Wednesday, April 15, 2015

busy things

Laundry. Oh my, where does all of this dirty laundry come from? Brad carried up loads of clean laundry this morning which is now sprawled out on our couch. I guess it will all have to be put away today if we would like a place to sit. It's been accumulating in the laundry room mostly because the kids' clothing drawers need cleaned out. We're in that in-between clothing season where some days we need warmer clothes while on other days, shorts and tees are just fine. Plus, both of my kids grew by leaps and bounds this winter so many of the clothes stuffed into their drawers don't even fit them anymore. I guess we'll be cleaning out drawers and reorganizing, making a shopping list of what they'll need for summer (and crossing my fingers that we'll be able to find some of those things at thrift stores), and then boxing the rest of the stuff up to pass on to my sisters for their kids.

The weather has been just absolutely gorgeous spring weather. We've definitely been spending most of our free time outside. Lily and I did her grammar lessons out in the alpaca yard the other day. Ian took his seat on the edge of one of the raised beds. And yesterday I decided that I much rather shovel alpaca manure than clean my house. Is that weird? First of all, alpaca manure doesn't really have a strong odor. Secondly, I LOVE fresh air and sunshine and being out with my animals. Third, any excuse to get outside after a long winter is game with me!

I'm incubating eggs. I bought eight pullets several weeks back. We lost one of those for unknown reasons (it happens sometimes) so we're left with seven. Our current flock is getting older so, in an effort to keep a young flock, I stuck 26 eggs in the incubator last Thursday night. I'm anxiously waiting until Thursday or Friday so I can candle the eggs and see which ones are viable. I can tell that some are growing chicks because they feel much heavier than the other eggs, but I won't know for sure until I candle them.

I made homemade laundry soap over the weekend. Would you believe that I've wanted to do this for the last two years (at least), and it took me this long to actually do it? I used Staci's recipe which was extremely easy. I've been using it all week, and I'm very happy with it. Our clothes definitely don't have that extreme laundry smell (which is actually a nice smell in my opinion.) But they do smell and feel clean. And the fact that they don't have the strong laundry scent is probably a good thing because that means that my soap is not full of perfumes and other harsh agents. I did use my Citrus Bliss doTerra essential oil, but I'm not really sure that that was necessary.

My dad got a new tractor. I had fun on it the other evening after he showed me how to operate it. I have never driven a vehicle with a clutch, so driving the tractor (which does have a clutch) made me a bit nervous mostly because I didn't want to damage it. But once I got it down, I had a good time driving around the fields, practicing. I guess the next thing I'll learn is how to actually use the bucket other than just putting it up and down. Haha.

We have some new plans for our homestead this spring and summer. I'll share them in a separate post sometime very soon. I always love reading what other people are doing on their homesteads/farms so if you've written a post regarding that, please share it in the comments so I can read what you're up to! It's always inspiring and encouraging to read about other homesteader's goals/plans/endeavors.

We're off to do our school work and then, hopefully, to pick up some cochins. Squeal! I've wanted feather-footed chicks for a while, and I finally just found a local farm that sells them.

Have a blessed day!


Devon said...

Do you have an HE washer? I'm always nervous to use homemade detergent for fear of messing up my HE machine!

Simply Quaint said...

Amber sounds like you and your family are busy exciting incubating your own eggs, my cousins have done that in the past but we have never....I so would love to have chickens again, just maybe if not this year, next.. I have a giveaway going on my blog and have posted some spring happenings going on on our little acre farm.... Can't wait to see your new plans for the farm....and how many baby chicks you will have...

Leigh said...

What fantastic photos. I've always let my hens hatch our new chicks but the other day I was wishing for an incubator because I'd love to have some turkeys and turkey eggs are popping up on craigslist. Mimimum order from a hatchery would be too much! Here's hoping for a good hatch rate for you.

Rachel E. said...

Awesome pictures again. I am right along side you with the clothing and laundry issue. I have some kids who are blessed with handmedowns and others who aren't. So, it's an overload of laundry right now...piled everywhere with winter and summer clothing.