Here’s what we’ve been up to…

Its been such a long time since last I wrote here and I feel terrible about it. I don’t have many followers (if i have any at all) but I promised myself that I would use this as a journal to document everything that we have done on our home and property. We have done A LOT but it still doesn’t seem like we’ve done much at all. I know its a slow and gradual process to building your homestead, and work is never really “done”.

Winter (first full season here)

This years winter was, well, cold. But we got to use our wood stove and let me tell you IT WAS GREAT. The first time I saw our home I took one look at that wood stove and almost barfed. I thought it was the ugliest thing and I didn’t want it! Of course, I was pregnant at the time, and quite miserable so, my hormones might have played a big part in those feelings. Fast forward a year and I absolutely LOVE the wood stove. We saved SO MUCH money on our electric bill. I cannot tell you how much it hurt our pocket the first year here not using the wood stove! It was late in the season and we really couldn’t find wood at the time other than buying it from the store and those places sell small quantities for a pretty penny. So, before winter hit we invested in two cords of wood and, I don’t ever see us going back to heating our home any other way!

All of my trees died. Yes, the rabbits ate the bark and killed my trees. We have so many rabbits living in our yard! Because our dogs keep the coyotes away, the rabbits are being protected. They breed and live here with no predators to keep them under control. This Spring two of my trees re-sprouted from their roots so I’ve fenced them in and going to let them grow again. LESSON LEARNED.

Overall this winter was fun, it snowed good a few times and it made for a good time outdoors with the kids.IMG_3129.JPG

Spring

Ah, Spring. I love spring. This year its been beautiful. I noticed the birds, the flowers, the grass, just life in general has been in abundance. The Purple Martins came and nested in some of our buildings. I have never been into bird watching, but this year I really noticed the birds. Im having fun identifying the types of birds that are visiting and love hearing their songs. The Purple Martins are my favorite! So many came! So far we’ve had a nice wet Spring, which means that we have a lot more green growing here.

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The Antelope! They have visited us a couple of times this year and they’ve gotten quite close. This last time they were less than 200 yards away from our house. Thats pretty close I believe for Antelope. They are quite skittish. Once a chicken started to cluck they bolted. 😀

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Chickens

Our flock grew, and then shrunk again. In less than two weeks time we lost six chickens! Just like that. For one, we’ve yet to build them an enclosure. They need to be cooped up. There are too many things that can go wrong having free range chickens. Between predators, our own dogs and chickens getting themselves into trouble its just disaster waiting to happen. One great thing is that we finally got our bully dog to stop killing chickens. She is now free to roam around the farm. She has become a great asset to our place. A farm dog if you will. She keeps the coyotes and rabbits at bay. She’s actually good at chasing the rabbits off, but they still find places to hide and come out when she’s napping. She was recently bit again by a Rattle Snake. Though she killed it, not before it bit her good. It took her about a week to get better but I think her hatred for snakes is set. Including the one she killed theres been two Rattle Snakes and two Bull Snakes this year already. Not looking forward to Summer and Snakes. Back to the chickens. We had an over abundance of eggs this year thats for sure. So much in fact that we gave away around 10 dozen to my husbands co-workers. We were happy to share. Really! I think my kids might not want to eat eggs until next year! So what do I do with so many eggs? I am using them for baking, and right now we have two hens laid up on some. We expect our first set of chicks to hatch soon.

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Home Remodel

We’ve done a lot. Our kitchen looks like a completely different place. I try to look back to my first tour in this house. It was really hard for me not to choke my husband BUT I trusted him and his vision for this home! Im so glad I let him lead us! Our home is coming together and becoming everything we wanted and envisioned. Picture perfect! We still have a list of things to do, basically the other half of our house! I know its going to be a while before its done but you know what? We are totally having fun along the way! I enjoy working along side my husband on our home. We take pride in it, because its ours. A little bit of wine and beer does us good while we work. It makes the body aches less noticeable! 😉

Here are some pictures of our Kitchen and what we’ve done so far. We have a lot more to do before its completely finished, but we are getting there! Just another coat of paint on the walls and ceiling, paint on the trim, kick plate for the bottom of cabinets and a few other things. Then, this side will be DONE. Not to mention I also need to scrub the tile for the grout mess. Whoever laid it down did a terrible cleaning job.

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This isn’t even a real before comparison. Ken built the wall on the right so we could add those cabinets. It was an open floor plan, and the wall really expanded counter and cabinet space!

This weekend we built our butcher block Kitchen island and I am so in love with it. Its really put our kitchen together! And as you can see I am currently obsessed with copper! Ive purchased so many vintage copper items on eBay its not even funny. It doesn’t help that my husband keeps surprising me with more copper stuff for the kitchen! When I’m done I’m sure everything in my kitchen will be copper! Stop me now!

In these photos the island wasn’t 100% complete. Since I took these, Ive sanded and nailed the bottom shelve planks down, also applied coats of food grade safe shellac to the butcher block and shelves. I really love the way you can see flaws in the wood. The cracks and knots that you can still see under the white paint give it a farmhouse feel. Exactly what I wanted.

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Im so proud of the work we’ve done. The best part is knowing we did this all ourselves. The floating, spray texture and painting of the walls, new sink and plumbing, cabinet installation and painting them, trim out, back splash application and now building our kitchen island. Im still in awe of it!

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I hope I get to keep writing and posting our progress. We have so much to do around here, and with the babies now in their toddler stage, its a lot on my plate. Writing on the blog is the last thing on my list of things to do, but I would love to keep sharing our journey. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading what we’ve been up to. Im also currently working on getting our garden started, I know we are late, but better late than never! So keep a look out for that blog post. Also, stay tuned to see the completely finished butcher block island. As soon as I’m done publishing this post I have to get to sanding the last coat of finish! Until next time. God Bless!

-Cristina

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