Sunday, November 14, 2010


We have a lovely neighbor with a rather large pear tree. The poor tree was so loaded with fruit that the branches needed support. I asked if we could gather some of the fallen pears for pear butter and to my surprise she said that we could have all the pears we wanted! I love pears but they take quite a bit of time to preserve. My sweet Mother in Law came out and helped. We peeled and chopped pears for most of the day. Our efforts payed off and we have lots of canned pears for this winter. I am still working up some of the smaller pears for jams and butter. What a blessing!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Farm life is a busy one....

When we bought this farm I was sure that we would be busy, I really didn't have any clue how busy we were going to be. Hunky Hubby and I are creative people.. which means that we ALWAYS have projects in the works. Some are small and some are huge. We are currently adding an addition to our house, we have two bedrooms right now.. Yep do the math 8 people in a two bedroom house. It's crazy! With the five kids in one bedroom and hunky hubby, myself and baby#6 in the other we learn exactly how far we can push our patience.
We began the addition bits and pieces about a year after we moved in. We are building ourselves ...which equates to conversations like:
Hunky: Hey can you come out and help me lift up this wall?
Me: ummm OK let me finish feeding the baby, and I will be out
Hunky: OK well can you hurry up
Me: thinking how exactly do you get a baby to nurse faster???
OK so I go outside...
Me: I am here what do you need..
Hunky: well help me lift this 20ft wall with two window headers and sheeting up...
Me: how much does that weigh???
Hunky: oh maybe several hundred pounds
Me: and you want ME to lift that????
Hunky: ya I'll help it will be easy
Me:....thinking you gotta be kidding.. that wall weighs more than twice my body weight and with the wind that we ALWAYS have I could be smashed like a pancake in 2.6 seconds.....well OK if you think it will be OK... by the way I like the hospital that is south of here better that the one north.. just so you know

OK so with a great effort the wall goes up!!

Hunky: OK hold that there while I brace it up
Me: you want me to hold this huge wall up all by myself while you bang on it with a hammer????
Hunky: ya
Me: you know that I am NOT a construction worker right??? and this wall is huge and if it falls in me how the heck are you gonna get it off me???
Hunky: it will be OK just hold the wall......

We now have all the exterior walls and interior walls up!!(thank heavens)
now hunky says its time for the ceiling joist.....someone please call a construction worker for me.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Baby #6 is 9mths

We have had some cooler weather and I am loving baby#6 and her wool longies. I purchased several pairs from some really talented knitters but they were a bit pricey. I had made some covers with up cycled wool sweaters and decided to make some longies. I found a wool/angora sweater at the thrift shop that is super soft. I brushed off the sewing machine and whipped up some super cute ruffled butt longies. They are so sweet and I love how cuddly baby is in them. Now I have to go find my stash of wool and make some more.. this is addicting

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

New wool longies

Baby #6 is almost 9 months old! I can't get over how fast she is growing, she is at a whopping 22 lbs. I am seeing her become more independent and trying to do things on her own. Having a baby in the house again after such a long break is really fun.

I have been very pleased with the cloth diapers. They have changed so much since I used them with #1 and #2. They are so much easier and CUTE to boot. We use fitted diapers and a wool cover at home and a all in one diaper for when we go out. The wool covers are so wonderful, they keep her warm and dry. I used plastic with my oldest two and it was awful, the covers were hot and made a yucky plastic noise when they moved. They were not snugglie at all. I have used a wool soaker that looks kinda like the pull on plastic pants but with the cooler weather I wanted something that would keep her legs warm. I ordered these longies and they are lovely. They are made from soft merino wool and hand dyed. I am so pleased with how they fit and feel. I think we will be using more wool as the weather gets colder.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mama Duck

I bought a few Muscovy hens from a good friend of mine, this mama decided right away that she was in the nesting mood. She set to work and laid 13 eggs. She has been a very diligent mother and rarely leaves the nest and usually when she does it is to shoo away the other ducks. It has been about 22 days since she started so I suspect that we will have ducklings in a week or so. I am hoping that we will have some color variations, she is brown and white the males are black and white and one is grey and white. I know that this type of duck comes in a wide range of colors. I hope we can mix things up a bit and get some of that lovely brown in the chicks. I am so pleased with the ducks and the great job they do in the garden.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


We have a farmer friend that came to mow the pastures, he is a serious farmer...
he comes to the house after mowing for a hour or so....
ummm mam you have something growing down behind the pond and I don't know if I should now it or not....
I ask in my most farmish way..What is it?
He replies well I don't rightly know...
Well at this point I am puttin on my rubber boots to trek the field to see what is confusing this poor farmer so much. With a trail of animals behind me( all thinking that I have cookies) I walk to the lower pasture, behind the pond to gaze on a large patch of..... ( I guess the photo gives it away?) Butternut squash! WHAT?? Where the heck did that come from?? They were beautiful and not a squash bug anywhere. Now grow that same squash up closer to the house and we have a squash bug convention on our hands.
In the fall after the local orchards close I have been blessed to get truckloads of the pumpkins and winter squash that did not sell. I give the old squash and pumpkins to the sheep and cows as a treat throughout the winter. I guess that some squash seeds made it through the digestive track of someone and now I have a lovely squash patch! Who would of thought???

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Gladys had a bouncing baby boy!!

Here he is in all his cuteness! Oh my what a sweet face. He (Sizzler)is doing great, he is a nice strong calf and seems to be growing before my eyes. Gladys is a old pro and is doing wonderful. I am glad to have milk again, (the store stuff is horrid!) we are planning on share milking this time. I love having cows!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Number 4 and his bunnies......

#4 has wanted bunnies for some time, I kept telling him he could have bunnies if he built a hutch( I really thought that would slow him down.. I was so wrong!!) so he did and now we have Hoppy and Pearl. They have been residents of the farm for six weeks or so. I am glad to say that #4 is doing a wonderful job taking care of them. I kinda thought that I would be the one that would have to take care of them but no he has kept up with them and loves it. It's fun to see a little boy growing in to a young man!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

School has started...sniff

We have had a busy summer, at least I think so, it went by so fast. We cut down on the garden,took a milkin break, and bought a pool pass. All of that made for a wonderful summer. We have camped and floated down rivers in canoes. We have spent the summer playing. What a blessing to be able to step back and enjoy things for a bit. I have to say that when school started this year I was sad. I have really had a wonderful summer and it has been because I have a fun family. I have to admit that teenagers can really be cool..... minus the new driving heart attack...16 year olds should NOT be behind the wheel!! The kiddos are growing and I see my sweet girls growing in to lovely young women. Well at least I will have #6 around for a bit longer! Teenagers and baby kisses...motherhood is wonderful!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Having issues..........

blogging can be a pain if your computer is acting up.........more to come

Friday, July 23, 2010

6mths in 4 days........

baby #6 is getting so big. She has such a happy personality, she loves her siblings and the animals. We have started her on solid foods and she thinks that so cool. She is a wonderful child and we are so blessed to be her parents.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The canning race has began....

I love to can. Well really I love to eat and cook so I suppose canning fits right in with all of that. I pulled the row of beets and pressure canned them, I love the beautiful color of beets. I will can some more with the fall crop and most likely pickle a bit also.
Today I pickled 10 pints and 6 quarts of cauliflower. The kiddos are pickle fends and I came up with the pickled cauliflower out of desperation a few years ago when I way over-planted and wound up with about 30 heads of cauliflower. I freeze some but the kids really went through the pickled.
The peaches are just about ready I will be dripping peach juice by this time next week.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

WAKE UP!!!!!!!!

We were doing some tidying around the house and found a box with files from our old computer. Most were boring tax files and such, but one was a trip back in time. I put the unmarked CD in the drive and was surprised to find some beautiful shots from long ago. It's hard for me to ever believe that we lived in such a gorgeous place... was the water really that blue?? There were photos of kiddos 1,2,and 3 driving the boat..they were so little. My how things can change. I love the farm but thinking of the past is dreamy..........

Monday, June 28, 2010

Yep I am still here........

With the start of summer well on it's way I really thought things would calm down. With softball,construction,gardens,orchard,cows,sheep,chickens and 6 kiddos I somehow thought that summer would allow more time..HA nope we are juat as busy as ever but we are having fun at it. We have spent many hours at the pool and goofin off. We are working like mad on the house addition and it is so exciting to be planning for it.
The garden looks great we have been canning a bit and I have beets that are waiting for me to work them up.
Gladys is due with her calf in August, we are getting ready to wean the bull calves so things are going to be a bit noisy around here... the boys are very attached to Gladys and cry if she just goes around the corner of the barn so I am sure that they are going to bawl big time.
With baby #6 Mable did not get bred... I am sad about that but that's how farm life is we have her for sale and hope to replace her with a beef mama.
Lucy and Coco are HUGE.. they both just turned one and are to be bred this summer. They look great I am so pleased with how they are turning out.
Well that's just a small part of the summer goings on I suppose I need to get to theose beets.... see ya later!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Making bread.......

With 6 kiddos and hunky hubby it seems that we are always in need of bread. I bake twice a week and usually make 5 one pound loaves. One loaf is devoured hot out of the oven ( and really you can't blame them hot bread is the best!) and the other four are gone in two days and everyone is hollering for more bread.
I use a sourdough starter that came from my great Aunt. She baked like a pro and used her starter for 40 years or more. The starter has a wonderful flavor and adds a beautiful rise, the only problem is that it uses the sponge method in the process. To bake bread from start to finish it is about 18 hours. In order to have enough bread I typically have a bowl on the counter full of dough. I love to make bread luckily because I am always making bread....... what are you doing today???

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Friday, May 14, 2010

Grounds keepers are on strike!

Our ground crew of Muscovy ducks are on strike.. I haven't seen much bug munchin' or weeding for about a week now. We started with a large crew of 12. Nine are gone, some found a better paying job at the neighbors pond and some became dinner to go for the coyotes. The three that are left are male and they do a wonderful job I am very pleased with their work.
I noticed some funny stuff going on with the boys...they started pushing each other around and going out dancing when they should be working. I wondered what was up and then spotted the problem. She came to visit. Her beautiful long neck and sleek feathers were just too much for the boys. She called to them to dance and next thing you know the garden is empty. Who's gonna keep those weeds down? What about all the juicy slugs that are setting up house in the lettuce? I was left high and dry for a pretty face!! I am not sure where she came from. The boys are VERY happy she is here and I am too. I hope with all that romance and dancing going on we will soon have a new little family. I wonder what the child labor laws say about ducklings?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

New raspberry patch

We have raspberries and blackberries in the orchard already but due to a huge oversight it is now overgrown with very thorny blackberries. When we started planning the farm out and ordering trees and such we found a great deal on some blackberry canes. We planted like 50. They were the wild variety come to find out and now we have a 100x60 patch of thorns. We have cut them down, we have tilled them under and it seems to have spurred the canes in to the super cane I will not die mode. Somewhere in the midst of the thorny kingdom are my lovely red raspberry canes. I can see them I just can't get to them. So now in despair and desperation to have raspberry canes (so I can make my famous raspberry chipotle jam) I planted another patch. Stark brothers was having a sale and I bought 12 new canes.. I planted them FAR away from the thorny dungeon. Here's hoping they do well!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

What do ya get when you combine hot bread with a 8 year old boy??

Smooshed bread... never leave the house with bread cooling on the counter and hungry kiddos..

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Someone's been workin overtime...

I love collecting eggs, there is something about it that is exciting.. how many will I get, what color are they, and how big will they be. The hens must see my excitement at this and have taken to laying double yolk eggs. They are HUGE!!! At first I thought that the ducks had gotten in the nest and laid the egg. Now I see that there is no way it is a duck egg. I get a double yolk egg about every four days. I am saving them for a killer custard pie(hunky hubby's favorite!)
I love a good egg hunt!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Violet jelly recipe


2 c. violet flower juice (see below)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 pkg. powdered pectin
4 c. sugar

Violet flower juice: Tightly pack 1 quart jar full of violet flowers. Fill the jar with boiling water, cover tightly and let steep overnight. Strain off juice. Discard flowers.
To 2 cups violet flower juice, add lemon juice and powdered pectin. Bring to a boil and add sugar all at once. Bring to boil again and boil hard for one minute. Skim off foam, ladle into jars and seal. Makes approximately 5 1/2 pints.

Wild violet jelly

In the spring our yard is full of beautiful wild violets. I know it is spring when my lawn turns in to a sea of flowers. I love to candy the violets and use them for the tops of cakes and treats but have never done much else with them. I was cruising the net for ideas to use these beauties and came across a jelly recipe. I was not too sure how it would turn out I usually do not like floral flavors. I had #5 go out and help me pick a basket of flowers. The recipe has you make a tea from the flowers and then make the jelly. I followed along and to my surprise violet jelly is wonderful. I love the beautiful pink color, #5 says it is princess jelly. I am very pleased with the results, well worth the time

Friday, April 9, 2010


Coco is 6 weeks younger than Lucy. She started off small and thin, I was surprised because Mable is a BIG girl. Lucy was a bully with the food and poor Coco was usually left with very little. Despite that Coco is growing up to be a beautiful cow. She is now bigger than Lucy. I see some of Mable's markings on her and am anxious for the winter fuzz to shed away and see if she is brindle. I love the coloring of Mable, I really hope Coco is the same.

Monday, April 5, 2010


Lucy is now 10 months old, we plan on breeding her this fall and then milking her. Her mother, Galdys, is a dream cow. I was hoping that Lucy would follow in her mothers hooves but I have spoiled her too much. When she was small I would touch her all over, pick up her feet and just rub her down. She really liked it, in fact she likes it so much that now you can't do anything in the pasture without her in your back pocket.
I was out collecting eggs and Lucy wanted love. I had my hands full and could not pet her... she did NOT like that I was not paying full attention to her. She figured that maybe I needed to be reminded that she was the only reason to go in the pasture and she nudged me with her head. I told her that there were other animals that needed me also. She did not like being told that the farm did not revolve around her. I turned my back to fill the water trough and she nudged me again. I did pet her for a few minutes and when I tryed to leave she rammed me in to the barn!! It was such a shock that I just stood there. She slammed me again, I guess to get her point across, this time I popped her on the nose and yelled NO LUCY!! She was devastated and ran off in a huff.
I need to work with her on who is boss. She is too big to do things like that. I was left with a huge bruise but if it had been one of the kiddos they might of gotten really hurt. I think I will be doing chores with a switch for a while.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Black is back..

Our East Friesian Ram (Trace) is all black with a white star on the top of his head. We have used him in our breeding for three years and usually we get a large varitey of colors in the lambs, but not this year. Out of 7 lambs that have been born 4 look just like Trace. We have also always gotten rams this year we got ewes. I was planning on keeping the female lambs to use as milking stock, (they should get cute girlie names) but they all look the same. How the heck is this farmer supposed to tell them apart?? Got any ideas??

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Goodbye Mrs. Snowman

The kids got home from school and made a mad dash outside after dropping off coats and sneakers in the front hall. I wondered what they had planed, the weather was lovely despite the snow. The sun was shining and temps were in the high 40's. The kiddos were busy as bees making Mrs. Snowman. She came to our farm for just a short visit. Today she is mostly gone. I guess it was the perfect way to usher out old man winter and bring in spring. Thanks for the visit Mrs. Snowman.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Darn Diaper Pattern.....

We are in a diaper disaster... I was very happy to have made with my own two hands about 50 cloth diapers for baby #6. I found what I thought a wonderful pattern, got the new fangled water proof fabrics, the new and improved fabric for the soaker, and a fancy snap press. I was stoked!! I sewed and sewed which for me is a trial. I envy people that can sew... I have sewing in my blood. My mother is awesome, my grandmother sewed for a profession and could make anything from a drawing...incredible women. I missed the sewing gene. I LOVE to sew when it goes right but most often the item that I have spent many a hour over ends up in the donate box or trash.
I also have issues with sewing machines.. they don't like me. I have bought NEW three sewing machines in my time, one was broke by movers, one putzed out because???? and the other that I am working with now skips stitches. I have done all I can to see why it is doing that but it is still set in missing a few stitches here and there. I got a wonderful machine form my grandmother it was computerized and did all these really cool stitches... for a while then it decided that sewing backwards was cool.. something in the computer went wonky and that was all she wrote... so you see making 50 diapers was for me a huge undertaking. I was so proud, I showed everyone who I could my cute diapers. Yes they were SO DARN CUTE!!!
The pattern said it would fit a baby tush from 8 pounds to 20. Ya right!! Baby #6 will be 7 weeks on Wednesday and weighs in at around 15 pounds. Do you see the above photos? I am on the LAST snap, and I had to squish those cute chubby thighs to get it snapped.
I am once again sewing and better fabrics...fold over elastic.....May the force be with my sewing machine!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

What's up with the snow.....

Yuck! I was so enjoying the warmer weather. I was quite shocked this morning to find several inches of snow on the ground. I was crossing my fingers that we would just get a dusting. I hate snow!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Farm Library

When we were trying to decide where we were going to move on our return to the US, we felt that we wanted some property with some land. We could have a small farm. When we lived in Utah we had chickens and a goat... kinda a mini-farm in the city. We fell in love with the chickens and fresh eggs so having chickens was a given. We even had a few hens in Puerto Rico in a chicken tractor( the Gardner had to be bribed not to tell the homeowners association we had chickens!) I knew that our new farm would have much more space for bigger and better farm things. I was way excited and started doing research on what we should have. I really was not anywhere near anyone that had a farm so the next best thing was books.. I bought several books and subscribed to many of the popular farm magazines. Our goal was to be self sufficient. I wasn't too sure how we were going to do this. I did not grow up on a farm and hunky hubby is a total city boy.... we read everything we could get our hands on and when the time came we jumped in to our current farm. Now four years later I still reference back to these books and when I see a new one I just have to get it... I guess you can never have too many farm books!!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Pita Heaven

Fresh hot bread right out of the oven is pure bliss.... fresh hot soft pitas come in a close second. I have made pitas using several different recipes but have found a wonderful easy one over at Farmgirl Susans blog here
The only change that I made to her recipe was that I used half fresh ground whole wheat flour. They turned out beautiful, I had to sample one right away with some local honey....Oh Ya they are so Awesome.
We had the pitas with some of our own home grown lamb, lettuce,tomatoes, cucumbers, yogurt and some mango chutney. Oh so yummy!! The family scarfed them down in short order. I made 24 pitas and they were pretty much gone. Next time I'm gonna hide some for lunch the next day!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I want it to be warm for good!!

We have finally gotten a break in the frigid weather, it has been in the 50's and 60's for the past few days. I have for the most part always lived in Missouri and know that we get these warm spells. I also know that this is just a teaser from Mother Nature, she likes to get your hopes up for warm weather and next thing you know she slaps you with anther bout of cold temps.
I was feeling optimistic and planted some spinach and lettuce Monday. I only planted one row. I HOPE I get a crop but just heard that we are supposed to get some snow tomorrow..... ick! I am tired of store bought veggies. I want some lovely garden fresh lettuce for my salad. This winter is taking FOREVER!!!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Think Garden........

The past few years our gardens have been planned with the CSA and Farmers market in mind. They haven't been very pretty as far as design and have needed to be simple long rows. This makes planting, picking and weeding easier. We use plastic mulch for the rows, which is not really pretty, and things are planted to grow vegetables not to be admired.
This year we are not doing a market garden or the CSA, so I can grow what I want and not have to worry if it will sell or not. I am going to use the upper garden by the house. I have a 60x110 area,I would like to do a cottage garden look and have a few raised beds for the perennial herbs and such. I went through some of my seeds to get some started. I am not sure what tomatoes to plant, last year we had over 500 tomato plants with 200 being the colorful heirlooms. I like growing lots of different things so I think I am going to have a hard time just picking a few. What are your favorite tomato varities??

Monday, February 22, 2010

Where oh where did the spring time go?

I am way too preocucpied with other things to think of a good subtitle to go with this picture. Furnace repairmen are on their way, the laundry is respawning, dishes are magically growing, children are fighting, videogames are being played, baby needs to be fed, and I NEED SPRING! There has GOT to be somewhere the kids can go to get out of my hair?!?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

We hired a few boys to do the milkin'.......

Introducing Frank and Larry... the new help. With baby #6 hunky husband has been doing the milking chores along with his full time job. Because of this, we needed some new help. Frank and Larry are our new additions to get rid of the excess milk, and they are doing a fantastic job. We plan on using one of these new boys for breeding, and the other is going to taste delicious on our dinner table.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I hate to get a gift that is useless. Last year for my birthday my Dad gave me this wonderful smoker for my birthday. He built it somehow, he is amazing and I love it so much!! I have a spring birthday and with last summer being so crazy I only got to use it a few times. When my parents came to see baby#6 I put my Dad to work on smoking some lamb ribs. I had collected about 8 sides of ribs and they really take up the space in the freezer. When we have a animal butchered I like to get back all I can. I feel horrid when some thing gets wasted. Lamb ribs are usually not taken and sent to the renderer. I hadn't heard of anyone cooking lamb ribs but I thought we should give it a try. They were out of this world!! They were meaty and tender and had a fabulous flavor, I don't understand why the ribs are not included when they butcher. I am glad that I had taken ours.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My new love!!

Baby #6 is finally here,she is wonderful. I am grateful to see my long lost feet and be able to breathe again. The other children and hunky hubby are so awed by the new little one. I have to admit that I have forgotten how sweet a new baby is. I just love cuddling up with her in the rocking chair and just watching her sleep. What a wonderful blessing!!

Friday, January 22, 2010


After we lost Reina it seemed best that we always have two livestock guarding dogs. Malibu has been with us since mid summer and we had been on the lookout for a companion for her. Just before Christmas I found some puppies for sale. We got a male in hopes that he will get HUGE!!! I want the coyotes to see him and run far away from our farm.... Duke's dad was 175 pounds and I hope that Duke will follow suite. He was a scrawny little thing when we brought him home but after a month of warm milk and food he has doubled in size. He needed some social skills and was not to sure of Malibu. The kids have been loving on him and Malibu has a blast rough-housing with him. I was hoping that Malibu would teach him all he needed to know to protect all the critters in the pasture. Well it seems that he has been teaching Malibu some VERY bad things.....
We have not had a bit of trouble with Malibu leaving the pasture until now. I found both her and Duke in the road yesterday.... today they were both COVERED with cockle burrs. They must of gone exploring in the woods across the road. Hunky hubby also found Malibu in the road with a man trying desperately to take her. I am not pleased with the lessons that have been going on in the pasture. Poor Malibu is now locked in with the calves and Duke the barn. I hate to keep them penned up but am at a loss of what to do.
Duke has also had a few chicken not what I had in mind. He is supposed to protect them not dine on them!!! I am not so sure a puppy was a great idea, I hope he grows out of this and Malibu forgets the roaming lesson.

Monday, January 4, 2010

OOOOHHHH baby it's cold outside

Winter weather has hit the farm. Nighttime temps have been in the single to negative digits and everyone is miserable. I got a bucket of warm water for the piggies and went to do a few other things outside only to come back in a hour to find ice forming on the top. Nothing works right when it is this cold the vacuum pump for the milker is sluggish even with a heat lamp, the water spigot by the milk barn is frozen and we have to haul water(what a pain) and the lights above Mable's stanchion won't come on. I don't mind the cold but the freezing cold is a whole other category...