Just kidding! It’s still January. 😉

But the day time weather has been really nice lately! Today I actually sat outside on a bench and soaked in a little sunshine with nary a jacket! Wow! It just “felt” springy. Minus the hurricane force winds that like to hang around when it’s really Spring.

I’m always ready for Spring the moment the Christmas tree comes down. Maybe I should leave it up longer. 😉 I’m really glad for the warmer temps cause winter isn’t my favorite. But I hope that it doesn’t trick the plants into thinking it’s safe to start budding or anything, cause… it’s not. The temps at night keep diving to the 10* and under-ish range so I imagine that keeps them “dormant” enough.

Still, I need to start planning my garden/greenhouse. 😉 I need to plan NOW because I have NO idea what I’m doing, and if I can figure out what I’d like to grow, it may give me time to read up on it, and have an actual real plan, for once. I just hope we’re able to grow some food this year!! Really really hope!

Our steer and pig will probably be butchered in the next couple of weeks then ready a couple weeks later after “dry curing???” for a little bit. See how much of a learning curve all this stuff is? Who knew it’s better to let the meat “hang out” a bit before cutting it all up and packaging it? Not me. I figured you could go hack a piece right off the cow and have it for dinner. Hmmmmm…

Anyway, we have 2 sparkly new chest style freezers in the garage waiting their appointed places of residence. Because we still don’t know exactly where they are going to “live.” (As Myles likes to say. “Does that pot live in the cabinet?” Ha!) But I’m super-duper thankful for my handsome Hurb who researched the freezers and negotiated with Home Depot and Lowes to get the best deals. Now I know that 2 smaller freezers are a better idea than one of the mammoth ones because they seal better. Isn’t it nice that we can keep learning new stuff every day?

Speaking of new stuff, we still only have our same 2 old goats. 😉 No babies as of right now. Well, one day we will have babies and milk. Hopefully.

Well I’m going out to enjoy the sunshine and let the goaties run around (or waddle around) and collect some eggs while it’s still pseudo-spring! 🙂

A Sunday Date

Last Sunday Stuart and I escaped from the land of being parents by ditching all our kids to go to church without them! 🙂  Stu’s mom was kind enough to hang out with them, so no worries, they weren’t on their own. 😉  At one point during the day Stuart said, “Who would have thought that going to church would be a good date?”  But it was!!

We started out on the 1.75 hr trip to church (yup, we live in the land of big skies, straight roads and not too many churches) and our thoughts were that it’s actually pretty relaxing to drive when you don’t have the “ticking time bomb” of children who may at any moment desperately need to go potty, or suddenly start shrieking at each other for looking in someone else’s direction. Don’t get me wrong, mostly we love to do thing as a big, loud, head turning family, but sometimes… change is nice. 😉

Sitting through the service not having to worry about kiddos was also refreshing. Mommy brains never really shut off when their kids are near. Even when they are deposited safely in nursery or children’s church you’re still thinking about them somewhere in your mind. At least I do… maybe it’s just me? 😉

Of course worship wasn’t the only thing we did on our “date.” Actually the biggest motivation for not bringing the minions was that we had quite a bit of shopping to get done. After calling around to various feed stores in about 4 different towns “around” us, I finally found the vaccine that I needed for the little goatlets. Apparently it’s widely available down around/near Phoenix, but I’ve had a DOOZY of a time finding it here! So that was good, and they also had a really great price on the alfalfa pellets that we feed the Ladies as well. So we grabbed those things, more stall freshener, some compacted hay bales which are really cool! And various other stuff that we probably didn’t need but got anyway because that was such a cool feed store! 🙂 We’ll be going back there for sure! It was way too much fun and WAY more than just a feed store!

Anyway, we tried to have lunch at a little Mexican place, but I kinda lost interest in the not so flavorful taco salad when I started to pull sticks (yes sticks) out of my salad. I was thankful that they were an “organic” product, but still not too appetizing. I’m not sure how that place earned it’s 4 star Yelp review. However, after getting shopping done I was still hungry and we found a little cafe’ that was a mucho better experience! I had lemon meringue pie for the first time in AGES and it was awesome!!

We journeyed home and on the way back started brainstorming names for our little farm here. That was fun, and we had quite the list by the time we made it back home. Don’t think that NogEnd is going to be “the one” however. 😉

So that was last week. Tomorrow I’m going to be babysitting a pregnant goat while Stu makes the trip to church without me, but at least we got in our “date” before the kids arrived. 😉 Ha ha!

(Jeopardy Theme)

So Polka’s due date (or one possible one) was the 9th. For some reason the time of her actual breeding wasn’t solid so it could have been the 9th OR maybe the 14th. Hmmm…

Well, the 9th has come and gone, and she doesn’t seem to be in any hurry. Though she seems rather large and uncomfortable if you ask me. But maybe I’m just projecting my own late pregnancy feelings on her.


Seems to enjoy lounging in the sun anyway.

It’s rather comical to watch her waddle around when we let them out for a stretch. Waddle waddle waddle…


Pet me?


Sure, why not?


She’s not “off her feed” at all, and seems to be acting as normal as ever. I on the other hand am totally stressed out about this! Ha! I have a stack of towels ready to go, iodine, and an extra bulb syringe, courtesy of the NICU. 😉 But no goaties yet! Arg!!!

I’ve relaxed a little since we found the battery powered baby monitor signal will reach the house. So at least I don’t have to feel like I should be traipsing out there at 2 am “just to check.” 🙂 People have asked, and I can only respond with what I’ve read, but apparently goats in labor are quite vocal. So we should be able to hear “something” before the wee ones arrive. But I’m still hoping it’s more of a daytime experience.

Hear that, Polka? DAYTIME!! 😉 And any ol time now would be great!


Not sure if she’s listening.

Shared on the barn hop over at The Prairie Homestead. 🙂

“Thanks for the hairbrush”

It may be somewhat ludicrous but Veggie Tales had a big part in my surviving college. 🙂 How, you may ask? Well because I already tend to take life too seriously. So it was nice when looming papers, projects, terrifying speeches and music rehearsals and performances could be lost in the silliness of these Bible inspired vegetables. 😀 I might add that we didn’t watch the shows, we just had the audio, which made it all the more funny! Good memories!

For some reason today, the Hairbrush Song by Larry the Cucumber has been going around in my head. It still makes me smile! Some of my favorite quotes:

“Both Larry and the Peach were shocked and slightly embarrassed by the sight of… each other.”

“Why do you need a hairbrush you don’t have any hair?”

“Larry is taken aback! The thought had never occurred to him.”

Because it’s important to us

black angus

We are buying a whole grass feed Black Angus steer (he’ll look more like steak and such when we pick him up) and a 350lb organic pig… who will also not look like a pig when we pick her up.

When Stu and I started listening to an audio book called “Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us”

Strange that a book like that would be the catalyst that would propel us into a whole different mindset about food. We’d wake up after listening to parts of the book and wonder what in the WORLD we were going to eat. Small changes started happening fast! Thankfully we were already on the path to less processed foods, but we had a few holdouts still. After listening to this book the cheezits and ritz went out the window too! 😉

That started us on the path of more ‘real’ food. Which led to more information about GMO’s pesticide usage and other not so healthy practices used by “big” food corp. Hence the greenhouse was born… and our twins too so we didn’t get much of a harvest. 😉

Then I started reading about raw milk, and researching goats… and you know where that led us. Ha! LRB was built and 2 little milk makers added to our “farm.” Still waiting on those babies though.

Then we read/watched stuff about big meat manufacturers and the cruelty that is so often prevalent in those places, and how the animals never see light of day or even live in a space big enough to turn around, and how they are fed really REALLY nasty stuff! And that lead to more articles about how dairy cows are treated, and how “sick” animals are prodded and propped up so that they aren’t considered a “down” animal that can’t be used. And when it finally is too sick to stand on it’s own (or just before) they will sell it at a discounted rate to be used in lunches for children in the “free school lunch” programs. Disgusting!!

Through this process at various times I would be completely confused about what to eat? I spent more than one day prowling the aisles at the grocery stores picking up products, reading ingredient lists, putting them back on the shelves, and leaving completely discouraged about what to eat and what to feed my family! That’s not a fun place to live, but it is just a phase. Eventually I started to assimilate little chunks of the information into our day to day lives. I would completely cut out some things while simply cutting back on others. Learning to make better choices and know when “organic” is the best choice or when it’s okay to go with conventionally grown stuff.

Slowly but surely we’ve been changing to a real food diet! Full of good old fashioned, good for you (yes GOOD FOR YOU) fats, carbs and protein! 😉

The one place I was having difficulty was the organic, grass-fed, meats. They are pretty much not available at the stores in our area. So I started looking into options for buying a cow or pigs to raise ourselves and butcher. That’s ultimately where we would like to be, but my poor hubby has had more “projects” to do getting our farm up and running and we’re not ready with the fencing/housing requirements for extra animals yet.

So I hopped on craigslist where I’ve seen animals, butcher ready, offered before. Like I said in that one post, farmers are around, and most of the time, I’d say, they care deeply about the quality of their animals. Because they KNOW what goes into that juicy steak that ends up on your plate! We are just beginning to understand that with our own animals. Loosing laying chickens is enough to drive home the lessons that it takes investing a lot into animals that will start returning that in the form of good food!

Anyway, I did find a farm, and they have grass-fed cows that they’ve ranged, and then finished with heirloom, non-sprayed alfalfa. The guy I spoke to said that they guarantee non of their animals have ever been feed GMO’s. The cattle are never given grain or corn! And their pigs are organic as well.

So encouraging!!

After e-mailing back and forth a few times, Stu and I decided to take the plunge! We’re going to purchase the entire steer (think 8-900 lbs of beef!) and the pig which will be close to another 300lbs of meat. And yes, we will be investing in more freezer space too. We should have all this amazing food at our disposal in 2-3 weeks! I can hardly believe it!!

One thing that has really been so fun about this is that Stuart and I both see this as an important step for our family. Buying this much organic meat is a very large expense at one time. Though I believe in the long run will save us money since the price is still well below what most markets are charging for their beef, and we won’t be going to the store as often which adds up in gas savings as well. Not to mention savings in the long long run by healthier lives. But I’m so happy that it’s not something that I’ve been in on my own. I haven’t had to twist arms, manipulate, beg, nag or whine to try to get my hubby on “my side” or to at least say yes to stop me from bugging him. (Not, by the way, that I think using any of those tactics is a good idea, but that’s a post for another day.) 🙂 The point is it’s important to us both and since that’s the case we’ve both jumped into this ready to do the work, and reap the rewards. 🙂

We hope!

Math Moments

Sometimes I’m so completely not ready for spiritual discussions with my kids because they pop out of the most random life moments. One more reason to be “in the moment” with my littles!

Today as Qade was grumbling his way through half of his Math page one of those times happened. He was supposed to be writing numbers from 170 to 200. As I sat there barely able to keep my patience with him he asked if this was how old people were when they died. I replied, kind of humored, that no it wasn’t, it was WAY too old and then explained that we never know at what age someone will die. I said sometimes babies die, sometimes children die and sometimes people live to be all the way to 100!

His next question was, “If babies die, they will go to Hell.” I was happy to tell him that God takes little babies to heaven when they die because they can’t understand that Jesus came to die for their sins.

Then things got a little serious. He began to ask questions about if children would go to Hell. I again fell back on the standby, when people do not accept Jesus then they can’t go to Heaven. He started thinking about that one, and the next questions were staggerers for me. He asked what if they haven’t ever learned about God? And why do people who don’t know about God go to Hell?

How do you explain concepts like this to these little inquiring minds? To Qade, God is a fact because we have taught him so. He’s just starting to grasp the ideas that it is a choice to believe or not believe. But yeah, what about the children who have never heard about Jesus? It’s so hard for me to explain to my son a topic which I myself have struggled over as a child, and even as an adult?

Would God really sentence people to an eternity without Him when they’d never heard?

Of course I know the answer is not at all simple, and certainly not at all something that I, who have a very fundamental grasp on it, could explain to him. I finally told him that the Bible tells us about creation and how God made the heavens and the whole earth and everything in it. And that when people look at it, they know that there is a God who created it all, and that means that they do not have an excuse for choosing to not believe in Him.

All in all, I was more than worn out by the end of Math today. So much so that I opted for school to be DONE after recess!

So many times I feel like I’m blundering through this job of parenting. Do I teach them enough about God? Am I pushing them to hard to understand? Am I not pushing them enough? Do they know how important God is in my own life? Are they memorizing enough scripture? Should I teach them more Sunday School songs? I’m plagued by questions like these, because deep deep down in my soul I know the ONLY decision that REALLY matters in my kids lives is the decision to accept and love God.

I keep praying for salvation for my littles! Especially the older 2 as they are getting to that age where things may be clicking. For Qade especially, I don’t really know how to proceed because he DOES believe. God is an established fact in his brain, and he KNOWS that Jesus came to die so that we could get to heaven. So I don’t really know how to help him beyond continuing to do my best to answer his questions. I’m glad that the “work” actually belongs to the Holy Spirit, because I know that He isn’t bungling it like me. 🙂

Downton Abbey Season 4 Premier

So we are Downton Abbey fans! It took us awhile to jump on board that train. We do not have t.v, cable or satelite. I can’t tell you how thankful I am that we made that decision for our family way back before we had kids! So what we’ve done in the past to get random entertainment was sometimes Hulu or Netflix, and it’s fun to get “hooked” on a series from time to time as long as it isn’t all the time. 🙂

We’ve seen CSI (till they got rid of Grissom and then it just kinda fell apart and we quit), some of the Doomsday Preppers shows, ha, food network like shows, some of those “reality” shows like Undercover Boss. Just whatever, whenever.

By the time we caught on to Downton Abbey it was already in it’s 3’rd season so we had to go back and “catch up” on Season’s 1 & 2. While I was totally intrigued by the whole time period and the way it showcased both above and below stairs stories, I confess that at some points in the first episode I was about ready to say, “Nah, not for me.” Eventually though we came to really enjoy the show. Although, like everyone else, I was less than thrilled with the way they kept killing off the characters. Though I suppose as a writer you’re in a bit of a bind when a main character says that they are not coming back.

Anyway, it was with great anticipation that we looked forward (FINALLY) to the premier of season four on Sunday night, and I have to admit…

I wasn’t awed.

It took me awhile to get used to the new hair styles on every character, but I could deal with that. What seemed a little disapointing to me was that the story lines all seemed… reused.

I mean, couldn’t we get Thomas to be nice for once? Especially considering that without Mr. Bate’s help he wouldn’t have a job at all? Couldn’t Lady Grantham EVER see through the deceit of servants instead of implicitly believing everything they say? Especially since said servants have been less than reliable in the past? Can’t Lady Edith finally decide if she is going to make something of her life instead of chasing men around the country? Can’t Lord Grantham begin to accept the advice and input of people around him without acting like such a jerk about it all?

Just wondering. It seemed to me that this new season, marked with the obvious absence of a very vital figure, would have been a good time to kind of “grow” the characters out of their past “typical” rolls.

Might be just me though. 😉

Lets see how the season progresses.

The Rest of the Story


My final trip down to the chicken coop on the day when I destroyed the girls favorite place to deposit eggs in secret, I found this!

A beautiful sight! Little Red finally gave up the fight and “settled” for the old fashioned good ol’ nesting box! Yay!

Tomorrow (although this will be yesterday by the time you read it) I’m going to keep them all in the coop till afternoon, so that they haven’t much choice where to leave their eggs. After that, I believe, they’ll be back on track.

And from now on when the goats are on the prowl, I’m just going to move the chicken feed out of their reach. 🙂 Lesson Learned!

She’s nothing if not tenacious

This chicky that I have named “Little Red” is desperate for a place to lay her egg. I’m not sure how long chickens can actually “hold it” but apparently they can for awhile. 😉


Poor little thing. She was trying to get busy on that coal-bucket nest when I discovered it. Apparently once they get that “gotta lay and egg” thought in their little birdy brains it is the ONLY thing they can think of.

I tried to distract her by taking down some special treats to the coop area, and it kinda worked. She ate a few pecks of oatmeal and then hopped into the coop. I was optimistic that she’d discover the nests in there are just as good. And just in case she simply HAD to have the bucket, I took it to the coop too.

Alas, no. She explored the coop, found it wanting and took off like a shot back toward the yard. I’d closed the gates though, so I thought ya know, maybe the effort will convince her to find an easier (coop) place to lay those eggs (coop) like the well fluffed nests of the chicken coop!!! Or bucket even if you must!

But a few minutes later I looked out the window and the crazy hen was running back and forth outside the fence trying various spots to stick her head through, and finding that her body wouldn’t fit. Eventually she gave up on that and flew to the top of the fence and over. Yep, sheeeeees baaaaaaack!


She has a good sense of geography though cause she keeps coming back to the exact same spot, but she’s so confused that the “perfect nest” was gone. She even attempted to go under the folding chair to see if that would do. 😉 I don’t think it did.


Poor Lil Red! Hope she figures it out soon so she can get some relief, and we can get some breakfast!

The saga continues… can’t wait to find out what becomes of that egg….