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“If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Whisper Wind Farm Comes to a Close

I have decided to bring this blog to a close. We have moved and started a new chapter in our life and are in a new place with new goals, wants and needs. All of that deserves its own space and its own blog. I am sad in many ways to see the end of Whisper Wind Farm. I spent 16 years of my life doing a lot of sweating, bleeding, crying, laughing, and living there. It is sad to be starting over after all those years of working so hard. It is sad to see the end of the place where I have raised my children. I don't do change very well, but in many ways I am excited. Since we are no longer at Whisper Wind Farm I feel like I can't write for Whisper Wind Farm. That is a chapter and story for someone else. I am going to leave this blog here and attach it to my new one. So our journey will be followed and recorded for all to see, but all of the old knowledge and ramblings will be here just like it always has been. So while I hope you enjoy and gain much from our past journey, I pray that you join us on our new journey at Willow Pond. Blessings to all, Kat

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Moving the Farm

Well, we finally closed on a new piece of property. It is a cute little farm cottage on 6 acres with a huge barn. It also comes with a 33 year old horse and the resident barn cat. I agreed to let them stay as it would have been too traumatic for the horse to be moved at his age and the cat would not adapt to city life well. It is a little smaller than we initially wanted, but our oldest is grown and our youngest is following quickly. We will have it paid for by the time my husband retires and then if we choose to stay it will be something easily managed. The only thing I really don't like is that it has a pond and I hate ponds because they bring snakes. In our neck of the woods, snakes that visit ponds are likely water moccasins and the pond is right in front of the house. Indeed, we saw three in the pond and managed to kill one. So, I wound up with a pond because the farm had most everything else that we wanted. So far, our adventure in moving the farm has not been much fun. The house has to be completely repainted inside and the new wood floors need to be sealed....all before the movers come next week. We also had an emergency trip to the next state over because my father in law is now in hospice house. It has been a sad week in spite of the excitement of a new place. I don't make changes very fact it is my biggest anxiety. My husband almost had to force me to make this move even though I know it is for the best. I go from being excited one day to sheer panic the next day. The snakes haven't helped...sheer panic. The biggest lesson that I am learning....God has got this, just keep moving forward. So, my husband has been putting up fence and I have been furiously painting. The movers come next week for the furniture. It will take all month to get everything else moved. Needless to say, I am exhausted at night when I go to bed and still sore and tired when I wake up. The inside of the house will be finished this weekend. The barn will be a nightmare. Over 20 years of stuff left behind in this huge barn. Most of it is garbage. Oh, did I mention the best part....we have absolutely no immediate neighbors. We have neighbors on the next road over and a couple around the corner, but none next to us. The land next to us is a very large parcel owned by a doctor in the city. Actually we are one of only 2 houses on our entire road and there is about 6 miles between us. This is awesome in my book! Well, I have to move the pantry today so I had better get busy. Blessings to all and will keep you updated on the move.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Really I am not gone forever

I think I must have needed a break to assess life as we know it. Plus life as we know it has been crazy busy and on hold at the same time. First things first, last year our oldest daughter ran away with her boyfriend. She didn't have any contact with us for months. She now has contact although it is limited and never ever without him. If she talks to me on the phone, he is right there. If she comes to see me, he is the one who brings her. He has control of every aspect of her life. I still don't know where she lives. So she is not fully back in our lives or even fully living her own life. However, she talks to me and she will come to dinner if they have the gas money to get here. So, for now I will be content with that and let God do what he needs to do in all of this. We still have not moved and we are still in limbo. We found a little farm with an adorable little cottage and a great big huge barn. We loved it immediately and signed a contract on it. Everything imaginable that could go wrong has gone wrong and the seller is a nut. I hated to write that but honestly there is no other way to put it. She has also had a terrible realtor and she is not good at making decisions and getting things done. If her realtor had done his job then he would have held her hand and not left her to run around like a chicken with her head cut off making manic phone calls to anyone she could think of and not getting anything accomplished with all of that. We are headed to our third closing this coming week, hopefully if a judge signs some papers today. If not then we are still waiting. That is frustrating when our whole farm is packed up and waiting to go. Our animals are tired and frustrated and of all things I am now having to mow grass because they are in small paddocks instead of the big pastures because we pulled all the fence up this winter. It is absolutely crazy. I don't know if God is trying to discourage us or the devil is testing our faith that God will get us through this, but either way we still love this property. Meanwhile, while all of this has been going on my mom went into the hospital with pneumonia and wound up spending 7 weeks in there because of scalded skin syndrome caused by the hospitals improper use of antibiotics and staph. Then even when they didn't know what was wrong with her and she was progressively getting worse, (think burn victim losing skin on over 75% of their body) they tried to refuse to send her to a better/bigger/more informed hospital. It was a nightmare, but we finally got her to that better hospital and they knew exactly what it was and exactly what to do. It helps when there is a resident dermatologist. While mom was in the hospital we found out her finances were in pretty bad shape and she had made some really bad financial decisions. My sister and I have had to take over her finances to try and get her out of the mess that she was in. Apparently, mom had decided to start a business with the help of some online sales scam and had spent thousands of dollars, taken out loans she can't afford to pay back, was bouncing checks to pay for this and couldn't afford her basic living expenses anymore. She lives with my godmother and my goddaughter and each of them pay 1/3 of the household expenses and for several months she had not been paying her share apparently. So my godmother finally told me while mom was in the hospital because she is living on retirement and can't afford to support my mom. Mom is still not happy with us, and honestly I don't blame her. But we really had no choice and I think there was a lot of confusion on mom's part as to what she was and wasn't paying and how much was going out. I don't think she realized how much in debt she was. I think she was so far extended that she couldn't keep track anymore. I seem to be noticing a lot more confusion these days. Like yesterday a long time (20 plus years long)friend was as the house. She has diabetes and has all of her life. We were talking about it and Mom said, "Oh, when did you get to be diabetic? I didn't know that you had diabetes. What are you going to do?" She honestly did not remember that this woman had diabetes despite having known it for years. So, I have been almost too busy with Mom to worry much about the house situation. Now, to top all of that off my father in law is in the hospital following a seizure in another state and his wife is saying he can't come back home. So we are really in a pickle there as well. We honestly don't know what we are going to do in this situation. On a good note our little one is doing great. We finally got the testing done and she is definitely dyslexic, which honestly makes her feel better. We were able to get some great suggestions for curriculum for dyslexics, plus now she has access to some programs online for dyslexics. We also have access to tutoring specialized for dyslexia if we need it. She is doing really well though with the Orton Gillingham materials that we now have for spelling and reading. We have seen a huge improvement so far. As long as we keep seeing improvement through the program then we are good. Since her dyslexia affects her handwriting (dysgraphia)we are finding that cursive handwriting is working better for her. We are also going to do a keyboarding program so she learns to type better. Both of those will be key for her in the future and since she will never write very quickly we will purchase a Livescribe pen in the future. Right now we are looking for a not too expensive tablet that we can download the book programs for her on. The kindle only works with audible and they don't have any special dyslexia considerations where price is concerned. So that is life in a nutshell for us right now. Still living with boxes, but considering all the hospital stuff haven't been home much to notice it. Still in farm limbo which really really stinks. Still praying that it will all work out soon. Blessings, Kat

Friday, December 23, 2016

Wow, it has been a year....a really bad year

I finally decided to take a look at my blog and try to write something. I have been here a few times over the past year and I have left full of tears. This has been a very hard year for our family and we are still having a difficult time of things. Just writing these few sentences has the tears flowing. I will explain all, but it will take several posts. In this first, I will update on our decision to find a new farm and move. That has not happened yet. We have found several places over the past year and all of them have fallen through or been snatched up before we could get our little ducks in a row. We have been dependent on selling some property we have in another state for the funds and there have been many complications with that process. That is the main duck that has held up everything else. We did downsize our little herd of goats and our rabbits. The goats that we have left are expecting babies in another month or so. I hate that we are still here and not settled somewhere......anywhere. My house is mostly packed except for things used every day...dishes, pots/pans...things like that. So, I essentially am living in a storage locker. Not much fun, but I keep hoping that things will work out sometime soon. There was no garden this year because I was planning on moving. I could have had one since I am still here. The animals were turned into the garden area so that we could take down fencing in other areas so now my garden area is destroyed. So it looks like there may not be another garden this year. In truth, without my little farm activities and my garden I feel a bit lost. It was something that grounded me and comforted me. I have really missed it all over the past year. I am hoping that this new year coming up will bring good things. I have faith that God will get me through these difficult days and our family will see sunshine again on the other side. Meanwhile, I take things one day at a time and hope to see my little garden again and I actually look forward to milking goats soon. Blessings to you all and please look for the next part of this past year's saga. Kat

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Sorry, I have been gone so long

I know, I know. I am sorry that I have been gone for so long. Life has just been crazy and we as a family have had some serious decision making to do. Our oldest daughter Petunia will be graduating high school this year. So, I have been with the other graduating moms planning graduation and all that entails. Petunia has decided that she will be going to nanny school like Patrice's daughter over at Rural Revolution. She loves children and babysitting has always brought her much joy. She is very excited. But first she will spend the summer with my sister in New England working to earn some money and experiencing life a little bit. But first she had to have her first car accident. Thank the good Lord above that she walked away with only a scar on her forehead from a tree branch that came through the window and nothing more. Trust me when I say, odds were in favor of her not walking away at all. She was most definitely surrounded by angels that night. My husband's pathfinder was totaled and we had to look for another car. That has taken up a few weeks of our time. Then the little ones schooling is taking up much more of our day as she is getting into more big girl things and it simply takes more time. We follow a Charlotte Mason curriculum and there is a lot of reading on both of our parts. We have decided that it is time to downsize our farm activities for two reasons. The first being that it is time for us to look for a new home and the second is that I simply need less physical stress so that I can finish healing my autoimmune disease as much as possible. So, we will definitely keep the chickens and the garden. But more than likely most of the rabbits and the goats will be going. At the most we will keep 3 goats and 3 rabbits. That will allow us to start taking up fencing and give me a break on the physical aspect of farming. It will give me a chance to do some healing and us a chance to save some money to help with a downpayment. We have not gotten much from our livestock over the past couple of years, and it just seems like we are wasting money feeding them when we are getting very little. I also don't know yet whether I will be able to eat dairy anymore, my little one doesn't like to drink much milk and is not a cheese fan, my oldest will be leaving the nest, my husband is not fond of milk and only drinks about 1 glass a we just aren't sure whether it justifies keeping the goats for now. Just lots of changes going on and this blog will probably take more of a homeschooling and homekeeping path rather than the homesteading path. I suppose that is ok for now and we will just have to see what the future brings. Blessings, Kat

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Burning up the Yard and an Update

Yes, I did. I started what was to be a burn some yard trash fire which almost turned into a nightmare. I had the pile to be burned all nice and tidy with all the straw and leaves raked away from it, so I thought. I stood there for hours watching it burn with absolutely no problems. As it burned down to mostly just a smoldering mass I decided to get a quick shower and then get somthing to eat. After my shower, I checked on the fire and it was doing just fine. No problems at all, still not much more than a smoldering mass. Then I decided to get some lunch and sit down for a little bit inside as it is still hot here. So, after I fixed my food and sat down I sent the teenager out to check on the fire. Not sure if she walked around it all the way or just glanced across the yard. When I got done eating the wind had picked up a little and as I walked out to what should have been a smoldering pile of coals, I saw flames....good sized ones too. Not good. The fire apparently at some point had jumped my break and ignited some of the yard and then gotten into some pine straw which led to my property line and the neighbor's wood behind me. It wasn't moving terribly fast but it was faster, hotter and bigger than I like and it was spreading. I sent the little one in to get the oldest child and we commenced to putting this out before we set our neighbor's property on fire. It too a good 2 hours to make sure that absolutely everything was completely out, but fortunately it looked worse than it was and it didn't take much to have it under control. Just took forever getting all the hotspots put out for good. I have to admit it was a bit scary and my husband came home to us covered it dust, dirt and I am banned from having another fire when he is not home. He is probably right we do both need to be home.

Other than that it is the mad rush to get everything that needs doing done before cold weather gets here. I know....most of you know that I live in the south and we don't get near the winter that you guys up north get. So, I know most of you are wondering why I am so all fired up to have all this extra stuff done. Well, the reason is that my body just does not handle cold well. It is very painful actually, especially in my hands. Even with gloves on I lose feeling in my hands quickly and then lose use of them. So the less time I need to spend outside the better. I know there are things that come up but I try to have everything as efficient as possible. The worst is when we don't have enough wood split to get us through. So this year I am making sure that there is enough wood split even if it kills me. I want to spend most of this winter learning how to crochet, sewing, school with the girls and other nice inside activities rather than outside splitting wood with hands that are absolutely killing me or that I can't feel at all. I also have to get the house know this old finicky house that has to be caulked at re-caulked and sealed and everything else to keep the cold out and the heat in. So, I have been putting up food, making cheese, making soap, caulking, getting in wood, doing barn repairs, getting in hay, etc. etc. etc. It has been busy and next month we have the fair and a good deep clean of the house before we close it up for winter. Busy, busy busy! Blessings, Kat

Friday, August 7, 2015

Preparing for Winter

It has been awhile since I have posted. It seems like now that we are in the last part of summer we are in the mad dash to get ready for winter in addition to summer stuff. The tomatoes are coming in well despite the fight with the tomato hornworms. I really hate those things and we have had a heavy year for them. I have picked dozens each day to make sure that I actually get some tomatoes. As it is we have a late crop because the first tomatoes were hit pretty hard despite my efforts. So the tomato plants put on a second crop which is what we are now harvesting. The pole beans are about played out and I am getting ready to pull them. The second round of squash and zuchinni are just about to start flowering so we will have more just before the cold weather comes in. We are also busy filling the woodshed and getting the pastures in order. I put some finished compost on the goat's winter pasture yesterday and threw out some old wheat seed to encourage the chickens to scratch it in. I truly love it when I can get the critters to do my work for me! Now, if I can just find where they are hiding the eggs. We haven't gotten any eggs for a week and are having a time trying to find them. I am worried that something is getting the eggs. This week I re-mulched all the pathways in the garden so they are good to go until late winter/early spring. I try to mulch them twice a year to keep the weed population down. The biggest frugal thing I have done lately is to buy a bunch of potatoes that were on a really good sale and can most of them. Now, my emergency potato stores are stocked back up. My husband also replaced the brake pads on his car, saving us a good deal of money in not having to go to the mechanic. He also changed the oil in my car, saving even more money. We have spent a good deal of time this summer working in the yard. Unfortunately, we get busy with those things that are higher on the priority list and the yard gets pushed to the bottom. I have cleaned up countless piles of sticks and small branches that have fallen out of the trees and we have cut out dead branches so that we avoid so many fallen branches. We have had a couple of dead trees lose their tops and have burned off the piles of dead, rotten wood from that. We have also gotten rid of some weedy patches that made the yard look untidy. The dead fig tree was cut down and I have been able to keep the grass mowed on a regular basis. We still have some more work to do, but all in all the yard is looking much tidier. Our next goal is to clean up the old chicken coop that finally fell over this past winter. The back yard will look so much better once that is gone. Because of the heat that we have been dealing with we can only spend a couple hours outside early in the morning, so I think we have accomplished a lot with the little time that we have had. I think this fall when things get a little cooler we will be able to really make a difference and knock out some things that seem to take so long to get finished. We butchered a litter of rabbits this past month so that helped put meat in the freezer. Looking forward to deer season, even though I am not looking forward to the cold weather that comes with deer season. I remade two outdated dresses into more modern dresses last week. I love it when I get a new outfit made. It is so exciting to get to wear it. I have some oversized t-shirts that my aunt gave me that I am going to make into skirts soon. It will be nice to have a few more everyday skirts since the ones that I have have seen a lot of use. Within the next month I will be going through the children's clothes to see what they might need for this winter. I don't think Little Britches will need much, but Petunia might need a few things. Well, daylight is burning so I had better get to it before I can't stand the heat anymore. Blessings, Kat