Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Veggie Tales

Yippee! We have veggies!

Don't snigger at the grass in my garden. I know it's out of control. I spent the morning hours pulling it out from around my veggies, but I just didn't have time to pull it out from the middle of the rows. Hopefully, when we get the house in shape, I'll have more time to tend to the garden properly.

Despite the neglect, my lettuce is growing good, I have baby squash and a cute little green pepper. Tomatoes are blooming, so if the bees are doing their pollinating job, I should have some tomatoes on the vine soon. The watermelon vines are growing like crazy, but I forgot to take a picture of them.

Thirty Years of Dirt Is a Lot of Dirt

Nasty discovery today. We took the paneling down in the living room and office and discovered extensive termite damage.

Before we bought the place, we had a wood destroying insect inspection and the inspector noted in the report that there was damage, but there was no evidence that the bugs were still active. So, somewhere along the road, termites were eating the house, they were discovered and euthanized. Unfortunately, the damage was not repaired. It was hidden by that hideous paneling. Above is a picture of what the gypsum board behind the paneling looks like. It's going to have to be torn down. Also the bottoms of all of the window frames (in that room) are all eaten away and have to be replaced.

Also, after removing the baseboards, I was sweeping and vacuuming up the endless supply of dead bug carcasses that were behind the baseboards. I noticed that in one spot, I'd vacuum up a pile of sand and more would replace it. I spent a very long time vacuuming us sand that was falling out of the wall. It was pouring out as quickly as the vacuum could suck it up. I gave up after filling three vacuum cleaner bags. I'm sure there is more. I think that at one time, the house was infested with ants and they built the mother of all ant hills in the wall. Who knows how long it has been there...or how long it will remain.

Billy Goat Pics

I finally remembered the camera so I've got lots of pictures to show. These are of Billy. He's afraid of Pearlie and she fancies herself a herding dog.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Making Hay

It's amazing what we don't know. lol

I had an uncomfortable feeling that we were supposed to be doing something about our pasture that is supposed to be coastal Bermuda hay but looks more like a huge weed patch. I finally did a google search and read up on it, discovering that there is a small window of about two weeks in which to cut the hay so that it will be at it's optimum - retaining the most nutrition for the livestock and not being too wet or too dry.

What I did not read and didn't find out until just this week by asking one of the locals is that you're supposed to mow the pasture early to knock out the weeds, which can't grow back as lustily because of the heat. That way, you have a lovely field of hay which is more nutritious and healthy for the livestock.

Needless to say, we did not do that. So our first cutting of the hay will be full of weeds. It's not a total loss because the goats will still eat some of it and it can be used for bedding, too.

Apparently, the second and third cutting of a hay field yields the best hay. Unfortunately, fuel has become so expensive that it is knocking a lot of hay balers out of business, so we're going to have to really search for someone to bale our hay for a price that won't
break the bank.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Billy the Goat

The goat's registered name is Stony something-or-other, but Tom insists on calling him Billy. There is no fighting it. He will be Billy. And Billy is a character. He's just like a pet dog. He wants to be with us, not out in the field. He bleats and bleats. He wants us to pet him constantly and will stick his head under our hand to achieve that. Sometimes he makes a funny spitting noise, "Puh!". I don't know if he is actually spitting because he has only done it when I wasn't looking - I think out of disgust for his not getting attention. I don't know if goats can spit, but it's hilarious to hear him.

We went down the road about a mile or so to talk to the owners of a goat farm. We thought they might have a little female Nubian for sale. But they raise Boer goats and only keep a few Nubians. The woman informed me that she won't sell her goats for less than $400.00 each and that I shouldn't either. And she won't sell her goat milk for less than $8.00 a gallon and I shouldn't either. I don't know if she was giving me good advice or trying to keep me from competing with her.

What she doesn't know is that we have no intention of going into the goat raising and selling business. We only want enough to be self-sufficient and aren't looking to make a profit. However, I've been told that one Nubian will produce up to a gallon of milk a day. I don't think there is any way that we'll use that much. We don't even consume a half gallon in two weeks. So I'll either be learning to make butter (which I intend to do), buttermilk, yogurt, sour cream, cheese, etc. or I'll have to give the milk away or sell it...that is, if I'm successful and keeping the goats alive and learning how to milk them.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


First, above is a picture of one wall of my kitchen cabinets. It's the "command center" where I'll put my computer, keep farm records and recipes, and have the intercom system.

Second, these are the guard donkeys. Tom wants to call them Hilde and Buffy, after the characters in Tom Hank's early hit TV show Bosom Buddies. I kind of wanted to call them names of flowers like Hyancinth and Daisy. Maybe we'll compromise and go with Tom's choice so I can save my flower names for the goats.

Speaking of goats, we ended up getting the little male goat yesterday...earlier than I had planned, but that's how it worked out. He's like a pet dog and wants to follow us around. It was very sad to leave him out in the pasture when we came home because he was standing on his hind legs looking over the fence bleating his little heart out.
Joanne (neighbor, former owner of farm) said he was bleating last night and they thought he was so cute. They felt bad for him and watned to bring him into their trailer to stay with their dog. I told Tom to tell her to feel free to do so because we felt bad for leaving him out there.

Both of the donkeys are pregnant and due soon - maybe within a month. I'm kind of bummed because they won't let me near them and they are not halter broke. I had wanted to have plenty of time for them to get used to me and let me handle them so that when their babies are born, I'll be able to get close to them. Since they're due so soon, that may not happen. It is also problematic that they aren't halter broke. There is no way for us to move them into another pasture if we need to.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


The cabinets are installed. It went off almost without a hitch. The man that I hired to install them was very good. Very meticulous like me. Not once did I have to tell him, "That's not right!" or "This goes here." or "Where did that big scratch come from?" or "That's not level."

They look great. I'm more than a little miffed with the designer, though. I only wanted a couple of cabinets with pull-outs in them. She insisted that I needed pull-outs in the big tall cabinets. I gave in on those against my better judgement. But I told her to order the other cabinets without pull-outs. Well, almost every cabinet has pull-outs. It's a huge amount of wasted space for those stupid drawers (I'm all about using space efficiently)...and it's an upgrade that costs more. I mean, if I had wanted drawers everywhere, I'd have ordered drawers instead of doors. Bah.

And, she didn't order any shoe or scribe moulde. I mentioned it to her before we ordered, but she waved my suggestion off as something that wasn't needed. Well, we need it. So I'm going to have to order some and have the installer come back to put it in.

I forgot my camera, so don't have any pics, but I'll take some when I remember to take the camera with me.

Also, I bought two donkeys today. We got the truck fixed (it just needed a fuse), so I'll be able to go pick up the donkeys and the goat this coming week. I got two "Jennys" (female donkeys) that are supposedly pregnant and due to foal some time this summer. Cute baby donkeys in the future!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


I spent yesterday and today painting the guest rooms and hall leading to them. I finished the biggest one and ran out of paint before finishing the second. I'm painting everything Antique White and it took two coats to cover the green and purple in the biggest room. I think there were a million pin and nail holes in there that I had to patch.

Direct Buy has an account with Sherwin Williams paint supply store. I'm happy about that because that's the kind of paint I like to use anyway. I got the paint half price with the Direct Buy card, which was a happy surprise.

The cabinet installation is scheduled for Friday. Yesss!

When I got to the house today, there was water on the floor in the soon-to-be kitchen. Uh-oh. I think it might have come in under the doorway that we blocked off. I'm not sure what the short term solution to that will be, but the long term solution will be for us to build the new entryway that we were planning...and soon.

Monday, May 12, 2008

First Livestock Purchase

I put a deposit on the goat today. We'll have to pick him up within two weeks.

I wasn't able to go to the farm. I had too many things to do at home and still didn't get them all done. Mostly because I spent the evening watching TV. Oh well, hopefully I can do them tomorrow evening.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


We were out at the farm Friday evening and Tom was out in the carport moving a small stack of lumber. When he lifted up one of the pieces, there was a snake under it. He called me out there to see. I was sure it was a young rattlesnake. It was about 18-20 inches long and very slender. We couldn't see a rattle, but I thought that was because it was too young. We prodded it into an empty Gatorade mix can and put the lid on it. Then wondered, "What do we do now?" Kill it? Take it out and set it free?

Larry called a little later, so we asked him. He told us it would already have a rattle if it were a rattlesnake. Tom showed it to our handyman friend, Nolan, in the morning and he told us it was a bull snake. Since that's a good snake, they set him free. Perhaps he'll help us out by eating mice or something...that is, if we didn't traumatize him by making him stay in a Gatorade can all night.

With Nolan's help and a 14 hour work day, we managed to get the kitchen ready for the cabinet installation. The new window is installed, the doorway is blocked off, all the electrical work is done, all of the drywall patches are in place, and the 2x4's to raise the height of the cabinets have been nailed in place.

We're going to retain a bit of the 70's by reusing the 30 year old sound system control. It's a radio/intercom system that was also hooked up to an eight-track player. We took out the eight-track and moved the radio/intercom control over to where my desk is going to be. Then we'll hook up my under-cabinet mount TV/DVD/MP3 player to that. There are speakers in every room and on the back porch.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Blackberries Galore!

Happy discovery! There are loads of wild blackberries everywhere. All along our fence line, all along the fence line across the street. I really need to take some time to pick them before the birds get them all. I don't have the time to make anything from them, but maybe I could at least freeze them for later? I've eaten a few and they are quite good.

Yes...We're Busy, Uh-Huh, Uh-Huh

Here's the gutted kitchen. In the background is the living room full of the new cabinets still in their boxes.

Bad Dog

And while we were busy putting the roof back on, Pearlie was wandering around outside, knowing she was not allowed. I turned around and she was rolling around on the ground, undoubtedly in something odoriferous that I couldn't see. So she had to go around for the rest of the day with weeds stuck in her hair. See, she's too embarrassed to show her face on camera.

Well Cover, Well Covered

Another project completed! Yay!

The roofers finally came out to shingle our little well cover that Tom had taken down weeks ago. So Tom was able to put it back up with the aid of me, Wonder Woman, and the little red tractor that could. This was a clever idea. Unfortunately, this idea caused a little damage to the shingles.

While Tom was wildly dangling and swinging the roof from the tractor bucket by the chain and straps, it managed to rub some of the color and texture off of the front edge of the roof. No, it couldn't have rubbed it off the back, that would have been too easy. Anyway, probably in an effort to keep me from noticing and getting upset, Tom thought it would be a good idea to spray paint the rubbed spots red.

Of course, that was a failed attempt. Tom is not equipped for such subterfuge. What's the first thing I saw when I looked proudly at the finished roof perched on top of it's new supports? Red spots. I was thinking to myself, "What are those red spots." I supposed it was my puzzled look that made Tom 'fess up. Then he tried to wash the paint off. That was a no go. Oh well, there are worse things in the world than red spots on a red roof.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Dog ... or Donkey?

So, I was sure I wanted to get a Great Pyrenees to serve as a guard dog for the goats that we're going to get. But while I was looking on Craigslist checking out goats for sale, I came across "Guard donkeys, raised with goats", which piqued my interest.

I did a google search for guard donkeys and, lo and behold, people use donkeys to protect their goats and sheep. Apparently, they have a natural dislike of canines and will bray loudly, chase, and even attack dogs and coyotes and some other small predators. Of course, they can't handle mountain lions or bears, but we don't have those at our farm anyway. We do have the occasional stray dog and definitely coyotes. When we spend the night out there, Tom and I can hear packs of them howling and yipping.

If the donkeys are raised with sheep or goats, they bond with them and become protective and possessive. In fact, they are so protective that during lambing (or kidding), they have to be removed from the flock for a while because they will sometimes view the new babies as intruders and will hurt or kill them.

I can definitely see a benefit to having a guard donkey as opposed to a dog, the main one being that the donkey can graze with the goats and I wouldn't have to buy dog food. And the donkeys that were for sale on Craigslist were only $100.00. Seems like a bargain.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Floors and Windows

I ordered the kitchen window today. Just went with a simple slider style rather than something beautiful or different. We've been spending so much money, I couldn't bring myself to spend much on the window. Hopefully, it will just blend in and not be a noticeable feature of the room.

I also ordered the wood floors. One little snafu...the floors are from Brazil and they are having some kind of strike over there. I'm getting all of the stock the company has in the U.S., but it still leaves me short a few hundred square feet. The rest will be on back order and is expected to arrive sometime in June. Hopefully, it will be sooner rather than later.

Our gospel meeting started yesterday and goes through Wednesday, so we aren't planning to spend a lot of time at the farm until the meeting is over. Tom went today and got some work done, but I stayed home to take care of the ordering of supplies.

Sunday, May 04, 2008


Our drive to the farm is beautiful at this time of year because of the wildflowers...that is, if you can look past all the trucks, cars, and guard rails to see them. The primroses are like a river of pink all the way down the median of Highway 80 around Forney. I've included a picture, but it doesn't do them justice. Click on the picture for the big view.

We're making good progress. I keep forgetting my camera, so I don't have pictures of the latest. Let's see, Tom has the kitchen completely torn out, including the tile. In preparation for the cabinet install we have to take out the door and drywall over the opening, Tom has a few plugs and light switches to reconfigure, a couple of drywall repairs need to be made, the texture on the ceiling needs to be scraped off, and the window above the sink needs to be replaced.
I wasn't going to scrape the ceiling or put in the new window until after the cabinets were installed, but Tom insists that it needs to be done before. So, that's next on the list to do. I haven't even ordered the window (on my to-do list for tomorrow). Hopefully, it there is not a long wait time to get that in.
The barn builder has put in the forms for the barn foundation, which is exciting. We're not on his schedule to actually pour the foundation for at least a couple of weeks, but it makes me feel like something is happening just to see the shape laid out. And at least we can go ahead and getting the plumbing in place for the apartment.
The garden is coming along. Everything sprouted except the onions and bell peppers. Bummer. I'm not sure what happened with those. But I went ahead and planted more green beans, corn, and lettuce in the places left bare by the unsprouted ones.
We tried to open the double doors in the dining room this week. We knew the doorknob didn't work, so I took it off and we still couldn't get the door open. Turns out, it has been painted shut on the outside. I guess the former owners decided that it would be cheaper and more convenient to never use the door rather than replace a broken doorknob.