Whirlwind Weekend

Everyone I am sure had holiday plans, but I got to enjoy yet another full weekend. The weather was nice, and I enjoyed family time and made more memories!

My Toyota truck officially has a name ‘Leroy’ and it fits him like a glove! Dad was kind enough to put my new seats in, there was hardly anything left of the old one. Grandpa out my windshield washer fluid holder in and fixed the gasket. I have not had that work since I bought the truck. Then Dad and Grandpa put in a new radio! The one that came with the truck worked for a few weeks, then died. It has been so nice to have a radio again!

Yesterday I went squaredancing with a good friend, and driving home it was so nice to have the windows down and jam to my favorite stations! The dance was good, even though there was a small crowd, I still had a blast! Many good times to look back on from this weekend.

My sister hosted a birthday party for my parents Saturday night and it was so good to visit with others that i have not seen in a long time. I enjoyed visiting with them. So much can happen in your life in the matter of a short year or two. Thinking back about my life the past 2 years, I have changed and grown a lot. I have learned many new things and met friends. I have gotten closer to some friends and more distance has grown between others.

This weekend was full, yes, but it was amazing to take the time to spend with my family and make memories that I will continue to think about and reflect on. Each and every person that I know, that I talk to, that I meet has helped make me, and I am so thankful to each and everyone of them! Weekends like this help me to remember that time I spend with them is important.

I hope you got to spend time this weekend with your family and friends and that you had the opportunity to make memoires to think about and reflect on for many years to come!

 

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Canning With Grandma

Tuesday, my sister and I strung and snapped beans all afternoon, we made it through half of them. Honestly, that was not something I considered when I planted a garden, but the beans are done for the year. When I got home from work yesterday, the first set of 7 quarts were already in the canner. Grandma had started without me.

I helped finish those 7, and prepare the second batch of 7 along with 9 pints. The last few beans were then placed in the slowcooker by my sister for dinner last night. While the second batch of quarts were going, Grandma taught me how to blanch and prepare corn for freezing. We worked together. My sister picked a row of  corn, only the ears that were ready, while Grandma and I got the last few beans when I got home. Grandma and I cut the kernels off the cob, then Grandma showed me how to blanch it. We got 9 quart bags in the freezer yesterday.

We had not planned for tomatoes yesterday, but they were ripe, and unfortunately when it comes to these things, the clock does not say when you are done, but the work. Grandma showed me how to chunk the tomatoes and cook them before juicing them. We had half a five gallon bucket that were ripe, and got just over 4 quarts of juice.

Very productive day, but by the time we were done, I was ready to be done. I tried to absorb more information than I think my brain could process at once. Next time I am going to take notes so that I can repeat the process.

I have told you all of this, not to tell you what I did yesterday, but hopefully show you that there is great value in spending time with your family, especially your grandparents. There is much to be learned and appreciated about their knowledge of life and life skills, family history and heritage, and fun stories apart from fun itself. I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with my grandmother yesterday. While we were productive, that was just a good excuse for me to put aside other things to spend time with her. I want to learn how to can because not many people, especially my age, know much if anything about it. Grandma has always done it for our family, but it is too much for her and Grandpa now. I made sure to put out a garden big enough to share from. I have gladly given her corn and squash to take home and have with Grandpa.

Love your family, hold them tight and dear. Spend the time that you have with them because you never know what tomorrow is going to bring. Open your heart, let them in, learn from them and carry them with you wherever you go. Family is so important, and everyday I see people take advantage of it. Enjoy your time with your family as much as you can!

Rainbows: God’s Promises

The past couple days have been full of reminders for me. I have noticed some of the most wonderful things.

This evening, I heard thunder crack, and decided it best to bring the horses in and get the evening feeding chores done before the storm started. While this did not happen, fortunately the storm was just thunder and rain, so nothing worry about other than damp clothes when I was finished. As I was outside working, I looked up and saw this big beautiful rainbow that stretched far across the sky. I instantly was reminded of God’s promise to Noah, to never again flood the earth. The rainbow was His reminder to Noah, and He has sent me several reminders the past few days.

I have posted in the past about God’s promises, but I want to share for a moment about Him fulfilling one to my mother. Several years ago, I had a bad horse accident. It was a miracle I lived let alone that I can walk, talk, etc and especially ride. Before the accident, riding horses was my life. I rode almost every day. Me and my horses showed well, competed well, and placed a lot. Needless to say, the accident was quite a setback.

A couple years after the accident, I went to college. Several things were still out of kilter a bit, one being my balance. I chose a horse degree which included riding classes and breaking and training class. The program focused a lot more on English discipline riding than I was used to, and the first quarter I struggled. As I started learning to jump, one day I lost my balance as the horse was over the jump. Had he not been the good saint of a horse he was, I would have landed hard on the ground, but he was nice enough to shift his weight and land under me.

The few years since then I have ridden more and more and even done bareback riding to improve my balance. I noticed improvement, but yesterday it was obvious how far I have come. I used to be able to hang off the side of the horses and everything else, flying dismounts you name it. If it had legs I could just about certainly ride it. Problem horses were among my favorite mounts. After the accident I have been more careful.

Yesterday I was trail riding a project horse that had never been through the woods like that before. At first she was nervous about being away from her buddy, then a little about the branches and brush touching her. After a few minutes she settled down, but I had been leaning and ducking around and under the low branches on the trees and the prickly brush. I never lost my balance!

God promised my wonderful Mom that I would be restored to 100% of what I was before the acident. I am claiming and standing on that promise! Yesterday was a great reminder of the progress I make every day! God is an awesome God! He keeps his promises and He holds each and every one of us in His hands!

One Year Blogging Anniversary!

Today makes it exactly a year since I started my blogging advenure! Just wanted to take a moment to say thank you to my readers and followers! I have learned a lot about this in the past year, and hope that I continue to deliver helpful, encouraging and uplifting posts for you to enjoy. Thank you for your interst in my little farm!

Today is a big day for this shipment of chicks! They moved to their outside coop today. For those of you that are curious as to if it is warm enough outside for that, the answer is no. However, they are under a 250 watt heat bulb and I have a thermostatically controlled ceramic heater that is currently keeping their coop a comfortable 95 degrees just for them. They are grateful for the extra room to run and play as the bathtub was not very roomy for the now 38 chicks. They are already noticably growing! The Super Roaster cockrels are already surpassing their pullet companions and so far everyone is playing nicely.

I would have liked to keep them in the bathroom brooder for a few more days, or maybe even another week, however it was just too much. There are currently 4 of us sharing the same bathroom, and it was absolutely crazy to pull that off with chicks in there. Not to mention for the chicks to be comfortable, 95 degrees was a little warm for the humans of the house.

While we are on the subject, I just want to take a minute and say how awesome my mom is. There was no hesitation when I came dragging the supplies from last year and sat the chick brooder up in the bathtub. She never complained, or fussed or even suggested alternative ideas, only encouraged and supported my endeaver. How many moms do you know that would really encourage their children to move the chicks into the bathroom? Mine did! Not only that, she even suggested turning on an additional heater to make sure they were warm enough. Moms like that are hard to come by and I am just lucky enough to call this one mine!

It was a busy week last week, as many of you saw, and it ended with a busy weekend. Now that it is all over, I look back and realize how much we got done and how many things I was able to mark off of the never ending, and infamous, to-do list. I never could have done it without my family!

Adventures with Millie continue

This morning I received a call from my local Post Office that my chicks were here! Needless to say, I did not think it best to take Miss Millie with me on that errand, so I brought the chicks home and got them settled in to the smaller coop with chick starter, fresh water, and their brooder bulb. I checked on them about an hour later, only to realize they were too cold. Bathroom brooder here we come!

I quickly dig out the smaller feeders and waterer along with the tote and got my lil guys set up in the bathtub. It did not take them long to settle in and decide the bathroom brooder was much better than the chicken coop.

When I was confident they were warm enough and taken care of, I ran the rest of my errands.  As soon as I grabbed my boots and coat, Millie was ready! I had not originally planned on taking her to town with me today, but it did not take much persuasion for me to let her ride along.

Our first stop was the local farm store of course. It stormed this morning, and still was as I started in to town. With horse feed to pick up, I was in need of a tarp. In addition to my tarp, I picked up 2 thermometers for the chicks so that I can better monitor the temperature in the brooder, be it in the bathroom or in the coop.

It was still raining, so I elected to return the screws that I picked up at the hardware store the other day that I ended up not needing. Millie waited patiently in the truck for the few minutes it took me to return the hardware. She is always glad to see me, but at least today she was not trying to climb out the window as she was yesterday.

Finally, our last stop was the feedmill  where I got my horse feed for the next few weeks. My older heeler, Wrangler used to ride with me just about every time I went to the mill. I was glad to get to take Millie with me this time. It was nice to purchase a pig ear for her, like I used to every trip for Wrangler. One of the guys on the dock was nice enough to help me load my batch of feed, and he asked about her. I let her out of the truck and she stayed close as I answered the couple questions he asked. Millie jumped right back up in the truck and I gave her the pig ear before I brought her back home.

No sooner did I make it in the door from unloading feed than mom told me the feed dealer from town had called and my pullets were in. So, back in the truck I got to pick them up. I brought home my 15 Ameracana pullets and introduced them to the Super Roasters, which were fast friends.

Once everyone was settled, I decided I needed to finish the barn chores that I did not get done yesterday. Of course, Millie came right back to the barn with me and played while I stripped the rest of the stalls. She would venture around the barn and then come back in and check on me every few minutes. I absolutely loved watching and spending time with the new chicks today, but even more than that, I enjoyed getting to spend time with my girl. It has not taken her long to become part of my family and hold a special place in my heart!

Hayrun with Millie

Another week has passed, and its been a great week with Millie! With another passing week, this time of year, means another hay run. Millie had so much fun in the creek last week, I decided to take her to play in it again.

Millie enjoys riding in the truck, so I let her out and when I opened the truck door, she ran and jumped right in. She got right in her spot in the passenger seat and I rolled the window down a couple inches for her. Today has been beautiful and we got to enjoy a little of it together.

When we got to Grandma and Grandpa’s farm Millie was not very happy to meet their dog Roscoe for the second time. Roscoe and her do not get along the best, but Grandma and Grandpa welcome Millie as one of the family already. She rode down to the barn with me and Grandpa and as soon as I opened the truck door, down to the creek she went.

She came back to the barn where Grandpa was airing up the tractor tire, and then rolled in the hay and played in the creek some more. By the time we got the hay loaded, she had been in the hay and creek numerous times and was in his neighbor’s driveway, simply enjoying the day.

I keep a fleece blanket for her in the truck, and I spread it over the seat and as soon as we started back toward home, Millie was curled up in a ball on her blanket. She thoroughly enjoyed the time she got to spend at Grandma and Grandpa’s farm despite not getting along with Roscoe.

Every time I called Millie while at Grandma and Grandpa’s farm, she came quickly! I was so excited that she is learning not only her name, but to come willingly when called. Her trust level with me grew a lot over the past couple days and I look forward to many more days, truck rides, and trips to Grandma and Grandpa’s farm!

Playing in the Mud

Today was a busy day trying to catch up on the farm. Unfortunately I hit a few road bumps, but was lucky enough to get the most important things taken care of thanks to the help of several family members.

This morning, I hoped to load the plows back up to take to my Grandparents when I picked up a load of hay. One thing after another led to a down tractor and Matilda going out of commission all in the matter of about an hour. I am no mechanic, but one of these days I may have to learn a few things to maintain the tractors.

Once I finally got on the road for the load of hay I was relieved. Big Red fired right up and down the road we went. After a couple more little hiccups, the hay was loaded. It may have taken a little longer than anticipated, but the extra few minutes I got to spend helping Grandpa was worth it. I doubt I will ever tire of tractor rides with him, even if it is just up to the garage from the barn to replace the bale spear and air up tires. He drives and operates the old Ford tractor very efficiently, someday I hope I can come close.

I brought the hay home, with the tractor still down, I was dead in the water until Dad got home to help get Gerdie started. Many jobs were waiting on him when he got home tonight, and the tractor fell to the bottom of the list. My brother in law was kind enough to step up and help my unload the hay by hand! He made it so much easier, I never would have been able to do it on my own. The kicker was, it rained last night and it has not been cold enough today for the ground to freeze. Needless to say, the field, barnlot, pretty much the whole farm is a muddy mess.

Even though Big Red is a 4×4, wet clay is slicker than snot. I walked down around the gates and while it held me it was slick. I thought it worth a try anyway. So, I gently drove down the bank into the field, my brother in law helped my kick the hay out, which went much easier than I thought. Now the most challenging part, getting her out of the field, empty. I lined the old truck up with the gate, there are 3 total to go through and I did not back out of it until I was almost through the final gate. I fixed the final gate and slid back behind the wheel.

The old truck thundered to life once more, and while she did slide a little bit, she walked up the bank and back into the driveway! Big Red did it! I was one happy girl!

Grattitude

Aa I sat in church this morning, listening to my pastor, seversl of hid piontd reslly hit home for me. This past week, we all celebrated Thanksgiving with our families and loved ones. We all know the history of this holiday, celebrating what we have been blessed with and remembering the history or our country as the pilgrims befriended Indians. This morning I was reminded of more.

Giving thanks is not a one day a year deal. We should be appreciative and grateful every day of the year. Some understand better than others the trials and hardships that others, especially in other countries face. But we are fortunate enough to live in America where we have freedoms and abundances others only dream of.

Now on a more personal note. We sang ‘Count Your Many Blessings’ this morning. A simple tune with a great message. I myself have been feeling down the past few days or so. If I would have stepped back and looked at all I have to be grateful for, by counting my blessings, I may have snapped out of my gloom sooner. God does not desire for us to be sad, but blesses us with joy and love so that we are able to share it with others.

That brings me to the thing that the pastor said that opened my eyes the most this morning. True joy comes from helping others. That is where we are going to find the most pleasure is by giving and helping others when they can in no way or means return the favor. I used to be involved in a lot more than I am now, in 4-H and other programs that allowed me to give back. I now realize it may be time to take another step in that direction.

On the flip side of that, I have several people that have given and helped me. Many of them will never read this, but being grateful is not always enough. Showing grattitude is something done on a daily basis. The biggeset way of showing it is never taking advantae of another’s generosity. I strive really hard at this. Each day in itself is a blessing, and when I am offered or given help, advice, time etc it means all that much more.

The projects I have completed, the tasks that I have done, the improvements I have made in my life, on the farm, in the barn, in the chicken coop, could not have been finished without the help I received. I need to make grattitude more of a priority on a day to day scale.

Productive Thanksgiving Morning

This morning, as I am sure many other did, I enjoyed the luxury of sleeping in. Even though the horses were not the happiest that they had to wait for breakfast, I received a warm welcome anyhow. The chickens enjoyed the warmer morning also as they played and fluttered around the barnyard.

After watching a few minutes of the annual parade, I headed outside to join my dad. If you have been following my blog you are already aware that my latest project is reseeding the pasture field. It has been a little over a week since I started, and dad helped with plowing. Since then, we have had to order and replace a broken spindle, dig out and hook up the disc, and then disc the whole field at least twice. My Grandpa graciously helped with the discing and I finished it. My neighbor lent me a seeder, and after we ran to get feed, helped me get it adjusted to seed the field appropriately.

This morning, Dad went out and I helped him hook the disc to the larger tractor to finish the leveling the low spot in the field, and I started seeding. It was much easier to seed in the daylight than the dark even though there was still a learning curve.

I enjoyed learning with dad this morning hands on. I learned about adjusting the disc and how it works, I also learned about the condition of the ground and optimal preparation for the seed to take best.

When we came in, family had already begun to arrive for Thanksgiving dinner, and we enjoyed visiting with them and had a wonderful meal together. Thanksgiving is a wonderful opportunity to spend time with family. I hate it for those that had to work today to be away from their family.

Several memories were made today! That is what days like today are about. Spending time loving on your family, showing one another how much you appreciate them and making memories.

My family ended today by playing cards until I had to go out to do the evening feeding. We had fun playing cards, it was simple, but we made memories anyway. Every family has traditions and I hope that you were able to keep them with your family today!

God blessed me with a wonderful family, friends and loved ones. Today my extra blessing was a beautiful morning to finish a job and learn from my dad! I have much to be thankful for, and today was a good opportunity to think on it and appreciate it.

Plowing the Field

We decided to jump into another job on the endless To-Do list. Since we moved to the farm, Dad has wanted to plow and reseed the pasture. I made my mind up this week and got the ball rolling!

Two days ago, my friend stopped out and helped me drive T-posts to divide my pasture. Yesterday, I picked up the plow that my Granpa graciously let me borrow. Today while I was at work, Dad hooked up the plow and started on the field.

Dad tried to teach me about running the plow as I rode the old diesel Massey with him. Around and around we went talking about the field, seed, farm and tractor. I am hoping this makes a difference in pasture management next summer.

The old Massey does not have power steering, and I do not drive it well. Most jobs that require driving that tractor wait until someone  else is available to drive it. Gerdie, as we affectionately call the 65 diesel, does not always get along with me, she tends to prefer guys, and most of the time I leave her to them.

After the field is plowed the plan is to disc it before seeding the pasture seed. After seed is sown, maybe disc it in, and maybe cover with straw. Those depend on a lot of different things. Either way, hoping to have this project tied up by the end of next week. Mark one thing off the list.

In my younger days, when I competed all over all the time, my dad and my reliable shoe, Buger, spent a lot of time together. Buger has aged a lot since then, it has been 10 years since our trip to Nationals. He is older now, and grumpy a good bit. Today, mty Grandpa stopped to help Dad with the plow, then he surprised us with lunch.

We were reminded of old times as Buger did everything he could think of to get a bite of Dad’s hamburger. He even played with Grandpa as Dad took a break to eat on the tractor. It was a wonderful trip down memory lane as Buger mooched enough for Grandpa to give him part of his bun.

Those days seem like yesterday! It was so nice to revisit them even for a few minutes with my favorite horse this evening. It was so good to see a glimpse of the horse he used to be and pbviously still is!