Saturday, September 17, 2011

the new farm

Olivia and I have drawn up our plans for the back yard garden. It is going to be nestled right in our back yard on both sides of our porch. I am sure the HOA will just love what I am about to do to the place, but we plan on making it look pretty in hopes they won't notice the vegetables! Also, we are hoping to get a spot in the farmers market line up! We apply for a spot in Early March so we need to "rock and roll" as Sydney and I like to say. This is going to be as much a project for the kids as it will be for myself. Everyone can help in the garden and as the kids get older they can help sell and learn a ton in the process. I hope the farmers market board is as sold on the idea as I am! Now, what to call our little booth? If you have any ideas feel free to send them my way.

Monday, August 1, 2011

We are all settled into the old house, which is now the new house, and it feels great to be back! Olivia starts Kindergarten in 17 days and she is very excited. She is begging to ride the bus to school, which is so close to our house I might just be able to let her! 5 years ago I would have probably thrown up my prenatal vitamin at the thought of my precious baby riding without a seat belt or car seat with other kids who no doubt carry toxic levels of germs. However, in light of school starting, there are always lessons to be learned. Over the past 5 years I have learned that the more I let go and say yes to harmless things like the school bus, the more joy everyone experiences. I will get to stay home while Olivia harasses the bus driver until they let her win for everyone! Seriously though, she will have the time of her life on the bus while I cry through a box of Kleenex. Other lessons that have been learned here lately are so simple (do you get the irony here?!) that even my 5 year old bus rider can put it together. "We should have just stayed put" is how Olivia layed it out for me. The hard and fast truth is we should have just stayed put, or to put a more positive spin on it, we should strive to be content where we are with what we have. Even when Green Acres is staring you down, calling your name (Justin's name...I never heard it call mine) we should evaluate our blessings and be content with them. I'll admit, my downfall in the whole move was the granite counter tops. How retarded that a slab of rock tempted me enough to uproot my kids, stuff, dog and move to the middle of NOWHERE. Ironic that my simple Formica lured me back...not really, but the lesson I have learned through this process is to just be content...or as Mary Engelbreit said on a coffee mug once, "Bloom where you are planted." So in the name of country, cowboys and cowgirls, we are going to grow a garden in our back yard right here on the 14th hole of the golf course and make the country proud! We are going to be content with what we have here in the city and exercise the life skills we learned on the farm. We might even raise a chicken or two as long as Maples Properties doesn't find out! We are going to have the best of both worlds Miley Cirus and as the big yellow bus pulls away from Deer Lake you'll hear Olivia holler, "Yehaw!"

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Whoa Nelly!

If you haven't already heard through the grapevine, we are moving back to town! That's right, I just can't hack it out here! Deep down, I think Justin was over it too...there are just so many aspects of a farm that require careful attention and care. When you have 3 kids to care for those cows, chickens, garden weeds etc etc become neglected and nag at you. Once you finally get out there to tend to "some" of what needs to be done you really only do a half way job and will have to redo it later. What I'm trying to say is its not simple. We moved out here to simplify and thus far my life has moved to the opposite end of that continuim. I actually don't think I want to be on the simplified end either after being out here. I think I'll strive for somewhere in the middle. My need for action and adventure won't allow me to completely simplify I have a feeling. So its back to the city lights we go! We'll be back though, for weekend country adventures. But for now, my HOA and community pool are calling my name!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Windex and Sunscreen

The story begins in McAlester, OK. Daniel (my brother) and I were young kids (I was probably 10 and Daniel 7). We were sleeping over at my Grandmommie's house, or we suppost to be anyways. There wasn't much sleep to be had after we saw not one, but three HUGE spiders crawl out from under a night stand that was nestled right next to the bed. We both jumped up in search of something to put the creepy crawlies to death with but were both so chicken that we didn't want to have to touch them. So, we raided my Grandmommie's cleaning cabinet and found what we knew would kill the spiders, yet not stain her carpet...Windex! We sprayed the suckers down and wouldn't you know, they shriveled up and died! Success! Fast forward 2 decades later and I'm still having similar showdowns here at the Ponderosa. It was just last night that I couldn't sleep. Too much dark chocolate after 3 P.M. will do that apparently. I figured this out during my 5th trip to the bathroom...I also figured out that I had company. I could here a clicking sound that seemed to be coming from my bathroom vanity, but when I put my ear up to the cabinet door I discovered it was coming from the wall behind the vanity. I wish I could tell you it was just a big spider like I saw at my Grandmommie's house, but no...what I heard was the sound of critter teeth! I know, it was awful and it was trying to get into my bathroom. So, I scoured my bathroom for something harsh and aerosol...bada bing, bada boom I found the sunscreen. I slid as far under the vanity as I could, found a crack around the water pipe and emptied the can of UVA protection hopefully drowning the critter! It worked beautifully, but I mean business...if I hear critter teeth again tonight my pepper spray is ready and waiting! This must be one of the joys of country living! Yehaw!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

antonym of Simplify

That would be chaos! The opposite of simplify is chaos. Simplification is a mere dot on the horizon right now at the ponderosa...we have come out of our winter hibernation and tackled every project possible all at once! Why are us Hayden people so prone to that? We saw the sun and took off running for the green house, lumber yard, corn fields etc. etc. As you can see in the photos, Olivia has been gardening in her jammies, Brody has been sampling the dirt we are planting in and Sydney...well she is usually the one that I am running around looking for! The kids scatter as soon as the door opens! So far, Farmer JD and Kris have dug the flower beds, our newest addition Farmer Pam has planted most Holly bushes, hostas, knock out roses to name a few. I am excited to see the finished project! And of course, I will post finished flower bed pictures. The corn fields however won't be seen for awhile...the veggie garden too for that matter. Can't wait to see that project take off too! When that is all done, what will I do next?? I will come up with something that is for sure!

Now for the cat...Why is Bunny in this post? Well, she had an adventure this week that brought tears to Farmer Justin's eyes. That's right, he cried when we couldn't find her! The story goes a little something like this: Justin, Kris and Bob went fishing. They got home late, long after I had put the cat and dog in the garage for the night. When they arrived they opened the garage letting Bunny out. Bunny eventually found her way into Bob's car. Bob became tired so he decided to head home (with Bunny!). He discovered her after he had drove off, so he let her out near the back of the property instead of bringing her back to the house...assuming she was an old farm cat that knew every acre of the farm. However, Bunny is just a kitten and was once an inside cat before she was a farm cat. She doesn't have a clue about nature let alone how to survive the night. Bob told Justin what he had done and Justin too assumed Bunny would find her way home. The next morning when she was nowhere in sight, he (Justin) began to cry. "I loved that cat," he sobbed. We were both sad, mostly because Bunny is Olivia's baby and breaking that news to her would be the worse part of Bunny missing. So, Justin and Kris took off on the 4-wheeler while the kids and I took off with the jogging stroller hollering for her. When our efforts were obviously in vain, we changed up our search party tactics. We all piled in the car and drove around the farm hollering some more. Finally, I got out with Sydney near the spot where Bob let Bunny out. We stood there hollering for her and I swore I heard a cat noise, but Sydney is two and noisy. Finally, another search party member drove up to help. Nick, our friend and the mechanic was on the scene. He was not even out of his truck for 30 seconds (no exaggeration) when his ears perked up. He said, "do you hear that?" And the next thing I know he was running, then climbing a tree. He was half way up the tree before I saw Bunny at least 30 feet up in the air and stuck! Nick got her down and put her in the arms of a very happy Olivia! Thanks Nick! Now the explanation of Bunny in the jogging stroller...that is her bed! And this picture was taking after she was rescued! We are glad to have her is true what they don't know what you have until it is gone...almost gone in our case! I love Bunny, but didn't realize it until I thought she was gone forever! Sniff sniff and yehaw!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

look what the wind blew in

It is usually very windy at the farm. For whatever reason the wind blows harder here and does so everyday. However, today it nearly knocked you over to step outside...I'm talking gale force! Our pond was white capping! AND, a pelican blew in! See for yourself! It seems to be happy here. Justin is worried it will eat all of the fish in the pond, but I think it looks pretty on the water. There was a random Canadian Goose that swam over to check out the new bird. They looked at each other at they passed in the water. It was sheer entertainment and I captured as much of it as my poor little toddler mutated camera would allow! Of course I had to include a picture of my favorite girls! They thoroughly enjoyed watching the bird show!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Forgot some

Farmer Olivia and her crew at the pond, Farmer Brody kissing himself in the mirror, Farmer Sydney and last but not least is a picture of the girls with Bunny. Disclaimer: They were not, nor have they ever driven the 4-wheeler. This 4-wheeler was actually abandoned by its owner, the land survey man. We have not heard from him since...weird. Only in our neck of the woods.


The new 411 at the ponderosa is as follows: The garden is going next to the you can see in the picture it is not much yet. We will be getting to that soon, probably, maybe. The two little trees are going to stay as they will serve as some decor to my garden; possible shade too. The Hayden Machinery Shop is underway as you can see in the photo. The poles have been dug and set; praise the Lord! The clutter and fumes are ruffling this hens feathers. Can't wait for my barn house to look like a real home and not a shop. Speaking of hens, the chicks are nearly grown and are living in the coop now (as pictured with the girls and Bunny). They like it just fine I assume...nothing has tried to kill them yet so life is good! Waiting for eggs...we have months to wait, but waiting nonetheless. That is all for now, yehaw!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Lucy Cricket

Introducing...Lucy Cricket! Fresh from my childhood stories to you! Farmer Olivia and I have saddled up together to create fun and exciting tales from our rainy day kitchen that star Lucy Cricket herself! Check out the tab and practice clicking on it...we'll be posting stories pronto!

Holding up the farm!

This weekend, I held up the farm all by myself! I fed the cat, dog, chickens, cows and kids all by myself (ok, maybe my mom was here Friday night and a little on Saturday)! Nevertheless, I tended to the farm stuff solo! The toot toot sound you hear is me tooting my own horn! My five year old photographer did a pretty good job too capturing it all on film too! Toot toot for farmer Olivia! The white cow is the infamous George and the two black cows are Ivory and Sally. Their babies, Rocket and Harriet, are in the brush behind them enjoying the shade. It was a balmy 70 degrees here on the Ponderosa today and all was well...except for a rotten case of the runs that poor farmer Sydney (aka dung bettle) is battling! If she wasn't so interested in all things GROSS maybe she would have a happy tummy! Yehaw anyways!

Friday, March 11, 2011

I just love these pictures...these were taken last April the day before my due date. We were trying to induce labor with worked for Sydney, but not with Brody! We walked through the creek the day before my due date with Syd and she was born promptly on her due date! Brody waited until a WEEK later beyond the due date!! However, this was the only creek walk! Can't wait until spring and some more exploring of the farm!

farmer cooking

It is what I do best...I have the heat cranked up and am getting it cooked! If you are not my dad, you might not appreciate this post! Here I am anyways! Now for the packages of seeds...they are so pretty I just can't tear them open! I will have to save them for something someday that will be really important! They are heirlooms seeds, which means... if you didn't already know, that they are old and unmodified. They will fit nicely into my farmer style of cooking! Next step is to build the beds, which will be raised, and mix dirt and seeds with some of George's poo. We'll have veggies in no time!

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Add to the list of critters living out here at the Ponderosa a cat...her name is Bunny! She snuggles Olivia the most and seems to favor her even though she puts that cat through some rather rigorous "training" sessions! So far Bunny has learned to shake and roll her head to Olivia's specific commands! Its pretty entertaining! However, Olivia is VERY allergic to cats...she is breaking out into hives, sneezing, runny nose etc. anytime she spends a lot of time in Bunny's face, which is most of the time...what to do what to do. We need a mouser, but Justin too has cat allergies. I should mention that I didn't bring her into the house to be an inside cat. She was given to us by a friend who tried to break her into the outdoors, but she has been an inside cat most of her life. She is a good inside cat too. Dilemma! Here are some pictures of Bunny and the 5 chicks we took in, all in the same day!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Ponderosa update

A few new developments going on here at the ponderosa. 1) We are getting day old chicks tomorrow, should be interesting! 2) We now have 5 (soon to be 4) cows. George's days are numbered (ground chuck and filets for everyone and organic matter for my garden). Hariet, Ivory, Rocket and Sally are the newbies out here. They are really pretty, much healthier looking than our last heard. 3) Olivia released her pet frog Sally (ironic name I know) when she discovered it wasn't eating the dead flies she placed in the container for her. She was worried it might starve to death so she reluctantly let it go this afternoon. 4) Olivia is going to have milk cows at her Hollywood home. She decided this today! 5) The pad for Justin's shop is underway and his office will be out of the kitchen very soon (who hoo!)! Pictures of the critters to follow!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I know that Cinderella had mice that fondly referred to her as Cinderelly, but not this lady!!!! As of yesterday, there is a dead one inside our wall in the kitchen. Yes, I know this sounds crazy, but there is no denying the smell of something dead and that is exactly the whiff you catch when sticking your nose inside my lazy susan. I've scoured that cabinet and found nothing but mismatched lids and containers. So, the only thing I can think of is that the mangy (disgusting, putrid) thing somehow climbed in between the drywall and the outside of the house and is now stuck there rotting. I informed Justin of this catastrophe when he came in yesterday and this is his response: "So. Cinderella had mice and she even talked to them." Lovely.

location, location, location

Yesterday we walked parts of the farm to scout out possible garden sites. There are three possible sites that are close to the house. One of them being right out the back door, the other would be right behind the stone house (changing its name to the garden house) and the last possibility would be in a field next to the house. The back yard site would be very convenient, but I wouldn't be able to make it as big as I want it to be. No room for future growth in other words. If we ever did build an actual house on the farm the garden would have to be moved. However, it would be protected from the wind and would be awfully handy. The site behind the stone house would also not allow for growth in the future because of our plans for a gazebo and swim dock. However, it would allow me to store garden things in the stone house basement and there would be the retaining wall there for protection from critters as well as the stone house. The site in the field would be the best site for future expansion of the garden and I'd be able to lay it out according to the blue print you can see pictured. I got my inspiration from a lady in KY whose garden you can also see pictured. Today the girls helped me brainstorm what to plant in the garden. We made a collage as you can see. This got them excited about our future garden and our responsibilities as to pick a location. Feel free to place your vote for a stone house garden, back yard garden or no limits field garden! Farmer Sarah needs some input!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A tribute

Florida oranges are by far the best I've ever tasted. The tangerines and grapefruits were worth the drive! Thanks to farmer Mimi for making the drive with us! We couldn't have survived without you! Will Farmer Popie be brave enough to make a road trip with the Hayden clan? To quote your favorite cowboy, John Wayne, "Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway!"

Veggies and Vegas

During this 2 day drive home, I have been carefully crafting a masterpiece (in addition to avoiding the chore of driving)! Thanks to the new issue of Martha Stewart Living, I have a rough sketch of how I'm going to lay everything out. Fruit trees, summer and winter vegetables, berries and chickens will be hugged carefully by rose bushes and a fence of course to keep my kiddos corralled. I'll post a picture of my veggie vision as soon as farmerly possible. What does Vegas have to do with my garden? Nothing really. After I drew the garden "floor plan" I planned our next vaca to Vegas. Justin will have a convention to attend while we explore Hoover damn and compete in the Con Expo 5k! T-minus 30 days until the next road trip so I better get crackin' on all things garden and chickens once we roll into the ponderosa! Rollin' rollin' rollin'....rawhide!

Friday, February 18, 2011

-Ben Cartwright, on the Ponderosa

Feast thine eyes on a sight that approaches Heaven itself! That is what Ben said. Check it out by clicking on my latest link! I am headed home tomorrow and can't wait to see the farm!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

my moto

This is the focal point of my kitchen and my that we are out here, 30 minutes from most everything I have to keep it simple. Lately, I've been spending entire days at home without going ANYWHERE! I usually went somewhere daily when I lived in town. Now, I have to have a really good reason to load up the kids, the car and all of our bags that we must take along in order to be gone for the length of time a single errand trip to town requires. It is a process and a goal, I'm not simplified yet, but I'm getting there. I used to think life out here would be boring, but I have to say it is very nice, quiet and relaxing.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Barn house on the ponderosa

Here are some pictures of the barn house...the first level at least...all of the bedrooms are upstairs. Maybe I'll photograph them later. We moved in December 23rd and were pretty much settled in just in time for Christmas. Justin really wanted to have our first Christmas here and we actually pulled it off! I gotta say, after letting go of a significant amount resistance, things have fallen into place just like Justin said they would!