a tale of tails, tenacity, and tedium, as told by me, usually barefoot and bellowing

Monday, February 28, 2011

Sometimes, Hard Choices Are Made...

The farmers who are reading this, know that life is not easy on a farm.  There are decisions that need be made for the safety and lively hood of all.  Sometimes that means, natural wild life loses out.

Water is the life blood of any farming operation.  Without water, you can not keep stock, grow things, or raise fish for your personal use.  We have a few established ponds along with our live water.  We protect them all.

Muskrats and beaver can empty a pond in a short time.  Today we had a pair of beaver move into the new pond (about a three quarters acre pond) and were digging through the levy.  This is not good.  The levy goes, the water goes.

Many times we can co-exist with nature, in this case, we could not.  The water is more valuable than two beaver. So do not look if you are faint of heart or an animal rights activist...these are not pretty pictures but sometimes a nessecary thing to do. (And, yes, this is my nightgown!)
Maggie Mae, one of our Border Collies, was along for the ride.  She brought them from the pond.  They were so heavy, sometimes, only Maggie's nose was above the water. She brought them completely to the bank of the pond.
Ki-Anne and Cutter check it out but Maggie is very proud of her acquisition and tells them so.  They were huge and weighed more than Maggie, the wonder dog.
I do appreciate the beauty of all God's creatures.
Beavers are trapped for their skins.
Their destruction while they are constructing is not good.
Ki-Anne, farm dog in training, is going to be most excellent.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Twelve Hundred And Counting...

posts, that is.  Been here since September '08.  I've met many wonderful people during my blog journey, people I would never have met in my ordinary life. 

Thank you all for making me laugh, making me feel important and even, sometimes, making me cry.  You have been my anchor in many storms, my shoulder to cry on and my cheering section when I needed encouragement. 

Yes, these are crocuses, a sure sign of spring trying to break out of the brown and white we are all tired of seeing.
These are the deer who trimmed the tulips last night.
The Kubota excavated dry creek channeled the three inch rain we had in one day and it did not threaten Marcy's house.  The ponds are full once again and the green is beginning to show.  I am hopeful spring is almost here but the biggest snow (eighteen inches) I remember arrived in late March.
Egg production is increasing.
The new calves are tagged and tattooed.
Ki-Anne still holds my heart in her paws
as life goes on At The Farm.

Friday, February 25, 2011


is hubby's dream.  I don't mind it too much, especially this time of year when the calves start coming.  Hubby chose Gelbvieh cattle(you can put Gelbvieh in my seach for more posts).  They are a breed famous for their marbled meat, their gentleness, ease of calving, great milkers, birthing small but growing fast.  They are big boned cattle and in my opinion, the Halfinger of the bovines.
For those who farm, you aleady know it can be a heart-breaking, back-breaking job but the rewards are many.
Nothing like observing the herd with the pride that goes with that. The counting of the cattle is a daily chore that hubby does enjoy.  Observing which may be the next to calve and making sure all are healthy and safe.
When healthy babies hit the ground,
the pride and joy can not be measured.

Check out Farm Friend Friday at Verde Farms.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


My nephew shares Alaska.
The moon still rises.
Ki-Anne continues to be a bright spot.
Often, I feel I am in a horror movie,
Just not sure which one!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Little Extras...

The first grade took a tour.
They left with a coloring book,
a sucker,
and a postcard.
I think they were pleased.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sometimes Telling The Boss Off...

is good.  I fired an email to him a couple of weeks ago, implying I knew my job and did it well.  I also stated, rather eloquently that chewing the whole group, instead of the one who messed up, was not the way to run a business.  I stated a few other things not so eloquently.  I believe the word ass may have been involved.

Well, today he showed up!  We had a nice visit, talked about letting bygones be bygones, talked about the unsure future of the post office and of people we had in common.  Here is the announcement he sent out to every one after he left my office.

"It was with great honor that I presented today a 35 year service award to Mount Pleasant Postmaster Sheila "Gail" Williams.
Gail began her career as PMR of Guion Arkansas.
Gail transferred to Melbourne as a clerk where she served until transferring to Batesville as a city carrier. Gail worked in Batesville not only as a carrier, but as a clerk performing a multitude of duties to include POA, 204-B, and various other administrative duties.
Gail has served as postmaster in Locust Grove, Brockwell, and eventually winding up in her current assignment as PM of Mt Pleasant in 2005.
Please join me in congratulating Gail in achievement of this noteworthy milestone in her career.
Thanks for your service Gail!"

I didn't mention that it was due last November nor that I really have thirty-seven years.  Sometimes, you just have to take what you get and be glad of it.

I did think it was strange that there are multi-colored rays of light beaming down on me!

Monday, February 21, 2011

For Those Who Asked...

about the post below.
Here is the poor result of my work.
Ignore the crooked.
Enjoy the purple.

The Battle With The Mail Box

We have recently been assigned physical addresses.  Requirements are to change our mailing address, renumber our mail boxes and have a box for each residence.

We and Marcy have been sharing one box since the tornado flattened ours with a huge walnut tree. Since it was compressed to the thickness of a pancake stack, I thought there was no way I could hammer it back into shape.

It's been on my mind to do this but like they say a mechanic's car is never fixed, I guess a postal employee doesn't redo their mail box either.

I had asked Hubby to come up with some brilliant idea to attach the extra mail box to the existing welded support but received no suggestions nor responses.  That left me to come up with something.

First I painted Marcy's box and the post (ours had been fastened to the tree that killed it, both are gone) with a can of black I had.  Just one can, so now the search began for my box, an old one I found stashed in the lean-to of the shop.  Imagine me having cans of purple paint!  Yep, the new mail box is purple as a grape...well, maybe purple as a hyacinth.

I painted mine, while it dried I placed the new numbers on Marcy's box.  So far, so good.

Then I had to think!  How in the heck was I going to fasten this mail box, equal height, to a single iron arm that held the other box.  Each box has a wooden insert under the bottom on the box to enable you to secure it to a post. 

It hit me...a board connecting the two boxes by the bottom of their boards...like Lego blocks.  Searched for a board, got my drill and screws, then decided I needed to paint the board.  Now, it doesn't sound like much but I am getting tired. 

Like the Bed in a Box, this would have been a great photo opportunity.  I did it backwards.  Instead of screwing the loose board to the bottom of the fixed box, I screwed it to the new box...see I needed some mental help with this problem, or help with my mental problem... 

The paint on the board was still wet but I was ready to get through with this SIMPLE project.  Now, if you are following me on this, I had to screw the board into the bottom of the mail box with another floating mailbox attached to said board.

It was not easy!  I could not balance the box on the board long enough to secure it.  I searched for something to prop up the box, tried a few things, decided to ask hubby to help.  You guessed it, he was snoring in the recliner. 

I am a tad stubborn so I proceeded on my own.  I finally found an old walker(yep, an old folks walker) and a barrel stave.  I open the walker and wedged the barrel stave to hold up the box while I screwed the board into the stationary box.

I have purple paint all over me, the lid kept falling open on the old mailbox, made many trips to the house to get a fresh battery for the drill, a hammer, and a pair of pliers to fix the lid that kept dropping on me.  Finally, with the help of barrel stave and walker, I screwed the last screw into the box...and it stayed!!!!

Not one time did it enter my mind, I was doing it backwards!!!  If I had only thought, screw the board to the stationary piece first...but then I would not have had this story to tell.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sometimes Farming Bites

Losing a valve stem slows things down a little.  Two days later and $155.10 lighter, the tractor rejoins the working equipment.
There is a dry ditch behind Marcy's that fills when it rains.  Hubby is widening, deepening and clearing some thorns from the main stream.
Bev is helping, supervising, then has to do all the hand work.  Can you imagine how long it would take to clear this ditch with a shovel?
The dirt is scooped for distribution into planting beds which will have to be done by hand.
The bed of the dry creek is deepened, waiting to be reshaped by the next rain.  The soil waits to be hauled where it is needed.  I know this isn't beautiful but three short years ago, this entire spot was filled with tornado twisted trees and debris.  It has come a long way toward being Marcy's beautiful back yard.
...and the hand work begins.
The most wonderful part is all this happened while I was at work!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Bed In A Box...

I know you have all heard of Bed in a Bag, but this is Bed in a Box!

An earlier post, Shopping For A New Mattress was about the chaos that comes with a new mattress.  Time has passed and the need has grown so I shopped, conferring with Hubby along the way.  Somewhere, sometime, he got the idea of memory foam making the best bed. 

I can pretty much sleep on a rock, when I finally can sleep at all, so I listened to the master.

I shopped!  I compared.  I watched videos.  I finally ordered just what Hubby wanted.

I had watched a video about how it was shipped and what to do when it arrived but, let me tell you something, it was not nearly as easy as it looked!!

UPS was kind enough to deliver to my place of work, since he knows I am always working.  I helped him place the over a hundred pounds box in the back seat of my car.  Guys, we are talking a KING mattress in a box small enough to fit in the back of my car!  I asked Mr. UPS, if I don't like it, will you pack it back in the box for me?  He just laughed...later, I almost cried.

Andrew and Hubby unloaded it and carried it to the bedroom.  Now, to help it escape the box...it took three of us to give it freedom.  We removed it from the box and then from a bag and another bag and another bag and finally reached said mattress which remained in a semi-tight shape of the box.

We threw it on top of the old mattress and left it to reshape as the video had promised it would do.

It happened, surprisingly, just like they said.  I returned to a huge flat, pillow topped piece of deep memory foam. 

Now for the fun part, pulling it off the bed, to remove the old mattress, drag the old mattress out of the way and replace with the new.  Remake the bed and hope it was every thing Hubby thought it would be because there is no way in heck I could ever get it back in the box.

I am glad no one was filming that!  I almost fell, I became trapped between the old king and the dresser and just stood there for a few minutes, knowing I could not yell for help because the volume of every thing where the guys were didn't allow them to hear a tornado if it was coming.

I struggled, I conquered, I triumphed!

Hubby shows up as I am placing the new mattress on the bed and says, why didn't you holler?  I would  have helped.  Well, I had not called because common sense would tell anyone, if you have a new mattress, it has to get on the bed and the old one has to leave.  I should not have to ask!  So stubborn won out and I did it myself.

Hubby has reported this morning, he slept well but will have to get used to the newness of it.  I will have to report after my back and shoulders stop hurting from the move...because I didn't sleep worth a darn last night!

Tuesday Morning Skies On Thursday

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Muddy Valley Of Horses...

The sun's rising was magnificent Monday morning.  The air had the feel of spring.  Marcy's camera died Sunday afternoon so you shall have to endure my photography until I replace Marcy's camera.  It was really very sad, seeing her wander this morning with only a 35mm in her hand.
I have placed the horses in the old cow pasture and they are enjoying the mud and fresh running water.  Magic was the only one who did not hesitate at the water's edge. 
 Knot jumped the water to come visit me, but only for a moment, then he was off exploring his boundries again. 
The sunrise reflected in the small spring branch as I walked in muck boots to check the horses.  Oh, the urge to stay home was great but I had no replacement.
After getting their loves from me and discovering I had no hidden treats, they turned at a run to explore another outlet.
Taking samples at every step,
they settle down to graze.
The afternoon sky welcomed me home.
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