Black-Eyed Susan

“Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat.
In our mad rush for progress and modern improvements,
let’s be sure we take along with us all the old-fashioned things worthwhile.”

-Laura Ingalls


I’m sorry things have been quiet here on our little blog space – with the gorgeous, but hot, summer weather, the gardens that need tending, the children that are growing and the lifestyle that cannot be ignored, our family finds summer time a very busy season.

However, I did want to share some news … as this is a dream of mine come true …

Folks, we’re not moving forward; we’re moving backwards.

Meet Black Eyed Susan, our new milk cow.

FINALLY. While we have had meat cows in the past (and present), we have not had a true milk cow. After years of begging and dreaming of a milk cow for our family (as we consume a lot of milk and milk products) … we have our special friend … who came to us from a Jersey farm here on the island. She’s lovely, she’s amiable, she’s halter trained and gives the most delicious creamy milk ever.

Welcome to the family, Suzy. You are a WONDERFUL addition!

Our 16 year old has taken on the tasks as milk maid – and she’s doing a fantastic job at it …



{Lovelyn is in charge of raising the beef calf that came with the dairy cow}

We’re milking twice a day, and so far, so good … we are so blessed with this new addition …_


I have had a few people stop our family recently, or visit our little farm, and comment on the children versus their own children … teenagers, they say, are always stuck on their phones, won’t wash the dishes, will NOT help around the house … can I send my children to you to raise?! they jokingly say. “I’ll just drop her off here for a week for boot camp and I’ll take one of yours home!” said one mother, laughingly, as her 15 year old sulked in the car behind us, glued to her cell phone, refusing to come out and meet or talk with us.   Well, I wish more parents would see that hard work and a simple life style of non-worldly-flashiness will bring contentment … it will bring out hard work ethics in your children and it will unite you as a family. Start with the little things (which should have been started when the child was young) like making sure your child *IS* doing the dishes, cleaning the house, taking care of the duties at home … and regarding cell phones … if you must give them to your children (of which I would highly advise against — read this article), then I would be setting some *severe guidelines.

Our children are only young once – and we only have one chance at raising them. Let’s give them the best childhood, set with Biblical guidelines, building up hard work ethics and a moral compass that is in tune with their Creator.

Now … back to that cow I was talking about …

… just look at that glorious cream line!


And of course, what does one  do with all that delicious cream?
Why, make butter, of course. [Have you noticed the cost of butter lately?]


Thankful for this butter machine, which was a gift from my midwife many years ago.


And of course, we’re making ice cream, yogurt, sour cream, ricotta, milkshakes … all sorts of treats!


We do also have a few beef cows that we are raising, but nothing can compare to that daily fresh milk.

I must go – we just heard our momma Lowline cow, Fairlight, had her calf! Farm life is never dull and boring … I’m so grateful for this way of living.

August 10, 2022 - 2:39 pm

Michelle Gigi, thank you! I sent you an email. Please pray for me that I can “live” this simple life that I so desire. So much I want and don’t want to do! Some things I want to get away from but yet incorporate some things. It will be a process and would like to have my family’s support in it all. I have went back and read several of your posts and they have been so encouraging! Thank you!!

August 9, 2022 - 7:11 pm

Gigi Rebecca, I have a few jars left too but we’re still stocking up. Have you tried beet soup (Borscht)? I rather like it – it’s a good way to use regular canned beets. I hope your tomatoes ripen for you! They are so important in meals!

August 9, 2022 - 12:17 pm

Rebecca Oh we love pickled beets! I still have a few jars from last year so I’ll probably need to can some more this week. We have had such a rainy cold July after having a very dry and hot June, so my garden hasnt been as productive as I had hoped. I’m planning on just picking the remaining green tomatoes and hope they turn ripe inside. It’s gonna be down in the 30’s a few times this week. Boo….

August 8, 2022 - 3:19 pm

Ruthie That’s wonderful news, Gigi! I love the name, Black-eyed Susan shortened to Suzy.(heart melt for pic of your daughters with Suzy and baby) The richness of the color of your butter! Amazing❤️
Yes please! My friend and I were just talking last week @ pr mtg about pickled beets! A how-to post would be most helpful if you had time. God bless you and yours.

August 3, 2022 - 2:31 pm

Gigi Michelle, feel free to send me a personal email if you want to talk ( I’ll be praying for you. I’ll think up some tangible ways to make life “simple”, but it’s not always easy to be simple! 🙂

August 3, 2022 - 9:49 am

Michelle P.S. if you should have any advice on how to live this more simple life I would appreciate that as well. I can’t change things overnight and if I try to incorporate too much it may be overwhelming, I know everyone’s situation is different but I SO DESIRE THIS! I guess a good starting place with be with the Lord and His Word uh? Thank you, thank you Gigi for your godly example!!

August 3, 2022 - 9:29 am

Michelle Thank you so much Gigi for sharing what works for you. Your attitude, outlook, way of living is so encouraging in MANY ways. I appreciate all that you share. Again, I so desire this simple living for me!! I still struggle with fears/anxiety and honestly get too involved with other things besides what I should! Appreciate any prayers! And yes, sleep for me would be nice and I don’t eat as healthy as I should so I am sure that does make a difference. I am encouraged by your “energetic life”. You are a blessing to me!! Thank you and have a blessed day!!

August 2, 2022 - 6:32 pm

Gigi Laura, good dresses are SO hard to find for little girls! This one is from a Mennonite store – not sure if it was a thrift store (Ontario) or made brand new. We used to live near the Mennonites (funny thing is there a large group of them here that we are dealing with now, also from Ontario) and they would sell their dresses used or new. They make fabulous every day dresses!

August 2, 2022 - 3:15 pm

Laura Jeanne Another comment here from me…I forgot to ask last time Gillian, do you remember where you got Lovelyn’s floral dress? It’s so pretty. I struggle mightily finding feminine clothes for Amy and myself. I never see anything like that in the stores or even online…I must be looking in the wrong places.

August 2, 2022 - 2:02 pm

Gigi Thank you, Monica! I know you feel my joy!

August 2, 2022 - 8:47 am

Monica Dearest friend, I LOVE that you have a milk cow. It just completes your farm! (Well, maybe you need pigs! Haha!) She is a beauty, truly! The milk is priceless. That cream line is amazing. I get about a two inch cream line. I’ve gotta have a talk with Ellie! :S Love to you, loving and believing your words of wisdom. xoxo, Monica

August 2, 2022 - 4:19 am

Gigi Michelle, so good to hear from you. How are you doing? I hope things are going well for your summer.
I kinda giggled when I read your comment- yes, I was an energetic young person, but now, I’m not so energetic, but having nine children, so many animals, a big garden and large family responsibilities, well, I suppose my energy has gone into different venues! I go to bed early now – with the sun! I eat well (although I did not when I was in my early 20s), work when I can and rest at night (Lord willing). When I go to bed, I pray that the Lord will double my sleep. 😉 Maybe that helps!

August 1, 2022 - 7:49 pm

Michelle Hello Gigi! I just LOVE and appreciate your posts! You are so encouraging in so many ways! The “simple life” that you and your family are living is amazing and not that I covet, but I DO desire this way of living for me and my family! I really appreciate what you said about children and work and the phone/technology issues. It is very real and so sad to see both young and old so wrapped up in it instead of doing the things we should as members of our families. I think it is an addiction! And I agree with EVERYTHING you said,..VERY WELL SAID!! Thank you for helping me!!
P.S. please know I’m not trying to be nosy but you seem to have so MUCH energy. Do you take any supplements or vitamins or are you just an energectic person? I admire the energy that you and your family have as well!! Thanks again Gigi for sharing!!

August 1, 2022 - 6:20 pm

Gigi Teresa, so lovely to hear from you! I would have loved to read your mom’s journal, as well. I bought the Walton’s real life story but was not impressed with the book (would not recommend it), and I would have loved to have read it from the mother’s perspective (she seemed like such a role model!). Hope you are having a great summer!

July 31, 2022 - 8:18 pm

Teresa @ Simply Farmhouse Dear Gigi, seeing a post from you brightens my day and gives me much to think about. What a sweet cow! I loved the way you raising your children,that is how I was raised. I look forward to all the videos. Yes,I love beets! I have planted some in the garden this year. My mother had nine children,I wished she kept a journal on our daily life raising us kids. Have a lovely day, I think of you and your family often. Blessings!

July 31, 2022 - 5:06 pm

Mom Love this progress and all the perks of fresh milk. Way to go, Lyla!!!

July 31, 2022 - 12:18 pm

Gigi Laura, it has been a dream for quite a while now … I’m so grateful it is happening now! Suzy is a good cow to us already. We are not overwhelmed with milk because I’m making all the products, so we go through it all without fail. I wish I could share with your family!

July 31, 2022 - 12:17 pm

Gigi Hi Rebecca, yes, canning … I will never stop! Sure, I can do some more videos … yes, I have a new pantry and cellar! I will try to show you on the blog. It’s time to clean it up for all the canning coming in! This week will be pickled beets. Is anyone interested in pickled beets anymore? Well, we are!

July 31, 2022 - 1:26 am

Rebecca Oh my gosh that is SO awesome! Maybe someday when I’ve got some older teenagers I can get one. For now some goats are all I can handle! I love seeing your posts, keep them coming! Are you doing a lot of canning right now? I miss all your canning videos and posts. And do you have a new pantry/cellar? I would love to see it!

July 30, 2022 - 5:38 pm

Laura Jeanne Oh wow, how amazing! I’ve always dreamed of having a cow because we too, go through a lot of dairy products…but with only 3 children still at home I don’t think we could use up that much milk. But for your family, a cow is perfect. That cream is indeed amazing and what gorgeous bright yellow butter it makes! Just wonderful. Thanks so much for sharing, dear friend. 🙂

July 30, 2022 - 11:56 am

Tara C Oh I LOVE that you finally have a cow!! I can’t wait to hear about all the goodness that comes from her Your farm definitely is growing!!

July 30, 2022 - 10:24 am

Regina Shea What a sweet cow! I’ve always wanted a cow, whom I wanted to name Mabel but our subdivision isn’t zoned for large livestock. Its so sad that teens today are stuck on their screens. Its sad adults are stuck on their screens.
Well Gigi, you have a wonderful weekend and coming week!