Sunday, July 30, 2006

I am trying to help my Mama post this picture to her profile on her blog.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Killer Bees??!!! I dont have any pictures of the bees that came out clear enough to show, but these two pictures I took right before the action took place. You will have to use your minds eye as I tell this story. While cutting between this row of pecan trees, my husband disturbed a nest of bees that had built their home in the ground. A swarm took after him but luckily he did not get stung. Well we knew they had to go. Danny had not been out to find the exact spot since he hit them that morning so we went off on our bee killing adventure late that evening. My sweet-smart husband bravely carried a can of RAID with us as we crept toward "the spot" on the 4-wheeler. As you can see we parked a good distance away from the site. You can see Danny on his knees in the distance as he kneels down to spray the little buggers. Danny calls for me to bring him the shovel and like an obedient wife I bring it to him. After spraying the top of the ground and all the VISIBLE bees , they lay on top of the dirt and grass kicking their last breath. Then Danny drives the shovel into the ground stirring up the meanest, leanest chasing bees I have ever seen! Danny & I are running back to the 4-wheeler in high gear while Danny leaves a cloud of RAID behind us. My poor dog Gandalf gets the result of our trouble making! Poor fella! "So what are we gonna do now?" I ask! Danny says "We'll burn-em out!" Oh LORD please help us, I pray! So I ask Danny how we are going to do that without getting stung? AND THEN I COME UP WITH A PLAN!! (The woman can think!) "Danny lets get the truck, I'll ride by & you can pour the gas on the nest & we'll keep going and then they want sting us. We can ride back by & you can throw a match on them!" I didn't say I could think smartly! Anywho, we go to the building across the other field. Danny gets a bucket, fills it with diesel fuel, hands it to me to hold. The windows are rolled up, we are crossing the fields ever so slowly (to prevent the diesel from spilling on me). The smell is getting intoxicating! We get to the spot, we can see a few bees flying. Wait, Danny is driving, I dont want to be the one to throw the stuff on them! I hand Danny the bucket, he lets the window down, douses the spot, strikes a match, throws it on the ground, POOF! He floors the gas pedal, I'm holding the steering-wheel as he rolls the window up. We fly down the row stop & look back out the rear window as there is a huge fiery flame burning between the pecan tree rows! Wow! We are both sweating, not sure if it's from the heat or the excitment! "You think we killed-em?" I ask. "Oh Yeah!" My husband answers. We go back after the flames die down a little. Danny shovels up the ground all around making sure the underground "lair" is destroyed. It is weird, there is a bunch of cells. Danny cuts one open with his pocket knife to find unhatched bees. The bees are very different looking. They do not look like fat honey bees. They are not hornets or yellow jackets. We dont know what manner of bee this is. I attempted to call the county extension office about them but I couldn't catch the agent in. But wait, my story is not over yet. We took a piece of paper and scooped up some of the dead bees and a portion of the cell- nest thing. We carried it inside and laid it on the kitchen counter. Our purpose for this was so we could show the critters to the agent. The next day we had someone coming over to do some work on the house. Danny, my smart husband, decided to put the bees and the bit of nest in a zip lock bag. It is a good thing he did. That night after supper he pulled the bag out to find that 2 of the cells had hatched out bees!!!!! They were alive & buzzing!! Creeps me out just thinking about it. We put them in a mason jar & of course they died. The next day I finished cutting that same field. Guess what I found? More cotton pickin BEES!! Danny killed them with out much ado but I fear cutting that field again! It is time to cut it again now. It's a good thing there is a high gear on that tractor & I know how to use it. Killer Bees? I dont know? They are different for sure. Just another day here on the farm! Hope you enjoyed this long story.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

From vine to bucket, and bucket to jar! The bottom right picture does not give the rows of tomatoes justice. There were gobs of them! Big, medium, small. Green, half-ripe, full red and way too many that laid waste on the ground. We picked a bucket and a half. Our friend at Kennedy Farms charges only $5.oo for a 5 gallon bucket. Him & his Dad have been farming all their lives. They have pecans, peaches, peas, beans, and much more. They also raise cattle and have several chicken houses. We ended up with way more produce than we had anticipated but who could resist? My husband put the tomatoes up while I shelled peas and after two evenings of work we had a nice mess of goodies put up for the year.

Friday, July 21, 2006

My Husband and I have recently spent several afternoons looking over the orchard. We do this frequently to check for disease, bugs, and deer damage. This years crop will be very small. The past couple years of bad weather have taken its toll on nut growth. The experts have recently confirmed what we've known all along. Hurricane damage, lack of sun light, and severe drought have caused the trees to go in a state of shock. The pecan industry will suffer for several years after the loss of many orchards in Louisiana and other parts of the South. I grew up in Southwest Alabama and in 1979 hurricane Fredrick performed a face-lift on that area. My neighbor had an old orchard and in one night the whole thing was destroyed. As a young girl, the site of all those huge up-rooted trees left a permanent mark in my mind. We have been blessed here. Our trees are young and if the year continues with good sun light and prayerfully more rain, I believe we will have a good crop next year. Pecan trees do not grow over night. It is more of an investment for your children. My heart goes out to the pecan farmers who have lost their trees due to hurricane Katrina. Some have decided to re-plant but most are going out of business. How sad to think of all that hard work put into those orchards and in one day all is lost. Life is a test, God is the test giver. We will all face tragedy in our life if we live long enough. I pray I will be a good test taker.

The top picture is of two growing pecans. The bottom I took 2 weeks ago when we got over an inch of rain.

While picking peaches at Oliver Farms the other day, I snapped a few pictures of the sunflower crops growing there. Who couldn't like a smiling sunflower? They are so cheerful and they evoke a sense of joy into the spirit. Paul told us in Galatians 5:22 that JOY is a fruit of the Spirit. I like the way John Macarthur describes joy: It is a happiness based on unchanging divine promises and eternal spiritual realities. It is the sense of well being experienced by one who knows all is well between himself and the LORD. Joy is not the result of favorable circumstances and even occurs when those circumstances are the most painful and severe. Joy is a gift from GOD, and as such, believers are not to manufacture it but to delight in the blessings they already possess.
Joy isn't the sunflower but a reminder to me that I should have joy in my soul regardless of the "bad day" I maybe having. Joy is about my Salvation that Jesus so freely gave me by dying on the cross. Joy is my Salvation that I have already received, am receiving and will receive when I get to my destination in heaven with my FATHER!!! Thank You Oliver Farms for reminding me of my JOY!!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

CHICKEN UPDATE: This is the only rooster on the hill here! My husband was right all along. There was one too many eggs in the coop today so I had to admit my demise! Boy I hate that but at least the dispute is over. Now on to more important things. I think we have a nest of KILLER BEES on the farm but my husband says.......... well you get the idea! As the Blog continues.........

Blogger has not been friendly with me at all! I tried for 2 hours yesterday morning to add the pictures and it wouldn't accept. Then I couldn't find the post at all. When I was able to get it to come up I tried to add only one picture and it copied it twice...ARRGH!! Any-who, here are a couple more pictures of the deer from my visit at noon on Friday!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

For a year now I have been working a crazy schedule at the hospital. Working a 12 hour shift is hard enough but try working 12 hour nights & days all in the same week! My poor body has not known when to get up or lie down. I worked my last night shift Thursday night so when I got off yesterday morning....well I was hi-five-ing right by myself all the way to my car!! (YES!) My niece has just graduated from nursing school and has started orientation at the same hospital and will be working on my floor. I had the privilege to introduce her to a few people in the hospital yesterday morning. Many of them I know will take her under their wing. I am so grateful! So after a long night I headed home to snuggle under the covers in my big bed and get my last day-time snooze. At noon the phone interupted my slumber but I was in too much of a stupor to answer it in time. So after gathering my wits I went into the living room to check the machine. As I was standing there I was looking out my back door. I could see two big 'Things" moving around the pond but could not focus without my glasses on. My camera was on the coffee table so I used it to zoom in on the "Things". It was two beautiful deer in full velvet! A 4 point and and I think an 8 point buck drinking from our pond and feeding on the green grass and trees around it. I was tickled to see them so close. I called my husband on the phone while watching them. It has been so dry here that my husband believes they must have been attracted to the water. I think God just knew how much I would enjoy seeing them so HE decided to send them over. It was a nice compliment to ending the night shift! You know God is so good to me. I have so many things to be thankful for. Now I will get to enjoy every night again with my husband and only God knows how bad I hate to be away from him. Thank you Lord for your faithfulness to me and thank you for waking me up so I could see such a pretty site out my back door!!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

This is the day that the LORD has made..let us rejoice & be glad in it!! Not in a thinking mood this morning (just got home from night shift) but thought I would share a couple cute pictures before I lay my weary head to bed! I hope everyone will be in Church today....wish I was there too!!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Peaches are what we wanted and Oliver Farms was the place to get them! My parents-n-law and I went yesterday to get a "mess" as we call it in the South. We have been doing this for several years now. We peel & slice the peaches, mix them with sugar & fruit fresh & freeze them. My husband loves to eat a dish of them with Ice cream & pound cake. My Mother-n-law makes peach ice cream, peach pound cake, and peach cobbler. I, however, do not like peaches. I really dont like any kind of fruit. I like CHOCOLATE!! BUT since my husband is fond of them, I go every year and suffer a days worth of peeling, sore fingers, and sticky peach guts from head to toe so that I can please my husband! The day is not all bad. There are many things I enjoy about it. I love spending time with my Parents-n-law. There is always a day full of conversation about EVERYTHING! I usually start by telling them my troubles, they advise me & always encourage me. We talk about God, our churches, the family, politics, pecan trees, the weather, you name it & we have discussed it! We laugh & cut up and even though your neck is hurting & your but is sore from the long sitting..well it makes for a good day. It is always rewarding to see the many containers full of peaches and through out the year as I use them up for various recipes I always think of our long day together and I am glad we decided to "put up a mess" of peaches.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

My friend Patsy at "My Life and Times" has a good many chickens so I left a message on her blog that I would like her opinion about a dispute between my dear husband and I. I bought some chicks this spring & as you can see they are about grown..but not laying yet. The chicken with the bigger cone..I think is a rooster. You can really see the difference between the two chickens when they are standing side by side. One has a much smaller cone, like a hen, but the other one is bigger & redder. So Patsy and anybody else..what do you think? I was right when it came to determining the sex of my turkeys in the past but these two chickens are causing an up-roar among the habitants of this farm!!
Boy it's bad when your own Mama puts pressure on you to blog!! My work schedule has been so crazy that even when I have had a day off I just haven't felt like getting on-line. Most of my friends know that I have 4 more night shifts to work ( beginning Saturday) and then I will be on strait days!! YES!! So maybe I can get on a better routine. In the mean time I will post a few things kind of at once... I hope you will enjoy!