Whew, we are very busy around here. Our hands have been so full with living the homestead life, that I haven’t felt like I have any time to blog about homestead life. I have shocked myself even with the fact that I haven’t touched my computer in several days, and have only had occasional quick moments online via my smart phone. This is unlike me, but at the same time makes me smile, because what’s better than being so happily busy living the homestead life that you don’t even have time to look at a computer?
I have continued to spend time sitting at my spinning wheel, massively enjoying the calming effect it has over me. I have been working on a hand-dyed Blue Faced Leicester wool. It has been really fun to do my first-ever spinning of something with color (as opposed to the natural white and grey). I researched spinning variegated roving and then just dove right in. I will be sharing it all with you in a post when I finish off all the spinning of that specific roving and knit up a swatch to see how the variegation turned out with plying and all. I am very happy with how it has turned out thus far, I hope that continues through the finished product.
I have continued to force myself away from the spinning wheel to work on my Christmas knitting and am making good progress. The girls have helped motivate me by working on their own Christmas knitting and embroidery. When I see them working, it reminds me that I need to be working on that, not spinning constantly…bad time of year to fall in love with a new heritage art. Unfortunately, even though there is good progress being made, I don’t have any more finished projects to show yet, maybe by next Sunday Update?
Husband and sons have been out in the wood shop a bunch this week. They are VERY happy to have the wood stove hooked up so they can be warm while they work. They have also made a lot of progress on their Christmas projects, but also no finished projects to show yet.
As the cold weather has settled in, we have moved our focus to working on fixing up the inside of the house. It is so nice to have gotten to a point where the animals are all safely housed and there is no more outdoor farm work and building to do at this time, so we can work on our own housing.
This weekend we focused on enclosing the new water system into a room. And then also fixing up the mud room with hooks and a bench and such so that it is finally nice and organized. Everything now has a place, so when we all come in we can put our coats, hats, muck boots, shoes, etc away neatly. I am so excited about the beautiful bench husband made for us to sit on and put our shoes under. It also has cubbies with canvas bins for hats, mittens, etc.
Behind this wall is the water room. This area is for our barnyard coats, bib overalls, boots, gloves etc. We can hang stuff on the antlers and use the shelves for the non-hanging things.
We also did a lot of planning this week about what we want to accomplish in the house this winter. We have decided to dive in and do the biggest remodel on the house thus far – the kitchen. We hope to start the project in January.
The kittens continue to be an adorable distraction. We are having so much fun raising them. We are working to spread out their feedings from 3 hours apart to 4-5 hours apart. They are going through the whole night now from 10pm to 6 am without a feeding. We are also moving them from the bottle to lapping a gruel consisting of the formula and wet cat food from a shallow dish. This makes for very messy kittens, but is an important step, so we have had to clean them up quite a bit the last few days after feedings.
The cows are fully settled back into living at home and the routine around here. We are not getting enough milk at this point for me to make any milk products for the family. We close Ferdinand off from Violet every night for about 10 hours, but it isn’t making enough of a difference. So we are probably going to begin weaning him this week. He is 5 1/2 months old now and eating plenty of hay, so it is an acceptable time.
Because of our limited space, weaning the calf means setting up panels and dividing the barnyard and having the calf live with the sheep in half the barnyard and in their stall at night. This is not ideal. So this time around we are going to try this interesting weaning device that goes in the calf’s nose. We didn’t even know they existed until the person who took care of our cows during the flood gave us one and told us about it. We don’t even know what it is called. But we will do some more research and let you know how it works out.
The sheep are coming home this week! We can’t wait to have them back…and hopefully pregnant! It is a good thing to be able to look forward to.