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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Gotta Love Texas

Oh yes it was another wonderful Spring day here on the farm. The sky was clear, the sun was shinning, and I had lots planned to do outside, from breaking ground on the garden to watering and weeding. There was lots for Nana and the kids to do inside as well, from wash to cleaning to cooking. Then what happens? Well let's see first the pump went out on the community well, the repair man says that our well is the oldest in the community (there are 5 different grids) and he only knows of one company that still manufactures the parts, in Pasadena!!!! Putting a newer style pump on the older system did not work at all!!! they had to order the pump it should be here tomorrow, so we have no running water!!! Then around 2 p.m. I got hit with a severe allergy attack. I have sneezed for 9 hours now, with no sign of stopping, my nose hurts and I am so tired it is not funny.
We were also supposed to make the brownies for the bake sale, couldn't do it with me sneezing so we had to put it off, hopefully we can get them done tomorrow cause they have to be at the extension office by 4 tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Oldest ones first attempt at baking by herself


learning to measure the brown sugar without making a mess

Making homemade brown sugar





The dry ingredients



mixing the moist ingredients




Mixing it all together (it got to stiff for her to mix all of it so I did help her here)


Dishing them up after 2 hours in fridge



Perfection in the shape was her goal


She even put them in the oven by herself



Second Batch




I am so proud of her. Our Johnson County 4H is doing a blood drive and a bake sale on Friday to help benefit one of our Extension offices employees granddaughters who was just diagnosed with Leukemia and both of the kids decided to bake for it. David is making brownies tomorrow, will post those pictures then.

Wonderful Tuesdays

Well lets see, the day started out really bad. Nana woke up not feeling well, the kids woke up in bad moods and my sunburn is hurting worse than the day after i got it. But the day got 100% better when I sold my dishwasher!!! I know some of you are thinking "is she crazy" well probably but we don't use it so why keep it. Now I can go get some more materials to work on the outside of the house!!!!
Lets see I have come up with some new ideas for water conservation around here thanks to my dad. I am going to reroute the drains from the showers and the washing machine into the rain water system in order to garuntee a constant supply of water for the plants, and before you ask yes I use organic bio degradeable washing detergents and stuff like that. Once I get all the materials together to do this I am calling a Family day so everyone bettered be watching for the email :).
Didn't get much done around here today cause everyone feeling so bad, but I did manage to find some much needed items on Craigslist. Got about 30 foot of 2 inch PVC and a bunch of ceder planks and 2x4's. Welp that is about it for today. Hope everyone has a wonderful week.

Monday, April 26, 2010

This weekend in recap



Ok while Bob was at work yesterday I managed to get the windmill fixed and build my composting barrel. The kids painteded it green to match the house, but my oldest said it was to symbolize the fact that we are "going green".




The Mulch!!! 2 truck loads full to the point the springs were stressed out on the truck.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Gotta love Texas weather

Well let's see, originally planned to get alot of work done around the farm this weekend, but as well all know here in Texas we should not make plans. We had a severe storm last night, that lasted until about 4 am, then boom it was gone. Got up this morning to clear sky's and a swamp for a yard. I am beginning to think that mud boots are a new fashion statement.

NO sleep for the wicked

So much for any sleep for me tonight. The storms just started back up full force, and Bob is still at my sisters loading up the last load. This normally wouldn't bother me, but this is a really nasty looking storm and she lives an hour away on a good day. I just called him and asked him to leave the rest for tomorrow, but i was told that there is no storms there so he is fine. he is not cosidering the fact that the storms are here and between here and there. I was told that i was a worry wort and to just let him get finished.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Another day on the farm

Ok so today I decided that we needed to come up with a name for our growing little farm. I thought of some and then looked on line and found other farms with the same names. So I asked my family for some ideas (hahahaha). Not such a good idea, most of them looked at me like I had grown a 2nd head, or a 3rd arm. We, or I should say I, got a lot of stuff done outside today, even though it did storm this morning, it ended around 10 am and we had clear beutiful skys after that (praying for it to hold out the rest of the weekend). Bob went to go sell our monthly gathering of cans and recyclable metals, while on the way home my sister called with an emergancy. It seems that she ordered a load of mulch from a local lawn service. This was to be their small load, let's just say that if this was small I would hate to see large. It took up her entire driveway. So in an attempt to keep her loving HAO natzies off her back, he went to go help her spread what she needed (which was not very much to begin with) and bring the rest of it home. let's just say it is 10:40 p.m. here and he is making his fourth and final trip to move mulch, every load has been huge that he brought home. We should have plenty to fill the flower beds, and spread over the garden spot to till in (Hum, maybe this is the reason that god has made it nearly impossible for me to break ground on the garden yet?). I, on the other hand, have been at the homestead working on the fencing and putting up a gate all day. I changed the design of the wood on the fence in an attempt to maximize the amount of fencing that we can put up. In the process of that I also changed the location of the green house based being out in the yard all day, i was able to find a location that would recieve lots of the benifitial morning son and just enough of the afternoon sun to keep the temp elevated, but not boil the plants.
I also managed to come up with an idea for the remainder of the previous owners privacy fencing. Besides making a wishing well, I have decided to use the wood, what is useable of it, and make the chicken coop out of it. I must take admit that I took a moment and patted myself on the back for that one. I am getting so much better at finding new uses for the older things in our possession.
Last night I also found the coolest web site for those of us that are converting to the old ways of life for most of our means of survival. Mary Janes Farm, Farmgirl connection!!!! Ok so it is not new but it is new to me. I spent hours on it last night when I should have been sleeping. they have local area chapters of "farmgirls" who are learning to live simply and within our means. Unfortunately there wasn't a chapter for our area (strange because we are a strong farming community), so what did I do? I signed up to form a chapter in our area. Homegrown Girls will be launching as soon as our chater information arrives. they even have junior and beginner steps for the kids!!!! hopefully next week I can sign up for the marit badges and we can really start having fun.
wow I think this is the longest I have rambled on about the farm and our life out here. Hope to be able to post some pictures next week. Good night all.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Rain

Well more rain has fallen here. Which normally I would not be complaining about, especially this time of year, but I really need to get the ground broke for the garden and I can't when it is this wet. We lost some of the plants that I transplanted last weekend, not sure way, some are still doing great, others are ok and the then lost some all together. The only thing that I can figure is that the ones we lost were the weaker plants that we would have lost anyway. From the looks of it we are not going to have any corn this year, and the tomatoe plants are very small. Peas and beans are actually doing great. Most of what we lost were the cucumbers and the squashes. I am going to start some more on Sunday. Usually i would follow the almanac but this year has been so off kilter that it doesn't seem very accurate. Hoping to get the rest of the fencing up this next week. I only have one more week of school left so that will give me more time to devote to the farm. We are starting the kids lessons back up at that time, however since they don't require as much time for lessons as they did in public school, we will still have plenty of day light left to work (not sure how they are going to feel aobut getting up at the crack of dawn to do chores but, they are the ones that really pushed for this to be a real working farm). Bob is getting a little disgruntaled at the fact that I keep stopping him from doing things but he has to realize that to me there is a right way to do this and a wrong way and if we go about it the wrong way it will only cost us more in the long run, both emotionally and financially. welp it is late, going to head to bed now.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Weekend recap

Let's see, Friday the kids and I worked on putting up more fence. It went well until they started getting tired, then we started having more accidents. Bob turned his ankle, but it is doing better. We went to Uncle Tommy's on Saturday and had a great time. The kids helped do some work around his place, he fixed our weedeater, and Bob mowed the yard for him. Talked to Michael and Shanna about taking Haley and Matthew for a week this summer so that they can spend time with Nana. Marshall is still a little to young to spend that much time from his mother. Sunday I repotted alot of the garden plants because we still haven't got the graden plowed up, and thanks to the rain we won't for awhile. I am in my last 3 weeks of my school, so I told the kids to be ready to start back to school next week, also told Harley to be ready for classes this summer, she is excited about it. The part that is sad about the summer school is the fact that all 3 kids will techniqually be on the same level despite their age differances. If I could get away with suing a school district I would. Nessa wants to help with the kids schooling this summer, she wants to work with them on their writting lessons. Planning a couple of camping trips this summer for field trips.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Slow and steady wins the race

Ok so no luck so far finding someone to plow up the garden for me, but we did finally decide on one of the types of chickens we are getting. Nana want's old English Banties. problem is she seems to think we need a rooster with them (if we get a rooster he is going to be penned up right inside her room to drive little bit crazy!!!). We are going to Uncle Tommy's this Saturday so I have a lot to get finished before then from school to farm work. Looked up information today on living off the grid, man that would be so nice not to have to pay the man for the privilage of living. Looking forward to this summer when we will hopefully have most of the Farm up and running. Might not have the goats, those will probably have to wait till next year, but I will have my chickens, the coop built, the garden in, and the shop up and running. I know that is a tall order, but since this is something I have dreamed of all my life, I am going to push myself to the limits. Nana has decided that she will take care of running the house so that I can concentrate on the farm and school. she has taught kaylynn how to do the laundry (now if she will just keep it up), david does alot of things around the house too, but for the most part they are both outside with me working on a daily basis (if I could just get them to stop complaining about it) sometimes I am not sure these are my children, they are so opposite of how i was growing up, but i guess genetics has a lot to do with it. Bless his heart, bob puts in a full 8-9 hour day at work then comes home and starts working on the yard and the farm with me. His birthday is less than a month away, I am hoping to be able to do something special for him.

Deep thoughts

OK so this is totally off track but today I have been in deep thought about a very old and dear friend of mine that I have not heard from in over a year because his wife is jealous and is afraid that if she allows us to get to close and have contact that we will end up together again. Kevin was my first husband and will always have a special place in my heart, but he will never complete me the way that Bob does. I miss him deeply because he is the one person that knows me better than anyone, he is the one person that I can talk to about anything and he never passes judgement. He was my rock during all the stuff concerning David. I am sitting her crying as I type this because for some reason I feel that he will see this and call me. My number hasn't changed in 4 years, his however has, Amber now has his phone and I have no way to contact him. She sensors his facebook and myspace, she has deleted all of my family as thier friends on both. When the shooting occured at Fort Hood, I knew he was there and I tried to call and make sure he was ok, both Vanessa and I left messages but no one bothered to return our calls. Am I supposed to just forget him and live with this hole the rest of my life, my kids even feel the effects because Uncle Kevin has been a part of their lives forever. He was my pick for gaurdian should anything have happened to myself or Bob, but since she doesn't like kids, he asked me to change it. How fair is that?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Garden

Well lets see, I spent my weekend replanting seeds for the garden, and putting some bulbs in the ground up front. At the rate I am going we will never get the garden up and running. I priced some soil to be brought in for a raised garden yesterday and about had a heart attack. I mean really people it is just dirt, and I know the fuel prices are up but not enough to were 10 cubic yards of soil cost $900, that is crazy. Anyway gonna try something one of my neighbors suggested, she says that all she does is till up this clay and then add in top soil. She then works it real good and has no problems with drainage or compacting.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

This Week on the Farm :)

Ok so let's see, this week we have found lots of stuff on Craigslist to help us with what we need to get done. found a 9x12 wooden shed that is in ok condition, only have to replace a few boards, that will make a great shop, some landscaping timbers that will help to raise the garden beds to hold the good soil, and a bunch of beaded board and trim for fixing up the inside of the house. Fixing to go work on the yard and the front fence somemore and hopefully get the area cleared out for the new shed to go so that we can start putting it up and get the shop stuff moved up to it and the lawn equipment put in the back shed.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The New House

Ok a little back ground on our family. There is me, Melanie, my husband Bob, our 2 kids, Kaylynn and David, and my grandmother Helen or Nana as everyone calles her, living together. Our niece, Harley is also here most of the time, which is great cause I want my kids to grow up feeling close to thier family like I did. We have 4 dogs, 3 of them being Miniture Dauschounds: Little Bit, Scooter and Rhett, and one Italian Grayhound, Vinnie. and 3 rabbits Spot, Cocoa, and Hershey. For our big christmas present last year we finally baught a house in the country, the kids weren't to sure about it at first, but now they love it. My Nana, a devout city girl, even likes it out here, although we have come to believe that all the severe weather we had here in Texas this year is because my Papa is mad that she finally moved to the country.

We got one acre and a 5 bedroom house. The house is in ok shape, I have some minor changes that I will eventually make but for now we can live with it. The land is another story. I have learned that we have what is called Black Gumbo for soil. Basically it is nothing but clay, the trees and weeds will grow but that is about it. More on the ground issue in another blog. Since we are basically a one income family we have to stretch every dollar until it screams :). Seriously I have found some great deals on Craigslist and at our Local Flea Markets to get alot of what we need to get the yard in shape. We have just finished getting the fence up in the front yard, so that we can fianally let the dogs run. All that is left to finish with that fence is the decorative touches such as the runner boards to maintain the wire shape. I hope to finish that this weekend. The back yard fence is only a quarter of the way done, it is slower going because we are having to take down some old fence that was there and rotted.

Welp that is all for now, I will continue about the house later, it is time to get ready for school.