Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I Love These Country Folks!

I bought this from an old junk shop that isn't open.  I happened to meet the old fella that owns it while shopping in an antique shop.  He looks like an old Charlton Heston and his name is Will.  I don't know how to post pictures off the net, but if you click on the link below, there's a picture of old Charlton.

Anyway, I bought an old minnow bucket and a water dispensing can (similar to the one in the above picture) to use as garden decor from Will.  He just left them out on the old junk shop porch and told me to go by and get them if I like them and I could pay him later.  When I was at the junk shop, I saw this old church pew and thought it might look good as garden decor, too, so when I went to pay him for the buckets a few days later, I asked him about it.  "Sure,", he said, "just go by and pick it up."

One side is kind of falling apart, but Tom put a bunch of screws in it and it should be good for a few more years.  He pulled this square nail out of a previously repaired section to replace it with a screw.  If it was repaired at some point with a square nail, no tellin' how old the pew is.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Harvesting Sunflower Seeds

A couple of months ago, I cut off the sunflower heads, wrapped them in cheesecloth and hung them up in the garage to dry.

Today I unwrapped them and picked the seeds out.  It makes for very sore fingertips.  I used a glove, for part of the time, but it's hard to do stuff with gloves on.

Got 2.2 pounds of seeds.  I'm not sure what to do with them now.  I'll have to google it.  I ate a few and they were quite good.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Getting Political

My husband and I are very politically active, but I don't write much about it on my blog because I like to keep the blog pretty much about homesteading and our experiences as new farmers.

I want to deviate from that just for just a moment to ask a political question of my followers or anyone else that happens to read this post and feels inclined to comment.  I've noticed that several followers are from different countries.  I must admit that I am puzzled that anyone from another country would want to read about homesteading in America, in particular my homesteading in America.  I'm happy that y'all do, but puzzled, nonetheless.

Anyway, to my question, which is this:

When thinking of the United States of America, do you perceive us as a "Christian nation" or do you perceive us as a "secular nation"?

I'd love answers from anyone, Americans included, but if you answer, please let me know what country you are from.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Ouch! Ow, Ow, Ow!

Got stung by an asp caterpillar!  I didn't know there was such a thing.

I went out to move my sprinkler beside the driveway this morning and while holding it, I noticed a weird fuzzy looking thing stuck on it.  After looking at it a few seconds, I thought it might be a caterpillar.  I left it there and stuck the sprinkler spikes in the ground, taking care not to touch the caterpillar or smash it.  Well, evidently, my hand must have brushed up against the critter before I saw it because soon after I set the sprinkler, my thumb, right at the joint, started stinging. 

I couldn't figure out what the problem was, but it was getting worse.  I thought something might have bitten me, but I didn't see any creature other than the caterpillar.  After making my rounds checking on the livestock, then going out to pick a fruit off of a tree that I thought might be a persimmon (and, yes, it is - had no idea we had a persimmon tree on the property!), and my hand now throbbing, I came in to look up poisonous caterpillars on the net.  Sure enough, there is was, the asp or puss moth caterpillar. 

It's hurting all the way up my arm now.  I guess I should go tell Tom that if I keel over, he should tell the ER that I got stung by an asp caterpillar so they'll know what to do.  S

So that everyone else can avoid these creatures, have a look at this link to see what they look like.  And don't touch them!


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dallas, Oh, Dallas, Where Hast Thou Westerness Gone?

It's a sad, sad day in Texas when there are only two choices of stores to buy cowboy boots at.

The day has come when my 30 year old cowboy boots, which I love, in all their lizardy glory, must be retired.  They have gone the way of all lizard skin boots and split at the lizard seam.

These Lucchese boots have the perfect toe.

and the perfect heel.  And the perfect color and the perfect fit.  But, unless I want to wear them until they become sandals, it's time to replace them.  So, I went to Dallas to search for the new perfect boot.  I went to Cavenders.  Cavenders did not have the perfect boot.  I went to Sheplers.  Sheplers did not have the perfect boot.  I went to Boot Town.  Boot Town has gone bankrupt and their doors were closed.  I went to Western Wearhouse, but they are no longer in business.  I ran out of places to go.

So, I went back to Cavenders and bought a boot that I do not love.  Those boots are my plan B boots.  Because Dallas has betrayed me, I'm going to have to resort to on-line shopping.  And if I find the perfect boot on-line, my plan B boots will be going back to Cavenders.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Meh. I'm such a GIRL

No fair!  I wish I was stronger.  I have a landscaping project that I want to do.  Well, actually I have a whole lot of landscaping that I want to do, but this is just a little segment all it's own.  It's all planned out in my head and it's great.  I just don't have the strength in my body to do the necessary prep work.  I have to dig out some grass in a big circle.  I got out there and jabbed the shovel in the ground a few times, but couldn't move much.  So, I tried to get Tom to dig it out for me with the tractor.  Really, all I want done is a thin top layer scraped off, then I can do the rest.  Now that he's ADD hyperfocused on the barn apartment, I may not be able to get him to do it.

Hmm, I need a tiny tractor just for me.

It's gonna be a small sitting area right across from the patio doors that lead off my bedroom.

You can kind of see the miserable little circle I dug.  It's about a ten foot circle, but now that I've thought about it, it probably needs to be a bit bigger.  I can't get used to the amount of space I have to work with.  Because of living in the city with a small suburban lot, I'm used to doing things on a smaller scale.  I need to think BIG...Texas big.  By the way, I did not dig that bare spot.  There used to be a tree there and the ground is bare because the grass hasn't recovered from the stump grinding.  I'm trying to make use of the bare spots before the grass grows back.

Friday, September 10, 2010

New BIG Project

Tom has cleaned up and organized the barn (sort of) in preparation for the **drum roll** building of the apartment.  He's gone now to buy the wood for the framework.

Grouchy Chicken

Poor Hen is still sitting on her two remaining eggs.  I believe she is about on day 24 and they should have hatched by now.  I hate to get rid of them in case there is any chance that I've miscalculated and there are live chicks in there.  But I can't just let her go on forever sitting on the eggs.

Every time I peek in at her, she puffs up like this and says, "Get outta here!  Can't a girl have any privacy?"

Sunday, September 05, 2010

What a Difference...

...a few months makes.

I took this picture in June right after I finished the walkway and planted the cannas, ruellias, and trailing lantana.

This is what it looks like now.  Ten little cannas have multiplied tenfold, and the ruellia clumps have about doubled in size and bloomed profusely.  The lantana has spread out, but there were very few blooms on them.  Up until the past past week or so, the chickens stayed out of my flower beds, but now for some reason, they've taken an interest in them and I can't keep them out of the beds.  Every day, they go in there and scratch around, tossing the mulch out all over the walkway and into the grass, breaking stems off the plants and generally making a mess.  It is very frustrating.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Egg Update

I finally cracked open the incubator eggs today.  They were four or five days overdue for hatching, so I figured either they weren't developing or they were dead.  I was right on both counts.  Three didn't develop and three were developed chicks, but dead.  I don't know why they didn't hatch.

And things aren't looking good for sitting hen.  I checked her eggs today.  They smell, but I don't know if it's because they had a rotten egg break on them and stink them up a few days ago or if they're rotten themselves.  I guess I'll just have to wait and see what the hen does with them.  She's still diligently sitting, but I feel so sorry for her.  She's spending all this time alone and it looks like she'll have nothing to show for it.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

No Chicks?

Well, maybe my egg incubation efforts are not meant to be.  It is day 24, three days after pipping day, and none of my eggs in the incubator have hatched.  They are heavy as if a chick has developed and I think I've seen a couple of them moving, but no pips.

Sitting hen is down to two eggs.  I think she started with nine.  She threw two rotten ones out of the nest.  Some burst in the nest, so I had to clean it out, and wash the remaining four eggs this morning.  Two of them floated in the bucket of water and stank like they were rotten; two of them still seemed OK and were heavy.  I put those two back in the nest and took the other two far out into the field.  One popped open when I dumped it out with the cleaning water.

I'm tempted to take some fresh eggs and slip them into sitting hen's nest, but then she'd be sitting for 21+ more days and that's probably not good for her.  If my incubator chicks were pipping, I could give her those, but it looks like I'm not going to get any either.

This will turn your stomach.  Harry came out to see what I was doing while throwing the eggs out and he started eating the rotten egg.  I couldn't get him to leave it alone, so I left him to learn whatever lesson that needs to be learned from eating a rotten egg.  He was still out there when I came in, so I assume he ate the other one that hadn't popped yet.