Sunday, March 1, 2015

Baby It's cold outside...

I know many of you live where it is cold and snowy often but here in Oklahoma snow is not something we are used to dealing with much less ice. If fact we have just about forgotten how to deal with any type of moisture! (We are in year 4 of an exceptional drought--the driest category for a drought.)

The herd is a little weary too! They got up on February 2 and did NOT see their shadow so they think winter should be over with as in at least 40 or 50 degrees.  It is time to have the onions in the ground and the soil should be ready to plant potatoes for Pete's sake! 

Winters are usually pretty good in a cow's life. Acre after acre of lush green wheat to munch on and then the farmer brings yummy snacks of cowcake and of course our much needed  daily fiber of hay.  Not to mention it is so cold no pesky flys to swoosh away.

And hey, how about those warming kisses from the heifers? (single female bovine) Now doesn't that just melt your heart and the snow!?!

Of course their is always one in every herd crying out, "Mom, I want to go in the barn where it is warm!"  #Annoying #calflike  Time to grow-up you steer! (No longer an in-tack male bovine)

But alas there is always the hope and the promise of spring--hopefully right around the corner or the section line or the pasture.

Thanks for stopping by today and here's hoping God's son and his Country sunshine will 
be shining on you soon!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Master   

Chase is an Australian Shepherd and is he ever so adorable.  Loves most everyone and “talks” up a storm when he first sees you.  He looks like his reddish brown hair has been heavily frosted and it even seems to bleach out in the summer time just as if he had spent a week at the beach.  There is no beach for Chase, but there is endless miles of farm pond shoreline, farm land, and good ole’ red dirt roads for him to run, play, and explore.   
Chase loves to go for walks with anybody who is visiting. He just slowly walks with the person or sometimes he runs ahead to see what adventures might be lying ahead on the path. He frequently checks to make sure his walking mate is still following and makes sure they are doing ok.  But like all of us Chase has his favorites.  Chase’s favorite is his Master, his owner.  He always knows where his master is and makes sure he is alright.  He might leave him for a time to go for a walk but before he leaves he circles his master and makes eye contact.

  Many times he takes off and then comes back to check with his master a second time before going off.  Upon return from one of his adventures he checks to make sure his master is where he was or stands by him waiting for his next assignment.
Chase also knows his masters voice.  He hears it above all other voices and he quickly responds when given any command from his master. He doesn’t always obey others and quite often just flat ignores them. But his master is just that HIS master.  When he speaks—Chase listens!  Chase is not unique at this, most pets follow their owners commands better than others.  Maybe we as people could learn a lesson from our furry friends.

We all have “masters” in our life. We just don’t always concentrate on THE Master.  God should be the Master of our life.  We should always know where HE is and how he is watching over us.  We need to check in frequently andmake sure we are still near our Master—the Lord Jesus.  We need to nudge Him with a prayer, or hum one of His hymns or praise songs. I just bet the good Lord squirms and squeals with delight when we “pet” and adore him with praise, not to mention when we feed Him by doing the things he expects us to do in this world. 

 God is our Master! Don’t be afraid to go the extra step to check with Him and see what His next command will be!  
He loves you like no one else!

 Thanks for stopping by today and stop enjoy some sunshine today!

American Honey!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Luck of the Irish tis Planting Potatoes!


'Tis the luck of the Irish and season for planting potatoes lads! 

Most wise gardeners know to have your potatoes in the ground before March 17th, St Patrick's Day.  In our area my wise father-in-law says to plant a little earlier. We had a good rain last week so it  was time to let the planting begin!

The first step after preparing the soil by plowing or tilling up the soil. is to make your rows. You can read official row building guidelines in my previous blog on planting onions. You just make the rows further apart for potato planting!

After your row is dug, about 6 inches deep, you carefully plant the potato seeds with the eyes up and about 10 inches apart. If you have never seen potato seeds--they are just cut up potatoes basically. You just want each piece to have and eye or sprout on it.  These eyes sprout and make the roots and the leaves of the plant. Potatoes are a root plant and the actual fruit grows underground. Each eye will make several potatoes if the growing season is filled with good things like rain, sunshine and etc.

And then you cover the little spuds up for a little nap! Soon they will burst forth from the ground praising God and growing and blowing like little weeds. Underneath that soil though things will be really taking root! (pun intended)

Then you use a good measure and move over and start your next row. In this garden a good measure is a precise hoe handle, about 4 feet.
You can plant a bunch and then store the  potatoes in a root cellar aka as tornado shelter or fraidy hole or just any cool spot and they will keep for many weeks.  In about 90 days or so we should be digging tators! Yes we will post a few pictures of this event!

I threw this picture in just to show how country gardeners recycle. Organic scraps are just thrown out in the garden for recycling. Here we have egg shells, orange peels, maybe a carrot and maybe a tomato. It is really good for the soil. 

As always, thanks for stopping by today and don't forget to get yourself a big 'o dose of country sunshine today!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Planting Onions!

I know it has been far to long and I am truly sorry. My only excuse is I have had a Senior in high school, and three other Senior citizens who have been keeping busy.  I know I should still have found time for you but all I can say is...PLEASE Forgive me!

Any good farm has to have a garden. Well it is planting time here in our errant climate. Even with our exceptional drought we still plant and hope and pray there will be enough moisture to keep it alive, growing and producing. 

An expert or at least very experienced gardener starts with a straight line! We (actually my father-in-law) is a rustic farmer and you use whatever is laying around. In this case the board laying there sunbathing is the perfect width for distance between onion rows. The post and blue string make the row straight. There is another post at the other end of the row and pulled tight. 

This is a baby onion. These come in a bunch of usually a hundred. They are usually a little dirty and wilted when you buy them so soak them in a little water.

Each onion gets its own little hole for a home! The hole are dug quite nicely by your fingers. 

Then you cover it up and tuck it in for the growing season!

You plant your row of seasoning giants along side your row marker--the blue string. The blue string by the way is left over from baling hay.  Recycling was invented by farm people.  Nothing is ever wasted! 



Onions are a bulb type plant and the fruit grows underground so you want to stagger the planting so the onion can expand and make a nice size bulb.  You can see they make kind of a zigzag pattern.

And when they are all in the ground, they need water and sunshine and a little night time rest to grow. Sounds like taking care of our children.

Wow look how quick that onion grew!!! Just kidding, that is a turnip left over from the fall garden. 

Spring is coming! These ducks are slowly flying back north to their summer home. Thanks for taking me back after my long heinous from reporting. Wishing you large doses of spring sunshine! 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Fixin' Fence!

These guys like to run and play. They are always on the look for the greener grass and quite often, just like us, these guys believe the grass is greener on the other side of the fence!

Consequently "Fixin' Fence" is a pretty common chore on the farm!

Here is a what a bunch of hot-wire fence posts look like. The white things, also come in a variety of other colors are called insulators. Hot-wire fences are easy and quick to put up and take down. The wire has a faint electrical current running through and the cattle know--almost instinctively not to go through it. 

We do so much fencing that some creative farmer, took this old pickup bed and made it into a fencing trailer. The wheel up top holds the wire and makes it easy to roll up when you are taking down fence or unroll easy when you are putting it up.

There is a many different types of fences that have to be fixed on the farm. The posts in the back of this pickup are more permanent. They are meant to stay in place for the next 25 years or more. It takes a little more work to get them in the ground. 

Here is our most recent fencing crew! Aren't they handsome! They will take that old bent post out, dig a pretty deep post-hole and insert one of those sturdy wooden posts.

That is a post hole digger. It is basically two shovels working side by side to dig a small roundish hole. It is hard work.  There are post hole diggers that run off a tractor that make this job easier. 

Fencing is a time-honored job. Many cattlemen and farmers have installed fences. It is an ever present job on ranches and farms. Some are to keep the cattle in, other fences mark the beginning and end of their property, some are even used to keep raccoons from raiding the garden. 

Look at the character in this fence post. Wonder what it would say if it could talk...

Thanks for stopping by today, and when you are whizzing by those fence posts on the highway soon you can think about all the work that went into their establishment!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Cotton Plantin' Time

See the seed, that grows into a plant, that produces a bloom, that produces a boll, that produces white cotton, that produces, a thread, that produces the fabric, that became the very shirt you are wearing! Wow!  and it all started with cotton plantin' season!  No we don't plant it by hand but a hand does frequently get out and check the planting. (more on that later)

This is just a short description of how we plant cotton. There are different ways and methods of planting. One big difference is if your cotton is irrigated or if it is dryland.  We are dryland farmers and we depend on the good Lord to provide us with the moisture to plant, grow, and produce. Well it rained last week so now is the time to plant. 

This is the seed box. The lid opens up and a variety of cotton seed is dumped inside. Most of our cotton now a days is what they call "Round-up ready" which means you can spray it for weeds.  It is expensive and not something you plant without serious preparations of the soil. The box/plow has a blower in it.

See those hoses coming out of it in several directions.  Each one of those hoses extends to the modern day see planter--that is the wheel looking things. The row is made, the seed is shot from the seed box through the hose and into the ground. The last wheel helps pad down the soil so the seed is covered in hopefully warm, moist soil.  Cotton likes the heat of summer. 

 We are not high tech so our planter does not have a GPS system so we have this arm that sticks out from the plow.  This marks your row so you know where you have planted. Pretty simple system huh!

My apologizes for the dust but that is what farming is many times. And now the cotton is in the ground!  I will try to up date its progress through the growing season. 

Now you can give a second thought about how your shirt came to be! Thanks for stopping by today! 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Corn is a GOOD thing!

Gardeners' are special people in my book! They plant the seeds. They tenderly nourish and care for young plants.  They weed daily. They water faithfully.  They shew away all things that might harm the garden. They wait, pray and watch for miracles to happen.

 Best of all, I have never known a gardener who would not share their bounty with others! 

 I was blessed enough to have some gardeners' share recently!  They shared this lucious, home-grown veggie! Nothing tastes like fresh corn-on-the-cob right out of the garden. I bet you can taste the buttery sweetness even as you are reading this.

 Here is this little ear growing on the stalk of corn. You reach down and you snap it off by pulling down on the ear. It is covered in a blanket of tightly wrapped leaves.  I am sure there is a technical name but for most of us leaves will suffice.

You can freeze it, store it or grill it at this point but this expert I was with uses the method his mom and grandmother used and that was simply clean the corn in the field and leave the mess there! So we carefully cut the ends off the ears and shed the protective leaves.

This method also allows you to see if you got a good ear or one that has been eaten by our friend. (see his picture below) (LOL)  If it happens to not be a nice full ear, pick another one and try your luck.  There are usually two to three ears, at least, per stalk. Keep in mind this is garden variety corn not field corn. 


Special thanks to my special garden friends and to all gardeners for growing fresh food for us to eat and enjoy! I am already eyeing my next find if I get invited back to the garden!