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~

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Learning from College English Class

I have been telling my kids that my college English class is not worth my time, but I am wrong. Even though it doesn't have to do with my fiction writing, I have learned to debate a bit better. I noticed many mistakes I made on a recent debate and have submitted it for corrections. I'll post it again later here.

I have to give my Instructor credit. I have learned, and I am sure I will continue to learn, to improve my writing in some way or another.

Homes for Kittens

We found homes for 3 of the kittens now, including this orange and white tiger kitten. Aren't they cute?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Freezing Green Onion Today


I used to freeze my green onion in ziploc bags and it was always we and mushy when I took it out. However, this time I am letting it air dry on a cookie sheet and dabbing dry with a towel. It dries great and then I'm freezing in containers instead. I have a lot to freeze. We use it a lot.

More Crochet Projects Finished


I'm making these washcloths about 11 x 11 inches. I'm still making other color varieties, as well as white. The pink would make nice gifts for breast cancer survivors, and the red would make nice gifts to women with heart conditions.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Kittens

Here is a photo of one of the five kittens we still have. I can't believe no one is calling to take one. It's been 2 weeks since we put posters out and an ad in the paper. Isn't he cute?

Wind damage to one of the barns

We are having very strong winds today. This is what the wind did to one of the barns today.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Gum Cocktails Update


This was a Strawberry-rhubarb Pie recipe! For details you have get Rachael Ray's October Magazine. I have to say this wad of gum is way too much for my mouth - but we had fun making them.

From my son, "It feels like I put the whole pack of gum in my mouth."

Clearing the Clutter and Clearing the Mind

It really is true that clearing out clutter can reduce anxiety and calm your nerves. I packed up over 100 books yesterday and donated them to Goodwill Industries. They are mostly very large used library books we had used for homeschooling and school use. Either way, we went through them together and decided on which ones needed new homes. We came up with 117 books.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Gum Cocktails ~ The latest thing

You'll find these recipes in Rachael Ray's magazine, October 2009, on page 26. We are not able to get every single gum they use in these "gum cocktails", but tonight we are going to make some and create some. I have to add, that ours are not all sugar free (gulp).

Farmgirl Sisterhood ~ This sounds like so much fun!

I think I have convinced my 15 year old daughter to help me start a chapter with Farmgirl Sisterhood. There aren't any chapters within an hour drive from us. She would be a farmerette in training. This looks like so much fun, and we have done some of the subjects under the merit badges already. We don't have cows, horses, or goats (yet), but we could still start and work our way through it.

My son's photo assignments for 12th grade

After going through some of the photos my son took for a school assignment, I found this one. He has taken some very nice scenery photos. Isn't it peaceful? I love the ripple in the creek too.

Road Runner and a Double Yolk


We were truly blessed yesterday with a double yolk egg from one of our chickens (Road Runner). I actually took a picture of it, but my son, in a hurry with a photo project for class, deleted it from the camera - Grrrr! I never knew raising chickens could be such a blessing to our home.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Saving Money ~ Stop buying wet mop pads

Make these instead: Biffer Shrug (pdf) I definitely have to make these! I will save so much money. There are more patterns on the Internet.

Naughty Kittens

Well, well, well. One of them dug up my dwarf lemon plant. Hmmmm? Which ever one it was, they climbed the kitchen counter some time this morning and dirt is everywhere. Both are sleeping soundly right now. I can't put mothballs in it, so I guess I need another roll of masking tape.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Freezing more garden vegetables


Wow! All of this was in the garden today! I couldn't believe it. I thought there wouldn't be anymore zucchini, but wow! I even had an eggplant! I just froze 2 quart bags of zucchini and 2 bags of tomatoes. I am even getting more tomatoes peeled for Lentil Soup for dinner. I'm adding fresh zucchini to it too. Then, I going to bake 2 large spaghetti squash and make hash browns and a Greek dish. What a blessing this is today! Oh, and the squash are from the garden too.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Chickens and more eggs!

I'm thrilled with raising chickens for eggs! We are now getting 4 eggs a day. Two more chickens have started laying eggs.

I was tickled to see our hummingbird again yesterday. He's brown bellied and has visited us often. Each time we've moved, we've been blessed with at least one hummingbird. And I don't feed it special food. I've attracted them with my flowers and that's it. He/she loves the flowers. It's better for the birds too.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Another beautiful sunrise today

We were blessed with another beautiful sunrise this Sunday. I'm so glad I took the time to watch it.

It's about time to check on the chickens and see if more are laying eggs. Yesterday I bought a metal basket for the kids to bring the eggs inside with. They laughed when I showed them the basket, and said we should call our house "The House on the Prairie". We may not be on the prairie, but it feels wonderful to be in the country.

Yesterday we had a stray dog visit us. Actually there were two, but one ran off. The one that stayed was limping and very friendly. He appeared to be neglected. His tag was a year old, which didn't even match the dog it was on. His nails were way too long, he was missing hair in spots, his eyes were glossy, and his teeth didn't look right. I'm sure whoever was out hunting just let them roam free. He took a nap in one of the bars, but left later. We tried putting him in a tie-out, but he just kept getting loose from it. He smelled horrible also. Poor dog. Why do people get pets and then just tie them outside and ignore them?

We still have the five kittens. We haven't found a home for any of them yet. We did however get the other barn cat spayed before she had even more kittens. They would be great mousers for someone too.

I was woken up this morning by Tiger pouncing on me. He brought his play mouse up to the bed and was darting around with it. Soon, Jasper was there too.

A few days ago, I had chenille stems sitting on the kitchen counter for a craft project. The next thing I knew, both kittens has stolen them and have been playing with them ever since. We also discovered they love drinking straws. We can't store them on a low shelf anymore. One look and we could see tiny teeth marks in the tops of them - ha ha ha!

Crocheted Slippers ~ Christmas Handmade 2009


Another crocheted pair of slippers for Christmas. This pair is for one of the girls that has a dog for a pet. I love the buttons!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Our first dozen chicken eggs

Here is the first full dozen of eggs two chickens are now laying. It feels pretty good to raise our own chickens, and save money on the eggs. Not only that, but we are eating healthier and together it blesses the family.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Kittens and Toilet Paper

CRASH!

I went to investigate the noise I just heard. It came from the bathroom, and sounded like the shower curtain rod hit the floor. Kittens!

There on the floor was the shower curtain and rod. Yep. It was both kittens. And sitting on the cabinet next to the wall mounted toilet paper rod, was Jasper with the end of the toilet paper in his mouth!

I don't know why he has an obsession with the toilet paper, but it's not a cheap one. He stole a roll last week and took it to the hallway to devour. Yuck.

Later I checked on the chickens and we now have two laying eggs. I'm pretty excited about that. It will surely save us money on the groceries.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Lunch Surprises

Today I am sneaking a snack size bag of Good & Plenty into a few of my kid's lunches. Unfortunately, I didn't get them into two of them, so tomorrow I will try again. With a short note (because they always hate Monday's), I included a small pack of candy. I hope it makes their day better.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Our First Home Grown Cabbage

We are enjoying our first home grown cabbage. For some reason, only a few grew, and late too. It's our first vegetable garden, so we are learning quite a bit. Tonight we are eating cabbage, mixed with potatoes, onions, and home grown zucchini, and green pepper. I threw in some grated carrots and flavorings. Topped it off with ground turkey sausage. Yum!

Despite the cool nights here, I still have a few eggplants growing, and a few zucchini yet.

The kids camped out last night and had a ball. I'm encouraging them to do it again, even though they have school tomorrow. Even though I am allowing it, they are saying "no way Mom". I think they have gotten into a no spoken rule zone or something. Who said it can't be done? I sure didn't. And why not? Life is too short to not enjoy it.

Today I found the most delicious hash brown recipe to make, using my spaghetti squash instead of potatoes. They are so good and good for us. I also read, and I'm not sure if it's true, that winter squash is high in pesticides. I will be buying organic when we run out of it in the garden.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Is it worth the time and effort to write articles on-line?

I just checked my earnings on one Web site I write articles for. The earnings have not changed since yesterday, and the day before that it was pennies. So is it really worth it? Writing 100 articles for a few pennies?

I just read a blog about choosing sites wisely. This is absolutely true. Articles on the Internet will not be there forever either. Spending more time writing a novel, while writing a few less time consuming on-line articles makes more sense.

So, in my quest to make "writing" a career and main source of income, I have promised myself to start the "book" I keep talking about but never do anything about. I just wrote an article on the debate of motherhood and time we have to write. Motherhood is a job in itself and mothers have a lot to write about.

Volunteering at the Humane Society


Last night was another night at the Humane Society. Sadly, "Monkey" (Willow) was still there. He's such a playful and loving cat too. We met many new ones, including Lolita, a gorgeous calico kitten with gray, tan and white. What beautiful colors! As I sat on the floor to invite felines to my lap, Owen plopped, and stood ground on not letting any other cat in my lap. There were some crazy cats too. You know, the kind that walk around with their ears back, tail twitching, just looking for something to move so he/she can dive in for an attack. Ha ha ha!

When we arrived home we put all of our clothes in the washing machine. However, even though we did that, and washed our hands good, our kittens must have still smelled the other cats on us. My 12 year old daughter went to bed, but was visited by Jasper. Lovingly, he slowly walked over her on her bed, but stopped and peed on her. We now know that we will have to shower to remove every last scent of cats and other animals.

And all the while, we were more worried about Mom's "devil cat" attacking us at her house. When we stopped to visit before driving home, we faced that fiercesome feline. Here is a glimpse of the "she devil" herself.
Sorry Mom, but I have to post this hilarious picture of your cat. Ha, ha, ha, ha!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Handmade Gift Ideas for Boys or Teenage Boys

In my search to find the right handmade gift idea for my nephews, I decided to post the links I find to many projects. Hopefully it will help others too.

Frugal Front Porch: Boys Denim Wallet

Family Fun: Crafty Lunch Sack (made with recycled jeans or other denim

Make a Hemp necklace

Make a Floppy disk pencil/pen holder

Tie-dyed t-shirts


Stamped t-shirts


Visit us soon as I locate more creative ideas! Get started early for the Holidays!

Latest crochet project for Christmas 2009


These are not the best pictures. I tried to take the photo, avoiding shadows. Today I was blessed with a lot of porch time - ALONE! The kids, prior to leaving me, were discussing what I would be doing all by myself. It doesn't happen very much at all. In fact, I can't remember the last time I had more than a 1/2 hour to myself.

This is the project I just completed. It's a purse for my niece. I hope she likes the colors and the button I used. It reminds me of the colors of India. It measures about 16 inches from the top of the handle to the bottom.

If I have more time later, I may crochet her a chapstick holder to put inside it. Now....if I could just think of something to crochet for my nephew? Maybe I can swindle my daughter to macrame a boys bracelet or necklace? Hmmm. I'll have to think more on that.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Sunset on September 5, 2009

Chickens


Here is our chicken named "Road Runner". She's not the biggest, but the fastest. She's also the first to start laying eggs. They are all locked up nice a tight to keep "Foxy Loxy" away. We also put all the kittens into a dog cage for the night. They are safe too.

Fox in the Field

Here is a photo my son took today. A fox was right in front of the house, walking through this plowed wheat field. He's not very big either. This is the first fox we have seen around here. It's dove hunting season here, so he/she must be out hunting too. This was very neat to see today.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

What to do with all of your spaghetti squash

I found this wonderful Web site with wonderful recipes using spaghetti squash. I can't wait to try some. Next year we will add more to the garden. YUM!

Healthy Recipes for Kids - Spaghetti Squash

Teaching Geography to Kids ~ Making it Fun!

I found the most interesting regarding teaching kids geography! It's called "The Everything Kids' Geography Book". I wish I had this book when I was a kid. The authors combined so many other areas of learning with learning geography. One of the kids may find a copy of it in under the Christmas tree this winter. If you can get a copy at your library, take a look at it. It really is a good teaching tool for kids, and the authors make it fun!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Enjoying our Garden Tomatoes

Our cherry tomatoes were pretty plump. They are the perfect size to top our heart healthy refried beans and low fat cheese burritos. We also topped these with Kale and fat-free sour cream. Yum!

Guess who did this?

"TIGER! Bad kitty! Argggghhhhhhh!"

Our First Chicken Egg!


We are proud to announce the arrival of our first chicken egg!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Reaction to Cutting Zucchini and Eggplant

Well, I'm not the only one, according to the Internet, to have a reaction after cutting up summer squash. My hands are burning, red, raw, peeling, and itching. In the last 2 days I've cut up zucchini, eggplant, spaghetti squash, turnips and beets. I'm betting it's the squash. I put Burt's Bee's hand cream 4 times last night. I'm just about out too. And I'm considering making zucchini brownies for everyone at dinner or after school.

Latest Handmade Christmas Gift Project

You can find the pattern at: Men's Easy Slippers

Although, with all the big feet in this house, I will have to make the ankle part of the slipper wider. They are nice, however, for handmade Christmas presents, or gifts for men.

Sunrise