Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Yesterday, after school, we went up into the mountains to forage elderberries, to make elderberry syrup, with my friend and foraging-guide, Mrs. B.


Such a lovely day. 

Today I will boil down the berries with water, fresh ginger, peeled and cut into one inch chunks, cinnamon sticks, rose hips from my rose bush, and some vanilla bean.  When it is reduced and syrupy I will let cool, strain, and add raw honey.  Then bottle it all up.  Yum!  Who knew medicine does NOT have to taste yucky.  

Here is a link I found about the nutrient profile of elderberries:


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Big dog has a home...

No, not our home... No wonder he was such a great pup!  He is an Akbash livestock guardian dog.  Very interesting breed.  Very smart, loyal, protective and they like to travel long distances!!  Obviously!  

He is back to his own farm now, but we will not be surprised to see him again some day. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A dog, a BIG dog, arrived at our farm on Monday...out of the blue!

So, I let the chickens out to free range, went in the house to get the laundry to hang on the line, and in the two minutes it took me to get the wash and come back out, there was a giant white dog on the patio! Giant and super, super skinny. The roosters are a gettin' the girls all behind them; at the same time letting the dog know they don't appreciate him on their turf!! LOL The dog is wagging his tail. Whew!

I walk down the driveway, with the dog following me, to see if there are any cowboys or sheep herders around. Nope. I then tell the dog, "GO HOME" - he sits at my feet, looking up at me with his lovely light brown eyes....melting my heart...."okay, big guy, I'll feed ya." Poor thing was dirty, his hips are messed up, and did I mention super, super skinny? I prayed, "LORD, did you send me this dog?" :)

I called the sheriff's office to see if anyone had reported him missing. No, no one has. He is either an Akbash or a Great Pyrenees/Lab mix. Great with the chickens and us. We already have fallen in love.  Mr. Simply Elegant has been measuring for the cool condo dog house he plans to build.

Will keep you posted...

Monday, October 10, 2011


These pictures were taken on Saturday afternoon, 10/08/2011, from the drive way.  We think this lovely white stuff will be staying until next June!  Brrrr....Some people, in the family, are even getting excited about ski season already. 

Happy Columbus Day,

Monday, October 3, 2011

July, August, September and winter!

Or "June, July, August and winter," as the locals say.  Either way, it has been an entire season since my last blog post on the first of June.  Good thing I don't blog for a living! 

So, just what have I been up to, you might ask? 

June 2011 -  We finished up all our school work for the year and played in the garden.  Which if you were to see the reality of it, I worked at getting compost from the compost pile to the garden beds, while Miss M oversaw the operation!  Miss J came over for a visit and dug the post holes for the chicken play yard, again Miss M "helped" and measured, so the holes were dug to just the right dimensions.

Interesting tidbit of information, if you purchase chickens from your local tack and feed store, thinking you are saving tons of money by buying 79 cent straight run chickens, think again!  Sure you save $35 on shipping and on average about $2 per chicken.....BUT.....the odds of getting twelve out of sixteen roosters is very, very, very great.  Yep, twelve out of sixteen WERE roosters.  Drats.  So on June 6th we re-ordered eight lovely Barred Plymouth Rock pullets.  Even paid the extra 50 cents to make sure they were all girls.  Oh but wait, there is more...Mr. Simplyelegant wonders why I didn't order some of those lovely red ones too.  Well, I am going to take Miss J to the airport on June 11th, so I could run over to Dunlap Hatchery and pick up a couple of the New Hampshire Reds.  Which Miss C and I did, while Miss J and Miss M went to the mall.all.by.themselves!!!!!!!  I asked Miss C, "do you think Miss J will remember to watch, Miss M?"  She replied, "do you think we should go back and get them?"  LOL 

back to the chickens...or shall I say, fast forward to October, five roosters are in freezer camp, two went to live in Boise, one has a harem of hens in Hagerman and four are in le palais de poulet as of this weekend.  Four is still two too many, as I want one Barred Plymouth Rock and one New Hampshire Red.  ahhhh, the joys of chicken farming.  I will spare Aunt Minnie the details of just exactly how the five got to freezer camp!  (future post idea, as Aunt Minnie might actually like to know!!)

July 2011 - Vacation Bible School, swimming lessons, more attempts at gardening, Google farming, the usual.  Note: Google farming is where if you don't know how to do something on your homestead, you Google it! Backyard chickens dot com also has a great forum where, even though I don't post, I can search anything I need to know and within seconds have an answer....pretty cool!

Come to think of it, VBS was the end of June.  This was Miss M's second year as teen helper and our ninth year to attend the same program!  Miss M is great with the children, she is such a wonderful little helper. They all love her, from two to ninety-two!  Of course, those of you reading this blog knew that already!  I was the missionary moments story-teller this year.  I shared the story of George Muller and had a great time.  My mom always told me I was a great story-teller!!  LOL And the amazing story of this naughty, naughty boy who turned out to be a giant man of faith made the story all that more interesting to hear, as well as to tell. 

August 2011 - August was the month I was a personal assisant to one of our clients while they were in town at their vacation home.  Garden and housework at home suffered only a wee bit!  You know, that whole "the cobbler's children don't were shoes" type of thing!  August was also fair week here in town so Miss M had lots of activies with her friends.  We also picked up Miss J from her trip to Hawaii, were she was an intern on an organic farm.  Very fun!

September 2011 - Back to school....ahhh...back to a semi-normal life schedule. We purchase all of our homeschool curriculum in the spring, so all I have to do is plug in lesson plans over the summer and then we are good to go.  We are learning all sorts of great stuff.  This is Miss M's 8th grade year. Can you believe it? 

There you have it....our summer in a nutshell.  Bless you for reading.  *big toothy grin*