Thursday, December 29, 2011

Another One Bites the Dust

Wow....December 29th....another year coming to a close.  Hard to believe it has been a whole year since I began this homesteading journey in earnest.  In ways I feel I have accomplished so much...others, not so much.  I am thrilled to be doing my crafts again.  That is something I have truly missed in the last 10 years.  And I find that I am working on more challenging patterns now, instead of being afraid of not doing it right - which is something I have battled all my life.  If I think I will mess it up, I just won't try it...or I will try it "in secret", with no one knowing, so if I do mess up, no one will know :-) 

So, in the past year, this is what I have accomplished:
  • Knitting and crocheting again
  • Making butter - we never buy it at the grocery store anymore!
  • Learned to make bread - I started baking some again yesterday - I really missed the way the house smells when I didn't bake it all summer
  • Produced more vegetables in the garden this year than last - still not enough to put up for the winter, but we are making more progress each year
  • Grew fruit - our blueberry bushes are small, but did put out a decent harvest to have in yogurt for breakfast for about 2 months - I would like to plant a couple more bushes next year
  • Got chickens - fresh eggs are definitely the way to go!  We have had 2 "no egg" days in the past two weeks...not bad considering we only have four girls and we have been getting 1-2 eggs every day even with the shorter days (we are not using supplemental light in the coop; I figure Mother Nature has a reason for the winter slow down)
  • Cooking more from scratch - not buying so much of the prepared foods.  It really does make a difference and doesn't take that much longer to make
What I would like to accomplish next year:
  • Would like to get a couple more pullets - we really love the "home grown" eggs!
  • Learn to make yogurt - I love yogurt, especially blueberry - so if I learn to make my own, and add my home grown blueberries to it, that would be cool!
  • Grow enough in the vegetable garden to be able to try canning
  • Learn to make cheese - not sure how much "extra" time I will have, with the full time job, dogs, cats, chickens, etc.. but it is something I would like to try
  • Possibly raise some meat chickens and learn to process them - the thought of raising home grown chicken appeals to me - but the processing scares me!!
I think we are making good progress on learning to be more self-sufficient.  It is a lot of work, but very gratifying.  Now, I am not a doomsday type of person, but I am uncomfortable with the direction the world seems to be going...on any given day, the news headlines are chock full of murders, bombings, child abductions, etc.  So much so, that I usually try to avoid looking.  I rarely watch the news anymore, it is just so darn depressing.  Anyhow, I believe there will come a time when something will happen, and those who don't know how to provide for themselves, or don't have the grit to just do it, will not make it.  I just hope there is enough time before that happens for me to learn more.

I hope everyone has had a great year and I look forward to learning much more from all of you next year!

Monday, December 12, 2011


Where have I been?  Well, let's see...another week of December has slipped through my fingers.  On top of both of us working full-time jobs, we have been working outside - gathering deadfall, cutting up downed trees, splitting wood...and I have been busy trying to finish up making Christmas gifts so I can get them shipped out.  As I say every year, if it doesn't make it there by the 25th, then consider them Happy New Year gifts LOL!!  I will post pictures of what I made for everyone after the 25th - don't want to spoil the surprise in case they are reading :-)

My posts will probably be few and far between until I begin my vacation on 12/22...I hope everyone is doing fabulously and I will check in as I am able.  Stay warm!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Whiny Wednesday

  • Rainy and sloppy all day today
  • Dolly is NOT happy
  • After all the rain today, the overnight temp is going to be 29F....yep....below freezing...
  • I have to commute to the big city tomorrow....yep....on ice....oughta be a hoot
  • Whine away!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tidbit Tuesday

  • One week of December is already gone - poof!
  • I am LOVING Carla Emery's book!!
  • 65F
  • They are logging the property to the north of us...and now we can see the trees falling as they approach our property line....sad.
  • Less than 3 weeks until Christmas - what??
  • We put up our tree far we have the lights and garland on it....It looks so pretty like that, I may not put ornaments on it this year LOL
  • Hope everyone had a super day!

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Holy Grail

For my birthday, my husband asked what I wanted.  I told him about a book I really wanted.  It was not one I had checked out of the library...but wanted to read badly.  Everywhere I go to look for information on homesteading, this one book kept popping is supposed to be the bible for homesteading.  The Holy Grail of information, if you will.  So, he told me to order it - and I did.

I am now the proud owner of "The Encyclopedia of Country Living" by Carla Emery.  Do I hear angels singing!?  I am in heaven...or what I think is heaven as I am not an overly-religious person.  This book is HUGE!  It is the 10th edition, 35th anniversary copy.  I have started reading it, but it will take me a l-o-n-g time to finish it.  I hope to be able to review it by 2013!!  There is soooooo much information in it, I think it will start leaking from my ears soon.  It is been updated to include websites, etc. Every list of books and/or other places to find information that I encounter, I get sidetracked for hours looking to see if I can get those from our library or perusing the websites and getting lost in all of THAT additional information.  But I am so excited!!  I have already learned so much in the year since I began my foray into homesteading.  And there is still so much more to learn.

Have any of you read this book or own a copy?  What are your thoughts?