My Quarantine Week, April 5-11

Like so many others, I felt all the *feels* this week. To combat my negative feelings, I decided physical work was in order. I spent much of the week outside, cleaning up the yard and garden. And I cooked A LOT. Our poor dishwasher has been working overtime! 

My husband Brett, has an “essential” job, but he was home this week, which I was grateful for! Though we are both healthy and not at high risk of getting deathly ill, it still freaks me out a little bit that he has to go out into the *germy* world. I’m glad to have the “luxury” of staying at home. 

This is a glimpse into my Quarantine Week:

Prepping the Garden in 6 Easy Steps

I had planned to put in a garden months ago, before it became popular due to the pandemic.

Step 1: Pull and burn the 10’ weeds. No kidding! We didn’t garden last year and the weeds completely dominated the garden! I wish I had taken a “before” photo, but I forgot.

Step 2: Unleash the goats! Fiona and Eleos did a great job clearing out many of the smaller, greener weeds.

Step 3: Turn the garden beds to uproot the remaining weeds and kill them by drying out the roots. 

Step 4: Tackle the weeds in the mulch around the raised beds. This required hoeing and shoveling up all the mulch, as it had basically composted. I put it in the garden beds. Coincidentally, after I started this phase of the project I saw posts on FB that putting wood chips in your garden is a hot new gardening technique! 🙂

Step 5: Collect the grubs hiding in the mulch and feed them to the chickens. Click here to see a video.

Step 6: Sweep the landscaping fabric that was under the mulch and put the dirt in the raised beds. Ok, I admit, this might have been a little OCD, but I refuse to give the weeds a head start!

Hopefully, this week we’ll get out to the free mulch pile to load up on more mulch to cover the ugly landscaping fabric. 

Gardening during the quarantine

General Outdoor Cleanup

I spent a fair amount of time digging out our campfire ring. It had become buried under the ashes from many campfires. And I burnt a lot of branches, and old lumber that was cluttering up our property.

Our campfire ring - all ready for friends when the quarantine is over!

Brett used his weed burner and weed eater to tackle the weeds that have invaded. It’s a constant battle! Beware of Brett when he’s got his torch lit! He started a fire in a woodpile in front of our house and used 2 buckets of water to put it out. It was still smoldering when I discovered his mistake a while later…

Yarn Crafts

While I spent much of my time outside this week, I did find some time to knit and crochet.

I finished designing my Goat Whisperer’s Crocheted Fingerless Gloves. This was going to be my crochet pattern for the East TN Yarn Crawl, which was cancelled (it may be rescheduled in the fall). The pattern is not formatted yet, but the gloves are done and I’ve filmed several supporting videos, which still need to be edited. And I need to block them.

Goat Whisperer's Crocheted Fingerless Gloves

I had an idea to knit a felted pin cushion. I wanted to use this project to teach seaming in the Knit Along Club. It’s not worked out so well yet. My first attempt turned into an 8” diameter ball! My 2nd attempt was much better but still not quite right. I need to try a different yarn…

Pin Cushion

Twice this week I had the opportunity to socialize with other yarnies via Zoom. That was a nice way to connect with friends in this time of relative isolation.

Back to Business and All the *Feels*

Most of my stress is not from worrying about getting sick, but rather how this pandemic will affect my business. 

Part of the reason I was outside so much this week was to avoid having to make business decisions.  Questions swirled around my head:

  • Should I try to sell yarn online?
  • Would my followers think I was being insensitive and capitalistic?
  • What are other shops doing?
  • How would I sell online?
  • Should I try to quickly build my web store?
  • Should I do a FB video and take phone/email orders?
  • Will my weak WiFi internet connection in the store make the video blurry, and therefore a waste of time?
  • Do I want to take time away from my ‘farm beautification’ project and Knit Along Club re-vamp to package and ship orders?
  • Will my business survive the pandemic?
  • Should I even bother to try to keep the store open or should I switch all my focus to the Knit Along Club?

So, I basically did nothing on this front. I did, however, submit my applications for the SBA loans available to small businesses.

And I sent an email to everyone on our email list with a link to my Ravelry store so they could purchase my patterns if they liked them and were inclined to support our business. I felt like this was a win-win. I get a little income without disrupting my life and the purchaser gets a pattern for which they can use their stash yarn. I was happy that quite a few of our customers showed their support by purchasing patterns.

Ivan, the Bottle Baby

Ivan was rejected by his mom and we have been bottle feeding him, pretty much since he was born on March 20th. I had to go to a friend’s dairy farm to purchase 4 more gallons of goat milk this week. And before you ask – cuz I know some of you will – no, they don’t sell goat milk for human consumption.

We freeze it and thaw it as we need it. He is drinking about 18 ounces, 3 times per day. At least, I am able to get a full night’s sleep now. Getting up in the middle of the night to feed him those first 2 weeks was rough!

Ivan is doing great, in fact he is growing faster than the other kids!

Ivan

Cooking

Fortunately, we had a freezer full of food. Most of it was healthy and easy to prepare. There is a butcher shop we visit every time we go to PA that makes a variety of stuffed chicken breasts and stuffed pork chops. Fortunately, we loaded up on them last time we were there.

My favorite kitchen appliance is my countertop ice cream maker. I made chocolate chip ice cream this week. It’s my favorite flavor!

Chocolate chip ice cream - quarantine comfort food!

I also made sauerkraut – or I should say, I started sauerkraut. I like to ferment it for 21 days.

Sauerkraut

On Saturday, I roasted a chicken. It was one that we raised last year and it was huge! I’ll use the leftovers for a couple meals this week and freeze the rest to use in soup. I made bone broth in my Instant Pot overnight Saturday night (my other favorite kitchen appliance). 

The dogs are going to love those chicken bones! Don’t worry, after being pressure cooked the bones don’t splinter, they just crumble.

Final Thoughts…

While this has certainly been a stressful week, I still have a lot to be thankful for. Not the least of which is that we have a bunch of adorable goat kids on the farm right now. Check out our FB page for cute goat kid videos. They’re sure to brighten your day!

I am really enjoying all the outside work. I didn’t realize how much I missed it. There are just not enough hours in the day to do all the things on my to do list, and our landscaping suffered. 

I’ve also realized that I don’t have enough margin in my life. I truly relished the moments this week when I took a break and just sat by the campfire. 

If the quarantine has taught me anything good so far, it’s that I want to reorganize my life so that I can spend more time outside.

Have you had any life-changing realizations as a result of the pandemic?

Click here to read my next pandemic post.

  1. I loved reading what you have been doing. I do think you should go ahead and sell on-line but I can see that shipping could be a problem. Be well and be safe!

  2. Sorry I missed your call yesterday. Your voice mail went to my computer which I do not check often enough. I was so glad to hear everything is ok with you. We are both doing just fine and I totally agree that for us this closed in time is a blessing in disguise. It helps put things in perspective. Much cooking. Free ham from grocery store.Dishwasher broke so doing dishes side by side.Great!Basic training for Ron in laundry and checking account..

  3. Life changing? No. Reminders? Yes.
    1. I didn’t get to Spring Clean to my hearts content last year. I have this year, and I find it refreshing.
    2. I’ve taken more time to watch Spring arrive. The flora is working hard to display its beauty.
    3. Reviewing my stock of supplies, I’m really low on candles. The family has been sending their empty jars to me as they finished a case. I found 15 cases of jars waiting for a refill. Fortunately, I had just picked up the discarded candles from my church before chaos arrived.
    4. Sorting my sewing space and recovering from a mask making binge. I don’t have as much cotton as I thought and more wool than expected. My brother graciously agreed to help build new cabinets. I hope to install them this week.
    At this rate, I will have finished Spring Cleaning and Sorting early this year!! Yeah, more stitching and play time outdoors.

  4. Love your blog! Thank you for giving us a glimpse into the farm life. Baby goat pictures make any quarantine day better. I secretly hope that you start to sell your yarn online however my husband hopes you don’t ?

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