State of the Homestead, November 2016



You wouldn’t think I’d have much to report being November, but we’ve had a very mild fall. Winter for us is usually January and February. December is cold, but it’s the kind of cold that makes Northerners laugh at us.

cucumberGarden: After numerous deer attacks on my garden, I’ve had to fence off individual raised beds. It’s a pain in the keester for me, but at least my spinach and chard are safe from the savage maws of killer deer.

I planted a lot of brassicas and lettuces. Surprisingly, after some heavy rains earlier in the month, I had a new crop of eggplant and cucumbers appear. It’s very late in the season for them, but I won’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

I’m still having problems with my squash. Even though I moved them to a new bed, the worms weren’t far behind. At this rate I won’t be growing squash next year. We’ll see. I might try growing one or two in pots near the house. In the meantime I’ll pray for a couple of really cold nights to kill off any bad bugs still in the ground.chard

Chickens: I’ve been letting them free range now that most of the garden is fenced off. They’re funny though. If they hear us coming, they’ll come running from the forest to see if we have anything for them. Work for your food, you loafers! Why the heck do you think I let you loose?

I plan to cull a couple of ‘known’ roosters this Friday, but I’ll have to wait until the rest get older. I’d hate to cull a hen by mistake.

I had to put one in the freezer already. It stupidly went into the dog run while Iko was there. The chicken never had a chance. Luckily, Iko snapped its neck quickly so all I had to do was clean and freeze. Luckily too, he was a rooster.

On the negative side, none of the older hens are laying. I’ve kept aside several dozen eggs for our needs. Now to see if it was enough to keep us in eggs until the spring.

panGoats: We tried finding a paramour for our two Nubian does. They’re either too expensive or not good enough for my girls. It’s a year off yet, but if the Nubians sell as well as the Boers, we might sell the Boers and stick to Nubians. They’re smaller and much easier to handle.

I try to be kind to the owner when I reject a prospective goat. I’m not being snooty. It’s just that a good bloodline is just as important for the buck as it is for the doe. I was lucky with the Boers. I didn’t know much about goats at the time. I had to rely on my instincts and hope for the best.

Home: If you caught my blog post for Sunday, you saw that we’re in the middle of sanding our wood floors. What a mess! We were sanding with small hand sanders but I think we’re wearing ourselves out, so we’ve decided to rent one of those big professional sanders. It’s a lot of work, but I think once that’s behind us, I can call the house done.

I do have one bedroom I’d like re-carpeted, but that can wait until I’ve paid off my kitchen cabinets.

Thanksgiving: We’re celebrating at a friend’s home so no cooking for me. I did buy a turkey while it was on sale since Greg likes having turkey at other times of the year.

This is the first time he didn’t argue with me on the size of the bird. To Greg, bigger is always better, but we’re only two people (and two dogs). We can’t eat that much turkey without getting bored.

If the turkeys stay on sale this week, I might buy one more because it’s actually cheaper than chicken. I cook a lot of chicken for the dogs. I’m sure they won’t mind the change. Plus I get to save the turkey legs for Greg.

Christmas: Have you been reading my Gift Guides? I think I’ve bought nearly all my gifts for this year. There are still a couple of little things I’m looking for, but for the most part, I’m done! Now I can relax.

Authors, don’t forget that I’m running a Readers’ Gift Guide in December. If you want to be included, email me through my contact page.


greg-and-nanaDogs: Nana has Greg wrapped around her little paw. I swear, no matter how naughty she is, he always forgives her. How do I get that cute?

Iko has really softened since Tank passed away. He was nervous at first. He had always looked up to Tank and he seemed lost once his big brother was gone. But in the past two years, he’s matured. He’s perfectly content to let Nana be alpha, but he’s also more insistent on getting his share of the loving. When he wants a kiss, by God, no one is going to get in his way.

I’m getting a little nervous though. Greg has been scouting Rottweiler rescue sites, looking for a puppy. I think I’m doomed. We’d both rather have an adult dog, but I think Nana will accept a puppy more easily than an adult.iko

Greg: I think it’s time for that hardheaded man of mine to see an orthopedic specialist. His knees are still hurting. I think he’s torn cartilage. If that’s true, he’ll need surgery, but first I have to get him to a doctor.

Have you ever tried to get a husband to willingly go to a doctor? It’s like pulling teeth…without anesthetic.

So what’s new in your part of the world? Injuries, new pets, or shopping stress? Do you get grief for buying too small a bird?



This post may contain affiliate links. Clicking on these links cost you nothing, but they do help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting MariaZanniniHome. I appreciate you!

All original content copyrighted by Maria Zannini 2016 - 2018.


  1. Angela Brown

    You’ve got quite a bit happening in your neck of the woods.

    The gardens, the hens, that poor rooster who made one wrong turn into the dog run, the goats, house work… I don’t know how you do it all 🙂

  2. Darke Conteur

    We’ve hit snow season. A big Colorado Low is going through right now and hardly anyone has their snow tires on because it’s been such a mild fall.

    My container garden flopped. Big time. With the heat wave and drought this summer I couldn’t keep up with the watering. Got a few cucumbers but that was about it. We’ll try a normal garden next year, but we’ll see.

    • Darke: Snow already! Brr. We get snow once every few years. We didn’t get any last year. The nice thing about our snow is that it doesn’t last long.

      Ice is the thing we have to worry about.

      re: container plants
      I’m not terribly successful with container plants either. I never remember to water them. But I might make the effort for 2017.

  3. I’ve been looking at pug breeders. Like Nana, Yvie wouldn’t tolerate an adult dog. She’s better with puppies (though still top bitch) Half the reason we fostered puppies was to see how it would go.
    I’d go through rescue but adult pugs are super rare so I know a puppy is out of the question.

    • Sarah: I’ve been seeing a lot of pug memes lately. Is that the breed for 2017? 🙂

      Adult dogs are so much easier to train, but I know what you mean. When you have a super controlling alpha, it’s just easier to start with a puppy.

  4. Wow, you have a lot going on!

    Enjoy your holiday! We’re having a quiet one here, and I am so looking forward to it. Might even take a break from NaNo-ing…. 😮

    It took me forever to get my husband to go to the doctor, but now he goes for regular check-ups/physicals. 🙂

  5. I loved your comment on the lazy loafer chickens. It’s not the food they’re after – they love your sparkling personality 🙂

    LOL I know, my family had chickens when I was growing up. It’s definitely the food – although one of my uncle’s friends had a chicken who’d perch on his workbench and keep him company in the shed.

  6. Men can be so stubborn when it comes to their health! Hubby had a migrainous type headache this morning at work, but did he take anything for it? Of course not. Good luck trying to convince Greg to get to a doctor for his knee! I don’t think I have the energy for a puppy these days, LOL 🙂


  7. Getting my guy to go to the doctor is easy since I was the one he ignored when I suspected he might have cancer (and was right) and an infected leg abscess that put him in the hospital for three days ditto). If he gets mulish I also remind him of the time I told him of the absolute stupidity of climbing a tree to trim it in the rain (he didn’t listen, had a 40 foot fall *with* a running chainsaw, and he ended up with a broken hip and pelvis. Twelve inches over and he would have landed *on* the chainsaw). I have no shame when it comes to medical history blackmail, either. 🙂

    I got a small bird this year. Turns out it’ll just be us and the kids for Thanksgiving, and it’s getting harder for me to lift those 25 lbs. turkeys in and out of the oven. I’m also on a campaign to cook smaller meals so there’s less waste. I am making my very first from-scratch pumpkin pie for my daughter, who loves it, and I had to research how to actually cook the raw pumpkin. Should be interesting.

    I hope you and Greg have a lovely Thanksgiving, Maria.

Say a few words for our audience.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.