Monday, August 12, 2013

New wheels and farm fresh dinner

This week's adventure started on Friday night. Without kids!

Last weekend we went tractor shopping at the local John Deere dealer. In the end, the amount of tractor we wanted and the amount of tractor John Deere wanted to finance didn't quite match up. It was a little disappointing, but sometimes, things just happen for a reason.

Like a better deal around the corner.

Friday night, Ghon and I were able to secure a little alone time. At Lowes. I know, right? You're jealous aren't you?

After getting the kids to bed, Pop agreed to keep an ear out for them and let us do a little lawn tractor shopping without kids. Thanks, Pop! We headed out and checked out a row of tractors. Ghon found one he liked then we went inside to compare. Then back outside to compare again, when I spotted the clearance row of tractors.

I LOVE a bargain. I price shop. I clip coupons. I make Wal-Mart price match. And yes, I LOVE Black Friday shopping. But I digress...

Bargain tractors!

I'm back.

We found a Husqvarna tractor that retailed for $2200, on clearance for $1609. Only a tick smaller than the one Ghon picked out inside. After debating the merit of an extra 4 inches of mower deck for $600, we agreed on the Husqvarna.

Next, was to see how much tractor Lowes was going to let us buy. We don't have that kind of cash floating around nor do we have perfect credit. Off to customer service and....we don't get enough. But close enough that we can supplement with a little cash and have ourselves a new lawn tractor, that our lawn desperately needs to become intimate with quickly.

But, I press my luck. I head back over to lawn and garden and talk to the man in charge while Ghon hides and looks at accessories. I let him know we didn't get approved for as much as the tractor was selling for, any way we could knock a $100 or so off to help us out. He pauses and says, "How about I sell it to you for $1200?" My reply? "Sold."

Hells yeah. Got us a tractor at $1000 off retail. Anyone want to go car shopping? I kid, I kid.

That was the easy part, but the checkout was a bit of a nightmare. Took three tries to get the sale logged correctly so we could pick up the next day, then a checkout screw up that ended up giving us another $60 off! (It was legit, no worries...)

We did cap off the experience with milkshakes from Chick-fil-a. Now I know you are jealous.

Here's the new lawn tractor leaving Lowes. Thanks again Pop for hauling it home!

Last week I talked a bit about my hypothesis for the raccoon entry into the chicken coop. Here's a picture of those little footprints - at the TOP of the coop wall.

Damn raccoon.

Ghon installed a board over the opening on Saturday.

Take that you stupid raccoon.

Things seemed to go OK until Sunday night, when we lost another. Thank goodness the motor came so we can have an automatic door for the coop. That should stop the chicken insanity. Can't wait until Ghon can get it installed.

Ghon has had off the last few Saturdays which has been nice, but will be coming to an end soon. This past Saturday, he spent the morning at a local farm learning about chicken processing, raising pigs and rabbits and a bit about running a farm. He took the chickens we had been raising solely to be "meat" chickens along with him for processing and to serve as part of the education.

Eight birds shrink wrapped for the freezer, two for Sunday dinner!

While Ghon learned more about how to be a farmer, the kids and I picked up the tractor with Pop, built airplanes at Lowes, had lunch, picked apples and peaches at a local orchard then went grocery shopping. What a morning/afternoon! Once we were finished all that running, I dropped the kids off at the farm where Ghon was starting to mow with his new wheels.

Jonathan was ready to ride the new tractor.

The tractor can travel up to 7 mph and has a 54" mower deck. It has cut our mowing time in half, which is pretty amazing. It even has a cup holder and headlights. What's not to love?

While mowing, Ghon found a creature. I saw him stop the tractor, jump off show Jonathan something then he yells across the field "Look what we found Mom!" I knew it wasn't going to be good. Snake.

Yes, I did scurry along and proclaim that dinner was ready. Then told Ghon, "Please don't." You know what I mean. He knew what I meant. Do you think he listened?

Ghon showing the kids the garter snake.
The picture on the right was taken right before he tried to attack me with it.

I really do try to be brave in front of the kids. However when Ghon tried telling Jonathan (who is not even five yet) and Genevieve (who still can't get her colors straight) that because this snake was black with white stripes running down it's body, it was OK to pick up, yeah, I had to draw the line. No snakes are safe to pick up unless Daddy is with us and if Daddy does it first. Having poisonous snakes on the property, I don't want to take any chances. And yes, when Ghon held the snake up and barely shook it at me, I did jump. Backward.

Jonathan petting the snake.
Releasing the snake in the garden.

Jonathan attempting to kiss the snake.
Slither away little snake.

Unfortunately, after dinner, we had to go pick corn. To get to the corn field, we had to walk through the garden area where the snake was released. You know where my mind was the entire time!

For some reason, I thought harvesting corn was going to be difficult. I thought we would need a knife or something to remove the ears, but it was surprisingly easy. The worst part was that some of the corn had gone bad, or the deer had gotten into it. We harvested 6 1/2 dozen ears Saturday night.
Kids helping with the first corn harvest.

Can you find Ghon in the corn?

After the kids got to bed Saturday, I shucked all of the corn and Ghon helped me rinse and clean it off. The corn didn't yield as much as we would have liked, as some had started to go bad and I had to cut ears in half. Regardless, it is ours and damn tasty. We hope to harvest a bit more, as long as the deer don't get it first. They've already taken way too much.

Ghon worked Sunday, and after the kids and I slept in a bit, we were back off and running. We hit the park, the farm to grab a few trash bags, our transfer station, back to the store to grab a few forgotten items from the day before, lunch, then back to the farm so I could finally move all the rocks that I had dug out of the rose garden. I wanted to get them all moved so Ghon could mow around the area.

I had found this picture on Friday afternoon.

March 1988: Ghon's Dad creating the rose garden.

So I tried to replicate the angle on Sunday evening.

25 years later, the rocks are gone and only a few small bushes remain. It's amazing how much the shrubs have grown along the street and driveway.

After all that running and work, the kids got a bubble bath and snuggled into their new pajamas to watch a movie while I got to work! Pop and his friend BJ helped me process the corn; I boiled and cooled, Pop cut it off the cob and BJ bagged. While I had the water going, I also processed the last two yellow squash we had.

Turned 6.5 dozen ears into 4-5 meals!

Once the cooking was done, I had to do a little house cleaning. Two bathrooms scrubbed, last of 4 loads of laundry folded, and the floors vacuumed. I was pooped! Ghon was in charge of making dinner, fried chicken, or as Jonathan calls it, "chicken on a bone."

Ghon's fried chicken.

Farm fresh - chicken and corn from the farm!

It was a great dinner. I am amazed that the kids haven't figured out yet that chicken is chicken. They know the eggs we eat come from chickens and that chicks come from eggs. I just don't know if they have connected all the dots yet, and I'm not ready to clue them in.

Shhhh, don't tell her that chicken is well, chicken.

I was pretty exhausted from this weekend and couldn't get myself motivated to go to work today. Guess I needed the sleep, after trying to get up at a respectable time, I slept until almost 9am. After dropping the kids off at daycare, Ghon and I headed to the farm to work. He went off to finish mowing the yard and I started cleaning and pricing items for a yard sale. I did take a quick break to head home for a call/meeting I couldn't miss, then headed back to the farm. Ghon was able to mow all of the yard, including some spots that haven't been mowed in quite a while. Not sure I've seen this much of the yard mowed in a long time. I was able to get a lot sorted for the yard sale, and priced. Next step is to bring kid toys down and advertise. Anyone want to come to Hummingbird Farm to buy some stuff??

That's it for this week. Ghon will hopefully installed the new coop door on Thursday morning, and I'm hoping to do more yardsale prep this weekend. Always busy around here!

And if you are still reading this post, and have been reading along, this is my 50th post! Never thought I would have blogged so much! Thanks for reading and sharing the experience with us. Please, leave comments below. I love reading new comments!


  1. I love me a farm blog. Especially when it involves Snakes and yard birds.

  2. Good Grief... Did Superwoman write this Blog??? You are too much. The corn looks delicious and the kids are really getting an are good parents.

  3. Those are some good lookin' birds! They look so familiar! :) It was great having you out to the farm, Ghon! Come again soon!

    1. Sharon - thanks for stopping by. I hope your raccoon and skunk problems have gotten better!