Saturday, April 25, 2015

I Quit

Today I finally said , "Enough! I quit!!"

I was trying to finish up a quilt I have been working on for over a year. It's a beautiful quilt, but I just haven't been able to muster the energy to finish the borders or the corners (all which require lots of piecing!). This quilt has always been a big pain to me, but I guilt myself into working on it when I can.

I spent several hours last week cutting the fabric pieces out and all I lacked was the sewing.

Usually when I sew on a project I will spend all day in my studio jamming to Pandora and sipping on a sweet beverage. Today I tried.

I spent a couple of hours at my machine. I tried to love the process. I attempted to be crazy in love with this quilt.

                                                   ***Halfway finished quilt***

I tried.

I really did. I did not enjoy a single minute spent on this quilt today.

The problem is that I have 24 hours in my day. 24 hours to really work on things I love. 24 hours to be with people I love. 24 hours to truly feel passionate.

This quilt, this project just fails me. Finally I quit.

Oh, I have enough to make a nice size quilt as a throw or a table cover. So I ironed the quilt smooth, neatly folded it and placed it in a bag with backing fabric. In a couple of weeks I will give it to my favorite long arm quilter to finish.

It felt great.

What did I do with the rest of my 24 hours?

I concocted a new cheddar cheese, one with 5 peppers to spice it up!

I played with puppies and with my little boys, who also played with puppies.

Finally, I made a promise to myself to not pursue activities and projects that do ignite any sense of love or passion or spark.
Life's too short ya'll. Go make the most of these next 24 hours!

Happy Saturday Ya'll!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Accept It and Move On

It has been one of those weeks when you just feel like one thing after the other is going badly, a week when you seriously dream of living in a subdivision again.

For starters, my white female goose went missing. I am sure she was the victim of some predator, although we have looked and not seen any evidence of a goose kill. She is gone, though.

Then we lost 6 ducks over a 3 night span. This time there were sign of a kill and it looks like an owl got them. They have been out in the pond paddock, which is currently empty of livestock. I am letting that paddock rest after a winter of overgrazing.
Tonight the ducks are moved closer to the house and with my sheep nearby.

Most of the time my bull dogs are great at keeping the predators at bay, but when it is raining outside I let them stay in the house.

Rain? Oh yes, we have had several inches the last week. I was almost ready to buy a canoe at one point. Muck and mud are amplified 100x when it has been pouring rain.

The most tragic event, however, was the freezer mishap. During a storm (I can only assume) a GFCI kicked to one of my freezers. I didn't notice until several days later, only to discover 90 pounds of ground beef from our steer and 2 large turkeys from the fall ruined.

I cried. I cried a bunch. This was not only a huge loss in meat, but a waste of a steer that I respected. I truly feel guilty for letting it ruin and waste, like I did not follow through on my end as a farmer.

After several days of moping and being upset I finally did what every farmer must eventually do and that is to accept it and move on.

That's tough sometimes, truly. In fact, it is probably one of the most difficult things to do.

Accept It and Move On

The mama dog we are fostering is doing great and so are her puppies. This mama dog loves to be around people and follows me everywhere. We have moved them all up into the main house area, and we have them situated in the laundry room.
The weather has been nice so I do get them all outside some too. The mama dog is house broken now and really a sweet dog to hug.

The boys got new hats from the dealer we bought the tractor from and they love to wear them! We actually took the boys out on Monday to run errands and it was a fun afternoon out. They are both a hoot!

Finally, I collaborated with one of my dearest friends to create an art  quilt for a silent auction that will be held for North Korea Freedom Week in Washington.

It was a really fun project and I am always happy to be part of such a great event. Most of the fabrics are hand dyed and the theme is more of a positive one. I like that.

Now, the only other thing that needs to happen this week is for Lila to lamb. We have been watching her closely and I am hopeful that by tomorrow we will have some healthy babies.

Accept it and move on...because life keeps moving.

Monday, April 13, 2015


The days just get busier and busier!
This weekend we had perfect weather for working outdoors, so we decided to tackle the garden bed mess.

First we moved a raised bed to another spot, in order to make parking the tractor easier. Then Devin lifted all of the half barrel planters and dumped them into the raised bed. There was nice planting soil in the barrels and I am through with any large gardening. I will only be using my 3 raised beds and a few pots on my porch.

With the barrels gone and the beds cleaned up, it looks much nicer now. I may or may not plant many vegetables this year. Honestly I feel like I am at full capacity, as far as what I can do. I might plant some annual flowers and just patron a local farmer for vegetables.

I also finished class 3 of 4 of my Kid Embroidery Class. Rose did a fantastic job and will be hanging her embroidery art up on a soon as I can locate the picture nails.
This class was an embroidery of their handprint, a gift for Mother's Day.

When you get a call from a farmer friend wanting to sell a most beautiful and healthy heifer calf, you just say , "YES!"

We loaded her up into the back of our favorite stock trailer van and brought her home. She is a very healthy calf, born last November, and will make a fine milking cow one day.

She is the same age as our baby steer and she is happily out grazing the pasture with all of the other cows.

Saturday we burned her horns, a chore we always dread. It must be done however! Horns can be dangerous to not only other cows, but to any person who is milking and caring for the cows.

Of course this beautiful Jersey needed a name, so the kids all thought long and hard about what to name her. They decided to name her after the family cow in the show The Waltons.
They named her Chance.

Welcome to the farm Chance!!!!

Happy Monday Ya'll!!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

21 Day Myth

There are always interesting emails that come through my inbox. I get many from people who are thinking about making a move to the country and others who are on land but need advice getting a *farm* started. Well, this email was sent to me in hopes I might know someone interested in a new television idea. The latest is one I agreed to share with all of you.

There is a casting call for folks who want to try the farm life for 21 days. Take a look and if you are interested, go ahead and shoot them an email. If you are cast, let me know!!!

                                             *Rose and Cow Milking 101! *

Looking for city families who are interested in making a change and moving their family to the country! Are you the quintessential city mom who cannot survive without her Starbucks Lattes, mani-pedi’s and Ipad?  But are you afraid of what this luxury city life is doing to your children?  Are you ready to instill the meaning of a hard days work and a more rugged lifestyle?  Magilla Entertainment and a major cable network are looking for families who are interested in testing out a change from big city living to rural farm life for 21 days.  Following the “21 Day Myth” in which people can mentally and physically make changes after this specific time period, this docu-series will capture the excitement and the fears of the family as they test out this new lifestyle change.  If you and your family are ready for this challenge, contact us ASAP at with “COUNTRY LIVING” in the subject along with your names, ages, location, occupation, contact numbers, recent photos and a brief paragraph about why you want to relocate your family from city to country.

Monday, April 6, 2015

My Marathon Day

Today is my marathon day. I don't run, at least not since my young sport days when my coach made me run.
My marathon day today consists of a mom/farmer/cheese maker kind of crazy day. I am sure ya'll all know what those days are like!

It started at 6 am when the post office called to let me know my baby chicks had arrived. WHAT???? I knew they had shipped yesterday, but it usually take 3 days to arrive.
I had no brood box ready, no food ready, nothing.

Thankfully it was only my few pullets that had arrived and not my huge order of meat chicks. We will keep these guys inside the laundry room a few days before moving the brood box out to the barn. I ordered a mix of brown egg layers, so the kids really enjoy holding the babies and trying to guess what breed chick.

Of course my biggest project I started was taking in a mam dog and her puppies. No we are NOT keeping any of them! (Did you hear that my children???)
I am simply fostering these guys until a local rescue can get them adopted out. The puppies are 3 weeks old and will stay here until they wean. At that point the rescue will come get the pups, have them seen by the vet and then adopt them out.
The mama dog will then be spayed and adopted out. I will care for her through that entire process.

We have them situated in the basement, and although the first couple of days were quite *smelly*, they are better now.
We gave mama a bath and wiped her babies down. Yesterday we treated the babies for worms and coccidiosis . Today I am happy to say worms are being eliminated and the poo is smelling more normal. My goal is to keep them safe and healthy and to make sure they are well socialized.

The mama is a very young shepherd looking mix. She is very smart and trains easily. We are keeping her away from our other dogs for a while so she can feel like her pups are safe.
I am glad to be working with A Paw and A Prayer Rescue. Any locals interested in adopting can contact the recue. I will keep posting pictures as they grow and start moving around more.
Finally, I am working on laundry, dinner, school and making cheese. We are planning to take the kids to a local trampoline park later this afternoon so I am working to get everything done!

The boys are playing card games and I am stirring and heating milk for cheddar. It's gonna be one heck of a day, but I think I can...I think I can...I think I can!

Happy Monday Ya'll!!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Color Green

It is a glorious color!!!! Green means that winter is headed out and spring and summer are headed in!!! I love it!
Thankfully it arrived just in time, as my hay has run out!

We have been keeping all the livestock loose and free ranging so they can feast on the green. This also allows their regular paddocks to recover and grow some green.

The calves in particular love having the free space to socialize and graze.

Dandelions mean the bees have some food for their hive. Please don't spray these beauties with weed killer!

The hens are fenced up with the egg mobile again, well half are fenced up. It has been difficult rounding up and catching all of the free rangers, but Hilda has no problem crawling under the fence and socializing with the hens...or rather cleaning up feed from the ground.

It was perfect weather yesterday for a walk down the drive to collect special rocks and to hunt for wildflowers.

It will be time to shear the sheep this month and Whiskey Creek has quite a load of fleece! He spends most of the day in the shade and will be happy, I am sure, to get a hair cut.

I have been busy these last 2 weeks deep cleaning and de-cluttering each room and closet in the house. To say this was a major feat is an understatement!
All I have left to do is clean the porches outside and also do something with this eyesore of a garden.

Before dairy cows I had time to garden. I used 3 raised beds and these half barrels to grow quite a bit of flowers and food. Milking cows and making cheese have decreased my ability to garden and now this spot is an overgrown eye sore. I plan to clean this up and at least get some flowers planted, even annuals would be nice.
I will likely only keep a few half barrels for a couple of tomato plants and I will buy the rest of my summer bounty from local farmers.

My first thought on cleaning up these raised beds is to burn them. I might spread cardboard and shredded paper across them and light them up to burn the new growth of weeds. After they are scorched I will go to a local garden center and get some rich planting soil to add to the beds.

My meat chicks ship out Monday so I will spend some time this weekend getting brood boxes ready. The actual chicken tractors will need some repair, though, before we can get any birds out on pasture.

The cows have been using the tractors as scratching posts! The poor pens couldn't hold up to an 800 pound animal scratch so Devin will be busy fixing these the next couple of weeks.
I am impressed that the tractors held up so well this long. This will be the 4th year to use them, and remember they were built with mostly scraps we had lying around the property.

Green!!!! It is a glorious color and always was my favorite! Bye- Bye winter cold and hello warm sun!

Happy Spring Thursday Ya'll!!!!

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