Kids

As usual, things are busy in the World of Weeks.

The girls both had orthodontist visits.

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Naomi got a mold taken of her mouth so they can make her an expander.  She just doesn’t have enough room for her teeth to come in.  Hopefully this will prevent the need for braces, although it’s more likely that it will simply reduce the amount of time she’ll need to wear braces, which won’t be needed for a few more years.  She still has several teeth to lose.

 

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Lili, on the other hand, did get braces on her top teeth.  She’s had minimal problems and is taking very good care of her teeth so far.  She will only need to wear them 12-16 months.

 

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Little Bit is growing and changing daily.  She is really working hard on holding her head up and is beginning to use her legs more.  She is not fond of tummy time, but she needs to work on those core muscles.

She is no long swimming in the newborn outfits.  In fact, she fills them out quite nicely.  It won’t be long until they will be put away and saved for other foster babies we might have in the future.

 

We took a trip to a local farm with our homeschool co-op.  The girls fed a long-horn bull, cows, calves, llama, goats, rabbits and chicken.  We were entertained by the llama chasing the calves.  We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day on the farm.

We’re beginning to gear up for the holidays now.  It’s hard to believe that Christmas is only 8 weeks away.  Seems like not so long ago we were opening Christmas presents and now we’re planning again.

 

 

The Goat That I Don’t Remember

Our life experiences, even those we can’t remember, play a significant role in shaping our personalities.  They help determine the things we like or dislike.  They peak our interest in certain things.

I remember spending a lot of time at my grandparents home as a child.  Until this weekend, I wasn’t aware of how much time I spent there as a child.  I remember the outhouse, that was very scary to use at night.  I remember the chicken coop and the chickens.  I remember eating oatmeal with half-n-half.  I remember my grandmother’s cooking, which was always yummy!!  I remember several things about time at my grandparents home, except I don’t remember the goat.  For a matter-of-fact, I had no idea there was ever a goat until my sister shared that information with me.

Could it be the goat that I don’t remember found its way into my psyche and that is why I have such a big desire to have a home in country with goats?  It’s a life experience I don’t remember and I find that lack of memory disappointing.

Maybe the goat that I don’t remember has nothing to do with my deep interest in goats now, but I certainly enjoy being around goats and still hope that one day I have the opportunity to raise a few goats.

An Upcoming Visit to the Farmy

As we venture out to the world of RV ownership and travel, I still hold onto the hope that  one day things will work out for us to own our own little homestead.   We still strive to live a more self-sufficient lifestyle, by raising our own food.  We are fortunate to have the space for a garden that provides us good food and will be adding some blueberry and raspberry bushes as well as a couple apple trees this spring.  However, we don’t have the space or live in an area that allows us to raise any animals for food.  I am fortunate though, to have connected with a wonderful woman by the name of Cecilia who is living the life I hope to one day live.

I’ve written about Cecilia and her little farm before.  We’ve had the privilege to visit her farmy a couple of times.  She also raised chickens and a pig for us.  Her organic farming methods are exactly what have envisioned doing ourselves one day and I’m lucky to have her living near enough to us that we can visit, experience and learn from her.

Recently, she added to her little farm and I am experiencing a mixture of excitement and jealousy.

She is now raising GOATS!!!!!

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One of Cecilia’s goat kids.

If all goes well, the girls and I will be heading to the farmy in a couple weeks.  Hopefully the weather will cooperate.  We can enjoy the goat kids, visit the pigs, cows, chickens and dogs.  Help out a little bit around the farm and create life-long memories – because as you know, I’m quite fond of finding opportunities to create great memories.  And a side benefit is getting my farm fix.

If you also desire to have your own farm one day and would like to gain some farming experience, Cecilia offers others the opportunity to come stay at the farm for a week of experience.  Just visit her blog here for more details.

The camera will join us on our farm field trip so stay tuned for pictures and our tales from a visit to the farmy.

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Aren’t Cecilia’s new goat kids adorable?

 

 

Whoa Nellie!!! It’s Cold Outside!!!!!!

Burrrrrr!!!!

Teeth chattering!!!!

Frost bite warning!!!!!

It’s been dangerously cold here this past week.  We also got snow.  Not a lot.  Only 3-4 inches, but enough that I needed to shovel the driveway, especially the end of the driveway where the snow plow pushed all the snow off the road.

When I shovel, I have time to think about things.  It’s something that terrifies my husband – me thinking, not me shoveling.  This time, I was thinking about the bitter cold and whether or not I’m prepared to deal with it on our farm one day.  Do I have the attire necessary for working in these types of conditions?

No!  I’ll need to make some purchases.  Like this . . . . .

 

And this . . . .

 

These look like a good addition to the wardrobe . . . .

A warm cap that adds some color . . . .

Warm socks are a must . . . .


And work gloves.  Nice warm work gloves . . . .

But it’s not just preparing my attire for winter on the farm, but being prepared to take care of the animals in winter.  I know what I need to keep myself safe and warm from the elements, but am I as prepared to keep my animals safe and warm from the elements?

Each season requires something a little different for the animals, but for me, winter feels as if it may be a bit more challenging.

Trekking thru the snow toward the barn as the wind tosses snow and ice crystals into my face.  That reminds me . . . I need to add a scarf or face mask to my winter farm attire.


Maybe a hat like this for those extra cold and windy days . . . .

It’s not as easy as throwing layers of clothing on the animals.
They need to always have fresh water to drink. Water freezes quickly in these conditions.
There are differences in food needs in the winter. They don’t have fresh green grass, weeds, bugs, etc. to graze/peck on this time of the year and since I want my animals to be feed good quality, chemical free, non-GMO foods, I need to be prepared for that.
They need adequate shelter from the conditions and good bedding to keep them warm.
What else do they need different in the winter than other times of the year?

There is so much to learn!

Both hubby and I have read books, magazines, blogs, forums, etc.  We are learning from those with experience, but it doesn’t erase the fact that so much of the knowledge we gain will be a result of our own experiences on our little farm.

So I prepare as best I can now and then wait for the experience that teaches us so much, at times more than what we learn from books.

We are new to the whole farming gig. There is a learning curve and while we certainly need the book knowledge and/or knowledge of those with experience, we will still have to learn things for ourselves.

Until then,  it’s time to break out the reading material I have put away. Time to arm myself with some of the knowledge necessary to farming in the winter as well as other times of the year.

If you have a favorite homesteading/farming book, please leave me a comment.  If you have knowledge you wish to share, please do.  I need all the power I can get for my future adventures on the farm.

Mom, Can I Have a Baby Chick?

This was the question Naomi asked me recently.

We’ve had discussion about the animals that will one day be on our little farm and hae made it clear that a coop will be built (if there isn’t already one in place) and baby chicks will be the first farmyard animals to grace our homestead.

We have 3 dogs and 1 of them belongs to Lili.

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Naomi doesn’t have her own pet and longs for one she can call her very own.  I don’t know that a chicken is the best choice for a pet, but Naomi has plans.  She wants to pick out her baby chick.  She wants to name it.  She wants to hold it gently, like she did this chick when we visited our friend Cecilia on her farm.

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She wants to take care of it and keep it in her room.  I informed her that the baby chicks will all need to stay together and she has concerns about how she will remember which one is her.  We can figure that out.

One of the things I look forward to on the homestead is the space.  Space for animals.  Maybe some cats for the barn.  I would love a Great Pyrenees or two to guard the farm and animals.  Naomi could have her baby chick, goat, dog, or cat.  She has also expressed her desire to have a Kunekune pig like Cecilia’s.

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With more room to roam, Naomi can decide what animal she wants to call her own – within reason of course.  It’s important to her and I can’t wait to see what animals she ends up choosing.  Although knowing her she’ll want a dog, cat, baby chick, goat, Kunekune and more 🙂

 

Adventures, Part 4

The hotel we stayed in had a wonderful breakfast included in the price of the room.  With 6 of us, that was a great savings and each morning we were able to leave the hotel with full tummies, ready to tackle our day.

On this particular day, we were taking a drive.  We headed south to Colorado Springs.  No offense to Denver, but IMO Colorado Springs is absolutely breathtaking.  The views are spectacular and it is less congested than Denver.

After a drive thru Colorado Springs we headed east into the country.  We were on our way to visit a special friend and to see her little farm.

With our desire to homestead growing stronger, I began searching out other blogs to hear about others homesteading experiences and to hopefully learn from them.  I became very interested in one particular blog.  As I continued to read I continued to learn more and discovered new interests.  One day, the writer invited her readers to go back to a time when having a pen pal was the thing to do.  Having had a pen pal in my younger years, I accepted the offer and we began writing letters back and forth.  Pen on paper.  We shared stories of our childhood, learned about our families and became good friends.

I also learned that the writer is a master herbalist and began learning more about herbal medicine and shopping on-line at her store.

Now we were on our way to have lunch with her, her husband, and some of their friends.

It was about an 1 1/2 hour drive from our hotel in Denver.  We were able to see the countryside, although our view of the mountains disappeared in the clouds.  I have absolute confidence it’s a beautiful view on a sunny day.

We finally arrived at the little farm and were greeted by other guests and our host, Katie.

We had a wonderful meal of soup, made from homegrown ingredients, and bread baked in the wood-heated oven.  The kids played while the adults chatted.  Lili wanted to see the chickens, Katie took Lili and me out to the coop.  For the first time ever, Lili and I were able to hold a chicken.  Lili fed the chickens.  She learned how to pick them up on her own.  She was in heaven and once again, I wished I had carried my camera out with us.

That afternoon was filled with smiles and laughter and I was thrilled to finally meet the woman I only knew from letters, pictures and blog posts.  It was a fantastic afternoon and one that remains high on my list of wonderful memories on our trip to Colorado.

Me and my pen pal friend, Katie.
Me and my pen pal friend, Katie.

 

How Have Things Really Changed?

I was asked a question by a WOW reader. What is interesting about her question is that I had been pondering the same question myself.

“having been to the Farmy have any of your ideas changed?”

The short answer to this question is, yes.

First, let me go back a few blog posts when I mentioned that our homestead isn’t happening in the foreseeable future.   In that post I said I would discuss this later and I think now is an appropriate time.

While our plan has not changed, the timing of our plan has now changed.  Hubby and I would very much like our own little farmy to happen sooner rather than later, but sometimes life and the responsibilities of life have to take the lead.  Our hope had been to find property by this fall, but upon further inspection and introspection, we decided that it would make more sense for us to wait several months before we begin our property search again.  Not that I haven’t perused the real estate sites from time-to-time, but we won’t be making any property shopping trips in the near future.

Our last property search made us much more aware of some things that we needed to take care of at home before we could move forward.  Much like our visit to the “farmy” has made me much more aware of things to look for and think about as we move forward in finding property.

For example, we have struggled with the amount of land we should purchase.  Our visit to the “farmy” gave me a much better picture of how we could set things up on less land.  Maybe I don’t need to look at the 30 acre pieces of property, even though most of those 30 acres are in trees.  What if we find 5 acres of land, is that sufficient?  10 acres?  How many acres of land do we need in trees if we want to use wood as our heat source?  How many acres of pasture?  My visit and conversations with Cecilia has caused me to seriously reconsider some of our land requirements.

I had also envisioned spreading things out more on our little farm, but now see how having things closer to the house makes much more sense.  A more compact farm makes complete sense to me.  Less steps to the barn.  Less steps to the garden.  Less steps to the orchard.

We had also been concerned about having too much open land.  In our minds open land means more work for us.  That thought process had changed for me now.  More open land means more pasture for grazing.   If we want to raise pasture fed meat, then having more open land is a good thing.

So how have things really changed since our visit to the “farmy?”

I feel like I have a much better vision of what it will take for us to create a successful farm for our family.  I better understand the importance of keeping things compact.  I see the amount of work it takes to run a farm and having everything close will help us run our farm efficiently.  Finding ways to make work easier is key.

This was also the first time I was able to see guinea fowl at work.  They are indeed noisy birds, but I love the noise they make.  I love the fact that they move all around the farm, hard at work taking care of bugs.

 

As I stated in my last blog post, I now want a cow.  I didn’t want a cow before.  They are big animals and the bigger the animal, the more the feed.  However, I hadn’t considered how milk from cows can be fed to other animals such as chickens and pigs.  I hadn’t considered how much good compost a cow can produce.  I didn’t realize how easy it is to make wonderful, creamy butter.  Because I hadn’t considered a cow on our farm, I didn’t think about the fact that a calf could potentially be raised for meat.  Cows have great purpose on a farm.

The thing that probably changed the most for me is how my desire to live the homesteading lifestyle grew.  Being there and participating in a small way made that fire burn hotter and I am armed with more knowledge that will only help in our little farm’s success.

Now, as I peruse the real estate sites, I’m armed with more information, a better vision and knowledge that will help us find the right property for our homestead.  A slower pace to our future than we had first hoped, but we’ll get there one day.