Saturday, December 7, 2013

Baby it's cold outside!

First, can y'all read this ok? Sometimes I go to blogs and when there's a background like this, I can't see the words. I can here, but wondered what y'all see. Let me know please and if you can't see it, I'll change it.

Wow. Alpaca wool is amazing! I just now, after more than 2 months, got to actually PET this red Alpaca.

Seems like I am always in a hurry when I am feeding all the animals in the morning. I feed these 2 about half a big coffee can of sweet feed and minerals in the morning, plus hay. Misha, the red one, will eat out of my hand or the feed can. But that's as far as it's gotten. Until now.

So this morning, I put their feed in their bowls and just stood there. Misha was beside me and Sugar on the other side of him. I reached over, while they both had their heads down, and pet Sugar. Of course he moved over. But then did let me pet him for a few seconds.

But Misha, the red one, let me pet him all over his back and neck!! I just stood there, since he never even moved, and pet him all I could. It was amazing! He is SO soft. I am so happy that I have finally got to touch them! I'll do this every morning now and maybe one day I will be able to pet them any time I want to.

They are really sweet boys and I do love them. My husband says they are just stuck up. He'll say something to them and they just turn their heads away. Not the most social of animals on this farm.

We had to start up the wood stove again this morning. After being SO hot and humid here the past week, it's cold again. I mean, we had windows open and I was wearing shorts. But not today. Or the rest of this week. At least we don't have ice and snow like everywhere else. But I think frozen mud would be nice right now. It has rained a bit too much for me. Not liking all this mess.

                                   This was from a few weeks ago. But we'll have more soon.

And yesterday morning, right at feeding time, it's just pouring rain. So I go out in it to haul hay and bread and stuff to the masses. As soon as I am done, it stops raining. Seriously. So I didn't milk Penelope. I had to be gone all day and had to leave. So I was thinking I'd go ahead and dry her up, since the day before, I only got a pint of milk.

But I don't want to dry her up. I want to keep milking her. Even a pint of milk a day is better than nothing. Or store bought. or even raw Jersey cow milk. It's good and I like it, but I really love my goat milk. A lot. I know I'll eventually have to dry her up, and will. But just not right now.

I have still not done a thing about Christmas around here. I used to decorate my whole house years ago. I just can't make myself do that here for some reason. We do put up a tree, but I have to make myself do that anymore. And I'll get the grand kids to decorate it when they're here. I might go get some greenery and red berries from Mrs. T's yard later and do the mantle and buffet and windows outside. But I really don't care. I just don't like winter anymore. And IT'S NOT EVER WINTER YET!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

It IS a boy after all!

I was thinking I didn't have a rooster after all. He never did crow. Just another hen I guess.

But this morning, I heard the noise. Twice! It was the sound of a very young rooster trying to crow. I love that sound. But I love a really good crow too. So he can keep his name, Black Bart, now.

And I think I might have another rooster as well. You can see the one with the long feathers in front of Black Bart. If it is a roo, he'll be Black Jack. They are both pretty big. This other one has the tail feathers like a rooster.

So this is pretty cool. Get to hear crows again after a very long crow-less time here at Outback Farm.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Doctors, doctors and more doctors. Good grief already!

So this week, Tiny has 4 different doctor appointments. It was only supposed to be 3 but then the hospital doctor wanted him to come in today. So yesterday was the blood work to check his INR level because of the Coumadin. Today the hospital doctor to check on him and that was the last time for him. Tomorrow is his diabetic doctor, who moved his appt. up from Jan. Then Thursday is the wound care center to check on his ankles. Man, that's a lot of doctors in one week. And Friday is my day with Mrs. T.

We will also have our youngest grand Kansas the next 2 days on account of her having strep throat and the doctor said for her to not go back to school til Friday. So she'll come out in the early morning so her momma can go to work. Then on the way to town we'll hand her off to my mom.

And I need to call the dentist and skin doctors for Mrs. T too. I keep forgetting to do that. So I could be taking her to doctors too. How fun is this? Tiny is already tired of going to doctors. And tired of watching TV. Now that's hard to believe. He can sit for days and watch Gunsmoke or Law and Order. He even laughs like a kid at the 3 Stooges still. So he must be getting restless. Poor guy.

So he does stuff like this. I had set this feed pan on the hood of the truck. He moved it to the center and called it a hood ornament. Our farm truck hood ornament. Very clever indeed! And he's been chopping a little wood. He also has brought in wheelbarrows full of wood. But since it's going to be in the 70's the next several days, we let the fire go out. Plus it was like 87 degrees inside the house. With windows open. I think we got the stove working pretty darn good. But probably don't need to use it til it gets near 20 degrees.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Just some sillinesss

Yesterday, we all went back over to mom's to finish off the Thanksgiving leftovers. Mom brought some frozen pickle juice outside for us all to try. I wish I could have gotten all the silly faces! It was hilarious for sure. You all should try this. Just put pickle juice in ice cube trays and freeze. It's great on really hot days after working out in the garden or mowing the yard. But pucker up!

                                           My mom with Tiny and youngest daughter Abby.

                        The 2 oldest grand daughters, Chloe and Coryn, trying theirs for the first time!

                                          This is Kansas, the youngest and silliest of the bunch.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are all full of good food. It's now December. Can you believe that? I so want to do my house like I used to. Maybe I'll get in the mood soon. It's going to be a rainy week here. We let the fire go out because it's supposed to only be in the 40's at night and 60's during the day. And it was 87 in here yesterday. That wood stove is really working god now! But we'll give it a break for awhile.

Just wanted to thank all of you who voted for my story. I did not win. I really don't understand that guy. 2 people won but not the whole amount. Kind of strange to me. But thanks anyway. I might try again. It was fun.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Day 29: Handy husbands

My husband made this wood holder today while I was gone. He is so smart and handy. We were just throwing the wood down on the floor and it was all over the place. So he came up with this little handy piece of creativeness. I love a man who can just come up with useful things with stuff that we have laying around taking up space. One day though, I will have to paint this wall. It's all messed up. But that's ok, because now it's covered up with wood. And we sure are toasty warm these days.

So I am very thankful for my husband. And thankful that he can do things like this still. I love him.

The Disposable Income Kid. I need more votes!!!!

Just ONE MORE DAY to vote for my story. I'd really love to win this $425. It would SO help us out right now. So I am appealing to all my blog readers who might not have seen the other post and voted, to go vote for my story.

You go to this link and click on 'read stories and vote" and my story This Man Still Cracks Me Up is now on the 2nd page. I have 24 votes right now and the leading story has 33. And there's ONLY ONE MORE DAY to vote!!! So PLEASE vote for me!!! And thank you all so much!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Day 28: Happy turkey day, y'all!

This is one of my Bourbon Red tom turkeys from a few years ago. He was so handsome. And was a very good dinner or 2.

My and my hubby are on our way to my mom's for a big ole dinner with my kids and a son-in-law and a grand daughter. Small this year. We will miss my step dad Gary this year. Our first Thanksgiving without him in 35 years.  He will be there in spirit though.

I hope you all have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Day 27: Deer and chickens

This is some of the deer tenderloin my friends brought us last night. I cooked some for breakfast this morning,

along with some of my chicken's eggs. Aren't they good lookin' eggs? They're so good too.

And a good cup of coffee to go with breakfast. I am really loving this Coffee Mate natural bliss coffee creamer. It's real milk and cream, sugar and natural flavors. It's also hard to find more than the plain flavor. And in whole milk, not non fat stuff. I did try the low fat chocolate, which is just low fat milk. It was ok. I just don't care for all the low fat- non fat stuff. I want the real thing, ya know? But this is really good.

I am so thankful I can go out the kitchen door and gather fresh eggs from my happy healthy hens every day. They are slowing down some, but what I get we are using fast. I guess no more egg selling for awhile.

Happy eating', ya'll! And Happy Thanksgiving! I'll probably not post tomorrow. Have a great time with family and friends and don't eat too much!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Day 26: Dedicated Farmers and Good Friends

Today was cold and wet and nasty. I had to take Tiny to 2 doctor appointments today. One for an ultrasound on his corroted (?) arteries, and the wound care center. They did say his woulds are shrinking! And it rained the whole time we were out. It really was a crappy day to be out in it. I like to be home on days like this.

We got home and Tiny asked me if I had gotten the bread. Well, no. I get day old bread from this cool artisan bread bakery in Chattanooga on Tuesdays. And I forgot to get it before we went home. So headed back to town. Only a 35 mile one way trip.

The Main St. Farmer's Market was today instead of Wed. so I went there first. This is most of what I got there. I just want to say how much I am thankful for these people. It was cold, wet, rainy and downright nasty out, but these farmers came to the market anyway. Great people, these farmers. And look at all this good organic, locally grown food we get to eat now. I love it! We will have no money for the next 2 weeks, but we will eat good!

Then when I got home, my friends from up the road called. They had something for us and wanted to know if they could bring it down. I said yes, of course, come on over! They brought us half of a deer! 2 legs and a bunch of tenderloin. So I am so thankful for good friends who share their bounty. I cut up 3 pounds of stew meat, 3 small roasts, got 4 baggies of tenderloin (which we will have some with eggs for breakfast tomorrow morning) a small bone in shoulder roast and some boneless shoulder meat. I think that's all. And 4 nice leg bones for Bubba and Stella. They are munching on 2 right now. Full of good marrow. Yum! Happy thankful doggies they are. So thank you, sweet deer, for feeding us.

And it's now 84 degrees in this house. It did finally stop raining. The animals are NOT thankful for all the mud and muck. Me either, really. I know there is a purpose for it all, but I don't like it one bit. Especially when I have to be out in it. I don't like hauling hay in this mess. But I am thankful I have hay. And dry shelters for all the animals.

I hope you all are warm and dry right now. And if anyone knows how to spell that words up there, let me know and I'll change it. Spell check is no help at all.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Day 25: WOOD HEAT!!!!

We finally got the wood heater all hooked up and full of wood! It took way too long and a lot of bad words, but we did it. I hope anyway. We had so much trouble out of this heater last winter, with smoke pouring out the door every time I opened it to put wood in. Smoke coming out of the pipes. We finally figured out that the pipes were blocked with creosote. So we stopped using it.

We went to Ace and got some poles that hook onto the chimney brush. Got the chimney all swept and cleaned. All new pipes. Fixed the opening in the fireplace with sheet metal so no air gets out that way. We have learned that this heater needs to be burned HOT. Like we need to leave dampers open so the fire gets super hot and keeps the pipes cleaned.

As you can see, withing just a few minutes, this is the temp in here. And it's so nice! I love wood heat. It's WARM heat. But it sure is hard work. How many times that wood makes us warm. Cutting it, loading and unloading it. Stacking it. Loading it onto the wagon and hauling it to the house. Then hauling it up the steps into the house. That's a lot of sweat already right there.

It ain't pretty, but it sure is a nice thing to have when it's cold outside. And we are in for some nasty weather the next few days here. Possible snow and sleet. We have plenty of wood so we should be nice and warm now!

I'm sorry I am so late on these posts. But I had to take Tiny to a new doctor this morning and it turned into several hours. Then all the wood heater work. I was a bit irritable to say the least.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Day 24: It's COLD out there!

This is not really a thankful post, as I don't like to be cold anymore. But it's freezing outside! I had to wear the old Carhart jacket this morning. And my fingers were frozen. I have some nice warm felted wool gloves that I love and they keep my hands toasty warm. But when I'm throwing hay to starving animals, I just want my hands free. And when I milked Penelope, they got warmed up real good! She probably didn't like it though.

Up until I turned 50, I loved winter. I always said I'd love to live in Alaska. I didn't like being hot at all. But then, when I turned 50, it seemed like I could not get warm enough. Couldn't put on enough clothes or blankets. Slept with 2 down comforters. And still cold. So now I've changed my mind and would like to live in Hawaii instead. When they build a bridge to Hawaii, I'll go.

I let the sheep in the back yard awhile ago. There was some green grass. And lots of leaves. So they are happy. I also cut some privet for the goats. It's slim pickins out there. I am ready for spring! How bout ya'll?

(This picture was taken out the back door of the laundry room. The door fell off the other day and hasn't been fixed yet. So I laid it across the opening to keep the sheep out of the laundry room. I keep my bread grain out there too.)

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Day 23: My crazy, whacky, wonky family.

 I am so thankful for all these people that belong to me. I love them all. They mean so much to me. And this is just part of them. At my step dad's memorial get together we had back in June. I miss Gary.

My brother Mark came up from Colorado. He has a daughter, Phoebe, who had his first grandson, Austin, who is 4 I think. And a son, Zach, who has his second grandchild, Abby, who just turned 3. They all live in Colorado and couldn't come for the memorial.

Everyone NOT quite ready for the group pic.

This is one of those pictures where a goofy kid pops up and does something silly right at the moment of taking the picture. Kansas of course.

My beautiful baby sister Heidi and her brood. Oldest daughter Audrey with her dog, Heidi, middle daughter Emilee with her 2 girls Aubree in her lap and Taylor standing, then Samantha in front.

              My oldest daughter Heather 2nd with her daughters. Oldest Chloe, Coryn then Kansas.

              And the goofy guys: my brother Mark, son-in-law Jason and hubby Tiny, acting all silly.

                                           My youngest daughter Abby with her hubby Jason.

                                         This was at my house with all the girls, acting silly as usual.

Coryn and Chloe on piano bench with Kansas acting like a dog with Taylor. Silly kids!

And of course my wonderful sweet Momma, Iris, who started all this craziness of a family. Love ya, Mom!

I do love them all. And wish Phoebe and Zach and their kids could have been here with us. I miss them, so far away. So today, I am very thankful I have a family, however crazy and weird they are.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Finally found it.

 I have been looking for this black notebook since the Turkey shoot a few weeks ago. It's where I write down all my sales at the farmer's markets and craft fairs. I always keep about $15 in the baggie for change.

So, since I haven't been able to go to market the past few weeks, I thought I could use that money right now. But couldn't find it. Just a few minutes ago, my husband came in here to tell me something and I looked over at the printer and there it was. Practically right under my nose. I mean literally less than a foot away from me. Good grief!

So I opened it up to get the money out and there's a 20 dollar bill laying across the ones. Huh. I have NO idea where it came from. But it sure will come in handy. Well, I do know where it came from.

Day 21: Random Thankfulness

I missed a whole day! I am so tired and my mind isn't working right now. I can't even think of a title for this post. I feel so random at the moment. I should be so thankful for my husband's health right now. That he's home and is SO much better than he was a few weeks ago. And that he's safe. And that I am able to take care of him while he recovers from whatever it was that got ahold of him and made him so sick. He's so happy to be home. I know he'll get better and better each day. Just being home makes all the difference for this man.

I must admit, I am feeling sorry for myself. I don't even know why really. It seems like when it rains, it pours. We were not ready for this at all. The other day, on a wild goose chase, wasting precious gas, wasting time waiting for a prescription to be filled, I got a little mad. I cried and screamed like a spoiled brat. I did this in my car, driving down the road in the middle of  nowhere. And I had sun glasses on. And I felt better after this happened. I mean, I was hollering at God, myself, my husband, who ever was out there listening. Just a big old fashioned pity party, all by myself. I think it helped, just to let off steam. I guess I needed to do that. I can't even explain why. It just happened.

But then, when I looked out the back window that evening and saw the sky, I was reminded of how I am not alone in all this. I saw God's glory and awesomeness. It was literally ALL around me, everywhere I looked. The sky was lit up in these brilliant colors, all around. I went to the back and then saw the side and the front yard. It was all just so amazing. And it just got more and more beautiful as time went on. God is good, all the time! He will provide. He will be here for me. He will see us through this, just like He has so many times before. And yet I doubt. I am human. I worry. I get mad. And then He does this.

                                   And my animals do things like this to make me laugh. This is Alex, saying hello, on top of the chicken tractor. He's so sweet.

And this crazy silly dog! She had a big flat bread I threw outside. And when she sees me coming, she flops over on her back for me to scratch her belly. She is so silly, this dog. I love her.

So there is plenty to keep me laughing. I just need to look around. And sometimes, it's right in front of my face.

Thank you all for voting for my story about my funny husband.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Please VOTE for me!

I found this web site while on Mystic Mud's blog a few days ago. I decided to submit a story. I could win $425.00. Which would be really cool. Especially right now. If the link  doesn't show up, you can go to the Disposable Income Kid site. My story is called This Man Still Cracks Me Up. Please vote for me! I would so appreciate all the votes I can get. And read the story too!


Day 19: Beautiful day!

Although a bit cold today, after some really hot days, it's beautiful. Blue skies, windy, a perfect day to hang clothes out. Which I have done. I wish it wasn't so windy so I could put wool outside to dry. But I don't feel like chasing wool all over the yard. Too much like chasing sheep to me.

                           These are 2 different shots at the same time out front this morning. Amazing!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Day 17: He's home!

This is my husband, all ready to leave the hospital this afternoon. After waiting nearly ALL day to be released. It takes forever for them to get it all together.

But they finally let him go. Just in time to get to Walmart to get all his many many prescriptions filled before they closed at 6.

We are home now! He's in his recliner, all covered up and in front of his big 55" flat screen tv. He's a happy man. (And he'll sleep so much better here. No one waking him up every few hours to take blood.) Had a nice warm bowl of home made soup. Had all his pills. His blood sugar was just 145 tonight after eating! It's been way over 200 most of the whole time in the hospital. And once it was 400. I think it was because he was there and laying in bed doing nothing, eating so much starch and carbs and fruit 3 times a day. Plus all the bags and bags of antibiotics all day for 7 days. I had him up and walking the past several days and that helps lower blood sugar and blood pressure.

Now it's back to the hospital Monday, Wednesday and Thursday to see the doctor and foot specialist. Then make appointments for primary care doctor and diabetic doctor. Here we go, with doctors every week! I think him just being out of the hospital and out of that truck and eating good food, he'll be a new man soon.

I am so thankful for all the prayers that went up for this man. Thank you all SO much! I really don't think he'd be home right now without prayer.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Need help with carding wool please!

This is my new Ashford carder. I would love some input here. Because I really don't know if I am doing this right. I'm thinking I have more felt than really good crimped wool.

And this is so not a thankful post right now! Because this is frustrating to me.

Because this looks like a nappy beard here to me. I am adding Alpaca wool to this sheep wool to make it a little softer. Maybe I'm putting too much wool on the carder? It's pretty thick.

                                                    You can see it a little better here.

This is it rolled up. I am loving the blended colors a lot. I'd love to knit a sweater and hat some day from this.

Here is some I added white wool to. I like this color so much. I am drawn to soft warm brown colors.

So the lady at Ketner's Mill who let me use her carder for the very first time, made a really long piece of roving as she took it off the wheel. She took off a little section at a time and it just all stayed together and she rolled it all up in a ball and let me have it. I can't figure out how she did it. When I do it, it's just one small piece and never stays together.

I have to say this is a little frustrating for me. I have not even tried the spinning wheel again. Well, I did once and just cried because I cannot get the wool to go onto the bobbin. No matter which way the wheel spun. I so need help.

But if any of this makes sense and you can figure out what I'm doing, please let me know. I would love to know if I'm just wasting my time right now.

Day 16: Home grown, home raised and home made.

I am so thankful that I can raise and grow my own food right here on our farm. I never use anything processed. Not much store bought. I always make from scratch. If I don't grow it, I buy or barter from the farmer's market. It's just something I have done now for many many years.

I'm making vegetable beef soup from beef I raised. And broth I made from the bones. Tomatoes, basil, corn I grew. Carrots from another farm. Potatoes from the store. I didn't have much luck with potatoes this year.

I am hoping the doctor will let Tiny out, at least by Sunday. He's doing so much better. His feet are looking really good now. He's restless. Wants out of there. He's walking all over the halls. The doctor had to chase him down yesterday. So hopefully he'll get out soon.

I'm cleaning today. Won't mop til I know for sure he's coming home.  It's been raining and I have 2 dogs who come in and out. Like children. So no sense in mopping. I need to make a menu for a week at a time now. I'll need to see what all I have in the freezers and pantry. I have plenty of meat and canned and frozen veggies and fruits. I will start making bread again too. I got lazy getting bread for the pigs and other animals. There was always some really good bread in the bags. I hated to give it to the pigs. But I got lazy and quit making my fresh ground whole wheat bread.

So today, I am thankful for home grown, home raised and home made foods.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Day 15: Getting better

My husband is getting better. Slowly. But better. He had a test done on his kidneys this morning to see if that may be why they can't get his blood pressure down. His kidneys are good. I told him not to eat salt and see if that helps. His BP this afternoon was 176/75. So down a lot.

He also had a foot specialist come to see him last night after I left. He checked his feet and said it looked like he was burned. Tiny said it made him mad because he'd try to explain to the guy what happened. But the specialist kept saying it was burns. So they are now treating him as if he were burned.

So the more we think about it, the more it could be possible he was burned. He has a new truck with a really good heater. The heat comes out under his bed. He sometimes sits on the bed with his bare feet on the floor for a long time. He cannot feel anything below his knees. So, with the heat blasting on his ankles for a long period of time, it could have caused 2nd or 3rd degree burns. And burns make blisters. And that's what he had. The doctor said this could take a long time to heal.

We also saw his other doctor as we were walking down the hall. He told him about the results on the kidney test. We asked how much longer he has to stay. Doctor said they need to get his blood thinned first. So who knows how much longer.

But he is getting better, day by day. We just need to get him home now.

PS: Tiny just called. He said the nurse came to change the bandages on his feet and they look so much better! I could tell by his voice that this has made him a lot more positive about the outcome. Thank you all for your prayers. They really do help.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Day 13: Thankful for sheep.

This morning before going to the hospital, I had to load up 2 lambs and take them up on the mountain to a slaughterhouse. I have 4 people who are getting halves.

It's a process getting to the 2 I needed. Call friends to come help. Put up the boundary fence. Get them all over to this side of the farm. Get the feed pans and feed. Get them all in the stall with the door. Let most of them out. Wait for friends to get here. Get all the sheep back over to the other side, except the few who are still in with the 2 leaving. (It's easier to catch the 2 when there are more in the stall. Not much room to bolt then.) Take fence down. Drive Trooper in as close as possible to stall.

Friends got here. Me and Craig went in and got rope around one. Stephanie was going to shut the door after we get the one lamb out. Then open the door to put him in the Trooper. Well, she didn't get the door shut fast enough and they all got out. Craig held onto Bo and I grabbed Tater Tot and help on. And Stephanie got the door open and we put the first one in then got the other one in! Done! So easy with more hands and bodies to help.

This was all the sheep except the 2 new smaller rams. They weren't used to this routine so stayed out. Looks like sheep stuffed into a stall, right?

And here are the boys. Their first and last car ride. They were so good. And I thanked them all the way for what they will be doing for so many people. And what a good life they've had here, with all their friends and moms. I am so thankful for these guys.

Just an update on Tiny. His doctor has raised ALL his meds up. He'll be in the hospital at least a minimum of 5 days, but will probably be more than that. He has also developed a sore mouth from all the antibiotics they're filling him full of. I just want him home. I asked the doctor if laying in bed for days at a time, being on all this fluid and eating fruit several times a day, had anything to do with the high numbers and he said yes it does. I had him up today, walking up and down the halls. He needs to be up. It's not like he's bedridden and can't be up and moving. The doctor agreed. So, on the way to the hospital in the morning, I'm stopping to get him plain yogurt for his mouth. Because it could be days before he gets the stuff the doctor ordered for his mouth. It took a few days to get his cream for his feet. Can ya tell I don't like hospitals or doctors?