Our Mission

To live a self-sufficient and organic lifestyle for the next half century. With the Grace of God and the power of prayer, we will succeed. Nothing is impossible with His help. It wouldn't be us without laughter and joy at the Cockeyed Homestead.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

The Cockeyed Homestead is Redoing Everything...

I received this response to a comment I made on another blog. It's true, but then again false.When I speak of redoing/revamping/changing focus for our homestead, it falls in various headings.

When I wrote about doing or redoing the back porch kitchen, it was to make the cooking/ canning area a more efficient work space for me rather than a couple of rough wood counters with a three-burner cook top and a grill. We actually used scrap wood and a counter top with sink that I bought when we were planning a butcher station. It works better this way for the expanded canning operation I do each year. With the addition of plastic sheeting over the screens, I have made it into a cold weather greenhouse with plenty of space for the growing transplants and not cold tolerant trees to be housed during winter. This falls under expanding and completing the intended tasks.

Similar to my old setup
The butchering station fell through the cracks in our relationship, Mel's and mine, we just didn't know enough
quirks about each other at the time. The plan I made for here was a carryover from my previous homestead where I raised meat rabbits and chickens to butcher and eat. The same went for hunting. For decades, I fed small rodents( not rats) squirrels, random rabbits, and assorted smallish critters that wasn't essential for our food needs to make and supplement our dog food.

While Mel, being a dyed in the wool carnivore, belonged to PETA and was against killing animals. I guess buying it from the grocery store was okay. I asked her if when she went fishing did she catch and release the fish, or cook them up and eat them. She answered she ate them. It boggled my mind at her paradoxical relationship between food and where it came from. I finally realized, it was the loving, nurturing and caring before the killing she had for our livestock that was the problem. Anyhow, the countertop and sink didn't go to waste.

I spend quite a lot of the time in our kitchen. That's one of my main jobs on the homestead. In our bi-annual top to bottom scrub-a-thons, I noticed how shabby the cabinets looked and how the previous owner had painted the cabinet hinges as well. A fresh coat of paint and redo on the hardware was needed.  If you don't take care of what you've got, it won't take care of you.This fell under maintenance. The fact that it looks so much better puts a smile on my face.

We've finally found the culprit behind our leaky ceiling. It was the gutter. It filled with rain water quicker than it could be drained away. An additional drain spout fixed that problem. So simple but so hard to detect with the insulation and ceiling tiles in the way. This is repair and maintenance. As will the ceiling when we complete the project this winter.

We've worked on the wiring and plumbing in the house. Let's face it, we are living in an over thirty-year old double wide trailer and it sat abandoned for seven of those years. The people before us made renovations that were cockeyed and half-assed like water lines out of flexible black hoses with garden hose splices, buried only 6" underground from the well to the house. Come on! Who was standing behind the door when God gave out common sense?  So somebody that knows how to do it right has to correct it... namely me holding the purse strings for someone else doing the work now. This is maintenance and repairs.

That's a lot of our revamping comes from necessity. Like changing the angora rabbitry into a stores building. We had jars in ever nook and cranny. We lost half of them not knowing where we put them. Buying staples for 6 months to a year was impossible. Building a new bunny barn to now, a chicken/bunny barn. It goes under improvement, future income, and growth.

Mostly it's Mel changing directions to find a viable way to make an income since nobody wants to hire a woman her age and attitude. She got tired of caring for the angoras and couldn't get the hang of spinning, so we decided to downsize our rabbitry/fiber production operation. This revamp goes under future growth and income.

The deaths (not by choice) this year of 5 out of 9 rabbits put us right where I wanted to be for a continued small production rabbitry. I can breed them if I find I can handle more without Mel. She got her wish. She's lost interest, but I haven't. So I have enough now to keep me happy with caring and grooming them, gathering and spinning their fiber, and selling the surplus. This falls under maintenance and income.

Meanwhile, the extra space will start Mel's new interest, chicken farming. The hatching, raising, and selling certain breeds of chickens at different ages. Selling chicks, pullets, roosters, layers, and eggs can be quite lucrative as a money maker for the homestead. With more coops and runs to come later. Improvements geared for future income.

Nothing is ever wasted on a homestead. It goes through several reincarnations as the trial and error process continues. It meets our needs and that's the important part. Everything changes. It's improved upon, converted, reinvented as needs arise.

So yes, the Cockeyed Homestead is redoing everything constantly. We are constantly evolving over time as needs arise. Nothing is stagnant or it dies. So hang in there with us as we repair, renew, and repurpose this once abandoned property into our dream of the most self reliant, and organic lifestyle that we can. We ain't done yet with our shoe string budget.

Y'all have a blessed day!
Cockeyed Jo

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