Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas eve eve

Tonight it Christmas eve eve. We have been counting eve's for weeks now and it is finally upon us. The weather has finally turned winter and this evening the moon was huge and beautiful. Tomorrow the moon will be full which I think is so cool to happen on Christmas eve. It will make Santa's job easier I'm sure since he'll have the light from the moon. It may even make it easier to spot Old Saint Nick as he and his reindeer are traversing the skies. Ya'll be looking out for him now.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

A purple finch has been visiting my back deck for the past few days. He is just as red as he can be...but he is deemed purple. I thought he was fabulously adorned for the holidays and I was thrilled to be snapping pictures of him...I felt like shouting, "you look fabulous, who are you wearing?" But instead I was stealthily quite as I eased the sliding door open just enough to peak out and grab a couple of shots. I'm glad that the little things are enough to fascinate me.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


The trees in my back yard have officially dropped all their leaves, with the exception of of few...however they are far from bare. The leaves have been replaced with dozens and dozens of little birds, mostly finches, who are chowing down at my bird feeders. I try to keep out plenty of fresh seeds for them...I would hate for them to go hungry. In return they give me endless entertainment as they flutter about and communicate with each other with their tweets and gesturing. I haven't seen many cardinals or woodpeckers yet but I'm sure as the weather gets colder and they run out of things to eat in the woods, they will begin visiting me. Aren't they lovely?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Taylor's hunt

Rodney took Taylor out this afternoon to try and get a buck...very successfully. They were only gone about 10 minutes and Rodney came back and said, "get your camera." I thought they would be gone all afternoon, but I guess Taylor is just good. The cold weather really has them moving a lot. Rodney was so proud he could hardly stand himself. He was more excited than she was, and she was pretty excited.
It is so lovely to be able to live like we do. I thank God for this opportunity everyday.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Workin' Dogs

Are these not the cutest working companions ever! My ever-present companions were with me today while I was washing flats. Well the weather is wet and muddy and there are endless adventures for dogs to keep occupied with while they wait for mom to finish her work. Today was no exception and since I didn't see where they went while I was busy, I can only imagine the excitement they must have had while getting these dirty faces. I'm sure it had something to do with a mouse or rat or other vermin which never ceases to thrill them to find and catch and annihilate. Rodney and I are proud that they so freely provide us with this service. On the other hand, now I will have to bathe them and dry them so that they can provide me with their other services, including snuggling, lap sitting, and chasing the kitty.
Oh, just look at those big beautiful ears. It makes my heart completely and ridicuolously happy just to look at those faces.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

first deer

I went out with Kyle this evening to sit in the hay barn and hunt. My intentions were to sit and relax, maybe shoot some pictures and start my new book. So, we headed off, Kyle with the gun, me with my camera, a book, and a cold beer...(it had been a long hard day).
The experience of climbing up to the top of the hay was nothing short of learning to mountain climb, only the cliffs weren't jagged and hard but pulled apart with every attempt to grab on. When we finally made it to our perch, I settled in, got my camera ready and opened up my book. Just as I was getting good and relaxed, Kyle whispered, get you camera ready. So I did...there were several does coming out of the woods and walking right towards us. It was getting dusky out and my camera has a hard time focusing when the light is so dim.
Right when I thought we had been there long enough and the light had faded to the point where I couldn't read or shoot pictures, Kyle informed me that there was a buck by the fence line. I said, OK. He said, "get ready to shoot it Mom". I told him I didn't want to about 10 times...after he had shoved the gun scope to my face and said. "SHOOT IT". I kept questioning him, saying things like, "it's too dark, what if he runs off and we can't find him, I can't really see through the scope." He wouldn't listen to any of my excuses and finally said to me, "Mom, I want you to have this experience, now put the cross hairs on him, just behind the shoulder, take the safety off, and SHOOT."
My heart was pounding and I couldn't believe that I had resigned myself to do this thing. I did exactly what he told me too. The shot was fired and through the smoke, I saw the silhouette of the mighty buck falling to the ground.
I was in some sort of shock or something and just started going through the motions of getting things gathered up, and heading back to the four wheeler. Kyle was talking to me and saying that he thought I had made a good shot. We got on the four-wheeler and started driving into the dark and I just kept thinking, "Lord, let it be dead, please don't let it be suffering or have run off into the woods where we'll never find it." We hadn't gone 50 yards and there it was. Then the flood of emotions hit me as I walked over to him, observing every color in his fur, the brilliant brightness still in his eyes as he lay there still and peaceful, and I remembered this verse that I had read just about a week ago...
Gen 9:2 And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every bird of the heavens; With all wherewith the ground teemeth, and all the fishes of the sea, into your hand are they delivered.
Then I knew that God had blessed me in this moment. Standing over this beautiful beast that would feed my family. Standing on a piece of land that God blessed me with. And the biggest blessing of all was sharing all of this with the beautiful son that God gave me, this boy that is becoming a man and has the ability to make me smile when I want to cry, who stood there and hugged me when my tears began to fall, who insisted that I have this experience and it takes my breath away that he was right.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Deer season is in full force on the farm. The youth hunt was last weekend and Kyle got a pretty good buck. We are slowly replenishing our freezer with deer meat. I actually had to buy some hamburger meat at the store last month so I am very happy to see the freezer shelves filling back up. In fact, we had a big pot of deer chili this evening with the meat from this deer...delicious. Rodney got me a hunting license but I'm not sure what I will do with it. I have never killed a deer, I can't even kill a sick chicken. I don't mind others killing them, I just don't have it in my soul to take a life, and I don't mind admiting it. I'll keep busy with my camera and hopefully I can "shoot" some breathtaking photos, but I think I'll leave the other shooting to the guys.

Monday, October 29, 2007

harvest moon

The moon has been so beautiful the last few nights. It is very hard to get a good picture of it, however, but this one turned out pretty good. I'm sure that there is a setting on my camera that would allow for better pictures but so far I haven't figured it out. I am really enjoying the fall and the cooler weather. I am excited about the holidays coming up and am getting ready for it to be full blown hunting season around here.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


I LOVE THIS. This is why God put me here, for moments like these. You couldn't ask for a more lovely day and being out with the animals for a few minutes made it FUN. I threw some fresh hay out for the bunnies and goats and I thought it was so sweet that they share so nicely and exist together harmoniously. My "big" bunny that is now well over 5 years old wanted something from me today that she rarely wants, affection. She kept pestering me while I was shooting pictures and I realized that she wanted some attention. So I lovingly scratched her behind the ears and petted her soft fur and she was most grateful. This is my "happy place". Thought I'd share it.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

It seems like spring around here these days. I am so enjoying the weather. The trees and flowers think it's spring again, mom and dad even have green tomatoes growing in their garden. My roses look better this fall than they did in June because we had so much rain early in the summer. Seems strange that I am harvesting pumpkins and enjoying roses blooming at the same time. I've opened my windows today and can hardly wait for the washing machine to get done so I can hang my sheets out in the beautiful fall air. I hope that all of you are enjoying the weather too.

Monday, September 10, 2007

I was pulling a few weeds in my pumpkin patch this morning and spotted this beautiful green frog. I hope he was eating the bad bugs and leaving the good ones. The pumpkins are really taking off, I think they grow a foot everyday. It is amazing to watch. There are a few babies out there which is so exciting. I can't wait till they are ready to harvest, hopefully it will be before the end of October.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Taylor had her 15th birthday party last night. We had so much fun and enjoyed a great meal. Rodney made burgers and hot dogs and a peach cobbler in addition to the yummy birthday cake. Charlotte joined in the chorus for the happy birthday song which was hysterical, especially for those who had never heard her do this before. The girls spent the night in the living room, one of them even slept sitting up in the rocking chair...teenagers! Taylor got a "big" i pod from us which she loves...I may have to get me one of those things!! I can't believe that my baby is growing up. It is nice to see her having a fun time doing it.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Blessed Rain

The rain is falling outside. We were starting to become tense about the lack of rain, but now, here it is. We've already recieved nearly 2 inches in the past 48 hours and it looks like we will be getting rain for the remainder of today.
The cows moved to the south side of the road yesterday to graze on the green grass, they were so happy. I love to watch their reactions when they get moved to a new field of fresh green grass. It is like turning a kid loose in a candy store. You wouldn't think that a cow would be capable of rejoicing, but they can. There is almost a hint of a smile on their faces and it looks as if they might just be skipping a bit. And, if you listen very closely, you can hear little woohoo's as they skip off into the distance.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Polk County Fair

The Polk County Fair was this past week and we had a ball. The goats didn't place well because they were sick but I feel like the fair was a success over all. Kyle got 3rd place in junior showmanship which I was very proud of, especially since this was his first year. Taylor did well despite the fact that she had a sick goat, she placed 7th in the goat show but was up against some stiff competition in showmanship and didn't place. I was very proud of both of them. Charlotte won 2nd place in the dog show on Saturday for the cutest trick...she sang "happy birthday" and won the crowd over. I got one blue ribbon for my photography and one 3rd place.
Rodney and I worked in the concession stand Saturday evening which is always a hoot.

I always come away from community functions with a since of pride. It makes my heart happy to know that I live in a place where every person is like a family member. To be around others who share in this great occupation of agriculture is affirming to my own life. When we struggle daily with the trials of farming, something is set at ease to know that others have struggled and succeded.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


The kids got their goats clipped this past weekend in preparations for the fair. They will be showing them tomorrow at 5:00. It is always such an exciting event. County level is fun because they are competing with friends and others that they know from school. State level is when it gets a little more intense as far as competition goes. We have until the middle of October to get them ready for state. Taylor's goat has been sick, we think he got bitten by a snake. I hope that he is better soon. Usually judges take into consideration if an animal has been injured in some way.

Friday, August 24, 2007


I decided that I would use today to "salvage" what I could out of my tomato patch. I knew that there would still be some, but I was shocked by how many were hiding there. I let my garden just grow naturally, I didn't stake the vines at all and by early July, the grass and weeds had filled in around them as well. It isn't pretty to look at but it seems to have worked out very well. The best tomatoes were the ones that I found hiding in the shade of Bermuda grass patches, nice and protected from the glaring sun, and cushioned from the hard dry soil. I could feel my heart growing with joy and thanksgiving as my baskets became fuller and fuller. It always thrills me the little ways that God finds to bring happiness into my life. Now I better get busy putting these tomatoes in the freezer. I can taste the deer chili now...mmmmm.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

softer side

Look what Kyle caught today. It was nice to see a softer side of him. He has always been such a sweetheart but with teenage hormones kicking in, it has been tough lately for him to always be sweet.

I hope the poor butterfly is ok after being handled by those hands. I love the picture...dont you?

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Big Day

We had a big day on the farm today. Rodney cut the hay meadow on Thursday and it was ready to bale today. I got most of it tedded before the tedder broke, apparently it wasn't anything serious but we decided to let that be it for tedding. I started raking about 3:00 and raked until about 5:30. Rodney didn't even get baled what I raked and he said that the count on the baler was already 56. By my estimation, we should end up with about 150 rolls or more just out of that field.
When I got home, from raking, Rodney called and said there was a problem with the water at the chicken houses. So we had to deal with changing filters and such at the pump house this evening. I also sprayed round-up around the ponds and chicken houses today...all of this with it being 5000 degrees outside. When I was raking, I put a ziploc bag with ice in it under my hat...I poked a few holes in it so as the ice was melting that cold water was running down my neck and back keeping me nice and cool. I thought it was a pretty genious idea myself.
I am pretty tired and my head is starting to ache. But this evening, I was driving home in the dark on the four-wheeler, the air was nice and cool and all the way home I could smell that hypnotic fragrance of hay in the field. That made it all worth while. I wish that I could send all of you a big breeze filled with that fragrance.


The baby birds that reside in my fern are getting much bigger. There are three of them and they have traded in there down for a few tiny feathers. I love their little faces, they way they always look like they are little bit angry and put out with me. I have been trying to get a picture of the mother, but she is pretty illusive.

Friday, August 10, 2007

While we were out

While we were out yesterday, Charlotte decided to destroy a roll of toilet paper. I think that she gets a little restless when we are gone and takes it out on different things in the house. She ate my dictionary a few weeks a go, I thought that somehow this meant that she was smart, but I think it was only a puppy-chewing episode. She seemed very ashamed of herself, we are thinking of sending her to toilet-paper-eaters anonymous, possibly some therapy.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007


I have completed a couple of projects over the last two days. I made a coffee cup holder for my kitchen, it turned out really cute I think. Taylor and I have been trying to complete the decorating in her room. She wanted some words on her wall and after much consideration, she picked the phrase that you see. We had a lot of fun slinging the paint on the wall. I'll have to get some more pictures when the whole thing is done. It is a little messy right now.

New Toy

Well, Rodney went to Hope and got the new cutter today. He hooked it up as soon as he got back with it. It took a little while to figure out all the little gadgets on it, anything that was different from the old one, but he got it figured out and hit the hay field. He was like a kid with a new toy when I saw him last. I guess that makes it all worth it. I am happy that maybe for a few years I won't have to get a call from him with that dissapointed sounding voice telling me that he was "broke down" again. He keeps telling me that everything will be alright, not to worry, we'll figure it out...I guess I should listen to him and just let go of the worry. I'm sure it will be alright, we have survived a lot worse than this.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Big Day!!

Today was a monumental day on the farm. Kyle got to drive the tractor and ted the hay all by himself. Rodney drove him around the outer perimeter, then he let Kyle drive with him on the tractor for a little ways, then it was Kyle on his own! I was so nervous for him but I know that if he is going to learn, he has to get out there and do it. We had to adjust the tension on the seat because he weighs so little that the alarm kept going off. That really tickled me.
There is still a world of hay to cut and bale, and as things would have it, the cutter broke today. We have patched that poor thing a million times and were praying that it would make it through this season, but it looks like we are going to have to get a new one. Poor Rodney. He was down about the cutter, then we found out that his kitty (the Arkansas woodpile kitty), was badly injured. We think he got run over in the hay field or something. Rodney had to put him down, he was 14 years old. It has been one of those days here. We are all praying for Rodney. He somehow gets all of the "dirty" jobs around here. I don't know how he has the strength sometimes. We are all blessed to have him in our lives.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Baby Birds

I noticed a bird flying out of my fern every time I watered it. I decided to take a peek inside to check for a nest, and look what I found. I'm not sure what kind of bird it is, I think it is some sort of sparrow or finch. Anyway, aren't these the funniest little creatures?? I will be sure and take pictures as they grow. The fern is hanging on a metal pole so I think they are safe from the least until they start to learn to fly. I love to find little surprises like this right in my own backyard.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


The hummingbirds have been in full-force around my house. I've got two feeders hanging from my kitchen windows and it is so fun to watch them swarming around. I caught one sipping from the petunias which was a great opportunity to capture this lovely picture. I just wanted to share it.

Back to life

We have had a busy first part of the week. Vacation bible school was Monday through Wednesday and we were very busy with this and with company. It was so much fun and a great success, but I was very happy to get back to "normal". I'm sure that it may take a few more days to get back in the swing of things but I'm already feeling more relaxed and content. One of my favorite chores, as many of you probably know, is hanging clothes out on the line. It is just something about the air, the methodical placement of the towels and sheets, the grass on my feet, and of course the smell. All of it just sets my soul at peace, it makes me feel as if I'm providing some great service for my family, for the earth, and it connects me to those women who were doing the same thing hundreds of years ago. I am thankful that the July sun was nice and hot today, and that tonight I will sleep in a nice clean, sweet-smelling bed.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Rotten Dog

How cute is this baby? We are enjoying having her around so much. It is almost like having a baby in the house...except this one doesn't keep us up at night and we don't have to change poopy diapers. I can't imagine having a house with no animals in it. I appreciate that some people prefer not to live with animals but, I on the other hand, would feel like my home was empty without one or two furry creatures. Just the little look they give when they are hungry or need to go out, it warms my heart. They rejoice every time I walk through the door, weather I've been gone all day or for five minutes. Who else is willing to give such attention and love, just for simply being.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Oh what a beautiful morning.

We are waiting for the chicken bus to get here. Everyone was up before the sun this morning, getting our coffee and breakfast. The morning was so lovely, I had to get out and take some pictures. The only bad thing is the camera can't capture the smells and sounds. I'll be taking some pictures when the bus gets here and post some info about the arrival of our newest batch of birds.

Monday, July 16, 2007

The kids and I are going to the church this morning to help out with VBS preparations. This is going to be a hectic week with the farm work that has to be done and VBS coming up next week. It looks like we finally have a break in the weather to get hay cut, but we are too strapped in to the chicken houses that it will have to wait till next week. Sometimes this all seems like more than one family can handle. I know that it will get done. It is always good for me to have a challenge, I have to put myself in check and make sure that I'm gleaning knowledge and growth from these times and not feeling sorry for myself. It is at these times that I must surrender my anxiety over to God and just let His will be done. I know that I will never experience true joy and peace until I traverse the fires of life with an attitude of thanksgiving. For even in the midst of the fires, I can find peace if I am aware that it is my creator who is molding and making me into the person He needs me to be. I am thankful for today and my goal for this day is to face every challenge that may come my way, however big or small, with a gracious attitude. This should be quite an undertaking, but I'm sure it won't be without it's rewards.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The last couple of days have been hot and sunny. We are getting chickens back on Friday, which is a very quick turn around. This means everybody will need to be on duty so yesterday while I was out working at the chicken houses, I left the kids here in charge of the house. Kyle was so sweet to mow and weed eat for me. I couldn't pass up getting a picture of this. Rodney's dad injured his eye in a mowing accident a couple of weeks ago and told us to be sure and wear protective eye wear while mowing so Kyle was obedient and followed the safety precautions. How cute is he?? Rodney has had those safety goggles since before we were married and it always made me laugh every time he put them on (of course he always added turning his hat to the side and acting goofy) but seeing Kyle with them on just tickled me to no end.

It is good to see the sun. I'm hoping we will have a great week of working together as a family to get ready for baby chicks.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Friday July 13, 2007

I guess it is going to rain forever. I can't believe this weather. I know that God knows what He is doing, I just wish that he would explain it to me. Last year, we were starving for rain and now, we can't get a break from it. I'm not sure how we will get our hay put up with this weather pattern. Maybe we aren't supposed to.

Our chickens finished going out yesterday morning. We are praying that they do well. We found out yesterday that we are getting chicks back next Friday. That gives us only a week to be ready. We are going to be really busy around here this next week. There is so much to be done...I'm not sure how we will accomplish it all, yet somehow we always manage to succeed.
I am thankful that the rain is falling even though I don't understand it. I am happy to live on this farm even though, at times, it seems overwhelming. I am proud to be a wife and mother even when I am not sure if I'm doing it right. I am depending on God to guide my life where He wills it, even when it is frightening, for this is when I KNOW that He is moving me and guiding me to become the person that He wishes for me to be.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

July 12, 2007

Well, it is feeling like July now. It is still quite cloudy and we have gotten another inch of rain or so, but for the most part it is hot and humid. Kyle and I went and picked more berries this morning. at least enough for one more batch of jam. I can't believe that there are still so many red ones yet to ripen. It is so therapeutic to be out in the berry patch finding not only beautifully ripened berries but little surprises around every leaf. Sometimes I have to politely ask bees to move so that I can pick the berry that they are on, they are happy to oblige.
I still haven't been able to hang clothes out on the line because of the weather. This is my other household chore that I find to be quite calming to my soul. Maybe today I can at least dry some sheets outside, however, this usually brings the rain.

Monday, July 9, 2007

I can't believe that it is still raining. I hope that we get a break soon so that we can put up some hay. Mom and the kids and I went and picked berries this morning. We left sooner than we wanted because of the RAIN, but we got enough to make two batches of jam. Boy is it good. I always enjoy making the jam and it is everyone's favorite to eat. I'm sure that we will be picking more. There are still a bunch of red ones out there and with all the rain and cooler weather, I'm sure they won't dry up like last year. Jam for everyone!!!

Saturday, July 7, 2007


Today is Rodney's birthday. He is 41 today. I think that it is cool that his birthday is 7/7/ a couple of years Taylor will have a birthday on 9/9/09, that is too cool. We are planning on having a birthday get-together for Rodney this evening but it will probably just be our little family. There isn't anybody visiting and Mamaw is out of town. Mom is going to make him a pecan pie which is his favorite. He had one last year too. I am so happy to be a part of all of this.
I sprained my ankle a couple of days ago and am just now starting to get around good on it. It really sucks to be injured and not be able to get out and do all the things that need to be done. The swelling has gone down and it is getting easier to walk on.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

June 28th

The kids and I took the goats for their first walk this morning. It was short lived because we left too late and it was already hot...which means, the SUN came out today!!! There is a chance of rain today and the wind is out of the east, which means it probably will rain, but for now, the sun it out and it is nice and hot. AHHH June. We are going to go to town later and take the kittens to give away. I have been enjoying watching them frolic and play in the yard but I guess the time has come for them to go.
Taylor went to her first gymnastics class last night for cheer leading. She hadn't eaten very much yesterday and she almost passed out. It scared me but we are going to be diligent in eating right and getting more exercise, drinking plenty of water and RESTING.
I am still working on getting the house sanitized but I may never get it done, always something going on. Always!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

June 27th

We made some more phone calls this morning to get things rolling on the new chicken houses. We are leaving it up to God whether things go through or not. It rained more this morning and is still cloudy. I can't believe that I feel like I have cabin fever in June!!

The airconditioner is fixed!! Yipee. I've been sanitizing things all morning. It will probaby take me a few days to feel like things are clean again. After everything has sat here in the heat and humidity for weeks, I don't even want to think about what kind of bacteria has grown in my house. I have been vaccuming matresses, washing everything bleach, spraying things with lysol, etc...

Taylor and I are taking some of the cheerleaders to Ashdown this evening for their gymnastics practice which means I'll miss church. I hate to miss but sometimes other things come up. Our big family reunion is Saturday and the kids leave for camp on Sunday. I am really going to miss them. I am a little worried that with all the rain that Oklahoma has been getting that the rivers at the camp will be swift and scary. Why is it so hard to let your kids go?? I guess I'll always worry about them no matter what.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

June 26th

It is raining and raining here in southwest Arkansas. I am glad to see that the drought has passed. I am anxious for a little sunshine, but I won't complain. The Barrett house is still without airconditioning so we are spending a lot of time down at the Jacobs'. The rain is hindering repairs.

Rodney and I are in the process of getting things started on building 4 more chicken houses. AAAAHHHHH!!!! We still have some soul searching to do but we are pretty sure that this will be a good move. It will allow us to hire full time help to come live and work on the farm. This will actually free us up, but also add more responsibilities. Please pray that God's will be done for us, He has always been so good.