Wednesday, December 30, 2015

My TOP reads from 2015!

I way exceeded my normal reading this year and somehow managed to read 62 books!!!!  That makes for one happy librarian! :)  Out of 62 books, there were duds, mediocre, good and "oh my gosh, you MUST read this"...I tried to give you my MUST reads below and narrow it down to 10!!

10. The Invention of Wings by Kidd
9. The Law of Moses by Harmon 
8. Daughters of the Dragon by Andrews
7.  The Husband's Secret by Moriarty
6. The Sea of Tranquility by Millay
5. The Silent Sister by Chamberlain
4. The Nightingale by Hannah
3. The Girl on the Train by Hawkins
2. Still Alice by Genova
1. All the Light We Cannot See by Doerr

Love dystopia society series?  I highly recommend the Unwind series by Neal Shusterman (4 books) and Legend series by Wu.  Unwind is a concept that hasn't been overdone in the dystopia books.  One warning with the Legend series by Wu is watch age you recommend it for.  The last book does have a sex scene between the main characters.

Need a good detective series?  I really like the Cormoran Strike series by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling).  Career of Evil is the newest release.  So far, there are 3.  They get better with each one.

My YA pick of the year: The Boy on the Wooden Box by Leon Leyson

Elementary to Middle School series: Percy Jackson (yes, I just read them & this summer was the 10 year anniversary of Percy Jackson!) and The Land of Stories Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer - this is a great series for a 4th - 6th grader.

And, if you need a fun, unexpected book that is bound to bless you by reading it, try: Flash: The Homeless Donkey by Rachel Anne Ridge.  You won't regret it!

Happy Reading from your Friendly Librarian! :)

Voyager by Diana Gabaldon

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I wasn't sure I was going to read any more of this series (Outlander).  It is such an investment, but I'm so glad I gave it another shot.  I really enjoyed the first book and this one.  I didn't really enjoy the second one - which was why I hesitated to invest in another 870 pages.  This one brings Claire and Jamie back together and the adventures are one after another.  Never a dull moment.  I also ordered the first season to watch on DVD and am expecting it to be delivered today!  Woohoo!

Summary:
From the author of the breathtaking bestsellers Outlander and Dragonfly in Amber, the extraordinary saga continues.

Their passionate encounter happened long ago by whatever measurement Claire Randall took. Two decades before, she had traveled back in time and into the arms of a gallant eighteenth-century Scot named Jamie Fraser. Then she returned to her own century to bear his child, believing him dead in the tragic battle of Culloden. Yet his memory has never lessened its hold on her... and her body still cries out for him in her dreams.

Then Claire discovers that Jamie survived. Torn between returning to him and staying with their daughter in her own era, Claire must choose her destiny. And as time and space come full circle, she must find the courage to face the passion and pain awaiting her...the deadly intrigues raging in a divided Scotland... and the daring voyage into the dark unknown that can reunite—or forever doom—her timeless love.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Chillin'

I made a mini-perch for my mini-girls and they took right to it! 
I love that I haven't had to bother Kevin for help with anything to do with these girls. :)
Cotton, Minnie, & Funky

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Home Sweet Home

Now that my two roosters have finally found their forever home, today I set a goal to get "the girls" area broken down, cleaned out and set up for them to be their home until Spring.  In the Spring I will move them out of the barn. 
So, first I broke down all my redneck ingenuity. :)
And the clean out began.  I moved everything out, took down the make-shift walls, and started fresh.  The dogs were thrilled because apparently there is no treat better than chicken poop! LOL!
 I moved their mini-palace into the stall.  This way, they can sleep in it at night and I can close them up in it.  If they are in a coop, I can leave the barn door open for the donkeys to come in out of the weather.  I couldn't do that before because a opossum or raccoon could easily get them.
I am not sure they knew what to think, but they will be able to huddle up and be warm instead of all out in the open like before.
And, then I put the make-shift walls back up so they can "free range" during the day and it keeps them off my donkeys hay.  Add a little fresh shavings and straw and bingo!  "My girls", (Cotton - the white one, Funky - the funky head one, and Minnie - the black and white one), have officially moved into their mini-palace!  Woohoo!
So, my little experiment that started at Atwood's with me begging for TWO baby chicks...and after I begged and pleaded and had my basket all loaded up with baby chicken supplies, we found out we had to buy a minimum of 6!!  Well, one died early on.  2 were roosters that went to live next door, and I have 3 instead of 2.  Big Bear keeps reminding me of that...I'm one over what I promised! LOL!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Good news!

My next door neighbors just took BOTH my baby bantam roosters!!!  Now, I am a hen only farm again, but can keep up with these two through the fence!  Win Win!  
Now, pray some safe nights over these fellas, because the neighbors did lose all their chickens to a predator!  'Tis the hazard of farm life.  I will be devastated when something gets my ladies!
Now tomorrow, I am getting the mini-palace ready to move into the stall and move the girls in until spring.  Then, in the spring, they can move outside the barn and we will set up the mini-palace permanently and predator proof it.
Have I mentioned I love having chickens?

Thursday, December 24, 2015

HO! HO! HO! Merry Christmas!



With love, 
From the whole Farm :)

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Monday, December 21, 2015

First Family Christmas Celebration of 2015

Christmas at Granny's the Saturday before Christmas...
These girls should be about 4 years old but somehow time flew by and they are 17!!
 
My cousin with his gorgeous wife!

 And of course, somehow horses are always involved when my niece is around!
 Granny with her awesome gift of Grandma Bradford's recipe of homemade rolls in Grandma's handwriting.  So cool!
 It's really hard to escape any of our family functions without group pictures getting taken! We complain, but it's really neat to look back and see how we change over the years.  This year, Dad and Bubby both had to work. :(
 Granny with all her kids :)

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Oh Christmas Tree...

Little full...lots of sap!
We thought we were going to get to have company for Christmas this year, so we got all our decorating done except for the tree.  The day we I decorated, Big Bear was supposed to come home and cut down the tree, but he didn't get home until after dark and the next day it rained.  Since we have now waited so long and no company is expected after all, we decided to let our Christmas tree grow outside another year.  We are going to clean up around it and watch it flourish to be our tree next year.  I mean, we have stockings for Santa to put gifts in and I don't have to constantly chase the cat out of the tree.  So, it's all good. :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

From Bubba Bear...

To my awesome fan club,
I just wanted to check in and let you know that Mom still loves me, and I am still her favorite.  I know she has all these new babies since we moved to the farm, but she says I will always be her baby boy.  She still tells me how cute I am and lets me sneak in the bed after dad falls asleep.  She even makes herself uncomfortable so I can sleep curled up next her.  
I am not only her cutest kid, but she tells me I am an amazing guard dog.  I really just make sure people know not to mess with my momma while I'm around.  She's my everything, and I have to keep her safe.
So, there you have it.  While you might not see my picture as much as you used to because I have to share screen time with the chickens, baby chickens and donkeys...well, I'm still here and adorable and spoiled. Life is good! :)

Sincerely,
Bubba Bear

Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice

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I could have honestly done without reading this one.  Disappointing.  I vaguely remember watching the movie years ago and I thought I enjoyed it.  Maybe I need to watch it again.  I don't know...but if you are thinking about going back and reading an older book or a Vampire book, I'd keep looking.

No need for a summary.  The title pretty much sums it up.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Crafty

Something came over me on Sunday afternoon and I got my hot glue gun out and got a little crafty!!
Check this Pinterest come to life idea below...no fireplace for stockings, no problem!
 Took a 4x4 post, added some legs and hooks, slapped a sock snowman on top and presto!  Stocking hanger!!
I had this canvas/burlap type sign that I hang up at Christmas time, so I decided to hot glue some of those small clothespins to the sides and THAT is where the family picture cards will go!

And, then I put a big ribbon for my favorite cards that are friends...
That's the extent of my craftiness. LOL!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Productive Day!

Yesterday was a gorgeous day!!  Temps in the 70's and when that happens, you better get things done because winter weather could hit the very next day! LOL!
I got all my Christmas decorating done (minus the tree...Big Bear didn't make it home before dark to cut it down.).
AND, I put together the mini-palace for the mini-chickens!!  As soon as I find a new home for the two roosters, I am moving it into the chicken stall for winter and the 3 ladies get to move in.  Then, in the spring, they will move outside in it.  This way, I can still have them in the barn while they are young, but can leave the barn door open for the donkeys.  Gotta think about those pesky chicken predators!
The front view :)
Back view
Bubba figuring things out...aka chicken predator!
Ramp up to the hen house
Inside the hen house with the roosting bar...the bottom slides out for easy cleaning
The two nesting boxes
It is supposed to be big enough for 4 bantams and I am only keeping 3, so we should be good.  Best part is that I scored it for $122 on Cyber Monday.  No shipping!  :)
 Now...I need names and a name for the coop.  Hen House or Hen Palace???  hmmm...

Friday, December 11, 2015

Baby Chickens Update

We are at a definite 2 roosters...the big Indian above has been caught "crowing".  Look at those feathery feet!!!  He's going to be pretty handsome, but no roosters on the Benson Farm, so he must go.  I am going to see if the neighbors might want him first. :)
The others that he was keeping watch over from above.  The ugly solid black one is a rooster too.  He is doing the crowing as well.  You can really see the difference in them too.
Now this one below...I think she is turning out to be pretty!
 And this "girl" below is a mess to look at it but I sure am still hoping that it is a girl because she will be a conversation started for sure!!  "She's" not crowing...so there is still hope!
 I think tomorrow I might start putting together their "mini palace" for them to move into.  

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Monday, December 7, 2015

Outtakes

 Somehow, even with Kevin at work and no one wanting to cooperate, I managed to take the Christmas card photos and make the Christmas card yesterday.  All by myself.  Cross that off the ole December to do list. :)  Rex was humiliated and Ruby was ticked off! LOL!


Sunday, December 6, 2015

Family Farm Day

Saturday afternoon, Big Bear and I headed to my parents farm to meet my mom and just enjoy a little time with family & pick up some barn wood and hay.  My parents have a gold mine of barn wood, so we tossed it all around looking for good pieces.  Big Bear is going to make us an entertainment center and a book case from it.  Then, he's making my mom a little table.  Nothing fancy, but just what we want. :)
Let me tell you a little secret about having your tables made out of barn wood.  You can't see dust. So, I don't dust.  When I vacuum, I take the attachment and vacuum it real quick.  Done! :)
 My beautiful niece took advantage of mom being there for the day and came out to ride her horses.  She has no fear and is so good with them!!  This new guy, Tank, is huge but he is supposed to be one anyone can ride!  We'll see....
 I love the sound of horses running...they came thundering by!
 So, this is HUGE!  I was trying to figure it out and I really think this is MY first time ON a horse in about 15 years!!!  Now, my dad lead me around, but I'm ON! LOL!  Once they prove that anyone can ride him, I will get braver.  Maybe...Ha!
Trailer loaded with barn wood and winter hay for the donkeys.  Happy, happy!
All snug in its place...this is my first winter of needing hay and busting water buckets.  I love it!  Home is my happy place!! :)
 Only 10 more work days and I get to be home for 2 weeks!!!! Woohoo!


Counting by 7's by Holly Sloan

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This book is actually in my library and was at the fall book fair.  I heard several people talking about it, so I bought it from the book fair.  I finally got around to reading it, and it's a good story.  It's different.  The main character is a little quirky and actually none of the characters are "normal"...whatever that is! ha! I always wonder how the kids would like or think about books like these.  After I got into the story, I really loved it and I loved the ending.  I gave it a 4 out of 5 on goodreads.

Summary from goodreads.com:
In the tradition of Out of My MindWonder, and Mockingbird, this is an intensely moving middle grade novel about being an outsider, coping with loss, and discovering the true meaning of family. 

Willow Chance is a twelve-year-old genius, obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions, who finds it comforting to count by 7s. It has never been easy for her to connect with anyone other than her adoptive parents, but that hasn’t kept her from leading a quietly happy life... until now.

Suddenly Willow’s world is tragically changed when her parents both die in a car crash, leaving her alone in a baffling world. The triumph of this book is that it is not a tragedy. This extraordinarily odd, but extraordinarily endearing, girl manages to push through her grief. Her journey to find a fascinatingly diverse and fully believable surrogate family is a joy and a revelation to read.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Donkey Dose of Cuteness

Do you see the joy on Elly May's face?  That utter bliss is the discovery of hay!!! These two who WERE reluctant to get in a stall in the barn are now waiting on me to get in. :)  And, they hang out in the stall for long periods of time.  This is going to make it so much easier when we are expecting snow and I need them to be smart and OUT of the weather! :)  I should also insert that my mom "told me so".