Photo Friday – Halloween Edition

31NoCandy31Bacon31Kitten 31MapleLeafGoat31Pie 31Spider31GhostPig

 I hope you have a delightful Halloween!

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On a whim, last winter I ordered carrot seeds that came on a strip of paper.  Carrot seeds are teeny, weeny, tiny and these came already stuck to a strip of biodegradable paper.  Just plant the strip and you’re done.  Yesterday, I harvested those carrots and had a good ol’ time.  DSC_0622

I dug them up, soaked them in water, found a sunny spot on the front porch out of the wind, cut the green tops off, rubbed them clean and bagged them up.


I have new respect for carrot farmers and those lovely, uniform carrots we buy in stores.  I had contenders for most-alien-like:


I even might have started a new trend, spiral carrots:


Happy intensely watched my carrot harvesting and patiently waited for me to include him.


That is one carrot plant he is holding.  Or several that morphed together?  Pretty soon, he started playing, swinging the plant up and down.  I don’t believe he quite knew what to do with my alien carrots. DSC_0633


Good thing we are both easily entertained.

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“Office” Views


Whenever my “office” view overlooks babies, it is a good day.


The piglets are weaned.  They are eating their feed and have figured out the automatic waterer.  At this age, they are still darned cute.


Pumpkin Pie is nearing her one-year birthday.  My, how she has grown!  She is still a heifer, until she has a calf, then will be considered a cow.  We won’t breed her until next summer, hoping to synchronize her calving time close to Abigail’s.  Abigail is due May 2015 and we will breed her during the summer, too.

Polled_HerefordI’ve decided I want to shoot for spring 2015 baby goats … not early-February-mid-blizzard like last winter, when Gabby was born.  Goat gestation is approximately 5 months.  The plan is to bring a friend’s buck over to “court” the girls in the near future.  Gabby is too young for that nonsense, so I will have to keep her separated (hopefully).  We could breed her at this age, but I would prefer to wait.


Then, once my work outside is done, I come into the house to … more babies!

Kittens Kittens

Sometimes, I have to stop and watch them play ….. or sleep, or eat, or groom.  Adorableness.

DSC_0508 DSC_0533

Then, along comes evening and my oldest son arrives home from student-teaching.  Last night, I helped him condense the last 4 years of his life into an official-looking resume!  Is it awful of me to brag now and say that he has maintained a 4.0 GPA out of a possible 4.0? Well, resumes are basically where you do have to toot your own horn ….


Old Main Eastern Illinois University Charleston, IL

Old Main
Eastern Illinois University
Charleston, IL

I hope you enjoy your office view(s) today!

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Photo Friday





The rest of today’s Photo Friday has a Too-Cute factor rating of 100%.

If you are inclined to adoption of subject(s), please note that I can not be held responsible for your actions.

Side effects include, but are not limited to: laughter, relaxation, lowering of blood pressure, strong desires to photograph the subject(s), possible addiction to purring, forgetfulness of chores/to-do lists due to playing with &/or cuddling subject(s), **inability to move from a sitting position because you do not want to disturb sleeping subject(s), strange walk developed to not disturb the sleeping subject(s) on your fuzzy house slipper, hyper-vigilant observational powers to help avoid stepping on, sitting on or accidentally shutting subject(s) into cabinets, closets, refrigerators, boxes, etc. and numerous other positive side effects.


Oct24KittensAtRest Oct24LostContac Oct24NoEvilFor today, Photo Friday friends,


but wear sunscreen!

Posted in Berkshire Pigs, Country Living, Positive Thinking | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

4-Wheeler Vacation

Yesterday afternoon, after way too many days of rain, mist, clouds and gloom, the sun came out!  I did my little happy-dance and trotted outside.  Danced and trotted as well as I could in my rubber chore boots.  After some yard work and chores,  I still had time before dark to ride the 4-wheeler to visit my Mom’s timber where the hand of fall is dipping liberally into an artist’s palette.  Ride along with me?


The soybeans are ready to be harvested …. but the ground is saturated!  Hopefully, we will now get several days of drying sunshine and gentle wind.


 Hang in there, beans.  Don’t bust your pods.  Harvest is coming.


 I really do not need a week of vacation.  I do need these vacation moments.


The smells of fall in the country  … it is hard to describe the smell of fall leaves and ripe crops.  It brings back childhood memories.  My Mom standing at the kitchen sink, looking out the window, saying, “Go get the gate for your Dad.  He’s tired.”  Our calves were always weaned in the fall and we had a few fields that were accessed by passing through the barn lot where the calves were held.  That smell of a fall evening.  Crispness. Beautiful.

 Nostalgia in a scent.

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 For today, I hope you enjoy fall and get a whiff of nostalgia.

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Definitely not retired

People often ask how I like retirement.  Although I haven’t exactly been put out to pasture.


 I laugh.  I say, “The pay is lousy; but the benefits are great.”


In reality, I feel I work really hard to make something work for us.  Or at least to try some ventures to see what works and what doesn’t.  I work hard in order to simplify, if that makes sense.

KittensI was being hard on myself for not being able to DO MORE; to get MORE DONE.  (It felt a lot like how I felt when I chose to stay home while the boys were young.)  I mean I don’t work … ahem, have a paying job.  When, I realized, I am working.  A lot.  This life that Pig-farmer and I have chosen is a full-time job for me.  Just because grain farmers have been rained out of the fields for days on end or may not be as busy during the winter, does that mean they are not full-time, hard-working, farmers?  Just like any career, there are busier times and slower times.  Sometimes chores take longer than others.  Some days, there is just more poop to scoop.  That probably fits the bill at any job/career, right? 


Leaving home at 6 a.m. to take pigs to the processor’s this morning, did allow me to have some time later in the morning, after the sow was fed and market hogs were watered, to work on a blog.  I can blog and do paperwork while also trying to manage the ridiculous amount of laundry that this rainy, cool weather generates as we do our livestock work in the mud and muck.

It’s a plus that I had four, furry, warm, mini-motors on my lap while writing this post…


I took these four to the veterinarian’s yesterday.  Two were having some diarrhea and goopy eyes.  Now, how can I find good homes for them that way?  It appears that three of the four furballs are females.  At the vet’s, they dewormed and gave the first round of kitty vaccines.  Plus, I now give them a minuscule dribble of antibiotics two times a day for 10 days to clear up any infection they may have.  Then, they will be ready for new homes.  Sigh.  No really, I have to.  Yesterday alone cost $122.  But, I had to know they were healthy.  Still, I was selling pumpkins to help with Christmas expenses not to pay for kitten bills.


My days have a different pace and rhythm than they used to, when I was “working.”  It’s taken over a year, but I get it.  I do still work full-time.  It is work of our choice, varying as demanded by weather and livestock.  Trying to simplify a lifestyle, while working through complications and a few struggles.


Our families have different needs at different times.  Our lifestyle choices may vary.  What makes one comfortable or content may very well not work for someone else.

For today, think on this:


Posted in Berkshire Pigs, Boer Goats, Country Living, Pig-farmer, Positive Thinking, Random Thoughts, Work/Career | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Three little words.

Three little words made my day today.

I’ll explain:

I had lots planned for today.  Outside.

Autumn_RAINThe weather had its own plans.  It’s raining again.


Yesterday I couldn’t get enough done outside fast enough.  The day zoomed by in a flash!  As I worked on one task, I thought of several more that need done or that I want to do.Ornamental_Corn

Technically, it won’t be winter until December 21.

Who the heck believes that?

We know these gorgeous fall days are coming to an end.Fall

I have puh-lenty to do in the house.

OctDecor OctoberKitchen

But I want to work and play outside!


Even at night!


 So, while the service-men were here to give my furnace a once-over, I sat down at the computer.  I decided to peruse this blog’s stats.  Every now and then I check the “Search Engine Terms.”  Those are the words that people type in their search engine (Google, Safari, etc) that lead them to my blog.  Usually, it is something like Berkshire pigs or Boer goats.  This time, I laughed out loud when I saw a search engine phrase that brought someone to my blog.  It was:

crazy woman farmer

Crazy.  Woman.  Farmer.

I love that!

I love those three little words.

Posted in Berkshire Pigs, Boer Goats, Country Living, Random Thoughts, Work/Career | Tagged , , , , , , , | 11 Comments