Wednesday, June 24, 2009

New Face, Familiar Face

This is Duke. He is a litter mate to Shani and Bo. He was given to us by the Crenshaws, original breeders of the litter. They have gotten out of livestock and could not keep all the LGDs they had. (LGD = Livestock Guardian Dog) Duke is a very sweet, beautiful dog. Our only problem is that he is not used to as much interaction with people as we provide here. He has never been on a leash and does not like to be in the barn. He is a bit of a loner, but will wag his tail and seem quite happy if you pet him, even running up to us on occasion for attention. We are hoping he adjusts to us and our routine quickly. Right now, he is hiding under a fallen tree limb! Duke is smaller then Bo, but taller and bigger bodied then Shani. So now we have 3 dogs from the same litter, small medium and large. Or should I say, Large, huge and giant! I will update with pictures of all of them as soon as Duke comes out from under the tree!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Don't Tell Daddy!

Like I said in my last post, today's heat index will be 110. When our oaks fell, they took with them all the shade they made over Lucky's dog kennel. She only has a tiny bit of shade now in front of her dog house. In this kind of heat, that is just not enough. So Lucky got a bath this morning and came in the house for the day. Well, Shani decided that wasn't fair and snuck in too! Oops! Don't tell Daddy the dogs are in the house! Shhhhh! I'll scoot Shani back out since she can find shade and water on her own. ( We can't let Lucky run loose, she is a scent hound and follows her nose where ever it leads her. We could never risk loosing her!) All the other dogs have shade and kiddie pools or other water to get in if needed. I worry about all the animals in this heat. We'll go down in early afternoon and freshen up/ cool down everyone's water. ( And probably douse ourselves too!) This is the hottest June I can remember in our 5 years here.'s hot out there!

Tiny new Doeling

One of our young Kiko does was accidentally bred when Romeo escaped his pen and broke into the doe pen. She had this tiny doeling Friday. ( Normally, our does kid in Feb/ March.) ClaireAnna named her Lyla. Her mom's name is Lola. She sure is a doll, but she is not doing too well in this heat. We find her panting a lot and she is nursing, but not enough. We've given her supplements and are trying to keep her cool, but short of bringing her in the house, there's nothing more we can do. Heat index will be 110 today. :( We sure hope she hangs in there.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Pedastal Rock

Nathan and Jacob Smith and Lisa, Kate and ClaireAnna Harmon, hiking at Pedestal Rock in Pelsor, AR.

Cooling off and eating lunch at Pearl's in Pleasant Grove.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Storm and Five Miracles

Friday, June 12.

It was a perfectly nice morning. I went into town to do some shopping for Kate's graduation party ( post to come). Ted was at work. The girls were at home. Sometime around 2:00 PM I heard a radio report that there could be severe weather. I went into Walmart just before it started to rain. The girls called their dad who told them to go up to grandma's house just in case (she has a basement). As I shopped around Walmart, it was obvious that the weather outside was severe. The lights flickered a few times and the noise from the wind and rain could easily be heard in the store. I waited it out and then headed home.

As I drove through Dover, I realized things were pretty bad. Thankfully, I already knew the girls were fine since Ted had talked to them and I had talked to him before I left Walmart. There were power lines down and a lot of tree debris. I turned onto Pine Hill and my heart started to many trees down so close to our place......I had to drive under a large tree that had fallen across the road and on a power line.....I wouldn't have done it except that another car had just gone and nothing happened, and I wanted to get home

Standridge was blocked by a fallen tree and power lines and my neighbors were already there with chain saws. I was the third car waiting. I got out of the truck and walked up to get a closer look. A woman shouted to me, "Your trees are down, but I don't think they hit your house!" I simply could not understand what she was saying. MY trees? My huge oak trees? Certainly not. I expected damage, but THOSE trees? I did not believe her. It was then that I remembered.....LUCKY! She was tied to a cable staked in the middle of those oak trees! I started to cry and then run for home. I ran the rest of the way down Standridge, crying the whole way and screaming out Lucky's name. When I got to the house....and saw.....I stopped,...unable to go closer.... not wanting to find what I knew was there......and then......I noticed some movement.....some rustling leaves.....and I ran again, as fast as I could and there she was.....wiggling her little heart out and perfectly fine. I picked her up and hugged her and cried even harder - so happy for Claire...just so happy Lucky was fine...just perfectly, perfectly fine.

After I calmed down a bit, I put Lucky in the dog kennel with Miller and started looking around at the yard. It was then that Ted pulled up and we both just wandered around the yard in a state of shock.

BEFORE: This is the only before picture I could find real quick. If you look to the right of Jes's shoulder, you can see four giant oaks. Three in a cluster and one alone right behind our house ( with most of it's leaves fallen.)

AFTER: And here's what they look like today!

The cluster of three fell in unison.This will give you an idea of how big the root ball is. That's a 10 X 10 dog kennel and of course Ted standing behind it. And here's the single oak.Good-bye trampoline! But the satellite made it intact!

In addition to the damage in the yard, there are many, many giant trees on our farm that are either fallen completely or damaged. This was our favorite tree on the farm. It was a giant wild cherry tree standing alone in the middle of a clearing.

Here it is Sunday morning.....
Another fallen oak in the pasture beside our house. This picture doesn't tell the whole story by any means, but you can see a bit of the damage to the woods. This was a beautiful and favorite riding and hiking location along a creek. Right now, the creek is barely visible and mostly inaccessible. There are too many trees damaged or down to count and it will take us months, (years?) to clean it up. We were sad at the loss of our trees for about five minutes. Then we started counting the miracles and now all we feel is gratitude to God that he granted us so many!

Miracle #1: The trees that fell only scraped our house with outer branches and did little visible damage. But look how close! In addition, we had NO wind damage to ANY structure! Wierd! Miracle #2: The tree that didn't fall. If this one had toppled at the same angle as the other trees, our house would have been destroyed. We are having it removed.....or we won't be able to sleep soundly ever again!Miracle #3: This is where we found Lucky. She had run to the left of the direction the trees were falling and to the only spot she could reach that would be did she know? If she had run directly away from what she saw coming at her, she would have been crushed. ClaireAnna is holding the end of the cable she was tied to. I would say that her name fits her perfectly, but I know better then that!Miracle #4: On Thursday, Cutie Pie had calved. Ted and I had found her and a little red, newborn heifer that evening. On Saturday morning after the storm, we moved all the cattle to the other end of the farm and locked them out of the damaged area. There are several trees with broken limbs hanging precariously and also a fallen tree that is toxic to them and we had to move them for their own safety. Sunday evening, my mom and nephews arrived just before dark. They are here on a visit that was planned before the storm. I told Kate to take the boys out on the 4-wheeler and show them the woods and all the fallen trees. As they rode around, someone spotted a tiny black calf. Huh? The cattle had been gone from the area for a day and a half. It took us a while to figure out what happened, but we finally realized that Cutie Pie had had TWINS! And we just didn't know it. When we moved the cattle out, the little guy got left behind. Cutie Pie didn't bawl for him since she already had a calf with her. We tried to reunite mom and baby #2, but at that point, she would not accept him. So, we put him in the barn and gave him a bottle. Boy was he hungry but other then that, he is unharmed!

Miracle #5: And the most wonderful Miracle of all - Not a single one of us was harmed and no livestock or pets were lost. GOD IS SO GOOD!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Kate's New Wheels

Well, okay, not NEW wheels, but new to her! This is Kate picking up her first car at the mechanic's. She is SOOOOO excited! It is a beater, but it's a cute beater! It's a 2001 Oldsmobile Alero. It has 140,000 miles on it but we only gave $1800 for it and have some money set aside for repairs. We had a mechanic check it out before we bought it and he said it was all good so we have our fingers crossed! Doesn't she look happy?!

Friday, June 5, 2009


We put this cute trio in a small chicken coop that is inside the barn. Two days later, we found the duck and one of the goslings dead. No blood, not eaten, just dead. The only "mark" was that the dead gosling's head and neck were wet and matted, like it had been chewed on but not so rough that there was damage. Wierd! This is the duckling that ClaireAnna raised in the kitchen for 2 weeks. The remaining gosling was put into the horse stall with the other ducklings.
Today, we went down to the barn and found this SNAKE inside a rabbit cage trying to eat one of our Lionheads. The poor rabbit was dead. Ted grabbed a pitch fork and lifted the snake out of the cage and I chopped it's head with a hoe. This snake is about 5 feet long! Thank goodness we cought this nasty creature but we sure wish it hadn't gotten three of our little friends before we did!