Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Our Biggest Homesteading Fail To Date....

Life on our little hobby farm is generally wonderful.  Really.  It is hard work, but offers many great rewards.  So many that I can't name them all and we are experiencing new ones all the time. 


Matt and Tyler have been raising a new batch of chickens in order to increase their egg business.  They chicks were about two months old and the boys have faithfully taken care of them in this unusually cold weather.  We finally felt they were old enough to stay out in the henhouse/coop area instead of taking them in and out of the workshop each night. 

Well, we were wrong. 

You know that old saying, "She doesn't have sense enough to come in out of the rain?" 

Well, our chicks didn't.

They stood out in the freezing rain Monday night (instead of going into the easily accessable henhouse), and when Matt went out there Tuesday morning eighteen of the twenty were dead. 

Apparently you have to lock them up in the henhouse the first few nights so they can "learn" to get in out of the rain. 

So, in true farm fashion, we will start again. 

I guess we will always be learning something new, and in this case we learned that chickens are very stupid.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Spring Around Here....

Finally this week we have seen some warmer weather, and even though I never thought I would EVER say this, it is not nearly warm enough for me.  I am cold or chilly ALL the time.  But I have a feeling I will be changing my tune when July rolls around. 

We have had lots of wet weather, but things are growing, including the children.  My Tyler is about to be 16.  Its truly one of those things I can't comprehend.  Tyler, as an infant, did not believe in sleep.  He fought it every step of the way, so you can imagine how tired Mark and I were.  I realize now he was just one of those babies who did not need super-long naps and early bedtimes.  On those nights when we were up four or five times a night 16 seemed a long way off.  And now it is here.  And he is making up for all the lost sleep now. 

Colleen is growing a lot.  She is much more timid and shy than Streak was and prefers her mom over us anytime.  Beatrice is feeding her well and giving us about a quart of milk a day now.  Matt is an expert milker and I am trying.

Someone appears to be grumpy here.

George the Rabbit is excited about spring.  New fresh greens everyday.

Yeti the Dog is just excited about anything.  His barking is driving us all crazy.

Streak is still growing and is still my most favorite little animal ever.  He is waiting for his new home to be ready and then he will move on to greener pastures. 

And these bunnies are just plain ole cute.  I think they look like little lions. 
What's growing at your house this spring?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Our First Milking....

We tried to milk Annabelle, our first momma goat, but it didn't work out for many reasons.  But today, with Beatrice we had success.

Our first milk from our little farm.

As Matt was looking at it he said, "There's two years of hard work in that half a quart of milk." 

And there is.  And that's good. 

Today it was good to see the reward. 

So thankful that I got to see Matt's face as his hard work came to fruition.  I love that boy.

Now, to learn how to make some soap....

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Meet Colleen, the new Lil Bit...

It seems it doesn't matter what I name the goats, or any little thing here at Clark Acres, it gets called Lil Bit anyway.  And it fits.  Because Colleen is the tiniest cutest thing ever.

She was born yesterday in the early afternoon as we all went about our business of being sick and laying around watching TV and reading.  Sinuses and the flu hit us just in time for spring break to begin.  I went to the doctor Saturday praying I had strep throat.  I knew if it was strep I could get some medicine, rest Sunday, and by Monday be up and ready to go.  ha.  It was the flu.  So, it is dragging itself along and just when I think I might feel better I realize I really don't.  Three children are dealing with sinus issues and we sound like hacking machines here.

But, back to Colleen.  Even though Beatrice, the mom-goat, had a nice warm stall with new pine shavings, fresh water and privacy, she choose to have Colleen out in the mud and dirty hay on a cold windy day.  And all the other goats got to see it and it totally freaked them out.  I mean, the old grandaddy goat was beside himself trying to figure out what was going on.

We moved her and baby into her warm stall and waited to see if there might be a second one, but nope, just Colleen.  We were hoping for twin girls, but we will sure take her.  She seems to be healthy and is bonding and nursing well with mom.  Last night she and mom got to sleep with the woodstove warming them and when I went to check on her this morning she was toasty warm.    Love me some baby goats.

She is our C goat in that I am naming all our female goats in alphabetical order and using old-fashioned names because I love them so much. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Heard Around Here Lately....

I am trying to decide on a new hairstyle and have several pinned on Pinterest.  I was studying them this morning and one of my offspring walked by.  I grabbed said offspring and said,

"I'm thinking about getting a haircut.  What do you think about this one?" 

The child studied me and then studied the picture, studied some more, and then said,

"Well, it looks good on her."  

Thank you dear, thank you.

Friday, March 14, 2014


Streak, the baby goat, has a new home and I couldn't be happier with his new situation.  And, they will not be able to get him for another month, so he can hang around here with us for a little longer.  We were having to decide if we were going to sell him at market (where he would most likely end up being someone's dinner) if no one took him.  We will gladly goat-
sit for another month for him to be able to go to a great home. 

And by the way, we are small scale, very small scale farmers, so we know the ultimate fate of most farm animals.  As a matter of fact I have our rooster in our freezer right now just waiting to be made into chicken and dumplings.  The rooster attacked Abbie everytime she went in the coop and one day I just decided enough was enough.  So he is now named Dumpling.

I believe fully that animals are animals and that humans are humans created in the image of God and there is an enormous distinction there.  We are put here to rule over creation and the management of animals and our food supply is part of that job.  Believe me, if my children were hungry all those farm animals would be butchered in a heart beat. 

But, all that to say, in a way I had not expected I grew very fond of Streak.  I do not believe animals have souls, but I know they have personalities and this particular personality won me over.  I think it was because he was the first.  Beatrice, another mommy goat is due any day now, and I am determined not to get so attached, particularly if it is a boy as we will have to give him up also.  We are praying for twin girls, which would be the ideal situation. 

So, all that to say, Streak has a wonderful family that will care for him, and I am a happy MamaHen.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

What We've Been Up To...

Scouting, Baby Chicks, Baby Goats, Musicals, school, camping, planning, cleaning, organizing, getting ready for new baby goats.  There were about two weeks where I didn't know if I was coming or going.  I don't want to jinx things, but it seems the next two weeks should be pretty calm as far as the driving around the world goes.  And if we are home school things run better.  And if school things run better than we can get more done outside, and on and on and on.  I cannot believe its time to start thinking about the garden.