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A New Year, and an Amended Plan. Sort of.

January 28, 2017


Well, long time, no write.  I’ve been absent from this space so long, it’s hard to know where to start.  Maybe with a Hi (insert waving hand).  Many times I have sat down and got to the point of transferring photos to the gallery for a blog post and then writer’s block or blogger’s block sets in.  So many things have changed, and stayed the same it’s hard to know what to write about.  Jane and Jude need a proper blog post, the garden reduction plan needs a blog post, and since many “readers” on Instagram are new I think the whys and hows of why we use a feeding shed in the winter is a good candidate also. Instagram is great and more real-time, but you can’t really get into the nitty-gritty of much of anything.  Plus typing is just so much more enjoyable than texting.

We miss our old doggie, Melvin, but I have to honestly say two dogs is a good fit.  Especially two dogs that get along.  Melvin and Grady wanted to fight to the death every single day.  Many times I wanted to strangle the both of them, and I am sure Trace did too. Trace pushing ten is showing signs of age, and Grady, at three is getting, let’s just say, more mature.  I’ve had mostly Aussies in my life, so I have no idea if their propensity for turning into a calm dog at age four is the same with other breeds or not.  But, sigh, we’re almost there with Grady.  He acts about 20% pup, and 80% dog now.  And he loves his big brother Trace (sometimes too much according to Trace) so not a hint of any kind of aggression.

Our winter this year has been like the winters of my childhood, lots of snow and our usual transition from cold spells with a whopping ice storm.  We’ve had two, and I have to honestly say, I don’t like it much.  Too much work just to maintain the heat, water, and livestock.  We have definitely gotten spoiled these past few mild winters.  We went into winter with a full barn of hay, and an overflowing woodshed so I shouldn’t really grumble too much.

So, I’ll leave off now with hopes to try to blog on a regular schedule.

52 Comments leave one →
  1. January 28, 2017 7:29 am

    Welcome back. I really enjoy your writing!

  2. Shirley permalink
    January 28, 2017 7:30 am

    Good to hear from you again! I am 61 years old and I agree the last year’s weather is what I remember weather being like. Makes for a lot more work carrying a couple of gallon jugs of water out to the chickens every morning. Like you the wood shed and pantry is full, can’t complain.

  3. thetinfoilhatsociety permalink
    January 28, 2017 7:45 am

    Wonderful to hear from you again!

  4. Aspenhills permalink
    January 28, 2017 7:50 am

    Good to hear from you agin, you have been missed.

  5. scottishsoapmaker permalink
    January 28, 2017 7:51 am

    I had just been wondering when you might be back! Very good to hear your news. Thank you.

  6. Kathy permalink
    January 28, 2017 8:03 am

    I have missed you! Welcome back! You always give me so much inspiration!

  7. Bee permalink
    January 28, 2017 8:03 am

    So glad to have you back again, Nita! I don’t know about you, but I operate on the premise that ALL plans are a work-in-progress-moving-target sort of thing. Sometimes it’s the weather (41 inches of rain and 10 of snow in three months), sometimes it’s the stray cats showing up because the neighbor in whose barn they lived died and no one took any action to help them. Sometimes it’s the flare-up of an old knee injury that keeps you hobbling (and doing very little of that!) for three weeks. I must admit that last had some positives – I learned the middle kid is a dynamite laundress and her younger sister is a champion dishwasher. Sometimes it’s the big stuff, like losing your milk cow so now you’re bottle-feeding a month-old calf. But the knee’s better, the cats are doing well, the sun is shining and bottle baby Voracious Violet is healthy and gaining weight. I look forward to more of your “real” posts!

    • January 28, 2017 11:16 am

      Forgive me Bee for losing track of how you are doing. Part of not blogging for me has been not reading blogs either. So sorry about your cow, that really deals a homestead a big blow. 😦

      • Bee permalink
        January 28, 2017 2:51 pm

        I understand how easy it is to get caught up in the day-to-day thrash! And now that Ruthless is working in town, I would expect you’re hopping even faster.
        We’re just sick about losing Maybelle and we don’t really know what happened; my guess is whatever took her down in the first place, she hurt herself somehow, because she was never able to get back up. Good dairy cows are going for about $2000-$2500 down here and there are darned few of them. I suspect we’re going to be without a milker until Violet grows up. Been almost 50 years since I bottle-fed a calf, but it’s pretty much like riding a bicycle… you don’t forget.

  8. January 28, 2017 8:12 am

    So good to hear your voice again~ even if it’s in my head as I read 🙂
    Our winter has been wicked. Really can’t believe it’s still January.

  9. Betty permalink
    January 28, 2017 8:20 am

    So good to hear from you!!! I’m glad all is well in your neck of the woods.

  10. January 28, 2017 8:21 am

    Glad to see you again. 🙂

  11. Clare permalink
    January 28, 2017 8:37 am

    As others have commented, I am very glad to see your post and your fine writing. It is inspirational, if that helps you at all in the motivation department to want to keep it up! And glad to find you on Instagram. Be well!

  12. January 28, 2017 8:39 am

    Great to hear from you! I’ve missed your voice. Your advice is so helpful as we progress along our own farmsteading adventure.

  13. elaine permalink
    January 28, 2017 8:45 am

    🙂 Glad you’re back ~

  14. January 28, 2017 8:46 am

    Ditto here too! Soo glad to have you back! Have really missed your blog posts. Happy New Year!

  15. January 28, 2017 8:47 am

    So great to read your blog again! It’s always fun to hear what you’re doing.

    I do have a question that maybe you have addressed before or are willing to answer in your feeding shed post. I now have two cows and I’ve had a really hard time keeping their feeding shed dry. It’s a mucky mess. The horses are in the same shed but divided by a gate and their side is relatively dry. So I’m thinking it’s more of a cow thing. Any tips on drainage and keeping things drier? They’re just on dirt. No gravel, chips, cement, etc. I’m not sure where to start.

  16. January 28, 2017 9:29 am

    A pleasant surprise to see this post pop up in my intray this morning. What a contrast here on the east coast of Australia we are experiencing some nasty hot weather minus any good rain. It is a good time to hear a farm update from you. I’ve often wondered what your daily schedule is when the snow hits.

  17. January 28, 2017 9:33 am

    Whew! Glad to hear you are back in the saddle – I was beginning to worry, but then I realize we haven’t posted anything since July ourselves… Yes – lots has changed. We are amending our plans too.
    Looking forward to your upcoming posts!

  18. January 28, 2017 9:55 am

    Really glad to hear from you again!

  19. Fidelia Sherman permalink
    January 28, 2017 10:56 am

    Missed you. Enjoy your posts! Lovely calf. As much as I treasure your written posts, your wordless posts are also treasured. XO

  20. Joyce permalink
    January 28, 2017 11:12 am

    I’m thrilled you’re back.
    I’ve been making do by reading through the old posts.

  21. January 28, 2017 11:29 am

    I’ve missed you too. We need some sanity in these days 🙂 How much more sane can you get than life on the farm? Providing the animals do as they are told, don’t get sick, the weather doesn’t throw a curve ball and so on, but apart from that?:D

  22. Saundra Loman permalink
    January 28, 2017 11:51 am

    I am so glad to see you posting again. This aging thing, & bad knees, ensure that we rethink what we can safely do. I have missed seeing your gardens, your critters, and your amazing teaching. Welcome back. Sandy .
    Looking forward to your next “news.”

  23. Martha Caldwell-Young permalink
    January 28, 2017 1:05 pm

    Glad you’re back. 🙂

  24. January 28, 2017 1:12 pm

    Lovely to see you back! I’ve started following on Instagram as I just love your pictures… ☺️

  25. January 28, 2017 2:47 pm

    Another one that is glad you are back! Can’t seem to get into looking at Instagram…

  26. January 28, 2017 2:51 pm

    Nice to see your post pop up in my feed.
    Same same…amended plan, cold winter (albeit way less snow and ice than you, and no get up and go around blogging. Found you on Instagram, though, and loving the pictorial journal happening there. Maybe this’ll prompt me to do something about my own blog. Maybe. Stay warm!

    • January 30, 2017 2:53 pm

      It seems like this group of ours, if you could call us that, have had blog doldrums, all except Bill of course. I can keep up with Khaiti on Instagram, but you and Le Petit have been taking a break like me. I have no idea how long this spurt will last, but for now it seems like a good time to write.

  27. Barb in CA permalink
    January 28, 2017 4:08 pm

    Your blog is such a wealth of wisdom and information that I refer back to it often. I was worried you would take it down when you stopped posting. So I am VERY glad to hear you will continue recording your general observations, plans-in-progress, and overall life-lessons here for the rest of us to benefit from. One of the things I love most about you is that you’ve never stop adapting and growing. Partly out of necessity – life’s curve balls keep coming at us – but also in an effort to improve the systems you’ve already got working like a Swiss watch. So thank you very much for letting us continue to learn vicariously through you!

  28. January 28, 2017 7:22 pm

    Good to hear from you again regardless of how or when! It’s been quite the winter though!

  29. January 28, 2017 7:49 pm

    Good to hear from you. Glad you seem to be doing well. Stay warm and God bless!

  30. January 28, 2017 11:02 pm

    As you see from your many replies, your insights are a valuable thing in themselves. Apart from overseeing some struggling efforts which doid not take into account the things you lay clear, I also do a podcast of new and very eclectic music (ie you won’t like more than one song in ten) but I experienced the same phenomema when I went off air. It’s a servoce. And thank you.

    PS: only for music people with “open” views

  31. January 29, 2017 4:46 am

    Hi again! I’ve been enjoying our instagram exchanges, but I do miss your blog posts, I have much to learn from you!

  32. January 29, 2017 5:16 am

    I’ve missed you. As you point out other platforms are nice but not that easy to share words in or on.

  33. January 29, 2017 6:37 am

    Glad you’re back…I was just checking my blog feed thinking about posting again too…we’ve had a mild winter for the most part…I don’t miss those hard winters when it’s -40 and the wind drifts snow every day.

  34. January 29, 2017 11:51 am

    You’re back! I’m glad!

  35. Craig permalink
    January 29, 2017 1:39 pm

    So glad you’ve decided to blog again! I know how much time and effort it takes, but know it is so greatly appreciated. I have followed many, many blogs over the years, but I can say that yours is the one of the few I still get excited about when I see in my email that you’ve written something new.

  36. foodnstuff permalink
    January 29, 2017 5:56 pm

    It’s good to see you back. Although I’m way over here in Australia, I have enjoyed reading about your exploits over the years and your self-sufficiency knowledge has been a great help.

  37. treatlisa permalink
    January 29, 2017 7:04 pm


  38. January 30, 2017 2:45 am

    Happy to see your post in my mail this morning, I had just been thinking of you. Your blog is a treasure trove, I guess that makes you a treasure too, what a nice thought!

  39. January 30, 2017 3:23 am

    Delighted to find this post this morning. I read the IG but do not have a cell phone, so can’t respond. I do hope you find the time and energy to post here now and again. I have really missed your in depth writing.

  40. Lucy permalink
    January 30, 2017 6:28 am

    So good to read your words again! And, yes, please, keep writing!

  41. susan permalink
    January 30, 2017 6:34 am

    Nice to ‘see’ you again!

  42. diana hoyt permalink
    January 30, 2017 7:18 am

    Welcome back, hope to see you again soon.

  43. stumplifter permalink
    January 30, 2017 8:50 am

    So wonderful to read your words again. Just started on instagram as northwoods hill farmers and am grateful to read your frequent postings. Waiting with baited breath. . . and a shot of wood stove smoke. Oohh, anything you’d care to mention in regards to wood, harvest, process, storage, prioritizing, burning would keep this reader fully engaged!🤓❤️

  44. Barbara permalink
    January 30, 2017 9:16 am

    Great to hear from you! I was wondering if all was well with you all. Very encouraging to hear that you plan to post more often. I still learn from the wealth of wisdom that is already on your blog, but I love the currency of the regular posts. It’s a lot of work for you, but much appreciated.

  45. Anita Watson permalink
    January 30, 2017 3:35 pm

    I’m so glad you are back, you have been sorely missed. Please don’t stay away so long this time.

  46. paula permalink
    February 9, 2017 7:17 am

    It was so wonderful to open your blog this morning and see that you are back with us! Life is better now . . . .

  47. Dave permalink
    February 21, 2017 8:46 pm

    So glad you’re back. Your useful inputs have been sorely missed.

  48. Adam McClory permalink
    February 23, 2017 8:07 pm


    I haven’t visited your site for awhile, realizing that your posts were less frequent………but I am very excited to see that you are back in the saddle again! You’ve been really helpful and generous with advice over the years and I’ve truly appreciated it. It is always exciting to see that there is a new post and I can spend a few minutes in the evening reading and letting the great information and stories soak in. Well, have started a handful of seeds here in the Inland NW, but with low temps around 20 degrees, not really expecting winter to give up just yet! Look forward to more from you!

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