This Month On The Homestead: November 2020

 


my "helper" hard at work....

November oh November, where have you gone?  So many have wished for 2020 to come to an end and it's hard to believe that it's almost granted!  

November was a pretty busy month for us, relatively speaking.  While it certainly wasn't the same as most years, we've had a lot going on with our soap & skincare business so that certainly makes the time fly on by.  We have been blessed with a lot of online orders as many shopped early for the holidays.  We set-up two local consignment orders for the holidays and one of them, the Brookside Museum, receives a lot of product.  We were in a really good place as far as soap goes and then suddenly, as order after order came in, each with a lot of soap, we realized we were running very low.  So, we picked up production again but soap takes about a month from start to finish, so we are just getting some of the scents back in stock now.  It's been a hard year to predict.

We, for the first time in a LONG time, had our indoor and outdoor Christmas decorations up by Thanksgiving.  Every single year I say "hey, we should really try to get the outdoor decorations up while the temps are above freezing".  And every year my husband says "yeah, let's make sure to do that".  And every year we forget.  But not this year!  We even had the lights turned on by Thanksgiving night!

Thanksgiving was quiet as it was just the two of us.  We usually have a handful of friends over to share the day with but, of course, opted against that this year.  I baked a chicken for Jay and a lentil dish for me.  I usually do my grocery shopping every month and a half to two months and had timed it so I wouldn't be going to the market the week of Thanksgiving.  But then I tasted the new (to us) apple variety I had purchased from the health food store the week before Thanksgiving.  They are, in one word, amazing.  Have you tried the Sugar Bee apples?  Crisp, sweet, and juicy.  


the BEST apples ever (and perfect for hoarding)

Soooooo...because this store doesn't always continue to carry the same fruit, and because I couldn't find the organic version anywhere else, I decided I needed to go back and get a dozen more apples.  Yes, I hoard any fruit that will last a few weeks and is delicious.  




In The Coop
The coop girls are doing well.  What very few eggs they've laid, one of them (or more) has eaten.  By the time we meander out to look for them all that remains is the empty shell.  We've had this problem in the past and getting an egg eater to stop eating eggs is nearly impossible.  And so, crazy as it sounds, we continue to feed almost 30 chickens and buy our eggs elsewhere.  Jay has finally turned their light on so they feel they are getting a couple of hours more daylight.  This should pick production back up now that their molt is complete.


In The Kitchen
The kitchen remains a fairly busy place.  Because we both eat quite differently, 2 separate meals are made 2 times a day (Jay's on his own most mornings for breakfast and I almost always have oatmeal). Our pantry and freezers are well stocked, allowing us the opportunity to space our trips to the store apart quite a bit.  

I've been going through my cookbook collection, one at a time, and trying a handful of new recipes each month.  I've found some winners to add to the regular line-up!



Oliver & Jackson
Well, the boys are doing well.  Oliver is sleeping back in his own bed (woo hoo!!!) and Jack has his own suite for night-time.  You've gotta sell it with fancy wording, right?

It's the spare bedroom.  

But you know what?  For some reason, at 10 minutes to 10, EVERY night, he comes looking for me to tuck him into his suite.  And so I do.  Gladly!  He gets his (affiliate link) Bach's Rescue Remedy (fondly referred to as his anti-jerk medicine) which he seems to like, and then to bed he goes.  Now this is a huge win-win.  For one, it makes Oliver incredibly happy to know Jack won't be creeping around him in the middle of the night.  And two, our toes can freely become uncovered while we sleep with no risk of a cat attack.  

In the morning I get Oliver up and out to do his business, feed him, give him meds, get the chickens up, and then let Jack out.  He sits by the door and patiently (can you believe I'm saying the words patient AND Jack in one sentence????) waits for me to open it for the day.  

The first 2 weeks were absolute torture, but after that he's been perfectly content with the new arrangement.


In The Garden
Well, the garden was officially put to bed at the end of the month.  I decided to harvest all of the greens before snow buried it, so production is done until spring.  It's left open so the coop girls can visit while they are free ranging, and those who make their way into the raised beds absolutely love them.  They scratch and peck and sunbath.  We also have 2 rather large wild bunnies who visit every evening, which is perfectly fine by me.  They are locked out during the growing season but encouraged to visit now.  They can get the last bits of greens and dropped berries from one of our trees.


What I've Been Reading (contains affiliate links)
I've read a couple books that I wasn't crazy about - actually one of them, Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker, an author I enjoy, I stopped reading halfway through because I just didn't like it.  It's the first of a series that has a lot of positive reviews, but it just isn't for me. 

Two of the books I really enjoyed this month are:

That's November around the homestead!

6 comments

Kathy said...

Great that your soap orders have been going well and from the sounds of things spending Thanksgiving by yourselves seems the safest way. We have had a week of extremely hot weather and now we have a week of lots of rain which is great for the gardens. Have a safe and happy Christmas. Kathy, Brisbane, Australia

daisy g said...

Fantastic news about Jack! I'm so happy for Oliver! ;0D

Glad y'all have stayed busy and I'm sure your work toward restocking is a labor of love. I didn't get my order in in time, so I'll order a few things in the new year.

Jay trying vegan? Wow! That is amazing!
What is that delectable bread in the middle of your post?

I'll have to look for those apples. My boy loves apples and eats about 3 bags a week, plus applesauce a couple of times a day.

So sorry to hear about your egg eaters. Have you tried the wooden egg trick? I wish you could figure out who the culprit is.

What a treat to have new slippers! Those look exceptionally cozy. Enjoy!

Windy Meadows Farm said...

We love apples...thanks for letting us know about Sweet Bee; I've never see them before. We usually get Honey Crisp or Fuji...I'll see if I can find them the next time I'm at the store. Looking forward to your menu plans...I need inspiration. I'd like us to eat less meat, but it seems we fall into the same old menus (my fault.) I'll read through some of your older posts to see how you've done it in the past...a good way to spend a rainy weekend! And the slippers look warm & cozy...this old farmhouse gets cold, and I usually "steal" an old pair of my husband's...time to get some of my own!

Staci said...

Kathy - yes, we are incredibly grateful for all those orders. I'm so happy to hear you're receiving rain! Our precipitation will be falling in the form of snow this week. Merry Christmas to you and your family as well!

Daisy - YES! Can you believe he is trying vegan foods????? Now, he's not willing to eat a vegan dinner but at least he's trying things and seeing that my meals are pretty darn good! :) He has agreed that all of the desserts I've veganized are delicious so we've got that. My goodness your son enjoys his apples! I hope you can find the Sugar Bee's, I think he'll love them. And yes, we have tried the wooden egg trick. It's never worked. Unfortunately they just keep pecking eggs until they find a real one. It's a real bummer.

Mary - Girl.....you've got to find yourself some slippers of your own! :) Yes, the apples are delish. I usually buy Honeycrisps as well so these are a nice alternative. I'm with you on seeking cooking inspiration from other's meal posts. That's exactly why I enjoy looking at them and why readers have asked that I bring them back. So far, however, I'm 0 for 1 in remembering to photograph the meal.....

Karen said...

Lovely to read all your news on your blog Staci. Sending you the warmest greetings from Australia for a safe and happy Christmas. Hoping you all stay safe and well over the cold Winter. πŸ₯°πŸ‡¦πŸ‡ΊπŸŽ„

Staci said...

Thank you so much Karen! Warm and safe greetings to you as well.