Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Visitor

We have a friend staying with us for a month to learn homesteading skills and have fun!
She has been here three and a half days and so far she has:

  • Milked a cow

  • (Helped) shear sheep

  • Peeled logs

  • Planted in the gardens

  • Experienced our hand wheat grinder

  • Got a sour dough bread making lesson from Theresa

  • Made a batch of soap with Annie

  • Learned some wild edibles

We've also been having a whole lot of good fun! We've been playing:

  • Volley Ball

  • Badmitten

  • Football

  • Concentration

  • Bluff

As well as going on a 8+ mile bike ride, playing in the creeks and on the lake shore and having a late night slumber party every night.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Animal Graveyard

The Animal Graveyard

In every homestead that we have lived on, there was always an 'animal graveyard'. This is a place where we lay our little animal friends to rest. It's usually remote enough that tears can be shed and prayers said in privet. Mostly kittens, chicks and other baby animals are respectfully laid here,  but sometimes adult animals and old friends are also laid to rest here. Our first cat, Milly, was very sadly laid here.

There are nine 'gravestones' between these two left and right pictures of our little cemetery. Can you spy them all?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Buddy's Blue Bucket

  Our Big, Baby, Bull, Buddy's, Blue Bucket

Everyone in this household is used to the familiar slam of the front door followed by "MILK!" every morning and night from our cow and/or goat milkers. Now a new phrase has been added to the list; "Can I have Buddy's Bucket?" This proceeds the "MILK!" one. Whoever is in the kitchen will bend over and pick up the little blue bucket from it's place under the counter and give it to Andrew at the front door. To us, it's a little blue bucket with a rubber nipple on one end. To Buddy, it's; "Momma!" 

When he sees Andrew crossing the yard with this little blue bucket, he starts dancing around his pen for joy. Racing from corner to corner, he kicks, jumps and hops until Andrew gets closer to the pen. This is a very dangerous time because he's bound to eat anything that comes through the fence.

When Andrew gets tired of teasing poor Buddy, he's hooks the bucket inside his pen and lets him suck the bijeebers out of it, (well the milk anyway). He can usually down a half gallon in ten minutes. Not bad, considering you have to take it suck by suck. He's almost as good as our top hand milkers.
Afterwards, he always stands there and demands that there wasn't enough. It's amazing the excuses he comes up with to convince Andrew that he needs more. Such as; "the cat drank most of it," "I inhaled half of it through my nose, so I didn't get to taste it," "the bucket has a hole in it," "I think I'm getting dehydrated in this 50 degree heat," and; "I have company coming this weekend and need to put some aside for them."

(Of course bulls can't talk, you can just tell by his expression. )

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Sunday Sports

"Go Johnny. Run! Run!!" we all cried as he gave his pitiful little kick at the worn soccer ball and headed for first base. The pitcher quickly recovered the ball and headed after the little man. Johnny ran, arms flying and head over shoulder as he watched his approaching sister and ball. Through the running, laughter, and adrenalin, Johnny missed first base by a long shot and made a large U turn outside the field. His pursuer immediately slowed, yet continued to pant and threaten as she made a show of running out of breath. (Yea, we have quite the bunch of actors here.) When Johnny was 'safely' on first, Andrew stepped up to the the plate with his team cheering from the loaded bases. My team immediately dropped back into very deep field. In seconds the ball was whizzing past my ear with force that made me grateful it was out of reach. Laughing, screaming and yelling, we managed to get the ball up to our pitcher by the time the Andrew was heading for home. The ball flew for the home plate ahead of him. Pausing in stride, Andrew effortlessly leaped the passing ball and touched home. His teammates cheered and ours laughed at his fancy homecoming.

After that game (we lost), the football was pulled out teams were again divided. Andrew and Stephen verse the six of us. I'm happy to say we won, though humiliated to say it was a close call. They should have won and Andrew still playfully calls my awesome play 'cheating'.
Dad came out after that and another round of football was played, with Dad being all time QB and Johnny; all time rusher.  I wish I could have gotten some pictures of Johnny chasing Dad around in circles while Dad was trying to get an open pass to one of his players. They won that game, with us coming just short of the In-zone on our last down.

I love it when we our whole family plays together. Though there is different strategies involved to keep it even 5 yr old against 18 yr old, it is still just as fun. There was some yelling as rules were established in the beginning, but once the games would get underway, it was all laughter and screaming. It's fun having enough siblings for our own baseball team!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Happy Dad + Work = A Good Day!!

The other day, I was feeling a little down so I stepped outside, hoping some sunshine might help. The youngest kids were playing in the lawn while the sheep grazed around them. That has to be their favorite job, since the sheep don't need much tending and they get to play to their hearts' content. I wondered if all kids play like my siblings do... Their deep laughter was deafening and yet so familiar; it fills my ears every day. The rooster jumped up on a round bale in the barnyard and cockadoodledood his head off. The cows laid in the warm sun chewing their cud and  thinking deep cow-type thoughts. Most of the horses were following suite in the warm sunshine. I was joined on the grass hill that I was sitting on by the two new lambs who are always running around giving life to the property. New laughter and squeals reached my ears from across the creek. Through the woods, I could barely make out the peeling operation where Dad and the kids were working. (I had lunch dishes waiting on me inside, or I would have joined them in a second.) I would hear a strange voice followed by rounds of giggles, and then another voice would take over and more giggling would follow. Feeling happier, I went inside.

Later, I asked Annie about all the laughter and she simply said, "Dad was in a good mood. It was a good day." She went on to tell me some of the silly things Dad was saying and doing. When she finished, I was surprised to find myself in a good mood. It spreads like wildfire when it comes from the top of the family. :-) A few days later, I came across these pictures that Michael had gone out and taken that day. You can see by all the big smiles that everyone was quite giddy.

Playing a game that dad made up involving logs, racing, wood-chips and balancing.

Flattening one side of the rafter beams.

Carrying back a few logs that got misplaced. I heard they're really hard to carry when laughing... Then, when they found that out, it became painfully hard to hold the giggles in.

They would look at each other and start grinning and before they knew it, it was too late. They would all be in stitches of laughter and the log would be on the ground again...

Passing on the good mood! Have fun at your work today!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Just Another Morning...

While digging through my old writings the other day, I came across this story that I had written a year ago about a typical, simple, fall morning on the homestead.

It's Monday morning and there is a touch of enthusiasm in the air at the prospect of tackling a new week of work. You step outside and the world is alive after last evening's thunderstorm. The air is the first thing you absentmindedly comprehend. It is clean smelling, slightly nippy and all together fresh. As if you are breathing air that is brand new. You notice a now clear blue sky declaring the prospect of a beautiful day. The sky is darker on one side of the pasture where the storm clouds are fleeing from the rays of the sun causing the opposite side of the sky to be bright and beautiful. The grass looks already greener and the trees look illuminated with the light of the rising sun shinning through their still dripping branches. The woods are alive with the scattering of small animals and twittering of birds. Two birds in obvious love, fly around the branches of the yellow birch in the front lawn. All this you take in in about five steps. If you were to glance down the road at this point you would notice that the creek has swelled from the rainfall and is now rushing and gurgling happily. A cat runs to your leg and immediately begins to show it's affection for you by purring and rubbing around your ankles.
Let's stop for a moment here, (for who can just walk on by?) and take a moment to examine ourselves and the way we feel: We are content, nothing is pressing. Yet we are not bored or without anything to do - the milk bucket clanging by our side and the light moo of a cow remind us that we have a duty we need to accomplish. Our mind is clear. Our senses have been sent off in a pleasant way, our sense of smell is excelling, our sense of feel is enjoying the cool breeze and the purring of the affectionate farm cat. We don't have any fears; we don't have any questions. We feel good in an indescribable way. Turning, you would continue on your former quest, unaware of what you just experienced.
When you are almost to the little apple tree, you'd witness a sight something like this: Kids are going to and fro pleasing hungry animals with hay and water. Animals are munching, bleating and playing in their pens. You see projects that fill you with pride and memories of sweat and toil. Like the sun shining on your future home, that was worth the hours and hours of labor you placed in it last summer. Or a stack of fire wood, all cut and split, offering security for the winter months ahead.
More sights are pleasing your senses even if your mind is somewhere else. They are like vibrations that you can't help but to pick up as you pass each little scene. Freshly hung laundry is blowing in the morning wind. You smile at the knowledge that your smallest sister is ahead of herself on her chores. Everywhere there is something going on. The sheep are crowding at the fence as they see you approaching. They are so gentle in their manner and there is a lamb among them eager too, but unknowing why. The innocence of the lamb is evident and you immediately know why they call dear Jesus a lamb, even though there isn't a verbal word for it. You begin to pet the first one and instead of being disappointed that you have nothing for her, she immediately falls asleep under your touch. You wonder why us, in our worried, rushed and sinful lives, have the power to create such a feeling in this animal that has never done anything in it's life to displease it's Creator. You might greet the chickens who are scratching the damp earth for any signs of worms unlucky enough to not make their way back down into the ground.
Everyone is busy with their own chores and thoughts: Coming out of the garage heading toward the new house is Andrew with his tool belt strapped in place. Stephen, carrying a bucket, is passing the billy goat (his outward enemy and secret friend) and they greet each other with head tosses that resemble bucks but instead of fighting the billy turns back to his breakfast unconcerned. Theresa is carrying, with great care, one of her furry little bunnies to their daytime cage in the lawn. Michael is pulling a long hose toward the horse trough. Lizzy is on her knees in the goat pen doting on a new baby who is laying in the morning rays. The proud mother contentedly chewing nearby. Johnny comes out of the hen house dragging an ever present stick behind and declaring the arrival of three eggs. Two baby goats are atop the hay stack above you and are fighting over possession of the topmost bale. Humming, you duck the fence, stepping into the cow pen. Anyone looking on might wrinkle their nose at how much you sink in the muck, or at that smell. But in that case their minds are preoccupied and so they are missing the pleasures you feel stepping in that muck. Pleasures? Yes, there is a happy cow to greet you and a chicken jumping out of the way as you enter her stall. Your boots aren't that muddy and that's what they are for, aren't they? Her stall is full of hay and her udder is full of milk that ever hungry, growing little brothers will happily enjoy later. What is there to be unhappy about? You take the first squirt away from the bucket then you pull the bucket under her udder and begin the rhythm that provides such a good backdrop for deep thoughts, plans and dreams... Ah, yes. Animals are such gifts from God! They always feel what we can only feel when we are close to God and simple. Like that of a small child (and we know that the gates of heaven are always open to a little child). Little children carry this feeling I'm describing with them as well. You may think it's just because they're children and don't have any worries because 'Daddy' will always take care of them, but we need to understand that we have a Daddy too, whom we can also completely trust to the same amount that a child trusts and earthly father.

Monday, May 12, 2008

NEW Indiana John movie released!

My brothers finished our latest short film last night; Indiana John, and released it free online for all to view!

Please be patient while it loads let us know what you think!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Got Cats?

We do... Our oldest (and very pregnant) mama demanded to be let in the house yesterday and the girls didn't hesitate to oblige her. She knows how to do the whole birthin' thing. Lizzy tried to bring her in a few days ago and she wasn't too happy. It wasn't her time yet.

I was in my room and heard Theresa calling Annie: "She's going to have them soon, Annie!!"
Annie: "Why?"
Theresa: "Cause her water just broke.... on me."
Then, I hear Andrew asking Mom how much pizza he can have.  Mom answers, "You can have as much as you want." With that the cat gives a meow/groan (if you've ever heard a cat giving birth you'd know what I'm talking about), and Theresa cried: "I see it!" The next thing I heard was Andrew's groan, and "never mind...".

It was visible a moment later. Annie's excitement died in her mouth as she declared that Lizzy's cat gave birth to a lizard. Not really. I guess it was just an ugly baby. Annie pointed out the long tail to Theresa when they were deciding if it was cute or not.
"See? It's tail is like two inches long! ...So is it's extension cord." Sigh. After tons of litters of kittens and millions of baby farm animals, she still can't remember what a umbilical cord is! What am I going to do with that girl...? Or all those cats?!

 Anyone want one? Or two?? Oh, and we also have a litter of rabbits arriving soon, (due yesterday). Anyone up for long ears?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Homemade Banner

Since I was feeling a little under the weather today, I decided to put together a banner for my new blog with pictures from around our homestead. Each of us kids appear once (actually, I appear twice) and 15 different animals. Andrew and Stephen are sword fighting in the bottom left corner (a common past time of the boys). Lizzy is holding Whitey next to them. I am hugging Brimi above her. Theresa and I are ridding my mare, Lady, in the center. Johnny and my dog, Molly, are below us. Michael and Whitey are above Buttercup (the cow) on the right, and Annie is above them holding baby Danny, our ram.

Lund Family Productions Blog Update

Just a quick note to say that our movie site Blog has had an update:

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Morning the Cows turned up Missing...

Our cows annually break out once a year during fly season. This is a story I wrote about last year's breakout. (Note: they'll have to swim a moat if they want to this year!!)

The Morning the Cows turned up Missing...

"I don't know where the cows are, and now I'm not so sure I know where we are." The words are spoken in low, hushed tones as if to not awaken the woods around us. My sister and I gathered closer around the speaker, our brother.

The blazing sun brought the temperatures high above one hundred degrees. The insects were the size of dollar coins and in swarms so thick you couldn't see through them. They drew blood mercilessly on everything that breathed. We had to fight animals that had threatened our lives.. with knives. Luckily, we won and walked away with our only prize—our life. We hunted down food in the wilderness, climbed mountains cliffs and fought through raging rivers. For our source of direction, we followed the stars. We made our own clothes with the ferns that blocked our path and blinded us from all sense of direction. We'd been gone thousands of ... well, more then we could keep track of .... seconds.

Yes, waking up to reality from a call on the walkie-talkie I realized we'd only been gone an hour or so. Rising the instrument of communication to my mouth, I answered the question: "We're at the back northeast corner of our land, and no—no signs of the cows yet. Andrew says we're heading in."
So, in reality, we were dripping sweat, but the temperature was only around 70. We did climb steep ravine edges and had to jump a creek. The bugs were bad so we did make silly looking fern hats to keep the bugs and sun off. I did pluck a few evergreen berries when I was hungry but spat them out because they were so bitter. Andrew was keeping an eye on the sun and where our shadows landed. As far as the life-threatening animals... the ticks were pretty vicious. Andrew had gotten sick of them and started cutting them in half with his knife.

Suddenly, I glanced down. "Andrew, cow hoof prints!" I cried. "You both walked right over them," I continued to a doubtful looking Andrew and a surprised Theresa, who still wore her silly fern hat—though it was slipping sadly over her eyes.
    "Are you sure?" Andrew asked, kneeling beside the pointed-out prints and pulling back underbrush.
    "Yes, see the split hoof?" I answered. Jumping up I pulled my walkie-talkie out of its place at my pocket and rang home. I made contact almost immediately. "We've found prints!" I told Dad.
    "But we've been all over around here," Andrew countered. "They're not here."
    "We have to follow these," I pointed out.
    "They're going this way," Theresa said, pointing south.
    "You see," Andrew defended himself. "I didn't miss the prints. I was leading us is the right way all along."  He tossed a smug smile at us and we started walking again, though the prints disappeared shortly after and Andrew insisted on heading home.
     I called in and told Dad that we were heading home unsuccessful.
    "I thought you had just found their tracks," he answered.
    "Yes, but Andrew says we've seen these before and we've been all over in here, so we're coming in for lunch."
    "Okay, where are you?"
    "Just crossing the fence in back." I jumped the wire and stumbled into the brightness of the closely-eaten 30 acre pasture. Looking up, I could see the house only a half-mile up. Sigh. Fantasy may be more exciting, but it is nice to have a place to go to when you get hungry, I thought.   

So, to finish off the tale, we found 3 of the 4 missing cows in the back of someone's pasture. We'd spotted them from the road while driving in the van. I think I gave Theresa, who was sitting in front of me, a near heart-attack at my sudden outcry of "I SEE THEM!!!". We searched the whole area for cow #4 but found nothing. The foliage was so thick you couldn't see more then 3 ft. into the woods. After a while, we brought the other cows home through the back fence again (we should just make it a revolving door at this point!). It was about 5pm and the cows hadn't been milked yet, so Andrew hurried to it. The next day we finally found the fourth cow's remains. Yes, she'd died, probably from the stress of it all. While we were disappointed, we weren't surprised because she had been very skinny and sickly before we bought her, and we really hadn't expected her to live as long as she had. Though, she'd paid herself off in the milk she'd produced in the few months we'd owned her.

So ended the two day cow marathon.


Many people are feeling called to live simply, jump out of the rat race, and bring their families back together on the land, to work, pray and simply live. My family was called to this lifestyle and have a mission to bring families back together on the land in the form of community. A post will be coming in the near future, (it's brewing in my head) about bringing 'Dad' back into the center of the family flow. You can visit to learn out more about what we are doing.

If you would like to get to know us more, you can also check out this website that my siblings have for our movie making hobby:

Off to work this beautiful morning. God bless you all today!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Thank you Guardian Angel...

I am very familiar with the great views that can be had with a horse between my legs. Well, today I got to see a view that was not so great and this one was between their legs. My mare of one year has been CRAZY with (ahem) PMS  this spring. Last Sunday she went through 7 fences!!! We had to keep her separate from the herd (away from the boys) this week and tried putting her back in today... not so good. She is still in heat! As soon as I walked in the pen everybody went crazy and the next thing I knew I was under four legs with my sister screaming. I got knocked around a bit but thankfully never stepped on. I was plastered (disgustingly) in a foot of manure/mud. When I finally caught her again, (amazingly without any broken fences!) and got her back in her confinement pen, my (other) sister commented ever so sweetly that I looked a little less than pleasant. I said I felt and smelled less than pleasant. It wasn't until I got inside though, that I saw what she meant. I had manure/mud splattered on my face and in my hair and my clothes were drenched through with the stuff. Showering never felt so good!

On top of this exciting event, the mule that I am training dumped my little sister off today. I was sitting on her for a half hour yesterday and she did perfect but today she was a little 'gooseir' (as we call it). She has always had the problem of feeling goosy when she has a bareback rider on. I and other siblings have been dumped for this reason. I did think she was finally getting over it though. If I used a saddle, she'd probably do fine but, I have a thing against saddles. They've caused more falls then not for me and I plumb don't care for 'em.


Welcome to this new blog of mine! This is my first blog so bear with me as I figure out all this computer tech stuff. I've been thinking of blogging for some time now, as my desktop folder is full of writings of this wonderful lifestyle. Now, I finally have a place to dump all these stories, thoughts, songs, ideas and ponderings of mine. I hope you enjoy reading up and sharing in my latest laugh or smile as I continue to share this different way of life with any interested readers. I must add as a closing though, that this way of life is not possible alone. A human can not sprout a weed or do anything without God. Thank You for shining Your beautiful light on our farm today God! I love You!