meet the 'stock

we've been growing this little homestead steadily since we've arrived here at the farm. lots of people have expressed both their concern & surprise that we would have animals on the farm this early as we are renovating both the house & the dilapidated barns. but, spring is the cheapest & most efficient season to buy & add livestock. and most of the kids' & my excitement about the farm has centred around the potential livestock themselves.

we should have probably waited. we could have waited. but we didn't & i can honestly say it has been my saving grace. although a bit naturally out of what would be most people's logical progression, (buy farm, settle kids, then renovate the house, then renovate the barns, then carefully plan & research livestock & invest next spring or two when we know what we're doing), it's more our style to take on nine massive projects all at the same time. even though we have had several livestock calamities (the tim horton's parking lot pig escapade, the case of the missing goat horn & the horsegate fiasco of 2014... i hope to pen these later because i don't think i'll believe them myself in a few years), they have also been one of my greatest sources of peace through this transition. i so look forward to my 20 minutes both morning & night that i get to interact & watch & play with them. such a nice change in pace. for the evening chores, the kids are usually in bed & i can just saunter out to greet the pig, play with the goats, collect duck eggs or ride mabel with the deer in the back few acres.

this is not to say that it hasn't been a pretty steep learning curve. i think just in our first week here i had to learn how to get a giant tic off an unsuspecting pig, how to build a "duck-tractor" in under 10 hours, how to clean a chick's "vent" & how to transport an angry goat in the family van without it bashing out my back window. it has been a lot of youtubing & contacting people on kijiji. and although doing it all by myself while trying to competently mother & settle into a pretty eccentric house has been overwhelming at times, it has also given me a huge confidence boost. if i can teach an ornery pig who's boss every morning, well, i figure i can do a lot of other things i've never before too & succeed!

so stayed tuned. lots of stories to come. 

here are a few more pics of some of the new livestock around the property... just so you'll know who i'm talking about when i write about them later. they each have their own stories to tell... but that's for another time.

thanks for joining me on this little adventure!
Kip is our baby billy goat... he's a Nigerian Dwarf
& we are hoping to use him for breeding
& lawn mowing

despite livi's size this is her favourite animal

meet mabel

mabel is an older Pony of the Americas (POA), i got her
for a great deal on kijiji. she's been gradually building
back my confidence in riding. she will be our resident
teaching horse & apple eater. 

meet lily. she is a 4 year old registered paint mare (she's a stock
paint, so although she doesn't look like a paint if bred she'll produce one)
she doesn't actually belong to us but just a friend for mabel at the moment

meet gilly. she is a pygmy/nigerian dwarf cross. this is her
post-traumatic horn incident (more to come on that). we think
she may be pregnant but we are not super sure... i have no idea
what to do with a goat placenta but it's looking like i'll have to learn!
she will be our milking & producing goat... but we can't milk her until
she's had a kid. terrified of having to assist her in labour but so excited
to potentially have a little baby around again :) goat duala-ing here we come!

and churchill. he's just so nice. unless he's hungry.
he's a real ham (no pun intended!) he will be
our breeding boar (we get two spotted girls in a few months).
he is a heritage breed which means slower growing meat but
higher quality! 

and you already know henriette & hepburn but
here is their little clutch of eggs they've been tending too...
they have been trying to sit on the exact same nest of eggs...
i'll make the tractor a little bigger for them next time (they would
have had twice the amount of eggs if they had separate nests). we hope
they'll hatch out at least a dozen ducklings to raise as meat ducks.


my husband is a hero!

my husband has always been my hero but recently became a bonafide one. :)

this poor cyclist was denied help by not one but two people before steve found her by the roadside. a true good Samaritan story:


i met her yesterday & she is well on the mend. she even quietly hid a small gift for our kids in our front entryway to thank him. as she was getting into her car, she asked me if we had told our kids about the event (the question made more sense once we found her gift) but i had said we only had given a very general account to them to explain why he was late getting home. but it made me think. think about how much i haven't taken the opportunity to celebrate & praise their daddy for the daily hero that he is to us. in fact, when steve had texted to say he would be quite a bit later due to the accident, i was a little miffed inside, if i were to be honest. miffed that i had to single parent again for another night. how silly is that. how embarrassing & selfish my attitude. i totally understood that he was needed in that situation & that that was more important than the crazy household i found myself in but i still quietly was slightly annoyed.

the importance of this was highlighted to me again when a few days later steve himself was taken to the hospital by ambulance. he is now also recovered from the terrifying event but i will certainly take every opportunity i can to celebrate their daddy. things may not happen the way i want them to each day. the trash may not get taken out or things around the house may not get done as fast as i'd like them to but that changes nothing about the kind of man their father & my husband is. i will take every opportunity i can now to both see & celebrate the great man of God that i have the privilege of being married to. :)

she sings to me...

i am prone to anger. if there were one emotion that i found it difficult to not be overtaken by it would be that one.

and when i get frustrated, i get so angry it boils over & fills the house like a terrifying roar.

i have been frustrated for long time now. it had all seemingly stemmed out of some of the post-partum struggles i had written about. and then just crept in & taken over my garden like a vicious weed sometime after that.  i had tried to fight the urge to explode but if i kept my mouth shut it steamed out my eye sockets! there just didn't seem to be a victorious way to control my temper. and with four little-ing, one whopping lifestyle change with mounds & mounds of unearth-able stress on top, there has been no shortage of legitimate reasons to spontaneously combust.

and then after a shameful incident, i couldn't ignore it anymore. i wasn't trying to ignore it before. i just didn't know what to do or how to stop yelling. i just looked into my youngest eyes & she was frightened & i broke into a million pieces that felt like they could never go back together again. how did i get here? i asked myself. i am an overwhelmed, overworked mother of four youngsters who cannot keep her voice under control. and my hopelessness swelled.

and so i prayed because there had been nothing else to help. i had read the books. locked myself in the bathroom for timeouts. counted to ten. tried to talk in whispers & i just couldn't control myself. and so i prayed a tearful prayer of repentance & i broke it open before the Lord & asked him to help me.

and then i picked myself off the floor, didn't even bother to wipe the tears from my cheeks & walked down the hall to see to the screaming balls of children at the end of the hall. i silently separated them onto their beds & decided to try to reflect on what to do next while repairing eva's closet doors which wouldn't stay in their tracks properly. i think my silence scarred the kids more than if i had yelled for some reason. and eva who had been placed on her bed, was listening to my deep, deep sighs as i fiddled with the broken hardware of her closet door & she just started singing. she said, she knew just the song to make me feel better & sang away! and i felt the mounds of pent up pressure inside fizzle out & peace drift in. it was a sweet little song about how much Jesus loves me & how i don't have to be frustrated because He's so wonderful. it was slightly off tune & ranged from a soft whisper to a starling howl but it was anointed.

she does it all the time now. sings. often when she thinks i'm frustrated (even if she mistakes hard work for frustration... i don't mind), she just start belting it out. and i can't help but smile & let go of whatever emotion is all tangled up inside... exhaustion, anxiety, worry, frustration... all gone at the sound of that little voice offering her praise to up to Jesus.

it was & is a supernatural answer to my prayer. i can't even really explain why it has helped so much. it just has.

now i carry that song with me, even when she is not. :)
"i love Jesus because He don't get frustrated with me!"


good things come to those who wait

well, we finally got the keys to the farm!!! whoohooo! thank you Jesus!

my apologies for my lapse in blogging... as a result of getting the keys to the farm we have also been cut off from the outside world... no internet, no phone service & no snail mail (we lost the keys to the mailbox).  but, we have some new doohickey that has promised to fixed our internet problem & there is hope on the horizon that we may one day soon have phone service as well... although no sign of the mailbox key (i'm sure there's a youtube video on how to jimmy a lock somewhere out there).

oh friends, how much i have to catch you up on! i have been keeping an account of this ridiculous adventure by scribbling on scraps of paper whenever i get the chance. with tales of missing horns & snakes that rattle, pig hand offs at tim horton's & horses & toddlers that won't stay put, it has been crazy ride. i feel like i need a minor in veterinary science & animal behaviour as well as a few courses in carpentry, horticulture, self-defence & child psychology. with so much work to be done at the moment, it's a learn as you go kinda journey. but if i can fix a bloody goat horn with a toothpick, a string & four kids at my feet, then i think i can pretty much do anything. or lets hope. there's a lot rising on my lack of expertise.

more stories to come. but just a few pics for now.

meet churchill

another trip to the feed store... reading the tractor classifieds,
until livi sat down

planting the orchard (all the trees were just $20 at loblaws!)

meet rudyard kipling

growing a goat or two