Eek!! Snake!!!!!

It was an absolutely gorgeous day here on the farm, so Ted fixed the chicken coop door, and then I said, “Let’s clean out the garage while it’s not hot!”
 He agreed, and we got busy. We’ve been out here for five hours, trying to organize all of the tools and farm stuff and gardening stuff, etc. I went to put away a wall piece that I want to use in the living room for the holidays. I happened to look up, and this was what was hanging over my head!!!

OMG!!!

I got it down, and we measured it. That snakeskin is 3 feet 2 inches long, and that means that a snake that was at least that big was hanging out in the garage rafters at some point during the past six months! 

I am so done with cleaning the garage now, and so is Ted. LOL

It’s been a year, Cooper

I wrote this post on 9/2 (Saturday) but left it in my draft folder.  It was too hard to go through the pictures that day to find some of Cooper to share.  I had to wait.  It’s just that hard (still).

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It’s been a year since you died, Cooper. It feels so much longer.  Jake still talks about you often, and he says if we ever see another dog that looks just like you that we have to get him and make sure he has a good life, too.

I got Jake a guinea pig last month. He named her Diana the Wonder Pig (after Wonder Woman), and for a week, he was obsessed with researching guinea pig lifespans, proper care, allowable fruits/veggies, etc.  He wasn’t sure he even wanted her when I brought her home because he still grieves for you and was so rocked by your abrupt death; he fears the day Diana dies.  Now he loves Diana, and while she’s a sweet and funny guinea pig, it’s not the same as a boy having his own dog. I know that, but I also know you’re irreplaceable so we don’t even try.

I hope doggie heaven is truly like what I’ve told the kids, and I hope that you don’t even realize you’ve been gone a whole year from us. I hope it feels like the blink of an eye for you and that you’re just settling down with a meaty bone that’s just the right size for your little mouth, and I hope you got new teeth when you opened your eyes in heaven.  The Bible says God cares for the little sparrow, so why wouldn’t He want a stinky little lovebug dog up there? I have to believe He would and does.

You were a good dog, Cooper, and we still love and miss you. I suspect we always will.

Piggies again!

This past Sunday, we set out through the countryside, down winding narrow roads, over bumpy hills, and up a tiny little dirt road to pick up our newest batch of piglets!

Jake was impressed that there was a horse…until the stall door opened, spilling out two large horses and a rather tall mule, all of which were very curious about what the three new people were doing in the barnyard. Then he wanted nothing to do with any of them because he was sure they were going to step on his feet.

The Gloucestershire Old Spot/Hereford cross piglets squealed and squealed and ran round and round the barn stall where the farmer had corralled them prior to our arrival.  There was no scooping these crazy piglets up like little snuggly puppies; Ted was lucky to get each one by the back legs and get them to the livestock trailer because they were kickers!  Luckily, he only had to go a few feet from the stall to our trailer.  We hate manhandling them this way, but it was the only way to do it. We knew a leash around the neck of a spooked half wild piglet is the recipe for a broken neck or leg so this carrying hold was the only choice.

I manned the big gate to keep the horses and mule from getting loose, and Jake was in charge of the trailer door.

Once we got all four in, Ted drove us all home and then set about training the piglets to the electric fence so they’d understand and respect the boundaries (and not be in the neighbor’s vegetable garden!).

It’s a work in progress right now.  They currently hate us but are very hungry and beginning to realize that the kitchen bucket is always full of treats when we come to visit them now.  

Striving Acres has piggies again!

Mamma Hazel’s Hoosier Cabinet

When I was growing up, my (pronounced mam-maw) Mamma Hazel always had this cabinet in her kitchen. She kept all sorts of things in it. I remember there were cookie jars, and one was always filled with those Keebler Elf fudge stripe cookies. My cousins and I were allowed to eat as many of those as we wanted! We didn’t even have to ask! 

I still have that cookie jar, chipped edge and all.

She kept lots of little bits and scraps of paper in the drawers such as receipts, old bills, etc. Almost all of them had her writing on them somewhere. I have no idea what she wrote on those or why they were important, but I distinctly remember being little and drawing on one of them. She taped it to the front of the refrigerator, and years later when I got in the drawer, there it was. She had kept it practically forever. I’m not sure if she kept it because I drew on it or because it was actually something important that I drew on the back of. LOL

She wound up getting new cabinets when Ted and I were living on Crete in Greece when he was in the Air Force. I didn’t know it until we got back home. I asked her where the Hoosier cabinet went, and she said she gave it to my Uncle Eddie to store things in his garage. A couple of years later, Uncle Eddie called me and told me if I wanted that cabinet that I could have it because it was just taking up room in his garage. I remember hauling that thing home in two pieces in my little navy blue Ford Escort station wagon. I sat it in the middle of the kitchen floor on garbage bags and started cleaning it and painting it. I remember leaving to go visit Mamma while I was waiting on one of the coats of paint to dry, and I came home to little blue kitty cat paw prints all over the kitchen floor because the cat we had at the time walked through a puddle of paint on the garbage bag and then tracked it everywhere. Those painted paw prints wound up staying on the kitchen floor until we eventually replaced the kitchen floor years after that. LOL

For many years, this Hoosier cabinet has been in my laundry room. I had little knick-knacks and pictures all over it. Unfortunately, it was covered in dust and wasn’t really a focal point in that room. Today, I had Isaiah, someone who helps us on our farm sometimes, and two of his friends come over to move some furniture. I had them move Mamma’s Hoosier cabinet to my kitchen, and I spent the afternoon cleaning it and setting it up so I could use it in my kitchen as well.  

I even have the cookie jars! There aren’t any Keebler Elf fudge stripe cookies in them yet, but there will be once I get to the grocery store this week. I miss Mamma Hazel, and I really wish she was here. Since she can’t be, at least a piece of her will always be here now right in my kitchen, front and center, and I will make sure that any future grandkids get the same cookie jar experience with her old Hoosier cabinet and cookie jars!

Happy birthday, Teddy!

My oldest son is 23 today. It’s hard to believe he’s so grown up, but he is. 

He graduated college and married his high school sweetheart. He got a job and works hard.

He’s a funny guy and has his Dad’s wicked sense of humor.  He has us rolling with laughter at all family functions. 

He’s always there when anyone needs him and has my kind heart.

Happy birthday, Teddy! I’m so glad you’re my son, and I’m so proud of you!