Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

I hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day with good times with friends and family and had a chance to remember those who have served our country.

John Leck (brother to my 3rd great-grandfather on my mother's side)

William McCandless (my paternal grandfather)

So many people have made it possible for us to have the freedoms we have today, so don't take this day, this week, or this summer for granted. Enjoy every minute of it!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

In No Particular Order

I haven't quite fallen from the blogasphere yet--but technology seems to be trying to steer me that way. Sprint internet has decided to go completely haywire on me, charging me $200 in overages last month (I only get online for email, job search, weather, facebook and blogging when I'm supposed to be able to watch 4 full-length movies, too, but somehow it's racking up bytes faster now than it ever has) and now the connection keeps disconnecting itself every ten seconds. On top of that, blogger has decided it will no longer make editing simple. So, I can't get my pictures in order and rather attempt to reload them in order so I don't have to reorder them, I'm going to blog about the last few days in no particular order.

Thanks for everyone's concern about the storms, but the tornado that touched down in the county last week was north of my little farm so I only had a dead tree and some branches down. The tree only took out one strand of fence, too--got pretty lucky there. Sadly a couple of people were killed when they got into the path of the tornado on the highway and were hit by a tree flying across the road. So sad.... Otherwise there was some damage up north but I don't believe anyone else was hurt. I took a couple of pictures in between the two big storms--they made for an eerie sight. Here's the first--looking West.

And this one was taken at the same time, looking East.

Both are straight out of the camera, no editing. I got very lucky with this East-facing shot.

Speaking of taking pictures, I got a few pictures of Evie playing the other day (the thing about not being able to put the pictures in order is it makes for awkward segue).

She loves her ball.

And the turkeys love me. Or whatever this relationship is that we have going.

I'm serious. They follow me around everywhere! If I sit down, I get at least three on my lap. I didn't handle them a lot, so I have no idea why they're so friendly, but a couple of days ago they followed me around on the lawnmower so I had to lock them up so I wouldn't accidentally run over one (ugh, can you imagine?!).

They are really cute and sweet but starting to get a little clingy.

Sophie is cute and sweet but not clingy at all.

She's three years old now and laziness has set in. She's still faster than anything but she sure likes her beauty rest.

Evie is still very much in puppy mode. And she's pretty happy about it, too.

The nice thing about the storms is we got a lot of rain. The bad thing about the rain is that it brought back the biting deer flies.

This might look extreme, but if you've been bitten by deer flies you know it hurts like a son of a monkey's uncle. So far the only way I've found to make the horses comfortable is a fly mask, fly sheet, and Pyranha fly spray.

Even Betty has her "armor" on. Thank goodness the sheets were buy-one-get-one free.

I tried to forgo sheets last year but ended up buying two bottles of fly spray a week, which really adds up at $14 each. So far the sheets are helping to cut that figure in half.

Glad the chickens don't need fly spray, too (another awkward segue).

They decided to make a camping spot out of the fallen branches.

My little turkeys aren't quite so bright about finding a good spot. They park it pretty much anywhere they want.

This one is the gang leader--he is always first on my lap.

Hopefully I can get my computer issues all sorted out soon. Thanks for hanging in there with me. ~J

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


First of all, my thoughts are with those in Joplin and I pray that the storms miss you today. I'm not sure what it is about a tornado-ravaged area that thunderstorms like to slam--it happened with Greensburg, too. For those of you near the Wichita, Kansas area, you can bring donations to Eddie's Toyota on East Kellogg.

I also want to mention that there are several Facebook groups dedicated to helping Joplin residents.

Today we have a potential in our area for some really bad storms. "An outbreak of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes are expected across the plains this afternoon into this evening as a dry line and low pressure area moves into south central Kansas. While severe thunderstorms with up to tennis ball sized hail and damaging winds of 60 to 70 mph are possible for the entire area, the area of greatest concern for possible long track strong/violent tornadoes appears to be located across south central Kansas. This area is located generally south of US Highway 50, including the larger cities of Wichita, Hutchinson, Kingman, El Dorado, Wellington, and Winfield."

My place is right on the edge of the "tornado area." Hopefully our entire area will dodge the bullet and only get some much-needed rain.

Yesterday was gorgeous out, though, so I got one of the items crossed off my 101 Things in 1001 Days list: I put up a clothesline (#46). Fortunately our local WalMart had everything I needed.

I had been waiting for Dad to make me a couple of clothesline poles, but then I read an article about using trees. Well, I have plenty of those!

I even have an audience!

They follow me around everywhere. Figures, even my chickens are spoiled.

The clothesline was easy to put up. I just tapped these thingymajobbers (have no idea what they're officially called) through the bark and then twisted them into the tree.

Then I attached the watchamacallits.

I was able to dry four loads of laundry in just a few hours. It helped me save money at the laundrymat, and when I finally get my laundryroom finished, it will help keep the house cool and save on electricity.

And for no reason at all that has to do with anything, here is a picture of one of my turkey chicks.

Cute as a button, but not quite as bright as one.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

This and That

A couple of days ago I went and picked up Bambi from being bred. She looks as fabulous as ever!

All the horses were thrilled to have Bambi home.

Go Paula, Go!

This right here is my very favorite picture, maybe this whole year:

Paula and Betty trotting along in sync.

Finally everyone calmed down and began grazing.

I'm not sure what was going on here, but Sophie was really putting on her sorrowful act.

She sure knows how to use those brown eyes, doesn't she?

Today we had a storm come through with very little rain, but very high winds. It took down this large branch, but I was glad it didn't hit the house.

The horses stayed out grazing. Bambi doesn't miss a single opportunity to eat (obviously).

And Paula doesn't miss a single opportunity to get as filthy as possible.

As a quick last note, I wanted to post some links on here about the EHV-1 outbreak. I boostered all of the horses yesterday. Although there is no vaccine for EHV-1, according to my vet (and multiple sources below), any way that we can boost the immunity in our horses during an outbreak, even if it is a different strain, is a good thing. As an extra precaution I have taken Betty (who was for sale) off the market for the time being--no horses will be leaving or coming into the farm (except for vet appointments as long as that is still deemed safe) until the outbreak is over.

EHV-1 Outbreak: Inside Report From an Affected Barn
Legal considerations regarding EHV-1

Top 5 Things you Need to Know About EHV-1

Myths Debunked Re: EHV-1

EHV-1 Disinfection

How EHV-1 is Spread

EHV-1: What You Need to Know Right Now

Of course new information comes out every few hours, so the best thing to do is check in with your veterinarian and also your state veterinary site for the most current news. The easiest way to stop the spread is just to stay home. Keeping your horses at home for the next few weeks isn't going to kill you, but not doing so could kill your horse, or at least your pocketbook. It's simply not worth the risk.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I've had Evie for a little over two months now, and she's already entirely ingrained into our family.

She already has me fully trained:

Belly rub, please! (The scar and shaved area is from getting spayed two weeks ago).

A little to the left....

A little to the right...

Ah! That's the spot!!

Hey, I didn't say you could stop, did I?

Fortunately there are much worse things in life than being a slave to the whim of a small adorable canine.

"Scratch a dog and you'll find a permanent job." ~Franklin P. Jones


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Around the Farm

I got a little carried away taking pictures yesterday, but once in a while I just see a picture opportunity everywhere, and Monday was one of those days.

Say "hello" to my little friend:

Around here, it's a good idea to make sure your tetanus shot is up-to-date.

This picture didn't turn out very well, but I wanted to post it anyway. This is one of my roosters, a black Cochin banty. I call him Mr. Boucher.

Bobby Boucher was the name of Adam Sandler's character in The Water Boy, and this rooster LOVES water. If he sees me grab the water container out of the coop to freshen it he will follow me around until I set it back down, and then he drinks like it's the last water he'll ever see.

He's a strange bird.

One of the irises that my sister-in-law gave me bloomed unexpectedly this year!

We thought it would take them a year to get situated since I planted them so late. I hope they're all as beautiful as this one is next year.

I was working on tearing down the old sheep shed when I saw the writing on the wall. Literally.

I don't know what it says. It's all Greek to me.

Here's a picture of my black Silkie. I have a black one and a blue one--not sure if they are roos or hens yet, but they are about the sweetest things. I haven't named this one yet, but he is always the first to the feed dish or to get scratch.

He's/She's usually not this serious.

Fabian and Betty were in the mood to run yesterday.

I rode Paula but didn't get any pictures of her. Silly girl was too busy pacing (even after our workout), but I did get it on video that I will have to upload soon. She's an odd one....

By complete accident I got this photo of the old barn (which is now entirely closed off to the horses). I love the way the lighting really brought out the texture of the worn boards.

I think the barn will be coming down soon. All I have in it anymore are halters and grain bins, so I'd better move it all out soon. I wish I could have saved it, but at the same time, I am ready to get some bulldozers in here and get it all cleaned up. It will be a bittersweet day when it's time comes.

We've been in a terrible drought so I've had to bucket water out to my little blue spruce I planted by the highway.

It's my spruce, and I call him Bruce.

OK, I'll stop, before my last reader runs off....