March 31, 2017

February was confusing, but March is...March!

We had a rather crazy month of February, including some days that were warm enough for us to don sweaters when working outside, a warm wind that truly smelled of spring, and the ladybugs in the walls of our 137 year-old house woke up and clamoured to the windows hoping to get out into the garden and begin their year! There was lots of rain, which thankfully evacuated the 2-foot coating of snow and ice attached to the roofs of our house and garage, There were also very cold days that were unmistakably wintery and February-ish. And then came March. The first half was quite blustery, with maybe one warmer day. We are going through firewood like crazy! The weather is completely inconsistent as it goes up and down. It will be warm and the snow will melt, but then it will rapidly freeze and the pathways turn to glare ice. Not a pleasurable aspect to barn chores, I assure you! The major maple syrup producers in our area went ahead with their sap collection in February, but we did ours at the end of the month. We are farther north than the central operations so our seasons always come in a bit later than the "norm".
Each year is an adventure in itself, waiting with baited breath for nature's cues to take on certain tasks. We know better than to get excited when the warm breeze flows in during April and May and to wait until the last week of May to even consider planting our precious spring seeds and seedlings! Currently, Jason built a raised hot compost bed to be used inside the greenhouse, which will warm the seedlings during our frigid spring evenings. An exciting project! I love that about homesteading; how each and every year is peppered with bran-new ideas and building projects (or the acquisition of new barnyard flock members~!) Ahhh, spring, we are ready for you!

Here are a few pictures of our March adventures!



Still lots of good stuff in the pantry!


Brothers, piled up :)


Always going


Jude loves to take things apart, trying to figure out how they work


Ollie reading


and Jude reading!


Jude is silly!


us three


We all got a nasty cold. Poor Ollie felt so awful that he fell asleep on top of a lego bin, toy house, and a log!


We are so ready for green


A trusting little friend on our morning walk :)


New painting!


Another new painting! I have been loving ravens this past winter


Always, I have friends with me when I work upstairs in my studio


A delightful picture Jude drew of Ollie and us as happy pirates dancing!


the beginnings of sap flowing..


Jason waiting for the sap to drip


Maple syrup time!


It was warm on this particular day, which you can see by Jude's wearing no winter coat!


Grandma-Jude came to visit :)


Cozy tea parties by the fire every day


Jason feeding the rocket stove, making the sacred maple syrup


One of hens had a nasty injury, so she lived in the house with us for 5 days


Here she is after her bath


Jude's awesome new 'do'!


Matilda was less than impressed that a chicken was in the house


Ollie as a pirate


Pirates doing pirate things in my kitchen!


With a pretty new apron to keep her (much improved) wound covered, our hen was easily reintroduced back into her flock. She was so happy to be running around with her buddies outside again!


And last but not least, marathon cooking! On this day I made butternut squash soup, chile, and rice pudding.



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