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, October 31, 2012

Applesauce Banana Muffins

If you are wondering what I'm going to use my home canned applesauce for, here is one recipe I make with it.

National Novel Writing Month ~ Are You Ready?


I have been waiting for NaNoWriMo for a while now.  Yay!  It starts tomorrow and ends at midnight the last day of November.  




If you are a writer, go to their site, and sign up to write a novel (50,000 words or more) in 30 days.

It's fun.  It's spontaneous.  It holds me accountable.  It keeps my mind in tip top shape.  Anything goes.

Now go tell everyone you are going to be writing a novel next month.  I am. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I Forgot the Back Porch Furniture....

Sunday we officially started to use the wood stove and corn/pellet burner.  It's taking time getting used to the routine of stacking wood and loading stoves again.

Yesterday the kids helped me put all of the front porch furniture in the barn and cover it up.  However, in our hurry, we forgot the back porch furniture.  Hmpf.  That's one of the pieces in the photo, covered with morning sleet.  It looks like snow, but it's really icy sleet.

Yesterday morning I fought the rain, at getting my laundry dried. I ended up bringing it in and drying it on racks in front of the stoves (including the bed sheets).

The school had a scheduled 2 hour delay for a teacher work day, but we would have had one anyway.  The sleet continues to come down.  I'm so glad my son helped me re-stock the wood on the front porch.

I hope we get another break in the weather soon.  We have much more winter prep to do on the chicken barn. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Family Funny ~ You've Been Shrink Wrapped

I have one regret - not getting pictures. 

After my 16 year-old daughter helped me shrink wrap gift baskets for a fundraiser donation, we had a few pieces of basket shrink wrap left over.

They girls were him-hawing at the table later, and I was in the front room knitting.  

"You know what we should do?" one asked the other in the kitchen.  "We should shrink wrap "K's" stuff  before she gets home."

(My 13 year-old was out shopping with hubby, and would be home to go to a sleepover)

"Let's do it," responded the other with a devious eyeball response.

(giggling)

So they got the hair dryer out, and shrink wrapped their sister's hair brush, flat iron, eye liner, and mascara.  

When she got home, and looked at her items to pack for the sleepover, she was very confused.  

"What happened to my makeup?" she asked me. 

(more giggles)

"My hairbrush?!"

(more giggles)

"And my flat iron?!  Really?"

        

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Cinnamon Cider Jelly


I make Cinnamon Cider Jelly every fall.  I typically give this away for gifts versus selling it.

Cinnamon Cider Jelly
4 cups apple cider
1/2 cup cinnamon imperials (red hot candies)
1 box powdered pectin (1-3/4 oz)
4 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  
Add cider, cinnamon candies, and powdered pectin to a 6-8 quart stainless steel pan.

Heat and stir on high, until it reaches a rolling boil.

Add sugar, and stir on high until it reaches a rolling boil.  Boil for 2 minutes.

Remove from heat and skim.  Pour into sterilized, hot jars,  wipe jars with a clean wet towel, and add lids and rims.  

Place jars into canning pot.  Process for 10 minutes.

Remove from canner and place on towel lined counter/table.  Let sit for 24 hours.  Place any jars that have not sealed into the refrigerator.

Yield:  Approximately 7 half pint jars.


For Candy Apple Jelly, simply use organic, unsweetened apple juice in place of the Apple Cider. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Excerpts from a Journal Junkie



from the homesteading journal . . .

Days here either mighty cold, warm, windy, rainy, or all of the above.  Mother nature can't make up her mind.  We took out some of the plants from the garden, unhooked the water hose and put it away, and pulled any plastic that was down for weeds. There isn't too much left to pull.  I treat the goats to the pepper plants and the mustard greens.

Every day now, I sweep the patio(s) and gather the leaves.  They go directly on the garden this year.

I emptied the dehydrator once more (with green peppers) and filled it back up.  I have more peppers to dry, but the garden is done producing now (other than sugar snap peas, mustard greens and more lettuce). 








...canned more organic applesauce and two batches of Cinnamon-Cider Jelly.













...sprouting mung beans in a canning jar for us, and to see if the chickens will like them.






from the handicraft journal . . .

. . . continuing to work in the knitted dishcloths that were ordered.  I am about to start the 6th one.

. . .worked a few rows in my second shawl.  I need to spend more time on this project.

. . .worked on a few homemade Christmas ornaments.
 

from the gratitude journal . . .

I am thankful for:

~heated rice packs, for recovery and rest
~help from the kids, especially in the garden
~the organic/natural pet remedy for bad pet allergies
~pillows, for more rest
~elderberries, for their healing properties
~my camera, for getting that one exciting photo when I can
~yarn, to keep my sanity
~good, hot coffee
~God's Word 



from the family journal . . .

. . . my son bought himself a new toy - a digital art tablet.  He has not been hired full-time yet, but he's now working 8 hour days at a distribution center (through a temp service).

. . .my 10 year-old is creating a game, for a school assignment, using a recycled board game (and pieces).  She also taught herself how to braid a 5 strand braid.  She is preparing early for a career as a hair stylist. 


. . . I put up my Christmas tree in my bathroomIt makes me happy - a white tree with all red ornaments and lights (I'm making the ornaments, so there are only 3 on it right now).

. . . my 13 year-old is reading The Three Musketeers.


. . . my 15 year-old turned 16.  I bought her 16 helium balloons as a surprise.  


 




Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tea Time in Tanganyika

It's been stressful the last few weeks.  Sorry for the lack of postings.  When there is nothing good to post about, I don't feel like posting anything.

When I am stressed beyond belief, when I can't think without my head pounding.....I think of the way my Dad would handle it - Tea Time in Tanganyika. 

He was (and is) always good and staying calm in any situation that involves chaos, strife, the devil trying to tear my family apart, and so forth.

Thanks for hanging on and following.  I hope to have a more interesting update soon.



In the meantime, here is another key chain of mine.  It's a mini pink boxing glove.  The color is faded, as it used to hang out in the open.  The last time I counted my collection, I had over 400.  Wowzers is right....

The weather is warm today, the birds are singing, and the windows are open.  I'm drowning out the engines of bulldozers working down the road, using jazz music today.

 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Dollar Store Finds ~ USA Made ~ Stocking Up


Waxed paper - $1.00 (65 Sq. feet).  Made in the USA.  If you bake, especially over the holidays, this is a great price too.  If you have kids, it comes in handy for craft projects.  This sells for $1.29 at Menards.   I found this waxed paper at a store called The Dollar Tree.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Key Chain Collection

(Soon to be on my S.C.R.A.P. Blogspot)


I have a another collection that I started collecting around 1981 (best that I can remember) - key chains.


Despite living a more self-sufficient lifestyle, key chains are still an inspiration for me.  I try to buy one from every place I visit.  Some of them were also gifted to me.  Some I make myself.

This one I made recycling an empty pill bottle.  I'll try to get the directions written on my S.C.R.A.P. blog soon.  I won't be using this keychain, as it contains shells from the last island trip with hubby.  It's more of a "memory" key chain.

I wonder if the Pioneers collecting anything?  Possibly marbles, dolls or buttons?  Our world today in America is "more."  Everything is in abundance. 

I do have plans to display my collection.  The "where" and "when" hasn't been decided on yet.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Storm rolling in

 (Sky above a few of our old barns)

Yesterday the weather started out with a nasty downpour.  Although there wasn't any thunder, our youngest dog still had anxiety.  

We've ordered him a Thundershirt, and it's on the way.  It's a jacket that applies pressure to naturally calm the dog, when they have a fear of noises (thunder, fireworks etc.).

He wasn't born like this, he was out on a walk during a very bad storm, and it thundered loudly.  Ever since then, he's been horrible afraid of the noise.

I'll update you on the progress of the jacket, as it is natural, and requires no pills.  We first heard about it from the woman who sells homemade pet treats at the Farmer's Market.

The rain kept me from doing any outside work yesterday.  However, by the afternoon, it cleared up.  By that time, I was already deep in another project.  Funny how that works some days.   

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Nostalgic Barn and Silo

I took this photo when I was lucky enough to be with hubby, and he was driving.  I had my camera too.  There have been so many barns that have been torn down, when I wished I would have stopped to photograph them.  I hope to take more photos.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fancy Pen ~ Dehydrating

Here is another one of my fun pens.  This one lights up in the bottom, and flashes different colors when I write.  I can also turn of the light.

Hubby and I went to a choir concert last night.  Two of the girls were in it.  However, this morning they are grouchy.  Anytime they have an event on a school night, it wears them out.

I'm not sure what's on today's agenda today, other than cleaning up the mess the kids left in the kitchen, and laundry.

Yesterday I filled the dehydrator with more green peppers and one tray of jalapeno peppers.  I stocked up the dried ones and ground the cayenne to a powder.  Next on the list is making my own onion powder.  I'll have to wait until next season to make my garlic powder (unless I can find USA grown garlic here).  I re-planted my remaining garlic.

I also made a batch of breakfast burrito filler, using up more green peppers and onions.  I still have more in my garden basket too.

If the farmer is far enough away today, I will pull more garden plants, and weed the flower beds.  And of course, I'll be writing also.  Now that we have the goats dried up, I buy organic milk - $6.99/gallon.  We'll need the extra cash if we want milk this winter.

 
  

 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Thrift Store Finds ~ Corn Crops and Allergies

As promised, here some thrift store finds I found recently.  I set out in search for a nice pair of dress pants for one of the girls.  We did find a pair for $1.00.

I found the hot iron transfers for $.50....

 A seat cover for my desk chair - $3.00.  These sell for $12.00-14.00 each in stores.  Even Big Lots.  It didn't take Tiger long to find it.

 A vintage hankie for $.50....


 And this vintage recipe binder, complete with tab dividers and extra paper - $1.00.  I really didn't need to buy this, but after reading about avocado green and harvest gold, at Pat's blog Corn in my Coffee Pot, I just had to buy the thing.  It was just screaming "buy me, buy me."


I'll be locked up inside, nice and tight today.  The farmer is taking out all the corn crops that surround our property.  There won't be any laundry on my line today either, as this stirs up dust, allergens, and a mass of teeny tiny black bugs.

They started taking them out late last night, keeping me up, with that "beep, beep, beep" every time they backed up. Ugh.


Today I woke up with sinus pressure, a sinus headache, ear drainage and such.  I've already had my elderberry tea, so I hope to battle this out today.   

It would have been an excellent day to pull more plants form the garden and make a visit to the front porch.  





Monday, October 15, 2012

Monday Ramble

I had a nice blog post all ready, but noticed I was typing it up on my S.C.R.A.P. blogspot.  When I tried to copy and paste it here  - poof!  It was gone.  So here's this morning's ramble....

~all the goats were loose this morning, my daughter forgot to latch a door.  All are safely back in their pen.

~had to call the sheriff to remove an abandoned vehicle that was left, with the end of it sticking out in the highway traffic.

~crock-pots and Monday's are synonymous here, and I already have beans cooking for dinner.  

~it's cleaning day, but after finishing one bathroom, the mop broke.

~the dehydrator is working overtime with green peppers again.

~this weather is playing havoc on my allergies again - itchy and watery eyes.  I'm still drinking the elderberry immunity tea.

~managed to created a fun Christmas tree ornament - check it out on my S.C.R.A.P blogspot.

~I made a trip to the thrift store over the weekend.  I'll post some of the goodies tomorrow. 

   

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Fall Hike at the Campground Woods ~ Mom Funny

When you have bad allergies, you get tired of being locked up in the house all the time.  I was itching to get out, and so I did.  Although it was the shortest hike in the woods, I still savored it.

My 10 year-old was the only one to join me, and she gathered leaves, as well as myself.

The campground we like to camp at, has many trails for hiking and biking.  

 We each came home with some very colorful fall leaves.  I hope to feel up to collecting more this weekend.  I like to use these for fall house decorations.  They are free, beautiful, and smell wonderful.  When the season is over, we can simply put them back into the garden, or the kids can create pictures with the leaves.
 

 When we got back home, I took a few photos of the foilage that is about one corn field away from the farm.

 Here it is again, with the corn still up, in front of the trees.

Despite morning frosts, we continue to have fall flowers blooming.


Mom Funny ~  I pulled a quadriceps . . .

Yesterday, before the kids arrived home from school, my son got my attention.  "Hey Mom, come look at this."

I first thought we had another stray outside, but he was at the side door looking down. Behind him was Tiger (the golden tiger cat) with a mouse in his mouth. 

Oh this was a joy.  While we tried to get the mouse out of the house, Tiger was bent on keeping it.  He kept playing with it, and it would run up and down the hall by my bedroom door.  

We grabbed a bucket and tried to get it, but it went under my son's legs and right into my bedroom.  Tiger went after it.  

My son, waiting for the cat to catch the mouse again, took the dogs outside for an outing.  

While he was out, I went in search for Jasper (our other black tiger cat).  I put Jasper under the bed too, but he had no interest, as he could not see the mouse or Tiger, who were both buried under my bed (ugh).

I grabbed the flashlight, bent down on my knees, pulled the bed cover up and moved one box.

BAM!  That beady eyed black beast, flew out from under the bed, and straight at me.   I flew my body up, and out of there in less than a second. 

We eventually caught that little booger, but my leg remains strained.  Oh the joys of getting a mouse in the house, and those little surprises that come with it.


Today  
 
Today it is very chilly inside the house.  My coffee is not staying cold in the mug.  I need to crochet a few of those mug covers, to help keep it warm.  I'm not ready to start burning wood just yet.

Hubby has to work 10 hours again today.  I hope to get some help from the kids, and start pulling out tomato plants.

I don't have a mask (to block out allergens) this season yet, so I am praying the farmer does not take out the corn while we are out there today.

Tea update:  The Edlerberry Immunity blend tea (organic) seems to be doing some work.  It's only been a day and a half, but the kids feel that the lymph node swelling is going down a teeny bit.  It's still very much there, and still painful, but I have faith it will reduce completely.

This tea does wonders on the body.  Be careful though, it works like laxative and also a diuretic, as it flushes the toxins out.   The seawater nasal spray is wonderful.  However, it shoots clear up in there, unlike those spritz nasal sprays from the pharmacy or over the counter.  It really gets up in there to do it's work.   

We also have one dog and one cat that are suffering from bad allergies this season (worse than ever).  Right now, we are trying a granule that is simply placed in our pets mouth and dissolves itself.   It is organic and natural.  If it works, I will post the information. 

We have also switched to a dye free, natural pet food that we buy at the Tractor Supply Store.  It's more expensive, but we care about our pets (I just haven't found an affordable way to make this myself yet).  I won't be buying them pet treats at the store anymore either.  The dogs love the dehydrated treats I made.  They run to the kitchen when they hear the ziploc bag open (no kidding).  I just have to come up with a cat treat now.