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~

Friday, September 22, 2017

Good News! ~ Finished!

Good News:
Doctor gave me the thumbs up.  Spider bites should heal on their own.  No skin graphs or specialty doctors.  He was very impressed with my progress, and I even told him I did some dancing over the weekend (and no swelling).  It will be a few more weeks for healing, buying a semi truck load of gauze and roll gauze, but it will heal.  I will have a nasty scar, but I am very happy.  I really like my new doctor too. Once again, nurses came to see the updated larger bite, ha ha!  I'm like a hot topic there when I arrive.  Trust me, if you saw a photo of what it looked like when I first went to the second doctor, you'd be "sweatin' bullets" too.  He and I both were concerned.


Bad News:
The heat is drawing the spiders into the house and I have yet to spray inside.  As they crawl in to escape the heat, however, the outside spraying should keep them from living too long if they do get all the way in.  I had to swat at jumping spiders all yesterday afternoon.


Mediocre News:

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Habanero-Apricot Jelly

Preserving continues....
 

I started the early morning (yesterday) by canning one batch of habanero-apricot jelly with some of the habanero peppers.  


We enjoy this jam on biscuits, rolls, crackers with cream cheese, on meats etc. It comes in handy for family/friend gatherings for appetizers and snacks.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Heat Returns ~ Spiced Pickled Beets ~ Finished Project ~ Tidbits

Morning sunrise this morning.
It will be in the 80's (almost 90's one day) for the next 7 days here.  The humidity for today is forecasted at 92%.  It's too wet to work in the garden today, so I'm inside again, working on all that garden goodness I brought in recently.

Busy. Busy. Busy.

Yesterday I preserved 6 lbs of those delicious beets. 8 pints restocked now.  I have about 2 more pounds to put up yet.

 One daughter was not happy to hear that "the canner pot" was coming back to the kitchen.  It's only temporary, but needs done.  Either way I preserve the beets, they are boiled, peeled and put into an ice bath (canned or frozen) first. 




Although the recipe I use calls for "baby beets" I used the smallest of my Cylindra beets recently picked.  They sliced up in nice small circles for canning.

I tasted these, and oh my gosh, they taste better than the last beets I canned this way.  We may be planting Cylindra beets again next year.  Yum!!!  A bit more on the sweet side I think.


Small Project Finished List:

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Spider Proofing ~ Fall Garden Harvest ~ Black Dakota Popcorn

I may have "hit" the garden a little too hard yesterday.  I woke up 1 hour later than normal, and woke up moanin' and a groanin'.
 
The waterproof/bug proof storage bags arrived.  These are not vacuum seal  type bags (never had good luck with them in the past). I am now washing every bed sheet, pillow case and blanket (that is stored in the utility room drawers). 


The weather was perfect to dry it outside early (before the rain) and immediately fold and seal into bags - spider proofing it. Oh, I'm not done with this chore either.  I filled all 3 clotheslines, and have more to wash up and store yet.

I'm tackling more projects, and continue to deep clean the kitchen.  I'm making up for taking the weekend off.

Small projects:

Monday, September 18, 2017

Blog Hiatus?

I'm suffering from blog-brain.  I can't think to write much of anything lately.  It seems to be the same ol' same ol' gardening stuff.  

I can tell you that Hubby and I decided to take an invitation to an overnight bike ride over the weekend.  We left Saturday and came home Sunday. There were 10 motorcycles I think, and the location was a bike fest.  Lots of bikes, lots of people, but small "fest."  A large band was "banned" by the town mayor (or the mayor's husband from what locals told us, saying the music was not appropriate for "family"), and many people didn't go, there were no vendors at the Harley store, and only one downtown - disappointment to those of us who went.  We were lucky to time it right, to hear one good band downtown.  According to locals, it was a pathetic festival turnout.  

We still enjoyed our time away.

When we arrived home, I felt we hadn't been "riding" long enough, we took over for a ride along the river.

We also felt it was our mini-vacation, so we stretched it out as far into the evening as we could.  

Up early today - back to work.  

No photos for this post, which is odd for me.

There has been a lot on my mind lately, and my "to-do" list is a bit overwhelming this morning. What to start first, where to start first....my mind is racing at 6:30am.

I'm gonna need another cup of coffee I think. The school today, has a scheduled 2 hour delay, so I get the pot of coffee all to myself.










Sunday, September 17, 2017

Flower Bed Resident (s)

In between all my other work, I am reclaiming the flower beds, and each time I make my weed piles a bit higher (or more of them).

One day I decided to go rake them into one large pile and guess who greeted me under one of them?

Friday, September 15, 2017

Tidbits ~ Muscle Rub Updates

I'm up bright and early, and even have my all day nutrient packed tea infusion brewing.  I do however, have to go dig through the garage to find myself a new 5 gallon bucket.  

I started to make a bucket of homemade laundry detergent (saves us a ton of money and saves us from chemicals), but the old bucket gave way.  After about 7-8 years of using it, it cracked in the bottom.  So that's first thing on my list to-do list, so I can get some laundry done.

Recipe I use is on my blog: here

Christmas mojo has returned early.  Don't worry, I just put up some fall-ish decor on the cover of my bread box.  That's about it for fall for me though.  Other than pumpkins on the porch soon.

 I'm working on a new ornament right now (in the few free seconds I have).  I've already ordered a new item for my master bath too.  Two years have gone by, and I've not gotten my white tree up.  Even after Hubby went out of his way last winter to buy a new color of ornaments for me.

Hubby and I took off on a motorcycle ride last night to clear our heads of any stress/worry/tension.  We checked out the gauze at the dollar store.  I wasn't impressed - sold by the roll, smaller and less on the roll.    I'm hoping I can downsize my bandage and not have to use an entire roll of gauze (day and night) soon.

Here's the scoop on the muscle rub....

There are many muscle rub recipes out there - in books, online, forums, etc.


I have arnica making a slow and pitiful attempt at growing in a pot, and so far, the seedlings I put outside have been drowned by the recent rain.  Not sure I'll get arnica this season.  Is arnica a "finicky" herb to grow?  Maybe it just doesn't like our climate this year? 

Feverfew, on the other hand is flourishing, even though I just planted it outdoors not long ago.  It definitely likes it's new pot.



Anyway, I made a muscle rub with what I had, and adapted a recipe.  So far it works great, but I do feel that arnica to a muscle rub would be a huge benefit.


Here is how I made mine (using all organic ingredients):

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Green Tomato Cake ~ Homemade Alfredo Sauce

We are leaving tomato season with a bang!


Our once (or twice) a year green tomato cake!  


Love this!  Mmmm!  I am lucky to get enough green tomatoes to make this once this year.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Puttin' Up Peppers ~ Tomato Season Ends



Habanero peppers made their way to the freezer.  They will stay there until I have a wee bit more free time to can hot sauce or jam with them.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Deep Clean ~ Peppers ~ Wine Journal

Although canning is not over for me, the kitchen deep clean project continues.  


Everything is being removed from counter tops, disinfected, re-organized, purged, things put back where they belong (recipes removed from the fridge and filed once again), drawers cleaned out, doors wiped down, windows cleaned, light fixtures cleaned, curtains washed, baseboards scrubbed......the whole sha-bang.

Just a wee little bit every day.


Every day chores still get done too.  It's been a good week for drying everything outside.  Our bedroom smelled sooooo good last night.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday

I am joining up with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom, for today's Happy Homemaker Monday.

The weather. . .
 ~ sunny, beautiful, high of 72°F.

Right now I am. . .
 ~ taking a break from weeding the front flower beds, considering lunch options, putting more laundry out on the line....

Random Tidbits

I dug up a few potatoes for more meals, and dug up one sweet potato slip to check on it.

 They are not really big just yet.  We'll let them sit in the ground for another 3-4 weeks (or more) before digging up more.  These delicious two, will be going into a breakfast I think.

Deep clean continues in the kitchen.   I have even started to wash all my flour/sugar/coffee etc containers.  Sugar has now been washed and sanitized for the winter.

And while I am deep cleaning the kitchen, the flower beds are being reclaimed as well.  I'm using a timer, so I can do a bit of both and feel good at the end of the day.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Staycation Day

Hubby, Youngest, and myself, visited a "Vintage Market" event for the first time.  It was ex-spen-sive!



 It was fun to walk around and see what they had.  Some "tents" were old time campers you walked into.  Sort of a fun time, lots of "gypsy" style clothing, jewelry (some handmade), homemade sauces, jellies, antiques, food and music.  In the second photo up, the first camper sold coffee, the yellow and white sold lemonade.  Just lots of cute camper "stores" and lots of stuff to look at.  Just out of my price range.  I wasn't really looking for anything, we just wanted to come check it out.  There were lots of customers dressed in "hippie" and "gypsy" outfits for this event.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

A Bit of Winter Food Prep ~ Dog Shenanigans

Celery freezer cubes have been started for winter food prep.  I do this every fall, so I have ample supply for winter cooking.  It comes in handy for soups/stews, and I don't have to worry about running out in a snow storm to get it. 


I simply dice up the celery, place it into an empty ice tray, add enough water to cover celery, and freeze. 

Friday, September 8, 2017

Pumpkins ~ Prepardedness (a slight start) ~ Pranks!

I had a bit of a delayed start in my day at home yesterday.  I had another follow up at the new doctor.  


Grad daughter drove me, so my leg wouldn't be stressed.  I took along a book I'm trying to finish (that I found tucked away in my night stand).  I'm still reading my fiction book too.

The news?

Spider bite is healing, leg swelling is going down - doctor is very happy.  I don't have to go back for 2 more weeks, but I will be taking up stock with the company who manufacturers gauze and roll gauze (ha ha ha!).  I can exercise too, but have to start slow.  Woo hoo!  On the road to recovery!!

I ended up home after lunch time, and well, it left me with the question what to tackle next.  Oh, I have a funny to share (not so funny to me, but to a kid of mine)

I have more tomatoes, but I cannot can sauce related items late in the day, or I'll be up all night long.


I decided to roast all 6 pie pumpkins I recently brought in.  Most people who go through the lengths of cutting these, removing seeds, roasting them and pureeing them, go right back to buying Libby's canned pumpkin. 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

This and That ~ Canning

It didn't take long for the recent medical bills to start flowing in (again).  I spent time on the phone taking care of those, so I can pay monthly until they are at reasonable amounts to fully pay off. 

A bit of sad news.  The small quilt shop that I have wanted to take lessons at (and procrastinated for years) is now closing it's doors.  It was very close to home too, and local.  I guess Youtube and I have a date this winter.  The sewing machine sits and waits for me.  Yeah, not happening any day soon due to the last haul of tomatoes.


Lemony Tomato-Basil soup was canned first.  I had very little basil in the herb garden, so I did a mix of parsley and basil this time.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Homemade Sausage ~ Biscuits and Gravy Oh My!

I woke up Monday to a warm 63°F and later a high of 87°.  And guess what?  


We started the "resurrection" of the flower beds/rose bed/herb garden on Sunday (no chance in convincing Hubby to break out the chainsaw for wood chores in the heat either), and now we are to get 4 days of possible rain.  I guess the Good Lord thought I needed softer soil to rip those weeds out, ha ha!  

Clean up before the end of the day.  But oh, so much more to weed (like about 60-70 feet of flower/herb beds).

Monday, we labored (again).  Hubby mowed some more, we weeded, and prepped the garlic bed.  Oh that was a joy - windy as heck, and try putting plastic down in the wind.  It took us about 1 1/2 hours or more to pull up old plastic, till, and put the new plastic down.  Now it will sit for a week or so to kill off more weeds/grass before I fall plant.

Laundry was put out.  Dried in seconds with the wind, heat and sun we had.

Pie pumpkins were picked and brought inside.  There are more, and more baby ones just starting.


A few blackberries were enjoyed.


Now about the homemade sausage.... 

In our parts of the world, we can buy "natural" sausage in patties, but it's not organic/non-gmo.  I've been buying organic pork, and making it myself.

It's the next best thing to raising my own pigs, butchering and making the sausage myself (goals). Or some day having a neighbor, like-minded, to barter with some day. 

That's the tickler about homesteading - it's a simple way of living, but so many people confuse "simple" with "easy."

To make the homemade sausage:

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Grilling ~ More Tomatoes ~ Dinky Bell Peppers/Carrots ~ Chilly Temps

We recently grilled burgers and we took advantage of that open jar of canned caramelized onions.

 Mmm.  Goodness.  Grilled organic / non-gmo beef burgers, topped with swiss cheese, canned onions, and home canned ketchup.  I should have mixed some hot peppers and greens into the beef, but I was just so hungry, ha ha ha!

(15 lbs.)

Saturday, September 2, 2017

A Bit of Stocking Up ~ A Good - Dirty Apron Week


(before sauce reduced to half)

It's been a canner-ganza week.  I'm thankful for that too, and we haven't checked our pears yet (no apples or plums this year again). 

Homemaking goes to a new level when you homestead as well.  It's not just cleaning, tidying up, dusting, paying bills, vacuuming, sweeping, purging, baking, cooking, washing dishes, getting kids to appointments and off to school.....it's hard work.  My kids hate me this time of year, ha ha!  Literally.  Deep down, I know they appreciate it.

I'm looking forward to a huge crock pot of delicious chili soon.  All these tomatoes are making me hungry.

Got coffee?  Tea?  Adult beverage (ha ha!) 
You may need one to sip while you read through today's post.  Sorry for the length.  Like I said - a busy kitchen week.



I used about 23 pounds of those delicious tomatoes, to can up some seasoned tomato sauce (recipe is in the Ball Blue Book).


I used pint jars this time.  Smaller meal planning.



I had those hot banana peppers that were looking so good...

Friday, September 1, 2017

Finished! Sunrise and the upcoming Labor Day Weekend

Crocheted/Granny square washcloth is completed. One project checked off the list.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

What's Cookin? Greens. That's what's Cookin'

In 2016, I canned sweet-hot caramelized onions for the first time.  I used them often in different recipes, meals.  This time I used the onions on pizza....


Garden Swiss Chard, ricotta, Parmesan, garden garlic, herb garden thyme, barnyard egg....topped with home canned sweet hot caramelized onions.  Tasted amazing.


Here is how I made mine, but you an google for other recipes:

Monday, August 28, 2017

...from the handiwork journal

I thought I'd post a handiwork update while the kitchen is in full swing.

. . . made more granny squares for the baby blanket, only 11 more to make. 




. . .making progress on the dishcloths.  Finished this one, which was gifted to my older brother for all that fish he gifted us.  Another one still continues in progress.




. . .started on a set of embroidered kitchen towels. These are for Grad Daughter's Hope Chest.  I had to hold this down in the wind to get a photo of it.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Zoo-ing It!

Although I had different plans, my daugther reminded me it was Family day at the zoo (provided free by Hubby's work).

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Second Picking of Tomatoes and other goodies

Woke up to 48°F.  

Break out the carhartts. Brrr!  This is not normal for August.

Hubby worked late last night.  When he got home he advised me about Hurricane Harvey.  I had no idea.   I don't get the news on my TV.   Praying for Texas and any surrounding areas.


My recent garden goodie harvest. 

This is only two rows of the back tomato patch.  I later enlisted the help of a daughter and got all the tomatoes picked (aside from rotten ones and ones the chickens got into).  The grand tally later was 51 lbs.  That didn't include the grape and heirloom pear tomatoes either.  Despite cooler weather and no rain.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Welcome to the Jungle! Homemaking at it's Best ~ Fox and the Chickens ~ Garden Provides

I feel like I need to add music to this post, ha ha ha!

I decided to take photos after all.  A little humor for you today. I was outside taking photos of Youngest on her 2nd day of school, and just started to laugh.

You have to have humor to see this, and deal with this (all things considered).

This doesn't even include the jungle of a vegetable garden we have either.

Grab a cup of java/tea or your favorite beverage.  Things just got interesting....

Thursday, August 24, 2017

No Rain ~ The Jungle ~ Our Lamancha Goats passing hands again

We were to get rain all day the other day, and got  a 1 second sprinkle.  The garden really needs it too.

In the meantime, I wrapped up my leg really good (I didn't want dirt in it) and went out to weed the jungle of my herb garden.  I needed to get in it to start dehydrating for winter.

One hour later, my left eye started to itch and burn.  Sure enough when I came inside, it was red and swollen.  Allergies.  I am almost out of nettle, so I whipped up a cup of nettle, ginger and peppermint tea.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

First day of School ~ Ketchup/dirty apron day ~ Quinoa

First off today, it's the first day of school and this Mom didn't wake up until 9am.  I feel so awful.  I had a busy day yesterday, but Grad Daughter was up and took my traditional bus leaving the house photos.  Her bus picks up at 7:04am this year, and normally I am up.

I woke up to an almost empty coffee pot and then realized I missed her getting on the bus.  I feel terrible.  Oye.  Oh so terrible.  At least Hubby already had coffee made, and I already had breakfast made.  That should have helped ease her morning.

Yesterday, my day started with chopping up and coring 10-11 pounds of tomatoes.  Our tomato year is poor this year. they are much smaller and we have very little compared to last year.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Beets, Housework, Preparing for Winter, and Handiwork


While beets boiled in their skins, I read a short story in a magazine to get an idea of what is expected of submissions.  


And laundry was washed and put out on the line.  

Bathrooms were scrubbed by help from the kids, and floors cleaned.  By the way, my Grad Daughter has now been taught to boil potatoes and eggs both.  I hope she keeps up on her learning skills.