Our view

Our view

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Just A Dusting

The snow fall at the farm did not amount to much; just a dusting.  The snow quit just after midnight and that was about it.  The snow that was predicted for the morning hours was cancelled.  The dusting was very pretty in some areas of the farm and not so nice looking at others.  Looking over the orchard area it looked really nice but looking up from the Francisco house to our RV was not a pretty sight.  So we still felt at ease that we did escape winter even with a dusting because we have been enjoying sunny and warm days.  Thanks Lisa for pictures! 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Escaping Winter...Yes!

We have finally felt like we were truly escaping winter.  While it is snowing in Tennessee we were enjoying a beautiful sunny and warm day in Carlsbad, CA.  The temperature was in the low 70's and we enjoyed being able to use the patio.  I am not meaning to boast but I think our trip has been validated now.  We have escaped winter.  More snow pictures later!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Armed And Legal

In a couple of months we will have two people at the farm who can legally carry a gun.  Lisa and Travis took the Conceal and Carry course yesterday to legally carry a gun.  It is an 8 hour course that includes classroom instructions, a test, and shooting 50 rounds with their gun.  Lisa owns a 38 caliber gun that was purchased about a year or so ago.  The classroom instruction went well, the test went well but there was a little problem with shooting the 50 rounds for Lisa.  About 15 rounds into the shooting her hand began to cramp up and she was in a lot of pain from shooting that many rounds. In order to get you carry license you must be able to shoot 50 rounds.  If you don't then you do not pass and have to go do the course again.  Lisa was bound and determined to pass but she could just no longer shoot her gun.  Travis remembered seeing a 22 caliber in the shop and thought she might be able to shoot that better.  They tried the gun and even though her hand was still hurting she struggled through the pain and got all 50 rounds in.  She is now the proud owner of a new gun, Travis bought it for her, and her concealed carry license.  She and Travis will be able to do so in about three months after they do step 2 of the process.  Good luck and congratulations.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

RIP Mary Richards

This week we lost a TV icon, Mary Tyler Moore.  I watched the Dick Van Dyke show when I was a little girl, in reruns, and I watched the Mary Tyler Moore show as a girl & teenager.  It was a Saturday night ritual.  it was one of my favorite shows and still is.  I could binge watch it easily.  Thank you Mary Tyler Moore and rest in peace.

Friday, January 27, 2017

The Shed Saga

Yes the shed saga is continuing.  After expanding the RV pad at the top of the hill during an extremely dry season and placing an RV and shed on the new pad there was a discovery about the pad.  It was settling after getting rain and snow.  The RV was moved since it was more vulnerable then the shed.  Well just before we left at Christmas Tim and George ended up having to prop up the shed.  In The beginning of January George had to prop it up some more and was hoping that it would be okay but no such luck.  The ground, due to the rain, continued to settle and now there are some big cracks on the new pad.  George finally had to throw in the towel and has begun a new shed project...relocation.  Follow along as the shed gets moved into place and all new electrical lines and water lines are run.  It is going to be pretty intense!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

The New Puppy IS A Puppy

You know Gaia is 100% healthy because she is now doing " puppy things".  While in her pen yesterday,while Travis was busy working,  Gaia decided to redecorate the pen by destroying her dog bed.  I guess she is just letting everyone know that she really did not care for the bed OR she doesn't't like the pen.  Either way, she is just being a puppy!  Don't worry Travis it only lasts a year or two!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Zesty Baked Chicken

I tried out a new recipe last night and it turned out pretty good and it was easy.  It only took about 10 minutes to put it all together and an hour to bake in the oven.  Here is the recipe:
4 chicken breasts (cut in half)
1 pound of fresh green beans
4 ears of fresh corn on the cob (cut in half)
1/2 cup melted butter
1 package of zesty Italian dressing mix
Preheat oven 350 degrees
In a 9x13 cake pan place the corn on the cob on one side
Place the chicken breasts in the middle
Place the green beans to the other side of the chicken
Pour the melted butter over all the ingredients evenly
Sprinkle the zesty dressing mix over the ingredients evenly
Bake in the oven for 1 hour.
Try it, it is good!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Gearing Up For Another SAS

While things are quiet around the farm I have been busy working on Door Prizes for my sister Pam's SAS (Stamp & Stack) work shop this coming week end.  She holds her work shops 6 times a year and I provide the door prizes for her events.  I have been working on the door prizes for a few days and I hope the ladies will like them.  Pam's SAS is a very popular event that is well attended.  I am making Chili for it and will share the recipe later this week.  This is going to be a very busy week for us.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Super Bowl 51 Teams

Well it is a good thing I did not bet on my team picks for the games played yesterday.  Both of the teams that I wanted to win lost and lost badly.  The Green Bay Packers never stood a chance against the Atlanta Falcons and the Pittsburgh Steelers had an even worse game against the New England Patriots.  Needless to say, I was not happy with the outcome but I can truly say that I will be watching the Super Bowl for the commercials because I could really care less about the Falcons or the Patriots.  Go commercials!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

The NFC/AFC Championships

As the current Football season is winding down and before the Super Bowl can be played there are two championship games that needs to be played and today is the day.  First game is to be played is the NFC  Championship; the Green Bay Packers vs the Atlanta Falcons at 3:05 pm ET/12:05 PT.  After the NFC game the AFC Championship game will be played with the Pittsburg Steelers vs the New England Patriots at 6:40 ET/3:40 PT.  I am going to be cheering on the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburg Steelers.  Two teams I would never want to win during the football season because I am and always will be a Chicago Bears fan.  Go Packers! Go Steelers! By tonight we will all know who will be playing in the Super Bowl.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Two Great Movies

While Lisa and Travis were seeing "Hidden Figures" a movie currently playing in the theaters and we saw last week end we rented the movie "The Accountant" last night and had a pizza and viewing party with neighbors.  Both movies are excellent so if you are looking to go to the movies definitely see "Hidden Figures" but if you are looking for a stay at home movie rent or buy "The Accountant".

Friday, January 20, 2017

The Puppy Is Good!

Good news Gaia is 100% healthy.  The Vet said she does not have Parvo,  she has gained weight back and can now play with the other dogs.  It was a tough two weeks keeping the dogs away from the puppy and yesterday she finally was allowed to play with the other dogs.  Needless to say, they were all happy puppies again.  Way to go Gaia!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Escaping Winter?

Tim and I have been enjoying our travels and our time in California but I have to wonder if we really did escape winter. We have been following the weather at the farm while we are gone and in some cases, with the exception of a week of snow and freezing temperatures, we have not escaped winter because it has not shown up yet.  Like I said yesterday, we do need the cold and freezing temperatures for the trees, garden and bugs.  This week it will be warmer at the farm then it will be here in southern California.  Borrowing a quote from one of my contributing editors,  "We have not escaped Winter but we have escaped Spring". Thanks George!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Rain Is Good

after a very hot and dry summer the rain the eastern Tennessee is a good thing.  Being that it is January it would be better if it were colder and the rain was snow.  As of the 1st of the year Eastern Tennessee was still 4 inches short of rain and in a drought.  With the rain yesterday and the rain predicted for the week end hopefully that will help get Tennessee good again.  The reason we want snow is because we need the cold and freezing temperatures for the trees and help with the bugs.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Let's Talk Football

This past week end we had a blowout day on Saturday and a Last minute for win on Sunday.  The games on Saturday (Falcons vs Seahawks and Patriots vs Texans) the Falcons and Patriots dominated.   Sunday's games it was a nail biter until the end for both games.  Being a Bears fan it is hard for me to say but I was rooting for The Packers and was thrilled during the first half but the Cowboys took over in the second half and the last second of the game was either going to determine who would win or going to overtime.  The one second field go by Green Bay won the game!  Who knew the second game the Steelers vs the Chiefs would be just as close.  So, who will win the AfC championship Patriots or Steelers and who will win the NFC championship Packers or Falcons?  Who are you rooting for?

Monday, January 16, 2017

The BBQ Grill Challenge

George and Lisa's beautiful grill that has served some really great meals has decided to no longer function.  So now George has the task of fixing the grill.  At first we thought it was just the elements that control the gas but we were not so lucky.  Once George started getting deeper and deeper into the grill he discovered that he was going to have to rebuild the entire grill. New burner tubes, neat shields and a burner tube mounting bar will be ordered to repair the grill but first he has the pleasure of trying to get all the screws and nuts that are now rusted and baked together solid making it even more difficult to get the job finished.  He thinks he will have it fixed by the time we get back to the farm...Maybe, just maybe!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Dogs Day Out

What a difference a week makes.  Last week end it was a frozen tundra and so cold it wasn't safe to be outside for more than a few minutes even for the dogs.  This week end it is in the 60s and things are drying up after the rain, ice and snow that the dogs finally had a chance to run and boy did they run.  They even had a chance to get little Gaia out although she had to be kept away from the other dogs she still finally had a chance to run too.  Roxie had such a good time until she rolled around in some turkey poop.  When she got back to the house a bath was in order.  Even with the bath the dogs were all happy again.  It was a dogs day out!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

A Sealed Room

The new room at George & Lisa's house is officially done with sealing up the old door.  When George revamped the room he cut a new door and so the old door that led into the room from the outside of the house was no longer needed.  He sealed the door and made the exterior look like the rest of the siding on the house.  Nice going George; it looks great! Another project completed at the farm.

Friday, January 13, 2017

We/ve Been Upgraded!

We have been upgraded in the mailbox area.  Last fall Francisco Farms updated their mailboxes with an addition of a mailbox for Travis.  In doing so George decided to get bigger mailboxes so bigger items could be put in the box and not have to go to the barn.  Our neighbor Cheryl decided to do the same so we had a major change at the mailboxes.  We opted out of getting a new mailbox at the time but for Christmas George and Lisa gave us a big mailbox, that matched theirs, and it included installation.  So yesterday George installed our new mailbox and four of the five mailboxes now match and it looks great.  Our other neighbor has a different mailbox all together and wanted to keep what they had.  It does look great.  Thank you George and Lisa for the new mailbox...we have been upgraded!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

A Wonderful Gift

Back in October our very good friends Bob and Robin came to visit.  Robin is a very talented artist and can pretty much make whatever she decides to.  During Robin's visit she brought me a gift.  A ceramic organizer for the Crafty Cottage.  It is absolutely beautiful and I really love it!  It is the perfect addition to the Crafty Cottage.  Thank you Robin, I love it!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Benji The Guard Donkey

When we first visited the farm I noticed that a lot of the dairy farmers had donkeys in with their cows.  I had no idea why but when I found out I was amazed.  Donkeys are great guardians for livestock such as cows, sheep, goats and horses.  They are naturally aggressive animals that once acquainted with the livestock and their area will fend off predators such as canines and coyotes.  When using a donkey instead of guard dogs you have to think about size.  A standard or mammoth donkey should be used. The farmer or rancher will pen the donkey with the livestock so a bond will grow.  Our neighbor Cheryl has two horses and a donkey.  Benji, the donkey, is a beloved member of the family but is also with the horses for protection.  So now if you ever see a donkey with a bunch of cows or sheep you will know why.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Hills

Depending on which hill you are on at the farm will show you who melts and who doesn't.  The hill the RV sits on directly faces south and so the snow is gone due to the sun because the temperatures yesterday barely went over freezing.  The other hill that faces north still has all the snow on it and it still looks like a winter wonderland.  Guess what hill the driveway faces??? It faces North and is still iced up.  Which means that Lisa, George and Travis are still stuck.  Lisa is managing getting down the hill to feed the horses but she says it is a challenge and would not attempt it in a car.  Still stranded at the farm!

Monday, January 9, 2017

We Have A Ski Slope!

if you have been following this blog for a while you know that when winter comes to the farm that there is a chance we get stranded there.  Well, our hill has iced over and until it melts lets just same that no one is going anywhere for a little bit.  We have never been stranded more than 10 days and it should not be that long this time.  Now I should clarify, when I say "we" I mean that just in a plural sense.  Tim and I have escaped winter but the farm blog must go on so we are living the farm thing through George, Lisa and Travis.  Sorry guys, I hope the road melts soon!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

The First Snow Of 2017

I think the weather channel is calling the winter storm that hit the U.S. Helena.  Anyway, whatever the snow storm is called it did bring the first significate snow to the farm.  With just over 5 inches being dropped in Parrottsville.  The snowfall really isn't the big deal it was the conditions which brought rain followed by snow and cold.  With the hill we have to travel to get up and down at the farm ice is a huge factor.  If it exists then it means we are not going anywhere.  I am still awaiting that verdict.  The snow we got and with every snow it is beautiful.  So, welcome first snow of 2017.  Of course Tim and I are watching this from a few thousand miles away. We are in Arizona!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

The Puppy Is Home

After spending a few days at the vet Travis was able to bring his puppy home.  Gaia is not 100% okay but she is on the road in the right direction.  She does have to be quarantined from both Roxie and Nix for another two weeks and then will have to go back to the vet and get another test done to check on the parvo.  Let's hope she will be okay and will be get healthy and be able to play with the other dogs soon.  Come on Gaia, you can do this!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Escaping Winter

Tim and I decided to take a break from winter and head southwest.  After spending the holidays in Florida we headed west on I-10 and escaping winter is working.  While it is beginning to snow at the farm we are in southwest Texas heading for Arizona where the temperatures are and should be in the 60s.  Snowy weather vs 60 degree temps?  I think we are doing it...escaping winter!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

A Pickle Queen Meets Miss Pickle

While looking for things to do in Boerne, TX I came across The Fickle Pickle a shop in Boerne that sells pickles and antiques.  I am not sure how they relate to each other but it is a nice shop and being the self named Pickle Queen from Tennessee I had to check it out.   In 1987 Billie Shaw opened Carousel Antiques & Fickle Pickles.  "Miss Pickle" as she is called now sells and ships pickles all over the country.  Check out her website, ficklepickles.com, she makes bread and butter pickles and bread and butter pickles with a kick.  I met Miss Pickle and she is very friendly and was even nicer when I told her about my pickle making.  There were some great antiques in her store but I ended up just getting a jar of pickles to share with Lisa when I get back.  After checking out my Texas competition Lisa and I are okay to stayed named the Pickle Queens from Tennessee. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Knit Hat Ornament

I know that Christmas is over but there are still some people that have their Christmas decorations up so technically Christmas is not over...yet!  This year I found a new ornament to make and it was a very fun and easy one to do.  All I needed is some yarn, a toilet paper or paper towel roll and some cotton balls. Making the ornament was easy.  All I had to do is cut about 35 to 40 strands of yarn about 14 inches each. I then cut a 1 inch ring from the toilet/paper towel roll.  I began by looping and the piece of yarn around the tube and by making knot then continued until the whole ring was covered.  I then pushed the yarn through and gathered it, tied a piece of yarn around the gathered yarn then cut the excess and stuffed a couple of cotton balls into the hat!  It take about 15 minutes from start to finish and it was a great gift item.  I hope the ones who received them likes them!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

A SickPuppy

Gaia, the newest addition to the farm is one sick puppy. She has Canine Parvovirus a highly contagious virus that gets transmitted through direct and indirect involvement with the affected dog's feces.  A dog that has Parvo will become lethargic, lose their appetite and have diarrhea and vomiting.  They become dehydrated and are often hospitalized for a few days to monitor the dog.  Gaia is currently at the vet and will be there another couple of days.  Pray for little Gaia, she does have a 70% rate of survival.
Ellie, the other new dog on the mountain, adopted by our neighbor Cheryl, will be going to the vet today to be tested for Parvo since she was adopted at the same shelter as Gaia and only a week or two apart.  Hope she is okay.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Welcoming The New Year - Southern Style

Lisa being a southern girl through and through honored the southern tradition of having black eyed peas for New Years. She made it from the hammock along with 12 other beans.  She purchased the ham from the Amish market to make it extra special this year and although we are not there to enjoy it I am sure it was delicious.d

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!  I hope everyone had a safe and fun New Years Eve and I hope 2017 will be the best year yet! Happy New Year!