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, May 31, 2015

Off the Grid. . .

It's time to take an "off the grid" hiatus.

I love writing my blog, and reading other blogs, but admit.  I need to go off grid for a week.  Meaning, get off the internet.  Meaning no emails, which will be the hardest for me.  I tend to have a routine when I check emails and write my blog. 

Hopefully, in doing this, I can also read more, crochet more, and organize more.  Not to mention just enjoy sitting and doing nothing at the end of the day.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Chicken Run is Done! Random Tidbits

If you are wondering how the garden is going, I do have to replant a few seeds.  I have already replanted some cucumber seeds.  I only had one pie pumpkin seed come up, so I'll be buying different seeds next season (and if they do well, will save those seeds).  Gardening comes with mishaps, guess work and many prayers.

I made a batch of homemade cream cheese, but forgot to photograph it for you.  I think you've all seen it made anyway.  It's the best cream cheese I ever tasted.  The kids devoured it.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Homemade Organic Insect Spray for the Vegetable Garden ~ Random Tidbits

Now that I have many plants in the garden, I have mixed up my first homemade organic bug spray for my vegetable garden.

I found one recipe online.

I've had terrible times with leaf eating bugs, eating away at my collard greens, and other greens.  This year I'm giving them dose of bug protection. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Nothin' Much....



That sums it up - nothin' much goin' on here that's too exciting.  Other than we are crossing a few jobs off the list.  The irises are in full bloom right now, but I may have to thin them out next spring.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Fun Mail ~ Antique Finds


My wonderful Uncle sent me a tea infuser, and some teas to try. 

I'll be trying some today.  You put the leaves inside, add hot water, steep, and place it over your mug, and the tea flows right into your mug (leaving tea leaves in the infuser filter).  Neat, right?  And no recycling a messy muslin tea bag, or using disposable teabags. 

Friday, May 22, 2015

On the Crochet Hook ~ Memorial Day


It's a bit blurry, but I have a new project on the crochet hook now.  I'll share photos when it's completed. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Thursday Coffee Hour ~ Barn Wood Herb Drying Rack ~ Eye Rolling Moment (kids)


Grab a cup of hot steaming coffee, tea or your favorite beverage.  It's one of those posts.

A while back, I bought a bag of curtain hooks for $.75.  I actually figured out where I had stored them.  I'm recycling them into another barn wood herb drying rack.  They look awesome in the house too.  You could call it re-purposed or recycled I guess.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Cold Spell ~ Stocking Up Stats ~ Vegetarian Caesar Dressing

After discovering we were to have another possible frost last night, we did not plant the last two flats of vegetable plants.  Instead the mowing was finished, the goats got to enjoy their grazing time (without sun and heat), and I got the joy of cleaning the toilet. We actually had to put jackets on outside.

I had to dig out old sheets and cover the flowers.

Regarding stocking up stats...

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Humidity ~ Wine Cork Herb Markers ~ Goat Capers Continue ~ Dog

Anyone else on a diet of cold fruit, light salads and yogurt?  Oh, and healthy popsicles?  And iced tea?

The humidity has been so thick, and it really makes gardening uncomfortable.  I literally woke up without an appetite.  Yesterday's brunch was watermelon.  

Today however, it is only going to be in the 60's - camping weather if you ask me.  Just gorgeous.  I told Hubby we should back up the camper and play hookie.  It was tempting for a short few seconds.

Well, that's not happening.  Garden duty calls today, and I'll admit, I'd rather work in cool 60°F weather than 80°F and 86% humidity.
 
 
 
I spent a few more rainy days making

Monday, May 18, 2015

Sunday Fun! Babysitting

Smack in the middle of our very humid Sunday, was the school's art festival.  We attended, and so did the kid's Grandma (Mom).

First we walked around and looked at the art.  They did some amazing work.  One project I will have to photograph later, as I did not even see it (it was that busy, and big).

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Rainy Day(s) Advantage


I haven't posted lately.  Why?  I walked into my bedroom closet.  Once I went in, there was no coming out until it was cleaned up, swept and organized.  I filled two boxes to donate, and filled one garbage bag.  I just never had time to get back in there.  Hubby joked, "should I just back the truck up?"

Friday, May 15, 2015

Wild Stinging Nettle?


If this is what I think it is, I've hit the jackpot for my herbal teas this year.  Is this stinging nettle?  I see spiky thing-a-ma-jobs (can you tell I have kids?) all over the center stem and on the leaf stems.

More photos.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Weeding ~ The Stories....

Hubby and I planted tomatoes until we literally ran out of room.  I have to wait until we till up the last area to plant. 


Timmy joined me in the herb garden. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Raw Vegetable Crackers ~ Using a Dehydrator ~ Other Farmstead News


The new recipe I made, is a raw vegetable cracker.  You soak chia seeds, raisins and sun dried tomatoes, and add other blended vegetables. 

(spread out on parchment paper before drying in the dehydrator)

The interesting part, is that they are dried in the dehydrator.  Now, I imagine you can bake these in the oven, but when it's 82° out, I preferred not to.  Although yesterday it was 60°F.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Spring Rain ~ Random Tidbits




I have much to weed and plant yet.

I have hostas to split, and plant in new locations.  Timmy was taking an afternoon siesta, so I let him sleep and worked in another bed.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Royal Treatment


My birthday (and Mother's Day) started with an awesome breakfast made my chef-in-training daughter (15 yo).  She made a bacon/veggie omelet.  Delicious.  I love bacon.

Although sitting on the porch all day, sipping iced tea sounded nice, I could not help myself with planting the 2 flats of marigolds. It rained off and on, but there I did accomplish a lot.

Now I do have seeds saved.  Hubby just went nutso.  I'll be putting my seeds at the edges of the veggie garden, so no worries on waste.

At one point in the day, he just shook his head and laughed, "your birthday and Mother's day?"

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Tired Down to the Bones ~ Birthday/Mother's Day

This is how we make our rows for hand planting seeds.  Talk about "pioneer."  That took belonged to Hubby's father, who used it in his own garden.  When I lived in the city, it was a lawn ornament, and we've been using it for going on eight years now.

We are taking advantage of Hubby's strike (yes, they are still on strike, going on three months now) and getting the garden expanded.  These two are now connected and more room to plant, but I still don't have room for acorn or spaghetti squash.  I'm not sure where I'll put my cantaloupe or watermelon yet either.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Fromage Blanc - Goat's Milk Cheese


Using a gallon of our precious lamancha goat's milk, I made a new cheese.


Thanks to Candy's instructions on making this cheese, I acquired the culture and made a batch of Fromage Blanc cheese.

Friday, May 8, 2015

How to Make a Plastic Canvas Santa Money Holder Christmas Ornament



Front


Back


I simply used regular yarn (scraps) for these ornaments, and a yarn needle.

Garden Giddiness

Giddy.  The feeling of pure happiness.  That feeling you get when something you planted grows rather quickly.  Or grows at all for that matter.

I was thrilled to see that our potatoes are up. I've never been this successful, this early in the garden season. 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Homemade Goat's Milk Butter


If you can believe it, I have never tried making butter with our goat's milk.  Yesterday I finally made some.

It was so stinkin' easy, I can't believe I haven't made it before.


Our next oldest daughter had been skimming the cream, and we had a pint of it.  I simply poured it into my blender.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Birthday Flowers ~ Red Ladybugs





We woke up to fog this morning, and a two hour school delay.  As you can see, it was pretty foggy.  Yesterday the weather was wacky.  One minute we'd have jackets on, and then next our jackets were off were off.  The cool air kept returning every now and then, and then stayed for the evening.  The wind made it too uncomfortable to enjoy the porch, but Hubby got his birthday flowers he wanted.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Moving Day ~ Grilling Out

It was bound to happen. 

Especially since the barn will be torn down (and hopefully soon).  We have a barn salvage company looking at it now.


It was moving day for Orion.  He's too close to the big barn, and he's eaten all his grass in that area.  See all those tall weeds in the back?  That is where we moved his shed.  He was so happy to have more to eat, I had a terrible time getting him to allow me to re-stake him.  I was laughing, because he was in heaven with all that goodness to eat.  He's not a little goat either.  He was acting like a kid in a candy store.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Happy Goats ~ Blisters and Backaches


Staking the goats has been successful.  I think they look forward to seeing me approach the gate to bring them out now.  They get a belly full of goodness, and we get a gas free mower (and cleared land).

Speaking of land.  Hubby went guns-blazing with the garden expansion yesterday.  He literally wore me out.  I put 11,000 steps on my fitbit in garden work alone (by 3pm).   I had gone to the garden to plant the onions, but they are still not planted.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Hen Update ~ Yard Work ~ Spring Blooms ~ New Recipe

We still have the hen that was/is eating her eggs.  I have just been too busy to even deal with it.

What I can tell you, is that my araucanas are less prone to lay eggs than my barred rocks.  The barred rocks are older and lay many more eggs.  I have four araucanas left, and three are in the coop with the rest.  I am getting only one egg from all three araucana hens, about every 4-5 days.

When it's time to buy more layers, I'll be looking at leghorns and/or more barred rocks.  Although the araucana chickens are pretty in color and lay a blue/green egg, I think I'll take the heartier chickens over them. 


Hubby spent Saturday mowing and trimming, while I enlisted the help of one the girls for weeding flower beds and the herb garden.  The others cleaned the inside.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

More Planting ~ Stake Out


The carrots and beets are now planted.  Each row is about 43 feet long.  We really need more, but I'm working on that.  I got the last two rain barrels in place for the next rainfall as well.  I need the water to plant everything else mid-May.

Hubby and I are figuring out the best place to install my new  (concord) grape arbor.  That is next on the list too.

Remember my new elderberry trees I planted last year?  Well, I found another use for them.  I read that you can stuff elderberry branches/leaves into mole tunnels to get rid of them.  My trees are not really big enough yet, but I do plan to try this if the moles continue to dig tunnels.  

Friday, May 1, 2015

Natural Insect Repellent Oil for People ~ Pet Flea Protection?


Now I'm taking the herbs to a different level.  There are so many uses for herbs (and oils) it's so much fun to research and try them.

To make the insect oil, I used a 1/4 cup to measure my "parts."  You can see in this quart jar, how much it fills the jar.  We've have good luck with homemade basil mosquito spray, but so far nothing has worked for flies or gnats (or fleas on our dogs and cats).