3/31/08

50 Tons of rock and 1 Happy Hubby.

One of the projects around the farm that we worked on while Hubby was off from work last week was a gravel road leading up to the barn. We've had no way to actually drive the truck up to the barn since we've lived here, so all large items, such as bags of feed, hay, gas cans, etc. had to be carried up the hill by hand or wheelbarrow. (And in the mud after a rain!) This was something we've needed to do for a LONG time, but we just haven't had the extra money to spend on... well... rock. Lots of rock. Two dump truck loads, to be exact. But Hubby is happy, and we both agree it's money well spent. And it's one more project we can mark off our never-ending list. (*Whew*)
And now I would like to introduce.... Belle, Beau, and Cecil!



I shortened Kathleen's suggestions of Annabelle and Isabelle into "Belle" because we are thinking now we have 2 roosters instead of 1, but if "Cecil" turns out to be a girl, she'll be "Cecilia".
Thanks for your input- I think y'all are some pretty creative folks to come up with so many great names!


3/26/08

Chickie Love



People have asked me on occasion how long I've had chickens, and my answer is always the same.. "All my life." And it's really the truth- I've had poultry in some form or another since I was very small. And my love for chickens all came about as the result of one sweet old man.

There once was an elderly gentleman who went to our church named Cecil, and everybody called him the "Bird Man". He kept chickens, turkeys, and birds in general in all colors, sizes, and breeds. My Daddy kept chickens, too, usually no more than 10 or 12 at a time, but we were regular visitors to the Bird Man. When I was about 5 years old, Mr. Cecil came to me before church started one Sunday morning and said, "I've got you somethin' in the car, so see me after church." Well, I couldn't imagine, so I spent that whole service wondering what an old man could possibly have for me. Candy? A toy?
After enduring an entire church service wondering about this mystery, (which to a 5 year-old is much longer than eternity) I ran out the front door and to Cecil's old black Chevrolet. He reached into the back seat, and pulled out a brown paper bag with small holes poked in the top. He said, "Now you take these home, and give 'em a little water and some cornbread. And you be sure and take care of 'em, o.k.?"
My heart beat out of my chest as I peeked into the bag and saw three little balls of fluff looking back. I instantly fell head-over-heels in love. From that moment on, Mr. Cecil would bring me little chicks every spring. He always gave me roosters, and I know now he was culling out the ones he didn't need, but just to know he thought enough of me to trust me with their care meant the world to me, even now. The Bird Man passed away many years ago, but he left a little mark on my heart that time will never erase. I still think of him every spring when I know the baby chicks are arriving in our local feed store, and I always turn into that excited little tomboy once again.

By the way, I think one of these chicks should be named.... Cecil, don't you?  :)

3/24/08

We have a winner- and I've been tagged!

Hubby took some time off from work last week so we could work on some projects around the house, so I didn't get to "blog" as much as usual. It's nice to be back, and I'm excited to have a lot of new places to visit, as well as some catching up to do with my "old" friends as well! You'll be hearing about those projects Hubby and I have been working on in some upcoming posts, along with some pictures of my new baby chicks for spring. (Be patient, Cottage Rose... you already know the inside scoop on the babies! LOL)
I hope everybody had a blessed Easter- we had Communion at our little church yesterday, and I always enjoy it so much... it's such a special service.


The biggest news today is to announce the winner of my drawing. So Hubby did his part, and the winner is...

Jennifer from JandJ Acres! Congratulations to her. I'll be putting 5 of the 6 items in my ETSY shop this week, as soon as she lets me know the item of her choice. Thanks to everyone that entered... this was so much fun for me!

My lovely blogging buddy Pam from over at Bear Creek has tagged me to tell 5 unusual things about myself, so here goes:

1. I have one sibling; a brother, and I am 11 years younger than him. (Can we say accident?)

2. I play this in a bluegrass gospel group....

3. I come from a large close family that include lots of aunts, uncles, 1st cousins, 2nd cousins. Here's the unusual fact- they all live within a 20 mile radius of each other. Same goes for Hubby's family.

4. When I wash my hair, I have to go outside to comb it out. Even if it's 20 degrees outside. I can't stand to have to clean up hair off the sink, countertop, floor, etc., so I just go outside.

5. I know people are trying to go "green" these days because gas is so ridiculously high, but this is what I drive because it scares people and keeps them from pulling out in front of me. (To heck with the fact it gets 12 miles to a gallon.)


Well, there you have it... Pam, I hope you're not sorry you asked! LOL

3/20/08

Sneak peek #3, and Tomatoes!

Well, this is it....
The "Friday Finale" of my first GIVE-A-WAY!
First off, let me say that I've loved the comments from everybody this week- it's not only great to hear from all my special blogging friends I've known for a while, but I'm thrilled to have met some new ones, too. Chores on and off the farm have kept me pretty busy this week, so I can't wait for things to settle down so I can visit everybody's blogs!
I'm really happy for everybody that has entered, and I wish I could give each and every one of you something! But, since I have to pick just one, I've got all the names (so far) ready in my little egg-gathering basket. I'm going to make Hubby reach in, because drawing a name out makes me a nervous wreck. (I have no idea why I get nervous, but my hands will start shaking, then they will sweat, and then there will be a bunch of little pieces of paper stuck to my palm. Not pretty.)

The last two items are:







Item #5- A Pair of "Sunflower" Fabric Bowls
Here's a pair of matching fabric bowls with a bright, cheery sunflower fabric on the top, and a yellow printed fabric on the bottom, with red rick-rack trim around the edge. The large bowl measures 12" x 12" and the small bowl is 8" x 8".





Item #6 - "Ozark Sunbonnet"

This is from a great old pattern I found called the "Ozark Sunbonnet", copyright 1975. I love the old-fashioned ruffled look on the back and the large brim. This pattern is one of my favorites because you can also cut the pattern down to make a girls or baby's bonnet!

Well, there you have it! The name drawn tomorrow will have their choice of the six items from this week. I'll announce the winner on Monday. Good luck to EVERYBODY!


Now for some more big news.....
The tomatoes are giving the lettuce some competition.

The "Sprout Count" is now 21 out of 24 for the Brandywine tomatoes, 18 for the head lettuce, and 0 for the Bell Peppers.

Where the heck are my Bell Peppers?!

3/19/08

Sneak peek #2 and.....Lettuce? Yes!

I had a big surprise waiting for me when I tipped the lid of my little greenhouse this morning.... I'll let you in on that in just a minute, because the first order of business today is the unveiling of two more items that you have a chance to win. To all of you who have entered my GIVE-A-WAY so far- thank you, and good luck! If you entered on Monday, you don't have to enter again since I've already put your name in the egg basket, but you can still leave a comment if you'd like. And I do appreciate all the comments on the first two items... I love making things that I would enjoy having for my own, and I'm always glad to hear when other people like the same things I do! And all the comments on the photo of Hubby and I were very flattering, but I only posted it to see who would kiss up the most to win. (LOL- just kidding!)
I also want to thank those of you who posted on your blog about my give-a-way... that is so very sweet of you, and I can't tell you what it means to me. If you haven't entered yet, PLEASE don't be shy- I want you to have a chance to win, too! Good luck to everybody, and remember-these items will be in my shop next week after Saturday's winner picks out the item of their choice. The two items for today have a bit of a poultry theme... but chickens are kinda my thing anyway.





Item #3 - Hildy and her babies
Momma hen Hildy is 11 inches tall while sitting (16inches total) and makes a great shelf-sitter while she watches over her brood. Her two baby chicks measure 3 and 4 inches tall and are busy pecking and chirping.





Item #4 - Rooster mini wall-hanging

This mini measures 18 inches long x 12 inches wide and has two small hooks on the back for hanging. Applique rooster scene on a navy blue background fabric with a "chicken wire" border.

There are two items left for Friday, and then the drawing is on Saturday, so stay tuned!


Back to the greenhouse:
This is what I found this morning- it seems like it happened overnight!
The score so far out of 24 plants each:
Lettuce- 18, Bell Peppers- 0, Tomatoes-0 (although I think I see a little sprout....)

3/17/08

An Award, a Giveaway, and more!

I had already planned on doing a lengthy post for today, but it got a little longer when I heard the big news- I have just been given my first award as a blogger! (squeal, blush) I was one of the lucky recipients of a "You Make My Day" award from my kindred southern soul De at Bowls-n-Annies. Thank you so much darlin'- I love ya! I think I am supposed to pass it along to 5 (?) people now...(bear with me, I'm still learning the rules of Blogdom...) but narrowing down my favorites would be nearly impossible, so how about I just list a few in no particular order:

De (Bowls-N-Annies) - De is one of those rare people that if I ever met her in person, I know it would feel like we'd known each other all our lives. De, you ALWAYS make my day!
Katy (The Country Blossom) - Katy just bubbles with so much enthusiasm for EVERYTHING from her Bible studies to cleaning her toilet! Katy, you are so much fun!
Lea (Farm house Blessings) - Lea is another one I feel a special kindred to, and all the warmth of her home really shines through her blog! (and I look so forward to her Monday recipes, too!)
Cora (Hidden Riches from Secret Places) - Cora's whole life is an inspiration, and I enjoy her thoughtful writing so much... you can tell it comes straight from her heart. Thank you Cora for sharing with us!
There are so many special places I love to visit, and even if your name isn't on my list, please just know that if I have ever left a comment on your blog, then I really enjoyed my visit!






Now, on to our next topic.....






I'm having my very first GIVE-A-WAY, and the winner gets to choose their own prize! And it doesn't matter if you are a regular visitor, or if this is your first visit to the farm, I want everybody to enter!
There is only one thing I ask you to do if you enter: Please tell a friend about me and my ETSY shop!
Here is how it works: I have 6 new items that will be for sale in my ETSY shop next week. However, you will get a sneak peek at each of them this week BEFORE they go into my shop; 2 items today, 2 on Wednesday, and 2 on Friday.
Here's how to enter: You can enter the drawing by leaving an "ENTER ME" comment on any one of the three posts this week- the deadline is this Friday night (March 21st) at midnight.
Here is what you'll win: On Saturday, March 22nd, I will draw a name from the entries and the winner will get to choose one of the items from this week as their prize! The nicest part about all this is, even if your name isn't drawn, you'll still have the chance to buy your favorite item from my ETSY shop if it isn't chosen by the winner! (Of course I know that's not as fun as winning it, but...)

Now for your sneak peek at the first two items.... (Remember- these will be in my ETSY shop next week, unless one of these is chosen by the winner!)






Item #1: "The LORD is my Shepherd" Tote Bag!


This bag measures 13" wide x 12" tall, and I made it with sand-colored fabric with patchwork fabric trim, lining, and straps. "The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not want. Psalm 23:1" is machine-embroidered beside the woolly little sheep applique. It would make a perfect book bag, or even a lunch sack!




Item #2: "Stars and Stripes" Oversized Tote Bag!


This bag measures 13" wide x 15" tall, and has a prim-looking star fabric that I machine-quilted to give it a puffy, full appearance. The bag also has navy blue fabric with tiny white stars trimming out the top and the long strap. The inside is lined with a denim-look light blue fabric. Bag has a velcro closure at the top. This would also make a really nice book bag, or a great beach bag for summer!



Don't forget to enter! And that means all you "lurkers", too- I want to meet everybody who stops by!










O.K., are you still with me?








One more thing...








I should have done this already, but I guess I've been working up the nerve... Allow me to introduce myself-



(I'm the one on the right. Thats my eye-candy Hubby on the left.) My real name is Paula. You can call me by that name if you want to, or Farm Chick will still be o.k., too. I just thought you might want to put a face to either of those names, however scary the face might be.
And remember, I'll always be a Farm Chick, no matter how cleaned up I was in this picture.
(Ya can't see my nails, can ya?)

3/14/08

Stand-Off Over... Gardening Begins

Smokey is smiling because all is well!
A peaceful (and anti-climactic) ending came to our Hostage Crisis this morning when our little terrorist hopped off her captive eggs and never went back. Apparently she decided she was not ready for motherhood after all..... or maybe her circulation was being cut off from the rather large objects beneath her. Either way, life in the hen house will be getting back to normal shortly. (Well, as normal as can be expected around here.)
We're one step closer to having the garden I've been dreaming about for a couple of months now. I've started off my indoor greenhouse project with head lettuce, bell peppers, and heirloom Brandywine tomatoes. Hubby ran a disc through the garden yesterday, and the ground looks ready to plant in now. I love going barefoot in the spring and summer, so I can't wait to feel the cool dirt between my toes. (I hate shoes, and yes, I am a Redneck Woman.) I'll be keeping you updated on how the greenhouse is coming along in the next few weeks- I'm hoping it's a success!
Also- I'm planning a very special post for Monday, so be sure to visit the Farm that day. Have a great weekend, ya'll!

3/12/08

Hostage Crisis!


We've had a rather delicate situation developing in the hen house for a couple of days now. One of our little Banty (or Bantam) hens has decided she wants to become a mother. Problem is, she wants to sit on everybody else's eggs. (Notice the size difference? No way those behemoth eggs came from that tiny rump.) And now, when the larger hens come to the nest to lay their eggs, she starts this ferocious shrieking sound and scares them off.
I've raised chickens since I was a little girl, so I have seen just about every trick a broody hen will try. I also worked as a dental assistant in a very busy orthodontic office for 12 years, so I learned how to quickly diffuse stressful situations. Still, I don't think either one of those qualify me as a hostage negotiator. . . I tried gathering the eggs before she had a chance to kidnap them, but it was too late. Now she is sitting smugly on two huge eggs. It's going to be interesting to see how this plays out, so stay tuned.
As of today:
Banty Hen -1
Me-0

3/10/08

Happy Birthday, Sweetie!

This is my Hubby's special day, and he gets to be the poster boy and the topic of today's post. (I'm sure he'll be thrilled.) I was 31 and had never been married; I was still living at home helping to take care of my Mom, who was in a wheelchair by that time. I had already resigned myself to the fact that I might not ever find "Mr. Right". I read a book on prayer once that said if you wanted to really see God's infinite power at work, then be specific in what you asked Him for. Well, I sort of scoffed at first, but then the more I thought about it, I said, "Why not? " So, one night I prayed that if it was God's plan for me to meet a good Christian man someday, this was what I wanted. I proceeded to tell God everything I wanted my dream man to be, and I mean I got real specific, right down to the dark hair and moustache. (swoon) Six months later, we met. One year to the day of our first date, we were married. And, best of all, God went above and beyond for me (as usual) because I was blessed with someone even better than I asked for.
"I love the Lord, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications." Psalms 116:1

3/5/08

Take me home, country road.

Hubby and I are always talking about how sometimes we feel like we were born in the wrong time... kind of like the way of life we enjoy is outdated by about 50 years. We love our slow-paced, simple lifestyle, and have no desire for lots of material things. Sometimes we feel overwhelmed by new technology and the fast-paced world around us. We don't want newer cars, expensive gadgets, or a bigger home. We don't take vacations, because we can't afford them for one thing, but also because we just love being at home. Home. The place we've worked so hard at making our own. The place where all our little animals live and seem to be so happy to see us in the morning when we feed them. The little place in this great big world that God has blessed us with. Why would we ever want to leave, even for a day?
I took this photo last fall at a local plow day. It's one of my favorites because every time I look at this picture, it makes me think of time when the world turned a little slower than it does now.

3/3/08

Don't just stand there, feed me!

Good Morning. Allow me to introduce myself. I'm Sarge. I'm in charge around here. Nobody does anything until it's O.K. by me. We've got a little problem here. See, there's this chick in overalls and funny-looking boots that comes in here everyday with the good stuff- you know, corn?
Anyway, she won't let me have any until she talks to me first. Then, she wants to pet me. And I'm not a touchy-feely kind of gal, either. But I go along with it to humor her. And also because she feeds me corn from her hand.
Jeez, when will these stupid humans ever learn.