The Final Push for Winterizing the Homestead

Coop tarp and straw USE

Trying to block the west blowing winds from the coop.

Snow! We barely made it by the skin of our teeth!

Porch sidealk stone beds outline USE

Our three season porch and backyard in the first snow of the 2014 season.

Homesteaders everywhere are in the final thrust of getting land and buildings ready for the wind and snow of winter. We are no different on the Small House Homestead.

Coop long view barn run USE

The first snow of 2014 fell on SW Michigan last night.

I have found that no matter how much time we spend preparing our land and outbuildings for winter (and we spend a lot of time getting ready here in the snow belt of Michigan) there is always more to do. Now that the leaves are mostly picked up our primary efforts turn to the rest of the chores we must do before the snow begins.

Snow on pumkinUSE

Snow on the pumpkin!

And the rub is that the Upper Peninsula of Michigan received a foot or more of snow yesterday so we know that snowfall in our own county is not far behind.

gene unloading in the barn

Gene is lifting a bale of straw from the barn of the local farmers we purchase them from.

Yesterday the main push was to get the two cement and mosaic garden bench tops wrapped with plastic, to put up the stakes and board protection pieces at our mailbox to protect it from the force of the plow, to find and push in the reflectors along our sidewalk and driveway as a guide for the snow blower, and staking and wrapping the bird netting around the hydrangeas to protect them from the deer eating every single bud.

Tarp from gandplank end USE

The chicken coop in the cold and white landscape.

Late in the afternoon we drove to a local farm to pick up 16 bales of straw to protect the chicken coop from the winter winds. Then we built a protected “play pen” around the coop itself. I was hoping we could make a plastic run over and around the coop like the Chicken Chick does for her coops but the idea of creating a roof has stymied us and Gene is balking about any more expense related to the coop. I also hate the idea of using plastic that will eventually enter the waste stream but I’m just not sure how much the straw bales really protect the coop….I will need to do more research on this issue.

Sassy muscles-in path USE

While the chickens certainly did not want to come out of their coop today, Sassy loves running in the snow! 

Truck in barn Cindy lifting

How would we run a homestead without our truck! Notice the vanity plate…”Heat & Beat” refers to Gene’s blacksmith forge!

Small House homesteader and chicken keeper, Donna 

 

Physical Therapy and on the Run

I’ve been a bit MIA this past week. I’ve been trying to juggle a new schedule of physical therapy twice a week and exercises three times a day at home.

My house work is not getting done, my bark chips are not getting spread, the leaves are not getting picked out of the stone beds and I am not getting my much needed rest periods either. It’s been a big juggling act around the homestead.

32517018.GrowingOldIIFemale[1]

I’ve been struggling with a painful back for many months now and finally got to see an orthopedic surgeon. On the positive side it’s just a bulging sick and won’t require surgery. But it is still a painful budging disk that is requiring treatment and that has sent my schedule into a total downhill slide.

donna 014

Gene and a few years ago.

I also discovered that I have one leg shorter than the other and that has wreaked havoc with my hip, spine and neck areas. My spine is twisted the opposite of where it’s supposed to be and therein lies the rub.

The goal is to straighten my core, learn better techniques for posture and move the hip bone back into place. I may be looking at a lift inside my shoes too.

To quote Betty Davis…’Getting old is not for sissies!”

Small House Homestead, Donna