Deodar Farm, 1886

Introducing Sherry. Our USA representative on our international land tour. Sherry is a long time member of The Fellowship. She does not have a blog and she has been commenting so long I am sure you would love to learn a little more about her and her animals. PLUS she is proudly owned by Timatanga Moana’s cousin Percy.  Back to the snow we go!IMG_0157etyu


My husband and I live on 38 acres in east central Wisconsin, the glaciated kettle moraine area.  Means nothing is flat!  We share our house with Eli, a 4 year old Wirehair Pointing Griffon, John’s buddy and partner in hunting upland birds and ducks, and Macadoodle, a 5 year old schnauzer?, poodle?, yorkie? Who’s your daddy? dog, my buddy.  (He likes John too, in fact he likes EVERYBODY).

The land is made up of wetland (marsh/swamp) pasture and 11 acres tilled.  We trade use of the tilled area with the local dairy farmer for hay for our animals.  While we raise vegetables for our own use we mostly ‘farm’ pets.

Our house is a typical Midwest farm house, the original log part was built in 1886 and one of the grandsons and one of the great grandsons of the original settlers live right down the road.


sherry Eli 2

Our Critters:

We currently have Red Sally and Ember, a Rocky Mountain Mare and a Kentucky Mountain Mare respectively.  They are gaited horses that give a nice smooth running walk rather than a trot which is much easier on our old – and getting older fast! – bodies.


I know everybody thinks the breed they  have/like is the best but, having had a thoroughbred, quarter horses, an appaloosa, paints and arabs I have to say the mountain horses have the nicest dispositions ever.



Winston is a Sicilian mini donkey gelding.  He’s a friendly guy but wary.  He came from a situation where he received very little handling so everything was new to him.  I would like to train him to pull a cart, another thing for my list of things that would be fun to try.

Otis is a Nigerian Dwarf wether.  He’s a sweetie, adores having his head scratched between the floppy horns he’s not supposed to have as we was disbudded.

Her Majesty Fanny is a miniature fainting goat.  At less than a year she is a sassy thing, she’ll follow you anywhere and will literally climb in your lap if you let her.


Portly Percival is a kunekune barrow and has the character of a pig three times his size.  He’s constantly carrying on a conversation whether there’s anyone there to listen or not.  He’s great friends with Fanny, even when she uses him as a step stool.  He only protests when she stands on his head.


Odette, a golden laced Wyandotte, Sylvia, a black austrolorp, Berniece, an americauna and Gretchen, a barred Plymouth rock make up the ladies league and are very full of themselves.  They’ve ostracized the two rouen duck hens, Betty and Geraldine who were given to my stepson  by one of his misguided friends on his 30th birthday.  Ergo, we got the call:  daaad, you want some ducks?


Our Life:

John and I are both retired and thoroughly enjoying it.  The first question of the morning is ‘what day IS it?’.We supplement the furnace heat with a woodstove in the kitchen so we do a lot of cutting, hauling and stacking wood.  John, having been a heavy equipment operator has a lot of “toys” to keep him busy when he’s not hunting or fishing.  I have several small looms that I like to experiment with as well as way too many ‘things I’d like to try’ to keep me occupied in the winter and several flower gardens as well as all the animals to fill up the summer.  For both of us there are more books to read than we’ll finish in our lifetimes.  We have a good life, with good friends and good family.sherry Betty & Geraldine

Morning chores can be raucous here in east central Wisconsin.  Sally & Ember, the Mountain Horse mares, bang on their hay feeder (the equine equivalent of pounding on the table).  Winston the mini donk lets loose with his foghorn bray, Otis and Her Majesty Fanny, the Nigerian Dwarf Wether and Mini Fainting goat keep up a plaintive bleating and Portly Percy, the kunekune is shrieking to feed him NOW because he’s going to keel over from hunger and make Fanny get off his head.  Add to that, Odette, Sylvia, Berniece and Gretchen, the ladies league of laying hens cackling to open that door and Betty and Geraldine the Rouen duck hens shouting to ‘let us out’ it can be deafening!  It’s a good thing we live out here in the country or surely we’d have neighbors complaining.

Love Sherry.




65 Comments on “Deodar Farm, 1886

  1. Hello from (cold but sunny today) Texas.
    I laughed at the “mostly we farm pets”. By the time I was in high school, we mostly farmed “trees and timber” – along with the huge vegetable garden. The Pictures were lovely. I agree- a horse’s personality, and disposition is the most important thing – and a smooth gait is worth gold!
    Enjoyed visiting your farm.

    • We do have to be careful, once an animal comes here it seems to stay for the rest of its mortal life!

  2. This was so interesting! Hopefully this will be my life in less than a year, my husband is already retired and I will be done in 9 months!!!!!

  3. Hi sherry, love all your animals. So funny the thought of portly Percival (love the name) talking to himself all the time! And you have a donkey. I have always wanted some donkeys, ahh well maybe one day x

    • The donkey is great fun, totally different than dealing with a horse though. They must gravely consider every decision

  4. Oh my! What a lovely and diverse crew!! You wrote great introductory descriptions. I feel like I know them all. My menagerie is limited to two rescue cats. Would love to hear that early morning chorus. Thanks for sharing.

    • Why thank you! Most of the neighbors have cats so they make regular rounds here. Mr. Mac thinks chasing them is great sport. It’s been below zero the last couple of mornings so that chorus wasn’t all that welcome!

  5. Thanks Sherry, for sharing. I spent many summer days in Wisconsin as a kid from Chicago. Gramma told me not to go where it was cold when I announced that I wanted to live on a farm,so I’m down here by Celi. Silly, cause we ain’t that much farther south. I have cousins in Appleton, Madison and Friendship(Adams county). Ya’ll have it good up there in the cheese state.

    • I’ve lived in this state all my life, unlike so many of the fellowship and I think it’s one of the prettiest places. I do believe Celi has gotten more snow this year than we have!

  6. When my niece was little she had a pony and my brother got her little cart to pull. I loved going on rides with her. Only two skinny people could be in the cart. The girls had so much fun. What a great job your doing taking care of those animals.

  7. Your animals are beautiful. I am allergic to horses and so can never be near them, but if I could, I’d like to cozy up to that darling, sweet animal in the picture. That horse has a good soul. You can tell. Thank you so much for inviting us into your life, Sherry.

    • I’ve heard tell that the Bashkir Curly horse is hypo allergenic! Ember does have a kind eye and a puppy dog disposition.

  8. Another great wonderful post. I really am enjoying this. Miss C is always great but hearing from others from the Fellowship is an inspiration. Dear Sherry, your post had me in fits of laughter, it was everything about it that made me collapse in a heap of giggles. You are so lucky to have so many wonderful pets..,can I come and live with you and bring my 6 dogs and 3 cats ( i leave hubby at home) The thought of pigs that talk reminds me of the film Babe where animals talk to each other….your life must be one big round of fun (and hardwork) thank you so much my dear for taking the time out of your busy life to spend a few moments with us…worth every cent!

    • I am very flattered that Celi asked me and I must say I enjoyed putting it together even though I haven’t a shred of talent as a photographer. You’re welcome any time, the more the merrier, I currently have a little brown poodle puppy named Chester visiting. Sometimes I think I’m alone too much – I’m constantly imagining the animals conversations with each other.

  9. Hi Sherry. Thank you so much for this fun filled post. Oh you do have a cast of characters…lol…and I just had to look up fainting goats! OMG! In my next life, where I own that organic farm, I’m so getting a few. I also love your two dogs. What a couple of cuties. I’ve only ever had malamutes, but always wanted a pointer and a brand X like your sweet Macadoodle. There is a lady who hikes a pointer up a nearby steep climb and that dog does at least double the hike she does because he runs ahead, runs back, runs ahead, runs back…all the way to the top and probably down again. I guess if I had a pointer I’d be a lot fitter…lol. I wish you did write a blog because I can see your animal adventures would be hilarious. So lovely to have a little peek into your farmy. All the best and big hugs. 😀

    • Eli is not quite as high strung as GSPs or English pointers, he hunts a little closer as befits a retired guy – ha. That said, when I walk the dogs in the morning I turn him loose and I’m sure he covers at least 4 miles to my 2.

  10. It warms the cockles of my heart to know there really are retired people enjoying a wonderful life on a farm with quite an array of critters whose needs are all so different. I love how they all start in with their various calls–the banging and clucking and braying. A great deal of work, I can imagine–just knowing their food requirements is major.
    I learned so much:never knew there was a breed of horse that has a smooth walk. I love her gentle beard. Never heard of a wether either. Each of the animals is cuter than the next. That little donkey and that little goat are just heartbreakers. I know St. Patricks Day is a month away, but I’m already green. Sherry, thank you so much for sharing your life with us all.

    • Why thank you, I always figured you should ‘work to live’, not ‘live to work’. There’s also the advantage of being able to stomp around muttering to them and they never complain. I’ve heard of too many people who shriveled up and blew away after retiring and that’s not happening here!

  11. Good morning from California everyone! I think Sherry must still be outside doing her chores – it is awfully cold at her place this morning. Wish we could pop over to help.. c

    • I’m here! Checked a little earlier but then had to do a grocery run, bah. Lucky you weren’t here, coooold this morning! At least the sun is out. Enjoy the warmtn!

    • Oh yes, she does. It’s kind of comical, she tips over with her legs sticking straight out, just like a cartoon.

  12. Thank-you for sharing your wonderful menagerie, Sherry. What lovely animals – one can tell from the photos how you feel about them, as with Miss C’s critters at the farmy. It would be grand to have an update from you occasionally, as I will be thinking of you now. 😊

  13. Oh what a delightful post 😀 your place sounds wonderful. Love the antics of the animals at feed time. Imagine if you had a rooster! Super photos ..Thank you so much for sharing

  14. I fell like I get to know you more an more and just took a walk around through the farm. I fell in love with Winston..he is a handsome boy. Great pictures as always 🙂

    • Winston is a character. He either runs away from you or is in your face. He likes to rest his chin under mine so I can scratch his cheeks.

  15. Fifty years ago my new young husband & I right out of university had our first full time jobs in Wisconsin & we drove around the countryside on weekends for fun looking at small farmhouses with a few acres & I (can’t say he did) dreamed the pet animal farm dream. I’ve always remembered especially one dear old frame house in Cedar Point (I think) that looked so much like yours….Thank you, Sherry, for introducing us to your beautiful life, my long ago dream. I laughed at your sketches. Wonderful visit!

    • There are so many beautiful old farm houses, I like to imagine the lives lived in them. I’ve always loved old houses with all their problems and quirks.

  16. I wouldn’t know where to start if I visited you… don’t worry, lock the doors or pull down the blinds… it’s unlikely I’ll track you down from Australia! But you have such great furred and feathered company sharing your wonderful life 🙂

  17. I was very much taken with your dogs…the hunting dog is so interesting with the woolly furry body and sleek head and the little dog looks a sweetie too..your pig is just too much… him too! Enjoyed the horse and donkey…something very special about such creatures. The hens of the ladies league look like they are ready to run things themselves if need be. Donated ducks from a son’s nice…good thing they found a home. Goats are not easy creatures from what I’ve read about them but worth their weight in gold in story material! We had a mixed farm and I loved the animals and the lifestyle. My dad used horses to work the land from the 1930’s to the 1950’s.. One of my brothers loved it too and farmed with modern machinery but the other one couldn’t stand farming and was “bored stiff” and left for the big city life. My sister still lives on the farm and owns it now and my younger brother and myself get to visit there often. It is a blessing still.

  18. Wisconsin was on our list of places to move the family. Brent, my husband, would LOVE it. I think the people of Wisconsin are very friendly. But for me personally, i’d have to learn how to deal with all that cold 🙂

    • I could do with a little less winter myself. Mostly you just put your head down, power through it and make sure you have some ‘inside’ hobbies. It does meet my criteria – it gets cold enough to kill the bugs over winter, not a fan of bugs!

  19. Eli is known as a ‘clean head’, the majority of grifs are much woolier, he would have more whiskers but he allows Mac to nibble them off. We have been lucky with the goats, we had two other Nigerian Dwarfs besides Otis and none of them attempted to climb and the fainting goats are known for not climbing. I have been besotted with horses my whole life, one of my earliest memories is my uncle letting me ‘ride’ his work horse back to the barn. Isn’t it interesting how children raised in one family take such divergent paths? There is something about a farm that allows you a big exhale.

  20. Now it’s near time for the afternoon feeding, soon they’ll all be clamoring again. I want to thank all of you for your kind comments and thank you, Celi, for letting me blather on. I’ve enjoyed it immensely.

  21. Thank you. 🙂
    An Illinoian with family near the Twin Cities, I am often motoring through WI and love its rural beauty – and the Kettle Morraine area. It was nice meeting your family of critters, Sherry. We’re freezing here just outside of Chicago. Brrrrrr. 10 degrees and dropping.

  22. Oh you must have had fun and laughter naming all the ‘critters’!! What a gorgeous menagerie 🙂 ! An urban gal I at the time I raised my children I thought I had my hands full with two pups, two tanks of fish, mice and birds: this would have been so much more satisfying!! Have to go back and say ‘hello’ again, but I think I left my attention with Eli – somehow feel we would ‘get along’!!

  23. It was wonderful to meet you, and the farm crew. Seeing the snow and frosted animals made me think about what we’re missing at Miss C’s farm right now, so I appreciate some touching base here in the USA 🙂

  24. You have found perfect retirement! What a wonderful assemblage you have. Thanks for sharing!

  25. I really enjoyed the tour of your little farm/ranch! What a delightful crew of critters you have. Everyone looks so woolly this time of year. Fabulous winter coats! Thank you for sharing with us Sherry. I truly enjoyed your photographs and narration. 🙂

  26. I’m in love with your animals already! The mare is a beauty. Thanks for sharing your wonderful life with us.

  27. Hmm, I’m positive I left a comment yesterday!? Great meeting you Sherry, and thank you for introducing your family to us. Wonderful farm and beautiful animals. Laura

  28. I love the sight of Fanny standing on Percival’s back. We used to have a pony that would reach over and nibble the pigs’ backs.

  29. Thank you, Sherry, for sharing your life with us. We actually have lots in common, a menagerie to care for, a farm with an old farmhouse (yours looks charming). We have land, my husband plays with big boys farm toys and if we know what day it is, we often lose track of the date. One big difference – we have very mild winters, only light the fire about 5 or 6 times on average. We are both indeed fortunate to be able to enjoy our retirement as we do. Joy

  30. I would love to hear the morning song of all the animals. I am such a morning person anyway. Lovely blog post, lovely enough to say – you should start a blog. Monthly or weekly even!!! I’m sure that there are antics to write about!!!!

  31. Wow! What a menagerie you have, all delightful, but the photo of Macadoodle with the snow on his face. Do you take two legged stray animals in to your hotel? Watch out, one of these days I might wander in and forget to go away! Thank you for minding the Farmy for a day!

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