Archive for March, 2011

31
Mar
11

Lambing Going Well So Far…

Our lambing season is going really well.  I have had to assist a few here and there, but really not a lot.  Tuesday evening we had a Texel ewe in labor and struggling.  We decided she had went long enough with no progress and decided to intervene.  Lucky we did because the little guy turned out to be not so little.  At one day old when we got the scales out he checked in at 15 lbs.  No idea why this little guy got so big.  We aren’t overfeeding and haven’t had a problem with large lambs.  Mama and baby are doing fine.

Since we are breeding up to registered Texels from Texel/Dorper crosses we will be selling lots of recorded, percentage (50-75%) ewes and two registered Texels rams off our farm this year.  The perfect starter flock for someone wishing to do the same.  These ewes are 1-3 year olds that have done a wonderful job for us, but as we keep back our higher percertage ewes we have to sell some of the lower percentage ewes. 

Randy is off work today and in hopes of burning off our pasture.  The rain finally let up for a day, but the wind is back with 15-25 mph.  Gotta love living in the middle of the Great Plains.  The wind is something you just never really get used to.

Have a wonderful day!

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29
Mar
11

Farm Update…

We are officially lambing!  I was off Friday and Monday, but had to come back to work today. We have a friend stopping by to check on the sheep, but still worry something will happen when we are not there.  We have had such good luck so far we hate not being there to help them if they need it.  We have 23 of our own babies and 9 bottle lambs from dad, so we are keeping pretty busy. We are about 1/4 of the way done lambing, so still a long way to go.  We had 18 of those babies Saturday and were so hoping for the same numbers on Sunday, but they really slowed down Sunday and Monday.

I love fall, but I love spring too.  I can’t wait to get some things planted.  I already have potatoes and rhubarb planted, but the rest is going to have to wait until it warms up.  Our chickens are laying eggs like crazy.  We are getting about 30 eggs a day, but have been fortunate enough to sell most of them.  I just bought some pie shells (I don’t have the time of the energy to make my own right now) to make up quiche and freeze for quick breakfast meals with the extra eggs.  Fun, fun!  I’m also going to try to tackle a from-scratch angel food cake which uses 12 egg whites and an egg yolk cake that uses the remaining 12 yolks.  Maybe I will have time this weekend?  

We also hauled 9 of our 10 cats to the vet to get vaccinated and de-wormed on Saturday.  That was an experience since some of them are a bit on the wild side.  She let me do one of the vaccinations at home to save money, so that was really nice.  Cooter is on a different schedule than the big group so all he needed was de-wormed and his distemper shot when we got home.  We don’t normally do any vaccinations except rabies on our pets, but since we had two raccoons and a skunk turn up with rabies/distemper (not sure which) we decided we really needed to do the distemper if for no other reason than to protect our sheep.

I also made a Mexican Rice Bake for dinner and an extra one to throw in the freezer.  It was really good and so easy to make a double batch and freeze one.  I’m not sure why I haven’t done that more often when I make casseroles.

That is pretty much it for our farm.  We will sit at work and worry about the sheep today and tomorrow and then Randy will be off Thursday and Friday in hopes of burning off our pasture before it is too late and keeping an eye on the girls.  The wind and rain have made it impossible to burn on the weekends, so he is hoping to get it done this week while he’s off work.

Have a great day! 

23
Mar
11

Cooking ahead for lambing season…

I cooked like crazy over the weekend so we would have some casseroles in the freezer for lambing season when time is limited.

I cooked up 3 lbs of deer sausage and 1 lb of ground venison together and 2 whole chickens we raised last fall.  I used this meat to make the following:

2 9×13 pans of lasagna (sort of followed Pioneer Woman’s recipe from her cookbook)

2 9×9 pans of navy bean casserole

1 9×13 pan of cream cheese chicken enchiladas

1 crockpot of chili (some I froze for later use and some I kept to eat over baked potatoes this week)

with probably one whole chicken worth of meat left for the chicken salad I whipped up this morning with hard-boiled bantie eggs.

The beginnings of a stocked freezer.

21
Mar
11

A little bit of warm weather…

I started working outside a little bit with our first stretch of nice weather.

The chickens have a hay day with mulch and dirt around our home.  This is my strawberry bed.  You can see the coffee filters surfacing from all the dirt they have kicked off to the side of the box.  I managed to get it cleaned up and dirt/manure added back to the strawberry bed in hopes of salvaging what is left.

The guilty party.

So usually I blame the chickens for messing up all the mulch around our farm.

However…

Sometimes…

I’m wrong…

That would be Chance.  I had just gotten all the mulch raked back around our elderberry bushes when he came flying by and tunneled right through all the newly piled mulch.  He was too cute to scold.

Our new adventure.

These are Romanov cross bottle lambs from Dad’s farm.  They will be raised on a bucket of milk replacer (you can see the bucket hanging in their building) and supplemented with a bottle as needed.

18
Mar
11

No more student loans…

Randy and I have been on a mission to pay off our debt and become completely debt free (including our mortgage).  We have reached yet another milestone in our mission.  We managed to pay off our student loans approximately 5 years ahead of schedule.  Each time we make the final payment on a loan there is such a sense of accomplishment.  We try to treat ourselves to dinner or something fun to celebrate the achievement. 

We honestly tossed around the idea of going to see the Lincoln Lawyer (Matthew McConaughey’s new movie) in a theatre….something we NEVER do.  However, there is too much on the schedule for this weekend to prepare for lambing, so we will have to do something a bit closer to home.

The best way we have found to pay off our debt ahead of schedule is to use the techniques Dave Ramsey recommends.  Pay off the smallest debt first.  Take any extra money you can to pay extra on that particular debt.  Once that debt is paid off take that payment and roll it onto the next smallest debt.  Eventually these payments snowball, so when you get to something like your mortgage, you are able to make a significant payment and pay off something that before seemed completely unrealistic before. 

With this comes sacrifices of course.  Randy and I don’t and haven’t had a car payment in years.  Which also means are cars may turn heads, but not for the reason you would like.  We try to wear hand-me-down clothes whenever possible.  We eat at home the majority of the time and cook from scratch…hence why our reward for paying off this loan is lunch out : )

What keeps us motivated is knowing once our home is paid for…when we actually “own our home”…we will be able to choose our path in life.  We will be able to choose what jobs we have based on what we enjoy, not what makes the most money.  This keeps us driven.  This keeps us from driving the car of our dreams, buying the latest fashion in clothes and shoes (mostly me, haha), and buying all the handy gizmos and gadgets we don’t really need (mostly Randy).

We have reached the point where all we have left is our mortgage.  This is so exciting for us.  We still have a ways to go before we are totally debt free.  The unexpected could still hit us and set us back.  For now we are enjoying where we are and what we have accomplished.  We will celebrate a little and then get back at it.

I’m not saying this to boast.  I’m saying this to let you know you can do it too.  It is possible to live debt free in America.  With all the employment and financial problems this country is facing, there is no time like the present to buckle down and get rid of your debt.

Hope you all have a wonderful day!

17
Mar
11

Nuclear Power Reactors in U.S.

Nuclear Power Reactors in U.S.

U.S. Commercial Nuclear Power Reactors - Years of Operation

Okay, I am the naive American.  I had no idea there were this many nuclear power reactors in the US, let alone one in my home state.  Bring on the alternative energy!  Or here’s a thought…take it one step further and go manual.  Randy and I have begun to replace worn out electric gadgets around the house and plan to continue those efforts as our appliances quit working.

Check out Lehman’s for some back-to-basics gear and have a great day!

16
Mar
11

John 3:16

Today is March 16th….3:16

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  -John 3:16

With everything going on in Japan right now and the threat of radiation headed this way as early as this week I need this right now.  The jetstream filled with radiation will hit the west coast first, but will follow its usual path across the country, including Kansas. 

Here are a few great articles on what you may not be hearing via the mainstream media and things you can do to help protect yourself:

www.naturalnews.com/031715_iodine_radiation.html

http://blog.imva.info/medicine/treatments-nuclear-contamination

I always tell my husband I don’t want to be the freaky conspiracy theory chick, but I also don’t want to be the naive American who has no clue what’s going on in the world and just believes the media and government is telling us the whole truth and will take care of us (i.e. the Gulf Oil Disaster and Katrina).

Randy and I were fortunate enough to already have a nice supply of iodine containing supplements and foods and metal detoxing supplies on hand…thank you Natural News newsletter and store.

Kelp

Chlorella

Spirulina

Clay

Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda)

Magnesium Sulpate (epsom salt)

Just to name a few of the ways you can protect and/or detox from radiation exposure.  However, these are just all around good things to keep on hand in your natural health medicine cabinet and to take or use regularly for good health, which is why we already have them on hand.

Pray for the people in Japan and now for the people all across the globe who may soon face the same dangers as the Japanese in dealing with the radiation the nuclear plants in Japan have created.




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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