Archive for the ‘Farm’ Category

We were given the okay to clean up on Thursday. There are piles of beams to be burned. Hay that still needs to be sorted through and a bunch of scrap was taken away today. Along with the clean up we have been working on making various lists of equipment and tools that were lost. I am not sure how many pages we have but I’d venture to say upwards around fifty (correct me if  am wrong).


On a brighter note my seeds came in the mail on Monday. Now I have little broccolis, cabbages, fenugreeks, and sorrels popping up. I also have started all of my peppers and celery. If my celery doesn’t turn out in the summer I am going to give it a shot in the greenhouse. In the ideal scene of things I want to grow broccoli, celery, onions and see if I can keep a rosemary bush in there.

I keep finding all of these little niches. I love my little house. I have plans of the yard, gardens, and flower beds. I enjoy working and weeding outside. I find it therapeutic and i know that Aaron would like nice flower beds so both of us are happy. 🙂


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No Words.

There are no words to describe the way I feel right now. That’s not cliche.

For those who haven’t noticed,  I have been struggling for some time (it’s not chronic, and I do not need drugs) and I was just about coming out of it, and this is the last straw that broke the camel’s back.

The barn burned down this weekend. The losses are too great to list and there are still items that are popping up in people’s minds. All of Brian’s goats are okay, along with the horse, sheep and cow. 8 out of 100 (or so) chickens were lost, 4 turkeys were lost, a good chunk of the barn cats were lost, Bikes, Logan’s tractor parts, Logan’s four-wheeler, Brian’s milking equipment, Thousands of dollars worth of hay and straw are gone, the goat barn is burned up, ugh, and the amount of tools and equipment lost is tremendous. My car is toast as well along with my tassel from graduation I had hanging in the window.

I had trouble expressing my feelings before because they ran so deep, but now, I can’t even think straight with all that as happened. Last night I was picturing the barn in my mind and knowing it was gone left it feeling surreal. And I am just on the outside of the family, so I can’t imagine how everyone else is feeling.

All earthly things seem pretty pointless right now. I go from bored, angry and depressed. And at other times I feel safe, calm and comfortable with my husband and his family. We are all together, healthy and safe. There is nothing left to do but move forward.

Thank You, Lord, for Our Home in Heaven!

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Last week, I boiled one of the chickens from the second butchering at the farm. The chickens were tough and not really good for anything but canning and soup. After a few hours in the pot, I ladled a few gallons of stock into mason jars and picked the meat off of the bones.

The stock will go into the freezer. Aaron and I will use the meat in sweet and sour chicken and BBQ dishes. The bones I gave to my cat…and whatever she didn’t eat off of went into the chicken pen at the farm. That’s a lot of bones for one cat and Alley has a habit of disappointing me when I give her something I think she will really like.

Aaron and I had a good Valentine’s Day. I woke up at around 9:30 due to the fact that Aaron put a Styrofoam board under our memory foam mattress, needless to say I slept quite well. We watched Mutiny On The Bounty. I walked on the tread mill, while he worked on trim. Then went out to eat at Ponderosa.

After that we drove around the countryside, through Oil City and back up M 20. We went nice and slow. I like it when Aaron takes me for rides. He checks out what the farmers are doing and I comment on the houses and people’s gardens. We went by a place that had work horses and I exclaimed “Oh!” when I saw a few geese nibbling at the ground, at the edge of a fence.

Lately, I have been reading up on different livestock. Ducks, Geese, Chickens, Pigs , Goats and Cows. I have read a little bit on sheep but I don’t think I will really get into sheep. They are pretty, but I read and heard about how they can get sick very easily and that they are so batty that they could die of a heart attack from just hearing thunder. Plus, Aaron hates sheep.

If it were up to me, I would probably get some type of fowl and maybe a pig or cow, if I thought I were able to handle raising something for slaughter. Aaron has been kicking around the idea of getting a few steers to raise for meat. Whenever I find myself thinking that I might not be able to handle it, I try to think about Genesis and how man is supposed to rule over and care for the beasts.

When Tuxedo died I was heart-broken for a few reasons, one was because he was my pet. But livestock are different, you make a living by them, one way or another. I was reminded of that when I was watching Sarah, Plain and Tall on DVD and Sarah was upset because a coyote killed a lamb, and after a bad storm Jacob said that they might have to sell the sheep.

A few weeks ago , Mom Cook asked me what color calf I would like. I didn’t think it would be wise to choose a color I liked if it was going to get slaughtered anyway, but if I were to pick one for milking I probably would pick a Jersey because of their big eyes or one with a unique coloring and I would probably give it some stylish old lady name. I would ask Betsy about stylish old lady names because she works at a local nursing home.

That seems to be the habit with me, whenever I think of getting animals someday it goes like this…

What are they going to be used for? If for slaughter, then I would get a breed suited for that, give them no names, etc. Like, if I were to get chickens- If I wanted eggs I would get the black and white barred kind because they are so pretty, but if I wanted meat I would probably get the white ones like what Libby had.

Like most of my musings I have this all written down. Where else would I be able to keep track of all the ideas I get? These all aren’t immediate plans just notions I get and store away for later. And like some, I don’t like to share, sometimes I think my ideas are impractical, consider yourself fortunate that I posted this much. J

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Yesterday I went up to Clare to a flea market with the Lang’s and the Taylor’s. There was so much to see. There were rows and rows of vendors. At one of the tents there was this butter churn that I would have bought if I had more spending money. But I settled for a dollar package of nail brushes and a dollar package of pot scrubbers. Jimmy bought an old sturdy ice cream churn. The girls chipped in and bought a little gumball machine.

When we go next year, I will know to bring more money in case I spy a steal. After that we went to the hardware store, bulk food store and ding and dent store. I bought castor oil, soap, and the Healthy Choices Cookbook, of which I am so happy I bought, because it has recipes for REAL food, not 705 recipes for grain burgers and granola. If healthy food has left a bad taste in your mouth, then I suggest thumbing through this cookbook and seeing if you find anything that you’d eat.   At the bulk food store I bought iodonized salt, wheat bran and wheat germ. At the ding and dent store I stayed in the car with Carmen, Bekah, Abigail and Hosanna. Hosanna ate and fell asleep, while the other girls listened to Odyssey.

Aaron and I went shopping last night I told him that come this winter I would like to start sewing dresses. But first things first, I need to make myself some bloomers, patch his jeans and work on his ripped coveralls.

I am starting to look at canning less enthusiastically. I have been doing it for weeks, and now that I have both kinds of canners in my possession I will be doing it at home. Having a small kitchen has been kind of hard for me. Space gets taken up so quickly. I am trying to keep in mind of how my work will pay off in the winter when the ground is covered with snow and I will again be itching to do some gardening.

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Two days ago I was pleasantly surpirised by a black raspberry bush that I found growing amoungst a lilac bush. The berry bush in taller than I am so it has been there for awhile. Today I thought about cutting back part of the lilac bush so I can access those sweet berries better. I would have to ask Aaron though. Any pointers on berry bushes?

I have been blessed to live outside of the city in a house that is 100% ours that we have to make no payments on which is a praise within itself. There is so much I want to learn and do!

Growing our food from salads to corn to watermelons to cabbage.

Canning, drying, freezing our harvest.

Making my own jams, jellies, relishes and other condiments.

Buying pantry staples in bulk.

Using hand powered kitchen appliances.

Planting and using culinary herbs like Basil to make fresh pesto and Tarragon to put in vinegar for salad dressing.

Planting and using medicinal herbs from harvesting wild plantains for postpartum relief to making white horehound lozenges and cough syrup to echinacea tinctures.

Digging a root cellar

Having a home library versus a video game collection

Cloth diapers hanging on the clothesline.

Going to pick…anything blueberries, apples, blackberries, strawberries, cherries…

Using my wood stove for more than just heating the house.

Patchwork quilts and crocheted afghans for everyone.

Home birthing


Family devotions.

Little girls running around in home sewn dressies with little lacy headcoverings and little boys running around with ‘spa-menders’


🙂 What would you like to learn?

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Spring Sprigs.

Mom Cook and I were trimming apple trees at Eagle’s (the owner of the orchards) today, when I stumbled upon an asparagus bed. Mr. Eagle is out of town, so Mom suggested that we pick it so it just won’t go to seed and be wasted. My apron was full with all of the spears I cut. I also picked rhubarb for Mom because she wanted to make a pie. I am looking forward to it! When we returned to the farm, I cut up the rhubarb and the asparagus then went harvesting in their asparagus bed.

Also- Aaron went over and rotatilled our garden! Yay! So excited!!!

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Although, I am still displeased with the way my blog LOOKS I am still going to update it.

I updated my gardening page.

I drove to the farm today with seed packets. I left with pots and containers filled with dirt and hopefully successful plants with a good yield. The seeds I did were Brandywine Tomatoes, Cherry tomatoes, spinach, ever-bearing strawberries, oregano, broccoli, shasta daisies and dianthus. Mom Cook and Naomi advised me to be careful of my oregano plant because it will take over. I plan on having my herbs in hanging baskets. So if my oregano wants to have room to stretch it can do so. Doesn’t that sound pretty? My oregano draping over  the sides of it’s pot.

I mended my leggings (I wear them in the winter) the other day. The holes were getting bigger and they could not be ignored any longer. They are a spandex and cotton blend so we will see how they hold up. If not I will just throw them away, and look for a bloomers pattern (never in my life have I ever thought I’d want to be wearing bloomers). After getting help and pointers from Libby on a skirt that I did a few weeks ago, I am really excited about sewing. I went to Wal-Mart to see what they had on their clearance and I ended up getting 9 yards of material for $15.90. I think that those are going to end up being skirts.


Monday, Betsy and I are going up to Clare to do some shopping.  I have a little list going. Clare has Amish stores, I went with some of the Cooks and Nelsons (Wendy’s side of the family) at Christmas. I really enjoyed it. Some stores that we are probably going to stop at are the hardware store, the bulk food store, and the ding and dent store. We’ll see what other mischief we can get into. Have a blessed and restful Sunday everyone.

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