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December 22, 2010

gone fishin'

Dave and I had a date to go fish at the Texas City Dike this week. It is situated near the ship channel, and we could see Galveston in the distance. The dike was ruined by Hurricane Ike 3 years ago, and all the shrimpers and stores are not allowed to rebuild. There is one bait shop that survived and they now have all the business (ala' Bubba Gump) The rebuilt dike is 5 miles long with water on both sides, it is really nice! We fished for several hours using mullet and shrimp and didn't catch a thing, in fact between us we only had one bite. It was great fun nonetheless.
Dave on the dike

Dave fishing

Dike view of the bay

down close

pretty poles

me fishing, 2 poles are better than 1!

pelicans and water birds

Lizzie Lou Guernsey

This week Dave and I picked up Lizzie, a BIG beautiful Guernsey! The farmer was great fun to talk to and she has been well cared for, in addition to her upbringing as a 4-H cow. She is adjusting well to life in a different place and the routine.
(Ginger is still available-- let me know if you are interested, or feel free to pass her information along.)

December 19, 2010

On the farm

Not too much news from the farm, just lots of little projects getting taken care of!
I didn't blog about it last week, but Mike, Natalie and I went on the Texas Bluebonnet Wine Tasting Trail. We visited 5 wineries in about 5 hours! At the 5th one you get a crystal wine glass. The next wine even is in February (wine and chocolate trail). That one should be fun too, and we plan to get an earlier start!
It was great fun visiting, touring and tasting at each stop we made--and we discovered some new favorites (Prickly Pear wine, Hibiscus Wine, Bernhardt Cabernet and Retreat Hill Cabriola).

Dave built the second rainwater reclamation system, this time for the hen house/back barn. Now we need rain!
We took the well house door off and repainted it, it is now new red instead of half faded red.
Dave filled up the wood rack, backyard fire pit season is in full swing!

The 8 Knock-Out roses arrived this week which required the weeding of the rose beds, pruning all the existing roses, planting, adding bone meal and then mulching the beds on the south and east side of the house. The west side got cleaned out but we ran out of mulch, so that will keep for another day. The north side is thoroughly neglected and I plan to get to it after the new year.

We plan to go pick up the Guernsey girl this week, hope to sell Ginger and we are also planning at least one morning of fishing together. Dave bought me my own pole this week! It is pink because a % of the proceeds go to fund breast cancer research.

With Christmas, the holidays and the time spent at home I feel so blessed and thankful!
Thankful for my family, friends and farm.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Wonderful New Year!

Big News

Charley has applied to 3 colleges--U of Houston, UTx at Austin and Smith College in MA.
On Wednesday she and I were killing time before she could look up online whether she was accepted to Smith or not (her first choice). To kill time we went for a pedicure. It was about an hour until "THE time" and as we were discussing things going on with friends at school, she handed me her phone and said "don't freak out". I figured one of her friends was in a silly picture or worse, a You Tube video. Instead, there were a couple of paragraghs and a small picture, so I went to the picture and enlarged it. When my mind registered what I was seeing my eyes started leaking and I became a blubbering, laughing, crying, nose running, (embarrassing) mom.
Here is the picture:

December 11, 2010

Weekend Update

Well, we have 3 people that have expressed interest in Ginger, so hopefully in the next week or so she will be going to her new home.

This was my first week to work FT for First Choice ER and PT for Schumacher Group; it has been an adjustment. Mainly that I don't feel like I have had any time off. After the first of the year my position with SG may change a little which will help, and I need to learn how to manage my time better with the new roles.
The clinical shifts are nice, I have always loved talking  to people (lol) whether it is patients or coworkers so that part is great, otherwise I am getting back into the swing of things and documenting, administering meds, etc. I've got my hand back on the pulse of it all!

I have been all over the spectrum with dinner this week: ordered pizza once, made homemade enchiladas and then bought a rotisserie chicken at the store. I need to break out the crock pot cook book "Fix it and Forget it" for inspiration and to plan for next week.

School is going well, this class (Nursing Research) finishes next week, the next starts 1/3. Fast! I should finish in May, yippee!

Charlye brought home a leftover birthday cake from work and after a couple of days no one had any interest in it so we gave it to Spottie. She had quite a bit of interest in it! When she finished the cake itself she picked up the cardboard platter and shook her head back and forth sending icing and cake crumbs flying (all over us!). It was great fun and she is a fun pig. She "talks" all the time and is just plain silly!

Dave has started burning out stumps in the back pasture so we can improve the land for the cows. There is still a lot of damage and mess from the loggers. We did find a couple of nice surprises--the Magnolia and the Holly trees are coming back!

Wishing you all a great week!

December 10, 2010

Fun Local Holiday Events!

Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail:
2 weekends, 10 wineries pairing food and wine

The Ice Cutter's Christmas:
ice sculpture, snow ball fights, family fun!

December 9, 2010

Ginger is for sale

We have an opportunity to buy another cow who will calve very close to when Ginger is due, so we have decided to sell Ginger.

She will be 2 in May, and will calve in May. Pregnancy confirmed by biotracking. Bred to a Dexter bull for lbw calf.
She is Bangs vaccinated, has had all other vaccines except rabies, was de-wormed (prophylactily) with Cydectin in October. She has been dehorned (still healing).
Very healthy and sweet, though she is head shy and wary of me at the moment.

Call, email, message, text if interested or if you know a good family that may be interested in her!

December 5, 2010

Sunrises & Sunsets December 2010

For some reason I feel compelled to keep a photo journal of sunsets, I guess because I love them so much, and in my heart I feel like we should contemplate the day we were given and plan for the next. It may work out to be a year long project if I can keep up with it! I hope your day was everything you thought it could be. If not, there is indeed tomorrow.

Sunset 12/1, at the river

Sunset 12/2, at the river

Sunset 12/3 TX, driving home

Sunset 12/4, home

Sunset 12/5, home

Sunrise 12/2, at the river

Sunrise 12/3, at the river

Sunrise 12/7 (missed sunset 12/6)

Sunrise 12/10

Sunset 12/10

Sunset 12/12

Sunset 12/12 (a little earlier than above)

sunset 12/15

sunset 12/18

sunrise 12/21

sunset 12/21

sunset 12/22

Garden & Farm News

We pulled up the tomatoes in an effort to save all the fruit possible before too many more freezes. I found an article online that gives several methods for ripening green fruit. We chose to pick all the fruit (70+ pounds!!) and store it in boxes in the house and barn and let them ripen slowly. I hope we have many weeks of garden tomatoes. It truly was a bumper crop, and the fact that we planted in a bed never before used for tomatoes is not lost on me; I may put them there again this spring and then rotate next fall. The crop we harvested is such a blessing.

We have also started a new project, inspired by the trip to the island (off grid). Dave built a platform for a water tank to collect rain water. This first one will be a gravity system to keep the dogs in fresh water, next we plan to do the same for the chickens water supply and then a larger tank with a pump for the garden. If Murphy's Law plays out we will have a drought for many months--I will remain optimistic that we will get plenty of precipitation in January and February like we usually do!

Other farm happenings:
We gave Spottie a ball with a sweet potato inside, it didn't take her long to get the goody out and then she pushed the ball around the pasture having a grand time.

Max was caught red-handed (pawed) with a stolen yam from Spottie's supply in the barn (they were on sale a Wally World). He is trying unsuccessfully to look innocent! Cooper got his pic taken because he was still for a minute, doesn't happen very often!

We received confirmation that Ginger is indeed pregnant (blood test send off), we thought she was but the written confirmation is so nice! She has a standoffish attitude with us, I imagine it will take her a little while to regain trust since we took her to the vet for the dehorning.
Vera is a sweetie and quite the bunk-checker and is constantly on the lookout to see if we are bringing treats. Slightly spoiled.

Edited to add:
I forgot to include the recent attempts at propagation or making more plants! The blackberries have many runners and volunteers which I am scouting for to fill another fence line. Hopefully in a summer or two from now we will be harvesting from them.
I also took cuttings from the fig and the gardenias, two of the easiest plants to root, and put them in a shallow pan (4") with dirt that I will keep moist for several months until they grow roots and are ready to transplant (when it is warmer outside). This is how we have any gardenias at all, a friend gave us cuttings 12 years ago from her plant which was 25 years old, and came from a cutting from her mother's plant.

Gone Fishing!

Dave and I took off for a couple of days fishing at Steph's family camp in the Atachafalaya River Basin this week. It was great fun and very remote, no cell signal means a real vacation for me. We fished and played cards, and fished some more.
The day goes like this: wake up and check the shrimp traps, collect shrimp, drink lots of coffee (made on a gas stove with a percolator pot), harvest grapefruit from the tree Steph planted many years ago (which is quite fruitful!), go fish with live shrimp for bait, (tide outgoing means catfish, tide incoming means salt water fish), cast, catch and clean fish, eat dinner and play cards until the late great hour of 8 pm or so then the generator gets turned off and sleep the sleep of the dead in total absolute silence. We didn't see any gator (too cold), or any sharks. Steph told a great (fishing) story about casting out and catching a seagull, when the bait hit the water she caught a stingray--talk about a 2 for1! The camp is on an island about 6 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, it is in an area thick with wild hog, deer, ducks, nutria, snakes, frogs, and almost every other imaginable species. Wild and beautiful.
The only downside is that it is so far away. I hope we can return soon, in the meantime we will have to find a local fishing hole we can spend some time casting in!