August 2016 updates!!

Howdy!

Let’s talk about things…

Mary here, back with yet another update post. Wow. Is it actually August already?! My calendar says yes, the weather says June, but my brains says “Ehhh no. Pretty sure it’s still April.” It’s weird how months work like that. Always out to confuse me.

I have been super busy with all sorts of fun stuff these past couple months, but where to begin… OH YEAH. Angelica and Peggy(my does) both had babies on July 21st! A total of 8 babies each! The sad news is that Peggy decided to be a terrible mother and none of her babies made it. The wonderful news is, Angelica is an amazing mother and all 8 of hers are thriving! They just opened their eyes the other day and have started to venture out of the nest box. One has been christened “Herbert Nenninger” by my brother and I’m for sure going to name one “Eliza”(so I can sing the whole song) and one “Layfayette”(so I can teach him to rap and speak french). I wish I could keep them all, but alas, I have no space for 11 rabbits. And so I am refraining from naming the rest. Except that I’ve already named them all. I’m so bad at this.

The super awesome surprise that I hinted at back in May, was the addition of 3 little chicks to my flock! I decided that instead of letting all of Anne’s(My buff orpington hen) hard work be in vain, I would give her the responsibility of her very own chicks. All are raised to maturity now thanks to Anne’s perfect mothering skills and are miniature versions of what they will look like in a few months. Viola Thatcher is a french copper marans, Rosemary Levo is a barnevelder, and Abigail Stanton is a cream brabanter. Yes, I named them all after when calls the heart characters. And I feel that there is no names that would fit their personalities better.

Some not so awesome news is that my darling potato fuzzball, Timothy, passed away very suddenly last Saturday. For those who don’t know, Timothy was my teddy bear guinea pig. He was fine one day and the next day was hardly breathing. The vet said it must have been a heart attack or gut twist. Things that couldn’t have been prevented. I was just heartbroken over losing him but I know God has it all under control. I am now determined to spoil my other three piggies as much as possible since every day with them is a blessing.

On a happier note, I am so excited at the outcome of my garden so far. I have corn that’s getting taller, kale thats infested with aphids, birdhouse gourds with beautiful white flowers, mini pumpkins almost ready to harvest, jack-o-lantern pumpkins getting huge, watermelon that I managed to keep alive, cantaloupe that is finally starting to hint at flowering, zucchini that is once again providing me with more zucchini than I could eat in maybe 5 hours, onions that are ready to harvest, lettuce that is going to seed, sunflowers that I expect to bloom in a couple weeks, a potato tower that I need to finish, tomatoes that are fighting hard to live despite my subpar watering efforts, AND Lilly and I started a lovely little herb garden overlooking the chicken run with rosemary, lavender, oregano, basil, mint and thyme. I plan to start one more round of sugar snap peas and lettuce before the month is out to be harvested by fall. And my compost pile will be ready to till into the garden once everything is harvested, at which time I will be attempting a fall garden with garlic, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, romaine lettuce, and anything else I can get to grow in the colder weather. Gardening is so fun!!

As for myself, I am starting to get crazy healthy in regards to my eating and exercise habits. My legs are really feeling the burn of running around at the park with my brothers and cousins. And if you want to know how hardcore I am, I went to a birthday party and managed to turn down pizza, coffee cake and my favorite brand of ice cream while instead eating a plate of fruit and a salad. That is dedication, my friend. I also discovered a magical food called “dates”. Those delicious dried ones that you can find in the bulk section at most stores and, if you’re lucky, at Costco. I have eaten a *ahem*large quantity of these over the past couple days. #noregrets

I’ve been very inspired to learn even more piano songs lately and have completed “If I die young” and “Mama’s song” while continuing to learn “God help the outcasts” as well as two secret songs that my family, friends and colleagues will hear when I am finished.

Horseback riding is going great. My sitting trot is getting better and my posting is nearing the point where I would be okay with someone watching me do it without feeling like an awkward potato with the least amount of leg muscles in the history of ever. And did I mention I bought my very first saddle?! It’s a gorgeous western one that I got from my awesome aunt. I am so excited to use it. Buuuuut I might need a horse first… *sigh* details… Until then I will pretend that my saddle rack is in fact a beautiful clydesdale gelding galloping in a field of flowers.

You know what I’ve always wanted to do? Sew a quilt. Guess what I’m doing! Procrastinating. I have almost all the pieces cut, I just need to actually sew them. And learn how to sew… But hey, slow and steady wins the race! Or in this case, completes the quilt. Some other crafty accomplishments include reaching the halfway point on my Hufflepuff scarf and learning to spin wool into yarn on a spinning wheel and a drop spindle! I made just enough yarn for a pretty awesome bracelet.

I am currently reading a darling book called “Dewey: the small town library cat who touched the world.” It’s so fast and easy to read but being the overachiever that I am, I got about four books from the library and have two from my shelf waiting to be read. 7 books going at once… that must be some sort of record!

We went to Montana for the 4th of July and my goodness, I fall more in love with that state with every visit. If I could pick anywhere in the world to live, I would pick Montana. It’s just so perfect in every way and the sky is seriously 10 times bigger than anywhere else. All the varied landscapes are awe-inspiring and THE SUNSETS. I have no words. A few of our adventures include multiple boat rides, a hike on wild horse island(There are legit wild horses and WE SAW THEM. Also nearly passed out due to heat exhaustion. Water is important, kids. Also, lungs are supposed to breathe. Mine weren’t.), a thunderstorm, thrift shopping, a drive through glacier national park(and boy do I have a story for anyone who wants to hear about a bear scaring the living daylight out of me), and oh my goodness there was the perfect piece of property for sale near Flathead lake. 220 acres with a log cabin, forests, fields, views of the mountains, established fruit trees and a long driveway. I was ready to buy it right there but of course theres the thing that I have no money nor drivers license or even job for that matter… Oh well. Maybe someday.

I think that’s all the major updates I have for now… You can look forward to pictures of most things mentioned above once I get enough space cleared on my laptop to upload pictures! For now, I hope you enjoyed this long-winded life update. 🙂 Feel free to share it! or not. And comment if you want to. I really love comments. Or don’t. Whatever floats your goat.

Questions of the post:

What has your summer entailed so far?

Have you ever been to Montana?

Do you agree that Montana is perfection?

What is your favorite season?

 

Thanks for reading!

Blow up the TV, move to the country, homestead your life.

 

If you liked this post, you might also enjoy…

May 2016 updates!!

Updates!! April 2016

The Happy Tag!

May 2016 updates!!

Howdy!

Let’s talk about stuff…

Friends, neighbors, whoever is reading this, welcome to my blog! My name is Mary, but it depends on who you’re talking too, and this is a generic life update post.

Much has happened in the merry merry month of May. Pun intended. I can’t believe it is already June 1st! Summer is coming and I’m not sure I’m ready for it. Where did spring go?! Spring is my favorite but I have a lot to look forward to this summer. Now, let us dive into the exciting and exhausting world that is my life…

Firstly, the turkey eggs unfortunately did not hatch. BUMMER. But like I keep saying, it was a great learning experience. As of now, I was able to break one of my other hens who thought she wanted to be broody too, and Anne is in the intro cage, still sitting on a nest. Why is that? You might wonder. I’ll tell you! Eventually. *evil grin* I have, uh, plans that I am not at liberty to discuss yet. All will reveal itself in good time. All in good time.

We went to Oregon for the national truck show and it was SUPER COOL! The was a Ford c-800 that was just gorgeous. And so many Peterbilts! I even found a brand of truck that I had not previously heard of. “Western Star” is the name. You can probably guess why I like it. Afterwards we drove to the Oregon coast and though I am not a huge beach person, I will admit that I enjoyed the afternoon.

My garden is doing much better than I expected it too. I currently have onions, sugar snap peas, leaf lettuce(that is HUGE), cilantro, mini pumpkins, large pumpkins(from a seed that I saved from last year’s pumpkin!), zucchini, watermelon(I seem to be jinxed when it comes to melon but I have managed to keep a total of four plants alive to two weeks old. This may or may not be my third attempt. This year.), cantaloupe, birdhouse gourds, corn(the darn slugs have destroyed half the crop), kale, a grapevine, carrots and strawberries growing. I am super excited because I picked a total of FIVE strawberries today! They were delicious. And the carrots that I can never seem to grow actually sprouted! I am pleased with my gardening efforts so far.

My rabbits are FINALLY moved to the shed and I am 99% sure that Angelica is pregnant. Her due date is the 15th so I guess I’ll just wait and see! Peggy doesn’t seem to be getting any bigger even though I bred her twice. I think I will wait till the possible due date and try again then. Silver is doing great. Living the life. Enjoying vegetables.

Not sure who is interested but my guinea pigs are also alive and well. I recently ran out of commercial guinea pig food and have been feeding them more fruits and veggies along with their hay. And on the subject of animal diets…

I put Joy on a raw food diet! She is currently staring me down and getting in my way of writing this post begging to be fed. Do not fret, I shall feed her when I am done writing. I won’t go into detail about it here because I’m working on a whole post about it! You can look forward to that at a time in the future.

What else do I have…. OH. I found out that I am allergic to eggs. *sarcastic cheer* Hooray. Dairy still doesn’t quite agree with me, but eggs definitely don’t. Pretty annoying since I have 14 chickens and I… well actually, I’ve never been a huge fan of eggs on their own so I guess this works out fine. I think I do okay with, say, 1 or 2 eggs in a batch of cookies, but no scrambled or fried or hard boiled eggs for me anymore. I have yet to test duck eggs since I hear that sometimes you can be allergic to chicken eggs and not duck eggs? I’ll report my results as soon as I can get my hands on some duck eggs…

I’ve been doing some Bible studies recently and I had a revelation about something that completely lifted a weight off my shoulders. God is good. I see him working all around me. I am so excited for life! I get to live for Jesus! He has a perfect plan for me! Woo hoo!!

I started painting the side of my grandparents house and it is coming along nicely. I hope to finish it tomorrow.

There is this show that I am re-obsessing over… When Calls The Heart. *unintelligible fangirl noises* I’m watching all the episodes on Netflix over again and I just have one question… How can one show be so perfect? It’s clean yet dramatic, modest yet fashionable, exciting but not scary in any way, the plot is perfection, the actors play their roles perfectly, and CAN WE TALK ABOUT JACK THORNTON. The brave, chivalrous, (not to mention handsome) caring mounty who never ceases to make me laugh or go “AWWWWWW”. Also, Abigail Stanton. That precious little cinnamon roll. She has compassion, she has grace, she has sophistication, she has generosity, she can dance. I can only hope to one day be like Abigail. She was my favorite from episode 1. I love this show for all the reasons, but my main one is that every time I watch it I imagine that I am living in coal valley back in the old days on my own little farm. Everyone is kind and neighborly, I make my own dresses, take care of my little cabin, hang the laundry out to dry, get around by horse and wagon, cook over a wood stove, sleep in my cozy bed with a patch work quilt and live life the way it was meant to be lived. Siiiiiigh. Anyways, it’s the best show ever and you need to watch it. Unless you already have, in which case, well done! Now go watch it again!

I suppose that’s all I have for today. This just barely scratched the surface of what I did in may. That would have taken hours to write so this will have to do. I hope you enjoyed reading this post 🙂

Feel free to comment! I really love comments. Here is some incentive to make you comment:

Questions of the post: What is your favorite way to spend a Wednesday afternoon? How was your month? Are you allergic to anything? Do you have a TV show (or movie) that you just adore and wish you could live in?

Talk to you later!

Blow up your TV, move to the country, homestead your life.

Broody hens and what to expect

Howdy!

Let’s talk about broody hens…

First off, I’ll explain what a broody hen is for those who might now know. “Broody” is what you call a hen when she decides that she is going to try and hatch a clutch of eggs. A hen can decide to go broody whether you have a rooster or not. The hen won’t know the difference between fertile or infertile eggs. Those are the basics.

There’s no way to force a hen to go broody, but you can do some things to encourage her; on purpose and accidentally. Broody hens like to pick a spot for their nest that is dark, comfortable and safe. A cozy nest box, dark corner of the coop or even a hollow tree for free rangers are all preferred spots. A broody usually has very good judgement on where she decides to nest so you don’t have to make her nest elsewhere unless she is in danger or you’re worried about other hens picking on her. I didn’t have to move Anne because she picked a nest box in the coop to stay in and my hens are all very gentle, so I don’t know what the best way to transfer a broody and her nest would be. You’ll have to do some research on that yourself. 🙂

The two main reasons a hen might decide to go broody are these:

  1. You let her build a clutch of eggs whether infertile or not and she decided to hatch them.
  2. The eggs in the nest box weren’t collected soon enough and she took a nest full of eggs as a sign that she needed to hatch them.

Now, how do you know if your hen is broody? The first sign is if she has been on the nest for a long amount of time(3+ hours). If she is a mature hen and is still on the nest box when all the other hens have gone to roost, that is another sign(I say mature meaning not a pullet who hasn’t gotten the hang of roosting yet). When you try to touch her or the eggs she may 1. Peck your hands, 2. Fluff up her feathers(kinda like a dogs fur on its spine going up), 3. Make low “cluck-growl” sounds, and in general, pull feathers from her chest to line the nest and make it so that the eggs are right up against her and are perfectly warm. These are the main ones I noticed with my hen, but another way to know for sure is if you pick her up and set her anywhere she will either settle down on the ground or make a mad dash back to her nest.

If you’ve “diagnosed” your hen as broody, you can either leave her or try to break the habit. I decided to leave her since I had eggs for her to hatch, so I won’t go in to how to break a broody in this post. Some things you can expect are if you pull an egg out from under her and put it in a different part of the nest box, she will readjust herself and gently push the egg back under her with her beak. If you have a good broody mother she will not only do that, but also turn the eggs as needed. Hens are also amazing in that they keep the eggs at the exact temperature and humidity they need to hatch. Another thing to keep in mind is that broody hens will stop laying eggs for 2-3 months while they hatch their eggs and brood their chicks.

Here are some questions I had and was able to find answers for:

How often will a hen get off her nest and when should I be concerned that she isn’t on it? A broody will get off her nest briefly 1-3 times a day to stretch, eat, drink, relieve herself and preen her feathers and then its back to the nest. She will know when it’s safe to get off the nest and will not let the eggs get cold. You should be concerned if she is off for 4+ hours and its a cold(40 degrees or lower) day. If you can’t entice her back to the nest I would intervene and set up an incubator. This would only be in extreme cases though.

What do I do if other hens try and get to the nest box? Don’t stop them unless they are bullying the mama. Other hens may try to get in the nest box if she has picked, say, the preferred nest box in the whole coop(everyone has one). Make sure that there are plenty other alternative nest boxes but don’t fret if they want to use the one with the broody. They just want to get in, lay their egg and get out. This can actually be really helpful if the broody is off her nest because the other hens will keep the eggs warm while they are laying theirs. Be sure to mark the broody’s original clutch of eggs with a small sharpie mark so that if any extra eggs are laid by other hens you can collect those and not the brooded eggs.

Will a hen abandon her eggs? In some cases, yes. She might be inexperienced or decide its not worth the effort but usually once she has decided to go broody, the mothering instinct has taken over and she won’t stop being broody unless you intervene.

Will a hen adopt eggs that aren’t her own? Yes. In fact, some hens find a clutch of eggs that a different hen laid and then decide to take over and hatch them. If you have eggs that you want her to adopt, slip them under her at night(Wearing heavy gloves, mind you. She will be mad.) so that she will wake up and accept that they are all hers.

How long will a hen be broody for? Until her eggs hatch. It is a slightly different amount of time for each type of fowl but a hen won’t know the difference and will brood until they hatch. For this reason, its probably best to only hatch one type of bird under her at a time. ex. She might have both turkey and chicken eggs under her and since the chickens hatch sooner, she will stop brooding the turkey eggs and focus on her chicks. Once a hen decides that she is done, she is done. And you can’t make her go back to the nest to hatch any straggler eggs if there were any.

This is all I have on the subject for now. I speak from experience and a ton of research but each broody is different 🙂 Thank you very much for reading! And as always…

Blow up your tv, move to the country, homestead your life.

 

Have you ever had a broody hen? Do you have any questions about broody hens? What is your favorite number?

 

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Broody hen and turkey eggs!

Chickens – Picking A Breed

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Broody hens

Broody hen and turkey eggs!

Howdy!

Let’s talk about turkeys…

I was out in the coop the other night tucking the ladies in, and I went over to the nest box to collect the eggs. Well, it was pitch black in the nest box but I reached in anyway because what could be there besides a whole bunch of eggs? The moment my hand stroked something soft I was on my feet and out of that coop faster than you could say “……fast?” (I’m really bad at analogies.)

I ran inside and grabbed a flashlight, cause if there was a wild animal in the coop I wanted to see it before it attacked me. My mom came back out with me for emotional support and I carefully crept up to the nest box… Instead of finding a possum gorging himself on eggs, ready to attack and spread fatal diseases, there was my buff orpington Anne, comfortably nestled in the box, looking up at me with the meanest eye she could muster since I had just disturbed her slumber.

At first I thought she was just sleeping there(she’s been known to do that before), but after almost getting my hand pecked off and getting growled at by a chicken I figured out she had gone broody! I guess I didn’t collect the eggs fast enough during the day and she just decided that they needed to be hatched(even though I don’t have a rooster.).

This sudden development of broodiness would have been a problem if I didn’t have eggs to hatch, but long story short, I ended up with 3 turkey eggs on my hands a couple weeks ago and had started incubating them. After much contemplation and research, I figured that Anne would know how to hatch the turkey eggs a lot better than me and since they were only a little over a week along at the time, it would be safe to move them underneath her.

My mother and I made a game plan to set up a little pen around the nest box so that the other chickens wouldn’t bother Anne while she was trying to brood, and brought a basket and the incubator with the turkey eggs down to the coop. I pulled on my heavy duty leather gloves(Anne was extremely mad at me trying to disturb her eggs) and was able to get 5 eggs out from under her. I gently put the turkey eggs under her and watched in relief as she fluffed her feathers over them and accepted them as her own.

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Woo Hoo!! Success!!

(I have much better pics of her that my wonderful sister took, but I will put those in a post all about broody hens and what I’m learning from this experience)

The next morning I went out to the coop to let the girls out and there was Anne, waiting by the door to be let out as well. 1. I have no clue how she got out of the pen that surrounded the nest box. We took it down after that cause it was pointless and she knows how to defend her nest. 2. WHAT WAS SHE DOING OFF THE EGGS?!

I, ah, panicked a little… The eggs would freeze without her sitting on them, right? Mary, listen to reason. It was 75 degrees out at 9:00am. Pretty sure they are not going to freeze today. Fine. But how do I know when I should be worried that she’s not on the nest? Here’s what my research(and experience) uncovered…

Chickens need to eat and drink. Even broody mamas. Some will unintentionally malnourish themselves because they are so focused on their job of brooding. Anne is smart. She picked the best time in the morning when the eggs were perfectly warm from her sitting on them all night, to go outside, stretch her legs, relieve herself(I found out broody’s droppings are, um, quite unpleasant as they only go once a day while brooding…), and eat and drink.

And hour later she was back on the nest box and doing her job of protecting her eggs and keeping them warm. She even knows how much and when to turn them! Nature is amazing. And the God who created it all is a genius. She stayed on her nest the rest of the day and got off the next morning to take care of herself, then it was back to her eggs. I’ve stopped panicking. Now I’m just a worried little mother and I check on her about 5 times a day.

It has been 4 days and she is doing wonderful! I haven’t candled the eggs yet to see if anything is progressing, but the next chance I get when she is off the nest, I’ll have to candle them and take a pic to show ya’ll 🙂 There is also the possibility that nothing is happening inside them cause I had no idea what I was doing when I started incubating them.(I did plenty of research, but you can only really learn from experience) If no baby turkeys end up hatching, it will be disappointing but at least I’ve learned a ton about incubation and broodies!

Talk to you later!

Blow up your TV, move to the country, homestead your life.

 

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Updates! April 2016

Updates!! April 2016

Howdy!

Lets talk about… life… yes… life…

Do you ever have those days where you just want to do everything and nothing at the same time?

You want to reorganize your closet, clean out all the animal cages, get rid of everything you own, end world hunger and establish world peace. But at the same time you want to curl up in bed with a cup of tea and forget all life’s responsibilities and unanswered questions, maybe watch a show, or surf Pinterest, or read a book.

Maybe it’s just me.

Whether you have those days too or not, I’m having one today.

I have a cold that I got a few days ago which bothers me just enough to where I don’t have my normal amount of energy, but on the other hand my back is finally feeling a lot better after I fell of a horse about a month ago. (long story short, the saddle slipped and I bruised my back)

See my dilemma? Now, how to get myself out of this funk… I suppose I am satisfying both aspects right now. I’m curled up in bed and just finished a cup of tea, and I’m writing this blog post which is productive right? right! well, glad we talked that through.

I suppose while I’m here I will give you a few updates on my little farm.

  1. My sugar snap peas have all sprouted through the ground and are growing like a beanstalk. (get it? LOL)
  2. One of the pumpkin seeds that I saved from the pumpkin I grew last year SPROUTED! Now if I can just keep those pesky squirrels from eating all the blossoms this year…
  3. I actually pruned my grapevine correctly and I’m pretty sure the shoots grow another inch every time I go out there.
  4. I’ve been getting between 9 and 11 eggs from my 14 hens each day. The other day I even got a pink egg from one of my easter eggers!
  5. My birthday is in 2 DAYS! I’m gonna be 15 years old. My how the time flies. My 14th year was a wonderful one and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me in my 15th.
  6. Hamilton: an American musical is something that I’ve been terribly obsessed with lately. (I literally listen to at least 3 songs from it every day. I’ve kinda started to remember that there is other music out there but Hamilton is just so darn good!)
  7. I’ve challenged myself to read two books a week until next April. Then I will have read 108 books in a year! So far I am doing well. I have one to finish and one I just started for this week.
  8. On the subject of words, I started writing a novel which I am crazy excited about. If it actually turns out well I might try self publishing it just for the experience. I think I’d categorize it as Christian fiction.
  9. We just got back from Almost Paradise a week ago. It was an amazing trip! we spent 4 days there with our cousins and had some great adventures.

I guess that’s all for today.

Talk to ya later!

Blow up your TV, move to the country, homestead your life.

Introducing… The Schuyler Sisters!

Howdy!

Let’s talk about rabbits…

A post or two ago I mentioned that I had recently added two more rabbits to my flock? family? whatever you wanna call it. This post is all about them!

I was searching around on craigslist a few weeks ago not looking for anything in particular when I decided to search for silver fox rabbits. I knew I wanted a couple does at some point and just wanted to see what was out there.

Angelica pancake <3

Angelica pancake <3

Then I happened upon an ad for three silver fox does, one blue and two black. I thought to myself “OH MY GOODNESS GRACIOUS I NEED THESE RABBITS” but on the outside I was calm… like the wind. Anyways, the price was right, but I only had enough money to get two of them so I decided on one blue and one black.

IMG_7140

Casually I asked my parents if I could get these rabbits. They know how crazy I am and they had also agreed a while back that I could get more rabbits at some point, and therefore were totally cool with it! I emailed the owner of the rabbits. She was so nice and told us that they were still available and we could come pick them up and check out her farm. I never pass up an opportunity to go to a farm so I was like “UM YES”

It was SO COOL!! She has an awesome rabbit setup and breeds silver foxes for meat and is learning how to tan their hides. Besides rabbits, she also has sheep, ducks, and chickens, and a beautiful piece of property. I also got to see my new rabbit’s parents. First of all, they are HUGE! 10+ pounds each. And they both have beautiful coats. Second of all, this cool lady just keeps getting better, the father of my rabbits is named “Salazar” and the mother is “Rowena” She is a bit of a Harry Potter fan, like myself. (ok I’m under exaggerating, I’m a huge HP fan) 

IMG_2938

Rowena

I bought the two does I came for and then the lady said there was an awesome feed store about 3 minutes from her house. I needed rabbit food anyway because the does were used to eating pellets and so we ventured over there…

OH MY GOODNESS. That was one of the coolest feed stores I had ever been too. There was a big animal care section with books and every little thing you would need to care for small livestock, a gardening section, well, two gardening sections, the inside section had gardening books, tools and seeds, and the outdoor one had every plant you could need for food. Then there was a whole book section for every homestead thing you could ever need to learn about, along with supplies for canning, cheesemaking, candle-making, yarn-spinning, beekeeping and so much more.

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Peggy <3 She looks just like her mother!

To top it all off, there were multiple cages of freshly hatched chicks and ducklings(I practiced some major self control. They had 3 of the breeds I’ve been wanting forever.), and a seed exchange program! You can take whatever kind of seeds you want, for FREE, and then grow them and save some seeds from the plant to send back! I got 6 kinds of seeds, but I think the ones I’m most excited about are the birdhouse gourd seeds. I can’t wait to grow them!

That was a super fun adventure. Now I’ll get into some details about my new bunnies and my plans for them…

Like I mentioned in a previous post, I named them Angelica and Peggy, after the characters from the most amazing broadway musical ever, Hamilton. Lilly helped me give them middle names and so they’re full titles are: “Angelica Phillip Schuyler” and “Peggy Phillip Schuyler”. I refer to them as the Schuyler sisters partially because of their names, but also because they are literally sisters! Both from the same litter.

Angelica. So angelic.

Angelica. So angelic.

Their birthday is October 6th, which means they were exactly six months old yesterday on April 6th. I am planning to breed them as soon as possible, but building more cages and the whole rabbit setup should probably be done before I anticipate 6-12 new babies 🙂 Their mother is apparently a very good mother, and silver foxes are known for being good mothers, so I have high hopes for these girls.

The next step will be to build my rabbit setup… I was planning on doing an outdoor covered area but our neighborhood has a lot of predators and occasional dogs roaming around so I wouldn’t want to take any chances with that… Another one of my options is in a shed that we already have, I would just need to do some reorganizing and a bit of building to make it a good rabbit space. I’ll keep you updated as we go along!

Thanks for reading!

Blow up your TV, move to the country, homestead your life.

 

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The Joys Of Fermented Chicken Feed

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The Happy Tag!

Howdy!

Let’s talk about happiness…

Back with another tag today! I’ll be back to the normal posts as soon as I can get some good pics of my rabbits and the other fun things I want to share.

Recently I was tagged by Evangeline to do the happy tag, so naturally I was calm on the outside “sure I’ll do it!” but on the inside I was like “YES! I’VE BEEN TAGGED! Tis an honor. A true honor. I’d like to thank Evangeline for tagging me, and most of all, Jesus, for giving me so many things to be happy about. GOODNIGHT EVERYBODY! no really, I should go to bed. It’s like midnight.” Be sure to check out Evangeline’s blog btw. It’s amazing! 

In all seriousness though, God has given me so much to be happy about, so this is gonna be a fairly long post. But thats a good thing, right?

Before I get into it I suppose I should tag someone, since that’s how tags work. Sister dearest, I tag thee. I would also like to tag anyone else who is interested in doing this tag. Comment below if you do it, I’d love to check out your blog!

Books:

The Bible, specifically my NIV life application study Bible.
Anne of Green Gables, the entire series.
The lion, the witch, and the wardrobe.
The little house series.

Words:

Peace.
Life.
Wait.
Fairy.
Star.
Neptune.
Photosynthesis.
Miracle.
Graywacke.

Movies/TV shows:

Once Upon A Time
Anne of Green Gables
When Calls The Heart
Phineas and Ferb
Secondhand Lions
High School Musical 3
Pride And Prejudice
H2O Just Add Water
October Baby
Disney’s Robin Hood
Fixer-Upper with Chip and Joanna Gaines
Pentatonix: On My Way Home
Frozen
The Princess Diaries
iCarly
National treasure

Scents:

Wood smoke
The unexplainable beautiful smell of forest and sunshine and dirt and happiness and love that overwhelms me at Almost Paradise
Manure
Compost
Hyacinths
Freshly baked chocolate chip cookies
Diesel and gasoline
Freshly cut grass
Old books
Cinnamon
Rosemary
Lilac
Vanilla
Coffee
Timothy hay
The familiar smell of Grandma’s house
The familiar smell of friends houses
Marshmallow scented peep stuffed animals
Humid air after a thunderstorm in summer
Cherry blossoms
Watermelon
Ripe peaches
The smell of my dog
Garlic
Pumpkin pie
The tropical smell of Hawaii, another smell that is full of happiness and warmth and love and good memories that I just can’t explain
Maple syrup
The smell of my grandparents old suburban
Spring smells in the breeze

Songs:

Take me home, country roads by John Denver
Follow me by John Denver
This road by Warren Barfield
Right hand man from Hamilton
When we all get to heaven by Casting Crowns
Dream for you by Casting Crowns
Love you with the truth by Casting Crowns
Every bit of lovely by Jamie Grace
Show Jesus by Jamie Grace
Run to Jesus by Francesca Battistelli
John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16 by Keith Urban
Still Fallin by Hunter Hayes
Marry me by Train

Misc.:

Talking to God
My puppy’s face
Eating a chocolate chip cookie fresh out of the oven
Horseback riding
Staying up late with Lilly, watching shows, laughing at ridiculous things, finding new hobbies
Laughing so hard I start crying and I can’t breath
Feeling accomplished after weeding my garden
Watching the seeds I’ve tended to sprout through the soil
Harvesting food from the plants I’ve worked hard to take care of
Admiring my blanket collection
Snuggling up in my favorite blanket
Watching a sunrise at almost paradise
Listening to the sound of silence at almost paradise
Listening to birds singing
Wonderful memories of last summer: A trip to Hawaii, a road trip to wisconsin, the most amazing trip to Almost Paradise that I’ve been on yet
Listening to my favorite songs
Doing Bible study and having sudden realizations about things that I’ve never understood before
Finally listening to God and watching Him work in amazing ways
Perfecting that one part of a song on piano that I just couldn’t get right
Talking about Jesus
The enchanted glow twinkle lights give to a room
Baking something new and then having it turn out fantastic
Watching chickens go about their business for hours
Buying new books
Re-reading my favorite books
Hugs
When someone goes out of their way to say they thought of me or something reminded them of me
Dancing
Knowing all the words to a fast paced song *ahem* guns and ships *ahem*
Accidentally harmonizing perfectly to a song
Dirt roads
Almost Paradise
The sound of elk bugling
The ecstatic moment of finding an antler
Seeing God provide for the little things as well as the big things
Singing along to High School Musical
Holding newborns
The sound of a diesel engine
Unexpected gifts
Thunderstorms

Watching a new episode of OUAT
Pizza nights
Roasting marshmallows
Impromptu dance parties
Completing a project that I’ve worked on for a long time
Organizing
Spring
Twirly dresses
Cowgirl boots
Old barns
Wood stoves
Being snowed in
Weddings
Cows
Snowflakes
Camouflage
Mushroom friends
Log cabins
My Birthday
Not messing up a punchline for a really good joke
Avi Kaplan
Hunter Hayes
Jamie Grace
Lana Parrilla
Terribly good puns
The complex web of inside jokes I have with some people
Christmas
Big trucks
Good leftovers
Midnight snacks
Food in general
Tears of joy

I’m sure there are thousands more things to be happy about that I didn’t mention, but I don’t want to keep you all day.
I hope you enjoyed and thanks for reading!

Blow up your TV, move to the country, homestead your life.

Enjoyed this post? You might also like…
Sister tag! feat. my big sis.
How I study my Bible!
Books! my favorites – homestead AND fun

Sister Tag! feat. My big sis

Howdy!

Let’s talk about sisters…

I’m sure most of you know me, if not then I will introduce myself now… Hi! My name is Mary and this is my blog! We have a special guest today who goes by the name of “Lilly”.

Lilly is my sister, I’ve known her since I was born. She is definitely my favorite and only sister. We are best friends and colleagues. (she says mostly colleagues)

I thought it would be fun to do this sister tag to share a little bit about ourselves. I think the questions are supposed to be answered on a YouTube video, but I figured “why not answer them here?” so here we are.

I took off a few questions and added a few to make it a little different, so without further ado, let’s get into it!

But wait! I need to tag some people… Evangeline, you have been tagged. Alina, you as well. The questions can be found at the bottom of this post to copy and paste to your blog if you choose to accept this challenge. 😉

How old are you both?

Lilly: I’m twelve. (17)

Mary: I’m also twelve. (14 and 3/4, that’s important.)

Describe each other in one word?

Lilly: You are gleeful. Is that a real word?

Mary: Fun!

Do people ever get you mixed up?

Lilly: Yes. Frequently. When we were little we would each say the same sentence into a recorder and ask our mom to decipher which was who… (Mary: we still do occasionally XD)

Mary: Oh quite often. They know who we are but we are constantly called by each others names.

What are each of your favorite fruits?

Lilly: We are fruit hunters, so technically all fruits are our favorites. But I have to say I am partial to apples, pine and fuji.

Mary: Yes, all fruits are great. If I had to pick just one, I would definitely say watermelon.

Do you ever argue?

Lilly: Only in spirit.

Mary: Who doesn’t? We can usually work it out though.

Lilly: We have a lot of unresolved issues… (Mary: no we don’t!)

Whats the best thing about one another?

Lilly: That you don’t eat all your Halloween candy at once so I can come and eat yours when mine runs out.

Mary: You are always up for an adventure. Which is very fun.

Fave inside joke?

Lilly: It’s not going to be easy. Alfonso.

Mary: hahahaha good one sis. When we run into each other somewhere in the house I’ll say “whaaaat? do you go here?!” and she replies “no…. I’m an exchange student.” Farm.

Fave memory together?

Lilly: Pretty much just like every night.

Mary: Haha yeah, we kinda live together so every night is a party.

Guess each others fave singer?

Lilly: Hunter Hayes, Adele, Jamie Grace. (Mary: correct!)

Mary: Fun. Specifically Nate Ruess.

Who takes longer to get ready?

Mary: It’s kinda the same…

Lilly: Yeah…

Hair up or down?

Lilly: Yes.

Mary: Yes.

Pants or dresses?


Lilly: You like dresses. I like dresses but I also like being able to climb trees.

Mary: I do like dresses. I also like pants for daily farm work.

Favorite animal?
 (we decided to guess each others)

Mary: Its super obvious…

Lilly: Is it a farm animal?(Me: yeah) horse? rabbit? chicken? goat? cow? OOOOOHHHH

Mary: Yep. Yours is a panda right?

Lilly: Technically yes, but I feel like changing it…. Do you know my other two favorite?

Mary: Dolphin and…. tiger?

Lilly: Oh yeah! I thought it was a cheetah, but you’re right. It’s a tiger.

Mary: Do you know my other two favorite animals?

Lilly: Moose.

Mary: And a scarlet macaw. And a tiger. awwwww matching!

If your house was burning down, and your entire family was sure to be okay, what would you save and why?

Lilly: Laptop. Pictures. When we were on our road trip last summer, we thought our RV was going to explode so I literally picked up my laptop and ran.

Mary: If I had the time, I would try to get my guinea pigs out to safety. And Joy, unless she was already safe. And my Bible. Bibles are replaceable I guess but I really like my Bible and I need Jesus more than anything.

Comedy, action, or chick-flick?  and which movie in the picked genre?(answering for each other)

Lilly: Chick-flick. October Baby.(Mary: hehe yeah.)

Mary: Action. Thor: the dark world.(Lilly: Yes, but I would also choose comedy and pick Fantastic Mr. Fox)(Mary: totally knew that.)

Blackberry or iPhone?


Lilly: I kinda wish I had a blackberry right now cause I’m getting sick of my phone…

Mary: I like my iPhone but it takes up so much time… I would have to say blackberry. All I really need is texting and calling.

Favorite movie?(answering for each other)

Lilly: Tuck everlasting? (Mary: yeah! and also all three High School Musicals.)

Mary: Fantastic Mr. Fox. (Lilly: yep.)

What is something weird that you eat?(answering for each other)

Lilly: Coconut oil.

Mary: Plain things. Like orange chicken without the sauce… “burritos” with just cheese and meat… Hot dog buns, without a hot dog.

Do you have anything matching?

Lilly: Bigfoot socks and Bigfoot hats.

Mary: Yeah those. And oddly enough, each of us have found elk antlers that matched the others half. On more than one occasion.

What’s your favorite TV show?(answering for each other)

Lilly: Once Upon A Time and When Calls The Heart.

Mary: Vampire Diaries. (Lilly: and my favorite show of all time is iCarly)

And finally, what is your preferred sock brand?

Lilly: Oh my goodness, I haven’t even thought about this…

Mary: Those wool ones from Costco. Oh and Pillow Soles.

Lilly: Ok I have one. Mine are from Costco too! I like those KB ones.

Well, this has been a treat! Thank you for joining us. We had a lot of fun doing this tag.

Feel free to check out Lilly’s blog for… well all sorts of fun stuff. She is hilarious and awesome.

Thank you for reading!

Blow up your TV, move to the country, homestead your life.

 

Questions:

How old are you both?

Describe each other in one word.

Do people ever get you mixed up?

What are each of your favorite fruits?

Do you ever argue?

What is the best thing about one another?

Fave inside joke?

Fave memory together?

Guess each others favorite singer.

Who takes longer to get ready?

Hair up or down?

Pants or dresses?

Favorite animal?

If your house was burning down, and your entire family was sure to okay, what would you save, and why?

Comedy, action, or chick-flick? And which movie in the picked genre?

Blackberry or iPhone?

Favorite movie?

What is something weird that you eat?

Do you have anything matching?

Favorite TV show?

Preferred sock brand?

 

Updates! New rabbits! My garden!

Howdy!

Let’s talk about updates…

It has been a busy couple of weeks! I added two more rabbits to the flock, started preparing my garden for spring, started some seeds inside, had a dance night with some friends, posted OFF the lunge line at the stables, found a Bible at a thrift store that is over 100 years old, also bought some books that I’m super excited to read, and a lot of other stuff that I’m not recalling.

I’ll go into detail about some of these things, and some will probably have their own post, but first I would like to say that I am going to be changing my blogging schedule to 2 times a week. 3 Was just getting to be too much to keep up with, I got all off track and well, it just wasn’t working. I will try for Thursdays and Sundays, but at least twice a week.

New rabbits! I’m so excited to introduce them. They are silver fox does, approximately 5 months old, and sisters. I have just been becoming obsessed with the Broadway musical, Hamilton, and decided to name them…. Angelica and Peggy! Eliza just didn’t seem to fit either of them. Because they are literally sisters, I like to refer to them as “the Schuyler sisters”. I will do a full post on my rabbit setup and plans very soon so you can see pictures of them as well as my buck, Silver.

As for my garden, I had my chickens till it, which saved me the trouble of weeding, pitchforking and spreading mulch. Chickens are so handy! And now it is almost ready for planting. I am planning on getting some more dirt and compost to mix in and freshen the soil, then I’ll get my onions, carrots, and peas in the ground.

On the topic of gardening, I started a whole ton of seeds inside and so far the kale has sprouted! It’s only been a few days though. I have high hopes for the other seeds.

Dancing is one of my favorite activities. My friend and I thought it would be fun to have a monthly dance night where we get our four families together to dance and eat and hang out. We do all kinds of dances, mostly contra dances. Like the ones you would see on Pride And Prejudice or the Sound Of Music. The first one was so much fun, and I’m really looking forward to next month. We are planning on themes for each month too, this last one was loosely Abraham Lincoln themed and the next one will be the color blue themed.

The stables was SO FUN this week. (as always:) There is this wonderful horse there named William, you may have seen a pic of him in my job at the stables post. Anyways, I love that horse so much. He is a Clydesdale/Quarter horse cross and is about 15 years old. He is so perfect! I ride him better than any other horse in the barn. We make a great team. I was able to trot and post off the lunge line with him and have been getting so much better at riding. Horses are the best!

My mom and I went to Goodwill this week and I found some awesome stuff. (Mostly books :D) Firstly, a Bible. But not just any Bible, a Bible from 1888! It has a picture inside of a bridge in a garden, and the names of the person it belonged too and who gave it to them. I’m really looking forward to researching it more. Next I got a KJV Bible for doing Bible study, because they tend to use different words in each version and I want to look up each one. I also got Eragon by Christopher Paolini, Where the Lilies bloom by Vera and Bill Cleaver, Little House In Brookefield by Maria D. Wilkes(about Caroline Ingalls’ childhood), and Dewey by Vicki Myron (The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched The World). I’ll let you know how they go. 🙂

That about wraps up this post! I have a lot of exciting posts coming up including a sister tag feat. my big sis, so y’all can look forward to that. In the meantime feel free to read some of my other posts and follow me on Pinterest, where I am most active. I’ll be going through and revamping my Instagram and Facebook soon, so feel free to follow me there too.

Thank you for reading!

Blow up your TV, move to the country, homestead your life.

 

Other posts you might enjoy:

Chickens: picking a breed

Books! my favorites – homestead AND fun

How I got into homesteading

How I Study My Bible!

Howdy!

Let’s talk about Bible study…

One of my favorite subjects to talk about!

Last year was fantastic,  I had the opportunities to do all sorts of cool stuff. But while I was all caught up in the busyness of life I was slowly drifting away from my Bible and away from spending time with God.

I am surrounded by great Christian family and friends and even when I wasn’t in the Bible I was learning and growing more in Christ, but I still felt like there was something missing, something that I wasn’t learning from my family or friends…

Now this might sound crazy but I heard God speak to me, not literally, but in my head it was almost as clear as if He had been right next to me. He said “Mary, study your Bible and just trust me.”

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So in my head I was like “Well thats a great idea but I have all this stuff going on… I wouldn’t have enough time… I don’t want it to end up being a chore to read my Bible… I want to enjoy it…” Pretty lame excuses when I put in into perspective. Basically I wasn’t making time for my Father who has unending love and grace for me, sent His Son to die for me, and holds my life in His hands.

Still He said to me “Mary, study your Bible and just trust me.”

Two weeks ago I was in bed on a Sunday night and I finally decided I was going to study my Bible the next morning. I had no idea where to start and so looked up “How to study the Bible” on Pinterest.

Then I came across an amazing blog post on thisisamazinggrace.com. After reading her post on how she studies her Bible I was so inspired and wanted to study my Bible right away! Seeing how it was already 11:30pm, I decided a good nights sleep would do me well and I would study my Bible first thing in the morning.

The next morning I woke up early, made myself a cup of tea, and opened my Bible to Colossians.

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I immediately felt this peace wash over me and I was literally crying tears of joy a few days later as I studied more and spent more time with God. He filled me with this happiness that I just had to share with everyone and through sharing it with my family and friends it became this amazing ripple effect that inspired and encouraged those around me. Isn’t that amazing how God works through people like that?

If you want to get started studying your Bible, here is what I do and use to dig deeper into God’s word.

I like to start by finding a verse or two to study. Sometimes I’ll flip open to a random page, sometimes theres a specific book I want to study, and sometimes I go back to verses I already know and dig deeper.

Not every method for Bible study will work for everyone, but I’ll tell you my method and I’m sure having these basic items would make it easier and fun for anybody.

The MOST IMPORTANT thing to have to do Bible study is a Bible. My favorite is the NIV life application study Bible. Mine is from the Zondervan company, and I decided to have my name engraved on it.

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If you need a good place to start, I recommend Philippians, Colossians, Galatians, or Ephesians. Of course, the whole Bible is perfect but those four books have all the great info on how to live life and the great benefits we have in Christ.

For me, a good set of highlighters and pens is important when I study my Bible. My favorite brand of pen is ZEBRA pens. They flow so smoothly onto the paper, and come in all sorts of styles. (Is it weird that I have a favorite brand of pen? maybe. But are these pens worth being my favorite? absolutely.)

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My Favorite type of highlighter is one that is kind of like a crayon and lightly highlights the words without soaking through the page. The specific brand I have is Wordkeeper dry highlighters, but I don’t think I would recommend this brand because mine broke really easily and I have a lot of issues with them. Then again I have had them for a few years, and for that amount of time and how often I use them I suppose they have held up pretty well. I’ve heard of using the Crayola mechanical crayon do-hickies but have yet to give them a try.

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Now you might need a notebook if you want to, say, take notes. Or put those awesome pens to use. I just got this adorable notebook from my parents for Valentine’s Day. I think they got it from Fred Meyer, but the brand is Markings by C.R. Gibson. I love this notebook! Its the perfect size, shape, color, everything. I use mine every day.

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A good dictionary is essential if you want to do word studies. There’s always dictionary.com but personally I like to have a physical dictionary to flip through the pages of. The Noah Webster 1828 American Dictionary of The English Language is a great one because most definitions link back to the Bible in some way, making it easier to do extensive word studies and keep digging deeper.

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The next couple of things I “use” when studying my Bible aren’t exactly necessary but they are definitely fun to have.

Tea! I didn’t like tea for the longest time, but I’ve finally seen the light. I make a cup of tea at least once a day and I usually make it when I study my Bible. Some of my favorite flavors are vanilla chai, peppermint, peach, and chamomile if I’m doing an evening Bible study.

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If you aren’t a tea person or just aren’t in the mood for tea, water is nice to have handy. Standard water is usually fine but if you can get organic free-range locally sourced natural spring water, thats even better. 😉 I’m terrible at drinking enough water but strangely I drink a lot of it when I’m doing Bible study.

And last but not least, I like to listen to music while I study my Bible. Not broadway soundtracks or my favorite country hits, though they are fun, those would just distract me XD I usually listen to instrumental hymns, it helps me focus and usually calms me down. Some of my favorite composers that I’ve listened too so far are Forrest Wakemen, Christopher West, David Baroni, C.S. Heath and Jonas James.

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Another way I like to meditate on God’s word is through water color painting. I don’t think what I do is exactly considered hand-lettering but I usually call it that. Anyways, I like to paint a Bible verse in fun letters and then decorate the page.

I hope this post inspired you to study your Bible and dig deeper into God’s word!

Blow up your TV, move to the country, Homestead Your life.