Saturday, March 21, 2015

Spring! and a Gift Card Winner

It's here!!!! I think spring has officially arrived! The ground is losing its drab brown color and turning green! Even the puppy, Delconno, is happy to see grass again!

My week of spring cleaning has kicked off and I hope to have a nice, organized home in a couple of weeks.

BUT, today is all about my Dog Fencing post and how successful ya'll made that post! Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who left a comment and/or shared the post on FB! It generated quite a bit of talk about fencing for dogs and I think most everyone who has used underground fencing found it to be effective.

I promised a drawing and a drawing I delivered!

Congratulations to the winner of the $50 Amamzon Gift Card : Ruth Ross!
Ruth doesn't have dogs, but she shared the info with her sister who owns sheep and Pyranees.

Ruth, I need you to email me within the next 24 hours at to claim your gift!

Thank you again everyone who participated! Thank you also to Willow, my #4 child, for all of the pictures on the blog today!

I hope everyone is enjoying nice weather today and can get outside to soak up some sun!

Happy Spring Ya'll!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Dog Fencing

***The following is a sponsored post. I was compensated for the use of my blog but my statements and opinions are my own. Also, the photos are my own and of my wonderful dogs!***

When you move out on land there is one major universal need and that need is fencing. Fencing is also a huge expense. Around here we put up a new section of field fencing every year, when the budget allows.
Thankfully cattle can be contained within moveable electric wire. Dogs are an entirely different issue. When we lived in a subdivision we had an underground electric fence system for our dog. We only had one dog at the time and the fence worked great.
Now we have several dogs who act as yard and livestock protectors, but Duke has been known to wander off at times. There have been many times I considered an electric containment for him but I never knew if one existed.
Today I have a sponsored post that is all about dog fencing systems, including one that has a coverage range of up to 100 acres! I would LOVE to know if anyone has used a system such as this on their property.
**Leave a comment or share this post on Facebook or other social media. If you share the post, let me know in the comments. There will be a drawing Friday, March 20th for a winner amongst the comments and sharing. An Amazon Gift Card for $50 is the prize! Who wouldn't love that? If you are like me, you have a list of books on your Amazon Wish List.**

The Pros and Cons of an Invisible Dog Fence for Your Farm

There are many uses for invisible dog fences on farms. You can use an electric fence to keep
your dogs away from your crops and out of your garden or flower beds. You can stop your dogs
from disrupting or hunting your chickens around their coop. You can prevent your dogs from
entering the barn, bothering other livestock, or falling into a pond or well. Why would you choose
an invisible fence over a more traditional fence, such as wood, PVC, or chain-link? There are
several advantages to invisible fences, so let’s take a closer look at them, along with the
potential disadvantages of the system. Alternatively you can use versafence  if you are
struggling with critters such as raccoons, bunnies and other pest trying to attack your vegetable


Large Capacity

Invisible dog fences have a greater capacity than most people realize. Some underground dog
fence systems can enclose up to 100 acres of land. There are also wireless dog fences that can
enclose up to 25 acres of land. The cost of a traditional fence rises dramatically with each
additional acre needed, but the cost of additional wire for an invisible fence system is minimal. If
you want to allow your dogs the run of your entire large acreage farm, a single invisible fence
system is still a viable option.

No Obstruction

One of the biggest advantages of an underground dog fence is that it doesn’t obstruct the path
for anyone besides the dogs wearing the e-collars. When you’re frequently moving about your
farm, especially when you’re carrying supplies, it can be a hassle to open and close a gate. With
an electric dog fence, you can effortlessly cross your dogs’ boundaries to get to where you need
to go. An electronic dog fence will not obstruct the view either, so your ability to see beyond
your dogs’ area to the rest of the land will not be impaired.

Reliable Protection

Traditional fences are exposed to the elements, making them vulnerable to environmental
damage. With lots of acres on a farm, it’s inconvenient to examine the entire length of your
fence after every storm. It’s necessary, however, or else your dogs’ could escape unnoticed. An
underground dog fence offers reliable protection. Damage is rare, but if it does occur, the main
system will notify you immediately of a break in the wire. Determined and stubborn dogs are
also better contained by an electronic dog fence, because they’re unable to dig under, jump
over, or push through like they might with a traditional fence.

Custom Zones

The size and rigidness of traditional fences make them difficult to install in unusual formations or
spaces. An electric dog fence allows you to fully customize the shape and location of your dogs’
designated zone. A wireless dog fence can also offer radial protection. Electric dog fences can
also be repositioned as necessary. If your farm is busy and your space is already limited, an
invisible dog fence will help you maximize your dogs’ play area from the space you do have.


One of the most attractive aspects of an electric dog fence is that it’s so inexpensive. If you set
up your own invisible fence, you’ll save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on installation.
Especially with multiple acres, traditional fences can cost thousands of dollars, but an electric
dog fence can cost as little as $300 total. It’s comforting to know that your dogs’ safety won’t be
compromised due to a modest budget, as the invisible fence cost is so low. A DIY invisible
fence is a project anyone can tackle in just a weekend’s time, and your familiarity with the
system will allow you to fix any future problems (rare that they are) without needing to pay for


One-Way Containment

While the unobtrusiveness of an electric dog fence is nice, this also means it does not function
as a catch-all fence. Other animals on your farm will be able to freely cross over the boundary
wire and enter the dogs’ area. If wild animals are a concern for you, then an electric fence will
not hinder their access to your land. If you need to keep livestock or children inside the yard, or
other animals out, an underground dog fence may not be sufficient. However, traditional fences
and invisible fences can be used together for maximum protection.

Training Required

Placing a traditional fence does not require any training, but an electric dog fence has a bit of a
learning curve. Your dogs will have to learn where their boundaries are located. E-collar training
will take about 15-30 minutes each day for two weeks, and you must be consistent and
thorough. After training, your dogs will not feel the mild corrective shock of the e-collar unless
they deliberately disobey the warning vibrations and cross their boundaries. If you don’t have
the time or desire to train your dogs this way, then the system won’t work for you.

Power Source Needed

An electric fence requires a power source, which may limit your placement possibilities.
However, solar panels can be purchased for about $100 in order to power your fence if it’s not
located near an outlet, and that’s still cheaper than a traditional fence. If your electricity goes
out, your fence won’t work without a backup power source, so this is a consideration also. Many
fences have backup batteries to combat this problem, but not all.
When it comes time to choose and install your electric dog fence, online reviews and
manufacturer instructions will be invaluable resources. The type of dogs you have and the size
of your farm should direct your choice. As long as your dogs aren’t younger than six months,
pregnant, or infirm, they can be trained on an electric dog fence, and the vast majority of
invisible fence users are extremely happy with their reliability and versatility. After all, the safety
of your dogs on the farm is of the utmost importance.

Published in partnership with We encourage you to share your
experiences with a variety of dog containment systems in the comments section. Commenters
and those who share the post in social media qualify for a drawing of a $50 Amazon gift card!

************* This contest is closed. Thank you to everyone who participated!**************

Friday, March 13, 2015

The Quicky

It's wet and rainy here. Very wet and rainy. When you head out to my barn, the ground is so thick with mud and muck that your boots just sink. The weekend is supposed to dry up a bit so that it can rain again mid week. I remind myself that all of this rain is why we will have lots of grass this spring and summer.

With that said, it has been a very busy week, but I am going to cover some of the highlights.

1. Devin and I went to a local comedy club on Sunday night. This club has been in Chattanooga for a very long time, but this was our first time to go. We had a blast.
We saw Joe Machi, who was on Last Comic Standing. Great show and a clean one at that! We had such a good time that I bought us tickets for a show in April!

2.  I sent my dark sheep fleeces off to a small mill for processing. House Lamb, Flicka, had some multi colored fleece when we sheared her last fall. I was excited to see what the mill could do, so I had them make me worsted weight yarn.
WOW! Flicka produced a beautiful gray-tan color yarn that is soft and shiny. I have already crocheted a beanie. In fact, all of the yarns were fabulous so I am making everyone in the house a hat for next winter!

3. I bought 3 new books to read. I picked my steer up from the processor and now I have a freezer full of grass fed beef. This is a great thing, but I felt I needed some direction on cooking the beef. I also want to try and make some bone broth and wanted some direction there as well. Finally, I have a new  pressure cooker. Again, more direction and recipes were needed.
I love all of the books so far and my first batch of bone broth, that was made in the pressure cooker, turned out well. It wasn't gelled up, but it was thick.

4. My house is messy. It hasn't been this messy since I had a new baby! I blame the busy days and the winter snow and rain. I guess I could blame the livestock I have outside and the dogs that run through the house. At any rate, it needs a good cleaning.
I decided that we would spend 9 days spring cleaning. Of course we will have chores and some school to complete in the mornings, but the afternoons are going to be cleaning times! I made a list and posted it in the kitchen on a dry erase board.
Now everyone knows what is coming and I can get through my day knowing we will not always live in filth:-)

5.  I will have sponsored post this weekend. This is the first time for a sponsored post on this blog. I get offers weekly from various companies but I always turn them down. Usually it is for a product I don't care about or it's a company I don't care for too much. This sponsor and I went back and forth a bit the last couple of weeks though and I feel like they might have something useful to offer. They are also throwing in an amazon gift card to a reader. Hey, you could buy those awesome books I just bought! Anyway, be looking for the post. This is a rare thing and will not often happen. I think the $50 gift card would be awesome to win!

Happy Weekend Ya'll!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

That Day We Thought Spring Had Sprung

Last week we had a nice snow storm. By *nice* I mean there was a whopping 8 inches of snow and the kids had a grand time playing. We do not get many snows that amount to real snowman making conditions.
It is one of the many things I love about Georgia.

Of course, my kids didn't build snowmen. I am the first to admit my kids can be strange. They instead built a snow hay bale. I am not joking either.

We had so much fun milking the cows and feeding chickens and checking eggs in this stuff. The dogs absolutely loved finding a spot to do their business and the geese couldn't figure out where to lay an egg.

Of course the upside to all of this was that Devin had just gotten a new farm toy the day before. I put him to work scooping out mounds of hay and muck from the barn stalls. I can assure you that we will get tons of use from this new tractor!

Within 2 days we had plenty of rain and sun to melt everything. The temps have slowly gone up and we enjoyed a balmy74 today! The windows were opened, the kids dug out shorts, and the frogs came out in huge numbers to sing. It was a beautiful spring day! It is amazing to me how a day of nice weather can perk a gloomy mood!

Well, they always say that if you don't like the weather in the South, just wait a day. My window is still open and I can hear the wind blowing and a cold rain moving in. Tomorrow the temps will drop into the 20's and we are expecting an inch of snow. Winter weather just 3 days before we switch back to Daylight Savings Time.

The frogs are not losing hope though and neither will I. Here's to one more week of cold weather and the promise of spring.

Happy Hump Day Ya'll!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Wayward Tooth Fairy

Back when we had only a couple of kids, we had a really great tooth fairy. She always managed to sneak in while the children were fast asleep and trade a baby tooth for 2 shiny quarters. She had another fabulous quality too: She was always prompt!

As our family grew, her reliability waned. It would not be uncommon to find a tooth still sitting in a child's room the next day. I guess she had a really busy night sometimes...or maybe she was extra tired and dozed off to sleep before 9pm.

Whatever the issue was, the children could get her to come back the next night if they would draw for her a pretty picture. This was, of course, my suggestion.

"Oh! I bet if you draw her a pretty picture she will come back with 3 or 4 shiny quarters!"

It always worked. The tooth fairy has quite a collection of pretty pictures, most of them have dollar signs drawn on them too. My kids are so very subtle with their hints.

Fast forward to present day. The tooth fairy has a fairly easy job these days. She no longer has to find a tooth in a dark bedroom. No, that was becoming too much of a chore to walk upstairs and sneak around the bedroom. These days the kids use a cute little chicken treasure box to place their tooth inside. It even sits majestically on the kitchen counter for all to see (and hopefully not forget)!

Rose lost a tooth last night and she placed it inside the chicken box for the tooth fairy. The tooth fairy had Rose's tooth on her mental list of things to do during the night.
I really don't know exactly when the tooth fairy became so wayward, but it happened, nonetheless. I try not to focus on negatives anyway.

Oh that wayward fairy! She somehow forgot to pick up the tooth and leave 2 shiny quarters. Poor Rose!
Of course I reminded Rose that the fairy really enjoyed pretty pictures, and I urged Rose to get busy with a drawing. I suppose even Rose is a little tired of the tooth fairy antics, because she didn't even want to bother with using crayons for her picture. Take THAT wayward tooth fairy!

Hopefully the tooth fairy will make an early stop here to the house with 4 shiny quarters for Rose, assuming the snow storm doesn't keep her from making it to the house.
She really is a pathetic tooth fairy, Devin and I both agree, and we are both grateful our kids can be bought off with only quarters.

Happy Snow Day Ya'll!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Follow Through: Large Family Management

One of the most often asked questions I receive is about chores and how I manage to get things done.

I am not going to lie. I do get *lots* done in a day, but do not think for a second that *everything* needing to get done happens. My house is a disaster right now. I am waiting until spring weather, and we will take a week off to deep clean and organize.
The kids will be helping, of course. Chores are what keeps this house running smoothly.

Chores are part of life. Chores teach kids about responsibility and about contributing to the group. Chores build self confidence and allows one be an active member of the group.
Chores, which are part of a daily routine, should not be "paid chores."
Chores are what keep a mom sane. Seriously.

In this house I have a chore chart. It rotates weekly.

Rotating weekly will make sure the kids are learning all the chores and it also keeps them from feeling bored of the same chore. I have my oldest and youngest daughter paired up so the younger one can have a "mentor" as she learns. 

Now, in this house things such as making a bed, bringing down dirt laundry, cleaning the bedroom , etc are NOT consider chore chart chores. They are, instead, considered something that is done without a second thought. Wake up and make your bed. You shouldn't need a chart for that task.

I admit my chart is ready for a revamp too, as my oldest is in college and working a job. She is often times not here and the others must pick up the slack.

Outside and farm related chores are an entirely different ballgame. I have no chart for those chores. I have no sense of *fairness* or equal distribution either. Here's is how farm chores work: I decide who does what and things get done. It can change daily too.

Typically Quinn stays inside to clean the kitchen and filter milk while I head outside to milk cows. Indiana and Willow feed all the outside animals and fill water troughs. The young boys hang out with me while I milk. Even at their young ages, the boys learn quite a bit about cows and milking just by watching and talking to me.

There are, of course, days when I have so many projects in the works that I assign the milking chores to Indiana or Journee. Both girls are great cow milkers and I trust them to fill my shoes. Of course, there was a process of them learning this task. I taught them both how to milk so that I would have some back up. It is really nice for days when I am making a batch of cheddar!

Of course there is always the question of how I manage to get the kids on board with all of this work plus their school work. I have a simple answer: Follow through.

Follow through is the most powerful weapon in the parenting arsenal. The kids learn quickly to follow through on their chores and responsibilities when you, as the parent, show them you have great follow through with punishment.

If I threaten to take away all electronic devices for a week due to lack of chore or school follow through on their part, trust me when I say I make good on my threats. I always follow through. Always. Even if it makes my life a pain in the bootie, I follow through.

The kids know I am serious because I have proven myself.

                               *The little ones playing a game before chores and school*

As with anything, your attitude will reflect on to the kids, so keep a positive attitude towards chores.....but always follow through. You'll be glad you did and so will your kids!

Happy Monday Ya'll!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Farming Realities

Today is officially a snow day. We only got a light dusting, but it is enough to excite the children and increase the farm chores just a bit.

Food and water are the two major requirements to keep livestock warm, and we spent a good part of the morning handing hay bales out. Tomorrow is supposed to be frigid, and so we will be well prepared.

I unexpectedly received a call from my meat processor this morning that he was on his way over to get my steer. Like the gusty, cold winter air this phone call hit me smack in the face.

                                               ***The ducks on the frozen pond***

I knew this day would come soon. Yum-Yum, the steer, was our first calf to be born here. The last two and a half years we have fed him, cared for him and allowed him a chance to live on open pasture with lots of grass. We knew from the start what his fate would be, but it is still difficult.

This is the most difficult part of farming. When I first bought my dairy cow, I accepted the fact that there are only two fates for a bull calf.

1. Sell him as a baby and he will likely be living a less than humane life before being processed.
2. Keep him and allow him a nice, humane life before processing.

We opted for #2. As with all of the animals we raise, humane treatment is a top priority.

There is simply no other way.

                                          **Free ranging hens enjoy a treat of scratch grains to stay warm**

Today reality meets farm life. The full cycle of life continues to show itself, as it always does when you raise farm animals.

I am trying my best to not get emotional or attached. I am reminding myself why we chose this life. Our freezer will be full with clean, organic beef in a few weeks.

                                       **Zeb carries this block of ice around and pretends it is a big diamond!**

Some days are pure bliss and some days are just tough. Time to focus on the good. There is no sense is dwelling on the sad.

The cows were wasting too much hay because we have been placing the bales on the ground. Devin built a corner hay feeder over the weekend and it is working nicely.

We still have several weeks of winter and even longer before decent grass starts growing. This hay feeder should help us waste less hay, since we do have a limited amount to get us through until spring.

I hope everyone is staying warm and safe! Winter will surely be over soon and then we will have tornado weather:-) Of course that only lasts a little bit and then summer will here. I am ready for warm nights and cookouts with friends.

The meat chicks for pastured chicken will soon be ordered for an April delivery, and I really hope to get my raised garden beds back into shape!

Happy Hump Day Ya'll!

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