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, July 5, 2015

Coffee Hour ~ July 4th Weeked ~ Bittersweet Sunday

Grab a cup, it's a long update.  Enjoy!

The weekend brought us some time to get some work done.  As well as a little rest time.  And even a quick visit from my younger brother, his wife and that cutie-patootie nephew of mine.  Oh my gosh, is he growing fast!  Our oldest daughter even stopped in for a quick visit.

While the brush pile was burning down, Hubby was piddle-dinking (my term to describe a man "working" slowly on something to avoid other work, ha ha!) with the lawn mower.  The girls and I were him-hawing on what to grill out for dinner. 

I decided to step out to the garden and check the squash, just in case we got one or two, before I went to the grocery store.

What a beautiful sight this was/is.  Hubby was smiling ear to ear, and asking "there's more?"  Almost like a giggling kid picking out candy in a store.  I was just as happy and extremely thankful.  What a blessing, all things considered.

At the end of a long days, we've been enjoying grilled dinners, and even fish tacos (first time for us grilling any fish).  The flies however are absolutely terrible this year.  I need to find food covers for eating outside.  

I'm on a mission to figure out a way to deter them, so if anyone has suggestions, I am up for them.  I heard certain herbs deter them, so I may put some in pots around the edges of the porch and on tables to see if it helps (basil, lavender and mint, and elder).  I have been using the herbal oil I made, and rubbing it on my legs.  It works great against flies trying to bite me.  I do have to reapply it if I'm working and sweating it off. 

I have sprayed my peppermint/water mixture around the edges of the front porch.  It appears to deter some of the the flies.  We have less to deal with, but we still get them.

Hubby and I emptied the truck bed from the last of the mulch.  Finally.

I should have taken a before picture, but we were on a mission.  We removed trees that were growing, weeds, and rolled the rocks out that have been there since we moved in.  One rock was too big to roll, so we worked around it.  We had a load of recycling to haul off, but needed the truck emptied first.  

This is a miracle for me.  I finished this book - Roots of Murder by Janis Harrison.  I randomly picked it from the library shelf.  It's a story about a florist, and widow to a policeman, who ends up doing her own investigation of a murder.  I very much enjoyed this book.  It was a blessing to have the time to read it.

Look at this gem?  It is a quilted piece that came in the mail this week.  It could not have come at a better time.  What a happy moment, and a beautiful piece of art to cherish. Thank you!

Today, three of our goats will be going to a good home.  It's a bittersweet moment for us, especially our 18 year-old (who cares for the goats 99.9% of the time).   She's going off to college, and we were getting more milk than we could drink.  If I ever have goats again, I'll be buying a smaller breed.  The milk is excellent, but our house is shrinking.  I was the only one left to do the goat work, and decided I did not want that responsibility for now.  It was kind of sad to hear our daughter say, "I'm going to go milk for the last time."

This leaves us to find homes for our buck and bucklings.  The guy taking the ladies and their wether companion, already took a buckling and a doeling from us a year ago.  We are just glad they are going to a good home. 

Have a wonderful Sunday!  We plan to cook out again, and those green beans you saw in the picture are going in the crock pot - Barbeque Green Beans (with bacon).  The squash will be sliced up with onions, and grilled in butter.

Life changes.  We make decisions.  We adapt.  We live.


Mama Pea said...

Kristina, your 4th of July decorations are so attractive. You have such a knack for making a house a home.

Even the work you do outside in your yard is magazine-worthy! All of your beds are looking so neat and professionally done.

Isn't it amazing what our gardens will give us even under adverse conditions? And, yes, it's all welcomed and enjoyed. Nothing better than fresh food from the garden.

I know what you mean about getting rid of your goats. I've felt a little hole in my heart since we decided to let ours go years ago. But you are so right, times (and people) change and what is "right and good" for one period of our lives isn't for another. So glad you've been able to find good homes for the goats.

Despite all the glitches life throws, you remain upbeat and give us readers blog posts (love the pictures!) we're always eager to read. Thanks, lovely lady.

Kristina said...

Thank you Mama Pea! You are pretty awesome yourself. We are making goat's milk cream cheese today too. I know I will miss cheese making, but the future may bring me something new. I was totally shocked we'd get anything from the garden this year.

Anna Watts said...

That is so sad about the goats, but I totally understand. I now longer have nearly so many goats since all my kids have moved out, and I went down to smaller ones, too. Will size back up a bit since Dave and I will be doing it together, now. We do love our goat milk cheese and goat milk soaps! Wish we were closer, we need a new buck, badly!
Those veggies look scrumptious! They are absolutely beautiful!
On the herbal oil that you rub on your legs for the flies, here is a tip that might and might not work for you to make it stay on longer. I make an herbal oil flea/insect repellent for me and the dogs. I melt a little (just a little) paraffin in with it. It makes is cling and soak in better and stays on much, much longer, plus, the slight odor from the paraffin also aids in keeping the bugs away. Hope this helps.

Kristina said...

Anna, thanks for that tip for the oil mixture. Our bucks just found a home within a few hours after the others were picked up. Kind of a sad day for us, but we know they are in good homes. Daughter is happy and sad both, because she's never been able to go camping or away for a long time. She's looking at the positive side of it. She'll get some free time before she starts college.

Sandra Morris said...

the flies and mosquitoes are awful this year!
I was going to try lemon/eucalyptus for the mosquitoes. Not sure if it works for flies.

Kristina said...

Sandra, I'm surprised we have this problem, considering how cold our winters get anymore. We bought several fly swatters this year.

EMMA said...

piddle-dinkling! now that's a good phrase.
Shame about the goats, glad you have found good home for them.
Fly's, bugs etc are horrible here this year too! I've made up some sprays which seem to stop us getting bitten but the fly's are so annoying when they buzz around your head all the time!

Kristina said...

Emma, we were very lucky for the goats to go to good homes.

RB said...

You're right about life; it is ever changing. And I wonder, would we really want it any other way?
As for fly deterrents, we don't have many flies here, but we do have gnats aplenty that are surely aggravating. There are some recommendations here:
You can forget about the plastic bag filled with water, it's already been debunked by someone at NCSU.
I pray you can find someone to take the bucks and bucklings, who isn't looking at them for the dinner table.
God bless.

Kristina said...

RB, thank you! We did find a home for the bucks.