Sunday, July 29, 2012

Steve Update

Well - veterinarians, we are not...But I think we are doing the right thing, as we know how. So as many of you know, or have read (here or on FB), one of our CVM sheep, Steve, has some pretty serious leg issues. He had gotten sick (fever, loose stool MMMM, love to talk about stool lol) - so we put him on a couple days of NuFlor (per the vet's suggestion). After he was feeling better, we noticed that flies were pretty big fans of his poopy bottom...nervous about flystrike, I decided we should get him all cleaned up. So, we gave him a bath, clipped his hooves, applied some Hoof Heal (not Dr. Taylor Hoof 'n Heel - because I accidentally bought the wrong stuff...lesson learned) - I believe it was the combination of him being wet when we applied the solution and not feeling well - so he was laying down a lot...but he ended up burning the fiber on the back of his front legs and the skin - ending with what appears to be a pretty nasty chemical burn. Of course, I feel terrible about it. But we've been working hard to get him healed up. Currently, we've been spraying his legs with Blu-Kote a couple times a day and although it hasn't kept the flies off, it seems to be getting his legs healed up and he's in good spirits. I keep thinking that flies = maggots, and we've found that isn't necessarily true. I definitely have seen flies on the wounds, but we've been watching for maggots and haven't seen any KNOCK ON WOOD and VERY THANKFUL! I'm hoping that his legs will continue to heal nicely and that he will continue to do better and better.
Itty should be getting her cast off at the end of this week and I'm HOPING at that time we'll be able to put Steve and Itty out to pasture with the rest of their farm friends. I don't want to push Steve too fast and put us back at square one - so we will continue to be very careful with him until he is fully ready healthy.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Want more of Fresh Eggs?

Mark and I have been working on creating a Facebook page - find us at!!
Also, want to see Fresh Eggs Farm from Mark's point of view? Check out his blog at!!
Finally, Mark (with some help from me) is starting a blog, focusing on our dairy goats and milk production (cheese and soap making etc.) - Check it out!!

You'll have so much Fresh Eggs - you won't know even know what to do.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Power of Positive Psychology

I realize how ho-hum my last post was and I'd like to change that up a bit. I went to the counselor today and realize I need to figure out a way to speak about all the good that happens here and create a better mindset for myself. So here it goes...
  • While there are projects on hold (temporarily) - we've accomplished so much in the last year. We've begun building our barn, added a bunch of animals, harvested fresh peas, potatoes, onions from the garden and just today - we harvested a yellow zucchini. YUM!
  • My marriage is rocky - what marriage doesn't go through bumps in the road. While these does feel more like a road block, than a bump - I just celebrated 16 years of marriage. We've created a wonderful life and love with each other, with our five awesome kids. I love my husband and if he loves me anywhere close to how much I love him...we'll be good.
  • Three of our animals might be sick - but the rest of our animals (along with our children and each other) are healthy. The three that are sick are doing ok. Itty is nearly healed - as I said, at least we got her fixed up and in the cast...she's doing well and seems ready to join her friends in the pasture. Once her cast is off - she'll be good to go. Flora is healthy otherwise - just a nasty cough. We just need to find the right mix of meds to make sure that she kicks it once and for all. Steve...oh Steve...that sweet boy. Once I figure out a way to keep these nasty flies off him - we'll be good. He's a real trooper.
  • Work - is work. It's a career that I love. It's really the perfect job for me - but we all have days that our jobs drive us crazy. Let's face it - we'd all love to be independently wealthy. Hoping to some day win the lottery - but for now, it's the daily grind.
So here's to figuring out life, loving with my whole heart, taking care of my family, farm and marriage, and when all else fails, sitting on my front porch, admiring everything we've accomplished.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Sometimes it all seems too much. I've often compared my life to an act I saw once, where a man was spinning a bunch of plates on the ends of long sticks. As long as he'd spin, spin this plate and then spin, spin that plate - all the plates would remain spinning...but at some point in time, one plate wouldn't spin fast enough and they'd all come crashing down to the ground.
  • I've got lots of projects going on around the house...many are on hold for one reason or another. I was hoping to be much further along this summer than we are.
  • My marriage, although we are working on things and it seems to be getting better, is going through the roughest rough patch we've ever been through.
  • Three of my animals are sick...
    • Flora, our baby dairy goat has a cough that she just can't kick.
    • Itty, our angora goat has a broken leg (hopefully the cast comes next week)
    • Steve, our sheep, has hurt legs - the bags of his legs seem like they are healing up and then he goes out to pasture and his legs get messed up again. They look like hamburger - the flies keep messing with him. I'm so upset...I keep trying to make him better - I think I need to take a basic vet class.
  •  Work is stressing me out. It's a long, boring, involved mess - but I'm hoping that it gets rectified soon. I've done nothing wrong...but sometimes that doesn't matter.
I think I just need to go play some Scrabble with my husband and relax for a bit.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

38 Years

Me, around 1975-1976
Me, around 1982?
A photo taken of me, by one of my very best friends, while still in high school - around 1991?
When Mark and I were first dating - around late 1995
Taken just a couple of months ago
This morning/early afternoon, while Mark and I were sitting on the front porch, we were talking about my 38th birthday, coming up tomorrow. He asked me to name the top five things I'm proud of accomplishing in my 38 years. I thought I'd share them here.
1) Through all the ups and downs, I'm proud, in this day and age, that after the whirlwind of a courtship (we met each other in Sept. '95, moved in together Oct. '95, got engaged December '95 and were married on July 23rd, 1996) that our marriage has lasted 16 years, so far.
Mark and I, the night we got engaged. December of 1995
Mark and Shelby - July 23rd, 1996
Mark and I actually had two wedding ceremonies...the one in July, so Tiffany and Kait could attend and the other, a larger celebration in December of 1996.
2) My five awesome kids. Mark came with two girls, that I am honored to be able to call my daughters and we have three children together.
Family photo from a couple of years ago <3
First day of school for Gage, Drake and Cora a couple years ago. We were still in our apartment then. So much has changed for us.
Cora, Gage and Drake - just last week.
3) Graduating from college. Mark and I did things a little backward - we got married, had kids and then decided to go back to college. I even gave birth to Cora in the middle of fall quarter one year.
4) My job - it is everything I could ever ask for. I work from home and am able to balance work and farm life...and I'm saving the world, one energy efficient light bulb at a time.
5) This homestead. I am unbelievably proud of this place. It is beautiful. I absolutely love the wrap around porch, the amount of space we have inside, the land, the barn, the animals, the garden and more...

I'm so thankful for the past 38 years...with all the lessons I've learn, from all the mistakes I've made...with all the wonderful opportunities that I've had in life and everything I've had to fight for. I love where I am in life and look forward to see where I am in another 38 years. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Fresh Eggs Farm Update 7.8.12

Beautiful flowers from my husband. Take note gentlemen - you don't have to spend money to make your partner happy - sometimes, happiness is taking the time to cut flowers from the yard and put them in a vase and set them on your wife's table. <3

Our newest inside kitty, Bella - she came from Captain's litter (Captian, our outside kitty had a litter of five of the most beautiful kittens - with black fur, but it is smoky as you get close to her skin).

Huge storms hit our area last week - I was working an event for my job. This is what our tent looked like when we were able to go back to it.

Another view of our tent - the stacks of lightbulbs we nicely arranged and the table on the right was upright when we left. In the background, you can see Verizon's tent - it flew down here from two tents away and wrapped around that vintage military vehicle. It literally bent the 4" poles that held it up. I couldn't imagine if we didn't get away when we did.

Looks like a disaster! This is the Verizon tent - our tent is two more down. Their displays are trashed.

Finished first attempt at Chicken Pot Pie - DELICIOUS!

Chicken Pot Pie - before we put the tops on.

Cora and Daddy rolling out the crust for pot pie.

Josie and Blossom - working on their tans!

Gage won tickets for getting good grades! It was a great time! The Reds won!!!! And since there were 11+ strike outs, everyone got free LaRosa's pizza and free UDF ice cream!!!! DELICIOUS!!!

A picture from our seats...those tiny little ants down there...those are baseball players!!!

Feeding time! I think they know LOL

Itty and her poor little broken leg :-(

Our first attempt at Goat's Milk CHEESE!!!!

Oh hell yeah! It was awesome - who would have ever imagined we'd be able to milk a goat, in our back yard and create something this amazing!?!?!

Our cheese - after it has been drained. Isn't it gorgeous!?!

Our cheese while it drains.

Our pea harvest - peas on the left, shells on the right. They were so delicious. Now, my kids love peas :-) Even raw!

Cora loves peas - look how many she got in just one pod!

Like two...or wait more like four...oh, I guess it's like eight peas in a pod.


Thanks Mabel!

Who is that handsome man straining our milk?!
Harvest! On the left, leftover pea pods, so we have seeds for next year! In the middle - yummy onions! On the right, our potato delicious.
I feel like the pictures are so random, but honestly, that is kinda how our life As I mentioned in my last husband and I are going through a bit of a rough patch. I'm not sure what the future holds for us, but  I hope that it holds amazing mornings of coffee on the porch, watching our children...and their children running around after animals in our front yard, long talks about our hopes and dreams...and love. A good step to assuring that will happen is to do very simple things that lets your partner know that you are thinking of them. One morning, my husband woke up before I did and went out to our gardens our front and cut some of our beautiful flowers. He arranged them and put them in a vase, so when I woke up, the flowers were sitting on the table next to my favorite chair. Simple things like that help me remember our oh so good times and help ease the pain of the bad times. I'm thankful he is making an effort to make things right.
We've added a few more members to our family...Captain, one of our outside kitties, surprisingly had a litter of five kittens and decided to raise them in our garage. We found homes for two of the kittens (thanks to our daughter Kait and one of Drake's friends) and one of the sweet kitties found her way into our home. We still have two little boys left outside. We are feeding and caring for them and hopefully they will be good mousers and mole killers for the property.
Last weekend, we had an event at Wright Patt Field - around the time that the gates were supposed to enter, patrol came around and said that they were not letting people onto the field and that they were encouraging people to have a "Weather Plan B" - after watching the clouds roll in a bit, we decided that we should stack all of our event stuff in the middle table of our tent and make our way to our vehicles, temporarily. We started to walk toward our van, did I mention that Mark and Gage had gone for ice and we didn't know where they were? So that left me, one of my co-workers, Drake and Cora to get to a safe place. Right about the time that we were at the security tent, a huge gust of wind hit and the tent went up in the air. Military men and women were yelling and trying to grab the poles so we could get away from the structure. We ran the other direction - realizing that we needed to get to a safe place, but not really sure where that place was. As we were trying to make our way out of another gate area, an Air Force member came and said we needed to get off the base and offered to carry Cora - he scooped her up and took off running. We followed along - running as fast as we could...the wind blowing hard enough that it nearly pushed me over, and would have certainly knocked Cora to the ground if the Air Force Service Member hadn't helped us out. Still afraid because I couldn't find Mark and Gage and scared that this was getting ready to get really bad...we ran into a gas station and the first faces I saw were Mark and Gage...thankful. The next little bit was pretty terrifying. But thankfully, we all made it through the ordeal safe and sound. The pictures above don't really give a good idea of the devastation that the storm did...but it was really bad.
We made homemade chicken pot pie and it was delicious. We used homegrown peas, onions and potatoes and used Nana's "Never Fail" Pie Crust for the top and bottom. I'm hoping that next year, we'll also have carrots and chicken grown and raised right here at Fresh Eggs.
Our animals are silly - Josie and Blossom are loving this hot weather we've been having. We took the hose out and tried to hose everyone down, since you hit 103 degrees here! But the only animals who really enjoyed the spray down were Josie and Blossom. Josie would put her face right into the hose spray. It was really funny to watch how excited they got. All of the animals will try to fit in the small hallway that we runs the center of the barn - they know when it's feeding time. I'm going to try to get a video of the sounds they make when they hear our voices - every time it makes my heart feel warm and I laugh. I love having these goofballs here.
Gage won tickets for a Cincinnati Reds game - our tickets were in the nose bleed area - but it was still a great time! Plus the kids got to see the city. In fact, I was asked to work in the office in Cincinnati for two days this week. During that time, my company put me up in a hotel and I had Mark and the kids join me. While I was at work, Mark took the kids to explore the city and in the evenings we were able to listen to sounds and enjoy the hustle and bustle of the city. Gage, my city boy, needs to have that balance in his life - and honestly, I think it is good for all of us to get out of the country from time to time to remember the pros and cons of city living.
WE MADE CHEESE! Cheese!!! From milk...from a goat...from our back yard. It was amazing. I cannot wait to make more. It is delicious...and it makes me proud that we were able to accomplish this. Can't wait to learn how to make other kinds - the one we made was a simple Chevre, which is essentially like a cream cheese type texture.
Our large garden is growing - I'm hoping that we still get a nice harvest from it. Although, we've been suffering from a drought this year, as much of the US has maybe not as much of a harvest as we could have. Fingers crossed, we will be able to get some fresh cucumbers (perhaps a couple batches of pickles), some zucchini, maybe corn and some other yummies. Our early raised beds did well - we got a basket load of potatoes, onions and peas and were able to dry some of the pea pods for next year's planting.
Again, I feel like this blog has been all over the place, without a real "theme" - but there is always so much going on around here. I'm glad I've been keeping up with my goal of taking more pictures. I think pictures just add so much to the experience of what goes on here. Maybe next time we do cheese, I can do a how-to walk through on what we did.
Well, right now, I need to go so that I can have a few minutes to sit on our front porch and then Mark and I are going to a Barenaked Ladies/Blues Traveler show...BTW, did you know that Blues Traveler was the very first concert that Mark and I went to when we were first dating...and now we are going to see them again approximately 16 1/2 years later...and we are getting ready to celebrate our 16th wedding anniversary on July 23rd...fate? Maybe...