Saturday, June 15, 2019

We Bought a Farm: In Full Swing

There is an ebb and a flow to farming. A slow time. With short days. And the longer summer days that seem to go on forever. 

Winter can be slow. 

Summer never is. 

We currently have about eighty little turkeys growing in our brooder. We had quite a hard time with them the first week and lost twenty. They seemed to be dying from seemingly unknown reasons. We did a lot of research and attributed it to a "flip-over" disease that just seems to affect some turkeys. But losing twenty just takes the wind out of your sails. 

My girls have been very into the show Little House on the Prairie. I kept thinking about the time the hail destroyed their wheat crop. Pa got so upset he was just going to up and move and start over somewhere else. He felt beaten down. We aren't reliant on our farm for our livelihood like Pa and Ma and their three girls. And yet, man ... loss just really gets you. Especially when you can't fix it. 

The life of a farmer is so dependent on things completely out of his/her control.

We need rain. But not too much. We need sun. But not too much. We need cold. But not too much. We need predators to not find our farm. We need the electric fencing to be firing. We need the animals to survive and thrive. But too many births and we will have to sell some of the animals because we don't have enough space to carry them. It's such a delicate balancing act. Constantly.

Never in my life did I find myself checking the weather so often. It hasn't rained in six days. Now it's raining. Now it's raining too much. Stop raining. 

In fact, the first night we had the turkeys, we forgot to check the weather. At six p.m. we checked on the turkeys. Then Jacob and John and I came in the house to relax and have dinner. When we went back out at 9:30pm we all looked at each other with panic spread on each of our faces. When did it get so cold. We ran to the turkeys. The weather had dropped from 91 to 65 in just a few hours. They were freezing! Another hour or two and half would have been dead. We went into panic mode. Setting up extra heaters. Racing around. Even sitting in the brooder to keep them from piling on top of each other.

(Turkeys have a death wish if you didn't know that.)

It isn't just the turkeys keeping us busy. We have sixteen new baby guinea fowl in their own little brooder now. The garden is thriving (and failing.) Some things make it. Some things don't. We are eating what comes out. Salads for days in a row. Then no greens for a few days and cabbage galore.

It's the nature of life. Of farming. So many beautiful moments. And many hard ones too. I'm learning to ride the waves and trying to be affected less by the highs and the lows. 

It's a beautiful life. 

And a hard one. 

P.S. I stumbled upon this article posted by an old friend on Facebook the other day. (Thanks Gil!) I've realized that even those this is life is hard, I think the gift we are giving to our children is worth every piece of difficulty.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

21 Pilots Concert

Our family of six drove to Charlotte yesterday for a 21 Pilots concert. I stayed at the hotel with little Hannah. But JB and the oldest three went to the concert a few blocks away from the hotel. They had a BLAST and didn't return to the hotel until 11pm!

Hannah and I had a good time too. We stopped at Amelie's French Bakery & Cafe' to pick up some fun dessert, and then we watched the movie Bedtime Stories (with Adam Sandler). It's on Netflix and was mostly clean and just a lot of fun. We both had a good time watching it.

We stopped at our friends: The Kramers on the way to the concert. She recommended I stop at this bakery which was right by our hotel. So I did!
Hannah got a chocolate eclair with chocolate filling. I got a chocolate mousse with a chocolate strawberry and chocolate container to eat too!
One of the things I love about living where we do is how quickly we can get to big cities to do things that are a bit more "suburban" than we are. Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville, Asheville, Knoxville -- all super close to us. It's really great!

And we had a GREAT time as a family. It was a quick 24-hours trip, but it's always good to get away and regroup together. As I mentioned above, we stopped at the Kramer home -- they live about an hour from Charlotte. We were bringing them lamb meat, and we had so much fun meeting their new puppy and touring the amazing 100+ year old home they are renovating.

We also got to see a "coffin piano" for the first time. These are very unusual and weren't made for very long. They also didn't have the best sound. However, they've had it restored, and Isaac jumped on for a quick song:

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

We Bought a Farm: Great Big Sinks & Swiss Chard

These big ol’ sinks set extra high were part of the purposeful design of our new kitchen. Lots of room to clean and organize the foods we grew ourselves. 

We put in two refrigerators to be able to store all the produce we had cleaned.

This week we finally put the sinks and fridges to work on the job they were born to do.

I know very little about gardening. My cooking skills are quite sub-par. I really couldn’t tell you the difference between a beet green or Swiss chard just a week ago. 

But I’m learning. And I’m loving the idea of eating things we are planting ourselves. I love trying to use every single thing, knowing we didn’t spray a single thing on them to make them grow. 

Jacob has been with us off and on for two years. He originally came as a wwoofer and is now a part of our family. He has spearheaded the garden this year. John gave him lots of freedom to try whatever he wanted. Jacob has let the kids and I walk alongside him. The kids have helped plant and helped harvest. The Kotynski family joins us on the journey and we harvest and grow in community together. 

I know so little. 

I’m learning so much. 

I hope y’all will keep coming back to this little blog corner of the world and learning along with me. 

Review: Memoria Press

Time for another video review. I'm starting to figure out how to do these things a bit better each time do them.
Vendor link: Memoria Press
Product links: The Story of the Thirteen Colonies & The Great Republic Set and 200 Questions About American History set, grades 5-8

Read more about them here:
I also encourage you to read the reviews from my fellow crew members by clicking below:

Classical Writing & Spelling, American History & Jewish Wars {Memoria Press Reviews} 
Crew Disclaimer

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Review: Hewitt Homeschooling Resources

It is time for another video review. Today I am reviewing a product from Hewitt Homeschooling Resources. It is called: Grade 1 Lightning Lit Set.

PLEASE watch the video above because I absolutely LOVED LOVED LOVED this product!

Read more about them here:
Also please take a moment to read the reviews from my fellow Crew members by clicking the link below:

Lightning Literature, My First Reports, State History Notebook & Joy of Discovery {Hewitt Homeschooling Resources Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Tuesday Truth

Sunday, June 09, 2019

How I become the owner of three of the same book for $40

Once upon a time a girl named Wendi checked a book out at the library that looked like this:

She laid it on her bed. 

Then she couldn't find it.

She looked and looked and looked. Finally she went and talked to the librarians. This particular book would cost her $30 to replace plus a $10 processing fee.


So Wendi ordered a used book off of Amazon for $5. She brought it into the library. The librarians were very nice, but said that it couldn't be used because the book cover was torn.

So Wendi went and ordered another used book off of Amazon for $5. She brought it into the library. The librarians were very nice, but said that it couldn't be used because the book was from another library, and they were unable to cover up old library stickers. 

So now Wendi had spent $10. She had two of the same book. However, she didn't have the one book that the library was requiring. 

A few more weeks passed, and she finally decided to pay for the missing book. She was able to talk the library into not charging her the $10 processing fee since she had already spent that at Amazon. But she still had spent $30 for the book plus $10 on the two books that wouldn't work.


Fast forward a few more weeks. An intensive cleaning behind her bed revealed the long-lost book. 

Wendi had found the lost-lost book. 

(And to answer your question, no, the library could not reimburse her for her error. The processing had already taken place.) 

And so now, Wendi has three of the same book. They cost her FORTY BUCKS. But she has three of them which makes her very proud.

Or frustrated.

She isn't sure.