Day 147…. no Internet…

Hi folks!   This is perhaps one of the longest posts I’ve made without photos!  Haha…  But I’ve been writing on the laptop and just got a chance to upload this here at the local Burger King.  Sigh…  still no sat modem…  I am hoping that MAYBE it will be waiting for me when I get back from my errands day!!!   In the meanwhile… enjoy this fun ramblings of a woman who is very bored and missing her internet fix!  haha…)


Day Six…


I wish I had considered writing this little journal when we first lost our internet connection, here at the farm.  It’s been six days now and it’s been a bit of a weird journey for certain.  I don’t like to think that we are addicted to something, but the internet seems more than just an enetertainment or casual diversion for us, it’s our livelyhood and our source of contact for the “real world”.  We don’t have cable tv or really, any commercial or public broadcast tv here.  We’ve tried those digital boxes and even have an old fashioned big tall antenna outside, but nothing seems to work.  It’s always so fractured and has to constantly reload it’s imagry that it’s just too annoying to watch.  Cable TV is not available here yet, but we watch the Frontier trucks roll up and down our main road with a smile in our hearts…  it’s coming.  soon.  We have seen the big trucks parked on the side of the road and the those wonderful little trailers that are hauling big reels of wire and such.  Soon.  Very soon.


So the internet has become our means of connection with the rapid lifestyle of the modern world.  We use ours for our businesses that we run and we use it for information.  We stay in touch with friends through email and Facebook, and we amuse ourselves with things like Pinterest and YouTube, althought watching videos is strickly an after hours event around here. We have a measured service and from 2 am to 7 am, we get free access to all those fancy things like download sites and videos!  I hate to say it, but the children have occasionally gone to bed early and set their alarms to wake up and access some of their favorite videos and other sites during the free time!  I find myself awake early in the morning at times, just not that tired and not ready to get up and face the day, so if it’s before 7 am, you might catch me watching a video on weaving or sheep or hey, even funny cats or tv episodes on  When in Rome, you learn to do as the Romans do…


Now that it is gone, and we must bundle up in the car, leave our warm house and go out begging for a connection, it’s a strange feeling here in the house.  We keep finding instances that we need the darn thing.  Making cookies?  Oh, I had pinned a recipe I wanted to try… oh.  No go.  Need to add minutes to the phones?  Oh, just go online and access my account… oh…  yeah.  no.  Check the orders of the day?  No.  See if anyone responded to our ad on Craigslist about bunnies for sale?  Nope.  Send holiday wishes to friends on Facebook?  Sorry.  Sigh….   whatever did we do back in the 80’s and 90’s???   We had one of those weird conversations this afternoon, Jessy and I.  I had to admit that when I was a young married woman, my hubby sent me a DVD player from the orient, where his naval ship was touring.  And I have to say, I believe we were the first people I knew that had one.  Friends came over to see the dang thing.  We all stood there and marveled at the little sleek moving tray and then the little cd disc that played movies.  Nevermind that I only had one DVD and I can’t for the life of me remember what it was, I was on the cutting edge of home entertainment technology and it was good.  Mind you, this was like 1985????   1986?  Crazy.


I remember when cable first started to make it’s rounds when I was in high school.  I remember sitting for hours and hours and hours watching MTV like it was some sort of teenage crack.  We got it when I was in eleventh grade or so…  just before my senior year.  Not that much younger than my daughters now.  Weird.  Don’t get me started on our first microwave oven!  Haha…. I remember that too, my step dad brought home this HUGE thing that didn’t have a turntable in it, and had a clicking timer and on and off, that was it.  It made the worse food imaginable, yet, it was amazing.  We quickly bought one of those little wind up turntable for the inside and that helped, some.


Maggie just got a new Mac computer for Christmas and Jessy got one of the new Ipod Touches.  Like 5th generation or something.   She talks loveningly about her first generation ipod Touch like it’s from the dark ages.   Yeah, like 2001.  Amazing.  Maggie’s computer runs circles around my good old machine, that is only 5 years old.  It’s just amazing how quickly technology is changing and flowing like some river that we’ve removed every rock and boulder from and is racing to the end like a run away steam engine.  Oh.  No, wait, a disiel engine.  Steam is like so, so, 1950s or 1940’s…


So, how have we fared???  Well, it’s been okay, primarily because we’ve gotten our little bit of a fix here and there.  Have laptop, will find WiFi…   And yes, I have sat in the parking lot of McDonalds, checking my email and noshing on some chicken nuggets.  Not sure why I didn’t go inside, but somehow it felt a little more daring, more dangerous, sitting in the parking lot.  Guess I need to get out more.


And our wonderful neighbors have been so accomodating, letting us come over and park it on the couch to get our surfing fill.  Or at least top off the tank a bit.  But that feels a little, well, weird.  You hate to just go over to visit and sit there glued to the technoligy teat, absorbed in your own desire to nourish your net need.  And you have to sort of plan that, it’s not so easy to just go to the computer and check the weather for the next few hours when a winter storm is barreling down on you.  You have to get the laptop, call and make sure they are home, bundle up, get in the car, go visit, check, hang out some, visit, and come home.  Certainly doable, but hey, just a little more involved!


Thank goodness, the holidays are mixed in here and that has helped.  And getting ready for the holidays, that was a time filler, too.   I managed to get a flu and that sidelined me for a couple days of throwing up and long naps.  Still, it would have been nice to sip my hot broth and look at Pinterest crafts you know.   And farm chores and errands, they eat up a bit of time too.  Still, I am finding myself with some mighty big blocks of time that I’m just not sure what to do with.  It’s a weird transition.  When you are busy, you dream about the things you will do when you are not.  Yet when the time comes and smacks you in the face, it’s hard to accept that you have the time to sit and weave for 5 hours if you wanted.  Or watch a old movie on DVD.  FInish that book you started.  It’s taken me a few days to realize that I have time to fill now.  You can only nap so much before you start feeling like you might grow a little moss if you keep it up.  Feeling puny is half the battle and I will admit, I’m FINALLY learning that if I want to get over this blasted walking pneumonia, I need to just SLOW down and stop overdoing it.  Rest, read, nap, heal.  A hard thing for me, I love being active and doing things!  But I must.  So I am.  Still…  just a little at odds to how to stay motivated and busy!


Today, my big accomplishment was getting hay and taking care of animals when my kids were gone.  Visiting their Dad.  Seeing their grandparents.  I had to go out in near blizzard conditions and get some hay from the feed store, go to the bank, stop at the grocery for a few odds and ends and get kerosene for the heaters.  And then come home, unload the car, and take out a few flakes to the hoof stock and check all the chickens.  And wander about for a half hour looking for my goats, which had gone missing!  I couldn’t find the little dears anywhere and I was nearly in a panic until I saw a little movement under this old truck cap that a friend gave us and we were thinking of using as  alittle sun shelter in the big pasture!  My goaties were sitting in and underneath it, out of the cold blizzard snow and winds!  Smart little guys!  The sheep are way too big to get under there, but not Rana and Refaka!  Later, Maggie and Jessy lured them out to the sheep barn to spend the afternoon and evening with the whole flock.  Much more body heat in there with the pony and 7 sheep!


Still, after all that, I was exhausted and came in for a little nap.  After that, the girls came home and we tackled some more outside chores, including fixing some of the heavy plastic sheeting in the screen porch that had blown free and getting more hay out to the gang from the car.  Jessy also layered a bunch of hay in the bunnie’s cages to help give them a little more insulation.  We had a late lunch and then after some visiting, we all took another nap!  (Do you see a theme here? No internet seems to mean catch up on your sleep!)  And then, I watched a DVD on the laptop in my room and put away clean clothes and cleaned out my nightstand drawers.   Yep, if this keeps up much longer, I suspect most of the house will be very tidy and we will all be very wide eyed and totally caught up on naps!


Well, it’s getting late and I better get to bed.  Hopefully the new modem MIGHT be here tomorrow.  We’ll see.  I have a banjo lesson to teach in the afternoon and we have dishes to catch up on in the kitchen.  We are going to be sealing up a little bit more in the sheep barn to keep in the heat and we’re making some effort to move the bunnies from the screen porch into the mud room where it’s a good 15 to 20 degrees warmer.  Got a big rooster brining tonight and going in the crock pot tomorrow for dinner.  I thought I might bake something, maybe some cinnamon rolls or something.  Hoping to get some more rag strips cut up so I can get back to weaving!  That is the plan at the moment.  We’ll see how it meets the day!




Day Eight…


Still no modem.  Why am I surprised? has been the biggest dissapointment to moving out here.  I believed their smiling brochure families with happy internet connections and signed up for the two year contract.  We are so excited that we will be free from their terriable service in just a month and a half.  We will do a major happy dance on the day that we can get rid of their equipment and search out another supplier.  Our neighbors have very relaiable service and it’s almost half the cost.  We were bamboozled and we have paid the price tenfold in bad service, frequent outages and the dreaded… measured service.


How are we faring?  Well, tolerably so.  it’s been a bit of a challenge, however.  We went to town to deposit a couple Christmas gift checks that the girls got and found that our checking card would not work at the atm.  It said it was canceled.  What?  Go back to the bank and find out that on the day after Christmas, someone got ahold of the card number and began signing up for all sorts of weird online things, all over the world.  Thank goodness the bank flagged the activity as unusual, and then canceled the card when they figured it out.  We would have seen it, if we had internet at the house…  because we watch our online accounts very very carefully.  Just another annoying situation without our home internet service.  I spent an hour on the phone going through the charges and reversals and making sure all was good.  Sometimes I think, wouldn’t the world be a better place if spammers and identify theives would just use their special gifts to make something good instead of stealing from people and making a mess for everything.  They are obviously talented…  why not use that to create the next best online game or something and make honest money?  Ah, the lure of free cash…   it’s a shame.


We are in this weird sort of mode.   If this had happened in the spring or summer, I think we would have hardly noticed the inconvience.  But during winter, when there is not as much to do outside and it’s blustery cold…  we’re stuck inside and just feeling off kilter.  Still napping, probably too much.  Maggie woke up last night, sick, with the flu bug that sidelined me a few days ago.  Spent most of the early morning up with her, helping her through the worse of it, and finally getting her asleep on the couch, with her bucket and a wee bit of clear soda in her tummy so that she might have something else to toss if need be.  I fell back asleep and didn’t wait up until two in the afternoon!  When I got up, Jessy was helping her sister, making her a little chicken broth and getting her some more pillows.  I love how we all take good care of each other, and know that when one is down for the count, we can still take care of everything.  However, I soon learned that poor Jessy had been up since 10 or so, just wandering about, nothing really to do and waiting for us to wake up and join her in her boredom!  She had already done her chores and read some, watched a bit of video and then was just sitting there, waiting for us to get up.  It’s almost like we are in some sort of weird holding pattern.  Between sickness and weird schedules, the cold, the lack of work and the lack of amuzing diversion, we have a killer combination for not much fun.


I spent the rest of the afternoon on the phone with the bank, with our credit card processing company and then trying to tackle the issue of our propane tank and it’s missing data tag. We still have not been able to find anyone to fill the thing and we just haven’t had the cash to go out and buy another.   It’s been one annoying situation with many calls and no one having a clue what to do.  I spent nearly an hour on the phone with the county and finally they concluded that no one in the county knew anything about it.  Then I started calling the gas companies and finally one lady leaked to me that it was an industry standard never to fill a tank without a data tag because it was probably stolen.  Stolen.  This 500 gallon gigantic tank in my yard.  I stole it.  Oh, it’s been like a bad Green Acres episode, my friends.  I have a few more calls to make on Monday to a tank refurbisher and a recycling place that sells tanks and may consider scrapping our perfectly functioning, data-tagless tank for a lesser, tagged tank and it will probably involve money exchange as well.  I’d consider, at this point, just renting a tank, but so far two of the companies tell me they don’t have anymore rental tanks and won’t until spring.  Spring?  Like, what, when the river thaws and they can get the ox carts up the canal?  Where is it that I live again?  You mean they can’t just call whomever and have a tank delivered in a week or something?  And then she tells me they have a waiting list?  Huh?  Just such a weird thing.  They have waiting customers, and can’t arrange for tanks, which is the WHOLE of their livelyhood really, filling up tanks with gas, until some time in the spring.  Just weird.  You would think we lived in the highlands of the low country miles and miles from any civilization.  Never mind that we are about 20 or 30 miles from 5 different large cities.  it’s a whole new world out here, folks.


Oh, my gosh… I sound like I am complaining and I’m not.  I’m just a little frustrated at the snail’s pace of progress.  This December, this month, has been perhaps the most frustrating and difficult month here at the homestead.  With crazy holiday sales and then sickness lingering for weeks, bank account issues and then this internet thing and the gas tank fiasco, I can not wait for January and a nice new crisp clean slate of possibilities.  Oh, how I would like to just go into hibernation mode and wake up with the first little waft of springtime in my nose and a good yoga pose stretch called Awakening Human!  I don’t think I would miss the last months of winter one bit.


Sure, it’s nice now, that we finally have some snow covering up all the farm mud and muck.  These unseasonably warm days in November and December have made a quagmire of our farm yard and our dear animals.  It’s not like you can get the hose our and wash off the pony in the cold, he’d freeze and catch his death of a cold.  So we brush some, filling the crisp air with clouds of dried mud and an annoyed pony at the futility of it.  I think he wears his mud as a sort of badge of courage since after a hour of brushing, he’ll go out and roll in the nearest patch of sun warmed mud he can find.  I finally gave up.  Maybe it’s helping to keep him warm.  Maybe he thinks he’s wild.  The sheep look just as forlorn and orphaned.  I try to pick burrs and clumps of mud from their lovely wool, but it’s a loosing battle.  I guess I shouldn’t worry.  I’ve seen their wool in the spring and it’s fine.  A few good rainstorms and some sunny spring mornings in the fresh grass and they will look good as new and ready for shearing.  Winter on the farm is just, well, not so pretty.  Thank goodness for the lovely covering of snow.  It does make things look a little better.  Out of sight, out of mind.


I know many folks keep up on projects in the cold, but we’re just not good at it.  We’ve tried, but in the end, you just find that the cold is kicking your butt in so many ways, it’s just not worth the extra effort.  The ground is frozen, so it’s hard to put in fence stakes or dig for posts.  It’s muddy, uneven, and just unpleasant for the most part.  So you end up just patching things, waiting for spring.  When the propane tanks arrive.  And robins.  It doesn’t mean that you don’t dream and plan…  in fact it seems to be the task of the day, this rearranging and thinking and plotting and planning for that first few days of good weather.   Hoping it might be early March, or maybe even a warm up in February!  You never know.  Can’t count on it lasting, but a few good days of warm temps in the high 50’s and you can get a project or two started.  Until then, it’s sit and think and ruminate over each thing like it’s a Congressional highway.  I believe I have laid out my spring garden 150 different ways in my head so far!!!


With being all sickly and puny the last couple weeks, we just haven’t felt like starting big projects inside.  Just hasn’t felt right.  I know the place could use a good deep cleaning, but we keep bringing in so much dirt and mud from the outside, it feels like a never ending battle to sweep and mop the back of the house.  We’ve started to do some cleaning for the new year, going through dresser drawers and closets for Goodwill contributions.  I’ve been working in the studio a lot more, learning to weave and all, so I have been trying to get it all in a nice work flow.  Supplies, equipment and all in it’s place and making sense to the work flow.  We’ve tried to have a major task a day, and so far, it’s working, somewhat.  Been working mostly on the bunnies, as they got a little neglected during our busy sales start of the month.  Mostly in the grooming department.  Angora bunnies need a good brushing twice a week to keep their lovely hair from tangling and matting.  So we’ve been catching up on that, doing a little clipping and grooming extras to make up.  And it’s fun to let the bunnies run around the house when they are done with their beauty salon visit!  They are such sweet little critters, very gentle in nature, but once they get free run of the living room, watch out!  They run and hop and just have a great time in the nice warm house.  It would be swell to have a big room just for their play area, but we don’t, so they must frolic when they get their hair done once or twice a week.


We’re planning, in the spring, to create a nice new space for our rabbitry.  We have this good sized shed right behind the garage, close to the house, that would be a wonderful space for the rabbits most of the year.  We could hang their cages from the rafters and make it much easier to just shovel up the bunny compost gold now and then to spread around our gardens.  Our system right now is a series of big trays and such, which works, but is a lot of work.  Hard to manage really.   We’ve done a lot of reading and just gained the practical knowledge of what NOT to do with our day to day care that it’s something we are looking forward to.  We’d also like to build a little grooming station, perhaps in the shed, perhaps on wheels so we can scoot it out into the courtyard sunshine when we want.  Something that we can keep all their supplies handy and designed for easy bunny grooming.  I saw a station where they had a little turntable covered in scrap carpeting, so that the bunnies would feel secure, yet you could turn and twirl them to make their hairdoos magnificent!  That would be so neat!  And easy enough to accomplish.   I’m thinking that a nice little garage sale nightstand and a couple little caster wheels and we would be in business.  Maybe a litlte handle on the side, and the built up grooming turntable on the top.


That is what you do in the winter, you plot and plan and try to make things easier around the joint.  We have come to find that we have another big issue out in the back.  Lack of free flowing winter water.  We depend on our pump right behind the screen porch for all our critter water.  It fills the big water trough, and then we tote water back to the various animal pens.  We do have another facet out back, but it’s kind of buried in our ram Gideon’s shack.  And the hose freezes so it’s kind of useless.  Toting water in the cold is just about the worse chore we have.  Your hands get cold and wet no matter what kind of gloves you wear, it seems. You get water on your pant legs.  It’s heavy to tote gallon after gallon out there.  The pump behind the screen porch eventually freezes up and then you have to get buckets of water from the kitchen.  Ugh.  There’s not a whole lot we can do this winter but you can bet me a dollar, we will have some better system in place for next winter.


But the problem is, what?  It’s expensive to run new pipe lines here and there, so that is probably out of the question.  I know we are going to be moving Gideon to new digs eventually, so that whole issue of how to get to his water outlet without moving him and all, will be resolved.  I think we need to find a way to keep the main pump warmed.  I think we might need to build a little insulated pump jacket around the pipe that comes up out of the ground.  Maybe even get one of those electric warming tape jackets.  We can wait to use it when we see the first true cold temps and see if that helps.   But also, I’m considering creating some large 55 gallon storage barrels out in the back.  If we could get that in place, it would be a lot easier than toting water all the time.  If we had a warmed up pump line, we could always fill up the barrels with a long hose on a sunshiny day, even in the cold.  Just have to figure out how to keep the barrels warm so they don’t freeze up.  A water barrel in each of the main barns would help us to keep the chickens all watered.  They go through about 3 to 5 gallons of water a day.  So 50 gallons would keep them about 10 or 12 days.  That would be a huge help on cold days!!!  No more lugging 5 gallon buckets of sloppy water every day!  Heck, if we can keep one barrel filled and flowing, how about two or three!  Barrels are pretty cheap around here, usually under $8 bucks a barrel.  Three barrels in each barn would give us nearly a month of water!  And we could always move them outside in the warmer months to act as rain barrels!!!  A wonderful win win situation, if you ask me.  Just need to figure out how to keep them from freezing…  and without electricity if possible.


That’s the way we go around here.  Finding problems and fixing them.  Making them easier and more enjoyable.  We’re not some huge working farm with lots of money and workers that we can let annoying time wasters cloud our enjoyment of the tasks.  So we try to identify the things that are cumbersome and quirky, things that just don’t seem to work right, and then we try and fix them.  Might not always work out well the first fix or two, but eventaully, we get it better.  We’ve finally worked out a good way to store and feed our hay, and that is now fun.  Grabbing a couple flakes of hay and bringing them to the flock is fun.  Easy.  And not too wasteful.  (I’m beginning to find that with a flock of 10 now, hay will be wasted.  It’s just a given.  Even if you hand fed them each and every one, there would be waste.  The ewes especially are messy feeders.  They will grab a mouthful of hay and drop half of it on the ground as they chew away.  They paw at it for the best bits.  They are just messy eaters.)  Thankfully, our hay waste is pretty low, so I’m happy.  Our new feeder is working out fine.  The only adjustment I might make is to add a little roof panel on the top to keep it clean of snow and sleet.  Once the hay gets too wet, they don’t like it as much.  A freak squall will ruin a half a bale in no time.  A little roof will help keep most of it dryer.  Just another adjustment to be made.


Well, time to sign off and get back to bed for a while.  It’s 5:30 in the morning and just too dark and too cold in the house to really get up and do anything.  I woke about 4 am, wide awake and wishing I could do a little surfing, maybe read my email, check out Facebook and Pinterest with a cup of hot tea.  Sigh…  soon.  soooooon!  Instead, a bit of writing, thinking and commentary.  I’d like to go and do some weaving, but it’s a little too noisy for this early in the morning.  The clank and noises wake up the girls and it’s just a little early for them.  Besides, what would we do?  Might as well get a couple hours more sleep in, and be up later on with the sun.  I hope there is a good sunny day in store for us.  That would be nice.



Day 11


Just typing a double digit number of days without this service we are paying for, annoys me greatly.  It’s now the new year.  January 1st and still, not fancy satelite modem.  I know the holidays and weekend have been in the mix but you would think that they would have a stash of these things here and there and shipping one out would not take very long.  But, alas, this is why I can not recommend this company to anyone.  And, why we can not wait for March and the end of our contract.  We actually got this brochure in the mail today from them, talking about how they serve their customers so well and the wonderful advancement that are coming… of course, with a new 2 year agreement and additional charges and signup fees.  I would rather shoot myself in the foot that to give them second chance… wait… second chance?  They are on their fifth or sixth chance with us.  No more!


Well, Jessy has the flu now, and we spent the evening helping her through the unpleasant task of being very sick for a few hours and then finally, getting her in bed for a long rest.  She’ll probably feel better in a day or so.  We were thinking of going to see the Hobbit movie but I think she won’t be up for that.  We’ll have to see how the day goes.  My can of disenfectant has been seeing overtime this month, as well as the fact that I believe we have consumed more chicken soup than humanly possible for a whole month.  Thank goodness I finally seem to be rid of my hacking cough and puny disposition, but I am wary of another round of flu!!!  I’ve had it twice and the girls each, once.  I hope this means we have FINALLY built up some immunity to the season’s round of illness!  It’s been years since we’ve been this sick!  I hope we can get over this soon.


This afternoon, as we sat at the local McDonalds (15 miles away), we downloaded orders, checked email and caught up on a bit of the Facebook activity, we sat and imagined the lovely joy that our UPS might bring us while we were in town.  We could picture the box and the twinkle in his eye as he handed that thing over and we smiled and laughed and hooked it up….  but it was for naught.  No box.  No UPS truck.  Rats.


So, we came home and took a nap.  Hahaha…. our new routine.  Jessy was starting to feel a little puny, just a little green around the gills, so I thought a nap might help.  Maggie is feeling much better and spent a little time outside making sure everyone was fed and watered before coming in to play with her computer a bit.  We had put a couple pork steaks in the oven to slow roast and then made some noodles with Alfredo sauce and some sweet corn from the freezer for dinner.  I thought about weaving but it was pretty cold in the studio and I just didn’t want to waste the kerosene heating up that room in the evening.  So I sat with the dogs and rewatched Comanche Moon on DVD and crocheted.  A nice enough evening, everyone keeping toasty and just relaxing.  Until around eight or so when Jessy finally got sick.  That kind of robbed the evening of it’s lovely Little House feeling.  Poor kid.  Once she was done and resting, it was pretty late so we all hit the sack.


And so, here it is 3:30 in the morning, and I am wide awake because of all the excess sleeping we’ve been doing!  Goodness…   Oh well, I guess that is what happens in a house where everyone keeps getting sick.  I’m kind of glad that the ax finally fell and now Jessy is hopefully done and finished, having gotten the flu finally.  If we can just through a good week or ten days without a new volunteer virus or bug, I will be a super happy camper!  I need to get us some more citrus fruits, I believe we have scurvy!!!  Just kidding, but I think a good extra dose of vitimin C can not hurt at this point!  Aside from just an occasional bit of coughing or a rumble here and there, I think I’m just about over my maladies!  I am so ready for January, it hurts!!!


Been thinking a lot about the new year.  Can’t wait for the spring, of course, but I suspected we have at least another 60 to 70 days of the cold stuff to endure.  In northern Ohio, things start to look a little better with the start of March.  Sometimes we can have some pretty decent weather, right away in that lovely month.  Of course, I remember a doozy of an ice storm on March 28th, as well, so there’s always a chance of a bit longer of a wait.   However, usually by the second or third week, you know that spring is giving it a good fight to get out and on the land.  60 days.  Enough time to get our house in order inside, get some computer work, websites and all, done, and get a good run of crafts and other fun things underway.  We’ve been working on some various products that we’d like to offer on our farm website, which is slowly coming together.  Maggie has several wonderful wooden creations as well as my rag rugs, soaps and candles, and these fun feed bag grocery toting sacks that folks really seem to like.  We gave the girl’s grandparents one of the colorful chicken feed sacks and I think Grandma liked it the best of our gifts!  She even took a picture of her toting it and sent it to an aunt and the aunt wants one now, too!  We may have to get her on the sales roll as a distributor!


Jessy is working on developing a fun card game about rocks and minerals for children and we’ve had a good time play testing it.  I’ll be designing the graphics for the cards and maybe by spring, we’ll have that ready for kids all over the place!  Fun to work on new ideas and products that help us to keep our little dream homestead going.  I’ve made 3 rugs now that are on the loom roll and am working on the 4th.  My first one was beautiful, black, white and gray soft flannel with a shot of purple!  It’s really pretty.  I might have to keep it!  (gg)  The second is pretty, in various shades of blue sheeting.  The third is a ragged edge jean strip rug that was hard to make, but looks cool!  This fourth rug is a request from a friend and done in three shades of blue, teal and light lavender.  I’m not sure how many rugs I will get on this warping, as it looks like there is still a good deal more warp left on the take up reel in back.  I know that I tried to get 40 cranks on each section, which my book says should equal 20 yards of warp.  Since each rug seems to be about a yard, or yard and a half with fringe and space between them, I am hoping to get at least 8 or 10 good rugs on there.  It will be really exciting to cut it all loose and see how they are finished!  I love experimenting with the various  fabrics that I have gathered up this month.  It’s so relaxing and neat to weave.  I am really enjoying it.  The prep work before?  Well, that is not as much fun, but still, knowing that once I’m done with the cutting and strips, I’ll be rewarded with weaving time, seems to make it a little easier to bare.


I actually took a little time and whipped up two skirts for myself!  Now, this was quite the bit of weirdness for me, since I’ve been a jeans sorts of gal for years and years.  But to be honest, I kind of get tired of wearing jeans all the time.  They are not always that comfortable, and I always seem to find it hard to find good fitting jeans.  With my weight loss of the last 2 years, I’m just all sort of weird.  My legs are getting more skinny, but my waist is still a bit big, so jeans are tight and baggy at the same time.  I’ve tried altering a few old pairs and that helps but still, they are just somewhat annoying.


So I was watching a delightful home grown video series on homesteading that we got over the holidays and in it, this mother shows how to make an easy skirt.  Well, it was so easy that I whipped one up in about a half hour!  I had some really nice soft flannel material and I thought, wouldn’t that be nice, a sort of lounging, pajamma sort of skirt that would be comfy with an old t shirt and slipper around the house.  Well, that thing is so dang comfortable, I believe I’ve lived in it for the last three days!  The girls have been sceptikal, yet, watching me with a wee bit of envy at how nice it was to cuddle up on the couch and feel a little more free and relaxed.  Maggie finally admitted that she wouldn’t mind a jammy skirt.  I’ve got a bit more of the flannel left so I will make her one too.  Jessy is a hold out as she has several of those soft lounging pants that she adores.  That’s fine!


I went and made another skirt out of a nice soft thin woolen plaid that I had and it’s super nice as well!  I’m not sure if I’m ready to be wandering the yard or going on errands in my lovely skirts yet and I’m not really sure why I’m not, but that’s okay.  Around the house, they are just super comfortable!  And warm.  I was very surprised when I let out the dogs and I’m out on the screen porch, how warm they are.  Hmmm….. could there be something to this?  Dressing like a woman?  Imagine that.  Haha….


I thought it was funny, to read on a blog a while back, why a young woman homesteader was wearing skirts and using aprons and such.  At first, I thought, how backwards and weird.  But then I read a story she had posted about how she was in a college class and the professor came in, a man, wearing a dress and high heels, the whole nine yards.  She was appalled, her good old middlewestern upbringing was shocked and she felt that this was wrong.  But then, the professor called her out and said, why is it okay for YOU to dress like a man, but I can not dress like a woman?   Of course, she had written a good deal more, but yet, as I thought about that, I thought, it is rather well, rude that we do have such standards of dress.  Now, I am not saying we need to go back to those dress and glove days of the 60’s or the hoop shirts and shawls of the turn of the century, but I do feel at times, it is hard to dress in a feminine manner when you are in tshirts and jeans and muck boots and hoodies.  A few years ago, I made myself a couple aprons to wear around the house and I love them.  When I have a lot of cleaning to do, or baking, canning or other messy work, those aprons are awesome!  And the girls and I often wear head bandanas while we work outside, not for some religious meaning but because we don’t want ticks in our hair!!!  Yes, ticks fall from trees and such and after we found a few here and there in our HAIR…  well, a hat or bandana are much more comfortable to wear and not have to worry about those little dudes!!!


So, I guess if you stop by the homestead unexpected, you might just catch me in a skirt!!!  Don’t worry, I’m not quite ready to ditch the internet and electricity nor am I talented enough to wrap my hair in a bun.  I admire the Amish, but I know that I’m much too worldly to consider dressing and acting too much like them.  Although, I would love a good horse and buggy!  Some day, I’ll get Cody a little cart and go visiting with him, just wait and see!  That’s definately a goal for the spring!  I’m saving for a pony cart!!!


Isn’t it a little funny that I feel the need to explain myself for wearing a skirt?  Weird.  I will admit.  I guess it’s because most of the ladies I know that don’t wear pants and only opt for skirts and dresses are ultra conservative Christians, and though I am a Christian, it’s hardly for that reason that I made up a couple.  Just pure comfort.  Nothing more.  But when you start adding these things up…  the homestead, chickens, livestock, canning, crafts, working at home, gardening, self sufficiency…  all the sudden you are starting to sound like the Amish people.  I would do away with electric lights and such in a heartbeat for the lovely glow of oil lamps and candles.  But I’m not ready to give up on my refrigerator, or the furnace and most of all, the internet and computers.  I guess that is what I love the most about this homesteading movement.  You don’t have to!  It’s not all or nothing.  You can make cheese, and butter and grow your own food and brew beer and wine and still have a super fast cable modem to connect you with your other homesteading pals.   You can pick and choose the parts that you like and adapt them to your way of life!   Love beekeeping and solar panels?  Great!  Canning and sewing with your cable tv?  Wonderful!  You don’t have to pack up a Conestoga wagon and leave everything you hold dear behind and journey to the other side of the world to eek out a meager life in the rugged backwoods anymore.  You can effectively homestead in a downtown urban setting with some hens, a garden and a will to do more for you and your family by hand.  Home grown.


And by golly, if you wanna wear a damn skirt.. do so.  I think it’s awesome!  Embrace the fun of a life released from convention and enjoyed to the fullest!!!


I dare you!!!  :-)

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About Mobymom

the banjo player for Deepwater Bluegrass, and the editor of as well as the main graphic designer of the Westvon Publishing empire. She is a renaissance woman of many talents and has two lovely daughters and a rehab mobile home homestead to raise.


Day 147…. no Internet… — 11 Comments

  1. So nice to hear you’re in the land of the living. I hope Jessy is better soon so all will be well @ the homestead. You know I never trusted those Hughes Net people on the comercials. A bit Stepfordish if you know what I mean. I hope you’re getting some type of credit for this long of a down time. Oh wait I forgot you need to do that online and you can’t get online! 😉 I must admit I’m a bit jelous of your down time. I’ve been extra busy lately. Have fun creating.

    • Haha… yes, we are trying to be productive… but it’s hard…. we miss having the dang feed at the house… Yes, we’re FINALLY starting to feel a little better all of us… still a bit of a cough, but that’s about it. Trying to stay positive and focused on making stuff and cleaning and organizing… haha…. but it’s hard! We miss being online for sure!!! Thank goodness for a laptop and wifi all over the place!!!

  2. Hello and Happy New Year to the “was-lost-but-now-are-found” Windhaven family!

    As I read through your catch-up post, I think “Oh, I need to comment on this…or comment on that…but when I got to the end I just decided to leave my opinionated BS go, about propane companies and internet services. But your mention of skirts is going to make me rummage in my closet for a bag containing 2 chunks of fabric I had been thinking of for SKIRTS!!!(A brown tweedy piece and the green is rather embossed, a bit like brocade.) Since I have been alone and stay home ALOT, I have been practically living in caftans. They sew up so easy! But I have thought that a couple skirts might look less like I just didn’t bother to get out of my nightgown all day! :) You know, if another human being stops by, or something! Thanks for reminding me.

    Okay, I will bring up TV…As someone who just got rid of satellite TV and went back to antenna, I will suggest that your antenna might need new wiring and most of all a signal booster, which is around a $60 2-piece gaget. That’s what I paid from Radio Shack, anyway. TV signal where I live has to come from 50 miles (as the crow flies) away so it is a neccessity. But with digital TV now, where there once was 5 channels available to me, now there are 13. ‘Course old style behemoth TV’s need a digital-to analog tuner box, but new flat screens are digital. I find 13 channels plenty of the mind numbing stuff. And I will save $600 a year. The “bleeping” DISH NETWORK signal would go out in the least sprinkling rain, so serious weather was of course, nothing. Now, my TV signal was clear as a bell through the blizzard of 12 inches of snow we got 2 weeks ago.

    Hang in there you gals. It seems the cold/flu bugs have been hard on you. Hope you have seen the end of it all.


  3. Gee, I just realized that perhaps you tried your TV antenna on a TV that was analog. TV changed to digital signal oh, like 4 years ago. EVERYBODY not on cable or satellite had to either get a new TV or an add-on converter box for their old set. Without a digital tuner, a TV will get NOTHIN’. Just another thought…

    • Oh yes, we know about that digital thing…. we have a powered attenna and a box, but it’s still not very good. It’s always rescrambling and acting badly. We just gave up. It’s funny, it ME that pines for a little tv now and then, my daughters would much rather have decent internet than cable or dish tv!!! If we had the internet, I’d be okay as well.

  4. This reminds me of when we lost power for a week over Halloween. I broke down and went to the store and bought a whole bunch of puzzles to work in the evenings becasue there was nothing else to do. (Although I had to buy LED work lights to see them.)

    Also I had my modem die as well, with Hugesnet, but they didn’t charge me for the week or so I was out. Yeah satellite internet isn’t my favorite either.

    • Oh is just the worse thing about being rural. The WORSE…

      (gg) We’ve been playing games and such, crafting… it’s tolerable. Just miss the convienence of the thing and the fact that we run our livelyhood online… that is hard.



  5. It certainly sounds like your lack of internet connection has coincided with my macbook crashing, so we both have felt the loss of a certain amount of technology usage.
    I do have the iphone and ipad, and my husband has a big computer, but I am working on my dissertation as well as finishing two technical writing projects that I was hired to do, so not having my Mac sucked.
    The first day of my loss of technology, I spent cleaning. I organized closets, drawers, and even my grandchildren’s toy boxes. Then, I started making rag dolls. I have made all of my grandkids raggedy ann and andy dolls and have also made a couple of soft baby dolls that I sold to a friend of mine. Then, I was able to do some sewing for my other business and actually created a really cute little car seat cover that took all of twenty minutes to make but right off the bat sold for way more than I thought it was worth. But, when I looked at similar ones on line, they are so expensive and not even made with quality material. So, for about three weeks, I spent creating.
    Now I have a new Macbook and am back to writing my dissertation…if all ges well, I will defend in early summer.
    I hope your internet situation improves. My friend who lives in the middle of the Ozark Mts. uses a device that she connects to her computer and it provides her with internet albeit slow internet.
    That bug that went through your household has gone through mine, starting with my teenage grandson and now has my son down.
    Here’s to better internet service and health and wealth and productive animals…maybe lambs in the spring.

    • Thanks for writing!!!

      Yes, it has been a good sort of thing a bit, this lack of technology, but then, too, it’s something we are missing for sure. I look at it this way, it’s a tool and very helpful. I wouldn’t really like to give up say penicillian or anti-biotics just because they didn’t have them before… I just would like to use them sparingly, when needed. I am learning that we don’t need to be online all day long, just wasting time and all. That is what I’ve learned the best through this whole ordeal!!!

      Happy New year to you!!!!


  6. I have a suggestion for your water problem that might help. If you can find horse/cattle water troughs and put a submersible heater in them that will save you sooo much work. Easier on you not to have to fill as often and if they are in a buidling it helps keep the water warmer and the heaters from working as hard. Plus, you can use them year round. For the chicken barn you can always find a plastic 50 gallon barrel and fill that with water and a heater and dip out of that. Then you just have to drag hoses out once or twice a week to fill up. As to the hoses, be sure and drain the water out before coiling up. I would toss mine over a rafter and pull it all slowly to make sure water was out. Worked like a charm and I rarely had a frozen hose. Even if you can get a 100 gallon trough t use as a holding tank that would help too. Good luck, I toted 200 ft of hose in and out of my basement every other day for a winter before telling hubby if he didn’t fix my water lines he would be living in the barn himself. LOL

    • Great suggestions!!! Yes, water handling is really the worse chore. We started to use small bowls of water for each of the coops, like a big mixing bowl. That way we only have to tote out a 5 gallon bucket of warm water twice a day and give all the birds their fill. This is working for the coldest of the days now. We were hauling out like 20+ gallons, filling all the fonts, and they would drink, but then it would freeze up! This way, we only have to lug out one bucket, just twice a day. Much much easier. I’m trying to figure out how to make a non-electrical enclosure for the barn water barrels… something that will keep them warm enough to keep flowing… Considering making a shell and then packing it with insulation??? We do have electric in one building, but the others do not. Still, just thinking, trying to come up with a decent and economical solution!

      I think I am going to try and get some sort of trough heater though… we have a nice 55 gallon trough right near the screen porch. It’s our main hoof stock water source. They have buckets in their barn, but well, they like the trough. Since we have shorties, I couldn’t go with a standard big trough, they couldn’t reach in! haha… We had a little plastic boat on the surface and surprisingly, that kept it open, the wind and animals would move it around and break the surface. But now that it’s been down to 20 and 10 degrees… it stopped being effective.

      Ahhhh…… animal managemnt! haha… I’d like to just bring everyone into the house and never go outside in the really cold weather! haha…. okay, maybe not.