Monday, December 31, 2018

December On The Farm



December on the farm has been so busy. It started out with our Christmas On The Farm Gathering at our shop and it was one of the best we've had. It was so heart warming and fun. Then in the middle of the month Duke came. Our new little Corgi. We say he's our unplanned pregnancy. We love him so much. I hope to train him to be a good little herder like our Gracie was. Christmas Eve Mass was so special. We saw our godson and his brother help bring up the manger and I received a very special gift from their dad right in church. It was a vintage ornament with sheep on it. Our trees were very different this year ~ one with the grand's ornaments on it with a Santa theme and the other a sheep tree with all the sheep ornaments that have been given to us over the years.
 It was so enjoyable to bring our sheep special treats on Christmas.
The preparations for Christmas took me a little longer than usual. We found out in the Fall that my blood problem returned but no one would have known because farmer Dave helped me sooooo much. Farmer Dave whipped up a birch yule log for our table. We recycled our Advent candles and wreath over and over. We have a formal dinner on Christmas day ~ two stuffed turkeys and all the trimmings. It's so special and we love carrying on the tradition of my childhood days. Dave carried on his family tradition of Oplatki. We hosted our immediate family here the day after Christmas and started a few new traditions. The grandkids helped me build the manger and we measure their height every year marking it on our chalkboard.  It was so beautiful out that tractor rides were in order. It was "different" watching my son give his son his first tractor ride ~ where did the years go? I took a little break from social media to immerse myself into my family. I did miss everyone but it was refreshing and might just do that occasionally. I received my favorite local chocolate and another special gift that I'll share later. My daughter Marissa with her husband and two children stayed over the holidays and it was pure joy. My daughter treated me and her daughter to the movies. We saw Mary Poppins and it was one of my favorites growing up. They live 2 hours away so it's a real treat for us girls to go out together. I tried to be in the present without taking too many pictures. One of my favorite pictures is my daughter in law taking a picture of my son and their baby on the tractor. I love shadows. Now the decorations are coming down but the memories remain. It was on of the best Christmas's ever! I'm gifted with much love.  


This wreath is from our shop's wreath making workshop that we used on the Walker Farmhouse to my Advent wreath to my wreath on our garage door!


Oh and I forgot ~ We are  all going to Disneyland!

Friday, November 9, 2018

Sheep Breeds and the Best of my Life

Most of my life is behind me ~ so I wonder ~
could the best of my life be before me.
  Years ago we went down the road, picked a few sheep out and brought them home. I didn't know a thing about animal husbandry or breeds. We brought home the most beautiful full bred Suffolks! I was so excited!! 
Stanley (Stuch) was so handsome and he threw the best looking lambs. Our vet said he was his favorite looking Suffolk ram ever.

And if you know me there was a rescue in there at some point. Fluffy was headed for auction. She came home and lived her days out here. The picture below is Fluffy on the right and she was born deformed but she was the gentlest of any sheep we've had.
Farmer Dave and I said this time around we will take our time and pick out the breed we want. We had naturals too. We had three pastures ~ two breeds and were very careful to keep every one where they were supposed to be!
We sold Frank's wool real fast! Frank was not like a normal ram. He followed me like a dog.

In the past year we've travelled thinking about breeds ~ we've been to fiber fairs in 3 states, agricultural fairs, farm shows and sheep farms.  We both love history and preservation so we were thinking Leicester Longwools ...we've been offered to rescue a few....That's probably a yes for me. But what do we do???!!!
This past March we take a short drive down the road and bring home 3 sheep from the original farm where we  started from. Two Dorset and a Suffolk Hampshire mix. WHAT?! That wasn't planned. But look, they are the best! Pictured are
Colleen ~ Anne ~ Brigid
 I loved my Suffolks. I don't think I can live with out them. With getting Leicester Longwools, maybe a few more Dorsets, I know it means more pastures, more rams, more play....I just don't think I can live without my Suffolks. I told a fiber artist I was getting Suffolk again and she snubbed her nose at me. Oh they aren't a Leicester wool, I get it. But my Suffolk were the best moms, the best personalities and very striking. I actually learned to spin on Suffolk wool and I love their wool for felting. So perhaps we will have Suffolk, Dorset and Leicester Longwools. I have to honestly say I love all breeds and do not discriminate any breed. They all are beautiful!!!  I love sheep. Period. And with sheep


Friday, October 12, 2018

Happy National Farmer's Day!

We were dating and as I drove up the driveway I couldn't believe 
so much ground plowed up.
What was Dave doing? He ruined the front lawn for sure. I was a town girl.  As I mentioned it to a neighbor she told me the neighbors were so excited...
Dave was planting again. 
 Dave's first wife passed away and so did the his dreams of planting and farming. He started to raise two little girls on his own. He worked in the local steel mill and
plowed away at life not at the ground. 

 he's an artist ~ he's a welder 
he's a good husband ~ father ~ provider
he's a good Christian man
farming is his passion

After we married he wanted to get beef cows again and I felt intimidated by large animals.
My neighbor the Steele's are sheep farmers and so we settled on sheep.
We raised sheep together.
 My son helped with fencing and round up the sheep when needed.
My daughter Sarah stood in the corner of the barn reading out loud my "sheep book" with directions as I swung our lamb Betsy Ross (born on Flag day) in the barn with centrifugal force because the turkey baster was not working to clear Betsy's pathways.

Years have passed and I understand why the ground was plowed
My children understand about plowing ~ all three have it in their spirit
plowing is moving through
plowing is hard
plowing is fortitude
plowing reaps good things sown
We have plowed through many life experiences together
And I am grateful for all the farmers in my life!


Saturday, May 12, 2018

Mother's Day & May Musings

Happy Mother's Day! It's been about 7 months ago that we blogged so I had to think how to blog again...really. Looking over the last blog I thought I would update you with my blood problem. I was at the doc's a few weeks ago and my blood count was the best it's been in TEN years. I came home on cloud nine but the farmer knew I was better already. I wasn't "stopping for nothing." Thank you for all your concerns and love for us during that time.
I love the month of May and Mother's Day. Childhood memories bring me back to the lilacs always blooming in May. Every year we cut a bouquet of lilacs from a lilac tree in our back yard that stood not far from my dad's outdoor fireplace that he proudly built.  Wrapped up in wet paper towels then put into a plastic bag and off to grandma's house. It was a yearly tradition. To this day I love to give lilacs on Mother's Day, gifting them to someone special. Being a mom has been one of the biggest blessings in my life. The picture below is a little blurry with the sun but I love all the smiles on their faces. I love my family ~
When the farmer and I were first married the very first Spring together we planted 7 lilac trees. We have at least four varieties. More have been added since then. This morning was a wonderful morning to cut and make bouquets. I have bouquets in our farmhouse and the Walker Farmhouse. They are everywhere!
I don't mind doing dishes with lilacs right beside me.

We decided to close our shop for the summer. We actually wrestled with the idea but decided to put our energies into a few projects we want to finish. We realize we love this new rhythm on the farm. We love workshops, a few events and the here and the whenever.  We are having fun getting ready for a show we are doing this summer. Janice  from The Garden Shed is planning pop up workshops and our Lavender Day will be July 28th. Without constantly being open we have time for each other, the grandchildren, our new dye garden, our lavender and herb garden and some traveling in there too.  Farmer Dave has been out birding and seeing many species. He has a lot of projects planned for the and of course...the farm news!!!

The farmer and I are proud parents again of little lambs and more will be coming to the

Happy Mother's Day! To all moms and to my shepherdess friends!
                                                Love, Audrey Ann





Sunday, October 29, 2017


If you read farmer Dave's last blog post I want you to know how grateful we are.  After his blog post we received so many calls, messages and cards. Wanting to save all the cards we put them in a special basket that our friend Ken gave us when he stopped by on his way home to New England.  Every time I passed by the basket I felt so blessed and asked the Lord to bless others in return. Your concerns are heart warming ~ I am getting better but not 100% yet. I've had a blood issue and without going into details I am making my own blood again so I am on the right track.
My friend Judy told me that every time her life got better she just went through a battle of some kind. I can relate and felt that this was one of those times. When you don't have your health it's so frightening and really ~ well really.  Farmer Dave and I have so many of the same traits and keeping our plate too full is one of them.  Not a good trait for both to have in a marriage. WE are working at keeping the plate less full. This health scare has changed how we think. We decided to have the shop open only during workshops and small events.  You can never get time back. We decided we wanted to be more free to be at home and travel. Farmer Dave put the reigns on. So once the doctor gave me the okay to get out and move more I tried not to be the jockey on the horse coming out of the gate.  We've seen our family and friends more, hosted a lot of friends in the antique business staying with us,  been away a few weekends, went to a friend's apple butter making gathering and to farm tours ~ (we are working on it!) doing different things we couldn't do when the shop was open every Saturday. At first it seemed odd to leave on a Saturday morning and not have the shop open. We haven't closed the shop ~ it's just half open. We love having workshops with Janice and blessed with our friend Karen who is our right hand gal!  Two of my friends while visiting me one day suggested a "friends gathering" at the shop and with Dave's okay we did it and it was a blast. So much fun we decided to do it for Christmas (November 18, 10-3) BUT one day, a few hours and ~ and ~ asking God
What I do realize is that I have become a home body. When I was asked to rest before my blood transfusions I thought it would be hard. It was a little hard but I didn't hate it.  I read A TON and now TOGETHER WE dream of our future with many more blessings to put in bigger baskets yet!  
                                                                      SO HOLD ON!
with humble gratitude, love to you all, Audrey Ann


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

She's either killing me or keeping me young!

I started this post in my mind right after my brother's anniversary party and
last summer and
right after my birthday and finally here it is. Thank you for all your birthday wishes.

At my brother's party someone said "boy Dave you are so busy!"  "We see it on Facebook."
My reply was Yes, Audrey is either trying to kill me or she's making me young.
Really I love to joke and she has endless energy which is catchy and keeps me young.

We have always been open sharing our lives.  Many times we say, "this would make a cool blog post" and go on our way. Now we love to share on Instagram. We love to share and blog...we never have time.  Maybe now we will.

So what do you want to do when you retire?
After I retired from the steel mill I taught welding in steel mills, cut grass at a local cemetery, owned an antique business, while moving a house to our property and taking care of 20 acres.

One day before an open house I overheard my bride say to her friend Bobbette
"I looked out the window and David was taking all the sheep fence down and I cried"
The sheep fence was bad and needed to be taken down.  But I didn't know. She didn't tell me.

She never told me that...secretly...she wanted sheep again. She married "FARMER DAVE"  but she was a real shepherdess.  We had about 50 head at one time. Two pastures, two breeds, two rams in the right places, she delivered the babies in difficult births, she bottle fed the lambs if needed, nursed sick ones back to health, helped with docking, sold the meat, clean and carded the wool, dyed the wool, took felting lessons at a local college. Of course she misses it. I tried shearing them once but we won't go there. It was her passion. And mine. I have always loved having animals. 

I know we cannot add another thing to our plate.  Something has to give...another grandson is being born...corgi's seem to arrive here quite often...we rent out our 1824 farmhouse, photographers rent from us, there are workshops here at the farm and now my bride has been under the weather. The doctor scared us.  He said she has to rest. Rest is not in her vocabulary. Something has to give.  I say "we" but I won't hear of a Christmas open house.  You can not rest and have an open house hearing the words of the doctor in your ear "this is real."  And I am tired.

This is a bump in the road for her.  Our Fall Gathering at the shop will be our last big event for a while. We don't know how long. We might be open every day in a year or two...we might close the shop...we don't know.  We might have a friend's gathering again. We might have sheep shearing days again.  She might have a Dye and Pie Day sharing her love of dyeing wool and making pies. We will continue with workshops, making candles and renting out our farmhouse. That's what we do know.

What is your dream when you retire? We had to have this hard discussion.  Hard because it's hard sometimes to change things in your life. Change can be for the better but can be hard. We aren't 20 or 40 years old any more. WE want to see our children and grandchildren more. WE want to have animals again. WE want to travel to more fairs, sheep and wool, tractor and antique shows.  WE want to share our passions that have melted together through the years.

And what we do know is that we are very blessed to do what we want to do.  God is good.
  Thank you for always supporting us in so many ways.    
                                                                                                 farmer Dave


Sunday, May 22, 2016


Yes we are rearranging our plate. We are changing the slices in our pie. Our plates have been very full. So we have decided the shop will be open by chance or appointment.  We have thought about this long and hard. Together we did some serious soul searching. We searched a lot, together.

Farmer Dave wants to go to a tractor show when he wants to go to a tractor show.  We want to travel more. We are so fortunate to have a house and dog sitter while we are away.  We are blessed that we "get" to do what we want, we know many can't.

We want to be able to go see our family more often. We both miss having sheep and not going to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. We want to be in the fields more. We have been doing well with lavender and would like to expand.  I would like to expand the fields with cut flowers. Farmer Dave would like to be on a tractor more... we can't keep is the time...while we still can.

And so perhaps sheep are in our future.  Perhaps the lavender field will grow with flowers beside it.

We have been asked to set up at a local farmers market and we couldn't be happier. We were going to look into doing one and one came to us. We call that confirmation!

We didn't want to add with out taking away.  We will keep our shop's three events a year (maybe squeeze in a lavender festival like other years) and our vendors who share space and will be open by chance or appointment.  We will announce on Facebook when we will be open or please call. Some days we will be closed when family and friends are vacationing here.

Here's a little recap of our first trip without worrying about the shop.

We wanted to go to a different show ~ so Lucketts Spring Market is where we were headed.

On the way we stopped at Beaver Creek Antique Mall in Maryland.  It wasn't off the path too much. Jimmy Cramer is set up there and his booths are always awesome. He knows what we love.  We bought two things from him and they are our favorite things we brought home.  How did he know that I have been looking for Mr. Rooster for YEARS! Farmer Dave loves farming advertising.  We are changing up the kitchen so the chalkboard MIGHT go in the kitchen.

We are on Instagram now and there we met some new folks who steered us
to some barn sales along the way...farmer Dave loved the John Deere

We visited farms and met new friends

 We ate at an Irish restaurant and I had wonderful Cottager's Pie
Then a sneak peek the night before into Lucketts Spring Market
Loads of Spring items...just what I was hoping for

A little stop the next morning... this used to be a gas station years and years ago
They have a million flavors ~ we tried a few!

Then we off to the market...7th in line out of 750...
look at the sweet wagons...they were ready for serious buying
It was nice meeting Marian from Miss Mustard Seed, Beth from Olde Tyme Marketplace and
visiting with a show friend Heather.
Then we went onto Frederick, Maryland for old time sake. 
We used to go there every year on the way to the sheep festival.
Onto home sweet home ~ it was the first time away without the new dogs.
It was so fun meeting new friends, seeing old friends, visiting farms, but always happy to be home.
 And it was great to come home with a van load for our shop's customers

I have been blessed with a few decorating jobs ~ a few things for those customers too!
Next time we will talk about more changes and!
Until next blog time
Blessings from the farm ~ farmer Dave and Audrey Ann