Spring Parallels (renewal and poems)

Whenever there is nothing to say.  When words and emotions get in each other’s way.  When posts about farming elude my mind, a poem can speak what I cannot find.

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Snowy winter hath been too long.  ‘Twas difficult to find my way through.

Spring hides and winks a subtle eye before she will come into view.

The leaves try to push out of their fastening shells.  I try to free myself as well.

The flowers try to grow.

The cold weather tries to linger on and threatens us with snow.

But the wind howls to clear out winter, this I know.

I miss you, friend, and wish our making memories didn’t have to end.

I know that in God’s garden, there are many flowers to tend.

And here on earthly gardens we seek renewal in everything we do.

That Spring will warm our hearts and let the sunlight through.

The birds are singing in the air and underground life breathes there.

Welcome Spring, renew us all.  The scent of lilacs I wish to recall.

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Keeping Chickens Safe From Predators

It looked like an Alfred Hitchcock movie in there.  I may have acted too quickly.  I saw that Ethel was bleeding from the top of her head and quickly put her in the bathroom.  The freshly painted bathroom.  Ethel shook her head.  Oh my, there was blood everywhere!  I then moved her to a kennel.  It looked like she may have snagged her comb on something, nothing life threatening but I didn’t want the crazy chicken dinosaurs to catch sight of it and come finish the job.  Those kids aren’t quite right.  She stayed in the bathroom (in a kennel) overnight until it scabbed over.  She spends most of her time in the driveway hiding from Henry the Perv anyway.  It is important though, that if you see a chicken that is bleeding that you separate them immediately.  Sometimes the other chickens are the predators!

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Now, everybody loves a good chicken dinner.  Raccoons, coyotes, and foxes love them some chicken.  Luckily, these guys work mostly at night, so that is an advantage.  The chickens will put themselves to bed at night at dusk without fail.  Close them up.  We never go to bed without closing their doors.  That is the number one way to keep chickens safe.  Close them up securely at night.

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I have seen more and more coyotes during the day.  They came in broad daylight and took out almost an entire flock from Jill’s house.  The more we move into their territory, and kill off rabbits, and mice, and prairie dogs, and everyone else, the hungrier these dogs get.  Chicken looks mighty good to them.  I have an advantage that even though I back to the fairgrounds, I live in town and don’t have as many predators walking down the sidewalk in the middle of the day.  Once we move out further in the country, we will not be able to let the chickens run buck wild around the yard unchecked.  They will have to have a larger, fenced in area to keep them safe.

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Larger animals can dissuade coyotes and other predators from entering the yard.  A large dog (even my old, tired greyhound), a donkey, a llama, even our ornery alpacas seem to keep outside animals out.

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A good fence, larger animals, and locking up the chickies at night is the best way to make sure you aren’t feeding the neighborhood and can keep all the missies safe and laying eggs!

The Inspirational (and Inspired) Life

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I was always fascinated by grandma’s bay window of plants and her rose bushes.  Of Aunt Donna’s heavy laden apple tree, grape vine, flowering bushes, and crisp rhubarb.  I wonder if they know how much they inspired me and that I am a farmer today because of their memories on the farm they grew up on and watching them grow things.

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Jill and Nancy inspired my love of goats.  I had trepidations about goats after babysitting a friend’s unruly rescued male goats.  A bruised hip bone made me very leery of ever having goats.  But these girls showed me how fun they could be.  They let us come over and play with new baby goats.  They answered questions.  I am now ready to start milk shares and am sharing my home (and lap) with adorable and fun loving goats who make this farm more enjoyable.

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Sandy and Debbie inspired me to grow more herbs for my medicines.  I thought it would be too difficult to grow all the herbs I need for my medicines so they grew things for me, with such ease that I felt I could do it myself.

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Kathi taught me and Nancy how to make soap.  Nancy taught me how to make cheese.  Claudia tried to teach me to knit.  Another Sandy taught me to spin.  There has never been a shortage of inspiration surrounding me.  Kat and Rod taught me to be a better parent, be more loving, accept people for who they are.  Pat and Rodney taught me unconditional love.  I have so many lovely friends who inspire me every day and that I love dearly.  I need to tell these people that they inspired me.  Thank them for helping me on my path and for being a part of where I am today…living on this mini-farm, enjoying what I do.

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I  hope I have inspired ideas through my teaching and writing.  That is the thing, we don’t always know how we have affected other’s lives so it is important to live a life that you enjoy and that makes you proud and passionate.  And always be kind.  For others are watching and taking ideas that will better their lives and so makes our short time on earth more enjoyable and filled with beauty and ideas.

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In this blog, every holiday and entertaining picture is with Nancy and her family.  The 5 Farmgirls was made up of me and Nancy and our daughters and Maryjane.  The early pictures of Emily with goats were Nancy’s.  We learned skills together and played together.  That is one of the sweetest gifts on earth.  Someone to inspire and be inspired by and be in cahoots with.  I am so sad that she passed away this morning.  But I will not focus on her passing, but on all the inspiration that she gave to me and the memories we made.  Her spirit is indelibly on this farm as she helped make it possible with her brainstorming over glasses of wine with me.

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I hope that I am an inspiration.  Life is too short to have any other reputation.  Let things go. Don’t focus on the past.  Don’t worry if some people don’t treat you like you think they should.  Focus on those that are good to you.  Notice the good and the blessings.  Do what you want.  Don’t be afraid.  If your heart desires something….a homestead….a child….a beer….it will come to you!  Today work on it coming true!

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March has been a rough month over here.  Many losses of human and animal lives.  The important thing is to focus on the positive.  My son is getting married this summer.  My granddaughter and I have a special relationship.  My children are well and happy.  My marriage is good.  I bottle feed three baby goats a day.  We have hope.  What a beautiful life we live that inspiration is everywhere.

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Creating a Beautiful Tea Garden

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Creating a beautiful tea garden this year will not only bring great happiness, but also provide free medicine in the garden, help feed the bees and butterflies, and can be grown anywhere from an apartment balcony to a forty acre parcel.

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Herbs don’t require a lot of water once they are established so they can survive droughts, but also appreciate a light watering daily if it is available.  Herbs are easy to grow and affordable.  I often have trouble starting herbs from seed outdoors.  Too many factors, birds, wind…and I don’t have the room indoors but for $3 or less I can go to my local nursery and pick up one pack of my desired herb and it will spread and thrive throughout the summer.  Friends and fellow gardeners are also good sources for a small divide of herbs.  If you do not want them to take off like wild fire then plant them in pots, whether on the porch, or in the ground to help keep them from flitting about.  Mulch with wood chips or straw.  At the end of the season give them some compost and cover with straw for the winter.  Some Mediterranean herbs, such as Lavender and Rosemary, will be annual in mid to northern climates, but can easily be replaced or overwintered in the house.

When starting, rototill desired space and add a bit of compost and garden soil and mix well.  One can create fantastic designs, circular walkways, or checkerboards, or simple lines.  Herbs can also be added in with vegetables as they act as beneficial partners.  Bugs that love to eat plants are not attracted to herbs and may bypass the whole tomato patch if they only see the basil!

My choices for a tea garden are:

Chamomile– any variety- Dainty, beautiful, used as a calmative, sleep aid, heartburn relief, digestive distress, mild pain reliever.

Mints– peppermint, spearmint, chocolate- Hearty, fragrant, used for digestive distress of any sort, fever reducer.

Basil– any variety- May act as annual in many climates, used for digestive distress and to fight colds and viruses.

Motherwort– Watch out for stickers!  Used to moderate hormones, heart support, and fights colds.

Monarda– also known as Bee Balm- Used to fight viruses.

Purple Coneflower– also known as Echinacea- Used as anti-biotic, cancer fighter, and immunity support.  Use topically on wounds.

St. John’s Wort– Used for anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medicine, helps heal nerve damage, strong pain reliever.

California Poppy– Easy to grow, used as a strong pain reliever.

Skullcap– Controls seizures, acts as strong pain reliever.

Roses– any variety- Mild pain reliever, mild anti-depressant.  Rose hips can be made into tea for arthritis pain.  Highest fruit in Vitamin C.

Yarrow- white variety- Used internally for heart and vein support.  Externally crush flowers and apply to wound to stop bleeding.

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Use leaves and flowers in any blend you desire for flavor or benefit.  To dry for winter, cut herbs and place in a paper bag clearly marked with contents.  Three weeks later the herbs will be dried and can be placed in a canning jar.

To the garden add a table and chairs, a bird bath, and bring a cup of tea out to your tea garden to relax and enjoy.

 

A Comical Goat Nursery

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My dear friend, Jill, has to move.  She is devastated that she had to give up her goats.  She trusts us to spoil our goats and entrusted us with her “baby”, a large registered Saanen who yesterday gave us a gallon of  milk without kicking or sitting in the bucket.  Oh happy day.  Dear Katrina is on Craigslist.  The Saanen is Elsa’s mother and the two of them will make, not only excellent milkers for our homestead, but very sweet pets as well.

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Jill sold the rest of her goats to our friends, Rob and Amy, who are still waiting to break ground on their house so we were called to babysit until they can move the goats to their property.  Out of Jill’s car jumped a one week old Alpine with the most beautiful markings, a year old Saanen/Alpine mix, and the most adorable four week old Dwarf wether.  He is cute.  He screams like a little girl and gets lost easily.  In the living room.  They also bought our Buttercup, Katrina’s doeling, so all counted, we have seven goats on the back porch, four babies total, with three of them being bottle fed on different schedules.  Their schedules written out on the new chalkboard kitchen door.  Forget Prozac, we have goat kids.  A goat nursery is the number one way to lighten one’s mood.

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Cohabitating Homesteads

I wonder if most folks, when envisioning a homestead, imagine a house, barn, outbuildings, land fenced in, and only themselves and possibly their children living there.  We have for years.  That quest is becoming harder and harder to achieve with land prices skyrocketing and the economy the way it is; a lot of us were smacked down by it and couldn’t buy a place anyway.  Rentals are very high and often do not allow animals, even on properties that would be perfect for a homestead.  This creates a dilemma for those of us trying to homestead.

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So, what about cohabitating?  I have seen a few models of this.  One was a large house in the mountains.  In each room the inhabitant(s) were early twenties, old hippies at heart and spent a fair amount of time smoking weed while I taught the class they paid me to teach.  It worked though for them, because they had similar interests, felt they had affordable freedom, and enjoyed the arrangement.

Another model would be a main house with a carriage house, mobile home, or second house on the property.  Preferably with like minded people.  We can achieve a lot more if there are more people contributing.  I suppose this looks like a commune without the guru, but hear me out.  What if folks that had the same ideas share a property?  They could have the animals they wanted, the land they wanted, the large community garden, and their own private spaces.  We all possess different skill sets and they could be used throughout the property getting four, or more, times the things done.

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The other benefit to this is if one person falls ill, there are others to help.  If one couple wants to go on vacation, there are folks to hold the farm down.

We have a few friends that have offered this option to us in the future.  Considering everything came together, the rent would help them sustain the homestead.  The rent for us would be much cheaper than we pay now when you consider that they will be on solar (no electric or gas bill), on a well (no water bill), we can share the cost of internet and cell phones, and the trash service.

Between the four of us there are herbalists (who can take care of anything from a broken hand to strep), a dental hygienist, someone who can fix or build anything, someone to assist, IT person, milkers, gardeners, preservers.  If one doesn’t like the job, another one does.  We are all four within four years of age.  We have the same goals.  Same dreams.

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So, what about fighting?  We could turn into siblings and end up fighting all the time!  But here is what life is teaching me right now.  I have a very, very dear friend in the hospital fighting for her life.  I have written about her in this blog A LOT.  She is intricately woven into every aspect of my life.  Business partner, cheerleader, crazy idea maker, I love this girl.  Life is short, folks.  Everyone says it, but it is sinking in just how short.  I intend to let things slide off my back, in one ear out the other, don’t sweat the small stuff, all the clichés that are so common but not actually done.  Life is about living in the moment.  Enjoying people, relationships.  Money for bills always shows up.  Our lives moves on.  Children grow up.  The only thing left is memories and the beautiful moments we have with people.  I will enjoy each day on whatever homestead we end up on.

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In this day and age many of us do not have the large, close families that were once commonplace.  Or we don’t live near each other, or do not have the same dreams and ideas.  We have begun to think that we do have to do everything by ourselves.  The homesteads past were not run by a single couple.  Neighbors, children, friends helped.  Many cultures have more than one family living together.  It just makes sense.

I can see this working.  A fully run homestead can be achieved, easily run, and better created with more people, more hands.  There are many options to having a homestead.

My Favorite Easy To Grow Flowers

When approaching Great Grandma’s house after school, the riotous red geraniums greeted me first.  Their clusters of happy petals waving softly in the breeze.  Geraniums equaled Great Grandma’s house.  Geraniums are synonymous with large glasses of iced tea and hours of playing rummy.

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In my books about the Italian countryside the open windows of the stucco houses are always decorated with pots of colorful geraniums.  Faces to sun, waving their arms in the air, welcoming folks home.

Geraniums are annuals, so every year I left them in their pots on the porch, and they died over the winter.  I read about rooting pieces of the plant, or storing the plant.  As a mom of young children, anything extra that had to be done with plants was not going to happen.  Most fell under canopies of snow.

Three years ago at the farmer’s market I purchased two pots of geraniums.  They graced the steps of the porch and gave an air of summer.  At the end of the season, I moved them indoors and placed them on the dining room table facing the south winter sun.  They flourished.  In the spring, I repotted them, moved to a new home, and put them on the porch again.  They had doubled their size.  They were fabulous.

I brought them in again and they doubled their size again while spending their winter vacation indoors in the south and west windows.

I use an organic fertilizer (Old Age Grow) maybe four times a year.  I cut off wild and crazy stems that threaten to smack bystanders.  I attempt to keep them tame.  Give them a larger pot.  The leaves start to brown near the bottom of the plant and the edges turn a bit by the time it is warm enough to put them back on the porch.  Currently they are being nibbled by an adorable infant goat.

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Some years back I was a caregiver for a gentleman named Al.  He had fabulous stories of his time as a scientist during the war.  He was kind and a gentleman.  He enjoyed sitting on the balcony of his apartment.  On it sat a pot of petunias that were under a bit of distress.  I watered them and dead headed the passed flower heads.  He called me the next day astounded.  The whole plant had come back to life and fresh blossoms danced on his balcony.  Petunias are very easy to grow.

My petunias are in their third year.  A discounted six pack of flowers for ninety-nine cents from Walmart at the end of the season.  I thought they would be pretty in the pots of herbs that I transplanted and brought into the house for winter.  I certainly did not expect them to live this long!  Water, occasional organic fertilizer, and dead heading, plus a lovely south window will keep flowers indefinitely blooming.  They move to the porch in the summer, into the window in winter, and thrive.

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Great Grandma and my grandparents used to live next door to each other.  Their back yards were filled with rose bushes taller than I.  Thick with aromatic roses of all colors, their yards were enchanting and definitely a special place.  I tried for years in vain to grow roses, each and every one died.  I figured the women in my family had special gardening powers and I should just give up.  I overheard a woman talking to another and said very sweetly, “It is a pleasure to grow roses in Colorado.”  You will not hear that too often about any other crop.  Colorado is a constant learning experience and challenge.

My only exception had been a small potted mini rose plant that Doug had bought me from the grocery store.  I planted it outside and years later it was three feet high!  It is an inexpensive way to grow roses.  Just get a pot from the store, enjoy it indoors, and then transplant it.

We have very hot summers here so I found that roses are happier on the west side of the house or the east side of the house where they can get a slight reprieve from the sun.

Dig a hole a foot deep and fill with water.  When the water has dissipated, add the rose bush.  Cover with soil and slightly tamp it down.  A little coffee and water helps get it started.  Dead head rose heads (we use the roses in medicine) for possible new growth.  Leave the heads in the fall so that rose hips form.  These are used for arthritis treatment.

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Of course, tulips and daffodils are always welcome after a long, cold winter.  Deer adore tulips, nearly as much as I do, and will eat them promptly, but daffodils are poisonous so wildlife leaves them alone.  Fabulous.  I even forced them inside this year.  Not as stunning as their outdoor explosions, but a lovely moment in February.

Growing flowers is a lovely way to incorporate aromatherapy and beauty into one’s every day life.

Goats: Leave on Mom or Bottle Feed?

Starting out I watch my friends, read books, ask questions, then try to make my own way.  Whether to leave the baby on the mother or bottle feed was no exception.

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Friend #1 takes the baby from the mother immediately.  She gives the baby bottles of colostrum for a few days then off they go with their perspective owner or stay with her bottle feeding for ten or so weeks.  The mothers truly forget what they were doing.  They can be in the same pen with the infant and have no maternal urge to nurse or protect the youngster.  On the same note, the baby thinks that the bottle feeder is her mom and is happy as can be playing with the other goats and drinking bottles.  Her goats are super friendly (Loretta was a bottle baby, and so is Elsa) and excited to see people.  More like small dogs, they are playful and love attention.

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Friend #2 leaves the baby on the mom.  After three weeks she separates them at night, milks in the morning, then lets the baby stay with the mom all day.  She gets plenty of milk, and then doesn’t have to worry about bottle feeding, weaning, or anything but once a day milking.  The babies are nice enough, though they do prefer to stay with their mom, which seems quite natural.  Friend #2 slaughters some of them for meat.  She has a full circle farm.  Bottle babies become apart of the family, it would be difficult to eat a baby that you kept in the house and watched American Idol with.

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When Katrina had her baby, Buttercup, I opted for friend #2’s approach.  Wasn’t it mean to take away the baby from the mother?  Wouldn’t it be easier to milk in the mornings since we are just getting started?  Wouldn’t the baby be healthier if I left her on the mom?  Buttercup is adorable, and as she gets bigger, she gets faster.  The family that bought her come to visit often.  At the beginning, we could swoop the small infant up and snuggle her, but now we have to plan and coordinate her capture.  She is like a feral cat.  Her mother, who was already ornery, is now a beast with her infant by her side.  She charged Bumble, the greyhound, and pushed him into a fence.  He is a rather docile creature and easily injured.  He did not understand why he was being attacked.  He looked at me with big humane society eyes.  The second time she was charging full speed towards him, thankfully, Doug was there to grab her collar and curtail her attempts at maiming the dog.

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I discussed my issues about milking with Friend #1.  Because Katrina is nursing all day, she doesn’t let all her milk down for us.  She is also a Nigerian Dwarf so has less milk anyway.  Friend #2 has Nubians, so she gets plenty of milk.  With a baby by her side, Katrina is not friendly.  Milking time is no exception as she kicks, spills the milk bucket, and tries to get away.  She sits down and thrashes about.  She is a nightmare.  If she didn’t have a baby that would relieve her of her engorgement soon, she might be more apt to let us milk.  Maybe.

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Elsa is a bottle baby.  She doesn’t miss nor does she remember her mother who is happily getting milked twice a day.  Elsa is excited for bottles and is content playing in the yard or sitting on my lap.  She is growing steadily by the day and is more certain on her long legs.  She enjoys sleeping on my lap alongside my cat while we watch singing shows in the evening.  She doesn’t seem overly traumatized from the experience of bottle feeding and lack of caprine matriarchal care.  I seem to be a fine substitute.  Elsa went and visited 119 middle school children yesterday at the schools I was speaking at.  She was lovey and adorable, a great ambassador to the future farming world of some of these children, with any luck.  There is no way we could have taken Buttercup.

The notion of bottle feeding goat kids being a nuisance is no longer contemplative.  It is one of my greatest joys in farming.

With this small of a farm, I have to be choosy about what animals I have here.  I have to consider that I do not have a lot of animals.  I do not have a pack of goats or alpacas or sheep that sit out in a pasture all day.  We have a sixth of an acre in each pasture.  Our farm here was set up to be an example that one can farm anywhere, as a place where kids can come out and see vegetables growing, find eggs, and pet the goats.  A place that may inspire them to have farms of their own when they get older.  An aloof goat does nothing for atmosphere!  This is also a homestead, and a place where I spend much of my time.  I prefer very friendly animals.  Even my chickens enjoy being picked up!

I am sure there are many situations where leaving the baby on the mother is beneficial and necessary on many farms, but for our small piece of friendly farm, as I sit writing this with a baby goat on my lap, bottle babies will be in our future.

The Can’t Do It All Homestead

At the beginning of this venture, I truly believed that Doug and I would be able to learn, complete, and excel at every  homesteading skill.  We could be self sufficient!  We don’t need nobody.  We would be so busy chopping wood and weaving clothes, sheesh, we’d do even more than the pioneers!  We’d learn everything and do everything.

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Hmmm.  I made a list.  Remember my list making post?  I do excel at making lists.  They open my eyes and help me figure out what my next step is.  This is a list that I would encourage you to fill out as well.  It can really help your life move in the direction you want it to, see what you is no longer important to you, and what you downright don’t like to do.  Let go of old hobbies and open the door for new things.

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Make four columns.  In the first column write out the things in your life you LOVE to do.  These are things you do without putting them on a to do list.  Things you don’t have to even think about, you love doing them.

  • Raising babies; chicks, goats, kittens
  • Milking
  • Making soft cheese
  • Making food items; vinegars, oils, etc
  • Cooking
  • Gardening
  • Collecting eggs
  • Making things as gifts
  • Preserving
  • Entertaining; being with friends and family
  • Sitting in the sun, working outdoors
  • Making herbal medicines
  • Writing
  • Reading

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Now that you have your list of the things that you need no prompting to do and that you still enjoy, write in the second column the things you like do doing once you get started.

  • Yard work, domestic chores
  • Painting (on canvases)
  • Sewing (not intricately)
  • Yoga
  • Farmer’s Markets
  • Making body products

I was surprised to see that painting was on my once I got started.  I keep planning all these fine paintings.  I am to show my work in a coffee shop next month.  I have nothing new.  Perhaps I am not as into it as I used to be.

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On to the third column.  List everything that you put off.  Things you make every excuse in the book before doing.

  • Training animals
  • Calling customers
  • Filling orders
  • Spinning
  • Crocheting
  • Piano
  • Fiddle

This was an eye opener for me.  I have such a strong vision of Doug and I wiling the hours away playing good country music together.  We love the idea, but hate to practice and don’t really want to get any better.  We want to be magically better.  I used to be quite a good pianist when I was a kid.  It doesn’t come natural to me.  I quickly forgot everything I learned and would have to start over completely.  I took a piano lesson Wednesday to try to get back into it.  I fidgeted on the piano bench worse than any six year old she’s had.  I looked at the clock to see when it was time to go home.  She gave me lots of homework.  I came up with every excuse yesterday why I couldn’t practice.

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I put my fiddle, piano, Doug’s mandolin, and my spinning wheel on Craigslist.  These things require dusting, and moving when we move, and are never used.

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I do not like training animals.  My alpacas will not come near me.  They are not lovey creatures.  I do not like to spin.  These have become expensive stand offish pets.  Cute pets, don’t get me wrong.  I will try to sell them back to where I got them.  This farm is way too small for animals that don’t fit in.

Doug’s list complemented mine.  He enjoys the same things as I do.  He also loves talking to customers and filling orders.  He doesn’t even mind dishes.  We just need to rearrange our chores.

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Now the fourth column is for what you want to learn.

  • Beekeeping
  • Green house growing
  • Making hard cheeses

These are this year’s projects.  If I don’t like them, then I can move on to the next venture.  I do not have to know how to do everything.  I do not have to do everything.  This is still a homestead.  There are plenty of homesteaders out there that enjoy knitting.  I can support them by purchasing or bartering for their wares just as folks out there love my herbal medicines but don’t have a passion to make them themselves.  We all work together to make homesteading successful.  Not self sufficiency, community sufficiency!

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This list can be used in any aspect of your life.  It’s important to stay on top of our goals and release what is no longer important.  I love homesteading, this whole journey, all the learning and hands on projects.  Now, it will be that much more enjoyable!

Goat Playing Piano

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On Sunday morning, as we cried for Loretta, a baby was being born.  One of Jill’s does gave birth to twins.  Olaf and Elsa are half Alpine, half Saanen, pure white with tiny waddles under their chin.  We brought home Elsa yesterday.

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She is not quite solid on her feet yet.  She looks like Bambi on ice trying to maneuver the floors.  She slides into the splits then promptly gets back up to play.  Ichabod the cat has adopted her and they played peek a boo with the shopping bag.  Elsa played Maryjane’s piano, watched American Idol, and drank a few bottles.  She may very well be already spoiled.

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When she grows up, she will give us roughly two gallons of milk a day.  That’s a lot of Swiss cheese!

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Goats are pack animals, they need a community.  Since Buttercup, Katrina’s baby, is already sold, Katrina would be all alone.  Pity, no one to bully.  Good thing Elsa will be a large goat!  She takes a bottle every four hours right now so is living in the house for a few days.  She will gradually start sleeping with the alpacas, peeking at the goats through the fence, then will move over to the goat yard when she is a little sturdier.  Buttercup will go to her new home and I will have Elsa and Katrina.

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Welcome, Elsa, to Pumpkin Hollow Farm!