Monday, December 23, 2013


We would like to wish everyone a very MERRY CHRISTMAS
because he is the reason for the season.

May GOD be with all this coming new year.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Calf Barn

This is the area that our oldest son had ready for the new calf barn that we were going to build.
So this Saturday our son and his daughter got started on the barn. They arrived at 8 AM and got right on it.

They were still going when the sun was going down. He wanted to get it finished by the end of the day. So they worked tirelessly the whole day.

Our granddaughter also worked very hard, helping by cutting wood and being the runner for our son getting the material or tools he needed to finish the project. Oh and lunch too.

 The picture below is the view that the calves will have from there barn. Are they spoiled or what.

They got it finished and our son got the feeder put in on Sunday morning. I think it really looks great.

Our youngest granddaughter really wanted to pet the calf. She walked around the calves for quite a while trying to pet one.

Her older sister caught one and held her for her to pet. They just love the animals.

Kaitlyn finally was able to sneak up on Petunia and pat her on the  head before Petunia ran off. She wasn't satisfied with that though.

 Tash on the other hand still had a hold of Rosie and loved on her. I think Rosie was loving every minute of it. By the look on their faces it was a mutual love.
They posed very nicely for this picture. Happy as can be.

Mean while, Kaitlyn was still determined to pet the calves more. We finally had to call her and tell her that they weren't interested. She finally gave up.

Well I guess the calves really enjoy their new home. They took right to it.
Now all I have to do is get it painted. I have two other grandchildren coming to visit for Christmas, maybe I can talk them into doing some painting for me.

Life on our little homestead can be very gratifying and I love it here.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


Well today was set aside for taking care of the Bosc pears that came off of our tree. We started peeling about noon.
 When we started we had one and three quarters of these crates. I didn't think to grab the camera in time.
 These are Bosc pears, with a russeted skin. They need to sit in cold storage for a while and then out in room temperate for a week or two before they ripen.
 Janice washed and then we placed the jar into the oven on heat to sterilize.
 They sure looked good in the jars, hope they taste as good as they look.
 With Pears like most fruit, you only cold pack can them. In other words they don't have to be pressure canned.
I tried several times to get Janice to turn toward the camera, but she wasn't having it. Here Janice was filling the jars.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving and Family

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year. Our oldest son and daughter-in-law and two daughters came over this year. We had smoked turkey and ham and wonderful goodies as well. Our daughter in law is a wonderful cook.
We got to spend a little time with our granddaughter shooting. This was the first time that she has done any shooting with a large caliber rifle. She is going to be a natural I think.

She was a little nervous at first, at least until grandma shot a couple of times. Then she picked right up on it.

Our son in the meantime, while we were playing, he was working at getting an area leveled out
for the calves that we have and decided to keep.

He spent most of the day today digging and moving dirt and I think it turned out pretty good.

The area in the above picture is where I decided to put the calves shed. Below is where he moved the dirt to create a road and flat area.

What a view they will have with the pond right there next to the area they will be. The best spot on the lot I think.
Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Bees, Bees, Bees

What a wonderful sight to see the bees out today. The sun was shinning and the temperature was about 58 degrees in the shade which means it was about 60 to 65 degrees in the sunshine.
I had walked by them a little earlier and saw them out and about, flying like crazy gathering pollen that is still available.

I saw some of the bees so full of pollen that they could barely get into the hive through the openings that they have available. The green hive in the middle and the one on the end are regular bees. The one in the middle are Carniolan's and the one on the end are Italian's. Both of these hives are doing very well right now.

The middle hive in the above picture and the hive in the picture below are two hives that we split this summer with two new queens. They are suppose to be the hygienic queens. We are trying to get these hives going to help produce bees that will clean the mites that effect the hives on their own. These two hives are very weak but still doing very well considering they got started late.

I am hoping that all the hives will survive the winter and go great guns next spring. I have them strapped down because we get some pretty strong winds here and I wanted them to be stable.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Hay Storage

Well we got our first load of hay yesterday and I got it put in the new hay storage area that Don and I and our two son's have been working on for about a year now. It is really going to be nice to get the hay out of the area that it is in right now because we have other plans for it. We would like to put some kind of tarp on each end to help keep the deer from having dinner at our expense and also help to keep the rain from getting the ends wet.

This was the first time that I moved the hay on pallets with the tractor. Usually Don does it but with his knee he can't right now. Going to have that fixed soon. Yeah.
To the right of the picture you can see some orange color, that is Chicken of the Woods mushrooms. They really like it there, they are also edible. This is a natural habitat for them. They are growing on an old stump which is hard to see in this picture.

I also got four bales of hay in the garden shed like I had planned and it is going to be really nice to be in a covered area while filling the horses hay bags this winter when it is raining. It is amazing what little things can make one happy.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Hauling Day

Today I got the dirt and gravel put into the garden shed. Don got a couple of scoops of dirt put in before his knee started to hurt him. He did more than he should have. Really sucks that I can't use my legs as I would like to be able to (added by Don).
I raked around the dirt Don got in first then hauled about three more bucket loads on the tractor into the shed. The first time I have ever tried to do anything like that.

I guess I didn't do to bad. Didn't break anything and it looks pretty good. After the dirt I hauled about three more bucket loads of gravel and got that raked around.

I filled it up to the bottom rail inside the shed. I know that with time it will pack down. It goes to just beneath the door.

There is a little gap under the door but not bad. Probably have mice in there this winter. Especially since I plan on moving some of the hay in here for this winter for feeding the horses.

All in all not to bad, if I do say so myself.
With a family that works together anything can be accomplished. Thank you to all of my family that helped with this project and other projects.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Garden Shed

The garden shed is finally done and looking good.
Had a beautiful day and was able to get out and finish painting it. What a job and I don't proclaim to be a professional so no comments from the peanut gallery.

Our oldest son did a wonderful job building it for us and just in time for the winter wet weather. I plan on using part of it for hay storage so I don't have to haul hay quite so far for the horses. As you can see from the picture above the shed is not to far away from the horses paddock.

The front looks really nice and clean. Can't see the door handle and lock which I like.

It seems to fit into the landscaping really good.

Like it was meant to be there or had always been there.

Now all I have to do is fill in some more dirt and gravel in the floor because it is still a bit lower than the center of our driveway and when the rains start it will get flooded and I really don't want that. Then fill her up.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Grizzly and Star's Barn

Finally got the G-boy's barn finished with the help of our neighbor. Since Don hurt his knee he hasn't been able to do much and has really slowed things down as far as getting the fall projects done before the rain's start. This barn being one of them.
We got the greenhouse plastic up around the outside for light like a window but will help hold the rain out. This should at least let the g-boys have some light in the winter when it is raining and they don't want to be outside.

The new feeder we build is just right for them and as you can see, Grizzly was in a hurry to see what it was.

He really likes his new feeder and took right to it.

On each side we put on the new bicarb and mineral feeders Don put together last summer using pvc pipe. It really works well.

Grizzly found it right away and started eating the minerals like they were going out of style. He also found the bicarb feeder but only tasted it. Star on the other hand has been a little standoffish not sure what the big thing is.

Then he discovered there was food in it and as you can see he really got into it.

From the top down.

All in all I think the boys are really going to like the improvements we made to their home.
I think maybe next summer a new coat of paint.