Friday, December 30, 2011

And So This is Christmas, and What Have You Done?

Another year over, a new one just begun.
Ah, John Lennon.  Wise man.  It may not be Christmas, per say, but I was just looking over some other homesteaders' posts about the year that's just now ending.  Wow, people were busy.  It has inspired me to look back at our year as well. 
Before that new year does begin, let's jump in our time machine and see what this year brought...

January and February

--It snowed and snowed and snowed.  There was not much I could do, so I dug a pond.  It took a long time, between snows and frozen ground.  I worked when the ground was wet or thawed-ish.  The pond was finally finished, after I bought some hip-waders to work on it, as it had gotten too deep to stand in.  I am happy to say that the pond is still going strong, and the ducks and geese love it.  It seems it dries out a bit when it gets dry in the summer, but there's nothing I can do about that.  Luckily, that doesn't seem to last long here.  The pond was a good addition!
--The ducks arrived!  Cute little bundles of fluff!
--We lost a chicken.
--I started seeds way too early.


--The arrival of Robert A.  He lives outside now, with two other friends, Bunnicula (who we thought was originally a girl and named Petunia) and Petunia (who actually is a girl).  They have their own houses and, I'm happy to say, are fairly happy.  As happy as bunnies can be, I guess.  I think Robert A. may have some mental issues, but there's no way to tell.  Possibly some therapy is in his future?

--The ducks were teaching me that I should never try to rear ducks in the winter.  Leg problems, back problems, you name it, abounded--all in the name of not enough sunshine and running space.  Lesson learned.

--The end of the month also brought geese!  And Charles the duck, who still thinks he's a goose
--I built a goose house for the geese.
--Ginger sat on some eggs.

--I made a long, long list of things that needed doing.  Then I did them.  And it took a long, long time.
--The brooder got full.
--The chicks arrived, and it got even more full.
--Ginger sat on her eggs some more.

--I sewed a  couple of aprons, because it rained a bit and I had nothing else to do.
--Ginger continued to sit on her eggs, until I finally determined that there was nothing doing.  So I took the eggs away (and yes, I felt bad).
--The bees arrived and were installed.

--The sod on the garden had been broken and the garden was planted.  That's a job I wasn't sorry to see the tail end of, I can tell you that. 
--I registered the farm as a business, something I had wanted to do for a while.
--I brought home Dave and Ellie, much to my husband's chagrin, but he's a softie and fell in love pretty easily.  :)
--Our ducks were massacred by a mink or weasel or something like that.  Susie turned out to be the only survivor.  She still is with us, one eye lighter, but a fireball nonetheless.
--I took a chicken processing workshop and learned that yes, I can do it.  This was a big deal for me.
--I took up the fiddle.
--The Guinea keets arrived, and most of them promptly died (by running off and being eaten).  We now have one, and that's plenty.
--The second batch of ducks arrived.  This group did much better.
--We built a chicken coop-a big one.  And I built another rabbit hutch, for Petunia

--Fat Black got broody, so I put some eggs under her and let her set.  She hatched out 5 and killed one.  She turned out to be a bad mommy.  Luckily, 4 survived
--I finished the rabbit hutch for Petunia and painted the chicken coop.  I also built nest boxes in the coop. 
--Susie started to lay.

--An accident in the yard turned into a chicken with a broken leg.  She was patched up pretty well, for me not knowing what I'm doing, and I'm happy to say that to this day the only way I can see that she ever had a broken leg is to see that she occasionally steps on her own feet.  However, all the treatment and living room love she got turned her quite personable and she talks to me every time I go outside.
--There was a potato crop failure.
--I built a house for the kittens, which they never used and was later re-purposed to house Ginger instead. 
--The garden started to produce at last.
--Oliver and Caroline went off to a new home.

--Hurricane Irene had come and gone, and rearranged our stream for us.
--Baking Day was instituted.  I'm happy to say this is still going strong.
--We got a small honey harvest.

--Canning, though I'd been doing that all along.  October was a big month for it.
--I found out I'm allergic to bee stings.
--The chickens were put to work on the garden, which was ready for bed.

--I made vinegar.  And then some more vinegar.  And I keep it in the bathroom.
--The oldest chickens molted.  Feathers were everywhere.

--All the damn bees died.  Or were abducted by aliens.  Or abandoned ship.  Either way, they're gone.  This STILL sucks.
--I conquered sourdough bread.  Woo hoo!

--The pantry is being constructed!

--Beethoven sang!  One roo and 3 hens from Fat Black's brood, which is just perfect.  They are all Ameraucanas.
--Wood stove.   Truly the best thing ever.  It's become a part of our lives so easily and we already rely on it.  It is a joy.
--Seed tallies were made.  Orders were placed.  I'm getting ready for next year!

Ok, we were busy too!  Now to look into what I'd like to accomplish next year.  That's going to take some thinking.

Enjoy the last Friday of 2011!
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  1. I'm exhausted just reading about your year! Congrats on all the growth and change and accomplishments! Happy 2012!!!

  2. Sounds like you've had a very successful and full year! There's some posts there that I think I've missed and will need to go back and read...particularly that pond building one! Happy New Year!

  3. You dug a pond?!?!?!! I am sooo impressed! What a great post. I realized too, that not only do these year in review posts serve as an index to other great posts, but it gives new readers a chance to get to know you better. Thanks for jumping on the bandwagon!


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