Friday, June 3, 2016

Coming into summer and looking back

Hey there!!

I decided to come on here and ramble a few updates. I think things have been a little more “normal” in the past year. I know it’s been a while. Our homestead has changed a little and had its share of challenges and heartache. However, overall, we like the spot we’re in.

The bees didn’t make it through that first winter. That was the 2014/2015 winter. We have hive boxes we’re going to put up for sale because Joel would prefer to build some top bar hives and try it again that way. The bees were free and we knew they were all the “reject” hives from a sale, but we were hopeful. We’ll try again when Joel gets to work on the project.

We’ve got three chicks growing out in our chicken coop. We lost our old free range layer flock to fox. We bought an automatic chicken door that will close and open at a set time so that even if we are at a friends house at sunset, they won’t be left out. We’re not ready to let these chicks out, so they are in a giant brooder.

When they were a little over a week old and having a day out in their small brooder.

We sent Buddy, our first born and raised bull, to the butcher in February 2016. We tried a new butcher and couldn’t be happier. They also saved the skin for us and we are going to try to preserve it and make a rug. Might as well try to use all that he had to offer instead of buying a few sheep skin from someone else.

Buttercup calved in April! We named her calf… April! *chuckle* I’ll never forget when she was born. We’re going to raise April to be a milk cow and see if we have the space or desire to milk both of them or if we’ll want to sell her as a mini milk cow. We’ve wanted to keep two so they have a lifelong friend, but Buttercup has been getting along fine on her own, so if the space and time isn’t here, then it just isn’t here.

This year we decided to focus a little more on our long term stuff. We moved a flower bed and made three parallel rows for blueberries, raspberries and elderberries in an otherwise unused piece of lawn. We planted 7 blueberry bushes from a local blueberry farmer and two elderberry bushes from an organic farm in Vermont.

Outside, Joel replaced rotted boards on our picnic table, replaced our walkway, I stained the front of the chicken coops, my dad and Joel built a covering for the oil tank and gave us extra space to store things up by the house and a covered area for trash.

Inside the house, I have a couple new wood counter tops that Joel made. The last ones are still waiting to be installed. He also put cabinet doors on a built in bookshelf and we finally finished all the trim. Not much else has changed. We are loving our home.

I’m not done with Lyme Disease yet. I’ve had a few symptoms come back and that has been quite frustrating. Remembering the hardest times is crazy but important. Hey, I can sit here and write this blog post without wheezing, falling asleep, or getting all my words mixed up! That wasn’t possible for a while. I’m thankful it’s down to just a few things. I’ve stopped antibiotics again (for like the 3rd or 4th try) and hopefully this is it. Hopefully it only gets better.

We had an awesome vacation that included visiting with family in Minnesota, seeing Mount Rushmore, the Badlands and Niagara Fall. I’ve got an itch to get a year long pass to all the national parks (the America the Beautiful Pass) and make visiting our state parks and historic sites part of our plans for the summer.

When/if we get to the garden we’ll only be doing a few things: brussels sprouts, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, green beans, and tomatoes. All things we can keep longer when stored properly. I mean, we’ve already moved strawberries, expanded raspberries, and added blueberries and elderberries. So it will still be a very productive gardening year in my mind.

I’m hopeful that this summer will be filled with more energy, a more optimistic outlook and more joy!

Photos from mother's day.



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