Friday, May 31, 2019

Old House Fun

Working on My Old House Enhanced My Holiday Celebrations

I have started a new publication on called "Old House Fun." This is where I will post my stories about renovating my old Victorian house. I may start another blog dedicated to the house, but I like blogging on Medium with the potential to earn some income with my stories. I haven't yet earned more than 4$, but I like having the potential there.

Check out my first story on my Medium publication at the link posted above.

Friday, May 24, 2019

It's been a while

It's been a long time since I have contributed to this blog. One Little Farm died when we were in Alamosa and decided to sell the critters and move back to the city for real jobs. We just weren't making it in the rural towns and neither Alamosa County nor Taos County would let us live in our Amish built camping cabin (shed) as a tiny house. Restrictions.

We moved the cabin to our Taos land and sold the Alamosa land and used the profit to pay off the cabin, our car and move to Pueblo, Colorado.

We rented a house from a slum lord for a year and then bought an old Victorian in the artsy part of town. My husband and I both had assorted jobs, but nothing that paid well enough to continue our work on our Taos land. Our stay in the city was supposed to be an opportunity to get our finances under control and slowly work on the land in Taos as a sustainable destination.

Until this last week, nothing has happened in Taos. We have gone down there a few times and painted the cabin, sided the pallet shed and painted it, and cleaned up some garbage (or rotting, weathered building supplies). We have battled the resident pack rat and filled in coyote burrows under the cabin.

Recently we took all of our solar supplies to the local solar guys to have them build us a workable system that is up to code and legitimate. It is supposed to be done next week. We will then have a "power wall" which we can plug the windmill and batteries into and run electricity to our shed and camping cabin. We need to get our water catchment system set up too. When those things are in place, we can go and stay there for the two weeks the county will allow.

Taos land buildings 2018

Meanwhile, one of us is working in New Mexico and one of us is working on the house in Pueblo. We both got our Masters degrees...him in Sustainable Community Development and me in Cultural Resource Management (I will pretend it is more related to anthropology than it is).

Victorian house sitting room remodel 2018

Sometimes I do art, but not lately. I still homeschool my kids. Mostly I work on the house when I do anything productive.

Front garden 2018
I do have a nice garden and am trying to build a food forest on the 6000 square foot lot.

So far I have plum, apple and peach trees, raspberries and strawberries, onions and garlic, chives, lavender, rosemary, and echinacea. I planted catnip in a pot for my cats. We rebuilt the raised beds with the same boards we originally bought when we were living in the Earthship outside of Taos. I plant annual veggies in the raised beds every year. The beds take up most of our front yard which is the only place we get enough sun to grow anything. The back yard is shaded by the house and half of it is cement...the remainder of an old garage or carriage house. I long for more space and fewer neighbors, but it is what it is.

I miss my llamas.

I have been writing on since January 2019, hoping to finally make one of my artistic pursuits a reality that makes me some money. I have yet to make any money, but I am enjoying the writing and reading other writers' work. Medium is a great venue for writing and publishing.

I am thinking about starting another blog about my journey with the old Victorian house, but for now, I write on Medium. You can check out my work here.

Monday, May 4, 2015


Box O' bees

Finally, after so many years of talking about it, we got bees! They came in a Nuc box, and we have to leave them there until the neighborhood gets more flowers. Where are all of the dandelions around here? Is it possible that people have sprayed them into non-existence? That will not be good for the bees. That is the problem world wide, isn't it? People, please stop poisoning our planet.

So this is a nuclear hive (kind of like a swarm), which has several frames inside the box and includes a queen, her brood, and her drones which have overwintered in this box. It's supposed to give us a head start on the season. They have honey in there to survive the winter. It's all taped up to keep the bees from crawling through the cracks, which they do. The bees are much smaller that I anticipated, not like the wild bees I am used to seeing around.

Back of  Nuc box with a bee

The weather has been relatively mild here (odd for this time of year) and not freezing too hard over night, so I put a pot of flowers out near the Nuc box. It's a pot of petunias that have been living in the sun room. What we really need are some dandelion seeds. We do plan on planting clover here pretty soon. We planted a bunch of Irises, transplanted from our land, and raspberries, lilies, roses and a few lilac bushes. We also bought a bunch of Siberian Elms (25) and chokecherries (25) to plant here. We just have to get it done. With that purchase from the Forest Service, we also got some Bee Balm and Potentillas. They are trying to offer plants that will attract and feed the bees.

Hive kit

In a few weeks, we will transition the bees into the hive we bought as a total hive kit, which includes gloves, hat with veil, smoker, brushes to clean the hive, and a book: Beekeeping For Dummies, which I probably ought to read soon.

So excited. Hope we can keep them alive. So far so good. They are flying in and out of the open door on the front of the Nuc box.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Shearing the herd

Here are some of the pictures from shearing 2015. It was great fun and the shearers were awesome! We have lots of fiber, in most colors, if anyone is interested in raw alpaca or llama fiber.

Frosty, Taylor and Leo, waiting to be sheared.

Waiting in line.

Vader goes first.


Vader, furry beast.

Vader - lots of fiber

Dark Vader, almost done.

Frosty before.

Frosty after.


Turbo naked.

Patty's turn.


Baby Star gets sheared.

Star, looking for Mama.

(From right to left) Rico and Tom  and John the shearers.