Yes, I admit, I have been derelict in my duty. I can make excuses that health, weird family drama that overflowed from a friend, and other things which seemed important at the time have kept me away. But, in truth, after our disastrous goat birthing it was easy to fall out of the sharing habit.
Not that I didn’t have good responses to the article – I appreciated the feedback and shares! No, it just was still a bit raw – and my other thoughts seemed so minor after that article. I have continued to read up on those of you I follow, and basically I finally decided to pull my head out.
Enough about that.
As for the garden, it has also died a terrible death. I was very sick in the early days of summer and after the goats got in I just wasn’t able to set things to rights. I’m frustrated because it doesn’t promise well in an EOTWAWKI scenario. There will be plenty of distractions at that time and the garden should be an essential priority. So we have located some farmer’s markets in the area and I am trying to take advantage of what I call “Bounty Sales”.
I’ve continued to use my Dutch oven, and I’ve located some great recipes (although pot roast is still my favorite). And, I’ve slacked a bit on canning (any questions why, re-read the first paragraph). However, I’ve also continued to search out great recipes and acquire more jars so that I have the tools I need as I get back into the swing of things.
I even had the opportunity to teach my niece to make homemade bread, and watch with delight as she and a few others tried their very first slice of fresh warm bread slathered in butter.
For the most part, our rabbits are doing well. My husband finished the second hutch so we were FINALLY able to move the baby (hmm, more teenage) rabbits OUT of our breakfast nook. Unfortunately, having been raised mostly indoors, the Texas heat has taken it’s toll on a couple of the yunguns and one adult female. We’ve since set up better waterers (more on that in a later post) and we are trying to work out a way to position the hutches for better airflow, yet still provide adequate shelter in any of our nasty storms.
As for the goats, we’re down to two. A female and a young male (not wether). We learned that the stud we used to impregnate our females has been the sire of quite a few miscarried, and I am willing to try again. However, we are waiting until our male comes of age to give us an emotional break (I can not tell you how hard that night was for me. You’ll just have to read “watching a goats butt” if you’re curious).
I finished paying off my horse, and my husband got a great cutrate deal on a gelding – $50 and a bunch of ribs. Man-o-man did that poor horse need food! Here’s a pic of what he looked like when we bought him …
His feet were in bad shape, and he was sooooo in need of attention. The good, and the bad, is he is now much healthier and has turned into a ball of fireworks. My husband will not let any of the rest of us ride him without a LOT of groundwork. For an idea of my husbands size, check out this great picture. He is the guy on the side tossing the huge bale UP to the trailer!
as you can see, he’s a good sized fellow, and with his bull riding background it’s unlikely much will buck him off. But it looks like Quigley will not fit the bill as a horse for our kids like we had hoped. We plan to make sure he’s healthy and work with him a bit more. Then make a decision if he needs to to someone skilled with the time to work with him.
We have also acquired an additional 38 chickens. They ended up costing more per chicken than I hoped – I was expecting 50 – but there are some good layers, so we can “retire” a few that we believe have slacked off. We also gained about 6 roosters (by my count we only need one) that will soon find their way to the freezer. One of our ladies is great at setting, so we separated her out with our favored rooster + a few harem hens. We now have two baby chicks that seem to be doing well.
Finally, I’ve decided to expand my skills by learning to quilt. I have some experience sewing, but have yet to test my fortitude against the awesome power of the quilt. Yes, I do plan to piece the front using a sewing machine, but I plan to quilt it by hand. At the very least I am hoping to repurpose those items like outgrown clothing that isn’t suitable to donate. My first experiment are a set of nap pads for my kiddoes.
Oh! Those kiddoes (now 3 and 4) ran to their safe spot when our fire alarm went off yesterday. Once they got there they yelled for their stunned cousins to follow. I love that my kids are learning to be prepared.
So, I guess all in all we’re just moving along with our endeavors. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with your own preparations, remember there are many of us striving to build our preparations and repertoire of skills towards the goal of self sufficiency.