Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Big Changes for the New Year

The end of a year and a beginning of another year. This is when we look back on the things that worked and things that didn't work for the farm. We decided to sell the goats. In fact at this time, I have people coming to take a few home. We just decided that they weren't for us anymore. We had goats for a few years and we can say that we tried them.  Now we are ready to go in a new direction with the farm.  But for once in my life, I'm going to take it slow.  I'm not going to jump right into the next "best" thing.  I'm going to fix fences, I'm going to clean out our "barn"(little building) and study all of the possibilities out there.  In fact just this past weekend, Hubby and I went to visit an alpaca farm.    

Now we aren't going to jump right in and get alpacas.  Although these little things are CUTE!!!!  We are just looking at different ways that we can go.  We did find out that you just shear them once a year.  Their fleece is extremely soft!!!!  They don't have hooves, they have feet with toe nails.  Once a year , in early spring, someone comes and shears them, cuts their toenails, and if they need it, work on their teeth.  Hubby really likes the idea that he doesn't have to trim hooves every other month. 

Look at those ears!!!

And that face!!!!

And the colors!

I thought this little girl was just soooo cute!  The body of these alpacas are not as big as you think.  If I was to shear them, they wouldn't be half as wide as they look.  They are almost all fluff. 

I just love the color of this big boy.  He thinks he's pretty too.

This one fell in love with Hubby.  See, they aren't very tall are they? 

I did learn that there is a spinning guild an hour away from the farm.  I'm planning on visiting them when they have their next meeting at the end of Jan.  I can't wait! I want to learn as much as I can about spinning and fiber in general. 

With this "field trip" under our belt, we will move on to the next thing to learn about.  I'll keep you up to date on what we decide to look at next.

So until next time,

Small Farm Girl

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from my family to yours.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Getting Ready For Christmas

We are getting ready for Christmas around the farm.  The tree is up and the presents are bought or made. (almost)  They are all wra......oh who am I kidding!!!! I HATE wrapping presents.  I think it's a waste of time and a waste of pretty paper.  Plus, I'm not really good at it.  Maybe it's because I know that in just a few days the paper will be ripped to shreds. I always leave it to the last minute.  Then I go and give them to people who in return give me a beautifully wrapped present with bows and ribbon and pretty little name tags.  Mines lucky to have a name written on the paper with a Sharpie.

One thing I AM good at is making cookies.  For the last few days we have also been on cookie over load.  I've been baking at least on type of cookie a day.  I can remember my mom baking cookies and making candies before Christmas.  I loved it.  I'm not a big sweets eater, but I just love the action of making Christmas candies and cookies.  The last time I went to the grocery store I saw plain sugar cookies.  They were in a plastic container with a bunch of different colors of icing so that you can decorate them.  I thought that was sad.  Making the cookies were the fun part not just icing them.  Sugar cookies are one of the most basic cookies out there. Why not get a recipe, make them, and make memories along with the cookies.

Oh well, I guess to each their own.  I just wished more people would slow down and enjoy the Christmas season.  If you have to start earlier that's fine, just enjoy it.  I'm sure the presents will be forgotten before too long, but the memories will be forever.

So until next time,

Small Farm Girl, feeling the Christmas Spirit and cookie baker

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

I Need To Pick Your Brain

 I hope a don't get a lot of zombies reading my blog with a title like that. hehehe...... Anyway, I have been reevaluating the farm and it's contents, mostly the critters.  And,I am thinking about selling the goats.  I know, the goats have been a big part of the farm but there comes a time when you realize what's working and what's not.  The goats are not.  Don't get me wrong, I love my goats but I'm not doing them justice.  They need to be moved to different pastures.  And to do that, I would have to put at least $1500 into fencing so that they can't get out.  Oh, and believe me, they will get out.  I don't have the $1500 to put into fencing right now(or anytime soon), so I'm going to have to sell them.

Plus, is you have ever had goats, you know that they have a way of (how can I say this nicely) being a pain in the butt!  Every time I go out to feed I wonder what I'm going to see next.  Who is limping for no known reason, who is stuck in the fence, who got OUT of the fence, and so on.  I swear they went two whole weeks acting like they were starving to death whenever I went out to feed.  They were even losing weight.  I was wondering if they were having a worm issue so I wormed them and kept a good eye on them. Then I noticed that they weren't eating their hay.  We have a feeder that holds a round bale of hay for them to eat.  I went down to look at it thinking maybe it was a bad bale.  Those sweet (stupid) goats came running like I was the best thing ever.  They plunged into that bale of hay (that they had eaten out of before) like it was candy.  Those sweet (stupid) goats had FORGOT that there was hay there.  This is what I contend with EVERY DAY.  So, instead of worrying about what's going to happen next, I'm just going to sell them.  They haven't really been earning their keep on the farm anyway.  Well, other than comedy relief.

The rabbits?  Well, lets just say that they are on probation.  For some reason I can't get them to breed.  I've even changed bucks.  I'm wondering if they are just too old.  Maybe I need to start with younger rabbits.  Although 2 yrs isn't too old for breeding rabbits.  I just don't really know what the problem is. Good thing I don't have too much money in them.  I won't feel so bad if I have to sell them too.  The bad thing is, I have clients who want the rabbits!  I just can't get them to breed!!!!! Maybe I should hire a sex therapist for them. hehehe

The chickens?  I'm down to 4 hens and 3 pullets and 1 rooster. (Thanks to Jack.)  I'm getting 1 to 2 eggs a day.  I understand it's winter and they don't lay as many eggs in the winter.  I'm thinking I need to get some more young hens to add to the flock.  Although we didn't get the new coop done this past summer, it's on the TOP of the list of things to do when the weather breaks.  I'm going to keep my chickens.  Those are the only things that were actually making me money by selling their eggs.  If only I had more.

The cattle?  Well, we have one cow, two heifers (young female cows who haven't had a calf), a baby bull, and another small bull that we have on loan from a friend to try and breed the cows. They are as wild as deer right now.  No matter what, they will NOT come close to us, even when we have sweet feed. They take one look at us, throw their head in the air and run.  I have a feeling when it's butchering time for the little bull, we are going to have to be like the Indians and run it down like buffalo.  Could be interesting, I'll keep you posted. :0)

So now you know about our animals.  We only have a barn for hay and a shed off of the barn for the horses and cows to get in. (Oh, by the way, the horses are just pasture ornaments.  We don't do anything with them. I guess we could if we wanted, but we don't ride anymore. They just help eat down the grass and with around 50 acres, we need something to help with keeping the pasture eaten down.)   The fence around these acres is 5 strands of close barb wire.  The goats' have their own pen with woven wire fence.  Not really big enough for them.  They have little goat huts, small three sided buildings. These huts are eight by eight square and just big enough for me to bend over to go in.  Perfect for goats we have quite a few of these.  We actually have more of the huts than we have goats.

My problem is now that I'm going to sell my goats, I'm still going to have to have something to help eat pasture and hay.  If not, we will have to bush hog the whole place so that it won't grow up and turn into a mess.  It can happen really quickly.  If I would have won that huge lottery, I wouldn't have this problem.  I would just hire a couple farm hands and they would fix new fence, build me a couple barns, a garage, and we would be set.  But, that didn't happen, so I'm gonna have to figure out how to do this on a VERY tight budget.  Any ideas?  What would YOU do if you had 50 acres of barb wired fenced land? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

So until next time,

Small Farm Girl, clueless.

Monday, December 16, 2013

A Gem

I have found a treasure, a perfect gem.  It's called The Jesse Stuart Foundation Bookstore.  This is in a big, old building just a few minutes from where I live.  Hubby and I visited it this weekend while we were Christmas shopping.  I had found my Heaven.

Basically,the JSFB is a collection of books about Appalachia or books that were written by Appalachia authors.  It was AWESOME!!!!!  Books about coal mining, books about the strong Appalachian people, books about the wonderful Appalachian food, farming in the foothills, and how they did it.  There were books about the rail road, books about indians, about the settlers that first crossed these wild mountains. There were fiction books there also!  Anything and everything you can think about, if it had to do with Appalachia, was in this book store.  Once again,  IT WAS AWESOME!!!!!

As we were checking out,(with tons of books, I might add.) we got to taking to the "manager" of the place. I was telling him how much I love the idea of the Foundation.  He said he appreciated us coming in and buying books because their business was extremely slow, scary slow.  We got to talking about how people just didn't read anymore, especially about things local.  They were into things more like 50 Shades of Grey or being on Facebook.  No one wanted to learn about the history of Appalachia.

That concept made me sad.  Appalachia is the best place in the world! (imho) Why wouldn't people want to learn about it?   This building was teaming with so much knowledge from days gone by and from days yet to come, local knowledge.  There was sooooo much stuff to learn here.  It would be a HUGE shame if this place went out of business.  It runs on grants and on the small amount of people who buy books from there.  And, we all know how well the grants are doing now a days.........

So I'm asking a favor, if you were thinking about getting a book for someone for Christmas, could you please just check out their site to see if there is anything there that would be of interest.  Yes, it may be a little bit more than Amazon, but you are supporting a foundation that is trying to do something good here, not some big corporation.

So once again I thank you,

And until next time,

Small Farm Girl, trying to save a good thing.

Sunday, December 8, 2013


Pot of beans and smoked ham hock, what more do you need on a winters day.  Oh wait!  How about some cornbread made in the wood cook stove........ Hmmmmmm....


Saturday, December 7, 2013


After about 3 inches of rain in the last two days, it turned COLD!  I think the wetness made it feel even worse.  My poor milk goats are shivering.  (I noticed the milk goats are more delicate than the fainters when it comes to cold weather.  Wimps.) After getting everyone as comfortable as they can be, I wanted some comfort for myself, so I grabbed some hot tea and looked through some magazines that my mom keeps for me to read after she's done with them.

Most of the magazines that Mom gives me are the house decorating kind.  I love to look at these.  Makes me wonder how other people live. (Although, I know these people don't really live like this.  I mean, where's the dirt, right?)  But, the magazines give me ideas of how I want to do the top part of the house whenever we start working on it again.

Okay, back on the subject.  As I look through the magazines, I see houses up in New England and I think, "I would love to live up there."   I mean who wouldn't?  Fresh seafood, cooler temps, and beautiful land.  Then I turn the page and I see a beautiful house in the desert.  I would love to live there!  No humidity, warm weather all year, and the beautiful rock.  I go back to looking at the magazines.  Oh look! The Rockies!........and it goes on and on.

Then I get this dreamy look on my face and I zone out for a while.  If money and family wasn't an issue, where would I live?  After about an hour or so of dreaming, I realize that I like where I live.  Four distinct seasons,(although as I get older I'm starting not to like the cold as much.) beautiful rolling hills, and bunches of rivers and streams to fish in.  Ya, I think I've found my perfect place.  If I could change anything around here, it would be the lack of work and work ethic.  But, that is everywhere now.  I think I'm happy right here.

Do you ever dream about moving?  If money and family wasn't an issue, where would you live?

So until next time,

Small Farm Girl, wonderer  

Friday, December 6, 2013

I'm Back!!!!! And The Long Awaited Rant

I'm BAAAAAACCCCKKKKKK!!!!!   The internet had been down for a couple days and it was driving me crazy!!!!!  Not that I'm on it all the time, I just want the option to be on it all the time. lol

Anyway, on to the rant that I promised you.........

I've been really soul searching about writing about this.  By writing this, I may make a few people mad and I might even lose a few readers, but this has been on my mind for almost a year now.  So, I figured I should write it.  It's about kids.

Right from the start I want to say that I'm not an expert on kids.  I don't have any of my own. I do have two step kids who I have watched grow up.  But, that's all of my experience when it comes to parenting.  That, and remembering what it was like when I was growing up.

The reason that I felt like I had to write about this now is because of how much it has been very prominent lately.  Since it's the holiday season, I've been around a LOT of people and their children.  Things have changed since I was growing up.  This new generation of children growing up confuses me.  Well, maybe I shouldn't say the children confuse me, I should say the parents do.   Let me tell you what I'm talking about.

These past few weekends, I've had get togethers with family members.  At these gatherings the kids were VERY disruptive.  When I say disruptive I mean they were screaming like crazy people.  I'm not talking "squeals of joys", I'm talking SCREAMING just because the other child was screaming louder than they were.  The adults couldn't even talk to each other.  These kids were jumping down flights of stairs just for the fun of it.  The older child of the house's owner tried telling the parents of these children that they were going to get hurt.  The parent just said," If there is no blood, no broken bones, or no teeth knocked out, I don't want to hear about it."   At this time there were sounds coming from the other parts of the house that sounded like the house was caving in.  This was one of the times that I had to step outside of the house so that I could calm my nerves.

Another thing I noticed at these parties was when it was time for all of us to eat, it was suggested that the children get their food first.  Here is where I was raised different.  To me, the elderly always went first and the children got their food last.  There was always enough food for the children because the elderly always made sure there were.  When the kids got their food first, they ate their food and came back for seconds before the rest of the family had gotten theirs.  I saw absolutely no respect, at these get togethers, for the older generation.  I'm not talking about my generation, I'm talking about my parents' generation.

 Something else that I've noticed is (okay here is another place I'll probably say "good-bye" to readers) the grandparents are taking care of the grand kids.  The actual parents are doing things like taking date nights, going out with friends, going on vacations, etc...without their children.  I thought having kids meant that the children went with you.  You already HAD a date night.  That's why you have kids to begin with. lol.  Now I'm not say NEVER take a date night, but does it have to be EVERY week?  What about once a month?  I just think that it's putting a burden on the grandparents.  Don't get me wrong, I understand that the grandparents want to see the grand kids, but I just feel that they are being used too much.  They already raised their kids, they shouldn't have to raise their grand kids also.   I know that not ALL parents are taking advantage of the grandparents, and I know that not ALL grandparents mind raising their grand children. Now, I'm saying this because I really know of a few examples where the parents are REALLY taking advantage of the grand parents.  Not just a date night once a week, I'm talking going out EVERY NIGHT.    To me, that's just not right.  I also know of a parent who lives in a totally different state clear across the country, by herself, and her daughter(who is 13yrs old) lives with her grandmother.  That way the mother of this child can "have the life that she has always wanted."  I can keep giving examples like this people!!!!!!

Now, on to kids living with their parents.  Right now I can give you quite a few examples of older children living off of there parents.  When I say "living off of" I mean they are living with their parents and not contributing to anything within the house. These are "kids" anywhere from the ages of 23 to 49. Eating their parent's food, using their electric and water, using their space, and not offering to help pay for it, or even help with the household chores.  The reason might be "not having any money", but these examples that I'm talking about, the children bring home as much or even MORE than the parents that they are living off of, or the children just wont go out and GET a job.  I just don't understand.......

I could go on and on about this subject for hours but I probably have already made a few people mad so I'll quit while I'm ahead.(or not ahead.)

So until next time,(if you come back.)

Small Farm Girl, once again, I'm not a parent. Just a bystander.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Internet Down

Our internet is down.  Please bare with me because as soon as I can get it fixed, I have a BIG rant that I have to write about.......The suspense is killing you isn't it? Lol


Monday, November 25, 2013

Questions About The Definition of Homesteading

I've had this subject on my mind for a while.  One day as I was scrolling through Facebook, I noticed a post where someone was asking about living "off grid".   He basically asked if having gas appliances was considered being off grid?  The answer from most of the people who left comments was, "It might not be sustainable, but it was considered "off grid"."  So with that being said, it got me to thinking, "What about homesteading?"  What's your definition of homesteading?

Is it making a living off of your homestead?  Does having a job outside of your home disqualify you as being a homesteader?  What about living with electric from the grid?  What about solar? Sooner or later the batteries will go bad.  At what point does just "farming" become homesteading?  

I would really like to know your thoughts on this!!

So until next time,

Small Farm Girl, just wondering........

Friday, November 22, 2013

Next Years Garden

It will soon be that time of the year.  The time when we'll be receiving the seed catalogs in the mail.  I LOVE getting these.  They are usually full of hopes and dreams of what next years garden is going to look like.  I'd look through them and ooooh  and aaaaah  over how pretty all the vegetables looked, but I would never actually read about the vegetables.  I wouldn't even buy any seeds from the magazines.  This year I'm hoping things will be different.  My plans, as of right now, is to actually study the magazines.  I'm actually going to look at what these different veggies have to offer.  Are they open pollinated?  Are they heirloom?  Are they going to give me plenty of food for the time that I'll be putting in them?  These are some of the questions that I'm going to be answering for myself.

Most years I've gotten most of my seeds from the local farm store.  Now don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with some of these seeds.  A lot of the farm stores around here carry heirloom seeds, so I usually try to get them.  But, these stores usually carry the same seeds every year. Granted, it's usually the seeds that sell the best for a reason. I'm just ready for a change.  We plan on planting some of the seeds that we KNOW we love, but I'm also going to try seeds that we have never tried before.  For instants,  we like green beans, but we are getting a little tired of Blue Lake bush beans.  In fact, we have jars of them left from year before last.  We are going to try half runners or pole beans.  We're going to try making leather britches this year so I have to find a good bean for them.  We also are going to try dried beans.  We LOVE eating soup beans but I've never planted any before.  I can't wait to try all different types.

We aren't just going to stop at beans.  We're going to try different corn and different tomatoes and different onions and peppers.  The list is going to be hard to narrow down.  We're still going to stick with some good standard plants in part of the garden but, we are also going to have an experimental section.  I feel like a mad scientist.  (Insert evil laugh!)

Do you have a favorite vegetable that you grow?

So until next time,

Small Farm Girl, experimenter

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The White Ninja Rabbit

Be afraid.... Be VERY afraid!!!!!!!

Monday, November 18, 2013

This and That

We are alive!!!!  The storms blew through last night and they weren't as bad here as they were out in Indiana and Illinois.(Thank goodness)  We just had a bit of wind and a whole days worth of rain.  (Where were you, rain, back in the summer?)  Anyway, around our region, there are a some people without electric and such.  We are not one of them. (Once again, thank goodness.)   So of course to use my electric for good, I decide to post something on my blog. hehehe

Last weekend we acquired two nice New Zealand rabbits.  A Buck and a doe.  The buck is really nice.  The doe,  well, let's just say is a nice rabbit, but her attitude leaves something to be desired.  We officially called her the Great White Ninja Rabbit.  She will see you coming and when you open her door to give her some water or clean out her bowl, she STRIKES!  She will try and attack your hand.  If that doesn't scare you into leaving her alone, she stands back and acts like she's going to launch herself at you.  It's actually kind of funny.  If she gets too bad, I just bop her on the head when she, cough, "charges."   Oh well,  we didn't get her to become a pet.  As long as she can have babies, that's all that matters to me.  And if she can't,  she will probably end up in someones crock pot.  I'll try and get a picture of her up later but, if you've seen one white rabbit, you've seen them all.  :-)

Change of topic!!!

I've been feeling very "holiday" around here lately.  I'm already thinking about decorating.  I normally don't like to decorate until a couple weeks before Christmas, but this year I'm starting now!  I know, I know, I've always been one of those people that would tell other people to "give the turkey a chance!"  but, I'm just so into decorating this year!!!!  There is different though.  I'm MAKING a lot of my Christmas decorations, therefore I have to start early.  When I get some done, I'll take some pictures and put them on here.

Well, I hear some hungry animals calling my name,

So until next time,

Small Farm Girl, Homemade Christmas Decorator

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

That Time Of Year

This is what I saw when I looked out my window Tuesday morning. Snow. I guess this means the warm weather is over. Our busy season should be over. (Ya, right.)

Seeing this makes me want to start decorating for Christmas already.  I know, I know, give the turkey a chance.   I am, but I'm also doing a lot of things around the house lately.  Things that I couldn't get to during the warmer weather.  I can say my house hasn't been this clean in a long time.  Not that it's clean now, it's just "cleaner". 

I've been doing a few craft projects also.  I haven't been able to do crafts for a LONG time.  I always felt guilty doing crafty stuff when my house was over run by clutter.  I'm sure you all know what I'm talking about.  Blogging has been one of those.  I feel like I haven't been able to do it as much as I want.  Well maybe now, I can! 

So until next time

Small Farm Girl, with extra time

P.s.  These pictures haven't been touched up.  The sky is actually that blue.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Inspirational People

I have, what I call, Inspirational People, in my life.  People that make me want to strive to be a better person.  I'm not saying I'm not great. hehehe.  I think though, that people can always better themselves in some way.  These people may inspire me in a big or small way.  They may inspire me in different types of ways. It doesn't matter.  All I know, is that they DO inspire me.

One person who inspires me is Sara of Punkin's Patch.  She is a person who inspires me to be a busy person.  This is one lady who doesn't let the grass grow under her feet. (Which her sheep may be disappointed in. lol)  She is very busy.  But because she is busy, she has accomplished a lot.  Her farm is beautiful!  Her photography is beautiful.  Her artwork is beautiful.  And she, herself, is beautiful.  The reason is because she works at it.  She's not one of those people that just let things "happen" to her.  She goes out there and "makes" things happen.  I don't know if I've ever met someone with so many irons in the fire.  And just being around her, makes me want to DO something.  She is very motivating!  Therefore,  I consider her one of my Inspirational People.

Another one of these people is Phelan.    She is completely different than any other person that I've ever met.  But, she's okay with being different.  It keeps things interesting. She makes me think outside the box.

One more of my Inspirational People, is my friend Catherine.  Catherine, if given the chance, would have sailed around the world with Christopher Columbus just to see if the world WAS flat.  She is one of those people that will try anything.  No matter how many people tell her something won't work, she will give it a try just to see for herself.  She's not afraid to fail.  That's what I call fearless. She inspires me to not to listen to what everyone else says, give it a try.

Now,these are not the only people that inspire me.  There are MANY more family and friends in my life that do and for many more different reasons.  I don't have a big enough blog to put them all on here. The main reason I wrote this post is so that maybe someone out there in Blog Land will look around at the people in their life and realize how these people inspire them.  Sometimes we just have to look around us for inspiration.

So until next time,

Small Farm Girl, Inspired.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Hug A Sheep Day 2013 (Picture Heavy)

This past Saturday Hubby and I took a little trip to Equinox Farms to visit Sara and all of her sheep.  It was Hug A Sheep Day!!!! There were quite a few people there feeding the sheep cookies and giving hugs galore!!!

One of the things I love about sheep are their noses.  They are soooo soft!  And with these lovable sheep at Equinox Farm, there were sheep noses abound!

Sara was busy taking pictures.  Or should I say TRYING to take pictures.  It seemed like she was always getting,  ummm, help.  "Hey!  Whatcha doin?"

Another thing I loved about her farm is how nice and clean everything is.  That wouldn't happen around our farm. lol

This is her Wool House.  It's a place dedicated to wool.  A place where she can spin and knit and nothing to distract her.  It. Is. Beautiful!

The farm land at Equinox Farm is immaculate also.  Sheep and horses have their own pastures.

But...... Out of this whole visit, this little girl was the main even. She wanted to hug a sheep.

And she did.......

Again, and again.....

I think the sheep liked it!

I know she did!

And at the end of the day, all the animals and people were tired.  It was a good day.

So until next time,

 Small Farm Girl, sheep lover.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Bye Bye Bunnies

I sold 4 of my main breeding stock of rabbits today.  I've given them plenty of chances to have many babies.  They would only give me around 3 a piece each time they were bred.  So as much as I liked them, it was time to say bye bye.

My plan is to get more though.  I can't go without having ANY rabbits.  I know a breeder who I'm going to buy some more off of.  He has around 200 rabbits, young and old.  Plus he has many different types.  I just might have to get a few different ones. I'm not real sure yet. I am going to get two or three breeding rabbits.  I know for sure I'm going to get some New Zealands.  They are all white.  Not sure about getting Californias right now.  They are the ones with the dark ears.  I like them, but it all depends on how much money I have.  Plus, it also depends on my cage space.

 I did keep two Champagne D' Arnets.  They're these cute grey ones.  They're born black and turn this color as they get older.  These are REALLY good meat rabbits.  They have many babies and they are good mothers.  So now I have to find a breeding male.  Ya, wish me luck with that.  They're kind of hard to find.  If I can't find a buck, I'll just breed them to the New Zealand buck until I do find one.  It doesn't matter what color their fur is when they are in the roaster. hehehe

So that's what I've got to look forward to in the near future.

So until next time,

Small Farm Girl,  rabbit seller and soon to be rabbit buyer.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

It's That Time Of Year

It's that time of year.  The time of year when you can't get enough stuff done.  The weather is great but it's getting colder every day.  That is pushing us to try and get things done for winter.

 Time to get the goats' hooves trimmed so that we wont have to worry about them getting snow packed in them.  I'll probably have to trim them again up into the winter, but might as well get done what I can now. They also need to be moved to another place before it starts getting muddy.  A place that we don't have done.  I'm hoping that we can get the electric fence up and the goats can get use to it easily.  That's going to be interesting with fainting goats. hehehehe.  

We also have to get wood cut.  Hubby and I don't like to cut wood in the summer.  One, it's hot. Two, we have to be on the lookout for bees and snakes.  And I don't know about you, but I'd rather not have to mess with either one.  So we wait until it's cold enough for them to not want to be out and about.  We usually have wood left over from the winter before so we can have a small fire when it starts to get a little cool.

Another thing on the list is getting the wood splitter and lawn mower ready for winter.  The lawn mower needs all the gas run out of it so that it doesn't gum up the motor.  Believe me, with the new gas that's out there now, it will.  We need to do the same thing with the weed eaters too.  The wood splitter needs just going over.  It needs things like oiled, new gas, and lube.  It's all part of owning machinery.

So today we decided to start on one of the projects.  We went to my parents  house and cut some wood.  Dad had a few trees that needed taken down. They were dead or dying, so of course we didn't say no when he asked if we wanted them.  Thanks Dad!!!!!  We will take all you want to give.

I did do more than just take pictures.  But, taking pictures IS an important part.  :0)  I was told I was earning my pilot license.  Hubby would cut it, and I would "pilot" into piles. hehehe

So until next time,

Small Farm Girl,  professional pilot.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Bennet's Mill Covered Bridge

The other day I took Phelan on a little trip around the area just to see a few local sites. Of course, we had to stop off and see the covered bridge. Everybody loves covered bridges!!  This is the Bennet's Mill Covered Bridge.

It is recognized by Kentucky as a place of interest.

I've drove across this bridge more time than I can count.  It's still in use.  They redid the bridge a few years ago because floods had moved the foundation just a bit and some of the boards were coming off.

Once a year they shut down the bridge to traffic.  Locals take an evening and they have a nice dinner set up in the bridge.  They light it by hanging lights from those ropes.  I've never been to it, but I've heard it's nice. One of these days I'm gonna have to make it a priority and go to the dinner.

I've fished under the bridge also.  My dad has fished under it a lot more than I have.  I've heard of people catching some really big fish here.  I was not one of those people. hehehe.  Although, I HAVE seen big fish here.  Does that count?   I've also canoed under it with family.  It doesn't look like it in this picture, but it's a good distance down there.  That water is pretty deep here also.

During the floods of 1997, the water was half way up the side of the bridge.  It even took some of the boards off the sides.  But this old bridge still held it's ground.  They just don't make things like they use to.

So until next time,

Small Farm Girl, covered bridge lover.

Monday, October 7, 2013

That Horrible Place

I went there.  That cold, dark place that no sane person wants to go.  It was horrible!!!!  It was so cold and wet. An unknown liquid was oozing down the walls. The things that I saw there can not be described.  I really had no idea what they were!!!!  All I know is they gave me the chills..... Things were attacking me from all sides as I was dodging left and right trying not to be hit by them.  But sometimes, I was just frozen in place.  I hope no one ever has to go to this unforsaken place.  I wouldn't ever wish this on my worst enemy.

So until next time,

Small Farm Girl, freezer cleaner outer.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Friday Night

Now this is my kind of a entertainment on a Friday night.

SFG , relaxing

Friday, September 27, 2013

What's All The Buzz?

See this pretty flower?  Some people call this frost weed.  Some people call this babies breath.  Whatever it is, the bee's sure do like it.

We have tons of it around here.  This plant is taller than my head.  You can hear it buzzing with all the activity.

If it would last longer and dry well, this would be pretty in a wreath.  But sadly, it doesn't last very long once it's picked.  So, I just enjoy it while it's around.

So until next time,  

Small Farm Girl,  bee watcher.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Question of the Day

Today, as I was reading some of the blogs that I follow, I was noticing the different types of homesteading that there were.  Some people specialize in canning, some in sewing, some in growing and some in decorating.  But, in my humble opinion, they are all still a type of homesteading.  I mean, it's important to have these skills.  So what is your specialty?

SFG, question asker...er

Monday, September 23, 2013

I Still Want To Be A Hermit

I easily can say that I could become a hermit.  I know I've wrote about this before, but I'm starting to really believe it.  The more I'm around people the more I realize I don't like them. I find that it has gotten to the point where if I'm around a bunch of people, I just sit back and shake my head about the stupid stuff they're saying.  I've got to watch myself and make sure I don't make a "did you really just say that" face.   I've also gotten to where I'm not participating as much in conversations because I find that I catch people when they contradict themselves and I point it out to them.  I know I shouldn't do this, so therefore, I try not to say much.

Now I have some friends that I can sit and talk to,(Phelan is one of those.) so I'm not TOO anti-social,  but most times, when I'm around people, I can't wait until I can get home and just say AAAAHHHHH.  I go to my bedroom, by myself, and just veg.  I'll read or watch t.v.(yes we have a t.v. in our bedroom.), or sometimes just catch up on reading the blogs that I follow.  I need those alone times so that I can recharge my batteries.  

I do know people who have to constantly have other people around them.  Or if they don't have people around them, they are on their phones texting people.  They can't stand being by themselves. I feel sorry for these type of people.  I don't think that they really know themselves if they haven't been alone with themselves.  Are they afraid of what they'll find?  Are they afraid of the person that they are.  Possibly.    

Now,  I know there isn't really anything I can do about these people.  I can't change them.  I can only change me and the way I interact with them.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not mean to people.  I don't HATE people.  I actually like SOME people. hehehehe.  There are even times when I WANT to be around people.  But,(and you knew this was coming.)  I can only handle so much at one time.

So on that note, I'm thinking about a nice little house back in the woods where I can be by myself.  Okay, Hubby is aloud to visit. :0)  I'll live back there were the only things that know where I am will be the deer and the birds.  I'll have my own little garden, my own little porch that I can sit and watch the trees, and my own little room where I can paint my pictures.  Oh, I can see it now.......

So until next time,

Small Farm Girl,  hermit.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

My New Project

If your like me, you'll accumulate many magazines over the years.  I have stacks and stacks of homesteading and herbal magazines that I keep "just in case" I need an article out of them.  Well, yesterday I started looking at all of the space that they took up.  I'm at that stage in life where space is more important than the magazines.  But, what if I NEED one of those articles?  So I got to thinking,  why don't I start taking out the things that interests me in the magazines and put them in a folder?  I could have a recipe folder, an herbal folder, an DIY folder, I actually could have a FEW folders.  But, I know for a fact, that they wouldn't take up all of the space that the magazines do plus, they would be more organized so I could find them easier.

It's funny, I was just thinking about doing this when I came across this post at Rural Revolution.  Patrice makes a lot of since by doing this.  I have TONS of links that I have bookmarked for keeping.  Looks like I'm gonna have to do some printing too.  You know though, I really like doing things like this.  I guess I'm kind of weird that way.  I love organizing things. (Although you couldn't tell it from looking at my house. :0)  )

So I just thought I would give you all a heads up on my new project.  I'm looking forward to starting it.  Plus, this gives me an excuse to go and buy new folders and new paper and new pencils and new crayons and new....... Okay, I guess I don't really need all of that stuff, but I just might buy it anyway.  I just can't help myself when I get into the stationary department. Hehehehe

So until next time,

Small Farm Girl, organizer extraordinaire

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Okay, I've Called It!

  That's right! I officially have declared that Fall is here!!!!! It doesn't look like this around here YET, but it will soon.  In fact, we have a covered bridge that looks kind of like this one.  I think I'll have to get some pictures on here to show you all.

Anyway, back to Fall.  The days are warm, the nights are cool.  Perfect!!!!  The leaves are starting to get crispy and so is the air.  You know what I'm talking about.  It's like the air has been put through an air filter.  It's soooo much easier to breath. The frost weeds are blooming so I know that frost is just around the corner.  I guess it's time for us to start getting in the wood for winter.

Our garden is done, I mean brown corn stalks, done.  I thought about using them for a cute little decoration out in front of the house.  We'll see if I get the gumption enough to do it. hehehe.  I get a lot of ideas this time of year, but I have so much stuff to do, I just keep adding to the list.  Hubby's Dad has us a few rows of beans that should be ready soon.  I hope it doesn't frost before I get those canned up.  That's gonna help us a lot.  Stupid rabbits ate all of our beans.  We'll see if that happens next year.  I'm taking measures that it won't.

I'm also taking measures so that Jack wont be killing anymore chickens.  The chicken coop will be worked on this weekend!!! Yay!!!! I'm hoping it will get done soon, at least before the snow flies.  I would at least like to get some pictures of it on here when it's done.  My plan is to landscape around it.  That's gonna have to happen in the spring.

As I'm writing this post, I'm also thinking about the things I'm gonna miss about summer.  I'm gonna miss sitting outside in front of the house in the mornings and watching the pond.  That's my favorite thing to do in the mornings just before it gets too hot to.  I'm gonna miss going outside in shirt sleeves and not having to bundle up against the cold winter wind.  I'm going to miss the times that me and Hubby jumped on his dad's motorcycle and just rode around for a few minutes. (Yes, I know we still can in the winter time, but I'm not a winter rider.  I'm a wimp!)  I'm also going to miss the fresh veggies that we could get at the farmers' markets.  Although, we are getting some really nice apples right now!

I guess what I'm saying is, I love living in an area where there are 4 distinct seasons.  By the time I get tired of one season, it's time for the next.  So right now I'm saying, "Bring on FALL!!!"

So until next time,

Small Farm Girl, lover of the seasons

Monday, September 16, 2013

New Addition

Here's the new addition to the farm!!! One of the Wild Cows had a little bull!  Last year neighbor's bull jumped our fence and got in with our ladies.  He called one morning to tell me the "bad news."  I was elated!  We didn't have a bull at that time so I was GLAD that his bull jumped the fence.  He was glad that I was glad. lol!!! Saved us from having to buying one this that.  We wondered if our cow had gotten pregnant because all of his cows had already had their calves.  Well, I guess she was!!!!!!!  Now we don't have to wait one more year for steaks!  Yay!!!!!

So until next time,

Small Farm Girl,  new calf owner

Sunday, September 15, 2013

It's Butchering Time!!!

Well, today was butchering day for the rabbits.  It was their destination, their reason for living, and might I say, a very tasty one at that.  If you've never tried rabbit, you don't know what your missing.  IT. IS. GOOOOOOOOD!!!  Plus the nutritional value of rabbit is outstanding!!!!!  Low fat, low cholesterol, but high in protein and in flavor.  If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend it.

Anyway back to my story, me and Hubby were butchering the rabbits this morning.  He does the killin, I do the butcherin.  We make a good pair.  :0)  For all the years of my life that I've been butchering things,  it's still hard for me to do the actual killing.  Oh sure, I can shoot a rabbit, deer or squirrel with no problem, but the animals that we raised here on the farm is just a little harder.  Now don't get me wrong, if I had to, I would, and CAN, but I've got Hubby now and he doesn't mind doing it so why not let him.  Just like he doesn't like butchering.  He said it turns his stomach.  He can do it if he has to, but he doesn't really want to.  So I'll gladly do it.

So today we just had 3 rabbits that were ready to be butchered.  Not too many, and it doesn't take all day to kill, butcher, clean, and vacuum seal.  As I was butchering today, I accidentally sliced into my finger.  As my Dad always said, you will get cut more times on a dull knife than you will on a sharp one.  Well folks, he's right.  The knife wasn't as sharp as I wanted it to be and low and behold,  I sliced right down into my knuckle.  Ouch!!!!!!

Now out of all my many years of butchering animals, not one time have I ever gotten sick.  My stomach never turned or anything and I've been into animal cavities up to my shoulders before.  I've never had a problem.  I looked down and saw the blood coming out of my knuckle and I just about went down.  Things started to go black,  I started feeling really hot,  I needed a drink.  I told Hubby that I butchered  my finger with the knife and I needed something to drink BAD or I might pass out.  He was changing the oil in the car so he ran and got me something to drink as I sat down on our four wheeler so I wouldn't fall down.   He came running  back with a big glass of ice water and I took a long swig.  He stood there waiting for me to show it to him.

"See?" I said.  "I think I hit the bone!!!!"

Hubby looked at my finger, looked back at me, looked at my finger again. "Is this what your talking about?" He went to touch my knuckle.

"Don't touch it!!!! I might faint!!!! I jerked my hand away from him.

"Have you looked at it?"  He asked.

"Uh, no.  I'm too scared of what I'll see."

"You might want to look at it."  He replied.

I peaked with one eye.  (I don't know why that was going to be better than with both eyes, but it was.)  On the tip of my knuckle there was a small cut.  Probably 1/4 of a inch long.  A small drop of blood was oozing out of it.

"Oh, I guess it's not as bad as I thought it was."  I smiled.

Hubby just rolled his eyes and went back to changing the oil in the car.

I'm so glad I have a big protector of a man.

So until next time,

Small Farm Girl,  bleeder.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Busy, But Having Fun!

I didn't realize how long it's been since I've posted on here.  We've been busy helping Phelan and her family settle into their homestead.  It's nice having her here.  I'm just waiting for her to get tired of us coming down for a visit. lol.  It's fascinating watching her raise her three boys without electric and running water.  She comes to our house every once in a while to do a load of laundry.  Got to have those boys closes clean for school!!!  She has been washing their clothes in a tub with water. Then hanging them out to dry.  With them living down in a holler, there isn't much wind.  Plus, it's wet almost all the time.  Wet like a rain forest.  It's hard to hang clothes on a clothes line to dry when it's that wet.  Although last night she was telling me that she could use a good ole fashion rain storm to fill up the creek again.  They've been dipping water out of it for flushing their toilet inside the cabin.  She said it's starting to go dry.

When she comes up to wash, she'll fill up a few jugs of water so that they'll have something to drink and cook with.  We'll set outside and drink tea (unsweetened!!!) and just chat.  It's nice to have someone close to my age and someone with the same weird mentality that I do, to chat with.

We also have been looking for her and her husband a place for their motorcycle shop.  He builds and repairs motorcycles.  Which is good, because for some reason the motorcycle that we ride wasn't "running right". hehehe.  We've looked at a few places.  Some are run down, some are really nice.  Our biggest problem is finding out who owns them so we can ask about rent.  We've got a few good ones in the works though.

Me and Hubby have also been expanding the goat pasture.  We put up a gate so that they can go out with the cattle and horses.  Oh, by the way, you can't keep goats in with just a barb wire fence. hehehe.  We knew that when we let them out, we just figures with all of the food that they have to eat in the big pasture, (45 acres) they wouldn't want out to eat the small, puny grass that we mow.  WRONG!!!   I honestly think goats just KNOW where you don't want them to go and they will make it their life mission to go there.

Oh well, that's life on a farm.

So until next time,

Small Farm Girl, goat wrangler.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Mystery Has Been Solved....I Think.

Last night me and Hubby went down in the holler to visit Phelan and her husband. While we were down there Hubby helped her husband put up some gutters on their cabin so that the rain, that was on the way, could go into their cistern. As they were putting it up, the skies opened up and it rained. About a 1/2 inch worth. And as the men were putting up the gutters in the rain, what were me and Phelan doing? What any normal weirdos do....We sat out in the rain. :) We sat there and talked as water was dripping off our noses. It was very refreshing after a hot and humid day. I looked at her and said, "You know, I'm glad I have someone who can sit in the rain with me and not think it's weird." He both had a good laugh at that.

 Anyway, as we were down in the holler enjoying the rain, little did I know that a massacre was happening up at my house. That's right, I said massacre. We came back to the house to feed the animals. We were running a little later than normal so we had to use flashlights. As Hubby was checking for eggs in the hen house he noticed that there was a dead hen laying on the floor. Then we noticed that we only had a few of our chickens on the roost. The killer strikes again......

 As we were looking around the chicken house, we saw paw prints on the feed barrel. VERY LARGE paw prints. If you have ever owned a Saint Bernard, you know these paw prints. These were the markings of a St Bernard. Jack has been the one killing the chickens. I don't think I was EVER as mad as I was at that time. I wasn't just mad at Jack, I was mad at myself for not tying him up before we left. Hubby even asked me if we should tie him up. I told him no since it was so hot, Jack wouldn't leave the shade of the house. Well, just as soon as it cooled off with the rain, the chicken murder made a bee line right for the chicken coop.

 All in all, we had 17 chickens missing that night, including 8 young pullets that I had just bought to replace the ones that he had killed a week before that. I was livid. We found 8 of the bodies (adult hens too) scattered around the yard. All had feathers torn out but no real damage. (well, other than they were dead.) Jack doesn't want to eat them, he just wants to chase and catch them. Right now I'm really mad at him, but I know it's something that is hard for him to control. I'm sure I'll just see to it that he can't get to them ever again and I guess this just puts the "chicken coop getting done" back up on the top of the list of things that need done ASAP. I also know that I won't be able to stay mad at him for long. I mean, who can resist that face.

So until next time,

Small Farm Girl, looking for some more chickens again.

P.s.  As of this morning some of the chickens have come back.  So I don't think he killed all 17 of the chickens that were missing last night.  Some of the pullets are even back.  I'm feeling better now.

P.s.s.  Coffee is still alive and still came down to sit with Jack today.  I think she has a death wish.  Or, they are conspiring together.  Hmmmmmmmm........

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Getting Ready

It's the end of August and we are having some of the hottest weather that we've had all year.  That's okay, I think Mother Nature is trying to put on a last show before she starts to give us my favorite weather...Fall.

I can hardly wait.  The warm days and the cool nights, the colorful trees, I even love the smell of Fall.  It smells like wood smoke.  :o)  That reminds me, we're going to have to start getting our wood for our wood stove.  We don't like to get it in the middle of summer.  You have to battle bee's nests in dead trees.  You also have a better chance of coming up on a rattle snake or copper head.  So we wait until it gets a little cooler.  Hey, who wants to work in this heat anyway? lol

The farmers almanac has predicted that we are going to have a colder and snowier winter than normal this year.  I'll believe it when I see it, but it is fun to think about.  I'm so glad that we live in an area that has distinct 4 seasons.  By the time I'm getting tired of one, it moves on to the next season.

Anyway, we are getting things marked off of our list to do before it gets cold.  Things like fire wood, and getting the rabbits a place to stay that will keep them out of the wind.  We still have hay that needs to be cut and stored. (Although we have enough for our animals, we are going to sell some to other people that needs it.)   I was wanting to get some of the goat, rabbit, and chicken poop on the garden so that it can work down into the soil through the winter.  With the money that we get for selling the few bails that we bail, we are going to get insulation in the top of the house.  Maybe, just maybe, we will be getting up there soon.  I'm starting to get tired of living in our basement.

Another thing that we need to do before it gets cold, is test out our new wood stove for leaks.  We bought a used wood burner stove for this coming winter and if it turns out to be a good one, it will give off more heat than the one we have.  It's made of think steel and not the thin sheet metal that our old stove is made of.  We need to test it to see if the air drafts are air tight.  I don't want to get a big fire going and not be able to turn it down.  That could be a disaster.  The stove we have now doesn't turn down real good.  It has scared me a few times when we get a fire going up the chimney.  We've had a few chimney fires since we've lived here.  It's mainly because of the stove not being air tight.  Hopefully that will change this year.  Wish us luck.

Phelan and her family have been working hard on getting things ready at their house too.  They have come upon some road blocks, but they are working through them.  The floor ended up being rotted in the cabin that they bought.  The good news is that it should be under warranty.  I hope it is.  That would save them a lot of money.  Since they are in a holding pattern right now, Phelan and her husband came over yesterday and they worked on Hubby's motorcycle.  Well, technically it's his dad's motorcycle, but Hubby rides it all the time.  We had a nice visit.  I keep telling her that I'm glad that I have someone that lives close enough that I can go and borrow a cup of sugar from.  :o)  I just know that once she gets electric and water in her house, she is going to love it here.  She says she already does!  But sometimes, small luxuries like water and electric makes things just a little better. lol

So until next time,

Small Farm Girl, sugar borrower.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Farm Mystery

We have a mystery at the farm.  We've had 7 chickens end up dead.  At first we thought that it was Jack.

Doesn't he look ferocious?  Anyway, he's been known to kill chickens when he was younger.  In fact, he's killed 15 in one quick romp.  But, he's been really good with the chickens lately, as in half a year good.  He doesn't even look at them twice now.  I know, I know,  dogs will be dogs.  I wouldn't put it past him.  In fact, I scolded him about the dead chickens and then started tying him up whenever we aren't home.  And this is where it becomes a mystery.

This is Coffee, the Chicken.  We call her Coffee because she coughs all the time.  She's not sick, she still lays eggs, and no other chickens have the coughs. She just does. So we don't think it's because she is sick.   I figure she has something in her throat.   Anyway, she comes and eats and drinks out of Jack's dishes.  He doesn't mind. 

Most of the days, Coffee actually stays with Jack.  Just hanging out. 

So that's why we were wondering if it was actually him that killed the seven chickens.  Will the mystery ever be solved???????

So until next time,

Small Farm Girl, detective.....

P.S.  I'm trying new things on the blog so please excuse the mess right now.