Recap: The Farm





It started innocently enough. She wanted him…



He got lonely, so we got them…






wanted these…



And she wanted this….

Oh my gosh....


We needed her…



And carelessly got these…



He wanted these…



So he sold these.




I came home from work one day to discover that he traded these…



for this…


Just kidding.

He really traded for this…


I’m just trying to keep up.


Changes on the Farm

My husband and two youngest kids went camping last week. Since I was out of vacation time at work, I stayed to take care of the growing herd of animals. (Since I really don’t like sleeping on foam pads anymore, I was happy to miss out.) Anyway, while I was doing the morning chores on the “farm”, I lured a few of them closer so I could take their pics.

Here are our two newest members. My daughter and her friend named them T-Bone and Brisket. How can we eat them? They’re so cute!








But wait! There’s more!!



I know he looks dead, but he's actually getting a good scratch in.
I know he looks dead, but he’s actually getting a good scratch in.


A new batch of chickens because coyotes ate almost all of the others.






Cowboy Boots


My youngest daughter and I were dressing for a church activity on a beautiful, spring-like day last week. She found a skirt, but realized she didn’t have any spring shoes to go with her skirt. After endless outfit changes, she became resigned to the fact that she was going to have to make do with what she had. Since her new boots were wet from filling her horse’s water trough that morning, she dug out her outgrown, brown cowboy boots.They were too tight and her toes got a little numb on the drive to church, but I thought she looked darling. It was only when we walked from the parking lot to the church that she pointed out the slapping sound her boot was making. The sole of her right boot under her toes was detached from the boot itself. I assured her that no one would notice.

The next morning as I was getting ready for work, I was surprised to see her rummaging in my craft closet. Here’s how the conversation went:

Me: Uh….what are you doing?

Her: I’m looking for the glue gun so I can glue my boot back together. (Perfectly logical explanation, right?)

Me: I thought you said they hurt your feet.

Her: Well, that doesn’t mean I can’t wear them.

At this point in the conversation my husband chimed in.

Him: Spoken like a true woman.

And that is when I started laughing!

Fitting In Exercise

Even though my last job was a bust, some good did come of it – I think I lost a couple of pounds. I never weighed myself so I can’t be sure, but my clothes seemed a touch looser. The first question I asked myself was, “How?” I didn’t start exercising or anything. I can hardly believe that a couple of tiny changes in my daily routine could make a difference, but it’s the only possible answer. So here’s what changed:

1.  I had to walk from the parking garage a few blocks to the office, then I walked a couple of blocks to get lunch, then there was the walk back to the parking garage.

2.  The office kitchen was down the hall from my desk so it was a purposeful trip to go look for goodies.

3.  I didn’t snack at my desk as often as I used to because the other employees didn’t either. I didn’t want to look like the snarfing, eating machine that I really am.

But here’s the rub. I’m back at my old job where I walk 15 paces from the parking lot to the front door; my office is right next to the kitchen and treat cupboard; and my very thin coworker always keep candy on her desk that she never eats, but it calls to me no matter where I am in the building. (It’s a small building.)

So what’s a sedentary accountant to do?

Today I tried to recreate the old job routine: little walks in the morning, noon, and after work. I got the morning walk and noon walk in today. I’ll keep working on the evening walk.

Morning Walk

I wanted something quick and easy, but during Christmas break, I lent my athletic shoes to my college-age daughter to wear while she worked at the butcher shop. Now I just call them the “meat shoes”. I refuse to wear shoes with meat drippings on them so that wasn’t an option. I considered strapping on my velcro walking sandals to use with the treadmill in the garage, but it was folded up and a pile of bicycles was in the way. (Plus I thought the sound might freak out the new baby chicks.) Can you believe that I haven’t given up by now? Next best thing was just some muddy boots and a sweatshirt of my son’s I found on a box. I even took a picture for you.

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(By the way, it’s rather difficult to take a full body picture of yourself when the camera can only get an arms-length away. And yes, I’ve been married so long that my idea of sexy is cutoff pink pj’s and a green, checked flannel shirt.)

I took some pictures of our property while I roamed around, too.

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The picture to the left is looking at our neighbor’s barn. The picture on the right is looking at the back of our barn and house. The goats are keeping the grass down nicely which is good because our riding lawn mower is a piece of junk.


What a muddy horse!


This is Miss Bianca.


Mia definitely has her eye on something, but I don’t know what it is.

Hope everyone’s morning was as nice as mine!








The Grass Is Always Greener

I know when I’m working more than I want because I start daydreaming about being a stay-at-home mom again. I spend  more and more time perusing cute blogs with pictures of domestic bliss. You know, beautifully decorated and CLEAN rooms where happy children are enjoying one on one time with Mom as they create craft projects or bake together. I imagine having dinner prepared every night at just the right time so we can all eat together before running off to activities. There would be warm cookies from the oven when the kids get home. The birds would sing and the sun would always shine. Oh, sorry, I really got carried away. You get the picture, I think.

Then I remember why I went back to school and got a job. I remember how exciting it is to learn new things. I look back at how much confidence and independence I’ve gained. I’m happy that I’ve been able to help realize dreams for myself and family such as buying our little farm house with land for my husband, helping one daughter pay for college and another get her very own horse.

So I guess this post is saying the way to avoid ‘the greener grass syndrome’ is gratitude. Tonight in my prayers I will thank Heavenly Father for guiding me to a job where I can get my CPA license without working the demanding hours that public accounting would have required. I will thank Him that I have family close by that pitches in and helps me juggle career and home. I will thank Him for a husband who takes on new responsibilities like grocery shopping, making appointments, driving kids to orthodontic appointments, and even making dinner on occasion. (Those chicken enchiladas were delicious, honey!)

My heart feels lighter already!



5 Uses for Canning Jars

About a month or so ago at the Farmer’s Market, peaches were in season. I have been craving my mom’s canned peaches for a few years now, so on a whim I bought a box. I called my mom who agreed to come over and help me can them. I had already purchased jar lids and rings earlier, so all I needed to do was grab some pint jars from the barn. I have boxes and boxes of jars that I inherited from my mom and have never once used them.

I dumped out the bugs and loaded up the dishwasher while I waited for my mom to arrive. It didn’t take long for her to assess the situation. (I didn’t think I even had a ‘situation’ until she got here.) First, she glanced at my box of peaches and asked where the other boxes were. I told her that she was looking at it. (I didn’t want to be overzealous and all.) Then she took a close look at the fruit. She informed me that the peaches I bought were very ripe and wouldn’t can well. They needed to be more firm. Actually, she said the person who sold the peaches to me should be ashamed of themselves which just made me laugh. I could picture my mom giving the peach seller a serious talking to. 🙂

So what do you do when you have a box of overly ripe peaches and lots of canning jars unwrapped from storage? Well, you start slicing peaches to make a cobbler then you freeze the rest.

I’ve come up with a number of uses for the jars because I was too lazy to rewrap and store them again.


Use #1 – drinking glasses

I swore when we moved that I saw a brand new box of glasses, so I refuse to buy any.

Use #2 – store bulk nuts

I think I should make some granola.

Use #3 – store food from opened containers that don’t reseal well

Use #4 – store homemade pancake syrup

Brown sugar, powdered sugar, cornmeal, syrup

Use #5 – store bathroom supplies

I’m not sure if my husband likes it when I organize his stuff or not.


I suppose you could can peaches in them, but these ideas are much easier to implement.



My Daughter and Her Farm Family

“Seriously? Don’t you think it’s a little early for a photo shoot?”



“Is it time for my close up ’cause I think I need just a little more powder on my nose.”





Oh my gosh….
so adorable.



I feel a tear welling up at how happy my daughter is to be living here.

Note: all photos were taken by my daughter. They were just so cute, I had to share.

Signs of Fall



Fall is sure a fun time for pretty pictures. I enjoy seeing what it looks like around the country as I visit my favorite blogs. There’s a certain amount that’s the same like pumpkins, but everyone has different climates and plants, so what is ordinary for one person is entirely new to someone else (like me). I thought I’d join in and share signs of Fall here in the Northwest and on my little farm.

I was so happy when we bought this house  to finally have one of these plants. (I rarely learn plant names, so I don’t know what it’s called.) When this beautiful bush starts to turn red, I know for sure that Fall is on it’s way. The entire bush will eventually turn bright red, and when it does, it’s absolutely stunning. I’ll try to remember to take a picture of it then.





I also don’t know what this flower is either. It’s weird because the foliage grows in the spring and summer. The first time I saw it, I kept waiting for a flower to bloom. Nothing ever did and by the end of summer the long, pointy leaves just  withered and died. Kind of a let down. (You can see all the brown wiltiness on the ground.) Recently, these crocus-like flowers began to bloom. Go figure.


After being a good girl and doing a couple loads of laundry and driving kids around Saturday morning, I stopped by a garden center I’ve never been to. I was overcome by all things Fall. I’m not a gardener by any means, but I did manage to plunk these beauties into my vintage wall decor.

I couldn’t resist this big pot of  white daisies. All I did was wrap a kitchen garbage bag around the pot and drop them into the basket. They remind me of my youngest sister, Becca, who died 14 years ago.

Happy Fall, friends!




It’s blackberry season, and I’ve been reading lots of posts about the joys of picking berries. I’ve enjoyed looking at cute pictures of little kids picking their first blackberries and delicious berries hanging on the vine.

We have wild blackberries growing along our property line. It’s kind of funny that I’ve lived in Oregon so long with blackberries growing everywhere, but never picked any until last year. My husband was helping me and laughing as I got tangled in vines and yelled “Ouch!” every few seconds. I didn’t realize that wearing shorts and a t-shirt is not the best berry picking attire.

This year, though, I was prepared. I went out this morning in my cute, cut-off, baby blue PJ’s, but added rubber boots and a long sleeve, green checked flannel shirt. I’m sure I was a sight for the neighbors. The goats have eaten most of the bushes, but they left plenty of juicy ones that were up high.



I squished some through a sieve to make instant blackberry syrup for my pancakes this morning. I froze the rest for a yogurt smoothie for tomorrow’s breakfast. Mmmm….can’t wait!

Lilly is curious, but the dogs are nearby and freaking her out a little.
Ella tried to sit still for a picture, but the temptation to eat the blackberry won.