Sunday, November 24, 2019

And... the Holidays are Upon Us!

Center, for our Santa's Country Christmas event on the 
14th and 15th of December. 

Two years ago, we hardly decorated anything but the barn and the train depot. 


Last year, we began to decorate a few more buildings. 

This year... well, we have been busy, and one of our volunteers, 
Debbie, has been particularly busy!  I won't show what she is 
doing, yet. 

We use the General Store for crafts at Christmas time. 
I don't know if you can tell, but we went with a Snowman 
these this year, the trees are not decorated, but we have snowmen 
scattered around the store. The tree in the center is lit. 

Yes, the sun was glinting off the display case, but I can 
tell you it looks so festive.  There are lights in the windows of 
this building and the Hatchery. 

The schoolhouse has a tree, and bows in the windows. 

(kids make a craft to decorate this tree) 

There are small hints of Christmas (and a tree) in the Smith farmhouse. 

I will be changing out the greenery as we get closer to Christmas, it smelled 
heavenly.... but... we wanted the "candles" on for a school tour last Wednesday. 

There were greenery and candles all around the farmhouse.  I tried to keep it 
simple, in keeping with the history. 

I had a lot of fun doing all this, but yes, it takes many hours for me and the other volunteers to pull this off. 

We have lots of new things this year, I can't wait to show you all. 

Our admission fee for this event is 5.00 A CARLOAD. 

Yes, 5.00 a carload! 

There is a Reindeer 5K run (or 1K walk) on Saturday morning, and then we are open from 
10-5 on Saturday, and noon to 4 on Sunday.  

For the tour on Wednesday, Charles, our bee expert, 
showed a new frame he had made in one of the hives, so he could 
show the bees up close and personal to the kids! 

It was fascinating to see and hear the bees. 

The frame was put back in the hive when we finished. 

Two of our men volunteers were busy putting up the 
banner on the corner as I was leaving.  

Of course, our train will be running, barring any heavy snow... and Santa will be seeing all the kids coming ... instead of in our train depot, he will be in the main museum building this year in a winter wonderland... more on that later. 

I can tell that I, and my fellow volunteers, will be glad when it is all over, and I suspect I am going to store some of the things I hauled over last year and this year there, so I won't have to haul them again!

This huge Santa, that I found at Dollar General, will be going over, but 
coming back here for our family Christmas, my two year old 
great-granddaughter is coming this year. 

Back to farm stuff...

I got another ten bales of hay two weeks ago today, and I am satisfied I have enough 
for winter, unless for some reason we have a terrible one.  I did talk to my hay man that night, and he told me he has plenty, which relieved me.  
There is still grazing, so the sheep are turned out all day long in the pasture and in the yard. 
They won't be able to come in the yard next summer, once I have planted flowers. 

The stinkers! 

Actually, they do not do this very often.  I have even quit closing off the doorways with the 

I still find it so very peaceful to watch them grazing, they have just been great pets, and yes, they ARE pets. 

They crack me up, they were standing there calling me. 

The beautiful tree is done now, for the year. 

My beautiful Ferdie, the oldest rooster here, has been 
picked on by his clone son, Buddy.  He has been living on the house side of the yard, I don't know if he is flying over or getting through somehow I have not seen yet. 

He has plenty of food and water, and I put him back in the henhouse every night.  If any 
rooster would go, it would be Buddy, the protector but also the combative one. 

He hid out yesterday in the overgrown garden beds.  

I'm getting ready to go out and put everyone to bed, including 
Ferdie... have a great week everyone! 

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

BRRRRR! What Happened to Fall?

In my last post, I said that snow had greeted us on Thanksgiving... it was Halloween! 
Far too soon, Mother Nature! 

It greeted us again yesterday morning, the 11th. It was so cold and so miserable, I missed the 100th anniversary of the Armistice and parade in Leavenworth.  If you have never seen 
this parade, you are missing something. 

That's one of the two pork butts I cooked last week 
for the shelter.  My house smelled heavenly. 

Finished product (two separate pieces of meat, different colors). 

I took this and buns to the shelter on Thursday. 

(yes, I kept a little for me). 

I bought a second crockpot, my old one was too small. 
I have one six quart and one three quart, and the second butt would not fit in the smaller pot. 

I borrowed one from Judy at the Ag Hall, but then Thursday, 
I ran to Sam's and bought a programmable Crock Pot (brand) 
7 quart pot.  I got it home, put it on the kitchen table. 
Friday, I unboxed it and promptly dropped it on the floor and 
broke the crock into many pieces. 

I bought one from Penney's on Sunday, for half what I paid (on a 
Christmas special) and actually sent a rebate for half of it off this morning. 

We have had beautiful, beautiful days.  The maple has now, since I took this picture on the 6th, 
lost almost all its' leaves. 

The same day, the Smith Farmhouse at the Ag was surrounded by beautiful trees. 

Another gorgeous day here at Calamity Acres. 

Bittersweet is growing in my front fence line.  Some is coming in for 

This is Fluffy, this afternoon. It was a year ago last week that the boarded sheep were sold and moved.  Fluffy lost her best friend, Freckles... they were very bonded.  Big Mama lost her 
lamb, Blackie, who was the other sheep with a black face. (They took the wrong black-faced sheep)   Mama grieved and went down, 
and died within three days, despite the care of the vet. 

I called a friend whom I knew had a few sheep... she referred me to a man 
in Basehor (five miles from me) who "had a lot".  I called him and went down 
there and found Flicka. 

I was loaned a big carrier (Thanks, Kansas Country Store) and a friend 
helped me catch and load Flicka and we brought her home. 

Fluffy, in a total surprise, because I had never seen her bred.... had Niblet in March. 

And Flicka, whom I was told was bred... 

And Flicka dropped Cookie (cookies and cream, you know) in February, and I had him neutered three weeks later, as the flock needs to remain small. 

Cookie is always in my face, looking for scritches, which is why he has such an 
extreme closeup. 

I have a heated bucket for them, and a good supply of hay... with more, if I need it. 
They have a good little barn which I had repaired in August, so we are good to go. 

I went to watch Paiton ride on Sunday. 

Ice's rear hooves were VERY dirty, she had to think hard about 
cleaning them, but in the end, she did. 

(she had forgotten her gloves). 

It's not all fun and games. 

And yes, her instructor made her take the sucker out of her mouth before they went into the arena. 

That was Sunday at 60 degrees, it was snowing and about ten degrees yesterday morning. 

The gorgeous maple tree at the foot of my pasture, 
across the Spehar's ponds.  I look for it every year. 

Our beautiful Ranger boy, gone now almost seven years next month. 
What a wonderful, wonderful boy he was! 

Here I must say that the program I have used to store pictures on the computer for many years has stopped initializing.  I re-installed it, but it will not accept my log in.  You see I was able to do the post, but I am having to learn a new way.  I also was able to add in pictures from my phone, but when I got a new charger, I lost that ability, too.  It will still post from the phone, but the pictures are almost a week old before they become available.  I may have to start carrying a small camera again, as I used to.  

Live and learn! 

Everyone stay warm! 

Monday, November 4, 2019

Truly Fall

The light at the end of the tunnel was so apparent Saturday night, as I got home from church. 
Mass starts at 4PM, now that daylight savings time has ended, so it will be dark 
when I get home this weekend. 

That's the snow that greeted us on Thanksgiving morning, and I don't think Fritzi was glad to see it!

Where we spent the day. 

Likewise Jester, sucking on his little blue bear. 

Jester has lost two pounds in his weight loss journey, Fritzi gained a pound and a half BUT, she has done much, much better since last Tuesday's weigh in, so I am excited to see what happens when we go again. 

I made two huge pots of vegetable beef soup for the shelter, I put noodles in one, and no noodles in the other.  I asked for feedback, because I used ramen noodles for the first time.  I made this soup with chuck steak, and I had a chuck roast for the second pot, it was a lot of meat. 

What happens when the animals below get onto your deck. 

You look so innocent!

(I swear to you that Niblet is smirking at me) 

This cute little Cruella DeVil is my great-granddaughter, Maci Lynn, who just turned two!

This cow was out on the road two weeks ago today, and I brought her into my yard for safety. 

I told the owners "DO NOT CUT MY FENCE, bring a trailer and load her."

I left for the ag hall.... they pushed her THROUGH my fence, tearing up a whole section. 

This is the second time I have helped them, and I won't, again. 
The cattle (bull, cows and calves) have been moved for the winter.  I'll have that fence stretched and tightened in the spring. 
You see they had NO grass in the pasture, I don't blame her a bit. 

I love seeing tracks in the snow.  

Not the right date, and I have pretty much quit using the Bushnell camera, 
but I thought this was a fun picture. 

I am having a problem with a black possum who is living under the storage building in my yard.  He is hanging around the chicken house, and I can tell when he is near, because the hens won't go in. 
I mentioned that it will be dark when I get home from church this week.... this worries me.  I am no longer leaving food on the side porch for Rusty (at the hen house) because it was attracting the possum.  There is still food out, but it is in the yard behind the house. 
Rusty also knows to eat on the front porch of the house, or in the feeder in the pasture.  I have had numerous pictures of this possum on the game cam, but must not have saved any... 

October 17 was the third anniversary of Keith's death.  Here he is with Jace, his 
oldest grandson.  He loved the little grands so!