Monday, February 29, 2016

Dog Day! :)

Today was 70 degree temps and gorgeous!!  It was rush home from work and get outside weather...and apparently, also "fetch it up" weather judging from how many times Stella brought me her tennis ball. :)

Bubba Bear's favorite ball is the red horse jolly ball that was left here from the previous owner.

While Bubba was distracted with his red ball, Stella got some uninterrupted fetch time and Rex relaxed. :)

PS.  Yes, that is the garden fence going up just past Rex! :)

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Spring? Are you here?

Could winter be over?  I am loving these temperatures!!  (more than Elly May loves Ruby Rue)  Poor Ruby!  Once Elly May sees her, she immediately chases her back in the house! LOL!

Hello there spring???

I even uncovered the barn window to let natural light and fresh air in for the little girls...the girls who do NOT even go in their nice house!  

Now, for anyone who says fresh eggs or chickens are gross...these eggs are straight from the coop.  I haven't even made it inside yet to wash them.  Clean & beautiful!

 Love is in the air...it must be spring! :)
Pray for GOOD weather on Wednesday so Jethro can get his snip snip done. :)  We need good, dry weather because Wednesday is the day the vet travels to do big animals.  The snip snip will happen right here!!  Please let me still be at work!  I don't think I can handle it!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

8
I gave this book a 3.5/5 and only because it was hard for me to initially get into the story.  It was very difficult to picture where they are...and even though they are on Mars.  You forget they are on Mars.  It's not a big deal to the story.  It's supposed to be science fiction, but I would just label it a dystopia society novel.  However, it is NOT for Young Adults.  I wouldn't let my middle school students read it.  Maybe high school.  It makes The Hunger Games look like a puppy bowl.  There is rape, killing and language throughout.  It's an adult dystopia society novel in my opinion with teenage characters.  
The story finishes strong, if you give yourself a chance to get into it.  This trilogy has very high ratings and this book was actually the Goodreads pick of the year for its category last year.  If you like dystopia society books, I think you will like it.  

Summary from goodreads.com:
"I live for the dream that my children will be born free," she says. "That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them."

"I live for you," I say sadly.

Eo kisses my cheek. "Then you must live for more."


Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations.

Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity's overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society's ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies... even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.
 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Check them out...

Hey - if you just love farm life, hobby farms, and/or cute animals, check out some of the new blogs I've found to follow.  I think the common factor is that they involve chickens and donkeys.  Imagine that!  Check them out in the sidebar...I'm sure the names gives them away! :)

Meanwhile, the count down is ON!  If the weather is nice, one week from yesterday, Jethro is getting the snip snip!!  It's going to be a miracle if we don't have a baby donkey on the way!  

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Wednesday snippets

I'm sure there are plenty of people shaking their heads that my house cat is now allowed outside and is FINALLY making it around to explore the barn.  Well, relax in the fact that she is only outside supervised and she is happier.  When me and the dogs go outside without her, she sits at the backdoor and cries.  She thinks she is a dog.  But I hope she starts catching a few of the mice I've seen taking up residence in the barn!!

Wednesday's are tough on the ladies because with us rushing off to church, they don't get to free range.  Today I hooked them up with table scraps, treats and fresh chicken food, so I think they were satisfied.  Way better than yesterday in the pouring rain.  Nothing more pitiful looking than a bunch of wet hens.  I threw some straw down on their muddy run for them too.  My ladies are spoiled. :)
My new toy helps the chores go a little easier.  Easier to haul stuff...especially all the donkey manure for Kevin's fertilizer/compost pile for his garden.  That pile is GROWING! LoL!
Wednesday's can be a little exhausting...work, chores, church, more chores...but it's all good! :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Disciple's Cross (Masterlife 1)

7
I just finished this Bible study today.  Wow!  Kevin and I tried to do this study a few years ago together and we missed out on so much by not doing it with a group.  It is really making me step out of my comfort zone.  And, every week we have a verse to memorize.  So, now you get to "hear" them and trust that I am typing them from memory. :)
Luke 9:23 And then he said to them all, "Whoever wishes to be my disciple must deny himself, pick up his cross daily and follow me."
John 15:5 I am the vine and you are the branches.  If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit. Apart from me, he can do nothing.
John 8:31-32 If you hold to my teachings you are truly my disciples, you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.
John 15:7 If you remain in me and my word remains in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given to you.
John 13:34-35 A new command I have for you.  Love one another.  As I have loved you, so that you must love one another.  All men will know you are my disciples if you love one another.
John 15:8  This is to my Father's glory that you bear much fruit showing yourselves to be my disciples.
John 15:13 No greater love than this that a man give his life for his friends.

I stumbled on that last one because I'm still trying to learn it.  I'm not double-checking myself so if I missed one, you have to let me know. :)

Summary from lifeway if you want to know more:
MasterLife 1: Disciple's Cross - Member Book is a Bible study that helps you experience life in Christ through practicing six identified biblical disciplines: spending time with the Master, living in the Word, praying in faith, fellowshipping with believers, witnessing to the world, and ministering to others.



Sunday, February 21, 2016

What's going on here?

The weather was gorgeous this weekend.  Spring like!  We did a few chores and played a little too.  We had a major floor project going on at the rent house...be warned, your air conditioner can back up and leak INTO the house and ruin floors.  We are blessed right now with awesome renters though and we really only had to purchase the new laminate and run a few errands.  They had experience laying laminate and did all the hard work.  I mean, wow, are we blessed with awesome renters!
So, Saturday, my friend (and our house sitter), Esta stopped by to visit because we haven't gone anywhere in a while and she was missing her animals. :)  She made a goal this year to go on an adventure once a month and had never been on a 4-wheeler in her life.  So, we took care of this months adventure with a 4-wheeler ride.  She loved it!
 Rex passes out after a full-day of running around the farm and hunting moles.
 Bubba Bear is forever a puppy...his favorite toy is one that is meant to be a horse toy. :)
Ruby Rue protected the back porch from birds!
The ladies had a regular ole hen party at the water hole. 
 The donkeys let me put on their new halter that is TOO big!  Urgh!  First, I had them too small and now too big.  Back to Tractor Supply I go!
 And, I only have the top to go on my "chicken tractor".  I need to be able to put the little girls in a pen next to the coop for a few weeks so all the chickens can get used to each other without being able to peck the new ones.  Maybe they can all live together soon.  It's a process...
That's all for now...
Upcoming events equal top for the chicken tractor, fence around garden, fence a small area for chickens around coop, fence for the goats that are maybe coming in the spring, call vet to get Jethro snip snipped, and get a farrier out for hooves.  Oh, and get my crown molding up in the master bedroom.  Projects anyone? :)

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Get Outside!!!

If you have not been outside enjoying this weather, you are CrAzY!!!  It was so nice today that the thought even went through my head to stop wishing for just one more snow day!  Gasp!  I love snow days...but I might love spring better and today felt like spring!!  And, tomorrow and Saturday are more of the same!
The donkeys were frisky.  The dogs were happy.  The ladies were squawking.  The 4-wheeler was running! Ahhhhh!!!!
There was tail pulling! LOL!
Mole hunting!!  This dog LOVES to dig up some moles!
And, chickens eating eggs!?!? Hmmm...
Now, get out and enjoy the weather folks!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Daily Wrestling Matches!

It's a daily thing around here...they crack me up!



Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Bye Bye Birdie

Today was the day.  I finally advertised Funky last night on a Facebook chicken page...and overnight someone wanted him.  By 2:30 today, he was gone to his new home. :(
 I have to say, I was a little sad to see his unique self go.  His new owner said he has a lot of hens waiting on his arrival, so I hope he is happy.  He's sure one cool looking dude.  Hate we are a hen only farm...but Big Bear is the only rooster around here. Ha!
So now these two mini-girls have the place to themselves.  They don't even use their mini-palace...only Funky used it.  They perch on this wall every night and sleep.
Now, to work on Cotton and Minnie being introduced to "the ladies"...maybe they can all live together.  We'll see! :)

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

6
Love, love, loved it!  At first, I thought I would never be able to keep the characters straight because each chapter is from a different character, but oh, it wasn't a problem.  You get attached.  You want them to prevail.  Well, except for that one annoying one.  I will let you figure it out.  The one you will roll your eyes at and want to punch.  This is a WWII historical fiction...one of my favorite topics.  It's a fast read and one I think you will not regret reading.

Summary:
World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia, and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, almost all of them with something to hide. Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in one another tested with each step closer toward safety.

Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.

Told in alternating points of view, and perfect for fans of Anthony Doerr's Pulitzer Prize-winning All the Light We Cannot See, Erik Larson's #1 NYT bestseller Dead Wake, and Elizabeth Wein's Printz Honor Book Code Name Verity, this masterful work of historical fiction is inspired by the real-life tragedy that was the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff--the greatest maritime disaster in history. As she did in Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys unearths a shockingly little-known casualty of a gruesome war, and proves that humanity can prevail, even in the darkest of hours.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day!

Love is in the air! :)

Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain

5
Loved it!  Gave it 5 stars on goodreads...this is the 2nd book I've read by this author and really liked both. :)  I got really invested in these characters.  It is set in the 60's and I don't think my opinionated self would have survived the 60's! ha!  Put this one on your to-read list in my opinion.

Summary from amazon.com:
Bestselling author Diane Chamberlain delivers a breakout book about a small southern town fifty years ago, and the darkest―and most hopeful―places in the human heart
After losing her parents, fifteen-year-old Ivy Hart is left to care for her grandmother, older sister and nephew as tenants on a small tobacco farm. As she struggles with her grandmother's aging, her sister's mental illness and her own epilepsy, she realizes they might need more than she can give.
When Jane Forrester takes a position as Grace County's newest social worker, she doesn't realize just how much her help is needed. She quickly becomes emotionally invested in her clients' lives, causing tension with her boss and her new husband. But as Jane is drawn in by the Hart women, she begins to discover the secrets of the small farm―secrets much darker than she would have guessed. Soon, she must decide whether to take drastic action to help them, or risk losing the battle against everything she believes is wrong.
Set in rural Grace County, North Carolina in a time of state-mandated sterilizations and racial tension, Necessary Lies tells the story of these two young women, seemingly worlds apart, but both haunted by tragedy. Jane and Ivy are thrown together and must ask themselves: how can you know what you believe is right, when everyone is telling you it's wrong?

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Definitely NOT a chicken! :)

I'm calling "my ladies" (aka chickens) to get put up for the night and shaking their party mix bag and this is what I turn around to:
"I hear ya calling momma and that sure sounds like treats! Give me some of that!"

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Prisoner 88 by Leah Pileggi

4
What a surprising treat!  I usually make myself read books out of my elementary library and don't truly enjoy them, but I wish this one had lasted a little longer.  It was a short read - read it in a day.  But a good story based on a real 10 year boy who went to prison for manslaughter in the 1800's.  I can recommend for 4th and up in elementary and for middle school.

Summary:
Bricks on the floor, three stone walls, and that too-tight-wove metal door. A cage. I stood up and walked the length of my cage. Six not-angry steps long and then 'bout four wide.

What if you were ten years old and thrown into prison with hardened criminals? That's just what happens to Jake Oliver Evans. Inspired by a true account of a prisoner in the Idaho Territorial Penitentiary in 1885, Jake's story is as affecting as it is shocking.

Convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to five years, Jake is taken under the wing of a young guard and the kindly warden, as well as a few fellow prisoners. He is taught to read and given a job tending hogs at a nearby farm. In prison, Jake finds a home he has never had in a place most people are desperate to leave. But when he has to make a choice about right and wrong during an explosive escape attempt, Jake jeopardizes his friendships and his security.

Selected as one of the Notable Children's Books in the English Language Arts for 2014.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Happy Birthday to me!!!

Special delivery!!!  What's that?!?!
A new 4-wheeler!!!!
YES!!!
Happy birthday to me!  No more poking around on my riding lawn mower...now I can haul stuff around for real on my 4-wheeler!
We have been looking at used ones for awhile, but with no real mechanical knowledge, it was hard to know if we were getting a deal or a lemon.  Our awesome Sunday School teacher owns a Honda shop, so we decided to take the plunge and get a new one of last year's models.  We know we can trust it and we have an honest service/sales guy! :) 

 Happy, happy, happy!!!!!!  Woohoo!!!!!
#29andholding

The Martian by Andy Weir

3
This book was out of my normal reading material.  But, it just kept popping up on all the "must read" and "best books" lists, so I decided to give it a try.  I did end up really liking it.  We plan to watch the movie this week sometime.  The only part that lost me from time to time was the oxygen, hydrogen, carbon dioxide science talk. The story is good and the main character is awesome!  Love his wise cracks and sense of humor.  Give it a try even if science fiction isn't your normal genre.

Summary:
Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. 

Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. 

Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. 

But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

Sunday, February 7, 2016

#blessed

 If you know me at all, you know I stretch my birthday's out over a whole week!  Friday, Big Bear had my Tahoe detailed and cooked me an amazing dinner.  Yesterday, we went to the movies (which we never do!) and today started with my 7th grade Sunday School girls having a "party"...donuts, sausage balls and duct tape crafts!  Love them! :)
 Then my parents showed up with the mother load of hay!!  If that doesn't get us through the rest of winter, we have a serious hay addiction problem around here! LOL!

I told my mom & dad all I wanted for my birthday was my barn light fixed and my water spout working right.  Two pet peeves of mine since we moved in.  So, dad brought his extension ladder and was well supervised. :)
 What's a birthday without cake?!?
 Then, my niece showed me how to wrestle a mini-donkey into a halter! LOL!  Wish she lived closer, I could use her expertise around here! :)

 All in all, it was a good day and tomorrow is my actual birthday...wonder what it holds?

Friday, February 5, 2016

TGIF

Yep, that's his daddy's pillow he is using as a dog bed!! LOL!  And, no I don't move him.  I just take his picture and laugh a little. :)
We are gearing up for our first Saturday morning with the donkeys locked in their shed overnight!!  We can actually SLEEP IN tomorrow morning!!  Woohoo!!!
Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: Stella Girl

Play Hard...Fetch it Up!
& relax!


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Farmer Bear

Well, Big Bear has spent the past two days working on the soil in his garden and today getting some onions and carrots set.  Aren't the donkeys going to LOVE fresh carrots???  
NOW, I have told him NUMEROUS times to get a fence up around this garden.  He still hasn't and has now put hours of work into it.  So...when he comes home before me and finds it a hot mess from the donkeys having a garden party, let's just hope they high-tail it fast and stay far, far away from the Big Bear until momma gets home to protect them and say, "I told you so!"  LOL!
I mean, come on, we remember my flowerbed experiment right?  

A Fiery Cross by Gabaldon

2
I am loving this series, and yet I still wouldn't recommend it to just anyone.  It is a commitment and some serious reading, but I am so attached to these characters.  I seriously cried a bit when I finished the book because I had promised myself I was going to take a break from this series and read something else.  This is book 5 of 8 so far in the series. 
The last line in the book "When the day shall come, that we do part, " he said softly, and turned to look at me, "if my last words are not 'I love you' - ye'll ken it was because I didna have time."  

Summary:
Crossing the boundaries of genre with its unrivalled storytelling, Diana Gabaldon’s new novel is a gift both to her millions of loyal fans and to the lucky readers who have yet to discover her.

In the ten years since her extraordinary debut novel, Outlander, was published, beloved author Diana Gabaldon has entertained scores of readers with her heart-stirring stories and remarkable characters. The four volumes of her bestselling saga, featuring eighteenth-century Scotsman James Fraser and his twentieth-century, time-travelling wife, Claire Randall, boasts nearly 5 million copies in the U.S.

The story of Outlander begins just after the Second World War, when a British field nurse named Claire Randall walks through a cleft stone in the Scottish highlands and is transported back some two hundred years to 1743.

Here, now, is The Fiery Cross, the eagerly awaited fifth volume in this remarkable, award-winning series of historical novels. The year is 1771, and war is approaching. Jamie Fraser’s wife has told him so. Little as he wishes to, he must believe it, for hers is a gift of dreadful prophecy—a time-traveller’s certain knowledge. To break his oath to the Crown will brand him a traitor; to keep it is certain doom. Jamie Fraser stands in the shadow of the fiery cross—a standard that leads nowhere but to the bloody brink of war.