Homesteading,  Projects

Busy On The Homestead

I apologize for my absence here on the blog.  We’ve been busy playing catch-up and digging back into “school work.”  Wow.  What a year!  Some days Scott and I feel like we haven’t accomplished anything around here and other days I am amazed at what we did get done.  It’s been a crazy year, and I think we both feel relieved to see progress being made on some of these projects!

These past two weeks have been filled with plenty of activity.  Scott changed the oil in 6 of our vehicles this weekend (2 tractors, the 4-wheeler, van, lawnmower and snowblower…with some help from a friend), did plenty of cleaning in some of the buildings, pruned more trees, pulled a few shrubs and trees, and mowed the lawn one final time for the season.

Over the weekend and this week I have been working on redoing the flower beds around one half of the house.  My sister-in-law and I worked on edging the flower bed, and generally pulling dead plants, weeds, grass, and leaves out.  It looked significantly better, but now I am in the process of adding a wood boarder around it to make maintenance and lawn mowing much easier, “tilling” and replanting the flowers in a little bit more of an orderly fashion.  There are all of these wonderful perennial flowers on the property, and I kind of like the whole “cottage” feel, but they get crowded out by weeds and tall grass since there is no distinction between lawn and flowers, so the goal this fall (and next spring) is to bring a little more definition to those areas to allow the flowers to really stand out and also make yard maintenance a little easier.

The veggie garden is in the process of being weeded at the moment.  It was quite a jungle at the end of garden season, so I am working to clean it up.  I think another two days of digging in should finish the job.  We ran our leaves over with the lawn mower and that will be getting spread onto the garden as extra mulch just as soon as I can finish that job.  I think I will be pushing pretty hard over the week/weekend to get it done!


We decided to replace the garage doors.  (When I say garage, it’s the building built onto the granary that was intended as a garage but is being used as our woodworking shop.  We just park our vehicles outside.)  Right now we have some yellowed, wavy fiberglass doors that need to go, so I am building carriage doors from barn wood.  I am nearly done with the doors themselves, just a bit more reinforcement on them, and then I need to fix the door frame itself and install them (with help because they are HEAVY!).  I can’t wait to get them up!  There’s two doors to the garage and I’m pretty sure I will only have one half complete before the snow comes.  When it is done though, you can bet there will be a post about it!

As I was assembling the second door for the one stall, I accidentally broke the glass in the window…this just after I repaired a window in the garage that broke when I was cutting wood for another project.  It’s one of those moments where I hang my head and sigh.  At least I know how to fix the window!

Two weeks ago, my wonderful mother came over to help me out while I worked on FINALLY cleaning up my sewing room.  Before E was born, we were working on cleaning other areas of the house and somehow my sewing room became a dumping ground.  I’ve tried cleaning it in the 6 months since he was born, but every time I got started, the kids would sneak in and make a mess or I would get interrupted or I had something that “has to get done now” and the room just kept getting worse.  Now it’s pretty well in check.  It’s a room with many purposes, so I don’t think it will ever look truly clean, but I do plan to improve on it yet.

Oh, and now that E is 6 months old, he’s all over the place and needs more attention.  He’s rolling across the floor, pulling himself around, and putting everything in his mouth.  Goodbye days of easy baby!  Oh well, he’s extremely happy which makes him extremely cute, so all is forgiven!  🙂  It just means that I will be less productive in his waking hours.

I gained new motivation to finish a bunch of projects around here! My family will be celebrating Christmas Eve at our house which means I will want to finish as many of my half-finished projects as I can.  With it still being warm (a warm November in Wisconsin…it’s weird), I’m trying to complete all of the outdoor work that I can before I really begin to dig into the indoor stuff.  I guess that means I will have plenty to write about in the coming months!

Pinterest project…pillow for the porch swing.  Now I need to make a new cushion cover!

Other things I have yet to write about…We picked black walnuts from a relatives yard and removed the hulls, now they are drying and waiting to be cracked.  I’ll share more about that when we finish that project.  Prior to chicken butchering, I made grape jelly for the first time.  It was exciting and yet disgusting.  I may be a sugar addict, but seeing how much sugar goes into making it…my jaw hit the floor!  We’ve been taking German lessons with some fellow homeschoolers, I wrapped up the pumpkin sales, and I’ve been working on a few Pinterest projects for around the house.  Oh, and I finally started to really clean and reorganize the basement!  There was still a huge pile of stuff down their from the last owners that I went through in the wee hours of the morning.  I still have a lot to clean down there, but it’s much, much better than it was.

Well, sorry for the boring post!  I needed to journal what we’ve been up to.  I want to get another post up before the weekend is out.  I have a few ideas rolling around in my head, but leave your comments and let me know what you want to hear about!  I’ll share more if I can!

Chickens!  Just for fun 🙂

What about you?  Has it snowed yet?  Or is it warm by you, too?  What kind of last-minute fall projects are you working on?  Don’t forget to leave your comments below!



  • Emma@ Misfit Gardening

    Phew I was exhausted just reading all that!!

    The snow hasn’t hit yet here and some warm days have been had so I’m hoping more tomatoes ripen so I’m not over run with green tomatoes this winter! Compost heaps have been turned again and the wormery is due to be winterized before the worst of the frosts start. My biggest projects for fall are preparing the vegetable gardens and relocating fruit trees (again) around the homestead!

    • Spring Lake Homestead

      Oh no! Moving trees isn’t fun! What happened? Sounds like you’re pretty busy too. I wish I hadn’t lost so much steam in October…I need to get better at pacing myself! It’s always push, push, push, followed by extreme exhaustion. Maybe someday I will learn! I missed a window of opportunity on our tomatoes and a lot went to waste. It was still a great harvest, but there was too much happening this year. Next year I will have to be more careful to plan around tomato season!

      • Emma@ Misfit Gardening

        Oh no! Technology does strange things! It was a pain to move; rope and the truck was used the first time I moved them! I hope it won’t be quite as difficult this time around!

  • Rebekah

    I’m just trying to maintain here and not overdo it. I don’t want to end up on full bed rest for the next 3 weeks. Although yesterday was a good day for me and so I dug up some weeds in the garden and planted the white onions I’ve had for a month. I still want to plant garlic, but we’ll see if that gets done. Everything else in the garden has exploded recently. The broccoli, Brussels sprouts and beets look great. It would be great if we actually got some rain though. We get a couple weeks of freezing temps during the night each year, but never consecutively.

    • Spring Lake Homestead

      Forgive me for being ignorant on the matter, but do you get to have a garden all year round in Florida? I know that you were talking about cold-weather crops, but most of our stuff typically stops growing by mid October (unless it’s this year, then we still have mosquitoes in November…that’s just not right!). Is it three weeks until your due date? How are the new goats doing?

      • Rebekah

        Yep. We can garden year round here! August is generally the least productive month of the year because it’s just too hot. On the nights of freezing temps we put frost cloth over the beds. We have PVC pipe that serve as hoops and the cloth lays over that to protect the plants. This week we’ve had lows in the 40s and 50s and highs in the 70s. It has been perfect weather. And that’s pretty typical for this time of year. The hard part is that we can’t follow any of the gardening books or seed packets to know when to plant what, so local groups and the Extension office are invaluable! And yeah. We have so many mosquitoes. But we have a swamp behind our property too.
        My due date is Dec 20, but I’ll be induced on Dec 5. I’ve already been to L&D once because of regular contractions though so we’re hoping to keep him cooking as long as possible! The goats are growing like crazy. Hard to believe they’re 8 weeks already! Where has the time gone?

        • Spring Lake Homestead

          That is neat about the gardening! I want to have a greenhouse eventually, but that’s going to be awhile. I should do the “hoop house” to extend the season though…There is a guy, “David the Good” on YouTube, he used to live in Florida and has a whole gardening channel…he might have some useful stuff for you to look into as well.
          Early contractions are the worst! I’ll be praying for you that he stays in long enough 🙂 I’m excited for you!
          8 weeks went fast…hopefully they help keep you entertained through the next 3 weeks while you wait!

          • Rebekah

            I think David the Good is/was fairly local. He has a column in our North Central FL Ag Mag that the university puts out for free in our community. I’ll have to check him out on YouTube. I’ll have to do a post on our hoops when the weather gets cold. Hubby engineered it and it’s super easy for me to set up before a frost. When we first moved here we used to joke about how serious everyone took it when a frost was forecasted, but now we take it seriously too!

    • Spring Lake Homestead

      Yes, there is ALWAYS something to do. And if you think there isn’t it just means that you are forgetting something! Thanks, it’s my second attempt at doors…the first time was cabinet doors at our old house. They were okay, but definitely not permanent. These should get us through for longer than that, but I have to admit that I am nervous!

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