Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wow, it's been a week since my last post...

Well it's been raining.

NOTHING was planted this last weekend.

I got a lot of lounging/relaxing in though! :) And I even started reading a BOOK! (looking for the bright side of still being cooped up in the house, due to NON STOP RAIN.)

My hubby left for Eastern Oregon on Wednesday night of last week, for a Spring Bear hunt. He came home on Monday. So it was just the kids and I hanging out over the long weekend. Like I said, it's been raining and I ended up coming down with a cold on Saturday that had me lounging in bed most of the day on Sunday. It hit me pretty hard. I'm still a bit under the weather, but hopefully soon I will feel back to normal.

I've started reading "Gardening When it Counts" by Steve Solomon. The first couple chapters had me a bit, well how do I say it....bored. But now that I'm getting further into the book, I'm very excited about what I am learning. What it comes down to is....being wise about how you garden. I even think I will go back and read those chapters I got bored with and look at it differently, and gain some more knowledge.

Since I can't get out in my garden yet, I might as well read about gardening. :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A picture of our muddy Betsy

Today the weather is back to rain :(
We were blessed with a few dry days. It really helped with drying out the garden. It's ready enough that I will get some things planted, rain or shine this Memorial Day weekend!



Here's Betsy. She is one of Big Mama's offspring.

I actually snuck out to try and get a picture of Sally (our newest calf) and Mable. But they were still a ways out in the field so I couldn't get a good picture of them. They looked like 2 little brown and white dots in the picture. So Betsy kindly let me take her photo. Our Steer, Curly tried to get in on the photo shoot also, but all the ones of him turned out blurry. He was actually to close :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Spoiled

My husband Kris calls me spoiled.

I don't wear designer clothes, or carry Coach purses, or drive the newest, fanciest car. But I do have 4 fantastic children, a fixer-upper home that we are putting our blood, sweat and tears into, land around us to raise our animals on, a garden that will feed our family, and Praise the Lord, our health.

These things make me feel rich in many ways.

When my husband takes an afternoon, (or days) to do something for me, like till the garden, fix up the chicken coop, etc. I feel spoiled. So even though he's not showering me with store bought things, I feel giddy when he does something around our home. Or the time, we lost our first chick, I text him while he was at work and told him the sad news. When he walked in the house after work with a box of 3 more chirping chicks inside, I melted. To me, that is love.

I am blessed.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Wearing flip flops.....

in the chicken coop........................not a great idea.

I had 9 of them gang up on me. Maybe it's revenge for not giving them their yogurt treat in awhile, I don't know. But what I do know is, I will stick to wearing my Romeo shoes while tending to the chickens! :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Renewed Excitement!


My green peppers and basil! Basil didn't grow for me last year and I've never planted green peppers before. I can't decide if I want to keep the basil in the house, in the window. Or put it out in the garden. Hmm?



I thought this picture was funny. She was really checking me out.




It's not a very good picture of Sally our newest calf. But Big Mama is VERY protective of her little one. And if she spots me at all, she takes off. Because behind me is Chloe, and she doesn't want Chloe ANY WHERE near her baby. Big Mama is a great mom. Not only does she watch out for her little one, she's taken Mable under her protection. It's neat to see the 2 little ones "hopping" through the field together.


I have all sorts of plants coming to life.
I have flowers on my strawberries (the ones I planted last year, not my recent transplants), potatoes are starting to push through some leaves! :) I transplanted 3 cukes today ( I hope they do well, they were looking a little rough). Our sweet peas are growing......my chives are starting to show some green. My parsley is doing well, my cilantro is really filling out. I have spinach and lettuce growing!
*CAN YOU FEEL MY EXCITEMENT*
It makes me sooooo happy! I can't WAIT to get my garden going!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The carrots, zucchini, acorn squash, corn, peas, green beans................I could go on and on! It's going to be great.

This winter has been a long one, and I'm OH SO READY to get my garden planted. Today the weather was beautiful, and they are predicting 2 more days of sunshine. I'm hoping it dries out enough to get the garden area prepped, and ready to plant!

Okay I will calm down now. I better go tuck the children into bed, and close up the chicken coop for the night.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sneaky Kitty

Yesterday afternoon I spend about a half hour cleaning out the other side of the chicken coop. I was going to move my chickens into the bigger area because I decided they are ready to graduate to the "adult" side.

There was one board I was a little concerned about, and an old wooden box I needed my husbands help moving. But Kris was at work, so I decided not to bug him the moment he got home to help me, I'd bug him another day.


Later that day, I went to close up the coop for the night and just as I was shutting the door, I saw 2 eyes looking at me. There was Baby, our barn kitty. Hanging out in the rafters, watching the chickens. I thought to myself "Whew! I'm glad they are still in the brooder pen." So I left the door open for a bit thinking she would mosey on out of there when Chloe wasn't around.


About an hour later I went in the coop and looked in the rafters, and glanced over the coop seeing if Baby had made her way out. No sign of her, so I closed up the coop for the night.


This morning I go to check on the chickens to feed and water them and I hear, "Meow." Here's Baby, crawling out of the laying box! She was locked up in the coop all night. Just as I'm going to open the door to the bigger pen to grab her, Chloe runs in behind me, and so Baby crawls back in the laying box. So I ran in the house to grab the camera. I'm glad I saw her do this BEFORE I moved my chickens into the bigger pen. Kris and I have more chicken eater proofing to do before we can move them.
Sigh.....our list keeps getting longer. Oh well. Baby steps right?!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Potatoes and Strawberries

We had a few non rain days, which really helped with my mood, but it wasn't long enough to dry out the garden area for planting anything out there. :(
So this afternoon I planted another potato bag of russets, and planted some strawberry plants (that my fabulous mother in law gave to me) in a couple of whiskey barrels around the house.

So at least I got to dig in the dirt, and plant something :)

Our sweet peas that Lil' B and I planted a couple weekends ago are starting to pop up through the dirt. I'm very much looking forward to some color and the smell of sweet peas this summer!

My pumpkins and acorn squash are doing great, but I'm worried if I don't get them planted soon they may get wilty.

I've been hardening off my starts over the past few days. Each day I leave them outside a bit longer, so hopefully when I transplant them, they will handle the transition well.

I'm going to call it a night and hopefully tackle my long "To Do List" tomorrow bright and early. :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

My Rambling......

No coyote yet :( Hopefully it stays away from our calves!


My plant starts are coming along nicely. I am going to start hardening them off over the next week. I'm pretty excited about my pumpkin and acorn squash starts, they are doing wonderfully! I hope when I put them outside they hang tough! I'm worried I'm going to put them into shock.







My chickens are doing great. I've named 3 out of the 9. I'm still figuring out who's who. Once they lost their fuzz and got their feathers all their markings are different. But there is one that always greets me at the door, and is always front and center to see what your up to, and I call her CeeCee for her crooked comb. I named the 90% sure Rooster, Roo Boy (creative I know, lol) and I have Little Thing. She's the tiniest out of them all. She doesn't seem to have a long neck like the others. She's cute, and pretty mellow. I cant' wait to get their outside run done. I think they are getting anxious to spend more time outside too.




Yesterday I planted chives, lettuce and spinach. Today I planted blue potatoes. I still have Russets, and reds to plant. Since my garden area is still a muddy mess, I started my potatoes in those potato bags. My DS3 helped plant the "taters". I love getting the kids involved with the planting :)




My de-cluttering went nicely. I took 2 boxes to Goodwill :) Ahhh! I can breath again. I still have to tackle one more room, but that will have to be done on a day I don't have my DD10 hanging around. :) I love having less stuff to shuffle through.




I'm also toying with the idea of kicking my frugal-ness (is that a word?) into high gear and paying my car off a year early?? It would be FANTASTIC to have NO car loan! I should.......



Anyways. I better get going. I'm going to go indulge in one of my guilty pleasures. A recorded episode of reality t.v. I know, I know. :) I don't watch much tv, but I have to have a little something for myself ;)



Take care and have a fabulous evening everyone.










Sunday, May 8, 2011

New calf and a coyote hunt

This morning around 7:00, Kris and I went outside to start on some chores, and just as I was walking into the house to grab something I saw in the back of our field a little white face. I shouted to Kris (who was about that time shouting for me) Big Mama had her baby!! We were admiring (from a big distance) the fact Big Mama had her calf this morning. :)
On Mother's Day, how cute is that?!

As I'm standing there I see a coyote running not to far away from the cows. Just as I'm pointing it out to my DH the cows start running away from the coyote. Kris runs inside to grab his rifle, and as he's walking to the fence, the coyote goes after Mable. He had to shout two different times, to stop the coyote!! We couldn't believe what we were seeing. My DH said that he's NEVER heard of a coyote going after a calf. Sheep yes, cows no. Kris was worried the coyote was going to get the new little one, so he took off into the back of the field on a hunt for this coyote. No luck as of yet, but it's an uneasy feeling knowing this thing is lurking around and not afraid to try and take the bigger of the two calves.

I haven't seen the calf up close yet, but Kris did and it's a heifer. My DD10 named her Sally. :)

So now in our herd, we have Big Mama, Sally, Annabelle, Mable, Betsy, and Curly.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

More Rain

This weekend is looking to be a wet one. Even though I can't get my garden planted (or even ready for that matter) I'm looking at the rain as a fabulous way to get my inside things done. I've been feeling overwhelmed and unorganized lately and I couldn't put my finger on why. Well the other day I was looking around the house, saying to myself "How did that pile get there, and wait how did that pile get so big?"
I HATE clutter, but I guess I've been walking around in La La Land and didn't realize I was starting to collect it, everywhere. NO WONDER I was feeling unorganized and overwhelmed. I feel that if I have clutter around my home, my mind is cluttered.

I've started in the kitchen. I already feel better. My next plan of action is my laundry room, and then our bedroom. If I can get these three rooms done today I will feel GREAT.

So I better get off of here and get my de-cluttering done before I get to comfortable in this chair.

Have a wonderful day everyone.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I want a goat.

I really do. Reading all these blogs about homesteading and my new blogging friends are making butters, cheeses and soap with their fabulous milk, it makes me REALLY want a goat! I text my hubby today at work asking him if I could get one someday, and his reply. "Negative".
So I thought I wold tactfully bring it up again after dinner, and I told him I wasn't looking to get one soon, but to keep an open mind. And well he didn't say no, per say. Anyway. I have a shimmer of hope that in the future I will get a goat. Who knows I may change my mind by then. (But I don't think so) :)

I would like to share with you what I plan on planting in my garden this year.
*I'm so excited!!*


  • broccoli

  • brussels sprouts

  • cauliflower

  • pumpkins

  • zucchini

  • acorn squash

  • green peppers

  • spinach

  • 3 varieties of lettuce

  • 2 varieties of potatoes

  • 3 varieties of dry shelling beans

  • pole beans

  • sugar snap peas

  • early girl tomatoes

  • ground tomatoes

  • carrots

  • celery

  • dill

  • mint

  • parsley

  • sweet basil

  • chives

  • cilantro

  • onions

  • jalapenos

  • spaghetti squash

  • edamame beans

  • peanuts

  • 2 varieties of cucumbers

  • corn

  • poppies

  • strawberries

*I think that's it. I may add more later :)


Some of these I have not tried before so it will also be an experiment year with some. :) It will be fun. I also want to look at getting some fruit trees and blueberry and raspberry starts. But figuring out where to put them right now is the hard part. We have a lot of work to do on our land. I would hate to plant something that maybe in the way of being torn up by a tractor. Patience. I'm learning patience. :)


I still want a goat.



Saturday, April 30, 2011

Chickens first time outside and some flower planting



Today was the first day my chicks were let outside. We don't have the run done for them yet, or a chicken tractor, so I grabbed a safety yard I put around my fire place when the day care kids are here and put the chicks in it.

My husband, our youngest daughter (Lil' B) and our 3 and a half year old son (Lil' Man) dug up some worms for them and threw them in the yard, and the chicks were so funny to watch! One chick would grab it and take of running and the others would chase her down and try to grab it from her, and then it was an all out tug of war match with the poor worm. LOL!




I left the chicks outside for a couple hours, but I was on guard at all times with our cat getting closer and closer and our dog circling the play yard, I didn't want to take any chances. But all went well. I have happy chickens :)



The chicken that I was telling you all about that I believe is a Rooster was trying to crow when I was watching them, so I grabbed the camera and took a quick picture. *The first time I saw him do this I thought he was choking, and then it hit me... it was trying to crow!*




Lil' B and I also did some planting. We planted Sweet Peas in this flower container. I can't wait to see it in full bloom later this summer :)

Friday, April 29, 2011

The word of the week.....

"Sorry." From my 3 and a half year old son. If I had a dime for every time I was told that this week, I'd be able pay off our mortgage.

I walk into a flooded bathroom, "Sorry."

Food spilt on the floor, "Sorry."

The clean nicely folded laundry, now all over the floor in a big pile, "Sorry."

I'll walk into the house after being out of his sight for 1 minute and the first thing out of his mouth.... "Sorry."

I don't even have to say anything, he instantly says "Sorry."

And the way he says it....it melts me EVERY TIME! He sticks out his lip and drops his shoulders down and says it "Sooorrrry" in this adorable "I know your going to chew me out just get it out of the way, voice. (It's adorable.) And of course I soften and nicely try to correct him.

Golly he's good!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Saving money using last years seeds....


I was under the impression you had to buy new seeds every year. My mom and sister being such big time gardeners themselves told me that seeds usually last a couple to a few years. I planted some seeds from last year and they are coming along nicely. (Above is a pumpkin plant)

I'm going to do a better job of storing my seeds properly and I would love to get to where I am using heirloom seeds and saving seed myself. One baby step at a time ;)

I feel like I have SO MUCH to learn about "Homesteading" from animals to gardening to, well. . . . everything.

I know that every year it will get better!

I have learned that the word never, really doesn't mean never around here. When we first moved out here I said "I NEVER want pigs." Well now we are on a waiting list for piglets :)
I also remember telling my husband...."Don't worry babe, I NEVER plan on getting a goat." Well now I'm thinking I want to add it to my "Maybe in a year or two plan."

My poor husband. ;)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Companion Planting

My mom let me borrow a book that I am getting a lot of ideas from and I'm feeling better about planning my garden using companion planting. I don't feel like I'm going bonkers flipping through 10 sheets of articles that I printed from the Internet and trying to apply it to my garden grid.
So I'm still in planning mode, but it's a nice way to day dream into my future garden and pass the days away that are still a bit to cold and wet to plant anything.

Out of my 9 chicks I'm about 90% sure I have a rooster. Out of all 9 of them it's been the most friendliest chick. It happens to be the one I fell in love with from day one, because of it's easy going attitude. So if it turns out to be a Rooster, I'm okay with that as long as he stays mellow. I won't be keeping any aggressive roo's. Especially around my kids. I've already put the warning out there :)

I started a bunch of seeds in the house, and I have a bunch starting to pop up! Pumpkins, green peppers, cilantro, lettuce, cauliflower, broccoli, and spinach. My cool weather plants I will transplant probably on Mother's Day weekend, and my warmer weather loving plants I will wait until Memorial Day weekend.
It's still been dipping down to the 30's here at night.
But hopefully my starts will hang on nicely until put outside.

Anyways, I better get off of here and go feed and water my chickens.
Have a fantastic day everyone :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Planning


My amazing husband tilled the garden area yesterday. YAY!! So now I am in full swing of planning my garden space. This is my second year using this area for my garden, so I have a general idea of where I want to plant things, but I'm driving myself bonkers trying to figure out companion planting. I also want to utilize as much space as I can to over plant things. I want to do an insane amount on canning and preserving so I would rather have to much, than not enough. If my garden runneth over...I will gladly give to my neighbors. :)

My chick babies are changing daily. They are now becoming use to me and are letting me pet them. I have a few that try to escape the coop when I open the door, and they are becoming wise to my scare tactics...so hopefully they never try to make that escape mistake when the dog is around.



I love my chickens.



My window are filling up with seeds that I am starting. I don't have a greenhouse (yet) so I'm using what I can to get a jump start on my growing season.



When outside snapping pictures of the garden area and chickens, the cows were in the barn so I tried to snap a picture of Mable but our lovely dog Chloe :) chased them off. I guess she was having a hard time accepting she wasn't the center of attention. So again, I will try later.

~Renee

Monday, April 18, 2011

Our weekend

I had a fabulous weekend. We had a break in the weather so we were able to get outside and get a few things done.

Friday night I got the weekly grocery shopping done. Ahh, how nice it was to get it done and out of the way.

Saturday I spend the better part of the day doing house work and laundry.

First thing Sunday morning we were outside and doing some more Spring Clean up.

My husband pulled back the plastic off the garden area, so it could dry out. We hope to get it tilled this next weekend. *We will not be using plastic again. I am going to start looking into and researching a cover crop that we can plant during the winter months.



I finished fixing the one half of the chicken coop and moved the chick babies out there. They were running around and stretching their wings. I think they were feeling good about some space!
I started giving them a small amount of plain yogurt for a treat and they LOVE it. At first they weren't to sure. But now when they see me coming with it, they run to me!

My husband and our 3 year old son spent some time on the tractor clipping the front half of the field. It looks great.


I started a few more seeds. I started broccoli (our 9 year olds favorite vegetable), cauliflower, cilantro, Romain lettuce, acorn squash, pumpkins, spinach and more green peppers.

My hubby and I did some more planning and dreaming of what we want to accomplish this summer. We are going to start a list on paper. So we can see it and cross things off when accomplished. It so much fun to dream and set goals with him.

The best part of the weekend was my kids spending ALL DAY outside. They played ball, rode their bikes, dug in the dirt hunting for worms. They were always off on an adventure. At dinner time, my 3 year old son got up at the table and says, "Mama, after dinner, it okay we go back outside? I'm not done riding my scooter." :)

I love this country life.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Keeping in mind....

Sometimes I get scared. I am notorious for taking on way to much. Then when I am stretched to the max...emotional and physically, it hits me, I need to step back and make some changes. I'm in a change phase right now. But I get scared of the unknown. The "Well what if..." phrase keeps popping up. And honestly it knocks my confidence down.

My mind has been going crazy with ideas and thoughts of where I would like to be in a few years.

It takes work. I'm ready to work.

I found a Bible verse in a book that I fell in love with. I am going to hang it up where I can see it everyday and make it a part of my life.

~ Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands...so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody. - 2 Thessalonians 3:11,12

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Random....

Yesterday afternoon I caught my chicks in a game of keep away with a pine shaving. I watched them chase each other around the brooder stealing this one pine shaving from each other. It was very entertaining! These chick babies are so much fun.
But I have to confess...every time I pick one up, I'm scared I'm going to kill it. I'm sure they are tougher than I think....but I read so much on how they just drop dead, I would hate to be the reason. I really need to get over it. My hubby looks at me and says..."Babe, it's a chicken." But I have to admit, I've fallen for those little fuzz butts.

Today on one of my many trips to go stare (closely) at my peat pots that I started seeds in a little over a week ago, I noticed I had one little parsley starting to pop up out of the soil. YAY! I was so excited! When my hubby arrived home from work I was so excited about my parsley I took him over to show him and noticed that the pot that I started my sweet basil in had a little green sprout. I screamed and clapped for joy! I truly wasn't expecting to see basil! I tried starting basil a few times last year and nothing sprouted. So I'm very excited to see basil sprouting this year.
*Did I mention I was excited?* :D

Tonight I tried my hand at making Homemade French Bread. It turned out so good! Thumbs up from the family. :)

Tomorrow I have a busy day of work ahead. I am praying for patience and guidance to make it a great day. I hope that you all have a great and blessed day also.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Feeling a bit more motivated

I don't know if it's been the weather, or what, but I've been feeling a bit down. I don't like feeling that way. Especially when you don't really know what the problem is, you just feel blah. But I think I'm on the uphill side of the blah's!

For the first time in a week I am feeling so good. It's beautiful outside today. I took the kids outside to play, looked through a seed catalog, baked some bread and even Chloe was soaking up some sun rays.



My seeds that I planted just over a week ago are sprouting! YAY!
So I have 3 cucumbers trying to come up, and 5 sunflowers that are doing great. I love seeing my plants come to life. :)





My little chick babies have been so much fun!
I have them set up in our old laundry closet, in a plastic tub. During the day I've been able to go check on them and watch them play. My absolute favorite part of having them so close is listening to them "talk". They have the sweetest little chirps. This last Saturday morning I woke up and laid in bed just listening to them chirp and sing. It brings me so much joy.



They are growing so fast that they are outgrowing their brooder :(

So my hubby and I have been fixing up their coop and some time this week I will have to put them out there. It's breaking my heart. It really is. But I'm sure they will enjoy being able to stretch their wings and run around.

Annabelle and Mable are doing great. Mable is growing like a weed! I will try and get a picture of her soon. The cows spend a lot of time in the back of the field now, so it's hard to catch them when they come up to the barn.

Well I better get off of here and get going on the rest of my chores. Have a good day everyone.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

My First Chickens!

*Can you feel me beaming?!*

The kids and I have been counting down our Baby Chick Day for over a week now.
Well....
They are here!



Aren't they adorable?!
Now I feel like I'm Homesteading!

I had called the feed store almost 2 weeks ago and asked when their next shipment of Barred Rock chickens would be in, and they told me April 6th. So I arranged for my mom to go down and pick some up for me, because I had to work. She was happy to do so. :)

When I saw my mom pull in the driveway this morning, I jumped up and down (and of course squealed with excitement) and ran to open the door. As my mom grabbed the box you can hear them chirping....it was such a sweet sound. I took them out of the box and put them in their brooder. Ahhh, nice and warm :)

For the first couple hours I checked on them like a nervous new mother. "Are they breathing? Oh whew... she's just sleeping." I was driving my self crazy. :)

I'm so excited!



Happy Chick Day :)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Our Homestead Happenings

On Saturday my Sister, the kids and I went to the Co-Op, and the Feed store and purchased chicken supplies for our chicks that we will be getting on Wednesday. (I'm so excited, I've been wanting chickens since we moved here in 2006.)
When we got home I helped my hubby clean up the shop. It looks so much nicer out there! I'm glad we spent an afternoon getting it cleaned up. I still have the upstairs to go through and organize, so hopefully I will get to it this next weekend.

On Sunday my little helper and I started some seeds.



We started~ green pepper plants, cucumbers, parsley, sweet basil, cosmos, and sunflowers. All but the green pepper plants are seeds that I had over from last year. So I'm hoping they germinate :)



That evening, my hubby and I walked around the barn and garden area, talking about what we would like to do this upcoming season. We have a HUGE to do list, and it keeps getting bigger by the day. *I'm always coming up with something new.* I'm excited for this year. It's going to be a great learning year and hopefully a productive one. :)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Great start to my weekend

Today I called my sister in law and asked her if she wanted to go with me to a local wine tasting event this evening. She jumped right on the invitation :) In my line of work (child care) I don't get to dress up very often so I was all excited to put some nice clothes on and have a nice place to go.

Being a small town, you run into so many people you know that it turns into a fabulous social scene. The wine tasting was so casual and laid back, it was my type of atmosphere.

I actually found a red wine I like. I'm usually a white wine, whatevers on sale kind of girl, but I'm trying to broaden' my horizons. :)

My sister in law and I have an appetizer, with a glass of wine and enjoyed great conversation. Later we tried some locally made crackers from a very nice lady, whom I would be more than happy to buy from on a regular basis. Her crackers were so good! When I got home the kids and I had a cracker tasting, and both flavors passed with flying colors :)

Before we leave I grab a locally made, no preservatives added, half round of smoked brie cheese. *Can I just say, AMAZING* As we are leaving we get to talking to the cashier who happens to mention truffles.....so we slide over to the display case and start looking at her huge assortment of truffles, I end up buying one for me and one for my amazing husband. And off we go into the sunset, okay... rain, with a tummy full of appetizers, and good wine, and a bag full of taste bud rejoicing goodies.

I love buying local foods. I love supporting small local businesses. I love my home town. I really do. I'm surrounded by amazing people. It was a great way to start my weekend.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My day

I started today in a GREAT mood. I'm still in a good mood, but it's one of those days that have you a little drained.

First.... one of our cows got out. No big deal. The electric fence is down, but my hubby can get to it later. I chase her back in no problem. Okay....

Second.... I get a call today. We are having a head lice scare. I go into panic mode, because I've done this 3 times already in the past 6 years. And frankly. It sucks. The laundry, cleaning, head checks nightly with 3 girls with a lot of hair, and A LOT of stuff....cloth stuff, it's a nightmare. My dad (bless his heart) runs down to the school to get my daughter. He brings her home, I check her....I think we are in the clear! Hallelujah!! I don't see anything...but I treat her with a natural solution and I will keep checking her like a crazy woman. When the other 2 get home I will check them too.

Third.... I have a washer repair guy come take a look at my washer, because it's making a HORRIBLE noise. (Which, I have to say he came right over when I called, so that made it nice.) He finds the problem, oils a bearing. He's here a half hour, and asks for $130. I think I turned white and just about passed out. But trying to be thankful that it's just a bearing that needed to be oiled and nothing to serious, I write a check, and thank him so much for coming right over.

It's 1:55 pm, I don't have a clue what I'm making for dinner, because I didn't take what I needed out of the freezer, and right now my brain is a bit fried. So I am going to get off the computer, pull it together, and figure out what goes nicely with a BIG OL' BOTTLE OF WINE :)

*I maybe complaining a little, but I do realize how blessed I am to have such simple problems.

Check out my homemade hot dog bun!


I know your probably thinking..."This girl needs to get out more, she's now taking pictures of her hot dogs?" But LOOK at it! Could it have fit any better? I started squealing with delight that my HOMEMADE WHOLE WHEAT hot dog bun actually looks good, and tastes amazing!
My kids are the best sucker-uppers EVER. They all praised me at dinner for my awesome hot dog buns. My kids are great for my ego ;)
Anyways, I had to share. Now off to look through my seed catalog, again. Have a fantastic day!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

It was a great Spring Break

This last week was filled with fun, family and deep cleaning :)

The first half of the week was full of fun adventures and crafts with my 4 kids. I am so glad I took the time off of work to do those special things with them. We plan on doing more hiking, and geocaching this summer.

The second half of the week the 3 girls went to their other parents for visitation, so my 3 and a half year old son and I had some special time together.
And on Wednesday my hubby and I were able to have a date! I had a super good time with him.

I spent time with my parents, grabbed coffee with my sisters, which we don't do very often (because of the busy personal lives we each have with our own families, house projects, farming etc.)
I'm going to make it a point to spend more time with them. We talk on the phone all the time, but its so much more special when you are face to face, smiling and laughing with them. It was great to reconnect :)

I also got some deep, spring cleaning done. We even opened the windows and doors and let some fresh, outside air in. Some of those tedious projects that have been on my to do list for almost a year, I finally tackled and completed. It feels so good to get caught up on things.

I went back to work today feeling recharged, refreshed, and ready to jump back into work. This week gave me a little sneak peak into my future. For these past few years I have been working like crazy to pay off my credit card debts. It hung over me like a bad cloud. Because I no longer have that weight, it was so freeing to take time off of work, guilt free. There is much more of that in my future, and I can't tell you how much that means to me.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Chloe Mae


This is our Australian Shepard, Chloe. We got her for Christmas the year I was pregnant with our 3 and a half year old son. The first couple years she drove me CRAZY! I would ask my husband, "When will she out grow this puppy stage?!" She would test my patience at every turn. She still does things that have me wondering.

I love watching her with my husband. She is always by his side when he is outside doing his chores. When he's clipping the fields on the tractor during the summer, she's out in the field with him. She really is a great little homesteading dog. (When she's not chasing the cows or cat)

She's amazing with the kids. She loves attention, and if you sit down long enough, she wants to cuddle in your lap. She's crazy about mud puddles. She will splash, and bark, and go nuts in them :)

She's a strong girl. She's had a few accidents, kicked by a cow, hit by a car twice, yep you read that right, twice. This last time she was hit, I didn't think she was going to make it. It broke my heart to see her that way, but she pulled through. She's a good girl and very much loved.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

To My New Blogging Friends

I am sitting here this morning (with my cup of coffee in hand, yum) reading through some of my favorite blogs. I absolutely LOVE reading about what's going on in your homestead lives. You are very inspiring! It puts a smile on my face to read about my new found online friends all over the country with the same interests as I. Thank you for taking the time to give us readers a little peek into your lives. I walk away with great ideas, and motivation!

Oh! Guess what! The sun is shining here today! Heehaw! Maybe I will get some strawberry starts planted today. I read that light frost is okay for them...I hope that's true? Or should I wait? And if I do get them planted, should I throw a bit of mulch over them?

Enjoy your day everyone!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Our Spring Break Adventures


*This picture was taken today on our hike/treasure hunt. Beautiful.


It's been a fun and busy few days. On Saturday we started geocaching around our town. (Geocaching is where you use a GPS to locate hidden containers.) We only found 1 on Saturday. We didn't spend to much time treasure hunting because of the rain, but it was a great start and the kids were super excited to do it again.

On Sunday I took a bee keeping class. It was very informative, and it really got me thinking that someday I will try my hand at bee keeping. But definitely in the far future. The thought of a hive out here on our property with the kids running around exploring, scares me a little. (Especially now that I know that a queen bee can set the mood for the hive, and I don't want some cranky queen bee lashing out at my children.)
I loved the class, it gave me a whole new understanding, and respect for our lovely little helpers. I would like to read up a bit more on the art of bee keeping.

Today we did some more geocaching and found 2! We did a lot of hiking, had a picnic (in the car), ran on the beach for a bit, took the kids for some ice cream, our final stop being the library. It was a great day. I loved spending time with my kids out exploring.

I'm thinking tomorrow we will take a day to stay in and work on some craft projects and do some baking.

Yay for Spring Break :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Happy Spring


Yay! Today is the first day of Spring :) I'm so ready to get outside and start working on my garden, and prep for my future animals. The weather's been cold, windy and wet, but the feeling of it is different. It seems the sunshine will come out behind the clouds long enough to give me a sense of motivation, creativity, and happiness. It's like it's winking at me, letting me know brighter, sunnier days are near by :) Happy First Day of Spring.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Mable



I was finally able to capture a quick picture of Mable. She is a spunky one! She's doing great, very active and curious. She bounces around and is always checkin' something out.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Our weekly menu review

Since everyday this week I tried a new recipe, I though I would type up a quick review :)

Monday~ French Lentil Soup. Was not a big hit with the kids. They ate it cause they spotted the cupcakes sitting on the counter for dessert, but I don't think it's one I will make again.

Tuesday~ Sonja's Tortilla Soup. Very good! It's a keeper. It's one that I will make again sometime.

Wednesday~ Tomato Bread Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. I ran out of ham so we had just cheddar cheese. The bread smelled just like pizza when baking...it was hard not to stand over the bread machine and drool. The grilled cheese sandwiches turned out very good. The kids liked them, and said they would like them again sometime.

Thursday~ The Pot O' Gold Potato Soup was a new recipe, and even though it was okay, I won't make it again. I will stick to my original Potato Soup recipe :)

Friday~ Change in plans. I decided to make Homemade BBQ chicken pizza. Oh my golly!
It was so easy to make, and was super yummy! Plus, the money I saved on take out pizza, AMAZING! A rough estimate of my Homemade pizza was around $4.00, and a Chicken BBQ Pizza from our local pizza parlor is $24.95! AND, I didn't have to leave the house to go get it, so I saved gas :) I love little savings like these.

I need to get busy on next weeks menu. I plan on using up some things in the fridge, so I can keep the grocery bill down and the food waste to a minimum.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

It's Spring Break

WoooWhooo! It's Spring Break! Already, can you believe it?!
I'm taking this next week off of work to hang out with my own kids and do some fun things.

I'm on a tight budget so what I've got planned so far is, Geocaching (treasure hunt), work on some arts and crafts that I already have here at the house (including a soap making kit), visit the library and stop by the local petting farm. I also have some things on my "mommy to do list" like, spring clean, taking a bunch of stuff to Goodwill, start a few seeds indoors, plant 10 strawberry plants, clean up around the property, and what ever else I can get done outside (to prep for pigs, turkey's, and chickens) would be a plus (weather permitting).

I'm also going to sneak out for a bit on Sunday and go to a bee keeping class. I'm super excited about this class. The more I can learn about ANYTHING to do with nature, gardening, livestock, I'm all for it :)

"Through the long winter, I dream of my garden. On the first day of spring, I dig my fingers deep into the soft earth. I can feel its energy, and my spirits soar." ~Helen Hayes

Mama Annabelle and Baby Mable


I snuck out to the barn to check on mama and baby and this is what I saw. Isn't it precious?! I decided to name her Mable. It means Lovable. I will post more pictures as soon as I can get some really good ones of her. :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

It's a GIRL!


Annabelle had her calf!
I had been out to check on Anna a few times, and nothing. She was up eating, not acting differently at all. After my daycare kids had left I went into the kitchen and started on dinner. My DH comes home from work, walks in the door and says "Well, Why didn't you tell me?!" I was a bit confused for a second, and then it clicked. "No way!" So all 6 of us ran out to check on the new baby! She's beautiful. I'm trying to think of a good name for her. I have one in mind, but don't know if it's going to stick. I will let you know when I decide on her name.

We are all excited about our new homestead addition :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Credit Card Debt Free

I'm so excited I had to share! I am officially credit card debt free. After 11 years of going around on this hamster wheel of credit cards, I paid my last one off! :) What a feeling of freedom, and relief. I feel as if I can breath.

A year and a half ago, I was maxed out. $6,000 maxed out. I was barely able to pay the minimums some months. But I decided on January 1st of 2010 I was going to make a change and get this taken care of, once and for all.

I sat down with my bills and started going over them with a fine tooth comb and seeing where we could make some cut backs. I started recycling, which saved us money in garbage service and blossomed into doing something good for our planet. (Now I couldn't imagine not recycling, simply for the pure satisfaction of keeping as much from going into the landfill as I can.) I cut our cell phones back, and our cable. Just in these 3 basic areas, I saved over $606.00 this last year alone. And we didn't feel as if we were sacrificing anything. These little changes added up big!

What a fabulous feeling to see those credit card balances becoming lower and lower :)

They won't be getting my money no more! ;)

*Happy Dance*

Saturday, March 12, 2011

My Weekly Menu

I'm pretty proud of the different meals I've been pulling together lately. I love to look online for different recipes and ideas. My family is great about trying something new. We all vote if it's a "keeper" or not. :)


So my weekly dinner menu is lookin' like this~

Sunday~ leftovers

Monday~ French Lentil Soup, and Homemade French Bread (We are trying meatless Mondays)

Tuesday~ Sonja's Tortilla Soup

Wednesday~ Tomato Bread Grilled Cheese and Ham Sandwiches and Salad

Thursday~ St. Patricks Day Corned Beef, Pot O' Gold Potato Soup and a Shamrock Drink

Friday~ Elk Steaks, roasted cauliflower and garlic rolls

Saturday~ Lemon Shrimp and Pasta, and Asparagus

I'm excited to try these new recipes :)

Still Waiting

Yep, we're still waiting on a calf. I think I've worn a path to the barn and back. Awaiting this upcoming event, I decided to research online Cow labor and delivery. I learned some really fun and interesting facts about cows.

I didn't realize there were so many titles for a female cow. Like, Heifer is what you call a young female cow that has not yet had a calf. A Springer is a Heifer that's getting ready to calve (that would be Anna), and a Cow is what you call her after she has a calf. A Bull is a male cow, and a Steer is a male cow that has been castrated. See how this can be confusing?!

Another thing that made me go "oh, huh", I didn't realize cows laid down to calve. So every time I saw Anna laying down I would think to myself "Oh I think it's getting to be time." She would stand up and look at me like "What?"

Oh well, the anticipation of everything is fun and exciting. It's a great learning experience for me, and I'm sure entertaining to my husband. :)

I will keep you posted.
Yesterday morning at 5:15 am I rolled over to turn my cell phone alarm off, and realized a friend had sent me a text message at 2:16 am. It said "Earthquake in Japan, Tsunami warning for the Oregon Coast." I told my husband to grab the remote, we turned on the tv and laid there watching the news footage. As we watched, our hearts became very heavy. My heart is aching for the people that were effected by this disaster. My thoughts and prayers are with you Japan.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My New Toy



I finally broke down and bought a bread machine. I am very happy with it!

I love throwing a bunch of basic ingredients in the machine, pushing a button and having it do the dirty work for me. (It's hard for me to walk away and leave it though, I watch it like a hawk.)

So far I've made Egg Bread, Whole Wheat Bread, Oatmeal Bread, Focaccia Bread, Whole Wheat Hot Dog Buns, Cinnamon Rolls and Pizza Dough. I love the idea of having fresh breads, corn syrup and preservative free at the push of a button. Another step towards healthier eating :)

We're expecting!




A calf that is! Anytime. Annabell was our first Hereford we got from a local beef rancher. When we first got her, she was a tiny calf that needed to be bucket fed. Every morning and every evening I would go to the barn and feed her. She was my four legged baby. I loved the way she would lean into me and slobber up my hand with her wet kisses. But as she got older and bigger and didn't need to be bucket fed, I didn't spend as much time with her and just let her be a cow. But out of all the 4 we have now, shes the only one that lets me pet her. She has a special spot in my heart. And now shes expecting! She is starting to show signs of calving. I'm anxious and excited. I hope everything goes well for her.














































Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I'm back

I'm excited, motivated, inspired and oh so happy!

The moment I turned the calendar to March, it's like a fire ignited inside me. I'm ready to raise animals, plant my garden, get my kids outside in the fresh air, and have them get dirty.
I will try to keep up with blogging about my ongoing progress around the ol' farm here. (I've got lots to learn.)

I'm also trying to make more food from scratch. I want to share some of my meals, because well, I've become pretty proud of them!

I'm sure things that I will post here will have you wondering about my high school education. Please keep in mind, I'm trying really hard to not think about how it sounds to you all, but type out my thoughts as I would a journal. Thanks for taking the time to read my rambling. :)