Monday, July 17, 2017

We Dove into Youtube

Initially, my sister and I debated whether we wanted to do a youtube channel or a podcast. Being the older sister she won out and we started a podcast. After the east coast tour of Pilot truck stops, we decided that it was time to dive into Youtube. We knew that Youtube was in the cards for us, eventually, and now is the time. 

Our first video is simple, with clips from our trip. We have so much more in store for the channel and plan to include some of our more popular podcast episodes on the channel. We have several film locations and stories lined up for the near future. 

I almost feel like we have bitten off more than we can chew, editing the podcast was a learning curve. Youtube was there to help us with that, and now we are using Youtube to learn how to edit and grow our very own Youtube channel. The channel will be my baby, the production will be left solely up to me. The Wanderer and I have kicked around the idea of doing a Youtube channel all of our own, although we can't decide if it should be homesteading related or sewing related. The sewing building really would make for a great studio to record in, as long as the race car neighbors are not 'tuning up' their cars. 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Road Trip, New England Edition

Friday, June 30th the Wanderer dropped me off at my sister's house and just after midnight we loaded her car down with coolers, clothes and her 2 girls and off we went. We had big plans, an east coast tour to research for our podcast, Haunted Family Podcast and to have some fun. My oldest niece joked that every 2 years her and I somehow end up on a road trip together. It is always fun, and always exhausting.

For the most part, we just breezed through Maryland, with a brief stop in Hagerstown where I picked up a quilt from the 1800's as a present for the Wanderers mom. We also stopped off in Baltimore to wander around the Westminster burial ground, where Edgar Allan Poe is buried. I love Poe, and I have passed that love on to both of my nieces. I also just really love wandering around old cemeteries. I am a long time contributor to the website Find A Grave.

Our next stop was New Haven Connecticut and Yale University. Yale is one of the oldest colleges in the United States, having been founded in 1701. The campus is beautiful and picturesque.  I can totally see why F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote it into The Great Gatsby and why Rory Gilmore decided to attend Yale. Leaving New Haven I saw a sign for Mystic. I have never watched the movie Mystic Pizza. Mystic may be one of the most charming towns I have ever set foot in. I conquered a fear of mine and drove across a drawbridge. We wandered through shops and ate ice cream while looking out over a cove. Mystic is on the list of places I will go back to someday and spend more time exploring.

Bright and early the next day we were on the road toward Boston. I heard horror stories about driving in Boston. I found those horror stories to be completely unfounded. Driving through New York was much worse and so much more nerve racking. We parked in a parking garage on Beacon Street and spent the day wandering the city. Oh, how I love Boston. I don't think my sister or my nieces were as impressed with the city. This is very much a pedestrian-friendly city, and I found the people pleasant. Boston is a mix of old and new. Buildings and cemeteries from the 1600's nestled in between very modern buildings. It's an eclectic mix and is so works for this city. We stumbled across the site of the Boston Massacre which is marked by a large circle on a sidewalk on King Street. Boston Common was packed, as I imagine it always is with people enjoying the sunshine and street musicians. Boston smells like legal weed, patchouli oil, and freedom.

The next morning we woke up late, I hate waking up late on vacation but we were all exhausted and apparently slept through the alarms. We were excited for the day, today we were hitting Salem. The site of the witch trials. In towns like this, we try to avoid spending money on any of the touristy things because basically, they are making their money off the pain and suffering of someone else, even if that person did die over 300 years ago. We visited the old customs house, listened to the Park Ranger talk about what the job of a customs agent would have been like at the bustling seaport. Salem is also the birthplace of the US Coast Guard.

After Salem, we ended up having a blowout. We found it nearly impossible to find a place willing to squeeze us in and change the tire. We didn't have a full-size spare in the car, just one of those donut tires. Finally, the place directly across from where we had the blowout agreed to fit us in. To me, I really don't understand why it was such a big deal fitting us in. Here in my corner of Kentucky, someone would have rolled a jack out to the parking lot, jacked up the car and put a new tire on, it would have taken maybe 10 minutes max to change the tire and get us back on the road. After our last stop of the day, a visit with a dear old friend of mine we got back on the road and pushed toward home. We came back home through Pennsylvania because that route allowed us to avoid the state of New Jersey. New Jersey cost us nearly $50 in tolls, I may never step foot back in New Jersey again. Not a fan at all, New Jersey took a toll on me.

Monday, June 26, 2017


For the past couple years the desire to share my personal experiences with the paranormal has been growing. Little did I know my sister had also been experiencing the same feelings. When we finally sat down to talk to each other about this we discussed several options, a book, a podcast, maybe a youtube channel. I thought youtube would be the easiest way to get our stories to the masses, my sister was intent on having a podcast. She spends hours in her car driving for work each day and podcasts had become her obsession. She is the older sister so she won, Haunted Family Podcast was born. 
We don't just share our personal stories, we talk about famous, and not so famous crimes, topics of paranormal interest, unexplained mysteries. It is a very cool podcast if I do say so myself. 

Over the past year, building this podcast with my sister has been so much fun and so much work. We have had to teach ourselves how to edit, how to publish podcasts, how to build a listening audience. We really struggled for several months with technical issues. 

We are about to go on our first podcasting research trip. Visiting Massachusetts, hitting several places of interest for upcoming episodes. Having a sit down with a world renown paranormal investigator/author. Be sure to check out our trip on Instagram. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Quack Quack Quack

Last spring our incubator died midway through incubation. It was a small, foam, tabletop incubator from Little Giant. We lost all of the eggs in that batch. Shortly thereafter we decided to build our own incubator. We picked up a couple coolers at thrift stores, searched through junk drawers to find a couple thermostats from hot water heaters. We pulled together 2 awesome homemade incubators that have close to 100% hatch rates. Late summer/early fall I found an ad on our local buy/sale/trade page for a cabinet style incubator. This Dickey's incubator was a steal at a couple hundred dollars. This allows us to do staggered hatches, using our homemade coolerbaters as hatchers.

Early this spring a neighbor asked us to hatch some eggs for her, duck and chicken. Over the course of a few months, we hatched out over a hundred eggs for her. As payment, she surprised us with baby ducks. We had talked about adding ducks to our little homestead but was uncertain. From everything we had been told ducks were super messy. Now here we are the proud owners of 12 ducks. We normally brood chicks in the house, after this spring I can honestly say I will never brood ducks in the house again. Oh, they are messy and smelly, it is nearly impossible to keep a brooder clean.

When we put the ducks outside I finally fell in love with them. Currently, they are in a dog run, with a large dog house as shelter, but they spend most of their time roaming the garden area, eating bucks and weeds.

Ducks have really grown on me. But we are at our limit, no more new ducks for quite a while. We need to work on proper shelter for winter. We are building a new quail shelter also, and working on expanding the fenced area for our goats. We experienced our first goat births this spring, most of the babies have already been sold, two little ones will be weaned and sold soon. I am a softy and get a little misty eyed letting my babies go. 

Friday, March 04, 2016

Spring is in the air!

Spring is right around the corner here on the Wandering Wonderful homestead. We are debating what the next move in our journey should be. Do we want to invest in some unusual chicken breeds? Is this the year we finally get sheep and fiber rabbits? Or do we maintain status quo for the year? Big decissions.

We have had a lot of luck selling our hatching eggs on Ebay. I have also decided to list complete sets of Civil War hair accouterments on my Etsy page.

We plan on growing miniature Indian pop corn this year, mainly because the parrots are in love with it and think it is the greatest treat ever.

But probably the biggest news is this, my sister and I have decided to launch a podcast. April 4th the Haunted Family Podcast will have its debut episode. We are super excited and super busy hammering out the fine details of this podcast. More details and our web address will be posted soon! But for now join us on our Facebook page!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Winter Storm Jonas

Much of the eastern portion of the US was hit by  winter storm Jonas Friday and Saturday. The Wandering Wonderful homestead was buried under 16.5 inches of snow. I am thankful to report that all of our critters
 weathered the storm and are eagerly anticipating spring thaw. Snow was knee deep on my trek out to the coops Saturday morning. Our chickens are refusing to go out in the snow. But they continue to lay over a dozen eggs a day for us. We have a good flock of girls.

Many have asked me how we prepare for winter storms. In all honestly we do nothing, nothing special that is. We try to always have a stock pile of extra feed for humans and critters on hand. We always have extra drinking water on hand. We keep propane on hand for emergency heat and cooking, and oil for our oil lamps. We stay prepared, year round. Its the smart and beneficial thing to do. This wasn't technically a blizzard, we didn't get the winds necessary for it to be considered a blizzard, but we did have white out conditions for most of Friday and Saturday with snow falling close to 2 inches an hour. Snows like this are uncommon for this area, we get snow, but we rarely get so much snow at once. I have comprised a list of things you should consider doing to prepare for your next winter storm. 

~Make sure your feed rooms are fully stocked with feed and extra bedding before the storm hits
~Make sure you have ready access to water for your animals
~Avoid using heat lamps, they are a safety hazard and unnecessary if your building is dry and draft free
~Move all animals to secure, dry, draft free building before the storm hits. 
~Change flashlight batteries and charge your electronics
~Make sure your emergency kit is read, yes you need an emergency kit
~If you need to be out on the road make sure you have an emergency kit in your car. 
~Make sure you have alternative ways to heat your home, and cook.
~Invest in good winter gear, keep your feet dry and warm while out tending your critters. 

Friday, January 08, 2016

Winter Car Kits

My Mamaw didn't drive. In her 66 years on earth she had never so much as sat in the driver seat of a car. But Mamaw did take roadtrips, Mamaw knew how to travel. I know that many of my idea's and hacks for roadtripping came from her. Her idea's and hacks for roadtrips came from necessity. My grandparents had 9 children and family scattered across the country.

Mamaw as very cautious about her families safety, she insisted that we keep an emergency kit in our cars, changing out some items to fit the season.

*a shovel
windshield scraper/broom
*flashlight with extra batteries
*Reading materal
*snack food (nuts, powerbars, jerky, etc)
*matches, cigerette lighter
Knit hat and winter gloves
*First aid kit
Wool blanket
tow chain or rope
cat litter or sand for traction
*Jumper Cables
*emergency flares/reflectors
Large trash bag
*Small Shovel
*Change of clothes
*Change of shoes
*Basic tool kit
*Small gas can

*denotes things I keep in the car year round.