Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Oh no, OH NO!

I think Hyacinth is going to have her baby within a couple of days. I'm not ready!

She has a discharge and other bodily changes. The goat websites say that a discharge usually appears a couple of days before kidding. I don't know if she had the discharge yesterday or if it just started today.

Goat babies are going to change my life, rock my world, make me get up early on freezing mornings to harvest milk. What have I done?!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Manicures and English

Are all the manicurists in the world Vietnamese, or is it just in America?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sez Hilde...

"Does this halter make my ears look big?"


Husbands Are Good

My wonderful husband saved the day again. After Carpenter tore down the wall, got the shelf off, and put the wall back together, Tom told him not to touch the shelf and to go home.

Then, tonight he enlarged the holes (I realize this may not make any sense unless one sees the actual design) so that they would slip onto the rods easily. He leveled everything all out. The shelves are up and the dishes are on it. It is finished.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I keep wondering how...why? How can I find so many terrible contractors? Why can nothing be done simply and without incident? Why do all my house projects turn into disasters? Do I have something stamped on my forehead that says, "Cheat me, mess up my house,"? Am I trying to do things too cheaply?

Then I have to remind myself that this is the nature of remodeling. Nothing goes right.

And I had a good reminder last night while watching TV, a show called, My Amazing Remodel.

A husband/wife bought four apartments in a Chicago highrise and remodeled them into one 3,300 square foot home. Their original budget was $800,000.00 and the completion was estimated to be a year. Five months after their forecasted completion date, they were $200,000.00 over budget and not finished. They didn't do anything cheaply, they bought the best of everything, they paid big time contractors...but everything still went wrong. So I guess these kinds of things are equal opportunity, sparing nobody - cheapsters or spendthrifts.



Carpenter came yesterday to install floating shelves on backsplash. He had currently installed metal rods through the studs and built the shelves with holes in the back for the rods to slide into. I told him 2 or 3 times that the rods didn't look level to me. He insisted they were. I stained and finished the shelves and they were ready to install. He made them to fit onto the rods so tightly that they couldn't be put on and tested. I was uncomfortable with that, but assumed he knew what he was doing. When, when, when will I learn not to assume that!?

So when I held the finished shelves up to the finished tile wall in place where they should go, I could see that there would be a gap where gap should not exist. Carpenter worked on that yesterday afternoon and this afternoon.

THEN, he put the top shelf on. POUND, POUND, POUND, BANG, BANG, BANG. He pounded the shelf with a rubber mallet and finally it was on. I was sitting here thinking, "I hope that's right because it is never coming off." He went out for a smoke. I got up to look. It wasn't level. Just like I said. It wasn't level and, to boot, he had knocked out some grout. So now the question is, am I willing to live with a crooked shelf for the rest of my life? The answer is, "No, I am not." One thing I learned in my other kitchen remodel is that the first thing my eye sees when I walk into a room in my home is the crooked thing, or the thing not done right. I can see that shelf from living room, the dining room, the hall, and the kitchen. I am not willing. I just am not.

"So, Carpenter, you know that's not level, right?" "Yes," he says, then he proceeds to tell me all the reasons that it's not level, none of them having to do with his capabilities. It's not his fault. It's the wall's fault, it's Tom's fault, it's the wood's fault, it's the weather's fault.

"So, Carpenter, what are we going to do about this?" We mulled over the possibilities. None of them good. Some of them with the possibility of destroying my backsplash. I want to cry. He tugs on the shelf. I want to punch him. He wiggles the shelf.

His solution: Go outside, take the paneling off of the outside wall, unbolt the steel rods, push the shelf off from the back, rods and all.

While he is outside pounding, banging, taking off the window casing, taking off the panel trim, taking off the paneling, I am wanting to call Tom and cry "Help!", but he's in a business mtg. in Dallas and I don't want to burden him. So the pounding, banging and other horrible noises continue. Then Tom calls! "What's going on?" "I want to cry." "Why, what happened?" And I relate the afternoon events.

Tom talks to Carpenter, then to me, then to Carpenter. I don't know what was decided but there are still horrible noises and deathly fear that my tile is going to be knocked off the wall. And Shelf still remains.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Pasture Junk

I am constantly amazed at what farmers will leave out in the field to rot. The latest find is this mower, which Tom almost ran over while mowing the pasture behind the pond. BTW, I didn't even know there was a pasture behind the pond.
He asked Cowboy Cory if it was salvageable, but apparently it was too old, too rusted, too terrible, so Tom resolved to take it to the metal scrap yard. Since the metal scrap yard doesn't take rubber tires, Tom spent five hours sawing off the tires. He got $28.00 for the mower. Then he took the old tires to the tire recycling place and had to pay the guy $20.00 to take them.

Tire guy: "I hate to take your money, why don't you just bury them on your land?"
Tom: "No, my wife doesn't want me to bury junk."
Tire guy: "Can't you just dig a hole somewhere where she can't see it and don't tell her?"
Tom: "No, she would know."

Talking Dogs

After greeting the tile guy, Reese, and his helper, Chance, with the usual fierce barking, sniffing, and tail wagging, Pearlie settled down for a nap on the couch.

About an hour later, she jumps up, runs into the kitchen and barks furiously.

Me: "Pearlie, what are you barking at?"

Reese: "The two tile guys working in the kitchen for the past hour."

Pearlie: "I forgot."

Reese: "That's OK."


Weedeaters are not made for girls. No doubt, they are designed by and made for use by males. They are too heavy, too long, too awkward, and they don't work right. Perhaps men have more patience with unreliable equipment than women do.

I've decided to take on the task of weedeating the fenceline. The picture above shows about a quarter of the fenceline that borders the road, which is my targeted area. It has taken days to accomplish this little bit - one side of the fence, even. I still have to weedeat the other side.

And why should it take that long? It shouldn't. Now, I have a little female electric weedeater, designed for the weaker ones among us. It's light, it recharges, the nylon line lets itself out when it needs to, it doesn't die, it starts with a push of the button. The problem is, it's for small jobs and doesn't last long.

The serious weedeating must be done by the male weedeater. To start it requires many yanks of the cord and adjusting the switches just so. It dies every couple of minutes, requiring more yanking and adjusting. If that's not enough to wear a woman's arm out, toting the 50 lb. monster around and trying to aim it at weeds without wrapping it around barbed wire is. In addition to that, the nylon cord is a constant problem - too short, too long, disappearing altogether - and banging it on the ground to get it to let out...don't even get me started.

Anyway, Tom has tinkered and repaired and modified and I'll be back out there again today, running back to him every 10 minutes so he can tinker, repair, and modify some more. Maybe by spring time, I'll have the fenceline cleaned up so it can all grow back again.


After much trouble and many delays (courtesy of Direct Buy and Daltile), my kitchen tile finally arrived. My tile guy didn't waste any time. I called him on Friday afternoon and he came to install the tile on Monday. It's done and it looks great. The only thing left to do is to install the two shelves that are ready and waiting. Tom even installed the light fixture over the sink. How wonderful it is to have light there now.

My only regret (I always have 'em) is that I should have chosen the lighter of the two mosaic tile samples that I had narrowed my choices down to for the bottom part of the backsplash. The darker mosaic has too much color and is so busy that the beautiful mother-of-pearl trim piece gets lost in the mosaic. **sigh**

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Henry is submitting to being led with a rope now and I can put the halter on and take it off without too much fuss. I captured a moment of resistance to being tied up, but that's about as bad as it gets...a little pulling and snorting, then he's over it. I led him all the way across the pasture yesterday. My goal is to get him weaned and moved in with the goats by the time they have their babies.

Some progress is being made with Hilde and Buffy, the moms. They aren't freaking out and dashing away when I come in with the rope and halter and they will stick their noses through the nose piece to reach the treats I offer. Yesterday, I was able to keep their nose in the loop and put the longer strap up around their ears. Next step is getting it buckled on. I need three hands.

Exciting Purchase

Who knew buying...uh...chicken nesting boxes(?) would be exciting? I found these at the First Monday flea market and bought them for 35 dollars a piece. It's hard to tell from the picture, but there are two of them, each with ten nesting boxes. After we build our chicken coop, we'll install these inside and, hopefully, the chickens will lay eggs in them.

Take Me To Your Leader