And cooking…

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Well, the due date (Wednesday) has come and gone.  Still no baby.  My doctor isn’t concerned and I’m not either…just ready.  Last night I was having enough contractions to actually start writing down times but as soon as I sat down they all stopped.  But we made good use of our due date and got baby pigs instead!  At least some sort of baby came into the Thames household (farm-hold?) I guess. 

So there they are.  I believe we have decided on the names Mr. Pork Chop (left) and Smoked (right).  It was fun this year to actually be able to pick out which ones we wanted.  The person we got them from had a couple that were black and white (pink i guess) so we got one of those to make it easier to tell them apart they look so cute.  We ended up with two boys.  We didn’t plan it that way it just so happened.  I don’t know if it will make a difference.  Last year we had two girls.  If nothing else they should be bigger in the end. 

I had forgotten how cute they are at this age.  They love their house.  They completely bury themselves in the straw at night and they sleep in in the morning.  Our last pigs weren’t early risers either.  Maybe it’s just the pig way.  Works for me.  I’m not much of a (happy) early riser either.

Things are still cooking…


Just an update to let you know baby is still hanging out in the womb.  Moving and grooving as always.  The countdown on the website was wrong.  My due date isn’t really until the 27th (2 more days!)  So we’re hanging in there.  Greg was off last week and that would have worked out best for scheduling but I guess our schedule isn’t high on baby’s priority list. 

My doctors and my doula have all stressed the fact that I need to go in to be checked for labor the second I feel like there may be anything at all happening.  I guess non of them liked me arriving 2o minutes before delivery last time.  At least we didn’t waist anyone’s time.  I am ready for this part to be over and to finally hold this sweet baby but at the same time I am not really ready for the labor part.  I know it’s not the highlight for most women but all of my deliveries have been so drastically different that I really have no idea what to expect.  It almost feels like a first baby.  Only the Lord knows how it will all play out and when and we are just trusting in his way and time. 

In the meantime how about a soap making post.  A friend and I have been experimenting with making soap.  WAY back in June 2010 we made our first batch.  We were inspired by another friends blog and step by step instructions (with pictures).   It took much longer than we were expecting but we did end up with some wonderful soap and a lot of lessons learned.  We have done a re-batch of the soap to have some variations (more lessons learned) and our last batch was lard soap. 

I will say so far the lard soap was my favorite to make.  It’s still curing so I haven’t even been able to use it but I am sure it will be a favorite.  It was a lot faster to make and we were able to apply some of our education to make the experience a little more streamline.  I am loving the homemade soap.  I have been using is exclusively on my skin for a while now and I will say there is a noticeable difference.  I love it.  We have about 1 more week before we can try our lard soap and I am so excited.  It smells so good!  Greg has requested a regular no frills soap though.  No problem!  We can do that (right after this baby comes out).

For memories sake it must be recorded that the kids have made a few interesting comments about the soap.  First off Zoe was scared of the lavender/oatmeal soap we made.  For a while she wouldn’t use the downstairs shower because the oats and lavender flowers in the soap scared her.  Another soap we made was a spiced oat bar.  Supposed to be manly and all.  We thought it looked like no bake cookies but the kids thought it looked like…well…poop.  One bar we had in the main bathroom had softened with use and could be molded.  Unfortunately, the most comfortable shape to use it in was more of a log than a bar.     

Baby Update

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I realized I haven’t done any baby/pregnancy updates recently.  With less than a month to go I figured I better do one quick.  So things are going pretty good.  Baby is still super, super active.  No worries on that front.  All measurements are text book.  At my last appointment the doctor said this may be my 8 pound baby.  To which I just said, “hmm”.  8 lbs is big for my babies (I know Ruth, sorry)  I like my small babies.  They start out small but grow fast.  Works for me. 

I somehow didn’t plan my schedule too well for my last month of pregnancy and have one of my busiest months ever.  At least it feels that way.  My brain is more gone this time than any pregnancy in the past.  Normal I guess.  I actually had to get a planner and write everything down the second I plan it.  I was even loosing tract of Greg’s work schedule.  It’s a crazy one I know but we’ve been doing it for a few years now and I had it down.  In the last few weeks I draw a complete blank.  I feel like Dori on Finding Nemo.  “Nothin’ in my noggin.”

We do not know if we are having a boy or girl.  I think some posts I wrote ‘he’ but we have no idea.  I don’t suspect either way this time.  Zoe is so excited for the baby.  Her big test is to give me a hug and see if she can touch her fingers.  At last measure she was off about an inch.   We haven’t done much to get ready for baby.  I have a few baby clothes left from Zoe but I don’t know what. We got tired of moving them over and over again so we did get rid of quite a bit when we moved this last time.  If it’s a boy we are definitely set and I actually know where they are.

And Chicks

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The latest (but not last) addition to our mini farm were broilers (AKA meat chicks).  We did 3 a couple years ago as a little experiment and I was not too crazy about it.  So this year we are doing 35 (well 34 now.  We lost one).


Greg as built these little guys (and or girls) a nice little chicken tractor that we will move around the back yard each day.  About another week and they will be moved from this area to thier tractor.  (pictures of that later)

We will only have to keep the broilers for 2 months before they are ready for processing.  Still not something I am looking forward to but again, thanks to good, knowlegeble freinds who are willing to help we will try out this new adventure.  And don’t you worry…I’ll keep you updated 🙂


Our little flock

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Well, Greg and I had talked about getting sheep…in the future.  The purpose of the sheep would be for meat.  We are not into the wool thing or milking (sorry Jen).  We had done a little research on the kind we would get if we went that route but that was about it.  Well, remember how I said we rushed to get the pig pen done and then we were without pigs?  Greg made one last attempt to find pigs at the animal auction.  There were no pigs but I received a text from him a little while after the auction started stating I was now the new proud owner of 2 sheep.  Sheep?  What?  I thought that was a future prospect.  Folks…the future is now!

We are indeed the proud new owners of two sheep.   They are Katahdin or African Hair Sheep.  They don’thave wool but hair that is shed each year.  I teased him he just wanted an animal to put in that great pen he made.  Didn’t really matter what it was 🙂  Turns out it was a mama and baby combo.  No idea how old either of them were.  He came home to pick us up and the truck to bring them home.  Now, on they way there he tells me “I don’t know if I can eat them Merriann.  They are really cute.”  That’s what I was afraid of!!!  Pigs and cows are nasty when they get big.  Easy to put in the freezer.  Sheep…still cute.  The other thing.  Their names.  The mama is Lily (named by Zoe) and the baby is Shannon (named by Greg).  Do those sound like food names to you?  Nope.  We had an agreement.  Any animal we were going to eat was going to have a food name.

Thank goodness for the Internet because we had to give ourselves a quick study on sheep care and run to the feed store for some food.  At least they were safe in the pen and had water.  I am also thankful for friends that didn’t think we were totally insane for getting an animal we knew so little about.  We have had a lot of fun learning as we go.  We have a guesstimate Lily is about 4 years.  Shannon is a little more confusing.  She seems so small but what looking at her teeth she looks to be over a year.  Somewhere between 12 -18 months.  We will have to look into that one some more. 

Greg has made them a pen of their own so when we do get pigs (hopefully in May) we’ll be ready.  Their own house is on the list of things to do.  We are trying to decide if we will be breading these two or eating them.  Lily is a bit on the old side for eating and Shannon is so cute!  Again, We’ll see how that goes.  Sheep are pretty easy (at least from what our vast knowledge and experience has shown us) so we wouldn’t mind getting a little flock going and breading.