Sunday, October 09, 2016


The real Delilah!!

The farm where we found Samson (the bull calf) connected us to another highland breeder who had a yearling cow for sale.  She was all the things we were looking for - except that she's in Nebraska!!  After many, many phone calls to other local highland farms, we finally decided we weren't going to get a better option than this beautiful cow!  We bit the bullet, wrote the check and will be having a cow delivered from Nebraska in three short weeks!

This yearling has been to many shows and has been handled by adults and children alike, which is exactly what we wanted.  

So, the first weekend in November is going to be a busy but very exciting one at Someday Farm!  We will be going to get Samson (who was weaned this past week, the poor thing) on Saturday and then having this beautiful cow delivered on Sunday.

Sure makes me want to call in sick that Monday...

Sunday, October 02, 2016

The Search Continues

So, the Delilah we thought was our Delilah turns out not to be our Delilah.  After spending more time with her, we had some concerns about her temperament, which the breeder was understanding about and so our search for our Highland cows continues.

We have now talked with probably six or seven farmers who raise Highlands and yesterday we visited our fourth or fifth farm.  We have learned so much from every farm we visit!  Highland owners are so proud of their livestock and of the care and passion they have put into raising their herds.  They have all been overly generous with their time and have not only talked with us about the cattle, but have answered all our questions about fencing, shelters, breeding and more.  So far, every one we have spoken with started out just like we are - with a love of the highland breed and a pair of cows they considered to be almost pets - which should perhaps serve to us as a cautionary tale of how out of hand this passion could get if we aren't careful!  We might be very thankful that we don't have room for expansion on our farm!

Yesterday's visit was no different from the others.  We walked and talked with another breeder of Highlands in the drizzling rain for nearly two hours.  We stood in her pastures petting her cows and asked question after question, while she patiently explained her experiences and wisdom to us.  While we were there, we fell in love with a little bull calf.  We had been looking for a two-year old heifer that we could breed, but when we remarked on this calf, this woman suggested maybe we start with a bull and a yearling cow and let them couple up on their own to produce offspring on our farm.  We had considered this option awhile back, but then had sidetracked ourselves with the thought of a cow and her calf.  Three is the most our pasture will handle nicely, and so future breeding might allow us to sell the calves and earn a little money back to support our hobby.

In any case, we left there feeling very excited about all that we had learned and about the prospect of bringing this little bull calf home to Someday Farm.

Bull calf - five months old

His mother.

Of course, you don't just get one cow.  Cows are herd animals and they can get quite lonely on their own, so we need a companion.  Ideally, we hope to find a yearling cow that we can then mate with the bull calf next summer.  If we can't find the right one in the next month (when the bull calf will be weaned and ready to come to our farm), James is pretty set on acquiring a donkey.  The donkey could stay even after we find a yearling, but it would make a great companion animal until that time.  

All of this means that instead of spring being our deadline for having the farm ready for cows, we have about a month.  We are so close on several projects, but have several things left to do.  The Mister is out this afternoon working on the well again.  He is so close to having it running, he feels like he is just missing one simple thing.  This week he will be off to get lumber and supplies so we can build the three sided barn structure in the pasture that will serve as shelter.  Although everyone has said that the Highlands will just use trees for shelter and don't need much in the way of a barn, we would like to have at least one shelter built in the main pasture before winter.  Eventually, we will build another in the second pasture as well.  But that's a project for next summer!  

James likened our search for a cow to our house-buying process.  He said, "I think we will just know our cow when we see it."  Yesterday, I knew for certain he was right!

Thursday, September 01, 2016


There is no better way to start a day than here on Someday Farm.  From deer in the early morning light to a blue heron flying across the pond on my way down the drive, there is always something to amaze and delight.  Of course, it does make it more difficult to head in to work when nature is tempting me to stay here, but it does make coming home something to look forward to!

(I know the picture is terrible.  The heron are so skittish and I only had my cell phone.  By the time I retrieved the camera, the beautiful bird had moved on.)

Getting In

The deer love the pasture.  We have seen them many times enjoying the apples, pears and the grass The Mister planted for Delilah.   We thought they might stop their frequent visits when The Mister finished getting the fence installed, but they are still venturing in on a daily basis.  When we saw the two fawns in the pasture, we got a little suspicious, however, wondering if they were that agile at such a young age to jump the fence, or if they had actually figured out the one gap we still have while we work on the well. 

Neither, it turns out.  The deer duck their heads through the middle wires and daintily step into the pasture without so much as a second thought.  

I suppose they will have a second and maybe third thought when the electricity is turned on, though.


Meet Delilah.  She will be a spring addition to Someday Farms, along with her calf, which is due at the end of May.  She is a Scottish Highland with a sweet temperament.  She gets a little feisty if another cow tries to get to the grain trough before she does, though!  She will winter over at the farm she currently lives at, so we can finish getting our pasture, well and shelter ready for her arrival.  We don't want her here by herself for long, so we'll wait and bring her home in spring, closer to the arrival of the calf.

Our plan is to just have the two highlands, and no, they aren't bound for the freezer.  I'm happy to eat beef, just not beef I've curry-combed.  

Saturday, August 20, 2016


(If you look closely, you can see she is scratching with her left foot.)

Thursday, August 18, 2016

From Around the Farm

We are guessing these are wood ducks, but we aren't sure.
The eyes are sure captivating!!

Mrs. Hummingbird

She's rather protective of her feeders.  While we have plenty to go around, she will fight off other hummingbirds.  This is one of her perches in a nearby tree.  She keeps looking left and right and left and right to spot anyone who even thinks of having a sip from her feeder.

I'll have to ask Jacob's girl what kind of moth this is.
She studied moths this summer.

Isn't this swallowtail gorgeous? 

Exactly what the butterfly bushes are for!

...And of course, Mr. Turtle.  

Tuesday, August 16, 2016


My house smells like tomato soup.  It's quarter to eight, The Mister is in bed (3 am comes early) and despite being the third week in August, I have had the oven on for hours. Today, we are trying out hand at making tomato paste.  Yesterday and the day prior, we canned tomatoes.  A couple weeks ago, it was corn and beans.  Next week it might be salsa.

Satisfaction isn't the right word for what I feel - contentment, maybe?  Preparedness?  Accomplishment?  I'm not sure, some combination perhaps.  When I open my pantry doors and see the rows and rows of jars of preserved bounty, I just get giddy.  My dad thinks I'm crazy for wanting to grind my own flour.  My sister reminds me that tomato paste is super cheap at Costco.  But for me, the process of taking something grown and saving it for the cold winter months brings me inexplicable JOY.

As much joy as my pantry shelves bring me, however, it's really about the process of preserving that brings me joy.  Handling each vegetable or fruit.  Cooking, cutting, stirring, it's all cathartic.  It's time.  It's a slow process of watching something transform.  How easily a tomato loses it's skin when blanched; how a food mill can churn out a beautiful tomato sauce without seeds or flesh; how corn that was once a seed in The Mister's hand is now full, thick, sweet kernels in our freezer.

The process always involves The Mister.  He is as eager as I am to try new things.  He loves a pot of soup in January made from our own summer vegetables.  He will grind the mill, pick vegetables, operate the pressure canner - any help I need, he's right there beside me.

Every jar upon my shelf is full of love.  There are more memories preserved in the bounty than food.  Together, we store up love for those hard nights when it's running scarce.  I only need to look in the cabinet to remember how much this man loves me, how much he loves the same life I do, and how much he is willing to share it with me.

Saturday, August 06, 2016


I was thinking about my birthdays.  I tried to remember as many specific celebrations and gifts as I could.  I didn't come up with many.  I can remember a few; the year I got my ears pierced (my mom gave me a box with two holes in it and said I could put the holes wherever I wanted.  You wouldn't dare say that to a budding teenager nowadays); the year I turned 34 and went hiking alone in the mountains lamenting at how young my mom was when she was diagnosed with cancer; the past few birthdays celebrated with The Mister.  All in all, for having had 44 other birthday celebrations, I really don't remember much about them.

There was nothing about this year's "celebration" that was remarkable, but I suspect it is one I will remember for years to come.  My dad and Judy were here.  By a conflict in schedules, we had them all to ourselves for a weekend and it was that quiet, reflective, conversational time that I always treasure.  Jacob and his girl were here as well.  As much as I love that child, I love his girl, too.  And having them here, with my dad and Judy was an extra-special treat.

The day was completely my kind of a day.  Homemade breakfast; farmer's market for fresh veggies and a chat with growers; an amazing meal off the grill prepared by The Mister; and a decadent dessert.  The best part?  A full table.  The Mister at one end opposite me and many of my family members all around.  Laughter, smiles, inside jokes, generational perspectives and love.  Abundant love.

The gifts were all special and each one is appreciated and treasured but the time is priceless and unforgettable.  I am so very blessed.