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~

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Snafu ~ Tennessee Spring Break Trip

Our spring break trip to TN had a hickup, snafu.....unexpected event.  Youngest daughter woke us up at 5am Sunday.  She was pretty sick.  Best guess was food poisoning, but she wasn't going anywhere any time soon. I quickly made a batch of homemade ginger-ale to start with, and go from there.  She rested most of the day Sunday, but still pretty sick.  We canceled our  trip reservations and waited to see if she'd be better by Monday (and try and re-book another lodging choice.

We rebooked for leaving Tuesday, and she still wasn't feeling her true self.  I expected we'd cancel when Hubby woke up early Tuesday morning (3am) sick.  I thought for sure we'd cancel the entire trip.  He got up, sucked down homemade ginger-ale and made the drive Tues. morning.

I'll admit it was a rough 9 hour drive (with many stops).  Both Hubby and Daughter had upset stomachs.  We made it, and crashed for the night. 

The next day, they both were ready to go, but couldn't eat much.

First stop was the Aquarium in Gatlinburg.  Famous for the shark tunnel you walk through.  It's pretty big and fun to see.

Glass bottom boat rid over the sharks!  Of course another $10.00 per person on top of the admission price, so we let Daughter go on it, which was on her "bucket list."  She had a blast.   

What next?

Anakeeta.  See that lift up the mountain?  There are all sorts of shops, walks, a ride and the best views of the mountains.  

 They made me ride up in this!!  I do not do heights well, and my one hand was numb from squeezing the back of the chair all the way up.  And....and...they stopped it twice before we got all the way up.  Ugh.

I made them ride the enclosed cabin down with me, ha ha!

Another place on Daughter's "bucket list" was rolled iced cream.  Not as good as homemade, and very expensive.

We took a break and went to the hotel to soak in the pool and hot tub, and had prepared for a 6pm dinner show, but found out after checking our records, they moved us to the 8:30pm show.  Grr.  We didn't enjoy it.  First we don't eat dinner that late, the chicken wasn't served until 9am, and Hubby and Daughter were still not feeling all that great.  We left early.  Daughter was upset with the use of the animals.  You couldn't take videos, but could take photos.  It was dark so all my horse photos were blury.  They did trick riding, for example one female had each foot, on two horses, and was standing, riding it around and through fire.  When they ran out buffalo and then long horn cattle, I was a bit sad too.  I know they are all trained for the show, but I was a bit sickened by the use of the animals day in and day out, over and over.  We'll not ever go to this again if we do return.  Food was terrible.

Next day was Dollywood.  Daughter rode most of the rides.  It was in the low 80's and beautiful.  She spent the evening in the outdoor pool.  This place is huge and full of entertainment and activities and shopping.  

Next stop was the Alcatraz crime museum.  We actually enjoyed this.  Fun and very interesting.

Next stop was a dinner show with MoTown.  We had a very nice time here, and bought the DVD of the show, and had it autographed.  Daughter had a blast!

The drive home went more quickly than driving down.  Everyone was feeling grand and full-filled.  Daughter had the best time ever.  There was a lot we didn't do, so we are contemplating another trip down in the future.  Although expensive.  It is very commercialized in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.

We visited 3 Harley Davidson stores too.  Daughter bought a few tops too.  

The one thing we all missed?  My home cooking.  We are so looking forward to a home cooked meal now.  

We have a day of rest today, but Hubby is already up and trying to plan a get together with all the kids and maybe a motorcycle ride.

Happy Easter!

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Random Tidbits

Not much going on here lately, other than indoor work thanks to Mother Nature and the cold weather.  Egads, this is a picture-less post.  I've had to refill some homemade goods lately like our foamy soap and vanilla extract.  It's been so cold, I had to wear my carhartt out on Wed.  The wind was wicked.

I took a day for me!  Got a real hair cut, joined one kiddo for a lunch, picked up seed potatoes, made a library return and other fun stuff.  By the way Youngest is being trained now to color hair.  She is allowed to take manicure appointments during school hours too.  Too bad I don't have long nails right now, or I'd go just for her to get the experience.  Garden work started, so my nails are cut short.  I may just have to go in a few weeks anyway.  

I have been spending most of my mornings cooking and baking for the day and week, and find myself getting dishes out that I had just washed and dried and put away.  Including measuring cups and spoons.  Sigh...the wrath of rotation.  At least we are eating good.  By the way, the blueberry pie I made recently only has 1 cup of powdered sugar and a small amount of brown.  It's a King Arthur flour recipe ("pie with a twist").

We finished our Yellowstone series from the library.  Not sure what we'll look into next.  

I've received word of another free vendor event in May. I'm not doing it.  I am too busy now with the warmer weather, and can't waste any good day not working in the garden(s).

There is a delay on the bathroom remodel.  I'm okay with that.  However, it delays any family get togethers here.  I'm okay with that too though.  Just lots of work to do here anyway.

The chicks know my call now.  They are so excited to see me bring them treats.  Right now we see one definite rooster, but unsure of the rest at this point.

Hubby and I took a random road trip.  Cornhole boards have been ordered and we got to see new places.  We literally got home and went out dancing.  I'm a bit tired today, but laundry is on the to-do list.  It's pouring down rain today.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Blueberry Pie ~ Getting Vitamin D and "Iron"

It's amazing how much beautiful sunshine can change your attitude for the day.  It's been so nice to see a bright sun-shiny day lately.  I had a lot on my to-do list, but first things first.

Blueberry pie was baked, and because I will forget about it if I go work outside, I put laundry on the line.

While that was baking, Hubby sent me a text - "Bike Ride."   I just hurried up my garden work.  Got another bed weeded. Woohoo!

Our 19 year-old stopped in the previous night and brought her kids with her.  King just looks so cute in that photo.  

Chickweed is coming up.  Super excited about this.  It's not ready to harvest just yet.  I am about out, so I'll be checking on it often this spring.

As for the "iron" you probably guessed it.  That's referring to the bike ride we took.  Just an early week "refresher" on the "sanity saver."

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Teabag Tidbits

The weather has been gorgeous here lately.  I have the windows open, and we enjoying the fresh air.

I picked this up at a "kitchen" store at the flea market last weekend.  I was reluctant to buy it, as it didn't look like it would hold a full bag of dark brown sugar.  It did, and I love the way the disc is in the lid and I don't have to fight to get the brown sugar when I scoop it out.  I'll be buying another on the next trip.  

I have a "funny" to share.  If you've read my posts in the years ago about how my husband drives in the mountains, you'll laugh.  He drove.  We took the truck last weekend.  Amish country roads are hilly, curvy etc.  He went over some railroad tracks too quickly and I swear my head hit the roof.  Of course we all laughed, and I told him the name of the truck (when he's driving) is "Red Lightning."  I attempted to knit prior to that, but quickly put it away after dropping stitches and just about stabbed myself.  

Got another batch of homemade granola bars made.  We go through these so quickly anymore.

I prepped blueberries and wine.  If the kids and Hubby behave, they may just get their blueberry pie this week.

It was a good laundry day, so my morning was pretty busy putting laundry on the line.  No sign of the coyote, but I was prepared this time.  I just didn't free range the hens.  

Monday, April 8, 2019

Happy Homemaker Monday ~ Coyote Season

I'm joining Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom today.  Although I posted late last night (go back a post to read about our weekend).  We took Youngest and she had a blast.

Nothing like a coyote to wake you up in the early morning.  I took Jesse out to do his business in my PJ's.  He had his light on  (Hubby wasn't up for work just yet) and I was looking directly at him, and it came out from behind the wood barn.  Jesse tried to go after it, I reached for my gun, but realized I was in PJ's, so I screamed and ran off the porch, which prompted two girls to come screaming.  It acted like it wanted to come back, but ran off thankfully.  However, where there is one, there are more.  Now, while my heart palpitated, I realized it's going to be a rough spring.  I'll not go outside without protection (including in my PJ's) and I'll be going to the barn to check the chicken barn to make sure they are okay too.  Ugh.  What a morning.  

On the breakfast plate. . . 
Scramble.  I have 1 egg in my egg basket this morning.

The weather outside is . . .
We are up to the 70's.  It rained last night though.

On my reading pile . . .
My magazine that I planned to take with me over the weekend, but forgot.

On my TV . . .
A dvd series from the library called Yellowstone

On my menu . . .
Egg/cheese/sausage sandwiches
Salmon romanoff (never got it made), beets
Possibly something with freshly made tomato sauce
....have no idea.  

On my to-do list . . .
work out
make granola bars
wash bedding and get it on the line
library returns
deliver dish scrubbies

What I am creating . . .
Knitted dishcloth.  I need to restock my netting and get scrubbies restocked asap.

Looking forward to . . .
Getting the bathroom remodel done so we can have family gatherings here again.  We haven't had time to shop for a new shower or check on flooring yet.  Always something going on.

From the camera . . .
On of the bedrooms a the historic hotel we stayed at over the weekend.

One of my simple pleasures . . .
Target practice

Praying . . .
Friends, Family, special requests.  While we were on our weekend trip, a MI motorcyclist riding a 3 wheel bike on the highway passed away.  A tire came off, throwing him into the concrete median and he died on the scene.  There were tons and motorcycles out this past weekend due to the change in weather.  The accident was in our county.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Fun Weekend!

We took one trip to Amish country, and booked our favorite historic hotel.  However, it has new owners and now no longer our "favorite."  They completely changed the lobby, basically, making it into a dining hall, so no lobby to play cards and hang out.  All of the banquet rooms now have sewing machines with quilters working away daily.  Hmpf.  It no longer has that "nostalgic" feel.  Our room was nice, but we roasted at night.  There was no heat/air control for us in our room at all this time. The suite had 2 bedrooms and 2 TV's, but our remote didn't work right either.  Not a total disappointment, but not a happy stay for sure.  They swore their breakfast was the best to find on a Sunday.  We tried that too.  Eggs were burned, gravy and biscuits served cold, and even though we were the only ones in the tavern, we had to ask for coffee refills too.

We visited our favorite local bistro for homemade spinach/artichoke dip, homemade chips served warm.

We visited the local brewery, enjoying a scotch ale brew or two.  We however, forgot to bring our growler.  Now we own two that we can forget to take next time, ha ha!

Despite blips in the trip, we won "parent" points with Youngest Daughter.  She had a ball!  We bought her a scratch off lottery ticket on the way to Amish country and she won $50 to spend.  She was a very happy, happy kid.

Had to move the chicks to their own coop.  My bully hens wouldn't let them eat.  Each time the tried, the hens would peck them away.  Now they can eat and drink and be merry until they are older.

The whole point of the trip was to buy corn hole boards for our party.  Harley Davidson boards. Well, they didn't have them.  Grr.  I did however, bring home 6 lbs. of organic old fashioned oats.

We came home and got a very short ride on the Harley.  A very wet, short ride.  I told him it looked like rain, but you know those men and their motorcycles.  We laughed though.  All the way home.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Chicks are out and other random bits

The current egg scramble. . .

 . . . feeding my family sweet potatoes, jalapenos, pickled garlic and beet greens for breakfast. 

The chicks are out of the house.  It was high 50's when I introduced them to the outdoors, but heated up to the 60's.  They'll still get a heat lamp for a week or so more, but they are utterly confused, ha ha!  My house will not smell like a chicken coop any longer, whew!

I put them all in together after a visit outside, and there wasn't much activity for the first few minutes.  Shortly after as I watched, a few pecked at the chicks, but nothing bad.  I just hope I didn't end up with 7 roosters.  

I do have a friend who got chicks (pullets) this year too, so if I do, I hope she'll take a few.  I don't want to drive 1 hour to the butcher. Considering my 4 barred rocks hens are 8 years going on 9, I'll be getting pullets next spring.  

It's been so nice to use the clothesline again.  Rain is on the way Sunday again, so it's been busy bee for me.

We have what I call the "big city" both north and south of us.  The one north is undergoing major road construction, not only downtown, but at the highway over pass.  It's a plain mess.  We avoid it at all costs.  With that said, there is only a few places we can take the Harley for a meal out with the kids.    Now they are not only building a round-about at the highway exit (have no idea how that is going to work and why we even needed it), but they are also constructing one at the entrance to Youngest Daughter's career school.  Lovely.  Just lovely.  There is already a round-about just after you enter the school drive.  We are gonna be dizzy going there for events.

We got the Harley out for a ride and met up with one daughter.  Boy it felt great to be out on the bike again.  I'm looking forward to getting my garden beds cleaned up daily, as weather allows, so rides will be happening all summer and fall.