Last Month On The Homestead: April 2024

the azaleas are in bloom!

ferns are coming up

Hello!  Yes, I am back!!  Let's cover that topic first.  It's a long/short story so here is the abbreviated version.

Many of you read my "goodbye and thank you" post when I decided to close down the blog a few weeks ago.  As I noted in the post, it's something I'd been thinking about for the last couple of years.  Mostly, I had no idea what to post about anymore and there are SO MANY people posting about their simple and homestead-type lives.  I had stopped posting about most topics, focusing on journal-style posts because I wasn't sure what I could write about that would be different than the hundreds of others on blogs, youtube, instagram, etc.

After making the decision, and being ok with it, I had a few friends inquire about the reasons I stopped blogging.  In the process of discussing this with them, I suddenly had a different perspective.  What I realized is that I missed posting informational and tutorial-style posts.  I also realized that even though 30 people may write about the same topic, we all have different voices and different perspectives.  I hadn't even thought of that, for some reason, prior to making the decision.  Once I realized this, I actually have been very excited to return.  I've let it ruminate a few weeks, just to make sure, and I can honestly tell you that I'm thrilled and have so many post ideas! 

spring pear tree
pear tree

So, here's the plan going forward.  I will be posting one of these, "Last Month On The Homestead" posts at the beginning of each month.  This will be the journaling-style post many of you come to read with Jack, Felix, Coop Girl, garden, and general life updates.  Additionally, I will be going back to my roots, so to speak, and begin posting more tutorial/recipe/informational posts on homesteading small scale as well as simple and homemade living. 

I also plan, in the next few months, to move my blog to a different host so that I can offer printable recipes (the number one request I get!).  My current platform, Blogger, does not offer this, but others do.  It should be a smooth transition.  Fingers crossed anyway...  I have started the email newsletter list again since I know many of you find that the easiest way to stay up to date with new posts.

I apologize for any frustration this may have caused.  I try to think things through before making changes but sometimes I don't see blind spots in my thinking, and this happened to be one of those times.  I've sat with this thought for almost 3 weeks and realized that I was excited about writing again, which told me it is the right decision.  My hope is that if you've found me again you'll choose to follow along, but I completely understand if you decide not to.

backyard chicken eggs

On to the rest of the month!

April was a busy month full of garden prep, production in the business, cooking, baking, and spring cleaning.  The last two weeks has found us both pretty sick.  It appears to be a bad chest cold, and we are still struggling through it.  I haven't been this sick since the beginning of 2018.  So, for me it has been very frustrating.  I'm ready for it to be over already.

handsome Jackson

As Jackson gets older, we are keeping an eye on his inevitable weight loss.  He's always been the perfect size, according to his veterinarian, so we don't want him to lose much.  Because he has lost a small amount I've tried switching his food to a higher fat variety.  Unfortunately, his system can be quite sensitive, and his tummy hasn't been accepting of change.  One day I thought about possibly adding a small amount of soft food, which we hadn't yet tried.  We found one that he loves, and his tummy is accepting of, so we have a winner!

Now, Jack being Jack, this isn't the end of the story.  Of course it isn't!!  He is now obsessed.  We call his new food his pate, and he only receives it in the morning.  Now, every single morning, he comes out of his bedroom hollering "where's my pate?  WHERE'S MY PATE????" constantly until I go get it out of the refrigerator.  Now, of course I know he's a cat and, therefore doesn't talk, but I'm telling you this is what he is saying.  Once I've dished up the goods, he leads me to where I put down his small dish (it must be the same spot every morning), inspects it and then, as if to say "ok, good.  Now I can go about my morning chores" proceeds about his morning routine.  His morning routine is him walking the perimeter of every room to ensure all is in its correct placement and getting to every window he can access in order to conduct the first property check of the day.  (There will be a few checks throughout the day.)  If all is well and he doesn't believe either of us to need his supervision, then he will go eat his pate.  And we will have some moments of peace.

Here's an example of the types of things that bother him.  Last week there was a day that I had opened all of the windows in our house except for four.  Good 'ol Jack walked around screaming when he'd come to a closed window "hey, this window's closed!  THIS WINDOW'S CLOSED!!!!!" I imagined him saying.  We would try and divert his attention by encouraging him into one of the MANY open windows, but his focus remained on the few that were closed.

And now you understand why we mandate he sleeps in his own room at night......  He's still a handful!

Our feral cat friend Felix only comes around in the middle of the night these days.  I'm not sure why.  Hopefully as spring turns to summer we will see more of him.  There had been another little cat we've seen a few nights as well, but not consistently.

growing kale

In the garden, the garlic I planted in fall, lettuces, greens, rhubarb, and a few herbs are growing nicely.  Asparagus should be making its appearance soon.  I was late planting my peas because we had work to do in the garden beds first.  Hopefully I will still get a good harvest.  I had dreamed of planting a large variety of cut flowers this year, but I think I'll move that to next spring's agenda.  I never got around to starting the seeds for this year.

spring garlic

Do you remember my little chipmunk friend Ruby?  Well, we're pretty sure she didn't make it through winter.  She had a problem with either her equilibrium or possibly her leg(s) on one side of her body last fall so we weren't sure she'd be back.  From what we can tell, she is not.  She was so funny - I miss seeing (and feeding) her.

The Coop Girls are doing well.  Even the older girls are laying eggs fairly frequently!  I can hardly believe it.  One of our girls, Frannie, is getting picked on a bit too much so we put a hen saver on her to protect her back.  The others had drawn blood one day so they would have continued picking at her.  This way she can heal.  She doesn't like wearing it, I'm sure it feels awkward, but she's doing just fine with it.

Today feels like a beautiful summer day although it's only the beginning of May.  I'm hoping to get outside and do yard work most of the day tomorrow and be back in the garden planting more stuff next week.  

Hoping you all had a wonderful week and weekend ahead!


  1. I'm delighted to know you'll be posting again! I'm sorry you've been sick, though. Hoping it clears up soon. OMG, Jack's personality is too funny! Having dogs that immediately wolf any food that is put on the floor, I can't imagine them taking a leisurely stroll around, before devouring it. Animals can be so amusing! That's too bad about your chipmunk friend. Is a hen saver the same as a chicken apron?

    1. Thanks so much Laurie! Yes, Jack is indeed a character. Yes, a hen saver is the same as a chicken apron. They are so handy, aren't they? We bought them when we had a rooster and hadn't realized we'd need them even with no rooster. Happy we kept them. ☺

  2. I am so glad you are back! And for the exact reason you stated! Yes, there are many other blogs writing about what you write about, but I love YOUR voice. Every writer has their own and I appreciate yours! So welcome back, and I'm sure many will look forward to future postings. Around here we have been harvesting lettuce (lots and lots of lettuce!) and the carrots will be ready soon. I saw today a few could technically be picked, but I think I'll wait a bit more. There are a whopping 3 sugar snap peas growing on the vines. I think I got those started far too late, but we shall see. Green beans are poking thru the soil, and oddly some sunflowers seeded themselves for the first time ever, and we have many tight buds and one massive golden bloom! A very odd but welcome sight this early in the year. Needless to say it's been a mild winter. One question... I feel like long ago you used to have links to other bloggers you followed on the right side of the page, but they have been missing for quite some time. If those came back I would love it! Instead of bookmarking the ones I liked, I would usually hop onto your page and then click from there, and I miss those! Looking forward to reading about your pets and homestead in the months to come. :)

    1. Hi Jennifer - thank you SO MUCH! That's very kind of you. Wow, that's great on what you're harvesting and about to harvest, and that the sunflowers reseeded. You don't have a squirrel or chipmunk issue then, I take it? It was a mild winter here as well. The blogs that were on the sidebar I took down because I was having an issue with them loading. I will add them back and see if the issue is resolved. That being said, I don't know if that will be an option once I switch hosts.

    2. Girl, so glad to see you back! I love that you have embraced your purpose on this blog. I have to say, that my blog is more a record for myself, so that I will someday be able to go back and see what I've been up to. It's a great way to keep a garden journal, if nothing else. Everyone needs to find their own reasons, but I do love your perspective on things. We are indeed kindred spirits.

    3. Awww...thanks so much Daisy. Kindred spirits indeed.

  3. Yay, so happy to see your name pop up with a new post! I'm so glad to have somehow (in this giant world of blogging) stumbled upon Cobble Hill Farm! It's amazing to me, as Daisy says, to find those kindred spirits across the miles...there's just no one around me that enjoys the same homesteading/gardening/simple lifestyle that I do, it's been great to "meet" you and share stories!


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