Anatolian Shepherds Page

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Whoooo Hoooo! They're giving away coupons for Butterball Turkeys over at Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms!

Yep, you heard (well read, anyway) that right! Over at Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms they're having a giveaway for two people to win a Butterball turkey.

Better hurry up and go over there for your chance(s) to win!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Enter for a chance to win a NutriMill Grain Mill

Laura, over at Heavenly Homemaker, is in kahoots with Paula's Bread. They're giving away a NutriMill Grain Mill and you really need to hit this button so that you might win one.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Grocery Store WARS! Coming to a Grocery Store near YOU!

You've just gotta watch this. It's too hokey not too, (and you know I love hokey things.) I'll never be able to look at a stalk of broccoli in quite the same way.

Now I am not so much in to "Organic" as I am a believer in an (UN)common sense when it comes to gardening. NO herbicides and NO pesticides. This is how we grew our food for generations. Connect with your local (Un)common sense farmer.

'Nuf said.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Philippians 2:8-11

 5-8Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn't think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn't claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.

 9-11Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father. (Philippians 2:8-11, The Message)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Fruit Trees!!!! I've got Fruit Trees!!!!!

This has been a long time coming...

I've wanted to plant fruit trees since we moved to this property 10 years ago. We tried to go the less expensive way and buy bare root trees. We brought them home and immediately placed them into water for 12-24 hours, as was suggested by the producer. Then we planted them.

They Died.

The next year we tried again. Again we followed the producers instructions, even check marking off at each step. AND!

They Died.

I gave up. Well obviously not entirely, cause fast forward to this year - 2011. I was driving past the farmer style store (obviously not fast enough - I'll have to work on that.) on my way home about a month ago, and there was a sign calling out my name: "Fruit and Shade Trees." I stopped and talked to the man in the greenhouse area. They were NOT bare root. They were three years old. They looked healthy. They were budding out appropriately for the time of season. They were outside, and had been outside for several weeks. I left. 

I obsessed about them for two more weeks. I went back to the farmers style store. I bought six trees.
  1. 1 Sweet Sixteen Apple
  2. 1 Granny Smith Apple
  3. 1 Lapin Cherry
  4. 1 Rainier Cherry
  5. 1 Bartlett Pear
  6. 1 Sungold Apricot

We planted them yesterday. 

Quincy helped.

Oh, and this time we used a Miracle Grow product to "fix" the roots system and help them establish easier.

I still need to buy and plant:
  • 1 more Apricot - for cross pollination. They didn't have another type, so I didn't buy a second.
  • 1 more Pear - for cross pollination. Same deal.
  • 2 plums - I want one Italian and one Red type.

I'll be watching, and watering and worrying about them for quite awhile. Sure hope this works.

Oh, and we also decided to plant a couple children to see if they would grow more:
1 Boy Tree
1 Girl Tree

Yeah, cause that's what we need. More children.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Planting in the Yellow Greenhouse

Here we go... Planting in the Yellow Greenhouse this past weekend is FUN!

I started 40 Super Beefsteak tomatoes and 40 Roma's.

 I would have done more, except that I ran out of paper pots. 

I could have sworn that I made more, so back inside to collect more of my dear husbands read newspapers... It's important that he's already read them. Take note!

I bought this wonderful little tool at:

I tried to use a drinking glass one year, but this little guy (gal?) is just easier to use. It was created for this purpose, after all!

This is a super important step in my "Plan to Can" everything that grows in our garden, for our family.

But perhaps the best part of the day still remains that I got the first flower of Spring 2011 from my sweet baby girl!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Our Yellow Greenhouse

I should have posted this earlier, as we were making it. I publicly and officially apologize for my lack of foresight on your behalf. PLEASE forgive me. But as life goes on the farm sometimes, I NEEDED to just get it done! Especially because it's Spring and planting season is just around the corner.

So enough apologies, I'm telling you about it NOW!

You see we wanted a greenhouse. For years we've wanted a greenhouse. I can't really say that it was a need, because obviously we've survived without one, although every year we address the fact that we want one. And for years we've said we'd buy one with "our next income tax return." But for some reason the income tax return would always cover our immediate needs, but never our wants. (God IS Good to us!)

We own a yellow school bus (long, boring story) that we've been using for storage. We NEVER have enough storage buildings. Okay, we only have ONE storage building; and it's full! Envision sides bulging out.

So I've been (obsessively) thinking about what we could do (cheaply and affordably) to "create" a greenhouse out of things we already have. Or at least mostly have (I did have to buy some things... like duct tape and plastic.)

Our Yellow Greenhouse!

Our bus is parked with the rear door facing south so that it gets sunshine all day.

We lined most of the inside of the bus with heavyweight plastic, held up with duct tape. 

A LOT of duct tape!

We bought the heavyweight plastic (weatherproofing that was on sale for half-price!) at WallyWorld. The only time we had to cut plastic was for the front entrance and rear emergency exit.

At the front walkway and at the rear "emergency exit" we overlapped the plastic so that we can get out easily. 

In the hotter part of the summer, we'll remove  (and store) all the plastic to reuse in the fall and winter. 

Our heat source is a cheap little ceramic heater that we already owned. We brought power to the greenhouse with a long extension cord through the driver's side window and duct-tapped it shut.  

This will work until it starts warming up, and then it's easily removed so that the window can still be used for air circulation. I'm am thinking about putting a small fan that we already own in that window later on in the spring/summer. 

Held in place with duct tape, of course! In the really hot summer, we may have to abandon the greenhouse, but we'll see... I might come up with something yet!

Perhaps an air-conditioner????

 "Husband? Can I buy an air-conditioner for the greenhouse?" (Yeah, right!)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Soaked and Poached Oatmeal for Breakfast!

First the why...
I am trying out a more nutrient dense diet, trying to improve my health and that of our family.

I have been searching the internet, and reading books like "Nourishing Traditions" by Sally Fallon; which I highly recommend, although I have this one caviat. I do not subscribe to everything that is in the book (I rarely do.) Most of it seems sound.

So, on to the recipe...
I was looking for a soaked oatmeal that we could put together the night before and wake up to a nutritious, hot, breakfast for our family of six. Our experiences with crockpot oatmeal were not good. Apparently our crockpot cooks to quickly, even on low, for this type of recipe. It always turned out too dry, and when I tried to compensate, it was too wet. Never just right. This time our experiment turned out "Just Right!" (you get the Three Little Bears analogy, right? I'm sooooooo clever ;-) We poached it instead!

Here is our recipe:

Step 1: Soaking the day before
3 cups old fashioned or scottish oats
Water to cover by 1 inch
1 Tbl. Lime Juice (because we were out of both lemons and whey)
Combine in a large bowl, and soak for at least 12 hours. Longer is fine, up to 24 hours. Cover bowl with a tea towl (to keep out any teansie weinsie fruit flies) and let sit on your counter.

Step 2: Night before eating
Drain the oatmeal. Place in a greased (coconut oil is preferred) crockpot. Cover with fresh water to cover by one inch. Place on WARM setting, and let cook overnight. 12 - 14 hours is great. We just started it about 8:00 at night, cause we were thinking about it, and didn't want to forget to start it.

Next morning dish it up with whatever fixin's you want, or have on hand. We like 100% Maple Syrup and cinnamon. Say it with me now: "EASY!" Sometime I'm gonna try some soaked raisins (in rum!) just for the fun of it. NO I don't plan on serving it to the kids. I might be a lunatic, but I'm not crazy!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Part 2 - "Dangerous Dog" Quincy, the Growing Up Years.

AKA: How to REALLY Tick Off Your Neighbors!
(Guaranteed to work, every time! or your money back! – pretty safe bet, since reading this blog is FREE!)
So we brought this cute, scared, sweet little white (Akbash) Anatolian Shepherd puppy home to our property. And we lived happily ever after. Right?… WRONG!!!
Now anyone who has ever gotten a small puppy knows that they go through difficult times. We brought her home and tied her up, in order to not overwhelm her. She had a nice warm dog house, with fresh cedar shavings, under it and then inside it, and lots of food and water. We started to pay attention to her on a a regular and consistent basis, and she got used to us. Even started to look forward to our love and attention.

All that was fine, except that we are not people who believe that dogs should be tied up. In most cases, that is no life to live for the dog. So it was never the intent to keep her tied up permanently. Just long enough that she would learn her new home. To give her some sense of permanency. A place of her own.

When we first started to let her off her leash, after about a two week timeframe, she seemed to understand that this was home. She would go sniffing around our 1 to 1 1/2 acres of five foot tall, chain-link enclosure; never testing the boundaries. Happy to be there, establishing her territory!

That was fine. No problems… until we decided to let her loose permanently! What you have here folks, is a 35-50 lb. 5 or 6 year old mentality, highly intelligent, giant breed dog! And what she really wanted to do was to see what was beyond the fence! So she looked and she looked, and she looked and she looked for a place to escape. And, of course, she found one. It was not through digging or jumping. It was not through an open gate. It was though the one and only spot in the fence that had been compromised. Then patched, two years previously and forgotten about, part where the pump man had to put his truck through the fence, in order pull our dead pump out of the well, and drop the new pump in.

Well of course, she went exploring on our property, and came back in. No problem? Right? Wrong!

We'd see her outside the fence, but on our property. And we'd yell: "Quincy's out!" And we'd all scramble and get her back inside the fence, and we were fine. Right? Wrong!
When she was about five months old, we received a call from one of our neighbors: "Your white dog just killed one of our cats, and our renters are distraught over it."

The problem? Our white dog was inside our fence when we got the call.

So I asked questions: "When did this happen?"
Neighbors: Well, we didn't see it, we were just told about it by our renters who were having a party. So a couple days ago.
Oh, O.K. What did your renters see?
Neighbors: Well, they just saw a white dog carrying around a dead cat.
Neighbors: We were gone, and they were having a party, and they saw YOUR white dog with a dead cat in it's mouth. And this was a cat they had started feeding and it traumatized them.
Did anyone actually see our dog with a cat in its mouth?
Neighbors: No one of their friends saw it, and told them about it. They all went looking for it, but they never found the dead cats body, and they never found the dog. It must have gone back in your fence.
Are you sure it was our white dog?
Neighbors: Yes. It must have been your white dog.
Oh? O.K.?!?!? Well, we haven't found any dead cat bodies, and all our cats are accounted for. So I really don't think it was our dog. Are you sure it wasn't your white dog?
Neighbors: No! It wasn't our white dog!

My husband walked our fence line, and found the trouble spot, and fixed it. No more Quincy roaming, and she settled in to a nice routine of patroling the enclosed/fenced area. She would sleep during much of the day, and patrol during the night, barking/warning us whenever the coyotes where roaming.

We used to watch the coyotes walk in broad daylight, across our property, across the paved county road, and onto the neighbors property. Quincy was telling the coyotes, "You are not welcome here! Go away!" We had no issues with our farm animals during this time, lost no chickens to weasels, and settled into a nice farm routine. And we lived happily ever after, right? WRONG!

A couple months later we got a phone call (on my cell phone) from the exact same neighbor: Your white dog is out running loose in our field, and we're afraid of it.
Uhhh, are you sure????
Neighbor: Yes! I'm sure, I can see it.
I don't think it's our dog, because im inside the house and I can see her through our front door, and she's asleep on our deck.
Neighbor: Oh, you're home? I didn't see your mini-van. (you can see our mini-van from way over there?) Yes, I'm home.
Neighbor: Well I can see your white dog running around on our land.
O.K. (insert neighbors name) I just walked out my front door, and I have my hand on my dogs head. She's right here. Quincy is not running around your field.
Neighbor: Well, who's white dog is that?
I don't know. But I know that it is not our white dog. Are you sure that your white dog isn't running out in your field?
Neighbor: No, our white dog is up at our house (more than a 1/3 mile away.) I'm down at the shop. It's not our white dog. (Are you getting the picture?)
Well, I'm afraid it's not our white dog, either.

End of conversation and again, we settled into a nice rural/farm routine.

September 2010:
My smaller children were out in our front yard playing. Our daughter ran into the house and yelled: "There's a puppy in our front yard!"
I yelled at the two older kids: "Try to get it out before Quincy see's it, cause I don't know what she'll do!" (She was here to protect our farm animals after all.)

Well as it turns out, the "puppy" was a full-grown Dachshund running loose, belonging to the adult grand-daughter of the same neighbors. She was visiting and the dog was not being watched, got loose, and had wandered down the road (after wandering down a rather long driveway) and squeezed it's way under our man-gate.
From Drop Box
Once Quincy actually saw it (after it bit her on the hind leg.) She chased it, and flipped it over with her front paw, and then pinned it to the ground with her mouth. She then let it loose and it ran towards the gate. By that time our neighbor showed up, and opened the gate (The one with the "Do Not Trespass" sign posted on it.) and scooped up the Dachshund. She started yelling at the dog, and spanking it and tossed it through the open window of her truck. She turned to us, and said that the dog had run off, and she was glad to have found it. Then she left. It all happened very quickly and no one was hurt. And that was the end of story? Right? WRONG!

Stay tuned for Part 3: That fateful day!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Arizona farmers, Humane Society at odds over animal rights

Arizona farmers, Humane Society at odds over animal rights

I'm so glad to see the Arizona Farmers Bureau fighting back against the Humane Society of America. I love the quote:

"No right-thinking person abuses animals, but we (farmers) haven't kept pace with people who have an agenda," said Joe Sigg, director of government relations for the Arizona Farm Bureau. "Cows and pigs are not our pets; we eat them."

Read more:

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Budget Friendly Tip: Pickle Jars for Bulk Purchases

First of all I have a family of six. Not super large, but super small, either. For my family; it JUST RIGHT!

I've always been interested in cost savings of bulk purchasing, but I couldn't justify the additional purchase for the storage containers. It would take too much longer to depreciate their cost. So for years I've been on the lookout for FREE storage containers that would also appeal to my "use and reuse" mentality (THANK YOU to my mother and my grandmother!)

Anyway, I've finally found it! Jars that are glass, so easily cleaned for reuse, and large enough for my bulk purchases, hence the "use and reuse" mentality.

Pickle Jars!

I know! I'm brilliant!

Now before I loose you completely with the whole "duh factor" let me tell you that these are not the normal mildly large pickle jars. These are the rooten tootenest, "dang they're perfect" pickle jars. Whoot, Whoot for pickle jars! Have I got ya?

I am not a commercial writer for this brand of pickles. And I don't even advocate this particular brand. Quite simply put, I love their jars, they are glass, inexpensive, and my kids will eat the pickles. They're you have it. Did I mention that one of my children actually eats pickles a lot? If I put the suggestion into his head (and why would I?) he'd eat them with breakfast, lunch and dinner plus snacks. I don't want him to have that much sodium, but he would, if I let him.

So back to the Pickle JAR. It is large (2 quarts + 8 oz.) and here is a picture of it...
From Drop Box

You eat the pickles, soak it in hot water to remove the label, and wash and dry it thoroughly. LABEL it with the contents you will have in it. And, viola! You have this marvelous storage container for your bulk items. Easy Peasy, and FREE! Plus you save even more money because you won't be disposing of it in your garbage.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hampton Creek Inn Giveaway!

First of all, you need to know that this is one of my favorite blogs to follow: Frugal Granola. You just have to fall in love with anyone who will refer to themselves as a Granola. I believe this was the first natural food type blog that I subscribed to. Who can resist: "Living a Simple and Sustainable Life of Passion for God, Family, Organic Food & Bargain Shopping." I just fell in love with her writing style, their traditional and spiritually rich beliefs; and the recipes were helpful, healthful and tasty, too!
Well now, try to control yourselves, they are giving away a TWO NIGHT VACATION! at the Hampton Creek Inn!

"Imagine sinking into a deep bath, savoring the natural light fragrance of an herbal soap, and allowing God to speak to your heart in quietness or cherishing a special moment with your husband….

Sipping a cup of flavorful organic tea, hand-blended with local ingredients, and a freshly-baked cinnamon muffin, served on your breakfast-in-bed tray…

Snuggling into warm blankets and fluffy pillows, gazing at the moonlight over wooded treetops…

A lazy afternoon, with a book and a picnic under blossoming fruit trees, hearing the wind in the trees and the bubble of the creek…

Come experience our family’s passion for sustainable & simple living and joyful hospitality with a stay at our bed & breakfast in the Pacific Northwest, Hampton Creek Inn!"

I'm gonna do everything I can to win this giveaway for my wonderful husband and I. I hope you'll try to win it too. And yes, I do understand that if you win it, then I won't. TRUST me, I'll be able to live with that, and even truly enjoy the fact that you won! But please come back and tell me how wonderful it was... PLEASE!!!


Saturday, January 15, 2011

I just did another order from the Bulk Herb Store

I've been feeling a little tired lately. All right I've been downright fatigued all of last summer, fall and most of this winter. Enough is enough already! I am too young to feel this *&^#* old! I started doing research right before Christmas (2010) and it's lead me to believe that what I am experiencing is "Adrenal Fatigue." Hmmm, the symptoms sound right, so we'll see.

Being the weird/funky granola that I am, (Embrace my funkiness) I started looking towards healthy, herbal remedies first, and this is what I found. The Bulk Herb Store, and Shohanna's Kitchen (YouTube). O.K. so I've just fallen in love with this gal, she makes it all sound so easy, and she doesn't overdo it with the whole "selling issue." I placed my first order and it came super fast.

Starting out this New Year (yeah for 2011! - GOODBYE, so-long 2010!) I'm going to do a whole body cleanse (all ready started and I feel somewhat better - may have to do with having a good plan), followed by a liver cleanse. What then? Making sure that what we as a family eat, is actually being digested and assimilated into our bodies! I bought the book:

Started drinking Kefir (I bought my own grains, and I'm making it myself. It's soooo much less expensive, and I'm jes' so proud!)

I made my first, official, tincture (Bulk Herb Store Liver Cleanser) and it's finally done! I finally had a reason to go to the liquor store... to find the cheapest bottle of vodka I could find, in order to make it. Starting today, I've strained it (added "used" herbs to the compost pile) and bottled it, and am taking my first doses. 1 squirt - 3X/day either with or without water. And let me tell you, It's nasty tasting, but if it works????? (I'll let you know how that turns out.)
From Drop Box

So what was my newest order?????
I bought:

Dr. Cinnamon
Green Salve (Gonna made my first salve! I'm soooooo excited!)
Black Spice Chai Tea (I love a good strong chai tea... makes me think of coffee!)
Daily Boost Herba-Smoothie

What's my next order? I'm already thinking of some of their preblended herbal teas, and...

Friday, December 3, 2010

Our “Dangerous Dog” Part 1

Well, here’s the story from our perspective:

About twelve years ago, before our big move to the country, my dear husband came home with a printed article regarding Anatolian Shepherd Dogs. ASD’s are a form of Livestock Protection Dog, so you can imaging my response: “Uh, dear? Why would we get one? We live inside the city limits. We don’t have any sheep. This dog breed of dog would be miserable in our back yard. Dear husband, what are you thinking?

But of course, being the highly intelligent man that he is; he said: “I know, but I find them fascinating. And we (that’s his way of saying you) should really learn more about them. He knows me so well! Can’t ignore an opportunity to learn more! So onto the internet (O.K. so this is an updated article, October 2010) and to the library I went, two very young children in tow. (They were so towable then; and towheads, too! Or is that toe-heads? Which would take me in a whole other direction.)

Fast forward ten years (yes, I did say ten! It took us that long!) Add two children. (Another great two stories, which I will tell you about another time.) And the beginnings of an idea of what we wanted to do with this property.

We finally saw an ad in the newspaper that read something like: Pure-bred Anatolian Shepherds, Quincy, WA $200. and the phone number. WOW! This was the least expensive we’d EVER seen them in the twelve years we had researched them!

Simple and sweet (and cheap!) We called, talked for about an hour, to make sure that we asked all the right questions. The pedigree; the age of the sire and dam. Were the sire and dam on-site? The animals that were kept on-site?

The breeder asked us a ton of questions about our property, where the puppy would live/sleep/eat, what we intended to do with the puppy.
We made arrangements to drive the hour and a half to Quincy, WA. It was a lightly snowy day, March 6, 2009.

When we arrived, we found a rural piece of property fully fenced, with handmade signs that read: “No Trespassing” “Stop and call or honk and we’ll come let you in.” and their phone number. We went, “Whoa, that’s interesting!” But we followed their instructions, after all, we were on their property... when in Rome!

They let us onto their property, and told us that the adult dogs that we saw were “Walnut” and “Peanut.” Truthfully, I can’t remember which was which, but one was a beautiful classic looking female Anatolian (Kengal) who was obviously recovering from birth, and the other was an equally handsome classic looking male Anatolian (Kengal).

Imagine our surprise when they showed us this huge litter (12-14) of pure white puppies (Akbash: O.K. they looked like big round white snowballs with black eye liner and lips; and I instantly wondered how we were going to choose between them.) So being the incredibly wise woman that I am; I advised my dear husband that he would have to choose for our family.

The location that the puppies were in, was a completely enclosed/fenced area with a small herd of goats in it. Well isn’t that interesting? Just like the information we had researched suggested was appropriate!

Anatolian Shepherds are livestock protection animals. Their purpose is to guard and protect livestock from predators such as coyotes, fox, weasels, wolves, bear, etc. You keep them with the goats/sheep/chickens, etc. from birth on, to help them learn to bond with the animals they are to protect.

The idea is to start them out as “guardians-in-training” of any one or more type of animal, and they learn from their early experiences to easily transition to any type of animal (even the humans who feed and interact with them.) They are not “guard dogs” in the sense of a trained German Shepherd or Pit-Bull or Doberman Pinscher. They are a highly intelligent animal capable of assessing the danger level of the perceived predator.

Long story short, my dear husband chose one of the female puppies that day.

Here is the interesting part of the day: The puppy literally ran away and screamed in terror when she was picked up by the breeder to leave with us. My immediate thought was: OMGosh! What happened to that puppy to make it so scared of humans? Well, the short answer is: It is unwise to treat Anatolian Shepherds as that intimate family pet. Especially the younger they are.

She hid her head in terror THE ENTIRE one and a half hour trip home! We would pet her, and try to talk to her, and she never growled or tried to bite us. Trust me, we would turned the car right around in a heart beat, and given her back to the breeder, if she had! The Mama-bear in me, wouldn’t have stood for that EVER! And I was watching, let me tell you!

We named her: Quincy. Because we are that clever!

Silverwood 2010 099

Stay tuned for Part 2: Our “Dangerous Dog” – AKA: Quincy’s Growing Up Years. Could also be named: “How to tick off your Neighbor’s”, but I thought that might not be as good of title. (In the famous words of Leroy Jethro Gibbs, of NCIS: “Ya think?”)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Happy Birthday!

16 Years Ago Today: I was enjoying a day at the beach at Porcupine Bay, and decided to go into labor two weeks early. I gave birth to a healthy, beautiful, wonderful baby girl. So today we celebrate her birth. Happy Birthday Oldest Sweetheart! You are one of the greatest experiences God has ever given me. And I am VERY proud of the woman you are becoming.