Thursday, June 27, 2013

Tomatoes! It's Hot!

Between applying and accepting a new Medical Transcription job and horrid internet problems, my posting has been rather sporadic lately!  It may be like this for a while longer until I get everything settled down, so just bear with me.  

I did want to say that I harvested our first ever tomato of the 2013 season!  It was DELICIOUS!  Nothing is as good as a home grown tomater.  Naturally, I gobbled it up in secret.  The selfish girl that I am, I didn't even share!!  Shame on me!

Anyhow, more tomatoes are coming along on the ol' tomato vine really nicely.  I hope our mean summer doesn't beat down on these tomatoes too hard because I want tons of tomatoes!

Lookin' great!
 It has been sooo hot lately.  The humidity and the temps are starting to make us fry!  We are hoping for some rain soon... Everything is still green but a few more weeks of this and things are going to start dying fast.  
 
HOT!!
Stay cool everyone!!  Have a great day!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Some Time Away

Our family has been crazy busy with everything from sudden bouts of horse illness to car and air conditioner break downs to the stresses of finding a new job and a host of other things.  Last weekend we were too busy with life to give Dad a good Father's Day so we decided to celebrate this weekend.  We all needed some time away from the craziness that is life, so we packed up some fried chicken and all the fixins and headed to our favorite camp spot - Shores Lake.

First up, we had a WONDERFUL time swimming in a great spot we found in the creek.  Jake had such a blast!  I was so glad he enjoyed it so much... I felt like he really deserved a special treat after living with chickens day in and day out without eating a single one!  He's such a good boy.  :)



Then we took a little hike down a back road.  I snapped a few pictures of the flowers and Ben took a few pictures, too!
Hiking!
Mimosa tree.





At the close of our beautiful day, we fixed up some cold chicken sandwiches and had a little picnic on the side of Shores Lake.  It was so pretty!!  A truly relaxing way to spend a Saturday.




Oh how I love the great outdoors filled with all of God's creations!

Friday, June 21, 2013

"You Are A Writer" - When did you know?

I am participating in the ‘Writing Contest: You Are A Writer’ held by Positive Writer - See more at: http://positivewriter.com/writing-contest-you-are-a-writer/#sthash.XtJrAKCB.dpuf
I saw this contest entitled "Writing Contest: You Are A Writer" held by Positive Writer and decided I wanted to give it a go.  It just sounds like so much fun!  Feel free to join in the fun if you so desire.  The rules detailing how to enter the contest are explained on the link above.

I am participating in the ‘Writing Contest: You Are A Writer’ held by Positive Writer - See more at: http://positivewriter.com/writing-contest-you-are-a-writer/#sthash.XtJrAKCB.dpuf

You Are A Writer - When Did You Know?

 I remember the moment very clearly.

I was in fourth grade.  I loved horses.  And all I wanted was to read a story about wild horses... from their perspective.  As if the horses themselves were telling the story.

So I visited our little library.  I remember opening the glass door and looking in at all the books... Big and small, thin and thick.  I have always loved to smell books, touch them, and feel them.  The words and ideas mesmerized me.  I soon learned how to look up books by certain authors and genres.  But try as I might, I could not find a book about wild horses telling their own story. 
 
One morning my teacher said, "Class, for the next few days we are going to learn to write a story of our own."  Right then I knew what I wanted to do!  I immediately started to write a story from the perspective of a wild stallion.  It was a project that I will never forget... I still have the little book.  I was so proud of it!  And that little story sparked a flame...


In middle school I was bullied.  It wasn't always in an obvious way... but it hurt and words cut so deeply.  I lost any shred of confidence I might have had and retreated into my own lonely world. My writing voice was taken from me.  I felt so alone and empty.

But in high school, things began to change.  I was introduced to the wide, adventurous world of fantasy and science fiction.  My writing voice came back, and I began to form a story that would become a trilogy.  Hundreds of pages in length and all my very own.  I became the copy editor for our high school newspaper.  I became vice president of a reading/writing club.  Writing helps me to express what I cannot say with the tongue.


But life happened.  I had to grow up and get a "real" job.  My trilogy from high school has been put on the back burner.  But yet, it is funny... writing still crops up in my life.  I am now a medical transcriptionist, so while I am not writing my own thoughts, I am still heavily involved with words and sentence structure.  And I began to realize I wanted to write again, and so, this blog was formed.  I couldn't be happier with it!  I don't make money writing, and my formal job title is not "writer".  But it is my hope that one day that cheesy old story from high school can come out in the light again and live.  It has always been my dream and someday, somehow, I hope it happens.  But no matter what, I will always be writing!  Nothing else helps me to understand and express my feelings better than writing them down.

So, you are a writer.  When did you know? 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wednesday Happenings

Today was a beautiful day!  It was so nice that I was able to take a nice walk/jog around noon and didn't even get over heated.  I am planning on ground driving Bill on these jogs I am doing once I am sure he has had adequate time to heal.  He is no longer lame but I want to make sure he gets plenty of rest and time off before we start working again!
The geese are getting so big.  I let them have some free range time today with the dogs.  One of the geese chased Arwen off when she came up to investigate!  I couldn't help but giggle!
Woo hoo feelin' good!  Stretch those wings!
Starting to look so grown up.
The dogs have been doing so good with the geese and chickens!

Hubby harvested a few potatoes and an onion for dinner.  They are looking good but still pretty small so we will continue to let the others grow and dig them up as we need them.
Spokes says, "Need some help?"
"I help harvest potatoes.  See?"

Mmmm!

Everyone is doing great.  The chickens free range daily and love it!  Gypsy has been accepted by everyone, even the chickens.  Bill grazes on the green grasses of summer.
I love my spoiled little girl.
Spokes, the coolest chicken ever.
Gypsy and the Cochin chickens.
Sweet Jakey giving me puppy eyes.
We are so blessed!  Hope you all had a marvelous Wednesday.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Arwen Gets a New Do

Today was the annual shearing day for Arwen.  Yes, we shave our collies each summer.  There is actually a lot of debate on whether or not collies should be shaven, and my verdict has come to this:  Do what is best for your dog.  All dogs are different!  If your collie is susceptible to sunburn and appears comfortable in the summer with a full coat, don't shave.  If your collie appears extremely uncomfortable during the summer and never acts herself until she gets a full shave (and then runs around like a crazy pup) you might consider shaving.  I have found the latter to be true for my collies after trying both methods and watching them closely.  Thus, we shave for summer.

Lucky for me, my lovely Mom is a dog groomer so that is where we headed today...

Arwen enjoys her ride to the doggy beauty parlor.

Lots of hair!
Mid-shave.
Feeling so much better!
 I wish I could have snapped some pictures when we got home, but I didn't have my camera ready.  Everyone's reaction to Arwen's hair cut cracked me up!  The cats fuzzed up like they'd never met her.  Jake got stiff and proud looking, like he was trying to show off to a new girl.  And Arwen?  She hasn't run and played and barked like this since winter.  It is clear to see she feels wonderful!  She is still running around barking at Jake like a puppy.
 
Arwen nosey!  So cute.

A Special Word to My Followers:

I wanted to say thank you so much for the kind outpouring of support on my last post about our sick pony and chick!  I am so pleased to say that everyone is looking much better.  You can hardly tell Bill was ever lame at all and our chick is slowly but surely improving.  Hopefully we are out of the woods and well on our way to better days!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Animal Illnesses

Things have been so busy the past three days that I haven't had a single moment to spare!  Not only have we had full schedules, but we also have some sick animals.  :(  Sick animals are never fun.  But it is something you have to get used to dealing with if you own/raise anything that breathes!

Bill is lame in his front left leg.  However, after a few Epsom salt soaks he is looking much better and I think he will make a full recovery.  He probably got a bit of a stone bruise while he was out grazing - I inspected the hoof and leg multiple times and everything looked great.

He is wet because it was raining!
We have a chick with something called "wry neck".  This is quite common, according to my understanding, in chicks with topknots because their skull is vaulted which is more susceptible to injury.  When injured (such as by a higher flock member pecking them which is what I suspect happened) the chick develops water on the brain which, for whatever reason, causes the chick to hold his head sideways.  According to the helpful folks on the Chicken Chat group I am a part of, the most proven treatment is medicating with vitamin E and B vitamins, which I have been doing for three days now.  The chick is still eating and drinking on his own, so only time will tell if he will heal.  So far, I am remaining hopeful!


What a crazy weekend.  Hopefully everyone will be feeling better soon!  Hope you all have a lovely Monday!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Four-wheeler and an Angry Woman

Our small and simple peaceful home is precious to me!
So just Tuesday Mom and I were in town (me for a dentist appointment, ugh) and then we came back here to the house to spend some time with the critters.  I had just walked outside when I heard the very loud sound of an ATV screeching out of our long PRIVATE driveway.

Um, no.  That is not okay.

They left very quickly, it was pretty obvious they knew they were not supposed to be there.  I was steaming.
 

My chickens!  My peace and quiet!  My geese!  I will call the police if it happens again.  I will!
Our home is our animal haven.
I was so upset by it that I couldn't sleep last night.  I kept picturing all of these crazy scenarios, like my cats getting run over or the chickens being so terrified they refused to lay.  I kept imagining this stupid ATV going up and down our driveway all day and night, or even that it might cause me to be unable to work on my reports.  I imagined being out working with Bill and him spooking at the loud noise.  I imagined me being out on my porch with a a shotgun and a cellphone dialing 911.  Oh, boy, these images were starting to get interesting haha!  A slingshot might work.  Okay, I should probably calm down now.

It was past midnight.  I realized I was acting maybe just a little crazy.  After all, as far as I knew the punk kid only did it once.  HOPEFULLY that would be it...

Sometimes I blow things really far out of proportion.  I think it is called making a mountain out of a mole hill.  Well, just so you know, I am pretty much a wild mountain-making factory.  I tend to do this with well, let's be honest, pretty much everything in life.  Everything is a big deal to me!  Do you ever feel this way?  I hope I am not alone.  I look at problems with a microscope.  Ha!

Oh, also.  It is Thursday and no sign anywhere of the punk ATV kid.  (Haha, that is such an assumption.)  Also, to my delight, our next door ranch neighbors (the only people we share our drive with) posted some bright NO TRESPASSING signs down near the entrance to our driveway.  So that should take care of that!  (I hope.)

Just breathe.  Haha!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Summer Time

Things around here are heating up and hoppin' as usual!  For starters, I pulled a giant piece of grass out of Siri's nose this morning.  Yes, her nose.  She was having a sneezing fit and it was quite clearly the culprit.  No idea how she got it there... 
Look at that smug expression.  Such a little queen!

Mrs. Potts deserves a mention.  She is probably the most hardworking chicken EVER.  She is taking care of nine babies and I just found her in the nesting box today!  So she is keeping us in eggs AND taking care of her babies.  What an awesome chicken.  She deserves a treat!
Busy Mrs. Potts!
Egg is still warm.

I have also been trying to take the goslings out and keep them cool in the shade.  Here is a shot of them enjoying some nap time:
That's pretty cute, you have to admit.

I was also able to put together a lovely bouquet yesterday.  Honeysuckle, spearmint, and various roses combined to make a bouquet pleasing to the eyes and nose!  I love flowers.  They are so much fun!
 Oh and one last thing.  Spokes was watching me from the french doors this morning haha!  He says to tell you all hello...
Have a great day my lovely followers!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Best Weekend Moments

Ahh.  The weekend was a welcome rest!  And of course, also chock-full of random stories that I want to tell...

Most Embarrassing Moment of the Weekend:

I put this as my personal Facebook status.  Here is what happened... I just felt like all my blogger friends needed to know.  Why?  Because you need to smile today.  And if that is at my expense, that is okay with me!  Haha!

 THE PARKING LOT SCENE
*Enter Lana and Ben walking across parking lot, Lana holding a small vase of flowers.*
- Truck drives up.
- Lana drops her phone in front of big truck. She hurriedly stoops to pick it up.
- Ben waves a thank-you wave to truck driver for waiting while Lana picks up phone.
- Lana stands up and isn't watching where she is going. Slams into and bounces off of Ben. Water sprays everywhere from vase, wets Lana's phone and shirt and pants and face and hair and glasses.
- Lana and Ben start to laugh and their faces turn really red. They wonder if the truck driver thinks they are an act from the Three Stooges.
*Exit Lana and Ben, Lana covering face saying "I am SO embarrassed for the rest of my life..."*


Oy....

The Moment I Learned the Most:

We planted a few different plants I think back at the beginning of April.  One of them was a wisteria vine.  I was really hoping to get it to grow along the dog fence to make it look pretty!  Well, I waited and watered and waited some more, and nothing.  Everyone who looked at it said it was probably dead.  So what do I do?  I find my Tractor Supply receipt and decide I will just take that little dead twig in and get my money back.  So I go out to the twig and start to pull and pull and PULL!!  Then snap... out pops the twig.  Of course there is a small very ALIVE bit of growth, slowly vining it's way up the dead twig part.  Isn't that just how life is?  We try really hard to be patient.  We wait and wait.  But sometimes we can't bear to wait anymore and we rip out that seemingly lifeless last shred of hope by the roots.  And of course, we find, it was growing all along.  We just needed to have a little faith.  Naturally, I felt pretty sheepish.  Ben helped me to loosen the dirt and put the twig back in and I watered it well.  Maybe it will live!  I love gardening because of things like this.  God uses his creation to teach his children.  Lesson learned.  This story applies to my life right now so much that it is kind of scary.  Wow.

Funniest Moment:

I have been constantly amazed that Mrs. Potts still has all 9 of her babies alive and well, even while free ranging all day around cats and dogs.  Well, now I know why.  I was watching our little fat calico Siri stalk Mrs. Potts and her chicks.  She pounced halfheartedly, obviously not intending to actually catch any of them but just enjoying seeing them run.  Well Petrie was having NONE of that.  Up he comes, squawking, tail flared, and chases Siri across the yard and into the woods so far I couldn't see them anymore.  I just stood there and laughed!  What an awesome rooster!


Okay, I think that does it for best weekend moments.  Be sure to share a few of yours!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

10 Things of Thankful

What a beautiful Saturday!!  Today I am linking up with A Fly On Our (Chicken Coop) Wall and listing 10 things I am thankful for.  I hope I am doing this right!  If you want to join in the fun, make a list of ten things you are thankful for and head over to her page to link up with other wonderful bloggers.  I love linking up!!  Woo hoo!  Okay, let's get started.  The first five are sort of the "big things", the last five are more of the farmer/gardener things.

1.)  I am thankful for my hubby.  I am quite certain no one else on earth could put up with the craziness that is Me.  I have some of the weirdest quirks and phobias and he understands them all, and even if he doesn't understand them he works around them.  He supports me in my crazy animal endeavors, and helps take care of them every night.  I could go on and on!  He is a good man, a man who follows God and has his priorities straight.  And that is what matters most to me.

2.)  I am thankful for my family.  My family is the bomb.com.  Haha!  Seriously, I don't know of many families that get along as well as my family does.  My sister and mom are my best friends, the ones I go to before anyone else.  My brother-in-law might as well just be called my brother.  My Dad makes everything animal, garden, ect. related we do around here possible.  I need every one of them!  We go camping together, have gone on vacations together, and have traveled in an over crowded car together.  And we always enjoy our time together!  We are definitely what you would call "tight knit".

3.)  I am thankful for animals.  Animals seem to have always been my passion in life, what I love being around and taking care of.  I have learned that each species has its own body language, and if you watch it and learn it they can tell you so much!  A horse can tell you if he is frightened.  A chicken can tell you if he's happy.  A cat can tell you if he is not feeling well.  Most animals will test you, to see who is going to be boss.  You have to learn how to communicate to them that you are the leader, and that they should follow you.  It is all so much fun!!

4.)  I am thankful for blogging.  I have been in a bit of a rut for the past few months, so I took up blogging.  I am SO glad that I did!  It keeps every day busy and it has already been proved invaluable for me as I have a record of things that have happened in the past with my animals.  I have met some really amazing people and other bloggers whom I would have never known about if it weren't for blogging.

5.)  I am thankful for those who listen and encourage.  Recently I was talking to a friend I know from church.  She listened with a quiet smile, and encouraged.  She was so easy to talk to!  She asked all the right questions.  How do some people just know how to do that?  She will never know how much she inspired me!  I want to be more like her, to be always open for others when they need to talk.  An understanding ear.  Approachable, but if needed, one who can humbly approach.

6.)  I am thankful for strawberries.  I can't really eat them because they make me horribly sick to my stomach.  But sometimes I don't care and do it anyway!!  There is nothing on this earth IMO as good as strawberries and Nutella.  NOTHING!  I could eat them for every meal.  

7.)  I am thankful for chickens.  How can you not love them?  They do the funniest things.  They eat bugs.  They lay eggs.  They reproduce tiny little fuzz balls of cuteness.  I can sit in the chicken coop for hours and watch them and laugh harder than I have all day!  And yes, we have raised chickens for meat too, and are trying to learn more about it.  If you have chickens, you have economic insurance!  As long as you have them, there will be some kind of food either in the form of eggs or meat.  

8.)  I am thankful for new beginnings.  With my *very* poor gardening skills, I am going to need LOTS of new beginnings.  Ugh.  Maybe next year, right?  Why is it I can grow roses fine but struggle with carrots and spinach?  Who knows.  Maybe next year I'll get it all figured out!

9.)  I am thankful for the seasons.  As much as I hate winter, there is nothing as exciting or fun as the thrill of spring, and we wouldn't appreciate spring as much without a little winter thrown in.  New blooms, baby chicks, sowing seed, the smell of honeysuckle... new life coming into being all over again.  

10.)  I am thankful for the "old fashioned way" of doing things.  Hard work, canning, sewing, gardening, harvesting your own meat, being outside.  I love these things and wish I could learn to do them or do them better.  One day, I want to be the person who can live off their own land.  I may never get there, but I am certainly going to try!

All right, that is it.  Hmm, that was long. I tried entering the button, but for some reason it didn't work.  Ahh!  Here is what it takes you to.

Have an awesome weekend!