Old Glory Found

Well, I finally made it outside today and it was 50* and the sun was shining. I checked on my animals, carried wood into the house and found my missing panel for the greenhouse. I also found Old Glory covered in snow in the flower bed still attached to a section of the pole that holds her when she flys.

Shes back where she belongs!
The missing panel was found on the back side of the strawberry planters covered with snow. It’s cleaned up now and inserted back where it belongs with new panel clips.
The snow will be with us a while longer and I’m sure there’s more to follow. Old north wind can stay up north in the arctic for all I care.

My chickens and ducks would love to be out of their coops but I think they’re better off inside until this white stuff melts into the ground. The temperatures are dropping again but still warm enough to melt off the roof and hopefully the roads.

During and After the Storm

Our first major storm of the winter 2021-2022 and it’s over but for the nasty wind and the snow drifts. We ended up with about 7-8 inches but hard to tell because of the drifts.

Here’s our before the storm look at the front of the house!
The greenhouse is completely covered on the west end and north end with a shade cloth and two extra heavy tarps. We think it will be safe from the wind blowing out panels, but the weight of the snow could be serious. We didn’t need to worry about the snow, but the wind did some damage to the front by tearing out the panels on the left side of the door. We’re not sure where they are but will do something to prevent more damage.
The snow started around 8:00 a.m. as very fine but lots of it, an hour later it looked like this.
By 10:00 a.m. it was starting to stick pretty good. The wind was up all day and the temps stayed between 15* and 17* all day.
By 12:00 it was getting heavier and accumulating more.
Sadie wouldn’t come in the house but stayed curled up in her house on the front porch!!
It seems every time it storms rain or snow, I get in cooking mode and yesterday was no different.
Fried pies are a favorite whether it storms or not!
My new favorite recipe of Pecan Sandies was baking.
No storm is complete without a big crockpot full of soup!! We’ll be eating this for a couple days and it’s so good!!
The snow stopped around 4:00 p.m. and then the sleet came and then at dark it started snowing again. We did not lose power and Sadie finally came in the house at bedtime. The small animals were taken warm water throughout the day, and all seemed well. Sadie tried to get Butch to come out of the barn to play in the snow, but he would have none of it and stayed curled up in his fresh bed of hay!!

This morning we are waiting on the wind to die a little before feeding the cattle because the snow would just drift over it before they could eat. They were fed heavy yesterday and their water comes from flowing mountain springs. We’re very thankful there are no calves to be born for at least another two months.

My flag was torn off the pole and is somewhere under the snow.
The porch is covered with snow and awfully glad I remembered to cover it and tie the tarps down. I carried two day’s worth in the house by the stove.
The last photo before dark and also to stay out of the wind that was gusting into the 30’s.

Until next time, stay warm and stay safe!!!

Preparing

Friday and today we’ve been preparing for a winter storm which according to the emergency alert I just received will drop 6-12 inches of snow on us with ice after. The alert also states that heavier amounts of snow will drop in the mountainous areas which is us. This is what it looks like outside now!

Here’s our before the storm look at the front of the house!

Yesterday I made sure everything outside is tied down because we’re to have wind gusts up to 37 MPH. I gave the greenhouse some extra TLC along with extra tie downs. Now, we just have to watch the amount of snow on the roof and remove if we think it’s too much to hold. The animals were given extra feed and bedding for the cold and snow. I did all the laundry and filled several buckets with water in the event the power goes out. We have a generator but won’t pull it out unless it looks like the power will be out for more than 24 hours. The oil lamps are full and ready, and the radio and flashlights have batteries.

The greenhouse is completely covered on the west end and north end with a shade cloth and two extra heavy tarps. We think it will be safe from the wind blowing out panels, but the weight of the snow could be serious..

Today the cattle have been the main concern with extra hay this morning and grain this afternoon. Round bales have been bought in and stacked close to the gates to each of the four herds and water was checked for good flow. Mr. Caldwell has been working on them since nine this morning. The dogs in the barn have lots of new bedding and will be fed again after dark. Sadie will be in with us if she so desires.

The haybales are 4-5 ft and each herd is normally fed two bales a day. During this type of storm, we may double that.

Today I bought in two more loads of firewood to the front porch, filled the bird feeders and put out several mesh sacks of leftover grease that I have been saving for them in the freezer for just this kind of weather. The chickens got a mesh sack full too. I save the bacon and other meat grease in aluminum pie pans throughout the year and when needed for bad weather it goes to the feeding stations.

The wood is stack on the east end and the storm is coming from the south and west to us this time so the wood is covered with tarps to keep it dry. We definitely don’t want wet wood that might stop of the flue and cause a fire. The wood is stacked four feet high and protects Sadie’s house if she decides she wants to be outside.

With chores for me completed outside I came in and made a fresh pan of biscuits for the weekend, a chicken potpie for dinner tonight and a coconut meringue pie. Tonight, I’ll make a batch of rolls and bread loaves and a big batch of venison stew to keep us warm throughout the storm.

Two dozen fresh baked homemade biscuits are ready for some country ham in the morning for breakfast and probably some white gravy too!! We do eat good!!
Chicken pot pie hot out of the oven!!
And for dessert, I’ve made a coconut cream pie and got the meringue just a little too brown in spots!! I’ll bet we still eat it though!!

I think we’re ready!!!

Unfinished Projects

I was going through some fabric and totes this morning to see just what I had and how to use it and I WAS SHOCKED!

Not only do I have some small projects that I started before Christmas, but I have some MAJOR projects that immediately went on my “bucket list” for 2022 that have been waiting for 5-20 years! I’m almost ashamed of myself but I do intend to finish them this year before I start any new ones except for the one I started last night.

These are gnome ornaments I made for family and friends for Christmas this year. I worked on them at night while watching TV. The ones at the bottom are not finished because I had enough for gifts, so I stuck them away. It will literally take me 10 minutes to finish the little buggers.
I love the full front aprons and was planning to make these for gifts but ran out of time. I have the fabric and they will be finished by December 31, 2022.
I have three body pillows in this house and three pillowcases for them. I need to make at least three more and I do have the fabric for them.
My redwork quilt is pieced and all it needs is the backing. I forget about the backing when I’m looking for fabric and that hasn’t happened for over two years now because I don’t shop! One excuse is as good as another, don’t you think! 🙂
In 2011, I retired from the insurance company I had worked for for 17 years and the wonderful ladies I worked with in the county and district gave me a going away party and this was one of the gifts I was presented but I still haven’t got to it yet. I love all of those ladies and we are all friends.
My husband bought me a embroidery machine several years ago for Christmas and I love using it and one of the first projects I started (and haven’t finished) is a snowman quilt. I only have a few more blocks to embroider and then piece and quilt!! I’m thinking a blue fabric with white snowflakes.
I think I’ve blogged about this one a couple years ago and it still isn’t finished. It’s burgundy and green blocks of lots of different patterns. It takes time and my head has to be on right to figure out the correct measurements for the blocks.
I loved these colors when I started it before we moved to this farm. In the move it was packed away and just found recently and I do have all of the fabric packed with it.
I love this pattern and I hope my daughter is patient waiting for it!! The pattern was used on another quilt I made and thought this would make a beauty!
My granddaughter started this quilt when she was a teenager but didn’t finish and I’m going to finish it for her and one for our grandson too!
My granddaughter’s friend Allison started this one but alas it did not get finished either but maybe someday I’ll finish it for her because she does love bear hunting.
These are yards of quilted fabric I purchased to make me some handbags and totes.
The pattern for the handbags is quite simple, I just need to sit down and do it.

And with all of these projects, what did I do last night? I started an English Paper Piecing quilt pattern called “Grandmother’s Garden”. I can get this one done while sitting in front of the TV with hubby every night.

English Paper Piecing When the quilt is finished, I’ll tell more about it.

There’s a few more I found this morning, but it makes me sad thinking about how there is to finish BEFORE I start anything new!!!!

The New 2021 Heifers

Every two or three years we try to replace old cows with new heifers. Over the last year we kept eight of our raised on the farm calves and purchased eight from a farm down the road. They are all black angus and all about the same size and age, 15 -18 months old.

The heifers raised on the farm made up with the new one quite well. There’s usually a animal hierarchy but so far no of these have been quite bossy.

We pulled out nine of them to go ahead and breed back in June with one of our new bulls because they were the oldest and heavier of the stock.

They are beautiful and should calve in late April.

We made the mistake of not having that group far enough away from the ones that we wanted to wait for a bit until they put on at least another 100 – 150 pounds. Well, the young bull took care of business sooner than we expected and he decided to venture through a couple fences and took care of business as soon as one of the younger heifers came into heat. We’re not sure how many he bred before we got him out but should know toward the end of May. There have two of the younger to come into heat and thought they were far enough away from the bulls BUT one heifer didn’t want to wait another year and went through a property fence and up the road to another farm. Everyone thought the cow in the road by herself belonged in that farmer’s field and was turned in directly to their bull. We got her back home two days ago and now we wait and see!!!

Heifers being fed in the Maple Ridge field this morning.
Eating and resting

Heifers are cows that have never been bred or had a calf so come spring we will have to keep a close watch on all 16 of them. First time calves can be troublesome so we will see what spring brings forth!!!

Miss Sadie

She’s grown into a beautiful adult Norwegian Elkhound!!

She has become a great hunter but still my cuddle dog. She sleeps beside our bed every night and paws the bed if she needs to go outside.

How can anyone not love that face!!!

She stays outside most of the time unless her favorite buddies come to visit, my daughter, son and granddaughter. At night we know when the coyotes are around because her bark has a howl at the end of it!!

She’s very territorial even with our hounds that she plays with all day but if they come near the yard or front porch she is quick to put them in their place.
She’s one of the family and we love her to death!!!

Last Trip to Dismal Falls

A couple times a year Eddie and I go for a ride, usually through the mountains and this is one of my favorite spots.

This trip took us into Giles County into the National Forest.
It’s just down over the road bank with a fairly decent path and the roar of the water increases as you go down the path.
They’re not a huge waterfall but it’s lovely.
This trip the water was not at full flow because of the dry weather but very peaceful regardless.
We thought we might be alone this trip as we went during the week but there was a small group of young adults there swimming at the foot of the falls, so we left them to their fun.
This is some of the beautiful wildflowers along the path to the falls.
Beautiful honeysuckle in full bloom and the smell was delicious!

It was a wonderful road trip and one I hope we can visit again in 2022!

Creasy Greens

Have you eaten them? Have you ever heard of them? Creasy greens are a vegetable I grew up with and every spring we went to cornfields in the area to pick them. They are fresh greens found in the spring and if you pick one wrong green you can spoil the entire batch. One green that is smooth leaved will bitter an entire pot.

Since landowners and farms have started spraying their corn patches to kill weeds, the creasy green is hard to find. So, we buy them at local farm stands by the bushel.

A case of creasy greens from Ikenberry’s Orchard in Botetourt County.

We love these greens with pinto beans, corn bread, and fried potatoes. This is one fine country girl meal! A case is a lot of greens, so I clean all of them, blanch them and freeze them after packing enough for one meal in Food Saver bags.

Greens stemmed and bathed twice.

Start looking for them in your local farmers market in March, depending on the weather. It was 1* here this morning so I won’t be looking for any!!

Frigid

It was 14* at 6:30 this morning and has only reached 24* with the sun out now. The wind is horrid and hubby is not allowing me out of the house! I’m not complaining because the arctic air does not sit well with my lungs!

I’ve been cleaning and working in my kitchen all day and looking at some quilt patterns.

Product Image
I love Eleanor Burns quilt patterns, and this is one that I’m considering.

I’m also planning to finish two quilts that have been on hold for years and they’ll be at the top of my list.

These are the colors for the Sampler Quilt that has been on hold and I’d like to do another in blues.

Winter days like today are perfect for quilting and I don’t feel guilty for playing indoors instead of working outdoors.

Storing and Using Leftover Potatoes

Each year our potatoes produce very well, and the cellar potato bin gets almost full. We eat them, share them with our kids and grandkids, and of course our friends. When we have an over-abundance, we sale them.

This bin will hold about 25 bushels of potatoes but normally we fill it with about 15 bushel which is more than enough for us our kids.

When spring rolls around and the leftovers are starting to sprout, we use about a bushel for seed and the rest are peeled and canned. You might ask “why can them?”. Well, if you ever been in a pinch for time, canned potatoes are quick and can be used in so many different ways.

These are what my daughter, Heather, helped me can in the spring of 2021.

The pint jars are diced and great for hash browns, potato soup, corn beef hash and sometimes I’ll do a quick fry in bacon bits as a side for bacon and eggs. The chunked quarts can be mashed, used in soups and stews, and just buttered potatoes. I also have a few quarts leftover that I sliced for scalloped potatoes, fried potatoes and bake them in the over with rosemary & pats of butter. There are millions of dishes that can be made quicker if they’re already peeled and pre-cooked!

When I can them, I add the potatoes to the jars with salt, 1/2 teaspoon for pints and 1 teaspoon for quarts. I then cover them with water to the neck of the jar, add the lids and rings, and I pressure cook them at 10 pounds of pressure for 35 minutes.

I’m all about saving time especially during the summer when we are outside working until dark or we collapse, whichever comes first!!!

How We Use Rhubarb

This crop is one we always have an abundance of but rarely asked for.

One entire end of our garden is full of rhubarb that is harvested three or four times each year. Most people don’t like it because it so sour. I’ve learned a couple of tricks since we started raising it that makes it hard to turn down.

I use the leaves which are huge on the plant are cut off and reintroduced into the patch to keep the weeds down like a mulch. They are poisonous, the substances present in the plant leaves are oxalic acid and anthraquinone glycosides. The stalks and roots are not poisonous.

Now, how to cook them. Cut the stalks into one-inch cubes after you have thoroughly washed them. Put in a pan with just enough water to keep them from burning, very little water (1/4 inch, at most) and cook over medium heat and watch carefully. When fully cooked add about two cups of sugar and stir to dissolve. Now here’s the trick, add your favorite box of flavored gelatin and stir to incorporate. We love strawberry or raspberry but have used grape and blackberry as well. The gelatin thickens the rhubarb and adds a wonderful flavor. It’s wonderful addition to our morning breakfast, on hot biscuits like jelly, also unique in a rollup cake!

If friends and neighbors want some this spring let me know because we have a lot in the freezer. We didn’t share a lot because we were only allowing family on the farm due to Covid. If friends will contact me, I’ll cut it and leave in bags for drive up delivery at the end of the driveway!!! I’ll be posting when it’s available.

This was our first setting and now the entire end of the garden is full of rhubarb. This photo shows it half grown for the first harvest of the spring.

FIRST SNOW OF 2022

It started here around 6:00 a.m. and ended before noon. We got around 4 inches here and the wind is blowing it out of the trees and covering what tracks Sadie has made. this morning.
The beauty is hampered only by the wind and cold which is around 29*.
Four inches on the milk house roof and before the wind started blowing it away.
The trees at the top of the mountain are snowless but all of the lower trees on the mountain are covered with ice and snow. It makes a pretty spectacular scene. The flag blowing from the front porch gives some idea of how hard the wind is blowing.

The small birds are trying hard to find food.
The doves have decided to stay off the ground until the small birds knock sunflower seeds out of the feeder.

I made one trip to the duck house and then to the chicken house to take them warm water and feed and it was so hard to walk in the snow! It seemed much deeper than four inches, but my boots are eight inches tall, and the snow didn’t quite make it to the top. The sun is shining bright now so between the wind and the sun I don’t think it will stay with us long. Our weathermen are predicting more by the end of the week.

We lost power for about a minute and it makes me appreciate our utility and highway workers more every day. They’re out there keeping us warm and safe!!

Stay warm my friends!!!

Strawberry Beds

Did I tell you I set up some new strawberry beds? My strawberries produced a lot of berries last summer but decided I needed some more not only for new plants but for the runners of my old plants. They get thick really quick and need to be thinned for bigger berries.

The four tires are my strawberry beds that were doing quite well. We did a bit of rearranging by moving them into a straight line, built covers for the tops to keep the deer from eating the strawberries and added two more tractor tires.
We had to buy new tractor tires this year so the old ones became new strawberry planters. Three became new blueberry boxes. One of our neighboring farms donated a couple extra tires too. It’s really hard to fill those big tires up with enough soil to give a good root system but they also make it easier to water because the water stays confined in the tires.
The first five are all strawberries and the three in the background are new blueberries that actually had fruit the first year we planted.

One of the things we need to make this year is framed tops with screen to go over the top of the tires to keep the deer from eating the bloom and the berries. The tops will sit about six to eight inches from the top of the tire to give the strawberries room to grow up. I will be able to water them through the screen and lift the tops off to pull in unwanted wire grass and other weeds.

The dirt would have been very expensive to fill all of those tires, but we had one of our ponds cleaned out last year and we used that dirt to fill the tires. It set up really bad but with determination and a little hard work we got it all worked up really well and the strawberries love it as do the blueberries. I topped off the blueberries with dead pine needle mulch from our woods and I can’t wait to have enough blueberries to make some more delicious muffins, cobblers and just to eat a handful when they’re ripe.

In the spring I need to do some mulching with straw on the outside of the tires because the weeds get so tall and drop unwanted seed and the beds are too close to get between with a lawn mower.

So now we wait for spring!!!

2021 September, October, November and December

The one biggy that I missed in August was the overhaul/revamp of our bathroom. We have a new shower and the bathroom looks fantastic. It took some time for hubby to get used to it but I love it!!!

Old shower was metal and put in around the 1950’s. It was rusting and that was through three coats of white enamel marine paint.

My doctor moved to another practice and I moved my records to a office in our town that my husband uses. Should have done it years ago!

We harvested peaches and apples and canned them after first making some fritters and pies.
Apples, peaches, pears, rhubarb, we had it all!
We harvested one super and four frames of honey.
One of the hornet nests that was full but European hornets moved in and killed the black hornets. September was an unusual month.

October brought in bow season and hubby gave me a new Tenpoint Crossbow which was awesome. I had the best hunting season ever!!!

8 pointer with my crossbow
Last of the tomatoes were canned.
Pears were canned. These were the first we’ve canned since moving here and they are so sweet and crunchy.
This is the inventory of the canning that we did this year. I canned and froze more venison throughout the hunting season. This year I added a teaspoon of salt, teaspoon of ham seasoning and a teaspoon of onion powder. It’s so good!!

Every year I have to have a mammogram and the last three years I always have to go back for a second and go through a biopsy, but God is watching over me and blessed me with negative results. I think God and country life brings me through with flying colors.

I started making homemade vanilla extract and lemon extract for my own use and some gifts. It’s amazing how much a small bottle of each cost and I think my homemade is better, it sures smells better!!

The bald and golden eagles were with us most of the spring and summer but have now gone to their winter area.

A private buyer came to buy all of our spring calves and the fall calves have all arrived safely. All of the hard work paid off and now we start over. We purchased two new bulls and sold our oldest one because he was getting too big especially for young heifer cows. We kept back eight raised here on the farm and bought eight from a neighbor. These sixteen will make up the losses of old cows over the last three years. They make a pretty herd but I’ve yet to get a photo of them.

Last but not least, I met and passed my Goodreads annual challenge this year, I made time to relax and read!!

2021 READING CHALLENGE

Congrats!You have read 37 books of your goal of 30! 37/30 (123%)

The year is ending and so much has happened across the world but our little piece of heaven treats us well and we try to keep it up as best we can. To all of my followers, family and friends we wish all of you a very blessed and happy new year with good health and happiness!!!

See the source image

2021 June, July, August Catchup

Halfway there to catching up on our year. In May hay season began. I got shingles, ugh!! I canned last year’s leftover potatoes and we use them weekly.

My first rose of the season.
Wild honeybees came to stay for the summer.

Our honeybees died out during the early spring but wild swarms came in this month. The garden and greenhouse kept me busy as did the yardwork. We split the firewood that had been cut for the winter and stacked so the air could blow through it and season it for the winter.

The beginning of the last firewood cut!! It ended up with eight ranks out in the open and the woodhouse 3/4 full!!

July was more of the same, still under quarantine but working as we normally do every day on the farm.

August found me and my younger brother, Dean, heading to North Carolina after our booster shots to visit our oldest brother and his wife, Richard and Linda. Dean got this trip for being brave enough to have his Covid shots, he is petrified of needles. The promise to him was an overnight trip if he took the shots and it worked. He called it his vacation and it was wonderful to see Richard and Linda.

Richard and Dean in North Carolina
Linda, Richard and Dean photo shoot after lunch out at Cracker Barrel.
A treasured visit I’ll not forget!
This black hornet nest was built on the end of our satellite dish arm! It took four nights of heavy spraying to get rid of them. Worst bee year we’ve had in awhile. There three of these built at the same time about 30 feet apart.
Harvest began
Positive time with each other at the pond!!! Our two grandchildren, Declan and Victoria!
Eddie built me four flower boxes for the front porch, and they were lovely filled with flowers all summer and into fall.
Arizona Red
Celosia in my flower boxes
This is Chicken of the Woods formally called Bracket Fungi.
This was our first experience with this foraged food.

Well, I know I’ve missed some things for this update but let’s just say we’ve survived another year of Covid but intend to stay safe until this monster is well under control. Next update and last update for 2021 will be posted tomorrow. Until then, be safe, smile and love one another!!

2021 March, April, May Catchup

I’m trying to catchup with 2021 happenings on the farm throughout the year, so please bear with me.

A few jars of syrup were canned this spring.

Mother Nature had a senior moment this year and the trees would freeze for ten days and run for two days. We finally got enough sap to run off around 30 gallons which was perfect for us. We just didn’t have a lot to share with friends. Maybe 2022 will be better but the weather is looking a little crazy again.

A solar panel was installed by Eddie and Shawn to run a small exhaust fan in the greenhouse.
The fan really helped to exhaust the heat on the really warm days.
A very good friend of my husband’s took him striper fishing and they had a blast!

Striper and catfish were fileted, and the freezer was stocked with great fish!

We had about 20 hummingbirds all summer but our first two showed up on March 20.
These were the first flowers of 2021, just wish they would last all spring and summer.
First plantings in the greenhouse thrived with a little help from a propane heater at night.

March had lots of family birthdays. New ducks from my brother arrived but varmints got them including turtles in the pond. Seeds arrived almost weekly and had spent a lot of time in the greenhouse. We got our first Covid vaccines. Shelving was finished in the greenhouse and it’s perfect, but I kept those shelves full all summer. We got a fair amount of rain in March.

Now on to April, we got our second round of vaccine for Covid and quarantine doesn’t affect us much because we stay home most of the time anyway. We cut firewood, Eddie started checking the farm equipment because hay season is just around the corner. Baby calves are arriving from March through May. I’m in the greenhouse most of the day every day.

The apple orchard is full of so many different types. and they’re full of bloom. I’m really looking forward to the Wolf River and was busy with the Transparent for applesauce. Transparent is the first apple of the season here.
Visitors at the feeders varied but was always busy.
Doves, cardinals, sparrows, titmouse, finches and juncos

May saw the garden plowed and planted with potatoes and onions, broccoli, and cabbage.

Our beautiful granddaughter graduated from Radford College with a Bachelor’s degree in education and is already working on her Master’s Degree.

The last week of May we got three inches of rain and it was really needed. The pastures and hayfields became very green!!!

February 2021 Catch Up

February 2021 found us married for 49 years and still going strong. Our baby girl had her 44th birthday and her big brother still loves her very much!

We had eight days of snow and sleet this month in 2021 and nine days of rain. We sure hope to get that moisture again in 2022 because we are in a drought at the moment.

Some of my seeds for the greenhouse and garden arrived on February 22nd and now I’m ready for warm temps. We got some new lumber for new shelving in the greenhouse and it was a great start for growing.

Crushed egg shells for the garden to get rid of Colorado Potato beetles. It works I promise you!! Just sprinkle in the rows with the fertilizer and drop your potatoes on top of the crushed egg shells. I saved them all year!

February was a slow month and very cold and that kept us hauling in firewood and feeding all the animals extra nutrition.

January 2021

Even with a pandemic our lives didn’t change a lot from any other year. We limited our trips off the farm, had doctor appointment over the phone, kept in touch with family and friends via mail, email and Facebook and at times my blog. I really don’t know who even reads it but I do enjoy keeping up with myself through my blog. If anyone has questions or suggestions for topics related to farming let me know and I will address with the knowledge that I may have.

On the farm in January, we trim fruit trees and we have plenty of them. We prune the grapevines and berry vines. We prepare for maple sugaring by cleaning the spouts, buckets, holding tank, and cooking pans.

Sugar house pans and firepit.

We opened up several roads in the back of the property. Eddie worked on it several days before I was able to help but it made such a big difference cleaning out the trees and brush that had the road covered block our way.

This road was covered with down trees from a windstorm. It took three weeks to complete the entire clearing.

There one chore I have monthly and that’s to clean out the chicken house and nesting boxes. It’s really hard on the back and legs to let it go more than a month when you have 30+ chickens. With only five hens and a rooster at the moment it could wait but I like tidying everything up for my girls and keeping fresh hay or leaves in their nesting boxes. I can’t stand dirty eggs!!!

Clean eggs!

Usually right after deer season and through March you can find us most any day in the woods cutting firewood for the following winter season and we had some help this year from a friend. The woodhouse is “almost” full and there’s a stack we’re using now in the area where we split the wood when we haul it in.

We lost our honeybees during the winter but thankfully a wild swarm came into the hive. They worked hard all through the spring and we got one super and four more frames in the middle of summer. Unfortunately Eddie checked on them a few weeks ago on a warm day and they’re all dead again. I wish the scientists would find out what the problem is so we could build several colonies.

The rest of the month found me inside sewing, reading, and going through seed catalogs. I wore them out going through them every night.

At the end of the month, 30th and 31st, we got a heavy snow!!

What Do You Want To Know About Us?

I’m going to attempt to get you caught up on what happened on the farm during the second year of the pandemic and do it before the end of 2021.

These things may not be in chronological order but will have happened this year! Some stories may not have the correct photo with them but will pertain to that subject.

In hopes of doing a better job in 2022 please let me know what you are interested in and include all aspects of farming and running a home. We live on a 500+ acre farm raising beef cattle and at least half of the farm in timbered.

At the moment we have 65 head of cattle with 50 to calve in March through May. We only have six chickens at the moment with deaths due to old age and varmints. The farm keeps four bulls to sire each group of cows I only have one crippled duck at the moment, and she was crippled when we got her and her name is Daisy. There are three dogs on the farm including Sadie, and two coon hounds, Butch and Mischief.

This is my Daisy! We got her a couple years ago along with five others, but varmints got all but her!!!
Mischief when we first got her, she is now complete gray/white on her face and really showing her age but still loves to hunt. She is Eddie’s training dog and keeps Sadie and Butch on their toes when hunting.

My plan for the coming year is to build a varmint proof fence around the hen house, introduce 10-12 new pullets and raise 10-12 young chicks. The current henhouse is made of concrete block and quite winter proof for the hens.

See the source image

I want to introduce Bourbon Red turkeys which I will raise from chicks. If I raise them myself and spoil them then I shouldn’t have to worry about them leaving the farm with wild turkeys. We will have to build them a safe place from the varmints and night hawks and owls. That will probably be a one day project and I have to do some pondering as to where it will be located. I want to try to keep all of the fowl in one location.

See the source image

Daisy, my crippled duck, is lonely and I think adding 4-6 ducklings to her house will give her company and hopefully she will teach them how to forage. I want to try to keep them close to the duck house, so they’ll leave me beautiful white eggs (for baking) in the duck house, and I won’t have to search for them daily. Once ducks start laying eggs, they’ll lay every day for a year if not traumatized. This will entail a new duck house because the weather is deteriorating the present duck house immensely but should take care of Daisy through the winter.

See the source image

Our dogs, the hounds, have warm igloo houses in the big barn. It shelters them from all weather and is quite cool in the summertime. Their beds are filled with hay in the wintertime for extra warmth. My elkhound is also a hunter and porch dog. She sleeps by my bed every night except in the summer and then she’s on the porch guarding us!!!

She’s grown into a beautiful adult Norwegian Elkhound!!

Enough about the plans for the animals, next post will be the start of the catchup for 2021.

Back In The Running

I’m back up and running with a new Dell computer and advise on making my tablet run better which I took! I have no excuses now not to be writing in this blog and catching up from all the adventures of 2021 before the year ends. Big ideas sometimes come to life and hope this is one of them.

Love to my computer fairy and for her advice with my tablet. Too much junk can slow the thing down. I will be the first to admit I am not computer savvy at all, but I have kids that are and they’re my go to when anything goes wrong.

New posts coming soon, I promise, but first got to make sure I’m prepared for what may some ice on Wednesday. Everyone stay safe and please wear your masks!!

Computer Dying

Just want to let everyone know while I can that my computer is slowly dying. It’s very hard even now to complete a sentence much less a story. I hope to be back in the near future but one never knows! You can all reach me at my email address at ritabcaldwell@gmail.com and I’ll try to pick up your messages on my tablet but it also is very slow. Rural areas have a really hard time communicating when our internet connection is below a 2! Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas to all of you!!!

Love Rita

I Think We’re Done

I can’t get a good photo of the entire cellar so this will do.
This is the inventory of the canning that we did this year.

It’s been a long time since we had a fruit crop of any kind but these beautiful pears topped the list.
We got four canners of venison so far from the two deer I’ve killed. The rest will go in the freezer.
Lots of yellow tomatoes but no juice this year.

Unless I find a great buy on sweet potatoes, I think we’re finished with the canning for 2021! My family should get fat from our produce!!

11 bushel of potatoes
Apples, peaches, pears, rhubarb, we had it all!
Had to brag a little on myself with this 8-pointer I got the first week of bow season!!

Birthday Girl

It’s so hard to believe she is three today. She’s turned into a gorgeous adult dog and quite a hunter.
She’s quite the chipmunk hunter but she only plays with them until they escape!
How could you not love that face!!
At four month’s of age she was just as adorable and our baby!
She always looks like she knows exactly what I’m saying to her!!

She loves to squirrel hunt and has become quite the coon hunter as well!! Happy birthday, Sadie!!

Digging Taters

All eight rows of potatoes have been dug and now in storage. We have 10 bushel for sale and the storage bin in the cellar is loaded!

Beautiful bakers and just right for the your hand too!

And now we deal with all the apples!!

We’ll be making cider in another month!! Fresh apple juice for breakfast and lunch!

!!Always room for a fresh apple pie and a applesauce cake

Goodreads Challenge

I met the 2021 Goodreads Challenge. I set a challenge for myself of 30 books read for the year and I met the challenge four months early!! I love to read!!

As busy as I might be I always find time for a good book and time to play. Goodreads is a great place to find good books and friends that enjoy reading as much as I do.

Southern as a Second Language (Dixie, #3)
This is what I started reading today and can’t wait to really get into it!!

Check out Goodreads and find a great book to read! You won’t be sorry!!

The Cape Coop

Modern homesteading in your backyard

Seasonsgirl

For seasons of life, the changing seasons, and the seasoning we all love to cook with.

Tony Tomeo

Horticulturist, Arborist and Garden Columnist

NavasolaNature

Nature needs Nurture

Jan Made It

Where did you get that?

Our Farmhouse Kitchen Table

Home cooking & homesteading

Life on a Colorado Farm

Life on a Colorado Farm (All Rights Reserved)

Just another Day on the Farm

Living a step back in time

The Lazy Homesteader

The latest dirt from the Schell Urban Homestead

Robby Robin's Journey

Reflections of an inquiring retiree ...

Schoonover Farm Blog

This is the blog for our little farm in Skagit county. Here we have Shetland sheep and Nigerian Dwarf goats. In addition we have donkeys, cattle, pigs, chickens, geese, and peafowl. The blog describes the weekly activities here.

Canadian Acres

Farming in the North

Frog Pond Farm

Julie's garden ramblings ...

chase n chance ranch

PIONEER LIVING THE NEW WORLD WAY

Trapper Creek Daughter

The blog and musings of a farm raised daughter in Northwestern Oregon

%d bloggers like this: