Thanking the Show “Heartland”

One of my favorite shows, no actually, it is THE favorite show of mine.  Heartland.  I love everything about it.  It’s based on a horse ranch (based in Canada), open space, small town, not about cussing and killing, and did I mention ranch?  It’s because of that show I was able to convince my husband (which wasn’t hard) that it was time to make the move, buy property, and pursue our dream.  While it was a rough go in the beginning, I couldn’t be happier how it’s all turned out.  We continue to watch that show and every time the theme song comes on we look at each other and smile.  I love the music soundtracks in the show.  I wish they had a soundtrack CD for each season.  I’d buy them all!  Currently my favorite song from it is Phillip LaRue’s “Carry You.”  I highly recommend listening to it.

We got our first chicken egg on Sunday!  We got a second one this morning and I suspect it is from the same chicken.  It’s white so it’s from one of the Leghorns.  The Rhode Islands are a bit bigger but haven’t started laying yet.  They should all start laying the small pullet eggs here in the next month.  I’ve already got a bunch of egg recipes ready to go and figure we’ll be eating a lot of them (in moderation but probably on the high side of it).  I’m thinking frittata because it will take no crust and can use many of the vegetables we’re growing in the garden.  It’s great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner too.  Of course, in the beginning at least, it will take a couple eggs to equal a regular size egg.  First chicken egg

Our second baby mini donkey was born on Saturday afternoon.  Pretty exciting because  now the countdown to bring them both home can begin, probably being the end of October.  It was a little female (jennet) which we named Emma.  Now we’ll have Ella (who is a dark brown) and Emma (a lighter brown).

Emma 6-2017

They finish up the Mini S Ranch line up of animals.  That gives us (in addition to our four dogs), three mini horses, two mini fainting goats, two mini donkeys, twelve chickens, and four ducks.  Yep, that is plenty considering that a full-time job fills up the day.  Mornings and evenings are spent doing the chores for them all with some loving touches and talking with them.  Weekends are an extended version of that.

I’ll be taking a couple days off so I can spend it working with Jaxx getting used to his halter, leading, getting groomed, and doing a little of that with the other two as well.  I’ve not groomed them as often as I’d like.  Luckily their winter coat is off and they look beautiful and sleek.  Jaxx is losing his baby hair, in part from rubbing up against the fence.  Part of his hair came off in somewhat of a sideways heart pattern.  It’s pretty cute.

Jaxx with heart

Next on my agenda is getting a sun shade up for the chickens (yes, they’re spoiled) and make ice blocks for all the animals during the hot days of summer.

Oh, and did I mention I ordered personalized plates for my new truck?  No surprise it will say “Mini S” on it.

 

 

 

Duck Shower

Duck ShowerThe ducks have a little wading tank they like to get in and splash around, quack like crazy, and have a good time.  When they see one of us with the hose though, that’s when they really get excited.  All four stand together looking at me waiting for the hose to come on so they can get a shower.  We put it in spray mode so it’s like a rainfall on them.  Afterwards they flutter their wings out and shake and quack.  Over the weekend I bet we did it about four times a day for them just for fun for us and I’m sure with the heat, comforting for them.

My husband and I laugh about our chickens.  They are chicken for sure!  They go in and out of the chicken coop all day with the light off without any problems.  When night comes though, they all stay outside if I haven’t been out to turn the light on until I do make it out to turn the light on and close them in for the night.  They will huddle right by the door in a pile basically, waiting for me because there is a light above the barn on the outside.  It cracks me up every night.  When it’s the heat of the day (at the moment they have no outside shade during that time) they stay inside unless something catches their attention and they’ll step outside for a bit.

We’re doing some no to low maintenance in an area on the west side where there will also be a nice sitting area to look out over the west pasture.  Ed’s spent a lot of time and effort on what was a tired overgrown and neglected pasture that required the brush hog to mow it into a nice level and perked up pasture that can be mowed with the riding mower.  The garden has been neglected and shows by all the grass and weeds that’s grown in.  We’ve had so many other things going on that admittedly this is one area that has not had our (my) full attention.  Still, things are growing and doing well having said that.  I try to keep the weeds and grass away from the plants themselves.  Next year it will be better though because we can do some soil maintenance to it and get it prepped for the spring till.  What grows this year is a plus and there will be corn to freeze, fresh greens to eat, zucchini and pumpkin to harvest, probably tomatoes too which will become salsa.  It’s my peppers and watermelon that I think are not happy with the soil or living conditions.  I’m okay with that though.  With everything we’ve done and are still doing this year, the fact that one area falls short on expectations isn’t disturbing to me.  I’ll be grateful for anything and everything we’re able to harvest.

All Work and No Play…

Since before the day we ever moved into our home and property, we were planning and working on improvement and moving forward with our dream.  We have a lot to show for our hard work over the last several months.  As the heat of the summer starts to show its head, we’ve come to the conclusion that we will work in the evenings as it cools during the week and mornings and evenings on the weekends.  The heat of the day will be for staying inside to cool off or run errands or visit family and family.  Maybe we’ll even attend some fun summertime events.  While neither of us are burnt out, we have come to an agreement that we have to give ourselves a break now that we are working on the things we want for our home and acreage versus things that were needed.

We’re getting new neighbors across the way from us and are happy to say they are much like us.  They’ve already got projects lined up for what sounds like several months or years to come.  It will be nice to see the place receive some much needed improvements.  Their son is 10-years old and has fallen in love with our goats and especially with Jaxx.  Now he can walk through our pasture and Jaxx will follow him around like a puppy.  They’ve become best friends.  It’s so cute.

Connor and Jaxx

We have baby birds all over our property.  Whenever I take a video around the place, when I play it back, there is always a loud background of birds.  We have nests in the horse barn, hay barn, above our garage door, on the porch in the hanging flower basket, and even in the newspaper bin next to our mailbox.  There are small sparrows, swallows, robins and finches.  Of course baby birds can nest anywhere, but it makes me that much more heart happy that so many chose our place for it.  (They probably settled there because we kept them fed in the bird feeders all winter long!)

Baby birds

My oldest son married his long time girlfriend last weekend.  It was a busy and fun time.  I even practiced crying (well not really practicing, it just happened) on the way to the wedding.  Walking with my son down the aisle and receiving the hug before I sat done melted my heart.  I love my two sons, who are both now happily married.  I couldn’t be more proud.  They’ve got plans for the future and are putting all the pieces into place to make it happen.  I have faith they’ll reach their goals! And let’s face it, after having two boys, I get the bonus to finally have two girls to call my kids along with my grandchildren of course, too!

Matt Latisha Wedding Photo

Now my husband and I are planning next steps on what we’d like to do, focusing more on aesthetics and functionality of the west pasture.  We don’t feel like it has to be done yesterday, which takes a lot of pressure off of us.  We know our to-do list will never get smaller, so we’ll pace ourselves through it all.  These days, we’re much better about stopping to take in all we’ve done.  We have really brought the place to life so much from the tired and outdated place it started as.  Once we get it re-stained in a couple weeks, the log home will brighten it all up even more!  Life is good.