Thursday, December 25, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Christmas

I thought I would share some entertainment related christmas things with all of you. First of all, I am sure you have all heard it, but here is the funniest rendition of a Christmas song I have ever heard. Click here to listen, it gets funnier as it goes along.

I also thought I would make a list of my top 10 favorite Christmas movies. I also put clips from the movies in case you want to watch. Feel free to leave me a comment about your favorite Christmas movies in case they are different than mine.

10. The Nightmare Before Christmas

9. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the original)

8. Scrooged

7. A Christmas Carol

6. A Christmas Story

5. Home Alone

4. Elf

3. It's a Wonderful Life

2. Love Actually

1. Christmas Vacation

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Cabinet Maker

I finished a project a week or so ago and I am finally getting around to posting about it. I built us a cabinet to put in our kitchen. We have had a metal stand in the kitchen by the back door that held pots and pans and had the microwave on the top. We don't have that much cabinet space or countertop space in the kitchen. I was tired of the cheap metal stand look so I decided to build a cabinet to put there instead. My plan was to build a cabinet that matched our other cabinets so it looked like it was there originally. This did not work out. First of all, our countertops are formica. I called the company to see if I could get a top to put on my cabinet so it would match but unfortunately they stopped making that color in 2006. I decided just to make the top out of the same wood as the rest of the cabinet. By the way, our cabinets are cedar. I had a hard time finding a cedar that matched the cedar the other cabinets are made with. I found a cedar (western cedar) that I thought was it so I built the cabinet out of it. After finishing the cabinet and finishing it, it turns out that it is not the exact some color as the others. I am not sure if it is due to the wood, the age of the wood, or the finish I put on it. Since it did not turn out to color match exactly I was a little unsure if I wanted to install it or not, even after all the work. Margo (with a little help from Adam) finally talked me into believing it would be fine and better than what we already had. So, I finally got it installed. It does not look too bad, and it has more space in it which is nice. Here are the pics.

Here is the old stand. It served it's purpose. If anyone wants it, I will make you a great deal on it. It has two adjustable shelves and a wood top, I think it is Martha Stewart brand.

Here is the newly completed cabinet.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Long Week

As you can tell from our lack of posting, we have been very busy this week. We have had lots of activities going on from razorback basketball games to broadway shows to hanging out with friends. The only evening we have been home all week was on Monday. I also had to take a class at work the past two days called ACLS that I was a little stressed out about, so I spent all my spare time this week studying for it. Basically ACLS is a step beyond basic CPR training. You will all be happy to know that I passed and I can now shock the crap out of you if you have cardiac arrest. Clear. One of the things we did on Thursday night was go to a show at the Walton Arts Center. The show was Spamalot which was a part of their broadway series this year. Spamalot is based on the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail and the broadway show won the Tony Award for best musical a few years ago. I really like Monty Python and especially Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It was one of my favorite movies in junior high and high school, I used to watch it all the time and I still quote it all the time. I think I may quote it as much or more than any other movie. In fact, in my high school drama class, my good friend Travis and I reenacted a scene from the movie for one of our assignments. Anyway, the show on Thursday night was really good. It had some added stuff and was a little different from the movie but was still very funny and we really enjoyed it. I would recommend it to any of you if it comes to your town. As a side note, the girl who plays the lady of the lake on the North American tour is from Fayetteville. I will try to get back to more regular farm posting soon. Until then, enjoy this clip from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Christmas related post #2-Gifts

I posted about this last year on the blog so you might remember it. I just wanted to give some ideas to all of you for Christmas gifts.

First of all, consider purchasing fair trade products. For those of you who are not familiar with Fair Trade here is a quick description...

Fair trade is an organized social movement
and market-based model of international trade which promotes the payment of a fair price as well as social and environmental standards in areas related to the production of a wide variety of goods. The movement focuses in particular on exports from developing countries to developed countries, most notably handicrafts and agricultural products. Fair trade's strategic intent is to deliberately work with marginalized producers and workers in order to help them move from a position of vulnerability to security and economic self-sufficiency.

There are several websites devoted to selling these products. Some of our good friends Dylan and Molly have a company that sells some products from India online. It is called Asha Imports and they have products that are made by poor people in India to enable them get out of the slums and out of the sex trade. Their products are really cool. You should also check out all the fair trade product websites below and consider buying some of their products for your friends and family this Christmas.
By purchasing fair trade products, your helping to free more and more people from impoverished circumstances. If you live in Northwest Arkansas, the gift shop up at the Mt Sequoyah Conference Center sells lots of fair trade items.

Another great thing would be to donate to a non-profit that helps people in need like LifeSource. They help families in need in Northwest Arkansas. Or you could donate to a non-profit in your area. You could also give to a missionary to help them continue to be able to spread the good news. If you don't know any missionaries, we know several we can recommend.

Another great thing you can do this Christmas is to give to World Vision or Heifer International. You can go on their website and buy practical things for impoverished individuals in other countries. Things like livestock, clothing, medical kits, etc. You can even buy a goat for an impoverished family, in honor of the Farm of Hale.

For any of you wanting to get Margo or I a gift, these kinds of things would mean more to us than anything else. Why not consider helping those less fortunate this year for Christmas.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Which Came First

When we got baby chicks back in the spring a couple of them turned out to be roosters even though we ordered all hens. I don't want a rooster because they make a lot of noise (crowing at 5am which is annoying) and I don't need one. For those non-farm people out there, you don't need a rooster to get eggs from the hens. The only thing the rooster does is make the egg fertilized (kind of like people) so you can make baby chicks. But back to my story....So the chicks are now grown and I still had one rooster left driving me crazy crowing at 5am. I finally decided to do something about it today. I have never butchered chickens before but I thought I would give it a try. There are two ways to do it, one is to pluck them which involves putting the chicken in boiling water and plucking out all the feathers and from what I hear is not fun at all and stinky. The other way is to skin them like you would any other animal when you butcher it. This is the method I chose. It actually was not too hard to do and turned out pretty good I think. First I cut off it's head, then let the blood drain, cut off the legs, tail, and part of the wings. I then skinned it and gutted it. Here are a few pics, don't worry they are not very graphic.

Here he is, he has no idea what awaits him.

Here he is after cutting his head off, he flopped around quite a bit and then I hung him up to drain the blood.

And here is the finished product. I think we will boil him up and make a big pot of chicken and dumplings. My favorite.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Funny Animals

Not much going on around the farm these days. Winter is a slower time for things to happen that are blog worthy. I am working on some projects currently that I will post about soon. Until then I thought I would post a video to keep you the reader interested and coming back. Margo and I saw these a while back and thought they were funny and who doesn't like funny animal videos. I especially love the second one of the panda. I don't know why but it kills me every time I see it, I can't stop laughing for several minutes.