Thursday, February 14, 2008

Budding Photographer

Our homeschool Co-op contracted with a professional photographer to teach the Jr. & Sr. high kids a 2 part 16 week class on digital photography. Kate completed the first 8 weeks before Christmas and has begun the 2nd 8 weeks this month. She had to take some photos for today's assignment and this is what she came up with. WOW! I love them.

I think this is the best photo. The contrast is so interesting. This in on our neighbor's ridge.

This photo is not staged. This barbed wire fence separates our land from the neighbor's. He had a cow die a couple of summers ago, in this back corner and just left it to rot. The bones have been picked clean by vultures and bleeched in the sun. Some time last summer, someone put the scull up on this T-post. Kate just snapped what was there.

I love this one. Blurred in the distance is a flock of wild turkeys.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Randy's Goats

If we had known we would be given a small herd of goats today, (9 total), we certainly wouldn't have bought the 3 pregnant does a couple of weeks ago! But...who knew?? Here they are following Kate into thier new corral. There are a couple of milk goats and some mixed Boers. There are 6 does we will be keeping and 3 bucklings, one of which Kate will show at the fair and 2 that we will sell to other 4-H kids. After they all settled down, we added our 3 does for a total of 12! --with 6 on the way!

Total Loss

We went over to Randy Martin's place today. These pictures represent what's left of everything he owns. We can only credit God that his family is alive and uninjured. ( see previous post titled "Tornado.") It is truly a miracle! Another miracle -- his yard was full of people today. Total strangers with leather work gloves, chain saws, back hoes and dozers. At least 50 of them. From what we saw this morning, Randy's mess will be cleaned up by the end of this weekend. Then he can begin to rebuild, along with the many other victims across the country.

We told Randy we would come get his goats and keep them till he had a place fixed for them. We did that today, but as we collected them he said, "Ted, I don't have a place for ME to live. It will be a long, long time before I'm worried about where my goats will live. Just keep them." (See them in the next post.) As we left Atkins with our horse trailer full of Randy's goats, we passed a funeral procession. I can only assume it was that of the family that died Tuesday. Mother, Father and sister all dead. Son/ brother the only survivor because he was not home. Please pray for all those who lost family and/ or homes.

Friday, February 8, 2008

The Dover Times


I wish I had thought to do this sooner. There are always hilarious ( to a Yankee) little articles in the weekly Dover paper. We get the Dover times free in our grociery bag at the Dover Market if we shop on Wednesdays. Otherwise, you can put a quarter in the can at Ewing's Video and Tan and get one. ( you can also buy jewelry and glittery shoes there if you want to show off your tan while you rent a movie!) Read this article to yourself with a slow southern drawl.

The Dover Boy Scouts anual chili dinner is a very popular event in Dover. The funny part is that these are just local folks, cooking some homemade chili with the meat they have in thier freezer.

The Red Barn is just that. A red barn on the corner of a highway, at the edge of a farmer's field in the middle of nowhere. ( I'll try to take a picture next time I go by) They have a "sing'in" ( you have to say it right) every week and sometime special guests. It costs a dollar to get in.

Now, here, Dover has made the big time. And of course, this is no joke. A local girl, Nona, was violently murdered over a year ago. Her long time boyfriend, Kevin, was accused, tried and found not guilty. Her family believes he is the killer. His family sold thier business and home to pay for his defense. The DA insists Kevin is guilty. The police messed up the investigation BIG TIME. Nona and Kevin were/ are friends of Josh's from highschool. Kevin has been to Josh's appartment. We buy round baled hay from Kevin's dad and Ted's dad hired him to do dozer work on his property. Watch the show tomorrow and you will see our little town in all it's glory.

I'll keep my eye out, now, for other funny articles. Or maybe next post I'll tell ya'll about the guy who calls in to "Swap Shop", (a local radio show where you can advertize things for sale for free ) to sell used 5 gallon buckets for 50 cents each.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Pope County has been declaired a National Disaster Area. The town of Atkins, where the tornado began it's 100 mile long tirade, is 10 miles from us.

Randy, a man who works for Ted in the warehouse, and an Atkins resident, lost everything. He was in his home when he opened the front door and came face to face with the oncomming tornado. They ran out to a car, Randy and his wife, thier adult daughter and her 2 month old baby, plus 3 dogs. They backed away from the house just before the tornado struck. Thier house is a total loss. If they had stayed, they would be dead. The barn and chicken house are gone. All but 6 of thier 20 some goats were killed. The pony had to be euthanized. 3 vehicles, 2 tractors and 1 motorcycle are totaled, including the car they were in. These people hunched down in the floor boards of thier car while the tornado went right over them. The windows blew out and debris blew in, but no one was injured. Even the dogs survived. We will be bringing his surviving goats over here for the time being. We've taken them some food. But what else can you do? He has absolutely nothing left. He has lived on that land for 30 years, clearing it, building the house, the barn and fences, a new corral......all gone and now just a twisted mass of tree limbs, debris and metal.

A neighbor and his family have lost thier entire house...all but the bathroom blew away. Good thing that's where they were hiding.

An elderly gentleman down the street was killed when his entire house was blown away.

Another resident (a couple of miles away), his wife and thier, 11 year old daughter were all killed.
The girls and I drove over to Atkins today. We probably shouldn't have. We stayed out of the way, but managed to get some pictures. This is not Randy's area, but a couple of miles away. This tornado was on the ground for 100 miles. It killed over 50 people in several states. 27 in Arkansas, 4 of those in our county.

Not sure what used to be here

Damaged Church

Part of Church's roof, across the street.

This cow was alone in a large field that was riddled with depris. I am certain that she is severely injured. Soon after this picture was taken she layed down and continued to drool and hang her tongue. Hopefully, someone will come and put her out of her misery soon. You wonder where her herd mates are? There wasn't another bovine anywhere in sight.

No roof.

This vehicle was several yards off the road. The orange paint is some kind of code used by rescue workers indicating that the truck had been searched. There were many vehicles like this along the road and in fields. Remember, this tornado came after dark.

This is a field of planks, sticks and steel, planted by the tornado like a row crop.

Please pray for the victims and survivors of this disaster.

Monday, February 4, 2008

More Puppy Pics!


They will be 9 weeks old tomorrow and weigh close to 20 pounds each.

Two Winter Calves

"Noel" Registered Fleckvieh Simmental heifer, D.O.B. 12/25/2007

Registered Fleckvieh Simmental Heifer, D.O.B. 2/1/2008

We will keep these two and add them to our production cows.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Winter Fun

"Daddy, play with me!," she says. It's January. It's cold. They're bored. So out comes the box of K'Nex. They spent a whole weekend putting stuff together. The two dimentional ones, Claireanna did by herself. The ones in the upper right she calls the twin towers. The others she and Ted and Kate made. Claire just couldn't bear to take them apart so they have been repurposed as table decor for the last couple of weeks! Finally, Ted said it was time. So she took a picture of each one all by herself. You can see her feet by one of the butterflies! And then she and Kate took them apart.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Three Nanny Goats Gruff

Meet Abbigail, Clara and Thacia. They are the start of our goat herd. They are percentage Boer meat goats and are all bred to a Kiko buck and due to kid in March or April. ( Boer and Kiko are both breeds of meat goats ) Why goats, you ask? Well.....because we didn't have any!

Actually, there is a better reason. Goats eat "browse". That is, shrubs, weeds, and brush. They don't eat much grass unless it is all that is available. They love pricker bushes, vines, poison ivy and baby cedar trees. Coincidentally, these are all things we don't like here on the farm. So, the goats have a job to do. First they have to give birth to twins, or maybe triplets! Then they have to get to work eating up all the undesireable growth in our thicket patches and woods. We're hoping the sheep and the llama will tag along. The pups, when grown, will accompany them and protect them all. Sounds like a plan, don't you think?


These three are quite friendly and eat out of our hands. We will keep any doelings that are born. The girls will show the bucklings who will be wethered (castrated) at the fair and then we will butcher them for the freezer. ( Oh, come on....goat is, pound for pound, the most consumed meat in the world! More then beef! It is tasty and nutritous and fairly cheap to produce. )

On this farm, we love our animals and treat them all with kindness, but we are also practical. We designate some animals as "pets." Seymore ( that HUGE Katadin meat sheep) is a pet and will never be butchered. The horses, llama and donkey of course, the Lionhead rabbits, the ducks and even some cows with special personalities will never be butchered. ( Okay, we might eat a male duck or two) But....we also need to eat and make some money. So, most cattle, any chicken, our market hogs, the Californian meat rabbits, and the wether goats are for production and consumtion. The girls are fine with it and are growing up with a respectful but realistic attitude about animals that we are very proud of.