Saturday, August 31, 2013


From this....

to this, in 2 1/2 hours. 16 Freedom Rangers, done. 10 more to go. I have no idea how much these guys weigh. Some felt like 4 pounds, some like 2 pounds. These guys are going up on the mountain to the guy I bartered 3 chicken tractors for. Quite an expensive trade too. Probably won't be doing any more meat birds. I'll keep the tractors for broody or sick hens. Or when I get more hens I'll keep them in them til they are ready to go in with the others.

When I was out in the milk room last night, getting ready to mix up some grain for the goats, I noticed little tiny black bugs in the bag of wheat. Then saw them in the bag of corn and barley. DARN! Makes me mad! I took all those bags and put them in a big barrel. I took it out of the milk room and into the garage. Should probably get it as far away as possible. But I'll feed that grain to the chickens and hopefully they'll eat all those darn bugs too. I am going to have a talk with the people at the feed store about this. I had also noticed bugs in the last bag of laying feed. Wonder if this is where the bugs came from?

I am getting 4 hens and a rooster this afternoon. Black Jersey Giants I think. They are 4 months old. I think since I will have a roo I'll breed them and try to sell chicks. I'll see how well they do at setting on eggs.

So I can let my laying hens out now to free range part of the day. I didn't want to before the meat birds were all gone so they wouldn't get all mixed up. I'll keep the 10 FR in the tractor so I can let the laying hens out. They will like that.

When I get back from getting the new birds, I have got to start on grape juice and jelly. And then fig preserves. Found what looks like a pretty easy recipe for that. Then next week is SOAP! I've got to make soap. I am almost out.

So what's going on at your farms today?

Friday, August 30, 2013

Bubba and Bonnie Belle

 Bubba with his rack of ribs.

And Bonnie in front of the entrance to the chicken tractor. She would not move out the way so they could get out. I think she just wanted her chicken massage! Silly Bonnie Belle!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

What's wrong with my ram???

 I was getting the water hose hooked up out back at the well pump and saw clumps of black wool on the ground. Abraham came walking over to me and I saw a few places that looked like fluffy wool. So I pulled and I got whole handfuls of wool. Just pulled off so easy. On both sides too. But there is a small healed wound right on the shoulder. You can see it here. The white spot. The wool underneath is very smooth and soft. I have never pulled wool off like this before. And I could have pulled all his wool off, it look like. He'd probably love it, as hot as it is right now.

There is a pile of wool right here. I have no idea why it's coming out like this in clumps. I did see John Henry and Abraham at each other yesterday. Maybe John's biting him? Maybe he's stressed? He wants to go back in with the ewes, but I'm waiting til Oct. And I want to get the lambs in a separate area first.

If anyone has any ideas as to why Abraham's wool is coming off so easily, please let me know. I hope he's ok. He had been really sick about a month ago. Had to give him worm meds and antibiotics. Could that be why? Come to think about it, that's about where I gave him the shots.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

More hay today

71 more bales of hay today. I had help loading it form Abby and her brother-in-law Johnny and Heather and Kansas. I had to unload it all myself though. I unloaded the trailer first on the driveway, then drove the truck over to the barn to unload and stack all that inside. I only stacked yesterday's hay 4 bales high because it was darn heavy, which took up half the room. So could only get 40 bales in tonight. I stacked that hay 5 bales high. It was much lighter. So the rest of the hay will have to go on the porch. I'll just use it first. I am not going to be feeding hay til probably November, the way it looks right now. So maybe this will last til spring. 140 bales. I was going to go back and get another truckload later but don't have room now.

So yesterday was all about hay and grass. I mowed the sheep's pasture later yesterday afternoon. That took a few hours. It looks so good now. And the pasture the sheep are on now needs mowed. It's full of that foot high grass with the tall fluffy spike on top. I need to look it up to see what king of grass it is. They don't like it apparently.

This is where we got hay today. At the foot of Lookout Mt. behind the middle school where my kids went to school/ It's so beautiful here.

This is Garry's tractor. It's usually broke down.  It was just resting then.

And this was just a little notice in the thrift store bathroom today. It just cracked me up! Tomorrow is farmer's market day. I hope to get the rest of that hay put up in the morning, then take the truck and trailer back and get my Trooper so I can load it up for market. I hope I make some money to make up for what I spent on hay and going to Colorado.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Being busy

Why is there always so much to do?

While I was in Colorado last week, I had nothing to do. Except drive and wait on people. Absolutely nothing to do. We did a lot of shopping and driving and eating there. But nothing like what I do here.

I have such a long list of things that HAVE got to get done. Or started. And yesterday we went and got this load of hay. 70 bales. Well, 4 must of fell off somewhere along the way. It was way up on Sand Mt. where we went to get the hay. On a very hilly field. They could of fallen off there. Anyway, so this is priority this morning. I was going to butcher 25 Freedom Ranger meat birds. But that will have to wait til tomorrow.

And I have at least 5 batches of soap to make. I'm running low for the market. And it's supposed to be nice and sunny this week, so was going to get out in the garden to til some rows for fall crops. Plus Wednesday market, which takes me about all day to pack up and pick veggies and get to market by 3.So Wed. is only about market. Tuesdays I run errands and pay bills and go to the bread store and go have lunch with my mother. I need to take my youngest grand daughter school clothes shopping. She starts school tomorrow.

And here I sit. I don't want to do a single thing. But I have to. I had to unload that trailer so we could get the truck over to the barn. And the top bales are still wet with dew. So they need to dry first. At least I don't have to haul all this hay across the yard like I usually have to do. That wears me out. Now the truck is backed right up to the porch, so all I have to do is walk onto the truck and take it inside. And those bales on the truck weigh at least 80 pounds each. Really heavy hay.

This is some of the veggies I picked yesterday for dinner. We had the whole family here for a home cooked, fresh from the garden dinner. I had roasted one of my chickens with some kale and garlic and rosemary. Also roasted some red potatoes with garlic, rosemary and lots of butter. Then had fresh green beans, field peas, fried okra, rice and tomatoes. And I made a blueberry cobbler from berries I picked up the road at my friend's place. A very good meal for sure. And filling. It lasted til we got home last night with this load of hay at 9:30.

So, I need to go and unload hay. Or make soap. Or til some rows.... Happy Monday, y'all!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Mornings. Smells and sounds.

I love mornings. I love the freshness, the clearness. Everything is cleaner in the morning. Like everything has had a good night's sleep and is ready for a brand new day. I can hear the happy birds chirping. The goats are ready to be milked and are calling for me. The cats are at the door waiting for their breakfast. The chickens are scrambling to be the first out the door to catch all the juiciest bugs. The sheep are out in their pasture, munching on the nice juicy grasses. I can hear them munching too. They see me and baaaa and come running to say good morning to me and I get some sheep love.Then a little later, I hear the hens singing their egg laying songs, one after another. I love that sound!

Then I come inside, after doing all my morning chores. I make coffee for my husband and it smells so good. I don't drink much coffee anymore, but still love the smell. I love how it makes my house smell in the mornings. Then I start on breakfast. Bacon, eggs, apples from the tree earlier this spring, fresh tomatoes from the garden, toast in the toaster. I love breakfast smells. Makes the house smell even better now!

I like to wash a load of clothes or towels and sheets and hang them out to dry in the sun all day. That's one of the best smells. Then fall into bed at night from a long day of work, onto fresh smelling sheets. Ah, that is pure bliss right there!

There is a hint of fall in the morning air now. Days are getting a little shorter. Leaves are starting to get a bit of color and are starting to litter the yards and roads, fluttering all around as we drive by. Such a pretty sight. It doesn't seem so hot anymore. Fall is fast approaching.

I'll be going this afternoon to get a few loads of fresh cut and baled hay for the sheep and goats this winter. That's another wonderful smell. Although I hate going to the fields and loading truck load after truck load, then unloading and hauling and stacking it, I do love that hay smell. And I love the satisfaction knowing the barn is full of hay for my animals this winter.

And the smells of canning and putting fresh home grown food away for a nice long winter of good eating! That's a great smell. And the sound of the "pings" that happen almost as soon as the jars come out of the canner! I love it.

These are just a few of my favorite smells and sounds of mornings around here. Another nice sound is my husband, outside in his garage. Getting the weed eater ready to cut down all those tall grasses and weeds around the electric fence out back around the goat pasture. The goats have been getting out into the hay field next door because the fence is not charging right now.

I hope you all have a great day. And enjoy all the smells and sounds in your neck of the woods today!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, Colorado

I am back home!!!! I missed all my animals so much. I never saw the first sheep and only a few goats. And NO home gardens. My brother and sister live in Colorado Springs. There is nothing but wall to wall houses there. And freeways and traffic like I have never seen. Everywhere we went, waiting, waiting and more waiting.

BUT, they have some of the best thrift stores! We went to every one of them I think. There was Goodwill of course. But they have an Arc, which is HUGE, and there are a lot of them, all over. And we went to every one of them, I do believe. Such fun!

My brother and his girl friend took me to the Garden of the Gods. I had been there back in 2001, but things seemed different. It was amazing and so beautiful. The day was perfect. Blue sky with big billowing white clouds. The mountains were beautiful. Every turn, there was a more awesome view than the one before.

This is the Kissing Camels rock. There is a gated community named after this rock.

And the colors! Oh my goodness. So many different colors and contrasts.

This is my brother Mark and his girlfriend Susan. Look at that view!

This is a beautiful scene here. These 2 huge rocks with the peaks in the back ground.

And there were several rock climbers too. Something I am glad I have no interest in.

And I saw faces in all the rocks there. These are so plain to see. Like they were giants frozen in stone, looking up at the sky.

On the way back to the parking lot, I saw these silhouettes on the top of these rocks. I thought they looked like some kind of animals. The closer we got, we could see their horns. It was a small flock of Bighorn sheep! There are 6 here that were visible. Then we saw a 7th over to the right a little lower. They were all just looking at all the people looking at them! It was so amazing to see them way up there. There was also a huge buck up at the welcome center. Not but a few feet from all the people watching him. And he just laid down under a bush. Then we also saw a pretty doe under one of the rocks.

These are just a few shots from my trip. I'll post more later. I took over 300. Not hard to do out there. But I am SO glad to be back home. In my very quiet little peaceful valley.

I hope you all have had a great week too.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


In the middle of August. A vacation. A week in Colorado Springs with my mother, brother and sister and their families. Me and my mother will be driving 1200 miles. I am not looking forward to the drive. That's like 4 days of driving. Geeze, I get tired driving from my house to Chattanooga. And that's just 30 miles.  Ugh. My mom will have to drive most of it, I can tell already. And it's BORING. Just plain b.o.r.i.n.g. And Manitou Springs flooded again. I liked it there.

I think I do need to get away from here though. These animals are driving me crazy. I just need a change of scenery. And to not have to get up in the morning and have 5000 animals that need me right away. I hope I am feeling better when I get back. Ready to start a new chapter.

 I will be away from a computer too. Which I need a break from as well. So I will be back next Friday. I so hope you all have a great week and I'll see you later!

Lookout Mountain art

I saw this truck when I got to the top of the mountain to go get my grands yesterday. I had to turn around and go back to take some pictures. It is so cool! I just love it. It's amazing what some people come up with.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Just awesomeness

I went out this morning at 7 to feed the animals and saw this. I had to just stand there and watch it progress over the hill. If you click on the pictures, you can see 2 little birds on the wire, just sitting there, waiting for the sun to come up. I can just imagine them singing praises to their Lord. Just beautiful! And it was so quiet. Even the sheep and goats weren't making a sound.

 My mother and I are heading out to Colorado Springs Thursday morning to visit my brother and sister and their kids for a week. I haven't been anywhere for a long time. Last time was to Savannah for my nieces wedding in Oct a few years ago. I have been saving all my farmer's market and chicken money for the trip. I also just sold the 3 diva kids yesterday! I had just put an ad on CL and got a call a little later asking if I had an ad on CL. I said yes. He said I had put too many 0's in and he and his wife tried all different ways and got me. He said they wanted all 3 of them but couldn't get them til next week but would come out and pay for them. Sometimes it's hard for me to see how God works. But this is just perfect because my friend who'll be coming to take care of the animals would have had to milk Sandy twice a day if they had taken them now. So they will come back when I get back home. They have just bought a huge farm in Alabama but are living in Chattanooga til the place it ready. Which will be next week. They have 2 young ND bucklings too. So it all worked out great and I have more money for the trip! Too cool.

I hope you all have a great week. And enjoy all your beautiful sunrises and sunsets.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

A whole dozen eggs today!

I'm sorry for so many chicken pictures here. But I am so proud of these girls! I mean, they just did start laying and now they're up to a WHOLE DOZEN! All 6 White Leghorns and now 6 of the Red Stars. That just leaves 2 more RS to start laying. Then the 7 Barred Rocks in about a month. Then I'll get  nearly 2 dozen a day! Too cool.

I helps to take a break from certain animals to appreciate them when you get them again. There are certain animals I will NEVER have, like alpacas, donkeys or llamas, which scare the crap out of me for some reason. Who wants an animal that looks like a furry dinosaur to spit green nasty stuff in your face? Not this farm gal. Nope, so none of those animals will ever live here.

Then there are those I have had and will NEVER have again, as far as I can tell right this moment. Like turkeys, ducks, guineas, more than likely pigs. And maybe not a horse. But maybe a working pony in the future. And a few more beef cows. I miss cows for some reason.

But chickens? I will probably always have chickens. And goats and sheep. Chickens are just fun. And so funny. And ya get eggs! For not really much either. And they love eating trash and bugs. Can't go wrong with a chicken.

This little lady, who my little visitors yesterday named Mary, just laid an egg here. Actually, Ally named all 6 white hens Mary. She said it would be easier that way. I think this is so interesting to see a hen right before and after laying an egg. They will stand up and start grunting and push several times. Then out comes the egg. Then she'll stand there for awhile, like she's in a daze. Or in shock, not sure which. I guess I'd be in shock, having to lay a large egg every day!

She apparently was taking a little too long after laying her egg for this other hen waiting in line. Even though there were a few other empty nests, she thought this one was the better one.

 And this is what I got today. A whole dozen eggs!

 And a nice even amount of each color, which makes it so nice for an OCD type person like me, who likes to put them in the carton all nice and pretty like this. Isn't that way cool? I think so.

So all these dozens of eggs will be going to the Main St. market with me this Wednesday to sell. I am so excited to be bringing eggs again. A little bit more money for my Colorado trip this week.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Do you need any help getting that out to your car?

I heard these words today at Whole Foods. I had gone to pick up a few things and was at the check out paying. As I was standing there about to pick up my 2 very un heavy bags, the young man asked "Do you need any help getting this to your car?" He may or may not have said ma'am, I can't remember. Although, he could very well have, because I just turned and looked at him with a most unusual look on my face. Like I could not believe he just asked ME if I needed HELP getting these 2 bags of very light food to my car. I just stood there with my hands on my hips. He then said " We always ask people if they need help" "Oh, so not just OLD ladies then?" I really don't know what came over me. No one has ever asked me that before in that store. It must just be a new policy. Hmm...

No one at Tractor Supply has ever asked me if I needed help with the 500 pounds of grains I just purchased. EVER. I mean, I lift 50 pound bags of grain all the time. By myself! If my husband happens to be home when I get here with a truck load, I will let him unload it for me. I'm not stupid. It's nice to get a break every once in awhile, right?

But I toss 60-70 pound bales of hay into my truck, stacked 4 and 5 bales high. Then unload them all and haul them to my barn and restack them all. Myself. Like 200 at a time. And I might need help getting 2 little bags of food to my car?

I really feel old now. I'm 55 and in pretty darn good shape, thank you. I just don't know what came over me. Really strange feeling for sure. I don't know how to process this right now. I thought about it all the way home. And can't seem to get it off my mind. I think it's just the way he said it? Or that he was a baby? Would it have felt the same if a girl had asked me the same question? Or an older man? UGH! Does it just get worse now that I am a SENIOR citizen to some people? Is some kid going to come up to me and ask if they can help me across the street soon? Do people even do that anymore? Good grief.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The hens

I am really enjoying my new hens. It's been a few months since I've had laying hens. It was nice to have a little break though. It made me appreciate them even more. And all those wonderful eggs! I am getting 10 a day now. All 6 of the Leghorns are laying with 4 of the Red Stars laying. I can hardly wait til all 21 of them are laying soon.

They're all getting along better now. I still hear a squeal every now and then from one of the bigger hens picking on the smaller Barred Rocks. But they will be as big as the others soon. I hope to be able to let them out in the evenings a little, maybe next month. I have the Freedom Rangers free ranging in the same pasture and they all pretty much stay in there. I just need to get them all butchered before I let the layers out. Which will be happening the end of the month. They are growing but not as big as I want them yet. A few more weeks and they should be ready.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

What I did today

I have really enjoyed my day today. It's been a rainy day. But in between the rains, I went out to the garden to see what was out there. I brought baskets. Came back inside with a basket of beautiful tomatoes, bell peppers, basil, cucumbers and field peas. Later I picked a whole bucket of pretty sweet grapes for jelly tomorrow. The corn I bought from a little road side stand in Ringgold.

And this is what I got from all this. 4 bags of corn cut off the cob. 2 bags of field peas. 7 pints of canned tomato sauce plus a small bag of sauce for the freezer. So not too bad for a days work. My freezers are a bit full right now.

I also picked a bunch of beautiful zinnias for all over the house. I love these flowers and they just make me so happy seeing them. And washed 4 loads of laundry. I will have nice fresh clean sheets on my bed tonight!

I also got 10 eggs today! All 6 Leghorns are laying now! And 4 of the Red Stars. So I have almost 2 dozen eggs now!

Tomorrow I have GOT to clean this house! There is enough dog hair to cover a bald dog. I need to shave Bubba. He moves and fur flies.

What are y'all canning and freezing right now? I love doing this. Sometimes I have to make myself do it, but when it's done, I love that satisfaction of seeing all these beautiful jars of produce that will be SO good this winter.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

It's so quiet now!

I moved all the sheep, except for Abraham, over to the fresh pasture a few days ago. He's still over in the other pasture, recovering. I need to move John Henry up there with him so he won't be alone. Although, the Freedom Ranger chickens are all over him. He's getting better, slowly. A friend called me yesterday who has been reading about all I've been doing for him. She said that Red Cell has some copper in it. So I have quit giving him that. I didn't even think about it. There is a sheep Nutri-drench I'll go get for him. But he's eating sheep feed with kelp. So he's getting there.

It's been a fast and busy 5 days for me here. I am gone all day at Mrs. T's, taking her to the beauty shop, grocery shopping, out to eat lunch, hearing aide center. Saturday was moving my daughter and grand daughter out of my house!!!! I got Mrs. T's little itty bitty red house for them to live in. It's the cutest little house ever. It used to be a little hat shop in downtown Chattanooga a hundred years ago. The Varnell's bought it and had it moved to their property for their maid to live. There's been a couple renting it for almost a year now and just finally found another place to live. So as soon as they were all moved out, Heather and Kansas were in!

It's just the perfect little house for Heather and Kansas. At least for awhile til they can find something bigger. I love it and would live there myself. It's like a little fairy house in the woods.

Then we all went to our family reunion in Spring City, Tn. My husband's sister and BIL live there on a lake and have the family there on Sat. for food and swimming and boating. Lots of family from Indiana come down.

Then on Sunday, we all go to the Cumberland State Park in Crossville for the bigger reunion with extended family. Always fun to see the new babies and growing families. And eat all that great food too!

Monday, my husband and mother and I went to find a washer and dryer for Heather. Mom wanted to buy them for her. We found some at a used appliance store where she had bought her dryer for just $75. So we got them loaded up and called the son-in-law who lives next door to Heather, to come help unload. It took about 4 hours to get everything hooked up and working.

My husband has been on vacation for over a week. So it was time for him to hit the road! Me and my mom took him back to Atlanta to his truck. Then me and mom went to an outlet mall on the way home. She wanted to go to the Coach store. She bought 2 really nice big purses. Then to a sun glass store and she bought us both a pair of cool sunglasses. Then to Costco, then the bread store for old bread for the sheep, goats, chickens and pigs. Then to the meat market for dog food scraps. By then, it was pouring down rain! Took mom home and it was really raining then. And almost all the way home it rained. And nothing out here.

So Wed. and Thurs. I am not leaving my yard. I have SO much to get done here. I need to make a list. But now I have plenty of time, because IT'S JUST ME HERE NOW!!!!!!!! I really just have a little over a week, then me and mom are going to Colorado Springs to see my brother, sister and all their kids and grands. For a week. Not really looking forward to the long drive. But will be good to see everyone again.

And I got 8 eggs today!!! 5 white eggs and 3 brown. And of course, not having a basket to put them in, while shutting the door, I dropped one. I'll have enough to start selling now, since it'll be JUST ME HERE now! Can y'all tell how excited I  am to FINALLY have my house back after a year? Well, I AM!

Oh, and I sold some chicken to a Guatemalan family who stopped by yesterday. They were all so nice. This couple had 3 of the sweetest cutest little boys. I gave them a few cards and told them to tell their friends. I need to sell these chickens in the freezer.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Husband. In orange.

This is my husband, Tiny. He's been on vacation this week. It's the Sherrill family reunion this weekend up in Spring City and Crossville, Tn. Lots of family from Indiana and Tn. Always a fun weekend. He and 2 of his nephews from In. rode their motorcycles on the Dragon's Tail yesterday. He got home about 11:00 last night. A pretty long ride for an old guy. He bought this bright orange t-shirt that has stuff about the Dragon's Tail route on it. And he was eating yummy orange peaches and cantaloupe this morning. I thought it was a cool picture with his really white beard. The main reunion is at the Cumberland Co. State Park in Crossville Tn.  I can always tell I'm at the right reunion from all the white headed people! His whole family looks just like this. We've been married almost 35 years and he's been white headed about 33 of those years. His beard was red when we met and stayed red for a long time, with a white streak down the middle. Now he looks like Santa Clause! He's the best husband I could ever have asked for. I love him.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Much, much better now!

Here is Abraham this morning with the rest of the flock. Outside, eating. He looks almost normal again! I gave him another shot of LA200 and B complex. I will be giving him Red Cell every day for awhile, just to boost his red cell level and give him the iron he's needing apparently. Anemia is not a good thing.

His jaw is nearly back to his normal size again. I am so happy to see this. I only wish now that I had known to do all this when Lucinda was so sick last year. I could have saved her.

Thank you all who have been concerned about him. I think he's on the uphill climb now.