Author Archives: Kevin - Page 2

Whew, been quiet on here. Hurray for baby Bumpette! Glad to hear everything is progressing on schedule with her.

Doing OK in GA mostly. Jess is talking to the doc in Hendersonville on the phone on Tuesday to go over the blood work and hopefully he can get her a prescription for the bioidentically hormones that will give her some relief from the symptoms for a while. It’s really rough to not be able to eat and to have even cooking make you nauseous around this time of year. We haven’t been able to have people over at all and people at church are all asking if we’re OK… 🙂

Jess’s family will all be up/down here for Thanksgiving so we’ll have a full house. Perry has volunteered to handle most of the cooking coordination so that’s been good for Jess.

Our chickies are finally big enough to be outside all day. They’be been patrolling the yard and hopefully will eat up most of the parasites from the goat’s before they reinfect. We’ll see how this theory works out.

I’ve been tearing out the sink in the kids bathroom that leaked and getting ready to install the converted microwave stand turned vanity. It was a pretty big disaster most of today but will hopefully come together before our company gets here next week.

Supper is waiting for me. I better go eat.

We officially closed on the TN land this week. When we’re up there at the end of the month I’ve got a couple contractors lined up to chat with and start getting a feel for which of the building approaches we’re toying with is going to be the most financially feasible. This method of going about building is much more sensible than our last approach. More stressful, perhaps because we’re thinking about how much stuff costs instead of just plowing ahead toward our vision without considering costs at all. 🙂 We were stupid in a cute, idealistic way.

Been enjoying the weekend after another long work week. Hope to finish sanding our homemade dining table today and get the stain on. Total cost will be about $125 for materials and it seems to be coming out quite nice.

Just got in from a pleasant hour or two with the chickies and goats and mugs of cold coffee outside to enjoy a snack of brie dipped in honey fresh from our own combs. I love having my bees back! They didn’t get much attention the couple years they were away so getting the over-grown comb out was kinda messy but I got three of them out at the back so there should be room in the spring to cut the rest out a little more neatly when I inspect and hopefully split the hive. Two of these things should keep us in honey with lots to spare.  We’ll get four jars out of just the three combs removed this go around.

Tonight we’re hosting a sleepover with Nicole’s older two. The kids are excited about that.

Well better get at the sanding. Hopefully everyone is enjoying their weekends. I’m hoping this is our last 90 degree weekend for a while.

I’ve started working at the crisis pregnancy center 4 hrs per week. Anna is Pastor Mike’s wife, she is leader there. I’m still just in training, so haven’t had any second hand trauma yet, and not entirely sure that I’ll do the counseling. I told them I wasn’t probably their best choice, infallibly saying the wrong things when the time is right. So I’ll mostly work in the background and that‘s good with me. I still have to be trained in case they have fifteen people at once one day.

Orlando and Sadie think they are groundhogs. I hear from Sadie that Orlando wakes up mid-night and asks her to go outside and dig with him. Luckily, she discourages that. She likes it a fair amount in the daylight though.

The picture of the clothesline shows where Kevin built me a platform for my basket, and one for my feet, so I can reach the 7 foot clothesline.

The chickens are pure gold, in every way! They have stolen our hearts. They like to climb all over us when they get their playtime in the evenings. They follow me around particularly, because you know, Mammas are pretty much synonymous with food. I make them mush with whatever leftovers or rotten food we have, in the blender. Then I swat flies for a few minutes and deliver their mush to them with fly garnish.

standing in for Jess

Jess had done a nice post and then the kids deleted it off her desktop before she had a chance to post it. She’d also been having trouble getting these pics up so I put them on for her and maybe eventually she’ll get around to re-doing the post.


Sounds like a nice short trip up north. Praying for energy and appetite for you, Hannah!


Continuing to enjoy our little farm. I got my bees moved into their corner before church this morning. So our menagerie is complete for the time being. Now to get the garden growing and the chickens grown big enough to quit squeezing through the 4 in holes in the fence…

chickie love eyeing the i phone eyeing the pizza crust month 3 and still no drier new inverted raised bed garden

we dug holes

pretty exciting weekend on several fronts

Jess and I got back to Savannah at about midnight last night after a long day in TN looking at land (Jess’s dad had stayed here with the kids). We did wind up finding a quirky little lot that comes pretty close to fitting our ideal. We’ll at least hang onto it and try to tame some of the pasture areas which have overgrown and if we find another place before we break ground to build we can just sell this one. We should close in October. It’s about 30 acres with several pastures of a couple acres each scattered around it and lots of strange little knolls. It’s remote and private but not hard to get to. It has good southern exposure and views of Clinch mountain from several potential building sites and there is electric run out into the property already.

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Is the WV news still under wraps?

Also enjoyed the update from the West coast by the Poortengas. For how long are you out there?

We’re enjoying a the “holiday” weekend with Jess’s dad here even though I’m working a bit extra. We went over to meet a very nice homeschooling family a few miles down the road who live on a big five acre lot with lots of chickens, rabbits, goats, etc. We had found them online when we were looking for sources of raw milk a couple years ago and just finally got over to meet them. They were really sweet and made Jess and me a little nostalgic for our “homeschooling nazi” youths. They were very interested in my bees. They’ve bartered manure for honey with Harold Ward, the old gent who helped me catch my swarm. I think they’d be a good prospect for one of my hives.

We’re planning a trip out to TN again next weekend to look at some more properties. We’ve made our first official offer on one of the places already. We won’t go blow-by-blow through this process since it’s likely to drag on forever like the long-distance house hunting from Wichita did and get pretty boring in the third person. We have talked a bunch with an architect about our house plans and she’s convinced us that our expectations are not very realistic about the cost and functionality of that particular design being turned into reality. It was a little discouraging because it seemed pretty simple to us compared to the hobbit hole effort, but we’ve also been so recently burned with that that we’re pretty ready to believe someone who says this particular idea isn’t feasible. 🙂 Anyway, we’ve been a little back to the drawing board trying to sort out what exactly that means for us. Do we switch gears again to look for an existing place? Do we buy a modular home with very clear cut pricing for everything but that’s not super efficient or likely to last 100 years? Or do we go all cave man and build our home out of straw bales and dirt? Anyway, lots to think about.

It was nice to finalize plans for meeting mom and dad in Thomaston in November and spending some time with Elsie and Elaina here while they’re at Be in Health. We’re excited about that. Maybe I can try to have found my goats by then.

we’re back!

Finally got internet working in the new house today. We’ll try to post pictures of some of our progress. Some friends from FL surprised us with four grown hens so we had to prioritize getting the coop built. We moved them in late Wednesday. The guy (yes, that is singular) who was painting the inside of the house) was supposed to do it Thursday and Friday last week while we were gone just finally finished THIS Thursday evening, so today was our first chance to finally shuffle furniture into their final places, start unpacking boxes into the kitchen and closets, etc. We got a lot done. It’s starting to look like a home.

Jess’s mom is on the last few minutes of her drive down from NC with Broden and Eli to stay for a week. Ryan and Perry are struggling a lot with their marriage. Please pray for them. Jess’s sister is also on her way up from FL, so we’ll have some good workers this weekend to finish whipping this place into some kind of order inside. Tonight we’re eating tiramisu and picking blueberries.

So far we LOVE our new home. It’s simple inside but suits us and the yard is great (not as nice as the Poortenga’s, however…). The neighbors all seem friendly and interested in our doings. This morning I emptied our first triplet of full poo buckets into the compost pile. It wasn’t as terrible as I was expecting, although it took a little longer to clean the buckets than I had hoped. I supposed I’ll get faster at it. 🙂 I don’t really have the right set up yet for that. Still very excited about the toilets.

The chickens are happy in their new coop but I want to get them outside. I’m starting to plot putting up the fence so they can wander and also so I can prep for goats. There is an extra shed in the back that I didn’t know about that should work fine for a shelter for the goats for now. It’s more full of ant lion pits than I have every seen anything in my life (there are TONS of black ants in the yard). It’ll be fun to show the kids how they catch ants when we get a little time.

Enjoyed the quick read through the blog posts. Will spend some more time with them this weekend.

It’s been nice to chat with most folks this past week. It’s helped a bit with the loneliness and isolation up here.

We really enjoyed my two whole days off. Haven’t done that yet since being up here. Yesterday was mostly relaxing around the house. Today we went to a water park in Saint Sauveur. It was tons of fun and the kids wouldn’t let us leave till they closed the park and threw us out. Our feet feel like the bottoms were scraped off with sand paper from all the walking bare foot on the trails between slides. They’ve built several very long slides and rides into the same hill they use for skiing in the winter. Sadly the couple of rides that actually use the ski lifts to get you to the top are only for big kids and adults so we were stuck on the ones where you haul your own raft or tube to the top so I got a good workout. We should all sleep well tonight. 😀 It was a little on the expensive side so we probably won’t do it again but it was well worth doing the one time. Tomorrow it’s back to the grindstone but only for an 60 hour week. Practically a vacation.

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Welcome, Noel!

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Getting ready for dinner so not much time to comment. The ones from last weekend were a trip to Mnt. Tremblant. A beautiful ride up the mountain in a cable car and a walk at the top, followed by a nice fondue dinner.

The trip today was to a sustainable organic farm called Ferme Morgan where we had a fun, interactive tour of all the animals and gardens and their new “earthship” four season passive greenhouse they’re working on. I figure if they can make that work up here there’s good hope for me to do something like it in TN. The kids had a great time and didn’t want to leave.

I’ll try next to get some pictures of the kids jumping from the anchored dock in the middle of the lake. Even Pip jumped today a couple times (with a little assist). It feels wonderful to dive down to the chilly lake bottom on these hot, muggy days.

Enjoyed a brief video chat with Bump and Hannah yesterday evening! Thanks guys!