Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Where it all started.

I remember the first time I ever went to the old family farm. I was about 4 years old I was gazing out the window when our car slowed to turn into a driveway of the big two story farm house. It was beautiful. It had white ginger bread type scrolling around the porch and a black rod iron fence enclosing the front yard. I stepped out of the car and took a deep breath. I could smell a variety of things all very foreign to me. I could smell dirt, cows, and sweet apple pie baking in the kitchen.

Over the years the farm was home to a variety of people as well as livestock. I love to look at the photos that were taken generations ago. The farm is still in our family and rich with family history.

Though my visits to the farm has been sparse, this place made an impression on me. The apple trees in the back yard where we were fussed at for climbing are still there. The cellar was a dark scary place, that you only went into because of a dare. The old Bull enclosure still stands, where my cousin and brother once tied me to the fence! I will never forget this place.

This was the first place that we (kids) were able to completely run free. We played. We were fussed at. We were fed and we were loved. Life on the farm was exactly like reliving my ancestors life.

As years go by, each time I return to the old farm house, as I take my first step onto the soil, I am reminded that my grandmother and grandmother before her walked on this same soil. They found love in this place. They lost love in this place. Forever will this be the place that for over a century my family has walked, bled, cried and prayed.

Though, I do not live close to the farm now, I intend to give my children the same farm life, the same freedoms, the same love. Now that we embark on our own homestead journey I know that one day my children will have those memories and freedoms.

As time goes by in a continuously changing world, I can only hope that each generation will return to the old family farm to leave their footprints in the dirt just as their ancestors left over a century before.

Monday, December 21, 2009

It is what it is.

My spirit is under fire today. Change is coming. I am not sure what it is though. Is it going to be good? I dont know. Is it going to be bad? I dont know. Is it going to be scary? "Change" ALWAYS is...

With all that said.... My thoughts for the day....

While speeding down the mountain side, think about the momentum you are gaining to make it up the next one....

With all things there is a season. In a dry season, a rainy season, fertilize prepare the ground for a fruitful season.

Embrace the ride and enjoy the season.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Just call me "Detective"

I knew something was up when Milo (the barn cat) wanted to move in with the chickens....

Evidence A.

Milo about to walk down the chicken plank.

Milo eating out of the chicken feeder. Is Milo confused? Does he believe he is a chicken? Identity Crisis...perhaps?

I thought Milo's move was encouraged because another cat wanted to move in and be the barn cat. Then she moved out of the barn also (unfortunately she now is living in the garage). Is there a ghost in the barn scaring my barn cats?

Months ago, after 2 of our chickens were pulled through the chicken wire (piece by piece), we notice raw spots on the ground, where the dirt had been freshly scratched. The chicken deaths were consistent with a raccoon. The raccoon we later caught. Could it be another raccoon?

Evidence B.

This is about a day old. We have noticed fresh scratch marks during the day. This is not consistent with a cat scaring ghost or a raccoon. Still possibly a wood chuck?

What ever it is can get the lid off the cat food container but can not seem to figure out how to dump it over. Raccoons are smart, very smart. They can use their "hands" in ways other animals can not. This is not consistent with a raccoon. Possibly wood chuck. A ghost could definitely dump the cat food container!

Evidence C.

There is also five entrances (holes) under the tack room floor. This is consistent with a wood chuck. Wood chucks should be hibernating by now. Could climate change effect their hibernation time?

Evidence D.

Then there are the animal tracks. To the untrained eye one could say it is indeed a raccoon but to me the detective say they are not of the size consistency of a raccoon or a wood chuck! Ghost do not leave foot prints.

Evidence E.

One- All evidence leads me to believe its not a ghost.
Two- Milo is not confused that he is a chicken, all signs point to fear of whatever is in the barn.
Three- I am a detective but not Sherlock Holmes.
Four- We are getting a night vision camera for the barn.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Yesterday afternoon my chicks were almost completely out of food. I was very busy all day so they didn't get fresh feed until after dark. I had to unload the feed and fresh bedding then mix the grains and finally feed the animals all by the light of lanterns. I keep thinking about running electric down to the barn and it would be nice on certain occasions but truthfully the lanterns suit me just fine. I like the feel of the barn when it is lite up by lanterns at night, its the same feeling you get when you sit by a lit fire place. Even though I was freezing cold on the heart was warm and toasty!

Then . . . .
This morning we were up at the butt crack of dawn. The kids internal clocks are set on 4:45am...even on a sat!!! I wish the kids had a snooze button! I am kidding. I couldn't sleep in this morning any ways. I am so excited! Extremely excited! Too excited to hit the snooze button and go back to sleep! This morning we are going to Lowes!!!! Which is my most favorite store in the world... next to Rural King! I love Rural King it is like the Ross's of Tractor Supply. Wow I am kind of getting off track here.

 Anyways, I have to get the rest of the building material for the storage building. If you had to look at a partially finished building for as long as I have, you would be excited too! Plus, do you know what it means to have one of the building projects completed!? It means I can start on another project! I have a list of projects that will keep the men in my life busy for years!!!! Sha... I haven't told them about those yet, though. I like to start new projects because I like to keep my neighbors on their toes. It drives them nuts with wondering what we are up to.

Off to GIT ER' DONE!

Enjoy the weekend.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

West Virginia

My heart is here today... in this place...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


With the new year just around the corner, I have been reflecting back on the year 2009. Many of you who know me and my family, 2009 have been full of leaps and bounds.

Jan and Feb passed with out a lot to say. We used the quiet winter months to plan our spring garden.

March- My son aka Pajama Boy, fell off the slide and broke his arm. We learned first hand how unorganized the medical industry is. We spent nine hours in the best hospital in the nation waiting to have his arm splinted. It was a very frustrating time. I now cringe to see the kids play on the slide. It is a fear I am destined to over come. Also I came across a great deal on a tractor. She was a 1948 Ferguson. She is pretty rough but we are dedicated to fully restoring her.

April- We started on our chicken coop. We put gutters on the barn and bought rain barrels. We bought 15 Buff Orpington chicks. Two chicks escaped in the garage. One was found immediately, the other found dead in the yard later that day, bringing our total to 14. We plowed the garden and layered chicken manure on part of it because that is all we had. It showed in the summer, the side with manure flourished the side with out looked scraggly.

May- Sissy started soccer and had a great time. It was a lot of fun to watch her play, though I hated taking Pajama boy to the games and having to explain how my 18month old broke his arm. We also planted the garden. It was our biggest yet, Corn, beans, 2 types of squash, cucumber, peas, carrots, broccoli, onions, garlic, tomato's, sweet potatoes, potatoes, watermelon, cantaloupe and pumpkin! We also planted our orchard (apples and peaches).

June- The chicken coop was finished. We secured the coop making sure no predators could enter. During June we learned that though a raccoon may not be able to enter the coop they certainly can pull 14 week old chicken through the chicken wire...piece by piece... Sorry to be graphic but could be valuable to know. This brought our chicken total down to 12 chickens. Soccer ended. Tending to our seedlings began. We also butchered our first hog. It was the best sausage we have ever had! I started wood carving with my dad...brought back a lot of great memories!

July- July was full of learning through trial and error. We were ripped off at our first (also our last) livestock auction. We supposedly bought 4 Dominique hens. We ended up with 2 hens and 2 roosters which all were Barred rocks, not Dominique's. (They said they were Dominique's but I knew they were not before we bought them). I learned several things that day- Auctions are like junk yards, people sell animals there that no one else wants. You should never buy anything that you cant see in its entirety (they had them in milk crates it was hard to see exactly what we were buying), and you shouldn't buy livestock from someone that has raised livestock longer than you and still knows less about them. We also learned when it comes to gardening more isn't always better. We planted 150 tomato seedlings. We thinned them out to 70 and then thinned again to 40. There were just too many to tend too, we didn't pull the suckers off so they were very over grown.

Aug- Sissy started Kindergarten. I kicked. I screamed. I cried AND when all that was done I cried again. She loved going to the big school, so I had to adjust. We also did our canning during Aug. We put back plenty of food for the winter.

Sept- We removed stakes from the garden and pulled the remaining wilted plants.
We also acquired a barn kitten. We found him one wet rainy morning. He was skinny and very sick. He recovered nicely and is an excellent mouser!

Oct- We started our fence and also started building a storage building.

Nov- November winds caused us to scrap out our trampoline after just having it for 6 months. We worked on cleaning up the barn yard and getting organized. We finially got our hands on some Black Copper Marans Chicks! We realized we will have to expand the coop. For the most part Nov was spent preparing for the holidays.

Dec- We acquired another cat. We are now working on our farm plans for 2010.
Finish fencing
Finish building
Get the interior of the barn prepped for goats
Add on to the chicken coop
Stain and paint buildings and fence
Put in a driveway
Dig pond
Start tearing down the tractor.

I wonder how much of that will actually get done? I wonder what 2010 will be like?

Friday, December 11, 2009

A helpful tip for chicken owners...

Remember this always! It will be the most valuable tip you ever come across!

*Never, I repeat NEVER bust the top layer of ice out of shitty chicken water with your mouth slightly ajar.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Its bound to happen sometime.

Sometimes living the farm life is suckish. Sometimes you have to haul hay and water in the rain and snow. Sometimes you stay up late keeping vigil over a sick animal. Sometimes you have to cull chickens and disbud baby goats and sometimes when animals get hurt or to sick the most humane thing to do is to put them out of their misery. Sometimes you have to do things that you don't even think you could be capable of. Sometimes you have to physically protect the animals that you care for. When you live on a farm, it's bound to happen sometime.

As I sit here and type I am also waiting patiently for animal control to arrive. This morning we had a wolf hybrid come onto the property. We live out in the country so it isn't unusual for dogs to pass through. The problem this one isn't passin' through. He has clawed my chicken coop and has tried to jump through the coop window. He throws his entire body against the chicken fence trying to break in and at this point our kitten is missing.

I am a live and let live kind of girl. So I am not one to pick up a gun at the first sign of havoc. I probably couldn't shoot a dog anyways, but I really wish I had a BB gun or some bottle rockets right about now. I hope that animal control arrives soon, otherwise I may have to call my neighbor (he's a pretty good shot). I really don't want to have to do that though.

I pray my sweet Milo is smart enough to stay hidden and that after this is all said and done I will find him happily snoozing in the hay loft somewhere. We don't have our goats on site yet, thank goodness. Otherwise I am sure they would be gone too.

I am not a cat person but Milo is special. He has touched our lives in a special way. I have tears in my eyes as I write this. I cant imagine the devastation his loss would cause, not just for me but for my daughter. Animals have a special kind of way of helping us through tough times, reminding us to smile, reminding us to love. They remind us that there is something "good" in this world. I hope he is safe.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I learned a lot about my self today.

Shopping today taught me a lot about myself. Not a lot of it was pretty either. I am vain. I stereo type. I have the mental capacity to commit acts of violence. ;)

It really sucks to get a glimps into how the outside world views you . . I am getting older. (sigh)

OK, so maybe I am little vain. I never really thought I was until today. There are certain times in your life when random people that you don't even know, some one you have never even met before, can point out your weaknesses, your insecurities. In a split second my self absorb vain world was revealed to me. Today, a random stranger gave me a punch in the gut, a slap in the face, a dagger through the heart, a bucket of ice cold water poured over my head. This is a prime example of why I hate to shop. If a size 5 jeans isn't insulting me by refusing to button, there are overly helpful sales people lurking behind each clothing rack or better yet, you get blessed with a check out clerk like I had today!

I was wrapping up some Christmas shopping today. I really don't like to shop much these days so it only took me a few minutes to find my purchases and locate a register. I laid my items on the counter as a pretty young blond starts to ring up my purchases. I hand her a check. She glances at the name, then says, "Do you have an older son in high school because there is boy at my school by your last name."

Being ONLY 26, I stared at her for a good 3 minutes. During those 3 minutes I envisioned at least 4 different ways to kick someones ass. Finally I came to and said "No, No I don't have an older son in HIGH SCHOOL"! She may as well of asked me when I am due (no I'm not pregnant)!

I walked out of Old Navy pissed at the world. This is why shopping is hazardous to your health! My blood pressure soared!

I have to say this though. Its not that wrinkles and gray hair bother me. OK, maybe it bothers me a little but it is the getting close to the end that really gets me. Its the lack of adventure, the settling into a mundane life that scares me. I am a mother but I don't want to look like a stereo typical mother either. (Another flaw the clerk indirectly brings to my attention, I stereotype too!) I am afraid of getting older. I just cant help it. This is a true fear of mine. I seriously worry about getting older. Death particularly scares me. I am young I have so much to do! When I think about getting older, I feel like I get the wind knocked right of me, a feeling like I cant breathe. Like something is happening that I dont want to happen but there is nothing, absolutely nothing I can do about it. Unless you have my same fear, you probably find it hard to sympathize. Sorry if you dont understand.

With my impending birthday just around the corner, everyone had already heard my grievances about getting older. I dont look at it like I am gaining a new number! I am loosing minutes/years here people! Anyways, I think everyone is pretty well sick of hearing about it. So I did my best to shut up about it for a while. Even though it was far from being at the back of my mind, I promised myself I will not think about it again. I did pretty good at it until I ran into the BP to get a pack of smokes.

I get back in the car with a big smile on my face, O HECK YES! I got carded!!!! Whoop Whoop! My day had been rectified! I had to share my good news, (So much for not thinking about it), "That means I look younger than 18"! I had no more had those thoughts enter my mind when I noticed a big yellow sign on the door "If you look younger than 40 you will be carded". Freakin A! It just took the wind right out of my sails. Well at least I look younger than 40. :(

Ok so dont judge me. I am not as wholesome as I thought. Its been a rough day. sheesh!!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Heavens Rose

Heavens Rose

One dripping rose.
A little girl,
she stands and waves goodbye.

As she jumps up to slam the door,
she wipes the tears from her eyes.

No more dolly's.
No more false hopes.
No more peaceful dreams.

Jaded, She closes her eyes.
Silently she starts to scream.

She runs to the dark,
still not a place to hide.

and so he watches what he may have done.

A dripping rose,
drowning in her tears
"Don't rush things", he whispers
as innocents turns to fear.

Then it is heard.
A bang on heavens gate!
Only the dead can hear her cries.
Frantic! A child desperately tries.

Her angel hangs his head with thoughts of shame.
Questions and cries but a child does not blame.

Her rose made an angel at the age of seven.
What she misses most no longer has any meaning . . .
but she still stands screaming,
at the gates of heaven.

Dedicated to Nat

copyright 1998

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

My naughty kitty

I love watching animals, not just my own pets but all animals, wild or domestic.

My naughty little barn cat insist on taunting my yard dogs. At first my little Milo liked to sunbath on the opposite side of the fence (so the dogs couldnt reach him). Then after the novelty of that wore off, he decided that it would really aggravate the dogs if he perched himself on top of the fence. He would just wait there for them to notice. As soon as my hot headed pups would start to bark, he simply jumps down and sits on the opposite side of the fence, snickering "missed me, missed me, now ya got to kiss me". A few days pass and that also begins to lose its appeal.

So Milo raises the stakes once again. Slipping under the gate and then sprinting across the yard to the adjacent gate while the dogs are hot in pursuit. He slides under the gate just in time to turn and chuckle to himself as my hot headed pups crash into the gate then roll backwards.

Its kind of funny but I can see that my Husky x(Sam), is getting smarter. He is waiting longer before he chases Milo, making sure he is completely in the yard before he pursues. I wonder who will win the game of cat and mouse... I will even go as far as to say, "who is the cat and who is the mouse"?

He really is a naughty kitty.