The guineas were gone. I came home from church late Thursday morning and Randy said the birds had not been around all morning, but that a bad storm cell had blown through. We had a total of 21 when I let them out that morning, but by evening they had not returned. Things looked bad. The last time they spent the night in the open was a year ago after an attack in their coop.
The next day, Friday, we waited till late morning-no guineas-so we started walking the property. At one point, we heard them squawking, but far off into the neighbors’ land. Randy walked the fence line without hearing them again, but saw a break in the fence. So he texted our neighbor just to give him a heads up about the fence and found out that the flock had been at his house the day before!! So they were in the area, but not coming home. We decided to wait until the next day and see what happened.
I had not even made coffee on Saturday morning when Mr. Roger texted again and the guineas were in his yard!! Alleluia. We bundled up, grabbed a container of treats to shake and drove over. There they were. Only 20, but I was happy with that. I think they were glad to see me too.
And so it started…I shook the container and the guinea followed. Down the driveway. Onto Johnny Martin Road. Around the curve. Past Mr. Buddy’s pasture. And as soon as we approached our fence line, the lead guineas started passing me. They wanted to go home. The dogs met them halfway down the front yard and it was a happy reunion.
I really expected them home at some point, but we have a hard freeze coming in a few days and you know how mom’s worry. All is good now.
It is hard to believe that this is our 3rd Christmas at Green Acres. Am I slowing down or is time moving faster? Or is it a combination of both!
We are getting ready to welcome the Cardenas family here for the holidays: oldest daughter, April, her new husband, Ervin and stepdaughter, Aubrey. They are truly wonderful additions to our family. We got a chance to visit them in Fresno this July when they tied the knot. It was fun to meet all of Ervin’s family and celebrate with them.
We also got to hang out with son, Andrew while we were there. He will be graduating this spring from Fresno state in Women’s Studies and we hope the world is ready for him.
We will also host our younger daughter, Emily for a few days. She still lives in Amarillo and works hard as an electrician’s apprentice. She too has guineas, and we love to compare notes on them. She also has chickens, goats and a mini-mule! I think I will stick with just my guineas for now.
Randy’s bees (the girls!) did an awesome job this year. We were prepared not to get any honey but it was a bumper crop pollen and nectar wise. We harvested our first honey in July with the help of friends Linda and Mark while they were staying with us during a thoroughly enjoyable visit. It was so much fun to share good times—and good honey! We got more honey in October and November with plenty left in the hive for the bees to winter over. Randy already is acquiring more hive boxes to expand in the spring. Watch out Sue Bee.
While Randy was having fun with the bees, I was acquiring some Guinea Fowl! I started with a small confusion of young ones, and am getting to experience life with semi-domesticated birds. Marble and Cappy still don’t know quite what to make of these funny animals.
This leads us to Randy’s new favorite line: He and I are now fully qualified to talk about the birds and the bees. LOL
I still garden most of the time. It was a joy to make up hanging baskets and cute pots for the porch of the new house and to start landscaping around the house and flowerbeds. In the vegetable garden I grew some okra and soybeans (edemame) for the freezer, but, this was the summer of the pepper. I grew Chilitepin, Tabasco, Thai, Habanero, and Jalapenos. We have them pickled, dried and frozen. We do like to spice things up here now and again.
And of course fishing never gets old. Every so often, I actually keep what I catch and Randy cleans them for me. It sometimes goes in the freezer right next to the deer meat! Randy got a buck last year (from his “deer blind” aka back porch) that kept us in venison all year and he just bagged a doe to feed us next year. The sweetest part is that he cooks it too. AND does a fantastic job. He makes me feel like quite the queen bee.
While our home and land keeps us busy, we love having company. Granny visits regularly and we go wild playing cards and chicken foot! We also had a visit from Gram and Pat in November and that was too short and way too loaded with calories, but can’t wait to do it again.
Merry Christmas to all and wishing everyone the best of the best for the New Year.
Things are sure buzzing here at Green Acres this spring.
Randy has been researching bees and attending local beekeeper meetings for almost a year and pulled the trigger this April. The result is a complete hive setup with a “nuke”, or starter colony installed. ‘’
It has been up for about 2 months and is going very well. Now when he says he is going to spend time with “the girls” I know where to find him!
As the year ends and we celebrate our first Christmas in the new house, it’s nice to sit here and remember the journey of the last six months or so.
The house is complete. Our builder is addressing a few repairs and Randy is tweaking some systems to his satisfaction. We added a garage apron, some sod and seed and new limestone for the driveway. Looks great. I added some hydrangeas to the northeast wall and next to the back steps. They are plants that I grew from cuttings from a large plant that was here and had to be moved.
We have some basic furniture in place with new stuff scheduled for January arrival. The guest house is set up nice for mom and any guests who want to visit.
The dogs are loving it. Marble is holding his own at 80 lbs and has a kill record of 2 squirrels and 3 possums– that we know of. Cappy is pushing 60 lbs and everyone (including the vet) is trying to tell me he is just filling out from his puppy form. I just see a “chunky dog”
Gardenwise it was a great year for peppers (hot, mild, sweet and everything in between), one crop of eggplant, good okra, terrible cucumbers and tomatoes unfortunately. I also grew loofah and got some good ones. The asparagus is ferning nicely and I hope to start harvesting in the spring.
While it seems that Randy is always finding something about the house he wants to change just little, he still had time to help our neighbor with the hay in the pasture. He learned how to fluff and rake the hay in preparation for baling and even got to drive the tractor down the highway to another field. He was so happy. (I could just hear Craig Morgan singing International Harvester in my head).
He also got his first deer while I was taking care of Mom. He skinned it, cleaned it, deboned it, processed it, made roasts, shanks, tenderloin, ground meat and sausage—ALL BY HIMSELF-and smoked part of it too–Bear Grylls eat your heart out. We will eat well this year. And he got this deer from his deer blind-also known as our back porch. Can’t do that in Californina can ya?!
I survived the summer heat and was starting to enjoy fall when Mom had an accident in early November. She broke her left humerus and was miserable. I was fortunate enough to be able to be with her through the doctors, consultations, preop clearances, then the surgery itself and the aftermath. Two plates with about 20 screws and one GIANT screw in her ulna.
They moved the funny bone nerve, but thankfully did not remove her wonderful sense of humor! I am glad to report that her physical therapy is super pleased with her progress and she seems to be healing well.
It was quiet Christmas. Mom was here and we were joined by my brothers and SIL’s. Nice day but we did miss the kids. Speaking of them….
Emily is living in Amarillo. She married Todd and is working hard as a union electrician in their apprenticeship program. She calls me for cooking advice but it’s fun to hear her call and talk shop with her father. Kind of like he thought he may be talking to his son who…
Is a junior now at Fresno State. Andrew is doing well in Women’s Studies and still looking at a minor to compliment the major. He is happy in the dorms and has some support from April who….
Just got engaged! Ervin popped the question with his daughter Aubrey and we all very excited. She is still teaching science at Caruther’s High School and coaching JV volleyball among other things. She also just bought a new house.
So the years move forward, the family grows, we laugh, cry, pray, love and life goes on.
So some days my husband is more smart-alecky than others, and he was having one of those days.
We were sitting on the porch of the little house, which faces the back pasture, when we heard the sound of a truck coming down the driveway. The workers had gone home for the day, but all their equipment was out in the yard as usual. Randy got up and looked around the corner and said “Someone is stealing our sh*t”. OMG. You have to understand. He very seldom uses off color language, but wasn’t alarmed. I got alarmed and had to go look. Sure enough someone was taking our sh*t! Well, not OUR sh*t, but our workers’ sh*t.
Actually….our contractor had had a portapotty delivered for the duration of the construction and the company was here for the weekly pump out and freshen up.
So all was well and you just gotta love a man with a sense of humor.
Finally..the building inspector gave us a certificate of occupancy!
Finally..the contractor handed us the keys!
Finally..I am blogging about it!!!!
I was trying to find the time to do a full witty blog with wonderful pictures, but that’s not going to happen soon. So, here are the basics and some cool shots. Just bear in mind that we had about 3 days to move the basics before April, Ervin and Andrew came to visit. Then we just relaxed and thoroughly enjoyed visiting with them (yes, they did help with some heavy stuff). Now we are slowly moving, landscaping, gardening, and loving our new house and my new view from the porch.
In the midst of the “big” house construction sometimes it’s the little things that make an impact:
Last summer I transplanted a unique orange iris from my mom’s house that my dad had found in the swamp, brought home, and put in the ground. It bloomed today!
Last Wednesday, my daily Lenten devotional book instructed me to try to recognize Jesus in people I met today. We did not go anywhere, but when I went outside I realized I had a bunch of carpenters in the new house! HA!
Randy transplanted the biggest satsuma in the middle of the winter and we worried after the snow and all the freezes…but there is sign of life!!
Now go find the joyous “little things” in your life!
OK..so I stole the title from one of LSU’s more prominent garden advisors. But it’s cool.
Going into my second spring here, I have expanded my garden from three 20ft rows to five, with 3 square foot boxes at the end for misc crops. More space, but not so many more things, just more space between plants for easier care and culture. I made boxes with the wood from the little porch that used to be between the two houses, not for a raised garden, but just trying to fend off the pasture grass and weeds from encroaching.
One of the new rows was made with reclaimed cinder block and will be a permanent asparagus bed. Talk about needing patience. After you plant your asparagus crowns in the spring, you have to let the entire crop leaf out before cutting it down the following fall. Then you can start harvesting the next spring.
This winter, along with greens and radishes, I actually produced cauliflower and broccoli before the freeze, and found that the Brussel sprouts and cabbage came through the first few freezes ok. Those were so fun.
I just put in onions, garlic, radishes, and salad greens to start the spring. The warmer season veggies like cukes, tomatoes, okra, and eggplant will come later.
Also seeing if I can do herbs right this year and maybe some fun projects like this old ladder that we found under the old house. (And Randy wanted to throw it away)
The azaleas along the front fence are beginning to bloom and some of the satsumas have flower blossoms despite losing all their leaves in the freeze. Just about all our plants survived the big freezes, too, including the transplanted hydrangeas and philodendron.
Hoping this nice spring weather keeps up and leads us into summer.