Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Lessons My Dogs Teach Me

Most of my day is spent in the company of
dogs.
Did I say most?
I mean all!

Each and every day my friends teach me 
lessons about life.

Like....

The value of playtime....


The importance of loyalty.... 


How to be patient.... 


And, to never give up....

Most importantly, my dogs have taught me 
that there is nothing in this world
more important than love....
and they give it so freely!

****

I saw a quote that sums it all up....


"I want to be the kind of person that my dog thinks I am"


*Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know
evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a
dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to
be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not
boring--it was peace."
-- Milan Kundera



* "A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you
 more than he loves himself."
-- Josh Billings



* "Man is a dog's idea of what God should be."
-- Holbrook Jackson



* "The average dog is a nicer person 
than the average person."
-- Andrew A. Rooney



* "One reason a dog is such a lovable creature
 is his tail wags instead of his tongue."
-- Unknown

Monday, November 29, 2010

Stuffed, But Savoring The Memories

Thanksgiving is over.
We had much to be grateful for.
We ate, we played, we surrounded ourselves 
with the love of family and friends.

We are truly blessed.
Blessed.
Truly.

And now we head into the holiday season.
Much preparation awaits us.
Parties, gifting, feasting, more friends and
most importantly more family time.

Life is good.
Better than good.
Great.
Truly.

The normal rhythm of life continues,
and my camera is with me each and every moment
so that I can capture those moments before they are gone.

Sweet moments...
like....
an after-breakfast-nap.

That lasts but a moment,

before the ever-present canine mayhem interrupts the peace.


And naptime is replaced by playtime.

Sam delights in teasing Ollie whenever possible,
and Ollie delights in chasing Sam right out of the dry lot.
Sam scoots under the fence to escape a playful nip.

Everyone is enjoying the colder weather....
including me.

I hope you had a wonderful thanksgiving with those that you love.
Ours was just the best ever!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving 
from all of us
to all of you!

Today we are counting our blessings.
Our blessings are many.

We are thankful for our family and friends,

for this beautiful farm that we enjoy
day after day,

for our beloved log farmhouse,

and all of the critters who call this place
home.

This year brought the blessing of new life....
Tyler,
our first grandson.

When I asked the critters what they are thankful for....

The "Bigs" answered....
"Breakfast!"

The "Littles" answered....
"Breakfast!"

The chickens answered...
"Breakfast!"

The goats answered....
"Breakfast!"

The turkeys answered....
"Not being eaten for dinner!"


Thank you, friends, for making our little part of the world....
A part of your world.

We are blessed by your friendship,
your kindness and support,
your comments,
your emails,
YOU!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I Love This Camera!


If you are ever in the market for a point and shoot camera that can do 
anything that an expensive digital SLR camera can do....
this is YOUR camera!!
I have to confess, I went to Costco and bought
the same exact camera that I lost in the woods.

Why?
Because I have never found a better bang for my buck!
This camera does absolutely everything,
for less than a lot of fancy point and shoot cameras.

So, there it is,
the end of the camera saga.

My apologies for the lapse in picture taking.
I will be carrying this little number around with me all day today...
recording life as it happens....
wacky life on the farm.

For now, though, I will share some pictures that I downloaded 
from one of the kids' (Amanda) cameras.
Colorful mushrooms in the Hundred Acre Wood.

We spent Sunday walking the perimeter of our acreage,
checking our "No Hunting" signs and adding new ones.
This is a chore that we do every year
on the weekend before Thanksgiving.
(Amanda and Hubbs with pants tucked in socks to discourage ticks)

Hubbs and Tim (Amanda's boyfriend, and our adopted son)
marked our boundaries,
while Amanda and I wrote our name and address on all
of the old signs.


We even saw some wildlife....
a bear in the woods....


No, not really....
that is Maddie, our Newfie.
All the dogs went with us and had a blast running through the woods.

Unfortunately, I ended up with a tick bite on my back.
Yuck!
The only thing I dislike about life near the woods,
is the ticks.

Thanks to this chore,
the local deer have a safe haven in our woods
yet another year.


  PS.... About those turkey eggs.....delicious....a little more "eggy" than chicken eggs, but higher in protein.  The yolk stays almost round as you fry it.  I would imagine that they, like duck eggs, would be great for baking.  So far our turkey hen has laid 4 eggs.....one daily.

PPS... I have found a website that turns blogs into books, and so I have started to compile the last several years' blog entries into books for us to keep.  I am hoping that it will serve as a sort of history for future generations when we are no longer here.  If you want to do the same with your blog, check it out....HERE.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Good News and Bad News

The bad news first:

Thank you, dear friends,
for all of your heartfelt thoughts
 with regards to the loss of my camera.

(I know it might sound ridiculous,
but I am lost without my little camera.)

I re-hiked the woods retracing my steps as best I could
and was unable to find my poor lost camera.

This camera was a Samsung point and shoot,
that has video capabilities,
and shoots the nicest pictures.

I will be replacing that camera today.
I have to take a trip to town, for an appointment.
Costco will be a stop on that trip.

On a lighter note,
I wanted to share with you what I found in
the turkey house yesterday morning.
(I took this picture with the big camera...
not one I carry around with me)


Yes, siree, I found two freshly laid turkey eggs!
Our first ever.
What am I going to do with them?
Well, I believe I will try frying them up for breakfast!

I just love the variety of eggs that we are harvesting
these days....all sizes, shapes and colors.

Monday, November 22, 2010

So So Sad

I am sad.
Despondent, actually.

During a walk through the woods yesterday.

I
lost
my 
camera.

Yes, my friend,
my pictures,
memories from this weekend,
are lying 
cold,
alone,
scared,
in the woods.

Sad.

So, wish me luck,
I am spending the morning
retracing my steps around 100 acres
of woods....
following our boundary lines...
hoping for the best...
luck.

Sad.
Sad.
Sad.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Update on Sid

A few weeks ago, I wrote about Becky's horse Sid,
and his nose injury.
We still have no idea how he hurt himself.
Sid healed fairly well as you can see,
however the area on the side of his nostril did not
take.


His nostril is not as distinct as the other side,
but he is still quite handsome.

Sid's stitches have been removed,
and he is back in training.

He spends his pasture time with his girlfriend Ava.

Sorry for the lateness of this post....
I had some technical issues to work out this morning.

Now, I had better get in gear and get out to farm chores!

Have a great weekend.
See you Monday with more Tails from the Farm!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mornings

It is the start of just another ordinary day.

And I am treated to a moment of such extraordinary splendor,
that it takes my breath away.
Sunrise over Bee Haven Acres
The veil of night is lifted,
and hours of wind and rain are replaced
by a fiery sunrise.

This was the scene that greeted me yesterday as I did morning
barn chores.

Each day the work is the same. 

 If I left it at that, life would seem quite monotonous. 

But life for me is quite the opposite.
My day is punctuated by moments of magnificence.
Rainbow over Becky's barn

You see, I have the privilege of living and working
in the most beautiful place in this world.

You might argue that your corner of the world is more beautiful,
and maybe it is.....
but to me, there is no place like home.

And speaking of home,
look who greeted me when I went back to the house after chores....

Ok, how about a closer look.....


It's my six crazy Ameraucana roosters.
Incredibly, these six guys, dubbed the "Frat Pack" get along quite well.
They spend their days hanging out around the house...
mostly under the bird feeders.
I often find them inside our garage just nosing around.

They have added a bit of spice to the grounds surrounding the house
with their comical cock-a-dunkle-durb!
Each of them has a different song,
none of which sound anything like your standard rooster.
(I think they speak a different language!)

Oh, and speaking of talking a different language,
(we now switch to baby talk)
I haven't shared any Tyler pictures in a while.
(Tyler is our first grandchild.)

Here he is after consuming sweet potatoes...
"Hey, wait a minute, guys....I'm not ready for a picture!"
(orange residue on cheeks and in nostrils)


Ok, I know you are now laughing and saying,
"Oh my, he has the roundest, baldest head and the chubbiest
cheeks of any baby I have ever seen!"

Yes he does.

Thank you.

I pray the rest of him catches up to his head by the
time he goes to school!
(Yes, I am chuckling, too.)
I spend a lot of time smooching those cheeks.
We adore this little sweetie pie!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Turkey Trivia

Since Thanksgiving is right around the corner,
I though I would share some trivia and observations
I have made raising turkeys.

Oh, and by the way, we are NOT eating our turkeys
for Thanksgiving.
They have gobbled their way into our hearts 
and we are in awe of these majestic birds.

You might remember, a number of weeks back,
we were questioning the sex of turkey #3.
We no longer wonder.
In the past week, this fellow has embraced his manhood,
and spends his day strutting in all his puffed-up splendor.

Male turkeys are slightly larger than females.
However, when they puff up their feathers, 
they look enormous.
In actuality, their feathers are just standing on end.

Our turkeys are an heirloom breed known as Bourbon Reds.
They are supposedly quite tasty, but we may never know for sure.
Commercial turkeys, that most of America eats for Thanksgiving,
are a non-flying breed known as White Hollands.
(not quite as tasty!)

Turkeys have a long flap of skin that hangs from above their beak,
down along side it called the "snood."

The flap of skin that stretches from the underside of their
beak to their neck is called the "wattle."

Those bumpy growths on his head and neck are called
"caruncles."

The curious thing that I have observed lately is how 
dramatically these structures change their color.
I suppose it has something to do with emotion
and excitement.

Within a few moments, their head and neck
 can change from bright scarlet...


and purple....

to shades of fluorescent blue...


to almost white....


I have researched this phenomenon, but can find no
information on what the different colors mean.

Do I need to write a book about turkeys??

Some have a tuft of bristled hair-like feathers
on their chest called a "beard".
Only turkey #1 (Tom) has a beard.

My boys spend their day strutting their puffed-up selves
all around their pen,
trying their hardest to impress the hen.
They don't seem to realize that she is a captive audience.

With all of the courtship and mating happening here,
I am very surprised that our hen has yet to lay any eggs.
I am looking forward to trying a turkey egg.
Perhaps this spring I will try hatching some of these eggs
and adding to our "flock".

Living here in the east, we are privileged to have wild turkeys
living within our woods.
It's so sad to think that in the early 1900's these gentle, giant birds
were almost gone....due to over-hunting, and loss of habitat.

DID YOU KNOW.... Sesame Street's Big Bird's costume is 
covered with thousands of yellow-dyed turkey feathers??


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