Redneck Hillbilly Search

Friday, October 30, 2009

Country Corner Crafts

I started this little site called Country Corner Crafts wwwaaaaaaaay back. So long ago, I don't even remember when. 1999? 2000? It's a site dedicated to primitive style woodcraft patterns. IOW, shapes cut out of wood scraps, painted, distressed (beat up), tied with a raffia or plaid fabric bow, and hung on the wall with some curled up tie wire.

Mr. Redneck Hillbillies is a carpenter. So it seemed natural that I would use his tools and try to make something out of the hundreds of scraps of wood we always had kicking around. Back then, everyone was decorating their homes "country style". Remember the burgundy and green color schemes? Cow or birdhouse wallpapers? Hey that was once the IN style! Yup, it was a looong time ago.

Anyhow, at the time I collected birdhouses. Not REAL birdhouses, but rustic beat up knick knacks that looked like birdhouses. We were *really* broke - there was No extra money in the decorating budget so I had to make my own. The website sprouted out of those first few efforts.

I tried selling my patterns but sadly, nobody wanted to buy them. So I gave them away for free. HUH? Ya, free. Wouldn't ya know it, I made more money that way thanks to some affiliate links and a large volume of traffic.

It's 10 years, and until today I hadn't looked at the site since... 2003? It's outdated and has many broken links from sites that gave up long ago. My site still putters along for some reason, and I still get about 10-12 thousand visitors a month. It's making a small pittance moneywise, but it's enough to cover the costs of keeping it alive so I haven't yet pulled the plug. It's nice to know there are people out there who still appreciate work I did a decade ago.

Today I edited just two pages of the enormous site in 6 hrs.

We'll see how far I get before I lose interest ;p

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Last few meals

It's nearly time to send the first two cattle "up north". We're not entirely sure which two will take the trip first - more than likely the two larger steers: Ivan and Doug. They are the two with the white bands on thier shoulders. The small little heifer calf that never grew (Sassy) and the bull calf that we didn't steer (undescended testicle) will probably be the two given an extra week. Who knows. That could all change depending on how easily they are corralled and loaded into the trailer!

Yes, we name our cattle. Is that strange? "Blackie" was our first attempt at raising our own meat, and to be honest, I don't think I ever finished a meal without choking down the last few bites or handing it to the dogs. You go into this KNOWING they aren't pets, but the first few were still hard. Then we had White Foot, Black Foot, Lollipop, BJ, Stringboy, and Bucky. While we are learning what works and what doesn't, it really does help to know which ones were small, which ones had certain characteristics, steers/bulls/heifers etc. Each year we are given different challenges to deal with and sometimes the stress and anxiety of trying to save a calf is difficult. So far, we haven't lost a single animal, and the reward of knowing exactly what we are eating is worth it.

So it's nearly time to say goodbye to these fine cattle. The timing couldn't be better though, really. Our meat freezer is nearly empty and our supply of hay is dwindling. The pastures aren't doing so well after a very long, dry summer and with the cold weather coming it's time for the big mooheads to move on.

We tried to overwinter animals a few years back and it was definately NOT worth the hassle. Frozen water lines, cracking ice in the water bin when the heater couldn't keep up, trudging through snow on bitter cold mornings and brisk evenings to feed them day in and day out. I bet they didn't gain a pound despite our best efforts that winter - infact, I imagine they actually fell backwards so we were just throwing away money on feed and adding to our daily chores for nothing, really.

Our hearts grow heavy knowing their time is nearly up on this great green earth, since we've nurtured them for months now. At least they have had a truly exceptional life (though short) with plenty of pasture, treats of molasses, apples and garden produce, free of hormones, and spared the unneccessary pain of dehorning. To Ivan, Doug, Oatmeal and Sassy, we are thankful.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Green Tomatoes!

Ok what on earth am I supposed to do with all these green tomatoes?

I chopped some. Sliced some. Diced some. Threw some in a blender. I've used up about half of them now, and the rest got tossed into the freezer for me to tackle later.

  1. Baked Green Tomatoes with feta and oregano. (not bad)
  2. Green Tomato Bread (a hit with the whole family)
  3. Mixed ingredient Casserole (not bad)
I still haven't tried the two most popular recipes on the internet: Green tomato relish, and fried green tomatoes. Neither of them really sound all that appealing!
Any suggestions? Recipes?

10 Thousand Views!

About a year and a half ago I uploaded our first video to YOUtube.

It was a little bit long, took me a full day to compile and edit, and featured the hubby on his relic 1962 Ford tractor. I am new to blogging, and can't for the life of me figure out how to embed the movie here. Sigh. A link will have to suffice.

Have a look see!

For reasons unknown, this silly video continues to be the most popular and still generates 30% of our total daily views!
Holy Bajeepers!

A few months back I decided to give it another go - people were STILL clicking to watch the first video. Perhaps I could make a few more that people would be interested in enough to watch? Maybe I could even grow to the point where I could apply to be a youtube partner? Each video I upload gets a little bit of attention, then fades off into oblivion. :(
  • I've tried videos about gardening.
  • Videos about our holstein calves.
  • Videos about riding motorcycles.
  • A video about fishing.
  • DIY type videos.

    As of today, I have ... let's see. 23 subscribers.

Still a very long way to go.


Hey Y'all

HOOOO-EEEE Our very first blog entry!

It was time for the Redneck Hillbillies to come on out of the hay shack and start a blog. Wait just a second while we hose off the gumboots...

We've been on YouTube for a while now (who isn't?) posting videos about just about anything really. Tractorin', growin', tinkerin', building, our critters... whatever little thing that goes on here around our little hobby farm that someone SOMEWHERE might be interested in seeing. Check out our channel!

We're old school folks, living in a small backwoods town where the people are nicer and the pace is slower. Over the last few years we've moved towards getting back to a simpler way of doing things - growing our own vegetables, raising a few beef cattle, and finding ways of spending and enjoying whatever time we have with the family.

Life must be about more than keeping up with the Joneses. At least it is for us.

Anyhoo, Welcome.