Wednesday, April 30, 2008

No Dice

As many of you may know, we got our newest kitty, Hello, from my parents around Christmas time. She was just a kitten then but has grown quite a bit since then as evidenced by this picture. Well, it turns out that as she grew, she turned out to not be a she but a he. We are fine with that but before he got too much older we decided we wanted to get him neutered before he started roaming and spraying on stuff. So, Margo dropped him off at the vet this morning and picked him up this afternoon. He is a little lighter now.

In other animal news we sold two of our goats yesterday. We decided to get rid of them partly because we had some female babies this year that we wanted to keep instead of these two and we are thinking about getting a few sheep. Here are the two we sold. Farewell Twin and Spot.

Stay tuned, because we possibly have some other big animal news coming in the next week or so.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Burnin' Tree of Fire

We don't seem to have a lot to blog about these days. Not much has been going on besides the daily grind of work. Margo was gone all last week to Iowa for work. I am glad she is back now. There is not much happening on the farm either. Just doing lots of little things. The garden is coming along. So far I have planted garlic, onions, sugar snap peas, corn, green beans, squash, cucumbers, zucchini, cantaloup, and luffa gourds. Tomorrow I am going to plant my tomatoes and peppers. I will try to post some pictures when everything starts growing. Today, I took most of the day off from work because one of the doctors I work with called in sick so we canceled clinic and there was nothing for me to do so I went home. It was nice and it helped me catch up on doing some stuff around the farm. Margo took off as well because she had lots of extra hours from last week. One of the things I did today is burn a couple of brush piles. One of the brush piles I had stacked around an old dead tree trunk that was still standing so that when I burned the pile it would burn down the tree as well. It was really fun, Margo and I sat and watched it burn until the tree trunk fell over. It was very exciting. That is the kind of thing that is fun to me, not video games and ipods, just watching a big tree trunk burn. I took some pictures so all of you could see.

Here is the brush pile after it had burned down quite a bit. You can see the tree trunk was pretty tall, the whole thing is on fire at this point.

Here is a closer shot of the top part.

And here is an even closer shot right before it fell, it had burned through the middle where you could see through it while it was on fire. I think this is a really cool picture.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

New Fish

I decided to restock my pond a little bit. I want to make sure that there are always plenty of catfish in my pond because that is what people like to catch the most and Margo and I catch them and eat them occasionally. On Saturday, the fish truck was at the Farmers Co-op so I went and bought some fish. I bought 50 6"-8" catfish and 100 bluegill. The catfish will eat the small bluegill while they are growing and the bluegill that survive are fun and easy to catch. I already have some full size blue gill in the pond. I decided to put about 10 catfish and some of the bluegill in my other little pond that I share with the neighbor just to see how they do. You are all welcome to come out and fish anytime. Here is a pic of the little catfish.

In other news, Margo is gone this week to some training so it is just me and the animals. I planted some in the garden today without a shirt on and got sunburned. It is this kind of thing that makes me appreciated having another person around. It is next to impossible to put aloe on your own back and the goats aren't much help with it either.

Monday, April 14, 2008


In case any of you have not heard, George W. and congress have decided to give us a stimulus package this year (May). Margo and I as a couple will be receiving $1200. I have mixed feelings on the stimulus package. I understand that they are doing it; to try to help the economy do better. The main problem I have with it is the little letters they sent out that I am sure you all received that told you that you will be getting an extra tax refund stimulus and that all you have to do is file your normal tax return. The problem I have with that is that it cost over $42 million to mail those letters out and unless you live under a rock you already knew that you were getting it. I think that was a big waste of taxpayer money and useless government spending that could be used for better things like education, roads, or reducing the national debt. But don't get me wrong, I do like to get the unexpected money. The other thing I am worried about is if this stimulus is actually going to help much. I am not an economist so I don't have any expertise on this matter. I do hope that you all use all or at least a portion of it to buy some stuff since that is what it is intended for. I understand if you need to pay off debt because that is more important but if not I think everyone should spend the money so it might help the economy because that would be good for everyone. And to take it one step further if you do decide to spend it, try to use it to by stuff made in America. Normally, I don't really pay attention to where stuff is made but I think in this instance it would be most beneficial to buy American since it's main purpose is to help our economy. If you buy something made in China or Mexico, it will help our economy some but it will also help that country's economy and if it is made here it is a win, win, win for the U.S. Ok, this is becoming to long of a post and I have not even got to my main point yet. So today, I spent part of my stimulus money (yes, I am already spending it and it has not arrived yet). We have been wanting to buy a small trailer for a while. We haul a lot of stuff and it would make it a lot easier to have my own trailer. We had been looking for a while mostly in the classifieds for a used one. Today, I found a new one that was actually cheaper than any I had seen for sale used. I bought it at Ranalli Farm Equipment in Tontitown. It is 10'x6' and has a tilt bed. I wanted a tilt bed because it makes it easier to load and unload stuff like lawn mowers and 4-wheelers because you don't need ramps. Here is a pic of it.

Let me know if any of you need help hauling something. I wanted to give a shout out to my father-in-law David for his expertise and coming with me to look at the trailer. I also wanted to give a shout out to George and our friends on the Hill for the stimulation.

Monday, April 07, 2008


Here on the Farm of Hale the past few days we have had some firsts. To start with, I got my first tick of the season which is a sure sign of spring. It was attached to the back of my leg. We usually don't have too much of a problem with ticks or chiggers because of the chickens. They do a good job of controlling all the bugs around the farm. Another first I had this weekend, that further proves the arrival of spring, is I saw my first snake of the season. Last year I killed 5-7 snakes on the farm including a couple water snakes, a couple king snakes, a hognose snake, and the only poisonous one- a copper head. I hope to not have as many this year because I have cleared out a lot of the underbrush and snakey type areas and I have more animals this year which helps to keep snakes away. Anyway, back to the snake I saw yesterday. It was just a garter snake which isn't a bad snake but I tend to kill all snakes good or bad. This one got away before I could get something to kill it though. Garter snakes are the first snakes to emerge in the spring (don't you love the little educational tidbits I put in my posts).

Our other first is food related. We have started doing about half our grocery shopping at Sam's Club. We did price comparison and found that at least half the stuff we buy is cheaper for us to get at Sam's. Anyway, we heard a couple weeks ago from Margo's dad that Sam's was about to start using new milk jugs. (Her dad works for Dairy Farmers of America). Well, they had them today when Margo bought groceries. Here is a pic of the new jug she got today.

Here is what we know about why they are using these new jugs. They don't require the milk crates to hold them and haul them since they are box shaped. All they do is put them on a pallet- they stack one layer on top of the other with just a piece of cardboard in between the layers. They also don't use racks at the store anymore to hold the milk. They just put a pallet of milk in the cooler at the store and you just take one off and when a layer is gone, they remove the cardboard in between and start a new layer. This saves them from having a person put the milk in the crates, stack the crates on a pallet, unstack the crates at the store, and put the jugs in the racks. I think it is a pretty good idea and design. It will probably take some getting used to by consumers but so far I like the new jug just fine. I like that the hole is on one corner of the jug, this requires less tipping and aim to get the milk into my glass than with the old jugs. The new jug is also less transparent as well which helps the milk last longer and it says it uses less shelf space.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


I thought I would take a break from talking about the farm and recommend some music and a movie for all of you.

To start with I wanted to recommend some music and a movie to all of you. The first music I wanted to recommend is a girl named Regina Spektor . We have been listening to her for several months and we really dig her music. We saw her on Letterman one night and loved it and now have a couple of her albums. She is starting to get pretty popular, her music has been used for some commercials and movies. Click here to go to her myspace page and listen to some of her music. The next band I wanted to tell you about is Arcade Fire. They are an indie rock band and their music is excellent and their lyrics are amazing. Our friend Ben got us hooked on them. They have like 6+ people in the band and on stage playing all kinds of instruments like violins, horns, accordion, and others. They have played with some really good people like Bruce Springsteen and David Bowie as well. Their newest album, Neon Bible is our favorite. Here is a video of them playing one of their songs with David Bowie.

And the final music recommendation I have for you is a new album. The group is called She and Him. The she part of the group is Zooey Deschanel. She is the main actress in the movie Elf that sings. I thought her voice was amazing in the movie and hoped that she would do some music sometime and she finally has. A big thanks to Travis for putting it on his blog and letting us know about it. She has been in several other good movies and is going to be the main actress in M. Night Shyamalan's new moving The Happening coming out in June. Click here to go to their myspace page and listen to some of their music.

I also wanted to recommend a movie to all of you as well in case some of you may not have heard of it yet. I think everyone would like this movie. It is called Once. It is an independent type movie and is about a singer songwriter guy that meets a girl and they form a relationship and make some music together. The whole movie is so great and the music is truly awesome. It is music that the main characters actually wrote and played. They won an Oscar for best original song in a motion picture. I really want all of you who have not seen it to go out and rent it, it is one of those movies that just make you feel great and everyone should see it. (You may have to turn on subtitles because their accents are a little hard to understand at times.)

Let me know what you think about all these people and feel free to leave suggestions for me on music or movies.