Monday, September 29, 2008

The thought of moving is at once exciting and scary. I am like a yoyo, going from breathless excitement about what's next, to overwhelming darkness, thinking about the unknown.

One thing that I am keeping in my mind at all times is Living Life Now. Life is happening whether I know where I'm going to be living or not. The present is all we have. The past is done, the future hasn't happened yet. We ARE the present. And life is what you make of it!

If I focus on the scariness of moving, then moving will be scary!

So, I am going to make a conscious decision to be Breathless with Excitement!! I'm making the choice to LIVE.

There is beauty all around me every day. There is certainly enough to keep my busy here on the farm. I've been letting my work go and had a lot to do today. Really, house work is easier if you do a little every day. Then it doesn't pile up and get overwhelming! And when I do a little everyday, then I have more time for knitting, photography, or reading. Those are the things that I want to spend my time doing!!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Road Trip!

Yesterday we took a road trip! We were "shopping" for a new state, town and property. I'm not sure that we found anything, but we did have a good time!

We went to Sandpoint Idaho. It's a gorgeous place to see! There is a huge lake, a beautiful old town, right on the water, and lots of trees and vegetation.

The property was kind of frustrating as it seems to be either way out in the boondocks, or too pricey. The boondocks would be great if there was more than just me and my family moving. But it's kind of intimidating to think of living way out in the middle of now where with my two kids and my hubby. What about wild animals? I'm sure it would be very difficult to have my chickies and milk goats up on a mountain top somewhere. Wouldn't bears come in and walk off with them all the time? It's a problem!

The town was so friendly and fun to look around. We went in lots of shops and even got to see a Farmer's Market. That was a nice small town event to be a part of. Fun fun!

Ben kept saying, "We are not moving, so don't even think about it", but then he would say that Sandpoint was nice and could we stay longer? Logan seems up for anything, he just doesn't want to go to school anymore. He would like to be home schooled.

We looked at the Waldorf school, but have some more research to do about that before we make the leap. We are planning on going up there during a school day sometime to see how the school works. If we don't like it, or it's not for us, then we won't be tied to Sandpoint and can go anywhere!!

Oh and our mileage rolled over to 50,000 on our way home. It was a mile stone! Very memorable...

Is there a place that you really like?

Someplace that you could recommend for a young, small farm family?

We will have a pony or two, a couple of goats, a milk cow and some chickens that we will be bringing along. As well as a German Shepherd puppy and a Shorkie. Have stock trailer, will travel!

We are taking recommendations now for the BEST place to live in the US or Canada.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Alien Eyes... my youngest was explaining these to me yesterday on our way home from school.

Apparently there is a boy on their bus that has Alein Eyes. With a little more questioning on my part, I finally found out that Alien Eyes are slanted and are curled a little at the edges. AND they are usually green! Interesting...

Sometimes my boys are little Aliens!


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Just stuff...

It's hard to have a Blog! To come up with something every day takes quite a lot. Sometimes there just isn't anything to talk about! Or nothing I think would interest you guys. Then I thought, maybe just plain old farm talk would be interesting. Take for instance my day!

I get up in the morning, but not too early. I do live on a farm, but that doesn't mean I have to be an early riser! I go out and feed all the animals.

I let the miniature horses out to graze.

I snuggle up my Nanny goat and my Lamancha. They both like lots of extra attention.

Then I let out my girlfriends (the chickies), and go gather up all my eggs. All the while the girlies are clucking and talking away. They usually have lots of things to tell me in the morning. I hear all about their night, how they slept, what they dreamed about. They brag about who laid what egg, ect, ect...

Then I feed the Angora goats. They really don't like me and race around their pen like crazy goats while I put the feed in their pans. I try to talk with them, but they stand in the corner glaring at me and I'm sure calling me all the names they can think of! Poor little boys...

Then I feed my Andalusian. He is very impatient when it comes to feed time, but has learned to stand quietly once I get over to his side of the farm. He has to face me with nice ears, then I'll toss him his hay. He is quite a boy! I really enjoy having him around and hope that I'll be able to keep him.

With the economy crashing, and my hubby having a hard time finding work, we are looking at selling the farm and moving. Of course, since I am a farm girl, we MUST find another farm to look after. We are thinking that we will look over Idaho way. It's so sad because this is a family farm involving all the family. My Mom lives here as do my Grandparents, but sometimes things happen that we have very little control over.

This is just one end of the farm. The house, barnyard, and round pen are all up here... then there is a hay field that is about 7 acres. We own 9.68 acres total, in the beautiful Bitterroot Valley Montana. It really is a gorgeous place to live, you just have to able to afford it!

It will be a sad day when we have to move. We built this house from the ground up. We put up all the fences and Craig and his dad built the two big storage sheds we have here. Sigh... But it's time to move on to a new chapter in the novel of our lives! I'm sure when we get going it will get exciting...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I love to knit. It's so relaxing for me. There is something about the clicking of knitting needles that really makes the world seem like a saner place. I just wanted to share a few of the things that I have made recently!

I LOVE Teddy Bears. This is my favorite one and it just so happens that he makes a GREAT scarf model...

This is one that I made for my boys. It's a snake!

This is my Shorkie, Angus. I make him lots of sweaters and he loves to pose for the camera!

(The above sweater has a hood. So cute!)

I also make sweaters for other people's dogs, special orders! I only do up to medium sized dogs. Hooded or not, these are nice warm sweaters and comfy.

If you are interested please email me,!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Great Books I've Read

I thought I would share with you guys a couple of really good books I've read. Either I read these lately, or they are the ones that I go back to again and again...

The first one is "Living the Good Life" by, Scott and Helen Nearing. This book is a wonderful book about a couple that choose to leave the fast paced life in the big city and set out on their own. They built a very prosperous farm up first in Vermont, then in Maine. These farms were not particularly prosperous in the conventional way. Scott and Helen were prosperous in that they had a wonderful roof over their head, that they built, and food in their tummies, that they grew! They were an amazing couple. My husband and I are striving for this type of life ourselves, but we do realize that we won't be wheel barrowing rocks around to build a house from scratch, or hand digging any ponds! I'm amazed at what this couple accomplished in their lives!

Another great book that I'm reading right now is "Eat, Pray, Love" by, Elizabeth Gilbert. This book is so funny and written in such a way that you feel like you're talking with a girl friend. She really has a way of making a story engaging. I encourage you all to read this book for your next snuggle-up-with-a-good-book-and-cup-of-tea day.

My all time favorite author is Dianna Gabaldon. Her books are like my old friends. I started reading them in high school. Every year I read her whole set about Jamie and Claire. I really do feel like I know these people personally. The wonderful thing about these books is that they include time travel! The books in this series are Outlander, Dragonfly In Amber, Voyager, Drums of Autumn, The Fiery Cross, A Breath of Snow and Ashes. These are a MUST read for any gal out there that enjoys reading!

Another great author is Sara Donati. She writes beautiful novels about a time that I'm sure I was supposed to be born into. I think I was born a century or two too late! I love how she captures the time, the scenery and the people. The women in her books are very much like the women in Jane Austen's books. The strong women that are capable of doing anything they like! I love these books! The books included in the Wilderness series are Into the Wilderness, Dawn On A Distant Shore, Lake in the Clouds, Fire Along the Sky, Queen of Swords.

And last for tonight is the author Jodi Picoult. The main thing that drew me to her was the fact that she has so many books out there! I won't read them all then pine for more, when there are no more. There will always be more! Her books are all different, so it's impossible to guess what she will have her heroines do. Really great reads!


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Farm Clean Up Day...

Sigh. It was a big day here on the farm. Fall clean up can be a back breaker! We, as a family unit, went down by the creek and cut down dead trees and bushes, piled them high for a lovely bonfire later in the fall. And brush hogged, with a very dull brush hog, the tall grass and weeds that have taken over down there!

It's important for the farm to look good as my Mom is having an Open House at her Clay and Glass Studio in October. I plan on having some of my greeting cards, hand knitted scarves and doggy sweaters and face scrubbies and wash clothes there as well. It's going to be a big day!

This is my Andalusian colt, Destino. He didn't like the Brush Hog that my hubby was using beside his pen. I got some great neck shots!

I spent some time, before the rain hit, taking some new pictures of the gorgeous flowers that my Mom has in her garden. WOW... They are so bright and beautiful at this time of year. I am using these photos and other 'Around the Farm' shots for greeting cards that I offer for sale. If you are interested, please email me at

This one is so bright! I can't believe it's a real flower...

Bees bees everywhere! I'm so glad that we don't spray for weeds around our farm. We've enjoyed all the bees this year, especially the honey bees. Like the one below!

This flower looks like a star fish! It's so fine that it's practically translucent...

And the best for last! My favorite flower is the daisy. I love the simplicity of them.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Look at this egg!

This is the biggest egg I, or any of my family, have ever seen! I have an average sized hand and this egg FILLS my palm! It isn't really egg shaped, more like an oval. Someone said it looks like a potato! I assure you, it's an egg...

With this egg and a few others, I make a wonderful meal. My youngest tells people that his favorite food is Quiche! Of all things. I wonder how many 6 year olds even know what quiche is...

My quiche is made from farm fresh eggs, laid by my free range chickens. I use organic flour, organic vegetable shortening, sea salt, the best seasonings, sometimes fresh herbs, organic cream cheese, organic cheddar cheese, organic half and half, I'm sure you get the picture! I get my fruit from either our local Farmer's Market or our local Good Food Store (where they sell farm fresh organic fruit and veggies).

My recipe for Farm Fresh Quiche:

The Crust:
1 Cup of Organic unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
6 Tablespoons of Organic Vegetable shortening
6-12 Tablespoons of cold water

First mix the flour and salt well. Then add the shortening. Mix these together with a fork or two knives until the dough starts to form into pea sized chunks.
Then add the water. I add it slowly, so I don't put too much in. If you end up with too much water, your dough will be chewy instead of flaky.
After you add the water and the dough is well mixed, roll it out in a big enough round to fit the pie pan.
Grease the bottom of the pan and lay the dough in. Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork a few times.

The Quiche:
6 large fresh eggs
1 Cup of Organic half and half
4-6 Tablespoons of Cream cheese, or Ricotta cheese, or Goat cheese (whatever you prefer!)
1 heaping Tablespoon of a good quality Italian Herb mix.
Here you can add fresh basil, rosemary, lavendar, ect. Add as much or as little of these as wish.
1 Cup of Spinach. I use the Organic frozen spinach, but fresh is great as well.

Mix these well with a mixer. Then pour the mixture into the pie crust. Put it in the oven at 400* for 45 minutes. Remove, allow to cool for a few minutes, cut and serve! It's really good with fresh fruit, especially Blue Berries!


Thursday, September 18, 2008


Having my own chickens is very rewarding. Not only do they lay wonderfully tasty eggs, but they are like having a bunch of girlfriends around all the time!

They talk and cluck away to me or whoever might be around to hear. They proudly announce when they have laid an egg. They race around leaping and bounding to catch those pesky grasshoppers.

It is so heart lifting when I go out to do my chores and I call out "chick, chick, chick" and all of my hens come running from all over the farm yard, and sometimes my back yard. They talk and talk, telling me stories about their day.

One day I went out and called and all the hens came running, except one, Lucy Lawless. I put the girlies away in the hen house and spent some time walking around calling and calling, looking for Lucy. I went and got my husband and boys to help me look. We looked and looked and couldn't find her. It was a heart breaking day! We were all sad that we had lost Lucy and so completely! Not a black feather in site.

The next day I kept the other girls in, because I had no idea what had stolen Lucy away. Was it a hawk? A neighbor dog? A fox? I had heard that when fox come in and steal, they leave no trace. I know from experience that when a hawk swoops down and steals a chicken, they leave no trace either, it's a clean sweep.

I was very protective of my girls for the next 2 days. On the 3rd day I came out in the morning to do my chores and there was a black hen in with my Andalusian colt, Destino. For a second I thought my other black hen, Henrietta, had escaped my hen house. Then I looked closer and it was Lucy!!

She was so beat up, missing tons of feathers, bloody marks on her cheeks and very upset. She almost wouldn't let me scoop her up. I manage to catch her and trucked her right off to the hen house and all the girlfriends. Lucy was so happy to be back in there!! She talked and talked forever!

I can just imagine what she was telling all the other girls. That poor chicken has seen things no other chicken has. We call her the POW chicken. What a trooper she was. She escaped her kidnapper, and then hid, and THEN found her way home. It just proves that chickens aren't as brainless as some people think they are. It took a few days, but she was back to laying her big beautiful brown eggs and settled right back in. Her feathers have grown back and you would never guess anything had ever happened to her!

Lucy Lawless

Soon after this happened, my neighbor came over and told my Mom that he started the summer with 35 chickens and a peacock. Now he has 4 chickens left and no peacock. He and his wife saw a Bobcat come in and pack off a chicken or two, they guess that he did the rest of the chickens as well. Our neighbor followed the trail of peacock feathers out into his hay field and knows that the Bobcat got him as well.

We feel so lucky. We think that our chickens are doing well because they are housed in the middle of the farm. The animals would have to go past three houses and 8 dogs, plus all the horses and the goats to get to the hen house. And my hubby built my hen house so well, I don't think anything could get in there! It's our best guess that it was a neighbor dog that took Lucy. It's very doubtful that she could have gotten away from a Bobcat, a hawk or a fox (unless it was a young fox). And a neighbor dog is probably they only thing that would brave coming in past the houses, the dogs and the farm animals. I'm just so thankful that she escaped!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Summer Updates on the Farm

There have been some major changes on the farm this summer! We have moved away from breeding and training the Miniature Horses. Our farm is moving towards being a Sustainable Farm. We have many plans and have already implemented most of them. It's an exciting time around here and lots of work as well!

I read everything I can about gardening and have started some small garden plots around the farm. I used some old tractor tires, filled them with compost and top soil and planted some strawberries and moss roses in them. I got a few cattle lick tubs, cleaned them out and filled them with compost and top soil, then planted Tomatoes. These smaller tubs can be brought into the house for winter time and will hopefully continue providing me with tomatoes this winter!

We are going to add a few nice sized gardens next spring, 2009. We plan on growing most of our own food, to help cut down on our grocery bill. I really enjoy fixing wonderful meals for my family using organic ingredients and all the very best that I can. I feel a certain sense of accomplishment in knowing exactly where their food has been! And whose hands have handled it as well. I'm researching Heirloom Veggies for our garden and am very excited to be adding these! They have such great taste and are so beautiful to look at as well!

My Chickens are laying some of the most beautiful eggs. They are now very accomplished and know what they are doing. What great girls they all are! People are always amazed at how friendly my chickies are. They run up to greet people and are happy to have me scoop them up for a little one on one time. My chickens are Red Star Chickens from Murray McMurray in Iowa. I also run Black Australorp. (My favorite's are the Red Star's, don't tell them though!)

This is a close-up of my Nanny Goat, Ginger Star.

I have added goats to the farm this summer. Two whether, Angora goats for fiber. They have been a little bit of a challenge because they are slow to tame up. I've been told by several Angora Goat people that they take quite a lot of time to warm up to their new owners and it can take as much as 6 months. Poor little guys. I feel like I'm torturing them every time I go in to feed them!

Another goat that we added is a whether Lamancha goat. He is here to be our weed eater and has been doing a wonderful job! Every place that I had tall, waist deep weeds, I staked him out there for a few hours every day and he cleaned them up! He is now out in the pasture with my new goat...

The Nubian Nanny goat! She is a 4 year old nanny goat. I got her for her milk so I can try my hand at making goat's milk soap and lotion. She doesn't produce a large amount of milk, but will give me just the right amount for dabbling. She is super sweet and very fun to have around! We call her Ginger Star.

Another great addition is the Dexter Cow! She isn't here yet, but I'm hoping to have her by the end of September/October. She is coming from Washington and we have been waiting for her to get bred. Something I learned this year, cows only carry their calves for 9 months, unlike horses who carry their foals for 11 months! Anyway, our cow, whose name is Peekaboo, was bred at the end of August and it was a pretty funny story! She happened to come into heat while the breeder was at a Cow show in Evergreen Washington. Of course there can't be any breeding in the show barn while the show is going on, so the show superintendent told them to take the bull and cow (my cow) out to a horse trailer and let them do the job in there! So the breeder and her friend took them out to her friends big Featherlite Horse trailer. Though the bull was a little shy at first, he did manage to get the job done! And now we have the perfect name for our calf, Featherlite!

My two boys are both in school now. It's a first for me and something that I have had to get used to. Now if I'm outside for a little while, I'll suddenly wonder why I haven't seen my youngest for awhile and then remember... he's at school... sigh... He has mentioned more than once that he would like to be home schooled and my hubby and I have been giving that some serious thought. We plan to keep a close watch on how they are both doing in school and maybe take over their schooling when they are in 3rd or 4th grade. Homeschooling is such a HUGE undertaking, I want to be sure that I'm prepared for it before we make the switch.

My hubby has been doing odd jobs here and there, remodels and such, but times are tough and not a little bit stressful.

I am starting a new website that will feature the farm life and my thoughts on going Organic, selling Organic fibers and yarns, organic womens shirts and hopefully baby diapers, pull ups and training pants. I'm really excited about what's to come and what I can make of our new website!

I'm using SBI to help me with my site and it's quite an undertaking! There is a lot of material to go through before starting a successful site. With the tools that they provide I just don't see how my new site won't succeed!

I have been knitting and knitting, using some really gorgeous yarns made out of eco friendly fiber, like Organic cotton, soy and bamboo. Also some beautiful merino wool and merino wool mixes.

I have been making Dog Sweaters. I make them out of the organic yarn and they are beautiful! I have started making these to order for other people's dogs as well as my own. Angus has so many sweaters he never has to go without! He is so proud to wear them, and tries his best to stay clean when he has them on...

I always put a ladybug somewhere on the sweaters that I knit. It's my 'signature', for Ladybug Farm!

I also just recently got my first sewing machine! It's a Free-Westinghouse with it's own cabinet built around it. I think it's about 50 years old, electric and very simple to run. I love it and can't wait to start sewing Christmas presents.

My oldest son told me not too long ago that I won't be a great Mom until I can sew all their clothes for them. How funny! I do NOT intend to sew all their clothes, but I am excited to make them different things like appliques for their t-shirts and messenger bags,ect.

I have switched to exclusively hanging my clothes out to dry, instead of using a dryer. I went to a few garage sales this summer and purchased a few different things to help me dry the clothes during the winter, inside. I added a quilt rack (for $2!!) and a garment hanger rack (also $2, brand new still in the box!!) to my clothes drying things. I also use the shower curtain bars in the bathrooms. It helps with the dry air in the house during the winter as well as saving energy! The clothes smell so good after hanging outside. If it's windy the clothes blow around and are sooooo soft when I take them down. I love the windy days now!