Stay Tru Farm

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A pet for the horse

can you believe it? we got our horse a pet.
what kind of people get their horse a pet? city people trying to be country people.
we thought he was lonely so we decided to get him a pet. Mom thought we should buy him a little pig.
the people with horses to sell , said get him another horse. other people said get him a goat.
well here is the horse’s pet. his name is Whiskey.

I am really behind on blogs. even though not much time has passed since the last post, alot has happened. alot always happens here.
but we have been having computer troubles. we have a small heap of dead computers. each time we hooked up a new one, it died too.       so eli decided to try to bring some of them back from the dead by turning them into linux machines.
problem is my blog program only runs on windows.
we have been hunting for another way to blog. hence the new look, and the new host.

i’ll have to go back in time to catch up. but i’ll start from the most recent exitement , which would be yesterday.
On Motzei Shabbos, we went to a melave malka in Beit Shean at a Breslover Chossid’s house.
and what did they have tied outside their  city home?
a donkey!
it belonged to their 14 year old son, and was driving the neighbors crazy with “hee haw” all the time.
so we kindly offered to take it off their hands if they would deliver it to us free of charge.
they could not find transportation, so they boy said he would ride it over.
i really did not expect him to come, becasue it was rainy yesterday, and he’s a teenager, creatures notorious for changing their mind.
but since Eli was working, and all kids were home for channuka vacation, i figured, dovid really needs to do something with his hands before he uses his energy to turn into Ninjago, with his siblings as the enemies.
so we built a donkey pen out of pallets.IMG_3072
it was my very first construction job, so please excuse any imperfections. i used the drill and the jigsaw with instructions and some help from Dovid, and some phone consultations from Eli.
the one thing i could not do, was get the battery out to charge it when it died midway through the job.
so Eli actually came home from work for a minute to get the battery out and plug it in.
Dovid is so special. when i was trying to drill, the screws would just NOT go in, initially. but then they started working. Dovid told me after that he asked hashem, to please help his mommy to make the drill work. and then it did!
see G-d always answers the prayers of children, no matter how small the request.

In order to build the pen, we had to move the hay pile. we put it in a metal container, and i gave the kids the fun job of jumping on it, so flatten down the hay and make room for more.

then to our surprise the boy actually did show up, just before dark. through the rain, to deliver the donkey!
good thing we had the pen ready.
it took him an hour on a trotting donkey to get here.
(see maayan’s happy donkey dance?)
the kids really like their new pet.
and so does the horse. here they are at their first meeting.
and this pleasant scene this morning. instead of the horse pacing anxiously the way he usually does in the morning, he was quitely getting to know his new friend.

remember last post , i said we tried to get a donkey and it did not work out, but maybe next week?
seems to be a theme that when i say that, Hashem makes it happen.
this week we have a donkey,
so what’s my wish for next week?
that my family falls in love with a place in Israel, and moves here at least part of the year.
we showed them a nice farm for sale, but it was too  expensive and they were uninspired.
so maybe next week!



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Last week we  got Silkies. 6 of them enough to go around for the whole family!
we were so eager to get something on the farm, that we got them before their coop was ready. so for a few nights they slept in a crate next to the kids beds. and bright and early in the mornings the kids took them out to play with.
the kids were so excited about our new Silkies they wanted to take them to Dani’s gan, and show them off.
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here is a photo description of the chicken tractor building process
(note, a chicken tractor is a moveable chicken coop. we can now move the chickens around and use them in many ways. bug control, to till a garden, to eat weeds etc)
Nati and Dovid building the frame out of scrap wood
then Dovid and I painted it. this was actually the  dilemma of the day. I desperately needed to wash the floor that day, but i wanted to do something more interesting. I really had to weigh it, mop, or paint? i figured, if I mop it’ll be dirty again within 1 hour. if I paint, it’ll stay painted!
painting won that day.
then we paused for a few days. and impulsively bought chickens on Thursday even though they had no home.
then the chickies started smelling in the house, so today (monday) we finished the cage.
here’s our team in action. Eli, making the roof, Nati stapling on chicken wire, and Dovid in the back, being kept busy cutting up the pallets for firewood, with a jigsaw.
The gan came by for another visit and were super impressed watching Dovid use power tools by himself.
notice Eli’s new camelbak drinking thing? Dani asked if it’s for when we go cameling. : )
Then the clear sunny skies turned into rainclouds. (Baruch hashem – for the rain that is, even  though it keeps pushing off the completion of my horse barn)
so we quickly dragged everything under cover, finished up the coop, and our lovely silkies have a home!


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Food glorious food!

Today was a day full of food.
It started out in the morning when Dovid and i started making his lunches for the next 2 weeks.
The other kids get catered lunches in school. So we decided to make him some homemade, catered, ready to go meals.
which also solves the “mommy i’m, huuungry”  dilemma. “you’re hungry, go pop one of your trays in the oven.
and it doubles as a homeschooling lesson. cooking class!
he told me he loves cooking with me so much more than any other mommy in the whole world. 🙂
we started with laying out all our ingredients. frozen broccoli and string beans, chicken wings, shnitzel, potatoes, and rice.
Dovid prepared all the food, spiced the chicken, cut the potatoes, measured rice etc
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when all was cooked and ready, he filled all the lunch trays
14 beautiful healthy lunch trays! now i don’t have to cook lunches for 2 whole weeks. amazing!! (especially since I am not one of those ladies who dream about recipes, and beautiful kitchens. i’d rather dream about hay, and beautiful barns)
Then the Gan surprised us by walking by, and we invited then to come in for a visit. they toured around the whole farm. Since the teachers are local, and therefore know about agriculture, they ended up under the pecan tree, telling me it’s time to harvest. so we did!
right then and there. all the Gan kids had a pecan feast, and we gave out dates that had recently been cut from our tree too.
to continue on in our food theme…
later on when Gan was over and Dani was supposedly home, but nowhere to be found, i found him out by  the barn with maayan.
making soup.
cement soup.
wearing white pants.
“whatcha doing Dani?”
”Dani, “I only took a little of aba’s grey stuff for cement, cuz i need to make soup.”
uuuh, okay,  parenting SOS, what do you say when your kid says this to you?
i just asked him what else he put in.
he happily obliged by telling me “ nuts, hay, rocks, little oranges, and lego, see blue ones., and now i’m getting snails”
Dani and Maayan  hunting for snails.                      apparently they found some.
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a bit later Dovid (by now an expert chef) joined the meal preparations, and i saw a bunch of their ingredients on the ground.
I asked what happened, and Dovid said, they don’t need those anymore, they were only for flavor.
, of course that’s how you make cement soup. silly mommy, i should know that right?
it’s almost done, just a add bit of compost
let it simmer on the stove located on top of the compost pile.
grab a spot, pick a seat.
anyone for a cup of cement soup?
(needless to say, the white pants have gone on to wherever white pants go when they die)

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make hay while the sun shines

Today ended up being one of those weird days where nothing seems to turn out as you planned.
all the kids ended up home for various reasons. which means Maayan does not nap. which means the house stays a mess, which makes mommy  tense, which makes Dovid tense, and he in turn attacks Dassi which makes Dassi tense. (Dani’s not tense. after all, I overheard him say today that he has golden dinosaur powers. how could you be tense if you have that?)

the remedy for family tension? everyone! we are going out! right now, to cut hay, everyone march. Thank G-d we live in a place where there are miles of fields for distractions.
sometimes you just need to chop something down with all that energy. (and not a sibling,… or your kid)

so we chop, and we chop



then we gather it up,
stuff it in the bag,
and head for home!
Dani the boy of the magical golden dinosaur power dragged the bag all the way home. (that’s our house in the distance)
thankl G-d after all that, they forgot what they were fighting about in the morning.
later on, we actually went shopping for chickens. (the live kind) but we didn’t like what we saw, so the chicken buying story will have to wait for another time.
The End
, (of a not so productive day where all we did was cut some hay,
and still did not buy any chickens or clean the house.)

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“If you build it they will come”

I almost had a horse yesterday. he followed me about halfway home, before he turned off and went down and disappeared into the back of someone’s property.
Maybe it’s because we only have about half a barn so far, hopefully when it’s done a horse will find us and  follow us all the way home.
actually it was Maayan who found him. We were walking home from dropping Dani off at gan. when she said”mommy!! horsie!!”
there was a horse standing in someone’s driveway. a minute later a lady came out and chased it away with a mop. since it wasn’t hers, i walked over to it, it was a really sweet brown and white pinto. he let Maayan pet him, and followed us almost all the way. guess he knows the stable is not quite done yet. boy, it’s alot of work, even with a lot of helpers (or maybe because of them) 🙂

first there’s measuring, about a day’s worth, of measuring, re measuring, and marking., then cutting, metal for posts.
then digging holes and setting the posts,                     then making cement,
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mix it up                                   pour it in
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pat it down
Let it dry, (for 2-3 days)
watch it dry (Maayan’s job)
stick things in (this step was added by Dani)
when it’s finally ready, we can move on!.. to cutting pallets! yay!
Eli taught Dovid how to use a jigsaw. it was a monumental moment in his life.
he kept proudly showing me every single piece he cut.
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then there’s drilling
Since the boys don’t need another helper throughout all this, I have been busy preparing a soft lovely bed for my horse to lie in , when he finally does show up. Since i have to find and then cut and then dry long grasses for this, i figured i can start long before the barn is ready.
here is my pile so far.
Dovid helped me cut and collect today
beginning of the day – construction zone
end of the day- we have a wall up!

we still need to cut the tops of the fence posts to the right height, add the other walls, and make a gate.
and then sand and paint it all.
when Hashem send us more pallets we can add some additional  fence boards  but we want to keep it pretty open and breezy cuz it gets really hot here.

other news;
Tuki was caught in the act of catching and eating a real mouse! she is a keeper, even if she is a moody cat,

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Progress report

for all those interested in seeing progress no matter how small
here are some photos of what we’ve been up to. and remember we just moved in, the Chagim just ended,
and we have 2 kids home full time, (Dovid and Maayan)  and Eli still has to work on his computer jobs, so any progress at all is close to miraculous.
we cleaned the barn out so we can start building a stall for my future horse.

before and after
rosh hashana and more1
And we made the pergola into an outdoor living room, here is a before and after or rather “after and before”
rosh hashana and more2
we have many other projects we are working on, but none completed to be able to photograph.
But we do actually try to do stuff around here as much as we can, and the kids help.
For example the weeds are growing high all along the watering lines and choking the new trees, so we have to cut them out.
Dovid and Dani hard at work
well actually i think their imagination took them somewhere far away sometime in the middle of their job.
but i know they intended to work..

we had a glorious sunset the other night, which lasted about a minute and i was fortunate enough to capture it’s beauty on camera.
I hope to send more updates as soon as they happen!