• Country Girl Through & Through


    I'm a country girl from the western part of Virginia in a small community of New Castle/Craig County. I've lived in Craig all my life-eighteen years with my parents and siblings and forty + years with my wonderful husband.
    We have two children, a boy and a girl, and one granddaughter, all of which we love very much. We live on a 500 acre+ farm that has been in my husbands family for over 200 years. We are raising beef cattle, chickens and coondogs. We grow pretty much all we eat or harvest from the farm and I can't imagine living anywhere else.
    I love to create, craft, quilt, read, write, decorate, crochet, candlewick, bake, bow hunt, cook, garden, farm animals and walking/hunting in the woods. I love sharing our home with family and friends.
    I hope you enjoy the posts that I enter on my blog and hopefully will be helpful and/or fun to all that read it.

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Spring? ? ?

I know that spring is just around the corner because I found these in my yard yesterday.

Crocus

 

Crocus

Aren’t they beautiful??  Spring is coming in like a lion and I have two little orphans because of it.  George and Prissy were born on March 15th& 16th consecutively.  It’s was the worse days we’ve had all winter.  George’s mom decided he should be born and baptized at the same time so she had him in a wet weather spring in the middle of a blackberry patch in 0* weather.  He was so cold he could not get up to nurse and when Eddie found him Mom left to go eat.  Eddie packed him up in the tractor cab and carried him to our cellar.  Twenty four hours and lots of warm towels, heat lamp and propane heater, he was toddling around and taking a bottle.

George is curious and very pushy!!  Normal little bull.

George is curious and very pushy!! Normal little bull.

Prissy was delivered to the main house the next morning covered in ice and snow and barely alive.  I didn’t make it to work that day because of the snow and ice and I think Eddie was glad to have me there.  He found Prissy covered in four inches of ice and then snow.  Beside her, the mom was cleaning and trying to make her dead twin come back to life.  Eddie scraped off the snow and loaded her in the tractor and brought her to me.  I got out an old cutter quilt and he laid her by the woodstove. I grabbed old towels and blankets and started drying her off.  Sassy helped by licking her face.  I was certain she would die because her tongue was cold and she was so lifeless.  Sassy and I worked on her all morning, shifting her from side to side and warming another old quilt to lay over her.  We gave her about an ounce of warm milk every hour or so trying to get her warm on the inside and the outside.  Around 9:00 p.m. she started trying to get up on her own and by 10:00 she had taken three ounces so we decided to move her to the cellar with George.

Prissy-very quiet and docile.

Prissy-very quiet and docile.

Thankfully both calves are doing well.  George has been a little rough on Prissy and stepped on her the first night they were together and she limps from her left front leg but we’re hoping time and some loving care will fix that.  She’s a lot smaller than he is coming in at around 45-50 pounds and Eddie says George weighs over 75 pounds.

Here’s some more pics of them from the last two weeks and I’ll update their growth and shenanigans as time goes on.

DSCN6630

Prissy is trying to making friends with Cuddles, the cat.

Prissy is trying to making friends with Cuddles, the cat.

Curious calves.

Curious calves.

George has a voracious appetite, funny, big kicker, and is constantly sucking on Prissy's ears.

George has a voracious appetite, funny, big kicker, and is constantly sucking on Prissy’s ears.

Prissy is watching the chickens.  George usually chases them.

Prissy is watching the chickens. George usually chases them.

Prissy and George enjoying the sunshine.

Prissy and George enjoying the sunshine.

George climbing out of his hutch and Prissy wondering "why?"

George climbing out of his hutch and Prissy wondering “why?”

Feeding time!!

Feeding time!!

It's not as easy as it looks when there's only one person feeding them.

It’s not as easy as it looks when there’s only one person feeding them.

George tries to take Prissy's bottle when he empty's his first!

George tries to take Prissy’s bottle when he empty’s his first!

Just to let you know how I feed them, we buy powdered calf milk that is medicated and high in protein and feed them two quarts every eight hours.  The powdered milk is mixed with water and the first couple of feedings they are given colostrum to get the immune system going that they couldn’t get from their natural mom.  At three to four weeks, we start introducing them to the small grains.

More to come!!!

 

Feed sacks to rugs

I recently inherited over a hundred old feed sacks made of muslin fabric.  They had been washed but I gave them another good bath in really hot water to get them good and clean and to get rid of the aroma of being packed away for a very, very long time.  They held up marvelously and now I have a huge treasure to do something with.  They are not white but sort of beige/peach/pink shade of fabric.

This is a large basket holding the sacks after they've been washed and ready to cut in strips.

This is a large basket holding the sacks after they’ve been washed and ready to cut in strips.

I love to crochet and have decided to use some of the sacks to make some bath rugs.  I can always dye them to suit the decor of the room or possibly bleach them to a lighter shade.

First, I cut the sacks into a continuous 3/4″ strip of cloth and wind them into a ball which gives me a 3″-4″ ball for each sack.

Three of the sacks have been stripped and rolled into balls to make handling the strips with ease as I crochet.

Three of the sacks have been stripped and rolled into balls to make handling the strips with ease as I crochet.

I’ve decided to use a single crochet stitch for the first one and use the back of the stitch for the pattern.  If you crochet you know what I’m talking about and it give the line of stitches a “layered” look.  For a 4 x 5 bath rug it takes about six balls of the fabric and I think it turned out pretty nice.

I use a wooden size N crochet hook and single crochet.  I make enough stitches to make a 48" rug this time.  Notice the different shades of beige/peach in the sacks.

I use a wooden size N crochet hook and single crochet. I make enough stitches to make a 48″ rug this time. Notice the different shades of beige/peach in the sacks.

They’ll be sturdy and wash up nice and last FOREVER!  They’re also thick enough that it’ll feel nice to step out of the shower onto it.  It took about four nights, an hour at a time to finish the rug.  The best part is you can put it down to take phone calls, do some laundry, give some attention to Sassy or most anything and go right back to it without missing a stitch.

Almost finished, need to add one more ball of sack strips.

Almost finished, need to add one more ball of sack strips.

I've rotated the different shades of sack strips in this rug and used 6 balls.  One ball contains one sack.  Finished rug.

I’ve rotated the different shades of sack strips in this rug and used 6 balls. One ball contains one sack. Finished rug.

All I need to do now is square up the rug which is so easy to do with this fabric.  I just stretch the sack out and spray with lukewarm water and as it dries  the shape retains itself.  I don’t think I”ll dye this one and will make two more in the same design and color to use in the bathroom.  I keep a rug in front of the shower, sink and the camode.

I think the next group of three, I’ll make my fabric strips a little more narrow and see if I get the same look and feel.  I’d also like to make a couple of aprons from the sacks.  There’s so many uses for a good quality fabric to re-purpose.

 

The beavers are back!

Beavers are beautiful, hard-working creatures but so destructive.  My husband has tore out their dams  seven or eight times since July and the varmints are back.  I don’t think they ever left to tell the truth but just waiting.  I want to share some pictures of the water they hold back and the trees they destroy to make their home.

DSCN6269

The hutch is the mound behind and to the right of the fence.

The hutch is the mound behind and to the right of the fence.

Old trees they've taken down that Eddie pulled out of the dam.

Old trees they’ve taken down that Eddie pulled out of the dam.

Tree they started bringing down during the night.

Tree they started bringing down during the night.

Water backed up above the dam and on the pasture is over three feet deep and getting deeper each night.

Water backed up above the dam and on the pasture is over three feet deep and getting deeper each night.

Another tree taken down during the night.

Another tree taken down during the night.

Pasture covered with water above the dam.

Pasture covered with water above the dam.

What used to be a narrow stream is now a river running through the pasture.

What used to be a narrow stream is now a river running through the pasture.

He pulls out all of the limbs and when the beavers rebuild they never re-use the old limbs.

The dam is probably 30-45 feet across.

Eddie pulling the dam apart.  He hopes if he tears it up every week they'll leave.  I have my doubts.

Eddie pulling the dam apart. He hopes if he tears it up every week they’ll leave. I have my doubts.

 

The dam break a little larger and the sound of the water rushing through sounds like a major waterway.

The dam break a little larger and the sound of the water rushing through sounds like a major waterway.

It's hard work pulling out the engineering of the beavers.

It’s hard work pulling out the engineering of the beavers.

The dam is probably 30-45 feet across.

Eddie tries to put several gaps in the dam.

Eddie tries to put several gaps in the dam.

He pulls out all of the limbs and when the beavers rebuild they never re-use the old limbs.

At this point the water is not quite as loud or rushing.

At this point the water is not quite as loud or rushing.

Downstream the river is becoming wider.

Downstream the river is becoming wider.

 

Up close look at the gap in the dam.

Up close look at the gap in the dam.

The water is up about 3 ft on the fence posts.

The water is up about 3 ft on the fence posts.

Pile of brush and tree limbs pulled from the dam.

Pile of brush and tree limbs pulled from the dam.

Audiobooks I’ve Read in 2014

 

My drive to work each day is 40 – 45 minutes depending on the weather, traffic and my lead foot!!!  To make the ride a little more tolerable I listen to audiobooks.  I love books and love read but that’s not allowed while driving.  :)   An average CD will last about 7 – 10 days depending on the book.  I’m a huge Nora Roberts fan and have a lot of her books and a bunch of her audiobooks and have listened to all of them.  The hardcover books are piling up at home because about the only time I have to read is at night when I go to bed but I fall asleep before I’m through one page.  I also like to books with me to my hunting stand but hunting season alas is over for now.

Here’s a few of my audiobooks with MY rating:

East of Eden by John Steinbeck  –  currently listening to and read when I was in high school, great but a little too much “commentary” .  I give it 4 stars.

Accused by Lisa Scottaline  –  different from what I normally read but really good storyline and a great author.   4 stars.

Three Sisters Trilogy by Nora Roberts  –  I never found a Nora Roberts book I didn’t like.  5 stars.

In the Garden Trilogy by Nora Roberts  –  I never found a Nora Roberts book I didn’t like.  5 stars.

Birthright, Northern Lights and Blue Smoke Trilogy by Nora Roberts  –  Great series.  5 stars.

Bride Collection by Nora Roberts  –  5 stars.

Born In Trilogy by Nora Roberts   –   Another great series. 5 stars.

Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy by Nora Roberts – My favorite of all the Nora Roberts series.  5+ stars.

The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd  –  Different but probably wouldn’t read it again, love this author.  3 stars.

The Tradd Street Collection by Karen White  –  Next to Nora Roberts, Karen White runs a very close second.  5+ stars.

The Inn Boonsboro Trilogy by Nora Roberts  –  Great series.  5 stars.

The Choice by Nicholas Sparks  –  Nicholas Sparks keeps me entrenched in his stories.  5 sars.

Wolves in Chic Cloth by Carrie Karasyov  –  Never see what’s coming!  4 stars.

Sweet Magnolias Series by Sherryl Woods – 5 stars.

Invitation Only by Kate Brian  –  3 stars.

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown  –  Good mystery. 3.5 stars

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold  –  Great story/mystery, hard to stop listening to once it got started.

A Chesapeake Shores Series by Sherryl Woods   –  Sherryl Woods rates right up there with Nora and Karen!!. 5 stars.

Wyoming Men Series by Diana Palmer –  Romance at it’s best.  4 stars.

Just Kate by Linda Lael Miller  –  Linda Lael Miller books are intriguing in every way.  5 stars.

Stone Creek Series by Linda Lael Miller  –  Good romance series.  My daughter got me hooked on this series.

 

I think I’ll start doing a monthly or bi-monthly book review of the what I listen to or read.  I would appreciate any recommendations and you can also see what else I’ve read or plan to read on my Goodreads link.  Sign up and lets be reading friends.

Gardening in the shade

View of the house from the front yard

View of the house from the front yard

 

As you can see from the picture our house is surrounded by the beautiful maple trees which provide lots of shade in the summertime and maple syrup in the spring.  We love the trees but it has been a real challenge finding plants that grow well in the yard and grass that survives the shade and our cold winter.  The left side of the house gets the morning sun and grows well and most of my roses are on that side and in the front.  The left side however is the challenge.  Hubby built this hanging table for me last year for Mother’s Day and I keep it covered with lots of my indoor plants in the summertime and bird feeders in the winter.

Swinging table covered with cacti, begonia, and more.

Swinging table covered with cacti, begonia, and more.

I have found a few flowering perennials that like the shade but none better than hostas, begonias, impatiens and bleeding hearts.

Impatiens love the shade.

Impatiens love the shade.

Bleeding Hearts

Bleeding Hearts

This corner of my yard gets hardly any sun due to the shade trees and this winter my planning will be filling it with shade lovers.

West corner of the front yard.  Not very pretty.

West corner of the front yard. Not very pretty.

Daylilies and tiger lilies do well but the blooms don’t last long enough.  I’m currently looking through all of my seed/plant catalogs in search of the all summer shade garden to dress it up with the dinner bell as my focal point.  I think astilbes, bleeding hearts, hostas, lamium, lilyturf, and monkshood will compliment each other and layering them from the dinner bell post to the front by height will look nice.  Primrose, Lenten rose, coral bells, bergenia and false spirea are some good prospects, as well.  I need to amend the soil with some good compost and garden soil and maybe a little chicken manure they should all get a good start.

The plants in front of the stones are herbs and they just did not get enough sun.  If any survive, they’ll go in a raised bed near the grape arbor beside the garden and be covered with chicken wire to keep the lovely ladies out of it.

I’m thinking spring!!! How about you???

Patience

Definition:  the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset; the state of endurance under difficult circumstances, which can mean persevering in the face of delay or provocation without acting on annoyance/anger in a negative way; or exhibiting forbearance when under strain, especially when faced with longer-term difficulties. Patience is the level of endurance one can take before negativity. It is also used to refer to the character trait of being steadfast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the Epistle of James, the Bible urges Christians to be patient, and ” see how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth,…until it receives the early and the late rains.” (James 5:7-11, NAB).

I’m patiently waiting for spring and the first sign of spring on our farm is this little bird.

One problem, I don’t have the patience I used to have!!

Little brother

I hope you will remember previous posts I’ve written about my younger brother.  He now lives in a wonderful Intermediate Care Facility near by and I see him twice a month and sometimes more often.  I love him dearly and he makes me smile, most of the time.

I promised him back in the summer that I would take him on a trip to meet up with his old girlfriend  that lives in another town about an hour away from where he is now.  It has been 15+ years since they had seen each other.  They send cards and letters to each other but had no way of seeing each other. My brother is not a big talker on the phone so they didn’t call each other either.

Right after Christmas I had a two full weeks off and set up a date for them two of them to have lunch together and go to a mall.  I called her sister to see if everything could be arranged.  Her sister does not drive so we couldn’t meet half way but I picked Dean up at 10:00 a.m. and we drove to her house to pick up her and the sister.  I took them all to Applebee’s for lunch at one of the local malls.  On the way to lunch they sit in the back seat of my car holding hands and exchanged Christmas gifts.  The sister and I got quite a kick out of watching and listening to them.  It was as if there had never been 15 years and almost 60 miles between them.  We took lots of pictures, ate and let them order whatever they wanted, and then we went shopping in the mall.  They hit every jewelry counter in the mall and talked about getting married.  They’re so funny.  He bought her a stuffed animal cat and she calls it Dean.  Hope you can see the happiness in their faces!

Dean and Judy at Applebees

Dean and Judy at Applebees

Applebees is their favorite restaurant

Applebees is their favorite restaurant

They ordered FOUR desserts and ate it all!!

They ordered FOUR desserts and ate it all!!

Ice cream all over his face

Ice cream all over his face

Dean_Judy01102015 (6)

Cheesecake desserts-chocolate and strawberry

Cheesecake desserts-chocolate and strawberry

Dean_Judy01102015 (16)

At Judy's house

At Judy’s house

Dean_Judy01102015 (12)

Time to head home

Time to head home

We’ll make sure they get together again in warmer weather!!

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This site is about my life as a farmgirl, wife, mother and grandmother and the things I love to do. I've been married to the same man that I love for 40+ years. We have two beautiful adult children and one granddaughter. We pretty much live off of our farm by raising our food or hunting for it. My blog is a day to day walk-through of our life.

This site is about my life as a farmgirl, wife, mother and grandmother and the things I love to do. I've been married to the same man that I love for 40+ years. We have two beautiful adult children and one granddaughter. We pretty much live off of our farm by raising our food or hunting for it. My blog is a day to day walk-through of our life.

Homemaking on the Homestead

This site is about my life as a farmgirl, wife, mother and grandmother and the things I love to do. I've been married to the same man that I love for 40+ years. We have two beautiful adult children and one granddaughter. We pretty much live off of our farm by raising our food or hunting for it. My blog is a day to day walk-through of our life.

This site is about my life as a farmgirl, wife, mother and grandmother and the things I love to do. I've been married to the same man that I love for 40+ years. We have two beautiful adult children and one granddaughter. We pretty much live off of our farm by raising our food or hunting for it. My blog is a day to day walk-through of our life.

This site is about my life as a farmgirl, wife, mother and grandmother and the things I love to do. I've been married to the same man that I love for 40+ years. We have two beautiful adult children and one granddaughter. We pretty much live off of our farm by raising our food or hunting for it. My blog is a day to day walk-through of our life.

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This site is about my life as a farmgirl, wife, mother and grandmother and the things I love to do. I've been married to the same man that I love for 40+ years. We have two beautiful adult children and one granddaughter. We pretty much live off of our farm by raising our food or hunting for it. My blog is a day to day walk-through of our life.

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This site is about my life as a farmgirl, wife, mother and grandmother and the things I love to do. I've been married to the same man that I love for 40+ years. We have two beautiful adult children and one granddaughter. We pretty much live off of our farm by raising our food or hunting for it. My blog is a day to day walk-through of our life.

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