Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Time flies when you are having fun (or running full tilt boogie like your hair is on fire!)

The days just move too fast for my liking. 

Farm Happenings

Bob the Bottle Calf

I've been afraid to say this out loud, but I think it's safe to proclaim that Bob the Bottle calf's navel abscess is healed!!  ALL the Glory goes to God!  He blessed me with a great vet with lots of ideas, who also respected my thoughts and observations.  God gave me patience and endurance to doctor Bob's wound twice daily for about 3 1/2 months.  God also put my previous training as a nurse to good use. 

Annabelle and Bob
(Bob is sad with this new "milkless" arrangement!)

In the end it was most definitely God who strengthened Bob and gave me courage to let the abscess heal over and encapsulate (this flies totally in the face of all that past training!).  I still check Bob's belly periodically and have to sing a little verse of praise every time I realize that the infection has resolved!!

Shortly after the infection healed, I had to make an executive decision and wean Bob away from Bambi (my Jersey milk cow).  I really wanted to let her nurse longer, but Bob was starting to scare me.  That probably sounds strange....I'll try to explain.  Because of so much handling by me, on some level Bob thinks of me as her mother.  This leads to a myriad of problems since Bob rapidly outgrew me in size and strength.  As long as Bob nursed I needed to lead her in and out of Bambi's paddock (unless we didn't want any milk that day).  Bob grew really pushy with me....literally.  She would no longer walk at my side, instead she shadowed right behind me and tried to bump me along with her head.  She would even come running up in the pasture and start head bumping me to get my attention.  Trust me, she had it.  It gave me the creeps and I started being fearful for myself and my kids, too. 

"Don't worry, Bob, you'll get through this."

The good news is that just a few weeks after giving up her favorite drink and not being handled very much, Bob has settled down and is much calmer when I need to be around her.  She still loves a good chin scratch and she moo's when she sees me, but she's no longer acting like an overgrown toddler. 

We've had a rough couple weeks with chickens.  We lost 2 laying hens.  It seems that a fox made off with the first and a hawk tried to take the other. 

Chicks at about 3 weeks.
Sort of an ugly stage with half of feathers grown in.

On the same day, a raccoon got through some electric fencing, reached into the coop where we are raising our meat birds.  The coon killed one and badly wounded another.  The wounded chick lived in our garage for a while.  She's been relocated back with the other chicks.  We still have to keep her in a separate pen because some of the other birds pick on her.  (the pecking order is everywhere!)  I'm amazed at how God instilled us and all of His creatures with a will to live.  I was sure this little chick wouldn't survive for an hour after I found her, but here she is a week later....alive and growing stronger each day.

Quilty Stuff

Quilting time is shriveling up like a raisin with the summer garden and mowing and such upon us.  I'm ok with that though.  I tend to feel better when I go with the flow of the seasons and the specific work of each.... instead of demanding that life stay the same and allow me to do what I want to do all the time (trust me, I've tried the latter method, wasn't pretty!)

I am still doing a bit of hand piecing on the fly.  This new pattern and stamp set by Cindy Blackberg is fun.  The  pieces are larger than the ones that I usually work with, so it goes together faster. 

Quilt Top for ministry.
Made from donated blocks.

I did finish sewing a quilt top together at during our Wednesday Quilt Ministry gatherings.  This was made from donated blocks.  I sashed the blocks and added borders.  Sarah quilted it and the quilt has already been given away.  :) 

I'm trying to finish a quilt to send to an orphanage in Ethiopia through Sarah's Hands to Help project. 

Health and Well-Being

I'm still doing the wheat-free thing. (Amazon affiliate link)  For the most part anyway.  Oddly enough, I really don't miss the wheat foods.  It's hard to figure out what to prepare for meals in their place, but I don't miss eating them.  My daytime energy level remains at a good constant level.  This is such a blessing! 

many blessings,

May the Lord answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.  Psalm 20:1

Linked to Homestead Barn Hop

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Sheep, not now

It's time to offer my sweet little Shetland ewes for sale.

I've thoroughly enjoyed them, but in developing our homestead....I think I put the sheep before the cart (or something like that.)  After much prayer and consideration, I've decided it would be best to sell the sheep and focus on some other farm endeavors first. 

About the pictures...The sheep are fascinated with the camera, but not in having their pictures taken....they would rather sniff, lick, and nibble the actual camera. 
So with the help of my 2 able-bodied recruits, we did the best that we could!

Under The Son Tiffany 
NASSA # S 32829   color:  Moorit
Under the Son Torvus x Under The Son Anglaise
born 4/3/2011
UTS Tiffany, May 2013

UTS Tiffany, May 2013
sorry about the rope around her front leg

UnderTheSon Tricot 
NASSA #S 32825   color:  black
UnderTheSon Apache x UnderTheSon Radisson
born 4/1/ 2011

UTS Tricot, May 2013
UTS Tricot, May 2013
Solid Topline....even though this picture
makes it look a little bumpy.

UTS Tricot on Left
S'more Czadas on Right.
Czadas is standing a bit cock-eyed
Both are strong and square in hind quarters.

S'more Czadas
NASSA# S 34884  color: shaela 
UnderTheSon Apache x S'more Spunky

S'more Czadas, May 2013
I think the halter makes her head look
a bit funky in this picture.

S'more Czadas, April 2013
This is Czadas' attempt to be invisible and
avoid the shearing stand!

S'more Czadas, April 2013
Coat just came off.  Ready to be sheared.
Gorgeous fine fleece!  Very soft.  Over 4" staple length.

Czadas, Tricot, and Tiffany, March 2012
I'm putting this picture in to show you how their
fleece colors compare.  All 3 fleeces are really nice!

These sheep were purchased from Theresa and Tori Gygi at Under the Son Farm in Greencastle, Indiana.

They are good breeding stock with strong genetics. They were purchased with the intention of starting a flock of fine fleeced Shetlands. 

Under the Son Farm specializes in breeding for strong conformation and fine fleece


Saturday, May 11, 2013

Wheat Belly

first strawberry from the garden :)

I've been meaning to write for a number of days.  That means lots of stuff is rambling around in my head.  When I skip writing for too long my brain activity starts to mimic the classic pinball machine.  Unfortunately, writing is one area in my life that still bends toward the lies of perfectionism.  I keep putting it off, because I'm behind on all that needs to be reported on....thus I delay because I haven't time to do it right...which of course becomes One Vicious Circle.  Ugh!

Here's one topic that needs attention:

Wheat Belly
Have you read this book??  I've read most of it and find it fascinating.  I'm fearful that it's true, at least to some degree.  Have you taken a look at our bodies lately?  It's shocking how large we've become...overweight and unhealthy with diseases nearly unheard of 50 years ago.  What's up?  For a number of years I've been blaming our condition on processed food (totally hate that stuff...just ask my kids) and our sedentary lifestyle.  But now I'm wondering if there's not more to the story. 

Case in point:  Myself.  (I'm my own best guinea pig.)
I grew up in the country and we had horses.  My grandparents lived nearby and had a big garden and sometimes pigs and beef cows. 

Fast forward to around 2006, I started to miss the country and long for the animals, the garden, and yes...even the work of it. Soooooo...nearly 2 years ago we moved to a 10 acre farm (God love my long-suffering husband for going along with so many of my crazy plans and dreams!)

I know I'm an odd bird, but I really like to work hard physically especially when it yields something practical, like food.  For over 18 months, I've been physically active every single day.  At 48, I'm probably in as good if not better condition than I was in my 20's and 30's.  Add that to the fact that I rarely eat processed food.  I cook from scratch, grind wheat and bake all our bread products, have a milk cow and fresh unpasteurized milk, raise an organic garden, can and freeze for the winter, buy grass-fed beef and pasture raised poultry from local farmers; plus we have a constant supply of fresh eggs from our own healthy hens. (geez, no wonder my days are so full!)

BUT....over the last year, I've developed a little pot belly.  YUCK!  Yuck!  Double-Yuck!
I also have high cholesterol. 

So that's where this book comes in.  I first read an interview with the author, Dr. William Davis, and then sought out the book. The book's premise is that the wheat that we consume is not the same that our forefathers ate.  It's been hybridized into something very different.  I'm not especially surprised by this news because it seems that all of our food supply is being or has been mucked around with in some shape or form.  The problem with these well-meaning alterations is that we can't see all the consequences that might come from our tinkering.  That's what the book talks about.  I highly recommend that you read it.
(please know that I don't endorse all of Dr. Davis' viewpoints--like all the evolutionary stuff.  Just remember to use your own brain.  :)

I've been avoiding wheat for about 2 1/2 weeks.  Not long, but I've already noticed one significant change...I'm clear headed.  The brain fog that used to regularly settle in on me has lifted....even in the afternoons!!  Hooray!  I'll keep you posted if I notice other improvements. 

If you want to try this little experiment, expect to be amazed by the amount of wheat you actually consume on any given day.  It's everywhere.  The first hurdle is to figure out what to eat instead.  For me that translates to more veggies, nuts, and meat. 

The book says that some people really have a hard time getting off wheat because of the addictive qualities that are inherent to modern-day wheat.  So far I've been able to avoid wheat, but I know if I give in and taste "a little" I'll fall over the edge and gobble down a pound of cookies and bread.  Sounds strangely like an addiction, doesn't it?...I can avoid it, but once I start it will be difficult to stop.  Argh!

When I play the guinea pig game I try to leave my family out of it.  BUT my kids are starting to worry as they observe me passing on the wheat though, saying stuff like:  "no wheat?!!", "what about bread?!", "and pasta?!", "and cookies?!!!!!"  I don't have an answer for them.  We just have to let this play out.

many blessings,

Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. 
Psalm 32:1

fine print:  I'm an Amazon affiliate and will receive a tiny commission should you make an Amazon purchase shortly after clicking one of my Amazon links.  Having said that, please know that my opinions are my own....I have yet to be swayed by a few pennies from Amazon!