Wednesday, January 26, 2011

All is Quiet on the NC Front

Things have been relatively quiet on the homestead.  We dodged a bullet this week - originally they were predicting MORE snow (we have had enough this year, thank you very much) - but only got rain.  Good thing too - as much rain as we received, it would have been a LOT of snowfall had the temperatures been low enough.

Last weekend, we had to have some wood delivered.  It has been so cold this winter, we went through what little we had.  We will be better prepared next year - we just installed the wood stove at the end of December.  With all the trees on our acreage, we have quite a bit of deadfall that just needs to be hauled out, cut up, split and stacked.  Fun stuff!

Friday, January 21, 2011

To Quip or Not to Quip...

As I sit here and try to come up with some quippy (is that a word), funny post, I must admit I have nothing.  I have just finished catching up on what is going on over at Cold Antler Farm and the other blogs I am following (see right sidebar), and I marvel at how well each of these women write!  They suck me right in and keep me riveted until the end - and then leave me wanting more!  My goal is to be just like them "when I grow up"!

Instead, I am sitting in my computer room, working away (snicker) and looking out the window to my backyard.  The weather is turning again, we went from a high on Wednesday of 56 degrees to a forecasted high of 37 degrees today - boo hoo!  However, it is days like this, when the weather goes bad, that my wild bird feeders a buzz of activity.  The juncos and mourning doves are out in full force; as well as the tufted titmice, chickadees, nuthatches and even a red-bellied woodpecker (which I never understood the name as their heads are red, not their bellies)...and the ever-present squirrel who keeps eyeing up the peanut butter suet hanging way over his head on a shepherd's hook.  You can almost see the wheels turning in his head as he tries to find a way to get to it.  He can just smell the peanut butter!!  Maybe today will be his day - you know, every dog has his....oh wait, I was talking about squirrels :-)

I hope you have a great day and get a chance to see nature at work in your own backyard!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Little Background, Please

I met my husband in 2005, after being a single mom for 13 years.  It was love at first sight for him - I was more sensible and had to give it time before I made that decision :-)  We got married 13 months after our first date.

I work for a large bank and my boss lets me work from home 3 days a week.  The other 2 days, I have a 140 mile commute, one-way, to work.  So I spend about 5 hours in the car each day.  It is getting old, after 2-1/2 years, but we are not ready for me to quit my "day job" just yet.

My husband works for a heavy equipment rental company.  This has come in handy more than once as we tried to set up our homestead.  He has access to earth moving equipment (bulldozers, excavators, road compactors, etc.).  Here he is fixing our driveway that always disappeared after the winter rains/snows:

I am happy to say, it has held up very well this winter - and we have had a lot of snow!

Mika & Sasha playing in the first snowfall in early December
We have had 3 more major snowfalls since for a total of about 20 inches so far this winter.  Now this may not sound like much to you, but when you are living south of the Virginia border, it is A LOT!  There has been snow on the ground, in one form or another, every day since the beginning of December.  Our normal temps this time of year are in the 40's for the high, mid-20's for the low.  We have been running about 10 degrees below normal all winter.  I am sooooo ready for spring!!

Today we will get a small taste of it - high of 52!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Good reading

This weekend I read my two new books - Made From Scratch and Chick Days, both by Jenna Woginrich.  I stumbled upon Jenna's blog over the holidays and it has inspired me to pursue homesteading...not as in completely off-the-grid homesteading, but making changes where I can to live a more rewarding life.  Now that we are out in the country, it seems like a natural lifestyle shift.

I read both books in two days and had a blast doing it.  Jenna has a unique writing style that makes you feel like you are there with her as she experiences making the shift to homesteading.  She shares her triumphs and errors (a lot of "how to" books do not share the down sides).  And she peppers it with funny anecdotes that just make you laugh out loud.  I recommend both if you are thinking about making this lifestyle change.  She does not go into depth on any one topic in Made From Scratch - instead she gives snippets of things she has done that you can do too.  Chick Days is very detailed as she explains how to raise chickens from Day 1 through the egg-laying stage.  The photographs are beautiful and the information is detailed.  I cannot wait to get some chickens!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Blogging...let's give it a whirl!

Over the holidays, I stumbled upon some blogs that I found very interesting, insightful and downright funny.  My husband and I moved to the country in 2008 - we purchased 10 acres in north central NC and are in the process of making it our home.  When we purchased the property, it was a blank slate...well, not really "blank"...

The "driveway"....all 600 ft of it!
The yard
As you can see, we had our work cut out for us.  So, we cleared the acre or so we needed, had a well drilled, a septic system installed and plopped a mobile home on it (I must confess, we got a new one) and we live here with our 2 dogs and 3 cats.  Yes - we are animal lovers :-)

My blog reading came about when I was looking for information on homesteading and living in the country in general.  I wanted to see how others were doing it, and the challenges they have faced and how they got through them.  It does seem like everything out here is a challenge!  But we are making progress and I hope this blog will help others, like I was helped.  Enjoy!