Saturday, February 28, 2009

SNOW !!!

Guess what I woke up to this morning? And I know why! The other night my little grandson Mark and I were talking. He wanted me to listen to him say his prayers. And so he started off by telling God that it wasn't fair that he has to pick up his little brother's toys and ended up by asking God to send some snow so he could sled ride.

Now I'm thinking, Oh, no, not snow!! I've been out trying to get my garden ready to be tilled up. And my sister already has some stuff planted in hers. So, I must get in gear!!

And then, my little beeper on my phone which signals I have a weather alert from the weather channel starts going off last night. Snow is on the way!

And I hear this little Robin chirping outside my kitchen window and I don't have anything to feed it! I don't think it is too happy about this snow.
The backyard of my little "townhouse" as we call it was beautiful this morning.


Guess I'll have to wait a few more days to be able to sit on the porch swing and soak up the sun. After all, I guess it is still winter! And my little grandson has already been out in the snow. After all, he's the one that asked God for it.
Oh, for the faith of a child!

Snow!!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What a day!!!

It was such a beautiful day and you know how my yard calls to me when it is a beautiful day! So I headed out early this morning to pick up the limbs that I pruned off my trees and grape vines several months ago. I just trimmed them and let them lie to be picked up another day. Wouldn't recommend doing that but that is what I did. And I had a pickup load of limbs to be hauled off. I'm hoping Tool Belt Jim comes home and emptys the truck for me. That's why I made a point of using his truck. Ha. Ha.

Then I raked all around my flowers and pulled the dead grass so it wouldn't get a head start on me once the weather got warm.

Then I raked the leaves out from under our porch. They blow under there every year and because we have a fireplace I try to keep all the leaves raked away from around the house. I do this several times during the winter because once the wind starts blowing and because we are surrounded by trees, leaves are constantly blowing up around the house.

Then I went out and mowed the leaves under the trees around our gazebo. It's really a shelter house but we've called it a gazebo since we built it. Just bear with us. We're getting old and sometimes we don't call things by their real name.

Then Tool Belt Jim came home and brought the tractor up and began pushing leaves up into piles and setting them on fire. I don't think you understand when I say rake leaves that we have acres of leaves and they get really thick. There are some drawbacks to living out in the woods.
You'll notice I also had a couple little helpers. They were impressed with the fire!
This is the mess I have around the trees. Every year I mow around these trees and still have the mess up close to the trees. So Tool Belt Jim said "burn the leaves around the trees instead of cleaning by hand." Or something along those lines.
Here he's carrying fire from one tree to another tree.
You get the idea.
Isn't this a glorious sight! I've waited several years to get cleaned up around those trees.
Burn Baby, Burn!

Then I mowed around the fire in case the wind came up tonight. Don't want the fire to start back up and catch more leaves on fire while we are asleep. Reminds me of the time a highway patrolman friend of ours happened by our house late one night. We had burned earlier in the day and late that night the wind whipped up and a pile of wood beside a tree started burning. Embers were blowing everywhere. My son and I were out there on a four wheeler carrying water trying to put them out. So, I think about those kind of things happening now!

And last of all, of course , five minutes before it got dark the belt came off the mower. So you can guess the mood Tool Belt Jim went to bed in tonight. Was planning on mowing tomorrow, but who knows whether I'll have a fixed mower by tomorrow.

And, oh yes, I forgot that I had 8 whole chickens to bake today because we have a beef at the butchers and I am trying to clear some freezer space. So it's now 8:00 P.M. and I am ready to start cutting up chickens. Lucky for me that I have two ovens.

I'm getting too old for this kind of hard labor. Of course, my kids say I say that every year, and when Spring comes around I'm always back outside doing the same thing again that I did last year and by the end of the day, once again, I can hardly walk.

Isn't life grand!!!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Happy Birthday to my dad!!


My youngest sister and her family and I went to my dads and ate pizza for his birthday. The debate is whether he is 77 or 78, but no matter. We enjoyed it and so did he.

MAMMA MIA!


We had a "sistah's movie night" Saturday night and watched the movie Mamma Mia! What fun it was too. I am sistah # 1 because I am the oldest and Brenda is sistah # 6 because she is the youngest. She is also the baby of the family of 8 kids.


Here's the chair I called dibs on first thing. You could sleep in that thing comfortably!

For you that don't know her, my sistah can't sit still and watch a movie that has singing and dancing in it without getting up and joining in the fun. It's as much fun watching her as it is watching the movie. And she's been doing that singing and dancing thing since she was a tiny little girl.
So these pictures are for those of you that have never seen the real side of sistah # 6. During the day she is Dr. Beard's right hand and at night, she's the "dancin queen!"
And there is no better songs to dance to than the ones from "MAMMA MIA"

And every singer must have a mic. Of course, the remote will work nicely!

And the song says "Is there a man out there? Someone to hear my prayer?" Doesn't she do that nicely?



But what is this? Her son is telling her to stop dancing and singing! Ha! Never! Do we embarrass our children? How can that be? So we told her son the "Hicksie chicks" as we call ourselves would just sign up for the lip sinc at the annual picnic and sing and dance in front of the whole town! And I bet we could find some of those cool clothes from the 70's and wear too. And that would really embarrass them!


Her friend Melissa watched the movie with us but she wouldn't let me take her picture! But never fear she got up and danced with us too!

Notice that the window behind the Dancin Queen does not have any blinds. I bet her neighbors thought we were nuts, but who cares?


Don't you love getting to the age where you don't care how you look to others, you just wanta have fun and enjoy life?
Thanks Brenda for making me laugh! If you have sistah's , don't forget to take some time out to spend hanging out together and making memories! And do some crazy stuff with them too! You're never too old to dance and sing!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

He made it!!!

I'm celebrating because my Police Academy Graduate son has started a new job as "Officer Tim" at our local police department. I can hardly wait to get some pictures of him in his new uniform all "decked out!"

He's been waiting a long time for this day. I remember him as a little boy playing with his Batman and Robin figures ridding the world of crime.

Keep him in your prayers that he fulfill the call of God on his life and he remains safe!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Red Cross Fans



Here's my two favorite Red Cross fans. I bought this blanket for $ 8.00 and it was so big I cut it in half to make throws for the boys. It's storming tonight and they used them to come down in the rain to my house. They are made of lightweight flannel and I plan on keeping one in the back of my car for emergency purposes. Aren't they adorable? Both the boys and the blankets!!

Metal Grave Yard

Sometimes I get worried because Tool Belt Jim keeps hauling these old contraptions home and it looks like a metal grave yard up around the barn. But he assures me that all these hunks of metal may come in useful some day when hard times strike.
This is suppose to be a sicle mower for mowing hay. It is PTO driven and is pulled behind a tractor for those of you who are ignorant of such things as I am.
This hunk of junk is a manure spreader which might come in handy for spreading that big pile of manure down by my garden. My sister has one of these with flowers planted around it. Looked real pretty that way.

This is a corn picker. Not sure how it is suppose to work. Goes behind a tractor also.

And I about had a heart attack when I seen this had been pulled up and was sitting beside the barn. But, never fear, Tool Belt Jim says he only wants the motor for a generator. So , it just goes to show you that one man;s junk is another man's treasure. Good thing one of us has that kind of vision, huh?
Comes in handy when hard times strike, which probably will be a reality.



Little Farmer Boy


Next Years Wood Pile

Tool Belt Jim has his own wood splitter and he has been busy cutting and storing next years supply of wood. He built this lean-to as a place to stack the wood so it could dry before it is needed.

One good way of surviving hard times is by cutting your own wood for a fireplace or wood stove. Our electric bill for our very large house is around $120.00 each month. We couldn't begin to keep it warm with our electric heat because we have huge vaulted ceilings.

And nothing is better than backing up to a wood stove when you come in from the cold, blowing snow outside!

My surviving hard times advice is "always be thinking ahead!"

How To Build A Chicken House Cheap, Day 1

Tool Belt Jim strapped on the old tool belt and started to work building a chicken house today. The weather was perfect, work is slow at the shop, so outdoors we headed. I'm the camera person.

Not everyone can build a chicken house as cheap as we can here on the homestead because we have our own on-site sawmill and all kinds of spare and scrap stuff to work with.




First, out comes the noisy saw, as you can see by the kids reaction. I think the chicken house is to be a 8' x 8' square. Tool Belt Jim had previously sawed up some lumber and what better purpose could it go for? He made "skidders" so the building could be pulled around by the tractor. How nifty will that be?



And of course everything has to be perfectly square. That's because Tool Belt Jim has done a lot of carpentry work and wants it "done right." We had lots of help with the measuring tape too.

Then, he screwed those giant screws into the base.



Reminded of that scary movie, you know the one!!
The kids were convinced those screws looked evil!!
But Mark was willing to help by holding the drill, though with much trepidation.

As you can tell, he's Poppy's right-hand man!
Then the base for the floor was added. Kids thought it made a good "dance floor."

It was hot today and Poppy was doing a lot of sweating, so Koda's job was water boy.
Poppy explained he is making an "X" to help brace the sides. Notice the opening at the bottom next to Poppy. That will be a trap door so we can reach a rake in and rake out the straw when the chicken house needs cleaned.
It's suppose to storm tonight so Tool Belt Jim needed to pull the chicken house out so he could put the tractor in the barn. So he attached a chain from the tractor to the little house and pulled it right out. He built it so it would be moveable and when the chickens need fresh grass, wala, out comes the tractor and easily moves it.

The boys kept begging to let them sleep out here tonight in the "little House". They forget it's suppose to storm. I had a little playhouse about this size when I was a little girl. Maybe that will be one of Poppy's projects this summer. A little house to play in!
And so that ends Day 1. The only expense we have in the chicken house so far is nails. Of course, it helps to have every tool known to man and your own sawmill to start with. Our goal is to build it for under $100.00.
We plan on having a couple small windows to let in light, a door on the side so as to enter when needed and nesting boxes attached to the sides so I can reach inside and get the eggs from the outside of the house. Now that's a chicken house of my dreams.
I'll have to paint a little sign and put over the door of my chicken house. Now what shall I put on this sign???

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sunday Afternoon In The Woods

What a beautiful afternoon we had today. Tool Belt Jim had been doing some "loggin" down behind the pond and got the tractor stuck. So he walked up to the house and needed me to come pull him out with the "good truck" as the boys call it.

It was so beautiful down in the woods that we ended up spending most of the afternoon there.


Playing up around the barn on one of Poppy's logs.
Poppy needed the help of the boys to load the wood he split into the little wagon that he pulled behind the 4-wheeler. Here's us hard at work getting firewood for next year.














Here's the place he got the tractor stuck. The boys thought going down the "big hill" was fun on the 4-wheeler.

Here's me on the tractor with a log. Didn't know I could drive a tractor, did ya? I really can, but this picture is fake. Tractors not running, in case anyone would notice there is no smoke coming out of the thingy. Tool Belt Jim thought someone out there would notice that!!

Then there was some story being told to me about 20 frogs floating dead in an old well on our property so we all loaded back on the 4 wheeler so I could check it out. Must have been an old home place back in the woods close to where this well is located.



Here's a shot of a rare tree according to Tool Belt Jim.


We have been having some eagles flying around the homestead lately so when we seen this bird from a distance, we were in hopes in would be the famed eagle. So I told the boys to lie down and "play dead" so maybe it would come closer. Mark is so gullible but gave it a try. Don't you just love kids!! And fly closer it did, but alas, it was just a red-tailed hawk, according to Poppy.


We checked out what the best way to get our "paddle boat" out of the miry clay that it is lodged in. Pond is getting pretty low because the paddle boat use to be floating on the water and now it is about 3 feet away from the water in mud. So while we were there, Poppy helped the boys feed the fish. Koda threw his fish food in cup and all. Poppy had to "fish" that out with a stick. Then he took some pictures of me and the boys sitting on the dock.





On Sunday afternoon Poppy takes the boys and they have "hot chocolate" up at the barn. So today he had bought "special presents" for the boys. They were excited to find new folding chairs in just their size. Notice Poppy's own special chair? Not everyone has a recliner in their barn!



What a wonderful day to spend outdoors. It's suppose to rain tomorrow, so today was the day to be outdoors!

Here's our guard dog, Odie. He has to go to the vet because he has a thorn in his front paw and I'm not going to pull it out. He likes me and I want to keep it that way!!
Here's our Beverly Hillybillies picture. Hope you enjoyed sharing this day with us down on the 80 acre homestead!