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, February 28, 2012

Vintage Jewelry ~ Cooking in Canning Jars ~ Thrift Store Finds

During our antique mall visit, I also purchased this vintage necklace.  It's handmade with beads.  Right now I'm trying to locate a few of the darker red beads to make matching earrings for it, and possibly a bracelet.  I love wearing vintage jewelry when I can.


A closer view.  The sun was shining, so I took a better photo after taking the first. 

The vintage towel behind the necklace was also a good find.  I will most likely use it for a hand towel in my master bathroom.  

(before)

 (after)
I have been wanting to try this recipe, and finally did.  They are Individual Brussels Sprout and Potato Frittatas.  The recipe is from Eating Well.  Mom gave me some old magazines and this was in one of them.  

I did not have 10 oz. ramekins that the recipe called for.  I simply adjusted the recipe using my farm fresh eggs and used 1/2 pint, wide mouth canning jars.  I love this recipe.  I am so ready to plant more brussels sprouts, potatoes, dry more herbs and use goat's milk for this.  You can add about any vegetable to these too.  Yum!

I donated items to a local thrift store that benefits children.  I took the time to look around and brought these fun finds home with me:
 
 A vintage dish towel ~ $.69
A vintage crocheted doily ~ $.50

 Another dish towel ~ $.50
A ceramic bowl made in California ~ $2.00

 2 placements with camper pattern ~ $1.00 total
Retro stapler that works ~ $1.00

 3 books
Stephen King's "On Writing" ~ $3.00
A bit high, but anything sold used on-line has about $3.99 shipping anyway.
"Walking West" a Pioneer story ~ $.50
Antique book on Sentence and Theme ~ $1.00

What a fun time I had, and now we have more towels for the house and for camping.

I also bought 2 glass bowls for $.25 each for the cats.  I don't like to buy paper plates all the time and it's more eco-friendly.  They are made in the U.S. also.

I guess I better start "spring" cleaning the closets, so I have another reason to visit the store again soon - ha ha ha!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Joey is in Heaven

A very sad evening here today.

Our oldest dog alerted my 15 year-old daughter that a cat was inside the tote.  We have two totes on their sides, filled with dry bedding for the barn cats to keep warm.

When my daughter checked the tote, she found Joey.  He was already gone.  

Most likely he was hit by a car.   He walked himself to the house and went into the tote.  He rested there until he went to Heaven.

There is a blog that was written about him:  The Little Orange Cat the Could 

Joey was loved and will be greatly missed.  

We love you Joey!  

Cleaning, Cooling Down, and Crafting



Mondays.....the day of my all-out house cleaning.  Yay!  A fresh start to the week and a freshly cleaned home.  My clotheslines will be working over time today.  The sun is shining and blessing us with peace of mind.

I look forward to sipping hot tea, and relaxing with some crocheting....or a good book.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Excerpts from A Journal Junkie

from the homesteading journal. . .


 We are trying to buy USA made items when we do need to shop.  I actually found a clipboard at Wal-mart that states it's made in the USA.  

 We bought chicken wire to start a much needed outdoor coop off the "chicken" barn.  

 Split wood again, but the weather is not too cold here.  

 We are bartering service work on our broken down van, with home canned goods again.  The van was delivered, so I need to get busy so I have canned jelly to barter.



from the crafting journal . . .

 I finished the new dishcloth pattern, and actually put another one in my store.  I have already started a third one.   I'm finishing up another knitted block for the block blanket, and have decided to put my tatting aside until the blanket is finished.

 Two projects "in progress"
I started decoupaging another tea bag box, and this time I'm using old book pages.  The handle is recycled oxygen tubing.  I'll be posting that later on my S.C.R.A.P. blog.

I recently discovered it's much easier to have a clip board for my knitting pattern, so I bought a very inexpensive clipboard.  I painted it.  Now I am decoupaging paper with a rose pattern on it.  I will be placing my pattern in a plastic page protector, slipping in a note pad, and attaching a pen.  Then I can take my basket weaving pattern, for my knitted block blanket, anywhere in the truck, van or car.  I can keep track of rows, and not get behind in my work any more.  I also have a fun, jazzed up, clip board for it.  I may have to make a few more of these for other projects.


from my personal journal . . .

 Hubby and I headed out for goat feed over the weekend.  We had trouble finding the right brand in stock, and had a bag being held in another town.  We had no time limitations, so we stopped at a brand new gun store and browsed.  The store was packed with people too.

Next, hubby surprised me by taking me to a very large antique store, that we had not been too in about four years.  We had so much fun walking around and browsing. 

I did more than browse too.  I was so excited to find this lipstick holder that I just had to buy it.  I had no idea they existed until another farmgirl shared photos of the ones she has found.  

Underneath the lipstick holder is a dish towel I found, that has tatting as the edging - $3.00.  What a deal.  What great finds, and useful too.

I bought his $5.00 vintage chopper also.  Why?  Well, it's a perfect container to hold elastic hair bands in my vintage decorated master bathroom.  

I cleaned it up and when the chopper handle is lifted up, it brings up hair bands on the bottom piece.  I'd rather buy USA made for every day use, and this chopper was made by the  Lorraine Manufacturing Company in New York City.  According to my research, they started up around 1868.  What fun it was to find this out after I got home.

I had a very fun day, and hope to do that again in a few years.



from my gratitude journal. . .

 Today I am thankful for:

~ being able to pay off one dentist bill
~ getting a day away and relaxing
~ the beautiful sunshine we are having
~ having enough firewood
~ tea
~ my outdoor clothesline
~ books
~ once again, I am thankful for pen and paper
~ God's Promises
~ slippers

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Saving Money ~ Thrift Stores

Typically I like to take one day "off" and do something fun.  However, my hubby called from work and was having problems with his eyes.  He was using his last pair of contacts and they were causing problems.  He called to say he was heading home and asked if I would join him - road trip.

Here are the fun thrift store finds from yesterday. . .


I found 5 vintage jello molds ($.35), a top 30's Country Hits record album ($.25), and a pack of playing cards still in their original package ($.25).  My plan was to make pin cushions with the jello molds, however, they are so nice (and a good size) that I may even use them in the kitchen.   We plan to play the album, and it even has Johnny Cash on it.  The playing cards are for game night and camping. If we ever lose any, I can always re-purpose them too.  They have a fun flower pattern on them.

I could not resist buying this bag of scrap ribbons ($1.00).  Underneath the bag are 3 pillow cases ($.50) with country fabric patterns.  I plan to re-purpose the pillow cases.  The cost of fabric in craft stores these days, can cost too much.  I have already started a S.C.R.A.P. project using the ribbon.  Those will be posted as soon as they are finished.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Winter Weather ~ Black Bean Fudge Cakes

Winter has been the strangest ever this year.  On Tuesday, we had rain, then snow, then rain again, then snow again, then rain and temperatures up to the 40's.  


The house was still a bit chilly, so I baked two snacks for the family.  One, I baked Black bean Fudge Cakes (only in an 8 x 8 inch pan), and another batch of Zucchini Muffins.  Yum!  The oven warmed up the kitchen, and the Black Bean Fudge Cake was pretty good.  I love recipes from Clean Eating magazine.  I can use my raw honey, home canned applesauce and this eliminated the cost of flour.  



The day before, I cooked up a large bag of dry black beans, so I reserved some for my cake.  A perfect way to keep "desserts" healthy around here (and low cost).


Although, I can say the Black Bean Fudge "bars" were not the kids favorite.  They gobbled up the Zucchini muffins first.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Jicama Hash Browns

Sunday morning breakfast consisted of whole wheat blueberry pancakes with homemade honey syrup, sausage and a side of Jicama hash browns.

We have never tried Jicama, and know that it's also called a "Mexican Potato."  

(midway through cooking)

I peeled it, shredded it, and fried it.  First I diced an onion and cooked it in canola oil, then add the shredded Jicama with salt and pepper.  


It is sweet.  Not what I was expecting, but pretty good anyway.  It contains no fat and is very low in carbs.  Next time I will add some garden green peppers to the onion.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Excerpts from a Journal Junkie

from my crafting Journal. . .
 ...started a new pattern for dishcloths that use #10 cotton threads.

 
from my Gratitude Journal. . .

Today I am Thankful for:

~the vintage tablecloths that I have been able to buy (and use) over the years

~for sound and to be able to hear

~for written devotional books 

~for friends who offer up prayers

~for our relatives who allow us to borrow their pop-up camper


from the homesteading journal . . .

 ...started to map out the garden and set dates for starting seeds inside


...collected toothpaste recipes to try

...chickens are still not laying as many eggs, despite warmer weather and sunshine

...collecting meatless recipes to encourage more vegetables in our diet 


...tried buffalo meat (organically raised) in our crock pot chili and loved it 











....I am still hanging laundry outside



It's even drying completely this winter since we are having a milder season.  The wind and sun were perfect for drying laundry.  Last year I had to shovel my way out to the line and shovel a walkway along the line.  



....planning our camping trips already

Friday, February 17, 2012

I'm Hooked

 In a transaction of passing from one to another, I was finally given a bag of "goodies" from my sister-in-law.  It contained crafting items, items to re-purpose, and best of all, a basket of "Stress Relief" items from Bath and Body.  

The eucalyptus/spearmint aroma is divine.  I now have shower  wash, lotion and pillow spritz.  Oh boy!  I'm loving this!

Funny how things work out too.  I'm recycling everything the lotions came in too - ribbon, stuffing, cardboard, tag and basket.  

Even the bag that she sent everything in, came to good use.  Two cats are using the large paper bag as entertainment.  One jumped in it, then the next minute, the other partner in crime, had the bag on it's side.  He was darting in and out, just having a ball with it.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Vintage Hankies ~ Crochet Projects Continue

I'm sharing some very special hankies that belonged to my mother.  I am not sure what I will do with them yet.  I know for one idea, I will be using them to decorate around the house and possibly take some camping.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Handmade Note Cards ~ Happy Valentine's Day!

My Mom loves the heart cards I made for her a few years ago.  She is running low, and I am sharing a few I have made for her (made from scrap wallpaper):






 
I better get back to work....I'm getting many "projects" finished.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Heating the House ~ $25.00 Truck Load of Wood ~ Wig Party

Where can you find someone willing to sell you a truck load of wood for $25.00? It's rare indeed.  Thankfully, my son can lift these heavy pieces and put them on the wood splitter for me to split.  He unloaded the truck too.  Most of the wood was in stump pieces about 3 feet wide, the kind that no person really wants to mess with.  We, on the other hand, were very thankful to God for this wood.  Regardless of size.  We spent the afternoon splitting about half of it, until we needed to go inside and thaw out our finger tips.


Now, if we could just find wood pellets.  Clerks were giving my husband a weird look when he asked if they had any.  So far, we are not finding them.   One store even told us they are not ordering any more this season.  


This morning, we are off on a venture, to locate a store that has some.  Thankfully, we can call ahead, but even that isn't always accurate.  One time we called, they said yes we have them.  I arrived to find zero.  The person on the phone had checked my question by looking them up on the store computer, and not looking on the shelf.  They had a truck load, but it was outside, and not unloaded.  I made a point that time, to let them know I drove 25 minutes each way, based on their employee's answer.  I was sick that day too, and had just been to the doctor.  I wasn't a pleasant customer that day.


Last night my 10 year-old wanted the night to be a "Wig party."  We dug through our costume box and put on wigs.  Even "Tig" wore a wig:


And Jesse:
Ha ha ha ha!  Well...they wore them long enough to snap a few pictures anyway. 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Braided Rag Rug, Heart Wall Paper Note Cards and More Projects

We weren't really snowed in yesterday, but we did get snow.  It was perfect for sitting down in front of the wood burning stove, and to start braiding a rag rug.  

Friday, February 10, 2012

Cake Decorating ~ Birthday Cupcakes ~ Snow

My girls inherited cake decorating supplies from my mother, and they are definitely putting them to use.  My 15 year-old daughter surprised her older sister (on her 18th birthday) with a "birthday" cupcake at school yesterday.


I can't believe how well her flowers came out.  She used the tip that is used to make roses, and did an excellent job.


While working out with hubby this morning, we saw on the news that we are to get 1-2 inches of snow starting today.  I'm tickled we are finally getting snow.  The goats and the chickens may not like it, but I know a few of the dogs will be acting like kids later today.  When it snows (our black lab especially) pretends to have the need to go do her business, but really she just wants to go play in the snow.   Just like a kid.


Last night I was caught red-handed.  I was flipping through pattern books and attempting to crochet yet another "new" project, when I was caught.  My 10 year-old said to me, "Uh, Mom? Why aren't you crocheting my mittens yet?"


Guess what I'm doing today?  Yep....crocheting mittens.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Recycled Dish Scrubbie ~ More Freezer Baking


Thanks to Mooberry Farm Homesteading Journal, I have found another way to utilize my plastic net bags from my lemons, and other fruits and vegetables (vs. cutting the bags and crocheting the bags together). For directions

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Fancy Farmgirl Soap Dish ~ More Freezer Cooking


I visited a small thrift store yesterday and found a cute dish to use for our soap dish on the bathtub.  We haven't had one for the soap, and this dish was only $2.00.  Although I think thrift store prices are getting to high to be called "thrift" stores, I bought it anyway. 


I also came home with 2 hat boxes.  Both are all dark blue and stained.  I plan to cover them with my scrap wallpaper or paint them.  I guess I just added another project to my ever growing project list (ha ha ha!).  I (yes I picked up more) also brought home a clipboard I plan to paint and possibly decoupage.

Yesterday I baked the family a Quick and Healthy Pasta Carbonara.  I tweeked the recipe, and cooked up fresh bell peppers, onions, garlic and mushrooms.  Instead of frozen mixed vegetables, I used frozen broccoli that came from the garden.  As for the pasta, I used a combination of organic spinach fettuccine and whole wheat linguine.  There isn't much leftover either.  They chowed it down.


The weather here is getting colder, and we are running out of wood.  It looks like my son and I will be firing up the chain saw.  I also need more wood pellets for the corn burner.  Even the price on wood pellets have gone up from $3.50/bag to $4.98/bag and at other stores $5.00/bag.


Our electric bill went up about $30.00 from last month, so I need to do a re-check and see where it's coming from.  I'll be looking over the bill and checking to see if they raised their rates too.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Funny Goats ~ Beautiful Sunshine ~ Progressing Projects

This is Peanut.  She's munching away on Collard Greens.  For more updates on our goats, and more photos, visit my 15 year-old daughter's blog at:  Life as a Teen Farmgirl.  She is the "goat keeper" here and has reminded me that Peanut is due to have her babies (hopefully two this time) at the end of March.


The sunshine today is in full force. It sure is helping me set my mood for a full day of house cleaning.  Thank you God for this beautiful sunshine!

It's another great day for drying my laundry outdoors again.



I am currently working on a few dishcloths and washcloths that have been sitting in tote bags, and about half-way finished.  I found a few more lingering in my closet.

I'm not sure what projects I'll finish next.  Perhaps my tatted hankie.

I have to share one last thought today.  Yesterday, we baked another batch of Candy's Zucchini Muffins (adding chocolate chips) and took them to my 12 year-old's first recital.  She insisted on baking something else, but I had zucchini thawed already, and it needed to be eaten.  We took all 18 muffins to the recital and did not bring any home.  They were a huge success and everyone commented on how good they were.

Enjoy your Monday.  For me it's a "clean" start to my week.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

It Only Took Me a Year ~ More Freezer Cooking

I finally finished my sherbet ripple afghan.  It only took me a year to finish it.  Why?  Well, I have a large family and there are always interruptions and requests and needs and chores. And then there is me.  I tend to put a project to the side, and actually start another one.  Yikes!  I finished other projects, but they are gifts for Christmas and I can't spoil the surprise.


Today the fog is thick.  Once again the weather is strange . That's why the photo is not filled with sunshine.


This was Saturday.  We finally got more snow, but by the afternoon, we once again had a muddy mess.


This is Sunday morning - foggy and warm.

I found another way to get my family to eat collards.  I pulled a bag of garden tomatoes from my freezer and made this stew.  I found the recipes on-line:  Black Eyed Pea Stew with Collard Greens and Potatoes.

I like this recipe, not only for it's healthy ingredients, but that I can make this completely myself.  The broth can be homemade, the black eyed peas can be grown, the collard greens, tomatoes and potatoes can all be grown.  Despite this recipe not having a lot of herbs and spices, it tasted pretty good.

I also baked the family another new recipe: Halibut & Black Bean Burrito Casserole.  I could not find Halibut in our stores, so I used Mahi Mahi.  These were very good too.  I did cook my own organic brown rice for this, and baked up a pot of black beans (vs. canned beans).  I did not make my own tortillas, but that is a future goal for me.  These were gone before I could take a photograph of them.