lice and mites and they were all over her bad eye.  I read about what to do and because she had lice and an infection, unfortunately they suggest you get rid of the hen.  So, I told my husband and he did the dirty deed.  The poor hen wasn't feeling good and so it was the best thing for her.  It was hard for me, but I knew it was better than her infecting all the other chickens.

In the afternoon we went out for a few hours and when we came back one of our hens was out of the coop.  The funny part was she had a friend watching out for her.  Our dog, Oliver, was standing next to her and it was so cute to see him taking care of her.  He loves to herd and so I imagine the entire time the hen was outside, he was having a hay day herding her around. 

Last night while my husband and I were watching TV we started hearing a strange noise from our fireplace.  We went over to it and realized it was a bird.  He was flying around in there and freaking out.  We have a screen across the fireplace, so he couldn't get out.  We tried to catch him, but he flew out and was flying around our house.  Finally, my husband got him against a window and he caught the bird.  The bird was just fine and flew away. 

So, needless to say we had a fun filled day with bird stories.  Wishing everyone a great day.  Bye.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

another day on the farm...

Good Morning.  We have had rain all week, which is not normal for where we live.  It is the middle of May and it has only been in the 50's for the high.  We are still going to have overcast weather with some rain the next few days, but it is going to warm up to the 70's.  Between the rainy days and the wet ground I feel as though I will never get the rest of my garden planted.  Hopefully it dries up some today so we can get more stuff planted tomorrow.

Rosa's eye looks better, but it still isn't great.  I decided to put her back with the other chickens last night.  She won't go in the dog house and thus she has been a wet bird all week.  I felt bad for her, so I decided to just put her back with the others.  My husband keeps telling me she is a bird not a princess!  Well, I realize she isn't a princess, but she isn't just a bird to me.  One of the hens got into an egg yesterday.  That isn't a good thing, because once they get a taste for the eggs, they like it and are more likely to do it again.  Hopefully, it was a one time thing.

Since the weather has been yucky I decided to paint the mud room yesterday.  I painted it the same green as our kitchen and it looks good.  It at least looks better than what it was before.  I have been working on a bench too for that room.  I have to put one more coat of paint on it and it will be ready to bring in the house. The bench was $20...a find thanks to my husband. 

Well, breakfast is calling.  Have a great day!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Rosa and weather

Well, another hen is injured.  Rosa, the one that looks similar to Sabrina has been separated from the others. The side of her face is swollen and we don't know what caused it.  It doesn't look like she got pecked from the other hens, but rather she has some sort of infection.  I called our vet and she told me to just keep her separated and she will either pull out of it or she won't.  My oldest son isn't too happy about the possibility of Rosa not making it and he informed me she is his favorite.  Oh, gee, thanks kid pull my heart strings.  This morning I went and checked on Rosa and I would say her face looks a little better today.  I hope she pulls through, she is one of our best hens.

We are supposed to have 300+ days of sunshine where we live, but this year so far it seems we are going to have 300+ days of no sunshine instead.  The forecast is more rain and gloomy days.  I can't really finish my garden when it keeps raining and being windy.  Hello bad weather...we don't want you around anymore.  It is starting to get frustrating and annoying. 

Well, hopefully it is just overcast today so I can plant some more seeds in the vegetable garden.  Have a great day.  Bye.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Just another free ranger

Good Morning.  Life is good on the farm this week.  The other day I decided to let the chickens out of their coop and free range.  I was just going to let Sabrina out with me, but once she was out the rest wanted to join her.  So, I couldn't resist and I let them all out.  They are so fun to watch wandering around.  They all pretty much stick together, except Henrietta kept falling behind.  Just another reason to prove that she is at the end of the pecking order. I realized yesterday that a few of the hens are starting to molt.  Once hens are around one year old they loose their feathers and stop laying eggs for about a month.  Then, they get new feathers and lay fewer eggs, but the eggs are bigger.  Hopefully they all do this at different times, so we don't miss out on too many eggs.

We should finish up planting seed for the garden today.  Yesterday, we planted our tomato plants, peppers (hot and bell), onions (white and yellow), corn and cucumbers.  The garden is going to be a bit of an experiment this year because we have never watered by gravity (flooding).  Overall, it should work fine, but we will learn some things that work and don't over the summer.  So, next year we will be better prepared. 

Well, I am going to enjoy my morning coffee.  Bye.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

flower garden

Hi.  I realize, it has been a week since I last wrote.  This past week has had distractions, so the farm hasn't been a top priority.  The weather hasn't been cooperating again either.  The end of this week it is supposed to warm back up, so we can get our vegetable garden planted. 

My boys spent the night at Grandma and Grandpa's house last night, so this afternoon I was able to work on my flower garden.  I am creating a "secret" garden filled with flowers.  I made the paths this weekend and my husband tilled the ground too.  Today I planted two fruit trees, blackberry plants, lavender, butterfly bushes and hibiscus.  These are the plants I ordered on line, so they are small, but once they mature in a few years, my garden is going to be so fun.  I have a lot more plants to add to it, but convincing me to buy plants is not hard.  I actually have an addiction to buying plants, and I love adding more and more to my gardens. 

Well, have a great day.  Bye.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sunshine

Good Morning- Finally we have a 10 day forecast that I love...sun, sun and more sun.  Not to mention warm too, so now this week I get to plant my vegetable seeds.  This season feels like it was in slow motion and now that it is warming up it is probably going to feel like it is in fast forward.  We fixed our deck up this weekend.  It had stuff everywhere and not set up with our table and our sitting areas.  We purchased a gazebo too, so that will give us some shade in the heat of the summer.  It looks really nice all set up and since our deck is gigantic we have plenty of ways to enjoy it.

The chickens are doing good.  No current injuries with any of them, which feels like a miracle.  This weekend I went out and found an egg in their dog house and it was the smallest egg I have ever seen.  I have no idea which hen laid it, but it was tiny. Out of all the chickens we have, I love Sabrina.  I don't think I can eat her for dinner.  I want to just keep her as my pet chicken.  I figure eventually, I will have Sam (our weiner dog) and Sabrina following me around the farm keeping me company.  Sam will eat the mice we find and Sabrina will eat the bugs.  Sounds like a good team to me, however, my husband will need some convincing.

Well, have a great day everyone. Bye.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

It's raining...it's snowing!!

Well, this morning I woke up, looked outside and there was snow on the ground.  I freaked out because I did not cover my plants and vegetables last night.  Thank goodness they made it through the night, however tonight is another cold one, so I better cover them or I won't sleep a wink.  It is the end of April and it feels like January.  I am so frustrated with this cold weather.  This should be the last cold front we see until Fall, however I am not going to hold my breath.  I bought rose bushes last week and luckily I haven't planted them yet.  I am waiting until the weather is steady being warmer, but who knows when that will be!

Our property has so many weeds that it is almost unbelievable.  Everywhere you look you see weeds.  They are out of control and to be honest it will take a few years just to get them under control.  Also, the previous owners planted perennials that spread easily.  I am not a huge fan of that because they end up taking over and being everywhere.  Now that Spring has arrived and plants are starting to pop up out of the ground I am discovering a lot of different plants and they are everywhere.  I am going to have to learn how to keep them from spreading all over and if that isn't possible, I will have to get rid of them all.  I like being in control of my plants instead of the other way around.  Well, the weekend is in full swing and we have lots to do.  Bye.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Much to my chagrin...

Good Morning.  This week hasn't been too eventful.  We had a really cold night this week, so we had to cover up some vegetables and plants over night.  They all survived, but last night was just below freezing and I didn't cover any.  I have to go see if they are okay this morning.  Today is going to be in the 70's and sunny, which is a nice change.  While I was walking around the property the other day checking on plants I noticed something sticking up out of the ground.  Much to my chagrin it was asparagus.  It grows wild around here and sure enough on our property.  It just started popping up and I took a picture to show you.  I was able to harvest enough for dinner last night and boy was it good.  I have never eaten fresh from the ground asparagus and it was yummy.  We are planting some this spring too, so in a few years we will have lots of asparagus.

Henrietta is still doing good being back with the other chickens.  When I have to separate her I give her the dog house with some hay in it for her to sleep and lay her eggs.  I have kept it in there and all the hens seem to like it.  Yesterday there were five eggs in there and in the afternoon, Rosa was sleeping in the dog house.  It is funny to see a chicken in a dog house.  They seem to love it, so I am just going to leave it in there for them.  Well, have a great day everyone.  Bye.



wild asparagus


my harvest for dinner



Saturday, April 23, 2011

Lots of pictures


Good Morning-

Today is another rainy day.  This week I spent a lot of time working on putting up edging around the house and deck.  There was some edging up, but it was ugly and all overgrown with grass.  I am laying down bricks and rocks for edging...however, I ran out of bricks that we had, so now I have to figure out how to find some more.  It is looking nice and makes the house feel more feng shui.  My husband laughs at me with my feng shui, but there is truth to things needing to be in a certain place to feel comfortable and good.  I posted some new pictures so everyone can see what is going on lately. 

Henrietta is still in isolation.  Her eye is looking so much better, but not healed enough to put with the other chickens.  I read you can put roofing tar on the area the hens keep pecking because they won't like the taste and it will get them to stop.  I am going to give it a try...I will let you know if it actually works.  I think she is ready to be with the others, so we will put her back with her "friends" this weekend.  Easter is tomorrow so we get to color our eggs with the kids today.  We have over two dozen in the fridge right now and we will probably get at least a half a dozen more today. 

This weekend we are going to stop and smell the roses.  We work so hard every day and every weekend, it is time for a break.  I am sore from working the past few days, so my body needs a break anyway.  Have a happy Easter everyone.  Bye.


The boys on the tractor


Ducks visiting our farm


Spring bloom


Spring flowers


Henrietta with her bad eye


our rows in the garden


Monday, April 18, 2011

Garden

Well, the weather stinks today, so I am stuck inside.  I am tired and so it is a good day for me to sit down and relax.  After I finish my blog, I am going to drink my hot tea and read.  This weekend we worked on the garden.  I added some more strawberry plants and the ones I planted a few weeks ago are starting to green up.  I planted 14 broccoli plants and three brussel sprouts.  I also planted seed for three different types of lettuce.  This year I am going to do succession planting, so we have constant vegetables throughout the season.  I have made a chart to keep track of what I am planting and it will also help me remember what I did this year.

Our chickens are doing good and egg production has been steady.  Henrietta's eye is doing okay, but it does look infected.  I am hoping it heals up this week, or I will have to separate her out from the others again.  They keep pecking at her and I guess it is hard to reverse that once it starts.  She may end up being our first dinner.  My boys really enjoy the chickens and they have fun visiting them throughout the day.  I think the chickens enjoy their company too!

Not many of the plants I ordered online are greening yet.  I feel like I am watering sticks...and truthfully, I probably am doing just that.  A few are starting to have green buds, so hopefully that is a good sign.  I can't believe it is the middle of April already.  I love seeing all the trees getting leaves and flowers blooming.  Bye.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Henrietta

Well, to my surprise, Henrietta the one eyed chicken is now Henrietta the two eyed chicken.  I have been going back and forth about whether her eye was really gone or not, but today I am sure.  She didn't loose her eye and I am so happy.  The area around her eye seems to be healing up nicely too.  The chickens are all doing really good and laying a lot of eggs.

It was the day after Sharky our fish died, that my oldest son asked where he was.  Whoops, I wasn't expecting him to notice so quickly.  I told him he died and I flushed him down the toilet, he then proceeded to tell me that he wanted to get another fish.  No more fish in this household, at least not until the boys are old enough to take care of it by themselves.

The yard is starting to come together nicely.  We got our irrigation water now and so I am able to water my strawberries, fruit trees, raspberries and blackberries easier.  The sprinklers aren't working yet because my husband has to fix a part of the pipe that he crunched.  This week the weather is going to be sunny and warm, so we will be spending a lot of time outdoors.  Bye.

Friday, April 8, 2011

R.I.P. Sharky

I don't think I could express enough how much hatred I have for the wind.  Spring time in Western Colorado is always windy.  It kept me up all last night and it is windy all day today.  Go away wind!  It isn't just a light breeze...it is full on 25 mph wind.  The kind of wind where in the middle of the night you wonder if the big trees are going to fall on your house. 

Well, about two years ago we bought our oldest son a beta fish.  No, it wasn't my idea because I knew us getting a fish meant one thing...I would be taking care of it.  My prediction was correct and not one person in this house (except for me and that may be a slight exaggeration) even remembers he exists.  Well, he has been sick the past couple of weeks.  Okay, I am not a fish expert, but he wasn't eating.  A fish that doesn't eat equals a sick fish (in my professional opinion).  I actually was telling my son just yesterday that Sharky (our fish) isn't well.  I was telling him how sick he was and that maybe we should flush him down the toilet.  Well, as you guessed that didn't go over so well with a four year old.  So, with tears in his eyes, I dropped the subject.  Who would have guessed that today was the day he decided to die.  I just found him dead as dead can be.  I have decided to not tell my boys because they never notice him anyway.  If they ask then I will disclose this day to them, otherwise my lips are sealed.

Henrietta the one eyed hen is doing better.  Her eye healed up and we put her back with the other chickens.  Max, our rooster was happy to have her back.  He wasn't such a fan of her being separated.  The other hens have been good with her so far and I haven't seen any further injuries.  Boy are we getting eggs now.  It is great and they are so yummy.  Usually one night during the week we have waffles and eggs and that is the boys' favorite meal of the week!  Well, that's all for now.  Bye.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

an eye for an eye

Good morning.  Yesterday was a weird day.  I went outside early afternoon to check on the chickens and clean out their hen house.  While I was cleaning the hen house I noticed Henrietta's eye looked strange.  So, I checked closer and realized her eye was gone!  The poor hen got her eye pecked out and the side of her head was missing feathers.  I separated her from the other chickens so that her face can heal.  If you leave an injured hen with the others, they will peck her to death.  So, probably tomorrow I will put her back with the rest of the clan.  Max, the rooster isn't a fan of her being separated.  This morning when I let them out of the hen house, he wouldn't let the hens come out. He kept fighting them to stay in the house.  I am not sure what that is all about, but he isn't happy with the change.  We did get seven eggs yesterday which was great.  The warmer weather should help with the egg production.

My husband almost has the garden fence done.  He has a little part left to put up and then the doorways.  We should get irrigation water by next week, so I will be able to plant and seed once that happens.  Once the fence is all finished, I will take a picture of it.  It is really big and I can't believe we are going to have such a large garden.  Well, a nice day today and then cloudy and rainy days are headed our way.  Bye.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Rain and Wind...URGH!

Well, this weekend hasn't been very great.  My youngest son hasn't been feeling well, the weather turned rainy and windy and the father of one of my good friends passed away.  Yesterday we got some stuff done, but it got really windy in the afternoon, so my husband couldn't finish putting up the fence for the garden.  Today we have more rain and lots of wind, so it will be an indoor day today.  Hopefully, we can get some projects done in the house today.  The rain is good for all my new plants, so at least that is a positive out of the yucky weather.

Our chickens are doing good.  We got five eggs yesterday, but I am anxious to start getting five most days instead of just one or two.  They are really enjoying having the extra space to peck around in and it is fun to watch them out there.  My oldest son has really taken to the chickens and he goes over and visits them often while he is playing outside.  Sabrina had to remind me the other evening that I hadn't given them their afternoon snack.  She is so funny and has such a personality. 

Well, not much else is going on with us.  Have a great Sunday everyone. Bye.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Strawberries

Good Afternoon.  Today the weather is fantastic.  It is great to be outside and my boys love it too.  The past three days I have been working on planting my strawberry plants.  I bought four different types, so we will have strawberries throughout the season.  I planted over 100 plants.  Until our irrigation water is turned on (which won't be until mid-April) I have to water them by hand.  Normally, that wouldn't be a big deal except that my plants are on the East side of our property and the water faucet is clear on the West side.  I have to figure out a better way of doing this task. 

Normally, I would have my garden started by now, but I have decided to wait until the irrigation water is turn on.  I just can't hand water so many things or I will get too frustrated.  It is hard for me not to get it started, but I know it is for my sanity.  My husband is going to get the garden fencing up this weekend.  So, when the water is turned on, we will be ready!

Well, time to get back to work.  Enjoy your day everyone. Bye.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Goodbye Old Tree

Wow!  What a weekend we had.  Our tree finally was cut down and it looks so strange without it.  We bought two new trees to replace the old one, but we haven't put them in the ground yet.  The man who cut down the tree told my husband that he can't believe some of the big branches hadn't fallen onto the house.  I am so relieved that big dead tree is gone.  We spent Saturday and Sunday working hard outside.  I dug holes and planted over 50 plants.  We actually worked so hard that yesterday we had to take a day off to rest our bodies. 

The chickens are doing good.  We finished their fenced area, so now they have more room to roam.  They love having all the space to look for bugs and such.  It is really fun to watch them and when one finds a bug, Sabrina isn't far away.  In the evening I have to herd them back into the hen house.  Now, that is comical because some of them starting freaking out and running around like a chicken with their head cut off (pun intended). 

Today I have 100 strawberry plants to get into the ground.  My husband prepared the ground for me, so it shouldn't be too hard to get them planted.  I hope everything greens up soon and the plants all survive.  It won't be long until we find out.  Have a great day everyone. Bye. 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Pictures


I figured it was time for me to post some pictures of the farm.  The first one is my husband putting up the fence for the chickens new free range area.  We haven't finished building it, so they haven't been able to enjoy it yet.  Hopefully, this weekend my husband will finish the door and then the chickens will be able to have more space to roam.  I already know they are absolutely going to enjoy all the space. 

Putting up the chicken fence

 This next picture is of our two dogs.  The big black one is Oliver.  The small brown one is Sam.  They enjoy the farm and have adapted very well.  Oliver likes to greet everyone that walks by our house.  Finally, I think they are getting used to seeing him run up to them.  He is a pretty big dog and people are often afraid of him, but it doesn't take long to learn he is very gentle.  Sam on the other hand has quite the opposite personality.  He thinks he is a big dog, but really is my midget.  He likes to bark at everyone who walks by our house and chase them down the road. 

Oliver and Sam
  The third picture is looking toward the East.  This is where we are adding more lawn for the boys and beyond the lawn will be our garden.  My husband turned over the land where the garden will be last weekend.  We will finish tilling the garden and making the rows this weekend (weather permitting).  Hopefully, I will get some plants and seeds in the garden next week.  I can hardly believe it is already time to plant.  Well, enjoy the weekend.  Bye.

Looking East



Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Plants, Trees and Vines

Good Morning.  Finally, we have sun shining today and so far no wind.  Some of my plants that I ordered online arrived yesterday.  They tell you to plant them as soon as you can, but we won't be able to get them in the ground until this weekend.  Most of the plants actually look like they are going to do just fine, but some of the vines I ordered I am a bit skeptical.  They literally sent me sticks.  They have a one year guarantee, so at least if they don't grow I can get my money back.  I will have to post a picture of the before and after of theses vines in about 6 weeks. 

My chickens are doing great.  We actually got a half a dozen eggs the other day.  It is pretty fantastic to eat your own eggs from your own chickens.  My husband and I were just talking last night about how neat it is to raise and grow our own food.  It is so fulfilling and nice to know where your food is coming from.  My family teases us because we buy almost all organic food.  But, once you learn what is in the "regular" food it doesn't take long to convert.  I have two young boys to take care of and putting food in their little bodies that is free of pesticides and preservatives is vital to their health. 

This morning me and my boys are going to buy some trees.  This weekend (weather permitting) we are getting our big ugly tree cut down and I want shade locust trees to put in its place.  Have a good day everyone. Bye.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

What a windy day

The weather hasn't exactly been cooperating the past several days.  We were supposed to get our tree cut down on Friday, but it rained too much.  So, now we have to wait until next weekend.  It has been really windy this weekend, so that makes it hard to work outside.  I am not a big fan of wind, it sends me indoors more often than not.  On a positive note it allowed me to do some deep cleaning in the house today. 

My husband built a fenced area for the chickens so that they can got outdoors and enjoy nature.  We buried the fence underground so we don't have to worry about dogs, raccoons or any other predator getting in.  These are some spoiled chickens, let me tell you.  They are so much fun though and I just love that we got chickens.  The day before yesterday we got five eggs.  That is the most we have received in one day.  They are starting to do their job and do it well.

I will post some pictures this week of the work we have done.  I should say the work my husband has done...I use the term "we" loosely.  Things are looking great and I am so excited for summer. Bye.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

This and That

What a week we have had here on the farm.  We have been doing all sorts of projects and everything is starting to come together.  Finally, I can visualize how things are really going to look here.  The gravel truck just arrived and the boys are having fun watching him dump out the rocks along our driveway.  Our driveway is pretty much dirt and so when it rains, it turns into mud.  Kids, dogs and a husband with mud isn't the best way to keep my house clean.  So, gravel down is going to be great to cut out a lot of mud and dirt.

We are adding more sprinklers and other irrigation around the house.  We got that trenched and my husband is getting the pipe glued together before he puts it underground.  We are adding more lawn for the kids and for the chickens.  We are also putting up fencing for the garden and the chickens this week.  I have to get my garden ready to go in the next couple of weeks.  Some vegetables are ready to go in the ground and that is so exciting. 

I will post some pictures this weekend when we get some more work done, so you can see what we have been up to this week.  It will also explain why I haven't posted a blog in five days! Well, off I go.  Enjoy the day and Happy St. Patty's Day to everyone. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Burn Baby Burn

Well, another fantastic day of weather.  Low 60's and we are getting hot working outside.  Today was a good day to burn our huge pile of weeds.  Where we live you can purchase a burn permit from the local fire department for $10 and burn weeds, ditches, fields, etc.  So, over the winter we have been creating a pile of weeds to burn and we finally did it today.  It is still smoldering, but the initial blaze was quite something. 

As we clean up around outside we have been finding so many bugs.  The great part is chickens love bugs, so we have been collecting them throughout the day and then tossing them into the coop.  The hens manage to get most of the bugs before the rooster even has a chance.  The egg production is still down since we added more hens to the mix, but we are still getting one or two a day.  Well, have a great weekend everyone. Bye.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Clan

Our hens have stopped laying eggs since we added more chickens to the family.  Hopefully, that doesn't last too long.  I might actually have to buy some eggs from the store if they don't start laying again soon.  These birds make me smile and laugh every day.  It is so funny how they get used to a schedule.  I give them fresh water and scratch each morning.  They see me come outside and they all come running to the fence waiting for their treat.  Laverne and Shirley are completely aware of what I am doing.  They always come over to me no matter if I have food or not.  Our rooster was crowing yesterday afternoon while me and the boys were outside.  My youngest son starting joining in with the cock-a-doodle-do.  It is such a great sound to hear and reminds me how wonderful it is to live on a farm.  Sabrina is still louder than the rooster and she definitely tries to remain the leader, but Max won't have any of that. 

Max...our rooster

The Clan

Next week we are going to make the hen house a lot bigger and fence in an area for them to "free range" during the day.  It will be nice for them to have more space and be able to search for bugs and any other grub they enjoy.  Now that we have the rooster it is nice to know the hens have someone taking care of them.  If our dachshund decides to get into the coop now, he will be the one getting tackled.  Well, I better get busy with some house chores before we head outside for the day.  Bye.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

This old house

The rain is gone and the sun is shining.  However, the rain made the leak in our breakfast nook worse.  I can only imagine what it looks like in the ceiling.  I told my husband the other day that if we could see in between the walls of this house we would run.  This old house has issues, but it has so much character.  I love that about old houses, there are just so many stories caught up in them.  I am on a mission to put shelves up everywhere I can.  I need more storage space and shelves are an easy solution.  It's not on our list of things to spend money on this year, but I have to add it on because I am going crazy with the lack of space.  It shouldn't cost a lot of money, so we will have to just go for it. 

Our chickens are all doing good together.  I am still a little freaked about the rooster, but as we get to know each other it is getting better.  I talk to him through the chicken wire a few times a day so he gets to know me and be okay with my presence.  I want him to look at me as his Mom, not an enemy.  So far he seems more scared of me than I am of him, hopefully that feeling remains.  We have four new hens and their names are...Rosa, Lucy, Ruby and Sally.  Now, if I can remember nine names it will be a miracle.  One of the new hens looks exactly like Sabrina, so my oldest son calls her the other Sabrina.  I will get a picture today of all of them and post it on my next blog. 

As this month continues on it means we are that much closer to planting our garden.  My husband is going to take next week off of work so we can get the ground ready for planting.  Also, next week we are getting a big 100 year old cottonwood tree cut down.  It is near our house and most of it is dead.  It is massive, so that is going to be a project.  I am excited to get rid of that tree and plant some new ones around the deck.  So, lots going on for us from here on out.  Time to soak in some sun. Bye.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Cock-a-doodle-do

Good Morning-

The weekend was pretty uneventful.  The weather wasn't great for working outside, so it allowed us to be a bit lazy.  I realize however, that is okay and we deserve a lazy weekend here and there.  We decided we needed to get more hens, so yesterday my husband went and got some more layers from the same lady we bought the first five.  He came home with four more layers and a rooster, yes, a rooster.  The rooster is huge, I mean gigantic.  His feet are as big as my hands...and I have to admit he freaks me out a bit.  I have read stories about roosters going after their owners to display their dominance.  Well, I am not too excited about that idea.  The lady said he is a calm rooster, but I still can't get over his size and I picture him flying up at my face with those claws.  I will get over it and who knows, maybe he will become my new best friend and I will laugh thinking back to ever being scared of him.  My oldest son named our rooster Max. I think that is a great name.  We still have to name the four other hens and I will let you know what we decide.

Every time the UPS man drives near our house, my heart drops.  I am afraid my plants that I ordered are going to arrive before I am ready.  We are getting things ready, but we have a long way to go before we are ready for our shipment.  If the plants arrive before we are ready, our garage is going to become their temporary home.  Let's hope we are ready before they arrive.

Today equals another lazy day since it is raining.  However, the sun is supposed to show himself later this week, so I will just rest myself until he decides to join us again. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Deer, Oh Dear

This week (and it's only Wednesday) I have been working a lot outside.  I am tired, sore and feeling overwhelmed.  There is so much work that needs to be done on our land.  To get it to look how it looks in my head is going to take a very long time.  I tend to get impatient and want to get things done now.  Never mind that if I wait a day or two, my husband can get all his toys out and take about one hour what would take me three days.  So, my impatience creates a sore and tired woman...who later realizes she should step back and wait for the weekend.  Too little too late for my body! 

We have a bunch of trees not on our land but our neighbors behind us.  I have witnessed a few deer over the past few months.  The first time was at night letting my dog out to do his business.  I heard a noise and glanced over and saw something running away.  Granted it was dark out, but they passed by a light and deer are so graceful in their movement, that I knew it just had to be deer.  I saw one or two a few weeks after that early in the morning.  So, the reason I am telling you this story is because I have been telling my husband that we have deer living near us.  He kept telling me that I was seeing things or it was just one passing through.  But, I knew they were living in the trees behind us.  I told him we have to make sure we plan out our garden so it is deer proof...unless we don't want any vegetables.  Again, he tells me oh no, we don't need to do that.  Well, this morning I witnessed at least 20 deer running into the trees behind our house. AHA...I knew it.  I immediately texted my husband at work to tell him the news.  I of course had to rub it in, wouldn't you?

My chickens are doing good and I found out their ailments are normal.  The Vet told me that they can fight about food and that causes them to loose their nails or their beaks can chip.  So, nothing serious I just have to keep an eye on them.   When ever I bring them out a special treat I definitely notice they get more aggressive.  Especially Sabrina, she actually comes charging at me to get the goods first.  Well, it is late and I feel as though I am not making sense, so off to bed I go.  Goodnight all!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The biggest loser

Well, we didn't win the ugliest bathroom contest.  I figured we wouldn't, but it sure would have been nice.  So, fixing the bathroom stays on our list, our long list of to-do's.  Our previous home had so much closet and storage space and this old farm house has none.  I feel like I am surrounded by stuff all the time.  I can't seem to put it anywhere, so it gets shuffled from here to there.  We need to make better use of the space we do have and we need to do that soon. 

Sabrina finally laid an egg yesterday.  We were outside most of the morning and she was chattering away, even my oldest son asked me what she was talking about.  Well, not long after she was up on a nest box.  She was there for a couple of hours and finally she left an egg.  She must of figured out she was going to be dinner and decided she better pull her weight. 

More warm days this week, so we will be working outside getting the land ready for planting and gardening.  It won't be long and my huge shipment of plants and trees will arrive, so I have to get the prep work done now.  I enjoy working outside...I sure wish it was warm here more days.  The sun is shining, so time to pull myself together so I can get outside. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Spring, oh Spring where are you?

Good Morning.  This time of year is hard for me.  It is still technically Winter, but Spring keeps teasing me, showing up and then disappearing again.  It is still too cold to do any planting, but I have Spring Fever so bad.  I went to a local nursery this week to buy our vegetable seeds.  Since I do have the "fever" I decided to buy some herb plants for indoors.  I bought Rosemary, Basil and Oregano...my favorites.  I have already planted them in a pot and I am enjoying seeing and smelling them. 

While tending to my hens yesterday I noticed something was wrong with Laverne's foot.  Two of her nails are missing, so today I have to go talk to our Vet and see what to do about it.  Also, I noticed Shirley's beak is chipped...my chickens are falling apart.  Hopefully these things are normal and it isn't a big deal.  I will find out today.  Three out of my five hens are laying eggs, the other two have decided they aren't ready to start.  Sabrina, the one that always has a lot to talk about is one that hasn't started laying yet.  I have been telling her that if she has so much to say, she better start showing for it.  No eggs...no hen (except for in our stew for dinner).

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Room with a view

It has been a couple of days since I blogged.  We had a super busy weekend fixing the boy's room.  Wow, what a difference!  It turned out so great.  We didn't get all of the little details finished before they came home, but they loved it.  They were so excited when they saw their room.  It is so neat to watch your children be happy and it made all the hard work worth it. 


Before


As I have mentioned before, this house has been neglected.  Also, whoever did work on it in the past didn't do a good job on any of the carpentry.  This room was probably the worst.  There was absolutely no trim work at all.  Luckily my husband knows how to do a lot of this kind of stuff.  His father taught him and my husband will get to teach our sons.  My boys are in their room all the time now playing and just loving it.  Our youngest went from a crib to a bed and has been doing awesome.  So, overall this project turned out really successful.  Now, I am going to relax while my kids nap because I am tired.  Bye. 




After



Saturday, February 19, 2011

And we're off...

This weekend we are fixing up our boy's room.  We have already started getting it ready at 7:00am this morning.  I woke up at 5:30am and couldn't go back to sleep.  I woke up thinking about their room and I can't wait!  It's funny the things that excite you once you have kids.  They are off to Grandma and Grandpa's house today.  They love staying there and it allows us to get a lot more done without them in our hair. 

We got three eggs again yesterday from the hens.  This morning my husband and I are going to have eggs and toast for breakfast.  It is pretty cool to be able to eat eggs from your own chickens.  Homesteading is something I love more and more every day.  My hens are digging holes in their hen house.  I guess they are searching for bugs in the ground, but it is making a mess.  Also, my chickens have a new roommate.  Of course this fury friend invited himself and I am not happy that he has made himself feel right at home.  Yes, we have a mouse in the hen house.  I have seen him a few times and I have to admit that he is cute.  I hate mice and the idea of mice, but they are cute somehow.  I have to figure out a way to get rid of him, but I can't seem to come up with a safe way...YET!

Well, off I go and I will post pictures after we finish the bedroom.  Bye.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Rain, rain go away...

We don't get very much rain where we live, but when it rains I cringe.  Not because I don't like rain, I actually enjoy the rain.  The reason is because our old farm house doesn't like the rain nor does it hold up against it very well.  We know part of our roof needs to be replaced, luckily it is a small section, but the elements finally won.  This morning I found a small leak in our breakfast nook.  The leak isn't major, but it isn't something you get excited about discovering regardless of its size.  A call to my husband letting him know the news, wasn't the best decision I made today.  Something else to add to his sooner than later list, keep in mind that list is growing a lot faster than the later rather than sooner list.

Today I entered a contest for "the ugliest bathroom."  I have actually never entered a contest, but when I saw the title and we have just that, I figured why not?  We deserve a little help considering all the work we have done on this old house.  How awesome would it be to win a free bathroom makeover.  Of course, I realize I probably won't win.  I don't seem to have luck for those sorts of things, but it is worth a shot.  Believe me that our bathroom is ugly.  It isn't being used right now because we had to tear out the shower wall and all the adjoining walls because of a leak and mold.  They decide the winner at the end of February, I will let you know if we win.

Enjoy your day everyone...until next time.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

On to bigger and better things

Today has been a day of cleaning and organizing.  No matter how many times I organize my boy's playroom, it seems to become cluttered in a matter of hours.  It is driving me insane...totally insane.  So, new rule starting today, whatever is left on the floor at bedtime goes into a box and it is gone (at least temporarily).  We shall see if this new rule works.  I can already predict the future on this one and the answer is "no." 

This weekend my husband and I are going to work on our boy's bedroom.  It is one of the rooms we haven't worked on and it so desperately needs it.  So, we are painting, decorating, hanging curtains, etc.  We are sending the boys over to Grandma's, so we can get the work done and so they don't have to sleep in paint fumes.  I don't necessarily want high toddlers (with cabin fever).  I am really excited to fix their room up and our youngest son is going from his crib to a big bed.  So, this weekend will be a big deal in their little lives.

Yesterday we got three more eggs and so far none today.  The days are warmer and so my hens like to lay in the sunshine absorbing all that yummy heat.  I can't blame them as I like to do the same thing.  Today I was able to hang my sheets and towels on the clothesline...oh how much I love sheets dried in the outside breeze and sun.  Well, I am off to paint some trim for the boy's bedroom.  Bye.

Monday, February 14, 2011

No pain, no gain

Today I am sore because we did a lot of work outside this weekend.  My arms and my back are in pain, but it is that good pain, you know?  The pain that reminds you how hard you worked.  The acreage that we have was neglected for so many years and it needs a lot of tender loving care.  Luckily, our winter has been pretty mild and we have been able to work outside throughout the season.  It is getting exciting because we have gotten rid of most of the weeds, of which were as tall as me.  We are cleaning up the piles of rocks, wood, trash and whatever else we find laying around.  Spring is just around the corner and since we got a lot of the prep work done, we will be able to start working on landscaping and planting sooner.  I order a bunch of plants and trees this weekend.  I am going to have a lot of digging in my future.  Just to give you an idea, I ordered 100 strawberry plants...that is just the tip of the iceberg.  Even though it will be a lot of hard work, it will so be worth it when I get to enjoy the "fruits" of my labor. 

Yesterday was a good day too because it was the first day our hens laid more than one egg.  We actually got three eggs.  They make a really loud and funny noise when they are laying.  My youngest son thought that it was so funny and my older son informed me, "our chickens are annoying."  We also had our pancakes and eggs for breakfast.  The eggs were so good.  The taste of them was so different than store bought eggs.  The yolk tasted very sweet and rich.  They were delicious.  We are very excited for eggs, eggs and more eggs.

Well, while my kids nap I am headed outside to check on my chickens and enjoy some warm sunshine.  Have a great day.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

With a mow mow here...

Good Morning.  Weekends are nice because we are all together and are able to get more tasks done around the land.  The weather is warm enough to work outside, so that is what we have been doing.  A lot of our land is pasture, but it has been unkempt.  Slowly, my husband has been mowing it down with just a little lawn tractor.  It is funny to look out and see him on this small mower in this big pasture.  So, yesterday I decided to lend a hand.  That kind of work can be therapeutic for me and I needed some therapy after this week because my kids have been driving me crazy.  Being a stay at home Mom can be frustrating at times.  I love my boys, but they are boys and it is winter...so let's just say cabin fever with toddlers can be an interesting combination.  Anyway, so I spent an hour or so mowing and then I gave up because my finger tips (with gloves on) were going numb.  Not to mention I was mowing down weeds my husband had left up on purpose, so as not to spread the seed all over.  Whoops! 

Our chickens are enjoying the warmer temperatures, so they come out of their hen house more often.  My husband told me that while I was mowing yesterday, Sabrina was going crazy.  He said she was annoying and wouldn't stop talking.  I wonder what she was upset about?  She doesn't do that while he is out mowing. We did get another egg yesterday morning.  I think this morning for breakfast we are going to cook them up and have them with pancakes.  Yum!  I will let you know how they taste tomorrow.  My oldest son, who is four years old, is excited to try the eggs and truth be told, so am I.

Today will be another day filled with chores, but the more chores we do the prettier our land looks.  It is amazing how quickly this place has transformed and we will be putting in new windows and painting this summer.  Then, it will look awesome.  I can't wait!

Enjoy your weekend.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Worms

Today was a pretty unexciting day here at the farm and my chickens didn't lay any eggs.  However, I did discover a not so wonderful thing.  When I went out to the hen house I noticed one of the poops looked strange.  So, I picked it up with a stick and brought it outside.  Upon further investigation I realized one of my hens has worms.  So, I called my local "farmacy" and told her what I found.  The Veterinarian we work with told me she just did some research on that very subject.  So, we are ordering treatment that we put in the water.  The bad news is, while on the medicine, we can't eat the eggs.  Seriously?!  We just started getting eggs and now we can't eat them for about a month. I realize it isn't the end of the world, but it is frustrating.  Part of the learning curve, I guess.

Not much else to talk about today.  I hope (and you probably do too) that I will have stories on something else besides chickens.  We shall see...until then, I bid you adieu!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Twiddle Dee and Tweedle Dum (aka my two dogs)

Another cold day today.  Farm chores and winter is not my favorite combination.  I keep thinking of Spring and Summer...hopefully one of them shows up soon.  It took most of the day, but I did end up with egg #3.  This afternoon I went out to check on the chickens water and give them a treat of broccoli pieces (yes, they love all kinds of foods, even broccoli).  Then I opened the hen house door and Shirley, our white hen, was sitting on a nest box laying an egg.  I felt like I was intruding on her personal time, so I quickly closed the door and waited until she came outside.  A few minutes later...voila...an egg.

Moving to open land from a fenced in 1/4 acre lot is a big change for two dogs.  We have Oliver, a border collie mix who is almost 11 years old and Sam our dachshund who is five years old.  Oliver hasn't exactly figured out the rules of the farm.  He likes to roam, not just on the 5.5 acres we own, but anywhere he feels like visiting.  That includes prancing down the road to who knows where.  Sam, will roam at times but mostly he enjoys searching for mice.  Initially, we contemplated getting a cat to control the mice population.  We soon discovered that was unnecessary because Sam loves to hunt, catch and even eat mice.  Unfortunately, I had to witness him eating one just a couple of weeks ago.  But, I can't complain, better in him than in my house.  I am sure I will have more dog stories for you from time to time.

The days are getting longer each day, so I know warm weather is on the way.  I am sure once Summer hits, I will be complaining about how hot it is.  The grass is always greener, isn't it? 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

That's what she said

Greetings!

Today was an exceptionally cold day.  We reached a whopping 25 degrees for our high, needless to say outdoors wasn't on the menu for today's activities. We got egg #2 today, of which I was surprised because of how cold it was last night and this morning.  Our weather is supposed to warm up by the weekend, so I am crossing my fingers that we get a lot more eggs.

I didn't have much for "farm" chores today, but I had other errands to run.  My kind Mother came over to watch my boys so I could have some alone time.  I always appreciate running multiple errands without the kids in tow because in and out of car seats is enough to make anyone crazy.  I had an a-ha moment during one of my errands.  I went to an office to drop off papers, while waiting I noticed a group of women chatting away.  They were obviously irked at something and they were discussing it amongst themselves.  While watching them all I could think of was that I am glad that isn't me.  I am so thrilled that I have a farm to care for and I don't have to put up with all that B.S. anymore.  I feel free and seeing them disturbed only made me smile at the fact that my husband and I TOTALLY made the right life choice for us.  I know it doesn't work for everyone, but for us it just fits.

Hopefully tomorrow I write about egg #3...we shall see.  There are some not so fun chores, like taking the ice off the chickens water every two hours.  Keep in mind, if the water is freezing...so am I!  This weekend we will take advantage of the warmer weather, so I will have more to talk about.  Have a good night all!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

cluck, cluck, cluck...

Good Morning!

Today we woke up to snow.  My boys love the snow, but I just see lots of mud in my future.  In the mornings I have my routine of making coffee, feeding my kids and watching cartoons.  Now that we have chickens, I have to go out in the morning to get them fresh water and give them some scratch (corn and grains).  Well, today was an exciting day because I went in the hen house and to my surprise there was one egg sitting on a nest.  I couldn't believe it.  I have been waiting for two weeks for this moment.  It was still warm, so which ever one of my hens laid it, she just did it this morning.  I ran in the house and showed my boys...they were so excited too.  Finally, we are going to start getting our own farm fresh eggs.  SO COOL!

Hens are funny in that they all have personalities, just like you would find in a pet dog or cat.  Okay, they aren't as smart, but they still have a personality.  Each group of hens has what they call a pecking order, so it didn't take long to figure out which one was the leader.  Sabrina is without a doubt #1 in the pecking order.  She gets the "treats" first each time and pecks at the others who try to join in too quickly.  She is a talker.  As soon as I start walking over to them, she has to share her thoughts with me.  I still am not sure what she is trying to tell me, but I am assuming it is pretty important stuff because she has to let me know how it is while I am visiting them.  Hens for the most part are scaredy cats, for lack of a better term.  But, Sabrina is definitely not.  When I go into their house to clean it or give them new food, she stands their chatting away, never flinching no matter what I do.  So, which hen laid the first egg I do not know.  But, I can say I am so proud of my little group of chickens and look forward to finding more and more eggs every day!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Here we go...

Good Afternoon!  I have never blogged before, but I thought it would be fun to share the ups and downs of my newest endeavor.  In September of 2010 my husband and I purchased an old farm house on 5.5 acres.  The year prior to our purchase we talked and talked about starting our own small farm.  We wanted a different life besides living in a subdivision with two cars, two kids, two dogs, etc.  We wanted to have space and create a life more meaningful.  We have two young boys and we desired to raise them outside of what is considered "normal" for the average American.  So, we decided to sell our house and look for a house with land.  We managed to find one in the same small town we were already living in...one less stress.  It was scary to actually do it, but we decided why not.  What do we have to loose?  Worst case scenario...we sell the farm and go back to our previous way of life. 

So, here we are, it is February 2011.  We spent the past six months fixing up the house.  This house is over 100 years old and very neglected.  The first week we moved I cried each day asking, "what did we do?"  There was a lot to do, but day by day we got stuff done.  We had to tear out old floors and put in new and refinish hardwood floors.  We painted walls and cabinets and tore out sinks and found termites and leaks and mice.  You get the idea about how awful this place was?  It was bad, but now we are living in the house and we still have tons of work to do, but it is 100% improved.  I will share the journey of new tasks on the house as we work on it as well as post before and after pictures.

Spring is just around the corner and we are excited to finally work on the land.  Two weeks ago we got five laying hens (who have yet to lay an egg).  They have been so much fun..through the cold and my dog getting one, but luckily just her feathers.  I even had a dream last night that the white one (Shirley) had laid three eggs.  Yes, I named my hens...Laverne, Shirley, Henrietta, Veronica and Sabrina.  I will keep you updated on how they are doing as well.  We have figured out the space for our garden and I have planned out the vegetables we will be growing.  You see, our biggest feat is to grow and raise as much of our own food as we can.  We will learn as we go...through good and bad moments.  The stress of this new adventure sometimes is overwhelming, but for the first time in my life I am in LOVE.  I love my husband and my children and so many people, but this is the first time I am in love with what I am doing.  I am elated at times.  My friends all think I am slightly crazy and they call me farmer Janice, but I just smile because I am so happy.

So, day to day I will write what is new and as I remember stuff over the past six months, I will share that too.  Thanks for reading!