Wednesday, February 5, 2014

In action

:::With another week of super cold, snowy, and blowing weather hitting us, we find ourselves quite stuck inside.  That retched wind took out 4 big boards in our old barn too.  Not gonna lie - I shed a tear.

:::The boys find themselves around the table, keeping warm, working on projects, building Lego creation after Lego creation, eating us out of house and home, and generally in good spirits about it all.

:::Luckily we've got the littlest member of this boy band's crazy fever under control and he is ready to take the world on one digger at a time.

:::Wool is everyday.  On the head, legs, feet, and hands.  Sometime I rock two sweaters.  This weather makes it easy to pick out an "outfit".  Wool.

:::We turned our heat down even lower and celebrated that we had the option to do that by having a candlelight dinner.  Now we are just cold. Burr 60.

 :::It looks like it could be yet another day out due to extreme cold weather and wind chills.  We are getting so used to being home that when an actual full week of school happens, it will be a bit of an adjustment.

:::Until then, we will just keep calm and project on.  

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

On the needles

My knitting stride is just about back.  Between moving, Christmas makings, and the puppy (oh and those kids), I've not had a lot of time to knit.

I think I'm finally under control enough to start back at my addiction hobby again.  Good thing too since I need to finish my kids' solstice/winter/Christmas sweaters.  I've forgotten that as they get bigger, their sweaters take longer.

All three are getting Tea with Jam and Bread.  As soon as this pattern came out I knew I'd make it. Not only is it one of my favorite songs, it is the perfect boy (and me!) sweater with its tunic style and pockets for various rocks, bugs, and other found treasures.

Each one is knitted out of Lark from  Quince and Co.  I've got a few knits for myself out of this yarn and I know it wears really well.  I should finish my medium boy's sweater today and then on to #3.  I hope to have it done by next week.

Between reading everything I can about raising chickens and coop building, I've also been reading and experimenting with recipes from Mary Jane's For the Farm Girl.  My oldest thought I needed to check this out from our library.  Turns out it is pretty cute and has some good, basic, whole food inspired recipes.  I've worked with sourdough this week. My bread was a fail though. I think it was just too much whole wheat. It will make good croutons though!

linking up with Ginny at Small Things

Monday, January 20, 2014

Weekend Warriors

The last two weekends we've been able to ink out some good ol' farm working time.  Each have given us one day of temperature that was not at that "my teeth are cold" cold.

Last weekend we were able to organize the pile of lumber in the field next to ours.  All of that leftover lumber was available to us from the previous home owner.  We've put in a call to make sure but now it is out of the ground and ready to move.  Dragging wet, frozen boards a few acres at a time was not a lot of fun but our crew of merry men did it.  If we get the go-ahead with the lumber (again), we will be using them for the chicken coop. 

The Chicken Fortress layout has finally been decided - a 12x16 house for 20+ hens.  I'm tickled pink that there will be a green house as part of it.  A Green House.  I swoon.

The mud.  This makes for some really cold mama fingers since I have to prewash this stuff in the snow and water.  Outside.  Burr.

This weekend we had much of the same again.  Nathan was able to burn a huge pile of Hedge tree that he trimmed.  There is a lot more tree overgrowth to work on though!

The boys and I took their day off of school to clean out the dairy pen in the old barn.  Yikes.  I had no idea how long it would take the four of us - 5 hours!  I really wanted to finish the job with the crew on hand as it is a mantra around here to "finish what you start and do it well". 

We did.  Those kids of mine rocked it.

All of that soil "food" as the crew calls it, is our "pumpkin graveyard".  Last weekend we buried our Halloween pumpkins and leftover gourd seeds.  There was piles and piles of roofing tiles behind the barn and there still is a lot left. Hopefully those vines will help us dig them up.  Mason really enjoyed making each pumpkin a grave marker - hence, the pumpkin graveyard garden.

Little by little, before the ground thaws, we will empty that old, beautiful, falling down barn of all of its 40 year old gold.  I've bought myself of collection of books on soil.  I'm super excited to read them. Good thing I'm married to a science nerd and he gets my need for knowledge.

Happy "Famer/Cowboy/Monticello Worker" who is now not a boy but the a fore mentioned people at any given time. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

An extra day of break

With a snow storm currently blowing like mad outside, boys playing with Dad downstairs, and the littlest finally succumbing to a nap (after an exceptionally fussy afternoon), it seems like a perfect time to do a blog post!  It is on my list of things to do more regularly and now that we are starting our new adventure with our mini-farm, there will be a lot more to share! 

Our break from school for the holidays has been fun.  Long...but fun!  We started off before Christmas with visiting Nathan's parents and then back home for Christmas, followed by visiting my family.  It was more than wonderful to see everyone.  Next year I plan on either getting lots of B12 shots or living in a bubble so I'm not sick the entire time my niece is here! 

This Christmas brought us, thanks to my Mom and Dad, our first new animal to the farm, Carwyn!  She is a Pembroke Welsh Corgi and is just the sweetest thing.  Like a true member of the family, she has already been to the emergency room (via our sweet neighbor's Lab) for being a bit too bold with her puppy bites.  Luckily it wasn't as bad as it looked and she no longer nips to hard. 

Naughty puppy.

Before the blizzard and the low temperatures (-15!!), we were able to do some farm work on our fence line.  Our goal is to be able to put up new fencing next fall and with the 40 odd years of growth to work through, we're going to need all of the time we can get.  We were grateful for even 2 days to work outside before the weather hit.  There will be so much to do come Spring!

Chicken house plans are steadily coming along as well.  We decided on an "old" style chicken house- the "half monitor".  There are so many plans for small coops online but we are anticipating 15-20 layers and finding those seems a bit more difficult.  We've got anxious little builders here and they are ready to start farming!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Nesting In

It is hard to believe that we moved just a bit over 2 weeks ago.  It has been such a busy, full, somewhat hectic couple of months.

I'm so glad it is over.  I'll feel really glad when our other house finally sells. 

We have been surprised at how fast we have come to love our new space.  It feels so right for us.  The different places to go and spread out, the big open fireplace - which has been going non stop, the cozy little bedrooms, and the basement that is currently taken over by trains.  All of it is so great and so us.

It helps that we had a week that started in the 50's instead of the teens that are happening now.  The boys got a glimpse of what we can do this spring and summer like playing in the creek, helping clear trees,  and building "huts". 

Today Reagan told me, curled up with his next book by the fire, that he loves his new home. 

I do too.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Wash, rinse, repeat

Having three boys seems to cause a duplication in days.

I never knew I would be an expert farm builder.  I can put together a homestead in a matter of minutes.

Boy #1 was always concerned with feeding the animals.

Boy #2 was always concerned with babies being by their mommies.

Boy #3 is concerned with moving manure to various "piles".

Same toys.  Same clothes.  Same scenes.  Totally different boys.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


We have some big changes coming to our family.

We've decided to take a risk.  Something that usually doesn't go with my husband and I.

Often as we drove home from our parent's farms, we would hear our children "whine" about not having the space, animals, things to do- pretty much everything associated with living in the country.  We often echoed them as well.  As parents, we always wanted those "country" things for our kids and the chance to raise our kids much like we were raised.

So - we talked about it, daresay "dream" about it until one day I sent my husband a link to land that was for sale.  From there we looked some more, determined what we could responsibly do, what we couldn't do in our county - which turns out a lot, and just looked.

Then it popped up.  Something small enough to afford but big enough for my crew to grow into and in turn something small enough for us to take care of when the kids grow up (not that I plan on letting them).

A place with lots of projects.  A place with just a bit of more space but still a small home that we like.  A basement so we don't have to huddle in the bathtub with glass shower doors during a tornado.  Close to town but surrounded by beauty.

Our kids are pretty excited.  Chickens and kittens in the spring.  A cow or two in the following year and whatever else they talk me into.  A huge garden.  Planting apple trees, strawberry rows, and blueberries.

We are all pretty excited.  So excited that maybe I'll actually blog about it. 

My littlest one and I were reading a chicken raising book (he is now a chicken farmer -if you ask), and I stumbled across this paragraph that totally sums up our life in the last few weeks:

If you wish you, too, were closing a coop door, I promise if it is something you really want, it'll happen. You'll find a way because you must.  And when it does happen, be ready because it'll come fast.  Life doesn't happen any other way.  At least not the parts worth living. 

Chick Days by Jenna Woginrich

I'll be a super excited when our current home sells.