Last Week On The Homestead: Happy New Year & A Quick Catch-Up!


Jackson finds napping hard work
Olivers very favorite bed (I bought 2 so they can be swapped out and washed)

December 25-31, 2022

Hello friends.  Happy New Year! 

Like many of you, we have experienced quite the variety of weather over the past 2 weeks.  Christmas weekend was COLD.  Bone chilling cold as a matter of fact.  The temps were bad enough and then coupled with the incredible wind chill, it was definitely a time for extra thermals, cozy blankets, hot drinks, and a roaring pellet stove.  Compare that to this week where our temps are above normal, and, thanks to rain, our snow is just about completely melted! 

Do you make resolutions or goals?  I have taken some time to write out a small list of goals to strive toward.  I find that winter is perfect for introspection and thinking about plans for the upcoming year.  I'm a planner and list maker at heart, so it provides a comfort of sorts to start a new year with both.  Even when I veer off on a scenic detour at different times throughout the year (which tends to happen every year), the fact that I can revisit my plan(s) and either shift it or get back on track makes me feel like I'm in the driver's seat of my own life. 

I suspect that this year may be interesting for all of us with the prices of everything climbing.  Food prices are quite high, and our electric bill has unfortunately gone up a fair amount as well.  I also have been thinking it could be especially interesting for those of us with small businesses this year.  Our online store continues to be relatively busy, thankfully, but I suspect that our farmer's market will be slower than normal since last year we saw a decrease in both traffic and sales.  I'm trying to prepare as much as I can, but, of course, there's only so much we can do.  

I was successful in taking Christmas day "off" but not so successful in taking these past 2 weeks off.  It's ok though, at least we took time off from making product and we don't have a market again until January 8th.  Winter is usually quieter, so I anticipate having ample time to get lost in crafting and writing.

I made changes to my Instagram account.  A day or two before Christmas I'd been thinking about it quite a bit and said to my husband "I think I made a decision, and I believe it will completely surprise you".  "Oh boy, I can't wait to hear this!" he said, sitting down as if he was going to need the extra stability a chair provided.  I shared that I was considering starting a second Instagram account so I can have an account for the blog and one for the soap & mercantile".  "Well, I did NOT see that coming" he responded, definitely shocked. 

I'm just not a fan of social media.  I've struggled with it, as any of you who follow me will know.  With Instagram, I haven't posted much because I wasn't sure what to post and what to write.  This, of course, surprised both my husband and me, mostly because I love both photography and writing.  What I found was I didn't know what to post from both our life and from our business that would provide a good flow.  I began looking for other accounts where people combined their life and their business on one account, and I just couldn't find one that I felt looked cohesive.  And so, I made the decision to split the accounts to (hopefully) make it easier.  At least in my mind it works.  (If you would like to follow either, the blog page is here and the soap company page is here)

Then, a few days after starting the new account, I received an email that it was suspended due to not following their guidelines.  Really?  I had, I believe, 6 posts and all were about our products.  So, I played the game and hit the "dispute" button and within minutes received an email that informed me that my account was reviewed, and it was found it had been suspended in error.  It was as if the universe was saying "what in the world are you thinking by creating ANOTHER account????"  Sigh.....   Now I just have to remember to post.  Let's not even get into Facebook or Pinterest.

Jay enjoyed a gift of Hello Fresh meals last week.  It was a nice change for him and for me!  Oliver, who was diagnosed with the beginning stages of kidney disease last summer had a check-up last week and his kidneys are doing well.  Jackson is also doing well.  Our feral cat friend Felix, however, is not.  

First, we figured out that there is also an imposter Felix.  They look almost identical, with 3 noticeable differences being that the real Felix has a clipped left ear (the tip is missing), is more comfortable being around us and seeing us in the window (the imposter is incredibly skittish), and he's also a bit heavier.  I realized this because I began keeping a closer eye on Felix when he began eating a LOT more.  Well, now it makes sense - it's 2 cats eating, not just one.  

Jack believes his job is to closely monitor Felix and imposter Felix.  He does his job very well.

Back to the real Felix.  We created a little house for him on our front porch.  He has been in it but has not spent much time as of yet inside of it.  I'm sure it will take time to gain his trust.  Last week he began walking on only 3 of his 4 legs, with his front left leg seemingly injured.  He could put a slight amount of weight on it but not much at all.  And then he disappeared.  We checked the camera to know that he was coming in the middle of the night and eating, so I continued to leave food out.  Last night he showed up in the early evening and he is now walking, although gingerly, on that injured foot.  He's back to being more skittish.  Imposter Felix has taken to coming around our dinner time, so he/she is now a regular at the cat dish as well.

Our newest chickens are laying pretty consistently now.  At least five of the seven are anyway.  They are doing well and enjoying the milder temps.  The newest girls are so funny.  They run and jump and get so excited anytime I walk toward them.  They associate me with snacks so you can see why the excitement.  You have to love their optimism - I've only given them treats more than once a day maybe twice since we've had them, but they consistently hold out hope that goodies are coming every single time they see me.

This week we are back in the swing of things.  Soap & skincare production has begun and almost everything will be re-stocked by next week.

That's life around the homestead!  Hoping this finds you doing well!

**Update - thank you Gloria for reminding me that I forgot to include our menu plan for the week!  I will try to get that updated tonight.**

This week's menu:

J- Burrito Bowl
S- Root Veggie Stew with Dumplings

J- Chicken with Creamy Pea Pasta
S- TexMex Rice & Bean Casserole

J- Ham & Potato Casserole and Steamed Broccoli (frozen)
S- Root Veggie Stew with Dumplings

J- Italian Sausage & Spinach Manicotti
S- TexMex Rice & Bean Casserole

J- Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu, Rice, and Green Beans (frozen)
S- Root Veggie Stew with Dumplings

J- American Chop Suey
S- Split Pea Soup, Flatbread, Steamed Broccoli

J- Chicken & Dumplings
S- Split Pea Soup, Flatbread, Steamed Broccoli


  1. Glad to hear you stayed warm & was really horribly cold. Now it's just muddy and wet...a real mess here. We are so alike - I'm a list-maker as well, maybe even a bit overboard...but I just have to have it in front of me to keep track of what I need to do. I do have some resolutions...mostly house repairs that are way overdue, working on the cottage foods business, and little things I've always wanted to learn - ASL is one (my son is taking that as his required language in college, so now I have a real reason to work hard and someone to help me along). I'll look at your business Instagram for inspiration! I've been thinking I I'll do Instagram for the cottage foods business as well...I just want to stay clear of Facebook, And look at your numbers on Pinterest...5.9k followers and 320.1k monthly views - you'll be a success with a business Instagram! Enjoy the week and rest when you can, Mary


    1. Thanks so much Mary! I too need a list in front of me otherwise I get too sidetracked.... 😁 Instagram is incredibly helpful for a business because you can not only show your full line of products and describe them in detail but also provide any updates. I just have to get into the habit of getting on it and actually posting something. Yes, my pinterest numbers are great considering I only pin my own things because I'm NEVER on that platform. I honestly have no idea how it's grown so much! Thanks for your encouragement! Wishing you the best in 2023!!

  2. Long time reader, but first time commenting. Beautiful photos! Glad to see your fur babies are doing well. I giggled at the imposter's always funny when they start eating more...usually works out where we're feeding more than one! Also, don't get me started on Pinterest either; they suspended my account the other day. I disputed it and they re-instated me, but geez what a pain. Best wishes for a great new year!

    1. Thank you for following and for saying "hi" Stacie!! Honestly, I was worried that Felix is a female and was pregnant or that he/she had worms. I was quite relieved to see imposter Felix. Oh Pinterest....there's been something wrong with my account for 2+ years but I haven't taken the time to figure it out. I hear what you experienced with all of the social media platforms, and more frequently these days. What's most frustrating is when they actually delete accounts without explanation. Oh well..... Happy New Year to you as well!!

  3. Happy New Year to you Staci, it's so hot here in Brisbane and cold over there...hard to imagine. Look forward to hearing about your lives again in 2023.

    1. Thank you Kathy - happy New Year to you as well! So grateful for our blogging friendship!

  4. I smiled thinking about you being the bearer of treats to your girls. So glad to hear Oliver's kidneys are doing well. The cats are very lucky to benefit from your kindness. Jackson and Oliver look so comfy in their beds. I haven't done much in the way of resolutions, but am definitely a list maker. It's always good to hear the news at Cobble Hill Farm!

    1. Thank you, Laurie! Yes, those new coop girls are very funny and they LOVE treat time. Hooray for being a list maker!! 😁

  5. Enjoyed the update.
    I am a list and goal-maker too. I think it keeps me motivated, especially during these drab, colder days.
    Sounds like you are taking your changes in stride. I'm so glad that you have been able to pursue your passion and work from home doing something you love.
    The photo of the workshop (?) with the snow surrounding it is so picturesque. What a beautiful view.
    Glad the fur babies are doing better. And you've solved quite the mystery of the two Felixes!

    Wishing y'all all the best in the new year. God bless...

    1. Thanks so much Daisy. Yes, the mystery is solved! Happy New Year to you as well!!


Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment on this post!