The day is incredible. The sun is shinning and warm, and the air smells of gratitude.
We've had a new bird here the last few months. I haven't been able to see it to determine what it might be but it's song is distinct and magical. It reminds me of the breeze, it's rustling of the leaves and rippling the water on the pond. Carrying ancient messages that must be remembered. We are so very blessed.
We've barely started work on the horse shelter and it's very slow going. mainly because I haven't taken the time to look around and asses what material we have that can be turned into what we need. I'm usually very good and quick about it but I have been preoccupied lately.
What I have so far is a single room, 3 sided and roofed shelter. The walls will be made of pallets, two high, framed with scrap boards I've saved and scavenged etc.. I had saved some very old hay to insulate with but discovered that it has some mold so it will go to some other use. I may see about newspaper. I've been collecting from friends in town and saving it for the gardens but I may find the horses need it more.
The roof is the thing I've not figured. We have some old barn tin and other similar scraps around so we may be able to piece together a roof. The horse shelter's purpose is to protect them from the wind, heavy snow, ice, or hail. Eventually I plan to turn it into two actual stalls, but that's a ways off.
We're down to one pig, Walnut, whom I plan to take to the processors at the end of the month (which is coming much to quickly). The, hopefully, we'll be getting 2 American Guinea Hog piglets, one to eat and one to start raising Guinea Hogs. They have many advantages and were high on my list before I got the pigs. The Guinea Hogs are small but larger than the pigs we have. They have a lot more lard (our current pigs are very lean meat) which I need for many things including soap. And they're a heritage breed, which is important to me as well.
We'll see. Shortly after starting with the pigs we have I decided we would not have pigs. I'm not a pig person at all. But after a year with pigs I believe I can live with a few. As far as meat goes, pork is good and seems to provide a better ratio of meat per pound per overall size of animal.
Other than the possible pigs the animal count has gone down here. Mostly on purpose to prepare for winter but we've also had some sudden unexplained rabbit deaths. We're down to 2 breeding females and one breeding male, plus old Juniper and wild Alice. Aside from the 5 rabbits we also have Thistle (milk goat) for milk, 13 laying hens for eggs (none are laying), 5 hens for the cook pot, 1 Roo for the hens, 1 roo for the pot, 1 pig for the freezer, 2 horses for work and riding (eventually), 3 dogs for protection and comfort, an unknown number of damn cats for comfort, mousing and drinking all leftover milk.
On the list of things to get done this week, or at least to work on, are ...Sew two more flannel skirtsSew two pairs of pants for Nik (one flannel and one thinner cotton)Finish the window covered raised bed thing for winter lettuces &spinach etc (can't think of what it's called right now)Work on the horse shelterFigure out and make a better display for my salves in the storesTrade our small dinning table for a larger one we were givenMake more yogurtStart removing the shower to prepare for the tub (I've given up on trying to get the propane working properly and I Really need a bath!)Finish completely removing the old living room carpeting (and decide how to proceed with the plywood floor)Give much thanks and feast :)
The woodstove is in and working wonderfully. I've already cooked several meals on and in it. We broke a couple of tiles pretty badly and still haven't finished the tiling but I'll probably put the rest of it off for now so we don't have to keep taking out the stove. I'm wanting a different pipe system, instead of the standard elbow, so that the stove fits better in the space. We'll see what can be done. We'll also be replacing the old hearth with brick and adding tile further out to extend it more. But for the winter it will just stay as it is.
On The List is a wood cook stove. I believe the chimney for it in the kitchen is still functioning but if it's not we can put it on a wall with a window and run the pipe out that. It's a long ways off tho. I had a dream the other night that I had one :)
We'll hopefully have no more trouble from the insurance people, the two broken windows are replaced and we now have the LLC (or whatever) approved woodstove.
Life is good, mostly gentle and always an adventure.