We Are Deep In the Heart of Texas

Nomadic seasons of farming adventures with nature thrown in to include; a pinch of family, snippets of friends, counting our blessings, paying IT forward, home school, and the spicy things I decide to rant about.







Sunday, February 27, 2011

Bread Baking Sunday


If you haven't tried silicone pans, I would recommend them.  I picked these up on eBay for $5 each to include shipping.  HIGHLY RECOMMEND!

Today's tally, 3 loaves of bread, and 50 biscuits.  Bread is cooling before I slice it -- to make hubby's sandwiches for lunch. Biscuit dough is in the freezer so, I can bag them up later.  Nice way to spend a Sunday with my menfolk.

What is the temp where you live?  Can you believe we are in the 90s?  I had to turn on the a/c in order to bake.  Have a great day of rest........
The seller still has the loaf pans on special.
wwwDOT5stardealDOTcom

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Bottle Baby Bercer

Aries still refuses to suckle him.  He almost has the hang of the bottle.  Yes, he is currently living in our home wrapped in a towel inside a laundry basket.
One tip I will pass on to goat fanciers.  A lamb nipple will fit over a empty beer bottle 12 ounce just as easy as a plastic soda bottle.  Actually it fits better plus, I don't crush the beer bottle while feeding Bercer. We will have to figure out what to do with him in a few days once, this wet weather is played out.

I think I miss my calling as a veterinarian.
Sighs with relief........

It's All In Their Smiles

Cubby's first tooth paint job.  
 Standing Tall and being brave.
We need to get Saenz to an Orthodonist, maybe braces.
Here is our male turkey -- Grumpy.  This fellow begs to be loved on and doesn't startle. Now I just love these little birds.  They are curious and want to be held.  The boys and I are taking turns playing with them and ensuring they are eating/drinking.  We have not named the hens yet.  Grumpy has won our hearts though; he just begs 'PICK ME UP, PICK ME UP! when one of use looks into the brooder.

On a sad note: Roux did die late yesterday afternoon.  We have continued our care of Bercer but, I am thinking he will soon join his brother. 

Friday, February 25, 2011

So Bummed, Today

Roux and Bercer's mom has rejected them.  This morning we found both bucklings weak and just laying about.  So the boys and I brought them inside.  Roux the smaller of the two is only taking small sips from a eye dropper.  Bercer is hanging tough and has almost gotten the hang of taking a bottle.

Just say a little prayer for the bucklings will ya?  I hate to see such small creatures suffering in any way. 

On another note:  we are now the proud owners of six (2 day old) bourban red turkeys.  Who knew how noisey six smallish birds could be so dang noisey. I mean they are LOUD.

Also welcome new follower, Max. Nice to meet ya!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Welcome to the World: Boudan

March had her buckling late yesterday afternoon. So we are calling him Boudan to go along with the Cajun Creole theme.  He has blue eyes like his mum but, his eyes will change to high yellow gold in about a month. He is large and sassy already.  As a matter of fact all our kids this year are larger.  Guess they will all be huge bucks and large doe. 

24 hr Kid Count: 1 Doeling Lady Walver, 3 Bucklings Roux, Bercer, and Boudan.
We have to stop at Tractor Supply today and pick up banding pliers for castration. Only Boudan will remain intact. That way if the decision is made to sell them as meat goats; they will be a viable source of income.
 So while waiting around yesterday while March was trying to kid.  The boys and I put some seeds in cups for the garden.  As you can tell, Banjo wanted to help.
We planted over 25 varieties of seeds to include at least two types of: beans, melons, and of course tomatoes.

Cubby even took some seeds and planted them in a secret boy place.  Last year when he did that; we wound up with some suprise maze.
Don't forget to play in your slices of heaven, today!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Welcome to the World: Roux and Bercer

Our Aries had a beautiful set of twins this morning.  The doeling has a straight black and white face and her name is Roux (Rue) -- means 'mother sauce,' oh yeah I miss Lousianna cooking and Mardi Gras season.  The buckling is more rusty so I called him  Bercer (Bar-seh) which means to 'rock gently as a baby' according to the French Creole dictionary.  I do so want to rock them both however; Ms. Aries is not having it.
 Roux, Bercer, and momma Aries
 Bercer and Banjo

Aries twins are as large as Almond's doeling 'Lady Walver.'  Both mothers are looking on and guarding their kids.  Banjo just doesn't know what to think.  LOL Everyone is twice his size with the exception of our 1 month and 2 week old chicks.


We only have momma March yet to have her kid.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Lady Walver Welcome to the World

We have a new doeling 'Lady Walver' born to Ms. Almond.  So precious --- I just love her little face.
It is so warm here now, I did not put one of Texan's Goat Coats on her. We have two more nannies coming on their time to kid.  February seems to be our time for kidding.

Banjo Here: With the Noisey Chicken Report

Mom is inside with Boy 1 and 2 doing school work.  They leave me outside to take care of the chickens.  The big gray ones sometimes get on my nerves because they stalk me about the farm and yell all day.
They act all innocent but, I know they are secretly plotting to get me.   I try telling Mom about my concerns. But she leaves me outside with these monsters of the air. 
And closer they edge until...
I lose control and just bust out at them.
I told Mom to ask the fat ones with the things on their heads about those noisey chickens.
They became traitors that I will deal with later when they said, 'NAAAAAAAAAH!'

So I will spend my morning on the back porch until Mom comes to her senses and gets rid of those noisey chickens.  I bet she would be upset if something happens to me though; because I am the most loving off all.

See ya'll later -- I have a nap to take.
Banjo da Killah

Monday, February 21, 2011

Twice Stabbed Lady Bug

Talk about a cool find; Cubby bear is modeling the lastest sign of spring's almost arrival.
http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/beneficials/beneficial-16_twicestabbed_ladybug.htm

Unfortunately, this little beauty is running about the house and I can not vacuum until I find it.  Zephyr is mortified by the thought of his friend being sucked up into a machine that will sufficate it.  So, needless to say we are looking for it.

Mrs. Lily came over today.  What a blessing she is because she took me into town to buy three weeks of feed since our farm truck may need a new transmission and only rolls in fourth gear.  We promptly gave her about 8 dozen eggs for her being so kind.  Wooo Hoo! You Rock Lady....

After this next artic front rolls through we will be planting some pear trees, shade trees and another apple.  Plus hubby has been prepping our latest garden bed along with building a turkey pen.  So this long weekend has found us all busy working together.  Let me tell ya'll it is so humid here today; I thought about turning on the a/c for a bit.  LOL But, just thought about it. 

Gotta go, Sears is here to replace the tub in my washing machine.  The liner had cracked talk about a wet mess.

See ya, and welcome new followers Jewels and Beautylicious.  I will stop by your blogs probably tomorrow once, I have Saenz and Zephyr settled into their school work.

Friday, February 18, 2011

To Poke a Bit at Ocean Breeze's Jim

 For the last 6 days we have had near perfect weather.
  I am happy to hang out clothes to dry since, last months heating bill was $325. A huge increase -- 300%  from December due to cold weather.
YES Jim, Your eyes are not deceiving you; we are running about our dry South Texas farm in shorts.  :O)

Now this is our three year old lime tree.  It did not fare so well after the ice storm.  I will check to see if it is still viable once this next cold front moves in.  Can you believe; we may be experiencing temps dropping back in the 30s next week?  I am not sure I am ready after being spoiled.

I wanted to pass on to those who pass here some information.  Did you know you can buy items in bulk from Amazon?  No kidding, and if you have an Amazon Prime membership that means free shipping.  Since, I am a heavy coupon user I am always looking at purchasing our food items more wisely.  HEB price per Lipton Beef Stroganoff is $1.29 (without coupons) but, the Amazon price with coupon code 'UNILVR77' at check out unit price is .94 cents.   PLUS did I mention free shipping! LOL

I love these mixes because it is so easy to make in one pot with ground beef and a canned vegetable for a balanced meal.  I have even used beans when I didn't have meat thawed out.  I totally love Amazon; they have international foods section which are extremely hard to find in my area. 

I also wanted to pass on another website I found.  I was again looking for a site that was reasonable to order dried fruits, mixes, and other sundries in bulk.  So check it out, http://www.bulkhome.com/.  While some of the items are outrageous; others are not.  Just look at their vanilla beans or dried apples.  With free shipping for items over $25, some of their products are excellent bargins.

I tip my hat to Jim; who just happened to mention the bloggers he follows in a blog earlier this week.  I just love his method to get over his blog writer's block.  Go on over to his place; he takes the most gorgeous nature photos, EVER....

Shop wisely Ladies & Gents, this depression is not over yet.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Craze and Daze of Mania

A few weeks back, I ran across a book I ordered.  'Madness: A Biploar Life,' by Marya Hornbacher.  While I am still in the middle of reading her account of dealing with bipolar; I can only do so in swatches because some of her story is mine. 

To me, her being diagnosed with an eating disorder along with depression was a coping mechanism she built to survive.  It was a form of isolation to make sense of her world.  Add in her illicit drug use, sexual misconduct, and self-medicating with alcohol; I really do see myself in some of her rants.

What doesn't surpise me is the use of prescription drugs to control some of the mood swings.  However, doctors can only guess when making decisions about outpatient care options. Every individual is different; the lack of follow-up care in her case is as striking as in my own experience. 

Can you imagine not being able to seek care because of military restrictions dealing with forms of mental illnesses?  I know from mine own view -- sometimes

I CAN NOT GET OUT OF MY HEAD. 

Giving me a drug to 'slow me down' in fact only heightens the being stuck and culls the frantic creativity that fuels my soul. While on drugs, no matter how hard I try; thoughts just race like a wheel in a rut and can make no rhyme or reason.  I guess for myself since, I have an uncanny recall.  My memory is a detrimental when dealing with the affects of any abuse or preceived abuse.

So... while I did practice some of Marya's coping skills which lead to her multiple hospitalizations.  I on the other hand, had to learn how to deal with my crazes or I could have wound up in military prison.  Talk about fear being a motivator; military prison in some ways was worse --- amped up--- in the form of control more than my own familial upbringing.

The question must be asked: How did I make it through 20 years of military service without being hospitalized or jailed? Did I do some really stupid shyte? Was there exhibited behaviors that could have ended a military career and or taken a life?

Oh yes, I did.  But one magic word got me through:

Compartmentalization

More to come later..........
----------------------------------------------------
On days like these
With tears welling in my eyes
I move about on tentative feet
Trying not to step on anyone

On days like these
Anxiety runs rampart on my body
So tense I can bite through nails
I hear Walt’s barbaric yawp

On days like these
Not yelling or screaming is so hard
I try not to rage against the machine of my mind
Because it scars and scares my boys

On days like these
My chest is so tight and heart races
I can hear my own heartbeat
Sitting back trying to breathe and focus

On days like these
No pin point of light to guide me through
Just tension I can chew
I tremble, falter, and pace

On days like these
With no tobacco to chain smoke
No wine to ease my ravaged mind into sleep
I just want these days to …… release

Monday, February 14, 2011

Retro Chicken's Happy Valentine's Day

Man! I struck pay dirt today when I went to my mailbox.  Mrs. Shartey sent me two table cloths and a lovely vintage apron which I am going to use with my (new) vintage Coracle picnic travel case.  I was so excited a few weeks back when I told her about winning the auction for get this -- $9.99 not counting shipping.  I had to call her to tell her; hubby did not understand why I was so thrilled to have such a lovely piece of history.

This case was made in Merry Ole England long ago; I am guessing in the 30s or 40s. I have some cleaning up to do but, it will be a love chore to get is looking like it did originally.  If you like vintage or antique items she has a store on ebay and her userid is Shartey.  http://myworld.ebay.com/shartey  Anytime I am looking for something special; I know she is a wealth of information because she was a sucessful business woman who dealt in antiques before she retired.
THANKS MRS. Shartey!
I love both of them; she did a great job picking out colors that would match the case don't you think? Talk about a lovely Valentine's Day surprise.
Another gift in the mail today was this cd set from Grumpy Gramps.  We are so thrilled to know he is back home from a stay in the hospital.  This chicken momma was worried about him last week.  He is a truly amazing man and both my boys love him to pieces.  Thanks Mr. Larry!
I have started collecting some melmac dinnerware for everyday use in our home; not so scarey as breakables with a cast iron sink.  That rooster card is also from Mrs. Shartey.  I just love chickens of all breeds.  So far, I have to find about 8 more dinner plates and a few more bowls.  I just love these items and will show you more of my vintage pieces another time.  I like using these cups to whisk up a few eggs or cutting extra large bisquits. 

Here is one of our latest Cuckoo Maran chicks.  These came in two weeks early but, I took them anyway.  Each time I have wanted to get some of these 'chocolate egg' layers; they have sold out by time I have made it to Beeville.  We have a plethora of chicks and chickens now. So far our count is as following:

35 Ameraucanas hens
1 Delaware hen
9 red production hens
2 Delaware rooster
1 Ameraucana rooster
1 Red Brahma rooster banty
17 Guineas
15 Buff Orphintons
25 Amerucana chicks
9 silkies
19 Cuckoo Maran pullets, 1 cockrel
plus a few mixed chickens running about. LOL

I surely hope ya'll are enjoying your slice of heaven on this beautiful Valentines Day!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Love this Picture Wanted to Share a Smile

My friend Carol sent this picture.  I have no idea who to give credit for this picture but, thought it was uber worthy to share.  Is anyone else seeing signs of spring yet? I know it is just around the corner for it no longer gets dark before 6 p.m. and we have seen green sprouts, bees, and lots of birds.

Chuckling over this photo..... :O)

Friday, February 11, 2011

So Happy for Egypt, In Tears for Them

I have been following their struggle for almost three weeks.  I am so proud of them.  They stood together, risked lives, demanded their freedoms, took their blows, and ousted their dictator.  My hats off to all Egyptians everywhere! Well done.



Now it will take awhile to get their bearings as a country without a dictator.  The military will probably keep peace until the next elections.   I don't believe they will accept the Mubarak appointed Vice President very long.  Now that there is a vacuum left; I just wonder who will be able to step in and keep Egypt running with all their economic problems.  

 I am just in awe of their will after 4K years of rule by kings (pharoahs and such); they want rule by the people? Who knows how this will turn out but, the Middle East will not be the same.  Once you open the door a little and give people some freedoms like the access to information, hope, or technology; you can not go back into the dark without much blood shed and tradegy.

Today is not only my son's 13th birthday celebration but also a historical day for Egypt's new chance for freedom.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Counting Blessings, Enjoying the World and Its People

Today is just so beautiful; the boys and I have been outside.  Just a little chilly wind but crisp azure skies are just so stunning.  We are very fortunate to have each other and be supported by the most wonderful providers; Our Creator and hubby.  For without them both  --  our lives would be so very different and difficult.

Some things I have learned along the way:

1. Say 'thank you' often.
2. Tell your children and loved ones; you love them and show it.
3. Play with your hubby like you are children: allow your children to see your joy at being together.
4. Hug your loved ones daily.
5. Give your children a sense of history; tell them about their people; who were probably pretty darn amazing.
6. Don't sweat things you can not change.
7. Have goals and work towards them until achieved; let your children see your struggles to teach them how to cope.
8. If you are not happy; then it is probably you -- so work to change yourself.
9. Don't ask of others what you are not willing to do.
10. Make daily living chores fun by working along with your children to impart your work ethic.
11. Show empathy for all living things even those you deem the lowliest like bugs and snakes because, they too play a role in the universe.
12. Know the names of those who serve you.
13. If you don't like the job someone else had accomplished; then show them the way by teaching.
14. Don't criticize out of anger or frustration do so in love gently.
15. Allow failure from time to time; for without failure we do not appreciate what we have after awhile.
16. Be honest, not spiteful; there is a difference.
17. Recognize everyone makes mistakes including yourself -- accept the outcome of your actions; say sorry, make amends and mean it.
18. Look up sometimes to feel the sun on your face, smell the air around you, and change directions.
19. Recognize we all get there eventually but, may not take the same path.
20. Trust that people are basically good, and want to do the right thing and while there are some who are the exception ... see 19 if you don't agree.
21. Give encouragement to those who need it, a helping hand up, a shoulder to cry on for one day you may require the same.
22. Learn something new everyday and then teach it to someone else -- there is a world to discover.
23.  Get your hands in the dirt or use them to make something.
24.  Smile in the face of adversity like you have a secret because you do; YOU HAVE FAITH the world is a wonderful place.


Then when all else fails........Forgive, forgive, forgive
or ask forgiveness.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Special Package, Birthday Card, New Silkies

I am happy to report I can now washes dishes in the kitchen sink.  For entertainment purposes, I washed dishes in the upstairs bathroom since the water pipe froze in the kitchen area.  LOL It was funny but, a woman has to do what a woman has to do to keep some order in her home. 

Mail delivery today was special.  Saenz received a birthday card from Grumpy Gramps; he is making plans on how he is going to spend the check.  He said something about saving up for a crossbow.  (I think we are in trouble! LOL) And he has propped the card from Grumpy on his night stand. Thanks Grumpy Gramps!

I received my order from Texan and see my rainbow of Kid Coats?  Now I put the yellow one on Banjo and he took off outside to test it out.  It was pretty cool because I could find him in the yard.  I think he is vying for the red hot chili jacket. Any way, these are very well made and I would recommend them.  Thanks for such a lovely coats!
 Silkie (3 day old) chick standing next to an Ameraucana
 (3 weeks old).

Silkies have bluish flesh, ear lobes, and bones, five toes vice four, walnut combs, and originate from China.

Ameraucanas have, pea combs, bluish legs, bearded, red ear lobes and come from Chile.

How cool is that?
Ameraucanas will grow to be 5 pound birds at the most.  Most of our ladies wind up being around 4 lbs by time they come to point of lay.  I tend to favor this breed and Buff Orphingtons because they are docile, intelligent, excellent mothers, do well in Texas heat, and continuous layers.
Isn't this little silkie precious?  If you click on the photo you can see it has feathers on its feet.  I love 'booted' breeds too but, they need a place that allows them to keep their feet clean.  So each of the boys will have their own flock of five to take care of and learn how to breed them later. 

We have the shopping done for the week and have cleaned the brooders.   Next time the Ameraucanas need to be cleaned out; they will be moved outdoors to their own transitory coop.  By the end of this month, we will have a small flock of turkeys only six to start and another clutch of 20 Maran chicks to brood inside the house.

Also today, I need to replant my five cabbages.  I pulled them up and kept them alive in the house.  I hate the idea of loosing viable food. 

So what do you think?

Spring is around the corner or are we in for a much longer winter?

SPECIAL NOTE:  The guinea male's mate did not die, once she thawed out a bit --- off she went. (click on their photo on 'Baby Its Cold Outside' blog below.) They have not been near the coops since.  Poor things, I felt so bad for both of them yesterday. 

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Thaw @9:30

'Here comes the sun.'  Sounds like rain outside; everything is all glistening.  No trucks or cars out on the road.  Good thing, that pavement up front is covered in a layer of ice.  I am guessing around noon most of the ice will be gone and we will thaw out. 




 Note to self: Get new lettering.






At least is it something to look at eh?