Psalm 27:4 "One thing have I desired; that will I seek after. That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life."

Archive for the ‘What’s Happening on the Hobby Farm’ Category

So much to tell, So little time!

Two months later and so much more has happened! And I have some pictures to share, but of course they are all on my phone.  I need to upload everything on my phone to my dropbox so that I can access them easier.  But that’s for another day.  Tonight I’ll just type.

I changed jobs in mid-July and I am so much happier! I won’t tell all of the drama that was going on, and apparently continues, at the previous job.  I wouldn’t be able to disguise the guilty in an adequate manner.  My new job is wonderful! I’m working for a trucking company, small, family and fun to be around.

The fourth of July rolled around and after Camp Meeting, we tackled the living room reno.  Long overdue replacement of the pet destroyed carpet and new paint – okay, the husband was right; we really needed to paint. I showed him some paint colors, he picked the one I wanted and then chose a darker accent color than I was thinking – he was right.  We went to the store to buy carpet (because he refused to order something of high quality 🙂 ) and changed our minds and agreed with each other on 4 different carpet samples. FOUR!!!  Joel painted the ceiling, I painted the walls, Joel and Kurt did the carpet. It’s gorgeous!!  This week we finished up the hallway that didn’t get done over the 4th because the piano was in the hallway. I decided to go ahead and paint above the patio door because it was so grubby above the door. There is now a very obvious line of new paint, but I wasn’t ready to paint over the beehive on the wall – or paint all the way into the kitchen.

All of this preparation is in anticipation of the bridal shower we are hosting on the 23rd.  The shower in Michigan was a wonderful hit. We had a great time; Kristen’s cake for her sister turned out beautifully. The setting was perfect. The family fun to be with.  Packing the car to come home was an adventure!  Karra and Jason came up Friday after Kurt, Kristen and I had driven up on Wednesday.  Jason went home Saturday and we loaded up Monday morning after the shower on Sunday.  We were pretty full going up and had to come home with an extra person, extra luggage and a nice haul of gifts!  Kristen did a great job packing things up for me.

The next shower is still in bits and pieces and is only a week away.  Karra and I shopped last week for her flowers for the wedding bouquet and Kristen and I shopped tonight for the rest of the craft items needed for the shower.  Now, I have to get my butt in gear and get the decorations made, the games printed and remember to buy plates and silverware!  Oh, gosh.  I work 3 days a week, so time to work on things is at a premium.  Might be a quite sleepless week.

And Penny is making such amazing progress.  I’ve been able to see Kristen ride her a few times and everyone just loves her. She is such a sweet horse.  And she loves to play in the mud!!  She’s going to be a fabulous trail horse when her reining career is over.  Her mane and tail are growing in again and she’s so shiny!  She’s had a bout with hives that we think is probably because she’s always been outside and now she’s on bedding.  The hives have gotten much better as her immunity has built up.

And now I’m rapping up and going to bed.  I promise, promise after the second shower is over that I’ll post pictures to go with this post.

And That’s What’s Happening on the Hobby farm!

Living at the Speed of Life

Good grief, life flies by at lightening speed.  It was just my birthday and y’know what?  Easter, spring, horse shows, Kurt’s birthday, I got a job, I bought Kristen a horse, I got a new job, Kristen got clobbered in an accident and her car was totaled, Easter, my parents visited, and Karra got engaged. And a whole lot of other life in between!

After a couple of frustrating horse shows, I was just fed up with Kristen only ever showing the whatever horses that people brought to IEA. So, I got a job and bought a horse before I even started working! We had our eye on a 4 year old quarter horse at a rescue in Athens and once I got the job, I talked to our trainer and showed him the papers and info on her. We headed off on April 4th with a horse trailer in tow to visit BellaRunEquine.org .  I was feeling really good after Jeff told me he loved her on paper. Reining, cutting and ranch horse blood lines. He watched her moved a bit in the round pen and said yep, we can work with her. And one adoption fee later, we were horse owners.

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AQHA registered Whiteoaks Bonnie a.k.a. Penny. We found a shiny penny and picked her up and took her home!  So in love with this sweetheart.  Jeff promised us in 60 days we wouldn’t recognize her, but in just 2 weeks she had gained weight and started to build some muscle. Kristen is doing an apprenticeship to work off the training fees and I’m paying the monthly board.

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A month later – first time in the saddle. She’s responding to her training so well! We couldn’t be happier with her.

We bought a saddle on Thursday – great price, brand new, but has water damage on one fender and a rusted stirrup. So, we bought new fenders and stirrups. After church today we bought a girth. Saddle (came with bridle and breast collar), new fenders, stirrups and girth – total price? $300!!!!!

(No pictures, they showed the laundry and mess in my living room) 😀

The next day after we brought Penny home, Kristen was hit by a drunk driver – at 5pm in the afternoon! He hit Kristen then a semi then another car. We got a good settlement from the insurance company, but her car was totalled due to the extensive right side damage. Large tears abound. I never cried, but I got that call that stops every parent’s heart – hysterical child on the phone. We have said many, many prayers of thanks that Kristen and Kurt weren’t hurt. Kurt was covered in glass from the shattered window but only had a few nicks on his elbow. His glasses have nicks and gouges in the lenses, but not a scratch on his face.  I got Kristen to the chiropractor right away because she had her final IEA show that weekend!  She was really sore, but it just capped off an overall disappointing season.

Three days after the accident was Kurt’s birthday

Creeper cake anyone?

Hey, cool gaming chair!

Over Memorial Day weekend we had a poop moving party. Joel and Kristen took the walls off the stalls, the roll bar and exhaust off the tractor and turned Kurt loose with the backhoe.

He takes his job very seriously – and he’s quite good with the backhoe.

It was wonderful to go out to the barn and have clean stalls with fresh bedding. That clean out was long, LONG overdue. Of course moving all of that mess stirred up the flies something terrible. I like to think of it as making them readily available to the chickens. 😀

And the last thing rolling off the fingertips tonight are DIMS Day projects!

I can’t remember where I saw the project to take scotch glasses, a candlestick and a relish plate and turn them into a bathroom caddy, but I finally found the candlesticks at a garage sale and was ready to roll. The end result:

It let me put all of my lotions and body sprays into a basket where they are corralled instead of floating freely all over the counter. Anyone else have wandering lotions and body sprays?

The one I’m most proud of is my little ottoman. Again, I can’t remember where I saw the tutorial to take a milk crate, cover it with jute and make a cushioned top.

The supplies

Wrapping and gluing. Gluing and wrapping.

I used 2 and 1/4 of the rolls of jute to cover the entire crate. I did cut foam core to put into the bottom thinking I would make it usable for storage.

It only took 20 minutes to finally find the staple gun Kurt gave me for Christmas :p  Once I found it I got down to upholstery business! I didn’t go with an easily removed cushion because the crate is kind of small and I can’t think of anything I’d put into it anyway.

Hubby got busy and installed a bathroom fan (that we got for $20 at a garage sale – brand new in the box)

It goes great with the new beach theme in my master bathroom. And the new fan doesn’t chirp and chatter like a crazy cockatoo!

Bathroom curtain. I have enough fabric to do my bedroom curtains, too.

We went to IKEA for our 25th anniversary and I got the metal bed I’ve always wanted. Joel even agrees that it’s a great bed – very comfortable!

Hang in there newlyweds – sometimes it takes 25 years for Mr. Wonderful to realize that his wife is right! And speaking of newlyweds – Karra and her Mr. Wonderful got engaged on the big fishing trip to Canada. Her ring is beautiful. She is happy. And I’m going to be a mother-in-law. I love the way he calls me Mom Two. He’s my Son Also.

And That’s What’s Happening on the Hobby Farm!

 

 

Oh, Hello

Well, WordPress sure changed while I’ve been away.

Happy Thanksgiving

Merry Christmas

Happy New Year

That’s covers the major ones. I have been away.

The Holidays were good and I got most of my projects done – still haven’t stained Kutt’s new bed 😦 He’s being a trouper about the delayed bedroom makeover.

I accidentally went off my depression medicine right before Christmas. I think I’m still messed up from that. I waited until I had 3 pills left, like I usually do, only this time, the refill expired 5 days before I called. The pharmacy said they would call my dr.’s office. Six days later, I’ve been off my pills and am having the most bizarre dreams!! I’m getting dizzy like crazy and feeling like when I turn my head, it takes 5-10 seconds for my mind to make the turn with my body! Really creepy. And was a grouch!!! My kids would have used a different word: b*(^*&*. Karra announced that she would be following herself to Michigan if I was like that for Christmas. Personally, I would have liked to see her follow herself. Anyway, I called my dr. office and got back on my meds. I’ve been a much nicer person to be around since then.

I’ve really been re-thinking my blog lately and haven’t decided if I should continue on with the hobby farm, revamp what I write about, or start a completely new blog. Until I decide something, I guess I’ll keep rambling to you.

I feel like the hobby farm is winding down – or maybe just changing seasons. We butchered SugarBelle in September and I sold LibertyBelle in December – she’s now happily mated to a Hereford bull and expecting a Baldy calf. Torpedo is a steer – not as much fun as a moo moo mama, and a little on the grouchy side being by himself most of the time.  I miss my cows. If we venture into a milk cow again, I’ll make sure I can get her bred easily, and also probably go with a regular sized cow. The Dexters didn’t prove to be all we had hoped for. I want a sweet cow. I want a dehorned cow.

The sheep are so easy to take care of – not to mention breed. Shamrock joined the ladies October 1st and we separated them in late December. Honey and Stormie already show signs of udder development. Kristen has bumped the girls and she’s pretty sure that 4 of them are pregnant. Rebekah we’re not sure of – she’s an awful lot like her mama, Daisy. 😀

One of the things I’m thinking about for future hobby farming is replacing our Shetland lamb that died and raising some woollies.  It would probably be smarter to go with a spinnable wool hair sheep, but we’re still pretty leery of horns on animals. Soay have horns. Painted Dessert sheep have horns. When it comes to wool, Jacob sheep and Icelandic sheep have horns. Icelandics are pricey, too!  I’m thinking about alpacas or llamas, too. My niece had a beautiful llama when she was in high school – Dominick. Oh, he was gorgeous!!!!  If I could raise the fleece, there is a mid Ohio fiber mill where I could have them washed, carded, and spun. I could put them on my Etsy shop (which I finally opened!) as roving, or knit them into something.

We’re also talking about replacing our chickens this year, but not Brik!! And we may be getting piggies to grow for the freezer. Yum, yum.

My head continues to spin with ideas for how to start my own little cottage industry from my own little – well, big – cottage.  The transcription course got bogged down in cyber relax massage chairs (don’t ask) and I’ve gotten very discouraged with it. I know it’s something I could do, but I really got hung up with it. And quite honestly, all I want to do is spend the days and hours of my life in my sewing room creating things. Fun things, usable thing, whimsical things, nonsensical things, practical things. Things that will bless people. Things that people can bless other people with.

OK, the Etsy shop. Yes, I opened it. The only item in it is one of Kristen’s paintings. I’d love to see her sell it, but in the meantime, it hangs in my living room and I really, really like it!

The plan is to stock The Crazy Bumble Bee.Etsy shop with baby blankets and bibs. At least to start. I have a partially finished blanket in the sewing room for my friend, Sarah, whose baby shower I couldn’t attend on Tuesday because I’M SICK!  I really like piecing together squares for a simple baby blanket. It’s fun. I’m looking forward to blessing the Woman’s Clinic of Columbus with baby blankets, as well as stocking the Etsy shop.  Hopefully by fall I will have some Christmas items done that I can stock as well. I would still like to do a completely Christmas shop, but I’ve felt God speaking to me about that, so it may be something I keep separate from The Crazy Bumble Bee; I’m not sure at this point.

Kurt’s LEGO robotics and invention team is doing well and they’ve advanced to the State Finals competition next month. Go LEGO Force!  Kristen had her first IEA show yesterday (I left my death bed to attend). She did respectable for her first Open classes, two fourth place finishes. She and our team’s top horsemanship rider both drew the same horse and after watching her teammate have a not so good ride, Kristen started to get her in her own way. But when she went out to ride, she rode that horse! She definitely had the better ride and when we watched a really good rider on him later, she only finished one place above Kristen and her teammate on the same horse. It was a big win for Kristen in that she didn’t let herself focus on her teammate’s ride, but went out and tried to do something different to find the horse’s buttons. And it worked! Our next show is in West Virginia! and is the weekend after Kurt’s LEGO competition.

And That’s What’s Been Happening on the Hobby Farm.

 

 

 

Hello

Hey Blogosphere! I have been totally AWOL, I know. I know.  Once the fleas were dealt with, life kicked up a notch and then there were robotics things and a horse show and Karra’s birthday and we’re doggy sitting our friend’s Pomeranian – and that is where the funniest post in a long time is probably going to come from. Hopefully next week amidst the cleaning and cooking and paper checking of Thanksgiving week, and after the barking in my brain has subsided, I’ll drop by for an over due visit.

38 days until Christmas!! I hit the panic button, but it hasn’t engaged.

And That’s What’s Happening on the Hobby Farm.

Infestation

I went down to the sewing room on Tuesday and found out that the fleas we thought we had whipped had whipped us instead. I could see the stupid things jumping on me and when I came upstairs, they came with me on my socks! Yesterday I vacuumed in the basement until the filter in my vacuum was so dusty it wouldn’t suck anymore. Then I swept. I had the kids start throwing things outside – including my beloved cardboard box collection, just two months before Christmas!! The ramp that Hubby built so we could drive 4-wheelers into the basement was completely infested. I had Kristen soak everything she could with the hose and everything outside got rained on last night. I emptied a bottle of flea spray in the sewing room on Tuesday and bought 3 more bottles yesterday. I didn’t get the entire basement covered, but bought 2 more bottles today and finished it. Meijer no longer has bottles of flea spray :) There are bags of denim that I sprayed, but need to wash to be sure. The saddest part is knowing that I’m going to have to thoroughly clean the basement every week for the next month. I WANT MY SEWING ROOM BACK!!!!  NO, I NEED MY SEWING ROOM BACK!!!!!!!!!

At church last night in the middle of a wonderful service I could feel my glands swelling and my throat starting to hurt. Right now, I’m curled up in my emerald green Christmas robe in my comfy Chicago Bears clothes and feeling miserable. Kristen has a pot of homemade chicken soup with lots of garlic simmering away on the stove. I love her.

First Day of School, But First….

Today was it. The first day of the 12th year of homeschool. Where in tarnation did all of the years GO???

But before school, there was the end of summer vacation – and canning.

We had a wonderful time in Michigan: no salt, no sharks, no problems. Sigh.  Before we left Kristen & Kurt cleaned my van. The interior looked just as bad as the exterior (translate: I forgot to take before pictures)

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When I went to the car wash, the water jets pushed my new driver magnet right off the van. I walked behind the van at the cheese store and about freaked out. Kristen was planning to drive to Michigan and we needed the magnet. I went back to the car wash and looked everywhere – of course there was a car in the bay that I had used so I’m standing on my head trying to see in while they got their car washed. I can only imagine what they were thinking! I couldn’t see it anywhere, so I called the phone number and a really nice man told me to wait until the other car left and I would find it on the floor – and sure enough there it was, getting the magnet side washed, too. Huge sigh of relief.

When the kids were finished, the interior looked amazing!

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They pulled it into the garage where I couldn’t get really good pictures, but I assure you, my van was a night and day transformation!

While we were chilling at Grandma and Grandpa’s the kids did a lot of reading of “Calvin and Hobbes” books. It keeps them occupied and they have a great time laughing at our family favorite comic strip. Even Present got in on the fun.
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Of course, Present also got her nose into Kristen’s cereal bowl and fresh blueberries – I’m not sure where the picture is. We both got yelled at for that one 😀

Once we were back home, we had to deal with the garden. There are no pictures of the bounty because the task before us was extremely daunting. 88 tomatoes on the first picking. For 3 days straight (Thursday, Friday and Saturday) Kristen and I chopped, diced, peeled, sliced, stirred and canned. She brought up all of the frozen broth from the freezers so that we could pressure can that and get it out of the freezer to make room for the beef next month. We put up tomato paste, sauce, and diced tomatoes; more pickle relish, peaches and peach jam. Plus lamb and chicken broth. AND Kristen thawed and ground about 12 lbs. of lamb to make sausage. The corn we blanched and froze, but it was past its prime and will probably end up in chicken feed over the winter. I came home to 5 club sized zucchini in the garden and promptly pulled the plants. I also pulled the cucumbers because we have 6 on the counter from before vacation and an overflowing 1/2 bushel since we came home. NO ONE wants that much pickle relish for Christmas!  We still have salsa on the list and that will use some cukes as well.

By the end of the canning session it was obvious that our leaking kitchen faucet had to go; okay, it was obvious before we left on vacation, but Hubby got a real dose of it while we were gone and that was enough! So,late on Saturday, Kristen and I decided the time had come and we would go get the new faucet. Before that could happen, while she was trying to heat water to put in the diced tomatoes – the microwave died! 5 minutes on high, for tap water temperature. Not good. So, we were looking for a microwave as well. I found one I liked at Home Depot.

Off to the store, to find out that they don’t stock their microwaves at Home Depot. They didn’t have the one I found on line, but Kristen found one she liked better. We went to order that. Guess what, that will be $15 to remove the old one and $60 to have the new one delivered-to the store! Are you kidding me? Sorry, fella, that’s too much added on to the price. Lowe’s had absolutely nothing, so I checked Menard’s on my handy dandy smart phone. Well, soil my britches and call me a Gronkel’s auntie, there was my Maytag microwave in stock! Oh, wait, in stock with a stainless steel handle. I just bought a bronze finish faucet for the kitchen, don’t really want stainless steel right there. Ah, here’s the all black option – two weeks to get it in. But, hold the presses! -ships to store for FREE!!! Oh, how I love that word!!  FREE  FREE FREE!!  Order that puppy up and we’ll live with out a microwave for 2 weeks. It will.not.kill.us.

Sunday rolls around and we’re at Menard’s to get a piece of steel that Joel needs for the trailer. I showed him the new microwave with the nice metal handle – no plastic! – he was impressed.  Back home we came to nap and relax and then Kristen decided that she could install that faucet by herself. You Go Girl!!

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Daddy was blown away when he got up from his nap. And you know what the hardest part of the whole process was? Figuring out how to turn the dump thing on!!! We rolled the lever back and forth and back and forth and checked all of the connections twice. No water. Kristen had pulled the hose out and was looking into it when she bumped the handle away from the faucet and got sprayed in the face!! Apparently, it turns on by pushing the lever away from the faucet and then adjust for hot and cold by rolling front or back. I’m telling you, folks, I’m not going gray, I’m going blonde!

Which brings us to today. The first day of school.

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I can’t tell you how precious these pictures are and how much my kids have grown up every year. To see all of the pictures together on Karra’s board for graduation, was something else.

We had a couple of firsts on this first day of school – Kristen threw up, never had that happen before. I recommended that she NOT take her vitamins on an empty stomach in the future. We started at 8 (another first) and both kids were done at 12:00. ALL done, not just sort of done. And I sat in the school room and worked on stuff right along with them. Amazing.

One of the things we noticed with the leaky kitchen faucet and all of the canning was a funny smell in the laundry room and kitchen. We thought it was under the sink, or something from the canning. Turns out it’s the washing machine. THAT is all I need right now. But, Kristen and I did look at them at Home Depot and decided I’d like a stacking set, to maximize room in my laundry. That will be a post for another day and another time (I have a baby blanket to make today!)

And That’s What’s Happening on the Hobby Farm.

Almost a Month Later…..

We are finally getting some much needed rain tonight. Things have been so very dry here. Despite the dryness, or maybe because of it, my jalapeno peppers have been quite prolific. We’ve been drying them in batches to reconstitute when the the tomatoes finally ripen and we can make salsa. My cucumbers are also ready way ahead of salsa making. We did do a couple of batches of zucchini relish and a batch of hamburger dills for Joel. I’m really pleased with how well the garden is doing. I need to pull the zucchini plants before they bless me with more bounty to go with the more bounty I already don’t know WHAT to do with! Need to plant peas and broccoli soon, too.

The little kittens have been growing and growing. The runt, Tommy, was the first to figure out how to get out of the table cage (3 tables on their sides against a basement wall). Once they all figured out how to get out, we moved one of the tables, but left the cage mostly intact (to keep Luke from eating their food every morning – the same Luke that got upstairs and opened the tub with Catnip’s special food and ate half the tub!!!!. That dog will eat ANYTHING.

Now I have 6 half-pint-sized fur bombs terrorizing my basement. Oy, vey, the mess they have made in my sewing room. Not to mention the attack of fleas that went from the basement to the upstairs and the dear, fat Catnip. Countless bottles of flea & tick spray and many, many kitten baths later, I do believe we have them under control. And every time the dogs scratch I tell them to “Stop it!! Scratching makes me nervous.”  After every bath the kittens go into the powder room to dry off and stay clean. Upon opening the door the other day we discovered that the kittens had trashed it like a little rock’n’roll band! They played in the dogs’ water dish, got into the trash and tossed toilet paper rolls everywhere – apparently those are some particularly joyful toys to play with. I could not believe the mess those clean little bodies had left on the floor.

We are still trying to find homes for 3 of them before they’ll have to go to a rescue. Tommy Trouble and his look-alike sister, Tonya, are going to the horse barn to charm people and chase little mouses. Mozart (formerly, Matt’s Cat) is going to stay right here with us (so much for NOT KEEPING ANY OF THEM!).  The kids have pooled their money and are going to pay to vet and feed him. Sweet, fluffy, little thing with a contagious face, is going to compete with Luke, Lexi and Catnip.

Joel and Kurt made it to Tennessee and back with our new tractor – and the manure pile is gone!! And Joel cleaned out the cow stalls, too. Last night he went and bought a trailer so that the tractor can go traveling to make hay! After we buy hay equipment, of course.

We are headed off to The Mitten soon for a long weekend and a family wedding. It will be nice to get away for a bit before school starts back up (on the 22nd!!!!!AAAAUUUUGGHGHGH). It’s supposed to rain the day we’re planning to go to St. Joe and shop and stare at the beach. Y’know how that really translates? IT’S GOING TO BE HOT AND MUGGIER THAN BLAZES, FLETCHER, SO DON’T EVEN BOTHER TO PUT ON MAKE-UP AND TRY TO LOOK NICE. YOU’RE GOING TO LOOK LIKE A SWEAT SOAKED FRUMP!! But I’m going anyway – it’s the rebel in me. And Grandma always buys Kilwin’s ice cream for us.

And That’s What’s Been Happening on the Hobby Farm!

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