I have to admit – I kind of wish the month of January just disappeared. Not this January in particular, but all Januaries. I know, not so cheerful right, but I have to be honest here. It is just the saddest month. Winter has set in, the rain is falling in sheets, and the days are dark and grey. December is so full of activity, holidays, celebrations, friends and family, and my favorite – food. January comes and it is like the world around me nods off to sleep. It isn’t time to start gardening yet and I have failed with my winter garden this year. We stay inside most days. The nature walks and adventures we do go on are muddy and chilly, which is bearable but grows old fast. There is really not much going on around the homestead. This month I have tried to do my best to get out of the rut and plan some outside time and projects at least. I am just so looking forward to the end of this season and the promise of Spring.
Early this month we headed up near Crystal Mountain for a little family snowshoeing. It was our first time snowshoeing out on our own, and it went surprisingly well! Sawyer fell asleep in the Tula carrier and we only lasted an hour total – I just couldn’t go any longer with my pelvic joints loosening up already for baby #3 my legs were aching. I think Avery was relieved it was my idea to turn back. We also explored a new area new Olympia in the Capital State Forest. This was the McLane Creek trail and it was perfect for the kids. We saw some wildlife, and worked on native plant identification, but best of all was breathing the wild fresh air and feeling the peace that only comes when you are out in nature.
Back at the homestead, we made a nifty upcycled rabbit hutch for October. I think we spent $25 total on this, for the dresser, metal grate for front, and the hardware. I wish we had found a free dresser but there were slim pickings when it was time to do this. I of course had to paint it a sunny cheerful yellow color to match the mural inside our coop! Chad cut a hole in the side so our bunny has free access and can hop along the window shelf and down a ramp inside the coop. The chicks are finally deciding to get along better with October – for a few weeks there we were worried the room mates idea might not work out.
Speaking of the coop, we had the most disturbing thing happen early in the month when someone broke into our coop! It was really scary, we didn’t know what to think at first when we woke up and saw the front door of the coop destroyed and hanging open off the frame. The biggest relief was of course that all our animals were safe. October was out running around, checking out our garden, but came back easily (he really is the best bunny ever!) and the chickens were inside just looking a little confused. We don’t know why someone would come in to our backyard, cut the lock on the back door of our chicken coop and then bust through the front door, but there was some other fishy stuff around the property. I guess it is just something we have to keep in the back of our minds living in our urban location. We are looking into installing some cameras around the yard and in the coop in February, which will help us keep an eye on things. It will also be kind of fun to be able to check on the girls from an app on our phones!
Since there isn’t much to do in the garden, we haven’t been spending a lot of time out in our yard. The drainage is terrible and it is really muddy everywhere. When there are breaks in the rain I try to remember to get everyone suited up and out there anyways. Last week we took this fun little project outside and made some bird feeders from pine cones, peanut butter, and bird seed. We hung them up from tree branches and they were gone quick. In fact, I am pretty sure it was the squirrels that gobbled these treats up more than the birds, but hey as long as some one enjoyed them. Being out there and seeing my garden area does have me really excited for the coming year. There may only be a handful of garlic pushing the way up through the soil now, but I have big plans. In February I will be working on our very own permaculture chicken garden design for the back half of the yard, as well as adding a garden bed along the length of our pallet fence to allow for us to plant even more veggies. I am super excited. We are also going to attend a Wolf Camp workshop called “Living the Permaculture Dream” which should be pretty inspiring.
I guess January wasn’t as bad as my first impression; I just look forward to better weather and more homestead projects that are on the horizon. I am also thinking it is time to break out my big girl camera for some better pictures of our family and homestead activities 😉
Thanks for joining me again this month for an update on our life and adventures around the Brundage Homestead. Catch up on what has been happening the past few months here. How do you like to spend the less than pleasant Winter days? I would love to hear any suggestions or advice in the comments.