It has been many years since I have added anything to these posts, but today I felt the need to write a new survival diary.
Much has changed here on the homestead, as you will learn in this post.
Things were real bleak for a while, but they are looking up and I am looking forward to new adventures that I can share with all of you.
As always, comments and questions are welcome!
I share this insight into my life with the hope that it inspires or helps someone on their path.
Death Brings Changes On The Homestead
It has been six years and four months since Jerry passed away.
Precious Angel passed away eleven months after Jerry.
I had another close friend pass away one year and one month after Jerry.
My stepdad passed away a week before Jerry.
I got married to someone I had dated when we were both twelve years old.
One of my daughters and her two children have lived here on and off as well.
Life has been pure chaos and my dream of a self-sufficient homestead faded far into the background.
Our Homestead Garden
The flower beds, vegetable gardens, fruit trees and pasture became overgrown with thistle as well as tall grass.
The large greenhouse was destroyed during a storm.
The remains, which are still there, remind me that there is cleanup to do and bring back memories of when it was overflowing with plants.
The smaller greenhouse still remains, but at the moment is not in use.
I hope to change that within the next month.
Mowers, weed eaters and other necessary equipment kept breaking down.
I truly felt overwhelmed, as if my dream of homesteading was just that – a dream.
While I continued to try to grow flowers and plant vegetables, nothing really thrived, in part due to a lack of care.
Changes To The Homestead Livestock
A year or so after Jerry’s untimely passing, some people came and took all the animals away except for the poultry.
Then the poultry disappeared – which I believe was due to a human predator stealing them as nothing remained, not even feathers.
The loss of our dearly beloved pets made it very hard for me to go into the barn or the chicken coop, so they sat vacant.
Wild animals eventually took up residence in them.
To be honest, I didn’t care because I couldn’t see life ever being the same.
As the years passed, we were given a new dog, Charlie, who seemed to understand how hurt I was and he has certainly helped heal the hurt.
Last spring I made the decision to purchase six chicks.
I ended up with five hens and one rooster, which was pure luck since I bought six chicks that were supposed to be hens!
It just goes to show you sometimes you get a surprise even when you pay more for sexed chicks!
Alternative Homestead Heating
Without the wood burner, which had gone down in 2011 due to some major reconstruction on the house, the electric bill seemed overwhelming.
However, last week that all changed!
Jeffrey was able to get the proper piping to get the wood burner installed correctly.
Then we set up the wood storage racks outside then Jeffrey began chopping and splitting wood.
Thankfully we have had trees down all over the property for well over a year, so the wood was already dead!
It is now over 80 degrees Fahrenheit in the house!
I feel so much better physically because the cold weather makes my arthritis pain flair up.
I also feel that no matter what, I have a source of heat and a way to cook regardless of the weather outside without having to rely on the grid.
We have turned off many of the electric heaters and only run a couple on 65 degrees Fahrenheit just in case the wood burner runs out of wood while we are gone.
Big Plans For The Homestead This Coming Year
I feel like life has come full circle.
Last summer some new neighbors moved in next door and they are homesteaders.
The animals they have brought onto their property as well as all the changes they are making is inspiring.
Our hens have started laying even though it is out of season.
The wood burner is keeping the house toasty warm and thus I am able to use the whole house, not just three rooms.
I’ve been going through stuff and purging.
When you have rooms that aren’t used for anything but storage it’s amazing how much you can acquire.
I’m looking forward to having my Union 36 Floor Loom and my spinning wheels set up where I can use them.
I’m also looking forward to a large garden and in a few years, dairy goats.
We have a long way to go because fence that has fallen down must be put back up.
The greenhouse must be rebuilt from the ground up.
The yard and gardens must be cleaned up.
Starting The Homesteading Journey Over Again
It’s like starting all over again, only this time with knowledge.
I know where I have been.
I know where I want to go.
I know what it will take to get there.
I hope you will join me on my journey back to self-sufficiency!