Friday, January 31, 2014
Jace and I have both done primitive camping in the past. Now we are older and crankier. We also have an 8 year old who can whine a lot. Like, put a sock in it, a lot. The sock I just wore for the 5 mile hike will do just fine.
We think we may have found one. At least we're in the reasonable area. I'm thinking of it as finding a starter home. There's some things Jace just won't do. One of those is buying a 1976 trailer that needs a complete remodel on the inside.
There's some things I won't do. I won't do teardrop campers, or any camper that small for 3 people. I don't like pop-ups with the canvas sides. There's no real sense of privacy and very minimal actual floor space. We were standing in one and we could hear all the loud noises going on around outside. Who could sleep through other noisy campers?
We have decided on a self-contained traveler trailer. It has walls and provides a sense of privacy. It also has a bathroom with a shower/bath combo. This is important, too. Nothing beats being thoroughly clean after a long day out in nature.
The next choice to be made was over towing weight. We couldn't pick one that was too big to tow. It still needed to be big enough to give a sense of having some space. Those RV manufactures try really hard to accommodate all those concerns.
For today we ended up choosing a 17 foot model. It has a queen size bed on one end. At the other end is the eating area which converts to a full size bed. The table is removable so it can function as a living area. The bath has a toilet and sink. There's also a full size shower with a semi tub. It comes with a fridge and a microwave. Also has kitchen sink and stove. Most importantly, it has an electrical outlet for plugging in the coffee maker.
We started the process late in the day so we won't know about any of the approval or signing papers till tomorrow. It gives us a chance to really think about our decision before signing on the dotted line. If all works out, then we should be bringing it home on Wednesday.
Thursday, January 30, 2014
There's lots of things I want to do today. There will never be enough time. Rowan has to finish this week's homeschool work so I'll be inside for that. I'll see if I can take care of laundry, dishes, housecleaning during this time. I might be able to sand the china hutch for a little while. After that I want to be outside! I charged up my camera battery and I'm hoping to take some better pictures. Maybe I'll get a good one of the chickens.
Last night I finished reading One Acre Homestead by Sara Simmons McDonald. There are a lot of useful diagrams for figuring out where to put things. Then there's math. Lots and lots of math. Actually it isn't too bad, mostly for pasturing chickens and other animals. My chickens have a fenced area and aren't free range. They would be gobbled up lickety-split. Something I did learn was I am only using one third of my acre. The middle third. The house is in the middle of that so I'm technically not even using a third of the land. It's more like half of a third. Most of the outside areas are connected because who wants to walk ALL the way over there for one thing and then WAY over there for something else. Unless it's the compost pile. Then it can stay way, way over there.
Rowan is awake now. She sounds croupy. This may change all the plans for today.
0115 There's been no sun. The temp is around 60. I'm not feeling like working today. I have been busy looking on Craigslist. I've had an inspiration to buy a camper. Now I just need to find one. The internet is full of camper makeovers and you would think these old ugly campers are just laying around everywhere. Craigslist proves this is just not true. There are very few. I've looked at over 3,000 and probably only found 5.
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
When I let Lizzie out it seemed like a fairly nice day. Cold, but maybe some sun. A little early to know for sure. I hope the chickens are getting used to not being let out till around 9. Is this bad? I know they are getting big. Chicken dinner coming soon.
Ok, I'm going to finish my coffee and read blogs. I've been meaning to get a blog list up on this blog. I'm also looking for new blogs. I don't have a lot to read because the blogs I do read aren't posting much right now. It seems to go in waves.
0200 I am back from my doctor visit. It looks like I will live for much much longer. Great news since it was just a check up. One more doctor visit next week and I will have completed my yearly/biannual doctor visit routine. I really loathe having to go see the doctor. It's so boring. I want to play.
Rowan and I stopped by Lowe's, ONLY for the palm sander. We of course left with more than that.
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
I need to work on the blog appearance. It's on the same list as needing to put away laundry and needing to plant my okra seeds. I did soak the seeds but now they are sprouting in the water. I might need to redo soaking the seeds and planting.
Monday, January 27, 2014
I'm posting this to fill in any gaps. I didn't post Saturday because I was at my "real" job, the one which pays real money, without which I couldn't do any homesteading, for which I am thankful.
The only thing I did today was give the chickens their water and feed. I'm trying a different routine for work days. Whatever helps it go smoother.
I need to cull some of the chickens...soon.
Sunday, January 26, 2014
No pee pee/poo poo accidents from the dogs. This day is going swell already. Let the dogs out. Onslo had to be carried out.
Went outside to let the chickens out. It's not even cold outside. The chickens are very happy to be released from their oven.
I checked on the hoop house. Better unplug the heater. It's 90 degrees in here!
0945 Drinking coffee. My original plan was to do the minimum. The bare minimum only and not take on any tasks today. However, in light of the beautiful day today, I will have to go outside and enjoy the glorious sunshine.
Friday, January 24, 2014
0735 Poo cleaned up. Still no Peppermint. I let her out last night and it was sleeting. I checked for her several times up until midnight. I'm pretty sure she's a popsicle and we'll have to wait till Spring to get a search party gathered to find her.
I went and checked on the chickens. Surprise! The lock is frozen so I can't let them out. Off to the hoop house to get some scissors to break the ice. I check the temperature in the hoop house. Yippee! It's a balmy 40 degrees in here. It's 27 outside. Maintaining 13 degrees difference is great. It rarely gets below freezing here and the whole purpose of the hoop house is to get plants started early and not having them freeze. The hoop house held up fine. There's ice on the outside of it. I worry that this will have an effect on it, like it will shatter.
I make it back to the chickens and bust open that lock. They are tweeting like mad. Out of the door they come. Don't they know there's ice all over the ground? They really seem to have a mob mentality. Not particularly intelligent and they all join in. "Yes, let's all jump off this cliff."
0800 Having my coffee. Lizzie gives 3 short barks. I go check, and yep, there's Peppermint. She doesn't look bad and is eager to come inside. Now I can relax. Stupid cat. Off to more exciting things now, paying bills.
Thursday, January 23, 2014
0715 Under protest. Got up and let Lizzie out. Coffee was already ready. Drinking coffee and sitting with Peppermint. She feels that I've been gone a very long time and she has missed me terribly. Lots of meows. Every. Time. I. See. Her. She must have memory problems. Probably from chewing on the computer.
I'm doing some shopping in a little while. Jace has asked nicely for some horse liniment from Tractor Supply. There could be a chance for some adventure there.
The real question here is why am I shopping today? Because we're knuckleheads and I just saw the weather for tomorrow. I thought this whole week was nothing but nice or a few clouds. Turns out the Polar Vortex will be here tomorrow. *Dum dum dum*(dramatic effect music) I don't want to be out shopping tomorrow when the temps are freezing, possibly snow/sleet, and taking Rowan with me.
Yesterday evening we added another layer of plastic across the roof of the hoop house for this event. We're not sure of its' ability to stand up to sleet. In a logical thought process I would think the heat generated inside the hoop house would melt any ice off the roof.
UPDATE: I helped the warming process along this afternoon. I ran an extension cord under the hoop house and connected a small heater. I crawled around all the edges at the bottom of the hoop house checking for drafts. I blocked them with scrap plastic, cardboard, wood and rocks. I bought a thermometer at Tractor Supply and it's showing 49 degrees in the hoop house. I'll recheck later to see if this is working.
Since the weather is so yucky there's a couple things I'm working on inside. I'm making bread, even as we speak. I do it the lazy way...in a bread machine. I bought a bread machine at Goodwill a few years ago. I don't really like bread baked in a bread machine, but it's wonderful to use just for making the dough. Throw all the ingredients in and come back an hour later, shape some loaves, and bake in the oven. Perfect homemade bread.
The other thing I have to work on is cleaning out the freezer, which I AM about to go do, for real. I got a very good deal on some meat and I don't have room for it. There's also a lot of stuff in our freezers (2 of them) that no one is ever going to eat. I will get to eat homemade bread as a reward.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
The cast of characters for this blog:
Julie- homesteader extraordinaire
Jace- doting husband, compliant guinea pig,
Rowan- daughter, 8 year old homeschooler
Onslo- 6 year old Chiweenie
Lizzie- short for Elizabeth Belle, 9 month old miniature schnauzer
Peppermint- 9 month old white siamese cat
Rabbits- Lord Boone, Jane Doe, 5 meat buns
Chickens- 11 Speckled Sussex (7 are going to freezer camp)
No actual work was done today. I'm off to a disappointing start here. I thought it would be best to set this blog up on a day when things were fairly boring. Most things do not take a large amount of time. This is necessary due to homeschooling taking a prime portion of the day.
The dogs were let out. The chickens were let out and watered and fed.
The weather was clear and sunny with temperatures in the mid 60's.