Friday, December 26, 2008

Pictures of Our Home

The children's room.

The closet and bookshelf.

Our bedroom.

Looking out the windows to the hay fields.

Our new computer and "office."

Christmas Decor

The reason for the season

Our living room...all done up and ready to celebrate.

Side view of tree, looking into our bedroom
The new, and oh so comfy, couch.  I know, I know, we still need "stuff" on the walls.  Waiting to paint and then our large redwood window will go above the couch.
The view from our couch.  This is the kitchen/dining area.
The kitchen/dining area and the back door out to the inside of the barn.  The hallway to the right goes into Riley's room and the guest bathroom.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

More Shots of the Farm

A dreary day in South Texas.  We decided to fill the pond from the water in the well.  This year has been so dry...we are in the middle of a drought, which is supposedly the worst than something like the in last thirty years.  Big Tom gets excited about a 20% chance of rain...we just laugh because even on Humboldt's warmest, sunniest day we have more than a 20% chance of rain.  

Meet the Kubota.  Our farm truck...kinda like a suped up golf cart.  4 wheel drive, dump trailer, wench, and probably other cool features I haven't seen in use yet.  This is what we use to drive all over the fields.

Happy Grandparents with happy grandchild.

Happy dog. Always ready to run alongside the Kubota.

Trimming The Tree

The full moon rising over our hay field.

Riley keenly decorated the bottom third of the tree.
Papa was restricted to the top third...that is what you get when you are over 6' tall.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas on the River Walk

San Antonio downtown is known for its Riverwalk.  It is a river which flows right through the middle of downtown, through all of the shops, restaurants, and businesses...even the famous Alamo.  We went down there last night to catch some of the festive action and have dinner along the river.
Six months pregnant.

A shout-out to our favorite peeps from Dickneyland-- there is a restaurant (a very popular one too) right on the river.

San Antonio downtown trees.

The famous Alamo at night (with the Crockett Hotel in the background).

A Texas Sprinkler

Riley thinks this one is pretty neat.  Tom and Linda have owned this for years.  Riley likes to hook the hose into the back end of the tractor and watch it water the grass.  

Hay's For Horses

We get calls all of the time to deliver hay.  Sometimes we only have to go ten miles away and sometimes we have to drive an hour or more.  Last week for this delivery, we drove to Sequin, Texas...about 45 minutes away.  Here is the process we go through to get 225 (square) bales on a trailer.  (Round bales are loaded with tractors.)

Tom picks up the bale with hay forks. And loads it on the conveyor belt.
The bale goes up the conveyor belt and Tommy grabs it with hay forks.
Tommy layers the hay very carefully.  If any bales are off center, the load can topple over as we drive down the road.
Tommy ties down the load.  And we are off to Sequin.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Raking and Baling

The Main House
Our Little Abode
The empty stream which leads to the pond
The dog pin

We cut, raked, and baled our last round of hay for the year.  It won't be until May before we start again.  The freezing temperatures at night are causing the hay to go dormant for the winter.  Here are some pictures of the tractors doing their thing on the farm.  Back and forth, back and forth.  Unsurprisingly, if that tractor is running, Riley wants to be in it.  Sometimes it takes hours to cut all of the hay....just going back and forth.  But he loves it.  Just sitting there, "workin the fields", as they say. 

Thanksgiving in Smithville

Smithville is about 2.5 hours away from us...just east of Austin, the Live Music Capital of the world...(they say).  It is beautiful with rolling hills, turning leaves, and wide open spaces.  We had an afternoon dinner with friends of our family.  Fried turkey, mashed potatoes, creamed peas, stuffing, cranberry sauce, rolls, 8 layer dip, and sweet tea.  We were asked to bring an appetizer and a dessert.  I made a chocolate pecan pie and we brought celery sticks lined with hummus.  When everyone asked what was on the celery sticks and we told them, one man quietly went to the trash can and slide it off the plate...the other reached under the table and put it in his lap.  Only one person out of let's say 12 people had every heard of hummus before.  And the majority weren't interested in trying it.  Peanut butter would have gone over better.
  Pregnant Mama on Thanksgiving

Christmas Tree Pickin in Texas

On Sunday we drove to Devine, Texas.  It was the closest farm where you could cut down your own tree rather than buying it in front of the local grocery store.  It was about 40 miles away...which is an average drive for us in order to get anywhere else really.  Driving is big in Texas.  I guess it's because everyone owns so much land it takes a while to just get off your own property.  And most everything is a highway or a country road (i.e. dirt road).  So those big trucks that people in Humboldt avoid's about all you see here.  And I haven't met anyone yet who doesn't own a gooseneck trailer.  Back to the Christmas Tree farm.

The farm was a lot of fun.  It was set up for kids and throughout the property were things like huge playgrounds, petting zoos, duck races, fishing ponds, hay bale rides, train barrel rides, a hay stack maze, tire swings, gold/gem mining, and miniature golf.  We walked throughout the entire farm looking for the perfect tree.  This Leyland Cypress was the best we could find.  

But we ended up going with this one.

Riley at the duck races.

Riley in the hay maze.

Papa and Riley found the end of the maze.

We've put it up in our house, decorated with the garland we bought there, put lights up last night and will pump the Christmas music tunes tonight while we break out our box of ornaments.  It doesn't much feel like Christmas here.  Maybe that's because it's still 75 degrees outside.  It's like Christmas in Niger all over again.