Oh my goshness! What a crazy last few weeks it has been. I just noticed I hadn't updated either blog in about 2 weeks and for a while I was doing almost one a day! I'm slacking! I have a lot of pictures to share of the Hammer Happenings from the last few weeks. I shared a few of them on Facebook, but I know there are several of you out in reading land who are not on Facebook with me, so I will just post them again. For those of you who have seen some of these before, then...deal with it, I guess. Here we go.
One of the best things that happened around here is that Goatilocks FINALLY had her babies. It was two weeks ago yesterday, which happened to be her exact due date. Ashlee and I had left earlier that day for the State FFA Convention in Oklahoma City, and we had given very stern instructions to Goati to NOT have those babies until we came back. That evening, Brent and the kids got home and the kids went to the barn to check on the animals and feed before it got dark. Tack saw two little tiny gooey blobs in the dirt in the outside pen and started screaming for Brent. Then Tack started crying because he was so excited that the babies were here. Callee ran down to the barn and saw there was one baby that was so much tinier than the other one and it was having a hard time. Goati had cleaned off the bigger baby but wasn't paying much attention to the tiny one. I understand that can be normal for a first time Momma with twins. She was confused and wasn't sure what to do with both of them. Callee started clearing the placenta off the baby with her bare hands because she knew it was having a hard time breathing. Then she found the cord was wrapped around the baby's neck so she got it unwound and dried the baby off with a towel. Miss Callee saved that baby, so we decided that one is hers and she will be showing her in livestock shows in the fall. The other one did pretty well and that one will belong to Ashlee. Both of the babies were does, so the girls decided to name them "Lucy Lou and Ethel Grace" aka Lucy and Ethel. I think that those names fit them perfectly. Just little balls of sweet,. funny mischief.
This is Lucy after she was born. I was glad she was able to nurse even though she was the size of a yorkie puppy.
Here is Lucy at about a week old. She likes to sleep, and she thought Ashlee's crazy, fuzzy pajama pants were the cat's meow.
I had the chance to go walk/hike out at the Washita Battle Site again. I love doing that in the early morning before it gets hot outside. This spot struck me as odd. It is the place where hundreds of horses were killed by Gen. Custer's soldiers to debilitate the remaining Cheyenne tribe. There is new, green grass growing underneath, but on the surface, there is still so much death and ugliness from the other plants. It just struck me as symbolic, I guess, so...there it is.
I went in to the chicken coop to feed the other day. When I went in, I noticed the ducks and chickens were all huddled together. That was weird because usually they segregate themselves. I walked over to the nesting boxes to see if I had any eggs. And I came nose to nose with this.....
I saw nose-to-nose because I was down in the alley way next to where you see the panel to the left of the box and snake. I was literally 2 inches away from the face of that snake. I almost passed out. I saw it was a bull snake, but the bull snake was full of my eggs. And the bull snake was freaking huge. I wanted him gone. Now I know why the birds were all huddled together.
He finally slithered out of the nesting box and I cornered him. I haven't been that scared of something in a long time. He looked to be as long as I was so I did what any rational woman would do and I called my husband. He was on a trencher digging junk up at work and wasn't about to stop and come rescue me. He just told me to whack it in the head with a shovel, stun it, pick it up, carry it outside, and chop its head off. Uhh...hell no. I did try to whack it in the head and all I did was anger it. I didn't even come close to having the strength to kill that thing. For an hour, I threw bricks at it, whacked it with a shovel, I even got the rake and tried to hack it to death. He was striking at me and his reach was far enough for his body to travel up the length of the shovel handle. After over an hour and I'm almost in tears, the snake is wanting to eat my soul, and the animals are freaking out at all the racket, I finally called my dad. Dad has one of the biggest fears of snakes I have ever seen, but he didn't hesitate to offer to come kill it. He drove about 10 miles one way and it took him about 5 minutes to do what I had been trying over an hour to do. When Dad whacked him with a shovel, he started throwing up (the snake, not Dad) and he was throwing up all the eggs he had eaten out of the nesting box. I was glad to see Dad chop his nasty head off and throw it in the bushes. The snake was as tall as I am. I am 5'4. I'm glad he is dead.
We have barn swallows that made a nest in the chicken coop and they are using the ducks feathers and down to line the babies nest with. I thought that was cute.
Lots of awards assemblies and whatnot going on since we have only 2 days of school left. Tack was recognized last week as reaching 100 math objectives. I thought it super appropriate that he chose to wear the chicken hat to celebrate. The kids that reach special goals for math and reading get to wear crazy hats to "Bear Beginnings" which is the morning program for the elementary. Since our school is so small, the whole elementary goes in to the front lobby of the elementary school every morning and they say the pledge, the state pledge, sing the national and state anthems, have a moment of silence, they have a creed that they say that is darling affirmations of who they are and what kind of compassionate character they all posses, and they recognize birthdays and special accomplishments of all the students. Whoever thought of Bear Beginnings is a super human.
Ashlee had her FFA banquet last week. She tried out for an officer role and wound up being elected as the reporter. She gets to be the admin for their Facebook page, write articles for the local paper on all things ag/FFA related for her chapter, and is held in high esteem because she was selected to office. FFA around here is not anything like it was where I grew up. It is taken VERY seriously, there are strict guidelines that must be met, and a ton of opportunities to those who will take them. This picture is blurry because my Dad took it with my phone, but here is Brento Beans and I with Baby Ashlee.
The kids didn't have school last Friday, but Ashlee was running the sound board for the school musical and they had practice. So, after dropping her off, I took the other chitlins' to the local cafe to eat breakfast. We visited and had a great time eating our food, until the "Price Is Right" came on, and this is what we did until it was time to go. Nice.
After Tack's baseball games that night, we went to eat at the chinese buffet. Brent was working so he missed the games, but he had to go in to town to run an errand for work and was still there when we got done with games, so we went to celebrate. Callee decided to try a steamed clam. She was NOT a fan. At all. As sister was spitting hers out in to her napkin, my fearless Jacob said, "Here...let me try it!" So he grabbed it off her plate and told me, "I'm not afraid to try ANYTHING!" Yeah, kid.... unfortunately, I know this already.
He smells it......."If it smells good, that must mean it tastes good!"
He takes a BIG bite!
At first, he tried telling me it was good. But after quickly spitting it out in to his napkin and making this face here, I knew he wasn't a fan of it either.
Apparently, holding your tongue on ice cream helps take the taste of the steamed clam away.
I spent Saturday night and part of my Mother's Day Sunday with this group of crazies. This is the cast and crew of the Cheyenne High School musical department who participated in the play "Rock Around The Block". We don't have a lot of fine arts programs like bigger schools do, so all of this has to be worked on outside of school with kids who have no acting/drama/singing experience and they always pull it off. I helped to the make up and I loved getting to spend Mother's Day with my extended babies.
So...this was on my front porch behind my front door and quickly ran in to my mud boots that I wear to feed animals right after I took this picture. This time of year, these critters are all over the place. Won't be long, and the scorpions will be coming around as well. Yay.
Ashlee was recognized last night at the athletic banquet for being the school mascot this last year. She wore this large, awkward bear costume and head that was so hot and heavy it would make her have nose bleeds, pass out, and a few times throw up. She won't be doing the mascot next year. :)
Today was the Pre-K parent program. Jake wanted his hair spiked in a mohawk and he took the singing of songs VERY seriously. They all did a great job.
And last, but not least...I just took a picture of the communal gathering when I let the birds out a little bit ago. Brent's dog killed one of my big chickens as well as my little rooster and hen that I got when they were chicks and they were only a few months old. The dog has been on a very long leash under a tree in the yard with plenty of food and water until we can take him to the dog trainers next week. I'm sad about the chicken eating dog, and I don't want to talk about it anymore. At least not now.