Fall on the Farm

“Autumn is the season to find contentment at home by paying attention to what we already have.”

Fall is here and for the last few years I have said how it is my favorite time of year. Now after the crazy summer we had I think I know why.

As much as the fall routine makes us busy and takes up our time it really is a slow down, the garden is out, the chickens are butchered (almost), the pigs are grown and ready to go, or gone, the horses are out to pasture, the cows are coming home soon and the calves are sold.

And I’m not just bailing on you guys; I finally picked up my journal again last week and started writing again… as therapeutic as it is, summer just never allows me a moment to sit and write, we are busy, much of the time is spent growing our farm, garden, and children. I do find and choose other ways to relax and spend my time enjoying the things around me in the summer though. I spend my time in the sun on the deck, in the garden, in the yard playing, and taking in everything around me. So although I’d like to have made time to write more, this past summer has proven that sometimes priorities make them selves.

So now even though it’s fall and the snow has already shown itself a few times, the weather is cold and I have more time inside I have more structure to my day now that the kids are in their activities; they are going to school and during the week we have a schedule. I hope to write more, to you and for me.

I’m not complaining about the summer I love the heat and the spontaneity summer brings. I love when my house is filled with people unexpectedly, when the barbecue gets lit last minute to roast some hotdogs and hamburgers for an unexpected deck party, when it rains and we have a day of crafting and reading inside or when the sun shines and we find adventures outside.

Those of you who know me you know I don’t like being cold but fall brings on a different kind of cold it’s a cozy feeling and I can turn the fireplace on, I can light candles, I can decorate I can keep up with the dishes and the laundry although my husband would probably disagree! It brings a sort of structure and expectedness to daily life that isn’t there in the summer.

I love cooking meals that I’ve grown it’s always a goal to try and plate everything from my own garden, my own barnyard, my own home! Everything that sits on our plates is grown right here from our own efforts, from all the work and chaos of summer.

Fall for me is the time to reflect, it’s a time to enjoy the calm and the quiet. Even if it’s getting colder we can still play outside we can collect leaves and pinecones so we can build crafts, we can clean up and get ready to start fresh again. So although I would love to live in a warmer climate somewhere where it’s summer all the time and I never have to bundle up because I’m so cold where I never feel chilled to the bone I love that there is a reset and when the leaves turn and the sun sets sooner and it’s beautiful.

-A

 

Spring is here on the Farm!

 

Spring is in the Air

We have had some busy days this spring on the farm already. There has been a lot of work already started and more MUCH MORE to come! The flooding in the yard has gone down substantially and we are looking forward to getting some of the areas fixed that got a little washed out. The whole community has had some major flooding this spring in fact.

 

I am really excited to have ordered some trees, seeds, plants, and chickens all set to arrive this month. Planting up our gardens this year is going to be a lot of work with the planned food and plants we have going in, but at the end of the season when we get to harvest all the food to feed our family for they year it will be all worth it.

I have big plans for the birds this summer too. I have ordered 100 broilers we will grow up and butcher in the early fall. I don’t think the 65 that we managed to raise (first time growing them and we lost quite a few) last year will quite last us until butcher time this year so I am excited to try out some new methods and hopefully we don’t lose as many going forward this year! I also have plans to get 20 new laying hens in July, ones that are already established layers, I would like to increase our laying potential here too, our birds we have right now have been around for a few years, one still from the first birds we got when we moved in so the laying potential is low and often we have a low supply in the house.

We have baby pigs running around in the barn right now with momma and they are too cute. The sow is a really great mom and she is raising 11 of them, even one that I didn’t think would make it thru the first couple days! The other two sows are due to farrow in the summer time, accident we had with them and the boar getting out, bad timing but all is good because they will be nice and warm and shouldn’t have cold risk to get in the way of babies surviving.

Processed with MOLDIV

We have one baby cow now and one more to come soon. Mom and baby are doing well right now and I am getting a little too excited for someone who didn’t want cows in the first place for the other to have hers!

 

 

I’d like to go into the winter with a hearty supply of eggs, chicken pork, and if Steve gets out this year hunting (don’t tell him I said so) some red meat in the freezer too… not to mention the plans with harvesting and storing or preserving the vegetables, and berries from around here too! It will be busy but we will just keep plugging along and knowing that we are raising farm fresh healthy food for our family!

I have ambitions to do more, not today but one day… maybe bees? Sheep? If anyone has tips let me know! Anything I can do produce our own food I am game for trying!

We have some big tree plans coming too, I have ordered from the shelterbelt program some trees to help out with some wind and dust block as well as some pretty flowers, tasty berries, and eye catching giants. I have been wanting to find just the right trees and shrubs that would work here and do us well since we moved in and now that we are many years into our journey I know we have to get something in the ground so we can still be alive to see some of the results! I have ordered Elm trees so those have a 200-year life span! We have done some major pruning down in the front yard bush area, we have cut back all the lilacs and it is looking clean and nice out there! There is still quite a bit of clean up to do out there but its on its way to looking good, and I can finally see the other trees, shrubs, and bushes in there and what they need from me to keep growing and look beautiful!

Processed with MOLDIV

So I am excited for the projects we have coming up, I am excited for the growing season and all the homegrown food we have coming this harvest season! I am looking forward to the summer, bbqs, campouts, and lots of time with friends and family! I hope your summer is great too!

-A

 

We are stronger together!

Stronger Together
We’ve all heard it, some of us have thought it, and some have even dared to say it out loud, even right to the face of a parent just trying to parent…

You spend too much time away from your kids because you work!

How can you be fulfilled JUST being a stay at home mom?

You took your baby out in public in a sleeper and didn’t get her dressed?

Wow that outfit looks elaborate why didn’t you just let her wear a comfy sleeper?

I can’t believe you cover your baby while you nurse her how stuffy for her!

Uhg cover up while you feed him you are in public for crying out loud!

Formula is so bad for your baby, don’t you know what’s in that stuff?!

You should be using formula you can’t make enough on your own for your baby to grow!

How could they sleep with the baby in the bed, how long are they planning to live like that?

How awful that baby is all alone in his crib all night?

That baby is so spoiled being picked up every time he cries.

How could she use the “CIO” method, her baby should be held and loved all the time.

Why wont they just give that kid a sucky? Do they like listening to her cry?

How old is that child? Why would they still be using a soother?

They just left her baby with someone to go out by herself, how lazy/selfish can’t they just take the kid with them?

How does she spend every waking minute with her child, doesn’t she need some alone time, it makes for a better parent/child relationship?

Her kids don’t nap anymore; they are too young and need their naps they aren’t going to develop properly.

Why are her kids still napping? She can’t get out to do anything during the day still.

Why is she leaving so early, she is so tied to her children’s bedtime.

Her child is STILL awake it’s so late; doesn’t she know how much sleep children require?

Look at her organic, free range, non GMO, etc. etc. snacks she is giving her kids what a crunchy mom!

Oh no did you see her open that bag of Cheetos, how could she fill her kids with all those chemicals.

Why is she STILL nursing her child he’s too old for that!

I can’t believe she quit nursing so soon he didn’t get all he needed from her!

And so on and so on….

 

I know just as well as anyone else that there are some situations in this world that require attention. This world is not butterflies and rainbows; I don’t burry my head in the sand trying to ignore the fact that sometimes there is a need for intervention and support. There are dangerous or unsafe conditions that require this, but that is not what I am talking about here. I am referring to the day-to-day judgments, or differing of opinions on child rearing, the unsolicited advice given to parents as they navigate this world of raising tiny humans. To concern ourselves with trivial things when there is no danger is wasteful of our energy. Energy that could be spent on our own families and ourselves!

And I do mean unsolicited, because sometimes we need ideas, other opinions, other people to jump in and say “hey this is what worked for me!”

For the most part I believe we as adults often forget that most of us are just trying to do our very best, that we genuinely care for our families, and we usually have put enough second guessing, guilt ridden, worried time ourselves into the decisions we are making, we really don’t need the extra stress wondering or hearing out loud when other people think we are doing something “wrong.”

We all have expectations going into parenthood, things we are going to do, things we will never do… and we all have had some or all of those expectations shattered by reality. Sometimes things don’t work out the way we’d wanted and sometimes we beat ourselves up for that, we don’t need the judgments of other people to pile on top of all that we already feel!

We can’t win!

So let’s stop playing the game!

We have all done it, maybe not out loud but we have all passed judgment on another parent for choosing a different path than ours, lets all just admit it and then move on and stop!

Its tough not to judge, its hard when we have put time and energy into making a decision for our families, or our children, only to see that someone else is doing it differently, we put hours of worry, research, and thought into something only to see that someone is succeeding, or failing in some cases, by doing things different. It’s a hit to our ego, a jealous reaction, a grass is greener, or high and mighty feeling we all get at some point while we parent.

Don’t tell me you’ve never stood in line at the store and listened to a screaming child feeling pride looking at your own quiet child in that moment; maybe because (god forbid) you’ve handed your phone over to them, or maybe because your pocket snacks are doing their job. It’s okay to feel pride; it’s not okay to judge the other mom because her method isn’t working today. You know your little bundle has been there or will be there at some point so instead you look over and say we’ve all been there! Solidarity Momma!

We are all working our best to provide, take care of and love our families, how we get there or what creates that life we strive for is not up to anyone else’s judgment! We can never know the whole story; every situation and circumstance is unique and we don’t know what someone else is going thru. We all see challenges in different ways, and all handle them different too! Children and parents included are all different; we all have different skills and abilities.

We spend enough time as parents judging ourselves and worrying about our parenting abilities and we don’t need others to join us in the process. We need others to build us up, we are all parents in this together and we need to cheer each other on, be a shoulder to cry on, and ear to listen, or a spread a word of encouragement. We need camaraderie knowing that someone else has gone thru it, is going thru it or is about to.

We are stronger together!Untitled design

-A

Seafood Feast

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The last time we got together with our neighbours was a great time. Of course getting together with everyone when we can is always fun, we have a lot of great laughs and always seem to stay up way too late enjoying a few beverages but this time we filed our bellies with tasty seafood too. Jen makes an amazing spread. She cooks up all the seafood, the crawfish, shrimp, crab, and lobster, she mixes it all together with veggies like corn, mushrooms, potatoes, and carrots. sprinkles on the pomegranate and squeezes out the lemon. Then she places a candle in the middle of it all laid out on the table and we dig in. This is a meal we all look forward to her making. It is so much work for her but the attention to detail is amazing right down to the desert that of course none of us are hungry for but can’t say no to! Even full of food we all look forward to the next time she makes it again!

March “Garden” Tour!

Check out the March Tour! Not much to see but snowflakes around here… but we are doing our best!

 

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Spring Fever?

Its March, I think that’s really all I need to say for anyone who lives in Canada… March weather is unpredictable, its mean, its windy, snowy, rainy, and cold, then sunny, melting, muddy and messy. And then it starts all over again. It’s in like a lion and out like a lion there is no lamb, unless you raise them and they have started to arrive!

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So I fill my house with flowers, and plants that bring spring feelings right to my eyes and nose. And we choose to get excited about things like the holiday up coming where we get to spend time with our friends and family. And we wait for the Mean Month March to be behind us and Spring to really arrive! So for now Happy “Spring” wherever you are and whatever the weather may be!

-A

Arizona Family, Friends & New Friends

For any of my readers who also want to live vicariously thru my parents travel adventures!! Check out Moms latest Blog!

Our Travel Blog

We drove from Winslow to Tonapah the next day. We stayed with my husband’s cousin and his wife for a couple of nights. It was great to exchange the snow, ice and wind for the warmth and family in the Arizona Desert! We met one of their friends which care takes over the summer months, and found him to be a wonderful story teller. Having spend time in Vietnam during the war I had many questions, that were answered with    “ he’s been there” opinions, and was just mesmerized by his stories of the not only the war, but his life in the Arizona Desert!   Our second day in Tonopah was not hot by any means, but warmer than home. The rain sprinkled, so they said, but I felt maybe two drops! Watching the goats and chickens were great, just basically free range, and they do get into some predicaments…

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