Homestead update

It’s been about 3 months since we moved to our little homestead and things are going well! I wouldn’t say it’s an ”Actual” homestead yet, but things are moving in the right direction and I am so glad! In October, we chose the spot for our ”real” garden ( we had done a rushed, makeshift pallet garden this summer while between the 2 places) an tilled it. For now it will be a 20×20 garden and each year we will extend it some more until we have the full size we want. I have not determined what that size will be just yet! 😛

Since then, I’ve moved the perennial herbs into that space and prepared their beds for winter. It was a job keeping the hens out of there after letting them feast in the freshly tilled soil for a few weeks. They were NOT impressed with the new rules!

Since the start of November, the Mister finished building our chicken coop(inside the barn) and an 8×8 run outside that will eventually be covered. One step at a time!

I am so very, very pleased with it and so are the chickens! We welcomed 4 new ladies(hens) to the flock. They are young Cornish Bantams and are currently living rent-free. I expect they will start laying soon. I hope! The adjustment went well, although the bigger hens are not too fond of sharing the lovins’ and especially the food. Oh well, they’ll learn!

Our winter project on the animal front is a goat pen! I am set on getting Nigora goats ( Nigerian dwarf crossed with Angora). On paper they are perfect for our family. Small in size, high butter fat content in their milk, and usable fleece. We are not interested in having a high turnover with our animals. I know that isn’t the homesteading way per say, but it is our way. We want animals that will serve several purposes and grow old  on our farm. Perhaps we will change our minds as we get more freeloaders, but for now, that’s how we want it. Hence the fleece/milk goats.

It has been hard for me to hold my horses so to speak and resist jumping on the first goat add I come across. I’ve seen several good deals on goat breeds I don’t actually want and have nearly made a hasty decision a couple of times but luckily didn’t!

And finally, just a few weeks ago I ordered 10 grape vines for spring. A mix of Frontenac Gris and Frontenac Blanc. If all goes well, I expect to add some new varieties over the years. Last but not least, we are planning to order some mushroom for spring, just as soon as I get some proper research done on them!

It feels like we have come such a long way since we first moved in late August! The house is more cozy by the day and our many many projects are coming together steadily. The mister is always busy tinkering in the garage, building something or cutting firewood and the little munchkin is such a helper! She just loves helping out in the garden and doing her little chores to help mommy get the animals fed. She has even gotten pretty good at ”herding” the chickens home and has learned to be more gentle with the eggs! I am so happy with how things are going! 🙂

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We moved!

Ouf!! Well, it’s been a busy busy month!! On August 12th we finally did the big move! It seemed like all the rain we didn’t get up until that point all came down on that day, but we did it, and aside from partly wet beds and a broken stove clock, it went well. I am so glad the driving back and fourth between the 2 places is finally done and we can just focus on settling in! I had expected some stress issues from the animals, mainly our house cat, but I was pleasantly surprised! He was appeared very comfortable on the drive over, and once we got to the house, he went in behind the couch for 5 minutes tops before coming out to explore. Within a half hour he was wandering around the kitchen purring and sniffing around. He is especially fond of the large window we set his cat tree in front of, and sits up there enjoying the breeze coming in through the screen.

Ten days later, the in laws arrived from Belgium for a 9 day visit. We put settling in on hold for a while to spend time with them and do stuff. It was a nice visit! Kiddo warmed up to Granny quickly, and the rest of the 9 days were spent to a chorus of ”Nanaa? Nanaa?”s and ” sitsit!”. It was nice to see them bonding! She even warmed up to her Bompie after some time and had him building block towers for her. On the Sunday following their arrival, their luggage arrived ( I forgot to mention their luggage was delayed do to a strike in Brussels) and we were showered in gifts! It was like Christmas in August! I received a beautiful handpainted Delft Blue teapot among other things, and the wee Tot received a bunch of cute cloths, toys and books. ”Sinterklaas ” even sent some stuff with Granny for E to open in December! 🙂

As always, the goodbyes were difficult, but we managed without tears this time! It helps knowing they will be back for Easter, it makes it feel like we’ll see them soon, even though it’s still several months away. E doesn’t really understand it all yet, but she handles it well. She only looked for her Nanaa a couple of times( and broke my heart) before she realized Granny and Bompie were not here anymore. She is still very needy while she adjusts to having less attention again, but she’s coming around.

Tomorrow we will unpack the rest of my books! I’m excited to see my beautiful shelf filled with books again. An empty book shelf is such a sad sight!

Moving day!

Well this week has been a bit much for me, between a teething toddler(cutting her last few molars) , packing one house and prepping it to sell , finalizing projects at the other, and hubby working out of town a day a week on top of his normal work, I’ve felt a little frazzled! All that comes to an end tomorrow though! Tomorrow we move! Yay!

My dad will be coming over with his pickup truck to help us move our bigger stuff; beds, stove, dressers, dining room table and such and we will load our SUV with the boxes. We’ve already moved a lot of ”not immediately necessary” stuff, so it shouldn’t be too big of a day. Baby-Bum and I will be staying at the new house to start unpacking after the first load is dropped off. I’m sooooo looking forward to settling in and no longer being back and forth between the two places every day we have off.

I still have not decided when to move the outdoor animals. I’d like to move everyone at once, but the chicken coop is not yet set up, so the hens would need to stay in a large cage at night in the garage and I’m not so sure hubby will be happy about the smell of chicken doo-doo in his garage XP. Ms.Bun(the bunny) is under cage arrest these days for being a digger( caught her digging a good foot into the ground, chicken wire be damned-she bit right through it!) so it doesn’t matter where she is, but I’m just not a fan of keeping my hens locked up! Oh the dilemmas!

Anywho, last night in our first house ❤ I hope its a good cozy last night!

Toes in the river

I read a quote the other day that said : ” As long as you can find the river, you can find your way home” . I thought it was beautiful. Turns out it’s from The Good Dinosaur movie, but I still think it’s beautiful and so accurate to my life. I grew up by a river and now my little girl will grow up next to one!

Anyway, Wednesday Mom came to get us and took us to this little spot she and my dad found a little while ago. It’s a beautiful little spot along the same river as ours, just so much further up that it is no longer salty and so narrow and shallow it’s practically just a stream in that spot. What a little paradise!! We spent the afternoon with our toes in the water, we found frogs (and the teeniest, tiniest one too!), dragonfly nymphs, and river minnows. I love the ocean, don’t get me wrong, the fresh salty air and all the interesting seashells and sea critters, it’s great! But, the river just stirs up a whole nostalgia for me, all the familiar creatures from my childhood, the muck, the fact that my biggest worry is a leach, not a jellyfish, or a (far fetched, yet possible) shark! It was a great afternoon. The dogs swam, we played, and then we went back to Mom and Dads for ice cream and then my little love fell asleep on the drive home.  Such a great day!

‘Thank you’ cookies

Well hello there! Yes, yes, I know, it’s been something like a year since I last posted? Don’t worry, it’s not just you. I do this all the time. Drop off the face of the earth so to say. Life takes over and eventually I come back around.

Anyway, it’s August now(Whaaaat!?) and we have started to move from one homestead to the other(big-house-little-land to little-house-big-land) all the while renovating one place and getting the other ready for the market. It’s been busy. It’s been exhausting. I hardly remember what life was like before this whole juggling of two homes nonsense! Last week Grandpa and Grandpa came over with the pickup truck to help us move some of the bigger furniture and boxes out so the house would be a bit more ”bare” for real estate pictures and potential viewers. How sad. There is an echo in the grand entrance now and the living room looks like a playroom..a love seat and toys are all that are left in there!

Little Lovebug and I took to the kitchen to bake up some thank-you cookies and it brought back memories of my own childhood, helping my mom mix and bake. I pulled over a chair and propped the Kiddo up on it so she could get involved. She had a blast and a few stolen chocolate chips -.-.

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The finished result were these delicious little oatmeal goodness bites with half-and-half chocolate chips and butterscotch chips. The minute they were out of the oven, the pitter-patter of tiny feet could be heard coming down the hall accompanied by ” Co-co? Co-co?” Agh! My heart. She melts it!

Hello Grouse!

History has a way of repeating itself, they say, and while it’s mostly noticeable in obvious things, like politics or fashion, it’s also often a present occurrence in daily life. Why am I talking about this, you ask? Well, here’s my little story:

Several years ago, when we were still new to the Maritime provinces, the Mr. and I were out and about for a drive, exploring our new area. We came to a fork in the road. To the left, our usual destinations. To our right, a road we’d never taken. So, right we turned. about 2 minutes into our drive, we came across a pigeon flopping around the road with a visibly broken wing. We pulled over, I got out with a bag or a towel or something along those lines, and as gently as possible, caught the pigeon and brought him home. We set him up in our sun porch in a box, cleaned his wounds, gave him food and water and hoped for the best. Well, to everyone (else’) surprise, Pidgeols made it! He eventually graduated to a box perched on the top of the porch and he spent his days hoping around the grass or walking along the roof. Eventually he began to fly, and just before winter, he flew away, never to be seen again.

This week, while working at the Little House, we decided to take a coffee break, and, since the power is currently not hooked up, that meant a little run into town. On the drive back, I commented that we’d never been up the road that forks to the right off our street, so we decided to take a little exploratory drive. About 2 minutes into our drive, we spotted a Grouse sitting on the side of the road, scruffy, but very much alive. We slowed down, and I hoped out, bag in hand. As gently as possible, caught the Grouse and brought him home. We set it up in our front porch in a box and gave it food and water.

Anyone seeing a pattern? Just in case, I italicized the similar bits 😛 Anyway, it has been several days and Lady is doing significantly better. Her(His?) wing doesn’t seem broken, but looks sore and her back is a bit raw. As of Friday, she has graduated from her box to my (well ventilated) green house so she can move around and pick around in the grass and dirt. Her balance is still a bit off, but she is far more active and lively than when we found her. When she appears to be fully better, we will take her back to the Little House and release her. There are dozens upon dozens of Grouse there, so hopefully she will feel at home.

Meet the Grouse!

The more I see this bird, the more I think it’s a male..and to add insult to injury, I named the poor thing Lady!

A thrifty haul!

For as long as I can remember, thrift shopping was part of my life. My mom would hit up the local Saint-Vincent de Paul thrift shop for the 8$ bag days and come home with loads of great finds, much to my dismay. I loved most of what she got me, but I was always worried that someone from school would recognize her there, and (god forbid!!) know I was wearing second hand clothing!

Well, I’m proud to say, those days are behind me! I’ve grown up and learned that thrift shopping is FANTASTIC!

Check out some of our more recent scores!

Volcom Faux-Leather shoes

Firstly, my pride and joy! I wasn’t actually in need of new shoes, and honestly, it was not love at first sight. They caught my attention, but it took me a few minutes of eyeing them before I decided I liked them, but when I did, oh boy did I ever start to like them!!

Turns out these(practically brand new, maybe worn once?) bad boys are Volcom faux-leather and retailed for $75USD. I paid 4$CAN.

Beatbo!

Secondly, this hella-annoying buddy; Beatbo! Baby Bell and I had actually spotted him at Walmart before Christmas and she loved him, but I could not bring myself to spend 50 dollars on him. Well, the Mister was working out of town and dropped into a few thrift stores while he was there and found a brand new, still in the box Beatbo for 7$ and snatched him up. My ears have been bleeding to the sound of ” When my tummy turns red, say something!!” ever since, but my Baby Bell enjoys busting some new moves to his tunes when she isn’t smashing his buttons, so totally worth it.

For some reason my picture wouldn’t load so this is a link to the little fella.

Winter boots

About 6 years ago, my mom picked up a pair of good winter boots that I’ve been wearing every winter since. They have taken a beating and I was starting to think it was time for some ”new” boots..which for me means within the next 3 years or so, I should probably get some. Haha! Well, I won’t need to shop for new boots after all!! Hurray! The Mister found a nearly brand new pair of winter boots in my size for 3$ and brought them home to me! They fit perfect, are warm, and the best part, they have hook&loop(velcro) closures rather than laces! It’s not that I can’t tie my boots, but it’s so annoying when your laces come undone in -20 weather and you have to take your gloves off to tie them back up and freeze your fingers in the process.

**Note: I was meant to do this post a few months ago and have worn in the boots significantly since I got them**

**Note2:The kitty did not come with the boots. haha! :P**

There are so many more finds I could share, but those are the ones from this week. I’m so proud of our finds, perhaps I’ll make these posts a regular thing!