Holidays and Project Updates!

I love when my in-laws visit– my productivity quadruples!

We had a lovely Christmas together, delayed shipping notwithstanding.

We even were blessed with a gorgeous Christmas Eve snow!! It’s only the 2nd white Christmas I cam recall since we’ve lived in Tennessee.

We also celebrated our Baby Bear’s first bear-thday 🐻

And delayed our Christmas dinner to coincide with her birthday.

Baby Bear’s 1st birthday

She had quite a napless day, and has been cutting her first two teeth all week.

Baby Bear’s grand debut 2019

I cannot believe a full year has passed. Dare I say it, she’s gone from snuggly Pooh to vicious teething grizzly. She’s still a HUGE mama’s girl and wants to be right with me 24/7. I’m treasuring up our time together, and trying not to care about the sleep deprivation.

Part of my Christmas blessings includes installing a DISHWASHER!!!

Fun fact- I had thrifted the dishwasher 4 years ago and the project completion stars finally aligned for it to be installed. So my Father in law worked on that, and is actually as I type this troubleshooting/fixing a leak we found under the sink- our simple DIY projects always turn into drawn out plumbing projects with multiple hardware store trips. Come to think of it, since that is the usual, this project has been thus far uncharacteristically smooth!

We cut out some drawers and unused cabinetry to fit the dishwasher, and put them to good use as shelves for my fermentation station/brew nook.

It’s quite nice to have such frugal and crafty men around! No wasted lumber, or space, and now everything in the kitchen has a home!

But I think my most favorite- aside from the dishwasher- is the barndoor style baby gate.

I pitched my Father in law the idea and rough plans, he grabbed a sawzall and pallets and ran with it!… The idea I mean- not the sawzall, that would be dangerous.

I’m really pleased with how it turned out.

I had re-finished half the paper floor in the dining room. The other half from the hallway, in front of the fireplace and the sliding door has yet to be refinished, but now that I don’t have to hand wash dishes, I’ve got like 1.5-2 hours each day to work on projects like that!

Our older doe, Honey, came back into heat following our last AI attempt. We were kinda bummed, but we sorta expected after the difficulty we had with our first try, and the straw from the 2nd attempt was compromised in the thawing process. Live and learn. So THIS time, hopefully 3rd time was the charm. We should be able to measure for growth in 2 weeks, and hopefully she’ll hit that 3rd week mark without coming back into heat. My diligent and copious note keeping has been very helpful in giving us a sort of guage or schedule for what to go by, and I’m about 90% sure that I was correct in the timing. The rest is up to my goats.

Luna, who is few couple days behind Honey in her heat cycles still has not started showing signs of heat, which has me hopeful we were more successful with her insemination. I was definitely more confident with her procedure and Honey’s 3rd, so it went a lot smoother and everyone was less nervous. For now, we wait and pray for lots of kids this spring.

Overall, it has been a nice visit and it’s been nice to chat and be present without fretting over keeping the dishes clean.

I treasure that I can be a bit of an escapist out here. The rest of the world is in chaos, but we are tucked away in our little haven in the Appalachian foothills, carrying on with homesteading as usual. God has richly blessed us this year and poured out grace to cover over our many failures. He is good! And I pray for His blessings to cover you and your families as well as we enter into 2021.

May God bless, and Happy New Year!

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