Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Injured Goat

Caspian is injured. I can't figure out what it is. He will not put any weight on one leg. He is limping almost to the point of not walking. I've cleaned and trimmed his hooves. Dipped the injured one in Iodine. Poked and prodded his leg. I just can't figure it. He's always been the most rowdy of the goats, so maybe he just pulled a muscle really badly. I can't see an infection anywhere. He is still eating. I'm so worried about him. I know I can't take a male goat to the vet. He has no monetary value. But he is a good friendly goat nonetheless.

I'm just waiting and watching and cuddling and nurturing.

The plastic blew off the hoop house in a storm and the chickens got in and ate the young lettuce. On the bright side, the indoor plants all look wonderful.

I know I can't complain in the grand scheme of things. I have so much to be grateful for. But there it is. Some days just feel crazier than others.

Blessed be!

Monday, March 28, 2011


Jenny and I just got back from a retreat at the Benedictine monastery of St. Gertrude's. It was an amazing experience. The theme of the retreat was "Valuing Your Life, Living Your Values." It was a perfect topic for me.

I needed to reflect on how valuable this life is to me and to God. I reflected on what I could continue to do to take care of my physical, mental, and spiritual health. I also had the opportunity to reflect on how I could live out my values, Christ's teachings, in my everyday life. Love, Tolerance, Social Justice, Care for those in need, Honesty, Integrity. We focused on the "Sermon on the Mount" and it seemed like a pretty good job description for living a life in Christ.

Jenny's pregnant. We got to hear the heartbeat for the first time on Friday before the retreat. I think that helped make the whole weekend more spiritual and emotional. It's amazing. What a blessing. I've never been a father before. I'm extremely excited. We will be getting married shortly. I will have gone from a childless, life long bachelor to a parent and co-parent of 4 children in a fairly short amount of time.

Life is truly a mystery. I am truly, truly blessed.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring break is ending

Spring break has come to a close and it's back to work teaching. There were way more projects on my list than I could have possibly gotten completed. We were going to go for a hike yesterday, but the March weather did not cooperate. We will go in a week or two and maybe get up into the mountains to do some scouting for elk. Tim and I will be going wild turkey hunting soon. We will also be putting in for an elk unit that lots of people have success in. I'm looking forward to getting up into the mountainous area and talking a hike around.

Life is really exciting with the boys here. Sometimes it is overwhelming. Teaching is not the same thing as co-parenting. Either way, I feel so very, very blessed.

Monday, March 14, 2011


We got twenty five beautiful baby chicks in the mail today. It was just as much fun to watch the boys play with the chicks as it was to watch the chicks. I'd forgotten how much fun baby chicks can be.

I was talking with some friends tonight about forgiveness. Sometimes we may feel that we've done something that is unforgivable. Sometimes we may not be forgiven by those we have harmed. Whether or not we are forgiven by others is not the point really. Of course we try to make the situation right. Of course we try to change our behavior. But ultimately we are forgiven by God. Ultimately, forgiveness is always available to us. What a blessing.

We are so truly blessed.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Kids and goats

What lovely day. I've been hanging out all day with the boys. We started the morning in the goat barn. Fed and played with the goats. We trimmed Caspian's hooves and the boys were a great help in keeping him calm while I worked. Later we shot a little skeet. Then we unloaded the antique chicken plucker out of the truck.

Tomorrow I am hauling some large items to the dump, putting an electric motor on the chicken plucker, checking the old dryer vent, and hopefully a few other things. Spring break is a great time for spring cleaning and spring projects. I'm going to build some hoop houses and a better hay feeder for the goats.

Jenny is out with some other moms tonight. I'm staying home and keeping an eye on the boys. They are mostly entertaining themselves so far.

If you see to it each day that your conduct is impeccable, the following day will be completely clear, and you will be free to carry out your plans, always vigilant that you leave no loose ends. In this way, each new day will find you free and well disposed.
Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov
I love this quote. The better my conduct each day, the less worry and anxiety I bring into the next day. The less worry I am carrying around, the more freedom I have to live the following day to its fullest.

I am so truly blessed.

Spring Break!

Doing the spring break dance here! No I'm not going to sunny Daytona Beach to drink with girls in bikinis. I'll be here with my honey and the boys doing a long list of farm projects. And looking forward to every minute of it. Topping the list is trimming Caspian's hooves. I didn't realize how badly he needed it, poor boy. I'm anticipating him being feisty. Definitely a leather glove kind of job. Sharp tools, rowdy goat.

I'll be going around to local food merchants to look for a source for donated pig feed. Old loaves of bread, wilted produce, anything that might help. We should be getting the weaner pigs in a little over a month. And chicks on Monday. We gave the boys a choice of one variety each. Of course they chose the weirdest looking chickens they could find. We'll be getting five of each chosen variety for a total of 25 chicks. I talked to the feed store about getting 5 turkey chicks too. I don't know exactly where we are going to put the turkeys yet though. Something to give some thought too soon.

Tomorrow will bring photographs. I promised the boys I would go and take pictures of their latest fort in the barn. I'll also take some time to get some other fun pictures as well.

We went to Ash Wednesday service this week. We also went to a wonderful community dinner at the church on Thursday. We are also getting more involved in a homeschool network. There is a field trip to the Science Center next Friday.

We've got some fun things planned too. Contra dancing, hiking, and maybe some steelhead fishing if the rivers come down. All in all we are looking forward to a wonderful week of farm and family. We are so truly blessed.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


"Springtime is the land awakening. The March winds are the morning yawn."
- Lewis Grizzard

Well we've had a little sun, a little wind, a bit more snow, an evening of hail, and some rain. Spring is here. Jenny and I went hiking in a local canyon and it felt like spring. We saw some wild turkeys and a couple of grouse. There are bulbs coming up in the garden. Following the receding snow. There is a whole bunch of mud. And spring break is here next week. I have 10 days off of teaching, but not off of farming. We've got a list of chores a mile long.

We are going to plant some cherry trees, build a hoop house, maybe do a little tilling (under the hoop house, clean the chicken barn, spring clean the barnyard, order more seeds...and on.

I'm looking forward to the spring chores, but we will also try to do a little hiking and some steelhead fishing. The baby chicks arrive on March 14th as well. That will be a lot of fun for the boys.

Teaching is going great this week. It is a blessing to be able to be of service to my students. Spring is coming, March is yawning and stretching. What a gift it is to witness another beautiful spring on the farm.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Big egg, little egg

Oh yes, it's the classic big egg little egg picture. Every egg farmer has one. But dang, you gotta wonder how a hen did that.

I made venison picatta tonight. 2 out of 3 boys liked it. Both of the adults loved it.

I was excited to come home from teaching and see Jenny and the boys. It was a great day of teaching. I love it when it just "clicks" with a student. One of my students who has autism is really learning to read...finally. Sometimes it just takes a long effort with little sign of success followed by a cognitive growth spurt. It's great to watch. Earlier in the week I had another student leap ahead in mathematics. What a blessing.

Carrissima is looking more and more pregnant. I'm still sort of assuming she is, as I have not done a blood test on her. It'll be so exciting to add baby goats to the menagerie. The baby chicks are due to arrive the 15th of March. Yay. We've already got enough eggs to fill our standing orders, feed our family, and sell a few dozen to the food co-op. I believe we are coming out a little bit ahead on the eggs which is hard to do.

The house is getting unpacked. Jenny has been a hero in that regard. I've been too busy teaching and trying to make up for all the snow days. Times are tight, but I still feel so very blessed to have everybody here. I know that everything will continue to work out. There's certainly no chance that we will starve around here. What a blessing. The plants are taking off in the grow room. I'm hoping for a banner garden year. Who knows, maybe the farmer's market will be a go this year.

I feel so truly blessed. What an adventure. I still marvel at how quickly life can change. What an amazing gift.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

moving day in a blizzard

Wow, we couldn't have picked a worse day to move Jenny in. There was a blizzard complete with 40 mph winds. The driveway drifted shut with 4 foot snow drifts! Both of my trucks were buried. Then Jenny showed up with a truck and trailer and couldn't get in the driveway to unload.

I began plowing with the tractor at 6 am, and we didn't finish unloading until 6 pm. I couldn't get to work, but I was able to meet with a few students via Skype (video conferencing over the internet). I'm teaching in the morning, but it will almost be a nice break from the moving chaos.

Everybody was pretty tired and grumpy by the end of the day. I was ready to call it a day at about 4 pm, but we powered through and got all the vehicles unloaded. It all worked out and Jenny and the boys are finally here to stay. Yay! What a blessing.