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Hi, bee sisters! I am Heather, otherwise known as PlumCreekMama. I live with my family on a small acreage in eastern Iowa. The above picture is from October, when the Plum Creek (which is across the road from us) flooded and I took my son, Tate and one of our dogs, Annie in our flatbottom boat through our land. The spot where we are in the boat is where we are developing our campsite. We have small children and too many animals to go very far to go camping, so we picked the furthest spot from our house to camp.

I am 29 and my husband, Joe, is 32. We have two sons. Tate is 2 1/2 and Sullivan is 9 months. Tate loves cars, trucks, Jeeps, tractors, animals, and riding his bike. He loves to help with chores and I think he is going to be a neat freak, because he really likes throwing things in the garbage. He is quite particular, things have to be a certain way with him, and he doesn’t like getting his shoes dirty or his clothes wet. He definitely gets that from me, though he gets his looks from his dad. Sullivan looks more like me, especially his smile. He loves chasing his brother, playing with any toy that has wheels, and stuffed animals. Both my boys are very easygoing, happy tempered kids, which makes raising them a real blessing. Tate was born with Sturge-Weber Syndrome, so he has a large birthmark over his left forehead and eye, which he is having laser surgeries to remove. He has seizures, glaucoma in the left eye, and has had a stroke. Luckily, he is doing well and has bounced back from everything. Sullivan had a difficult birth, but is now doing just great. He was born 3 weeks early when my platelet count dropped very quickly when I got preeclampsia. Right before they took me back to do the c-section, they told me that there was a chance I could bleed to death, but they would do everything they could. Needless to say, I was terrified. The scar from the incision from Tate’s c-section had adhered to my intestines and bladder, so it took them quite awhile to get to Sullivan, and when they did, he didn’t want to come out. They had to use the vacuum and finally he came unstuck, but he was not moving much and not breathing well, so they took him away and all I saw was the top of his head. It was almost 24 hours before I got to see him, so needless to say, that was not one of the best days of my life. But he is doing great now and growing like a weed, so I am thankful. He just started crawling and is starting to pull himself up. They grow so fast! There is a running joke in my family about what age they will outgrow me. I am only 5’4″ and my husband is 6’2″ and the boys have been taller than him at the same ages.

I am a total animal nut! I always think I was Noah in a previous life, because I like to have at least 2 of every animal! I have been raising Shih Tzus for 6 years and I have 6 of them: Bailey, Josie, Kolby, Daisy, Chester, and Violet. I have 3 Shelties: Zelda, Francie, and Gannon. I also have 2 farm dogs: Annie, a German shorthaired pointer mix, and Corky, a Border Collie/lab mix. I have numerous cats, most of them being cream or orange, so I am the only person that can tell a lot of them apart. ūüôā I have 4 miniature horses: Stetson, Cinders, Whisper, and Kassie. I have pygmy and Nigerian dwarf goats: Nellie, Noah, Hester, Lester, Helga, Garry, Charger, Ram, Avenger, Intrepid, Glory, and Glory’s 2 kids, which my parents are going to take next spring. They better get naming them or else I will! I also have chickens, mostly Rhode Island Red, Cochins, Delaware, and Buff Brahmas. I also have a few ducks, Rouens and White Pekins. I like to hatch my eggs- you can’t get much closer to watching a miracle than to watch an egg hatch. I could sit there for ages!

I used to work as a nurse’s aide in a nursing home, but quit working just before Tate was born. I have been a stay at home mom ever since. I bring a little money to the household cleaning the office where my mom works, but that’s only 1 day a week and I either bring the kids or they stay at home with Joe, depending on his work schedule. I also make a little money raising dogs, and will be selling some baby goats and maybe some chickens in the spring. My mom, my sister, and I are going to start a good garden next spring and do the farmer’s market thing. We also plan on having some baked goods and handmade crafts to sell as well. I am so excited! We have been talking about doing it for a few years, but finally decided to just go for it!

¬†I also have tons of hobbies. Maybe too many, if there is such a thing! I like sewing, quilting, cross stitch, tatting, knitting, scrapbooking, soapmaking, painting, photography, cooking, baking, and reading. It seems like there are not enough hours in the day. Or maybe just not enough hours that the kids are sleeping! I do most of my hobbies at night after Tate and Sullivan go to bed, so it’s really hard to convince myself to go to bed before midnight. I always have at least 15 projects started at once, because when I get sick of something, I move on to something else. Sometimes it takes me awhile to get back to it! But I guess that’s part of the fun.

¬†I discovered Mary Jane’s Farm when I was at the bookstore looking at the rural living section and saw her lifebook. I think I was actually looking for a specific book, I think on chickens, but I became enchanted just skimming through her book, so I bought it. I also bought the sewing book as soon as it came out. Then I started chatting on the forum and couldn’t believe all the wonderful farmgirls I met there! I am so excited about the chance to get to know a lot of you better through the Bees Without Borders. I am a homebody and would rather be here on my farm than anywhere, so it’s nice to be able to interact with all of you without leaving home! I look forward to all the projects we will do in the future!

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me-2007.jpgHi there! I am so happy to be a part of this chapter of Farmgirls!

I’m a long-time Farmgirl and have lived the farmgirl life for most of my …well..

here goes…50 years!!

 Can I really be 50???

Well, only on the outside- the inside is still about 28-30 I think.

  What does that lifestyle mean?

 Well for me it means animals, gardens, kids,dirt,sewing,canning,jelly making.and lots more.Mostly it means making do with what you have and being content with simple pleasures.

I have five kids(one of which is very proud to have been born at home) and seven grandkids.We live on 10 acres of woods in the south and work hard just to keep up the place. My husband works a full time job  and for the last 24 years I have been schooling our 5  kids.

¬†When we first moved here my husband and I built a cabin – nothing fancy- just a simple cabin – and moved our 3 kids and ourselves in and began a dream of establishing our “homeplace”. We named it PROVIDENCE- knowing that God had placed us here by His providence.

I cannot begin to tell you how many times we have been amazed at His provision for us.He knew so much better than us what we have needed and when we needed it!

Our cabin days were without electricity and running water. We did EVERYTHING the hard way- and it can be done!

The cabin days are  our favorite stories to tell- and we do repeat them often.

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Bev and O'Malley 

Hi Farmgals… you may know me as the Bee Haven Maven.¬† I chose that nick-name because our farm is called Bee Haven Acres.¬† My husband and I have owned the farm for several years, but only in the last two years has it become everything we had dreamed it would be!¬† After 37 years of Orthopedic nursing ( I turned 50 this year and am still not sure how that happened…but my Mom swears that it’s true!) , my hubby asked me if I wanted to quit working and jump into creating our dream farm.¬† The past two years have been a flurry of activity, but now our farm is up and running and we are having a ball.¬†¬†Bee Haven Acres is situated on 130¬†acres of farmland and woodlands in the heart of Central Pennsylvania Amish country.¬†¬†We have¬†spent the past two years building pastures¬†and¬†sheds to house our 6 goats, 3 horses, 1 pony, chickens, ducks, and guinea fowl.¬† Our barn is kept pest-free by¬†3 sweet barn cats and our hearts are kept full by two enormous pups.¬† Our Maddie is a 1 1/2 year old 130 lb. Newfoundland and our Sadie is a 3 year¬†old Bernese Mountain Dog.¬† Between us, my husband and I have 4 children….two of which are out on their own and two (twins) are in their next to last year of college.¬† We try to plan several “work days” at the farm each year when all of the kids come together to work on a farm project, play paintball, eat, and have a bonfire.¬† With 4 almost grown children scattered about it is hard for all to get together at one time!

There are constantly things happening at Bee Haven Acres.¬† We have bee hives (that produced over 150 lbs of honey this year), 105 blueberry bushes, a large strawberry patch, an apple orchard, and a large vegetable garden.¬†¬† This year we learned that 36 tomato plants is more than we can handle!!!!¬† We keep a pond stocked with large¬†mouthed bass, catfish, sunnies and one ornery snapping turtle….for catch and release fun.¬† We are breeding our fainting goats and hope to have 6 babies for sale in the spring of 2008.

Farm life makes me happy!¬† I love the work.¬† I love to cook and garden and create.¬† Sewing is my passion and I sneak off to my sewing machine every chance I get.¬† I have a small homemade apron business that feeds my fabric and sewing addiction.¬† ¬†I also try to make a little time for¬†rubber stamping, embroidery, and whatever other¬†craft project catches my attention.¬† If I could perform one act of magic it would be to do away with the need for sleep…..I could get so much more done if I just didn’t have to sleep!!!!

I happened upon MaryJanesFarm when my husband bought her first book for me for my Birthday.¬† It was through that book that I found the Farmgirl Connectionand it was not long until I was¬†hooked.¬† ¬†I have made great friends here and look forward to meeting more gals!¬† The idea of Bees without Borders came to me one day as I was mowing on my tractor.¬† My life is busy and my spare time I save for my first love….my hubby.¬† So, a cyber farmgirl chapter seemed like a great idea and one that I could fit into spare minutes here and there.

¬†I am so glad you all decided to join me here…….I think we are going to have a lot of fun getting to know each other better!!

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Hi everyone!  I am Julie or Willowtreecreek as many of you know me.  Here is a picture of me.

You will have to excuse the quality. I didn’t have any pictures of me so I used the self-portrait feature on my cell phone. I took about 10 pictures and they all came out blurry. This was the best.

¬†Anyway, let me tell you about myself.¬† I have been married just over 7 years to my wonderful husband Richie.¬† We are both teachers and teach in the same school district. I teach k-12 Art and Richie teaches the k-12 Gifted and Talented program as well as a high school journalism class. I have bachelors degrees in both education and art as well as a master’s degree in Gifted and Talented education. I started out as a Kindergarten teacher and then taught second grade while I completed a few classes to add my art certification.¬† In 2005 our school’s art teacher retired and I was offered the position. I really enjoy teaching and I am especially glad that I get to teach art. It really is a lot of fun.

Richie and I do not have any kids. We do have 4 dogs, 4 cats and 3 horses.  3 of our dogs are english mastiffs which all weigh over 140 pounds!  We also have a golden retriever.  Our cats are barn cats and do a great job of keeping the mice away.

My mom and dad own a bed and breakfast in Virginia.  Here is a link to their website: http://www.orchardhousebb.com . They really seem to enjoy it.  I have one sister. She and her husband live in Illinois. My sister is a Speech Pathologist and her husband is a Graphic Designer.  They just had their first child! He is almost 7 months old and is the most adorable thing.

 I found Mary Janes Farm about a year and a half ago after seeing the magazine in a bookstore. I have been an active member of the forum ever since.

I love sewing and crafting and I even run a small crafting business online.  You can visit my website at http://www.willowtreecreek.com.

I really love what the farmgirl way of life stands for.

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