Thursday, June 30, 2016

Winter by Marissa Meyer

I can easily recommend this book series (The Lunar Chronicles) to anyone who likes dystopia society type books.  I really think the description makes it sound cheesey but it's not.  This is the 4th and final book of the series.  I enjoyed all 4 books.  I would recommend to any middle or high schooler and even high readers in 4th and 5th grade.  

Summary from
Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Summer Updates

These two cuties went for their first vet check up yesterday and were declared all healthy.  Yay!  They weighed in at 1 lb. 13 oz. and 1 lb. 11 oz.  So tiny, but soon will be hunting mice like the barn cats they are meant to be! :)
Yesterday I got a trailer full of dirt and mulch to try and repair some of the front "flowerbed" (I use that term loosely).  It had a lot of washout from the gutters being full of leaves (which I cleaned out! bam!).  I filled it all back in and put down some mulch.  Meanwhile, my hubby comes to the front door, sees what I'm doing and quickly disappears back inside! LOL!  I'm thinking we might be one of a very few households where the wife is outside doing heavy labor while the hubby is inside cooking dinner. LOL!

I thought I might should get a picture because with the donkeys, chickens and dogs, it really won't last long! :) I stole the goats box fan to blow on me while I was working in the HEAT and humidity.  
See my clever solution to the donkeys destroying and pulling up one of the bushes?  GO HOGS! 
The dogs were really helping me get this project done.  At one point, I was literally putting down dirt all around Bubba Bear!
As soon as I finished, the wind started blowing and the temperature became bearable and a rain storm popped up!  Typical! ha!
None of my mulch washed away, so I'm happy!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Happy Saturday!

Cress by Marissa Meyer

The third book of the Lunar Chronicles series.  So far, so good!  Each book introduces a new character, but manages to keep alive all the past characters so they are all coming together. It is staying friendly to the young adult audience with content and has lots of action so the pace of the story line is good.  Starting the final book in the series today. :)

Summary from
Even in the future. there are damsels in distress...

In the third installment of the Lunar chronicles, Cress, having risked everything to warn Cinder of Queen Levana's evil plan, has a slight problem. She's been imprisoned on a satellite since childhood and has only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress a great hacker. Unfortunately, she's just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress involving Cinder, Captain Thorne, Scarlet, and Wolf goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes as a high price. Meanwhile, Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

Friday, June 24, 2016

I love summer!

I love that I can stay up late reading and sleep in until 7 am!  First thing, when I get up, I get to feed the kittens some breakfast and have playtime!  
Then I let the ladies and littles out of their coop/run for the day.  BIG chicken break through last night!!  For the past 2 1/2 weeks I have had to go outside after dark and move the littles one by one into the coop.  FINALLY, last night, they all went into the coop on their own!  Woohoo!
 Then, I actually have time to do some chores or tasks that need to get done and have been put off.  Yesterday's task was putting primer on the chicken pen gate.  I prefer the look of the natural barn wood, but it needs some protection.  Primer and then a coat of red paint to match the barn, coop and goat house is the plan.
 The wood just soaked up my primer and I only had enough to do the front gate.  I decided I was glad.  I'm not going to do the other gate.  I just love the way it looks natural and so it will stay that way and last as long as it lasts. :)
When the heat kicks in, we just try to stay cool and relax. :)

On the really, really high heat index days, the goats and chickens get their box fans.  Pop immediately starts trying to eat the string I use to tie the fan to the fence! ha!
 Throughout the day, we (by we, I mean me and the dogs) try to make our rounds and check on everyone.  Got water?  Staying cool?  Need a treat or a scratch?
The kittens are now coming out of the stall to explore the whole barn.  All the dogs have gotten to meet them and so far, so good with constant supervision and praise. :)
They have no fear.  Katniss is the braver of the two. Yesterday, she tried to show the rooster she was boss! LOL!  Mr. Rooster is supposed to be picked up tomorrow.  Fingers crossed.
Basically, the past two weeks have been bliss.  I am never certain what day of the week it is.  I am home with my fur and feathered kids.  I am getting little tasks knocked out.  I am reading and EVEN scrapbooking!  (I am SO behind!)  I needed this break.  It seemed like somehow life was getting too busy and out of control.  I am grateful for a job that allows me to "regroup" over the summer.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Random Farm Pics

The garden has suffered with Big Bear's knee surgery and our month long distraction of getting ready for the goats, but it looks like we will still get some tomatoes, purple hull peas, carrots and maybe some other goodies! :)
 We like to call this one, "Fishing for Goats". LOL!
Yesterday, I put the finishing paint touches on the goat shed.  All done!  Woohoo!

For some reason, this just cracked me up.  We were taking a break yesterday because of the heat and sitting under the fans on the front porch and all the inside furbabies needed a break too!  
This morning the donkeys would NOT get out of the barn while I was trying to let the kittens out to play.  So, I finally gave up and let them check each other out. It's funny to see a teeny tiny kitten hiss at what must seem like a giant donkey.  
A girl could get used to not working and just taking care of the farm critters all day.  Just sayin'....

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

In Chicken news...

Bless him.  My rotten, Bubba Bear, is a nightmare to train around new animals.  He is starting to do so much better though.  I like to go outside and sit under the shade tree and watch my chickens and have a little prayer time.  Bubba Bear has started laying at my feet and "keeping an eye" on the chickens too. LOL!  I have to give him credit though - twice now a chicken has slipped past me at the gate and gotten out.  Bubba Bear was, of course, right there with me and when I told him no, he sat down and just watched the action of me trying to chase the chicken back in the pen.  I know the whole time he was thinking, "I could really help you with that!" :)
And it turns out one of my Wyandotte pullets is a actually a Wyandotte rooster.  So, we began the search for this guy a new home this week.  I have two potential homes.  Just waiting on call backs.

For now he is in a crate in the barn and not too happy about being separated from his ladies.  But, he better just hope that one of these people call back in the next few days or he is "winner, winner, chicken dinner!" :)  He's going to be so pretty, so it would be a shame for him not to be a big daddy rooster somewhere.  
Look how big he is compared to the kitten...who has NO fear of him!

Scarlet by Marrisa Meyer

This is book 2 of The Lunar Chronicles.  I am still really liking this series.  It has really high reviews on goodreads, so go check it out.

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Goat Shed

 Last step of the goat shed started today!  The goats love their shed - especially when it's raining! :)  Today I started the last step making it match the barn and chicken coop! One side done today.  I will get the other two tomorrow.  And, surprisingly, the goats actually left me alone while I worked on it.  They love to have their noses in whatever you are doing.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

This is book 1 of the Lunar Chronicles series.  It is a young adult series that I have seen on the B&N "what teens are reading" table multiple times lately.  It's also been on my "to read" shelf for over a year.  I admit that from the description, I wasn't sure I was going to like it, but it surprised me.  It was a really good story with a main character that is very likeable.  If you have a teen or middle schooler looking for a summer read, I can recommend this as a safe read.  I have to think that even with the sci-fi element, it may be more of a winner for girls than boys though.  There is a slight fairy tale link to Cinderella.  I am moving on to book 2!  Yay!

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Surviving the HEAT!

 There has been a heat index of 110 degrees for the past 3 days here.  So, the chickens got a box fan. And, I go out and wet down the ground in the shade about twice a day.  
If the chickens get a fan, then the goats had to get one too!  Can't play favorites!
But the goats are still working.  You couldn't even SEE under these trees a month ago.  And look at Crackle in there, still working on clearing it all out.  Good goat!
And, of course, our newest additions have a box fan.  They are in a barn stall for now and there is a horse fan hooked up from the people before us.  So, these cuties have some air moving too.
Katniss appreciates it too!
Prim too! And myself because I go out there at least 3 or 4 times a day to sit with them and feed them and play. :)

This one doesn't need a box fan because he chills out in the A/C all day!  Rotten!
Donkeys are holding up good.  They are desert animals so the heat doesn't seem to bother them.  They roll in a good dust pile several times a day and keep a good layer of dirt on them to stay cool and keep the flies off.
My chickens are starting to really come together as one group.  I told Big Bear I had so many chickens now that I couldn't get them all in one frame for a picture! Ha!  We are about to be down one though.  We have another rooster.  Hope someone will take him because he's going to be pretty.  And the alternative is NOT pretty. :(
When the rooster leaves, we will have 5 silver laced Wyandotte's, 5 barred rocks, 3 Rhode Island Reds, and 2 banty's. :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: Comfort

Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse

This is a WWII setting young adult book.  It's a good story, but I felt like it could have gone a little deeper.  I would give a 3 1/2 out of 5 stars.  I would recommend this for my 5th graders and up.  There is only one very small section that made me cringe for the age group it is targeted for.  

Amsterdam, 1943. Hanneke spends her days procuring and delivering sought-after black market goods to paying customers, her nights hiding the true nature of her work from her concerned parents, and every waking moment mourning her boyfriend, who was killed on the Dutch front lines when the Germans invaded. She likes to think of her illegal work as a small act of rebellion.

On a routine delivery, a client asks Hanneke for help. Expecting to hear that Mrs. Janssen wants meat or kerosene, Hanneke is shocked by the older woman's frantic plea to find a person--a Jewish teenager Mrs. Janssen had been hiding, who has vanished without a trace from a secret room. Hanneke initially wants nothing to do with such dangerous work, but is ultimately drawn into a web of mysteries and stunning revelations that lead her into the heart of the resistance, open her eyes to the horrors of the Nazi war machine, and compel her to take desperate action.

Beautifully written, intricately plotted, and meticulously researched, Girl in the Blue Coat is an extraordinary, gripping novel from a bright new voice.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Goats & Kittens Tuesday

Nothing happening around here except cuteness, heat, and trying to stay cool.  Oh, and taking care of Big Bear after his knee surgery.  He is on the mend and doing better than I expected. :)
I cut down a few tree branches today and you would've thought it was Christmas!

Katniss and Prim started training for their hunting skills today. :)

Monday, June 13, 2016


And Prim
The soon-to-be dynamic duo of mouse slaying barn cats! :) Right now, they are just adorable, but soon they will be fearless and ruthless.  I can hear the mice packing their bags and moving already. LOL!
So far, they aren't much bigger than the mice and judging from the fact that a lizard of some sort is currently taking up residence in their litter box, they aren't "hunters" yet. LOL!
I'm a little nervous about the dangers an outside cat faces, but I'm giving the barn cat thing a try.  I'm hoping that starting them off small and living in a barn stall, they will think of the barn as their "main residence" and stay safely around it.  I know I've gotten to toughen up a bit with this whole farm business, but all these animals are my babies.  It's hard not to get attached.  Plus, I hold this verse close to my heart, "A righteous man cares for the needs of his animals. Proverbs 12:10"