Friday, August 23, 2013


WOW.... We got a huge lightning hit yesterday about 4 pm. I had just come inside from bringing the cows (across the creek and through a very wet and open field) in for the night ... weird clouds and lots of lightning and thunder around when BOOM! Didn't even see the flash. Scared us all - granddaughter Brooklyn was still here. We are not sure exactly where it hit - maybe one of the wind turbine towers. Knocked the power out but Rob got it going again. Then we discovered that the phone and internet were not working. Then we discovered that one turbine was not working. Then we discovered that half of the light bulbs and one wall of outlets in the cow barn didn't work. Then we discovered the greenhouse fan didn't work. Then we discovered the almost brand-new freezer in the garage (full of pork) didn't work. This morning, Rob found the voltage to be extremely high in the house and all the barns so we are running on the generator until he figures out the problem. The phone guy was just here and when he opened up the little box outside all the wires and stuff were totally burned up - he did some repairs/replacing and at least we have phone & internet now. I'm going to have to make room in one of the house freezers for the pork and haul it down. Luckily, all the livestock, the house appliances, well pump, and my milking machine vacuum pump seem to be undamaged. And, one other really weird thing, my little battery operated pedometer, which I had in my pocket, is totally dead. MOTHER NATURE SHOWING OFF HER POWERS!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


In our tiny community we are fortunate to still have a public school for kindergartners through 3rd graders.  The last few years there has also been a preschool for 4 year olds.  They have one teacher and one aide and all the age groups are together for most of the day.  Enrollment varies wildly every year.  I believe there has been as many as 14 in the past and this year there are 5 (ALL GIRLS!) - counting the 3 preschoolers.  Busing is available for the school-age kids and it can be a really long bus ride - 20+ miles for some.  They do amazing things with the few kids that in larger group settings would not be possible.  4 year old granddaughter Brooklyn is absolutely loving it this year.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


One of the most challenging things we have encountered on our journey to live a sustainable and self-sufficient life is to provide all our own food, both for us and the livestock.  Human error, Mother Nature and a vast array of other issues are sometimes unwanted adversaries.  With some successes and some failures, there is always the rush to preserve the bounty.  It ALL seems to be ready at the same time! 

Garden pea and ham soup, apple pie filling (from our OWN apple trees - a first this year!), and Rob's family recipe for crunchy dills.  Just a day's work here - much more to come.  The kitchen smells wonderful - dilly, vinegary, smoky and cinnamony all at the same time,

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


 Early morning walk - lots of forest fire smoke to the west.

Lizzy wondering what I have in my hands.

 Treat beggars - Miss Kitty & Dillon

BFF  - or at least until Dusky goes to freezer camp :)

Thursday, August 8, 2013


An entertaining and so-right-on read here today:

Thursday, July 25, 2013


A week or so ago, we had two young women visitors for the afternoon, evening and early morning.  Incredible ladies - bicycling across the USA, pursuing a very worthwhile project. 

Their website/blog describes their mission and their progress.  

Here is a beginning quote:  "On this cross-country bike trip, we are exploring what it means to be active in our world. The Shifting Gears Project layers dialogue, the documentation of alternative food systems, the female perspective, and bicycle transportation as inter-related mechanisms for change towards a more just and compassionate food system."

We are mentioned on Week 7 here:!week-7/c1utj

Monday, July 22, 2013


Good hay crop this year - so nice to see after a lot of sweat, tears....and possibly even a little blood :)