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What’s Up at Ridge Haven Homestead?

What’s up on the Homestead

Around our homestead, life happens, projects abound, and Fall has hit hard!  What’s up around the homestead?  Keep reading to find out what we’ve been up to!

I find that recently I’ve done so many posts that are somewhat instructional, that I miss just blog conversation.

So maybe I will do a regular update post, without a focus on any one aspect. This will probably appeal more to my regular readers, who are curious abut our progress, which is what everyone often asks me.

Homestead Cabin

  • Electric

In the cabin, we (via our friend, Josh) are plugging away at getting the wiring situated and run. We have everything except for the lights and smoke alarms completed now. He’s had to tweak some things we had done previously, which has taken some time.

We are looking forward to connecting to our solar panels and having power!

Ridge Haven Homestead solar panels
Solar panels on the ridge
  • Porches/decks

This week we have begun the process of building the front porch, then will come the back porch. We could have waited, but it’s either add gutters or porches. Since adding gutters now would require us removing them later when we do make the porches, that seemed silly. We are getting rain water puddling behind the cabin, so we’d like to get that taken care of!


Today we moved lumber and the guys dug holes for footers, and poured concrete/set rebar for the posts. Tomorrow they will set the posts and begin construction. This will be a great addition to our house, plus provide space for storing firewood out of the rain.


  • We are focusing much on writing/composition this year. It took us awhile to settle on our focus, but we are hitting it hard with Institute for Excellence in Writing’s new program, Structure and Style for Students.  We have used their materials in the past, and need to work hard some more!  We used the online materials while we waited for our box to arrive!  Now we have everything!  
  • The boys are working to balance helping with the cabin, special work projects for Grandma & Grandpa, and carpentry projects with hitting the books. They’ve added a group class in Economics this year, which they are enjoying (because they meet with friends ONLY).
  • Life Skills–last week the boys almost finished up a project they began for Grandma and Grandpa. They have been working at replacing some porch decking for them. Once into the project, they realized that they would also need to replace some of the railing and spindles, so they lack that part yet. It’s credit in Life Skills/Carpentry that they earn, plus the value of conquering a job, figuring materials, purchasing supplies, and executing the job. The only reason they’ve not finished is because of me not working my usual shifts, so we’ve not been back yet this week.

Here they are in the midst of the job.

Building a porch
Building the steps/lying down while sanding!
Posts will be sanded and repainted, and railings/spindles will be replaced.

I recently read an article about Shop Class. In case you’re interested in why we incorporate so much practical work into our school, you might be interested in what this man has to say  What Ever Happened to Shop Class?


Red Top Mountain State Park
Morning beauty

The boys and I headed out this weekend with the Pathfinders for a nice weekend camping. I’ll admit, I was somewhat reluctant to go this time, since it was close to four hours away, and also because Greg could not go with us. With Austin visiting friends, it felt like our family was fragmented.

But, we ended up enjoying ourselves. It was a beautiful location, and we had good company. We ended up stopping for a brief hello with Austin, and I think that Greg enjoyed the downtime while we were away.

Camping games
Campout games with teens!
Camping games
Who is that masked man?

We camped near a lake, at Red Mountain State Park. The lake was beautiful!

Sabbath morning was mild, but as the wind picked up, we found ourselves unprepared for the suddenly chilly temperatures during our Sabbath School and church!

Sabbath School overlooking the lake

Red Top Mountain park

Thankfully, the sun came out, and Sabbath afternoon and evening were beautiful! We had a nice hike that left those approaching our nifty fifties feeling the effects of age in our joints. I was pretty sore after hiking 7 or so miles. My knees just aren’t what they used to be!

But SOME PEOPLE never seem to slow down!  Imagine being fifteen again!
Click the link text to see our monkey!

Adam climbing up vine

Teens doing pushups

I will say they we all slept very soundly! We all enjoyed our time away, but were equally content to return home, safe and sound!

Red Top Mountain State Park


So our garden could have done better this year!

  • Tomatoes

While many of my friends are sick of looking at tomatoes, we treat each tomato here like gold! Our plants are stingy, and we have had visitors in the night who bite holes in the tomatoes when they ripen! Opossums or raccoons, we think! We have gotten a few, and they have tasted delicious! But we do dole them out!

Some are quite lovely to look at!

Black beauty tomato Heart shaped tomato

Terra cotta tomato
Terra Cotta Tomato
  • Saving Seeds

Our Garlic chives have burst open with seeds! I think we’ve got enough to share, since mine have really matured and spread! So I am collecting some seed heads to share with friends!

Garlic chives seeds

Also, today I collected the heads from our sunflowers! I will massage the seeds out and save them to plant next year! I do love cheery sunflowers!

Dried sunflower seed head
Dried sunflower seed head
Sunflower seed head
See all of the seeds inside?

I noticed that we have plenty of okra gone big, green beans drying up, and tomatillos that I hope to connect seeds from tomorrow or this week. We didn’t get the tomatillos before some worm invaded them, but I think I can still connect plenty of seeds to try again next year! We have purple and green.

  • Bumper Crop of Candy Roaster

Candy roaster squash
Candy roaster

Last year some friends shared a Candy Roaster Squash with us. We liked it ok. I didn’t quite perfect any good ways to prepare it last year. But I did save seeds. And I threw some into the ground, not knowing what to expect. We got a LOT of candy roasters! And now I found that baking them whole is a way they we all enjoy! Yum!!

Baked candy roaster
Baked candy roaster

Everyday Happenings

There’s plenty more happening around, and we stay busy every day! Just living keeps everyone pretty busy. We live in the country but do our fair share of running around for supplies and meet-ups!

I finished a little baby blanket that I was crocheting for a little baby coming to our church  soon!  I enjoy the process, but there is also something satisfying in finishing a project!
Crochet baby blanket

Final note

I will leave you with these colorful flowers of autumn!  Greg brought the beautiful mums home, and we will plant them instead of using them as disposable decorations

Our friends grew the flowers in the jar, which I will dry for an everlasting bouquet!

Oh—there’s also a little pumpkin there that my friend Deborah grew!  It’s so cute!  I will cook it at some point!

Have a blessed day!

Autumn flowers

How about you?  What’s happening on your homestead?

Leave me a quick comment and tell us what’s going on in your neck of the woods!

Related: See these posts to see where we’ve come from!

A Little Update and Homestead Blog Hop


Cabin Building Update

Homestead Update October 2019



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What is your experience? 💜 I read every comment, and so many times I find that I gain encouragement from what’s shared. ❤️