Sunday, October 31, 2010

Little Peanut

Blair was a peanut this year for Halloween – which means we basically put the costume on her to take pictures and let family see her. There are so many things that we say “maybe next year” about. Trick-or-treating is one of them! Maybe next year!
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She did have a good time playing with the extra trick-or-treat candy we had in the house. She put all the Kit Kats in one place, and after we told her she couldn’t have a jaw breaker, she gave them all to Nicole – who, by the way, is “Mama ‘Cole.”  I guess that came from our saying “Miss Nicole,” and I think it’s cute! I couldn’t get over all of the kids we had – we gave out almost 6 bags of candy! It was so much fun to see all of the kids. There were some really cute costumes. A few of my favorites were Toy Story’s Jessie, a Cha Cha Cha dancer (like the Chiquita Banana girl but pink!), and a Peacock. I’m sure there were others I missed – I was busy keeping Blair inside!
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The peanut is precious, but it’s hard to compete with her cotton boll costume she wore last year. It was the best! Brad’s mom made the cotton boll from last year and this peanut. Brad and I found the waffled fabric at Wal-Mart. It was a shower curtain. I think it turned out pretty cute!
halloween peanut 103110 (132) I asked her to show me her peanut!
I guess this is the last of the agriculture costumes. I’m sure next year
Blair will have a clear opinion about what she wants to be!

Giveaway Winners!!!

I was so excited and nervous to pick my giveaway winners tonight! I used random.org, and I felt like I needed a drum roll!

And the winners are….

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
68 13

Timestamp: 2010-11-01 00:35:28 UTC


13 was Cheri from Cheri’s Chatter

68 was Hollie


Congratulations!! I’ll get in touch with y’all about your spoons!

Happy Halloween!

grain saugrum and halloween dress 101510 (2)She see’s the moon.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Okay, so maybe I told a story.

I didn’t mean to lie. I mean, I said I wouldn’t post about Blair’s owl birthday anymore except for the baked beans, but something has come up unexpectedly!

An owl lover blogger posted about Blair’s party on her blog My Owl Barn!!! I just found out, and I was kind of excited about it!

PTSD (for chickens?)

I’m in psychiatric nursing right now, so I’m all about diagnosing some psychiatric disorders – in me and everybodything else! (I know. That’s not a nurse’s job, hey, at least I’m practicing what I’m learning! We could talk about nursing diagnoses, but I won’t bore you anymore than I do already.)

Why do I say everything? Because I’ve officially diagnosed two of my chickens with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Since the day we lost Minnie the miniature Wyandotte, my other two Wyandottes have been sad. They seriously have PTSD.

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It turns out that the poor Wyandottes suffered more damage that I had first thought. I thought only one chicken had lost her tail feathers, but it turns out that the other one had too – and one of the other Barred Rock hens had lost a few of hers as well! They also had a wound or two. One of the Wyandottes’ wing is droopy, and I don’t think it’ll ever be right. She doesn’t seem to mind though.

chickens 102310 (11) Droopy wing and no tail feathers. Pobrecita. (On the hens in the background you can see what her tail is supposed to look like.)

So, in the few days following the incident, I didn’t let the chickens out at all. Then I decided they were miserable and didn’t want them to be depressed (See? It’s all about psych.), so I let them out while I was outside. The injured chickens cowered around the coop for the majority of the time. It was pitiful.

chickens 102310 (13) Just a few missing on the one on the right. They’re starting to grow back. Thank goodness the dogs were small; I would have lost a lot more chickens than one!

It’s been a little over month now, and the two victims are venturing out with the other chickens, and they seem to be acting better. Their tail feathers are even coming back. They still have PTSD though. And how have I decided that? Neither of the two have laid ONE egg since the day I came home to a yard full of feathers. I just keep loving on them thinking that I will be therapeutic enough to get them back to laying. I have found that four eggs a day is just not cuttin’ it around here – my mom bakes too many cakes! I’ll be patient though – and keep loving on them until they earn their keep again. And if they never lay again, I’ll love them the same anyway!

chickens 102310 (21) One of the chickens that didn’t get hurt.

(UPDATE: I wrote this post over the weekend, and today we had one egg from a PTSD chicken! Also today the pesky mutts, 3 Chihuahua looking things, from next door came back and tried to cause more trauma while the chickens were out, but we – me, Buddy, and Gus -- chased them off!)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Peanut Stacks: Old School Farming at its Best

Brad called me one day not too long ago and told me that I needed to go take pictures for him. So I went. (Because I do everything he tells me to do. Um…yeah.) But I’m so glad I went because I learned a whole lot about old school farming. And Blair had fun. That’s always a plus!
So I drove to the location to which I was directed and immediately was in awe. In a small field next to a small house and repair shop on a highway, was an antique tractor and some huge brown piles. I’d never seen anything like it in my life.

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Blair and I pulled over to take the pictures and out came the farmer to chat. We got the whole scoop. These are stacks of peanuts.

This farmer is in the process of a project he is doing for fun – growing peanuts like they did way back when. He is using antique equipment, including Brad’s grandfathers peanut hay baler, and the farming practices to go along with them.

He planted a small dry land plot of peanuts next to his house and dug them them with this tractor and plow around the end of September.

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Under the engine of the tractor the digging blades are attached. Then the plow pulls the peanuts from the ground and sets them back down.

peanut stacks 100410 (43)peanut stacks 100410 (14)
peanut stacks 100410 (45)peanut stacks 100410 (42) Using the old plow, the peanuts look like this after digging – almost like they are still planted.
peanut stacks 100410 (58) Peanuts dug with modern equipment are flipped over so that the leaves are on the bottom and the peanuts on top. (These are pretty dry already, but you can see the peanuts on top!)

After digging the peanuts, he and some helpers used pitch forks to pick them up and stack them to let them dry. Each pole has two boards attached to it at the bottom. The boards form a + at the bottom of the pole, and it’s the + on which the peanuts rest.
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Nowadays, farmers let the peanuts dry in the field exactly as they were after they were dug.
peanut stacks 100410 (53)  These peanuts were dug with modern equipment. They have dried and are almost ready to be “picked” (by a machine of course).

Whereas peanuts don’t take very long to dry laying out in the field, the peanut stacks take almost two months to dry!
peanut stacks 100410 (9)The outside of the stack looks dry, but look at the green leaves you find if you dig in it a little!
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And the stacks are massive – taller than I am. And look at sweet Blair. She pulled off peanut after peanut and brought them to me to open.
The farmer showed me how the big boys played with him when he was little – by giving him a peanut earring!
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He plans on picking the peanuts just before Thanksgiving. It is then that he will use Brad’s grandfather’s peanut hay baler to bale the peanut hay. If I’m able I’ll be there to take pictures!
peanut stacks 100410 (46) Farming has come so far, but life is not much easier for them! There are now fewer farmers than ever feeding more people than ever.

Friday, October 22, 2010

In the Field

I don’t have a prize or anything, but I’d love for someone to think of a cute caption for this picture I took today!

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UPDATE: Between the comments here and on Facebook, it’s a tie! I just couldn’t decide between the two!

Charmin and Charming (my dad)

“I’m having bolls of fun!” (Sarah)

If you do want a prize, you can still enter my wooden spoon giveaway here!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Busy fall weekend brings my first GIVEAWAY!

This past weekend was a blur of fun, food, friends, fair, and fine arts and crafts! And studying. I can’t forget studying, but that didn’t fit in my alliteration!

First of all, I had a checkup on my chest. Blair went with me and was so good. We were having a tea party in the waiting room when they called me back. My incision is healing nicely, and the reports all came back good! The doctor gave me what is apparently gold in a bottle to put on my scar to help it heal and protect it from the sun. When he did my surgery a month ago, we talked about farming and such, and he mentioned that he loved free range eggs. So I took him some this time. He really liked that. I don’t think it helped my account balance at all (that was really not my purpose, but see above about the gold in a bottle!), but maybe he’ll remember me if I ever need want fun plastic surgery!

Saturday was a full day! Nicole and I picked mom up and went to Mossy Creek Barnyard Festival. Mom and I had been there in the spring and the spoon man was not there! We were so disappointed, but he promised me he’d be there in the fall, so off we went!

022 Giant rocking chair!

025 Mom with her ice cream and fried apple pie!

I have blogged about my wooden spoons a few times now. I just love them. My favorite spoons are all from Sis & D’s, the folks who have the booth at Mossy Creek. Mr. Sis & D (Doug) was there this year with all of his beautifully handmade spoons.

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There are many spoons he sells that he knows exactly where the wood came from. It’s neat to hear his stories – and to see his variety of spoons.

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I love the yellow ones!

The whole time we were there, people were crowded around his booth making selections (it took me forever to pick out my spoons!), and I’m pretty sure that we made a few sales for him as people overheard us talking about our favorites! (And I’m not getting a thing for writing this!)

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Mr. Sis & D says that his bestselling spoon is a straight edged cooking spoon – or what we call the meat spoon! It’s great for browning ground beef or sausage because you can chop with the straight edge, but then you can use the spoon part to serve it or stir the spaghetti or whatever!

019 The meat spoons.

I bought two slotted spoons, a regular spoon, and a small meat spoon. My meat spoon is really large, and I thought I would like a smaller one better. I just love the Osage Orange wood he used for the slotted spoon. The other slotted spoon is pecan. My meat spoon is oak and the regular one is plum! It’s really pretty too.

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All of the spoons have the type of wood from which they’re made burned into the handle, along with a price code. There is a price code key on the booth table. The spoons vary in price by size, wood, etc.

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This is the best part! I bought four spoons to give away! I just wanted to do a fun giveaway of something I like! This is no Pioneer Woman camera or mixer giveaway, but these spoons are nice! (Plus I’m not big time like PW!) It makes me smile every time someone tells me they read Across the Branch, and I want to say thanks!

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For the giveaway, I bought a meat spoon, regular spoon, slotted spoon, and a scraper. These are the four spoons I use the most – along with my spatula, but those were a bit more expensive! I’m going to give two readers each two spoons. See below for how to enter the giveaway!

After leaving Mossy Creek we took a short break at mom’s and then went right on to the Georgia National Fair! Yay! I grew up going to the fair, so I look forward to it (and the food) every year. And Molly escorted us right into a livestock parking lot, so we got a great spot to park! (Thanks, Josh, for having pigs!) The first thing I did? Ate a gyro. Yum! And I ate a cinnamon roll. And a corn dog later. I was bad!

We saw the hypnotist show, which was hysterical as always. I could just about go every day to the fair to just watch that show! I also love to look at the photography entries. We walked around for a bit until the Miranda Lambert, Josh Kelly, Eric Church concert started at 7:30. It was pretty good. I was disappointed in that I couldn’t hear very well (as in bad acoustics or something), but it was fun regardless. On the way home, Nicole and I were both SO sleepy, so we sang to really loud old music all the way!

Don’t forget the spoons!

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Three ways to enter the giveaway:

  1. Comment on this post and tell me which spoon you would use most! You can look on here on Sis & D’s website for more designs.
  2. Be a blog follower of Across the Branch, and leave me another comment to tell me.
  3. Post about my giveaway on your blog or facebook (or both, but only one entry please), and leave me another comment to tell me that too!

Each of the three ways to enter needs to have its own separate comment so they will be counted – and that’s a max of 3 per person! I will need an email address to contact you, so if it’s not associated with your blogger account, leave that for me too! The giveaway ends on October 31, 2010. I will announce the winner the following week!

Also check out my aunt’s blog to enter her giveaway!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Just Cute

Sunday we had a few of those moments when Brad and I just smile.

After Sunday school, we picked Blair up from Brad’s parents’ house and went out to the golf course to get a couple of to go plates. While we were waiting, we sat at one of the tables where Blair played with the sweetener packets. She collected all of the blue ones. Then she realized that it might be a fun game to drop them. So she did. And she exclaimed, “OH NOOO!” every time.

026crop Silly.

Then Brad took her outside while I paid. When I got out there, she had picked up all of the rectangular tee markers from the first tee and brought them to the center of the tee box, sorted into colors – blue, white, and yellow side by side. She had picked all six of them one by one and carried each as if it were a really important gift.

Later, we went on a golf cart ride, and we found some really small citrons (fake watermelons) in the watermelon fields. She tried to bite every one Brad handed her.

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And she carried my phone around – supported by her shoulder -- as if she were talking on it.

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Cotton boll in her teeth. (?)

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I have a super busy week, but when I get a chance, I’m going to post a giveaway! Check back soon!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Blair’s Day

Blair’s birthday was definitely her day. She was the only kid around, the star of her owl birthday party, and the center of attention (like always!). Of course, this is the third post about her birthday, so I think everyone already knew that!

We started the day with some french toast and a candle.

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The owl party was at lunch. It was a busy weekend with the fair in town and a home UGA game, so Aunt Mo and Aunt Kimmie couldn’t make it. And Hank and John had Homecoming at Tech. Grandmom, Andad, Gigi, GT, Aunt Linnie, Mema, Mimi, and “Cole” (Nicole) came and gave Blair all the attention she could handle!

blair 2nd bday 044blair 2nd bday 097blair 2nd bday 114blair 2nd bday 115 blair 2nd bday 117blair 2nd bday 132blair 2nd bday 159 blair's 2nd bday aunt linnie pics 100910 (320) Just another picture of Blair’s owl birthday cake – mom did an amazing job on it!

Blair was super interested in the owl cookies that Aunt Linnie made. She licked the eyes off of several! She was sure to tell us that the owl said, “whooo, whooo!”

blair's 2nd bday aunt linnie pics 100910 (35)blair's 2nd bday aunt linnie pics 100910 (28)“Whooo, whooo!”blair's 2nd bday aunt linnie pics 100910 (261) blair's 2nd bday aunt linnie pics 100910 (264) blair's 2nd bday aunt linnie pics 100910 (268)

And there was cake! Plenty of OWL birthday cake – chocolate and red velvet! Blair loved blowing out her candle. So we let her do it over and over.

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Signing “more” to blow out her candle again.

blair's 2nd bday aunt linnie pics 100910 (329) Juuust a taste.

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Then we opened gifts. We had a ball. Blair loved everything!

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blair's 2nd bday aunt linnie pics 100910 (563) Demonstrating how to swipe a credit card. Her daddy loved that! Ha!

After that? More cookies!

blair's 2nd bday aunt linnie pics 100910 (472) Who needs an owl cookie?

After she crashed, we played some more!

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And that’s the end of the birthday posts – except for the baked bean recipe! If you missed the Owl Birthday Party post, you can see it here!