Monday, May 31, 2010


Just a little update...Our tiny nestling is growing into a beautiful fledgling. I believe that this little one belongs to the sparrow family.

I'm still in awe after looking at the photos from just a few days ago. I just cant believe the changes that these little guys go through in just a few short days.
Photo taken about three days ago

Click here to see how teeny!

Watching this little fellow grow is like witnessing a miracle.
Needless to say the little one seems to be doing well.
Photos taken today

Friday, May 28, 2010

He finally has a face

Big John has changed quite a bit. He has saved up his pay and actually bought him self a new face! I think he is right handsome, if I do say so myself!
Now that he has a set of eyes, he will no longer have an excuse as to why my compost bin wont be completed. Get to work Big John!

The compost pile is an eye sore and is bugging the tar out of me.
I even laid out the material for Big John to get started but excuses excuse is all I hear.
"O whats that Big John? You are staked in the ground and can not move"!?

"Good grief BIG John If I have to build you a pair of movable legs I may as well build the compost bin myself! Sheesh..."

"You know, I am sure you could be easily replaced. Thousand of unemployed workers would love to be in your shoes"

"What!? No I didn't forget that you don't have feet!!!"

"Keep it up John and I will find someone else, I mean it!"

"I will to do it!"

"What was that? But they wouldn't be as handsome as you... with big dark eyes, muscular arms and legs, small waist and a sexy mustache with handle bars!?"


"Big John, who in the hell do you think I am!? I am a married woman for crying out loud!!!"

Boy, it is so hard to find decent help....

*I played by myself a LOT when I was little. ;)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Why I love it here.

I thought this was cute. I took it with my cell which is why the clarity is aweful... maybe you just had to be there but I thought this little fella was adorable peeking out of mommas feathers.
Get out your magnify glass! I promise you wont be disappointed! ;)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Help... Please.

How this always happens on my door step I will never know! It seems like we are always sharing our living quarters with all walks of life.

I am so much my mothers daughter it isn't even funny. My mom is a very compassionate person. She has always instilled a value in us kids to take mercy on animals in need, to be compassionate people. Growing up, my mom was usually helping some sort of animal whether it be domesticated or wild, from bringing in litters of stray pups to bottle feeding orphaned rabbits. We learned many values from our up bringing. A few of those values, being compassion respect and a responsibility towards an animal by feeding it, finding it a home or by returning it back to the wild. I suppose I am just carrying on her tradition.... a tradition of compassion that I hope to instill in my children as well.

This little babe along with another, was found on the patio. The other one didn't make it. This one has two puncture wounds at the base of each wing... compliments of Apple Sauce (the cat) I am sure.

There was not a sign of the nest near by as we searched each tree and shrub around the house nor was there any frantic parents flying around. All we can do now is keep it on a heating pad, doctor the wounds and try to find it food. The first two items are easy but not knowing what kind of bird this is complicates the food process a bit.

Does anyone have any suggestions? Right now we are mashing worms and potato bug larva. Any suggestions/insight would be greatly appreciated.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Big John

The kids and I were bored, so with poppy's help we made a friend...

I need some extra help around here, so I told Sissy to make sure he had BIG muscles.

This is Big John. He's in charge of the gardening.

Well, quit just standing around! Get to work Big John!
I wonder if I can get him to clean out the chicken coop later?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Even if you have to cry...

I dont even know where to begin. I have so many thoughts and feelings festering that I just don't know which one should come first. Please bare with me as I hash out this evenings events (and all that entails).

I believe that all creatures have a right to reach their full potential whether it be an animal or a child. I support hunting fishing and farming as I believe that all things serve a purpose BUT I am certainly one to intervene when I feel that someone isn't playing fair whether it be man or mother nature.... Maybe mother nature is merely a referee. Perhaps that by intervening in the first place it was I that was not playing fair.

I knew it was coming all day. After several failed attempts to syringe feed little chick, I had the realization that keeping her alive any longer was torture in its cruelest form. As I drove to pick Sissy up from school I had to wipe the tears from my eyes. I knew what I had to do. I desperately pleaded that she would be dead by the time I arrived back home but mother nature wasn't going to bail me out this time.

I heard little chick frantically peeping all the way in the kitchen just as she had been for the last 24 hours. Her injured beak was now even more mangled from trying to eat her own leg. When an animal cant eat, in the midst of a starvation frenzy they will attempt to eat anything... even parts of themselves. I can only imagine that kind of suffering.

My dad told me he would do the deed. I escaped a similar circumstance last year, ever since then I had felt like I had been buying my time. I may not always have someone else here that is capable of dealing with these issues. It was my responsibility and that fact weighed heavy on my mind through out the day.

After I put the children to bed I walked to the barn in the pouring rain to finished what I had started. After I buried her body, allowing her energy return to back to the earth, I sat down underneath the shed roof. I needed a minute to reflect. I watched the rain beat down on my little piece of heaven. I held my head down and began to cry...

As I walked back to the house the rain had eased into light sprinkle. The sun was starting to drift below the tree line. The sky was painted in beautiful shades of blues pinks and purples. I noticed a faint rainbow in the distance. As I gaze upon the fading colors painted on the horizon, I was reminded that there is some beauty in each and every day...

This is a journey and you must be prepared. Be prepared. When you homestead there is not any "if" this happens because it will. There will be a time when you have to make the call. When that day comes know that it is your responsibility to follow through with the commitments that you have made... even when those commitments make you cry.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Monday, May 17, 2010

Whats next!?

A Cat in the office.

A turtle in the kitchen...

and a some chick is on my computer!

Whats next!?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

What is a woman???

So this morning I did my morning chores, then ran in, grabbed my cup a coffee, sat down and enthusiastically started to read morning blog post from my favorite bloggers. I love hearing every one's stories,what they are doing, where they are going, opinions (even if they aren't the same as mine). I love reading other peoples perspectives. I try to take something away from every single person. And this morning that is exactly what I did... or should I say, that's what I didn't do...

I was reading this other blog this morning (one I typically enjoy) and for the first time in my blog reading history I actually somewhat ended up with hurt feelings (I am not even sure if that is right description). But anyways the kicker was I couldn't pinpoint the actual line offense other than what was written between the lines. I am not going to name blogs here. No, its not on my list of followings and I will not be direct in stating what was actually said as my intentions are not to cause a disturbance because I know this fellow blogger had absolutely no intentions to be offensive and quit frankly I really should have tougher skin. I mean, after all I live in area of the south that has its fair share of chauvinist. My point is this post isn't about a pissin' match but just me, hashing out my thoughts.

So anyways, this mornings blog read something along the lines of what I will call, "positions in society", the roles that men and women should play in society. This post really got to me on the stand point that after reading it, I felt inferior. I am not sure why this ate at me so much other than I am compiling my emotions to the fact that I am almost out of feed and I absolutely dread having to deal with the old school farmers that sit around with smirks on their faces and make comments as I walk through the doors as the feed store. So I suppose in a sense... this "read" this morning was the final straw. I could no longer fight it... it was time to self reflect.

So I "reflected" most of the day. Wondering, what role exactly should a woman play in today's society? Is it bad that I technically am clueless as to what a woman should be!? Am I not a lady because I love to be outdoors? Nothing makes me happier than to be covered in mud and rain. Am I not a lady because I would rather be in the wood shop with my dad than in a department store? Am I wrong that I actually enjoy cleaning out culverts and chasing down hogs? Am I not teaching my daughter to be a proper lady because I respect and admire her for the fact that she would beg and plead for a fishing rod over a barbie doll any day? Am I wrong? These have been the nagging thoughts in the back of my mind all afternoon. Have I been wrong not to strive to be what one would call a proper lady?

With all these questions swimming in my head, I decided to ask my husband what he thinks a proper woman should be. He reluctantly smiles and asks "why". I tell him the story and my nagging thoughts. Then in the simple wise words of my husband, he states, "opinions are like assholes, baby. Everyone has one". Okay... so not really the answer I was looking for but yeah.. okay. I will roll with that. "So seriously", I asked him "what kind of asshole are you then!?" I think he kept it simple in fear that he was about to step on a land mine but once he seen that there was no turning back and that yes I did come in peace, he said "I think a woman should be what ever they want to be, what ever their capabilities allow them to be". Good answer Lee! Good answer! I have to say that is exactly the way I feel as well. Not every woman can drive nails, ride bulls, or drive a stick shift. Lord knows I cant... but to the ones who can, that's exactly what you should do!

So after a day reflection, what is my conclusion? I'm still not sure what role I should play, what type of woman I should be. But one thing I know, isn't who I should be but who I am.

Who I am, is the kind of woman that will always have to quietly prove myself in order to gain respect. I am the woman that absolutely dreads walking into the feed store but still walks through the crowd of men drinking their morning coffee with my head held high because I simply love what I do. I am the woman that politely listens to every minute of some old farmer give me bad advice, and then in turn I just do what ever in the hell it is that I want to do. I am the woman that loves what I do... not because I was told to but because that is just who I am...

As this evening is drawing to a close my final thoughts on this subject is this, even if I knew exactly how to be a real proper woman... I just don't think I have it in me to make those kind of changes...

Be prepared, my daughter just like me.... ;)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I spoke too soon.

Just when I thought that I had it made....

During my morning chores I found one of our chicks far away from her momma. She was freezing cold and very weak. But I figured a little warmth under her momma would do the trick. I gently scooped her up and put her back in the nest. Then with out much more thought I continued with my barn chores. But before heading back to the house, I went back to check on the lil' one. Again, she was away from her mother and weakly laying on the floor. I am not sure what the deal was but seems like this little gal had been shunned for some reason.

Here I was, skipping around here all day yesterday, feeling like I had it made. I really hate cleaning out the chicken brooder... So yeah I felt pretty darn good until this morning. I looked down at the sweet little chick with her dark little eyes barely peeping through her heavy lids, her yellow little fuzz dancing in the breeze... "Crap! I guess your coming with me", I sulked and off we went.

Once in the house I hooked up the heating pad and syringed a little apple cider vinegar and water mixture into her beak. After a little heat and an energy drink she seemed to recover nicely from her chilling morning.

I really was counting on Broody Hen doing all the hard work this time. So with that said once the chick started to feel better I put her back with her mother. Hopefully she will be able to stay with her...

Friday, May 14, 2010

Look what I found!!!!


Raising chicks via broody hen verses incubator is SO much more fun!

And so much easier too...

Because Momma does all the work while I just sit back and enjoy...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My Hands are Pink...

And I have strawberries in my hair...

What does one do with all these strawberries (with four extra boxes in the outside fridge)?

We make LOTS and LOTS of Strawberry Jam.

Yes, we are indeed fans of PB and J. But that's not all we use our jam for... we will use the jam in glazes, on biscuits and in pastries. Homemade strawberry pop tarts are FREAKIN' AWESOME!!!

The extra flats of berries that weren't used in the jam will be cut up and frozen for future use in juices pies and with out a doubt, Strawberry wine!

And last but of course not least we will also use our strawberries to make happy chickens!

Yes I am trying to suck up to Jeeves... cause I think I may know what happened to his toe... BUT I WILL NEVER TELL!!!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Is it just me?

It seems like I take two steps forward and three steps backwards. I am beginning to wonder if it is just me?

I am shamelessly venting on this cold wretched Monday morning.... ok I am slightly ashamed but it is Monday and all bad things are a go on a Monday. So I am pushing shame to the back of my conscious. Let the down pour of woes and word vomit begin....

The clouds roll in...
My check engine light has been on since the last time I took my truck into get it worked on. I had every intentions on taking it back in and finally when I decided it was time to take it back to the shop, the shop that previously worked on it shut down due to the poor economy. Friday I found myself in quite bind. I finally found a Chevy dealer to work on it. The dealer called around 3pm Friday and told me they have yet to find the source of the problem but by having to hook it up to diagnostic twice my bill is already at $157. They asked how far monetary wise was I willing to go. I really need a functioning vehicle as this is our only vehicle. So I said "call me at $200". The mechanic laughed and reluctantly said "Okay". I am sure he laughed because he gets paid $50 an hour. I could go into an entire other post on price gouging and inflation but I will spare you. So it is Monday and I am still with out a truck.

The first few drops begin to drip from the dark clouded sky...
Saturday we were celebrating my daughters 6th birthday. As I was taking snap shots of my nephew climbing up a rope, I noticed that my camera was not functioning properly. I have to say I have been noticing that the sharpness of my photos have been waning but I held onto the belief that perhaps it was the operator. Now I know that my camera's days are dwindling. We bought a cheaper digital cannon and said that when it dies we will put the money into a camera that my lenses from old film camera (a Cannon Rebel) could fit on. Well I think its needless to say if I cant afford to get my truck fix I certainly can not afford to get a new digital Cannon Rebel.

Should I also mention that just a few short months ago that the screen on my laptop was flickering and so I took it in to The Computer Doctors. Fifty bucks later they told me that I need I new computer. Instead I have kept my screen open and tilted at a certain 45 degree angle so it will no longer flicker, and am still using it. Maybe this is also the time to state that when we had our Construction company that has since shut down, tax papers were not filed properly and now we owe money to the state for unemployment. Or perhaps I should mention the endless slew of medical bills that keep rolling in due my husbands company's recent health insurance change.

So the rain picks up its pace and it begins to pour....
I go out to the barn to visit with my favorite four legged girls and I notice the my sweet Jasmine has an abscess from her CDT shot. Being a new goat owner I panic. I called a few of my friends and they said treat it with a topical antibiotic... neosporin. So that's what we have been doing. I feel it to be a good time to point out that only about four weeks ago we almost lost our sweet Jasmine to bloat. She was very sick, and it took a few days and quite a bit of dough before she was feeling better.

So the thunder and lightening begins to shake the barnyard.....
I went down to barn to doctor Jasmines abscess and then went into the coop to check on brooder hen. I am worried about her. She is very pale. I hope her babes hatch soon as her constant setting it starting to make her look puny. So upon my examination of broody hen, Hijeevey my handsome Roo comes over to visit me. I look down to say "Well,good morning Hijeevey", and I notice he is bleeding! Blood! There is BLOOD EVERYWHERE! "Hijeevey, what happened"!? He said nothing. That is the bad thing about animals, they never tell!!! It drives me nuts! Anyways, I pick up Jeeves and notice he has a toe missing! "How did this happen Jeeves"!? We do not have any other Roosters that are even old enough to do this kind of damage. I am at a loss. I doctor Jeeves, kissed his comb and sent him on his way.

I am looking around at my friends talking about getting boob jobs and their kids getting brand new cloths from Ambrocrombie, the neighbors buying new wheels for the rhino and taking trips to the beach. I am a grown up not to be swayed by peer pressure and commercialism... but I am human! I am wondering why in the hell are we the only ones feeling the smacks as the rain pounds blisters our face? Am I jealous? Not really because I really don't care to have men looking at my boobs while I am trying to talk. I prefer to walk verses hearing the rumbling of a Rhino... even if it has pretty wheels with new tires. I would like to take a trip but not to the beach... I am severally homesick for West Virginia. I am too practical for Ambercrombie. So no worries there. I know that in today's world,
financial woes are everywhere... So am I jealous? Not really. Maybe envious of their luck but not jealous. Am feeling sorry for myself? ABSOLUTELY!

I have no idea what is going on here at Come by Chance acres. I am reflecting on what I have done... wondering what I should do to change the Karma around. I am going to have to step up my game a bit. Maybe some meditation and a fast is in order, a little prioritizing and a whole lot of prayer.... I don't know... All I know is I have to change the pace of things around here before everything falls apart.

"WHEN IT RAINS IT POURS, and it is a monsoon"......


Wednesday, May 5, 2010


This morning I thought it would be a good idea to walk the homestead in order to see how things are taking shape.

Milo is still working the late shift, hunting mice and moles in the barn yard. He is a very good mouser.

The hens are laying well. The little chicks that we hatched out of our homemade incubator in February are growing fast.

I am very excited to say that we will not be hatching our next chicks from the incubator. We finally have a broody hen. Her babes should hatch out any day now.

Jessica and Jasmine are doing great. Although we do not plan to breed Jasmine until late summer/early fall, she did go into heat last week. That is good news as we do not own a buck and had heard that sometimes they will not go into heat without a buck present. Jessica seems to be growing much faster than what Jasmine did. I look forward to seeing them both in a year from now. I am sure they will be beautiful.

The garden is growing very nicely. (I didn't take a picture of the big garden because it needs to be tilled.) We have tomatoes, peppers, onions,beans,corn, potatoes, okra, squash, watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumbers, garlic, spinach, peas, cabbage, broccoli, asparagus and carrots. All of which seem to be doing well.
(Pic of the the garlic and pea raised bed)

It looks like we will have plenty of strawberries from our raised bed.

The blueberry bushes are loaded...

And despite having to plant and replant one of our grapevines has twelve pods on it! Almost every tree in the orchard has an apple or a peach on it. I am very excited to see how production is in a couple of months.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Heroism (Viewer Discretion)

*****Viewer discretion advised as this contains a very sad story of the demise of animals in the floods.

This evening I spoke with one of my old friends from high school and a fellow homesteader. She told me of her accounts from the last few days during the wake of the floods. My eyes stung as she told me her story.

Her and her father received a call about horses being trapped in a corral filled with water. They jumped in their truck and headed over to see if they could lend a hand.

There wasn't anything they could do for the horses but to just watch on and pray. Luckily the almighty powers from above answered their prayers as the corral started to tilt and the horses where able to swim out.

Their attention was then directed towards the sounds coming from the barn. They waded through the water, then busted out one of the windows to find crate after crate filled with sows and piglets. She said all they could see from several crates was snouts sticking up out of the water. Once they climbed through the window and waded through waist deep water that was rapidly rising they were able to save several of the pigs, 35 drown.

My heart dropped as I listen to her story. It ached and bellowed out sympathy, as I have raised pigs before so I could just imagine hearing the sounds of that many mommas cry out for help.

Animals have a special place in my heart. I believe that we as humans have a natural linking bond to them (or at least I know that I do). Please don't get me wrong I have great sympathy for the people who have lost their loved ones and for the people who also lost their homes. I feel for those people very strongly... but the animals, they cry out to me. Humans have a strong ability to survive. Humans have the freedom to act when our senses are telling us that danger is approaching... Pets... Livestock.... they depend on us to react for them. Sometimes we cant, sometimes we don't and sometimes we are just too late....

I applaud the people who worked on the farm that day. I applaud them for their heroism...for being the people who tried... for being the people who did. As a fellow homesteader... I Thank You.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Flood Water

Again yesterday morning I woke to the rumbling of the thunder. I rolled over and look out the window to see the dark sky still lingering from the night before.

As I ran down to check the animals I checked on the garden again as well. Our trench really is working and held up well on into the day. I am very relieved by this. Unfortunately once in the barn, I made a frightful discovery. Our goat stall had water in it. I moved the goats into a dryer area. They seemed much happier not to be walking in damp bedding.

For most of the day we sat in front of the tv watching the news. The devastation from the flood waters was heart breaking. A great amount of Nashville and surrounding areas are underwater. Many people trapped in the raging waters have lost their lives. It will be hard to know the exact number of people lost until some of the water subsides.

We had been stuck in the house for two days, cabin fever and natural curiosity was starting to take its toll. We put on our rain gear and headed out to check on friends and family as well as to assess the damages.

We actually have the advantage of being on the plateau (about 30 min north of Nashville). There are very few homes in our little town being flooded out but the rising uncontained creeks have made travel near impossible for many of us living on the plateau.

I leave you with the photos that I took yesterday evening after much of the flooding had subsided....