Monday, March 27, 2017

Fence Lines and Walking with Dixie

If there is one rule that I have heard over and over since we have moved out here it is to keep our fence lines mowed and clear.  The main reason...SNAKES!  Well, when it comes to anything reptilian, I only have to be told once.  Mark my word, our fence lines will stay mowed and clear! In order to keep an eye on these fence lines, I have started walking the perimeter of the property.  Well, I walk the front 1/3 of the property.  The front 1/3 has already been mowed and cleared...the back 2/3 has not, therefore, I am not walking that part. :)  At a brisk pace, I can walk around the front 1/3 in about 7-8 minutes.  So, I have decided to kill two birds with one stone - check fence lines and get in a good walk.  I can make 4 rounds in about 30 minutes. A nice surprise has been my walking companion.  Dixie has decided that I should not walk alone. :)  She trots out in front of me, constantly monitoring the area at all times.  It really is adorable; she's my protector. 
Always out in front :)

Standing at attention from a strange sound.

Now this is just random but I have to share.  The below picture is the trophy left from a Loggerhead Shrike.  Shrikes are the cutest little birds, but what they do to their prey is downright wrong!  My sister-in-law posted a picture on FB about a month ago.  Her kids had found a small snake impaled on a tree branch.  Apparently, it was the placed there by a Loggerhead Shrike.  I knew if she had them we were sure to see one on our property, since they live about 15 minutes from us.  These adorable birds impale their prey on fences, trees, etc.  Then bring female birds to view the said trophy.  If she likes what she sees then we get baby shrikes.  Oh brother!!!!  Needless to say, we now have two Shrikes that fly around together.
You can see where the barb is coming right through the middle of the bug - YUCK!  The kids and I actually witnessed a shrike push a spider onto a barb.  It was rather violent.  We just stood and watched from a good distance.  Once it left we rushed out to see and sure enough...

Dixie sticks with me until she gets too hot.  Then she paces the porch until my walk is finished; never letting me out of her sight. :)

Our oldest definitely pitched in with the fence line clearing.  He sprayed weeds with the backpack sprayer.  Let me just say, this thing is HEAVY!  It is 32 pounds of liquid weed killer and then the weight of the pack.  I was super proud of him for working so hard and not falling over backwards! :)

Our tractor arrives on Thursday!!!  We are all super excited! :)  I guess that means we will be clearing and mowing the back 2/3's.

Monday, March 20, 2017

I Basically Drove to Austin on a Tiny Tractor

Ummmm, okay so that title may be a bit of an exaggeration, but let me explain.  This past Thursday my husband and I completed our first round of yard work at our new home.  When we purchased the home, the previous owner left the riding lawn mower.  This is what I refer to as my tiny tractor.  It's even a John Deere! Lol We really need a real tractor for much of the back portion of the property, but as of right now, we only have smaller lawn equipment.  I braced myself, knowing full well that this was going to be a long process.  I dressed in a long, white sleeved t-shirt, black sweat pants, my trusty, camo boots (pants tucked in of course), and a ball cap.  I wanted to make sure those mosquitos knew who was boss!  I immediately jumped on my "tiny tractor" while my husband ran between the regular push mower, line trimmer (that is a really big weed eater), small weed eater, and backpack sprayer for weeds. AND..... we got it done in record time... 5 hours 41 minutes....(yes, that one minute matters). OH. MY. WORD! WHAT IN THE WORLD?! GOOD GRAVY! That wasn't even all 7.85 acres!  WHAAAAAAAAA!!!!! Now if you have never been on a tiny tractor while mowing uneven ground, you may not realize what type of ride I endured.  Here are some of the thoughts that ran through my mind as I dramatically bumpity bumped all over the place. 1.  It started with, "Oh goodness, this isn't has smooth and easy as I originally thought." 2.  "OH MY WORD!  My bladder is going to sustain permanent damage!" 3.  "It sure is a good thing I am done having babies!" 4.  "Chapstick is not a good idea."  I cannot even begin to tell you how much dirt and grime I had stuck to my gross! 5.  "I'M. NEVER. GETTING. OFF.  EVER. - This is some type of life sentence!" 6.  "I'll just wave to the kids as they leave for college..." 7.  "I want my mommy." 8.  "What did I do to deserve this?" 9.  "Is it even possible to hold your abs in on this thing?" 10.  "This is not making me feel attractive." 11.  "Oh crap! I just ran into the barn..."  I looked around to see if anyone witnessed that "little bump", and decided to play it off and just keep going.  I did fess up to it later, only to hear laughter from my husband.  Thankfully, things like that don't ruffle his feathers.  Speaking of feathers, the defective chickens still haven't laid eggs. At the end of the 5 hours and 41 minutes (that minute still matters), my  behind was completely numb.  The muscles in my back were on fire and waving the white flag of surrender.  We both looked at each other and laughed in complete disbelief of the events that played out during our little yard sessions. It was after 8 o'clock, we still had not made dinner, we were beyond dirty.  The kids were starting the circle us waiting for some type of meal.  When they began to grow a bit impatient, my husband came to my defense with, "Look at your mother, have you ever seen her look like this?"  I think he was beginning to think he broke me, that the country shook me violently for 5 hours and 41 minutes and then spit me out...into the dirt. We showered, ate delicious steak and potatoes (thank you, Honey) and then fell asleep on the couch. But those sunsets...totally worth it! Oh!!! So my point about driving to Austin on a tiny tractor.  I was on the riding lawn mower longer than it would take to drive from here to Austin.  :)  AND I received a honk and wave from two men in a pick up...LOL

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Girls' Weekend, Boys' Weekend, and an Update to the Blog

 Hello Everyone! Just a quick post and short update.  Over the weekend, the boys (the big and the two littles...who aren't so little anymore) went on a camping trip with our Boy Scout Troop.  Without any boys around, my little shadow and I did all things girly.  :) While both of us girls love camping and being outdoors, we very much appreciate mani/pedis and shopping.  This was her first experience for a professional manicure and pedicure, and I think we have created a monster.  She was in love with every part of the experience.  :)  I guess it is a good thing that I rarely go or this could get expensive.  We also watched 4 Barbie movies, 1 Tinker Bell movie, and Moana (which I loved).  She spent a LOT of time soaking in bubble baths while I caught up on the latest People magazine.  She happily took over her dad's side of the bathroom, as well, as his side of the bed. :)  Plus my mom was able to spend time with us on Saturday, such a nice bonus.  We loved our weekend together!!! ** While working on this post, my laptop stopped charging and is completely dead.  I am trying to finish this post on the iPad, however not all of the pictures are showing.  I took adorable pictures at the salon while we enjoyed our pedicures.

I don't have all the details of the camping trip since I wasn't there.  But from what I hear, it went really well.  They encountered quite a bit of rain, and everything came back soaking wet and smelly!  I have several other pictures that my husband sent me, but they all include other kiddos (so I didn't want to post them here).  I had to color dots over the faces in the below picture.  Many of the pics showed the boys WAY down inside of caves and crevices.  I am extrmemely claustrophobic, so just the sight of the pictures made me cringe.  Needless to say, the boys didn't inhereit my issue with small or even medium sized spaces.  

(leaning forward from such a steep incline)

It wouldn't be a post without a sunset picture.  This was Saturday night after a lot of rain.  It just amazes me how many colors are displayed in one sunset.  Stunning!

*** One last thing, I am making a change with how I link blog posts on Facebook.  I tyically link to both my personal FB page which I share with my husband, as well as, the blog FB page.  After this post, I am no longer going to link to my personal page.  If you would like to keep up with the posts please do one or all of the following. :)

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Happy Monday - go to bed early and try to catch that hour of sleep we lost.  By the way, our coffee on the porch this mornign was in dark - pitch black - not cool.