Saturday, January 31, 2009

Chorizo Recipe

In a large bowl place:

2 Lb. ground pork.
3 1/2 tsp. salt
6 Tbl. pure ground red chile
6-20 small hot dried red chiles; tepine, Thai dragon, pico de gallo or the like, crushed
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbl. dry leaf oregano
2 tsp. whole cumin seed, crushed
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
4 Tbl. good cider or wine vinegar
2 1/2 Tbl. water

Have everything cool. Break up the meat, sprinkle evenly with the rest of the ingredients, cut in with two forks until evenly mixed, then knead a bit with your hands until well mixed. At this point the chorizo will keep for at least a couple weeks in your refrigerator, or let it season for a couple days in your refrigerator, then wrap it in small packages, (3-4 oz. is about right for two people), and it will freeze fine for months. It can also be stuffed into casings and smoked like any other pork sausage.

Recipe Courtesy Bruce Moffitt of Eating Well is the Best Revenge
Image Courtesy of

Friday, January 30, 2009

Co-operative living . . . maybe it's communal?

I'm a friendly person by nature, I'm sure you haven't noticed :), and since we bgan this homesteading journey 7 months ago I have come to realise that I really enjoy working with others. No, not like my job. I am referring to learning and working the different aspect of this homesteading life. I wish I knew others close to me that I could interact with but I chose to live in the country, where the big benefit is no neighbors and the big downside is no neighbors, darn that double edged sword. Anyway, I have decided to look far and wide for those that can help provide some of the wisdom and skill sets I lack. I responded to an ad on craigslist for example for some older farming books, and I am really enjoying chatting with the lady who owns them. She was a one-time homesteader moving to the city for various reasons and she has introduced me to books I'd never heard of or seen on any lists. Sure they're dated, they were published in the early part of the last century for crying out loud. But when you have a little farm like mine and you don't have any "high tech" toys like tractors and the like, those are the kinds of books that can help make this living a bit easier. Here is a good one she led me to that happens to be out of print but is available for download (pdf format) on google, it's called simply "How to do things", it was published in 1919.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pig Adventures: Part 13 ~ Goodbye Miss Meat


Sunday was the big day, there was a little back anf forth about weather we would be able to do it or not as the temps in Wichita were projected to be considerably lower than where we live. Dh started getting the stuff we needed ready but you know how that goes. Anyway, soon Phelan arrived with her husband and kids and the men got working on the fire.

We stood around warming up when Melissa's hubby and oldest son arrived. Once the men got the fire up to their liking we placed a piece of hog panel over it. The barrel we had intended to use turned out to have a leak in the seam and dh had to go through every barrel on the property to find another. Wouldn't you know it, the only one without a hole was the one he'd been using in the barn to keep a bit warm when milking. After a quick wash, and then another, it was filled with water and wood ash was added. We waited around for a bit but then it was time.

We all walked over to the trailer and Phelan's hubby and dh got in with Miss Meat. Dh brought her milk as it was her favorite. As she put her head down to drink Phelan's fired the shot from their .22 rifle. NOTE: we have spent quite a bit of time researching for this day, everything from placement of the gun and the necessary angle of the shot was researched. Imagine our surprise/horror when she just stood there dazed and confused. She was not pleased but never once attacked. The second shot rang out and once again she was still standing. Our hearts sank as we heard the third and she still very much alive. The men talked to her during this time and soon Phelan's hubby was handed the knife to put her out of any misery. She twitched for a while, the books never seem to mention that.

The kids came out to see and pay their last respects. Her body was removed from the trailer, to be hung from the tree near the fire pit. There she would bleed out for an hour and a half. The men had quite a time getting her hung and AR got to go up in the tree to get the rope around. Then Dh went to wallyworld to pick up an extension cord and when he returned it was almost time to get started on the scalding. Phelan began working on getting the head off, then her hubby came with the sawzall to cut through the bone.

It was time to get the body down and into the water. When I spoke to Melissa, she mentioned that her hubby was freakishly strong and Phelan's hubby had set a dead weight lifting record, even with that much strength it took all three men to get her in to the barrel with some difficulty. Side note: in retrospect I really should have checked to make sure the tree was closer. The next time we will have to build the fire elsewhere to have some kind of leverage. Anyway, we (read: they) dunked for 20 seconds, then took her out and flipped her over to dunk the other half.

They brought her to the garage where she was to be hanged to be skinned. Side Note: when we do this again in 2 weeks, we will not be skinning the pig but scraping the hair off the body. I got to hold the camera at this point while the others took care of the skinning. Note to self, get some knives. Anyway, by the time it was done there was lots to learn about opening her up and getting the innards out. There was also the part where the whole butt and genital area had to be cut out and tied off. Later they would pull it through the other side to to get the innards out. The kids marvelled as the lungs, spleen and liver were pointed out, they were very interested and eager to see the heart. The general consensus was surprise that the organs were not wet to the touch. SIDE NOTE: innards smell like a sewer, well not as strong (as long as you don't pierce them), oh and the innards don't just fall out like the books seem to indicate. There is quite a bit of work in getting the innards out.

Dh was off milking and taking care of our other animals at this point and would check-in from time to time. We took a minute to discuss the next step as there were a few possible options. The decision was to cut the body in half (like what you'd see on tv) and then cut the hams off. The sawzall was once again used to cut down the spine. I was afraid that it wouldn't get through but sure enough it finally did. We girls got the table set up with butcher paper to wrap the parts as they were ready. The first ham was cut and wrapped and then we realised that it was too big to fit the cooler. The hoof was then cut off and it fit. We realised that the rib section would not fit so dh grabbed the roll of bags and they started to bag up the two slabs.

The innards were bagged and boxed, then burned. It was a really long day and we were all sore. Phelan will be giving the tutorial on processing the meat further soon so stay tuned. I am thinking my kids may need to go study how to do butchering, it really is an art. We all marvelled at how a single person would be able to do all that was done that day without any assistance. I imagine that the process would be a bit quicker with practice but we had lots of help. The whole thing is also not near as gruesome as one might imagine, the only real blood involved is at the beginning of the process and the rest is drained well before any real cutting happens.

Read Phelan's 2 part account of the event here and here. I'm looking for sausage, ham and bacon recipes, got any?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Pig Adventures: Part 12

Pigs are unexpected creatures. There are many things said about them but no one ever talks about how close they are to each other. Last night after dh left for work the girls in the barn found/made a way out to be near Miss meat. I was worried that they would run off and get into trouble or something since I didn't round them up. Sammy stayed out to make sure that all was well or at least bark like crazy if something big was going on. This morning dh came home to find the girls laying next to the trailer, I guess they just wanted to be near her even if they couldn't be right there with her. :( My pigs have been through a lot since we've had them and their bond is very strong, I had thought about keeping 1 but now I think it is best that they all go, so that no one is left behind. How interesting the emotions that come from raising your own food. . .

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Pig Adventures: Part 11

We came home from a quick trip to Medford to see if they had any fun things to buy, I really like the owner of the little store. Anyway, since it was only 6:30pm I figured we would take the pig to get weighed before the big day on Sunday. Dh backed the trailer up to the back of the barn and removed the bricks. Just as he got back in the expedition to back up into the barn the pigs came running out. Personally this was not a surprise but he was very irritated that they didn't stay put.

It was dark now and we were once again attempting to round up animals with no real light, brilliant. :( I jumped in the Focus to attempt to bring more light and help keep the little darlings from the road, that was a fun task, not! Anyway we finally got them back in the barn and then they snuck out through a hole in the side, uggh!! This went on for a while, don't ask. Anyway, we finally got them back in their area and we decided to attempt to lasso one for the weighing. This was just as fun as the last time we attempted lassoing one of the bulls. The only difference is that pigs are shorter and the weight is really dense or maybe that's just how it feels since this is so recent, whatever. Anyway, my dh quickly discovered that unlike a bull calf, he had no leverage and it pulled him instead.

I figured I was probably in the same weight class as Miss meat and offered my services. A determined pig is one heck of a fighter, geez that girl is strong. We had to move her an inch at a time to make any headway and fight off her protective sisters. They were not pleased with this new development and were determined to stay together. Once she was finally out and they were locked in we had to get her to the trailer, which was not conveniently parked. We get her there and she refuses to use the little ramp dh put together, she had no intention of going without a fight to the bitter end. With Dh and I in the trailer we found ourselves at a stalemate, she was not budging, even with AR swatting her on the butt.

I tied her off on the outside of the trailer and we tried to lift her, still nothing. Dh got a brilliant idea and the next thing I knew he returned from the barn holding the extension cord, still a little fuzzy on the plan I just watched as he tied the cord around her backside, then I got it. He took the front and I took the back and in less than 2 minutes she was in the trailer, scrambling to get back on her feet. I jumped out the side door and locked the back, or at least I thought I did. I forgot the pin :( Dh still had a good hold on her so I was able to put the pin in without further incident.

I have no idea how we will get the whole butchering thing done, I cannot imagine that she will be much lighter as dead weight, though it will be a little easier without the fighting. Miss Meat's final adventure will be here soon but until then she has a new home in my trailer, because I'm not fighting with her to get back out.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Preparation for the weekend ~ May be graphic

In preparation for the weekend's hog butchering I have decided to give you a wonderful how to video on processing and cooking the head :)
Without further ado: Chris Cosentino with Alex Pardee Cook Pig Head

I don't think I'm going to have the brains but maybe sammy will be interested :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The wedding pics

OK so that is a bit misleading, there is only 2 pics and neither is very good. In my defense the good camera was broken and we only had a disposable being operated by the 10 year old. :)


As I may have mentioned, our weddings are informal affairs, even Fr Mike was "dressed" for the occasion, lol.

Monday, January 19, 2009

My pigs :) **PICS**

These pics are a few weeks old but that's ok. :)


Please excuse the siding on the ground, our adjuster advised us to keep the siding that blew off for reference. :)


I have always been a dreamer, which is a great thing in my opinion because life is never boring. My dh is a bit of a dreamer at times but he is a bit too jaded to run with his dreams :( (I'm working on it) :) Any who, I dream of being home and being around to watch my kids grow up, this for me is a dream that will not die. So I spend my days looking at the options and dreaming big, my mom always said "Go big or stay home" - I'm pretty sure she heard that somewhere but whatever. Being the adventurous in my family I am always willing to take risk, though within reason. I am also touched with a bit of whimsy, alright so it might be a smidgen more that a touch coupled with frivolity, whatever, don't judge me!! :) What was I saying, oh right the dreamer thing. Right now I am exploring several avenues for us to earn income from home, I am open to suggestions during this time so feel free to add to my list. :) Everything in life involves some degree of risk, but you only get one shot to watch your kids grow up so it's worth the risk :)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Farm update

I was over at Homesteading neophyte and I realised that I haven't really given you all an update on my babies. The cows are enjoying the winter for the most part, yesterday they found it to be cold and spent most of their time in the barn. The biggest challenge has been water, dh goes out at least 3 times daily to make sure that they have water, often he has to run about 50 feet of hose from the well-house since the pipe by the barn is frozen. :( They have really enjoyed the weekly hay delivery schedule we set up with the old owner. He is such a great guy, we feel really blessed to get the bales at such a great price delivered. I had noticed that hay prices were rising but I have not experienced any increase since the first bale we ordered in the summer.

The cows haven't escaped in a long time, and they have had opportunity. There have been several occasions that the electric fence has been out, happens from time to time when the winds pick up. Lot has taken to raiding the pig food to check for his favorite fruits, lol. Marian is waddling more and more, we'll have a baby soon. Christmas still has a little ways to go before we have another baby, but she is looking good. Treva is such a sweetie, the kids have been helping dh more with the milking and she is very patient with them. The calves are still as playful as ever, they both look so fuzzy with their winter coats on, lol.

The pigs are so big now, it is amazing to see them. I am glad that they have the smaller section of the barn to roam. Unlike the cows they get restless and often need to go roaming the property. It hasn't been too bad, they usually just wonder around eating any green grass they find, then follow us around back to their pen. I imagine that they must really love all the warm milk they get.

I am looking at different options for keeping chickens this year, we would also like to keep bees. The only home improvement project will be to have a fireplace put in that can heat the house. The plan is to put it on the backside of the other fireplace as that is the heart of our house. I am planning to do a really good purge of all the clothes we own, now that we know that our dryer is gas we will need to make sure that the clothing being washed and dried are actually part of our current wardrobe. (I don't expect to like this project). I have been feeling better, my energy seems to finally be returning.

I made butter 2 days ago as EE's bus driver wanted some and I wanted to get back to doing stuff :) The mixer worked very well but it takes so much cream to make a pound of butter, I see why it is so very expensive at little farms. I hope to get to making some cheddar cheese soon, my friend Jennifer made some and it looked so very delicious. Being a cheddar lover, I am very excited to make the white cheddar I grew up eating. The little antique store in the town before us is going out of business and the owner is always willing to make a deal :) He has been getting me all the canning jars he can find in his warehouse, I am preparing my storeroom to be able to accept all the canned food we can do this year. He also had several (16) pie pans that I opted to take off his hands, bring on your pie recipes :) I have a tree order that will need to be placed soon, the Kansas department of forestry has a great deal on trees and shrubs (200 trees for $158 delivery included). I plan to order trees that are fruit bearing along with several wind break trees. I still haven't figured out the tractor dilemma, for this year's food planting but a tractor isn't a necessity for this task, it is more of a luxury. We have to pay off the debts we have incurred (medical etc), so that is where the bulk of our tax refund will go, and the rest we will leave in God's hands and pray for His guidance. Well, that's where we are right now.

Quick side note: make sure you don't have a toilet that is continually running, the water bill will be astronomical. We just got a bill from the mobile home for this months and it is 10 times what it normally is, they claim we must have a toilet that is running constantly even though we haven't lived there in all this time. Pray I can find the right words to deal with them. :)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Life is hilarious!!!

So we were finally able to get the only guy in town to come look at our gas line situation. Seriously, while I love spending the time cooped up in my room with my children, there are only so many stews they will eat before the mutiny begins. Anyway, so he gets there and we are so very thankful that the line is not run through the cellar. He turns on the gas and wonders around the house for a bit, then says that he's not smelling anything. He goes off to the tank to check there to make sure it is not underground, then he looks baffled. According to his gauge, there is no leak. That's right folks, I am not kidding, there is no leak. He is convinced that it was merely a faulty gauge. The guy from the coop comes out and puts his gauge on and he too is not showing a leak, when I get home there will be hot water, and a fully functional stove, and heat to dry my clothes and heat to warm my home!!!!! YAY!!!!! Told you life is hilarious. Praise GOD!!!

Side note: The heating guy mentioned to dh that our oldest was in the newspaper this week, front page!! Turns out he won an award, he never even mentioned it, he's really funny too.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I'm a Bette

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You Are a Bette!


You are a Bette -- "I must be strong"

Bettes are direct, self-reliant, self-confident, and protective.

How to Get Along with Me

  • * Stand up for yourself... and me.

  • * Be confident, strong, and direct.

  • * Don't gossip about me or betray my trust.

  • * Be vulnerable and share your feelings. See and acknowledge my tender, vulnerable side.

  • * Give me space to be alone.

  • * Acknowledge the contributions I make, but don't flatter me.

  • * I often speak in an assertive way. Don't automatically assume it's a personal attack.

  • * When I scream, curse, and stomp around, try to remember that's just the way I am.

What I Like About Being a Bette

  • * being independent and self-reliant

  • * being able to take charge and meet challenges head on

  • * being courageous, straightforward, and honest

  • * getting all the enjoyment I can out of life

  • * supporting, empowering, and protecting those close to me

  • * upholding just causes

What's Hard About Being a Bette

  • * overwhelming people with my bluntness; scaring them away when I don't intend to

  • * being restless and impatient with others' incompetence

  • * sticking my neck out for people and receiving no appreciation for it

  • * never forgetting injuries or injustices

  • * putting too much pressure on myself

  • * getting high blood pressure when people don't obey the rules or when things don't go right

Bettes as Children Often

  • * are independent; have an inner strength and a fighting spirit

  • * are sometimes loners

  • * seize control so they won't be controlled

  • * figure out others' weaknesses

  • * attack verbally or physically when provoked

  • * take charge in the family because they perceive themselves as the strongest, or grow up in difficult or abusive surroundings

Bettes as Parents

  • * are often loyal, caring, involved, and devoted

  • * are sometimes overprotective

  • * can be demanding, controlling, and rigid

Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz
at HelloQuizzy

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Managing my stress load and stuff

As many of you know I am a busy mama, in light of the recent health issues I decided to try to lighten my load. I had just started a class 2 days before I was in the ER so it seemed like the logical thing to drop since it is a 6 week class and they can be really intense. Well I will have to find something else to drop, the school has no policy for giving incomplete, nor do they have any kind of medical leave that would allow me to drop the class without being charges for the entire week. The financial aid counsellor told me that it would be best to try to work something out with my professor. My academic counsellor (very nice lady), will be scheduling time between my classes so that I am not having to take 24 weeks of stress. I know you must be thinking that it's only 24 weeks but to be honest, I really just cannot do it right now.

Anyway, since I do have a little more energy I plan to work on making some butter. EE's bus driver is interested in buying some and I'm interested in building a clientele. :) My darling mother (thanks to the persuasive powers of my sister) has gifted me her mixer and I am positively thrilled, that thing has every attachment and it was bought in 1974, lol. It is amazing how little the technology has changed during that time for that industry. Anyway, I am really excited to start using the meat grinder, I remember vividly watching her try new things to get us to eat healthy. Her favorite was ground liver, YUCK!!

Winter is such a lazy time of year for me, I would much rather hibernate than work, but I'm sure there are things I should be doing in preparation for Spring. I'm working on making a list, feel free to offer suggestions :) Well I'd better get back to my paper, pray I get through this class with a B or better :)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Well it's been quite a weekend

I had hoped to regale you with the wonderful stories of my blessed union on Friday, but it turned out that that post was not meant to be :( I spent my time instead in the emergency room with chest pain and was admitted. Turns out that the problems I mentioned in my last post were not to be ignored. After days of tests the doctors determined that my thyroid has gone out of balance and has caused my heart to be at a constant racing pace. Nitroglycerin is no joke, WOW!!! That was quite a rush, at least it took away the chest pain, but it gave me quite the headache. In the mean time they have put me on Beta Blockers to prevent my thyroid from causing my heart to race. I am glad that I didn't wait too long, who knows what would have happened. Baby is doing just fine as far as I can tell, though it would have been nice if they'd taken a peek. Well, I'm going to bed now, tomorrow is a working day after all. :(

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A few quick notes

We are working on home butchering 2 of the pigs in 2 weeks from Saturday (yes there will be pictures). I look back at how far they have come and I feel so close to them, they are so much like a puppy/toddler combo. We really want to keep one to breed but there are concerns, like the fact that these are feeder stock pigs, not breeding stock. On the other hand, these pigs are so sweet and responsive, there is no guarantee that another pig will have the same sweet temperament. We've taken pictures and plan to send them to a guy who raises pigs for his thoughts on the matter.

School is back in session and I am relieved that we were able to get back into the swing of things and get the kids where they need to be, on time :) EE started her new school and is really loving being bussed to and from. Due to budget cutbacks HG will not be attending Pre-K this semester and will wait to begin school in August. I am still trying to convince SM that he wants to go then also.

We have began an offensive strike against the mice and so far we have won several battles. Their numbers are deteriorating and that is always good. We tried the poison packets but that seemed to be more like candy than poison, very disappointing. Now we are using a combination of glue traps and snap traps, personally I was quite skeptical about the snap traps but I am really impressed with their effectiveness. Turns out Mrs Butterworth is a real treat for men and mice, lol :) The glue traps are effective to a point, they are great to catch 1-2 mice but a 3rd can really foil the plan and offer the leverage to freedom. The other key to the glue traps is to make sure there is nothing close by that can by used to add leverage, like paper or small sticks or anything they can stick in the trap. Oh yeah and they squeak really loudly for a while, frankly the snap trap seems far more humane at this point.

On the pregnancy front, I have been having a bit of problems with my energy level, heart and kidneys. Even the short walk to the parking lot would leave me winded and it felt like there was a strangle hold on my heart and kidneys. Last night dh got me some cranberry juice to try to help, and it seems to really have done the trick. There is still some tightening in the chest but my kidneys feel a lot better and my energy level is much higher, frankly, I feel a whole lot better. Praise God. I will be seeing a cardiologist in February, as a precaution.

AR is getting so big, it is amazing to me how fast these 11 years have gone. This is his final year of elementary school. He has been helping dh with the milking on evenings and is really enjoying that time. He is such a focused child in certain areas and so scatter brained in others (ie he is totally normal, lol). I am so thankful that he is the big brother, God hand picked him to lead my little band of children and I don't think I could have made a better choice.

That's all I've got for now. Tune in tomorrow when I walk you down memory lane in celebration of our wedding anniversary. :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Regulators rethink rules on testing children's clothing and toys for lead

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has given preliminary approval to changes in new lead-testing rules after complaints that the measures could have forced thrift stores and sellers of handmade toys to dispose of merchandise or even go out of business.

If formally adopted, the changes approved on a first vote Tuesday would grant exemptions to last year's Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, which seeks to ensure that products for children do not contain dangerous amounts of lead.

As currently written, the act would require all products aimed at children 12 and under to be tested for lead and phthalates starting Feb. 10. Phthalates are chemicals used to make plastics more pliable.

Large manufacturers and retailers say the cost of testing will not be a burden. But small businesses such as handmade-toy shops and thrift stores say the requirement would force them to spend tens of thousands of dollars to test products such as clothing, in which the threat of lead is almost nonexistent. Many thrift stores said they would be forced to stop selling children's clothing or close altogether.

The commission's two members (a third seat is vacant) voted tentatively to exempt:

* Items with lead parts that a child cannot access;

* Clothing, toys and other goods made of natural materials such as cotton and wood; and

* Electronics that are impossible to make without lead.

The commission also tentatively approved a rule that clarifies how it determines exclusions from the law.

The vote opens up a 30-day public comment period that will begin when notice of the rules are printed in the Federal Register. Interested parties can find out how to submit comments by https:// "> from the CPSC at .

Read more here

Make your voice heard and participate in the public comments that is open for 30 days to the public.

Interested parties can find out how to submit comments by ,from the CPSC at

New safety rules for children's clothing have stores in a fit

Barring a reprieve, regulations set to take effect next month could force thousands of clothing retailers and thrift stores to throw away trunkloads of children's clothing.

The law, aimed at keeping lead-filled merchandise away from children, mandates that all products sold for those age 12 and younger -- including clothing -- be tested for lead and phthalates, which are chemicals used to make plastics more pliable. Those that haven't been tested will be considered hazardous, regardless of whether they actually contain lead.

"They'll all have to go to the landfill," said Adele Meyer, executive director of the National Assn. of Resale and Thrift Shops.

The new regulations take effect Feb. 10 under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, which was passed by Congress last year in response to widespread recalls of products that posed a threat to children, including toys made with lead or lead-based paint.

Read more about this story here

As a mom of 5, soon to be 6, this is a major concern. The market segment that these resale/consignment shops serve is quite large and given our tough economic times, I cannot imagine what will happen. There are many (myself included) who depend on these stores to clothe their children at a price that they can afford without having to take food out of their mouth. But we are not powerless, here is how you can help:

Call Nancy Nord she is the acting head of the Consumer Product Safety Commission and she needs to hear from you. To reach her call 301-504-7923 or 301-504-7901 and ask for her. If she is busy leave a brief, polite, but firm message.

Call the CPSC ombudsman's office
The number is 888-531-9070
You can also contact your reps here

Monday, January 5, 2009

Weekend 1 successful :)

Well this was the first weekend of 2009 and while my dryer is not very cooperative we made it to Mass, and were actually better than just "on time". The children were all very well behaved and the homily was wonderful. We were not able to make Mass at our local Church, but as I mentioned that is no longer criteria in our weekend Church attendance :) It is very different going from a large church that offers 7 weekend Masses to a tiny church that offers 2 on a good weekend. In fact the confession schedule is all of 15 minutes long. I would feel awkward having to schedule more than 1 session, lol ;)

In other news, I woke up at 1:30am at the sound of my cows mooing, you might remember that I discovered that that is a bad thing. Anyway, I woke dh and he went out to see what all the fuss was about. Turns out he forgot to re-open the arena gate to let the calves back in to the barn area. Poor Christmas was in desperate need of relief from her calf, hehe. I wonder how she'd feel about taking a trip to the stanchion instead :) Sweetiepie was not happy about the situation either and bolted out the gate and was under mama to nurse for the night. Poor baby. She's getting so big, and her cute little horns are coming in.

Marian is on calf watch as she is 8 months pregnant by the original owners information. We are really excited to have our first newborn :) We plan to separate them after the first week and bottle feed the calf. Ah the joys of farm life, this new year promises the birth of 3 calves and 1 baby, the excitement is mounting :)

Thursday, January 1, 2009


We are just sleeping in today and watching a couple movies. We really don't do resolutions but we have decided that this year we will not miss a single weekend of Mass, no matter how far we have to drive to get there. We will be butchering one of our pigs in the upcoming weeks, there will be pictures, consider this your warning :) This year we will push our farm to new levels and test our commitment to this homesteading journey. There will be much gardening and canning to come, pray for strength. We will also be welcoming a new member of our family to the mix, and while we hope to have a homebirth, we are preparing for the possibility of a hospital birth (the ultra sound revealed that the placenta is low-lying at this time). Keep us in your prayers and we pray that you and your families have a wonderful and blessed 2009.