Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Bottom Line

I remember back 100 years ago when I was in school and taking AG. I showed pigs and at that time there was only five or six of us that showed them. The rest of the class showed steers or horses and the AG teacher would spend all his time with them. We would have to find our own way to the shows and never got any help on anything we needed. The steer people would get the AG trailer and all the new equipment and were able to do whatever they wanted to whenever they wanted to.
I remember the teacher saying every year he was going to visit every one's projects but never being able to make it out to the pigs, rabbits or chickens. He would only visit just the steers and horses.
As I got older I realized it was about the money. The kids that showed steers and horses were always the ones who had a rich daddy. I guess it was the teachers job to take care of them the best.

The bottom line is, nothing has changed. Last weekend at the local show the teacher never came over to my daughter, heck the teacher did not even know she was there, but she sure spent all her time helping with the steers. She was even helping the kids in the ring.
This mishap with the County Youth Fair was both the teachers fault and the daughters. The daughter got the entry forms in but not the money and that is why she was not entered. The teacher made sure the steers and horses got the money in but failed to remind the daughter of hers. The daughter should have been more on top of it by asking, after all it was her project. If she was showing a steer or a horse, the teacher would have made sure she got the money in like she did with the others.

We stopped showing the pigs up here because you have to house them at the Ag barn and the teacher regulates the feeding. So far we have lost three pigs from the way she manages the animals. She would starve them and then they would not make weight or change feed and they would prolapse and we even had one die. I begged the teacher to stop what she was doing but what do I know, I am not a rich daddy.

Anyway that is the story. It may sound a little bitter but there it is. I take blame in all this as well. I should have asked more questions I guess.

It does not stop at just the AG barn either. In all the sports the kids play the coaches are all bought. They want to make sure the kids that have family money get special treatments no matter if they can play or not. It is sick I tell ya. It is had to blame the coaches because if they do not show favoritism then they will be out of a job the next year because these certain families control the school board, city council and all the little local clubs all over town. I tried to get in with them when I first moved up here but I was an outsider and not a lifer as they call themselves and they did not want any outside people in there little clicks.     

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What Did I Do?

This was my second day on the new project with a new company. I am not sure this was the right decision or not yet. I went from gravy right into the frying pan. The last job I was on was a 290 Million dollar project and that was the biggest I had been a part of so far. Now I am on a 1.1 Billion dollar one. You can imagine the shock and aw I have right now.

I have no choice but to figure it out and just get r done, but I might have shot myself in the foot on this one.

This weekend is the County Youth Fair and we just found out the youngest shows tomorrow and not this weekend. We also just found out the Ag Teacher did not enter her for the show. She is avoiding our calls and will not even talk to us. I am trying to find out what if we just showed up.
I tell you right now I am as hot as pistol right now. Ill get back to ya on this one.       

Sunday, March 27, 2011



There is nothing better than checking a major project off the list. Yesterday I helped stimulate the economy by getting all the fencing materials to fence off the whole place. My main goal for the day was get back in time to at least get the t-posts in the ground and maybe next weekend finish the fence.
We were running about an hour behind schedule when we got back home, but the good thing was the youngest had not shown at the local FFA show yet so I was able to run up to the AG barn and watch her before I got busy on the fence job. She ended up getting First, Second and Third. The funny thing is, the Second and Third place rabbits are the ones I was worried about and thought would be DQed. Next weekend is the County Youth Show. A lot more entries we be there so this will be the first real challenge of the season, but this one was a good start.
By the time we made it back home it was already 2:00pm so I figured not much would be done as far as fencing and I also knew all day tomorrow would be spent cooking for the youngest and her birthday party, but never the less we pushed on. My Dad brought over the tractor so we could drive the posts in quicker, the middle girl called her brand new boyfriend to come over and help, our friends D&R pitched in a helping pair of hands. We also had my niece and my Mom there and my youngest girl and wife dove right in and helped as well. It looked like a small army running string line, setting posts and wiring fence.
Let me tell you what my family and friends did. They all worked till dark to get this done. I got up this morning and looked out to see a completed fence all the way around the property. That is something right there. I cannot think them all enough for their help.    


 Ribs, Ribs, Ribs everywhere!!!
Wouldn't you know a cold front moved in overnight to bring the temps down to the mid 50s for the day with the added misty rain. A fantastic day for a BBQ.
The small fencing army that worked so hard yesterday and a few added friends were treated to a BBQ to die for. Who needs ideal weather to cook good food anyway?
Every cooker I had was full of food. Some was smoked with Hickory, some with Oak and some with Mesquite. Our friends D&R stayed last night after the fencing and helped with all the prep work so it wouldn't be so hectic to try and get everything together in the last minute. 
On the chicken we dry rubbed the legs and marinated the breasted overnight. On the ribs we also dry rubbed and let sit overnight. Before the night was over we had the potato salad done, the smoked salad cut up and ready and everything else we could do to make it easier for the next day.
Everything turned out better than expected is all I can say.

As far as the requested recipes, I asked my Mom how she did the Honey butter rolls and she said she would tell me but then she would have to kill me. LOL One day I will know. 

The Smoked Salad:
Yellow Squash, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Onion, Mushrooms, Cabbage, Bell Pepper, Italian dressing, Butter, Liquid smoke, Tabasco Sauce, Worcestershire sauce, Garlic, Salt, Pepper. 
I have never measured any of these ingredients. You just put as much as you like to your taste. 
Put everything in a pan and mix it up. Put it on the smoker uncovered for about two hours at about 225. I usually stir it every 30 minutes to get the smoke on everything then cover until everything is tinder but not mushy.          
Depending on what wood you use is really the flavor. Mesquite gives it a twang, Hickory and oak gives it a deep flavor and peach or apple gives it a sweet flavor. A very simple way of having a explosive taste.

Everyone have a great week. Tomorrow I start my new job so there is no telling what could happen. That is why I used Cattle panels for all my fencing. Just in case I get fired and run out of money we might have to leave in the middle of night so I want to at least be able to take the fencing. 
That's funny right there. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Back In The Saddle Again

The hectic everyday life's events are back in full swing again. The times of sitting all day down at the creek are over.
Preparations are being made for the big fencing job to complete one of the most major items on the "To Do" list. It has only taken me a year but who's counting.  I have said I was going to do it for a month now but if everything goes right then Saturday morning before the show I plan to run and get all the fencing materials. I look at it this way, If I say it enough, it is bound to come true.

We are also getting ready for the Local FFA show this weekend. Tonight we brushed and clipped the nails of all the rabbits the youngest is showing Saturday and yes I did get too close on one nail. Did you know that if you get to close to the wick and a rabbit starts to bleed, it can bleed to death? I didn't, but I sure do now. We did not have any blood stop so the wife ran in the house and got some baking soda or something and dipper the poor little things foot in it and I think it did the trick. I ain't ever heard of that either.

We also have a birthday this weekend. The youngest is turning 15. When I asked her what she wanted for her birthday she said she wanted fried chicken. So on the menu this Sunday, friends and family are coming over to have some Smoked Ribs, Grilled chicken, Potato salad, Baked Beans, Smoked Salad and of course Mammaw's homemade honey butter rolls. I am thinking of adding Deviled Eggs, Stuffed Mushrooms and Grilled Stuffed Peppers just for the heck of it. As far as the fried chicken, she can wait till next weekend for that.
If anyone wants recipes just let me know.

With all that going on this weekend I still plan to visit the creek at least once.
It was nice to lay around and just relax for a month there and do what ever I wanted to do. I was able to get back to nature so to speak and focus on what's really important in life. I was able to go visit Mom and Dad more than I had been doing. I was thankful to spend more time with my girls and I also spend a little more time helping some friends.
Maybe I learned something this last month. I don't care to take the time to stop and smell the roses because you can't eat roses, but maybe I learned that no matter what it is that has to be done right now, there is always time to get back to the basics and sit a spell down on the creek bank and just live.         

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Chick, Chick, Chick

Who would have figured, just by mistake we increased our hatch rate, big time.
We had a bunch of eggs ready for hatching today and they were forgot about and left on the turner. The wife heard some peeping coming from one of the incubators and realized she did not put that one on lock down three days prior like she should have.
In a panic she transferred all the eggs from the turners to the hatching tray in hopes at least some would go ahead and hatch out. And hatch they did and they are still hatching. It looks like this bunch will top out at the 55% range which is a lot better than the 10% and 15% we were getting.

For as long as I have been hatching eggs, we always locked them down 2 1/2 to 3 days prior to hatching. When we had the big incubators we got around 85% to 90% hatch rates by doing that so I figured the same would go for the cheap ones as well. Needless to say, from now on we are going to let the eggs stay in the turners for a least another day to day and a half and see what that does.  

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Rabbit Crazy

Rabbit showing is back in full swing again.
Last year was our first attempt at showing these furry little things and even though we did not do as well as I thought we would, we did learned a lot. To be honest, I don't know what I was expecting last year. I guess I thought we would just walk right in and win every time. I don't think that was to unreasonable. 
Well as it turned out we had our butts handed to us. Not this year though. I have high hopes to extend the legs on some of them making their pedagrees even better.

This year we added five rabbits that were just babies and to small to show last year bringing the total to nine show quality bunnys.

This weekend is the local FFA show. This little show will help determine which rabbits are good enough for the rest of the year, plus the County Youth Fair is just around the corner and that one is going to be a good one as well.
We already know two of the rabbits we are taking this weekend will not make it at County but what the heck, the more the better right. Being that County is not sanctioned and does not count on the papers, we might just take them anyhow. If not anything just to try and sell.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Just Living

Spring break is over and the girls go back to school tomorrow. This list that the youngest made to get accomplished this week was barely even scratched. I think they got halfway through the first item. I can't blame them though. The weather was great and I didn't help by coming up with other fun stuff to do.

The youngest spent a couple of days over at papaw's this week and the middle girl spent some time with friends and at Six Flags.  Awl heck, even the kids need some time off I guess.

Yesterday was the first day I got to spend with all my girls at the same time so we decided to spend the morning trying our luck down at the creek.
The fish were biting a little to slow for us so after a couple hours we decided to reel it in.

Then we spent few hours out driving the countryside Geocaching.
I got some people that make fun of me for doing this because they think it is stupid, but I tell you this, Geocaching has taken me to places in my own home town that I never knew were there. We as a family enjoy it. The stuff you see is just amazing. 

 While we were out I got a chance to check out some new fishing holes.  I never leave home without the poles anymore. This place here will make a good secluded swimming area this summer but it is to shallow and clear for my kind of fishing.

To finish the day off, we spent till dark over at papaw's pond jigging minnows for Crappie.

What little work I did get done was goat proofing the garden. Now I can let the goats out in the back yard so I do not have to mow as much this summer. Plus, until I can get their big pasture fenced off this will give them a little more grazing room and cut down on the grain. 

This morning was spent back down at the creek with just me and the wife jigging the creek banks until we just had enough.
I am tired and I have not done any work to speak of yet this weekend.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

New Beginnings

Every new beginning comes with some fear no matter what it is. Monday I turned in my two week notice to my secured income. The job I am on is coming to an end and I was going to be transferred to a job 2 1/2 hours away. I had planned to stay there during the week and come home on the weekends but was not looking forward to it at all. Of course the wife was ok with it but the more I thought about it, the more I dreaded it.
Out of the blue another company heard about me some way or the other and called to give me a offer I could not turn down. I will be moved to another job but this job is just a little further than what I drive now and I will doing the same thing.
Even though it is a little more money and better insurance, starting a new job with a new company brings up some anxiety. As it is now, there is not a plan B so it has to work out.

Other news from MDR is, did you know that adding an extra mouth to feed will cost about $200 a month? I didn't.

The hatch rates are still unacceptable. We are just spinning our wheels and wasting electricty right now. We found the fan conversion kits for the still air incubators on ebay but the extra $200 a month for food has taken all the budgeted money for projects. So right now we are at a stand still on anything until something happens. What that something is I don't know yet but all we can do is wait for it.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Spring Break

The kids are off this week for Spring break and the wife's hair is already starting to fall out. With our new daughter we took in to raise the house has five women in it. I just wish my man cave was build. The problem with that is, the wife would take that over too.
The one good thing about Spring break around our house is that even the girls get tired of doing nothing and they take it apon themselves to go out and clean pens without even telling them. Take last night for instance, the youngest made a list of everything she wanted to do and asked me to ok it. I read the list and was amazed at what she put down. Things like staining the front and back porches, painting the little chicken pens, cleaning the spot for the rabbit room in the big barn and so on. Next, the middle girl came up to me and asked what she could do during the break because she did not want to be in the house. Wow! Who needs boys when you got a house full of girls that can work any boy under the table?

Yesterday was catch up day. All the playing we have been doing has caught up to us on the regular chores. So yesterday was spent doing just that, catching up on the things that we decided could wait and
just go fishing. All and all it was a good day.

Yall have a good now.  

Sunday, March 13, 2011

It Will Catch Up To Me

The fishing group is getting bigger every weekend. We are now up to seven people and two dogs that get together and try our luck down at the creek.  
This morning it was to windy and overcast. Around 10:00 the sun finally came out and the fish did start to bite some, just not fast enough to keep that many people satisfied. We ended the morning with only two keepers.

The girls then spent a good part of the day over at Papaw's doing some target practicing while the wife and I ran down to our friends D&R's to help them on their fencing project.  Papaw stayed with them and he even taught the new girl how to shoot. 
I would not trade these girls for any bunch of boys. They are something.

The one problem with all this play and not much work is that it is going to catch up to me. I need to be getting with it on these projects but the money is not there just yet. Next weekend is when we plan to pull the trigger and get some projects rolling but I can say this, it has been fun being lazy this last couple of weeks.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Old Dirt Road

Just about every post I read on my blog roll one way or the other talks about surviving in today's times. I have read some that are rightly worried about where this country is going and many others are sure we are living in the end times.
That conversation does not stop at just the blogs we all write on a daily bases. That kind of talk has also spilled over into our everyday lives effecting our every move. Coffee shops all over America are full of worried men that do not know if the fixed income they were promised for so many years will be there tomorrow. The small town sewing clubs talk in disgust about where our nation's leaders are steering this great country. At the water coolers at our jobs the conversations have changed from the latest inner office gossip to the ever growing concern if the Chinese will own us in the near future. Even our birthday parties have turned from a fun filled event to a doom and gloom downer reminding us this is all going to end very soon.
What makes us so obsessed with what is wrong and not on what we can do about it? Is the level of all the problems only a matter of what party we vote for or follow? I asked a Liberal what he thought was wrong with this country the other day and he said we did not get Obama in fast enough. In his mind the country was doomed until just recently and will be doomed again if we do not vote him back in. His preference is to let the government tell him what he can and can't do and for his elected to take care of him in every way no matter what the cost. How can we fight that type of mentality? We can't change their minds, we can't show them proof and we cannot reason with them because they are right. Yes in their minds they are right. So if they are right, and we are right then who is wrong?
The one thing I have read and heard the most is the statement that what is done is done and this has been building for a while now. Some do not want to point fingers on how we ended up like this and others really don't care as long as it gets fixed.
I have only read or heard very few explanations on why we the people let all this happen or how it even got started. Some blame the Zionist Jews and their master plan to take over the world and others just blame themselves for not voting the right way.
In all my Redneckism ways I have chosen to blame progress. The "Hurry, Hurry" and "I want it now" attitudes we as a Western civilization come to know has destroyed this country. It is nobodies fault but our own.

The first mistake we did was pave the dirt roads. We all have memories of an old dirt road and what it meant to us. People drove slower and had a friendly waved as they passed by. It is where we had our first bike wrecks and most of us walked our first girlfriend home on it. The dirt roads where I grew up were a part of my life and it was a real shame to see all the new pavement and fast cars with the drivers never looking up from their cell phones.
The second mistake we made was, we stopped sitting on the front porch. God forbid if our neighbor sees us. Front porch sitting was where all your family problems got worked out. It was where the old men gave the young men advice on how to live and to how to be a man. It was a place to still your first kiss. For me it was the gathering place after momma's home cooking and the men would sit around and talk about the weather and fishing. Today we put ourselves inside a small back yard with privacy fences six feet tall so we do not have to be friendly or see anybody.
The third mistake would have to be the separation of church and state. The wording should have been a little more clear so it could not be interpreted the way it is today. Taking God from our courts, our marriage and our schools has been the most destructive thing we have done. The Christians have tuned the other cheek way to often on this and let one voice out of hundreds dictate what we do and how we act. The ACLU only exists because we let it and we are to afraid of offending someone to make a stand.

I suppose I could keep on listing what I think we can point fingers at that caused all this. To blame one person is worthless and to blame a certain group of people would only be hypocritical. I blame myself for not standing up when I should have and not doing everything possible to help my way of thinking.

I know I am not saying anything you already don't know but the question is, how do we fix it? As luck would have it I have the answer. Are you ready for this? We need more Rednecks and dirt roads. That's that plain and simple.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Walk The Line

How good of a friend are you?
What is the difference between a good friend, a best friend and a true friend?
What lengths would you go to for a friend?
When is enough, enough?
Do true friends walk that fine line?

These are the questions I had to ask myself these past couple of days. I have heard it said that a true friend would walk ten miles for you, at midnight and barefooted. I have also heard that a friend would bail you out of jail on a moments notice, but a true friend is the one sitting beside you in the jail cell saying "That was fun".

I had the rare opportunity this week to either be a friend or a true friend.
Here is the story,
The wife and I have a friend we went to school with years and years ago and she is one of the very few high school friends we still keep in touch with. It seems her oldest daughter who lived in Tennessee was being abused by her father and needed out. The mom (our friend) lives in a small apartment with her new family and did not have room for her so you guessed it, we got the phone call.
I have had other friends tell me I am dumb, just looking for trouble and can not believe we would even consider it.
I look at it this way, one day for one reason or another I might need to ask a true friend for some help they might not want to do or puts them out a little and I can only hope the people that call me a friend would step up to the plate.
The girl is here now and so far so good. She has been city raised and never been around animals so I can almost bet this will be fun.
The Lord put her here for a reason, now I have to find out what he is wanting me to do.      

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


We had some friends over last night and while we were sitting around the kitchen table talking, my buddy asked me a simple question, "So what are you, a Off The Gidder or a Survivalist?"
It sounds like a simple question but it is one question I have never been asked before.
I thought for a couple of seconds and just looked at him. I had to really dig deep on this one and thought to myself, well what am I?
The best answer I could come up with at that time, save face and make it look like if nothing else I at least know what I am I simply said, "I am in between the both".
I went on to explain my answer as, I cannot afford to be completely off the grid but I try to do the best I can and as far survival, I just want to be ready for "It"

In a previous post I explained what being prepared for "It" was all about, but I told him anyway with "It" being whatever it is. Then I continued, as far as being off the grid, I priced everything out on what I needed to be completely self sustainable and it was around 40K. I am sure that if I made some major life changes and completely rehabbing the house's appliances I could do it for a little less.

That question also set me back and put me in my place a little. I could not believe I had to ask myself what I was and where I was going with all this?
If you were asked that same question, how would you answer?

I ended this conversation with my friend by saying, "Understand, I can not give a one word answer nor will I ever be able too. If I did it would be something like, "Survivoroffgridfamilymanredneckfarmerfriend" LOL

Here is the shortest answer I can give. I am a red blooded, blue collar American who is trying everything I know how to do so my family will be taken care of in case of "It".
If that means having a bedroom full of food, two big ugly tanks full of water behind the house, flower beds full of vegetables instead of flowers and a yard full of chickens then it is what it is.
What lable can I put on that?  

Sunday, March 6, 2011


The idea of taking a little time and spending it with the family down at the creek is getting addicting, maybe a little to addicting.

I'm not saying I didn't get done what chores that needed to get done like cleaning pens and that kind of stuff, I'm saying that when I am doing them, my mind is on that creek.
Maybe it's because of the good weather or it could be the fact we had a bad winter and was cooped up for over a month and the sunshine and nature is now calling me to the water.    

We all ended up bring some fish home to clean. I did not know we would get into them as good a we did and I dummied up and gave the first three away to another guy and I also threw one back that was just big enough to keep but I did not have a measuring tape with me at the time and did not want to chance it.
That is when the oldest girl ran back to the house and grabbed the little gas cooker and some hot dogs and yes, a measuring tape. 
I tell you this, a hot dog is just a hot dog, but when you cook it outdoors down by the creek while you are fishing, it is the best hot dog in the world.

As far as the Mini Farm goes, we have three incubators full and running. We had the worst hatch yet at the end of last month. I was to embarrassed to even post about it. Five chicks hatched out of forty two eggs. It was not even worth the electricity to hatch them. I just gave them to my dad so I did not waste any more money for the heat lamp on five chicks. Hopefully these will be better. 
The fencing project and the rabbit room has been postponed till after the 18th of this month so nothing but regular maintenance and chores is being done right now.

I did get a good deal on a 6'x300' roll of chicken wire yesterday that a guy on Craig's list was selling that my dad let me know about. He ended up getting three rolls and I just got one. I plan to cut it half and put it all around the bottom of the fence to keep the little baby goats in. They can just walk right through the cattle panels I have for the fence as it is now.      

*We had a couple of new members join the MDR family this week so I want to welcome them with a big howdy and a even bigger thank you. If yall need anything just drop me a email or a comment. Thanks again for joining and being a part of the Modern Day Redneck Family.   

Friday, March 4, 2011


There was a time that if something new as far as technology was concerned came out on the market, I was one of the first in line to get it. Cell phones, game systems, computers, TVs and on and on, it did not matter. I could speak gigabytes and megabytes to almost everyone and know what I was talking about.   

Technology fascinated me ever since I saw my very first cell phone. It was around 1981 or 1982 and I was in this car and asked the guy what this big block looking thing was on his floorboard. He told me it was a new thing they are calling a cellular mobile phone. I asked what it does and he said it is just like your home phone but it is in a car. I remember sitting up and looking through the back glass trying to find the phone cord he was dragging and I thought to myself "He must have a lot of that cord".
Years later It was almost as bad when a friend of mine told me about this thing you can go on with your computer and look up anything from all over the world. I asked him why would I want to do that and all he could say was "why not". He explained to me that this was what they were calling the information highway and I had to get it so we could talk back and forth. I told him that we were already doing that.
I remember the first time I logged on using my phone line. Yes it was slower than Christmas but I was up with the times.

Saying all this, for the past few years I have slid backwards. I have not ran out and bought the newest and greatest items just because I had to have them. As a matter of fact when I saw how all my kids and the wife were slaves to their phones and would shower with it if they could I decided I was not even going to have one of those stupid things anymore either, so I didn't. For over a year I was phoneless. You could not call me, text me, send me funny pics or smiley faces, find me by way of GPS or nothing, I was invisible. It did make several people mad because I was not at everyone's beckon call but they got over it. When someone would ask me for my cell number and I said I did not have one you would have thought the Pope died or something.

To get on with the story, Our cell phone plan came up for renewal this week and I decided I had made my point that I am not a slave to technology anymore so I got me a phone. It was the funnest thing, the sales guy I bet thought I just crawled out of a cave or something because I had no idea what he was talking about. I did not know what a "G" was when he ask if I wanted 3 or 4. I didn't know the difference between a "I" phone and a EVO. I told him I might not know what you are talking about but do you know the difference between a Speckled Sussex and a Buff Brahma.(Yea, he scratched his head on that one) Only a couple of years out and I am a Technology Dinosaur.
Needless to say, I now have a phone I do not know how to use. The buttons on the screen are so small that I miss dial every time I try and when I want to send a text, it spells words that I don't want to use. It does have a flashlight on it though so at least I can use it when I lock up the chickens.                 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Last One

I think this morning was the last freeze of the year. It was 29 degrees when I went to work and quickly warmed up to into the 70's. The average last freeze here is March 13th and most of the time it will drop down into the 30's at least once or twice in April.
It did not thunder in February this year so that tells me it is pretty much over and nothing but sun and fun is to follow.