Saturday, July 30, 2016

Around the Farm...

I pray nothing happens to these barn cats and that they don't leave the safety of our 10 acres, because I have grown quite attached to their daily cuteness.  
Oh, just throwing crickets to the chickens...cause it's fun! :)
 This red right here...she is the head boss lady and has been renamed "Bully".  "Hey lady!  What are you looking at?!?" 
 Be still my heart!
Crackle...he is still standoffish, and all I want to do is cuddle him! LOL!  He is the first to love his new toys though. 
These two...never miss a thing! :)
Just exactly whose water bowl is this?!?
Prim follows me everywhere and "helps" with all the chores...including new bedding for the nesting boxes.
I really am trying to wrap my head around the fact that my peace filled days with all my babies are coming to an end.  I love our little farm and would happily spend every day here.  I went to meet a friend for lunch yesterday and realized my car hadn't moved in over a week.  And I am ok with that! :)  But, the real world begins again soon and I must be grateful for a job that gives me a summer off to re-energize and refresh.  It will take a few weeks for all of us to adjust to me being back at work, but the bills must be paid somehow. :)

Descent by Tim Johnston

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Could.not.stop.reading!  Loved it!  Not at all what I expected, but it grabs you and won't let go.  READ IT!

Overview from Barnes and Noble:
The Rocky Mountains have cast their spell over the Courtlands, who are taking a family vacation before their daughter leaves for college. But when Caitlin and her younger brother, Sean, go out for an early morning run and only Sean returns, the mountains become as terrifying as they are majestic. 
 
Written with a precision that captures every emotion, every moment of fear, as each member of the family searches for answers, Descent races like an avalanche toward its heart-pounding conclusion.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Goat Land


What's happening in the world of our spoiled goats?
I found a better solution to their see saw so the board would stop falling off the log. (Longer log so it doesn't slip off the side.)  Now, they can see saw and I don't have to go out there and keep putting the board back on the log for them! :)  

My brother had some pallets laying around at his house so of course, I immediately thought of the goats and asked if I could have them.  Last night, we started on the playground expansion.
Pop and Snap immediately jumped up there before we were even finished!!
Pop soon figured out he could reach into the tree above him!!!  
After a little brainstorming session on how to add a ramp...well, as soon as I added it and stepped back, Crackle said, "thank you". :)
Follow the leader!
Back off little ones!  This is MINE! LOL!
These guys all play hard, but they work hard too. It's fun giving them things to play on and watching them clean up the acre they are calling home. :)
Goats are fun!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Escaped!

With Big Bear's knee surgery at the beginning of summer, it really put a damper on our camping season.  But these past few days, we were finally able to get away for a few days.  At the last minute, we even extended it an extra night.  Our reserved spot wasn't available for one more night, so we moved sites when we got there.  We gave up our favorite site, but ended up right next door! :)

We took Bubba Bear with us for the first few days.  And, we pretty much just fished, relaxed, and played games.  I cannot beat my husband at dominos or baggo!  Ever.

 I may not beat him at games, but fishing is another story! :)
Truth be told, we both caught multiple "littles" like the one above, but since I am the only one who caught a big fella, well, I win! :)
 We left after church on Sunday and came home on Tuesday for a catering and then went back another night, so we got to switch out kids!  This trip Bubba Bear got a turn and Stella too!
Meanwhile, back at the farm, everyone was spoiled rotten by our AWESOME house/farm sitter! :)  We are all blessed to have her and it is SO nice to get away and not have to worry about all my babies because I know they are in good hands.
Shouse Ford - site 79 - July 24-27

The Girls by Emma Cline

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I started this book yesterday and finished it tonight.  I had no idea what to expect.  It was my pick from the book of the month club selections for July.  It takes a little bit to get accustomed to the writing style but after the first 50 pages, I was hooked.  Or maybe fascinated is a better description.  It is set in the summer of '69 and historical fiction based on the cult of Manson.  It's probably not for everyone and certainly not for the younger readers, but I really liked it.

Summary from Barnes and Noble:
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • An indelible portrait of girls, the women they become, and that moment in life when everything can go horribly wrong—this stunning first novel is perfect for readers of Jeffrey Eugenides’s The Virgin Suicides and Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad.
Northern California, during the violent end of the 1960s. At the start of summer, a lonely and thoughtful teenager, Evie Boyd, sees a group of girls in the park, and is immediately caught by their freedom, their careless dress, their dangerous aura of abandon. Soon, Evie is in thrall to Suzanne, a mesmerizing older girl, and is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader. Hidden in the hills, their sprawling ranch is eerie and run down, but to Evie, it is exotic, thrilling, charged—a place where she feels desperate to be accepted. As she spends more time away from her mother and the rhythms of her daily life, and as her obsession with Suzanne intensifies, Evie does not realize she is coming closer and closer to unthinkable violence.
Emma Cline’s remarkable debut novel is gorgeously written and spellbinding, with razor-sharp precision and startling psychological insight. The Girls is a brilliant work of fiction.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

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So I am a little late to the ballgame on this one.  This book has been around a while and I just now read it.  I thought it started off a little slow but then I was hooked.  The life of a Geisha is fascinating and some of the characters were infuriating!!  I had a misconception going in about what this book was about.  I had the wrong idea of a Geisha.  I also thought it was set during WWII, but that era played just a very short role.  I found myself slowing down toward the end because I wasn't ready for it to be over.  That's the sign of a good book! :)

Summary from BarnesandNoble.com:
Memoirs of a Geisha is the sort of novel that novel-lovers yearn for, which is to say, so convincing that while reading it you become transported to another time, and other place, and feel you're listening and seeing with someone else's eats and eyes.' - Margaret Forster
Previously unavailable in hardback outside the USA, this remarkable novel has caught the imagination of millions of readers. It tells, as if in her own words, the extraordinary story of a geisha girl - a seductive and evocative epic on an intimate scale. Summoning up more than twenty-five years of Japan's dramatic history, the novel opens a window onto a half-hidden world of eroticism and enchantment, exploitation and degradation.
Chiyo is born a fisherman's daughter in a village on the Sea of Japan, where she might have lived a drab and uneventful life - but for her startling grey eyes. In 1929, at the age of nine, she is sold into a kind of slavery as servant and apprentice to a renowned geisha house. In the glamorous and decadent heart of Kyoto she discovers an alien world. This is the world where Hatsumomo, petite and deadly, is principal geisha; where Auntie, who looks like a knobbly bamboo pole, is kind but ineffectual; and pipe-smoking Mother controls them all like a repulsive spider from the center of her web.
Chiyo learns to be careful in her words, her actions and her choice of friends. Through petty miseries, farcical moments, great pain and one man's act of kindness, she begins her transformation into Sayuri, one of the most sought-after geisha of the Gion district. Her good fortune is to be taken on as 'younger sister' and apprentice by a successful geisha who teaches her the arts of her profession -n not only dancing and singing, but how to drape the kimono, how to apply the elaborate make-up, how to walk and talk and pour tea, how to beguile the most powerful men. But then war breaks out and, to survive, Sayuri must transform herself once more. Finally she takes a calculated risk which could mean disgrace, or the realization of an impossible dream - the tenuous hope that has kept her spirit intact and aloof, even from drunken patrons and the auction of her much-prized virginity.
Many years later, Sayuri tells her own story from the Walforf Astoria in New York, her tone controlled and ambivalent, funny and poignant, as she recaptures the exquisite scenes, behind the rice-paper screens, where young girls learn the age-old art of the geisha.
Arthur Golden's remarkably poised and beautifully written first novel brings this strange, exotic existence to the page as never before. Memoir of the Geisha grips the reader from the very first and leaves the unforgettable imprint of one woman's life at another time and in another place.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Happy HEAT wave Friday!

May we all take a lesson from Prim's book and have a relaxing weekend! LOL!  This little barn cat called Prim is a stinker!  The past two nights she has escaped the barn stall and the closed up barn.  So, before I would like to, I guess it's time to leave the barn cracked at night for them.  I really have no choice.  She can get out under the big sliding door by pushing it out from the inside but then gets stuck outside.  It's better for her to be able to come and go than get trapped outside.  Luckily, her sister, Katniss doesn't follow her everywhere so at least they aren't both looking for trouble. :)  She's going to be a handful!
Happy Weekend!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

110 in the SHADE!

What happens around here when it is unbearably HOT?  Today my phone app says it is 114 heat index at 4:00!!!  Holy HOTNESS!
So, all the water buckets are full to the brim...& the goats have a fan going at full blast. :)
And, I throw them some tree branches so they can chill in the shade and chow down with the fan on them!  Spoiled much?
The chickens have 3 water sources all full and a box fan on them.
The kittens have two water sources and lots of shade and some hiding places that keep them cool.
Oh and of course, a box fan of their own! :)
The donkeys have 4 water sources, shade and dirt to roll in to make them happy!
That feels good! 
The dogs "assist" in getting everyone ready to hunker down and are quickly ready to get in the A/C!!
Ruby Rue holds down the fort and one paw doesn't even grace the outdoors in this heat. LOL!
And then today about noon, the power went out and no one had a fan or A/C for about an hour and half!!!  
I still love summer though! :)

The Bird and the Sword by Amy Harmon

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My only complaint about this book was that it wasn't long enough.  I wanted to read more! :)  If you aren't afraid of a little fantasy fiction, read this book.  I believe this is this author's first fantasy fiction novel and she did an outstanding job in my opinion.  I loved the characters and the story.  (This is an adult book, not young adult.)

Summary:
Swallow, daughter, pull them in, those words that sit upon your lips. Lock them deep inside your soul, hide them 'til they've time to grow. Close your mouth upon the power, curse not, cure not, 'til the hour. You won't speak and you won't tell, you won't call on heaven or hell. You will learn and you will thrive. Silence, daughter. Stay alive. 
The day my mother was killed, she told my father I wouldn't speak again, and she told him if I died, he would die too. Then she predicted the king would sell his soul and lose his son to the sky. 
My father has a claim to the throne, and he is waiting in the shadows for all of my mother's words to come to pass. He wants desperately to be king, and I just want to be free. 
But freedom will require escape, and I'm a prisoner of my mother's curse and my father's greed. I can't speak or make a sound, and I can't wield a sword or beguile a king. In a land purged of enchantment, love might be the only magic left, and who could ever love . . . a bird?

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Chicken Wings

Two of my "littles" kept flying the coop...just thinking they could run around where ever they wanted and not stay in the safety of the chicken pen until it was time to free range.  Well, I decided it was time for a little chicken wing clipping!  First wings I've had to clip.  Everyone else stays where they are supposed to...hmmm.
Turns out clipping wings is SUPER easy.  Hardest part is catching them!! LOL!
You just spread their wing out and you can easily tell the difference between the meat of the wing and the extra feathers.  You don't clip on the meat...just trim off the feathers past the meat.
It's like when we clip our toenails.  They can't feel a thing. :)
Presto!  So far, no more escaping chickens.  I have decided not to clip them all.  It's just your fate if you decide to "fly the coop".  
Some people apparently clip both wings, but the majority of the people seem to think clipping one side and making them lopsided is the best route, so that's what I did.

The Master Life: The Disciple's Mission

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This book was the hardest of the four for me.  It could have been the content, but it was most likely the fact that I was on summer break for the majority of it and out of my routine and not really around people to "minister" to...
This was a pretty intense 4 book (25 week study) that I really feel like I accomplished something by taking.  I do admit that the first book was my favorite though. :)

Summary:
MasterLife 4: Disciple's Mission by Avery T. Willis, Jr. completes the series of MasterLife studies. This six-week study helps Christians understand how to be on mission with God and to help others develop growing relationships with Christ. Topics include righting wrong relationships, witnessing through relationships, nurturing new Christians, maturing as a disciple, making disciples, and developing co-laborers with a kingdom perspective.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Summer Scrap Camp!

This was the 4th year in a row that my BFF and I met up and scrapbooked for a weekend in the camper.  Big Bear is so good to set up the camper every year for us in 100 degree temperatures!!  Then, we load it up with all our scrapping supplies to the point you can barely move in the camper! LOL!
The past 3 years, we have stayed at a KOA site right off the interstate.  It was way more expensive and had full hook-up's and a pool, but we never leave the camper.  So, this year, we tried a new place.  LOVED it!  Maumelle Park on the river.  We were right by a boat dock and the view was so much better.  (We don't leave the camper but I do look out the window during the day! ha!)
Saturday night, Big Bear even came by and cooked us a steak dinner.  He loves cooking for people that much (and hates being home by himself! ha)
This is our worst picture ever!  Note to self: always get picture on the first day.  It was hot outside and  I am so overdue for a hair cut that I have no words to explain what is happening in this picture! 
Priceless time together though where we can get caught up on life uninterrupted.
My page count...I was a machine!!
Friday = 19 pages
Saturday = 43 pages
Sunday = 16 pages
Total = 78 pages!!!!  Woohoo!! 

July 15th - July 17th - Maumelle Park - site A16

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Snap, Crackle, Pop!

 All my goats are in a row...how about yours? :)


Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia

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Every summer I try to read a few books from my library so I can book talk with the kids when school starts back.  I really enjoyed this book and it would make a GREAT classroom read aloud because there are multiple topics that could lead to in-depth classroom discussions - it is set in Alabama in the late 1960's.  Great family history to discuss.  I can see timelines being made...maybe I should just book talk this one to my teachers! :)

Summary from amazon.com:
The Coretta Scott King Award–winning Gone Crazy in Alabama by Newbery Honor and New York Times bestselling author Rita Williams-Garcia tells the story of the Gaither sisters as they travel from the streets of Brooklyn to the rural South for the summer of a lifetime.
Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern are off to Alabama to visit their grandmother Big Ma and her mother, Ma Charles. Across the way lives Ma Charles’s half sister, Miss Trotter. The two half sisters haven’t spoken in years. As Delphine hears about her family history, she uncovers the surprising truth that’s been keeping the sisters apart. But when tragedy strikes, Delphine discovers that the bonds of family run deeper than she ever knew possible.
Powerful and humorous, this companion to the award-winning One Crazy Summer and P.S. Be Eleven will be enjoyed by fans of the first two books, as well as by readers meeting these memorable sisters for the first time.