The chickens are growing at an alarming rate.  They are also eating feed at an alarming rate.  I guess that’s what they’re supposed to do!  Only three or four weeks to harvest.  Anyone know of a butcher or abattoir in the Saskatoon area willing to process 15 chickens?  I’ve had a couple of leads on Hutterite colonies that may be willing to do it.  Time is running out.  I guess if all else fails, I do the work myself.  The old-fashioned way.  Just not looking forward to hand-plucking 15 chickens.  Although, their feathers aren’t exactly plentiful.

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Will brooks (@1willbrooks) on

Work started on fixing up the barn, and then we were completely halted by the rain we’ve had this past week.  We demolished the old soffits and fascia, and attached new rafter ends to the rotted ones.  It’s funny how an old wood building like that can look like it’s about to fall apart if you touch it, but it’s actually incredibly difficult to take apart.  I thought we had to do the work immediately or the barn would start falling to pieces.  But no, that old barn has a lot of life left in it just as it is.

My father has spear-headed this restoration (thankfully – because I wouldn’t have a clue what I’m doing), and the barn is going to look amazing by the end of the summer.  New soffits and fascia, new windows, and a fresh coat of paint.  It’ll be one sexy looking barn when we’re done.  I’m not entirely sure, but I don’t think the barn had soffits and fascia when it was first built.  It appears they were added later.  People more knowledgeable than I – would a barn have been closed in or would they have left the rafters exposed in order for air to circulate in the hay loft?

The garden is looking really good.  I finished the first round of weeding.  I found all sorts of things growing in between the weeds – corn, peas, squash, beets, radishes.

Now I’ve started on the second round of weeding.  The tomatoes could use some love and attention as well.  I have a feeling they’ve sprouted a lot of suckers.

Weeding the garden always starts out feeling like a chore, but by the end, I feel refreshed and full of energy.  It ends up being one of my favourite activities in the summer evening.  Especially if I’m feeling a bit blue or stressed out.  I leave it all in the garden.

Gratuitous pig pic.

Those darn pigs broke out of their corral last week, and greeted me at the back door of the house when I got home from work one evening.  Will bought an electric fence the next day.  We were going to try to fix up some of the old corrals, but we’ve decided to remove them as they fall apart and just use electric fencing instead.  It’s so much easier to work with.  Maintaining a wooden corral is a lot of hard work.

The little laying hens (and/or roos) moved into the big girl coop last Wednesday.  We had house guests and needed the spare bedroom, so it was time to leave the brooder.  I put them in a dog kennel in the coop, but then I needed the dog kennel, so I created an enclosed nursery under the nesting boxes.  It’s working really well.  Think I might make it permanent.  They’ve settled in nicely.  The big girls don’t even seem to mind.  There was a bit of noise the first day, but now they pay them no attention.

I needed the dog kennel because we adopted two barn cats from the SPCA:  Jedi and Liv.  Jedi is super friendly and awesome, and I haven’t seen Liv since I let her out of her kennel.  They told me,” Don’t approach her; let her come to you.  If she wants to.”  I’m pretty sure she’s still in the barn.  Somewhere.  The weather has been so crappy; where else would she go?

And in other news, I have joined the full-time workforce as a receptionist/admin assistant for a small accounting firm.  This is all so new to me – working full-time.  How do you get things done when both people in a household are working full-time?  Things like various errands and appointments and making supper and washing clothes?  Do you really have to cram all that into evenings and weekends?  When do you relax?  When do you sleep?  When do you spend time with your children or your friends?  I don’t get it.  But I’ll give it a shot.

I’m working for the money.  Making three times as much per year as I ever did as an actor.  Money is a very strong motivator.  As I get older, the promise of being able to afford to retire someday is also a very strong motivator.

That’s the news from the homestead.  Hope everything is lovely in your world, too.  And if you have any tips on how to survive being a mom/wife/homesteader who also works full-time, please let me know!