The simple love of a child.

So innocent.  Loving, and wanting nothing in return.   Lilly is our dairy cow, who is sick.
Emmi made this get well card for her.  We think Lilly has pneumonia.  The vet was out of town, but we were able to get 2 injections for her.  I'm thankful (again) for all the equipment on this farm, even if it is rarely used.
Without the squeeze chute, we would have never succeeded at giving Lilly the shots.  The vet is coming out tomorrow.
The card reads "Lilly, Please get well.  I love you.  I like your milk.  I like the name Lilly May Hoover.  Lilly, it's such a pretty name.  Love, Emmi"  Of course this card will be laminated and put on the milking parlor wall.  Lilly seemed to have really studied the drawing=)
Meanwhile, the kids are full of energy, and finally able to get it out.  The spent over an hour yesterday having races in the yard.  Above is the Mr. Waternoose (Monsters, Inc) walk....or crab walk.  And below, they are doing a wheel barrel race.
We are so happy that spring is here!!

Homemade rustic light

In a former life, this was a funnel used for diesel fuel, it is quite large.  The previous farmer gave it to DH.  The minute I laid eyes on it, I knew I would save it from a life with diesel fuel.
After lots of scrubbing bubbles, I made a light.  This small hallway had a light at one end, and I wanted it in the center.  DH the electrician can handle those problems, except this time there was an attic door in the way.

No problem, swag it across to the center, and unhook it in the rare instance that the attic ladder is needed.
I was looking at a rope-wrapped cord from W*rld Market, and considered making my own burlap cord cover.   I was thrilled to discover this one at Tuesd*y Morning for $7!  Add the Edison bulb and I've got a great light for under $25!
Even the little goaties are excited!

Goat Babies are so much fun!

The girls insist on babysitting for Milly.  A great time for reading.
And here's what happens when adventurous babies explore a work area.
One of our pastures is getting a new escape proof (haha) fence for goats and other babies.
The baby in the hole was only there for a minute, wasn't even crying.....everyone is fine.

Do you know this tree?

We have two of these pretty trees, but I have no idea what they are.  The buds are fuzzy.  
The flowers are slightly bigger than the palm of my hand.  They smell a little like Magnolia.
If you can identify this tree, please let me know.  Thanks!

More babies!

Emmi's goat Milly had two babies on Wednesday!  I was working in the yard, heard Milly's cries, and was able to call Emmi out to the barn to see the whole thing.
She helped Milly clean up the babies a little.

She named this one Arnold.
And this is Fred.
On day 2, Moe enjoyed meeting the babies.
The baby goats make 7lb Moe look huge!

Chicken butchering

We butchered old birds 1st, to get the technique down.  The previous farmer left us with 14 chickens, we had no idea of their age.  We sold some and butchered some.
Emmi LOVES living on the farm, and everything involved.  This girl is not afraid to get her hands dirty.
We cooked one "old bird" and it was tough, so the others will be used for broth,and maybe chopped up for casseroles.
A few days later, we butchered 8 young roosters.  They were a good size, averaging 5lbs when ready to go to the freezer.
Emmi got the birds from the pen, and put them in the cone, DH did the dirty work.  Once dead and drained, I put them in the hot water and plucked feathers.  Emmi washed them and passed them on to DH who gutted  (for lack of a proper term) the birds.  
Each bird could be done in about 15 minutes, but prep and clean-up time totaled about 2 hours!
Once done, we cleaned all surfaces, with bleach, and scrubbed the floor with a commercial cleaner.  I don't know if we can ever produce enough chicken to stop buying it from Wh*le Foods altogether, but it's a start.
For now we hope to raise enough chickens for roasting, we use 4 a month.  And we will continue to buy thighs from WF.  But DH pointed out, when we have a cow, pigs, fish, and rabbit in the freezer, we won't be cooking as much chicken as we do right now.

Friends go adventuring

That's the name of a cute kids book, by the way.
It was a beautiful weekend, after the crazy freeze.
Since we are studying the Civil War, the kids pretended to be scouts, redcoats, etc.  They took turns being the leaders, such as George Washington, Robert E. Lee, and Ulysses S. Grant.  (oops, I meant Abraham Lincoln, not George Washington--our curriculum is moving faster than my brain)
Then the soldiers talked mom and dad into adventuring to the back of our farm, about a half mile.
It gets rocky back there with some small gulleys.  One creek feeds from our lake, and another comes from another direction, and they meet at the back.  Such pretty little "waterfalls" along the way.
Our farm is totally fenced, so the cows come back to this area in the hot summer.  They get in the shade, and drink from the creeks.  They must really have good vision to maneuver around back here.
Even little Moe got to adventure!  

Could he be any more adorable?

This morning it was warm with 97% humidity.  It started clearing up about 9.  
We headed out in summer clothes, although jackets were needed for a little while.  This was  Moe's first time in the grass.
We enjoyed a beautiful day outside, and opened windows and doors to the house.
It was 75 degrees at 4 pm.
It has now dropped 32 degrees in under 4 hours, and tomorrow night the temp is supposed to drop to 19!

DH has already been given orders to "come prepared to stay" at work.  Again, I'm so thankful the power company puts them in hotels and feeds them well.  Even if he can't be home, it's really kind of nice to know he's safe instead of being on icy roads driving back and forth.
I guess we will be staying inside again, and spoiling a certain adorable little lamb.

Teeny tiny sheep

We added 6 animals this week!  Charmaine's calf, Ginger,
two Heritage breed Big Black pigs, a cat from a Trussville friend, and two Katahdin sheep.
These babies were premature.   Curley weighed 5 lbs. 6 oz., and Moe weighted 6 lbs. 8 oz., at 5 days of age.  They should have weighed at least 9 lbs.  
Curley was the smallest, that's a 5 oz. bottle in the picture.

Katahdin's have hair instead of wool, so no sheering needed.
Sweet Curley got sick on Monday afternoon, probably pneumonia.
Surprisingly he made it through the night.
We cuddled and loved on him non-stop, as well as getting medication for him, but sadly, he died Tuesday evening.

Bye bye snow

I have to admit it was pretty.  
We had to cancel our orthodontic appointments for the second time due to weather.  
DH was only stuck in a Bham hotel for one night this week....we love that the power company takes care of their people!
It was decided that we could not wait any longer for our Wh0le Foods trip, so we headed out on Friday.
We live just off of a major truck route highway, which goes straight to the interstate, so I wasn't worried about driving.
I learned an amazing thing....north AL is actually equipped to handle snow!  No where else we have ever lived plowed the roads, nor had the capability to do so.  It was kind of neat to be on the road, perfectly safe, with snow on the mountains all around us.

So at Wh0le Foods, we bought oodles and oodles of noodles, and: 25 lbs of rice, 25 lbs of grits, 50 lbs of potatoes, 10 lbs. black-eyed peas, 40 lbs of chicken thighs, 45 lbs. of flour, 15 lbs. of butter, a case of chili beans, a case of cereal bars, a case of macaroni and cheese, and 151 other items.
I am so thrilled to have a house full of groceries again, and to be able to get back to my normal menu.
The kids are thrilled to be eating some of their favorites again.
I am thrilled that the snow is gone!!!!    OH--just got word that more crazy weather is expected soon.

While we still have power....

I thought I'd post a few pics.  Praying that power stays on, but it has blinked.
These were all taken about 4pm.  The snow started around 12:30.
So in 3.5 hours, we got 4 inches.  It is still snowing at 10pm.  I do not ever remember 9 hours straight of heavy, steady snowfall.  
We don't have TV, but computer updates say we have 6-10 inches, and are setting records.
Since 9pm I have seen some icicles from the eaves, which means there is some melting.  Which will most likely re-freeze overnight.  Not good for power lines.  Roads all across North AL have been closed since early afternoon.
I know my friends further north are chuckling at my update info....but for us, this kind of snow only happens a few times in our lives. (Thank Goodness!!)