baby it's cold outside

We decided that today we will make a morning of it and leave the homestead.  We had left early enough that the sun was making the sky a pretty color as we were leaving our place

Jan8

We have been having some negative temps here in Southwest Wisconsin, and it will continue for the next few days.  I believe our lowest one morning was -14°.  I know it's probably colder in other parts of the country, but it's a bit too cold to be working outside on the cow barn.  So we went for a drive to a cute café we have not tried before and had breakfast, we will definitely go back again.  . 

I know that the café looks like it might not have the best food, but I'm here to tell you the breakfast was awesome.

Auntozies

It felt good to get out for a bit, cabin fever was starting to set in.  We ended up at our Amish friends for a cup of coffee and great conversation and good laughs.

It was a perfect way to spend a Saturday morning.

 


december skies

Decsky

Morning sky

One thing about the winter months we will get some amazing sunsets and sunrises.  These two happen to be a morning sky in December.  One looking out over towards our neighbor's place and the other is 2 days later taken while doing chores.  I have slacked in the blogging department the past couple of years.  This year I plan to start blogging again but definitely not every day, I'm sure.  I still take tons of photos and had every intention to blog about the photo, but I just didn't quite seem to do it.  This year I do, and that's where my word for the year comes in, balance.

I can't believe that this year I have had a blog for 15 years.  I never imagined that I would still be keeping this blog up and running for that long.  I've changed it up here somewhat as I have done over the years. 

So, here's hoping I can balance blogging and life here on our homestead.

 


balance

Eggbasket

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

Books

Kombucha

Kombuchaferment

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.


amish country

Amish1

Amish2

Amish3

Amish4

Amish5

Amish6

Eagle1

Eagle2

We finally got snow but not on Christmas like I like.  Our UTV had to go into the shop to have work done on it.  We use that UTV for sugaring and really can't be without it.  We drove through Amish country on our way home.  It was very quiet on the roads didn't pass too many cars or buggies along the way.  School was in session for the scholars at the many schools we passed, and some were outside for lunch and recess as it was in the noon hour when we went by.

We also saw quite a few eagles flying around and luckily, I was able to capture a drive-by photo of one and another sitting in a tree nearby.  If you look closely, you can see the one in flight, it had been in the middle of the road eating on something and took flight as we got closer.

I hope you all have a wonderful New Year in 2022.


edie

Garlicsalve

Good afternoon, it's been a busy week here. 

On Monday, I did laundry and made garlic salve

I remember when I was a young girl and my dad wasn't feeling well, an older women Edie in our church told him that she has something that would help him and that was garlic.  I'm not sure how the garlic was used at the time, but my dad wasn't interested but thinking back I wish he had taken her up on her offer of help. 

I believe Edie did things naturally.  I remember seeing alfalfa drying in her home that she used to make tea with.  My cousin and I would ride our bikes over to her apartment to visit from time to time and walking into her small apartment you could smell that distinct smell of garlic.  Edie was my cousins grandmother and spoke her mind which I never minded as a young girl, my cousin and I would enjoy our short visits.  Though she wasn't my grandmother I would sometimes think of her as my grandmother too. 

I wish that my cousin and I could sit and visit with her again as adults.  Edie had passed away many years ago and I do think of her often, especially when I get a whiff of garlic I think of her. 

I would love to turn the clock back just for one more visit.


the weeks-end

Farmall b&w

Outside doing chores the other night the sky just looked so neat above the Farmall M that Jim has.  I absolutely love this tractor. 

Friday night we had no plans to do anything but hang around the homestead doing things that have been neglected some.  Am I complaining? Nope, it's all good.  Making meatballs and a broccoli cheese casserole for supper, yum!  I especially love leftovers the next day for lunch.  I've finally learned how to make meals and not have enough to feed an army

Pigs

The pigs are only with us a few more days and then we'll be butchering them.  It seems like we've had them forever.  I will say it'll be sad not to see them around the homestead here anymore.

I've been trying to do some knitting and that has been going so slowly and heading to the sewing room has not been happening lately either.  I chalk it up to the short days we have now.  How about you, does the shorter days bother you too?


his name is dee-jay

Another month has passed and so much has been happening here on the homestead.  We lost one of the 3 pigs we are raising for meat, she developed pneumonia and we had to put her down.  We could have tried giving her shots but there was no guarantee that she would survive, plus we would not have been able to butcher her for a minimum of 30 days.  We got 3 on the chance of losing one, and even though she was going to be butchered it was still hard to put her down.  I will admit that I cried, she was a sick girl and it was hard to see her so sick like that, so I cried and when I was all done I pulled myself up and told myself it was okay to cry because as we don't want to lose any livestock like that I realize they are here to be butchered and fill our freezer.  So no attachment girlfriend.

When our Amish friends mentioned that they have this Devon/Jersey calf that was a bull but is now a steer and that they really don't want to sell him but just don't have the room to raise him until he's ready to be butchered as they had twins born this past spring, and would we be willing to raise him on our land and split the beef.  We of course said yes, so the day after thanksgiving Jim went and picked him up.  Once our fencing is done around the pasture he’ll be able to roam a bit more, right now he’s kept in a smaller area to help him feel more secure while getting used to his new surroundings.

DJ2

DJ1
We definitely did not plan on getting any sort of cow, milk or beef at this time.  Our plans were to get a milk cow this spring and raise a calf with it but the opportunity came for us to jump right in we just couldn’t pass it up.  He’s such a good guy and so far things are going well with him. 


hello fall

Sunset1

Sugarpies

Newhome

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


sunflowers, bees and butterflies...oh my

We planted a row of sunflowers along side our corn and they are starting to open up.  I couldn't decide if I like the sunflower in color or B&W, so I posted both. 

Sunflower1

B&w2

The bees and butterflies are busy on my Joe Pye Weed.  It's fun to watch these guys so busy doing what bees and butterflies do.

Bee

Butterfly

Our cow barn or milking barn is starting to come along nicely, I will do a post on that as we make more progress. 

Our hot spell has broken and I have to say the weather has been very nice the past couple of days.