2016 in Review

As 2016 draws to a close and we look forward to a new year ahead, let's look back at all that happened this year. Whether it's a project finished or a lesson learned, reflecting on the past year always shows me God's goodness and mercy.

2016 in review - first eggs and more!

Our pullets began laying eggs in January, and I was very egg-cited! I blew out that first egg and added it to the bowl of two previously-blown first eggs, one from our very first flock in Michigan years ago, and another from our childrens' americauna hens. -- I helped hubby as he finished building our almost-free metal shed. I'm a good ladder-holder. -- Also in January one of the buff orpington pullets was injured in a freak accident.

We're mourning the disappearance of our farm dog.

Our sweet dog Cracker didn't come home one February evening. We're still mourning the loss of the best farm dog ever. Ten months later I still expect to see him hop over the front gate when we come home.

A story of a chicken's recovery.

In March our youngest daughter and two grandsons came to visit for a week. We love our little boys. We did the usual trip to the zoo, and also went to the science museum for the first time since it had been remodeled. -- Amazingly, the buff orpington pullet finally recovered from her injury and was returned to the chicken coop. I can't even tell which one it was now. -- A pair of Canada geese visited and hung around for several weeks, but they finally flew off to a more friendly pond, where they wouldn't be disturbed by my twice-a-day trips down the hill to the horse barn to feed.

The loss of Bullet, my barn cat.

My inside/outside cat Bullet disappeared in April and left a huge hole in my heart. -- The Oak Hill Homestead blog was nominated for and won the readers' choice title of Best Green Blog in Oklahoma. Thank you for voting! -- My horse Ella and I went on our annual April trail ride to benefit a local horse rescue.

Oak Hill Homestead's 10 year blog anniversary

We celebrated the blog's tenth anniversary in May. What a milestone! It's been an amazing ten years. I've learned so much, and gained a lot of skills and confidence in what I'm doing here on the homestead. Writing this blog has pushed me to do new things and I hope I've passed along some knowledge to you too. -- I also overcame my fear of using a power saw and built a sliding door for the chicken coop all by myself.

How to make rose petal jelly.

In June I made rose petal jelly from rose petals I'd gathered from the wild and from my front yard. One of our daughters gave little jars of this as Christmas gifts in pretty baskets with a fresh loaf of homemade bread.

Visiting the grandchildren

Hubby retired early in July due to his health problems. -- We traveled out of state to visit two of our daughters and our grandchildren. While there, one of the girls and I made dandelion salve. -- Our granddaughter came home with us for her annual summer visit, including another trip to the zoo. -- I found one live Muscovy duckling from Mama Duck's summer clutch of eggs. It wasn't worth selling just one duckling, so "Frank" (short for Sir Frances Drake, since he's a male/drake) was allowed to stay on the homestead. This is his teenage photo.

Frank, our young Muscovy drake.

August included a visit to our oldest daughter's home. We loved their new home, had a great time at a party with family we haven't seen in many years, and enjoyed Illinois sweet corn fresh from the farm.

September was memorable for the hummingbirds!

September was memorable for the large group of hummingbirds that made a temporary home in our front yard.

October marked the beginning of my regular contributions to the Self-Reliant School website. I hope you'll stop over occasionally and read my articles as well as the many posts from others that you'll find there.

Our very first great-grandchild made his way safely into the world in November.

December JOY

I took over as hostess for the weekly Simple Homestead blog hop in December. -- We tied a record low temperature when polar air held us in its icy grip for several days. It was a lot of work hauling water and pitching hay but all the livestock survived and I'm very thankful for that; I'm also thankful that we didn't have snow along with that extreme cold to complicate things even more. On Christmas Day we tied a record high temperature. Such is the weather in Oklahoma!

As always, the years bring both blessings and burdens. We've continued dealing with hubby's health concerns, but I am thankful he's still here. We said goodbye to a loved cat and dog, but are thankful that we shared their lives for as long as we did. We are blessed by the addition of a new baby in the family.

I'm thankful for another year at Oak Hill, and I'm thankful for all of you who are following along on this crazy homesteading journey. Thank you for your comments, your encouragement, and your prayers. Here's to many more adventures ahead!

Previous years:
2010 in Review
2012 in Review
2013 in Review
2014 in Review
2015 in Review

This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops.


My hope is to inspire you, and to encourage your homesteading plans and your dreams of a simple, self-reliant, God-dependent life. You can follow me at:
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  1. What a wonderful space! I'm so glad to have discovered you through the Saturday Sharefest Linkup!
    Such a cheerful inspiration!
    Happy Saturday!

    1. Thank you, Megs, and thank you for visiting!

  2. I enjoyed reading your review. I'm not a homesteader, but I love my garden and do what I can (where I live, well, there's no land, barely any garden). But I always like learning.
    Happy New Year!

    1. You're doing fine, Willow. "Do what you can with what you have where you are" is exactly what you're doing. And you KNOW that gardening is what feeds your soul, so you are making it happen. Good for you! Keep learning... and Happy New Year to you.


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