Saturday, November 14, 2009

Why my kids will not get the flu shot

Normally I reserve this blog for personal, cute, farm related subjects, but I feel compelled this morning to share some research I have been doing regarding the swine flu vaccine. I read in the paper this morning that out of the 22 million estimated cases of swine flu in the U.S., 4000 or so people have died. If you run the numbers on that, it means that a person would have a .o18% chance of dying were they to get the swine flu. Look closely at that number. It does NOT say 18% or 1.8%, but .018% Compare that to the figures for the regular seasonal flu that goes round every year at .094%. Again, that means that less than .1%, that's one-tenth of one percent, of people who get the flu will die from it. And the chance of dying from the "regular" flu is much higher than that of the "swine" type. Add to that the fact that most people who die from flu have an underlying condition that weakens their bodies ability to fight viral disease.
Now consider the vaccination itself. Its production was rushed, it has not been properly tested, and it contains ingredients that I would never willingly place into my body or that of my family. Check this link to a list of the ingredients in these shots and you will see such chemicals as mercury and formaldehyde.
So, as for me and my house, we will trust the Creator of our bodies and our immune systems.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

My little helper

Here are some cute pics of my cutest little helper. She helps me take care of the goats, kittens, and horses. Look at all the burrs in this mane!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Kitten rescue

Speckles decided to hide her kittens in the giant pecan tree one night. That was a good way to keep the dog away from them, but they were exposed to the rain and we could hear them crying up there. So Ricky made a daring kitten rescue. He also composed this short video.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Surprise! It's a Girl!

Yesterday my father came over to help us move a trailer, and he casually asked, "Where'd ya get the baby goat?"
"What baby goat!?"
Our goat had a baby!! We didn't even know she was pregnant. She must have been that way when we bought her at the auction 2 months ago. Anyway, her baby, Teenie, is the smallest and cutest goat we have ever seen. I'm sure you will agree. The little girls are so excited because they won't have to wait any longer to learn how to milk a goat. I'll let you know how that goes...
The video here is grainy because of the lack of strong light in the barn, but I think you will enjoy it anyway.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

7 babies!

Our only female cat just had 7 kittens! It was her first litter, so Speckles came to us when she was in labor, and we put her in a basket in the laundry room to give birth. Her first baby was breech, but she didn't need too much assistance. This was Sunday morning, and we left for church with only two kittens born. When we got back she had all 7 safely delivered. Speckles was so happy and proud of her brood. There are 4 yellow boys, 1 black boy, and two black and white girls. We already have 4 farm cats, so I told the little girls we could keep two kittens and find homes for the rest.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Grass Fed Beef For Sale

We have grass fed, organic, hormone and antibiotic free 2 year-old jersey steers for sale. We're selling them by the side which we estimate will be about 130 pounds. Our price is $6/pound finished in vacuum packaging. This is for all the cuts: burger, steaks, roasts, short ribs etc. If it's 130 pounds x $6/pound, the total for the side of beef will be $780. Of course, the price will be higher if its more than 130 lbs, less if not that much. We're taking them to the butcher on Oct 7, so need to have the orders placed before then. The beef should be ready on about Oct. 18. Let us know if you are interested.
P.S. The picture is of our new babies. The 2 year-old steers are MUCH bigger.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Belated haircuts, pears, and Cecropia caterpillar

The only fruit we got this year was from our pear tree. The ice storm in Jan. damaged our trees and we had to do some major pruning. But I do think they will recover and produce again next year.

These pics date back about 3 weeks, but I thought you might like to see them all the same. Rose donated 12 inches of her beautiful golden hair to Locks of Love. She enjoys the shorter hair. She looks so different that her Sunday School teacher didn't recognize her! Kate also had her hair cut short before she left for college.

We found this huge cecropia moth caterpillar in our yard. This was the largest caterpillar we have ever seen.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Trail of Tears Pow-wow

This is a major event in our small town. My girls dressed the part and were Indians for a day. They had a great time.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

My Trip to Oregon... part 2: The Setting

I had never been to the Pacific Northwest before, so I was enthralled with the natural beauty of the place. Mapleton, Oregon is a very small town with very big scenery. Here are some pictures that I took in Mapleton. It's so easy to take a nice picture there. Then there is a video of my friend Daniel showing me Sweet Creek Falls, where we found a giant banana slug.

My Trip to Oregon... part 1: The Wedding

Last weekend I flew to Oregon to witness the marriage of a dear friend-- my daughter's best friend. My daughter was a bridesmaid. This wedding was special for many reasons. Elisabeth, the bride, either made herself, or had a hand in making everything needed for the wedding. She made her dress, the invitations, the flowers, the cakes, the cake toppers, the decorations, the programs, etc. and everything was done in a Victorian country style. Her dress had a corset and a bustle! The bridesmaids each made their own dresses in various retro styles. The groomsmen wore suspenders and hats. The dancing at the wedding was English country. Have you ever seen a production of Pride and Prejudice? Well, that's the kind of dancing they had. Perhaps the most special element of this wedding was that the bride and groom shared their first kiss at the altar. Nowadays, that is very special.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Summer stuff

I was organizing pictures today and realized that I neglected to post these three videos for your enjoyment, so here they are in no particular order:
finding a copperhead in the field;
the little girls swinging on a double-decker swing that they designed themselves;
and our pet squirrel, Twinkie, making a nest on the bookshelf. We have since released Twinkie at Grandpa's house. He still hangs around to get easy snacks that Grandpa leaves out for him. (too many cats at our house)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Bridesmaid's dress

I finally finished my daughter's bridesmaid's dress. Her best friend is getting married on Aug. 22. My daughter and I are both flying out to a northwestern state for the wedding. We are both looking forward to it. Then my girl goes straight to college. What?! But then who will go shopping with me? With whom shall I discuss classical literature? Or who will tell me if my outfit looks dumb, or if I'm not parenting my little ones properly... wait a minute, maybe a little autonomy is not so bad :)
Ha ha! Look at this picture of the vintage crinoline slip we bought to go under the dress. It is so stiff it can stand by itself!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Quilt Catastrophe

Did you ever experience something so unbelievable that you couldn't believe it really happened? Today I experienced something that belonged in a novel or movie but not REAL life. It pains me to write about it, but I am in need of some kind of catharsis, so here it goes...

My father's very good friend made a special quilt for him. Technically it was a quilt, but more accurately a wonderful piece of art containing fabric, embroidery, beads, ornamental pins, etc. The design was an original, collaborated on by her and my father. It involved circular and linear shapes and beautiful dragonflies. This was not something you would ever put on a bed, but something you must hang on a wall in a prominent place to marvel at.
Anyway, in order to hang it, my father asked me to make a rod pocket for it. Having adequate sewing skill, I was happy to do it. So he left it here with me. First Mistake.
I already had a project underway-- a bridesmaid's dress for my daughter-- so I kept the quilt folded up and sitting next to my desk on a stool. Second Mistake.
This afternoon, I thought I'd better get started on the rod pocket, but when I looked for the quilt it was gone. With four kids and a husband in the house I was not at first alarmed but questioned everyone as to the quilt's whereabouts. You know the line, "I won't be angry with you, just tell me where you put it." No one seemed to know where it was. I looked EVERYWHERE. Thinking someone put it away with our blankets, I ransacked linen closets, checked beds, doll cribs, anywhere it could have been misplaced... nothing.
Then a horrible thought occurred to me. I went to my 14 year-old son and asked, "Honey, when you emptied all the trash cans this morning, did you do the one beside my desk?... You did? Well, did you see a big folded up blanket looking thing?"
He answered, "You mean that old carpet? Yeah, I think I threw it away."
I stammered, "B-B-But was it IN the trash can?!"
"Well, the trash can was tipped over, and the carpet was laying on top, so I thought you wanted to throw it away."
"My darling boy, what day of the week is it?"
"It's Thursday-- trash pick-up day."
I felt the blood retreat from my brain as I whispered OMG.
My son and I ran to the curb. The cans were empty. The quilt was on the way to the dump. The beautiful- one-of-a-kind- irreplaceable -work -of- art- quilt that meant a lot to my father.
I cried inconsolably for an hour.
I forgave my son.
My father forgave us both.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Shearing, Nala

Well, here we go again. It's been like a month since I've blogged. I know I need to do better. We've had some deletions and additions to our farm this month. We have one squirrel left, Twinkie, who I'm having a hard time letting go. Yeah, he's probably ready, but I'm not.
After losing ANOTHER small flock of chickens, we found a new home for our dog, Flomar, and got a more farm-friendly breed. Her name is Nala, and so far she is wonderful.
Cami was out walking in the pasture when she came upon a little kitten. We have no idea where it came from, but of course I let her keep it. We call it Chloe.
We have acquired three dairy bull calves which we bottle feed twice a day. Also a young milk goat we got at an auction. She is a SPECIAL goat. She cannot be kept in any pen or enclosure, so we lock her in the garage at night and sweep the goat berries out every morning. During the day she hangs around the house and takes naps on the back porch like a dog. She plays with the little girls when they come outside and makes such a fuss if we tie her up. We plan to breed her in the fall and milk her in the spring.
We sheared our two llamas, which we were dreading to do, but it was not so bad this year. We discovered our 14 year-old son is a llama charmer. He single-handedly took care of our large breeding male.

Monday, June 1, 2009

May 2009

No way! I can't believe it's been so long since I last blogged! Well, we had a lot going on last month, so here are some highlights:
--We graduated our first child from our Homeschool! She is planning to attend Covenant College in the fall-- right after she fulfills her duties as bridesmaid to her best friend who is getting married at the end of August!
--I had my 40th birthday. When asked what I wanted for my birthday, I only had two answers-- a milk goat, and squirrel babies.
--I got new squirrel babies! No lie! I had given my name to the local vet clinic in case anyone found some orphans, and voila! I now have a pair of cute baby boys about 7-8 weeks old. They were just barely opening their eyes when they came to me, so they are not as tame as Chippy was. I will probably release them back to the wild at 12 weeks old.
--Our huge old barn was damaged recently in some wind storms, so with the insurance money we received, we are putting on a new roof and patching holes and loft boards. We have about 100 square bales of hay in the loft, so I hope it doesn't rain much. Speaking of rain, we have had record rainfall this spring. The farmers are way behind.
--Our oldest is having all her wisdom teeth taken out by an oral surgeon on Monday. Our son, 14, is scheduled to have braces put on this summer, and I'm wondering how all this and college is going to be paid for. But God is the most excellent provider, and I'm not worrying.
--We put up the pop-up pool today. Now it finally feels like summer :)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The real reason guns are popular in the South

Today was an eventful day. Flomar discovered a four-foot long copperhead snake sunning itself on the blacktop of our driveway. She barked and alerted us before someone came upon it and got hurt. I'm so thankful for that dog! I'm also thankful that we are a gun-owning family, and that my 14 year-old son can shoot just as well as his father, who happened to not be home at the time. (Sorry, no picture, I was too freaked-out to think of it at the time.)

Thursday, April 30, 2009

birds, blooms, skinks, and dogs chewing gum

Our dog, Flomar, found a piece of freshly discarded gum on the ground today and proceeded to chew it. I watched her chew and chew and chew-- she didn't eat it, just kept chewing it. She may still be chewing it now. I've never seen a dog do that before. Flomar caught a skink today also, and I got it away from her before she killed it. The tail was off, but the little girls made a nest for it in a small bucket and are planning to rehabilitate it.

The black locust trees are blooming and exuding an intoxicating scent. Our little road is lined with them.

Remember those cute little chicks? Here's one with Grandpa's dog. (He's a special dog, as you can see.)

And here are the chicks now, about half grown. We have three reds, two whites, and two barred rocks. We lost a few to a fox, so we have been making improvements to the portable cage.

Monday, April 20, 2009

llama wool

Shearing time is fast approaching and I still have the last two years' worth of wool sitting here unsold. If you know anyone who spins, felts, or crafts with wool please direct them to this post. I have about 8 pounds of raw llama wool in gray, black, and white and I will sell it cheap!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Car Accident

An older man passed out while driving around the curve in the main road in front of our house. His truck went into the ditch and hit a tree head-on, which probably saved his life and that of his wife, as there was a fairly steep ditch they could have rolled into. We called an ambulance for them, and helped a little. They weren't hurt seriously as far as we could tell. Anyway, it made quite a commotion on our little drive.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Baby Chicks

There have not been chickens on this farm since our small flock was massacred about a year and a half ago. So we are finally starting over with 8 chicks from Tractor Supply. They are Rhode I. Reds, and probably all roosters, but we are hoping for a few hens. They are living temporarily in my laundry room in an old laundry basket.
We gave our old homemade portable coop a remodeling. We stripped off all the old plastic wire, tightened and repaired all the joints, repainted, rewired, and added a new door. This was a family affair, as you can see in the first picture. This coop is very light, and will be moved to a new patch of grass every day. We will put a nesting box in when the chickens are old enough to lay. I can't wait for those fresh eggs! Next-- fresh milk. Stay tuned...

Friday, March 27, 2009

Down time

It's been a long week. I've got a bad cold that won't go away, and haven't done much school with the little ones. But this "down time" has given them a chance to do some neat things on their own. C brings books to my bed for me to read to her and we've had lots of nice snuggle time. Little R has been reading extra books to ME. And she came up with a book-making project all on her own. (She's eight years-old.) She wrote a story using the computer word processing program and then took pictures with my digital camera to illustrate it. Then we downloaded the pictures onto her writing and printed it all out on my color printer. She was very pleased with it. She's waiting for her big sister to get home from shopping so she can help her make a cover for the book. I know she wouldn't have been so enthusiastic about it if I had MADE her do it as an assignment, so maybe down time is part of God's plan, too. (wink)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Easter Dress

For Easter, I made a dress for Ella Mae out of some left-over bridal satin. It is trimmed with white satin ribbon and pearls. The wrap is completely removable. Now C wants me to make the same dress in her size-- ouch!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Squirrel Memorial

I was at Walmart looking for some play sand for the sandbox, when suddenly I saw it-- the perfect little birdbath for my garden. Perfect because of the little squirrel. I thought, what a great way to remember my special pet! This other pic is of C holding a snail she found. She loves all kinds of creatures and is not afraid of a little slime. Plus, here is another cute trampoline video...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Grandpa has still not seen hide nor hair of Chippy. Either an owl got him, or he ran off into the big wide world to fulfill his destiny as a roving male. Meanwhile several nest-building birds have been eying Chippy's box.
I miss my widdie skwirl...
At least I have this beautiful weather to comfort me, and the knowledge that I did the right thing by letting him go. Thanks for all the encouragement.
Here's a funny video of Dad on the trampoline...

Monday, March 16, 2009


Well, we did it. We let Chippy go free at Grandpa's house. We nailed Chippy's nest box in a tree, set out his food and water dishes on a convenient stump and walked away. He proceeded to scamper all around and up and down the tree, heady with the exciting smells and textures. We walked back to the house and watched from a window. Another squirrel came by! Chippy made a threatening movement toward it, and it fled. Oh well, not too bad for his first squirrel encounter. The little girls woke up this morning missing Chippy. They called Grandpa to see if Chippy was still OK, but I think Grandpa was still waking up. We'll call again later... Here is a pic and video from the blessed event.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Art Show

Little R and C both had their artwork selected for the Youth Art Month show at the community college. Their art will be on display through the month. They received certificates at a ceremony at the college. R's picture is the fruit which she did in oil pastel at art class when she was 7 years-old. C's was done at home under the guidance of plain old Mom. C's picture is an ocean scene started with watercolor, then enhanced with oil pastel (those are sea anemones), then she actually glued coquina shells on to the paper. It's not bad for a 5 year-old.