Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cold mornings....warm friends.

This morning my alarm clock wakes me with a song....I throw back the covers and shiver....brrrr, cool in here....I so want to just climb back under the warm covers and stay in bed. As I wipe the sleep from my eyes....and walk to the kitchen for that first hot cup of black gold....I can smell the draws me to it. I glanced at the outside thermometer...21 degrees. I shivered again...knowing I need to get outside soon and start my morning chores. After taking care of the inside critters, and settling in with my coffee....I plan the day.  Well, I thought I planned the day. We all know best laid plans are due to fail. The plan tear into the kitchen and clean out all the cabinets....throw out the "stuff" I don't need...and re-organize. Just a heads up, that didn't happen.
After my morning coffee, I dressed warmly....pulled on my boots, grabbed the pig slop bucket and my milk pail...and headed out. Stepping out the front door I am slapped in the face with COLD!

Walking to the barn...hearing the grass crunch under my feet....I smile...and stop to take this picture of frost covered grass.  Just beautiful.
Once I get to the barn I am greeted by the "starving" animals. The sheep are bawling at me...the pig is running the fence...the goats are screaming...Awww, come on everyone! I am just one person! :)
Feed the pig, fill the other feeders, and settle in to start milking....with at least ONE cat on my lap. Ever try to milk a goat with a cat on your lap..who is trying to bat at the teets of the goats?? I can tell makes the morning interesting for sure.

Tomorrow we will be taking in 2 more sheep. Baby Doll sheep. Both boys, one is castrated, the other is not...yet. He will have to be fixed if he want;s to stay here...I have female Shetland ewes, and do NOT want babies from them. NOR do I want these boys tearing down my fences to get to them. So tomorrow will be an interesting day....for sure....shuffling around animals....settling in new furry babies....and praying we get more hay!
I will try to get pictures after we get them settled in....since they are coming from a petting zoo...I am hoping they are friendly boys...and don't give me much grief.

Friday, November 30, 2012

So today...I made this little candle lamp, out of an old mason jar. It is NOT a good canning jar, It has a chip in the top, therefore it will not seal. So, I found this project...and thought..." i can do that" I really like it...however, I need to get better ribbon and better greenery. But here is the first one....

I think they will make cute gifts. Handy too! :)

I also put together a small box for a dear friend and her Ohio. Really, it isn't much...but I hope they all like what I am sending...I just want them all to know how dear they are to me.
Tomorrow I will be driving to my father in Ohio...and spending the night up there. My father in law asked me to be the one to cook the turkey, since his wife passed...and he wants me to make the pies...all home made from scratch, of course.One pumpkin and one apple. My husband has to work, but he will come up Sunday afternoon. Sunday morning I will get up and put the turkey in the oven. We are celebrating Thanksgiving with him and my husbands siblings. This will be our third Thanksgiving! We had one in here in Indiana...and now one in Ohio! Christmas..we will be having HAM! I am just about over Turkey!
Since I will not be here Saturday night, or Sunday morning...I have had to make plans for the animal chores. Luckily I have great in particular, who will come over and do the milking for me. I am truely blessed with great friends.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Wow, Christmas is almost upon us....Where did this year go!? Christmas....Ahhh, fond memories of children waking up, squealing with delight...ripping the wrapping paper off , ribbons and bows so delicately put on each gift, lying in a pile on the floor. Yes, those memories are running through our minds..
Now, back to reality!
I need to run through my list of gifts bought, gifts needed, and..get to making more!
I saw the greatest idea for a home made oil lamp...I am going to try to make one, so I can post a picture of it on here. Basically you use a quart mason jar. Now, don't get all upset....only use the jars with chips on the top edges, you know, the ones you can not use for canning. Fill it with a variety of things....Pine cones, greenery...etc. Then fill the jar with smokeless lamp oil. Now, in the lid, you will need to go buy a wick or plastic....they are fairly inexpensive. Also, get yourself some "forever wicks"  Use the mason lid and ring...( again, use the old lids, and older rings....the rusty ones, you can repaint.) Add a piece of ribbon, and there ya go! Instant gift...that keeps on giving.
I can see these going out the door this year, to family and friends this year. A gift made from home...something everyone will love.

Monday, November 12, 2012


Wow, has it really been 2 months since I last posted? I am going to try to get more serious here...and post more often....notice I said "try"  So, over the last few months...we have been busy getting this farm ready for a "long winters nap" Putting the gardens to bed...winterizing the animal shelters...canning...getting firewood.
Back in October, we had our second annual Farm Festival. Mother Nature decided to throw us a curve ball...the weather was cold, windy...and just a little bit miserable.

 We had a great turnout in spite of the weather...and everyone seemed to have a good time. The kids all played on the HUGH mounds of dirt we had brought in...200 tons...while the adults hovered around the BBQ for warmth. Maybe we should have just ran and played like the kids. They didn't seem to mind the cold one bit.
On the day of the Festival, we got a new "family member" Her name is Nikki. She is a Severe Macaw.
She is such a clown. She talks, sings, and hangs from her cage and swings and laughs! I just love this little bird.
I was able to get another load of free pumpkins this year. The animals love them, and it helps in the winter time with the poultry to stave off the winter blues..on days that they are cooped up.
The goats and pot belly pig..and the sheep all love them as well..and the seeds are a good natural dewormer!
I have my own pumpkins that grew voluntarily here this year... they are pie pumpkins. I can't wait to make  FRESH pumpkin pie for the holidays.
Today the weather is going to be keeping us inside for the most part of the day. Rain and cool....51 degrees this morning and that is going to be our high. The temps are going to steadily drop and by 3 pm they are saying 32 degrees. Brrr. I plan to work inside cleaning the laundry room and maybe starting on a few holiday crafts. Hope your fall is going as planned...

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Brrrrr, woke this morning to fall temps?
I promptly got the wood stove fired up...and it is warming up nicely in here. Whew!
We had left over mashed taters and gravy from supper last night, so I warmed it up for our little pig. He thinks I am spoiling him....I of course have an ulterior motive! HA! He dove into that mess and made a pig of himself! LOL
Today I will work on getting more kindling put up for the winter....time to clean the woods out a little. Tomorrow I start my 6 day job, 12 hour shifts. More money for winter feed...Whoot!
Tonight's supper, potato soup...just sounds like it will hit "the spot" I better get busy on a loaf of bread too....yep, sounds like a good meal.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fall....a season...not something I want to do!

So, it has been way too long since I have posted. It is fall already! Fall, as in the SEASON.....NOT waht I want to do....altho I seem to be pretty good at it lately.
We are gearing up for our second annual Fall Farm Festival here at Heavens Door Acres. Food, fun, family and friends! ( seems like I like words beginning with F? ) LOL Anyways.......the garden was a fairly good success. I was able to put by enough veggies to probably get us through winter...
(since this picture was taken, I have completely FILLED this pantry)

including spaghetti sauce, chili starter, canned tomato's, green beans, corn, pickled beets, canned potato's. A few meats are done, meatloaf, meatballs, chicken. I am waiting for the weather to cool down to finish canning meats. We are still trying to get to the firewood for the season. Not really getting to it.....makes me nervous. Anyone else out there think we are in for a nasty winter?
Over the summer I worked at MUTC, a military installation, doing role playing. Displaced citizens after a"disaster" waiting for the military to respond, recover, and re-home us. It was fun...a LOT of fun...and I made enough money to get a new roof on one of the chicken coops, get Hay for the winter, and a few months of feed. I will be working this again next week...planning to get winter feed with most of this check.
We have a little pig we are fattening up for the freezer...

.I will feel better when that is done as well.Fresh ham, bacon, sausage, bacon, and pork chops, and...yes, BACON!  He is small, but fattening up pretty quick!
It is almost time for that heavy fall cleaning of the house....carpets, curtains, furniture. Have to get it all ready for the upcoming Holidays...when we will have a houseful of guests streaming in and out every weekend for a few months. I really enjoy this time of year. :)

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The sun is up...the animals are calling to me...and i am sitting here nursing a cup of coffee....oh, wait..its gone, darn! Busy few days coming up..Friday: someone coming to get gold fish from the pond...and someone else coming to pick up 4 more ducks!  Saturday...I have rescues coming in from Illinois, and someone else coming to get more cages.....Sunday...The donkey gets a new home..and I get hay! I just hope these people stick to the schedule...I have them all coming at different I SHOULD be OK. We will see how prompt everyone is.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Wow, where has the time gone? Seems I am busy as a bee, and getting nothing finished! Altho, I did get both of the gardens it is time to start pulling beets, and pickling them. Hoping to get them started next week.
I had a bit of an accident last weekend. We went to my sisters home in KY, and helped put up a zip line. She lives on a large hill/mountain...and just thinking of zipping down was a thrill. We worked on it for 5 hours...finally got it installed. Well....we had installed it too high at the starting point...and when I got on it...I was going to fast, the brake didn't work...and when I hit the bottom I flew off of the zip line...about 20 feet into the air, flipping over twice, landed on my back, bounced, then went another 3 feet, and landed on my side. I was knocked unconscious and the wind knocked out of me. I don't remember anything until the ambulance got there....however...I was told that when my 8 yr old niece got to me, she was so upset...and I am sure just hearing her voice brought me around a bit. She was asking if I was OK...( altho I don't remember this) my response was ... I think I broke my butt...she said, REALLY?? And I replied...yes, don't you see the big crack?  Then I was out again. All in all...the damage was not as bad as it COULD have been. Cracked tailbone, ONE broken rib at the breast bone....soft tissue damage in my neck, and a slight concussion. Not bad! I guess I am NOT a "Weeble" ( Weebles wobble but they don't fall down) I must be  a "Bumble" Bumbles bounce! LOL  So, my sister is taking down the zip line....probably a good thing.
As for the farm....I was given another Alpine doe. Well, not really "given" I will pay her in duck eggs! How nice is that!??? She is a 5 yr old registered Alpine, in milk. Such a sweet doe!
My littleSuzie finally had her kids! They are 3 weeks old today. She had a doeling and a buckling...and she was able to do it without our help. Of course I was there to watch, just in case...but she is a GREAT momma!!!
Here is the little Doe
Here is the little Buck. They are doing great!! They were born on the night of the "super moon" and I have YET to come up with names.  3 more weeks, and they will be up for sale. I will be glad to get the milk again.
I have 12 meat chickens that are ready to butcher, I hope I can get it done before the heat takes them. I will have to just do one or two at a time...and try to get them in the freezer soon!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Can someone just SIGH for me?

Oh what a busy few weeks. We have had company every weekend....and having so much fun. My niece and her friend came from Ohio for a few days. Poor Hanna, the friend....was initiated. She wanted to hold a baby I picked one out..and showed her how to hold it so it would stay calm. Well....this 17 yr old girl is NOT a farm girl for sure. She held the duckling close, and it took a poo down the INSIDE of her shirt. I was laughing so hard, tears rolling down my face as she gagged and pulled her shirt up, just as the poo ran down her stomach....I lost it!!!She was squealing and gagging, me and my niece were laughing too hard to help her. Finally my niece scraped the poo off of her friend who then ripped her shirt off, and ran screaming to the house. I laughed so hard I almost wet myself! It was an event full weekend to say the least!
This past weekend my brother and his little girl came out. We worked on the garden some, here he is readying the onion bed.
After my brother left, hubby and I worked some more in the other garden.
We were able to get 2 - 30 ft rows of green beans planted, and 24  tomato plants.
This next week I will get the peppers and potato's in...I hope. I also need to get the onions in soon. Hoping to plant at least 200 onions.
The rescue part of this farm was hopping! Friday, we had someone come and surrender a micro pig. He was about 7 months old and 15 pounds. Such a cutie!! Saturday, he was adopted. I love when the rescues come and go quickly. I was able to send 6 ducks to their forever home Friday as well. SO excited to have an empty pen, didn't last long..... Saturday, I had 2 ducks "gifted" to me by a family member.  She had bought them and didn't realize how messy they can be, and grew tired of them. "sigh" So, I now have a pair of Rouen Ducks.
Once they are settled in, they will be let out into their yard.
We had 12 turkey poults hatch out....I was able to sell 6 today. :) The others will stay here! 2 are white, hoping Royal Palm, and one is a Black Spanish. The other 3 are a chocolate mix.
This next week will be busy as planting season is upon between rain storms...if it is not too muddy.

Friday, April 13, 2012

getting ready for planting...almost ready!!

So today, the hubby and his brother kept busy. They fixed the roof of the barn where the winds had torn the metal loose. Then hubby got the rototiller out, and tilled the big garden. I am so excited to be almost ready to plant!

While I was in town running errands, I stopped by a local nursery to see what they had...tomato plants! I bought a whole flat, (48 plants) for $15. Not a bad deal. My plans are to get a few pots, and pot about half of them to sell later. I should make my money back pretty easily. The rest will go in the garden...soon!
After the garden was finished...hubby had to go to my dads and fix his I decided to go build a turkey nest. I have 4 turkey hens...and 2 of them decided to set the current nest...however the other 2 are still laying...and dropping them in the yard. So, I built a nest box, for their yard and put the 2 eggs collected today in there. I hope they get the idea...
The girls were investigating it as I here is hoping!
Tomorrow storms are moving in....then Sunday it will be nice again. Hopefully I will be able to get in the garden..and get the beans and onions planted. Maybe the tomato's too!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Busy busy....I LOVE spring!

Today was a busy day here at Heavens Door Acres. I was given several "critter cages" like one might use for rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs  etc...and a few bird cages. There are 6 or 8 in total...and another load coming in soon. :) Once I get them all here, and cleaned up, I will be making a few fliers, and offering them "free" to the public for donations to our rescue. NO cash will be accepted..feed, bedding etc. Hoping to be able to get these critter cages moved out and donations moved in!
Today I took 2 wagon loads of them to the barn. I also was able to get my strawberries planted while hubby and his brother worked on the siding on the house that was messed up with the last storm. The house looks MUCH better. Tomorrow they guys will start on building the wood shed, for the firewood. They are using the wood crates we get for free to build it. I can't wait to have a place to keep the firewood dry!
Tomorrow morning the 2 hounds are going to the vet to be neutered. I can't believe they are 6 months old already! I feel bad for them having this done, but, they will be MUCH happier once it is over....and so will I! :)
I gathered some grass from the yard today, and planned to give it to the turkeys and chickens had different plans for a 5 gallon bucket of grass clippings.
If I had known they would use 5 gallon buckets, I would NOT have gone through all the trouble to build neat little nest boxes.
We had a little guest the other day....a family called and said they had found him in their yard. They left him overnight to see if it would make it back to the nest. He didn't, and was ice cold when they brought him to me...
He is approximately 8 weeks old, a little grey squirrel. I was able to find a rehab center that had 7 others about his I sent him on his be rehabilitated with them. He will be released once he is able to make it on his own.
We also took in 4 baby ducks. Peking ducks! CUTE, but oh so messy. This brings our total of ducks to 16. *sigh* I can't wait to get the pond fenced, and get them out on the pond....soon...I hope. The goose will go out with them on the pond, as a protector and alarm! Mercy he is LOUD, and loves " his " ducks.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Time flies!

Where does time go!?? Seems like it was only a few days ago I was on here, now it has been almost 2 weeks. So much going on. We got the small "spring garden" turned, and planted. Peas and beets...still room for onions. Hoping to get at least 100 sets in this weekend.
The weather has been NUTS! Today, we were at 77 degrees...nice, then a front came through with severe thunderstorms, and in less than 2 hours, the temp dropped to 61 degrees. 16 degrees!!
We had a batch of baby ducks hatch.....Peking and Swedish.

 I made a deal with a young man to trade ducks for Buff Orpington chicks. Chicks are so much easier to care for, not as messy. I will be filling another bator next week, more ducks...but I will be adding Runner Ducks this time. :) My other bator has chicken eggs from my barnyard mix, and a few bantams. They will be due to hatch next Tuesday. Then I will clean it up, and get ready for Turkeys! Yep, my turkeys are starting to lay. After I get all the hatching done for spring...I am hoping to get our meat birds...25 at least.
I have decided to find a home for Freedom...the mini Donkey. He is just too mean...and I can't put any other animal in the pasture with him. He has stomped Fred, the pygmy buck so many times....I am scared he will kill him. So, Sadly, Freedom will have to go.
The 2 hounds are growing like weeds! Magnum, the black and tan is very sweet and docile...while Gunner, the outgoing, and mischievous.
Soon it will be time to shear the sheep. This is a big job, but the wool is so worth it!
Spring is finally here.

..Ahhhhhh, no more breaking ice in more frozen more trudging through snow.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Crazy weather again!

So Friday, as predicted, we had terrible weather here in Southern Indiana. So many lives lost to the tornado's, complete towns wiped out. We were so very lucky here. I stood at the window, frozen in fear, as a large tornado was barreling down towards us.We literally had a one minute warning...if that! And, if not for my son calling me, to warn me, I would have never known. We were not under a "warning" just a watch. He heard on his radio about the warning in my little town, they said to take cover. So my son called me to make sure I knew.  The tornado stayed up off the ground as it passed over me....but came down just about a mile behind our place. It hit a small town, hard! 4 people lost their lives. So tragic! Today we have to drive through this little town, we are headed to Ohio to visit with my Father in-law. I dread going through there. It was such a quaint little farmers mostly gone.
So last night, as I was in the barn with the animals....thanking God for sparing us once again...I hear the soft meow of a kitten. I look around trying to find it...not in the hay...not in the manger...where is he!?? Then I look up...there in the my little mouser...doing his job.
Mice in the rafters, or just a great vantage point?  I know if I was a mouse, and saw those eyes, I would be scared! At least I know this kitten is doing his job....he later left me  a present on the porch, evidence he is a "hard working kitten" YUK!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Here we go again!

Mother Nature is toying with us again. Wednesday, severe Thunderstorms....Thursday, BEAUTIFUL, sunny and warm....Friday, today, severe thunderstorms again, Hail, high wind warnings, possible tornado's. Sunday.....SNOW   REALLY!??? I think mother nature needs Prozac....or herbal tea's or SOMETHING!
Looks like today will be an inside day, with a book.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Leap day?? Ok, WHO is leaping!??

So, yesterday was "leap day" It started out pretty crappy weather wise....storms, tornado's, winds..YIKES! By 1 pm, it was clearing up, and I was able to open the barn....SUNSHINE!! LOTS OF IT! Whoot!!
At 3pm, I went out to do an animal welfare check..just because. I stepped out to see Freddie, just laying on the compost pile. At first I was thinking...ok, he is staying warm...laying in the sun, on warm compost...then, once I called to him, he didn't get up. Not normal...I called several times..he wouldn't even look at me. So, I grab my boots, and head out....once I got to him, I see he has a bloody lip...he had a hard time standing up, and was favoring his left front leg.  See, he is in with Freedom...the mini donkey. Both boys..Freedom is gelded, Fred is intact. Fred seems to think... " I have my man parts, so I am THE BOSS" He really does bully the donkey at the hay feeder. Poor Freedom has to stand back until Fred has his fill. I am thinking Freedom finally got tired of Fred's attitude, and " took care of business" I get into the pasture, and Fred will not let me touch the leg. Being that I had no help to call on, I decided to help him to the shelter, and let him heal for the day. He did eat hay...just very slowly. This morning I looked out, he was up and walking..I didn't notice a limp from where I was standing..I am headed out in a few to do a full check. Poor Freddie...the bully has finally found his match!
Today's weather is supposed to be another beautiful day....the birds are singing, the sun is shining...I will be working in the coops and barn most of the day. I need to get a few things cleaned up and ready for another round of severe thunderstorms, with tornado's possible, on Friday. Welcome spring....In like a lion...out like a lamb?? Lets hope so!!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Busy as a bee in spring!

Today's weather was just outstanding. Sunny and warm...with a cool breeze. Perfect for outside work, that has been put off  for too long. Started my morning outside at 8 am...feeding and milking. On my way back from the barn, I stretched the 200 ft of water hose out to the half way point...then once to the drive, I unrolled the other hoses and connected the 4 together...then connected to the water tap. Brought in the milk...and got it put up, and settled in for my second cup of coffee. Once finished, I headed out to scrub and fill the 3 troughs at the barn, and fill the 2 inside buckets. This took about an hour..or so...then drug the hoses to the other side of the start on the ducks. Sunday a friend and her family came to visit, and pick up a few chickens and a Turkey. She brought me a Fawn and white Runner Duck hen. Now my boy has 2 hens, and is very happy! I had to move them into a private pen this morning..with a clean pool. Dumped and cleaned 4 duck pools....moved 3 pens of ducks to outside pens, where the ground is NOT soupy! They were so happy to be on semi-dry land. Another hour gone...getting everyone settled and with clean water. Put the hoses up, and headed to the garden for a bit. Turned a few rows with a shovel....we are supposed to get rain and I want it to be able to dry out...almost time for beets! Back inside by 11 am. Had to get diner started. Fried chicken, potato salad, pork and beans, and deviled eggs. Hubby was happy!
After supper was finished, hubby's packed for work, and get him out the door...back to the garden for a bit. My son came out with his family and we visited for a bit.....he helped in the garden for a few minutes...then decided it was too much like work. He worked up a blister, and quit! 5 pm, got all the animals tucked away for the evening...and back inside. Shower, coffee, and a is good..and sore.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What a ride!

Today I woke up it was is always dark when you get up before the sun...but it was REALLY dark, clouds, rain...yukky weather. Started a fire, let the pups out, made coffee, packed hubbys lunch, let the pups in, poked at the coffee and sat down to wake up. By 08:30, it was still trying to rain I bundled up and headed out to feed the critters. The winds were blowing pretty good so I was happy to be able to take refuge in the barn with the animals. Out of the wind and rain...once my eyes adjusted to the darkness..I set to my chores. Feeding, throwing hay, hauling water and milking. Good old KiKi, my tom cat was there with me, patiently waiting his few squirts of fresh warm milk. He always gets the first few squirts in a small dish. This lets me check the milk for oddities, and releases the little waxy plug built up from overnight. Everyone gets their morning scratches..and it is off to the coops. By this time the sun was out, but dark clouds threatened. The rain came....then the sun came again..then more rain and sun. Whew! What a ride!
 We have a new Tom Turkey....he just "flew in" the other day, and decided to stay. He belongs to a guy down the road...who wanted to give him to me a few months back. I declined to take him because I have 2 toms already with 4 hens. Looks like this Tom changed my mind for me. I have a home for him already....come this weekend a dear friend and her family will come out to get him, and a few chickens. The ducks and chickens are all out loving this warmer weather. In the 50's today! Once the rain moves out later today, it should end up being pretty nice.
On my way back from the coops this morning, I stopped and picked about a dozen Brussels Sprouts from the garden. They have been growing all winter long since the winter didn't really hit hard this year. I am thinking roasted chicken, mashed sweet potato's and Brussels Sprouts for supper. Sounds good.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Busy with pups!

So, I have not posted here for a while because we have been fairly busy lately. A while back I had posted about the pup we were going to get from the rescue. Well..we took 2. They are so bonded...I just HAD to!
Gunner is the tan/red one...and Magnum is the black and tan. Both have those hound dog ears, and are so well behaved. They are quickly learning the if they could only learn their names. They don't come when I call their names....yet. A little whistle gets them running tho. They follow me around the yard, fenced yard. I have yet to be brave enough to take them out of the fence.
I have been trying to work with the little donkey as well. Can we say....stubborn!??? Jeesh!!! He will NOT be matter what. So, for now, we are doing circles...and I am getting dizzy. I just hope I am doing it right...sure don't want to mess him up...and not be able to train him properly. I have visions of him pulling a little cart, me sitting in the drivers seat..the sun warm on my face...we are moving along. What will PROBABLY a cute little donkey in the pasture..forever. I Might just have to hire someone to come help us.
Spring fever is setting in. This crazy weather is making me want to get in the garden..and NOW! I know, I know, it is way too early...but I want to get some beets in the ground soon!
So, nothing much going on...well, other than working with the animals...I hope spring fever is cured soon!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Poor poor Mother Nautre.

I say that is obvious to me, she is suffering from some sort of dementia. 60's one day, snow and ice the next. Someone please get her some HELP! STAT!!!
In other "news" The red tailed hawks are setting up my woods....right in perfect view of my chicken coop. drats!!!!
OK, so it's not a great picture...but you can definitely see the Red Tail Hawk. Guess we will have to be on watch more once there are hatch-lings. I DO love to watch them tho...*sigh*
Today, is a cold snow break in weather we get, I am putting in the beets. Yummy, red, round balls of pickled love! Oh how we love us some beets!
I tried to sit down the other night and get some of the wool spun out. I just love working with "dirty wool" By this I mean, the Lanolin is still in it, and my hands get covered in lanolin. My hands have never felt better.
I didn't get much done....but it was a start.
This is from my little cinnamon colored ewe, April.
Here she is in all her glory. She has a great personality too!
She came to us with a broken jaw, so she has issues with feed getting stuck in her jaw. I have to clean it out every few days. But, I love her!!
On the rescue front...I was asked to take in 2 micro pot belly pigs. Male and female, both "fixed" Luckily I have a home set up for them already! Whew! Pictures to come, when they get here.
Time to get to work on the house......anyone else starting their spring cleaning? I am hauling a LOT of "stuff" out! Some will get burned, some will get tossed, and some will get donated. As long as it is out of here, I will be happy!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Popcorn anyone?

So the last few days, the weather has been ( dare I say it?) Beautiful. Mornings cool enough to have a fire to take the chill off, then open a few windows later to air out the house. I have kept myself busy trying to get a few things caught up outside. Cleaned the barn out....put the soiled bedding on the chicken yards. They love scratching around in the straw and it helps with the mud in there. Moved the Pot Belly pig, Tulip, back to the barn. She now shares a stall with Suzie. Tulip is very happy, Suzie, not so much. The stall is big enough for them both, so, little miss Suzie needs to learn to share! I need to get the last of the pumpkins and gourds out of the barn. They have frozen and turned mushy. This will be a messy job...I dread! The chickens will benefit tho, and I am sure be happy. I had taken the small potato spade into the coops and turned the bedding in there, and added fresh to it. While turning the old, I noticed how dark and beautiful it was underneath...composting perfectly!! The chickens are staying a bit warmer and I will have plenty compost for the garden. Win win!
Last Christmas, our son and his wife bought me the most interesting thing. Popcorn, on the cob. It came with a bag, and you microwave it. So this evening, I figured I would give it a try.
It worked! I was surprised. It wasn't the buttery stuff you can buy in the bags...but it was OK. I had planned to try and grow my own this year, maybe. We are some popcorn eating people here. LOVE it!
We are coming up on Superbowl Weekend. Tomorrow I will plan out the menu of snacks. I am going to bake bread, and cut it into bite size pieces, melt cheese on them, and serve. Also there will be mini pies, fresh veggies and dips, home made mini pizza's and of course, beer for the hubby. I might splurge, and have a soda, but will probably stick with water and coffee.
So, with rain coming in tomorrow, I will have plenty time to get my baking done, and get ready for Sunday. I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Monday, January 30, 2012

I AM rich.

So, now that I have your, I am not independently wealthy..Heck, we struggle from week to week just to keep our heads above most Americans now day.s But, I AM rich.....I was out at the barn this morning...doing my chores...and as I settled in to milk...I started thinking. ( I know, dangerous for me )  I AM rich.....We have a home, to shelter us from storms, and to welcome friends and family to share and make memories.....we have land...when worked properly will produce food for us to eat...we have animals...that with proper care and management will provide us with eggs, milk and meat for years to come. But...most of all...I am rich with friends. Friends who help me when I need them, even if it is just listening to my woes. Friends who will help me bring in a harvest...or tend to the garden..or carry loads of firewood to help heat my home. I am rich in knowledge, to do these things that help us to survive. I can manage animals...grow food....put food by for winter months...and...I have a man that stands with me during these times. See, I AM rich...with knowledge...friends..and family. As I sit here, eating a slice of home made bread, toasted and covered in the jelly I made from last years berries...I thank God....for all we have, even tho some may look at us with pity in their eyes...we work hard, worry about things like weather, composting, and animal health...while some friends and family worry about bank accounts, social events, and which restaurant to eat at. I ask for NO pity.....I ask for understanding. Understand...that I LOVE my way of life...the healthy foods I can prepare for us, and them when they come...understand that even tho at any given time you might find me with an injured hen in my lap, tears running down my face knowing I must end her life to save her from suffering......understand that when I am delivering a new goat kid into this world, or a tears are of joy and wonder. And, understand, that at the days end, when you are sleeping soundly in your bed, I may be the one out there on watch, foregoing sleep, with a rifle in my hands to protect our farm from predators, be it two legged or four. Because I get my milk fresh from a teet, and you get yours from a florescent lit store, it is I who pity you. You do not know they joy of holding a bawling wet lamb in your arms...or a fuzzy peeping chick.....or know the taste of TRUE vine ripe vegetables. I hold my head high even tho I may be covered in dirt from time to back aching from hard hands sore and blistered from working a garden. I AM rich.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Slip Sliding away!

This morning there was a nice layer of ice on everything. About 1/4 inch. Just enough to make it treacherous walking to the barn. I hesitated, not really wanting to go out there...however, Freedom was sure to voice HIS opinion. HEE HAW he screams to me, translation....GET YOUR BUTT OUT HERE! SO, I walk through the grass, knowing I will not be able to navigate the icy sidewalk. Once to the gate, I have to beat the ice off of the chain holding the gate closed. This little pause in my forward motion further irritated the barn animals. And, they let me know it. Everyone seemed to be very opinionated this morning....and they were fixin to get a bit of my own!  "Hold on" I hollered, as if they can understand me. Finally in the pasture I make my way across to the barn, slipping and sliding the whole way. Finally in the barn, my fingers are burning from the cold...I dish out everyone's feed and hay. Little Suzie had a bit of an attitude, head butting the sheep before getting into the stanchion.....throwing her head at, payback time. After washing her teet's, I grab on with icy fingers. Take THAT! HA! Well, she didn't take to it very well, and she stomped her feet at me, and threw her head into my side.  She settled down, and I was able to finish milking in short order. Everyone settled in for the morning, I head back to the house. I watch the kittens running across the icy sidewalk, and think to myself...." sure footed as a cat" just about that time...down he goes...sliding across the sidewalk! I laughed out loud as he comes to a stop, looking perplexed. I made my way to the porch and stood there looking at the icy covered poultry pens, hoping the fence on the top holds up to the weight of the ice. I watched as one of the ducks navigates the icy yard..and giggled to myself at the way it waddled across the ice....knowing I must have looked just as funny as I walked from the barn. Back inside, milk is put up, and the fire is going. Looks like a good day to do some inside cleaning...organizing...and maybe some baking. After I make some bread, I think I will make some chocolate chip cookies...yup, sounds like a plan.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Come on Spring!

Here it is, January 20th, and I am drooling over seed catalogs. Mentally planning the gardens...and dreaming of filling the pantry with canned foods from our own gardens and pastures. Really hoping this year the gardens do better than last. We were able to squeak out barely enough to get us through winter...but did have to buy some canned things. YUK! I would almost rather do without then have to buy commercially canned foods, but the hubby really loves his peas...and well, ours didn't make last year.

How many of you are already planning your gardens?  Are you planning to plant fruit or nut trees? Berries? I am hoping to be able to get at LEAST 5 more apple trees...and 3 or 4 peach trees. I would love to put in a large lot of thorn-less blackberries, but that is pretty low on the list of things to do.
We will hopefully be getting our pair of breeding pigs in April, and ordering 25 Cornish cross chickens for butcher. Stinky little boogers, but some darn good eating. So if all goes well this year, we will have home grown meats, to include chicken, turkey, pork, and maybe duck. ( not sure I can off the ducks, they are so cute)
Now if we can get the pond up and needs to be dug out deeper and bigger...then we will have fresh fish to add to our diet. *sigh* Almost there...almost self sufficient in the food area.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mother nature is messing with us now.

So, yesterday the weather was freakishly warm. At least for these parts it was. 55 Degrees, severe thunderstorms, lightening, rain, winds..and hail.

I hear there were a few tornado's touched down. In January??? This is NOT the normal. I was able to get to the barn for morning feedings while there was a brief break in the storm.
This is definitely NOT January weather for Indiana. By the time the sun started to set, we had dropped to 30 degrees. I sure am thankful for our wood stove!
This morning I woke to 23 degrees...and SNOWING!  Awww, come on now Mother Nature....take your meds!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Crazy weather about yours?

So, for the last few days, it has been bitter cold....temps in the teens, and single digits overnights, winds howling...just bitter cold. This sort of weather of course makes doing chores a bit more challenging....breaking ice in the troughs...checking waterers several times a day, and throwing extra hay to everyone....fluffing bedding.Of course I am not complaining...well..maybe a little...but I DO love this farm. Today however, the temps will be in the mid to upper 40's. Time to drag out the water hoses, and clean out the duck pools. Joy of all favorite chore... NOT! Stinky ducks!!! Oh how I long for warmer weather, and dry duck yards..ha, that made me giggle..if you are owned by ducks, you know, they never have dry yards. Even in a drought, the can make MUD! Stinky little critters!
Last night I was up most of the night with a tooth ache. Seems one of my wisdom teeth, has broken off, exposing the nerve. And, of COURSE not one dentist is open today, MLK day. So I will suffer through another day and night, until I can get in to a dentist. Orajel is my friend, and lifeline LOL The morning chores are finished, so I need to get my shower, and feed myself...something scrambled eggs...fresh from the chickens here at home. LOVE these fresh eggs!

Friday, January 13, 2012

18 degrees, and wet feet!

So, this morning I woke to 18 degrees. BRrrr, Even with the wood stove blazing, the furnace kept kicking in. The winds are about 30 MPH, gusting to 40. I sat here this morning with my coffee, dreading the morning chores....knowing I just HAD to get out there. So, I put on 2 pairs of pants, sweatshirt, thick socks, snow boots, heavy coat, headband, hat and scarf..oh, and gloves....I was ready to face the cold. Stepped outside and whimpered....wanted to go back to my fire so bad! Those darned winds were blowing right at the front of the house. I start across the field to the barn, at least there is no mud......I thought. Im just trudging along, when all of a sudden, crack...uh oh... there was ice under me...where the water was just a few days before. Thankfully it was only about 3 inches deep, because it gave way, and mud splashed up the side of my leg.  I wasn't worried, I have on 2 pair of pants...and thick socks...and good! So, I get everyone in the barn fed, and hayed...and proceeded to get water. Now, I KNOW its freezing cold out there, so why didn't I take the shovel with me to break the ice? *shrugs shoulders* Being lazy, and not wanting to walk the whole 20 feet back to the barn, I decided....I will break the ice with my boot! Yeah, that will, pretty thick. So I say to myself.....self, you will have to really give it your all. So, one last try, and WHOOSH!!!!!! The ice gives way, and my boot sinks through to the bottom of the trough. My boots are MAYBE 12 inches tall....the trough?? At least 2 ft deep. Oh yeah, ICE cold water fills my boot. Now that is a wake up call. I finished filling water buckets...and grab my milk pail, and head to the house. By the time I get to the pants are frozen to my boots....the wash cloth I have draped over the milk frozen solid...and I am in one sour mood. I stood in front of the wood stove for a few seconds, to thaw my pant leg, so I could get that boot off.
This evening, when I went out for evening feedings.....I grabbed the shovel! Didn't really matter.....using the ships were pummeling me in the face...and when I finally broke through the the face. Whoooweeee! I grumbled something about....from here on out you stupid animals can just lick the snow.....but in reality, tomorrow, I will be putting the heater in the trough. :) At least the chicken water's are already I just threw them some scratch, and grabbed the eggs. Done, quick and easy.  I brought all of the cats into the of the wee ones was shivering so hard...they now have a warm fleece blanket, fresh water and food, and a litter least until it warms up a little.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Is winter coming...yes, because I am getting 2 new pups!

You know the saying....some hubby's say it.." you can get a pup when Heck freezes over" Well, here comes winter, because I am getting 2 new pups! A local rescue was called to pick up a litter of pups, that were dumped on the road. There were 6 of them. All mutts, Shepherd mix..coon..Aussies..real Heinze 57's. So, the got a hold of me and asked if I would "foster" one or more. I went into town to "look" at them, and let them know I would be interested in only males. Easier to train, and maintain. The rescue will get all shots, and neuters. So, I get there, and they bring out a beautiful Shepherd looking mix, with long floppy ears. He was so sad, and shy. I tried to get him to warm up to me, and he would just turn his head sideways...and watch me. Then they brought out another male...he looks like a red bone coon hound. He too was shy, at first, then I asked you want to come home with me, and live on a farm? He looked me in the eyes, and gave me big puppy kisses! I melted! So, after they get a clean bill of health....I am bringing them BOTH home. :) The red one, I named Gunner....the other one...Magnum. Now, I don't "think" I will be keeping them both...but we will have to see. Every good farm needs a few big dogs....right?? This picture is Gunner. He is more red than the picture soon as I get them home, I will get better pictures.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Have I told you lately...??

Just how much I LOVE my little farm, and my Suzie? Suzie is my dairy goat, she is Alpine, and full of attitude. Oh, she is gentle on the milking stanchion, and sweet and loving....but she sure likes to "try" to be mischievous.
Here she is "sneaking" in to the pumpkin stash. When she was brought "home" to me last summer, she was a first time freshner, meaning she had just had her first kids. I was milking her morning and evening, and was getting 3 quarts of the most yummy milk every day. Over the winter months, with breeding her and all, I have taken her down to milking just in the morning. I am still getting a quart of milk, and enough milk for my Keefer grains. ( about 6 ounces) I am sure if I wanted to start milking her in the evenings again, her milk production would come back up, however I am letting her body rest and hopefully she is bred, and making great babies in her tummy! We should know in another week or so, of our little Fred was able to "do his deed" If so, we will have alpine/pygmy babies in May! Fred is a little on the short side, so I had to assist, Ewwww! I backed Suzie up to the shelter, which is about 6 inches off the ground, while Fred...well, you know. How embarrassing!
I was wanting this to go quick, but Fred wanted to court her, and I think he even brought her flowers, it seemed to take so long! I sure hope my efforts in this were successful. I really do NOT want to have to do THAT again!
The weatherman was "cussing" last night on the news. He repeatedly said 4 letter words....COLD.....SNOW...WINDS. I tell ya, what has this world come to when a weather man can "cuss" on tv like that?? Looks like winter might be trying to settle in...later next week. I better get busy outside and finish putting plastic on the coops windows. Yesterday I was able to get the duck coop windows covered. See, I saved the plastic bags from the pine shavings. It is clear, and about 10 mm thick. PERFECT for window coverings. Lets the sun in, and keeps the winds out. 30 minutes after I finished that small coop, the temp inside had already climbed by 5 degrees. Nice! Today I will be finishing the larger coop. This will require a ladder...and I am not fond of being on ladders. At least the sun is shining today, and I will be able to get outside work finished before "winter" sets in.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Freezing temps and Sunsets.

I have to say, this cold is really getting to me. I have been outside 3 times today to break ice in the troughs. Even the water buckets in the barn froze....this rarely happens. UGH, my hands feel like they are burning now.Even Freedom didn't want to come out of his little shelter today,

But, on the bright side....winter does bring some beautiful sunsets. I snapped this one the other day while I was in town...

Too bad all the telephone poles were in the shot. But the pinks are just so pretty! 
The temps are steadily dropping outside. It is 21 degrees, and getting colder. Brrrrrrr. Tomorrow morning will be more ice breaking...I have GOT to get those heaters put in..this is getting old already!

Monday, January 2, 2012


So, this morning I was thinking I would try to romanticize about my morning chores here on the know.... " I step out into the fresh air, as the sun breaks through the trees, marveling at the calm over the farm, as the animals softly call to me while walking towards the barn"...yada yada...well....THAT didn't happen! I woke up grumpy this morning as I pulled myself out of bed, luckily he went back to sleep. :) Went down to the wood stove, still warm, and a hand full of hot coals. Perfect, I was able to get a roaring fire going in no time with just a hand full of kindling.  I glanced over to the outdoor thermometer, Brrrr, 27 degrees, and howling winds. Gusty to 40 mph still!  I shivered, knowing I will have to venture out there in a few, to do the morning chores. I make coffee, and settle in to try to wake up. The winds are howling, reminding me that I will be out there in a little while....freezing. After my coffee, I's time. Grab my milk pail and washing cloth, and prepare to venture out. Grab my muck boots, warm coat, scarf....and I am out the door. I was greeted with a blustery wind...the cold wind that when you take that first breath, it feels like knives going into your lungs, THAT will wake a person right up! I trudge to the barn...Freedom calls to me...sorry pal, no scratches yet, I need to get in out of the wind! Once safe in the barn, I take to the chores....scooping feed, throwing hay...breaking ice on water pails. I grab Suzie, and get to milking her. I tried to warm my hands before milking, but it is so cold....there was no use. I grab a teet, she jumps and throws her head into my side. Sorry little girl....but it has to be done. Once she gets used to my icy hands, I was able to get her milked in no time. The winds were blowing in around the west doors, so I grabbed a few empty feed bags to stuff into the cracks. Snow was starting to fall, and blow in the barn. Once I had all the open cracks stuffed, I could feel the barn get a little warmer. This will have to do. I put Suzie back into her pen, and grab the milk....and head to the house after grabbing the morning paper. I was met by 3 little squirmy kittens, begging for warm milk. I had forgotten to get kitty food, so I obliged them with this mornings milk. I now have a few very happy kittens! I have plenty in the fridge still, so I won't miss one morning's milking. Once inside, I return to the fire, Ahhhhhhhh, nice and warm, throw a few more pieces of wood on, and head to the pantry. This is a good day for stew! Yum! I now have a pot of stew simmering on the stove top, and another cup of coffee...The snow is really trying to come down out there, I am thankful to be inside, warm, and the wonderful smell of stew. I think I will start a loaf of bread, to go with that stew...sounds delish! Hope you all are staying warm today!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

January 1st, wow

So, today we start a new year....2012. I went out this morning to feed the animals, and the winds almost knocked me off my feet! They are saying 40 mph winds. So, after feeding and milking...I decided to work with Freedom a little. He is not used to being told what to do, with a lead. And, he does not like being told when to walk. He plants those front feet...and does NOT move. Now, he is a mini, and only about 250 pounds..but once he makes up his mind to stop....we stop. I scratch him under the chin..he melts in my hands...then we take a few steps, stop, scratch, and so on. Took me almost 30 minutes to get him to move about 200 ft! I was able to finally get him moved to the other small pasture....and he is now out there enjoying green grass. Whew! I hope I don't have to move him any time soon. So I came in and had the "bright" idea to hang laundry on the line today..its windy, in the 40's, should dry pretty good. I was able to get 2 loads on the line, and then the rain came. Well just fine! A free rinse!  So today is an inside day, mostly...the winds are keeping me inside other than to care for animals. I hope you all have a GREAT New year....lets make it happen!