Category: On The Farm

Bringing a Vision to Life — PARADISE!

Tender ones.

Tender little ones.

Visions are evolving things.  As we journey through life we are drawn to things that interest us.  I have often wondered about my vision in life because my view of anything in the future, other than children, has always been vague.  The present always felt intense and exciting or scary depending on what was going on.

Lately, with the freedom to create my reality thanks to all the supporting factors, I am finding things are beginning to come together.  As I have been working on this website, revamping everything about it, I am finding the process to be a vision quest of sorts.  Over and over, as I explore different themes, I find my focus changing, moving toward several facets I am extremely passionate about:  children, animals, plants, art, survival skills, building, writing, and teaching.

If my list seems a bit long, blame it on attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), which my daughter says I have.  You could say I am a Jill of all trades.  Throughout my life I have had so many interests, each of which I have pursued with obsessive intent until I feel I understand and can create within it to my satisfaction, then I find myself drawn to something new.

I will admit, with a bit of embarrassed pride, that I am an explorer.

As my new website design takes shape, so does my vision for the near future:

  • A petting farm for the most wonderful of humans — children — and their adults.
  • Workshops in primitive wilderness survival skills. like friction fire and survival shelters, for older children and adults.  I love to teach friction fire.  Friction fire was, in my opinion, the most important thing to learn when I went to Tom Brown Jr’s trackerschool.  Where else could I learn this.  Before trackerschool I thought friction fire was a myth!
  • Art workshops like felting wool and spinning wool, because I would not be happy if I couldn’t share this skill which brings me so much joy and bliss and peace all at the same time.
  • This blog space because writing is a large part of my vision and I love sharing my stories and perspective with others.  I believe each of our stories essentially belong to all of us because we are all connected.  As we share our stories, all those who hear are changed in some way.  One person’s story becomes another person’s story, and consequently moves them forward along their path.  They progress.  One person’s success is everyone’s success.  Their pain is everyone’s pain.  Their lesson is everyone’s lesson.
  • My store so I can offer my designs and art to others to enjoy.
  • The business that goes along with all these things.  The ability to work with my family, the animals, the plants, and the structures we have built here on our little hobby farm; to create an income to help provide for the costs of living while doing what I love and sharing that with others.

My desire is to offer the many things I have enjoyed learning. To pass on the knowledge that has come to me.  To complete the cycle.  I hope you enjoy what I am creating and that somehow you can benefit from what I have to offer.

Paradise is the name I have chosen for this new venture, and there is a story behind the name.  Maybe a year ago, my grandson was sitting in our back yard with his grandfather, my son in law’s dad.  He looked up at his grandfather and exclaimed with glee, “This is just paradise, isn’t it?”  Looking around at our disheveled process of building and growing this space, his grandfather, who may not have previously described our little bit of heaven that way, looked at his grandson with fresh eyes and said with a twinkle, “Yes!”

Child learning to lead a horse

A child or an adult can feel the connection between themselves and a horse as they learn to communicate though cues such as leading and riding. Very empowering!

New Year is Here!


My Shetland stallion Trigger learning to “pose” for the county fair.  Notice him biting my shirt!

New Years Eve is here and the Christmas Holiday is past.  Time to clear the decks for another wonderful year.

It’s funny how, even with all the crazy and often extremely difficult experiences in my life, I always feel somewhat like a princess, spoiled with love by the Great Everything.  Maybe being brought up by loving parents who praised us kids and seldom criticized has something to do with my perspective.

In my senior year high school social studies class I learned that our family income fell within the “poverty” level in the USA at the time.  I was shocked because we always had what we needed: food, clothes, a place to live, and even luxuries like TV’s, stereos, etc.  I guess the fact that most of the things we furnished our home with, and clothed our bodies with (unless we sewed them ourselves), and drove around in, were from garage sales or inexpensive secondhand, which allowed us to have many things we couldn’t otherwise have had.

Sure there were things we did without, like expensive family vacations to Disneyland or Hawaii, or being able to own some of the big beautiful horses I used to dream about (I was a horse loving girl from the age of 2!).  However, I did get to buy a Shetland pony when I was twelve, which I paid for with my babysitting money, then later a Morgan/Welsh yearling filly. also with my babysitting money.  My dad, who is an extremely gregarious person, found those deals for me through people he knew, and also free places within a block or two from home to keep my pets while I had them.  I believe allowing me that luxury and responsibility as a young person was probably one of the best things my parents did for me, aside from being kind and good to us children.

Now, at fifty-nine I am in the second half of my life (unless of course I live to be 120 which I think would be cool).  Most of my nine children have grown and have families of their own.  I am so grateful for everything in my life, past and present, the good and the bad, because I have learned so much from each and every experience.  I am grateful for the ability to choose, to make mistakes, to be able to listen to those who have more wisdom and make to better choices.  I am grateful for that still small voice that I’ve learned to try to listen to, which guides me for good and helps me avoid pitfalls and frustration.

I am looking forward to this new year with hope and joy.  I am on an upswing and that feels great!  I hope everyone has a new year filled with joy and love and experiences that bring us all closer to wisdom, love, and peace.

Happy New Year everyone!


Progress on Horse Barn

Pictures from top to bottom:

First picture is of all four stalls looking down the hallway from the end stall which will be an open area.

Second picture is showing one of the stalls and the front wall.

Third picture is showing the barn roof from the roof of the art cottage next to the barn. The red roof area is where the hay is stored in the horse barn.

The fourth picture shows where the corner of the barn roof ran into the art cottage roof so I modified the corner of the barn roof to fit over the art cottage roof.

So far the barn is made of eight small sections. Once the overhang area is completed there will be 12 small sections each under 200 ft.²

Barn roof on!

As you can see our opaque white roof is on now. I used Suntuf opal white roofing panels which I made of poly carbonate, which allows light to come through but not as intensely as a clear roof would. It’s a beautiful soft white glow inside.

Next we will put in the stall walls and doors and then the overhang that will extend out beyond the stalls.

I’m so glad to get the roof done. On the bright side, I burned a lot of calories up there the last few weeks.

Baby Goat Challenge!

We have three baby goats and they love to climb on things.  I created a mound of dirt in the back of our yard, but they prefer the seat of the riding lawn mower, our laps, and this roller wheel.  I think they love the challenge of balancing on the roller because it is smooth and slippery to their little hooves.

This first goat is a little billy named Draco something, from a movie about kings and thrones.  I can never remember his name . . . my sister named him, I don’t watch it.  The little girl who comes up later is black and brown and called “Mary Poppins” because she is practically perfect in every way!  Sister named her too, but I remember because I did watch that, many times!  The third little goat, brown and white, is Draco’s big brother.  Can’t remember his name 🙁

Any way, so cute watching these little goats play!!  What a joy in our lives!  Almost as fun as watching kittens, lol!

My brand spanking new yellow scaffold!

A girl and her tools! Ha ha.

The scaffold is helping me feel much safer as I work up on the roof. I can stand slightly above my work and it’s easier on my arms, wrists, hands, and shoulders.

And it’s yellow!

This scaffold cost $199 at Lowe’s home improvement center. The same amount I would have paid to rent the same scaffold from Home Depot for one week.

Patterns in nature

The fill sand we got for using on the base of the horse corral along with the gravel, was dumped in a pile in our backyard. Something caused it to slump in this interesting upside down “V” pattern. I couldn’t have created this as well if I had tried.

I had to get a photo.

Reminds me of when we were traveling through Utah, in the hills, and we passed by what once was a molten rock flow. The rock had become solid in what looked like a pouring cake batter pattern of folds and wrinkles. It was amazing to see rock looking like that. If I ever find the photos of that rock formation I will post them.

Hangin’ with my peeps!

Here’s Ryan hangin’ with his peeps. He makes friends by letting them walk on his hands full of food when they’re still tiny. They learn to trust him and follow him around. He likes to turn over boards and look for bugs for them. The chickens really like little black beetles and also praying mantises.

Phase 2 – The Stalls

The three sections on the left will be stalls with a walk-through area between the stalls and the hey Barnes. The section on the far right we will be a place for tacking up or other barn activities.

Each section is individual and less than 200 ft.². After these I will be building four overhang sections for outdoor shade and cover in front of these four sections.

Mr. Big

Our gorgeous rooster, Mr. big. He’s quite the ladies man!

We just love our chickens! We have four mamas and 12 babies right now. One Mama has six babies, one Mama has three babies, and two mamas are sharing three babies.

The two moms that are sharing the three babies started out by fighting over the clutch of eggs. They finally settled down and shared the nest side by side. When three babies hatched out they began co-parenting them. Photo below.

Nature has a way of working things out.

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