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~

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Naming the Farm

We are still trying to decide a name for our farm.  Most people simply use their last name; however we are a blended family, and have 2 last names.  Here is a view from the side patio, overlooking the country highway.


So far, we have decided that "Little House on the Highway" is the top choice. As you can see, the grass has not been mowed there either.  It was simply too wet from all the rain.  Maybe we can get it mowed down today.

Potato Patch

The temperature here reached up in the 90’s yesterday, and the weather is to be even hotter today.  We spent most of the day doing car repairs (gas leak, flat tire), weeding out, and adding more dirt to the potato plants.  

Today, I will be heading back out to finish the potatoes, and start weeding throughout the peas and lettuce.  You can see in the photo, in the back, where the weeds are coming up. 



 Behind the potatoes, are shallots, onions, lettuce and peas.  We have not planted our cabbage, kohlrabi, and a few more.  We have resorted to buying plants vs. seeds, due to the abundance of rain.  We were also very late in starting seeds indoors this year.  I did sprinkle flower seeds, and hope to have some color soon, in the flower beds.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Baking Bread

First, I have to share an iced tea we made.  It was very good.  We are low on green tea bags, so I boiled a pot of water, added these teabags:

2 of Jasmine Petal Green Tea
2 of Strawberry Pomegranate Herbal Red Tea
2 of Green Tea, Organic
1 of Green Tea, Honey Lemon Ginseng

It was what we call “Clean out the Cupboard” Iced Tea.  I let the teabags brew for about 4 minutes, removed them, and added them to a 1 gallon picture.  I added two scoops of sugar, and mixed until the sugar was dissolved.  I then filled it up with water, and enjoyed.  They kids loved this flavor we concocted.

Yesterday, was also day 1 of making homemade bread. Although the dough did not rise enough, the bread was very delicious.  I am using whole wheat bread flour from the local mill.  


With grocery prices rising, it's necessary to start making my own bread.  I did not have saran or plastic wrap either.  The pioneers didn't have it when they made bread, so I used a wet towel to cover my dough.  



Saturday, May 28, 2011

Saturday Mornings


This morning I filled my cup of coffee, grabbed reading material, and joined one of the girls at the front porch.  We sat in our pajamas without a care.  Even though our little house is on a country highway, and people pass us often, we sat comfortably.

My mind was throwing thoughts around, such as which job to tackle first.  There is always something to fix, repair, build, clean or organize.  There are animals to feed, care for and so much more.  

As a child, I couldn’t wait for Saturday mornings.  I can remember Mom telling us we could sleep in until 10:00am.  However, if we wanted to watch cartoons, we had to be up before 10:00am, because that is when the television was shut off.  I can remember that Mom always washed our bed sheets on Saturday mornings, and if we did chose to sleep in, we were told to bring our sheets down when we came downstairs.  And of course, if we did not get up, we got a wake up call on the house intercom system.  It was the neatest contraption our house could have.  

Today, as a mother to six children, the television is never turned on during mornings.  The kids often complain about not getting the chance to watch Saturday morning cartoons, but they can never get out of bed early either.  

While they were sleeping in, and I was becoming anxious about what needs to be done, and mentally figuring out what needed to be started first, I read a story in The Small Farmer’s Journal.  I ended up laughing out loud.  Here is a small section of the story:

“I was talking with an old-timer some years ago about the seemingly endless nature of work on the farm and he said, “Yep, when yer done yer dead.”  I guess I best not complain about new projects; they may be all that’s keeping me alive.” (The Small Farmer’s Journal, LittleField Notes, Prodigal Sun, by Ryan Foxley, Arlington, Washington, page 33, Spring, Vol. 35, No. 2)
 
If there is one thing I will remember, when I’m becoming anxious or stressed about what needs done, I’ll remember this article and what this man said.  

All this work?  It's all good. 

Now try explaining that to my kids.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Loving Surprises ~ Old Post Card Collection and More

I am very thrilled to be the next family member to cherish this post card collection.  It contains post cards that are older than 44 years old.  I can’t wait to share them with my family and, someday soon, pass them on to one of them.

Yesterday, my Aunt sent me a box of “goodies” and in it was a valentine from 1924.  It was a 2nd place prize for a drawing contest.  I believe it belonged to my grandmother.  Again, this too will be passed down in the family.  I just may have to frame the card to preserve it.
Boy, I love these kinds of surprises.  They make me realize that I need to slow down in life and enjoy it.



Another Soap Making Day

Our 5 gallon bucket of laundry detergent is down to the bottom already.  It sure has saved us money.  The rain is still coming down yet this morning, so the indoor work is getting done today.  I guess my bike ride will have to wait until it lets up, or go to the gym.

Yesterday, I took down my oregano that had been drying.  Today, I will cut more oregano and Thyme.  We use a lot of it, and I want to make sure we have enough to get through the winter.  Last summer, I did not dry enough. 

Last night, my husband and I watched a show on television.  I have to say, I could live without TV too.  The show was about someone who was hoarding and had stock piled items throughout their home.  These people could not even walk through their house without stepping on garbage.  It made me want to get up and clean off my dresser - ha ha ha!  Sunday is now our "no electronic" day and it could possibly turn into more days of the week.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A "Beast" of a Storm



The news station called yesterday’s storm a “beast.”  It dropped hail down in some towns so badly, that cars were destroyed, greenhouses were destroyed, and so were gardens.  Tornado warnings were a constant, and lightening took out one city’s siren.

Luckily, we did not get hail here, but more storms are expected again in a few hours. 

The creek is flooded so badly, that in some areas the roads flooded, and may flood again today.  There is water rising close to a few home's out buildings.  I was in awe, as I rode my bike my usual 6 miles today.  I may have to change my route.  The fields are flooded and farmer's cannot get crops in.  Same with gardens.  Those that planted, are losing it to hail, and others can't get their plants and seeds in.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The weird, the crazy and the just plain lazy


I just heard from a friend, and was reminded that their family has an armadillo for a pet.  That’s correct, an armadillo.  Weird and crazy huh?  I think it’s interesting.  So now I don’t consider us “crazy” for having chickens and a baby goat inside earlier this spring.  Of course, they are all outside now, but babies need to be protected from weather and predators.

As for the “lazy” in my post title, my 8th grade daughter left her 4-H binder out in the rain.  It was totally soaked and she was drying pages with a fan yesterday afternoon.  Although she was upset, we still laughed about it.  She claims it was my fault on hurrying everyone to plant before it rained.  Either way, she found her binder and the garden (most of it) has been planted.

And the rain keeps coming too.  We get spurts of sunshine in between, long enough to dry laundry and dry out the garden, but it keeps coming.  I continue to dream of camping again soon.


Monday, May 23, 2011

Excerpts from a Journal Junkie

from the Garden Journal


May 21 . . . planted 6 petunias and one foxglove, saw the hummingbird again.  Sprinkled chamomile seeds a few days ago, cut 6 bunches of oregano to dry on herb racks. Sunflowers are up.







May 22 . . . had breakfast and coffee early on the front porch, saw a deer.

May 23 . . .  planted in the garden – carrots, beets, last of the potatoes, more cucumbers, bush beans, all peppers and tomatoes, broccoli, and cauliflower.  


from the Homesteading/Self Sufficient Journal
 
May 21 . . .started placing 3 set of pot holders in my on-line store.

May 22 . . . baked 2 lbs. of dry pinto beans, our six hens gave us 6 eggs.

May 23 . . . baked 3 lbs. of dry black beans to freeze, about 2 more weeks and we can butcher the meat chickens.



from the Writer’s Journal

May 20 . . . sold 11 articles, need to find another site or resource to write for


Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Little Ham Goes A Long Way ~ Farm Fresh Breakfast


"What smells like heaven?" asked my 11 year-old daughter walking through the kitchen this morning.

A small amount of leftover ham made us a delicious farm fresh breakfast.  Although, the ham was not farm raised pork, it will be in our near future.  We had planned to raise one this year, but the repairs and other work got ahead of us.

Simply take a few home grown potatoes, and fry them in a small amount of oil until browned,


Dice some leftover ham,


Chop fresh green onion from your herb garden,


And scramble some farm fresh, organic eggs from your chickens.


Add them to the fried potatoes, cook until the eggs are firm, and enjoy!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Goat and Chickens Go To School


Today, I took the kid goat, a barred rock rooster, and our tetratint pullet to school.  The 3rd grade class enjoyed seeing and touching the animals.  They asked lots of questions and appeared to be having a very good visit.  

 
Who knows what will go to school next year.  It was kind of fun.