I Meet the Neighbors

Ok my Friends. Have you ever just had a moment. I mean one of those moments where you just stand there shaking your head asking yourself what just happened. Well get ready because this was my moment. 

Today started out like any other day on my homestead. Feeding the little dinosaurs (chickens) and my meat bricks (pigs). I am in peak planting season here. Starting lots of veggies and flowers. I am so happy to say my greenhouse is booming with life. So everything has gone smoothly. For way to long! I should have know better. 

Now let me just back up for a moment and set the stage. 

So I have new neighbors that just moved it. They literally are still currently moving boxes into the house. I have not meet them yet. Our interaction has consisted of the neighborly head nod and smile. I can tell she is an older lady whom seems very pleasant thus far with maybe 4 to 5 grown adult children. I am guessing the relation because of course we have not meet officially yet. So now that I have covered that we can continue. 

In the front of my property safe from the chickens I had around 10 very large soil bags that I had used for temporary garden beds. I planted so many veggie starts that grew so fast I needed to place them somewhere until I had time to place them in the ground. And this was my temporary solution. And let me just say in regards to the soil bags they worked Amazing.  The plants thrived! 

Now it is about 90 degrees today. I have been outside for hours. Their are maybe 10 people over at the neighbors house all helping move in. Chipper happy, had no idea I was about to change their day.  They are able to see me clearly working in the front due to me not having that area fenced in. This might change after this! I may just move. All still to be determined. 

So here I am be-bopping around. Being a happy little gardener. So very proud that my idea has worked and been successful. The veggie starts are looking amazing and growing wonderfully. 

In moving these, What I am having to do is pick up each bag and carry it over about 15 feet to the garden plot that has been set up. Ya’ll these bags are heavy. I mean saturated with growth and veggies.  And I’m slick with sweat so with each bag it is getting a bit harder and heavier to move. But I am hard headed and have my mind set that I will get all of these planted into their new home today. 

Now I consider myself a tough girl. I try not to be squimish in regards to many things. I mean if you work and raise farm animals you have to get a tough skin. BUT there are a few things that still get me. Your about to meet one.

As I go to move another soil bag I am unable to carry it with only my hands like I have been doing. I mean this is like the 7th bag. I am getting a bit weak so I place it on my forearms for better control. Now 

NOTE I am walking toward my neighbor direction at this time that is where the new garden space is. And as I get about 1/2 way there I feel something on my arm. Honestly for the first 20 seconds I do not give it any thought. At this time I am thinking it is my sweat and dirt on my arm rubbing and dripping off. 

I was so very wrong. Like crazy wrong. I start to feel movement like lots of movement. LOTS. Oh my goodness. Freak out mode activated.  I can’t make it to the garden plot. Something is on me. Crawling and moving all over my arms. I am starting to panic. 

Side Note: I am not a fan of creepy crawlers. But we have a understanding. I will respect there space and they do not touch me. Now if this happens I try to remain calm and in doing this I say this little chant :don’t freak out” over and over again until the situation is resolved. 

So here I am carrying this soil bag and having a bit of a meltdown so what do I do? I drop the bag. The movement and crawling had become to much. I can’t think of anything except get this off of me. And what is it? I mean seriously what is it?

I am thinking calm down Mandy. It is just a rolly polly. I had seen so many. But my deep insides knew better, This was no stinking rolly polly. 

As I drop the bag I realize I am doing my chant “dont freak out” over and over. Trying to keep myself calm. 

And as I drop the bag. Holy Crap maggots. MAGGOTS are crawling, rolling, flipping living on my arm. The chanting has not worked. I am full on freaking out. Screaming. Cussing yelling for help. I am covered. I try to wipe them off with my gloves but that just smooshes them into my arm and now my glove is covered with these little meaty bits. All I can think of is get them off of me. I mean do they bite? I have no idea. But in my mind they are going to bite me. There are 100’s of them. Everywhere. 

Without even thinking I rip my t-shirt off and start using it as a towel and weapon to get these little moving rice pieces off of me. I start running toward my porch and once I get there and stop to access my arm. They are definitely not coming in my house. I throw my t-shirt on the ground just standing there sweating covered in dirt. and meat pieces I may have cried a bit. And completely out of breath due to my recent escape from assignation. And let me just say this was not one of those slow motion Baywatch moments. Oh no. This was an utter disaster. As I am placing one of my boobs back into it proper and upright position back into my bra I look up. 

Ya’ll Oh Ya’ll. The looks on those poor people’s faces. As I take a moment to look at each bi-stander so innocent I really do not know what to say. Or what to do. I am still freaking out in my head and needing to go properly disinfect my maggot arm. So all I say is… Maggots. and I turn around and walk inside. 

So I can now say I have meet the neighbors. They seem nice ya’ll. lol. Nothing like first impressions. So if they move out tomorrow. I completely understand. 

But for now. Time for a shower. No more moving soil bags for today!

PS: Just to let everyone who reads my stories know. I just love ya’ll. I am feeling all creepy crawling writing this So this is for you! 


Essential Oil Takes Me Out

Like many of you. I enjoy scrolling FB and seeing others comments and tricks or hacks that are offered up. And of course if it’s on FB it must be true right!

So I was on one of the Homesteading sites and I see someone ask about bug bites and what others do to prevent them from eating you alive. So yes off to the comments I go. I myself would love to know the answer. Yes I need to know this also. Help me too. I am here to accept your knowledge and wisdom social media. And I see a recurring comment. Peppermint. OK. No further info given. Just peppermint. Now I am not an essential oil person. Love the smells just have not tapped into those yet. So not a lot of knowledge in that field.

Off to the store I go! I am so excited. I run to the isle. Running toward that lovely bottle that is going to free me from the daily ninja swatting and slapping battle that occurs. Dodging and weaving as they dive bomb your head. I have found the solution! I am saved.I take my sacred treasure home. And this is just in time for dinner chores. I crack open that bottle and my goodness that smell just slaps you in the face. But I like it! That is the smell of victory.

Now I want to make sure I put enough on. So I just shake the drops into my hands and lather down my legs and arms. And since the monsters also like to swarm my head I put it all around my neck and run my hands through my hair.Done! I am satisfied I am completely covered in this miracle oil.

Ya’ll I am walking toward the chicken coop feeling like Harry Potter when he slipped on the invisibility cloak. So for those who do not understand that reference. Really! Who doesn’t know Potter. Anyway I’m like the Star Ship Enterprise. Shields up Scotty. Protected! Unseen by all bugs! Cocky even.

I am done being Creme DeLa Buffet.I seriously feel like an all you can eat buffet. And these stinking things know they are getting the good stuff with me. Yes I eat healthy Kinda, most days,sorta, but they are also getting those chocolate chips cookies from earlier and maybe that Captain Crunch from breakfast. I mean who doesn’t love the Capt. right? No beet juice here.

So here I am about halfway to the coop being all invisible and all. When the tingling sensation starts. At first I am like oh yeah! This is nice.

Now here in Tennessee the summers are unforgiving. It is 96 with humidity of 1 million percent. You go outside and as you step drag your legs, I really think we might melt a little it’s instant saturation. Nope, it’s not rain that is sweat fleeing my body.As I was saying. It was lovely. It had this fantastic cooling effect. And made you feel like a wonderful spring day. So cool So minty Fresh!

All lies!

The cooling effect started to intensify. Slowly at first. I had to stop to feel it. I mean have you ever had to do that. I literally stopped mid stride. Like is this good or bad. I was not sure which way to teater. Now it started to get warmer. What! Is it so cold it is feeling warm I was still unsure.

Now several mistakes were made in the next few moments of my life.

In a moment of uncertainty I decided I would try wiping it off with my hands. My neck was quickly turning into a burning sensation. Yeah for sure no more cooling. It is starting to burn and hurt. I mean really hurt. Holy crap, am I on fire? My head is starting to burn. My legs and arms as far as I can tell we’re not burning just my entire frigging head. I was sweating and it is dripping down my face. So what do I do. Dear mother of all that is not good. I wipe my face. And in doing so transferred the peppermint oil to my face and eyes. The fumes. Oh God. They are choking me. The minty menthol is overwhelming. I can’t breath.

I am now stumbling toward the house. I am on fire, blind and my only thoughts are get this killer Peppermint off me now. Of all the things I have done I am going to be maimed and blinded by an essential oil. Are you kidding me!I rush to the sink and half dive crawl under the faucet. Yelling, screaming full on freak out mode. Grabbing dish towels scrubbing the deceitful fire oil off my burning flesh.

Ten minutes later after the great battle of peppermint oil has been semi won. I sit on the kitchen floor under the sink which is now doubling as an indoor pool. Soaking wet dish towel in my hand pondering what in the heck just happened. My neck and head are still sensitive and slightly burning, eyes are still stinging and watery but I can see.I just sit there.

And then I noticed something.

I did not have any bug bites.

This strikes me so funny that I start laughing. Laughing so hard you know those good belly laughs. So loud and obnoxious. And you just can’t stop. Yep, that’s me full of hysterics.

I’m burnt but not bit.

So I came to a conclusion.

Peppermint oil is evil. It tried setting me on fire. Do not place on sensitive areas like lets say your HEAD!

And my new name I have learned I must accept is Mandy Buffet!

I Get A Surprise!

If I say today was just like any other day that would be a tremendous understatement. Today just plain sucked. From beginning to saturated end. Now I am not complaining about the heat. But summer has finally shown her big bright steamy suck the life from your soul beautiful head. And I think it just might be trying to kill me. The humidity this year!Doing the smallest chore or task on our little farm really takes effort. I am being serious. I have to talk myself into going out there. And I have to offer myself little treats and rewards.Like Ok Mandy go and clean the chicken coop and then you can have ice cream and tequila. The latter part is normally the motivator. So as many may know I have chickens, ducks, and a turkey named Bernard. I pick up my feed for my flock at my local co-op. Those bags weigh about 50 lbs. So for me, Yeah those suckers are a bit heavy. Now just to give you all perspective. We have built a feeder out of a 50 gallon Rubbermaid trash can with angled PVC pipe around the bottom. If you want to see a picture of this poultry feeder you can go check out my Instagram heart n soil farm. The feeder has a snap on lid which makes it easier to fill. And can hold almost 3 bags of feed. I feed my velociraptors a mixture of scratch grain and layer pellets. So as I stated before, today was one of those days where everything I did just either had an issue or took way longer to complete than I expected. We have finally completed moving the pig pen to its new location so that we can complete our greenhouse. And that has been very laborious. So I am officially wiped out. One of the final things that I had to accomplish today was filling up the feeder.  This is something I have done maybe a million times give or take a few hundred thousand. So here I am hot sweaty and a bit cranky.Not thinking of anything other than feed and flee. So I am on a mission. Eyes forward no distraction. Complete the mission.  I am hiking this 50 lb bag to the feeder. Now I have the feeder elevated a bit off the ground to make it more accessible to the chickens. I have a system when I have to fill this thing. I pull and remove the draw string. And lift it onto my shoulder. Boom feed empties easily into the feeder. Now when the little monsters see me coming with the feed bags they become noisier than your neighbors. You know Karen that lives three houses down. Oh Karen. As we say here in the south Bless Your Heart! I’m a Karen LOL. So anyway back to the Karens. And by the way that is the name of my chickens. Yep all of them. They are all Karen. Anyway back to my disaster. So I have several different breeds of chickens. I have large layers, rare breeds, and silkies. So depending on who is around me I keep a watchful eye on where I walk. The silkies. My poor blind beautiful birds. They just can’t help it. They don’t move out of the way quickly.So here I am dodging nosey and half blind chickens as I make my way to the feeder. I am huffing and puffing like the big bad wolf. So I make it up to the feeder. Set the bag down. Remove the drawstring. Give it a big Ol heave Ho onto my shoulder and flip the lid off to start to fill. As I flip the lid. Dear Sweet Baby Jesus. Something FAST and FURRY has flung itself at me. I think it was screaming. What in the Heck! At this point I have no idea what it is. All I know is I am screaming, backing away and remembering the chickens. Not wanting to stomp or trample them trying to see where I can safely flee. Losing my footing I trip over the swimming pool ( I have several kiddie pools for the ducks) and land butt first into the water. At this point I think I have forgotten the 50 lb of feed on my shoulder. That has been flung I must say in a beautiful circle pattern around me and a good 25 lbs or so are also now in my lap and down my clothing in the kiddie pool I now rest in. So many questions invade my mind as I marinate in warm, dirty duck water. With pieces of corn and seed bobbing all around me. What in the heck was that? And did I step on anyone? I am looking all around to try and find the furry flying ninja and also wanting to fend off any other surprise attacks. Now I have had this feeding system for three years. And have NEVER had a single issue with it.  Not one.Guess what attempted to attack me! A freaking Squirrel. Yep. That furry heart attack had let himself in, through one of the PVC pipes and was just feasting out. As I sit in my own stew I see that little sucker just sitting on the fence. I swear it smiled.  Yeah smile again sucker. Cocky little thing. And during this entire attack. Guess who comes to the rescue. NO one. These sticking chickens and ducks are just munching away on the now flung feed all around them. I think they thought they received a surprise. Nope jokes on me. I got a Surprise. Now that my sucky day has ended with such excitement and extreme saturation.  I will remove myself from this lovely warm duck corn stew and call it a day. 

My Fear Lit Up

Ok ya’ll let me start off by saying this is Crazy. 
Now let me just say, I do not believes in ghost or spooks. Ok maybe I feel 75% accurate with that statement. Fine, when it is dark out 50%. But I can say from first hand experience I have never seen or experienced anything related to this topic. Guess what? Still hasn’t happened. But boy oh boy did it try. Oh it tried ya’ll. I am still freaking out. My hands are still shaking. I can hardly hold them still. I swear if I try to speak nothing will come out. Maybe a small pep of lasting fear. I can still see the hairs on my arms standing up. Ya’ll I am shook! I know their is no longer danger but I still can’t shake the feeling. You all know that feeling right. The one that has your adrenaline going. Your senses on point. Your shirt starting to get saturated by sweat. Yep that’s the feeling I am fighting to recover from.And let me just say when I recover. Mr. Robert is really getting a talking too. So let me back up and tell you what happened. It was a typical day on the farm. We are in full swing here in Tennessee. I have a few things planted in the garden beds. I have so many plant starts I can’t even count. We are prepping garden beds to be planted. And we have added additional animals to the farm. So busy to say the least. And like I said nothing out of the ordinarily. I did not attempt any type of seance to evoke the evil for god’s sake. I cleaned a chicken coop and changed bedding on my pigs. As the day draws to a close I am getting everything put to bed for the night. That is including myself. So into bed I go. Thinking is was a good day. Lot’s accomplished. Around 2AM. I had to go to the bathroom. Now not to get to personal on you. But when I get up in the middle of the night. I always turn on the bathroom light. We have a dimmer on it so I always keep it on low at night. So there I am doing my business. I had to pee ya’ll. At first I was not sure if I heard it. Wait. Quiet. Listening. I heard it. I freeze. Nothing moving at all. I did hear it. Holy Crap! What was it? Still not moving. Maybe it was outside? There is a window in the bathroom. NOPE. OMG. Now I am at DEFCON 9.  I haven’t even wiped yet. I mean seriously though. Do I finish and wipe? Do I just run? These are the things I am thinking. Do I announce it with no sudden movements? I hear it again. It is a voice. A scary voice. With bits of maybe static in it. In and out sounds I cannot make out. And it is so quite. Like a evil whisper with a smile behind it. This is when the hairs on my neck and arm stand up. Gripping me with fear. I stay in that position for a few moments, I can not tell you how many. But moments. And than without even thinking about it I JUMP and Dash out of the bathroom. I am in my room. Hand on my chest trying to control my breathing. WHAT DO I DO. Robert (hubby) is at work. It is just myself and daughter here. And there is something scary trying to eat me in my bathroom. Or steal me. Or who know what! I just know what I heard. I run into the kitchen and living room and turn on the lights. And I just stand. I just listen. Nothing. I move slightly back toward my room. SHHH. Slow down my breathing. Just listen. Ya’ll I am freaking out. I mean. What do I do. Who do I call. Rob is hours away. I am not going to lie. I did google Ghost Busters. They have a number. But not in my area. Still quiet. I move back into my room. Still nothing. I really do not want to go back into the bathroom. I am sure something is going to grab me. I don’t want to be grabbed. Why seriously why does this have to happen now! I don’t like being brave. Ok here I go. I have to push through and figure this out-My pep talk to myself-This is your house and you can do this. NOPE! Ya’ll this is different. No Friggin Way. This is not a stinking scare crow. Scare Crow looks like a Disney princess now. Something spoke. That’s a whole other level. I can. I can go into that bathroom. One step. Here I go. Next step. I am outside the bathroom. I listen so deeply I HOLD my breath. Next step. I am inside the door. SHHH. I hear something. STOP! Don’t run. Hold my ground.I hear it again. Like several low voices. I listen closer. They are coming from the mirror area. It is such an abnormal scary sound. With bits of static that I continue to hear. Next step toward the mirror. I am still scared. But now I have an emotion of curiosity? Those two emotions together suck. I step closer. Listening honing in on the noise the voice. As I get closer to the mirror I hear it coming from the lights. And as I glace at the lights I see it. Are You Kidding ME!!! Let me just say I will keep this PG. But the words that left this body. They were not Holy. A small back story. About a month ago my husband came home with a new device. He was so excited. It is a light bulb and you can place it anywhere and it turns into a speaker. We have never used it yet. Our plans were to put it in our kitchen when we have company for background music. Not for the voices of the evil one’s who want to eat and steal me from my bathroom.  So as I look up I see that bulb. It looks different from all the others. I just stop. I reach for the bulb and unscrew it. My husband must have used this in the bathroom today. WITHOUT TELLING ME!So the scary evil Mandy eating voices I heard are from the speaker. It was picking up interference. I am so mad. I seriously thought I was being eaten and snatched and it’s a light bulb? I did not just save my house from an evil invasion, I saved it from a light bulb. I just can’t. AND he is not even home! I am going to bed! And the light bulb is in the garage. 

There Is An Intruder

So there is an intruder on our property. Now let me start off by saying I am brave. I am. I know you can hear the small doubt in my voice but it’s true I am brave. I can save kittens stuck under the bed. I can save a butterfly that fell into a pool. I am brave with those types of things. Now much else and well let’s just say you might want to call someone else for your safety. I might run away. I mean I will try to throw something as I am running away. So yes there is that. So now that that is settled and we all understand. I can continue. So we have a small farm. We have ducks, chickens, pigs, and a bunny named Templeton. And I really love my animals. I have chased away a stray cat or two. And I even had to run off a dog before. My property is really secure. We spent four months building a 6ft privacy fence around the entire back yard to make sure it was safe from predators. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. To this day there are several body parts that don’t work correctly and others have just given up. There are times I will be doing something, anything you know just whatever and all of the sudden my hand just stops. Like really. I guess it’s not over the trauma of using the rock buster thing that tried to take me out many times. It thinks I don’t know. Yeah! I see you. Definitely not a team player.  We have SO many rocks. It was ridiculous. And the abuse from the hammer of death. That thing could not hit a thing other that my own stinking hand. And obviously that has not been forgotten. I seriously have to give body parts pep talks every morning. I am like ok leg, I know your tired and sore, we are all buddy. But you got this. And arm, Arm you can do it. Just stretch it out. My back yes that stubborn thing just does not listen. We are constantly arguing. I am like ok I am picking up this bag of feed and its like OH no your not Susan. Ok Back My name is Mandy not Susan no need to get an attitude. I will be walking and my legs with start to do that death rattle. You know when they start to shake and you are not sure if you are going to run, fall, or pee all over. I just sit down and once again. Give them a talking too. My body always tries to mess with me. I am at the point I even try dickering with it. Like ok. Lets get all the chores completed with me in a upright standing position. And I will give you a bubble bath. Now that works some days. But not always. I am just saying the older I am getting the more I seem to have to have these therapy sessions with my own sticking body parts. I thought they were MINE and they would do what I told them to do. Umm. Yep that joke was on me. If they don’t want too it ain’t happening. So anyway I know I went off on a tangent just then, but really what else do you have to do. We are all kinda stuck. So ramble is what ya got! Now back to what happened. If any of you follow our lives or my other adventures and you can see those at my Instagram page Heart N Soil Farm you will know that Rob (hubby) and I work schedules that cross each other. So he goes to bed way earlier than I do. So I had just finished cleaning the kitchen. MY daughter was at work  and was due home in about an hour. It was around 7:45PM so it was dark but had just a little very little light so that you could kinda still see. Rob was in bed sleeping. And as I am just giving the counter a final wipe down. I happen to glace up and look out my kitchen window. Wait. What is that. Is something up near the animals? I am leaning in stepping on my tip toes trying to get a good look. Is that a person? Holy Crap. I think that is a person. How did they get into they yard? All the gates are locked. Did they jump the fence. And just GREAT I still have to put the animals away. What do I do. I really do not want to wake up hubby. He has to go to work in just a few hours. I look out the window again. OMG GUYS it just moved! Yep Someone is up there. I saw movement. Do I call 911. No. Not yet. Do I just shoot at them! Really Mandy who are you Wild Earp. Like a gun slinging farmer in Leggings. And pink chicken farm boots. OK Let me think this through. I have to go up there. I mean they are trespassing. Maybe if I just stick my head out the door and yell. That might shoo them away. So here I go. I open the back door step out and yell ” You better get out of here. I have a gun.” Now time has passed and it is now dark. And I cannot see anything really. Now if I go up there I do have motion lights that will kick on. But that means I HAVE to go up there. And I did not see any rush of movement or anyone jumping over the fence. So now what! Ok I have another plan. So we have a 150 lbs Alaskan Husky/Malamute. So I am taking him with me. We are going to protect our property! I go and get changed all in black. I am going to be a ninja in hiding and creep up on this intruder. I am stealth. I get my phone, in case I do have to call for back-up. I do bring my 9mm but it is safety in its holster. Just in case. I have my flashlight. Ok time to approach the intruder. I grab the dog. And this makes me feel a little bit safer. This dog better do his job. I am just following him. He better eat whoever is up there. I am not even off the porch and I am jumpy. Let’s go Nanook (my dogs name) we got this. So we step into the yard. And this dog! I am doomed the very 1st thing he needs to a pee break. Like really Nanook we are on a dangerous mission. Ok. Well No Problem I will just wait. While the killer is just standing up there watching us. Are you done! Can we continue. So we start up on the side. I am trying to listen. But I can’t hear anything that sounds out of place other than my labored heavy panic breathing and my heart beating out of my chest and the stinking dog smelling everything we walk by. He is even taking breaks. He is so fired after this. I thought I saw the intruder on the right side of the barn. I am creeping up on the left side. Just as I pass the left side the motion lights kick on. This makes me instantly feel better I can see. Still no movement nothing darting away. Something is not right. I know for 100% I saw a figure. But why is it not running away. OMG it might really want to kill me. And here is this dog not a care in the world. Some protector. I am actually shaking a bit now. My hands are getting clammy. I get around to the other side of the bard and I see something move. I STOP dead in my tracks. It’s like a stand off. I cannot even speak yet. I have a bit of fright stuck in my throat. And all of the sudden the dog without a care in the world playing with leaves, darts over there. And is just running around it. Once again just smelling. But nothing moving. What is going on? I turn on my flashlight since the spot light is not really shining over there very well. And I start walking slowly over toward the dog. And for the love of god as I get closer. Do you know who it is! I am just telling you now I said about 300 very choice words. I mean I conquered my fear, dressed like an assassin ninja and brought my killer dog all of this and for  what…… A stinking scarecrow. Who in the hell put a scarecrow up here. And did not even tell me. I am so mad right now. I bet it was Rob. So not funny. Oh wait until he wakes up. This thing is coming with me. Yep. When hubby walks into the kitchen in a few hours get get his coffee and get ready for work as I am sleeping in bed. Mr. Scarecrow is going to be there in the kitchen to greet him. I bet he screams!

The Shavings Are Out To Get ME

Holy Crap my car just tried to kill me. Seriously.

So as many of you know I have a small farm. We have chickens, ducks, pigs, and of course a bunny named Templeton. We also just started our meat chickens for this year.

Now, I want to take a small detour to set this up! Our farm is not at the level of being able to fully sustain us financially so I also work a full time job. We are hoping to attain this goal. But only time will tell if this becomes a reality. Fingers crossed.

I am on my way home from work. I have to make a stop at our local Co-Op to pick up wood shavings. I have the exciting chore of cleaning the stinking (literally) chicken coop when I get home.

I am happy to report that purchase went off without a hitch. Grabbed the shavings threw them in the back seat of the car and off I went zooming home. Now when I drive I am one of those crazy people you see sitting next to you at the light dancing and singing my little heart out! Yep! That’s me. Wave next time. I wave back. Or just dance with me! I am all about a good 2 minute dance off at the light. And yes I must admit to ya’ll. I love me some 80’s music. The rhythm is gonna get you, well at least me. lol.

So I am singing and jammin on my way home. Well, I noticed that my seat was back just a smidgen further than normal. My daughter must have been in my car! Let me just say. I do not have a fancy car. Nope. My seat does not have a fancy button that slowly guides you wherever your butt would like to go.Like a cushion of floating air. I have that lever in front of my seat that you have to pull and use leg power to move back and forth.

Now I might have been driving a bit faster than what I am allowed too. And as I went to move my seat forward, and remember that I just needed to go forward a little bit. Remember the shavings the ones I threw into the back seat the ones I bought without any issue. Unknown to me they have slid onto the floor as I hit the brake to slow down and in doing this my seat was flung like a slingshot into the steering wheel. What In God’s name Just Happened. I am thinking my seat has malfunctioned.

My right arm is slightly pinned still under my seat on the lever. My boobs are crushed into the steering wheel. I mean full on boob lift going on! Thank god my foot is on the break. So I am able to guide the car to the side of the road. I mean I am full on pretzel right now. I might need to call for help. I keep trying to push the seat back. But the stupid thing will not move! And I have NO idea why. At this point I am still unaware that there is a huge bag of shavings preventing the seat from moving back.

I am sitting there starting to get really mad. I am pushing with all my might trying to get this stupid seat back. At this point I am hot and sweaty. My boobs are actually hurting. I must save the ladies! My legs are all squished up, my knees are hitting the console. What do I do. I can’t believe I trapped myself in my own car. I am able to get my right hand up and I put the car in park. Ok think Mandy.

Do I call 911. OMG. I can’t believe this. I mean what would I say. Me: Yeah, Hi I am smashed into my steering wheel. Dispatch: Were you in an accident? Me: Nope. Just tried to move my seat up. They record those calls. No way! Not calling. Ok think……………..

Alright. So I open my door. I am just going to crawl out of the car. Now remember that whole on my way home from work. Yep still in my work clothes and I am wearing a dress. Why oh why did I have to look cute today! So here I go. I am like one of those little sausages you get in that can. You know the ones you peel off the top. Only difference no lube! My legs are pinned and I cannot get my leg out I try but not happening. It hurts my knee. So I take my butt and start to twist, wiggle,jiggle it toward the door. I am using my right hand to push me out and my left hand is on the door pulling. I can only imagine. And by the way. Cars are just passing my by. If they only knew I was there in my sausage can of a car trying to escape. The show they would get to see for free. But NOPE. Zoom Zoom suckers. So I get my butt out. Dress Up for all the world to see the goods. Pull my legs out. I am on the ground at this point. I stand up. Straighten myself up. And at this point I am able to see the shavings. Let me just say. I said some very CHOICE words to that bag! Yes I did. I grabbed the bag and yes I was very rough with it. And moved it to the other side of the car. I cannot even look at it. I move the death seat back to it’s upright and original non-death trap position. Check on the ladies. Check on my knees.

After a few more choice words I get back into the car. I no longer like this car.

And when I get home I am going to enjoy ripping the bag of shavings open. I will show you who is boss! Just wait.

Can You Feel The Burn?

Ok. So I have come to the conclusion that farm life is trying to kill me. So Tennessee was hit by some severe storms this past few days and due to this we have had some serious damage to our trees. I am happy to report that the animals are all ok. All of our coops and shelters survived with very minimal wind damage. That being said our yard looks like the amazon forest floor. I literally need lumberjack gear just to walk across the yard. Tree limbs sticking out everywhere. It is like a live action jungle gym.  Can I step here without being shanked by a stick. Nope. Keep moving. Well we have actually had a break in the monsoon season and it actually stopped raining! I know I can’t believe it. I saw the sun. It was a glorious sight. By the way. That is gone now. It was only a short tease. So we decided to take advantage of this rare moment and get out there and pick up the limbs and branches. We designated a burn pile and started placing the limbs and branches into this pile. Now it was not a perfect fire pit. Just an area that was clear enough to make a space to start the fire. We are about three hours in, collecting and picking up the debris. I am not going to lie ya’ll. I am too old for this. My back is aching and legs are throbbing. Who knew bending over ten thousand times was so hard. Yeah I did. And it just sucks. At this point I am not sure I can stand up straight. With every bend over my body is cracking worse than these branches. Now, let me go back just a bit. Do you all know those absolute fantastic soft comfy fuzzy socks you wear in the winter. You know the ones that hug your feet and make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Yep those ones. Well It was just a bit chilly out in the morning when we started so I put those socks of comfort and goodness on to keep my feet warm and placed my mud boots on over those. Now it is not cold enough for me to wear jeans. I need flexibility with all of this movement I am doing. So I throw on a pair of leggings. You know the ones you should not wear in public but you do anyway. So we have made at least a million trips back and forth from various parts of the yard to the fire pit. Ok so maybe not a million but it is sure starting to feel like it. If you want to see the finished product check out my Instagram page at Heart N Soil Farm for pics. My husband Rob has been out there with me all morning. This is definitely a team event. Now let me point out we are in the front yard. And all of our neighbors have had the same idea to take advantage of this glorious day and get some yard work done. After a few more trips back and forth I feel a small sting on my leg. Just inside my boot down by my ankle. And of course my first thoughts are just great. Stinking ants. And the ants here. they do not play. They come packing with there own weapons. The will jack you up. And not think twice about it. So I am thinking they got me. So I start to swat at my boot. Now this is followed within seconds of extreme stings and burning. I mean seconds. And my leg is on fire with pain. 
I start jumping around and kicking off my boot. HOLY crap guys. I am really on friggin fire! Rob comes running toward me asking what is wrong. But I am in a full panic mode at this point and cannot talk. You remember those lovely socks I referenced to earlier. Those socks I spoke so highly of. They have now turned into socks of death. I am guessing that as I was throwing more limbs onto the pile that an ember flung out and of course for the first time in my life I got a hole in one. Well these socks were thick and I did not feel the burning flames of hell creeping up my leg. And now the socks have started to melt my leggings. They have turned into death traps.  I am screaming hitting at the socks and it is not working. The pain is starting to intensify. Dear sweet baby Jesus I am going to burn my leg off. Without thinking I am now ripping the socks off and ripping the leggings off. I am on the ground at this point. For god’s sake. I need to take the other boot off to get these off my body. Here I am rolling around on the ground trying to tear my pants off to free my body from the fire. I finally get free and am checking on my leg to see the damage. I already have blisters starting. And as I finally look up my husband is standing there mouth open just looking at me and not believing what he had just witnessed. And says you were on fire! Well no kidding Nancy Drew. And at this time I realize I am practically naked from the waist down. Mud and dirt all over my butt and legs. Neighbors are literally standing in there yards looking at us. I can only imagine what they are thinking. As I stand up Rob goes to hand me his jacket. And I look around and say nope! They got a show let’s finish it. And I walk ,half limp into the house to tend to my leg. Dirt butt in full view!Today’s lesson. Fuzzy socks tried to kill me! 

Clover The Pig Rides In A Semi-Truck

After 17 years of marriage. I think I can honestly say I am one super lucky girl! I do not think me husband can say NO to me! Or he has finally come to terms if he says No well, I kinda just do it anyway. So I was on on Facebook. Ya know not looking for anything of importance. Just scrolling and liking. You all know the drill. Scroll, Like, and sometimes Ok that is funny. So sharing that! So here I am scrolling around. And all of the sudden what do I see. Oh my goodness. The absolute cutest baby pigs. I have a whole grinch moment! Seriously. My heart grew 10 times. They were just so tiny and snuggly. I just had to have one. I just had too. I message the lady to get information on these adorable little bacon bits. I found out she lives in McMinnville. That is about 4 hours away from me! Four hours! Crap! I can’t drive four hours! I swear I thought I was going to cry. I mean I had a full on tantrum. I just know of those precious babies wanted to live with me. I was so sad. And than Wait! I have a moment. My husband drives a semi-truck for a living. Go drives to several locations on different days of the week to complete unload. Now I do not keep up with his location or drop sites. He delivers all over Tennessee. But I do remember he has spoken about McMinnville and having to drop there. So here I go! Nancy Drew is on the case. So of course I can’t just come right out and ask! I mean he would know I was up to something. So over the course of the next few days. I am full of spy games. 007 has nothing on me. So I am asking little questions, you know nothing to give away my scheme. And with my super spy skills. I find out YES!  He goes to McMinnville to unload. Yippie! Woot Woot. Now time to set the trap. LOL. Ok not trap. Just set things in motion. OK OK it’s a trap! So I contact the seller of my future piggie smalls. And get everything set-up. Now I am a good wife. Yes I am plotting something, but I will not allow it to directly affect his job. They have to unload for a few hours and I do not want him to have to take care of a baby pig while he is working, but after that is free game! So I tell her what day he is in her area. I let her know that he is not able to drive to her due to being in a semi-truck but could she deliver baby pig to him. She said YES! woot woot. His unload site is super close to where she lives! I am giddy at this point in time. Can you all picture my excitement? So everything is set. Location check, Drop off time check, Paid check. Now all I have to do it tell Hubby. No check. How am I going to pull this off. But I love her already. And I haven’t even met her yet! You can’t turn your back on love right? So the night before, I dropped the news on hubby. After I explained everything to him ya’ll he just stood there. Looking at me like I was crazy. His first response was Mandy you know I am in a semi truck right! How am I going to bring a pig home in a semi. Now I was prepared. I had practiced my answers. I already knew the questions.Here I go!I told him honey, Don’t worry there is nothing you need to do. She is bringing piggy in a box. She will have food and water. She is just going to ride with you. Again. Yep. He just stands there staring at me. His next question. Is it legal to even have a pig in a truck. Well, I don’t know! But I did not tell him this. Honey, I see people with dogs and cats all the time in their trucks!  This pig is smaller than a kitten. She will not be any trouble at all. I am sure she will sleep the entire trip. No words have ever been spoken that were more untrue. So off to work hubby goes. I am so excited! My little girl is coming home. I was in constant contact with the seller and she dropped her off right on time. I called hubby to see how the hand off went. He said that they were very nice and that my new piggy which I have now named Clover was in the seat next to him sleeping. Phew! Thank goodness. Well that did not last long. About 20 minutes later I get a call from hubby. He is literally freaking out. And all I can hear in the background is Clover squealing. I am at this point trying so hard not to let him hear me laughing. Oh my poor hubby. He just keeps asking what is wrong with her. I tell him maybe she is scared. And he just needs to give her some love. And I wish him luck. Well 15/20 minutes go by with no calls. That is a good sign. Another 20 minutes go by. Still no call. And then I get a picture sent to me. Hubby has his hand in the box resting and Clover is snuggled up into his palm. My heart just melted! Well let’s just say they bonded on the road trip. When he got her home and I took her. He kept asking where she was and that she did not need to be left alone. He wanted to hold her. Ya’ll that is my hubby. What a good man. So I am happy to report that Ms. Clover is spoiled beyond belief. And loved by the entire family. And now she is a world traveler. She goes everywhere with me. She goes to the stores and always ends up getting treats. Everyone just adores her. She even has a princess bed she sleeps in. All I can say is that she is “Some Pig” ;)And I have the best Husband!

It’s A Crime Scene

All I can say is farm life keeps me on my toes! So do you know those crazy people who go to the grocery store and absolutely will only make one trip. I mean the crazy people who will risk amputation to limbs due to lack of blood supply from carrying 47 bags. Well my name is Mandy and Yes, I am one of those crazies. And this unfortunately plays a role in what happened next!So for two months it has rained here in Tennessee. I am not talking sprinkling. No I am talking full on Noah’s Ark rain. Forrest Gump rain. With no end in site. I now dress for work to match my floaties! I don’t even remember what regular shoes feel like. Rain and mud boots are my permanent attire. But today! Oh today, something magical happened. The sun came out. Oh the sun. How I missed your beautiful warmth. Never leave me again. I even had a short conversation with the sun. I pleaded with her to stop fighting with winter over custody! I choose you! So since we had a break from the rain. And I can’t believe it, it is 50 degrees outside. I am so excited! I have so many projects I am going to tackle.  I even made a list. With all my giddiness I am afraid I might forgot, so I better write it down. So back in October yes I said October. I started painting my chicken coops. We built a barn over the summer and I wanted all the coops to match. The barn is bright RED.  If you go to my Instagram page Heart N Soil. You can see the barn that almost killed us over the summer. So I am getting all of my supplies ready. I get the paint. And I open the lid that way I do not have to do it up at the coop. I get my brushes and paint tray. I also remember I need to add some wood chip shaving to the big coop. During the winter OK wait, We have not had much of a winter in Tennessee so now I am saying during the Monsoon season. I do the deep bed method in my coops. So I go ahead and grab the mulch! This should be interesting. So here I go carrying way too many things but refusing to make more than one trip. I mean I am acting like I am climbing Mt.Everest and not returning for months. And I am just walking to the back yard. Boy or Boy will I ever learn. That is still to be determined. Like I said earlier. I would rather lose blood flow than make two trips. As I am walking up to the coop I am in just pure joy mode! The sun is out! The sky is blue. Oh what a beautiful day. I am humming a little tune in my head. I just love this day! I feel fantastic! Nothing can shake my mood! I am going to be so productive today! Just trucking along with a pep in my step. Ok so not so much a pep as a heavy drag walk, everything I have in my hands is really starting to get heavy. But I got this! I am so close to the coop. Just a little further. Power through girl. use those muscles. And as I go to step over our premier one electric fence. BAM! Holy mother of GOD. In my excitement to start this beautiful day and in my rush, I have forgotten the most important thing! I did not turn off the fence. Now let me just say. Have you ever been zapped between the legs. The pain. I have one leg over and was getting ready to pull the other leg and BOOM shocked to the very core of my soul. I am trying desperately to get my butt of this fence. And to get the shocks from penetrating my body. And to stop peeing on myself. And of course with everything in my hands and not being balanced down I go. The fence is caught on my thigh. I am now crawling to get away. Everything has gone flying. I am on my knees at this point still shaking from the repeated shocks to my nether areas! Oh God. I think I broke it. Is it supposed to still be pulsating. As I crawl to safety I now realize the damage that has insured. As I look up from my half kneed fetal position ya’ll it looks like a scene from CSI or Dexter! That red paint that  I decided was a good idea to open back at the house YEP! not smart. Has dumped and spattered all over the place. What did I do! And of course here comes the little Velociraptor chickens. Now I am in full panic mode. Still unable to stand up straight I am lunging, kicking, screaming. I am pulling out the best ninja moves I can come up with to keep these nosey birdzillas from getting into the paint. This is not happening! So NOW I am literally scratching  at the ground with my hands trying desperately to get  as much paint as I can either back into the can or paint tray. I do not know if it is toxic to my birds and I am not interested in finding out. So here I am on my hands and knees scratching and scraping the ground getting the occasional jolt to my body. Kicking and yelling at the chickens to stay away, and do they listen! No of course not. It’s like they are trying even harder to get to the paint. I even threw the wood chips at them! Stay away! I am trying to make sure you do not get poisoned. These frickin birds want to die! They are ganging up on me. Testing my weak spots. I am out numbered. I get as much paint as I can. I mean I have dug into the dirt a good inch. And I run to get the sand we keep in the coop to cover the rest. Seriously I was gone for 20 seconds! 20 Seconds! As I sprint back to the scene of the crime of course several have red paint on there feet. I throw the sand over what is left and now I am chasing these suckers around trying to catch them to get the paint off of them. I swear chickens can run. I am out of breath covered in paint It looks like I just committed a murder and as I look down at my hands I have chicken and duck poop all over me and in my fingernails. That’s it! That was the straw. I stop my pursuit of the chickens. They will just have to have pretty red feet! I am done! Now as I limp to the house out of breath covered in red paint and chicken poop I am going to the shower. No more projects for me today! I need to go check my legs for electric shock marks! All I can say is my mood has now changed.And I have to get new paint. 

How Bullet The Pig Came To Live With US

So ya’ll this is the story of how Mr. Bullet my 70 lbs potbelly pig came to live with us. So a friend of ours. His name is Jeff. His daughter works at a vet. So he calls me and says, Mandy I know you have animals on your farm. He does not have animals. And his daughter just called him all upset because someone has brought in this pig to be euthanized because they cannot keep him anymore. And she is so upset. She wants to save this pigs life. So my first question is what kind of pig? Oh it’s just a cute little potbelly. Now ya’ll remember that LITTLE. LOL. Now it’s important for everyone to know I did not currently have any pigs. NOPE. But all I hear is cute little potbelly and I am sold. I was picturing this little precious pig that needed to be saved and loved. Here I am buddy. Your rescuer. I will love you and cuddle you. Oh I was giddy. So of course I say YES. Bring him here. Now I did not tell hubby I was doing this. I was just like he is going to love him. He is going to be just a cute peanut. HA!So Jeff tells me he will be here in about an hour. So I turn into a ninja and start throwing together this little pen he can stay in. You know just something temporary.  I used chicken wire. Boy of Boy. Yep thats not going to work. Now I am so proud of the temporary shelter. Yep. Walking around patting myself on the back. I’m a farmer ya’ll. I built a pig pen in 30 minutes. I am unstoppable. I am not even going to try to hide it, I was cocky.  I am going to have a pig. I am ready. 
Now hubby was in the house taking a nap. He works 3rd shift and had NO idea what his bob the builder wife was up too. So Jeff pulls up to the house. I am literally jumping up and down like a kid at the ice cream truck. I just kept saying where is he where is he. Well Mr. Pig was in the back of the truck in a large dog cage that was covered up. My first thought was god that is a really big cage. WOW. But maybe that is all they had. So as I danced my way to the back of the truck. They uncover the cage. HOLY MOTHER OF PIGS. I stop dead in my tracks. I mean dead stop. Pulled the E-Brake. It takes a few seconds for me to process what I am seeing. Now have you ever watched the discovery channel and you see those crazy wild boars trying to attack and kill people. YEP ladies and gentleman. This crazy man has brought a crazy wild boar to my house to kill me. All that can escape my lips are what is that? I mean seriously what is that? That is not the cute cuddly LITTLE potbelly you described. This is from the Mountains of the jungle and is ready to attack. Are you serious! It has Tusk! Not teeth TUSK! OMG my husband is going to kill me. If this pig doesn’t. He is going to FREAK out. My god. I am freaking out. This pig is HUGE. So Jeff explains that he was told incorrect information. YOU THINK! And that he did not know until he arrived to pick up the pig. DUDE. He goes on to explain that this gigantic bacon killer was a pet and that he became to big and the person could no longer keep him. So was taking him to the vet. And that he was a super nice PIG. Obviously his listening skills are compromised so I am not believing him. Oh god. What do I do. I can’t keep him. But I don’t want him to die. At least not yet. This is not happening. He has unloaded the dog crate and this pig has a leash. So he walks on a leash. Ok maybe this will not be so bad. So he puts this leash on this pig and attempts to escort him to the pig pen that will obviously NOT work. That was for a cute cuddly potbelly. This pig is Pumbaa from The Lion King. That lives with LIONS!  He even has a Mohawk. A Mohawk. That means he is a bad ass. So Jeff gets about 3 steps when this pig goes crazy! Thrashing around pulling Jeff all over the place. Swinging his body around like he is spaghetti. OH Crap! At this point I am screaming and running away. Jeff is yelling. I run and grab the cage. The pig will not go back in the cage. This is horrible. I am going to be mauled by a pig. Finally this squealing meat brick calms down. I run and get an apple and we are able to get him back in the cage. We pick up the cage. Groaning the entire time. This pig is sticking heavy. What am I thinking. What am I doing. I am way out of my element. We are able to get the cage inside the baby pig pen. Yep! Hubby is going to kill me. Now just so you know this entire time I am yelling and using language I will not share with you all. Asking him what he was thinking of bringing that beast here. I can’t keep this. I have never cared for a pig. Let alone a Lion King Pig. He tells me he can’t take it back. So this entire process about an hour has passed. So the Lion King Pig is in the “yeah not going to hold me” pen. He is breathing hard and the poor buddy looks scared to death. HE looks scared. I AM scared. So I go and get some fruits and water from the house. I tell Jeff let me go in by myself. And I go into the pen with this pig. Now I am scared. knees wobbling, hands shaking. I see this poor buddy shaking himself. And my heart just goes out to him. He has no idea what is happening. So I go in and open the dog cage. I sit on the ground in front of him. I offer the water and fruit to him. And this poor Lion King Pig walks out and ever so gently takes the fruit from my hand. And drinks the water. Now he is very skittish and do not worry I absolutely do not trust this pig and there is no way I am turning by back toward him. But in that moment. I can’t explain it. And ya’ll might think I am crazy. But I just knew. I knew he was a good boy. I could just sense it. His eyes had such emotion. I know I know sounds crazy. But I knew! Holy CRAP! I forgot about hubby. I look up and he is walking toward the back yard. Oh god. He is going to freak out. Jeff comes up to the pen and says, Ok well I am leaving. OH NO YOUR NOT! You got me into this you are facing hubby with me! So Rob (hubby) gets closer and closer. And I can see he is not sure what is going on. And just when he sees the pig. Well words were said… Lots and Lots of words. For about 20 minutes. Lots of stomping around and pacing back and forth and pointing at the pig. And here I am just 15 minutes prior scared to death. Now pleading and begging. Please please let’s keep him. Let’s just do a trial to see how he does. He just keeps saying, do you see how big he is. He’s really big. Well ya’ll I have the BEST husband. He Let’s the pig stay. And all three of us start to build a real pig pen that will hold him. I am happy to report that we have had Mr. Bullet for almost a year! He is the stud of the farm. He has the best personality and has always been so gently with us. He has NEVER be aggressive. And we are all just smitten with him. He is our buddy. And this is his forever home! And I will NEVER say YES to Jeff again! And if you were interested in what breed he is, he is a Japanese Pot Belly and if I am being honest he weights closer to 90 lbs. He is very spoiled and very loved.. Welcome home Buddy!