Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010 in Pictures and Words

 2010 was a roller coaster of a year.

- B and I barely made it.

- I withdrew from my Ph.D. program. I realized that original research is not my passion, and that is what a Ph.D. program is designed to create - a researcher. One who happens to teach, yes, but a researcher first.

- I went back to work full time (praise Jesus that I was able to move from part-time to full-time very quickly after leaving school).

- We turned the front yard in to the Orchard, with the addition of 27 fruit trees. Another 10 were planted in the backyard.

- We put in 13 raised garden beds.

 And a couple months later with some late summer crops.

- We got chickens.
 We ended up with 5 hens and 2 roosters, unknown breed(s).

- And then ducks.
 5 Khaki Campbell hens.

- We had a poultry run built.

- And learned to slaughter chickens.
 We can't have roosters and knew this would be the outcome if any of the chicks were males. We named them Dinner and Supper.

- We took several trips, including one to Hawaii with my family.

- Where we got engaged.

- We adopted a puppy.
 Everyone, meet Guinness.

- We lost all 5 chicken hens and 4 of the 5 duck hens to raccoons in what has been dubbed The Great Massacre of 2010.

- We learned emergency poultry care in a hurry. 
 Meet Lucky, our surviving duck. She likes baths.

- We reinforced the poultry run. We now have the Fort Knox of poultry housing.

- We got 2 Rhode Island Reds who had just started laying to restart our flock and keep Lucky company.

- We took up beekeeping.
Checking the hives. 

Filtering raw local honey from a cut-out.

- I stepped up my canning. 
 Jelly from 30 pounds of wine grapes given to us by a friend when we cut a hive out at her house.

- I started learning to ferment.
 Three types of sauerkraut.

 Our first batch of mead, made with a new friend who is experienced in homebrewing. It'll be a 8 - 12 months before it's ready. 

- I continued to cook a lot and develop recipes.
Enchilada Casserole 

- I discovered homemade butterscotch.
 This is a problem.

- With a lot of hard work, tears, talking, stubbornness, and grace B and I got to a place far better than we've ever been.
We are looking forward to 2011 being a lot better than 2010.

I will elaborate on all these in future posts, as one of my main goals for the year is to get back to blogging consistently. I have missed it and look forward to getting back in the habit.

Happy New Year!