Lesson of the Week: count your blessings, but always stay humble.
I learned a HARD lesson this week. The past few weeks spring fever has hit, hard. I have been relishing in my syrup accomplishments, cleaning out and donating old clothes/shoes/toys, celebrating things left and right around the homestead.
Now, I am not one of those that think when life is going good, something bad will happen… but I do think it is important to remain humble, and if you do not you may get knocked back down to reality.
That’s what happened this week.
Maple and Birch and Syrup, OH MY!
With our surge of cold in the Midwest, the Maple trees were triggered into a quick sap flow. We tapped all of our promising trees and collected personal record amounts of sap. HOLY SMOKE.
We were getting almost TEN GALLONS of sap a day. It was short lived, but it was SO WORTH IT.
After the snow, sleet, garbage we got, the weather warmed right back up. We were able to sit outside all weekend around a bonfire and boil. Who needs camping?!
Hubby went to collect fallen trees, chopped it up and the kids stacked it.
Something about a bonfire… it is good for the soul. So is Maple Syrup.
Am I one of those freaks that obsesses over Maple Syrup now? Ya, you betcha.
Funny thing is, we had our Maples and Birch tapped and collected from both. We got 10 gal of Maple, 1 gal of Birch the first day. Each consecutive day we got 1 less gallon of Maple and 1 more gallon of Birch.
I have yet to finish another batch of Birch syrup – but we are continuously boiling everything down. Day after day adding and boiling. Birch is tedious – I guess that’s why it is $35/pint! Takes careful watching and a LONG time.
New: Amazon Affiliate.
HELLO! Have you seen our new affiliate program?! HOW COOL.
I have been working on getting our affiliate program in place and set up for quite awhile. Now that it is here – I am beyond proud. Check it out here: www.thesheepshedmn.com/products
What is an Affiliate Program?
Basically – a company gives you a tracking URL to place on your website for products. If someone were to purchase a product through that link, you get a commission. The price is NO different from if you were to go directly to the site and purchase. It is them saying ‘Thank You’ for driving traffic and a successful purchase.
I himmed and hawed over this for a long time for many reasons – but ultimately decided to just bite the bullet. What is the worst thing that could happen?
SO – if you would like to support our mission and our family and this blog, feel free to use a link! I will continuously add anything that comes to mind. If there is anything else you would like to see products for – shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will definitely do some research/asking around.
Without my readers, I could have never become an affiliate, so I thank you!
THANK YOU for reading, sharing, and engaging in the blog and Facebook group. WE APPRECIATE YOU.
Big Broody Red in the House!
Another celebration this week? Big Red is Broody y’all! ::happy dance::
I think her first official broody day was Friday, April 12. This puts her hatch date around May 3 for the chicken eggs and May 10 for the duck eggs. I suspect I will need to put the ducks in an incubator the last week, so I am working on lining that up.
I am so afraid of accidentally breaking her of her broodiness. She was sitting on 15-16 eggs and kept kicking some out. I was obsessed with checking her box for eggs kicked out and marking them and sticking them back under. Plus I was giving her treats and telling her how sweet she is and that she is a good mama. Yup, that’s real.
I have forced myself to fall back on just checking once a day for her kicked out eggs and giving her treats. But whenever I walk by the coop I tell her she is a good mama and is doing a good job keeping her eggs warm and safe. She hollers at me to leave her alone, but inside I know she appreciates the affirmations. HAHA!
Please don’t admit me to the Mental Hospital, I want to see these babies hatch! I promise I am normal enough to be in society. 😉
The Hardest Part of the Week.
This is the hard part.
This is what I do not want to share on my blog.
What I am about to share with you is VERY hard for me to admit, but it is life on the farm. I promised I would write the good, the bad and the ugly. Well this is the bad and ugly and I am tearing up typing it.
: : d e e p b r e a t h : :
I lost all four of my chicks at my own wrongdoings.
: : d e e p b r e a t h : :
I was tired of my house smelling like a coop, the babies 6-7wks had been outside all of the warm days and inside my house at night. They still stunk BAD. I was planning on putting them in the coop this weekend.
I cleaned out my laundry room where they were housed (in a Rubbermaid). I mean REALLY cleaned it out. Got rid of all of our winter shoes and jackets (put into storage) and wiped everything down.
Tuesday night I put the babies out on the patio in their Rubbermaid with the plan to put them in the coop when I had enough time to sit and make sure they were not going to get bullied too bad.
Wednesday morning I checked on them while I rushed the kids out the door. Dropped the 4 year old off at preschool and went to my meeting, got coffee, picked up the 4 year old and went home at 11:15am.
Well, on Wednesday it rained. A LOT.
I remembered the babies as soon as I got on the highway and rushed to check them as soon as I got home.
Their Rubbermaid was full of water and the birds were floating.
My heart sank out my butt and bounced right back up and landed in my throat.
My eyes welled.
WHAT HAD I DONE?!
I still can’t comprehend it, but the feelings I have about it are gut wrenching.
After I collected myself, I broke the news very gently to the 4 year old. I was not crying, and I was trying to look strong for him. He read right through it. That one can read my soul.
He said, “You’re sad?”
I said, “Very.”
Then he proceeded to tell me not to worry because Big Red was going to hatch more babies and we could have more pretty soon!
He always knows how to make me smile.
Count your blessings, but always stay humble.
So, this week was full of great things and one dark gray cloud looming over it all. I feel like a giant idiot and my heart breaks for the birds.
The Lesson: Count your blessings, but always stay humble.
We had many successes, and for that we are thankful. I made a mistake that we all learned from. We have to remember that even though we get busy and we are focusing on big things, we cannot forget about the little things (figuratively and literally).
The little things are ultimately what make the big things. Without all of the small details that we may turn blind to in time, there is no big picture. When shortcuts are made, there are always consequences. TAKE. YOUR. TIME. Do the job proper and thorough – it will always pay off in the long-run.
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From the farm,