In earlier American rural life, communities raised barns because many hands were required. These events occured in a social framework with a good deal of interdependence. Members of rural communities often shared family bonds going back generations. They traded with each other, worshipped with each other and celebrated with each other. Barn raisings were an integral part of life and socializing.

In our modern American life, communities don't mean nearly as much as they did back then. It is our family's goal to bring a sense of community back to our lives and those lives that touch ours.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


 If I had no children to take care of, this would be my desired activity for today:

 pros·trate verb

\ˈprä-ˌstrāt, especially British prä-ˈ\

Definition of PROSTRATE

transitive verb
: to throw or put into a prostrate position
: to put (oneself) in a humble and submissive posture or state
: to reduce to submission, helplessness, or exhaustion


adj \ˈprä-ˌstrāt\

Definition of PROSTRATE

: stretched out with face on the ground in adoration or submission; also : lying flat
: completely overcome and lacking vitality, will, or power to rise
: trailing on the ground
Just for one day. Maybe two.  

Chicks and Turks

We received our new chicks and turkeys today. Or turklets as Spencer calls them. Seven Black Australorp hens, one Black Australorp rooster and eight Black Spanish turkeys. The turkeys are a straight run, which means that they are an unknown mix of toms and hens. We are hoping to get a breeding pair out of this mix. We will see how that goes. If they end up being too pricey to feed over the winter they will have to become sausage. Both the chickens and the turkeys are heritage breeds. This was a really important feature for me. I did a lot of research before ordering birds this year. Our neighbors ordered with us so that we could reach the correct amount for shipping. These same neighbors live in a solar home, which makes it somewhat hard for them to maintain the heat lamps for the chicks. Since we will have a heat lamp running for ours, we offered to keep theirs for a while as well. Let the brooding begin!

Why hello little turkey.

Sunday, May 6, 2012


        Maycee asked for doughnuts this morning. When I told her no (only because I don't want to make a 32 mile round trip for doughnuts.), she said, "That's okay, I'll just have apples and peanut butter instead. It's just as good." Makes me laugh.
And on that same note, does anyone have any good (somewhat healthy) recipes for doughnuts?

Saturday, May 5, 2012


       Okay, I know I said I would be catching you up on our lives. And I'm still working on that. Unfortunately, (for you anyway) there are dozens of other things for me to be working on as well. Here are a few, in no particular order:
Walks, where we pick wildflowers and trash.

 A dresser and mirror being refinished for the girls.

Irises being planted on the hill of our garden to help stop erosion. And the accompanying sunburn.

 A dog that wounded himself in a way we still can't figure out. (Let me just say that an eighty pound dog with a cone on his head makes a very efficient bulldozer. Especially for children.)

 Sewing endless projects (on the dining room table, which means we haven't been eating there...). Seriously, I think I will never be done sewing. I miss my sewing room...

This picture sums a few things up:

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Animal Recount ((pictures now added))

          So, update on our animals. Many updates, actually. Let's start with the goats. I wanted goats so bad. Milk from our own goats sounded so homey and romantic. Then I ended up on bed rest with Iris. And suddenly milking goats didn't sound so fun. And then we moved in July and while we love our home up here on the mountains, fences are few and far between. This is good except that goats really shouldn't free range. At least not near homes. Goats free ranging equals goats on the deck. And goats on the hood of your car. And goat droppings everywhere. EVERYWHERE. Which is only exciting for the dogs, who eat them like they are milk duds. Don't misunderstand me now, we put up a pen for them. Free ranging goats were not our intention. But our goats thought they were above being penned in. We would pen them in, turn around to head back to the house and before we could get halfway there, the goats were at our sides. Right before Iris was born, we took them to get bred. They were being bred by the couple that we get our raw milk from. The plan was to leave them there a couple of months to ensure that breeding occurred. And after a couple months we had decided that life without goats really wasn't so bad. So we made a deal with the couple for them to keep the goats and for us not to pay for milk for a few months. Which worked perfectly. So no more goats for us. Maybe sometime again in the future, but not even the foreseeable future.

Who's that hillbilly with goats in the back of his truck?! Oh wait, that's my hillbilly.
        Next comes chickens. Chickens, chickens, chickens. Where do I start? We have had a weird winter with chickens. We lost one early on due to cold. Poor thing got smothered by the other chickens laying in a pile trying to keep warm. We lost one for undetermined reasons. We lost one right at the coop by a predator. At first it was a toss up between a dog and a bobcat. Seeing a bobcat twice, once on the property, once just down the road, made us really think it was a possibility. Until we lost a second one right at the coop. And Spencer and I tracked the predator through the freshly fallen snow. To the neighbor's house. Yea, it was their dog. Had a talk with the neighbors who were already aware of the problem (a dead chicken shows up on your porch and you don't have chickens means trouble. What I don't understand is why they didn't come to us first. Oh well.) Four chickens down leaves us with eleven. Did I mention we have a wandering chicken? She disappeared and we chalked her up as a goner. Fifteen days later she shows up. Just shows up! All is well and she hasn't wandered again. Yet. In March we got guineas. I had called back in September in response to an ad in the paper and had never heard back about them. I forgot all about them. In March we received a phone call from the gentleman. He had saved my message all of these months and had more guineas to sell. Five guineas joined the flock and provide us with entertainment and annoyance, sometimes simultaneously. In about two weeks, we will be getting our order of more fowl. Eight turkeys, six hens and a rooster. We'll see how long the rooster lasts, but hopefully we can keep him to breed and be a little more self-sustaining.
Chicken and rabbit house exterior

Chicken and rabbit house interior
        Now on to rabbits. When we moved here we had one little black female lionhead, Flower. We now have five rabbits. I already introduced you to Dobby, I believe it was back in September. She is an agouti lionhead cross. We also have Jack, our buck, who is a purebred Californian. He is very handsome. Our females are Jill, a Florida White, and Astrid, a New Zealand. I think. I forgot and am being too lazy to go check. Anyway, the ladies will be bred to Jack around the middle of the month which will hopefully lead to fresh rabbit meat in another four months.
Astrid and Jill getting sunshine and fresh grass
       Our kitties have stayed the same, with the addition of Figaro. He was a poor, starving fella when he showed up on the deck in late fall. I tried not to feed him, I really did. But after about a week of him staring in at us, I relented. He fits right in, so he's staying. Crookshanks (who's one now!) loves him. Hazel and Autumn aren't so sure about him, but he leaves them alone, even when they growl and hiss at him.
Thane and Figaro. This cat is so happy to have a home that he even puts up with Thane dragging him around.
       Our last subject is dogs. Jessie is almost thirteen now and getting deaf and slow. We love her so much and don't like thinking about the eventuality of her not being with us. Mollie will be twelve this summer and is as ornery as ever. She hears just fine, but ignores me almost as well as the kids do. Neither one of the girl dogs enjoy being with Ranger as he's such a bundle of energy. His tail is like a whip and stings like one when he whacks you with it. Which happens way too often. Poor Jessie's face is right at tail level and she is too slow to get away from him. So the girls have their own yard and rarely have to deal with him. Ranger is getting better at listening and once his energy has waned (after about twenty minutes of chaos) he is quite content to just lay by my side. We had adopted him from Black Canyon Animal Sanctuary and this spring we decided to become a foster family for them. Three puppies came into our home. After just a couple of days one of the females was adopted. The other female went back to the sanctuary when we went to Fort Collins and quickly found a forever home. The male stole our hearts and now lives with us permanently. His name is Abraham and he is about three and a half months old. Him and Ranger are becoming best buds. He loves the kids and follows them wherever they go.
Maycee, Ranger and Abraham


Mollie, up close and personal
        So to sum things up we have four dogs, four cats, five rabbits, five guineas and eleven chickens with more on the way. Wow.
I really didn't realize just how long it had been since I posted on here.My Aunt Louise pointed it out to me the other day. And I realized that at the beginning of April, when we were in Fort Collins, it had been pointed out as well. And then another month went by. March and April flew by. I don't even know how it is already May. And May is going to be so busy that I figure I should take this day to play catch up. I will most likely do this in a couple of posts so make sure you read them all. All of them I say.

Yep, this just about sums it up. Thanks Spencer

Today is the Day

 Okay folks, today is the day that I will catch up on my blog.
 After I finish my pancakes and coffee.
 And get Iris down for a nap.
 But then I will definitely be catching up.
 As long as no kid or animal related chaos occurs. Stay tuned...

My "assistant"