My Little Office Friends…


Right outside my office, I have all my bird feeders.  It’s a perfect place to sit and watch them come and go.  I just love feeding birds and watching them as well.  I suppose that is why I love chickens so much, too!  It’s good to have a camera handy as I captured a few of my common visitors.  I love this red breasted grosbeak!  He was a very frequent user of my feeding stations!

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Bluejays are some of my favorites and I usually put out a lot of peanuts for them to enjoy.  But we also have a lot of goldfinches, cardinals, sparrows and other beautiful birds.  Several woodpeckers as well and just recently, a great horned owl has made a home in our tall pines in the dog yard!  Quite the busy little aviary around here!!!  IMG_4255

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Butchering Time…


Spring of 2018 was the first large harvest of our American Guinea Hogs.  We butchered two boars, one older (4 years) and a yearling.  Remarkably, we got over 170 pounds of meat from the two after processing.  The yearling only weighed in at about 100 pounds, if I recall.  The boar was closer to 200.  American Guinea Hogs are a small breed of lard pig so the harvest was really decent, in our opinion.  We got a lot of ground sausage and chops, hams, bacon and more.


And the doggies got a bag of little scraps and bones and they were very very thrilled.

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That one was bigger than Evee’s head and she was quite the happy pup to have at it for days on end!  She ended up burying it in the dog yard for later!  Ratchet, he just got to work at his job ahead. IMG_3429

One of the first meals we made with our own pork was breaded, fried pork cutlets and they were super good.  Richer in flavor than I recall supermarket pork to be. Just a darker red meat, almost like beef. We had a friend interested in a half of the yearling and the rest we cleaned out one of our chest freezers and filled it to the brim!   We also gifted some to the girl’s dad and family.  And friends!  When you process a couple animals, it’s time to share the bounty.  I believe everyone was quite happy to receive good, decently raised pork.


Miss Evee took to protecting the meat box.  She takes her job as farm dog very seriously.

Maggie made up some fries and we had a lovely lunch the day the pork came home!


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More Basketweaving…


I made this little basket!  It’s actually the second basket I’ve ever made!  Made it from a pretty cool kit that I got online from a basket making kit company.  They are pretty famous, available on Amazon and for the life of me, I can’t remember the name of them!   It will come to me, I’m sure.

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I was pretty pleased with it!  I think I have a bit of a knack for these things!  (I can say that now because I made this last spring and have made a few more in the last year and really enjoy it!)


I even had some left over and I went and made another little basket!  I am hooked.

But you know, basket weaving is not that far away from textile weaving, same sort of principle and all.  Just a little harder material.  Hard, in as, hard to the touch, rather than fibers.

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One of the cool things that I am finding, is that basket weavings apparently like to sell off all their stuff on ebay and Facebook marketplace, cheap!  I got another bundle of materials, tools, and books for $20 on eBay…  free shipping!   My gosh, I think it cost that much to send it!   I think that it might be mom’s or grandma’s tools and such and she has passed on and the kids just can’t bear to throw it all out.


I am happy to give it a home.  Honestly, there are times that I think I was born in the wrong era.  I would have enjoyed being some housewife pioneer woman, making and doing in the wilds of Ohio or Michigan.  I like my woods and forests and gentle fields.  Big huge open prairies are a little boring to me.  I love a good burbling stream.   It’s been forever since I set foot near one, but I plan to this year, I sure hope!


But, one of the nice things about these two big hauls of basket weaving stuff, is that there has been several kits in the midst of it all.  And kits are great for learning!   And you can redo the kit a time or two with all the excess materials that are in the stash!  Like this little wound raffia rope basket that I made…  I think it came out rather nicely.  A little rough in the beginning as I learned the skill of this style, but still, it was fun to do.  I can see using other sorts of rope like materials and then perhaps some beautiful hand made yarns as the binding thread!  I have ideas, aplenty!

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It makes a lovely little mouse caddy cozy basket-thingy, don’t you think?


Well, after a couple kits, I was ready to push on to my own designs.  I really want to make beautiful natural baskets from founds materials on our homestead.  And a few things grown, like fibers and yarns from the sheep.  This basket is made from grape vine from our homestead, fibers from our sheep and dyed fabric scraps that I cut and braided.  The only thing not from here is the seagrass in the middle of the basket.  It was just too muddy and nasty to gather grasses to twist and braid!  However, don’t put it past me in the coming years!   :-)  Just really enjoy this expression of weaving and looking forward to do more this coming spring and summer…

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