Herbs & Things

Herbs & Things
Herbs & Things

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{Around the Homestead} Springtime To-Do's, Clean up, and health update

Let me just first start by saying that this weekend was not nearly long enough. I'm not sure how we fit everything that we did into one weekend. But it happened, and we're done, so, there. It has been in the simple quiet moments that I have forced myself to make time for God through the hustle and bustle of it all. And this morning I am certainly regretting it. Last weekend, our Pastor told us to find that place of solitude, and I instantly went to the scene above.

This....this is my place of solitude. The simplicity of it all, it's humbling....Click here to

 I recently discovered that my ladies have been laying in my bales of alfalfa. These are the bales for our rabbits, but apparently the fluff butts have claimed them as well. This is one of those times when you say to yourself "just let them be, otherwise, you'll be on an egg hunt for the rest of the week", and undoubtedly, I do not have time for egg hunts.

Our newest addition to the household, Samson, has proven to have quite the love for chickens. In fact, he loves them so much that he was completely worn out the other night from chasing and sniffing them to death. He's 10 weeks old now, and has his very first vet checkup today.

I've been making butter like crazy. I swear, as soon as I make it, it's gone. It's almost a daily thing at this point.

Spring is officially here, which means we spend most of our days (especially our evenings) outside with the animals and enjoying the fresh air.


Springtime weather also means fixing up the outside of the house as well. We bought our house a few years back. It was a fixer upper for an amazing steal. We couldn't pass it up. While we've done some work to the inside (it was bad), the outside has been highly neglected. This Spring, we've made it a point start working on the outside, and leaving the inside until Fall and Winter. Our reasoning is simple, we want to sell our house. But before doing so, there are obligations that must be met. We want to offer the best of the best, and so that adventure begins....

Husband started on walkways and stairs up the hillside. In case you didn't know, we live on the side of a mountain, just about. So our back yard and the sides of our home are extremely steep.

We also built a fence this weekend -- this is just one side of it. It splits our backyard from our front yard so that the chickens and other animals can only roam in the back now. Remember Samson? Yeah, he pushed it over the edge -- the fence is now finished (with the exception of the gates, still working on those), and no chickens were harmed during the process.


I've been highly enjoying these cold Spring mornings....and my place of solitude....


Miss Liz is finally in her own rabbit hutch. She was in with Missy, our pregnant doe, but was getting ousted, as we assumed would happen. Unfortunately, around here, we just hadn't gotten around to separating them until this past week. I'm certain they didn't mind rooming together until recently, as Missy is getting quite large and uncomfortable. Many people raise rabbits in colonies, and does share a lot of space and do quite well. But since our does are in their hutches most of the day, we chose to separate inevitably. They missed each other for the first couple of hours. But not long after that, Miss Liz was sleeping soundly, and Missy was nesting like crazy....

This morning during my daily chores, I noticed Missy was nesting even more frantically. I pray she'll be a sweet and tender mama, as this is her very first litter. You can see the video I took of her this morning -- my sorry attempt at taking a video, I apologize for the blur, but videoing her was the last thing on my mind.


With Springtime comes Spring cleaning. Spring cleaning started a few weeks ago, but when you work from home, work deadlines tend to take upper priority. No, it's not proper, but it happens. So, Spring cleaning began, once again, this past week.

We spent some time rummaging through old things at thrift stores and such this weekend. I found two old coffee sacks for an amazing price. Can't wait to do something crafty! My aunt also found a vintage egg basket for me. I had been searching for one just like this for months. I use it around the homestead and at my photography sessions. It is just so beautiful!

You'll also notice the pineapple and other citrus on the table. I am preparing to flavor my very first brew of Kombucha tea. I think husband is way more excited than I am. He really enjoys his Kombucha! Forgive the old tee-shirt, it's all I had when I first started this batch! We let nothing go to waste around here.


We visited our local Farmer's Market this Saturday. So many amazing veggies there this weekend. Since our veggies aren't even in the ground yet (slacker, I know!), we took advantage of many green house and early Spring veggies that our local farmer's and homesteaders have put so much work into this year. The lettuce, potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, onions, strawberries, and everything else that we got, were absolute perfection. I was also surprised to see how many of these vendors are literally 1-3 miles away from our home. I think we decided to start in the right place, at the very right time...

Oh, how I have missed you, Spring....


As for me, well, I've been busy, as you can tell. I've also been healing from about 14 stitches in my back (between my shoulder blades). Ouch, yes, it hurt quite bad for the first couple of days. In fact, a lot worse that I could have imagined.

Two weeks ago I went in for a routine dermatology appointment (and had a mole removed), and the following day I was told that it was cancerous and that I needed to come in for surgery to have all of the skin removed from that area. When they say "all of the skin removed", they mean all. And with the back being the toughest skin on your entire body, it was long, it was deep down into the tissue, and it was painful.

The first words out of my mouth when the surgery was completed was, "well, how many stitches do I have". She smiled and proceeded to count the stitches on the outside of my body, and on the inside as well. With your back, because there is such a large piece of flesh removed, dependent upon the severity of skin cancer, you must have stitches inside of the wound to close up the tissue (along with burning blood arteries), and stitches on the outside to pull the skin closed. How's that for a day of homeschool science? No, I didn't take Jr with me...

I was put on strict "don't do this this and this"  for the next two weeks. And while I listened for the first 48 hrs (mainly because of my husband), I was back at daily life by day 3. You just can't keep this girl down, and there are things that need tending too....life does not revolve around a few back stitches.

For now, I wait until my appointment next week to figure out what the next steps are, if any, and to find out the results of this second biopsy. There are also other questionable moles that will most likely be removed, sent off, and more surgeries may come. Either way, my God is faithful, and no matter what the outcome, I will praise Him through it all.

I won't lie, my first thought when the phone rang with the first test results, they weren't praiseworthy. God wasn't even there. I think I was in a state of mental shock. And while a "cancerous mole" doesn't mean much to people, it can mean a whole lot to the person who has to deal with the fact that skin cancer was just discovered on their body, and if the second surgery comes back abnormal, that means full blown (prayerfully treatable) skin cancer.

That evening, when I finally had my moment of solitude, He was there. He was there and I felt so guilty. He had never left me, nor forsaken me. He was in the room, on that phone call, with the doctor during surgery, and with me on the car ride home...crying my eyes out because I couldn't believe that I had 14 stitches in my back from what I thought was going to be an extremely small surgery. I'm only 26 years old...this doesn't happen to people like me.

But it does...

...and it happens every.single.day.

Over this past year, God has been breaking my heart, in so many good ways. His ways are not our ways, and I'm quickly and steadily learning that His ways are so much better than ours. That He really does have it under control, even when we are spinning out of control. And I remember that while my problems are so small, the outcome...the perseverance of grace...is such a huge thing.

He is amazing, even when my circumstances are not. He is gracious, even when my emotions are not. And He is always, always, there....even when I'm not there for Him.

Life keeps going. It keeps moving on. And what choice have I but to move with it?

To move with Him...to move with grace, mercy, and yes, even the hard times. But to move with the happiness, the laughter, the love, husbands strong arms around my waist and my head on his chest.....Jr's snuggles in the morning, and yes, even that stinky morning breath...

...that's what's been going on around our homestead...and I wouldn't have it any other way...

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