Tag Archive: farm



The view from our front yard.  Lightened it  so the mailbox can be seen

                           The view from our front yard. Lightened it so the mailbox can be seen

This evening I sit on our farm’s podium stand which spans over the fence and allows me to step up and over the fence without catching on the barbwire. I sit down. It is immediately calming.  I take a deep sigh of contentment.

The heat of the day has cooled, twilight has begun, melding the reds, oranges, and blues into indigo quickly from the clouds covering the west sky from storms ensuing in Western Kansas. Tranquility takes the place of blustering of the wind to a  breeze to ruffle the hair, causing the prairie grass and windmill weeds to dance as I gaze over the pasture with our cattle grazing in the distance.

Fall breathes in the air.  It is in the heaviness of the pregnant momma cows soon to birth their babies. Some for the first time and others, seasoned veterans,  browsing for a last bite of grass before sleep.  A two-month-old calf makes a breakneck run with the coolness of the evening. The ripening fullness of the apples, pears, and the wooden props to hold the various arrays of flavor awaiting picking to be turned into jams, jellies, and lovely spiced apple pie filling.  Other non-edibles put out their “fruit” or seeds, the feathery foxtails, windmill grass, sticktight weeds which speckle the dogs’ fur as they rest on top of the hay bales watching and guarding the cattle in the field.

Annie and Oakley watching over the cattle in the field

Annie and Oakley watching over the cattle in the field

 

My mind is still running even though my body is relaxing.  An adult child moving to Hawaii, another far away in North Carolina.  Too far from me, because I still see them as my sweet babies.  Two in college in a close town, but not close enough to the farm.  A baby shower cake for next week, 8 bushels of apples to prepare this weekend,  instrument music night for the school,  a husband feeling ill, a children’ book dream, PRN (as needed) nursing night shifts when not working the orchestra.  All the things that can roll through your mind trying to shut out the calmness from the field.  I have to shut the mind down to enjoy the moment or it will distract me.

It is isolated out here away from my friends and family.  Too far for most people to come out and see me and I can’t just pick up and pop in within few minutes and run over to see them. No barn parties, no bonfires, no hayrack rides with people coming out to enjoy life here as we do.  Nine years has still produced an isolationism especially with all the children gone from the home.  So I take solace in the cattle, in the sweetness of the farm cats curling around my lap, wanting to be pet and coddled, and the company of the girls.  I am blessed, though I feel lonely tonight or at least seemingly alone in my perspective.  I know the Lord is sitting here beside me, using nature to comfort and remind me of His creation.  It does give me peace knowing this.

Today is the last day before this blog is to expire and there is much of a struggle too.  As much as I want to continue, I have been negligent to keep it up.  Life gets so busy I can’t sit down and take the time to think.  To bake and take pictures, post recipes that I would to, and share the farm life with you.  I don’t know what the blog will be or where it will be or if it is to be no more.  I guess we will see tomorrow.  But for right now, I share my photos of the beauty I have here.  I am still amazed that my phone camera does such a very good job of taking photos.  But you can’t improve on God’s handiwork, can you?

Evening on the dairy farm

                          Evening at Faye Farms Dairy

 

Wooden fence with grapes ready to be ripened

Wooden fence with grapes to be ripened

In love with blackberries

Love in the Blackberries

 

 

 

Seeking and searching for hidden treasures under the grape leaves

Seeking and searching for hidden treasures under  the grape leaves

 

 

 

 

 

Friend's fence and field where I am gleaning

                       Trumpet Vines and Grapes on a Friend’s fence and field where I am gleaning

 


Dogs.  You can love them, and they can drive you crazy.  You met the puppies briefly in the last blog post.  In December, the dogs were very bored.  They had been wanting to get the cats when the cats would sit on the hay bales to get away from the dogs herding them. The girls found a way to get up there.

One morning,  I got up, and low and behold, the dogs were on top of the hay bales.  They were on a roll of teasing each other and started chasing each other.  I was lucky they had just begun.  I tried not to laugh too much since I was videoing the whole thing.  Here is the link for you to watch the fiasco.  https://youtu.be/piOKTXdgq5c

I hope you enjoyed the vignette of our silly girls.  You can see why we love them.  The black one, Oakely, is our ADHD sweetie.  Annie just loves to tease her sister but is more teachable than Oakley.  I should have named Oakley after the bouncy, trouncy Tigger from Winnie the Pooh.  She just bounces all the time when we are around.   Or any time for that matter.  But we have a Tygger in our group already.  They are named after the famous folk sharpshooter Annie Oakely.

The girls were bought from Oklahoma and sadly enough had not had a human touch until they were six weeks old.  They were born in February 2015. We bought them at eight weeks old. It was a litter of 8.  Momma was a border collie and daddy was collie and blue heeler mix.  They were also the smaller of all of the puppies.  The males were twice the size of the girls. The only other female was cowering in the corner, so she was out.  BUT, we fell in love with them.  The first few nights I had them sleep with me in the recliner chair since they were so human love starved and in some way food starved.  So I became the alpha, as the Jurassic World, Chris Pratt, had said.  They love me and obey me, but are having to learn to help the man with the cattle in the future.  But a half trained puppy is a barbarian puppy…..  They are not allowed inside often just due to the fact they are going to be herders.  If I had my way, they would sleep with us in the bed!  Except WE probably wouldn’t get any sleep, we would be dead from being licked to death and bounced on. (I really should call my husband The Conductor, since that is what he was with the BNSF.  The farmer, or the man, doesn’t quite sound right…. even though he is a rancher now and I call myself a ranchette wife with the small amount of 240 acres we do have)

There will be more of the puppies and their antics and hopefully their training to be cattle dogs.  But first we have to have them spade to help their alpha aggressiveness diminish, especially to one another. They should not have been from the same litter and not both alpha females according to the animal behavioral trainer.  This has caused some behavioral issues toward one another.  I was hoping for one female to allow to have for breeding, but there are other dogs in the area, especially a Great White Pyrenees and we could not chance him breeding her since he is not penned up and they are not near two years old for safety and health sake.

 

 

 

 

 


The Holiday season is over, and the house is now quiet.  My hubby and I are watching the football games.  Well, he is, and I am at the computer.

Much has passed since the last posting and I have been remiss on keeping up to date.  Learning the violin is much tougher than I thought and I will always be a die-hard French horn player.  But working at a middle school/high school orchestra assistant.  It has been so enjoyable to be around young students and a challenge to be in a new field.

But most of you are looking for recipes and the farm.  We have been busy at the farm and all summer with new kittens, new puppies, and new calves.  Both of our cats had kittens, and it looked like the kitten fairy switched babies with mommas.   We have new puppies.  Annie and Oakley, who are 3/4 border collie and 1/4 blue heeler.  We have one that is ADHDHDHD!  She is a dolly, even though she wears us out with all the energy.

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New Kittens….  Four tiger kitties from the calico, Callie, and four from Oreo  (3 calico and one black)  It was so sweet, but then the mommas were fixed so that there would not be anymore. I don’t mind cats on the farm, but the farmer man doesn’t want but a few, and we don’t want to be irresponsible our animals just breeding constantly.  Our big Tiger male, Tygger, tolerated them all.

 

 

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Oreo’s kittens.  Teddy bear and the three callies

 

 

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Come play with me!

 

We were able to give away all of them but one, and he went by the name of Henry….trust me he chose the name.  I said every name I could think of and then said Henry and three times he turned to look at me hearing the name and the name stuck.  Annie and Oakley are very good at taking watch on the kittens, and they were the guard dogs, and they wanted to play with them so badly.  But sadly we lost Henry to an owl coming in from the timber and I cried for days.  Henry was so loved by Tygger.  He mourned for days and followed my husband for days.

The next post will be on the new baby calves born late fall.  There is good news and bad news.  But life and death are something that occurs on the farm and still this nurse has a hard time dealing it.

God gave us the circle of life to appreciate life and death.  Whether it is the blessing of the birth of a baby, an animal or death of a loved one or one whose life ended too soon.  He knows the days of our life, and the number of steps we will take.  Living on a farm hits it more with the cycle of life and death here.

 

 

 

 

 


It has been so freezin’ cold this year.  I didn’t mind the cold until this last blast. Now I am officially breaking up with winter.  You know it is cold when the cattle have frostbite on their ears after several bouts of single digit weather and below zero wind chills. The cats (we have Sophie added to our growing family) stick their noses out the doors and quickly back up into the hallway, then back up farther into the dining room and run for the shelf on the west side of the window where it is warmer.  The up and down of this gets old as many of you ALL across the United Stated of America know.

SIlly Sophie is teasing Tygger because he is outside and she isn't

SIlly Sophie is teasing Tygger because he is outside and she isn’t

 

We have been blessed where the electricity has had brief bouts of off and on.  Several years ago after a week without electricity, my hubby finally invested in a generator for the house.  YES!!!!!!  Many friends have been overloaded with the ice, snow and loss of electricity.  I know this has been hard and my heart goes out to you and yours.

I am debating if I am getting the winter SAD (Seasonal Affect Disorder) this year where I have not been sensitive or felt this in previous years.  Or it could just be a case of winter frustration? I looked at several sites to find more information on this.  I know it exists since my mother and one of my daughters can struggle with this throughout the winter.  Attached is a website for those who are struggling with some of the blahs of the season.

http://www.allaboutlifechallenges.org/winter-blues.htm

http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/wellness_articles.asp?id=341

I enjoyed these helpful tips and I hope you will take the time to read it and see if you will have some success.  For those who do not struggle with this, don’t chide one who does, “Just be happy!”  or  “Get over it” .  This does not work and you will only bring on more frustration to those who struggle with this. Love ’em, hug ’em, and if the words fly, let it fly over your head, brush it off your shoulders and don’t take it personally.  This too shall pass.

On a lighter note.  I am looking forward to Spring.  When I think of spring I think of the Seven Brides for Seven Brothers when the clan sings of spring.  I love the old movies.  Back to real life,  hoping the lovely, warmer weather, which is not a guarantee it will not snow, freeze or spit sleet and ice in our direction, will come soon.  Last year with the late freeze in May, I was subjected to not gleaning any mulberries, peaches, plums, cherries, wild apricots, pears or nectarines, of which is was royally upsetting to me.  The only consolation to the desolation of my fruit trees was the fact I had blackberries ( mine and the “neighbors”) and a few apples.  The neighbor’s blackberry bush is another story to be told.  Of these I quickly made into delicious jams, blackberry cobbler, apple butter and my famous grapple jam.  My mouth is watering with the thought of actually having a crop this year without the freeze or perchance the destructive flies.  THAT is the only good thing which can come out of the hard freeze this year, other than killing off most of the ticks.  This too would be delightful:  dirty lil blood suckers.  When trying to do  somewhat organic or more healthy, the grasshoppers and flies can quickly decimate a crop.  Hence the begging for chickens.  They would be fat and sassy chickens if I had them last year.  Maybe this year……

What could be better than a hot cup of tea or coffee, a croissant and fresh jam

What could be better than a hot cup of tea or coffee, a croissant and fresh jam

Here are some photos of the fruit, jams and items to make your mouth watering for the fresh taste of jam.  Hooray for Spring!  Hooray for blooming trees and the potential of the growing season.

Beautiful Red crabapples

Beautiful Red crabapple   Perfect for jams, and hot spiced pepper jellies!

Labeling Jams of multiple kinds

Finally  getting the labels on for the various type of jams

Homemade jam and jelly, what could be better

Homemade jam and jelly


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We have a new addition to the cattle family.  We have a range of 12-16 cattle at a time.  My husband, JD was at the cattle auction on Wed, July 17th and bought a new momma cow with a calf, heifer, that appears to be about one week old. This momma cow was too young to be bred.  For those who don’t know, heifers should be about two years old before they have their first calf.  She is about 18 months old, so she wasn’t very old, and it can be more difficult for them.   I haven’t really seen her, and plan to go out to see her today, if at all possible.  My cattle came running, even though they haven’t been around me in a week and a half.  But I went out and called, and knowing I have cow treats, or actually horse treats, they come “a runnin'”.  I didn’t know I could find such pleasure in the cattle and with my one heifer, D/C, whose mother is A/C.  Not after the band A/C D/C, , mind you, but a friend named them from this since they are angus cattle.   A/C:  Awesome cow, and D/C:  darn cute calf.  D/C is going to be a momma for the first time, and she still comes up to me to have her head scratched and gently rubbed under her chin and behind her ears. The only problem is when I stop, she bumps me and she has too much weight for me not to press back and hold.  Having her more domesticated is another story, but just watching them calms me.  I can’t wait until I meet this new momma cow and her baby.  Now, to come up with a name….

The photo is of D/C and my husband, having a scratch session.  I have spoiled her rotten.

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