Goat Poop is Not Raisins

I turned around just in time to see the Little Boy slide out of the wheel barrow, barefoot on the gravel driveway. The wheel barrow was clean according the wheel barrow standards; it hadn’t carried manure in a few months and had been used elsewhere in the meantime. His jeans would need to be removed before he goes into the house, mud dried between his fingers and dirt from ear to ear. “Thank God we are able to raise our children out here.” I thought as I turned back to the Little Miss who was sitting on the tractor. She’s all about cows, tractors and baby dolls right now. There she was clothes speckled with dried mud from the duck pen, sand in her ponytail that was already falling apart (again) and a face that was looks like she was eating dirt not too long ago.

I know it’s crazy to be thankful for dirt behind the ears but we are. Did you know that most people forget to wash behind their ears? Not at our house! Our kids are very involved with our outdoor work. It starts with the baby carrier in the stroller and once they can walk they are on our heels… or somewhere close by. They are always encouraged to help even when their helping is not so helpful. I’m already talking up how much fun it is to stack square bales on the hay wagon in July. They are so excited to be big enough to help with that! Yes!! They really do enjoy helping with any task at hand. Especially tasks that require a hose and/or water, the ones that can get really messy. The trick is to keep them busy allowing them to explore but not too much (if that’s possible).

That between one and a half and two years old stage can be a bit challenging at times. I’ve found myself saying things that I never thought I would ever say…ever. Things like “No! That’s goat poop!” When a tiny hand is extended to show “a-in?” (raisins) or “Don’t lick your fingers! That’s duck mud!” (after they’ve been happily crawling in and out of the duck door in the coop) Who says those things? I’ve got a little notebook that, among other things, I write the odd things that I find myself saying or that the kids have said. The potty training days have a fair amount of entries but that’s a whole other conversation.

It’s not for lack of effort to keep them clean. I don’t see any harm in dirt as long as it’s washed off at the end of the day… or before lunch some days. A pair of mud boots and room run is the best thing you can give a kid as far as I’m concerned. However, when we go to town I expect them to not look like they just jumped out of the hay loft. Unfortunately that is not always the case. This Pig Pen state is not limited to the days we are able to stay home. Nope. Somewhere between the bathroom counter and the church doors on Sunday morning the Little Miss’s hair turns from a nice ponytail to a hap-hazard whale spout of sorts and the clean faces need yet another wiping between the car and the pew.

My pretty little girl loves to have her nails painted. “See!” she’ll exclaim as she holds out a fingernail polished pink. Well, it was polished this morning, before we went out to the sandbox. There may or may not be much paint left but she’s proud anyway. Someday her nails will be as prettily polished pink before she goes to bed at night as they were when she left the breakfast table that morning. I don’t think we’re asking too much. On the other hand, I don’t want her to sit on the sidelines because she doesn’t want her nails messed up either. That’s no way to go through life.

Then there’s hand-me-downs. At this point summer hand-me-downs are either “this could be worn in the barn” or “there’s no use is saving more barn clothes”. (I am currently taking suggestions for a stain remover that actually works.) They each have a couple “town shirts” that are only to be put on as we leave the house and even those end up a mess before we get where we’re going most days. I swear if they just imagine the fun of climbing on a hay bale someone ends up with hay in their hair. It’s really quite amazing.

Cleaning the chicken waterer

Cleaning the chicken waterer

Cleaning the winter goat house

Cleaning the winter goat house

Building the hayloft

Building the hayloft

Feeding the goats

Feeding the goats

So I Made Pie


It’s been a long time since I’ve talked with a dear friend. Years, to be honest. In fact I think the last time we hung out I could have killed us both if it weren’t for Jane stopping us before we left the bar parking lot. Not the brightest decision I ever made, the angels were watching over us that night. It was a fun night of bad karaoke, Jack Daniels and a polka if I remember correctly. Years leading up to that had plenty of good times, shooting clays in the gravel pit, four-wheeling and so on.

A lot has changed since then, life sent us other directions which is expected. The news a few years ago that a pace maker was needed was a surprise. More recently the news of him in need of a heart transplant caught me completely off guard. It’s not news that you hear every day or if you’re lucky never in a lifetime and especially about a friend so young. I sent a message “we’ll be praying for you” and that’s what we did. What else is there to do in a situation like this?

Even praying about it comes with a little more anxiety and thought than usual. He needs a heart. He has a heart of gold, but he needs a real heart. You always want the best for a friend or family member and that’s what you pray for. But how do you pray for the best for one when you know somewhere it will cause pain to another? I pray anyway. I pray that he gets a healthy heart and I pray that the one who’s left the world to give it to him goes in peace and their family is at peace too. Yes, I pray for peace and a healthy heart.

Last week Jane told me she was going to go to the cities and visit him and his mom at the hospital and agreed to bring something down from me when she goes. I figured I’d send a card and if I could find an old picture I could send that too. I didn’t find the picture I was looking for. It’s probably in a box under the stairs I didn’t get that far. Instead I made pie.

It was about time for me to leave work yesterday and drop the card off at Jane’s. I hadn’t written in it yet. What do you say in times like this? I don’t know. I called my mom and asked her. “Thinking of you” was deemed appropriate. I had the note card on my desk, it’s not a big card but those three words would have left it pretty empty and I like words. So I texted my best friend.

A- What do you say in a card to someone waiting for a new heart? Get well soon and hope you feel better seem inappropriate. I’ve already said we will pray for you. Maybe I should just skip the card
N- Is it family? Close Friend?
A- It’s Mike (…)
A- I made a pie. Maybe that will say enough
N- The pie is good.
A-Yes, pie is good.
N-You can say praying for you. That’s appropriate

When it comes to writing I’m not usually at a loss for words but every once in a while words just don’t cut it. This is one of those times. There are just no words that seem right. So I made pie.

I’m not an emotional eater more of an emotional starver if anything but there is something special about a homemade apple pie. It may not cure what ails you and it won’t change a situation but there is something comforting about it, even if it just sits on the counter. So I made pie.

I did end up writing in the card. Words. The only words I could find that seemed appropriate and sent the note with the pie.

I don’t know the right words say right now.
So I made pie.
Still Praying



Lining Up the Ducks

Really?! Ducks?! -Clyde

My last attempt to ready a spot for wintering the ducks. I spent my time this weekend installing a duck fence around the bottom of the goat pen. This summer the ducks made a sloppy mess of the south chicken run, the rain was no help in the matter either. Unfortunately their water loving habits don’t let up just because it snows and I won’t have then ruin the floor of the coop this winter.

As much as I like eating duck I was really hoping for eggs from these guys and don’t want to eat the birds. I was going to keep Henrietta and Lucky and let the rest go. I put them up for sale or free online. One found a new home and the gal who said she wanted the rest was a no-call/no-show. This seems to be the way a lot of online deals go. A little common courtesy would be nice. That’s ok though, I didn’t really want to give them up.

After some thought about what the ducks needed and what would be possible until my bird eating dog is six feet under, I decided they would try living with the goats. There is grass to munch, bugs to eat and a wash tub for head dunking and drainage for their splashing. Ideally I would like them wandering the yard with the rest of the poultry but as we’ve found many times before, it just won’t work for now. (Chicken tractors are in the works for next spring though.) So the goat pen it is.

I used short chicken wire 2 ½ ft or so and lined the whole perimeter of the pen inside the barn and out. It started off real dandy. It was chilly and lightly misting but it was now or never because deer season starts next weekend and that marks the end of outside work until spring. While the family took their Saturday nap I headed out. Lyle, the pig of a goat, was nibbling on my fingers after the first ten inches of fence. It was annoying but fine. Then he bit me! Took a chunk right out of my knuckle little $#*! head. The next forty feet I bled all over the fence as I worked, he was no longer interested in my right hand.

After the south line was done, the rest needed to be done inside the pen because of how the corral and Hanks pen sit. I didn’t get bit again so that was nice. I’m not sure what happened to my left hand but it wasn’t too long into the last seventy feet that that began to bleed too. Gloves. I know. The tie wire was pretty fine and getting a decent tie through the chicken wire and around the cattle paneling didn’t work with gloves. Bloody hands it was. Most of my work on the west line was done with Lyle’s head on my shoulder and Scarlett’s head under my chin. Again, annoying but fine.

Then the north line. A shared fence with Hank. A couple things with Hank: He’s stinky and his dehorning didn’t go well so he has scurs (partial horns that grow kinda deformed). I’m pretty sure the scurs are bothering him as he spends a lot of time scraping them on everything (we will be taking care of that very soon). As I was working on his fence line he spent his time pushing back on the fence at each spot I was trying to tie and I spent a fair amount time telling him to back up and swearing. Of course about that time is when the neighbors came walking up to see what was going on. I don’t think they heard me… Either way I guess.

I finished up tying the bottom of the wire on Sunday and Mike got a pallet situated inside the pen in the barn so the ducks could be fed without having to share with the goats. It all looks pretty good I’d say. We’ll give it a try and hopefully have duck eggs rather than duck roast this winter.

I think the ducks are a little homesick and the chickens seem to miss them too. The Ladies have been lined up at the fence looking towards the ducks which are gathered together at their fence looking back. Poor fella’s. A few days and hopefully everyone will be adjusted.

Thankful Thoughts of Favorite Things

Living on the farm is not all blue skies and butterflies. There’s a lot of hard work and sometimes it rains on your hay. But even the soggy days are speckled with my favorite things.

  1. Hearing the roosters crow in the early morning calm when the windows are cracked.
  2. Watching the spring calves pounce through the  spring pasture.
  3. Losing sight of the calves because the pasture grass is taller than they are.
  4. Catching the right moment to see eggs hatch.
  5. Our weathered, big, red barn.
  6. The view from the top of the hill in the hay field.
  7. Collecting fresh eggs in the evening.
  8. Hearing the song birds in the afternoon.
  9. The smell of fresh cut hay in the breeze.
  10. Anticipation of the miracles that will sprout from freshly turned soil.
  11. Freshly turned soil.
  12. Coffee percolated on the wood fire cook stove on a cold morning.

Just to name a couple.

So Good!

Dearly Beloveds, I have gathered to you here today…(pause)… to brag about my cow. Sweet Caroline is living up to her name. I have been working with her, getting her really used to the halter and lead rope. It’s been two weeks, roughly, and this morning was the first test. Yesterday I turned her out with the herd. I always hate the first week or so when adding a new cow to the bunch. They reestablish a pecking order and they are so mean about it! They butt heads, prod with horns if they have them and I just don’t like it. So far, Caroline hasn’t gotten it too bad. She took to G.W. (the bull) within minutes of being out there. That was nice.

Anyways, the test. I always did my training in the morning and was planning to do the same today. I just wasn’t quite sure how I was going to get the halter on her and make our way quietly to the barn or get the others out of the barn and keep her in. At this point carrying a bucket of grain will get everyone’s attention and would not be of any help. Instead I just went with some healthy alfalfa hay for breakfast. No one was in too big of a hurry to exit the barn as I tossed the bales into the corral. They made their way single file to the pile. Lucy, Wheezy, G.W. Gus, Humphrey. Caroline was already out in the dark. I’m sure they ran her out of the barn between last night and this morning.

I went back to the barn and grabbed a handful of grain and the halter and headed back out in the dark. It has been raining all season and the barnyard is pretty soggy in places, most notably the duck pen and the run between the barn and corral.  I was able to get Caroline separated from the rest without any running around or kicking. She got a few licks of grain and a bite of hay. She was just standing calmly beside me in the dark. I slipped the halter over her nose then behind her ears. She threw her head just enough to tighten the slack a little crookedly. I tried to adjust it a little but she wasn’t interested. I pulled the rope and we made our way through the slop to the barn.

It was a little stop-and-go for the first bit, but I didn’t fall in the muck and she was preforming better that I would have expected after only two weeks. I closed the door behind us as I didn’t want any uninvited critters in the way. We made a couple short laps around the pen, walking up to the milk parlor door and around again. I tied her loosely to the fence while she ate another handful of grain and I cleaned the pen. Then we removed the halter and she was sent outside to finish her breakfast.

Disclaimer: The milk parlor door doesn’t lead to a real milk parlor. It leads to the where the milking stanchions used to be and where my homemade stanchion sits until we get the old ones rebuilt.

Update since I started this post: She’s still doing great!

Sweet Caroline and I.



Rest in Pieces

Today we say “goodbye” to a great little steer. Elvis and I have had “the talk” a few times and the day has come. Last night he was loaded into my uncle’s stock trailer accompanied by a few more with the same destination. I was both excited and sad as I filled out the butchers order form indicating how I would like him returned… little white packages. The freezer has been unplugged for most of the summer so the thought of it once again full and of our grass fed beef this time is pretty exciting. It will also be nice to not be calling mom “do you have an extra package of burger?” It happens often.

We had planned to butcher him ourselves this year but as fall grew closer we realized that it just wasn’t going to be possible at this time. I didn’t want to bring him elsewhere for processing, I don’t want anything to go to waste. I also know that I don’t have the time this fall to tan a hide and some of the other bigger projects that I would turn this cow into. From what I’ve heard the place he is going it pretty good so we will give them a shot and hopefully next year we will be better set up to take care of the next with the same freezer fate.

Rest in pieces little buddy! We will miss you in the barn but are thankful you will grace our table.


Sweet Caroline

I budget all of our household expenses and we do a pretty good job at sticking to it as there’s not much room for error at the moment. That being said, in the event that I fill a wedding cake order or something of the sort that gives us some unexpected income I usually tuck it away for an emergency or make an extra payment on a loan; something responsible. But every once in a while I blow it on a “want” rather than a “need” and that’s exactly what I just did. I like to think of this purchase as an investment though, it will contribute financially (hopefully) as well as in the kitchen.

I bought another cow.

We named her Sweet Caroline. She’s the cutest little red heifer. Her mother is a great milk cow from what I understand, putting out about 3 gallons a day with a good disposition, with any luck she will be just as good. I’ve started the adventure of halter breaking her now. With the experience of what to do and what not to do that I gained from working with Lucy and some more tips from others I’m hoping this one will go just as well if not better. She’s only been with us a couple days but has already warmed up to me pretty nicely.

Clutch or No?

John Deere M

“So this is the break and that’s the clutch or no?”

That’s when my dad’s eyes got big, Mike shook his head and they backed up the instructions. The last time I drove a tractor was the fall of 2006 after my grandpa passed away. (rough guess) Grandpa had quite the collection of tractors and to keep them all in working order the family would gather at the farm, everyone hopped on a tractor and drove for a while. A tractor parade of sorts around the farm yard and fields. So it’s been a long time.

“This is your throttle. Clutch. Shift here. Right break. Left Break. Okay?”


“Keep that front tire as close to the edge as you can. Drop the plow to here. When it starts to spin on the hill lift it about this much… You can use first gear for everything; shouldn’t need the break.”

I was plowing my first field. My wheat field. I have always loved to see freshly worked ground and this time it was me turning the sod over in neat (slightly crooked) rows revealing the glorious black soil underneath. Unlike the garden plot where my head was spinning with possibilities of vegetable and flower varieties that I could plant and where each would go, this field was for wheat and I needed to pay attention. Most everything I do is coupled with daydreams of future planning’s, this time not so much. I was plowing my wheat field. White knuckles on a thin old wheel, racing snails. Dad said it’s easiest to just keep one hand on the knob that controls the plow because I would be raising and lowering with the hills and field ends. That talent came about halfway through, until then I was concentrating on driving in a relatively straight line, keep all four tires on the ground, one on the edge of the furrow.

Once I got the hang of things (I think) I started to notice more of my surroundings and that my jaw was starting to hurt. I guess I furrow my brow and clench my teeth when I’m really concentrating on my work, even with my best effort I can’t seem to stop. That aside, the evening was perfect and relaxing even if my face would convince otherwise. I’d ran out the door of the house leaving my mom with two screaming kids and one sleeping in the swing telling her I’d bring my phone in case she decided she’d had enough. (I’d forgot it in the car though. Sorry mom!) I’d almost forgotten the chaos that I’d left just an hour before. There were a few deer in the neighboring field watching through a clearing in brush at the top of the hill and a couple flocks of low flying Canadian Geese over head.

I was doing pretty well enjoying watching the gopher mounds turn over on one pass and seeing their tunnels opened up in the next. The west-ish(?) end of the field is near a pretty good size, treed hill that stands above the slough/creek and lake. It’s far enough away from the edge that any sensible farmer wouldn’t give it a second thought, I on the other hand, was quite certain that if I didn’t get that plow out of the ground and those wheels headed a different direction in time I was going to see just how deep the water could be. Totally legitimate going a walking speed in first gear. I was almost past that portion of the field when it happened.

Lift the plow. Turn to the left. Turn to the left. Turn to the left! Why am I not going left?! Break! Break! Clutch! And stopped. Now to find neutral.

John Deere M

I’m stuck. It’s not the first time. Just reverse. Please not fourth. Please not fourth. Reverse! and forward and reverse and raise and lower the plow lever.

WTF! (Well that’s fantastic!)

By this time dad was on his way over.

“Lift the plow.”

“I did.”

About that time Mike and Mark (the neighbor) were there too.

“Why don’t you lift the plow and back up?”

“She did.”

“I did.”

“Huh. Well what happened?”

“I don’t know. I’m going to find a tree while you guys look it over.”

The plow didn’t lift. It was pushing me in a much wider turn than I was hoping and dangerously close to the edge of the ravine. (Not really that close but it felt like it.)  When I got back they had the plow unhooked and the tractor back on stable ground. I thought for sure I broke something. The plow wasn’t lifting as it should but after inspection a pin was turned or something. Either way I didn’t break it. They hooked the plow back up and got ‘er squared away again for me and off I went.

“When you get to the end of the row why don’t you shift into third to go back. You can practice shifting and it won’t take you so long to get back.” Dad was watching almost the whole time I plowed. He had a little smile as I passed. He was either proud or praying that I wouldn’t break the tractor… both maybe.

The sun was close to setting, there would be just enough daylight to make the drive home when I finished my last pass and got the tractor parked. Mike and dad were talking and I stood there for a minute admiring my crooked rows. I could see the golden grain topped straw that will be waving over the hill next fall. What a beautiful sight!


Wedding Glasses

We recently attended the wedding of a dear friend. Okay, so we missed most of the ceremony coming from out of town and with kids, but we caught the vows and isle exit. It was a beautiful day for an outdoor wedding and the reception hall was just as lovely. Everyone filed in to the hall to enjoy visiting during a cocktail hour preceding the supper as most wedding celebrations go.

The head table was seated and the guests were called to their tables as the meal was about to be served. It wasn’t too long after that some idiot had to start the glass clinking. Yes, I called the unknown party an idiot. The glass clinking tradition is one of my top three pet peeves.

A fresh off the alter couple has set forth a wonderful celebration of their day and offered each of their guests a very nice meal and in turn are expected to set down their forks and kiss at the clink of a glass as their steak and potatoes get cold. Drives me nuts! For Heaven’s sake let them eat!

We didn’t have a head table at our wedding reception.

One, because I don’t like to be the center of attention (especially when I’m eating pulled pork and corn on the cob).

Two, speech- I don’t like talking in front of more than three people at a time  (I stumble over my words). We skipped the speech portion, the maid of honor knew too many stories and so did the best man, my siblings are about as excited to talk in front of a crowd as I. Instead Mike and I played the roll of annoying server (without delivering food) and walked around visiting with the guests as they tried to eat instead.

And three… the dreaded glass clinking. Aside from letting our meal get cold, standing up in front of a crowd to kiss is not my idea of a good time. In fact we had no glassware or silverware at the meal. The state park at which we held the reception was a “dry” park. We were not allowed to serve alcohol so the only glassware that was there was that that came from coolers smuggled in, at which the park attendants kindly turned a blind eye to. We went with a simple picnic type menu; the previously mentioned corn on the cob and pulled pork sandwich, so “fancy” paper plates and plasticware was fitting. No clink-able table settings! Even if someone got the bright idea to knock a couple beer bottles together, Mike and I didn’t usually know where the other was visiting.

Yes, that is how much the clinking of glasses drives me crazy!

At our friends wedding, the bride kindly announced that if you clink your glass you must come up front and tell a story (with a microphone) about the bride and/or groom. This was a great idea! and it cut the clinking down considerably. Stories and well wishes were shared and for whatever reason Mike and I thought it would be funny to tell a story too. Beyond that I don’t know what I was thinking! Maybe it was due to our extremely crabby and tired children that I just needed a few minutes away from the table, I don’t know.

Without any intention of clinking a glass I made my way up front to do something that I usually need to be drinking to accomplish or out of my mind (I wasn’t drinking that night…). I told the bride I had a story to share and a groomsman piped up that I needed to clink a glass. “I don’t clink glasses.” He gladly assumed the task. By the time I got the microphone in my hand, I all of a sudden realized just what I was doing. I’m not partying like the old days (the pre-mama era)! I don’t talk in front of people! If I had something to say I should have taken time and wrote it down to read word for word (most likely reading like a scared kindergartener). Writing is still my most preferred method of communication. I took the microphone in hand and stumbled out a quick story about the groom, Tom, and my husband in their earlier years.

It was okay… I think… I think I blacked out a bit when I saw all the people in front of me.

When I made it back to the safety of my chair in the back corner, Mike was laughing. “I should have just wrote something first.” I said, still not sure exactly how the story came out. I was quickly distracted back to the “mama role” as the Little Miss in her overtired state started stealing things out of a neighboring diaper bag. The race was on again.

Now, I know this has nothing to do with the farm so my far fetched attempt to tie the two together will go something like this:

We have a cook stove in our living room across from the couch. Years ago, Mike and Tom were roommates and had a couch in the kitchen across from the stove. We currently keep our spoons in a drawer in the kitchen. One morning, years ago (after a party), they woke up “spooning” on the couch across from the silverware drawer. This was one of the first stories I was told when visiting Tom at their old place. Apparently there is photo evidence to prove who was there first but so far no one has been able to find it.

With that, I hope to never stand up and speak in front of a crowd again. And to the one whom I called an idiot, I apologize.

Tales of the Pregnant Farmer: The Gloves Are On Top



All the due dates had past and I was thoroughly annoyed that baby was late as well as being incredibly uncomfortable. By chance the midwives were in town and said they would stop up and check on baby and I. Molly offered some herbs that were known to get labor going quickly. It didn’t take me long to decide that “yes, I would love to give them a try.” Black and blue cohash thinned down with some others. With the herbs came a strict warning that I was to let them know if anything happened because they are super potent and work quickly and I work quickly anyways as we found out with the Little Miss.  

Excited to get this baby out I was still a bit hesitant because I knew what I was about to put myself through and seriously, our oldest just turned three… we’re a little busy. Taking into consideration the warning and knowing the midwives were in town waiting on another baby I waited until the next day to start the herbs, calling in “sick” with a “still no baby” news. Most of the day was spent trying to use the anxious energy- cleaning, doing laundry etc.

Finally labor seemed to start…maybe? By this point I was pretty sure this kid wasn’t going to arrive until he was two. I was texting with Molly and Rebekah (the midwives) giving them random updates with no real news to share.

It was supper time and I finally decided that maybe we should see if we could send the kids to my parents; a hopeful  “just in case”. I have never seen my mother drive so fast down our driveway or any road of comparable length and by the look on my dad’s face, from the passenger’s, seat neither had he. We will blame it on her new set of wheels and grandbaby excitement. I let the girls know that the kids were gone. Just keeping them in the loop I guess.

Mike was calmly sifting through the tub of birthing supplies.

“Gloves? Where are the gloves?” (remembering that he was without for the last baby)

“They are on top. Your looking for an individual packet and not a box.”

“Oh, okay, here. Clamps? I don’t see any clamps.”

“They’re in there in a ziplock.”

And so on… He knows how fast a baby can come and was prepared for this one.

About a half hour after the kids left the Rebekah and Molly arrived along with two doulas in training. After meeting the doulas and visiting for a short minute I decided I was going to take a quick shower and they could make themselves at home. About ten minutes into the shower (so I was told, time all of a sudden meant nothing at that point) “Okay, I think I may need some help” I called. The door swung open and all of a sudden there was stadium seating in our little bathroom. I had no idea six people could fit in there at the same time, but they did (I’m not sure how comfortably).

I think someone asked if the water could be turned off and I must have said “no” because a second shower curtain was brought in for those in the “splash zone”. (Molly and Rebekah, if you’re reading this and if we end up in this situation again just shut off the water.) Then a couple minutes of skippable bloody details and there was a baby!

That makes for seven people in the bathroom for those keeping track.

A healthy baby boy, screaming his tiny lungs out announcing to the would that he may be late but he was most certainly here! In fact I don’t think I have heard him cry that much since that that night. Thank goodness!

Since the initial announcement of this pregnancy there has been much anticipation and speculation of what the birth story would entail this time.
-Are you going to have it in the barn this time?
-Will you wait for the midwife to arrive or is Mike going to deliver this one too?
-Are you just going to deliver this one yourself?
Once the due dates past the questions turned to:
-You’re still pregnant?!
-What day are you getting induced?
A quick answer to each of these:
The barn would only be by accident even though Mike had mentioned that he would put down some fresh straw for me and the clean-up would be much easier. Ha!
We were trying to wait for the midwife the last time but I unknowingly didn’t give her enough time to make the hour and a half drive. (she did battle a nasty blizzard and made it record time anyway.)
I could probably deliver it myself assuming that everything went a easily and quickly as before and it would probably happen in the barn if it were going to be that much of a surprise. I don’t want to find that out though.
The last two I think I have covered in previous posts.

So this may not be the grand story that was anticipated but the fact that the ladies made before the baby was very exciting for us!