Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Day 9 of 31 Days of A Farm Family's Life

Day 9 of 31 Days of a Farm Family's Life
Welcome to Day 9.  We got some rain here last night, and the temperature is fallish today.  I got up a little later than usual today.  I was up about 6:15.  I put up the dishes that were washed the night before.  I browned some ground beef, and went through our home gathering the ingredients for chili.  We have food and books in most every room in our home.  So I quickly got the ingredients together, and started the chili in a crockpot in our kitchen.  After getting GrandBoy's clothes and things ready, I had about 10 minutes to get dressed and out the door.  I was about 5 minutes late leaving, but I felt like I had accomplished a lot.
I went to my office in town for the first part of my day.  That went pretty well.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays I work in the afternoons for a different client.  So after I finished all my work day, I hurried home.  For dinner we had chili with grated cheese and sour cream, crackers, and milk.  The chili was good.  I had bought cornbread crackers to try, but I didn't like them in the chili.  The chili tasted sweet.  I read the ingredients on the cracker box, and sugar was the second ingredient listed, before corn meal!  I don't think I will do that again.  But it was nice to have dinner taken care of.
Pappy and middle daughter traveled around checking rental houses that should be empty or hadn't paid. They cleaned out one house so we can put it on the internet now.  They also texted me to tell me that utilities were off at another home, and had been about two weeks.  I'll call them this evening.  A relative called to say that a health department worker was trying to get in touch with us.  I called their office, and someone in our trailer park put "household" garbage in the ditch with rubbish and large items.  So we need to educate our tenants and issue letters explaining the difference.  We can do that!

When I got home, GrandBoy and Middle daughter were laying on the carpot on blankets, having a coloring book picnic.  They had snacks, and stickers, and were coloring pictures in their favorite books.
Our First daughter made more jelly today.  About 12 jars.  She made apple cranberry, I believe.  She has about used all the home canned juice in our cabinets.  But that is fine, because it needed to be used.  She also made pink cupcakes for a bake sale at her work, to benefit breast cancer.

A neighbor shared a grocery bag of peppers with us tonight.  All different kinds.  So I guess I will make some pepper sauce this weekend.  I would like to have some chow chow, but I've never made that before.

Well, I guess that is it for now.  Hope you have a wonderful day.  Come back tomorrow.  Honey!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Day 6 of 31 Days of a Farm Family's Life

Days 6 through 9 of 31 Days of a Farm Family's Life

Welcome back1  I have been missing for a couple of days.  Sometimes things get crazy around here.
On Friday, Pappy and middle daughter worked the hay some more.  I checked to see if any of the rental houses that hadn't paid, were vacant.  That night the twin daughters, and Grandboy and I went to a spaghetti dinner and bingo at our local school.  There we sat with some friends and had a great time. 
On Saturday, Pappy went to another town about an hour from here and worked on fencing the pasture so we can put cows there in the spring.  He also met with the deer hunters who have hunted there in the past, and gave them permits for our property.
GrandBoy and I went to a Kid Consignment Sale and bought some things for him for the winter.  He got 10 pair of new underwear, 14 undershirts, and 18 pairs of socks.  That will help stretch our laundry days a bit.  We also went to the Farmers' Market.  There, we bought muscadines, yellow squash, apples, and sweet potatoes.  We had a nice time.  After that, we went to Aldi's.
Once home, I did laundry and dishes all day long.  I planned our menu for the week, and planned our calendar.
Sunday we visited a new church.  We had a nice time.  Spent time cleaning house.  Checked a house that is suppose to be empty, and checked our post office boxes. 
 So now we are caught up to today.  Today is Day 9.  When I got home from picking up GrandBoy, I went into the house to pay some bills.  GrandBoy came inside to tell me the cows were out.  I went out to see what was going on.  The cows on the other side of the pond, had crossed the fence, and were in the neighbor's soybeans!  I tried to call Pappy.  I had called several times today, but he was not where he got a phone signal.  He did pick up this time though, So Glad!  I told him the cows were out an I was on my way across the pond to see what to do.  He told me he was almost home, so he would take care of them.  I kept an eye on them, and waited for Pappy to get home.  I worked on some paperwork for our bank.  And cleaned the kitchen.  We had pork chops for dinner.  Love pork chops. 
Well, that about covers our weekend.  Hope you have a wonderful week!  Honey

Friday, October 4, 2013

Day 5 of 31 Days of a Farm Family's Life

Day 5 of 31 Days of a Farm Family's Life

Hi!  Welcome back to our farm.  We are so glad to see you!  Today I got up late, and hurried to make coffee.  I would have logged in to my Hello Mornings Twitter group to check in, but someone hacked my account, so twitter changed my password.  I don't have time to deal with that this morning, so it will have to wait. 

I got the GrandBoy's stuff ready, and threw on some clothes.  Not any time for anything else.  On my way to work, I checked my phone.  One of our new tenants left a message that they had their money due today.  I made an appoint to meet them this afternoon between jobs. 

After my morning job is through, I head to the rental house to collect their rent.   I stop at one house, then met another tenant further down the highway  at a tattoo shop parking lot.  Then I went  to the bank to make a deposit, and started to my second client's home.

When my second job was finished, I posted an eviction at a home where the people are behind.  Then I stopped and paid our daughter's lot rent.  Then I came home.  Didn't make it to the Post office today.

When I got home, Pappy and GrandBoy were napping.  GrandBoy got up when I came in, and we let Pappy sleep.  I started out doing the things I didn't do last night, because I was tired and went to bed.   I picked up a trail of dirty clothes.  I washed dishes, made coffee and iced tea, and fed the chickens. 

My oldest daughter keeps telling me she is out of jelly jars, and I go dig around, and pull out another box or so.  I told her I have jars hidden all over the farm!  She was very impressed.  She made more jelly today, not sure of the kind.  I believe Apple and Peach.  The latest jars were pulled out of the chicken coop.  I remember that I need to look for the "wedding " Bible that the twins were given at birth.  It may take me a year to find it, so oldest daughter can use it in her wedding. 

GrandBoy kept telling me he was hungry.  He wanted a "cheese sammich", in his own words.  So I made him a toasted cheese sandwich.  I had toast and coffee.  He watched TV while I caught up on computer work.

Today Pappy worked around the farm.  His farm chores started at about 8:30 when he found the goats out, again!  It is rut season.  He moved them to a new pasture, and walked the fence to find out where they are getting out.  He thinks that problem is solved. 

Next he fed the small animals, and watered the chickens.  He filled the cows' water tanks.  GrandBoy lost his kitten, so Pappy found it and put in away.  He took GrandBoy to school. 

Pappy watered and checked on the bamboo shoots we are trying to get started on the farm.  Everyone says we will be sorry we tried this, but we want to use it as an alternative food source for the animals.  So we will see.  The desk will also use this area as a shelter when the have ducklings.

Pappy picked up our middle daughter and they went to one of the hay fields that will be cut this weekend, to work on the gates so the hay cutter can get inside.  After he picked up GrandBoy this afternoon, he went to the Co-op to buy more fence posts, weed killer, and an excavator.

Pappy went to the trailer park to pick up some rent.  This was a good rent day!  While there, he counted the goats up there, and we were missing two.  Pappy walked the pasture and found them.  Some little girls were feeding them, so they didn't want to go with the heard, or come when called!

Now it is 11:30 at night, and Pappy has gone to the water turn off valve to be sure he cut if off.  Then he plans to take a shower and go to bed.

I am finishing up here.  I just wrote the grocery list for this weekend.  We are very lucky that we don't have to buy much.  We raise all our own meat, and most of our fruit and vegetables.  We can even produce some of our own dairy.  So our grocery bill is usually between $60 - 90 a week.  That is high to us, but then I hear what others pay.  I can't believe it.  I'm so thankful that we don't have to depend on a store for our food.  Tomorrow our list is:  3 gallons milk, cranberry juice, tea bags, stevia, 10 pounds sugar, biscuits, 4 miniature pumpkins, tortillas, 2 dozen eggs, sour cream, fruit, salad vegetables, microwavable macaroni and cheese, dish soap, and peroxide. 

Well, I guess that is enough here today.  Hope you all have a blessed and we will talk to you tomorrow.  Honey

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Day 4 of 31 Days of a Farm Family's Life

Day 4 of 31 Days of a Farm Family's Life

So sorry I missed you earlier today.  First, at about 9 pm last night.  Pappy went to bed.  I went chasing him down the hall, saying, "You didn't tell me what all you did today so I can blog about it!".  He told me to listen close, because he was already in the bed.  I listened, and then let him and the GrandBoy go to sleep.  I came back to my desk, and started to write, but for some reason, I couldn't keep my eyes open.  The night before that, I started having kidney pain.  So much so that Pappy asked me if I wanted to go to the hospital.  But I didn't, so we stayed home.  Since then, I have been treating myself with cranberry juice and water.  So I think I fell asleep on my keyboard because I was lacking caffeine!  I went to bed by 10!  (Very early for me).  I told myself I would get up early in the morning and finish.  But I wasn't able to do that either.  I stayed in bed till the last minute, then got to work 10 minutes late.  But I am now much better.  Thank you for asking!

Yesterday, Pappy got up and fed and wormed the dog.  He got GrandBoy ready for school and dropped him off.  He called and was able to pick up the tractor from the shop.  This will help with moving our hay.  He talked to a new hay cutter man who is going to look at our hay fields to see about cutting them this weekend.  The old hay cutter man called to see if we were still going to need hay.  Pappy told him, "Yes".  I said, "shouldn't you have told him we weren't buying hay from him? "  He answered, "he didn't ask where we were buying our hay."  Someone is in for a surprise.

Pappy put the goats up, then found where the goats were getting out here on our farm.  He and our daughter then fixed the fence. 

Pappy is planning a trip to our new pasture about 45 minutes away from here.  He will need to take everything with him, because he won't come home till dark.  We would like to get a camper to put over there so we could spend the weekend.  Maybe one day.  This farm was my Uncle's.  He passed on this year, and my Aunt leased it to us.  We are getting it ready to put cows on.  In the past, I believe, it has been used for crops.  Pappy is going to try to get a grant next year to run water to the animals.  We can get a grant for running water to animals, just not to people!  We are excited about this farm,  This will allow us to expand our cows, and not have to worry if someone we rent pasture from decides to sell their land.

Yesterday was a big rent day for us.  I picked up rent from a few people, and then stopped and picked up deli sandwiches for our dinner.  It was church night, and we were going to visit at a nearby congregation.  Pappy was not excited with sandwiches for dinner.  After dinner, I came home from church, cleaned up, and went to bed.  So much for farm work from me today!

Well, I think that is all for Day 4.  See you soon!  Honey

Day 3 of 31 Days of a Farm Family's Life

    Day 3 of 31 Days of a Farm Family's Life
Today's entry will be done on day 4.  Honey is in bed with a kidney infection or kidney stone.  Back with all our excitement soon.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Day 2 of 31 Days of a Farm Family's Life

Day 2 of 31 Days of a Farm Family's Life
Welcome back to Day 2!  Today was a nice fall day here. The leaves are beginning to turn, and GrandBoy has been collecting the pretty ones.  Along with acorns and cicada shells!  We try to enjoy each season as it comes.
I got up today at 6:30, and didn't get to wash any dishes.  But I was pleasantly surprised to realize that our oldest daughter washed them while I was at work.  That was a really nice surprise. 
Today is October 1st.  I left my morning client early.  I do this on the first and last day of the month, because we are landlords, and we need to get our rent money in the bank as soon as we can.  So today I left work at 12:30.  Just as I was leaving, a few of our tenants started texting me that they had the rent money, whenever I wanted to come by.  So I met a few of our tenants to get their money and give them receipts.  I went to our post office, but nothing was in our box except a catalog.  Then I went to the bank to make a rent deposit. 
I went to my afternoon client, and got there early.  That means I will get home early, which is always good!  I arrived back home before 5:00.  When I arrived home, Pappy decided to take a nap, and asked me to wake him up in an hour.  A few minutes later, GrandBoy came running inside looking for Pappy.  I told him not to bother Pappy, because he was resting.  GrandBoy said it was important because the goats were out.  I said I could take care of that, but GrandBoy looked at me skeptically.  GrandBoy showed me where the goats were.  About 6 goats were outside the fence, looking at the ones still inside.  I opened the gate, but the goats wouldn't go past me to get in the pasture.  So I went and got a bucket of feed.  They watched as I went into the pasture and pored the feed out for the goats.  The six goats outside almost knocked me down trying to get into the pasture and to the feed.  One problem solved.
I had just gotten back in the house and was thinking about dinner, when the phone rang.  The person on the phone lives beside a pasture we rent.  He said to tell Pappy that the goats were out.  What is going on?  More goats out?  I told the caller that I would send Pappy right over.  But I figured it could wait 10 minutes till he was up.  I woke him up shortly, and he told me this would be the third time today that he had put up goats.  You'd think it was Spring outside.  Pappy left to go put the goats up one last time (we hope).  GrandBoy begged to go with him.  And I made coffee.
While Pappy and GrandBoy were gone, I fixed dinner.  We had bean and cheese burritos with sour cream and salsa, milk, and tea.  We make, grow, and harvest pretty much all our own food. 
After dinner, Pappy told me about his day.  After getting up, Pappy wormed the dogs.  He fed the dogs and turkeys.  He put up the goats here on the farm for the first time of the day.  He unloaded his truck from yesterday, and then loaded it for the work he needed to do today. 
Next Pappy went to the Farmers' Co-op.  He bought field fence, t-posts, and rabbit food.  Then he left to go to our middle daughter's home to fix the water leak he found yesterday.  On the way, he stopped to get diesel.  When he got to our daughter's home, the $200 roll of fence wasn't on the truck.  Pappy drove the way from the Co-op to daughter's home twice, but didn't find the fence.  He went back to the co-op and bought another roll of fence.  He "complained" the whole way back to daughter's home.
While Pappy was gone for fence, our middle daughter dug out the water meter, and got ready to help her Daddy fix the water leak.  When he got back, Pappy crawled under the trailer and they fixed the leak together.  Then they worked on the sale building.  They finished the floors and hung a window.  They also hung shelving in the building. 
By this time, it is time to pick up GrandBoy.  When Pappy and GrandBoy returned to the farm, Pappy checked his stocks for the day, while GrandBoy had lunch.  Pappy ate left over pinto beans.  The goats decided it was time to get out again.
About this time I arrived home.  I could hear Pappy was on the phone when I came in the door.  I met GrandBoy in the kitchen.  He told me he was going to start cutting Pappy's hay.  Bad sign.  When he got off the phone, Pappy told me the hay cutter said he broke a $600 part while cutting our hay in the spring, and he only made $500on our job.  So he was unable to cut our hay for the Fall cut.  We just stood there in disbelief.  It is hard to find a hay cutter in this part of the county.  Couldn't he have told us this weeks ago?  We will have to find a new hay cutter.  Pappy got some names from other people we know.  I'll check Craigslist.  Pappy had already ordered 100 rolls of extra from this hay cutter because we knew we would need extra.  We decided we would get our hay from someone else.
Our oldest daughter made more jelly this morning.  I forgot how many jars she has now.  She is getting married next year, and plans to give away jelly as favors.  So she has been busy with this project.  Tonight we talked about other plans that need to be taken care of so she can have a farm wedding here.
our oldest daughter also took GrandBoy to school today.  That is a really big help to us when she does this.
Our middle daughter worked with her Dad again.  He appreciates her help during this busy season.
I noticed today that it won't be long till the cactus pears are ready to be harvested.  They are starting to turn a reddish purple.  We pick the cactus balls, and juice them.  The juice is healthy to drink, and makes beautiful jelly.
Maybe I'll get started tonight on stringing the hot pepper to dry.  We have ghost pepper from our farm.  My Mom gave them to us.  We have bull horn cayenne and jalapeno  from a neighbor.
I guess that is about it for today.  It was a beautiful day here, and I hate to see winter come.  Stop back by tomorrow to see us.  We'll be here!  Honey

Day 1: 31 Days of a Farm Family's Life

Day 1:  31 Days of a Farm Family's Life
Hi!  Welcome to our farm.  This month during the 31 day challenge, I plan to record our days here on our farm.  I have found there is a lot of interest in what we do all day, how we make this work, and whether or not you could make it work for your family.
When Pappy and I moved to the farm about 12 years ago, neither of us had ever lived on a farm.  Heck, I was a city girl.  But we learned this life, and you can, too.  We just wish we had made the move sooner.
So, this is what we did today to make our farm work for our family.
I get up each morning between 5:30 and 6:30.  I should get up at 5:30 every day, but since I don't go to bed early, that doesn't happen. The days I get up early, I get a lot done during the quiet hours.  Many days I don't see anyone else before I leave to go to work.  Today, Pappy got up shortly after I did.  I washed the morning dishes, checked in with my Hello Mornings Twitter group, read email and the Bible, then got ready to leave.  Besides getting dressed, I pack some snacks for my day at work.  I get out GrandBoy's clothes and shoes, and check his backpack for notes and papers to sign.  I set out his lunch, toothbrush, allergy medicine, and vitamin.  He only goes to preschool half a day, and he doesn't get up till I am gone.  I grab my purse and tote bag, make sure I have my glasses, phone, and keys, then I lock the door and am gone. I leave each day by 7:30.  On my way to work I listen to phone messages, return calls, and pray for my family.
I am self-employed.  I manage real estate and assist business owners with the running of their businesses.  I have one client that I work with each morning, and another regular client that I see two afternoons a week.  My morning client is from 8 to 2 each day. 
Pappy and I also have rental homes.  Since today is the last day of the month, I leave my office early so I can make sure everything is done for our properties.  I go to two post offices, and at least two banks.  I call anyone who still hasn't paid their rent for the month, and try to make an appointment to collect.  I go to our bank and make deposits of any rent I get so it will show up on our bank statement for that month.  Depending on how the month falls, I sometimes make a point to meet some of our tenants to start collecting the first of the month rent.  Our people who get a government check, sometimes get paid on the last day of the month.  When that happens, I make house calls to pick it up!  When I visited the post office, there was no rent in our boxes.  The days are always better when we have a few checks waiting there.
These days I pick up GrandBoy from school when I don't see an afternoon client.  I need to have a snack ready when he gets in the car, because he will be starving! 
When we got home today, GrandBoy and I checked the garden.  I gathered the last of the tomatoes.  The garden is pretty much done.  We may get a little okra or peppers, but that will be it.  We are never done with our garden till the first frost, but all the rain we had this year gave the garden a late start.  I'm trying to decide if I want to plant some lettuce, spinach, and maybe radish.  I love radish.  I checked the hens, but still no eggs.  It has been a week since we got eggs.  I guess that is caused by the cooler nights.  I hope the hens will start laying again for a while, but I will start buying eggs for the winter.
Today our oldest daughter took GrandBoy to school.  This allowed Pappy to get an early start on his day.  The days everyone is gone to work, Pappy doesn't get started on much till GrandBoy goes to school.  This morning the first thing Pappy did was feed the small animals around the house.   He fed the rabbits, pigeon, the kitten, and the turkeys.  Then he loaded his truck for the day.
He went down to our second daughter's home about two miles from here.  He planned to work on a sale building we moved down there to have yard sales in.  His plan was to put siding on the building and a floor in it so we can leave items set up inside.  He went to knock on the door of her home, and could hear water running from underneath the trailer.  So he crawled under the trailer, then found a water leak.  After that, he worked on the sale building for a few hours.

We rent pasture all over our county for our cattle.  Today Pappy had plans to go to the other side of the county and move hay.  He moved hay for three hours, till the hay spear broke on the tractor.  Then he took the hay spear to the welder to leave for repair,  so that hopefully he can pick it back up this week.  Then he bush hogged for two hours.  When it got dark, he came home.
One neighbor who shares a pasture with us told Pappy that he doesn't have time for cows any longer, so he is going to sell his.  Pappy planned which pastures we will use this winter, and where to move our cows.
This morning I started dinner by putting pintos in our crock pot. When we got home, I made stewed potatoes, fried apples, and corn bread with butter to finish our meal.  We drank tea or milk. 
After dinner, I picked up the kitchen and put the food away.  Then I cut up a basket of bell peppers that two friends shared with us last week.  I put 12 small bags of chopped bell peppers in one of our freezers to enjoy this winter.  Then I take the pepper seeds and tops out to the chickens.  The hot peppers will have to wait till tomorrow night.

Our oldest daughter canned about 12 small jelly jars of cactus pear jelly this morning.  This puts her total to 100 jars this summer.  Our second daughter shampooed the carpet in our office, after helping her dad work on the sale building.  We have a yard sale planned for this weekend.

Pappy and I sat in the office and listened to Fox News, to check on the status of the government shut down.  Our oldest daughter came in from work a while ago, and fixed herself a dinner plate.  Everyone else is now in bed.  When I finish this blog post, I will be getting a bath.  Afterwards, I'll walk through the house, gathering dirty cups for the sink, and collecting GrandBoy's scattered clothes from around the house.  He changes clothes several times a day!  I will try to corral the toys into piles, so he can pick them up tomorrow. 

I believe that about covers today.  Check back tomorrow to see what a new day brings.  We enjoyed your visit, and can't wait to see you again!  Honey