January Homestead Box

So I am not going to take any pictures of the boxes- but I will list the contents. We have been so happy with the Homestead Box- and they have some amazing useful tools. We learn a new skill every month and add to our collection! Don’t forget to look at my past posts- and you can see all of the great boxes since we have joined! We get the Pioneer box- it is 110 a month- and it includes everything- but there are 2 smaller levels if you don’t want to invest that much either. It is such a nice surprise to get the box in the mail and get to open it and see what theme/surprises are in store.

So here is January’s theme- Tree Care.

This box worked out wonderful for us because we planted some fruit and nut trees in February. We started an orchard somewhat. There is a local farm that does a tree sale every year- and I have been saving and planning to buy a package. So we have 2 peach, 2 pear, 2 fig, 2 apple, 2 plum, 2 pecan, and 1 almond tree. We got those in the ground, and they start as bare root. Right now they are starting to grow leaves and we are oh so happy.

The contents in the package were as follows-

A Fanno 8.5 inch folding saw- 24 inch tree circles, the book How to Prune Trees and Shrubs, Monteray Fruit Tree Spray Plus, Monteray Complete Disease control, Falci Pruning shears, 2 24 inch spiral tree guards-  and Jobes Organic tree spikes.

We are so excited to start an orchard and learn more about pruning and care for trees! So this was a great box, and we really enjoyed this since we were about to start an orchard!

Advertisements

Happy New Year and all that jazz..

We are not missing, November hit and then the busy just got away from me. I am sorry I have not posted in awhile, But I do have some great updates and plans for yall!

See below for our December in pictures- well we will just say that the New Year came in with a bang. I learned from the doctor that I am B12 deficient, so I took a weekly shot for 4 weeks and then asked for the pill since our insurance does not cover the shot. The doctor may be fighting that for me. I am eventually going to a sleep study to see what is going on with my sleep since I am tired and sleepy most of the time, Maybe I won’t have sleep apnea and she can knock me out so I can sleep. Christmas week my gallbladder finally went kaput and I am now in the process of testing to see whether or not it needs to come out. It has been a process, and I hurt every day. I still truck through because no matter how bad you hurt, the animals and family need you.

The girls are back at school and it has been dang cold here in Bama- they are calling for some of the dreaded snow on Tuesday- it has been so cold- as in nights are in the 20’s if not teens upcoming this week. We are dealing with frozen water for the animals- but that solution is coming- I ordered it from Amazon today!

Enjoy some pictures of our holiday and look for some amazing updates on the blog and Hot Mess Homestead this year! Our goals are set and we are hoping to truck along nicely!

20171123_121050.jpgThe cats have been enjoying sleeping with momma at night, and have already killed 2 field mice this year. These are my mouse traps, and as I sit here typing- they are laying at my feet on the end of the bed.

Some Christmas fun, we got a real tree this year and went to see the light show at Shadrack’s again. It has definitely been a busy month!

The animals are doing well- this was before our big freeze- we prepared with new hay for everyone- it becomes a muddy mess around here when it rains!

20171123_120549.jpg

We celebrated New Year- well me and the hubby did- with turnip green soup and cornbread- this is a new favorite for me! It has black eye peas- the cornbread and greens all what we needed!

We had so much fun picking out our Christmas tree at a local farm. The only problem was the cats wanted to drink water from the tree stand! I had a friend do my hair for ugly Christmas sweater day at work- what a wonderful fun day that was!

I love my new boots- now I don’t have to steal the hubby’s! And the goats enjoyed the remnants of the Christmas tree! The animals are still going great- and we are still getting 1 duck egg a day and anywhere from 10-14 eggs a day from the girls!

These are some new Christmas presents- it was the year of farm gear- I also got a rooster wind chime and some amazing home quilted placemats and some new towels and a dish rack! I was spoiled! My momma and relatives know me! My hubby surprised with me with my bow- it was a late Birthday present- I got my pistol for Christmas. I am so excited to hone in on my skills and go hunting next year!

Plan up for some more posts and updates- I will be doing some garden planning and goal update soon! Hope you have been doing well!

Guess what we added to the homestead?

Hot Mess Homestead now owns ducks! That’s right we have gone Quakers!

20170820_170255

We have 6 Cayuga Ducks- 3 male and 3 female. Sheldon has named one of the females Priscilla- and a friend of mine has name one Donald- and then Sheldon said we needed a Daffy. So we do have names for 3 of them. They are so cute- and funny and exciting! They are laying- but not right now as they are going through the Summer molt. Stay tuned for a DIY duck pen post!

20170820_191345My camera did not take a good picture- but they sure are enjoying their new home! And it is fun to hear them quack. They are starting to learn that I bring the food and water and talk to me when I go out there. I am hoping they learn to trust me soon- they have only been here for 3 days though!

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?

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!

 

2017 Goals- June 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 June’s check! 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

  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. (I have been drinking more water since it is so hot out and we have been doing some more work. The goal for July is to get down to only one 20 oz a day, and then I can cut from there. As far as smoking- no progress 😦 Maybe this month.)
  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. (I am looking to modify the coop- and then I will order some chicks, or hatch out my own. This is a fall project. We may not go for Texas A &M, I am having a hard time finding them local- or I may since that is the case.)
  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. (I have 27 hens still- and the expansion is coming. We are looking at how I will separate the girls- and we may build another coop. I am not sure if I want to raise to breed or not. I do know we are looking at next spring doing a batch of meat birds.)
  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 has been going great. I am looking at planning the fall garden and we will be doing some more planning for the Spring as to placement and a bigger garden!)
  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. (We have organized the shed some. I will have to go through the holiday supplies, and narrow it down. We are looking at doing some projects in the fall since it will be cooler. We have also gotten the feed/garden shed which will definitely help.)
  6. Save More Money! (I am looking at options to do this automatically each week- and a different way to track this.)
  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. ( We are looking at canning some pickles and more jam soon.)
  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. (We do have a basic setup on the barrel- it’s not hooked up to the house but we are looking at placement, and other options for the house. We are saving to buy some materials to continue this project.)

How are you doing on your goals?

Staycations are fun…

I know we had a vacation just a little while ago- but that was out vacation for the whole year. I only get so much time off of work, and the hubby and I planned for us to have a staycation week this past week on the 4th. I worked Monday and I will work on Saturday, but it has been nice to catch up on some things on the homestead. We didn’t get to do anything “fun” so to say- but it was nice for the kids to just be home and for us to just spend time together- even it some of it was working.

July 4th we had an amazing day, had a bunch of awesome friends over for fireworks, and dinner. I spent all day cooking and cleaning up to have an awesome afternoon. The show was amazing- we did more than last year- and will have to plan some more for next year. All of the kids have fun- and I enjoyed having people over.

As out staycation ends- it does make me wish that I could just leave the 9 to 5 and stay home to take care of the homestead more and add some more things quicker. I am staying at my rat race job until our car is paid off. It just made me realize how grateful I am to have the time I did this week, and how grateful to have what property I do have to be able to have a mini homestead. So much so that I re-evaluated the goals we have for this year. But that is what goals are for to re-evaluate. It is very hard to work in the rat race and homestead- but we are doing it. That is another post for another day.

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July- and celebrated our independence. I am grateful to live in a country that I can homestead- and have the freedom to pretty much do anything.

Part of this week has been burning down the burn pile of limbs we have trimmed, and the parts of the tree that fell down. We had to use the barrel as the pile has been so wet from where it continues to rain (the garden is grateful!).

It is pretty much down to nothing, and we are planning on finishing some tree trimming by the garden and finishing the pile out this weekend.

By the way, I just learned this weekend, it is illegal to burn cardboard. We were just burning brush- but that is nice to know. By the way- both my husband and I volunteer for the local fire department. We are just volunteers- we aren’t big enough to have a paid department. I haven’t been able to run calls much as to I have the kids- and I have been working. Hubby runs when he can but works the Talladega races every year, twice a year, to earn the department money.

We also got a shed to put all the gardening stuff and feed in. It finally got put together this week. It took us awhile in between the rain. But now the carport and the back porch are all decluttered some, and all of the animal stuff and garden stuff are in the same space!

By the way- yes that is 4 sheets of plywood on top of my car. It is definitely nice to have the floor in there though. The building kit came with a flooring kit so the plywood should not rot as fast. There is still a plan to get the loft kit to get the hay off the floor- and to get some shelves in there so we can have more room for tools, and other stuff. We still have to rig the light as well, right now we just have a little light by the door that I can click on to see if it is night time.

20170706_193857

We also got to fashion the other hose by the goat pen. The original hose was too long, so we cut it, and hubby used the rest of it to make an additional hose so we can water chickens, or use it for washing things out. It is nice to have.

Just some of the projects that got done on our staycation!

Chickie Update..

So the babies all have most of their feathers, and are certainly growing more and more every day. They will be needing more room soon! I took pictures of all the babies again this weekend, and am now figuring out coops and coop space.

These are my Aracauna/Americauna’s. I have 5 of them, and I am so dang excited about the Lavender colored one! I can’t wait to see them keep growing and see the different patterns.

I am thinking these are either New Hampshire Reds or Rhode Island Reds, I just can’t remember what was in the cage together when I bought them.

These are my 2 Buff Orpingtons. They are quite feisty too!

These are my White Cochins, there are 5, and they stay dirty! They are the tamest of the bunch so far!

These are my White Jersey Giants, there are 3. They are tamer as well!

These are my Barred Rocks- and they are the weird ones of this bunch. They spaz out when I go to do something in the coop.

This is my rare breed, and now that the feathers have developed, I can try to figure out what it is. I am thinking it is a Dorking. And I can’t tell if it is a male or female- it has no tail feathers yet- and has feathered legs, 5 toes, and the feathers are still growing on it’s head. So if you see something, and can identify let me know!

I am totally loving on these babies! We are trying to handle them more, so they are used to us.