There have been several changes around our homestead over this Holiday with more to come in the coming months. We got some long-standing projects done, are redoing some previous ones to be longer-lasting and have a handful of newer ones coming down the pipeline.
The garden has had several setbacks in recent months due to both theft and then our ducks getting into the garden. Not only were thieves stealing produce from our place but some of our son’s toys were also going missing. For added security we are employing a temporary night guard for the times when Dave is gone and we are putting up razor wire all along the back fence to prevent entry. The razor wire, admittedly, is a disappointment (having to stoop to that) but the theft has stopped at last, which is encouraging. We were able to recover one of the stolen toys and now are careful to lock everything up at night. The ducks have decimated my salad and cabbages a couple different times unfortunately which has been frustrating and disheartening (of course upon discovery there are always threats of eating them but I do love them around the yard).
We are in the middle of redoing our chicken/duck runs with more permanence in mind. The bottom is now made of cement with large posts set in it, a strong high quality chicken wire at the bottom and then the rest is filled in with normal chicken wire. They are also taller and now have large angle-iron doors that wont sag and get stuck. We hired a friend to do the cement work this time as Dave has been shorter on free time lately to do projects. The duck pen is done and now we will start the larger chicken run while using the finished smaller one in its stead.
We also had a very large hatch out of kuroiler eggs from Uganda over Christmas day and have around 100 chicks. With the loss of so many babies through out our time here we have decided to start vaccinating our chickens and will do the first round for the entire flock sometime this week. If it works and saves our chicks it will be worth the time and money. We are still searching for fertilized turkey eggs to hatch out and start raising them again. We also had the addition of a litter of 5 kittens and will be looking for homes for them once they are weaned.
Some of the large changes inside the house have been the addition of our fake fireplace (a long-standing project), a new bedroom set and my amazing Christmas gift of a new improved stove. The fireplace has been something I’ve wanted since before our first Christmas and it is finally done and was done in time to enjoy for Christmas with stockings and decor. It is my new favorite place to sit in my rocker – facing the fireplace. I added twinkle lights to some logs for atmosphere and it is quite nice and relaxing. Our new bedroom set we bought in Uganda and it has a nice bed frame, two night stands and a dresser custom made to fit the wall between our bedroom door and master bath door. The old bed we had made here in Bunia and it was poorly done and ended up having to be cut apart to be transported here and then put back together. It squeaked terribly any time you moved and had wobbly posts that were unsightly. It is so nice to especially have a dresser! My amazing new stove is already making life nicer cooking wise; I finally have a stove that I feel compliments my cooking abilities.
Some of our upcoming projects will be a new mosquito net for the bedroom in a “curtain” pull-around style that is suspended on runners on the ceiling. The netting was out of stock the last time we checked but should be back in stock sometime mid-January so once it is I’ll get started on that. Another huge upcoming project is a back-porch extension/expansion. The East side of our porch will be extended (the roof is missing over the area where we have our pizza oven) and we will move all work/operational things over to that side of the porch. That will enable us to expand (widen) the West side of the back porch, screen it in or hang our mosquito net tent and create an amazing outdoor living space to enjoy.
Another completed project for the year was butchering our pig. We raised him for almost an entire year off of house scraps and got a lot of meat for sausage, hams and bacon along with plenty of fat for rendering lard. We will be updating our pig pen before doing another pig but as we wont be getting another one until after our furlough this summer, we have plenty of time.
The upcoming year is going to be very busy and full with non-stop events and challenges including MAF events, audits, trainings, conferences and even a furlough. We appreciate all of your prayers and understanding in the coming year as we will be constantly busy; even to the point of not having time to blog. Thank you for all the support this last year and as we look to the upcoming year know that we are giving praise for you. Hope you had a Merry Christmas and will have a great New Years too.