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July is Amazing!! And hot…

July was amazing, truly amazing.  And truly hot.  That’s kinda of a theme in summer, isn’t it?  Yep.  I mean, that’s what summer is all about but this summer seemed to go above and beyond in reaching record breaking heat levels!  Some days it was just so hot.  So. Darn. HOT!  I’m complaining, aren’t I?  So sorry…

Now, normally, I expect summer to be hot and we all just roll with it until it’s time to dive into the pool.  Except, this summer we didn’t get to dive into the pool as much as we would have liked.  (That’s really a crime against humanity or at least a crime against my humanity and maybe even cruel and unusual punishment but I will try to refrain from going off on a tangent there.  Ha!)  It seemed like every afternoon we had somewhere to be or something that we had to do that couldn’t be done in the morning.  So while the pool beckoned us we just didn’t have the time to comply.  

 

Here’s a rare photo of us in the pool this summer.  Actually, this picture might have been from June but whose keeping up?   Apparently, I am…

Along with the heat, came the July 4th holiday.  Ours started with a bang the day before.  I woke up early hoping to get in a jog before the heat threatened to give me a heart attack.  It didn’t happen though.  My sweet Desi girl had hurt her neck overnight and couldn’t lower her head to eat, lay down or even rest comfortably.  It was heart-breaking!  The vet came and we treated her with massive anti-inflammatories and steroids for several days before she showed signs of improvement.  However, she did recover and the first day I saw her laying down for her morning nap I nearly jumped for joy.  After over 30 years together that mare will always be my favorite.  She’s my once in a lifetime horse.  Now if I could just find another horse or two just like her.  I mean, I might even be open to cloning her….just saying.   Anyone know how to make that happen? 

This is a picture of my sweet Desi girl eating and looking beautiful.  I can finally breathe easier knowing she is going to around a little longer.  

July 4th also brought us unexpected joy in the form of 5 little turkey poults! 

Yes, they finally hatched!  The kids were so excited!  And I was too!  

They named them very patriotic names like Liberty, Freedom, America, Independence and Godzilla.  Isn’t that adorable??

I’m sure you can guess who named this one Godzilla.  Yep, it was Camden.  He has to get his superhero name in there somehow.  

Only 2 days later we came home from VBS to find a monstrous black snake had forced his way into the cage and eaten all the babies.  I’m still not even sure how it happened but obviously the cage was not completely “snake-proof”.  I was beside myself with guilt for days.  The kids were so upset, but I was so furious at that snake.  I told the kids to stay in the house and I took care of some business with a pair of clippers.  I love my black snakes but in that moment I did not love that particular black snake.  He ate all 5!!  I could still see the 5 little lumps in him.  So, that particular black snake will not be around anymore to eat our babies.  I’m sorry.  I’m sure I will regret that one day when a giant copperhead crawls onto the porch…That would be just my luck. 

Ironically, only a few days after the turkeys were eaten, we received a phone call that the turkeys Maleah had ordered back in March had finally arrived.  We had given up hope that those turkeys were ever coming.  No one at the store could ever tell us anything about her order.  Until now. 

Now, she had 7 little turkey poults on the way to her.  It was a little crazy, but I was so happy for Maleah.  She had really taken losing the turkeys much harder than everyone else.  So, to know that more turkey babies were coming did her heart and spirit a lot of good.  It made my worries and nerves kick into overtime though.  I couldn’t let her lose any more turkey babies!

So, we purchased 2 new “snake-proof” cages and picked up her 7 Bourbon Red turkeys.  Well, actually, it turned out to be 10 turkey poults.  We laughed at their chicken math but they kindly explained why she was getting 3 free.  They gave her an extra 3 since she had to wait for them for so long.  So, the 5 little turkeys we had started with on July 4th had now morphed into 10 other turkeys.  So much for starting small! 

 I didn’t take many pictures of the new turkey babies when they first came home because I was too afraid that we were going to lose them somehow.  Sweet, heroic Camden volunteered for his superheroes to keep watch over the new babies and protect them.  Spiderman had the first shift.  That was one of the sweetest gestures ever!  Love, Love, LOVE it!!!!

Sadly, we did lose one of the babies just a day after we brought them home.  The tiniest of the turkeys just couldn’t hold her own and died.  She had been very slow and not eating well since we had brought them home and we had tried to perk her up using every trick we knew.  But in the end it wasn’t enough.  She was the first baby we’ve ever lost due to a failure to thrive situation and Maleah was horrified that she had done something wrong.  It was just too soon after losing the other turkey babies. 

Thankfully, the other 9 kept her busy enough that she didn’t have much time to dwell on it.  The 9 little turkey butts, as I started calling them, wouldn’t stop eating…or talking!!  They were the silliest birds and would chirp all night long!  It is a miracle that they didn’t get eaten by something with all the chirping they did at night.  But somehow they didn’t.  They sang all night and kept me awake.  But they lived.  And grew.  And I will include pictures of some very large turkeys in my next post.  Man, do those birds grow fast!! 

I’ve already said that July was hot so I will try not to dwell on that too much.  Thankfully, July’s heat was somewhat held off by the shade of the barn.  Jim had initially laughed at me when I told him I was building a new coop inside the barn. 

It doesn’t look that silly in the barn does it?  Nope.  Not at all.  The new coop is mobile so we could pull it right out of the barn when we were done.  Brilliant, just brilliant! 

Later, Jim realized that I am brilliant!  Okay, those weren’t his exact words but maybe something close???  Working on that coop in the shade was fabulous!  The kids didn’t mind going to the barn to play, help build or paint the coop since it was all in the shade.  It was awesome.  Just another one of the million reasons I love my new barn!  

Camden is always entertaining at the barn.  

When you get Maylin and Camden toghether the laughs just keep on rolling…  And so do they apparently.  

These 2 are so much fun!  

Even with all the entertainment from the kids we did finally manage to finish the new coop.  Ta-dah!  Our new coop on wheels!

And not long after we moved the 19 birds into the new coop we started getting daily surprises from them. 

We love our new little egg layers!  

Sometime around the middle of July I decided that the shipping container behind our house that holds all our furniture was ugly.  I made the silly decision to repaint it the same color as our house.  In the middle of the summer!!  What was I thinking!?!?!?  Couldn’t that have waited until the fall, at least?  Yes, of course it could have.  But I  had this crazy idea that since we were painting the new chicken coop, we might as well paint the shipping container at the same time.  I think I mentioned something about the killing 2 birds with 1 stone analogy.  HA!  It was more like killing 1 bird and then trying to kill a T-Rex with a marshmallow gun! 

It was a crazy idea, but once I had committed, I had to finish the project.  Oh, did I mention that just before I started to paint it, I discovered several rust spots that required some sort of acid-based chemical that can eat through your shoes in about 2 minutes (true fact, by the way!).  That lovely chemical had to be applied after I had scrapped all the rust off with a wire brush.  Oh, the fun was just getting started!  

At least I got a really nice picture of the sunset while working on the roof of the shipping container one night.

Then the heat wave came in full force and I was painting the roof of the shipping container in 96 degree weather.  At one point, Jim was laughing hysterically at me because I couldn’t get down off the roof.  Not because I didn’t have a ladder, but because it was too hot to touch!  Even with gloves on, the aluminum ladder was blistering hot.  The roof was blistering hot as well and was burning through my yoga pants when I tried to sit down to get on the ladder.  It was quite comical for Jim to watch me try to arrange towels to sit on and then wrap them around the ladder just so I could climb down.  Needless to say, I probably shouldn’t have been painting in that heat but the paint sure did dry quickly!  

And now the shipping container is finally done and is the same color as our house.  I’m not sure why it was such a big deal.  I’ll just chalk that up to another one of my crazy ideas and leave it at that, shall we?  Yes, please. 

Okay, moving on to one of the most exciting things that happened in July.  We got the power got hooked up AND turned on at the barn! 

Whoo-hoo!!!  Power!!!  Just in time for the stalls to come in. 

Did I mention that my stalls finally came in?!?!  They are gorgeous!!  And heavy.  And will take a lot of work with late nights cutting boards and staining them.  But they will be worth it.  Eventually! 

Just before the stalls arrived we finally-let me say that again.  FINALLY!!!  F-I-N-A-L-L-Y!!!!  Sorry, I got a little carried away there.

Finally, we finished the electric fencing on over 40 acres of pastures!  Now we have field fencing along with a strand of electric in the middle to keep the cattle from pushing on the fence at all.  We also did a strand of barb wire at the top to keep the deer honest when jumping the fence.  Our silly deer like to drag their feet and tear down the top of my fence.  So not cool.  After fixing the fence about a dozen times I gave up and put up the barb wire at the top.  Since then I haven’t had to fix it at all.  

Having all the fencing done means we are ready for another cow, cows, cattle!!  Whatever!  Bring them all!!  I’m ready!!  Well, almost….We probably should wait until we get a cattle shute, but it’s been ordered and is on the way.  So, yeah.  Bring on the bovines!  Let me just say that when you make a statement like that things tend to happen quickly.  And that’s the way it worked…

Y’all.  These pastures are just begging for some cows!  Oh wait.  That’s me begging for the cows.  Sorry.  Honest mistake.  

If you remember, last summer we battled Kudzu along the road.  All summer long.  I really thought Kudzu was my nemesis.  Nope.  Kudzu could be described as friendly compared to the Wisteria explosion we’ve waged war against this summer.  And I do mean WAR.  Whew.  I have always loved Wisteria.  I mean, it’s lovely to look at and lovely to smell.  Why wouldn’t you love it?  Ummm, because it’s a completely invasive species that chokes the life out of everything and spreads faster that wildfire.  Not kidding!  That stuff is evil in a lovely smelling purple package!  

Once we started opening up the spot where the Old Homestead used to be the wisteria trees went into overdrive apparently.   In the spring, it was beautiful with the lovely purple flowers drapping down.  And the smell was heavenly.  Then, the vines started taking over the driveway and all the trees.  Something had to be done before the wisteria took over my favorite tree. 

So, we traced all the vines back to the roots and cut them.  Did you know that Wisteria will send up approximately 3599 new shoots every time you cut the vine.  No joke.  Killing this stuff has been a nightmare!  But we are getting there.  I think.  I hope! I pray!!  Jim finds it funny that I occasionally yell at wisteria vines in my sleep.  I find it funny that I only do it occasionally!  

Well, all this summer heat and craziness has brought me in a round about way to the last week of July.   We took the girls for an orthodontic checkup.  Just a quick check-up and then on to the movies.  That afternoon didn’t go as planned.  The orthodontist took one look at Maylin’s teeth and ordered a set of x-rays.  Then I was ushered into a room and given a stack of papers to fill out.  The dr came in and explained that Maylin’s teeth were coming in extremely crooked and were severing the roots of the permanent teeth next to them.  The only hope was to try to separate her teeth enough with braces, springs and some weird key contraption to prevent the roots from being severed.  Okey-dokey.  That was an expense we weren’t expecting, but Maylin needs to keep her teeth.  At only 8 years old, I think she’s a little young for dentures.  So, she got braces that day. 

I was really proud of how brave she was.  She’s my Rockstar!  And to be honest, she really rocks her braces.  She’s adorable!!  

After I signed all the forms and paid the exhorbitant fee for Maylin’s braces, the dr shows me more x-rays of Maleah’s mouth.  More bad news.  It’s a long story, but the short version is that her 12 year molars never came in.  She had her wisdom teeth removed at 12 and then another oral surgery to help them come in, but they don’t want to join the party.  They’ve tried braces, brackets, bands, wires, and a whole list of other contraptions that I can’t name and 2 more surgical procedures.  Two of her molars are finally in.  Well, almost in.  The other 2 are never coming in completely.  The real problem now is that the gum tissue keeps partially re-growing over her molars. 

After seeing multiple dentists, orthodontists, and oral surgeons, they have all agreed that it’s only a matter of time before her molars begin to painfully decay under the partial covering of the gum tissue and have to be pulled anyway.  So, after years of trying to get her molars to come in and multiple surgeries, she will now have to have her 12 year molars pulled at age 19.  Needless to say that day did not go as we had hoped.  Not at all. 

So, on to Plan B.  We skipped the movies that day and went to Krispie Kreme for a donut supper and then called it a day.  Lets be honest, donuts can make everything seem better.  Sometimes you just have to known when to cry and go home with your doughnuts.  Ya know? 

Just a few days after the “horrible teeth day” as I call it, we brought home our newest family member.  That sure put a smile on everyone’s face again! 

Meet Daisy Mae.  

She is one of the sweetest cows ever and loves to lick you all over.  It’s really quite endearing! 

 Daisy Mae is like an overgrown lap dog.  We have all fallen in love with her. 

Daisy is pregnant and due sometime in October or November-ish.  We are hoping for a little heifer (girl) so we can love on her baby and keep it.  Did I mention that there’s a possibility that she is bred with a Texas Long Horn?  Won’t that make life around here interesting????  Just another adventure!!!

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