Wow! It is COLD here! We've had several days of super cold weather and there is snow predicted for our area today. That's just crazy to me. We are not used to having snow in winter. Couple that with living almost an hour away from any major shopping, and we are having to think about winter preparations a little differently this year. I'm glad we took the time to cut some of our firewood this past summer. Next year, we will be more proactive and cut a lot more, I hope.
Our hens are really getting good at laying. In November, they laid 249 eggs! We were able to give away about 4 dozen a week, in addition to the eggs we kept and used for ourselves. What a blessing. So far, the winterizing we did for the coop/ run has been quite successful. We ended up adding a stronger tarp to the run and more hay around the outside (we had to use several bails inside the run, so had to make another hay buying run last week), but now it is toasty warm in there, even at night.
The rest of our food production has come to a grinding halt :( The neighborhood dogs have formed a "pack", led mostly by our pooch and they are all quite active BIG dogs. They get into everything and have torn down the small fences I had around my garden (every morning is an adventure as we discover what they played with/ destroyed in the night). The only garden item that has survived the assault is the parsley, though I am going to harvest it all today, as I noticed when I went out around 5:00 am to check on things, that they finally tore down that fence and have started smashing/ digging it up. I guess Tabbouleh is on the menu for tonight.
I am no longer really able to do any heavy lifting or much manual labor (less than 4 weeks to go before the baby arrives), so new fences will most likely have to wait until spring. My boys are a big help (doing almost all of the farm work plus taking care of all of the pets and a good deal of the house care as well), but I don't think they could handle building a strong fence by themselves and DH is working around the clock lately for his job (he gets calls at all hours lately, even when sleeping - as it is end of the year), so he really can't help now, either. In the mean time, we will try micro-greens indoors again, plus sprouted beans and seeds.
I think things are just about ready for the baby. This pregnancy has just flown by for me, and about 2 weeks ago, I was really hit over the head by the fact that we were not ready (we didn't even have a name for him, though, thank God, we do now). I think we are ready now, with the exception of cloth diapers, which we still need to get. I'm getting really excited about meeting this little guy and can't wait to see what he looks like.
I will probably not post much for a few months, though I do plan to post pics of baby boy when he is born (or have DH do it). I'm finding that I don't usually even have time to read my favorite blogs lately, much less post :( Menus have been very basic and not really worth posting. The focus for us has been stocking the freezer with meals and snacks to take us through about the first month with the baby. So far, we have lots of main dishes, a few side dishes that freeze well and lots of snacks (muffins, cookies, etc). We are trying to add at least one main dish and one snack per day for the rest of the month. We will see how that goes, because some days, it is really hard to motivate myself to cook instead of pulling something out of the freezer, lol. My hope is that once the baby is here, we will only have to take meals and snacks out of the freezer and add fresh veggies or fruit to round out the meals.