|Our rainwater catchment system|
Our two big projects for January were the hallway bathroom and our first rainwater catchment system. The hall bath was actually on it's way to becoming a master suite bath: we insulated and paneled the walls, dropped the ceiling, and trimmed out my pretty stained glass bathroom window.
|Laying a new tile bathroom floor|
The hall bathroom remodel continued as we worked on the floor and began refurbishing the old clawfoot tub.
In March my first Kikobian kid was born! Not a true breed, this little guy is the first of what I hope will be a line of Kiko/Nubian cross homestead goats. His birth was a difficult one but thankfully both he and his mom made it. This was the month we let the goats on to our new pasture. Progress on the bathroom (the tub) was slow because of cold temperatures.
|Ziggy, taking a breather from carrying around her yet-to-be-born quads.|
April seemed a slow month while we waited for Ziggy to kid. Dan built a new shelter for the goats in the front pasture so we could prepare the buck pasture for planting field corn. In the bathroom, the clawfoot tub was finished at last and installed.
|Lily and her 2 day old twins, Daisy and Rosie|
In May, our goat population exploded. Lily gave birth to twin Kikobian doelings, and at long last, Ziggy had quadruplets. Sadly, only three survived, but what cuties they were. These were a Kiko/Nigerian cross, which proved to be very nice little goats. Also in May we bought Hooper, our second Kiko (future) stud.
|Mama Buff and a few of her new brood.|
In June, one of my Buff Orpington hens hatched 8 eggs and happily adopted 16 mail order chicks. We got our field corn planted (in between rain drops) and had our first experience killing and butchering a goat. In the bathroom remodel, Dan built a gorgeous sink cabinet and installed a vessel sink.
|Our field corn was sock high by the 4th of July|
July was a difficult month as our baby chicks began to disappear during the night. We eventually caught the killer, a rat. About the same time there was a coyote sighting in the area, the first in a long time. On a happier note, it was the month we got our guinea keets and finished the bathroom.
|Katy and Sam.|
After losing 6 chicks to that rat, we decided to expand our rodent control department. As part of our master suite remodel, we used found space to make a study for Dan. When the rain wouldn't let up, we also got to work on the new bedroom by replacing the old drafty windows with new energy efficient ones.
|Progress on the exterior of the house. We're gradually replacing the vinyl|
covered original siding with a barn board look panel and new color.
Our beautiful September weather was timely. Once the new bedroom windows were installed, we needed to get them trimmed on the outside of the house. We made progress with the siding, trim, and painting. We cut down one of our old (but mostly dead) shade oaks for firewood. It was sad to lose it but worse, was losing two more chickens to an unknown predator.
October was a harvest month: field corn, cushaw, muscadines, popcorn, and what turned out not to be pumpkins. I planted winter pasture. To keep things fun, our guinea fowl were a source of never ending entertainment.
|His & hers closets were made by tearing out a wall hiding closets for|
the adjacent bedrooms. Tall ceilings enabled the storage space above.
November saw progress on the bedroom closets (phase 1 and phase 2). Other good news, my pullets began to lay.
Of course the big news in December was the publication of my book, 5 Acres & A Dream The Book: The Challenges of Establishing a Self-Sufficient Homestead. Sadly, it was the month we lost our guinea fowl. Being a mild month, we were able to make progress on fencing and a new chicken coop, as well as work on the bedroom. I'll have photos and details on all of those soon.
Year In Review: 2013 © December 2013