Have you wondered where we have gone?? I can FINALLY tell you all what is going on! We have been selling livestock and stuff for the purpose of pulling up stakes and heading West, and I had to keep it all a big secret. We have been in negotiations since last summer with a network to do a t.v. show about homesteading, and we received the initial contracts about a week ago. If we can come to agreeable terms, you just might see us doing what we do, on a weekly basis! Weird. Super weird. But hopefully a great adventure!!

Stay tuned for updates as we follow the Oregon Trail!

 
 
Well, that is the aftermath of the storm last night.  Well, that is 7% of it.  Here is the story.

Last night, I was sitting down, and I looked at the window.  The blinds were shut, but through the slats I could see that the sky was yellow, and the trees were sideways.  That scared the you know what out of me.  Living in Kansas, my heart always sinks when I see this.  I wasn't expecting it, either.  The whole day was just hot, no clouds, nothing exciting.  Then it got windy.  So we went out to put the animals in in case it was going to storm.  Soon after that, we were getting 80 mph winds (literally, not kidding at all.), rotating clouds, a wall cloud, trees were breaking, and branches were falling.  I felt like I was in the beginning of Wizard of Oz... Goodness it was scary!

So, then we were RACING to get the animals in.  No one got fed besides the birds, sounds harsh, but it is better then getting killed by a branch!   At this point I was running around hysterically, trying to get the HUMANS in... It was like gathering a flock of chickens!  No way in my mind were they ever going to stay outside in that.

So we all got in the house, and it was 7:00.  Getting darker and darker.  It doesn't usually get dark until about 9:00 now so this was unusual.  You could her the wind blowing and it finally started raining a bit.  Even in the house, you could hear trees snapping into two and branches hitting the ground.  Then I would here lighting and make the TV sound go up so I couldn't really hear it...  it was pretty darn SCARY, and I am obviously not a big fan of storms.

After the whole ordeal, thank the lord, we and our animals were all safe.  I went out afterwards and fed everyone.  Everything was calm and no one was screaming in my ear.   Not even ALICE... now that is a statement!

So, here is what we were left with.


 
 
  Written by Grace

We have so far had about 10 losses here on the farm in a matter of one month.  I am so sad to say that our oldest lamb, Beady's lamb, died today.  I fed them alfalfa and he started choking.  They have all choked before - don't ask me why - so I wasn't too worried at first.  After about 5 minutes, he continued and I was at a loss of what to do.  I had no idea what to do... I mean how do you do the heimlich maneuver on a sheep?  I don't even know how to do it to a human!


It continued for 15 minutes before he went down.  My mom dragged him out of the stall and we tried hard to save him.  Tubed him, pushed on him, hung him upside down, stuck our hand down his throat, all of it. Nothing worked.  He died a hard death at about 11:49 A.M this morning.  I feel really bad for him.


So, that is just a reminder to me that I should be happy for any life that God gives me.  Even if it is to be butchered sometime in it's life, still cherish what is still here.  If you have a buck year or ram year, or just a plain boy year, don't be upset.  Love the lives that God has allowed you to have while they are still here on Earth.  I believe things happen for a reason, and this was a learning experience.  I am not happy that he is gone, no, but I loved him while he was with us.  
 
 
  Written by Grace
  
   The baby rabbits are just fantastic, and I have finally been able to get some pictures of them on my computer.  Holly is getting really annoyed when I put her up at night...  They all chase after her frantically trying to nurse, and she runs away and contemplates the idea of staying there for her babies.  Yeah, she contemplates for like 2 seconds and then runs off.  What a nice mama bunny.  I know they are being fed though,  because they haven't died.  It's an easy way of knowing.  

  Also, in case you are wondering, we are not going to be eating rabbit anytime soon.  No eating little fluffballs for me!  :)  Anyway, without further ado, here are the pictures.
Also, this post is a day late, so really, it is day 20 for these babies.  Just figured I would add that.  

Thanks for reading!  
 
 
I haven't yet explored this link much, but thought I would pass it on to our readers.  If the apps and forms really function nicely, they are worth the price!  ;)

http://www.homesteadapps.com/app/
 
 
 
 
The 6 rabbits are all doing fantastic!  They have kept themselves warm and comfy for the last 8 days and they are getting cuter everyday!  They are still in that sleep all day stage but will be hopping and fluffy in a week or two.  I did find out that I have a broken Chestnut Agouti instead of a broken Silver-tipped which I had guessed in the first place.  I think the pure black might turn into a Chestnut Agouti too but in the meanwhile he is still pretty dark.  Really hoping I have a white female in this litter, either that or the Broken Chinchilla will be a doe.  Those are the only ones I would consider keeping.  Well, I am using someone else's Wi-Fi at the moment and have company so that is all for now!  

Grace
 
 
Picture
Photo Courtesy Charley's Greenhouse


To reduce costs, many people build their own greenhouses.  That way, you can get exactly what you want.  But what if you really don't have the time, or the ability, to build your own?

From Mother Earth News, an article about all the finer points of choosing a greenhouse kit.



People who love gardens also love greenhouses. The best backyard greenhouses 
feed the need to dirty our fingers while the rest of the garden is dormant. Even 
a small greenhouse can provide effective season extension by jump-starting 
seedlings in spring. When managed properly, a greenhouse is a backyard oasis 
that yields fresh food year-round.


If a lack of construction skills is keeping you from building a greenhouse, 
consider a kit. The best greenhouse kit is one that fits your needs and your 
pocketbook. Kits are easier than building from scratch and don’t require as much 
building experience (although it certainly helps to have a DIY attitude when
you  set out to build your own greenhouse, even from a kit).

Shopping for Your Best Greenhouse Kit

Local Regulations. Start by researching required permits, 
zoning, setbacks, underground utilities and other requirements for your area. 
Some localities demand a certain type of foundation. A greenhouse attached to 
your home will likely face more stringent requirements than a free-standing 
greenhouse. In some places, greenhouses are regulated under a “storage shed” 
designation. Consider size carefully, as you may be able to avoid many 
regulations by simply settling for a small greenhouse.


Site. Your greenhouse site must have adequate light — six 
hours of uninterrupted sun on a clear day. You may have to trim or remove a tree 
to create more light for your chosen location. Also, consider access to water. 
Is there a nearby hose bib to provide water, even in winter? Some gardeners add 
gutters and an interior rain barrel to their backyard greenhouses for a winter 
water source. Electricity can power heating, lighting and ventilation, so keep 
an accessible power source in mind, too.

Vendors. Check companies carefully — even a small greenhouse 
is a big investment, and you should feel comfortable with the supplier. Don’t
be  afraid to ask questions, such as:


• How long has the company been in business?
• How many kits has it sold?  
• Does it manufacture the kits or simply resell them?
• How extensive is  the warranty?
• What technical help can the company provide?
• How is  the greenhouse shipped and packaged?
• What is the cost of shipping?



You might add other questions to this list. If you have minimal building 
experience, read a copy of the kit’s manual beforehand to make sure it’s 
understandable to you. If you’ll be building the kit on weekends, ask whether 
someone from the company will be available to answer questions on Saturdays and 
Sundays. You may want to see demonstration photos or videos of the kit’s 
construction before committing to buy. Tech support may be limited if greenhouse 
kits are not the company’s specialty but just one of many products it
sells.



Read more:
http://www.motherearthnews.com/diy/best-greenhouse-kit-zm0z13amzmar.aspx#ixzz2SFLa2VZh



 
 
This is a story I came across months ago, and saved because it is so sweet.  I love this blog.


http://coldantlerfarm.blogspot.com/2012/12/the-christmas-calf.html#links



I got a call from Brett this morning. He was out doing chores, checking on the
horses, when he found a brand new Highlander Bull Calf laying wet in the snow.
The heifer he recently bought was pregnant, he knew that, but he was told she
was due in the spring…

He saw that the calf needed help. The mother wasn't being very attentive and
he didn't want to lose him. He brought the little guy inside, cleaned him up,
and jumped in the truck to get some emergency
calf nutrition at Tractor Supply. If the bull calf pulls through, he will be a
bottle calf. A bottle calf can not be left alone while the farmer goes off to
have fun kicking his heals up with horses and friends...

So here's where the story gets interesting. Brett is still coming for Christmas. He's just
going to bring the calf with him if the little guy pulls through. Being a
newborn and on a strict bottle schedule we'll just set up a spot for him in the
house. I have gates and a tarp. My floors are linoleum and I have a shovel. So
this year there will most likely be a highlander calf in the house with us,
drinking from a 2-liter bottle and mooing right under the lit up tree…


Go to her website to read the follow up comments...Cold Antler Farm
 
 
Pallet stanchion; finished it today and already trimmed some hooves with it.