Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Murderous Rattlesnake

Murderous Rattlesnake

 Last Sunday I got up and headed outside to do chores. I had about an hour to do about 2 hours worth of work, not to mention get dressed for church. Oh, and did I mention that that night I hadn't gotten much sleep (a.k.a  any)? Yes well, this was the case I'm afraid, dear readers. 

So, yours truly clogged outside half dressed, hair uncombed, flippy shoes on (man do I hate them things..why on earth do I wear them anyway??), and half asleep. After letting the chickens in the compost pen out, I headed over to let out the peafowl and call ducks. Well bless me if I didn't see a big 'ole rattler laying right smack in front of the peafowl pen. I turned heels and fled back inside to inform Dad of the situation, we promptly loaded the shot gun that resides in my room (beware folks...don't mess with this girl ;), and Dad rushed outside, gun in hand. Several seconds later .485845 to be exact, I heard a huge "BANG"...I thought to myself "He gone!" I came out just as Dad was throwing the snake out into the pasture, but he didn't throw it too incredibly far away, and yes, I admit I nearly have a heart attack every time I walk past the darn thing..."OMGoodness!! SNAKE!!!...oh it's already dead, silly girl, you've only walked past it fifty times today and jumped out of your skin ever. single. time. Yes, I'm afraid I'm completely terrified of snakes. They give me the heeby-geebies!

Well, with exactly 4 minutes to spare before we headed for church, with the guys hollering at me to hurry it up, I barely had time to throw some decent cloths on and grab my bag..oh and come to think of it that morning was my first time to teach Sunday school to the kindergarteners, and yes...I hadn't even brushed my hair that morning..what a wonderful first impression I made on them. Oh well.

After church, some friends came home with us and spent the rest of the day (I had a blast guys! Thanks for coming!!). I busily cleaned house, washed dishes, did laundry, and went about watering and such. Well I went to turn on the garden water and peeped in to check on the bunnies (Dutchess and Alan) to find them both dead in their hutch. I was stunned for a moment..I thought maybe they were sleeping, but another look confirmed that they were gone. Thinking back to that morning with the snake incident, I realize that the snake must have killed the rabbits during the night and then crawled through the fence and to the other side, where the peafowl pen is. That little sucker! 

R.I.P Alan and Dutchess, you were such sweet boys! Momma misses your sweet little faces begging for treats every time I walk past your pen. 
Now it's empty. :(

Have I ever mentioned that I despise, hate, and otherwise abhor snakes? Yes? OK, then, I'm just confirming those thoughts to make sure we understand each other. Now, one more time to make sure you get the picture....I HATE SNAKES !

Blessings - 

~ Anti-Snake-Charmer

Monday, August 25, 2014

Radar Alert

Radar Alert

Last week, we adopted an elderly horse, Radar, from some friends at church. 

He is a real sweet fella, and Carolina has claimed ownership of him. He is spoiled rotten, she makes very sure of that! He gets hay and grain multiple times a day, a good brushing at least once a day, and lots of attention from his young owner. He's very gentle and is great with kids, a perfect kid horse. We still have him up in the pens, so he hasn't officially met the other horses (besides a brief nose-sniff through the fence), so hopefully they'll take to him.

Blessings - 

~ Aspen

Thursday, August 21, 2014

#Swatt Team

#Swatt Team

I have joined the Swatt Team. That's right! You'd better watch it because I'm pretty bad-out! ;)

Now, more than likely when you hear the word "Swatt Team" you mentally picture some blokes like the ones pictured above, yes? Of course you do! nod your head...ok..good! We're in agreement.

BUT, let me reassure you that I didn't join that Swatt Team. Instead I have been accepted into TOWST (a.k.a The Official Wasp Swatting Team).

I am the Pool Warden, and arrest (OK, kill) every. single. wasp I see...with a swatter. Yep. Better watch out waspies!!

I have earned a fearsome (and violent) reputation among the pool attendees, just ask Des. ;) She knows the truth! 

Need help exterminating these vile creatures? #Swatt Team to the rescue! 

Blessings - 

~ #Swatt Team

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Bribe

A Bribe

Little Red Hen: "Oh! Goody goody goody!! For me??!!"

Me: "Sorry girl, but I don't think you'll want these!"

Little Red Hen: "Good grief woman!! What am I supposed to do with a basketful of babies?...I'm mad!"

My dear readers, I am going to offer you a bribe. YES! A bribe! Tons of adorable fluffiness, for your silence on the matter of my blogging absence! Deal? DEAL!

I love Chocolate Pied Guinea Keets...with mustaches!!

My sweet Serama suggestions?

The Three Amigos (and I do mean amigos! ;)

The Quakers

Tiny Call ducklings

Your welcome for flooding your computer screen with cuteness! ;) I'm telling you, I am an enabler!

Holly the Holstein duck..and YeS I totally named her that!

I mean good grief, even her "paddles" are mottled!

Yep, even her bill.

Meanwhile during the photo-shoot, Little Red Hen was doing this:

I promise we're getting to the end of pictures...just bare with me.


Last, but certainly NOT last, is Precious the Peachick (a.k.a The Peababy). Post on her soon!

Thanks for accepting my bribe. I appreciate it.

Blessings - 

~ Aspen

Friday, August 15, 2014

Mrs. Bennet Episode

Mrs. Bennet Episode

The last few days I wasn't feeling too good (I'm better now, praise the Lord!). One night I couldn't sleep, so I laid on the couch feeling quite miserable. Carolina (bless her sweet 'lil heart) came in and slept with me, she was my little maid servant and took care of my slightest need! We began to play-act that I was Mrs. Bennet, and she was my servent, Hill, if you remember from the BBC P&P movies! 
Carolina had sprinkled some peppermint extract on a tissue for me, to help calm me down and relax. She also had the full bottle there handy, so anytime I felt like I needed to smell it I would scream "OH! My poor nerves! Where are my smelling salts??!!!!" She would quickly shove them underneath my nose and then I would proceed to go into further Mrs. Bennet histarics! I'll spare you the details!

This is basically what I looked like. I had her character down 100%, I tell ya! ;)

If for any reason Carolina left and I needed her, I would yell "Hill! Where is Hill???!!" She would quickly come running back to fix whatever issue I was having that time. And *sometimes* I confess even if I didn't really need anything I would scream "Hill!!" at the top of my lungs..just because I could! 

Thankfully, I'm better now, and will *try"  to get back into the swing of blogging.

Blessings - 

~ Mrs. Bennet

p.s. HILL! WHERE IS HILL??!! My smelling salts! Oh, my poor nerves!!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Branding Day

Branding Day

The guys started early that morning over at our other place that we lease, gathering cattle, sorting out the calves and trucking them back here to the ranch and putting them in the lot. 
Mom and I got up early and started preparing food for all the hungry men that we had to feed at lunch. I made a fresh apple cobbler for dessert, then we cooked steaks, fried potatoes, corn, bread, gravy, and I can't even remember what else! All I know was my feet were killing me and I was exhausted! After lunch was cleaned up, I headed outside to see if I could be of any assistance to the guys. Sure enough, they had just started working the calves (i.e. branding them, ear tagging, shots, cutting, etc...) and needed someone (me) to keep track of the ear tag numbers and write a short description of each calf. So, we all worked in the scorching heat from about 12:00 to 5:00 that evening. It was a long exhausting day, but praise the Lord we got them all worked and nobody got hurt! And that evening we got some lovely rain. It interfered with our branding for a little bit, but it soon past over and we're able to finish up. I'm not trying to say rain is unwelcome or anything, we LOVE rain! 
So minus a few sunburns and cuts, everyone came out unscathed! 
Mom was wonderful, she continually brought us cool liquid to drink. There is no telling how many gallons of water we guzzled down, along with lemonade, and energy drinks! 

Later that evening Mom and I were out doing chores and taking our evening walk and we saw this horrid sight on the barn....

I promise we didn't commit a murder. 

Some of the calves had some horns that needed to be cut off, so after we turned them out of the chute, they ran over by the barn and bled on it. Lovely, I know. I knew my readers would appreciate it. ;)

Have you ever worked cattle before? Did you pick the hottest day possible to do it? We certainly did!

Blessings - 

~ Aspen

Friday, August 8, 2014

Spazzy Guineas Who Are Trying To Over-Populate The Earth

Spazzy Guineas Who Are Trying To Over-Populate The Earth

I discovered while getting hay for Belle one morning that we had a guinea broody in the corner of the hay room. I began to check on her every morning when I would go milk, to see if any babies hatched.
We've let guineas go broody and hatch out their babies in the past, but unfortunately for the babies, they never survived. The mothers would always run off and leave their babies, or their babies would just disappear. To sum it up, they are awful mothers.
So my plan was to sneak out there one morning and snatch all her eggs and let them hatch in the incubator. I don't know if you've ever chased a mad mother guinea around the barn trying to catch her babies or not, but it's not fun, plain and simple! So from past experience, I knew it would be better for all the parties involved to take the babies away before they hatched. Oh, I tried several times, and each time the mother would try to kill me. I kid you not! I would come up to her nest and she would start making this weird "puffing" noise and then she would just stand up, ruffle her feathers and start slowing coming towards me...think a gun-slinger, how they walk when they're fixing to fight somebody, that is extremely accurate, as to how she was coming at me. She meant business! Well, she sure scared me so I left her alone after that. I had no intentions of coming away with a face full of scratches. 
Several days later, Mom and I were out doing chores at the barn, I was inside the hay room cutting some new bales open when I heard a little muffled "peep peep" coming from the direction of Momma Guinea's nest. Oh dear! We waited too late!! I told Mom what I heard, so after we finished feeding and separating the cows, we went back inside to retrieve a flashlight, and a basket (to get her eggs). It was dark by the time we came back outside, so I quietly shoved Momma Guinea off her nest and onto the other side of the hay room, I kept a sharp eye on her, while holding the flashlight for Mom, who was quickly placing eggs in the basket. Meanwhile, 10 minutes later she finally finishes! That Momma Guinea had a ton of eggs stashed in her nest! I suppose she had gone broody on the "Community Guinea Nest", so while she was broody all the other guinea-girls would come along and lay new, fresh eggs under her.  Mom had to dig down about a foot and a half, and even then there was some eggs that she couldn't dig up without breaking, so we left them. Our basket was overflowing with guinea eggs now, and by this time the two little ones had come out to see what we're up-to, and we all four walked back to the house with our basket full of eggies. I suggested that we should each guess how many eggs were in the basket, everyone agreed and we had guesses anywhere from 50, 60-something, and 70 (< that being my guess). I took them back to my room, turned out all my lights and proceeded to candle them, whilst Mom counted them. Guess how many we had? 70 on the dot, I'm such a genius, of course y'all already knew that! ;)
About three dozen were fertile and growing, and the others were no good or had stopped developing. I put all the good eggs in the incubator, several of them were already cheeping, so I knew they would hatch either that night or the next day!

Looky what we have now:

Eleven guinea keets of various shades and colors.

Just sayin', I'm very glad we humans don't try and have 70 babies at one time.........

Can you imagine trying to raise 70 toddlers..all at one time?! I can't and don't want to! I like babies, but not that much!

These boogers are sure cute right now, but just wait until they turn about a month old and then tell me what you think. They get ugly fast. Or as I like to say, a face only a (guinea) mother can love! ;)

Just another reason, why guineas are crazy, anything that tries to hatch out 70 babies must be nutz!

Remember, how I said I had less than a dozen eggs in the incubator? Yeah, well, that isn't true anymore, and it looks like I still have to be a babysitter for awhile yet!

Anybody want some guinea keets?

Blessings - 

~ Aspen

Early Morning Theives

Early Morning Theives

The other evening, Mom and I were walking and she suggested that I let my turkeys out to free range with all the other birds. I told her I'd think about it. The next morning I got up at 6:00 AM and got the guys off to work. By that time it was about 7:15 AM, the sun had been up about 20 minutes or so, as soon as the guys left I headed outside to let all the birds out. After I'd watered everyone, I decided to let the turkeys out. I stood out there and watched them for several minutes, they were having SO much fun! The geese walked past them on their way to the pasture and all the toms ran up to them, with their tails out struttin' and started making this strange noise (I'm guessing they were trying to intimidate the geese...who are like 4 times bigger than them...), then they tried to attack the geese, but that didn't end well. But, from what I could tell the turkeys didn't seem to be straying too far away from their pen, so I headed back inside. I wasn't feeling too great that morning, so I went and laid back down for awhile. About 9:00 AM, I went back out to check on everyone, and found that three turkeys were missing. Instead of eight, I had 5. I still wasn't feeling that great, it was scorching outside (we've been in in the 100F+ this week) and I was in a icky mood because three of Momma's babies were missing!!! 
I started searching frantically all around my pens, in the backyard, all around dad's shop, up in the trees, on the flat, and found nothing. So I thought, well maybe they wandered off into the brush somewhere, so I searched the front half of the horse pasture, which is just across the fence from the turkey pen. I found nothing except a couple piles of duck feathers..who had been freshly killed...but more on that in a bit. I came back to the house feeling very discouraged and hot. After hydrating myself, Mom volunteered her services. We ganged up and searched the back half of the horse pasture, where I hadn't been yet. Not too far into our search, down in a valley, we found a pile of turkey feathers and a gizzard. O joy. 
OK, so we'd found one, but there still could be 2 more still alive out there somewhere. We kept searching, and up over the next hill I found another pile of turkey feathers and a foot. O double joy. 
We kept searching, but couldn't find anything else, and by that time it was getting around midday and Carolina was going to spend the day with some friends, and then Stockton had a friend coming out to play with him, so they had to leave for town, so the search ended. *sigh*
I shall mention briefly, that as soon as I found that three turkeys were missing, I locked up the remaining 5. 
Fast forward to that evening, I was in the process of locking everyone up and I was doing a quick headcount while they were all waddling along, and I found I was missing two of my female ducks. Dottie (Inky's girl) and FieFie (a sweet little crested girl). Oh snap! Reflecting back to that morning, I remembered the two piles of feathers I'd found in the front half of the horse pasture. One of those was Dottie and the other FieFie. This is one upset Momma, who wants to strangle her some coyotes! *breathes fire*

We're pretty certain that the thieves, were in-fact coyotes, as we know we have one bold coyote that lives in the horse pasture (which conveniently for him is situated right by my poultry pens...), and that bold coyote probably has buddies who are equally fond of turkey dinners. 
My assumption of what happened is: as soon as I went back inside, they came out of the bushes where they'd been watching me let all the birds out, snuck up and grabbed a couple turkeys and ran off into the pasture with them. 
It sure is nice to know that I have stalkers watching me do my chores.

From now on, if any of the birds are ever allowed to free range again, I will stand and watch...with a gun slung over my shoulder, ready to kill anything that attempts to hurt them. BEWARE COYOTES! You come near my birds...and BOOM!  
After the turkey episode, I put the ranch on "predator alarm" and all the birds are being kept under lock and key..another words their pens are being turned into "Fort Knox". I've hired two body guards (a.k.a my brothers) to protect my precious animals at all costs, and to take out the vermin who perpetrated this treacherous crime. They shall answer for it with their lives. I'm afraid I'm NOT a merciful judge when it comes to critters killing and eating my feathered children, no sir! 
Meanwhile our amazing guard-dog, Rusty, was sound asleep inside the house. Thanks Rusty, we really appreciate your effort to protect the livestock. :) 

 So there you have it, a sad narrative, that I have just related to you. 
If you see any coyotes, shoot them for me, will you? 

Blessings - 
~ Mad Momma Bird 

Monday, August 4, 2014

DIY: Decorative Shabby Chic Picture Frame

DIY: Decorative Shabby Chic Picture Frame

Looking for a simple DIY craft that adds a super cute rustic feel to any room? Look no further! This easy-peasy shabby chic picture frame is just the thing for you!

First, start out by finding yourself a wooden picture frame. Paint it your favorite color (mine happens to be turquoise), after it drys, run some sand paper over it to give it a worn/shabby chic look. That's if for the frame, unless you want to add some other decorations to it, like I did.

I decided to give it a little further embellishment by adding an "A" using pieces of painted toilet paper rolls, and then gluing them together. Then I simply hot glued it to the wall, in the center of where the frame would be.

I had a couple of leftover pieces of toilet paper rolls, so I shaped them into hearts and glued them to my frame.

Remember, my toilet paper roll decorations? I made several flowers and added those to the corners of the frame.

There you have it! A simple DIY project that anybody can do! 

Blessings - 

~ Aspen