Friday, September 23, 2016


We finally did something about our bumpy driveway. Our driveway has been rough ever since we bought the property, but was steadily getting worse with bigger and bigger holes. It was getting so bad in places that we could barely drive down it. Small cars would bottom out. When it rained it was like a pond.

Our friendly neighbor used to work for the local sand and gravel company, and recently branched out on his own. So he delivered all the gravel in his dump truck and leveled it with his tractor.

He is going to come back in a few weeks after it has settled down when we've driven awhile on it and after it has rained a few times, and he will level it again.

Sorry, I only got one before photo just as he started the work and it doesn't show the worst holes.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

New Mule

We liked our Mule. We relied on our Mule. But it finally and completely quit running. Our friendly neighbor had been patching it up as best he could over the past year, but he couldn't fix the last problem. He said it would cost more to fix it than it was worth.

Having some sort of ATV around the property is a must. We have managed a week or so here and there when our Mule was broken down, but we wouldn't manage long term without something similar.

So we had to replace it and decided since we liked it, we'd just get another one. The only difference in the new Mule is that it has 2 and 4 wheel drive and sits a little higher up. And the seat isn't coming apart!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

County Road Trees

A few weeks ago the local county maintenance crew decided they needed to trim the trees on our county road. We're still not sure exactly why now and why these particular trees. They are not allowed to trim trees on our property (the trees are right on the property line) but they are allowed to trim branches that hang over onto the road side. To us, the trees weren't particularly wild or hanging over onto the county road which would interfere with trucks driving down the road. Afterward, it looked like a tree monster had come through and shredded the branches. It looks like some of the trees may not recover from the brutal trimming.

It was a case of lose-lose, rather than win-win. We lost some of our nice trees. And we paid for the work with our local taxes.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Dehydrating Potatoes

After trying all three methods (freezing, canning, and dehydrating), I decided I preferred the dehydrating method.

So with this year's potatoes, I decided I'd slice them. After washing and peeling them, I blanched them and put them in the dehydrator for several hours. I've stored them in jars.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016


One of our cows died the other day. Guv'nor was out checking on them in the morning and saw one of the younger ones lying on the ground in the sun. The cows often lie on the ground, but rarely in the full sun in the hot summer. So he knew something was wrong. She didn't have any obvious injuries or signs of distress and it didn't look like she had been dead very long.

So what do you do with a 700 lb. dead cow? First off, it's not safe to eat a dead animal that you don't know when or why it died. So we lost the possible meat from it ($$). After that, there are probably three options: bury it, burn it, leave it.

Since it hasn't rained for several weeks, the ground is too hard to dig a hole to bury it. Even with a tractor front loader.

And also, since it hasn't rained for several weeks, our county is under a burn ban. So no cow bonfire.

So that left us, sadly, with the last option. Just leave it to be eaten by the buzzards and coyotes. Guv'nor dragged the carcass away from the main herd and as far as he could to the edge of the woods and just left it.

It began to smell pretty bad by the second day. And by the third day the buzzards and coyotes had found it. They told all their friends in the area and they had a big party. At one point I counted at least 50 buzzards circling overhead, with another 20-30 perched in trees watching. I've also seen coyotes on several occasions.

So, why did she die? We asked our Veterinarian friend, and he offered his opinion, without having seen the carcass. 

He said, there were three reasons a cow dies suddenly:

1. Gun shot
2. Lightning
3. Blackleg

Up until now, we had only heard about blackleg because there is a 7-way vaccine for it which we have not done. We may rethink our no vaccine approach to livestock after this.

Here is more information about blackleg if you're interested. Read it here.

After another week or so, the carcass had been picked completely clean with only bones left. We wondered about the cow hide but it was no where to seen so guessed it got eaten too.