Tuesday, May 27, 2008


I think this is going to be the final post related to our vacation to Mexico. There were several occasions when we had opportunities to buy local souvenirs. There were two nights, during the Mayan night and during the Mexican night, at the resort that they had locals come in and set up their booths to sell their goods. It was mostly handicraft type stuff like stuffed animals, mexican dresses, animal figurines, pottery, and lots of other types of trinkets. We also had opportunities to buy stuff when we took our trips to the Tulum ruins and to Chichen Itza. We did not buy very much stuff even though I would have liked to. Whenever we take a vacation somewhere we always try to buy a magnet from that place. I just counted and we have magnets from 10 different places so far. If any of you want to see them all, you can stop by and check out our refrigerator. So anyway, we got magnets from Tulum and Chichen Itza. Margo also bought herself a little handpainted cross from one of the little merchants. We have a portion of a wall in our bedroom that is decorated with different kinds of little crosses. The main thing I wanted to tell you about that we got is what I bought for myself. And I think a picture will explain it best so here you go....

It is a Mexican wrestler mask, I just could not live without it. To be more specific it is the Nacho Libre mask. There was a guy selling lots of different ones but I could not pass this one up because I like that movie. For those of you who have not seen it, here is a preview you can check out.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Replacements

We went to Centerton Livestock Auction on Saturday night in hopes of getting some chickens to replace the ones that disappeared while we were on vacation and to see if we could find any other animals we could not pass up. Unfortunately, for some reason chickens go for a lot there so I had to pay an arm and a leg to get a few. But we needed some to have some eggs so I bought 4. They are good looking chickens and we have already been getting eggs. We also have ordered some baby chicks and they should be here in June sometime.

Overall, it was a slow day at the auction. There were not nearly as many animals as there usually is. The prices of goats were down as well which is fine with me because I was not selling, I was buying. So I bought two goats. They look to be twins and about 1-2 years old and are mixed breed but they probably have some sort of dairy goat in them (maybe Saanen), but they might also have kiko in them, who knows. If they do turn out to be good milk producers that would be fine with us because Margo and I have been talking about trying to do goat cheese, lotion, and soap.

Here they are.

I also hoped to find a billy to buy to breed with my goats this fall but was unable to find one there to buy. However, one of my good friends, Travis, had told me his brother had bought some billy goats from a guy he worked with for a pretty good price so on Sunday after church Margo and I went to look at them and ended up buying a billy. He is a full blood Nubian which is kind of a dual purpose breed but used more for dairy purposes. He is still small but should be big enough to breed this fall. He is super cute and really friendly. Part of the reason I decided to get him and not a meat goat billy is I would like to get some dairy in my goats and this will make them have better milk and raise better kids. The nubians are also a bigger sized goat which will increase the size of my herd if I keep any kids out of him.

Isn't he cute, he is about 3 months old.

I also wanted to take some time to talk about our goats. I have lots of people ask what kind of goats we have and why we have them and stuff like that so I thought I would give a brief overview of why we have goats and why we have the ones we do. Goats are my favorite animal and they are one of Margo's specialties that she deals with at work. We have them because we like them and they do a good job of eating weeds and brush including stuff like briars and poison ivy. As for what kind of goats we have, we don't have any particular breed or kind. We have mixed breed goats and mostly meat goats. Boer goats are the popular meat goat with most people right now but they can have lots of problems and there are lots of bad blood lines so we are trying to stay away from them if we can. People don't cull them out like they should and that creates problems. We are trying to raise goats that are good mothers, have multiple babies and take care of them, are parasite resistant, and are good brush controllers, and don't need much care from us. We think a good way to get all of these qualities is to have mixed breed goats and only keep ones that meet our standards. Over time, I hope to have some of the most hardy and best goats you will find. But, they will not be one particular breed and therefore will not be high priced goats but I don't have them to just try to make a bunch of money. If I was to start doing a certain breed at some point I would probably do Kiko or Spanish goats because they have a lot of the qualities I am looking for as well. I hope this helps explain a little as to why we have goats, we really like them, they are fun animals to have.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Real World

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming. I have one more post related to the vacation but I am going to have to save it until Margo is back in town because I need her to take some pictures for it. Margo had to go out of town for work this week. She is suffering in Puerto Rico and St. Croix in the Virgin Islands, poor Margo. Anyway, I thought I would give an update on farm news. On a sad note, when we got back from vacation all our chickens were gone. I think they got eaten by something. We are going to try to get some new ones if we can find some. We are getting some baby chicks in June but I would like to get some big ones soon so we will have eggs. In more pleasant news, the garden is doing really good. I will try to post some more complete pics of it sometime soon. For now, here are some pics of a couple things I picked this week.

This was my first year to grow lettuce. It is a Mesclun Mix and has done pretty well and tastes really good.

And our strawberries are finally starting to ripen. I picked this bowl full last night. I am not a huge fan of strawberries but Margo loves them. These are the Ozark Beauty variety which do good around here and produce throughout the season. These may be the variety that Allison bought the other day and talked about on their blog.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Chichen Itza

Our other venture away from the resort during vacation was to Chichen Itza. I was really excited about getting to go see it. It is one of the new seven wonders of the world. We booked a tour online that picked us up at our hotel and took us to the site (2-3 hours each way), provided lunch, and had an english speaking guide to show us around the site and tell us all kinds of interesting things. It was a really good tour and our tour guide guy was really good. The other people on the tour with us included two couples from England, one couple from Poland, and another couple from the U.S. The couple from England were really nice and interesting to talk to. It was super hot the day we were there.
The Mayans were very advanced for their time. They followed the cycles of the moon and of venus, they even had their own observatory. The buildings and carvings were very interesting and very planned out. It is hard to explain it all on the blog but if you are interested in hearing about all the amazing things let me know and I can tell you all about it. One of the crazy things is that they had an exact 365 day calender and had their calender planned out for all future years as well. The crazy thing is their calender ends in December of 2012, that is the last date they had planned out and our guide said some people say it ends then because that is when the Mayans believed the world would end. It was supposed to all have to do with Venus in relation to the Earth and moon.

Here is our tour guide, he is part Mayan. He was really good. One of the questions I asked him is how accurate he thinks the movie Apocalypto (I really like that movie) was because it is supposed to be based on the Mayans. He said it is only about 20% accurate.

Here is the pyramid. It has 365 steps, I wonder what other thing has 365 things in it.

This was their observatory for watching the planets and stars.

Another building.

Some carvings.

This was their ball court, which was the biggest one in Mesoamerica.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Tulum Ruins

While on vacation we went to see Mayan ruins on two different occasions. The first we went to see were the Tulum ruins which were only like 3 miles from our resort. The ruins sit on a cliff overlooking the ocean and are surrounded by a rock wall. We took a taxi to the site and just explored on our own without a tour guide. There were descriptions of the different things in english all around. It was very interesting and a great view next to the ocean. There was also a little Mexican market next to the entrance of the ruins which was fun to check out. Here are some pics of the ruins.

There were lots of lizards at the ruins.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Food and Drink

The food at the resort was really, really good. They had seven restaurants on the premises. One was a buffet which was pretty good and the others were a la cart. They were all really good. There was a French one, an Italian, an Asian, a Mexican, a sushi bar, and the Seaside grill that just had general food. They all had really good presentation with their food and made it look really cool when they served it. The Mexican one and the Seaside grill were both open air and on the ocean. Our favorite overall was the Seaside grill, it was right on the ocean. The Italian and French one were kind of upscale restaurants and we had to dress nice to go there and they had like 4 or 5 courses. We could eat at any restaurant we wanted, as many times as we wanted, and as much as we wanted. Sometimes we would go to one for an appetizer, another for our meal, and another for dessert. We could get guacamole at just about every restaurant and Margo loves the stuff so she had it just about every time we ate. We ate tons everyday we were there, it has been hard being back and not eating so much. They also had room service that was included so you could have them bring food to your room anytime of the day and there was a mini fridge in the room with soda, water and beer which was included and they restocked it everyday.
Along with the restaurants there were also 7 bars where you could get any drink (beer, mixed drinks, shots, wine, water, tea, soda) you wanted which was also all included with our stay. We tried all kinds of new drinks while we were there. Margo's favorite mixed drink was the miami vice and mine was the almond toast drink which had almond liqueur and coffee liqueur (although I drank Corona more often since I could have it anytime even in the room). They also had people walking around the beach during the day so while we were lounging on the beach we could order drinks and they would bring them to us. They also brought around fresh fruit during the day if you wanted any while lounging. They also set up a little tent by the pools everyday and grilled chicken and hot dogs and hamburgers and had chips and salsa, fruit and drinks if you wanted a snack. Here are some pics of the food, I am not sure which restaurants these were taken at.

This was at the Seaside Grill, we ate there the most often, that is the ocean in the background.

Here is an appetizer I had, it is a slap of fried mozzarella on a bed of sausage and mushrooms, it was amazing.

This is one of Margo's main course, it is stuffed chicken breast on a bed of mixed veggies with mashed potatoes.

This is a dessert, it was a chocolate tart type thing with ice cream on top, mmm.

This was during Mexican night were they had a Mexican show and a big buffet set up of traditional Mexican food. Yes, that is (or was) a whole pig.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


This is part three of vacation coverage. The resort had tons of activities everyday and a big activity at night. The daily organized things to do included beach volleyball, water aerobics, yoga, Spanish classes, pool volleyball, water polo, dance lessons, cooking classes, fruit carving classes, bungee trampoline jumping, soccer, scuba lessons in the pool, drink mixing classes. The had lots of stuff you could do on your own as well like ping pong, shuffle board, kayaking, wind surfing, big outdoor checkers and chess, snorkeling, tennis, blow up ocean trampoline, blow up ocean climbing wall. They pretty much had activities throughout the entire day that you could participate in if you wanted. At night they had a big special event. The first night we were there they had a big beach barbecue and then had a band playing and had a limbo competition. One night they had Mayan night: they had a conch blowing contest, local vendors selling handicrafts, and then a bunch of Mayan people dressed up in traditional Mayan stuff doing tribal dancing and stuff. It was really awesome. Another night they did Mexican night where they had outdoor Mexican buffet and had a Mexican band and dancers. They also had a big pinata for the kids to bust open. A couple nights they also had some bands playing at some of the outside bars and they had mechanical bull riding at some of the night events. They would also have movies on the beach at night where they showed movies on a big blow up screen and some nights they would show the NBA playoffs as well. Here are some pictures of some of the stuff.

This is during Mayan night, one of the guys blowing a conch while they were doing a ritual dance thing

Here is me with a couple of the Mayan guys

Here is a band that was playing one night at one of the outside bar/lounge areas. This was one of the most enjoyable things to me, lounging in the cool evening, sipping on by drink of choice, listening to a good band, and watching the ocean.

Here is Margo on the big blow up ocean trampoline

Here is me on the blow up ocean climbing wall

Here is what we did a lot of the time. Relax on the beach and sip drinks and we got some reading done as well. It was kind of hard for me at first to just lay around and do nothing and have everyone wait on us. I am used to always doing something and working on the farm and stuff.

Here we are in snorkel gear (big guy in a little coat)

This is while we were out kayaking in the ocean

We walked on the beach a lot in the evenings (when it was a little cooler).

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Vacation, continued...

As I mentioned before, this resort was really fancy and beautiful. We were amazed by how clean they kept everything. There were always people cleaning and keeping things looking nice. Every morning there were guys on the beach cleaning up the beach and removing trash and seaweed that had washed up over night. There were tons of flowers and bushes all over the place. We would even see workers in the morning picking up leaves and flower pedals off the ground that had fallen off the plants. Another crazy things is that they had trash cans around that had the little sand ash trays on top and every morning early they would clean these out and draw their logo in the sand of the ashtray, isn't that crazy. It was amazing how pristine this place was. They cleaned our room daily and also had turndown service. They would come in the evening (we were never there when they came) and make your bed all nice and turn down the sheets and put some chocolates on the bed for you. They would also leave a sheet that had a list of all the activities that were going on the next day and they would leave a little card that told what the weather and temperatures were going to be the next day. On our last night, they made it extra fancy and put flowers all on our bed.
Stayed tuned for continued posts on the vacation. By the way I have post several pictures on our picasa site. They are broken into 3 different folders, one for general pictures, one for Tulum Ruins pictures, and one for Chichen Itza pictures. Just click here to go to them. We have tome of other pictures so if you want to see them all you will have to come over and look at them. Here are some pics that relate to this post.

Here is the main lobby building

This is a view looking toward the ocean from the lobby

This is view of the beach part of the resort

Here is the bulding were our room was. These building were set up in quads with a courtyard in the middle. Each room had a little porch with a hammock as well.

Here is one of those ashtrays I was talking about.

Here is our bed the last night after turndown service

Thursday, May 15, 2008

We're Back

We got home from our amazing vacation late last night. I have tone of stuff to post about but I will not do it all in this posting. I want to post about it all not just to share with all of you (if any of you care) but also to have a record of the trip and this is a great place to do that.
This was the nicest vacation we have ever been on together, even better than our honeymoon trip (we did not have money to take a nice trip back then). For this post I will just kind of hit the overview, which may be a little crazy and stream of consciousness. The resort we stayed at was amazing and very luxurious. The place was spotless and there were always people working to keep it clean and nice. They cleaned our room everyday and had turndown service at night. They would wait on you hand and foot. It was however very hot while we were there, like mid 90's everyday with 1000% humidity. The beach was beautiful. We would lounge on the beach and staff would come buy every so often to see if you wanted anything to drink. They would also bring around fruit to everyone if you wanted it. The restaurants were really good, the presentation of the food was really good as well, and you could order as much and whatever you wanted. This included any alcohol you wanted. Margo's new favorite drink is a Miami Vice. I was happy that I could get beer anytime I wanted it. Even the fridge in the room had drinks (also included) and beer. I loved it, beer anytime. They had tons of activities throughout the day and at night. They had big events at night like Mayan night, Mexican night, bands, mechanical bull riding, and all kinds of stuff. We went on two different excursions. On Sunday we went to the Tulum Mayan Ruins which overlook the ocean. On Monday we went to Chichen Itza with a professional tour, it was awesome and very informative and interesting. I will devote a post to it later. So, there is a very jumbled overview, I will multiple postings over the next few days to go into more depth of what we did. It was very, very awesome.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Adios Gringos

Early tomorrow morning, Margo and I are heading on vacation. We decided to take a really nice vacation this year, mostly because both Margo and I got unexpected bonuses this year. We are heading to Tulum, Mexico (about 70 miles south of Cancun). There are a few reasons we decided to go there. The resort we are staying at is really nice and away from all the touristy areas so there are not tons of people and there are not people everywhere trying to get you to buy stuff. It also has its own private beach and it is supposed to be the only resort you can see the Tulum Ruins from. It is an all inclusive that includes all your food, drinks, and even alcohol (woo hoo). Another nice thing is it has like 7 restaurants and only one is a buffet, the rest are order off the menu and some are really fancy and you have to dress up to go. The price also includes entertainment and use of all their activity stuff (like bikes, kayaks, tennis, shuffle board, climbing wall, trampoline in the ocean, etc). The place is called Dreams Tulum Resort and Spa. We are really excited, this will be the nicest trip we have ever been on together. On Orbitz it is rated as one of their top 10 most romantic hotels. I even bought new swim trunks (my last ones I bought in like the 10th grade). We are also going one day to Chichin Itza which I am super excited about. We will be back late next Wednesday night. We are not taking our computer with us so you will have to wait until we get back to see pictures.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Good Bye

It seems we have had a lot of animal changes this past week or so (you can see what animals we have right now on the current animal count over on the right column of the blog), besides the 4 new calves we got on Friday. Today was a big change, but first let me start with Saturday. On Saturday a guy came out and bought our little billy goat that was born this year. He was my last goat for sale. The guy who bought him was actually our mailman's son. Our mailman stopped and asked about the billy a week or so ago. We did good selling goats this year, we sold all 3 of the ones we wanted to without having to advertise. Next in animal news and on a more sad note, one our chickens disappeared over the past few days. Normally, I am not that concerned about losing chickens but this was our Cochin who we referred to as Feather Foot. She was our nice chicken that you could pick up and was good for letting kids see and pet when they came out to the farm. And now for the big news of today that is both happy and a little sad. Today was the day we took our original cow (some people call him Buster) to the butcher. This was the original plan for him, we bought him along with Margo's parents to raise him and then butcher and split the beef. We had him for right at a year. We are anxious to see how much meat we get from him, I will keep you updated. Overall he was a nice cow to have around and lots of kids got to pet him and sit on him. Here is a before and after shot to show you how much he grew the past year.

Here he is when we got him

And here he is today

Saturday, May 03, 2008

New Animals

Now, the animals news I talked about in my last post. Our neighbors to the east, Mark and Michelle, have a nice pasture (approx. 6 acres or so) that has not been being used. The grass is pretty good on it and the past couple years they have just had to brushhog it to keep it down. They are working on putting up fence in hopes of getting their horses and possibly some cows to put on their land. Their grass is starting to get kind of high this year, so we told them if they wanted us to and did not mind we could put up an electric fence around the pasture area and put some cows in there to keep the grass down until they got their barb wire fences finished so they did not have to mow it. They said they did not mind, so this past week Margo and I put up some electric fence around their main pasture (feel free to come pee on it anytime) and then we bought 4 calves from a guy in Farmington and he delivered them yesterday. Our plan is to keep them throughout the summer and let them grow a lot and then sell them in the fall to make some money off of them. Anyway, we are happy about being able to have some more calves for a while.

Here they are enjoying the grass