Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Healthy Kitchen Window Project-Sprouts

Home today trying to nurse a very nasty cold, my second one in only a short time uggg. I wanted to share these lentil sprouts I grew in a Jar in the kitchen window. I was itching to grow something that I could eat and since I am not ready for outdoor planting yet this was a quick and easy project. There are a bunches of videos on YouTube of people and their sprout projects and there are all kinds of jars and sprouting kits out there that people want you to buy but a mason jar with an open lid and a piece of clean window screen ( sold by the foot at the hardware store for pennies), worked just fine. I think the sprouts took longer then they should (about 5 days) because the house is not super warm. Although at around 70 degrees it is not cold either. All of the videos I watched said you should have sprouts in 3-4 days so I am not sure why mine were slow, but they did sprout and they taste fresh. These will be added to my salads and sandwiches this week and I have another jar in the window in progress. I am pretty sure just plain lentils from the supermarket will work just fine, I ordered these last year from a preparedness website, they came vacuum sealed in a Mylar type package but I don't believe they are any different, if anyone know the answer to that question please let me know.

Feeling good about the direction I am heading, one small project at a time.

Hope everyone is staying warm and safe through the rough winter weather, even here in Florida we are getting down in the very low 20s at night. Happy Monday!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Starting From Scratch

I have always believed that the idea of homesteading is simply a mindset, meaning that a person can homestead anywhere under any circumstances, in the city or the country by making simple changes on a daily basis, deciding what their priorities are and how best to utilize the resources they have available to accomplish what they want.

Given the big changes in my life over the last six months and my new living arrangements, I have decided that my new years resolution will be to put my money where my mouth is and over the course of the coming year completely start over and see how many actual changes I can make in my lifestyle towards my goal of simplifying and getting back to basics and living the homesteading mindset.
I am am going to make a new list of goals for the year, and work towards them, blog about what I learn including my successes, failures, heartbreaks and whatever else comes along the way.

An update on my bread making post, I will no longer buy bread from the grocery store, I have actually incorporated bread making into my life in a very practical way and am very pleased to say that my family has made the transition nicely using the bread on a daily basis. Often for me that is half the battle, I have to make changes that are actually practical or I am fighting a losing battle. So one change down, one hundred more to go.

Now to figure out where to start.......I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Making Bread the Easy Way

If you have never attempted bread making by hand because it seemed like too much work or even a bit intimidating as I did, you have got try this recipe. I have tried other methods but for me this proves to be the easiest method by far.Using the recipe from this Mother Earth News Article;http://www.motherearthnews.com/Real-Food/Artisan-Bread-In-Five-Minutes-A-Day.aspx
I have been making fresh hot bread every day, even on days that I work 12 hour shifts. It really is as easy as they claim.
I mixed up the large batch recipe ( which makes enough for 8 loaves) in a Rubbermaid type container I keep in the fridge and every day I pull out enough dough to make one loaf, shape it into a round ball and leave it in a either on the counter or in a bowl dusted with corn meal, wheat germ or just plain flour, cover it with a dish towel and let it rise for 40 minutes while I go about my day. To bake I don't use the pizza stone as they suggest, I preheat my oval ( you can use a round one too) dutch oven to 475 for about 15 minutes, shape my dough into a loaf shape, put about three slashes in the top of the loaf, sprinkle some wheat germ on top and cover. Then bake for 20 minutes, remove the lid and bake for 10 more. That's all there is to warm crusty goodness! I am so impressed I will be buying this book or the authors other book "Healthy bread in five minutes a day".
Before I baked the first batch I found a bunch of U-tube videos demonstrating the method and they all agreed that it was a success.

I don't have a picture to share today, my loaves disappear as fast as I can make them, but they are almost foolproof, they are so easy. Knowing this is something I am going to make a part of my lifestyle,I plan on buying my next batch of supplies from Sams club they have the best prices on yeast and flour in bulk, I think I figure about 30-40 cents a loaf. With some hot homemade soup on a cold day it does not get any better.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Have been in a writing slump, but have been following all of my favorite bloggers when I can.
Sending out my wishes for Happy Holidays to all of my online friends. Take time to breathe, and enjoy the precious moments when they come.

Friday, October 15, 2010

October 2010- Life these days.

I continue to be MIA when it comes to blogging. I guess because I always intended this blog to be about homesteading and even though I have not lost my passion for the subject, I regretfully have done nothing in my life lately that could even be slightly considered homesteading. About a week ago, I wet a bunch of little peat pots to fluff up and plant seeds in but they still have not one seed started. I found a lead on person who might teach me how to make the old fashioned wool hook rugs or felted rugs that I have always wanted to learn how to make but I have not called her. So I drag my feet about updating the blog, feeling like I have nothing of interest to contribute.

Fortunately for me you all are so inspiring, when I get online and read what all of my favorite bloggers are up to, it occurs to me that I really just want to see what is going on in their lives, the good the bad, the ups and downs I like hearing what is going on with my far away friends and I feel genuine concern, joy and frustration along with them in all that they encounter and are willing to share with me. I love hearing about the weather in other parts of the country or the other side of the world, I like seeing what people are cooking up in their kitchens, or what their kids are doing in school. I enjoy seeing their families their dogs, cats and other assorted menageries of animals. I love the similarities as well as the differences in all of our crazy lives.
Also, I am reminded that part of the reason I blog is purely for my own need to chronicle the journey that I am on. So very much in my life has turned upside down but in the midst of it all life still goes on and I am determined to remember to enjoy the journey not just focus on the destination. I know a year or two from now I will look back on what was happening now and appreciate those obstacles that seemed so insurmountable that turned out to really be stepping stones on the path to wherever life is taking me.

I have been spending most of my free time in academic mode. Because I went back to work in the ICU, I had several educational certifications to renew including ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) and have decided to pursue getting my CCRN certification (Critical Care). The test is very difficult and to prepare for it I am taking an online course through the Critical Care Nurses Association that requires a commitment of a lot of hours online and reading. So most of my time is spent trying to memorize things like which lead on the ECG machine reflects the electrical activity of each area of the heart. Oh so exciting! The whole process has gotten me more motivated to go back to school and finish my Masters in Nursing, I dropped out of the program I was in when my husband and I separated. Lately I have really begun to realize that at 47 I am no spring chicken anymore and I can't see myself doing the physical labor involved in bedside nursing for another 20 years. Having that degree would allow me to go into teaching which I have always wanted to do.
In my fantasy world of the future, I live in the mountains of New Mexico, I have a working homestead that is at least partially self sufficient, the chickens are back and clucking happily around the barn, I teach online classes from the comfort of my home office while the dogs sleep at my feet, and when I want to escape it all I ride off into the sunset on my trusty equine friends. Hey a girl can dream can't she??

Since the weather has cooled a bit here in Florida I have had the chance to do the thing I love most in the world, ride my horse. The new foal has not been weaned yet and probably has a few more months on his mama so she is not able to be ridden, but good old faithful Red my 25 year old Quarter Horse has proven once again that he has been worth his weight in gold. I have been getting out on him and exploring the great riding trails right near my new home and he takes on every new trail we find like an old pro. I have been warned over and over NOT to ride alone and I know I really shouldn't but if I waited around for someone to ride with I would never get to ride. So off we go and so far it has been nothing but the best way for me to escape it all.
One of these days I will proudly post a picture of the new veggie garden I have started or some other homestead related blog worthy topic, but until then I'm just taking it one day at a time and trying to appreciate the journey.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

When Life Hands You Lemons...

I don't know why I have had such a hard time finding anything that I feel is worth writing about. There have been so many big changes in my life over the past two months and originally my intention in blogging was to chronicle my journey, I should be blogging about all of it. I think, that I have had a mental block about how to continue this blog when it has gone so far away from it's original intention.

My life has changed so dramatically, moving from the country with no nearby neighbors to living in a development with next door neighbors only yards away, from owning to renting and all that goes along with worrying about another persons property, to the loss of my precious livestock. Don't get me wrong I am not whining, I am grateful for all that I have and that my family and I are healthy and happy. However, I am grieving the loss of the dream for now.

I also have changed jobs again and have been settling into a new routine, at least this was definitely a change for the better. I found out I am not meant to be a home health nurse, I learned so much from the job and met so many great people but I am a hospital nurse this much I have learned. So I have taken a job at a hospital 9 miles from my new home in the ICU and am finding it a much better fit for me.

The challenge for me now is to figure out where to continue with my dream of some self sufficiency, maintaining the homesteading mentality in the middle of upheaval in my life.

There are tons of wonderful websites and blogs about urban homesteading and I have got to glean from them a path that is right for me. I need to just jump in somewhere and begin, whether it be planting a few seeds for a kitchen garden, making a batch of soap, candles, or learning a new skill of some kind. Wish me luck!!

In the spirit of re-focusing, think I will change the title of my blog to "Laura's Urban Homestead Adventures", what do you think?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

New Beginnings

Beginning to get settled in the new house, still lots of loose ends at the old house but slowly it is all getting sorted out. My big excitement this week started when the two horses I have moved to the new house disappeared. My youngest son went out to feed them and they were gone, busted down a fence and took off. I drove around the neighborhood all morning, called animal control and the sheriff's office but no word of them. I really was worried since the mare Karma was about to have her foal. Thankfully I live in a horse community. The horses had decided to take a trek about 2 miles down the road where another neighbor found them and put them safely in her pasture and through the grapevine someone got in touch with me to let me know where to find them. What a relief. When I got my Karma girl back she looked like her adventure had taken it's toll on her and she was going to foal any time. So in the early hours of Aug. 27th around 2 a.m. my youngest son who had been out to check on the horses woke me to say we have a new colt. The young Quarter horse that was hia father was a light buckskin color so he may stay this light color. Hia eyes are a pale blue but I am assuming they will change color as he gets older. I have been out handling him every day so that he gets used to people, he likes the attention. I am hoping his name will come to me in time, in case you read this post earlier you might notice that I had to make some changes in the text. Turns out she was a he, it just took a little while for things to settle and reveal themselves.
He is adorable, aren't all baby animals....I'm in love.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


All of you blog followers and friends out there who have sent me words of encouragement, Thank You!!

You have no idea how much it helps to hear you thoughts.

On to new adventures soon

Did I mention that my Karma horse,the paint mare, is preggo?? Waiting on a foal any day now (although I have no idea when she got pregnant, she came to me that way)

It was a huge surprise in the midst of all the chaos in my life lately to look at her one day and realize that she has milk veins and is bagging up.

Pictures soon as soon as I figure out which box I packed the camera in.

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Long and Winding Road

I heard that song a couple of days ago and it has been stuck in my head, as I sat down to write this post it seemed a fitting title.

This post is long overdue but it was very hard to sit down and write, I have been dreading writing it because by doing so I have to expose myself and my embarrassment. However, I knew eventually I would have to pull my head out of the sand, face the facts, live my life out loud and all that good stuff.

I sadly will be leaving my homestead. I have been working two jobs for over two years now trying to keep my head above water, after going from a 2 income home for the last 27 years to just me trying to keep it all going, I finally had to admit to myself that I can no longer keep up the pace nor do I want to. So I am allowing my home to go into foreclosure. I tried several attempts to get the bank to modify my loan but they won't do it. I am way upside down in the mortgage now that housing prices have bottomed out in my area and my home is falling apart literally lol!! I probably am looking at around 30,000.00 just to fix the things that need to be fixed to keep it and it is simply not worth it. The land is the heart breaker, I love that land with a passion, I pray that I someday will be able to have another homestead and begin again, in the mean time, I am determined to find ways to do an urban version of homesteading on a much smaller scale for now.

I have found a really great place to rent in a horse community so I can keep the horses and two of my dogs and still have room for my kids and grandkids who are all still living with me. With great sadness, I have been finding homes for all of my other critters, so far the ones I have given away have gone to great homes especially the dogs which is such a relief to me.

Going through 16 years worth of stuff is challenging to say the least but little by little I am making some headway. I rented a big storage shed and I am sure it will be filled to the rafters before all is said and done.

So, this blog has taken a turn in a new direction. I will still be following all of my favorite bloggers, living vicariously through the posts of people I have come to admire. I hope that a year from now I will have landed on my feet and be moving forward again with new enthusiasim and vision, but for now I am just trying to take it all one day at a time and do what has to be done to keep from losing my mind.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

You say Potatoe, I say.......

My daughter in law Casi was so thrilled to see that there actually were potatoes growing under those plants, i'm so glad to have somebody else around who appreciates my efforts!! Here is the first batch we pulled up, a little too soon, so there were many small ones but the ones most recently are coming up bigger. I am trying to leave them in the ground and not pull them until we use up the ones we have out but at some point I am going to have to get out there and get the rest in before the bugs eat them. I have to figure out the best way to preserve some of them. Any suggestions?

Monday, May 31, 2010

Thank you to my eloquent friend at the Wild Magnolia for giving me this Versatile Blogger Award. I believe in passing it along I am supposed to tell something about myself, so here a some things about me that are not in my profile.

I was born in Oklahoma City but when I was two I moved with my family to a suburb of Los Angeles California where I lived until my late 20s. I lived for about 6 years in a beautiful town up the coast from Santa Barbara Calif. not far from the infamous "Neverland Ranch" I still miss California very much but don't believe I will every return to live there again. I have lived in Central Florida for about 15 years and have grown to very much appreciate the ebbs and flows and more relaxed pace of the South, I will never ever love the humidity here and find summers to be miserable still. I hope someday to move to the mountains of New Mexico a place I love.

I love to read, especially period pieces that take me to another time and place and teach me something historical, I love movies like that as well and big epic pics like "Seven Years in Tibet" and "Out of Africa" are some that I loved. Although my favorite book has no historical significance at all it's "Lost Horizon" by James Hilton. I have no idea why that one struck such a cord with me but it did. I love blogs for the same reason they take me to different places, teach me new things about the world around me and let me take a peek into how others live.

I am a music lover, all kinds of music although I have no musical talent, I am a closet singer. I am proud that I passed that love along to my children.

When I was 18 I backpacked through Europe with a girlfriend, it was a great adventure and one that I am so glad I had the chance to do before I came home and married and had babies.

I believe in compassion for others and really try my hardest to have a live and let live approach to life even when it's hard to do so.

Alright enough about me, on to who to pass this award along to which is a really hard choice to make, I follow so many amazing blogs and continuously surprised and inspired by all of the talented a caring people out there in blog land. Many of the blogs I follow faithfully have already received this award so I am looking beyond my usually circle of blogging friends to some others that enjoy.

Although she has huge huge following and is actually bit of a celebrity I have to give credit to Jenna at : coldantlerfarm.blogspot.com/2010/05/good-morning-from-cold-antler.html

I first read an article by Jenna in a homesteading magazine I can't remember which one and it mentioned her blog. Her blog was the first blog that I started following and I was hooked from then on. She has a variety of interests and she writes in way that pulls you right into her life and has you rooting for her. Jenna is a published author with a book and multiple magazine articles and a beautifully illustrated blog.

The next blog is the girls at: http://stickhorsecowgirls.blogspot.com/2010/05/c-when-opportunity-knocks.html two great friends who post about anything and everything and often leave me thinking or laughing. Intelligent and witty they feel like women you want to hang out with.

The next blogger lives in New Mexico not far from where I hope to move in the next few years so I live a bit vicariously through her posts, and i am in love with her little Donkeys , see them at http://www.the7msnranch.com/

Hope to have introduced you to some new bloggers,


Remembering why we celebrate Memorial Day and Piggies to Market

Remembering all who have sacrificed it all for this land we call home and our freedom.

Before I run out the door to work, I had to post that I sold two of my male piggies at the auction on Saturday night for $50 each, for a little tiny rural auction that was a good sale, and paid back my investment of $30.00 each for the male and female I originally bought to breed. The money went right into bags of feed to finish off the two I plan to keep for meat. I gave the only two females of the litter to the woman who gave me the horses who in turn gave me two little Peking ducklings. I have 3 more babies left to sell and will take at least two of them next Saturday to the auction.

I met an older man at the auction who was wanting a baby goat for a pet but could not afford one, I heard through a friend that he was a nice old guy who would be good to his word, so I loaded up one of my two buck kids and took him to him on Sunday morning, he was thrilled to say the least and I got to see his really beautiful veggie garden and know the little guy will be well cared for.

Sunday it rained buckets so i was forced to stay inside and ended up doing nothing, nothing of any use that is. I guess I needed an afternoon like that, I can't remember the last time I did that.

I should have passed along the "Versatile Blogger" award that I received from a very gracious woman, but I was too brain dead. I will have a hard time choosing who to pass it along to since there are so many great bloggers out there whose posts I love to follow, but I will do it soon.

Hope everyone who gets Memorial Day off enjoys time with family and friends. I am off to work, still sick people to see even on the holiday.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Harvest Begins

As usual my pictures are out of order, but I give up on trying to fix them.
Please ignore the weeds around the bed, they are out of control, but I wanted to show the enclosure I made to keep the chickens out of the raised beds, I was going to cover the top as well but so far they have shown no interest in bothering the beds so I will wait and see. I was thinking that in the winter I will try covering it with plastic to make a mini green house for lettuce and spinach etc. It was really cheap and not to hard to make. Next time though I will cut all my pvc pipe in 2 foot sections and piece it together with connectors, if the sections are too long the pvc wants to bend and bow, I think shorter sections will be easier to work with and not as unstable.

I have been able to begin harvesting things from my garden and was able to make my first meal from the farm. I should have taken a picture but I did not think of it at the time. I had roast chicken, green beans and red potatoes all grown or raised here on my little plot of land. What a sense of satisfaction seeing my hard work return a yield. All of my kids are back home with me and along with a good friend have participated in one way or another in helping me keep it all going. I am so thrilled that my two grand-sons get excited when they see they find a big green bean to pick or that Logan the four year old snuck out and planted his own pumpkin seeds, imagine my surprise when they started coming up in the middle of my herbs.

Pictured are some of the herbs I have growing in the water trough raised bed, thyme, rosemary, basil, lemon balm, along with some of the green beans from another raised bed. Yes those are pumpkin vines threatening to take over the whole trough. I have a large plot of ground where I have been growing the potatoes, black eyed peas, tomato's, squash, peppers and a few other things. Additionally, I have two wood frame raised beds, I built this year. I have to say the things in the raised beds have grown so much faster and look so much better then my in ground plants. The soil here in Florida is so very sandy, it may take me years to amend it to my satisfaction, for my purposes raised beds are the way to go, great soil from the beginning almost no weeds and at a better height to work with. Well worth the investment of time and money to make them.I have lots of things getting ready to begin ripening, I can't wait to pick the first tomato.

I did not take pictures of the chicken processing, I did five white rock hens that I ordered from Murray Mc Murray, I let them live longer then I should have I think they ideally should be done at around 6-8 weeks to be the most tender. I procrastinated. If I am honest about the whole thing I will have to admit that I am not 100% OK with the killing of animals for my food purposes, I struggle with the whole thing a bit but keep coming back to either going back to being a vegetarian and give up meat all together or raise my own giving the animals the best life I can. For now I am trying to do the latter and hoping that I become more comfortable with the whole idea. The actual processing is not that bad for anyone thinking of doing it there are lots of places to find info, I am sure there are you tube videos out there. My only word of advice is to be prepared, have everything you need ready ahead of time. I used a deep fryer to have boiling water ready, a large table covered with a clean plastic drop cloth, a clean five gallon bucket a de-boning knife, an ax and a tree stump, I am sure every one knows it is not the most pleasant of events but when my five hens were all packed in freezer bags I was grateful for the experience. I am thinking about ordering another batch of 25 meat birds, but am not looking forward to raising another batch of chicks quite yet.

On a completely unrelated note, can anyone tell me how to get the blog spot to allow you to load more pictures?? If I have more then three pics and any text at all the blog program boots the pictures off. This post started out with three pictures and as I added text it bumped them off, to who knows where. It seems like I can type the text and then add the pics but then they all end up at the beginning of the post instead of spread throughout. Irritating!! I love seeing every ones pictures of their farms, kids, creative projects, cooking and critters and would like to post more of my own without having to create a post for every one of them. I am sure it is operator ignorance on my part lol, but I have no time to sit here trying to figure it out, there are baby goats screaming to be fed.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Just saying a quick hello to my blogging friends.

I really hope all of my great blogging friends out there are having the best spring ever. My life has gotten so hectic and full of things that have to be done that there has been no time to post and no time to follow any one's posts. The little farm has blossomed but with all of the new life and growth comes tons of work as I know you all are well aware. Besides that, my new job has me spending hours on the computer every evening charting the events of the day so by the time I am done I don't want to touch a laptop. But I miss the give and take of the blogging world and hope to find a way to make time to catch up soon.
Blessings to all!!!


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Spring Update

I started this blog when I was bed-ridden after surgery last fall and it seemed then and through the winter that there was plenty of time to keep up with it, in fact it became a kind of therapy for me, a confessional, diary, thought sorter, creative outlet and link to life on other planets.

It seems lately that since the day the "Endless Winter" finally ended there has been no time for blogging. Beautiful weather and more projects then I can ever tackle have had me either outside working, planting, clearing, raking or working at one of my two jobs. I have been working a lot, I do the regular Mon-Fri gig with the home health agency which is a pretty great job and then on weekends I do one or two nights at the hospital 7 p-7a. This week for example I worked all week, got home at 4:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon and left to work all night at the hospital at 6:00 p.m. I am in no way complaining, I am so very grateful to have the ability to work and make good money for what I do. and I do it so that I can have the resources to do the things that I really love like building raised beds and chicken coops and day old chicks from the hatchery. Someday though, in the not too far off future I hope to be able to sit back and enjoy it all a little bit more, but in the meantime its all a very fine juggling act.

Spring has arrived to my homestead in a big way, with baby goats, geese, bunnies and a batch of 10 pink little piggies. My animals have been prolific to say the least. The garden is well underway with healthy potato plants, green beans, black eyed peas, onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, pumpkins, cucumbers and collard greens all showing great promise. I feel very proud of the progress I have made. I often look around and think you wanted a little farm, well you got it.
I met a woman at the feed store a couple of weeks ago who was looking for fertilized duck eggs,to hatch in her incubator, I overheard her and offered to let her have the batch of 10 that my Peking duck had recently laid. Somewhere in the course of our conversation I must have mentioned that my horse had died at Christmas time and that I hoped to one day replace her. The woman called me a few days later and said that she had been thinking about it and wanted to offer me her two horses, for free!! I went to see them , one is a really nice Registered Paint mare and the other a Welsh cross pony around 14 hands high. I am thrilled to say that they will be coming to live with me soon, as in later today after I go home and take a power nap. I will post more on them when I get them home and settled. I am a believer in Karma of sorts- you reap what you sow-I am so glad I gave her some Duck eggs.

In another twist of fate I had a patient the past two nights who has some really great words of wisdom for me on marriage, family and life. I won't go into detail because her words hit me where I live, but I have to say I am again amazed at the way people cross our paths as if they were meant to influence us or change our course in some way. Hope you all are having a wonderful spring.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Happy Wednesday and Spring Garden Progress.

Just a quick note to remind myself that I planted onions and heirloom tomatoes yesterday after work. The rest of it is coming along and I need to get some pictures up of the new growth. I noticed a couple of holes in the leaves of the potatoes and bell peppers and was reminded I need to find a good recipe for organic bug spray, I was hoping to stay away from things like 7 dust. I know there is one with a mix of veggie oil, dish soap and water but don't know the exact measurements, anyone got one??

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Warning post not for the squeamish or vegetarian

I am sharing this post because I want to chronicle the good the bad and the ugly as I travel on my little journey towards a more self sufficient lifestyle. Life and death are a part of life on a farm and I want to record things the way they happened.
Yesterday my grandson's chow/shepard mix puppy decided to play ( I don't think he really knew what he was doing) with one of Rhode Island Red Hens. He played with her so hard that the only humane thing to do was to kill her to end her suffering. When I picked her up and saw the damage I could not help but feel that she probably weighed 12 lbs. I knew that it would be an absolute waste to just kill her and bury her so I decided the time was now to get my hands dirty and get her from the yard to the pot. I wanted to raise my own food right? Time to put my money where my mouth is.

In the back of my head I kept thinking our grandmother's generation or at least our great-grandmother's did this probably once a week if they were lucky enough to have some land and a yard full of chickens. Since the damage to her skin was so bad I decided the easiest thing to do at 7 in the evening would be to skin her. With a decent skinning knife from my son the whole thing went pretty fast. I will spare you all the gory details but will say the directions for the whole process are easily found on the Internet and really not that bad.

Once she was cleaned up she was washed seasoned, put in the crock pot overnight with a hand full of fresh herbs from my garden Rosemary, Oregano, Basil and Thyme stuffed inside the carcass for flavor. The only mistake I made was to cook it on high all night I should have set it on low for a more tender finish. Never the less it looks and tastes just like any other chicken. I think with a slightly more gamey flavor since she was free range, but that may be my imagination. I will be taking a chicken wrap for lunch today and a sense of satisfaction knowing I did what I said I was going to do. She lived a happy life and she died quickly at my hand. ( after the unfortunate dog event), I don't enjoy anything about taking a life, I did a stint as a vegetarian because I am appalled at what goes on in the meat processing plants, but I do eat meat ,and I feel good about moving in this direction when it comes to where my meat for the table comes from.
Off I go to make the money to buy the chicken feed.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Life's Little Bumps in the Road

Sometimes you just have to dust yourself off and get back on the horse. I spent from Tuesday to Thursday night in the hospital. I have over the years had some Kidney problems on and off and the little pain in my side that I was trying to ignore decided to bring me to a screeching halt and demand some attention. Long story short I had a raging infection along with some other issues that will have to be followed up with yet more testing, yuck! But I am feeling better now and so very happy to be able to rest up at home this weekend. The weather the past couple of days has been picture perfect and I have to get out and get some pictures today. My humble little garden is beginning to show promise, the baby goats, bunnies and chicks are thriving and the wheels in my head are spinning with projects to come. I am excited that I am back in plenty of goat milk again, thank you Juniper ! Going to make some cheese today. Happy Sunday Everyone!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Visitors from around the world

I had to make a quick comment about how surprised I was to see the visitors to my blog from around the world. I recently added one of those visitor tracking maps to my blog just for fun and decided to look at the visitor stats last night. Wow, is all I can say. I have had visitors from of course the USA and Canada. I knew I had visitors from Australia thank you all !! You have become like friends who I am anxious to hear from. But what shocked me were the ones from India, Russia, Africa, Spain and I am sure I am leaving some out. So, I want to say, if you stop by to check out my humble little blog thank you so much for visiting.
Again and again I am impressed with what a small world it has become. With the Internet and satellites to convey images to our televisions in seconds we can be on the other side of the world if only by technology but never again will we as isolated as we once were. However you see it good or bad it is here and it is amazing.

Learning to Ride and Welcome Spring

Yesterday I volunteered to work a concession stand at a horse show to raise money for the local chapter of FCCD an organization aimed at keeping at risk kids from committing crime and being delinquent from school. I am no longer a member since I don't work in the prison system any more but many of my friends are so I was recruited. I learned a big lesson, never wear cowboy boots to stand on your feet all day cooking food.
After a day of being around all those horses my friends 13 year old who does not ride wanted to learn, so we came home and saddled up old RED and spent the rest of the evening teaching her to ride, she loved it. Of course Logan my four year old grandson wanted to ride too so I told him to get his boots on, those are the boots he chose. RED is the best horse that you can put anyone on. After Logan then his little brother Cadyn 2 wanted to ride. As you can see by the diaper only wardrobe, it was finally a nice warm spring day
We spent the remaining hours doing barn chores, which included raking what seemed like 50 lbs of rabbit poop to add to the compost pile. How do such little creatures make so much poop? I just think of it as garden gold. We finally felt we could let Juniper and her baby who is so much stronger now out of the barn for some fresh air. While making my feed run, I picked up two silkie chicks at the feed store, I felt sorry for them they were being picked bloody by the the other chicks, so they have replaced the living room chicks who were moved outside to a bigger cage. I worried that the night temps might still be too cold but with a light and a cover over the cage they did fine with temps into the low 50s.
I fell into bed last night and slept that sleep of the dead, that kind of sleep that comes from the really good tired, you can only get from a long day of working hard but doing things you absolutely love. It was a life is good day.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patricks Day!!

I have just enough Irish in me to feel proud that there is another holiday to celebrate, even if just with a greeting out to all of you.

I have been so busy I have no new pictures, but wanted to post a quick update, I have baby rabbits! The first successful litter born here on my property. I have had some real nightmare stories with previous attempts at raising them but I think we may have turned a corner

Junipers little Doe kid is doing great and Juniper is now back in milk wooo hooo, that means goat cheese again soon. The other little buck sadly did not make it, I did end up tubing him several times and got nutrition in him and he stayed alive for 5 days but never would get up and walk or do anything but lay there and whimper, I finally decided to let him go since he seemed neurologically impaired. In the future I will tube any failing kids immediately as I think the delay in getting the colostrum in him may have been too long. I learned a lot from him. On the upside his mama Juni looks so much better since she had her kids, they really took thier toll on her.

The potatoes are coming up and black eyed peas, green beans and peppers are planted. Baby chicks are getting big, I can't wait till they are big enough to move out of the living room

I feel like I am missing so much of all of your blogs since I have not been able to spend time online at all, the new job has me bringing a lot of paperwork home at night. Hope to this weekend, feel like I am missing catching up with old friends.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Rain Rain Go Away, Come Again Another Day

I need to whine, this was a long tiresome week, my first week on my own doing home health and while I believe I am going to really like the job, it was a challenging week of learning new paperwork, and then duplicating everything on the computer which is such a waste of time, getting lost ( a lot), and since I have been driving my pick up truck for so long but decided to drive the car to save gas I got to find out a little too late that my car has faulty window seals and fills up with water in the rain. I got wet, really really wet. Add to that, the mud and muck that has to be trekked through to do anything around the farm, company arriving for a visit from up north, and a really really messy house and I am feeling a bit overwhelmed. Oh and did I mention the rain, the wind, the tornado warnings with me out driving around in it, showing up to peoples houses looking like a wet poodle? yeah I did I know, well let me say enough rain already!

On top of that craziness, my beloved goat Juniper had her babies last night and she had a very difficult time, I tried my hardest to stay with her till she delivered but at about 2 a.m. I had to give up and try to get some sleep since I had to work in the morning. Back up at 5:30 to check on her and she had delivered triplets but one was dead already and the other two are very weak and may not make it. After several hours I had to bring one of the two in the house to try to feed because he could not even latch on, he won't eat for me either, he has no ability to stand, he is like wet noodle. I milked mama and made him a bottle with a goat nipple and tried and tried to teach him to suck on it with no luck. He is still alive but I don't expect for long. The last kid, a little Doe is weak but able to stand and nurse but she does not have the spunk she should. I left her with Juniper and hope she gains some strength overnight.
This has not been the greatest week but I know when the sun comes out and I finally get a decent nights sleep (which is not tonight since its 2 a.m. and I can't sleep) things will look a whole lot brighter. As always, I have to stop and be grateful for all of the blessing in my life and know that I have it pretty good by comparison to so many but sometimes you just have to vent and move on.
On the up side, I am done whining now, it's not freezing cold here anymore, I can really get serious about my little garden plots. Bring on spring, daylight savings time change to longer days and lots of outside fun.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

March comes in like a Lion

I miss reading all of my favorite blogs, I have been so busy around here that by the time I fall into bed at night and would usually read I am too pooped and just pass out. I am looking forward to catching up with all the news from around the world soon. Hoping everyone is healthy, happy and living life to the fullest.
It has been cold here in Florida with more freezing temperatures than have been seen in decades but I believe it is soon to begin to be warmer. I can't believe we have too many more terribly cold days left before spring finally arrives, thank goodness because I am ready to get out in the dirt and plant something. I went and bought seeds today, Roma Beans and Black Eyed Peas. along with 4 Bell Pepper plants from the feed store. I already have 5 25 foot rows of potatoes in the ground so that is a start. I hope to get the rest in this week.

The new baby goats are doing well and the chicks I ordered from Murray Mc Murray arrived. I ordered Aracaunas, Buff Orphingtons and Barred Rocks all pullets, along with 5 straight run White Rocks Giants that I plan to raise to be butchered. This is my experimental batch. I decided to try my hand at just five for the freezer to see if I can successfully see them from chicks to freezer before ordering a larger batch. They definitely are genetically different than the laying chicks, they are growing so much faster then the others at only a week old you can see the difference in size. I will post their progress as they grow. Sadly, I have lost a few of the babies for reasons unknown. I go to bed at night and they all are fine, I get up in the morning and there will be one who looks to have been trampled to death. I have no clue as to what could be wrong. Hopefully the remaining chicks are going to thrive.

I started my new job this past week, I think I am going to love this job. I have never worked anywhere like this before, there is no stress, you drive from one home to another seeing patients and they are actually happy to see you when you get there. As you drive from place to place you listen to the radio, have time to think, I keep finding myself saying,wow they are actually paying me for this

Sadly, the pregnant rabbit had her babies on the wire and decided to nibble on some of them, (rabbits are not the smartest creatures) and unfortunately none of them lived. I am feeling a bit discouraged by my inability to breed rabbits, aren't they supposed to be the most prolific creatures. She had a nesting box, she pulled fur to make a nest along with the hay that was in the box and then she had them outside of the box in freezing temps. What's up with that?

Still waiting on Juniper my favorite Doe to kid, this seems like an incredibly long pregnancy and she is so big, I know we will both be glad to see delivery day come. Oh and one of my trio of ducks who I thought were all males is female (surprise, surprise!) she is laying eggs.

That's all the update I have for this morning, off to begin another busy week. Hope to get some new pictures up soon. Have a great week everyone and hopefully spring is beginning to creep in where you live.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Baby Bucks

Yesterday I came home from my week away from home anxious to see the new baby goats, they are a pair of buck babies who obviously carried the Boar goat gene forward from their grandfather who was a Boar Goat and their mother and father who are both half Boar goat. The Mother, Valentine is really just a pet, she is almost impossible to milk since she has some very small teats and she is very small so I am not sure her youngsters are meat goat quality, from a farming standpoint she is not really moving the efforts forward, but she has wormed her way into my eighteen year old sons heart so she will stay.

I am not sure yet what the future holds for these boys since I won't be keeping any Bucks, but for now we will enjoy having such cute babies around and most likely later they will be sold at the critter auction. I believe we have less than two more weeks before my Oberhasli Juniper has her kids, that is the event I am anxiously awaiting. I am trying to give her extra nutrition, and she has been well wormed because she is looking too thin. She seems very healthy otherwise, so hopefully it is just the drain of the kids on her that is causing her to look bony.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Secret Goat Code wins again.

I recently read a blog post about the "Goat Code", the secret code among goats that says if your owner is expecting you to kid on a certain date, hold out for the time when he or she is away on vacation, or in the middle of a family crisis or ......... you get the idea. Sure enough, today while I am here in Clearwater Florida, 80 miles from home, with one more day of training to go, one of my goats , a little black and white mixed breed doe named Valentine, delivered two little kids. My son says they look fine and are nursing, they are all white like my half boar buck , he has no idea if they are male or female nor does he care. I on the other hand want to jump in my truck and drive home to see them but I will restrain myself. I would ask him to take pictures to email me but of course I brought the digital camera with me. Anyway, I had to share my excitement with someone. I knew some of you out there would know how I am feeling about having to wait to see them. I will post pictures when I get home.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Bubble Baths

I was afraid I would hate this week living in a hotel but I gotta say it is pretty wonderful.

I took a bubble bath tonight, I never ever take bubble baths at home. I always feel like I have a million things to do and no time to waste.

This week I am remembering that along with all of my pursuits I need to really stop and unwind every once in a while, seems so simple right but how often do we really really do it? I have to once in while steer off course open up to something new, challenge myself to learn, grow and let go.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Birthday Boots and My First Raised Beds

This is my week at the hotel 80 miles from home while I attend orientation for my new job. The hotel is great and I am enjoying the peace and relaxation. Just a couple of quick things to share.
I found these cute boots for my 2 year old grandson at the feedstore, he loves them. I wish they made them in my size, I would own a pair.
I am so excited that this past weekend I went and purchased the materials to make my first raised bed gardens, I decided they were the best way for me to get started on my garden this spring. I need to sit down and figure out exactly the cost per bed but the measurements are 8 feet by 4 feet. My son a good friend and I put them together very quickly and I look forward to adding many more over time. I hope to post pictures of them when they are full of healthy plants soon.

Sunshine Blog Award

Thank you Granny from "Grannys Garden" at: http://grannyandpa.blogspot.com/

for the Sunshine award.

I have to thank Granny for passing this award along to me and for her support of my blog since it's very beginning. Even though she is on the other side of the world she has loves the same things I do, chickens, gardening, finding treasures in unexpected places and a simple daily appreciation for life. Thank you Granny!!

To continue spreading the sunshine I must pass the award along to 12 blogger who brighten my day, they are:

Carmen at: http://waxedoutcreativelife.blogspot.com/

Barbara at:


Deb at: http://www.howdyfromcowtown.com/

Misha at: http://frommyfrontporchinthemountains.blogspot.com/

Lisa at: http://laughingorcaranch.blogspot.com/

Texan at: http://www.blogger.com/profile/14560812716080117867

Author name unknown but I am a big fan of : http://myfarmhousekitchen.blogspot.com/

Twistie at: http://fromthecountryfarm.blogspot.com/

Melodie at: http://laughing-duck-farm.blogspot.com/

Pam at: http://georgiafarmwoman.blogspot.com/

Sherri at:http://smallfarmgirl.blogspot.com/2010/02/just-hanging-out.html

And lastly another favorite blogger whose name I do not know :http://aintforcitygals.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Protecting My Investment

Moving from a two income family to a one income head of household has been challenging to say the least. When I sat back took stock and thought about where I wanted to go with my life, knowing that I was now really in the drivers seat I kept coming back to the things that have always pulled at my heartstrings. For as long as I can remember I known I wanted to live a life in balance with nature and one of the ways for me to do that is to grow and raise as much of my own food as possible. I wanted my own farm, hobby farm, way out west ranch, homestead, whatever you want to call it, I have had a vision in my head that won't go away.

In the past in my attempts to make it happen, I have jumped into way too many projects at once not thinking and planning things through as well as I should have resulting in losses, costly losses. I no longer have the luxury of making those kinds of mistakes. This time around I feel like I have a really good focus on what is important.

My steps towards my goals have been well planned and I have not taken on more than I could handle. The results are so gratifying. I have nine healthy hens who on average produce 6-7 eggs a day. I eat eggs almost every morning for breakfast and have a great sense of satisfaction that my girls are feeding me, we are dependant on each other. I have the beginning of a really good meat rabbit supply, with one pregnant female and two younger ones who can be bred in about five more weeks. My pair of Yorkshire pigs with hopefully produce a litter this spring or early summer and I will be on my way to a steady source of pork. I am paying very close attention to the health and well being of my animals making sure to learn as much as I can about the best practices as I go.

My point is that this time around I have been very careful to focus on how to get the best yield out of my investment and am constantly re-evaluating what my next step should be. Its really hard to blow 30 bucks on a new sweater when I think about how that might go towards the cool cheese press I have had my eye on, or the hand grain mill I have wanted for so long. My priorities have drastically changed. I feel like finally I am on the right track and as long as I maintain this kind of rational approach I feel confident that I will see my plans a success.

While I try to have a farmers attitude towards the animals I can't say that I am not attached to each and every one of them, I spend hours just watching the things they do and have established a trusting relationship with all of them. Killing an animal is not something I will ever take lightly, but I feel that if I am going to eat meat I can at least feel good about where it came from and the life that it led and know that it was killed quickly with the least amount of suffering possible.
I know that this home that I am living in now is not the final resting place of my dreams but while I am here I am learning all I can and preparing for the next phase in my life, one that will hopefully take me back out west to build the homestead that I will spend the rest of my life on.
I hope that by this time next year I will be posting that a much greater amount of my families food came right off of this little homestead. I see so many of my fellow bloggers accomplishing exactly what I have set out to do, I have to thank you for your continued blog posts that motivate me to continue on the path that my heart insists I travel. By the way Dad if you are reading this, your blog is my greatest inspiration of all.

Circle of Friends Award- My first Blog Award!

Debbie at http://happydays1948.blogspot.com/ gave me this Circle of Friends Award. I have to say a few words about Debbie, she was one of my very first followers and such a wonderful supporter of my blog, her friendship and the other followers who came to my site through her have become invaluable sources of inspiration and information to me. I have come to enjoy the give and take the daily ups and downs that we all share more then I ever imagined. Thank you Debbie!!

Debbie awarded some of my favorite bloggers already so I will pass it along to some of my other favorite blog authors.

This award is given to blogs that bring a smile to your face, or just make you feel warm and fuzzy inside.

So to continue the tradition I award this Circle of Friends award to:

Brenda at:http://grannysbest.blogspot.com/, I have learned so much about goat care from this blog I constantly use it as a reference now. Thank you Brenda for all of the great advice.

Feral Female (don't know her real name it's a mystery):http://thoughtsfromayodelinggoatherder.blogspot.com/ her blog cracks me up, she has an offbeat no nonsense sense of humor that I love.

Jaz at Octoberfarm: http://octoberfarm.blogspot.com/2010/02/indian-food-on-snowy-cold-day.html, this blog is visually stunning and I am in awe of her cooking talents and her appreciation for the beauty and bounty of mother nature.

Melodie from:http://laughing-duck-farm.blogspot.com/ , I find a kindred spirit in the day in and day out happenings at this blog. I am in love with her little goat Murray and I loved her post about living with a home schooled son.

Michell at:http://chocolateandmarmaladetea.blogspot.com/ This blog is real a girly girl blog and I love the retro feel of the blog, the graphics and the music and the ins and outs of her life always perk me up. I feel like I spent time with a good girlfriend after I pop in. She reminds me of a much younger me in another life ,back in California.

Jayme at:http://talefromthecoopkeeper.blogspot.com/ This is a blog I only recently found and have been enjoying her quest to get back to basics.

I forgot how many people I am allowed to pass the award on to. There are so many blogs that I follow each with a unique and different message, I learn something new everyday.

Thank you all for making my little escapes from reality so interesting and diverse.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Compost Making Saturday

Wish I had something new and exciting to post about besides manure, but after a wet cold week we finally had some sunshine here in Florida on Saturday, so it was a day to get out and take care of some long overdue muck raking, piles and piles of it. Between the rabbits, chickens and the goats there is plenty. I can't believe how much manure five little rabbits can make. My horse and pigs are out in a very large pasture so I don't have a problem with that manure accumulating and don't generally worry about raking it up.

All of the muck goes into the brewing compost pile. I have not really taken composting as seriously as many do, I figure it will get to where it needs one way or another over time. I had hoped the compost would be ready for the garden this spring but it has been an especially cold winter here and I have not turned the piles regularly so I don't have as much usable organic matter as I would have liked. I know I could till it directly into the garden soil anyway but I really am curious to see how it turns out if I leave it to fully decompose in piles. I want to learn more about vermiculture ( happy hungry little worms) as a way of more quickly decomposing the material but I have not gotten around to it yet.

We had another night in the 20s here again, this has been one of the coldest winters in Florida History. On a personal note, I went out to dinner with friends to a new Country Western Themed Steak House, the food was great, the band was good, came home and slept like a baby, amazing what good medicine a little hard work, fresh air, good friends and good food can be.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Keeping on Track

The last few day I have had the feeling that I am losing track of my goals, all those New Years Resolutions are becoming fuzzy thoughts in the back of my head. So today I have a day off and it is time to sit down and refocus on what is important, consider where I am going and how I am going to get there.
At the beginning of January I was focused on keeping track of where my money was going and accounting for every penny by keeping receipts and writing down what I spent. I used coupons for all of my grocery purchases and I stuck to my list. I did not make one impulse purchase of anything I did not absolutely need. I got through the entire month of January without even once going through a fast food drive through or buying a meal at work. I planned all of my meals carefully and followed through, I was really proud of myself. Then on Feb. 1st, after a particularly long and stressful day at work I decided to take home Arby's for my youngest son and I for a quick no cook dinner. In the back of my mind I thought you don't need to be extreme about this you can have a meal out once a month and still keep on track. No big deal right? Unfortunately, It has been all down hill from there.
So today, after a 10 day spiral of a drink here, a burger there, a magazine here, a new CD there, I resolve to get back on track. I have kept receipts for everything I just have not looked at them lol, denial is a beautiful thing but it does not get you where you want to go.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

My New Girls

This is Molly she is my latest addition to the homestead, she was bred at the breeders home the day I bought her to a Big Flemish Giant. She is a Checkered Giant/New Zealand Cross. If she was bred successfully she is due on Mar. 1st. Molly got out of her hutch when she was younger and broke her foot and it healed fine but looks funny. Because of that the breeder gave me a great deal on her, I think the leg adds character to her, she is sweet and friendly.

Both of those breeds are meat rabbits, and that is Mollie's purpose here on the homestead, to make lots of fat little babies, some of which end up in the family freezer. I can't actually do the killing myself, I know this from past experience (which shall never be spoken of again), but I have a good friend who has agreed to do the dirty work for me in exchange for some of the meat. A few days before she is due I will add her new nesting box and some shredded newspaper to her hutch for her to begin to nest in. I have been told that when she starts pulling hair out she will be close to delivering. This is my first serious attempt at raising rabbits, I am anxiously awaiting.

The other two that you see here together are younger does that I bought from the same breeder, his babies are all handled from a very young age and are exceptionally used to people. They love to be held and petted. I will be purchasing a buck for my trio when these two get old enough to be bred in about 8 more weeks. I can't decide if the buck should be a Flemish Giant, I like them because they throw babies of varied color from tan to oranges, or a White New Zealand, they tend to get really big and are great meat rabbits.
On a side note, Juniper, my Oberhasli dairy goat is acting odd today, according to all I know about the impending signs of birth she is getting very close to kidding. I think I have gone out to check on her 20 times today, I wish she would get on with it, but I bet she will wait until this weekend when I am at work till late just because she can.
I am beginning to feel a real sense of satisfaction as I look around and realize that little by little my homestead is beginning to really take shape. Life is good.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Wall

Another up at 4 work day but before I run off I thought I would post the almost finished wall that my son built as mentioned in my earlier post. I still need to paint the door and the trim but he did a really good job and now there is a way to contain the busy little boys when needed. When my son first starting talking about building it I was very skeptical , I honestly did not know he had done so much studying carpentry and home repairs. The finished wall is really pretty, he says next he will build me some little shelves to stagger across the wall for whatever I want to display.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

No Knead Bread

Today was my first attempt at baking bread from scratch, I have been visiting the breadtopia website for a while now reading about the No Knead Bread method of baking a Boule ( round loaf),but never have gotten up the nerve to give it a try, yesterday I got brave and mixed the ingredients up and let them rise for the recommended 18 hours, actually longer.

Today I am on to the second part of the recipe the shaping, second rising and the baking. The house was pretty cold when I got up this morning (for Florida), it was around 63 inside, I suspect the dough might have risen even higher if it had been a bit warmer. I proofed as directed the bread in a pine needle Indian basket dusted with wheat bran, the basket was one that my daughter gave me a while back that looked a lot like the proofing baskets at the website. Alternatively, I could have let it have a second rise on a floured towel. The basket rinsed out absolutely clean , I was afraid that it might not, and I set it in warm the oven as it cooled to dry out after the bread baking was done

I baked the bread in my cast iron oval dutch oven, which gave it a nice loaf shape instead of the round shape as seen in the demonstration video. The finished product was amazingly good. The crust was a bit harder then I would have preferred, I am going to have to keep experimenting with how to end up with a bit lighter crust. It was so hard I had to slice it with an electric bread knife. However, the taste was really good. My grandsons kept asking for more, and when we added butter and fresh Tangerine Marmalade to the warm bread it went from good to heavenly
I forgot to take pictures of the finished loaf before we had it almost gone. These are the last couple of slices. I will definitely be trying this bread and variations of it again on my next days off.

Here is a link to the site, the first short video tells you all you need to know to bake successfully, the second one is more of a way of advertising several of the products they sell. I have to say they have some pretty cool stuff , now that I am officially a bread baker I might have to invest in some real tools.


I have yet to figure out how to move the pictures in my blog to appear chronologically, it seems they just end up wherever the choose to, and I can't figure out how to delete them once they are there without deleting the whole editorial.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Images from the Homestead

Thought I would share a few images from around the property. Two of my five dogs, Moose the Lab, and Lola the incredibly spoiled chicken killer, is a Boston Terrier.
Charlotte and Wilbur the lucky pigs, (not very original names but fitting). The two of them might think they are dogs instead of pigs they come running whenever I call them. Both absolutely love to be petted and will fall over wanting a belly rub. Wilbur is a bit smaller then Charlotte and has yet to figure out what his part in the equation is.

The tree is a typical Florida Live Oak , those and the Sand Pines constantly threaten to take my property back to it's original state, picking up fallen branches and thinning trees is a constant battle.

To Blog or Not To Blog,,,

In January of last year I sat down and wrote a post from the RV I was living in at the time. I thought then that I really wanted to get bac...