Wednesday, March 30, 2016


Our friend Factor came to visit us and brought us a bag of fresh oranges and lemons from his father's backyard trees. All the way from California. I used our old juicer to juice the oranges. I made a lemon pound cake with a couple of the lemons.

Monday, March 28, 2016


Both the Mule and the four wheeler haven't been running properly lately. So when that happens I have to walk out to feed the goats. I can't really feed the cows their 2-1 supplement because I can't carry the buckets that far. Thankfully we have a nearby neighbor who fixes things like this. He came one day and picked up the Mule, and brought it back the next day. 

I decided I liked the morning walk, so when the weather is nice I've been walking out to feed the goats. One morning I got a fright when three deer bolted out of the woods right in front of me. I don't know who was more scared, them or me!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Rain Gauge

The rain gauge on the weather station (remind yourself here about our weather station) wasn't working properly, so I went out to see if something had clogged it up. Sure enough there were three tiny seeds in the hole.

The rain gauge is like a bucket with a hole in the bottom. The wide opening at the top collects the average amount of water, then the water trickles through the hole at the bottom and is counted somehow (it's a mystery to me).

It's a bit hard to see in these photos because of the reflection of the water.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016


Since I had some leftover mulch and soil from the raised beds, I decided to use that to plant several sets of cuttings I had been working on.

I pruned the blackberry bushes the other day and had about a dozen branches I wanted to see if I could grow. Guv'nor had made a donation to the Arbor Day Foundation, and they sent him about a dozen trees to plant. And I had also bought a few elderberry stems at the MEN Fair.

The trees were tiny little saplings, hard to imagine they will grow into trees. They came with a different painted colors on the tips, and a color code to know what each one was.
Purple: Sargent Crabapple (x2)
White: American Redbud (x3)
Blue: Washington Hawthorn (x2)
Orange: White Flowering Dogwood (x3)
Red: Crapemyrtle (x2)
 I had two varieties of elderberry: Wildwood and Adams.

My vague plan is to let the roots get established in the pots and then I'll find places to plant them later. So far they are all doing well and beginning to sprout.

Friday, March 18, 2016

MEN Fair

A few weeks ago we went to the Mother Earth News Fair in Belton. We had heard about the fairs but all the previous ones have been in other states, too far for us to attend.

The fair lasted over two days: Saturday and Sunday. We purchased our tickets in advance and got a little discount. We arrived about midday on the Saturday and were able to attend several of the lectures and visit all the vendor booths which were spread out in two large buildings.

There were more lectures than we could possibly attend - twelve stages with talks going on at the same time and six time slots. We chose to listen to the one about Texas Longhorns, passive cooling, kombucha, rendering fats, and chicken processing.

Here are a few photos from our day out.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Spring Planting

I've been busy planting for the spring season.

In the empty raised bed, I've planted potatoes, tomatoes, and watermelon. In the other raised bed, I  added a few new strawberry plants, and I've trimmed and mulched the asparagus.

I added a combination of potting mix, mulch, and chicken poop to the raised beds.

In my hydroponic stands, I planted a couple types of lettuce, spinach, arugula, and kale. In the ground containers, I planted basil, cilantro and parsley. I have had celery growing for awhile, and rosemary, mint, lavender, chives and oregano in the ground containers. 

I added some short garden hoses, soaker hoses, a couple of connectors, and a double timer for watering the raised beds. The hydroponic stands also have a timer for watering. 

Monday, March 14, 2016

Visiting Bull

We have a bull visiting for awhile. This time he was invited. (Read about the last time here.)

Guv'nor made a deal with Neighbor to have one of his younger bulls stay with us for awhile. This is not his big bull, father to some of our heifers. This bull is a bit smaller and won't hurt our smaller heifers. He stays close to any heifer he smells and thinks may be in heat and performs his service.

Friday, March 11, 2016


Since I've been spending more time outdoors feeding animals, I have had to come up with some warmer clothing.  I don't like to wear my clean inside clothes outside, nor wear my muddy outside clothes inside - for obvious reasons.

I've found that layering works best for me even though it takes awhile sometimes to put it all on, and take it all off. And it's not very fashionable. I'm glad no one sees me except the animals!

I've been collecting various items of clothing from thrift stores and things around the house we already had. I have bought a few new things: wool ski mask, ear muffs, and a pair of waterproof trousers. The good thing about layers is, depending on the weather, I can keep adding on layers until I'm warm.

One particularly cold, wet morning, I think I had up to five layers on.  Surprisingly, it's my ears that get the coldest. If I don't have them covered well, I tend to get an earache.

Possible layers include:
  • Head/neck: ski mask, ear muffs, knitted hat, scarf, sweatshirt hood, raincoat hood.
  • Torso: tank top, thermal long sleeve, pullover sweater, fleece vest, sweatshirt, windbreaker/raincoat.
  • Legs: thermal pants, sweatpants, waterproof pants.
  • Feet: socks, wool shoe inserts, wellie/rain boots.
  • Hands: fingerless gloves, work gloves.