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, January 29, 2012

Little Boys & Puppies

These two go together like fries and ketchup doncha think?  Zephyr and Roux spend their days running from one end of the house to the other.  Roux is a mighty 3.5 lbs now, tackles toes which invade her territory, and barks at the ghosts in our home. (Well at least I don't see what she is looking at.)
She is still small enough to take naps in my desk drawer which, just cracks me up.
Now for our year in review; we no longer have goats or pigs.  What we did not sell or giveaway found their way into our deep freezer.  Yes, we eat goat ( to include only castrated or really young male kids).  It just was begining to cost more to keep them as pets than to be able to feed, breed, and sell the goats due to the constant hunt for quality hay, grasses, and supplement feed.  This was true of the pigs as well, no one wants to pay what it actually costs to raise a pig to maturity especially since we do not give our animals feed with antiboditics and other chemicals.  

We are still raising chickens, turkeys, and guinea fowl.  With all the snakes about; keeping birds is the best way to warn of impending reptile visitors.  It never fails, if there are birds in your yard -- be it chickens or wild birds; they will let you know if there is a snake near.  All you have to do is watch the birds; if you see them swooping about one area in your yard, on a fence constantly moving and fussing then you have a snake near.  I have no idea other than the explanation of our dire drought as to why so many snakes in 2011 but, 2012 will be about the same with the La Nina weather pattern.  During spring to late summer, I was constantly finding a snake or two each week; luckily only a few were rattlesnakes.

Any gardening this year will be strictly container due to La Nina.  Our water well is all we have; we can not have a large garden.  Kinda sad but, just a country fact in deep, HAWTER THAN HADES Texas.

The boys and I are still homeschooling.  It was the best decision we ever made as a family.  We made the choice of working mostly from workbooks instead of buying from Sonlight this year.  The cost is the biggest factor but, also because Sonlight is a literature based program.  Saenz's dyslexia makes it tough for a reading based curriculum and I had to modify the lessons plans to better match his learning style.  Zephyr on the other hand is really taking to reading Dick and Jane books I found on eBay; I could not afford the originals but found reprints. 

It is funny, both our boys are learning mathematics at a faster pace. Since being at 3rd grade level in April 2010, Saenz is soaring with me into pre-algebra, algebra, and geometry.  Zephyr has been learning his times tables before learning to actually read as a first grader.  I make sure each of them understand the use of budgeting and definitely the power of couponing.  I think they learn math more quickly because I have a knack for numbers so I am a better teacher in mathematics.

This year has been economically tough on our older sons.  We sold Sid our farm truck for work since he needed it for his construction, plumbing job at Lackland AFB.  Junior on the other hand has just been having a tough decade with the break up of his marriage and becoming a single parent to Sarah.  His car basically died on him; with no way of getting to work without the kindess of others; we made the decision to give him my 31 year old Volvo.  I miss having a working vehicle but, that is what you do for family; you scarifice.

Lets see what else can I tell ya'll?  In November, we were surprised when my mom and dad, Jerry, (Stinky Toes) drove up our drive way towing my first vehicle, Bubba Junior behind them.  I bought Bubba a small Ford Ranger in 1995, can you believe it has less than 100K miles on it?  Well back in 2002, we were assigned to rotate overseas to Portugal; we dropped Bubba off at my mom's house and there Bubba sat.  It was quiet a shock to see my mom and dad; they only stayed long enough to see our home, drop off the truck, talk to the boys, and then said their goodbyes on their way back home in Alabama.  Again, that family scarifice; what a wonderful gift. Thanks Mom and Stinky Toes!

Now hubby, Saenz, and our other sons are working to get Little Bubba running again.  I think this is a wonderful way for Saenz to learn mechanics and eventually it will become his first vehicle.  LOL! Yes, I have a tendancy to hold on to things for a long time.  Heck, my livingroom television was purchased in 2000 and until it dies will continue to stay just where it is. Any way, that is basically it for our year; I haven't had the time to write as much as I had been. 

I miss all of ya'll and will be popping in to check on my cyber neighbors real soon!
Take care,
Mal

7 comments:

Sharon said...

You did have one busy year! The drought has really messed up a lot of folks and animals up. Too bad it doesn't mess up the snakes...

Roux is such a sweetheart, so cute! Good to hear the boys are doing so well in their studies.

Nice to hear from you! (Even though I am not "here" anymore")

Vickie said...

Wow, you have been one busy lady lately. I hate to hear of the troubles that the drought has caused you and others. I pray it won't be like that this year. I guess it's good that we didn't have any animals last year. I'm glad to hear your boys are doing good in schoolwork.

That's a cutie-pie little puppy - I guess she's in the "pill" stage - always fun! Hope 2012 will be a much better year all the way around!

Ludwig said...

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Ludwig said...

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Some baseball players interviewed by The Associated Press last month were receptive newport cigarettes sale to the idea, but others viewed a ban as an infringement on their freedom.

Jen said...

You're family is amazing. Pulling through together during tough times. All the best to you. Dick and Jane are great reads. I'm slowly but surely getting Connie and Bina into the momentum of independant learning.
I hope the weather betters for you during the spring with plenty of rain and a healthy crop.

Jim said...

This was a good 'wrap up/catch up' for me, Mal. You continue to the bust Mom that you are. It will be hard for you not having lots of veggies this year, won't it? La Nina is affecting so many of us this year.....
Good to catch up with you and things are going well here along the eastern shores of Nova Scotia.
Jim

Judy's Corner said...

Nice to see the boy and his puppy...always a nice combination!

Nice update on the busy life!