On the Homestead ?
We didn’t have much of a garden last year due to a mandatory long term unpaid vacation. I was hoping to splurge this year. We did start the garden but an opportunity came up and we invested our money elsewhere. We added an additional 4 acres to our 28 and now have a total of 32 acres. We are very excited as part of that property was over looking our pond and curves around the cabins and is part of the tree canopy behind our cabins and really appreciate the privacy we have secured.
That doesn’t mean the gardening was completely lost. Abigail and I both started mini gardens. Hers is doing a lot better than mine tho. She has okra and corn, watermelon and tomatoes. I have zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes and blueberries and a strawberry plant. I had watermelon but it got root rot.
I also planted some annuals and a few perennials
We let a previously cleared area of the property over grow the past two years and this year we had a large volume of sour cherry trees. They produced pretty well.
The pear trees did great this year. Last year was a bad year for them. Gabriel is excited because he is now big enough to climb the tree to get fruit. The last time it bore fruit he was 3. He’s 5 now and has consumed an unusual volume of pears this past week.
We were also able to harvest quite a bit of wild black raspberries. Every year I say I am going to tame them so we can harvest more from them, and every year I don’t. Its cool. We don’t mind sharing with the local wildlife.
The other setback this year was cost of lumber. I went and bought a bunch of new chicken breeds in hopes of expanding the hen house. Well, my $800 project turned into $1500 and we aren’t even close to being done. We will make sure its winterized and put the final touches on it in the spring. We did more work than what is pictured but haven’t taken an updated photo.
We currently have about 40 adult hens including the ones we bought back in March. These girls are 3 varieties, Sapphire Olive Egger, Easter Egger, and Starlight Green Egger
We also bought some baby ducks
Oh my gosh they are so adorable!
They get along well with the chickens
and grow so fast!
They love the pond
The ducks were unsexed. We were hoping for at least one hen and hopefully more, out of 6, we have 5 drakes. Our one hen was disabled. We don’t know how but she was blind in one eye and walked and swam in circles. She usually stayed on the shore or swam close to it. At night when the drakes would come to bed we would have to go and get her, and in the am bring her back down. She would respond to us quacking and knew she was going to be picked up. They named her Scrumptious because we had recently watched Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The drakes aren’t officially named because you really can’t tell them apart.
A few weeks ago Scrumptious went missing. She wasn’t there in the evening and we had thought maybe she got lost in the woods or hopefully she was nesting. The next morning she was still missing and the drakes didn’t go to the pond. That next evening after a search of the property and the drakes still not going to the pond we knew something was wrong. We never found her or any sign of her and our only guess is that a snapper was in the pond. We have yet to see a snapper but the drakes started going back to the pond after about a week or so.
We also had a few older hens hatch out their eggs. These are mostly barnyard mutts. We have Australop/Arucauna mixes mostly. One of the older Rhode Island Reds was extremely broody and tried so hard to have a clutch. I don’t know if they were even her eggs or not but one actually hatched and she has one little chick. And she is very happy. Just stay back. I had to hide behind a tree to get a photo of her.
A few of our other hens were far more successful. One of our tiniest hens had like 15 hatch and she has 12 left and they are over a month old. This lady likes to wander off with her chicks and she isn’t good at keeping up with them. Another curious little chick here
Addy loves to come visit and she always wants to help with the chicky birds.
I get to work at 8:45 but I like to eat breakfast around 9;30-10 so usually I swing by the hen house and grab a few eggs for breakfast. I can’t wait for a few others to start laying and getting a wider variety of egg shell colors. We have some young cuckoo marans and I plan to get some copper marans as well.
We bought a trampoline, or as most of the kids call it, a jumpoline.
They have slumber parties under the stars
I thought about making a special post this year but just didn’t feel like it when the time came. Williams 4th Stillbirthday was July 21st. Its still kind of strange and eerie to me. I think about it a lot. It plays in my head. I did finally get the tattoo I was wanting.
I have quite a few photos of that 12 hours we had after his birth, but I have only posted a few. This one was from his burial box, just before he was laid to rest. Some think its morbid but all aspects of life are important and the more connected we are to them the easier we are able to handle them.
We have made a nice space where he is buried. We are always adding little things. The children will find neat things and lay them there. I found some pretty rocks, a flower and a pine cone there a few weeks ago.
Our Adventures ?
The last year of social distancing didn’t affect us too much, but we did like to go some places. So the first chance we got we headed to Bernheim Forest.
We decided this year to watch the fireworks display in the town where my business is. A local resident donated the $ for the show. It was a really good one. The crowds weren’t bad and the parking system was great. Gabriel was awe’d by the whole thing.He was so excited his response was better than the show. We do smaller fireworks at home sometimes and we have seen fireworks shows from afar but we have never been this close to a large show like this. It was perfect.
This year we decided to take the family to Kentucky Kingdom, but in small groups. Not only is it easier to keep up with everyone, but more importantly we can have age appropriate fun. The first weekend we took the two older teens. We hung out with them a bit and then enjoyed some rare kid free time at the park.
Abigail and Isaac talked us into going on this death trap. We made them go first since they said it was fun and cool and they do it all the time. It goes up 10 stories and drops free fall at 45mph then stops a few feet from the ground.
Two weeks later we brought the littles with the two oldest teens. The teens had fun on their own and then hung with us for a bit. Lucas worked up the courage to go on the death drop. He was excited and anxious and said he would do it again.
We got the littles a two day pass. We weren’t sure they could do two days in a row but the passes were cheaper than a one day pass, so even it they only went one day, it was fine. Gabriel only went the first day. He was eaten by a shark and couldn’t make the second day lol
The middles got a two day pass as well and we took them two weeks later.
Ezra was brave enough to take the drop tower initiation. Then decided to brave the roller coasters
I love this photo, so I had to buy the keychain. It says Thunder Run but it was the Storm Chaser. Thunder run photo booth was closed. Day two he was so much more enthusiastic on the rides
I had been to KK 5 times this summer… it wasn’t until the 5th trip we went to the 5D theater.. I highly recommend it.. I wish we had done it sooner. The littles would have loved to have seen it. They also had an interesting educational spot about birds of prey and even had a live nest cam. Zachary has quite the wingspan!
The Golden Eagle is 86 inches and can reach top speeds of 150MPH, that is almost 3 times as fast as the fastest roller coaster at Kentucky Kingdom. Golden Eagles winter in Kentucky.
I can’t go on many of the rides but I can go on the waterslides. And this one is my favorite. Its called the tornado. You slide down the chute and into this, you go up on each side and then down the smaller chute to the pool. I love it. I was able to get a good shot of Olivia and Urijah on it.
The Mile High Falls was another favorite. You take this boat thing way into the air and just slide down into the water. It creates this amazing splash. Its fun on both sides, being in the boat and being on the bridge. I am not allowed to take photos from the boat but this bridge view is pretty cool!
I am so glad we can get out and do things now. We love being home but we also like adventures!
At Work ?
Mosiah is my little helper. He sweeps, washes up after lunch, etc. And he also reads to my dog I guess. I found them here one day.
Speaking of my dog. She’s awesome. She works as greeter, product tester and dabs in advertising. This was our July Photo Booth Theme
When she’s not working ( which is most of the time) she can usually be found here
We have had a few requests for some creative styling.. This was my favorite
We don’t see them very often, but on occasion we get the dogs the owners don’t brush at home and don’t sign up for regular grooming. Those dogs are harder to groom and the dogs end up naked naked!! Look at this coat!
And this time of year we see a lot of this! dogs blowing coat! Its so satisfying to make them look soft and shiny again!
We have expanded our retail a bit. I am still looking for more products. I have more space to fill.
We also have some new shop friends
They are baby Guinea Pigs, we did a naming contest and Lucy and Ethyl won. They are quite a bit of fun. Addalyn loves to come to Gramma Joe’s work. ( She calls me Gramma Joe and Joe is Grandpa Joe )
There is so much to learn at Bernheim Forest.
Our 32 acre homestead produces an esteemed 33, 750, 000 lbs of oxygen a year. It removes 64,800,000 lbs of carbon dioxide a year.
We didn’t find too many cicada on the property, didn’t hear any either, but we did find some evidence they were here. This live one was sitting on the steps one day.
Ezra found this in the yard a month or so later
Its an exoskeleton aka Exuviae
Abigail bought a rock tumbler. She’s now collecting rocks like a 3 year old.
We have been learning snake identification this year so everyone stops calling every snake a rattle snake ( SMH)
This was the cutest one we found, little worm snake
I drive a little over 300 miles a week to and from work. Thats about 6 hours of drive time a week. Since I have 3-4 of the kids with me each day we do what I call car school. We listen to podcasts etc and have discussions on current events etc. I often posts these on the Facebook page. Here are some of the links we have been using. I have a short list because I only had these ones saved to my bookmarks.
I could probably post 400 photos on this blog.. But I won’t, here’s just a few more
For those interested I did create a personal blog where I talk about things that relate to me personally.Loading Likes...