Thursday, November 15, 2012


Oklahoma sunrises and sunsets can make for the near-perfect silhouette photo opportunity.

I love the contrast,...the natural contrast of color and light, but also how this speaks to me poetically. The dead seed-head played dramatically against the sun's departure.

                                 God's flourish of color and last glowing light before darkness.
I'm reminded of a children's book that my husband and I read consistently to our little ones night after night at their insistence, "Goodnight Moon."

But in this case, I'll say, rather expectantly, "Goodnight, Sun."

I'm also reminded of this:

There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.  ~ Rev. 22:5 ~

Blessings, Julie

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Moving Forward, Always Moving Forward

                                                           Leavenworth's Eryngo

Last Spring I had started a series of posts on wildflowers. And while I really enjoyed it, this will be the last in the series.
I just couldn't keep it current due to other responsibilities and besides I don't think we'll be seeing anymore wildflowers until next spring around here. 
This particular early-fall flower is related to the carrot although many believe it to be a thistle, it isn't. But it's a definite favorite of mine!

In other news our little crafting business has kept my girls and me quite busy.

I posted this painting on facebook just a few days ago and it immediately sold!
Now I just have to figure out all the ins and outs of shipping and handling. We're newbies at all of this but enjoying the excitement of it.
And speaking of excitement, the girls decided to expand our lttle business into making and selling jewelry.

They've been having a lot of fun creating and learning about the skill of jewelry making. They'll be the first to admit that there is still so so much to learn, but I love watching them work together!
We have a craft fair coming up on the first of December, we'll see how the jewelry does. The girls and I are finding that our little business venture is always a learning experience.
And I think that's definitely a plus!

I hope your week is a productive one as I'm hoping mine is also!
Blessings, Julie

Friday, September 7, 2012

Sunday, September 2, 2012

A Rooster's Tale

Our family has been spending a lot of time at the local county fair this past week.
The children showed goats, horses, and calves.
Crafts and items that were sewn were also entered.
And strangely, on a wild trip back to retrieve horses, immediately after the goat show, my husband decided to also bring our wild, Buff Orpington rooster, Dash.
Welcome to the rest of the world, Dash!

I was bit incredulous at Dash being a "show chicken" at first.
Dash is a wild rooster and mean at that...the spittin' image of his Pa, the late Mr. Incredible.
Here is one of my favorite photos of Mr. Incredible.
I think it catches his true character. Mean.

April2011 The Late Mr. Incredible

Here are several posts that mentioned Mr. Incredible:

Life At Forty Acre Farm
Lots of Shtuff and a Planned Butcherin'
Birds on the Brain Again

Mr. Incredible was mean beyond belief. And we were told that B.O. roosters were usually docile.
Not so with Mr. Incredible. He was out for blood. When he died prematurely, I was not saddened.

But alas, this tale is about Dash and I must get back to the point of it.
A year ago, August, Dash was born underneath our porch.
I had let the chickens free-range because it was so hot. His mother, Myrtle, had decided underneath the porch was where she wanted her brood born. And he was born there, directly underneath the Welcome mat.
As we have cats, my oldest daughter was concerned the little fluff-ball would become a cat treat. With my blessing she crawled up under the porch and captured our soon to be named Dash.
Oddly that would be the last time Dash was touched by a human being until nearly a year later to the date when my husband decided at the last minute to throw him into a pet crate and bring him to the fair.
And so, I, exhausted from walking to and fro from barn to barn to Exhibit hall and back through the whole crazy sequence of tracking down kids and making sure they were dressed to show their animals, barely gave ole Dash a second thought but to tell my husband his precious time had probably been wasted in bringing the mean ole bird.
That was Tuesday.
On Wednesday, we were due back to the fairgrounds for several commitments and were also eager to see how the girls had done with their entries in the Exhibit hall. My husband met us in the Exhibit Hall after loading the horses to take them home. He had a funny grin on his face. I asked him what's up and he then told me I needed to go visit Dash in the poultry barn. I laughed and said something like, "that bird didn't place did, he?" All my husband said was, "let's go see."

And this is what I saw. Wow, who knew....who knew a ridiculously wild, ungroomed rooster could be transformed in a moment into a show chicken. I'm still somewhat in a state of disbelief. But hey, you know what they say, truth can be stranger than fiction.

Blessings, And have a great week!

Click on the purple link to visit other homesteading related posts and great blogs!

Homestead Barn Hop #77

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Here at the Farm

We've accumulated quite the menagerie.
There are the Boer goats.
They must be exercised for the fair!

So we pull  walk them up to the beginning of our driveway, line them up and then scream like a bunch of banshees to get them to run back towards the barn. We repeat this a couple of hundred times except for the screaming like a bunch of banshees because the goats are on to us now and usually just trot a few yards and commence to eating the dried-up oak leaves. It sounds like they're eating potato chips.
Anyway we have someone stand down near the barn with a food container now, it works.

The horses are being readied for the fair also.

And let's not forget our bovine friends, they'll be shown at the fair also.

Some days the time and effort can be a bit much. But really the pay-off is that the time and effort involved is helping to teach our children about responsibility. We're also instilling in them a realistic view of what it takes to keep animals healthy and properly maintianed.
I'm hoping they'll look back on these busy days fondly.

In other news, my boy was baptized a couple of weeks ago! We're rejoicing.

Blessings to you and yours, Julie

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A Few Photos

                                                    My boy's bouquet of spring wildflowers.

Daisy Mae, our doeling Kinder goat.

Rudbeckia blooming in the pasture this past spring.

I don't know why this speaks to me, but it does...

My sunflowers went the way of drought and grasshoppers this year. But I was able to get a picture of one before it's demise.

I hope your summer has been productive and pleasant where you are.
Here, in central Oklahoma, we're still experiencing extreme drought conditions. Wildfires have been common and many have lost their homes within a sixty mile radius. The small town where we attend church saw multiple homes burned down to the south of it this past weekend.
Please agree with me in prayer that our Lord, our Provider, would send long nourishing rains to the midwest.

Thank you, Julie

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Just A Little Bit of This & That

                                                                       Button Bush is blooming by the water's edge.

Recently I was able to get down to the lake for some much needed time alone.
As a stay-at-home mom and homeschooler, I'm with my children 24/7. I need a break sometimes and God's creation always provides me with that much needed respite from our daily routine of taking care of animals, schooling, and life in general.

                                                                             Thistle grows in the pasture.

While hiking down through the pasture, I am afforded time to ponder the beauty that surrounds me and appreciate the blessings that are my family back at the house. I have time to be thankful and praise the One who fills my cup.
Upon reaching the lake, I am refreshed by gazing out over the water and observing the plants that make their home here.

                                                                        American Germainder & Frogfruit

Another plant that grows near the water and is quite unique is Button Bush. The multi-flowered globes attract many butterflies and nectar seeking creatures to their sweet-smelling buffet. There really is a  perfumed scent in the air when these wonderful plants are blooming!

                                                                              Skipper on Button Bush

My time spent on these walks is a time of reflection, prayer, and photographing God's rich creation. I'm never disappointed by what awaits me when I can get away for just a short time. 

In other news, this summer has been quite varied in activity. In early June, our little guy kept us busy at trying to negotiate schedules to get him to ball practice and games.

Here my little guy is bunting...he even got a homerun off a bunt in one game!

And then immediately following baseball, he attended a cub scout day-camp for a week.

                                       He looks every bit of the "happy camper" doesn't he?

It was during this particular week of June that we went through an intense heat wave. Temperatures climbed dangerously high every day and I prayed hard my little guy would be taken care of properly. It is so hard letting go.
The critter count has climbed dramatically and the chicken that was broody successfully hatched out two chicks. Now my whole flock is displaced just to accomodate her and her brood.
We've purchased two more goats in addition to the Kinder goats that I had posted about previously. The two new ones are Boers and are show goats for the girls.
My day begins around 5:30 and we try to get the kids outside by 6:30 to help feed the horses, cows, goats, chickens, dogs, and cats. The girls have started working with the ponies as they will show them at the fair  the end of August.
Of course there's much much more...just like your's a constant moving forward.
And with all this activity I must say I fail to relate to the phrase, "I'm bored."

Staying busy and thanking God for our blessings,

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Kinder Goats For Us

This past weekend Tim drove up to northeastern Kansas to purchase a couple of little Kinder goats. He was actually also picking up a baler so the goats were a plus in the whole deal!
Kinder goats are a dual purpose goat (meat/dairy) that are a mix between a nubian and pygmy.
If you would like to learn more about them you can go to these links:

Kinder Goat Breeders Association
Oklahoma State University Education: Breeds of Goats

This is a new venture for us and we're excited about the possibilities, but also aware of the commitment that we've taken on..
Eventually, it is our hope to have these two breed and the doe produce offspring to sell. Kinders are prolific bearers and it isn't uncommon for a doe to birth quadruplets. Milk consumption for our family is also a goal. In recent years, I've become lactose intolerant and hope that since goats milk is more easily digestable it will solve my milk drinking woes. The girls and I hope to try our hand at soaps, lotions, and cheese-making, too.
Oh the plans we have for these two!
By the way their names are Willow and Daisy. Willow our buck is the brown colored one while the doe, Daisy, is the black and white goat. It is my desire that the future herd would also have botanically inspired names.
Strangely, I thought this summer would be a more laid back one, but what with taking care of goats and bottle-feeding three Holstien calves, gardening, and trying to attempt some schooling it's definitely been a busier one.
But I wouldn't have it any other way!
Blessings, Julie

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Beauty Exists Here in Abundance

I haven't forgotten that I was going to post wildflower photos on a regular basis throughout the growing season this spring and summer. Commitments regarding kids, family, and even some unexpected ones have prevented me from being able to get outdoors for extended periods of time to photograph the abundance of blooms we're seeing here. I guess that's just life, huh. But I did get a little collage of flying flowers put together in the early morning hours while drinking my coffee and found a picture of goatsbeard.

And here is a photo of Goatsbeard, one of my favorite wildflowers.

Time now to go wake two of the cherubs, only two as my middle-child is at church camp. And Momma is missing her bright, spunky ways. It's been a little too quiet for me. But I'll feed her little bottle-calf for her and look forward to her being back to do so herself.

Blessings, Julie

Monday, June 4, 2012

A Couple of Painted & Decorated Canvases

In the post before this one, I had mentioned that the girls and I are decorating canvases.
We've really enjoyed the process of getting creative.
These pictures measure 7x14 and were so much fun to paint.

So that's just a little peek at some of what we're selling at craft shows. And to be honest we haven't sold a lot but we're having fun and coming up with new ideas all the time while hoping to find what people will buy. The girls and I are learning about the economic side of a small business and we're making memories that I know will last a lifetime.

Blessings, Julie 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Honey Locust Creations & Designs

We've started a new little business on the side. And when I say little, it really is. But the girls and I have enjoyed working and creating together.
There are magnetic dominoes decorated with scrapbook paper and jewels.

The girls decorated flip-flops with strips of colorful bandanas.

And we've been painting canvases and adding a bit of mixed media to them.
I'll try and post pictures soon but can't now as our internet provider is just not providing that umpf needed to do so.

Catching up a bit, we've got three little one month old bottle calves and are working on aquiring some goats. My oldest wants to show a Boer goat at the fair and next Spring Livestock show and I'm wanting some dairy goats. Have you ever heard of Kinder goats? If you're curious, you can read about them here .
Gotta go, blessings, Julie

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Departure Day/ Field Trip

This morning we were up before dawn.
Tim borrowed a truck from a friend and also the friend's gooseneck trailer. We have a truck but no gooseneck trailer attachment. We have a trailer, but not near large enough for all the broads and their offspring. We are blessed with some very generous people in our lives.

Speaking of blessed, this is the blessed day that the huge, pasture-plodding bovines will!!!
I've looked forward to this day since they set hoof on our place back fall!
Of course we learned a lot from these gals and their babies regarding beef cattle.
I posted an entry here regarding tagging and vaccinating calves.
And I'm thankful for the foreseeable profit that will probably go to a much-needed ATV,...but in all honesty, this day couldn't have come sooner.
Needless to say, although, I'm gonna say it, I won't miss them at all.

Good-bye Tuff-Stuff! You were a lot of trouble but probably the best momma-cow we had! I will not miss your wild ways nor odor! I will not miss running through the neighbor's pasture to try and get you and your troublesome calf back into ours. Adios!

And Tata to you Mother Gothal! You were the bully of the bunch. And that's really all I've got...Good-bye.

This will be a fieldtrip for the kids and their dad.
They're heading to the Oklahoma City Stockyards.

I think he'll be treating them to the locally famous Cattleman's Steakhouse there.
I'll be treating myself to frozen yogurt in town later today.
And I'll be smiling as I remember the last I saw of those bovine broads as they exited our property.

So that's that!
Next project??? Bottle calves and's never-ending folks.

Happy trails to you, Julie

Sunday, April 1, 2012

March Wildflowers Conclusion

The children and I went hiking several days ago on the property just to the south of us. I had gotten permission from the landowner last week when I was fervently looking for morel mushrooms. No mushrooms were found but many wildflowers were spotted. His property isn't as heavily grazed as ours and had some wonderful land formations such as deep gullies and waterfalls down towards the lake that both of our properties border.

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The children played and searched for tadpoles.

The little stream we followed led me to find a flower that I had never knowingly observed before.
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Yellow Fumewort

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I took this picture of the leaves to help me identify later.

This little plant was growing very near the water. I thought I had better get a picture of the stem and leaves for the purpose of identifying later.

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Violet Wood Sorrel

The toadflax that my youngest is holding is one of my favorite wildflowers, but again, I have many.

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Of course there were many other wildflowers that were blooming that I did not include. I've got pictures of dandelion, bladderpod, and more. But currently, due to life in general ie lack of time, I'm not able to include all of what I've found. I will continue to post pics and show many though, just not all.
My husband and I did a bit of hiking yesterday and I noticed that the spiderwort, yarrow, rudbeckia, and tickseed will soon be blooming. I'm sure I'll be posting pictures of these during my April Wildflowers post.
Have a wonderful Sunday and rest of week!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Our Teen, More Wildflowers, & A Sssnake!

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Recently, my oldest turned thirteen.
I wasn't ready!
Honestly, some days I wish that the hands of time could be turned back to her infancy and I could redo so much.
She's a good kid, but bless her heart, her mother has a horrible temper.
She wanted her ears piereced. They are now.
My young teen is beautiful but dealing with an old-fashioned, ridiculously conservative mama is going to stretch her...and stretch the old mama at the same time.
I'm praying for elasticity.

Here are a few more wildflowers:

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Roundleaf Groundsel

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Wild Violet

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Fringed Puccoon

Of course, while tramping over prairie and through the woods, we're already seeing the wildlife that the warmer spring temperatures are rousing. The snakes are already active.
This is just one of several I've already seen.

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Some type of water snake

And one of my favorite hiking companions is the three-legged dog.

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Now to wake up kids and start the day!
Blessings, Julie