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Time Flies

February 7, 2011

I wrote my first tentative blog post three years ago today.  Now 609 posts later, blogging seems, well, comfortable.  I thought I would write mostly about Della and detailing my share milking and calf training procedures.  And ironically since then I’ve had a horrible time in the family cow department, and never did write much about calf raising, until Jane came along and while I write a lot about that, and Jane is wonderful, this is not what I wanted my milking life to be like.

I also thought I would write more about gardening than I do, but most of the time I don’t just because everyone is writing about gardening and I wonder, really how many ways are there to dig potatoes and plant garlic?  Quilting is another topic dear to my heart, pffft, can’t write about that, since I haven’t touched any of my quilting since I did this piece so long ago.

But what has been the easiest to write about is what happens every day here on the farm.  You start with some details on subjects like grass, and cow poop and you throw in a picture or two and you’ve got a blog post!  I just want to say thanks for sticking with me or if you’re new, thanks for stopping by.  As a thank you, I’ve twisted Hangdog’s arm and he’s gonna make a twine hook for you.  (Or whatever you want to use it for,  cape & cowl hook perhaps?)   Just leave a comment and tell me what is on your nightstand stack of reading material.  I’m reading Crow Planet by Lyanda Lynn Haupt and Blink by Malcolm Gladwell.

Thanks again!  Giveaway closes Wednesday at midnight PST – winner will be posted by Thursday the 10th.

108 Comments leave one →
  1. February 7, 2011 12:39 am

    I’m flicking between Tender Vol 2 by Nigel Slater, The Scented Room by Barbara Milo Ohrbach and a dog-eared copy of Pride & Prejudice by the incomparable Ms Austen. I just never get tired of reading Austen 🙂

  2. February 7, 2011 1:33 am

    Happy anniversary!!

    On my reading stack, other than seed catalogues, is the Bernardin “Complete Book of Home Preserving” and “Why Your World is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller” by Jeff Rubin.

  3. JudyInMaine permalink
    February 7, 2011 1:37 am

    Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner, The Girl She Used To Be by David Cristafano, Intervention by Robin Cook and Perfect Family by Pam Lewis. My husband and I both read your blog and admire your commitment to your daily sustenance. We have two aussies also, but since we are city folk, they are mini aussies! We have just the place for that twine hook! Judy

  4. February 7, 2011 3:19 am

    Your blog was a very entertaining life saver during the months I was on bedrest from the broken leg. I’ve read all of your posts, even the ones on other sites.

    It’s the way it works, I guess, best laid plans and then lives intervenes. As far as others doing gardening blogs, etc. I am always fascinated by how someone else does common things. And why. And you do such a good job about the why. Not to mention the wonderful photos!

    Anyways, congratulations on three years. I remember you wondering early on if you should keep posting. I remember thinking, Oh no! I hope she does! And you did, just as you’d been. And I for one was delighted.

    Bedside reading:

    recently: the British editions of James Herriot’s first books (as I watched the TV series), G is for Grafton, The Farm by Louis Bromfield, Pleasant Valley by Louis Bromfield, the young reader’s edition of Omnivore’s Dilemma (loved the photos and visuals!)

    and right now re-reading The Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson.

    Currently waiting for from library:

    Gardening when it counts : growing food in hard times / Steve Solomon

    Growing, older : a chronicle of death, life, and vegetables / Joan Dye Gussow

    I look forward to many more years of your posts. I do so enjoy them.

  5. susan womersley permalink
    February 7, 2011 3:59 am

    Congratulations on three years of blogging – I find your blog posts an endless source of important and well-told information! I am currently reading Mark Twain’s Autobiography and the Forgotten Pollinators. I do love reading about Jane and your land management pracitices, too. Here’s to many more years of blogging.

  6. February 7, 2011 4:08 am

    That twine hook is a beautiful thing….

    I’m embarrassed to reveal the crazy quantity of books by my bed. In my defense, I’m busy planning my preserving year so most are cookbooks, seed catalogs & such.

    I also have Malabar Farm by Louis Bromfield and A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg tucked into the mix along with Growing a Farmer by Kurt Timmermeister.

  7. February 7, 2011 4:11 am

    LOL….I’m trying to make it through the Harry Potter books but I’m only on book 2, The Chamber of Secrets. 🙂

  8. Cindy permalink
    February 7, 2011 4:19 am

    Stewardship of our land is critical to me – tho I no longer have cattle in my life I now look at my back field in a new way thanks to the info that you have shared. Please don’t give up on writing about gardening, either! Sweetmeat squash is not something that I knew about here in the northeast; now it is on my seed list. As for what is on my bedside table… I have yet to pare down the list of things I would love to have in the garden so the catalogs are still piled high. And the sketches… should the hoop house go to the north or the south of the main garden? As for those sweetmeats – can I persuade my husband that they will happily live with his grape vines?
    While I mull all of this over and over, please keep writing-

  9. JLK permalink
    February 7, 2011 5:13 am

    Right now I’m reading Gaia’s Garden and Perennial Vegetables.

  10. Tammy Blazin permalink
    February 7, 2011 5:31 am

    I don’t often leave a comment but I follow your blog faithfully. We are moving in just one week to a 58 acre property in New Jersey where I will begin my quest for grass fed meats and home raised produce. So…..with the move…… I am not reading anything at the moment but my favorite book of all time is Willa Cather’s “My Antonia”.

  11. Rita permalink
    February 7, 2011 5:32 am

    Give away or no, you are still my favorite blogger. I’m reading “The Memory Keeper’s Daughter” and “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man”.

  12. jean permalink
    February 7, 2011 5:35 am

    I love your blog! I live in the city with dreams of farm life. Your photos make me smile – especially the ones of the dogs! So, thanks for keeping us updated on your life. I’m currently reading Brain Rules by John Medina and Dead or Alive by Tom Clancy. Two very different books.

  13. Jessica permalink
    February 7, 2011 5:38 am

    I’m reading The Grapes of Wrath, it sounds so pretentious, doesn’t it? I feel like any book about country people who say sentences like “Okie use’ ta mean you was from Oklahoma” Couldn’t possibly be considered stuck-up.

    Happy Monday!

  14. Ali permalink
    February 7, 2011 5:59 am

    I really enjoy reading your blog and catching a glimpse of your world. And thanks for writing about all the may things you doo, 😉 poop included. You give me something to think about on a regular basis, and while you may call them belly acres, they are pretty calm and rational rants. Our chickens this winter are spending their days in a low tunnel on a deep bed of straw, to recapture that poop! As for what I’m reading just now, it is The Town that Food Saved by Ben Hewitt. Hewitt will be speaking on my campus later this spring.

  15. February 7, 2011 6:02 am

    How come I didn’t realize that he blacksmithed? That’s really pretty.

    Right now I’m reading Deliberate Life and Simpler Living. How-to books are safer for me. I have a bad habit with novels of staying up all night to finish them. No discipline.

  16. Marcia permalink
    February 7, 2011 6:07 am

    I love what you write about and learn much from you!

    Oh….I SO need a twine hook…and such a beautiful one at that.

    On my nightstand:

    Quite a Year for Plums by Bailey White
    The Wyoming Lynching of Cattle Kate by George Hufsmith
    Production of Field Crops (1936 version – my dad’s college textbook)
    Winter – Notes from Montana by Rick Blass

  17. mims permalink
    February 7, 2011 6:25 am

    It wouldn’t be a complete day without seeing apost frpm you and seeing the whole family. wordles wednesday sare my favorite.

    i am reading the Essential Snowshoer ( a quick skim) and
    Linnaeus : nature and nation by Elizabeth Keorner…

  18. February 7, 2011 6:39 am

    Love your blog and thanks for reposting the link to the quilt. I missed that one and BTW, absolutely beautiful and such a keepsake with your hand work.

    On the nightstand( although I never read in bed, unless sick) is “Homeopathic Care for Cats and Dogs by Don Hamilton, DMV and on the end table in the livingroom; “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle a year of Food Life” by Barbara Kingsolver plus several seed cataloges, a poultry cataloge and a Herbal Healer cataloge.

    Congrats on three years blogging, I’ve only been at it for alittle over two and not sure how many posts during that time. Our blog is eclectic, mostly about our farm, animals, garden and with a mix of items of interest to us as well as some political( although I try to avoid this topic because it makes so many unhappy).

    Love the twine hook, crossing my fingers :o)

  19. February 7, 2011 6:43 am

    This is one of my favorite stops! I appreciate what you share here. I’ve still got SO MUCH to learn. And, BTW, that quilt is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen – the embroidery is magnificent. What a wonderful gift to give… a piece of your heart.

    On my nightstand is Living with Goats: Everything You Need to Know to Raise Your Own Backyard Herd by Margaret Hathaway, Growing 101 Herbs That Heal by Hartung, and The Covenant by Beverly Lewis. It’s a rare evening that I don’t curl up with a good book.

  20. February 7, 2011 6:51 am

    Wow, 609 posts…amazing. Your blog had been an inspiration to us, as I have mentioned before we have gleaned many good ideas from reading your posts. Let’s see, because of you we grow and love celeriac, Melissa cabbage this year, sauerkraut in the basement instead of canned…so much better this way, cottonwood salve..we will be gathering this tonight or tomorrow night, and many things that I am forgetting including your thoughts on the good earth and how to keep it that way. Oh, and just yesterday my wife was happy to learn that she doesn’t have to toss the old popcorn and is in the process of rejuvenating it.:) I can’t wait to read the next 609 posts.

    I am reading “The Gardener’s Guide to Better Soil” by Gene Logsdon and just finished “10 Acres is Enough” by Edmund Morris.

  21. Diana Smith permalink
    February 7, 2011 6:51 am

    Congrads on three years. I do so enjoy getting your blog in my emails. Having gotten back in dairy cows/farming since my retirement last year I really am interesting in everything you write about cows, soil,pastures. Looking forward to many more posts while reading thru your old ones….DEE

  22. February 7, 2011 7:00 am

    “Hidden Man of the Heart” by Archmandrite Zacharias has been on my bedside forever.
    Currently my kindle occupies much of my attention, “the Prophet of Yonwood” by Jeanne Duprau and “Talking About Detective Fiction” by P.D. James occupy my attention when I am not tending my 6, soon to be 7 children.
    I love your blog and your posts have figured heavily in our discussions around managing my families ranch property. Thank you for your fence and grass posts especially.

  23. February 7, 2011 7:04 am

    Lineage of Grace by Francine Rivers. Hope you have a great week!

  24. Roz permalink
    February 7, 2011 7:16 am

    I so look forward to reading about your daily farm life! If I can’ t do it, at least I can live it vicariously. On my nightstand are the books Black Trillium by 3 wonderful sci-fi ladies, The Green Book (a friend thought I would like it, it’s from KOHLS!!!), and Recon Scout by Fred Salter.

  25. February 7, 2011 7:16 am

    This is one of the 6 can’t-miss blogs I read daily. As a newbie farmer, I thank you so much especailly for sharing your knowledge of cows, pastures, and manure! Also love your dog posts (we also have 2 Aussies).
    The pile of books by my bedside include:
    Fruitless Fall, by Rowan Jacobsen
    Four Season Harvest, by Eliot Coleman
    Keeping a Family Cow, By Johana S. Grohman (reading sections over and over again as I anticipate my first 2 calves this spring)
    1491, by Charles C Mann
    The Dirty Life, by Kristin Kimball – shared with my husband and daughters and all of us read this book straight through, staying awake all night.!

  26. kyenne permalink
    February 7, 2011 7:17 am

    Decided to leave a post because I love the blog – it’s as close to being outdoors / outside the city as I get these days after growing up outside of Newport on the coast. It’s the only one I read EVERY entry!!

    On my reading table: NURTURE SHOCK by Po Bronson & Ashley Merryman- interesting research refuting a lot of assumptions about raising children (e.g. it’s likely that it’s not TV and junk food that leave kids obese, it’s lack of sleep); THE GREAT HOUSE by Nicole Krauss which is a collection of short stories (like rooms in a …. house) that all feature a desk; and the latest collection of short stories by Alice Munron because she is amazing.

    Keep on writing.

  27. Courtney F. permalink
    February 7, 2011 7:18 am

    I look forward to your posts so much–they warm my little suburbia-stifled heart! Right now I’m reading a couple of parenting books out of necessity ( my husband and I are expecting our first!). For fun, though, I keep The Lord of the Rings, Persuasion by Jane Austen, and some of St. Teresa of Avila’s writings on my nightstand. I’m a little eclectic. 🙂

  28. February 7, 2011 7:18 am

    ha, glad I’m not the only one here not posting heavily garden/eco/rural survival type of books. 🙂 I’m also re-reading the Harry Potter series, am in the midst of book #7. 🙂

    Beautiful hook!

  29. February 7, 2011 7:19 am

    I found your Blog at another and have gone back to the begining and read it from there. I have no big farm animals, But I pick up manure by the truck load. Why? you might ask. Because I have 25,000 + Red Wigglers that eat the CRAP (bad pun?) out of it. They also help me to reduce my carbin foot print by consuming all the kitchen scraps I can get!
    I also am in the process of redesining the inside of my house to get a Barn like feel to the place and the Twine Hook use fit right in.
    I enjoy your Blog and look forward to reading the new posts. Maybe you can take a look at my and tell me what you think?

  30. Karen permalink
    February 7, 2011 7:23 am

    Congratulations – what a milestone. I found your blog over a year ago and it’s definitely one of my favorites…and I don’t own a single farm animal LOL (yet). It’s amazing how much I enjoy reading about cow and chicken poop!

    I recently got the whole Stephen King collection for my eReader and have been rereading all his books and short stories. I also love reading old cookbooks for pleasure and always have one or two laying around.

    I can think of a hundred uses for a twine hook!

  31. Beach Bum permalink
    February 7, 2011 7:29 am

    My bedside table currently has “The Way is Made by Walking” about the Camino de Santiago and USMLE flashcards, for an upcoming exam. I really enjoy your blog.

  32. February 7, 2011 7:30 am

    Congratulations on your third anniversary. Your blog is one of my favorites that I truely enjoy reading. While I am not a famer, I love learning new things. I have come to love all about poop and grass, that big wood burning stove, your gardening, preserving and canning. You are so smart. Thank you for sharing your daily lives with us.

    RIght now I am reading…
    Your Blog, Throwback at Trapper Creek
    Spoken from the Heart by Laura Bush
    Carb Free Cooking
    Why We Get Fat: and What to Do About It
    Your Life Organized
    The Bible

  33. February 7, 2011 7:34 am

    I have been so happy to have found your blog. I also live along the Columbia, but much further downstream, so reading about how you deal with wet, cold summers is always of great interest to me. I must tell you that I would much rather read your take on gardening, seed saving, wood stove cookery, cattle management, house cows, and quilting than most of the others that I have found out there. Your posts are always informative and interesting. I am trying to implement a better way of managing my horse farm – ala MiG, and a way to vertically integrate our composting site, so your posts about fencing and manure are always of great interest.
    My reading stack currently is ‘the ecstacy of being a lunatic farmer’ – J. Salatan, and Eliot Coleman’s newest book (the name of which currently escapes me).

  34. Bellen permalink
    February 7, 2011 7:39 am

    Really enjoy reading your blog – can’t do what you do – but we have really good imaginations so can picture doing it.
    Because of age (both at or near 65), Health (heart disease for him, diabetes for me and high blood pressure for both), HOA rules that pretty much eliminate in ground gardens we are reinventing our selves and our life style so we are currently reading –
    Edible Container Garden by Michael Guerra
    Just in Case by Kathy Harrison
    Green Metropolis by David Owen – actually it’s on disc and I listen while using the exercise bike
    Gardening when it counts by Steve Solomon
    and when I just need to be entertained – The Husband by Dean Coontz

  35. February 7, 2011 7:40 am

    I can’t remember when I found ya, but I’ve never left ya since! :o) You remain a source of inspiration for me and I am ever so grateful to you for your willingness to share what you know. I’ll repeat what I said once before: if you ever wrote a book, I’d be first in line to buy it and it would have a permanent place on my nightstand!

    As for books on my nightstand: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played With Fire both by Steig Larssen; Books 1-7 (boxed set) of the Sookie Stackhouse Vampire series by Charlaine Harris; various magazines- Country Home, Martha Stewart’s Living, Country Woman, Southern Living and more; Crossword puzzle books; The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis; and West Virginia Historic and Scenic Highway Markers published in 1937 by the State (beautiful book!).

    I sure hope that lovely hook makes it’s way out here! :o) Thanks for the fun! :o)

  36. February 7, 2011 7:40 am

    Happy Anniversary. I think I stumbled upon your blog a year ago or so and I am glad I did!
    Right now, I am reading Riding Between the Worlds by Linda Kohanov….and a book on the ‘Motherly Art of Breastfeeding’…but that is another topic for another time 😉 ha!

  37. February 7, 2011 7:47 am

    I love reading your blog! I find posts like the ones you mentioned above so soothing — about the little routine things around the homestead and the photos you take to be so much fun to read. It doesn’t always have to be practical, informational, or instructional. If it brings a smile to your face, odds are it will bring a smile to someone else’s face too. =)

    I just finished reading “Nurture Shock” and will be heading to the library today to pick up the 3rd book in the “Wicked” series and a book on raising chickens. Joseph is neck deep in reading “Atlas Shrugged.”

    Excited about the give-away — I’ve already got a home picked out for it if we’re chosen. Happy 3 years!

    City Roots, Country Life

  38. LLB permalink
    February 7, 2011 8:02 am

    On my nightstand are books “Birdology” by Sy Montgomery, “Animals in Translation” by Temple Grandon, “Getting Over Getting Mad” (you asked, lol), and magazines Photgraphy, Entrepeneur, and Yes!

  39. Tami permalink
    February 7, 2011 8:04 am

    Here’s to the next 609!! I have loved getting to know you… Right now I am reading “The Woman Behind Little Women” an biography about Louisa May Alcott, and also “Prairie Lands Gardener’s Guide” by Cathy Wilkinson Barash.

  40. February 7, 2011 8:14 am

    Even though your blog isn’t what you expected it to be, I check daily and have learned so much about cattle farming, rotational grazing and manure management (bovine and chicken!). You are a great resource for me, and I so appreciate you!

    (On my nightstand – actually, in a stack by the pellet stove – is “Water Wise Vegetables: For the Maritime Northwest Gardener” by Steve Solomon. Gives me food for thought.)

  41. Sue permalink
    February 7, 2011 8:17 am

    A reminder that my days are full, sleep is welcome and planting is still a few months off:
    5 back issues of New Yorker
    4 back issues of Atlantic Monthly
    3 back issues of the Sunday New York Times Magazine

  42. February 7, 2011 8:17 am

    I am so glad you began blogging, I love to read about you and the things you do. I am getting chicks this spring and am planning to let them rotate around the yard, something I’ve picked up from you and your animal rotations.
    I just quit my part-time job and am concentrating on being a good mom to my three girls. So, I’m reading The Mission of Motherhood to help me get started.

  43. treatlisa permalink
    February 7, 2011 8:26 am

    Found your blog through KFC and always love to hear your perspective, see how you handle your daily routine and challenges. I love being able to compare notes and just to have you ahead of me, blazing the trail, so to speak is worth a lot! Good for you and thanks for taking the time to write it down! On my nightstand: Sheer Ecstasy of Being a Lunatic Farmer,Joel Salatin and Small Farmer’s Journal.

  44. February 7, 2011 8:29 am

    Congrats! And thanks for not giving up. Your blog is always interesting – even to someone who will never keep a cow.

    On the nightstand:
    The Humanure Handbook by Jenkins
    The Resilient Gardener by Deppe
    In Siberia By Thurbron

  45. February 7, 2011 8:29 am

    Right now, Blogs are my main source of reading literature. I have found that my favorite hobbies; knitting, gardening, hooping, exploring the woods, cooking and caring for my family are not as conducive to reading novels as being able to pass by my computer and read a short post here and there. Your blog has been a source of inspiration and good information! Keep it coming. Thanks!

  46. February 7, 2011 8:31 am

    Last year I splurged and got a Kindle. I never would have spent money on one but got it via my “reward points” from my credit card. (That doesn’t feel like real money and we use it for splurging. CC is paid off monthly!) I love the idea of having access to millions of books in a tiny little thing that fits in my purse. I also love REAL books and the smell of a used book store. The Kindle is awful for books with tables or illustrations, definitely not good for gardening books. But novels? It is perfect. And there are a surprisingly large number of free books to be found for the kindle. I have been re-reading my favorite classics (Jane Austen, Charles Dickens) and reading many that I always meant to get around to (Shakespeare!). I am in the middle of a series of novels by Diana Gabaldon that involve time travel, pagan rituals, romance, war, the Scottish Highlands of the 1700s, a WWII nurse, a couple of 1960s hipsters and the American Revolution. As bizarre as that sounds it is very well written and is a hypnotic page turner. I recently finished another addictive trilogy by Stieg Larsson, his The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series. Wonderful books.
    As for gardening books….. I’m reading Edible Landscaping by Rosalind Creasy and a treasure trove of old books I came across by Ruth Stout. (I love her theory of lazy gardening but I think she must have been blessed with good soil to begin with and not this dreary clay I’m working with!)

    I love your blog. Your stories of family and connectedness to the land. I love your no nonsense approach to husbandry. Your love of the animals and plants. As I’ve been learning to garden you have taught me patience, (I cried when you complained about your “new” garden bed of 15 (?) years not being up to snuff when I was coming to the end of my first year) I have taken to heart the lessons of learning what works in my space and the reality of actually living off what can be grown on the land you work. Not that I’m anywhere near there, but you’ve helped me see what I can work towards. Kept me grounded and focused.

    Tell hangdog that I’m drooling over his twine hook. I love wrought iron and his work is beautiful.
    I’m crossing my fingers.

  47. February 7, 2011 8:35 am

    We’re in the middle of packing to move, so the only book of mine out right now is A Picture of Dorian Grey. Not overly a fan of Wilde, but want to be able to say that I read it. 😛

  48. Jennifer Krieger permalink
    February 7, 2011 8:43 am

    What reading material is on my bedstand? The New Yorker, Leaves of Grass, something about a Yiddish cop in Alaska, The Little Airplane.
    And bills.

  49. Micah and Katie Helser permalink
    February 7, 2011 8:50 am

    There’s never just one…

    Me- The Big Burn by Timothy Eagan, The Family Cow, Small Scale and Organic Hops Production manual, and the latest issue of the Small Farmer’s Journal.

    On the other side of the bed we have- Emma, Sense and Sensibility, Homesteading Basics, and a book on Botanical Drawing.

    At times it seams incomprehensible that we would ever finish or be able to follow a single story, but somehow the pile constantly morphs with time. A representation of our dreams and desires!

  50. Lisa permalink
    February 7, 2011 9:06 am

    My bedtime reading is always scattered and eclectic, and the stack of books by my bed this morning reflects that fact. Mrs. Gaskell’s “Cranford” is on top, since I’m flying through that gentle novel. Next down is Georges Duby’s “The Age of the Cathedrals”; which I read in college and picked up again after seeing a PBS show on cathedrals–slow going, but fascinating. On the bottom of the stack is William Cronon’s “Changes in the Land”–haven’t begun it yet, but it’s very much of the nature/history theme I enjoy.

    Thanks for keeping up your terrific blog. Your life seems so very different from mine here in California’s Central Valley, and yet I relate to much of what you write. Keep up the good work!

  51. Jason permalink
    February 7, 2011 9:09 am

    I don’t remember exactly when or how I found you, but I’ve been reading faithfully ever since. Congratulations on three years. Here’s to many more.

    Currently reading:
    The Big Short – Michael Lewis
    Bringing It to the Table: On Farming and Food – Wendell Berry

    Just Finished:
    Outliers – Malcolm Gladwell

  52. February 7, 2011 9:12 am

    Charcuterie & The Barefoot Beekeeper. No need to include me in your give away (much as I’d love one of Hangdog’s beautiful pieces) but my husband would kill me if I added something to his list of things to do. But I’m glad you asked “me” about books! No one else does!

  53. Mareena permalink
    February 7, 2011 9:14 am

    I sure hope you continue the blog for a long long time, because you are one of my favorites. I especially love that you post LOTS of photos for Wordless Wednesdays. Jane, dogs, manure, pasturing, gardening, Hangdog’s nickname, I love it all.

    On my bedside table (it’s a small desk):
    Talking about Death
    Carrots Love Tomatoes
    Tiger Palace
    Bright Hair About the Bone
    Silk Roads and Shadows
    Wizard of the Grove
    How to Wash a Cat
    The Age of Steam
    The Damascened Blade
    The One-Straw Revolution
    Opium for the Masses
    Witchcraft Medicine
    Mixed Media Self Portraits
    Outworld Cats
    You Only Die Once
    Sword and Sorceress XXI
    Earth Psalms
    and magazines:
    Cloth, Paper, Scissors (couple of issues)
    Quilting Arts
    Martha Stewart Living
    Country Living
    and catalog:
    Syracuse Cultural Workers spring catalog

    this doesn’t count the things that have fallen in the floor.

  54. February 7, 2011 9:14 am


    I’ve been faithfully reading your blog for several years now and became quite worried when you “talked” about quitting; so glad you decided to continue. I even read some of your posts out loud to my husband!

    Funny you should ask what we are reading; believe it or not, I’m currently working my way through a survival manual published by the Department of the Army from March 1986!! Found it on a shelf in the garage. It’s really quite interesting…….

  55. February 7, 2011 9:22 am

    Gardening in Georgia by Walter Reeves and Erica Glasener, endless seed catalogs, I just pulled out all of my canning cookbooks to make a plan for 2011, and I’m re-reading Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovitch. She makes me laugh out loud. If any of you have read her, the scene in the grocery store made me snort coffee out of my nose!

    I’m glad you have kept up with the blogging. I need to get back to it myself.

  56. Chris permalink
    February 7, 2011 9:25 am

    Thank-you and congratulations on your 3rd anniversary of gifting us all with the amazing story of your lives at Trapper Creek! It truly is an inspiration to so many of us…even those of us without farms!
    I was thinking when I first saw the twine hook that Hangdog made…what a beautiful thing! Mine is a dumb nail in the wall! 🙂
    On my bedside table…other than seed catalogs right now…is the 4th book in the Outlander series, by Diana Gabaldon. Good reads!
    Here’s to many more years of your great blog!

  57. Hrist permalink
    February 7, 2011 9:44 am

    Guess I have to add my voice to the chorus: I love your blog! You’re in my top three favourites on the same general subject matter. I love that you’ve been doing this for most of your life so while you’ve got a lot of experiments on the go you generally know what you’re talking about and I learn something with every post.

    On the bedside table: Hand Woolcombing and Spinning by Peter Teal and Mutineers Moon by David Weber. And assorted university course reading packs.

  58. February 7, 2011 9:49 am

    Wow…thatsa lotta blog posts! Congratulations on your blogging anniversary!

    My nightstand reading is a rather eclectic lot currently:

    Traveling with Pomegranates – a Mother-Daughter Story (by Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Taylor)

    Roses Love Garlic – Companion Planting and Other Secrets of Flowers (by Louise Riotte)

    World War Z – An Oral History of the Zombie War (by Max Brooks)

    Making it Home (by Lars Nordstrom) (a Scandanavian-American author writing about his small farm in Oregon)

  59. February 7, 2011 10:00 am

    Aw, Nita!!! I can’t believe you’ve only been blogging for three years. Yours is one of my absolute favorites. Your take is utterly unique, has altered my thinking in so many ways, and keeps me coming back for more. I LOVE your wordless posts, too, but I’m constantly telling people, “You want to understand farming–smart farming–read Throwback at Trapper Creek. And if you want hilarious, read her post about the Jar Nazi.” I don’t know if you realize how much that one gets passed around here in Portland, as a kind of warning/tutorial on what NOT to say to Jim the Jar Guy.

  60. Natasha permalink
    February 7, 2011 10:02 am

    Thank you for sharing so much of your life via blog!
    These days I’m mostly reading for work, but I have copies of Light Lifting by Alexander MacLeod and This is Your Brain on Music by Daniel Levitin waiting for me.

  61. February 7, 2011 10:06 am

    Your blog has worked its way to the top of my favorites list so it’s past time, i think, for me to say hello ; )

    I wasn’t sure where the ‘Throwback at Trapper Creek’ link would take me the first time i clicked on it but i sure wasn’t expecting a Captain Barbossa quoting dairy maid writing about things i didn’t even know i had been thinking about. I loved your Thanksgiving Dinner photo essay, along with so many other posts.

    So what am i reading? Just finished ‘Port Mortuary’ from Patricia Cornwall. “The Help” is cued up next because i seem to be the only person left in America who hasn’t read it yet. Hope it’s good. Fiction is my guilty pleasure and i mostly listen to it these days rather than read it, mostly while driving. No more staying up all night reading, or at least not as much.

    And after that Thich Nhat Hanh, “Teachings on Love” which i listen to now and then when i feel like i need to be a better person. Health food ; )

    On the nightstand is ‘A-16’, a cookbook recommended by another blogger. And Nina Planck’s ‘Real Food’ which was recommended by Amazon during a search for ‘Nourishing Traditions’. And ‘The Backyard Beekeeper’s Honey Handbook’ because i think i’d like to keep a few bees, if i can afford the start-up. And David Thompson’s ‘Thai Food’ , not that i need another book about that.

    Happy Anniversary!

  62. akaangrywhiteman permalink
    February 7, 2011 10:19 am

    Great blog, but then if it wasn’t great I wouldn’t be reading it;-).
    My bedside library on one side is a Companion Bible and Strong’s concordance, on the other I have Lyman’s 48th edition, a Speer’s #13, and Nosler’s#6, reloading manuals. Some call me strange, but only if I’m alone or with somebody.

  63. Birgit permalink
    February 7, 2011 10:31 am

    Masonry Heaters: Living with a Piece of the Sun. We’re hoping to put one in over the summer.

    Love your blog, such helpful information to somebody who aspires to have a cow, and a pasture. Thanks so much for your great postings!

  64. Wendy permalink
    February 7, 2011 10:49 am

    I just found your blog last year, and have learned so much from you! While I doubt we’ll ever get to the point of rotational grazing with electric fencing, we did spend a lot of time putting in new fence lines, with more plans for this year, making smaller pastures. I also find myself looking at poop more closely these days, and I’ve bought seeds for a couple of varieties of squash this summer. Looking forward to many more posts to come!

    I’m reading Sophie Kinsella’s Remember Me, and Greenhouse Gardening.

  65. February 7, 2011 11:34 am

    Woo-hoo! I love hooks for various things.

    In fact, I just wrote two blog posts about all that I’m reading:

    I have enjoyed your posts tremendously, even though I don’t have a farm, nor cows, nor even chickens. I do garden and dream of having a real farm someday, or at least chickens. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll get to heat with wood someday, but for now I merely dream and do what I can.

  66. February 7, 2011 11:55 am

    Dear Matron I just want to say I am new to your blog but find myself coming back everyday. I can relate to your career choice. I am new to blogging myself only since Sept 2010. I love it I have met very interesting informative people and it makes life easier knowing you are not alone in this whole farming for a living thing. I do not need a hook but they are gorgeous, do not put my name in the draw as I am only new and I think one of your longtime followers should win. Thanks for letting me find and enjoy your blog. Buttons

  67. Terry permalink
    February 7, 2011 12:11 pm

    I’m a one-book-at-a-time kind of gal. Right now it’s Growing, Older by Joan Dye Gussow. Oh, but there are those seed catalogs, too.

  68. Sheila Z permalink
    February 7, 2011 12:28 pm

    Seed catalogs and a cookbook called Homestyle Japanese Cooking.

  69. Emily permalink
    February 7, 2011 12:43 pm

    I could use a twine hook. Right now twine is hanging and draped in all sorts of odd places- I just try to keep the twine off the ground so it doesn’t get buried by snow. I am re-reading one of my favorite series, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, I’m on the first book, and it is a well worn dear friend. I just read Water for Elephants by Sarah Gruen. It was not my normal reading, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and am looking forward to the movie. Usually this time of year I am reading about gardening, medicinal herbs and different duck or chicken breeds – I guess I’m escaping my reality while I still can.

  70. February 7, 2011 12:57 pm

    Oh, how lovely.
    I just made your cottonwood salve, and love it. I’d been wishing for the past several years for a way to capture that wonderful fragrance in a salve (the medicinal uses are very nice, too). Thank you.
    I have a question for you, though; do you worry about getting the actual resin into the salve? It all sank to the bottom of the oil, and is fairly uncooperative to work with, but the oil alone does hold the fragrance of the buds.
    Am reading “The Contrary Farmer,” by Gene Logsdon; just finished “Caravan,” by Dorothy Gilman and am about to pick up another of her books, but the title escapes me at the moment.Also seed catalogs…

  71. February 7, 2011 1:00 pm

    What the World Eats by Faith D’Aluisio and Peter Menzel. And I’ve got two others books by one or both of them (Material World and What I Eat) lined up behind it. Fascinating books, bought to celebrate getting my tax return!

  72. February 7, 2011 1:34 pm

    I am just finishing two re-reads. SF, “Scout’s Progress”, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, and Urban Noir or Fantasy or something, “Queen of the Darkness” by Anne Bishop (third of the Dark Jewels trilogy).

    Happy anniversary!

  73. February 7, 2011 2:20 pm

    wow what a list of comments!! Currently I’m reading ‘Growing vegetables without irrigation…’ by Steve Solomon, ‘Home Economics’ by Wendell Berry, and the new seed Catalog from Wild Garden Seed. Happy 3 years!!

  74. Megan permalink
    February 7, 2011 2:28 pm

    I too enjoy reading your blog. I am currently reading The Backyard Homestead and a book about Composting…can’t for the life of me remember the name!

  75. Vicki permalink
    February 7, 2011 2:43 pm

    I love reading your blog, whatever you choose to write about. It’s always entertaining and/or instructive. I’m currently reading The Resilient Gardener (thanks to Rosemoon,) a couple of books about cheese making, and Between Parent and Child. And a stack of seed catalogs!

  76. Marilyn permalink
    February 7, 2011 3:10 pm

    Congratulations on your anniversary! And thanks again for your wonderful posts. So amazingly helpful for someone trying to regain connection to reality, after a lifetime of busyness.

    My bedside table has The Tangled Wing by Melvin Konner, the latest issues of Acres and Small Farmer’s Journal, Chinatown’s Angry Angel by Mildred Crowl Martin, 61 Hours by Lee Child, and Lost in Wonder by Esther de Waal.

    One way or another, I’m going to need an easy place to store my baling twine!

  77. February 7, 2011 4:03 pm

    Oh wow, my nightstand is full of things to read. I’ve got my Backyard Poultry and Sheep magazines, seed catalogs, Preserving Food Without Freezing or Canning by Chelsea Green, Mindset by Carol Dweck, Combating Cult Mind Control by Steven Hassan, and a bunch of used regency romance books for light reading. I’m always in the middle of something. We are in two books clubs so there is always something new to read.

  78. February 7, 2011 4:17 pm

    The Hereford Digest for one, a book on Humility (that I really SHOULD read) and a couple of trashy novels. I’m glad to have read your blog from the beginning. Congrats on three years and LOTS of success. You reach people and that’s important!

  79. Tom permalink
    February 7, 2011 4:56 pm

    Just started reading Walker Percy’s Love in the Ruins. Also reading the latest Stockman Grass Farmer, and Pat Coleby’s Natural Cattle Care. Thanks for all your thoughtful posts!

  80. February 7, 2011 4:58 pm

    I love all your Jane, poop, and grass posts! Please keep them coming!

    My nightstand has “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” which I’m re-reading; “The Valley of Adventure” by Enid Blyton which I recently tracked down after looking for it for 40 years (!); and the latest issue of “Hobby Farms.” It depends on my mood which one I pick up!

  81. Enjay permalink
    February 7, 2011 5:48 pm

    Currently I have on my nightstand:
    The Knitters Almanac by Elizabeth Zimmerman
    A Treasury of Knitting Patterns Vols 1&3 by Barbara Walker
    Basic Butchering of Livestock and Game by John Mettler
    the “T” book from my mom’s old encyclopedia of gardening set

    That stack is topped with the Baker’s Creek Seed Catalog, which is topped by my current knitting, which is a sock.

    I’m currently listening to The Sweet Potato Queen’s Guide to Raising Children for Fun and Profit by Jill Connor for a bit of light humor, and I think my knitting will be picked up any second now. 😉

  82. Bev permalink
    February 7, 2011 6:43 pm

    So many have said how we feel about your blog! Have been gardening for so many years, but you can teach an old gardener new things. We have learned so much from your blog. We are growing your onions this year. Their being a good keeper caught our eye. Being a caretaker of the land means a lot to us. Years back we used to raise our own meat chickens. We love your idea of the moving pen. Love your pics and especially the dogs.

    Have quite a few books piled up waiting to be read. I am re-reading Stillmeadow Sampler by one of my favorite authors, Gladys Taber. Her books are about her home, daily life, gardening, food and her dogs.

    The twine hook is beautiful. Our twine hangs on a nail!

  83. bethany permalink
    February 7, 2011 7:25 pm

    congratulations on three years! i found your blog once upon a time searching for information on sweet meat squash, and it quickly found it’s way into my regular rounds. just this week, i ordered naked seed pumpkin seed after reading about your experience growing them…
    on my bedside book shelf right now: small-scale grain raising by gene logsdon, the opinionated knitter by elizabeth zimmermann, and humbolt’s gift by saul bellow.

  84. February 7, 2011 7:49 pm

    I didn’t know what a twine hook was, so I’m glad you posted that picture. I imagine it hanging from my fence with our collection of skipping ropes. Currently they hang from a framing nail on the post, but it keeps the lawn mower from munching them up.

    On my bedside table: The $5 Dinner Mom Cookbook (although the prices are all in US and we can’t ever match that, the logic within is sound) and 250 Gluten-Free Favourites. I’m in a cooking rut and needed some inspiration to help us through a new diet restriction.

  85. michelle permalink
    February 7, 2011 7:52 pm

    Wow! The comment numbers really skyrocket when you offer gifts;)
    In a sunburned country by bill bryson and latin for idiots(for shits and giggles)

  86. February 7, 2011 9:38 pm

    I’m a new follower of your blog. I really enjoy it. I love that twine hook! I have a lot of books I’m reading. The Bible In 90 Days, Grow Great Grub, One Magic Square and The Exodus Quest…plus others.

  87. Frances permalink
    February 7, 2011 11:15 pm

    “Penguin History of New Zealand” but its a slow burning read, so Jonh Buchan on the side. It was a good day, with great reading, when I found your blog.

  88. Eliza J permalink
    February 8, 2011 2:44 am

    Temporarily on my bed side table is “Start with the Soil” by Grace Gershuny (great book!), and always there is my Bible. Your blog is one of 6 that I start every morning checking in on. I enjoy your writing and your photography. The twine hook is awesome……great idea for a giveaway!

  89. February 8, 2011 3:01 am

    Wow, caught this one by the skin of my teeth. Been out sick and tired. Oh you really don’t want to know what I’ve been reading…do I really have to share. HORMONES! Every book in the library about hormones and menopause! There I said it and now can cover my head. Hope I win something for that confessional!!! 😉 My bedside book is my Bible and The Shack….the others sit in a bag!!!!

    • Lisa/ permalink
      February 8, 2011 9:31 am

      Diane, I’m fanning myself from the latest hot flash as I giggle at your ‘confession!’

      • February 8, 2011 9:51 am

        I’m just looking at how much wood I’m not burning because I’m hot 😉 Layers are doing it for me, although everyone is making fun of me doing my chores in a t-shirt!

  90. February 8, 2011 7:23 am

    I have Seed to Seed by Suzanne Ashworth and Kent Whealy and You Are Your Child’s First Teacher by Rahima Baldwin. Getting ready for spring and summer gardens and home schooling.

  91. Devin permalink
    February 8, 2011 9:28 am

    Congratulations on your blog anniversay.
    on my nightstand is
    Farmers of 40 Centuries
    and my constant stand by Jane Eyre.

  92. Lisa/ permalink
    February 8, 2011 9:29 am

    Right now I’m reading “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day,” “Better Off” by Eric Brende, and every seed catalog I can get my hands on to make the snow melt faster over here in Eastern Washington! I absolutely love your blog. 🙂

  93. Bobbe permalink
    February 8, 2011 10:06 am

    Hee hee, it’s more like what ISN’T on my reading stack. Let’s see, I just finished ‘The Self Reliant Homestead’, by Charles A. Sanders, ‘Riding Shotgun’ by Rita Mae Brown, ‘The Serpent’s Shadow’ by Mercedes Lackey. That’s just the last couple of days. Seed catalogs, kitchen catalogs, and cookbooks have been rounding things out….

  94. February 8, 2011 11:06 am

    Currently on my bedside table: The Book of The Thousand Nights and One Night (nope, it’s not 1001 Nights, I’ve gotten the title wrong my whole life!), Free-Range Poultry Production by Beck-Chenoweth, and 13 Ways of Looking at the Novel by Jane Smiley. (Eliot Coleman’s 3 books just got routed back to the bookcase for another rest.)

  95. Dawn permalink
    February 8, 2011 11:43 am

    Love your blog -its my favorite one! I particularly love your descriptions of day to day life there. The Gorge is such a special place and it seems you and your family have created a spot of paradise there. I also must compliment you especially on your photography – it says as much as your words do. (And please don’t give up on those gardening posts – I grow Sweet Meat now because of you.) Congrats on 3 years!

  96. Dawn permalink
    February 8, 2011 11:46 am

    Forgot to say that I’m reading “Coal Miner’s Daughter” by Loretta Lynn. A brisk, funny read by a talented woman who came a long way from her roots but never forgot them.

  97. Marie permalink
    February 8, 2011 5:02 pm

    Beautiful twine hook

    At Home by Bill Bryson

    a big fan of your blog and lovely pictures..

  98. Lee in Ky permalink
    February 8, 2011 6:11 pm

    Currently reading “Deeply Rooted: Unconventional Farmers in the Age of Agribusiness” by Lisa Hamilton.

    Really enjoy your blog!

  99. CarolG. permalink
    February 8, 2011 6:14 pm

    Right now I’m reading Dragon Variation by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller – a couple of science fiction/Regency romances and a space opera. Sounds strange but the authors make it work well. I just finished Dana Stabenow’s new book Though Not Dead, which was a fantastic mystery set in Alaska.

  100. Ernie permalink
    February 8, 2011 9:04 pm

    Currently reading:
    5 Acres and Independence – MG Kains
    The World According to Monsanto – Marie-Monique Robin
    The Desktop Guide to Herbal Medicine – Brigitte Mars
    33 Questions About American history…Thomas Woods

    And periodically reading through Leaves of Grass with my 15 year-old. It’s interesting that I thought I had Whitman figured out completely in my late 20s. Now I’m finding that I struggle with the message as much as she does. It’s a great learning experience for us both. I’m mostly learning that I don’t really have it as figured out as I thought I did…….

  101. Sara Augustine permalink
    February 8, 2011 9:32 pm

    Love the blog…….on my nightstand right now is “The girl who played with fire” by Stieg Larsson.

  102. Dawn H permalink
    February 8, 2011 9:44 pm

    Cottage Economy – William Cobbett (1821)
    It’s Not Easy Being Green – Dick Strawbridge.
    At Home – Bill Bryson.
    And I just brought home 6 more from the library, so will be digging into Civil Contract (Georgette Heyer) tonight – an old favourite. This list of what people are reading is great – lots of titles I’m going to request from the library!

  103. February 9, 2011 12:57 pm

    Congrats on your anniversary! As someone new to this way of life, I truly appreciate all the information your blog provides. It makes me think that maybe one day I’ll know what I’m doing! Right now I’m reading: Salad Bar Beef by Joel Salatin and Keeping A Family Cow by Joann S. Grohman. I’m also “sharing” a book on fencing with my husband but he took it to work today so I’m not sure of the title/author.

  104. February 9, 2011 10:35 pm

    Happy anniversary!

    I am plowing slowly but surely through Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions, and I’m relaxing with a surprisingly decent Southern murder mystery, Real Murders by Charlaine Harris.

  105. Connie permalink
    February 10, 2011 12:26 am

    Congrats on 3 years of blogging. I love reading your blog. I love the education I get and the entertainment in it as well. 😀 I am reading Comeback Farm.

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