Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Road to Paradise - Book Review


I'm on a role with reading books this year!  I set a goal to read 50 books this year and this book makes my 31st this year so far.  I might be able to reach my goal!  I've been tracking my goal and stats on Goodreads.  It's fun to see how many books I've read, on there.  I've even had some of the authors comment on my reviews!

My own love of the National Parks and as an avid visitor with our vintage Airstream, I intrigued by "The Road to Paradise, (Shadows of the Wilderness #1)  To my joy, this book did not disappoint my high expectations of being able to learn more about Mt. Rainier, and come to appreciate it's splendor as well!

In 1927, Margaret (Margie) Lane, a wealthy senator's daughter, escapes to Mt. Rainier, much to her mother's disapproval to study God's creation and learn from a real Park Ranger.  Ford Brayden, the ranger charged with making sure that Margie's stay is both enjoyable and profitable for the National Forest Service, is more interested in the mountain life than in taking care of a pampered debutante.  Will Margie stick out her new job as a "naturalist" for the park or will she run home to her glamorous life?  Can Ford keep her safe, and keep his own guard up from other people as he has for the last two years, following the untimely death of his father?

This story was a true page turner for me.   I finished the book in less than 24 hours, because I just had to find out how the story would unfold.  The descriptions of the mountains, the flora, the beauty from Margie's perspective gave me a feeling of sitting right there in the meadows and mountains with Margie!  I can't wait for my next visit to Mt. Rainier National Park to enjoy it's beauty from a new perspective!

I did receive a copy of this book from Multnomah Publishers in exchange for this review.  All opinions are my own, however!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Peace in the Valley - Book Review


Trey Walker Stafford, a country music star takes a break from his exciting and star struck music life to return home to face his past.  Although he struggles with his relationship with his rich uncle Sam Stafford, Trey knows he owes his life to Sam for rescuing him as an young orphan after his parents passed away.

Cowboy and rancher, Sam Stafford didn't approve of Trey's country music career when he left the family home, the Double S Ranch to pursue his dreams as a singer. This rift didn't stop Trey from striking out on his own to follow his passion, but left the two at odds for years.  After achieving country music fame and fortune, Trey is now returning to the home ranch, to save Sam's life and return the favor.  As the only match for a liver transplant for Sam, Trey is needs to face his past and give his liver for the man he owes his life too.

While waiting for the transplant to take place, Sam assigns Trey to make amends for the Stafford family to a neighboring single mother, Lucy Carlton by helping put her ranch in order.  Lucy, on the other hand trusts no one and is used to life being difficult, so doesn't trust the help that is suddenly being rained on her by the legendary Sam Stafford and family. Trey will gladly do anything that Sam asks, but will Lucy set her pride aside and trust Stafford family's help as genuine?  Will Trey Stafford, forgive his hurts from his past and find the peace he's seeking?

"Peace in the Valley" is the third book in the Double S. Ranch Series by Ruth Logan Herne.  Although the story line sounds cliché, from start to finish, this book was well written and kept me engaged.  I had a hard time putting this book down, because I wanted to find out how it turned out.  I've not read the first two books in this series, but I didn't feel like I couldn't understand the plot.  In fact, "Peace in the Valley" has definitely convinced me that I need to read the rest of the series!  I highly recommend this Christian Fiction book as an engoyable read!

Disclosure:  I received this book from WaterBrook Multnomah in exchange for this review.  I make a very small amount of compensation from Amazon when items are purchased from my links.  Thank you for supporting my little reading habit!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

DIY Pig Feeder

 
This is our second year of raising pigs for the fair.  We've had some bumps along the way, one of them was our homemade feeder of last year.  I tend to have ideas, and then Mr. Right gets the pleasure of trying to execute my ideas.  Most of the time it works out, but last year, our feeder was a fail.
 
This year, we need a feeder that can go a long period of time, since our pigs are not on our property where we live.  Our neighbor made a complaint about the smell of the pigs last year to our landlord, so the landlord told us no more pigs. (Keep in mind, there are only 2 pigs on 6 acres and they are only here for 5 months and then go to the 4-H fair and livestock auction) Thankfully, another neighbor graciously allowed us to pen up a corner of her horse pen, to put our pigs in. 
 
This year, I wanted to be sure that Mr. Right did a quality version of the pig feeder that would make it through the entire five months, and hopefully into the next few years!  We agreed on using a 50 gallon barrel in some way, shape or form.
 
 
We bought this one at North 40 for $35. Then of course, we both combed the internet to find a version of a feeder that we both thought would work. We finally decided on this version from  a YouTube video.
He makes this from scraps and things found around his homestead, but then uses some pretty expensive equipment to make it - which makes me smile! But we loved this idea and ran with it!
 
Here's what we gathered:
  • 50 Gallon Food Grade Barrel
  • Plywood for bottom and for flaps over feed - free from last year's sheep feeders
  • 6 - 2x4's
  • 2x10x10
  • 4 Hinges
  • Tin roofing - recycled
  • Wood screws
  • Skill saw
  • Electric screw driver
We purchased everything except the plywood and tin roof.  It cost about $70 total for our costs.  We live in a remote, mountain town, with really high prices, so this could've all been done for a lot less if you could price out your wood.
 
Here's the base that Mr. Right build.  The idea is that you cut holes in the bottom of the barrel on either side, so the feed uses gravity to slide down into the boxes on the right and left of this base.  We put a shorter board across the front of the boxes (far right and left), so the lids would be slanted downwards and any rain will slide off.  The pigs are able to lift the lids with their snouts to stick their noses in. 
 
The four posts in this picture sticking up are for stability for the barrel, to keep it from falling over. 
Here's the lids with the hinges.  Make sure your lids hang over the edge, so the pigs have a lip to stick their snouts under.
Mr. Right then built a structure around the corners for the roof to attach.  This is a simple rectangle with one side higher for the roof to pitch off.  The higher side is for on the fence side, so we can fill it with feed without going thru the pig pen.  Mr. Right built it high enough to lift the barrel out with the roof on with ease. (really technical way of building here!)
Here's a look at the lid of the barrel.  Mr. Right cut a rectangle between the two holes.  He used some nuts and bolts to make a nob on it so it would be easy to lift.  This isn't air tight, but at least it keeps the feed safe from birds and such.
Here's the tin roof added.  We have panels of old ones of these on our property, so we used one.  It had to be cut in half to fit side by side and still have the water run the correct direction.
Here's our happy pigs with the feeder in their pen!  Just a note, this barrel can hold about six 50 pound bags of feed in it, which is far too big for just 2 pigs! We could really be in the pig business with this feeder.  We placed the feeder on a pallet so that it was up off the ground. Pig pens get pretty moist and messy, so we want this off the ground.
 
I'd love to hear if you had an opportunity to make one of these, or even what you do for your own DIY pig feeders!