I figured I’ve been playing hard to get for long enough now, so let me update you on the homestead happenings over the last month and a half!
First of all, as you might have guessed, I will just be hitting the highlights and if you want to know more specifics on one topic or another, you know how to find us and ask!
Up first, we have our sheep barn build project! We finally got the concrete poured for the foundation and 2 foot high base wall around the middle of September while my Dad and Jed were visiting. During their visit, we got firewood moved and stacked for winter (there’s still plenty left that needs to be moved and stacked as well though… just need a place made for it all first), we ate some good food together, watched college football each Saturday, went to a few baby appointments, and got the initial construction on the barn up and running. Since their departure, Eddy has been working on that barn day and night… just kidding, he goes to bed when the sun goes down! But, it definitely feels like an around the clock project at this point. He has completed the frame for the first floor, laid the flooring down for the second floor, braced the building, and is currently in the process of setting posts and beams for the second floor before moving onto rafters and roofing (hopefully before his birthday next Friday)! He amazes me every single day with what he accomplishes flying solo! I help where I’m needed which means holding something in place for him while he climbs or nails or whatever, but for the most part, I’ve been hands off on this project because there is plenty of other things that need to get done around here before winter.
In other exciting news, we got a new puppy! She’s a Blue Heeler or Australian Cattle Dog and her name is Olivia (aka Livie). She has been such an amazing puppy even with her high energy and occasional bad habit we are consistently trying to break (jumping up on you and being mouthy when she gets super excited). She is about 4 months old these days so she is still growing and learning and we have no doubt she will be a perfect puppy in no time! Besides her two bad habits that get the best of her when excitement takes over, she sleeps all night long in her kennel, walks great off and on leash, and only has tiny, excited tinkles in the cabin or truck but has never had a true potty accident ever. She is slowly but surely learning to work the sheep and the commands that go along with that… and Tripp doesn’t seem to mind her much these days, although I have no doubt he wishes she would take more naps so that he could have peace and quiet at all hours of the day again.
We have had a couple nights that got down to freezing temps over the last week or two so everything that lives above ground in the garden has been harvested and I am in the process of storing things accordingly OR processing, cooking, and canning the things that need to be looked to sooner rather than later. My cabin is littered with cookie sheets of drying beans, shelves of drying corn, and countertops full of tomatoes, melons, and other goodies. It sure is a lot of hard to work to harvest and process everything, but it will all get done in good time!
Speaking of kitchen things, we got our brand new stove in and got that set up in the kitchen while my dad and Jed were here visiting. We had to use our critical thinking skills to get the stove pipe to line up just right, but alas, it did get done. We have burned several fires in the stove over the last couple of weeks to keep the chill out of the cabin at night… and I am SO HAPPY to report that we just load up the firebox before bed, damp it down to simmer, and the coals are still hot and ready to be fired back up when Eddy gets up to start the coffee in the morning… it is basically a dream come true for us! We aren’t used to this sort of luxury but I think we have adjusted well!
We also got our snowmobile back recently and are under the impression that it runs like a champ again. The true test will be when we get out on the snow with it. Until then, we are just trusting that we will have a working snowmobile come winter time this year (that is, until Eddy gets rowdy again and breaks it… haha)!
And, not sure if you all care or not, but I got really tired of my super long, super tangled, rat’s nest of hair on my head, so I found a YouTube video to watch and then decided to chop all of my hair off myself. I am still shocked when people comment about how cute my hair is, but I will take all the compliments I can get because I’m pretty proud of myself! Usually spur of the moment decisions like that don’t turn out as good as you hoped, but when Eddy spent 15+ minutes trying to brush out a mammoth knot on top of my head one day, I said enough is enough!
As far as baby updates go, yesterday we went to our 31 week check up and had an ultrasound. Everything looks great and baby Emory/Emery is cruising along just fine. We have good growth (even though he/she is still a small baby… measuring in the 10th percentile), all of his/her organ function is looking perfect, and we FINALLY got a decent face photo… usually the baby’s face is covered by two hands and sometimes two feet as well. But, we are head down, doing happy baby breathing on screen, wiggling all 10 fingers, and kicking two little feet that have all 10 toes, showing off a full head of hair, sticking out our tongue and just staying nice and cozy inside mommy!
I am also checking out really well too. I’m still sleeping through the night without having to take potty breaks and only having a night here or there that involves a little bit of heartburn… but luckily that has still always been remedied by sitting up for a few minutes and/or 1 or 2 Tums before drifting back off to sleep for the rest of the night. No swelling to report which is awesome and I passed my gestational diabetes test during my last visit. I feel great and even though I move slower and get out of breath easier, I still think I am pretty useful around the homestead for the time being! Hopefully that lasts until it’s time to pop out a baby!
A couple of weeks ago, my friend Christen, threw me an online baby shower which took place on Facebook. It was such a fun time even though it would have been even more special to celebrate Baby E in person with all of my family and friends… but that’s what I get for moving across the country as far from everyone else as possible! HA! We played a lot of fun games all day long and I even went LIVE to share all of the baby goodies we have been getting in the mail! It’s amazing how many people were thoughtful and kind enough to shower Baby E with a gift or two. It meant the world to Eddy and I and we are extremely grateful to have family and friends as great as all of YOU!
We received everything from personalized onesies, to sleeping bags, to bath tubs, to changing pads, to breast feeding supplies, to lotions and other baby skin care items, to handmade blankies, to baby rockers, to milestone markers for photos, to little baby hats, socks, mittens, and more! I truly believe we got a little bit of everything which means that we only have a few bigger things we will need to purchase ourselves to finish prepping for Baby E.
As far as days off go, we took one recently (because it was a rainy day which means little work being done outside) and decided to pack up the pups and head across the border into Canada for a day at King’s Landing. KL is a living history attraction which takes you back to how life would have been in the 1830’s… and you all know that is right up there at the top of Eddy’s interests. We basically had the whole place to ourselves because of the weather but luckily it was just misty rain and not cold at all so it was perfectly fine for us! Eddy got 1 nail for his barn handmade by the blacksmith in town, we got to see the water wheel fired up and running all of the gears and machines in the old sawmill, and we had a nice lunch at The King’s Head in the village. It was a great day and we needed a little break from all of the hustle and bustle of Fall to-do’s around here.
Our plans for wrapping up the Fall season around here include: finishing up this barn build and getting the sheep, chickens, and hay inside before the snow starts falling, finishing up the walls and floors in the cabin, finish canning or processing all of our garden harvest including apples that need to be collected from the trees around the property, AND prepping for a newborn baby which is now estimated to be arriving closer to Christmas perhaps (but, of course, who knows!). I’m sure we have several other things that need to get done before the snow starts to fly, but we blow ourselves away everyday thinking about how far we’ve come in just 1 year (oh yeah, we recently celebrated our 1 year anniversary here!) of being here. And no matter what we are able to accomplish before the snow begins to fall, we are in a MUCH better position this year than we were last year… and we always keep in mind that this is supposed to be fun, not stressful, so it’s all good around here and spirits are high! Here’s a few throwback photos to this time last year. ENJOY!
Until next time folks!
Frankie, Eddy, Baby E, Pups, and Homestead Critters