Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Beekeeping videos! :)

The first video is just for those who are afraid of the bee hive to see how close I can get while Big Bear is inspecting the hive.  I don't have a bee suit on and they completely leave me alone.

The second video shows how to feed the bees sugar water in the top feeder.   I love this new hobby of his! :)

All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

It's not that I didn't like this book.  It's a good book.  I just had issues with how it was told in reverse.  Made it harder to follow and read.  Each chapter came with a "the day before" ... I don't know.  I give a 3.5 out of 5.  Leaning closer to 3 than 4.  I will say that I didn't see the "who done it" part coming! :)

Summary from
Like the spellbinding psychological suspense in The Girl on the Train and Luckiest Girl Alive, Megan Miranda’s novel is a nail-biting, breathtaking story about the disappearances of two young women—a decade apart—told in reverse.

It’s been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace. Back again to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, Nic is soon plunged into a shocking drama that reawakens Corinne’s case and breaks open old wounds long since stitched.

The decade-old investigation focused on Nic, her brother Daniel, boyfriend Tyler, and Corinne’s boyfriend Jackson. Since then, only Nic has left Cooley Ridge. Daniel and his wife, Laura, are expecting a baby; Jackson works at the town bar; and Tyler is dating Annaleise Carter, Nic’s younger neighbor and the group’s alibi the night Corinne disappeared. Then, within days of Nic’s return, Annaleise goes missing.

Told backwards—Day 15 to Day 1—from the time Annaleise goes missing, Nic works to unravel the truth about her younger neighbor’s disappearance, revealing shocking truths about her friends, her family, and what really happened to Corinne that night ten years ago.

Like nothing you’ve ever read before, All the Missing Girls delivers in all the right ways. With twists and turns that lead down dark alleys and dead ends, you may think you’re walking a familiar path, but then Megan Miranda turns it all upside down and inside out and leaves us wondering just how far we would be willing to go to protect those we love.

Monday, June 26, 2017

The Wall Came Down!

For the past week, I have had the little's moved into the chicken pen area.  I had a temporary fence put up to keep them separated from the big's for one more week while I fed them all treats at the fence twice a day.  That way they were eating "together" but had the safety of the fence separating them.
Last night after I closed the coop doors, I took the temporary fence down so that this morning they would all be together from the beginning.
Look at all those pretty chickens (20 for those trying to count). LOL!  In my big's there are 4 Wyandotte's, 3 barred rocks and 3 Rhode Island Red's. In my little's there are 5 Easter Eggers, 3 Buff Orphington's and 2 Blue Copper Maran's.
Here they are...within minutes of being together.  Bully and Becky With the Good Hair are the only two being mean.  Everyone else could care less.

Bubba Bear says, "You need me to help supervise this situation?" LOL!

Week 3 of Summer Break!

This week was relatively quiet...only ONE major chore. :)
Cross the following off the list:
*Garden weeded
*Started collecting some yummy's
*Sunday was Father's Day and we went to the lake to see my brother's new lake cabin with my parents.  Awesome place!! It was raining though, so no pictures.
*Moved the little's to their new area in the chicken run
*Extended chicken run further into goat area
*Put up temporary fence to keep big's and little's separated for one more week
*Wednesday, my dad had surgery and I sat at hospital with my mom ALL day!  
*Had a job interview
*Lunch with old friends
*Bubba Bear turned 5!!  5!!!!  How does time fly like that!?!
*Friday  I had a professional development meeting all day! (only one all summer!)
I had intentions of sitting home at least two days and doing nothing.  I haven't accomplished that yet.  But maybe this week! :)

Friday, June 23, 2017

Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner

Perfect example of "don't judge a book by its cover".  I would not have chosen to read this based on the cover, but someone recommended it to me and it turned out to be a WWII setting.  That is typically one of my favorite genres and this book did not disappoint.  I can easily recommend this to anyone and gave it 5 stars on goodreads.  I don't think you will be disappointed.

Summary from
Current day, Oxford, England. Young American scholar Kendra Van Zant, eager to pursue her vision of a perfect life, interviews Isabel McFarland just when the elderly woman is ready to give up secrets about the war that she has kept for decades...beginning with who she really is. What Kendra receives from Isabel is both a gift and a burden—one that will test her convictions and her heart.

1940s, England. As Hitler wages an unprecedented war against London’s civilian population, hundreds of thousands of children are evacuated to foster homes in the rural countryside. But even as fifteen-year-old Emmy Downtree and her much younger sister Julia find refuge in a charming Cotswold cottage, Emmy’s burning ambition to return to the city and apprentice with a fashion designer pits her against Julia’s profound need for her sister’s presence. Acting at cross purposes just as the Luftwaffe rains down its terrible destruction, the sisters are cruelly separated, and their lives are transformed...

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Go for it!

Pop says, "Aim high!  Don't be afraid to reach for your goals!"
Bully says, "If you see something you want, don't afraid to grab it!" LOL!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Another Chicken Project!

Today was the day we moved the little's chicken coop to its permanent spot in the chicken pen...did I mention, I also decided to extend the chicken pen while we were at it? I thought we could whip this project in no time.  (3 1/2 hours later...we were done!)
The temporary spot in the backyard where they have been:
First step, catch all 10 chickens!  But I was smart and said, "Let's start FIRST thing in the morning before I let them out of the coop so I can catch them in a small space."  Bingo!  Chickens were given water and a shady spot to wait out the set up of their new home!
Next, take down temporary fence that I had up with zip ties! :-)
Hook up the coop with chains to 4-wheeler.  Pray it works!
It DID!!  I drove the coop from our backyard all the way around the front yard, through the goat pen and into the new area!!  Woohoo!!  The bottom of the coop is set on what looks like gliders.
Set T-posts...this time we set one extra because the last time we had two and the goats rub on it constantly.  
Always trying to outsmart somebody around here!  The goats were busting the fence from the post before so we tried to put reinforcement over the fence to help it hold up against that goat weight scratching! LOL!
For the first hour and half everyone stayed a good distance away.  Unsure of what was happening.  But we took too long and soon the helpers ARRIVED!  And, they arrived about the time our patience had worn out! Ha!
Fence up, level up coop, and then I put a temporary fence up between the little's new area and the big girls area.  They have been looking at each other through a fence for two months but now the little's are in the big girl's territory.  Game changer!  
And, then the helpers just went too far!  
Seriously?  The whole box!!  
I persevered! Next step, clean out coop and move food and water over.  Almost ready!!
And, then a big girl got in the little's coop and two more got in the wheelbarrow and almost had it tipped over before I caught it.  At this point, I think I lost it and said some bad words!!!
But even with all the "help", it finally got finished and we were able to release the little's into their permanent home space. They have much more shade and grass and were happily scratching and eating bugs in no time.
Their fluffy butts are happy!!
And for the next two weeks, they will eat scratch right next to each other (big's and little's).  Then, in two weeks the little's will get to free range with the big's.  And, I predict a few weeks after that, we will be getting some gorgeous colored eggs! :)
Look at all those pretty chickens! :)

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Week 2 of Summer Break :)

Sunday was church and then visiting a friend's church on Sunday night because John 3:16 Ministries was there.  Kevin got up and spoke at the end...made me cry and it's not easy to make me cry. Love this ministry. 
This week was less about chores and more about relaxing.  We went camping and fishing Monday through Wednesday.  Much needed and deserved.

Thursday the Arkansas humidity hit and the goats and chickens got their fans. LOL!
Friday, I went shopping with my mom, my Granny and my two aunts.  Nice family day...even though I am NOT a shopper!  I did manage a quick trip to B&N though. :)
Saturday was dedicated the garden.  We picked, we hoed, we tilled, we pulled, we watered, we nurtured.  We hurt! LOL!  It's work, but it's so cool when the majority of our meal comes from our land. 

The forecast for week 3 looks like chicken chore related. :)  

The Sisters Chase by Sarah Healy

This is a tough one to review.  If I give a book 5 stars, that means you MUST READ it, a 4 means you should really read this book, 3 means it was ok and 2 usually means I hated it.  This one would fall into the 3.5 category.  It was good.  I enjoyed the story, but you won't be missing out on a must-read if you skip it.  Does that make sense?  I was never bored even though I did predict the "twist".  That ending though...I do wish for a happy ending, but that's not always real life either.   I have to let you read the summary on this one and decide for yourself if you want to pick it up.  It was one of my two Book of the Month Club picks for June. :)

Summary from
The hardscrabble Chase women—Mary, Hannah, and their mother Diane—have been eking out a living running a tiny seaside motel that has been in the family for generations, inviting trouble into their lives for just as long. Eighteen-year-old Mary Chase is a force of nature: passionate, beautiful, and free-spirited. Her much younger sister, Hannah, whom Mary affectionately calls “Bunny,” is imaginative, her head full of the stories of princesses and adventures that Mary tells to give her a safe emotional place in the middle of their troubled world.

But when Diane dies in a car accident, Mary discovers the motel is worth less than the back taxes they owe. With few options, Mary’s finely tuned instincts for survival kick in. As the sisters begin a cross-country journey in search of a better life, she will stop at nothing to protect Hannah. But Mary wants to protect herself, too, for the secrets she promised she would never tell—but now may be forced to reveal—hold the weight of unbearable loss. Vivid and suspenseful, The Sisters Chase is a whirlwind page-turner about the extreme lengths one family will go to find—and hold onto—love.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Break from Reality

I have been off work for a week but Big Bear has been BUSY and go, go, go!  We finally had a few days with nothing on the agenda and took the camper out.  We went to our favorite spot on Lake DeGray at Shouse Ford.  It was just what we needed...REST and RELAXATION! :)
We had a friend that just bought a camper that was at a campground nearby and visited them, ate good food, played cards, fished, napped and just let the world go by. 
Camping breakfast is one of my favorite things
Our view from our site
For once we tied (1 to 1)...and they were too small to keep.  My fishing mojo was off.  I stayed tangled up and breaking my line more than anything else! LOL!
We found this awesome swimming hole while we looking for coves to fish in!  Beautiful and had it all to ourselves.  There was a campground nearby with no electric hook up's so it was completely empty.  SCORE!
The only downside to our trip is that usually we go during the week and there aren't many campers.  It looked like a weekend.  We have never seen it so crowded.  And, it was Monday - Wednesday.  CrAzY!
My view out the door as I laid in bed this morning...Ahhh!

Until next time...
Monday, June 12th to Wednesday, June 14th - Shouse Ford #77

You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott

Something about this book had me hooked from the beginning.  I love it when a book keeps me guessing.  I was also fascinated with the family dynamic and how everything centered around the gymnast daughter.  I know this isn't a stretch for some families.  I can easily recommend this murder mystery to anyone. 

Summary from goodreads:
Katie and Eric Knox have dedicated their lives to their fifteen-year-old daughter Devon, a gymnastics prodigy and Olympic hopeful. But when a violent death rocks their close-knit gymnastics community just weeks before an all-important competition, everything the Knoxes have worked so hard for feels suddenly at risk. As rumors swirl among the other parents, revealing hidden plots and allegiances, Katie tries frantically to hold her family together while also finding herself drawn, irresistibly, to the crime itself, and the dark corners it threatens to illuminate. From a writer with "exceptional gifts for making nerves jangle and skin crawl," (Janet Maslin) You Will Know Me is a breathless rollercoaster of a novel about the desperate limits of desire, jealousy, and ambition. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Farm Life :)

This pretty much sums up a Saturday night on the farm! LOL!  Exciting times according to 'ole Rex. :)

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Week 1 Successful Summer Break!

Week 1 is in the books and I have been a busy bee!
- cleaned & organized barn
-installed shelving in tack room
-cleaned out gutters
-power washed house
-power washed camper
-cleaned inside of camper
-rehomed banty chickens
-helped find 2 other chickens find new home
-made a new front porch sign
-painted table on front porch
-played bunko for first time! :)
-organized scrapbook desk
-helped Big Bear cater
-caught up on business books
New front porch area - the star was my bunko prize and I made the sign this week
finally got my little table painted red :)
Big Bear has been a fish frying machine!
Getting her ready to come out of the "winter storage"...
And still had time to hang out with my awesome goats! :-)  

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

This book has really high reviews and WWII historical fiction is probably my favorite genre, so I had high hopes.  But I just could not get invested in the story.  The way it is told is very choppy and matter of fact to me which made it hard for me to connect with the characters.  I only finished because I have a hard time abandoning a book once I start it.  I would not recommend this one even though I seem to be in the minority with this opinion.

Summary from
New York socialite Caroline Ferriday has her hands full with her post at the French consulate and a new love on the horizon. But Caroline’s world is forever changed when Hitler’s army invades Poland in September 1939—and then sets its sights on France.

An ocean away from Caroline, Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish teenager, senses her carefree youth disappearing as she is drawn deeper into her role as courier for the underground resistance movement. In a tense atmosphere of watchful eyes and suspecting neighbors, one false move can have dire consequences.

For the ambitious young German doctor, Herta Oberheuser, an ad for a government medical position seems her ticket out of a desolate life. Once hired, though, she finds herself trapped in a male-dominated realm of Nazi secrets and power.

The lives of these three women are set on a collision course when the unthinkable happens and Kasia is sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious Nazi concentration camp for women. Their stories cross continents—from New York to Paris, Germany, and Poland—as Caroline and Kasia strive to bring justice to those whom history has forgotten.