But we’re not complaining. We know you folks back East are suffering record-breaking snowfalls with nowhere to put it all. Been there. We know where you’re coming from. Luckily, our winter has been great, although light on the snow. We only have about a foot on the ground. Honest. And it’s not been too cold, either. So when we hit a week of sub-zero weather, it feels cold now. But we know spring is coming fast. In fact, in two weeks I’ll be starting my petunias and peppers. Yeah, green things!

We keep opening pumpkins and squash as we use them, saving all the good seeds to sell in our Seed Treasures seed business, which is doing well. I’m glad to report that we’ve sent seeds to every state in the union now, from Florida to Alaska. (By the way, any of you who bought seeds, I’d LOVE to see pictures of your garden this summer/fall!)

Just a note to let you know Spencer is 100% back to normal again and sure loves getting his pills 3 times a day. Why? Because I bought small cans of turkey cat food. I put a pill in the center of a tablespoon of food and he gobbles everything right up. Yum! We will be back at the vet’s to get him started on other antibiotics to treat his Lyme disease as well as getting Hondo tested and vaccinated if he comes up clear.

Our critters are all doing fine. The goats are doing well back up the hill in the old goat barn for the winter, having free choice hay outside the stock panels and grain being fed in a heavy duty plastic sled I bought on sale a week ago. The sleds work great to feed grain as they are SO easy to clean out before new feed is dumped in. In the summer, I can even scrub them out, if needed.

I’m happy to report that my Western novel, Summer of the Eagles, is selling well and has several 5 star reviews on Amazon. Would any of you who purchased the book, either on Kindle or as a paperback, give a review, also? I’m told that it really helps not only sell the book but place it higher in Amazon’s promotion list, which is important. Thanks! — Jackie


  1. Jackie,
    I have thought of trying to teach our dog to pull it – he will be big enough soon (only 6 months old). Just barely fits under the dining room table (Lab/Walker cross). Our last dog would have been even better – a 145 lb. lap dog (Lab/Great Dane/Wolf). Probably will try to teach a future wether (Nubian goats) instead and leave the dog free to scout/protect us…had a black bear hanging out in our yard last summer and seeing tracks of wild boars out in the forest. Plan on getting a good harness rig, should work for whichever animal I put to work. Hoping I can also get them to pull my wheel hoes. My chickens already work in their chicken tractors, turning compost, cleaning up the gardens and orchard areas and eating bugs.
    Sure have appreciated all the wonderful and useful information you have imparted over the years! Have learned so much from you (and others) that the local Amish think I go too far…

  2. I love your new book, over half done, I am enjoying it so much. you really are so talented. keep up the good work girl.

  3. Wanda,

    You’re a girl after my own heart. I use my plastic sleds all year long, to. They drag on the grass and mulch in the garden, just like snow. Great idea to pick them up at yard sales! I get mine after Christmas when they’re on a huge sale but a yard sale would be even better.
    Did you ever think about teaching your dog to pull it? (Providing he is big enough. Spencer likes pulling ours and I’m careful not to load it too heavy. I tie a rope onto the back so it doesn’t run him over going downhill.)

  4. Clever use of a sled! I have been using plastic toboggans for years instead of a wheelbarrow, and I use them for everything year round. Right now I use them to transport the thawed chicken waterers from the house to the coops, haul loose straw to the goat barns for bedding, haul bags of feed from the car to the cattle panel Quonsets…makes it so easy. Also haul chicken and goat bedding to sheet compost in future garden areas or the orchard, and composted manure for the garden beds – get there and just tip it over, then the next one next to it, so I get even coverage without having to spread it by hand. Did the same when I was building up the area to put the storage barn, big chicken coop and goat barns – with five 10-yard loads of road gravel then three 10-yard loads of crushed limestone. Works great for picking veggies to use or take to market – put baskets in the sled then pick right into them. It slides so nice and easy on the straw mulch, no matter how much weight you put in them. I put a nice long wide webbing strap on them, so when I need to use both hands, I just put the strap across my hips and pull. Do this when I walk the dog back in the woods, picking up sticks for kindling and birch bark for starter. Leaves my hands free to swat mosquitos! Even used it a couple times during my six elder care years – to get my helpless 88-yr. old MIL with Alzheimers out of the house when the wheelchair ramp was a bit too icy for the wheelchair. Just about my handiest outdoor implement! Sort of pricy nowdays, so I pick them up at yard sales for a buck or two. And have the family trained to pick up any they find.

  5. DonnaB,

    What a great idea, Donna! How about it guys? Are you up to suggesting books to your own local libraries? More book sales help us advance our homestead much faster. Thanks!!

  6. Congratulations on your book, Jackie! I am so excited for you — a wonderful accomplishment and another source of income. I’m learning that diversity in income sources is a key factor, especially if one hopes to homestead.

    Just a note to encourage all your readers to ask your local library to purchase Jackie’s fiction books (actually, any of her books). With all the library systems in North America, this will help give Jackie a big boost of sales plus garner avid readers for the next books in her series.

    I got this tip from a multi-published author who kindly donated some books as door prizes for a local writers’ conference. He is retired but still writes fiction. He asks everyone to go to the library and request his books. Libraries are always open to suggestions for purchasing new books. As one of my local librarians said, “To get readers and library patrons, we need to offer the books that the public wants to read.” Given the number of libraries and the number of branches each has, this would be a big boost to writers.

    (Also glad to hear that Spencer is doing fine again. They sure become family and we worry about them just as much.)

  7. So glad to hear that Spencer is getting better Jackie. Hurray for the book sales! Awaiting mine now. Cold here in Michigan too. (We usually get what you get.) Minus 10 this morning! Can’t wait to get all the Seed Treasures seeds going here too. Stay warm!

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