Archive for August, 2011


Ruby at Home…

We finally have Ruby home and settling in.  She is still pretty timid, but slowly coming around.

Here is Ruby and Randy at the Bentonville Farmer’s Market in front of Walton’s 5 & Dime before leaving Arkansas.  We had just picked Ruby up from the vet and wanted to see if we could find some fruit, pecans, or something fun as a thank you to mom, dad, and Craig for watching our farm while we were away.  We didn’t find any food, but did meet some really nice people.  One young couple we met asked if Ruby was a Brussels Griffon?  Randy said, “she’s a…we found her along the side of the road on our way from Kansas.”  We looked up Brussels Griffon when we got home and sure enough.  She fits that breed description exactly.

She seemed to feel more at ease inside the kennel than out.  Our three other dogs barking didn’t even phase her.  Did she come from a puppy mill?  Large breeder?  I guess we will probably never know.

We haven’t gotten her to eat solid food yet so I have been feeding her lamb milk replacer through a syringe.  She LOVES it.  This was the only way our got our cat, Max, back on solid food after his bout with pancreatitis, so I thought I would try it.

Not sure she has ever been on a leash.  She hates it, so that may take some training to get her to walk on a lead.

Here is the tongue she uses to lap up the milk out of the end of the syringe.  Everyday we are making a bit more progress.  Hope she continues to improve and warm up to us.

We took her up to see Grandma this morning.  She loves little dogs and loved Ruby.  Once she is a little more active and friendly it will be fun for Grandma.  This visit she was rolled up in the towel like a burrito because of all of her incisions and stitches.

I hope to continue to post on her progress here…and hope there is progress to post!


Good shopping and reading…

While we were in Arkansas we found a really neat little store called Christian Book Outlet.  They had all sorts of stuff to look at from home decor and t-shirts to bibles, books, and greeting cards.  Randy and I stopped in the Conway, Arkansas store before heading to Pet Smart to look for a collar, leash, and tote for Ruby Thursday night.

I also finished up A Love That Multiplies by Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar.  It was an incredible book about a couple who believe in God and live each day according to His word.  This book takes an even closer look than their first book, The Duggars:  20 and Counting, at how they live their lives according to the bible.

We still have the movie Soul Surfer to watch and hope to watch it this week while we are home on vacation.

As I am typing this I am surrounded by four dogs and my husband who are all taking an afternoon nap.  The only sound besides the whirl of the ceiling fan is our chubby little blue heeler, Ash, trying to catch her breath.  They were outside for a few hours before coming in out of the afternoon heat, and she hasn’t quite recovered from the heat yet.

Happy Monday!


One Hot Summer…

I have said it before and I’ll say it again.  We have had a hot, dry summer and everyone has felt it around our farm.

We have left the dogs inside for days on end because of triple digit weather and even they are getting tired of lounging inside in the a/c.




Even the llamas are feeling the stress of the heat.

Here Lexus is trying to tell us her pool is dry.  It is dry because she has nearly destroyed it laying it, but all she knows is it needs water…now.


We have lost a few chickens due to the heat as well.  They are free range, but for some reason don’t always leave the coop which gets really hot in the afternoon and evening.  Hopefully we have seen the last of this 2011 Summer for everyone’s sake.

Have a wonderful day!



Everyone buys souvenirs on vacations and trips, right?  Everyone has different tastes, things they like, things they collect, and things that pull on their heartstrings.

Well, here is our souvenir from our trip to Arkansas:

Her name is Ruby and she weighs 9 lbs.  She was running along a busy highway in Kansas on our way to Arkansas.  We got turned around and called her over to us.  Surprisingly, she came running to us as fast as her little legs would carry her.  I grabbed her and ran to the edge of the highway, and Randy noticed as we were coming toward him that she was prolapsing.  We tied a bandana around her like a diaper, called mom to start searching for a vet, and called a nearby friend for a vet recommendation

We found a wonderful large animal vet in a little town in southeastern Kansas who stitched her up to temporarily keep her together until we could get her to a vet who could further diagnose her and kennel her for the duration of our trip.  It was getting late in the afternoon and our hotel would not accept pets, so we stopped at the first vet we found who was open.  The vet and her assistant were so nice and willing to help us out.

We knew she was prolapsing, had an ear infection, and was going to have to be vaccinated just by looking at her.  As the tests progressed so did her list of problems.  They are estimating she is 7-10 years old, but did say it is really hard to tell once a dog is passed the age of two.  She needed 3 surgical procedures to correct a hernia, spay her, and correct the problem causing her to prolapse, part of which was the spaying.  She has a bucket of meds to take care of the incredible infection she had growing inside of her.

It was concluded this little girl only had a day or two left before she would have died.  We dropped her off on Thursday and went back to visit her Friday afternoon after her surgeries.  She was already sort of drugged in the picture above from being temporarily stitched up.  When we saw her after her surgeries she was groggy and scared, but still as cute as she can be.

 We absolutely did not need another dog and everytime we find a dog in need we say, “at some point we are going to have to look the other way.”  However, we just can’t keep driving.  We just can’t look the other way and go on about our lives as if we never saw it.  It is just not the way we are built for better or worse.

Tomorrow morning we will pick up our little gremlin-looking dog with a cone on her head and head to Eureka Springs to do some outdoor sight-seeing.  In the meantime we have a shopping trip planned for a little pink collar, a little pink leash, and possibly a little tote to carry her around in so she doesn’t have to walk after everything she has been through.

Some people have shot glasses, refrigerator magnets, or t-shirts…..we have dogs someone decided they didn’t need anymore or were too much trouble.  We love each one we find as much as the last!


Finally Some Cooler Weather…

 We had a few days of cooler weather and used our new grill to cook and spend some time out back with our dogs…and our llamas.

Due to the drought our grass is really short and since Lexus and Celia are pregnant and Sylvia is still growing we decided to let them on the backyard where the bermuda has gone crazy.  They loved it and spent most of the weekend out grazing on it.

The new grill has a temperature setting which allows me to bake on it…which I did.  I baked a couple loaves of banana bread on it this afternoon.

Randy put a homegrown chicken I had marinated in a lime marinade and baked beans on the smoker.  They were awesome.  We couldn’t believe how good everything tasted.  We had cut some mulberry wood that morning to use in the smoker and hopefully this winter in the wood cookstove we have on order.

I think Hank felt a little left out with all the girls on the backyard, so we let him out the gate so he could eat leaves off the elm trees and graze all the grass just outside the lots.  He was pumped.

The break from the heat was nice, but we are gearing up again for another hot streak.  Hope everyone stays cool.


Lemonade and Marinade…

Okay, not sure why this didn’t post last time (thank you Tannis), but here we go again….

I was in the kitchen this morning for a little bit and thought I would share the recipes with you.

Lemonade-Fresh Squeezed:

1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

1/2 cup raw sugar, preferably organic

Combine sugar and lemon juice in 2 quart pitcher and fill to 2 quart mark.  This isn’t really sweet and can sweeten to your liking.  We are trying to cut back on the sugar in our diet.  Next I’m going to try a honey-sweetened recipe I found.

Next I marinated some shrimp.

Lime Marinade:

1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice

1/2 cup coconut aminos (soy sauce if you prefer)

1/2 t dry mustard

3-4 garlic cloves

Combine and pour over chicken, shrimp, or fish in gallon storage bag.

We grilled the shrimp and it was delicious.  We purched a new grill/smoker and so far LOVE it.  We had hoped to brick in an outdoor kitchen, but it was just going to cost too much.  The grill works perfectly, and we hope to have a sink and food prep area added to the backyard soon also.

Happy Saturday!



Fun with Family…

Randy’s mom and grandma came for a visit over the weekend.  We had the best time.

Randy and his Grandma Gert

Grandma Gert & his mom, Mary

Grandma Gert & Cooter

Grandma Gert & Hank

Grandma Gert & Sylvia

We had such a fun time.  Thank you both for making the long trip out here and everything while you were here.

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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August 2011
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