We’ve got Egg Problems


While homesteading can be a fun and rewarding experience, it like many other things comes with its challenges. Our most recent challenge (or should I say, mystery) is our chickens have ALL stopped laying eggs. With 10 chickens you would think we would get at least one egg a day! We are currently on our last dozen of eggs and I’m dreading paying $5, much less anything, for more eggs. My husband and I have been scratching our heads and hemming and hawing, trying to understand what could possible be happening. After ruling out a few theories we believe we have finally come to a conclusion. Unfortunately, it’s not a solution.

Our first guess as to why we weren’t getting any eggs was that something else might be getting to eggs first. We have already had issues with snakes and rats eating our eggs. The only difference this time is there is no evidence of any eggs ever being laid. The rats would normally try to eat the egg right out of the nesting box, leaving shell pieces and raw egg behind. The snake would typically leave some eggs behind and we found it was actually living inside the coop. This lead us to our next thought. Maybe they aren’t laying in their nesting boxes anymore. Several times we have found eggs hiding in the tall grass. We have ruled that one out by searching high and low with no luck. Unless the Easter Bunny is hoarding them.

Another possibility we thought, might be inadequate nutrition. Don’t worry, we aren’t neglecting or mistreating our chickens. We had recently decided to cut back on their grain feed to encourage them to forage for bugs and munch on plants. The space we have provided them is flush with weeds, wild flowers, and other plants. After much research, we found that pasture raised chickens are healthier and produce better, heartier eggs. It is possible that with our recent cutback it might have thrown them off. The only issue with this conclusion is we increased their grain to try to rule that. Obviously we haven’t seen any change.

Our last thought was that molting and a decrease in daylight may be the reason for our lack of eggs. Fall definitely came early this year and we started seeing more and more feathers on the ground. We thought for a while that the rooster and the male guinea might be picking on the girls, but we never saw any marks or blood on the chickens. A cold front came in about the same time we noticed we weren’t getting any eggs. There was rain for several days and very little sunlight. When chickens molt they are not able to lay eggs at the same time. Their bodies are restoring their plumage (feathers) and rejuvenating their reproductive systems. After the molting period is over the chickens should lay more productively. Unfortunately for us, the molting period lasts several weeks. I guess now it’s time to ask around for fresh eggs!

One thing I love about the homesteading life, is the opportunity to learn something new just outside your door. Between the chickens, goats, and the baby, we are constantly problem solving, trying to maintain a more simple and healthy lifestyle. I appreciate you taking the time to learn with us and I hope to see you again soon!


5 Things They Can’t Teach You In Parenting School


I’m sure that everyone is somewhat blindsided when they become parents. You can prepare yourself as much as possible with all the new gadgets and take 10 prep classes, but NOTHING prepares you to be a parent. When people ask you if you’re ready to have kids, I think the honest reply to that is “Is anyone really ready to have kids?” To this day I am amazed at how naive and unsuspecting I was when I was pregnant with Annabelle. I thought we would be able to travel all the time and maintain our very social lifestyle. Uh, wrong. I guess I just expected her to sit quietly and go with the flow! Things are definitely getting easier and we are beginning to get out more and more every week, but still! Here are just a handful of things I found most surprising about becoming a parent.

  1. THE LACK OF SLEEP: I remember being told a hundred times to get as much sleep as possible before the baby came. I guess I just never understood exactly WHY you weren’t sleeping when the baby was around. I’m sure I missed that in my prenatal research, lol. What I didn’t realize is that you are feeding these little bundles of joy every few hours in the beginning. That’s night AND day. Babies fall asleep quickly and I on the other hand would spend most of that time tossing and turning and falling asleep in just enough time for the baby to wake up 15 minutes later. Another thing, newborns are loud sleepers. Annabelle would grunt ALL NIGHT LONG. We tried keeping her in our bedroom but quickly realized I needed her far, far away so I wasn’t waking up to every little noise. I have to say that now I know the true meaning of being tired. I’m still tired.
  2. POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION IS REAL AND ITS UGLY: I didn’t do much research on this pre-baby so I had no idea what to expect. Most women go through a few days of baby blues and tears that come from nowhere. Unfortunately I didn’t luck out in that department. It all started to hit me the day we got home from the hospital, and it lasted for weeks. I can honestly say I have never been so sad in my entire life. The regret and pain I felt in those first months are unforgettable. The clouds have cleared and the sun is out now, but in that time I was positive I would never be happy again. For those of you that are expecting, I urge you do some research on this! It doesn’t hurt to be informed.
  3. NEWBORNS DON’T NEED MUCH: I was in such a rush to get everything I thought a baby needed ahead of time. Little did I know, babies that small don’t require a whole lot! Here are the basics: diapers, bottles and formula if your not breastfeeding, wipes, a crib, maybe a swing, clothes, a swaddle, a rock n play, and baby soap and shampoo. There may be a few additions like pacifiers and bottle warmers, but thats all just a matter of preference. Looking back, I wish I hadn’t gotten all bent out of shape making sure I had EVERYTHING a baby could possibly need for day one.
  4. BABIES ARE A MYSTERY: Just when you think you have everything right and things are running smoothly, it all comes crashing down. Then you are left with the ever changing challenge of figuring out how to fix it! Nap time for instance, one day you can just nurse them and lay them down and the next they refuse to sleep unless they have been rocked. Then all of a sudden they want to be rocked for 20 minutes and when you lay them down they wake up screaming. So then it’s back to just nursing and laying them down. It’s all very confusing. Then there’s the sleep regressions (they start sleeping less). It seems as though there is a sleep regression as soon as you finally get used to the other sleep regression schedule. I’m not sure if it’s a real thing or if they just tell you that to make you feel better. Although it’s a good excuse, it doesn’t aid in the process of coping with it. It seems no matter how hard I try or how good I think I am at it, things change everyday. I try to embrace it and take it in stride. Sometimes I fail at that too.
  5. THE LOVE: I had no idea how it felt to love something so much. I love my husband and I love my family, but this love is different. It’s the kind that makes your heart hurt all the time. It’s a love that can’t be fully expressed with any amount or combination of words. And on top of how much you love them, they love you back just because. Not because your nice or pretty or because you buy them things and spent days upon days preparing for their arrival. They love you because you’re you. Just as simple as that. Of course their love will change and look different over the years, but in those first months it’s pure and simple love.

All in all, becoming a parent is a true honor. It’s full of tears and exhaustion, but even more with joy and laughter. Not a day goes by without me saying, “I can’t believe she’s mine. I just can’t believe it”. And in those moments when I wake up in the morning to a little voice or cry and I frustratingly think to myself, “It”s way to early!”, it takes but that one second when I open the door to her room and see her smiling face for all of those negative feelings to just fade away.

Thanks again everyone for reading! I will be taking next week off from blogging for Annabelle’s birthday, but I will be back the next week. Now go enjoy those little ones if you have ‘em!


Fun on the Homestead: A Visitor’s Paradise


One of the biggest changes I have noticed after moving from city life to homesteading life is the attractions and activities we have to offer our friends and family that come to visit. Let me first mention that the main reason for everyone’s visits this year is to see my sweet baby girl, BUT the farm life is a bonus. In the city we worried about how to entertain. Where should we take them to eat? What big attractions should we visit? Should we go shopping or see a movie? Here it’s much easier. We come up with our own creative fun. After all, it literally takes less than 10 minutes to drive from one end of the town to the other. Here are some of the fun, simple activities we have for our guests here at the Harrod Homestead.



The animals are the easiest form of entertainment here. We are already feeding them everyday so we might as well have a little fun with them! It can be as simple as collecting eggs and throwing scraps to the chickens and watching them chase each other around for one piece of crust. One of my favorite activities is taking the goats, dogs, cat (yes our cat), and baby for a long walk around the trail. There’s nothing cuter than seeing a parade of animals trot through the woods. Some of our visitors have never been around farm animals and some grew up with them, but its been years since they last stayed on a farm. One of the things I enjoy the most is hearing stories from years ago of how their parents raised animals and grew their own food.

Golf Carts and Lawn Mowers


As soon as we found this property we invested in a golf cart so we could explore our property as often as we’d like, sweat and chigger free! We can take our guests through the woods, into the fields, and even for some off roading adventures. The kids enjoy driving the cart as well! We also recently purchased a riding lawnmower (a much needed investment). Not only is it a productive task, but for those that haven’t ever driven one, it can be an enjoyable activity as well!

Critters and Creatures

Although I am not a fan of any unwelcome critters creeping into my house, I love listening to them late at night while sitting on our porch or even spotting animals on our property. As soon as dusk hits in the spring and summer you can hear the thousands of frogs and toads start singing simultaneously. You can hear the coyotes calling to one another in the distance. And if you are really quiet while taking a night ride around the trail, you can hear the crunching of the leaves of some mysterious creature hiding behind the trees. No matter how many times I see a Little Blue Heron or a Black Racer snake, I am still fascinated by their existence. Being so close to nature all the time is one of the most beautiful things about living in the country. Our guests come to get away from all the hustle and bustle, but WE LIVE HERE. It still takes my breath away ever day.

Other Entertainment


Here are a some other activities we have come up with:

  • Fishing
  • Feeding the goldfish
  • Shooting the BB gun. Most recently we shot at an old watermelon
  • Firecrackers. We also recently tried to blow up the watermelon… it failed
  • Build a fire and roast marshmallows
  • Canning!
  • Board games
  • Gardening
  • Pick blackberries (obviously this is a seasonal one)
  • Play chase with the goats
  • Egg toss. Although we try not to waste too many eggs, its ok to have a little fun with them sometimes
  • Catch a chicken. This is a tricky one
  • Corn Hole


One thing I love about living out here is you find your creative side. You are forced to look at things differently. While you could hop in the car and drive 45 minutes to the nearest mall, you’d much rather stay here and enjoy God’s beautiful creation. Thanks again for reading! Come back again next week!


10 Tips for Successful Thrifting and Garage Sailing



Thrift Store shopping and weekend garage sailing are passions of mine. I love the thrill of the hunt and the reward of coming home with loads of great stuff, and a happy wallet and husband. It is easy to shop around these places and pick up stuff you don’t really need. Which is fine, but today our focus will be how to shop for things that you need or REALLY want.

  1. Make a list of items you want or need in advance, and keep this list running.  For example, I recently decided I NEEDED a food processor, so I did some research and looked at prices. Wowzas! The one I wanted was about $100. Instead of running out and buying it, I put it on my Christmas list as well as my Garage Sale list. Within a couple of weeks, I happened across one at an Estate Sale for $10! It still gives me goosebumps 🙂
  2. Be patient. If you decide you want a used table saw, don’t expect to find it on your first trip. Check craigslist, go to a few garage sale each week, try different thrift stores. It takes a little more effort to find what you want, but when you do, it’s much more worth it.
  3. Frequent the same thrift stores. I have found that when you visit the same thrift stores on a weekly basis (for shopping and donating), they are more inclined to keep an eye out and put things aside for you. I am specifically referring to the smaller, non-profit thrift stores. Places like Goodwill may not be able to hold items for customers due to store policy.
  4. Have a price in mind. When you DO happen across that very thing you have been searching for, have a FAIR price in mind. By now, you most likely have done your research on the cost of the item at full price, as well as the used price. If not, do a quick google search on your phone.  Don’t be afraid to ask them to knock the price down to what you had in mind. The worst they can say is no.
  5. Know when to walk away. Once you have made your offer, if they choose not to budge and you KNOW they are way overpriced, it’s time to walk away. It can pull on your heart strings to watch it go, but you will sleep better knowing you didn’t get ripped off. I struggle with this part the most. My husband is a great mediator, hehe.
  6. Map out your garage sales. Instead of wasting time searching for sales and taking 15 wrong turns, map out your garage sales a day or 2 ahead of time to really maximize your efforts and time.
  7. Location, location, location. When mapping out your garage sales, look for sales in affluent neighborhoods. A lot of times they will have really good stuff! Make sure you check the prices though! Also, try to keep all of your bargain hunting on the same side of town. After all, you have to make it to Grandma and Grandpa’s in time for Brunch at 11.
  8. ESTATE SALES! These two words together make my heart flutter. I have gotten some of the best deals and items from estate sales. One time we snagged an upright deep freezer for $35! It was in great condition and one of the items on my list! Estate sales generally have everything half price on the final day, so make sure you get there early if you can.
  9. Don’t be afraid to dig. Sometimes you have to dig to get to the good stuff! I usually do a few walk throughs before I move on. You would be surprised how easy it is to miss the jewels amongst the junk.
  10. Respect the owners. Keep in mind that these used items were once precious to someone. If someone doesn’t make a good deal with you, don’t get all bent out of shape. They may still have some emotional ties with what they are selling. Places like Goodwill, often times can’t change their prices for each person. I once witnessed a customer yelling at the cashier because she couldn’t get something for 50 cents less (rude). Many thrift stores are non-profit, so the money you bring in is needed for a better cause.

I hope you will find these tips useful when you’re out on the hunt! Don’t forget to subscribe and stay tuned for what’s next. Happy thrifting and garage sailing!