Sunday, July 31, 2011

Off to the beach....

Ok.  I admit it - we spent more time today off the homestead than on...but it was for a good reason.  Really! 

We were at the beach!

For a birthday party!

Truely great reasons.

My kids, having lived in Vermont all their lives, have never swam in the lake.  I know, I know...that is crazy!  But true....

But upon reaching the waters edge, they were transformed to fishes, and they were off!

Such a fantastic time, with friends all around.  Makes me truely appreciate our wonderful community.  Can't wait to get together and see everyone again.

And, I had the great treat of a chat with an actual farmer (not just a wanna-be like myself).  It was lovely to talk about crops, planting times, and what was blooming, without fear of the other party getting bored of the conversation (I do tend to carry on, and on, and on....). 

During cake time for the little ones, several of us parents gathered around for some chicken talk, trading thoughts and notes.  I am feeling so very jealous of those who do not have the chicken politics that we deal with daily (speaking of which, at least one egg was broken AGAIN today as the Feathered Ladies jockied for the best place to lay their eggs....kind of defeats the purpose of laying eggs to begin with, if you ask me...).  I guess some chickens have more manners than others.....hmmmm...

After the party, we were lucky to carpool with another mother, who has children whos ages mirror our own.  It was lovely to get to know her better - I have a feeling we will be seeing a good amount of each other...those kids appear to be making fast friends!  It is amazing the bonding that two little boys can do over mud and seaweed.

Once we got back home, I was able to shovel out the van, and head to the backyard for some grocery shopping.  On menu was an egg and veggie casserole.  So, in to the bag went the kale, chard, basil, zucchini.... grab some eggs on the way back to the kitchen, and it was time to start cooking.

We might not have been on the homestead much today, but we sure enjoyed the fruits of our labor! 

But now, bed is calling to me.  Time to tuck in the Feathered Ladies and call it a night.

'Night y'all ;)

A weekend of homesteading...

Well, we may have been off-homestead (a rare event) on Friday night, but we have certainly made up for that this weekend.

Some people might say that guinea pigs aren't true livestock, but for this homestead, I will say that they are.  Saturday morning was spent procuring  a larger cage for Simone and Rainbow, and we were greeted with much success.  They are now zooming around their cage with great abandon, much to the cat's annoyance.  Since the tiny furred ones are stationed in our living room, I spent the night on the couch, just to insure that our cats wouldn't try to test their climbing abilities.  Happily, they did not.

With the new cage secured, we went on to spend some serious time on our property on the other side of town.  Of 54 acres, we have tons of forested areas, wetlands, half a brook, and now a nearly cleared camp site.   I also have great plans to rent a mulcher to deal with much of the fallen sticks and logs that land have collected over the years....our gardens will be oh-so-pleased!

Before the evening was over and the sun had completely fallen, I ventured out to the gardens for some harvesting.  Zucchini's growing like crazy, and so are kale and rainbow chard.  Broccoli is also looking awesome, and I was able to harvest two full green heads of it.  All of harvest was stored in the garage for the night, and then dragged back out very early this morning.  It is just after 6am, and I have a blanched 3 freezer bags of kale, 2 of rainbow chard, and 2 of broccoli. 

Basil is also proving to be a bumper crop, but I am in a bit of a puzzle on what to do with it.  I would love to make hordes of pesto, but, frankly, pine nuts are extremely expensive.  I have heard that other, less pricy, nuts can be substituted, and I may venture in that direction. 

The rest of the morning will be spent on cleaning, more gardening, and then off to the beach for an event for the kiddos.  Will be a fantastic time, and I am truely looking forward to it!!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Real men play the accordian....

If I had a bucket list, tonight's event would have been on it. 

Finally, FINALLY, saw Dropkick Murphys live!  Such an amazing show - and might I just takes a real man to play the accordian. 

And the kilts!  Kilts, upon Doc's, upon Converse, upon step dancing....such were the sights!  And I was in absolute HEAVEN!

We arrived home at the completely late hour of 11:30pm, thanks to our fantastic babysitter of the evening, and when straight to tuck the Feathered Ladies in for the night. 

All good on that front, as long as you do not count broody hens.... 

Just when Kevin finally realizes that a) we do not have a rooster, and b) she is rarely actually sitting on any eggs...we find with another broody hen.  It is Sylvie AGAIN, the Broody Bantem.  And she is a nasty one when she wants some chicks.  Ugh! 

I have had enough of these broody ladies.  Starting to feel like we need to host a *health* class for hens - you know, like the ones we were forced to attend in middle and high school.  Something to educate them on the facts of life....  could work, right?  Right?

Well, time for a drink (lovin' the hard cider!) and then off to bed.  'Cause no matter when I go to bed, the kids still rise at the same crazy-early hour :)

'Night, y'all.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

I need a nap....

Today was one of those great, yet insanely busy days.  My day off....

We started the morning at 4:15am, making coffee and sending the husband off with his packed breakfast and lunch, ready for the work day.  Next up was the consumption of extreme quantities of coffee, followed by a work project.

As 5:30am rolled in, along with the fog, it was outside to let the chickens out, drag the trash and recycling curbside, and some early morning gardening.  This was closely followed by waking kids, more breakfast to make, and a bit more gardening (gotta sneak it in where we can...)

By 8am, we were on the road to our first appointment, and were made late by the crossing of a large herd of dairy cows.  Once our early morning visit was complete, it was back home to get ready for the first playdate of the day.  In this brief intermission, I was able to find time to weedwack some tall grass and to care for the guinea pigs and cats.

Then it was off to the pool party and lunch playdate with some new friends.  A completely lovely time, complete with some grown person chatting (a rare event).

After lunch it was back home, where more gardening was done, and we readied for the next event.  This was a mixed bag of a playdate drop off, followed by some volunteer work at a local farm.  Once the farm chores were complete, it was back to pick up the daughter from her event.

We lucked out at the pick up, as I was able to indulge in more grown up chatting (!!) with a new friend, and was even welcomed to peek in and see their chickens and their awesome handmade chicken coop and yard.  Jealousy, thy name is Lee Ann...

The day was rounded out with a meet & greet for the kindergarten class at the school playground.  And then we were home.

At that is where we are now, perched on my bed, as my son builds bubble castles in the tub to my right, and my daughter is eating a late dinner downstairs.

It was a good day.

A great day.

And I need a nap.....

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Gardening with the ladies...

The Feathered Ladies were anxious to be out and about this afternoon.  And I was ready to be outside with them.  It was a very good day at the office, but I was ready to let the relaxation wash over me.

I was home.  And the gardens were calling to me.

There is just something about gardening with the ladies that is very soothing.  They don't care about the stresses of a day, how much road construction I ran into on the way home, or that I forgot to put gas in the tank of the van, and now need to run to the local station in the morning.

They just don't care.

And when I am with them, I don't care either. 

For that, I am thankful.

A normal day....

OK - so after last night's rant, I truely hope that I have exorcised the anti-tech!  These issues are no fun (I know, "duh!"), but if bad things come in threes,  I have had my fill!

Today could be a so-called 'normal day'.

I say 'so-called' normal day, as this idea of normal changes constantly.  I don't even know what the definition is anymore.  If I am referring to the status quo, then the day could turn out to be all kinds of crazy!  With kids, a husband, chickens, cats, guinea pigs...who knows how the day could turn out!  The possibilities are endless!

So, I am hoping, I suppose, for a more peaceful day.  We are in the deep of summer, but school feels like it is just around the corner.  The work days are full, and the home life is active and sweet.  I would like some quiet time to be with the kiddos before school and work, and then some time to spend in the garden before night falls.

I am manifesting these good thoughts and small wishes.  If I move quietly and gently through the day, it just might work!  But, we can't let the day know our plans, so don't tell!  And it just might be so.

Happy wishes to all for a peaceful "normal" day...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The anti-tech...

I declare this to be my anti-tech week.  Not because I am protesting all items technical - oh no!  I love my computer, my smart phone, my kindle app...not to mention online banking and bill pay. 

It is the tech that is protesting me!

On Sunday, our laptop was hit with the "Vista Antivirus 2012" virus.  It was not until the "program" asked me to register (and pay!) for their program with the word "registre" that I realized something was up.  Last time I knew, those people at Microsoft were pretty smart.  Certainly, they MUST know how to spell register.

Thanks to knowledge gained via our other (un-infected) laptop, I was able to throw the (infected) laptop into DOS mode and do a restore, sending the software back in time one month.  Pretty quick thinking, if I do say so myself...

On Monday, my debit card wouldn't work.  I KNEW I had funds in the account, so I called the bank to find out what was up....  Turns out the number took a vaca all the way to ITALY!  I mean seriously, Italy?!?  Couldn't even stay stateside?!

Today, my email access via my phone was shut down.  User name and/or password incorrect....  And I know I did not type it incorrectly...  Upon arriving home and attempting access in the more traditional method, I learned that my account was temporarily shut down due to a security risk.  Just who would want MY email?  Not very exciting stuff...

So, I must ask - What the heck is going on?!?  This is craziness!  It is karma?  A sign from the heavens?  And what's gonna happen tomorrow?

The anti-tech has struck.

So...pardon me...I think I will hide with the chickens.  I will be in the coop if anyone needs me.  Take care...have a good night...wake me when it is over...  ;)

Time to start the morning...

I think today will be one of those random days....I just have that feeling.  Lots to do, none of it too terribly crazy.  The mornings are cooler, which is lovely, but reminds me of Fall.  While I dread the coming of Fall (cause Fall is just a snapshot before Winter...), there is something lovely about it.  In a decomposing fallen leaf kinda way, of course.  But, for the moment, it is still summer.

And I know that this quiet will be very short lived.  As in - the kids will be up in an hour, and I will forget this quiet ever existed.  In an hour, I will be begging the daughter to arise from her bed (I have been known to drag her bodily from it, but frankly, she is getting too big....or I am getting too old and weak...) and the son will be trying to reason for more time on the computer.  I will need to make breakfasts, lunches, gather supplies for preschool and summer camp...The chickens will be awake, the cats will want to eat, and the guinea pigs will begin their morning protests. 

But for the moment, I enjoy the quiet.

As the kids are getting older, they are getting social lives that rival and surpass my own.  I am happy for that, as I was never a particularly outgoing child (I think that they take after their father here...he was one of those guys in know the ones...), but I think I will need a calendar for their own appointments and playdates!  But, a busy child during the day makes a tired child at night, which I something I will always be a fan of!  I just hope I don't forget something...

But for now, it is just quiet.  I think that another cup of coffee awaits.  Then I will try to convince myself that it is a good idea to arise from the couch (this is something that the mind and the body will never agree on) and to get in line with the world.  I have supplies to gather and lists to make.  It is time for the day to begin...

Monday, July 25, 2011

And it is Monday...

Two double espressos later....and I am awake!  Finally!...the brain and body needed a huge jump start this morning.

We had such a busy weekend, but oh-so-productive - it was fantastic.  Two new raised beds were completed, another garden shelter structure was built, and the yellow wax beans are in the ground!  The kale was re-seeded, and "seasoned" chicken hay was laid on top of it all.  What the Feathered Ladies lack in egg production these days, they make up in manure - which may sound nasty, but is fantastic for the garden soil!  And it is lovely to be able to stop buying "Moo-Doo". 

We met some possible new neighbors this weekend as well, and I am crossing my fingers that everything works out for them.  Of course I am doing this for completely selfish reasons, as they have a son close in age to my son, but maybe karma won't mind ;).  Soon, the little people in the neighborhood will outnumber the tall ones - which sounds like a great way to grow up!  We are very blessed to have a such a wonderful neighborhood for our children.

This week looks to be cooler than the previous, so I have high hopes for more work in the garden, turning and tilling the new soil, and plan to have one more raised bed to plant.  After this weekend, the seeds will be put aside until next year, and focus will solely on weeding and harvesting.  Who knows?  Maybe I will even clean the house!  Well, maybe....let's not get our hopes too high up there - it's a long way to fall...

Well, I am off to get ready for the day.  Going to steal into the bathroom for a quick haircut (yes, I am WAY too lazy to actually go somewhere to get my hair cut), and then it is time to let the Feathered Ladies out, care for the furry ones, and get lunches going for the little people. 

Ready?  Set?  OK...time to go....yup...getting up right

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Hopes of Fall...

So, if we don't count the fact that the kids have been fighting since dawn, or that the laptop was hijacked by a virus this morning, it has been a pretty great day so far.

In the garden expansion project, another raised row has been built up, and then planted with yellow wax beans.  With careful management, and the use of the new shelters I am building, we should get a fall harvest to put up for winter.  It will be close, but possible...  Next up today will be the building of another two structures. 

With those items behind us, the rest of the day will be spent with my little people and in the kitchen.  Since the day is a bit cooler, I am planning to make and raise some pizza dough, and then bake it in advance for dinner.  Sadly, we don't have any sauce, but we should be able to figure something out about this...

Lately, we have been trying very hard to use our backyard as source of our summer meals, and have been finding some success.  The berries have gone into muffins, breads, and have been pressed into homemade juice.  The potato plants have been "robbed" for new potatoes, and onions and basil have been plucked from the ground daily.  Kale and chard are our new leafy greens.  The zucchini is starting to get bigger, so they will be a main vegetable at our table very soon...and when we can no long bear to eat them straight, zucchini bread will be made and shredded zucchini will be hidden in chocolate chip cookies. 

But, for the moment, we will relax on the couch and enjoy the moment.  Having a child perched on my shoulders and one at my elbow as I write this, I am certain this moment of stillness will very short lived...

Saturday, July 23, 2011

An unexpectedly busy day

So, the morning started easy.  It's the weekend, so I slacked and slept in until 7 o'clock.  Crazy indulgent, I know....  The Feathered Ladies were a bit pissed, but I was well rested.

After the animals, feathered and furred, and family were all fed, I ran outside to start on some gardening.  The husband told me last night that it would be just fine if I expanded the vegatable garden to encompass the whole back of the back yard (about 1/4 of an acre), so I am moving at super-speed to till it all up before the end of summer....and since we are in Vermont, that could happen any day....

However, the day changed as the husband had the great idea for all of us to go up to our land, located about 20 minutes away, to begin clearing bush from the soon-to-be camp site.  The land is currently 54 acres of wilderness, but it may become home to our expanded homestead of the future.  In the short term, it will be a site for a hunting camp for the husband and friends.

Well, we arrived at the site and began unloading our equipment, only to hear a hissing sound coming from a back tire.  We had blown out a tire, and it was losing air fast!  We scrambled back into the truck to haul cookies off the land and back to the main road before we were only riding the rim.  We pulled over at a neighbors house (with two properties, we now have two sets of neighbors, a welcome add-on!).  We jacked the truck and changed the tire, with the niegh helping to patch the hole in the original.  (Keep in mind that this was all happening as a neighbor from our other property was working on my mini-van...feeling very blessed right about now...)

Once all was done, we trooped on back to the property and dug in for 2 solid hours of work - mowing and clearing bush....completely exhausting work.

And now we are back home.  Both vehicles are functional, thanks to several of our neighbors, and we have a newly cleared campsite.  And I am heading back to the garden, for I have lots of grass rip up.

This evening might just call for a drink....a very large drink.... :)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Wanted: chicken therapist...

It is 5 in the morning, and I am lamenting over the chickens.  The Feathered Ladies are having issues, and I am not sure how to interceed....Is there a chicken therapist out there? 

You see, we have 16 hens of all different shapes, sizes, and breeds.  Thanks to Craigs List, we have been very successful in adopting chickens in need of homes (tried to mail-order-chick thing....failed miserably...).  And they are lovely in their own very special ways...but a bit odd...

See, for instance, we have Kevin (see the picture to the right).  Kevin is a Naked Neck Chicken, named after the bird from the movie "Up".  Her original home was in St. J., but after hearing she needed a home, the kids and I (not my best idea...) took the 3 hour round trip drive to pick her up and bring her home.  But now, she is being a bit of a pain.  For the last 2 months, she has been certain that she is going to hatch some chicks.  Nevermind that we don't have a rooster, and half the time she is not on any eggs...she is determined!  Immaculate conception - here she comes!

So, each day, several times a day, I pry her out of the flower pot (which all of the hens fight over, despite the fact that we have several perfectly good nesting boxes for which they can lay their eggs...) and send her on her way.  Minutes later, she is back in the flower pot.  Sadly, her little chicken brain is not quite at the level of her determination, and she tends to try oh-so-very-hard each day to hatch out her chicks that perfectly good eggs are smooshed in the process...

And then, there is Luke, an Americana hen (what can I say - the son loves Star Wars...also used to have a hen named Chewy...).  I think she wants to grow up to be a rooster.  She spends her time chasing the other ladies, running about the chicken yard and plucking their feathers.  Poor Queenie is getting bald spots on her wings from all of Luke's attention. 

And Queenie is a story within herself as I think that Queenie believes herself to be a dog.  She was actually, honest-to-goodness barking yesterday.  And we don't have a dog!  I've got noth'in on that one...Not a clue....

So, I think I need a chicken therapist, or animal communicator, or a REALLY good website...The Feathered Ladies are quite the exceptional ladies, in their own odd and special ways...  Just wish I understood what the heck they were thinking...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A turn towards crazy...

So, the day has taken a turn towards crazy....

I had a great plan for today.  It is my day off with the kids, so we were going to spend the morning outside - they would splash and play in the kiddie pool and I would work in the garden, tilling the new area and getting it ready for the second harvest.  Then, as the heat truely set in, we would move inside and I would get some work done from my home office.  In the afternoon, once the husband came home, I would go to my volunteer position at a local farm, where I trade labor for knowledge - I am definitely the winner in this deal!

However, it is not to be.  Yesterday, the minivan went in to the service center to get looked at, and came forth with a very expensive diagnosis.  Not speaking "car" very fluently, I immediately called the husband, who had a very brisk conversation with the service rep (she turned a few shades of red....).  And at the end of the day, I drove away in a borrowed vehicle and a much reduced bill to cover the work that they had already done...

So the plan for today has changed.  We are waiting for the call from the service center, saying that we can pick up the van (the poor thing was torn apart yesterday, and could not be put back together in time for me to drive it home last night...a bit like Humpty Dumpty...).

Once retrieved, we will promptly visit my father who will find us the parts we need in order to get the work done (oh how we love that man!). We are also blessed to have a neighbor, skilled in all-things-auto, who has agreed to do the work on the van this weekend. 

Not knowing how long everything will take today, all scheduled plans have been cancelled so that we can handle this vehicle quandry...  I will miss my farm visit... but am very thankful that we have so many people in our lives who are willing to help us with this unexpected crazy ordeal.

So, in the meantime, we are hanging out in the house, waiting for the service center to call.  I have homemade juice boiling down on the stovetop, and the guinea pigs having a tantrum as they wait to have their cage cleaned out....  Besides that, the day will unfold as it may.... 

Oh, and I do need to figure out why Queenie the chicken is barking today (like a DOG!)....  but, that's another story for another day...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A quiet morning...

All is quiet this morning, so far....

Chickens are up and out.  The cats are fed, and the guinea pigs are ready for the day.  The children, however, are not ready.  In moments, I will have to climb the stairs to their rooms and try oh-so-very hard to pry them from their beds.  This will be easy for the son, but the daughter...oh, that is a challenge.  Why oh why is seven the new seventeen?  And just how hard is the real seventeen going to be?

I tried sorting through the file pile this morning, without much luck or stamina.  But, I did re-find the heirloom seeds that I recently ordered off of an online auction.  I know that the standard growing season is coming to an end in a month - maybe two.  But, I have high hopes for a second harvest.  The garden has recently been expanded (afterall, who needs grass?), and I was blessed by the neighbors with a gift of old deck rails.  I am in the process of building structures that will stand over the raised beds, to be covered with greenhouse plastic in the early Fall.  With luck, this plan will work and the growing season will be extended another month past normal.  Fingers crossed.

But, for now, I must get off this couch and drag my children from their beds.  Preschool/Summer Camp/Work awaits....

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The M.P. (Mystery Predator)

So, as my FaceBook friends already know, we have had quite the adventure so far this summer....and it all started with a little guinea hen. 

Well, maybe not so little.  I thought she would be little (I have no idea why), but she was big - big like a turkey and quite exotic (unlike a turkey).  She even had a horn!  Quite lovely in a charming, prehistoric way... 

We adopted her off of Craigs List (remember the addiction...) as her current home was in a smaller neighborhood and she had a loud squeaky call (once again, oh so charming).  We called her Carly...what can I say...I have a 7 year old...we watch ICarly...alot...

Anyways, early in the morning of July 9th, we discovered that we had had a predator attack. 

Carly did not survive.

So, it was on!  We had to discover what attacked, avenge our Carly, and stop further casualties.  This was the hunt for the Mystery Predator, aka M.P.

We built rock walls around the chicken yard, and locked the Feathered Ladies in tightly each night.  However, the M.P. tackled our walls and still got in.  Thankfully, however, the Feathered Ladies remained safe and secure in their coop.

We borrowed Loaner Dog, hoping that he was to be our alarm system (half beagle...seemed like a good plan).  Unfortunately, Loaner Dog was a great sleeper...

We spent many of night, huddled in the darkened house, peering out windows, chasing shadows.  

And one night, after spying the M.P. from the upstairs window, my husband came running down the stairs, ready to finally ID the predator...

We staged the scene.  He jumped out the back door, with a fierce Highland yell.  I hit the lights to illuminate the yard.  We stopped.  We searched.  We jumped up and down on the deck in case it was hiding beneath (I was wearing heels - not smart, I know - so it was a bit more of a clatter).  And then I SWEAR we saw him.  Halfway up the kids playground - but it was not to be.  Either too quick, or a mere figment of the mind...either way, we were left with no solid leads. 

Then we started trapping in our attempt to stop the M.P.  And we succeeded!

But not in finding the M.P.

We did become re-aquainted with a black feral cat (tiny, but fierce) and a skunk.

And yes - we did release both unharmed.  The skunk release was a bit more comical of the two...Picture it, me, in jammies and dress shoes (again, seriously bad planning) walking towards a trapped skunk, holding a tarp high in the air as protection, simply hoping not to trip and fall on the poor thing.  Thankfully, we did see that white stripe run off on its way into the back field moments later.

And then, it was over.  The drama carried on for exactly 7 days, and then it was done.

I did hear a shot or two in the evening, a few nights ago, and while I hope that someone else dealt with the M.P. (ruthless, I know, but, seriously, Carly...), shots in the evening are not completely unusual in our's country, you know? 

So, we wait...

The backyard as my own personal grocery store....

So, yesterday, the daughter and I had to travel to the dreaded Costco for some bulk buying.  The ultimate goal is to someday create a full service grocery store (minus junk food, processed know, all of the food my children know and LOVE), from the back yard, but we are just not there yet.  So, in the meantime, we buy in bulk (eliminating some packaging), try to make from scratch (eliminating ingredients that our bodies neither need nor want - unless you are one of my children, who definitely WANT).

However, after getting home yesterday, there was so much to do in caring for our now 20 furry/feathered friends (guinea pigs are high maintenance!), that nothing was done to get food ready for today!

So, there is much to do this morning in the next hour of time (I know, I know, why am I typing if I have some much to do...working towards inspiration to get my tush out of this chair, I guess...).  And everything must be done before the kids wake!  They have a bit of distrust for homemade goods (in our house, when I am cooking, the fire alarm signals that dinner is ready more often than not...), so this is a covert operation.

Goals between now and 6:15...

  • Separate bulk packages of cheese to be frozen separately
  • Making yogurt smoothies from milk, greek yogurt, berries, and some maple syrup for sweetening
  • Making pancakes for breakfast, and to be frozen for the rest of the week
  • Let the chickens out and feed & water them (confirming that no Mystery Predators visited over night)
  • Deal with the ever growing pile of dirty laudry (I swear it breeds over night - and never into cool new stylish clothes...)
  • Convince my children that it IS time to get up, and that they DO need to go to school/camp.

Whew!  OK, I am tired all ready....  Coffee?  Yes please!

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Craig's List Addiction

So, have I told you that I am addicted to Craigs List?  I even have the app on the phone! 

Current settings are to capture everything in VT that falls into the Farm & Garden section, and freezer chests.  The Farm & Garden is for dreaming (cattle anyone?  Need a draft horse?  Giant tractor?), but freezer is for motivation.

See, if I have a freezer, and use the energy for it to run, I need to fill it.  And not just "I got carried away at Costco and bought hordes and hordes of ice cream" (although very tasty...), but with fruits and veggies from our gardens to "put up" for the winter months (and in VT, that is roughly September thorough May...).  Althought I am not certain if you can "put up" with out canning jars...but you get the idea.  One step at a time.

So far, put up items have a grand tally of four.  Two sets of each Vates Kale and Rainbow Chard.  That is over 1/2 a week of veggies!  This could be the start of something beautiful..... 

See a picture of our lovely Rainbow Chard below ;)

And here we begin....

Welcome to our tiny little homestead!  The home of my completely crazy family and this wanna-be farmer.

We are not your traditional homesteaders and I certainly don't fit the profile (if there is one anymore..)  I enjoy hardcore music, platform boots, and brightly dyed hair.  We live in a standard colonial house on an acre of land, surrounded by several other neighbors, just like us.  The mini-van carts kids to school and hay to home.  And the husband and I each have full time jobs outside of the home.

However, we have 16 chickens in the backyard and a garden that is growing each moment (watch our grass!  Just a weed, afterall...).   I don't think I will be completely satisfied until all of the green grass out back is taken over for edible food items or meandering/strolling/waddling friends.  I dream of goats, or angora rabbits, or turkey poults, and even ducks, but am satisfied for the moment with the chickens, cats, and guinea pigs.. 

My parents are curious, my husband is patient and amused, and my kids can't wait to see what furry/feathered/etc friend comes to live with us next.  And, frankly, their guess is as good as mine!  The day is very young.