Wins & Losses 2018

A short break from the heavy subject of addiction to share some homestead updates lately as well as highlights and misfortunes from the last year.

Naughty, naughty!

Starting with the good news, we have two new happy thriving lambs!

They are the first of the year with two more mamas looking full and ready to follow with some of their own any day now.  Or more likely, since today it is beautiful and sunny, it will be the next time it’s pouring rain and freezing cold.

Their first day roaming the land with the herd.
Last winter’s model looking great



Almost there, so close, but not close enough

That was the weather once again for this rough start.  Unfortunately, our permanent corral space is not yet finished.

I had to cancel a holiday trip at the very last minute and I spent a lot of time stressed and worrying.  I couldn’t handle a repeat of last year, which is such a tragic story for me I haven’t yet been able to tell it publicly.

It was nearly a repeat. Hubby was at work again, and to keep it short and simple, I found one of our not-so-well-trained LGD (Livestock Guard Dog) had jumped the fence, grabbed one just after birth, jumped the fence back and was ‘guarding’ it until I found it barely breathing and injured.

Luckily there was a completely unplanned, last minute visit that cheered me up after my canceled trip.

Pappa Chop getting friendly!
It’s hard to think of anything sweeter than kids and animals!

And it’s hard to think of anything worse in the garden than poison ivy and wasps!

Poison ivy in the same spot 3 times, many weeks of torture.
And wasp stings 3 different times, miserable.

And my bee colonies didn’t even last the summer.  This is an enormous disappointment.  But I don’t give up easily and have next spring’s bees on order, locally sourced this time.

Last spring’s packages brought home from Arkansas

Additional misfortunes include the duck that was mysteriously fried by our electric pole in the front yard.  And another incident that shot an electric impulse through my hand, up my arm, and landed in now nearly 2 months of stabbing shoulder pain.  Then there’s the ram that’s butted me 3 times and therefore will meet his demise prematurely ASAP.

I don’t think Hubby shares this sentiment, but in my case, I’ve definitely had better years.

Here’s to better fortune in the coming year, for me, and for all y’all!

I still love making cheese 🙂




Author: KenshoHomestead

Creatively working toward self-sufficiency on the land.

6 thoughts on “Wins & Losses 2018”

  1. awesome. that is excellent info. that is exactly why they are not coming out well. Too dry. I guess the humidity isn’t high enough. I have to get a gauge or something to help me check it. I am VERY GRATEFUL. for the hints and tips!! thank you

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I just learned soap making from a neighbor and look forward to trying it myself. The dryness problem is easily solved with hard cheeses, I had that happen at first too. The trick for me has been to either wrap them in lard and cloth, then they come out more like cheddar, or, to put them in a Tupperware-type bin in your aging fridge to keep the moisture high and then they come out like an Alpine-type. Both of those are made without any expensive cultures. But, we love the Swiss-types, which do require a freeze-dried culture and really specific conditions at cool room-temp, hard to do here with our weather whiplash, but with delicious results when I can manage it. I’ve gotten some great tips here:

    Liked by 2 people

  3. poison ivy, wasps & losses all to do with living the farm life. Gluttons for punishment aren’t we. We use the curly tip of a fern or a paste made from bi carb soda & water relieves all stings & itches immediately, a tbsp. of apple cider vinegar in water or juice all work well for us. Your cheeses look amazing. Have a great new year.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. i can’t make a good cheese. always too dry like a brick. never get a good one except mozzarella and fresh cheese. but hard cheese are impossible for me. your cheese look gourmet. perfect. you have a good skill there that i definitely lack. though i do well making soap. can’t eat that

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Definitely life in the country. Ups and downs. I found jewel week helps poison ivy. I have lots of it around us but have never broken out in hives from it. It just doesn’t bother us. not sure why exactly. jewelweed, at least here is found growing close the poison ivy. go figure. we use it for stings and nettle stings.
    we have top bar bee hives. my first hive didn’t’ work. i used a langstrom hive on first attempt and failed. so far. 3 full hives for the top bar and they are working good. i have split the hives once this year. went from 1 hive to 3 hives.
    so sorry for your losses and difficulties. seems that life in the country is difficult but also has its rewards. that poison ivy looks awful.

    Liked by 2 people

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