Saturday, February 27, 2010

What a Saturday!

Whew, THAT was a crazy morning-my parents and sister got new phone upgrades!!! yay!!! And, I got my very first, very special, cell phone! I am so excited, and I love using it! It's one of those LG slides, white and green. Totally awesome! The Goat's think so too, posing for pics, lol. Also, SimplyNik and I have a party to go to in a little while, so today's hectic. It was so fun to finally join the world of the never-ending crazy with technology-sweet!
Gotta go,
Goat Mama

Friday, February 26, 2010

Savor the moment...

Of the sky after the storm....
This mornings storms have passed leaving a mud-soaked farmyard. The beautiful sky called us out - to stand in awe and wonder at such handiwork. After the rain, beauty abounds. Have a blessed weekend.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Wanna here a funny?

Hey y'all, the Goatmama's here. Have y'all ever seen a dog (or other pet) lick at the hose while you're filling up their water bucket, watering the flowers, etc.? Well, lemme tell ya a funny:

The Other day, I was filling up my goatie's water buckets, and when I got to Pineknot and Willow's, Pineknot decided to sidle up to the bucket and check out the water source.
He sniffed for a while, eventually getting water up his lil nose, which he did NOT appreciate, and then decided to show off his tongue: He stuck out his tongue, reaching out several inches, I mean, I've NEVER seen a goat's tongue THAT long!!
Anyway, he sticks out his tongue, and starts licking the water streaming from the hose handle, like a dog or cat or something. He was so obsorbed and captivated, and his tongue was so LONG that it was just so hilarious that the whole barn was in such an aproar over Pineknot's simple stupidity!!! We got the giggles, and they were contagious and half of us had to squeeze our knees together to keep from wetting ourselves, we were laughing so hard! When we stopped the water flow, he looked at us like we were stupid, cutting off the source of his plaything. Sadly, it was one of those Kodak moments, the ones that are so perfect and downright HILARIOUS, and of course, you never have any form of camera on you, ya know?

Anywho, if you got a kick out of reading this, lemme know what ya think!!

Luvs ya all,
Goat Mama

New babies on the farm!

Fifty of them! Oh, my what a busy day. Fretting, fussing, gathering supplies, wondering how it will all work....and today they arrived. Let the work begin...
Upon arrival, we take tender care to be sure each one starts drinking water (generally a little dip of the beak gets them going), then introduction to starter feed - no instructions are generally needed here- once they drink they grasp eating!
Then there is the phone call to our farmdad to inform him of the blessed arrival. His main question is, "Are they happy?" Well, babies are always happy when eating, drinking and pooping - so yes, our babies are quite happy...and noisy. Sweet little chirps are filling the air!
Regular trips to the coop are necessary to ensure proper temperature, ample feed and water, and general welfare of the little flock. We have lost track of how many trips were made already today.
Funny how little balls of fluff bring such happiness to our hearts...God must have know how we would feel.. since He made them for us. Well, here's to enjoying our newest arrivals!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Yes, it snowed....

And what else can you do but go catch them on your cheeks and tongues? It seems such a simple thing, but a sweet memory you can keep forever...the sight of even your biggest kids running around in the snow....upturned faces....big smiles... makes you feel so blessed.

As is tradition, we made carmel popcorn to enjoy by the fire while watching a video and working on sewing projects, art projects, and sketching new ideas for metal arts. Warm soup was served and laughter was all around. Unfortunately one of the farmkids came down with a bit of a bug that afternoon. She seems to be improving today..just a few lingering side effects. (Funny how the older they get, the longer they wait to tell you they are not feeling well....guess they know me too well--off to bed..meds, fluids, rest!)

Either way.. the sun is out this morning; my baby roosters have started crowing; little goats are calling to be played with; dogs await a good romp in the mud; and some farmkids are eager to complete their studies and head outside. Soak up the sunshine - you never know how long it will last!


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

They say there will be snow.....

The weather man says there will be some snow in our area today... oh, wow. If so, this will be the third snow day this year (for our area). For a farm family, this means winterizing, checking and rechecking, covering, heat lamp checking ... many trips to the barn .. all bundled up... rewarming by the fire with a warm cup in hand.
In between, there are games to be played, warm soup to be served, handwork in hand... a great time to make progress on your fair projects!
And so, today we watch the sky ... check the stalls, and stir the soup. Wherever you are today, I pray you are warm and well. Maybe the sun will return soon. God bless.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Update from a busy weekend....

Oh, what a busy weekend! Our farmgirl, simplynic is pleased to report the Top Hands Rodeo was a safe and wonderful experience for all the participants. We are very proud of all their hardwork and good sportsmanship! With all equipment and horses back in place, it is time to get back to routine... start over again. Time to shift gears and plan for spring/summer sessions at the barn.

Our farmgirl, simplyjen has been busy with me cleaning out the greenhouse and preparing garden beds with compost. A few seedlings have been started (in the house under lights) in anticipation of the nutritious soil that awaits them.

Our farmboy, simplyj has been assisting in garden bed maintenance as well as caring for and storing hunting gear. He has decided to start practicing his bow and arrow accuracy for next year's hunting season.

Papascaife is busy studying his seminary lessons, preparing sermons, and trying to get our new meat pen brooder house ready for the chicks due to arrive this week. Farmdads keep awful busy preparing for spring!

The family Sunday was full with worship services to attend, an extra guest for church, and unexpected visit from a little cousin. Sleep was sweet last night!

Today as we restart lessons, chores, and the weekly cleaning list.... it was discovered that winter preparations must begin again----- our area is forecast to have a possible two inches of snow tomorrow (not at all typical for us). So, we must be quick to add bedding to stalls, set heat lamps in coops, cover tender new crops, and stack firewood in the bin.

Stay warm, my friends... drink warm tea, serve hot, nourishing soups.... and snuggle in with your dear family. If it does snow... maybe a trip out to catch a few on our tongues will be in order!


Friday, February 19, 2010

Goat Love

Hey y'all! Do ya know how goats tell each other, and people, they love them? Well, I found out one day when I was with another GoatMama, sitting on some steps in the goatie pen feeding them leaves, when all of the sudden, one of them starts rubbing her head all over my chest! I said, Hey, ummm, what is she doing?! My friend laughed and said, she loves ya, and that's how they show it. So today as I was giving my babies loves and pats, I stood up to say something to Ma, and Willow starts rubbing her head all over my backside! It was SO WEIRD, not to mention it tickled!!! Has that ever happened to you? If so, don't worry, she's just sayin', "Hey Mama, I love you SO much, I just had to rub ALL over ya, and just love ya up." Seriously, that's what they're saying-WEIRD, but I love it anyways! Just gotta bear with 'em, no matter what. :-) LOL

~Goat Mama


They're growing up...

Sometimes such realizations hit you..they're growing up. All in their teen years (well, youngest is 13 this fall) and starting to stand alone - go on without me - find their path. There is joy in this, yes, to see them be responsible, dependable, diligent, faithful...and make a stand for right. There is also sadness,,,they need their space - they must make decisions on their own - they must sometimes fall (with out mama to catch them) - they must do their own things. Some days, the reality that they are growing up just hits you hard.
As mentioned, our oldest is at the rodeo this weekend (without us)- with Leap of Faith - being a leader to others. She is stretching her wings, setting her schedules, planning her calendar...sometimes paying her way. At her age, my job is more overseer and guide (sometimes intervention is required, but then sometimes best to let things run a course) for at this age some lessons must be learned by mistakes. I do not deny it is hard to accept this stage - especially when they are away from us, stretching wings, being independent.
Simplyjen is starting to spend one day a week apprenticing with master gardeners - learning - growing - stretching a little. Another one inching closer to her independence...needing to be guided instead of lead. She is growing up. Often, she is planning her own routines, handling her own schedule, needing less direction.
Farmboy, poor thing, is here more than any (because hunting season is over!). Being a boy, he is less needy of leading that the girls were at this age. Already, he is stretching toward the role of leader, protector, provider... watching over us gals, fixing things, doing "man's work" around us. He more often is seen following his dad around - tools in hand, carrying the heavy things, learning to repair, build, care for .... learning to grow up.
So what is this farm mama to do? Treasure the moments together - now - when we are all together - gathered round the table, the fireplace, the barn stall...soak up our time. She is to let them pray for accept God has a beautiful plan for watch them bloom and be ready when they need guidance, a listening ear, a word of wisdom -- or a story from experience. It is not easy...God hears my prayers - throughout the day-- pleading for His help in this new direction. She is to share her heart with her husband - remembering, he sees them growing too.
.....Occasionally, we must savor the moment when they realize ---they still need us--for now--- to be mom and dad and show them the way.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Simply beautiful

Oh, the return of the sun!
In our little corner of the world we are having some much needed sunshine. Each of us migrates out to the warmth of those golden rays to soak up the nourishment and peace they bring. Family gathers on benches and in trees (yes, up in the trees!) to draw in God's beautiful goodness - the return of the sun. My, how we have missed the blue skies, fluffy white clouds..the song of birds...the chatter of squirrels-mmmmm.
With light, comes the need for some outdoor maintenance- barn cleaning! The farm animals jumped and ran,,,cheeped and scratched and sunned themselves in the golden beauty. Our pretty day was spent mucking, spreading, refreshing the stalls - coop - pasture - garden beds. Makes a person start to get the garden itch. I deeply look forward to sprouting seeds, colorful blooms, and buzzing bees....the flutter of butterflies and first harvests from the vegetable patch. Digging my hands deep into the rich soil and unearthing nourishing treasures ready to aide tiny seedlings in their plight for growth.
As such a day comes to an end, the temperatures drop- the birds go to their nest for warmth - farm animals return to their stalls and coops to nestle down in fresh bedding - the sun dips down behind the trees. ... we gather with warm cups and coats to watch as God paints a beautiful sunset for our soul to absorb.
Warm soup is made and served to contented hearts and handwork is picked up - for the first time today (because we were not couped up inside). Evening brings unwinding and relaxing; the Word is read to the gathered family before we snuggle into our beds to slumber beneath handmade quilts - knowing our Father watches over us and is planning another beautiful day ---just for you and me.
Wherever you are today, take the time to stop and enjoy the light that is shining and the family that is gathered near you. God bless you and give you joy and peace.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What do you do with 20 roosters?

You fill the freezer!
We had a sunny, breezy day yesterday - and with Papascaife home for the afternoon it just seemed like the right time to handle the meat pen.
Here on our farm, we see no real point in feeding and maintaining non-productive livestock. So, when God graced our straight-run flock with 23 roosters, it was time to make a meat pen. We sorted out our gals from our guys (the ladies free range in the afternoons) and penned our guys to bulk up in our meat pen.
After careful observation of the guys - their behavior, color, size - we chose 3 to be the guardians of our hen flock. I look for good disposition, large size, desireable coloring/feathering...these will breed future layers for our home. ... On occasion, our hens will set a nest of eggs for us. We also have an incubator and occasionally brood a new flock from our own hens this way.
To make the day educational, we added a novice butcher to our line-up yesterday! Bless his heart, he learned a new skill and a few things about himself!!! We greatly appreciate his help and willingness....and would gladly invite him again for our next scheduled butcher in April. --Hope we didn't scare him too much... this bunch of farm kids gets a little rowdy when working together (our work conversations can be a little weird- we love biology and animal sciences).
Now, our freezer is well stocked (for now!) with home grown meat ready to cook. Our Farmboy says it's time for his favorite dish "rooster-n-dumplin's". Sounds good to me!
Simplychele...assistant to the butcher :)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Creepy Crawley Critters!

I LOVE creepy crawley critters! Lizards are my favorite, but it's also SO much fun to watch tadpoles grow in our fishtanks, as well as scare the spit outta Ma Scaife by draping fake snakes around her coffee creamer-LOL. Do y'all like creepy crawley critters? What're your favorites? I also think skinks and salamanders are just so CUTE! I've always had a love for creepy crawlers, although many girls don't. My Sunday School teacher is scared spitless of Lizards, and claims they're of the devil, although we don't believe her.
It's so cool to watch lizards change from brown to green and vice versa, as well as to spy on them and watch them snatch bugs right outta the air!!
So y'all, how do ya feel about God's CREEPY, crawley, creations, eh?
~Goat Mama

Friday, February 12, 2010

Will it ever be dry?

I'm tired of all the muck and the yuck, how 'bout y'all? Almost feels like Noah must've, so tired of being cooped up the in ark, but for us it's the house, mainly. I hope the Lord sends dry land and sunny skies soon!! The animals are also sick of muck, because when it's all wet and muddy and cold, how's a lil' goatie gonna play outside? :-( They're not very happy right now, and are hoping for sunny skies and dry land soon, as I'm sure we ALL do y'all guys spend your dreary, wet, swampy days? If ya want, let us know!
~Goat Mama

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Another cold, rainy day...

Here on the farm, water water everywhere. The natives are growing restless from so much time without sunshine and fresh air. As we wait for the return of clear days, each of us busies ourselves (near the fireplace, warm cup of coffee, tea or cocoa in hand) with studies, cleaning, and of course, handwork.

This is a painting by our veryown artist, Simply-nrae (known as Tereslie at devantart). Watercolored mice enjoy a dainty tea party in the warmth of their home. This pretty treasure adorns my bookcase.

Simplyjen is working on a beautiful table centerpiece made of crocheted threadwork and farmboy has been making jerky and repairing handtools. Today he made a fresh handle for his hatchet (a must-have around here). I am sewing dresden plate quilt pieces to applique on tote bags.

Here is our way to spend rainy days...what about you?


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Love is......

Chocolate chip cookies, of course! Ha, ha, ha, now that you are done laughing - I'll tell you why.
Early in my married life, I discovered that my husband is a serious creature of habit. There are some things in his life you don't mess with, change, or attempt to improve upon. One of those things is his cookie stash.
As a newly married gal, I tried to impress my husband with my culinary skills. I knew his mother kept her freezer stocked with cookies for her boys to snack on whenever they wanted. I filled my freezer with all varieties; oatmeal, peanut butter, molasses, etc. Each time I made a new cookie for him, he would say, "What about chocolate chip?" Mind you, that question gets to you after a while.
So, the story eventually came to me.... his grandmother tweeked a chocolate cookie recipe to make twelve dozen cookies at one time. She kept these in her freezer for her farmin' man and all the guests that graced her door. Her daughter (my mother in law) carried this along... these are my husband's favorite cookies -- ever. It is a comfort and habit from his growin' up years. After several months of irritation with the cookie drama, I caved in and asked his mom for the recipe. Oh, the happy ending!!
And so, my friends, love is chocolate chip cookies. One way of showing my husband continual love and support is keeping his freezer well stocked with the family recipe (yes, he alerts me when the supply is getting low!). A simple act of getting to know this man I married and what makes him tick has spanned eighteen years. I have passed this wisdom to my own girls, and I share it with you. This may not be what makes your husband tick, but I urge you to know at least one thing that does- and do it! Often times it is just as simple as a freezer full of chocolate chip cookies.
Simplychele..18 years of making the same chocolate chip cookies!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

What is the focus??

The focus is on love; or so "they" say. Everywhere I turn, I am bombarded with the images ment to drive our focus to "love"--- hearts, roses, jewelry, images of "happy couples", cupid, "x's" and "o's"--- etc. What point are "they" trying to get across? Does receiving a gift of a set "holiday" bring or mean love? Does this help or hurt relationships, families, individuals? What is the real motive behind it all? (Not sure you really want my opinion here). What is a person to do?

As a Christian family, believers in Christ, God's children, how do we approach the topic of love? Having a home full of teenagers now, I felt a burden to creatively shift our focus to truth and away from commercial stereotypes. The love of God is the most important love we will ever need... the understanding of it and the possession of it will serve to guide all other types or focuses of love in our lives. How do we teach this to our teenagers when so much around them is focused on emotional love? I made a plan:
This week, my family will attempt to focus on the love of God; His love toward us and our love toward Him. In this we will attempt to answer two questions: "How do I know God loves me?" and "How does God know I love Him?" Here's the plan... two labeled with each question. .. each day - each one of us (adults included)-- place on slips of paper -- one answer to each question... there are no wrong answers... no judgement... just reflection and sharing (I hope we share them together at Sunday dinner). We'll see how it goes.
How do you know God loves you? How does God know you love Him? We look forward to you're answers as well!

Saturday, February 6, 2010


In our home, Sunday is for service (in God's church), for rest (time away from work), and for family. May you see the restfull love of God this Sunday.

Who needs TV when......

Again, who needs tv when you have goats? Such personalily, such silliness, oh the fun of it. If you sit for a bit in their pasture or stall, these Lil' Nips are sure to entertain you. These cuties' share pasture with my chicks, so whenever I sit for my afternoon cup of coffee these lil' darlin's are right there sharing the spotlight with my gals. Romping, racing, playful acrobatics are just part of their crazy antics. If you sit near enough, you may get a nibble on the ear (as farmboy discovered yesterday) or a "kiss" on the nose (as goatmama is fond of) ---then there is the "let me climb in your lap a while" game (because we know that if one wants on your lap, they all want on your lap).
After several days of drizzle here in our neck of the woods, we finally had a day of sunshine and decided we must go out and soak it up!! Where else do you spend it but in the pasture with your herd? During our "muck the yuck" yesterday, the Lil' Nips herd showed off all the hillarity they had been saving up during the rainy spell. Laughter filled our woods, joy filled our hearts, and wonder in God's creation swirled in our minds. Another way God feeds the soul - in his beautiful, silly, amazing, and just plain cute, creation.
So we ask, who needs tv when you have goats? Not the simplyscaifes!!
simplychele and the farmkids
Question: Where does your joy come from?

Friday, February 5, 2010

And he would play.....

Simplyfarmboy is simply musical. Afterall, what is a farmboy to do when he is not hauling hay, loading feed, mucking stalls or tilling soil? He relaxes by the fire with his trusty guitar! He has played guitar for several years now; at home, in assisted living centers, and in churches (oh, and most importantly- by the campfire!). Not only a guitarist, he also plays mandolin and some piano.
Yesterday he had a wonderful opportunity to purchase something on his wishlist--- a 12 string guitar (and at a super price - 2nd hand of course). Using his own earnings and savings (some from holidays), he made an appointment with the buyer to see the guitar. I was so pleased to hear him talk with skill and understanding about guitars and music-- then playing it there before we settled to buy it. All the way home, he made the instrument sing! I am not sure the strings have been silent since it arrived in our home. (By the way - he has told me to stop "gushing").
For today, our home is filled with the sound of strumming and guitar chatter. . . soak it up, and love that farmboy!!
**Note...a thanks to his uncle who introduced him to playing a 12 string guitar!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

This is Patch

Here is Patch - and yes, his spots are brown. I cannot recall ever seeing a dalmation with brown spots before I met Patch, yet I am told they are more common than I think.

Patch grew up in the city in a small, well manicured yard with a privacy fence. Beginning as a dog to one man, Patch was unsure of his feelings toward being a family dog. He went to obedience school and was house trained. Being a very old man ( he is 10 years old), Patch came to the country to live with us.

Now days, he loves to romp in the pasture, lay in the grass soaking up sunrays, eat dog treats and rumble with his buddy Hadassah.

Being and old man, he also has some stern dislikes - hates rain (seriously!), loves his dog house (but you are not to go near it!), firmly dislikes blankets (tears them to shreds - and Hadassah can't have one either!), would rather chew off his own leg than bathe --- (back to the hating rain thing!).

Lest I paint a grim picture - he loves alot. Loves hiking in the woods - (so many things to sniff!), loves tummy rubs (put her there!), loves dinner (but don't touch it!). loves Papascaife (partial to the man), and loves to spot squirrel (seriously - his favorite game of the day).

Having been with us almost a year, he has come to the conclusion that kids aren't so bad, Hadassah is, for the most part, good company, farmyards rule, dirt over concrete - riding in the back of the truck with the wind in your face is soooo awsome, and if Papascaife is not available - mom will do. Overall, he has decided he can handle spending the remainder of his dog days with this family out in the country!!! Good choice ol' boy- (cause we kinda like you, too).


** note - thankyou for the lovely comments yesterday! Your sweet thoughts were a great pick- me- up on one of those days.

And the phrase "and it came to pass" is found throughout all the gospels!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

One of those days....

It's just one of those days. You know the ones. The days when you just need to sit down with a warm cup of coffee and breathe. Life is hectic. Add in some teenagers, seminary, computers (ug!) and farm chores in wet, nasty weather - you have yourself--- one of those days. We pray over them - try to deny them - mull over how to get rid of them --- but in the end, best to just surrender to it and have a hot cup of coffee, relax, breathe and say, "and it came to pass." I pray when you come across one of those days, you will sit, relax, have a warm drink and remember - it came to pass.


**does anyone know where the phrase "and it came to pass" is found in the Bible? Send me your answer and I can't wait to see if you're right!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Busy hands

Oh, the joy and blessing of keeping our hands busy at a task! This is a habit our household tries to keep and encourage. In my opinion, there is no real reason to sit idle with no particular purpose to your time. You may say, " What about resting?" To answer that I say - handiwork can be restful. Sitting peacefully, cup of warm tea, family nearby with needle and thread in hand is restful and nourishing to our soul and our mind.
You may say, "That's fine for girls, but I have a boy." Well, me too. Leathercrafts, carving, rope work, net making -- these are all crafts my boy (now a 7th grader) has put his hands to. He also can sew (especially mend), crochet (fine motor skill), weave, tie all manner of knots, and woodburn. Another busy hand for him is studying survival skills (we love to camp and hike). So, yes boys can handwork too.
Us girls vary in our chosen handicrafts. One knits and crochets; one sketches and paints, I generally embroidery and quilt (with some garment making). We each have made it a point to learn all manner of craft, but as we grow, have chosen the ones that suit us best.
In our home, we try never to sit for a movie (we do not have a television, but we can watch well chosen movies) without a productive handicraft in hand. This keeps us from just vegetating in front of the tube. It also ensures that we have handmade gifts on hand when the occasion calls for one.
Some nights (or afternoons) simply sitting altogether with projects in hand- we are together, bonding, lightly chatting or quietly absorbing the love and oneness I feel so many families lack.
My children are growing up so fast - each one a youth - and they will one day have a home of their own. I pray the quiet oneness of afternoon/evening handwork will carry over into their new homes and bless the families they will have. For now, I intend to soak up all the "simply- being" and togetherness available to me while we sit and share busy hands. How does your family encourage busy hands?
** note - if you're wondering, these are simplyjen's busy hands

Monday, February 1, 2010

Uno and Teenagers, Heaven Help Us!

Uno is supposed to be a boring card game, right? Not so when you're a teenager! We tend to spice up life with our sweet'n'sassy attitudes, and Uno becomes a CHALLENGE! Sneaking in Draw Two's, Skipping people for fun, changing the color when someone's down to Uno, or pulling out the dreaded DRAW FOUR WILD! It's full of competition, raucious banter, sweet talk, and surprises! Usually, I'm the Uno Queen, generally whooping hide in a few rounds (hee hee), making it all the way to 500, no big. But, somehow we coaxed Pa Scaife into a round or two, and he won EVERY ROUND, no one else even gettin' a score! It was SO unfair. :-) LOL.

The Goat Mama