Friday, February 26, 2010


Did you see it? You know, that pickup that ran smack dab over me back in August of LAST YEAR! I think it's called "teaching!"

After a 6 month hiatus, I'm back! Thank you both for missing me (HA! HA!) I have to credit friends Jackie, Lela, and Su for encouraging me to get back to blogging. And after reading my past posts this morning, I must admit - I'm pretty damn good! (A legend in my own mind!)

This post will be an update to all the previous. It was fun looking back at things that happened last summer, and wishing I had pictures to include for all the things that have happened since. I'll do my best to fill you in, and hopefully I'll be better at keeping up this time around.

DROUGHT: The big news last summer was the drought. It was SO dry that it physically hurt my heart to look out at the pastures. My poor beloved cows had nothing to eat. Have you ever heard the bawling of a hungry cow? It rumbles like a freight train, and goes right through you. Most of any extra money last spring, summer, and fall went to buy cubes and hay. Hay cost an arm and a leg 'cause there had been no rain. Anyone who had hay to cut had to have irrigated it - and that ain't cheap! But we happily bought baled corn and rice stubble (rice stubble is better eating) and are still feeding it regularly. However, the drought ended just about the time we got our first cold spell. Cold and wet - not a combination farmers and ranchers love. It has not stopped raining since it started. And global warming? Whatever, Al Gore. We've had snow MORE THAN ONCE this year - on the Texas Gulf Coast. REALLY! There's still no grass - unless you put out rye grass seed - and now the cows are knee deep in mud. We just can't catch a break. Maybe this spring things will even back out - not too wet/not too dry, not too cold/not too hot.

BATHROOM: My perfect bathroom is still perfect ... except for one small problem. Seems like that high dollar plumbing I purchased had an issue. We had some wet areas on that impossible-to-lay bamboo floor. Big John and I chose the worst solution - ignore it. It didn't go away. We first thought the valve at the floor was leaking. Then we decided the valve at the tub was leaking and dripping down onto the floor. We resorted to leaving a towel draped around the pipe for months in hopes it would soak up the water and we wouldn't have to deal with it. You guessed it - bad choice. Fortunately we discovered the real root of the problem. Because this tub has no overflow (remember that hole we had the refinisher fill in? I think it was for the overflow!) water was draining into and then OUT OF the vent pipe ... all over the floor. We fixed it by limiting how high I can fill the tub. No big deal. Unfortunately, some of the wood floor is ruined. We're resorting to the tried and true: ignore it. At some point soon, we'll sand those boards and reseal them. Just no more long soaks up to my neck in that amazing tub!

GEESE: These are the pictures I WISH I'd taken! Another fateful trip to the feed store early last summer ended in 2 geese coming home with me - Big John approved! I chose a white one with orange feet and bill, and a gray one with black feet and bill. Big John named them "Walker" and "Tribett." If you remember the show (Walker, Texas Ranger), then #1: you're old, and #2: you can figure out who's named what! Walker is a girl and Tribett is a boy - luckily. They're both VERY mean to everybody - except me. Tribett has attacked friends, relatives, BUGMOBILE guys - and Big John on a regular basis. He left a pretty good marble sized bruise on his arm that lasted a couple of weeks. Each attack on Big John is returned full force. I'm afraid I'll come home one day after a battle and find one of them dead - I'm just not sure who would win! Walker lays the most beautiful big ivory colored eggs ... when she feels like it ... wherever she feels like it. She's not very dependable or predictable. Tribett is huge and holds his own pretty well with Daisy. He's very protective of Walker, especially when she's laying. He paces back and forth, like an expectant father in front of her and honks a warning to anyone or anything that walks by. As with the turkeys, it's a race between Tick and me (and now Daisy) to see who'll find Walker's egg first. I usually lose! I had big plans for a Christmas card with the geese - lots of cute Christmas sayings go with geese - but life happened and we didn't do any. There's always next year. Check your mailbox!

DAISY: The cute little puppy in the pictures is still cute, but not so little. Daisy is almost 9 months old now, and I'm sure she's ready to go into heat at any moment. I'll know when it happens - it will be the exact second that John pulls out of the driveway for a week long trip to anywhere. That's usually when all hell breaks loose around the farm. And that's how Tick got fixed 10 years ago! I know how to deal with a crisis! On the downside, Daisy has developed a taste for chicken. Not cooked chicken, mind you. She likes chicken tartar - feathers, feet, and all. From those 14 sweet little chicks I got last May, we're now down to 10. The last homicide occured this week. Daisy has been reacquainted with her kennel, and will spend many daylight hours there, at least until school is out and a watchful eye can be kept on her. It's true what they say: once a dog gets a taste of chicken, you can't break him of it.

CHICKENS: Those poor remaining chickens - I know they look around every night to see who didn't make it to the coop. They give Daisy a pretty wide berth right now. I'm sure they're all witnesses to this week's crime. Time will fade their memories, though, and they'll get too close and too comfortable. I just wish they could run faster - or fight like Tribett does. We're now up to 19 hens and 1 rooster. The rooster is named Sambo, and he is the most beautiful, statuesque rooster I've ever seen. He's covered in gleaming irridescent black and green feathers. His tail plumes just right. He struts around his harem with his chest puffed out and head held high! Sambo is truly a sight to behold. As of the last post, we weren't sure of his fate - king of the hens or tomorrow night's supper. Well, he made the cut.(It's a pretty safe bet that if you get to the farm, I won't let you die. The jury is still out on Daisy.) Sambo makes us chuckle - he crows 24/7. I'm not sure where the idea came from that roosters crow at the crack of dawn. All the ones I've ever had crow when the urge strikes. And it strikes often! Sambo also has this habit of shaking his head back and forth repeatedly, usually right before he ... well, never mind. It's really funny looking - kind of like a mating dance! The hens seem to tolerate him well. He's got enough women to keep him busy and they actually huddle around him like he's "all that." He lives every male's dream life! The gamble I took on buying unusual chicks paid off. I regularly get blue-green and chocolate brown eggs - so gorgeous. And my egg sales are very steady, thanks to all my wonderful teacher friends. The dogs haven't gotten any old eggs in quite some time. I'm actually sold out at the moment and will be reaching under a couple of hens for breakfast tomorrow. Talk about "FARM FRESH!" It don't get no better than that!

Life on the farm is great! I couldn't wish for anything more. Stay tuned for some breaking news as soon as it's able to be posted. Changes are on the horizon - and I've never been a fan of change. But I'm giving it a shot. Hey, I'm 45 years old. That seems like a good time to start!