Welcome to The Duhaime Homestead.

I’m Delayne Duhaime, owner of The Duhaime Homestead. This is my beginning of my homestead journey. I am a 43 year old dreamer who’s goal is to be completely self sufficient and off grid. My only problem is I don’t know what I am doing but I’m learning daily and I hope you will follow my journey and learn along with me!

My dog, Stormy, and I currently live on 1 acre in Northern Minnesota on the shore of Lake Superior. I have been a nature lover since I was born. I was always the kid who came home with any animal I could find and try to convince my parents to let me keep it.

Why do this?

  • You want to become a homesteader but don’t know where to even start!! Good because I don’t either but I’ve already jumped in so hold on and lets have some fun!!
  • Learn step by step on starting a garden when you have nothing set up.
  • Learn from a newbie homesteader on what works and what doesn’t work.
  • Learn how to build garden beds, fences, etc from someone who has zero experience in it.
  • Learn how to reduce your carbon footprints on Mother Earth.
  • Learn from my mistakes and accomplishments

If you choose to follow my blog you will follow everything that deals with my personal life on the homestead. It will include animals, nature, farming, garden and a whole lot more. I will also post about my personal struggles as I deal with and learn how to deal with horrible Anxiety and Panic Attacks because I suffer with both.

Why should you follow my blog?

  • You will see everything, the good, the bad and the ugly.
  • I do not hide and I’m very honest in what I do, say and post. I am as straight forward as they come. I don’t beat around the bush.
  • You have nothing to loose but a whole lot of knowledge to learn!

Are you ready to follow me on this exciting homestead journey in the making?? Let’s get this started and have some fun!!

Back To Gardening on the Homestead

The only thing that grew this Spring / Summer

Due to my horrible anxiety and PTSD I did not do much for gardening this year. Out of what I did plant these few onions are the only things that grew. I intentionally let them go to seed. These were onions that the store was going to throw away because they had sprouted.

My anxiety and PTSD had gotten to a boiling point and I’m no longer working because I need to heal first and foremost. Now that I’m relaxed, safe and happy I am getting my life back together and on track.

I have decided once and for all that I’m done working for anyone else. I am going to work on really building a thriving, successful homebased business for Grizzly and I. I have a few ideas I’m going to try and let’s see how they do.

I was just so impressed with this picture I had to post it.
Onion flowers

I cut off all the onion flowers and put them into a bag to bring into the house. I was initially going to leave them on the flower stalk to dry but instead I brought them in. Next year I want to have my onions planted in a different area so I don’t want the seeds to drop where the flowers were.

My way of drying the onion flowers / seeds

I cut the onion flowers off and placed them into upside down peat planters. I placed the cups into a plastic garden tray so if the seeds fall out I can still pick them up to store until ready to plant. Now they are sitting on a shelf away from Grizzly, drying out.

Grizzly inspecting the mess we both made.

I started planting my fall crop seeds and between Grizzly and I we made quite the mess in the dining room.

Enjoying the dirt

Grizzly got tired of planting so he decided to use the dirt as a nice cool pillow. He left me to do all the planting and work by myself.

There are 4 trays of seeds here on the construction table in the living room.

Still remodeling my living room so the construction table is still here but it makes for a great holding area of seeds when not in use.

Please have a great day and check out my You Tube channel and follow me on Facebook too!!

Anxiety Lessens and Home Improvement Begins

I was actually feeling enough like myself to clean.

After only 2 days off from work I can feel my anxiety and PTSD leaving. When I woke up this morning I actually wanted to clean my kitchen. It’s been at least 2 months since I’ve cleaned or barely washed dishes. I was so proud of myself for accomplishing this, simple to most people, task. When you deal with Anxiety, Depression and / or PTSD the simplest tasks to most people can be a struggle for those of us who suffer with these conditions.

This is what my porch looked like this morning.

As I mentioned above, even hauling garbage can’t be done when having a PTSD episode. I did clean most of this up today but as I felt my anxiety creeping back in I stopped. Tomorrow is another day and I pray I will feel as good or better as I do today. No one wants their home to look like this but some of us have mental issues to deal with and some days are better than others. I’m just so grateful my PTSD kicked in when it did and I was able to get back into seeing my mental health therapist. I also have a regular Dr. appointment next week to see if my medication needs adjusting.

Part of my ceiling is done but it seems like it will never get done.

Everything was removed from the living room today as my neighbor came over and started working on putting up my new pine ceiling again. He started in June but I told him not to come over for a while because of my personal battles and didn’t want anyone to see the condition on my home. He seems to only lay 3 rows a day when he comes and to me it’s just not fast enough. I am so excited to see the living room when it’s done. I will have the same wood on the walls as the ceiling and then I will choose a different wood for the floor.

My pine ceiling getting installed.

I so love the way this looks and smells. I have wanted a little log cabin for years but when this is done I will be so excited. Not really a log cabin but close enough for me.

My living room right now.

I can’t wait for this entire mess to be gone. I will be replacing all my furniture and everything when all the wood work is done.

Grizzly does not like me moving furniture or the noise of the saw cutting the wood.

The couch and all of Grizzly’s toys are now in the dining room until we get the ceiling done. He is definitely not a fan of the furniture being moved or the noise of the saw. He jumped over the arm rest and chose the section of couch with all of his toys to lay on while the neighbor worked in the living room.

The kitchen table where I was sitting is right behind the couch so he watched me like a hawk.

Grizzly made sure to keep tabs on me at all times. He watched me like a hawk.

Can this be comfortable?

If he thought I was moving to get up he would come and lay on the arm rest of the couch to keep a better eye on me.

I guess I can’t eat alone.

After the neighbor left I fixed myself a bowl of ice cream and Grizzly was not pleased he didn’t get any. He made sure to watch in case I dropped any.

Begging for ice cream

I thought he was actually going to try and get onto the kitchen table to get my ice cream.

Chose to lay on the arm rest and just watch.

He just laid down instead of getting on the table thank goodness.

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A New Beginning

This is Grizzly, my new baby. He is a 3 year old Pit Bull / Husky mix.

I’m so happy to have a new man in my life. On Saturday, July 18, I drove to the Douglas County Humane Society in Superior, Wisconsin and brought home Grizzly. He is a 3 year old Pit Bull / Husky mix and I’m totally in love with him. The humane society said he came from a home where the woman had to surrender her animals due to having way too many. We have a long road of training ahead of us but we will be just fine.

As I said I picked him up on Saturday and then Sunday and Monday I had to work for a 10 hours each day. I wasn’t set up for leaving him home alone so I brought him to work with me. I left a big bowl of water for him in the truck and came out every 1/2 hour to every hour to check on him. I felt horrible knowing he was in the truck alone but I felt he was safer than home alone for 10 hours.

I had Tuesday off and we really worked on training. My main focus right now with him is walking on a leash as I don’t think he’s ever been on one and he pulls horribly. I have shin splints from trying to walk him. I need a larger Gentle Leader, because the one I have is too small for him but once I get that walking him will be so much nicer.

This is what happened when I left him home alone for 1 hour. He pulled the A/C siding right off.

I have a kennel in the bedroom and I have had him in there when I took a short trip (1 hour) and when I came home he was out of the kennel with the door still locked. He got into the window and did damage to the A/C unit but I’m very grateful he did not chew the cord.

He loves to watch the squirrels in the feeder.

He is still learning all the different sights, smells and animals that visit the house and yard. He is very interested in the rabbits and squirrels. He will jump up and down on his back feet when he sees a squirrel.

At home on the couch.

He has no idea how to play with toys but he sure loves tennis balls. He carries them around with him and knows how to fetch. I would say he’s pretty comfortable on the couch now.

Watching his friend, Squirrel

He not only loves to lay on the main part of the couch but he really enjoys that he can lay on the back of it while looking out the window. He loves to watch for the squirrel to show up in the feeder.

We have a long road of training but he is a very smart boy and fast learner.

Thanks for following our journey.

Heartbroken and alone

My sweet lovable baby girl, Stormy.

On Wednesday, July 14, I had to let my 9 year old baby, Stormy, cross the Rainbow Bridge. She was fine until about 1 week earlier when she wasn’t eating as much, and just being more lazy than usual but I just chalked it up to the heat, humidity and smoke from fires in the area. Although Wednesday I just knew something was not right with her so I took her into the vet. They did an X ray and ultra sound that showed she had a tumor on her spleen, that we didn’t know about, and it had burst so she was bleeding internally. I made the choice right there to let her go because I wasn’t about to let her suffer. My heart and world were gone but I was right there holding her when she left this world.

I have lost interest in a lot of things without her by my side but I’m slowly gaining interest again.

On Saturday, July 24, I will be taking a trip to an animal shelter in Wisconsin to check out the adoptable dogs they have and I hope I will come home with a new baby to love on.

It’s been about 19 years since I’ve been alone without a dog in my home so I am feeling very lonely.

Red Rock Beach Hike

One overlook at Red Rock Beach in Grand Portage, Minnesota.

Stormy and I spent the afternoon hiking Red Rock Beach in Grand Portage, Minnesota. It was a perfect day for a hike, the weather was amazing and the lake was calm and very clear. The hike itself is tricky because the trail is not cleared so you have to walk under limbs and I got smacked by every spider web on the trail I think.

Mother Nature sure knows how to create beauty.

Red Rock is a pretty secret spot many don’t know about but if you find it you will find the most beautiful area. There are some very scary spots where the rocks have large drop offs right into the lake so you need to be very sure footed for this hike if you get close to the edge.

Stormy watching the construction guys as we drive to Red Rock

Usually it only takes us about 10 minutes from home to Red Rock but due to construction it took us about 1/2 hour. The air conditioner in the truck doesn’t work so it was a pretty hot trip. The windows work but every time I opened them a good way the deer flies and horseflies would come in so I tried to keep them shut. I did keep the A/C on even though it doesn’t blow cold air. Stormy loves riding in the truck and watching the construction guys working.

All nice and soaked. She even got me wet shaking off and rubbing on my pants leg.

Stormy has never been one to like being in water so when she jumped in the lake today and played it shocked me. We’ve been to the lake many, many times and she wouldn’t go in so it was so amazing to watch her play and swim today. I really think Red Rocks magical beauty rubbed off on Stormy today. She really had a blast and enjoyed herself.

Now I know why my seedlings kept dying on the deck instead of thriving.

When Stormy and I got home from our hike I spotted this baby hanging out on my seedlings I put outside a while ago. Now I know why my seedlings never grew or thrived.

Handsome little guy isn’t he?

This poor baby is so full of wood ticks it just breaks my heart. This is Stormy’s buddy Thumper and he’s not afraid of either of us but when I tried to pick him up and pull the wood ticks off he took off on me.

Covered in wood ticks

I have a live trap and I may try to trap him so I can grab him and pull off the wood ticks. I don’t want them nasty things to kill this baby. I feed him and absolutely adore him even though he is a wild rabbit.

This is the end of our adventure for yesterday but I hope you all have an awesome day!!

No water in the house again

Just when I get things going in the right direction with fixing the house up another problem presents itself. On Monday I got out of the shower, put a load of clothes into the washing machine but when I turned it on when the pressure tank started making horrible noises and I lost all my water pressure. I used the pressure switch like I was shown to do when I loose water and when I was physically moving the switch the water pressure came up but very slowly. As the pressure builds though, so do the horrible noises coming from the relay switch / power panel on the pressure tank. I let go of the switch and turned on the washer to see if I really did have water. I had water but only for a few seconds and then I lost pressure and water again. I tried this twice and it was the same thing both times.

This is the relay / power switch for the water pressure tank.

I called my neighbor who’s been helping me with fixing up the house and asked if he could help with getting me water again. He came over and as soon as he heard the noise he told me I needed a new relay so I took off to town and bought on. He installed it later that afternoon but it did not help my situation at all. I still had no water and still making noises like crazy. So he told me it had to be the pressure switch, as there was nothing else it could be so……..I took off for town and bought a new pressure switch.

This is the pressure switch.

The next day he installed the new pressure switch for me but, you guessed it, still nothing worked. No water, noises were still happening and I was out quite a bit of money. Now he told me it must be the wires in the well pump itself and he wanted to pull up my water pump from the well. I told him I was not going to do that.

I know absolutely nothing about wells, pumps or electricity and I’m the first to admit it. In fact I’m terrified of water and electricity when combined especially. I’m tired of spending money on things that aren’t helping so now I’ve got phone calls in to 2 different electricians. It’s time I let a professional handle this and figure out once and for all what’s wrong.

Before the pressure tank started this I found out there are several electrical outlets in the house that aren’t working and my thermostat for the furnace isn’t working. I don’t know if this is a combined problem but I’m going to find out.

I’m so ready to get all the electrical problems fixed and done before winter hits. This year I’m going to add a heat tape to my water and sewer lines and it will be the first time in 18 years that I’ll have water all winter…..I hope!!

Overwhelming Productive Day

I did a lot of weeding today but it doesn’t look like I’ve done anything. I am really trying to stick to my homestead goals this month and my MAIN goal is to complete weeding and planting my home garden. My problem is when I push myself too hard I get overwhelmed and my anxiety / PTSD kick in.

Both of my hands had these marks when I was weeding. I don’t like gloves when working in the garden.

My anxiety tried to kick in when I found these red marks on both of my hands while I was taking a break from pulling weeds. I knew they were just irritation from pulling weeds without gloves but my mind kept trying to take me down another path and scare me. I put gloves on and went back out and weeded more. I still have the marks but I’m not worried about them. They are getting lighter now too.

Not long after this incident though I started getting overwhelmed by looking at how much still needs to be done in the garden, yard and in the house. Usually when I get overwhelmed I just quit. NOT today!! I want to be a homesteader and I’m going to make this work.

Today instead of quitting and giving up like I’ve done before, I did what helps calm my mind and allows me to think clearly. I took Stormy and we went for a short drive in the woods. Nature is my healer for any problems I have in my mind.

Stormy loves to have her head out the window when were driving in the woods.

As I was driving I remembered a You Tube video I watched about creating a schedule for yourself and it will help your mind stay focused. I started thinking about it and started to make a mental note of what type of schedule would work for me. I currently still work away from the homestead 10 hours a day for 4 days a week which doesn’t give me a lot of time to work at home those days. Most of those days I realized I’ve spent wondering what I should do…with a schedule I won’t have to spend the time thinking, instead it will be all planned out for me to just do it.

Pulled her head in when I stopped the truck to take the picture of her.

When Stormy and I got home I started working on 2 schedules for myself. One for days when I work and the other is for days when I’m home working here. I still have to tweak them but if they work I should be able to be a lot more productive.

I probably won’t post for the next few days because I’m back to work tomorrow but I will post for sure and let you know how this schedule idea works out.

Overcoming Fears & Home Improvement

Have you ever had a fear that was so deeply imbedded into you that it wouldn’t allow you to do what you wanted or enjoyed to do? Then keep reading to see how I’m learning to overcome my deepest and darkest fear. I have put my foot down and refuse to let my fear keep me from doing what all homesteaders do…….GARDENING.

I started out this morning by weeding a little more of the garden area. I am going with the “No Till” method this year and let me tell you…..pulling weeds by hand is no picnic especially with all the “spit” stuff on grass and ants. I am seriously terrified of ants because when I was young I literally had ants in my pants for real. When I was about 2 years old I was blueberry picking with my parents and I stood on top of a red ant hill. I was welts from waist down by the time my parents got my clothes off me and got rid of all the ants from my body. To this day there are times where if I get an ant on me I strip my clothes off as I’m running and screaming into the house. The fear and terror is real but I’m learning to overcome this.

My very large garden area but so far just this little corner has been weeded and planted. So far all I have planted are several onions that are growing beautifully.

As I said above, my fear of ants is one reason my garden has not been fully weeded. In this little area I have uncovered several small ant nests. I am learning how to slowly over come my complete terror of those things. When I find a nest or hill I just get out of the way and move to another area of the garden to work until they have all disappeared out of that area. Some days I just leave the garden but go back the next day and continue working.

My love of gardening has become stronger and I think I just decided I want to garden regardless but it is very HARD to overcome a fear this strong but I’m doing it.

When I see ants I feel my skin crawl and for a second I panic but I remember they are not on me. I can get away away before they get on me. I always, several times, a minute look down to see if there is a hill or several near me and if not I stay put. The more I look down the easier gardening is becoming and I have NEVER found myself standing on a hill. The ONLY area I find them in is when I over turn a rock or sometimes get a bunch of roots I see them scramble out. I have noticed I don’t check the ground as often anymore either. I get so into gardening my mind relaxes. I remind myself that I haven’t been bit except that one time years and years ago. I have actually done counselling as well for this fear but I will say I don’t think it did any good. I do better with dealing on my own. This gets easier to deal with every time I go into the garden.

For those of you who have fears like this please know you’re not alone and you can overcome them to enjoy what you want to do.

I HATE the way my house looks and I am remodeling the entire house but I’m starting with the living room. I purchased Tongue and Grove wood and currently I have 7 rows done on the ceiling as of today. I plan on doing the entire ceiling and the walls in this same wood. Yes it’s very expensive but I saved up all of my Covid check money while I was unemployed knowing I wanted to remodel the house. Now that I’m working full time again I figured it was time to start the project.

I’m using beautiful Pine wood and I can’t wait until this is completed because I know how beautiful this is going to be. I feel like it’s going at a snail’s pace and want to speed it up but I know things like this take time to do it right.

I want my house to have a true cabin feel which is why I’m going with wood. Eventually I will add a wood stove too.

If you enjoy my blog please feel free to follow me and have a great day!

How and Why to Create Homestead Goals

I have tried for a couple of years to get my homestead up and running but never made it. Several years ago I found in a Mother Earth News magazine where one of the writers explained how to create and work towards your homestead goals. Guess what, I right away got busy and created monthly goals, then weekly goals and I also did daily to do’s. No matter how I worked on my goals I never got my homestead. I have done this for the last 2 years and I still haven’t been successful.

My main 2 goals have ALWAYS been to be a fully self sufficient homestead and create a living without leaving the property. I have always thought having goals would let me get there but fact of the matter is you NEED the RIGHT goals. Goals are the MOST important thing in homesteading. Why? Because if you don’t create goals you really won’t be able to accomplish what’s really needed. Imagine wanting to be a homesteader and you want chickens. So you get chickens, feed them and then move on to mowing the field and other things. Now it’s close to winter and you’re wondering how to keep your chickens warm and panic sets in. If you had created and planned goals you would have built a chicken coop around the time you got the chickens. Right? This is WHY goals are so important, they allow you to plan and focus on the needs first then wants.

Today I was thinking about how to fix my situation and how can I improve what I’m doing towards becoming a fully self sufficient, off grid homesteader. I reread this article on creating goals and really took my time reading. I looked at my current goals for the month and I laughed at myself. My goals did NOT represent where I wanted to go with this homestead. I was so busy working at home but literally I was doing nothing towards homesteading and I never saw this until today.

Below you will see my “old” goals that made me laugh.

As you can see, very little of this pertains to getting ready to homestead. I realized almost all of these are things I could add in my weekly goals. Most of these we all do anyway so why am I using these as my goals? I’m so glad I realized what I had done.
These above are my “new” homestead goals for this month. There are a lot less items to focus on and these are, for me, what I need to move towards my overall goal of becoming a fully self sufficient, off grid, homesteader.

If your homesteading plans aren’t working then take another look at where you want to end up, meaning your dream life. Create a list of what you truly want to accomplish within 1 year.

This is the list I made of what I want within this first year of becoming a homesteader. As I created my monthly goals I looked at what would I be able to accomplish per month.

Once you know what you want to accomplish within that 1 year then you can start creating your monthly goals based on those wants. I also, on the same page, created ways I want to able to create an income from home. These ideas were also incorporated into the monthly goals.

These are the ideas that I’d love to be able to start earning an income doing. I also used these to create my monthly goals.

So why did I create this blog post? I hope it will help others who haven’t been able to get there homestead off and running. Please remember to never give up but take a look at your plans and how to fix them properly.