Small Farm Life

After eight (8) glorious and very busy years we are cleaning out the farm and renting it out.   It will go into very good hands as we turn it over to a young couple who we trust will care for it as their very own.   We have known her parents for years and love them like family.   This young couple already has chickens so at least the chickens will be comfy!   We hope everyone will be at home here as we have been.

The young lady, Lisa, would love nothing more than to learn veterinary skills and take classes in Veterinary Technology.    Her husband, Jimmy, has trained dogs for the State Troopers and with a State Prison system.   He is in business for himself now training dogs for various purposes.   They will have lots of room to do that here.

We have agreed that the cattle will stay at the farm, so we will continue to have contact with it as we need to.   Any time we return we will live in the RV behind the house.   It’s fully furnished and comfortable.

Moving oneself is always a chore.   We have been emptying the house for a week.  Plenty of items have been donated or tossed.   We have gone through our clothes and will have to do another purge before we are completely settled, I’m sure.    We have more things in the barn than I’d like to admit to.   That will mean more than one weekend here to purge those items.    I think it is a very good thing to rid oneself of extra things one is not using.   One gets a cleansing feeling after freeing oneself of ‘junk’.   Of course it isn’t junk to everyone. . .. it is their ‘treasure’!

So is this my last blog here?   Perhaps.   but I would love to post a page to the new blog Lisa intends to start.    So I may be back one more time. . ..

Don’t forget friends.    I have another blog too.    You can follow our next “life” at Gilraker’s Adventures.    We hope you will enjoy is as much as we do.


Making babies of any species requires waiting.   Humans and cattle alike require 9 months for proper gestation.    I didn’t know that cattle needed that long until we began raising cattle.    And even when the doctor estimates the ‘delivery’ date, we always wonder if it will happen that day.

Well our lady “Lucy” is making us wait longer than the doctor suggested.    He thought she would deliver on the 4th of February.   Here it is the 7th and she hasn’t brought forth a calf yet. . .   I wonder how long she will wait.   It is Momma is carrying a big baby!

It appears she has freshened.   So she is close.   It has been rainy and cold.  I hope that baby is ready for a chill.     Maybe it will warm up by the time she/he arrives.   One can   hope and pray . .. .  there will be some straw for bedding if needed to keep it warm at night.   But Momma is good for that too.

There are two others who are expecting before May so we’ll have a nice sized herd in the pasture.    It would be nice to have a good herd for a few more years. . . . and beef in the freezer!

By spring we will have the farm rented, but the young couple who will rent will continue to blog so we can see how things are going.   It will be fun to see it from the side my readers see. . . .


God Rest the Soul of David Bowie. … .I wasn’t a big fan, but he did a lot for the music world and there were a number of great songs he wrote and recorded. . . .   Time may change me, but I can’t change time. .. .  Change happens in all of our lives at various stages and for a number of reasons.

And so we continue to prepare to turn over the farm to a young couple to  live there and operate.   We are also selling another property, preparing our tax records and attempting to live our lives in the ‘now’.

We have painted the two out buildings and will leave the big barn until it becomes a bit warmer in the year.     We have identified the furniture which will stay at the farm and what will go.   Now we need to go through the boxes of books, clothing, household goods and family memories.    It would be so much easier if we could do all that in warmer weather.   but I’m hoping to convince the man that either providing a bit if heat in the barn or bringing boxes into the house would speed things up!    We will see how that goes.

Our poor doggie, Thomas, has been suffering from some kind of medical problem since about October.   He’s had a cortisone shot and we’ve changed his food with no change.   Went back to the vet today and he recommended another food.   sometimes I wish that dog had a social security number. . . . but then the government does not need to be any more involved in his life than it already is. . ..  I won’t go any further on that.   Anyway I hope something gets better.  Poor guy licks, chews and scratches himself so much, I feel badly for him so I might just start giving him a Benadryl to ease the itch.



During the short time while we were confused about the blog and website change, Troy and I had new cabinets installed in our kitchen! Yay!
Of course before the new ones went in the old ones were torn out.

And Lo and Behold! what did we find? ? ? A mouse nest between the floor and the cabinets! 

Well as work progressed we hoped to end that issue with a spray of insullation in the place that the pipes come up from under the house.   Take that mice!   We’ll see how that works.

I love the new cabinets.  Don’t you?  There are drawer-type pull outs on each of the lower cabinets.  And there is a pantry with 4 levels of drawers in one large cabinet!  That is my favorite part. 

Once the cabinets were installed  on a Thursday and Friday the countertops folks stopped by to measure.  They came out the next Monday.   Using special “dots” posted on each corner and special area of the cabinets and a camera mounted on a pole, they used computer technology to develop the template for the counter tops.   We ordered them in a solid surface similar to corian.  They are a beige-ish with yellow, and black flecks.   It looks very nice with the floors, don’t you think?

I am the middle of three sisters.  When we were young my sisters really loved pointing out babies while we were out and about if they saw one that was particularly cute.  They would say “Oooh, look at the pink one”  or Hey, there is a little gingham one!” as if the color of what they were wearing determined what the baby was. . . . I’d just roll my eyes and groan “oh brother”.

Maybe I just don’t have that maternal gene.  Or maybe poopy, crying babies just aren’t my cup of tea.

Lots of doings here at Smiling J.    We were going to let the farm go fallow, but it is just too relaxing and too wonderful to be here to let it go.      We’ve decided that if we are going to keep her, she might as well work for us and keep us from having to mow!

Front pasture being readied for new cattle
Front pasture being readied for new cattle

My sweetie retired last August and has been keeping me pretty busy since the beginning of the year.   We repaired the fences and at this point there are four head of cattle grazing on the pastures.    One steer, a bull and two heifers.   We are hoping for two more if the bull, Prince Leo has done his job.

Leo’s step sister, Princess Leah, is on a date herself.    She is at Running Bay Farm in VA hopefully being bred to Trooper.   He was one of our best Dexter bulls who was sold to some friends up North.    So we’ll have about 8 total once all the babies are here.   Should be great to see that again.  Calves are so fun to see grow.

In the mean time we bought a townhouse near the coast where we can go to fish, enjoy a small community and attend the Catholic Church that is nearby.     Now the problem is: when should we be at the farm and when should we be at the townhouse?    Decisions, decisions. …

Leo and the girls meeting the neighbors next door

Leo and the girls meeting the neighbors next door

Next Page »