Friday, December 28, 2012


We're coming back to the start of a New Year here at Fresh Egg's Farm. Looking back at where were were last year at this time is amazing. Last year, our farm was filled with kids and cats and of course our black dog named Blue. Since then, we've had more cats claim us, took in another dog, brought Josie and Blossom (the alpacas) home, next came Frankie and Itty (the angora goats), next was Mabel and Flora (the dairies) and finally Steve and Jester (the like rams). Change is a constant around here. I'm hoping this year brings spring chicks, honey bees, baby goats and more...I'm also hoping this year could mean a wedding on the announcements yet, but I'm hoping that Kait will be getting a ring soon and will choose to marry the love of her life, David, here on the farm. I'm hoping that our children continue to grow into the amazing, strong children they are. I'm hoping that Mark will find permanent employment, after his 10 week sub-job at a local elementary school. For myself, I'm hoping to find internal happiness, a higher self-esteem, less tears, a happy marriage, the ability to recognize and celebrate successes, a promise that I will not have to bear another year like the last one.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve

This is one of my favorite days of the year. A few years ago, we claimed Christmas Eve as our own time. In years past, we used to go from my parents' house to Mark's parents' house and come home late at night and still have to set our presents out for Santa to combine with his and put under the tree. Making for a very tiring holiday season. When we moved to Florida for a couple of years, we realized how nice it was to not have to run run run and just snuggle as a family. So from then on, we've made it a tradition to let the kids open one gift (which always ends up being a new pair of pajamas and sometimes a pair of socks) and then we watch any of the Christmas movies that we missed throughout the season and snack on goodies like cheese ball, mozzarella sticks, cucumber sandwiches and more. So here I sit, in a new pair of comfy PJs and warm socks, watching Christmas Vacation, surrounded by all of my kids (Gage, Drake, Cora, Kait and David...the only one missing is Tiff and she'll be heading out after she gets off work). Mark is sitting next to me..snuggling...Bliss.
Merry, Merry Christmas Everyone!!!
Snuggling with my boyfriend, best friend, husband, love of my life.

Cora, in her new PJ's, comfy socks and sleep mask.

Our Santa table decoration.

The food line starts here!

...and check out that spread...this is just the first round of goodies.

I love our table this year. All decorated and looking beautiful.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Celebration, Sickness, Sadness and Holidays

The holiday season is in full swing around here, now that I am FINALLY kicking this sickness in the butt. After the three rounds of antibiotics, along with the antibiotic ear drops (along with dayquil, nyquil, sudafed, benedryl, cough syrup and I can't even remember what else...), my doctor decided to send me to an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Specialist. I went to my appointment one day last week and the Dr. said it sounded like I was having an allergic reaction to something and my body just couldn't handle all that was being thrown at me. On Friday, I went in for a full round of allergy testing (60+ injections) and it was determined that I am allergic to, well, everything! I had a reaction to every single item they tested for....grasses (including the hay that we are feeding our livestock), molds (since we've had so much rain lately, I'm guessing that the trees and hay and everything is growing a bit of mold), severely allergic to dust mites and finally...wait for it...cats! I'm ALLERGIC to cats people...did I mention we have 13 cats!?! 4 inside (one that sleeps on me most nights) and the rest are outside. The allergists suggested that I go on a regime of weekly allergy shots; however, before I go to those extremes, I'm going to get through the holidays and determine if it is really necessary. The reason that I am waiting is because the allergist also explained her "bucket" rule to me. Essentially, your body can only handle so many things at once and I think that my body was trying to deal with the stress of having both strep throat and a major respiratory infection...and THEN we added a fresh Christmas tree and real pine garland, along with all of our Christmas decorations coming in from the garage...and my body finally said - that's it! I'm done :-) So, the allergist suggested that instead of taking a sudafed OR a benedryl OR Mucinex - that I actually take all three together for a bit. I'm hoping that if I take all three, it will get me through the holidays and then, once we take the tree down and my system has recovered a bit, I should be able to go off everything and be ok...if not, then I will consider taking the shots. But, I've been on the three different meds for 36 hours and I feel SO much better. I can even hear out of my ears (mostly) again.
So now we are playing catch up with Christmas and trying to get presents and celebrations taken care of as we can. It's hard to believe that Jolly Ol' Saint Nicholas will be packing his sleigh and heading out in just eight days. We've already gone to our Beekeeper's Association Christmas Party, we have two more celebrations this week for our Neighborhood Watch Team (one with the Core Team and another with the whole group), I have a client holiday lunch tomorrow, during the day and then my company Christmas party on Tuesday. WHEW! THEN, we still need to figure out all the times to visit with our families. We can do it! LOL
Mark and I celebrated the 16th anniversary of the confirmation of our wedding vows...meaning that we actually had two wedding ceremonies - the first one on July 23rd (this was our actual/legal wedding that we celebrated with Mark's two daughters from his previous marriage) and then we had the large, church wedding on December 14th. As a celebration, rather than the typical flowers and chocolate, Mark thought it would be nice if we put our chickens on order for the Spring. So that's what we did. We ordered 6 layers (Silver laced Wyandotte, Rhode Island Red, Buff Orpington, Australorp, Easter Egger/Ameraucana, and a Blue Andalusian) and 10 meat birds to be delivered the week of April 8th, 2013. I am SO excited about this next step in our farm life. The Spring for us means fresh eggs, home raised meat and...honey bees!!! WOOT!
Here are some photos of what we've been up to recently...

Here is Miss Cora (left) and one of her best friends (Everest) at their Christmas Concert - such great kids.

Here's another photo of Cora's concert - they did such a great job with all the songs.

I just love this photo of all of Captain's newest batch of kittens, staying warm on our patio chair.

We also had the honor of watching Drake (front center) perform at his Christmas Concert. He plays the flute beautifully. Below is a partial video of one of their songs. I'm a proud mama. 
Finally, I hate to end this post on such a terrible note, but I have been so affected by the tragedy that occurred in Connecticut. I cannot imagine how a young man could walk into a school a murder 20 children and 6 adults...I think of how scared those poor babies had to be. I am so proud of the heroic measures so many of the teachers took that day to protect their students. I feel so much pain and utter sorrow for those families that are probably curled in fetal position wondering how they will ever be able to move past this horrific situation. I look at my own children and am thankful that they are healthy and here with me. Situations like this make me want to hold them so so tight, smell their warm hair, rub their sweet cheeks, tell them how proud of them I am, tell them how much I love them and how amazing they are...and that is just what I have done this weekend. I've loved my babies with all my heart, just like every other day of their lives.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Holidays, family, barnyard and sickness

Three weeks since my last post!? Oh what a terrible blogger I have been. I'll share what has been keeping me away for so long. First, just a few days after my last post, my cousin, her husband and their three children arrived at our house for a week long visit. We had ten people in our house - and no one killed anyone else LOL. I'm so thankful that our home is large enough to comfortably house so many people and everyone even had a bed! Unfortunately, we all passed around quite a bit of germs while they were here and I've been suffering from it ever since. Ugh - I wound up with strep throat and am on my third round of antibiotics! The strep seems to have cleared from my throat, but I have a terrible ear infection and can't hear very well out of my left ear (still). Enough of the bad news. On with all the good happenings around here.
Thanksgiving was amazing. We hosted 23 people for dinner at our house. 23! ...and we were able to seat everyone together in our dining room. We (mostly me) kept fretting about being able to comfortably seat everyone together - I didn't want certain people in the living room and parlor and others in the dining room...I didn't want to have a designated "kids" table...I wanted everyone to be able to sit together and mostly, I wanted to be able to look around the room at so many faces of the ones I love. We had my mom, dad and Nana, my cousin, her husband and their three kids, my aunt, uncle and other cousin, Mark, our five kids, our daughter's boyfriend and his parents, sister and her boyfriend and me and SO SO SO much food...and SO SO SO much dessert!
I'm amazed that we fit 23 people in our dining room for a sit down dinner. I love this house!

My cousin, Tonia, serving up her Thanksgiving Dinner. Look at that spread ;-)

Mark took a picture of me - not a fan of pictures of me...but loved this day.
Unfortunately, we lost our poor sweet Runt kitty this past week. He was born this Spring, in Captain's first litter. He was one of the sweetest cats I've ever known. He would always come running from wherever he was, as soon as he would hear our voices. He would sit on my lap, on the porch out front - especially when I was having a not so good Spring and Summer and his purrs would make me feel better. I miss him so much. He died trying to pull road kill off the road for Captain's new kittens. A car killed him swiftly. We buried him under our black raspberry bushes, a favorite hang out of his. His brother, Lockhart, stood by our side the entire time, while we dug the hole, said good-bye, laid his wrapped body in the hole and filled it back in. Our children dig a good job saying good-bye...such a painful part of life.
Beautiful Runt, RIP
I'm sure one day Gage will kill me for this photo - but look at my little man shaving for the first time ever! Mark was patiently showing him every step. It was so cute. And not a single cut! Makes a Mama proud.

We started a new tradition of cutting down our own Christmas tree this year. Here are Gage, Drake and Cora warming up in the stone house in the tree field.

Ta-daaaaa we found The Roberts Family Christmas Tree!

Mark and my little lumberjacks.

Got the tree home and it ACTUALLY fits in the spot that we wanted it to!

Oh Christmas Tree! Oh Christmas Tree! So pretty...we're using LED lights on the tree and mostly outside.

A wreath that Mark and I made with our left over garland.

...and here is a cuteness intermission...this is Luna - Drake's new angora bunny. There is a chance that she is pregnant - Drake is hoping that this will be a new business for sell the fiber and possibly sell the babies. Isn't she adorable!?

Our beautiful Nutcracker collection - Mark and I got engaged at the so many years ago! Seventeen, in fact!

This is our entry from the living room, into the parlor.

Watch out for the mistletoe!!!

Real pine garland smells so amazing.

We bought a discounted tree to get some of the boughs off of to help create our wreath and make a table decoration - the rest of the tree we three into the pasture and let the animals go to town.

Josie says "Oh, you're taking more pictures? Let me give you my best side"

Um, know that is your brother...and you are both males...right? I mean, who am I to judge and we love and accept you for who you are...and I guess whatever happens in the barnyard stays in the barnyard???

Num num num! Pine tree goodness :-)
Ok, it's time to fill my body will mass amounts of pharmaceuticals and crash out on the couch! Hope everyone is doing well...

Friday, November 16, 2012

Giving Thanks

I am thankful every day; however, with the Thanksgiving Holiday coming up next week, I wanted to take a moment to remember some of the things I am most thankful for. I'm sitting here in a cold living room, but thankful that I'm expecting an oil delivery tonight and will warm this place right up. I'm thankful that we are able to surprise our kids with satellite TV this afternoon - they have patiently (and some times not so patiently) gone along with our plan of staying away from cable for a while. We recognize that cable is surely not a necessity; however, it is a nice extra, especially for the winter, when lots more time will be spent inside.
I'm thankful for my home. I'm proud that we have this beautiful home and have already shared so many memories here. I'm thankful for all of the new animals we have added this year. They make me laugh every day. It doesn't matter how shitty my day is, I can go and spend some time snuggling a cat/kitten or watching the animals in the pasture and it warms my heart.
I'm thankful for our plan of adding honey bees and chickens next Spring. Fresh warm honey and home grown eggs sound amazing.
I'm thankful that we will be hosting Thanksgiving dinner, here at our home. I love that our dining room will be big enough (hopefully) to seat all 24-25 people here. To look around the room and see the faces of the people that I love most is amazing.
I'm thankful that my cousin and her family will be coming here tomorrow, from Jacksonville, Florida. It's been a few years since I've seen her and have yet to meet her youngest daughter. Having my cousin, her husband and three daughters here will boost our count to 10 (plus family coming and going) for a week!!! It will be hectic, busy, awesome and fun.
I'm thankful for Mark...we've gone through the most difficult seven months of our entire relationship. Most days continue to be a struggle for us, but we are pushing through. He loves me and I love him - I hope that is enough to keep us going through the rough days. I am thankful for our happy times, how he makes me laugh, and how he calls me at lunch to let me know that he's thinking of me.
I'm so thankful for all of my kids - they are all so amazing, hilarious, successful, beautiful/handsome and overall awesome. I absolutely adore them.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Random Days

Whew! What crazy days we have behind and ahead of us.
First - after an extremely close election, I'm happy to announce that Obama will represent this country for another four years. I like him and his wife. I think that they are good people. Genuine.
Second - my Drake celebrated his 12th birthday yesterday. 12! I am so honored that my children picked me as their mother. I just honestly have the best kids. Drake was born at 36 weeks and two days, meaning four weeks early. His lungs weren't developed enough when he was born; however, since I was having my second bleed out from my placenta previa, they knew it was time to take him via C-section. He had a rough start - he wasn't breathing well on his own and had to be ventilated and medicated. He blew out some of the alveoli in his lungs and developed a nasty case of jaundice. He also was born without his sucking instinct. Drake isn't like other babies...he pulled out his vent tube, he pulled out his IVs (several times) - he was strong and even as an infant, we wouldn't let anyone tell him what he was and was not capable of. I'm proud to say that Drake is just as strong now. He's caring, beautiful, intelligent, kind, adventurous - he's a great soul to have in our lives. He has no lasting effects from his rough start, you would never know that he was a preemie. So with that said, we had a party at the farm for him yesterday - we had family and friends out to celebrate Drake and all his awesomeness. His friend, Eion, came from Dayton (their birthdays are just two days apart - Drake spent Friday night at Eion's to celebrate HIS birthday and Eion came here Saturday night for Drake - they are a good pair, those two and we really like Eion and his family). Of course I wasn't prepared with my camera, but I know that Mark got a couple good pictures - so I'll have to steal his and post them later. BUT what I did have my camera ready for is a few of the other cool things that have happened here over the past week.

One fun thing - we fed our pumpkins to the animals to see if they would like it...Um...they did!

We fed our Halloween pumpkins/gourds to the animals - this is Jester enjoying his.

Jester and Itty enjoying brunch together

Ollie, pretending that he likes pumpkin...(he really doesn't Shhh!)

This might be the first really good photo I have of Flora :-)

Ollie Loves Daddy

Ollie says "Mmm...this pumpkin is delicious?"

Everyone loves the pumpkin! Except Steve - he's in the barn...but isn't a pumpkin fan.

Another group shot!

Feeding frenzy
 I was pretty sure that Captain, one of our outside kitties (Runt, Bella and Lockhart's mom) had ANOTHER litter of kittens...I was right, but we could never figure out where they were. FOUND THEM! During Drake's birthday - I was walking with my mother, to show her where we had found a foundation to a shed that was part of the underground railroad, and as we were walking back toward the house, I saw two little kittens near our blue shed. Check out this cuteness...
Four kittens - three black and that sweet little back and white one.

Captain has striking yellow eyes - she's just beautiful.
Eek! Look at that face!
Yup, I'm a cat person for sure.
Mark and I have also been working on clearing out the back corner of the property - it was about chest high with sticks, twigs, logs and trees (and some trash, from the previous owners) - I know that there were several trees tossed in that corner along with a mess of broken sticks. We've had two burn piles going and I think we've done a pretty good job (Mark did an AWESOME job...and well...I helped a bit).
This is Gage standing near the far end of the pile, last Jan.
Mark and burn pile number 1

What a mess!

It's coming along

Ohhh la la - artsy picture of the smoke!

Burn pile number 2 - it was easier, once we had a portion cleaned out to just start burning right there, that way, we could rake right into the fire.

Ahhhhh!!!!! SO much nicer! Yes ladies, that's MY man working on the burn pile in his PJ's - I think he's so sexy :-) But the pile has been taken down (mostly) to dirt/compost. It is supposed to rain tonight and we are hoping that will loosen things up a bit and allow us to flatten the space out even more - but I'm SO happy with the progress we have made. It's hard to tell in these pictures...but trust me - it was a HUGE task!
Off topic - but another awesome thing that happened on Drake's birthday...we saw three deer in the field, right behind our house, near our well. Gorgeous!
Gage, Drake, Cora and Drake's friend, Eion took the metal detector out in the field and came back with this HUGE horseshoe, along with another smaller horseshoe and misc. metal tractor pieces. It's pretty cool to own pieces of history (there used to be a blacksmith shop in that field behind our house, so from time to time a shoe gets turned up in the field.)
Speaking of history, our town was a significant stop on the underground railroad. We had heard that there was a concrete base of a shed in the wooded area behind our house, that was used to hide slaves when they would come and do a sweep of the homes in town. After taking down that wood pile - we finally found it! Um how awesome is THAT!?
I thought I would share how my cat, Freak, likes to sleep - as long as you are comfortable Freaky!
And to counteract the not so attractive picture above, I thought I'd add a nice picture of me too LOL
I apologize for this post being so random, but that truly is how our life has been lately, very, very, oh, so, random! This Saturday, my cousin, her husband and their three little girls will be coming to the farm and staying for a week! I'm SO excited! I haven't seen my cousin in a very long time. It will be nice to have her family her and celebrate Thanksgiving.