Monday, June 30, 2014

Baby Cardigan

I've been knitting again for another baby shower. This time it was for a baby boy whose parents had met at Texas A&M University. And the shower was a camo theme.

Thursday, June 26, 2014


We pass a huge field of sunflowers on the way home from town. They were just so pretty we had to stop and take a few photos.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Wide Load

It's fairly common for the farmers to use the roads to move their equipment around from field to field. Occasionally, I get stuck behind them and just have to follow slowly behind until they get where they're going. Sometimes you just can't be in a hurry.

So I follow them and take lots of photos. I think this equipment is for wheat harvesting.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Buzz Cut

I decided to have a go giving Dog a haircut the other day. Her hair was getting pretty long and shedding all over the house. Plus her back side was completely matted. She had also become a sticker magnet.

Her hair was so matted that I had to start out with scissors, then went on to the electric clippers. It then turned into more of a buzz cut. She was so good to sit patiently for two hours while I worked on her.

She looks like a completely different dog now. Hopefully this will keep her cooler for the summer.

Her hair was getting pretty long.

Her tail end was regularly covered in stickers that made their way into the house.

I think she's happy with her new cut.

Unfortunately I got a bit too close in a couple of places.

Sitting still for two hours was exhausting work.

Our sweet Dog

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Spear Weed

One of the most frustrating weeds we have is something the locals call "spear weed." It does in fact look like a tiny little spear or arrow. And it acts just like one too. It goes through clothes, even thick jeans, easily but it's hard to get it out.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wasp Sting

Guv'nor was out mowing the lawn the other evening and got stung by a wasp, he thinks. Thankfully, the pain from a wasp sting is far less than that of a scorpion. But we still put our faithful sting cream on it and later applied ice. Strange thing was that it was almost in the exact spot as the scorpion sting. And then later the next morning, his hand got all puffy again. The ends of his fingers turned white for awhile.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Fish Fry

We were invited the other evening to a fish fry at a neighbor's house down by the lake. As it turned out it was actually a graduation party for the mother who had graduated with her teaching degree.

I was fascinated by the outdoor fry vats. It was set up on the back porch and powered by propane. It looked just like a fast food restaurant.

They were all big fishermen with dozens of fishing poles. The fish they usually catch at the lake is called "crappie", but how they said it sounded more like croppy. It's a tasty white fish similar to catfish.

Later we got a tour of their game birds. Again, fascinating.

There were three sections for frying.

Each basket was for a different thing.

Once the fish floats to the top, it's done.

The temperature would drop slightly when new fish was added.

Six gallons of vegetable oil was used. Six GALLONS!

The fish was coated with corn meal.

Creole seasoning was added to the corn meal - in a secret recipe proportion.

As the fish was cooked, it was put in metal trays with lids.

There were several pans of fish, fries and hush puppies.

Here's my plate.

This was only a few of their fishing poles.

There was a decorated cake with fondant icing. Yummy.

Each cockerel was in a separate cage with a hen.

Another game bird with baby chicks.

The chicks roamed freely in and out of the cages.

I thought this was the prettiest cockerel.

These are called Turkens - a weird looking breed of turkey chickens.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Cutting Hay

Guv'nor made another arrangement with the neighbors who have the hay cutting and baling equipment. We may never be able to afford our own equipment for this process, so until then we are glad we have neighbors who will do it at a reasonable rate. We paid $20 per finished round bale and $1.50 for a square bale. This is about half the current price if we had to buy them.

They had some trouble with the square baler about halfway through the process so we didn't get as many of them as Guv'nor had wanted. He had wanted square bales from one section because he can handle them easily on his own, whereas the round bales will require a tractor to move them.

The 12 acre hay pasture yielded 25 round bales, up from last year. The 6 acre front yard pasture yielded 18 square and 10 round.

Cutting hay is a four step process:
1. Cut the hay
2. Rake the hay into rows
3. Bale the hay
4. Move the bales to storage

The mower is an attachment pulled behind the tractor.

The mower cuts a 10 foot row.

The hay rake attachment rakes the hay into wind rows.

The baler gathers the hay from the wind rows and compresses it into bales.

This is a square baler attachment.

One square bale

Round and square bales sitting in the front yard pasture.

Round bales in the hay pasture.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Weather Balloon

Completely unrelated to Guv'nor's new weather station, Daughter was on the team that had a science project at school to launch a weather balloon. So we went up to the school that morning to watch the launch.

Science Teacher had bought the weather balloon from High Altitude Science. So if you want more information you can contact them.

It seemed like the entire school came out on the lawn that morning to watch the launch, along with a few parents like us.

The balloon had a GPS tracker, so we could all watch where it went. It disappeared for awhile because it went too high to track. Then when the balloon popped and it parachuted down it showed up again on the tracking.

Teacher and the balloon team followed the tracking to a densely wooded area about 50 miles to the southeast. After contacting the landowner for permission, they trudged through the woods for about four hours looking for the orange box. Unfortunately, their cell phone service was poor out in the woods so they knew they were close but couldn't find it.

They returned a few days later with better GPS equipment and went straight to the spot and found the orange box on the ground. The balloon and parachute were not attached, so it appeared the box somehow got detached. A quick analysis showed that the balloon had reached 60,000 feet.

The launch site was in the middle of a practice field.

Most of the school came out to watch.

Some parents came to watch as well.

One of the most expensive parts to the project was the helium.

The students held the balloon down with a sheet just to make sure it didn't get away too early.

The payload was in a small box covered with orange duct tape.

There was a camera and an experiment attached to the payload.

Attaching the payload

The balloon was released just before countdown.


Within a few seconds it was out of sight.

The weather balloon team

The payload was found in a densely wooded area.

I haven't quite worked out how to upload a video, so here's my first try.