Friday, October 28, 2016

Farm Update, October 28, 2016

This has been such a busy summer!  I can still remember last winter, sitting in our house and looking out at the snow covered field.  Dreaming.  Hoping.  Waiting for Spring.  At that time, we had just 5 chickens, a dog, and 2 cats.  And a large, empty field with nothing but weeds.  How things have changed!

Our field has been harvested twice now.  The first time we got 111 bales, and it was mostly oats.  It was terribly difficult to get rid of (and then after it was nearly gone, everyone wanted it!  Of course.)  The second cutting, we got a surprising 160 bales of beautiful alfalfa, and pasture mix.  Half the field is in alfalfa and the other half is a high quality alfalfa/pasture mix.  We sold 100 bales and kept 60 for ourselves for the winter.

The field today, after 2 cuttings this summer.

Kevin and I built this storage "hut" from cattle panels.  It held 61 bales, which will hopefully be plenty of hay for our 2 goats this winter.  It is a challenge not having a barn, or even a shed, but we are doing our best to make it work!  

Aurora is doing well.  She has improved so much on the stand!  She no longer fights me at all (unless a fly is bothering her.  Thankfully those are gone for the year)

Millie is as big as her momma already.  And still nursing at 7.5 months old.  I thought she would wean on her own, but no such luck.  I am going to have to make a sling to keep her from Aurora's udder during the day.  I still only milk in the morning at this point. 

Isn't Millie pretty?  I just love her spots and band.  That fluffy tail is adorable!  But those horns!  She was disbudded three times, and they still grew.  That is why one points forward, and the other points back.  

Both goats are ready to be bred, and I have even noticed good signs of their fertility.  A friend of mine as "straws" from a lamancha (frozen semen) that we will artificially inseminate Aurora with.  Millie will be bred to one of her nubian bucks the old fashioned way.  I have been tracking their cycles according to their signs, but we keep missing the window!  I am hoping this next cycle they will both be bred.  

The garden is pretty much done.  It did really well, especially the tomatoes and peppers.  There are a few carrots in the ground, and a lot of sweet potatoes that need dug up this weekend.

 We were doing so good keeping up on the weeds, until the last couple months.  There are even a few peppers in there we could still harvest.  

This was our "oh no, a frost is coming" solution.  We had the squash on the porch curing, so we put them in an empty cabinet we had in the garage.  Then we grabbed buckets and picked as many tomatoes and peppers as we could in the dark.  We actually didn't end up with a frost that night.  Our first frost was October 24th.  
The ladies have been enjoying the spent produce.  Tomatoes, watermelon rinds, and squash everywhere! 

Such pretty ladies.  They aren't happy that it is getting cold, though.  The egg production was amazing about 2 weeks ago, but has slowed down dramatically.  We are down to about 3-4 eggs a day right now, and I bet it gets to be even less next week.  We were getting up to 9 a day a couple weeks ago.  

We have them in an electronet fence.  The main coop is to the upper left inside the fence/kennel.  The chicken tractor on the right houses the bad rooster until we can find a home for him.  This weekend we will probably open the fence up to surround the garden so the chickens can get the remaining veggies and bugs. 

I love the fall colors.  You can see how the neighboring farms have been plowed.  That happened just a couple days ago.  It's so weird not to have that "wall" anymore.  
Miss Daisy's tree.  She passed away early this year and we planted a new tree with her.  I am happy to see it is thriving.  She loved Christmas trees, so we thought it was a good choice.

So that is the current farm update!  Lots going on, lots more to do to put the farm to bed for the winter.  Unfortunately, the chores don't stop in winter, and Aurora has already expressed her dislike for cold hands on her udder.  Poor girl!  I'll have to find a way to keep my hands warm on the walk out.  

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Halloween Costumes, through the years

I think it is so fun to look back at what the girls were for Halloween each year.  There are times they request to be the same thing as a previous year, and that's okay, but I do encourage a little creativity.

Kaybug's first year, she was baby Carrie from Little House on the Prairie, and her sisters were Mary and Laura.  It may be my favorite year so far!

Gah!  How adorable was she?  She was about 4 months old in this picture.

Kay's second Halloween, she was an owl.  Cute, right?

Coco was Lalaloopsy and Juju was her first scary costume - Dracula.

On her third Halloween, Kay was a chicken, by her own choosing.   I couldn't help but allow it.  Sorry for the blurry picture.

I added a white boa to her costume to add fluffiness.  

J & C were Native Americans, because they were studying them in Social Studies and wanted to dress like them.  I can't find my pic of C, oops!  

Last year Coco was a cowgirl sheriff, Jujubee was Harry Potter (don't comment on my horrible costume making skills.  It was last minute!) and Kay was a princess.  This may have been their first time ever having cotton candy.  

And this year, they all wanted to be from a book.  C was Mary Poppins, J was Hermione, and K was Carrie from Little House again.  

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Poetry Tea Time

The girls love any reason to have a tea party, so they were quite excited to begin poetry tea time on Friday.  Poetry tea time is something I first heard about from Julie Bogart, the owner of Brave Writer. During this time, you create an inviting table (as simple or fancy as you choose!), have a couple snacks, tea (or drink) of your choice, and a few good poetry books.  

This weeks poems were taken from:
and a very old copy of Best Loved Nursery Rhymes and Songs

The Poems we read were:
The Cupboard by Walder de la Mare (FPO&N)
Young Night-Thought by Robert Louis Stevenson (CGoV)
Old Mother Hubbard (BLNR&S)

We had pumpkin oat chocolate chip cookies, and echinacea tea.  The girls absolutely loved it and requested that we do it again this Friday, so I am going to try to make it a weekly thing.  I love many things about the "Brave Writer Lifestyle", and this is one of many I would like to begin incorporating in our homeschool.  You can read more about Poetry tea time in the book "Poetry Tea Time Companion" by Julie Bogart, and on Julie's website Brave Writer.

I am not affiliated with Julie Bogart, or Brave Writer.  The thoughts and opinions expressed on this and all topics in my post are my own honest reviews.  
I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This means that if you purchase something from that site after clicking over from Journey Through Love, I receive a [tiny] percentage of the sale. Clicking through these links does not cost you any more than you’d already be spending.   

Monday, October 24, 2016

Book of the week, October 24, 2016

The girls are feeling more festive this week, with Halloween getting closer.  A Rattle of Bones; A  Halloween Book of Collective Nouns by Kipling West is our "book of the week".  It is Halloween themed, but I wouldn't say it is scary.  You may want to look at it prior to reading to your own kids, of course.  It is a great review of nouns for Jujubee (11), and an introduction for Cocobear, who is 7.

The skeletons look more happy than scary, and there are plenty of nouns, but it would also be a great book to discuss adjectives, verbs, etc.   Here is a peek inside:

Do you have a favorite fall or Halloween themed book?  I'd love for you to share it in the comments below!  

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This means that if you purchase something from that site after clicking over from Journey Through Love, I receive a [tiny] percentage of the sale. Clicking through these links does not cost you any more than you’d already be spending. 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

A Halloween Tradition

For the past five years, we have gone trick or treating at camp where my mom has a site.  We didn't think we would be able to go this year, but we made it!   Here are my trick or treaters this year:

Cocobear was Mary Poppins, Jujubee was Hermione Granger from Harry Potter, and Kaybug was Carrie from Little House on the Prairie.  When Kaybug was 4 months old, she was Carrie also.  We love Little House.  

We had a good time, got way too much candy for the Sugar Plum Fairy, and got to visit with my mom and nephew which was the best thing of all.  The weather was perfect, unlike past years where it was either cold, rainy, or both!  I am so glad we were able to go, and the girls were, too.  

Monday, October 17, 2016

Book of the week October 17, 2016

Adventures of Barefoot Critters by Teagan White

We found this little gem of a book at the library last week and just got a chance to read it.  The illustrations are beautiful, and it isn't the same old ABC book where just a random list of things start with each letter.  Instead, it is a story about a few animal friends and the letters are incorporated.  My favorite part is that the story is told in a seasonal way, with events for each month of the year.

Aren't they such sweet illustrations?  And look at this adorable cover! 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Missing our Luke

Last Thursday night at about 2:30 A.M., I woke to what sounded like a cat fight. I immediately knew it was our almost 5 month old kitten, Luke. I don't know how I knew, but I did. My husband and I ran out the back door with our flashlight (living in the country with animals, you're prepared for these situations) and I began yelling for him. 
We didn't hear him again, not a sound anywhere. After 15-20 minutes of roaming in the dark, we went to bed. Luke's mama has gone and came back several times, so we were hopeful he would be home in the morning. 
Morning came, and Luke did not. All day, I went out to call for him, searching our field and the bean field next door as well as I could. A lot of crying happened that day as I remembered the events of the day before. How he had lapped up milk from the stand as I milked the goat. How I helped him get to a mouse under a pile of hay, and he proudly carried it back to the porch and ate it. How he trots over to the dog, who has always been afraid of cats but isn't anymore, and rubbed on him, giving him noses. How he played with his sister, and slept with her all cuddled up every day. 
Jujubee had just begun calling him "her cat". She finally felt like an animal was hers. Now he is gone, and hearts are broken.  I haven't told the girls about the cat fight the night before. We are holding out hope that he found a girlfriend and will return home to us, one day. But I just can't help but feel in my stomach that it isn't true. 
We miss you, Lukey