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  • Writer's pictureJessie Miller

Where did this year go?

I'm not sure what happened, but this year is nearing the end and I just don't recall where it went! I feel so unaccomplished for some reason this year, even thought that is not true. This year has been a struggle to mentally find any energy for me. Battling this constant brain fog, I felt like I have slacked in the accomplishment department.

Looking back through all the photos on my phone just comes to show how busy we actually were and then I realize it is just another year full of building, learning, gardening and farm life! I don't think life ever slows down. What I would do to be a kid again!

I was determined to have a garden this year having sacrificed it for the last 2 years as a dog run, so that consumed more time than I thought it would. The kids sure enjoyed it, I mean, we had corn planted everywhere thanks to my daughter who was in charge of planting the corn. Lol. It gave them something to go pick through in the mornings and snack on all summer and learn new things and how things grow and it gave me a chance to work on my green thumb! Still so much to learn! We found more ways to use and store rhubarb and learned about storing and water glassing farm fresh eggs, learned how to make plum jam and fruit leather, made dilly beans with our green beans as well as canned some, canned pears and peaches, made homemade applesauce, dried morel mushrooms, learning how to use green tomatoes before the frost killed our tomato plants and processed more pumpkins than we know what to do with!

We were pretty close to selling off most of our cows not having the pasture and being able to afford hay as prices continue to skyrocket. However, things seemed to work out as God had a plan! Our little herd is growing and needing more room than we currently have to offer them. So this year our cows got moved around to different pastures and that was a new challenge for us all. When they are home it's whatever hay we have to feed twice a day 7 days a week, not the same as lush green grass and they are not happy about that! They are now trained to the sound of the lawn mower, however! Every time they hear it they know they are getting a snack! Yes I have heard lawn mower clippings are not great for cows but our grass is not your typical lawn grass. It is a perfect mixture of thick blade grass and whatever else I could get to grow in our high desert arid part of the world. They are also now fond of pumpkins, pumpkin vines, corn stalks, plums and apples! Pretty much whatever else I can supplement them with this questionable hay we have. I tried giving them my tomato plants before the winter took them but then realized that they were bad for them, haha, they wouldn't touch them anyways, durka durka, I knew that, they are in the nightshade family!

Some of our other accomplishments include finishing up the kids playground which was a big one, gate hanging, rock jack building, starting Harley our 4 year old gelding we held back, cleaning all the horse pens and getting to use our old manure spreader for the first time (it was awesome!) and emptying out the old office in the shop to convert it to the new snake room so that we can turn the snake room into the kids playroom/ classroom (still in construction). The playground took several weeks to complete. What turned out as a local purchase off facebook classifieds turned into an almost complete rebuild once we got all the pieces torn apart, so that was a chore in itself. Then of course we changed the design and added more as we found the opportunity to! We were lucky to have the astro turf to lay down as a base since we originally got it for the dog kennels. But after seeing what these dogs were capable of destroying we decided not to use it in the kennel runs. In the end it turned out pretty fantastic!

I have come to realize that I can't do everything. Though I try, I have decided to cut back on a few things. We are downsizing our dog numbers, our horse numbers, Harley will be continuing his training in Idaho for at least a month to see how he progresses, I have shut down my Etsy store for the time being as I just can't handle the stress of custom demands while balancing the demands of my family as they come first and foremost.

We are slowly getting down in dog numbers which will be much more manageable this winter and will allow us to spend more time working with each one individually. Genetics are getting more complicated and I am getting pickier in my standards. I still don't have all my ducks in a row, but hey who does? They are getting closer however!

God bless our clients, our buyers, our friends and family and God bless my little helpers! We will all keep trucking along the best we can and pray our economy heals from poor legislation and makes better choices!

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