Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Friday, December 31, 2010

Survival Seeds

I saw an ad for this on craigslist.com and went to the website to see what I could see.  It's a rather hokey website, but I liked the product they were offering.

It is supposed to be enough heirloom, open-pollinated seeds to plant one whole acre of vegetables.  I liked the idea of having everything in one place and not having to go through catalogs trying to decided which seeds to get and making sure they are heirloom, etc.  In other words, I like having the work done for me.

The idea is to be able to buy these seeds once and then, theoretically, never have to buy these particular veggie seeds again because they are not hybrids.  If I am diligent and save seeds from each harvest, I can plant them again and again.

I had my first experience with saving seeds this past season.  It was mostly flower seeds for a seed swap, but I did let some broccoli go to seed and saved some of those.  I'm going to plant them this year to see if I did it right.

For other lazy people like me, the website is http://survivalseedsafe.com/ . I'm not recommending them because I haven't used the seeds yet and don't know how well they produce, but the company is legitimate and they did come through with the product described on their site.  Also, it was advertised for $125.00, but when I went to pay for it, they only charged me $69.95.  I called them about it and they said it was some kind of discount.  I don't know why, but I'm not going to argue with that.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ride, Harry, Ride

Tom pulled the truck and trailer around to the front of the house this morning in preparation for going to pick up some parts of a greenhouse given to us by a friend.

Harry thinks that he should go where ever the truck goes.  He's waiting on the trailer to make sure he doesn't get left behind.

Watching for Tom.

Wondering what's taking so long.

Poor fella, he did not get to go.

First and Second Stage Tape and Bed

The new tape and bed guys started yesterday. They showed up at 9:00 as promised and worked until they had the whole place taped and the first coat of mud applied.  Today they had the second coat applied by noon.  These guys are quick and reliable. 

Bedroom closet.


Tom finished the decking on the roof of the apartment.  It's ready for storage items if the A/C guys would just come get their job done.  I continue to be unimpressed with them for not showing up when they say they will.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ho, Ho, Ho

I hope everyone is having themselves a very happy holiday season.

This is the extent of my holiday decorating this year, except for a few other long-legged snowmen (that I've somehow accumulated over the years) setting around.

On another note...

It's a cold drizzly day, but I'm not complaining because we need the rain badly.

And watching this lone chicken scratching and pecking in the rain reminded me of a new phrase I learned...at church...this past Sunday.  The older lady who sits in front of me had a mild case of what I would have called "bed head".  After services, her husband happened to get a glimpse of he back of her head and told her she had "chicken butt" hair.  When you have chickens, "chicken butt" hair somehow seems an appropriate description. 

Now, let it be known that I do not say the word "butt".  I can type it, but I can't actually say it out loud.  "Bum" or "bottom" or "hiney" or the words I use.  However, I have recently discovered that "bottom" is considered by some to be not a word for polite conversation.  This word was just recently taken off my sister-in-law's "boys club" list.  She has two little boys and a list of words that they are not allowed to use in polite society or in a jesting way while in her company.  She decided that "bottom" could come off of the boys club list and she told my brother that she was going to inform the boys of this while they were in the car going somewhere.  My brother said, "Are you sure?  I don't think you've thought this through thoroughly."

Sister-in-law forged ahead and informed the boys that "bottom" was now an acceptable word to use in her presence.

For the next 20-30 minute car ride, the only word the boys said, amidst giggles and laughter, was "bottom".  They even sang songs with the only lyrics being, "bottom". 

 **to the tune of Jingle Bells**
Bottom, bottom, bottom
Bottom, bottom, bottom
Bottom, bottom, bottom, bottom, bottom,
Bottom, bottom, bottom, ba-bottom, bottom, bottom
Bottom, bottom, bottom, bottom, bottom...bottom!

Beware boys and relaxing the boys club word list rules.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

White on White

While topping the sweet potatoes with marshmallows yesterday, I dropped one on the floor and Pearlie snatched it up and ate it...or so I thought.

I found it stuck in her hair this afternoon, along with a bit of the chicken jerky she had for a snack this morning.

Friday, December 24, 2010


Except for just a few small spots, the drywall is finished.

Those two plywood areas are the recesses for shelves.  This is Tom's office.

We had the tape and bed guy scheduled to come on Thursday.  He's the same guy that did the tape/bedding when we remodeled the house.  I don't remember how much I complained about him at the time.  He does a great job, but he is incredibly unreliable.  Every other day he "couldn't" come to work for some reason or other.  He usually showed up around 10 or 11:00 in the morning and left around 3 or 4:00.

I hesitated to hire him because of that and we didn't want this job dragged out for weeks.  But, he kept calling me and practically begging me to let him have the job because he hadn't worked in ages and he was flat broke.  So we agreed that he would do the job for a certain amount, including the materials because that's another thing - he would say he needed a certain amount of materials and we'd buy them, then we'd have to buy more and more and more.  I thought he'd be more thrifty if he knew he had to pay for them out of his own money.  Since he was broke, he wanted to come get money from us to start the job and pick up the materials.  We definitely didn't want to just hand him money right before Christmas because we figured he go spend it on things he wanted and then not get he materials.  So, I found out what he needed and then went and bought them with the agreement that I would withhold that amount from his first payment.

He was very anxious to get started this week so he could earn some money "to live on" before Christmas.

So, Thursday morning arrived and at about 9:30 I got a text from him, "I'm not going to be able to come until tomorrow."  I texted back, "This is not a good way to start off."  He texted back, "Well, I got company that just showed up at my door at 7:00 this morning.  I've got to get them settled."  I texted back, "Do you need a job or do you need company?"  He didn't answer.

Tom was in no mood to be understanding.  This was just a taste of what was to come.  So he texted the guy, "Don't bother to come.  I'm hiring someone else."

Needless to say, that did not go over well with him.  The rest of the day was a barrage of calls and texts from him that got more and more unfriendly.  I didn't answer any calls and I only texted him once to tell him that this was not my decision and he needed to take it up with Tom.

He has used the "company just showed up at my door early this morning" excuse at least once before.  I mean, are these people driving all night to arrive early to a destination in which they have no idea if they'll have a place to stay?  He could have been out of town.  He could already have company and have no room for more.  He could have to go to work.  And how long would it take to get this company "settled"?  All day?  Can he not point them to the frig and say, "Help yourself.  I've got to go to work because I'm flat broke."?  Or are they the kind of people that he can't trust alone in his house?  So many questions.

So, now we are having to find a new tape/bed guy.  Work on apartment is stalled.

The Gates of Legal Tender Farm

We've been wanting to put a gate across the end of our driveway - somewhat for security, but also to keep Harry in.  I came across these in my daily meanderings through Craigslist.  $125.00.  Can't beat that with a stick.  A little clean-up and paint and these will be good as new.

Yet another project.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


A few pics practicing with the zoom.

This is the moon at about 11:00 last night.  I intended to get up at intervals to take pictures of the lunar eclipse.  This was the first one in 300+ years to coincide with the winter solstice, so I thought I should mark the night.  Unfortunately, when I got up at 2:00 a.m., the sky was completely overcast with thin, hazy clouds.  I only got glimpses of the eclipsed moon and could not capture it with the camera.

This is what's growing in my flower garden right now - Paper Whites/Narcissus.  I hadn't remembered that they bloom in the winter, so was surprised to see this.

And this is what is fading in the garden right now - Japanese Maple.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Reestablishing the Pecking Order

Buttercup is the dominant goat in her herd.  She's the first to eat and the other goats let themselves be shoved around by her.  She bullied Rosie so bad that I had to rearrange all the pastures just to get Rosie away from her.

But...Buttercup has been in the barn with her baby and away from the herd for a week.  Things have changed out in the pasture and Buttercup had some attitude adjustments to tend to when she rejoined her minions.

"I'm baaaack!"
"Say what?  There's a new game in town, sistah."

"I don't think so."

"You want a piece of meat (inside joke)?"

Much pushing and shoving and rattling of horns.

"I'll give you a piece of ham (more inside joke)."


Billy came to watch.  Baby is learning the ropes.

"And that's how it's done, son."

"Eh, eh, eh.  Phfffbbbttt!"

Happy Anniversary, Baby

Today is my and Tom's 25th anniversary.  Silver.

I've been wanting a new camera that zooms better, but is still small enough for me to carry around and not get in the way, and one that I can pretty much point and click.  I don't know enough about photography to be able to adjust lens and all that stuff.  My goal is to be able to take good close-ups of the beautiful birds that are out here.  I'm not a good photographer in the first place, but I think it might help a wee bit if I have a better camera.  Anyway, Tom got me a Canon Powershot.  It's on probation and I'm trying it out.  So far, I'm not convinced that the zoom is any better than the Kodak that I've been using.  What do you think?

This is Buttercup, the new momma on her first day out of the barn and back with her little herd.

Baby scratching his head.

He is very bow-legged.  They've straightened out a bit and I'm hoping they will even more as he gets more exercise, but I was concerned that he was deformed or his shoulders were out of joint.  He gets around OK and doesn't seem to be in any pain, so I guess I'll just let him develop however he will.

Harry has been fascinated with the baby and wants to get in the pasture and stall with him every chance he gets.

Squirrel checking out the rain gauge.

Driveway rocks.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Netflix. Bah Humbug

We have Netflix and we kinda enjoy Netflix.  Before Netflix came on the scene, I always hated going to the Blockbuster type stores to pick out a movie.  It's much nicer to be able to sit at my computer, at my leisure, search out the movies in any way I need to - by actor or title, and make a list of the movies I'd like to see and then have them arrive in my mailbox without much effort from me.

Tom and I don't have a lot of time to movie watch.  We have the Netflix plan with which we get two movies per month.  Sometimes it actually seems like a chore that we must take the time to do to get those two movies watched and sometimes we don't actually get around to it.  It's not that we don't like to watch movies and/or TV.  We do.  We have several TV programs that we record and watch and enjoy very much.  It's just that those TV programs take up the "watching" time and there isn't much left over for movies.  Besides that, I never can figure out Tom's electronic systems to sit down and watch a movie by myself, like, when he's out of town or when it's a chick flick that he really doesn't want to see (e.g. the Twilight movies).  Those who know Tom know that he is an electronic wizard and he has a gadget for eveything and a whole slew of remote controls...but, that's another story.  Although, he claims that he recently simplified it for me so that I only have to push one button on one remote, I haven't actually witnessed this electronic miracle.

Anyway, I know some people who really do love to watch movies and they watch a lot of movies, so when I found out that Netflix has gift subscriptions, I thought, "How great is that?!".  I decided I'd give a couple and proceeded to procrastinate the buying until today.  Because, you know, I thought it would be a quick and easy thing and since it's e-mailed, it would get there by Christmas.

So, I started with the first one, filled out all the info, but got to wondering, "What happens if, for some reason, the gift recipient loses a DVD?  Like, what if the dog eats it?"  See I had this thought because it actually happened to us.  I had one of the DVDs in my golf cart and was taking it to the mailbox a couple of weeks ago.  I stopped to do something in the barn for less than five minutes.  When I came out of the barn, the DVD was broken to bits and the envelope shredded all over the place.  Thank you Harry.

Anyway, we had to pay $14.00 (+ tax) for the unreturned DVD.  Unlike your teacher, Netflix doesn't care if the dog ate it.  You pay.  No questions.  So, OK, I understand that.  But that's a big chunk out of gift subscription, so...what happens?  Do they charge my account for an unreturned DVD? 

It occurred to me to read the gift rules and it turns out that for the recipient to use the gift subscription, he/she has to sign up with his/her own "payment method", you know, like a valid credit card.  So, if they lose a DVD or their dog eats it, it will be charged to their account.  Well, I don't want to send someone a gift certificate that requires them to sign up with a credit card number.  Some people don't like having their CC # on file and floating around out there. 

But, worse than that, when the gift subscription ends (e.g. the end of the allotted time, three, six, or twelve months), if the recipient doesn't remember to cancel their account, which was a gift account, Netflix will start charging the recipient's card.  Seems it's a gift that just keeps on giving...at the expense of the gift recipient. 

I just really don't like that sneaky way of gaining customers and I can't be a part of it.  When the gift subscription is done, like a magazine, they should send a few reminders, then stop sending the DVDs if the customer doesn't renew and not just start charging the credit card without the person's knowledge...because, really, not that many are going to read the fine print and even know that they're being charged.

So, it's back to the stores for me. 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Yule the Arbor Barber

No kidding, that's the name of the tree trimming guy that I hired to do this.

I know this looks like a terrible mistake.

But I have been assured by two tree guys that it will all be OK in the spring.  In the meantime, I have these three bony hands sticking up out of my yard.  These maple trees were hideous, even more hideous than they are now, with scraggly branches and twigs sticking out in all directions and dead branches constantly dropping onto the lawn.  This is a last ditch effort to save their lives because what I really wanted to do was to cut them down completely and put in a beautiful Magnolia tree.

But, I've given them a reprieve.  Any hint of ugliness in the spring and they're toast (or...mulch).

Oh, and as for Yule the Arbor Barber...he was recommended by a friend that owns a tree farm.  I don't suppose you can get any better recommendation than that, but I would have hired him just for the name.  And, he actually does look like Yul Brenner (or the Pine Sol clean guy) with a bald head and a hoop in each ear.

Oh, but his name is really spelled Ewell.  Ewell Love.  Ewell Love the Arbor Barber.  You'll love the Arbor Barber.  How cool is that?  He should have been in the marketing business.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


The insulation was blown in on Monday.  It's a cellulose (basically shredded newspaper is what it looks like to me) mixed lightly with glue.  They blow it in between the studs and the glue holds it together.  Today they'll do the ceiling, then all the structure will be done.  Next up...finish installing the wallboard over the insulation. 

We had it blown into all interior walls, too, so that each room will be soundproofed.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Baby Goat Out of Season

We bought three new female Boer goats this summer.  They were all three supposed to be pregnant with full-blooded Boer babies.  They all were pretty fat, but only one got fatter, so I was beginning to doubt the pregnancy of two of them.  So I put Billy in with them and he got busy with his main job on the farm and the two girls that I thought might not be pregnant were highly enthusiastic about having Billy in their pasture.  So, that clinched it.  If they were pregnant, Billy wouldn't have been after them and they would have run from him or shoved him away like the extra fat (thus pregnant) goat did.

So, yesterday, this little guy was born.  I discovered him out in the pasture when I went out to feed in the morning.

He is adorable.   A little smaller than the Nubians when they are born.

He's got a pretty momma and he's her first kid.  I just wish she had had twins.  She was hugely fat and I'm very surprised that she just had one.

Friday, December 10, 2010

New Door

We're having a new dining room door put in today.  The old one was rotted out at the bottom and the wind whistled through all around it.  I'm going to love this sliding one that I'll be able to open during good weather for a nice breeze.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Craigslist Fail

Aw, I love Craigslist.  I look on it every day to see what I might be able to use out here on the farm.  My current search is for bunk beds for the apartment and patio furniture for our yard.  I've bought and sold several things on Craigslist with no problem, but I finally got burned.

I don't care that the beds are used or scratched or dinged up because I plan to paint them anyway, but I had to drive an hour to get these and I told the seller, "I will buy them if you have all the parts and nothing is broken."  She told me she did and nothing was broken.  When I brought them home and started to put them together, not one piece would go together because of missing and broken dowels.

I'll never see the woman again, but I wanted her to be aware of how her actions affected me, so I texted her.  Here is our text conversation.

"You lied to me.  Parts are broken and we can't even put the bed together unless we can repair it.  Shame on me for trusting a stranger.  Shame on you for lying."

"We took it apart from them (her teenage children) sleeping on it and stored it.  None of them needed it so we sold it.  You just don't know what your (sic) doing."

"We both know that's not true.  I'm sad that I got cheated, but more than that...sad that you felt the need to lie.  Peace to you during this holiday season."

"You are so not a Christian.  If you had been nice I would have talked u thru assembly.  My husband says to say not to contact us again or he will turn u in."

Um.  I think I can figure out how to assemble a bed that is assembled with dowels that stick in holes...if it had any dowels and if the holes weren't filled with stuff...like broken dowels.

Oh well, better luck next time.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

After Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving has come and gone.  We had a great time with friends and family, but it's time to get back to work now.

Rather than pictures of bloated bodies tripped out on turkey tryptophan, how about some pictures of the progress made on the apartment?

Tom and Charles have gotten most of the tin ceiling up.

And they've sheetrocked one side of each wall.

We're going to have a cellulose insulation blown into the walls between the studs, hence only one side of the walls.  After the insulation is blown in, they'll put of the rest of the sheetrock.

While waiting on the ordered tin to arrive, Tom spent some time making these steps for Meagan's trailer so we don't risk life and limb going in and out on those tiny steps that came with the trailer.

Harry Potter Week

Harry Potter rolled into town along with the Death Eaters.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Tom is away for the evening.  It's cold in the house.  Why don't I start a fire?  I can do that.  This time I'll remember to open the flue (flew? floo? flu?) unlike last year when I started a fire not remembering to open it, then not having anything to open it with, but finally getting it open with the little ash shovel after the house was full of smoke.

OK, move firescreen, wad up newspaper, put little twigs on, then small branches; light the paper.  Fire is starting to blaze; put bigger logs on.  Aaaah!  Cozy fire, blessed heat.

Wait...weird smell.  Hmmm.  Oh well, I'll get ready for bed while the fire heats up the living room, then I can watch my shows and eat popcorn.  Funny hiss...run back in the living room to see if embers have popped out onto the floor; inspect fire.  All is well.  Now go get ready for bed.

Come back to enjoy fire. Stand in front of the fire.  Soak up the heat.  Gaze into the flames.  **gasp**  There is a fire extinguisher IN the fireplace.  Right there at the front corner where I stowed it after cleaning up the hearth, after the last fire last spring.  Grab fire extinguisher.  Ouch, too hot!  Get Tom's heavy glove, thankfully right next to the fireplace, grab extinguisher, rush it outside before it explodes.

The label reads, "Do not incinerate.  Contents under pressure."

Really, Tom should not trust me with the fireplace.  I'm a danger to myself and others.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bring It On

Winter, that is.  It's almost time for hot cups of cocoa by the cozy fire.

I spent the morning hauling firewood up to the house and filling this new wood rack up.  Last winter we constantly had a mess all over the back porch because of the firewood stacked on the floor between two stands.  I thought this might keep it neater and I should be able to use the blower to just blow out dirt and debris from underneath it. 

Nice, huh?

It was just 99 bucks and they had a coupon code on the main page that I used for free shipping.  It took less than a week to arrive.  I put it together this morning and it seems sturdy enough.  We'll see how it holds up through the winter.  That little space underneath for kindling is a good idea in theory, but in reality it is rather hard to get the kindling in there and it will probably all pull out in a wad.  I think we'll use a bucket like we did last year for kindling and use that space for smaller logs/sticks.

Thunderstorms a' Comin'

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cooking Punkin'

Probably everybody already knows how to cook pumpkin in preparation for pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread, but it's new to me, so I'll blog it.  I saw these pumpkins at Brookshires, had a moment of feeling all domestic and thought to myself, "Wouldn't it be great to make pumpkin pies from real pumpkins instead of from a can?"  So, I bought them and let them sit in the breezeway for weeks while they accused me of being a fraud every time I walked by them...which was several times a day.

Pffft.  Who wants to go to all the trouble of cooking a pumpkin when you can buy perfectly good pumpkin in a can?  What was I thinking?  But, I bought them, so I must use them and today was the day.

I sat down and googled "cooking pumpkin".  Amazingly, or not, many sites already tell us how to cook pumpkins, so nobody really needs me to tell them how.  I do, however, have a couple of recommendations at the end.  These sites also tell us that, "Once you go fresh, you'll never go back to canned". 

So, here we go...goin' fresh.

I cut the pumpkins in half and scooped out the seeds and stringy stuff.

Reserved the seeds for roasting later.  Yum.

I found instructions for boiling, steaming, or roasting.  I didn't know which was better, but I thought that if I boiled them, the pumpkins would soak up water resulting in runny pumpkin mash.  So I decided on steaming one and roasting the other.

To roast, just cover with foil and pop into a 375 degree oven for about an hour and half or until soft.  I didn't put mine on a pan, but would recommend it because it did drip some juice onto the oven floor.

I left the pumpkin in the oven until it cooled off, then took it out and scooped the pulp out of the skin.  I mashed the pulp with a potato masher.

To steam the other pumpkin, I cut it into slices, then peeled it.  I used my steamer basket in my large stock pot, tossed all the pieces in there and let it steam for about an hour.  When it cooled, I mashed it with a potato masher.

NOTE:  When peeling the pumpkin, I thought the skin was very thick, so I peeled away quite a bit, maybe an eighth of an inch or so.  But after scooping the pulp out of the roasted pumpkin, I discovered that the skin is not nearly as thick as I thought.  So, when peeling the pumpkin, peeling it as if peeling a potato should be sufficient.

I put all the pumpkin into containers, labeled them and put them in the freezer.

What I learned:  Roasting is way easier.  It was a pain in the neck and took a long time to slice and peel the pumpkin as compared to simply popping it into the oven and the result was the same.

Next up...canning jalapenos.