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Season of Storms

Normally, we love sitting on the porch and watching the waves of clouds roll in before the rain. This one was only a few days ago. At our house, it's been a season of storms.

But the storms I'm talking about are life's storms. I haven't blogged much over the last year and a half because we have had a stormy season.  In 2017, I had three surgeries, each unexpected, and each three months apart.  The last one was an injury doing yoga - beginner yoga - yes, you can hurt yourself doing that. At least I can! Anyway, I'm on the mend but it was a rough season for me personally.
Then, earlier this year, we had two deaths in the family. Dad, next door in the blue house, died unexpectedly in his sleep. And then a few weeks later our brother in law, who we were all close to, passed away from brain cancer. Both were men of God that loved their families deeply and we are so thankful for the opportunity to know and love them while they lived on this earth. But, it has been hard. …
Recent posts

Buffalo Plaid Christmas Party

It's easy to decorate a red farmhouse for Christmas.
Adding little touches here and there makes it special while still keeping it simple.  For the last few year's we have hosted a teen Christmas party for our youngest son. This year's theme was buffalo plaid - lumberjack style! The red & black mixed perfectly with our home decor. And of course it's all the rage so it was easy to find fun items to add. This adorable Lumberjack Santa (Target) presided over the festivities. Borrowed stacked log slabs were the perfect base for him. Next to him is an antique planer that belonged to a family member and some little woodland creatures. Those are hard to see in the photos but they were scattered all over the tablescape. I mixed in plaid candles from TJ Maxx, a bear and a reindeer from JoAnn's, and a few cute signs from Hobby Lobby all a top table runners from Target Dollar Spot and I had a buffalo plaid table scape. We served our typical ham & cheese sliders and ma…

A Mostly Quiet Summer

The summer here on the farm has flown by. It's been quiet ~ mostly. 

The chickens have been loving the abundance of insects and green grass that have come from our frequent and unusual summer rains.

The bees have multiplied and swarmed, succeeded and failed and now two healthy hives remain ready for fall. Hopefully we will have a honey harvest too!

Our boys are all adults now! The oldest is in medical school. Still in Oklahoma but a few hours away. 

Our middle son came home this summer from equine work with two beautiful thoroughbreds in tow. It's nice to have him near again.

And our youngest is running through life ~ literally. Luckily he found a way to volunteer while doing so.

While all this has kept us busy, we've been continuing to transition our farm life to a slower pace.
Right now we are all trying to enjoy  the summer blooms while they last ~ even the cat.

Keeping Us Buzzing

This spring our three Warre hives have produced six, yes SIX, swarms. We've captured four of them including this one on the side of the blue hive. Normally, when a cluster of bees is on the outside of a hive it is called bearding. It's their way of keeping cool but this day was not warm and since we had been watching them closely, we knew it was a group from the purple hive. It was strange that they landed there. Regardless, we captured this swarm and have it in a temporary hive.

It's really hard to find hives to purchase in the spring because of the demand. I have new ones coming but they are not here yet. So I learned one more newby beekeeper lesson ~ you never have enough hives so, bee prepared early and order them in the winter!

We also put out this swarm trap with lemongrass oil in it to lure bees. We had a group come and go and now we have another swarm inside it. This is also a temporary home for this group.

When swarms leave the hive with their queen, they find a …

Shearing Day

Recently we had our first Shearing Day without our sheep. And you know what? It was really relaxing! The alpaca were so easy and since there are only three plus the llama, it was quick.

Shearing always seems special here on the farm because when the animals lose their winter coats, it really seems like spring!

The flowers are blooming all over the property, daffodils in pots and under almost all the trees.
Tulips and hyacinths too.

And of course all six of our redbud trees (our Oklahoma state trees) are showing off their bright purple buds.

The winter is past; 
the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth,
the time of singing has come...
Song of Solomon 2:11-12

Little Green Eggs

Spring seems closer everyday and I couldn't be happier about it! And nothing says spring on a farm like little eggs from new chickens.

Most people buy chicks in the spring but I prefer to start them in the fall. That way, they can grow over the winter  and start laying first thing in the spring.

Our young flock is made up of all Americanas. They are one of my favorite breeds of chickens.

Lizzie, from our very first set of chicks, is still around after six years. She helped raise the flock and has taught them to come when they are called. She also encourages them to go to bed early, something that we have never seen in our chickens before! That is really nice since we lock them up every night to protect them from predators.

We were supposed to get all pullets but of course there were a few roosters in the group. We finally settled on keeping this handsome guy. He is establishing himself as the leader now.

Every one of the Americana hens has different characteristics but they are a…

Simplifying Our Life

Last year was full of transition. Well, really just one big change that seems to have changed everything. (This accounts for my lack of posting.) Two of our boys have grown up and moved out to start life on their own.

This of course brought many challenges the largest of which is helping our boys "adult" and transition successfully into the world.
Thankfully, they are doing great.
Our oldest was just accepted into medical school!
Our middle is working as a young professional equestrian.
Our youngest is at home finishing high school and planning for college.

Times have changed since we built the farm.
We find ourselves without farm hands
and have decided to downsize considerably.

The vegetable garden and flower garden are gone
along with the hours of work that they required to maintain them.
The horse is leased out and our pet goat found a new home.
We have decided to no longer raise our own meat ~
so no more cattle, dairy cows, meat chickens or pigs.
(Well maybe a pet pig f…