Sunday, October 19, 2014

Finishing Homestead Projects

Do you ever become anxious about things or projects you want to complete? Seems like it takes forever to get the money to buy the materials or have the time to do what needs to be done. You or your spouse or other family members keep whining about what needs to be done, but can't be worked on for whatever reason. Usually for us, it has been the money. Time passes. Then one day, you notice those projects are done or almost done. How did that happen? It seemed like you were just wondering if it'd EVER be finished. Now you are on to another project. It has been that way on our little homestead the whole time we have lived here.

Then I look back through my pictures and say, "Wow, I remember I thought we'd never get this finished or that started." Some of those projects we were working on were:

1. Adding a wind turbine to our alternative energy system.

2. Increasing our solar panels from 5 to 15.

3. Taking out some trees in the backyard and re-building the raised beds.

4. Rebuilding the foundation on our house.

5. Re-designing and building the gray water system.

6. Building a new battery box for the batteries in our energy system.

I am happy to say all of these projects are finished or almost finished. We now have other projects to do, that we are already beginning to work on. I think it will be a constant ongoing process on this homestead. We both keep getting new ideas. It is a good thing that we agree on almost everything and have a vision that we share for our homestead. How are your projects coming along?

Copyright © 2014 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2014 Kathleen G. Lupole

Friday, October 03, 2014

Taking Stock of our Homestead

Every year after summer is over, I take stock of our homestead. I try to figure out what I did wrong and how I could have done that different. For the garden, I make a list on my computer of things to remember for next year. Otherwise, I fear I will forget by then. One of the biggest mistakes I made this year was mixing up my squash and pumpkin plants. I had them labeled in the house when I started them, but they got mixed up when I was moving them around inside the house. Next year, I will put a label on each plant's container. Not a group in a tray.

I can't complain about this past summer. It was a nice summer and our garden did very well. I was able to can a good amount of food for winter time future meals. I try not to open even one jar of newly canned foods until it snows. That is my rule. Every year I write out a weekly food plan/budget. It includes 7 days of  menus made up of main dishes, sides, starches & desserts. We do not eat desserts for every meal. I try to keep them a rare treat, so they will always be special. Starches can be left off if you are eating low carbs. Or make your own substitution for them out of low carb foods.

An old house takes a lot of work to keep it in good condition. As various things break down, they take money, time and work. When that happens it puts the projects we want to work on, on hold. So we wait, till we can move on to the projects we really want to do. Patience pays off when they are all completed. Last year my husband worked on adding more solar panels, and a wind turbine to our energy system. It definitely paid off. After living for six years without refrigeration, we were able to add a solar refrigerator, and that has really improved my life.

My favorite part of  fall and winter is cooking on our wood stoves. We use our wood cook stove just about every day, even in summer. Our wood heating stove has an unusually large top, and is often covered with stock pots of water for our hot water supply. I cook on it on those cold winter days, putting a Dutch oven on to simmer until supper. For me, every season has it's perks. I enjoy them all.

Copyright © 2014 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2014 Kathleen G. Lupole

I write this blog based on my experience living an off-the-grid life as a modern homesteader. Some of the links you may click or products I recommend may or may not compensate me for including them in my post. Be sure to read my disclosure page if you are concerned about that.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Reflections of katlupe

As you may have noticed, I have changed the name of this blog from Homesteading on the Internet, to Reflections of katlupe. The reason is that I am now publishing Homesteading on the Internet on my self-hosted blog in another location. If you are looking for homesteading information it is here. I still write that and Solar Baby on a regular basis. This blog I have sadly neglected. I plan to remedy that starting right now. This blog will now reflect my thoughts and views on a variety of subjects. I wanted a place to express myself more.

This morning we heard the sounds of coyotes very near our property. Now we don't usually hear them that close and definitely not in the morning. We heard the whole pack not long after the first howling. Next sound, I am sorry to say that I heard, was a coyote in distress. My husband thought it sounded like it may have gotten caught in a trap. After that, we heard some sounds from the others, then a definite growling. Then nothing. Not a sound since. The hunters? Don't know where they went or where they came from. When you live in the state forest, you are always on the alert due to hunters. Some are good and know what they are doing. Others are just learning or don't really care.

I am not against hunting, even though it is something I would never do, nor my husband. I grew up in a hunting and fishing family. My father did not hunt coyotes and he wouldn't just kill an animal to kill it. I know many people just love the hunt. To them, killing is like winning the game. I feel hunting for fun is about as senseless as fishing, and throwing the fish back, because you weren't going to keep them to start with. Just for the sport of it. How would you like someone to put a hook through your mouth, cause you a lot of stress and fear, and then tell you they were just kidding? Doesn't sound like fun to me.

Copyright © 2014 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2014 Kathleen G. Lupole