Who Wants Take-Out? No One’s Counting Duck.

“Who wants a Duck Supper?” asks Mr Weasel. His little family all seated around their cedar stump table, bibs on, fork and knife, up. Dancing in their seats, they lick their lips. Leaving the woods, merrily, Mr. Weasel skips through the tall field grass. Arriving at New O’Hana Farm, he easily slips under the fence. Tiptoeing past the giant geese, he sees the duck, selecting his prey. Back under the fence, he smells bigger predators slinking about. Careful to carry his families take-out for the night, he makes it home without even dropping a feather. Or, so he believes!

Every morning as the sun is rising brilliantly over the small mountains, we are feeding and watering our goats, dogs, and fowl that include geese, ducks, and chickens.

Photos of our Chicken Coop have shown that we have fences, locks, netting above their heads, and tree trunks along the bottom of the actual Chicken House.

To the side, and attached to The Chicken Coop, is a large yard where our geese and ducks live. On the North side, is a regular fence with logs and metal siding is secured with extra fencing and metal large staples to hold everything in and try to discourage coyote, weasels, possums, and raccoons to stay out. We have large, old, trees that run the fence on the west side, so some of the animals I listed can climb easily over.

Upon counting our ducks, and it was obvious before when even started counting them, we had lost one. Then another, and another. Each evening a thief would get under a couple of places in the fence, and have a Pekin Duck Supper. We thought something was coming over the fencing. To look around the yard, the small openings carved out by an animal were not obvious till we walked the grounds. Could it have been a weasel? Whatever it was, this varmint seems to work alone, taking a duck a night.

Fingers crossed and saying nightly prayers for protection, we have the same amount of ducks for a week now.

There will always be daily trials and tribulations. Knowing this, here are some pretty and fun photos. Positive and happy thoughts. May they fill your day! :)Jen

Meatloaf Recipe (it’s the best!!!) Homemade Recipe

Granny’s (my mom) Meatloaf is by far, the best our family has ever tasted!

Raised in Indianapolis, Indiana, my mom’s family could not afford to burn or waste food. She was not allowed to learn to cook in her kitchen growing up. When she married my dad, he was used to each meal being huge. He was raised on a farm, so you worked hard, and ate big. My mom taught herself to cook. Some of her earliest attempts to feed my dad, were thick coffee, and strange looking eggs. Determined to do her absolute best, she took ideas from recipe books that were given to her before and after she met dad.

They live with us on our New O’Hana Farm, TN, and I am able to look at some cookbooks that were her mamaw’s, mom’s and one’s my mom had as I grew up.

Here are a few recipe books and their version and wording for meatloaf.

I reminded my husband, Gary, (and had him laughing till tears appeared),“When I make my meatloaf, I am so sick to my stomach from just smelling it cook in the oven, that I have to go to bed.” I said.

Gary an I, were eating Granny’s Meatloaf, and we were secretly wondering if we could hide the leftovers behind the unsweet tea. No one drinks that tea, but me. We could have a late night snack! There were NO LEFTOVERS!

All four of us ate the entire platter of her meatloaf that night :)Jen

Keeping Mikey

From the beginning, we knew there was something special about one of our Pekin Ducks. She could not stand up, her little webbed feet turning in. She scooted around on her hocks and fell on her face. Her blacks eyes would look up at me, as she tried to hobble away. It broke my heart to think she would struggle with the other ducks as they left The Nursery and entered The Aviary.

When the Pekin Ducks first came to The Nursery, they were in large totes. Heat lamps were used for the first week, and once in awhile on super cold nights, temperatures dipping down to 32 degrees.

Quickly all the ducks and the geese went in to a fenced enclosure, with more room to grow feathers out of their soft downy fluff. The Pekin Ducks began to turn from a soft yellow, to snowy white. Except, we had to make a decision about Mikey.

From the moment we noticed she could not walk, there was another duck our oldest daughter named Meep-Meep. When we would clean and water their area, Meep-Meep would come at us, positioning herself between Mikey and us! Meep-Meep was the Guard Duck for Mickey ๐Ÿ™‚

When we would enter The Nursery, Meep-Meep would see us and start making the meep meep sounds, thus how she was named. She would even make the sounds when we were unlocking the door, almost as if saying hello! We decided to let Mikey and Meep-Meep stay together in one of the large totes as companions for about a week, then Meep-Meep went in to the fenced enclosure.

This brought up the question of what to do with Mikey? There was a family that took in ducks with leg problems. They already had 3 ducks with the same deformity as Mikey.

One night, as I cleaned her area, I told my husband I had named her Mikey after my brother, Michael, who was handicapped. Michael had passed away right before my husband and I had met. I thought Mikey would be the perfect name whether our duck was male or female.

When I shared my reason for her name, he said Mikey would have her own place to live her life her on our New O’Hana Farm, TN. She lives close to The Aviary, separated by her new friends in The Chicken Coop. The chickens sit by the fence and gently cluck and coo to her. Their sounds reassuring her, as Mikey grows and lives her life at her own pace. You can see our English Bulldog, Daisy Gentle Lee, loves to listen to their sounds. I wonder if she knows what they are saying to one another? :)Jen

Standing Where They Were-Are-And to What Brings Us to the End-Then Back Again

(If you do not understand the title, please read all the way through) I could apologize for all the photos of my blessings, but once you read my words, I know you will only be picturing all your memories. Your family, friends, and blessings.

The soothing sounds of The Piano Guys Radio on SiriusXM, I glanced over to photos on my computer waiting for me to share. The faces of family made me proud, squeezed my heart and filled it with JOY!

All of them, this, all of you, Blessings.

Precious family has walked these grounds, Granny stood here in our kitchen making a Pineapple Upside Down Cake.

Pappy sat, praying, his hand on the carved cross outside.

This is where our children walk, working hard on our farm.

Here is where our children play, learning to feed the animals, sweet little voices. Their laughter floating in the air. (I hope it never disappears) I wish to bottle it and listen, every day, to their play. :)Jen

Below is the walking path my husband is working hard on each night after a full day of work in Nashville, TN. We have held hands many times walking the dream of that invisible path, and now it is becoming more than a vision. Not only this path that will circle our whole farm for all to enjoy, but our whole life is our path to enjoy walking together.

Which brings me to this, the end of these photos, but not to the memories and more to make! Always be happy to see one another. Take time to talk in person or on the phone. We need to hear each other’s voices. We need to share not only our day, but our interests, our clever, funny ways, our talents, what makes us laugh and cry, which builds memories. Not only on holidays, but day to day. Reach out to someone. Learn from them, and they will learn from you. :)Jen