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, July 31, 2012

I dare you. . .

Sharing a very funny e-mail I received from my Mom.

Bwahahaha.....I dare you!

Stay-at Home Mom's will appreciate this one

Monday, July 30, 2012

Name that Bee ~ Injured Hawk


We looked at photos on-line but can't find the name for this.  These bees (at least we think they are some type of bee) have been in my oregano and thyme all summer long.

The small produce stand just up the road, has beehives up against the trees, that run along a small creek.  I'm not sure if these are from his hives.


While I was out in the garden, this injured hawk appeared in a clearing on our property.  We immediately called the division of wildlife, who gave us a phone number to someone local.  Volunteers came out to the farm.



Unfortunately, right before the volunteers arrived, it walked into the tree line and we could not find him/her after that.  Later in the day I could hear him/her crying for help.  If it shows back up, we will put a laundry basket over it until they arrive.  I was also given an even better tip - toss a sheet over it, then the basket, and slowly pull the sheet out. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Cooking Up Cucumbers


We've been experimenting with new cucumber recipes, and tried this cold pasta salad.  It's great with onion or with radishes.

Friday, July 27, 2012

My Possibilities Book ~ A Place of My Own

As I sat in my kitchen and looked out the window, I realized that the big barn will gone in the near future.  I'll no longer see it out my window when I am cooking, baking, washing dishes, canning and such.


I'm contemplating where I want to build a place of my own.  No kids allowed.  Kind of like a man has a "man cave."


Possibilities are a room in the new barn, screening in or building around the patio off my bedroom, and a wall tent.  There is the possibility of a trailer or camper or cabin too.


Very possibly, I could put in a cooking area as well.




I think I'll start a page in my "possibilities" book and start putting positive ideas into it.


In the meantime, I'll enjoy the view from the kitchen window, and possibly set my easy-up tent back up.   Shhh!  Don't tell the kids.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sapphire's Story

(photo from last night)

About 3 weeks ago, when the temperatures went up into the hundreds, we brought one barn cat into the garage.  

My 15 year-old daughter, aka "the vet", noticed Sapphire was dehydrated.  We were able to separate her and give her food and water, and she was better in the morning.

She was dehydrated due to two male cats that showed up within a week of each other, and adopted our farm.  The problem is, that one has to find a new home.  He's territorial, and chases the girls to no end.   Sapphire, also called "Sassy" or "Sassafras" was hiding out and not coming up to the house for water or food.  Cheddar also hangs out at the food, and Sassy will not approach the house with him here.  We can't put food in the barns, due to raccoons.

We put her back out the next day, but never saw her after that.  We searched barns, the woods, the tall grass - everywhere.  No Sassy.

Then last night, I was talking on the phone to my husband, and in walks my 15 year-old with Sassy!  You would not believe the excitement in the house.  Praise God!  We were so excited.  She was brushed, loved, pampered, and boy did she purr up a storm. 

Sassy, along with Aurora came with the farm.  These are no ordinary barn cats.  These cats will follow us to the garden and spend time with us, or follow us to the porch and hang out with us, or even venture to the yard when the kids are playing Frisbee or other games.  They even joined us in my "wall tent" recently.


These cats have loving personalities and enjoy spending time with us.  They are very special.


We are so glad to have Sassy back.

Needless to say, we are are not letting her back out of the garage until Cheddar finds a home, and hopefully today.  He's great barn cat, but just not for our farm.  

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Writing Outdoors



I have been taking my writing outdoors, and "babysitting" the barred rocks.  They get into trouble (my garden), so someone has to watch them.

My 10 year-old daughter froze grapes for me, so when I get out of the hot garden, I'd have a cool treat.  I took some out during one of my outdoor writing.

It's a an ordinary day here today - laundry, mucking stalls, watering flowers, weeding, harvesting, canning, and hopefully some "play" time.  



Monday, July 23, 2012

from the Homesteading Journal . . .



Blanched and froze 40 cups of sweet corn.


Staked 20 more tomato plants.

Froze 7 cups of shredded zucchini.


Canned 4 more pints of Sweat Pickle Relish.

Dug up 2 rows of red potatoes.

Number of eggs we got in June: 121

Baked up some beet chips for the first time every.  Delicious!  A bit of olive oil and sea salt.  These were amazing.  Now I have to buy a mandolin.  Otherwise, these won't bake evenly and some will burn. I used Martha Stewart's recipe for reference on temperature etc.

Spent days and days weeding out all the flower, herb, and vegetable/fruit gardens.  Weeds, weeds, and more weeds.

Purchased 12 wooden fence posts for the new goat pen.




The 4-1/2 pints of apricot-jalapeno jelly that I made are half gone already.  Hubby loves it so much I am down to 2 jars.  I hope I get more peppers after the next rain. I need to can more to sell.

Planted 4 more loofah seeds.  I'm taking a chance and trying to grow some sponges here in my state.  These seeds came from my Aunt.  If I can get them to grow here, we'll be selling them at the Farmer's Market, as well as for personal use.  The weather is just finicky this summer.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

from the Family Journal . . .

Two of the kids went camping with my brothers.  My oldest brother wants to teach them how to fly fish. I'm taking over the milking of the goats for one of them, so she can have a vacation (I've never taken over her milking other than once and I skipped the Farmer's Market due to how tired I have been).

While we were waiting for my oldest brother to pull in with his airstream camper at noon, we got a text message - still shopping and won't be there until 3pm or so.  At 4pm.  He still wasn't here.  Then we get a text from my younger brother - he's unloading his truck to come get the girls, as my older brother was stuck on the highway with a flat trailer tire.  I texted back - I'll bring the girls to you.  


After we got there, hubby left the keys in the Explorer.  It locked on us and we spent quit a time getting into it.   We got a laugh when the alarm went off too.  Over an hour later we were back in the Explorer.


I think that was chapter 1 and 2 in my new book. Ha ha ha!


I snapped this photo of Tiger.  It's almost as if he's saying "turn out the lights." So cute!

Then I snapped this photo of Jasper.  Oh...such a life to have.




The older two girls drove to town for me and ended up bringing home an abandoned kitten.  The poor thing was panting and starved.  If the girls had not found him, he would have surely died the next day.  Temperatures went up to 100°F. 

Upon further inspection, we discovered the tip of the kitten's tail missing and half of his whiskers missing.  On one of the hottest days here, we drove this little guy to town, and prayed that the Humane Society would take him.  They did (after a long debate).  


On the same hot day (car must have been above 100°F inside, even with windows down), I drove a large box of books to the Hospice Care Center.  They will be given to families that have a terminally ill family member, and need a book to read when they can't sleep etc.


During these past hot days, the wrens haven't been seen nor heard from.  As soon as the rains arrived, they are singing non-stop. I took this photo and will add it to our bird identification journal.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Apricot Jalapeno Jelly

There are many versions of recipes for this jelly.  One of my larger stove top burners stopped working, so I got out my Ball Jam Maker and took a look at the recipes that come with that.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

from the Homesteading Journal. . .

Another hen appeared to be egg bound.  We lost one hen this year due to the issue.  We think we caught it in time.  We have given her two baths so far, and her tail is now up.  


I had enough cucumbers, green peppers, and onions to can 4 pints of Sweet Pickle Relish.  I had to use store bought organic carrots, as mine are not ready to harvest yet.

We finally got a few days of rain.  Our green peppers are so small right now, and we are not getting enough squash.  The rain should help.

(before)
(after)

(This is just one of the vegetable/fruit gardens)

The rain brought up weeds.  Somewhere in the top photo is a watermelon plant. I've been doing a lot of weeding.

We finally got the goat fencing.  Next, we are saving up for the poles.

The heirloom pumpkins are starting to produce, despite lack of rain this summer.

The heirloom squash is producing, but our acorn squash died. 

Staked 37 of the tomato plants, and have been spending at least 2 hours weeding every morning, and prior to that, picking whatever is ripe. 

Spotted this hawk while out watering the garden one day.  He turned around just as I took the photo, then flew off.  Good thing my chickens were not out yet.    However, I was glad to see them.  We have mice, rats, and snakes they can help reduce.







Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Fresh Dill and Cucumber Salad with Honey

I found this easy recipe to use my garden fresh cucumbers and fresh dill weed.  It's delicious, natural and healthy.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Cooking Up Squash

Dinner the other night:  Zucchini Linguine, Squash Cornbread, Roasted beets with thyme, rosemary and onions, and broccoli.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Queen Anne's Lace Galore

 
I canned 5 more 1/2 pints of Queen Anne's Lace Jelly.  If I had more jars, I'd can up the entire field of flowers.  We have it all over the property.


It's growing where my sunflowers won't grow.  Despite watering by hand, the lack of rain is a concern.


It's growing around the barns.

All around back, it's growing in the tall grass.  We have to rotate the goats on tie-outs due to the lack of grass in their pen.


It's even growing in the yard, where the grass is not.  The grass that we mow down is brown and crunches when you walk on it.  However, the Queen Anne's Lace is still growing and blooming.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Bird House Becomes A Home


This bird house was painted by my 13 year-old daughter, and we've had it up for over 3 years.  This is the first that I've seen birds it this one.  It's hanging at the edge of our back patio, and the birds don't seem to mind me out there.  These birds are so tiny.