Thursday, December 27, 2012

Sugar Cookie crumbs...

As we all wake from our sugar and carbohydrate induced comas... I hope all are left with the lingering joy of Christmas that is hanging around our home.   What a beautiful holiday it was.  We spent it together and with local family.   My boys seemed pleased with their gifts, knitted warmth from mama, a few toys and lots of music!

As I am typing, the oldest two are singing Christmas carols (the exactly correct lyrics are unimportant-- just as long as they can get to fa-la-la-la-la) while they get wood from outside for our wood stove.  I can't begin to tell you how much we are enjoying our woodstove.  Even the cool of the morning before we get the stove re-lit... it's bliss.  We are learning how different the house warms than with our electric furnace.  Cool spots,  the luxury of a space heater in the bathroom and how necessary slippers are to everyday wear! :)  This does cramp the middlest one's style just a bit as he would be happy to wear nothing but his under-roos year round.  This morning he broke into our room around 5 to ask daddy to please start a fire b/c he was freezing.  He was only in underwear... I told him that is why we invested in warm jammies and why he has more than one blanket on his bed.... he promptly cuddled in with us and fell back asleep.

I got wonderful gifts this year... all of which held hope.  A new beautiful nativity set, a warm coat perfect for the farm, an empty picture frame ready to fill with memories and two new beautiful jersey wooly (aka dwarf angora) baby bunnies.  The nativity will be a year long reminder of the goodness and hope of Christmas.  My coat will quite literally see me through many of the adventures that lie ahead of us on this homestead.  The frame will be filled and refilled again with physical reminders of these adventures and my baby bunnies, they have expanded our farm once again.

It's been a beautiful advent season for our family.  Full of laughter and light.  I hope this new year holds the same for you and yours.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Our hoosier cabinet...

This hoosier cabinet is beautiful.  Not just because it has been well made, well finished and well cared for... but because it comes with a beautiful story.

This isn't the first time this cabinet has had a home on this farm.  It was purchased by the husband's great grandfather.  It served them well.  Deep worn memories of his great grandmother cutting biscuits and dumplings cover the ceramic coated counter top.  The flour sifter is still fully functioning and you can hear it come to life when you turn the crank.

When they owned it, it was painted white.  How pretty that must have been in their kitchen.

My father and mother in law moved to the house on our farm in the mid-1970s.   The house is a pre-civil war era home and had no built in cabinets in the kitchen.   My mother in law decided to ask her grandfather if she could borrow the cabinet while they lived there.  She had such fond memories of it.  One condition-- she would like to help him strip it down to the original wood.  He said he would, as long as she would help.  She agreed.

The day came for her to help strip the cabinet, and Pappy was already at work in the basement.  But she couldn't help.  She called down to him and apologized... for as much as she wanted to help...  she couldn't.  She couldn't be around those fumes now that she was pregnant.  Pregnant with my husband.

Now here it graces my kitchen.  On that same farm, although in a different house.  Three decades later.  My husband stopped in the center of the kitchen the other morning, walked a couple more steps, stopped, walked back.   I looked at him puzzled.  He said with a huge smile "Do you hear that??" He walked again... the cabinet rattled.  He smiled again.  "That.  That sound is so familiar to me.  It's a sound from my childhood... this was the sound of my kitchen."

And now, it is the sound of ours.  It's beautiful.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Happy Birthday to my sweet husband!

Happiest of Birthdays to my sweet husband... who after a delicious very
homesteady birthday meal, fell fast asleep on the couch.   What a happy birthday. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The end of The General...

Our poor rooster is ready to meet the pot.   In the last few weeks he has steadily gotten more aggressive, both with us and with the hens.  We're not quite sure why.  He pecked our littlest guy on the arm pretty hard... strange behavior for our favorite roo on the block.  We just did away with two baby roosters in and kept him because he had been so calm and steady while we had him.

Then came the attack...

I was out scattering scratch in their favorite spot and was turning to leave when I felt a hit on my leg.  I thought two of the hens were getting into over the pecking order, but I was wrong-- it was the General and that small bump was the start of an all out attack of my legs... I kicked back at him to shoo him away and he ran right back and jumped talons out at me again.   This is when the fight or flight instinct kicked in... in the world of predator or prey... I'm most definitely prey.  I ran!!   When I saw that my steady jog was no match for the now pursuing attacker.  So I starting sprinting.  Literally dropped everything I had and sprinting for the door.  He chased me as far as the porch and then we had a stare down.  Well... I had a stare down and he more or less just stood there.

That's when I noticed my leg really hurt... and something wet was running down the back of my leg.  Overall, not horribly mangled... but I believe this is the first time an animal has ever attacked me.  It's quite possibly the scariest thing ever.  For the remainder of the day, every time I went outside he would start towards me and I would just panic.   I started to think about what if he went after my boys?  What if he got meaner with the girls?  So it was time.

I was the one to pull the trigger... literally.  I waited until the husband was home because I don't know how to clean and dress the bird.  He's gotten quite the experience lately.

It's bittersweet, really.  Something about having the general and all his crowing and strutting made our farm feel established.   I loved his morning/noon/night crow and he was just oh so pretty.   I am pretty excited to show off and share though!  My parent's are coming in from Michigan this weekend and I'm ready to show off my dumplin' making skills!

It will be my final salute to the dear ol' General.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

So much going on around the homestead!!

After taking the month to reflect on thankfulness, and my actual posts about our homesteading adventures have become so sparse, I have really missed it!!

We have been busy collecting wood... and by we, I mean the husband and sons.  I have mostly sat in the truck, knitting, while they have been busy sawing, hacking and chopping.   We have enjoyed many bonfires this fall-- and now we've been given the gift of bringing that warmth indoors!!  I will post more when our woodstove is installed next week, but we have been given a physical blessing by some dear friends of ours.  I can't wait to turn off our furnace!!

We said goodbye to several of our turkeys.  Most of them actually.  We had them processed and split them amongst our "turkey team".  Everyone had some homegrown turkeys to feast on this thanksgiving.  We got some really wonderful compliments on our birds from the processor!  They said they looked wonderful, healthy, full.  I give full credit to the amount of love and care they received.  And when we served our bird on thanksgiving day to family and dear friends, I swear you could taste a hint of that love.  We really enjoyed it.  We kept three birds, Spanish Blacks, our biggest Tom and two hens.  I find myself worrying about them so much more.  We want them to start laying so we can incubate the eggs and build our flock from their stock.  So a lot rides on their safety.  We had hoped to breed our Bourbon Reds, but we ended up not having a Tom, and they remained very small.  But the Spanish Blacks are a beautiful bird.  I love when our Tom fluffs out and gobbles at us.  He's truly magnificent and our hens have these beautiful grey accents in their feathers.  They will make pretty babies.

Right now I'm playing a waiting game.  I have already picked my Christmas presents.   They were born  nearly two weeks ago, two little Jersey Wooly rabbits.  I am getting them from a breeder in Lexington and I'm very excited... they are two small to mess with right now and the mother is protective... so I am waiting on pictures of my little wooly babies.  Seriously, I check my email about 100 times a day.  It's becoming a sickness.  Their cage is ordered, we're preparing for their arrival (the day after Christmas), and now I'm just hoping for a peek at them.  They will be fiber pets, as jersey woolies are a breed that originated in pairing a Netherland Dwarf rabbit with an Angora.  I fell in love with the breed's sweet face and figured since I was looking at little sheep, I should look at little bunnies!

We are also a hunting family now.  Who knew?  I grew up a hunter's daughter.  Seeing the camouflaged blur rush out of the house in the early mornings and early evenings.  Smelling the woodsy, dirt smell of scent cover-up and the florescent flashes of orange accenting the landscape... it's all very known to me.  But I never expected my husband to take to it the way he has.  I love it.  He has never really had a hobby.... and his love and almost spiritual need to be outdoors... this has just been great for him.  It also fulfills that deep-rooted manly need to provide for his family.  Gun season has ended and we have a freezer full of venison,  we celebrated thanksgiving a little early with wild turkey and now he's about to try his hand at bow hunting!  We just can't let the hunting season end!

I hope you and yours had a wonderful thanksgiving season.  We are now in full swing for advent preparations.  I love the advent season.  Sure, it's crazy and full of hustling... but in between the Christmas parades, church and school play practices, gift wrapping and tree decorating- there is joy!  It's a month long reminder to find joy in all things.  And I know that sounds just cliche and disgusting... to that I say "bah-humbug!".  Sure... finding joy is hard... especially amongst the busy-ness.  BUT when isn't it hard to seek joy?!?!  When isn't it hard to put it above our task list??  It's always hard... there's always something trying to steal it away.  But it's there.  It may be hiding, but when you choose to seek after joy-- it will find you!

Day 27... Spinning thankfulness

I am thankful for the gift of being able to spin yarn.  I have been knitting for most of my life.  But at some point, I got the idea to take a step backwards and try to spin my own yarn.  This lead me to a drop spindle, and then an amazing gift from my father of a kick spindle, then to a wheel.  I still use all of them.  I love spinning yarn.  This has now led me to where I am today, taking another step backwards and raising the animals that provide the fiber.   

Monday, November 26, 2012

Day 26... thankful for change

At the beginning of the year I finally did something to stop the yo-yo, up and down (mostly up) weight loss battle that I had been fighting since having my first son 9 years ago.  As someone who had never struggled with weight before, I realized that I was oblivious to how unhealthy I had become.  The husband and I made some big changes in our diet, started a program through our doctor's office and together have lost nearly 100 lbs!  I still have a few more I'd like to shed within the year, but I've reached all my big goals and am loving the life I have reclaimed!  

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Day 25... Hope.

I am thankful for hope.  I am thankful for the space to dream big.  I've been doing some dreaming lately.  More to come on that soon I'm sure, but right now I'm just thankful for the freedom to hope.  Sometimes hope is scary.  Sometimes,  the fears of past failures or shortcomings can weigh you down... but I've felt those burdens slip from my shoulders lately and have felt daring.  I am full of gratitude. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Day 24... Stillness

I am thankful in this moment that my children are still this small.  That a long day and a car ride can let them fall alseep so soundly.  I am also thankful that these two are still light enough to carry to bed!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Day 23... a Daddy's Love

I am thankful for the father that my husband is.  I am thankful for how he takes the time to teach our boys, for the way he helps them, guides them.  He is a wonderful father.  Our boys will become great men because of what they see in him.  I am beyond thankful for that. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Day 22... Thankful for family and friends

We had the pleasure of hosting Thanksgiving at our home this year and in addition to my mother and father -in-law we were also blessed with the company of my husband's sweet friend and mentor, Mr. Lyman Coleman.  What a gift he is to our family.  So thankful for family who always has an extra seat at the table!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Day 21... Thankful for knitting

The most relaxing morning I have had in a long time.  Sitting in Kevin's Papaw's truck on the back of the farm, Christmas songs playing on the radio, knitting in my lap, watching my husband chop wood.  What a lovely morning.  I am thankful for my love of knitting.  It has provided me a job I love, a hobby I can rest with and the joy of giving gifts I have made.  

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Day 20... thankful for memories

Tonight I had the honor of singing for the Hospice memorial service.  A service commemorating all those who had gone before us and used the services of Hospice this past year.  My husband's dear grandparents and the inspiration for this blog, left us last fall.  We still miss them dearly.  Their names were read at the service and I sang with them in my heart.  I am thankful for the memories that not only I have, but that my children have.   Our time with our loved ones is precious.  

Monday, November 19, 2012

Day 19... warm thanks

My family loves a good campfire.  We have two official firepits in our yard, one in the front, one in the back.   My husband loves to build them, my boys love to tend to them... I love to sit as close as I can to them.  I am thankful for these small moments.  Telling stories, singing songs.  Enjoying the last of our fall evenings. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Day 18... our surprise boy

My littlest boy... no longer a baby.  Our surprise blessing.  During a time of change and upheaval in our life, full of uncertainty and doubt, we were given our sweet youngest boy.  Not thinking we were adding anymore to our family, we were gladly proven wrong.  He's my bringer of joy, always quick with a smile and laugh.  My cuddle bug.  I will not push away his snuggles- they are far too precious and that time for a mommy is fleeting.  I am thankful everyday that God's plans trump my own.  I love you sweet littlest boy. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Day 17- Middle Son

Day 17- My middlest boy.  My happy little elf of a son.  So tender hearted, so compassionate to others.  When we found out we were having another boy- I felt like my life was complete.  Two brothers.  What a wonderful blessing.  He is my adventurous boy, always climbing, always jumping, always moving, but he stills my heart.  I love you my middle son... 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Day 16- Oldest Son

Day 16- November 16, 4 am... this little man came into my life and I became a mother.  My sweet oldest son, full of adventure and humor and creativity.  I am blessed to call him mine... I smile everytime people tell us that he looks like me (poor little guy!!).  He makes me want to cry with his amazing brain and how hard he works at school.  I love you little man.  You are an amazing young man and everyday you make me more proud to be your mama. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Day 15- Thankfulness for Home...

Day 15... I am so thankful that my boys have this farm to grow up on.  I am so thankful that we live here and that we are raising them with such open land and raising them to respect the land and animals that live here with them.  I couldn't have dreamed this life for us... and now that it is unfolding into reality- I am beyond thankful... not just for this life for myself, but that this is their story as well. 

Sweater Progress...

The sweater is coming right along.  My goal is to wear it on Thanksgiving!  What fun that will be (I will need a full apron for cooking... I will probably just have to buy that since trying to start another project in the next week is not going to be a smart idea!)

The body is finished and I just have to finish the sleeves and sew on the buttons and I'm ready to wear my first sweater made for me.  I'm nervous about sleeves... I always seem to mess up my sleeves.  I don't know how... but that's usually how the sweater ends up being scrapped.  uhg.  Send me good sweater ju-ju.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Day 14- Thankful for Clarity

I am thankful for increasing clarity.  The more homesteading and rural living we do, the more we are affirmed that this is the life for us.  We are overwhelmed with the joys of farm life and the sweetness that the hard times allow us to cherish.  We are so thankful for this opportunity and blessing to live here. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Day 13- Thankful for healing

Today I woke up with a terrible pain in my shoulder and neck.  So painful, that i couldn't turn my head completely.  I had an ache in my shoulder the night before, but I blamed it on a 4 year old that continues to insist on being picked up and sleeping on it funny.  This morning it was bad enough I even said aloud I would take myself to the doctor, which alerted my husband that something was truly wrong since I never go to the doctor.  Instead I opted for a more natural, and much more relaxing option-- I would call our local massage therapists and see if I could make an emergency appointment.  Can I say how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE my massage therapist.  I have had prenatal massages with her, relaxation massages with her and now she squeezed me into her already busy day and blessed me with her healing touch.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Livestock Guardian Dogs

Back off you mean ol' predators.
Photo courtesy of Triple Holler Boer Goats
So... along with our sheep we've been doing research on guardian animals to keep the wool babies safe.    After reading a couple publications, I sought out breeders who raise their Livestock Guardian Dogs (LGDs) directly to guard.  Just because someone breeds Great Pyranese and other working class dogs, doesn't mean they are bred for that purpose.  I came upon Triple Holler Farm in Windsor, Kentucky, not terribly far from us and upon emailing the owners with a bunch of questions, got a wonderful and quick reply.  I've definitely chosen the right breeder for us.   They keep 8 working LGDs split up into different groups that protect a variety of their animals... and they've not lost an animal to coyote since they've had them.   Can't argue with that!   I simply can't wait to meet these amazing dogs (and owners, of course!!).   And who's going to love having these sweet pups around?  More than just me!  Beautiful breed and a valuable service member to our farm?!   Sold.

Day 12- New Beginnings

Day 12- I am so thankful for fresh starts.  Clean slates.  Chances to begin anew.  

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Day 11- Love of the hunt...

I was raised by a hunter.  My father still loves to hunt.  I never thought my husband would join that club, but he has.  Boy, has he ever.  On the first day of turkey season, he got his first wild turkey and now on the first day of deer season he has gotten his first deer.  What a fun new hobby this has turned out to be for him.  I am thankful for the provision. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Day 10- Brotherly Eucharisteo

Day 10- I am thankful for my brother Seth.  His time on this earth was too short, and I knew so little of him and remember so much less than that... but I will take it and take heart that I will see him again.

I so wish I had a better picture of me and my brother Jared.  (Katie-- we need to make this happen next time we are together my instagram ready sis-in-law!!)  He's about to become a daddy and what a fun dad he's going to be!  I am thankful for his kind and tender heart and his incessant desire to make others laugh :)

And my baby brother, hardly a baby.  I am thankful for what a man he's become seemingly overnight.  He works so hard and is such a great daddy to his boy.  I'm so proud of everything he's accomplished.

Very thankful for each of my siblings and what they've blessed me with as their sister. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Day 9- Sister Eucharisteo

Day 9- I am thankful for my sister Michaele.  She has been an inspiration to me and a wonderful example of a true lady, a Prov. 31 wife and an involved mother.  I am truly grateful for the bond we have developed and love her so much.  Wish Kentucky and California were a bit closer.

I am also so thankful for my younger sister, Rebekah.  It is a treasure to be an older sibling.  A treasure often taken for granted.  I now know what a gift my little sister is.  She's an amazing mom and wife and is a warrior of a woman.  She fights for those she loves and helps those who need her. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Day 8- Grateful

Day 8- Over the past month- I've had the pleasure of having dear friends from out of town come to visit.  I've been able to have coffee and lunch dates with several local friends.  I've been able to catch up with old friends and invest in new relationships.  It is not lost on me what a treasure true friendship is.  At one time in the not so distant past, I was a hurt and empty person.  I had no more trust to give and had wandered into a very lonely desert.   Today, I look around me and realize I'm not anywhere near that desert anymore.  I don't know exactly when I left.  I slowly started to realize the lush greens and the blue sky and the intensity of the friendships surrounding me.  Friends, I am so very thankful for you. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Day 7 - Thankful

I am so thankful for the chance to live on this beautiful farm.  My in-laws have blessed us so much by allowing us to build here and raise our children here.  I love it here. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Day 6-- Thankfulness

Day 6- I am thankful for the democratic process that our country can go through without war and fear of bloodshed.  I am thankful for the ability to freely share in the process of choosing leadership without threat of death.   I am thankful that as a woman, I have the right to vote and voice my opinion on the ballot because so many women in the world do not have this opportunity.  Regardless of who wins tonight's elections, I did my part and for that I am thankful. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Day 5 Eucharisteo

I am so thankful for my sweet doggies.  We rescued Honey during a very emotional time last year and her sweetness has helped to heal our hearts and her teddy bear face keeps us smiling all the time.  Sadie was a miracle addition to our little family.  She and Honey are inseparable (even sharing a crate) and they have made each other better dogs.  Our children adore them and they are so patient with them.  I love our sweet pups. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Eucharisteo Day 4

Day 4-  I am so thankful for this life I've been blessed to live.  I'm thankful for all of it.  God bringing us here from Chicago, never knowing that living on a farm would truly become "Living on a Farm!".  Never knowing how much I needed to live this life, to invest in the land, to fall in love with it.  So so very thankful for this opportunity and this season of my life. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Day 3-- Eucharisteo

Day 3--- I'm so thankful for all the skills I've been learning through the summer and look forward to learning more about homesteading and living a simple life.  I love the smell of fresh baked bread and I take pride in making it by hand.  Nothing tastes quite as good as warm bread from the oven with handchurned butter and fresh preserves. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Day 2-- Eucharisteo

Day 2- I'm so very thankful for my husband.  I could insert any of the lovely cliche's for marriage here and they would all be true.  I have married my best friend.  He's my favorite person in the world.  He never fails to support me, often times believing in me and my crazy dreams more than I do.  He's an amazing father and leader and I'm proud to be his wife.  I'm excited for this next season of our life together, homesteading and seeking a simpler existence.  *I love you.*

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Art of Less...

Over the last couple months, we've had a streak of stomach flu go through our house TWICE.  Who has been the fortunate one to hoard all the germs and sickness to herself.  Me.  The littlest got it once... briefly and on that occasion I got it for half a day.  Felt pretty proud of my immune system.  But more recently, I got a 7 day strain of stomach virus that lasted about 9 days total (and tack on a two day migraine right before that started).  What does that equal.  It equals Mommy hunkering down for 11 days.  Can you imagine what happens to the practice of simplicity and organization when Mommy takes 11 days off?  Imagine that, then multiply by that by a week full of after school activities, expound that with friends from out of town (I really thought I was on the mend and had been planning these visits for months!) and you get semi-controlled, non-simplified chaos.  That's actually probably more of a pessimistic view of things.  I wouldn't say we went backward as much as we just stayed where we were-- which is nice-- slightly frustrating to feel like I'm the main source of forward motion towards simplification of our home-- but eye opening to say the least.   So, now I'm back in full swing-- and it's time to get back on my game (and make sure the rest of my players get off the sidelines).

We've now got a new project--- more to come on this later--- and it's going to require some major living room simplification.  We've somehow got to rearrange our non-rearrangable room and pair down the furniture.   That is no easy task.  But after 11 days off I'm excited to get started.  I need to tackle a bookshelf, relocate two chairs and a hutch.  Oh, and do some halloween de-cluttering while the kids are at school.

Also, for the month of November... I'm going to try to share a "Eucharisteo" or thankfulness moment with you each day... some will be very personal... others probably more light hearted... but I am thankful for so so many things.  We are blessed and as we lead into Thanksgiving, my heart is overwhelmed and full.

Day 1- I am so very thankful for these three little men.  They keep me laughing, they keep me busy and they keep me humble.  I am blessed to be a mommy of my three little boys.  They are each so unique and I'm constantly in awe of their creativity and adventurous hearts. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

On the needles...

When I opened my yarn shop 3 years ago, I assumed that I would have unlimited knitting time.  That is a wrong assumption.  Business takes over and you just don't have time to knit much, unless it's a class example or a swatch (and even then!).  Sitting in my knitting bag for 3 very long years... was this gorgeous pattern, the February Lady.  A grown up version of Elizabeth Zimmerman's February Baby Sweater and one of the nicest free patterns on Ravelry.  

Since closing my shop this summer, I've knit a few things... mostly small one day projects... and then there have been the abandoned projects.  I got started on the most amazing knit jacket-- the Sylvi-- that once I got the second sleeve done, I realized the sleeves were completely different... not really sure what I did wrong-- but it led to the projects abandonment.  So it still sits lonely and alone, like most of my other "I'm going to knit this for myself" projects.  I've begun to think I'm just better at knitting for other people.  Uhg.

So, after a friend posted a picture of her February Lady sweater... I decided that I would cast it on and give it a go.  I make no promises that it will not be abandoned, but so far it's got a lot going for it.   First of all... I set the yarn aside when I was closing.  I decided in the sadness of closing I would take myself on a selfish little shopping spree.  All of my yarns were being marked down-- so I took the ones I wanted for myself rather than watch the yarns I really liked walk out the door at a discount.  I didn't take much... but there was an Organic wool cotton blend that I just adored and so I snatched the turquoise colorway up and knew that it needed to become a sweater someday.   So when I decided to cast this on... all the stars aligned and I knew instantly what those balls of string were to become.   The next thing it's got going for it is that it's flying off my needles.  The yoke is a simple garter stitch and I'm  finished with that and about to move on to the lace bodywork.  I feel like that will go quickly and also be sickly satisfying.  I'm thinking of making my own buttons... but I don't want to get too far ahead of myself... nor do I want this project to just sit around and not get worn b/c I'm too lazy to make the buttons... so I may just go shopping on etsy and find someone else's buttons.  We'll see.

I'll post pictures of my progress as I go.  Although, now by blogging it, I may have just given this project the kiss of death...  stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pied Piper...

So, remember when I said that the turkeys were getting more and more adventurous?  Well, they got tired of foraging the other day and decided to raid our chicken coop!  Luckily our chickens are good sharers... I think they were actually as startled as we were by the company.   All it took was me grabbing a feeder and walking them back to their field... but I caught it on video... thought you all would enjoy the turkey parade!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday Moments....

L'il Cap

Painted Pumpkin contest!

Opening Day of Wild Turkey Season!!  

Three pictures since things have been so quiet lately on here.  We've had sickness rage through our house again (it's just that time of year! bleh!).  We've also had a plethora of visitors, enjoyed some wonderful fall weather and activities and overall just been super busy living life!   Happy Fall everyone!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Monday Moments...

I refinished our kitchen table and chairs last week--the 9 year old IKEA table probably shouldn't have been standing after all the abuse its received... but some chalk paint, a couple coats of polyurethane and it just may be one of my favorite pieces in the house now. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012


10 days.  So sorry people.  10 days.  We had a small 18 hour bout with the stomach bug and then I just got busy catching up... then we had a lovely visit with dear friends from Chicago stay with us for a weekend and two more families will be visiting this month-- so maintenance of my clean house is essential to my sanity over the next couple weeks.

First of all-- Happy birthday to my sweet mother.  I love you mom!!  

A brief catch up.  We had our first cold spell here in Kentucky this last week.  Me=0 the husband=1 on the keep the furnace off game.  He was on the keep it off side.  So we spent a lot of time around our little infrared heater.   I would actually read my Bible and drink my coffee sitting on the floor about 2 feet from the heater in the mornings.  It was cold.  This weekend has been a great turn around though and we've enjoyed some wonderful outdoors time.   We've gone apple picking and geocaching and had many campfires!

Our turkeys went on a little adventure on Thursday... actually giving me a small heart attack because they weren't in their normal spots.  They had actually left their field through a turkey sized hole in the fence and come into our yard just to see if the grass was greener, I guess.   I tried my darndest to get them interested in going back to their field... but they weren't.  So I filled their water and food dishes and hoped for the best.  Of course... they were smart and went in around dinner time.  They are so funny.  We did lose one of our bourbon red hens... leaving us just three to keep through the winter.  But we feel that is plenty.  We chalk our loss up to survival of the fittest as we found her in the barn with no obvious wounds... when they fly out of the rafters they usually glide down from one end of the barn to the other... and remember, their eyes are on the outsides of their little heads.. we found her just below one of the beams... we think she simply didn't see it in front of her and broke her own neck.  My sadness was out of the waste of losing her that way.  Thankful it wasn't an animal attack... but it was a loss all the same.   We sure got to teach a "country life lesson" to our sweet suburban friends that day!   I take for granted what my children see as natural here on the farm.  Life and death and the days in between as seen through a child's eyes are truly extraordinary.

The chickens are doing well... all the grown hens are laying, although we are starting to see a slow down as the days have been colder and darker.  At one point, we had 7 dozen eggs in our fridge!  I'm going to need to get a egg recipe board going on Pinterest soon.

I took part in a local craft festival here in town, yesterday-- I left with so many ideas on how to better market myself for small festivals... I need to write everything down!!  It was above all, fun and it felt good to get back out there.   This week I'll be re-inventing my Sarabee Designs website and getting an etsy for all the store destashing I need to do so desperately!

All in all it's been a busy 10 days... but I've missed blogging!!  Just been some of those days... so full... too full to sit at the computer and record!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Loving the high roost...

Our turkeys are starting to claim their independence...  after a day of circling the barn (remember they are only starting to claim their independence... they don't realize they have acres to claim... but they are giving themselves a nice walking path) they roost up in the rafters of the barn.  They started on the hay bales, but have climbed higher and higher until now they roost on the highest rafters.  They used to come down and get in their "apartment" when called, but now they just gobble back at me.  "We're cool up here, Mom... go back home".  It's hard to me to trust their instincts... I want to protect them... but they are quite well into their "teenage" stage now and must be allowed to by definition of "free range"- live freely.

For those worried that I might be a bit too attached to my sweet babies... fear not.  I'm a hunter's daughter and I know that these babies are destined for the dinner table.  I am a wee more attached to the Bourbon Reds since I know that they will sustain their flock... but still I know that eventually, they too will be retired to the plate.  Part of my attachment is keeping them safe, knowing their fate... anything less would be a tragic waste.  I love them while they are here... I respect and protect them... they are part of my responsibility as a homesteader.  And truly, they are magnificent animals.  They have so much personality and character... and at any given time, you will catch me talking to them as I do my children.   This morning, I gently coaxed a Tom out of the brambles and away from barbed wire that he seems convinced he could go through.  "Let's go Tommy... that's not a good decision... you're going to get hurt".  I'm sure anyone in earshot (we live on a big farm-- not much of a chance for that) would think I'm completely losing it.   And I'm ok with that.