One Flourishing, Frugal and Fun Family!

One mother making ends meet and surviving today's recession by writing. One family learning to live off the land, cut back on expenses, and to live a simpler and a more self-sufficient lifestyle.

Adopted Motto

"Eat it up,
Wear it out,
Make it do,
Or go without."
~A Pioneer Sampler, by Barbara Greenwood~

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Random-ness

A big thank you to those leaving me comments.  They brighten my day.  Thank you to all who even visit my blog as well.

Wednesday was a strange day for me.  It was our daughter's (youngest) first day to school.  We were all up at 5:30am, and sitting on the porch awaiting the school bus.  The bus picks her up at 6:17am.  It felt very weird to be home alone.  Too quiet for me, so the music came on.

Before cleaning the kitchen, I had the washing machine going, and multi-tasked.



A handful of hot peppers were sliced and frozen, while I baked up a large breakfast egg/sausage/potato/sweet potato/hot pepper scramble.  It'll last the next few days, so we won't have to cook at 5:30am.






We needed tortillas for that scramble (needed more eggs, but I have slackers right now and needed two more eggs), so I whipped up some einkorn homemade tortillas.  I shared this a while back, but now the recipe is also online:  Einkorn Tortillas.


I also baked some Einkorn Snickerdoodles.  I knew our daughter would need some comfort food after her first nervous day at school, and my hard working husband would love a healthy treat.



I took down all the kitchen curtains, washed the windows and wood work, and put new curtains up.  They sort of look like bandannas and have a white back.  They will be perfect for keeping the kitchen warmer this winter, and blocking out the heat of the sun when necessary too.  I have odd shaped windows, so the valances will not fit, and are in storage for now.  I may use lighter curtains for spring and summer and just use these in the fall/winter.

Washed, dried and put away all my dirty dishes.  Counters were scrubbed clean and sanitized.  Stove top scrubbed.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

How to Make Garlic Powder (Ground/Powdered Garlic) and Minced Garlic

First, if you are new to dehydrating, a book or booklet typically comes with one.  It has directions, times, temperatures, maybe recipes (depending on brand you buy), to guide you as well.  I apologize to all of you who already know how to do this.




Here is the one that came with mine.


 (This one is loaded with recipes on what to make with all your dehydrated goodies)



I also have these two books on my homesteading bookshelf as well, but plan to add more.

How to make garlic powder:



I chose a larger variety of garlic (Russian Giant) for this project.  Peel and slice the garlic thin and lay on the dehydrator trays.  I use gloves to do the slicing.  I follow the directions that came with my dehydrator, and dry until crisp.

Cool a bit after the dehydrator is turned off.



I use a small coffee grinder, place the dried garlic into it and grind it up to a powder.  Simply store in an airtight container with your other spices (out of light).







(dried)

To make minced garlic, mince fresh garlic onto parchment paper lined dehydrator trays.  Dehydrate, cool, and break it up.  Store in an airtight container.

The plan is to come back and share more books that you may find helpful with dehydrating in general.  If you do not grow a garden, most farmer's markets sell organic garlic. 



Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Garden Clean Up ~ Deep Cleaning ~ Stocking Up

The garden clean up has begun.   Garlic bed is mostly cleaned out, ready to till when we can, to prep it for replanting.  More mowing.

Weeds are being mowed down when they can, otherwise hand pulled, radish plants will be pulled next, along with the weeds in the turnips.  We'll soon unveil whether we have any.


My washing machine is now cleaned and sanitized.  My washer actually has a cycle for that.

The top and sides of the fridge were washed and cleaned too, fridge pulled out, floor mopped, water jug stand cleaned, floor under it mopped and sanitized too.  Basket liners washed, dried and put back, and another list of other "to-do's" was started.








I got 6 lbs. of organic broccoli blanched and in the freezer, about 3 lbs. of green/wax beans, and 2 batches of Cowboy Candy canned.  All those veggies were purchased.  It's a bit sad I had to buy them, but glad I have it stocked up, but really need more green beans.

Those extra stuffed shells I put in the freezer came out faster than I expected.  It wasn't for us however. It's always nice to have a ready made meal for other reasons.  A good friend of the family broke her ankle in 3 places.  We signed up to help bring her a meal.

We had a good weekend.  Mowing took much of the time, or I should say fixing the mower.  Despite that, we got two short motorcycle rides, and Youngest had a campfire party for the end of summer, with her friends.  I think she invited half the county, ha ha!  She starts back to school tomorrow.

Speaking of school, we paid $187.00 for her school uniforms, and they have not arrived, so we had to run to town and buy specific clothing on top of that, spending another $100.00 just to start school.  That doesn't include supplies.  We'll find out what she needs once she starts.

On the agenda for today?  Weeding.  Lots and lots of weeding.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

. . . from the handiwork journal

Despite massive weeding, I've gotten a few projects started and a few still going on.




Finished!  A Harley Davidson inspired lapghan. It's up for sale now.


 (115th Anniversary colors this year)


Here are two more Harley Davidson lapghans on the hook right now.


Another scrap lapghan on the hook too.





Another knitted dishcloth on the needles. . .



Something new for the homestead.  New pattern.  We'll see if it turns out or not.

Oh, there are more unfinished projects buried in my closet.

I'm digging through patterns to possible start a requested item for Youngest (which could be a good seller with her crowd).  I guess we'll see after I look at some patterns.  I am pretty sure I printed one.

Some where.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Digging Day

I woke up disappointed it had not rained like they had said it would.  I have spent so many indoor days cleaning, that I was actually looking forward to the next extreme clean job.  I had very little motivation to walk to the garden.

After him-hawing, eating my bacon/egg scramble with an English muffin toasted and slathered in butter, and making 2 pots of coffee, I finally put on my garden attire and headed out.

I am so far behind at digging up the remaining garlic, and had waited for the rain to soften up the ground, so I started there.  We only got 40 of the 56 Russian Giant that we planted.  We planted 70 of the Moroccan Creole, and I bet we'll get 15 if we are lucky.  Not sure yet on the original variety we were gifted years ago yet.  Although the rain has barreled down, it's so dry out there that I bent my digger.

Note:  speaking of garlic, I'll have a post soon on dehydrating it.  Well, some of it, ha ha!

While others are swimming in cucumbers, we are lucky to get 4 yesterday.  Not one yellow squash at all this year, and the plants are already dying.  Not one zucchini yesterday, and a dinky handful of green beans.  Just a really, really sad year.  I tell ya', if you have an inch left in your pantry or freezer this year, fill it up.  You never know if you'll have a year like we are.

The pumpkins look good but they are again buried in weeds, and the popcorn is buried as well.  I am just running out of mojo to even try to keep up with it. Is it even worth it?

I blanched about 1 1/2 cups of green beans (only green beans to make it to the freezer this year), and had a measly 1 cup of blackberries to freeze (that actually were not sour).




The front room now has a new decor item on the wall.  It contains the new colors in our living room.  I have a few more things to clean and a few more items to buy.


My camping and garden journal are now updated.  It was extremely hot during our camping trip - too hot to hold a pen.  Literally.

Youngest (daughter), started her first day of the driving part of driver's ed.  They drive to our homestead and pick her up and she takes over the driver's seat.  At the end of her time, she picks up the next driver, and they drive her home.  It's a very nice way of doing it, so we don't have to drive her to the location every time as well.

More possible rain today.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Random Tidbits

I haven't been around due to not much going on.  As a self-sufficient gardener, I should be acclimated to a bad harvest year and just get over my pity party.  I'll admit. It stinks, and it stinks worse to not have like minded neighbors.  We rely on garlic and hot peppers for health over winter, and it's gonna cost us, having to buy it this year.




A dozen dinky jalapenos made there way to the freezer.  


A very small amount of zucchini was blanched and went into the freezer.


Tomato harvest has not been good.  The late planting, and bad weather, the paste heirlooms are not much bigger than the cherry or grape.  


Here's what I did with some of those paste tomatoes - homemade Einkorn pizza crust, with home canned sauce, some gifted pulled pork with caramelized onions, garden tomatoes and green onion.  It was delicious. 

The second pizza was topped with my dinky (but very spicy) hot banana peppers, some green peppers, and onion.  Also, very delicious.

I guess, if it's the only thing I can stock up on, it may be freezing what I get, as I get it.  They are so small, I have doubts that I will get to can anything (but you never know).

The chickadee is still nesting in my flower pot, and the other day two chickadees flew up, one crawled in and it appeared to be the male, bringing food.  We may be seeing babies soon.  It's hard to get a close up photo, but I'll be trying.

We continued to get rain this week, so garden work and mucking the chicken coop is on hold.  As far as extreme clean, the book shelf is back in order, and another box is filled for the thrift.  

The kitchen clean up is almost a success (on the hunt for new curtains, possibly new rugs or make them myself).  I purged more recipes (try-it), purged my old articles and writing resources, purged old magazines, filed some recipes, filed some patterns I printed, and put the camping supplies, bedding and linens back in the camper.  Camper curtains are washed and will go back in when we pull it out for the next trip.  


Monday, August 6, 2018

Recent Events

The rain took a day off, so that meant the spectacular event called laundry.  The lines were loaded.  Followed by lots of dish washing, vacuuming and other various house cleaning.

Bedding washed, rugs washed, floors swept and mopped.  Sinks cleaned, toilets scrubbed....all so I could return home Sunday to a clean house.  Which by the way, didn't completely happen.

Those beautiful jars I recently canned were all labeled and put away too.  Most of them anyway.

Medicinal teas were brewed, essential oil steams were done, salt water "snorted".....all three of us caught the "creepy crud" and we were really wanting to feel 100% by Friday.

The best event?

Camping.  I wrote out a grocery list, with a meal plan, checked and rechecked the camping supplies, and we hit the road.  It happened to be the motivation Hubby had to get the new hitch put on the truck too.  It was a wedding reception/camp out.


(during our set up, we had a bit of a rough time, as we have not used the camper for almost 2 years).

Although we had a fun time, we were so tired arriving home.  Once we unpacked we literally did nothing.  The wedding reception was at the campground in an event center, and I am not used to being up that late.  While Hubby drove Youngest to the showers (she danced the entire night), I crawled into the air conditioned and passed out.  Those two stayed up much later, and it was very nice to get some sleep.

I am so afraid to go the garden this morning.  I may find myself a lot of work.  I'll admit it was nice to forget I had a garden for a few days (sort of a garden).  On Saturday we came home to feed the animals etc.

Camping is intended to be relaxing, but due to it being a combined family event, I'll admit it wore me out. I did some dancing myself.  I sure hope our next camping trip is actually relaxing.  I'm so tired this morning, as well as Hubby and Youngest.  

I didn't get many photos, but the campground had a pond with a beach, and our youngest daughter loved swimming in the heat.  It was very, very hot.  Too hot to really enjoy camping either.  In fact, we chose not to campfire cook Saturday for lunch. 

This was a new place to camp, and sort of strange.  Out of 140 sites, 120 were pipeliners in huge RV's.  Also, the bathrooms (shower combo) were in a trailer.  You had to pay $.25 each time you used them.  Never in my life have I seen that.  We also had a creepy kid that kept walking up into our campsites (son of a pipeliner), who just sat down where ever and started talking like he knew one of us.  He was starting to act strange, odd, and saying things about our daughter, and Hubby made him to leave.  He never came back to any of our sites after that.

I mentioned setting up was a rough time?  Well, the guy who owned the campground said he was bringing us a fire ring and a picnic table.  It never happened.  We literally had to take the truck and drive around the campground to find an empty lot and bring both back.  

And check this out.


They had other campers using our power supply pole and water.  We literally had no water hookup.  They had to supply us with an adapter, just so we could have air conditioning.  Let me say, I don't know I'll stay there again.  The water hookup (or one of their hoses) leaked and we had put a rug over it.  It was saturated, and covered in mud by the day we left.  Thankfully we had brought old rugs.  It was leaking right in front of our camper stove.  What a mess.  It was trip fest.  If you didn't have a flashlight at night, you were doomed.  One cord, from another camper, literally went under our doorway.

Sunday morning, before we put down the camper, family cooked breakfast for everyone that camped out for the wedding reception. 

I have no plan for today, other than check on the garden and tidy up the house.  Oh, and wash all of our camping bedding and repack it. Oh, and because we had no water, I'll be washing our camping skillets, etc.  Thankfully we had paper plates in the camper.  

Our 21 year old daughter showed up with her boyfriend Sunday about dinner time.  Raided the fridge (not much to raid), and did a ton of laundry.  


She brought Jesse to visit us, and he was very happy to see us.