Posted By Oh Ma on December 29, 2016
2016 was a good year for us. In the beginning of January we decided it was time for us to go back to Arizona and settle down. We spent a few days moving all our stuff from the RV to our storage in Lompoc. Then by the 15th we had donated the RV to “People Helping People” and we were ready to hit the road with the first load. We drove to Kingman a couple of times with loads to put in storage there. Then we started bringing from there to Flagstaff. It was the safest and cheapest way to do it. It took a little extra time, but we had a couple of weeks before Rudy had to start work in Flagstaff.
We then spent a few months living in motels in Flagstaff. Not fun! We spent a lot of times going out to the woods to get away from the life in the motel and to do a little “home” cooking. We all got to know each other really well.
In May/June we were finally able to find and purchase our new home.
We love our new home. It is located north of Williams, Arizona. About 50 miles south of The Grand Canyon National Park. Perfect location. Summers are mild, but the winters can get quite cold. We have just one acre, but right now that seems to be a perfect size for us. Room for the critters we have acquired since we moved in, and the ones we hope to add in the future. We also have a fairly large greenhouse and a fenced kitchen garden. It all needs work, but no more than what we can handle.
Since we moved in our family have grown. We have added 6 hens, a rooster, 3 rabbits, and 3 ducks. Unfortunately we lost our 16 year old dog Napoleon back in September. We are just very happy that he got to spend 2 months with us here at the homestead before he passed.
We are learning about the animals, and we are feeling we are doing really well. The hens we got as 3 day old chicks, and they are now laying eggs. They are very nice looking hens. 2 Productions Reds, 2 Marans, and 2 Easter Eggers. The rooster is a Blue Copper Maran. Beautiful bird, but so ornery. Rudy build them an awesome coop, and a nice run. I am sure we could let them roam the yard freely, but we have so many hawks here and they seem to have an eye on our flock. So we let them out to roam the yard and the compost when we are around so we can keep an eye on the hawks.
We got 3 rabbits in August. They were about 4 months old then. Marcie, Millie, and Max. They are Silver Fox and Flemish Giant mix.
In the beginning of November we bought four day-old ducklings. Unfortunately we lost one, but we now have three 7 week old ducks. They are Peking ducks, and all three are so pretty.
We of course still have our 3 dogs and 2 cats. They too are enjoying life in a real house. I think they too were starting to get cabin fever living first in the RV for 3+ years and then a motel room for 6 months.
We are learning about raising animals as we go. And even though we were pretty clueless when we started, I think that we are doing pretty good even after just 6 months here. We have tried to read up on animal husbandry both in books and online. But we find that there is just too much information out there. We read one thing, then go to a different website or another book and we will find conflicting information. It is frustrating. We want to do what is best for our animals, and so far they have all stayed healthy. And that is with us just going by instinct instead of following books and websites with a lot of (mis)information. When we have a question we google it. Read a few answers and then we do what we think sounds like the best option. So when reading our future blog posts you will see that we do things simple and inexpensively. We believe in KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid). We many times come up with solutions different from what others do. We are trying our best to keep the animals and kiddo safe and healthy without breaking the bank.
We have great plans for 2017. As for this blog, we hope to be a source for others who want to try out homesteading, but dont have the money to use all the latest equipment or time to read all the publications out there. So you will see a lot of articles about how we are doing things. Our successes and of course failures. I of course will continue with articles about crochet, knitting, art, etc. I have plans for new patterns, free tutorials, and lots of fun stuff. We look forward to getting to know more people with like interests, and of course learning from others with homesteading and crafting experience.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!