Monday, January 10, 2011

On Being Anxious and Worrying

It is now 1:22 AM. I cannot sleep because I am being anxious about everything right now. First, we took the old gas logs, the whole thing, out of the fireplace so we could see if it would burn wood. Because we can't afford to buy propane. Because we are poor. So the chimney did draw up the smoke. I was very excited about that. We spent the day gathering and cutting wood. Then I called a guy to come deliver a rick of wood. Then I called the son-in-law who is a logger. He is working right up the road. He said to meet him there and we'd fill the truck up with green wood. So we did. Had the grandkids there and they really helped load. And unload. And bring some inside too. Great grands they are! All this because we were supposed to get slammed with a foot of snow and everything would be shut down and power could go out. And we are all electric here. So I was worried I'd freeze to death. Hubby had to leave to go back out in his truck so I'd be here alone. Now I am scared I am going to burn down the house! That's why I'm still up. I did the same thing last night. It's just an open fire and we don't have a real fire screen yet. So if anyone reads this, please pray I don't burn the house down with me and the dog and cat in it.

Then I am worried about paying this big huge electric bill I just got for Dec. Good grief! $313.00. That's another reason I wanted to burn wood for heat. We have a heat pump of all things. And the darn thing just blows out cold air. And we have to pay for being freezing cold. In the winter. And it will not shut off. It goes constantly. And all I see are money signs. Heat pumps SUCK! So last month we got one of those radiant heaters from Oreck. $400. Supposed to only cost $1. a day to run it. Ha! Anyway, I hate winter. I am ready to move on over to the big island. Right now.

So the other morning in my devotional I read Phil. 4:6-7. Be anxious for NOTHING but in EVERYTHING by prayer and supplication, with THANKSGIVING, let your requests be made known to GOD; and the PEACE of GOD, which surpasses ALL understanding, will gaurd your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ. So there. Why am I still up then?

I've written myself a few notes of things I need to do in the morning because there is not a thing I can do about this right now. Except pray and give it all to my God. Who will take care of everything like He always does and always has done. Forever and always. Amen.

So goodnight then.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Elderberry Syrup

I just love this stuff. It's great for keeping away sore throats and stuffy noses and flu. I had bought a little bottle last year and it's very expensive. Then I found a few bushes out back in September. So then I found a recipe to make my own. I only got about a few cups. So I had a friend order some organic berries from Frontier. Really reasonable price too. And so easy to make. I double the recipe. I give some to the grandkids and they love it. I usually take about a tablespoon every day for prevention. Last week I started noticing my throat was getting sore. So I went to taking a T. every few hours for a few days. All better! I do not want that sore throat I get just about every winter. It hurts! So here is the recipe if anyone wants to make their own.

1/2 cup of dried elderberries.
1 cinnamon stick
5 whole cloves
5 T. grated ginger
2 cups water

Bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and reduce by at least half, about 20-30 minutes.
Strain berries through a sieve. I smash them to get out all the juice. Then add 1 cup of honey.

Pour into dark bottles and refrigerate. Take a tablespoon daily. It tastes really good too.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Winter on the Farm

It has been a long time since I've posted anything here. Happy new year! It's been cold. I am ready for spring now. We had about 6" of snow Christmas day. It's been a long time since that's happened here. It stayed on the ground almost a week. Then we had lots of rain. Then some really beautiful days but cold. We have lots of winter left. And a big ole huge electric bill.

I am going to get a few pigs this week. A friend is getting one also that will stay with mine here. We'll split the feed costs but I will be doing most of the work since they'll be here. The pigs are a few months old already so hopefully we can get them fattened up in a few months. I really am not looking forward to the keeping of pigs again but do miss the fresh pork chops and bacon.

We butchered 2 of the turkeys right before Thanksgiving. A friend came and helped. He had made a feather plucking contraption that really helped alot. But the turkeys we did were only 6 and 8 pounds. I was really kind of upset. They looked bigger. Guess it was all the feathers. My mom and step dad said they'd just get a turkey from the store. Really not good. So I have the other turkeys confined in a big coop trying to fatten them up. It's costing about $50. a month to feed these guys.

Mazie is getting huge. She's due in March. I can see teats but no udder yet. I guess with first time heifers she won't get an udder til right about delivery time. I have never had a cow before to give birth. First time for me too. I am already nervous about the whole thing. I am hoping she'll calve at night and the calf will be up and all dry and nursing when I get up in the morning. That's my plans anyway.

I am calling the butcher in the morning about getting a time to bring the other heifer in. She's just too mean anymore. And we are almost out of beef. SO she has to go. Plus Mazie will have her calf to keep her company.

I hope everyone has a greta new year and lots of fun on the farm! More later I hope.

Monday, August 30, 2010

I have started walking. Aug. 9th. I just woke up that day and said "This is the day I need to start walking." And I did. I have been going at least 1 1/2-3 miles a day. I have been through 4 pairs of shoes. Not really worn them out but just trying different shoes to see which ones are best for me. My left shin is really hurting about a half mile in so I need some really good shoes. I have been walking on my road in the evenings. But a friend stopped last Frday and said a group of ladies has started walking on a dead end road about a mile from here and I was welcome to join them. So I did this morning.

It was beautiful! I walked with a few other ladies closer to my age and could walk a little faster. We went down a gravel one lane road through trees and streams along the way. Nice and shady. So beautiful. This road goes to a little clearing where walking and horse paths go to the foot of Lookout Mt. Such a beautiful peaceful walk. So they meet 3 days a week. I will be walking with them again. I had a good time.

It is starting to get a little "fallish" feel in the air here. I am so ready for cooler weather. I love fall. I don't think I am ready for winter though. I wonder what it's like in the rest of the country.

My turkeys are getting so big. They are almost 12 weeks old now. They are outside all day now. They are so funny. They will follow me all over. It's like I'm a turkey herder. They are good turkeys. I feed them a little in the morning then let them out. In the evening they are ready for more feed. They follow me back in and I close them up for the night. I have named the biggest tom Harper. I wanted a Bourbon name. I like Harper. So he will be the one I keep plus the hens. I think there are at least 4 hens. That will be plenty to start my little turkey business.

I sold 2 of my milk goats last month. So I am now down to just 2. Abby and Sandy. They cannot possibly keep up with all the weeds. I need more. I think I am going to start looking for some sheep. I would like at least 4 ewes. Preferably old enough to be bred about Oct. for spring lambs. They will eat lots of things that goats or cows won't. So they will be an asset here. Since we don't have a bush hog or tiller.

Mazie is pregnant! She has been such a good cowgirl since she's been home. She should have a calf in March. I am already nervous. I hope the bull wasn't too big for her first calf. But she is a huge cow.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I also have 9 Bourbon Red turkey poults. They are about 2 months now. I have put them outside in a stall. Some of them have been getting out. They stay right around though. I guess they are very "herdy" animals. So tonight a little before sunset I went ahead and opened the door. One at a time they hopped out. They all stayed right near the door. Soem would hop back in then come right back out again. They were eating grass and bugs and just exploring their new world. Then all of a sudden they all went back in. I shut the door. I will start letting them out about an hour before sunset each day. Then gradually lenghten the time. I just love these little birds. I'm going to have a hard time deciding which to keep and which to butcher. I will probably end up keeping them all for breeding stock. We'll see!

It was a very hot day today. I took all 3 granddaughters to Chattanooga for a "free fun" day. We went to the sculpture garden in the Bluff View art district. then to a very nice art gallery. Then to Coolodge Park to play in the fountain. Then to the aquarium to play in the water there. All free so far! On the way to my mom's for lunch we stopped at Wendy's for Frosties. $3.00. Then to my mom's for lunch and to play in the stream behind their house. Not a bad day and only spent $3.00.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Mazie's still there and not here.

Our 2nd attempt to bring Mazie home has failed also. I feel like a bad cow momma. We had help. Our 2 daughters and one boyfriend were here for dinner. They volunteered to help. But they couldn't get her in either. So I think we need to bring in the big guns. A bigger trailor and some herding dogs and a few rodeo cow lasooers maybe? Or I could maybe just get a 5 gallon bucket of apples and lead her home. It's just about a mile from here. I'm so upset.

Anyway, dinner was really good. I made a chicken and rice casserole, corn on the cob, fried green tomatoes, cole slaw, sliced tomatoes. And made a banana cake for desert. It really was good.

Some of the turkeys have been getting out. I can't figure out how. Last night there were 6 out. Today there are 4. A tom and 3 hens. I will get them back in tonight. Just to be on the safe side. I'd hate for something to get them. They are so stinkin' cute. It will be very hard to put some of them in the freezer. I have a few picked out to keep for breeding so far. One of the toms (the one who escaped) is very friendly. I will keep him. I want to keep 1 tom and at least 3 hens for breeding.

I am hoping to be able to get the camper ready to take it to Chester Frost Park sometime this week. The grands have not been anywhere or done anything fun this whole summer. And school starts back in a few weeks. We did get the kitchen faucet fixed. So that's a little less money we have to spend on it. Hubby will spend the night with the kids while I go home at night. I have 4 goats to milk in the mornings. Then I will go back.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

We didn't bring Mazie home last night. We are not cattle rustlers for sure. I had some apples for her and thought she'd just climb on in the trailor like she did before. But NO. She would not get all the way in. (This is a double horse trailor. It's lots smaller than the one she went down there in.) And my hubby is afraid of cows apparently. He would not push her in. So we need some cattle people to come help us. I am very upset. And so is Roxie.

I went to the farmer's market this morning to look for corn. The only people who had any had already shucked it. Now why would they do that? That's the fun of getting corn. The shucking. And the goats LOVE corn shucks. And the chickens LOVE the worms. So we all miss out on the good stuff. I got some anyway. A gallon size bag was $5.00. Good grief! And to think Roxie and the goats got in the big garden and ate all that I had planted. SO really, they did get some corn. And shucks. And worms too. So there.

I need to go pick tomatoes out in the jungle. But I am waiting til later when the sun goes down behind the trees. It's too hot. Then I read someone's post over on MJF about being in her garden and a snake ran across her feet. So now I don't know. I always take Bubba out there with me. I might get hubby to do it. He wears boots. He does not like snakes either. But he's a man and he's supposed to be the strong brave one. So there.