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Monday, August 17th 2009

10:05 PM

A little unplanned fun....

  • Mood: Chompin at the bit

The weekend has come and gone, but not without a little unplanned fun to boot!!  I had a wild hair....got a little thought about Fall and was itchin at the bit to get out and back to nature. After all, it took me all week long to recover from our pool party....yep....the one that got POURED on  .  I guess all wasnt so bad....Rick argued that it seems like all of his are rained on....and Ginger says it even rained on Clay's party....we made the best of a tough situation though .

So, Satuday morning I was up bright and early....."honey....I wanna go ride 4 wheelers".... and so we did.....but since we only had one 4 wheeler, of course we had to get another....long story  short ...we got a "sweet" Polaris "touring" 4 wheeler ...  Check out the high back seat (sooo comfy Lauren and I loved switching places)...it has high foot rests for the passenger too, digital controls ie. speedometer, fuel guage, etc....  We went to the hunting club and rode and rode til we got rained on....and so - it was the end of a fun day.

From Random Pics


Come Sunday morning, I was still fit to be tied.... "honey....lets go somewhere....I wanna get out....."....so off we set out on an unplanned road trip....we went toward Pine Mountain this time, and went to Warm Springs, The Roosevelt Institute, The Little Whitehouse and passed by some other cool things....some we stopped at....some we didn't.  If the slideshow doesnt work click here http://picasaweb.google.com/TheChickenYard/UnplannedRoadTrip81709?feat=directlink

All in all, we had quite the interesting week.  I wish I had some pics from the pool party to share, but I was so busy playing hostess I didnt get to take any    But we did have a friendly visitor this week...check him out...we caught him after setting a cage on the front porch because we thought a stray cat was getting the kitty cats food....seems he was sharing his food with more than that stray cat....the first pic shows our catch in the cage , where he'd demolished my cushion and rug trying to get out...the second...well - we only got the tail end of em when we released him...


From Random Pics
From Random Pics


Oh.....and let's not forget my sweet girl's birthday.....happy 9th baby girl!!


From Laurens 9th Birthday
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Sunday, July 5th 2009

11:23 PM

1836 Farm House Social At Pate Farms 7/5/09

  • Mood: Blessed & Inspired

Just a note to tell you what a wonderful time we had at the ice cream social with church and family at pate farms.  It was so nice to see so many new and familiar faces! Facebook friends galore!...and I tried to get a picture with ALL my facebook friends - thanks for tolerating me.   The hotdogs and burgers were great....the desserts DELICIOUS! My pick for best dessert was one that was decorated so pretty with strawberries and blueberries but the inside was a pineapple whip creamy like filling....I wonder whose that was!!  The girl in the long brown and white dress said her grandmother made it....so CHEERS GRANDMA....it was the bomb!  Runner up was the blueberry delight....so yummy!! Thank you guys for taking the time to make these yummy dishes!  Some of us copped out and brought "Mrs. Smiths"....like me!

We took some great pics, the kids had a blast, we got to see the Lala sheep (and rescue her), played a little badminton and I just have to mention "her highness",  Ms. Jasmine!  She was beautiful and classy as always and I saved my last bit of battery life in the camera for a shot with her....she's a true belle!...and one of a kind.

Pictures are posted on the main page at thechickenyard.com , I'm sure more are to follow from Ginger at Patefarms.com . I'll get them on Facebook soon too.  Thanks Rick & Ginger! It was a wonderful time as always . 

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Thursday, July 2nd 2009

8:29 PM

Life is wonderful!

  • Mood: Happy

I know I've slacked on my blog guys, but c'mon.....with Facebook in the world, it's hard to think everyone doesnt already know what's going on in my life!  I do love Facebook....so if you don't have a FB....get one ))

To keep those of you up to date who may not have a FB, a lot has been going on.  Lauren is in Summer Camp and loving every minute of it.  They do soooo much.  At least 2 field trips a week, plus a water slide day, bike day and other stuff every day of the week.  They've been to Battle and Bounce, skating, Butts Mill Farm, the library a few times, Hollywood Connection a few times, seen magicians acts, clowns perform, talked with police officers....just plain ole good fun for a kid hat has to stay on the go.

I've joined the new gym,,,,,yes Richie.....even if I have my own little gym....it's still nice to be able to go and do different things AND have what I've got.  If for nothing else, to get away and relax in a different atmosphere, and being able to get fit is just a reward, a wonderful side effect.

We're REALLY REALLY excited about the bash at Richie's this weekend!   Cant wait to see you guys, cause it's always fun, and I just plain enjoy your company, and the serenity of the farm.  I'll bring the badminton and we're workin on a little something special to bring foodwise, but not sure how it's gonna pan out....haha...pardon that pun!

Anyway, til next time!  ....You guys have a wonderful, and most importantly "SAFE", July 4th!

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Wednesday, June 10th 2009

3:01 PM

Blooming Colors!

  • Mood: Chipper!

I set out on an adventure to find a garden oasis that I had been to some 15 years ago with Grandma.  I'd thoughtbabout this place over the years and wanted to go back so badly, but Grandma and Pops couldnt remember where it was.  I had a visual image in my head of where it was and was determined to find it - and I did!

The place has the most beautiful, plants, in any size and so many varieties, even the hard to find stuff.  It's more than just a garden center.  As one of the other customers put it , "it's like a sanctuary - beautiful!" So if you ever get the chance, you really ought to check this place out.  ....very reasonable prices and in most cases, cheaper than home depot, etc...

To get there , go toward Opelika on 280.  Get on the bypass as you come into Opelika and head toward Auburn.  Take the Auburn exit and go about a mile and a half and its on your right....called "Blooming Colors".  You wont be disappointed.  It's sort of like a walk thru the gardens at Callaway, only smaller.....and the variety is much bigger.  It's an adventure.

I have posted some pics of some of the plants I got on the main page at thechickenyard.com

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Monday, June 8th 2009

10:13 AM

Summer's almost here....

  • Mood: Productive

Spring has come, and almost gone - where does the time go?  It has rained so much lately , well for what seems like forever, that we haven't been able to do much at all around the yard.  Finally a break in the rain! So we spent the weekend being productive.  Honey worked on my deck steps and they look awesome.  I wish I'd have taken a pic, but I didnt think about it....so I will take  a pic in the next few days to show ya'll.

I also got to pressure wash the back porch and separate some bulbs and replant some ivy vines to grow up the other posts on the back porch.  It looks so pretty!  I am so glad we have the pool.  The 90 degree days require a dip or 2 in it to be able to keep going.  I am sooo enjoying the work outdoors, it is so relaxing and rewarding.

Lauren spent some time with Lindi and Rick and Ginger at the farm yesterday.  They got a new piggy and sheep (named Lala) at the flea market.  The new sheep was "suppose" to complete thier farm, according to Lauren.  But now it seems she's changed her mind....they still need a Lhama or Alpaca....I agree, they need an Alpaca....soft soles on the feet, and no front teeth to bite you with ) ANDDDDDD they make good pets....hint hint....we'll see how long it takes them to get one.....

We've got to make a trip to Birmingham today with Shawna bug, so it's gonna be a long day, but I cant wait to get back to being productive tomorrow - I have a list a mile long!

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Monday, May 4th 2009

8:28 PM

Uhhhhmmm...we have a problem here....

Well, I've really been determined that I'm getting rid of some of my chickens...about half to be exact...I just haven't gotten around to it.....

So I go out to the pen today and the chickens have joined forces....I thought it was a little odd for these chickens not to come running for food...and I want you all to know that these little turdballs have all decided to set at once! NOOOOO!!  I dont have just one setting....or even 2.....or 3!!!  I have 4 setting now.... what is it with these chickens???? Now I'm gonna have 50 baby chicks for you Ginger and Rick....that's right....my special treat, just for you


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Monday, April 27th 2009

3:26 PM

Where does all the time go???

  • Mood: Busy

Well, I was thinking it's been a while since I updated my blog, so here I am.  It's been a good 3 weeks and I have no idea where all my time has gone. I've long planted my garden, with not much to show for it.  My squash is doing well, and my corn, and even my strawberries, but I can't get them picked before the rabbits eat them  

We've had lots of fun soccer games and lots of practice (that's where 3 of my evenings have gone each week).  But we had the best game yet this weekend.  I'm such a nut at these games, I  can hardly stay in my seat.  I shift in my seat with the plays, like I'm the one playing....and woohoo like I'm crazy!  But it's all in good fun and I do love watching it!!

We are in full force back at battle with the bees this year.  Fortunately Lauren has taken the reigns and is doing all the bee swatting. This weekend we took our first dips in the pool....nice!  And we went to the Disney on Ice show.  It's always magical!!

Pictures are posted on thechickenyard.com

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Thursday, April 2nd 2009

1:20 PM

Rain Drops keep fallin' on my head.....

  • Mood: Motivated

On a wonderfully rainy day like today.....wha to do....what to do???  BLOG!  It's almost 1:30 and I've long  completed my day.  Got my haircut, did my workout, and checked my facebook...

Such a strenuous life ))   Im feeling super good about increasing my workouts to an hour.  I thought I'd die after my first Julian Micheals workout, but now - "I feel good! da da da, dah dah dah! I knew that I would! Da da da, Dah dah dah!!"....oh, I get carried away, but what else is there to do????

I'm missing soccer, with no chance of practice tonight.....guess I might as well do the dreaded taxes. Well....maybe not )

I've also wanted to tell ya'll about the monster we've created -my cat!  So far he's mamed several lizzards, a bird, a little snake, then a mouse....then I walked outside to find him doing backflips in the air.  I thought "what in the world....?"  , as I walked closer I noticed the chipmunk he had with him......when he got  upside down in the air with the flips, he'd give an extra umphhh and slam the little thing to the ground....over and over.....  So being the kind heart that I am , I rescued the little creature...wrapped him up , gave em the old rub down to try and get him to catch his breath.  He was cold and almost stiff, so I was proud after I placed him under the light for abt and hour and he finally came to.  Yay me!!!  We saved him....he up and trotted away.

Not so lucky, was the rabbit he brought up the next day.  Nothing more fun than having to pull the 1/2 of a corpse outta Cletus's mouth before he could finish off what kitty kitty started. UGHH! Kitty likes rabbit meat!  A lot! The next day I hear the squalling of another rabbit as he hops away from kitty, and kitty pounces on him and lets him loose, just so he can torture him some more.  Yep, I shot across the yard and rescued that one too.  He was stunned for a minute, but quickly hopped off to bunny land, once given the chance. I just hope Mr Kitty will lay off the bunnies and move on too squirrels, or we may not have Easter this year!

Gotta go eat my Subway!

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Thursday, March 26th 2009

4:16 PM

Tennessee Part 5

  • Mood: Inspired

When a couple is married, they spend the honeymoon night at the girls parents house.  The following day(s) they visit Aunts & Uncles, etc.  Building of their new home begins with the groom digging an entire basement by himself.  This is to show that he is worthy.  It's takes abt 3 months.  Once that is done the community comes together and builds an entire house in about a day.  Funds are borrowed from other Amish in the community if needed.  They do not borrow from banks and money is paid back on an "as you can afford it" and your word.  There are no foreclosures. Apparently even in town a lot of the English ran stores are on a "put it on my account" basis too .

They pay property taxes and sales tax on what they sell. They have such beautiful and clean land.  It's certainy not hard to tell as soon as you are off Amish land - junky, trashy yards and people. They have neat little wooden pointer signs at the end of most of the driveways that say "jelly" , "furniture", "quilts", etc. so you can do your own shopping through the farms.  Just pull up to the the farms of the things you want and purchase them from little greenhouses, or sheds.  Some of these folks are more advanced with their resources than others.  One man had a wind mill that generated the energy to pull the water out of the well.  And while taking a hot bath is a rare thing for most, one man had a large outdoor boiler type deal that his water went straight into and there was enough water for more than one bath heated in this....just pull the plug on the boiler and run the hot water into your nearby tub and then pull the plug on your cool water from your roof rainwater and let it run on it the tub too.  Some had irrigation systems that were self sustained.  The water was at a higher level so gravity let the water flow to their garden when they needed it.

It's interesting to see how they have adapted to allow some modern things.  They do buy things in the local grocery store like flour and cornflakes, canning jars, leather, pvc and lots of other stuff.  But no modern technology is allowed like TV's, cd's, anything requiring power/electricity.  But they did have some solar panels.  The communities vary as to what they will allow. The cane creek community had some tractors and bicycles; Ethridge allows nothing with rubber tires, only steel. Everyone has green houses covered with simple plastic, so neat and clean. 

A few more things; they make their own toys in Ethridge (pretty cool ones too), womens dresses would not have buttons, they were held together with pins; however men did have buttons.  All buttons had to be dark colored and plain also. Most of the elders are millionaires.  They dont allow mules on there fields, but will bring in mules to train for outsiders.  They are kept in separate areas and trained in separate areas or on the road.  One Amish man had purchased a horse once and the guide remembered them panicing when the horse gave birth to a mule!  He said the look on their faces was priceless, and the family scurried around trying to get rid of it before the bishop found out.  They ended up giving it to a little kid for the change he had in his pocket ))  And, the funniest and most embarassing part of or Amish trip was when we stopped at one farmhouse and bought some candles and stuff.  They had their things in a shed, about like grandaddys old shed.  We got in and shut the door to get out of the rain and Grayson very stern and matter of factly blirted out "I'm gettin outta here, there's RATS in this place!"  At first I was embarassed but then he looked around again and said "I mean it, I'm leaving! There's rats in here", we said no there isn't Grayson, he insisted "YES THERE IS! THERE'S RATS!"  ....all the while this Amish girl standing there with us.  She's probably still looking for a rat....hee!  But Amber says he says that any time he wants to leave somewhere...haa! Oh, on on the subject of taking pictures....the guide said it had something to do with their interpretation of "graven images" in the Bible.

Finally, we went shopping for Amish things in the English stores We ate the best meatloaf ever at this little country kitchen! And I'm not big on meatloaf.  Had it served up with pinto beas, potato salad like granny made and cornbread....mmmmm good!

The grand Ole Opry was great too!  We all loved it!  Saw some of the country legends from back in the Hee-Haw days, as well as Craig Morgan and Dierks Bentley.  The Zoo in Nashville....left a lot to be desired as far as upkeep.  The aquarium with the sting rays was great, the Aquarium Restaurant super neat, the virtual roller coaster was fun fun fun and the shiatzu messages , one for each of us.....fantastic!

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Thursday, March 26th 2009

1:40 PM

Tennessee....cont'd Part 4

  • Mood: Inspired

Amber had arrived and we had been waiting for her before we did  too much.  The next morning we were off to the Ethridge Amish community which was right up the road from our house.  We'd planned to take the guided tour, since we didnt know where all to go.  We were really excited since we'd scene several Amish riding around in their horse drawn buggies.....several!

The kids were excited too.  They couldn't wait to ride behind the horses in the buggy.  They even got to guide the horses by themselves part of the way.  The tour was about 1 1/2 hrs long and worth every minute.  I hope you can picture this.  It was like going through acres and acres of farms, all Amish, for miles....not like some sort of freak show.  We stopped at 4 or 5 of the farms and purchased some things, but they had canned goods, candy and other handmade items, quilts, rugs, furniture, eggs, birdhouses....

The guide told us that it hasn't been too long since the Amish agreed to allow them to stop at the farms and buy from them and that it took them 3 years to approve it.  The Amish speak 3 languages in the area; Pennsylvania Dutch, German & English.  The children dont speak English other than what is picked up from hearing the adults speak to English people, which is what they call us....the English.  Children start school young and all ages are mixed.  Boys sit on one side of the room, girls on the other.  I'm assuming you all realize there is no city water, electricity, etc in the houses or schools or community.  They have outhouses, separate for boys and girls, and there are about 5 one room schoolhouses in the Ethridge Amish community.  The kids go to school until about the age of 14 and the teachers are usually the smartest of the young girls that have completed school.  They have a sort of spring & fall break that is based on harvest/planting time.  The students go to school until about 4 o'clock, but have a certain amount of work to complete.  If harvest break is nearing and they are behind, they stay in school into late hours in order to finish before the break. Children are taught English in school at a later point, and they are separated for the younger ones when they begin learning English.

Older teenish girls do a lot of sewing.  They make there own clothes and obviously wear different things when they are in their own community.  All of them that we saw in town, away from the farms wore black from head to toe.  Ladies in bonnets and dresses, men in collaless shirts and pants and black cowboy looking hats.  In their own environments, they wear mostly dark blue, with white bonnets or scarves on their hair, men, straw hats.  And a lot of bare footin' going on

The community is governed by one main person, a bishop/pastor type, with several deacon like men throughout.  When a wrong is done, which is very rare, according to the guide maybe once a yr this bishop and the deacons decide the punishment and there is a usually  "eye for an eye" enforced, when the situation allows.     

At about 21 the girls are married.  The boys have one date at a time with 3 or 4 girls, then the boy chooses from the 3 or 4.  They also take the girls to another Amish community usually and the bishop keeps track of all birth and family lineage to prevent marriages to family members, which wasn't always the case.  I read that the Amish were at one point subject more things like typhoid fever, etc because they married too close to kin.  Apparently they are trying to change that.


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