Monthly Archives: March 2014


Madelyn, Fancy, Annie and W-72 are the farm’s Huacaya alpacas.

alpaca, cook's country connection, fiber, twins, petting farm

Alpacas are in the camel family and bred for their fiber (and meat but we don’t think about that!).  The fiber from an alpaca is warmer than wool and softer than cashmere.  It makes a person really want to hug and smooch them.  Unfortunately alpacas aren’t much into being hugged and smooched.

What they look like depends on when you visit the farm.  This picture shows Madelyn after shearing and Maddox before!

alpaca, cook's country connection, fiber, twins, petting farm
Fuzzy wuzzy wasn’t fuzzy wuzzy!

Flowers We Grow at Cook’s Country Connection

Gardening in Zone 3 is not for wimps.  Luckily, we are not wimpy. Give us a few months to move the snowbanks, then check back for more.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


JaiJai  (short for Ginormous White Slobbering Dog) joined our family the summer of 2012. (Click here for the first post about Jai, “What You Should Know About Great Pyrenees”.)   He is a giant white adorable ball of horribly naughty fluff.

Our Great Pyrenees are working dogs and not “exhibit animals”.  Unfortunately you won’t be able to have this monster on your lap, but then again….is that really unfortunate?

Great Pyrenees, big white dog, cook's country connection

The Great Pyrenees, as a breed, are NOT for everyone and they were NOT bred to be pets.

Jai Naughty

They are livestock guardian dogs. (Here’s the Wiki link for more info on the breed.) In theory, anyway.

llama, great pyrenees, big white dog,

They bark, they are stubborn, they wander, they jump,

Jai Jumping

they do things on their terms,

Great Pyrenees, cook's country connection

and as I have said before, you will spend more on grooming than you will spend on your next car.

Great Pyrenees, Dog, White Dog, Cook's Country Connection

Jai is a dog that someone decided they just had to have.  And then sadly they decided that he was too big,

Jai Lois

OR he was too loud, OR too strong,

Great Pyrenees

OR too expensive to feed, OR too energetic, OR too destructive,

Jai Stanley OR waay too much to groom OR some other such thing….  And so, they left him tied to a tree to die.

Great Pyrenees, kiddie pool, white dog, cook's country connection

Thankfully he was rescued from a certain and unpleasant death.  Jai will spend the rest of his days here on the farm.  He will never be “without” again.

Great Pyrenees, bone, dog

BEWARE:  Here is where I jump up on my soapbox:  If you are going to get a pet for your family research the species and the breed.  Be honest…will you have the time, money, energy and space to share with this new member of your family for possibly the next 15 years or more?  8 MILLION dogs  are killed in this country EVERY DAY.  And frankly I just can’t adopt any more.

Hopping off soapbox now…..

great Pyrenees rescue

Jai n Sophie Logs

great Pyrenees

PS: Take a ride up the driveway and see Jai’s favorite perch in this cool YouTube video.

Chop chop. Loveyabye!

Rooster Noodle Soup

Ten years ago, I never would have believed how satisfying it can be to know exactly where dinner came from. Maybe part of it is that we live in the “Icebox of the Nation”– Lois and I always say gardening and/or farming up here is not for wimps, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible. When I started trying to grow SOME of my own food, it was entirely in Grampa Ralph’s old galvanized buckets, not in an acre of tractor-tilled black dirt.
Two sisters can’t save the entire planet; but there are probably things we could all be doing better…

Pajari Girls

I am very nervous around poultry.  (See “Guinea Monsters From Hell”)   And I used to hate cooking. So this Martha Stewart-esque-ness is new to me. I have been growing, canning, cooking, drying and freezing food a lot more the last few years. Now, being unemployed AND on the Low Child Support Diet has encouraged me to do even more, and to do it better. It’s been a slow process, and many people have contributed along the way. Here are two that I remember.

One of my favorite bloggers is Jackie  Clay.  (Check her out here. Chop chop!) We are lucky to have this awesome lady in our community, and I have learned so much from her books and blogs about living off the land in this area code.  I subscribed to her blog for several months before I even attempted canning on my own.

I vaguely remember Anthony Bourdain

View original post 229 more words