Sunday, December 4, 2016
Sunday Reading - First Snow, Last Post?
I think the time has come. We got our first measurable snow of the new Winter this morning which has actually made the day a little less hectic than I had planned it to be. Doesn't mean I don't still have plenty to do around here, just means I don't want to do it in the snow. Especially as it is falling.
When I started this blog, some 8 or 9 years ago I think, it was just my son, a stray cat named Sasha and I moving onto an old property that had been badly neglected for probably 20 years or more. Barely a fence line was serviceable. The barn and out buildings had no paint even clinging to their wooden sides anymore. Brush grew rampantly everywhere and the house was barely livable and only if you had very low standards to begin with.
No heat, barely had running water and a very sub par septic system. Junk piles scattered through out the place made up of broken tractor parts like baler or rake teeth, belts, one door that had once been on the barn, a hay wagon frame that had trees growing through it.
You get the idea....
We brought with us an old 8N tractor with it's only implement a simple grading blade, some hand tools and a couple of sheep. Along with a determination to make this place our own and actually know we could produce for ourselves when the need arose.
The Adventure is by no means complete although we have made so much progress most people would not know the place if they were just revisiting it for the first time in 10 years.
The flock of sheep has grown from 6 ewes and a ram to 30 ewes and 2 rams. In Spring and Summer we end up having 60+ running around with all the lambs born. The old 8N and blade have been joined by and 861 Diesel, baler, rake, tiller, scoops, wagons, post Hole digger, boom lift etc. etc. etc.
We also added a wife in the process too. The Small - Hold started off as a complete bachelor pad project. I kinda think that's why the stray cat was so attracted to the place as we were pretty much estrogen free at the time and that cat prefers men over women hands down. She won't hardly let a Woman pet her either but grudgingly accepted the new Mrs. PP.
Our one stray cat who wouldn't take no for an answer and demanded to be allowed to move in has now become 6 or 8 depending on who decides to stay over. Thanks to heartless idiots who like to drop off unwanted cats into the country we seem to have a never ending supply of them and have raised at least three unwanted litters.
We have managed to find homes for all of them too I think. I must say though there is nothing more amusing than a litter of happy kittens that know they are safe and have a mom that is well fed and able to spend plenty of time with them and who are also comfortable around humans. They just seem to develop much more outgoing personalities and are a constant source of entertainment.
Along with the stray cats came a dog or two. Once one figured out we weren't going to shoot him on site he begged to join the pack. A year later he brought home a friend. I can't complain about them though they are good watch dogs and earn their keep sort of. Only one of the two will come in during bad weather though as the other would rather sleep in the barn.
We added Bees and had many good harvest of not only honey but fruits and vegetables we planted as well....
We added chickens to the growing project and that brought on a whole new level of fun. Chicken drama is a world in and of itself as many of you know first hand. They don't cost much to feed and keep but when circumstances take a turn for the worst they can become very time consuming.
They also like to dig holes. I just spent the last four nights hunting an unwanted visitor to the barn and coop. A possum who took up residence in the hay bales and began eating the eggs and finally moved up to a midnight chicken snack. A couple of the birds refuse to go into the coop/stall at night and try and roost in the barn rafters and he got one. Finally I managed to catch the possum in the act just as he was moving in on one of the roosting hens and dispatched him quickly but it took a lot of time being there for the right opportunity.
So as I said the journey is nowhere near complete but the circumstances have changed. Slowly, like a frog in a pot of heating water this Homestead has went from 90% labor on projects with about 10% maintenance and chores to the other way around. I now spend most of my time completing mundane tasks that while enjoyable in their own way and necessary also add nothing to the world of blogging or any interesting tidbits to the genre of homesteading and prepping either to be honest.
We may not be done yet. In fact we will never be done but we have come far enough down the road that I believe we can call this experiment a success. We have gotten completely out of debt. The land is now entirely our own as long as we pay the yearly government rent anyway. We will be starting on our new house come Spring and nearly all my time is now devoted to maintaining what we have built.
I am not planning on taking the blog down. I may in fact make a post here and there from time to time yet but as for daily posts and such I think it is time to officially stop.
Currently we are looking at a time when we may be able to pull ourselves back from the abyss we were staring at. I think things will still get much rougher than anyone can imagine but as a whole we now stand a better chance than we did under the Femocrat/Liberal Progressive rule with a much higher likelihood of keeping many necessary rights along the way. Perhaps on a wide scale things will change and I may come back to blogging but politically I feel my message has gotten out as successfully as the homestead project has as well. There is still a need to prep but we now have some breathing room.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!