Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Best Dog Ever!

We have the best dog ever. Her name is Star. My son, Joshua prayed for many years for a dog. We had always rented and were never allowed to have one. He finally got his long awaited dog when he was 13. Joshua is now 22. Star is the most patient loving dog I have ever seen. She is an Australian Shepherd. She LOVES all the babies on the farm. When we get a new batch of chicks, she just trembles with excitement. She follows us around as we carry the box of chicks. If we sit it on the floor, she lays by it with her nose up to it. When you take the lid off the box, she sticks her nose in the box and just looks and occasionally gives one of them a lick. Last year we had a batch of kittens that always were on our front porch or in the front yard. They would come up to Star and try to nurse. She would just lay their patiently and let them try. After we give a baby goat or calf a bottle, she cleans off their face for them. I thought you might enjoy these pictures of Star with some chicks.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Knots on Wood

I took several pictures of knots in the wood and realized that the dimmer light in my home adds to what I see. The brightness of the flash took away a lot. Also, seeing them from a distance, instead of close upso lends to seeing things differently. Most of them did not turn out, but this one is actually my favorite. It is right over my rocking chair that is in my own little corner. The 2 pictures are actually the same knot just flipped 180 degrees. In the first picture (remember to look beyond the obvious) it appears like a man. He has a black collar on and his mustache and beard kind of give his mouth area a smeared look. =) Flipped the other way, it is a young red headed boy peeking out from a dark hole. Can you see him? I LOVE red hair. He is what I first saw in this knot. It almost looks like he has an upside down frying pan on his head.

Did any of you see them? David posted a comment that he could not see the boy with red hair. If you look at the picture below, the top arrow is the upside down skillet, the next arrow down (left side) is the red hair and the circle is his face.

Look beyond the obvious

My eyes seem to have a way of looking beyond an object and seeing something else in it. The above picture is of a moth that was outside my front door. It looked just like a pair of lips to me. My husband usually smiles and looks at me so sweetly, when I "see something", but many times then he can see it too!! He also smiles at my descriptions of things. We have a certain type of bright white moths here. They appear to have a white fur collar around them. On the same day, I told him about the moth that looked like lips, I also told him I had found 2 white moths with a fur collars in the house. He thought I was teasing, and wouldn't "take my bait". So, I caught one and saved it in a jar for him. =)

Our ceiling on the first floor is 2" X 8" pine planks. The ceiling down here is the floor upstairs. There is no insulation or any other layer. They built it that way, so that the heat from the wood stove could rise through the cracks in the ceiling to the bedrooms above. Wood heat is our only source of heat. Anyway, there all sorts of interesting knot holes. I will take some pictures of them and see if you can see beyond them as well.

Sunday, May 28, 2006


Here is a picture of the little calves we picked up yesterday. We call them Hooties. My son saw a Gomer Pyle show one time. They were out in the woods on some maneuver. He was supposed to give an owl sound as a signal. He would call out "Hootie Hoo" with his southern twang. Well, many years ago with our first calves, my son would always say that when he went out to feed them. After awhile, all he would have to say is "hootie hoo" and they would come running from wherever they were. We even had them in a friend's pasture. It was a huge pasture on a steep hill. We would go down to feed them their milk and he would walk in the gate with no calves in sight. He would yell his familiar "hootie hoo" and they would come galloping from where ever. So, we call them hooties. I know we are WEIRD!! =)

Friday, May 26, 2006

Night Sounds

The above pictures are of our pond being dug and then once it was full. I am sitting in my office with the window open. It is pitch black out here in the country. Oh, there is a LOUD chorus of frogs singing. There are all different frog voices joining in. They are all praising the Lord together, making a joyful noise. What a lovely sound.

Parents are Precious

Parents are very special people. Make sure that you call and visit your parents. You are not promised a tomorrow with them. I have really been thinking about my Mom today. She died very suddenly and unexpectedly last October. I wasn't ready for her to go away. I miss her so much. I can't encourage you enough to let your parents know that you love them. Make right any wrongs between you and others. Don't have any regrets if someone close to you dies. The first picture really depicts my Mom as I remember her. The second one is of her and my Dad. He is still alive and I talk to him every day. He is 1000 miles away and that is sometimes very hard. He left today for a trip. After Tuesday, I won't be able to talk to him for about 2 weeks as he will be out of the country. I already miss our chats. Sorry, I didn't want to make anyone blue today. The Lord has been so faithful to my family and I throughout this whole thing. I have no complaints.

Christian Weed

This is pineapple weed. It is in the chamomile family. It grows all up and down my driveway between the house and the barn. When you crush the flower it smells like pineapple. I call it the Christian weed. The more you step on it or drive on it or smash it down, the more it spreads. Also, as you crush it a sweet aroma rises. It is proven the more that Christians are persecuted and crushed the faster Christianity spreads in that area. When they undergo persecution for Christ's sake it is a sweet aroma to the Heavenly Father. I believe that God put all sorts of these items in nature to remind us of what we are to be about. Today, all over the world our brothers and sisters in the Lord are being tortured, persecuted or even Martyred for their faith. You can learn more about it at

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Garden Time

The last frost date for this area is May 15th. Both last year and this year, we have had 2 frosts after this date. =) I am glad I am behind a bit on my garden. It was really easy to pick up my flats of plants and bring them in.

So far I have cabbage, lettuce, onions and tomatoes planted. I planted the tomatoes today. I have 20 paste tomato plants, 5 Early Girl, 5 Better or Big Boy (I can't remember which), 2 grape tomatoes and 3 cherry tomato plants. I also have a border of flowers planted. I still have all my peppers to plant. I bought red, yellow, orange and green bell peppers, jalapenos and banana peppers. Then I have corn, beans, beets, pumpkins and my squash to plant. The garden is much smaller this year. I usually go WAY over board and have plenty to share. It is fun to be out in the garden though, because it is right beside the sheep pasture. I love to watch the baby lambs all playing together. There are 5 in there right now. One more will join them next week.

Here are some signs of spring around here. I love my bleeding heart. I have planted about 4 of them and the dogs dug them all up. This time I planted in a barrel planter and it is doing wonderful. The only thing though it is taking over the barrel and the other plants are being crowded out. Maybe since it has gotten so big, I can transplant it and have it live.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Dogs, Cats & Birds

Our one cat had kittens several weeks ago. She hid them WELL. We hate it when they do that, as we can't handle them and tame them to humans. Well, she brought them out in the yard today. My son saw them and went to pick one up. They hiss and spit at you and try to claw you. However, he finally got them up in his hands in a way, that they calmed down. Here is one of them. One is all black with blue eyes and the other one is black and white. Our dogs were out there with us. They love babies period. It does not matter what species. It was so fun to watch them gently go up to sniff and then have one of the kittens hiss and spit at them. They would jump back. They finally laid down and decided to watch from a distance.

This is a bad picture of a hummingbird. He was right outside my windwo sitting on the bird feeder hanger we have out there. He let me get really close and did not even leave.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Goats are fun to watch

I love my goats. They know me and come to me and let me love on them all I want to. The darker one you see in the picture is Honeysuckle or Suckle for short. She was the daughter of my herd matriarch and looks exactly like her. She even has her old lady trot. The other goat is her daughter, Magnolia or Maggie for short. They see me coming with the milk bucket and start nickering at me. Right now, I am only milking Honeysuckle. They are eating really well and seem to be in great shape. We have used the goat milk for ourselves, but we also have 2 jersey cows. We use the goat milk to feed other animals. We feed babies (goats, lamb or calf) and we feed it to our pigs. I also make goat milk soap with it. To get a milking animal really ties you to the farm. You have to be here twice a day, but it is well worth it to us. Some people sometimes get upset with us, because they want us to do something and we have to do our chores first, or leave early to get home and do them. It is the life we chose and we would choose it again.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Wool, wool and MORE wool

The second picture is of my sheep before they were sheared. I breed for color with my sheep. I love the creams and the browns. I have way too many fleeces from my sheep. I need to sell some, but I never seem to get around to making up sample pictures, etc. I love the smell of the lanolin in the room that I store them in. I had a gorgeous dark brown sheep and was anxious to get his wool. However, when he was sheared, the whole underside of his fleece was a beautiful gray as you can see in the first picture. The Shetland wool is so easy to spin. I do cheat and send any wool that I will spin off to be washed and carded and made into a roving for me.

I had always thought of sheep as these quiet little creatures. I had a mental picture of goats as well. They were onery and ate tin cans and clothes off your lines. =) Well, my goats are the quiet ones. They are very shy with anyone except my husband and I. They just do more of little nickers. My sheep are VERY loud. I have both my sheep and my goats in the same little barn. They each have a side. When I go into milk the goats, the sheep can drown out any other noise. I love them though. They are very gentle.

There are always routines on a farm. The animals like routine, because they know what to expect. In the mornings, I go out to milk the goat. I usually have both dogs and one cat that tags along. Every once in awhile, one of the other barn cats tag along as well. I always give the first squirts of milk to the dogs. They sit right at the end of the stanchion waiting on this. We were told by an organic dairyman/friend that the first squirts should not be used. The dogs are more than happy with this arrangement. Then while the goats finish their feed, I get their hay. When I leave the goat shed the dogs and cat know that the next stop is the shed barn. I pour a bit of the milk in a bowl for the barn cats. I call the other ones and they all feast. Then I put a little tiny bit in 2 bowls to give the dogs a wee bit of a treat. They all run ahead of me to each place as they "know" the routine. In the evening, they do not get milk other than the squirts of milk while milking. My husband is usually back there with me in the evening. He helps with the chicken coop (gathering eggs and closing them in for the night) and gets fresh water for the goats. As we walk back up to the house, the dogs go off and do their own thing or stay with us.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Here are the pictures of the baby triplet ram lambs. It is so fun to watch all the babies. They all play together out in the pasture. The pop up and down like popcorn.

Mama Hens

This hen was one that ran around my yard with 2 other hens and a rooster. This particular hen disappeared and we thought something got her. The other two kept digging up my flower gardens, so I got rid of them as well as the rooster. Well, low and behold this lady showed back up with 8 peeps in tow. If you look close there is one you can see just under the front of her and just over her back and one behind her. She is VERY protective. If you get anywhere near her, she really comes after you.

God's Merciful Grace

Well, God was at work at our house on Friday. We are home fellowshipping with 2 other families. They both have a Rachel. We call them "big Rachel" (she just turned 17) and "little Rachael" (she is 12). They both play the fiddle and had a recital that evening. We were invited to go. Normally we would have jumped at the chance, but neither of us put much effort into going. It is hard for us to go to something that early this time of year. Michael has to move the chicken pens while it is still light, so that they walk with him. Anyway, we did not go. Our Joshua went to hear them and then was going to practice with the ones he plays bluegrass with, as they had an engagement Saturday night.

We had just sat down to eat (Michael and I) and we heard a little noise up in Joshua's room. We did not pay that much attention to it. Then we heard a louder POP. Michael went up to check and ran to the stairs and told me that Joshua's dresser was in flames. We went into action. Michael threw the drawers that were flaming out the window. Joshua's LOADED ( I don't like them loaded, but am overruled) 45 was in the drawer that had the most flames and it went out the window. We had to take the dresser outside as it is smoldering. Joshua came home to help. He lost just a few things, but he did lose his new gun. It is ruined. Our house would have gone up like a matchstick with all the wood there is. PRAISE THE LORD, that we were home, or we would have come home to no house. PRAISE THE LORD, that the bullets didn't fire. They were hollow points. We think it was the light that he has on the gun. It is a halogen and gets very hot. It must have either been left on, or turned on by accident.


Thursday, May 18, 2006

Baby Lambs on the farm...

Life is never dull around here. Yesterday my last ewe went into labor. I have Shetlands and Shetland crosses. They have never had any trouble lambing. This lamb was Sunshine, my herd matriarch. I have never really seen the sheep in labor. I check them about every 3 hours or so when birth looks imminent. Then I go out one time and there are baby lambs. I have seen my goats kid every time, so I do know what labor in an animal looks like. I saw that she was in labor and so I brought a chair out to the barn along with my camera. However, something did not look quite right. After about 2 hours of nothing happening, I called a friend. She told me to check just inside to see what I felt. I should feel 2 little feet and a nose. I could feel nothing. I waited some more thinking she was in early labor. After more time went by, I checked again. There were legs only and they were not close to coming out. I could not feel a head, so I knew it was breech. I had to pull when she pushed the next time and a nice size ram lamb was born. He was pure white. I was told to wait up to an hour between births. This sheep was huge and I was thinking she was going to have triplets for the first time. After an hour and a half, nothing was happening even with her pushing. I checked her again. All I could feel was the rump. I could find part of one leg, but that was it. My arm would go no further. I called a friend who lived nearby and raises sheep. She told me if I would come and get her, she would come and help. After she got there, she was able to go in and pull another ram lamb out in the breech position. She had to pull his legs back first. He was mostly white but very speckled with black. We thought she was done and low and behold here came more feet. It was another breech ram lamb. He was almost all black except some white around his head. My poor sheep, Sunshine was totally spent. We helped her clean the lambs up and dry them off. We made sure they got some colostrum and then let Momma rest. They are adorable. The little black one will turn brown. I told my husband, that I should call them Chocolate, Vanilla and Cookies and Cream.