Monday, December 23, 2013

And So This is Christmas, and What Have You Done?....3!

It's that time again! 

Yep, time to look back and remember what was accomplished this year.  Time to say "Hey, that worked!" or, "Hey, that didn't work at all!".  You know, that sort of thing.  I know that this year was still very full, even though a lot of the beginning establishment work is done.  There are still some big projects to do, but most of what's left is tweaking the systems in place.  Actually, that's one of my favorite things to do--working on a system to get it to work better.  So, I'm a happy camper! 

But enough about what's ahead.  Let's look behind, shall we?


Dulci was bred the month before, and this was the month I discovered that it did not take.  But Minerva was bred at the beginning of this month, and it took.  Then I went wild and bred Lilly (not personally...just thought I'd clarify).  That one took, too. 

I brought home Stewart, and thus began my adventures in caring for the other sex.  You know, the smelly one?  But he's a good man, he really is.  All 150 pounds of him. 

I lost my Ginger, and now no one around here yells at the pool.  I still miss her.  She was a good girl.

Daphne popped out a litter of 6, 3 of which survived and still live here.  Pickle, Roy and Colette are doing very well.


Winter (the goat arrived), and my winter (the season) was very busy.

Daphne turned out to be a bad momma, and I wound up hand feeding the three babies that were left.  It was not horrible.  :)

Winter got renamed Cleo and was bred to Stewart, but she wasn't fitting in.

I brought home a couple of silkies and moved the Little Red Coopette to the front yard for them.  They were the start of my broody coop. 

Camille gave birth to 9 babies, all of which died. 

The trees were tapped with all 29 taps, and the syrup making began!


The Little Red Coopette, which had 4 inhabitants, got two more teeny, tiny ones.  Chickens are cool, and these guys are all awesome.

I thought all of my girls were pregnant.  Ha!  Leave it to them to prove me wrong!

Lots of seeds planted and lots of snow.  Also trying to get some fancy chickens to hatch.

Sap season ended, and we wound up with 6 solid quarts of syrup.  I'm happy to say that as of this point in the year I still have a full quart and a half left over.  So, that's the number I need to shoot for, it seems.

Cleo miscarried.

This month was a tough one.  My son got very, very sick, and in the middle of it, his cat died.  It was terrible.  But....Max also came home this month, and Cynthia came home too.  They lived in the house.  And my son really liked Cynthia, and she likes him, so it helped a little bit.


Spring sprang!  I got very, very busy with putting in a new garden or two, and upped the growing space to 3000+ square feet.  I love to work in the dirt!

Camille popped out 10 babies, all of which died.  Truly horrible, and I had to really think about keeping Camille. 

I did a lot of home work, painting the back deck and the railroad ties all over the place here. 


Saracat popped out a litter of kittens, only one of which looks (and acts) eerily like the cat my son lost back in March.  Coincidence?  I don't think so.

It rained like crazy, and I lost a whole heap of young chickens.  Actually, this was a bad year, chicken-wise. 

We lost a bunch of ducks to an outside predator, as well as more chickens.  Something was hungry.  We brought home some Muscovies to help bolster the duck population.

I installed two packages of bees for the last time EVER.

I got ready for milking the goats. Yep, I was very nervous.


Minerva made babies!!!

...then she got mastitis, and has CAE udder.  I can't win.  Minerva will not be bred again, but her girls are wonderful and have always been bottle babies, so I have high hopes for them.

There was so much rain that the garden just popped.  But it was also cool, so some things were slow.  Can't win!

Max got very sick, and Lilly was past her due date.

Lilly FINALLY gave birth----in the dirt.

I made some hard decisions about who would stay and who would go.


The rabbits were relocated from the garage to the chicken coop, with some living in the back in the hutches that used to belong to the "pet" rabbits, who were going to be moved out.

I finished the kids' treehouse.  They played in it for 2 days, then a spider moved into it, and they never stepped foot in it again.  SIGH!!!

I got the goats' copper levels back up.  Thank goodness!


Due to the weird weather, the garden started to look done early in the year.  Very disappointing.  I am happy to say, though, that it still produced a nice amount of food, but all at once.  Very odd.

Lots of canning, lots of freezing, lots of milking too!


Tried to find our routine for the school year, and tried to get Dulci bred. 

A bear attacked the bee hives for the first time.

Louise hatched a silkie chick like a champ, and I made a lot of cheese.


The bear revisited and finished off the bees.  I decided then that I was done with bees as well, since I am allergic, and I have had no success otherwise.  What a huge failure, but I feel vaguely better because I tried. 


I was working full time, on top of working full time, and figuring out how to juggle it all.  I may have gotten the hang of it. 


 Cynthia was at the age to be bred, but nowhere near the weight.  Upon looking into it, I figured out that she's probably a "MiniMancha", or a Pygmy/LaMancha cross.  I may never breed her, because she'll always be small and need to be bred to a small male, which I don't have.  Plus, I'm not sure I'll want to milk a tiny thing.  I'm still thinking about it, though.

Celebrated a couple of birthdays, and decided to seriously work on some outstanding projects that are hanging around, as I just feel like it's such a waste to keep them without finishing them or giving them away, or something. 

Cleaned up the bee mess, and rendered some cheese wax in the process. 


Finished some of those projects I was planning to finish and got ready for the holidays.

Nicest development of the year?  My family really started to help out.  For a very long time, I did it all myself, and it's a lot.  But this year everyone started to help me, and it has made a huge, huge difference.  I like that we're all "in this" together, and now everyone chips in to make it all work.  It's so important, and has been so wonderful.  I am very thankful.

Whew!   Yesterday there was snow on the ground, but  a warm wind blowing, and the fog was as thick as pea soup. When it cleared up, it had taken the snow with it.  The snow had made everything so pretty, so now it's all back to being grey and brown and ick.  Oh well.  Today it  is raining, so another day working inside for me!  I am glad to have this time to look back and see what happened this year--it was another busy one.  Next step?  Planning for next year!

But I think I'll take a little break first.  Take care, everyone!

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  1. You've had an eventful year! I found you over the Homeacre Hop, thanks for sharing!

  2. Sounds like you've been busy! Thanks so much for sharing your post on The HomeAcre Hop! I hope you have time to stop by and share more today!


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