Bob and I established the Sleeping Dog Ranch in 2000 and never looked back at city life. About three years later I got my first goat and the love affair began. By 2004 I was solidly entrenched in the goat world and started making goat milk soaps and lotions to support my little darlin’s; Gran’ Nanny’s Goat Milk Soaps was born and survives quite well to this day through festivals and local retailers. Well, retail dealers anyway, the festivals stopped when my helper (my 98 year-old mother-in-law) went into a nursing home. Ahhhh … the stories we could tell. (But won’t). Needless to say we had a lot of fun working together. I have the World’s BEST Mother-in-law.
Then in 2011 I heard the CANCER word — Stage Four. It immediately became time to take stock of life and decide what I REALLY wanted to do with the rest of what life was left. Having cancer was without question a reality check (kind of like a slap in the face with a cold, wet fish). As luck would have it my carcinoid cancer turned out to be an extremely slow growing tumor cancer. Following surgery, CT scans, and required meds for three years the cancer tumors in my liver went in to remission. Since 2014 I have been getting a shot every six weeks and will for the rest of my life. While some cancers can be eliminated, mine can not. I will never be cancer free BUT it is in remission — as long as I get the shot. I’m thankful for that. (The full story is on my Farmhouse Musings site.)
Following surgery I took a break from soap making, stopped breeding goats (although I will forever miss the babies) and decided to return to writing that novel I’ve been working on. Yes, I can focus long enough to get it done. Well, I thought I could. It’s now 2017 and the story is still in outline form … . But now I have at lease four novel outlines. One of these days I’ll finish at least one of them. But then again, maybe I enjoy writing the just outlines. We’ll see.
Also during that time I returned to my artistic roots. Art was my first ever passion. Being most intrigued with kinetic art, I focused on making mobiles and wine bottle art. More on these later … .
Several years ago (2010ish) my husband purchased a MIG welder that he never used. Soooooooooo, being the dutiful wife that I am, I took a welding course at Stanly County Community College and fell in love — AGAIN. Now I’m into welding arts and metal fabrication. Looks like metal sculptures are in my near future. Again, more on this later … .
Did I mention that I’ve almost completed the Stanly County Master Gardener class? No telling how many interests will blossom from that! But native plants and pollinator gardens are looking pretty good. Good grief, there is no end.
No there isn’t. We couldn’t continue creating individual names for each interest, like Sleeping Dog Ranch Nubians, Gran’ Nanny’s Goat Milk Soaps, Lazy Layers, Heaven’s Hill Honey; and since my interests/passions clearly have no end, I needed a blog name that would showcase all of these loves; hence, Farm Craft Studio (FSC). We live on a farm; I’m into all kinds of crafts, and everything is housed one place, hence Studio.
Farm Craft Studio (magic space) is where I produce many of my interests from soap making, to metal work, to candle making, to honey bottling, to wax making, to everything else that may develop here at the Ranch … . You get the idea.
I’ll be consolidating my Facebook pages into ONE; and, directing all my websites/blogs into ONE (This one.). Hopefully, you’ll appreciate the simplicity over the complex. I can’t keep up with me sometime. Please let me hear your thoughts. I do listen.
May each of you have a happy, healthy, cancer-free life.
Pat Allen, Owner/Operator
Sleeping Dog Ranch