Wheres Ray/Wendy yr 2

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Christmas on the Farm

Hi all,
Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a joyous new year soon.
We had a great Christmas but things didn't look to promising for a bit. Seems I picked up a respiratory infection again( yeah it was just last year at this time to), anyway we went to get checked out and ended up getting admitted. As I have a form of COPD things like that can be trouble.
We opted to go to the small clinic/hospital in Live Oak. In two days it worsened and I ended up getting transferred to Lake City where they have a pulmonologist on staff. What a good move that turned out to be, like going from the motel 6 to the Ritz.
 They had two different Drs. monitoring my care pretty tight, but with seeing two sometimes I felt like I was getting two stories. The early doctor seeing me at 6 am would say I was pretty bad and probably be here a while. Then the other guy would come in during the evening and tell me I was sounding better.
fun, fun
 So with Christmas fast approaching Friday afternoon I was able to get released. Not clear out of the woods though I would need oxygen at home for a bit, and with insurance companies already on break they had to pull some strings hard to get this setup. Praise God they got it done, I was able to get back home and be with loved ones for the holiday. A lot of things go through ones mind at times like this and surely puts Christmas in a different perspective.
 Enough of that on with the fun stuff, weather here for Christmas was a sunny 80 degrees, for sure the warmest we have ever experienced.
Took a ride and found a few local displays.

 Our tradition is a big ol Christmas brunch and ham dinner later in the day. Since we went fulltime a skype call to the kids in Wisconsin is now a tradition to.

 So Wendy and I are on deck skyping away when Amanda steps out, seems she had a feeling about one of her goats and sure enough she comes running and screaming babies!!! How awesome a set of twins, a baby girl and boy( Holly and Jolly).
Phoebe, Holly, n Jolly
 That excitement having made our day we got back to skyping and got to see our grandsons decipher their Christmas present. Colleen had been giving them letters throughout the morning waiting for them to unscramble the word Disney World. Cool a February vacation that we get to join along on.
 Not quite done with our excitement yet. On Monday, we noticed another of the goats segregated from the herd and acting a bit strange, sure enough Pat heard some goat scream in the barn and off we run getting to witness our first baby goat being brought into this world. Wow, we were a bit nervous as this goat a couple years ago had had a still born that required pulling from the womb, but she did okay and Tinkerbell (girl) is happy and a pretty silver like her momma.

Blanche and Tinker Bell
 Amanda and Pats plans for the goats are to maintain a herd of 20 or so, breed and sell off boy goats(she has 3 boys separated for studs). She has a male fainter goat and babies from him sell nicely. At this time not getting into the milking thing.
 So feeling better every day I need to get back at my projects here before my rent goes up.
 Again a Happy New Years to Y'all thanks for following along this year.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016


Hi all,
We're back! We had a great time on our Jamaican vacation and though we did have wifi at the hotel I made the decision to be internet free for the week.
 We made the trip with daughter Amanda and hubby Pat, also along was Pats mom Gale and grandson Alex with gf Emily.
Gale, Amanda, Pat, Wendy, Alex and Emily
 We stayed at the Holiday Inn in Montego Bay, it is pretty big place with seven different buildings. 
 One really nice thing there was a small island with chairs setup for sunning or napping in the shade and you could snorkel right around the island.
 Nightly entertainment provided some neat local dance and drum groups performing. Some of the singing or local bands not quite as entertaining, but overall we enjoyed most of it.
 Food was plentiful offering an all day buffet and four different dinner restaurants, one offered Jamaican fare, one Italian, one Japanese and seafood at the other. They also featured a jerk hut, a hamburger grill, and a ice cream and hot dog hut. Along with five bars sprinkled about we never had to go far to satisfy any craving.
 Amanda and Pat had been to Jamaica a few years earlier so one good part of this was Amanda had met a local tour guide and she was able to set up a couple day excursions with him.
 We quickly learned this was the best way to travel as the vehicles driver is on the right and they travel on the left side of the road, just imagine coming into a roundabout.
 Lindsey was our tour guide and he quickly made us all feel welcome. Although a born Jamaican he has spent time working on Disney cruise ships and some other time in Florida. He was very informative on Jamaican history and culture. He also had good knowledge of the plant life and kept spewing interesting facts along the way.
lots of fruit stands

jack fruit

 Our first excursion was a place called The Blue Hole just outside the port city of Ocho Rios about a hour and a half drive away. Most of the drive was along the coast just heading inland after Ocho Rios. Things then quickly turned quite interesting,  we rounded a turn in the road and there stood  Brownie Man selling- well you know, special brownies. Sorry, he came upon us so fast we didn't get a pic. We got a little culture shock learning that marijuana is not much of a crime here, people are allowed two ounces for personal use and can have 3 plants at home.
 At the Blue Hole a guide led you up stream hiking and as you made the return trip you were able to leap into the deep pools created by the falls. We then stopped at Scotchies a favorite local jerk restaurant.

 Our other excursion was a packed day, we headed across the island our first stop was YS Falls, another beautiful mountain stream with cool waterfalls.
 Next we made a pontoon boat ride on the Black River traversing through a mangrove. There we saw crocodile, egrets, and herons along the scenic route.

 Not near done yet we were treated to a fresh lobster lunch at a beachfront bar. From there we caught a small narrow fishing boat for a ride out to the famous Pelican Bar. The bar is made on stilts about 3/4 mile out from shore. It is on a large sand bar and we were able to snorkel around or just stand in the warm water and drink.

 Traveling around the island is an adventure itself, road are narrow and repairs are almost non existent. When you get to populated areas it gets even more fun with pedestrians blindly crossing almost daring you to hit them.
 Our last day we made a change of plans having Lindsay give us a small tour of Montego Bay and a few city sites. He took us to the oldest church in Jamaica that has been holding services 220 years. Amazing fact of that they have had only 22 priests in that time.
 We then took a small tour of a beautiful old resort Rose Hill. It is built high on a hill overlooking the city and Montego Bay.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Working on the farm

Hi all,
Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and didn't over indulge to much. Ours was pretty good, Wendy did the bulk of the cooking with the rest of us pitching in where we could. We cooked our turkey a bit different this year, soaking it in a brine and seasoning for 17 hours before cooking. It turned out fantastic, so moist not needing to pour any gravy on it.
 We have been keeping pretty busy on the farm, Amanda has a few build projects and I enjoy building things. Wendy has helped out in the house with some deep cleaning which she might not enjoy as much. We have also been working on a long project painting the fences, this one will take some time as there is a lot of fence.
New hay feeder
Package box
LOTS of fence to paint

 We tease Amanda as being a slave driver but we don't mind helping out and earning our keep.
 She had an electrician come over from work and we roughed in a plan to get juice to the orchard area where we have the camper parked. We are now just running a long cord from the barn and watching our usage. We eat and shower at the house, it is working out okay. Amanda even set Wendy up a place for Wendy to do her baskets, how cool is that?
 Also we have been busy changing our domicile to here. We had been having issues with getting Wendy health insurance in South Dakota so we thought getting a physical address would help. The change has gone better than we thought as Live Oak is a small town so the DMV is easy to deal with.
 It hasn't been all work though, Wendy and I took a drive one day checking out the local springs. It has been very dry here only raining when the two hurricanes rolled through, so the springs were extremely low. We haven't hit the Suwannee River for a trip yet but it to looks very low.

 Monday welcomed another new member to Armadillo Acres as Daisey had a little boy. Boys are nice when they are little but Amanda quickly learned they needed separation and you don't need to many. This little guy she will keep til weaned then sell off. His mom is a fainter and the daddy is 1/2 fainter so they bring decent money when selling. If you never heard of fainting goats these goats actually do faint or freeze up when startled, this was part of the story line in the George Clooney movie Men Who Stare At Goats which I'm sure everyone saw.lol

 Oh, big news for us Amanda has planned a Jamaica trip and we leave this Saturday. Wendy and I thought we might do a cruise while here then Amanda came up with the idea of an all inclusive resort so we thought why not. We have not done the inclusive thing before and it has been 10 years since we did the cruise.
 So Saturday we fly out of Orlando with Amanda and Pat, his mom Gayle, and so cool we are meeting her son Alex in Jamaica. Alex and girlfriend Emily will be flying down from Wisconsin and only be able to spend til Tuesday( we will be there the week) needing to get back for school, but it will be great to spend time with them.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Home on the farm

Hi all,
We extended one more day at Betty's because of a nasty rain. We then drove to Fontainebleau State Park, just north of New Orleans. We had thought to stay a couple days here but ended up just hanging around for one night. It seems like a nice park and has a excellent bike trail going through the park. We will have to keep this in mind for a longer stay.
 Our next plan was a couple beach days, we are always able to get in at Rainbow Plantation in Summerdale. It is an Escapee park we have stayed at four different times now. Located about 40 minutes drive to Gulf Shores and during off season not a bad ride.
 We got one great day at the beach and the second day clouds seem to hang around. We got in a couple good walks so not all bad. We also made a stop at the famous Floribama Bar right on the border of Florida and Alabama. It is a unique place as it features several different bar areas in side, like they just kept adding on as they went along. We had one of their Bushwhacker drinks a frosty ice cream drink with a bunch of different rums in.
 So on Saturday we headed to our final destination for the winter, Live Oak Florida. Our oldest daughter Amanda had relocated here two years ago for work. We did come down the first year and volunteered at Suwannee River State Park about eight miles away. This time we are just going to set up in the back and work camp around here.
 Amanda has a cool little 30 acre farm and her menagerie of critters continues to grow. As we arrived her and hubby Pat were in the process of picking up the newest member an alpaca.

 So now the count is 17 goats, 2 donkey, 2 cows, 3 dogs,(and a partridge in a j.k.). So as I began writing this post and just got busy Amanda put a bid on two other alpaca and won so on Saturday we headed up to Douglas, Georgia to pick them up.
Our spot for the winter