Homestead Happy Snaps

Just another loungey Sunday on the wee homestead and sharing some of the love with y’all!

The dogs are off for a swim in the pond, their favorite time of day, right after breakfast and dinner.  The pastured pigs come up to greet the group, hoping we brought treats, no doubt.  They are looking much more slender now that they are only foraging.

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Papi’s back on track, thank heavens!  After a big scare, where we were planning for his death, a great resurrection now follows.  We took him back to the vet, they replenished him with fluids by IV, and coaxed out a football-sized hardened stool.  I know this issue was caused by the prescribed meds, so this time when he got home with a new set of pills, we threw them all in the trash.

He’s again his old sassy self and it really does seem like a miracle after how despondent he was—wouldn’t eat or drink, was vomiting and not pooping, would hardly move, wouldn’t even whine or bark, though he’s normally very expressive—we really thought he was checking out for good.  He’s back and still trying to lead the pack.

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The garden is growing great, the green beans and melons are looking particularly impressive this year (so far that is, never count your melons before they hatch).  I’ve just harvested our first cucumbers, with tomatoes soon to follow.  The bees sound as pleased as me!

Speaking of bees, I can now confirm with a fair degree of confidence that my high-risk hive split last month was successful.  What made it high-risk, in conventional beekeeping protocol, was that there was no queen, I didn’t re-queen at all, rather I intended that the small split-off colony should raise their own queen themselves.  There was not even queen cells present in the brood I transferred, only capped brood and larvae.

My beekeeping goal is replicating genetics that suit our needs and desires here on the wee homestead: semi-feral colonies whose first purpose is pollination, second purpose is sustainability and study, third purpose those glorious products—honey, wax, propolis, pollen, etc.

For this goal I choose to split from our “ninja” hive, but don’t let their nickname fool you.  They are not ‘mean’ like the nickname might suggest, and two other hives here are FAR meaner.

Rather, they are natural warriors.  Maybe this is because during the ‘tornado’ last spring their home was turned upside down.  Or maybe because I experimented on them with a screen bottom board, which meant they had to fend off attackers constantly from multiple fronts all summer, the warm winter and early spring.  Or maybe because they are right next to our house, where there is constant traffic from critters, mowers and us.

All I know is, this team is tight, because they’re so busy with all their other tasks, they leave me in relative peace in order to meddle in their ranks.

And speaking of queen bees, at least in the canine kingdom, Buttercup is exercising her own maternal instincts, on our new chicks.  It seems she doesn’t trust her brother, Bubba.

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Buttercup: “Don’t worry Daddy, I got your back.”
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Bubba: “Mmmm . . . Snack size!”

Whereas once upon a time Buttercup crawled in submission from 20 paces, then rolled over immediately once within sniff-range of current Queen Tori, I expect there will soon be an active rivalry.

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I wonder when someone will finally come to rival this old queen?  Someone once asked me when we first moved rural, “Why do you need so much land?”

Seriously?

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Author: KenshoHomestead

Creatively working toward self-sufficiency on the land.

8 thoughts on “Homestead Happy Snaps”

  1. Are your pigs pets or for food?

    I’m so glad Papi is better. What was the initial problem that brought on drugs that made things worse?

    Do you sell at a Farmer’s Market or all is just personal use?

    Wow. Beekeeping. My maternal grandmother’s next door neighbor raised bees. I grew up on fresh honey. Stepped on my fair share of them, accidentally. No allergies. Her neighbor wound up taking them to the mountains because they began to die in the Piedmont.

    Buttercup watching chicks is so adorable. *squeal*

    And, damn, what a smoker.

    Heh. Poor Charles. She just won’t get off that throne. 😆

    Are you in the states?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so lucky to have had local honey growing up, I bet there is little healthier and I hope it means continued good health all your life!

      Thank you for your kind comments about Papi, we don’t know what happened and neither did the vet. I expected a stroke, because it happened so suddenly and his behavior changed so much. Hubby expected a bee sting down the throat, because he loves to hunt/eat the bees. The vet, who is a super nice guy and so hard working, so I don’t mean to throw him under the bus, but all they do is throw drugs at every problem. He didn’t know, so he gave him steroids, antibiotics and antihistamine. He declined day by day, but it was a holiday weekend so we waited. He lost like 10 pounds and would hardly move.

      We are in East Texas, the pigs are food, but we manage their reproduction tightly, cause pigs are like rabbits that way. :). We don’t sell anything now, maybe in future, you never know. Folks are so used to super cheap food, and we are rural in a low-income area, so it’s really not cost-effective to go to farmer’s market.

      You are in UK? I appreciate your visit and reflections!

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      1. My maternal grandmother lived to be 91. I will be 54 in August and I feel pretty spry. I am tea drinker and I use local, raw honey and a little stevia. I prefer honey with all the pollen stuff in it but, most screen that out.

        Oh, my! Hunting & eating bees. I guess they taste good???

        Where in East Texas? I lived outside of Round Rock 2002-2011 and worked in downtown Austin. I have a classmate that lived in La Marque (was a town councilman at one time), then Spring and, now, just south of Huntsville in a corner of the Sam Houston National Forest. I spent quite a bit of time on US290 going back & forth. I LOVE Galveston, Old Town Spring, Conroe and all the little towns in between there and the Hill Country. Spent some time in Houston but, OMG, the traffic!

        I returned to my home state of North Carolina nine years ago. I live in one of the state’s oldest towns…Hillsborough.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Nice! If you like tea, have you tried kombucha? That’s my newest kick, I love it. I imagine he eats them b/c he gets a little sweet nectar taste from them.
        We are not far from Crockett. I bet Hillsborough is lovely, old towns are the best!

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      3. Oh, I LOVE Kombucha, esp. with chia seeds. I don’t know how to make it, tho.

        I never got thru your area. I was either below you or above you on I-20 when heading home for visits.

        There is so much of Texas I never saw.

        Hillsborough is a very interesting town. It is situated on an even older Native American trading path. It is also the site of where the Regulators attacked the Courthouse and were subsequently hanged. My home county next door, west, was the site of the end of the War of Regulation (started in Hillsborough) which was the precursor to the Revolutionary War.

        I do a lot of history posts and post photographs of my surroundings, routinely.

        I love your posts. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Wonderful, so glad to hear it and find your work too! With chia seeds? Now I’m intrigued, trying that next! “War of Regulation” that is new to me in term, but is this not what Mark Twain was referring to in some of his critiques in unregulated capitalism? I have a book I’m just adding to the top of the stack thanks to you now: “War in East Texas: Regulators vs Moderators by Bill O’Neal. Cheers 🙂

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  2. So glad to hear about Papi. Dumping the drugs sounds like a good Idea. I guess he needed them when he had a fever but not now. I completely agree with you. I wonder if probiotics work on dogs bowels to normalize them like they do after we’ve been exposed to antibiotics? Your garden looks amazing wish mine was even a bit as impressive. I hope mine can catch up & we at least get some veggies. Maybe ours will just be late. Love your pictures please keep them coming. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

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