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, February 28, 2013

Frog Legs and Port ~ Homestead Updates ~ Out of Hay


I forgot to mention that I got the chance to taste frog legs.

In case you haven't noticed, I do post a column on the left side of my blog, recording new foods we try each year.

We also got the opportunity to do a wine tasting, and we tried Tawny Port for the first time.  This we loved, but the price on the bottle is a bit over $38.00.  

About the frog legs....

They don't taste like chicken either (at least to me).  They have a fishy taste and the meat is somewhat rubbery.  

Homestead Updates:


My doctor's office agreed to call in a prescription.  Thankfully, I didn't need to drive up and spend about $90.00 just to see her.  Hubby agreed to pick it up for me.  As you can see Dr. Tiggles has not abandoned me.  In fact, when I spiked my fever, it was Nurse Jesse and Dr. Tiggles that were laying right on top of me.  


I have a book that I'll be updating you on soon.  So far, I am enjoying it when I am up to reading.  And an update on Folk Magazine.
 


My youngest daughter crocheted me a bookmark.

The farm animals are most likely miserable being locked in these last few days - loads of rain, with snow off and on.  Not the best weather days here.

My son is still not feeling so well.  However, the worst has passed. 

We are completely out of hay.  I'm not sure the girls are ready to have farm animals, as they make no effort to help get the hay.  The work is completely put on my husband, so this upsets me today.  It will cost is $9.00/bale, since we now have the horse, it is used much faster

I have realized why people have succumbed to giving their horse away for free - very expensive to feed.  Especially when the owner of the horse does not have a job.
  

 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Recovery...I so hope it to be


Thankfully, hubby and I purchased some mineral bath salts, made with organic ingredients, on our recent weekend away.  We are both enjoying them to recover from this recent bug.

A photo of what's above the bathtub.  I have two wall candles like the blue one above.

Thankfully, my fever finally broke last night.  Two and half days of misery.  Speaking of  misery, it's not over yet.  Even my eyeball sockets hurt to the touch.  

I really want some homemade chicken noodle soup, but no one in the house knows how to make it. Boo hoo to me.  Hubby did bring home (better than nothing at all) canned soup.  I am pretty sure I don't have broth or chicken anyway.

I think I got the flu, and not hubby, since I had already had the upper respiratory crud for 6 weeks, and was just getting over it.  I really wanted him to wait another week for the drive, but he insisted.   I tried telling him that I was not up for it.  I don't think he'll insist the next time.  He's worried he'll get it now. 

I mustered up the energy to wash my bedding, and bathrobe.  I bleached a load of towels too.  This morning, I am leaving a list of to-do's for everyone who isn't sick.  I once gain, woke up to the wood stove, completely cold.  Hmpf.  Kids!

It's not just me sick, or my son.  I hear a lot of coughing and nose blowing from the others.  And word has it, that there is a lot going arond the school.  "Nurse Hilda" has abandoned me as well, due to not wanting to get sick.  I handed them the lysol, and told them they better start cleaning, or I was coming out of my confined room.

Of all days, Dad came for a visit to see Blondie and the kids, but left as soon as he heard I was sick.  

I am not allowed to drink coffee, as it will dehydrate me, so I have one stinkin' headache.  Thankfully, Mom gifted us a box of Green tea and it has been my life saver these past few days. 

As for Lola, she seems to be okay now, but I really need to get her a chicken saddle.  She needs time to let her feathers grow back (Sparta has been a bit rough on her).  If you know of where to get one, please let me know.

Another winter storm is due to pass through here today.  And it looks like I will miss my youngest daughter's Science Fair night. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Running Away Got Me the Flu

I literally took only a few photos this past weekend.  This one was taken when we stopped to stock up on artificial growth hormone free cheese.  

Once we got our cheese, we browsed the countryside, but with only a few things on our minds - inexpensive fencing supplies, hay, and some R&R.

Hubby planned the entire trip, and we very much enjoyed the jacuzzi Friday night.  Saturday night, however, was a different story.

All of our regular lodging locations were booked already.  I'm guessing many folks got their tax returns and were taking much needed winter getaways.  

Saturday, I felt off.  I told hubby we should just pack up and head home Sunday, and not do our usual Sunday trip taking (like we normally do).  He agreed with it.  Even Saturday night I felt off, and didn't feel like eating anything. 

Sure enough Sunday, I woke up sick, and by 5pm, had a fever of 102°F and almost all the flu symptoms you could expect.


The kids enjoyed their Amish baked donuts and bottled Sarsaparilla.  They also, devoured the cinnamon/raisin bread.  All of which, I did not partake in.  I guess we'll have to make another trip to stock up on cheese and foods from the Nature store (where we located more organic meats), and found the best natural cough syrup that works great (but tastes horrible). 

Conversations heard while heading to my bed to sleep:

"I gotta Instagram this!" squealed my 13 year-old taking a photo of her bottle of Sarsaprilla.

"This is on my bucket list!" added my 19 year-old, also holding her bottle of Sarsaprilla. 

My son got sick over the weekend too, so the cough syrup, and natural loose leaf tea were all needed anyway.  My son took out a sharpie, marked his initial on the top of his Sarsaparilla, and put it in the fridge.

I need to wash my bedding, but I am still running a fever.  And yes, they are getting washed in hot water and dried in the dryer (yep! This pioneer is wanting all those bugs killed off today).

Lola, our tetra tint hen is sick.  I hope my daughter can look at her today. 
 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Ten Minutes of Torture ~ School Closed ~ Playing Hookie


I am feeling better somewhat, so I walked 10 minutes on the treadmill.  This was torture, considering I coughed a few times (I was told you should not exercise with a cough).  I took it easy, but those ten minutes felt like 2 hours.  I have not walked, nor exercised for several weeks now.  I think I heard bones creaking - ha ha ha!

School is closed today.  It works out for us, although we have some errands to run, before Hubby and I run away for the weekend.  Yep!  We are on the road, so say a prayer.

First we need to go visit an insurance office.  Our current insurance company first quoted us $4,600/year for insurance (with the two sold and a new one to replace), then she called back with $3,600.00.  

We didn't like this woman, as she avoided our questions, and didn't answer us on others.  My son was the driver in an accident over 3 years ago, and we asked about her reviewing our coverage, and possibly going down.

So....hubby got on the phone and got more quotes for car insurance.  This time we were told, that accidents go off after 3 years, however, hubby had a speeding ticket a year ago (tsk, tsk, tsk).  Anyway, she's quoting us a much lower rate - $2,400/year.  The other place told us that it is 4 years (she "thinks" that accidents are removed). 

Hence, the trip to town, on icy roads to get the better insurance today.   Say a prayer for our safety today and this weekend.

Farm updates:  We are low on wood and hay (very low).  We are searching for hay, which is the worst of our problems. 




A year of quotes:
"It's time to start living the life we've imagined."
   ~ Henry James

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Pampering Myself ~ More Snow


Hubby had to work late, so I decided to do foot soaks and pedicures with the girls.  Well, some of them.  With 5 kiddos still in the house, I plan to do more self-pampering for stress reducing reasons.

I failed to get housework finished, but did get the bedding on the clothesline yesterday.  I'm not stressing over it, but will write down what I do get done vs. a "to-do" list.  Then tackle what I haven't completed.

Also, with the older two (19, and almost 21) not being employed yet, I have a list of chores for them too - chicken coop cleaning, taking donations to the thrift store, taking recycling to the recycling center, taking returns to the library, picking up jugs of water, and a few other jobs.  

The snow is still falling, and is making laundry day havoc.  




 
We had some strong winds prior to this snow arriving, and have tree branches to pick up now.

As you can see the days have been cloudy, and the sunrises have been hidden most mornings.

Hubby and I started discussing our spring plan for ordering more layers and meat chickens, however, I lost my copy of Backwood's Home Magazine (detailing the types to buy for meat).  I hope to find it this week.

Yesterday I baked banana muffins that were absolutely wonderful.  I've been baking banana bread for a long time, but never got the rave reviews I got over this recipe:  Banana Muffins II

I still have one rotten banana to deal with, and may make our zucchini-banana brownies.  

 





A year of quotes:
"There is nothing we cannot live down, rise above, and overcome."
   ~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Cold and Cozy ~ Vehicle Repairs/Sales


Last night I attempted to get my jammies on early (very early at 5pm), and read my new Folk magazine.  A dear friend gifted me a subscription, and I have never read this magazine before.

However, last night, we had a lot of traffic in and out.  Thus, my jammies never went on early, and I didn't get to enjoy this magazine with a cup of tea.

This morning, it's a different story.  I plan to read with peace and quiet, as all the kids are in school/college, but one.  It's freezing here, and snow on the ground from yesterday, so it's a perfect day to "cozy" up and read.

With so many leftovers, I won't need to make dinner tonight either.  Yay!  I do need to use up 4 more bananas.

Yesterday I baked a blueberry/banana muffin recipe to use up both, then baked a batch of homemade granola, and then started a crock pot of beef stew.  I tossed in frozen Kohlrabi I had in the freezer from last summer's garden too.

We sold both the van and the car yesterday.  There's good and bad news.  We discovered the intake was cracked on the van (could have been done by the last guy we hired to install the last parts), and it would cost about $289.00 to replace.  Then we discovered a strut broken on my son's old car.  If driven this way, could cause the driver to have a bad accident.  We informed the buyers, they offered much lower prices, we sold them as is, as they offered to do the repairs.   However, overall, I am glad we discovered it prior to selling.  We are honest folks, and want to keep it that way.

   


A Year of Quotes:

"What's important is that one strives to achieve a goal."
    ~ Ronald Reagan

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Homestead Tidbits


It looks like I will need to do some baking with some ripe bananas, as the kids are not eating them up lately.  We are all still battling the "crud" and wish it to be gone today.

We have some work to get done, and have taken inventory on the new goat stalls.  We've got some plans with the goats too.  

Blondie remains to be cantankerous.  She loves her grass and will do anything to get at it.  Including breaking her wire fencing.  We have some plans to work on that too.  We may be in a bit of a situation with her too.  I'll have more on that as we contact the vet.

Knitted Dishcloths

I have had more requests for this pattern, so I am re-posting the link on my blog.

Homemade Biscuits

I had a request for the link to my homemade biscuits:  Click "Here" to get the recipe.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

From the Handiwork Journal . . .



. . . finished a few more knitted dishcloths for the store.




 . . . cut up three t-shirts to get a head start on yet another project.


 . . . working on my "getaway" scrapbook regarding hubby and I.  I am continue to add new photos, stories, captions, and memorabilia to it.  It contains our happiest memories of getaways together, taking the stress out of our daily lives, and making time for each other.  The term "island time" came from our most recent island retreat, where it means there are "no rules" for anything. No pressures, no demands, no schedules, and no worries.  Simply live and enjoy, and don't worry over anything.



. . . finished two more pot holder sets for sale.

I started to weave a few bookmarks, using up some thread that I bought at a thrift store (and Scrap store) years ago.  I posted this project on my S.C.R.A.P. blogspot. There are advantages to being sick - finished up old projects and starting new ones, without feeling guilty.