Not everyone is a morning person or pig for that matter,

Most mornings start early for me on the homestead. I went out in the blowing snow this morning to feed the animas. I slipped on a puddle that froze over and then covered over with a fresh layer of snow during the night. I laughed at myself hoping nobody saw me flailing around for a brief second before I made contact with the ground. Once I made may way into the barn I said good morning to our LGD (livestock guardian dog) and gave her some snuggles. I put some feed into some buckets and made my way out to where the hogs are. Our Boar Butch is a big lad he probably weighs over 600lbs he has a little lean-to that he sleeps all snuggled up buried in straw. Most mornings you can hear him grunting peacefully as he snoozes away. I shout over to him that his breakfast is here but that I am not serving it to him in bed, that he needs to get up. He lifts his head and looks at me with a snort an puts his head down as if to say go away! I pour his feed into his feed bowl and walk away. A little while later as I am finishing up feeding everyone else I notice that he has reluctantly made his way out of his bed of straw to get his breakfast.

I normaly get out of bed around five most mornings. This gives me some time to myslef before our household gets busy. With a family of seven it doesn’t take long to get busy. Our youngest who is six months old is up shortly after I am and full of smiles. I love morning snuggles and smiles with her, she is pretty peaceful. Then our three year old wakes up hopefully after six. Once she is awake good luck to eveyone else to continue sleeping. She is loud and full of energy, she comes down the stairs singing at the top of her voice (other than the fact that it is nice to see her so full of life and confidence to say that it is a pleasant sound would be a stretch). Our teenagers would sleep all day if given the option however around here you are expected to be up and ready for the day by eight. They roll out and make their way to the main floor of the house just in time on the weekends. Saying good moring to them may be a dangerous thing to do.

Everyone is different. Some wake up quietly smiling looking forward to the day, others wake up singing, and yet others don’t like the thought of getting up at all and do so begrudgingly.

How do you wake up? Are you a morning person?

It has been awhile…

Well it has been a crazy long time since I got behind the keyboard to write just about anything. There are always excuses as to why I don’t write. So today I set one excuse down for a nap and poured myself a coffee and thought I would write a few words to let you all know that we are alive and doing well here on Splitrock Heritage Homestead. It has been a busy season no doubt about it. In the last year alone we have had some major changes happen on our homestead. This spring we added another little girl to our household which now means there are seven of us. She is such a blessing and sweetheart. She has taken a lot of time in various ways (a lot of which are just because she is too cute and you want to see her so much). So here I am writing.

Just to refresh peoples memory of who we are and what we do let me give you a quick recap. We are a family of 7. Our kids range in ages from almost 18 down to 6 months. We are a blended family. We work off the homestead as well as work the homestead. Our homestead is on 160 acres. We are off grid. We do have internet. We raise Silverlace Wyndotte chickens (as our layers) we raised Jersy Giant chickens for our meat birds this year. We also raise Berkshire pigs, and are currently building our herd of cattle with the goal to run mostly highland cattle, we have a handful of goats. Our land varies from sandy to granite with wetlands and ponds throughout. We are working on fenecing (a constant thing) and through proper fences we hope to improve our grazing area as it was overgrown and down on nutrients from the past.

So this is hopefully one of many new posts to come. I am interested in hearing what it is that people who follow this blog or our instagram account #splitrockheritagehomestead would like to hear about? What kind of topics? What questions do you have about off grid living? Blended Families? What? just let us know and we will do our best to accomadate those kinds of posts in the future.

It’s a good day to write….

It’s freezing rain here…..actually we are in a complete weather warning system that includes….. Rain, freezing rain, snow, high winds, downed trees, power outages ( not for us 😁). It caused us to cancel our Christmas gathering with my in-laws and my husband to be called to work. It’s the kind of day you spend indoors by the fire with a hot cup of tea and a good book, gather round for a board game and a great day to eat soup. Sometimes I even like these kinds of days, they can be refreshing and good for the soul. I have also found this one to be a great lesson it what homesteading has provided us…..

We went grocery shopping yesterday afternoon after church, a regular occurrence for our family, this time just for the basics milk, bread, a quick put together lunch. It took FOREVER the line it went around the store, really around it. We took express ( less then 12 items) we started 7th in line….if this was a drive thru everyone would be mad. It was panicked hysteria, well maybe not that extreme but it was getting there. Everyone is worried, what if the power goes? What if we can’t get to the grocery store? What if we run out of gas? Water? and it makes me think what if?

What if we can’t draw water from the well? What if there is no gas, no groceries? What if we can’t keep our food cold? our houses warm? Turn lights on? I am not a prepper, I don’t stock up on anything. Our budget doesn’t allow it, our storage space doesn’t allow it and honestly it’s just not my thing we will figure a way to work it out and get through it….we always do.

It also caused me to reminisce, when I was a kid the power went out here all the time. We made do. No-one went with out, no-one rushed to the grocery store or the gas station or panicked. I remember the power being out for 8 days once, we had livestock then, we had a whole pack of rescue dogs then, everyone did fine at least by my childhood memory and no one was stressed about it, we coped, we used our skills and our available resources, we made do.

But we have lost so much of that, we rely so much on the “systems” on the things of convenience being there the skills are all but distant memories. How would we do here at Splitrock?……Honestly for a while I think just fine.

We have resources- wood, running water streams, cool places to keep food, food available, some we raise, some we can hunt, some although not a lot in this season some we can forage and we have the tools to do it.

We have skills- We can cook both on an open fire and a woodstove, we can hunt, skin, butcher, forage food. We can collect and boil decent drinking water. We can light a fire for warmth with just the resources the woodland provides with out using our wood supply. We can keep food cold, put snow in the fridge, suspend food in cold ponds. We can live here with out running water, with out power…we have done it.

Its why we do it, it’s why we are here. To stay connected to living and not just float through it. To know where our food comes from and what it takes. To feel closer to God and what he gave us. To be good stewards. To teach our children. I hope when they come back to visit in later years, they remember these skills, they hone them, they go out and practice them…. you never know when you might decide it’s just not worth waiting in line at the grocery store for.