Thursday, March 29, 2012

I Guess I Didn't Need To After All

After forty some odd calls to the County animal control, I guess they finally got tired of me and came and picked up the two dogs that was giving me so many problems.
I am proud of myself for handling the situation by going through the proper channels and not just killing the dogs out right. It is not the dogs fault.
I never could get a call back and this morning the guys boss just happen to pick up the phone when I called. Well wouldn't you know it, the animal control officer called me within two minutes of me hanging up with his boss lady. Ha, go figure.

Work has had me slammed these past couple of weeks and I am finding it hard to post on here when I get home so late. Today was and exception and I got off at a reasonable hour. What to do with a little daylight left, mow of course. I really didn't want to and after much debate with myself and I think I even twisted my own arm, I decided it's only going to get worse if I prolong it.
I guess I didn't need to after all because as soon as I was done with the front I ran out of gas. Oh, the bad luck (sarcasm intended)
At lest the front is done.

I really don't care what happens this weekend I am going fishing. The creeks are still high but I know of a spot that I can get to if I get there early enough. It's one of the only spots there is to fish right now and everybody wants it. First come first serve.
I might just take my tent out there the night before to insure I get the spot. Kinda like those city people do when a new I-Phone comes out. "Open, Open, Open"      

Monday, March 26, 2012

I was Going Fishing But...........

From the beginning of last week I knew I was going to have to work this past weekend so I did not plan anything. I just figured the weekend was ruined so I didn't even bother.
Late Friday afternoon my contractors decided they had enough and were taking the weekend off. I was as giddy as a sixteen year old school girl going on her first date, I think I even giggled once.

During my hour drive home Friday afternoon my head will filled with the possibilities of what could get accomplished during the next two days. I did not want to forget all the ideas running through my head so I took out a note pad and while driving 70 miles and hour, started writing down all my plans. Of course I was watching the road and not my writing.
When I pulled into the drive an hour later I looked and noticed my list was huge. At the top, the very first thing was Fishing. At the bottom, the very last thing was Fishing and between the two was nothing but work.
This list of items to be done was an unachievable list. Only a person with super human capabilities could check off every item but I was determined to make a heck of a dent in it.

I did not have much time Friday to start on the mammoth list because I had a date with the wife. On the way out to the movies I checked my fishing holes for accessibility and was disappointed. The recent floods had the creeks out of their banks and there was no way to get down to them. It was pointless to even try. Two checks off the list and I haven't even got started yet, but those were the fun items I did not want to check off yet.

Bright and early Saturday morning had me building a new kitchen herb garden to add to the wife's first one I built a couple of weeks ago.  

Now she has three herb beds and I really need to get started on the solar dehydrator.

We also added three new raised beds to the garden area. This will make around 800 square feet of raised beds we have now. If you are wondering, yes the grass was removed and a barrier was put down. Now I need to add the sprinkler systems to the new beds sometime this week. 

We ran out of compost and had to make a run to get another truck load.
One wheelbarrow full at a time was hauled in and dumped. We actually still need more but it can wait.
The wife built some nice little pot holder shelves to keep all her pots off the ground so I do not have to weed eat around them all anymore.
Thank goodness.

The Mini Farm was also open all weekend and we had people coming and going during our work. I love it when they don't want to leave, but I was on a mission to complete that list.

I will not bore y'all with every detail of what was done so I just mentioned a couple of things I thought you might find interesting. I will say we kept a very busy pace for two full days.

We did go ahead and plant most of our warm weather plants on the hopes this heat wave we are having is not a fluke. Last year I was late on everything because I was scared, well not this year. All we have left to plant is Okra, Bell Peppers and Corn.

I will say this, it was real nice to work in the yard all day, in the sun and walk right into the garden bathhouse and soak our sore muscles.

And if you are wondering about that huge list, well all but one item was marked off. I think we did good.    

Friday, March 23, 2012

Good Intentions


I had every intention to get away this weekend and take the wife on an adventure to a little town in East Texas for nice romantic getaway. This town even has a Gone With The Wind museum. Oh it was going to be a grand time (sarcasm intended) . A Romantic carriage ride through the historic town of Jefferson, candlelight dinners, breakfast in bed, a haunted train ride through the swamps and walking hand in hand down the boardwalk stopping by every antique shop to ohh and aww at the items for sell.
At least that was the plan. I should at least get an "E" for effort and an "A" for the want too.

The rains here have put us even further behind and I just cannot justify leaving and blowing off another weekend again. We have been playing a little too much lately and our farm and funds show it. We have also been faced with a few problems that need to be addressed rather than avoided and to address them takes money.

So I guess for the wife not to feel completely left out, I will bring her a flashlight and a cupcake that way she can still have a sweet snack by fake candle light.

I do recommend this though. Tonight we will be going to see October Baby. A fantastic family friendly movie everyone should see. I have been waiting on it to release for two months now.
If this movie does not get your fire going, then your wood is wet.
If you are able, please support these types of movies and show Hollywood we are tired of their trash.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Spotlights On Wee

This week the spotlight is back on my youngest daughter "Wee"
If you are wondering how she got the name Wee, it is because she was the smallest of the three girls and from the beginning we always called her wee, wee. She said she has outgrown that name and doesn't like it so now we shortened it to just Wee. I guess it's more grown up.

Look at that big'o belt buckle would you!
The big County Youth Show was this week and Wee got to show her pig. If you remember, this is the same pig that had a real bad cut and we were not sure it would even survive. Avocado, (that's the pigs name) did heal. It took us going up there every day and washing the wound out and redressing it, but it healed.

For a free pig he did pretty good taking fifth in his class, better than I expected. We sold him for market there at the show and now we have one less mouth to feed. It is hard to let a show animal you spend so much time with go like that but Wee knows that's what it's all about. She said it is easier to just eat them.

I told her we are done. The teacher, the showing of large animals, I am done with it all. If you have been reading for a while then you know how much trouble we have had with this teacher and the cost to raise a large show animal is more than I am willing to dish out. Wee accepted it said she did not want to either.

Yesterday she came home from the show and was all excited and said next year she is showing a steer.
What part of large animal did she not understand.      

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Some Are Good And Some Are Bad

It's so funny, I have been trying real hard for the past couple of months not to write any negative posts or even think that way as far as that goes. I guess it was one of my new years unwritten resolutions.
I am still going to uphold that and after I am done saying what is wrong in this post, I will say something good to off set the bad.
Okay, here we go.

This has been one of those tough weeks where you almost want to throw your hands up and call uncle. Each thing that went wrong was not enough to push me over the edge, but added all together it makes a good run for it.

I had two good friends decide they were not going to blog anymore this week. I fully understand and thought about it myself on many occasions but I seem to keep coming back. I will will miss reading their blogs and hope they find what they are looking for and get the time to do some of the things they have been wanting to do.

The well broke again and I cannot find a well company willing to come out and fix it. I Jerry rigged the thing to at least work for a while but I know it will not last. Maybe with all this rain the well companies will get hungry enough to do the work I need.

Next, Wee's prize winning Red Satin Buck had to be put down. Something got in the Rabbit barn the other night and tried to pull it through the cage and broke it's little back. I had to put him out of his misery. It was sad to loose the money the buck cost and would have made us but it was even sadder to loose a loved animal that way.

I got the yard mowed Sunday and when finished decided to go grocery shopping. I forgot and left the gate to the gardens open and upon my return, all the chickens decided it was a buffet. All the lettuce, beans, carrots, kale, cabbage and a few other things were eaten to the nub. With the heat coming on I don't have the time to grow those veggies back. Total loss.

Friday one of our best nanny goats had triplets, two boys and a girl. We were afraid she would reject one so we pinned her up so the babies would stay close and at least get that special first milk. We fed and watered the momma and left her alone. The problem was we fed her too much and she either twisted a gut, floundered or bloated and died. It was a rookie mistake we should not have done. Our human intervention was the only cause I can think of. She was a perfect healthy goat and we screwed it up. So now I am bottle feeding three baby goats.    

That's the negative stuff, now on to the positive so I can balance this out and keep my word to myself.

I will always keep the friendship I gained with the ex-bloggers. I am very lucky I found them. They are family now.

I really don't have anything to say good about the well problem but I am sure it will work it's self out, maybe.

With the rabbit episode happening, now I have the motive to thin the stray cat population down.

The garden thing was really bad, but with the spring like temps I think I will go ahead and get my tomatoes and peppers in the ground being now I have room.

Nothing good about the nanny goat dying, it was all my fault. I posted a Craig's list add for the two boys and I am sitting here waiting on the people who are buying them. I was able to sell them quick before too much money was lost. There they are, BRB

The nice people just left and took the two boy goats with them. It turns out they are like minded and I give them a tour of the Mini Farm. It is always nice to meet other preppers/homesteaders because we have a lot in common and it makes for great conversation.
So see there, something good did come from it, new friends.    

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Is It Done Yet

I know, nobody asked to see the finished Kitchen Herb Garden Bed so I decided to show it anyhow.

To see the before picture look at yesterdays post.

Not bad for a hour and a half of work, a 55 gallon barrel and some old lumber laying around. Plus the wife is happy and that is really all that matters.

I am sure I could have done a little better job if I had the want too, but it'l do.

Now on to the next item of business.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

It's a Wonderful Day In The Neighborhood

Everyone remembers Mr. Rogers right?
The goofy little song you are now singing in your head that he sang when he walked in and changed his sweater and then sat down and changed from his tennis shoes into his slippers, or something like that.
Anyway, that is just I feel like now days, little happy Mr. Redneck.

As soon I get home from my job, I come in, sit down and change from my work boots into my backyard pair of work boots. Then get up, walk right out the back door and go to work again without even saying a thing. What a lovely day in the neighborhood. I ain't complaining, I actually like it.

This time change stuff will make it where you can work yourself to death if you ain't careful. Last night I didn't get done until a little after ten. I grabbed up the wife, mom and dad and we headed to the goat sell. I don't know why I do it but every time I go I say I will never go again. We only were able to pick up two little ones and one of those was a mistake that I really didn't want. I guess it will eat good.

Tonight I finished the shade for the three raised beds so this is what it looks like. The East end will stay open for the morning sun and the Noon to West sun will be shaded. Lets just hope it works.
Maybe next year I can work on shade for the other beds. Right now I plan to plant only Okra, Corn, Squash, Watermelon and a couple of other things in full sun.    
I also finished the strawberry bed for the wife by using a huge tractor tire with the side wall cut out. I have it shaded from the West sun as well. By the way, did you know chickens love fresh tinder strawberries. I haven't seen the wife move that fast in a while when she saw the chickens helping themselves to her fresh planted strawberry plants.

Oh, that's not all. The wife said since I still had some daylight left I needed to build her another herb garden, just this time it needs to be closer to the back door so she could call it her kitchen garden. I took some old scrap wood and a barrel and did just that. The finished product will be done tomorrow I guess. The frame will be skirted in fence pickets to make it go with our decor. If you want a picture of it when I get done I guess I could post one if there is any interest.

That's all I got for now, I am done for the day. Thank goodness for dark and no I am not pulling out the lights....... Goodnight

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Wet and Soggy

The weather was not in my plans for this weekend. I knew there was a 90% chance of a wet three days but I looked at it as a 10% chance it would miss me and I would be able to get something done.

The unwanted house time while the internet was down did land me and the wife some indoor work time.
Along with Wee, BEB and Boppy, we all jumped in and started the mountainous task of making over 20 cases of Hot and Mild sauce. We did not get close to finished, but it was still fun. 

During some of the breaks in the weather we would go outside and work on the garden shades.
Last summer the gardens burn up and we can't have that two years in a row so shade is a must.
I used 16' cattle panels wired end to end to make 32'. Then bowed them up and over three raised beds. The beds are 16' long, 4' wide with a 4' walk between them. Both cattle panels nailed to each side bowed up to 10' tall in the middles. It took 8 panels to cover all three beds making a hoop house effect. On the panels I will wire on Lattice work. I have 8-4'X8' sheets and that will shade the Mid day to West evening sun.
I will post better pics later but the rain dampened the completion of this little project.       

Friday, March 9, 2012

Project Launch

Through a friend I recently found the website Kickstarter. If you have not heard of it before, it is a Funding Platform website that will help you raise funds for new projects. If you have a good idea and need funding all you have to do is complete the application and submit the project. If your project meets their guidelines then they will let you launch it.

Being our goal is to have the Mini Farm be a full fledged CSA, I decided to try it out and submit that project to Kickstarter. They liked it and launched the project yesterday. I asked for funding to build new Gardens and Greenhouses to provide the space to grow enough food for the CSA members. The Mini Farm already has a customer base with the animals we sell and many customers have asked to be put on the waiting list for when it gets up and running.   

You can go to the link below and check it out. This is my personal project that I submitted and when you click on the Mini Barn there will be a cute little video of me talking about what we want to do. I don't have all that fancy video equipment most of them used so it is just me in the truck talking to the computer.

I look at it this way, this is something we have wanted and is the goal of the Mini Farm. What could it hurt, right.
Thanks for checking it out.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Head Down And Focused

This week has had it's ups and downs already and it it only Wednesday.

The wife got a little part time job over Christmas to help out and it was suppose to only last till January but she did them such a good job they decided to kept her. She went from 15 hours a week to 40.
I am not one to keep the woman down, but with her working that much put a damper on the Mini Farm. Here, she is the the Mini Farm and without her there is no such thing.
I let her figure it out on her own so I would not be the bad guy again and four months later she did. Today she is back to being a full time farm girl again and has already booked some booths to sell her famous Hot Sauce.  

Things are moving at a good pace. We have a bunch of chickens for sell right now and people coming by daily. The incubators are pumping out chicks right and left and an order of new chicks of a different breed will be here next week. I am going to try out the breed Delaware and see how they sell around here.
Wee has bred all her rabbits in hopes of good litters and all the goats should kid Thursday night.
This weekend we will be getting the material for the garden shades because we do not want another disaster like last year.  

Wee (the youngest) decided to finish up the North side of the Bath House wall tonight and I think she did a outstanding job. Now everyday when I walk out the back door I am reminded of just what I stand for.  
Plus where she is sitting is where the garlic garden is and now that the wall is finished I can expand it and plant more.

I got a wild hair and finished the Pump and Solar housing box for the rain water harvest system. It is chambered and sealed where no water will get into the electrical side if a leak accrues. The solar cell will be fitted to the top of the lid and all the electrical components will be underneath.

The little brown dog is named Jethro and he has a sister named Elly. Get it, the Beverly Hillbilly's?
The little white dog in the back is Bella.
Yea, I am a sucker for lap dogs.

I even got the mower out tonight and started getting it ready. I will need a new battery and some regular maintenance stuff before she is ready but I think we are good to go.

That is all I got for now. Pretty slow I guess. Maybe things will pick up some and we can get busy.      

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Boppy is the nick name for my middle daughter. It is just something we have called her ever since she was little. She use to bang her head on the floor over and over when she didn't get her way, hence the name Boppy.

Being cooped up in the truck with a bunch of girls this weekend brought on some interesting conversations. One being Boppy asked why I never talk about her on the blog. She said that I talk about Wee and BEB all the time but never about her. I had to think for a minute and I guess she is right. I hardly ever talk about her.
So this is for you Bop.

My middle daughter was suppose to be a boy rounding out the American family dream of having one girl and one boy. Instead, Boppy popped out.  Her name was suppose to be Colt. 
After our third daughter Wee was born eleven months later I knew Boppy was in for it. I was also a middle child and knew what came with all that so I wanted to pay a little closer attention to her so she would not feel so forgotten and left out. That in it's self was a challenge. As it turned out Boppy ended up being just like me, stubborn, hard headed, reserved and needing nobody. Breaking through that thick, tough outer shell posed and still poses a small problem from time to time.

This last year has been the toughest. The new up and coming basket ball star that was promised a varsity position early on had her hopes and dreams bashed against the hardwood floor.
Boppy lived for sports, loving every aspect of competing including the hard training that comes with it.
Right before the season started she suffered some chest and heart problems early in the year that put her out and in the hospital for a while. She made up her mind and decided that her illness was not going to keep her from playing. Boppy fought back, recovered and was put back on the team from what I called the touch from God. You just don't come back from something like that.

Later in the season while playing the game of her life in another town she was hit hard and her head bounced off the hardwood floor causing a severe concussion. She did not want to tell us because of fear of being pulled off the team again and continued playing with the injury. Two games later during a home game, she was still dizzy and not being able to get her feet under her and was hit again.
When you watch your little girl stumble back to the bench like a punch drunk boxer not knowing where she is or who you are makes nothing else in the world seem that important. Without hesitation the coaches pulled her from the team and the doctors pulled her from school.

Three weeks later Boppy started training again and told us and the doctors she was fine. Her headaches were worse but she did not want anyone to know and she was tired of being benched. The doctor cleared her to go back to school and the coaches let her sit on the bench. Another week of hard training and with several correspondences with the coaches they decided to let her play.
Still a little shaky on her feet and trying her hardest to avoid the hits the end did happen, another earth shattering blow to the head. Damage was done and if she continued she my have lasting problems. The doctors and the coaches said she was done. We all agreed and told her playing was not worth it. After a few days and some very emotional times together she finally decided she had enough as well.
That was a month ago and she is back training again. I don't know what she has up her sleeve this time but I am watching.
One of the main reasons I do not talk about Boppy that much is because she works six nights a week and goes to school. When she is home it is to sleep, eat, shower and eat some more. She has always been the independent type and as soon as she got the chance to make her own money she took it. She and I bought her an old ford pickup last year and fixed it up together to a now pretty good running truck. Boppy got her drivers license last month and again, was on her own.

I spend most of my time at home working out back. When she is off work she does come out and see if I need a hand and even if I don't, I say I do just to spend some time with her.
Boppy is a key part in this little family of mine and plays an important role even if she doesn't think so.
I would catch a bullet with my teeth to protect her. 

Good job Boppy, I am proud of you for the Beautiful, smart young lady you have grown up to be.

For all you Big Bang Theory fans, she love to be sang "Soft Kitty" when she is feeling down.

Monday, March 5, 2012

It Makes Things Harder

The weekend of fun and play was great, but in the end I have to pay for it.

My main production days at the Mini Farm are Saturdays and Sundays. Take them away only once and I fall way behind. It will take me two hard weekends to get caught back up to where I was already behind. That is why we never go anywhere and if we do I always feel guilty about it afterwards.

If it tells you how far behind I am, I have not even broke out the mower from winter storage yet and everyone around me has already mowed twice now, plus I have more chicks hatching and nowhere to put them.
If it wasn't for this stupid thing I have to do everyday called a job, I could be sitting pretty good right now.
(That was funny)

To top everything off it is suppose to rain again this Wednesday and Thursday shutting down all operations.

Oh well, I am done stressing over this stuff. If it gets done it get done, if it doesn't it doesn't. No big deal.

I might just go home pop a cold one and kick my feet up, who knows.    

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Friends, Family And Celebration

There is just something about the great State of Texas.
Something about the history, something about how it came to pass, something about the whole fairytale of it all.
We spent the day in celebration of the Independence of Texas at the Birth Place of Texas in Washington on the Brazos. Just walking on that sacred ground, the same ground as Sam Houston and all the other founding fathers is breath taking in it's self.
The park outdid themselves on the event this year. Cannons roared, musket shots rank out and story tellers dressed in period clothing were at every turn, willing to share the history with anyone who would listen.
Even though I am native to this great State and a history buff myself, I learn something new every time I come here.
The 1835 working farm was in full swing. It is kinda weird walking around it though. Everyone is dressed up and working as if it was an actual work day. All the spectators just walk around them while they work asking questions about what they are doing. I personally feel strange about it because I want to help and not just stand there like all the city folk. I also hold my tongue when I see something not right when they are trying to pass it off as "Old".
I am just cool that way I guess.

That area is also where the oldest girl BEB goes to collage. We picked her up early and headed out. I got to spend the whole day with all my girls and that in it's self was the best part.

While we were down that way and after we got done at Washington, we headed over to finish out our evening sitting around and visiting with our good friends Hossboss and Yeoldfurt
You just can't find the gentle and friendly hospitality they show anymore. Even though we have met in person before, this was the first time they got to meet all the girls and just as I figured, instant family.
I want to tell y'all right now, you need to run over to Hossboss's blog and get the recipe for her homemade Lasagna. All I can say is don't let none get on your forehead, your tongue will beat the heck out of it trying to lick it off.
Good people right there.

Heading back home in the morning. I did have a chance today to stop off at the amazing military surplus store down there and picked up a new Bug Out Bag. A much bigger one this time. It was BEB's birthday present to me. I will post pics later.

It is late and I have a long drive in the morning, goodnight.            

Friday, March 2, 2012


Happy Birthday TEXAS

 "Govern wisely, and as little as possible"