Productive day = exhaustion, achy bodies and satisfaction.

Unlike real farmers/ranchers we didn’t get up at the crack of dawn and we retired before the sunset (but to be fair, our sunset was at 8:15pm) but we did manage to get so much squeezed in those hours we were out there. Between everyday chores, gardening, too many trips to Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Wilcox stores, it was a very fulfilling day. Thought I would share some of it with you.

We were happy to see the sheep, Lucy and Edmund, were awake and making small talk with our boxer, Remus, as they waited for us to take them to the pasture paddock. We had breakfast and took some of the Grands out to meet the sheep. Lucy and Edmund are a little shy and give us crazy eyes from time to time, but they are not aggressive or sketchy with the kids. Lance had to hold Edmund, the smaller of the two, so the kids could touch them, but the sheep are so foreign to the kids the petting was a fleeting action. After they got out to their paddock, E & L proceeded to do some yard maintenance. and we moved on with our very full day.


Lance tilled the garden beds. I planted a ‘salad’ bed with tomatoes, three different kinds of lettuces, and radishes. Yellow onions and Walla Walla sweet onions went in next. Cauliflower was next and then cucumbers into little dirt hills. Squashes – zucchini, acorn and delicate were next. One of the beds is now a dedicated strawberry bed, another will be for corn, and then pumpkins for October. One of the smaller bed will be for the herbs. The challenge of all this gardening is to not get down on my arthritic knees and at the same time, not wrench my back. Challenging, yes, but, ta-da, doable.


Today was also chicken coop cleaning day. Since last I posted we have lost one chick. She never seemed to grow, didn’t get any feathers and one day she was listless, the next day, dead. It was very sad, but it is the way God has made the creature world to work. in the picture below you can see how big her sibling is, the big white one in the forefront. Little one never got half as big.

ImageWhile I want to make a nice soft warm bed of pine shavings for the girls, they continually kick it out until it’s almost just bare board. See the shavings in their water?  This water had just been changed 10 minutes before I took this picture. They’ve also taken to sitting on their feed. Not sure why. There are two who often roost on the stick, but the others? Maybe there is not enough room? Or they’re only brave enough to be as high as the feeder. Maybe there is something to calling someone a ‘chicken’ when they’re fearful?

Setting up Baldwin Acres has been a costly venture. We have spent more money on the animals, their ‘stuff’ and their shelters then we have on previous sun drenched vacations. So far, it has been worth every cent. As I sit here typing (using nine fingers because I got one caught in the door while rushing to the sheep and it’s painfully swollen), my knees ache from kneeling only once, I’m exhausted, and my body protests when I get up off the couch,  I can honestly say, love every aspect of it.

Before we led Lucy and Edmund to their bedroom (a nice roomy fenced dog run with a shelter) for the evening, I got one photo of them which I sign off with for you tonight, too. Peace.




Farmer? Chickens? Vegetables? Me?

It was only a little while ago Lance and I were living in the warmth of the Australian sun. We dove on the Great Barrier Reef, 4 wheeled on Moreton sand island, dove with sharks, jumped out of airplanes and generally lived an adventurous life. Then God sent us back to America.

Since coming back from Oz, the Lord has blessed us with a beautiful home on five acres in the sometimes sunny, mostly rainy, state of Washington. We have more than we could ask for or thought to ask for. Our children are close to us both geographically and emotionally. We have hosted three sleepovers so far with some of our 13 grandchildren. We’ve gone from sun-soaked adventurers to rain-soaked hobby farmers.

The plan is to achieve some sort of self-sufficiency. There are seven raised garden beds in place and mature fruit trees on the grounds. We have our own well, and are moving slowly to solar powering everything, starting with a solar pool heater for the inground pool. It’s a little more challenging here- solar power, when the sun plays hide and seek most of the day, but the sun does come out and even if it’s not working, it would power solar. In addition to the solar power and the gardens, we’ve acquired chickens and this weekend will bring home two sheep. We are looking at pasture pigs and goats as well.


In Oz, in the warm sun, we were active and warm. Since coming to Washington, the flux in the weather is playing havoc with our arthritic bodies! But, we’re sure to get used to it, and ‘farming’ is more physical than ‘adventuring’, so we’re sure to lose pounds and gain muscle, which of course will help. But, still, like in Oz, we’re soulfully happy and content. Peace filled.

It’s a bit of a free fall, going from ‘adventurer’ to ‘farmer’, but free-falling is easy when you know it’s where God would have you. So here we are. Hope you’ll join us in the ups and downs of hobby farming/homesteading or whatever it is we’re doing. It’s going to be an interesting journey.