Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Coming Back Soon!

Due to internet circumstances beyond my control...
I have not been online

however, you have not been forgotten, dear Readers...
and I hope to be back on soon...
with updates and photos...
hopefully, the Lord willing, next week

May your day or night be found in God's grace

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

It's Coming Along

We may just make move in day before the end of the month

this is what the back of the cottage looks like thus far
once we are in...
the herb garden will be started outside the back...
and will be a little courtyard in itself with a roof to let the sun shine through...
but keep us dry if we are in the herb garden

I realize it is hard to picture it right now...
but in time, you will see how we put the garden in

I took a tour around the property to get a sense of where things will be...
and this here spot will hold the chicken area
the chickens will still be free ranged but...
a covered coop and run area will give us options on where the hens lay and roost...
and if we need to be out during the day to keep them safe

of course, whenever we are near the spring creek...

the dogs do quench their thirst and take a wade

 and although the photo turned out fuzzy...
you can see what pretty creatures hang out by the creek

I do believe the chickens will get fat off some of them

this white egret isn't so curious about us as she is keeping an eye on our cow
a great tick and fly eater...
which is of great benefit to our livestock, pets and us homesteaders

the atrium doors have been put up...
the iron work and screens for the woodwork area around the doors are coming

towards the bottom left is my laundry facility
a outdoor sink and washer will go on the spot where the concrete blocks are
solar power should run the washer while the water for it will come from the rain barrel...
which you can see by the shed in the previous picture

and the guys finally put down the pavers for the atrium
I just wanted one color scheme for that...
which would work well with the green on the cottage

we will have one step up into the cottage rooms...
something I had tried to avoid but it didn't work out due to not being there...
when the concrete outline for the atrium was put down
my mistake, but it won't be a big deal once the wooden step is put in

we left a space at the top of the wall on the atrium side for heat escape
 we get a lot of cool breezes here and the cottage stays cool with no need for air conditioning...
natural air cooling system is the best way to go, I say

here at my kitchen window...
I will get to look at the kitchen garden my husband will be putting in for our vegetable supply

the gate you see in the distance will be the gateway into the woods...
with my morning coffee walk with the dogs
the dogs will be able to run freely through there while I enjoy my cup of coffee...
listening to birds and enjoying the woodsy nature

and we have been busy painting the furniture for the den and kitchen
soon, we will put up the shelving throughout the cottage for linens, pantry and such
the Lord willing

I realize that all our plans are only tentative, for...

Go to now, ye that say,
Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city,
and continue there a year, and buy and sell,
and get gain:
Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow.
For what is your life?
It is even a vapour,
that appeareth for a little time,
and then vanisheth away.
For that ye ought to say,
If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
James 4:13-15

May your day or night be the glory of God's will.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Gettin' Close, I Think

Well, we got the cows over to the new homestead

our neighbor used his truck to help us get them over there

the cows were a bit bewildered by the change in scenery...
but, from what I understand...
they gave no trouble getting up on the truck and doing what they needed to
that's pretty good considering they never had that experience before
I think the secret is taming them from a young age and keeping them that way
less apt to become frightened and be more cooperative

and because the area is more lush than our current location...
Ms. Ruthie Moo Moo's milk is richer

and yeah, when I went to take this photo of my husband milking Ms. Ruthie...
junior bull side stepped from his post and got into the picture

I was happy to see this...
The Fence going up

this ought to keep both our chickens and dogs inside our cottage compound area

you are seeing a lot of bush in there right now...
but, as soon as we get our goats in there after the gates are put up...
they will do the hard job (easy for them) and mow that all down
we will just let them free range in there until we see the dirt ground...
then take them on up to their own pasture grounds

yep, still working on the cottage
soon, soon, it will be completed

the kitchen and den side are completed...
and so, some of the guys walked in with the kitchen furniture
about a half mile walk over the river and through the woods

I gotta hand it to them...
they are strong men

even my hard working husband took something in...
the screen door to the kitchen back door

and while it is a "plain jane" door...
I do have some ideas to spiff it up with

we counted the cost of having a local man make the door...
versus buying an imported one
imported doors cost more than the locally made one...
even while having to put the hardware on ourselves

so, of course, we had our kitchen carpenter make one
so much better to give the job to the local people

and yes, while the painting has been accomplished...
the blue tape on the windows still need to be taken off

and there, you can see some of the kitchen hardware
the one on the far left is for my outdoor kitchen

and yes, we get to do the painting on this furniture
we will not have regular cabinets on the wall
I will talk about that later

so much for that March move in date that is long past
ah yes, so close and yet, so far away

I brought the dogs with me a couple of times to get acquainted with the new homestead
it seems to help settle pets in sooner...
and more comfortably if they are familiar with their new home

they did enjoy the spring creek water

in the meantime at the old homestead...
we harvested a big bowl of coffee beans and got to work cracking the shells open

I used the side of a light weight hammer and gently mashed them open

and there below, you can see the pulp that covers the actual coffee bean

once all the beans are out of their shells...
they are fermented for about a day or two and the pulp washed away in water

I put them on a tray and set them in the sun until they are good and dried...
and the hulls pop open so that the skin can be taken off

then they can be stored until roasted for the grinding into coffee powder

roasting the coffee beans in the pan takes some time and patience...

ideally, they should be a dark brown to almost black
it took about 45 minutes to get there as done in this photo
and it must be stirred almost constantly to keep them from burning
it shouldn't take that long and I'm pretty sure the heat wasn't high enough

next time, I will try the oven method and see how well that works

because I like pretzels and because I must be gluten free...
I made some home-made gluten free rod pretzels...
which turned out good enough to keep the recipe

only I misplaced the recipe and can't find it

we have so many citrus of all kinds on our trees...
they are falling to the ground
we have grapefruit, mandarins, tangerines, oranges, limes and lemons

we sell some and eat as many as we can...
but, the trees are still loaded

mandarins, anyone?

this used to be where our cocoa beans were drying...
but, this sweet hen decided it was a good enough place...

for laying her eggs
not so sure sitting on cocoa beans is so very comfortable
she obviously doesn't mind because she keeps going back to the same spot

an egg is an egg is an egg
better than traipsing through the bush looking for eggs laid by renegade hens

after this last photo, I took up the cocoa and put a towel down for her
she nestled it into a nice little cushy pile

Except the Lord build the house,
they labour in vain that build it:
except the Lord keep the city,
the watchman waketh but in vain.
Psalm 127:1

May your day or night be kept by the Lord's grace.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Homestead Busy

Life on the homestead just keeps going and keeping us busy
our doe, Snowflake is still eeking out some milk...
but, she is slowing down in her production

it's about time to give her a date with the buck, Phillip

Snowflake thinks it's fun giving ear nibbles while being milked

about a quart was what she gave this time

but, still good and sweet

now, Queenie, is another story
she is an ornery goat
and hates to be milked
she sits on her hind legs whenever someone reaches for her udders

after we tried to make her stand for it...
it's decided she is good for breeding and nothing else

the stinker

neither does she like to share her bucket of grain treat
if someone else comes around it...
Queenie will pick it up and move it away
yep, and we didn't teach her that

ah well, she keeps it fun for us

a wee update on the cottage over at yonder new homestead

we have decided the look of natural wood floors will be nice
it will just get a few coatings of varnish

this photo shows the den from the kitchen area
it is a 10 by 25 ft area
the atrium which connects this part to the bedroom and bath part...
will serve as our living room
the far left window is where the kitchen sink will go

the painting is still going on
and this photo below is the kitchen area with it's back door at the end

that will access the herb garden I will be putting at the back of the cottage
the vegetable gardens will be further back
the spring creek runs about 50 feet from the kitchen door

the photo below shows the back of the cottage with the kitchen door on the left
the concrete slab beside the door will be the laundry area

the covered part to the right is a "mudroom" of sorts
an outside sink beside the laundry will help us to clean up before stepping inside
it's always a good idea to have a clean up area when living on a homestead

For by grace are you saved through faith;
and that not of yourselves:
it is the gift of God:
not of works, lest any man should boast.
For we are His workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus unto good works,
which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:8-10

May your day or night find grace in the Lord.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Safe and Secure

The other morning, I went to the coop and took down one of my hens from the roost
she had been sick for the last 3 days with something I could not figure out
she was a layer hen and we bought her at one of the agriculture stores in town
first time and last time I would do that
(I'll post on the whys of that another time)

these hens are not bred to last very long

I much prefer the local "mut" chickens that run around free
I have not had any local chicken get sick on me...
and they are hardy and smart

we keep chickens mainly for eggs...
and one of my local hens that we've had for a few years now...
still lays eggs

this little hen did not respond to medication...
but she wanted to be with her close-knit siblings...
so I let her sleep one more time in the coop with them

when I went into the coop to check on her the next morning...
she was trying to support herself on the roost with one wing on the post
I took her gently in my arms and cradled her
I wanted her to feel safe and secure, knowing she was dying
within two minutes, she peacefully and quietly passed away

she was buried down the hill below the cottage
and I got to thinking about how safe and secure the child of God is
in a world full of sorrows and wickedness...
how beautiful it is to know that I am safely cradled in the arms of my Saviour

The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed
and bring me safely into His heavenly kingdom.
To Him be the glory forever and ever.
2 Timothy 4:18