Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Random Musings


So the first few days of true winter have descended upon us.  The bitter cold has its way of just seeping into your bones whether you have several layers on or you’re walking around in your underwear.  There really isn’t any escape. Except… by the newly installed woodstove!  Which we are totally unprepared to use, by the way.  We haven’t purchased any axes, pokers, ash pans, nor have we even gathered wood.  For the first year, I imagine we will have to purchase firewood, even though we have 9 acres of mostly wooded land that doesn’t seem to have been harvested for many years, leaving lots of down trees and old or dead ones to be culled.  Through it all, though, the knowledge that the woodstove is functioning is comforting.  We’ve had our first snow fall. The cold weather appears to be here to stay. And it’s especially nice to know that, even if the power would go out, my family and I have the ability to remain warm throughout the duration of this winter. 

My new home is a learning curve in itself.  There is so much to be finished yet.  We have a great number of things that will need to be done before we can be considered officially settled.  The backsplash in my kitchen needs put up.  My plumbing leaks a little in the bathroom.  Ok, a lot.  We have buckets under each drain, except the toilet.  On the subject of bathrooms, the second bathroom needs to be installed.  The area around the woodstove needs finished.  The hearth was built and the wall behind it stoned as is necessary for the installation of a woodstove, but the area is truly downright ugly.  The floor is still OSB around the hearth. The hearth itself is a couple of ugly cement pavers on a wood 2x4 base.  Far from good looking, really.  The wash room has no ceiling or lights for that matter.  The walls are up and the electric wires are run for the lights, leaving unsightly wires hanging in the walkway.  Trim need done everywhere. Windows, doors, and chair rails lack that finishing touch.  The roof still has one half that needs to have the rafters sistered up to add strength and new sheeting and shingles put on to prevent the inevitable leaking.  The barn only consists of poles and a roof.  My poor animals are freezing their little bums off.  My chicken coop has yet to be winterized and I may lose chickens soon if I don’t pay attention to that little detail.  My mortgage isn’t going to be what we thought it would be either.  The cash-in that we expected will not come to fruition.  That means that a few projects that we were hoping to do will be put aside, i.e. fencing, my shop, and repairs on various farm machinery. 

But through it all, my life is a happier one right now.  My husband recently came to first shift which means that we can ride to work together again. That saves me a little gas money.  AND I get to spend time with my husband.  I have the house and house location that I always dreamed of.  I got two little alpacas and two sheep which I’ve wanted to own for a long time.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to get a few more of the fiber animals that I’d like to own in the near future, along with pigs for some good eating later next year. (Think: “Bacon!”)  Things are falling into place where I always wanted them.   Praise God and all His goodness.  He always knows what’s best for me and my house! 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Allow me to introduce us...

Hi! My name is Big Kate Madigan.  I live on a small hobby farm that my husband and I just purchased and remodeled, in Pine Grove, Pennsylvania.  We currently have a varied gaggle of animals, including llamas, alpacas, sheep, goats, dogs, cats, and chickens. And, of course, our bunny, who always seems to be forgotten.  My daughter, Cameo, and her step-brother, Nickalus, live with us in our humble surroundings along with her step-sister, AJ, on the weekends.  All of our children have a diverse interest in some sort of craft or skill.  Nickalus, the oldest of the bunch at fourteen, knits, crochets, spins, and fancies himself to be an artist.  AJ, being the middle child at twelve years old, enjoys soap making, gardening, and hair dressing.  Cameo, the youngest of the bunch but also twelve, LOVES to make soap. She is also knowledgeable in crocheting, knitting, spinning, and gardening, but soap making takes the cake.  My husband is a general jack of all trades, who does what ever I ask of him (poor man) including helping me to build a greenhouse, making a spinning wheel, and going along with almost every whim and fancy that pops into my ever busy head.  Then, last but not least, there's me.  I dabble in just about every craft known to man, I think.  I knit, crochet, spin, weave, sew, garden, paint, and grow worms.  (Yes, I grow worms. They're fun and don't require a whole lot of petting!)  I've done rug tufting, macramé, and several other not-so-common crafts as well.  I have a small web shop where I sell all the things that I've run out of people to give them away to. You can find my shop at:

My daughter's website for her lovely soaps is as follows:

The purpose of this blog is to perhaps widen our circle of friends and loved ones who indulge in the same passions and pastimes as we enjoy.  Since this is to be a quick blog and because I don't want to overwhelm everyone with a tremendous burden of information all at one shot, I'll let today's blog end with a simple, "Howdy!  Nice to meet you!"