Thursday, March 31, 2016

Big Bear is Home!

Big Bear left on Friday the 25th with the Mission Team from our church to the Dominican Republic to help build a church.  He FINALLY got back late last night.  These are a few of the pictures from their experience.  They worked on building a new church during the day and walked the streets in the evening to show the Jesus film (which is the story of Jesus).  Most people in the area they were in do not have electricity, so they show the film with battery packs and ipods and projectors.  One night they were in a house the size of our living room and showed the film to around 20 people crammed into that space.  


Day 1
 Every day next to where they were building the church, people brought their goats to tie up to eat grass.  Then, came back to get them later. I asked Kevin if he still wanted goats after being around them so long and he said, "Yes, we are getting 4." Ha!













I am proud he has had the opportunity to go the Dominican with our missions team several times.  He loves it.  I did miss him more than usual this time though!  Usually it takes me a few days.  I must be getting soft in my old age. :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Meet the Characters!

Let's introduce the main players on this blog in order of oldest to youngest.  My, my, how the family has grown! :)
First, we have Stella, the chocolate lab, that we got as a 6 week old puppy.  She is now almost 7 years old and gets more gray hair by the day.  She is our smartest child, and she minds the best.  She is most happy when she is with her humans and someone is touching her or throwing the ball.  Notice it is right beside her in case someone decides to throw it. ha!  We often say that one day her heart will just burst from all the love she holds.  She is also the only dog allowed out with the chickens...probably goes back to the "only one that minds and is the smartest". :)
Rex, the boxer, came into the picture about 4 months later.  We adopted him from BoxAR Rescue as a 6 month old puppy. He and Stella are one month apart in age, and were the easiest pups EVER.  Rex is the most laid back dog in the world.  It's almost like he is stoned most of the time.  Then, out of no where, he will get a burst of energy and take off like a shot!  He likes to sleep in the softest spots possible.  We were afraid he would be our one dog that wouldn't appreciate the country life, but he loves it!  He is our mole catcher.  We say we will never have another dog like Rex.  He is just an odd duck, but we love him. :)
When Stella and Rex were about 3 years old, we stupidly decided to get a 3rd dog! LOL!  Then, came Bubba Bear, the most hard-headed and hard to train dog EVER!  He is a HOT mess.  He's getting better, and he is our best guard dog.  He doesn't let anyone near the fence line without hearing from him.  He is also my baby.  He's a pain, but I can't imagine life without him.  We have had his bloodline in my family since I was in the 3rd grade and he was the last litter of pups, hence, the 3rd dog.  He sleeps curled up against my legs every night.  I tried to break him of it when we moved, but I gave up.  He is smart and sneaks up in the bed once we are asleep! LOL! 
He is now 3 years old and weighs about 80 to 85 pounds but thinks he is a lap dog!
After my cat of 18 years passed away, I couldn't handle not having a cat.  I wanted a cuddle buddy and we adopted Ruby Rue from the local shelter as a 6 week old barely 2 lb. kitten. I just knew Bubba Bear was going to kill her, but they are best friends!  Ruby Rue is NOT a cuddle buddy.  She is actually good for nothing except entertaining Bubba!  She's gorgeous.  And, that's about it.  She only cuddles if her food bowl is empty.  She will be 2 years old this year, so I'm hoping she will get more loving.  As for now, she's Bubba's cat. :)
Our first animals to add to the farm were "the ladies".  We got 3 Rhode Island Reds (Red, Ginger and Frenchie) and 3 Barred Rocks (Henrietta, Tina Turner Ridings & Jackie) last spring break.  They are now a year old and we get almost an egg a day from them.  (Note: We also got 2 Australorps, but they got out and the boxers killed them.) 
In April last year, we added Jethro and Elly May, the mini-donkeys.  Oh, my goodness!  They were/are so cute!  I love them!!!  They are entertaining and keep us on our toes!  Elly May is the leader and Jethro goes where she goes.  If they get separated, they call to each other until they find each other.  I was in NO way prepared for a donkey bray.  It is LOUD!  Elly May is pretty quiet and Jethro is supposedly going to get quieter now that he is "snip snipped".  
They are both a year old.  They have changed a lot in a year!
 In the fall, I talked Kevin into some banty's (mini-chickens)...not my best decision, but I hate admitting when he is right! Ha!  I bought 6 from a straight run because they make you buy 6.  1 died. 3 were roosters.  We are a hen only farm, so we are left with these two girls, Minnie and Cotton.  They just started laying last week. Or rather, Minnie did.  Cotton is freeloading at the moment.  I haven't tried their eggs yet, but I hear they are even better.
And, lastly, 2 weeks ago, in my crazy chicken lady weakness, I added 6 baby Wyandotte's and 2 more baby barred rocks.  So far, only one is named.  It's the smallest of the group and I didn't know if it would even make it those first few days.  It's my fave of this bunch and I call her, Teeny. :)
And, there you have it, all the characters that make up the Benson Farm....for now! :)







Room by Emma Donoghue

15
I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars on goodreads.  I guess because I didn't love it or hate it.  It certainly wasn't what I expected.  I didn't have any background knowledge about it and almost put it up after the first few pages.  I didn't think I could handle reading from a 5 year old perspective.  You get used to it, but it does get old.  The book finishes very weak in my opinion.  It just kind of putters out.  I don't know...I'm thinking you might just save yourself some time and watch the movie on this one and I NEVER say that! :)

Summary:
To five-year-old-Jack, Room is the world. . . . It's where he was born, it's where he and his Ma eat and sleep and play and learn. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits. 

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma it's the prison where she has been held for seven years. Through her fierce love for her son, she has created a life for him in this eleven-by-eleven-foot space. But with Jack's curiosity building alongside her own desperation, she knows that Room cannot contain either much longer.

Room is a tale at once shocking, riveting, exhilarating--a story of unconquerable love in harrowing circumstances, and of the diamond-hard bond between a mother and her child.

Monday, March 28, 2016

It's all about the coop :)

When you ask and ask for "someone" to please install another perch in the chicken coop and you wait and wait...well, ladies, finally you just say, "Who needs a man?  I can do this."  And, you grab a board, a power tool and some screws and you climb/squeeze into the coop (clean it out first) and you do it yourself! :)
Now, there are two perches.  Perfect for when the new chickens go in. 
And, of course, "the ladies" were supposed to be free ranging, had to come and see what in the world I was doing inside their coop!
 "You aren't moving in are you?"
Keep in mind this isn't a coop you walk into.  I had to squeeze in through the back opening that I use to clean it out. I'm pretty sure Kevin wouldn't have fit anyway! :)
And, the outside with my flea market find on! Love!
 Last, but not least, a Pinterest project I can actually do!  Head of cabbage, drill a hole through the middle, little rope and instant treat for the ladies. :)
Some days, it's all about the chicken coop! :)

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Shameless...

All my pets are ROTTEN...and beg shamelessly for treats! (And usually get it! ha!)

Although, today I did not share my M&M's! :)
Much to Elly May's disappointment!
Even "the ladies" beg...they love their treats! LOL!
 I didn't show them my flea market find today...heehee!  Love it!
Back to work on Monday...my system will probably go into shock for a few days.  I guess it's time to count the days until summer! :) :) :)

Stolen by Lucy Christopher

14
This book fascinated me for some reason.  I can't put my finger on what it is about it except it makes you think about missing teens and kids and wonder if this is what it's like for some of them.   She had NO chance of getting away...how would you cope?  What would you do?
This book is a debut novel for this author and won all kinds of awards - Michael L. Printz Honor Book, ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults, USBBY Outstanding International Book.
It only took me two days to fly through it, but I am on Spring Break. :)

Summary:
It happened like this. I was stolen from an airport. Taken from everything I knew, everything I was used to. Taken to sand and heat, dirt and danger. And he expected me to love him.

This is my story.

A letter from nowhere. 


Sixteen year old Gemma is kidnapped from Bangkok airport and taken to the Australian Outback. This wild and desolate landscape becomes almost a character in the book, so vividly is it described. Ty, her captor, is no stereotype. He is young, fit and completely gorgeous. This new life in the wilderness has been years in the planning. He loves only her, wants only her. Under the hot glare of the Australian sun, cut off from the world outside, can the force of his love make Gemma love him back? 

The story takes the form of a letter, written by Gemma to Ty, reflecting on those strange and disturbing months in the outback. Months when the lines between love and obsession, and love and dependency, blur until they don't exist - almost.


Friday, March 25, 2016

The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

13
This is technically a short story. It's by the author of Gone Girl and from reading all her books, I can honestly say, you never know where this author is going to take you.  I read this book in one sitting.  You can read it in a little over an hour and it's pretty good...it doesn't "wrap up" in the end.  You draw your own conclusions but even in 62 pages, I was like "wow, didn't see that coming".

Summary:
Gillian Flynn’s Edgar Award-winning homage to the classic ghost story, published for the first time as a standalone

A canny young woman is struggling to survive by perpetrating various levels of mostly harmless fraud. On a rainy April morning, she is reading auras at Spiritual Palms when Susan Burke walks in. A keen observer of human behavior, our unnamed narrator immediately diagnoses beautiful, rich Susan as an unhappy woman eager to give her lovely life a drama injection. However, when the "psychic" visits the eerie Victorian home that has been the source of Susan’s terror and grief, she realizes she may not have to pretend to believe in ghosts anymore. Miles, Susan’s teenage stepson, doesn’t help matters with his disturbing manner and grisly imagination. The three are soon locked in a chilling battle to discover where the evil truly lurks and what, if anything, can be done to escape it. 

Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys

12
LOVE this author!!  She has three books and all have been really good!  The other two books, Between Shades of Gray and Salt of the Sea were both WWII historical fiction.  And those tend to be my favorites, so this one didn't add up to those two.  BUT, it was still really good.  I despised the mother in this book.  But you will really route for the main character and love her.  It's worth your time to read any of the books by this author.

Summary:
It’s 1950, and as the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets, seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine is silently stirring a pot of her own. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer. She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street. 

Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.
With characters as captivating as those in her internationally bestselling novel Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys skillfully creates a rich story of secrets, lies, and the haunting reminder that decisions can shape our destiny.


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Snapshots of the day...

My flea market find for the side of the coop:
 Ruby says, "So this is where you live? Hmmm..."
Boxer brothers play hard:
And, crash:
I have no words for these two trouble makers this week...let's just say it's going to be a miracle if Elly May isn't knocked up and it takes awhile for the "urge" to leave the system after a snip snip.  We will leave it at that.  Oh joy!
My camping flea market find found it's home on the coop today...perfect!!!
And, I think we have an impostor...I predict that this one is a rooster and slipped in with the girls. See the long tail feathers?  That's what makes me think it.  But maybe I will be wrong.
2 weeks old tomorrow...their wings are now feathers. 
Baby silver laced Wyandotte:
Baby barred rock:
Only 3 days of Spring Break left...SLoW DoWN!