January 25, 2020

Around The Homestead

A (mostly) photo update of projects and happenings on the homestead.


Cold and rainy! Water buckets have been frozen so every morning we heat water before going out to do chores. Then we break the ice off the surface and top of with hot water. Everybody likes warm water on a cold day and it keeps the buckets from refreezing too quickly.

In spite of the cold our daffodils have started to bloom.

This new bout of rain is supposed to warm things up, however. No complaints about that!


Yesterday we moved the freezer from the pantry to the back porch! All that's left to get it on solar is to hook up the inverter and plug it in. That will probably be my next blog post. Dan put it on 2x4s to distribute the weight on the porch floor, but I'm also glad for the air circulation underneath. I gave it a good cleaning when we moved it and the bottom was mildewy. Better air circulation will help with that. I'm also going to repaint the top.

It's gotten pretty rusty over the years.

Front Bedroom Exterior Siding

Is up!

But it's been too cold to paint, which is the next step. Then the trim. Hopefully, our promised warm spell will be warm enough to paint. Even so, the new windows and new layer of siding have made a noticeable difference in the front bedroom. Quieter and not as cold.


The hens are starting to lay again. Cat nose included for size! LOL


Kidding is right around the corner.

The Girls

Daisy has a due date of February 14 and will be first.

Then Ellie, then Miracle, both in March.

I still have too many bucks.

The Boys

If anybody's interested in a registered Kinder buck, let me know!

Parting Shot


UPDATE: Our lone Muscovy duck is dead. Dan found her this morning while doing chores. Evidence suggests she was killed by a 'possum large dog. We found fresh dog tracks around the area where Dan found her. She was a favorite of his, so he's taking it pretty hard.

Around The Homestead © January 2020


Retired Knitter said...

I wouldn't want to have been the chicken that laid that large egg! haha.

It is always amazing to me that older chest freezers just seem to last and last and last. Even as the outside is degrading, it still continues to work. Like a Timex watch.

Mama Pea said...

Daffidils! Omigosh, if they aren't a sign of spring. (In your neck o' the woods anyway!) Good idea to keep your freezer on the 2 x 4s. When we finished our pantry with tiles on the floor and put in our newly purchased big freezer (what did I ever do without it?), the air circulation under the stumpy, little built-into the cabinet freezer legs was next to nil. When we discovered it, there was such a mold build-up on the new tiles, we had to replace them. Since then the freezer has been on 2 x 4s and no further problem. Kidding time! What excitement and anticipation. You'll have bunches of bouncing kids in no time!

Leigh said...

RT, and this one is not an energy hog! That's a real plus as well.

Mama Pea, looks like spring is right around the corner for us, doesn't it? Interesting you had the same mildew problem with your freezer. Those "legs" really don't do anything, do they? It's a shame your tile was damaged. Fortunately, our linoleum is still okay.

Ed said...

Actually, water is one unique liquid in that it freezes in a shorter amount of time when it is hot than cold. It is called the Mpemba Effect. The leading theory of why has to do with the hydrogen bonds which relax when warm and causes the covalent molecules to release their energy more than when the hydrogen bonds are close together due to being colder. I remember doing physics experiments on this during class on a cold winter day.

But I agree, I do prefer a warm drink on a cold day!

Goatldi said...

Thanks Leigh for a nice photo update.

Daisy looks as if she is working for the Pony Express with her saddle bags lol

I will live vicariously through your kiddings from now on. My girls are officially lawn ornaments. Although I am entering adding a few sheep wethers for fiber. Apparently I am officially crazy.

Give Dan a pat on the back for the loss of the Muscovy. Never any fun is it?

Goatldi said...

Opps entertaining. Apparently my phone or fingers made a poor choice.

CityCreekCountryRoad said...


I love the photos of the daffodils, goats and kitties. Sorry about your duck.

City Creek Country Road

Leigh said...

Ed, from experience I can tell you that if we don't top off water buckets with water, we have to go back and break the ice again a couple of hours later. If we add hot water, it usually remains ice free, assuming we get our usual high of above freezing. Sounds like a fun experiment though.

Goatldi, all my girls were on close watch a couple of weeks ago. One of the buckings had managed to find a stump to jump the fence and was chasing them all over the place. Jan 15 would have been their due date if he'd succeeded, but that came and went so I can stick to my planned for schedule!

City Creek County Road, thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed the pics.

Renee Nefe said...

I found myself wanting to hit the like button over and over. Sorry about your duck. I guess some 'possum stew might be on the menu soon? ;)

Rain said...

Hi Leigh :) The bedroom siding looks great! Nice large eggs too. Wow, you have a lot of little ones coming soon! I'm so sorry about Dan's duck...that is pretty sad. :(

Leigh said...

Renee, thanks! 'Possum is the best small game for eating, I think!

Rain, thanks! It's always sad to lose an animal, even when it's planned. But that's the way nature is.

Boud said...

How wonderful to see daffodils so early. At least two months before we see them here. It's really pushing spring where you are, with the kidding soon, too.

Such a hopeful post, despite the loss of the Muscovy. Always sad to lose one to predation.

And, as always, I'm in awe of your skills and work on the house.

tpals said...

I never thought to check under the freezer. Hmmm, something to remember next time I defrost.

Spring flowers and kidding thoughts! What fun.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

People and their uncontrolled dogs...Aargh.

The goat picture is super cute!

Leigh said...

Boud, daffodils are so brave! We may still get snow or other freezing weather but they make their cheerful appearance anyway. :)

tpals, I never would have thought to either! When we turned it on it's side, I thought, oh no! But I was glad to give it a thorough cleaning.

TB, they seem to think that since they are outside city limits and have no leash laws, that they can let their dogs run free. Very irresponsible.

The Wykeham Observer said...

A good idea to set up the freezer off the floor a bit. I'm sorry about the Muscovy. Some folks are clueless about letting the dogs run free. In the end, the dogs suffer, and the owners go and get another one. Phil

R's Rue said...


Quinn said...

I'm so sorry about your duck. I lost Captain Hastings a few weeks after I went out and found two pullets just so he'd have a "flock" to look after, so at least his last weeks were busy and cheerful, but my heart just sank when I didn't hear him crow one morning (at 4:20AM, every day) and then had to look for his remains. I still don't know what got him, but I think it might have been whatever killed the last hen (before the pullets), possibly a weasel, though I've never seen one here. Whatever it was, I hope it never comes back. There's only so much we can do to keep any animal safe, but it's just so darned sad when we lose one.

Cockeyed Jo said...

Our daffodils haven't bloomed yet, but we have leaves and stems shooting up all over the place. A reminder of last year, Crocus and daffodils bloomed early only to be covered by snow a week later. It has been a strange winter. Forebodings for mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas later on.It just hasn't gotten cold enough for long enough to kill them off.

wyomingheart said...

A valinetine Kidd? How awesome is that!?! Those warm buckets of water must be very welcomed on a cold morning, for sure! So sorry to hear about Dans duck. I have a special place in my heart for ducks... referred to as the crazy duck lady several times in my life, so I understand that heartache. Put up trail cameras and confront bad dog owners... dang inconsiderate, for sure.

Leigh said...

Phil, sadly, we seem to live in a time when responsibility seems increasingly out of fashion.

R's Rue, thanks!

Quinn, that's a fact. We do our best and then just have to accept losses as part of life. I'm sorry you lost your rooster too. It takes awhile before it doesn't seem like something's missing around the place.

Jo, I think I have a couple of pictures in my photo files of daffodils in the snow. It has been a mild winter for us, although the farmer's almanac predicts a cooler and wetter summer than usual!

Wyomingheart, a valentine kid (probably kids) is pretty awesome. My mind has been turning to appropriate names. :)

Another trail cam is definitively in order. So is a gate for the driveway. We've had one on the project list ever since stray dogs killed Dan's favorite chicken! Mom's death pushed it up closer to the top of that list.

Susan said...

Lots going on down there! It seems as if you are getting our weather, and we are getting yours, although our daffodil season is a ways off. Can't wait to see kid pics! So sorry about your duck. I am always thankful for my fence, although it's no protection from hawks.

Renee Nefe said...

I came back and see that it was a dog that got your duck. How terrible. I'm so sorry... I guess retaliatory 'possum stew isn't on the menu now, but nothing to prevent regular 'possum stew. ;) Too bad the neighbors will get upset if you shoot their dog.

Leigh said...

Susan, yes, hawks are another matter! We've had them carry off grown chickens but not a duck so far. Of course, Muscovies tend to be heavier than chickens.

Renee, we honestly don't have a clue as to where the dog came from. Our neighbors on both sides and across the street all have dogs, but none roam, and none are large enough to match the footprint we found. There is a mobile home park down the road, and we always suspect the dogs come from there, although we don't know for sure. If the dog got caught in the act here, well, it would just disappear.

Hill Top Post said...

I was so surprised to see the daffodils...already! I will take a closer look at the ones here. You have made great progress this week; exciting to think you are about ready to throw the switch on the power generator! I am sorry about the duck! She will have to be replaced!

Leigh said...

Mary, I was amazed those daffodils were here so early too! A welcome surprise. Yes, the duck will have to be replaced!

Sam I Am...... said...

I'm so sorry about your duck. That is really sad. Daffodils? I just got through saying I have a feeling there will be an early spring. I should go look at mine although I think I am farther north than you.
Kidding season? Wasn't it just Christmas? LOL! Have a good week and again I am so sorry about your duck.

Nancy In Boise said...

so sorry about your deck, I know what that's like having lost two of my new favorite hands a couple of days in a row in the fall. And your flowers look great! it's also warming up here in Boise, supposed to be 57 this Saturday which is way too warm but at least it's been raining so we're getting lots of snow in the mountains which is good

Leigh said...

Sam, when it's cold winter seems to take forever, but spring shows itself pretty quickly anyway! Even with daffodils, we could still get snow!

Nancy, it's always sad to lose them. The benefits of snow and rain is a good way to look at winter. Hopefully, your extremely cold weather is behind you!

Chris said...

I love seeing your little blue cottage make-overs. The siding in this case, is no exception. Even if it's not painted, it still looks pretty smick! Sorry to hear about Dan's favorite duck. It's the favourites we miss the most. Usually they have a stand out, quirky trait, which just says I'm different! And it's what we remember them for. xxx

Leigh said...

Thank you Chris! We're very pleased with the progress on the house. I think Dan was tired of looking at it the old way. :)

We will definitely get Muscovy ducks again, hopefully this summer. We'd like pigs again too, but that can't be until we are able to get a better fence up in the woods.