Board and Batten Wall for the Living Room

I love doing projects.  Makes it feel like Christmas when i know we have one scheduled!  I anticipate the day and prepare with a new found energy.

Lauren, my daughter, had found a picture on Pintrest that she really liked and showed it to me.  Our home doesn’t really have a front entrance – you just walk right into the living room.  That’s why i got the hall tree years ago – hoping to create a place to put “things” when you walk in the door.  But it ended up being more of a piece of furniture for decorations and knick knacks.

I loved the picture Lauren found and pretty soon i’d created a board on Pintrest for Entryways.  Lauren and i conferred and finally came up with a day to do the “project.”  She and her friend, Mattie (who wanted to learn how to use power tools!), spent the night Monday night so we could start right away on Tuesday morning.

I spent Monday drawing on the wall and making a list of supplies.  I also found a DIY video from the Shanty2Chic gals and watched it several times.

With notepad in hand, i headed to Home Depot cuz that’s where the video said i should be able to find all the supplies.  I asked the gal at the front counter if someone could help me.  I told her I’d watched a DIY video and they said to go to Home Depot.  She laughed…i was serious.

The nicest young man, Dane, came to help me and i told him the same thing and he took this project and the supplies very seriously :-)  After we were through, i told him how much i appreciated his help and could i ask for him specifically when i had another project to do.  Dane smiled and said, Sure!!!  (he may regret that later ;-))


I just might have serious “saw” envy!!


Tuesday morning i was up bright and early but had to wait till 8:30 to awake the project crew – those were the instructions i was given.  Precisely at 8:30 on the dot – i started banging on the door!  “Come on!!  Wake up!!  It’s project day!!!!”  A few groans but pretty soon, out came the two sleepy headed girls.

So this is what our one wall in the living room looked like…. the red door goes to the front porch.  On the right of the picture – the hallway leading to bedrooms and the guest bathroom.


Dane had precut all the pieces i needed from MDF – ever heard of that?  First time for me but i really liked it!  Super inexpensive compared to wood but it can only be used inside.  Can’t get wet.

We caulked the pieces with panel caulk….


And stuck them up on the wall.  It was like doing a puzzle!!


And then – the power tools!!!  A nail finisher and yes, Mattie LOVED learning how to work with the power tools :-)


Pretty soon, we had the whole grid up on the wall.


Next, the shelf on the top.


Painting – which took sooooo much longer than putting up the pieces on the wall!


And TA DA!!!  A new look to the living room!  I added a bookshelf at the end to give  definition to the entry.  I’ll add more shelves – ran out of wood :-)


We were super pleased with how it came out and really, it was a simple project with a big impact.

Next – I’ll make a farm bench which will go in front of the wall and black and white pictures of family will be on the top shelf :-)


Today is THAT day….

Today is THAT day.  The day that ‘s circled on the calendar.  The day that, when mentioned, makes my heart wince.  Yeah, THAT day.


Today I’ll say goodbye to my beautiful daughter and son-in-law as they make their way to NC.  To be together FINALLY, as husband and wife, in the same home.  To start their own traditions and memories in another state, that’s not Georgia.


I knew it was coming. THAT day.  And I was given a whole year extra from the day they said “I do.”  The military gave me the extra year and I’m very grateful.  But now I must say, not goodbye, but see you later and I love you bunches and I’m gonna miss you a ton….and my heart hurts.



You see, my Megan, my Mae Mae, is my child who shares my passion for all things animal and outdoors.  Since she was little, she’s been my right hand helper.  As she’s grown and we’ve shared our passion together, I’ve cherished our long talks, the laughter, discussions about life and marriage, and her hugs.  Yes. I will definitely miss her hugs.


Megan has been our family defender and she can be fierce when she thinks someone is harming one of her own.  Even when she was a little thing, she was a force to be reckoned with!  I love this about her.


And I love her husband….which makes this life transition a little bit easier. But only a little.



This is my third child to move out of state.  No longer a 10 minute drive away.  These last couple of years have found me soul searching, realizing my title of “mom” is taking on new meaning and responsibilities.  It’s not easy.  Lots of tears, alone, trying to make my head and heart accept this new phase of life.


And I get caught.  I’m excited about the future and the realization that there is now a freedom to pursue some dreams that have been put on hold.  But there is also a sadness realizing that my most favorite, privileged occupation ever, will no longer be the same.


As I got closer to 50, I remember women talking about the “change.”  THE change nothin’!  Everything changes!!  The physical, the daily routines, life’s perspectives, the noise level and activity in the home, the amount of groceries to be purchased….everything as I had known it for 20+ years.


And now I’m 55.  I’m settling into this new phase slowly.  It doesn’t mean that the changes still aren’t coming.  Just means I’m learning how to handle the changes, make adjustments, and accept this new “mom” role.


And so, today, THAT day, as I hold my Mae Mae close, kiss her cheek, pray with her, and watch her drive through the front gate with her husband, my heart will ache and tears will flow, and there will be a thankfulness.


A thankfulness for the “extra” time I had with her.  A thankfulness for the beautiful young woman she has become.  A thankfulness for a wonderful relationship between mom and child.  And gratitude for her loving husband who will watch over, care for, and love our Mae Mae.


No. It doesn’t get easier.  Each child is unique in their own beautiful way and there is a void.  A hole in my tapestry of home life when they leave.  And I grieve for a bit…..  and then the salve of my faith permeates all that I am, and I’m ok.  I find my new normal, cherish my memories, and celebrate in who my children have become.  I am so very blessed.


My youngest is a Senior this year…. I’ve already circled THAT day.



Yep, she got my goat!

I have been told that the true test of someone’s character is how they behave when no one is looking…

We’re milking goats now.  Every day.

I have two old goats – they know the routine.  They jump on the stand, put their head through the head gate and eat all the grain they want!

But this year, I have a newbie milker.  She HATES the milk stand.


She HATES when you touch her teats.

She jumps all over the place when she finally gets up on the stand

….and she could care less about the grain.

I’m always afraid she’ll hurt herself or hang herself.  So I take charge.  I am human and I can overpower her…..I think.

This day, I didn’t do so well keeping it together and Lavender was exceptionally stubborn.  The more she resisted getting on the stand, the more I was insistent that she WOULD get on the stand.

It became a battle of wills.

She locked her knees……I dragged her to the edge of the stand.

She pulled back her head with all her might……. I hung on to her collar with every ounce of strength I could muster.

She refused to let the front of her body get close to the stand….I tried with all my might to lift her onto the stand.

Back and forth….a true battle of wills.

I was sweating.  Hot. Exhausted. Irritated.

And she was not budging…not one bit!

I smacked her backend hoping for one step forward closer to the stand…..

I was saying “not so nice” things about her in my head.  And my irritation and anger rose beyond her.

I wanted to control her.  I wanted her to do what I wanted her to do.

She wasn’t buying it and fought even harder…..

Do you remember that story from pre-school about the wind and the sun?

The story about the competition between them to see who could get the man on the street to take off his coat?

The wind blew and blew….blew harder and harder….and the more the wind blew, the tighter the man held onto his coat and wrapped it around him.

Then it was the sun’s turn.

Gently….calmly…..quietly……the sun began to warm the man.  He  released his grip on the coat.  He smiled as the sun warmed him.  And then the man took off his coat to enjoy the warmth of the sun.

Yeah – wish I’d remembered that story when I was fighting with the goat in the milking parlor!!

I was certainly the wind….a storm….a tornado!!

I finally caught myself and my emotions…. and calmly walked away….

And ever so gently, I opened the parlor gate….

And I quietly locked her in there :-)


Yep – I’m still the human!

And I realized that this human still needs to keep a watch on her temper….even when no human is looking.  Animals talk  you know!  And word gets around….  And I love my animals and want them to know that with every touch and every word I speak to them….

…..they are safe.

Lavender and I are doing much better now.  I patiently let her do her little jumpy thing and when she finally gets on the stand by herself, I pet her and talk sweetly to her and let her have all the grain she wants :-)


Heading to Alaska… again!

Twenty-one years ago, the summer between my Junior and Senior year of college, I traveled to Alaska by myself.  There was a college student from my church in NH who was a bush pilot in AK during the summer and he knew some people I could stay with up there… I went!


I stayed in Grayling, an Indian village on the Yukon.  It was evident as soon as I stepped off of the bush plane, that a young white girl was not welcome.  It ended up being a great visit and I loved the family I stayed with.   One of my favorite memories was hauling water from the creek, pouring it into huge pots on the gas stove to heat, and then hauling it up stairs to the bath tub.  A lot of work for a bath but it was so worth it. However, all that work was not to go to waste.  After I was finished with my bath, the rest of the family also took a bath in the same water.  So thankful I was the first one!  

Next, I flew up to an Eskimo village up near Nome.  The flight was unbelievable.  There were no roads, no homes, no cities, nothing but a huge expanse of wilderness!  So incredible! 


It was an amazing trip and I fell in love with the country.  I even considered taking a teaching job in one of the villages of Alaska, but I was concerned about the “all night” days.

I’ve always wanted to go back…. and tomorrow I’ll be flying with my very dearest friend back to Alaska.  The reason for going?  Every year I try to visit a new place in the country to learn about sustainability.  Julie’s dad still lives in Homer and has lined up a bunch of people for us to talk with while we’re visiting.  I am super excited about this trip and as long as this iPad works, I’ll try to post our journeys while we’re in Alaska!


Winter Ice Storm – Feb 12, 2014

No matter the weather, the critters still need to eat!  So out into the ice and snow we go…

Everything was covered in ice – even the gates, which made it a little difficult getting through the pastures and stalls.



I love feeding the wild birds… Filled all the feeders and then threw some on the ground – buffet style!  Also, the Guineas will feed from here too.  Today I saw Fox Sparrows, Juncos, Tufted Titmouses, Cardinals, Flickers, Chickadees, Robins, Brown Thrashers…and that was while I was standing there :-)



These girls flew from the door of the hen house onto the scratch!  Chickens are so funny about the snow…


The Guineas, however, are a little whiny today – hating all this white stuff….



“cold feet, cold feet, cold feet…” as they quickly pick up their feet while walking.



The Silkies are actually quite toasty in their covered tractor.  And the mama Silkie continues to be faithful in sitting on her 3 eggs.  They should hatch any day now…




Communal breakfast this morning…



And poor Rosie :-(  This weather makes for very bad hair days!



All the rest are doing well.  All are fed and watered and have shelter to stay as warm as they can.  Just another day of homesteading here in the South 😉




Meet Jack Frost…



He’s the first calf to be born in our new cow herd.  It’s a pretty big deal for me…



Lazy B Farm started selling beef wholesale to the public many years ago.  Two years ago, we started selling our beef commercially which means we obtained our own private label so we could sell meat by the package or cut.  There are a lot of requirements in order for this to happen.  I’ll explain all that in another blog :-)


I decided that for the sake of education on Grass Fed Beef, we’d start with Jack Frost, our new bull calf.  For the next 18 months, we’ll follow him and his life on the farm – from birth to beef.






I sometimes wonder if consumers really understand what it takes to get a quality piece of grass fed beef to their plate.  My hope is that with this blog and the information shared, consumers (whether you buy your beef from Lazy B or another farm) will gain a new appreciation for their local grass fed beef.  Perhaps this continued blog will answer some questions about the sustainable practice of raising cows on pasture.  Or better yet, maybe it will help answer the question I hear every now and then, “Why is local grass fed beef more expensive than beef I can buy at the store?”

And please, if you have a question, I’d love to hear from you and try to answer your question. I’m sure you’re not the only one asking it!


Jack Frost:  born Dec 25th, 2013

Weight: about 60 lbs, give or take 10lbs

Momma – Hereford cow named Nell

Daddy –  Black Angus



He’s doing great!  Curious, active, and eating well.


Welcome 2014!



It’s December 29, 2013 and I’m sitting at my desk thinking.  It’s quiet because all the kids are still asleep and the dogs and the cats have already been through their morning routine- you know, “let me out!”  “Let me in”  “Let me out again” and finally, “Let me in.”


2013 was a whirlwind, a ton of changes, and a year full of lots and lots of memories.   As much as I loved the year and all it brought, I don’t want to do it again, at least not at the same pace.


Over the next several months, I’ll share highlights and low lights of 2013, partly for you but mostly for me.  I want to remember and tuck away in my heart, all those little moments that are so easily forgotten.

I can assure you that if you asked each of us in this family how they viewed this last year, all the answers would be a little different.  We each played a different role in the events that took place; we each viewed situations from our own perspective….

That’s why each of the blogs I write will be from my Point of View – a position from which something is observed or considered.


I’m excited about 2014, the horizon is clear and unobstructed as I sit here at my desk on December 29.  The pages of my calendar fairly empty…

I’m all about the journey and sharing and having friends along on this path of life.

And so we begin….one step at a time, one picture at a time.

Foot step



Beekeeping Series 2017

Lazy B Farm

Beekeeping Workshop Series

The motivation for this series is to equip those who are serious about beekeeping as a hobby and want to acquire their own bees, or gain knowledge BEFORE they get their own bees.  This in-depth course will provide a solid foundation for any who are interested in honeybees or beekeeping.

Currently, there are only 1/2 of the beekeepers that there were 25 years ago.  And yet, we depend upon bees for every third bite of food we consume.  There has also been an increased decline in pollinators, a majority being honeybees.  The need for beekeepers is greater now than ever.

We will begin with the very basics of beekeeping and build upon that knowledge with each class.  Weather permitting, we will be working in the bee yard for a portion of each class.

There will be 6, 3-hour classes in this series, starting promptly at 9 am and finishing at noon.  The classes will begin in January and end in June with the Honey Harvest.


Class I:  ( January 7th )  Honey Bee Biology; Equipment, Tools and Clothing; Apiary Location; Codes and Regulations; Honey Processing Houses; Beekeeping Products and Services

Class II:  ( February 11th )  Feeding your Bees; Foraging Plants for Bees

Class III:  ( March 11th )  Yearly Management of your Apiary

Class IV:  (April 8th)  Installation of Nucs and Packages; Brood Diseases

Class V: (May 13th)  Adult Diseases; Parasites

Class VI: (June 3rd)  Honey Harvest!  You will learn by doing.  We will remove supers from the hives, and then take the supers to the classroom to begin the extraction process.

Cost for the Beekeeper’s Series:  $200 per person for 6 classes, 18 hours of instruction.  There is a 10% discount per person for 2 or more family members.

A DEPOSIT of $50 will hold your place in the class.  You will be able to pay the remaining at the first class or work out a payment plan with Lazy B Farm.

To register for the series, CLICK HERE.

If you are a couple registering for this series, CLICK HERE.

If you are a Ladies Homestead Gathering member, CLICK HERE

( these classes individually will be $40 each )

*this price does not include the Bee Certification exam fee of $40, June 17th.

Because this class is limited, there is a $50 non-refundable deposit to hold your spot in the class.  The remainder will be due on or before the first class in January.

Contact:  Cyndi Ball    770-289-2301

Why “Cows in the Cafeteria”??

Each day tens of thousands of children in Georgia’s public schools are fed what former USDA scientist, Gerald Zirnstein dubbed, “pink slime.”  This beef “additive” is found in at least 70% of all ground beef used in fast food and commercial cooking facilities in Georgia.


And it is in the ground beef your children eat every week at school.


“Pink Slime” is made by gathering “waste” trimmings (parts, that until recently, were only allowed in dog food or cooking oil), simmering them at low heat so the fat separates easily from the muscle, and spinning the trimmings using a centrifuge to complete the separation.


But that’s not all…


See, the problem when you turn garbage bits of animal carcasses into “pink slime” to sell as a food product is that there’s an issue with pathogens, such as E. coli. And when samples of the pink slime were tested, the tests came back showing that the slime was rampant with harmful bacteria. Now, one might think that the best idea would be to decide not to sell pink slime to feed to humans, but there’s no money in that, is there? So they cleverly started disinfecting the slime with ammonia. And they convinced the FDA to allow them to list it as a “processing ingredient” so that we wouldn’t know we were eating ammonia.


This is what our children are being fed in their government funded school lunch programs.  And we decided enough is enough. Something needed to be done.


Cows in the Cafeteria is born!



In January of 2012, we served over 1200 grass-fed hamburgers to the children of Statham Elementary and East Jackson Elementary.  After months of working with the Department of Agriculture, the USDA, and the Department of Education, we were given the green light to donate our beef to these 2 schools. Of course, that was after the local School Superintendent, Nutritional Directors and the Principals gave their approval.



Lazy B Farm was the first local farm to donate grass-fed beef to a local school cafeteria.  It was truly an amazing experience and we learned a lot.  If you’d like to see the faces of the children enjoying our hamburgers, please click here.


This event was so well received that we’ve had requests from all over the state to offer our beef to other school children.  My heart wants to respond with a resounding YES!  Our vision and dream is to be a catalyst for change in the food movement for our children in the state of Georgia.  But we’re only one farm with a handful of cows.  However, we’re firm believers in leading by example.  Our hope is to be the inspiration others may need to make a difference in their community.



We’d like to do more, we’d like to offer local beef to more children in this area but we need your help.  We won’t ask you to raise a few cattle in your back yard, we won’t even ask you to volunteer to make a couple hundred hamburger patties!



What we would ask of you is to be our guest at the first Cows in the Cafeteria Farm to Table Dinner, Sunday, October 6, 2013.


Sit out under the stars. Enjoy a fabulous locally sourced meal, created by Mama’s Boy Restaurant’s head chef, Jeff Daniell.  Listen to relaxing music from the Taylor-Rich String Trio of Athens.  And be inspired by Katharyn Richt, wife of UGA Football coach, Mark Richt, as she shares her personal story regarding childhood nutrition.


Your ticket will help fund the purchase of local beef so we can donate it to the local schools in our area.  Last year Lazy B Farm donated $1200 worth of beef to feed our school children.  We’d like to see that tripled for this coming school year.


With your help, we can reach that goal!



If you’re not able to join us for this incredible evening but would still like to participate in this endeavor, we would deeply appreciate a donation.  Simply click here for more details.


Will you help us fulfill this dream?  The need is real.  The trail has been blazed.  The resources are available.  The time is now. Together we can make this happen.  Thank you so much!


Cows in the Cafeteria Farm to Table Fundraiser!

Lazy B Farm would like to donate 1800 all natural beef hamburgers to the local school cafeteria but we need your help!  We’d love to have you attend our Farm to Table event and spend the evening with us. Can’t make it?   We’d greatly appreciate any amount for a donation.

You are cordially invited to

 Lazy B Farm’s

Cows in the Cafeteria*

Farm to Table Fund Raiser

$100 per plate

 Sunday, October 6, 2013

5 – 8pm

Forget-Me-Not Farm

986 Austin Rd, Winder 30680

To purchase tickets 

More questions?



Can’t attend the event but would like to make a donation?

 * Cows in the Cafeteria was established in January, 2012, by Lazy B Farm as an avenue for donating grass-fed beef to the local school cafeteria.

Evening Festivities


Taylor-Rich String Trio

 Guests Speakers:

 Katharyn Richt

(Wife of Mark Richt, UGA Head Football Coach)

 Dr. Debra Morris

  Jackson County School Nutritional Director

 Menu and food preparations by:

  Jeff Daniell

Head Chef at Mama’s Boy Restaurant in Athens


 ~Jalapenó Cornbread Crustini with Smoked Pork Mousse and Fried Leeks

  ~Rosemary Skewer of Skirt Steak with Cherry Tomatoes and Arugula


 Frisée and Baby Red Oak

Honey Balsamic Vinagrette Dressing

Topped with Candied Pecans

Served in an Asiago Cheese Bowl


 Butternut Squash Soup topped with a Cinnamon Cremé

Goat Cheese Crustini


 Braised Pork Belly

Turnip Purée

Parsnip Frittes garnished with a Mint/Apple Salad


 Beef Tenderloin with Port Wine Reduction

Wild Mushrooms Risotto Cake

Poached Eggs in a Potato Basket

Grilled Asparagus

 **All beef and pork provided Lazy B Farm