Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Gone Fishing 🎣

Just to let y'all know I have company beginning today.

Will report back first of next weeks with photos of the fun complete with my famous run on sentences😊 

Thursday, March 22, 2018

They Say It's Your Birthday Well Sorta

The long and winding road hit an abrupt halt with all the rain we have gotten yesterday and today. This is a bit down the mountain with the top of the road over the mountain and on the other side live a large herd of Boer goats with their Pyrenees probably Akbash crossed  livestock guardian dogs. When it rains so hard the Ash Creek tops its banks the goats and dogs stay home.


This is from this morning. In about two hours to be precise. We had our high this morning at 6:30 AM and by 10:30 AM we were headed down by six degrees and it will continue to drop as another very wet, snow bearing cold storm moves through in the next four days.

Hey but it is all about fun, friendship and last nights celebration at the Shedd. We have a tradition as many fiber groups do of celebrating members birthdays. Since we are fairly  small as fiber groups or guilds go we each bring a gift and a dish of some kind for the birthday person(s). March is all about Lori our rising star weaver(below on the left) and me. We have birthdays to the right and left of March 21 by a week or so. What is better then one Aries? Why two of course!
I don't usually honk my own horn but I always said "a person can be judged by the company they keep." These ladies just rock it and after a supper of pasta with sausage, fresh plum tomatoes,spinach and white sauce with croissants , an amazing kale,cabbage, carrot , baby greens salad and an amazing home made cheesecake with fresh raspberries from Susan's bushes on the homestead they recently left in Oregon. We (an yes that last sentence is probably a contender for the longest run on sentence) got presents! We have unique friends so the gifts just screamed fiber,home,country and love!

From sweet Sarah, youngest member of our group, a hand made olive branch wreath from her olive orchards. Sarah has two children, one husband and they landed on ten acres of ancient olive trees that give delish olives for home canning. Sarah is an amazing spinning , 4H Mom and raises cute Dutch rabbits. Love it Sarah just what my porch needed to dress it up!

Judy , group founder experienced spinner, weaver, gardener, milkmaid to mini Jerseys, just retired from many years as a paraprofessional for the art department at Shasta Jr. College . Oh almost forgot Judy and her hubby Stan raise angora goats. They had a very sought after herd for many years and I first met them at Black Sheep gathering in Oregon one year long before I moved out of Fresno.  Pretty much retired from breeding stock Stan is a very sought after judge for show rings and fiber competitions. The large "hairball" pictured is the first fleece of a wether and I can't wait to get it is processed and on the wheel! <3 you Judy!

Carol, other group founder and the Shedd is on her land. She had her own show production herd of Angoras and is now leading a more gentle , slower life. She also is our "room mother" making sure we have current weather alerts on Wednesdays before we head over the mountains and who is in need of anything from a hug to a how you doing in the group. She is one heck of a knitter and her potholders are the bomb! Carol you are quiet but always thinking lol!

Lori I love them! I have just gotten my official "you aren't a country girl without a rack" badge. Now to find a home for these. Lori as Janet is a cowgirl. They live and breath rising Angus cattle on respective ranches. Lori is a fairly new weaver and has rocked the art of weaving "I didn't know you do that!" on her two shaft loom. She is sweet, she is kind and she is always late to the party but always has a reason that makes a great story.


Janet my neighbor, heart bigger then anyone, lover and Mama to many an orphan calve. Trainer of amazing cow dogs, fiber artist that rocks my world with what she weaves.Friend always and forever. Great drawstring bag and I can drop in my knitting and / or drop spindle with fiber in and hit the road. I included both sides so you could enjoy the names of all the chicks on them.


Susan. I saved Susan for last because she is an amazing individual. Susan is Carol's sister-in-love. (I use that term almost always for if it weren't for love they wouldn't be in our lives would they?) She and her hubby Joe just returned to the home area from a long time homesteading in Oregon. Susan canned and grew all they needed. When they moved down here from Oregon again she brought with her freezers , literally, of frozen home grown chickens, beef and boxes of fruit and other produce from their efforts in the last year prior to moving. Does this make Susan my hero ? Yup but the big deal is this. Susan came home a breast cancer survivor and now to our heartbreak she has found that it has metastasized.  We came close to losing Susan about 4 plus weeks ago but she preserved and now is home. Last week she returned to the Shedd for the first time in about 8 weeks. She is determined and amazing. She is meeting her situation with dignity and on her terms. She is positive, giving and we all benefit just from knowing and loving her. This sharing of pears and cherries from her orchard that she cared for and was such a huge part of her life for so long is just for lack of better words just Susan. I am so blessed to have Susan in my life.


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Why Walnetto Farm Got From There To Here or We Really Aren't Nomadic People!

We moved from Fresno backwards in many ways. First off we the parents "ran away" a month after our youngest Granddaughter was born. We always dreamed of leaving the area but Geoffrey got a position at a then small rural school district and we settled in. If a teacher leaves a district for another their benefits go back to ground zero with the change. So for one's retirement plans it is better to stay put. And we did for thirty-five years. 

Of course by then the goats were in place for show and production. We had them twenty years at this point and I was in love. Also they were our suppliers of all things dairy. So we tripped off to Mendocino county. We needed to find a farm and soon . We had sold the Fresno house on two acres to the second couple who saw it and we were locked in . It was a good deal prices were up and we owned the home out right. I had a gnawing feeling if we backed out at this point (the house went on the market in late October and we had to be out by January 2nd) we would never leave.

So after much searching in late November we had finally found a place on 4.3 acres in a small town called Redwood Valley half way between Ukiah and Willits . We had the coastal area in mind to land but the prices were out of reach (this was still eight months prior to the big crash in reality) and we had no idea Redwood Valley even existed.

The link below will take you to my blog by another name. You can follow those years on it from 2009 to 2013. You have to look closely behind the Marmee's Pantry link for the beginning. I have tried every which way from loose to get into this blog which is why the blog name is now New Life On The Farm. If anyone has a solution I would love to go back to it. But I think I somehow managed to end it on Blogger but can find it on the internet. I encourage you to go back in time if you have time to spare and get a feel for those lost years.


In very short order those years were a journey in so many lessons. We didn't know it but had landed in a hornet's nest of ugly people who made our farm their target. Finally after waiting two years to put the farm on the market so we wouldn't loose money capital gain wise, the farm was on the market due to the reality crash  for three years. At that point I was entertaining buying a t-shirt that said "We are being held captive in Redwood Valley by the crash". Then finally in September of 2011 a buyer and we left two months later.And yes we lost a considerable amount of money on the sale. But it was part of the journey. There were more weird twist and turns but airing dirty laundry in public isn't my thing so you will just have to take my word on it.

The 42 Acres of Paradise is aptly named. I will tell anyone who will listen that God put us here and it happened in the manner it did for the journey we were on. This property was on the market for quite awhile before we made our offer. So at that point I was stunned that this much land and such a beauty was offered for such an amazing asking price. The house was what we had talked of for so long a log beauty and it was totally off the grid another plus for us. It was "in the middle of nowhere" even though it was thirty minutes to both Redding and Red Bluff to the north and south of us. The nearest neighbors are a mile plus away. The middle of nowhere was coined by the reality agent as a lot of folks don't want to live as we do and they knew it was going to be attractive to a small percentage of the population.

So with the comfort of knowing the few neighbors we had were like minded and the asking price was doable we did it. Little did we know that only two months after Geoffrey finished with the last goat barn and field fencing was up the challenges were to become larger. We had been placed in a home that was turn key . The exception being we needed barns and fencing up for the goats. The only existing structures were the house and the pump house.  Another blessing in having the barns finished and fenced.

If I seem embarrassed about my lovely home it is because I am used to making do or doing without. I am in my heart so grateful that God saw that everything we would need to survive the coming years was in place so I could focus on Geoffrey's journey. That I would not want for shelter for my critters that I couldn't provide. And in addition to the gift of that weren't enough the people who have come into my life in the last six years has been amazing. That includes my blogging friends who have many times kept me afloat especially during the times Geoffrey was so ill he could not do more than move from bed to couch and my time was mostly to myself.

This journey still in progress has hills and valleys. Joy and pain. I have learned much about myself, Geoffrey and those who are family and friends.  It is one of the few things I would do again in a heartbeat. Am I crazy? Maybe don't have the answer to that one but I do know I am blessed and for that I am eternally  grateful.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

So Little Time So Many Blog Post To Write!!!

I have been slacking. I have been knitting and and "stuff". Stuff being mostly comprised by figuring how much I can find to do inside while weather is going on outside. I think the term for Nor Cal this month should be "weather or not here it comes!"

It came in the form of bone chilling winds , rain, snow, hail and my own personal favorite snowial. Not a typo hail followed by snow.

The above and to the side here are the back decks. Why the gal who built our place when it was for her, didn't extend the decks into one large one is a mystery for the archeology dig after Lassen blows again and we are the new Pompeii.

I adore the oak in the yard behind the house. This is what it looked like Thursday night about ten. The same time the deck photos where taken. 

This is what it looked like in winter of 2013 when we had two weeks of snow 6- 8 inches , frozen hoses  and an arctic blast with temps from minus zero to eighteen for bottoms and tops. In short I was cold, the goats were warm as I wouldn't have it any other way. I also didn't need a gym membership as I hauled 5 gallon water buckets for all two weeks. But gosh did I love how it all looked! Below looking northeast from the barns on the right the house on the left. The building on the far left is not the house it is the solar/pump house.

 This was the Shedd last Wednesday when we showed up for fiber night. They got more the next day but I haven't been back yet. Sure it will be gone by this Wednesday as we are gearing up for a solid five days of rain. 

And then there was Mama Pea always making trouble . Good heaven's woman I am not one to resist a challenge and I am a bit competitive by nature. But I was very nice and courteous in the show ring :-)

So without further ado is my response to her "show us your kitchen" challenge.

View looking from dining area to the south east . The house was built southwest to northeast. So the kitchen faces to the southeast or southwest sorta.

View from the door to my office space. The whole house is pretty open with walls being run in ways as to really open it up for light with lots of windows which I love! Yes those are drying cleaning rags on the chairs. Pretend they aren't there, lol.    

Below facing directly east into the office space. Three quarter in length wall is all cabinets except for the center one which is a small boat refrigerator which is very handy. The gal who built the house had a yacht building family so she made the off the grid kitchen very functional.  

 From the laundry/mud room looking the length of the kitchen. 

Tucked into an area between the counter and window is one of my most loved pieces. My father-in-love made this for his bride who is pictured above as a young girl. When he then she passed I was able to add the vegetable keeper to my home. The dolly on the top was a gift from my baby girl about 10 years ago and the candle from a set my sweet son and his family gifted us with at Christmas this year. 

A favorite in the laundry/mud room area is my shelf . The essentials mixed with sweet memories. The ribbon is from the 2012 North Valley Dairy Goat Association show where my yearling doe Walnetto Farm Lady Kate went grand champion. It was also the last time I walked into a show ring as two months later our continuing journey with cancer began . 

Lastly this is the painting on the wall above the chest in the kitchen. My mother-in-love gave it and the one below it that hangs in the dinning room above the parsons table. I found the artist who did the nubian buckling and was able to find that he was from a show herd and grew to be a lovely buck. Nuggets such as that are truly the fun stuff!


                                               Nubian buck was named Sweet William.

      So a little of this and a little of that. Who else will join the kitchen challenge this weekend ?



Sunday, March 4, 2018

Someone's Dream - Old Homestead Photos Part Two

Just happened to be going this direction this morning early on my way to Redding for a few weeks of provisions. We were down to cobwebs in the pantry. Another reason why I am excited to finally have a plan to do a massive canning season be it from our garden  or from the vendors at Farmers Market. Maybe a combo of both. We will see if the success rate is better this year. I miss not having our own veggies to use during the winter. At any I was able to get this photo of the homestead in my last post with better lighting. She is pretty sad. But yet strangely beautiful.

The second story doesn't seem to list as badly from the front. But the severe bow in the roof peak is quite obvious in the photo above.

When I get some time to check out the history I will do another post on this old homestead.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Lazy Cold Saturday On The Farm

More history. Not on our land but down on the flats (valley floor) and now with in the city limits of Anderson. When this old girl was built there it was not a small town probably only farms as Redding was "the city " back in the day. I am sorry that the photo is so dark and I will try to remember to get another the next time I go that way. This old homestead has always called to me and I need to find out more about it from the local historical society. She seems to list more each time I go by. Seems it might be more respectful to just get 'er done. :-(

From top to bottom pullet egg, 2 year old hen and year old. The right is the duck size hen egg and the pullet egg. I have to admit I winced when I hoisted it out of the laying boxes yesterday. I can only imagine what the hen did!

Cali the eternal optimist. Cali came to us 6 years ago this coming August as a 9 week old pup. Her given name is Calamity Jane as we were only about 8 weeks into Geoffrey's chronic dance with CLL and  Mastocytosis . Thinking since we were in the mist of a huge calamity it seemed to fit.  Nothing like puppy breath to make the world right even when it is rolling down hill like a snowball headed for Hell. She is lying there in front of the laundry room/mudroom door because Geoffrey is on the other side in the garage.  It is time for Cali and Ari the English Setter to go for a w-a-l-k. An everyday occurrence for these two with him. I get the Pyrs in the morning each getting a chance to get away from those annoying goats and a break from work and time with me alone.

And by the looks of what is coming it is a good thing they got out when they did.