I moved into an apartment between the house under construction and my new job. We moved DH and Son 2 into an apartment in Virginia Beach until DH was ready to retire and we visited back and forth across the state every three or four weeks for almost 3 years.
In the meantime, the house was being built with Son1, DIL, and anyone he could enlist including me on occasion installing the wood siding in rooms and closets, baseboards and the interior side of the logs oiled with boiled linseed oil, floors laid, homemade floor wax created on a hotplate on the back deck. Much of the stone work had already been d one by him and DIL, what was left was finished after we moved in.
The house wasn’t quite finished, but their lease and mine were up and we began an interesting couple of months subletting, house sitting, and other alternative living arrangements while Son 1 was struggling to get the house to the point where we could get a temporary move in permit. That day came almost 16 months after I had moved here and I was still working, hoping to retire again in the next year or so. Our exploration of our area showed us that the farm that we bought is only a few miles from the farm on which my maternal grandfather was born and raised.
Once DH retired and we moved the rest of our furniture to the mountains, I worked for another 7 months and retired with him and the farm blog was begun. First, we planted fruit trees, beyond the coop in part of the area that had been garden, the garden was reworked to a size I thought I could handle on my own. Then we bought a coop and I got the new chicken owner syndrome and went from a few chicks to way too many and too many of them turned out to be randy little roosters.
Most of my life from my late teen years on, I had a vegetable garden of some form, usually just a small corner of the urban yard, but that was the extent of my farming experience. So here I was on 30 acres with chickens, at least half of them young roosters that couldn’t stay, fruit trees that the deer were eating, a huge vegetable garden that I couldn’t keep up with and lots to learn. We had thought about raising horses and enough cows to keep us and family in beef, but we never got the fencing done. We did take riding lessons. Fortunately, for the first few years, Son 1 and his family still lived in the area and he was more than willing to dispatch the young roosters while I learned to help. It still isn’t something I like to do, but I can get much more involved in the process, preparing them for the freezer.
Over the years, the garden has been altered, fenced, and topped with hot wire to keep the deer out. I have learned to buy only female chicks and limit the number to no more than 9 or 10. The success with the garden encouraged me to go beyond making jam and learning to can and freeze the bounty.
During the period prior to DH retiring and moving here, I connected with a knitting group and learned to spin. One of the friends I made through knitting, made soap, and she generously taught me one afternoon, leading me to make more of our self and house care products, and Cabin Crafted Shop was born. And the spinning skills connected me with a local Historical site and my adventure in living history as a spinner during the Revolutionary War period began.
That brings us to the present, living in social isolation during the pandemic, enjoying the spoils of the garden and orchard, the eggs from the hens, practicing the skills I have learned to make gifts and to try to earn a little bit of pocket money from these skills. This has been my journal over the years, my record of success and failure. I hope you enjoyed this walk down memory lane.