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~

Thursday, May 31, 2012

What's Blooming?

Daylilies

Forget-Me-Nots

Foxglove

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

School's Out

The last day of school was May 25th. Yesterday I had to keep telling the kids to spend less time on the computer.  We took a trip to the library and my youngest daughter brought home this book:

She has already gotten out the air-dry clay, and made herself a Golden Amulet.  

There is a "T" for Tiger her cat.  Real amulets typically had animals such as lions, elephants and crocodiles - warding off bad spirits.  

She's having more fun today, and building an African Savanna.  Meanwhile, my 12 year-old daughter is baking a cake and making homemade butter cream frosting.  The deal was that she had to wash her dishes and put them away.

As for the rest, one is caring for her goats and upkeeping the barn, while her brother sleeps on the sofa.  He's been sick the last few days and is scheduled for work.  

The two younger girls also set up a "hair salon" in the living room.  They are giving me "do's" as part of their "spa" day.  They don't like it when I say, "washer is done I need to hang the clothes out" etc. etc.  

We may just have to set our Glamper Tent back up.  Although I just read that we are expecting more rain in the next day or so.  Good thing I weeded in the vegetable garden this morning. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Wild Burdock and More Red Clover

This has been growing at the edge of a few barns.  I'm pretty sure is wild burdock.  The stalks are short and the leaves have hairs.  Either way, if it is burdock I can't do much with it.  We are all allergic to ragweed (just by the touch also).  I read that burdock is in that particular family of plants.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Baby Chicks



Our newest baby chicks have grown.  They are starting to get a bit of the outdoors.  They seem to be adjusting and soon we be put out with the other hens.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wild Red Clover Jelly


While sitting outside the other night, looking out at the back of the property, I looked at all that wild growing red clover.

"I wonder if the pioneers made anything out of clover?" I asked the kids. 

Their response?  Laughter and head nodding.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Excerpts from a Journal Junkie ~ Canning Wild White Clover Jelly

from the homesteading/gardening journals. . .
 
Picked white and red clovers for making jelly.  Canned white clover jelly.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

My Momma Said There'd Be Days Like These

 (photo taken by my 15 year-old daughter)

Saturday's day at the Farmer's Market was a flop.  We sold two items (that basically paid our cost to be there) in 4 hours.  No profit.

The goat's milk soap did not sell at all, as I was very very surprised.  We did not sell any jelly either.

We sold one wine cork key chain and one pot holder set (crocheted).

I kind of figured we'd have days like these, but boy it was hot day too.  Big bummer to the kids.  This was our second time selling at the Farmer's Market.  It seems that most people only want food or plants.


We'll give it another try next month.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Bike Ride With the Birds

Although I did not take my camera yesterday, I was fortunate to see a hawk just yards from me.  It flew out of the field nearly causing me to crash, but stayed long enough to allow me to share the countryside with him/her.  I later saw a red-headed wood pecker when I stopped at the bridge and looked over into the creek.

I also saw another red-winged blackbird and more robins.

When I got home, I happened to look up in the trees while putting more laundry out on the line.

I saw this brightly colored bird.  I ran into the house and grabbed my camera and got one photo.

I only got the backside, but boy it was pretty.  The bright orange caught my eye. I've never seen a bird like this one.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Library Trip ~ Learning from Books~ Flowers on both Porches


I had to look over my stash of current library books, and write down the titles to re-order them again.

I love getting a bunch of different types of books and seeing what I would like to read.


I'm reading "Sarah Ann" and love it so far.  I've learned that when she was a child she mixed with items to dye with - used rusty nails, vinegar and alum to create a purple.  

I learn a lot from books.  

I've learned that the pioneer women hand sewed buckshot into their skirt hems to help hold them down in the wind. I always wondered how they kept them down.

I don't have as much time to read anymore and wish I did.  I just watched a 1 hour webinar on stress management (required by our health insurance or we pay higher prices).  It mentioned putting a time slot for just me, but I have no idea how.  I'd have to let cleaning go, at least until school is out.  However, until then, I have been adding flowers to the front and back porch.


One of two that I received on Mother's Day.  I love them!


I can never have enough hanging planters around the porch.


Two planters of petunias are at each corner of the front flower bed.  I bought the petunias yesterday, while grocery shopping.  I knew hubby would be upset I spent the money, but they were $6.99 each.  I can't find those prices anywhere else.  Around here they range from $10.00 and up.  He ended up not being made, and loved them too.







My mailbox is surrounded with bright pink knock-out roses, and later in the summer will have even more color from flowers that are not in bloom yet.



And the back porch was in need of some flower "bling" too. I get shade in the morning here, and sun in the afternoon and evenings.

For my stress management class (webinar) I have to print out a work sheet.  I didn't do it thinking "they will never know if I do it or not" but I should.  I'm learning a bit more about stress, but having a large family it, especially blended, is not easy.  With so many coming and going, and two teens with their own jobs, it's difficult to keep a chore chart in place.  

On thing is for sure.  I will cut out a time slot for my "porch and tea time" no matter what.  The last two days I have found myself so busy with making items for the Farmer's Market that I even forgot to make dinner (seriously).  Sigh...

Yesterday I was busy embroidering these fun drink/dish covers out of hankies and recycled beads (some are for sale on my store blog).  Time has a way of getting away from me when I'm working away I guess.  

Will I get dinner made tonight?  Will I put a 2 hour slot aside for just me?  I know one this is for sure.  I'm heading out for a bike ride before I do anything else (of course after the last kiddo is on her school bus).  Until then I'll get laundry on the line, and dishes started.

As for getting a "support" team to back me up?  Not sure the kids will be too excited about that.  One last thing...the program suggested to set a time slot for worry time.  Seriously.  I laughed out loud.  "Okay, kids I'm going to worry at 5pm every day and only at 5pm!" I said laughing. 





Thursday, May 17, 2012

Typical Farm Day

Yesterday was a typical "homesteading" day.

Woke up and got kiddos off to school.  Laundry is usually out before kids are off to school, but rain was predicted (and we only ended up with a drizzle).

My son and I cleaned up the dishes, did house chores, and I checked the gardens.  Breakfast was farm fresh eggs scrambled in green peppers (grown here and frozen), onions and spinach. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Rain Possibly?

It looks like we may get some thunderstorms here today.  I'm glad.  We need some rain.  It's great for the garden too.

I'm also glad I finished up the laundry yesterday.  My son also helped me clean out the rose bush flower bed.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My Other Favorite Place ~ My Back Porch

On Mother's Day, my 20 year-old son, cleaned everything off this patio.  It's what we call the back, only it's kind of the backside of the house.  It's big enough that some day we can screen in a portion of it.

You can see the grass is looking terrible alongside the rock flower bed.  That's because we had to dig and dig to find the septic tank.  It's just now growing back in.

Anyway, my son swept it all off and got out all of the furniture we still had.  He cleaned off cushions and I helped wash off table tops.

It's not "fancy" furniture, but you know our family motto.  We've been using this stuff for probably 5 years now.  Thanks to my wonderful Uncle, I have a new umbrella for the table.  Ours broke a few years ago.  The orange looking pots have seeds planted in them, and behind the table is a large rose bush I planted (moved it from under the kitchen sink).  Each week I figure out a way to make it peaceful and look nice.  I think it needs a few more flower pots.

I got one of the bird feeders up that also came from my Uncle.  Now I can watch more birds from my "other" favorite place.

Our garden continues to get planted.  Here is hubby digging weeds out of the strawberries I never got moved.  I guess I'll be moving those later in the fall (to the raised bed). 

We've planted numerous cauliflower plants, kohlrabi, cucumber, and green beans.  We ran out of plastic (yep, this pioneer agreed to plastic between rows).  No more weeding and more time for stocking up.



We may be taking a few tablecloths and aprons camping, but I am sure hubby will keep our load to a minimum.  That's okay too.  Camping doesn't come with rigid requirements, only lots of fun.

It's been a tradition for me to buy a new color of bandana for us to take camping (for two daughters and myself). 

Yesterday, despite being congested, I got my first bike ride in.  After 35 minutes of treadmill walking, I finally got a 5 mile bike ride in.  I am now working on cleaning out my garage, so I can get back to working out with the speed bag and heavy bag.  I squeezed myself in there and boy what a nice work out that was. 




Monday, May 14, 2012

Weekend Work and Relaxation

I've been taking a bit of morning time to watch the birds on our property.  Every now and then I am able to get somewhat of a good photo.  I have seen a red-winged blackbird only once, and did not have my camera.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Canning Coffee Jelly, Gardening Updates, and More

 If you think I have found strange and interesting recipes over the years.....we now made coffee jelly.

It's actually pretty good. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Bird Watching

Yesterday morning, I saw Jasper (one of the house cats) sitting on top of the wood stove.  I didn't dawn on me that something might be in it at the time.  I thought he was just chasing spiders (which he loves to do).

Later, closer to noon, the dogs barked at a noise coming from the stove's chimney.  I heard it too.  

I went and asked my son to check it.  He opened the damper and then closed the stove door again.  A little later, I heard scratching noises at the glass door on the stove.

My son opened it and a bird flew out.  The crazy woman that I am....pulled a blanket over my head and ran around after it with a broom. 

We opened the door, but it kept flying from window to window to get out.  Poor thing.  Funny part is, is that the house cats were all napping at that point.  They missed the "show."

I didn't have to go far to do bird watching, ha ha ha!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Mazda's Suspicious Tail Feathers

Hmmm.

We can't figure out what happened to one of our rooster's tail feathers.  It somewhat looks as if a person cut them off with scissors.

We are pretty sure it wasn't the other rooster.  Sparta is afraid of Mazda now, and typically runs away from him. 

I wonder if the goats got a bite out it?  A few are growing back already, but it sure looks suspicious to us.  We did some research and people actually steal rooster feathers to put in their hair.  We've had the dogs bark at 3am, two nights in a row, but saw nothing.  Next time, I'll be taking a flashlight to the chicken barn, just to be sure.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Curious Cat

This is Tiger's new "hang out."  We can typically find him sitting here almost every day.


The recycled wood pellet bags come in handy for new baby chicks.  The sides of the cages are covered to keep curious cats out. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Healthy Popcorn Snack


I'm sharing a recipe I found in a magazine recently. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

from the Homesteading Journal . . .

....planted a Colorado Blue Spruce seedling, purchased cumin seeds to grow again, and planted two new apple trees.

...planted more lettuce, radishes, beets, carrots, Swiss chard, and spinach.  Rain is coming so we will till and plant more after that.

...planted several zinnia seeds.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Bringing Out My Skirts

I love my skirts!  I used to wear them every day, but over the years gained some weight.  Now that I'm back to the gym, and watching what I put into my body, I'm back into a few of my skirts.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Sage and Sore Throats


The pioneers used sage to treat mouth sores and sore throats, so I picked some sage from my herb garden, and made a hot cup of sage tea.  


If it worked for them, it has to work for my own sore throat.

I did some more research, and found out that a compress of sage tea can be used on the forehead for treating a migraine too.  This is very useful information for us.

I am concerned about my sage plants.  Only one has a few new leaves, and the other has zero.  If they both don't do well next month, I will need to re-plant new sage plants this year.  It's been a very useful herb in my garden for seasoning food, and now for medicinal purposes.

In my quest to use natural remedies, I have ordered several books from the library again. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Natural Remedy for Seasonal Allergies

I spoke to an herbalist last year about allergies.  She recommended Allergy Easer oil, and simply inhaling it.  At the time I was sick with all that yucky stuff, and told her I'd be back to buy it. 



However, I never did.  I went on-line and found it in a roll-on.  Since the inhaling of the oils is meant for ages 12 and up, I figured the roll-on would be much safer for my 10 year-old also.

After a few weeks of using it, we are thrilled with it.  Waking up coughing, throats sore and sinus drainage, we simply roll on the natural allergy remedy and soon we feel better.

I'm not posting to sell this product, but simply letting others know it exists.  For us it works.  I do plan on buying the oil also (for myself).  Then I can keep a small vile in my pocket and use it anywhere.  My 10 year-old has hi-jacked my roll-on and keeps it with her.

I'm thrilled I don't have to buy boxes and boxes of allergy medications anymore.  I'm also thrilled I don't have to put those medications in my body (or my daughter's). 

Again, I'm not a doctor, or selling this stuff, but wanted to share so others are aware it exists.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Excerpts From a Journal Junkie

from the homesteading journal . . .

We started tilling up the garden.  Martha is getting a new look this year.  She's getting a new hat, shirt, apron, and even gloves this year.


 (First Day Home)

I picked up our new chicks.  We now have five baby araucanas.  They are so cute!

 I planted about 27 pounds of potatoes, and about 130 yellow onions.   Planted the peas and two types of heirloom lettuce also.
 

from the family journal . . .


 After buying my 10 year-old a new pair of dish gloves, she went bonkers and cleaned just about everything, including my master bathroom.

  She rolled up towels and washcloths and tied them with pretty purple yarn.  She made me a "room" key and left me a note on the bathroom sink.  


 I may have to keep extra pairs on hand (ha ha ha!).

 Another stray cat has found our home. 
After keeping him in a dog cage for a few hours, he decided we were not going to hurt him.  He is sticking around the barns now, and knows he won't be hurt here.  The kids have named him Tim.


He doesn't appear to be too old, but does appear to have a mangled tail.  He's very friendly.
 

from the crafting journal . . .

My 15 year-old daughter successfully made a batch of lavender goat's milk soap.  It will need to cure before we can sell it at the Farmer's Market.  We are thrilled it turned out so well.


 I'm working on getting note cards made for my store (see button on left side of my blog).  




 I have fun using an old vintage potato masher to create this scissor and tape holder.  If you click on my S.C.R.A.P. blog button (to the left on this blog) you will be directed on how I made it.





from the writing journal . . .

Started reviewing older articles to update. 


from the garden journal . . . 

 Planted 13 gladiolus. 


from the gratitude journal . . .

 Today I am thankful for:

~ the rain that helps our garden grow
~ hot water
~ pillows
~ hot coffee, especially on nights I didn't sleep well
~ the milk the goat's provide
~ the friend you helped me start my herb gardens over 10 years ago
~ Ball canning jars
~ my camera
~ God's Guidance
~ God's Promises