January. The year started here, in the slanted little house. It was cold, very cold. Our new farmhouse was under roof and while real work continued there, I spent many shivering hours at the old farmhouse working on my fantasy farm in my head.
Oh, and driving my car into the river.
February. I wondered if the house would ever be finished. And what it was like to have heat and insulation as it hit zero back at the old farmhouse.
I was interviewed for an article that appeared in the local county paper. On that icy day, I was scared to drive up my own driveway at the new farmhouse and fell off my chair during the interview. I was calm, cool, collected, and ready to be a farmer.
March. We moved in!!!!!
And I promptly lost half my cats. Cats are so difficult to move.
The house wasn’t really quite finished. It was stressful and exciting and stressful. Did I mention the stressful part? But–I live on a farm!!! And there was heat and insulation and everything.
April. We took a trip to a chicken farm and I came away with dozens of eggs to hatch. After an incubator overheating incident, I got a fresh supply of eggs from the chicken farm, but couldn’t quite bring myself to throw out the ruined eggs. I was stunned to see one hatch, which was quickly followed by more from the second batch. After a month of turning, candling, waiting, hoping, I ended the month with my little flock, my first chickens.
And, thank goodness, lost cats became found cats as we settled into our new house and our new life on our new farm.
May. We built a chicken house so the chickens could finally move out of my office, and took a trip to a goat farm, preparing for the next step. Goats! And we started our first garden on our new farm, challenged by the loss of top soil from grading during construction. We perservered, determined to grow something even if it was only weeds, as spring burst into the lush beauty that is West Virginia.
I love spring on our farm.
June. The chickens grew and grew and even got a little scary.
Prepare to die.
And then we got a giant puppy!!!
How did I ever live without her before?
I was immediately obsessed with Clover’s magic udder and the dream of fresh milk.
The month closed with a feature story about my blog in the Charleston Daily Mail.
August. I started milking Clover.
Yeah. I can’t really explain that picture. But I did eventually go from a few scant tablespoons to a pint a day!! I was determined. And so was Clover…..
Meanwhile, the garden proved more abundant than expected. I love summer on our farm.
After canning apricot, peach, and blackberry jam all summer, we picked apples at the old farmhouse for apple butter.
My pantry was filled with jams and butters. I love living in the country.
I was an honorary grand marshal in the Black Walnut Festival parade. I learned to use a pressure canner, adding green beans and tomatoes to our stocked pantry. And most of all, October was about the stunning show of color all around us on our farm.
I love our farm in the autumn.
November. The chickens gave me a a pink egg.
And then quit laying because they were just messing with my head anyway.
We started building a goat house and I started dreaming about sheep again as we saw our first snow on the farm.
December. We got snowed in and went sledding on our farm for the first time. The boys cut down our first Christmas tree for our new farmhouse and much of the month was spent in fun and frugal gift-making. 52 came out of the shadows at long last, and Clover dreamed of a man of her own.
Winter on our farm is wonderful. (I’m really digging the heat and insulation.)
This new farmhouse has already seen new friends and old friends and family from near and far. Good times and hard times. Tears and laughter, despair and hope. I’m looking forward to the next year and dreaming new dreams–new chicks, ducklings, baby goats, and, yay, little lambs! Oh, the farm babies we shall have! And maybe, just maybe, a barn…… Who knows what else. There are so many things left to learn, so many experiences, so many surprises.
Life is a bold adventure.
This is my now. And whatever happens next…..
….I know it’s gonna be fun. Come with us?