Since the weather has been really nice — even above freezing and sunny — Will has been finishing up hauling manure from the training ring onto the Sand garden. Meanwhile, Alisha spent several hours in the hayloft of the new barn, nailing down boards which make the floor. The boards are from the pallets and boxes David got free at work. And as they’re 5/4 decking they make perfect flooring for the hayloft. Before, we only had the center floored. Now ¾ of the East side is also done with plenty more boards waiting for action. We really like using free material for various projects.

Doesn’t the hayloft floor look great?

Alisha has also had a busy two and a half days. After visiting with our friend, Dara, she got all geared up to begin crocheting a throw from the wool she’d spun. In just that time, she’s made terrific progress — It’s amazing. What a beautiful creation it is, too, with various stripes of natural colors. She’s just thrilled to have learned several new skills.

Here’s Alisha’s crocheted throw after only 2½ days! Remember, she also spun the wool.

Today, while I drove to mail seed packages, she and Will took the truck out to the edge of our land bordering the State Forest next to us where a logging cut was done. The loggers “paid” Will and I about three cords of ash firewood and some big spruce logs for the ability to cross a narrow strip of our land to access the site. As there was already a trail in there of sorts, it made their job much easier.

This is just a fraction of the firewood and saw logs we now have available close by.

Now the logs are sitting at home by the sawmill and down in the clearing at the end of the Wolf Road (the 40 acres where David’s cabin is). There are also two big piles of logs that they left when they logged our land there. So between all of that and what Will has already cut, plus what’s across the creek, we have enough firewood and lumber-making logs to last a lifetime … and we plan on living for a long time! It doesn’t take much to make us happy. — Jackie


  1. Free wood, that’s great. Ya a lot of work but for the price and a little sweat equity that’s money in the bank, nothing like wood heat. Got the seeds we ordered from you the other week and are also in a frenzy getting things ready for planting. Very excited about the new growing year, our living room looks like a nursery.

    • Heck, it gets like our whole downstairs is a nursery!! I’m planning on taking out an extra old sofa and replacing it with a table for more plants. Oh oh, is that a sign of danger??? Only if I plant carnivorous plants!!

      • Sweat equity. Yep. But we don’t have to pay to work out at the gym. This is much more fun!

  2. I think almost every blog entry of yours could be called “We’re Keeping Busy.” It’s not just your family either – Alisha is obviously also a hard worker. She learned fast about making yarn and crocheting but the artistry of the throw’s colors and design cannot be taught or achieved only by effort. I’m sure you miss her. Good luck with the new one (or two).

    • i have to laugh; you’re right. But, hey, we’re never bored! Alisha’s not gone, gone. She’ll be back from time to time. But we would love to have another apprentice or two around the place. There’s not only lots of work but lots to learn too. Many hands make light work, after all.

  3. You sure have been busy making the most of the warmer weather! The afghan is lovely. She should be so proud of herself! Thanks for great update on what’s happening around the homestead.

    • We’ve had a tough winter so when it warms up, it energizes us all. We love Alisha’s new skill and the enthusiasm she has for learning new things.

  4. I am sooo impressed with Alisha’s spinning and beautiful throw. Her spinning looks so consistent. Mine, not so much. She must be a godsend of help for you, as the loft looks just amazing. Here in Sherburne County, I saw my first robin this week. So exciting! Now if all this ice and snow would just go away.

  5. the afghan is lovely, and to think she spun the wool, that is amazing. Love your blog, just wish you had time to post more often! But the life of a homesteader is a busy one. We are having a couple of sunny days in the high 40’s so will get out in the yard some. Chicken house to clean and will plant peas and get started planting some peppers, tomatoes and other seeds in my small greenhouse. Hope spring comes to your area soon.

    • Alisha is wanting two sheep so she can shear them and start at the beginning. We’re impressed! Yeah, sometimes I even miss a blog because things just get too hectic. But I do try so I can visit with my blog family. I’ve started planting some of my longest season hot peppers so I get more ripe peppers this year. In the house! We’ve got a foot of snow on our hoop houses and I can’t wade through 3 feet to get there.

  6. Alisha does beautiful work. You guys are always busy. Glad the weather is breaking. Getting all that free wood is awesome. In western North Carolina we are seeing new growth and blue birds. Very exciting to know spring is near. Would love to see pics of David’s cabin and the progress made there. Thank you for the blog. I know it is a lot of work. I look so forward to each and every new one. Happy Spring!!

    • Blue Birds? Awwww I love them so much! I’ll get some pics of the cabin for you. Most of the progress now is inside; wiring, junction boxes, etc. But this spring the metal roof goes on over the OSB along with some windows. Awesome! And Happy Spring to you, too.

    • Free wood? LOL. There an awful lot of work that goes into that free wood! And buying the land, and paying taxes on the land. But I get what you mean.

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