by Evangeline | Oct 24, 2020 | Dairy Goats, DIY Projects, Market Garden, Milking Goats, Noah's Cabin, Re-Purposing
It feels like only yesterday that I wrote about compassion, and yet, here I am more than two months later wondering where the time has gone? I’ve written infrequently on my blog because my dance card is quite full these days. I have several projects I’m working on that are a labor of love (I cannot disclose them at this time), homeschooling Simmi has started again, I’ve been working on the backend of this website to create an updated version that will be a magazine-style layout, and we’re moving into the fall/winter mode which means working on the interior of our rig again.
Work continues on Noah’s cabin, and as he gets closer to being able to move in, I can’t help but think of finally getting Simmi into her own room. That in turn leads to us gutting the rig to make it more functional for us to be in. Which then allows us to create a proper living room and dining room space. It has to happen in that sequence. Patience is key to making the transition go smoothly.
Below are photos of progress on Noah’s cabin. He has financed everything himself and he will have a debt-free cabin when everything is finished. Having no debts for his cabin will allow him to buy a newer vehicle without a car loan, pay for school without a school loan, and provide him with greater cash flow. Why pay rent throwing money away when you can own your own home free and clear? Eventually, if he wants to remain here, he will have the opportunity to build a larger home where ever he chooses on the 14 acres. All my children will have that opportunity as well.
Dom and Noah are shooting for the end of October for him to move into his cabin. The cabin won’t be completed until probably the spring, but before then, he’ll have the exterior board and batten, insulation in the floor, walls, and ceiling, drywall up, and flooring down. Trim and finish work will come later. The goal was to get him in his own private space. He can continue to work on the interior through the winter after the walls have been mud and taped, and his loft has been stained. In the spring a covered porch will be added.
The next project after that will be to insulate and put drywall up in Simmi’s room. Currently, Noah is sleeping in Simmi’s room. We’ll be able to fix her space, move her in, and get her comfortable. Right now she’s sleeping in the main part of the rig.
We had a highly productive tiny garden this past summer. I was very surprised and delighted at all that I was able to harvest. I didn’t weigh anything this year, since it was all an experiment to see what would grow well and what would languish or not grow at all.
We’re excited to start planning for next year’s garden. I learned a lot about my region and the ebb and flow of our microclimate. It’s been a great learning experience.
Another thing we’ve been working on is the temporary goat area. I reluctantly decided to finally warm up to the idea of getting dairy goats. I’m more of a sheep person. I could probably write a whole blog post on why I prefer sheep over goats, but it really doesn’t have anything to do with the animals themselves…it’s all because of my personality. Anyway, after careful thought and consideration, I made the decision to go ahead and start planning on having dairy goats.
We’ll be getting Nigerian dwarfs, mainly because that’s all I am emotionally equipped to deal with at this time in my life. Sounds weird, right? They will have a permanent home near our commercial kitchen, however, until that kitchen is completed, they will be living in the area that will eventually become the duck yard.
Dom, being very motivated by my decision to finally acquiesce to having goats, went to work straight away getting the goat area ready. He still needs to build the three gates for the different entrances, but for the most part, it’s nearly ready. We chose this area because we want the goats to eat the weeds in the market garden. They will have access to it throughout the winter months into spring before we start planting.
The fencing for this area was created using felled trees on the property and fencing from other areas. The wood planks were donated last year from a lady in our town who was getting rid of old wood fencing.
I love watching him work and execute plans that I’ve created. It’s always an unexpected treat watching him put everything together shirtless. Haha
That just about wraps up my update. Autumn came quickly and, just like that, it will be spring before I even blink! One thing is for sure, I’m looking forward to finally getting our rig gutted! I’ll try and make a more concerted effort to blog more than I have.
by Evangeline | May 21, 2011 | Around our Yard, Ducks, Family, Homesteading, Insects and Bugs
I truly love my life, but that’s just me. How about you? Do you love your life and how everything is going for you? Do you have hopes and dreams or have you settled for less than you’ve always wanted in life?
I think I fall in love with my life just a little more each day, and I wake up smiling each morning knowing that dreams really do come true.
My life is filled with blessings. The blessings of an amazing and love filled marriage, four beautiful children each living the way they want, one very precious grand child that makes my heart melt each day, excellent deep friendships that make my life just that much sweeter, and a homestead that in a few years I hope will be fully functioning and growing to maturity.
In just two short months we will be celebrating our one year anniversary here, and since my computer is constantly giving me crap still (I think its jealous of the time I give to planting and building a homestead) I’ve been working a little here and there putting something together for our one year anniversary blog.
My biggest melt down came however, when I was writing and everything froze up and nothing was saved. On a WordPress blogging platform, usually it saves everything every few minutes, but if my computer freezes at just the right moment, I can be writing and writing but I’m actually not even online at that moment. POOF! All gone.
I just want to cry when that happens. Until we can afford a new computer, I will just deal with this quirky thing. Well, its not quirky, its actually a bad virus. I never want to deal with viruses again, so we are thinking of getting a Mac.
Right now Dom works two jobs just so we can make ends meet, and paying the bills and for food is about all we can afford. I’m not complaining at all about how much he makes, but I can’t wait till he no longer has to work outside the home and can be working with me here.
We know that we’ll need to invest in a new computer, but we’d rather put all our efforts toward building the duck pond. LOL Priorities right?
One of my only favorite places to shop (I hate going to the store almost as much as talking on the phone) is Good Will which is where I get my clothes.
Now don’t knock Good Will till you’ve tried it. I was able to get a very large french press, hand carved and hand painted one of a kind duck, a spring form pan, a pair of pants for myself (first purchase of clothes for me in a long time), a “my little pony” for Simmi and a little stuffed giraffe all for under $9.00. Now that’s a deal.
The french press was almost brand new and the retail price for one of those little beauties is about $50-60.00 bucks. The duck I fell in love with immediately! Right now it graces the top of our oven.
I know I’m being all over the place with my thoughts right now, but that’s only because I’m waiting for my computer to go POOF! again. Yes, as I write this my computer froze up at least a dozen times. I think it will take all day to write this blog entry.
I can’t say that what I do here is hard, although I do hate hauling rock or trying to dig through very hard ground. Its a part of getting our homestead established, and I must say that I would recommend this life to everyone.
I know that some say that homesteading is not for everyone…I say poppycock. Starting a homestead is really about faith. It is faith in God, faith in your family, faith in the land and faith yourself.
Each day I learn something new, and each day I also learn just how far I can literally push my body. I’m getting a little better each day. A little stronger with each passing moment. Each day I think that I will not get everything accomplished, and yet somehow I do…sometimes it just takes a little longer than I expected it to.
It is so peaceful working outside all day. Time just seems to fly by and before I know it the sun is going down. How the heck does that happen? It feels like I’m being enraptured by my own land.
I love the peace and quiet that exists when I’m building a berm and in the background I can hear Simmi playing in the water. We just ordered our Magpie ducklings the other day so now I think about how this changes the dynamics of our family life even more.
Our lives right now are fairly predictable, but whenever living creatures are thrown into the mix, well, we can throw predictability right out the window! We’ll have 15 little ducklings running around in a few weeks and I am so excited about that.
I can’t wait to see how Simmi will react to them. She loves to play in the sprinkler during the day while I’m working, and I can see the sprinkler as an instant invitation for little ducklings to spend time with her. I think they will all be fast friends.
Added to that peace and quiet will be the sounds of giggles and peeps from the ducklings and their new mama Simmi.
I’m hoping that all that we’ve planted will be able to hold out until the ducks are large enough to make some nice fertilizer for us.
All my veggies are doing well right now, but we don’t have any compost to side dress each veggie plant, and I don’t want to use a commercial fertilizer from the store.
Our ducks will do all the fertilizing until we have great compost made. Our veggies still appear to be strong, I just hope they will continue to be strong.
I know that if the plant weakens we can start to have some major problems, but as I watch over my garden each day, it seems that all the predatory insects are poised for attack.
Lady Bugs have taken up residence either on or near each plant. Its so interesting to see them in position waiting for a tasty meal.
Have you ever seen a young lady bug when it is first an alligator? Very interesting to say the least. The photo to the right I grabbed online, but I had the pleasure of seeing one these little prehistoric larva the other day on our rose bush.
I haven’t seen any of their eggs yet, but I keep looking. I love seeing them in the garden and around the fruit trees. I also love seeing all the spiders that are also on or near each plant.
I planted garbanzo beans directly into our sandy soil some time ago and they have made themselves known to us recently. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. At first I thought they were puncturevine which makes all those lovely goathead seeds, but when I looked more carefully, I realized they are coming up on the inside of the berm where I planted them.
I’m glad I didn’t pull them out! Right now they stand at a whopping three inches tall and seem to just be loving our lackluster soil composition.
I don’t think we plan on eating any of the beans that come from this particular crop this year, I just planted them to add nitrogen back into the soil.
Any beans we harvest will just be dried and planted out next year again.
I haven’t actually tried to grow anything other than beans in our sandy loam. I know that plants love sandy loam, but this sandy loam actually has a lot of salt in it. I’m excited about the ducks and really any other animals we get here, because as we add all they have to offer to the soil, we’ll be building it up anew.
Our Jerusalem Artichokes are growing strong and currently about six inches tall. Our Mammoth Sunflowers are about three inches tall. Things are starting to spring into action.
The last few days have involved digging and earthworks again. We’re trying to finish one of the major earthworks we have so we can start working on the duck pond.
The bog portion of the pond will be built right into one of our berms. Dom is amazing with the shovel and for the last two days I’ve been assisting him in digging. Did I dig? Uh…Uhhh…NO! LOL
I got to stand there looking pretty while holding a beer in one hand and the hose in the other.
He dug, I sprayed and we joked around and had a lot of fun while HE dug.
I hate digging. Although I have come to love it more now that I discovered that watering the hard ground before you put the shovel to the earth works best.
We pushed the dead tree and all the shrubbery clippings into the swales last night and then came inside when it was too dark to work anymore. My hunny worked all day, went shopping for a special dinner for Noah (he graduated from 8th grade and yesterday was his last day of school) came home and made our son ribs and baked potatoes, and while that was cooking in the oven he dug another 15 feet long and 4 1/2 foot deep part of the swale. This man of mine is truly amazing.
Can you tell I love my life yet? I love every part of it, from shoveling (okay not my favorite) and weeding to planning and planting.
From time alone in my garden to working with others in the family. I have no complaints about my life nor could I begin to complain about the lives of others.
I have little time for petty bullshit, people who complain about things they can not control or try to remember themselves as victims instead of taking responsibility for the choices they made.
If you find yourself complaining, arguing, justifying your actions, thinking you are better than others, put a shovel in your hands, claim a little patch of earth for yourself on your property and start planting something productive.
If you have time to bitch and complain, get down on your knees and start living for the first time. You won’t regret it. I’m not talking about just planting grass and flowers either (I am not fond of lawns especially in the desert)…I’m talking about planting things that will feed your belly AND your soul.
I’m thankful each day that I get to be on my knees, planting, sculpting berms, growing things that will give my family nourishment and great health, and working towards a greater good for my family.
I am fortunate to have a loving family where understanding one another is important and minimal arguing happens.
I don’t know what I’d do if I still lived in a household that argues and fights all the time. I’m grateful for all the love and even more grateful for a secure husband who doesn’t feel the need to pick on me, treat me like an imbecile, and who values me completely and fully.
Toxic relationships only get worse with time, so if you find yourself in that situation, cut yourself free from the toxic personalities that can hold you captive in misery.
You can’t change a toxic and unhappy person, and unfortunately in the end that toxic behavior is contagious. We all deserve to live at peace and while some people wish for peace, others like myself pursue it. Peace is a gift…and to sum up this entry, I’d like to end with a quote from Geoff Lawton:
“All the world’s problems can be solved in a garden.”
So true Geoff!
Broccoli and Brussels sprouts growing strong and beauitful.
A lady bug on one of our Granny Smith apple trees.
One of our mints going through a small population explosion. LOL To the left of the mint is an Early Girl tomato plant that I never expected to live. For over two months it just seemed stunted and yellowish and I was about to rip it out, but then the rains came the other day and POOF! it turned this lovely green color and grew twice the size it was. The desert fascinates me every day. I thought that I could predict what would grow and what wouldn’t, but the desert is filled with plenty of surprises…almost all of them good surprises. Another surprise was planting mammoth sunflowers and thinking that the seeds were not viable, and after almost 5 weeks out they pop. Hmm? I’ve learned that the desert has its own rhythm and plants just seem to take their sweet ass time growing here. I love it though…totally.
One of our red cabbage plants that seemed to double over night after it rained. So far all our cabbage has made it and is growing.
A close up of another garbanzo bean in the first berm.
A close up of some yellow flowers that Dom gave me over two weeks ago. They still look beautiful in the wine glass I put them in.