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!


Unknown said...

Oh, this makes me so happy! What a great post Linds! So funny, witty, inspirational, and touching. I love you!! I'm looking forward to reading you regularly.

Chandelle said...

I am in awe of everything you're doing. Getting chickens and having a little garden have been huge accomplishments for me and here you are with bees and ducks and a gorgeous run and a pressure canner...! I officially worship you. Please keep coming around and encouraging me with your awesomeness. :)

Emma said...

Thanks again for visiting our blog! I love your recap of 2010 -- you got a ton done! You should be proud! What's next on the list? We're experimenting with pressure canning as well since we just got a new one. One lesson we've already learned? If you have hard water, put vinegar in with the water in the canner -- otherwise you'll get black gunk all on the inside.

Good luck! Looking forward to following your progress!

Lily Girl said...

Rach - I love you too :) I'm so happy we are friends.

Chandelle - I can't believe everything you do! You have a beautiful garden and chickens and run after two adorable kids and are going back to school. You rock. Thanks for the vote of confidence, it's really encouraging. And I love your blog.

Emma - Thank you, it's helpful to have outside perspective. Our project list is so long that it's easy to lose sight of how much we have actually done. We have lots more on the list; I'll do a post on it soon. And thanks for the tip on the vinegar; I discovered that tip earlier this year and it works like a charm. We have rock hard water and I no longer have a gross white film on my jars after processing. Yay!

Tiffany @ No Ordinary Homestead said...

That is a wonderful list of accomplishments! I'm so glad you stopped by NOH and left a comment. I'm going to look forward to seeing your posts going forward. We have tossed around the idea of getting chickens a few times...but we're still a big scared. Plus we fear we just don't have the time for them right now. But the idea of farm fresh eggs in your backyard sure is appealing!

All the best in 2011!

You Can Call Me Jane said...

My word, girl! What an amazing year you had! Congratulations on your engagement and the bees and the chickens and the ducks and the raised beds and the 30 fruit trees (!) and the sauerkraut and every thing else! I can't wait to see what you do this year:-).