goats

When you live on a farm, with multiple animals, the work never ends. My nephew, Eric Parmely married a girl named Ashley, who was raised on a farm, and they are on a life journey that is probably pretty unusual in this day and age. They bought a farm west of Casper, Wyoming, and they both work very hard raising horses, cows, goats, pigs, turkeys, and chickens, not to mention dogs and cats. The baby count grows every year, and of course, the animals supply the family with meat, eggs, milk, and of course, love…especially from the dogs and cats, but from the other animals too.

Eric’s workday doesn’t really end until his head the pillow. Eric is always working on something. Eric and Ashley host a family dinner for our families once a month, and after dinner, the work must usually go on. Sunday when we were out there, he and several of the men were out working on his tractor. You can’t run a farm without a tractor, and there is always something that needs done on it…either repairs or maintenance. Then he and Ashley have jobs like milking the cow and the goats, feeding all the animals, and stacking hay (when they buy bales).

Eric is a great daddy. He gives the best “daddy horse” rides and tickles…which we all know is very important…especially the tickles to his kids, Reagan, Hattie, Bowen, and Maeve!! He is always helping Ashley with the household chores and is an expert at washing dishes and folding laundry. You might say he has dozens and dozens of babies, because he also loves to snuggle the kittens and puppies, and he helps pull calves. Eric really has a heart of gold and is filled with love for his kids, wife, and animals.

In the little bit of down time he has, Eric likes to watch videos on YouTube on his phone and giggles to himself. He rather reminds me of his Uncle Bob in that way. It doesn’t matter if it’s on television or his phone, Bob gets a kick out of comedy, just like Eric. It’s fun to listen to their laughter from the other room, and ultimately, you can’t help but laugh along, even if you don’t know what is so funny. Just hearing their laughter is contagious, and you find yourself laughing along…or at the very least smiling. Ashley tells me that Eric is still a mama’s boy, and that is likely true. I think Eric would help his mom, Jennifer Parmely and her partner, Brian Cratty with anything they needed, and I think he would help his in-laws, Kari and Albert Eighmy with anything they needed too. That’s just the kind of guy Eric is. Today is Eric’s birthday. Happy birthday Eric!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My niece, Ashley Parmely joined our family when she married my nephew, Eric Parmely in 2011. Since that time, much has changed in Eric’s life, as well as the entire family. Eric and Ashley have three daughters, Reagan, Hattie, and Maeve; and a son, Bowen. Ashley is almost halfway through her second year of homeschooling her two oldest daughters, Reagan and Hattie. Bowen attends school in town for pre-school, where he will attend for one more year. Maeve will start there next year for two years. After that, Ashley plans to homeschool all four of their children. I think she is doing an amazing job as the teacher, and I think the whole family is very proud of her for sticking to it.

Hard work is not something that is new to Ashley. As a farm girl, she has many jobs. She not only takes care of her home and children and homeschools the children, she also feeds and cares for the farm animals, milks the cow and goats, collects the eggs, helps her husband and dad, Albert Eighmy unload and stack hay for their farm animals. I can’t imagine everything that goes into having farm animals, but I know that you have to clean up after them, and feed them, and those that have to be milked, must be milked twice a day. It means early mornings and sometimes late evenings. When babies arrive, they don’t always come at the perfect time, and sometimes they need help, so sometimes she is up all night with the animals. Don’t get me wrong, Eric helps too, but Ashley works very hard, nevertheless. It is really beyond what I can imagine doing every day, but for Ashley, it’s just another day in paradise.

There are fun times too. Ashley loves to take pictures, and so she plans events so that she can document the events. Her photography is excellent. She really has an eye for just how to set up a shot, and also for seeing the shot in a spontaneous situation. We have all enjoyed watching her family grow up in the pictures she posts on Facebook. We have all enjoyed spending time with them too, at the monthly family dinners that Ashley suggested to bring our family closer together. They have been such a blessing, and we have been able to get to know their kids better. Even little Maeve, who is rather bashful, is growing more comfortable around all of us. She was a baby of the Covid era, so she was not used to being around people. These dinners have been good for her…for all of us.

Ashley has been a wonderful part of our family. She has such a good imagination and we have all enjoyed her great ideas. Ashley’s personality is all about happiness and family. We all knew Ashley was a perfect fit in our family from the moment we met her, and we were not wrong. We look forward to many more years together. Today is Ashley’s birthday. Happy birthday Ashley!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My grand-niece, Hattie Parmely is the middle child of my nephew, Eric Parmely and his wife, Ashley. Hattie and her siblings are being raised on a little farm outside of Casper, Wyoming. I am amazed at how well Hattie and her siblings get along with the animals in their care. Children are not always careful with animals, but those who are raised around them, have a heart for their animals. Hattie is a soft-hearted girl anyway, and I think her animals know that about her.

Hattie and her siblings have a trampoline, and they love spending time on it. Most of us would just love to have the energy to jump on a trampoline for hours at a time, but lets face it, most of us would get tired after 5 minutes. It is the common problem that adults have when it comes to kids, and their endless energy. Of course, kids get lots of sleep with naps and all, and I don’t know how well Hattie naps, or anything, but if sleep has anything to do with her energy level, I would say she naps or sleeps pretty well.

Having a big sister, Hattie had a helping hand in learning all the cool things to do around their place. Reagan, Hattie’s sister, has taught Hattie and their little brother, Bowen many things about life on the farm. Things like milking the goats, or just playing with the goats, in general. The girls totally love the goats…especially when they are babies, and Bowen is quickly becoming a big help with the animals too.

Life on the farm is not only active, but is usually spent mostly outdoors. We hear about kids today being couch potatoes, but Hattie and her siblings don’t have time for that much. They are always busy doing things out in the yard or with the animals. Cleaning out the pens and feeding the animals are high on the priority list, and they like that very much. Animals depend on their owners to take care of them, and the Parmely kids are great animal owners. Their parents are proud of all the help their kids give them in running the little farm. Hattie is a big part of that, and will be an even bigger part of it as she grows. Today is Hattie’s 4th birthday. Happy birthday Hattie!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

When my nephew, Eric Parmely was little, I would never have guessed that he would decide to become a farmer. Eric was born a city boy, and lived in town throughout his childhood. He rode motorcycles, worked on cars with his dad, and did all the typical things at city boys did. Then, when Eric met Ashley, everything changed. Ashley was a country girl, and loved all the farm animals…especially horses, and especially miniature horses. The reality was that Eric was so smitten with Ashley, that wherever Ashley was going, Eric wanted to go…whether he liked country life or not. The strange thing was, that this city boy suddenly found out that he liked country life…he really liked it.

Over the next seven years I watched as Eric became more and more a country boy…well, a country man. He loved having room to spread out and play with his kids, and have as many farm animals as he and Ashley could possible want. They raise goats, cows, guinea pigs, ducks, chickens, horses, dogs, cats…and kids!! Their two daughters, Reagan and Hattie and a great help around the farm, and no job grosses them out. I know their son, Bowen will soon grow up to be a great help too, but for now he gets to go along for the ride. Bowen likes that just as much as the girls like the work, for now.

Eric has worked for Halliburton for some time now, and is often out of town with his job. That is always tough on the family. Kids need both parents to be around, but at least the kids know that their daddy will be home soon. Eric is a hard worker, and when the bottom dropped out of the oil industry, Eric was able to keep his job. That is important, because he has a family to support. We are all very glad that his job was saved, but sorry that his work is so far away. We are also hoping that very soon, Eric’s job will bring him back home to work. Today is Eric’s birthday. Happy birthday Eric!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My niece, Ashley Parmely, who joined our family when she married my husband’s nephew, Eric Parmely in 2011, is a girl of many talents, and amazing patience. When Eric first brought her to meet us, we liked her instantly, and then as we watched their pictures on Facebook, we could see that Ashley was raised in the country with horses. I thought that was cool, but that was really the tip of The Ashley Iceberg. Ashley loves all things country living. She loves all the animals, from chickens to ducks, from goats to horses, and of course, you have to throw in cats and dogs, but lots of people love animals. Ashley takes that one step further, in that she works hard to help her animals have babies, because that is a great way to grow your farm…and after all, babies are great, and according to Ashley, it doesn’t matter if they are human or animal. Yes, all babies are great, and Ashley loves each and every one of them.

And speaking of babies, Eric and Ashley have three of their own…daughters, Reagan and Hattie, and son, Bowen. If Ashley’s life wasn’t full before, putting three children in the mix has filled her home with love and laughter. Ashley is such a great mom. She is patient and loving with the kids, and they are well behaved little sweethearts, who have great imaginations, and who aren’t afraid of hard work…even if it’s cleaning up after the animals. These kids will be capable country kids who share their parents’ love of animals and don’t mind the work that goes along with it. When children are raised around animals, they naturally develop a love for them…they are like family. Ashley is passing on the things she grew up with, and the family, including her husband, Eric, are thriving on it. Some people just seem to love country living, and for Ashley, it is just the tip of the iceberg. Nevertheless, with all the love in her home, I’m surprised the iceberg isn’t melting, but there’s still more to it.

Sometimes, I have to wonder if Ashley’s life is largely chaos, and I’m sure that sometimes it really is, but Ashley is such a patient person, and somehow, I think she thrives on the chaos around her. It’s almost like having so many babies is like having a house full of love…even if only three of the babies are human. As I said, for Ashley, babies are babies. And Ashley, like an iceberg, is not just what you see on the outside, but is rather a deep person with many talents, that she is sharing with her family, and what a blessing that is. Today is Ashley’s birthday. Happy birthday Ashley!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

So much has happened this past year for my grandniece, Hattie Parmely. For one thing, she is no longer the baby of the family…now she is a big sister to her little brother, Bowen Parmely. Hattie has really enjoyed her little brother, because he is the baby, and Hattie loves babies…all kinds of babies. I think her love of babies has come from the fact that her family lives on a farm, and they raise chickens, cows, goats, and horses. There are always babies in that mix.

Of course, Hattie loves being the little sister too, because she has learned so many things from her big sister, Reagan. You see, Reagan has a car…it’s a toy of course, but it goes on it’s own power. In reality, I think the car belongs to both girls, but Reagan drives it the most. Reagan takes Hattie for rides around the farm, and helps her get up in the haystacks, shows her how to do the farm work, and how to be careful with the babies. Hattie knows that Reagan has had soooo much more experience with these things, since she is almost five. and Hattie is just turning three today. Soon, it will be both Reagan and Hattie that will be teaching Bowen all of the things he needs to know…whether he wants them to teach him or not, because he is the little brother, and that’s what big sisters do.

Hattie and Reagan are big helpers around the farm, and at their grandparents houses. One set of grandparents lives next door, and owns part of the animals that the girls take care of, and the other set has a cabin on the mountain, and they often need help cutting wood for the fire. These big strong girls get right out there and help get the job done. Hattie and Reagan have great imaginations, and they are always up to something. They might play house in the hay, or practice their milking skills…on each other, pretend, of course. They love life on the farm, and they are tough enough to clean up after the animals, collect eggs, feed the animals, and whatever else their parents might need them to do. It’s all part of farming, and they are really into it. They are always busy doing something, in fact, I’m told that the only time Hattie will sit still is if you put a baby in her arms. I can’t say that I think that is a bad thing. Being active is good and holding babies is great, so…you go Hattie!! Today is Hattie’s 3rd birthday. Happy birthday Hattie!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

13265986_257222344634488_4589898347726366777_n13406763_265886647101391_3366028807812107235_nMy grand niece, Reagan Parmely is a busy little girl. I think that her most important job, at least in her opinion, is being the big sister. Reagan takes it upon herself to help her little sister, Hattie to do things like climbing the hay bales. She also takes her for walks in the mud, and for rides in her truck…yes, Reagan has a truck…that runs. Together, they help around the farm, taking care of the animals, and cuddling the babies. As sisters go, Reagan and Hattie are best friends. Reagan teaches Hattie things…like pushing her big sister on the tricycle, and how the tell the difference between weeds and flowers. They have great times together.

Reagan is a helper. She loves the farm animals, and is a great help when it comes to their care. The size of these animals doesn’t bother her one bit. Most kids would be at least a little apprehensive around a cow or horse that is more that twice their size, but not Reagan, or her sister, Hattie. They know how to act around the animals, and the animals are very gentle with them. Reagan likes to make sure that all the farm animals are where they are supposed to be, In fact, all animals have a proper place, and they should stay there. In Casper, where we live, 13876265_292781794411876_617624038936402311_nimg_5512there are two statues of horses eating the grass at the Quality Inn, and every time Reagan’s family drives by there, Reagan proceeds to tell those horses that they need to get back home to their corral. Now, don’t misunderstand me, she knows they are statues. She just likes saying that to be funny, and we all think it’s funny too.

Reagan likes mobility…of any kind. She rides horse, motorcycles, her truck, bicycle, and of course, the standard walking and running. And she’s pretty good at all of them. I think she was born riding something…or shortly thereafter. She takes everyone in her truck, or at least the ones that fit. I’m not totally sure how the dogs feel about it, but they ride along, so I guess she must be a pretty good driver. Reagan has grown up around a dad that loves motorcycles, a mom who loves horses, and an uncle who loves trucks, so none of this is particularly surprising to me. She has already had her first motorcycle accident, and while she had a shiner, she is a tough 13873017_287974464892609_4907685120331456178_n12049279_134764306880293_1923635950844667072_ngirl, who doesn’t give up. She gets right back on and goes again. She loves hiking with her Oma, my sister-in-law, Jennifer Parmely, and riding her bicycle with her Aunt Brenda Schulenberg, who goes by BR. Together they all work on staying healthy and active. Reagan also loves to work with her grandparents, Albert and Kari Eighmy. They have safe tools for her to use, and she helps them build things around their farm. She loves having all of these people who let her help with things, because she likes to be busy. Today is Reagan’s 4th birthday. Happy birthday Reagan!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

goats-milkanimals-and-kidsMy niece, Ashley Parmely, who married my nephew, Eric five years ago, was raised largely in the country. She loved horses, dogs, and cats, which I knew, but what I didn’t know was that she really loves all animals. Since she and Eric bought a house next door to her parents, initially to be near her beloved horses, I have found out that her love of animals knows no bounds. She probably could have been a veterinarian. Ashley and Eric, now have goats, chickens, cows, and even little piggies. Some of these may belong to Ashley’s parents, but that makes no difference. Eric, Ashley, and their girls, Reagan and Hattie take care of the animals as much as anyone does. They just love being around the animals. Ashley is teaching her girls to take care of, and be gentle with the animals, and in turn the animals love the girls. It’s a beautiful thing to see, and Ashley treats us to lots of pictures of the her family with the different animals.

Lately, Ashley has been working to get her goats milk tested, because apparently if you are going to sell the milk, it has to pass a certain number of tests to show it is of good quality. I never knew that before, but I guess if you are around farm animals, and plan to make some money off of them, you have to find out all the quality control details first. Growing up with a farming background, Ashley knew that, and of course, her parents also did, so they could show her the ropes. Ashley and her little family are all working together to make their little farm a great success.

Of course, farming isn’t the only thing Ashley is about. She loves being a wife and mother, and her family’s happiness if her first priority. She is such a good mother…playing with the girls, and teaching them new things. taking-a-breakashley-hattie-hikingThe girls like to go on walks and hikes with their parents, and Reagan, being in preschool, is learning new things including Spanish…but I’m getting ahead of myself, because that is tomorrow’s story. You see, four years ago, Ashley was given a wonderful, but one day late, birthday gift, when little Reagan arrived. Now her life is very busy with two very active little girls, and a farm full of animals. It’s a far cry from the single life she had before she and Eric were married, and one that makes her very happy. Today is Ashley’s birthday. Happy birthday Ashley!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

biosphere-2-habitat-lungI think a lot of us have thought about just getting away from it all for a while. Life gets too busy, and we just think that if we could have a little time away, with nowhere in particular to be at any given time, we could come out of that stressful sort of funk we find ourselves in. Now I don’t know if that was what medical doctor and researcher, Roy Walford, along with Jane Poynter, Taber MacCallum, Mark Nelson, Sally Silverstone, Abigail Alling, Mark Van Thillo, and Linda Leigh had in mind or not when, on September 26, 1991, they entered a facility called Biosphere 2, for a two year stay inside…without leaving, but that is what they did. Granted, they weren’t alone in the facility, but they were there for two full years, finally emerging again on September 26, 1993.

Biosphere 2 is an agricultural system that produced 83% of the total diet, which included crops of bananas, papayas, sweet potatoes, beets, peanuts, lablab and cowpea beans, rice, and wheat. No toxic chemicals could pond-in-bioshpere-2be used, because they would impact health. That first year was tough. The eight inhabitants were continually hungry. Things got better in the second year, when they produced over a ton more food. They were eating more and so regained some of the weight lost during the first year. They took with them, domestic animals for the agricultural area during the first mission, including four pygmy goats and one billy goat from the plateau region of Nigeria, 35 hens and three roosters a mix of Indian jungle fowl (Gallus, Japanese silky bantam, and a hybrid of these), two sows and one boar pig, as well as tilapia fish grown in a rice and azolla pond system originating long ago in China. These were designed to round out the diet. There was public excitement, as well as doubt, especially when an injured member was allowed to leave and return, bringing in plastic bags. The public thought it was food. In the end, I’m not sure if they deemed the project a success or not. I suppose it would depend on who you talked to. The system could not produce enough oxygen so that had to be pumped in. Also, some of the species died, and some of the dead fish clogged the filtration system.

plants-in-biosphere-2The eight members of the team survived, so I suppose that would be considered a success, and they did stay the full two years that had been planned. It was an interesting experiment I’m sure, and it would be a definite getaway from normal, everyday life, but I’m sure it had it’s downside too. Not being able to be with your family, seeing only the facility, and eating the same food, day in and day out, just to name a few. Personally, I think that two years might be a little bit of a long getaway…in fact, I think I would probably go just a little bit stir crazy…or maybe a lot stir crazy. The second experiment didn’t go so well, with a number of problems precipitating the premature exit of the team. Maybe they went stir crazy too.

12508982_186541701702553_8425193984744567713_nWith the decline of the oil business, comes the inevitable change of the face of oil companies. In Wyoming, that decline means layoffs and transfers to many of the people who worked for the oil companies. I really don’t know of a family that hasn’t been affected by the decline. Our family has experienced layoffs, and as in the case of my nephew, Eric Parmely, a job that is saved, by way of Texas. Eric and his wife, Ashley aren’t moving to Texas, but his job will take him to Texas for two weeks and then home for a week. I think the week at home will be really nice, but it comes at the expense of the two weeks in Texas. I know that this has been a hard change to swallow for Eric, his wife, Ashley, and their girls, Reagan and Hattie.
Parmely girls beds
Eric and Ashley live in the country, where they have chickens, goats, rabbits, and next door, at her parents house, horses. They are all totally in their element there. Of course, Ashley was raised there, so being around the animals is second nature to her. The girls also take to it like little pros, and the animals love them all. Eric and Ashley’s parents, Albert and Kari Eighmy did all the remodeling of their fixer upper home. They wouldn’t let Ashley be there, because she was pregnant, but Eric’s mom, Jennifer Parmely, who loves to clean, came and cleaned up all the construction dust, and they have a beautiful home now…all the more reason not to move to Texas. Eric has become quite handy with the things he makes. If Ashley shows him something she wants, he can probably pull it off. A good example of that is the bedroom set he made for his girls. It is the perfect setup for two little girls, and I know that they will love it for a long time. Eric is 12088111_123136044709786_1264361492093928145_ngetting…or maybe he always was…very handy at building things. His work is beautiful and solid. The workmanship of the things he makes is amazing. I think that if he wanted to, he could sell his work and make money at it…but that is another story.

Eric is a family man. His wife and daughters mean the world to him. Eric wants nothing more than to be at home with them, or spend time with them doing just about anything they want to do. They love being outdoors, and it doesn’t matter what season it is. Eric will make things fun for his girls. That is the sign of a good husband and dad. Today is Eric’s birthday. Happy birthday Eric!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

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