Archive for January 14th, 2013

Phone Conversation


After Morgan took feed out to the animals tonight (her evening chore), she posed for about 30 minutes chattering away about her birthday, with Casper. She is on the brink of 17. SEVENTEEN! How is that possible? She has one more year of high school then she is planning to attend WVU with Weston and their whole passel of friends. (I like knowing Big Brother will be on hand!) I offered her a new cell phone for her birthday (which is next week). She’s been researching the top phones and which she should choose. She’s attached at the hip to her phone, of course.

SEVENTEEN! My youngest! I weep. And am so proud of her.

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Farming from Scratch, Year Six


I can’t believe I just typed year six. You’d think I’d be better at this by now! Okay, maybe I’m a little better! I’m actually willing to call myself a farmer now. That’s progress!

Let’s start with a look back at how I did with last year’s farm goals:

1) GET MY COWS PREGNANT! Have mercy!

Check! Well, I got one of them pregnant! Dumplin! Dumplin! Dumplin!

2) Start at least a small garden here and plant fruit trees.

Check! Okay, half-check really. Fruit trees got planted–two dozen! But no vegetable garden last year.

3) Get back on my feet financially. This goal included selling a book.

CHECK! Sold a book, and am doing much better all around.

4) Think about getting bees.

Check! I thought about it! Several times! Even went to a beekeeping class.

5) Fencing repairs and additions.

Check! Wow, did I get a lot of fencing done last year. It was a fencing palooza around here.

6) Learn to use power tools.


It was a good year! I did get a lot of other stuff done besides what was on my goals list, including learning to ride a horse and, with your help, getting the studio turned into a health department-approved kitchen.

And now I have a brand new year–to start fresh, to dream again, to believe that all is possible!

Sixth Year Farm Goals:

1) More sheep!

I’m headed in a sheepish direction here. I’ve got new lambs coming in the spring (Tunis sheep) and am serious about getting a good flock going and marketing lamb. (Am going to a workshop in a couple weeks to learn more about marketing farm meat.)

2) A vegetable garden! I mean it! It’s happening this year. It better.
Will explain more detail about my plan to integrate it into the deck when the works starts.

3) Hold more workshops on the farm (retreat 2013 info coming soon) and contemplate another book. I’m NOT sure about this at the moment. More than anything, I want to get my work/writing life balanced better this year, and if that means NOT doing another book, then that’s okay. Writing this website is my primary focus, and I worked so much on other projects last year that the website fell to the wayside sometimes, which I do not like. I want work balanced with time to enjoy life.

I’m ready for that!

4) Think about bees again?

My friend Sarah checking out a top bar hive at beekeeping class we attended together.

Or more chickens or ducks or geese? I’m not sure. I shall think about it all. See, I always like to give myself an easy one…… Success is assured!

5) More shelters in the pastures. Right now, other than the barn and the goat house, there are no shelters. I want horse and cow shelters in the pastures. First one is going up this month!

I don’t like the horses getting rained on in the field. My sweet sugary Shortcake deserves better.

6) Seriously, really, truly learn to drive the tractor. I’ve played around a little, but I want to really learn to drive it and overcome my fear of it this year!

I can do it!

Maybe! I might need some encouragement.

Hello, 2013!

Go back in time:
Farming from Scratch, Year One
Farming from Scratch, Year Two
Farming from Scratch, Year Three
Farming from Scratch, Year Four
Farming from Scratch, Year Five

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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....

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