Weekend Links & Updates

The view from my kitchen window.
"God is our refuge and strength,
 an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging."

Homesteading can be so rewarding, yet there are always difficulties. ("Anything worth doing," I tell my kids, "is likely difficult.") This year sure has been a mix of rewards and difficulties on our mountaintop.

Our chicks are at that awkward stage where they no longer look like chicks but neither do they look like hens and roosters. They are finally outside, which is a blessing. (I really don't enjoy having a brooder in the house.) We've never had chicks that refused to leave the hen house before, but that was the case with this batch. When they did finally go outside, they refused to go back in at night. My husband had to hand pick them out of a clump of bamboo in
The chicks are in the hen house.

their run and place them inside the hen house. Our faithful dog, ever wanting to herd animals, tried to help. He scared one chick to death. Literally, it just fell over and died. Then another chick looked like it injured its leg. We thought it might just be sprained, so we left it alone; it seemed fine otherwise. A week later, it's other leg became unusable. I had to put it down.

We've also had another batch of rabbit kits. There were 11 total, but one, who looked fat and healthy, died early on. The runt got so skinny, it looked like it would pass, too - so for a while, I held Fiona (the mama) and let the runt nurse all by itself. The other kits are now three or four times bigger than the runt, but otherwise, the runt is holding its own. All the kits are now out of the nesting box, and Fiona looks a bit harried - but everyone seems healthy.
The rabbit kits.

Our sheep continue to make us laugh with their curiosity and cuteness, the cats are eating up lots of rodents, and our dog thinks he's in charge of them all...except the old-man cat who came with our property. The old man knows he's in charge.

We've also been prepping the house for paint. When we moved in four years ago (time has flown!), we knew it needed paint, since the original owners only applied one coat to the house. This year, we couldn't put off the job any longer, since we were starting to see rot.

In addition, the canning kitchen, which has had a sloping floor since we moved here, suddenly seemed worse. It turned out termites had started eating one of the foundation beams. So my kids crawled under that old building (the original building on our property) and dug out at least a truck load of old trash. They found lots of literal garbage, 5 frying pans, drawers and shelves from about a gazillion old refrigerators, a baby's shoe, an old bread box, 4 hubcaps, a rather old doorknob, a few canning jars, and the skeleton and partially mummified remains of a cat. Now my father-in-law (who used to fix foundations for a living) and my daughter are working on repairing the foundation.

Some of the junk the kids found under the canning kitchen.

The garden hasn't been doing great...the weather has just been too weird. First, it rained heavily when most of the fruit trees were blooming, keeping pollinators at bay. Then the weather remained weirdly cool. Finally, we are getting some warmth and I have harvested kale, collards, green beans, radishes, turnips, and a little broccoli from the garden. So far, there hasn't been enough to can or freeze dry, though I did freeze the broccoli, some leafy greens, and some green beans.
The cabbage is coming along, but it's still not big enough to harvest.

Oldies But Goodies

Other Links Worth Checking Out:

* I made these chicken potholders from a pattern I found here.


  1. Yeah, that's life on a homestead. Some make it some don't.. I can't believe everything that was found under that building!... Love that old doorknob though.. Sounds like your garden is doing well. We planted a garden this year only our second year. Last years didn't do to well but this years has done exceptionally well so far although I don't know how much longer that will last. It's gotten VERY hot here in South Carolina and I"m watering as much as possible so I'll have to wait and see what happens..

  2. You wouldn't believe the amount of junk on this property. We've steadily been getting rid of it, but there's still a lot! Glad to hear your garden is doing so well! Enjoy :)