First off, David and Will have been working on starting the subfloor of the new cabin. It was cold and very windy but they got a good start even though the cold made squeezing the subfloor adhesive out of the caulking tube very hard. All went well until David got a fire call. (He’s on a volunteer fire department.) So David tore off and Will worked awhile longer then came home to warm up. (Luckily, it was just a roadside grass fire due to someone tossing a cigarette out a car window because aside from a small DNR crew, there were only two firefighters available to take the call. The fire was out quickly with just one truck on the scene.) David came home and he and Will continued working on the cabin floor until after dark. Half is done!

Will and David screw down the first sheet of subfloor. Now it’s half finished.
David lays a bead of subfloor adhesive while Will holds the plywood out of the way.

Ashley was working in Bemidji, a three-hour drive away so she hadn’t had a chance to clean out the baby duckling’s plastic tote home. It was getting pretty stinky! So David drew a short bath for them to play in while he cleaned their house and put in fresh shavings. They sure enjoyed that! (After all, who but a homesteader would have ducks in the bathtub?)

The next morning was a bit hectic. Bill and his family were coming for a belated Easter dinner and also Ashley’s dad and his girlfriend were bringing up the doors and windows they’d gotten at Menard’s on a killer sale. So David took off to Cook to help unload the material into their storage building. Ashley drove separately so she could pick up Javid in his van so he could enjoy dinner with us all.

We had a good turkey dinner and plenty of visiting. Ava loves Ashley’s ducklings and went upstairs and brought down the “friendly” one to hold on the couch. All I thought was “Please don’t poop on her!”

Ava with the friendliest duckling

Ashley is now our cow midwife and has religiously checked on Comet, our most-pregnant mama cow who was a week late in delivering her calf. She even went down at night to sit with Comet and play music for her.

But, of course, yesterday we had a big spring snowstorm. We just KNEW Comet would have her calf in that. But as of late last night, no calf and no sign of impending labor. This morning, early, David was waiting to get a call from work to see if and when he’d have to go in so he took the ATV down to check on Comet, through seven inches of fresh snow. And he came right back! Yep, a calf. She was just born, in the barn, and still plenty wet.

As it was only twenty degrees, Will brought the calf up to the house to dry off in front of the wood stove. She was shivering and he didn’t want to chance any ears or part of her tail freezing. She dried off well, then we took her back to her mother. I got her to suck several times so she’s off to a good start now. It IS depressing, with all this snow and wind when the “normal” temperature this time of year is 45 degrees!

Will is drying off the new heifer he’s calling “Blizzard.” Gee, I wonder why?

I recently got an author’s link to the Kindle edition of Backwoods Home and enjoyed seeing the new format for the first time. Pretty nice! So I guess I’m going to bite the bullet and get a Kindle. I checked on eBay and I can get one for about $50 so that’s not bad at all. I also got my new-to-me camera as my old one is dying quickly due to moisture that got in it during my Florida trip two years back. (Yep, I tried everything, including putting it in a bag of rice. No dice.) Slowly the functions were dying, one by one. Now I can’t zoom or the photo is only a white square!

The new camera is a Canon EOS Rebel with two lenses and I think I’m in high clover. But it came without an owner’s manual so I had to order one. But I can operate it and take photos with it. So YEA! And it has a 300 mm zoom lens too so I should get some awesome wildlife photos. — Jackie


  1. Welcome to the tech world! Lol! I would never go anywhere without my Kindle. Thru the numerous surgeries I have gone thru and more to come, it is my constant friend and distracts me from the pain!

    • I hear you there. I’m an avid reader, snatching a few minutes at a time between jobs on the homestead.

  2. Wow! So much going on at your homestead. The new calf is beautiful. Hoping that you’re getting some warmer temperatures soon. We need it so bad! Thanks for the updates on everything!

  3. Since your books are on amazon you should be well aquainted with them. I got a Kindle Fire for about $50 last fall. It is also a full blown pad with internet search and lots of features I’ll never use but it is a good reader. Speaking of internet, you can probably download a manual for your camera from the net. Glad to see the calf safely delivered.

    • Yup, I just ordered my own Kindle Fire for $50 with free shipping and it’s a big leap into the tech world as I still have a flip phone! But, I too miss reading Backwoods Home and don’t want to wait till the end of the year to buy a printed Anthology.
      I was going to download a manual but when I saw how many pages, I just went on ebay and bought a manual for $6.99. I got it today and I’ve already started using the camera. Yea!!!

  4. Jackie, when you can up the chicken breast with bone. Do you can whole or take off bone. I also found for .99 lb. thank you so much.

    • Don’t want to answer for Jackie, but I usually cook the chicken as normal(whole, breast or pieces). Then I remove as much as I can from bones… use bones for stock / broth. Then I can up chicken meat… can do big pieces… along w canning the chicken broth. Makes wonderful meals in a pinch.

    • I actually do both ways. If I can buy boneless chicken breasts, I usually just can it raw, cut into convenient pieces. If I’m butchering chickens or buy bone-in breasts, I usually leave the bone in and can 1 breast in each wide mouth quart jar, partially cooked by simmering in water. That way I get not only canned white meat but also great chicken stock as well.

    • Done deal! I just did. Now if I can figure out how to work it. Oh wait, I’ll just ask my kindergarten granddaughter. I’m sure Ava can show me. lol

    • Thank you Becky. I just ordered my own Kindle Fire. Soon I’ll be able to read BHM again! I’ve missed it. Even though I write for the magazine, I still like to read others’ articles. It’s still a great magazine, as is Self-Reliance.

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