Oh, Hello

Well, WordPress sure changed while I’ve been away.

Happy Thanksgiving

Merry Christmas

Happy New Year

That’s covers the major ones. I have been away.

The Holidays were good and I got most of my projects done – still haven’t stained Kutt’s new bed ūüė¶ He’s being a trouper about the delayed bedroom makeover.

I accidentally went off my depression medicine right before Christmas. I think I’m still messed up from that. I waited until I had 3 pills left, like I usually do, only this time, the refill expired 5 days before I called. The pharmacy said they would call my dr.’s office. Six days later, I’ve been off my pills and am having the most bizarre dreams!! I’m getting dizzy like crazy and feeling like when I turn my head, it takes 5-10 seconds for my mind to make the turn with my body! Really creepy. And was a grouch!!! My kids would have used a different word: b*(^*&*. Karra announced that she would be following herself to Michigan if I was like that for Christmas. Personally, I would have liked to see her follow herself. Anyway, I called my dr. office and got back on my meds. I’ve been a much nicer person to be around since then.

I’ve really been re-thinking my blog lately and haven’t decided if I should continue on with the hobby farm, revamp what I write about, or start a completely new blog. Until I decide something, I guess I’ll keep rambling to you.

I feel like the hobby farm is winding down – or maybe just changing seasons. We butchered SugarBelle in September and I sold LibertyBelle in December – she’s now happily mated to a Hereford bull and expecting a Baldy calf. Torpedo is a steer – not as much fun as a moo moo mama, and a little on the grouchy side being by himself most of the time. ¬†I miss my cows. If we venture into a milk cow again, I’ll make sure I can get her bred easily, and also probably go with a regular sized cow. The Dexters didn’t prove to be all we had hoped for. I want a sweet cow. I want a dehorned cow.

The sheep are so easy to take care of – not to mention breed. Shamrock joined the ladies October 1st and we separated them in late December. Honey and Stormie already show signs of udder development. Kristen has bumped the girls and she’s pretty sure that 4 of them are pregnant. Rebekah we’re not sure of – she’s an awful lot like her mama, Daisy. ūüėÄ

One of the things I’m thinking about for future hobby farming is replacing our Shetland lamb that died and raising some woollies. ¬†It would probably be smarter to go with a spinnable wool hair sheep, but we’re still pretty leery of horns on animals. Soay have horns. Painted Dessert sheep have horns. When it comes to wool, Jacob sheep and Icelandic sheep have horns. Icelandics are pricey, too! ¬†I’m thinking about alpacas or llamas, too. My niece had a beautiful llama when she was in high school – Dominick. Oh, he was gorgeous!!!! ¬†If I could raise the fleece, there is a mid Ohio fiber mill where I could have them washed, carded, and spun. I could put them on my Etsy shop (which I finally opened!) as roving, or knit them into something.

We’re also talking about replacing our chickens this year, but not Brik!! And we may be getting piggies to grow for the freezer. Yum, yum.

My head continues to spin with ideas for how to start my own little cottage industry from my own little – well, big – cottage. ¬†The transcription course got bogged down in cyber relax massage chairs (don’t ask) and I’ve gotten very discouraged with it. I know it’s something I could do, but I really got hung up with it. And quite honestly, all I want to do is spend the days and hours of my life in my sewing room creating things. Fun things, usable thing, whimsical things, nonsensical things, practical things. Things that will bless people. Things that people can bless other people with.

OK, the Etsy shop. Yes, I opened it. The only item in it is one of Kristen’s paintings. I’d love to see her sell it, but in the meantime, it hangs in my living room and I really, really like it!

The plan is to stock The Crazy Bumble Bee.Etsy shop with baby blankets and bibs. At least to start. I have a partially finished blanket in the sewing room for my friend, Sarah, whose baby shower I couldn’t attend on Tuesday because I’M SICK! ¬†I really like piecing together squares for a simple baby blanket. It’s fun. I’m looking forward to blessing the Woman’s Clinic of Columbus with baby blankets, as well as stocking the Etsy shop. ¬†Hopefully by fall I will have some Christmas items done that I can stock as well. I would still like to do a completely Christmas shop, but I’ve felt God speaking to me about that, so it may be something I keep separate from The Crazy Bumble Bee; I’m not sure at this point.

Kurt’s LEGO robotics and invention team is doing well and they’ve advanced to the State Finals competition next month. Go LEGO Force! ¬†Kristen had her first IEA show yesterday (I left my death bed to attend). She did respectable for her first Open classes, two fourth place finishes. She and our team’s top horsemanship rider both drew the same horse and after watching her teammate have a not so good ride, Kristen started to get her in her own way. But when she went out to ride, she rode that horse! She definitely had the better ride and when we watched a really good rider on him later, she only finished one place above Kristen and her teammate on the same horse. It was a big win for Kristen in that she didn’t let herself focus on her teammate’s ride, but went out and tried to do something different to find the horse’s buttons. And it worked! Our next show is in West Virginia! and is the weekend after Kurt’s LEGO competition.

And That’s What’s Been Happening on the Hobby Farm.




Not the Update I Wanted

We have been so busy lately. ¬†This past weekend was the first one I’ve spent at home all month – the first weekend without a horse show. ¬†It was fun, but I was ready for being home. ¬†I have pictures and they are awesome and stories and they are amazing! ¬†And I wanted to post them today!

But today didn’t turn out to be a happy blogging kind of day.

We finished lambing season with 7 babies: twins, two singles and triplets. ¬†The twins have been on bottles and of course we got attached to them. ¬†Yesterday Tipsy wasn’t taking his bottles and was getting bloated. ¬†We took him to the vet for an ultrasound that showed some gas, but not intestinal blockage. ¬†He took some half bottles, but still didn’t poop. ¬†Another ultrasound and the gas and build up were very obvious. ¬†Something was blocking his ability to poop. ¬†The choices were surgery or sleep. ¬†We had to put him down. ¬†It was so hard. ¬†It’s been two years since we lost a lamb and we thought we had cleared the hurdles this year. ¬†It’s been tough. ¬†Kristen has shed so many tears today. ¬†Her friends have been the greatest and so encouraging and supportive. ¬†Little Tina is a bit lost without her brother. ¬†I’m hoping that she’ll get into the pen with the other sheep and cuddle up with Daisy’s baby, Misty.

I’ll try to get the horse show pictures together (most of them are on my phone) this week. ¬†Next week is spring break, but I’m booked for half of it with Kurt’s birthday and the Midwest Homeschool Convention.

As I encouraged Kristen this afternoon, she had plenty of ‘whys’ running around inside of her. ¬†It’s so easy to ask why. ¬† Why him? ¬†Why us again? ¬†What did he do, he’s just a baby? ¬†Why would God let this happen? ¬†I honestly had such peace today. ¬†I haven’t cried a single tear. ¬†I had to encourage Kristen to just keep trusting God. ¬†We don’t understand how this could possible work together for good. ¬†We don’t see His big picture. ¬†If it hurt us so much to see an innocent animal suffer and die, how must it break God’s heart when an innocent child is ripped from its mother’s womb – the place He created to knit that child together?

We are fearfully and wonderfully made. ¬†ALL of God’s creation is fearfully and wonderfully made. ¬†We have been given such a privilege to love His creatures, to nurture and care and steward His creation. ¬†I am so blessed to love these animals. ¬†I am so blessed to love my children.

Thanks for listening to our happenings and my reflections.

Sunny and Cool Sunday Afternoon

With a good football game on to boot!

What a beautiful fall day. ¬† Of course, it’s October cold instead of September warm, but it is a nice crisp day.

I haven’t done any spectacular to report on in the last couple of weeks. ¬†I did pick up a free cabinet that Kristen and I are going to paint and use to store canned goods and canning supplies in the basement. ¬†I cleaned it up this past week, but now it needs to be sanded before I can repaint and then it will be a new surface for Kristen and her paint brush. ¬†I was pretty excited to pick it up for free off of craigslist.

We’re hoping we have a buyer for the sheep this week. ¬†He emailed yesterday but I haven’t heard back. ¬†We really want to see Joy and Stormie go for breeding and not for someone’s feast – I’ve had a couple of calls from people with heavy accents (how do you say that without sounding prejudiced?), but it would break my heart to know they were butchered. ¬†Fortunately, I’ve been able to say that I have a sale pending – thank you, God!

We picked apples on Friday and got 1 1/2 bushels of drops for the price of a 1/2 bushel picked off the tree. ¬†I was doing some math for my homesteader ladies and last year the drops that became applesauce saved me as follows: ¬†applesauce in the little cups runs around $1.88 (last time I bought it) and I’d buy 6 pkgs. a month. $11.28/month x 12 = $125.36. ¬† ¬†I saved on applesauce last year – $125.36 – ¬†$24 for the 4 oz. jars I invested in ¬†= $101.36. ¬†This year my Mom has given me another dozen jars, so the savings will be even more significant. ¬†Of course, it’s a lot of work to do all of those batches of applesauce.

The girls came home from the barn on Friday with a 50# feed bag full of sweet corn that the trainer had given us. ¬†Sweet corn is something I just didn’t have the resources for this year and now I’ll still be able to put some in the freezer!

Did I mention that we butchered our old chickens? ¬†I didn’t cry and Sarah will be commemorated with a plaque naming the new chicken coop for her. ¬†We boiled up the carcasses and got 25 1/2 cups of chicken stock and 10 cups of usable meat. ¬†The meat was really tender. ¬†We used 4 cups of the meat in a pot pie and it was very tasty. ¬†I’m going to BBQ some of it too.

I only got 11 pints of pears from our tree. ¬†A lot of the pears were tiny or too full of bugs and bad spots, so the chickens got quite the feast from them. ¬†They’ve also been getting quite the feast from my garden. ¬†The old girls never tried to squeeze through the fence into the garden, but these gals go right through the holes and eat my green tomatoes!! ¬†I chase them around with a stick and have to climb on the compost to finally get them out. ¬†I may have to do something much different with my garden fence.

I went through a nightmare trying to download my much raved about Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle. ¬†We’re on super slow internet so I got up Thursday night to download and the link wouldn’t work. ¬†I emailed and tried again Friday night with no luck. ¬†I emailed customer service again and she sent me a new link since they had reports of problems with satellite connections not working. ¬†Up AGAIN last night (have I ever mentioned that I like to sleep all night?) and the new link worked. ¬†I downloaded everything including two videos on using herbs. ¬†Today I ordered the bonus freebies that interested me and signed up for two ecourses. ¬†I have lots of reading to do and I’m excited about it.

And That’s What’s Happening on the Hobby Farm.

Ride ‘Em Ramboy!!!

Kristen has a habit of bringing the sheep to the front door on their lead lines and letting them say hello. ¬†I know what’s coming when I hear the doorbell, but ¬†I wasn’t prepared for today’s surprise. ¬†Instead of having one of the ewe’s with baby in tow, she had our ram, Joshua.

“Where’s Kurt? ¬†I have a pony for him to ride.”

Oh, that was too funny!  So, I called Kurt to come downstairs because his sister had a surprise for him.  He showed up in his pajamas for the surprise.  Out the door he went Рthis looked like fun!

Ride 'em Ramboy!


Kurt riding Joshua


And for good measure, later in the day, Kristen decided to try him out.   Um, Honey, I think your legs are a little too long.

Kristen riding Joshua


Poor Joshua was a pretty good sport about the whole thing. ¬†He seemed happier with Kurt on board, but then Kurt doesn’t weigh much more than little Joy.

The girls have been walking the Mama ewes around the yard to enjoy the fresh new grass that is starting to grow. ¬†The sisters haven’t had much interaction with each other though. ¬†Joy has butted Stormie a little, but mostly she ignores her and Stormie spends her time hopping and jumping and practicing her baby acrobatics. ¬†Joy just eats – like her father. ¬†Today she wandered into the driveway when I went to let the chickens out, and got a little scared when she realized that she’d wandered away from Mommy. ūüôā

We’ve had a glorious day here today. ¬†Plenty of sunshine, 70* and sunny. ¬†I was going to wash sheets and hang them on the line, but with a 35 mph wind, I would have been chasing pillow cases across the fields. ¬†So, I did laundry inside, took down my winter snowmen (for the second year in a row they’ve made it all the way to April!) and put the Americana decor back on the bookshelf. ¬†There is something so summery about seeing an American flag waving – even if it’s just being positioned in the empty oil lamp!

And That’s What’s Happening on the Hobby Farm.

Would you like an ultrasound with that?

We had the vet out this morning to check the blue spots on Joshua’s eyes (turned out to be pink eye and we already had the medicine on hand). ¬†We were discussing with the vet how we were hoping that the girls were bred and we’d have babies about March and the vet said, “We can do an ultrasound and check them.” ¬†I always see dollar signs because having the vet out is never cheap. ¬†Well, I’m glad I spent the money!

It seems our little Joshua is quite the virile young man – breeding before his time! ¬†Honeysuckle is quite along in her pregnancy and entering her 3rd trimester -she’s due on my birthday January 28!!! ¬†Daisy is about halfway through her pregnancy and due around March 1st. ¬†Each of them is carrying a single lamb for their first time – I’m assuming because Josh’s “count” hadn’t reached maturity.

So, we’ll need to increase feed for the girls and figure out where in the world – in the unfinished barn or in the workshop – we’re going to set up our lambing pens. ¬†Poor Joshua may find himself all alone once the babies come. ¬†He got himself into this situation :). ¬†He was very cute during Daisy’s ultrasound he wanted to see his offspring so badly that he tried to eat the ultrasound machine. ¬†I’m so proud of the little guy doing the job he came here to do – with joy! ¬†With abandon! ¬†With eager anticipation!!!

And That’s What’s Happening on the Hobby Farm!