Sunday, December 30, 2012

And So This is Christmas, And What Have You Done?... 2!

Another year over, a new one just begun.

Or so it is about to.

I really enjoyed looking back earlier this year at what I had done last year, so I thought I would do it again.  I haven't seen too many people's posts about looking back, but I think it's important to do it, to get a feel for what was accomplished, so we can keep moving forward.  So, let's jump into our time machine and take a trip to the way back!


After yet another dog attack, I bought a gun.  A pellet gun.  Yeah, I know, doesn't count really.  But I now have a way to defend the defenseless.  I probably should practice more, though.

I got worms.  You know, the red wiggly kind.  Composters.  They didn't last, though.  The inside thing did not work for them and they pretty much died off.  I put the remaining few outside in the rabbit poo pile.  I know those guys were happier, so that's the key.  I am rethinking how to do the whole worm thing, but I think it's going to wait until the greenhouse is built.

I made the first batch of soap.  And I love it. 

The chicken girls all got saddled up.  They looked so glamorous!!!


Tree tapping began!  I really enjoyed this, with the exception of how much fuel it cost to make the syrup, and the failure of the fire method.  That was disappointing.  I really like the harvest and the process, though, and the result was wonderful.  We didn't make nearly enough last year, so this year I bought more spiles (from EBay--awesome), and we've been saving empty milk gallons like mad for months.  We have another way to boil the sap down, so that may help a bit.  Stay tuned for this, as it's a project that will be expanded this year. 

I refined my seed system, and yes, it worked.  I'll be using it again this year.

I built a chicken shaped mailbox, which the garbagemen hit last week.  Stupid garbagemen.  She's to be repaired when the weather warms up.  She's still awesome, though.

Ferdi went to his new home and peace has reigned in the gaggle since then.


I went and met my goatie-girls for the first time, and fell head over heels in love.  They were not to come home until April, but that was it for me.  Love at first sight.

We hatched a "trial chick" in the kitchen, in preparation for the classroom chicks experiment to follow.

Our very first batch of meatbirds arrived.

The chick hatching project for the kids in my daughter's 4th grade class started.  It went very well, and I think I inspired a whole bunch of kids to own chickens.  (Sorry moms and dads.)  The chicks hatched later in the month.  Yes, they still live here.  The kids always ask, and yes, the chickens are all fine and live here quite happily.

Ginger sat on some eggs.  Again.


I did my favorite thing, and built something.  A box.  On stilts.  For meatbirds.  Which is blue.  I LOVE building.  And that's all I'm going to say about that.

Ellie finally gave birth!  And on the same day, the goat girls came home!  And Ginger's babies hatched!  And there were ducks!  Oh, we were hopping, alright.  I love spring.

Dulcinea came home and joined Lilly and Minerva.  She's my sweet little potato-pie.  She's so little in these pictures, I had forgotten how small she was!  She had such a rough transition to living here, but she's doing well now, obviously.  They are resilient, those goaty-girls.

Maybelle turned out to be a terrible mama, unlike Ginger, who is a fantastic one. 


We said goodbye to the meatbirds, and hello to dinners instead. 

We said goodbye to Peter, who was just too mean to stay here.  It was still hard to do, even though it needed to be done.  Unfortunately, he had to go, as he kept attacking everyone. 

We built a goat house, which is a beautiful building. 

Dulcinea got extremely sick and had to go to the vet and get fluids and other horrible things done to her.  She cost us a bundle, but I know she's my girl (well, one of) and I love her too much to let her suffer.  Dang goats.

The kittehs got very big and stripey. 

The garden, which is extremely important even though I never mention it, got planted.  I then cheered it on so it would grow.


Thor learned to use the computer, and became an indoor cat instead of the outdoor cat he was supposed to be. No one is upset about this, least of all, Thor.  He's a mushy potatoman.  We LOVE him. 

The turkeys were here, and they were funny.  At that time.  They got less funny as they got older.

I got a good hang of the whole soap making thing.  Yes, I do like to do it. 

The duck house was replaced, as the old one was completely falling down.  I do love to build.  :P

The garden was exploding!


The goat house got some paint and snazziness.  It's bee-yootiful!

I took a look back at what we've done in the two years since we got here, as it was our two-year anniversary.

The second batch of meatbirds was getting ready to be "harvested".  I know, it's a terrible way to say it, but truth is truth.  I was much happier with this batch, as they were far more active than the last.  I know where to get my meatbirds from now on.

The food in the garden started to be harvested.  That was exciting!

Too many dang ducks!!


More soap.  Lots of soap.  And plenty of canning to boot.

Ducks in diapers in the house.  Thor was not a happy camper.

Tomatoes everywhere, and I discovered the magic number of plants for tomato happiness.  And the potatoes were harvested, and it was pretty good--much better than last year's for DARN sure.

Bunnies arrived.  The really wooly kind.  It began with Ygraine and PJB--Phillip Johnny Bob (and I got a kick out of that picture of him on that post, let me tell you.  Is there anyone sexier than that bunny?  I think not).  And of course, Bella, who is now my friend after much hard work.  I wasn't really ready for fiber animals, but was it a good decision to bring them on?  Yes, it really was.  They are wonderful and I just love them (and their wool). 


Garden.  Kaboom!!!  Oh, it felt good.  Very, very good.

We did the Harvest Festival in town.


I gotted a boo-boo

We finished up the third and final batch of meat birds for the year.  We've gotten much faster, which is good, but I did feel very bad about this batch.  I did actually really like them.  They were a fat and spirited bunch. 

I did not feel as bad about having the turkeys dispatched, as they were really annoying.  The part I felt bad about?  Not being able to process them myself.  It felt like such a cop out, having someone else do it, even though I wasn't equipped for it at all.  Isn't that odd?  I have to say though, I felt like I owed it to them.  I raised them, I should have been the one there at the end.  It's funny how perspectives change so much.

I lost my Ygraine and cried and cried.  Harder than I would have thought.  But I did go to the Fiber Festival and bring home Daphne, Buckley, and Camille.  And I love them dearly as well.  The circle of life is hard.

The goatie girls were CAE tested and the results came back bad.  Resulting in a new plan being made.  I will share it, I promise.  No matter what, though, they are my girls.  I love them so!

We had a hurricane-like thing come through.  Very messy.


Lots of much needed crafting and soaping.  Unfortunately the craft fair it was all for did not go well.  But the work was therapeutic.  If you are wondering what happened to all the leftover stuff, the soaps have mostly sold, and the ornaments were donated to the school to be sold to the staff so the money could be used to buy presents for children in need.  I honestly didn't see the need to keep them, and felt that they would be better given so that they could help someone else.

I had a birthday, my daughter had a birthday, and Bella did an amazing thing.  Possibly the most amazing thing of all about it?  She seemed to trust me enough to touch her babies.  And she still does.  Not bad for a bunny rescued from the trash.

Mini spring in November.  Freaking ducks.  We are beseiged.


I painted the kitchen.  I still love it.  I can't wait until part 2. 

Dulci went to meet Zeus.  She was bred, hopefully successfully.  I will know this week, I believe.  Cross your fingers that she doesn't go back into heat.  I don't think my back can take it!

We had a lovely Christmas, Daphne continues to work on her nest for whatever reason, and now we have Sara.  I still owe you that story, so the short of it is, I went to Agway to buy a cage for Bella's little buns, as they are big and driving her crazy.  They now spend the day in their own cage, and the night in hers, and she is much happier because of it.  Saw Sara (she wasn't named Sara then), who I tried to ignore.  Sara wouldn't let me ignore her.  Sara is pretty, and was sweet, and our little Milo was MIA for a week and a half, leaving Ellie outside to catch mice by herself.  I'm not a fan of lonely animals, as I believe everyone needs a companion.  I thought Milo wouldn't come back after all that time, so Sara came home to be a new mouser.  After she got here, and I had time to look her over better, I noticed her belly bulge.  Which seems to have lumpies in it.  Since Sara was given up by her former owners to Agway, I am assuming now that it was because she's preggers.  More mouse catchers for us. 

Sara is in so we can keep an eye on her and teach her to use the cat door, she drives Thor CRAZY, and in the midst of it all, Milo came back.  Yeay!  Good deal all around.  It certainly is abundant here.

Things Not Written

I canned a lot and put a lot of food by.

I sewed a little.

I did not play the fiddle at all.  That's a shame, and I'm sorry for it.  But it never happened.

I worked like crazy this year.  Hours and hours of hard work.  And I loved all of it.

I enjoyed the hell out of the beautiful weather this year, though not so much the heat in the hottest part of summer. 

Dave has been missing for months, and though we've never found him (so to speak), I believe he's gone to some big animal or other.  We miss him.  When Milo went off, we thought it would be the same thing.  We were very relieved when Milo turned up again at our door! 

Copernicus was attacked by something horrible and lost an eye.  He's no longer head roo here at Chicken Scratch, which is unfortunate, because he's an awesome boy.   I have also recently lost 3 other chickens to the cold.  It's been a tough winter, and it's only just started.  The remaining chickens still are not laying eggs, and it's just depressing.

Most Importantly...

I lived, I loved and I laughed.

I cried, I cursed and I learned.

I figured out that there's no one "right" way to live a life, and that the way I'm living mine is just fine.  In fact, I'm thankful for it, and that I wake each day with purpose and now that I've seen this list, I feel awesome about all that I've accomplished and I am so excited to do more.  I am looking forward to this next year to see what it will bring. 

Isn't that really what this ride is all about anyway?  Here's hoping you all enjoy your lives as much.  The ride is all that matters.  You only go around once.

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  1. You've had such an amazing year! Crazy how, when you write it all out, it adds up so fast! No more wondering why you're tired and yet SO fulfilled, ha? ;-)

    Happy New Year, Jocelyn! Cheers to another wonderful year!!!

  2. I admire your spunk, determination and energy. I have enjoyed following you on your journey and look forward to what the new year brings for both of us. You are a kindred spirit and I STILL wish you were my neighbor.

  3. You've had a busy year! I would love to have you join in several hops that I host or co-host! Starting today there is the seasonal Winter on the HomeAcre Hop at:

    This gives you a chance to bring out archived posts on winter subjects :)
    Tomorrow is Wildcrafting Wednesday, you’ll be able to find it from my homepage at:

    And on Thursday I host The HomeAcre Hop, another good place to bring out great posts that you would like to share again. I’d love to see posts on homesteading, farming, cooking, homeschooling…the list goes on :) You can also find that on my homepage. Hope you can join us for all of these fun hops!


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