Tag Archives: Cole

Around the Compound – Busy Busy Days

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Ok, this isn’t The Hubs, it’s just me.  I’m sure you are disappointed and you were waiting for the next farm report, but we have been so busy, he hasn’t really had time to sit here long enough to do a blog post.

So, I thought I would just share some fun pictures of the compound, and give you a hint of something exciting to come, that we have been working on.

First, we have had over 50 baby chicks born this month, and we still have another incubator full waiting to hatch.

Chickies

Chickies

Chickies

Chicks

Here they are in their little home.

Chickies

Chickies

And here is one of my favorites, a little Bannie chick. She is the tiniest thing ever.

The tiniest of the tiniest chickie

The tiniest of the tiniest chickie

There’s been lots of playing around the chicken yard.

Chicken Yard

The Chicken Yard

Knucklehead plays with Amanda II quite a bit. Don’t ask what happened to Amanda the original. You could ask the neighbor’s dog though.

Amanda II and Knucklehead

Amanda II and Knucklehead

Knucklehead and Chicken Wing wished every one a happy Easter.

Knucklehead and Chicken Wing

Knucklehead and Chicken Wing

I tried to get Tori and Knucklehead to pose with Chicken Wing, but neither were excited about it. It’s still a good picture though.

Tori, Knucklehead, and Chicken Wing

Tori, Knucklehead, and Chicken Wing

And you know what has to be done when you have chickens around, the coop has to be cleaned out, which JT and The Hubs took care of.

Coop Cleaning

Coop Cleaning

The Hubs has done a lot of planting.

Planting

Planting

We ride around on the mule checking out our animals and gardens and almost run into fence posts just so I can get a selfie of us. LOL

Me and The Hubs

Me and The Hubs

Knucklehead plays a lot of basketball.

Knucklehead plays basketball

Knucklehead plays basketball

When he gets tired of that, he jumps on his pogo stick.

Knucklehead jumping on a Pogo Stick

Knucklehead jumping on a Pogo Stick

And for real fun, he rides his motorcycle.

Knucklehead rides his motorcycle

Knucklehead rides his motorcycle

The first clean up of the year, Knucklehead and I picked up about three loads of sticks just like this.

Picking Up Sticks

Picking Up Sticks

As a family, we took time to go for ice cream!

Ice Cream Parlor

Ice Cream Parlor

One of the best things to happen this month, was my great-nephew Skylar got to come for a visit, and he actually opened up his Christmas presents on Easter.

Skylar opens Christmas Gifts

Skylar opens Christmas Gifts

He had a lot of fun playing with chickies and looking at the hogs, and I took this shot of him with his Dad, Jonathan. Two peas in a pod.

Skylar and Jonathan

Skylar and Jonathan

He loves to be outside. And if you notice the ring around his mouth, he likes Hershey Kisses too!

Skylar on the swing

Skylar on the swing

He likes to pose for pictures too! Isn’t he handsome?

Skylar

Skylar

His favorite inside activity is playing with trains. JT helped him get his train track set up.

JT and Skylar

JT and Skylar

Speaking of nephews, my nephew Ben and his wife, Esbeida are expecting a baby boy, Benaiah, any day now! We are so excited for baby Benaiah to make his entrance into the world. Ben and Esbeida got this picture made and I just love it!

Ben and Esbeida Higginbotham

Ben and Esbeida Higginbotham

We went to Esbeida’s baby shower and I have to say she racked up the gifts. I think it will be a while before Benaiah needs anything.

Esbeida at baby shower

Esbeida at baby shower

After the last storm, we had a beautiful rainbow!

Compound Rainbow

Compound Rainbow

Oh, and my sunflowers are coming up!

Here come the Sunflowers

Here come the Sunflowers

The newest editions to the compound are Billy and Nanny, and we are in love with them already.

Billy and Nanny

Billy and Nanny

And last but not least, a little tease of something to come. We spent a whole day filming “Around The Compound” with gopro cameras and drones and I plan to make a video soon. Here is a still shot from one of the drone flights.

Planting - the making of a video

Planting – the making of a video

How cool is that?!?!?!

The next Around the Compound report will be from The Hubs. See you soon!

Around The Compound (Taters-N-Onions)

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Hi everyone it’s John again, here to bore y’all with some horticulture.  A while back I shared some pictures from Feb. 23, 2014 and talked a bit about adding organic material to the garden soil.  The next day, Feb. 24th, we planted our potatoes for the year. Once again I took lots of pictures and would like to share.

Opening rows using a middle buster.

Opening rows using a middle buster.

I started potato planting by opening rows using a middle buster plow attached to the center of my cultivator implement bar behind our tractor.  As shown above, I started out by plowing one straight row and placing each additional row by simply running the wheels of my tractor  in the track left behind when I made the previous row (above left). This makes the row spacing just right for future cultivation and weeding between the rows.  To cultivate I remove the middle buster from the implement bar and attach smaller plows at the attach points shown in the picture (above right and center).   These smaller plows will contact the soil right behind my tractor tires as I cultivate.  This method of laying out my rows allows me to drive the tractor back through the same tire tracks left behind when I opened the rows to accomplish weeding without damaging my plants.

Cutting seed potatoes.

Cutting seed potatoes.

After opening the rows for planting we cut our seed potatoes.  The part of the potato that grows into a potato plant is the eye.  Each seed potato may have several eyes so this allows us to cut the seed potato, usually into several pieces, for planting.  We planted about sixty pounds of seed potatoes this year.

Placing seed potatoes in the row.

Placing seed potatoes in the row.

We placed the seed potatoes in the open row approximately six inches apart along the length of each row and at the bottom of the furrows. We use chicken manure for fertilizer but commercial fertilizer may be used at this point in the process.  Something like 13-13-13 works well, however, a soil test can tell you exactly what you need to use. Keep in mind that if your soil test says to use lime, never use lime on potatoes.  A calcium supplement can be sprayed on the plants later instead.

Covering the seed potatoes.

Covering the seed potatoes.

Here’s Justin Cole, my step son, covering my seed potatoes.  Pretty nice of him to help me out with all this huh?  He spent a good part of his day out in the cold helping me with this potato project.  Notice he is using his feet to close the dirt in over the seed potatoes.  If we would have had a large field of rows to close, we could have placed hilling disks or closing plows on our cultivator and closed the rows with the tractor.

Hay!

Hay!

Hay to protect our seeds from a hard freeze.

Hay to protect our seeds from a hard freeze.

I hauled a truck load of hay to spread directly over the rows to protect them in case of a hard freeze.  Its a good thing I did too!  Not long after we planted this potato crop we had about three inches of solid ice and freezing weather.  The hay cover provided enough insulation to keep my potatoes safe from the freeze.

Oh Boy!

Oh Boy!

The above picture was taken Saturday, April 12, 2014.  Looks like our potatoes are doing well!  I have already had to spray for potato bugs though.  A small brown bug that looks kind of like a ladybug will eat the potato plants and bring the crop to spoil if not kept in check.  When I see these bugs begin to appear I spray the plants with insecticide or treat them with 5% seven dust.

A pretty potato crop so far.

A pretty potato crop so far.

The next thing we planted was onions.  About two weeks after we planted potatoes and right after the last hard freeze, my brother-in-law John and I planted a couple of rows of onions.  We started out by opening some rows just like I did for the potatoes.

Onion sets.

Onion sets.

There are a couple of ways to start onions.  One way (shown above) is to plant onion bulbs.  Bulbs can be saved over the winter just like many flower bulbs or they can be purchased from a feed store or farm supply in late winter. Onion plants can also be used.  I have also heard of people starting them from seeds but I’ve never tried it, maybe a future project.

Placing onion bulbs.

Placing onion bulbs.

I place the onion bulbs in the row differently than I do potatoes.  I don’t put the onions all the way in the bottom of the furrow.  I put them about half way down the side  and alternate them from side to side as shown above. This makes one row almost like two close rows side by side.

John H. working!

John H. working!

Covering the onion bulbs.

Covering the onion bulbs.

Above is my brother-in-law John covering the onion bulbs.  He just covered them loosely with a couple of inches of soil.

Onions coming up!

Onions coming up!

The onions did come up and are growing well. We also have planted strawberries, lettuce, turnips, radishes, kale, and about a third of an acre of sunflowers.  I will keep you updated on our progress in the vegetable garden in future posts.

Look forward to Pigs-n-chickens in just a few days!

John

Tombstone Tuesday – Sharon Dean (Frey) Cole

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Justin Cole at Sharon Cole's grave

This is my oldest son Justin Cole, at the grave of his paternal grandmother, Sharon D. (Frey) Cole. We had not seen her grave since she had been buried and last year when we went to Clinton, Arkansas so Justin and Knucklehead could get baptized at Sharon’s church, we went by the cemetery for a visit.

Sharon and Justin Christmas 1993

Sharon and Justin Christmas 1993

I have some other pictures of Sharon, but I don’t have them scanned in. This photo was taken Christmas of 1993 right after Justin was born. She came for a visit and never put Justin down.

I will always remember Sharon with great fondness. She loved her children and grandchildren and most importantly, she loved God. Everything she did or said, shined through her love of God and his word. She was always praying angels around our cars and would pray until we were home safe after coming to visit her. I figure the only reason my car works good without her praying over it now is because she’s the angel around the car!

Christmas Past to Christmas Present

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As I was decorating the house the other day for the Christmas holidays, for some reason I started thinking about what my ancestors would have been doing at Christmas time during the civil war.

Christmas Decorations 2013

I’m sure they didn’t string fancy garlands or lights and probably not every one put up a Christmas tree as the European custom of having a tree was just becoming popular.  If they did decorate a tree, I’m sure the decorations would have been handmade usually of stringed sugared fruits, ribbons, popcorn, pine cones, colored paper, silver foil and spun glass ornaments.

As I looked around guiltily at all of my decorations, I wondered did they decorate their houses? Did they sit with their families around a fire and sing songs?  Did they trade gifts and visit neighbors?

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Knucklehead’s First Day of School and Pvt. Cole Reports for Duty

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I know, you are wondering where my next DC Trip post is, and hold your horses, because it’s coming!  First, I had to take a couple of days away from the computer and spend it with my kids and get caught up on chores around the house.

The first thing I did was hug on these two boys!  I missed them while I was gone!

JT and Knucklehead

The Hubs is on 60 hour weeks, so with him only home one day a week, it’s just not feasible for him to do much around here.  He needs at least one day of rest with the schedule he is keeping so there were quite a few things to get done.

While I was gone, and enjoyed near perfect weather in DC, it rained here at home almost every day and my grass was so tall, the mower kept bogging down.  We had no choice but to bust out the tractor and get the heaping piles of grass up.  I was being smart and raking down hill!

Yard Work

Knucklehead had his first day of school on Monday, and you know we had to prepare for that, had to attend open house and get all his stuff ready and together.  Here’s the big 6th grader on that first morning.

First Day of School

Not a happy camper can you tell?  His stomach hurt, the grass was wet, he wanted to get down to the end of the driveway and wait for the bus even though he had 15 more minutes, and he did not want to smile.  AT ALL.  But I made him.  So then this is what I got.

First Day of School Smile

Totally fake, but at least it wasn’t that frown!  After I snapped the shot, he went right back to his frown and walked down to wait for the bus.  He did have a great first day though and was very glad to see his friends.  He has been getting his homework done easily enough.  So far, so good.

Then on Monday evening, the first day of school, and Justin’s last day at home before leaving for boot camp, we had a small, family gathering to say goodbye to him, and to say goodbye to my nephew William who is going back to Colorado for High School this year.

But first, I should back up a bit and tell you that Justin’s Dad drove all the way up here from Alabama to spend the weekend with him before boot camp.  He picked him up and they went to stay with his Dad’s family in Sherwood for the weekend.

Justin with his Dad

They came back on Monday and his Dad stayed and had dinner with us.  After we all had dinner, since Justin and William both were leaving we all decided to load up and head over to the Romance Cliffs to get good pictures of everyone.

This is my favorite picture of my family.  I wish The Hubs had been here, but he had to work. :(

Us Romance 2013

My friends David and Diane took this picture of all of us, and I think it turned out great. From left to right is Justin, Knucklehead, William, Mom, Dad, Me, brother John, and Addie.

This is a great shot of the boys.

JT Knucklehad William

I love this shot of Mom and Dad.

Mom and Dad

This is a great shot of my brother John, William and Addie.

John William and Addie

These are my friends, David and Diane.

David and Diane

Did I mention that I love these boys?

Michael and Justin

This is Justin with his Dad, Junior Cole.

Junior and Justin

And here folks, you are looking at a rarity.  One of probably three pictures of Junior and I together with Justin since we divorced, oh, I’d say about 15 years ago.  But Justin wanted a picture of us with him so we did.  Luckily, we get along great most of the time and it was no problem.

Junior Susie Justin

The next morning JT had to be up at the Armory in Heber Springs by 6 am. It was still dark when we got there and we took some last, going away shots.

Me JT Knucklehead

Junior and Justin

JT and Knucklehead

I have mentioned my love for those boys, right?  Yeah, I thought so.

Sgt. Gipson arrived and I got this shot, then they got in the car and drove off.  Headed to Camp Robinson where Justin would be processed in and leave from.

Sgt. Gipson

Justin’s Dad left to make the drive back to Alabama, I got knucklehead off to school and guess what?  I didn’t cry!  I made it all day without crying, and I was doing great. Then Justin sent me this picture from the plane that night as he was boarded and waiting for takeoff to Oklahoma City. I admit I did cry for a bit.  But, it wasn’t tears of sadness.  I’m so proud and happy for him.  This is what he has wanted to do since he was a little boy.

JT on the plane

He arrived in OKC about 8:30 and had a two-hour bus trip to Fort Sill.  I did get to talk to him last night, and he’s doing ok. It’s a lot more than he thought, but he is brave and strong and he’s making it.  From what I understand, he is processing in and the real deal boot camp starts on Monday, and then it will be three or more weeks before I can talk to him again.

Since he left, I’ve been just keeping up with the normal compound chores and duties and resting up from the trip and chores and stress of getting everyone where they have to be. Now, I’m back to the computer and settled into a routine with Knucklehead in school and I will get back to posting about my trip.  There’s still some sight-seeing, my trip to the National Archives, and my trip to Richmond, Virginia coming up so stay tuned!

Susie

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