Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Back on Track

I haven't had much time to post on here lately. We've had goats having babies alllllll over the place!!!! Hannah had triplets! Two boys and a girl. Ditto, being a first time mom, had a little buckling. She's one of the best moms! But, she has been promised to a good friend of ours, so she, and her little boy, will be going to a new home. Now we are just waiting for two more does to have their little ones and them we will be done with kidding season this year.

 We also had another batch of rabbits. This is the new momma. I don't know how many yet. And no, I'm not looking. hehehe. Step away from the rabbits. This rabbit is very skittish around people anyway, so I'm trying not to get her upset. When I feed her, I usually give her a little extra treat. Something like dandelions greens or some plantain. I think she will come around to where she gets to trusting me. Although, she's a little old to start with trusting issues.

Between the raindrops, Hubby planted the garden. We have most of the things that we wanted to get planted, planted. Somethings we'll be planting for a fall garden. Things like onions and beets. Maybe another row of corn or two. We'll see.

 While all of this has been going on, me and Hubby have been fighting a bad cold. It's funny, I never get colds in the winter,(probably because our house is too cold for germs to live in it. lol) but I will get one in the summer. It's not allergies because it usually only last about a week, but it hits hard. But, we are slowly getting back to normal around here so hopefully things will get back on track.

 So until next time,

 Small Farm Girl, normal lover

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mother's Day Surprise!!!!

                                  Look what our goat Curly, had on Mother's Day! Such cuties!!!!

And this time of year, there is a lot of this going on.   

                                          So until next time,

                                          Small Farm Girl, fisherman (uh, woman)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Things are getting into full swing around here. The garden got tilled so we are just waiting on a decent day to plant it. We've got some awesome tomatoes! They're called Dolly Parton tomatoes because, well..... they are shaped like boobs. LOL  They are the best tomatoes that we have found around here in a long time!  And for some odd reason guys REALLY like them. hehehehe

I wanted everyone to know that I have been trying to keep up with their blogs. I've read them but haven't commented much because the only time that I DO find time to read them, is in the car while Hubby is driving. I've been reading them on my Iphone. Problem is, I can't comment. I guess there's no App for that. lol.  Don't think that I forgot about you all. I haven't.

 I MADE myself sit down for a bit.  (Okay, it wasn't really that hard. I didn't have to MAKE myself sit down. But that does make me sound like I'm really working hard doesn't it? hehehe) I'm setting outside in front of my house, over looking our pond. I'm sitting on a lawn chair and I'm drinking sweet tea. Doesn't get much better than this.  Something that Phelan wrote about on her blog today got me thinking about the differences in living here in the Appalachian foothills and living where I use to live.

 I use to live in the farming lands of north central Ohio.  It was FLAT!  Our small 2.3 acres of land sat on the only elevated spot around. And when I say elevated, I mean it might have been 5 feet taller than the surrounding fields.  Since it was the "tallest" place around, it got hit by lightning 8 times in the 18 years that we lived there.  So coming down here to the "hills" was a bit of an adjustment for me, but,all in all, I like it soooo much better.

  Up north we would have a tornado warning at least every month, down here, hardly ever.  Although we did have an outbreak of some pretty bad ones a couple years ago.  It's funny, when there is a tornado warning people, down here, FREAK OUT!!! I think it's funny.  When I first came down here I worked as a data entry person.  One day the Nation Weather Service issued a tornado warning.  The girls that I worked with were crying and getting under their desks. Some were on their phones crying to their families.  I was kind of laughing on the inside and was standing out in the middle of the street looking to see if there actually was one coming. More times than not, there isn't.  When it was over, the girls were so emotionally tore up, some went home.  Me? Well, I didn't see what the big deal was about. But, I did enjoy the break from the work. hehehehe

Down here there isn't as much wind. The hills block the constant winds. Now, I live on top of a ridge so we do get our share of the breezes, but NOTHING like what it was up there.  Another difference is we don't have the mosquitoes here like they do up North.  There is no run off for the water when it rains so, it can get like a swamp up there sometimes. The mosquitoes up there didn't have wings, they had propellers.  They were HUGE!!!!! Down here we have little anorexic mosquitoes.  They might buzz you now and again but, just shoo them off with a wave of your hand and they are gone.  Big plus!!!!

There are a few things tho that are not so nice down here. There are snakes, poisonous snakes. There are copper heads and rattlers. We even have this really cool snake that puffs up like a cobra. You know, now that I think about it, I don't know if that one's poisonous or not. Hmmmm.  We also have a lot of black snakes. These are the good snakes that eat mice and rats. They also can get into a chicken house and take your eggs. They aren't poisonous, so we don't mind those around.

Ticks are a big issue down here also, but we just keep chickens running around and we don't have problems. But, if you go out in the woods, just make sure you take a good shower and check yourself for ticks. (or have your husband do it. snicker. )

People are different down here too. Now, before you go and say that you have people like this around where you live, let me assure you that you don't.  I've lived in different places, Appalachian people are a breed of their own.  I can't really explain it, you just have to experience it.  When I first moved down here I called this "La La Land."  People down here live to have fun.  Work is not that important to them. In fact, sometimes it's hard to find people that WILL work.  They say this is a depressed area for jobs and that most people are on welfare here.  Yes, there is an extraordinary amount of people who are getting assistance here.  But, why not?  They can get paid for nothing except being poor and they can still have their fun too. You have to realize, fun down here consists of going four wheeling, fishing, and hunting.  Some drink and party. A lot do drugs.  But as long as they can have their "fun" they are okay.  People get by with very little around here. But they are okay with that too.  There isn't much drive. If they get their electric turned off, that's fine in the fall and in spring. They don't need it. As long as they can have their fun.  Then around  the time the weather starts getting uncomfortable, they may find something to scrap to make a little bit of money so that they can have it turned back on.  Folks, you think I'm making this up! I've got family members who Wal-marted away $10,000 in cash but didn't have a house to live in! They were fine with that. They lived with friends or relatives until they ware out their welcome. Then they move on to someone else.

Pan handlers are another big problem. They are on the street corners here more than hookers. hehehe.  My husband worked at a factory where there was a guy whi use to stand on the corner and hold a sign that said "Will work for food."  The factory owner felt sorry for him and offered him a job at the factory making very good money for around this area. The man turned him down saying that he could make more money standing on the corner.  The factory owner told him to get off of his corner and called the cops. The man just moved down a street.  It's bad folks

Now,(take a breath) not everyone is like that. There are a few who are hard workers, very hard workers. Some they can stretch a dime into a dollar.  Some people, and they are few and far between, will work from sun up to sun down.  These people will make something of themselves around here.  Anyone who is a hard worker around here will never be without a job. My nephew is an example of that.  He came from a family where he was abused and his mom was hooked on drugs.  He scraped and clawed his way through school on his own. He started working odd jobs for people. He is now working a job were he is almost making 6 figures. We are so proud of him.  See, hard work pays off.

There are soooooo many differences in the people here that it would make this an even longer post, so I'll write about some more of the differences later. Thanks for the inspiration Phelan!!!

So until next time,

Small Farm Girl, Appalachian American.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Farm

We've were very busy around the farm this weekend. The weather has been so up and down lately, nice during the week, cold and windy on the weekends. This past weekend was the first weekend that we had great weather and we didn't have to do something off the farm. So, we declared it FARM WEEKEND!

 Hubby is working on the chicken coop again.  He got a lot done.  I can't wait to have Jack (our St. Bernard) run free in our yard all the time. We can't have him free and the chickens free at the same time. The chickens lose out.

We also got our lawn mower fixed so that I can mow the grass. Now, Hubby doesn't have to bush hog our yard. That's how we "mowed" it last year. Hey, it only took 45 minutes that way. LOL.  Now I just pop in my ear buds and listen to a bit of music as I go around and around our yard. Not too bad. It does take a bit more time,(like, 3 hours) but, I find it relaxing. I do know though, I'm gonna have to invest in a good sun hat. This was the first time that we actually got to spend time outside for a long time and I got sun burned. I have Scottish skin that's for sure.

We really needed this weekend of work to get us focused on the farm again.  There for a while, we lived like city folk, just doing the basics to get by. I think we just felt overwhelmed by all the stuff that needed to be done. That's one down fall for having a farm.  Now don't get me wrong, I love my house and farm but there are times I wished we didn't have such a BIG house and farm.

Don't get sucked into the thought of bigger is better. That's not always true.  Me and Hubby have talked and we decided if we could do it again, we would have made our new house a LOT smaller.  When we were designing our house we weren't in the same mind set that we are in now.  We thought like most people do, Go Big!  We thought that with a bigger house we could have holiday dinners, birthday parties, and just everyday get togethers at our house.  Well, it doesn't happen. By the time we even moved into our house, the family has their own places to go for things like that.   Now we're living in a WAY too big house for just two people. Also now that we're in the "homesteading" state of mind, we wished we had a smaller house and a bigger barn. LOL. Strange how your priorities change.

We had no say in the size of our farm acreage.  Hubby inherited it.  I want to make this clear, I AM NOT COMPLAINING!  I'm glad we have the 55 acres that we have, but I'm just pointing out the troubles with a lot of land.  That way if you are making a decision on whether to get a big farm or a smaller farm you will be informed.  A bigger farm means bigger chores, more taxes, and bigger worries.  When we got the farm, it maybe has only a 15% wooded area. The rest had been cleared for pasture. Hubby's Grandpa had it cleared so that he could put cattle on it. And he DID! He had over 35 cows plus their calves on it.  Now that he is gone, we don't want that many cows. Right now we have 3 and they are as wild as deer. The land is so large, they don't depend on us for their food. Therefore, they want nothing to do with us. We are planning on getting some young heifers and put them in a lot so that they have to depend on us for their food and they will like to see us come towards them. People = food.

Anyway, right now, we have the 3 cows and 4 horses in the pastures. That is not enough to keep the grass and weeds down. In fact, we have to watch one of our mares to make sure she doesn't founder herself on all the grass that she has to eat.  Why not fence off sections of the fields? Fence, that big = a lot more money, more time and more work. See, once again big farm, big problems.  So we have to make sure that we have some kind of animals out in the field to eat the grass and weeds. But once again, more animals, bigger expense and more chores. It's just a big circle.  We don't want to just let it grow up. Certain weeds can take over and you will NEVER be able to stop them whenever we do get enough livestock.

Another problem about a bigger farm, and I know some of you wouldn't worry about this, is getting around the farm.  We have a 4 wheeler that we use to check fence and go from one place to the other on the farm.  Sure we could walk, but it would take FOREVER to get from one place to the other and there are times when we have to be at a certain place NOW. Some kind of equipment like a 4 wheeler is a necessity.  Those are not cheap.

Now there are many good things about a farm this size too. We can do ANYTHING with it. We are not restricted by land. The possibilities are quite endless on what we want to do.  What I'm pointing out is if you are in the process of looking for a farm, make sure you are aware of what you are getting into.  Sometimes bigger isn't always better.

So until next time,

Small Farm Girl, super sized.