Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Bryson Pickers (Picture Heavy)

Well, last night was practice night for the Bryson Pickers.  This is just a few of us.  We usually set in a big circle.  I couldn't take pictures myself, well, because I was playing.  See me on the fiddle?  I noticed that the fiddle really does accent the double chin. lol

This is Dad and a good friend Steve. They are the more seasoned pickers.  They are actually professional.  They have been playing in bands for years.

This is some of us at Bryson's Store last Saturday.  Still couldn't get a picture of all the people.  The place was really packed.  Come Summer, we'll be going outside to play.   They have a small picnic shelter that we play under.  This will be my first time playing outside.  I usually just watched. Not this year!  Wooo Hooo! lol

See the guy in the brown coat?  He's playing the banjo.  I told you we were packed in there.    Also, I wanted you to look at some of the things they sell in this store.  It's been open for over 100 years. They're still selling some of the stuff they sold back then.

 Here's some of their cast iron collection.  Mostly Lodge brand and a LOT of it.

They also sell crocks.  Hubby got me a 3 gallon fermenting crock. It has the weights, lid and all.

Oh, and just so you know, if you're busy and don't have time to take pictures, these are the kind of pictures you end up with on your camera.  Mom said these shoe laces had M&Ms on them.  Her favorite.

Oh, and a picture of the elusive light.

This is out of focus, like most of her pictures, but I thought the concept was kind of cool.  Notice the two other women joining in with the fun.  I'm gonna have to rethink this whole, "Letting her take pictures." thing.

If you want to see some videos, follow me on Facebook.  I will be posting some of the music and such on there.  Mostly because I haven't figured out how to load them on my blog yet. lol

So for next time,

Small Farm Girl, Picker

Up and Out

I'm trying something new.  In the morning, at 4:30, I get up with Hubby, make his breakfast, pack his lunch, and send him off to work. Then I would usually go back to bed.  I would then toss and turn and finally doze off around 6 or 7 am.  When I do this, sometimes I don't get up until around 9:30/10:00.   By then, most of my day would be gone and I wouldn't get anything done.   So, I've decided to try to stay up when Hubby goes to work.

 Now, it would be easier to do this if we could go to bed around 9, but Hubby likes to stay up a little later.  As in, he likes to stay up until around 10;30/11:00.  Country Girl, who is still living with us, likes to stay up until around 1 am.  Me, if I have to get up at 4:30, I want to go to bed around 9 or even earlier.   Last night we didn't get to bed until after 10. I'm sooooo sleepy today.  I'll probably take a nap because tonight I have to go to practice.

Oh ya!  I forgot to tell you all.  I've been playing fiddle for a group of people known as the Bryson Pickers.  We are not a professional group or anything.  We just go down to Bryson's Country Store ever third Saturday of the month and play music. We even got our picture on the front page of the local newspaper.  I'm famous!! :0D

 Anyway, we usually get together once a week and "practice".  (More like goof off.) We have a great time.  Last summer I could only play "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star."  Now I can play a few other songs, not real good, but I can at least see an improvement.  I really enjoy it. I hope to play for some time to come. It's funny how a whole new "world" has opened up to me.  I didn't realize how much of the music we play has roots in these Appalachian Mountains.  I also didn't realize how much fiddle playing is a disappearing art.  Not many people play the fiddle anymore.

Oh, side  note, do you know the difference between a violin and a fiddle?  Well,  if it's a fiddle, it has STRANGS.  If it's a violin, it has STRINGS. LOL!!!!  Sorry, that's a little (bad) joke.

Back to the topic.  Fiddle playing is becoming a lost art.  All of my family plays music.  I grew up around many musical instruments, guitars, bass, banjo, piano, etc....  Nobody played the violin.  I can honestly say, I'm the best fiddle player that I know!!  I can say that because I don't know anyone else who plays the fiddle.  hehehe.

I'll post some pictures as soon as I take them off my camera.

So until next time,

Small Farm Girl, fiddler on the ridge

Monday, January 12, 2015

Last Week

This little beauty and I have become really close friends.  This past week has been brutally cold.  I'm sure most of you have had the same problem.  Since this is the only heat we have in our house right now, we had to run it wide open almost all the time.  At night we shut it down a little.  I still had to get up every two hours and put wood in the stove.  As we looked back on last week though, we realized that the wood we used was extremely dry and sponge like.  It burnt real fast.  We did some trading for a good load of wood just a few days ago and it seems like this wood will work better.  It's not as dry and will hold up longer.  Both types of wood were oak, but one load was just from a tree that had been dead for a while.  We needed to get it out of our field.  Hey, don't ever over look free firewood.   It worked for a while.

I don't remember if this is an old stove, but this is our new one.  It puts off a lot more heat than our last one.  A. LOT.  This one is made of steel and holds the heat so much better.  I plan on using stove black on this later in the spring.  We needed the heat so we really didn't care about the small amount of rust it had on it.

See that red pot on the top?  Yep, that's full of brown beans and a ham hock.  Yummmmmmm!  Nothing like cooking on the stove on a cold day.

I also wanted to tell everyone about my rabbits.  I bred two does.  Only one had babies.  Well, A baby.  It was a big black kit.  Dead.  I won't blame it all on the doe though, this was her first litter and it was extremely cold when she had it.  I'm still gonna try with the breeding.  I made some rabbit noodle soup the other day and I fell in love with it.  If the rabbit breading doesn't work, then I'm just going to end up getting some creepy meat chickens.  I know I can raise them.(As long as I can keep dogs out of them.)

This week is suppose to be a little warmer so hopefully I won't be a slave to the stove and I can get a few things done around the house.  We shall see.

So until next time,

Small Farm Girl, staying warm

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Good bye 2014, Hello 2015

Well, 2014 is just about over. Just a few more hours. Did I keep my resolutions?  Do I even REMEMBER my resolutions of last year?  Yes and no.  I remember that I wanted to lose weight.  I have.  Not much, but at least I'm lighter than I was last year.  Hopefully I'll keep it going. I didn't learn to make a pie crust, but I'm still going to be working on that for 2015.  Although if I learn how to make a good pie crust, I may not become lighter.  Hmmmmm.  Might have to think about that one for a while.  :0)

A big changed happened just today.  I quit my job! Might as well do it now!  Hubby and I sat down and figured out how much money I was spending and how much I was making and the spending WAY out numbered the making.  So we decided it would be better for me to stay home. (You know that just broke my heart. lol)  I'm working more on my writing anyway.  I have a few opportunities coming down the pipeline for me.  I hope they pan out.  We shall see.  I do know that I REALLY enjoy it.

Now on another topic, the last few days have felt kind of weird around the house.  I keep looking down to see if I'm going to step on Skeeter.  I still check the blankets on the couch before I sit down so I don't sit on her.   At night, I wake up thinking I hear her wining to go out.  It's just weird.  I guess when you've had an animal around for 15 years it will take a bit before I get use to not having her around.  It's kind of nice though, not having to watch where you step at night. (Skeeter got to where she would pee or poop on the floor.)  Or to have her beg to be picked up to set by you on the couch just so she can set for 2 minutes and then want back down so she can then beg to be picked up again. Ya, not gonna miss that little game.

I knew that Skeeter wasn't going to last much longer.  I was just waiting on her time.  I know that seems harsh, but it's how things are.  Everything that lives, must die also.  Anyway, I kept asking myself if I wanted another dog in the house.  I'm still asking that.  I knew I will probably bring one of the cats in the house, but do I want another dog.  And if I do, what kind?  I know it's still soon after Skeeter, but I've had a while to think of this.  Funny, I still don't know.  We shall see.......

So until next time,

Small Farm Girl, Happy New Year!

Monday, December 29, 2014

An End and A Beginning

We all know, if you own a pet, that this day will come.  After all, it is natural.  We had to put our Skeeter down.  She had been having problems lately.  She would pee all over the house, she had a cough because of her heart which was bad, and she had quit eating for the last week.  We all knew it was going to be soon.  Well this morning, when I got up, I found other "signs" that she wasn't doing good.  Then when she tried to come into the kitchen, her back leg wasn't working.  I knew the time had come.  It's hard to make the decision, but I knew it had to be done.  It was the best thing for her.

Please don't leave comments like," Awww I'm so sorry."  I know you are!  I just don't want to think of being sorry.  She was 15 years old.  She lived a good dogs life chasing rabbits and guarding chicks.  She was a stubborn little "rat". (That was her nickname.)  I just want to think of us doing the right thing for her.  She had it good.

As I went out to feed the animals this morning I noticed that one of the doe rabbits was making a nest by pulling hair.  We will be having new rabbit kits soon.  It's the circle of life.  (Cue the Elton John song.)  Anyway, I'm hoping that this doe makes a good mommy.  She's making a really nice nest!  She's pulling plenty of hair.  In fact, I thought that something may have killed one of the rabbits there was so much hair.  But it was just her getting ready for her new bundles of joy.  Here's to hoping they make it.

The other doe that I bred at the same time hasn't started pulling hair.  Actually, I've had to clean out her nesting box twice now.  She keeps pooping in it.  I'm not sure about her.  If she doesn't have any this time, I'll breed her one more time and see.  I would like to keep her because she is a broken pattern New Zealand.  I think those are pretty.  It's just something different from the plain white ones.

Last night Hubby and I met with some friends who gave us some chickens.  Well, you can call them chickens.  They gave us some Silkies.  I'm not wild about this type of bird.  They are small and their eggs are tiny.  Their not much use for us here on the homestead.  I heard though, that Silkies make great mothers and if you wanted eggs hatched put them under a Silkie.  Well, right now, I have so many chickens I don't think I want any more anytime soon.  In fact, I have to butcher a few.  I'll probably sell the Silkies.  And if I can't, I'll put them in a pot and make chicken broth out of them.  I'm not going to keep feeding them this winter.

Well, I have plenty to get busy on.....

So until next time,

Small Farm Girl, farmer

Monday, December 15, 2014

I Was Bull Riding.......

At least that's what I'm telling everyone.  Bull riding sounds soooo much more interesting then what really happened.  What am I talking about?  Well, this incredibly clumsy woman stepped off of the porch of our old house and landed wrong.  By doing this, I sprained my ankle, bad.  Yep, I'm down for the count.

For a few days, I was on crutches.  In fact, for one day I was in a wheelchair.  The day after I sprained my ankle we went to the zoo.  My sister had gotten tickets for us in advance.  There was no way I was going to pass that up.  Plus, they had wheelchair rentals! Woooo Hoooo!  Anyway, I did find out that you can't see much when you are in a wheelchair.  Well, nothing but butts.  Lots, and lots of butts.  And on that note, I don't care how well you are built, please, PLEASE don't wear workout tights as pants. Trust me on this.  Ok, thanks.

Well, with me down for a while, we are going to have to put a few things on hold.  Getting a building for the workshops is one of the things on hold.  I don't know where this will lead us, but I'm sure everything will work out for the best.  Maybe this was a sign to slow down.  Maybe this was a sign to look into a different direction.  I don't know, but it was a big blow.  Time will only tell. One thing at a time.  And right now, I'm concentrating on getting my ankle better.

So for now,

Small Farm Girl, down for the count.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Up And Coming Changes At The Farm

It's been a little wet around the farm, as you can tell by this picture of our horse Fancy.  I swear our horses can find ANY burrs that we have on the place.  I think it's like a magnet for them.  We even mowed the pastures this year so there shouldn't be any of these aggravating suckers. You can tell by this picture that is was starting to get foggy and cold.  Snow will be flying soon.

This rabbit, and another one just like him, are going to be butchered any day now.  We are just trying to find the time. It shouldn't be too long now.  The two that we are getting ready to butcher are squeezing through a hole at the top of the wire that divides their hutches.  That wouldn't be bad, but they get in together and fight.  Ya, it won't be too much longer and we won't have to worry about that problem.   

This pretty girl is finally pregnant.  Actually she and her sister are pregnant.  We are expecting a batch of babies around Christmas.  Hopefully it won't be too cold.  It usually isn't for rabbits.  They are really good at keeping their babies warm.    Plus where I fill their hutches with hay, they burrow right down into it and all is warm and cozy.  That and a nice nesting box should do the trick.

On another note, we have been busy around the farm getting everything cleaned up and organized.  I hinted around in one of my recent posts about something going on here at the farm.  Ever since I have been writing this blog, people have come up to me and asked me questions about homesteading: how to can, how to raise and butcher your own rabbits, how to shoot bows, how to use herbs for healing and so on and so on.......

Well, Hubby and I have decided we will be having homesteading workshops here at the farm! Things that people have always asked me about in the past, now they can come to the farm and learn hands on. I've been kicking this idea around for a many years.  I was wondering about if I should do this, or just stay and do what I'm doing now.  Then I read a friends blog about just go and take the leap. That kind of kicked me in the pants.  I'm going to be 42 this March and I need to switch from "planning mode" to "doing mode".  So since I've been wanting to do this for years, I decided to take the leap.  What do I have to lose?

We will be getting a small building here on the farm so that I can have the workshops in.  I've got sooooo many ideas of what I want to these workshops to be about.  If I can't teach the class, then I know people that can teach them.  It should really be fun!!!  I already have some local people excited about them and willing to sign up!!!  

I'll be putting the dates on here for the up coming workshops. Maybe some of you in Blogland can come to the farm!  We will be putting up a building after Christmas so once we get it up and running, it shouldn't be long until the first workshop.  I'll keep you all updated.

So until next time,

Small Farm Girl, taking the leap.

P.S.  I would like to hear from all of you in Blogland about what you would be interested in coming to learn about.  This is going to be fun!!!!!!