Monday, June 29, 2015

Summer Fun

Summer is here. I am happy to report that my electric bill, while still high, is lower than it was this time last year.  Duke Power finally stopped sending me nasty grams that my power usage is xx% higher than other comparable homes in my neighborhood. Wait... What neighborhood are they referring to? And do they not know we are running a dairy farm?

Anywho, summer is definitely here. I am about to put out my summer seasonal flag, and we have some new fun in the backyard that Holly is prepared for. 

Here she is sporting her new two bandana pool cover up. 

Here's what we have been enjoying. 

It takes about 3 days to warm it from 65 degrees to 96 degrees, so it is the perfect size!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

AC at last!

Guess what died this year!

We made the old system last long enough. Between age and a couple of costly repairs a couple of years ago, we decided to put the Bryant out of its misery. Enter this 16 SEER York unit. Come to find out the Bryant unit was actually malfunctioning this past winter. Only the strip heating was working, which probably led to higher power bills than we should have had. This one will be much more efficient.

We also undertook a project that has needed to be done for a long time. We originally had just a small access door to the dirt side of our basement where the well tank and the air handler/furnace was. The farmer got out his saw and masonry blade and got to work.

After cutting out the opening, he fine tuned it with a hammer and put in new wood facing.

Yesterday we installed the new door. We used some of the parts of the old door as new cross pieces to give it sort of a rustic barn look. We will need to fine tune the closure a bit and then i will seal it with clear polyurethane and we will call this job done!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

More Woodworking

Next project up is something I've been wanting to get done for a long time. I have a couple of very important paintings that my grandfather painted that needed to be professionally framed.  I didn't want to take them somewhere and leave them. So they waited. Until I saw these on Tim's Facebook:

And I knew I'd found the right person to frame these up properly. 

And the results:

This one, that hung in my Dad's office, now hangs in mine. And this one:

Now hanging over my mantle. 

I moved my favorite new art up to over the bed in the guest room:

Lots of woodworking progress!


This past weekend we left the farm in Andy and Karol's care and headed for Tim's house. The plan -- time to start working on the boat again. The next steps were dependent on proper (not freezing) temps, so here we are in the May/June temperate zone. We carefully pored over the next set of steps in the build manual and realized the next step was to flip the boat. Luckily with the application of the last bit of epoxy to the joints, it was stable enough for three people to flip. 

Next in the list, remove the wires
 and prepare for more epoxy. 

We are making progress!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Square Foot Garden

This year we are trying out a square foot garden. Kendra sent us a book to read that made it look easy. We picked out 2 nice 2 X 6 X 8 boards and cut them in half. Like the book suggests we built the grid, without that it's not really a square foot garden. 

We had some tomatoes started, so we planted those right away. There are seedling squash, spinach, and lettuce. 

The kids planted marigolds, carrots and corn in some tires. 

I am hoping for some good tomatoes.  I can't wait to have a fresh tomato sandwich!

Monday, May 11, 2015


Early in the year baby goats started arriving. Before we were ready we were milking, making cheese, and freezing milk. 

We make two kinds of cheese. I make a standard chèvre, which is like a tangy cream cheese. It can be flavored with most any seasoning, our favorite is onion and dill. Papa John makes farmer cheese, which is a simple uncured cheese that can be sliced or crumbled. He can't make it fast enough!

We have 9 goats left for sale. And once all these are sold we will be down to 20 goats, 2 of which are permanently retired.   If you take Sky (the only wether goat) off the list, that means 17 production animals which is a good number for maintenance. I'd be happy to sell two or three more, but we don't really have to. 

The chest freezer is full, and we are now putting milk into the upright freezer. I'll fill two shelves and then we will go into heavy cheese production, and put some of that away. 

Even the ducks have been busy, but I don't know if they'll actually be able to hatch. 

We also found the guinea hen clutch, so we have all their eggs in the incubator. I really want those to successfully hatch, since they are our major method of tick control. 

I got a good start on a garden this year. Kendra sent us a book on square foot gardening, so I decided to give it a try. I have tomatoes, yellow squash, lettuce, and spinach growing and the little kids are growing corn, carrots, marigolds, ans sunflowers in their tires. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Bit by Bit

I'm organizing. It's going slow. But I'm making progress. 

All the brooms, dustmops, mops, dustpans, and so on are hung at the bottom of the basement stairs. I know where they are if I really want to use them. 

Since spring has sprung I have also moved the cat balls and cat food and water to the basement. That also means I can lock the cats down when Tim comes over.  

I was busy this weekend too. I pruned the hydrangeas, picked up about 4 bucketfuls of trash from the yard and gardens. Reworked the watering a buckets in the barn. Fixed the waterer in the goat yard. Shoveled and swept the sidewalks-still have to do something about drainage, but we are making a plan for that.