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Living on a homestead, especially in the Fall, can seem exhausting and relaxing. The weather, of course, is changing but so is the busyness. When the first few storms hit we were in a rush to get all the fall to-dos done before winter officially sets in. And now that all the huge projects are done, one has time to work on the little things. This week is when we move from the whirlwind to the relief. We just had a few last-minute projects to do outside. And the rest of the time was spent making plans for what new indoor projects we are going to start!

One the homestead, we continued work on the goat barn renovation. My oldest son and I got the final coat of paint on the walls. We stuck with the traditional white of a dairy barn. I am loving how bright it has made it. George and I also sat down and finalized the floor plan for the pens. The one big change from the last plan is an additional pen. This will give us 3 birthing jugs and one pen that connects to the yard out the back of the barn. I am so excited to have more pens. With the number of goats we have, I was always short a pen.

George and two younger boys hung the new gate to the rock pasture. Before the only gate was in my yard. I hated having an easy access spot where the goat and horses could get at all the beautiful things they were not to eat. Now the gate is down in the turkey yard and if they get through that gate they have a second gate to hold them in from getting onto the driveway. Double protection fencing is needed when it comes to raising goats!

In the Garden, Everything is put to bed. So I am going to use this section to talk about our basement renovation that we started this week. When we built our house 11 years ago it was not in our budget to finish the basement because we decided to add a more expensive geothermal heating unit. This was a great call as it has saved us lots of money in monthly winter heating and summer cool bills. But we have now lived for 10 years with just a huge storage place downstairs. What I mean by that is for the last 10 years everything we didn’t know where to put has been just thrown in the basement. This includes things that probably should have been thrown away but because we had the extra space we kept it. And now I have convinced my husband it is time to get it all cleaned up!

So this week we started in what I like to call the Sun Room. This room is located on the southwest side of the basement. If you watch many of my lives this is also where my indoor growing area is for starting transplants for my garden. I love this room. When I designed the basement floor plan when we built the house, I gave George and myself huge rooms that we make our own, and this one is destined to be my future office and sewing room. He is going to turn his huge room into a Pool Room.

We worked hard all day Saturday! I find when cleaning up it is best to measure success by how many garbage sacks were filled. We fill a total of 7 huge garbage sacks. We found so many things from our kids' old toys to the tile we used to finish our bathroom and kitchen 11 years ago. I think we still have about 2 garbage bags to go before we can move on to the Computer Room or what the boys will be calling their Gaming Room.

With Covid, the boys spend a lot more time on devices, connecting with friends. So, as a result, they have turned my upstairs living room into a hodgepodge of tv and computer screens and I am tired of it. So as a Christmas Present to the boys, George and I have decided to give them a fully finished Gaming Room. This will clean up my living room and give the boys a nice little place they can call their own! So that is the huge project that we plan to have finished by Christmas! The boys can’t wait! And in a way neither can I!

In the kitchen, instead of just blabbing on and on about the stacks of dishes I always have to do. I decided to focus on Grocery Store hauls that I can in some way preserve. So this week, I came across a huge bone-in ham that was on sale. We are currently out of pork in the freezer. I cut it up into small bite-size pieces and placed them in freezer bags. I put about 3 cups in each. I think this will give me just the right amount to use in ham potato soup and a few other recipes. I place the ham bone in a freezer bag for a future pot of bean soup, like my Mom makes. So I spent a total of $10.59 for the whole bone-in ham. I got 5 bags of ham pieces and one ham bone, which will make 6 different meals. So that breaks down to $1.77 a meal. That is pretty low for feeding a family of five! I also got some cranberries, carrots, and apples in large quantities as they are all in season and, of course, on sale! I will tell you more about those next week!

Lord, God, I thank you for all that you have given us. I pray you to place your healing on all you need! In your name, I pray, Jesus Christ, Amen!

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