Saturday, August 25, 2012

Ramblings

This summer has been so busy for us and for you too I'm sure. We have been doing a lot of projects at the ranch. We have finally put the first coat of paint on the coop a couple of days ago. One more coat of paint, putting the roosts in, putting it in place so the wind doesn't turn it into a deadly weapon this winter and we should be done. It's starting to cool down quite a bit at night, so I'm certain that the walking poop machines will appreciate our efforts. They have out grown their temporary coop, so they roost on top of it.

We have a big "to do" list to finish up before winter sets in this year. Plus we have to work at the business that the government gave us. I just loved that statement. All the hard work starting a business was apparently not necessary. Our government was just handing them out for free. I am amazed at the thoughtless words that come out of politician's mouths these days.

One more week and the tourist season will be over with. The camper's will be stowed away for winter and only a few brave fisherman will be on the roads this winter. Oh, I forgot the hunter's will be out in force next month. I sure hope the one's we ran across last year have the decency to hunt on their own property or on public lands instead of our back yard. There are always a few bad eggs in the basket who will ruin it for everyone else. Most hunter gather types have  respect for the safety of other's. Shame on the one's who don't. I will have to just tune the radio to Bach or one of the other great composers and let it blast away on the front porch to entertain the misfortunate so called hunter's who dare to trespass on the property of other's. Maybe they will enjoy "Music Appreciation Day" at the ranch.


Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven




Saturday, August 18, 2012

Desperation During The Drought...


Now I'm not a rocket scientist, but this seems like it will have some bad side effects, eventually. I was very interested in his "other sources of nutrition" statement. What nutrition was he speaking of? Candy nutrition? Yes, I must have missed that in school.

Eat more beef !!!!


http://www.wpri.com/dpps/entertainment/must_see_video/cows-eating-candy-during-the-drought-nd12-jgr_4323303

Cows eating candy during the drought

Updated: Thursday, 16 Aug 2012, 7:53 AM EDT
Published : Thursday, 16 Aug 2012, 7:53 AM EDT
MAYFIELD, Ky. (CNN/WPSD) - Ranchers have struggled with skyrocketing corn prices, because the drought has made feeding their livestock very expensive. But one rancher has turned to a very sweet solution.
At Mayfield's United Livestock Commodities, owner Joseph Watson is tweaking the recipe for success.
"Just to be able to survive, we have to look for other sources of nutrition," he said.
His 1,400 cattle are no longer feeding off corn. The prices, Watson says, are too high to keep corn in stock. So earlier this year, he began to buy second-hand candy.
"It has a higher ratio of fat than actually feeding straight corn," Watson explained. "It's hard to believe it will work but we've already seen the results of it now."
Watson mixes the candy with an ethanol by-product and a mineral nutrient. He says the cows have not shown any health problems from eating the candy, and they are gaining weight as they should.
"This ration is balanced to have not too much fat in it," he said.
The packaged candy comes from various companies at a discounted rate because it is not fit for store shelves.
"Salvage is a problem for a lot of these companies and they're proud to have a place to go with it," said Watson.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Egg Shortages, Inflation And Drought

I went to my local grocer yesterday and saw a sign that read " Due to excessive heat in the Midwest, brown eggs and jumbo eggs are in short supply and we will not be able to stock them at this time". Sorry, etc...

Next to the large grade A eggs was a price tag that read $2.35 a dozen. I usually can buy them there on sale for .99 a dozen. This isn't a price gouging place either. I bought 5 bell peppers for $1 while I was there. They have good produce and it's where I usually buy meat when it's on sale. They have superior prices and good service too.

I looked to see if there was any news on this problem, but couldn't find anything pertaining to eggs, however, I found this article:

http://www.worldpoultry.net/news/fieldale-farms-drought-could-hamper-chicken-supply-10729.html

Fieldale Farms: Drought could hamper chicken supply

Fieldale Farms: Drought could hamper chicken supply

//08 Aug 2012
Georgia, USA, poultry officials say the ongoing drought that is devastating crops in the Midwest might lead to a shortage of chickens for consumers.
Emory Forrester, director of feed milling and feed delivery for Baldwin-based Fieldale Farms, says that if the drought continues, consumers could see that demand could outpace the supply of chickens.
 
Forrester told The Times of Gainesville that 98% of his operation's corn comes from the Midwest, which has been devastated by the drought.
 
Fieldale uses about 11,000 tons, or about 392,000 bushels, of corn per week, “and we’re paying a high price for corn delivered in Baldwin, and this drought is only going to run it up to where it’s going to be more expensive,” he added.
 
The impact on consumers might come in the form of less chicken in stores rather than higher prices.
 
“If you go up on your price and the consumer walks away from it, then it backs up in the pipeline,” Forrester said. “It’s just a situation where supply and demand have got to get in line. And demand, if this drought keeps up, is going to be more than the supply.”
 
END
 
 
One of the "boys" catching a breeze.
 
 
 
While I was searching I found other articles from around the globe stating that egg shortages were becoming a problem due to drought. Not only eggs and chickens, but cattle too.
 
 
They can manipulate their feathers to cool off.
 
 
With the prices of food already rising this could only make things worse. Chicken feed is already expensive. I don't know what it will be when the crops (what's left of them) are all harvested. It's not just corn, but wheat too. I haven't kept up with other crops. I pray for an end to this drought.
 
 
I started giving them a bucket of water during the heat
of the day, so they don't have to go back to their coop. They
love fresh cool water.
 
My chicken's may indeed lay golden eggs one day. (I sure hope not) Eggs have always been a healthy inexpensive form of protein. God help us all...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Things Are Cooling Off...



Yesterday was a wonderful cool cloudy day. I saw the thermometer reach 67* for about two seconds. I baked oat bread, heated up some frozen soup for lunch and enjoyed the cool blessing from God above. It's a little warmer today, but still enjoyable.

We also had the propane tank filled. We used 632 gallons the winter before last and only 452 gallons this past winter. Prior to that we used 730 gallons. That's a savings of 278 gallons in three years. We sealed up the leaky windows and the doors, use a more efficient heater and put in a digital thermostat. We also turned the heat down a couple of degrees. This has made a big difference in our heating costs. We hope to add a wood stove by this fall.

Number One negotiated a good price for the propane too. His negotiation skills are a great asset to us. Thanks Number One, You are a jewel in my crown in so many ways.
He's been putting together a water hauling trailer for us the last couple of days to reduce the wear and tear on the truck. He purchased some road sign trailers for the solar panels at an auction and the trailers were an added bonus. So far he has traded one for work on our solar system, made a deer stand condo out of another and now a water hauling trailer. We have two more left and I think one will be a small camper for us one day.


Back to work for me. I have paper work coming out of my ears this week. I hope to be caught up by week's end. I'm taking my time, so I don't burn out before it's complete.



 Have a blessed day!






Monday, August 13, 2012

Odd Pix


The Chickens are getting big.

They want to hang out on the porch in the afternoon, but that means
POOP!!!


My hens should start laying eggs soon.


These crawfish tails were from the last haul.



This is the claw meat.


All cleaned and ready to freeze. Each package weighs a
little over a pound. The street value is $13.99 a pound.



Our manly men forging the trail ahead of us girls



Besties, feeding the bear.



The closest thing to a bear we saw was this little ground squirrel.


Crystal clear water.


Blooming flowers in a nearby meadow.





Trail that wraps around the crawfish pond.


I love this picture. This is a cove that is off the trail a bit. You can hike
in and camp nearby.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Crawfish...


Sleepy and cross-eyed. I'm talking about me.


It has been a very hectic week. We trapped at least 20 lbs of crawfish on Tuesday which took 4 hours to boil, de-vain and put up. They are so big that I am harvesting the claw meat too. We trapped at least 25 to 30 lbs last night that still need to be taken care of and we hope to get another 25 lbs tonight. Plus, I have been shoveling up weeds in the parking lot at church for two days, so new gravel could be put down today. Talk about hard labor. My friend and I finished it yesterday about 5:30. I was worn out by the time last night rolled around. I got a little sun burned too. My ears got the worst of it. I only wore my ball cap. Live and learn, huh?


Claw-meat.
The tail meat is usually the only part used.

I will have to get up at 5 am in the morning to pick up the traps and start processing the crawfish. It is also preparation day for the Sabbath. I also was wanting to do a little night fishing tonight, however, the wind is really getting down out there right now. I may have to fish in the morning after picking up the traps. I would love to have some grilled trout for our Sabbath meal.


One of the many large crawfish in our traps.

Fishing will be over with soon and I don't have a fish in the freezer. We met some men from the city who gave us their fish heads and guts today for use in our traps. We ended up with 16 trout heads, scraps and guts. The crawfish love them. They all caught the limit for trout. I had high hopes for catching fish this morning. The van was packed and ready to go, but I was exhausted and had to come back home to catch up on some more sleep. I awoke at 9:20 am to the inverter fan that goes off every morning on sunny days. I was shocked that I went back to sleep for 3 more hours.

Number One peeled the tails while I cracked the claws.

I used the spoon to demonstrate how
big the tail meat portions really are.


Cooked crawfish.


Thanks for the crawfish traps Boudreaux.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

So Long Dear Friends, Until We Meet Again...


I think that this is how they felt
on the way home. The car was packed.
Well, it was a sad day for us on Saturday. The Hamsnthal's fled (I mean left) our humble abode on their 17 hour journey home. They were blessed with safe passage, praise God!

The "Flat Jack's" (the boys nick named themselves when they were little) had a good time. They climbed mountain's, kayaked rivers, got caught in a storm that we momentarily lost them in, rocked climbed, zip lined, rubber banded themselves over a gorge and had many other adventures.

We, the adults, had a good time playing too. The time flew by. You would think that after seven days most people would be ready for their guests to leave, but not us. The Hamsnthal's left us wanting more fellowship and high adventure here in the Rockie's. Soon it will be time for hunting season in the South and we will meet again. Thanks for the memories.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Hot Air Balloons For The Military...

Every year a group of balloonists get together and give rides to our hero's and their families. It happens right over our home. I snapped these pictures over the two day event where over 400 rides were given free of charge to those who serve our country.

We counted seventeen balloons.
This one was my favorite theme.
I love the flowing leaves of the daffodils.
At the end of the day the balloonists had blessed many families.
Thanks for caring. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Rain...

The rains have finally begun, praise God!!! It has rained everyday since Saturday. We desperately need it like so much of our great country. We even had a rare high altitude tornado.

It poured! GO HOGS!!!

I loaned out my rain boots, should have rented them out instead.
Hahahahaha!

It was messy, but somebody had to do it...

Awesome storm clouds...

They looked more like giant ocean waves breaking over.

The "Big" picture.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Crawfish Season 2012

Good morning,

      We set out our crayfish traps last night and picked them up this morning around 5:30 am. Our friends went with us and we had a pretty good haul. I'm the only one with a fishing license, so I had to bait, toss and haul. It was 60* last night and it's 52* right now, so it was enjoyable weather.


We have two new traps, compliments of the Hamsnthals.
Thanks guys!

"I get by with a little help from my friends"
Now I have that song stuck in my head...
First trap...
These guys are not your average size "mud bugs".

We have them on ice out back. We will trap again tonight and then have
Cajun boil for dinner tomorrow night.
Nice...

Blessings,
Tina