Category Archives: Uncategorized

Post from 9/2/2008 (Gustav)

Only have time for a quick update and no time to post pics – we’re running off generator right now and probably will be for awhile.  Gustav hit us hard.  See all those huge old Live Oak trees and old pecan orchard trees???? – GONE.  Just demolished.  Sad but we are blessed.  DH’s kids and their spouses and their inlaws all came here for Lafayette to escape the storm and we got hit hardest.  The two closest towns, Natchez and Baton rouge, also have no power so I won’t be able to spend much time on BYC sad – Got to conserve what gas and generator time we have and try and get our work done (our “real” job).

It’s a mess here.  When the giant trees fell they took out the gardens, camelias, and fences.

I’ll post more later.  All is well – God is good.

Post from 8/19/2008

I haven’t kept up with updates much on this thread so here goes.

This has been our first summer here and while it is beautiful, it has been hot (100) and dry (drought for weeks).  We have found a man to cut our pastures and open areas with a tractor once a month.  It took several cuttings with bushhog till he got it looking good but now it’s really pretty when freshly cut.  Unfortunately, didn’t take a pic then but these pics show the grass needing to be cut again.

Pond in background – dried up.  We had to shoot a lot of HUGE water moccasins that were out there eating the fish that were exposed and dying.  One nearly got the dogs, especially Scarlett who went righ up to the thing and it started striking at her which got Rex in on the act.  I ran in house to get hubby who couldn’t believe the huge “log” I was pointing at was a snake.

These are the “Parteres” as seen from balcony.  I first I dug them out and started planting roses but couldn’t keep them alive in the heat and drought no matter how much I watered them.  Never have been good at roses. Besides at the time I also had my vegetable garden and lots of baby chicks and ducks so gardens have taken a step back in priorities.  Maybe this fall I can try again.

This is the horse pasture/pecan orchard.

Chicken coop and duck house as seen from balcony.  Notice the original systern still in place which provided water from rooftop to inside house.

And in posting the good pics, got to post the bad.

Here’s issue number 1:  Bats.  Thousands of bats.  They live in porch ceilings and get in around loose columns and leave lots of bat poop and STINK.

Issue number 2 is relatively new:  Bees.  Honeybees I think.  Have taken up residency in bottom of rotten column.  Sometimes the whole side of the house is covered in swarm of bees and looks like it’s painted black.

Till next time….



chiknlady wrote:


Look at that wrap around double porch—circa early to mid 1800’s if I am correct????

Please try to find an apiary to relocate those honey bees… they will most likely do it for free and we need every single bee right now…

Beautiful house–look what chickens lead to….

It is funny what chickens can lead to – lead me here.

The house was built in 1908 but is built exactly like other Greek Revival homes in area that were built in mid-1800s.

There is a honey bee farm near here so I thought I would call them about the bees.  However, I know that they are helpful and will come in handy when I do get to start planting flower gardens and vegetable gardens so I don’t plan to do anything to get rid of them unless they become a problem.  So far, out of sight, out of way.  We do have a contractor that will be starting historical repairs on home soon but the columns are way down on list.  There’s a whole side of house that is rotted and termite infested so it takes priority.  The bats will be the first to go….and before everyone writes and tells me they are federally protected, yeah, yeah, I know.  They will be relocated to a nice bat farm somewhere…right after I box up a few hundred and Express mail them to whoever it is in Washington that thinks they still need to be protected.  See how they like having them buzz by their head while they are sleeping or find them in your snack food by bedside in middle of night – yes, they do find their way in house from time to time.


Thanks Reinbeau – I’ll take a look at that article. I was developing some allergies, sore throat and sinus issues and thought it might be from bat smell that is really strong on second floor in our master bathroom.  So we have been sleeping downstairs lately and it cleared up so may be something to it or just coincidence.  I want to see what the article says because, yes I was sweeping it up daily, hosing off porch, even going into attic where smell would knock you out and spraying deodorizers.

I realize they are endangered in many places but not around here.  Every old home and barn and outbuilding in this area is heavily infested with them, especially the old plantation homes.  But, like all of God’s animals, I know they have their place and I try and honor that.  Someone recently told me the University of Florida’s football stadium was heavily infested and they came up with a way of building a huge bat house and got the bats to move out of stadium and into bat house.  Said they have a website telling how they did it.  I haven’t looked it up yet and I think it was University of Florida but could have gotten the name wrong.

Post from 6/4/2008

It’s been almost a month since I’ve updated this thread.

Let’s see not much new just everything and everyone seem to be really taking up a lot of time.

My garden is doing well.  Here’s a tomato plant – and that’s just one plant – it just keeps growing and growing and putting out more and more long branches that I have to keep staking.  It was loaded with tomatoes when I took this picture day before yesterday.  But yesterday and today my sneaky little chickens got ahold of it and pulled off over a dozen big green tomatoes.

I’ve tried growing tomatoes all my life and never had much luck.  Last few years got nothing at all.  This time, of course I moved, but I used a wheel barrow full of “stuff” from barn floor – 50 year old cow/horse poop.  The little kitchen garden I planted by my back door is growing like crazy.

I did find my brussel sprouts covered in little worms the other day.  They had eaten the top leaves to shreds.  I hand picked off a whole bunch and fed them to the chickens.  That’s when I got the bright idea to let the chickens back into the backyard and into my garden so they could do a little natural pest control since I don’t like to use pesticides.  Well they did a little gardening work for two days and it cost me a dozen big green tomatoes.

Finally – I have finally built a front door for my coop.  It has just had chicken wire and plastic on front since we moved here in December.  I also built a new ladder for them and took down the death trap raggedy thing that was in there.  I built them by myself. I found an old grocery store door out in one of the buildings on property – there are so many old materials and building supplies around here I don’t think we’ll ever have to buy anything.  Anyway, I liked it because it had the old Holsum sign on front and back of door.  The door was too tall so I had to cut it down to size and put hardward cloth and reinforced back.  In winter I’m going to put plexiglass on back.  We also have many different sizes and shapes of that in shed because they used to use it on the porche screens in winter.  I’m going to build cold frames and a green house with it as well.

Anyway I’m quite proud of myself. It still looks a little rough but I had to do it all by myself. I learned to use a power saw and tools in the process.  I will still need to paint the door but I had to rebuild the door frame. There was no longer a frame in place and the walls just wiggled since they weren’t attached to anything.  I was trying to hang the door by myself without dropping it on the chickens that seem immensely interested in what I was doing.  Not an easy task to try and hang a heavy door by yourself. I used my toes as leverage to lift and hold and thought later I had broken them but they are o.k. – Did possibly break thumb which I still can’t bend and it’s swollen and black and blue.

But here are the rough results.

From inside the coop.

The view that the chickens now have and the nice breeze.

And finally my chickens can use the front door like civilized folk.

Here’s my ladder I built.

Finally the gardenias are all in bloom and since they are everywhere on the property the heavenly scent made working outside in the searing heat, in a chicken coop, for two days almost enjoyable.


Thanks Cyn- I’m hoping it will look better after I finish with trim work and paint.  Part of that front wall had collapsed/sagged down over time and I’m trying to shore it up.  I also had to nail hardware cloth to places in coop where boards had large gaps.  Of course coop is 100 years old but it is made from very thick solid cypress – you can’t drive a nail into the wood or screw into it.  You have to drill a hole first then use a power drill to put a screw in.  Hubby had given up on ever working on coop again way back when.  Just as well cause I couldn’t take his cussing and fussing.  So the door just got left covered in wire and plastic till I decided that was a bit too risky and just plain ugly, plus they couldn’t use that entrance at all.

I’m sure there are some who will say I should have built a solid door and they may be right. I did find an old solid door in shed as well but I like the screen door because I can look in and check on them without having to go around to back of coop, through gate and into coop.  Could something possibly tear through the top section that’s hardware cloth?  Yes but my dogs will tear them up before they get that far.  Again, they’ve only had a little chicken wire barely stapled to front with a piece of plastic tacked on for winter and nothing has tried to get in yet.  Well there was that dead possum I found in front of coop that time.


Thanks all for the compliments.

Omeletta – all I can say is that I am working from morning till night outside trying to take care of things.  The home has not been lived in or the grounds cared for in 10 years.  The pictures make it all look good but there is much more work than I can do.  Many nights I’m too tired to cry myself to sleep.  I pick a project each day and that’ what I do.  For example, hedge trimming – that takes many days and I still haven’t gotten to all the hedges that line the brick walkways that all need to be pressure washed because they are black with mold – haven’t finished all those either.

The parterres (formal French gardens) in front of house all need to be replanted with roses but need to be dug out first.

The house itself has a whole side that is rotted and needs to be replaced. We had the local lumber yard make a special tool to cut and shape cypress panels to match the ones on the house. Obviously I won’t be doing that job myself.

I hired someone to cut the patures and open areas but I had mow with push mower a lot of the little yards, in between walkways and picket fences.  I have some maids that come once a week and just dust mop and mop floors that get so dirty from all the cats and dogs and me going in and out while I work in the barn and coop.  It takes three or four women three hours just to do that.

So I work outside all day and then inside all night.  Cleaning windows, stripping floors, refinishing cabinets, pulling sheetrock off old beaded board walls to restore them.

The list is endless and I’m making myself tired just thinking about it.  The plan is that once we sell some of our other properties we will have the funds to pay off this place and to pay someone to do all the major restorations that need to be made.  At least, God willing, that’s the plan. But for right now, it’s just me.  Hubby stays inside and keeps an eye on our on-line internet-based business which frees me to do all the hard physical work – Hmmmmm – maybe I should be the one to sit inside in a/c all day cause “Someone has to check e-mail” but he really could not care less if most of the things I find important are ever done or not – especially if it means him doing it – just ain’t gonna happen.  At our house in Covington which had 8 acres to be cut he used to say “Put a machette and map on the mail box for all I care.”

This is my dream home too and I’ve learned to be careful what you dream for and wish for because you just might get it.  Big houses and farm and property come with big demands.

Hi Miss Prissy – didn’t know you had a two year old.  That does make things a little harder to do.  I now have Scarlett getting into everything and half the time I have to carry her out of a mess or something she shouldn’t be in so it’s like having a two year old.  I’m really hoping for grandkids someday soon.  I do so want to have little ones running around.

As far as the one project at a time – that’s all I can do.  You’re right though once you tackle the big things and get them in shape regular maintenance isn’t as much work.  That’s what keeps me going – knowing that a lot of the work I’m doing is really a one-time job that takes a lot of time and effort and then will be easier to keep up.  For example the area where I have my little kitchen garden had a giant dead tree trunk there.  I spent all day digging up that thing and sawing it and pulling it out of there.  Hubby came home and saw the giant thing laying off to side and said “Are you crazy – did you really pull that thing out by yourself?”  Yep – that’s me – the crazy lady that wants something done and knows she has to do it herself.  So know I have my garden there.  As I harvested the lettuce and radishes and pulled up the snow peas vines after they finished I only had to plant my next vegetable – quick easy job.  The area where I cleaned up and dug up and turned over to plant my potatoes – same thing – after harvesting them – simply planted the next item.

Next project for me is to rent a tiller and try to put in a large garden.  I’ve realized I will really need to plant much more than I have if I want to have enough to freeze or can or preserve.  BUT….one day at a time, one project at at time.  Today I’m transplanting watermelon and canteloup and some tomatoes and peppers I’ve grown from seeds inside.

Post from 5/8/2008 (Scarlett)

This is Scarlett – 8 week old female GSD – my combination Birthday/Mother’s Day gift.  Just got her last night.  She is already following me everywhere and sleeping at my feet.

She’s been introduced to the three cats, Rex & Lucy, and all the chickens and ducks already. She will have a big job cut out for her when she gets older and can help guard things around here.

Isn’t she too cute?  She has such a look of intelligence and wisdom in her eyes and has the face of a much older dog.  We’re hoping she will be as much of a benefit to guarding livestock as Rex has been.

She has already gotten to meet everyone, including cats and chickens and ducks.  She seems to be really studying them all and processing it.  I took her into chicken/duck run, on a leash, and at first she wanted to run after them but I gave her a little tug and told her “no”.  After that she would just sit by my feet and watch them all.  I’ll work with her every day.

Kind of tired now – was up all night with her crying off and on every time I tried to move my hand.  She slept by my bed and I had to try and sleep with one hand hanging over and petting her.  Tonight I’ll move the kennel back in house.  We had to go buy her a new bed of her own and new toys – just like having a new baby in house.  She has learned so much already I know she will be very smart and she will have Rex to teach her a few things.

southernsibe wrote:

What a pretty girl!!!!
She looks like a very old soul.

Rachel – you pinpointed it exactly.  I kept telling my husband she has an old look to her face and eyes and he just didn’t understand what I was trying to say.  But you’re right – “a very old soul” – which is why I picked her out.

Thanks everyone for the birthday wishes – Rex seems to like her o.k.  Till he came in and saw she had a new bed and new toys and he started taking them.  Of course she hadn’t even played with them yet since we had just gotten home so he thought they were for him. But when I took them away from him and gave them to her he growled at her.  Made me realize we haven’t bought him toys since he was a puppy.  He used to have a whole basket of them and knew each by name and I would buy something else every other day and give it a name and he always knew them apart.  But I showed him that we bought him two new bags of balls and we played with him and as long as he has balls to play with he’s a happy camper.

Took Scarlett through the chicken run this morning, on a leash.  At first she wanted to run after the chickens but I gave her a little tug and told her “no” and she just sat by me and watched them.  You can just see her thinking and processing this brave new world.

From 5/9/2008

True – you shouldn’t surprise someone with an animal/pet for a gift.  But, in this case, I got her myself.  I had been wanting a female GSD for 5 years since we got Rex.  Hubby and I had just been talking about getting one the other day when Wed. I took our cat in to be neutered and guess what’s on their bulletin board – just posted – GSD puppies for sale.  I came home, called the woman, found out she had 1 black&tan female, told her I would be there in an hour and then waited till hubby got off conference call he was on to tell him what I had done.  Used the excuse that it’s what I wanted for my birthday.  He said “O.K. but daughter and I had decided to get you the mini goats you wanted.”  I told him that was so sweet but I’d rather have the dog.  Besides we need another guard dog to watch over the animals we are quickly adding to our farm. smile

She’s learning so quickly.  Caught on to “go pee” really fast.  Then would pee look up for praise, take a few steps, pee again, more praise, again, all the while watching me and you could just see what she was thinking.

I put her on leash and take her through The Yard (hen house and run) and she takes in everything.  The young chicks and ducklings and older chickens and ducks are already getting used to seeing her there and she just walks calmly by my side taking it all in.

I think she’s going to be a great addition to the farm and a great asset when she gets older as well as a great companion for Rex – whom we might start calling Rhett.  Don’t think he’ll notice the slight pronunciation difference – he thinks his name is MOVE anyway since I say it to him a million times a day.

From 6/4/2008

Here’s some updates on our little Miss Scarlett.  She went to vet today for more puppy shots and had gained 10 pounds over last three weeks.  We thought we would lose her initially.  She got so sick first three days we had her she nearly died – couldn’t walk – wouldn’t eat or drink.  Of course vet was closed for weekend.  I called lady that sold her to me and she started doing a lot of fast talk about the puppies having hook worms.  We had to resort to giving her Poly-Vi-Sol and our pharmacist made up some liquid iron drops for us and we partially cooked raw liver and diced it up in tiny bites to get her to eat and to get through the weekend.  When I took her to vet the vet had already seen one of the other puppies and told me they were loaded with hook worms.  By that time Scarlett tested negative but I had started her on medicine as soon as the lady told me what was wrong.  Anyway, today she is a very active puppy who loves Big Rex and thinks she’s his little Mini Me.

I’m working with her and the chicks/ducks together.  She is very intelligent and already seems to know that she is not to bother them and to just follow them around and sit/lay quietly by.  They have all adjusted to her presence in their coop and run.  She loved their dust hole and laid claim to it one morning.

Rex also went to vet today. Had a little scare when he kept falling down this morning and couldn’t seem to walk straight. Turned out to be tick paralysis.  We used to have a dog that got it all the time but Rex never has.  We use FrontLine Plus but he does stay outside on guard duty and ticks are horrible right now. They soaked him in a tub of something and then dipped him. By this evening he and Scarlett were playing again.

Hey Miriam -up until a couple of days ago I think Rex would have rather not had Scarlett around.  She crawled all over him in that frantic/manic puppy sort of way and he would tolerate it until she got near one of HIS balls or stick then he would growl at her.  He’s bitten her more times than I can count and it doesn’t deter her for a nanosecond.  Of course he’s very gentle and has never actually hurt her or broken skin or anything but he does take her whole nose and snout in his mouth.  She gives a little yip, thinks about it for a nanosecond and then pounces on him again. He’d give me those “please help me” looks.  But as of a couple of days ago he started playing with her.  Very gently play fights and wrestles with her.  They’ll be good friends.

He really needs help guarding this place.  I’m adding so many creatures that he can’t watch them all and be in all places at once.

Post from 5/1/2008

Well here are some current updates from the farm.

1.  My daughter got married April 26th.  Here are me and my three “real” babies at rehearsal dinner the night before.  The bride is on right in photo.

2.  Flower planters and beds that seemed dead/empty were left to see what would bloom and flowers are coming up everywhere.

3.  Our flock is steadily expanding so we built new stadium-style roosts in hen house yesterday.

4.  Updates on flock:

Newest member – a blue ameracauna hatched a few hours ago – already eating and drinking and not fully dry/fluffed.

Ducks are really getting big and make a muddy/wet mess of hen house so they have a pool outside and now have hanging waterers inside.

Well, it’s always busy here on the farm these days.  The mailman just dropped off my box of Blue Orp eggs from Speckledhen and they are going in bator as soon as the last one in there finishes pipping in an hour or so.  Perfect timing Cyn.  I have some BC Marans from Mergmet coming soon too.  So we’ll have not only every color chicken running around but every color of egg.

RChicks wrote: Enjoy your Blessing!!!!

I do so enjoy life here on our little farm and I thank God every day.  Never would have thought chickens could be so much fun and would lead to an entire life-style change.

Post from 4/23/2008

Well not many updates around here other than chicks and ducks everywhere eating me out of house and home.  But funny story today of how my hubby is making us the laughing stock of the town.  While I am working hard to get the farm in shape for whatever the Lord has in mind for us hubby has the town folk laughing their heads off at us.

The other day he was in the hardware store buying a long fishing net telling the guy that he was going to catch the bats that get in the house.  That guy still hasn’t stopped laughing (happens he was born in this house built by his grandfather).  He said “Would ya’ll please let me know what time at night this show starts so I can come over and see it?”

He calls a woman in town who raises cows and tells her he’s interested in getting some cows.  She says “What kind of cows do you want?”  He says “Oh I don’t know.  I just want to get some calves and put them in the pasture and see what happens.” sad  She proceeds to tell him that he can’t have any of her registered Angus cows and she will call around and see if anyone has some cheap cows or sick cows or something disposable since he obviously knows nothing about cows and “just wants to put some calves in pasture and see how it goes.”

So he doesn’t stop there.  Proceeds to tell her I raise chickens and that “they freerange”.  Again she laughs and says basically “boy you must be from the city.  This is the country – around here you don’t tell anyone your chickens free range.  Of course they free range – where else would they be except running around the farm?”

Now that he has most of the town folk laughing at us and calling us stupid city people – I’ve asked him to stop making these phone calls.

Post from 4/11/2008

Thanks all for the compliments about the house.  We are loving it here.

Just had to catch a bat tonight that got in last night while doors were open.  My husband’s bright idea last night was to close off the downstairs where the bat was and just go to bed at 9:30.  Well of course bat hid somewhere all day and then started flying around as soon as it got dark.

Here’s some pics of my potato garden and my kitchen garden that are starting to grow.  I’m using the 100 year old manure/dirt that is still in barn stalls and things are growing like crazy.

I’m trying to start small with gardening to get the hang of it and to not plant more than I can tend to.

If you’ve looked at my other thread you’ll see I’m hatching and raising baby chicks of every breed and baby ducks right now.  It’s been lots of fun.  So as not to duplicate things you can check out that thread for flock/chicken updates.

Hey Beefy – don’t believe those hedges keep the chickens out for a nano second.  They jump right over the hedges – heck they jump the picket fences too.

Soonerdog – you’re right I don’t have any adult roosters but have two RIR’s that are 3 weeks old and 2 BRs that are 7 weeks old and I think a couple of EEs that are also 7 weeks old.  So by continuously hatching eggs I’ve gone from 13 chickens to 50 and from no roosters to too many roos.  Things should really start to get interesting when these baby roos mature.

Well now I have a big bat buzzing by my head.  I’m guessing now that it’s spring all sorts of creepy crawlies are going to start showing up.  Where’s my brave husband?  In bed and refuses to get up and do anything about the bat.

It’s been an interesting week – found a dead possum with a live little baby I tried to hand feed; had a huge snake get in Ms. Broodys nest; Ms. Broody got killed; two bats in house tonight.  It’s definitely not boring here.

Post from 4/11/2008

Wow – can’t believe it was January last time I updated about our life on the farm.  Been so busy since then restoring gardens and outbuildings and raising/hatching more and more chickens and ducks.  Here’s a thread started recently that gives updates on The Gang in The Yard:

Many of you followed my thread about our ghost and the mysterious goings on which we solved by setting up a hidden camera – here’s what it captured:

Progress has been slow but steady.  I spent every weekend Jan – March going to our rental house in Baton Rouge and painting, wallpapering, cleaning to get it on the market to sell.  So I didn’t have a lot of time to work on things here.  I have put in a couple of small gardens and have been very busy hatching things left and right.  Have gone from 13 chickens to 47 with a bator still full and more on the way.

Post #3 from 1/24/2008

Maud Morris (1885-1973) and Willliam Morris (1868 – 1931).  It all the Morris family cemetary.  There are 4 one or two day old infants also buried there.

Here’s the grave of Green Morris whose ghost, according to some locals, haunts the place and  likes to steal or hide things (like coats) from visitors.  Beats me why he gets blamed when there’s more than a dozen people buried out there and why he would need a coat.

Post #2 from 1/24/2008

And while I’m posting updates – here’s the two most interesting rooms in the home.  The all brick kitchen and the imported curly pine beaded-board custom designed original dining room (we use it as a den since there’s another room being used as a dining room).  This part of the home was added shortly after the original home.

The final add-on was the screened wrap around porch that was later glassed in.  This is where we “live” because it’s like being outside.