Homestead Happenings

Spring is in the air! Sort of.

More like, New Normal Yo-Yo Season doesn’t totally fool Mother Nature. Yay! I’m taking that as good news.

So let’s focus on more good news with plenty of happy snaps, and just a few ugly reality snaps, from the wee homestead.

We’ve been busy, Handy Hubby most especially, in long-overdue deconstruction. The only other structure on the property when we bought it about 15 years ago, besides the seasonal-cottage-turned-permanent home where we now live, was this already run-down, trash-filled tractor barn.

Hauling trash out of the cottage before move-in (circa 20o9). Then scrubbing, painting, re-doing the floors, kitchen, siding, roof, insulation, building a deck, etc., etc.
Thank heavens for Handy Hubby!

Then the tornado tore off a chunk of it. And Hubby discovered the posts had rotted in the ground and it was in even worse shape than expected. Little left to be salvaged.

You can see it here in its best shape, in the background of this darling vid of our dear, now deceased, oh so lovable dogs, Tori, and Papi who makes a brief appearance too! The structure on the left is the former duck coop, built by Hubby. The structure finally coming down is the 2-story on the right. While the previous owners were building their future cottage, our current home, they built this and lived on the top loft. It was already a mess when we bought the place, and we’ve been procrastinating the clean-up ever since.

I vowed year after year I’d help Hubby in the deconstruction and clean-up when he found time to prioritize it, yet here it’s now nearly done and I haven’t helped a lick!

Such a gentleman! Thank heavens, because it’s a disgusting, nest and poop infested horror of a project, which is why he was procrastinating so long in the first place!

In more elegant news, I am still getting 1 liter of milk a day from our belligerent herd queen, Summer. While it’s not enough for making big and delicious hard cheeses, like this Pepper Jack I just cut, it is enough for a weekly batch of feta, or mozzarella, or my imitation of Boursin, or kefir, buttermilk, yogurt . . .! YUM!

Pepper Jack, aged 3 months. Quite good, hot, but not over-the-top. Still, needs improvement. Noted, still trying.

Despite the best laid plans of weather terrorists, we still have our first blossoms, our first chicks, our first piglets of the season!

And first chicks!

The daffodils and narcissists are out, and just enough blooms that the bees are again pleased!

I do believe, as chance would have it, I just happened to capture the queen in this quick shot. If you look at the center you see a longer abdomen pressed against the observation window, right next to a worker bee, so it stands out just enough to discern. I can’t be 100% sure, but I think so!

And back to discernment, we have the magic phallus of several posts appearing again! It’s in the same general area as the others, pictured previously, but looks a bit different. Now I’m starting to hope we’ve discovered a morel patch?! Or, maybe not.

What’s new in your neck of the woods?

Author: KenshoHomestead

Creatively working toward self-sufficiency on the land.

8 thoughts on “Homestead Happenings”

  1. Good eye, Granny! They pile on like that when it’s cold, and move away from each other in the hive when it’s hot. That’s how they can over-winter in cold climates, by all clustering around the queen, and then around the brood in cold snaps in the spring once they start building back up. They reduce their numbers considerably in winter, then build back up in spring. That’s why sometimes folks who have them in the walls or attic of their house, or old barns, or wherever, think they’ve gone, and don’t bother to have them removed, only to find out they’ve actually grown in size the following years.


  2. In the picture of the bees, seeing them all piled on top of each other made me wonder if they don’t suffocate. Why are they all piled up like that? Will they eventually create the honeycomb looking structure? Are they always piled up like that except we (non bee keepers) just don’t see them?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reminds me of when my handy hubby & I bought our first house. It was at a silent auction & hubby won the best bid by something like $6.00. Talk about something meant to be. My Mom cried when she came to see our first home & almost fell through a hole in the floor. Never the less we also scrubbed, hauled old toilets & tubs out , sanded, ripped out walls, painted , & did anything else you could think of. Oh did I mention no water, no electricity, & no heat in an Illinois winter. I should add that as we got into it & got some power our 2 very young boys became a big help.

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  4. We just went for a walk and I noticed sprinkles of spring. Several flowers are blooming and the willow trees are leafing out. We have some days this week that the high is near 80 followed in the 10 day by possible wintery mix. Yo-yo is right.

    Liked by 1 person

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