SLACKER! SLACKER! YELL IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

Ok I get it. I’m 5 days late on the new year greetings, but if you know anything about me its that I’m not the most organized…not by a long shot. I almost missed the kids first day back to school except that I saw another parent asking about the date. I was pretty bummed when I found out that I had one less day at home with The Littles. Yesterday made up for that with a “storm day” that turned out to be a pretty nice day after all.

It was also an exciting day for us because we have another addition to the farm. Little Miss came into our room yesterday morning and said “either Bonnie is shedding REALLY BAD or she’s having babies”. Sure enough there was a ton of fur in the corner of her cage but on a quick inspection I didn’t see anything moving so I left her alone and let her do her thing. About an hour later Hubby says “I think there’s babies down in there already”. I dug around and gathered up 8 pink healthy babies to put in the nesting box. We discovered a little while later that momma was having nothing to do with that nesting box and she preferred her babies to be snuggled into the corner of the cage so that’s where they will stay (until they can move around on their own). I still can’t get used to her not being snuggled with them all the time but I know it’s their way of keeping predators away. As long as I see her nursing at night and the babies have round little bellies I know they are ok.

The holidays seemed to go by extremely fast this year and other parents from the area said the same thing.  Maybe it’s because none of us were ready for school to be back in a day early.  Lol  Aside from being sick, we had a really nice quiet break.  Hubby was off the same time as the kids so we had no schedule and we spent a lot of time sleeping in.  We did our annual Christmas Tree hunt at a local tree farm.  They spend time each year shaping the trees which makes it so easy to find the perfect tree.  I think we are getting a little too good at the process because we were in and out in less than an hour…and that included having hot chocolate and cider.  The Littles wanted a tree in their room so they got to pick out and cut their own this year.  Now that I think about it, they cut most of the big tree too.

We managed to pull off our Homemade Christmas this year, by the skin of our teeth.  I wasn’t sure if I could do it but we finished the kids stuff (which was the most important thing for us) and have the supplies to make our gifts for each other.  The Littles finished all of their gifts too and were super excited to give them out.  Little Miss used her new sewing skills to make a mug cosy for me, a lego bag for Little Man, and a rubgy ball bag for Hubby.  Little man made a gun sling for Hubby, and got hubby to help with some woodworking to make an AG wardrobe for Little Miss, and a kitchen shelf for me.  I made some AG doll clothes for Little Miss and a back quiver for Little Man.  And Hubby made both kids archery arm guards and the beginning supplies to make a forge.  They have been bugging to have a forge for months now so Hubby found a video on YouTube about how to make a small one.   Hubby has been wanting a utilikilt for quite a while so and I want a solar heater for the living room so my plan is to leave the supplies for both of these things out in the way until they get done.  Shaming ourselves into getting projects done is ok right?!

We also introduced the Faverolles to the rest of the flock on New Years day.  They were quarantined since we got them and showed no signs of any sickness or anything that would transfer to the rest of the flock.  We left them in a smaller pen that joined onto the big bird yard so that they could see each other but not actually mingle yet.  We have more roosters than we want right now (ended up with three from our hatch last year) so aggression is a concern when adding new roosters.  There was a lot of puffing and posturing but no jumping at the fence which we’ve seen in the past.  This weekend we will let them all into the same yard and then house them all together.  I know there will be some fighting but as long as there is no blood shed I’m pretty sure they will be ok and set a new pecking order quite quickly.   We are looking to rehome some of our Americauna roosters because we really have too many and in addition to fighting amongst themselves they will start hurting the hens.  If we cant’ find good homes, into the stock pot they will go.

That’s about all the updating for now. I know lots of bloggers/writers like to give an update on the year past, but right now I figure you can read past posts if you come across something that interests you.

Before I sign off I wanted to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who reads my blog, shares my post and page, and is involved in this journey with me.  I love sharing what we do!  Feel free to leave messages, tag, comment, and share with your friends and family. I wish you all the best that 2017 has to offer.

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Animals everywhere

Seems like there are animals everywhere around me these days. Chicks in the kitchen, rabbits in the living room, hens and ducks roaming the property. And yet I still think about adding more.

I’m finding rabbits extremely easy to care for and quite interesting to have around. They aren’t costing much money either. I can imagine they would cost very little if we grew some of our own food for them or used tractor cages in the summer time. Not sure if I like rabbit meat but I’m ready to breed them at least once to see. (The two that we have now are strictly pets/breeding stock and won’t be dinner).

I also find myself wanting more laying hens. We aren’t utilizing the ducks as well as we should and they are costing us more than they are worth so rehoming most of them and replacing with hens is my plan at the moment

Eventually when we have a plan with our realtor we will make a decision about having pigs again.  They were a good animal to have and depending on the breed you can really good meat yield.

AND because I’m just a little bit crazy, I keep looking at goats.  Depending on the breed they are good for meat, milk,fibre, or sometimes a combination.

I don’t tell my husband that I keep looking at alpacas because I know I’d end up a single alpaca farmer. 😳

 

Back to school.

Am I the only one who IS NOT excited about the kids going back to school?  I actually like having the kids home and not having a set schedule.  I love snuggling on the sofa in the afternoon watching a movie with my munchkins.  I love not having to plan lunches and snacks.  I like being able to take the kids to visit friends on a week day.

I’m also not one for new years resolutions or making changes just because the calendar says January 1.  Of course I think about making changes around the new year because that’s what I hear about the most but if all of those people talked about resolutions and changes on July 1 I’d think about them a lot then too.  I’m more about making changes when it’s good for me or my family.  Like making the decision to start raising animals. We didn’t sit down on New Years Eve and say “hey, lets get chickens in June”.  And our decision to raise pigs this spring…one of hubby’s wants from last year.  You all know I’ve been scanning online buy and sell sites already looking at prices of pigs so i can budget for our little porkers.  It’s going to be an interesting summer on our little (ever growing) farm.

All that being said, the kids were super excited to get back to school to see all of their friends this morning.  And I was even reasonably organized. I made pumpkin muffins last night for lunches. In bed early and up early.  We finally had enough green eggs from the Americaunas so we could all have some for breakfast.  The kids helped pack lunch bags and made sure they had everything in their knapsacks. We had the ducks and chickens fed and watered, eggs gathered, and still had time to spare before heading off to school.  Good thing too because mittens were still wet from yesterday.  10 minutes in the dryer fixed that and I’m sure it will be a daily occurrence as long as the weather stays the same.

So for tonight lunches are ready, molasses cookies are on the cooling rack waiting to be packed away, and my pillow is calling my name.

Have a beautiful night, sweet dreams, and be sure to compliment someone first thing in the morning…it might just be the pick me up they need for the day.

Eggs in December

What a busy two weeks it’s been but great weeks.  We did our annual Christmas tree hunt and found what I think is an exceptional tree (although a little larger than we should have).  Hubby found this tree u-cut just after we moved here and we love going there every year.  We managed to make it to Hubby’s work party this year and I got to meet all the interesting characters I’d heard so much about the past few years.  That was a fun night and kiddies got to have a sleepover thanks to some wonderful friends or ours.  And I was able to get to our pot luck/gift exchange at my Woman’s Institute meeting.  Our gift excahnges are a little different in that we don’t keep the gifts that are exchanged but are donated to a charity.  This year gifts went to a local woman’s shelter. Unfortunately our Christmas prep also included a trip to the doctor to clear up a throat infection for Little Man.  He was a trooper and is taking his meds with no complaints at all.  Thankfully only a few days left of meds and the throat is clearing up nicely.

Our Christmas eve tradition started with going to mass and the children were able to participate in the Nativity pageant at our church.  Little Miss was an angel and Little Man was a shepherd.  Of course I’m biased and think they did the best jobs but all the children were wonderful and made the evening so enjoyable.  Once we got home munchkins got into new jammies, put out Santa cookies and milk, drank some hot chocolate from Nana’s special mugs, and we listened to my friend E read The Night Before Christams.  She decided to record herself reading Christmas stories and share them on Facebook during the month of December, which I think was an amazing gift.

Quite unlike me, I had everything done the night before and only had one thing to wrap on Christmas eve, so hubby and I had a relaxing evening on the sofa.  I should have gone to bed as soon as the munchkins did because they were up at 4 the next morning.  Oh my.  It’s a good thing they can open their stockings before we get up or we would have been out of bed then too.  That’s fine though.  I love to see how excited they are on Christmas morning to see that Santa has been there and left some surprises for them.

We asked Santa to be minimal at our house this year and that was a pretty easy task since the kiddies didn’t ask for very much at all.  The wish list was on the fridge for a while with only two things on it and I think things only got added because I kept asking if there was anything else they wanted.  There were no disappointments this year though.  A pocket knife or multitool were the request of Little Man and he was surprised with both.  Little Miss got a camera and has barely put it down since she opened it.  I think the whole house has been photographed or videoed in the past few days and any gift boxes are now reduced to slices and chunks of their former selves.  Little Man cracked me up when they were using the pocket knife and multitool and he looked at Little Miss and said “just pretend you’re butchering a deer.”  He’ll be out hunting with daddy before you know it. Some puzzles, clothes, fireworks, and odds and ends rounded out the gifts for the kids.

Hubby and I are very practical when it comes to gift giving for each other.  Since I couldn’t legally buy him the shotgun he wanted (no possession/acquisition license yet) I opted for getting his chainsaw fixed.  He has been talking about it for quite a while but just never bothered to bring it to the shop. He took advantage of a nice Boxing Day to go out and thin some trees on the property.  I also got him a small sharpening steep to keep in his hunting pack.   I was thoroughly surprised when a number of gifts were handed to me though.   First came new hats, then a canning cookbook, then my new hay fork.  I thought that was it until Hubby reminded me that there was something else in the barn for me.  It was a boot cleaner to beat all boot cleaners, lovingly made by Hubby himself.  Needless to say all of those things got used already except for the canning book, but that’s been read cover to cover a few times while trying to decide what to make first.

I did get one early Christmas gift that I forgot to mention.  I used the Christmas money from my parents to buy chickens.  When we found the Australorps I thought that would be the only breed of chicken we would have for a while.  Good meat and egg birds and supposedly good layers.  But you all know how I love online buy and sell sites and I found young Americauna chickens for an awesome price and couldn’t resist.  And do I want green colored eggs….YES!!!! Plus they came with a heated poultry waterer, half a bag of feed, a bag of scratch, and a bag of grit. We ended up with two Red Island Red/Barred Rock hens in the deal and I’m happy enough to eat their eggs but we will eventually rehome (or eat) them since my goal is to have pure breeds.  Right now we let them all mix it up and I’m hoping we will get some amazing egg colors.

Even though Santa has come and gone, I am still getting presents!  Eggs, eggs, and more eggs.  A few days ago Hubby closed up the bird house when all were in and settled and when he came back in pulled an egg out of his hoodie and said “look what I have…and look what else I have…and look what else I have…and look what else I have.”  Four eggs?  In December??? Yup,  and a green one to boot.   The Americauna breed can lay all shades of blue and green from just a hint of color to very vibrant.  And since some of our ducks have started laying again we get jumbo white eggs from them. small brown from the RIR/BR, small to medium brown from the Australorps, and medium green from the Americaunas.  I’ll have an amazing basket of multicolored eggs for Easter this year thanks to Mother Nature!  When we get our pigs I’ll be able to have our own green eggs and ham.

That’s it for an update today.   Our New Years Eve will be a fairly quiet night at home.  Kids want to try to stay up till midnight but we are going to do fireworks early just in case they don’t make it.  And as usual, there’s an open invitation to friends who want to pop over.

I hope you all had a great time with family and friends over the holidays, which ever holiday you celebrate.  Unless something interesting happens in the next week I probably won’t blog again until the kids are back in school and I’ve packed away our Christmas decorations.

Have a beautiful day and if you are heading out to celebrate the new year drink responsibly and DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE!