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Absence makes the heart grow fonder...or I was just really busy

Before we even get into it, I've just got to share that MY Texas farm has Bluebonnets!

Yup, the state flower, growing all wild and free right here in my unmowed yard! Haha Karen, take that and stick it up your wanna be HOA, gotta have the perfect lawn tight ass. *sigh* Sorry, I obviously have some pent up aggression when it comes to mowing flowers. Moving along...

After starting out so strong in keeping up with the blog and posting... I fell off the wagon.

Consider this post my apology and a massive catch up/information dump. We've had a lot of things going on here, which is part of the reason I have been absent. But enough excuses and explanations, let's get to the farm happenings!

First up is my amazing find at a local eclectic shop:

Yup, an old green door! Aside from the fact that it is adorable, it will actually serve a purpose, entry to my garden.

Obviously, Karen will need to build a frame for it, but from the moment I saw it I knew it would be the perfect magical door for our garden.

Speaking of building, Karen had finally worked out the plans for the chicken coop. When it comes to sketching out plans and being prepared for a build, Karen is the King. He had a full lumber and supply list all worked out for me to order. But being the frugal(read:cheap) person that I am, I had to shop around to find the best prices. I lost track of the places I called and websites I visited. Each time I would start to price out the list, the nausea would increase every time the total climbed another $1k.

Karen was dead set on building, but the outrageous price of lumber meant that our budget would only afford us a broom closet. That's when my brain started to explore the other options that I had already researched, but kept to myself. Karen doesn't function like I do, then again, most of the sane world doesn't function like me.

When presented with a situation, automatically my brain will run through every possible option, and all the variations of those options. Since building wasn't feasible, it was time to move on to one of those options.

I found a local shed builder, loaded up the girls and we were off to look at some options.

I called Karen while we were on the way to inform him of the decision we had reached.

Marriage is crazy like that, one moment you are sketching plans and making lumber lists for your wife, the next moment you're being informed that you have a new plan, and it's full steam ahead.

The girls and I found the perfect shed, that can be easily be converted into a chicken coop.

And the best part, it's less than HALF of the price of building and we don't have to do any of the labor ourselves.

The only work that we will need to do is making partitions, adding some doors, ventilation and nesting boxes. All in all, that's a win in my book.

Delivery day came quickly, a full size semi, heading down our little country road, then the young man whipping it around with a mule and leveling it right into place... it was an exhilarating day. And no matter how much I begged, the young man, he wouldn't let me drive the mule. I even pulled the, nah man it's cool, I'm a cool customer, I won't tell anyone.

Dang rule following kids these days.

Now that the coop dilemma was settled, there was plenty of work to do in the garden.

The first year of setting up a garden is always the hardest. Considering that we went from a full field of some evil, hybrid Georgia grown grass, to a fairly clear garden was amazing, but that evil grass had one more rally left.

Karen convinced me to get a garden weed hoe, and the girls and I set out to clear the grass. Painstakingly, one row at a time. Use the weed hoe to break up the ground and the roots, then carefully sift through the soil, picking out the root balls.

It's times like these I question my sanity. A garden over 1800sqft seemed like a dream. Something that would provide my family with more than enough food. We could can, dry and preserve, however I wasn't prepared for all the extra work of weeding and keeping the pests at bay. It's not that I was unfamiliar with the work that a garden entails, I just wasn't prepared to do it on such a huge scale! Go big or go home, right?

Next up was repotting plants. My indoor plants could use a little loving, and I had some baskets that I wanted to put out on the front porch. Somewhere between the east coast and south Texas I lost the coconut confer insert that keeps the dirt inside the basket. So we had to improvise. I had a burlap sack that once held rice, that kinda looks similar to what used to be in there. With a couple of cuts and rips, we made it work.

In the midst of my potting in the garage, I was reminded that I do in fact live in a place where even menial tasks are interrupted by moments of sheer terror.

That's right, it's officially scorpion season!

Thankfully, I saw and dispatched this one before it's whippy sticker could hit it's target.

While I was fully freaked out for a moment, I quickly regained my composure. I cannot say my girls recovered...ever really. As soon as they see one of these scuttle across the floor they are out!

Ah, my girls, they are my shadows, helpers and sometimes the only things that keep me from taking things too seriously.

Part of that fun was flying kites. The weather was crazy windy so we made the most of it with some $6 kites from HEB. If there's one thing that my kids have taught me it's that sometimes the cheap toys can give you the biggest bang for your buck. We also found a great deal on a used basketball hoop. If there was a way to keep the girls busy and active I found it, and found it at the best price possible.

The girls also got their long coveted floppy sun hats.

And of course I had to get in on the action too!

I wasn't lying when I said they are my helpers and not with just the small kid like tasks. I set out on a pretty large adult task and they were right beside me, painting the front porch!

A little before, after a good scrub and after one coat of paint.

While paroozing the isles of the hardware store, I also picked out house colors. Yup, if I'm going to be painting the porch, I might as well repaint the house once this project is done.

Which is definitely going to take longer than expected since we have been getting a lot of random pop up showers and rainy days. But hey, this gardener isn't complaining about getting rain!

The house will be Hemlock and the trim will be heavy cream.

Of course Karen said, MY HOUSE ISN'T GOING TO BE GREEN! But then he realized that his plan had yet again changed, and he in did indeed want a green house.

The neighbors across the road have been making more appearances lately. And contrary to what you might think, the Mama cows do not appreciate it when you yell, BABY COW, and run across the road.

This past weekend Karen and I went out and marked out everything in the coop. He made another much more affordable lumber list and I'll be grabbing supplies to start the upgrades to the coop.

That was really all that happened this past weekend because somehow I gave myself food poisoning. As I sat there hunched over the toilet I remembered why I stopped at two kids. After enduring 18 months of hugging toilets I was done, pregnancy and my body were no friends. And whatever I ate was apparently in cahoots with pregnancy and was taking Montezuma's revenge! So obviously we would do a post barfing for 24 hours photo shoot with the dogs.

Yes, they are now officially HUGE!

I climbed on a scale with them a couple of weeks ago and Thor was 52lb and Loki was 46lbs. What they lack in brains they make up for with cuteness...that's what I keep telling myself. We are still working on training. Probably not as much as I should be, but things are just so crazy. Hopefully once Spring mellows out I'll be back on it.

I think that's covered pretty much all of the highlights. Obviously there were many more things, but these were the notable ones.

Now that I'm all caught up, it should be easier to stick to the weekly updates, and hey you might even get two in one week.... yeah, you're right, let's just shoot for an attainable goal. See yall next week!


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