7 posts categorized "ChitChat on the Porch"



New hat
I really can't believe that 2021 has come and gone.  We've had a lot of changes here on the homestead in the past two years.  We added chickens and more chickens, we raised and butchered pigs, we are now raising a steer for meat and come spring we should be milking a cow, preferably a Jersey.

Our egg supply is starting to build up again, we have 15 layers, 5 hens and 10 pullets who have really started laying.  We've also acquired 5 bantam hens who have not started laying yet and a bantam rooster that we named Barney and thinks he's a really big man but he's not :)

I'm trying to balance homesteading with my hobbies such as knitting and quilting and for the past year or more I haven't done a very good job fitting knitting and quilting in.  So, this year I am really going to make a strong effort to take the time and knit or get in my sewing room.  With that said I'm starting off good, so far at least (LOL).  I have cleaned my much-needed sewing room, it has been neglected for far too long.  I have also pulled out the knitting needles and made myself a winter hat from the pattern I absolutely love from SouleMama.  It's such an easy pattern and I love how it fits.

So far 2022 is starting off good.  Last year I picked a word for the year and that was FOCUS, for the most part I was able to focus on things better than I have had in the past.  I had been picking my brain for a word this year, the word "focus" still pops up in my head and that's good because I believe I can still have focus in my life.  The word I have actually decided on is "balance".  I need to start balancing things in my life better, so that's the word I am going with...BALANCE.

So, here's to a wonderful 2022 and I am focused on balancing things in my life from this day forward.


a year for firsts




Happy New Year!  I hope you all had a wonderful safe and happy New Year as well as a wonderful Christmas.  We had a blessed Christmas here and a very quiet New Year.  I guess we are getting "older" as we just can't seem to stay up to welcome in the new year like we used to.

We are in the process of building a barn to house our future milk cow and after some scrambling to finish part of the barn a stall that was originally in the plans is right now housing our steer.  Jim worked very hard to get that ready for the steer especially when winter was fast approaching at the time it was all going down.  So, in preparation for the milk we will be getting from our future milk cow I am reading all I can about making cheese and butter, I just can't wait for that to happen.  In the meantime, I am making kombucha from a Scoby that I received from our Amish friends, it's all bottled up and fermenting for the second time and a new batch is also fermenting as well.

I also am going to get into fermenting food, there are so many health benefits from fermented foods and not just from sauerkraut.  As I do like sauerkraut, I would like to ferment other foods. 

This year 2022 will be the year for many firsts and I am looking forward to all the firsts that will be happing around here.

hello fall




Lilacinsept (2)

Lilacinsept2 (2)

Oh my goodness, I love this time of year.  The sunsets are just gorgeous.  I took this photo on my way back from the mailbox one early evening as the sun was going down.

Harvest time is here as well and my New England Sugar pie pumpkins did great.  I traded some pie pumpkins for some carrots, we didn't grow any carrots as time just got away from us.   Our lilac bush we noticed this summer seemed very stressed, well it had died and so Jim cut it down but we noticed that it had blooms on it, other than the few blooms the bush was dead

The kittens are doing well, they are starting to do what barn kittens/cats are supposed to do, catch mice.

Finally the days are getting a bit cooler as well as the nights, wonderful sleeping temps.  Such a busy beautiful time of year

back deck chit chat


I know, there is a bite out of the cookie :)  I just couldn't resist taking a bite before I took the photo.   I didn't bake, we bought some bakery over in Iowa from an Amish bakery the other day when we went to do some shopping.  We have been having some really beautiful weather here in Southwest Wisconsin and any chance we get we will take our coffee outside on either our front or back deck.

It seems like it's slowing down some here now that the gardens are doing good.  It's like a lull in the storm, because I know it will get pure crazy when it comes harvest time.  I am slowly taking from our garden, onions, some peppers and lettuce so far.

We've had a heck of a time growing corn this year.  With the drought the birds hammered on the tender corn that were just starting to sprout up out of the ground.  But, we did manage to get some to grow, we even replanted a couple of times.  I think we have enough though for what we are wanting it for.


My sunflowers are coming along, we did plant them just a tad later than we probably should have, they are planted along side the corn.


The incubated eggs are still incubating.  The nineteenth I will lock the incubator down and hopefully about 3 days later we'll hear chicks peeping in their shells and then trying to peck their way out.  I've got a few things more to do to get ready for them, but I've still got just over a week and we'll see what we have. 

Some other exciting news on our homestead/farm here is that we are doing work in preparation in getting a milk cow, more fencing is going to be put up, and a cow barn is in the planning stages.  A lot of good things happening around here.

I hope all is well with you, take care.

hunkering down






How are you all doing? Sugaring is in full force up here on the ridge in Southwest Wisconsin, we are also now hunkering down now that the Coronavirus has made it's appearance here in the United States.  We are well stocked here and just planning to stay put for awhile.  Nope we didn't go crazy with the toilet paper, we are good on that. 

You could almost say this was mud season as well as sugaring season (LOL) but last night we got some snow after most if not all of our snow had melted, not sure if we can call it a sugar snow.  We have gotten some really good syrup so far though and we are quite happy about that.

St Patrick's day came and since the bars and restaurants in Wisconsin are closed and only doing take out (by the way we don't have too many restaurants to choose from near us anyway) so I decided to make corned beef and cabbage at home instead of not doing it.

I hope you all are staying home and healthy.  It seems our lives for what we once knew may be forever changed.

spring is in the air

It's a few days into March already and spring seems like it's just around the corner.  I'm sure though we'll be getting another snowstorm at some point before winter decides to make it's departure here in Southwest Wisconsin.


Are you a tea drinker? I only started drinking coffee about 15+ years ago and did not drink tea, that is until I had a cup over at a friends cabin in upper Wisconsin, and I have been hooked. I'm not a fan of just straight black tea or green tea.  I love the one that we've been drinking in the evening. It is a bit more spendy but seeing that we only drink one cup in the evening I figure I deserve that pleasure.



Oh my goodness, I am totally in love with the whole sourdough baking process.  I have finally started to master sourdough baking.  I don't use any commercial flour in my bread recipe, we grind our own flour, which has actually taken me a while to figure out.  The bread I made the other day I used half fresh ground rye and half fresh ground wheat, with the sourdough starter.  Both breads turned out absolutely beautiful and delicious.


Sugaring season is upon us and it's going to be the first time without our Sadie running around the sugar bush, or trying to drink up the sap that is running over the side before it hits the ground as Jim is pouring it into the tank we use to gather the sap.  Sadie loved this time of year as well as the snow, she was a good companion out in the bush.  Especially like tonight when the sun is going down, and darkness has crept up on us, and hearing the coyotes in the distance, I definitely feel the void with her gone.  We sure do miss our Sadie girl.  Despite missing Sadie it feels really good to be sugaring again.  It feels so good to smell the air after being cooped up in the house during the cold winter days that sometimes prevented us from venturing outdoors, at least preventing me from getting outside as much as I'd have liked to.

the home fire is burning

When we woke up this morning the temps were hovering around 0°.  I had to go to the big city today for a dental appointment, well Madison isn't quite the big city compared to some cities, but coming from a small town it is big to me.  On the way I noticed that the temp was 17° and I don't believe that it got any higher than that. 

I don't show my home very much but since I'm feeling rather comfortable sitting in my easy chair trying to do a post with the lights low and my string lights on, I thought I'd take a couple photos of my kitchen and dining area of our log home.  I absolutely love our log home it's very simple and yes I am a collector of things.  I don't have a dish washer and when we remodel our kitchen, which we plan to someday I don't believe I'll have one put in.  I have to think on that one.  I really don't mind at all washing dishes by hand, in fact I will gaze out the window to see what is going on outside or I'll do some thinking.  Especially doing the breakfast dishes, I'll think about what I plan to do that day, what needs to get done around the house, or whatever else pops in my mind.


Once the winter temps have really settled into stay, our wood stove stays lit.  But I will admit when warmer months come I am ready for the wood boxes to be put away for the season, I'm definitely ready for warmer weather then. 

I don't believe I posted about the blue hoosier cabinet that Jim made for me that is in the photo below.  I was looking and looking in antique shops for one but could never find exactly what I wanted.  So Jim decided to make me one and it is custom made for exactly what I wanted it for.  He also made it so that we could put our grain mill on it, so we have it permanently set up to grind flour whenever we need it.

Dining area

I haven't really done a whole lot of Christmas decorating yet, or done any Christmas baking.  I am for sure going to make my Grandma M's Finnish prune tarts and my mom's Christmas butter cookies.  I still have time to do both decorating and baking.

Our life here is simple and we like it that way.