The Lessons I've Learned From This Old Lady: Part 1

Moving from a 900 square foot city home to a huge country home has taught me a few important things along the way.  This Old Gal has forced me to be creative, productive & increased my knowledge.

As my husband pointed out in the last blog there are a lot of old and drafty windows here.  This makes for cold winters.

One year the birthday theme was to keep Marnie warm.  My Dad got me a Ciny Lou Who outfit from Pajamagram.  My sister got me an iderdown robe from her job at Lands' End.  I bought flannel nightgowns, shawls & a granny cap.   

One year the birthday theme was to keep Marnie warm.  My Dad got me a Ciny Lou Who outfit from Pajamagram.  My sister got me an iderdown robe from her job at Lands' End.  I bought flannel nightgowns, shawls & a granny cap.   

Other ways to stay warm were to utilize The Hudson Bay Blanket, given to us as a wedding gift from my Grandparents.  Granted it keeps you warm, but is heavy making one feel like they are in a tightly rolled burrito.  We also have several oil filled electric heaters in use throughout the house.  My husband & I snuggle under an electric blanket while watching T.V..

Never underestimate the power of tea!  The family favorite is a blend of Samurai Chai Mate & Maharaja Chai Oolong from Teavana. 

Never underestimate the power of tea!  The family favorite is a blend of Samurai Chai Mate & Maharaja Chai Oolong from Teavana. 

I also have had to get used to the revolving door of cats & dogs on the property.  We made a decision to have no inside animals once Dax & Sisko passed when we first moved to the farm. 

 

Our first visitor, Bane whom we call Bandit because he would carry off packages &  other items from our yard or garage.  He also brought items such as a stuffed ape & a kitten.   He belongs to a farm down the rode & is HUGE!

Our first visitor, Bane whom we call Bandit because he would carry off packages &  other items from our yard or garage.  He also brought items such as a stuffed ape & a kitten.   He belongs to a farm down the rode & is HUGE!

A variety of other furry friends have come & gone from Serenity Homestead.   The roads, winters & coyotes have not been kind to our barn cat friends, all apart of country life as I have learned. We have an invisible dog fence which keeps our girls close & safe.

Top to bottom:  This orange Tabby was named Dexter because of the sheer volume of birds, mice & moles he killed.  Also the best tree climber ever, my husband once found Dexter watching him as he worked in his office.  My husband's home office is on the second floor of our home.  Basil a kitten from the first batch of farm cats & a younger Moya.  Jake was given to us by friends, but felt wondering the country side was more for him.  Dax came with us from the city to the farm, here he waits for Moya's school bus with Erin.  Bane/ Bandit again.  Our Cattle Dog, Calamity Jane snuggling with Pip, a barn cat.  One of Pip's kittens on the way to the vet, Unfortunalty passed shortly after.  Freyja, a Rottie/Boxer mix who just showed up on our doorstep. We've added a crazy Australian Shepard/Border Collie, Rosie to the mix. 

Top to bottom:  This orange Tabby was named Dexter because of the sheer volume of birds, mice & moles he killed.  Also the best tree climber ever, my husband once found Dexter watching him as he worked in his office.  My husband's home office is on the second floor of our home.  Basil a kitten from the first batch of farm cats & a younger Moya.  Jake was given to us by friends, but felt wondering the country side was more for him.  Dax came with us from the city to the farm, here he waits for Moya's school bus with Erin.  Bane/ Bandit again.  Our Cattle Dog, Calamity Jane snuggling with Pip, a barn cat.  One of Pip's kittens on the way to the vet, Unfortunalty passed shortly after.  Freyja, a Rottie/Boxer mix who just showed up on our doorstep. We've added a crazy Australian Shepard/Border Collie, Rosie to the mix. 

We have also had a number encounters of the wild variety here on Serenity Homestead.  One night my daughter & I returned from Gymnastics. I saw what I thought was a cat eating out of a food bowl by our door.  Lucky for me, my eyes adjusted to night vision before I had petted what was actually a possum.  The little guy slowly moved along as I recovered.  

I was feeding a new batch of farm cats in the Morton shed one night when a skunk decided to join the group.  The cats didn't seem to have a problem with it, but I stood still while it came & went. I was both amazed & freaked!

Lost Toshi, a pet rat, who got out of the rat play pen while outside.  Toshi went under the back step so we set a trap.  We SO didn't catch Toshi.  Skunks not only like cat food but seem to think Cinnamon Toast Crunch is yummy too.

Lost Toshi, a pet rat, who got out of the rat play pen while outside.  Toshi went under the back step so we set a trap.  We SO didn't catch Toshi.  Skunks not only like cat food but seem to think Cinnamon Toast Crunch is yummy too.

On a side note, you know how Pepe Le Pew bounces along in the cartoons?  I actually looked up from doing dishes one day to see a skunk doing that very thing in our back yard.  We didn't have dogs at the time which was lucky for the skunk, dogs & us.

If any of you have been following us on Facebook, you know we have had a dog & raccoon war taking place here on the farm.  I used to think raccoons were cute.  My time here on Serenity Homestead has taught me otherwise.

Tearing through the porch screen door to get at cat food, not cute.  Notice the very still barn cat squeaky, in last pic.  When I turned on the porch light, it didn't bother them a bit.

Tearing through the porch screen door to get at cat food, not cute.  Notice the very still barn cat squeaky, in last pic.  When I turned on the porch light, it didn't bother them a bit.

Calamity Jane had the farm to herself until Freyja came along.  Calamity would bark at wild life if they dared set foot on her property.  This would bring Bandit from the farm down the road & together they would chase the trespasser away.  Then Freyja came along & violation for trespassing is death not annoying barking.

Freyja with one of the violators, then one of five coons she executed.  Yes, that is me taking a selfie with a dead raccoon with a crazy antler, Christmas hat.  Time out in the country has taught me to be less squeamish & apparently less fashion conscious ;)

Freyja with one of the violators, then one of five coons she executed.  Yes, that is me taking a selfie with a dead raccoon with a crazy antler, Christmas hat.  Time out in the country has taught me to be less squeamish & apparently less fashion conscious ;)

I have learned the difference between random barking & raccoon barking.  One morning I found myself running to the barn to find the above scene. Freyja was there, but she is pushing against me to keep me out of "harm's" way.  That is the highest I have ever seen a Cattle Dog jump.  I removed my pack of girls once Rosie the Border Collie used the sturdy Calamity as a vault to get at the Raccoon. One more try she would of had it & chaos would have ensued.

I have learned the difference between random barking & raccoon barking.  One morning I found myself running to the barn to find the above scene. Freyja was there, but she is pushing against me to keep me out of "harm's" way.  That is the highest I have ever seen a Cattle Dog jump.  I removed my pack of girls once Rosie the Border Collie used the sturdy Calamity as a vault to get at the Raccoon. One more try she would of had it & chaos would have ensued.

Unfortunantly, Freyja's fight response instead of flight has taken a toll on her & our vet bills. 

Freyja now spends her nights in an outside pen while the other 2 dogs patrol the property & alarm bark at a safe & cheaper distance. 

Freyja now spends her nights in an outside pen while the other 2 dogs patrol the property & alarm bark at a safe & cheaper distance. 

Join me for Part 2 as I talk about battling rust while cleaning, doing laundry with well water & lessons learned while refurbishing our Old Gal.