Autumn is upon us… I love it

I love fall. If I had to pick a favorite season I would choose fall. It is the season hubby and I were married in, it has great weather for my boots, jeans and a vest, its not too rainy, its not too hot or too cold, and its the beginning of the good food season… hot apple cider, soups, stews, roasts, and all sorts of other comfort foods. One activity hubby and I like to do is go to a farm to pick out our own pumpkin(s).

pumpkin

We spend quite a bit of time looking over our options, putting them side by side, and finding just the right ones for the year. Its like picking out the perfect Christmas tree for us. (Well I guess the Christmas tree is more special, but this is just as fun 🙂 )

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When we get them home we find them just the right spots and get out our other fall decorations.

hay-n-pumpkins

The dogs always like to explore the new additions… (look at this cute face)

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And take time to explore them.

baxter-pumpkins

We even got a neat shaped one for our side steps. I thought it was very unique.

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We had so much fun when we got to go this year and bring home these beauties to decorate our home.

October has come…

And is almost gone…

Dogs pumpkins october 2015

Today we finally got time and went to a local pumpkin farm to get out pumpkins. It was a fun time and now we are looking more fall at our place. Hope your fall is going well. 🙂

Chickens and Snow

We have had more snow the past couple of days and I have been trying to keep up with the animals. There are some things I have learned about chicken keeping in the snow, so I thought I would share some of them. You may know some (or all) of them, but maybe you will learn something new 🙂

1. Chickens don’t like to walk or be in the snow typically. So we have a large run for them to spend time in when the weather is bad. Our run is 8 ft tall, 8 ft wide, and 16 ft long. We are down to 13 chickens now, but have had upwards of 18 chickens in our run and they all have space.

Chicken coop

2. Chickens will eat the snow if they can get their little heads out to reach the snow with out having to step in it. (Even if they have fresh water inside the coop) 😉

Chicken snow

They just gobble it up.

Chickens two snow

3. Chickens are sensitive to the snow so if your chickens do walk in it you will need to watch their feet, wattle, and comb for frostbite. If your chickens do go out in the snow you may want to consider putting petroleum jelly on these areas to help prevent frostbite.

4. If your chickens are in their run all day they will create quite a mess depending on the type of bedding you have in your coop. Sand creates the least amount of dust, but we don’t have access to that much sand so we use wood chips and pine shavings so our coop gets quite dusty. I tell you this as when it is not actually snowing we open the door of the coop to let fresh air in and allow some of the dust to get out. We also try to clean the coop a little between snows to get more of the dust and cob webs out of there. ( We also do a deeper clean in the spring and fall but that’s another post).

chik snow

5. Its important to give your chickens something to do while they are stuck in the coop. We usually give them different types of treats, scratch, and feed blocks to peck at and forage for.

6. We also want to give our girls a place to dust besides in the dusty wood chips and shavings, so we have a kids size swimming pool in the coop and we have a few bags of sand we dumped into it. We try to clean it out every few days as well, but the girls like the sand ‘bath’.

Chicken coop sand

7. Its important to check your water as when its cold the water can freeze (sometimes more then once a day) even with a heated bucket like we have. We tend to pull out the frozen parts as we can and then leave them in the coop as the girls like to peck at it.

Chickens snow

8. Its good to have chicken coop protectors to check things out a couple times a day to make sure no predators get too close 😉

Chase protectBaxter coop

Tree Time

Today after a little black Friday shopping and some lunch… we got our TREE 🙂

Tree

Hubby and I have gone to the same cut your own tree farm since our first Christmas together. In the last few years my mom and step father have gone with us and a couple times my dad went with us. This year my mom, stepdad, hubby and I made our way to the farm and out into the field to find the perfect tree. Surprisingly this year one of the first few trees we found ended up being the one…

Tree cut

I did all the cutting this year as the tree was higher and the trunk smaller.

Tree cut 2

After we got it cut we pulled it in the cart back to pay…

Walk back

The tree place ties it up for you so it’s easier to get it home. Our tree ended up being 7 foot this year.

Tree house

Once we got home we put the tree in it’s stand and gave it some water.

Tree chase bax

Tomorrow morning we will decorate the tree over breakfast. Hope you had a happy Friday.

Happy Thanksgiving :)

It’s Thanksgiving Day… A day for family, food, and most importantly Gratitude.

Farm

For those of you who don’t know the history of American Thanksgiving:

The First Thanksgiving

As most schoolchildren know, the history of Thanksgiving began when Pilgrims and Native Americans gathered together to celebrate a successful harvest. The first Thanksgiving was held in the fall of 1621, sometime between September 21 and November 11, and was a three-day feast. The Pilgrims were joined by approximately 90 of the local Wampanoag tribe, including Chief Massasoit, in celebration. They ate fowl and deer for certain and most likely also ate berries, fish, clams, plums, and boiled pumpkin.

Though the current holiday of Thanksgiving was based on the 1621 feast, it did not immediately become an annual celebration or holiday. Sporadic days of Thanksgiving followed, usually declared locally to give thanks for a specific event such as the end of a drought, victory in a specific battle, or after a harvest. It wasn’t until October 1777 that all 13 colonies celebrated a day of Thanksgiving. The very first national day of Thanksgiving was held in 1789, when President George Washington proclaimed Thursday, November 26 to be “a day of public thanksgiving and prayer,” to especially give thanks for the opportunity to form a new nation and the establishment of a new constitution.

We owe the modern concept of Thanksgiving to a woman named Sarah Josepha Hale. Hale, editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book and author of the famous “Mary Had a Little Lamb” nursery rhyme, spent 40 years advocating for a national, annual Thanksgiving holiday. In the years leading up to the Civil War, she saw the holiday as a way to infuse hope and belief in the nation and the constitution. So, when the United States was torn in half during the Civil War and Lincoln was searching for a way to bring the nation together, he discussed the matter with Hale. On October 3, 1863, Lincoln issued a Thanksgiving Proclamation that declared the last Thursday in November (based on Washington’s date) to be a day of “thanksgiving and praise.” For the first time, Thanksgiving became a national, annual holiday with a specific date.

For 75 years after Lincoln issued his Thanksgiving Proclamation, succeeding presidents honored the tradition and annually issued their own Thanksgiving Proclamation, declaring the last Thursday in November as the day of Thanksgiving. However, in 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt did not. In 1939, the last Thursday of November was going to be November 30. Retailers complained to FDR that this only left 24 shopping days to Christmas and begged him to push Thanksgiving just one week earlier. It was determined that most people do their Christmas shopping after Thanksgiving and retailers hoped that with an extra week of shopping, people would buy more. So when FDR announced his Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1939, he declared the date of Thanksgiving to be Thursday, November 23, the second-to-last Thursday of the month.

(Information from About.com)

Turkey on platter

Wow that’s a long history for a holiday. Still, what I get out of it all is we need to be grateful for whatever we have…. family, food on our tables, freedom, choices, our pets, the ability to grow our own food, heat on a cold winters night, our phones, computers, tablets, music, art, but most importantly the ability to be saved by the one and only Savior Jesus. I am grateful today for my salvation, my family, my pups, friends, my home, our chickens, the ability to grow my own food, and so much more.

I hope you have a blessed day. Let me know what you are grateful for 🙂

State Fair Barn Visit

In September we went to our State Fair. I have gone to the state fair in this state every year since we moved here,  except the year I got married and last year I wasn’t able to either. Instead of mom and dad going with me, now its usually mom, step-dad, and if I’m lucky hubby, if he is not working. They also moved the location of the fair and most people like it, but it just isn’t the same for me. There seems to be a lot less “stuff” and things going on at the fair. I don’t know if it is because agriculture and animals are not as important to people now as they used to be, except to those of us who care for them or those who do the farming and ranching, but it’s just not the same. It may be my own memories throwing it off because as a child the fair was my favorite part of the year, whether I was showing that year, or not. It was just good family time. Where the fair is held now, is the farm where “Secretariat” was born and kept.

Barns

This barn above is the barn that famous horse was kept and below is the plaque explaining that…

Plaque

The stall is nothing special, but it is neat to see.

Stall

The state fair is over for the year and I am happy I got to go and hubby got to come as well. Even if it isn’t the same I still look forward to the State Fair every year. I love to watch all the kids and adults ride horses, show cows, and participate in all the competition there. Do you go to the state or local fairs in your state?

Storms a commin’

The other night a storm blew in so quick, but you could see it coming….

Storm 2

I loved seeing the rain sheets coming from the river…

Storm 3

And across the fields towards our house…

Storm 1

The clouds turned and got darker as the storm got closer…

Storm 4

As much as I hate storms it was neat to see all this and be inside my cozy home safe and sound 🙂

Storm 5

New Bed and an Update

I got the pups a new bed a couple weeks ago as their old one is falling apart. They seem to really enjoy it an take turns sleeping on it. It’s so cute to see them cuddled up on it. I especially love watching their late afternoon naps where the sun is shinning thought the window and the rays fall on them…

Chase new bed

Its nice to see them enjoy something new and it’s nice not to have a bed with hole in it laying on my living room floor 😉 In other news we had a setback with our sick chicken yesterday so we isolated her again inside and gave her lots of rest, electrolytes in her water, and good food with extra calcium and nutrients in it. Today after I got home from Church she was walking around inside her pen eating and drinking. So I decided to let her back outside since the weather was nicer today. She seemed to do okay all day and was out pecking around. I let her stay out with the other’s girls tonight and had her sleep in a separate little box we have for the chickens when they are sick, but left the door open. Hopefully she is back on the mend. Hope you all have a beautiful and blessed week 🙂

Chicken sick… poor girl

We have a sick chicken. I tried what the feed store lady suggested and only minimal improvement. The poor girl 😦 About a week ago I noticed her crown had slumped over and she was not as peppy. When I picked her up she was skinny and when I watched her I noticed her potty was runny. The feed store lady suggested goat dewormer and I had seen that suggested several times on Backyard chicken site. So we tried it and I see minimal difference.

Yellow dalia

So today I tried other things like checking for egg binding and crop impaction. I didn’t see she had either, but gave her a nice Epsom salt bath and gave her some mashed carrots that had crushed calcium and olive oil in it. I figured it wouldn’t hurt. She seemed to like the mixture and ate some of it. She took a nap and I saw she actually drank water. So now I am out of diagnosis and ideas… Any of you have any ideas? I can post pictures if that will help or give you more information if you want to know something specific. I just hate to see her sick. None of the other girls are sick so that is good 🙂 Thanks for any help you may have 😉

Weekend Wishes…

It was a beautiful day here. The sun was out… it wasn’t too warm… and there was a slight breeze. Ideal for animal care and playing with the pups in the yard. I was happy to be off work and outside and enjoying the weather.

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I hope you all have a blessed and happy weekend 🙂

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