Tell You What I Want

What I really, really want . . . . .

We’re house/dog sitting this weekend. After living in our small space for the last month, being in a large home feels strangely uncomfortable. Not in a terrible way. Just uncomfortable. There is so much space between all of us and it makes me realize just how much untogetherness my family has been experiencing over the years.

One of our dogs isn’t handling this big space very well. She runs around in a panic trying to figure out how to get out and as I write this, she is sitting in front of me with her body pressed up against my legs. At least she’s calming down a bit, but the newness of the last month has been taking its toll on her psyche. She really likes our little home. She seems very comfortable in that space. We’re all right there together in our cozy little space and that makes her feel safe. But since arriving in Texas she’s gone to be groomed and has had to meet a new vet. In a couple weeks we’ll add insult to injury when we take all three dogs to boarding and leave on a week-long cruise to the Eastern Caribbean. Right now I feel this cruise is well deserved and needed, but I’m quite sure my anxiety ridden dog will not feel the same. She is going to be thrown into yet another new situation and hopefully she’ll handle it better than I’m anticipating. If not, I may be seeking out the services of a dog psychiatrist (do they exist?)

Our RVing experience has caused me to really think long and hard about our next home and exactly what will make us happiest. Now that we have an offer on our house, I feel that we can really begin to make plans for our future Texas home.

At this point, I certainly can’t see us settling in another 3600 sq ft home. Something much smaller is very likely in our future. What we really want more than anything is nice outdoor space. An extension of our indoor space so-to-speak. A nice covered patio area for outdoor dining or just sitting outside in the morning enjoying a cup of tea or in the evening with a tall glass of iced tea (or whatever cold drink suits my fancy).

With the pool because we’ll need to cool off during those long hot Texas summer days.

Space for keyhole gardening, which I’m determined to do here in Texas.

At this point I want my outdoor space to be larger than my indoor space.

Will we be able to find this without hubby’s commute being terribly long?

Not sure, but it’s what I really really want and we should have plenty of time to find it.

Camping Before the Rains

Georgette took us on our second camping adventure.  This time we headed to Clinton Lake and spent two nights enjoying nature and our home on wheels.

Nature brought us something we weren’t expecting – Cicadas.  According to my research, this is Brood XXIII, which emerge on a 13 year cycle.  There were so many that we needed to speak a little louder to be heard over all their singing.  They sound would build as it got later into the morning and throughout the afternoon.  By dinnertime, they had quieted down considerably, but were still flying from tree-to-tree, at times seeming to fall from the sky.  Naomi and FS1 were not at all fond of these singing, flying insects.  And when I say not fond of them, I mean one landed on Naomi’s leg while we were eating and she immediately began shaking and screaming for someone to get it off her.  Then she spent the rest of the weekend with her legs up on me or the picnic table bench attempting to avoid having another one attack her leg.  FS1 wasn’t much better, but he did get to the point of flicking them off the picnic table.  However, he could not walk around our campsite without his eyes fixed on the ground to make sure he wasn’t coming into contact with any of them.  FS2 was absolutely fascinated with them and would watch them carefully with a big smile on his face.  Apparently though, cicadas must know that little fingers coming at them is DANGER because as he reached out to touch one, ever to slowly, it flew away.  For the rest of us, they were an interesting annoyance, but they should only be around for a short time and then gone for many years thereafter.  Overall, dealing with them on one camping trip wasn’t that big of a deal and I’m sure we will talk about the cicada camping trip for years to come.

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Our dogs, Jada, Jagger and Zoey are becoming quite the camper dogs.  I’ve been very pleasantly pleased with their behavior.  They quietly hang out at the campsite and are pretty well-behaved on walks.  Every once in a while Zoey one of them would begin to bark, but would quickly realize that barking at the campground is against the rules.  Apparently, some dogs didn’t get the campground etiquette memo 🙂  I hope their good manners continue on our future camping trips.

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Jagger

Hubby and the girls were able to do a little fishing on our trip.  They managed to bring in a few keepers and during the couple of hours they were at the lake, it was Naomi – 0, hubby – 1 and Lili – 2.  Lili is turning into quit the little fishergirl.

For me, the highlight of camping was cooking breakfast on my cast iron griddle over an open fire.  Somehow, eggs and bacon taste better while camping 🙂

Getting away, spending time outside, the smell of campfires in the air, and sitting back with my legs propped up under the trees, just relaxing (while occasionally flicking a cicada off my leg) was enough to make me forget that I wasn’t miles and miles and miles away from home.

We packed up and left the campground late morning, a bit worried about the weather forecast.  Fortunately, we didn’t have to deal with any rain until we had been home a couple of hours.  Watching the weather is important, unless you want to be setting up or breaking down camp in the rain.

Our weekend trip brought some new discoveries and we now have more warranty items that need to be taken care of.  Georgette will head back to the shop for another visit.  This is just part of new RV ownership.

We are also beginning to make a list of things we want to change/add.  Like closet organizers to give us better utilization of our limited storage space.  More containers for food storage, which allows for better utilization of limited cupboard space.

I’m sure you see the theme.  We still have unused cabinets, so there is room for more “stuff”, but we’re trying to avoid taking more than we absolutely need and we want to utilize the space we have in the most organized way possible.  A place for everything and everything in its place is the way to go.  Someday we’ll get there.  I hope!!!

Mom, Can I Have a Baby Chick?

This was the question Naomi asked me recently.

We’ve had discussion about the animals that will one day be on our little farm and hae made it clear that a coop will be built (if there isn’t already one in place) and baby chicks will be the first farmyard animals to grace our homestead.

We have 3 dogs and 1 of them belongs to Lili.

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Naomi doesn’t have her own pet and longs for one she can call her very own.  I don’t know that a chicken is the best choice for a pet, but Naomi has plans.  She wants to pick out her baby chick.  She wants to name it.  She wants to hold it gently, like she did this chick when we visited our friend Cecilia on her farm.

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She wants to take care of it and keep it in her room.  I informed her that the baby chicks will all need to stay together and she has concerns about how she will remember which one is her.  We can figure that out.

One of the things I look forward to on the homestead is the space.  Space for animals.  Maybe some cats for the barn.  I would love a Great Pyrenees or two to guard the farm and animals.  Naomi could have her baby chick, goat, dog, or cat.  She has also expressed her desire to have a Kunekune pig like Cecilia’s.

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With more room to roam, Naomi can decide what animal she wants to call her own – within reason of course.  It’s important to her and I can’t wait to see what animals she ends up choosing.  Although knowing her she’ll want a dog, cat, baby chick, goat, Kunekune and more 🙂

 

Some Updates

As usual, there is a lot going on in the World of Weeks and I’m not sure where to start with the blog posts, so I’ll just start and hope it all falls into place.

Watering the garden has become a daily practice around here.  There was rain in the forecast all week, but we only going a few sprinkles of rain.  Not enough to even soak into the ground.  So the watering will continue and maybe our forecast of rain next week will produce some nice soakers for us.  In the meantime, little green tomatoes are emerging and they need water, so each evening I’ll continue to give the garden a nice shower while I wait for rain.

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I moved my herbs to the green house and they are growing much more quickly now.

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I have more that I need to transplant into bigger pots and will move them out to the green house in a few day.  In the meantime, I’m getting their future homes ready around the patio and can’t wait to see how my few herb garden grows.

Can I just say that having a local homeschool group is AWESOME!!!  We had our weekly get together.  One of the moms brought supplies so the kids could work on a Sharpie marker tie dye project.  The kids and the moms loved it.  Sharpie markers will be taking up residence in our home in the not too distant future.

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Change is on the horizon for the Weeks.  We’re still in property shopping mode, but it’s all on-line shopping right now.  Hubby’s work prevents us from going leaving the area for more than an overnight and we need more than an overnight to look at property.  So, we continue to wait.  That’s okay though!  We have a lot on our plates and as anxious as I am to get moved, I have come to realize that for a number of reasons, the timing just IS NOT right at the moment.

I’m in the process moving things around in my house.  Our homeschool room went from the basement (because there wasn’t enough natural light) to the dining room (which is nice and bright).  Over the weekend, I decided we should utilize our family room in a different way and transition the homeschool room back to a dining room.  So we moved our t.v. out of the family room and into our living room, a room that has rarely been used since we moved into our house 18 years ago.  We will sell our family room furniture, paint the walls and 1/2 of the family room will become our space for homeschooling.  The other 1/2 will house the girls toys, but since I’m moving things around, we’ll begin sorting and ridding ourselves of all the used/unwanted toys.  A big job, but one that needs to be done.  Then it will be time to tackle the basement.  Another big job for sure.

There are other things happening in our lives.  Some bigger than others, but I’ll save that for another time.  For today, the big happening around here is Jagger’s birthday.  Jagger is Lili’s little Papillion and today he turns 2.  Happy Birthday Jagger!

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Hope you all have a glorious day and a wonderful weekend!!

 

Dogs on the Farm

Once we get moved to our farm and begin adding animals, we plan to also add livestock guard dogs. Dogs trained to protect our chickens, ducks, goats and sheep from predators. Dogs trained to send out the warning when something or someone is on our property who doesn’t belong.  Dogs who will respond in an appropriate manner to protect our animals.

We have three such dogs in our home right now. . .  sort of. Our dogs are excellent at sending out the warning when something or someone is on our property. They are also good at sending out the warning when they hear someone pulling in our driveway or driving down the road or pulling into the neighbor’s driveway or walking down the sidewalk, or walking one opposite block. But today, one of our dogs was sending out a warning that caused me to walk out on the deck to see what in the world was going on. He was staring down some terrible creature in the yard, who obviously did not belong and if I would just open the gate and let him out, he would protect all of us from the predator.

As I was peered over the side of the deck to see what creature was wreaking all the havoc, a small bird flew away and our protective dog went running across the deck barking to let that horrible creature know he was not welcome on our property.

I feel so safe with this little guy around.

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Unfortunately, he’s not as predator proof as he probably thinks, so we’ll have to provide him a safe place on our future farm.

Our other two dogs are also good about sending out the warning signals, but they really aren’t livestock guard dog material.  Fortunately, they are cute and very good at letting us know when something isn’t quite right.  Having them on our farm will be very good.

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Snowy Thoughts

The snow is coming down. It’s not coming down vertically as light fluffy flakes, but instead millions of tiny snow flakes are blowing horizontally across the yard.

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Every once in a while a stronger gust of wind sending even more flakes blowing off the roof of the house, spiraling down to the ground. Drifts of snow forming across the yard.  Our fire pit slowly being buried in white.

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According to the forecast, we have several more hours of snow yet to fall.  A total of 6″ – 8″ inches expected, with winds becoming stronger and temperatures continuing to drop as the day goes on.

Our dogs don’t seem to mind the snow at all.

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Snowy face Zoey (Keeshond)

 

Jagger (Papillon) and Jada (Keeshond)
Jagger (Papillon) and Jada (Keeshond)

 

As I have been watching the winter storm today, my mind has been wandering to what our life on the homestead might be like in weather like this and I realize just how unprepared I am.  No insulated overalls, coat, or gloves for working in weather like this.  No insulated work boots either.  I do have a couple of pair of really thick, warm wool socks.  I suppose I could start a new farm fashion trend with my Vera Wang wool coat and Ugg boots, but somehow they just don’t ooze ‘farm life.’

So much learning and preparation that still needs to be done for our life on the farm.  And no time like the present to start learning and preparing.