Starting From Scratch

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After dealing with a financially and emotionally crushing year, it’s been a struggle to find our way…

However despite the setbacks, this past year of struggle has also had some benefits!

Take for instance, having to watch every penny we spend has afforded me the ability to learn some new homesteading skill sets – like making our own bread…

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And learning just how easy it is to make butter… and how its much more creamier and delicious than store bought!!

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I even have plans this week to try my hand at making pasta! I found this great recipe that only has 3 ingredients! I will let you know how it turns out!

So, in hind-sight, looking back at this last year, I find it hasn’t all been bad…

As for the farm and moving forward, there is so much to do! – I look at things and see all that needs to be done…

I admit, I am a perfectionist! I see a project and how I want it done, but when it doesn’t get done, I feel so unaccomplished… so unproductive… like I’ve failed in some way…

I have to change my mindset… its just not an option right now, to have everything done the way I want…

We have to make do with what we have…

And right now, what we have, is a blank canvas…

We get to start over from scratch…

So, as we look to the future, we have a new game plan…

We will focus on our flock, on cooking budget-friendly, healthy meals, and on finding an untapped source of income somewhere…

To start, I’ve put out a sign for our girls eggs… I’m no artist, but you get the point, right?!?

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Until next time,

~ Sheri

He Keeps His Promises

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2017 hit us hard…

It was the hardest year to date, since our move to the homestead…

With mom retiring from her job last January, we’d lost a major source of income… and I do mean major!

Then, everything seemed to go wrong…

The heater broke down…

The hot water heater needed replaced…

Then the well to the pump decided to go haywire…

…and the list goes on!

It took everything we had financially… and emotionally!

We wondered if this was really what God had called us to do!

Then, mom took a fall, and couldn’t get up… I had to leave my job driving school bus…

That’s when the fertizer really hit the fan!

The new year started off with a bang – literally!

It happened one afternoon, as mom and I were sitting in our living room, we’d suddenly heard this loud thwomp! At first, I thought another tree fell, this time hitting our house… but no…

When we went to investigate, we couldn’t find anything out of the ordinary. However, by nightfall our water pressure had reduced greatly!

When we went to the basement to check the well pump, that’s when we found water all over our basement and a mini Niagra of water flowing down our basement wall! Two of our heating register pipes had frozen and burst!

We went to bed that night, with no heat (except a few space heaters)… and no water!

I was beaten!

I had no will to continue!

That’s when God turned things around…

He reminded me that He keeps His promises…

In Philippians 4:19, His word says, “But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

Within days, after reading this verse, He provided us with several unexpected sources of help in our time of need! We were able to get fuel for our furnace, and the pipes that burst… well, they were sawed off and capped so that the leak was temporarily stopped until we can afford to have it fixed properly.

We may not have heat in every room of our house –  since the pipes that burst were the heating registers where water runs through – but, I am thankful for the heat we do have!

It wasn’t what I expected! But thankfully He keeps His promises to us!

He supplied what we needed, when we needed it!

Until next time,

~ Sheri

Daily Prompt: Degree

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Having been raised in the city, this gal has been on a learning curve these last 3 years!

There has been a LOT of trial and error when it came to raising our chickens. And, I’m sure there’s still a bunch more I could learn!

Even growing a vegetable garden has been a challenge!

The first year we planted broccoli, cauliflour and red beets… But nothing grew!

The second year, I was so desperate to grow something, ANYTHING, that I wound up having a small tabletop garden in my kitchen!

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I was tickled pink with our cherry tomatoes, peppers, and herbs! I finally grew a ‘garden!’ Hey, ya gotta start somewhere!

This past summer was the first in our three years on the homestead where we actually saw a good variety of vegetables growing in the ground! But even this has proven to be a learning experience!

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We have big dreams for our little homestead…

This year we plan to increase our growing area which will take up the whole northwest corner of our land!

And with our our chickens, we are researching a number of different ways to make an income.

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Our hope is that at the very least our chickens will bring in enough money to earn their keep. Maybe the following year we could turn a profit!

It’s been a challenge, this homesteading way of life! But, like a big ship in the ocean, that turns around slowly, degree by degree, we plan to turn this homestead into a profitable self-sustaining venture!

Until next time,

Sheri

via Daily Prompt: Degree

Restoring Order…

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Well isn’t that a fine how do ya do! Here I told ya I was back, only to wind up having disappear again!

Turns out that after working away from the homestead, I found oodles of work to do!

One project in particular was dealing with a broken fence, out behind the barn!

Of course it was cold and raining… and, I wound up with a cold that knocked me off my feet for several weeks!

That’s what I get for working on the fence in the cold, cold rain!

Well, I’m here again. Not at 100%, but better than I was…

The littles must know I’m not at my best, because the boys’ have been quite the handful lately!

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‘EggHead’ and his brothers kept jumping over the broken fence…

Their 6 sisters following after them!

More than once our neighbors had to shoo our gang down to our place!

Thankfully they are understanding…

Especially since their Guinea hens like to come down and visit our boys on occasion.

Guess its a case of the grass being greener…

Now that I’m on the mend, its back to work…

Egghead, up to his usual shenanigans, started quite a ruckus, while scratching in our old tomato bed, near the back door of our house…

Out of the blue, ‘Egghead’ let out such a terrible screech. His brothers and sisters joined the screeching and took flight – in my direction!

I thought for sure that I was in the middle of an Alfred Hitchcock movie!

As I raised my arms in protection, the gang flew past me heading to a pile of skids where the flock like a to hang out.

Thankful that my eyes weren’t plucked out, I continued to watch the actions of the babies. Turns out that 3 of the boys tried to hump 1 of our hens at the same time!

I knew then that it was time to remove the boys from the flock.

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They were not happy about being moved to the confines of the barn… but at least there is order once more…

The girls are feeling more comfortable with only 1 rooster -Teriyaki (Terry) – in charge!

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Until next time,

Sheri

 

I’m Baaaaaack!

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After what seems like an interminably long time away, I’ve come back home.

No, I haven’t gone anywhere, other than to work… at a job away from the homestead.

If you’ve been following along, you might remember that back in January, mom decided to retire.

Shortly after, however, we had a slew of issues that hit us hard financially!

The biggest issue was when our heating system went out during the coldest part of the year!

We limped along through the growing season, but when it became evident that I needed to have my truck repaired – something I use quite a bit of – I realized that I needed to find a job away from the homestead!

And so it was… Each day I went to my job, leaving mom and the homestead behind…

Yet, life continues to throw us one curve ball after another. Once again, I find myself back on the farm, fulltime, to deal with family health issues.

Today, as I wandered around our little homestead, I made a list of all the things that need to be done!

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It would seem I’ve got my work cut out for me!

The only problem now, is that I’m fighting my own health issues! I seem to have gotten a bug…

As I sit here peruseing my ‘to do’ list, I’ve decided to take the day off and take care of my self. And, enjoying a nice cup of hot water with honey and apple cider vinegar. It’s good for what ails ya!

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So, as I ponder where to begin, I think I will focus on some basic practical indoor skills before I tackle the challenge of the work outdoors…

But, today, I rest…

It’s good to be home!

Sheri

So, You Want to Raise Chickens…

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Never in a million years did I think I would ever be doing this… but three years ago, there I was… holding my very first chicken!

I didn’t know who was more scared… me, or my new hen.

Visions of the Hitchcock movie, The Birds, ran through my head as I cautiously held this strange little creature… I was holding a live chicken… just one short month after moving into our new home… in the country.

We knew we were going to have chickens… however, I was planning on waiting till spring. Thus allowing me some time to study up on the subject of caring for our feathered friends.

But, when my neighbor unexpectedly asked us if we wanted their chickens, I quickly found myself thrust into the role of ‘chicken farmer!’

I had no clue what I was doing!

Thankfully, chickens are very forgiving!

As long as you make sure they have clean drinking water and food, they will lovingly supply you with breakfast.

But, you will have to cook it of course! They do expect you to do some of the work!

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Having been ‘thrown into the deep end’ with this chicken farming thing, I found myself wishing there were things I would have known ahead of time…

…things like caring for a sick or injured bird… or just what makes a good broody hen… and what exactly do you feed these little darlings!

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I remember spending all kinds of money on the expensive organic foods… but then, I didn’t realize we had a feed mill right near by, OR, that you could actually grow their food!

So, my question to you is this? Do you want to raise chickens?

If the answer is yes, then I would say, ‘Go for it!’

But… my best advice that I could give you would be… before you jump in, do some research first!

You don’t want to find yourself running around like a chicken with its head cut off, trying to figure out what to do for a sick or injured bird!’ By doing the research first, you are ahead of the game!

Yes, it has been a learning experience working with these little dinosaurs of mine. However, this ‘city chick’ turned country wouldn’t have it any other way!

Until next time,

Sheri

Weight Loss – When Food Doesn’t Satisfy

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Let’s face it! We not only desire food, we need it to survive!

But what happens when that food doesn’t satisfy us?

This dissatisfaction is usually an emotional one and if not dealt with, can manifest itself in a number of ways – such as bulimia, anorexia or compulsive eating.

To often we don’t know why or even understand the reason we give in to our unhealthy eating habits.

For example…

All my life, I have struggled with being overweight. I have tried many different weight loss plans, and even lossed weight… But, as soon as I lost the weight, I reverted to my old habits and gained all the weight back, and then some!

Why?

Well, in my case, I am an emotional eater… And when I am depressed, I really eat!

The reason – I look to food to find comfort!

I won’t go into detail about the reasons why I succumb to food for comfort – that’s a post for another day – just suffice it to say, the root cause of my emotional eating stems from a very poor self image.

Once I realized the hidden reason behind my unhealthy eating habits, I started looking at things differently…

First, I had to ask myself, ‘Do I want to be made well?’ — ‘Am I ready to face the truth?’ — Am I ready to give up this flawed thinking, and do what is necessary to get healthy?’

The road to reclaiming my health is not an easy one… I am fighting emotional demons…

Finding the willpower to overcome first takes the desire to be made well.

My faith, my trust in God, who is faithful and true to help me in this battle will help me overcome those demons…

I will lose the weight… and KEEP it off!

I am providing the will… others will provide encouragement… and He provides the power…

I can do this!

Until next time, eat healthy!

~ Sheri