Happy new year to everyone. A bit belated I know. Life this last year has been a little unkind to us. It has been hard to celebrate the festivities with the vigor of previous years. This is the first year that we have not set goals, we just couldn't make a decision and planning has seemed a little pointless. We have decided to carry on with last years list and possibly add to it as and when we feel the need. We are allowing ourselves time to heal and trying not to get down hearted when stuff just doesn't get done. I guess this is just part of life, but living this way it is hard to find time to just be and not get bogged down with all the chores and jobs that need doing. 
So where are we at? It is pruning time here and so lots of farmers are out cutting branches off of their trees. Kev has been out collecting the prunings for next winters wood. He has been out with friends this year...much more gets collected. We are well on the way to having next years supply already.
2 weeks ago we placed 24 chickens eggs into the incubator. They are due to start hatching on the 28th. This is always an exciting time to see how many we actually get. In 2 days we top the incubator up with water and close the vents to allow the humidity to build. This enables the chicks to take their time when hatching without fear of them drying out and getting stuck in the shell.
Work in the garden has been intermittent, as the weather has been very wet this last couple of months. We have had rain every month for at least a week at a time. Everything gets sodden, we have to wait for soil to dry out to be able to do anything. For the last month we have been working on the top terrace where the well pump was installed. Kev built a box around it and now we are busy trying to build raised beds and pathways covered with wood chips to hold moisture. The idea is to make 2 herb beds with flowering herbs for the bees and a smallish vegetable patch to grow squash, sunflowers and some salad stuff. I want Kev to build planters and trellis around the box so that we can try to cover it naturally but still be able to get to it if need be.

It will soon be time to think about planting seeds indoors. We want to try to plant seedlings this year to give them a head start. So this week we shall be going through the seed box and ordering any that we need. I want to grow alphalfa as a cover crop that can be cut to supplement the rabbits diet. I am also swaying towards planting hops. They are a great climber, so would cover our pergola very quickly and Kev can make beer! Sunflowers are on the agenda too. These will give shade to other plants and the seeds will supplement the feed for the poultry. Without our well we would never consider growing any of these crops, but now we have water our range of plants is extending.
Our puppies are growing fast. They are now taller than Stanley, although he is still the boss! We thought they needed beds of their own so Jan made these. The puppies love them! We don't think they will last them long with how fast they are growing but it will give us some time to find bigger suitcases!