The family on Cedar Lane Farm

The family on Cedar Lane Farm
These are the people I love! That's my sweet mama in the middle. I wonder what she's thinking.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


This is Becky, my oldest daughter, the middle child.   

Becky has this fantastic dimple, just one.  It's as deep as they come.  I don't know where she got it, but it's lovely.  She spills things....quite often. 

And this is her in all her cuteness. 

Tomorrow, number 3.


Monday, June 27, 2011

The many faces of us.

Ever have family get-togethers and get in silly moods with cameras and cell phones?  Well, as you can see from my home page photo, my family and extended family does this often.  If I ever need to provide official photos of my husband and/or children to anyone, it will be difficult because most of my photos are with tongues out, eyes crossed and hair whipped!  I treasure these photos though, because they display the great love and fun we have when we're together.

This is Danny, my oldest.  He's got great eyes.  And, he can make them do about anything.  This one makes my eyes water when I look at it.  He's really a cute young man when he just gives a normal smile.

And this is him in all his cuteness. 

 Tomorrow, number 2. 


Sunday, June 26, 2011

June is a week old

June is a little over a week old.  Wow, how she has grown in barely 10 days!  She is going to be such a great addition to our herd.  And, the fact that she is a Jersey/Angus cross, she should be a good mother too.

 This evening, as I checked on the farm animals, I noticed June out pestering her mother.  She wanted mama to play, but all Cinnamon could think of was eating the green grass. 

 She tried to get Shirley to run a bit, but Shirley just looked at her.  So, she played.  She played by herself.  And as she played, she bucked, squatted, snorted (that is new today), and jumped!  Oh, the fun she had playing alone.  And, oh the fun I have in watching it all.....right here, on my little piece of of the family farm. 

Until next time, peace.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Look how my little pasture is smiling at me today.  It's just a small patch of tiny little daisy-like flowers.  I sat down to take this photo and was happy in how it came out for you to see.  A few days prior, I'm sure I just walked right by this, not noticing.  But, not today.  I stopped, looked and smiled right back at it.  I hope that you have something, that you love, that is smiling back at you today. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

Today is Father's Day.  This man is the father of my three children and my husband for almost 27 years.  He is the greatest person that God could have given me to spend my life with.  He is patient, kind, giving, compassionate, hard-working, smart.....very smart, faithful, friend to so many, funny, stinky at times, dirty most of the time, a great cook, a great small engine mechanic, a great honey-do-lister, terrible dancer, sharp as a tack..sayitlikeitis, wonderful man.  He'll most likely never see this, but you will....and now you know.

Happy Father's Day, John.  I adore and love you.


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Vet on speed dial

Cinny (Sweetie, Cinnamon, Christmas) is struggling with a sore udder.  Her left front and back quarter are terribly swollen.  We have milked her out this morning, and again this evening.  We called the vet early today and expect him sometime this evening.  We don't see any signs of mastitis: the milk is clear and clean.  The bag, however, is ultra large.  It's swelling at it's best.  The right side is fine, lovely, normal and June is taking good care of it. 

I'm not a vet, but I am hopeful that he has a treatment for swelling that will instantly make everything normal for Cinny and us.  All we can do is keep her milked off for now and keep her comfortable. 

June is having a blast, hanging out with mom in the barn.  The hens come in and she moos at them, jumps and kicks her back feet.  A very healthy little heifer.  I'm thankful for that.  I also have no doubt that our care and the vet will get Cinny back to perfect health very soon too!

In the meantime, 5 of our 25 eggs have hatched.  We have 3 yellow and 2 black baby chicks peeping in the basement.  Happy happy joy joy!  Springtime on Cedar Lane Farm is wonderful, even if there are bumps along the way.  Kind of like life, eh?



Sweetie did it!  My morning barn visit at 5:30 proved to be a successful one.  They were cuddling together out in the pasture.  Mama did a great job!  A little heifer calf.  Mom seemed to be doing ok.  After running back to the house to alert my sleeping husband, we returned to the pasture, camera in hand.  Sweetie loved her already.

John and I got the calf up and wanted to see her nurse.  She was a little uneasy on her feet, but finally got up.  She couldn't find the spigot! She was sucking the top of mama's leg instead of the udder, which was terribly swollen.  We tried and tried, but this little stubborn girl wouldn't locate the bottle.  All the while, I became more aware of just how tight mama was. 

We lured both of them to the barn, and milked out enough colostrum to feed baby a half gallon bottle.  Mama's left side was so swollen, she wouldn't allow us to touch her.  Long story short, baby was caught nursing a couple of times throughout the day, and John and I were able to milk mama out later on, to make her more comfortable. 

Tomorrow will bring a new day, hopefully an easy one on mama, maybe some new chicks too.  Oh, and the baby's name is June.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


When we were little, my mother used to go "to club" each month with all the other little old ladies.  In "club", they met, ate, had a meeting, raised money from selling cotton candy at the Harvest Festival parade, and other old-lady stuff like that.  "Club" is a county Extension group of local women, and now I are one of the "club ladies". 

I joined "club" nearly 3 years ago, because my mother (now 81) was becoming very uncomfortable driving at night, and she asked me to take her and join.  Now, 3 years later, I attend the monthly "club" meetings and I transport myself, my mother and aunt.  It's a hoot!  I'm the baby in "club". 

Last night, after calling the meeting to order, reviewing and approving the minutes and treasurer's report, we read the Club Collect, aloud and in unison.

Keep us, oh God, from pettiness; let us be large in thought, in word, in deed.
Let us be done with fault-finding and leave off self-seeking.
May we put away all pretense and meet each other face to face, without self-pity and without prejudice.  May we be never be hasty in judgement and always generous.
Let us take time for all things; make us to grown calm, serene, gentle.
Teach us to put into action our better impulses, straightforward and unafraid.
Grant that we may realize it is the little things that create differences, that in the big things of life we are as one.
And may we strive to touch and to know the great common human heart of us all, and oh, Lord God, let us not forget to be kind!  (Mary Stewart).

This is why I enjoy "club".  These older, mature ladies have taught me a lot about grace, love, patience, and the right way to grow old.  These ladies are the very best of our community, always looking for someone to help, something to support, some way to earn money and sharing their best recipies!

So, as my children poke fun at me for going to "club", I just smile at them the same way my sweet mother use to smile at us. 


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sundays; Tea, Family & Rest

Sunday is my favorite day of the week.  It is filled with leading my adult Sunday School class, Worship and then a day with my family.  Today is an especially lovely Sunday.  The temperature is in the low 80s and it's delightful to be outside on my screened porch sipping some mint flavored tea.  I hear a quail in a nearby tree and the locusts are finally gone.  I have a load of clothes on the line, I watched a movie this morning, Double Jeopardy, and baked two loaves of fresh honey wheat bread.  The tea is especially delicious because I made it with fresh mint.  Makes me smile.  Soon, we will join the rest of my family (see the family photo at the top of my blog) and celebrate my dad's birthday.  Then, we'll end this perfect day with a fish fry...fresh crappie caught this morning.  

Boy, this makes my life seem perfect, doesn't it.  Well, I think it is.


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Weeds? Yes. Lots of 'em.

Last night, after returning home from work, I attempted to weed a little in my garden.  Well, it was so hot, that lasted a whole four point two minutes.  I knew a nice shower was due, so I chose to enjoy my air conditioning and wait til morning.  Well, this morning, I hit the weeds around 6:00 am and successfully weeded 3 rows.  I got more newspapers down (to kill the weeds from now on) and put the sprinkler on it to wet them down.  I'll give it a hefty layer of clean straw later on today.  The newspapers and the straw will naturally break down and become "one" with the earth.

Still, no calf.  Sweetie is so uncomfortable.  I remember those days!  Not that I'm a cow or anything....but I have given birth to three!  Maybe the change in the weather will bring some action this weekend.  In the meantime, she is lazily enjoying the cooler temps.  I'm cutting down a little on her feed until the calf comes. 

The hens are lovin the soft, moist ground this morning.  I'm guessing the quiet grazing means lots of worms have made their way to the surface.  All I hear as I sit on my porch this morning are the hummingbirds squeaking at the feeder, the dog's toenails hitting the porch as he paces (watching the hens), and a cool breeze rustling in the trees.  The locusts are gone.  We'll see them again in about 13 years. 

Now, off to the barn to finish the head stanchion!  He's motivated, so I'm outta here!


Friday, June 10, 2011


I can't tell you how much I love Fridays.  It's been an unusually long week for me.  First of all, my youngest daughter, Kelly, has been gone all week.  She traveled to Kentucky, along with other youth from our church and surrounding churches, on a week-long mission trip.  I miss her.  A lot.  Secondly, my other daughter, Becky, has been gone all week as well, house sitting for my sister who is on vacation.  I am used to not seeing my oldest, Danny, because he lives 90 minutes away.  But, to rip my other two girls away for such a long time is rather tough on this mommy.  Luckily, it's Friday and Kelly will be home tonight and Becky will be back home tomorrow.  And, we will celebrate!

But, in the meantime, the farm must go on.  Last night's egg collection was nice.  A good basketful to wash and pack for those lucky family members of mine.  All of our excess eggs are sold.  The hens seem to feel good this morning, after their dusting yesterday.  I also expected to wake up to a newborn calf this morning, but still nothing.......we continue to wait.  Today, John is setting the posts in the barn for the head stanchion.  Things are coming together......

John and I planted our three new fruit trees, 2 cherry and 1 pear.  We also pulled some weeds out of the garden, put down newspaper and straw, then gave the garden a good watering.  The crops are looking really good, but we need rain.  The weatherman is calling for some showers tonight and tomorrow.  I hope he's right. 

Thank Goodness it's Friday! 


Thursday, June 9, 2011

We're getting close!

Again, I jumped right up about 5:30 this morning, started my coffee and proceeded to go check on Sweetie.  She's due to have her calf on June 20th, (the same date our 24 eggs are supposed to hatch), and I'm very excited and anxious about it.  I also hope to avoid things such as difficult birth, mastitis, etc.  I'm hopeful that all will go well.   

Upon opening the barn door, she was lying down, chewing her cud and swatting flies with her tail.  She was very comfortable, cool and happy.  It was around 68 degrees this morning and she was loving it.  Soon, however, the temperatures will rise to the high 90s.  I gave her the normal generous scoop of feed, rubbed her nose and told her that I'd be hanging out the wash in a little bit.  We talked a bit about the hens that graze alongside her and Shirley in the pasture, which she doesn't seem to mind at all.   She's getting close.  Her bag is about to burst, or it seems.  And other signs are begining to appear.


So, we wait......................

John gave the coop a good dusting last night with sevin dust, after the hens were on their roost.  Let's face it.  These are birds, they get cooties too.  So, this morning when I let them out for the day, they flew out with little poofs of dust flying off of them.  I'm sure they feel better.  They followed me around while I filled their water can, Sweetie's water trough and hung up the laundry.  I enjoyed our conversations.  I'm sure they did too. 


Wednesday, June 8, 2011


I was up with the chickens again this morning, around 5:30.  I'm still awaiting the arrival of our precious calf.  Sweetie was just napping in the barn again  with Shirley (our hereford/charolais cross heifer calf), so I gave her a generous scoop of grain and rubbed her nose.  The chickens were up and at 'em in the coop, so I opened it up and let them roam for the day.  They are free-rangers here, eating up the ticks and other insects we have.  I've been getting between 8 and 12 eggs each day from my girls.  After filling up all of the water troughs, I headed to the porch.

My coffee in hand, I sat down to read a little bit of the Bible and watch the sun come up.  The chickens are clucking and the locusts are beginning to buzz.  It's going to be a wonderful day.  I'm reading in Titus today (even though the photo shows Thessalonians)  It's a short book, but a good one.  Titus tells us how we should act, to teach what is good and speak evil of no one.  Avoid quarreling, be gentle and show every courtesty to everyone.  So, this is my goal to practice for the day.......peace.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Sometimes I buy bananas, just so they'll go brown.  That's when they're the best to bake with.  When everyone else throws them in the trash, I get busy. My family eats more bananas than the Chiquita lady.  All year long, we eat bananas.  When my dehydrator is out in the summer, I buy bunches and bunches of bananas and store those delicious chips away for bedtime snacks.  Fruit salads aren't fruit salads without them, and peanut butter sandwiches........well, nuf said.

Tonight, after a long day's work, there were three brown bananas on the counter, with nobody to love them, except me.  Banana bread.  In just over an hour, my house was drenched with that wonderful aroma.  And, my husband was smiling and batting his eyes. 

So, tonight's share-a-thon is my Country Banana Bread recipe.  Enjoy! 

3 medium ripe bananas
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup nuts (pecans or walnuts)

Mash bananas, add eggs, add flour sifted with sugar, salt and soda.  Stir well, add nuts. Pour into lightly greased loaf pan.   Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes.  Remove from pan, cool on wire rack.

Don't forget the milk.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Things I love

I love my dog, Niko.  He's a black goldendoodle.  That's a mix of a golden retriever and a poodle.  He's so sweet, unless we have company, then he's a idiot.  But I still love him.  I love my Jersey milk cow, Sweetie.  I love her more every day as we get to know each other.  I love milk, especially raw milk.  We used to have 16 gallons of milk delivered every Thursday morning when we were little.  Our milkman's name was Don.  I remember sitting at the kitchen table, before school, with our bowls of oatmeal.  We would be out of milk by Thursday, so he'd be there to deliver for breakfast, and he'd leave with oatmeal on his cheek. 

I love making goat milk soap.  It started out as a 4H project with my daughter, and ended up being my hobby.  I love growing a garden and canning the harvest.  I love my fruit trees.  They haven't given me anything yet, but they will.  And when they do, I will love that too.  I love baking.  I love fine point pens.  I love making lists, and I love old barns.  I love photographing old barns too, especially in black and white.  I love lilacs and cedars.  I also love braids.

I love camping, Mexican food, beer and coffee.  Yes!  I love coffee!  I love the sunrise and the sunsets.  I have a picture of the sunrise from this morning for you today.  I love smiling, and receiving one in return.  That's one of my favorites, too.  I love listening to Dr. David Jeremiah on the radio every morning on my way to work.  I love visiting farms.  I love my magazine subscriptions;  Mother Earth News, Backwoods Home, Hobby Farm, and Hobby Farm Home.   I love Jackie Clay's canning book!  I love the Bible, old familiar hymns and I love teaching Sunday School.  I really love the Apostle's Creed.

Most of all, I love my life.  Everything in it has been a wonderful gift from God.  I thank Him every day for all He has blessed me with. 

What do you love?

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Cherry Pickin

My day began at 5:30.  The orchard will let you in at 7:00, and it's an hour's drive from home.  I brushed my teeth as the coffee brewed and then dressed in my worn out overalls and a tank.  My sweet mom and I were to meet a high school friend of mine in town at 6:30.  We made it on time and headed to the orchard.  By 6:30, it was already hot and humid, but we were excited to pick our cherries; red, tart and perfect for pies.

We arrived at the orchard about an hour or so after we started our journey and it was a beautiful place.  They had cherry trees, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and peach trees.  We picked for a little more than an hour and then headed home.  I was anxious to be home, so I could get the cherries pitted, washed and canned.  I make pies all year long, so these will taste so good this winter.

On our way back, we stopped at a farmer's market, just opening for the season.  I bought some chocolate mint and two loaves of bread.  I know those families work hard to try and make a little extra income on the weekend, so I supported them.  I do make my own bread often.  I have a fantastic recipe for whole wheat. 

So, four hours later, I pulled the last four pint jars of red, tart pitted cherries out of the water bath canner and set them to cool.  This is the first time canning cherries for me, so I have figured out I need to pack them tighter.  They float to the top and I have a lot of space on the bottom of the jar.....lesson learned.  But, I've posted a couple of photos of my prize for the day.  These cherries, cooling on my dining room table, are the first of many canning sessions in this kitchen.  By summer's end, my basement pantry will be stocked once again with fruits, jams, and vegetables that will lovingly nourish my family for the next year. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

First Time for Everything

I've been reading blogs for quite some time now.  I have several on my favorites list that I read daily...almost daily...ok, when I have time.  Yes, I'm a busy, working mom. If I'm the only one that reads my new blog, then so be it.  At least I'll have an outlet for my "thoughts".

My name is Marilyn.  I'm knocking on mid-life's door.  I am married to John, my best friend, for nearly 27 years.  Together, we have three amazing children.   We live on my family's Century-Old  farm in the Ozarks.  I am in the insurance business, and I have been for more than 20 years.  My husband operates his own small engine repair business from home. 

I have recently (in the past 5 years or so) become obsessed with being self-sufficient.  I'll cover this obsession later.  But, I have the desire to share, with anyone who will listen, my struggles and my successes in learning how be who God made me to be.  In short, I am a wife, a mother, a cook, a reader, a Sunday School teacher, a gardener, a canner, a soap maker.  I have a Jersey cow.  (And what a story that is!).  I also have a couple dozen chickens and a golden doodle named Niko.  And, this is My Life on Cedar Lane...........