Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Chickens, Etc.

We are so blessed to have the opportunity to share this time with our kids/grandkids and pray somehow, some way, those who read our blog will be blessed.  God continues to bless us and we are thankful every day for those blessings.

I have never thought anything about the different breeds of chickens -- that is 'til we came to NC and have been exposed to our son-in-law's love of his mini-farm animals.  Now we are learning about the different breeds of chickens.  One is the Ameraucana.  The Ameraucana chicken was developed in the United States.  The name is a cross between American and Araucana (a related breed).  Eight colors of the Ameraucana are officially recognized for poultry shows by the American Poultry Association:  Black, Blue, Blue Wheaten, Brown Red, Buff, Silver, Wheaten and White.  Ameraucanas have pea-sized combs, full tails, muffs (under the chin) and gray black legs.

 This pic is of a brown-red hen.
they lay light greenish-blue eggs.

  A wheaten and white Ameraucana Rooster.

The Ameraucana was bred from Easter Eggers -- a mixed breed derived from breeding the South American Araucana with Old World varieties.  

 This is the newest Ameraucana to the farm...pure white

Another breed at Old Matt Donald's farm is the Rhode Island Red.  They are a utility birds, raised both for meat and eggs.  They are a popular breed because of their laying abilities and hardiness.  Their feathers are rust-colored, their eyes are red-orange and they have yellow feet and reddish-brown beaks.  They are responsible for laying brown eggs.  And guess what -- they are the state bird of Rhode Island.  They are friendly and make good pets for kids -- however, they can get angry when annoyed.  Most roosters will attack strangers if they feel nervous or have never seen the person.  Both hens and roosters have been known to be aggressive with other chickens and have been known to kill intruding foxes or dogs.  That's why I chose to observe them with the fence between  They love Matt and follow him all around because they know the hand that feeds them.

There are other breeds in the Hales' mini-farm, but those two breeds are the most interesting -- at least to me.

Matt is preparing the dirt for planting his garden. It is still too wet in the center area and we got more rain this week.  He plants a garden every spring -- from potatoes to squash to tomatoes to cucumbers to corn and everything in-between.  I think he needs to also plant strawberries:)  He loves his garden and animals.

Alan helped Matt put new deck rocking chairs together.

The finished product

One day last week we drove to Greenville, about 45 mins from here to purchase the tow bar and base plate so we can tow our car behind the MH.  While we were so close, we decided to drive on to Goldsboro to check out Seymour-Johnson AFB.  Cannot believe we did not take any pics, but I will say the FamCamp wasn't much -- neither was the BX.  On our way back, we stopped in Wilson for a bite to eat.  We chose Bill's BBQ -- we had forgotten we had eaten there once before and was not very impressed with NC BBQ.  To understand the seating situation, you must know there are several rows of long tables.  A gentleman approached our table and asked if he could sit at the opposite end.  Of course, we said yes.  Soon his wife joined him and we began to chat.  I noticed she was wearing a t-shirt with "Sturgis" printed on it, so I asked if she was from SD.  She said no, that they rode motorcycles and went to the big motorcycle rally at Sturgis most every year.  She went on to say her husband rode a Harley and she rides a trike.  They told us all about SD -- places to go, things to see, etc.  They also talked about Utah.  They spend the winter months in FL.  On this particular trip, they were driving a 1930's car -- Alan thinks it is a Pontiac -- pulling a tear-drop camper he had made.  We enjoyed talking to them.  Following is a pic of their car and camper:

We exchanged cards and left.  When I say "cards," we have learned that all RV'ers have cards with their personal info printed on them and exchange them with those they meet in their travels.  Our mail service provided us with a dozen, but we have now made our own.  Believing that God places people in our pathway for a reason, we drove away feeling Barbara and Bill sat down at our table for a reason.  What was the reason you ask?  We don't know -- maybe to encourage us, maybe just to share their travels with us, but we certainly feel they crossed our path for a reason.  We wish them well in their continued travels and who knows -- our paths may cross again -- maybe in Sturgis.

We've also had the pleasure to watch our grandson, Dalton, play soccer.  He is on a great team that has yet to lose a game -- they are undefeated after playing four games.   Dalton sometimes plays goalie and has only allowed one ball get by to score.  We are very proud of him.

We are proud to sit in our AR Razorback chairs, especially since AR beat East Carolina in a bowl game last December:)

Well, I think I'll end this post.  I enjoy blogging -- it just takes me awhile to actually get it all together and posted.  I still have more to learn -- just can't seem to find the time to "study" and figure it all out.  

Thanks for dropping by -- may God continue to bless our friends and family and keep them safe and well and may God continue to bless our voyage.

Friday, March 12, 2010


Spring is in the air -- thank goodness.  We have spent the last few days outside enjoying the warmth and sunshine.  We sat in the swing and watched all the animals on this mini-farm.  Some might think watching farm animals is boring, but they can be quite interesting scratching in the dirt and continuously eating.  There is a rooster who has its days and nights mixed up -- it grows at midnight, at three in the morning, sometimes all night long.  I keep telling our son-in-law I'm going to take our BB pistol and put that poor rooster out of his misery.

Lucy has really been sick -- an ear infection.  She was something else when it came to taking her meds.  We tried EVERYTHING -- peanut butter, cheese, Fig Newtons,  weenies -- you name it, we tried it.  She could smell those meds and wouldn't open her mouth for anything.  Alan even forced the meds down, rubbing her throat to help her swallow,  but she would just throw it all back up.  FINALLY, we said -- that's it.  We crushed them and put it in her food.  She would eventually eat the food, or she would starve.  Thankfully, as you can see, she's feeling better -- however, she walks sideways.  The vet thinks she may have a brain tumor, but our uneducated medical opinion is the ear infection was so severe, it has permanently affected her balance.  She runs along the fence with Zoie, the kids' dog, barking like she is ferocious.  Truth is she is a very sweet dog and we are thankful she is feeling better. 

              Alissa, Sarah and I took off on a Saturday to search for a prom dress for Sarah.

The first place we went to was Carolina Bridal in Smithfield, NC, approximately 45 mins from Nashville and known for its outlets.  However, Carolina Bridal isn't actually part of the outlet shops -- it's on a side road close-by.  Sarah tried on a couple of dresses, but neither Mom nor Daughter look very happy in the pics below, and we've only just begun.  I think it's because I wanted to take photos of this momentous  As it turned out, the dresses at Carolina Bridal were the best we saw all day, after driving to Raleigh and beyond.  But, by the time we figured that out, Carolina Bridal had closed and we will now have to make another trip.  We did have a nice salad and a Blondie for dessert at Ruby Tuesday at the mall in Raleigh.


We did not have a drawer or a place that would hold our printer.  We saw a computer stand in a magazine that could also hold our printer and it could be rolled to the corner of the slide when we travel.  However, the cost was $99 plus shipping.  We found a similar one at Big Lots and Alan constructed a shelf to hold the printer.  Total cost:  $45.00.  The printer fits perfectly on the bottom shelve.

Alissa came down with a cold, so we made sure we protected ourselves when we went to their house.  Alan made our masks out of Kleenex and bread ties and of course we took our sanitizer with us.  She took Coricidin and swears it is a cure-all.

If you've been following my blog, you know I've been experiencing a lot of pain with my left knee.  However, I am very happy to report it is much better.  I found a compound med a doc prescribed for me a couple of years ago for an arthritic thumb.  At the time, I was working very hard and was experiencing extreme pain in my thumb from constantly hitting the space bar on my computer keyboard when transcribing all those courts-martial cases.  WELL, I found that compound and started applying it to my knee twice a day.  Also, I am still taking 50,000 IUs of Vit D twice a week.  I have been searching for anything and everything that might help relieve the pain. 

I needed a new pair of good walking shoes.  I tried on a pair of Skechers Shape-Ups.  Instantly, they made me stand up straight, and when wearing them, I KNOW I am 2" taller. -- 5'4" WOO-HOO!! The literature says they are designed to "promote weight loss, tone muscles and improve posture."  Do I believe everything I read -- no, but like I said, I am looking for anything that might help the knees.  I've worn them consistently when walking our daily two miles and so far, I really like them. They are a little pricey at $100 -- most I've ever paid for a pair of tennis shoes -- but I didn't want to wait and see if the price would hopefully drop soon -- and you get an exercise DVD with the  So, do I attribute my knee feeling better to these shoes alone?  I think it's more of a combination of everything.  I think the Vit D is a big player.  Below is my new shoe -- if you look really close, maybe you'll see the bling-bling along the side.  If I continue to believe this shoe truly helps, I want to purchase the sandals as well.  If anyone has a suggestion on how to keep these shoes clean and looking new, please let me know.

We received a phone call from seven-year-old Morgan who said, "I've been saved by Jesus."  She has the sweetest little voice.  We mailed her a new girlie Bible and some jewelry. 

This is Morgan and Papa enjoying Larry's Pizza when she visited last summer.  She's our youngest grandchild and such a sweetie.  We hope to see her this summer or next fall in OK. 
Unfortunately, Alan's Uncle Roy, 77,  was killed in an automobile accident in NW Arkansas on March 1, one day before his 78th birthday.  He was Alan's mother's brother and the youngest of nine.  He will be missed by everyone who knew him, especially his family.
Dalton started soccer and will play his first game on Saturday.  He's quite a little player, but a girl -- who we have fondly nicknamed Mia (Hamm) -- scored all four goals to win their scrimmage game last week 4-0.  I will have pics to share after the game on Saturday. 

We are planning our trip to SD, wishing we could leave earlier than June, but it's important we be here to share in Sarah's graduation activities.  We are still planning to visit Jon and family in VA the first week in April.  I'm ready to go to the Escapade in Goshen, IN, in September, so I can learn more about blogging.  I just haven't had the time, or haven't taken the time, to research what all can be done on a blog.

I'm signing out for now.  We pray you will continue to follow our blog as we soon begin our travels.  We continue to pray for our friends and family -- may God continue to bless each of you and may God continue to bless our voyage.