3/14/17

Random Farm Foto: Beauty Queen of the barn.

Close-up of beautiful Sweetie.... it's easy to see why Tiny and Meatball are so in love with her. 💘

3/10/17

A long time coming....

So much time has gone by.... where do I start? If anyone is still out there, I'll just say for the record that although I've been away from my blog for what seems like forever... I never forgot about it- or all my blog friends either.
I'll try to give an update on what's been going on around the Fraker Farm for the past year... I almost always talked to my dad several times a week, and in February of 2016 I had tried to call my dad for a couple of days but he never answered his phone. It was not unusual for him to not to answer on the first few tries because sometimes he just didn't hear the phone ring or he was outside when I called, but he always called me back after seeing my number on his caller ID. When he didn't return my calls, I started to worry. I drove to his house to check on him the next morning (I live almost an hour away) and found him on the floor. He had been there for at least 24-36 hours, judging by the condition of his clothes. He was alive, but very disoriented and dehydrated. It was terribly sad to see him in that condition....
After a week in the hospital and another two weeks at Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center in Knoxville, my husband and I brought him home to live with us. It was without a doubt one of the hardest things I've ever decided to do, but at the same time, the most rewarding. It was not without many days of frustration, for my daddy, and for me, but in the end, I'm so thankful for the opportunity to spend time with him because, unbeknownst to my hubby and I, my dad was in renal failure. After another stint in the hospital and a short time in hospice care, he passed away at our home at the age of 81.
I've felt the need for a while to start blogging again, if for no other reason but to have an "online journal" of sorts. It makes it easier for me to keep track of things these days- as I found out in 2016 when the days all seem to run together and life is on autopilot- and it's nice to have some reference points and milestones recorded somewhere to look back on. So, maybe I'll just be blogging for me, but I hope someone is out there still reading and keeping up with me. *wink* I'll give more updates another time, but just in case you're wondering, Lily, the sheepies, and those crazy chickens are all still living the good life.
I'll stop right here for now, but I'm going to leave a few photos of my Dad on here today.
Miss you, daddy...
Love,
Your little girl.










7/2/15

It's about time.....

I started blogging again. I've really missed it. I've just been... hmmm... whats the word I'm looking for...
Lazy?
Yeah, that's it. *sigh*
Actually, I've missed YOU. I need to get caught up on all my blog friends and hope they remember me.
No point in trying to catch up on almost a years' worth of news from around the farm, so I'll just put some pictures on here.

Big Otis and his girls are on a mission to rid the world of every single June bug in existence. I'm not going to tell them that's pretty much an impossibility because watching them chase their prey across the yard at full speed is too hilarious.



The sheep are very happy to be rid of their winter sweaters. Oh, and Tiny says howdy.



It's been too hot to do anything outside for the past few weeks, so Lily and I have been spending the days inside in my sewing room. Oh, and Lily would say howdy if she wasn't so busy snoring.





Speaking of sewing, I embroidered this little t-shirt for my great-nephew, who will be turning two in November. He's heading to the beach with his mom and dad this week, so I thought the crab was appropriate. *grin*



Speaking of family, we were blessed to celebrate Father's Day a couple of weeks ago with four generations- from left to right- my brother Tim holding his grandson Brantley (my great nephew), my dad, and my nephew Nick. Good times.


So much more to show and tell, but I'll save it for another time. I have to keep things exciting around here. (Ha) Until next time........
Happy Thursday!!!!

11/3/14

Big Otis

All the hens are crazy 'bout that big orange rooster.
(Must be the eyebrows.....)


11/1/14

Saturdays are for.... Sewing

Made a moose. With a scarf. 
Which is perfect for a chilly, snowy (yes, snowy!) day like today!
Happy weekend!

10/24/14

And.... October.


*Tap tap tap*
Hello? Anyone still out there?

Thanks to those of you who have sent emails checking up on me and making sure everything was okay. I never meant to be away so long....
So much has happened since my last post; along with the usual "busyness" of summer, my aunt and uncle were involved in a very serious car accident in July. They have both recovered for the most part, but since they are in their late 70's, it was a long road for them. Hubby and I tried to help them out as much as we could, so along with taking care of their place and my Dad's yard as well as our own, summer came and went before we knew it.

In August, we had to have Daisy put down. Those of you who've read my blog for a long time will remember her story~ she was our very first sheep; a bottle lamb. One day I found her limping very badly on her back leg, not able to put any weight on it it all. I wasn't sure if it was a hoof problem, so I checked it out but didn't find anything. By the second or third day, it was clear she had either dislocated her hip or worse, it was broken. And by this time she was in so much discomfort, she had stopped eating. We had a vet come and look at her but she advised that any type of treatment would have a slim-to-none chance of working. So, I made the decision no one wants to make, but in the best interest of the animal, you know it's what you have to do. It's been almost two months, and I still look for her every morning when I go to the barn....






On a lighter note, guess who just turned four years old last week? 
This gal.



Remember the "spring chicks" in my last post? They're all grown up now.
And one of the chicks turned out to be a rooster.....
Meet "Big Otis" and his girls.



And the silkies? 
Well, they have such a sweet life, they might just outlive us all. :)



Happy Friday!!

5/23/14

Friday Farm Fotos: Spring chicks


It's just part of having chickens. They get old. And stop laying.
And die.
Of course, around here they always die of natural causes....
Once a hen's laying days are over on the Fraker Farm, they get put "out to pasture" so to speak. In other words, I turn them out every morning and let them spend their days roaming and foraging to their hearts content, and I figure if they become a meal for a predator at least they died happy, since most chickens think it's heaven to get to free-range at all, let alone all day long.
I usually don't keep more than 4 or 5 laying hens at a time anymore simply because I stopped selling (and giving away) eggs and the feed is too expensive to justify keeping more hens than we need to in order to have enough eggs for two people.
I bought four Red Star chicks a few years ago, after having only Rhode Island Reds as my primary layers for many years. I fell in love with these calm, beautiful girls right away. Even as chicks they were so sweet and curious... I could stick my hand down in their box and instead of freaking out like most breeds do, they would come to my hand and peck at my wedding band along with any mole or freckle they thought might need inspecting.
The Four Hens of the Apocalypse (as they came to be known after what they would do to the mulch in my flower beds) lived the good life... they were almost five and their egg-laying parts had slowed down considerably so they started spending their days outside the coop. Unfortunately, one fell victim to a predator, and I lost two more to some mystery chicken illness soon after. I only have the one remaining hen, and she prefers to spend her days hanging out in the sheep barn, but occasionally she comes to the back door and waits for a treat.
Ah, the golden years. :)


I knew this would probably be the year I would need to get some new egg-layers, and I'd already made up my mind to get more Red Stars. Besides, the feed store where I always bought chicks never has a big selection of large breeds to choose from.
Wouldn't you know, this was the year they decided to carry some of my "dream" chickens... Buff Orpingtons. I've always wanted some of these big beautiful birds... sometimes just saying the regal name "Orpington" would make me smile and sigh over the dream of one day having a few for my very own.
I know this sounds hard to believe coming from me, but, well... I went a little overboard at the feed store.
*snicker snort*
I came out of there with six Red Stars and three Buff Orpingtons, which I held in my lap on the way home and all the while Hubby had that look on his face... you know the one~ the "guess I'll be building a bigger coop" kinda look. Poor thing.
Men just can't say no to a woman who loves chickens.

*Sigh* 


I'm happy to report that not only are these Red Stars as sweet as the last batch, 
but the Buffs are just as sweet if not more.
They're going through that awkward "teenage" stage right now, where they're all legs and feet. 
Love their hearts.



Their favorite thing in the whole world is just to perch and watch the world go by.


And my favorite thing in the whole world (other than baby chicks) is waiting for the day those fresh brown eggs start rolling off the assembly line. *squeee*

Happy Friday!!!

5/16/14

Friday Farm Fotos: Plow, Plant, and Pray


Lily and Tiny share a moment at the fence.



I found a quote on the internet not too long ago in which the beautiful Audrey Hepburn once said,
 "To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow." 
I love that. 
I also know firsthand how frustrating it is to plant one day and then the weather make you lose all hope in your garden the very next day. 
Ugh. Thanks a lot, Mother Nature.

(Sorry, I'm a child of the 70's. :)



Hubby plowed our little garden spot in early March. 
Here he is at work with the sheep cheering him on in the barn behind him. 
Gotta have teamwork to make a garden.



The ground was so beautiful and dark.... thanks to some heavy doses of manure.



Hopes were high for our little garden this year! 
We planted onions, broccoli, and cabbage near the end of March.




Then it snowed.



Aaaand we had a frost. A hard one.

And our poor broccoli... eh, it didn't look so good.




The blossoms on my apple and pear trees didn't fare so well, either.
No fruit from them this year. *pout*




Hubby left the broccoli alone, and it actually came back to life after a few days of warm sunshine. 
Yay!
Here he is working the rows with "Cubby".


I think everything will be alright after all this cold weather. Time will tell.
We put corn in the ground this week~ 
I'll be anxious to see if it makes it "knee-high by the fourth of July."

My strawberry plants made it through the winter and cold snaps just fine and dandy.
This picture makes me smile like you would not believe.
In fact, I'm smiling as I type this. *giggle*




You know what else makes me smile?
Baby chicks!
*squeeeeeeeal*



But we'll talk about that next time. 
*wink*
Happy Friday!!!