A sad day at the homestead

Today was one of those days that made me feel like maybe I should have just stayed in bed. I felt some sort of illness coming on last night and woke up with a fever, rash and cough. Weird, right? But, the day continued on.

Then, while feeding the chickens, we found out that a raccoon managed to devour 1 chicken and rip the head off of another chicken. There will be no more blue eggs here at the homestead now.

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So many feathers. 😢

Since I don’t like to seem like I’m being negative too much, I’ll end on some positives:

1. At least it was only 2, and not more.

2. The 2 that we killed were my oldest chickens.

3. The following dish cloths that I crocheted up cracked me up because they reminded me of Neapolitan ice cream:

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Strawberry, vanilla and chocolate! 

4. I’m so close to finishing all my personalized towel orders!!

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10 finished last week! 

5. I have been receiving great feedback about my beeswax lip balm! (And was able to get some more made!)

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Lemongrass, orange and peppermint! 

I will miss both of those sweet chickens. The brown girl was the last one from our original 4 “fluff butts” and the Easter Egger was a great find from one of my roller derby friends! Here’s to tomorrow being a better day!

November goals update 2017

November brought the cold temperatures that reminded me that Winter is will be here to stay. It allowed me enough nice days to clean up the garden and chicken coop. So, without waiting, here are how the goals are going:

1. Zero waste our home! We are continuing to enjoy our deliciousness that we canned from the summer and fall including: peaches, apple sauce, tomato sauce and even ketchup! I’m also loving the upcycling that we have been doing here! That’s going to be a focus next year!

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Upcycled license plate money box!

2. Declutter 20 items per month. We need to continue cleaning out the boy’s closet since he’s growing like a weed! I’m sure I will find someone here that could use them!

3. Create only 12 bags of garbage per year. Americans are super wasteful. We are going to try to only produce one 13 gallon kitchen trash bag per month. We are still on bag 6, but it’s basically full.

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Still only 5 bags thrown out! 

4. Merge crafting and homestead business. This month we have been crafting away! We will be having a sale through our Facebook page and I have been working hard on hooded towel orders!

5. Create a summer kitchen. We will be turning a spot in the garage into a nice canning area. This just won’t be happening this year. #comeonmrllewellyn!!

6. Expand the garden. We are definitely working on this! 

We will be putting up a nice fenced in area next year and driving posts for a better appearance. So, I guess that I need to be selling lots of goodies to help offset the costs!

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Putting the garden to sleep

7. Grow some different plants. Luffa gourds were so fun to grow last year, and we are growing more this year! The okra grew great this year. We harvested tons of cucamelons, popcorn, okra and luffa gourds!

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The last of the mushroom harvest 

8. Make a chicken viewing area. Yeah, um, I don’t think we are going to do this! We have some other ideas for 2018!

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Enjoying a warm breakfast

9.Green up my school. Schools create an absurd amount of trash! My class recycled around 150 pounds of plastic film last year. The plastic bag recycling program has started, and we have recycled 88 pounds so far! I also convinced my principal to buy a zero waste glue stick recycling box and we are also recycling our cereal bowls and markers!

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Marker recycling! 

10. Track our solar panels. This month we reached  730 kWh! And our electric bill was less than $6!

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Still loving our solar energy!

11. Continue beekeeping. We are still providing lodging for our flying insect friends! I made them some sugar boards to help keep them fed this winter!

12. Travel more with the family! We managed to visit so many places last year and only a few this year. Next year we will be traveling out west!

How are your goals going?! Have you starting thinking about goals for next year? We are hoping to accomplish just as many goals in 2018! Keep on blooming where you are planted!!💚🌱

Thanksgiving break 2017!

Thanksgiving dinner was provided by my wonderful momma as always. We are beyond blessed to have her make our meal every year. (Especially considering she can’t really eat any of it. She’s a survivor of stage 4 oral cancer and eating is a struggle!) ❤️ Her so much!

Over the break I spent too much time cuddling with this handsome pup:

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He whispers that I’m his favorite human! 

I also spent a ton of time sewing hooded towels and walking over to watch the Mr do his Blacksmithing thing!

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He’s unbelievable to watch! 

I also enjoyed watching that electric meter spin backwards and seeing a nice curve in the solar production:

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This is what a pretty day looks like! 

Today I was able to clean the chicken coop/run, clip the doggie’s nails and make some sugar patties for the bees. I don’t want the bees starving this winter! I’m hoping for a short and warm winter! (It’s just backup food!)

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Sugar patties for my bee friends! 

I’m not huge on traditions and Christmas trees aren’t my favorite, but the boy wanted to put up the tree. So, he did a great job!

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I did help with the nativity scene! 

And I’m pretty excited to say that we have exceeded our goal for pumpkins saved from the landfill! 112 pumpkins have made their way to our tiny homestead! The chickens have been enjoying some and we have been making a nice compost pile in the garden!

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We picked up 15 today! 
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The compost! 

And lastly, in our little town, our students are invited to decorate the business windows with our artwork! I decorated a local store and think it turned out adorable!

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Window artwork! 

So, I’m thinking this was a perfect break! Now, it’s time to work hard until the next break! Keep blooming where you’re planted!

 

Creating the garden cart!!

This summer we set up little produce stands on the front sidewalk.

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Our tiny produce stand

As part of our 2018 goals, we are planning on possibly selling more produce next year! It all started out with the Mr. carving the handles:

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Hand carved! 

Followed by framing it up, repurposing old wheels and cutting and putting the boards on top:

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Already looking adorable! 

Then, he put the spindles on and the frame for the roof:

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Almost finished! 

Then today, he finished it up by putting galvanized sheets on the roof:

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I’m in love with it! 

So, even if I don’t sell a bit of extra produce, we still have this amazing, unique, perfectly husband-crafted cart!

As for the rest of the homestead, it has been soooo cold here! This morning I made our ladies a bowl of warm oatmeal to start the day!

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They loved it! 

And, another sneak peek of the 2018 goals, is redoing a camper trailer! I’m trying to pick out some cute fabric to reupholster the cushions in:

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I’m leaning towards the camping one!

And the save the pumpkins from the landfill project is going well! We are up to 78!!

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3 more pumpkins!!

And now to continue crocheting, relaxing with puppies and attempting to enjoy this cooler season! Keep blooming!

October goals update 2017

How in the world is October over?! I’m already thinking about what I’d like to accomplish next year and I can’t wait to receive the 2018 seed catalog from Baker’s Creek!! Without waiting, here are how the goals are going:

1. Zero waste our home! We have started eating some of the yumminess that we preserved and love the ketchup that we made! I have also started a pumpkin recycling initiative to encourage people to let us feed their pumpkins to our chickens or compost it for them!

2. Declutter 20 items per month. We have been able to get rid of a lot of stuff in the garage! We are planning on moving the exercise equipment in there to have a decent place to keep our health in check!

3. Create only 12 bags of garbage per year. Americans are super wasteful. We are going to try to only produce one 13 gallon kitchen trash bag per month. Bag number 5 left the house this month! We are doing pretty well!

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4. Merge crafting and homestead business. This is definitely happening! We did especially well at selling blacksmithed items!


5. Create a summer kitchen. We will be turning a spot in the garage into a nice canning area. #comeonmrllewellyn!!

6. Expand the garden. We are definitely working on this! We tilled up the area for expansion next year! And we are giving a try at growing some paw paw trees next year too! (The seeds are in the fridge!)

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7. Grow some different plants. Luffa gourds were so fun to grow last year, and we are growing more this year! The okra grew great this year. We harvested tons of cucamelons, popcorn, okra and luffa gourds! Now I’m working on saving seeds for next year! (And we are still getting more mushrooms!)


8. Make a chicken viewing area. Yeah, um, I don’t think we are going to do this! I have some good ideas for 2018!!!
9.Green up my school. Schools create an absurd amount of trash! My class recycled around 150 pounds of plastic film last year. The plastic bag recycling program has started, and we have 42 pounds collected so far. I have been collected lots of k cups to recycle from work. We have also started collecting our cereal bowls for recycling and I signed us up for the Crayola marker recycling program!

Oh, and the letters to our mayor worked! We now have plastic recycling (for #1 containers) here in town!

10. Track our solar panels. This month we reached  1.18 mwh! And our electric bill was less than $6 again! I’m interested to see how this goes with the cold weather coming!

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11. Continue beekeeping. We are still providing lodging for our flying insect friends! They are “busy bees!” And I am hoping for them to overwinter well!

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Entrance reducers are on and they are prepped for the weather! 

12. Travel more with the family! We managed to visit so many places last year and only a few this year. I’m soooo looking forward to our winter project of working on our new-to-us camper! (A big 2018 goal!)

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How are your goals going?! Have you starting thinking about goals for next year? Keep blooming where you are planted!!💚🌱

Best Thursday!!

Today was a normal day in third grade, but here at the homestead, it was pretty terrific!

I have been trying to save as many pumpkins as I can from the landfill! It takes so much time and energy to grow a pumpkin! I put up an event for taking pumpkins on my Facebook page, and I’ve received so many! My goal was 20, and I’m already at 22! So, I guess I better make a higher goal!

I’m beyond excited to have extra treats for the chickens and extra rotting material for my compost!

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Chickens enjoyed this pumpkin! 

We made one of our favorite less meat dishes: vegetable stir fry:

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Our delish dinner! 

Everything was from the garden: zucchini, winecap mushrooms, eggs and onions! Only the rice and carrots were bought from the store!

I was delighted to see that after I used up all the mushrooms that more had popped up!

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More mushrooms! 

And winecaps get pretty big! I decided to let some grow larger to drop spores!

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A big winecap mushrooms! 

I also found a couple of luffa gourds that I put in a different place! So, now we have been able to harvest 22!

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Luffa gourds! 

And the one and only baby chick that was hatched out this summer gave us her first egg. It’s not really brown or white. She’s a cross bred hen, but we love her just the same!

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A first egg! 

And a preview of a secret project for 2018:

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Secret project! 

The Mr is making something pretty amazing for me! (You can guess in the comments if you’d like!) It’s part of next year’s goals, so I’ll share in just a few months! Next post will be an update on our 2017 goals and accomplishments from  October.

A glimpse of the garden 10/13/17

Although we have been running ourselves ragged with craft show prepping and creating,

we have also had time to spend in the garden! I harvested my first luffa! They are a good bit behind this year, but I’ll take any free scrubbers!

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Luffa! 

A few of our chickens are molting, but we are still getting some eggs!

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Yay! Eggs! 

Last weekend I found our Crimson clover seeds that I misplaced, so I put them out in the bald spots on the 2018 garden expansion area!

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Clover seedlings!

The nasturtiums are still blooming and are beautiful!

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Nasturtiums 

Since we have had some warmer-than-normal weather, the peppers are still doing their thing!

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Jalapeño peppers 

I’m hoping for a great weekend and I really hope to make some good connections and spread the zero waste movement! Have a wonderful weekend!!