Good bye city life! Our family designed and built an industrial but old fashioned farmhouse on nine acres. Now we are building our homestead ~ or is it building us? Grab your boots and join us on our journey to country living.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Exceptional Drought

Last night watching the weather, we heard that the drought had been elevated to the "exceptional" level.

Obviously, we are watering our front yard.

"Exceptional"?  Never heard of that.  Apparently that is one step above "extreme" and "extreme" is one step above "severe".  Since when is "exceptional" more "severe" than "extreme"?  We decided that they just wanted a bigger word to express how bad the drought really is.  You know, one with more syllables.  That will make it sound worse.


From pond to puddle

There is only one good word for the exceptional, extreme, severe drought ~DRY!


The clouds roll in and taunt us every few days but the drops rarely fall.  Don't get me wrong ~ we are thankful for every drop we get.  Truly we are!  But our pastures really need rain, lots of rain.


Last year we didn't have to buy hay until October.  From the looks of our grass now, we will have to start buying it in a few weeks.  I don't know where it's going to come from.  Out of state, I guess.  I can't imagine what that will cost over the fall and winter.  That is the price you pay to have farm animals though.  Weather, like life, has it's ups and downs, doesn't it?



No sweetie, the grass is not greener on the other side of the fence.

We are just going to have faith and pray for a wet Oklahoma August.  It could happen!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Saturday Evening Post

A glimpse into the lives of the people who live in the Little Red Farmhouse. Sort of like eves dropping. It will be a quote or conversation. It may be funny. It may be sweet. Maybe a little sad. But it will always be true. We'll see if it resonates with you.


Man of the house who hates crusty edges of all baked goods and loves gooey middles instead and whom frequently gets "what's left" because we have three hungry boys in the house:
"I claim all center cinnamon rolls from here on out.  Unless otherwise posted, they are mine."

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cold vent

Sammie ~ "I'm sorry but I was here first."

I knew there was a reason why I didn't want the a/c vent under the kitchen sink!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Refrigerator Pickles

or as we call them ~ Cucumbers & Onions.


They are so easy...
and tasty...
and all from our garden. 
I love that!


Recipe:
Peel and slice about 3 medium cucumbers and 1 sweet onion.
Put in quart jar.
Add 1 sprig dill.
In a saucepan, bring to a boil 2 cups water, 1 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup sugar (less if you want them tangy and not sweet), 1 t. salt, and 1/2 t. pepper.
Pour in jar.
Stick in refrigerator until chilled. 
Relish the taste of the cool cucumbers and onions because it is stinkin' hot outside!

Just so you know, hubby got a hold of this jar before I got the pictures taken.  Be prepared for them to disappear quickly!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Necessary Room Remix

Our powder bath.  Well, I wouldn't really call it that.  There is no mirror to powder your nose.
And no sink.  It's right outside the door in the mudroom for multi purpose use.


So what do you call a room with just a toilet?
We call it necessary when we need to run in from outside on the farm.

Anyway, I gave it a little spruce up, farmhouse style.

a John Deere can

my husband's toy tractor from childhood

a "fresh eggs" sign I made a few weeks ago

and the egg basket
I tell you I have found lots of uses for this basket!

My favorite is still the vintage "eye" sign.

My farmhouse style is basically this:
Old things
New things that look old
&
Farm things
but
Not too many things.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Light the night

with stairway lights.


It's funny that we would be concerned with lighting the stairs and we don't even have a railing.  But when we built our home, we felt it was a necessary farmhouse feature.  At least I felt they were needed since I have a tendency toward clumsiness.


They were purchased at a lighting store as "stairway lights".  Really they are small recepticals for nightlight sized light bulbs that have small slots which direct the light downward.  They are not bright however they are just enough to make it up and down the stairs after dark.  A two way switch upstairs and down allow us to turn them on/off in either place.


If you are going to have stairs, they are a very good thing.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

One of those days

You know the ones ~ THOSE days.  We all have them from time to time.  Yesterday it was our time, I guess.  They always come in threes ~ three things that happen ~ not three days.  I hope!

So just so you know we have "those" days at the Red Farmhouse too, here goes...

  1. Round pen gate gets caught on the tractor and is ripped off.  We'll switch the latch to the other side and repair the post rather than pull it but we'll need supplies.
  2. Buying supplies at Home Depot when you realize you have no way to pay.  Wife didn't bring her purse. Husband didn't bring his wallet. Five people in line behind you on a Saturday.  Nice.
  3. Call son to bring wallet.  When he is on his way back home, the car overheats.  Three kids on the side of the road.  Great!  Get it back home but not up driveway and pop the hood.  Mechanics didn't tighten the hoses to the water pump when it was serviced last week.  They towed it ~ no charge ~ no kidding.
  4. Seriously, what else can happen?  Go inside, sit down and call it a day.  I think they come in threes because by the time you get to three, that is exactly what you do.  Short of falling out of your chair, nothing can happen.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Saturday Evening Post

A glimpse into the lives of the people who live in the Little Red Farmhouse. Sort of like eves dropping. It will be a quote or conversation. It may be funny. It may be sweet. Maybe a little sad. But it will always be true. We'll see if it resonates with you.


Me to my honey: "I had a dream last night that you cleaned out the chicken coop for me."
 
"Yea right, that's funny."
 
I asked you, "Where did you get the pine shavings?"  "Oh, I just stopped and picked some up."
 
"That's really funny!"
 
"Yes, well, I was really disappointed when I let out the chickens this morning and it wasn't clean."
 
(Hug) "This would make a great Saturday Evening Post.  You could call it 'I have a dream!'.  It wouldn't be in the category of a Martin Luther King "I have a dream' but how can you worry about equality when you have a dirty chicken coop."

Friday, July 22, 2011

Swimming hole

Before you start thinking we are hicks, let me give you some background to the new activity at the Red Farmhouse:

It's HOT ~ like over 100 degrees for weeks on end.
I'm not exaggerating!

It's DRY ~ it hasn't rained in forever.
Ok, that's an exaggeration but it seems like forever. 
For sure, it hasn't rained all July.
(see how brown the grass is?)

Ok, are you ready for our swimming hole?


Yes, that's a cattle trough. This city girl never thought she would let her kids swim in a water hole.


Extreme heat calls for extreme measures though.

\

A little algae on the bottom but other than that it's
 fresh, cold, well water.
Nothing wrong with that, right?  Right?


It looks pretty good actually.


I'm thinking about getting in myself.


However some are looking on thinking we are out of our minds!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cracking the books

School is a month away but before my boys crack the books, I have to crack them first.  I love long breaks from homeschooling so I put off organizing until I feel like I need to do it.  That date seems to get later each year.  I guess after twelve years of homeschooling that's understandable.  Actually, after twelve years it's lots easier.


The last few days have been spent planning and shopping for homeschooling.  This year we will have a Senior.  Not only is that exciting for him but it's exciting for me.  Almost like I'm going to graduate too!
K-12 ~ yea ~ been there, done that ~ homeschooling that is.

There's lots to cover along the way.  No one wants our kids to succeed more than we do so covering the basics (Grammar, Spelling, Math) is a must.  But their are so many choices out there to suit different kids and their learning styles. 

When faced with many choices, we try to tailor the subject to the student.  For instance, our youngest hates gross things, bloody things, & body things but he is interested in growing things and is curious about how to produce a new species of lily.  So, Botany is the science for him this year and Anatomy can wait.  In a couple of years it might be different.  I find it's easier to teach when the student wants to learn the subject.  It makes for a happier homeschool and definitely a happier homeschool mom!

I need a few more days filled with planning, shopping, organizing the bookshelves, and updating records.  When August rolls around we'll be ready to crack the books together.  Until then, I will just have to hide a few of them so they don't start without me.  Really, I do!  It happens every year.

"Hey, come back here with that school book."

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What's chevon?


"Wait, what's this?"


"Move out of the way.  I can read."


"Goats... that beat up... on the Mrs... will be sold... as...(gasp) chevon!"
"What's chevon?"
"You don't want to know."


"What did you do to her, Mocha?"
"She deserved it, she was trimming my hooves!"
"She trims all our hooves.  That's no reason to kick her!"


"We've got to get rid of this evidence.  Quick, help me eat it."


"You don't really mean it do you, Mrs?"
"We'll make sure she doesn't do that again."
"We're dairy goats, we wouldn't taste good at all."


"Can you forgive me, please?"
"I won't do it again.  Well maybe if you trim my hooves."

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Chute Doggin'

What in the world is Chute Doggin?  "Why would anyone go to bed at 3:00 am two nights in a row on a weekend?" might be a better question. 

Two words ~ Junior Rodeo!

Yes, our two youngest boys participated in their first ever rodeo and had a blast.  About a week ago we ran into some friends that we hadn't seen in a long time.  While visiting with them, their oldest son told our boys about how fun "Chute Doggin" was. Our boys went to their farm to practice and were hooked.  I'm just glad the steers didn't hook them.

Hold the horns, Jonah

So, "What is Chute Doggin anyway?"  It's the lighter version of steer wrestling only without the horse.  First you climb into the chute with a steer about 3 to 4 times your weight.  Wrap your arms around their neck, give the signal to open the gate and the fight begins.  Hold on until the steer crosses the line and flip them over on their back.  Since this is the lower age class they used smaller calves and strapped horns on them.  Too cute!

Jared "flipping the burger"

As to the 3:00 am... Chute Doggin is the second to last event and since the temps have been in the 100's around here they decided to start the rodeo at 8:00 in the evening.  Combine that with a 30 minute drive and "viola" you have a very late night or early morning depending on how you look at it. 

Our cowboys

Anyway, we had a great time watching all the events and especially watching our boys have fun and learn something new at the same time. They both dogged in under 3 seconds the last night. Our oldest also competed but it was for the attention of the Rodeo Queen and boy was she a cutie!  We think he placed high but the results haven't been posted yet.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ruffled apron kit

While shopping for fabric for a new apron last week, I happened upon this:


It wasn't the style apron I was looking for but do you see that yellow sticker?  That means clearance.
$4 ~ yes, I said four ~ sold!
I bought other fabric too.  It wasn't $4.
And yes, I have 3 aprons hanging in the mudroom already but a girl needs one to match all her daily outfits, right?  I'm glad you agree.  My hubby doesn't think that is so important.


Back to the apron kit ~


The different fabrics were printed on one piece.  Genius!  Just cut out and follow the directions ~
the directions on the fabric that is:


Iron & Sew.


Iron &


Wear!


So feminine & frilly
& only $4!


A farm girl can't have too many aprons! 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The princess & the pea

"Are you sure I can't get you another pillow, Sadie?" 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Riding!

It's been a long time coming ~ 8 months, in fact.  We have been "in training" and still are but Wayne and I have met the goal of riding our own horses.  While learning groundwork, we have also been taking riding lessons. Today, with the go ahead from our trainer, we rode our own horses.


We are riding only the mares for now.  They are more experienced and have settled down and listen carefully to us.


The last time we rode these girls, Wayne couldn't get D to stand still enough to dismount.  She was so scared and flighty it took almost an hour.  And Bobbi just went where she wanted to go, totally disregarding what I was asking her to do.


What a difference!  It was a very rewarding morning. The horses walked and trotted calmly with all of us taking turns.



Mostly we worked on the one rein stop.  That's the same as flexing a horse's neck only from the saddle and it serves as emergency brake since a horse can't move forward when it's neck is turned around. 


Walk...one rein stop...flex to other side...pause...repeat.


"Do it a thousand times and then do it again."


We did some trotting too in the same manner.

It may seem like a little thing to someone who rides all the time but for these novice horse people it was wonderful.  Riding ~ in control, confident, and calm is fun riding!


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