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Watching Our Pet Population Get Decimated

It’s been a rough ten days for the animals at our homestead.

Despite a wonderful influx of dearly loved human companions coming to visit in recent weeks, we’ve dealt with far more than our fair share of animal-based disasters. Perhaps it’s only because we simply have more creatures in our lives than most people, but it still feels like what we’ve been dealing with recently is well beyond normal.

Don’t believe me?  I’ll list the total incidents we’ve dealt with and you can let me know if someone’s put a hex over our home or not.

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A Passel of Puppies!

It’s not everyday you get an email this exciting.

Unbeknownst to me, Sr. Kathy had been losing sleep for days over the fate of a friendly dog that had chosen a rather undesirable spot to give birth to her puppies; right beneath the floor of a nearby home. The puppies may have been cute, but their constant cries kept the family awake, so Kathy was commissioned with finding them a new (temporary) home.

Hence her email requesting my services as a puppy foster parent. Is it any surprise that I immediately said yes? And then asked Ian what he thought. Oops. In my defense, he once brought a pig home after barely discussing it with me so I think we’re even.

And with that barrier cleared, I accepted responsibility for six new dogs for the next four weeks.

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How We Made a Homemade Rain Barrel Aquaponics System

A new year means a new wave of projects for Ian to delve into, and he wasted no time setting up a home-based aquaponics system right in our pantry.

Actually, saying Ian waited till the New Year is putting it too strongly. He had the system set up in our pantry back in early December, and I was forced to verbally combat him in numerous lengthy arguments over why he couldn’t justify buying fish early and getting a fish sitter through the holidays. Yes, these are the kinds of fights that define our marriage- Ian begging for new pets and me never quite managing to talk him down (our second dog, anyone?)

In any case, I think he nailed it with this latest project. Who knew it was this easy to raise your own edible fish right in the pantry? We now have tilapia to join our worm bin as a kitchen-friendly self-sufficiency boost for our daily lives. In fact, I think this system is so great I’m going to try to convince you to build your own.

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Our First Pig Slaughter

Well, we did it.

For those of you that harbored doubts about our ability to actually butcher our first pig, you can put those thoughts to rest.

This past weekend Ian, with the help of our pastor and professional butcher nephew along with a crew of middle school girls, humanely slaughtered Mr. Cris P. Bacon. After hours of effort we now have a full freezer of the freshest pork possible.

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Wendell and Aldo and the Peculiar Case of the Bags of Organs

Something sinister is afoot on the mountain these days… or at least something smelly.

Wendell and Aldo are true Appalachian dogs, meaning we let them have the run of the land and romp where they please. Unfortunately, sometimes that means they get into mischief.

Or rather, mischief finds them.

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