Thursday, July 2, 2015

I Have Missed Being Here

 Nolan surprised Mike for Father's Day by rebuilding the trailer that had pretty much rotted out.
When Emmy saw it, she couldn't stop asking for a hay ride and Mike obliged the other day when we had to go buy more hay from a neighbor.

 Emmy has made it obvious that she is our next performer, taking after her oldest brother.
She walks around the house signing loudly and dancing  - usually a song from Annie or Frozen.

Looking forward to being back to share bits and pieces of our family's very simple life - which although simple, is not easy.

Looking forward to connecting again with you.

Warm wishes,
Tonya

Thursday, May 7, 2015

A New Home

for our blog and business.

We will still keep our etsy shops open as they are our main source of income.  However, we felt that it is important to have our own e-commerce shop and blog and for it to be all in one location to simplify things and hopefully over time that is where most of our sales will originate.

So I will be posting here now and hope you will visit.

The Promise of Spring









daffodils

outside time - lots of it for both work and play

beginning the wood pile again

maple blossoms

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Worrying...



I came across this saying and love it.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Work Is Pure Joy













Life is so full right now - so wonderfully full.

My body is working harder and harder each day - cleaning up the yard, digging garden beds, moving animals, pushing wheelbarrows.

We are also preparing for Thomas and Sam's wedding here on the 30th of May!  (our oldest son)

We talk about all the things we would like to do around our homestead - plans for many more blueberry bushes, strawberry beds, a guest cabin, more fenced in areas, a someday workshop and barn.  


Friday, April 17, 2015

Milking


I am going to share a little glimpse into my milking journey thus far -

Tuesday - (3 days after giving birth)  Was the first day I attempted to get Madeline on the milking stand. I used a dog leash and attached it to her collar.  She got her front two legs up and I did get her head in the stanchion. I milked a little.
To learn how to milk, I simply downloaded lots of videos on youtube and watched them and am learning by just doing it.

Sarah is joining me in the barn each morning.   She is milking one side while I milk the other.  She also will get up and grab some hay for Madeline when she runs out of grain.   As I milk, I am keeping one hand right above the joint in Madeline's leg - holding on to the tendon there so she doesn't kick over the milk bowl and to keep her legs apart enough to milk.

Wednesday - Used the leash and got all four legs on the stand and milked for about 10 minutes, getting 2 cups.  -  We all tried the milk and Abraham says he doesn't like it and Abby says she will use it in her cereal but maybe not straight up - she isn't sure yet.   I think there is a very mild taste, if any and Mike and I both like it.   Mike was a bit worried he wouldn't like it, so this is good news!

Thursday - Used a leash and she jumped right up - milked about 2 cups again.

Friday - No leash and I had to maneuver her a bit before she jumped up (she tried to go around to get the grain without being on the stand).  This morning there was less milk.
So, tonight (after doing a little research I have decided to wait until the babies are two weeks old to separate at night) we plan to separate the babies by building a little area in one side of the barn.  Madeline will still be near them just not with them.   We hope to get a lot more milk tomorrow morning.

I am not to the point where I really like the actual milking yet because I don't feel confident in my technique.  As I get into more of a rhythm with my hand and fingers, I think that it will become an enjoyable part of my mornings and the feeling of bringing fresh milk into the house each morning will be very satisfying.