I didn’t have a chance to write the Friday Farm Blog for the past couple of weeks because we were doing some traveling. I used to absolutely love it – when I was younger, I spent years gallivanting like a vagabond through Central Mexico, parts of Europe, the United States, and Canada. But then things change. You have kids, work responsibilities, and a lot less disposable income. Then, to ice my personal stay-home cake, I got farm animals. I can tell you with great assurance, traveling when you have 30 or so animals is a whole different ball of wax than it was when I just needed to kennel the dog and have someone stop by and feed the cats.
Luckily, we found an awesome housesitter. A farm girl herself, she took care of everyone, messaged me daily to let me know all was well, and even vacuumed before she left, without being asked. I want to adopt that girl.
Back to the trip. We flew across the country to attend a family wedding (which was a lovely, joyful event). It got me thinking about how much we, as preparedness enthusiasts, really dislike being out of our comfort zones. With all of the tragedy going on in the world right now, multiply that feeling by a thousand. But sometimes, when you live far away from loved ones, you have to bite the bullet, pack the best carry-on bag you can, let the TSA scan you and pat you down, and get on that plane. It was so very wonderful to see people that I haven’t seen for years and to welcome a new member to the family. (We just met him and already love him.)
Back to farm life. It appears that Cora has lost her babies. I don’t know if she dropped them and a predator carried them off, or if she absorbed them like some kind of weird alien creature. Heck, maybe we were wrong all along and there were no babies. Whatever the case, she no longer appears pregnant and her udder is no longer full. Such a bummer.
Our 2 Silkie roosters, Orwell and Hemingway, are the cutest guys. They get along remarkably well, with no squabbling. They’re a very bonded pair of birds. They sleep outside in the run with the ducks at night, while the hens go inside the coop. I’m hoping their Silkie fluff will create some hardy chicks when the time arrives. Of course, someone has to eventually lay an egg, which hasn’t happened yet.
We have a new farm baby. Last week, I had been to a friend’s farm. It was a warm day, so I left the windows down. When I got in the Jeep, two kittens scared the daylights out of me as they frantically made their escape out the open window. I got ahold of myself, rolled up the windows, and drove home.
Upon my arrival at home, I discovered someone had stowed away in the Jeep and she wasn’t very happy about it. (Yes, I know, my thumb is in the picture.)
I called my friend and said, “Hey, sorry, but I stole your cat.”
“That’s okay, I have a whole litter of them. Keep it.”
We dubbed her Roxy. She has lived her entire life outside without a whole lot of human contact, so it is taking some effort to tame her and make her friendly enough to handle. Right now, we’re inducing Stockholm Syndrome by keeping her locked into the bathroom and going in to feed and pet her. She’s warming up a little bit. Here she is, still looking quite suspicious.
Every time I think I’m finished with apples, I end up with another 20 pounds or so. I’ve made a cold room to try and make this last batch last for as long as I can. I’ve wrapped the apples individually in paper because that helps them to last longer. Some other apples are being sliced up and tossed in cinnamon sugar, then put in the dehydrator. (Here is that recipe.) You can’t even consider that food preservation, though – the kids demolish an entire 9-tray dehydrator full within a few days.
The Once-a-Month Shopping Challenge is still going strong. It has made an amazing difference to my food bill, and even with the holidays, we’ve stayed on plan. Today, I’m taking the kids Christmas shopping, and we should be all set. I’ll write more about Month 2 in the upcoming week.
What’s going on at your homes and homesteads this week? Please share in the comments below!