Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christ is Born!!

May you and yours have a wonderful Nativity Season!!

Saturday, December 22, 2007


to my boy, Nicholas. Today he turns 7!!!

He is all BOY...he used to tell me "I'm not cute ( or beautiful) I'm 'handstom'". He's swords and shields, cars and trucks, rifles and bow. He's BOY!

May God grant you many years!

Friday, December 21, 2007


We have been doing a few more crafts then usual and I have invited my children to join me. The scrap wreath ( btw-I love that website)I decided to do for them. It looked easy enough for them all to do. Little did I know that even my BOYS would thoroughly enjoy this one. They really got into it. This is Kelsey's finished product. The boys have not finished theirs as of yet. Maybe today I'll set them back at it.

Another project I did was to make mittens for the kids. The only problem was that once they were cut they did not even go over the hand, let alone a thumb in. LOL I didn't know what I was doing. I did finally later, much later, find a tutorial at that SewMamaSew blog that will teach me to do it correctly. In the meantime I turned those not so workable mittens into ornaments and filled them with fudge and sent them to MN to my nieces and nephew for Christmas. Here is what they looked like. I especially love the edging!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Introducing my NEW Farm blog!!!!


One week from today is the Nativity of Christ! I cannot believe we are ending 2007 so very soon.
It certainly is true that time flies VERY fast the older you are. It's astonishing.

We are all dried out, or were all dried out. Sunday night we got nearly an inch of rain but it did nothing compared to the storm. I was able to remove the pallets from the chicks stall. We are trying to get the new coop done before the end of the year. So far I am just finishing up the floor. But that is the hardest part, the posts the floor sets on, so once that is done it'll go fast I think.

Last Saturday, the 15th, I took Firefly down to the farm where the buck is. She started really confusing me with her symptoms of heat. I was seeing different symptoms for like a week so finally I just called them and asked if I could bring her down "just to see". At the very least I would get what they call a buck rag. A rag rubbed all over the buck and sealed in a jar. When you think your goat is in heat you open it and they will get all excited over the smell. Smell? you may ask. Ah, the smell is UNREAL! Goats are seasonal breeders, including bucks. They call it "rut" for a buck. He goes into "rut". This (move about halfway down the page to the subtitle "bucky characteristics) is what he does when he is in "rut"....all for the sake of ATTRACTING his mate, and he'll take as many as he can get. Anyway, we introduced Firefly to her buck friend and she was instantly smitten. They "played" for about a half hour doing what goats are suppose to do when breeding. It all looked very much like she was bred. If it took we will have kids right about May 13. Butter will be bred the first week of January. Now back to that smell. See Firefly was with that buck for 30 minutes, playing with him, rubbing on him and he on her. Well, we had to bring that doe home...in our truck....with us. I am certain that if I were to go out to the truck right now it would still smell. I had "buck" smell on my hands ALL DAY!!!! It is UNREAL! No wonder it taints the milk with a buck nearby, and it DID taint the next days milk. She stunk so bad her milk was inedible the next day. Last night Kelsey went to the barn with me and said it still stinks. I don't notice anymore.

James has been blogging about our latest adventure so I guess I don't need to say much there. After the initial shock and not knowing how we were going to make it all work I am now fine with it. We have a plan and the plan will work. So we are car/truck shopping!

Have a blessed last week of Advent.

Monday, December 10, 2007

My complaints are completely unfounded!

In this post you'll read of the work I had to do on the day we got 7 inches of rain. I take it all back. Not the work, I had to do it, but the complaining. It was completely unfounded and I sit back now and say a prayer for these folks. These dairy farmers whose total income rests in this farm, or shall I say, what's left of it...
She is walking through their front yard.

Their livelihood laying there covered in mud.

Raymond dairy farmer Terry Smaciarz and his wife Lana survey damage to their 63-year-old barn. "I guess Mother Nature really kicked me in the butt," he said.

There are so many stories like this and the pictures are just unreal. Please keep the flood victims in WA in your prayers.

This last picture has nothing to do with the farm above but I just had to say, this is what happens when you build a road where you shouldn't build a road. You see it all the time. They just have to use the land for something even though it is steep and unbuildable. They build up these big cement walls fill in behind them and then build on top of it. Well, this is the outcome when it rains hard. Gee, I wonder what happened to that housing development in Bothell on Bothell/Everett Hwy. that was built completely on top of these big huge cement walls with back fill underneath them, with a big huge hill behind.
Lord, have mercy.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Sewing project

I don't get much time to sew and I don't feel like I know very much about it to warrant the time it takes away from other duties. But with Christmas drawing near I decided to do a little project. After making a test "lovey" and tweaking my sewing and design this is what I came up with. I'm very pleased with the outcome. This is my own design and I call it a "lovey". It's small, only about 20"x20" (probably not exactly square either). After my own experiences with my children wanting to carry around large "blankies" everywhere I think having a smaller "lovey" that is soft and comforting would be be of great benefit. So I decided to try my hand at creating something for some of the MANY babies coming. Kelsey was playing around with my machine, testing all the different stitches one can use, and that's how I came up with the stitching along the edges. I've never experimented beyond the regular, simple straight stitch. Doing this edging made it so much easier to finish off the edges without the folding of the thick fleece. I hope the babies love it as much as I do. Here is the finished product.
Embroidered face:


Folded and ready to be gifted.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Today was an interesting day. Despite my handicaps today I feel that I had a very productive day.
My handicaps? I've been fighting a minor cold all week and yesterday evening it got the best of me. I completely lost my voice. Not just a little hoarse but COMPLETELY! Nothing above a whisper would come out of my mouth. It was pretty amusing for awhile. Kelsey quite enjoyed being "my voice", as she would say. And during the day today Charissa made some phone calls, she felt so grown up. James took today off and I'm very glad he did! He didn't know it was to help me out in this way but nonetheless I'm glad he was here to answer the phone and run errands and help me preserve jelly. Yes, that's where the productive part of the day comes in. I FINALLY canned all the juice I put away into the freezer from blackberries and apples.
We made jelly!

There are 36 jars total of varying sizes, some only hold probably less than a cup and large portion of them hold just over a cup and others are pints. I do know that I prepared 36+ cups of juice all together. I can't wait to try it on toast in the morning.

Monday, December 03, 2007

The snow is gone and now we are floating away!!!

I am completely astounded at the amount of rain that is coming down as we speak. We went from this....

To this....
The water above is over ankle deep to walk through. That's our driveway.

In just 12 hours. Our driveway is flooded, Diamond Dr. is flooded our neighbor has a HUGE pond in his front yard and my own yard isn't much better. I can't imagine what it would look like if we hadn't dug the trench. The trench is flowing! My rain barrel filled up 3x since last night and fell over. I finally rigged the pipe into the trench for now. We definitely don't need to SAVE the water! The kicker....I am guessing, based on my rain guage and a bucket that was outside (and emptied last night) that from 8pm-8am we got over 4 inches of rain!!!!! Now since 8AM(it is noon) we've had another 2 inches.
There are record breaking river flows happening. At Central Market in town their rain gauge says the MONTHLY rainfall has been 5.94 inches. IT'S THE 3RD OF THE MONTH!!!
Here is the latest from KOMOTV.

Lord have mercy!!!

It is closer to home than I really like. My BARN IS FLOODED!!! I have 2 goats and 43 chicks swimming!!! I spent an hour hauling pallets into the chicks to raise their floor up 6 inches, spreading many inches of straw into the goat stall and rescuing wet chicks!!! ARGH! I've soaked through 4 outfits with my needed outdoor work.
OH do I hope it doesn't back up the drainfield...this is UNREAL!
3.86 inches of rain since midnight at Central Market in town.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Snow Snow Snow

James posted some pictures from earlier on in the afternoon....this is in the evening.

Above is the start of the HUGE "Mr. Frostbite."
Below is the finished "Mr. Frostbite."

Joseph built his own little snowman.

My Little Baby Butter ready for the snow for the first time in her life-Kelsey

They say it is suppose to disappear in the night...but I'm skeptical that 4 inches can disappear that quickly. We'll see.
At any rate...it's been AWESOME!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow!

Experience tells me that because this is predicted it really won't amount to much but we can't help but dance around singing the words to "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow".

The weather guessers at the National Weather Service are guesstimating 2-3 inches along Hood Canal and on the Kitsap Peninsula tonight.

Oh do I hope they are correct in their guesses...it would be so fun!

This brings me to say that I've decided that I really do miss the winters of MN where I grew up. I do know that they have had very few white Christmas' over the last several years but I really need to try and get back for Christmas some time in the next couple years. My last Christmas in MN with my family? 1993!!!! OH I MISS YOU ALL! (and the white snow)

Here is a picture from my childhood. This is the kind of snow I remember. Snowstorm of '82, I was 11. That's my sister taking a break from shoveling.


Never, Never rub your eyes anytime within the evening after chopping up jalapeno pepper.
It is NOT a good outcome!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Happy 11th Birthday to my Sweet Girl!

Kelsey Sierra
November 26th, 1996

The above was taken at 3 months old.
Below is Kelsey at about 4 1/2 years old.

And here is my baby today! I cannot believe she is 11! Time flies WAY too quickly.
I love you my sweet Kelsey Anna Sierra.
(Chrismated Anna and ever since is known as Kelsey Anna!)

Friday, November 23, 2007

What does this say to you about our society?

The one thing that astounds me beyond anything is the first two sentences!

Do these people NOT have a life?

I do know that Alderwood Mall in Lynnwood opened not at 5AM but MIDNIGHT!!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Chick update and more.....

The chicks are growing faster than I can remember them doing in the past. It's amazing. They are losing fuzzy feathers and growing beautiful colors, well at least the Rhode Island Reds are. The Black Austrolorps are turning more black. And they are so funny because some of them look like little penguins. They are now 2 weeks old.

I've gotten 10 posts dug for the garden fence. I'm hoping to get it completely fenced within the next couple of weeks so that I can let the laying hens in there to eat away weeds and to fertilize the soil for a couple months before I need to till it up for spring.

I guess I don't have too much else to say. Same ol', same 'ol. School, housekeeping, farming, mothering.

Here are a few pictures of the chicks.

Resting peacefully under the lights. I sneak a peek over the gate without notice. Once they notice me...they run!!! They scramble everywhere usually into a corner or along a side...smashing each other. Which is what they are doing below. I like the next picture because there was this little Rhode tucked in the middle of a bunch of Blacks. It was so cute.

Here is a cute little Black Austrolorp.

And this one is what James has named "The Creation of the Chicken".

Well, I do have more to say. Today begins the Advent Fast. May you have a blessed preparation for Nativity.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

I was reading the Monastery of St. John of San Francisco Newsletter and came across an article titled "Please Remember Me". I had to copy and post it hear as it is really something that I feel very strongly about. I've blogged many times about community and the lack thereof in our society and I think this goes right along with that. If you want to read the whole newsletter it has many good things...here.

When Mother Teresa of Calcutta was

asked which country of all those she had visited
was the poorest, she replied that she has
seen much poverty and homelessness everywhere,
but nowhere had she experienced
poverty like that of America. Why? Because
“Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted
is the most terrible poverty.” People in
America suffer terribly from loneliness, even
if they live in the most populated cities or are
surrounded by family. Every person seems
to have an inner cry which silently screams to the world “Please understand
me!” Although it is true that one person will never completely
understand another, due to the fact that we are all created
unique and our expressions are entirely without equal, the thought
that “I am alone” is a slippery slide into darkness.
Unable to find true intimacy or a genuine relationship in a society
which is growing harder and more suspicious of authenticity, an interior
isolation arises and leaves a soul alone without others and without
God. Breaking out of such a state involves immense courage, because
winter is a season many people carry with them year-round.
But one ounce of compassion shown by a clerk, a passer-by on the
street or even a lick from a dog can be the witness needed to break
someone out of their isolation. It is a curious fact of human nature
that the more we flourish in material goods, the less compassion we
seem to show to our neighbor. Perhaps the poverty of spirit Christ
counseled was precisely the criterion for being able to break out of
our isolated selves and be present to those who have fallen victim to
loneliness. Inheriting the earth is to hold all others close to one’s
heart to heal a fragmented society.
Whatever the situation may be, there is never reason to allow a
fellow human to suffer the hell of loneliness. There is no need to
search them out. They are in our everyday lives, and there may be
one looking at us in every mirror. Therefore, we need compassion
toward ourselves and others. This is true wisdom.

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle — Philo

Monday, November 05, 2007

of arrivals and a pilgrimage

The wait is over and long gone!

The chicks arrived Friday morning, not as early as I'd hoped, but they arrived none-the-less. Only 2 were well passed on when we opened the box and we've lost 2 more since. The hatchery always sends a couple extra so we are still at 48. Last year I don't think I took a picture of the tiny box they arrived in so I decided to take a picture this year. The box is bigger this year but still it's amazing to think that there are50 chicks in this box.
I still feel so new at this and wonder if I'm doing things right and pray that they survive my uneducated attempts at caring for them. There seems to always be something new that comes up and makes me wonder what to do. "I don't remember THAT before! Is that normal?"

Most Holy St. Brigid, please pray until God for our farm.

I just had to add these pictures of Mina and Killick. She is growing SO FAST! She is 13 weeks tomorrow. She is no longer smaller than his head.

Friday at 10:50 I set sail on Ferry from Kingston to Edmonds. We picked up Liz and 8 of us headed to St. John the Forerunner Monastery to meet up with 15+ more ladies from St. Paul Orthodox Church. We arrived just at the start of Vespers Friday evening.
It was a very wonderful, peaceful, lovely time. Gerontissa (Abbess of the monastery) spoke to us on Saturday morning. I felt as if she was speaking directly to me. I'm sure many of the ladies felt the same way.
Someone who couldn't go with us, asked if I'd blog about what Gerontissa had to say. This is basically what I took away from it.
She began by saying we, more than they, know how our world is becoming more and more of a distraction. Our world is trying harder and harder to pull us further away from God. Our only defense is prayer. PRAY to keep our children close to God. It is the FIRST thing we should do...not as a last resort.
1. Turn to God
2. Show our children BY EXAMPLE! (Oh, Lord have mercy on me.)
3. Speak to our children with discernment.

Increase your prayer and spiritual life so we have strength and ability to help our children.
The more you pray the more your desire for prayer will grow.
Easiest method of prayer is the Jesus Prayer.
The evil one will do ANYTHING to distract us from prayer. He makes us feel tired, makes us discontented ("I just need to get out of here."). Be watchful.
The more unguarded you are the more you "dark" you will feel.
If you want to progress in prayer you must be more diligent to avoid the distractions of the world.

She had a Q&A time and someone asked her why they pray at night and whether or not this was something a lay person should do.
Darkness, quiet, peacefulness makes it easier to pray at night. We all have duties during the day even the sisters that pull us away from prayer. It's easier at night. It is not just for monastics. Whenever Jesus went to pray it was always at night. He was not leading His example for monastics. There were no monastics.

I wish I would have taken better notes. It was a very wonderful time listening to her. She was encouraging and full of love and empathy of us who must live in the world. For those of us who are bombarded on a daily basis by distractions of the world.

I also must add to this that not only did I have a very real learning experience with Gerontissa but I had a very much needed laugh therapy as well with my sisters in Christ. There were several of us that stayed up and chatted on Saturday evening (thankfully we were blessed with an extra hour as clocks bounced back an hour that night). We laughed and chatted, chatted and laughed. Joking, teasing, sharing, bonding. I want to thank all of you who had a part in really making that evening very special for me (IF you read this anyway).
It was truly a joy to be with all of you...I do miss seeing you on a regular basis and hope we can do it again some day soon.

Here are a couple pictures from that weekend. The first is a walk through the woods as we made our way to the cemetery at the monastery where we prayed the Akathist hymn for the departed at Fr. Thomas' grave. It was truly beautiful.
The other was just looking out into the woods and sunshine. I just liked it.

Friday, November 02, 2007

This morning I am waiting. Waiting for the phone to ring so that I can hop in the truck and drive down to the Post Office to pick up 50 peeping chicks. We've got the stall in the barn ready and waiting for them.

I'm also waiting to take my packed bag, hop on the ferry and head to the peaceful comforts of St. John the Forerunner Monastery in Goldendale, WA. I leave on the 10:50 a.m. ferry and I cannot wait. It's going to be a wonderful retreat away from all the cares of the world. It's peaceful, quiet, lovely. I hope to rest and gain strength(spiritually) from God to face my duties once again. I need this, I need the renewal. There are 20+ women from St. Paul Orthodox Church and St. Herman Orthodox Church heading over on a pilgrimage, by dear Kh. Miriam. I feel very blessed to have this privilege to go.

I'll have lots of pictures of the arrival of our peepers and my pilgrimage next week.

Please pray for safe travel for 5 carloads traveling over mountains and through the woods.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Quick Updates

Just a quick update on the farm and family!

Nicholas lost his first TOP tooth and he looks just too cute!!!

The trench in front of the chicken coop and barn is nearly dug and the first section is overflowing with water....we will break the dam and watch it flow, hopefully tomorrow.

Firefly is in heat. She will be in heat every 3 weeks until January. I'm glad to know I can tell when I need to get her to a buck!

I just ordered 50....yes, I said 50....baby chicks and they will arrive next Friday, November 2nd.
5 months from now we'll be able to double our egg sales!!!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Beautiful day!

I couldn't have asked for a better day except one small thing, that my sweet hubby could have shared it with us. It was bright and beautiful! I'm thinking it was maybe 70, slight breeze and bright sun. The colors are just gorgeous. We hit the park after running some errands and I took some pictures of color, kids and "monkeys". Charissa just recently started gymnastics and is showing off her abilities while Kelsey "hangs" along.

We then headed home where I toted camera about the property a bit before getting to work on the digging. I just love fall color against a bright sky. It is so crisp.

I did begin some work on the trench we started last week. I just had to post this picture. When we dug last week we saw lots of clay deep down and knew this was part of the drainage problem. But what I found today was, to me, astounding. Look here at the TOP layer, after the first 1/2 inch of dirt....the densest clay I've ever seen. TOP layer! This just happens to be, by far, the muddiest area. Now I know why.

I just happened to get this cute little picture of our goats. Firefly, mamma, is behind Butter, who is not so much a baby any longer. She is near ready to breed. December is the month we'll breed if all goes well. They'll kid in May.
And now my favorite story. Way back in August during the Kitsap Fair we visited the area called "Farmer for a day". This is a fun area where kids can take part in make-believe farming activities. They roped a "horse", drove tractors, milked "cows", dug up potatoes (real ones), and picked "apples" from wooden trees (Joseph LOVED this and spent all his time here) and washed clothes in a wash tub with a wash board. Charissa LOVED this! She spent a long time scrubbing clothes and hanging them to dry. Yesterday I found a pair of wet jeans(kid jeans) tucked away in a bag and it appeared as if they had been there for quite awhile as they kind of stunk. So I put them in a wash tub of VERY mild bleach water to try and kill the mildew smell (I am very sensitive to this smell and cannot stand it.) and salvage them. Charissa saw them sitting there and decided she was the one who needed to scrub them. She dug around the cupboards to try and find something that might work as a wash board. When she couldn't find something satisfactory she wrote on my shopping list "wash bord". She scrubbed those jeans though squeezing the water in and through them then rinsing them and hanging them in the bathroom. The whole time she is lamenting about not being able to grow up in "the olden days", she changed into dress and covered her head. LOL! She then asked if she could do more laundry. So we put the wash tub in the bath tub (less of a mess) and she pulled out about 5 articles of her clothing. She scrubbed to her hearts content. We hung them in the bathroom on the rod with promises of her doing her own laundry the next day. I had recently decided the girls would do their own laundry (in hopes they'd be more careful about what went in the laundry pile) and so Tuesday was Charissa's laundry day. So this morning she pulled her BIG pile of laundry into the bathroom, readied her wash tub and began. She got about half way through the pile when she kind of ran out of time. We rinsed and went to hang them out on the clothesline. The pictures below of of Charissa appreciating the Quotidian Mysteries of life. I can only pray it holds and she will always have this appreciation.

Addendum: We are wanting a real washboard. If anyone has one laying around in their attics or garages, etc. and wouldn't mind parting with it, let me know. The girls would be so EXCITED!