2017 Goals- July Check-In

So on this post here, I listed my goals for 2017. We will probably be adding more as the year goes on- but here is July’s check-in, and I am a little late with it! Did you set goals? How are you doing? See the updates in red! Check out my progress- January Check-In February Check-In March Check-In April Check-In May Check-In June Check-In

  1. Personal- Quit Smoking. It will save money and my health. This year I am dead serious on quitting smoking. I am also trying to make the switch from caffeine or other drinks to strictly water. That is a slow progression as I tend to get migraines when I lose the caffeine. (Trying to get some progress here- stress hit- and I need to find something besides my coping mechanisms. I really am trying hard!)
  2. Quail-Finish the quail coop. We did get started with the coop- but it needs to be finished. We are also looking at buying some more babies. I would like to raise and sell eggs/babies.
  3. Chickens- Build a bigger chicken coop- and get some more chickens. I have 2 separate breeds, and have not decided whether I want roosters or not. (Complete- although expansions and some thought on this coming soon.)
  4. Gardening- Start an herb garden. Plant some fruit trees. Start some seeds and a small garden to manage so we can save more money. (The garden is failing a little- so much rain has ruined it some. No Fall Garden this year- I am going to work on Spring Garden plans- and starting some more herbs to bring indoors for the winter.)
  5. Small Home Organization and Projects- Organize the shed. Clean out the rest of our stuff from my in-laws. Declutter a lot of stuff. We have a few renovation projects to complete, which we already have the supplies for.
  6. Save More Money!
  7. Food Preservation- I got a gift card for Christmas- so I bought a dehydrator. We will start with that. I am also stocking up on canning supplies so I can start with some water bath canning. I have a flat top stove- so we have to look and see if our model will allow us to can, otherwise I will find something else to do.(I am looking at learning some more new recipes as I go.)
  8. Cook From Scratch- Right now I am working on getting rid of some premade things in the pantry, but we will start slow with that and making our own bread.
  9. Rain Barrel- Get the rain barrel set up. This does involve buying some gutter guards- but we have material to build a stand for it to sit on.

How are you doing on your goals?

August Seed Shipment

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Here is August’s seed shipment. I feel like I need to be in planning mode for next year already!  I can’t wait to plan next years garden now! Expansion is coming!

Thanks Mike the Gardener- I love my little package I get every month! Something to definitely look forward to!

I am a member of the Affiliate program- which means I do get paid a small portion if someone purchases a membership from my site. If you’d like to help my homestead journey, you certainly can click on the link in this post or on the link on my homepage. Thanks in advance if you do!

Weekend fun.. or shall I say craziness…

This past weekend was a time of craziness- uhm fun- uhm it was quite a busy weekend. We didn’t really have plans since the girls just started back to school, and I have been sick. Saturday I decided we were going to go to a local farm a little while away and pick some peaches, apples, and figs. I love going to pick anything and was thinking about what I would do/can with all the fruit. Well- when we got there- because we have had sooo much rain lately- there weren’t any apples or peaches ready. But they had figs- so I decided we would pick some. We had to watch because the bees and yellow jackets and all kinds of stinging/flying insects love these bushes. I was a little worried- if I get stung I blow up y’all. I didn’t get many pictures- but Sheldon, hubby and I almost filled a bucket. We bought some more local honey and hubby wanted to try some new jams. I got a watermelon- so the chickens definitely enjoyed some of that as well- because why not share? I will be making some watermelon and fig jam this weekend I hope!

I took a nap- and then send hubby for some Chinese food for supper. Nothing delivers where we live- despite the fact we are about 15 mins from town, either way. Our little town used to be a bustling town and it’s history is quite interesting. We have a little general store- not much in it- but it has been here forever. We used to have a post office- but they closed it down a few years back. So all we have is the little store and a volunteer fire department. I digress- I went outside to smoke after dinner- and my poor puppy doo’s whole face was swollen- as in you almost couldn’t see her eyes. I freaked y’all! The after hours on the vet was closed- it was after 7 pm- so I had to call the Emergency Vet Clinic a few towns over.

20170812_210414My poor Dixie’s face- and this is after some Benedryl to stop the swelling. As I was talking to the Tech- we gave her some Benedryl and was getting ready to load her up. I couldn’t see any marks- so that means it wasn’t a snake or spider, that we could tell. I was so worried about getting there- I fell in the yard, dusted off. She is fine now- she got a steroid shot- and by the time we were home- the swelling was almost all gone. I was happy she didn’t look like a manatee any more. 2 more days of Benedryl though- she is good now- but oh how I was worried. This is my almost 12 year old baby! We have had her forever and she guards the chickens and goats like a champ.

Fast forward to Sunday, where I didn’t get up until almost noon! I was so mad! Half the day was gone! Got laundry started and we went ahead to Tractor Supply to get feed for the animals. I buy all my feed there. I finally decided to go to the doctor since I laid down for a minute and couldn’t stop coughing. Bronchitis- 2 shots- a breathing treatment- and some heavy antibiotics and I am just now starting to feel better. I procrastinate bad yall! And yes, I rushed my pet before I went myself- that is just who I am. We did go to Walmart after since I had to pick up a few things- and we don’t really have a reasonable grocery store here.

Needless to say, we had a very hectic weekend, didn’t get much work done- and I am still ready for rest. But back to normal- school is in session and we are finally starting a routine back!

Where have you been?

I have been dealing with being sick still- this is going on 2 weeks, I may need to go to the doctor. School has started, I have a first grader and a sixth grader. So far we are 3 days in and they are enjoying it. We have had rain pretty much forecasted every day so needless to say the yard is straight up mush!

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The chickens have been growing, and the goat pens need some work. My rare breed is so ugly it’s cute! They got to enjoy some tomatoes from the garden since I let them sit a little too long without using them!

 

Here’s to hoping it doesn’t rain all weekend so I can get some work done!

 

Hope all is well with you, and I will definitely have some posts up this weekend!

Update

We have been so busy, school is about to start and the homestead always has some projects! 

I finished off the cucumbers before they went bad, and made 8 more jars of bread and butter pickles. Im excited about my blue jar!

By the way pickling is fun, but the smell of vinegar is quite strong! I swear it burned my nose.

We had a baby shower for a co worker who is a friend of mine, so in half an hour on the night before, i threw a diaper cake together. Not my best work, but she loved it. 

And i have caught my summer cold, the season is changing so my allergies have gotten the best of me. Im trying to hang in there, and beat the sinus infection.

Garden update – July 29th

The garden is still growing. I need to be a little more diligent in weeding. We’ve been getting a slow harvest this week. Its also located in a spot that retains water, so we are looking at making some improvements next season.

The tomatoes are coming in slow.

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I think my cucumber plants are done.

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The squash is slowly starting to come back again, i do have some babies on there.

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The peppers are slow.

Okra is coming in but slow.

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Look at that watermelon plant! I might need to get them off the ground, they look to be rotting.

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I am not sure if we will get any pumpkins off the volunteer plant or not.

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I am not sure if we will get cantaloupe or not- it is blooming with flowers- but I don’t see any little melons!

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The second potato bag is growing, i am going to wait a little longer and add soil so more plants have time to grow.

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How many chickens?!?

Currently I have 2 coops, and I have 2 separate ages of chickens. We have a friend that has a batch I am going to get shortly- but that means building another coop. Now I am trying to decide where to put it and how to build it.

In my one coop- which we are expanding the run on soon- I have my lone first chicken Spaz and I have 3 Golden Comets, and 3 Cherry Eggers. Spaz is about a year old- and the other girls are right at reaching 6 months old. Right now we only get one egg almost every day from Spaz, I hope the others start laying soon.

Spaz is still queen of the coop- although they are getting along better now. Once we expand there should be some more room for some more girls in here, once the reach a bigger size.

In the smaller coop that we just expanded with run space- I have 18 hens. Well I may have 17 hens and a roo- I am not sure yet.

They are loving their space, and I did take 2 pictures of my “rare” breed from the hatchery. He/She is so beautiful- has 5 toes and is tufted. It has gray-white feathers up top and then the back is red/green and black, and some feathers on half of it’s feet. So beautiful. I have 2 Buff Orpingtons, 2 Barred Rocks, and 2 Rhode Island Reds, they are the ones I may move to the big coop when they get a little bigger. Then I have 3 White Cochins- 2 passed on me right before we expanded the run, 3 White Jersey Giants- and 5 Easter Eggers, and then my rare one. I am thinking I may keep the Easter Eggers on their own and get a roo next spring. I am hoping to breed out and have babies and then be able to sell them. But in order to sell them, they will need to be separated so they don’t have barnyard mixes. We will see what the future holds- for now I just love them all the same!

 

To Can or Not to Can…

That was my question last weekend. I had some strawberries that had thawed in the fridge- so I knew I had to get those done. I had a bunch of cucumbers that needed to become pickles as well. My mistake was the middle of the day canning- I definitely heated the house up- but my problem is I am too tired at night to do it, so I wanted to make sure I could get it done. So onward I went. I ended up with 10 jars of jam and 8 jars of pickles. Well 8 jars of jam in the pantry and 7 jars of pickles in the pantry. We gave one jar to family, and ate one jar of jam, and then have a jar of pickles in the fridge. I am hoping that my cucumber plants keep growing some so that I can make another big batch of pickles.

We mostly eat slices- but this time I will try to spear some as well and see how it goes. I did happen to get some pictures of the process this time. The pickles were a little bit of a faster process but all I smelled was vinegar for awhile! I did use a different process to make the jam this time and it came out much better. I use my hand blender to squish the strawberries- so we didn’t have chunks, and we had much more juice stuff to be able to make more jam. So I will wait until this fall/winter and make more so it doesn’t heat up the kitchen so bad.

This was on Saturday so Sunday I made waffles so that we could enjoy our jam! I am using the mix we have left, and then we are going to delve into making my own waffle/pancake mix.  Yum yum!

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DIY- Trim Goatie Hooves

So this weekend, I attempted to trim both the goat’s hooves. Now this was quite the job and took Sheldon, Hubby and I to get this done! Sheldon had to watch to make sure that we did not get disturbed by the loose goat. I need to plan a little better- and make a separate area to do this- also a milking stanchion, but to later plans. For now I know the goats needed to be trimmed. A friend of ours has goats- and some people I know do not trim them at all! But it is like fingernails- I know they had to feel better after!

To plan- I bought a pair of these from Amazon- (Sorry Y’all- I did not get many pictures!)

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They worked wonderful- and look at all those uses!

I did watch a few YouTube videos and read some articles from other bloggers- maybe next time I will get more pictures and be able to post more. I did not want to take too much off- goats have quicks- so if you cut too much- you can make them bleed. Therefore they will need to be done again in about 4 weeks or so. Most of what I heard- you need to trim them every 6 to 8 weeks. It can prevent hoof rot- and more. I think this is more for show goats- BUT I know I don’t want them to get sick- and it looks like it almost hurt to have to walk on funky hooves- so maybe more for me than them.

They both seemed to be happier a little after- although they did not want to come near us for awhile. They don’t hold grudges long y’all. I found the easiest way to trim was Hubby helped catch them- one at a time- and then we rolled them onto their backs on his lap. It worked really well as they did not scream as much and they got loving as I was messing with their feet. I did the front first and then the back. I trimmed little by little and they probably needed more- but I started to see what looked like part of the quick/foot. So I will trim them again in 4 weeks and each time I will get better and soon become an expert!

They do seem to be happier when they walk!

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Look for that post soon! Also look for a goat expansion post and update- we may be adding more to the herd since Kevin and MJ are half brother and sister and really can’t breed together! I may let them have one set- BUT MJ is 7 months old, and Kevin is 6 months old.