Post-illness comeback

The last 2.5 weeks have been rough. The whole family cycled through a respiratory illness, followed almost immediately by a gastric illness. And I tell ya what, I’m over the extra laundry and cleaning. The fire cider I made is much appreciated. πŸ‘

On the plus side, I’ve been able (forced) to rest with my sick little ones and practice the art of caring for them in sickness, being tender and compassionate. And I need that practice, because it doesn’t come naturally to me. It’s nice to see them all looking less pitiful and getting back to themselves. We’re still taking it easy though.

Because of the time off for illness, a lot has been left undone. So this afternoon after a virtual church service- it’s so weird, and it’s almost my preference to just have my husband lead a devotional time- we got everyone bundled up and headed outside to get some fresh air, get our bodies moving, and accomplish some of our on-hold tasks.

My husband got the leaves mulched and bagged and put on our new garden space. Next will/could come a layer of wood ash, and rabbit poo, and then wood chips on that, but the baseline is laid, so woodchips, while beneficial, aren’t an emergency must; we have a covering. That was my biggest anxiety, that we wouldn’t get it covered before frost/rain/snow, so praise God for affording us the time.

While he worked on that, I got the new goat electric fencing up. That required a lot of lopping brushy tree saplings behind the barn. And truthfully, I probably could’ve cleared more and made better use of the space, but I was trying to get it up and get Tumnus trained to respect the fence. So far, he’s only taken 2 small shocks and seems to understand the boundary pretty well. I’m watching closely to make sure everyone does well with it. We haven’t used electric netting since Fonzo broke through the old one earlier this spring. He was a bit more of a challenge to contain with it because of his horns and his testosterone. But, with Tumnus being polled and fixed he’s a little less stubborn, and a bit easier to contain.

The chickens are doing well, really filling out, and we’re transitioning them onto higher protein mix for winter, since they’re still growing and working on their feathers. Our roosters are SO pretty. We have 1 Andalusian, and 1 black copper maran. I’ve always liked the BCMs, for their gorgeous coppery/green plumage. But the Andalusian is also striking with his blue and white combo. I’m anxious to see if we can breed them to our Ameraucanas and hatch some olive eggers this spring. I have my eye on a couple of the hens I expect to go broody and be excellent (or egg-cellent?) mamas for us.

Andalusian roo
BCM roo

The bunnies are doing pretty well. We had some really lazy breeding sessions, and apparently everyone has just decided to be platonic friends. We will try again in the spring I think, when everyone is more in the mood. We gave our two does nesting boxes anyway, one didn’t use it at all, but the other was pulling a significant amount of fur… Which confuses me a little because IF she were going to kindle, it should’ve happened this weekend, and I’ve not seen babies. So, I’ll watch her another day, and if nothing happens, I’ll just chalk it up to poor timing on my part and try again in spring.

Fall is in full swing on the homestead with lots of preserving, and knitting, and resting by the fire. I love the first fires of the season. And having a mess of hickory as firewood is just the best smell ever.

I made my first mitten!!! It needs a friend. But I’ve got a delimma; I had gotten confused on the increases for the thumb gusset stitches. So what I ended up with was a kind of wide, tapering to a pointy thumb kind of wonky mitten. Still cute, still fits my son, but I realized it only after completing it. So, now, my dilemma is, do I make the same “mistakes” on purpose with the 2nd mitten so that the mittens match? Or do I correct them with the 2nd mitten and have one wonky mitten, and one flawless mitten? I’m opting for them to match at this point. So, it makes me cringe a little inside to know I’m intentionally not following the pattern this time, but also, it would bother me more to have 2 non-matching mittens.

Wonky mitten #1.

But, now that the mitten has been glimpsed, all 4 kiddos have requested mittens. Fortunately, I have the same bulky yarn in 4 different colors, so as long as time cooperates, there shouldn’t be a problem getting them done in time for Christmas. I also have a gift going for my Mama, but she sometimes reads the blog and I don’t wanna spoil it, so that’ll have to be a surprise. I have a really pretty teal colored yarn I’ve been wanting to use on a scarf or cowl. I haven’t managed to wind it into balls yet though, so it’s still on my to-do list.

I’ve also enjoyed playing with the embroidery capabilities of the baby lock. It’s a lot of fun, and I’m experimenting with different fabrics, threads, and stabilizers. This is a house-warming gift I did for a couple in our small group. For privacy’s sake, please disregard the blacked out name and dates, and know that the text was a nice classic, scrolling sort of script.

The threads in the house-warming gift were mostly random colors I had on hand. I have since invested in a BROAD color collection from Brothread that I’m really enjoying. The thread quality is great for embroidery and it has a lovely sheen to it. I look forward to doing some more embroidery projects as gifts for Christmas. I still think that as far as enjoyment goes, I love hand stitching embroidery, but the scope of design elements and the time-saving aspect of machine embroidery is pretty alluring to me at this point; it yields some really beautiful pieces and I can complete a project in a single nap time.

I’ve also been reading some good books lately. In addition to working through the Bible in 4 places (OT, Judges; Psalms; NT, Mark and Romans) I’ve managed to work through the first few chapters of Help, I’m Drowning! By Sally Clarkson again, this time in print format. I love being able to annotate as I read, it aids in my retention and comprehension, so print far and above outweighs digital formats for me. What can I say? I’m old fashioned. Until next time, I’m headed back to the kitchen to start dinner.

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