Last Week On The Homestead: Welcome Spring, SNOW, And 10 Years In Business!


March 13-19, 2034

Hello friends!

Happy spring!  This past week we had ALL the weather.  Snow, rain, wind, and sunshine too!  After recently receiving a foot of snow, this past Tuesday we were estimated to get an additional 8 inches to 2 feet!  Some areas received 3 feet (thankfully, not us).  Tuesday ended up being declared a state of emergency by the governor of NY with schools closed, many businesses closed, everyone asked to stay off of the roads, and tractor trailers banned from traveling on the highways for a good portion of the day.  Our town was so quiet!

It was a mess of a storm - wet and heavy snow and the ground was not frozen, so it was mud underneath.   Typically, I love the snow, but I'll admit, this was a morale busting storm. Usually, it takes about 3 hours for us to do snow removal so that we can get in and out of our property as well as pathways to the outbuildings cleared, but it took about 5 hours to clean up after Tuesday's storm.  It was very heavy, too heavy to shovel, and the mud made it tough for my husband to get the snowblower through.  We did not lose power thankfully, so it ended up being a win for us!

Despite the fact we're set to enjoy upper 40's and 50's this week, we aren't putting the snow shovels away just yet.  You never know about March in upstate NY!

Although the snow is now melting quite rapidly, we still have piles and piles.  This means that the flora remains in winter mode for a bit longer.  We have a tree that is full of berries (leftover from fall) which has recently become a hangout for robins.  We've also had an influx of crows around the garden and chicken coop areas in addition to weekly sightings of our two cardinal couples.  Mud season began early this year and will likely last well into April. 

I'm hoping that outdoor projects can start up again soon.  Of course, gardening is top priority, but we also have some little things to do around the house and property.  To-do lists never end, do they? 

At Cobble Hill Farm Soap & Mercantile our busy season is just around the corner, so we've increased our production of soap, skincare, and wood crafts.  Sales have been slow this month but that's pretty much expected.  Everything should pick up by May.  This year is our tenth year in business and our fifth year of depending on it solely for our income.  It's really hard to believe!  As you know, there are a TON of soap and skincare businesses out there so the fact that we've been able to make this work is something we honestly never thought would be possible.  You just never know!

The chick photo at the top of the post is one I took a few years ago.  We are not bringing in chicks this year - probably not for a couple of years.  The Coop Girls are laying more eggs but one (or more) is also eating eggs.  This is a problem.  The chicken/chickens seem to be targeting the green and blue eggs and we are estimating to be losing 1-3 per day which is a lot when we're only receiving 3-4 dozen a week.  

Jackson enjoying the warmth of the radiator cover

Oliver is still loving the pellet stove!

Jackson and Oliver are doing well.  Jackson is enjoying any spot in the house that catches some of the ever-increasing sunshine.  Oliver enjoys the sunshine too, but he's pretty set on where he sits and sleeps throughout the day.  So, if the sun enters one of those spaces, he is quite pleased.  Oh, and do you see that patch of shaved fur on his right front leg?  I don't think I wrote about it at the time, but that is from his hospitalization over Thanksgiving.  That was another midnight trip where we didn't get home until 2 or 3a and then I had him discharged by the afternoon.  They don't have enough staffing to take care of him the way he needs to be cared for.  The problem is mostly bathroom breaks (they fixed the other concerns after a lengthy conversation about my frustration over his last hospitalization).  Because Oliver has 2 health issues that cause him to drink a lot of water (and urinate more) coupled with the fact that he was also on an IV, he needs to go to the bathroom a LOT.  They don't take him so he holds it which means I just end up hanging around the hospital all of the time he's admitted so that I can take him out.  So, once his testing was complete, he was diagnosed, medicated, and fully replenished with liquids, I had a conversation with the emergency vet on duty and she was comfortable with my decision.  He came home.  He's been doing well but the poor guy, his fur is not growing back very quickly.

I'm getting ready to start a new book.   These are the two I've chosen to be read next: The House of the Spirits (Isabel Allende) and Miss Benson's Beetle (Rachel Joyce).  After these I've told myself that I must read the next 5 books from my kindle app only.  I have soooo many free books on it and because I don't enjoy reading them on the computer, I avoid them.  But it's time to get them read!  If you've read either of these, I would love to hear what you thought of them.

Tortilla "Pizza"
Menu plan for this week:
Jay and I eat differently, so there's meals planned for each of us.  I list my lunch because I almost always have a salad for dinner.  I used to eat the same thing for 2-3 days, but I've been eating the same thing all week and it's working out well, so I only have one item on the meal plan for me!  I've been LOVING whole wheat tortilla veggie "pizzas".  They are easy and delicious!

Jay's meals:
Chicken & Veg Teriyaki over Rice
Smothered Pork Chop, Asparagus, and Rice
Cottage/Shephard's Pie
Oven-Fried Chicken Breast, Skillet Potatoes, Green Beans
American Chop Suey
Chicken Enchiladas

My meals:
Whole Wheat Tortilla & Veggie Pizza

That's last week on the homestead.  Hoping you had a wonderful week as well!


  1. I read House of Spirits years ago. I like anything Isabel Allende writes. Sometime within the past year or two I read Miss Benson’s Beetle. My daughter was reading it for her book club. It is absolutely adorable and quirky and heart warming. I recommend it. We are having spring days in the PNW and the crocus are blooming and the daffodils almost ready. The rhubarb is up at least 6 inches. Of course, this means lots of spring chores, but I am not complaining. I did our first lawn mowing of the season, especially since I did not get the November mowing done last year. The most snow I remember in my adult life was when I lived just south of Watertown after college. I do not miss it. Lol

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the books! I'm originally from the PNW so I remember those early spring days well... If you lived by Watertown, then I can imagine you experienced enough snow to last a lifetime. 😊 Enjoy your spring chores - fingers crossed, ours will begin soon!!

    2. Once your spring gets going, it will move faster than ours. It has been almost 50 years for me in the PNW. My first year here, I could not believe one could sit out in February!

  2. I know you are probably tired of the snow, but how glorious it looks to me, as we didn't get one flake this year.
    So happy for you and I can't believe it's already been 5 years since you quit your job to work from home. Continued success in this new season.

    Glad the boys are doing okay. No doubt Ollie will be a bit happier when things warm up outside.
    I made a vegan "pot pie" this week using roasted veg, homemade gravy and the Siete almond flour tortillas. So good! Not to mention much easier than making dough from scratch.

    Have a great week, you hardy souls up there!

    1. The snow is indeed absolutely beautiful. Although now it's just dirty piles with mud all around, but it was worth it. That being said, I'm hoping that's it for us for the year!

      Yes, 5 years!!! It really is hard to believe. Thanks so much for your ongoing support, Daisy!

      Interesting about the pot pie. I never even thought to try it with tortillas. I've tried a couple things from Siete and have been impressed. Wishing you a wonderful week as well!

  3. Congratulations on your 10 year anniversary! Sweet Oscar. Hopefully, that's the last of his emergency vet visits. You're so right that there's always plenty to choose from on the to do list. That's vexing when there's an egg eater among the chickens. Most recently, I had a spell where I'd find some that had been pecked. I've not read either of those books, but added The House of Spirits to my library list. Enjoy the warmer temperatures!

    1. Thanks Laurie! Yes, egg pecking is annoying indeed. We usually add some fake eggs and that typically ends it. Not always though - we've had some seemingly single-minded chickens in the flock! It's in the low 50's today and we are all LOVING it!!

  4. That first chick photo is soooooo cute even if it's a few years old. Congratulations on your business and how wonderful that it has fully supported your lifestyle for the past 5 years....your place is looking beautiful in the snow too, great pics. Have a good week.

  5. Such beautiful pictures...I do love snow, but mud underneath would be a mess to try and shovel over. We had thunderstorms last night that rattled the windows - today creeks are overflowing and there's nothing but mud everywhere. So happy to hear it's been 10 years in your business...whee ha, and 5 is a huge milestone as well - that's terrific! There are a lot of choices out there, and it speaks highly that your customers keep coming back and know they can count on your quality and customer service.(I know I love what I ordered!) It's so frustrating at the vet offices when things don't go the way they need to - you know Oliver best and what he needs and what works for him . In the picture, he certainly looks cozy...I hope you all took a long nap after that late night! Take care, Mary

    1. Thanks Mary. Yes, the mud was an absolute mess. I am thrilled that you love your products. Thank you! Yes, the vet (as you know) can be very frustrating. Oliver holds his urine, refusing to go inside, and then ends up having an accident and it gets his anxiety going so then he's a mess. I now just hang out there to try and avoid him having to go through that. The other problem I had with them was more egregious but I'm hoping that will never happen again. I pray he doesn't have to be hospitalized anymore. Yes indeed, we all took naps after he was home safe and sound. 😊

    2. If it makes you feel any better, we don't have mud under our snow - just ice or hard ground. It hasn't been warm enough here for that much melting.

      As for the chickens eating eggs - when this happened to me I got some great advice: add red chili pepper powder mixed with a bit of water to make a paste to the the egg shells. Use powder, rather than flakes, because it can make a thick paste. I had to do this a couple of times before they stopped eating the eggs. When I noticed the egg-eating recurring a couple of months later, I did the same thing just once. And I haven't had any issues since. Maybe that will help in your coop?

    3. Michelle - yes, the mud means we've been having warmer temps (hooray!) but, of course, the downfall is the mud.... Always pros and cons to everything, isn't there? Interesting about the paste on the eggs. Actually, I have a dozen hard ceramic eggs and I just put those in the boxes and after pecking enough of those the egg eating stops. Thanks for the info though, I'll keep that in mind if the egg eating continues!


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