Ida’s coming

It’s Sunday afternoon – just checked the radar to see where IDA will end up. Looks to be heading right over us. We are in the dot of lines between Memphis and Nashville.

Hoping this doesn’t turn into another Hurricane Olga event that left the town’s of Decaturville and Parson’s without power for 10 days and extensive storm damage to clean up.

Today we are prepping for whatever happens. Charging up the battery on the generator, filling gas can’s and vehicles up with fuel, charging up all the flash lights, making sure we have plenty water on hand, pulling together all the power cords, etc.

Olga’s path in 2019 had Decaturville on the eastern edge of the storm. This is why we had so much damage. I am hoping that the damage from IDA will be minimal. Time will tell. Hoping everyone in IDA’s path will be as safe as possible.

We did not expect Olga to turn into the weather event that it became. Olga brought us straight-line winds. We lost 8 ancient cedar trees as a result – the trees either blown apart or simply uprooted.

Ken was not home when this storm hit and he couldn’t get up our road due to several downed tree’s all along Martin Ln.

I thank God to our builder Brian who put up the garage. That building held up with out issue as did our little cottage!

This time IDA will not catch us unprepared like Olga did.

What we pass forward. What we leave behind.

I don’t think anyone alive today will disagree that today our world is filled with chaos. The foundation of civilization is crumbling around us as we bicker and squabble about this and that. Social media sites that once provided a platform to keep in touch with family and friends, to share good memories and happy life events have turned into a toxic wasteland of intolerance that fuels social upheaval.

Occasionally I find on the internet – something truly wonderful, uplifting, and inspirational. I wish to share this video in the hope that the next time you are tempted to post a reply to some toxic thread or pass on the negativity that you take a moment and think about this woman’s story and ask yourself is what you’re passing on something truly wonderful – or just more toxic bullshit that world does not need to hear?

Think about how wonderful the world can be if we walk away from toxic culture, stop passing negativity around and start sharing gifts of love, friendship and smiles.

Morning Ramblings. Coffee!

On this beautiful and sunny Monday morning, I am sitting at the breakfast table with my coffee mug in hand. I have already drunk half of my delicious Latte with International Delight Cold Stone Creamery Sweet Cream Creamer (my
favorite), and I have so many thoughts running through my mind. It is 7:00am currently, and I know I have at least a half an hour until Hootch, one of my pups, needs his “GO-GO” juice, aka his insulin shot.

So, while I am sipping the rest of my coffee, I felt compelled to share happenings here. Life on the acreage was busy and a bit hectic this past week.

It started last Monday when Ken’s son Brian arrived for a visit.

On Tuesday, Ken’s oldest grandson Dakota arrived. He starts school next week, so using the time off to spend time here with grandpa and to hopefully take out a coyote or two.

On Friday, Ken’s daughter Stacey arrived to spend the weekend with us and her brother and son.

On Saturday, one of Ken’s nieces that lives a couple hours away came to visit along with her husband and 14-month old daughter who was an absolute delight.

Saturday night the boys and Ken’s niece got out their guns and spent time shooting can’s and targets in the field. They shot several rounds until the rain put an end to their gun play.

In the meantime, we had plenty of food, drinks and snacks, we polished off several jars of homemade salsa. It was so good along with the Boston butt Ken put on the green egg. Slow cooked for 10 hours with apple wood. Major YUM!

Back to my ramblings. I took the feature photo Sunday morning before the kids came into the cottage. I don’t know why I took the photo other than I liked the look of the scene with everything setup and in place for the morning ritual we enjoy. It’s a ritual I go through every morning. Espresso machine filled with water – check. Enough ground coffee for the day and coffee grinder filled – check. Coffee mugs ready – check. Frothing mug and coffee filter ready – check. Espresso machine ready – check. Stacey, Brian and Dakota walking down the driveway to get coffee – check. Everything is ready, time to start brewing cups.

I already made my coffee when I saw the kids coming down the driveway. I left my cup untouched on the dinner table and started working on 2 more cups. As the kids came through the door, I said there is a cup on the table. Stacey called dibs, but Dakota got there first. I reminded Stacey that possession was nine tenths of the law.

We all laughed and sat and talked about nothing in particular. The kids enjoyed their coffee with homemade cinnamon toast making the most of their time together, Ken and I enjoying their company. Great start of the day.

Anyway to end my ramblings – for me coffee is the way I start my morning. It provides me with feelings of comfort and renewal. It’s a vessel that is used as a means by which our family comes together. Our morning coffee ritual is an activity that is weaved into our life here on the acreage, for us it’s more than a drink, it’s a link that joins family together.


Chicken Coop Exercise Run

A few weeks ago my flock was attacked by coyotes. I’m down to 2 laying hens. This was a devastating loss since we lost 3 hens in 1 afternoon.

We believe the coyotes have a den close by either in our center woods or in the quarry on the adjacent property. My girls have to stay in coop until we can eliminate the pack. They are not happy about it and neither am I.

I’ve recently expanded our flock by adding 10 chicks from my favorite hatchery Meyers. The chicks are old enough to run around the coop and run area. However, noting how quickly they grow we knew it would not be long before the flock of 12 will be overcrowded in the run.

To forstall the overcrowding we have added what we call an exercise area. The area is 12 ft wide by 30 ft long by 4 ft high. The exercise area has a small access door that can be closed at night to keep predators out.

The exercise run’s frame is composed of 2 by 10’s. The 2 by 10 sections are covered with chicken wire. The chicken wire goes from ground over the top and down to the ground. Each side is held in place with tent stakes. Each section is wired together along the seams.

The exercise run is not predator proof. Future plans are to add electric fencing around the perimeter to deter predators.

As you can see in the videos below, the girls are enjoying their new space. They have plenty of space to move, access to grass and weeds and room to run or fly about.

Ken was so happy with how this went together he’s planning on adding another section in the future. Overall cost of this addition was around $400.00 – noting current lumber prices have dropped a bit but are still elevated.