Sunday, September 19, 2010



Mary here--As kinda the chief editor of the new blog, I get gifted with writing the first post. Yehaw! In case you were wondering why I say first post when there are over a hundred in the archives... it's because everything dating from Aug. back was transferred over from the Homestead Daughter blog that I used to manage. From now on, this blog is multi-authored. Whereas the previous blog was almost all written by me, I am getting a lot of help on this one!

Alrighty, so what's new...

Several mornings ago, as I was walking down the dirt trodden path to the cow pen to let them out to the pasture, a strange crunching noise beneath my bare feet momentarily surprised me: Leaves!
Well, that was a couple of weeks ago and now there's no denying it; fall is in the air in the form of gently drifting leaves. Ah yes, fall again. Some people call it 'the most wonderful time of the year' while others insist it's depressing. I just think of it as beautiful. It means nippy mornings, and covering gardens at night, processing everything in the garden as well as the wild edibles; it means scrambling to finish the summer's projects, as well as spending more time outside soaking up the last joys summer has to offer. I guess in summary, it means more work and I'll be honest; the spring work is attacked with far greater enthusiasm than the fall. Christmas and the relaxing slower pace of life that winter brings are our only consolation bribes to complete the end of the season chores. I am drinking in the beauty of my summer flowers with oh so much gratitude lately in hopes that I don't miss them as badly this winter. If it weren't for Christmas, I think I would feel far more unpleasant about the coming of winter's cold breath. Maybe it's for that very fact that Jesus chose to be born in the wintertime so that we can celebrate the gifts of life, growth and joy amidst a cold dead season. Ahh, Christmas. I love it! At any rate, I need to cease my rambles before they get away from me like so many of my previous posts (you poor dear readers). ;)

Okee, some quick updates...

Despite occasionally overwhelming amounts of work, I feel like we've been putting decent dents in the imaginary list of chores. The barn is is nearly done up to the ceiling all the way around. A couple more batches of cob maybe, then it's on to the roof.

The giant potato patch just finished being harvested by many little hands digging through its hills. The harvest was good but we need to stop piggin' out on tasty fries and fluffy mashed potatoes if we want to fill our root cellar. I tend to point fingers at the growing young men in the family, but the fact is; this family can really put away potatoes!

Despite some struggles, our tomatoes yielded pretty well this year. With some trepidation, Mom tried out a really old time recipe for ketchup. She boiled them down on our sap boiler outside which left the whole farm smelling deliciously like a brat fry. A rare and definitely better than normal smell for the barnyard, I must say. :) Anyway, the ketchup turned out to be the best in the whole word and our cellar is proudly supporting it in jars on its shelves. Though we've made 8 gallons, we are eating it really quickly, as the kids are discovering all kinds of new things that seem like ketchup would be good on. :) Oh well.

I got our herd of sheep all sheared with the help of the boys last month. They all survived with only a couple of nicks, so I was pleased. Their fleeces were not good due to matting, but I have hopes for the new growth. I also got the hooves of our horse herd just about all trimmed. Stephen's mare is the only one left.

The animals are all getting cute and furry around the barnyard. Yet another sure sign of winter. The ponies and horses have been getting a good amount of exercise this summer. They transport the kids to the best berry patches and apple tree groves as well as rustling the cows up from the back pasture at milking time. Stephen and Theresa are our cowpokes: They work with both the young and untrained horses in the afternoons, but are always grabbing 'their' trained horses to go out on trail or bike rides in the evenings with the other kids. Occasionally, I get to ride, but only when Theresa braves a younger mount so that I can ride the nice small, well trained one. Yes, I'm a lousy excuse for a cowgirl. ;-P

Andrew made a solar food dehydrator that was working great this summer, but now that it's cooler outside, it's not performing as well. Still, it granted us a couple huge batches of dried apples with its size!

Donna continues to be an absolute peanut, joy, bugger, and just a wonderful baby sister. She's such a little girly girl, too, she loves to change her clothes multiple times a day, play with baby dolls and she is talking almost nonstop now, putting words together in choppy sentences with such an air of maturity. :) While helping us out in the field with the potato digging, she would carefully dust her hands off after each potato she put in the bag! She actually filled nearly a half bag. When Michael teased her, holding out a worm to her, she, very grown-uply, told him; "Mikegle deet!" (Michael don't) before taking the worm between pinched fingers and holding it out away from herself, throwing it into the mound behind us, saying "yucky" as she did so. Such a female. :) When out running and playing rosy cheeked with her siblings, I've noticed her be very caring and motherly to her older brothers, despite many years age difference. One time while I was watching from the porch, Michael fall laughing in the yard, but Donna paused her laughing, running up to him, putting a little hand on his shoulder and asking "K? K?" right into his face (are you okay?) and it wasn't until he assured her that he was that she laughed, asking him to do it again. :) She loves her dolls and books. The other night she climbed onto Mom's lap with her doll. She was making the baby cry, "whaa, whaa," and then comforted it, "shh, shh, baby nurse?" and then attempted to shove the baby in Mom's shirt, like she gets to do, for a comfort nurse. lol! At least she shares. :) Probably most remarkably is the really strong relationship she has with Dad. They are quite close friends and, for a twenty two month old baby girl, I think that's rather unusual. I attribute it to the fact that Dad has been home with her literally every day of her life. I love watching her climb into his lap with her goat milk bottle and a book in the evening. It gives me a silly grin every time I witness it. And also I think because of their relationship, her brothers are really good with her, too, playing, teasing, torturing, you know... I am continually amazed at the life she has. I mean, what other baby thoroughly enjoys every member of her family all day every day? Gets to ride the pony, carry the kitty, pet the bunny, every day? Walk through the garden clinging to Mom's finger and munching away at one fresh veggie or fruit after another? Who, every night, goes on a multiple mile long bike ride with all her siblings laughing around her? Indeed, I think she is the happiest baby I've ever known. She has the biggest, cutest, most perfect smile on her face just all of the time. I continually wish her life, her happiness, the amount of love she receives, on every baby growing in the world. Surely all the love she has bursting in her little heart is going to be somehow used in God's plan for her future. And maybe it's just me, but every time I get her up in the morning, she's cuter than she was when I kissed her good night the night before... :) (And yes, that is probably the biased big sister/godmother speaking for me.)

Well that's all I have time for right now. Thanks for visiting! And please do enjoy your fall, for everything that it is. :)


  1. Mary it is SOOO beautiful!! Everything... the new blog, your writing, your LIFE, (and Donna of course :P :)
    I am just so tremendously happy for you guys!

    (BTW...My friend from CA is leaving today, so I will try to call you soon.)

  2. Your blog is great fun to read. Thanks so much


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