Taking A Look Back At 2013

12 months ago, we were living in a 3,000 square foot rental house on three acres feeling proud of how “country” we’d become. Ha! We were “country” because we saw deer and rabbits on the property and we picked our own figs, pears, peaches, and blackberries from the land around us. So definitely a country upgrade from suburban DFW. And yet… we also had four bathrooms (including one in the garage) and a 2nd floor we didn’t even use.

That rental was 12-minutes away from Whole Foods Market, the Franklin Farmer’s Market, and our church congregation. We had no idea how easy life was, probably because 2013 was our busiest year with theĀ Mommypotamus blog.

In June, we moved to a TINY house on 40 acres surrounded by forest hills and absolutely no humans. Unless you count the midnight coon hunters trespassing on our land with helmet-mounted flashlights and shotguns. Except for them.

Within the first two months, we added two Nubian goats and one Alpine mama to our homestead. Polly, Daisy, and Sacha were delivered to our home from the wonderful folks at Noble Springs Dairy. I got to work building an A-frame shelter for them that was almost immediately too small for their needs.

My next project was to build a chicken coop inside our old barn. I took a horse stable and covered it with hardware cloth and added a door. We brought in more than two dozen birds including chickens and guinea hens.

While still at the very beginning of our chicken process, four stray kittens arrived uninvited and dangerously thin. After much pleading and coercing by all family members, I fed them a bowl of raw milk on Day 2 after their arrival and they decided to adopt us.

Our rooster Remy was killed by a pack of wild dogs roaming the hills, which prompted me to search for a chicken protector. I found two English Shepherd puppies north of Cookesville and brought them home to grow up and protect our flock.

So within a period of six months, we went from no animals to #ALLTHEANIMALS. We are in the thick of homesteading now.


This is not our month for fowl. First, we lost Remy the Rooster to stray dogs. A week later, Guinea #8 disappeared… or most of it did. Theories abounded as to cause. Stray dogs? Hawks? Cats? Other guineas?

Until today. While washing dishes, I heard a significantly louder guinea commotion beside the house. It took me a few seconds to take it seriously enough to go check. Glancing out the window, I saw one guinea lying on its side, wing spread out awkwardly. It had been attacked! I just knew it.

I grabbed my rifle and ran out onto the deck. But by the time I had gotten the rifle from its case and loaded the chamber, there was no sign of guinea #7 or any predator. All remaining guineas were terrified and squawking under the BushMonster.

Saying Goodbye to Remy

Yesterday was a very emotional day at the homestead. While laying down in bed with Micah for a nap, Heather rushed in and shook me awake. “Daniel! Some dogs attacked Remy!” Our rooster was attacked by a band of stray dogs and left for dead.

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