Saturday, May 28, 2011

Work Day

So this is supposed to be a holiday weekend....not on a homestead!  We got a lot done today.  After a trip into town to get badly needed haircuts, it was off to the auto parts store for some transmission tubing - the truck sprung a leak.  Then to the grocery store my daughter works at for some hot dog lunches to benefit Children's Miracle Network.  Back home to eat and fix the truck so we could head to the home improvement store. 

Fifteen bags of mulch, 4 Leland Cypress, a flat of Marigolds, and some miscellaneous clearance plants later, we headed back home to install everything. And boy, was it HOT.  But compared to the rainy weather we have been stuck in, today was gaw-haw-jus!  In the middle of putting everything in, my husband decided we needed at least another 15 bags of mulch and some more Leland Cypress (can you tell he likes this particular plant?).  We got most of it done - had to quit before I collapsed from heat stroke and lack of food!  Pictures to come later.

We decided to just do sandwiches for dinner, then a quick dip in the pool to cool off.  Cleaned out the chicken run and coop, and added some fresh bedding.  Now comes relaxation-by-the-fire time and a few adult beverages.  Always a good time on a Friday or Saturday night for us.  And this weekend, we get a bonus night on Sunday.

I love days like this where we get a lot done, even if it comes in dribs and drabs.  And I would like to take a moment to thank all of our service men and women who keep us free so we can have days like this.  God Bless America!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Traffic Court

You may remember, at the beginning of last month, my daughter was in a car accident.  She rear-ended a pickup truck.  Her Honda Accord was toast...but it could be repaired (they are still working on it).  The gentleman she hit only sustained some minor damage to his bumper (older truck - bumper was the old fashioned steel kind!).  His truck was fixed by her insurance company - but when she changed to her fiance's insurance when they moved in together, they did not put collision coverage on her car.  Lesson learned - no collision coverage, no insurance payment to fix your car's damage....

So, this morning was her traffic court date.  We arrived at the courthouse just before 8:30 AM, got through the metal detector and x-ray scanner and upstairs to the courtroom right at 8:30 AM.  Lesson two - arrive A LOT earlier as the system (or, ahem, lack thereof) for security makes for a L-O-N-G line of people trying to get into the building.

Now, we thought they would call the cases, one at a time.  Possibly going in alphabetical order....nope.  It goes by row order - and it gets better.  There were 3 sections of rows - seats on the left, in the middle and on the right, with aisles in between.  They started with the middle section (huh?!) - then went to the left section (that makes SO much sense) - and guess where we sat when we came in?  You would be absolutely correct!  We sat in the RIGHT TWO HOURS later, it was her turn.

She went up to the bench, gave her name to the judge's "helper" (I think he was a judge-in-training).  He pulled out her paperwork and handed it to the judge.  The judge asked my daughter if she had a letter from her insurance company saying that they took care of the damage on the vehicle she hit.  My daughter said, yes, and showed the paper to the judge.  The judge scanned it and promptly announced, DISMISSED.  Woo hoo!!  My daughter was stunned, to say the least.  She thanked the judge and out we went.  And it was over - just like that.  No other papers to file or fees to be driver course to sign up points on her part, there should be no increase in her insurance premiums.

I was very proud of her for owning up to what she did.  She could have hired a lawyer and tried to plead it down.  But since it was her first offense, I was hopeful it would turn out like this.  She took responsibility for her actions, had the gentleman's truck fixed properly, obtained the paperwork she needed for her appearance, and in the end, it paid off.

The best part - since she didn't have to pay for the ticket or the fines, she was able to pay back most of the towing charges that I paid for the day of the crash.  I don't know too many young couples just starting out who walk around with hundreds of dollars in cash on them.  She was just lucky I was one of those people that morning!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Calm after the storms

We seem to be in an interesting weather pattern lately.  We live close to the NC/VA border, and it seems like the storms we have been having run like a locomotive along this line.  While it does bring much needed water, for the gardens, replenishing the well, etc. - it also wreaks havoc with the force of the downpours and the accompanying wind and sometimes hail.

We had some more of these storms last night.  It started rolling in about the time I got home from work (had to commute to the big city), around 7PM.  The chickens were out in their run, enjoying the grass clippings we threw them from the night before, when it started getting very dark.  Now, they have just recently figured out how to put themselves to bed at night.  So they were kind of confused...

Loretta:  "This grass sure is tasty"
Emmy Lou:  "Very...yum!"
Reba:  "Is it just me, or is it getting dark already?"
Dolly:  "Stop being such a worry...wait...something just fell on my back..."
Loretta:  "Hey, something just hit my head"
Reba:  "See!  I told you so!"
Emmy Lou:  "It's just a little rain.  I am going to keep munching; it is not time to go in yet"
Loretta:  "Ewww.  My feet are getting all wet!"
Reba:  "I don't know about you, but I am going into the coop."
Dolly:  "I think you are right...I can hardly see anymore!"

So after the worst of the rain and wind passed, around 8:45 PM, my husband went down to make sure they were all in and locked them up for the night.  He said they were all lined up on the top roost, just a nannering away.

I guess they will get plenty of practice on how to go inside the coop when the weather is crazy outside.  It doesn't look like this pattern of storminess is going to let up for a while!

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Today is a beautiful day.  Sunny!  Glorious sun!!  So, this is what we have on a day like today:

Laundry out on the line - my husband built this for me in between the rain drops last weekend

Vegetables growing in the greenhouse
(which we are taking down tomorrow - going to be very warm next week)

Pool is open and clear!
(But still on the chilly side)

And very happy 10-week old chickens
munching on lettuce fresh from the greenhouse!

I hope wherever you are this weekend, you also get to enjoy a sun-day!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


No - not eggs....yet!  I just logged on and checked my daily stats for Blogger and to my great surprise, my blog has had ONE DOZEN hits today!  Woo hoo!!  I guess this means I will have to post more often to keep everyone coming back :-)

The girls are growing in leaps and bounds...and today, they seem to be trying out their clucking more than the little chirpy sounds they have been making.  Loretta's comb seems to be growing faster than the others - I think she may be a wee bit older.  Saturday they will be 10 weeks old.  But they have settled in nicely - eating and drinking, loving the grass clippings we threw in there the other day.  They put themselves to bed last night for the first time - FINALLY.  Although we have gotten really good at chicken wrangling!!  I was even able to catch each one yesterday, by myself, and check them for creepy crawlies under their wings and to make sure their vents were clear.  I wasn't really too worried - except that Reba has had some really runny poo, but no blood in it.  So, I just wanted to make sure she was ok.  And if you do it to one, you have to do it to the others so no one feels left out!  :-)

Hopefully, we are now in a drier weather pattern.  It seems like ever since we got the ladies home, it has been gray, rainy and chilly every day.  Today we had quite a bit of sun, though not overly hot, and the weekend should be around 80 degrees - can't wait!

We opened the pool last weekend (didn't think we were ever going to be able to) - but it is nowhere near warm enough to go in it yet.  Hard to warm up when it goes down in the lower 50s at night.  But it is crystal clear!

I hope everyone gets a little taste of sunshine wherever you may be - and thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cast of Characters - Final Installment [for now!] :-)

And last, but certainly not least, are the final two characters here at Broken Road Farm.  First, I give you Zoe:

You woke me up for what, exactly?
 Zoe is 10 years old and was my husband's cat until we got married - now she's mine!!  She is a domestic long hair, and she is beautiful!  She has a great personality but is very feline - she doesn't come to you when you call her - after all, she is a cat!

Then we have Tigger:

Make it quick - I have birdies to watch!

Tigger was born in a litter of 5 kittens under our spa at the house we had in the big city - just a couple weeks before we moved out to the country.  They were all so incredibly cute, and it was hard to choose just one to keep.  But we decided on Tigger because she looked just like her mama.  And it turned out to be a wonderful choice.  She is one of the sweetest cats - very much like Tessa was.  She will not bite or scratch and she snuggles at the end of the bed every night.  She is now almost 3 years old.

So that's all we have for now...but it is always subject to change as my husband and I are suckers for the strays...we have to keep telling each other that we cannot save them all.  But we do our fair share!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday the 13th

Well, it appears that Friday the 13th has struck Blogger today.  Not that I had a burning post I wanted to put up here.  I have been very busy this week with the chickens and commuting to the big city twice.  We have a routine figured out, we are getting really good at wrangling them at night (our bedtime is before theirs apparently), and the weather has been so rainy and gray I am wondering if someone picked us up in the middle of the night and now we are really in Seattle!

The chickens are growing at an unbelievable rate...I swear their feathers are an inch longer and they are an inch or two taller every morning!  They finally figured out how to use the roosts - they look so cute on them all feathers and no feet :-)  And we have determined they LOVE grass.  We rip a handful out and tear it into smaller pieces, then dump it inside the run and they go nuts for it!

I love the sounds they make too...these happy little chirpy sounds, all the time.  Every once in a while, someone attempts a "cluck", but mostly they just chirp away - I guess they like their new home :-)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

I hope all of you mothers out there are having an AWESOME day!  Mine began in a way that I never thought it would...I woke to up chickens!  When we opened the coop, they were all huddled in the corner - which is exactly where they were when we wrangled them all and put them in the coop last evening.  All day today, I have been going outside to see how they are doing.  I was starting to get nervous that they would not find their way down the ramp to the "outside world" again.  But, they finally got it.  It was so cute to watch them walk up and down the ramp - going inside to get some food or water, going back outside to feast on some tasty bugs.

So, without further ado, we would like to give a warm welcome to the new girls of Broken Road Farm:

Loretta - New Hampshire Red

Emmy Lou - New Hampshire Red

Reba - Production Red

Dolly - Barred Rock
 In case you haven't guessed it - they are all named after some of the greatest female country singers.  I know - you're not supposed to name your future food.  But my husband assures me it will not be an issue later.  We will see a few years from now.

They are young - only 8 weeks old.  So they have a little ways to go before we see our first eggs, but we are immensely enjoying "farm tv"...ok, really, I am!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Here Chickie, Chickie!

We have chickens!!  Woo hoo!! 

This morning we went to a farm about an hour away and purchased 4 8-week old pullets.  Two New Hampshire Reds, one Production Red and one Barred Rock.  They are busy exploring their new digs (which we are just about finished with - some minor things left to do). 

Pics to come later once I can get them to stand still long enough for their photo op :-)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Mixed feelings

I awoke this morning to the news about Osama Bin Laden's death (we go to bed early and did not see the late news last night).  I am not sure how I feel.  While I am glad that we were able to locate him, I think I would have preferred for him to stand trial and have to answer for his actions.  While what he did was heinous and unforgivable, I am not one of those people who "celebrates" even when the bad guys are killed.  The news footage of all the celebrations that occurred last night after the news was released disturbed me a little. 

When I got up and my husband told me what happened, my first thought wasn't "yay!  It's about time he is dead" was " we can bring our military home."  I hope we make a swift exit from Afghanistan - not the long, drawn out affair like in Iraq.

I hold everyone who serves in our military in the highest regard - I am forever thankful for everything they do to secure our on-going freedom...please bring them home quickly.

God Bless America.