Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Glorious Under Pressure

Where has the year gone?
It is almost Christmas and I have prepared  panicked. The tree is up. That is about it.

We finally got lots of rain and cold weather. Cold weather means worrying and fretting over livestock and stacking firewood.

The boys spent a good week playing on top of the firewood pile until we decided it really needed to be stacked neatly under the pool deck.

We started on a nice sunny day and finished on a cool day that was going to be freezing by nightfall.

We function gloriously under pressure.

Of course the cattle, who are roaming our yard, peaked at us curiously from afar. Cows always make me laugh with their curiosity. If we are out working on any project, they are right there watching.

This is Molly and Brownie. Brownie is ready for processing but the processors here are all swamped with work. Getting an appointment has been challenging. Until that time, he and the other 2 steers will continue to free range, despite the lower than usually supply of hay. I think we will be okay, but I hope for an early and luscious spring.

Journee finished a rather nice art project last week too.
She collected some beautiful fall leaves form my mother's yard. The leaves were soaked in a mixture of 1 part vegetable glycerin and 2 parts water.

She let the leaves soak for 3 days and then set them on a towel to dry for a day. The leaves were pliable and held their color.

She painted  a canvas and then glued the leaves to the canvas in a leaf pattern.

The result is a beautiful piece and a reminder of how lovely fall can be here in North Georgia.

We found a nice place in the kitchen to hang it up. We are not sure how long the leaves will hold up, since this is a first time project for us. I am sure we will do it again next year, and I expect it will turn into a project for several kids since they all loved watching her create it.
Journee has already come up with some ideas to expand the project.

This weekend I am hoping to get some baking done. If not, I will get lots of baby holding done. Either way it will be a win/win.
How are your Christmas preparations going?

Happy Tuesday Ya'll!


Friday, December 2, 2016

I'm a Little Redneck

* Disclaimer: This post is not meant as an insult to my family or friends. It's written with nothing but pure affection.*

At one time we lived in a quaint and lovely neighborhood. There were sidewalks and the mailboxes has pretty, glowing gas lights.
There were block parties and impromptu cookouts with neighbors.
We had perfectly lined flower beds all around the house, and I would plant seasonal flowers every where.
At one time....

Now I have this kind of yard.


This is not a Gentleman's Farm.

I am not complaining, mind you, that we are out here on a farm, but this week has really shown the stark difference in our life style now. The neighborhood life had a way of hiding our red neck.

So this week my young pigs escaped their fencing...again. They have been escape artists since we brought them home. We have never had issues with keeping pigs within electric fencing, but these guys refuse to stay put.
They escaped a few times so we finally just let them roam the property until Devin arrived home from work. Yes, these things always happen when he is out of town. At any rate, for two days I had pigs enthusiastically rooting up all of the mulch from around the swim pool.

Then several times I would here Hilda, the pet pig, squeal. I would run outside and catch those pigs biting and chasing poor fat Hilda. She doesn't move quickly enough to get away from those young ones, so I would proceed to run outside, wearing pajama bottoms and slippers, carrying a metal rod so I could beat the pigs off Hilda. Add to this picture that I always had the baby in a sling while screaming at those bully pigs and you have there my reality show moment. Redneck at its finest.

Devin got home and because we are redneck frugal environmentalists, we recycled wood pallets into a fence.

Who needs a t-post driver when you have a tractor bucket? Now that is actually just working smarter, not harder.

Now those little pigs have two layers of fencing to keep them contained.

Of course I really want these pigs out in the woods, but unless they respect electric fencing, they will have to remain in this  lot. One day at a time will have to be my motto with these guys.

The very next day we got rain. Lots of rain. We were over 20 inches short in rain for the year and there have been numerous wildfires in the area. The rain was very much needed.

According to my redneck poor man's rain gauge, we got about 3 inches.

Yeah there are days when I miss my perfectly pretty yard and all the amenities of a subdivision, but I do love this farm life too.
I embrace the redneck, really, because it means I can improvise. I can be creative. I can be frugal. I can get the job done, no matter what.

And those pallets were slated for the dump, so we really did recycle and that makes my Inner Hippie happy.

Happy Friday Ya'll!!!!!!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Fall Leaves

We are in the midst of a record breaking drought here in the South. We are more than 20 inches short in rain for the year and have noted a good rainfall day since March 1st. 
It is dry.
Wildfires are burning all through the state and the neighboring states.

Farmers are feeling it too with less than normal hay. Many are having hay shipped in from other states, which is expensive.

Earlier this week the smoke was so thick outside that some schools closed early and people were told to stay inside.

This here is a picture of Georgia and all of the smoke from fires.

We need rain in a bad way.

We did, however, have a nice day when the smoke cleared and we could see some blue sky again.

Because Journee has been so very busy finishing up this school semester and working, we have been trying our best to take her pup, Kid, outside to play. 

Willow actually took the younger siblings and the dogs outside to play and take pictures. It is so nice to let the younger kids spend lots of time exploring the outdoors!

Fall is a very beautiful season, even with the drought.

The leaves by the creek are the prettiest right now.

This is the official camping out area for Willow.

It is unbelievable that it is 80 degrees in mid November too. We should be getting some slightly cooler weather this weekend.

Willow has done a great job keeping, me in family photos since she got her iPad mini.

Duke has been feeling pretty good, although cool mornings are some what difficult on his joints. We moved his bed into the garage for the winter though and that helps a ton.

We need rain. Hopefully we will see some soon. Keep the South in your prayers, along with the many fire fighters helping fight the battle.

Here's hoping you have a fabulous weekend!

Happy Friday Ya'll!

Friday, November 11, 2016

My Solo Week

I haven't been posting updates, but rather surviving my first week without Devin. He went back to work and was gone for a week.

I will sum it up in one picture...

Seriously, it wasn't terribly difficult the entire week, but we had some moments. I am glad he is home, especially since things seem to be breaking left and right over here and my elderly Weimaraner decided to unload her plumbing all throughout the kitchen last night.
Some days are just crappy, literally.

In much happier news, my oldest daughter Journee and my youngest daughter Rose had birthdays! When you have lots of kids, there is ALWAYS a birthday around the corner :-)
They share a birthday, so we tend to have joint parties. This year we celebrated at my sister's house!

Journee turned 21! I don't know where the times goes, honestly. I still remember taking this picture of her in the living room of our first house, back when we lived in Tennessee.

Rose turned 11. She has really shot up in height this year and will likely be taller than me, just like her older sisters.

I do have a picture of the two girls on the day Rose was born. We had planned to take Journee to a movie on her birthday, but she woke up to a new sister instead!

Two amazing girls!!! Two fantastic birthdays! I am so lucky they are mine.

        **** Note that my big brother is photobombing. You have not met him yet, but just know he loves to photobomb. Now that he lives in town, I will eventually make a formal introduction!****

Here's to a weekend that finally arrived! I hope everyone has a great one!

Happy Friday Ya'll!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

A Look at 44

Warning, this is my transparent post of the year. My birthday was yesterday so I spent some time reviewing my year all that I have learned.
What good is life if you are not constantly evolving and learning?

It was quite a year, and now I am 44 years old or young...it depends on how much sleep I get, really.

Here is my year of wisdom and transparency:

1. Relationships matter.

The relationships in your life can be good ones or bad ones. Both types will affect your life in some way, either positively or negatively. Get rid of the negative ones. Life is short and it is your decision whether to live life positively or negatively.

Remove the negative and foster the positive. This includes family and friends.

When you purge the bad relationships, make sure you keep the good ones fostered, especially with your own children and your spouse.

2. Farming can be tough, but it can also be very rewarding.

I have learned more in my farming years than at any other time in my life. The only exception would be raising children, which has taught me tons too, especially about my own personality.

I still get negative comments regarding farming, but by far a majority of the comments are positive. Nobody will ever totally discourage me (see #1 above), and I have gracefully learned that any life in agriculture is a life with unexpected results at times.

I absolutely know that farming has impacted my life and the lives of my children in a positive way, and that I will always be grateful for the little voice in my head that encouraged me to get this life started.

I am also immensely grateful for my friends and mentors who farm, as they have been great encouragement to me many times in the last several years. I strive to be the same encouraging voice for others who contact me with ideas and dreams of their own farm.

3. Kids are the greatest blessing.

When I told people I was pregnant again, I had several people openly tell me how crazy I was for having another. Again see #1 above.

It is not my fault if people are too narrow sighted to see a baby as anything but a blessing. I cannot control their thinking or even change their minds. Instead I have learned to focus on the ones who feel as I do about babies and to keep my circle tight with like minded individuals who will love me and my children.

One only needs to be in my house a short time before they see how wonderful and uplifting it is to be here, in a home with loving kids who admire and love their new sibling to the ends of the earth. I honestly could not ask for more in my life than to have this very family and this very life.

Always know that children are an immense blessing and they should never be viewed with disdain.

4. Life is hard.

There will always be days when life is just hard and you wonder how on earth you will ever recover.
You will sometimes want to try and take charge of everything yourself, in despair and desperation.

When you get to that point, just stop.

Sometimes doing nothing is the best solution. Sometimes laying awake in bed at night worrying is the worst solution.

I have learned that things usually work themselves out. Do what you can and try not to worry too much. Yeah, that is too simplistic, I know. I also know that just worrying yourself into a panic does nothing for the situation.

Have faith.

5. I am beautiful and my body is amazing.

How's that for being overly self confidant?

This last year I was pregnant, again, and I was also amazed at everything my body can do, again.

In fact, I think my body looks the best when I am pregnant and when I am just postpartum. It is a miraculous thing to grow a baby and then to nourish that baby.

My lack of sleep shows on my face, my belly sticks out and wiggles like jelly. My boobs are sore and leaking milk, but I always think of myself as a miracle. Every post partum aspect of myself is proof that I can do miraculous things. I embrace it, as all women should. A woman's body is truly a masterpiece, no matter how it looks.

My mantra for this next year is to be the best I can be, to love and be kind, and to embrace the ups and the downs of life.

Year 44 will be my best year yet!

Happy Tuesday Ya'll!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Before the Baby Arrived

Before the baby arrived, I had planned to update on farm life here, but blogger was being a pain. Today I plan to update.

We got 3 new piglets. We still have 2 large pigs that will be processed soon, but I was able to get 3 babies this fall as well.

Because we did not want the babies in with the larger, forested pigs we set up a new area and fenced it with three strands of electric wire.

Apparently this was not enough fencing for these little guys as they were escaping constantly. I would wake in the morning and find them scattered across the pasture. We finally locked them up in this dog kennel until we could secure more fencing.

Devin ultimately used barbed wire and more strands. It is working so far. They will stay in this area until the big pigs are processed, then I will move them into the forested area.

Loading up these guys from the kennel and transporting them across to their new paddock was lots of fun, i.e. pigs are really great at squealing!!

We are fortunate that they love Willow and they love milk, and this makes moving them even easier.

We no sooner got the piglet challenge conquered when my bulldog Duke suddenly fell ill. We came home one evening from eating out when we noticed he could barely walk. We initially thought his leg was hurt.

The next morning he could not get up without howling in pain. It was his back. We carefully loaded him up and headed for the vet.

A few x rays revealed that he had a possible slipped disc. It is difficult to see slipped discs on an x ray, but there were no other findings that would cause the pain. The doctor gave him a steroid shot and we left the office with more steroids and some pain pills.

He was noticeably better the next day and has improved since. He is still stiff jointed in the morning, but he is getting quite old for his breed. We are hoping he remains mobile and healthy.

There are weeks when it always seems like "something" is happening....that's life and that's agriculture.  I am hoping for boring weeks for the remainder of the year :-)

Happy Friday Ya'll!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

My Newest Earthling

Wednesday, Oct 19th, this little boy finally made his entrance earth side. 

5 days past my due date, which is a rarity for me.

Ace Buchanan Martin

He weighed in at 10 pounds 5 oz and was 23 inches long.

I knew he would be a good sized baby, but I didn't expect a 10 pounder.

Labor started in the late of night and lasted only 5 hours. It was, for me, a quick labor. The 4 oldest girls were in attendance, seeing what a normal birth is and seeing how much work the midwives do at a home birth.

There has been no shortage of people willing to hold this little guy.

To say he hit the jack pot family is an under statement.

Devin is home and off work for a stretch, so I have been resting, recovering and enjoying this new little earthling.

Who does he look like? It's hard to tell at this stage, but I see a little of Fletcher in him and his eyes are already quite blue.

Already I cannot imagine him not being here in our family. To say we are quite lucky and blessed is an under statement.
We truly love this baby with all our hearts.

Thank you for all of the kind words and prayers on Facebook and through emails.

He is here.

Happy Wednesday Ya'll!

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