Wheres Ray/Wendy yr 2

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Spring Has Sprung

Hi all,
Happy Spring to you all. Time to think flowers, gardens, and summer plans.
We have had some difficulty with the garden here. Usually the weather allows for early planting and we jumped right on it. Bad news as a hard 27 degree freeze struck and even with covering some things in the garden much was lost. The worst hit was two peach trees that were really looking promising with a lot of young fruit already. We covered them with sheets but they still froze, losing all.
Moved the RV over to the completed site.

Notice the brown beyond the garden
 In the garden not only the freeze but a overeating bunny wiped about half of it out. But at least with the garden we can replant and still get a crop.
 Another thing down here has been a severely dry winter and spring thus far. Wendy and I think we have only seen 4-5 rainy days since November. Everything is usually totally green and lawns needing mowing by this time. Now everything is just brown unless you are irrigating, not usual for spring in Florida.
 One afternoon I spotted smoke down the road, as there is only one other occupied house on this road we hopped on the 4 wheeler to check it out. We watched as a grass fire quickly pushed toward some pines thankfully the wind pushing away from the residence. We heard dozers making a track around the fire and soon saw fire departments  able to contain it.
 Spring is festival and fair time in Florida squeezing them in before the weather heats up. We made a short drive to Valdosta GA for the annual Azalea Festival. Not to big but nice to get some festival food in.
 We had a fun weekend last week spending time at the Suwannee County Fair. We went on Saturday night to see the demo derby which was cool but didn't get much of a turnout of competitors.

 On Sunday we headed to Lake City to attend a rodeo. Yes they do have horses and rodeos in Florida. Pat's mom Gayle who has been visiting from WI had never been to a rodeo. Amanda also invited Andrea a coworker who was brought up in Peru, a rodeo was new to her also.
 Armadillo Acres had another goat spurt recently. As we had just had the first set of triplets at the last post two more goat mommas had their first kids.
 On March 14 Lucky Bobbi had a baby girl. Wendy had found her secluded and coaxed her to the goat house. Amanda came home at lunch to check and ended up donning the rubber gloves and assisting the birth. I never thought Amanda would turn out to be this farm girl actually helping with births, but just shows you can do anything you set your mind to. With the trouble she gave at birth the new kid received the fitting name Trouble.
 Not done yet on the 15th Judy Smores gave birth to a set of twins girls. The births of Chloe and Zoey went along smoothly although momma did not want to clean them after birth and took some coaxing to allow her to let them nurse. We were thankful she finally succumbed saving us bottle feedings every 4-6 hours.

Max ready for the dog days of summer

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Happy Anniversary

Hi all,
Time to catch up again, seems we don't have much to write on and then when I do there is a lot to fit in.
  I am writing this on our 42nd anniversary!! Hoo boy, how Wendy has put up with me this long is a wonder.) We took a ride yesterday to check out Horseshoe Beach about 60 miles south of here on the gulf. Horseshoe Beach is a small town with some neat homes. We found a county park nearby that had a nice looking beach area. It was nice to get out and explore some new place.
some unique housing

more interesting housing

 We have been pretty productive here on the farm. We got back into some fence painting and pretty much have all the road side done. Well that's the only side people will see so we're good, right?
 We got a big job complete last Saturday adding the septic system to our RV sites.  It was a big undertaking (no pun intended) but we did it ourselves and saved a couple thousand I'm sure.
 Pat was the main man working the backhoe like a pro. Wendy and Amanda weren't afraid to jump right in and shoveled when needed.

 So all set now with a finished site for our RV and room to hook up another so if any of you are traveling by and need a place to stop near the Suwannee River give us a shout, we will be more than happy to have you stop by.
 And speaking of stopping by we got a surprise call from Deb and Roy, members of our WI Excel camping club. Turns out they were passing by and wanted to hook up for supper. So we thought we would take them to the Suwannee Music Park for some good barbeque, but when we pulled in we were told that the bbq. place had shut down two weeks earlier. Wow, we were disappointed as they had some of the best bbq and Brunswick stew to die for. Oh well, we ended up at another bbq joint and had a good meal and fun conversation. Thanks Deb and Roy for stopping in.
We did sneak in a nice kayak trip on the Itchetucknee River. We had a great weather and sunny skies for the trip. Sadly we did not see the manatees that Wendy and Amanda had seen on a earlier trip. Seems the warmer weather has pushed them on.

haha- I told the kids a Cialis moment

 And can't forget the big excitement here at Armadillo Acres. They had the first set of triplet baby goats!! We knew Ruthie was due and with her size we expected twins. Wendy first noticed her missing from the herd and found her off in a secluded area in the goat yard. She was licking the newborn, but had given birth in a loose area of dirt and the baby was a mess. Well Wendy didn't hold back and quickly scooped up the still gooey newborn and coaxed momma to the goat house. So for over the next hour we monitored Momma as she would lay one way and the other with contractions. After well more than an hour passed we began to get worried, so Amanda donned some rubber gloves to assist. Not really knowing totally what to do she must have pushed the right button as soon Ruthie was pushing out baby #2.
Dot, Polka, and Skeeter
 Well we had dinner cooking so some of us went in to tend to that, Pat was cleaning up the area. Soon though Ruthie was on the ground again and lo and behold pushing out #3.
 How cool as they had just on Sunday sold one of the boy goats and got one boy and two girls to replace it.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Meanwhile Back at the Farm

Hi all,
The vacation with the kids is over and we are happy to get back to a more normal routine. Although it was fun we were pretty wore out and took a couple days to recoup.
 We have our RV septic all planned out and as soon as we can get the backhoe we will tackle that. That will complete our full hook up sites so anyone passing by or looking to just hang out on the farm is welcome.
gravel pad
 So back to normal is doing some odd jobs around the place. Usually Amanda plans one weekend day as a work day and really get in to some projects. Wendy and her were cleaning the flower beds and adding new mulch. Patrick was pruning the fast growing crepe myrtles. I was floating between helping where I could.

 During the week Wendy and I got back on our long term fence painting job. We made good progress but I think when we get done it will be time to start on it again. Joking.
 Wendy has tried to get back into making some new baskets, with so much other stuff going on she has not done as much as she would have liked.

 Wendy put finishing touches on a bathroom remodel. Pat picked a nautical theme and though a small bathroom they had fun with the change.
 We have been discussing summer travel plans but it has been hard as we don't fully know if I will need more follow up pulmonary care. We have a couple appointments in March and will see how things go.
Saw this little guy along the road

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Lots of family time

Hi all,
 Holy cow, it's been a while since our last post so time to catch up.
 Our son Nate and grandson Alex came down from Wisconsin for a few days. Alex is Amanda's son and has been here a few times but it was the first trip here for Nate so we planned a busy few days for them.
 We took one day to relax out by the beach by Jacksonville, the boys enjoying the warm weather and cold ocean temp really showed they were northerners.

 Wendy and Amanda took the boys on a kayak ride on the Ichetucknee River. They got a special surprise as manatee were cruising the river and they got some nice close up views.

We saw 12 manatee

We took a new venture to check out Cedar Key, a gulf coast town that had taken a good hit from hurricane Hermine September 2nd. They suffered a lot of damage but are working extremely hard to get things in order for the spring tourist they so rely on. The area is most noted for the abundance of clams although not in season at this time.
Watched a few dolphins

Backside of stores on the main street

Alex and Nate
 We rented a pontoon boat and cruised around some of the nearby islands. We beached at Atsena Otie Key for a short walk, this small island is noted as a birthing site for horseshoe crabs.
 Amanda said the boys needed a work day on the farm, have to earn your keep here you know.)
We had them dig and install the water line to the RV. A mere 200 feet, they did a great job and no leaks!

a cool day, good for working
 Amanda had made the plan that they would fly out of Orlando early Wednesday, and as we were headed that way to meet up with our other daughter Colleen we would just go down early and enjoy some pool time at the hotel.
 So the boys left out Wednesday and Amanda and Pat drove down that evening, Colleen, her hubby Goyo, and sons Lukas, and Isaiah arrived after midnight.
 Amanda had laid out plans for four full days at Disney. Amanda takes after her mother in planning vacations, it is go, go, and go. But really she did a great job getting things figured out.
 Day one had us touring Animal Kingdom, that was a good plan as we didn't have to arrive to early and that park closes early. I will let Wendy's pics tell about the parks.
 Day two we got going early and hit Magic Kingdom. With the entry passes we had we were allowed to schedule 3 fast track passes allowing you to bypass some long waits. But you also had to schedule these in a one hour time frame so again the planning part was key.

 That day we headed out of the park for supper, Wendy and I headed back to the hotel to relax but the kids returned to the park for more rides and the night closing show.
 Up again early day 3 had at Epcot, we had planned on hitting one of the popular rides early before long lines formed. Bad luck as the ride was having issues and would not open til after 10.

 We enjoyed Epcot and most notably the Soaring ride, although we learned you might not want to do this on a Saturday. Pre wedding parties and groups seemed to make drinking around the park quite the game.
 Last day!! we still had Hollywood Park left. This day Amanda switched a early fast pass to allow a little sleep in. We had a nice time there and really enjoyed the Fantasmic closing ceremony there.
Trading Disney pins

Jedi training

Fantasmic show

 One other nice feature we took in while at the parks was a Disney photo pass service, they have photographers placed at entrances and various locations. We could walk and easily get our whole group shots plus they had features for some fun shots adding images.
 We were so happy to be able to spend this time with the kids, what great fun and the memories we will have.