The Tale of Two Tails Part 2

The Tale of Two Tails Part 2

So where was I… Oh yes, so this cat seemed really hungry and seemed to really enjoy being around. This cat helped me somehow feel a bit better. My kids started to notice their mom talking to something.  I told them this cat must have been eating Lucy’s food I was putting out.

The cat came to visit daily. It was such a sweetheart! We began to call it a she. My daughter even named her Tulip.  I thought we should name her Faith. Because she seemed to have this amazing amount of faith to win us over and make her our own! The kids absolutely loved this cat!  What a great change! We actually had a cats affection and she wanted to hang around us!

We put an add in a few garage sale sites in our area to see if Tulip belonged to a family already. I even stuck a note on her collar. We never heard from anyone. So we pretty much decided we were going to keep Tulip. So guess who decided to show back up? Yep, one day I heard a whine that sounded vaguely familiar. I looked out the window facing the cornfield and see a wee little face peeking through! It was Lucy! Thank God my Lucy was finally home! We were all so excited to see her! But what about the new cat we just about entered into our collection of pets? The kids were a bit disappointed now. The two cats didn’t get along. I should say Lucy couldn’t get along! And now we got this great experience of having an affectionate cat!

Now please remember, I am from the suburbs near Chicago. So if this cat of ours was going to come back in the house and lay on my bed etc., she was going to need a bath! So we gave her a bath, got her nice and clean. Now we need to figure out what we are going to do about these cats!

We decided to take care of both cats.  Since Lucy was our cat, after all, she would come back in the house and stay. Tulip would be well taken care of outside. She seemed to survive alright outside as a farm cat. There were farm buildings she seemed to somehow get into if she needed to get away from the cold and wind.  We would take Tulip to the vet and make sure she would be healthy and safe to be around! We didn’t pick her up or get too close because we didn’t know if she had something we could catch.  So I was anxiously awaiting to be able to cuddle with this cat!

A week before or so we took Tulip to the vet, a neighbor of mine who I hadn’t met yet came over.  We talked about how we were homesteading, her horses, flowers and etc. Then Tulip comes out and we introduce her to our neighbor who was visiting. She commented how nice it was. Then I can’t remember if I asked her to check Tulip’s private area or if she just said it. But she said it was a Tom Cat!! A male cat!

Oh man! We call this poor cat a girl’s name! Now, what do we do? The cat actually comes to his girl name! What do I tell the vet that his name is? I was feeling pretty stupid!  After going through some alterations to fix his name. We finally came up with Tu. I know it kinda sounds weird! But it has character! Right? I felt a little better after his vet check, the vet said he was neutered. So not too weird that I couldn’t tell!

As of today both cats are now outside barn cats. And both Tu and Lucy have adjusted themselves around each other. We had some more behavioral issues with Lucy and no one wanted a mean cat in their houses. She comes twice a day to my door and eats her food. She too sneaks into the farm buildings or our greenhouse. She has actually become a tad nicer and is a great mouser. Tu is a great cat! This past fall we had a huge scare! He was peeing blood! We took him to the vet and found out he had crystals blocking near his urinary tract. It was so scary! We thought we were going to have to put him down. Thankfully, we tried this food that is supposed to help. It has been an answer to prayer. Since we started the food there has been no more frequent urination and no blood. Praise God!

Tu hangs around when we are doing chores outside, comes to greet us when we come home, hangs on our window screen if he wants our attention,gets along with the chickens, ducks, and dogs! And he is good with the kids! He is also a great mouser.  Its pretty funny when I am gardening and he jumps on my back and just lays there on my back! He sneaks into the house a lot and tends to make himself comfy! I’m telling you must be that faith!

I hope you enjoyed this two part story blog of The Tale of the Two Tales! Its always an adventure here on the homestead!

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The Tale of Two Tails Part 1

The Tale of Two Tails Part 1

Things on the homestead have been pretty busy. Puppies are doing good and growing so fast already! For this post though, I would like to tell you about our two cats on the homestead. I hope you enjoy the story!

A few years back I decided I wanted a cat around the house.  Being on a farm there tends to be field mice! Yuck! So I wanted to make sure we always were on top of not having mice in the house! So I tried to locate a kitten near. I quickly came across one! A few towns over from ours another fellow homesteader’s neighbor had a litter of kittens. The fellow homesteader had already adopted a cute calico kitty from the litter. But there were a few black ones and one black and white one left. I decided on the black and white one even though I wasn’t thrilled with the color. But to my surprise in a later message from the Homesteader, she was having allergy issues and was going to let me take the pretty medium haired calico kitty! I was so excited! It was close to Christmas time so I had planned to gift the kitty to my kids for our family gift. So a few days later or so I picked up the cute little kitty! The kids were thrilled to open her as a present! She was so tiny and precious looking! We called her Lucy after the Chronicles of Narnia!

I should have seen from the signs the Kitty was giving us that she wasn’t going to be a very nice cat! Now may this be an ole wives’ tale, but I later looked up Calico cats and it said they can be known to be feisty!  Lucy became very crabby as she grew and not very friendly! She would scratch the kids, growl, pee in the basement floor (and no, she didn’t have a problem with her urinary tract), and hiss.  Oh, and I forgot to add she scratched up our living room couch and chair! Note to future cat owners ~ Don’t get leather couches if you decide to not de claw your cats!

She would occasionally seek attention from my hubby though! Now I will give her the benefit of the doubt here and say this may be because she was a feral kitty.  But we were so disappointed! I especially wanted a cuddly purring kitty to love and to love me in return. So we dealt with this kitty for almost a year!

And then one day she was no where to be found! We were so worried! Sure she was a bad kitty to us but she had grown on us and we had no idea where she was! Was she hurt? Was she eaten by a coyote? Was she picked up by someone? Or had she been ran over by a car?

We tried everything to get her back and had found out that cats will try to escape and make a family.  And they usually come back. I was really praying and counting on the coming back part! I had tried putting food around the homestead and even putting her own food bowl outside. Thought it might attract her back some how. I was putting food out would somehow attract her back.  One day, I was putting more food out one day and I heard a sound coming from the cornfield. Was it my sweet kitty? Something was making its way out of the cornfield and right before my eyes a big faced cat came slowly out!  Oh, I sighed, You’re not my kitty. I began to lightly sob now. And suddenly I began talking to this cat!                                                                                                                                                    “Have you seen my kitty? She ran away and I’m so worried about her.”

This cat was a lot bigger than my cat. It had almost a lion type of face. And began eating the food I left out. The lion cat had one ear that had some damage to it. I wasn’t sure why.  I was thinking maybe he had frostbite at one time. He seemed like a friendly cat and certainly seemed hungry! Did he run away from his or her house? Did someone just drop him or her off? Or was she or he a distant neighbor cat I hadn’t seen before? Who’s cat was this?

This is the first part of this story. The best is yet to come, so make sure you read my next blog.Lucy

LucyLucy

A New Kind of Puppy Love

A New Kind of Puppy Love

Well, here at the homestead my family and I experienced our Great Pyrenees giving birth to her pups! It’s been so exciting! In my last post, I talked about how my Livestock Guardian dog was pregnant and that I was a little nervous about the birth. Well, I survived! My dog did such an amazing job! I am so proud of her! Just this past Saturday night, I went upstairs to bed and little did I know that my dog would start having puppies! At about 1:30 A.M., my hubby woke me up and informed me that our dear dog made her way to the basement laundry room and started to give birth. My hubby had been checking the fire stove so he had already been up. He had noticed that our dog was not around and went in the basement to see if she was down there. And sure enough, she was down there. I hurried downstairs and she had three pups already. Then another and by the time 5:30 in the morning came, I was relieved for a few hours night sleep. This way my hubby and son could get some sleep in until it was there turn again. When I was up and ready to check up on her for my shift, she had already had three more! After about another hour or so she had another! It was so amazing! A little sac bubble with a tiny little pup inside! She had a few more later and then every time we thought that had to be all the pups another would come! And thank God my dog wasn’t doing a screaming whine like I would have been doing if I was in labor. She patiently waited there in her blanket nest and carefully cleaned each pup. Well, we thought for sure our dog must be finished with the pups by now. But no, After already having seven! So we moved her and the pups up to our family room and around 11 am or so she had her final pup. It was number 12! Twelve pups!! Can you believe it! Usually, dogs don’t have that many for their first litter of pups! What a blessing! I cant tell you how much I adore these pups already! They are so precious! And I’m so thankful that so far there hasn’t been any huge concerns. Our dog has shown such a great amount of affection by how she just lays there with twelve pups hanging all over her and nursing all day and night! She occasionally cleans them and seems so incredibly patient! I think I would go nuts if it were reverse! Some of the pups are males but the majority seem to be female. And they all pretty much look the same right now except one is dark. And another has some spots. I can tell they sure love their momma! So why did I title this post “A New Kinda Puppy Love”? I just feel such a cool connection and bond to them! There is such a beautiful experience when watching a life being born! And it’s obviously new to me! I hope everyone can witness something so amazing! Don’t get me wrong it has and will be work. I had a big laundry mess, little sleep, checking the momma and her pups throughout the day, making sure my dog can relieve herself and go outside, make sure she’s drinking enough and etc! And lets not forget that the pups are probably at the most easiest as of right now. Just wait till I have twelve furry cute fluff balls walking,running, and barking. Oh, but they will be so cute and lovable it will be worth it! And as far as being attached to them, we wont go there yet! I’m going to enjoy my eight weeks! So that’s it, my new kind of puppy love! https://theunexpectedhomesteadmommadotcom.wordpress.com/

Winter Days are here again

Winter Days are here again

Well even though I wish it away most of the time, winter has come! The holidays have come and gone; which mean the new year has arrived. So as I sit here and write, I would like to recap some things that have happened. Then talk about my current adventure that has barely begun.

Let’s start with Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving my family and I stayed home for a mini celebration. We had planned on having family over but it just didn’t work out that way. Back in the spring we even bought Turkeys! Sadly, only one turkey survived. But boy was the turkey beautiful! He was a Gray Slate Turkey. It was pretty amazing watching him grow! I know you’re not supposed to name the animals you eat, but I thought Turkey Tom was a great name. Through the busyness and also not calling ahead of time to get the Tom butchered, he did manage to stay alive through Thanksgiving! I wound up buying a turkey breast and cooking it. In fact, I believe it was the first turkey I’ve ever made myself! I must admit, I typically race to the paper and plastics for my plates and cups for holidays like a lot of people do. I dislike washing dishes by hand! But this Thanksgiving, I felt like making the table beautiful! I was thinking real china, silverware and as close to crystal goblets that I could find at home. This past summer, I inherited my Grandmother’s china plates and some serving dishes. And a few years back her silverware! Needless to say, my dining room Thanksgiving table looked just beautiful! I would think about all those dishes after I ate. My kids thought it was so amazing to use real china and goblets! And they admired everything the food was on or served with. I placed a candle and it was a spectacular dinner! After I had a much-needed nap, I was absolutely surprised to find all my china and other dishes were carefully washed! My wonderful husband and kids had done them all! I may have to consider taking the china out more often!

Christmas came and went as we celebrated the birth of my Lord and Savior Jesus. It was a great time! The kids were even in a little concert at our church. I made Christmas cookies and baked gifts for some friends. And yes, I used my Kitchen Aid mixer! I wrote about the Kitchen Aide Mixer in a previous blog post. Check it out!

After Christmas, it got pretty cold here on the homestead. When the cold hits hard my husband and I have to be on top of the fire stove. Making sure there is a roasting fire and checking the temperature on the stove. And when roads are bad we stay hunkered down in our cottage! I love to spend time with the fire. It’s super comfy there. I’ve been working on a cross-stitch project through this winter. It’s the “Serenity Prayer”! I’ve always loved that prayer. We’ve been watching movies as a family and playing board games. I love to create bath bombs and soap too! That has kept me busy. We check on our animals and make sure they are warm and fed as well through the winter. We don’t move the goats because there is no grass! So we give them hay and put lots of straw in their little house. Sadly our egg production was at a negative for a little while. Some chickens were molting and not sure on the ducks. But no eggs! It seems like we either have a feast or famine when it comes to eggs! Recently though we have gotten a few eggs a day! I’ll take it! But would love more!

Back in November, we noticed our Great Pyrenees/Anatolian took a great liking to our other Pyrenees if you know what I mean. So we are proud to announce that any day we will be having puppies on the homestead and in our cottage of course. We were hoping it took at least six months. But nope, sixty days! So we will have winter pups! So our Guardian livestock pregnant dog is on an early maternity leave. She has been awfully spoiled here. I’ve been doing my research on what’s to come. I’m not going to lie, I’m a bit nervous. But I do have a vet close by and friends and family who have witnessed to breeding before. The Pyrenees are so adorable as pups!! Pictures and an update blog to come. Prayers are greatly accepted! As this is another first for me on the homestead.

I plan on working on prepping for Spring soon! Gathering my seedlings and growing them in my cottage and later in our new large greenhouse. I’m hoping my goats will have kids this Spring and anxiously awaiting to get my hands in my front yard garden again. These winter days have had their cozy and grand moments but I’ll take Spring and Summer anytime!

How Kitchen Memories are Made

How Kitchen Memories are Made

Now that I am a mom, I often think about what my children will remember about their childhood. I truly hope that my children will have a great long list of great memories to remember. As I sit and think of my own fine childhood memories, I can’t help but not think of my very own kitchen memories with my family! And it’s funny how I can even remember the look of kitchen utensils and other items in my mother’s kitchen. In fact, my last blog was about my mother’s recipe box. Oh, how I love that box!

I can remember my mother’s orange Tupperware bowl, the look of our family dinner plates, our cups and etc. A couple of my favorites alongside the Recipe box was an antique Little Red Riding Hood cookie jar that was handed down to my mom from her mom. It sat high up on top of the freezer. Which was an excellent choice knowing what I know now about kids and breakables. Another absolute favorite item in my mother’s kitchen was one of her Wedding gifts! It was a beautiful white/cream Kitchen Aid Mixer! I loved that mixer! So many memories of watching and getting to pour in the ingredients for a special treat my mother was baking for our family. There was Dad’s Banana bread, cakes, special cookies etc! I can remember my mother would always be very quick to clean her beautiful mixer when finished with it. Then when the mixer was all clean and dry she would gently roll together the cord and place it back on top of the refrigerator.

I have always wanted a Kitchen Aide Mixer of my own! Especially now that I am married and have kids of my own. I am not quite sure if I will ever inherit the Kitchen Aide Mixer that belonged to my Mom that sat on top of my fridge (I have two sisters). I never received one for my Wedding present either. Neither did I have extra money to spend since my wedding on something so expensive. Last year, I purchased a small cheap mixer. It was a great little mixer and I was grateful. But it still wasn’t the same! It wasn’t the mixer I envisioned to have on my counter as a mom.

I am happy to blog today that I received a vintage kitchen Aide Mixer for an early Christmas present just this past Friday! There I was just shopping along in my favorite Thrift store when I was in the nearby town. Apparently, I had been one of the first people to see this mixer! As you know great items don’t last very long in thrift stores! There it was sitting beautifully on their counter! A beautiful white/cream vintage Kitchen Aide mixer very similar to my mothers! It was simply waiting for me to claim and take home to my Country kitchen! I raced to the counter with amazement at the beautiful mixer. The price tag was fair but it was still a high price for me to want to spend right now. I asked the lady about the mixer and she kindly showed it to me. She plugged it in and it worked! It also came with and a ray of mixing attachments! Which I later found out are quite a pretty penny as well. After the lady shut off the mixer, she tried to pull the top mixer piece up and it wouldn’t budge! She tried to struggle with it for awhile and I finally just made her an offer. Yes, that’s right I made an offer and didn’t even know if I would ever be able to open and use the mixer. She took my offer but didn’t know how I was going to ever open it. I didn’t care, I let my emotions from my memories and my urge to have one take over. After I brought the mixer in the car I noticed the cord had a piece of electrical tape wrapped around part of the cord. I thought “Oh no, I just spent money on an item I may never get open and it has a bad cord! Did I make the wrong choice?”. I later after playing around with the mixer, found that all I had to do was take the mixer piece off and walla, the mixer went up! Oh, thank God I thought! Then when I showed my hubby he said we would be able to replace the cord! And that it was a great deal that I had found! Yay!

The beautiful Vintage and so very identical to my mother’s mixer is currently sitting all pristine and clean on my counter! I love to gaze at the mixer when I pass or am in my kitchen! I don’t know if my kids will want one like mine when they are in their own homes and on their own but I sure hope to make some fond memories of baking using my mixer! You see because the largest reason I wanted my very own like my mother’s was because of all the hours of use in that mixer that made my very own special memories! The fact that it looks like my mother’s white/cream Kitchen Aide creates a replica of something very special and dear to me. So this old given away a piece of junk becomes a priceless treasure!

I strongly suggest you create kitchen memories with your families you’ll never know till your children are grown what they will remember and cherish from your kitchen! Some you may understand or guess and some may come as a surprise! And this is how memories are made in the kitchen.

The Forgotten Recipe Box

The Forgotten Recipe Box

I have fond memories of my mother’s recipe box.  A treasured box filled with index cards. These cards were handwritten or typed on a typewriter. I love to look at my mother’s and grandmother’s hand writing! Long ago a recipe box was a house wife’s go to for dinners, holidays, scrumptious desserts and etc. These boxes were past down to generations. Recipes were shared amongst friends too. They brought stories to the recipes and even different cultures to family recipes. Now a days it seems like the recipe box has been forgotten. A lot of people I know rarely seem to cook from recipe cards. Now and then when they get the urge to cook or bake they go to Pinterest. They rarely actually bake it and if they do they hope for the best.
About a few weeks ago or so I picked a bucket full of dandelion weeds and made dandelion jelly. It was my second time making dandelion jelly. I love it! If you have never tried it before it tastes a little bit like honey. I plan on putting this recipe in my recipe box. I hope my daughter will make it someday for her family too. It’s delicious! Check out my blog post on dandelions.

I recently came across the new crave recipe for Cloud bread. The recipe only has three ingredients! Cloud bread has eggs, cream cheese, and cream of tartar. That’s it! It turned out pretty good! It did however have an egg like taste, but I used a little bit of salt in my second batch. The salt made the bread taste much better. The kids loved the bread too! I was happy because 1) It doesn’t have flour, 2) I’m looking for egg recipes (We recently have been blessed with lots of eggs from our layers.) 3) The bread doesn’t take long to bake! I will definitely be putting this recipe in my recipe box. If you would like the recipe send me an email or contact me on Facebook.  I’d love to share this recipe with you!

I encourage you to try new and old recipes. Baking can be so rewarding! So let’s bring back the forgotten recipe box. And let’s pass these treasured priceless heirlooms to generations and generations!  Please enjoy looking at my photos. God bless!



The Who Knews on owning Goats

The Who Knews on owning Goats

Our latest adventure on the homestead recently was bringing four Nubian/Pygmy Kids to our homestead.  It has been such an awesome experience.  We decided on two males and two females. 

A few months ago, we toyed with the idea of having a goat. We wanted to get a bit more self-reliant.  Goats, as you know, can be milked. So how cool to milk a goat and have milk to drink and to make cheese, ice cream, yogurt, and soaps. So we did a bit of research. Of course, there was a lot of stuff we didn’t know. For instance, we wouldn’t be able to just have one goat.  Apparently, they need at least one buddy. Ok, so we will get two.  A male and a female. No, won’t work. You can’t keep a male and female together.  That is when we realized we had to have four goats! One to milk, one as a buddy, One Male, and a male buddy.  Wow! That is a lot of goats for this suburbanite! Not only that, but who knew that the female goats couldn’t constantly stay milked after being pregnant.  They later have to get pregnant again. Crazy as it sounded we decided it was still something we should do.  So the hubby made a few wooden weather tents for shelter and we purchased another electric fence. We also made sure we were buying a good breed and goats that came from a good line of goats. I really didn’t know what to expect when my husband and son brought them home. To be honest, I was nervous! Its been over a month now that we have had the pleasure of raising these goats!  Our little Kid goats came right after they were weaned off the bottle. They have adapted quite nicely to grazing on fresh grass, hay and Mulberry leave to name a few.  My children decided to go with the Chronicles of Narnia theme when it came time to give the names. So we have Susan, Lucy, Edmond, and Peter.  I can’t begin to tell you how amazing these goats are! Each goat has its individual personalities.  And it has been so fun to see their personalities unravel.  I have thought of many ways I could keep them in the house with me! unfortunately, I couldn’t  think of any that would work. Who knew that I would enjoy them so much! They are so friendly! I just love to go visit them! They wag their little tales and come greet you. Our Edmond even stares at me with puppy dog eyes! Yes, puppy dog eyes! Who knew I’d have a love for goats!

I pray my family can keep them safe, happy and healthy for a very long life!