May Days

Well, it’s May! The time has suddenly gone from a slow crawl to the speed of the start of a race. I can only imagine that it will get much more intense in the coming weeks and months.

Once again, I’ve tried writing many times, only to end up with nothing published. I start a post, but then need to update it, only to be interrupted partway through. So, I’ll do my best to keep this brief.

First, we’re getting rid of the internet. We unplugged over the weekend, and I’m only going to be using it maybe once a week when I head into town and have access to free Wi-Fi. We’re off to a nice start…. I’m appreciating the change in pace and mentality, and I know this will push me to be more productive, which I feel is something much needed after a winter and the start of spring of being almost completely unproductive.

Though I haven’t really regained my energy up until recently, we’ve still had lots going on around here. Scott has been busy felling trees and splitting wood, and working on all kinds of other projects throughout the property. Prior to Easter, one of his brothers and a friend came over and helped put up the new pig pen. They got the bulk of it done in a day, and then wrapped up sometime not too long after.

The wood burner and some of the split wood and yet to be split wood behind the house.

I ended up putting together some pig shelters out of large pallets with the help of some of the kids. They’re simple structures, and we covered them with some of the silage tarp I bought a couple of years ago. Scott picked up some empty plastic 55 gal. drums not long ago, and Aaron and I cut them in half the long way and I turned them into feeders for the pigs off of an idea Scott had from watching some videos.

We’re hoping to get pigs in the next two weeks. Right now, we’re waiting for word from the farmer that they’re ready. But we’re nearly ready for the pigs. We still need to get a water line run out to the new pen, but we got the gates up, shelters in, feeders installed, and I tilled a portion of the pen that’s partitioned off so that we can plant some things for the pigs to root up at the end of summer.

The area for planting some crops for the pigs to forage.

With the tiller out, I ended up going over all the planting areas again, and I tilled another section that I want to get wheat planted in ASAP. I should have probably done that already, but it’s been rainy enough to make it difficult, and I didn’t decide to try growing wheat until late this winter, so the soil wasn’t prepped ahead of time. Oh well! We’ll just see how it goes. I was able to spread amendments onto all of my regular garden beds recently, and I put down more clover seed in the mowing paths.

A couple of friends have lent some of their time to helping us make a little bit of progress on the new building. The going is slow, but I’m sure one of these days they’ll be able to knock out some work a little faster. They’ve only had a couple hours here and there. But we’re thankful for any progress!

Over the weekend, I started to clean up the flower beds in the Secret Garden. I’ve got a little ways to go, but they’re looking a lot better. I’ll probably be playing around with that as I have time in the weeks between now and planting the main garden. Scott and the kids got me two new blueberry plants for Mother’s Day. They’re a little bigger than the ones I had planted, and I’m hoping they won’t get mowed down like the last ones I planted. I definitely need to stake them until they’re bigger!

The Secret Garden is in need of some cleanup. Elijah is picking up a toy from one of the weedy beds (pre weeding).

We’ve been busy in the house, too. While the guys were working on pig fencing, a friend worked with me in the house on getting a bunch of stuff cleaned and organized. We cleaned up all the canning supplies and the pantry, which was a big weight off my mind. In the last week, I finally got around to getting caught up on laundry, and the kids and I sorted everything out by size and season and got their dressers filled appropriately. We also went through all the outdoor gear and shoes, which was a major stress lifted from my shoulders.

We’re still babysitting until the end of the month, though not today as our charge has a cold. It’s been fairly easy to babysit, but it’s probably for the best that we’ll be done at the end of the month, as I’m going to need to spend more time on the gardens and taking care of animals. We’re doing our best to get back on track with everything that needs to be done around here after months of me being inactive and incapable of thinking past my pregnancy discomfort.

Everything is going well with the pregnancy. Baby is very, very active, and we finally settled on a name! I won’t divulge on here, however, not until she’s born. I’m feeling much more alert and energetic, which is such a relief after feeling so incapable of doing anything. I’m sleeping a little better, trying to focus on eating right, and I’ve begun to exercise regularly again, which is helping to restore some of my ambition. It helps to start the day off right!

There’s been a lot of other activity recently. We had Easter and Mother’s Day, a First Communion for Paul and Elijah turned 6 recently! He also lost his first tooth the other day!

Elijah missing his first tooth! The next won’t be far behind.. he’s got another one that’s pretty loose.

Other than that… Let’s see, we bought 6 ducks a couple of weeks ago. Four are Rouen, but I’m not sure what breed the other two are. We decided that if I’m able to do all the research and we can get everything prepped, we can get a milk cow next year! There’s a lot I need to figure out yet, but we have plenty of resources to help me out before then. I’m not sure if I ended up sharing, but we had a somewhat decent maple syrup turnout! That was unexpected. The sap didn’t flow for the longest time, but the last week I had taps in, we got a LOT of sap, especially from the silver maples. We came out with 2.75 gallons in the end. I probably could have kept the taps in longer, but the weather forecast kept changing, and I had expected it to get warmer sooner.

Elijah is holding one of the black ducks and Paul is holding a Rouen.

As for the change with the internet, I’m kind of hoping that I’ll get myself into a better routine, and I would like to try to get posts published once a week or at least every other week. I’ll have to prep them ahead of time so I can just do the finishing work when I need to head into town.

We are moving in the right direction with our routine. I’m waking up consistently now. I waited until we seemed like we were past the constant illnesses before I was ready to set my alarm again. The kids have had to start setting their alarms as well so they can get up and going while I’m out and about doing my morning routine. They’re getting up, getting started on their own routine and maybe even beginning bookwork before I come back inside, and we’ve been able to wrap up our workload more consistently, which is a nice way to start the day. It leaves more time for all the other work that needs to be done.

I guess that’s it in a nutshell! How’s your spring going?

Love and Blessings~Danielle

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