Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Catch Up Post

There has been a lot going on around here.  I get busy and forget to update on here.  I am sorry I missed the Count Your Blessings Monday this week.  I have so much to be thankful for so I have no good reason to not post it.   

Our older Jersey cow, Buttercup, was due to calve this past Friday.  She has not had a calf and we can't really tell if she is pregnant or not.  She was leaking milk from one teat earlier last week.  I talked to a friend yesterday that has a herd of Jersey cows.  She told us to go and try to milk on one teat to see if she has milk.  Since she has been dry since before Christmas, if she has milk it is probable that she is pregnant.  So, we did just that last night and she has milk for sure.  We are going to try and bump the calf (if she has one) tonight.  I want her to calve so badly, but I hate getting my hopes up.  

The garden is still giving us goodies.  We have not been very faithful in our gardening this year.  

Here are some pictures from the last week or so.  
This is Terra.  The pasture has been wonderful this year.  We are so thankful for that.     
I was headed out the door and saw this.  I just had to take a picture.  I am not sure why, but I love it.  :)
How now ROUND cow.  This cow was supposed to calve on Thursday, but she is not pregnant.  All she eats is grass, but it sure looks like she needs to lose weight. 
This is Honey.  She is doing well.  She comes to us, but still needs to be enticed with alfalfa pellets to get her to walk to the stanchion for milking. 
We have had some beautiful sunflowers this year.

The Fennel went wild this year. 
This is a Valerian plant.  It is huge. 
Skye is still a good pup.  She is learning and we are still trying to overcome some issues with her. 
There are bugs all over the thistle plants.
The next 2 pictures are some scenery we saw on Saturday on our way to get feed.

I updated my bread page and put on the recipe for this artisan bread. It is the last recipe on the page at this point.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

We Found A Cell Phone That Works For Us

This post brought to you by TracFone. All opinions are 100% mine.

We are doing the Dave Ramsey plan to become debt free. One of the bills we did away with was our cell phone. We did not use it very much and it was a large bill each month. Since we got rid of it, there have been a few times it would be really nice to have had a cell phone like when we had a flat tire on our stock trailer in the middle of no where. Each time we thought about getting one, we would decide against it because of the cost and also we would be tied into a contract for at least 2 years. Then a friend told us about their TracFones. They were able to have several for their family when they all went in different directions, especially in the summer. They could get a simple phone for under $10 with a monthly plan that gave the phones 50 mins. for $9.99. The father had a phone with lots of features and it was not that expensive. In fact TracFone has phones with features like camera/video recorder, web access, app capabilities, mp3 player, and full QWERTY keyboard, for $29.99. You can also purchase TracFones that come with double minutes for the life of that phone. If the phone you choose does not have that option, you can purchase the option for just $19.99. Our friends were from out of state and said that they had great coverage and reception with their phones. TracFone offers the least expensive way in America to own and use a cell phone. There are so many features available on these phones.

We decided to look into it. There are no contracts, no credit checks, no activation charges or cancellation fees. No surprisesat all! They offer brand name phones from leading manufacturers like Motorola, Kyocera, LG, Nokia and Samsung. You can choose from simple "Candy Bar" phones, to Bluetooth®-enabled "Smart" phones.

You can pay as you go online or with cards that are available at thousands of retail stores. They offer 1 year service cards that give you double minutes for the life of your TracFone, and 800 minutes, for only $119.00


They have a lot of options for you to choose the monthly plan that will work for you. There are some plans with 200 minutes for under $30.00, and someas low as $9.99 for 50 minutes. Also, this is the only wireless service where you can call internationally, for the same price as any other call. You can call over 60 international destinations directly from your TracFone at no extra cost! With the International Neighbors program, you can provide family and friends in Mexico or Canada a local phone number in those countries to reach you at your TracFone in the U.S.

Listen to what these real TracFone customers have to say about not having a contract. Or listen to these real TracFone customers who are blessed by not having that monthly bill.



We found a plan that works for us and we bought a phone that included the duplicate minutes for life. We have a phone when we need it and we are not tied to a high monthly bill in a contract that we can't get out of.

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Monday, August 22, 2011

End of Summer Toy Sale - 25% off Vision Forum


It may be hot outside, but that won’t stop the action-loving adventurers in your family from making the most of their backyard quests. And to aid them in their missions, Vision Forum is pleased to offer 25% off a host of exciting action items — from grappling hooks to Jonathan Park Communicator Watches — as part of our End of Summer Toy Sale!

For those who want to beat the heat, check out our Heirloom Tea Set and other toys perfect for indoor fun.

Now through August 27, save 25% on 30 of our bestselling toys during our End of Summer Toy Sale.



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Count Your Blessings Monday!!




Here is an opportunity for all of us to give thanks unto the Lord for a blessing in our lives. If you would like to take part great. If not that is OK too. If you would like to share your blessing, just leave it in the comments. If you want to use the picture above and list a blessing on your own site, then leave a URL to your site in the comments. There is no pressure here. I just know that I am incredibly blessed and I would like to share that and give thanks to Him who all blessing come from. This is a way that we can encourage one another. I know that I am often encouraged when someone shares a blessing with me. I think that many times we forget that it is a blessing to be able to breath, to get out of bed, to hold a baby... Share your blessings with us. We can share so many other things.... special gifts, recipes, let's take the time to share how God has blessed us!!

With the way our property is situated, we get a great view of incoming fronts and an open view of clouds. I am so grateful for the beauty that God gave us even in the skies. The beautiful sunrises and sunsets He paints with no two alike. This cloud made it's way across the horizon as were milking. So, I did not get to take it's picture until it was almost by us. It kept changing the whole time. At one point, there were lots of dark stripes through it. Thank you Lord for the beauty of nature in the skies!!


What are YOU thankful for?

Friday, August 19, 2011

I Got To Watch This Time!!!

If you do a search on my blog about butterflies you will find lots of pictures and stories. I name them all George so you can search under that as well. :) If they all have the same name then it is easy to remember. I LOVE to watch caterpillars grow and become butterflies. It is a miracle every time. I have always called the part where they go into their chrysalis as George putting on his pajamas. I never got to see it though. I always thought that Georges were just shy and did it when no one else is around. The Wonderful Neighbors also like to find a George and watch it. (Those poor children have been around me too long. The younger ones call caterpillars, Georges. ) :) They got to see this happen one day this week. Then the next day, I too got to see it happen. It is not so much of George putting on his jammies as it is, George taking off his clothes. :) He shed his skin and what was so fascinating is that all his little legs were part of that skin and then they were gone. Here are some pictures of the event and even a small video at the end to show you part of it. This time George attached himself to a stick I had in the jar instead of the jar lid. I was able to put the stick in a little cup on the counter and get an up close view.

Here is George in the "J" that they always hang in before they shed their skin.

He started moving and as he did the skin moved upward and compacted itself.



I turned him around so that you can see what a naked George looks like.

Then instead of spinning a chrysalis like I thought, he just started to compact himself. All of those accordion folds you see, just kept getting closer and closer together.



It was truly amazing to watch. Then after it was compacted, it is almost like it dried or something into a skin.

This video shows just as he is finally got his skin all the way off. I figured it would fall to the counter top, but it never did.
video
Another miracle!!! Also a reminder of how God takes us and makes us into a new creation.

Farm Tidbits

I love sunflowers and try to plant them in several places. The birds also help me plant some and this year I have several growing under my bird feeder. :) This is the tallest though. It has to be between 10 and 12 feet tall.
Skye has found she likes romping in the garden. She gets in very easily by pushing on the gate. She has more problems getting out. I call her my little garden rebel.

I have been doing some canning. Nothing major yet. I canned some more green beans. I have also been making cheese at least once a week. That is a round of Colby waiting to be waxed.

We had 10 chickens cut up. We had someone else do them and they did them very differently than we do. We normally, end up with 2 breasts, 2 leg quarters, and the rest of the carcass. We do the breasts as boneless and then there are little strips under the breast that we do as chicken tenders. They cut the breast so that it was one big piece with both breasts. It makes it a bit harder to grill, but we will work with it. They also made a separate piece of the neck and the back. I threw the necks, backs and wings into a big pot that is either 3 or 4 gallons. I ended up having to fish some out and put it in another pot since it was so full. It started spitting all over the top of my stove.
I picked the meat off yesterday and canned 7 pints of chicken meat and 7 quarts of chicken broth.

A friend picked me up last week and took me to a Knitpicks warehouse sale. They also had fabric pieces there. It was pretty interesting. We got there early and were told no one gets in before 1PM. We hit an outlet store in the area and then had lunch. We got back very shortly after 1PM and it was already a zoo. They had 3 rows of huge boxes (approx. 4' X 4' X 4') lined up on the floor that was overflowing with fabric pieces. Most of them were strips, but there were some larger pieces. They had some beautiful pieces. If you quilted or made small ornaments or something, it would have been a dream come true. They sold the material and the yarn by the pound. I did not need any material, but I did help my friend try and find some pieces. They had maybe 16 or so of those large boxes in another area that had yarn in them. The first people through the door had some really nice stashes. By the time we got there, the boxes were less than half full and the bands had come off a bunch of the yarn and there were big tangled messes. Picture hundreds of people all trying to dig through 16 boxes. It reminded me of something you would see on an "I Love Lucy" show. I will say though that I did not run into any rudeness or ugliness. Everyone was very sweet. In fact a couple of times when I needed to try and break a piece of yarn to take the skein different people offered me a pair of scissors. They also had a long row of boxes full of books up on a conveyor type belt. My friend is a knitter extraordinaire. She knew by sight a lot of the books and knew some really good ones. The hardbacks were $3 each and the soft covers were $1 each. I got a $30 book for $1. I did not get tons of stuff because I know how slowly I knit. :) I am also going to share some of my stash with another friend. It was a fun day out with a new friend and we got to know each other better. Here is what I came away with and believe me, I was one of the few who had this little of a stash (even though it looks like a lot to me). :)






Thursday, August 18, 2011

Jewels of Dew

We have been getting some heavy fogs in the mornings. When the sun comes up, there is a very heavy dew on everything and it looks almost like frost. I went out and took some pictures this week. You will see the sorry state of my garden. TALL weeds. :)

If you click on this picture to make it larger, you will see a spider web. I did not even know it was there until I looked at the picture when it downloaded. :)





I have had a couple of people from Tennessee tell me that heavy dew in August means lots of snow this winter. Hmmmm....

The Heavens Declare His Glory

The heavens tell of the glory of God.
The skies display his marvelous craftsmanship.
2 Day after day they continue to speak;
night after night they make him known.
Psalm 19:1-2


The other night we saw a spectacular display of this. Here are some photos I took.








Monday, August 15, 2011

Count Your Blessings Monday!!




Here is an opportunity for all of us to give thanks unto the Lord for a blessing in our lives. If you would like to take part great. If not that is OK too. If you would like to share your blessing, just leave it in the comments. If you want to use the picture above and list a blessing on your own site, then leave a URL to your site in the comments. There is no pressure here. I just know that I am incredibly blessed and I would like to share that and give thanks to Him who all blessing come from. This is a way that we can encourage one another. I know that I am often encouraged when someone shares a blessing with me. I think that many times we forget that it is a blessing to be able to breath, to get out of bed, to hold a baby... Share your blessings with us. We can share so many other things.... special gifts, recipes, let's take the time to share how God has blessed us!!

Today, I am thankful that I live on a farm. I am thankful that God is in control of all the aspects of our farm and our animals. I am thankful that He hears me and responds to our prayers about things. He does not always answer the way I want, but He does answer prayer. Here are some scenes from around here that bring joy to my heart.

I LOVE sunflowers. I love the colors of these.

The baby bluebirds are still alive and growing and so stinkin' cute!!

We get a good view of incoming fronts and clouds.

Even weeds can be beautiful.

What are YOU thankful for?