One uninvited guest was a small black widow spider found by our oldest daughter (Evenstar) in the big white cabinet under the camper canopy where we keep cleaning and pet supplies. I’ve never seen one before (that I recall), and was grateful she was alert to it. Silver Oak showed all the children before smashing it.
We also had a visit from Mr. Gopher Tortoise. He shows up now and then, this time crawling right through our greenhouse area. We really like the tortoises, but wish the laws protecting them wouldn’t make things so difficult. We can’t do any construction within a 25’ radius of their burrows. We’re at the mercy of wherever they decide to dwell.
More babies were born! One of Evenstar’s rabbits had 14 babies! Too many. Four kits died within two days, and two more were so tiny and unable to get enough to eat that Evenstar tried feeding them with a bottle or syringe, but they also soon expired. So she ended up with eight, which is still a good-sized litter.
Our third Nubian goat, Melody, had her first baby, a cute little doeling! Melody is Jody’s kid from two years ago (Jody is now a grandma!). She did just great! We named the kid Harmony. This time the big girls did things like spray the cord and help her get her first drink. They’re taking over for me!
We had a visit from our next door neighbor informing us that one of our dogs has been getting into his trash. Not good. We don’t blame him for being upset. Now it feels more urgent than ever to get the perimeter fence up. But there was a discrepancy between our survey and his over the property line that had to be resolved before redoing fences on that side (it was actually resolved Friday, PTL! More on that another time.). He and his wife had dreamed of owning this 20 acres before we came along, and we ruined their plans. We can’t blame them for being very disappointed, but the resulting tension has been a prayer concern for us. We’d really like to be friends with our neighbors.
Some very unwelcome guests were…FLEAS! We were trying to conquer Misty’s fleas (see former post) which meant they were jumping off of her onto the carpet under our canopy. Then they’d jump on us and we’d carry them inside. It turned into quite a time consuming battle, as we are not willing to co-exist with the horrible creatures!
In the midst of all of this we had a very urgent deadline to meet. The camper parked next to our tiny house had to move, and we had to prepare for its exit. We had actually lived in it six weeks while waiting for our tiny house to be put in place. Since then we’ve used it for a school room, second bathroom, storage, and guest quarters. In the meantime Silver Oak’s parents purchased a camper which they want to use when they visit from Ohio, and someone else needs the other camper. So we had to switch them out.
After living here on the new homestead over four months the original camper was pretty hemmed in. It was no easy feat to move it out. We had things stored inside it, under it, around it, and under its canopy. We had made stepping stone walkways, built fences around it, and arranged potted plants around it. The electrical, plumbing and sewer connections all had to be disconnected and revised. The freezer had quit a few times and some frozen bananas had thawed and then refrozen, leaving a gunky mess behind.
We had a two week notice for moving the camper during the time Silver Oak had to be in town most days for landscaping. So most of the work was done the last several days before the move. The runway fence from the paddocks to the barn had to be completed to pen the animals in, since the fence keeping them out of our living area needed to be opened to move the camper out. We also had to finish more decking to make room for the big white cabinet that was living under the camper canopy. We had several rather late nights again.
It took all day Saturday to move the old camper out and the new one in (and remove the last of our belongings and clean it). Once the animals were all secured in the new runway, we took the east fence down. My dad drove his van between the camper and deck to get to the other side and hitch up the camper, then backed it out. Silver Oak pulled the “new” camper in, but four feet closer to the existing deck than the first one had been. In the future the deck will be completed to stretch from our tiny house to the camper, creating a sort of wind tunnel between the two parallel trailers.
Problem: after pulling the new camper in, our Suburban was trapped by the fence directly in front of the camper, since the camper was now too close to the deck. Silver Oak had to remove fence and drive through the wooded future paddocks to an opening at the end to get out (he’d figured this out before hand). This was finally completed around 8:45pm and we still hadn’t eaten dinner, but at least we’d be able to go to church the next morning. It was an exhausting job but it felt so good to get it done!
The next day, while in town for church anyway, we stopped and picked up 12 more permanent visitors to our little homestead. We are now the proud owners of a dozen baby guineas (called keets)! Guinea fowl are big time bug eaters (including fleas and chiggers), snake killers, and watch-“dogs.” We could use a healthy dose of all of the above, so we are hoping this new addition will be a great asset to our little farm.
Linked w/Frugally Sustainable , Barn Hop, Growing Home, Live Renewed, Our Simple Farm, A Rural Journal, Simple Lives Thursday, My Simple Country Living, Ole’ Saturday Homesteading Trading Post, and Seasonal Celebration Sunday.