Thursday, December 27, 2012

Blessings, gratitude and joy

I've been a bit "incommunicado" lately, it's been a scary couple weeks here.  My nephew, Landon, was born on Monday, Dec. 17th and we I was very excited to finally meet him.  He is the first child born to Nick and Emily Bartels, he does join his 16 yr old sister, Lexi. 

StartingWednesday, just as Nick and Emily were getting ready to take their new baby home, they get the news that they want to take Landon to the American Family Children's Hospital in Madison right away.  Landon was born with a defect in his aorta that restricted the blood flow to his lower extremities.   He also has a couple holes in his heart that the doctors feel will heal as he matures. Once he arrived in Madison he was evaluated by the cardiologists and it was decided that the surgery would be required, and that was done on Friday afternoon.   Landon aced his surgery and has recovered at an amazing pace, he's exceeded all their expectations for recovery.  
There is one small issue, he isn't eating as well as he should and from what I understand, that's not out of the ordinary for an infant after surgery.  He can go home as soon as his eating improves to a certain level, we are hopeful that can happen in the next couple days.
Here are a couple pictures I took of Landon on two different days.

Landon on Saturday, Dec. 22nd the day after surgery.  (he's had a little morphine for pain here)

Aunt Kelly and Landon on Saturday 
Landon with the blanket I knitted for him~Christmas day (that's a feeding tube in his nose)

I would like to thank everyone that sent me prayers and thoughts for our family during this time.  I am continually humbled by the out pouring of concern and thoughtfulness of others.  I KNOW that all the people praying for Nick, Emily and Landon is what made the difference in his outcome.  I would like to ask you to continue to include them in your prayers as his recovery progresses.
May God bless each of you for your kindness. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Continued prayers please

Please continue to pray for my nephew, he is scheduled to have surgery today to repair an aorta that supplies blood and provides circulation to his lower extremities.  His prognosis is good, but so is prayer.  I know in my heart that God is watching over Landon and his parents. 
Thank you all for your support and caring. 

Here is a link to  Emily's blog that has pictures of him and a post about his progress. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Prayers needed

Please pray for my nephew, Landon, he is on his way to UW Children's Hospital.  Not sure of all the details, but there is some concern about his heart.
I'm too scared to have much else to say, so please just pray for him.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Welcome to the World Landon

Monday brought a wonderful gift to our family.  Nick and Emily (my brother and sister in law) welcomed Landon Irvin Hollis Bartels into this world at 2:21 am on Dec 17th.  He was 7 lbs 9 oz and 21.5" long with a thick head of black hair.

Say Hello to my newest Nephew.........
It's dark because he doesn't care for much light yet.  Hoping to get more photos soon.  Ins't he perfect?  (ps-that's me holding him) 
Big sister, Lexi, and Landon

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Kick in the pants

I love to recycle and re-purpose things, so when my hubby went to the dump 2 weeks ago, I saw that as an opportunity to "shop".  I won't bore you with the details of my trip, suffice it to say that at one point, I was actually getting a leg up to climb in the dumpster for some treasures I'd found.  It was books!!!  Why would anyone throw away books in perfect condition?  Can't they be regifted or donated to the thrift store?   As it turns out, I think I was meant to make that dump trip and find that box of books.    Some of my trials and health issues have been causing me a lot of stress lately due to a number of things beyond my control and I was not handling them well.  I had become overwhelmed and very emotional, which is not the real me at all, and that caused me stress.  Mike was struggling with some terrible back pain and that was causing me get the idea.  Two of the books I found caught my eye immediately, and I started reading one of them right away and now I can't put that first one down.  Every page is another way to kick me in the pants and make me realize how very lucky I am to have the life I have and the family and friends that surround me. It reminds me of how tough past generations were and how much they had to overcome just to raise a family and survive.  I am humbled by the sacrifices that these men made for their families and it was all done without a second thought...there was no complaining....there was no looking for a pat on the back, just hard work and a sense of commitment to provide.     

And this is the book............. 

 If anyone would care to read this when I'm done, say the word and it's on it's way to you!!! I also have aonther book written by Tim Russert that was in that box of dumpster books and it's actually the prequile to this book. 

I will be reading this one's a story that Tim wrote about his dad. 

I am willing to rehome both of these books.  I think the message is a good one.  

I am so blessed and thankful, it's like I'm bursting with it today.  So if you want to climb in that dumpster, get in there, you never know what you might find that will make your day brighter.  (big grin) 

Toodles for now.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone

  May you be blessed and surrounded by love ones and friends!!!

Safe travels to you and your families as well. 

Friday, November 09, 2012

Remember our Veterans

This past weekend some of the members of the Fore Fathers helped the Lions serve a free meal to the area Veterans.  What an amazing experience!!!!  We sure have a lot of great people in our community, ones that rally around any cause that needs a helping hand and ones that open their pockets despite hard times.  I am honored to have these people in my community, and I am humbled and honored to be able to help serve something as simple as a meal to our Veterans that have sacrificed so much for me.
I can barely suppress tears when thanking these heroes for their selfless acts of courage so that I can enjoy the freedoms afforded to me because of their service to our country.  I found it amazing that they were thanking us for serving them a meal, when their service was what makes it possible.
To all the men and woman Veterans, from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!!

You can NOT let these people run out of coffee!!!!

What is a nice lunch without music.  (ps-loved the banjo)

The gentleman in uniform has had that uniform since 1962!!!!  It's in fantastic shape and it still fits that sweet, friendly and talented man. 

A local Veteran and his service dog, he was so well behaved and had the kindest face. (the dog and the owner)

Some of the Fore Fathers at the food table

Lions doing dishes

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Fall is my favorite season

Cookie sunning himself

Dolly looking pissy

Dually sleeping off his Sunday afternoon of doing NOTHING

Reba sporting her new coat

A few more ewe lambs that I've retained.  L to R: Santana, Whitney and Reba

Thor being a ram (right after being put into his breeding group)

My sweet Tess, she's 11 this fall

Firewood that we cut down last weekend with the help of Nick and Brandon

Shot of the farm buildings

The house (horse trailer is sitting on the right)

A few oats trying to grow by my dead flowers near the shed
Nothing much to say, just a picture heavy post and farm tour. 

Happy Halloween everyone. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Define "Mandatory"

Here is a small excerpt from someone that hadn't evacuated yet and posted on a blog: 

LONG ISLAND—Just past noon, I went out to take a few pictures expecting to do a before and after. Sandy had other plans, though. The water had already come inland in several places blocking roads and causing evacuations. Trees and telephone poles were down before 2 p.m.. Here are a few of the pictures I took today. The storm still hasn't really hit us here yet. I shudder to think the kind of damage we are about to experience.
Apparently, this picture was taken BEFORE the storm hit Long Island.  And as far as I'm concerned this picture is screaming RUN!!!!
 Let's review a few definitions before I continue so everyone is clear on what mandatory evacuation means and how it may or may not apply to this situation. 


  1. Required by law or rules; compulsory: "wearing helmets is mandatory".
  2. Of or conveying a command: "he did not want the guidelines to be mandatory".


the act or process of evacuating,  or the condition of being evacuated;  discharge or expulsion, as of contents.
Physiology . discharge, as of waste matter through theexcretory passages, especially from the bowels.
something evacuated  or discharged.
the removal of persons or things from an endangered area.
clearance by removal of troops, equipment, etc
Hurricane Sandy is all over the news, with good reason, it's a Super Storm  aka Frankenstorm.   So far, all the dire warnings have come true and millions of people are affected by this devastating storm.
What I don't get is this....Why are people still in their homes after the order to evacuate has been given?  Is it so hard to relocate to some other place out of harms way for 48 hours?  Maybe I'm just being naive but I would think that you should err on the side of caution even if it amounts to nothing considering that it could mean your life and the life of any rescuers could be on the line.  How many brave folks have to risk their lives to save someone that just can't listen?  And if a rescuer perishes because you had to "take a chance"......what are you going to tell his or her family?
For those that had to be rescued due to circumstances that could not be predicted, or you were not under an evacuation order,  I extend my sincere and heartfelt prayers for you and your loved ones. 
To those that can't seem to swallow their pride and get out while the getting is good, I pray for you as well and hope you are safe and out of harms way.  But........I also want to kick you in the keester for endangering others unnecessarily.  Next time, heed the warning, just in case.

I don't want to seem like I am being heartless to the poor victims of this horrific disaster, but I just can't wrap my mind around the idea of NOT evacuating if it means you, loved ones or rescue workers will be endangered. I am glad that we have such dedicated volunteers and rescue workers to help during disasters, and glad for every person that they rescue.  I am also glad for all the folks that make it to safety, no matter how or why you are safe, I'm simply glad that you are ok.

To all the folks that were forced from their homes tonight, I'm grateful that you are well and able to watch another sunrise. 
God Bless.

Friday, October 26, 2012

The "New" Spice Girls

Last Saturday I transported one of my ram lambs on the first leg of his journey to the UP to his new home with Barb Reiter's flock.  My dear friend, Terry, agreed to drive from Princeton, IL the night before, stay over night and then go on my trip the following day.  You see, Terry is a quilter, a very good quilter and I have bullied her into making me a queen sized quilt.  I am going to give her some of my wool batts to use instead of man-made fiber fill batting, so it will extra special.  You can see Terry's works of art at Quilt Crazie.
So the story goes......
Pearl Jam, my little polled ram, took a trip to Beaver Dam (Dr Suess, eat your heart out) We arrived at the Beaver Dam McDonald's, our predetermined meeting place and met, Sandy, another animal lover and fellow Shetland breeder.  Sandy had made arrangements with Barb to meet the following week and she was to get a ram from Barb and deliver my ram.
This picture of Pearl Jam and I was stolen from Terry's blog and was taken in the parking lot of McDonald's, Beaver Dam, WI.  I have no idea what the people at these meeting places think of us and our transferring of sheep from car to car (SUV, Truck or Van)  We sure get some goofy looks
Sandy mentioned that she had arrived a little early and decided to attend a little Bantam and Pigeon show just 2 miles down the road.  Well......nooooowwww, she had my attention and I had her promptly show me to her car and the carrier containing her new acquisitions.  She had the nicest little group of bantams and among them were my favs, little Partridge Cochin Bantams.  Ok, that did it, we were headed to the show, because you can't go home with an empty crate......right?   Terry just laughed at me and shook her head.
We raced to the fairgrounds, located the show, located the chickens, then the owner and I picked out 3 pullets and we loaded them in the Malibu and hit the road.
My new "Spice Girls" 

I sure hope she doesn't expect us to sing.

 Terry was sufficiently impressed with how quickly that all took place, but I knew what I wanted and we HAD to get to JJ Stitches in Sun Praire to get my fabric for my quilt!!!  This quilt shop specializes in Civil War reproduction fabrics and I loved it there.  The gal that runs the shop was invaluable in getting the colors and tones just right and when she was done laying all the shades of dark blue together, I didn't change a single one.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Weird dreams

I don't sleep well at all these days, so that means I get to have the most colorful and wacked out dreams of my life.  I usually share some of the details of my dreams with my husband when they get particularly odd and last nights' dream more than qualifies.   My husband always tells me, "You have the strangest dreams of any person I've ever known".   (I have to admit he may be correct)

Ok, now for the dream details*****

I have no idea where this took place, why I was there or what I was doing......but, I appeared to be on the set of a stage for a TV show (I think) and for some odd reason there was a band playing in front of a studio audience.  The band members seemed to do I put this delicately????  REDECK-ish would be a good description....longer, mullet-like hair, less than perfect smiles and some hats that could only be described at Redneck attire.  What I can't do is tell you what they were wearing, because the entire band was butt naked, and not in a "oooohhh, look at those guys" kind of way, but more of a "OMG, look at that...or I think I burned my retinas" kind of way.   I have no idea what happened past the point of seeing all those naked Rednecks playing in a band because I was so freaked out, I woke up immediately.  NOW, what on earth do you suppose that meant?  And why would anyone want to risk their delicate areas by exposing them to musical instruments with all their wires and moving parts?  Assuming you could get an entire Redneck band to play nude, why would anyone want to see THAT?  Did I mention that these were not young band members? 
I don't want you to get the idea that I have anything against Redneck folks or Redneck behavior, my son and my brother in law are very redneck-y, but I don't want to see either of them as naked band members.  (pun intended)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Unfairly accused

It would seem that I have pointed a finger at the wrong culprit of some night time shenanigans that resulted in the untimely death of one of my chickens.  Mr Racoon has been acquitted and Mr Owl has been charged with the murder of an innocent chicken.  I'm, of coarse, ignoring the fact that I would be putting this same bird in my freezer in a few weeks, but Mr Owl doesn't buy feed or do chores, and therefore does not get a vote on how this finger pointing progresses. 
What really frosts my cupcake is the fact that Mr Owl doesn't even eat the entire chicken, only the neck and head, leaving the bulk of the good "stuff" laying on the lawn to rot.  Strange that it took so long to determine that it was an owl, but I never would have guessed that an owl would hop into a coop and sneak off with a bird.  Just goes to show you what I know..............

This isn't  the actual owl, but you get the idea............see how sneaky he looks? 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Life in the country

I'd like to say this is a post that will touch on all the great things about country life........but it's NOT.  Don't get me wrong, I love living in the country, wouldn't trade it for city life, buuuutttt....some of the things in the country aren't as serene or as carefree as you might be lead to believe. 
I'm talking about the presence of predators, specifically.......hawks and racoons and their apparent love for the taste of chicken.  I lost a 2 month old pullet to a racoon last week and a 1 month old meat variety chick to an apparent hawk attack yesterday.  This morning my hubby said that the brazen red tailed hawk was sitting on the chain link fence that serves as our chicken run, in broad daylight and right next to the house.  Major modifications are going to take place tonight!!!!

The hawk won't be harmed,  but I can't say that same for the coon, cause that little bugger is going down!  He, she, it...has made me angry and nobody likes me when I'm angry.  (I sound tough, huh?)

Beautiful, but deadly to my chicken population

You are going down MR COON!!!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

2012 Breeding Group~for now

2012 Breeding Groups (until I change my mind)

Anais Anais
(Salicional) if I have 3 groups
(Bengal) if I have 3 groups

Bee Sting

(Catherine) if I have 3 groups

 Ringo:  (if I have 4 groups)

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Like peanut butter and jelly...

In my humble opinion, kids and sheep go together just like PB & J.  I may be the teensiest bit biased, but I think that animals and kids are pretty great separately, but put them together and the joy is amplified.  All these photos are courtesy of Corinne Rasso of Crosswinds Farm, she and her sister Marie are kind enough each year to be the photographers for our show in Jefferson and my hat is off to them for the fine work they do for us. Since we can't post 200 photos on our MSSBA website, I thought I'd share a few of the kids and their sheep on here.  

See what I mean????  It makes an ordinary sheep show.....something special.   Thanks to all the parents and grandparents that cultivate the interest of our youth.  Without their support, these children wouldn't have a chance to do this.  

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Generosity and kindness

Juda Fore Fathers on the left and the classmates to those that were killed in 1967 on the right

1967 in Juda Wisconsin one of Juda's small classes (it's a very small and close knit school) took a trip to New Orleans.  While they were there, a plane crashed into their hotel and 9 girls perished that day.  Over the years, the memorial stone and nine trees that were planted at the community park have suffered some deterioration and the Fore Fathers felt that the restoration of this memorial would be a contribution to the community that they would like to make to honor those that perished in that crash.  Plans were drawn up, the family members of those that lost loved ones were contacted so that no one would be inadvertently hurt by the upgrade.....and construction began.  The head stone with all the girls' names was already in place, as were nine trees that were in very poor shape.  All nine trees were replaced with new pines trees and they are planted in an arch on either side of the memorial, each tree representing a lost girl.  A new brick path to the headstone was designed, as well steps that lead up to the bricks and a small wall in front of the memorial stone.  Bricks were purchased, engraved and placed in the new area created by the memorial.  Now families and friends are able to purchase and engrave memorial bricks to be placed here for years to come. 

Nine roses, one for each girl that was lost

Crowd shot from the dedication of the completed memorial on Sunday, Sept. 30th.  

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fleece and sheep

Bing's fall fleece (Sommarang Challis x Sheltering Pines Bug)

Bing's butt, note the crimpy "purse"  (Rams in the background do NOT meet my fleece type criteria.)

Some of the ladies with Abe the alpaca and Dolly the llamas in the background

Bianca (now 9 months old) on the left during a rare moment of inactivity and old man John looking grateful for the peace and quiet.

Mike and I

Mike and I
Mike and I at Nick and Emily's wedding

Raised beds & chickens coops

Raised beds & chickens coops
Can't wait for this stuff to actually be food....