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Sometimes I think my dog is dead..

Sometimes I walk by the window, clutch my chest and exclaim..."Good lord, Max is dead!"

Oh nope...he's just sleeping...




That would be me cursing...

For some reason, bugs love me.  They love being in my hair, on my skin, crawling over my body while I sleep and now....lounging around on my lips.


You can read all about how I lost my shit one morning over a tick that was on me.

One might think that I would be over bugs since I live in the country, but I'm not.  And the other morning took the cake.  I was just getting ready to leave when Jon walked up to say bye.  His eyes bugged out and he quickly reached out to swipe something off my lip.  Before I could ask what it was, I smelled it...that stinky smell that only comes when a ladybug has been crushed.  I had a ladybug on my lip and I didn't even know it!


I know I'm probably not the only one with these stinky smelly things in their house, but man...they are driving me crazy!


Lost: one cloth diaper...

Lost: One cloth diaper

Description: white Bummis Tot Bots Easy Fit diaper, recently dyed pink

Date: Monday, January 23rd

Location:  Somewhere in Lincoln

Yikes!  I lost one of my favorite cloth diapers!  Clara had one of them on at her doctor's appointment. I took it off and put it in my bag and now it's gone...  If you haven't tried the Bummis Tot Bots, they are my favorite diapers by far.  I love the pocket aspect of them and the lining stays attached.  And they are very absorbent and have a great fit on Clara.  I got four of them at my baby shower and they quickly turned into my favorite. I also accidently dyed all of the diapers slightly pink by washing them with a red sweatshirt.  Dumb, dumb, dumb....  When something gets washed in hot, it has a tendency to bleed...isn't that one of the cardinals rules of laundry?  I must have been running on little sleep that day, because that is indeed what I did.  And yesterday I washed the diapers with a fitted sheet and the hot water fried the elastic in the sheet!

Note to self:  Do NOT wash anything with the cloth diapers unless it's a towel.


10 things I've learned about parenting in six short weeks..

1.  Never say never.

2.  As in never say, "I would never co-sleep with my baby".  Because pure exhaustion and a baby that won't sleep unless held in your arms leads to sleeping baby in the Moby, which leads to sleeping baby in Moby wrap and mom laying down on the couch to sleep, which leads to sleeping baby in Moby wrap and mom sleeping in her own bed, which leads to "Awwww....screw it kid... just get into bed with us".

3.  Said sleeping in bed with baby will lead to frantic searches over the Internet at three in the morning questioning if co-sleeping = bad parenting.

4.  Breastfeeding in the side lying position in bed with baby = new mom bliss and lots more new mom sleep.

5.  Realizing that baby will sleep through the night someday and today is not that day.  Expecting baby to sleep through the night at six weeks = unhappy parent.  Going with the flow and enjoying three am feedings = happy parent.

6.  Breastfeeding is hard!  Cluster feeding and growth spurts will make a mom question their milk supply and sanity.  But it's worth it!  Take it a day at a time and use Milkworks, one of our greatest resources in Lincoln.  Also the website http://www.kellymom.com/, will help to calm a new mom's anxieties about cluster feeding.

7.  Cloth diapering is fun!  Once I learned a good wash routine, thanks to the Rockin Green website, it's been a piece of cake.  We are so lucky in Lincoln to have another great resource, Circle Me, a cloth diaper store.  Visit them and buy lots!  They are so knowledgeable about cloth diapers and have a great selection.

8.  Don't have expectations about what kind of parent you will be.  As soon as little Miss Clara came into our lives, she blew all of those expectation out of the water.  I never expected it to be so hard to be physically away from her and just want her to be so close all the time.

9.  Parenting is fun!  Watching Clara change everyday and become full of personality is the best job in the world!

10.  Seriously....sleep when the baby sleeps...  Experienced parents will preach it, but new parents must follow this golden rule.  Who cares about laundry and dishes, just sleep!


I said brrr

Cold. Weather. Sucks.

This has been a great winter so far but boy this week was rough. The cattle got out 5 times in a couple days. They just kept going through the polywire. It's harder to keep them in during the winter because they have much more hair and the frozen ground does not ground them as well so they don't feel much, if any, shock. So I was going to bring them a big round bale until I could come up with a more permanent solution but I went to turn on the tractor and it wouldn't start... So I tried to jump it with my Bronco and then the Bronco died and wouldn't start again.... So then I tried my F250 and it wouldn't start! All three of which were related to the cold weather. The tractor and the F250 had weak batteries that couldn't cut it in the cold. And I believe there's ice in the fuel system somewhere that caused problems with the Bronco. I eventually did get the tractor running when it warmed up the next day and brought the cattle a bale. So all was good. Until the next day... The cattle were standing around the waterer a lot and later I heard a lot of mooing. I soon discovered that the energy free drinker had frozen up somewhere and the cattle weren't getting any water. Luckily, I had put in a hydrant near the waterer, so I grabbed a water tank and moved the polywire back to the hydrant. 

And that's why I don't like winter. Any questions?

Jamie caught a glimpse of me bringing the water tank up for the cattle and she had to get a picture of it. What can I say, I was in a hurry and the four wheeler was the only thing that would start!


Jon's got skills...photography skills..

Jon's photography skills have been improving as of lately.  I thought I would share this gem from him.  First off, let's remember where he started, shall we?

I found this neat little pic of his socks all lined up in a row one day on my camera.  Kinda funny, huh?

Now, this is where he's at with his photography.

This is actually a picture through our front door.  The window perfectly frames the scene of Max watching the cows.  Quite the improvement, huh? 


My baby is a month old!

Wow, does that time go fast!  It's hard to imagine life without her.  She's changing so fast and I just want to squish her and keep her little.  Before we know it, she will be off to Kindergarten..gulp!

Of course, we had to commemorate her growth with monthly onesies.  These took me forever to make, because Photoshop and I don't get along very well.  But there is a really great tutorial I found, that took me step by step through Photoshop.  I also may have burned the first onesie...oops!

Just doing a few test shots...

That chair is my next big project.  I want to recover it or make a slipcover.  You know...when I actually have time...

This is the fabric I want to cover it with...and my sweet pea being ever so patient with our photo shoot.

I know Clara...it's rather shocking, isn't it?

Modeling on the quilt I hope to finish some day.  And yes, I did make my baby sit on safety pins as Jon likes to point out...it was a quick photo shoot, I promise!

Mom, you're funny...

Are we done yet?

And of course, a picture in her cloth diaper!


good fences

Our neighbors could care less about our fences but good fences do make for happy farmers.

I put up some hi-tensile fence this weekend. It took me a little longer than I had hoped but not bad considering it was pretty much a one man operation. And I took extra time to make it as straight as possible.

It's a two wire, hi-tensile (electric) fence using fiberglass posts. Right now the bottom wire is the only one hot (electrified). I haven't decided if I like the wire heights but they'll do for now.

Here's a glimpse of the first fence Jamie and I put in, almost a year ago. It's probably 2-3 times longer than the one I just put in. And, in all fairness, it has tons of corners and curves because we were trying to work along existing boundaries. But you have to see it in person to appreciate just how ugly it is. Boy did we learn a thing or two in the process of putting this up. I ruined a brand new roll of hi-tensile wire for one thing and this was one of the times that Jamie ended up in the E.R. One of the times...


Thoughts on a Monday morning

Whew...I think I'm almost back to my normal self!  It only took about a month and two days since little miss was born to feel that way, but I'm okay with that.  Pregnancy is hard on a body and giving birth is even harder!

Back to the farm.  I was pretty much absent the last couple months of my pregnancy from the farm details, but I'm getting back into the fold.  One project this year will be mostly under my direction is the market garden.  We have almost an acre of land that had previously been used as a garden and a portion had planted to asparagus.  The asparagus needs some TLC, but it was pretty plentiful last year.  My goal this year is to attend one, maybe two farmer's market and sell our produce and meat.  I'm pretty excited about this because I love growing veggies and last year I really slacked off.

This will be a challenge for me in a couple of different ways.  Number one, I've only ever grown a home garden.  Sizing up will bring some interesting challenges.  Increasing the organic matter and quality of soil will be one of my biggest projects.  The area has been neglected for a couple years and is pretty weedy.  It was easy in town to add organic matter.  Go to the nearest home store and buy a bag of compost and BAM!  Instant soil....  That will be neither feasible money and time wise.  I'm going to have to do it the old fashioned way by building it up through crop rotation and green manures.

The second challenge for me is the actual selling, packing and marketing of the produce.  I will hopefully be attending the Growing Farmers workshop at Community Crops in Lincoln.  I've looked over the classes and every single question I had thought of as a potential barrier for selling at market is covered in this 8 week class.  Hopefully it's not full and I can still get in, because I think this will help me immensely.  Jon and I kinda do things backwards on the farm sometimes.  We jump in head first and then figure out what we are doing after we've started the project.  For some people that wouldn't work, but we always manage to squeak by with little to no experience in this farming adventure.  I'm looking forward to getting some good training for experienced market gardeners instead of having to trial and error everything. 

I feel like I'm a little behind already and that I should be starting my market garden planning, but as you can see I've been a little preoccupied.  When is it too soon to start her pulling weeds...six months old? Just kidding!


My washer and dryer keep telling me what to do..

....and boy is it annoying!!!

You see, about six months before we moved to the farm, Jon and I decided to buy a new washer and dryer.  Our old washer and dryer were hand me downs that were getting to be on their last leg.  The washer wasn't broke....yet, but it sure was making some funny noises!  Of course, we had to buy a front load washer and dryer, like this one.  Actually, I think that is our exact washer.

I remember marveling at our first load in our new washer and dryer.  Now THIS was technology at its best.  What cracked me up the most was that they played a song when they were finished.  They were so high tech that no simple buzz would do when they were finished.  I just had to listen for the nifty little song!  The only thing missing from these marvels was a self folding action.

The dryer was the first to start bossing me around.  I was washing and drying my bedspread and it was having a hard time drying.  I kept setting and resetting the dryer, but it still wasn't getting dry.  I tried putting it on Timed Dry...no luck.  Our dryer was so smart, that it was "sensing" that the bedspread was dry and was shutting off.  I had to run that dryer a couple times to actually get a fully dry bedspread.

Today I was washing cloth diapers and trying to figure out how to get more water in the machine.  Seems silly, but top loading washers are actually much better for washing cloth diapers since the cloth diapers can soak in the water.  Front load washers are so energy efficient because they sense how dirty the clothes are and only add just enough water.  I was starting to have an ammonia problem in my cloth diapers because they weren't able to soak in enough water.  Hopefully I have that problem figured out, but it's pretty annoying to have to trick my washer into adding in more water.

The dryer today was the last straw.  I came upstairs after putting in another load of laundry and told Jon that I will never be buying a front load washer and dryer again.  The stinking dryer was trying to tell me my cloth diapers were dry and they weren't!  I had to run the dryer twice and some of them still weren't dry.  My exact words to Jon were "I'm tired of my washer and dryer thinking they are smarter than me!"  Mark my words...my next washer and dryer will take orders only...none of this "sensing" business.*

*Re-reading this post makes me realize how much of a First World problem I have....


Ground Beef Pre-Ordering is Now Open

Just wanted to let everyone know that we have a couple hundred pounds of 100% grass fed, organically raised ground beef available for sale. We will be putting most of it up for sale on the Nebraska Food Coop but we wanted to offer it to you all directly before we do. We are offering the ground beef in bundles of 10 - 1lb packages for $4.50/lb or individual 1lb packages for $4.75/lb. You can use the email links on the blog or just give us a call, my cell is 402-309-4088.



Thought I'd give you an animal update. Here's a picture of some of the calves using the waterer (I let the cattle use it before I got the rest of the rock down and you can see how quickly they made an indention in front of the waterer)

There is a year and a half old heifer in the middle, back (no horns) and she is surrounded by five bull calves that were born this summer. They are almost the same size.

Here are the piglets, with the escapee sow, chowing down on some fruits and veggies.

Here's more piglets, with that same sow and one of the boars.

 And here are our "farm cats" doing what they do best - NOTHING!



When we moved to the farm there was an energy free cattle waterer sitting in the granary. One of the main goals of putting in the waterlines was to be able to use it this winter. I was finally able to do so a couple weeks ago.

I made a "pad" using rock instead of concrete. This will help to keep it from turning into a mudhole around the waterer.  I started out buying bags of gravel and rock from Menard's but eventually got smart and bought crushed rock from the quarry. Much, much cheaper. Here's the pad with some gravel in it: (the waterer is the gray and red thing, it has a ball in it that the cattle push down to get access to the water. The ball keeps the cold air out and helps to keep it from freezing)

 Here it is after I had put the crushed rock in. It's been a few days and it's holding up pretty well so far. Of course, I used scrap lumber lying around the farm, so I'm sure it won't last forever. I added the piece of tin to help serve as a wind break. Not sure if it does any good but it sounded good...

Watering animals in the winter is not an easy task. Right now the hogs and poultry are drinking out of rubber pans like these. When it starts to get really cold, it won't take long for the water to freeze. Since I do chores twice a day, it's not a big deal but it sure would be nice if they had access to water regardless of the temperature.

 I found this on Craigslist the other day and couldn't pass it up. I got it for about 40% of the retail price and it's never been used. These energy free drinkers do not come cheap but they are perfect for a setup like ours where we can't have electric water heaters in all the waterers. It's nothing fancy, just a super-insulated waterer but it should work really well for us.  This one is for hogs. I'm curious to see if the piglets can use it yet. Unfortunately, I didn't put underground valves with earth tubes near the hog pens (since the hogs will be relocated in the spring) so it'll probably have to wait until next winter.


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