Thursday, April 30, 2009

New Lawn Mower

We decided to try out a new lawn mower (aka cow) in the yard this past week. We are planning on butchering the cow in the next few weeks and we are trying to fatten him up. We decided we would let him in the yard in the evenings while we are home to let him eat grass in the yard. Out in the pasture he has to share grass with the sheep and goats. Our yard has lots of good grass that has been growing like crazy with all this rain. We thought it would help us not have to mow so often and be a good source of really good grass for him. So far it has worked out pretty good except yesterday when he found the strawberry patch and took a few bites out of it. We are not going to do this on a regular basis but we thought we would just experiment with it until we take him to the butcher.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Weekend in Mena

We took a little trip down to Mena this weekend. We wanted to go down and see all the tornado damage and see our friends. It is amazing how much damage the tornado did. There are so many houses and businesses that were damaged and destroyed. And there is debris everywhere. The really sad thing is where it hit is the older part of town and a lot of the people there did not have house insurance. We heard one figure that 35% of the damaged houses did not have insurance. Most of the people in that area are older and retired and don't have the money to tear down the old house and build a new one. So, it remains to be seen what is going to happen to all those people and all those houses. We really feel bad for all the people there. We did not take any pictures of any of the damage partly because there are so many pictures already on the internet and I felt bad taking pictures of people's damaged lives and them trying to clean up. I really hope that the town is able to recover and not become a ghost town because I really like Mena, it is such a nice place.
On a happier note, we were able to see several friends while we were down there which was nice. We stayed with some really good friends and had an awesome time with them. We took a drive on Saturday night in one of their old cars up on Rich Mountain (second tallest mountain in Arkansas) to Queen Wilhelmina Lodge and had coffee. I was a really pleasant and relaxing drive, I really enjoyed it. We took some pics of us with the cool car before we left that I thought I would post.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Last but not least

Our last mama goat had her baby last week. This goat was one of our babies that was born last year. She is a little over a year old. She may have been a little too young when we let her get bred but I think it was close enough. She had some issues having this baby. We got home last Wednesday and she was laying on her side on the pond bank and she was moaning. We went and checked on her and she was trying to have the baby, we could tell she was in real agony. We were not sure how long she had been trying to have it so we gave her a little longer so she could try to have. After a while she had not made any progress and I was getting worried so I decided to help her a little. The feet of the baby goat were just barely hanging out so I grabbed them and pulled. This did not help a whole lot, the mama goat's "opening" did not seem big enough to get that baby out but I knew it was not going to come out any other way. I kept pulling but no progress was made getting the baby out and I was even moving the mama goat as I was pulling. So, I got Margo to hold the mama goat's front legs to keep her from moving while I pulled on the baby. I also tried to stretch out the skin with my hand to make the opening a little bigger for the baby to come out. Finally, after a couple minutes of pulling and stretching, the baby popped out. And as soon as the baby was out, the mama jumped up and ran off. I had to run catch her and bring her back to the baby but she wanted nothing to do with it. I took her and the baby to the barn and penned them up. She did not want to accept the baby. When the baby tried to nurse she would move away and not let it. We had to hold her to let it nurse. To make an already long story short, she would not accept it and every few hours we would have to go down to the barn and hold the mama and force her to let the baby nurse. We hoped that after a few days the mama would get the idea and accept the baby and let it nurse. Well, today it happened, after 5 days she finally started letting the baby nurse. We are very happy not to have to go down to the barn every few hours. I wanted to wait to post pictures of the new baby until we knew how it was going to do and what it's fate would be. Here are some pics.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Mena Tornado Video

Here is a short video of the tornado that hit Mena in case any of you have not seen it.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


While we were on vacation, we had our first baby lamb. In case some of you don't know, we have 3 sheep- 2 ewes and 1 ram. They are hair sheep which means they shed their wool so you don't have to shear them. These sheep are used for meat, which I am looking forward to eating. It's mama is very skittish and therefore the baby is to. It is super fast for less than a week old, and I have a hard time catching it (even with my lightening fast speed). It is a boy by the way, he is really cute. Here are some pictures.

Friday, April 10, 2009


My hometown of Mena got hit by a tornado last night. It destroyed a lot of stuff, and killed 3 people. There is a lot of damage to some major things like the community college, the hospital, the biggest factory, the junior high, city hall, and the courthouse. It is really sad. It is such a nice little town with lots of old houses and trees. I thought I would post a couple links to some pictures and video footage. Click HERE to see some pictures. Click HERE to see helicopter footage.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Last Day in St Louis

Today was our last full day of our trip, tomorrow we drive home. It was a pretty low key day for us today. We slept in, then went and ate lunch at a pretty cool Irish Pub. After lunch we decided to stop at the big farmers market here which is located in the Soulard district. We usually try to go to the local farmers markets when we take trips. It was a pretty big market but we were not impressed with this one. In most Arkansas farmers markets to sell stuff it has to be grown or produced in Arkansas. At the Fayetteville Farmers Market, it has to be produced in the three county area. This means the stuff you are buying is coming from actual local farmers who produced the goods and supports the local farmer. Based on what we saw at this market, I don't think hardly anything there was produced even in the state and sometimes even in the U.S. We saw maybe two things being sold in the whole market that would be in season right now in Missouri and I am not even sure those things being sold were grown locally. They even had things there like avocados that are only grown in California, and bananas that I don't think are even grown in the U.S. I think it is basically just vendors buying stuff from farmers in other states and marking up the price and selling it at this market. This is basically the same thing grocery stores do, not that I am against grocery stores but I don't think this is how a "farmers market" should be. As a side note, the Fayetteville Farmers market started last week so all of you in the Fayetteville area should go check it out. You might just see us there this Saturday.

Next we went to the Budweiser Factory for the brewery tour. It was pretty impressive to see how big they are and how much beer they make. Their facilities are really nice. The tour was not that exciting, we definitely liked the Coors brewery tour in Colorado much better (and the Schlafly tour was the best).

Tonight we ate at Zia's for dinner which is a Italian Restaurant in the part of town called the Hill which is an old Italian Neighborhood. It was good, especially their fired seafood ravioli. Later after dinner we went to a place called Bailey's Chocolate Bar, I think you can guess what their specialty is by their name. Besides chocolate dessert their specialty is also martinis. I had their signature chocolate martini that was pretty good even though I am not a fan of martinis. Their desserts were really good. Margo had their brownie with ice cream and it could have been the best brownie I have ever had (and I have had a lot of brownies). This has definitely been the trip for eating out.

Tomorrow we head home which will be nice.

Learn to Farm Day

Margo and I will be coming home from our trip tomorrow sometime. I wanted to let you all know that we are planning on planting in the garden on Saturday. We will probably put in most of our veggies this weekend. So, if anyone is interested in helping or learning in the garden come on out. We will probably work on it some in the late morning and in the afternoon. just let us know if you are interested and when you want to come out. Hope to see you Saturday.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Another day in St. Louis

Today was another busy day on our trip. First thing this morning we went to the Missouri Botanical Garden. It was awesome. I think it might be one of the best things we have done. They have all kinds of plants, it is a huge place (79 acres) and really nice. They also have a home gardening area that gave me some good ideas. One really cool thing they had was a huge biodome type thing that had a rain forest in it. I have always wanted to go to the rain forest but never have. It may sound kind of boring to some of you to go to a botanical garden but it is really good and I recommend it to everyone.

After lunch, we went to the St. Louis Zoo which is in Forest Park. Forest Park is a 1300 acre park (50% bigger than Central Park in NYC). Some of the things that are in the park are the zoo, the art museum, Missouri history museum, planetarium, and many other things. The zoo is rated one of the best in the U.S. It was a good zoo, I don't know that it is our favorite zoo we have been to but it was nice. But the best thing about it, it is FREE. I think that is great and the way it should be for all zoos.

In the evening we went to the Loop. It is their cool street in St Louis (kind of like a big Dickson Street for you Fayettenamese people) that has cool local shops, restaurants and music venues. We met up with one of Margo's good friends from high school and her husband and ate at Blueberry Hill which is a famous restaurant and music venue. Chuck Berry plays there regularly. It was alright. After dinner we went across the street and got root beer floats at Fitz's.

It was a good/busy day overall. To see some pictures from today and the rest of our trip, click here.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Busy St. Louis Day #2

We did a lot today, almost too much to talk about. First we went to the old historic courthouse building. It is run by the national park service and gives a history of St. Louis and the westward expansion. It was not anything amazing. Next, we went to the Arch. It was amazing. I think it is one of the coolest architectural things I have ever seen, right up there with the Eiffel Tower. We took the tram ride to the top of the tower which was a little scary since you ride in the huge steel barrel type things that I have to duck in the whole time. It was a pretty smooth ride overall and it was cool to see out the top. It was also very cool to see some of the pictures of them building it. I took lots of pictures of the arch. Next we went to this really old cathedral down the street, it was the first Catholic cathedral west of the Mississippi. They had lots of pictures of the church dating back a long time that showed all the changes that had happened around it which was pretty interesting.

It was then time for lunch. We went to the Schlafly Taproom. It was really good. Margo had a steak sandwich and beer cheese soup and I had a roast beef sandwich with mashed potatoes. We really like their food. It was the restaurant of the brewery we went to yesterday. Have I mentioned that their beer is really good, especially the APA.

After lunch we went to the City Museum which several people had recommended to us. It was amazing. It is probably the coolest place for kids that I have ever seen. It is really hard to explain. It is like a huge McDonalds playland but 1 billion times better and made with wood, cement, metal, and recycled materials. There are all kinds of amazing places to climb and explore and they have some amazing slides. I highly recommend taking your kids there if you are ever in the area.

Next, we went antiquing a little bit. There is a street we read about called Cherokee street that has lots of antique shops. It was pretty good, we bought a couple things. I think I like our antique shops in Arkansas better. As a side note, the best antique stores I have ever been to where in Pennsylvania.

After antiquing we went to Ted Drewes Frozen Custard which is a famous place on old Route 66. It was really good but I did not think it was much different than Shake's in Fayetteville.

After relaxing at the hotel for a little while we went to hang out and have dinner with an old high school friend of mine who lives here, Travis and his wife Emily and their son Owen. It was really fun to hang out with them and reminisce about old times. Travis was president of our senior class and I was vice president. Our 10 year high school class reunion is this year so we worked on planning that a little bit.

We took lots of pictures today but I am having problems uploading them to the blog. I think it has something to do with the crappy hotel internet. I was able to upload the pictures to our Picasa web album so you can check them out there. Just click HERE. Some of the pictures have captions to tell you about them.

Monday, April 06, 2009

We Arrived

Today was the start of our little getaway to St. Louis. We arrived today and we are returning to NWA on Friday. It was cold today so we did not have much planned for today except getting here. The drive was pretty uneventful. We did stop on the way to our hotel at a smaller St. Louis brewery called Schlafly. They do a tour of their brewery and have tastings. They also have a restaurant there and a restaurant downtown, we are going to the downtown one later on in the week. The beer that we tasted at the tour was really good. The hotel we are staying at is the Millennium Hotel which is across the street from the arch. We got a super good deal on it by bidding for it on priceline. We were hoping for an amazing view of the arch like they show on their website but instead we got this view.

Pretty nice, love seeing the interstate and a railroad bridge. I am not complaining though because we got such a good deal on the hotel.

As some of you may know, we love eating out and when we travel to somewhere we love to try out local restaurants. Thanks to my old high school buddy Travis (more about him in a later post) who gave us several suggestions of places to try. We have several places we are going to try out while we are here. Tonight we tried out a pizza place called Joanie's Pizzeria in a part of St. Louis called Soulard which is an old Irish part of town I think. It was really good. We had a double crust pizza which has a crust on top and bottom.

As a side note, we made one of our best purchases ever a few weeks ago. We are realizing how great of a purchase it was on this trip. We bought a Garmin GPS thing. It is awesome in directing us to where we want to go and if we get off our route for some reason, it automatically recalculates to get you back to where you should be going. It has already saved like ten fights between Margo and I because I am usually yelling at her for not being able to read the map while I am driving and tell us where to go. We downloaded from google maps all the places we wanted to go while in St. Louis so all we have to do is select one of those places and it takes us there. It is amazing.

I think that is all I have for today. Stay tuned for updates throughout the week.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Deer: 1 - Margo: 0

Well, Margo went deer hunting with her car tonight. The deer won. She was coming home after dark and said it was foggy. Apparently, there was a whole herd of deer on the road and she could not stop in time. She did not hit it that hard because it did not do tons of damage but it is going to have to have some work done. Luckily it was the CRV which we have full coverage on so the insurance will pay for it all. It does not look like it messed up any vital parts, just messed up some exterior pieces. Looking at it in the dark, it looks like the front passenger fender, the hood, front bumper, and grill will all have to be replaced. She didn't kill the deer, so we did not even get any meat out of the deal. The bad news is we are going on vacation leaving Monday. We are driving to St. Louis and we were going to take the CRV but I don't think I want to take a messed up car just in case it does have some problem I can't see. So, we might have to take a rental car on our trip. Be sure and give Margo a hard time when you see her, maybe you could call her the deerslayer.

It is hard to see the damage in this picture, but it is messed up

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Free Firewood

Yes, you read that correct....FREE. I am not giving away all of our wood, just a little. I cut too much last year for us to use in our wood stove during the winter. We are just about at the end of the wood burning year and I still have 3 or so rick of seasoned wood left. I don't really need to save it for next year because we have tons we have been cutting up after the ice storm to use next year. I just thought that some of you might like to have some if you were going camping sometime or you needed it for your home firepit this spring. The wood I am giving away is seasoned and ready to burn. Let me know if you want some and you can come get it sometime or if I am going to see you, I can bring some to you.