Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

National Novel Writing Month

Recently, I spent a few days with my daughter Amanda, and her wonderful husband, Kisu.  They bought their first house in the Washington, DC area this past summer.  We spent time trimming trees, eating at great restaurants, and getting ready for Hurricane Sandy.  Daughter and son-in-law had no problems with the storm other than wind and rain.

While I was there, Amanda shared her enthusiasm about her participation in the upcoming National Novel Writing Month.  She and a few of her friends would be taking the novel writing challenge in November.  Additionally, Amanda’s class of gifted and talented fifth graders were given the option to write … and most of them decided to accept the NaNoWriMo challenge!  Then Amanda’s long-time friend Mark (who we consider our second son) also convinced me to jump in.

So, I signed up for NaNoWriMo and started writing!  The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.  Amanda and Mark assured me that nobody expects the novel to be good.  Participants are supposed to put their internal editor away and just write.  Once the initial draft is written, the internal editor is released from lock-up and put to work.  The NaNoWriMo website is set up to be very positive and encouraging with goals, support groups, ideas and suggestions.  It also has a way to upload the progress of words written so one can keep track.  “Winners” are the participants who complete the 50,000 word challenge by the end of November.

I got a good start on my novel, but have screeched to a halt the last few days due to a busy work schedule and a job change.  I have placed the NaNo badge on the blog to encourage you to cheer me on!

Sunny with a 100% Probability of Snow

One week ago, I was in California visiting my son and family.  The temperature was in the 60’s to 70’s with clear blue skies.  It was sunny and dry during the visit; and I was truly able to relax knowing that my Long-Suffering/Trophy Husband was back at home taking care of the critters.  It was wonderful to play with the grandchildren, knit and watch movies.

John, Ashley and the kids. (Hazel, too!)

We went to Joshua Tree National Park one afternoon.  At first, Grandson Liam was confused when he found out the “park” didn’t have a playground.  We had a nice picnic lunch and everyone scrambled on the boulders.  Meanwhile, back at home in Minnesota, a snowstorm was raging!  With a tinge of guilt, I enjoyed a warm, pleasant afternoon in the sun.

Joshua Tree National Park at sunset.

Now back on the farm, I am recovering from a head cold.  Yuck!  And today, more snow is falling out of the sky.  The snow is getting so deep, the animals will be able to walk over the barnyard fences pretty soon.  I dread the thought of shoveling around fencelines…

I took a few photos today of critters in the snow.  (It’s a bit tough to get a really good picture with the white background.)  Enjoy!


Aussie pup Molly (McFluffyButt) and Border Collie Angus (McNeedy)

Finn ram Eino with his girls. The snow-covered sheep in the foreground is black Finn Emmi.

It's warm under all that wool!






Summertime Family Fun

I missed the last two Friday Posts.  Life has been just a bit busy with family, State Fair and road-trip fun!  Daughter Amanda and her husband Kisu were visiting the last 10 days.  We held a party in their honor as most of the family had not yet met Kisu.  It was a hot day but we had a lot of fun!  Below is a photo of Amanda and Kisu with a few of the “cousins.”

Indian Lamb Burgers with Green Raita Sauce and Red Onions

In addition to standard beef burgers and brats, we grilled three pounds of lamb burgers for folks to try.  It wasn’t enough!  We threw four more pounds of lamb on the grill and everyone loved it.  I used a recipe by Rachel Ray, on the Food Network website (click on the link above.)  I loosely followed the recipe, leaving out a few of the spices.  Also, I couldn’t find greek yogurt.  I bought plain yogurt and drained it in a colander lined with a paper towel.  I let it drain for several hours.  The recipe was delicious and the sauce very tasty!  The smaller burgers fit well on dollar buns from the store.

Amanda made a Korean dish and gave a lesson on using chopsticks.

We played a few yard games and the young ones visited the sheep.

Grand-nephew Kyler stares down mulesheep Duncan.

And what country family get-together would be complete without shotguns?  We shot trap throughout the afternoon and into the evening.  It was a great day!

My father was a Minnesota State trap shooting champion some years back. He hasn't shot trap in years since an eye injury left him partially blind in one eye. After he gave lessons to his grandkids, he took aim. Two and three clays at a time, he shot them all!

I take aim at my clay bird. I shot two for two. Mmm...pheasant hunting will start soon...

Friday Farm Photo #5 – All Tuckered Out

We have a new puppy!!

Australian Shepherd female pup - 11 weeks old.

We haven’t decided her name yet but she is a spunky, 11-week old purebred Australian Shepherd.  Her parents live and work on a farm about 250 miles away.  It was clear blue skies with puffy clouds – a lovely day for a road trip!

Local Knitters Catch a Whopper!

A small town summer parade, arts & crafts fair, music and food are a few of the enjoyable aspects of rural America.

Local queen and her princesses

This weekend the City of Lindstrom, MN celebrates Karl Oskar Days with many events including a 5K race, cribbage tournament, and the hunt for the hidden snuff box.  Mr. Oskar is the fictitious Swedish peasant immigrant who, along with his wife Kristina, were among the first settlers to our region.  In the early 1900’s the four small cities of Chisago City, Schafer, Lindstrom and Center City, were a cabin and get-away destination for folks from the Twin Cities area of Minnesota.  At that time, the Lakes Area was easily reached by rail; cabins were built around the lakes, many now serving as year-round residences.  Author, Vilhelm Moberg, vacationed in this area in 1947; he wrote a series of four novels which chronicled the settlement of our beautiful locale.  Today, the four towns have sister cities in Sweden and signs on local businesses are written in English and Swedish.  Large Dala horses and a teapot water tower are local landmarks.  I am part Swedish and love all the local heritage.  And now that is more information than you ever wanted to know about our little area of the world!

When we moved to the area, I was thrilled to learn that there was a local yarn store that carried a variety of yarn, including the nice stuff.  There is a regular group of knitters who meet up at Miss Elsie’s whenever the store is open.  I, myself, haven’t spent as much time there as I would like but I always feel welcome whenever I visit.  Well – never underestimate the resolve of a group of dedicated knitters.  Click on the link below to see what these ladies accomplished!

Lindstrom’s fish tale: Going for a record knit fish hat | Minneapolis and St. Paul |

Red, White, and Blue (via Owning Kristina)

This post is for our son John, who is currently serving in Afghanistan.

Happy 4th of July, John. We love you and are so proud. You are an amazing young man!

This is a photo of our son John.  Recently, he was injured by an IED blast. Thank God, he is okay – he has shrapnel in his shoulder but is keeping his spirits high and healing well.  I always knew my son was amazing, but the more I learn of the brave acts that he and our fighting forces are doing over there, the more I am in awe!  He is fighting to help keep our country safe and hopefully bring some of that to the people of Afghanistan.

I liked this post because this is what it is all about – FREEDOM. After looking at the photos, I think we will need to paint a flag on a (fake) llama. 🙂

Red, White, and Blue I didn’t realize, until today,  just how many American flags I’ve photographed over the years; some taken on the 4th, but most were on random days. All of the days, especially the random ones, were days when I was out and about, enjoying my freedom. Here’s to the men and women who’ve made our freedoms possible. For without them, I probably wouldn’t be sitting here sharing my images and thoughts with all of you. Enjoy your freedom on this special … Read More

via Owning Kristina

Friday’s Farm Photo

Grandson Liam just loves chasing the sheep!

One of the greatest joys of having a farm is when family and friends come to visit.  This is one of my very favorite photos of life on our farm.  Our grandson Liam is three years old now.  This photo was taken about one year ago.

Last week’s photo was of our llama, Tangled up in Blue.  It was great to hear what you saw reflected in her eye – trees, sky, and a human-animal bond.  Thank you, I enjoyed reading your thoughts.  In addition to those things, here is what I saw.  Look again at the photo – in the center of her eye is the reflection of the shepherdess taking the photo.  🙂

Less Sheep = Less Hay to Buy

The best laid plans…

My flock goal at the start of 2010 was to make the switch to Finnsheep but keep some Mulesheep and Shetlands for a lovely mixed fiber flock.  I could breed for purebred Finnsheep but also have some fiber crosses and meat lambs.  Sounds like a great plan!

But plans are subject to change…

Negotiations broke down between the Minnesota Nurse’s Association and the Twin Cities Hospitals.  The Union members voted overwhelmingly to strike.  I don’t intend to bring the specific issues to this blog as I want to keep the focus on farm, flock, fiber and family.  So how does this piece of news relate to the farm?  The economic future of the “city job” is uncertain for the next several months.  As much as I don’t want to sell many of our lovely ewes, I also can’t justify keeping them when it may be impossible to afford to feed them this winter.

A sweet 3/4 Bluefaced Leicester ewe lamb.

Our loss is your gain.  I would rather see the ewes go to a good home on new pastures.  The reality of farm life is that they will be sold for butcher – but that is not my first preference.  The sheep and lambs are listed on our Sales Website; photos are throughout this blog and on the sale pages.

We are  almost sold out of Shetland ewes but we still have Shetland-BFL Mulesheep ewes, a North Country Cheviot ewe, and a few fiber crosses.  Also, we have three lovely 3/4 Bluefaced Leicester ewe lambs.  We can put together a fiber flock with one of the two Finnsheep ram lambs or Bluefaced Leicester Dougal.  And we have whethered BFL-Shetland Mulesheep boys with beautiful fleece!

Prices have been reduced on several sheep but feel free to make an offer.  Email is preferred at roundaboutacresAtgmailDotcom (replace At and Dot with the real thing.)

Rams Bluefaced Leicester Dougal (white ram - For Sale) and Finnsheep Eino (NFS)

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