Bring on 2015!

It’s very hard to post updates when my only internet is the limited internet I get on my phone. I’m going to try to be better about it. Even if no one is reading this, it’s still nice too look back and have a record of what we’ve done.

This year has been a year of surgeries. One of my 15 year old sons tore his ACL and had to have it replaced with part of his hamstring tendon and my husband had carpal tunnel surgery in both wrists.

God is great and they are both back to full mobility. It’s the first year we’ve ever hit our family medical deductible. Yikes!

We butchered all of our rabbits this year. We also butchered a batch of meat chickens, most of our roosters, and some of our old hens. We currently have 39 chickens. Six of them are roosters. We are going to eventually end up with two roosters, but we all have different favorites, so we have been watching then to see which ones take better care of the hens.

My 15 year olds had a fun year. They took the Texas hunter’s safety course and they built a floating duck house for our house pond. I’m hoping to fill it with ducks this Spring. We bought them both Ruger 10/22s, and they have done quite a bit of hunting with their dad.

We put one feral hog in the freezer this year and we are raising two Hampshire pigs for meat for 2015. They were so small when we got them.

They are about 15 times that size now. I had to stop going in their pen, since they keep trying to bite my ankles. We named them Sausage and Bacon. They are interesting animals. I’m not sure if pigs will be a permanent part of our homestead, but I do think we will end up having them again at some point. I’m guessing that they will end up costing us about $500 by the time we butcher them. It should end up costing us less than $1 per pound of meat.

We planted a row of grape vines. They all seem to be doing well. We also planted a row of berry bushes, but none of them made it. I’m going to try again this year, but I’ll put them closer to the house so I can keep an eye on them.

The bees are doing great. We didn’t take much honey from them this year, but we still ended up with a quart for us and a quart for the animals. It’s delicious. I’ve been making “Honey Dew Drops” with it. I warm it on the stove on low heat like candy, then I make little cough drops out of them. My 5 year old had the flu two weeks ago, and he would only eat Honey Dew Drops and turkey broth (not at the same time). He’s doing much better now, but he still asks for a Honey Dew Drop every now and then.

We are currently looking for a few bottle heifers to raise. I think cattle will be in the cards for 2015. I also think we will end up getting a couple of dairy goats once the pigs are in the freezer.

There are always a ton of things to do; but no matter how busy we are, nothing about this life feels like work to me. I hope that feeling continues throughout 2015 and ever year thereafter.