Monday, December 29, 2014

Growing, Growing, Growing

Around here everything grows constantly.  My kids grow, my animals grow, and my bills grow.  I have added 9 more piglets to the bunch that we already have. Sheep are getting ready to lamb. Chickens are trying desperately to brood.  The to-do list keeps getting longer and longer.   Our knowledge of things that must be done to help our animals thrive has also grown.  Through it all, we have been very blessed.

As spring approaches, though, there are a few things that we would like for you to keep in your prayers for us.  Fencing materials are needed to expand the pastureland for our growing sheep herd, as well as our brood of ever-growing piglets.  Greenhouse building supplies are need for the upcoming growing season.  Our last greenhouse was damaged in the move to our present location, and we were not able to put in a garden last year.  We were blessed with a connection with a local micro brewery that allows us to have their spent grains for free!  The break in the feed bill has helped us to keep our head above water so far.  Thank God for His many blessings! 

Since it doesn't look as though we are going to be flush with money this year anymore than last year, my husband and I decided to set up an account on  for some extra exposure to our small predicament.  Please consider donating to a struggling little farm!  We have set up reward system on the account so you will get something back from your donation!  Your money will go to set up new fencing and shelters for a growing number of animals and for greenhouse building supplies to help start a small farm stand!  We are reaching for sustainability and hope that you will consider be a part of our adventure... If you can't afford to donate, please consider sharing our site with friends and family and God bless you!  We have posted a link to our account at gofundme.  Please click on the highlighted link. Or type it into your browser manually  Thanks again for reading our blog and God bless you!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Three Little Pigs

Some of the Gang
As usual on our homestead, things are always changing for new and better ways.  We have lost one of our alpacas to the extreme cold that we had last winter. I think it was a little rough on every one!  We still have our llamas and gained a total of 15 sheep!  These hungry little beggars have made a noisy place of my once quiet solitude.  Huggable, squeezable and constantly hungry.  We built another barn to accommodate the little monsters, though they are on pasture right now and only need a run-in at the end of the day. 

Three Little Pigs

My favorite addition, though, has been the addition of three little pigs. (No big bad wolf included!)  We bought them from a much larger pig farmer about 45 minutes drive from my house and my dad was kind enough to use his trailer to pick them up for us.  They came home dirty and skinny and literally the runts of the litter.  We got busy right away procuring a source of waste milk to feed them.  After a good worming and a few days on the cheesy goodness of sour milk, they had started to fatten up!  Throw in a bunch of clean hay and a lot of sunshine and they were almost sparkling!  My daughter gets up every morning before breakfast and goes out to feed them.  She loves to hear them slurping and slopping and grunting in delight when she dumps a bucket of cheese and whey in they're trough.  She's also counting the days till ham and bacon and likes to keep an eye on how her future dinner is being treated. 

Christmas Morning Soap with Chubby Sheep Stamp

My daughter Cam's soap shop is becoming more popular.  My yarn shop is growing in leaps and bounds.  My stepson's learned to play guitar well enough that he can occasionally provide us with an evening of entertainment.  And my husband may have enough wood cut for two years.  He's been a busy man and insists he won't be could this winter.  He's ready to start stacking it indoors in hopes of getting a jump on the winter weather. 

Overall, things are really good down home.  We live and let live and thank God everyday when we rise for the privileges He's given us in this wonderful country!  We are all healthy, happy, and well-adjusted.  To God be the glory for all things!



Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Random Musings


So the first few days of true winter have descended upon us.  The bitter cold has its way of just seeping into your bones whether you have several layers on or you’re walking around in your underwear.  There really isn’t any escape. Except… by the newly installed woodstove!  Which we are totally unprepared to use, by the way.  We haven’t purchased any axes, pokers, ash pans, nor have we even gathered wood.  For the first year, I imagine we will have to purchase firewood, even though we have 9 acres of mostly wooded land that doesn’t seem to have been harvested for many years, leaving lots of down trees and old or dead ones to be culled.  Through it all, though, the knowledge that the woodstove is functioning is comforting.  We’ve had our first snow fall. The cold weather appears to be here to stay. And it’s especially nice to know that, even if the power would go out, my family and I have the ability to remain warm throughout the duration of this winter. 

My new home is a learning curve in itself.  There is so much to be finished yet.  We have a great number of things that will need to be done before we can be considered officially settled.  The backsplash in my kitchen needs put up.  My plumbing leaks a little in the bathroom.  Ok, a lot.  We have buckets under each drain, except the toilet.  On the subject of bathrooms, the second bathroom needs to be installed.  The area around the woodstove needs finished.  The hearth was built and the wall behind it stoned as is necessary for the installation of a woodstove, but the area is truly downright ugly.  The floor is still OSB around the hearth. The hearth itself is a couple of ugly cement pavers on a wood 2x4 base.  Far from good looking, really.  The wash room has no ceiling or lights for that matter.  The walls are up and the electric wires are run for the lights, leaving unsightly wires hanging in the walkway.  Trim need done everywhere. Windows, doors, and chair rails lack that finishing touch.  The roof still has one half that needs to have the rafters sistered up to add strength and new sheeting and shingles put on to prevent the inevitable leaking.  The barn only consists of poles and a roof.  My poor animals are freezing their little bums off.  My chicken coop has yet to be winterized and I may lose chickens soon if I don’t pay attention to that little detail.  My mortgage isn’t going to be what we thought it would be either.  The cash-in that we expected will not come to fruition.  That means that a few projects that we were hoping to do will be put aside, i.e. fencing, my shop, and repairs on various farm machinery. 

But through it all, my life is a happier one right now.  My husband recently came to first shift which means that we can ride to work together again. That saves me a little gas money.  AND I get to spend time with my husband.  I have the house and house location that I always dreamed of.  I got two little alpacas and two sheep which I’ve wanted to own for a long time.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to get a few more of the fiber animals that I’d like to own in the near future, along with pigs for some good eating later next year. (Think: “Bacon!”)  Things are falling into place where I always wanted them.   Praise God and all His goodness.  He always knows what’s best for me and my house! 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Allow me to introduce us...

Hi! My name is Big Kate Madigan.  I live on a small hobby farm that my husband and I just purchased and remodeled, in Pine Grove, Pennsylvania.  We currently have a varied gaggle of animals, including llamas, alpacas, sheep, goats, dogs, cats, and chickens. And, of course, our bunny, who always seems to be forgotten.  My daughter, Cameo, and her step-brother, Nickalus, live with us in our humble surroundings along with her step-sister, AJ, on the weekends.  All of our children have a diverse interest in some sort of craft or skill.  Nickalus, the oldest of the bunch at fourteen, knits, crochets, spins, and fancies himself to be an artist.  AJ, being the middle child at twelve years old, enjoys soap making, gardening, and hair dressing.  Cameo, the youngest of the bunch but also twelve, LOVES to make soap. She is also knowledgeable in crocheting, knitting, spinning, and gardening, but soap making takes the cake.  My husband is a general jack of all trades, who does what ever I ask of him (poor man) including helping me to build a greenhouse, making a spinning wheel, and going along with almost every whim and fancy that pops into my ever busy head.  Then, last but not least, there's me.  I dabble in just about every craft known to man, I think.  I knit, crochet, spin, weave, sew, garden, paint, and grow worms.  (Yes, I grow worms. They're fun and don't require a whole lot of petting!)  I've done rug tufting, macramé, and several other not-so-common crafts as well.  I have a small web shop where I sell all the things that I've run out of people to give them away to. You can find my shop at:

My daughter's website for her lovely soaps is as follows:

The purpose of this blog is to perhaps widen our circle of friends and loved ones who indulge in the same passions and pastimes as we enjoy.  Since this is to be a quick blog and because I don't want to overwhelm everyone with a tremendous burden of information all at one shot, I'll let today's blog end with a simple, "Howdy!  Nice to meet you!"