I Hate Winter

Where do you go when the snow starts to blow? Bahamas, of course! We've decided that this should be a tradition--just go somewhere warm during winter and skip a week of wind, cold, snow, sleet, ice, and everything else mother nature throws our way. I think it's an EXCELLENT idea!


Half Moon Cay Bahamas=Paradise

Picture says it all

A-R-A-G-E-G???

When you see the picture below, do you automatically think GARAGE? Well, buddy did, and that is where we had the kids' Christmas present hid out. We had a scavenger hunt where each kid had different clues that led to locations around the house where they collected the letters. Then they were supposed to put their letters together and unscramble the word. Well....we don't need to waste no stinkin' time unscramblin' words when we could be scramblin' to the garage! Merry Christmas!

Word Scramble

Nice day for a ride!

Christmas Time

Check out our cool Christmas display. We have a big ledge up high that would be great to display something on, if we had something to display up there. It made a great Christmas display though! I know I'm going to have to buy something just for that space. Or I thought I could just leave the trees and rotate out seasonal displays---Christmas, Valentine's Day (I'll need a big cupid), Easter (bunny), St. Patrick's Day (leprechaun)---you get the idea. We could have our own personal Macy's window display! I think I could get hubby to get the big ladder out once a month. :)

Display

Buddy's Birthday!

Buddy's birthday is right before Christmas. He got lots of cool presents, but shown below is the coolest! Check out the look on his face!

Awesome bike!

Snow Removal

Ah, I found a picture of proof that we needed the skidloader--for the (overkill) removal of snow from the driveway. It practically pays for itself!

This is how we roll

It'll come in handy he says...

Look what my hubby brought home. Oh, no, he didn't rent it, he bought it. And no, it's not going to be parked in the garage. Never know when you might want to dig a hole. A big hole.


New Toy

Missing Mousers

Now I know why my hubby wanted to call the kitties Mouser 1, Mouser 2, Mouser 3, etc, etc, etc. Both of the yellow kitties are gone now. We don't know what happened to Taz, the little one, he was kind of sketchy anyway. I wouldn't be surprised if something grabbed him. Now Tigger, on the other hand, we miss and wish he would wander back here. He had a great personality. I was going to get him & Thunder fixed to stop the wandering, but I wasn't fast enough. We did have a neighbor that saw him, so hopefully he's still around. I have a friend who said they're cat came back after 4 months, so there's always hope. Well, that just means Thunder needs some new friends!!

Playtime

Carving Pumpkins

Yea! We have a place to carve pumpkins outside! Buddy got to dig out all the seeds (with some help from the kitties). Then the kids usually draw what kind of face or design they want on their pumpkins and daddy cuts them out. My job is to buy the pumpkins. This leaves me out of the mess. (Until my daughter wants me to roast pumpkin seeds).


Diggin' out the goo!

Carving in the comfort of the kitchen

Bunny Accommodations

With fall and winter around the corner, Bubba's bunnies are going to need some shelter from the cold and the wind. Hubby decided he would just build a lean-to for their enjoyment. It is big enough for their large cage, plus shovels, rakes, etc. We decided to put it by the garden bed so it would be handy when we're working on the garden (a project for next spring--however, I grew some good weeds this last year). Bella & Edward (the bunnies) were very appreciative of their new accommodations.

Bunny Shed

No hon, I can't help you, I'm taking a picture for my blog. :)

Finished product

Hunting

Hubby thinks it's cool he can hunt in his backyard. Look at what's for dinner tonight! (NOT!) I do my hunting at Dillons.

Dinner?

Mighty Hunter

The Mutts

Here are our 2 dogs--Maggie & Katie, aka Dumb & Dumber. The black one is all business--as you can see in this picture, she's stalking the kitties. The yellow one is just to keep the black one company. We've also gotten to meet alot of the neighbors, because the yellow one keeps going on adventures and I keep getting phone calls to come get her.

Our Dogs: Dumb & Dumber

On watch 24-7 for birds (or cats, she's not picky)

This is what happens when she runs off

Not Enough Room

Ok, we have 54 acres on which to fly a kite, and buddy still manages to get it stuck in a tree.

Great day to fly a kite

Kite magnet

Wild Blackberries

After the hay was put up, it was easier to explore the property. We found we had wild blackberry bushes about 1/2 way back to the creek. This is what it sounds like when you pick them: Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! They have thorns that like to poke your fingers and grab onto your clothes. But we were able to pick quite few before it got too late in the season. And guess what we made? Blackberry cobbler--yummy!

picking blackberries

Blackberry cobbler

Honey, look what I got!

Remember the earlier entry on this blog entitled "I gotta get me one of these"? Well, he did! In the country there is a difference in riding mowers. In the city, the riding mower is actually a garden tractor. In the country you can't mow your property w/ a garden tractor, you need a riding mower--ZTR types are standard. Cut our mowing time from 6 hrs down to 2 hrs. I think he just likes riding it anyway.

New Toy

Proud Owner

I love you too, honey!

Putting up Hay

Check out these cool tractors! Ok, they're not ours, we don't even own a tractor (unless you count the toy one I got for hubby).

A really nice older couple came out for 3 days in July and cut, baled and hauled off all of our hay. Three days! Mr. & Mrs. S. came to our door one day and introduced themselves and said they've been cutting this patch of land for years, and would it be ok if they continued. We were like, sure, we don't know nothin'.

They brought out all their equipment (Mr. S. has 8 tractors--that way he doesn't have to switch out implements--good plan) and they let the kids ride w/ them in the tractors. Bubba even got to drive! I took lots of pictures, which hubby says is dorky, but I say I'm being a tourist this 1st year and playing dumb city slicker. Ok, maybe not playing...there's some country stuff I have NO idea about!

Bubba raking the hay

Buddy baling the hay

The finished product

I like to call this one: "I wish I had a tractor"

Creatures

Did you know there are creatures in the country?? Check these lovely critters out. Of course, there are no snakes on my property, I made sure of it! :)

The first one I believe is a luna moth, the second one is a spider, that I was ok with in the flower bed until 3 of his friends decided it was a good place to set up house, then they all had to go---and the last one is a lizard/salamander thing (I can't remember what they're called) that one of the kittens thought would be fun to play with.

4th of July

We had our family & our old neighbors all out to the house for the 4th of July. I told them before they came that we could shoot off any fireworks they wanted to---and boy, did they bring them out! Now, my brother-in-law is just a big kid most of the time (see picture), so having him with other kids and fire isn't such a good idea. You can see the dads in the background thinking the same thing....but no one got hurt and we all had a great time. We had burgers & hotdogs and homemade ice cream. Yum!

the kiddos

yummy watermelon

enjoying the air conditioning

good food & good company

Our old neighbors (best neighbors ever!)

driveway time

master chef

God's Country

Isn't that beautiful? We are outside A LOT now. This was taken overlooking our land to the west. We are up on a hill and get awesome sunsets. Love it!

Hey, Hon, did you buy any cows?

A while back there were several thunderstorms in the evenings and overnight. Lots of wind, rain and even hail. One morning, I'm leaving the house to drive to work and I see something at the edge of the property between our house and the neighbors. As I get closer, I see about 20 cows. And they are on our side of the fence. So....I turn around and go back in the house. "Hey, Hon, did you buy any cows?" (he's not even awake yet.) "No" he says groggily. "Well, " I say, "you have a bunch in the yard."

Have you ever been able to say you had a bunch of cows in your yard? I thought it was funny. (I tend to think lots of these new experiences are funny. TD not so much.)

So, being a high-tech redneck, he gets on the computer, looks at the county website, finds the owner of that piece of property and Google's their phone number. Ya can't just go knock on their door and tell them their cows are out. It's a big pasture--there is no house.

Well, they come right out and the cow wrangling begins. Of course, I have to take pictures. I just tell everyone I'm from the city, and they seem to be ok with that. My hubby calls me a tourist.

So, apparently you can herd cattle with a 4-wheeler. Why would you do it the old fashioned way on a horse? I also learned that if you stand and put your arms out, it makes you look bigger. (Yeah, I got a picture of hubby doing that too.)

It took a little while, but cows pretty much stay together. The tricky part was getting them out of the gate. Then they just needed to go down the road to their gate and into their pasture. Sometimes when I'm driving by and they're close to the fence I moo at them. Hubby says I'm a dork. But I'm just working on my bilingual skills. Could come in handy some day. Never know when you might need to speak cow....

Mouser #4

Here is Mouser #4 Taz. He's a little skittish, but he's coming around. When we 1st brought him home you were lucky if you could get ahold of him. But now he comes around and he always has to be with one of the other two. I think they're his protectors.

Mouser #2 with Mouser #3

Since we lost one barn kitty already, I replaced him with two more. Here we have Mouser #3 Thunder, with Mouser #2 Tigger. They are so cute!

Bubba turns 11

Well, we celebrated our 1st birthday in the new house. Bubba turned 11 years old. They say 8-12 year olds are tweens and I believe it. We already bribed her with a cell phone and bunnies to get her to move---what else could she possibly want? Well, the name brand clothing thing has already begun. Here's what she thinks of me being so "out of it."

Is it a cat or a bird?

One of our kitties, Tigger, likes to sit up on your shoulder. I suppose if he was a girl, we could have named him Polly (Polly want a cracker??).

Wildflowers

Checkout the wildflowers my kiddos picked for me out of our field. Aren't they sweet!

Fishing in the Pond

When we first moved out to our funny farm, Buddy wanted to fish everyday. Now the novelty has worn off. But when he was always going fishing, he got his sis to go with him. They are almost full fledged fisherpeople. They will bait their own hooks with worms or minnows (we decided we prefer worms--though I don't really like keeping them in my fridge), but they won't take the fish off the hook if they catch one. That is daddy's job. One day Buddy caught 8 fish one right after the other. Should I tell him that usually when fishing you sit and wait...wait...wait. Hubby said that's why they call it fishing and not catching. We've been throwing everything back. Mostly bass. Buddy thinks there's a giant catfish in there waiting to be caught.

Motorcross Mania

Buddy was so excited about moving to the country. He said he was going to ride his dirt bike everyday!! Well, he hasn't ridden everyday, but much more than when we were in town and had it stashed in the garage. Now he can just go outside and ride to his heart's content (or until it runs out of gas.)

Even his sister got in on the action...

Down to One House!

Yea! We closed on our old house so we now only own 1 home! We started this fiasco in March with finding our new home, listing the old one in April, having it on the market for 2 1/2 months, moving into our new home the end of May, getting a contract in June, and closing on our old house the end of July. Wheh! There went the summer! So really, we didn't do too bad, timewise. We were blessed to find our new homestead and sell our old one within a few months. All with lots of prayers & praises!

Barn Kitties

Hubby said when we moved we could get some kittens, aka barn kitties, to eat mice. He also advised the family that these kitties are expendable, he's not taking them to the vet, if they get lost or ate up (I hope not!) that we will just get some more. Now, me being a cat lover, was all over getting some kittens ASAP. And of course, I had to use the internet for it, so to Craigslist I went a-shopping.

Our first 2 official barn kitties (we don't even have a barn) are Midnight & Tigger. I let the kids name them. There was alot of negotiating going on. I'm sure you can guess who's who. Hubby wants to just name them "mouser 1, mouser 2, etc." Whatever. I have yet to see a mouse around here, so I guess they must be doing a good job!

Unfortunately we already lost one kitty. Poor Midnight. We think he may have gotten up under one of the vehicles. Buddy found him which was very sad. We buried him under the trees. The kids gave Tigger lots of attention that day.


Kitties

Swimming in the Pond

The kids wanted to swim in the pond (after they got over the fact that it's not a swimming pool).


The Pond

Now that's a mower!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

I Gotta Get Me One Of These!

In the country, there is a difference between a riding mower and a riding mower. City folks have garden tractors, country folks have ZTR Mowers that cost as much as a used car. We fall into the 1st group. We have a garden tractor, which takes 6 hours to mow everything. Hubby's friend let him use his Hustler mower, and he was able to get it done in 2 hours. So his response was, "I gotta get me one of these!" And I also learned that like a car, if it needs to go in the shop, they give you a loaner. I don't even get a loaner when I take my truck in--go figure!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Battle of the Barn Swallows

How many of you have birds nesting above your front door and no matter how many times you knock down their nest, they insist on building in the same place? Not many of you, didn't think so.

For those of you who don't know, the swallows are a migratory bird that return to the same place every spring to build a nest and have babies. My folks have swallows on their front porch, and every year they return, rebuild their next, and we get to watch the baby birds. Everytime mama comes with some food, they all stick their little heads up with their mouths open, hoping to get a bite.

Oh, did I mention they build their nests out of mud?

Hubby knocked their nest down 3 or 4 times, only to have them come right back, sometimes within the hour, to start building again. I thought it was comical. Hubby, not so much. We wouldn't mind if they would just relocate on down the porch, but not right over the front door!

I got online to see what people were doing to get rid of barn swallows. Ideas were aluminum foil, fake rubber snake, fake owl, bird spikes, different bird repellants. Now, I don't know about you, but I don't think I want a fake rubber snake over my front door. We went with the foil. It actually works!!! We just put a strip of foil over the door, after cleaning off all of the mud, and they have not tried to rebuild.

So in case you need to relocate some barn swallows, foil does the trick. Hubby 1, Swallows 0.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Living in the Country is Expensive

I can't believe it's been so long since I've posted. Actually, I can believe it because I've been so freakin' busy! We moved the end of May into our new house. There are no enough hours in the day to get everything put where it goes. We've actually got all the boxes emptied except for the stuff that was stored in the basement--I think we couldn't stand seeing all those boxes in the garage. We still haven't parked in the garage though, but when we do it will be such a treat!

Ok, the expensive part...

1. Buddy is still playing baseball at our old school district, so we are driving across town 3 days a week for games. That gas budget envelope is empty!!
2. Because of the timing of games and travel back and forth, we have been eating out ALOT! I think we're gonna have to pack a cooler or something. (Maybe at baseball they'll have extra treats and we can just eat those for dinner--gatorade and a rice krispy treat--YUM!)
3. I wasn't aware that gravel roads were tougher than truck tires. Hubby has had 2 flat tires in 1 week. He was not so pleasant to be around. One of his more Tone-Deaf moments.

On the upside, I have some great pictures to post that make it all worthwhile. The views from our house are incredible. We've watched several sunsets, something we never took time to do in town. I think we're all getting more exercise by just being outside and walking around exploring. (I'm either going to lose weight from the increase in exercise, or I'm going to gain weight because I'm so hungry from all the exercise.) And our dogs love running around like nuts!

Oh, and lets update the pet count. In town we had: 2 dogs, 1 cat. Currently we have: 2 dogs, 2 cats and 2 bunnies.

I will try to get pictures uploaded ASAP!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Today's the Day!

Yea! We are "suppose" to close on our homestead today! Third time's a charm.

Our friends are going thru the same thing. The appraisers are all super busy with the refinancing that's going on. So they have to work refi's and house sales and I'm sure they're meeting themselves coming and going. The way things were going, my hubby thought I needed to change the name to 54 acres of stress, or (fill in the blank). I know we haven't slept good since we started this move. Change is stressful, but I'm sure it will be worth it. I'm looking forward to the peace and quiet--just sitting and enjoying the view.

I have LOTS of ideas for what we could do out there (animals, garden, etc), but one thing at a time. We are definitely not farmers, so I need to make sure I don't go crazy and come home with some goats or something (which I'm pretty sure I'm going to get--and name Tina--from Napoleon Dynamite).

Bubba wants a bunny and Buddy wants to ride his dirt bike, so that should keep them busy for about 5 minutes....

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop?

Anyone remember that commercial with the owl? Ah one, ah two, ah three "crunch"--three. It only takes 3 licks to get to the center of a tootsie pop, but it takes a bunch of showings to get a contract on a house. We have had a couple of 2nd showings, so maybe that will pan out.

As far as closing on the new house....MAYBE this Friday. Haven't heard anything today, but it sounded promising. If all goes well, I'll have to get back into packing mode (I've been slacking for a while now).

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Appraisers are like weathermen...

There is another profession where someone can do their work wrong and still keep their job--our appraiser.

No, we did not close on our house this past Friday because apparently 35 days isn't enough time for the appraiser to get his report written and turned in. Our realtor tried to be nice and ask him if he prioritized his workload by those that needed to be done right away (had a scheduled closing date) and those that could wait. Of course, his answer was no. I don't think it ever dawned on him.

Now, I haven't met the man, but I can't believe everyone else was ready except him, and because of that, he held up a sale for everyone. Actually, he did "rush" and fax the appraisal to the loan company by 11:30 pm the night before, but lo and behold, it was wrong. We're told it was missing key info (have you written one of these before???). Anyway, we were disappointed. Hubby more than me, because he wanted to start moving the garage and shed stuff out there before we actually move, which will be when school's out.

So maybe this week....

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Packing

How's the packing going, you ask? Not very quickly....
Yeah, I still have some empty boxes in my garage to fill, but I haven't been motivated to just pack up the whole house. Although Grammy says it looks more bare everytime she comes over. Let's see...we close in May? Plenty of time! Oh wait! It will be May in a couple of days!! Well, maybe that will motivate me! I have some boxes from work, but I think I may have to break down and buy some moving boxes. All Hubby wants to do is move his garage and shed first. Apparently that stuff is more important. Go figure.

We don't plan on actually moving until school's out. but we're supposed to close May 8, so we'll have a couple of weekends to haul some things to the new homestead.

We got an estimate from the movers....I think we need to haul a BUNCH of stuff early, so we can fit the rest of our junk on one big truck. Too much stuff, and I thought I had purged a bunch already.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Kids Idea for living in the Country

Son: As soon as we move I'm building a dirt bike track!

Daughter: I'm not moving, I come with the house. (She's slowly coming around).

Monday, April 27, 2009

What's in a Name?

Ok, I changed the name of my blog again. I didn't know there was so much pressure in having a catchy name! I think I'm satisfied now. Good thing I don't have any followers yet, or they'd already be lost.

Name change

Ok, the hubby didn't like "ranchette." So Davis Area 54 is as creative as I could come up with.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

12 days til Close

There's only 12 days til we close on "the ranchette."

I was trying to come up with a nifty blog name for our new adventure in country living. I thought about area 54 (like area 51 and we have 54 acres, but it was already taken--even though that blog hasn't been updated since 2007). Another idea I had was "no hat, no cattle", because I don't have either. It's used in Texas and actually means someone who talks big but doesn't know what they're talking about. I thought it was cute, but didn't quite fit. So, I'll call our "place" the ranchette (or ranchito, for a hispanic flair). I don't know if it's really a ranch without any animals. But we have 2 dogs and a cat, so that's a start.