Being Mama, Family, Farm, Kids

Fair?

This week is fair week. That might mean nothing to many people. But for us that means we are hauling our selves and our goats ( along with all necessary food and gear) to the local fair grounds so our animals and kids can show their stuff. It’s fun, dirty, hot and exasperating all in the same dry and windy breath.

As a show mom it is my primary responsibility to have all kids ( human and animal) fully prepared to do their best. Well, surgery kinda laid me out this year so I was a little weak on the giddy up. No matter, here we are – we made it! We stuck it out and are ready to compete. Saturday will be the auction and it can’t get here fast enough for this mama!

Don’t get me wrong, I love the very essence of animal husbandry and 4H has my whole heart. But, … let’s be real- it has me wanting to kick all my kids out and hide myself in a dark closet where no one can find me. Except maybe the Schwann’s man…and only if he’s delivering those silver dollar bars.

Let me introduce you to the cast of characters for fair 2019 starting with the 4 legged kids:

*Spike* if you could imagine a laid back Cali cool surfer dude in the form of a goat that would be Spike. He loves everybody man! He’s chillax to the max and loves hugs. He’s my favorite and I don’t mind admitting it. My only regret is that market animals have a short life span. Sorry dude, you will be missed!

*Fighty* Mike Tyson who? Fighty has entered the ring! Got food? He’ll fight you for it! Got hay? He’ll fight you for that too! Opening the gate? You guessed it! He’ll fight to be first out….unless, of course he doesn’t want to go out and then he will fight you to stay in. The winner for most consternating attitude goes to Fighty! Yup, everyone is a winner here! 😝 Good thing you’re cute kid!

*Skidder* This is the first time I have encountered a goat with anxiety. Skidder prefers to be restrained in a stall. The more secure the better. In fact, he will voluntarily jump on the grooming stand to be strapped down. It’s the only time he stops hyperventilating….drama much? Oh Skidder…. He also got his name from his habit of falling flat on the ground when you walk him and then going completely bezerk when you try to lift him back up. Skidder won’t be missed😏

Now for the 2 legged kids-

*Boy child of 16 years* Headstrong and physically strong this young male specimen is showing signs of independence and a distinct parting of ways from the matriarchal system. (Read: won’t listen to his mother) in all fairness he is maturing and growing daily. We have had many talks …. a few lectures…. and have learned a lot about each other this year. I’m taking the win here and leaving the goats totally out of the equation. Boom, #winning

*Girl child of 14 years* This lady is observant and able to get by nearly on her own. She sees what goes on and learns from others without much instruction. Which is good because she is also teening out on me at times and not always so receptive to mother’s suggestions *ahem!* I’m pretty proud of her and all that she is learning. Again, win.

*Girl child of 10 years* Um…..well, this one is a first year 4Her and acts like she’s got this thing. She was giving the big kids tips and reminders. I had to remind her that she had never done this before. Didn’t faze her. She is a cocky little bugger. My greatest task with her will be to point her in the right direction and keep the reins in hand.🙄 For her performance really isn’t a concern. Life is her party and she gets freebies from all the booths and candy galore. She’s thrilled. Win.

The problem is….. I am highly competitive. And a perfectionist (albeit I have been somewhat reformed). And I came into this deal with zero experience. Like, I had a cat for a few months once when I was a kid. So, all in all the deck was entire stacked against me. Add to that an antsy teenage son who spends a lot of time out of the house on odd jobs, a major surgery (mine), and 2 out of 3 animals that were impossible even on their good days. 🙄 And have I mentioned that I live in a small town and I know my friends kids are also our competition. It’s tough to smile at your friends successes when your pride is wounded. But we do because we are beyond proud of “our” kids. In this community we consider those who live here our own. And my children honestly don’t care. They see their gains and are content. They humble me and teach me each year that the goal is growth. Gosh, I’m a blessed lady!

So, while I maybe going prematurely gray and legally insane, we are growing, learning and making gains with each new project and venture.

So if you asked me:

Is it hard? Yes.

Does it make me want to run away and hide? Yes.

Is it worth it? YES

Put your kids in 4H folks! You won’t regret it! (Mostly)

 

Alterations, DIY, Farm, Home

Personal Evolution

First, I must show you this beautiful painting that I bought at the local thrift store. I really never buy paintings because it seems like you never really know if it’s actual art or possibly just somebody’s Saturday amusement. However, I saw this painting and it just fit. I live on a farm surrounded by mountains and I am in love with the soft colors and the beautiful scenery.

When deciding colors for my kitchen office and living room I was incomplete puzzlement. I simply could not decide and my brain did not see colors.  I had been so good at this before but my frazzled color chooser had a short in it.  Prior to a couple years ago color had been my thing. I love color and the brighter the better.  Case in point, my previous kitchen was egg yolk yellow, my bedroom purple and my living room teal. It. Was. Colorful. But in this painting I learned something of myself. I learned that I had changed. I was now seeking the serenity and the calming effect that simple palettes and soothing colors had on me and my home and my family. In other words, I was growing up and I wanted  more peaceful and calm surroundings. I could tackle whatever things that lay ahead for my day knowing that I would come home and what I would find there would be soothing.

This came somewhat as a shock to me. I thought I knew myself better. But apparently as we age we become new people. It is also been found that the human brain doesn’t fully grow up or make connections that are relevant to good choices until about the age of 30. Let’s just say I am a few years after that but not much. It’s been interesting to me to see how other things have changed in my life.

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Can you smell me now?

This for example is something new. It is my favorite perfume in all the world. ( Dolce & Gabanna I’m ready for my sponsorship now.)  Never in all my born days would I ever consider buying a luxury item such as a designer perfume. But I have discovered that I like to smell pretty. And in order to smell pretty I do not mind spending a little bit more if I know it is a quality item that I will every day.  And I bought it at Marshals at half price… so, yeah.

Same for the cut flowers I don’t get them very often but every now and then I do like to have a splash of color. That extra bit of nature that brings life into your space. And they’re so pretty. I used to think it was so selfish and frivolous to buy them.  Now I’m ok with it. It’s fine. It makes me happy.

I guess I should’ve known that my likes and tastes had taken a turn when I simply could not throw this rug out. For whatever reason I kept it and I did not even know why.  It was an inexpensive find and was totally replaceable. But I held onto it and as I look around I see that I have used the soft colors again and again throughout my home. I think it’s safe to say the bright and bold colors that I still love so dearly are not going to be finding their way onto my walls anymore. I’ve grown up just a little bit And now I’m seeking calm and comfort and simplicity. And I invited a friend over for dinner so I could borrow her color eyes and now I have a color plan for my downstairs.  *happy sigh*

I cannot wait to finish all of the painting on the lower floor and post pictures of its transformation. You will be sure to find a soothing color scheme throughout my house when I am done. I guess growing up isn’t so bad after all.

DIY, Farm, Frugal, Getting Girly, Home, Organize

My Pantry

Ok, confession time…. I actually posted this by complete accident.  I meant to just get the pictures and then go back and write the post but obviously I reversed the process. So here is the *actual* article.

Now, this room is shabby at best.  It’s basically shelves in a half sunken room off of my kitchen.  Nothing special.  Concrete, unfinished boards and canning supplies.  But I took a shine to this ratty little corner of my home.  It became a pleasure to see my canning jars lovingly lined up on the shelves.  Some bursting with past produce and some awaiting their turn to be filled up with home canned goodness.  Not only does it hold all my kitchen essentials it can serve as a shelter should we need it.  (We don’t get hurricanes or tornadoes here but you never know)

And so because this little room is near and dear to me I have a plan to give it a make over.  Of course. The first step was sealing all those pesky cracks because old saw dust insulation kept trickling down on me…. not fun…especially when there are spiders and one might accidentally mistake said sawdust for a spider running down one’s back…maybe.

Anyhow, that was a simple fix.  I DIYed a quick wall paper paste and used large sheets of white card stock to paste over the cracks. Ta-da! Take that tricky saw dust!

The next faze will be to white wash the whole shebang.  I am planning on going totally old school on this little jobby so  I am going to mix up another DIY for white wash.  This will be my first go with that and if it works well I plan on using it for the interior of the smaller outbuildings to brighten things up (so I can see when I go hunting in the large freezer).

Finally, I plan to use those awesome vintage wall papers to dress up those plain white shelves.  It’s going to be all granny blissed out I tell ya’!

I am super excited for this little make over and as soon as my little self is able I want to put some time into it.

Happy DIY!

 

 

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What awaits down the pantry steps?
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Shelves full of jars and totes full crafting supplies … these are a few of my favorite things!

 

 

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Though she be shabby- she be useful!
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Are you in love with these vintage papers?! Guilty!

What do you think?  I will put out a  completed “tour” once it is finished.  Until then, have a wonderful day!

Farm, Home, Life, Organize

The Hidden Corners

A picture is worth a thousand words….

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Exhibit A: side view of glorious mess
Exhibit B: top view of glorious mess

This glorious mess was my craft closet. The place you go to for glue sticks and markers. Where the glitter, paper and paint hang out. Where the wild things are.

I was doing admirably well on my decluttering mission but I could not face the craft cupboard. You see, I have been a teacher for the last decade. That pile of junk represented years of well thought out activities and all the chaos that they bring. It represented children whose faces lit up when I told them it was time for art. It was their pride in creating something of their own that made me just so happy to be the one who got to share that moment with them.

It was also a festering cubby that had grown into an aggressive stash. It would attack anytime someone opened the door searching for a clipboard. It was time…

The empty space. Wow. That’s a pretty big cupboard!

I have come to the conclusion that these things just take time. I am still adjusting to not being a full time teacher. It hurts a bit not to be that anymore but it’s where I’m at. I gave myself permission to get rid of what I no longer needed and also to be who I am right now. This stuff that is so meaningless was tied into who I was, or who I had been. Now I have set it free and also myself.

I can honestly say I feel like the possibilities are endless. God use me for YOUR glory. Make me what you will.  ❤

Also some cool bananas I drew a while back. Because Bananas.

….🎹🎶🎵”Isn’t she lovely?”🎼🎵🎤…..

Um, sorry I was having a moment. Anyway, all the useful stuff found its way back home. No more leftover school stuff and half baked art projects. I may or may not have opened the door just to gaze at it 10x in a row…

I know it doesn’t seem like much but this cupboard really nagged me. More for what it represented to me than anything else. Sometimes the things we collect can really hold our minds in limbo. I have found decluttering to me is much like showering or praying.  The weight of worry lessens and you just feel better about life in general.

Unfinished business is always at the tail end! Thrift and gift time! I take out the trash then I can donate or gift any useful items in not going to use.

Aaahhhh…..did you hear that? It was the cupboard door closing with nary a bump!

Best of everything to you all!

Farm

Spring Is Around The Corner

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God’s handiwork this morning

I know it may be a bit wintry in this picture but it was a lovely cool still morning. Just as if the seeds in the ground had started listening for their cue to rise. Instead of dew we had snow but the feeling of spring was there.

What a view! My neighbors probably thought I was crazy to stand in my driveway (in flip flops) just to catch the sunrise finishing it’s morning trek into the heavens. But you should have seen it! Billowing clouds full and glistening with the paleness of early sunshine streaming out onto the lightest dusting of pure white snow. I wish I had a better camera to do it justice. I am blessed to wake up to God’s handiwork every morning!

Have a beautiful day!

Farm

Our New Babies

Introducing Sage and Sorrel our lovely little dairy maids! These two girls were born late last winter and are sweet as can be. We have not yet decided if we will have them bred and get babies or simply keep them for lawnmowers as we have a lot of space to clear. By the way… ***BABY GOATS ARE SO ADORABLE!*** yes, I really needed caps for that. Seriously,  Google baby goats and tell me they aren’t the cutest thing ever. So if we do have them bred you can bet your boots I will be posting cuteness everywhere 🙂 you’re welcome!

Farm, Food

Eggcellent

I am a happy chicken mama right now!  Those ladies upped their game and I am getting an easy dozen a day and usually round 14-16.  So happy! Super eggcited!

Some of the things we did to make our girls happy:

Cleaned the coop

Made a hot mash with oatmeal, cornmeal, molasses and oyster shells

Finished the outdoor pen

Fed cracked corn for scratch grains outside

Fed kitchen scraps once a day outdoors

Our neighbor also killed 2 foxes behind our house a week ago so that may have been a factor as well.  I’m not sure what made everything cluck, er… click but we got eggs so I’m a happy girl!

From our farm to yours “Bock!” (that’s chicken talk for  happy Monday)

p.s. These lovely homegrown gems are posted on the classifieds!

p.p.s. We have a FB page just for farmy things! Henneke Farm

Farm, Home, Life

Frosty Morning on the Farm

We had an early morning appointment for my middle girl today. She has been seeing the physical therapist for her digestive system and her appointment times are usually 7 am. We were on the verge of running late but it was just so beautiful in that barely there light I had to take a couple of pictures.  I have never felt more at home than I do here. God has truly blessed us and this morning was a perfect breathless moment when it all flooded in.

Until my kids started fighting in the car at least!

Wherever you are I hope you are at home.

Farm, Life

Living the Dream

We went to the farmers and merchants banquet last night. My husband was helping out up there and we got to get a look at who is getting things done here in our little valley.

As the awards were given out it was fun to hear the stories of all the farm projects people had going on. The “Ag Woman of the Year Award” was given to a sweet little lady who began farming with her husband when they were in their early 40s. It was inspiring to hear how one couple (along with kids and grand kids) began.

My husband commented, “That’s us!”. While I am not yet 40 *ahem!*…(thanks hubs) I had to agree. We have a sweet little hobby farm with a lot of potential. While we haven’t narrowed the focus yet on which avenue we would like to pursue yet we have lots of fun dreaming.

There are a few ideas brewing right now and I am fascinated with the idea agritourism. I know if we keep working at it we will hit on the true purpose for our little farm. For right now I’m just trying to enjoy the journey and not get into a hurry. All in time.