Archive for February, 2010


Baby Llama…

Mom and Dad have a new baby llama.  It is up with the sheep at Grandma’s and is cute as she can be.

A family photo…mom, dad, and baby!

Randy and I have dibs on her, but I don’t think Dad is going to part with her.  We were in hopes of handling her a lot to get her to be very friendly and tame.  We will see if we can make it up to Grandma’s enough to make that happen or not.


Family Illness Update…

Things are not-so-good here. Grandma is still in the hospital with pneumonia and has now been exposed to another patient (multiple times) with MRSA.

Dad is still very sick and had to have IV fluids yesterday. His test results won’t be back for 2-3 days and for now he is on a broad spectrum antibiotic. We’re still not sure if it’s helping or not.

Mom is off today and dealing with chores so unless there are problems Randy and I may have an evening “off.” I say off in quotes because we are still lambing at our house, bottle feeding lambs, and caring for the 100+ animals on our farm plus trying to keep ourselves as healthy and rested and possible.

Craig is coming back out this afternoon to help mom, so that is a HUGE relief. It is physically too much for her to do on her own let alone the fact she is emotionally drained. Between Grandma going to the hospital Thursday and Dad getting sick Friday she is a bit frazzled.

Over my lunch break I am headed to our kinesiologist to stock up on our nutritional supplements and to the grocery store to stock up on some good, organic fruits and vegetables. I have plenty of meat thawed and enough home-grown eggs to make for some fairly quick and easy dinners. Luckily, Randy is so very undemanding as far as dinner is concerned. When time is a problem egg sandwiches are always my saving grace.

I had been relying on the two meatloaves I made Sunday from local beef and venison, but after lunch today those will be gone. I had to get a plan together for some easy meals.

Tonight we will be having sausage, eggs, and potatoes. I plan to throw a roast in the slow cooker with some organic carrots and potatoes for dinner tomorrow.

I also have a big bowl of chicken stock that just needs to have the fat skimmed off the top, and we will be adding a cup of it to our dinners each night. I love to make the coconut chicken soup in NT, but just plain ol’ stock will have to do for now.

We are also on various supplements from our kinesiologist and everyone, dogs included, is receiving CLO each evening. We are trying very hard to stay healthy, so hopefully our efforts prove successful.

When things are stressful for me I just want my husband by my side. For now we are 50 miles away from each other and hours away from being home together. Thank goodness for cell phones and possibly an evening at home together.

Please say a prayer Dad, Grandma, and the woman battling MRSA all make a full recovery soon.

Hope everyone has a wonderful day and is staying warm!


Our Weekend….

My list of things I wanted to get accomplished wasn’t my finest effort to be posting about, but I have a good excuse. Grandma was put in the hospital Thursday with pneumonia, so we ran in to visit her Thursday evening. Friday I did get a few things done such as tagging a few of our newest lambs, laundry, filling our bird feeders, some kitchen/food catching up, and just checking in on and tending to the sheep. We did have a nice, healthy set of twin ram lambs mid-morning on Friday. Yea….twins!

Saturday was nonstop, mass confusion. I was up at 5:30 to do our morning bottles. We had twins on the ground, no lambing pens ready, and I had to call for backup. Randy came out to help me get things in order, filled salt and mineral feeders in all the sheep pens, and finish up our morning chores. Once those were done we got cleaned up and headed to town. We stopped at the hospital to see Grandma and visit with her for a little bit. She wasn’t feeling the greatest at that point so we headed on to mom’s store to pick up a protein tub for the sheep. By then the bank was open so we went there to have our adoption papers notarized. At the bank we realized our papers were dated wrong, so we had to run home, update the dossier papers, save them to my jump drive, and head to town to print them off at mom’s store. Her computer didn’t have Word, so I called a friend to see if I could use her computer and printer. She was on her way to the city to go shopping, so we tracked down some other friends of ours and used their computer and printer to print out the nine papers needed. Thank you Ryan and Beth!

We were back to the bank well before their noon closing time. We got all our papers notarized and had a nice visit with the notary who is also in the adoption process. We headed to Subway where Randy bought us lunch then hurried home to eat and do noon bottles.

We did some running around for Grandma, loaded corn for the coming week, and just did the usual catching up around the farm we normally do on the weekend. Saturday evening we managed to work in a movie, The Other Boleyn Girl. It’s loosely based on Henry VIII, so of course it is pretty scandalous.

Sunday we got up early to do our chores and head to mom and dad’s to help mom with their chores. Dad was sick, and it was so icy mom had no business doing all those chores on her own, let alone on the ice and out in the freezing cold.

I think we got there around 7:30-8:00 am and didn’t end up home until 1:00 pm. We did threw 8 5-gallon buckets of corn at their house, fed bottle lambs, and loaded more corn to take to the sheep at Grandma’s. Mom stayed home to water while Randy and I headed to Grandma’s. We threw 4 5-gallon buckets of corn and started assessing the damage from another freezing, icy night. There were four new babies and one without a mama. They were all cold, but doing okay for the most part. Then we noticed a ewe in trouble. She had obviously been in labor for sometime and needed assistance. Long story short, it was a situation where didn’t know if we would save the ewe. We new we had already lost the baby, but needed to get the baby out to save the ewe. Randy and I worked and worked and managed to deliver the baby (it was not alive). Mom brought us medicine to doctor that ewe and another ewe. We built make-shift pens for all the new mamas and babies. Randy and I ran home to make a bottle for a baby at Grandma’s we had noticed wasn’t getting enough to eat.

We checked in on our sheep, grabbed a warm bottle, and headed back to Grandma’s to check on everyone, and feed the hungry baby. Mom had headed home to make us lunch, so after all was in order at Grandma’s we headed to Mom and Dad’s for a quick bite to eat.

After lunch we headed back home. We still had to feed our bottle lambs and milk out a ewe who had lost her baby. Once all of that was taken care of we headed inside to relax. I fell asleep nearly as soon as I hit the sofa.

When I woke up I made Randy and I snacks, made up two meat loaves to throw in the oven, and warmed up bottles for the lambs. We headed out to do our evening chores while dinner baked. We called mom to see if she needed help. There was a ewe at their house with an empty 5-gallon bucket with the handle stuck around her neck. So we headed down there to try to catch her and get the bucket off. Thankfully she had gotten herself into a small catch pen and was easy to catch, bucket removed, and we were headed home shortly afterwards.

We went inside to eat dinner, clean up, do bedtime bottles, and eventually went to bed. I did get to read the first few pages of Rick Warren’s book God’s Power to Change your Life. I’m not sure I’ll get it done before I have to return it to the library, but thought I would get in what I could. I was up at 11:15 pm to check on everyone, and back up at 3:30 am to do bottles and get ready for work.

That was our weekend….the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Dad is still really sick and headed to the doctor this afternoon. We will hurry home to do our chores then up to Grandma’s to do chores up there and help mom and their house if she needs us to. We are praying Dad is healed quickly and back on his feet soon. Craig has stepped in to help today while Mom, Randy, and I are at work, but even the four of us cannot manage his livestock as well as he can. We need him healthy as soon as possible.

Happy Monday!


Weekend Agenda…

Here is what is on my agenda for the weekend.  This is assuming we don’t have a truck load of lambs that keep me preoccupied.


Dusting and Vacuuming the house

Menu Planning

Cooking ahead for the week to come

Bake Bread

Make Soup

Water house plants

If there is extra time I hope to:

Make cheese

Make laundry soap

Farm Related:

Clean out Lambing Pens

Prepare tags for tagging new lambs

Tag new lambs

Prepare Grain Bins and Cart for grain order delivery

Milk out #87 and Move to dry-off pen

Fill in holes around pool deck (hiding place for kitties and other critters)  Randy actually did this.  I got the wheelbarrow and shovel out….does that count?


Take an Epsom Salt/ACV bath 

I am fighting sickness and need some toxin cleansing and joint healing.  I honestly have to put this on my list so I will take a few minutes for myself to soak and relax.

I’m a list maker and make a list at the beginning of every weekend of all the things I hope to get accomplished while I’m home.  I will add things as I go and mark them off as I complete them.  It gives me a feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!


Lambing Troubles…

Last night we had a fairly easy evening, fed our two bottle lambs at 7:30 pm, and headed to bed early. We were both up at 11:30 pm to do bottles again and check on a couple ewes we thought were close to lambing. One ewe (0344) had lambed and had a baby girl all on her own and the other was still showing no signs. I got up again at 3:30 am to do bottles again and check on everyone. The second ewe (5028) was in labor and seemed to be making a lot of noise and things didn’t seem to be moving along as smoothly as usual for her in particular. I got a lambing pen set up for her and got all the other lambing pens tended to (alfalfa, water, etc.). I decided to give her a little time and leave her alone. I went inside to wake up Randy, let him know what was going on, and jump in the shower. When I got out of the shower he said she hadn’t made any progress and was obviously uncomfortable. I headed out to check her and what turned into pulling her lamb that was coming hind feet first (should be front feet and head first). It was a big ewe lamb. She pulled hard, and I didn’t get her pulled fast enough. Her little heart was beat hard and strong, but her little mouth gaped open with her tongue hanging out. She wasn’t breathing. I ran into the house to warm up a shot of dextrose in hopes of giving her a jolt and getting her going again. In the meantime Randy tried to resuscitate her by blowing in her mouth and nose. By the time I got back it was too late. I gave her the dextrose anyway which usually causes them to kick around a bit, but there was no movement and no longer a heart beat.

The umbilical cord had broken before I could get her head out. She had gulped in fluids in attempt to breathe one the cord had severed. The fluid had filled her lungs and nothing we did could have changed her fate.

The mama was so upset.  It broke my heart.  We put her in a lambing pen where she searched and cried for her baby. She circled and circled and may still be circling right now in hopes of finding her baby. I checked her again to make sure there wasn’t another baby on the way. I couldn’t feel anything, but she usually has twins so we were a little nervous leaving her this morning. I was late for work and Randy had to get on the road. I called my brother to check in on her a little later and make sure everything is okay. Dad stopped in to make sure she was okay and make sure she cleaned.  

Life on the farm isn’t always easy. Life on the farm isn’t always pretty. We lost our favorite ewe, Ma, last weekend to an illness we never identified. This morning we lost a sweet little full-blooded Dorper ewe lamb and now have a mama with tons of milk to milk out and dry off.

I felt defeated, but you learn fast that life on the farm does go on. We saved the mama and in the grand scheme of things that is the important thing. We could have left before she went into labor, leaving her to struggle and suffer all day. We are grateful we were there to help her even if the ending was still a sad one for all. Tomorrow I am off work and will be home all day to care for them and watch over them.

There is still snow on the ground from Sunday. Hopefully today and tomorrow the warmer weather will melt it away so the dogs can get outside to run and maybe even play a little ball. Our dogs are starving for attention and wondering why on earth we are getting up at all hours of the night. They need some attention and a chance to stretch their legs.

Praying things will go better from here on out.  A little sunshine to melt the snow away and dry things up is sure to help. Have a great day!

Adopting one child won't change the world; but for that child, the world will change.

I am the wife to my wonderful husband and joint care giver to the many animals we have acquired on our small farm here on the prairie. This is a bit about our life on our farm. We are striving for simplicity and self-sufficiency, determined to become debt-free, trying to live in tune with the natural cycles of this earth, and challenging ourselves to transition to a diet based on traditional foods. It isn't always easy, and we don't always succeed, but it is a fun learning process. Join us as we stumble through learning how to provide for ourselves, get off the treadmill, and work toward a simpler way of life.

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February 2010
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