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~

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Recovery and Back to Farmstead Fun

(Sapphire chillin' one evening)

While I had the internet off, I worked on my recovery.  It's not so fun, when you cannot taste your food.  I used hot and cold compresses, took hot, steamy baths, and sipped hot herbal teas.  I am still suffering from the sinus pressure, but thankfully, all my work paid off to help my sinuses drain.  I'm still congested, but much better.  And if you have never had Thyme tea to break of mucus, it really does work (remember I am not a doctor, only sharing my experience).

I couldn't really work on too many "crafty" projects, as my pounding head made anything (even reading) almost impossible.  I did do a lot of sleeping. I managed to write another postcard, and was able to sew up a few fabric yo-yo's.

The meat chickens are slaughtered now, the bedroom closet catastrophe is repaired (which caused us to clean out our clothes and donate 2 bags of clothes to the thrift store), and more goat fencing supplies were purchased (again).

Two of the kids (my son and 16 year-old daughter) picked wild black raspberries.  To be truthful, I wanted to stuff the berries in the freezer, but will try to can a batch of jam today.

We've been getting rain almost every day, and I am thankful for it.  I am thankful I don't have to go out to weed, and I am thankful for the rain in my barrels.  I am thankful the rain gives me time to recuperate a bit more. I'm thankful I got the chance to see the yellow finch family flutter around in the driveway - Mom, Dad and baby.  I am also very thankful for the wooden drying rack my mother and cousin bought for me on their recent getaway.  I'll try to get a picture of it, so you can see how nice it is.

What's next?  The bathroom tile. It's been 3 weeks or more since we tore it out.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Grounded from the Internet

Due to a certain number of kids around here, who can't get their dishes done, the internet is off for a few days (or longer).  I'll see you all when they learn to prioritize and be responsible.

My 14 year-old never made last night's dinner either.  She went "shopping" with her 19 year-old sister, and never came home until after dinner (even though they were told to be back in time to make it).  They both knew I was not feeling well, and I am still not feeling well.

 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Lost Art of Letter Writing


I've been sick for the last week, and while resting all day, waiting for my appointment to see the doctor, the younger two girls decided they wanted to write letters.

I have been joking with them that when school starts, the only thing they will be able to share is, "I sat around on my bum and playing around on my tablet."

They came up with writing letters on their own.  So, a few of my family members may be getting some hand written letters from either of the younger two.  We actually ran out of stamps and I had to ask my son to bail me out.  He did.

Stocked with stamps again, who knows who they will write next.

Oh, and to share something interesting about this letter writing, one of them had to look on the internet on how to address the envelope.  One also didn't know where to place the stamp.  Even though they both write thank you notes, they lost their memory on all of this.  One said to me, "well they don't teach you this in school."  It looks like they will be getting more practice with their penmanship too.

I guess they will be doing some more letter writing, so their technology won't be "dumbing" them down this summer.  

As for an update on my doctor appointment.  I have a sinus infection and my right inner ear is very swollen.  Hence, why I have not been able to hear very well.  If you've ever had a sinus infection, you know how tired it makes you feel.  Thankfully it is continuing to rain, so I can rest up more, before returning to weed the garden.  Honestly, it doesn't feel like "rest."  It feels more like forced, uncontrollable sleeping.

I have not done anything in my garden besides pick peas, strawberries and squash. Oh, and I picked some more broccoli.

I think tonight will be a good time to sit on my bum, knit, and give cooking instructions to my 14 year-old.  She's been wanting to learn to cook one of her favorite dinners.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

From the Homesteading Journal. . .

 . . . found this cute goat planter at a local store.  We got it for a fraction of the cost Menard's was selling them for (small ding in the bottom, so they marked it down for us).

Monday, June 24, 2013

28 Miles for Dinner


 
Do you want to hear about our terrible, miserable, very bad, rotten day yesterday?  Well, it wasn't really that bad, but if it went wrong it did.  By the way, my daughter gave me her permission to post the photo.  

I didn't have to bake the cake this time, as my 19 year-old was using my kitchen to bake and frost over 100 cupcakes for her boyfriend's graduation party.

First, I woke up miserable from my allergies, and possibly a sinus infection.  I was tired, congested, and cranky.  Not a day to ask me to do anything.

It was my 2nd youngest daughter's birthday.  We had her gifts out, and she was up and running, full speed ahead to get them open.  We didn't even get photos taken (of her opening gifts), she was that quick, and I was half awake.  So far so good.

Then, I had to pay the bills.  On Sunday.  Hubby had me running all over hilter skilter the day prior.  The family knows that when I pay bills to scatter.  Leave the room and be quiet. 

When that was finally over, Hubby agreed to take 3 of the girls swimming, at a pool that was completely re-done, and not even open for a week now.  He took them, the grocery list, the list for the last of the birthday dinner items, all of my empty water jugs, and left.

On the way there, he made a special stop to buy one of the girls goggles.  When the got to the pool, they found that the water slide was closed indefinitely.  Someone had gotten hurt on it already, and they closed it.  The kids were bummed.  Hubby dropped them off and ran an to TSC for a new mower belt, and was to return to swim with them too.  

While he was gone, the girls got in the water with their goggles on.  All the sudden the life guard was blowing her whistle at them, "You can't wear those kind of goggles in this pool!" she screamed at them.  Seriously?  No slide, no goggles.

Hubby never returned to pick the girls up.  He called me and asked for my son to pick them up.  His starter went out on his truck.  The girls were brought home, but birthday girl was distraught, grumpy, severely sun burned, and mad.  "How are we going to get my Mexican dinner and ice cream?" she cried.

I called back to check on Hubby's progress.  The starter was in, and they were about to start it.  He said, "take orders" and call him back.  He'd pick up the take out, get the items on the list, and head home.

I spent a half hour getting orders from the kids, and called back.  "Not good," he said.  "The truck won't start."

So, I went back to the computer, pulled up the menu for another Mexican restaurant, located in another direction, and where I could stop at one store and get the much needed dog food and water that Hubby was supposed to get.  I also sent my son in another direction to go pick up the birthday girl's ice cream.  That was done.

We finally got all the orders, when we realize that we don't have a phone number to the restaurant.  I had used a sister restaurant's menu, and the one I needed had just opened.  Hubby and I had been there, so thankfully I had a business card in the car.  I called in orders, and headed out.

First stop was the store to get dog food and water.  The dogs had no food whatsoever, and we only had well water to drink - blech.  Remember that Hubby had the list and had planned to get everything for me.  I run in with two of the girls, get dog food, and 4 gallons of water.  As we put the water into the car, I see water leaking out of one jug.  Birthday girl went back in to exchange it.  She wasn't happy.

Finally, we get the dinner picked up and everyone is happy.  We drive the 7 miles back home.  We open it all, and see that two meals are not even in the bags - mine and my 16 year-old's, and one meal is not even anything we ordered.  "Why didn't you check it there?"  That question was not the right one to ask me. 

I call the restaurant, tell them the situation, and we drive back to get it.  I call Hubby and tell him, his meal is on the table, and that we are heading back to get the restaurant, again.  He tells me "I go the truck running."  It was an eye-rolling moment.

This time we check the containers to make sure it is the right food.  They didn't charge us. We eat, light candles, sing, and eat cake and ice cream.

I spent the last part of the night putting apple cider vinegar on birthday girl's sunburn.  Hubby tells me "thanks hun, for bailing me out."

The synopsis of the new pool? Nothing to get excited about, and not worth the $5.50/p.p. they paid to get in.  Future swimming will be at another pool with 2 slides, where they only charge $2.00/p.p. to get in, and where they can all wear their goggles.

I am sure that birthday girl won't forget this birthday for a long time.  She's still mad that Daddy's truck broke down in her time of celebration.  She's a kid.


Sunday, June 23, 2013

If He Had Said...

If Hubby had said to me, "let's not grow a garden this year" I would have said "okay."  Then I would have secretly done the "hallelujah" dance when he wasn't looking.  Honestly, I think he feels the same way this year.

Seriously.  Look what's next - wild black raspberries.  I decided to skip making mulberry jam.  The birds are too quick for me, and the pie pans in the tree are not working in my  favor.

I admit it.  I have garden burn-out syndrome this year.  And it has just begun.  I think it's the 95° heat index, and the humidity. 

Mom sent me an e-mail sharing her "Snapdragon" days.  It starts out with a nice photo of snapdragons in a garden.  Then it gets funny, with a turtle looking haggard.  I laughed my bum off. It said, "Part of me has snapped, and part of me is draggin." Ha ha ha ha!

We're allowed to feel that way.  Or should I be saying "shame on me?"

It's going to be another "scorcher" today.  I think I'll stay indoors and torture myself by paying bills versus the heat outside.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Daily Devotion of Another Kind


I woke one day last this past week, and did not want to garden, can, or clean.  I dedicated the day to my writing.  And that's exactly what I did.  Or maybe "tried" to do.

I had to go to the barn to get my breakfast - no eggs in the house.  After I walked into my room to tidy it later, I got caught up in striping the bed and doing 2 loads of laundry.

Then, while putting the laundry on the line, I saw that the flower pots needed watered.  And before that, I skimmed a crock pot recipe book for something to toss in for dinner (which I did, and adapted it to whatever I had in the freezer from last season).  However, when I did that, I pulled stuff out of the freezer to take a quick inventory.

And that's how it went.  However, I did get rid of 3 magazines (to the recycling box), put two sweatshirts away for fall camping, and picked up other things in my room (where my writing desk is).  Then I made a list of to-do's and put it on the computer for the kids.

Then, and only then, did I go into my room to actually write.  I just got started on revising one article, when the kids started to appear in my room.  One by one.  Hmpf.  I need an office on the roof.  I need one way out in the back, in a cabin or camper.

"If I was canning at the stove, not one of you would have bothered me," I said in frustration.

"You should have shut your door and put your do not disturb sign on it," one said.

Like that would make a difference.

I did manage to do a revision, and started a second one.  And that's when I realized I'm done with "motherhood" and "how-to" and non-fiction articles.  At this point in my life, I have realized I am done with that type of writing.

Either way, despite interruptions, I give myself a high-five for putting in time for my writing - my life's passion since I was in elementary school.



Just for fun, I am starting to document my published writing over in the sidebar of this blog.  One of these days, I'll get a book written (let me rephrase that, when I get my book written) and that will be the day I create my author blog.    I have dug out my folder full of tear sheets.  Now I'm ready for a shelf full of published novels.

Oh, and even though I "tried" to stay away from the everyday, mundane jobs and other work, it was an overall good day.  My son took the girls swimming, so I had a bit of a break.  However, one goat got loose, so after chasing her back in, and re-watering, I decided to put it all away for the day.

Hubby helped out too.  He did an evening run, and now our hay is stocked up.  This time it cost us $4.50/bale (it was $3.00/bale prior).

Friday, June 21, 2013

Homemade Teriyaki Sauce


I found this recipe in a library book - Food to Live By, by Myra Goodman.

The recipe is more so a semi-homemade recipe, as you will see when you read it.  I did find an organic soy sauce at my grocery store (naturally brewed, and made by Kikkoman).

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Sizzlin' Summer


The 19 - 1/2 pint jars of strawberry jam I canned, are already being opened.  The family loves it.  I just hope I can keep some in stock all winter, as the wild black raspberries are on already.  I'm still watching our mulberries, but they are not ripe yet.

The kitchen has been in over-drive, but not nearly as it will be when tomatoes are in harvest.  A few days I didn't even wear an apron.  It was that hot.

The goats love me when I can.  Especially when they get the strawberry leftovers.  Not much goes in our compost this time of year. 
 

I somehow managed to read an entire book in 2 days.  I am taking my youngest to the library for the summer reading program, and even though I have a ton of books here to read, I brought one home last week.  I never expected to read it either.  


How did I do it?

Well, I read in between making all those batches of strawberry jam, while walking on the treadmill, and taking time on one of the porches.  Of course I had to let the bathroom cleaning go, but eventually it got done.

Now....I just need to fit time in for my writing as well.  And before those tomatoes start filling up my entire kitchen. 


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

More From the Porch

I have had this wicker wreath for over 5 years now.  Each year I decorate it with something new.  This year, I got clearance priced silk flowers.


Hubby got into a "Get'R Done" mode, and put up our new porch sign.


Slowly, but surely, it's looking pretty nice on the porch.  Down in the lower right corner of the photo, you can see part of my tractor plant holder.  I forgot out it, and found it in the barn.  It needs a good washing, and a plant for it.








A new pot of flowers I added
 


Monday, June 17, 2013

Radishes in Soups & Radish Pickle Update


Use your extra radishes for soups.  I am planning to dehydrate some here for just that reason.  My Farmer's Market neighbor told me this tip.  You could freeze them too, but she says they are great it soups.  One year I did this with my extra Kohlrabi.

Update on the Refrigerator Radish Pickles - Hot!  Joke-ster Hubby was the first to taste, and graciously gave me one, saying, "These are crunchy, but they're not hot."  

He lied.  They are hot.  

I guess the amount of "heat" they would have, will depend on the "heat" that your radishes already have too.

I do like the fact that they do last for up to 6 months in the fridge.  I can make several jars for salads, just eating, or what not.  Yum!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Friday, June 14, 2013

Garden Goodness & Homestead Updates


 

 . . . picked broccoli, radishes, and strawberries.  Sugar snap peas will soon be ready.  Picked some lettuce too.


I made a pint jar of Refrigerator Radish Pickles, using a jalapeno pepper.  I've never made these before, and I see there are many variations.  I found my recipe in a library book.


. . . potatoes are doing great!


. . . spent hours weeding, and found that half the carrots and beets did not come up, so we replanted.  Some of the heirloom green beans didn't come up, and replanted those too.


. . . got down to weeding the cauliflower and broccoli, and stopped due to a predicted storm.

. . . still need to till between the peas and then weed the lettuce.  Half of the lettuce didn't come up either.  That second frost really did affect the garden this year.


. . . all the peppers are weeded, but look at my cucumber mounds! Yikes!  That's next.


. . .zucchini is doing pretty well, and the onions need weeded.

. . .cabbage is looking good, but the arugula is bug eaten.

. . . the celery looks great.  We have never grown lettuce before.

. . .put in more tomato stakes.  


. . . goat fencing is starting - bit by bit.  My 16 year-old has been putting these t-post in by herself.  


. . . and yes, the laundry is still drying outside, despite my allergies.


. . . I still need to finish weeding the strawberry beds, but the garlic and rhubarb look pretty good.  I planted the last of the onions in the strawberry beds.  They help fight off certain bugs.

Note:  All of these photos were taken prior to the storms that came through.  I'll try to update new photos later.  Today, I woke up to find that the kids have done something to the family computer and I cannot even sign in.  Grrrr!  Luckily, I had already loaded these photos to my blog, and can access it from my laptop.  I'll try to get the recipe for the radishes too.  It's on the other computer (Hmpf!).  Kids!  I'm going to need a full pot of coffee today.  All I can say is, that someone better get out of bed and get it fixed.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Craft Swap


Michelle at Michele's Little Piece of Heaven, set up a craft swap with fellow bloggers.  My swap partner was Heidi at White Wolf Summit Farmgirl, and she surprised me with a box of goodies!

A beautiful handmade apron.  


A dishcloth and hand towel for my kitchen, with beautiful herb photos on them, and cute bees.


A magnetic notepad, beautiful cards, and gorgeous note cards.


The rose on these cards, have sparkly glitter too!



And that's not all!  She also sent me this fun lunch tote!  
Thank you Heidi!  And thank you Michelle for setting this up.

Honey-Ginger-Lime Fruit Salad Dressing & Severe Storms


Although my naughty hens got into one strawberry beds, I was able to pick enough for a delicious summer fruit salad.  Here is the recipe for the dressing:

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Extreme Clean ~ Get'R Done Update



 (Tim just chillin')

Not really an exciting post, but here's my  "Extreme Clean - Get'R Done" update:

-re-potted one house plant
-cleaned out some items from the utility room and donated them
-my son cleaned out the fridge (YAY!) and he wiped all the shelves in it
-got the back porch cleaned off and furniture out (most of it)
-got storage containers for yarn and organized them in the utility room
-my son and 16 year-old daughter took two trips to recycling (Yay!)
-Hubby cleaned out all his magazines from the bedroom, and is dropping them off to recycling (big YAY!)
-Yesterday I dropped yet another box of items to donate to the thrift store this week.

Empty canning jars are a problem this time of year - I have them everywhere.  I need to get them back into the pantry in which they came from, until harvest time. We do use many of them for the goat's milk too.

And, those dusty light fixtures, remain dusty.  I have yet to get them all down and washed up.  If you visit me, just don't be lookin' at the lights. Hey, I've been busy, and who hasn't?

The "family" computer, bill paying station, in my kitchen is a hog mess.  I must tackle it before it becomes even worse. 

However, first, the garden is calling me.  Actually, it's calling me "back."  I have already been out there since about 7:30am and with rain on the way, I need to get back out there.  I just wish my kids were on board with the benefits of a garden, but the are not, and may never be.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

De-Stressing in the Rain & Gettin' a "Do"


I snapped this photo a day before the rain arrived.  Color is blooming all around the home this summer.

I took my book, and this time a highlighter and notebook, to the front porch.  Oh, and do you see what else I took out there?  A gourmet lollipop!  Butterscotch.  Yum!

I've made it to "Part 2" in this book now, but I've already checked off several "tests" and feel these questions have been repeated so many times in other books.  So far, I have only been reminded that I have too much stress in my life, and most of it is "Chronic."  I guess I have a lot of work to do.  And many more family meetings.

However, I did realize that I do have a habit of waiting until a time of "crisis" before praying (I bought this book at a Christian bookstore).  So, I took my Bible, dusted off the cover (tsk, tsk), and headed back to the porch.  When I opened it, I found an article I had clipped and tucked inside it.  Here's what it said:


Funny how I needed to read that article, and at that same time.  There will be no more dust on my Bible.

As for knocking out more stress, I think I will be teaching each kid to cook their favorite meals.  Last night I made broiled, mustard crusted cod with spinach/green onion.  They practically lick their plates (all but one daughter who won't eat fish) when I make it.  After my 13 year-old said, "Man I love this fish!" for the third time, I told her "Good, it's time for you to learn how to cook it."

The prep I do for the Farmer's Market is also a stress factor - kids fight, kids want to buy things, they argue during set-up and tear down etc. etc.  Then there is the making of all the items.  I wanted to bring in a new item this week, but after breaking down the cost of sugar, organic apple cider and butter, I could not come up with a price that will still give me back profit, and sell it at a reasonable price (Vinegar Candy).  So, I'm learning to eliminate by breaking down the cost to make things.  I may be cutting out my jams and jellies too, in which I have to buy the fruit for.  I may keep my pear, wild black raspberry, but cut out (and only stock up for home) the others.  Hubby and I are talking about getting a permit, to sell from the roadside instead.  That would eliminate the packing up, fighting, unloading, fighting, and loading again (and fighting) stress.  

In the book Breaking Clean, by Judy Blunt, she talks about how at age 8 (she grew up on a ranch), her fingers hurt so bad she couldn't hold onto a fork at dinner.  She even passed out while working in a potato field.  Now-a-days, most kids complain about having to wash a few dishes or even fold clothes.  I do insist my kids all take on housework, even if it means hearing their mouths jabber on and complain.  I was told by Hubby, that at work, most parents tell him they just do all the work because all the fighting is not worth it.  I beg to differ.  Kids need to learn how to get along, not complain, and not fight, and not argue.  And most of all, take on responsibility in a peaceful manner.  That alone, will reduce my stress in half.

A Mom can dream can't she? 

Oh, and guess what else I found inside my Bible?  He he!  Hand written coupons from my youngest daughter.  Two are for hair-do's from her.  Guess who's gettin' a "do" tonight?  Or maybe two? 







Monday, June 10, 2013

Farmstead Fun & Another Rooster Gone Wild


Hubby and I have been busy weeding flower beds, herb gardens and the vegetable garden. I also cut some oregano and thyme for drying.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Raccoon Rescue & Other Farm/Family Goings-On


"You can't put that thing in the garage! It's a pest not a pet!" I screamed at the kids.

"Fine Mom," they said reluctantly putting the baby raccoon in the wood barn.

And that's how it started.  As the entire family ooh'd and ahh'd over this tiny raccoon, I remained inside finishing dinner and putting it back in the oven to wait for everyone to come inside.  They saw it roaming around the driveway about 5pm-ish. 


They immediately started making phone calls.

"No one will take that thing," I tried to explain.  "It's considered a pest."

After dinner the kids had made their call and left a message.  The next day, they called back.  They would not take raccoons, but had a number of someone who would.

Early in the morning, I walked out to the barn to check on the baby, and my 13 year-old walked out with me.  The first thing out of my mouth was unexpected, and of course my daughter had to repeat it to everyone throughout the day.

"Oh my gosh, that is so cute! Awwww!" I said looking at that furry thing all curled up in a ball with it's paws over it's eyes.

That's all it took for the family to laugh at me.  I had broken, and felt sorry for that "pest."

With some more calls, and with my son volunteering, he met up with a woman at a half-way point.  She rescues raccoons, but already had about 60 of them.  After getting a photo from us, she immediately wanted it.  She said it was still at a nursing age.  

So...another wild animal rescued.



The meat chickens are learning to free range pretty well.  At first they were a bit barn "sour" and would not leave the area.  Yesterday, they seemed to be digging around more of the area.  I am keeping an eye out for more raccoons.

My youngest daughter came home from Gram's yesterday too.  She talked a mile-a-minute, jabbering on about her fun stay at Gram's and how she can't wait for the next visit.  

It was a busy day yesterday, as I dehydrated more organic carrots, mixed up a 5 gallon bucket of laundry detergent, made some homemade macaroni salad (using my home canned sweet pickle relish), and did 4 loads of laundry.   

The cloud cover continues today, and the rain has not yet arrived.  My laundry did not dry all the way, and had to dry inside on racks.  Again, today, they say rain is possible, but I think I better water my flowers.

We picked more strawberries yesterday, so the painted rocks are working very well.  Yay!  Who would have thought?  

 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Teabag Tidbits



Here is where you join me with a cup of tea, while I share tidbits of yesterday and this morning.

I trimmed off my garlic scapes, and need to cook them up.  I picked more strawberries and my painted rocks are working.  However, I need to make sure one is at every plant.  I have doubled the amount I am picking.  Also, the plants that are directly behind the banging pie pans are completely untouched.

We had another baby raccoon yesterday.  This time it was 5:00pm-ish, and in the driveway.  We did leave a message with Nature's Nursery, but have not heard back yet.

I swore I would not buy petunias in hanging pots, and I did.  I am not spending every morning dead heading them.  I just hope I get to see our yearly hummingbird again.

Yesterday, after dinner, we heard the beautiful song of our yearly Baltimore Oriole.  He presented his song from a tree seen from the kitchen window.  However, I don't have photos.  He flew off as soon as we heard him.  His colors are so rich.

This morning, as I twisted the handle to the south door, a baby squirrel took off.  It had been resting at the base of my door.  He may be why my bird feeder is empty so fast.

I made a vegetable side last night to go with our pasta dish, and it was a winner.  It was simply butter, onion, zucchini, and corn off the cob.  For the recipe visit:  Fresh Corn and Zucchini Saute.

As for that book on "stress" - ha ha ha!  You guessed it. I have not opened it since I read the first chapter, which talks about how the word today is overused.  Back in the day it was "at wit's end" and so forth.  The author instructs the readers to use a highlighter, and have a pad of paper and a pen on hand.

The weather is so nice this morning.  It's dark and cloudy, but with a brisk breeze - excellent for camping.  I may just take my shawl and spend a few quiet moments on the porch (aside from traffic noise), before the kids get up.



Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Honey-Jalapeno Grilled Chicken Tenders



I made Honey-Jalapeno Grilled Chicken the other day.  I have to say, it was pretty good.   

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Black Mold ~ Shower Project is Not Over


Remember all those winters I got very sick?  Pneumonia and so forth?  Guess what Hubby found last night?

Monday, June 3, 2013

From a Journal Junkie . . .


From the Homesteading Journal . . .

. . . made my own bird deterrent for the strawberry beds - recycled pie pan, string, and a piece of recycled tent pole.  I used what I had, considering the budget is tight right now (from the tile project).  Later in the day I saw robins snacking away as soon as the wind stopped (and the pie pans stopped banging away).  I guess I better start saving up for bird netting and supplies.  However, I did spray paint some small stones red, and placed them under the plants for now too.  We'll see if they return after pecking at a stone. 

. . . planted new curly parsley, and more tomatoes. 

 . . .in preparation for hot days, I started to save and fill empty plastic bottles with water.  They are being frozen to place in goat water buckets.


. . . the bathroom tile project continues - humidity is a huge factor in it's completion. I cannot wait to use my shower again.



. . .found a way to recycle the plastic from an old, broken portable closet.


. . . made a homemade non-toxic, herbal fusion, disinfectant.  I'm looking forward to seeing the results.  I can make it from everything in the garden, with the exception of the organic apple cider vinegar (for the recipe and others:  14 Bleach-Free Surface Disinfectants).


. . . dehydrated 2 lbs. of organic carrots (with another 2 lbs. to dehydrate) I bought on sale for $.99 at the grocery store.  The only bad part about buying these, is the leftover plastic bag.




From the Handiwork Journal. . .


. . .crocheted another rag rug.  It's made from old sheets and pillow cases. 



From the Family Journal . . .

 . . .my youngest daughter gets to spend a few days with her Grandma.

. . . my son surprised me by cleaning out the refrigerator.

. . . my allergies are flared up from spending so much time in the wind this past weekend.  I hope to get some relief today.



From the Gratitude Journal . . .

 Today I am thankful for:

~ Much cooler weather. It's nice to have a break from the heat.

~ My rose bushes blooming again. 

~ My herb garden.  It's come in use for more than just cooking and baking.

~ God's promises.

~ The quiet morning here today.  I can't hear anything, but birds, and my dehydrator.