Roda’s Critter Connection: The Marmot

While visiting the Rocky Mountains, my family fell in love with this adorable critter, the yellow-bellied marmot.  Marmots are one of the largest members of the squirrel family, weighing up to 11 lbs and measure up to two feet in length.


Living in the tundra, in colonies of 10-20 , these omnivores dig burrows underneath meadows and in rocky fields. Due to the extreme conditions of the tundra, these critters spend half of their lives in hibernation.


Grab your camera and join me in celebrating Mother Nature’s Critters!

Love Yourself…Embrace Yourself…Just Be You…

♥ Roda


Indigo Acres

Place in the World: Weekly Photo Challenge

Our goal has always been to create a life we don’t need a vacation from.  We call Indigo Acres our “Stay-cation”.  Our 13 acres, in West Michigan, represent our passion for all things living, from gardens to critters.

Wifey and I are both two extremely driven women.  We set our mind on a goal, and we make it happen.  About 5 years ago we realized we had one more dream we needed to make a reality.  That was how Indigo Acres was born.  I closed the door on my 22 year career, in the world of education, to focus on the dream of building our small farm.   Wifey continues to practice pediatric medicine, but equally loves her time on the farm.


Indigo Acres was established in 2014 and we have never looked back.  We started with 2 horses, 2 goats and 12 chickens!  4 years later, we have grown to 1 horse (RIP sweet Velvet), 4 goats, 4 sheep,1 mini donkey, 7 barn cats, 1 Newfoundland, 31 ducks and over 100 chickens.  And, we are welcoming quail this July!


I love every moment of my life, and I am filled with gratitude daily.  Our motto here at Indigo Acres is, “Do What You Love…Love What You Do…”  That about says it all!

This is our 2018 t-shirt design. I know many of you have this tee already.  Feel free to send me a photo, wearing this tee, doing what you love.  I would so enjoy featuring you, on Growing Self!

Here are a few of our Indigo Acre family members…

Band and kid pictures Fall 2015 147
Sam, the Nubian Goat


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Pumpkin, Wifey’s Farm Dog


Fabulous Flo, the Polish Hen


Oatmeal, the naughty pygmy goat


Master Frodo, the amazing mini donkey


Ranger & Bubba, babydoll sheep


Sweet Rosie, bantam old English hen
A few of the ladies!
The new ducklings


And so many more!

If you would enjoy daily updates, photos and videos from Indigo Acres, check out Growing Self at Indigo Acres on Instagram!

Harvesting Sunflowers

Do you have a dream?  What are you waiting for?  Make it a reality!

Love Yourself…Embrace Yourself…Just Be You…












I am NOT Behind…

The idea of Spring arriving a month behind schedule, instantly makes my head spin!  There is so much to accomplish before planting time.  This past week, I have felt a bit behind on the farm.  As I shared these emotions with my family, a very wise woman (Wifey) reminded me that WE were not behind…the WEATHER was behind!  I have found myself often saying this out loud, as a personal reminder.

The animals are so happy to have warmer weather!

Over the past 5 days, life at Indigo Acres has been extremely busy, with Winter clean up and Spring preparations.  Thank goodness I have Ophe as my #1 farm hand!

Ophe going for a ride in the gator!


Now that the temperatures are above freezing, the animals are out of the barn until November…I hope!  I spent yesterday cleaning and washing out barn stalls.   Who knows, I just might need some extra space in the barn…It is baby season! (wink wink)

Clean barn stalls = happy Roda!

Keep in mind, it was 70 degrees yesterday!  Woo hoo!  Although, adjusting to this kind of temperature change can be a bit of a challenge.  The animals are shedding mounds and mounds of fur!  Ophe was so happy when I hooked up the hose!  She loves to chill on the cool/wet barn floor.


The ladies have been doing a fabulous job in the egg department!  They are laying between 4-5 dozen eggs each day.  Sometimes, they even share a nesting box!  I am super picky about the cleanliness of coops.  Although the wood does become soiled over time, nesting box bedding is cleaned and changed numerous times each week, to guarantee happy chickens and clean eggs!  Each coop is completely cleaned out twice/month.  The ladies free range, on our 13 acres, throughout the day.  This makes for a much cleaner coop.  My goal is to have the birds out in nature, unless they are laying eggs or sleeping!

The girls are laying their eggs, in the nesting boxes.

I took this photo last week, while the sheep were still inside the barn, due to freezing temps.  As you can see, Bubba is a serious foodie!

Bubba enjoying breakfast!

I feel outstanding with the progress we have made these past few days.  The barn is clean again, the pastures are clean again and the chicken and duck runs/coops are clean…once again!  If you have not figured it out by now, I really like a clean farm!

Master Frodo is in the paddock, enjoying some sunshine!

I will be the first to admit, it has been a VERY long and emotional Winter.   Saying goodbye to my horse, Velvet,  was one of the most difficult and painful moments in my life.   I am so thankful and blessed to have the gift of Frodo. This little man has helped me so much with healing.  He has a beautiful spirit, which reminds me very much of my sweet Velvet.  It is truly amazing how people and animals come into our lives when we need them the most.

Look at my little man!

I am tearing up as I write this…  Spring is here!  What a beautiful time for new beginnings.  And, we have so many new beginnings on the farm, coming up.  We are not only starting our breeding program and building a new chicken barn, but my dream of becoming a bee keeper will be a reality, in just a few short weeks!  20,000 bees and 2 Queens…I can hardly wait!  I always say, “Do what you love, Love what you do!”  I am living that dream each and every day!

As always,

Love Yourself…Embrace Yourself…Just Be You…