Sunday, February 9, 2014

homestead chattiness...

We've been battling a nasty chest cold these past few days, no doubt a remnant of last weeks' many family gatherings with sticky-fingered, snotty-nosed cousins! We're making short work of a big box of oranges gifted to us (especially with some orange juice and honey ice pops for our sore throats), and thankful for that sweet treat. I think I need to be better about getting the kids outdoors for more fresh air every day, but it's been challenging with these days upon days of bitter cold. Yesterday I cracked a small window and swept and mopped the floors in an effort to shoo this illness right out the door!


For the most part, though, I'm just trying to get us all resting (myself included) as much as possible. The kids have fallen asleep at random times and places this week, with that furrowed-brow-trying-hard-to-stay-asleep look on their faces, so they get it. But I have to make myself sit down and rest. I've been knitting, even if just for a few minutes, each day while the kids play on the floor. I finished the doll blanket (which is basically just an oversized washcloth), and I really love how the colors came out - so vibrant, but calming, too. It's inspiring a little play space makeover, which I have to admit I often do. We don't have mounds of toys, and I've noticed that just changing things up a bit gets my little girl creative and excited again about her "important work" of play, as she so often calls it. A bench becomes an oven, little round crayons become beans for soup, and countless other delightful things she dreams up.


I've been doing plenty of my own dreaming too, mostly about spring. I'm usually very content during winter, but this year has my aching to get into the garden. There's a lot of work to do in there once the snow clears, much related to the damage caused by The Flood. So much was washed away that we'll need to start building up the soil again. I'm looking forward to it!

The other thing I've been contemplating a lot lately is how to further reduce our reliance on electricity. It is just so expensive, this convenience we have. I quite like the idea of candles at night instead of electric lights....


A light broth soup, Vietnamese-style "canh." This one is a pork stock with carrots, potatoes, and green onion.

I'm feeling especially grateful these days for our homegrown foodstuffs - fresh eggs, meat, and milk. The baby is eating food now, and when that transition begins, I'm always reminded of the importance of good food for our babies. I pulled out a stewing hen from the freezer a few days ago and made a HUGE pot of stock. We decided to not breed Spring, and milk her through winter instead. She's such good stock, that one, that I do hope we get some does from her next year to carry the line. Hopefully we'll be able to purchase another Nigerian in a few months, and then we plan to alternate breeding and milking, so each doe has a break and remains healthy.

So that is what's happening around these parts. What's going on in your neck of the woods?  

15 comments:

  1. We've been sick here too. It's time to stop passing this crud around! When it warms up again this week I'm disinfecting the whole house.

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  2. How much milk are you getting each day with this cold? Does it affect the output?

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    1. We get about half a quart with once a day milking. This is typical for her, and we haven't noticed any decrease from the cold. The one thing I've noticed that impacts milk production is if she doesn't drink enough water - so we tend to give them hot water on these cold days in addition to the creek they usually drink from. I'm continually amazed at the hardiness of goats! Ours don't have heat in their barn either, but with their winter coats they really seem to just breeze through the coldest days (that, and they are out basking in the sun at every opportunity :)

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  3. The little doll blanket is very pretty! That's really cool that your daughter can appreciate her toys and find different ways to play with them. I hate seeing children with so many toys that they don't even remember what they have. I hope you guys are all feeling better soon! :)

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  4. We're battling the same miseries of health down here in New Mexico. Your doll blanket is beautiful.

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  5. We've been planning for the spring and trying to get well, as well. The sicknesses that have descended this season have been intense! I am glad to hear that you are still finding time for a bit of knitting and fresh air, even for just a few minutes :-)
    <3
    Melissa (evergrowingfarm.com)

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  6. That little doll blanket really captured my eye such beautiful colours. When I first saw it I thought it was a huge blanket, pity as it's stunning. However nice to finish a little project for the doll. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

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  7. The little blanket is gorgeous, the colors are so soft. This winter weather has been good for contemplating the state of our lives, hasn't it? That's something we all need to evaluate from time to time.

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  8. Some sickness at our house, too--tis the season, I suppose. Matt is planning a greenhouse from repurposed lumber and windows. The seed order is already submitted. We're planning a wedding and adding chickens to the household. And looking forward to spring. I hope you are all getting to feeling better--the fresh air will undoubtedly help...but its been so very wintery. I sure like the doll blanket...and hearing of the inventive play of your sweet little one.

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    1. Nearly all better now and hope you guys are, too. I loved reading about your plans! So excited for you to have chickens - and a wedding! (meaning yours?!) I'm heading over to your blog now to check on that ;) What a glorious spring you'll have this year!

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    2. Yup, after nearly nine years together we've decided to make it "official," as it were. Wedding planning is not my forte, but that's okay...I've only got to do it once. Not much about it has made it on the blog as of yet.

      We're both excited and nervous about the chickens. Its been nearly a decade since I've had living, breathing critters that depend on me...and I've never raised chickens before. But, we're excited for the adventure.

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    3. Oh YAY!! Congratulations, that is really wonderful.

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  9. Sorry you've been feeling under the weather. Best of luck to you.

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

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  10. Take care of your health.
    Your doll blanket looks awesome. Your doll bed is also so cute. I love them.
    Giving food to babies is a great job.
    Happy Valentine Day!!

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