Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A New Room

When we moved into this house 2 1/2 years ago the layout was a bit wonky. You walked directly onto a very large entry way, that served no purpose. There wasn't even a coat closet. Just a room taking up valuable space while doing nothing itself. If you looked left there was a junky little half wall. Beyond that a living room with no overhead light and what appeared to be a red rock climbing wall/wood stove area. Complete with pink grout/cement/weird stuff. See climbing wall/fireplace area here. You will also see that living room also had green carpet that was only a skip and a jump away from indoor/outdoor green carpet. Along with a ceiling that look like they wanted to be popcorn ceiling, but just couldn't quite commit to it. This was the view from the front door.

Now, when you walk in, you walk into our living room and if you look left.... There is an honest to goodness real wall, with a doorway that leads to a normal hallway. And now, where the living room used to be is a sweet little room for a sweet little girl. Everything in this room is brand new. Except for the windows, those were already here, thank goodness. I already have to find newish windows for every other room in the house, so it is nice have these two that can stay.

To say we are excited about this is a huge understatement. This is the only room in the house that is officially done. All the other rooms that we have touched still have bits and pieces to do still. Mainly because all those rooms are plagued with weird sideways windows that you have to bend over to look out of. But don't get me started on that....

Of course this project did not go smoothly since we are dealing with a 1905 house that has had five, yes FIVE, different additions. The portion we are working with here is the most poorly built out of all of them. The floor, the ceiling and even the windows aren't even close to level. One window is set just a tad further into the wall than the other. My husband loved putting the knew sill in those windows, that are right next to each other and needed to have one continuous sill and I am pretty sure he thanked me for picking out this house to buy at that very moment... ahem. I am not even sure if custom is the right word for the work he had to do. Custom just doesn't seem extreme enough. But I digress.

Are you ready to see the first ever completed room at HavenRock Farm?????

Well good!

I will show you the final reveal next time!

I know, I know, but what is a girl suppose to do? Put all her content in one blog post? What would I write about next week if I did that?

See you soon!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

A New Sheep

At 5 am Saturday morning we loaded the whole family into the car. We had food packed, lots of water and the newly constructed sheep crate. You did notice that I said car, right? Not truck. Not trailer. But yes, a car. We have a small SUV and decided to transport our new guy home in it.

Thankfully, we didn't have far to drive. Just seven hours... Each way.

But when you know, you know. This was our ram and he was worth the trip.

I first heard about him last winter in this post.

And then again this year in this post. And when his owner says this about him, you act.

"… and secretly, I’m trying to figure out a way to keep Dill, her ram lamb from last year. He has grown into a magnificent beast that I would be proud to use as the sire in my flock. But Hamish is still the King around these parts and has a few good years left of breeding in him. And alas, two rams for a flock of five ewes is simply one too many."
 - Shaye Elliott The Elliott Homestead

I took a deep breathe and emailed Shaye to see if she would consider selling Dill. She said YES! And then I told Timothy.

I had been looking for a Katahdin ram for a couple years. We were not finding exactly what we wanted at the right time. I was able to find ram lambs before we got our ewes, but once we got them I couldn't find a single one.

Shaye and I scheduled a time for us to come get him and then proceeded to cancel due to a crazy winter storm that was storming the entire way between her and us. The mountain passes we had to go over ended up being closed due to avalanches that night, so we were very thankful that we didn't go that day.

So we rescheduled. And cancelled again. Now all that lovely snow we had gotten the week before was melting and flooding that same mountain pass. It closed down again because there was feet, yes FEET, of water on the road.

We rescheduled again and this time we made it.

Now for those of you who know me, you know I am a huge Shaye Elliott fan. Like, probably the biggest. Just a little perspective, I am a bit of a minimalist and only keep 3 cookbooks in my house, two of those are ones she has written. I have been reading her blog since her oldest was a baby and have gotten to know her a bit better since joining her Essential Oil Team.

And last Saturday she made me lunch. I was pretty much over the moon. Timothy assured me that I didn't make too big of a fool out of myself while we were there. But let me tell you, I had to work very hard to act normal.... wink.

Shaye was one of the people who talked me into (through her blog) getting a dairy cow while you have young children and family life going on. That even though it may be hard at times, that cow is worth it. And you all know how much I love our Penny Girl.

So cheers to Shaye, Dill (now known as Rogue) and Penny!

And of course Timothy, who decided to go along with his crazy wife.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Have You Noticed?

You probably haven't realized, until now, that I have not been writing for a couple months. My writing usually slows down from either

a) Having too much to write about that I can't decide. 
b) I have nothing to write about.

This time though, it is option c. Which is...

c) I have nothing not controversial to write about.

It is no secret that social media and the online world has been in an uproar these last few months. 

My problem is that half of me wants to jump on board and start spewing my opinions and my other half say to keep my mouth shut.

Anyone else familiar with these feelings?

I also have now come down with Spring Fever. 

Spring Fever + Argumentative Laura + Trying to Stay Sane Laura = A Pretty Fabulous Combination.


So, let's just look at all these happy pictures and count slowly to 10. Shall we?

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Dang Rocks

Remember when I said to just roll up your sleeves and get to work? There was something in there about hitting some rocks along the way, but not all of them?

I wrote that in the morning and by that afternoon I had hit more rocks than I care to count. And by rocks I do mean children being disrespectful, throwing fits and causing all sorts of trouble. Especially the oldest one. My word, where did that girl get her attitude from? She looks just like her dad so I am pretty sure it all comes from him. We got all the kids in bed a little early just to save ourselves. They all went to bed well and we patted ourselves on the back. Clearly the kids were all just tired and tomorrow would be a fresh start. We were so naive. So innocent in our thinking, because they had all decided that the next shift of "Break Mom" would be the littlest ones responsibility. At 5:30 am he started in on us. Screaming, crying and cussing us out in the way only 17 month olds know how to do. Was he hungry? Nope. Did he want to snuggle? Was he too hot? Too cold? Nope. Nada. Zilch. He just wanted to be miserable and make the rest of us miserable too. Did I mention that this child also looks just like his father? He finally settled down in his bed just as the middle child ran as fast as she could past his bedroom because she was 'about to pee my pants'. I heard the trickle. There was no urgency for that. She was just doing her part to bring mama down.

Kids. Not only can they smell weakness, but the can also smell when you are feeling a little bit accomplished. And they take their job of bringing you back to reality very seriously.

How can parenting be the hardest thing in the world to do and a half second later be the absolute best thing in the world. I would not trade this for anything in the world most days, but sometimes I would totally trade it just for an uninterrupted date with a cup of hot coffee. How is that even possible? To be so unexplainably good and bad at the exact same time. So, here I sit in my bathrobe next to a cup of very cold coffee wondering how in the world any mother has survived to be a grandmother. But in a few minutes it will be time to go do the morning animal chores. I am sure the fresh air will clear my head and I will come back in a new mama. And they will most likely been hard at work doing exactly what they aren't suppose to. But I have my cow, so at least there is that.

Saturday, December 3, 2016



I didn't actually think we would get a fence at this house. After a few fencing bids for a very basic perimeter fence coming in around $3000 I really tried to let go of my farm dreams for this property. Because $3000 could go a long way towards the projects going on in the inside of our house. Which is what we are suppose to really be working on anyways.

Fast forward a year as we were driving through one of our favorite ranching communities. We had a lightbulb moment. You know the kind. We started talking and daydreaming and finally realized we should just do it ourselves. I really think one of the main reasons we hadn't considered it before was all the stories people will tell you about how hard it is. I am starting to think that all those stories are not always a firsthand experience and maybe people are just repeating what they have been told. Because it really was not that bad. It was actually very fun and rewarding. And addicting. We started on just one little section and then just couldn't help ourselves and kept going. Now our entire perimeter is fenced, plus our pasture. When we moved in just two sides had fencing. It is a huge relief to finally have something between us and the road. Plus, you can't have a cow without a fence. And if you don't have a cow you may as well just stay in bed and cry.

Seriously though! Hard work and being out in the fresh air with my favorite person will make any day a good day. Moral of the story; roll up your sleeves and do whatever it is you dream of doing. Even if everyone tells you it will be hard and you will hit rock after rock. You might hit some rocks, but you won't hit all of them.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Ellie Mae

Have I told you all about this sweet girl? Her name is Ellie Mae. She just turned 13 and I have had her since she was 6 weeks old. As most of you probably know my most recent birthday gift was pretty awesome. But this girl was my birthday gift years ago. I also got a pony for Christmas one year, but that is another story. Animals are clearly my love language. I joke that I have had Ellie longer than I have had Timothy, but it's true! She is aging gracefully don't you think? Aside from loss of most of her hearing and a bit of gray on her face you hardly know that she is a grandma dog. She can't get around quite as fast as one of her nicknames ' The Black Bullet' would imply, but in her younger years there was nothing that could catch her. She has chased off black bears. Stood between me and a mountain lion on a wilderness trail. While backpacking she will wake us up in the middle of the night to show us elk and moose. She loves my children. And has finally accepted that Timothy is part of the family. I just might have more memories that include this dog than anyone else and we all look forward to many more!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

A Big, Big Announcement

Did you know that today is my birthday? And what else should a girl get for her birthday than her very own milk cow? Meet Penny. It might seem a bit odd, but I have dreamt of having my own milk cow since I was a little girl. I read and loved a lot of historical fiction books when I was young and think they influenced me a bit. But more than that, I think this lifestyle is in my blood. Not literally since no one else for many generations has been a farmer/rancher in my family, but I have it. And I have it bad. So on this post election day when many people are uncertain, I get to go outside and take pictures of my girl. I scratch her favorite spot and she sticks her big ol' nose in my face. Do you have any idea how good she smells? I am more content than I have ever been. And in all honesty this cow is going to give my family more security than any politician ever could. No matter what is going on outside of our farm we will have milk, butter and cheese. Not to mention the beef from her offspring. And let's not forget about the bacon! You may be thinking that I am crazy because cows don't make bacon, but you are wrong. Pigs thrive off of extra milk and whey. So if you are not sure how to proceed on this day after the election, consider going out and getting yourself a cow and making your community a better place. Or find yourself a husband who makes all your dreams come true. First, he got me geese and now a cow! And you know what? He loves her just as much as I do. Gosh, I love that man.