Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Saving the Pond

All this rain is causing big problems for our pond.

This is the spillway.  To the right of where the water is running, is the dam.  We usually are able to drive over the dam to get to the far side of the pond, but we can't do that now because the path is completely washed out.

video


If the dam fails, it will flood our neighbor's land and pond.  Thankfully, this is a low area and no structures would be damaged.  But...we do not want to lose our water or have to rebuild our dam.

So, Tom ran to the hardware store and bought some sandbags.  Nephew Jordan came over to help.

When we enlarged our pond a few years ago, we kept some of the sand that was dug out and made a small hill with it, which is the rise at the back of this picture, just in front of the trees.  It has since grown grass on it, but it is a solid mound of sand.

They used the golf cart to haul the sandbags back and forth until it's battery ran out.  I had been mowing for the past few hours, so I brought the mower down to help.  It had room for three sandbags on it's deck.

They tried it this way first...putting the bags in the crevice.

We were racing against the storms coming in.

Ginger is contemplating the chasm.  Will she leap across?  She did, but I wasn't expecting it and had popped the lens cover back on my camera.

Thirty-something sandbags piled in there.

From a distance.

But, when Tom checked it this morning, it had washed away behind and around the sandbags.

So, he piled them up along the top edge of the waterfall in hopes that it won't erode further,

We're supposed to get more rain tonight, so we'll see if this new arrangement will work any better.





















Friday, May 22, 2015

Passionflower Vine

I planted this on the archway at my front door.  It just started blooming.


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Monsoon Season

After desperately praying for rain the past few years, the phrase "be careful what you ask for" has new meaning.  We have almost been washed away this spring.  This past weekend, our area got TEN INCHES in one day.  I don't know how much we got on our land because our rain gauge only measures five inches and it had overflowed.  All I know is...it was a lot.  And it has rained every day this week, with more in the forecast.  Everything is waterlogged, sodden, soaked...WET!

Our pond is full to overflowing.

If it weren't for the spillway, it would flow over the top of the dam.

It's gone over the spillway and washed out a huge gully.

Back behind the dam, this is usually just a gentle little trickle that flows into our neighbor's pond.  It is now a steady stream.

And a very wide swath of shifted sand and debris, which is evidence of a great flood during the downpour.  I would like to have seen this happening.

And, it has been too wet to cut hay, so it waist high in most places.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Flowerbeds on the Farm

My flowerbeds have come a long way in the last few years.  They still have a ways to go to fill in and give me that cottagy look that I like, but there is progress.

The pink one is a rose bush that was given to me as a Mother's Day gift last year.  Everything else that I've planted in that very spot has died from lack of water even though the sprinkler waters it.  I think it's just a particularly hot spot and the water drains away too fast.  I think since it made it through the first year, it's gonna be OK.

In the foreground are daylilies not yet bloomed and irises finished blooming.  The red miniature rose is growing on the two old french doors turned trellis.  I would grow much higher, but the donkeys and goats eat whatever they can easily reach.  I'm just thankful they don't put their heads all the way over the fence to eat everything.  Privet and chaste tree are in the background.  The privet has really taken off this year.  I didn't know it bloomed, but it was covered with white fragrant blooms.

A close-up of the miniature roses.

A bird has built a nest in one of the rose bushes in the front yard.  It doesn't seem like a very good choice of places to put a nest and I often inadvertently scare the mother away.

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Quick Strawberry Jam

The strawberry plants that I planted in the strawberry boat are making lots of fruit this spring.

I picked a quart and decided to make a quick strawberry jam.

Wash and cap, then chop coarsely in food processor.

Pour into pot or skillet, add 1/2 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons lemon juice.  Cook over medium-high, stirring frequently until jam is thickened and bubbles completely cover surface.

 
Pour jam into jar and let cool to room temperature.  To store, seal jar and refrigerate up to 10 days.

Homemade chevre (from my goat milk) and strawberry jam on a gluten free English muffin.  

Yum!





Party, Texas Style

Husband and I attended a party a couple of weeks ago.  I thought others might be interested in a real Texas shindig.

Husband used to work with the host years ago, but we haven't seen him in at least 20 years.  We decided to reconnect.  This particular event started Wednesday and ended Sunday with friends and business associates coming in from California, Colorado, Michigan, North Carolina, and, of course, Texas.  We only went for the day on Saturday.  The out-of-staters stayed in tents, trailers, and other houses on the property.

The Attire

Cowboy boots are good for all occasions.  

Ear plugs.

The Decor



The Food


Two smokers and one grill full of meat.  Seriously.

The Entertainment

ATVs


Guns and walkie-talkies go hand in hand.

An array of guns and ammo.

Safety first.  Because, contrary to popular belief, Texans do not going around shooting willy nilly and out of control.  There were rules posted that were strictly enforced.

There were targets close up and targets further away, the farthest being about 600 feet.  

There's a very large gun in that case.  And, if you have a gun rack set up like this in your back yard, I think you are a very serious target shooter.  This is a rack for rifles and shotguns and there were enough in attendance to fill it up.  But, there seemed to be an orderly system of shooting, starting with handguns, progressing to rifles and shotguns (there was a skeet shooting competition late in the afternoon) and from there to...
  
A home made cannon that shoots bowling balls.

The guy from India was not to be trusted with a gun, so he had to settle for the staple gun.  See how happy he is?

Calm down, calm down, I'm just joking, people.

They gave him a real gun.

Ladies shoot, too.

 
The very special rifle.
  There was what they called a "live target" on the range.  I didn't know what that meant until someone actually hit it.  Apparently, it explodes when it's hit so you get the boom of the gun going off, then a very loud BOOM when the target is hit.

Someone did not wear his cowboy boots.  I hope he's not allergic to poison ivy.

Waiting on the Big Bang.

I have no pictures of the bowling ball actually flying through the air because when the cannon exploded, it scared me so bad that I flailed my camera arm out and the ball was long gone before I collected my wits enough to continue taking pictures.


Bowling ball is still flying as the smoke clears.

See the open patch of pasture in the middle of the picture, right before the last tree line in sight?  That's where the bowling ball landed.

There was another meat-filled meal at dusk, then husband and I raced home ahead of a thunderstorm.