Currently Reading, Homestead

Catching Up

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Oh my goodness. Where has the time gone? I’m sorry to be MIA here for so long. All I can say is that I have been very busy getting a LOT of things checked off my to do list. First, if you follow me on instagram you know that I am co-hosting my first giveaway. That takes more time that I ever though it would! But it is so fun. The contest ends tonight and then I have to double check all the entries and then pick a random winner. I have learned a lot with this giveaway and also had a lot of fun with it. I’ve found some new-to-me homesteaders that I don’t think I would have discovered otherwise. I’m still sorting through over 150 new followers because of this! WOW! Just WOW!

Also, if you follow me on insta, you’ll know that I am making my own gin from locally made vodka and spices. It’s still working it’s magic. I need to research how long to let it soak before straining off the yummy spices. I’ll do that soon. That has been fun and is a passive way to get my hands dirty, so-to-speak.

We’ve been stocking up on things for the season. I am stockpiling my favorite wines. I’m ordering ground beef, ground pork, and then some portion of a pig for the freezer for the rest of the year. I’m ordering seedlings for the garden. Plus I’m part of a seed exchange online. My local library also has a seed exchange. I took some arugula seeds and some lettuce seeds. I planted the arugula in a pot. I need some green! It’s been so snowy, windy, and cold here. It’s like winter just won’t give up. I also bought that fun little basil greenhouse in a pouch from tractor supply a couple of weeks ago. They give you a whole packet of organic basil! I planted the greenhouse pouch and also used the seeds in pots throughout the house. Did I mention that I need green?!?!?

I made my first batch of maple syrup this past week. It only took me 4 days of boiling down 20.5 gallons of sap! My calculations show me that it only took me 24.5 hours of boiling to complete the process from start to finish (including canning the syrup). I ended up with 9 half pints of syrup plus a 3/4 full pint jar. I ended the process after it just turned to syrup. I know that you can keep boiling it and it will get thicker and darker, but I was afraid to burn my first batch. Also, I probably could have strained it even further to remove more of the sediment. I think these are all issues a first time syrup maker might discover after the fact. I’ve already collected another 2 gallons. Oh. And I won’t wait until I collect 20 gallons again. That was a lot of work! I’ll do smaller batches next time. It was so much fun watching it go from sap to syrup in a blink of the eye. One second you have sap, the next syrup. And boy does it taste good! I had to make waffles for dinner last night after I’d spent the past 4 days boiling, boiling, boiling! See my attempt at artsy photos above.

Speaking of having time. I used my time when I was boiling that sap to go through over 11,000 photos! I sorted them and then backed them up. That was a project and a half! But it’s done. I didn’t edit them or trash a lot of the ones that I probably should have. That’s a project for another day.

What else? Oh. I successfully made a pom pom and was able to finish a hat. I tried to make a second one but I didn’t tie it tight enough. So the hat that was supposed to get the second pom will remain pomless.

I still have a long to do list. I’m applying for grad school. Again. Yes. I think I’m going back to get a second Master’s degree. I’m keeping all my options open right now. Oh. And I joined a committee in my local town to help plan and execute events. I have a back log of magazines and newspapers to read. I’ve steadily been getting that done. I’m still working on my Master Gardener class. It’s been too cold and snowy for the girls to go outside. They’re bummed I know. Soon spring will be here and we can get things done outside. Hopefully. Oh. And watching photography videos. That’s still happening and on the to do list. I still have all my crafting: chicken coop curtains, cross stitch, kimono knit. And I’m still working on book reviews. I found some fun books at the library book sale last week when I was working there. I’m currently reading this one but I think it’s an original copy. So much fun stuff going on right now. I really need to get a lot more of these little things off my to do list though. I’m off to get more stuff done. I’ll see you all very soon!

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2 thoughts on “Catching Up”

  1. You have been busy! We bought local papers everywhere we stayed and saw that there were seed swaps listed in ALL of the towns we visited! I am so excited for that next year.
    My husband is way impressed about the maple syrup and so I am sure we will be adding that to our to do list next year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You will love maple syruping! And the seed swaps are really fantastic in the Catskills. The local libraries in Delaware County all have a seed library. It’s pretty cool! So now when you are house hunting you have to add sugar maples as a ‘must have’ on your list!

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