I thought I would include our annual Christmas letter in this blog for all to read.  It’s going to be a bit different, since I change the names to protect The innocent  from embarassment!   May you all have a Joyful, Blessed Season! 



Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

From Smiling J Farm


            We have so many things to tell our friends that we just had to add to write a Christmas newsletter.  For over 15 years we lived in a gated community, but we found ourselves looking at land more and more.  Three acres here, 5 there. . . Until we found our perfect spot . . .  And it has 10 acres!




It just happened to be next door to Bob, a man DH has been working with for about 10 years.   To make a long story short we negotiated a price without a realtor and by February, made a deal!  That same month we started a vegetable garden with next dor neighbors, Bob and Mona.  We tilled and added horse manure (from their horses) to a spot behind their barn.  We planted tomatoes, lettuce, peppers (green, yellow and red), sweet potatoes and squash.  The tomatoes, potatoes and peppers were great.  We need to learn about bug control though; they got more of the rest than we did!                                    

            So what are we going to do here?  Well DH has decided he wants to try his hand at raising cattle.  I reluctantly agreed.  So we made a number of changes to the property to get ready for this adventure.  We’ve put a small barn up, built a vinyl fence in the front pasture (one that matches the neighbors!) and have started the back pasture fence.   



            DH and Bob spent several months on a project in between others.  They renovated a 1955 Farmall tractor, pictured above.  It looks great now and showed quite nicely in October.  We’d like to show it at a few fairs locally next year.                               

            We sold the boat just last month and it’s helped us to finance a number of things.  (I am still in mourning!)  Our new farm members will arrive as soon as we have the fencing and a place for them to run in out of the elements especially since winter is soon upon us.  We have bought small cattle:  Lowline and Dexter breeds.  They are both small yet pure bred cattle.  We bought 4 heifers and 3 steers.  One of the “ladies” is pictured with me below.  Angie is a one year old Lowline/Dexter mix.  You can tell they are smaller cattle.  According to DH, she’ll be ready to breed in March.   


 Author and Angelina (Angie)

             The barn is nice and we like it so much we thought it would be a good background for a logo.  So that is the basis for it as you can see.  And who is Smiling J?  It is Troy’s Dad, Julian; we know he’d be smiling if he were here to live and work on our farm.  There are many times we wish we had been able to do this while he was still around.  So we decided to name the farm after him. 




            We are so happy living in the country now and we enjoy sharing our experiences with friends and family.  We hope to have a website of our own up at smilingjfarm.com.   Check back with this blog and I’ll let you know whent is available! 


            As the expression goes here, “Come see us”   Hugs from Smiling J Farm including Auggie, Thomas and our new herd!