Farm Update #3: February 13, 2021

I haven’t felt overly productive the past couple of weeks. I think part of it is the bitter cold snap that has spread across Central Illinois. It makes me just want to curl up and work on cross-stitch or watch a crime drama…or both at the same time like I did last night.

And you know what? That’s okay. I am trying to live by the rhythm of the seasons more and in winter it is time to take it easy and enjoy the rest. So I’m trying not to be too hard on myself. I did get a few important things done though!

Animals

Rabbits

Curly recovered from her tummy issues. But through the course of this we have discovered that she is TWO POUNDS OVERWEIGHT. This is significant considering she only weighs 5 and a half pounds. We have a long road ahead of us to help her safely shed a third of her body weight. Due to rabbits having sensitive stomachs and major issues when they don’t get enough food, restricting her diet is not an option. So my only option is to make sure she has the right nutrition with LOTS of fresh hay and leafy greens in addition to a smaller amount of pellets and increasing how much exercise she gets.

Curly is not overly amused by me. Nick says I keep fat shaming her.

Luckily, it looks like she will have an exercise partner! She and Larry got to spend time together for the first time after quarantine periods were up for both of them. Curly LOVED him. Larry tolerated her. LOL. She groomed him and followed him everywhere and he ran away from her but frankly, making her run to follow him is good for her so I will continue to give them this supervised time together. Hopefully Larry gets over himself and bonds with her. Either way I won’t be able to house them together full time for a while until I get Curly a little better sorted out with regards to her overall health.

My garage lighting is weird but here she is grooming him. So sweet!

Sam and Dumpling are still up for adoption, though Dumpling has an application! Due to the cold we won’t be able to meet his potential new family until next week but I am keeping my fingers crossed for this sweet boy. Sam has come a long way in regards to letting us handle him and he even seeks us out! He has also started escaping from his cage whenever I turn my back to get him hay. It’s funny though so I forgive him. He has a lot of energy and a lot of spunk.

And, of course, I had to put all of the rabbits through the humiliation of a Valentine’s themed photo shoot. Larry was none to pleased and looks as if he is saying “Valentine’s Day is a corporate scheme to sell cards, candy and flowers.”

Dogs

The dogs are pretty much the same. Even Liam isn’t a huge fan of this cold snap. They have spent most of their days napping.

Cats

So Rory, one of our strays, decided last week that he was tired of being an outside cat. I heard him crying out on the front porch and thought that he just wanted to be fed but when I opened the door he came right in! He is the SWEETEST cat and acclimated to our guest room very quickly. We took him to the vet to see if he had a microchip but no chip could be found. So he spent 2 days with us and then I took him to my friend Connie’s animal shelter so she can find him a great indoor home. We miss seeing him around the farm and he really was the nicest cat. Rescuing animals is so hard sometimes. You have to be able to make decisions with the best interest of the animals in mind, even if it hurts a little. I cried a little after we left Rory but I know in my heart that he is going to get the best home and that we couldn’t be that for him.

This boy will always have a special place in my heart. I’m sure he is the first of many cats that will find me on this farm to rescue them.

Farmhouse

I actually created a spreadsheet to help me stay on top of house projects including materials needed and budget/estimated cost for it as well. I think this will help Nick and I to prioritize our projects and know how much we need to have saved since we are doing everything debt-free.

I did a fun craft this week where I used black paint to transform some planters I had and turned them into a cohesive and fun collection. I love how this little section of my library looks now!

Pantry

I shared my “sketch” for the pantry in the last Farm Update. We ended up buying the shelving boards when they were on sale even though we didn’t have the rebates because we saved $24 on them. We would have spend $84 but instead only spent $60. That is really significant to the overall cost of the project. But then yesterday our mail came with a surprise – MY REBATES! $225 worth of them! I don’t even need anywhere close to that much for the rest of the pantry project so I will be able to use some of it towards my next project which I think will be painting the kitchen walls.

Hopefully I will be able to share a blog post on my finished pantry soon! We are planning on tackling it next weekend.

Kitchen Table

I am up to 3/6 chairs for my kitchen table project. This cold spell has kept me from frequenting any thrift stores, I actually found chair number 3 while cleaning out my garage.

Garage

We got the workstation built! It has been too cold to work out in the garage for too long (I’m just being a baby, the space heaters we run for the rabbits make it tolerable in there) so I haven’t cleaned it up and staged it for the after picture yet but I will share a blog post on the workstation soon!

Homestead

Chickens are ordered! We will have 10 baby chicks here Easter weekend (so fitting, right?) And as a BONUS, we will also have 2 goslings. I have done a lot of reading on having geese as guardians for your chicken flock and since the coop is back behind the barn and we have a lot of predators in the area, I like the idea of having a goose alarm to alert me when something might be messing with the flock.

Image result for cuckoo marans
This is a Cuckoo Maran – one of the 2 varieties of chicks that we got. Photo credit: Cackle Hackery

We also plan to extend our wifi out to the barn so that we can install cameras facing the flock as well. Cameras are something that I recommend as an investment for the safety of your homestead and peace of mind when you have to be away. So cool that I can check cameras from my phone. I want them installed almost everywhere!

I sorted out all of my seeds and got everything organized in containers based on type of seed and if they needed an indoor start or not. Next I am working on creating a calendar for when each type of seed needs to be started. I am going to be doing this as an excel spreadsheet and when it is all complete I will share that spreadsheet either in a farm update or in a post all it’s own!

Would you be interested in a downloadable template for a basic garden planner on Excel? Drop me a note in the comments and let me know!

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