Saturday, May 25, 2019

Thank You For Your Service

Tuesday May 21st was a sad day for us here on the farm.  Our beloved friend Mauka passed away quickly in the early morning hours. He died instantly guarding the goats in the corner of the pasture where he normally barks at predators.  On the same day Mauka passed my husband went to the funeral of a Vietnam Veteran buddy.

It was a tough day.

Too many veterans end their life due to war trauma.  If you or someone you know who is a veteran needs help please direct them to Operation Restored Warrior.  They can help.
Mauka's soul was beyond my ability to describe here.  Language can't quite capture the essence of this amazing animal and friend but I will try my best.  
Our journey together began when we moved to the farm back in 2008.  We started out as clueless farmers with a small herd of alpacas.  We needed a guard dog because South Carolina has lots of bad guys here.  Coyotes, foxes, raccoons, and other dogs all love to taste the delightful treats (chickens, rabbits, goats) here on our property.  

Our grandson Peter was visiting us when we headed up to North Carolina to pick out some dogs.  We came home with Mauka and his sister Lani; two of the best Great Pyrenees dogs ever created!  Poor Peter was not quite sure about riding in the car with two big white monsters right behind him! 

Mauka protected the alpacas with great care.
Our grandchildren loved him dearly.  Even though his size was large and somewhat overwhelming, they sensed the gentle and kind soul emanating from that huge hairy body!  Ella Bella Petronella is afraid of dogs, especially large ones, but not so with Mauka.  

Mauka attended all 13 of our Farm Labs this past week.  The students were able to love on him, brush him, and marvel at the fact that such a big dog can hang out with baby rabbits, 

tiny chicks, and baby goats, 

all together in the same pen.  

How do you say goodby to such a gentle giant and loyal companion?  My husband and I buried our dear friend Mauka in the back corner of the property.  We both cried as we remembered the wonderful times we had together for the past 12.5 years.  We thanked him for his unrelenting devotion and service to us and to our family.  

We love you Mauka.  Thank you for your service.  You will never be forgotten.  Even in death you still reach out to teach me.  As I've been reflecting on Mauka this is what I believe he would want me to know. 
  • My "to do" list is not as important as saying hello and goodbye when I greet my loved ones.  You never know if it might be the last time.  I would give anything to rewind the clock and hug him and tell him how much I love him one more time.
  • Non-verbal communication speaks volumes.  Mauka never uttered one word his entire life yet he was a transmitter of unconditional love and loyalty to all who were fortunate enough to encounter him.  
  • Don't let looks fool you.  Mauka was large and scary yet his eyes gave him away.  He was a lover of humans, other dogs, and those who needed his protection.  
  • Love your work.  Mauka loved to protect and he worked any hour of any day if his services were needed.  
  • Recognize greatness, it is all around you.  Mauka was more than a remarkable dog.  He was my friend, my protector, my helper on the farm, and loyal to the bitter end.  I didn't quite grasp the value of his greatness until he left us so suddenly.  I wonder how many other humans and animals are part of my life and I don't see their beauty or recognize their greatness shining out.  That  70's song "Don't It Always Seem To Go That You Don't Know What You've Got Till It's Gone", (Big Yellow Taxi) by Joni Mitchel makes me sad.  I was in the presence of greatness and was too busy to recognize it.  
  • Always be grateful to those who stand guard over you. They deserve honor for what they do.   
And to all the faithful ones both human and animal who helped protect us we thank you this Memorial Day!  

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Blowing Up the Science Fair

I love this quote by Albert Einstein.

Recently, my grandchildren "mopped up the floor" with their science projects at the Northern Illinois Regional Science Fair. (Can you feel the humility in this statement)? All three of them won the coveted grand champion for their age category and they also made the front page of the Freeport IL Journal Standard.  Grand champion winners were: Ella Leverton for kindergarten through third grade; Gabriel Leverton for fourth through sixth grade; and Breanna Leverton for seventh and eighth grade.

Northern Illinois Regional Science Fair

I am SO proud of all of them and also for my daughter Rachel who does an amazing job of organizing this event
and son-in-law Andy 
for helping the kids achieve this remarkable accomplishment. Each of the children had to practice giving their presentation for the judges over 10 times with their dad, Andy.  I'm convinced that this is what helped them connect with the judges.  Go Andy!!!  So Andy, I will forgive you for marrying my daughter and whisking her and all my grand-babies off to the frigid north! 
Ella did her project on ants!  She was so excited to find out we had an ant lab back in November.  
Gabe did his science project called "Fabulous Flatulence".  Yes you heard it, flatulence!!  
I am so embarrassed... It actually was quite scientific.  He really knew his stuff!!  Gabe's presentation to the judges was explosive!

Breanna gets to go on to the Illinois State Science Fair with her project on how sun screen affects the ocean waters.  Recently, she was in Hawaii with her mother and they saw first-hand how the coral is disappearing and dying due to the toxic sunscreen in the ocean water.  I wrote about this in a previous post.  Let me know if you need some organic non-toxic sunscreen that my goats help me make.  
And in case you are an overwhelmed mom who can't find the time to really do justice to teaching science, let me help you.  I am creating online courses and would love to have your children join us.  Email me and let me know you are interested and I will keep you informed.  The next one will be in February.  It is a course called "Me Myself and I, My Amazing Body".  Students will find out how unique and wonderful God created them to be.  We will study their hair, skin, eyes, blood type, pH, and other aspects of their amazing human body.  Join us if you don't live nearby and can't come to the lab!!  Thank you for passing this on to your homeschool friends.  

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Free Online Aquaponics Class

Did you miss the Aquaponics Lab? No worries. I am doing two live trainings on Wednesday January 16th at 9:30am EST and at 4:30pm EST. And the best part about it is its FREE!
Since this is my first online class, I decided to post it for FREE just to be sure we get all the “kinks” out of the system. So take advantage of this class just in case you missed it. Or, if you came to the class here on the farm and want a refresher come and join us.
I will be using an interactive software called Zoom. You can download it for free on your phone by going to or you can log onto Zoom with your computer. Your children will be able to ask me questions and participate in the class. Zoom is awesome. Your children will be in a virtual classroom. So download Zoom and join us on Wednesday January 16th at 9:30am-10:30am EST or 4:30pm-5:30pm EST.
Please email me at or PM for a supply list for the class and for the meeting ID number. You will get a copy of my teaching slides as well when you contact me. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

All You Need for Christmas

Everyone knows it...  My kids all hate it.  Here is the awful truth.  
I hated Christmas
Growing up in an immigrant family and working in the family business sucked the Christmas excitement right out of me.  My parents and siblings and I worked hard and long.  By the time Christmas arrived, we were all too tired to celebrate much.  It was exhausting.  

But that was then and now I am slowly coming out of the Christmas funk.  Its taken a while but now I can truly celebrate Christ's birth with the rest of the world. Here on the farm we have transitioned from just selling milk and eggs to many other products.  Its been fun creating all these things and getting to share them with our happy customers. 
We have lots of items here in the lab to help you find gifts for your loved ones.  
These soft, felted soaps are made with our finest goat milk then felted with our hand dyed alpaca/sheep fiber.  It's like a wash cloth on a bar of soap.  When the soap is finally used up, the exfoliating washcloth is still quite usable.$6 
pure alpaca yarn, hand dyed $20
These are loofah sponges that are embedded in handmade goat soap.  Great exfoliating properties.$6
T-shirts are always useful.  These are my own design. 
goat milk, coconut oil, shea butter, sweet almond oil, avacado oil, apricto oil, non-nano zinc oxide, vitamin A and C, stearic acid, refrigerate
Drum roll please... The finest lavender organic goat milk lotion you could ever find ANYWHERE!  Its so pure you could eat it.   Our granddaughter Ella Bella is our most fervent customer.   4 oz. $10 If you plan to travel to a warm climate over the holidays, you don't want to leave home without this amazing goat milk lotion sunscreen.  Completely safe, organic, SPF 25 $20/8oz.
 Imported "brain cup" $40

The South Carolina Geological Survey has created a rock box that comes with 20 rocks and a booklet describing the rocks and where to find them.  $25
The items below are for those who want to keep themselves free of electromagnetic frequencies.  
$5 cell phone protection

wall outlet EMF protection $89
bracelet $79
bracelet $79

Please contact me at if any of these items interest you.  
And if you are a grandparent wanting to give your grandchild a truly memorable gift, click here and register them for a science lab.  
 Merry Christmas!!
Happy for a Honk and a Wave
My dear friend Janet, wrote this insightful book about autism. It is a fun way to convey an important message of acceptance and understanding of those who seem to be different or misunderstood.  

Click Here to register for classes.