Striving Acres proudly announces…

9.24.2015 birth announcement

Striving Acres proudly announces Bindi

born September 22, 2015 at 4:56 p.m., @ 45 lbs

After much back and forth discussion, Ted and I finally settled on the name Bindi as a tribute to the late and great Steve Irwin (1962 – 2006).  He was an animal lover, a wildlife expert, a conservationist, and he was fully passionate about all forms of life.  He named his own daughter Bindi, a word from the southern Australian Aboriginal Pitjandtjara language meaning “awakening”.

We cannot think of a better name for our little Bindi because that is indeed what she is for us: an awakening.  Seeing her birth and seeing how Bessie, and now Beef, react to her, care for her, and love her goes beyond anything we ever imagined.  Our little Bindi’s birth has renewed our commitment to run an ethical and humane farm for all of the animals here.

We will never be wealthy by society’s standards because of the affirmation to live by this commitment, but in the ways that matter, we are rich beyond belief to simply be part of the circle of life and to perhaps inspire others to realize that you, too, can live this wonderful life-altering dream.

Hello, old friends!

I’m getting ready to do something really important to me this afternoon, and so I’m a little bit stressed about it. When I’m stressed, I “nervous clean” so I came upstairs to work on Ted’s side of the bedroom closet.  In the very back corner I found a bin, and when I opened it, look what I found!

All of my old friends from childhood were staring up at me with their happy little smiles and their sweet eyes.  I was an absolute Strawberry Shortcake fanatic when I was a little girl, and these are my old dolls that I played with for many many years, and then my kids played with them for many many years, and I had tucked them away in this bin for my grandchildren to one day play with for many many years.

This was definitely stress relief! LOL I spent a few minutes picking each one up and sniffing in those wonderful fruit scents. They still smell good even after 40 years! I’m going to take this as a sign that this important thing this afternoon is going to go very well. I hope it does because I really want to share big news tomorrow!

Look what we found!

I’ve been looking for a hog feeder like this for over a year. They are EXPENSIVE brand new so I knew used was the only way I was getting one.  We found a couple of them online, but each time, the seller had them sold before we saw them.  This time, we got it though!  We had to drive all the way to Indiana to get it, but we got it!

This twelve door feeder holds 60 bushels (over 3000 pounds) of feed which means a LOT less filling feeders when we raise the next set of pigs.  In fact, if I’m raising four pigs to market weight, I’ll only fill this feeder one time, and when they eat it all, they should be ready to go! I’m really excited about this because once I have the planned fence put in, I can set and fill this feeder and be done with feed in one short afternoon instead of it being a daily twenty minute chore! 


Bessie – the world’s biggest dog


Bessie is the world’s biggest dog.

I sometimes think that she really thinks she is a dog.  She follows us where ever we go inside the pasture.  She even follows us if we’re just outside the fence (as far as she can).

Last week, Ted was doing a little work in the pasture.  She followed him everywhere.  Back and forth…….


Back and forth…….


Back and forth…….


Bessie loves belly rubs, back scratches, and ear noogies.  She’s a fantastic mama.  She loves grain most of all and will follow us anywhere if we have her feed bag.  She is the world’s best cow and has the best disposition of any cow we have in our herd, and I. LOVE. HER. SO. MUCH!  I’m so glad that she’s my cow/dog!

We have goats again!


We have goats again at Striving Acres!  I borrowed this pair of pygmy does from a friend who is in the process of moving and just isn’t ready to take the goats to the new place yet since they are currently going back/forth each week to box up the old house and move into the new one.  This worked out well for us both because she doesn’t have to worry about her goats, and I can hopefully get them to eat down some of those super tall weeds and growth in the pig pasture.

The goats’ names are Silly and Nilly, and they are fitting in just fine here!

World’s best mousetrap

We put Daisy and Tucker outside about a month ago when it got nice and warm all day and night.  Tucker loves it; Daisy is not a happy camper because this makes the lazy cat actually get up and move (in the house, her belly literally drug the ground when she walked because she just went from the food bowl to the litter box and back to the couch to sleep again so she was really fat!).

Unfortunately, putting the outside meant that while the cats are away, the mice will play – and by that, I mean they moved inside!  I don’t know how mice know when a cat isn’t in the house here, but they do.  We have no mice in here when the cats are inside, or else the cats catch and eat them all and leave no evidence of them, but when there isn’t a cat in our house, we get A LOT of field mice in here!  Since that’s not sanitary, and I can’t stand having them in the house, we either have to put the cats back inside or we have to buy mousetraps.

Ted was all for killing the mice.  He came home with the deadly ones, and I just couldn’t use them.  A few years back, I did use a trap like that, and it didn’t kill the mouse right away.  There was blood everywhere on my counter and wall.  It was traumatic (I’m not even kidding – TRAUMATIC!!!).  I cried and cried and cried while I cleaned that up and vowed to never use a trap like that again.  I even take the mice from my cats (when I see they have one) and make them drop it into a tall gallon “mouse jar” that I have that is just for the purpose of transporting live mice from the cats down the road and letting them loose.  My family thinks I’m nuts.

Anyway, I got on Amazon, and I looked up live mouse traps.  I wound up getting these Humane Mouse Traps by Kat Sense.  They are FANTASTIC!!!  The photo below shows the trap when a mouse is caught in it.  The peanut butter (or cheese or whatever you want to use as bait) is placed inside the trap on that square end, and the other flappy end stands up (like a little open door).  When the mouse goes inside the trap to the end with the bait, it rocks, which causes the little door to close.  That’s it!  There are air holes so the mouse can breathe, too!

0623171430 (1).jpgI have caught one mouse every single night for the past ten nights.  We haven’t caught any (or seen any evidence of mice in the kitchen) for the past three nights.  Seriously, I cannot say enough good things about these mouse traps!  They are SUPER easy to use, and they’re SUPER easy to get the caught mice out of them without have to touch them.


I just open one end (both ends open) and give the trap a good shake, and the mouse drops out onto the ground and scurries away!