Friday, August 29, 2014

Weekend "To Do" List

You know you are in a large family when there are only 5 kids home and it feels quiet.
Devin and the two oldest are headed to Atlanta to attend Dragon Con, and I am left with the farm and the remaining 5 kids.
It's sort of like a vacation. Seriously.

I am making a wheel of cheese, catching up laundry and enjoying lunch at the moment. Later today I plan to cut fabric for a quilt I am working to finish.

We will not leave the house. The kids will play and I will sew. All . Weekend. Long.

Of course this is assuming nothing major brakes or gets ill or injured, but I am keeping my glass half full.
I even promised the kids a little eating out, because there are only 6 of us. Yep...large family perspective.

Happy Weekend Ya'll! 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Just Jump

There are days I get nothing done. Zilch. Nada.

I tend to take on a ton of projects and there are always weeks when I just simply cannot get anything done outside caring for kids and cooking meals.

Such is the last two weeks here. Pressure builds, deadlines linger.......

Personally I have found that dropping everything and heading outside with a camera helps. Seriously.
Sometimes what we *think* is a matter of super, duper importance really isn't all that big a deal. When my brain will not function well enough to write or I have no energy to organize or clean a single thing, I head outside.

Last evening, after dinner and farm chores, I scooted out to the trampoline with the five youngest kids.

I discovered a few things:

1. At least one child of mine has a flair for drama.

2. My boys have really  long, pretty hair.

 3. Carrying heavy feed buckets can build strong arm muscles.

4. One certain daughter tries to act serious, but deep down I know she is really a total cut up.


5. Sisters make good team mates.

6. I am NOT as young or as athletic as I once was...but I try.

Starting tomorrow I am going to get busy!
Happy Hump Day Ya'll!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


I have an eclectic mix of chickens here on my farm.
You might think I am all farmer all of the time, but I actually have a soft spot for my hens. I keep them around after they are too old to lay eggs and also if they have defects.

Today I will spotlight a little black cochin hen.

She is like any other hen I have. She pecks around, eat bugs and lays eggs.
The only difference is that she hops. She doesn't walk.

When she was a little baby chick, she was unfortunate enough to get her leg caught in the coop door.
The injury crushed her leg badly. I really thought she would die. She didn't look well and she acted like she would soon die.
We placed her into a hospital pen, which is actually a set of individual pens we have in the back yard. Day after day she stayed alive, although barely. She couldn't stand and we had to keep food and water directly in front of her head.
After a couple of weeks she started to stand up and peck for food

A few weeks after that, her dead leg fell off. It looked clean and without infection. What else to do but put her out with the other ladies?

So she hops and pecks and lays eggs, and all on one leg. Of course, being big Lord of the Ring fans, we decided to name her after our favorite elf. We call her Leg-O-Less.


The weekend was a busy one. No I didn't finish or work on any projects. It seems that my long, well planned to-do lists are simply for show these days.
My days are consumed with house hold chores such as cooking and cleaning and laundry. It's enough to discourage any ambitious mother.

I expect that it will simmer down as the week moves on and I will be more productive this weekend, at least I am hoping my glass remains half full.

Maybe I am not as organized as I thought? Perhaps I need to get the house in better order? Perhaps I need to sip another cup of coffee and not stress over it at all....

Happy Tuesday Ya'll!!!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Farm School

We woke up this Monday morning to rain and thunder. It was one of those mornings when I could have slept in if I didn't have 7 kids and a farm to look after.

Instead we all met in the kitchen to enjoy fresh donuts (thank you Krispy Kreme) and hot coffee. Today we started back a full load of school. It was a day of math, geography, language, reading, handwriting, science, dog injuries, and torrential rain while milking cows.

OK, those last two are exclusive to life with farm animals. Duke was laying in garage with a considerable puncture wound to his side and scrotum. It seems he had a scuffle with some sort of critter and stitches would be needed. Journee kindly drove him to the vet before she had to at her classes.

                                  ***Duke's side injury***

I waited and waited for the rain to let up before we ventured out to milk the cows, but it just never turned to a light rain. We all came in soaking wet and needing a hot shower before the day's lessons could begin.

The day went rather smoothly, at least as smoothly as it can be with a 3 year old running around. I am happy to be starting back to a routine, and now I wait for the vet to call and tell me I can go pick my bulldog up.

Of course the rain was over by noon and by 1pm the sun was out, hot as ever. I think the humidity is the worst it has been all summer.

In the meantime, the cows are really needing a new area to graze. I must keep them off the front pasture until we get the hay cut, and their current fenced paddock is eaten down. It needs a rest.

*cue music* Today I sing the praises of electric fencing.

I ran an electric fence wire all the way across the front yard, preventing the cows from reaching the front pasture. They have my entire back yard and woods for grazing now.

Not only does this give them new grass and more room to roam, but it also cuts down on the mowing we must do, which also saves us in gas.

I also let Ivy out to free range with the big girls. Her areas of rain rot are doing much better.

Dead skin has fallen off and new skin and hair are growing. Good food will help her get back to health.

Of course I had to make sure some hens were out to follow the cows around.

There is nothing better than hens to scratch up cow patties by pecking and scratching for fly larva and undigested grain. True Joel Salatin style farming.

Happy Monday Ya'll!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Face Punch

Just when I think I have it all figured out and running smoothly, I get a big fat slap in the face.

Life as a farmer.

Earlier this summer I moved calves out to the front pasture. Although I did a head count from a distance, I never went out there to physically inspect everyone.

This past week we moved them back near the house and discovered that the humidity and rain really took a toll on one heifer calf.

This is a severe case of rain rot, also known as rain scald, also known as "crap, my poor cow is suffering."

Her chest and belly and thighs are all affected, as well as the tips of her ears.
She is otherwise healthy and is eating well, but this must be cleared up pronto!

The vet instructed us to give her a penicillin shot once a day for three days and to wash her down with iodine.
I will also put some aloe vera in her feed to help boost her immune system.
Here's hoping she makes a quick recovery...poor thing.


I spent the weekend gathering all of my sewing and spinning items and placing them in a room in the basement.
My fiber hobbies were contained within 2 closets, my bedroom and my laundry room. I have a new fiber project (a BIG one) that I am now starting and really needed the space to spread out and work so I took over a spare room in the basement.

This room was originally going to be a spare bedroom, but it has been nothing but a place to throw "junk". I changed all of that Saturday.

Although I still need to organize the stuff now that it is down there, I have ample room for cutting fabric and sewing quilts. I have an empty wall to hang a design board as well.

These cabinets and shelves were already in this room serving no purpose so I packed them with books, fabric and yarn. My spinning wheel is within easy reach too!
I also found a microwave , from Devin's med school days, that I plan to use for dying fleece and yarn. All I lack now is some organizing, an ironing board and  a small table.

It was a great motivator to get me to sort through junk and to get things put away too!
In a few months I will be ready to share the big project I am working on, but first I have to get busy sewing and planning!


We started school back this week, but we are moving at a slow pace. The kids have new math programs that they use on the computer. This week I have been showing them how to load their class and work the program.
Next week we will add the rest of the subjects and get back to a real schedule. I like being able to start back at our own speed!

I woke up with my jaw hurting badly. Devin think I might have been grinding my teeth in my sleep. The result is my right jaw joint throbbing with pain. I feel like I have been punched in the face. Oh yeah, I am a farmer who thought everything was running smoothly!
 All of this to say that it hurts to eat and it hurts to talk.
So it will be quiet around here while I starve:-) ....or maybe I should make a milkshake run about lunchtime.

How is your school year starting out?

Happy Hump Day Ya'll!

Saturday, August 9, 2014


This will not be a super long post, as I have a big project today. I am clearing out a basement room to create a fiber studio...more on that later next week. In the meantime........

This week we celebrated Zeb's 6th birthday.
He was the first boy after 5 daughters. Yep, he has a house FULL of mothers!

Zebulun King was named after the Grandpa on the show The Waltons. King is a family name. It also seemed appropriate that we name our 6th child after Zebulun of the bible, since Zebulun was the 6th son of Jacob and Leah.

Zeb has always loved the outdoors and the animals. He is *all boy*, as the saying goes.

We took him out the morning of his party so he could pick out a new bike and pick out goodies for the party.
Like all of his siblings, he loves video games....especially Halo and Minecraft.

It was a fun and simple family party.

My boys, my hippie long haired boys.
They are the best of friends. The are constant pals. They are brothers.

We ate a yummy dinner of crock pot chicken tacos, homemade salsa and chocolate birthday cake. Who said a fun party needs to be complicated? Or expensive?

Here's to another year of being all boy. This year Zeb will also begin formal home schooling. It will be fun!

Happy weekend ya'll!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Monday Molly

What a busy weekend we had around here!

My Rock Star, Indiana, had a concert Saturday at a local small town festival.

This one was a bit different in that several kids played new to them songs. Everyone did great but what stood out to me most was how much fun everyone had.

Of course a good chunk of my time this weekend was spent getting Belle used to being milked again.
The first week after calving is always the most stressful for me.

Not only must you make sure the calf is nursing and getting enough milk, but there is always the concern of mama getting mastitis when she freshens.

Belle has been clear of any mastitis but she has one quarter that seems dried up. It gave just a small amount of liquid and the quarter never did get full. I know this quarter was working previously when she calved so I am not sure what to think. It was negative of mastitis so I decided it would be best to make sure it dries up completely.
I am the queen of 3 quartered cows it seems.

Milking is going well with Belle once I can get her locked into a stanchion. I am hoping today gets even easier.

I also got in a shipment of more meat chicks and also some baby turkey. I plan to raise them all on pasture and process them this fall. I have not pre-sold any turkey yet because I have not raised them before. I have heard stories about how difficult they can be so I am waiting to make sure they all survive.
Yesterday I did notice they like to pile up on top of each other, leaving the bottom babies to get smashed. Only one has died so far.

My Monday consists of a long list of chores, including the cleaning of this messy house. More coffee might be in order.

Happy Monday Ya'll!

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