Welcome Chesney!

On Tuesday, we brought this little guy home to join our crazy homestead.

He is a long-haired dachshund and is 12 weeks old.

Carson turns the big 5-0 this December, and has always said that when he turns 50, he’s going to get a long-haired dachshund. I tried to convince him otherwise, but he was sure.

Needless to say, I fell in love immediately!

And so did the kids!

Even the sheep and the bunbun are fans!

The big dogs don’t seem to have a problem with the baby either.

Cotter would love to play with him and tries to help when he cries… and Moose is just minding his own business so far.. I think he doesn’t know that he’s ours yet!

Here’s Chesney trying to help me with the chickens!

Despite being teeny tiny, he fits in very well around here and we’re grateful he’s ours to keep!ūüėä

Advertisements

July Market Sneak Peek #1

July Market Sneak Peek #1 – Lacey Hill – handcrafted jewelry for Pacific Northwest style

Our July Makers and Growers Market is coming right up in about 10 days. We have some amazing makers and growers coming this time. I’ll be posting as many sneak peeks as I can!

Sneak Peek #1 is my very good friend and one of my favorite people on Earth, Lacey Hill. She makes handcrafted artisan jewlery to complement the everyday Pacific Northwesterner’s style! She’ll have earrings, necklaces and bracelets ranging from $5 to $20. Check out these photos of her beautiful work!

I can’t wait to see them in person! You can, too, on Saturday, July 27th from 9 am to 4 pm, here on the Homestead 30709 68th Ave NW Stanwood, WA 98292

Snowy Scenes

This post is a little late but here it is! We had a couple of weeks of snow and very low temperatures at the beginning of this month. Not a common occurrence for Western Washington.

Alpaca Dryer Balls… Come and Get ‘Em!

Do you know about dryer balls?¬† They’re a natural, chemical-free alternative to dryer sheets.¬† Just throw three to six balls in the dryer with your clothes, towels, and bedding, and they will help with static cling, making clothes softer, and dryer time.¬† You can even add a few drops of your favorite essential oil (here’s my favorite) if you’re like me and you miss the smell of laundry.¬† I love the way it makes our clothes, laundry room, and house smell.

This year, I’ve made dryer balls using wool, wool yarn, and, of course, alpaca fiber, and I bet you can guess which is my favorite!¬† Yep, alpaca fiber!¬† I think the alpaca dryer balls work the best!¬† And they’re the most beautiful!

It’s been a lot of work, but they’re so beautiful and ready!¬† And they’re flying out the door!¬† Want some?¬† Send me an email at stevenshomestead@hotmail.com.¬† For now, they’re only $17.50 for a set of three balls if you can pick them up in person, and $25 for a set of 3 shipped (possible discount on shipping more than one set, depending on shipping costs).¬† I can bill via paypal (and from there, you can pay with paypal, credit card, or bank transfer) or you can send me a check – I’m flexible!

Can’t wait to hear from you!

Two Broody Hens and One Naughty Pup

We have two very broody hens who sit on their eggs (and all the eggs) and don’t move.¬† They want to be mamas so badly!¬† I get it, Girls… but no.¬† Not right now.¬† Those eggs are not going to be babies; they’re going to be breakfast and keto cheese bread and cookies and bread and cake!

 

This is Chunky, our grey Cochin. She’s been broody since last year, but she seems even more determined in her brooding (meaner) this year!¬† She sits in the way back corner of the roosting area of the coop – not on a nest, even – so she’s harder to scootch!

 

This is one of our Buff Orpingtons (either Buffalo or Buffarina, they look the same) – and she’s in a nesting box, and was so mean. I love the way Wyndy and the other Buff were trying to see what’s going on without getting pecked… “now what are you gonna do?”

 

They don’t do the brooding all the time… I feel like they do it more now since Nolan the Rooster made his appearance a while back.¬† The hens don’t have any physical contact with Nolan – there is a fence between the two runs, but I don’t know if their¬†brooding instincts kick in more with the presence of a rooster (do chickens have pheromones?). Or maybe they have just reached the age where they instinctively sit on the eggs.

We still have to get the eggs though!

Carson will sometimes grab a rake or a broom and carefully push them out of the nesting box to grab the eggs.¬† The brooders look angry and they peck when you get near them (which doesn’t really hurt, but it scares you anyway!), so a tool is helpful if you’re gonna reach into the coop.

I’m a little more sensitive¬†(I’m a mama, after all!), and I have found that if I go to the coop a few different times in the day, I can usually catch them out of the nest getting a drink or stretching their legs. And sometimes offering treats entices them to take a short break.¬† This week, that is not happening.¬† I gave it three days and then I knew they needed to eat and drink, and I needed the eggs.

I grabbed the¬†little hand broom (gentler than a rake!) and starting scooping, gently pushing, and moving her over.¬† It’s tight quarters there in the nesting area so not much room to move (or get away when she’s pecking), and I was all bent over and trying to avoid being pecked by the other chickens.¬† I was laughing at myself the whole time, and eventually – after probably 10 minutes – I collected 12 of the most loved eggs ever laid.¬† The hens protected them for days at the expense of eating and drinking, and I worked a lot harder than I usually have to at gathering them!

 

Feeling so successful, and like a real farm girl, I took the egg bowl to a stump near the water spigot.  Braden was throwing the ball for the dogs, and I figured he was keeping them too busy to care about the eggs.  I had to take water to Nolan the Rooster, and headed just around the corner of the barn from where I left the eggs.

I heard one kid scream, and then the other.

My heart stopped…. I’d just read on a neighborhood website that there have been sightings of a cougar or bobcat in the area and, even though I know that the presence of the dogs SHOULD discourage most predators, it’s not always the case – recently, there was a fatal cougar attack of two bicyclists in the mountains not far from us, the cougar was super hungry and its behavior was vastly different from what we expect of cougars in the wild.¬† So I’m not relying on normal behavior patterns of wild animals these days.

Plus… I’m a mama and those are my babies.¬† I panicked and¬†I dropped the water and ran back to the kids and dogs… and eggs.

Thankfully, everyone was okay.  Turns out Cotter (our two-year-old golden lab) had jumped up on the stump and knocked the egg bowl over and broken almost all of them in the process, and stole one to eat.  He was hurriedly scarfing down the egg in the grass.

I know they don’t look broken, but I promise you that nine out of twelve of them had a crack or gash, and they were all leaking into the bowl that had all the chicken poop and feathers in it… sighhhhh!

 

You naughty naughty naughty dog.

He didn’t even want to look at me! I made him lie down there for ten minutes… a nearly impossible feat for this one, normally… he’s always up and ready to play ball or chase or just run around like a crazy man when we’re outside.

 

So ashamed… or cleaning the egg guts off his face… either way… he’s a cute boy. Still naughty though!

The only saving grace in the situation was that I can still use the eggshells in the garden… oh, and I guess Cotter got a little extra protein for the day.¬† I collected all of the eggs, rinsed off the stump as well as I could, and headed back to the house.

Some days on the farm are like that… three steps forward, two steps back… gotta keep taking the steps.¬† Can’t cry for too long over broken eggs… even when they were hard-earned eggs.¬† I’m sure there are a few more cliches I can throw in there, but I’ll stop.