Wonderful Fall Weekend

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I have been so excited and I admit more than a little nervous about this coming weekend.  I’d been wanting to host an open house forever so I finally bit the bullet. It was long over due.  Anyway, I got a few nudges from Facebook friends and I knew it was now or never.  I think everyone had a ball.  I know we certainly did.


October 17, 2014

We started this weekend on friday night when we had some very special guests at our house for dinner.  You know how we live close by the Abbey of Regina Laudis, actually smack dab in the middle of it?  Well my husband is very good friends with a lot of the people there and ever since we moved into our home we have been trying to get together with them for a house blessing.  Well 2 years have passed but we finally worked things out and they were able to come over.  I have to admit I was a bit more then nervous that day because, well, its not everyday I have a nun and priest to my house for dinner.  I cooked and cleaned, and washed my mouth out with soap just in case.  Seriously, no worry.  Five minutes after they arrived I was laughing, having fun, completely comfortable and realized they were pretty regular people.  We began our blessings in the Bunkhouse and moved onto the barnyard shortly after.  Father Ian and Mother Noella blessed our farm family, Dutch and Hauser as well.  I’m finally at peace and I feel that now our loved ones are protected.  I know that the Big Guy has his eyes on them, God will help us to keep them safe.


IMG_4476 Blessed Shaniqe. Doesn’t she look better already?

From there we came inside and blessed our house, our home.  Father Ian and Mother Noella used a pine sprig and holy water.  Father Ian gave a blessing, dipped the pine sprig into the holy water and sprinkled it all around.  Then he handed to pine sprig to each of us and we did the same. I had to laugh when Mother Noella showed us the jar of holy water.  It was indeed holy water but the jar was labeled “Hot Sauce”.  I’m sure it was!!

IMG_4430A kitchen blessing.  No more burnt dinners.  See the smile on my hubs face!

For dinner I had made braised short ribs over creamy polenta and cheddar bay biscuits followed by apple pie squares with pumpkin ice-cream.  Someone up above was watching over me because it came out amazing if I do say so myself.  I mean I nailed it.  It was so good! Yeah!!  The nuns raise beef cattle and we were lucky enough, or blessed enough, to be able to get 1/2 of one of these wonderful animals.  Maybe that’s why the short ribs were so “heavenly”.

IMG_7986Heavenly short ribs getting their sear on.

IMG_7997Cheddar Bay Biscuits ready for the oven. (Sorry wasn’t thinking about the after shots at the time.  Too busy eating!)

IMG_7992Apple Pie Squares ready for pumpkin ice-cream! Num num!

I went to bed that night with a very full belly and a comfort in my heart.  I slept like a baby.

October 18, 2014

I awoke the next day before the guinea hens (that means it was really early, like 2am early!).  I had some last minute preparations to take care of before our open house.  By the time we opened our gate everything was in place and I was ready for bed.  I had so much fun meeting everyone, showing off our place, chit-chatting and feeling a little sleep deprived that I forgot to take pictures (oh shame on me). However, I did finally come to my senses before it was too late and I got a few.

IMG_4431Waiting for Uncle Gregory to take us on a hayride.

IMG_4433Fun in the leaves.

IMG_4436So stinkin’ cute!

IMG_4438My grand daughter Annalie (beansie) made a new friend.

IMG_4440Beansie and expert tour guide.

IMG_4442Boys!  My grandson Trent and Bunkhouse host.

IMG_4444Look Mimi…No hands!

IMG_4455Popcorn Bar!

IMG_4457Natures Candy

IMG_4511Here comes Mo

IMG_4513“I’m too sexy and I know it”

IMG_4470Makin’ time with the pretty girls.

IMG_4468Mo’s the man!

IMG_4528Must be his eyes.

IMG_4545It’s not his legs!

October 19, 2014

Today is a lazy day at our house.  Sunday means one thing.  Football. Ok maybe two things… nachos.  Or three…naps.

We had a wonderful weekend.  Our home and farm family have been blessed and protected.  Our Open House turned out great. We made many new friends, reconnected with old friends, showed off what we love the most, our house, our home and our barnyard family.  We were surrounded by our children and grandchildren who pitched in to help make this special day and weekend a success.  We laughed and we loved.

Now we nap.

Big Hugs and thank you everyone for sharing this with us.

Pumpkin Planter

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As much as I enjoy the summer and used to spend a great deal of time working on my tan every year, I have to say that fall is my very favorite season.


Everything about it speaks to me.


The colors




Smells, tastes.

I love it all.

I especially love to decorate for fall using natural elements and warm rich colors.  One thing that I always look forward to changing up with the season is my outdoor planters.


I like to mix it up a little each year so I added a pumpkin and ivy to the mums along with the ornamental cabbage. After filling my urn with fresh soil I hollowed out my pumpkin. One of the best investments I have ever made would have to be my pumpkin carving kit.  It makes short work of carving and cleaning and you can achieve all kinds of intricate cuts and angles with ease.


my handy dandy pumpkin carving kit


perfectly hallowed out pumpkin

If you want to use a pumpkin as a planter you have to make sure to add some holes for drainage.


like so.

Fill your pumpkin planter with soil and your plants of choice.


 In this case I used a white mum and some ivy to spill over the side.  Then I start adding different colors, textures and types of plants to the base planter all around the pumpkin.  When you do this you want to make sure to plant them on an angle so they look better.


You might have to remove some of the soil and roots from the plants, squishing them together so they fit.


Not to worry…it will be just fine inside the planter.

Keep squishing and filling and layering all the way around your pot.  Remember to add something that will spill over the side.  Or not, you don’t have to, I just really think it gives it a nice finished look.  Another trick is to use odd numbers.  I always go with 1, 3, or 5 of something when I garden and I carry that over into all my pots.  It looks more natural. Oh, and when you buy your flowering plants always look for the ones that haven’t bloomed yet.  They will last longer that way.


Just wait until that white mum inside that pumpkin pops!

~Happy Fall~

The Newcomers

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I find it hard to believe that summer has come and gone and I haven’t sat down once to say hi or check in and see how you are all doing.  I don’t know how that happened. Shame on me.  But Fall is here and I’m turning over a new leaf (ha! ya like that?) so “Hi!  How the heck are you?  How was your summer?”

I do have some exciting news to share with you though, which is really why I was motivated to sit down and catch up.  Guess what!  We have two new additions to our farm family!  It happened so fast, kinda like summer.  Just this past weekend my hubs and jr. were talking about a patient who’s sister had a donkey and a miniature horse that she couldn’t keep anymore and had to get rid of.  She wanted to find them a good home.  Next thing I know we are on our way to go and have a look.  Next thing I know they are moving in!!  Really.  It happened that fast!

So let me introduce you to our newest members….


This is Mr. Molashes. He has really long eye lashes.  Mo for short.  He is short.  He is a miniature donkey.  A miniature Sicilian donkey.  He is also a coco brown color which I was told is very desirable and he is 7 years old.  He likes hugs and kisses a lot and comes when you call him.


This is Thunder.  He is a miniature horse.  He is small but he has really long hair and a long pony tail.  I can’t wait to brush his long hair.  I always wanted really long hair like his and when I was little I used to pretend that my hair was long.  My older sister had this fake hair piece that was just a really long pony tail (it was the 60’s ok?) and when she wasn’t  home I would steal it and stick it on my head like it was my real hair (what? I was like…5!).  I loved it.  ~sigh~  Thunder is 24 years old and he loves hugs and kisses too.  What Mo and Thunder both love more than that though is each other.


So they came as a set.


The goatee girls weren’t too sure about the newcomers at first.  They watched them through the woods where it was safe.


The Alpaca boys wouldn’t even get that close.  They still don’t even get that close to me and it’s been months!


Dutch and Hauser on the other hand just want to play and get to know them.  They want to see how fast they can run!  We will have to save that for another time.  For now Dutch and Hauser will just have to get to know them through the fence. Where it is safe.

I think these two will make a great addition to our family.  I’m excited to see what tomorrow brings.  I have much to learn in the meantime.

Before I go I want to share a little story with you.  It seems fitting.


The story is called “The Donkey’s Cross” and it goes like this:

A young donkey was brought to Jesus to carry him into Jerusalem.  A week later Jesus was ordered crucified.  The little donkey so loved the Lord that he wanted to help him carry the cross.  But alas, he was pushed away.  The sad little donkey waited to say goodbye until nearly all had left.  As he turned to leave, the shadow of the cross fell upon his back and shoulders.  And there it has remained, a tribute to the loyalty and love of the humblest of Gods creatures.



The End


SwissStock 2014

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In case you are wondering what a SwissStock is, well simply put, it is a gathering of all the Greater Swiss Mountain dogs and their families that are related in some way to our two Swissy’s, Dutch and Hauser.  A kind of family reunion.


SwissStock came about last year after we hosted a small gathering at our house for Dutch and his siblings. You can read all about that reunion here if you’d like. One of the “Moms”(Marjie) called me and asked if we would be interested in hosting another Swissy event this time for ALL of the Aegis Swiss Mountain dogs and their families.  It would be for an entire weekend with everyone camping out in our big field, staying in the Bunkhouse, bunking in the big barn or even sleeping in their cars. A Swissy Woodstock, a weekend of peace, love and Swissy’s!

IMG_6657 Welcome to Camp Swissy!

 We set the date and started planning the events.  Marjie and I would be in charge of the food, which meant cooking for 35+ people for an entire weekend.  Lucky for me Marjie is an amazing cook and can chop vegetables faster then Yan can cook! (remember him?)

IMG_6640Marjie’s grilled veggies

IMG_6680My Buckeye Brownies

IMG_6650Cheese anyone?

IMG_6673Hungry yet?

IMG_6660Marjie and her son.  This women can cook! She made me my first ever fiddle heads and they were out of this world!

The party started early Saturday morning when a Van full of puppies arrived.  Dutch’s first “Momma” and trainer Kristen, came with a litter of  Old English Sheep dogs and a litter of Swissy’s.

IMG_6671Momma Kristen

 The cuteness was overwhelming.  All those sweet little puppies in one place!  One by one the Swissy’s and humans arrived and the festivities began.

Snowball Sheep Dog puppy!


There was wagon pulling, swimming, running, jumping, chasing and lots of good food all around.  The weather was perfect, the company delightful, and the dogs, well they were the stars of the show.


IMG_6721Keeper of the hot tub


IMG_6722Come on in! The water is just right!



3 generations L-R Dutch, his momma Nokie Pokie and his grandma Frida


Look at that face!  This is Brody, Hauser’s uncle.

IMG_6726Swissy and children sweetness


See you next year at SwissStock 2015!