Thursday, January 5, 2017

Good Morning and Happy New Year From Vine Living!

Yes, I know. I know. It's been over a year. Eek.

One of my New Year's resolutions I want to work on is uploading this blog more often. The past 2 and 1/2 years has been loaded with back-breaking labor, but it just wouldn't be right to permanently stop the blog, right? So many of our "necessity-type projects" have been completed, freeing up more time and allowing us to feel more settled. It's taken over 2 years, but we're finally feeling officially settled. It's a good feeling!

2016 was full of some hardships, but blessing as well. We lost our Molly-Moo cow to bloat from our new pasture. (I think I cried for a few days after burying her.)

All of our main structures and fencing are completed, so after we got our second garden built and up and running this summer, we started land clearing for Rob's large barn that he wants to get up and finished by the end of the year. All the wood will be milled and taken from trees here on our property. The mill will hopefully be here by February. (More details on that later.)

We got a hand-crank well pump installed, but after giving the internal, rubber parts some time to swell, our well is too deep for the kind of pump we got installed. We are currently looking to install either a Life Straw, Simple Pump or Water Boy to "tweak" our hand pump. Losing electricity here on the farm has given us a few scares, but this year, WATER is high on the list to continue to store and have multiple sources, just in case. We currently have some IBC tanks in place with gutters attached, but are looking to put in a rain barrel system as well. (Water has to be our #1 priority and I do intend to do some videos on that as well.)

As a mother, I have struggled finding a balance of homeschooling that works for us here. We've been blessed to find Accelerated Christian Education (A.C.E.), which has helped us tremendously as far as getting the kids less "needy" of me and their lessons, gaining independence on setting their own learning goals. It's been wonderful and quite frankly, an answer to prayer!

We added goats to the homestead this year. We have learned how to properly pressure can and have been putting up lots of canned goodies the past 6 months. We butchered our first 2 pigs, delivered our sow's first litter of piglets, butchered some turkeys and chickens. We got in our second garden, which has been producing lots of good produce this year (lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, Seminole pumpkins and more).

We have been so blessed to get to know our sweet neighbors on an even deeper level this year, learning that so many of them are like-minded about this lifestyle just like we are. To say they have been a blessing is an understatement.

This year, we were also able to take some time to actually decorate our home (which has been really fun for me!). We painted the entire interior, put up new drapes and Pinterest has been a great source as well. I just couldn't justify taking the time, effort or money to decorate without the outside animals and garden being taken care of first.

I've been taking lots of videos here on the farm, hoping to share with you all our days here and the things we have learned. A homesteader's best friend is You Tube, right? {grin}

Blessings friends and happy new year!


Rachel E. said...

Praise the Lord! I finally found your blog again. Has it been two years? I think you had just moved here when I last saw your progress. And pregnant with sixth? Awesome!

I don't know if you remember me, but I have had a few blogs off and on. Can't recall if you followed me much as you are equally busy if not more.

I can't wait to read up on you all. It all looks great! So excited for you.

Rachel E. said...

Oh, I forgot to ask you if your goats were Oberhosli (?). We have dairy goats, but we have Nigerian. Your place looks fabulous. I know I said that, but I just watched your little video. It is beautiful.