Friday, May 29, 2009

What I do when I'm not blogging...

Spring is such a busy time for us on our farm we decided to stop schooling for the season and start again in the summer when it is too hot to go outside in the middle of the day here in Texas.

Our garden is in and trying to survive the torrential rains of May. We had 14 inches of rain in three weeks.

We ordered more chicks through the mail. I ordered leghorns. These don't look like leghorns to me.

The two roosters are in solitary confinement because of wife abuse. Our little ladies need time to heal from those nasty, nasty fellows.

I spend a lot of time trying to keep all our birds alive and happy. I have a thing for birds. They stink, make messes everywhere, carry lice and die if you look the other way. But I still like them. They have to be completely closed up at night so wild animals don't get them, but the geese peck the ducks and the chickens peck the chicks so we have to keep them all separated.

The daily fresh eggs are worth the work.

My newest venture is ducks... Daisy and Daffy.

And geese. So far they are very sweet. I hope they stay that way.

Our goats dropped so many kids this spring I have lost count. All together we have 54 so far. They keep the weeds and thorns down on our 37 acres. We will eventually sell some for their meat.

One night during a hard rain, a nanny got stranded with her triplets on an island that was quickly shrinking from the rising waters. We found her just in time and rescued the little family. Our neighbors weren't so fortunate and lost all their goats in a flash flood.

This kid's mother had mastitis so we had to feed her every two hours around the clock. The children LOVE the goats. Our visitors usually want to raise goats when they see ours. What they don't see are the times when we have to trim each hoof-all 250 of them, deworm them, delouse them, demite them, pull off ticks the size of grapes, give them antibiotics for various diseases and occasionally watch newborns die for no apparent reason.

By the way, I made yogurt and feta cheese this spring. It came out well but our milk goat went dry so I'll have to wait awhile before I can make some more.

Our cows gave us two more calves and we bought a milk cow at the local auction. She is still a very young heifer. If our bull does his job, we will have milk next year.

One of our young bulls broke its leg a few months back so we killed and butchered the entire thing ourselves. It took a week but the freezer is full of grass fed hormone free beef. It is good, too. My husband comes from a ranching family and my own family hunted and butchered a moose or bear every year when I was a child, so we are not totally new to this sort of thing.

I spend about two or three hours outside every day weeding the garden and flower beds, mowing, taking care of the animals, refilling the bird feeders or taking care of fences. When I'm indoors I find myself looking outside the windows constantly. It is so beautiful in the spring.

I also like to fish : ) We've had several fish fries already. Our pond has a lot of bass and perch.

Due to the heavy rains, the pond almost washed our road out.

We often have visitors. When they come, we give them a hoe and keep on with life. My kids usually commandeer them into being in one of their latest films. Here they are filming a scene from Robin Hood. One day while at the river, they saw an alligator gar go swimming by and grabbed it.

Our friends came from Illinois and introduced us to the wonderful movie SECOND HAND LIONS. The following morning we found our husbands sitting on the front porch with guns and tea looking just like Hub and Garth.

On our last evening together, the children put on a ball for the adults. Wonderful!

Well, that's just a small slice of what's been going on in my life recently on the farm. If you have a blog where you share your farm adventures, please let me know so I can stop by and visit.


  1. Dear Lindafay,

    I can't tell you how much this post makes me want to move to the country! I've been wanting to anyway...but this makes it all the more urgent.

    I can tell it is a lot of hard work. But it must be satisfying.

    I'm glad you were able to make feta cheese. Yum.

    The garden looks wonderful.

    Enjoy your day.


  2. Geez o petes. What DO I do with myself all day? My entire life is free time compared to yours.

  3. Anonymous29.5.09


    I agree with Stacy, reading that post made me want to move to the country.

  4. Ahhh the reality of country life. It's crazy. I am feeling fortunate that our chickens haven't had any drama.
    This was a great essay. I am amazed at what you have done with the time you have had back in the states!

  5. Hi Lindafay,

    I love reading your posts like this one, it's such brilliant escapism for me (I live in London!). My dream is keeping some chickens, or maybe bees.

    God bless you and your family,

  6. PS - sorry, if you click on my name it should go to - d'oh!

  7. I always love reading blogs of lives SO DIFFERENT from mine. I spent summers at my grandparents' doing a bit of what you all do, but my life nowadays bears no resemblance to my time in the country. Thanks for the post!

  8. This life seems so magical (besides the hard work involved, that is). What memories your kids are going to have!

  9. Hi Lindafay!

    Thank you for the update on your farm. I know what kind of work you've put into your house and property--you've done a fantastic job.

    My oldest daughter and I enjoyed looking at all the pictures and we can relate to so many of them. My arms ache tonight having spent a good deal of time planting peach trees yesterday and spending hours weeding and mulching in the garden today. We also dehorned and castrated bucket calves yesterday--that took a bit of strength since we don't have any way to restrain them other than just holding them down...;)

    I'm getting ready to put my ducks on Craig's List. I love the chickens, but the ducks are just as nasty to my hens as the rooster was, so he went buh-bye and the ducks are moving out.

    Are your "leghorns" barred rocks? Of all the kinds of chickens we've raised, my favorite breed is the barred rock. They are so dependable and good natured.

    The picture of you and your husband cutting up all that beef is amazing. We have a yearling destined for the freezer later this fall but there's no way we're doing the job ourselves. My husband occasionally butchers a boer goat and cuts it up--that's as much as we want to do.

    I realize I was a bit chatty, but I don't have my "farm" blog anymore for you to come visit, just a nature study blog that I don't even update regularly.

    Please continue your updates as you have time. We do so enjoy them!



  10. Your life is so different now from when you were overseas not so long ago. I can't believe how much your farm has grown, and to think you started from scratch in the past two years! It is like reading a mix between one of Laura Ingalls Wilder's books and Little Women! You or one of your children should write books about your lives one day! It would be like a modern day Little House and Little Women/Men!


  11. That is off the land.
    My husband keeps saying that if we had to grow our own food - we would starve!
    The pests in our garden attack everything!

  12. So how much of this did you JUST learn since moving there? Did you know how do care for goats and chickens before?

  13. I found your blog on the 100 home schooling site and it is inspirational! After taking a break for several years, your site has inspired me to start home schooling again this fall. Thanks for all you do.

  14. Second Hand Lions is one of our families absolute favorite movies!!! Love the Robin Hood and gotta love those rubber farmer boots!!! I wish my daughter could relax and enjoy our homeschool life like yours do! Have a great summer!

  15. Wow! What great pics! If you ever want to adopt, I'm gain. LOL Looks like so much fun living on a farm. I long for that one day. (sigh)

  16. Ok, I think that I'm definitely a lazy person in comparison!

  17. I so enjoyed reading all your comments! Forgive me for responding so late.

    Sarah, thanks for sharing a little about your farm. I love hearing about others. I really like our new ducks. Since this writing, we've gotten a few more. But we don't keep them with the chickens. I've noticed they are a lot messier, though. (I think we have australorps??spelling?)

    CB, my husband was raised on a ranch in New Mexico. I've lived in city and country with small gardens and chickens. We killed a moose or bear every year and butchered it. I am not a pro at that since I was only a child when we did it. But, I'm used to 'roughing it.' I am still trying to adjust to my husband's scope. He does everything big. Just trying to keep up :)