Sunday, February 19, 2017

A Week of Homestead Photos February 12th - 18th

The cold and cough that has claimed our family lingers on, but with spring like weather arriving, we couldn't just lay around. Trust me, I would love to have curled up on the couch with a blanket and box of tissues.

With the weather turning towards spring, the annual "Are we going to make maple syrup this year" debate began. Sugaring is such a love/hate thing. We love the syrup but it is a LOT of work. From tapping to collecting, to boiling and canning. As I type this I smell like a campfire, so I bet you can guess what the outcome of that debate was!

Now my mind is turning to seeds and gardening. I know it isn't time yet, the temps will drop again, but I dream of green growing things......

So what made me smile this week?

My handsome Mr. Bill. This guy always makes me smile.

I got to announce I will be holding a poultry workshop at Family Farm and Home in Charlotte, MI on March 5th at noon. I will be there to walk folks through becoming a first time chick parent with all the "What do I need" answers. It's my first public speaking gig!

I am still plugging away at my 52 week illustration challenge. This week's theme was garden, so I drew ducks snitching green beans from our green bean teepee. I see room for improvement but I totally am loving watercolors. It's my drawing that needs a little help (perspective, shadows)

Well, hello Ms. Ratty Rat. Me thinks it is time to buy an actual top for her pen as she has taken to chewing through the plastic to get out. While she is very social and we love playing with her, I don't think she realizes this house is a food chain. Any unauthorized trips could end poorly via two cats or Heidi the homestead hound. See Heidi's nose in the photo? Yeah, she was the one who alerted me that Ms. Ratty Rat was making a break for it.

The sap be a flowin!!!!!!! I quickly ran to the hardware store for more buckets (cause it be a FLOWIN!), picked the country kids up from school, grabbed my taps from the fine folks at Maple Tapper and we got to work. The boys helped me make short order of drilling and tapping.

Sorry Wanda, last one to the roost is an egg head! Fifi did finally get up and scooch over so Wanda could get up on the roost. The bottom roost is getting full with Ester playing queen of the roost lately, claiming the top roost all to herself. No wonder Cinder sleeps on a shelf, who needs this kind of drama!

Always let sleeping ducks lie..... You can toss popcorn at them, but they just keep snoozing.
Really, not even an evil eye. Just ducky snores.

Look what the oldest country kid brought home from school! I am so in love with this chalk pastel he did. I could never get him into art when we homeschooled..... I thought maybe the creative gene had skipped a generation.... but here he is finally killing it

That face..... those cheeks....Ester, my dear, you are wicked! She may be the granny of the group (with the attitude to go with it, think mean grandma) but she will always be a looker.

That moment when you walk out the door with Tasty Grubs from Tasty Worms Nutrition Inc. and they bum rush you before you can get down the steps. Yeah, this really happened. I don't know who spotted the package first, but they knew mama had the good stuff and where all over me!

Holy crap in a bucket! Do you see it?!?! The green/blue egg? It has been so long since Ester laid an egg, I thought grandma was done with her laying years! What an amazing gift! I am shocked!

The littlest country kid and I checking "his" bucket. He said it is his because he tapped the tap in the tree.
He is so excited about sugaring season.

Remember way back when, when my tiny village gave me crap about having ducks? Well when I was driving around, guess what I spotted in someone's yard? Yup, that's a pig. Me thinks it be time to get a mini donkey! When the village comes a knocking, I'll just pull out this photo and say "but they have a PIG." LOL

The littlest country kid is one strong cookie. He's been helping move cinder blocks for the evaporator!
Time to try to get a fire going and the sap turned into Maple syrup!

Our first sap of 2017 is in the evaporator!!!! 

Still boiling.... Yup, night has fallen but the fire is still going! I can hear the sap dripping in the buckets so we will be back at it again tomorrow. It's lots of work but the maple syrup is so worth it.

Remember to take time out of your busy day to find your own things to make you smile!


  1. Love the sunflower! Beautiful!
    Congratulations on the class-- it would be so fun so fun to take a class being taught by you!
    Thank you for sharing & good luck with the class!

    1. I just have to remember not to use any potty words in my class. LOL My mouth can sometimes get the best of me.

  2. Hope your colds are better soon. Your sugaring sounds very time/work intensive, and I am glad I am not doing it, but those jars of syrup would be wonderful! I planted 2 salad gardens a week ago... WAY WAY early (our first frost-free date here is May 1, I think). Hopefully we will have early fresh stuff like we did last year... it was nice to see your pictures of your busy homestead. Have a good week. :)

    1. Sugaring is always a love/hate thing LOL I am itching to start planting but February in Michigan is WAY to early

  3. Who wouldn't love a duck? Love the things that made you smile. Why am I craving pancakes at 8:20 p.m. on a Thursday night? (Wouldn't be the first time!) Glad I found you through the Wonderful Wednesday link-up.

    1. Ducks are the best! Sorry if I made you crave pancakes LOL

  4. Great pictures Mindie! #BragAboutIt

  5. Good luck with your speaking engagement! You'll do great. Thanks for sharing on the #WasteLessWednesday Blog Hop!

    1. I have done public speaking on other topics before, so I am not worried about that..... I am scared stiff no one will show up! LOL

  6. My cold won't end either. I was sick for 2 1/2 weeks, then spent time planting my seeds. I felt fine for a week, then I wanted to add compost to the garden, but Lowe's doesn't have any. Can you believe that, the end of February and no compost to be had. So, I hauled in some garden soil we bought last year and was going to fertilize it when I got real sore, and had to quit for the day. Now, I am sick again. So far I have been sick since Friday. I am so sick of this stopped up head and sore throat. By the way, how long do you have to boil the sap?

    1. I always over do it too! Just when I start to get better, I over do it and *BAM* right back to sick. As for the sap, it all depends on how much we have to process. We just keep adding it into the pans and cooking it down till our buckets are empty for the day. Some days, when it is flowing good, we can boil all day long!