Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Home Sweet Homestead

One last snuggle with Skyler

And it was time to say goodbye to family,friends, and my wonderful NC mountains.

And travel down the curvy mountain roads

To flat sandy land and the homestead. Had a wonderful two weeks with daughters,grands,son in laws, and friends. Got lots of loving time with new grandson Skyler. Enjoyed going to grandson Quintin's swim and awards party. Quintin was fishing in FL so Skyler got to join in the group picture and take Quintin's award,

Had fun at Melody's at a family cookout. Joseph made some awesome burgers. Went to the drive in for the first time in many, many, years. The funny thing about that is I got locked in the car. The back doors are child proof and only open from outside.Megan, Melody, and Becky (Megan's friend) got out to sit on a blanket in front of the car while I was on the phone. Told them I would join them in a few minutes. Well when I went to get out I couldn't. Tried calling Megan several times, text her several messages and finally crawled halfway out the window to lean backwards and open the door. When I got out I ask Megan to check her phone. After she read her texts out loud everyone had a good laugh at grandma being locked in the car. It was a fun girls night out. I loved seeing my sister in law Debbie and niece Nikki. I hadn't seen Debbie in years. Took Quintin and Raigun fishing. Ate some of the best chicken and it was cooked by granddaughter Gabby. Went to several thrift stores.Went walking with Megan and Becky. (love having to climb hills while walking). Read 2 books and stayed up late watching movies with the grands and their friends. Got woke up one night to help get one of Quintin's friends out of the dryer......he was stuck. Don't ask why a 14 yr old boy would climb in a dryer at 3AM cause I have no idea. Don't ask why I knew how to tell him how to get unstuck and get out of the dryer.

All in all it was fantastic being back where I lived most of  my life. Felt like I had never been away as it was so easy to pick right up with family and friends. Just to be able to see mountains no matter what direction I looked. To have temps in the 80's during the day and low 60's at night was a dream. My daughters kept saying how hot it was while I just embraced those wonderful temps. Now I am back on the homestead catching up on laundry, housecleaning, gardening, pen cleanups, and animal care. As much as I love being in the mountains it sure is good to be home. To see the animals reaction when they see me walking in their pens. They acted like they actually missed me. I got lots of nudges,licks, and nibbles as well as having to give lots of belly rubs,head scratches, and treats. Even with the heat and humidity that was waiting for me its good to be home.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

We stayed up until 2AM watching "scary" movies. Had a really fun night with the kids. Megan ask Quintin to watch Skyler for a few minutes this morning. They both fell asleep.... just love this pic!!  Today I rode to Asheville with Melody to take Julie to doctors appointment. Granddaughter Hope just got her permit and drove us. I realized I am too old to ride with teenage drivers! I do better with scary movies. LOL Enjoyed spending time with Melody, Julie, Hope, and Raigun. My time for heading home is drawing near so I am trying to spend as much time as I can with the grands. Miss the homestead and looking forward to being home but am still enjoying the blessings of being here in the mountains. The weather here has been wonderful. Today was the first day since being here I got hot and sweaty. It has cooled down tonight and looking forward to this wonderful mountain night air. Don't forget to count those blessings!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Day in the Mountains

Love being able to see mountains everytime I go outside. This was taken riding back from visiting my sister in law Debbie. Nothing beats being in the middle of beautiful NC mountains!
Debbie holding Skyler. I had such a wonderful time catching up with her. We haven't sat down and chatted in years.

This is Debbie's "cabin" she is building in the woods down a long dirt road. It is beautiful inside and out and love its away from the main road.
My niece Nikki holding Skyler. I think he is in love with her. Nikki is now the owner/operator of Perry's Water Garden's. She is working long hours every day at the gardens as well as working a outside job. Here are a few pictures I took around the water gardens:

It was nice being back where I lived when my daughters were born and growing up. Being able to spend time with my sister in law and niece was a extra bonus. Have plans on getting together with Debbie again before going home and to babysit so Megan can have a girls night with Nikki. The days are in the 80's but not humid. The nights are in the 60's and wonderful!  Spending time in the mountains is truly a blessing!

Monday, July 16, 2012

NC Mountains!!

Arrived yesterday and spent the evening holding and getting to know my newest grandson Skyler. Early this morning I took Quintin and Raigun fishing before Quintin and Gabby head to FL for a week. This week will be a nice relaxing week with Megan, Skyler and Raigun. Melody and family are on vacation and Maggie is back in Tennessee working. But I am loving the nice cool weather and seeing the mountains. Sure have missed my NC mountains! Nothing planned for this week except relaxing,fishing with Raigun, holding Skyer, talking with Megan,catching up on my reading, and taking lots of pictures.  Next week catching up with the grands and Melody. I am so blessed!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

NC Mountains and Baby Skyler Here I Come!

These are 2 Indigo Blue peacocks I purchased May 26th, at the Farm and Garden Swap Meet. They were only 2 weeks old and very tiny then. They are growing but from what I can see I have 2 females. Takes females longer to get their colors from what I been told plus they just look like females to me. When they get bigger and I know for sure will have to find a male. That was the day William bought 3 rabbits after my telling him we didn't need anymore. He always goes and looks at everything and comes back with something. I stay with our table so I won't go looking. My problem was the peacocks were right next to me. LOL The guy had all breeds of peacocks and I picked out these two and told if they didn't sell by the time we left I would take them. What can I say, it was meant to be!

This week has found me getting the homestead all mowed, raked, cleaned up as best I can with all the rain showers we are getting. I am heading to the mountains Sunday to see my new grandbaby and visit with daughters, grands, son in laws, and just enjoy my mountains. I am going for two weeks but will check in to show off baby pics and updates. I will hopefully have more time to visit your blog while I relax. Two weeks without feeding and caring for the animals is going to be hard for me to do but I am so looking forward to a break with my girls and their families. Grandson Harvey will be going home Sunday but his older brother Will is coming to stay with PopPop and help around the homestead. He is 13 and a big help with the animals. I have made William promise not to work him too hard and let him spend a few nights with his friend as he only sees him when he is here. I am sure I will get lots of phone calls and will even give lots of directions on caring for the animals but they will be taken care of. I think William will even be able to see why some of my projects aren't done yet after he takes over my chores for two weeks. But I am very blessed to be able to go away for that long. I am also very excited to hold and love on Skyler as well as catch up with all the other grandkids. Haven't seen them since last Christmas except for Melody when she stopped by on a business trip. Got lots to catch up on and lots of time to just sit and enjoy those beautiful mountains! Back to work for me. Still got lots to do before Sunday. We are having a petting Zoo at Tractor Supply Saturday. Got to get some of the animals ready. Got pens to clean, water bowls, bottles to bleach and clothes to pack..... Have a very blessed evening and stay cool!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Staying Cool Around The Homestead

Looking forward to this next week. If the weather reports are right we will not be having triple digit temps but will even get down to the 80's! Going to be some good rainfall coming in with that cool front and I am truly looking forward to it. Even with the 100plus degree weather we managed to find ways to cool off and enjoy ourselves. Grandson Harvey took over PopPops straw hat while playing outside in the mornings and late evenings. He loves being a "farmer". Harvey's time here will be over next Sunday as he heads back home. Will miss my little helper. We were blessed to be given over 40 watermelons for the animals. They have really enjoyed eating them, especially during the hottest part of the day. Doesn't take them long to eat it right down to nothing but the green outer skin. The geese even dip the green part in their water and eat that. The rabbits eat early morning and don't want anything but frozen water bottles till late evening. Their days are spent sleeping next to or hugging their frozen bottle. I give them fresh drinking water but they don't even move from their spot next to their bottle to get a drink. By now I know where each rabbit wants its bottle placed. A couple like theirs in their sleeping box. A few like theirs against the back of the cage and others like theirs right at the front so they can stay cool while they watch the rest of the homestead. I thought I had a pic of the goats in front of their fans but couldn't find it. Will take another tomorrow. The pups and young goats lay down in front of the fan on the gate while the older goats like the one in the big stall out of the sun. The dogs have dug a hole  to China in front of their fan. Every once in awhile I will see a nose peeking out. I have been making myself caramel freppe's like there is no tomorrow. Love those things and boy do they cool me down! I will just pretend there are no calories in them. Canned peaches last night and hope to can butter beans and blackeyed peas this week while its cool. Tomatoes are ripening like crazy so will be canning more of those too. The heat got the squash and rest of the greenbeans. Hopefully the fall garden will do better this year. Tramp has started coming to the back door at bedtime. He comes inside, goes to the livingroom and lays down for the night. Think he likes the a/c. He did have a nightmare the other night and I had to wake him up. He was crying loud and painfully while his legs were going crazy. Actually had to shake him to wake him up. He looked so embarrassed when I woke him up. He got up moved under the desk and went back to sleep. I never thought he would want to come inside. Tramp is very shy around people and only lets very few pet him. Before he was rescued from the middle of a highway he was abused by a man (I think) because he doesn't like for a man to touch or get behind him. He is getting old and gray faced but seems to have plenty of energy chasing the fox around here. Meals around here are fixed on the grill, in the crockpot,on the top of the stove, or lots of salads. It is just too hot to turn the oven on. Tonight was fish,coleslaw,jasmine rice, canola beans, and dinner rolls. With cooler temps I see my oven getting used again, at least for a few days. Haven't taken Harvey swimming as its so hot the pool water is warm like bath water. He has enjoyed running through the sprinkler while I water plants. He has fun and my plants get much needed water. So there you have it. How Hidden Haven is beating the heat. Hope you are staying cool and are not one of the unlucky ones without electric.  While you are relaxing tonight don't forget to count your blessings....even those small ones we usually tend to take for granted.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Happy Birthday America

We had a wonderful cookout with our neighbors and friends Chrissy and Jason. Had to cut the fun short as the fireworks started kinda early in our neighborhood which caused some of the dogs to get upset. Tinker and Bella jumped their fence and joined us at the neighbors. They would go crazy everytime a firework went off. We brought them home and let them inside with us along with Tramp who was waiting by the backdoor when we got home. William is in bed with Bella laying on the floor beside him. I have Tinker drooling on my arm while she tries to climb into my lap. Tramp is asleep at my feet while Rusty is sitting on the sofa barking at all the fireworks. I have a feeling Tinker will be trying to sleep in my lap or right up next to me with Rusty and Tramp close by. Going to be a long night. The goats and other dogs are handling the noise just fine. They are all sleeping in the goat pen. I hope everyone had a very blessed 4th. Am very blessed to live in and celebrate the birthday of our country. Happy Birthday America!

Monday, July 2, 2012

What A Heat Wave!

We have broken records the past several days with our high temps. Actual temps have been 103,107, 106, 102F. Heat index one day was 114F. We cut our a/c on for the first time last Wednesday. Though we have it 78F in the house it has felt so nice, when I am inside. My problem is I feel guilty I am cool while animals are outside in the heat and humidity. I put fans in the stalls for the goats and they love standing in front of them. I am also trying to keep their water changed every few hours so its not hot like bath water. I have a fan for the dogs to use and Bella loves it. She lays down in front of it and doesn't move. Seems I am trading out thawed water bottles for frozen ones with the rabbits every time I turn around. That's 16 rabbits which means I have 32 frozen water bottles to deal with besides the 16 drinking bottles for them. The chickens,ducks, geese, and turkey are also getting fresh water every few hours and a misting to help them cool off. They just stand there and spread their wings. The heat has me soaking wet in a matter of minutes. When I come inside its like I just stepped out of the shower. I dry off, change clothes and its time to start all over. Remember that donut commercial: Time to make the donuts? That's what I feel like. I am meeting myself coming in as I am going out. Today we had a hail storm but along with it was rain, heavy winds, and cooler temperatures. We dropped from 102 to 79 in a matter of minutes. The dogs were freaking out over the thunder so brought them inside and we watched the storm out the window. Tinker wanted to be a lap dog till the storm passed. A 120lb plus dog is not a good lap dog. When the storm passed and the dogs were back in the goat pens I just enjoyed walking around outside. There was no heat to take my breath away or making me sweat like a pig. It was just nice. Heat will be back tomorrow but for now I can relax without feeling guilty. The animals can enjoy one night of cool weather. They can get some rest for tomorrows heat. William thinks this crazy record breaking weather is going to bring us a harsh winter. I say bring it on! The more snow, cold winter winds, the better. I have always thought I should have been born a Eskimo. I can add layers, build a nice fire, and do lots of things to stay warm and keep my animals warm. There are very few things to do to stay cool and there are only so many layers of clothing one can take off.

On a different note, grandson Skyler is doing fantastic. Being blessed with a old brother and sister and a mom that hasn't had a baby in 13 yrs he is getting spoiled. I ask Megan today if Skyler had slept laying down yet. LOL She said he did last night. They go home from the hospital tomorrow where I am sure Skyler will not make more than a whimper before everyone is bidding his command. That baby doesn't know how blessed he is!
Mommy just can't believe he is finally here.

Quintin already has big sports plans for his little brother

Gabby is even enjoying changing diapers. She loves being a big sister and not the baby of the family.
Daddy is even making sure Skyler is being spoiled.
I plan on going up in a couple of weeks. Hopefully by then everyone will have had plenty of time to hold, love, and spoil him so I can make sure to get my fill too! Have a blessed week. If you have pets please don't forget to take extra care of them during the heat of the day. You don't like being hot and drinking warm water... They shouldn't have to either!