Sunday, 11 July 2010
I finally got to order me some new office furniture. I have been looking for a few years on-line trying to find what I really like. I wanted it to look like an office but also like a piece of furniture for a home. I found the very thing on OfficeMax. It is the Sauder Regency Road Collection. I LOVE my new furniture. It took Steve, Chris, Amber and myself 12 hours to put it all together (it came in 8 huge, heavy boxes that had to be picked up at the store since delivery to our neck of the woods cost way too much). In the end, it was so worth all the effort. It is a very well constructed furniture series. Steve and Chris were both impressed with the way it all went together and how sturdy it all is. Here is a picture now. I have alot of organizing and such to do so ignore all the papers laying around and the half filled bookshelves. I was even able to find what is supposed to be a small computer workstation to put my sewing machine on. I can now make repairs and work on craft projects without having to drag out my machine each time.
Here is a before shot that I already had here on Xanga with the old table
(ignore all of Steve's hunting stuff, this was taken in the fall a couple of years
ago). The hutch is now in my Mom's dining room. The table is still sitting
in my living room at the moment but will be taken apart and put in the old
cabin until I can find it a permanent home. It is still in good shape but the
chairs have had it.
And here is the new office furniture:
My old office is to become my walk-in closet and it is a total disaster area right now in there. No pictures to prove it either. You will just have to use your imagination. I am trying to unload all three bookshelves in there and only bring in the books I really want to keep. I don't want to clutter up my new space with stuff I don't want. I will be busy for a couple of days going through all of that. I also need to take this time to go through some old files I have stored in there and get rid of a bunch of that as well. I am in a de-clutter mood right now. Hope I stay that way for a while.
Chris put a picture of the chicken houses on as my screen saver. It was taken right after we had cut and baled the hay around the house here and all the yards around the chicken houses and our house and barn had been mowed and weed eated. It was looking it's best.
It has been a very busy summer with all the haying, mowing yards, weed eating, gardening and of course, taking care of chickens. We have also been picking a bunch of blackberries this year. We have a "bumper" crop this year for some reason. Too many berries and not enough time or energy to pick them all. They sure are good with vanilla ice cream. I have had an over abundance of veggies out of my garden. I have been sending some yellow squash, zucchini, and cucumbers with Chris to share with the ladies at the bank where he works. He said they really have been enjoying that. It was a chore for a couple weeks trying to keep all the garden stuff watered and my flowers around the house. It has been nice that we have had some good rains the past week or so to not have that chore to do every day or so.
Here is a picture of the garden back in June so you will just have to imagine how big everything is now. You can barely step your way through the vines to pick stuff. I have not gotten around to taking any pictures of it lately. The tomatoes have filled up the cages and the squash and zucchini plants have taken over the rows. My lettuce bed is in pitiful shape. We got tired of having so many salads and once the other veggies ripened up and were available, the lettuce bed got ignored.
Here is a picture of just some of the blackberries picked here on the farm:
Here are some pictures of my flowers around the house. The oriental star gazer lillies really put on a show both in sight and smell this year. I even ordered some new bulbs to plant.
Also planted some red and white impatiens along the rock flower
bed at the end of the house. They have done very well there and
will have a new planting each year from now on. I just love them.
The hostas really took over the bed at the front of the house this year.
I also planted a hydrangea and an azaelea on each end of this bed. Can't
wait to see them in full bloom (hopefully next year).
I have had this pot of geraniums for three or four years now. I put
it in the house over the winter and pull it out each summer and it just
blooms it's little heart out. I put a potted hibiscus that my mother-in-
law gave me in the middle. It has been so pretty and putting out a new
bloom or two just about every day.
Here is a picture of some hydrangeas from Chris and Amber's garden. One of the blooms has been picked for a couple of weeks now and it still looks freshly cut.
When I was looking for these pictures of my garden, I found the pictures of Steve's new baler he bought this year. (I haven't posted on here in so long and have so much to catch up on posting on here. I post on Facebook mostly these days but I do have a couple of people here on Xanga that are not on Facebook and like to keep up with what all is going on with us.) Steve had a terrible time baling with our old baler this year and knew it was going to be a long hay season if he didn't just break down and buy him a new one. We have about 170 acres we put up in hay each year. It takes a long time even if you don't have problems. He is one happy camper now. His new baler is awesome (his words).
Here are some pictures of us taken the day of the Roger's family reunion. We didn't fish in the tournament this year but enjoyed the picnic at the park and visiting with family we don't get to see very often.
With this picture I will end my post for today and try my best not to wait so long for the next one. To those who still read this blog... Love, Twila!!
Tuesday, 20 April 2010
Steve has gone fishing again today with his Dad. They have been getting in quite a few trips the past couple of weeks. I have been having to stay close to home and take care of the chickens. Today is a little different. My mother-in-law (Joan) is taking her aunt to Harrison to visit with family so I am dog-sitting Shadow for her while she is gone. She has become quite attached to this little guy. He just showed up one day at my son's house. I guess someone had dumped him on the county road by his house. Chris let it in to feed it and his two cats went crazy. They didn't like the little guy one bit. He called me asking me what to do with it and I knew my cat wouldn't take kindly to it either so I told him to call Joan and see if she would take it in until we could maybe figure out whose dog it is. She lost her blond pomeranian last year and it just about killed her and we had been encouraging her to get her another dog but she just didn't think she could yet. Well, she thought we had set up this dog dumped story to get her to take another dog. We told her we didn't have anything to do with it. I still don't think she completely believes us after all was said and done and she has fallen in love with the dog. She put ads in the paper and put up notices at the vet's office trying to find the owner to no avail. The vet said it is her dog now. I am a little apprehensive to dog sit Shadow because I am afraid something might happen to him under my care and Joan would be devastated. Anyway, she didn't want Shadow to stay in the house by himself all day long so I volunteered to keep him. Here is a picture of him.
And, since I haven't been on here in forever, I haven't got to tell you about the dog that we have now. One day this dog and a german shepard showed up at the house. The shep went on but this one (not sure the breed) decided to adopt us as owners. Here is a pic of him.
He and Shadow get along very well which is a good thing. Tooter (the name I call him and Steve calls him Yo Dawg after Randy Jackson on American Idol) doesn't want to share his toy with Shadow tho. Tooter loves to play fetch but doesn't want Shadow to have any fun with it.
Anyway, we now have a dog. He minds pretty good. Not good to take fishing with us at the ponds. He wants to run into the water after our lures. Not a good thing when you are trying to catch fish. He hasn't caused any trouble with the chickens either. Seems to know his place which is good. Maybe he will keep the deer out of my flower beds as well. Another bonus. Not sure if he was dumped or if he got away from his owner. He had a very tight chain around his neck when he first came here. Steve took it off immediately. We have asked around to see if someone lost their dog and so far nobody has claimed him. He is a really sweet dog and we will take care of him until someone does. So, Shadow and Tooter are having a play date and I am hoping they play well together.
Now, to get you up to date on what all has been going on with me and why I haven't been posting much lately. My Granny Virgie (88 years old) passed away at the nursing home the same day my Granny Lola (92) was having hip replacement surgery after a fall in her home a couple of weeks ago on the 7th. We had Granny Virgie's funeral on the following Friday. It was so good to see family we hadn't seen in such a long time. We shared alot of great memories. Granny Virgie was always a very happy person and fun to be around. She was a child at heart her whole life. She didn't dwell on the past and lived each moment, in the moment. She didn't have a very good year with her health and now she is resting in peace.
Granny Lola came through her surgery with flying colors. She is now in a rehab center and has her good days and bad days. Her memory is fuzzy and she gets confused easily. We think alot of it is her meds but at her age it could be the norm from now on. She got up and walked with a walker yesterday and Daddy seemed pleased with how she was doing. The day Steve, Chris, Amber and I saw her in the hospital she was in very good spirits and enjoyed all the company. I sure hope she can get her strength back soon so she can return to her home where she wants to be.
The same week, we lost a friend in the community to ALS and he was our age (50ish). He suffered greatly this past year and I know it had to be especially hard on his wife, kids and his parents and siblings. We went to his funeral and saw friends we hadn't seen in a long time. Funny how funerals are about the only time we get to see each other. We need to change that. Time just gets away from us all.
Needless to say, it has been a rough couple of weeks around here. Things are looking up tho. They say bad things come in three's... well, that is three and that is enough for a long while. I better go for now and check on the dogs.
Wednesday, 10 March 2010
It has been a very good week to get things done. For those of you who read my last post, you are amazing. It was caking out 101 and not very interesting really. Steve and I got the floors all leveled up after the cakeout. We decided we didn't need any new sawdust added to the old since it has been such a good, windy week and the floors dried out so well. Steve cleaned up all the equipment and then took care of some more hay customers while I was mopping and scrubbing the pumphouse floor. I was just scrubbing away with a broom with soap and water when I accidentally hit the main water line that comes into the pumphouse. I hit a valve and it snapped right off. You guessed it... I had another soaking situation. Thank goodness the cutoff valve was right there so I could stop the gyser as soon as possible. I couldn't believe it had broken off so easily. I had barely hit it. Anyway, the damage was done and Steve was way down in the bottom field forking out some rotten hay for a customer's garden. At the time I didn't even realize how bad the damage was. It turns out that we will have to cut the big 4 inch pipe and put in some new joints to fix the problem. I am feeling really bad for the two major boo boos I have caused this week. Steve has gone to town this morning to get the parts for us to work on it this afternoon. Thank goodness we didn't have chickens when this happened. The way they put the water cutoff valves in when they first built the pump house, it doesn't allow you to bypass this connection. We would have been completely out of water to the chicken houses until we got it fixed. Steve, in his infinite wisdom, decided to remedy that problem while we are fixing my mistake. He is going to put in another cutoff valve on the other side of this one and then if, heaven forbid, the valve was to ever break again, we can bypass it and still have water to the chickens. Steve says it was probably on the verge of breaking and now was a very good time to find it out instead of later. He was good about it. He says if you aren't breaking something, you aren't working at all. Can't say that about me!!!
Yesterday we worked on getting all the equipment back down and put out the feed pans. It only took up until noon to get it all done. Lots of steps involved in this process and I will not bore you like before with all the details. We are now just fixing things and will not be able to do anymore until next week when we get the feed. Then we will charge all the feed pans and turn on the heat so we can get the houses up to 90 degrees before next Thursday when the new baby chicks will be delivered. We have a nice little break here. Not use to that happening very often. Steve's dad got all the chicken litter on the hay fields and we got a little bit of rain the other day. I can already see the grass turning green and growing. Spring is finally springing around here. Chris and Amber have daffodils in bloom at their house. There house sits in a valley and is secluded from the cold so it always warms up there faster than up here on top of the mountain. Steve got in a little bit of fishing yesterday afternoon and I got in a nice two hour nap. AHHHH!!!
Before taking my nap, I had to get my jello poke cake made for Ladies Night Out at church last night. I love making this cake. You just use a yellow or white cake mix and make it according to the directions on the box. After it is baked, you let it cool for about 20 minutes. Boil a cup of water in the microwave and add any flavoring of gelatin you prefer (I picked lime since our theme last night was St. Patrick's Day). Then you ice it with cool whip. For a finishing touch I sprinkled the top with green crystals like you put on sugar cookies. It was really good and everyone seem to enjoy it. Even had some left over so Steve could have some. It was a fun event. Alot of people made green stuff. One lady made watergate salad which uses pistachio pudding, one lady brought a green gelatin salad, one lady made gooseberry tarts, one lady brought onion dip she had turned green with good coloring (it was in a bread bowl), one brought sugar cookies with green sprinkles, one lady brought some delicious broccoli cheese soup and there were many more goodies as well. The host of the party brought Irish stew. I didn't have any of it but the ones who did said it was delicious. We had a good time laughing and working on a craft project (a clover sun catcher made out of construction paper and green tissue paper). It all made for a very enjoyable evening.
Today, I am going to work on the books and see how bad/good things are. Seems like I just updated the books the other day but it has been at least a month ago. Time flies when you are having fun!!! I better get to it. Steve will be back from town and wanting me to help him fix my boo boo. You all have a wonderful day!!!
Sunday, 07 March 2010
It has been busy on the farm as of late. We had just gotten the cornish chicken houses cleaned out after they were picked up a couple of weeks ago and got new baby chicks delivered to them last Friday. We got rid of the nine week old broilers (avg weight only 8.09 pounds this time as compared to 8.65 last time) this past Wednesday morning. Steve and I were up most of the night Tuesday getting the equipment up and out of the way for the catching crews. It was nice this time, they had two crews working at the same time. They picked up around 70,000 birds in a hurry that way. As soon as they were through, Steve and I started in with the cleaning out process. We have to run the brooder stoves back down so we can wash off the tops from all the dust that accumulates during the growing out process so they won't burn off when we go to light them for the next batch. We also wash off all the louvers on the exhaust fans and the tunnel fans. It takes alot of water and alot of patience to stand at each fan and blast off all the gunk on the fans and the blades and motors. We also wash off the water regulators so we can see what we are doing when we go to flush out the water lines for the new batch. After washing down the inside, we move to the outside and wash off the fans from the outside. Alot of dust and what I like to call "gunk" gets caked up on the fans during a batch, especially during the winter. Also wash off the feed carts and feed hoppers along with the pads under the outside feed silos. It took me all day Wednesday to do two of the three houses. Got up early to tackle the third house and had a hose blow out all over me when I turned on my pressure washer. We have a big 500 gallon rig that runs by tractor. I had just pulled up into the house and it was still rather chilly that morning when I got sprayed big time. Had to run change clothes and then take apart the hose from the washer and head to town to find someone to fix it. I was afraid I would be running all over the country so I took my Dad with me for moral support. Turned out the first place I went to was able to cut the hose and put on a new fitting for me in no time. Only cost me $10 to boot. It was my lucky day. Anyway, after that little excitement, I was back at the farm and reattaching my hose to the washer and back to my job. All's well that ends well.
Anyway, as I was doing all this washing down, Steve is going ahead with the other steps involved in cleaning out chicken houses. We till the floor bedding (that's sawdust caked with chicken poop), run a "cake machine" through it that sifts out the big clumps of litter from the finer sawdust (which falls right through to the floor), we use a litter blade attachment to the tractor to then pull the litter that the cake machine can't reach from the walls, run the cake machine back through the litter again to pick up any remaining clumps, use an old road grader blade hooked to the tractor to pull the litter back over to the walls, run the cake machine through it one more time to make darn sure we got all the litter clumps out of the houses (if you don't get it out good, you end up having an amonia problem when you heat up the houses which will blind your chickens), then we have "sorta clean" sawdust bedding only left on the floor of the chicken houses. It takes several days to accomplish this process. He finished up this morning and cleaned up the equipment this afternoon after church.
While Steve was doing all the caking out, he was piling up the chicken litter outside and his Dad was using the front end loader to load the litter spreading truck. Yep, we fertilized a bunch of hay fields this past week and it stinks to high heaven around here to prove it. It is supposed to rain this week and we got the litter on the fields just in time. It should make some beautiful hay this summer if we get the right amount of rain to make the grass grow.
Speaking of hay, we have been selling it like crazy. We have had people come from all over to buy it too. One guy came all the way from Missouri. He said it was 71 miles. He clocked it. Had several people from 50 miles or so away come to get hay. We have sold all the round bales we had stored in our barns (some of it was two years old) and we only have about 500 square bales left to sell. Gotten alot of calls but most people around here have been wanting round bales. Don't think we will have a problem selling the rest of the hay though. We sold 700 just this past weekend. We even sold about 20 rotten round bales that we didn't have room for in the barns last year. They have been sitting out in the weather. A community garden project near Fayetteville wants them for mulching their garden. It will be nice to get those bales off the edge of the hay fields and out of here. We basically gave them away just to get them gone. They seemed tickled to get them. You just never know how it will all work out. So, we have been dealing with hay customers along with all the chicken business going on. Quite a busy week or two around here.
We are not sure yet when we will get the next batch of broilers but we are planning on taking a little vacation this next weekend with our son and daughter-in-law. Going to make a trip down to Monticello where Chris grew up. Steve and I moved down there in 1980, two weeks after we were married. We both got college degrees there and then became full time employees at the University working there for about 24 years before moving back home to northwest Arkansas to help Steve's parents work in the poultry and hay business. We haven't been back in a long time and are looking forward to seeing old friends and people from our church while we are there. Hope to get to see Anissa's new house while we are there as well. I haven't got to tell Anissa yet that we are coming so if she reads this entire blog, I guess she will find out. HAHA
I better go for now. I have got to get my rest so I can tackle my massive list tomorrow. Starting the day off with my 4 mile workout DVD. Good way to get the ball rolling!!!
Sunday, 31 January 2010
It was eery this morning looking outside. The sun was rising and we were socked in (not sure about that expression but it is what we use to mean we can't see very far for the fog ). Here are some pictures and for those who have been reading my blog over the past years, you know what the view from my house looks like on a sunny day. You can see a long ways. Not this morning.
Here is a picture of the sun peeking up behind the tip of the barn.
It looks like the barn has a halo.
The sun is just peeking through the fog.
The glow from the sunrise was so pretty through the ice and
snow covered trees in the flower bed outside the den.
The black birds were swooping in the get the left over deer corn.
The birds were eating sunflower seeds and thistle seed early this
The coloring on this shot of the birds patiently waiting their turn at
the feeders was very eery. You can still see the limbs in some of the
trees hanging down. That was damage from 2009 ice storm, not
Then the glorious sunshine made an appearance and brightened
everything up. This is from the living room window looking down
toward the little pond.
Nice to be able to see past the yard again. Of course, I scared off
all the little birds trying to eat some breakfast.
They are coming back in. The ice on the trees was all shiny and
bright with the sun hitting on it.
Looking out the living room window toward the cornish chicken
houses. The sky was absolutely beautiful. Almost needed on
sunglasses to look outside this morning.
That was how the day started off up at the Tackett's this morning. The ice has melted out of the trees today with all the sun. It was actually quite dangerous to be outside for a spell while all the ice was falling. I love the snow but I am dreading when it all melts. It is going to be a mess. Oh well, we are just getting closer and closer to spring. I am so anxious to see all my new flower bulbs burst out of the ground and bloom for me.