Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree…

One of our family traditions is to go out and get our own live Christmas tree whenever life permits.  There have been some Christmases in recent years where we have done little to nothing for Christmas.  Life just gets in the way sometimes.  This year we were fortunate.  Any year we can, we go to Seiler’s Christmas Tree Farm.  Now that the cat out of the bag they’ll probably be famous because of my blog post.  Really, both of you try not to go at once!  If you do though, here’s the address: 4100 Jakes Colony Rd, Seguin, TX 78155.  I even found a video somebody took of the place.

Now that my youngest daughter is testing her wings, it’s a treat for the family to be together.  She came home from college over the Thanksgiving holiday and we went to Seilers that Saturday and got our tree for the year.  Picking the family tree is part fun and part chore.  It has to be the perfect tree.  Some years, most years, it takes quite a while for us to locate it.  This year we found two almost right off the bat.  Here’s the one we picked.

The Christmas Tree for 2013

The Christmas Tree for 2013

Finding the tree fast was not the only strange thing about our visit this year.  The tree farm is way closer to our house now that we live in Seguin.  What used to be an all day affair only took us a couple of hours this time.  Still, it worked out very well and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  We gathered ’round the tree for some pictures before cutting.

Mary and I

Mary and I

Mary and the kids

Mary and the kids

And now for the traditional moment.

Where does it say "cut here"?

Where does it say “cut here”?

Looks like we should cut it here.

I have no idea...

I have no idea…

Just a little more…

TIMBER!

TIMBER!

TIIIIIIIIMMMMMMMMMMBBBBBEEEEEEERRRRRRR!!!!

Hauling off the bounty

Hauling off the bounty

Bagged one!

It’s times like these that it’s very handy to own a pickup truck.  As you can see in the video, they shake out all the dead needles and whatever else isn’t well attached to the tree.  Then they net it and you take it from there.  It’s a neat place and if you live around the San Antonio area, I highly recommend making it a Christmas tradition with your family.

The tree all dressed up!

The tree all dressed up!

Here’s the tree all dressed up in it’s Christmas finery.  Unfortunately, we have to make the bottom few feet dog tail resistant.  We lose a few ornaments every year to destructo tails.  This year has been no exception!  We still think it’s a darn fine tree though!

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Name the Twins!

This post has a poll for you to pick your favorite lamb twin names of all the suggestions we’ve gotten.  If you see this on Facebook you may have to click through to get to the poll.  Let the contest begin!

P.S. There were a lot of suggestions of varying quality.  Some, while humorous, stood no chance with the family. Take Dinner and Supper for instance 🙂  Cute, but a no go.  So, we whittled down the list to stuff we knew we could live with.  Thank you all for your various suggestions.


Merry Christmas Everyone!

From the Seguin Millers to all our family and friends, we wish you all a Very Merry Christmas this year!  I hope yours is awesome!

Here’s some shots of our tree cutting trip this year.  I’ll post that story tonight.  Time for pancakes now!

Mary and I with the tree of 2013

Mary and I with the tree of 2013

Mary, Rachel and Rebecca with the tree of 2013

Mary, Rachel and Rebecca with our tree.

The tree all dressed up!

The tree all dressed up!


Name That Lamb!… Err, make that Lambs!!

Winter lambing season is in full swing now.  We are 3 for 3 4 for 4 so far.  We may only have one or two more to go this season but I’m not sure.  This little gal was born sometime this morning.  Introducing, ol’ whatsername!

New Black Belly

New Black Belly

Name wise, nothing seems to have jumped right out at us this go around.  Any of you readers want to take a crack at a name?  I’m all ears.  She seems healthy and like her cousins, is fearless and curious.  She’ll come right up to you.

Where to now Mom?

Where to now Mom?

Cute as a button (of course, they all are).  This makes three new additions, putting the herd up to 22 er 23.

Proud Mom, Mothering

Proud Mom, Mothering

 

HOLD EVERYTHING!!!

Turns out there are TWO!  This little one above was with Mom all day.  Not even a hint of another one.  We delivered a couple of last seasons ewes to a friend today and came back tonight to feed (more on that later).  While Mary was getting the feed I was in the corral area with the sheep.  I started hearing a baby lamb baaing.  From the woods behind the corral!  And I could see all three new ones and it wasn’t any of them.  You know when you have that moment when something is introduced to you and you know that’s just not right?  That was that moment.  I started frantically looking for this baby.  I kept hearing it.  I shot out the back of the corral and started combing the woods and then, there it was!  Identical to the other one except it’s all alone out here.  Ruh roh raggie!  Now I’m wondering if we had a mom down somewhere.  I had not yet put two and two together that morning mama had had twins.  We kept counting the sheep and coming up one short.  Just for your information, sheep are kinda hard to count in a herd.  Not exactly sure why they chose them for sleep inducement. Seems like that would frustrate the tar out of you!  So the whole family is out looking around the woods for this missing Mom.  Finally, the herd gathers and we count, and count, and count again.  At last we’re satisfied that we have the right numbers.  This must be a twin.  We tried to get it to join mama.  Mama was OK with it being there but wasn’t being real helpful.  The new lamb kept trying to suckle a ram.  Wrong sack dude…  We decided to call it for tonight and bring it in.  We’re working on bottle feeding it now and will try to isolate it tomorrow with mom so it can bond.  Wish us luck with that and pray if you do, we really don’t need another house raised lamb!  Without further ado, I introduce, thing two!

Thing Two

So give us suggestions for Thing One and Thing Two.  Good grief, I need some sleep now.  Ranch drama is draining…


Holy Dog Fights Batman!

A first for the Double P.  Just had to run outside with rifle in hand.  Lots of barking and some yelping going on.  Youngest was still up and came with me.  We grabbed the 23,000 lumen “make it daylight” light and hauled butt down the driveway.  Only 2 dogs present.  No other critters to be seen until I shone the light across the neighbors fields.  Then, eyes.  Lots of em!  I am figuring coyotes.  The problem with the “make it daylight” light is it lasts maybe 20 minutes on the battery I got.  If that.  We decided to investigate and took the car down the road to see what was behind those shiny eyes.

Deer.

A whole herd of em.  Not a concern in the world either.  OK, so my heart has slowed down some now.  Best go back and take a recon around the ranch.  Nothing, nada, zip.  No other dogs, no sheep, no chicken noises.  All quiet.  I presume (never a good thing to do but doing it anyway) that the other dogs are with the sheep down at the back of the property.  Queeny and Balto (the derp) were the two alerting when we came outside.  I have no idea what caused the yelping, or who did it but it sounded like it came from the front of the property.  Yet we saw nothing there.  Hmmm.  No more excitement tonight I hope!

Update –

As of this morning it appears that all is well.  Heard all the chickens & ducks.  Seen all 4 dogs, the llama, a couple of emu, and most of the sheep.  Guess whatever it was last night wasn’t us.


Winter Weather at the Double P

All day long it’s hovered around 33.  The temp is dropping now so tonight might get durn cold.  For South Texas that is.  Still, this weather can kill you if you’re not careful.  So be careful out there folks.  At least we’re not iced in like the folks north of us.  Lots of stuff shut down but good around the Dallas area.

We had to brave the terrible winter weather to go feed tonight.  No sheep to be found.  They go hide in the woods down the hill when it gets cold.  They come when you call them though.  “Here sheep sheep sheep!”  Brings them up as long as it’s dinner time.  While we were feeding, we walked around breaking open the water troughs.  I suck a rock on this one so you could see it’s iced over.

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There it is with one of my farm implements next to it.

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Floating rock.  🙂

The polar bears don’t seem to mind the weather at all.  I caught them playing tug earlier today.

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Tonight would sure be a nice night to spend by the fire.  Unfortunately, that would probably burn down the trailer since we don’t have a fire place yet, LOL.  I’m gonna get a wood stove someday though.


Culinary Adventures with Emus

I mentioned recently that our emus* were laying eggs.  I don’t know about you, but I love me some eggs!  We’re trying to hatch these eggs but honestly, I don’t think we’ll get any from this season.  They don’t sit on them until there’s enough and we’ve been hovering around freezing.  The dogs have also been stealing them.  I have managed to collect a few though and I do have one that I’m trying to incubate.  I suspect its not viable but what the heck, I can try.  The others?  Well, that’s where this story comes in.  Time to share breakfast.

Unbeknownst to many people, virtually none of our food actually comes from the grocery store.  Some folks are just not aware that there are things outside of those stores you can eat.  Unless it’s at convenience stores, hey, everybody loves a twinkie right?  Anywho, these emu eggs came right from my back yard.  I wanted to save the shells of any one I used so the first thing I did was to carefully remove one end of the egg.

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I wanted to see the yolk intact so I made the hole rather large.  I won’t do that again as the only way I’d eat these things is scrambled.  They’re a bit too large to do over easy!  It’s still hard to tell scale in this shot.

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You can see a little better here, the knife I used to “saw” the end of the egg off next to the kitchen sink.  The white piece on the bowl is a piece of the internal membrane of the egg.

Emu egg membrane

Emu egg membrane

Here’s a better example showing the egg membrane.  That thing is thick.  It also doesn’t come off very easily.

Chicken egg vs. Emu egg

Chicken egg vs. Emu egg

Here’s a good shot showing the difference between this egg and regular chicken eggs.

Scrambled and ready to pour

Scrambled and ready to pour

Looks pretty much like any bowl of scrambled eggs now.

Fried sausage

Mmmm, fried sausage!

Prepping the pan is vitally important.  See the disclaimer at the end*.

Pouring...

Pouring…

Time to fry.

Frying...

Frying…

Nearly done now.

Sausage and eggs

Sausage and eggs

Breakfast is ready!  And that’s the way we role here at the Double Portion Ranch.  Let me tell you, one emu egg is a lot more than a double portion.  I bet it could feed four people.  Normal people that is.  Probably just one teenager though.  Or me before my surgery.  Now that much really does fill me up.

* Disclaimer – No emus were killed, hurt, injured, emotionally scarred, insulted, or otherwise suffered in any way for the making of this post.  They may have been a little irritated with  me, but then, they seem a bit perpetually irritated so how should I know???  The egg, however, didn’t make it… Neither did the pig, it was fully committed.