Friday, January 30, 2009

"before I saw the world artfully!”

West Texas in winter isn't pretty. I love where I live and love being a Texan, but winter is hard. This year because we are in such an extreme drought it is extra hard. In good or wet years or even "normal" years you have the green weeds, the wheat fields that add splashes of green. The wild flowers that start growing now to be ready to bloom as soon as winter might be over. This year we have shades of brown. I find that very depressing.

I read a blog, Holy Experience that back on Monday, January 12, 2009 she said "before I saw the world artfully". That phrase has been resounding in my head ever since. My DIL sees the world artfully. I am amazed at some of the things she takes pictures of that are beautiful. I challenged myself to improve.

Yesterday as I took kids to meet my BIL at the half way point I remembered to grab my camera. Now stopping and taking pictures with 4 kids in the car, 3 EXCITED kids, well I didn't try. Coming home I did, as my dd who was with me put it, "Have an adventure." We drove down county road, we made U-turns, we backed up we took the LONG way home. All for pictures! BROWN pictures for the most part. I decided to share some with everyone. This is some that just maybe see "the world more artfully!"

How about some feed back on these pictures! Which ones do you like, dislike why? I can take it.... if not I can delete your reply :). Most of these are just pull off the hwy and snap a couple, some out the window some I did get out of the car.



3. I LIKE windmills....





8. Running water in W. Texas this year is a treat!





13. Not sure what you are seeing....

14. Yes, that really IS a pelican! There were two of them. Now get your map out and find Lake Ivy. How many miles is that from any salt water?






That's all folks!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


OK for those that get ice and snow a lot this isn't a big deal, but here it is.

Since I had the camera out I decided to get barn pictures too.
This is Daisy's new calf. He is less than a week old. Pretty isn't he. Think STEAK!

Life goes on in the barn, eggs get laid, goats get fed......

I saved the best for last................. Cowgranny these are for you!

From 18 to 56 today?

When I got up about 6 it was a balmy 18 degrees. What surprised me was that the weather on the net said San Angelo was 27! Now 30 minutes later it has warmed to 23. How strange is that? Sun isn't up! The temps should still be falling. We have baby icicles hanging off our porch. They are only about 1 inch long. I haven't ventured out to see how cold the fountain looks this morning. I am sure it is pretty frosty!

Kids are excited about going to stay the weekend with my SIL and BIL. They have been packing all week. Wonder what they won't pack they should? I can relate, I have been packing in my head for retreat next weekend also.

MN did come to me yesterday and share she is afraid to go off without me. This my un-attached child at one time! She has never been away from home without me in 4 years. Last time the other 2 got to go visit she was making very bad choices so didn't get to. This time it is her sisters turn to stay home. We talked about how it is normal to be excited and afraid all at the same time. I also think her sister is afraid, even at 17 to go off and leave us. She hasn't expressed it in words, but actions. I am glad, it shows attachment. I told MN she doesn't have to go. She smiled and said, "But, I want to go! I will just miss you!" We agreed it is OK for her to miss me at the same time to go and have fun.

Today will be finishing up packing and school for the kids this week. I dread my circle this morning in the ice. I may try and take my camera and get pictures. I can't wait for the warm air to show up!

Our wood stove food was wonderful last night. The pot of green chili stew was to big to go in the frig, so I used my winter frig. I sat it in the BBQ grill outside! I will thaw it for breakfast and then put what is left in the frig. Yes, green chili stew for breakfast! Mmmmm where is your sense of adventure!

I will try to get ice pictures before we are back to desert mode around here. All have a blessed day!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Two post in one day!

Suppers Ready! I fixed a big pot of beans and an even bigger pot of green chili stew. Today I made my wood stove multi task. It has kept us toasty while cooking a wonderful supper.

I have watched the ice form on the fountain all day. To start the day there was no ice. Wonder what it will look like in the morning?

This morning I came in from chores to find my daughter in love attacking her son............with the hair cutting equipment!

Didn't she do a great job!

Cold, Drizzly, Day...

Our high probably happened about about midnight last night. It is down to 28 now. It was 36 at about 2 AM when I checked the radar. We have a light mist falling. At 2 it was dripping of the house pretty good. Not I see it falling a bit, but it seems to just be clinging to things. Scanner says bridges are starting to ice. Schools are starting late... Well some schools! I have 2 already busy at work, it is just now 7 am. Forecast for today is more of the same with more "ice pellets" tonight. We have a 50% chance of it happening. This isn't my favorite way to get moisture, but I am praising God for each and every drop.

The two girls not in trouble spent the night with DIL last night. Wonder if anyone got any sleep? They were excited. Son is off on the truck so DIL invited them to keep her company. Yesterday morning they both were down stairs getting school done by 7. I don't see them yet! I guess they are either sleeping in or dreading that walk from her house to mine. I am not sure they took coats.
I wanted to share some this and that photos. This is doing school with a toddler helping.

Here are my two new milk goats in the making. They came all the way from Colorado!

Our weather has been so warm kids playing in the yard, in the dirt. We again don't have grass because grass requires water.

Critters supervising the kids playing in the yard.

Since we are cold and not warming up today I think I will cook a pot of beans on the wood stove. That will be a nice treat. I may see if I have any corn meal to make corn bread to go with them for supper.
For some reason I am having trouble loading pictures today. I am trying for the 3rd time! I don't know if the net is going down for seconds during the upload or if blogger is messing up. It is very frustrating. I finally went with the smaller pictures and finally got them loaded.

Friday, January 23, 2009

We have a baby!

Calf that is! Yes, it is exciting. I have been stretching milk for just babies for several days. I should have a better supply now. The girls found her and her calf yesterday afternoon. They said a red bull calf. I haven't had the pleasure of seeing it. She came to the house to be milked. We did a little search but she has him tucked away well. I did get to talk to them about why he was hid, and NOT where she gave birth.

I also got my Nubian nanny kids from my son yesterday. :) I only got two. They are spotted and so sweet. My kids are in love! Oh I am fond of those big floppy ears too, especially when they are spotted! I will try to get pictures today.

We had a good time at the dinner last night. I really liked the Pres's wife. She was a school teacher for 20 years, elementary. You can tell she was a good teacher as we talked about issues and kids and reading and books and life in general with kids. I also liked the Pres. As I told my DH later, he was real. He wasn't out to impress anyone or make any one like him. He is a very soft spoken man. I ask DH if we could invite them to the Christmas Party next year.

Today our weather is suppose to be 80+. Tomorrow just above 50 for the high. No rain in the forecast. :( I need to go get feed for my sheep. I may wait and do it tomorrow. It will be to cold to do much outside enjoyably anyway. Today I may just soak up the sun! I may work in the garden a bit getting it ready for planting. I would like to bring some more of the old cottonseed trash down to work into the garden soil for mulch. I may clean out some flower beds and get them ready also. Lots of plans, but not a lot of ambition.

I have a young lady in trouble over her MP3. She was "looking" at music on the computer instead of doing her school. She knew that wasn't what should happen. So I have an MP3 player for a few days. When she is done with school and mad glances I will talk to her about making responsible choices. She wants to be allowed on the internet. This is a no no from AR that I haven't bothered to change. It is nice being able to use AR as the reason she can't surf. I am still "mentally" working on the rules as to where she can go etc. on the internet. I will be limiting it and watching it very closely. The adoption will be final next month and AR won't be a reason so she will be given the chance to responsibly surf. She won't be allowed to surf any where but in the living room with LOTS of young eyes helping. :) I will also be checking history and have in place measures for safety. I don't think she will be searching out yucky stuff as much as old friends/acquaintances/family. I will have to address these issues. Still waiting on God to give me direction on that.

Guess I better get off and accomplish something worthwhile. All be blessed!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

This and That Wed.

This morning started with a child who decided she didn't want to set the milker and bottle bucket up in a timely manor. I don't play games by the rules. She later said she wanted to see what would happen. She didn't manage to get it to the barn before I fed my sheep and check them. Attitude! So she spent the next 3 hours putting on her PJ's then dressing, setting the milker up, the bucket up AND taking it all to the barn. Back to the house, to take all apart, a total of 10 times. She said she didn't like the consequences. It does seem that the rest of her day went MUCH better. I was very proud of me, I didn't get mad, just gave consequences :)

The rest of the day was good. I had two girls that arose about 6 AM to do school and chores. They were done with school before breakfast! They did their chores and had a down day. I keep hoping they will make the connection between getting up early and getting stuff done better.

I have been doing very good at assigning a child to help with supper this week. Today it was T and she was busy with the milker so I didn't assign her. Instead I made flat bread tonight and let all 4 of them roll it out and cook it. It taste really yummy. I am so short of milk I didn't even pretend to use milk. I just used water for my bread dough. It turned out great. I am not sure how much will be left for supper and future meals. I have a feeling supper is pretty much a done deal of fresh hot flat bread.

I had planned on supper being pizzas and green beans. The green beans are cooked and the hamburger meat for pizza. I will open some speghitti sauce and they can have some if they want.

Tomorrow night my dh and I have a "date". I am SO excited! (If you can't hear the sarcasum turst me it is dripping from it.) DH's company had a record month a few months ago and the President of the company is taking everyone and their spouses out for dinner. I struggle with this type dinner. I have NOTHING in common with the spouses from work, or the workers either. They are into putting on faces. I don't do that well. I don't want to see where the most expensive place to shop is, or how much booze you can consume when the company is paying. I did find out the Pres's wife is coming and is expecting so maybe we can chat about real things. At least I hope so! If my son gets a load then I won't get to go since my DIL is off to see her brother. I can't decide if I want to pray for a load, they need the work, or if I need to show up.

Now a couple of cute pictures just for fun! He is listening to S's MP3 player. Wish I could show you him dancing as he listened. It was so cute!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Swimming Upstream.....

And other such ramblings.

It has been a tough week as I have been struggling with a child lying and stealing. I have known for a while I had a thief, but couldn't figure out for sure who. I finally got the proof late last week. We have battled all weekend over it. It is so hard when a child has an unrepentant spirit. She knows she did it, she knows it was wrong, but oh well, she is only sad that she got caught. So we keep talking and praying. I think her "issue" stem from feeling angry at her siblings who were "angry" at her. Oh what a confused and wicked web Satan weaves! See she "escaped" much of the abuse that the older two received. This led to them feeling "angry" at her because she wasn't being hurt as much. Yet, as we prayed and talked and prayed today both older children came to understand that her "hurt" wasn't physical on the outside where the bruises showed, but was spiritual. Wow! What an awesome God that will speak into their spirit such a truth! I really thought we were making progress, yet again she lied this evening over something so stupid. Such is life! We will continue to pray and seek wisdom as I dole out consequences. I know God can heal this issue. It just has to be in His time, not mine. I want her "fixed" now!

Yesterday I played on the skid loader. I stirred the cottonseed gin trash for the stock. They really like you doing this. As they pick the goody out they pack it down making it harder to find the goody. When you stir it they can easily find the goody again. It is sorta fun to do. After that I "played" a bit more with taking out some yucca's and a few small mesquite trees. On the way back to the house after I dropped off the skid loader I discovered I had a brand new baby, think still bloody umbilical cord that didn't have mama around. He was trying to find anything that would feed him. So I stuck him in my bucket in the ranger and off I went.

While I was picking him up I could hear another lamb crying. So I was driving slow and looking. I discovered I had a ewe in trouble. The chase was on. Finally after recruiting extra help we caught her. She had a head and one leg out but that didn't slow her down much. I pulled two lambs. I hoped (ha!) that as we went away she would claim them. No such luck! So to the house they went.

I did discover who the baby I had put in the ranger belong too. She was an ex bottle baby so gentle. She was a first time mama. I had very little trouble catching her. I brought her to the house and put her in the pen with the baby. It was like, "Oh there you are! I wondered where you went." Grrrr Sheep! So this morning she went back with the rest of them.

I did try catching the mama to the other two this morning. I made her feed them all day. She wasn't interested in them so I decided oh well. It is easier to bottle them than fight with her. I will turn her loose in the morning. I may just put her on the back side so I know she needs to go when I make another sale run.

I think my bottle baby count is up to about a dozen. I have the oldest goat that ds brought me from the sale barn, then three lambs that mamas didn't want. One of a set of triplet goats, and one from a set of twins. Mama didn't have enough milk for those. Then the nanny that I pulled the twins. The little white lamb that is a tiny twin. Then the two new lambs from yesterday. If you want to count be my guest!

This wee we FINALLY get to take our beef to the processor! Yea! One down one to go! I pray dh gets the freezer up and going before the second one comes home. I think I can move and juggle enough stuff to have room for one. I may have to suggest ds move his critter skins somewhere else. Given a choice of beef or critter skins in the freezer the beef winds hands down!

I am thinking I will be needing a new washing machine soon, or more repairs on mine. I would NEVER recommend a Whirlpool Duet. It has been less than desirable. Right now, besides shaking like it is out of balance, it is making a funny noise as it pumps the water out. Water pump again or filter? Who knows! Finally dh has just left the front cover off so that it is easy to clean out the filter. This filter isn't made to be cleaned, you have to take the thing apart, have a bucket to catch the water and then tackle it.

We made the best grilled chicken and veggies, or chicken stir fry, what ever you want to call it tonight. S had cooking detail. I had her chopping onions, peppers, zucchini and chicken. Then I spiced it up ending with squeezing 2 oranges into it. We grilled it on the grill. I also cooked a pot of parsley and garlic noodles. It was great! I need to remember to do it again next time we have squash of some kind. S was very proud of herself for all the cooking she did. Granted she wimped out on me before she got through grilling all the chicken and veggies. I laughed at the small pan of veggies she was going to call enough. I pointed out she was cooking for an army!

Time to send kids to bed. All be blessed!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


on line auction
baby goats
selling sheep

As always life is never dull. After chores yesterday which I rushed through so we would be in for CPS's visit MN comes in and tells me she things the nanny that is down is in labor. I go check, sure enough it is time to fish. This nanny is to weak to deliver them. I knew this already. Also because she has been down she hasn't moved around and allowed babies to get into correct positions. I start feeling to see what I have. I have a nose. Not what I need to make a easy delivery. Baby goats should be born in a diving position, two FRONT legs first with the heat between them. I then do some more "feeling" and working to find the front shoulders or even better a leg that is just not quite where it should be. Finally work around and get one leg fwd. but the baby won't slip, so more "fishing". Finally get the other front leg, but the baby has curled his head back against the body by now. So I have to now work his head fwd again. All this is done by feel in very tight space. I am doing double prayers as I do this. "Please Lord don't let me tear something and Please Lord don't let CPS show up right now." Once I get the baby in position he slides out easy. While I am doing all this I have no clue if it is alive or dead. When he plops out he cries! By then MN is out there I tell her to rub it while I see if we have twins. I find another small foot, just one so I have to follow it up, no head, but did find the other foot. I mange to get them out enough to see I have front feet, so I know the head is again turned back. I do know I have a live kid this time because when I let go of the feet back they go inside. With much work I manage to get the head in position and feet all at the same time. Out slides a smaller kid. I had sent T back to the house to get S so she could see birth. She got to see the second half of the fishing and the baby come out alive. T started rubbing. S was amazed. I left girls rubbing and S went back in with me. I cleaned up and we went back to waiting for CPS.

Son shows up ready to load some lambs for the sale. Back to the barn I go. We get the in a small pen to catch and load. Both MN and I were helping when I look up and S and the CPS worker are at the back door. So I go in to deal with that. MN gets to stay and help load!

Close to the end of the visit our case worker ask if when the adoption is complete did we want our home "closed" or left open. I tell her we are open to adopting again. The kids then start giving the list of what they want. I send for MN since she was the ring leader of wanting to ask for kids. She comes in and her list is she wants more kids. I think the case worker was shocked that they know what the TARE site is and even look at it. (Link is on the right, TEXAS ADOPTION RESOURCE EXCHAGNGE). She did ask if we were open to legal risk. We are. It so much depends on the kid(s). Again the right fit.

I really need to tell the case worker how hard her visits are on MN. After they left she came to me and said she didn't know why but it is hard and she is afraid when they come. That it stirs memories of them and her from her past. We talked about how all those memories are OK. Usually she frets over them coming from the time she knows they are coming. This time I didn't see it and she didn't express it. She was "looking fwd" to them coming so she could ask for more kids. So I wanted to make sure she got to ask. :) She still was bothered by the visit though. I look at it as so much progress that she could not be stressed before and ask for kids and then come to me later to discuss how she felt.

Today my oldest is in CO. attending a sheep and goat auction. I plan on watching it on line. He has started buying on line but wanted to see it up close at least once. I told him if his phone starts ringing and there are dairy goats or bottle babies in the ring don't bother answering just bid. I am sure if MN remembers that the sale is going on she will try to be done with school so she can watch over my shoulder.

It is barn time around here! Hope everyone has a blessed day!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tuesday ~ CPS visit

Why is it never our favorite thing to do? We are doing nothing wrong, they are not here to "investigate" yet we dread it. They want to make sure S is among the living and safe. She is both. Still we dread it. I did laugh MN is "looking fwd to it" humm.... she is the one usually most stressed. She is going to ask for kids! LOL oh these case workers are in for it today. She is like a bulldog.

In other areas DS is taking some big lambs to the sale today for me I hope. It is last years late lambs. I hope prices are good today. There are only 6 of them and a couple of yucky goats too that were bottle baby hold overs.

My barn is getting full. I have one nanny that is down. We are babying her trying to get her to kid and hope she will improve then. I already had 3 lambs and one goat bottle baby. I have added one of a set of tiny twin lambs. I took the ewe lamb from mama. She loved both of them, but this one didn't keep up well and mama didn't seem to have enough milk. She is doing well now. Then I had a nanny have triplets. She loved them all but couldn't seem to keep up with all of them. We brought her to the house. After a few days I decided one of them was being pushed off to much. I offered it a different teat and she was hungry enough she nursed on a strange mama. She is in the barn. Yesterday I brought in another old goat that had twins, and only 1/2 her udder is good. She didn't look like she had much milk in that side. So I offered the babies a bottle and both ate. I hope that her milk comes in with some extra feed. Oh then there is the mama that had twins and enough milk for 4. So she is feeding the little lamb and the triplet goat before she feeds hers of an evening. I will offer them bottles this morning. Her babies should be able to take it all in a few days. I started the 3 lambs and goat on the bucket yesterday morning. That will make it easier as one person can feed all 4 in record time. They loved it!

I did laugh at S last night as she watched the babies play in the barn. She loves it. I pointed out why I didn't want to try to go to AR to finalize next month. She got it!

Oh I have a milk cow due any day too. Yea! I need the milk. I also need to dry one of the two I am milking up.

I also did something stupid this weekend. Well I may have. I traded an old milk cow I wanted to sell and two calves for 21 head of katana (sp) sheep. They are heavy bred and should have big fast growing lambs. The stupid part is we are so dry. One reason I wanted to sell the cow was to get her off the feed bill. Hummm I sell 3 and add 21. Yea makes a lot of sense! If it will rain this will be a good deal. I will be getting the sheep this weekend I think. I will post pictures when I do.

Time to head to the barn.

Monday, January 12, 2009


This is what I see looking out my window by the computer. Yes, this is a grass fire. It is less than 10 miles from us. The wind is not blowing much, and the wind direction will keep us safe. We do have friends that are closer. I just heard the directions to the fire on the scanner. They put the fire very close to our friends house. Please keep them and all homes and livestock in prayer.