Monday, May 10, 2010

Introductions and where i have been.

First, i wanted to apologize for neglecting this blog. i have been putting more of my focus on my craft blog, The Enchanted Tree. i had originally planned to keep them separate. This being my family blog, and the other having more of a focus on business. However, being a work at home mama, i am finding that it is all connected. It is becoming too time consuming to try and keep up with both blogs, and my energy has been more focused on the other.

Winter seemed especially long and hard this year, and i admit i did not do a whole lot of crafting or blogging. Now that spring is here, my focused has moved outside to the garden and animals. We have gone through quite a few changes this winter. The lose of three beloved pets within weeks of each, who had all been with us 10 years and the addition of new.

When we lost our dog Sampson in the fall, i knew we were going to get another dog eventually. i was not in a big hurry for this, still dealing with the loss and not wanting to have to train a puppy. i had been online researching dog breeds, as much as i loved our dog i was not sure i really wanted another beagle. They are not the smartest of dogs and they are very prone to wander. According to the research i had done, we would do best with an Australian Shepard, Blue healer or border collie.
One afternoon, while browsing through the classified for dairy goats i came across an ad for a free puppy. The ad was for a 6 month old Border Collie, great with kids, knew basic commands, all around great dog. Something about the ad, made me feel like we really needed to jump on it. So Kenan called the number, explained that we lived in the country, had goats, chickens and children and would love to give this puppy a home. The folks who had the puppy, explained they found her abandoned, tied to a dumpster. They lived in a trailer and didn't have enough space for her. They also told Kenan they had someone coming out to look at her within the hour, and had over 16 calls on her already. So we accepted the fact that we would not be getting the dog.
Then out of the blue about an hour later, the phone rings. The folk with the puppy, said they just had this feeling about us and they really wanted us to have her. So Kenan hopped in the car and drove all the way out to Blacksburg to pick the puppy. We had no idea what a blessing she would be to our family.

This is Sookie. While trying to decide her name Sage, decided her name was Sushi. Kenan then suggested Suki (avatar), which immediately worked for everyone. Our family being a bunch of Avatar fans. i decided to change the spelling to Sookie , because i'm a Gilmore Girl Fan and we had two cats named Kali and Sati...and i just didn't want another 4 letter name that ended in i. :) She is a short haired Border Collie, extremely smart and has been a wonderful addition to our family.

The next newest member is Delilah. When we first moved to Virginia 10 years ago, i told everyone i wanted a dog named Sampson and a goat named Delilah. :) We got the dog the first year were here, but it's taken 10 years to find my Delilah. She is a Pygmy-Dwarf Nigerian cross, she was 4 months old when we brought her home, so she is not quite 6 months now. We are hoping she will provide us with milk one day. i have seen some mixed reviews about milking Dwarf Nigerians and Pygmies. Some claim they are great milkers, while others claim the teets are too small to milk. Right now we are still getting use to just being goat owner. We won't breed her until next year, so it will be quite some time before we know if we can milk her. i expect that once we get used to keeping goats (it's a constant learning process) we may add a few more dairy goats to our herd. ;)

We are really enjoying them both. Goats have so much personality. Casper having been raised in the house over the winter, is a bit of a spoiled brat. Delilah was extremely skittish when we first brought her home. However, she is becoming a very sweet and friendly little goat. She runs to greet us and sniff our hands hoping we brought treats. They love treats. We give them a few carrots from the garden, lemon balm, comfry, blackberry leaves and a couple of corn chips now and again.

The last introductions are for these three sweet little peeps (although i know they were mention in the last post). They are all unnamed so far. The first little peep is an English game bird. In the last picture, the fluffy yellow peep is a Rhode island red-English game cross and the one to the left with the reddish fluff is an Americana-English game cross. We are pretty excited to see how the crossed breeds grow up. Our RIR and Americana are both great egg layers, but they have very little personality. The English game birds have great personalities...but they are not regular egg layers, they love to hide their eggs, and they love to set on their eggs. So it will be interesting to see what we get with them. It is always fun watching the tiny peeps change, as their feather come in and we figure out if we have hens or roosters.

We have had a lot of change already this year, and although i am not always the most open to change i do believe in constantly moving forward. Each year, we move closer to our dream. We progress little by little, sometimes there are road blocks, sometimes we back step...but we always keep moving.

This post was taken from my The Enchanted tree Blog, you can see more current posts there. i am honestly not sure how much updating i will do here.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Holiday season and a Blessed Yule

This year, our winter holiday celebrations were quiet, subdued and simple. We had hoped to spend Thanksgiving in Michigan, as it has been two years since we have visited our friends and family there. However, things did not work out and we spent it at home. We enjoyed a semi-traditional mostly homegrown feast.

Mashed potatoes, glazed sweet potatoes, squash, roasted vegetables, garlicy greens, fresh spinach and mixed green salad all organic and grown at home. (the turnips were a gift from a neighbor)

As a vegetarian family, we obviously don't eat turkey. Instead of purchasing a Tofurky this year, i made my own version. This tasty meal was created with tofu, wheat gluten, vegetable broth and seasonings. It's stuffed with wild rice and glazed with orange juice and tamari. i loosely used this recipe from Vegan Dad i always cut the recipe in half, leave out the smoke flavor and add way more seasoning than suggested. It's really good, and makes great leftovers. Sage enjoyed the 'Giving Thanks' part so much, that at almost every meal now...she asks to do the 'thank you's'. Such a sweetie.

Sadly, our 10 year family dog, Sampson, was killed on Thanksgiving day and that sort of set the mood for the rest of the holiday season. We went through all the motions, but something was definitely missing. We made gingerbread, decorated cookies, dug and decorated our usual holiday tree. We had been hoping to spend part of the holidays in Florida with family, but again were unable to make the trip. We were snowed in, and spent a quiet holiday with just the four of us.

Twas the night before Yule, when all through house...not a creature was stirring, not even a...


This was my Yule surprise. His name is Casper and he's 6 months old. We all adore him.

Sage was thrilled to find these hello kitty socks in her stockings.

She immediately fell in love with this beautiful Melissa and Doug dollhouse. This amazing gift from 'Santa' was made possible by Gummy Lump toys. i came across a link for a contest they were having, and entered...not really thinking about it again.
i never in a million years thought i would win. i was completely floored when i read the email saying i had won. This was such an amazing blessing, as with so many people, money was especially tight this year.

The doll house came fully furnished and to add to my amazing luck, i came across this set of wooden dolls, still in the box at the thrift store for $1 . It is so much fun watching Sage set up the house and see how she has the dolls interact with each other.

Both kids were also very blessed with handmade gifts and toys. You can see more about them on my craft blog. The end of the year, the holidays, it always comes too quickly for me. i never have all the gifts finished, never get all the cards mailed out on time. Regardless, this year was nice. For the simplicity, and for the surprises. Although the season started off rough, it ended nicely and once again we were able to feel the magic.