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, November 30, 2011

Excerpts from a Journal Junkie

from the homesteading journal . . .

I taught one of the kids how to mix washing soda and borax to make homemade dishwasher detergent....the goat roof is not done, we need one more sheet of tin roofing .....we got a thin layer of snow last night, and need to restock the porch with firewood....Dad was right about prices sky rocketing.....the local paper already went up $.25/an issue and I saw that redbox movies have increased $.20/a day rental.....thankfully the library still loans out free movies....


from the garden journal . . .

I am already down to the last few jars of home canned tomato sauce.  I used 3 pints to make a stew with leftover turkey and it turned out very good.  

   Tomato Sauce and Leftover Turkey Stew   
In a crock pot, add:
8 potatoes diced
carrots sliced, I didn't count, maybe 5-6?
celery, diced, maybe 5 stalks
2 onions, small/med, diced
1- 1/2 cups frozen corn
1/2 cup or so frozen garden green pepper
3-4 cloves garlic minced 
3 pints of canned seasoned tomato sauce
2- 2 1/2 lbs of leftover turkey (don't add this yet)
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
season, I used basil
(before turkey was added)

Cook on low for 6- 8 hours until potatoes and carrots are tender, just before you eat, toss in cooked turkey until it's heated through.  Enjoy!  This is a thick stew. This was a large pot of stew, perfect for a large family. 


from the family journal . . .

We had our first school delay today.  They delayed school last night due to flooding....I went to school conferences and got a good update....I missed a few meetings due to being sick....including a National Honor Society breakfast....but we are finally getting rid of the sickness here....


from the handicraft journal . . .

I am still working on many projects, but finally bought the velcro I need to finish sewing the dog coat.  Unfortunately, with being sick so long, I am behind on many projects.....

from the gratitude journal . . .

Today I am thankful for:

~the rain that fills our well
~wood in the fireplace
~coupons that I can use
~paper and pencil
~the views from my front porch
~God's Protection
~trees
~farmer's who grow and provide straw and hay
~surprises in the mail
~the wind, for drying my laundry outside

     
 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Applesauce Cake with Molasses ~ Deer Hunding Update

I went searching for a cake using my homemade applesauce, and one that also used molasses.  

 I doubled this Spiced Applesauce Cake Recipe, and baked it in a 9 x 13 inch pan.  The family loved it.  It's a very dense cake and can be eaten with hands too (kid tested).  It could use a layer of frosting for a tea party or coffee gathering, and is perfect for packing in school lunches.

Monday, November 28, 2011

View From my Front Porch



Teabag Tidbits ~ Thankgsgiving Vacation is Over

"Wherever you go, go with all your heart."


Thanksgiving vacation is over.  The kids are heading back to school this morning.  Yesterday, I got up to make sure my oldest daughter was out the door in time for her 7:00am shift at work.
 
When I met up with her in the living room, I was told "Mom!  Quit being a Mom and making sure I'm up!"
 
However, today I stayed snuggled in bed with one of the dogs, keeping warm.  I didn't hear any commotion out in the kitchen and thought it was odd.
 
My husband had been up and out the door at 4:00am for deer hunting (maybe next year it will be the both of us), and I had fallen back asleep.
 
It was nearing 7:00am, and all the lights were still out.  I remembered yesterday's "Mom!" moment, so I decided to take my time and brew a pot of coffee.  It's a bit chilly in the house, as we did not use the wood burner during the night.
 
Even after starting the coffee pot, not one of the kids stirred.  Finally, I pulled a light string and mentioned the bus would be here in a half hour.  All the sudden, three girls were scrambling to get dressed.
 
I guess they still need Mom as a back up alarm clock after all.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Homemade Crockpot Applesauce

I had two bags of orchard apples that needed to be dealt with.  The intended purpose for them, was to make two apple pies for the Thanksgiving meal.  It didn't happen.

I peeled and cut

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thrift Store Find ~ Getting Back in the Groove

I don't shop for Black Friday sales, and I felt good enough to get some organizing, sewing, crocheting, and cleaning done yesterday.  I took a few of the kids to a local thrift store, and came home with a record storage cabinet.  It's perfect for properly storing my albums and 45's.  They were in a cardboard box previously, that tore apart.

Now, they are off the floor, into proper storage, and easily accessible for some afternoon or evening entertainment.

I also came home with a $.50 cookbook that contains egg recipes.  Next summer, when I don't feel like making home made noodles or angel food cakes, I have an old recipe book to give me more ideas.

I brought home a gently used pair of snow pants for another one of the girls, for only $5.00 also.  Pretty soon, that snow will be here, and the stores will have switched to selling bathing suits (ha ha ha!).

I dug out the dog coat pattern yesterday too.  It's the first time sewing with a pattern in a very, very long time.  I think the last time I did real sewing like this was waaaaaaaaaaay back in the day during 4-H.  If I can find a good on-line tutorial for sewing double fold bias tape, and get to the craft store for velcro tape, I'll have one of our dogs sporting his new winter coat soon.  


I had to laugh yesterday, as I always predict this time of year for a hoard of birds to visit us.



Can you see all those birds on that tree?  A past home owner planted this ornamental apple tree.  Every fall the black birds and other birds fly in to eat up all the tiny ornamental apples.  The apples almost look like cherries.  Anyway, this is where it gets tough to dry laundry outside.  They fly over the house and over my clotheslines.  Jasper, one of the house cats, sits in this window doing some serious bird watching.


Today's agenda is to get roofing on the goat shed and more inside cleaning completed.  I let my writing go for 2-3 days now, and will need to double up on time for that too.


Friday, November 25, 2011

Family Funny

"I liked you better when you were sick," said my husband to me today, exasperated at my attempt make up for lost cleaning time.

"What?!"

"Your zipping around cleaning and talking non-stop today," he added. 

That is the truth.  I am up and feeling better today, and we are attempting to de-bug the bugs from this house.  We need to clean chicken coops, pick up straw, hay, and more vinegar for cleaning.

The sun is shining so my clotheslines are working overtime with bedding, clothes and linens.  The wind is perfect for drying them today.

My chickens are out and about, pecking and scratching and enjoying the sun too.

I may even bake a potato dish to go with our leftover turkey.  The Christmas music is playing again today.

We may even dig out some Christmas decorations later and hang some up too.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Yesterday, even though it wasn't the Thanksgiving Holiday,  held a lot of things to be thankful for.


 The sun was out and I put laundry on the line to dry.  The wind was perfect for it.

The kids groan when I put on Christmas music this early, but I love it.  I even dug through my sock drawer and pulled out a fun pair of Christmas socks.  I don't have many, but love to put them on.  They kind of set the mood for the day.

Yesterday I had three of four writing partners.  They are taking advantage of me resting more often than not.  They won't know what to do in a few days, when I hope to be up at the crack of dawn, making up for lost time around here.


I may have to switch gears and go with a different baby blanket.  While I was sick, I missed a baby shower, for a family member who is due in January.  I may have to drop this project and work up a simple blanket instead.  Who knows, God works miracles every day.


We have gained ground on the goat shed and Orion loves his new house.  Even without the roof on it yet.  My 15 year- old daughter has also been painting primer on the sides when the weather was good enough. 


As for home remedy updates:  the heating pad has helped drain a very small amount of ear fluid (I still can't hear), and I may go ahead and heat up garlic today for homemade garlic drops.  Two more kids are back to feeling sick again, and I continue to mix a cup of water/organic apple cider vinegar/raw honey.  I still plan to buy some elderberry concentrate and try that as well as "Cold Calm" that was also suggested.  I am also trying a dose of turmeric for boosting my immune system.  It's all I had on hand.

Thankgsgiving Thankfulness:

Today I am thankful for (and in no particular order)


~a turkey in the roaster
~coffee and water
~God's Mercy
~my camera and the ability to photograph 
~my family
~indoor plumbing
~nail polish (a secret pick me up when I am down)
~our farm
~books
~my Bible
~my cozy bathrobe
~our pets who comfort us, make us laugh, and warm us
~(he he he!) the cd player that's in my kitchen and will soon be blasting Christmas music to wake up the kids.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Cider Vinegar Candy

I can't keep the kids out of this small batch of old-fashioned candy!  It's actually very good.  Here's the recipe:

Cider Vinegar Candy

Butter a Jelly roll pan or sided baking sheet.  Set aside on top of a hot pad.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Putting the Breaks on the "Plague"

We are so tired of the "plague" returning, we are hoping we are approaching the end of it soon.

As soon as one gets a bit better, they go right back to being sick again, and worse.  So frustrating.

However, I am spending my non-sleeping moments to catch up on writing (nothing to thought provoking), reading and e-mail.  I am also becoming quite the "list maker."

Our first lists consists of all the trials and successes we had with home remedies, the second list is a list of items to buy for the winter (going to try Cold Calm, and Elderberry concentrate), the third is a list for Christmas, and the fourth is a list of ideas for a blog giveaway.  

I do feel like the quinea pig of all home remedies right now, but I really want to know what will work, so we are continuing.  I really like the sage tea I made, and will be growing more of that next summer.  I found that breathing in steam a few times a day (over a pot of hot water with either Vicks or honey in it), helps drain fluid from my ear (however it's still plugged as of today).  I also found that rest is the absolute most important of all.  If my 9 year-old or I get up and do physical movement, we later feel more sick than when we woke up.  


To keep myself from doing to much "work" around here, I started making more yo-yo's from Christmas fabric I have on hand.

As you can see, I have one finished yo-yo in my jar - ha ha!  Well, it's a start anyway.

I also added two new posts to my S.C.R.A.P. blog.  Be sure to check that for fun ideas too.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Following the Moon

I just have had some interesting views of the moon recently.  While taking one of the dogs out, I snapped these shots this morning.



 These were taken about 9:28am today.  Here is another shot I took on 11-11-2011.

 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

An Almost Repaired Stove Door ~ Frugal Healing

We have now located a glass business that will cut a ceramic type glass for our stove door.  We have been given an estimate of about $100.00.  That's almost cutting our cost in half.  At first we thought we needed tempered glass, but we have been told we need a ceramic glass.  We hope to have it repaired by Friday.  The temperatures here will be down to 27°F this Thursday.  That's pretty cold here.

Although we are trying to heal our family, we struggle along with the rest of the world, in the cost of medication and medical treatment.  Although the doctors typically want to give you an antibiotic that they feel will work, I have been asking each time, for the free ones that our pharmacy will provide.  All but 2 of us have infections of some kind (sinus/bronchitis), and we need to stop if from spreading.

Today, I took yet another daughter to the doctor.  As for me, they gave me a shot, a breathing treatment, and sent me home with two more antibiotics.  If I am not better in two days, I will be sent for a chest x-ray.

The lesson I learned in this, is to never put myself last.  I should have taken the time to double check with a doctor before it got so bad.  I have a tendency to assume that I "don't get sick."  I have gotten the kids to the doctor before their lungs were in need of more medical care.  

The sad part is, is that so many people in our area, especially at the schools, have the same symptoms.  Too many of them are ignoring it and not getting medical attention, thus the spreading of the germs continue.  


I hope to feel good in a few days.  I hate being sick.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Goats, Chickens, and More


The goat shed is finally getting more work, however they ran out of materials yesterday.  

Other than the actual part for the wood stove door ($180.00), we located a glass business, about an hour away, who can cut us the glass for $140.00.  We are calling another business today that was closed all weekend.  It's hard to believe that 12 in. x 15 in. piece of tempered glass can cost so much.

Two weekends ago, our hen that was egg bound died.  We did bring her inside, and did whatever we could, but she could not pass her egg.  Over this past weekend, the roosters got into a fight.  We had no idea, until the kids went outside to put them in for the night.  They have never bothered each other until now.  For a short story on that visit my 15 year-old's blog:  Life as a Teen Farmgirl.

It's too early to call my doctor today, but now I will be calling two doctors.  My 9 year-old is home sick with the same cough I have and she is wheezing.  I myself, have not stopped coughing.  I would not wish this on anyone.
 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The Bad:  The glass in our wood stove door was broken last night.

The Good:  We found glass replacement parts.

The Ugly:  The cost is about $180.00 to replace it.  If we don't, we have no choice but to use our floor electric heaters (will run the electric bill $600-900.00/month to run).  We will have to cut back on food, skip Thanksgiving meal and replace the glass in the wood stove.  I am currently searching for local glass businesses as well.  Hopefully, I can cut our cost in half or less.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Magical Broom??

"Uh, Mom? Look out at the barn and tell me if you see a broom handle sticking up and moving around," my son said this morning.

Sure enough the broom handle was sticking out the barn door and moving around. Ha ha ha ha!

The culprit? 

I thought for sure it was Rue.

But it wasn't.  That brown fur I saw moving about, at the other end of the broom, was Peanut.

According to my son, who went out to take care of things, said the goats had a "hay day" in the hay.  I guess one daughter will be cleaning up a mess after school.  Maybe she'll double check the gate latches better - ha ha ha!

Now that the goats are taken care of, I need to figure out how to get better.  

We need to finish the goat shed, move all the porch furniture to the barn, and stock the porch with fire wood......I am out of breath just thinking of the work that needs done and the fact I am still coughing.  If fact, three of us are coughing badly.  

Thank goodness it's Friday.  I hope to have extra help from the kids this weekend.   However, my son is now feeling the sickness too.   I am afraid it will be the sick helping the sick.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thankfulness and Weird Dreams



Today I am thankful for:

~ the sharing of old time recipes for remedies and food.
~ hot teas.
~ rain and wind, and not snow yet.
~ books.
~ our pets who comfort me when I am sick.
~ sunshine today.
~ the friends and family that have check in on me.
~ God's promises.
~ a bed to sleep on.
~ Vick's Vap-o-rub.

 
Okay, I am definitely not good with drugs.  Ugh.  They make me sick and now they make me have very strange dreams. 

The kids laughed this morning when I told them I had a dream that our dog Sadie (black lab mix) saved us from a black bear.  How funny is that?  I had to give Sadie a big fat hug this morning.

I did mix up the molasses drink yesterday, but only sipped about 1/2 of the mixture before taking a 2 hour nap.  When I woke up however, I was blowing my nose for for the next 3-4 hours.  I haven't been able to do that for days.  

I also took homegrown and dried sage, and made a tea with it.  It was very refreshing.  I have already used all my dried sage, and have noted in the homesteading journal, that we need to dry more next year for tea.  It also calmed my cough and throat and helped my stomach.  Everything I eat makes me sick too.

My 17 year-old daughter is bouncing back to health quickly.  She is in much better shape than me, from riding her horse.  Surely, that makes a difference.  My 9 year-old however, is coughing and coughing.  I hope she bounces back quickly as well.
I had a rough night sleeping as it was.  One of the kids got off work at midnight, and the other at 11pm.  I worried all night until I heard them pull in.  The wind was whipping hard, it was raining, it was cold and there were wet leaves on the roads.  I could only pray they drove safely.  Once they were home and the I heard the door lock, I fell asleep.  Only to have the weirdest dreams of all. 

I used to journal my dreams. Maybe I should.  I haven't written on my novel this month since last Friday.  It would make an interesting book for sure.

Well, I'm having a coughing spell, so I better heat up water for some hot tea.   I just wish my family would pitch in and clean.  There are dishes all over my kitchen, stuff on the floors (not swept either), bathrooms that need cleaned and more.  Anxiety and worry does not help heal me.



Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Bed Rest and a Bigger Box

Yesterday was the first day I actually go dressed and left the house.  My son, thankfully, drove us both to go vote.  After that I went back to bed.  The congestion caused me to develop a very bad headache.  I've tried just about everything but the pioneer recipe shared by bluestockingredneck.  Thank you also Denise for the tip with garlic.  And Candy, I have not yet tried a neti pot. Thanks for that tip too.

While spending hours resting, I think I will need a bigger box for my donation to the homeless this winter.

 This project not only provided me with the opportunity to try new patterns, but to reflect on what I am thankful/grateful for.  Although I am sick and feel miserable, my reflections of my gratitude, kept my thoughts more positive.  I am grateful that I have extra yarn to provide warmth for people who have nothing.




 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Doctor updates

I have bronchitis and a sinus infection.  Despite medications since Friday night, I am not up to posting anything exciting.  I can't remember the last time I stayed in bed so long, other than giving birth to my kids. 

I will post in a few days, when I hope to be feeling better.  I can't breath too well, and despite cough syrup from the pharmacy, I am still coughing. 

Also, I don't do well with drugs.  They make me sick.  So....on top of being sick, the drugs make me sick.  In this case, I didn't have a choice.  I got to the doctor before pneumonia set in.  I keep taking my temperature also.  It's been about 98.8.  I can't remember a day when I did have fever.  I've never been this sick.

Take care.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Preparing

Although wood splitting took a halt, until we repair the chainsaw blade, I have been busy preparing crafts for winter projects.

 I have started cutting circles from leftover scrap material.  These are mostly from old sheets and pillow cases.  These will be later sewn into yo-yo's for other gifts or for my home.

I also volunteered to help crochet and knit scarves for this winter's homeless.  I am getting a box ready, but need to fill it with a few more.  I may need help from the girls to fill the box.

Our garden is finished.  The Swiss chard is being consumed by something.  I have no idea, but whatever it is, it sure likes my Swiss chard.  I have failed to bring in my rosemary.  I may try to even though we've had a few frosts here already.

The wood burning stove has been cleaned and we have brought wood in.  Today is a good day to start it up, as the temperature in my house is very cold.

I haven't felt like doing much baking lately.  I've been sick for over 3 weeks now.  I finally booked myself a dreaded doctor appointment today.  I sure hope it's worth the time and money spent.  I'm just tired of not getting better.  Last night my ear hurt.  I haven't had an ear infection in years,  and it sure felt like it.  

Thursday, November 3, 2011

My Reading Room

My son worked 3rd shift, so while he was sleeping, my house was very peaceful.  I decided to take the dogs outside with me, and enjoyed the autumn smells of crisp fall leaves.  It was nice to enjoy time to read a good book, relax and enjoy the outdoors.  Soon, these leaves will be quickly covered in snow.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Quotes to Keep ~ New Additions to my Inspiration/Quote Journal

"Worry is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere." 

~ Glenn Turner

 "Every day may not be good, but there's something good in every day." 
~ Author Unknown