Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Thoughts on the New Year


This past fall and the Holidays have been a blur--I seriously wanted to skip Christmas this year. Is anyone else with me?!? With everything else going on it became pretty stressful (and I've been doing a lot of thinking lately on why we celebrate it in the first place). A new year always prompts me to reflect upon what I want to change and improve for the future. How is it that several of my New Year’s goals from years ago are still yet to be fulfilled? Living a simpler, healthy lifestyle while attempting to homestead is so much harder now that I have children. Perhaps now that our big move is completed and we are setting our sights towards the spring garden, our homestead goals will be easier to reach (hopefully).



Still, it feels like we are often overwhelmed with work, kids, activities, church, and day-to-day life (even with me working part-time) and keeping on top of trying to produce and locally source our own healthy farm-to-table food becomes a burdensome task. I so easily fall back into my old ways when I need to get in the habit of planning and preparing nourishing and seasonal foods. Baking my own bread weekly, preparing fermented foods and drinks, soaking nuts and legumes prior to use, canning and preserving seasonal produce, and finding local sources of grass-fed meats and organic dairy are some of my top priorities for the new year. Other priorities include exercising more often in a way that fits in at home and more time for not just Bible study but longer, dedicated periods of prayer and fasting. I'm also hoping to observe the Biblical feasts that are set apart as the Father's holy days this year! 



But where do I find the time for it all? Sometimes I can fit it in on the weekends, sometimes at night, other times during the day when the girls are napping or otherwise occupied. But during busy weeks or months it’s awfully easy to fall behind.  I usually don't get everything done that I aim for. Basically, I have huge, never-ending to-do list (does this sound familiar, anyone?)


As I’m sure you have been able to tell, I’ve neglected this blog (yet again), and I’m afraid I won’t always be posting regularly in 2018. I still hope to provide updates on the house (room tours for sure!), the homestead, and the garden, but the blog is not something high up on my to-do list and I’m not quite sure when or if I will find the time to update as often as I’d like. Unlike so many lovely blogs out there, it is not a source of income for me and I purely engage in blogging for personal enjoyment and to keep my family and close friends informed of what’s happening in our little corner of the world.



So here’s to a brand New Year! May the Lord Bless you and keep you in 2018!




Saturday, November 18, 2017

The Powder Room


Ya'll, this is seriously the only room that is "finished" being put together for a tour on the blog right now.  I know--not much to see yet but we have to start somewhere, right?



We moved in a little over a month ago and are still getting artwork and pictures hung on the walls and lots of little things organized. Plus, there are a few projects we still have to complete (the list is never-ending!)

Anyway, on to the powder room. This room is the first room on the right as you walk into the entry of the house. It's conveniently placed in the entryway just off of the living room for easy access.




Here is a picture with the door to the room closed:



The half-bath, or powder room, is a small, rectangular room, really just the right size for a toilet and sink. It feels plenty big though with the tall ceilings (10 feet) we have throughout the first floor rooms. Nothing special about it except--SURPRISE--the chocolate brown tiolle-inspired wallpaper!!



Everyone told me I should not do wallpaper (this is the only room we papered) but I didn't listen to them and I'm SO glad I went with my gut because I absolutely am in love with this beautiful wallpaper from the Home Depot. Ya'll know how much I love chocolate brown tiolle (like my transferware collection, glider in the nursery, etc.) Our builder literally had to bring someone out of retirement to hang our wallpaper because so few people are using it anymore. I feel like it's making a comeback :)



Above the toilet are two Paul Sawyier prints--something I have a lot of throughout my home. Paul Sawyier was a famous watercolor artist from Kentucky who painted quite a bit of his work near the Kentucky River and particularly in my hometown of Frankfort. I love the soft colors and delicate beauty of his pieces and have collected prints ever since getting married. Most of them were given to me as gifts and a lot of them have special significance--for example, one of the larger prints we have depicts Berry Hill Mansion, where my husband and I were married.

The floors are the same as the rest of the downstairs public rooms--standard oak hardwood floors stained in "dark walnut" and finished with a satin finish.



The sink is by Mansfield and is a basic pedestal sink. The chrome faucet is Delta Cassidy with the cross handles. We opted for a chrome hook instead of a towel bar. The mirror is an inexpensive antique I had at our old house and it worked nicely in this room with its silver finish on the frame. The light fixture is a simple barn-light type fixture with a galvanized/aluminum finish from Capital Lighting Gallery in Raleigh (from where we selected most of our fixtures).




Most of the time we have a cute little stool helping the girls reach the sink in this room. I've decided to show all my rooms how we really use them--because this is real life and I don't want to feed you a lie. I feel like so many blogs out there have rooms "staged" so beautifully but they are not practical nor functional for how people really live. So I'm hoping and planning to keep it real with all of you friends!



The awesome guy who did our wallpaper even lined up and camouflaged the outlets and light switches! Can you spot them??



I love that we decided to do something surprising and different in this room despite the advice of others. It's just such a fun change from all the white in the rest of the house. Hope you enjoyed the first of the tours of our new home. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!



Friday, November 10, 2017

Transitioning Chickens to a New Home


Ever wondered how chickens would do when moving to a new house?

Chickens take a while to adjust to their environment when transitioning to a new home and it's important to make the move as easy and painless as possible for them to avoid placing too much stress on your flock. Yup, they get stressed out just like we do when having to move!



We moved in our new house one month ago and are still getting adjusted. Our flock is making do in a temporary coop and pen until we are able to build something more permanent for them. Below is a step-by-step guide based on our experience with moving our flock:

1. Have the new coop, food, water, nest boxes, and everything set up in place BEFORE you move your flock to the new house or property. We plan to build a new coop (in conjunction with our barn) but for now we have a temporary set up with a large electric fence pen that will work for the time being.



2. When you are ready to transport them, gather them up (night time is when they are most docile) and place them in a pet carrier, large ventilated box with bedding, or chicken carrier/cage and carefully place into your vehicle. If you will be traveling a far distance, provide some food and water in whatever type of carrier in which you will transport the chickens.

3. Once you have arrived at your new residence, place the carrier into the new pen or coop and open the door and allow the chickens to come out on their own. Throw some treats out to encourage them to step out and explore.

4. Keep the chickens inside of the coop with access to a run or pen for several weeks before letting them roam free (they might try to return to their old home).

5. Visit the chickens regularly to make sure they are adjusting to their new environment. You may even want to add some fun new things to their new coop/pen like new roosts, nest box areas, a sand box for dust bathing, and areas where they can be in the sun or in the shade.



We are hoping our chickens will like their new homestead--they will certainly have a lot more room to roam once we allow them to free range (which will only be on occasion). Breeding will also be a top priority for my flock once we have the new coop built. As you can see, we literally haven't done anything with the outside of our house since we've moved in. No landscaping yet--just one little project at a time.



Have you ever transitioned your flock to a new home? Please feel free to share any tips!