Friday, December 1, 2017

Road Trip...Thanksgiving in Nashville

Thanksgiving morning, we turned the farm over to our farm sitter and hit the road to escape for a few days.  It was MUCH needed.  We have been so busy lately that we were just passing each other coming and going.  Nashville is about a 5 hour drive for us, so we were still on the road for the lunch hour and since Crackle Barrel had a line that seemed to wrap around the building, we opted to have Waffle House for Thanksgiving lunch! LOL!  
We were in Nashville by dinner and staying downtown in the midst of everything, so we went to explore the Honky Tonks and find food.  We had Thanksgiving dinner at Luigi's ... lasanga and pizza work just fine for me!
That night we walked around downtown and got a feel for where we wanted to explore further the next day.
For black Friday, there was no bargain insane shopping for us.  After breakfast at Puckett's, we walked around downtown and then explored the Johnny Cash museum. 

 We had lunch at Demo's.  Yummy pasta!!  Then, we took a little nap!  Then, the plan was to go to the Country Music Hall of Fame.  But it was 4 and they close at 5, so we opted to wait until morning.  However, we stumbled on a little concert in the lobby by Tracy Lawerance to kick off the lighting of the Christmas tree.  So we stayed for that! :)
We went to Acme Feed & Seed for dinner and that was cool because as we got our dinner, a band started playing.  They were fun!

Saturday morning, we toured the Country Music Hall of Fame.  Tim McGraw and Faith Hill had a display for the month and that was probably my favorite.  Also, more Johnny Cash and seeing one of Elvis' cars. :)

We decided Nashville might have a cool zoo, so why not get in the car and check it out?  So far, the car had not moved from the parking garage.  Big Bear did a great job of getting us a hotel right in the middle of everything.  But, the zoo was disappointing. 
The absolute BEST part of the trip was saved for last...the grand ole opry at the Ryman Auditorium!!!  Oh my goodness! I have NO words!!  It was just amazing!!
It was a lot to cram into 3 days, but it was a great trip!  I love a downtown that you feel safe walking around at night and has so much going on for everyone.  It was good to get away, but also good to get home.




The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

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Wow!  I love to see a first time author knock it out of the park!! This was a great read.  Its target audience is young adult (middle school to high school), but I think adults can read it too.  Makes you think...gives a perspective you may not have thought of before.  Just give it a try!  Read it. :)

Summary from goodreads.com:
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil's name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.
 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Oh happy day!

My niece (who moved to California about a year ago) is home for a week, and everyone is happy, happy, happy!!!  The horses are happy, the grandparents are happy, friends are happy, everyone is happy!  Poor girl is trying to fit all her family into basically 5 days, but she knows she is loved. :)  It did my heart good to be her paparazzi again today and get some pics of her with her horses.
(And bonus, her boyfriend is pretty awesome too!)



Monday, November 20, 2017

Have you...

hugged a goat today?  I highly recommend it! :)
Or, moved a freezer with your tractor?  LOL!


Rules by Cynthia Lord

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This is my book club book for the month with my library helpers.  I would easily recommend this to teachers for a read aloud or for higher elementary & middle school readers.  It was really good and I can't wait to discuss at our book lunch.  The brother in the story is autistic.  It seems like a good way to help relate to families with autism in the family.

Summary from amazon.com:
This 2007 Newbery Honor Book is a humorous and heartwarming debut about feeling different and finding acceptance. Now in After Words paperback!

Twelve-year-old Catherine just wants a normal life. Which is near impossible when you have a brother with autism and a family that revolves around his disability. She's spent years trying to teach David the rules from "a peach is not a funny-looking apple" to "keep your pants on in public"---in order to head off David's embarrassing behaviors.
But the summer Catherine meets Jason, a surprising, new sort-of friend, and Kristi, the next-door friend she's always wished for, it's her own shocking behavior that turns everything upside down and forces her to ask: What is normal?

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Redneck Shelter

Here's the deal...the big goats don't use their shed at night.  They lay out on the ground.  Regardless.  Unless it's raining.  Then, they will use the shed.  Now, they won't let Kix (the baby goat) in the shed.  But, I wanted him to have a safe place, so I put the dog crate by a tree where they all lay and he started sleeping in it.  So then I thought, as it gets colder, how can I block the wind and make it warmer?
I tried first to wrap it in cardboard, didn't work.  The goats immediately started ripping at the cardboard and eating it! LOL!
So, I covered the holes with duct tape...
Put a board on the south side.

 Cardboard being destroyed...
Now, I needed to block wind on north side...I wanted to cover the duct tape so they didn't eat it off.  Enter another board...now how to connect?  Ratchet strap?  
Nope, in the end, I got another shorter board and connected all of them to make a box of protection around the crate.  I crawled in and no wind.  He should be as snug as a bug in a rug!  Extra straw was added but they all freaking ate it! I swear!  I can't win! LOL!
And there you have it, a redneck goat shelter! :)

The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman

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I just could not get into this book.  It was my Book of the Month Club pick this month and I had high hopes.  It is the prequel to Practical Magic.  It has good reviews.  Maybe it was just me.  I couldn't connect with the characters.  I wasn't "invested" in the story.  I would pass on this one...

Summary from goodreads.com:
Find your magic

For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man.

Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique. Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people’s thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk.

From the start Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse.

The Owens children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart. The two beautiful sisters will grow up to be the revered, and sometimes feared, aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy.
 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Wishtree by Katherine Applegate

59
This is an easy read - only 211 pages.  I really do like this author and I enjoyed this story.  My issue with it is that I thought it missed the opportunity to go a little deeper.  It has VERY high ratings and has multiple discussion/teaching moments in it if you are doing it as a read aloud for a classroom or with a child.  But it could have been so much more!

Summary from amazon.com:
The New York Times-bestselling story of kindness, friendship, and hope. 

Red is an oak tree who is many rings old. Red is the neighborhood "wishtree"―people write their wishes on pieces of cloth and tie them to Red's branches. Along with her crow friend Bongo and other animals who seek refuge in Red's hollows, this "wishtree" watches over the neighborhood.
You might say Red has seen it all. Until a new family moves in. Not everyone is welcoming, and Red's experiences as a wishtree are more important than ever.
Funny, deep, warm, and nuanced, Wishtree is Newbery Medalist and New York Times–bestselling author Katherine Applegate at her very best―writing from the heart, and from a completely unexpected point of view.
This book has Common Core connections.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Hay!

Today was a hay run day!  It's almost time for daily hay and our hay supply comes from my parent's farm in Beebe.  So...we had to run while we could. 
I absolutely love the beauty at my parent's place... 

We made our quick trip and made it home with no rain to get the hay into the barn!

Almost as soon as we were stopped, we were surrounded by chickens and donkeys! I'm sure if the gate had been open, the goats would have inspected too! LOL!
Stacked and ready...
Elly May says, "Wait!  I think you missed some!"
No really, let me get this for you! 
After dealing with hay, we had a disappointing bee inspection...lots of ants and hive beetles.  Going to the bee store tomorrow to trouble shoot!
 Updates to come...

Goats of Anarchy by Leanne Lauricella

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Feel good book of the year!!  Loved it!  If you love animal rescue or goats, you will love it too!  If you just love pictures of goats, follow them on Instagram!  I just love her story of how she had a vision and a dream and made it happen.  We should all be inspired to take risks. 

Summary from amazon.com:
Get ready to party—the goats are back in town! Based on the popular Instagram account, Goats of
Anarchy takes you on a tour of Leanne’s goat rescue farm, a place where special-needs goats can heal, grow, and butt heads to their hearts’ content.

Join Pocket, Ella, Chibs, Lyla, Prospect and Polly--the goat who took the Internet by storm with her adorable duck costume--as they rumble, snuggle, pig out, dress up, and even teach you a few goat yoga moves to loosen your haunches. Whether they’re learning to walk or just romping around the farm, these horned and hooved heartbreakers will have you grinning ear to ear as they chew the scenery—literally!

When she left New York City for the wilds of New Jersey in 2011, Leanne Lauricella knew nothing about animal sanctuaries. She started her Instagram account, @goatsofanarchy, shortly after getting her first two goats, Jax and Opie. Today, Leanne’s Instagram has over 280,000 followers, and is the winner of the 2016 People’s Voice Webby Award for Animal-Based Social Media Account.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

This Week...

The beginning of the week started with Big Bear getting to go to his first NFL game.  He was, of course, the tailgate cook! :)  He had a blast and deserved it after the crazy work month he had!!
Meanwhile, back at the farm, this little baby goat is looking good!! 
And a week ago, I posted winter was here and we had baby goat bundled up in the barn.  Well, this week brought summer!  Crazy weather!  80's and humid!!  
In donkey land, we have been letting them stay out and have free run of the place at night since it's high predator time.  As long as they behave, we will continue. LOL!  They can't stay out of trouble long...and it does make you stop in your tracks when you see the "white ghost" staring in the backdoor!
Oh, and baby goat finally got a name!! Kix! :)
The chickens are slowing down in production but the eggs are still looking good!
And this...this right here...it's my bliss!  My happy place.  Makes my heart full.

Lie to Me by J.T. Ellison

57
This is one of those roller coaster rides of a book.  I was hooked from the beginning and knew it was going to have a twist but couldn't see where it was headed.  Loved it!  Gave it 5 stars on goodreads.  If you love a good thriller, this one won't disappoint.

Summary from goodreads.com:
They built a life on lies 

Sutton and Ethan Montclair’s idyllic life is not as it appears. The couple seems made for each other, but the truth is ugly. Consumed by professional and personal betrayals and financial woes, the two both love and hate each other. As tensions mount, Sutton disappears, leaving behind a note saying not to look for her.

Ethan finds himself the target of vicious gossip as friends, family and the media speculate on what really happened to Sutton Montclair. As the police investigate, the lies the couple have been spinning for years quickly unravel. Is Ethan a killer? Is he being set up? Did Sutton hate him enough to kill the child she never wanted and then herself? The path to the answers is full of twists that will leave the reader breathless.
 

Saturday, October 28, 2017

The Queen and The Cure by Amy Harmon

56
I love this author!!  I have yet to read anything by her that I haven't liked. This book is actually book #2 in a series she is writing called The Bird and the Sword Chronicles.  However, it has been many books ago since I read the first one, and I only remembered bits and pieces.  That's ok.  This can actually be read without reading the first one and still make sense.  Be warned if you only like realistic fiction that this is fantasy fiction.  And for some reason, I can never find her books at B&N so if you are interested, check it out on Amazon. 

Summary from amazon.com:
There will be a battle, and you will need to protect your heart.


Kjell of Jeru had always known who he was. He'd never envied his brother or wanted to be king. He was the bastard son of the late King Zoltev and a servant girl, and the ignominy of his birth had never bothered him. 

But there is more to a man than his parentage. More to a man than his blade, his size, or his skills, and all that Kjell once knew has shifted and changed. He is no longer simply Kjell of Jeru, a warrior defending the crown. Now he is a healer, one of the Gifted, and a man completely at odds with his power. 

Called upon to rid the country of the last vestiges of the Volgar, Kjell stumbles upon a woman who has troubling glimpses of the future and no memory of the past. Armed with his unwanted gift and haunted by regret, Kjell becomes a reluctant savior, beset by old enemies and new expectations. With the woman by his side, Kjell embarks upon a journey where the greatest test may be finding the man she believes him to be.

Winter has come!

Arkansas weather...70 one day and 30 degrees the next.  Yesterday afternoon was spent preparing all my babies for a cold, cold night.  I got the barn stall all ready for baby goat.  Sadly he will be by himself for awhile longer.  His buddy is that we got him for is not doing well. :(
Unless...it looks like he could share with the donkeys if he wanted! LOL!
I even made him a raised bed yesterday.  Love putting some old pallets to use! :)
He took right to it.  I loaded it up with hay so he could bed down and eat the night away.
Goats have extra hay.  Baby goat has a warm stall.  Coops are all covered to block the wind.  Extra bedding laid down in them as well.

We aren't going to like the cold, but we are ready. I think...
I'm about to bundle up and go out and check on everyone.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Happy Friday!

Smile!  It's an adorable baby goat!! :)

Wish by Barbara O'Connor

55
This is my first book club book this year with my library helpers.  I thought it was a cute story that kept my attention.  Now, I will edit this post to let you know how the 4th and 5th graders review it after our book club meeting on Monday. :)  But it is definitely appropriate for elementary level students.  I would recommend for 3rd - 5th graders.

Summary from goodreads.com:
Eleven-year-old Charlie Reese has been making the same secret wish every day since fourth grade. She even has a list of all the ways there are to make the wish, such as cutting off the pointed end of a slice of pie and wishing on it as she takes the last bite. But when she is sent to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina to live with family she barely knows, it seems unlikely that her wish will ever come true. That is until she meets 
Wishbone, a skinny stray dog who captures her heart, and Howard, a neighbor boy who proves surprising in lots of ways. Suddenly Charlie is in serious danger of discovering that what she thought she wanted may not be what she needs at all.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Sparkle the Unicorn!

So, my last post, we went to the fair to watch the goats on Sunday.  Rescued a baby goat on Monday and then on Thursday, this happened...
It's all gone to the goats! LOL!  
Pop the Goat (best goat EVER) was transformed again into Sparkle the Unicorn. 
I figured since he acted like a dog, why not transport him like a dog?

I had a rubber mat down, one of those quilted covers down and a big piece of cardboard.  It did the trick.  On the way there, no accidents and he would have made it all the way home too but we had to stop at David's Burgers and grab something to eat.  NOW that was entertaining...going through a drive thru with a pink goat in your car! LOL!

It was the school's fall carnival and every carnival needs a unicorn!  
There are days like this that I praise God for sending me the husband he did!!  I don't know many who would come off a long day of catering a big event and help paint a goat and take him to a carnival.  He's a keeper!

This might be my favorite of the night...sheep and goats! :)

Pop was so good!  It didn't matter how many kids were around him.  He just posed for pictures, let them love on him and of course, ate the bushes and trimmed the grass! :)

Another successful event...but I think it will be awhile before we go on the road again.  Although we did get another request. :)
Now, help me count down the days until baby goats companion gets here so he has a buddy!!  Still stuck on names...