For more than 10 days we had highs of below zero, with lows dropping down to -40° F or lower. Not complaining but that was a long stretch of cold. We were fine but we had to be sure the animals were okay. Then Will had an appointment to take the steers to butcher when it was still darned cold. He went to start the truck and no dice. What? That truck always starts! Well, he worked for four hours and finally got it going and the butcher said to just bring them in anyway. Our friend, Mike, rode with Will. On the way back with our 45-year-old, very rusty stock trailer, Mike told Will there was something going on with a trailer wheel. Yep, there was and it finally broke loose and nearly passed them on the shoulder of the road. Luckily, they were off the highway by then! Turns out the axle had plumb rusted out and snapped off at the wheel! Yes, that was the last trip for the trusty, but very rusty, stock trailer! Maybe it’ll hold out to get to the scrap yard… Hondo was very upset that Will didn’t take him, as he always goes with Will in the truck. When I came in from chores, he was perched on the back of Will’s chair, looking out sadly. What a strange dog!

Hondo up on the back of Will’s chair, waiting for him to come home.

Even though it’s been very cold, we had a bright spot of color pop up. I had bought an amaryllis pot for myself before Christmas, which was delivered around New Year. Just a few days ago, it began to bloom; a stunning double red. Wow, is that ever pretty — and appreciated when the colors are mostly brown tree trunks, evergreen dull needles, and white snow. It makes us feel happy!

Isn’t this amaryllis pretty? We needed some color this winter!

Nuevo, the baby goat, finally got rid of his two sub-zero coats Dara had made for him. The first went yesterday as the nighttime temperatures were supposed to be barely below zero. This morning, the temp was 8 above, and the low had only gotten down to 1 above zero! We rejoiced. And I took off the last goat coat. Dara and Mike were helping with the seed business again today, so I brought Nuevo in with me to show them how BIG he’s getting. He’s such a pet. He follows me like a dog and is so “kissy.” We may just have to wether him and keep him around as a pet.

Nuevo is getting to be a real pet.

— Jackie


  1. I know it is late, but is it to late to get a seed catalog? Receiving fair papers now so may not get a garden but i CAN ALWAYS HOPE.

  2. Hello Miss Jackie!
    I am wondering if you could do an blog entry about how you grow you peppers. When do you start them, when do you pot them up, when and with what do you first fertilize them, etc. Just a guide.
    Merci and thanks,

    • I sure will, Pyro. I’ll begin to start my peppers in about two weeks but do remember that we put the transplants into hoop houses, not outside, so ours get started sooner than do folks’ in other areas. When I get at it, I’ll include photos and lots of info.

  3. Jackie,
    We’re so thankful for all you teach us. My husband teaches, and I chose to stay home and homeschool our children. We’re finally almost debt free after 15 years, and will get to purchase our homestead this fall. Seeing you get goat kisses makes me giddy with excitement for this fall when I can finally have goats, too. We love watching all you do, and learning. We love your cookbooks, and my son is learning all things sourdough from your Pantry Cookbook right now. We wore the covers off them, we adore them so! Thanks again for all you do.

    • I’m so happy you’ll soon be moving to your dream homestead. With so many women today who think they must work outside of the home, I feel they are kind of missing the boat. Yes, sometimes it’s necessary but a Mom at home can do so much for the family! Cooking wholesome, tasty meals from scratch saves tons of money, as does canning. Kids benefit so much from having Mom home too. I’m tickled that your son is learning about sourdough cooking and shows an interest in cooking. My oldest son, Bill, is a wonderful cook and bakes with the best of them.

      • A Dad at home can also do so much for the family. In this day and age, the secure, steady income, medical/dental/vision, and retirement benefits have to drive who works outside the home. I’ve shouldered this part of the deal for almost 40 years. It is my strength. This was not so we could drive fancy cars, have more house than we needed, take fancy vacations, and/or play the consumer game (clothes, toys of all stripes, gadgets). The partner who does not work at home has his/her share of the workload – not to be a stay at home snob as I call them. Don’t get me started on stay-at-home “moms” who hire a house cleaner, don’t cook/do laundry, dump the kids at daycare in order to go work out, and keep the family in debt.

  4. Just received the two books I ordered from you, autographed! Love the spiral binding. Reading Growing and Canning Your Own Food now! Learning a lot!! Thank you!! Love your goat! Glad your cold spell broke.

    • Boy, we are too. Today it was 43 degrees ABOVE zero!! It felt like summer. I hope you get lots and lots of use out of Growing and Canning.

  5. Glad to hear the weather is warming up some there. Being here in California I guess I’m a bit spoiled.

    For your information I received your seeds and the book and have been reading. I really like it and I sense I’m reading a bit about you. Incredible and I admire writers.

    • Thank you Susan. I think writers always put a bit of themselves in their writings. Hmmm what does that say about Steven King???

  6. I see. It sounds like a few we used to get in the shop. Even they are repairable but if you have to pay someone to do it you might be better off going out and buying two new ones !

    • I honestly don’t think ours is repairable. Even the frame seems to be rusted out. I think it would be easier to build a new one from the ground up than fix this one. Will can do the work but there’s also a time factor and we have to daily choose the best way to spend that time. Steel is pretty pricey right now too. Eeek! COVID again.

  7. I watched two baby goats frolic last spring inside a large Amish pen. They had a dog house to live in and I could have watched them for hours. They have a lot of antics like kittens. They took turns jumping on top of the dog house and then the other would jump up and knock him off. It was like playing King of the Hill. I was amazed. Sadly mother goat was old and died but Amish children took them in like you did your new baby and bottle fed them by hand.

    • I don’t think there’s anything cuter than baby goats. I, too, could watch them play for hours. Nuevo tried to jump on Hondo’s back while he was in the house. But Hondo just got up and gave him a dirty look and hopped up on the sofa.

  8. Everyone in our house predicted that about Nuevo the moment you had to take him in as a newborn!! Baby house goat for the night, member of the family forever! Best wishes to all of you………

    • We think he is too. David has his big wether, Oreo, for 10 years, bringing him from to Montana to here. Hopefully, Nuevo will be around at least that long!

  9. You goat is so cute!!! I am glad that your seed business is going so well. Can’t wait for spring!!!

    I love our flower. So refreshing at this time of year!

  10. Love the photo of you and Nuevo. Goats are special critters. I hope to have goats again someday soon. Your photo is a nudge in that direction:)

  11. As a second thought replacing axle assemblies is so easy to do yet most folks do not understand the process you might do it then write it up for the magazine

  12. If you really want to keep your old stock trailer going it’s really not a problem to just replace that whole axle assembly Many farm stores now carry replacement axle and hub assemblies and they can also be ordered on line There are a few measurements you have to take to get the right one but really it’s no big deal. Have replaced many many in years past. Could almost do it in my sleep

    • Reg, this trailer is 45 years old and the sides and fenders are nothing but rusted lace. You can stick your finger through the metal in many, many spots. Minnesota salt has literally eaten it alive; the frame is toast as are the axles. If it was at all repairable, Will would do it. But dead is dead. It is not safe for animals nor the person hauling them, nor will it ever be again.

Comments are closed.