Guitar Tuning With Grandpa

Guitar Tuning With Grandpa
Oak, Wyatt, Grandpa Scott, Lisa

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Long Time No See

Cornish X Meat Birds
Wow It has been a really long time since I've been able to sit down and write up a post. As I'm typing this I'm not even sure that I will have time to finish it today. We have had such a warm winter this year and spring has come upon us the fastest that we have seen yet. Which of coarse means that we are extra busy trying to keep up. Most of my online time lately has been spent doing paperwork and research into upgrading our homestead. Some of the things that we are looking into are: A Large seasonal high tunnel, A fodder system, growing our own hay, and getting quality breeding stock. All of these things take a lot of time and effort to research but will hopefully make us more self reliant in the future. This year we ran into issues with feed pricing and availability that made us rethink how we acquire food for our animals as well as the quality of the food that we are feeding them. We also want to have our own closed heard and flocks so that we don't have to order, buy and transport chicks every spring to supplement our laying flock and for meat. Our laying flock is pretty well set this year but we want to raise our own meat chickens so we are looking into a small breeding flock of Dark Cornish chickens. A long story short there are millions of things that we would love to do but what we can afford and what we have time for will limit what we can do.

Cornish X Meat Chicks
So here is what we have going right now. I have a huge jungle of plant starts in the front entry and as of yesterday I started moving some out to the greenhouses even though I'm still afraid that the temps will drop and I could loose them I was out of space. 

A Couple weeks ago when they were still small
We have our first spring batch of Cornish X meat chicks that we have scheduled to butcher this weekend. We also have a small batch of Broad Breasted Bronze Turkeys that are just a couple weeks old and still in the brooder. We are expecting an order of Turkeys and Dark Cornish chickens to come in the first week of June that will hopefully be our new breading stock for our own meat birds and turkeys. 

Broad Breasted Bronze Turkeys
We bred 2 does this year, Petunia and her daughter Lilly both Toggenburgs to our Lamancha buck Guy. Petunia is due this week and Lilly is due next week. So we will have a whole new batch of baby goats. All of our baby goats from last year have homes. Most stayed right here on the homestead. Petunia's son Birch is now September's 4-H pack Goat, Ian has Lillie's son Aspen, and Lisa has Hazel's son Tamarack. We also kept Hazel's daughter Iris. Lillie's other son Spruce went to live with a friend in Manley Hot Springs to be a pet/pack goat. We had to put down our buck Guy this winter. We had a problem with Copper Deficiency over the winter. Once diagnosed we took measures to resolve the issue but Guy had become very weak and we made the hard choice to put him down. It was very sad for us all. He was the sweetest buck. None of the others seemed to be hit as hard by it and showed only signs of fading in their coats. I'm not sure if it was an issue of breed that it hit him harder or what. Sooo, we are hoping to get a buckling from Petunia to keep as our new heard sire. This will most likely be the last year that I breed her as she is getting older and will be a good candidate to milk through as I actually had a very hard time drying her off.
Iris

Petunia (with half horn), Lillie

Tamarack
I'll try to post some good pictures when the babies are born. Petunia's tendons were feeling a bit looser this morning so she could go any day now. Tomorrow will be 145 days and she is HUGE! Both were bred on purpose so we have a good idea of when they are due but like with women there is some wiggle room. 150 days is average but anything in the range of 145-155 days is considered term. To breed each doe I kept a lookout for signs that they were in estrus. When the time was right I walked them up to the buck barn and let them spend about 15 minutes with the buck and then I walked them home. That was all it took. It was our first shot at controlled breading and it was a great success. I will say though that it takes time to get to know your goats and to read their cycle. When you are milking twice a day it makes it a bit easier to notice the subtle changes in your doe. I also keep my weathers and my buck in the habit of eating on a milk stand. It really helps when you are trimming hooves every few weeks. The two weathers that live with the buck at the buck barn don't get to do it as often but they still remember that the milk stand means extra yummy food and will stand pretty well for their trimmings.

BEES - We are doing two hives worth of bees this year. We bought one hive of our own and we're borrowing one from our friends who taught us how to bee keep last year. We're keeping them in our area this year rather than transporting them half way through the year. This may delay them a little as we are a couple weeks behind Manley Hot Springs when it comes to blooming flowers. So far they seem to be doing well and I think that we have done a pretty good job of remembering what we learned from last year. If it is even close to the success of last year per hive I will be thrilled. I just wish that we could figure out a way to over winter them as I hate the idea of having to kill them off in the fall. We have a couple of ideas and if we do end up with a high tunnel we may attempt to over winter at least one hive this year.

SCHOOL

We are still doing Homeschool but we are winding down for the year. Since we have more time in the winter we tend to blow through the years curriculum pretty fast. It's nice when this time of year rolls around because we can be more flexible. My step dad who was a gymnastics coach in AZ comes over on Thurdays to do tumbling with the kids. He also teaches tumbling at the Manley Hot Springs school as well as driving the school bus. This is also a great time of year for science on the homestead. Growing things babies being born or hatched. The spring thaw, and birds returning from migration. So much to see and learn.

Lisa doing a back bend
BEAR

Ken took a black bear this year with Rugger Super Red Hawk 44 handgun. He shot the bear from his stand with 1 shot through the chest. The bear ran 100 yard and dropped. It was a very humane kill. He was a very large bear. He had a hard time getting him into the back of the Big Boss to get him home. He got home around 11pm and woke us all up so we could go and see.

Ken's Black Bear
 Wyatt was the only one who would get close to look at the bear. Even the dogs didn't want to get close to it. After we went back to bed Ken skinned the bear and quartered him.
Wyatt looking at Daddies Bear
 The next morning we all got to work cutting the meat off the bones. This was a lengthy process. Ken and I worked together the first day. The second day I was working alone and the third day I had help from my mom. As we cut the meat off it was cut into cubes and then ground. We used both the hand crank grinder and the kitchen aid grinder. The kitchen aid sucks the power from the battery bank and clogged up so often that it wasn't really worth using, but the kids could do it so it was a way for them to help. The hand crank #10 went really well as long as we kept the chunks down to about a 1". I also rendered the fat into lard which he had a lot of for so early in the season. He must have eaten very well before hibernation and kept it on due to the mild winter and early spring. The bones and connective tissues were cooked up for the dogs to eat. The Hide was frozen until we have time to work it. Nothing went to waste.

Ken cutting, Wyatt picking off any hairs and Oak watching

Packs of Ground Bear Burger

Kids helping grind the meat


Over all it was a long process but the end result was well worth it. The meat is very good. We've been eating Bear burgers, meatloaf, spaghetti, meat ball subs, bear and rice, etc etc etc..... I have found that Bear meat goes very well with Italian seasoning. It is also a little on the greasy side which is a drastic change from the very dry Moose meat.

Bear meatloaf topped with cheese and ranchy broccoli
OH and because I can't remember if I mentioned it before the remodel is done on the church library and it looks much nicer. Also we are now having bible study out here in Eureka with Pastor Earl on Wednesday evenings.

Also A little note on the sled dogs. I have been looking for a dryland training vehicle like an old quad or something. Since I haven't found anything I decided to take the girls out one at a time and give bikejoring a try. It was successful with at least two of the girls Kitty and Tisha. Quinn just looked at me like I was nuts hooking her up with no snow on the ground and just wanted to go back to her dog house. I haven't tried Pam yet because she's a bit of a spaz and would probably drag me off into a tree or ditch. When I get it down with one dog I'll try two and then let her run but she needs a good leader with her so she doesn't just spaz out on me. lol... I'll try to get someone to take a picture that I can post.


Well that's the most recent news here. I'm going to get back to getting busy. I have starts to transplant, school to do, and animal chores. Maybe I can even get done in time to relax for a minute. HA HA HA HA ;)

Isaiah 41:17-21 When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the LORD will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box tree together: That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the LORD hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it. Produce your cause, saith the LORD; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Catching Up


Wow I guess it's been a long time since I last posted. Life has been.....well life I suppose. There is always plenty to keep us busy and away from the computer. The limited sunlight also limits power and keeps computer time short. Please bear with me as I do a brief review of the past three months. This will be brief as for me the time runs together so aside from holidays it can be hard for me to remember what happened when these days.

Lets see October brought Halloween and harvest. We worked on cleaning up the garden and getting things ready for snow. 

September as Aby from NCIS

Wyatt and Oak Supermen

Ian the Jedi

Lisa the Owl
Progress on Barn

November we of coarse had Thanksgiving. Also the start of Trapping season.


Larry Before

Larry After 30 lb clean weight 

December brought Christmas and a very bad flu bug that put us in the dumps for three weeks.

Kids cut down the tree


Making Cookies

Opening gifts

Wyatt (superman), Oak (batman)
January brought a new year and a little new year fire with hot dogs and marshmallows. 





SOME RANDOM PICS





















Coming next I'm going to try to take some pictures during an average day to give an idea of what we do.  A lot of things vary but the basic chores are the same every day. One of the most common questions I'm asked is what we do on a day to day basis so I'm going to try to answer that with a walk through in photos. 

Until then God bless and please keep us in your prayers as we move forward into this new year. 

I would also like to wish Brent Sass and Mandy Nauman (only girl in the quest this year) Good luck on the Yukon Quest dog sled race. They are based out of Eureka and three of my four sled dogs are Sass dogs. It makes it cool to watch our local mushers running dogs that we have met. You can check out these mushers on their sites: http://wildandfreealaska.com/ and http://www.douglasfirmushing.com/

Ephesians 5:15-16 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

Blessings,

Sarah 



Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Flowing with Milk and Honey!



Our joint honey venture was a total success! From our one hive we got 10 gallons of honey. So 5 gal for Steve and Ann and 5 gal for us. I've been slowly working on filtering and jarring our beautiful fresh organic raw honey. I learned a lot and definitely hope to do it again next year either with Steve and Ann again or on our own if their not up for it. It was so amazing to see the different colors of honey created by the different types of flowers that they were getting their pollen from. The early honey from when we had them in Manley by the bath house was mostly from the dandelions and was a dark gold color. After we moved them out here to Eureka their main pollen source was the Fire Weed which created a very clear honey that looked like water. When it was all combined we got a lovely light gold honey that is so sweet and has a wonderful full flavor.

Extracting honey at Steve and Ann's. Steve in picture. Ann taking picture.

In addition to the wonderful honey we now get to enjoy we also have milk, goat milk. Our three does all gave birth to beautiful little babies. Petunia was the first to kid and had one HUGE baby boy that we named Birch. Birch was stuck and needed some assistance to get a shoulder out before he could be pushed out. Next to give birth was Petunia's daughter Lilly. Lilly had twin bucklings that we named Spruce and Aspen. Lilly gave birth to both twins with no assistance. Last but not least to kid was Hazel. Hazel had twins another little boy that we named Tamarack and the only little girl that Lisa named Iris.

Petunia gave birth at 9:00 am so the kids were able to attend the birth. My mom was also there for the birth of buckling Birch. Birch is the spitting image of his father Guy.





Lilly gave birth to her twins at 3:45 am. Spruce was born first and Aspen followed almost immediately. This birth I attended alone due to the hour and fortunately it went very smoothly and I was able to just watch. I didn't get very good pictures of her birthing because it was very dark in the half finished barn.




Spruce
Hazel gave birth to Iris at 8:30 pm. The boys were in bed but Lisa was able to watch. I sent Lisa to bed at about 9:00 pm because I figured Hazel was done. Then she started pushing again but was struggling. Both of Tamarack's legs were bent back and she was having a real hard time. I was able to get both legs out and she pushed him out with no more delay almost an hour later at 9:20 pm. Hazel gave birth to both of her babies standing up.





Oak hugging Tamarack

We will have to find homes for 3 of the little boys. I'm going to keep one boy as a wethered companion for our buck and keep the little girl. I would love to find them homes were they could be pets. The kids give them alot of attention so they are super sweet. It will be really hard for me if we have to butcher them. We're getting a good amount of milk even allowing the babies to nurse. So far I've made yogurt, butter and cheese (chevre) from our goats milk and it has all been wonderful. The kids really enjoy the homemade yogurt with our yummy honey on top. 

The pole barn is pretty well dried in but still needs to be finished and insulated. 

We also have some other new additions to the homestead. 2 ducks and 5 chickens 4 of which are bantams (mini chickens). They were given to us from a friend who didn't want to keep them over the winter and didn't want to butcher them. They are almost old enough to start laying. I need to go out at some point and get pictures. The Turkeys are getting huge and I'm pretty sure that we have a male and female. Next time I would like to get a breed that can reproduce. 

Ken also built a new pole shed for the wood pile and we've been working on stocking it. We have a lot of wood to be split and stacked that we cut last year.




OK, I want to take a minute to talk about something that I am doing. This is probably going to be a touchy subject for some and will get me some raised eyebrows from others. I'm talking about head covering for women. This is a practice that has been done among Christian women in the past but is not as common now days outside of plain faiths such as the Amish and Mennonites. I recently read something that inspired me to read 1 Corinthians 11 again. I felt a conviction in my heart but was still unsure. Many pastors that I highly respect have said that head covering is no longer needed or that a women's hair is her covering. Since this wasn't something that I really thought about I was fine with their answers. Then after reading it again I couldn't help but see a distinct difference between the reference to hair vs a head covering. Then there was the argument of well it says you only have to wear it while praying or prophesying so only in church. Hmmm.... I thought since when do we only pray in church? Then came to mind the verses that command women to pray without ceasing. So to me it made sense that I should wear it at all times. So to sum it up I guess what I'm saying is to spite reasonable arguments against it I have decided to follow my conviction and have started wearing a head covering.  Ken is OK with it but really doesn't care one way or the other. Though when I have Lisa wear ones he says he misses seeing her pretty blond curls. My mom was a little more bothered by my choice because she likes my long curly hair. I'm not going to tell you that I wont learn that this isn't what I should do. I haven't had a chance to talk to my pastor about it yet as he has not yet returned from the lower 48.  But, for now don't be surprised if in future pictures of me I am wearing some sort of head covering. Right now it's just a bandanna. In doing online research of other Christian women who have come to the same conclusion I have found a variety of reasons that these women have come up with for covering. Some say for modesty and add that only revealing their hair to their husbands has added a new level to their intimacy.  Other women started that it was a way of setting them self apart from the world. Others mentioned that it aided in them in their struggle against the fleshy desires of "dressing up" to impress other people. Still others stated it as a way to add simplicity to their lives. While all the arguments that I've heard both ways are good and make sense the bottom line for me is that it is a conviction of the heart after reading my bible and praying about it. I'm not doing it to be more holey or to cause a stir it is simply what I feel led to do to honor God and my Husband. If anyone wants to talk about this I'm more than open to it just please no bashing keep it respectful. Those who know me personally know that I'm not one to push my beliefs on anyone. While I am firm in my beliefs they are mine and this conviction is mine and not something that I would push. I hope that makes sense. I will continue to research my bible on this topic and I will keep you posted on what I learn and how I feel led to proceed as I gain knowledge and of coarse I will continue to ask for guidance in prayer. 

1 Corinthians 11:1-34 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you. But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God. Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering. But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God. Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come. 

1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing.

Blessings to all!