Thursday, June 5, 2014

And then there were 5

Hey look! I'm back! At least, I'm making an appearance. Apparently, having a baby will knock you off the face of the Earth for a few months - or maybe a year?? Either way, here I am.

Miss Clara Rose entered the world via C-section on Thursday, October 24th. She was 9 pounds, 1 ounce and 21 inches long. Perfect in every way. Post op was a bit dicey, and I won't bore you with the gory details, but bottom line is that things didn't go QUITE as we all planned, however baby was healthy and happy and that's all that mattered.

Fast forward to now June of 2014. My baby is 7 months old! I can't believe it! It's simply amazing how much they change in those first few months. I love watching her little personality emerge.

However, Clara isn't our only excitement! Barry has really kicked butt and is graduating a full year early! On to bigger and better things for him!

Ethan is winding up his last year at the local intermediate school and heading off to high school in the Fall.

Lots more going on, but who has the time to write about it? Not me! Hopefully I'll have a bigger update soon!!

Peace Out :)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Homestead in the making

So long since the last post but I have good reason! We have been BUSY!! Spring is in the air - in fact it's more than in the air. It would almost appear that summer is trying to make an early appearance. Rumor has it we are supposed to hit 95 by next week.

Some highlights from the Maycroft Clan:

  • First and foremost, we are happy to announce we have a little one on the way! Baby is expected to arrive mid to late October of this year! 
  • Apparently something is in the water here in the foothills, as Charlee (introduced here) has blessed us with 4 baby kittens who will be celebrating their one week birthday today! 

  • I took a weekend to try something I've been dying to do for quite some time - make homemade bagels. Certainly a time consuming process but YUMMY!! I adapted this recipe. 
    Boiling away

    Plain, PepperJack and Parmesan Bagels pre-baking

    Hot and fresh from the oven. 

  • Barry was able to make the Wild Turkey Jerky he's been wanting to make since his hunting adventure earlier this month. Quite the ordeal and overall successful, though next time he promises to monitor it a little closer. It got a bit "charred" in places. 
    Getting the coals to the right temperature

    The proud hunter and chef

    Spicy Teriyaki Wild Turkey Jerky smoking away on the grill 
  • Best of all, Hubs started working on getting my vegetable beds up and going so we can get the garden planted. I could not be happier with how they are looking. So far only one is complete but the other is under construction in the barn. While he and Ethan were working away, I was able to get some seeds started so I have something to put in the beds!
    Grow seeds, grow!

    Construction begins

    Big, heavy and sturdy

    Hubs lining it up to help it lay flat

    The finished product. Beautiful redwood and corrugated roofing

    My cowboy filling the bottom of the beds

    Work until the sun goes down
Our little homestead is slowly coming together. We are so happy and so proud of the progress we have made. I can't wait until the garden is at it's full potential and the cows are out grazing in the pasture. Even better will be showing all of what we have learned to our little one :)
Mama, Daddy and baby. The boots were Hubs' when he was a baby

Peace Out :)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Fence Building: Pt 2

Well, the majority of the fence is complete. We still have to add the decorative fence that will separate the garden from the yard, but as we currently have no plants/garden, this is less of a priority. The weather has started to improve - daily temperatures ranging in the mid 70s to nearly 90 the other day! As usual, we have been out enjoying the weather and catching up on our outside chores.

Barry had the opportunity to get his first turkey (ever) with one of Hubs' friends. Very exciting. As I type, it is marinating to be made into turkey jerky.
The great hunter emerging from the woods

20 pound bird. Not bad for his first time!

Ethan helping Claude pull out the old fence separating what will become the garden

Look at Claude go!

Track-hoes make everything easier

Uh-oh, getting instructions from the big guy

Claude removing a small oak that the old fence was growing through

New and improved view from our back deck. Soon we will look out on our garden

Dragging the tree away

Completed perimeter fence

Nice and secure. Nothing in and nothing out

Mean looking barbed wire

Hubs added a nice man-gate so we can more easily access the pasture from the side yard

Scout is stealthy...hiding in the grass
Old fence, new fence....lots of fence

It's wonderful having the fence complete. Now we no longer have to worry about Allie, our small dog, getting out. She would always seem to find a hole in the previous fence (not hard since the mules mowed it down). This brings us one step closer to our garden which I am BEYOND excited about. We plan to take it slow this year - we have a lot going on and we don't want to waste money, get overwhelmed and take too much on. Best to start small. 

Peace Out :)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Charlee the Barn Cat

I feel it is fairly evident that I love our animals. I find that I post or talk about them frequently. The good news? I'm posting new pics!

Hubs and I had been discussing getting an outside only cat for a while, however we were fairly adamant that we wanted to adopt or rescue one. It needed to get along with our other animals and have a good personality. That's risky with a cat.

A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon Charlee outside one of the schools sites I work at. I spoke to the secretary about her and found that she (the secretary) had been feeding her for over a week and that Charlee was sleeping up in a tree every night. The secretary was worried about her because she would wander somewhat near the parking lot and of course there are the risks of cars. After speaking to Hubs, we decided to give her a try.

So far so good! She's got quite an interesting personality. She seems resigned to our big dog, Scout. Doesn't love him and sometimes (depending on her mood) will arch her back at him, but mostly she just tolerates him and gives him the evil eye. Scout, on the other hand, is the biggest, goofiest dog ever who just wants to be friends and lick her in the face. 

When Hubs and the boys were out building the fence, she followed them around watching them. Similar to a dog! Quite the chatty little thing when she gets her food, she will run ahead of us and wait patiently until we fill her bowl. I hope that she grows out of that obsession with food, but understand that it's likely left over from her stray-cat days. 

Hanging with the addition

Charlee's shocked expression. I'm not sure if it's because the flash accidentally went off or because she saw Scout sneaking into the barn to say hi. 

Scout just chillin'....He has no idea they aren't best friends

Finally she ventured from the barn to explore the yard
Crazy gold eyes. Oh, and little black mustache much like Charlie Chaplin
The adjustment seems to be going well. I'm enjoying having another cat around. Her formal name is Charlette (NOT Charlotte) Mrow Maycroft. When she's in trouble we pull out the big guns and use the full name. So far that hasn't happened TOO many times.....

Peace Out :)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Fence Construction: Part 1

We're alive! I swear! Life is crazy - but isn't it always? Ok, quick synopsis of the past few weeks. We sold our house in Grass Valley finally (yay!!), we started many of our Spring projects (yay!!) and we adopted a new cat (double yay!!).

Our property is just under 25 acres, and surrounding the house is approximately 1-1.5 acres of "yard space". Beyond the yard is our pasture where our neighbor brings his cows and mules and we get to view our rolling hills. Before Christmas, while our mule friends were on an extended visit, one of them got feisty and decided to kick down our fence separating the pasture and the yard. The fence was old, ugly and decrepit to begin with (gross chain link from a million years ago) but with the added crunch of mule hoof-prints, it was quite atrocious "lovely".

We had been planning to take down the old fence and build newer, more picturesque (and efficient) fencing when time and finances permitted. Along with the yard, we planned to map out our garden (and consequently, fence that as well). We are well underway. Quite the project it has turned into. Hubs and the boys have spent the past two weekends (and weekdays) working on getting this fence project up and going. Still not complete, but pictures of the whole project will follow. Hubs is hopeful that he will get it finished before the weekend. I hope so too!!

The process begins 

Trying to save our plum tree. The tree was growing right through the old fencing 

Mess of concrete posts pulled up by Claude 

Removing the old fencing

Ethan doing his dance moves

That looks like a lot of work.....

Fence-less yard. The biggest it will ever be

Putting Claude to work to remove the old water pressure tank

Barry pouring cement for the corner posts

Corner posts 

Lining up the fencing with string - gotta make sure it's straight!

8 feet in between each t-post....all the way around 

My cowboys working until dusk to get those t-posts into the ground

Almost finished with this line of fencing!
So much work involved and I am thankful to have a husband with the drive, desire and ability to do this. Love this country life we have.

Peace out :)