Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Round 1 and 2

I was awake most of the night last night. There were a few spurts of rest here and there, between loud thunder booms and the alerts beeping on my phone, warning me of tornado and storm watches.

Only 3 kids were rammed under the covers of my bed, but Devin had no room and so he crashed on the living room sofa with one ear open and listening for tornado sounds.

This is spring in the South, and unfortunately many people lost everything last night. We were spared.

I continuously imagined what the farm animals were doing through the storm. We anchored the egg mobile down, fearing high winds would blow it over, and the smallest of the bottle calves were locked up in a warm and draft free stall. The pigs had fresh hay bales to bed down under inside their shelter. Cats were secure in the garage and dogs were in the house.

The horse and cattle and sheep are all better off out in a large pasture with some tree coverage, but the pastured chickens? Oh boy! There isn't much I can do about them. They do have some shelter over half the cages but the wind is so very strong at times.

Over and over again I replay in my mind what I could have done to make the chickens more secure. Nothing. There is nothing I can do to guarantee the safety of my farm animals. This is when I remember how much of farming and agriculture is beyond a farmer's control. We can only do so much. We do our best with what resources we have and then pray that Mother Nature spares us.

This morning all of the animals were fine, with the exception of a few pasture chickens. I knew they would have the roughest night. They were all soaking wet and chilled, even with their adult feathers. The ground here is saturated and flooded in some areas.

That was round 1. Today brings round 2. Unfortunately the weather forecasters are predicting a system far worse with 2 inches of rain and tornados.

This gives me a few hours to concoct a plan for the pastured birds. I suppose bringing 90 birds into the garage is out of the question....I suppose.

Maybe another cup of coffee and some hot blueberry toast will kick start my brain. Tonight we will likely camp out in the basement so we can all get a little more sleep.

Here's hoping you are all safe today and here's to a full pot of coffee!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Kid Day

Today was rock concert day for my rock star. Chattanooga held a Kidz Expo event and Indiana's rock skool performed 2 sets.

We decided to take the youngest kids with us for a fun family outing.

The Chattanooga Fire Dept. had an old red engine the kids could see and climb inside. There were also many, many vendors giving away balloons, pens, and Frisbees to the children.

This booth was offering "pet rocks" the kids could paint and decorate. It was a nice kid friendly event.

The University of Tennessee Chattanooga had a train set up for pictures, along with their mascot. The boys were not too sure about the mascot.

Although Fletcher was too scared for a photo op, Zeb was quick to run up to SpongeBob for a hug and photo!

Fletcher did brave the big blow up slide, even though he looks like he is clinging for dear life!

           ****Rock Skool teacher, Mark Ferguson, gets the students ready.****

After the young kids had their fun, we went to the stage where Indiana and her fellow rock stars were prepping for their show.

Indiana and the rest of the students did a fantastic job today! I am so proud of how much they have improved.

They have another performance next weekend and then a big gig is scheduled at the annual Riverbend Festival!

So this is what I have been up to lately. Well, I also got new bees and goslings this week. I also have a graduation party and photos to plan for Journee. Next weekend we will be shearing the sheep too.

Spring is always busy but you know what? It's also warm!!!! WARM!!!! Good-bye winter:-)

Happy Sunday Ya'll!

Friday, April 18, 2014


Hello, my name is Sam and I have a lamb living in my house...... and several baby chicks and dogs and cats and 7 kids.

Seriously, there are days I figure I need intervention. This little farm of mine grows every year, month, week, day and just when I think I have time to pursue one of my other many hobbies such as knitting, quilting or spinning, well...you know, life happens. Life with cows and sheep and chickens and pigs, lets not forget kids too, can be time consuming.

My new cheese cave is finished, and so far it works wonderfully. We have a storage closet in our basement that is mostly underground. Devin framed in a cave area and covered it with thick insulation board.

Now all I have to do is fill it up with cheese. I have been making a wheel a week and they are all aging nicely.

Most of the cheeses are basic tome style cheese with a few variations. If you follow me on FB then you have seen a picture here and there of my cheese making. I have discovered that a turkey roaster is a great cheese making pot. It will hold 4 gallons of milk and it also holds temperature well.


We had another cold snap this week in which the people of N Georgia frantically cover tender plants and strawberry blooms  to protect from a 20 degree freeze. I am included in this group. Just when it seems like spring is here to stay with the 80 degree days, we are forced to decorate our yards with old sheets and towels to survive the 20 degree night followed by a rainy 40 degree day.

Usually by Easter we are settled into a spring pattern and it will not be long before the hot, humid summer arrives. The tulip poplar trees are on the verge of blooming and the bees are building up super well. Spring is here for sure.

I managed to get some spring cleaning done this week, a huge task no matter how many kids you have living under your roof.
The biggest task before me now is to wrap up the school year. I think we can finish up in another month.

Here are the farm activities happening the next couple of weeks: Sheep shearing, chicken processing, hardening off seedlings, banding and tagging calves, goslings arrive, bee packages arrive, and I drive to Knoxville to pick up bee hive nucs.

Did you see that part about goslings? Yes, a new critter for me. Goslings. I am excited....at least until my family calls an intervention.

Happy Friday Ya'll!

                                               ****Me and Fletcher, my partner in crime!****

Monday, April 7, 2014

Some Days....

Some days it is all I can do to get farm chores done and the kids fed. Actually the last seven days were much like that, except I did manage to start spring cleaning and wrap up a couple of sewing projects.

By 8 pm I am exhausted and ready to retreat to a hot shower and my bed. Some days are just like that, very busy.  I do like it though.

Last week my oldest girls and I drove to Huntsville, AL to attend the homeschool prom. One of my dearest friends lives there and helps organize the huge event. It sells out every single year.

The theme of this prom was a 20's Jazz. A parent even brought his old 20's era Cadillac for photos.

As always, the prom committee goes over the top with decorations and food!  The kids always have a fantastic time! I sure wish Chattanooga would put some effort like this into their proms.

Of course, Huntsville is an awesome city and we always love going for a visit.

We brought along Yoda again too, and he kept the prom king title until it was passed on to a senior young man. Yoda had fun and many folks took selfies with him.

Now it is time for the ACT exam this weekend, more spring cleaning and cleaning up the yard. I don't know how it happens, but every winter the yard just seems to fall apart. I have several bushes that didn't survive the extreme cold we had and now must be dug up.

The chicken plucker is built and we have about 2 more weeks before the first batch will be ready to process.

It's Monday here, and it's in full force!

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