Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Friday, September 30, 2011

Wedding Nightmare Number Two

I know that listening to someone else's dream can be a bore, but I've had two nightmares about the upcoming wedding that I thought were somewhat remarkable because of the way that my mind resolved them in the end to make everything allright.

My first dream was a couple of weeks ago. In it we had gone all the way through the wedding and reception when I realized that I had forgotten something major. I don't remember now what it was, but I was aghast, "I forgot the (whatever)! Oh no, what a disaster!". Then I realized, "oh, this was just a trial run, so it's ok."

Second dream was a couple of nights ago. We were all dressed, Meagan in her wedding dress, me in a dress that was like a tube top that I couldn't pull down long enough to cover my hiney no matter how hard I tried, heading out the door on our way to the chapel. I suddenly gasped, "I forgot to bake the wedding cake! Oh no, what are we going to do!?". Then I remembered, "oh yeah, this is just a trial run, so it's ok."

What's with all the trial run weddings?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tonka Trucks...Supersized

Tom:  "Charles is going to teach  me how to drive his dump truck.  He'll fill it up, then I'll go dump it."

Me (with renting or leasing in mind):  "It sure would be nice to have two dump trucks so that while you're taking one to be emptied, Charles can be filling the other one up.  That way, he wouldn't be having to just sit around and wait for you to come back."

So...he bought one.  The next time I have some sort of time saving tips that might involve big machines.  I will keep my mouth shut.  Anyone who farms knows that big equipment breaks down.  A lot.  Yes, this truck has already had its moments.  But, overall, the men who have come to check it out have assured Tom that this is a most excellent dump truck and will accomplish all manner of wondrous feats.

"Oooh and aaah!"

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Recipe for Happiness

I heard a song on the radio the other day and the lyrics went like this:

Blow up your TV
Throw out your papers
Move to the country
Build a home
Plan a party
Eat a lot of peaches
Find Jesus
On your own.

Spanish Pipedream by the Avett Brothers

We Don't Homestead for Monetary Gain

I was at the feed store the other day choosing some garden plants from their rack outside.  When I walked in, there was a discussion about the red BMW in the parking lot.

Woman:  "Look at that Beemer!"

Man:  "Where?"

Woman:  "Parked outside.  That red one.  Ahhh, I'd love to have that."

Sighs of approval all around.

Man:  "Wonder who it belongs to?"

Woman:  "I don't know."

Man:  "Probably some insurance man."  Said with a slight sneer.

Me (because I couldn't let everyone think that only insurance men drive little red sports cars):  "No, that's my car and I'm not in insurance."

Woman:  **gasp** "What do you do?"

Me:  "Well, I farm now."

Woman:  "Ah, are you new?"

Me (hoping for a useful tidbit):  "Yes.  And I don't know anything.  I need lots of help and advice." 

Woman:  "Just do it until the money is all gone."

Me:  "Thanks"

That car was bought back in 2006, long before we took on farming.  It's not the most practical car for this lifestyle, but...it's paid for and I like driving it.  We have trucks and Tom's diesel VW wagon for the heavy work.  So, I haven't yet figured out how anyone makes a living on a farm.  So far, all we've done is spend money.  We don't have to buy eggs anymore and I sell just enough to pay for the little bit of chicken scratch that we use, so eggs are free.  For periods of time during the year, we don't have to buy milk or veggies and I can see us getting to the point where we can stop buying them almost altogether - when I can store up enough milk to last through the winter and when I figure out the veggie preserving processes.

Just a Couple of Pictures

Birds over the water.

Charles, the digger (also the one who helped Tom build the apartment), and Reid, our teenage laborer, taking a YooHoo break.  I used to like YooHoo, but now all I can think of is that it must taste like chocolate water, which sounds really awful.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Trivia for the Prepared

A 2.3 oz. deoderant stick, when used once a day, will last for seven months.

A large tube of toothpaste, when used an average of three times a day, will last for three months.

Goats and Goatweed

When pastures are left empty around here, the goatweed takes over.  If you're smart, you will not plow a field and then leave it empty.  We've seen some people do it and in just a few months, they have a beautifully cultivated stand of goatweed that looks like it was meant to be there. 

Unfortunately, we haven't been able to find out what goatweed is good for or why it is called goatweed.

Goats don't eat it.  These are our does amid the goatweed that has sprung up along the barren side of the dam.  They are eating everything BUT goatweed.

We're told that quail love it.  That must be true because quail and dove season just started and there has been lots of shooting around here in the fields where the hay and grass has died off and the goatweed has taken over.

Pansy thinks she owns the place.  It took me and Tom both quite a while to get her out of the golf cart.

Disappearing Pond

Because of the drought, many ponds in the area are drying up.  Ours is not gone yet, but it is very low.

It's a little round watering hole now.

In a normal rainfall year, this tree sits right at the water's edge and it's branches dip over nearly into the water.

All of this used to be covered by water.  Since the pond is so low, we decided to take this opportunity to have it cleaned out and dug it deeper.  I've noticed that a lot of people around us are doing the same thing.

The locals call this "sugar sand".  It's very fine and white and most of our property is covered with it.  Our neighbor, who originally dug the pond, told us that when he dug the pond, he dug down to clay and none of this sand was in it.  Over the years, all of this sand has washed down into the pond from the neighboring fields.  I'm a little bummed that they are digging it out because it was nice to have a sandy beach around the pond.  When it's a clay bottom it gets slimy and slippery and if you step in it, your feet can slide right out from under you before you know it.

Within the first couple of days, they dug out over 200 tons.  The dirt guy expects to dig for about a month.

Monday, September 12, 2011

It's "Be Mean to Your Kid" Week

Well, not really, but from what I have observed, apparently some parents think so. A few nights ago, Tom and I went out to eat with some friends. A young woman came in with two children and sat in the booth behind us. She put the baby in a high chair and her other child, approximately five years old, sat across from her and was misbehaving. She proceeded to hiss loudly at him about how awful he was and, through gritted teeth, hatefully proclaimed how terribly he was acting. i can't imagine why, but he wanted to sit by her and she rudely told him she didn't want him to because he crowded her, blah, blah, blah. It really was pitiful to witness. Oh, how that woman will pay for her hatefulness.

Then, overheard in Walgreens tonight:

 Little girl, about eight years old, wearing flip flops, following her dad to the back of the store, "slap, slap, slap" went her shoes.

Father, glancing back and with a hateful tone of voice, "Stop walking like that with those shoes, that slapping is driving me crazy!"

Little girl quietly adjusts her walking so that there is no slapping sound, "squeak, squeak, squeak" went her shoes.

Father, again with a hateful voice, "now I hear that awful squeaking!"

Hello, what should your little girl do, crawl through the store so she doesn't annoy you with any footsteps?

Landscaping Update

This is the progress made as of Saturday.

Back when I did the flagstone patio in the back yard, I told myself that I absolutely was never going to do anything like that again...too much crawling around on my knees and heavy lifting.  Well, never say never.  To build this wall, the first layer of bricks had to be level all the way across.  Tom helped get the first bricks at the walkway level, then I did the rest.  Each spot has to be either dug out or built up with sand, which requires placing the brick to check to see if it's high or low, removing the brick, adding or subtracting dirt, putting the brick back on, checking the level, removing the brick and adjusting the dirt, etc.  Sometimes four or five times are required. 

I suppose that professionals level out the whole area first so they don't have to do it that way, but this is the only way I know how.

After the first row is done, the rest is a piece of cake.  I had Tom and Reid (the teenager that we hire to help us sometimes) fill the brick holes with sand, then we stacked the second row and filled those with sand.  Tom wants to stop with two rows.  I think it needs three. 

Tom has to do some more grading of the soil so that the water flows down to the brick, then we'll put the river rock along the edge of the brick so that it will (hopefully) be like a dry creek and when it rains, the water will flow away from the foundation, into the creek, and out to the side yard.

When the grading is done to Tom's satisfaction, I'll be able to put some plants in along the foundation.  But, guess what I want to do now?  Well, actually it's been in my head all along, but I didn't want to admit it.  I want to extend that skinny front porch (on the right edge of the above picture) out to the retaining wall with flagstone.  Somebody stop me.  Quick.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

New Landscaping Project

The soil along the front of our house has always been too high up on the foundation and we've been concerned about rain water (if it ever rains again) flooding into the house like it did in the living room the year we moved in.  We asked our neighbor to dig it out and regrade it for us with his Bobcat, which he has done.

Since we have it all dug up, we (well, really *I*) decided that now is the time to do the landscaping that I've been wanting to do in the front yard.  Who wants a big ugly trench in their front yard?  So, while Meagan and I were shopping for wedding stuff in Dallas, Tom went through and pulled out a truckload of grass and old tree roots and smoothed out the whole area.

Then I laid out the line for the short retaining wall that we're going to build.  The ground slopes very slightly away from the house and away from the front walkway so that the water will drain away from the house and down the driveway.  I had envisioned a sharper slope, but that was not to be.

This is the other side of the walkway.  The water should drain out to the side yard and around back.

Next step is to level the ground where the bricks are so that we will have a nice level wall.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

New Vacuum Cleaner

Remember back in August of 2009 when I said, "Don't buy a Hoover Windtunnel vacuum cleaner...it's the worst thing ever."?  Well, I've been hating on that Hoover ever since and finally got rid of it.  I gave it to the future son-in-law so he can hate on it for a while.  And Tom bought me a new vacuum.  Yay!

Riccar...the only vacuum cleaner still made in America!

I decided on a cannister since all of my floors are wood and I only have area rugs scattered about.

Retractable cord.

Onboard attachments and full bag indicator.

The brush has its own place right on the height adjustable handle.

The big attachment does hard floors and carpet, but these extra hard floor attachments come with it, too.

I love it... as much as anyone can love a non-central vacuum system.