Thursday, February 28, 2013

Muffin's Adventures

Muffin had to spend a couple days in the house with us.  She really liked that, as did I.  :-)
Of course it was great fun until the night.  She would get up every couple hours and start bleating and looking for us.  Richie would hang his hand over the bed and she'd come to him and lie down there. 
Sweet little thing! 

All tucked into a towel with a warm brick.

This was her spot in the kitchen while I was working in there. 
She explored the house a little, but  had a pretty difficult time walking on all of our floors. 
Now, muffin is out with her siblings, the house smells a lot better, and I miss her a little bit! :-)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Elsie had not one, not two...

...not even 3, but FOUR healthy little lambs today!  There are 2 boys and 2 girls.  I'll have my hands full bottle feeding all these little guys!

Brownie (big male)

Ginger (big female)
 Muffin (small female) 

Peanut (small male) 

The proud momma!

Saturday, February 23, 2013


Elsie is getting so big!
She can hardly walk because of the size of her udder.  Poor thing!

Lots of soap!  Seeing all the soap on the shelves is about as good as seeing all your filled canning jars lined up on the counter after a long day of processing!

As much as I would love to post some pictures of my new little sis, I won't be able to until she is officially adopted.  While children are in the foster care system, you cannot post any pictures of them publicly.  I can totally understand why, but it sure is hard!!! :-)  SHE IS ADORABLE.  She is a small little thing, dark curly hair and a little darker skin than Benjamin.  I'm looking so forward to holding her!

Thursday, February 21, 2013


It's been quite awhile since I've posted (again.)  Well, maybe someday I'll be retired from farming and have nothing to do but blog.  I guess my life would be pretty boring to blog about at that point though. :-)
Richie's been suffering from a cold/flu type of thing the last couple days.  Even with poor health, he's been going to work every day for several hours a day.  He's a tough one I tell ya. 

Yesterday I planted a bunch of pansies!

                                                                        And started lots of seeds!

 I finally have some soap all packaged up and ready to sell on our new website!  We had to get a new printer to do the lables. :-)

 The sheep are doing well...poor Elsie is as big as a barn.  She looks so pitiful.  Hopefully those lambs will hurry up and decide to be born.   

Mr. Big is getting bigger every day.  He got to go outside for the first time today.  He's been hanging around the house waiting for me to come out.  He helped me plant some seeds today too.
 He's such a cutie!  The sheep are all terrified of him.  Except for Elsie.  She lets him jump around and butt at her while she lies in the barn and chews her cud.  He likes to chew on my boots. 
Oh, and we got the most exciting news yesterday.  You all know my little brother Benjamin who we adopted about 2 1/2 years ago?  Well, he has a little sister named Marvelous that was born on Valentines day...and my folks are probably going to be able to adopt her!  The whole family is just bursting with excitement.  CPS may have her placed as a foster child in their home as early as TOMORROW morning!  YAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  THANK YOU LORD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, February 11, 2013


Yay!  I've finally started making soap again.  I've missed it.  These are lemon verbena that I made yesterday.  Today I made lavender apple and oatmeal milk and honey. 

My sister Valerie's Aussie had puppies several days ago.  Benjamin really likes them :-)

Mr. Big is doing very well.  He likes to eat!

Sandy in her truck.  It's her favorite place to be.

 Richie on his tractor.  It's his favorite place to be :-)

Guest Post

This is a post written by a very courageous wife, mother, and mesothelioma survivor named Heather.  She asked me to post this for her to help raise awareness of this disease.  Here is here blog, if you would like to read more!

Overcoming Cancer for Lily
When I was 36 years old, my life was completely turned upside down. On August 4, 2005, our beautiful daughter Lily was born. Everything was going great. My husband and I were perfectly content with our lives. Our family was surrounded by loved ones wanting to meet Lily and things were perfect. We had no idea that everything was going to change.

Shortly after Lily was born, I went back to work. It did not take very long for me to realize that I was constantly tired and I was losing up to 7 pounds per week. Even though these symptoms could be considered normal for someone who had recently given birth, I knew deep down that something was wrong. Sure enough, I was right. 

I went to my doctor's office only to undergo my fair share of tests. It did not take long to come back with the diagnosis of malignant pleural mesothelioma. I soon found out that I had been around that deadly white dust when I was a kid and that is how my exposure to asbestos happened. My doctor told me that if I did not get treatment, I would only live 15 months. In a mother’s mind: I would not be around to see Lily's second birthday.

My husband and I made the agreement that we were going to do everything in our power to beat this horrible sickness. We chose the most drastic form of treatment available to us, knowing that it would take us far away from our home in Minnesota. The day that I flew to Boston for surgery- my mother and Lily flew from our home to her home in South Dakota. My parents went from being grandparents to Lily to being her full time caretakers. On February 2, 2006, I underwent an extrapleural pneumonectomy with one of the best mesothelioma doctors there is, Dr. David Sugarbaker. My entire left lung was removed in this surgery, along with all of the surrounding tissue. I spent 18 days recovering in the hospital after surgery. It was so hard to be away from Lily while I was in the hospital. After the hospital, I spent 2 more weeks recovering in an outpatient home in Boston before finally being able to go to my parents house in South Dakota and seeing my baby girl again.

I was so thankful that my parents were able to step in and care for Lily along with countless other people -some who were total strangers to me. I will never be able to express the gratitude I feel towards these people for the kindness that they have given my family. It is hard to think of those precious moments that I missed when Lily was tiny. However, knowing that she was in the right hands certainly helped put my mind at ease while I was recovering.

Cancer was not a good part of my life at all-but I was able to find some good from the whole situation. Now, I look back and I realize how much more I appreciate even the tiny things. If I have any advice to give to anyone, it would be to appreciate life every day. Don’t take the little things for granted because you never know when they could be gone.

Friday, February 8, 2013


Today was Richie's first day back to work.  It's nice that he has meetings to go to today so he can ease back into the job.  When he gets back he'll probably complain that I gave him too much to eat for lunch. :-)   I figure it's better for him to have to carry around a heavy lunch box than to spend the afternoon hungry. 
I'm still waiting on Elsie to have her lambs.  I really thought it was going to be sooner! 

I've been busy working on cheese today.  I've made cottage cheese, cheddar, and whey ricotta.  It's nice that this little guy (his name is "Mr. Big") in the picture is drinking several cups of milk a day.  It helps! 

Thursday, February 7, 2013


Yesterday was a wonderful day!  Richie had a dr. appointment...they did blood work and they gave the report that everything looked normal, and said that he was doing VERY well.  He can now go back to work, and return to a normal(ish) life!  He'll be working part-time for awhile, but after a month he can go back full time.  He won't have to come in to be checked for 3 months.  Yippee!  He also had his port-a-cath taken out, which is great because we won't have any worries about that getting infected. 

A few days ago I made my first cheddar cheese.  It's not the simplest project (it takes all day!) but I am really hoping it's going to turn out well.  It will have to cure for 3-12 months.  A long time!

Janet and I and all of my sisters went out to the courthouse on Tuesday for a class on food safety.  It was a very good experience, and now we each posses a food handler's card!

Today has been a busy day so far.  We got to socialize with some friends this morning...they brought us a calf that was rejected by it's mother to raise for them until it is old enough to be out in the field with some other cows.  It's an adorable little Angus.  I wish he wasn't so will be hard for his owners to eat him I am sure!

I also froze some whey in an ice cube tray today.  We'll see what it's like to add it to a frozen smoothie.  I'm hoping it will be really least it will be very good for us! 

You get a lot of whey from a gallon of yogurt.  Fortunately it's just as nutritious for the dogs and chickens as it is for people. 
Well, I've gotta go.  See you later!