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, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

May your Thanksgiving be relaxing, peaceful, fun, and safe!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Canning, Bourbon and Crochet ~ Cherry Bourbon BBQ Sauce

Tuesday started out just gorgeous.  Caught these photos after seeing it going out to fetch firewood.  Just makes a person smile.  

BBQ pork chops went into crock pot yesterday.  We had leftover wild rice, and it was a perfect match.  The sauce is home canned, with added fresh onion, green pepper etc.  Yum.  Recipe is in the cookbook, "Fix it and Forget it."  Although I think it's called "Spicy" not BBQ in the book.

Now if you just read the blogpost title and wondered (hiccup) if I indulged (hiccup) in that bourbon or (hiccup) not .  .  . 

 . . . Cherry-Bourbon BBQ Sauce was canned. Recipe is a "pile to file" keeper recipe.  I've had this on my list for over a year now.  It's from "The All New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving @ 2016."   And you bet I tasted it right away.  Yum!    I would recommend it for gift giving for any occasion too.  You can use it on meat, fish, rice or other grain, on burgers, in other recipes...endless ideas.

I couldn't get my towels out on the line until noon, but the high winds dried it spankin' fast.  The sun was out too. 

Yesterday's snack?  Pumpkin hummus.  Mmmm.

It was also a day to blanch and freeze 3 bundles of organic dandelion greens, pick some more kale, and bring in one egg from my free loaders.  The kale is in this morning's breakfast.  I'm thankful it's still producing.

I got up extra early this morning, to make a fresh hot breakfast (not a reheated one Hubby usually takes to work).  Why?  Well, ha ha!  Oh boy.  I watched him walk out the door with pancakes on a plate with syrup and a fork.  There was no stopping him either.  It could have been bad with him driving and eating pancakes to work.  He arrived safely and on time, but today he'll not get away with do that.  

I'm making omelets - onion, red pepper, potatoes, ham and kale.  Gotta get them greens ya' know.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Teabag Tidbits

Well, I knocked Monday off the week with a bang - bills paid, recipes filed back where they need to be, one tossed out, groceries done, library returns done, some wood work cleaned, laundry done (it dried in 20 degree weather because it was very windy), and a crock pot dinner. 

I had plans to can on Monday.  Ha ha ha ha!  Yeah, didn't happen.  Bill paying hasn't been fun lately, so it was either chamomile tea or a shot of whiskey.  Not to alarm the kids, I drank the tea. 

Short post today. Enjoy your Tuesday.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday

I'm joining Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom, for Happy Homemaker Monday.  How happy is your Monday today?  Well, school break started today.  That makes me happy.  I have company and help.  I used my photo of the flourless brownies to remind myself we are due to have them again.  I have more homemade whiskey butterscotch sauce to use, and it's perfectly paired with them.  It's also good drizzled over a coffee cake too, so that may be on the menu too.

On the breakfast plate. . . 

 Coffee, burrito with egg, potato, sausage, beans and cowboy candy.

Right now I am. . .
Sorting bills.  

The weather outside. . .
Cold but sunny.

Looking around the house. . . 
I see we really need to get the Christmas totes put back in the garage.  That way I can get around the living room much easier, and get back to exercise again.  The house is looking very festive however.

On the to-do list. . .
-clean kitchen window woodwork
-clean more woodwork in bedroom
-clean up and put away Christmas totes
-scrub the tub
-pay bills
-library returns and pick ups
-crack more walnuts
-scrub dog bowls
-work on barn wood
-bring in firewood

On the menu this week . . .

Sunday: Meatballs with home canned pepper mustard sauce wild rice, and corn
Monday:  Sweet potato Chili
Tuesday:  BBQ pork chops, brown rice or quinoa, green beans
Wednesday:  Chicken Teriyaki
Friday:  Cod, spinach, garlic mashed potatoes
Saturday:  Leftovers

If I have a minute to myself today I will . . .
Work on the scarves for the upcoming craft sale.

New recipe I want to try or tried. . .
 New roll recipes.  Just need to get some time to try them. Oh, and chocolate marshmallows, and a few others.

Looking forward to this week . . .
Skipping Thanksgiving!!!!!!  No baking, no cooking, no rushing around, no dirty dishes to wash!!!  Woohoo!  I am very much looking forward to getting past the entire week healthy!!!  I'm still in the spirit, and may even be able to visit some family, but so less stressed this year.

Favorite photo from the camera. . .

Devotional, Scripture, Key Verses, Quotes . . .
 Image result for Be thankful meme

First Snow

As Hubby made my breakfast, I glanced out the window and said, "it's snowing!"  He didn't believe it either, but the kids came downstairs and told me it was actually snowing for three hours Saturday night.   Our first snow.

Our pouring down rain on Saturday turned to snow by late evening.  It snowed most of Sunday, and it was cold.  Nothing on the ground this morning though, but a chilly 28° F here.

The pears are disappearing again.  I rolled out  a pie crust.

Look who was "eye-spying" that pie crust too!  Ha ha!

While the guys (we had help arrive) worked on replacing the two year old wheel bearing, I baked another pear gingersnap pie.  They were drooling over it and couldn't wait to cut a piece.  

While the guys worked outside in the bitter cold, I worked on some crochet work until the pie was done.  Meatballs went in for dinner right after that.

Hubby's nephew had his first piece of pear pie, and he asked if I sold them, ha ha!  I sadly told him no, and that there were no more pears, but a few (aside from what I froze).  I'm sure he enjoyed his piece slathered with homemade whiskey butterscotch sauce.

I would have slept in a bit more this morning, had I known that school break started.  I went to get Youngest up, and she told me in a groggy voice, "on break Mom." 

 Look what we were gifted!  Cute, right?   Well, I may join the Happy Homemaker post today later.  I guess we'll see. I am glad I have helpers today, and the remainder of the week too.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Rain, rain, and more rain

I'm posting without any photos for the first time in a long time.  It rained the entire day yesterday.  All day long, dark, dreary, and the type of weather you'd want to curl up with a book or crochet.

We ran errands.  It was miserable driving weather, but we did.  I was upset, only because we were rushed for time, I forgot to grab my crochet work. 

We had a 1 hour drive to get to the bank we needed to get to, and I forgot my stinkin' crochet.  I was beside myself.  Wasted that time, but enjoyed talking with Hubby.  He thought it was funny I was so flabbergasted I had nothing in my hands. 

We accomplished our stops, and I came home without my new circular knitting needles.  I'll have to drive in another direction, on another day to search for them.  I needed a US size 15, and they only had up to 11. I will have to find a Jo-Ann Fabrics to find them I think.  Our store in the "big city" closed years ago.  Nothing is easy to get to when you live in the boonies.

We returned home and had this crazy idea we'd go dancing.  The band Hubby hired for my surprise birthday was in town, but not playing until 9pm.

We crawled in bed and took a nap to prepare.

Or so we though we were preparing, ha ha!  I had ideas for what to wear, and we were both excited. 

Until we lost our excitement and decided to eat dinner in bed, watch netflix and turn in early, ha ha ha ha!

I'll regret not going dancing, but I'm sure they will play again in our area.   

We are now both well rested folks, and I'm feeling much much better, so sleeping in and napping yesterday helped.  It's very wet out, so we are limited to outdoor work, but Hubby has truck repairs that he never got to yesterday.  I am not sure what today will entail, but the fact we are healthy, and rested is a bonus.

Adding to Hubby's to-do list, is fix my Grandma's Christmas tree.  The ceramic one.  The cord needs replaced.  The original cord has been on it since I was a kid.  We'll be taking at least a look at it and deciding if we can even replace it.  I'm not even sure we can still purchase the light bulbs for it anymore.  I guess we'll be finding out. 

Fields are flooded today, and we went from a 58° day to a 37° morning.  I'm sure I'll be sloshing through wetness to get to the barn today.  Or rowing out there in the boat, ha ha!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

A Peek at One Christmas Tree

I really need another tree for all the handmade ornaments I have. They are either made by me (80%), my grandmother, or my kids.  This one, I made.  I purchased a pattern from Etsy a few years back, and sold them at the Farmer's market.  They were well loved.  I should make some more if I have time.  Many of these ornaments have been shared on my blog before too.

Candy cane crocheted by my one Grandma.  She also crocheted us tree ornament stockings.  I haven't found mine yet in the box.

Only one of these were made (by me).  Our library closed, and we had to drive to the "big city" to another library.  I went home with a ton of Christmas books, and found the pattern to make this guy.  I have yet to find the same book (should have written it down).  I just love it.  Made from a wooden clothespin.

A drum, created from half of a toilet paper roll.  The drum sticks are toothpicks with tiny pom poms glued to them.  I made enough of these one year for an entire elementary class.

I loved participating in my kids Christmas parties when they were in elementary school.  Each year I tried to rotate the holiday's so each kid was spoiled with the Christmas one.  I would make an handmade ornament (with great detail), and wrap each one for each student.  Of course there were goodie bags and a homemade snack too.  Oh those were the good ol' days.  Some classes had up to 30 students too.

Those are the only ones I took photos of this year, but if I take more I'll share more.  Just for nostalgic reasons, I may drive up to the "big city" some day and check out the Christmas book selection.  I miss that.  I do miss making the ornaments too.

Each Christmas I'd make one for each family member.  When Mom downsized her tree, she gave away all of my ornaments.  Sort of made me sad.  So, I stopped doing it.  I also got the hint that another had enough.  Again, it depressed my Christmas spirit.  However, I now want to make more for the kids that have moved out, and will have a tree of their own (one already does).

Thanks for listening to my Christmas tree ornament ramble.  It brought back a lot of good memories.  I'll leave you with a photo of one of  six snowmen.  My Aunt gifted them to me before she passed away.  They now decorate the house, in various places, leaving smiles along the way.

It's a full blown rainy day here today.  I slept in until almost 9am.  It felt great too.  Breakfast was made yesterday, so I don't have to even do that today - blueberry, wholewheat pancakes, and sausage.  And coffee of course.  I'm feeling better, but guess who has the sniffles?  Hubby.  He is working to hard, so I hope he takes it easy today.   He has repair work to do on the truck, and we can split wood under the barn roof, but it's easy-does-it for him today.

Friday, November 17, 2017

How to Make a Sore Throat Tea and Tidbits

I woke to a sore throat (a few days back), and found I was completely out of marshmallow root, so I threw together the following ingredients for a "sore throat" tea.  

I am simply sharing my experience with this tea.  Please keep in mind that all herbs/roots etc. may have side effects, and some may interfere with some medications.  There are many books and internet sites for you to research the benefits as well as the side effects.  Please research before trying anything.  I have a disclaimer on my blog (I am not a doctor).  I am sharing what worked for me.  Marshmallow root has been used for years for sore throats.  In the past, I have also made a tea with sage, peppermint, ginger, or mullein.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Christmas ~ Pears ~ Sunrise

I've been planning our Christmas meal for here lately.  One daughter (maybe two) has to work on Christmas day.  We've decided to have our meal on Christmas Eve, so I've been enjoying the planning.   So far that's the plan.  It may change again.

The holidays are definitely different this year, and we are very happy regardless of the changes this year.  

I had to go and search for the homemade vanilla extract recipe.  I used the recipe found "here" at Michelle's Little Piece of Heaven blogspot, and purchased the vanilla beans from the source she recommended.  I've been making it since 2013, and have never purchased vanilla in stores (organic is outrageously priced).

I spent the day peeling and slicing pears.  Some of them.  I am weighing out the amount for a pear pie, and freezing them in portions.  You can also put parchment paper in an empty pie dish, fill the dish with pears, freeze them, slide them out into a container or bag.  I just sliced and froze according to the instructions. I won't be freezing any for butters, as I have enough already in the freezer (and pantry).  Hubby is now thankful for the pear trees and the pears we got.   I won't have enough to can, but maybe in a few years I will.

The pears have not all left the table just yet.  I have more to tackle yet.

Homemade yogurt finally made it's way to the dehydrator.  I use this for my snack, breakfast, sauces, in my mashed potatoes and other baking recipes. 

I literally spent my entire day in sweatpants and slippers yesterday.  I also spent it wiping 8 paws off several times.  The rain wasn't a downpour, but it was all day and into the night. 

It's a wet, balmy 38°F and a high of 40 today.  You should have seen yesterday's sunrise before the rain.  Here I'll give you a glimpse. . .

Beautiful I tell ya'!  It remained a bright pink until sunrise.  Just a beautiful way to start the morning.  I had to get wood and took my time at it.  Today's is totally gray out there.

Today, I'm downing mullein tincture and rubbing homemade vapo-rub (with added eucalyptus oil in it) all over my chest and neck.  No worries, I spent the previous day downing a homemade sore throat tea I put together, and it worked.  I am starving this morning, so I'm off to exercise (don't worry, not over-doing it), and then to the kitchen.  I'm thinking pancakes and sausage or bacon.  Or saving the bacon for another dinner I have in mind.  There I go rambling again.

The dogs are upstairs driving Youngest mad.  I (gulp) let them go up and help her get out of bed on time, ha ha!  "Grad" daughter barreled out the door early afternoon to sleep at another friend's house (again), with an "I'm 18 and I can do what I want" attitude.  I'm on dog duty bright and early.  Motherhood can sometimes suck be difficult.

I'm hoping we get a glimpse of sunlight today.  I'm gonna need it.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Craft Bazaar Prep ~ Sweet Potatoes ~ Pears

I had 5 mugs to start with, and finished them all.  The top left has a black mug, and the Christmas cozy has a red mug.  I love the blue and purple one.  They all have two buttons on the straps.

In hopes to find another mug, I started a fall colored cozy/coaster set to add to the inventory.  I had enough of the yarn to make the same one I made myself.

I spent an entire afternoon, about a week ago, emptying my boxes and totes and taking count of my inventory.  I now have a list and inventory sheet produced from my hard work, and found a few items that need ends sewn in.  There are many more items I could make, so I hope to get some done in the next few weeks.  I have one daughter eye-spying another slouchy hat in my pile, so I'm off to see if I have more yarn of that color. 

Oh, and now my youngest daughter wants a double wrap infinity scarf for Christmas.  Of course I won't wait until then, so she can use it now.  I just won't start on it until the craft show has started.   She wants Harry Potter colors.

I chopped up some of our garden sweet potatoes and made a crock pot of sweet potato/cauliflower and garden kale soup.  I used a recipe I found online and added my greens to it.  Gotta have those greens!

Tried a new recipe, Gingersnap Pear Pie , and we topped it with homemade whiskey butterscotch sauce.  Hubby said it's now is favorite of all pies.  It bubbled over like crazy, but oh my it was good.  Hubby said it was so good, he wants me to make two for him to take to work.  I told him he was crazy.  He'd be lucky to get another from me this week, ha ha!  Recipe is from a Country Woman magazine, but also online with Taste of Home:  here  (hence wanting a homemade crunchy gingersnap recipe).

A jar of homemade vanilla extract was strained.  I use this in many recipes.

The weather is turning on us again.  More rain.  Can you believe it?  It's in the 30's at night and 40's days, but yesterday we had a full day of sunshine.  Hubby suggested a motorcycle ride, but stayed in, ha ha!  Just a bit too cold for me.  I made a crock pot of salsa chicken (boneless organic chicken, garden tomatoes, garlic, cayenne, broth etc) and we topped mashed pinto beans with it - delicious!  We can use it on breakfast/lunch/dinner burritos too.  I had some cream leftover from making the whiskey sauce, so I thawed some corn and made pan of creamed corn (Mmmmm!). 

My free loader hens gave me one dinky egg yesterday.  They were out and about, but geeze.  The kids are the only reason I haven't put three of them in the stew pot.  I'll have that talk with them again (to the hens) and see if I start getting those eggs again.  They have gotten some treats too, but to no avail, they free load the organic feed.  They love the pear peelings.

Rain is to start at 1pm and continue the entire day until 11pm tonight.  I will be in my kitchen for more of the time, and hope to gravitate to some crochet work.  I had a sore throat yesterday, so I don't want to over do anything this week.  I'll be posting the tea I made soon.  I took a long soak in the tub with Epson salts, and tea tree/eucalyptus oils.  I'm feeling pretty good today.

Oh, and it's a bit disconcerting when one of your children has to go to work where it was recently robbed.  No gun, but this past few weeks there have been several gun point robberies.  

Good news (maybe).  Our "Vet Tech" daughter bought a new car.  Our "Grad" Daughter is getting her old one.  The only problem is finding affordable insurance for her now.  Crossing my fingers (and saying a prayer) it all works out for all of us.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday

I'm joining in on the fun with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom (I will link it as soon as she posts today).  Boy, as my kids get older, I realize I have been home with them for about 20 years now.  Time has flown by way too fast.  I need to learn to slow down more, and enjoy life before the last ones leave the nest.  

On the breakfast plate. . .
 Smoked sausage and egg burrito topped with cowboy candy (gotta get my hot peppers in), coffee 

Right now I am  . . .

Writing out my pattern I made up for Daughter's special request.  She asked me to crochet her a double wrap infinity scarf.  I finished it, and gave it to her.  She is very happy with it.

I used a new stitch and it whipped up pretty fast, considering all the chores I had over the weekend.  I'm considering selling patterns I create on Etsy or Ravelry.  I need to read up on what's involved first.

I am also moving "pressure canner" to the top of my wish list.  It's definitely needed.

The weather outside. . .
  Wet and cold.  It rained yesterday.  In fact, it started raining as we walked out to cut wood, so no wood was cut.  It is however even warmer than yesterday.  It's a nice 37°degrees this morning. So, not too cold.

Looking around the house . . .
I need to clean off a kitchen table, but otherwise it stayed pretty clean.  We need to finish decorating the main Christmas tree.

On today's to-do list . . .for the week
-wash down more wood work (girls helped with some)
-clean master bathroom
-clean up the kitchen 
-put soup in the crock pot
-bake pear pie
-make homemade whiskey butterscotch sauce
-make homemade yogurt
-work on barn wood as weather allows
-figure out the meals for the week
-clean two ceiling fans
-laundry washed and on the clothesline
-water houseplants
-take trash out
-drain a jar of homemade vanilla extract

Currently reading . . .
  I haven't been reading anything, but I have books in at the library.  I hope Hubby doesn't forget to pick them up for me.  

On the TV today. . .
 Christmas DVD's from the library after Hubby and I retire for the night.

On the menu this week. . .
-bean burritos, topped with veggies
-sweet potato and cauliflower soup
-tomato sauce with pasta and meatballs, veggie
-fish (have to check my stash), beets
-homemade pizzas

If I have a few minutes to myself I will. . .
 Read through a magazine or two, maybe even open the novel I have been reading.  Work on bazaar items. One thing for sure - take a long soak in the tub, with salts and tea tree oil.  Looking forward to starting the week off with pampering myself a bit.

New recipe I want to try or tried . . .
  A new pear pie recipe.  I have ripe pears now.

Favorite photo from the camera. . .

The last warmer sunrise on the porch.  The furniture has since been put away for winter. This photo brings back a recent (good) memory.

Devotionals, Scripture, Key Verses, Quotes. . .

Image result for quote about being amazing

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Dose of Vitamin D

Hubby and I took the morning start slower.  First we started to warm up with coffee, and I went through some of my library loot.  It was a very relaxing start to a work day.  The book above has some interesting recipes.  The book mainly contains information on herbs typically cooked/baked with - thyme, basil, etc.  Not the medicinal weeds like comfrey, chickweed, plantain, etc.  Each herb is highlighted with one to three recipes, a tea, oil, salve or cream.  I wrote down a cayenne tea recipe for our youngest.  The next time she has a migraine, I'm going to see if it eases the pain for her.  

Hubby cooked breakfast - eggs, bacon, and fried potatoes.  And while he cooked, I got on the computer and ordered about 50 more Hallmark videos.  Today I'm requesting Thanksgiving movies.  He's cooking breakfast again today.

Then we got to work.  I got the very last of the tomato stakes, plants and twine out of the garden.  Although wet, I got them out and back in storage for winter.  It was pretty cold day, but the sun was out and so beautiful.  I didn't mind being out there one bit.

The hens got a nice clean coop, and extra straw for the cold nights.  The free loaders gave me one egg yesterday.  I do, however, have one egg bound hen.  We've plunked her in a warm tub of water, and she started to push, but stopped.  After a long time, we removed her and dried her off.  Sadly, we lost her during the night.  A barred rock that we've had for several years now.  The unpleasant part of homesteading, but part of it.

While Hubby mowed several acres of grass, I picked the kale and swiss chard.  I promptly brought it inside and took care of it.  You can just barely see the insulated flannel I had on.  Brr.

One daughter helped me load the back of truck with the remaining front porch furniture.  I also toted a few folding tables and chairs from the back porch.  The remaining will be loaded up or covered with a tarp today.  

Guess what we are getting today?

More rain.   Later in the day.

Not like we need it, but I'll have my greens growing a bit longer.   The collards are still producing, but too small to harvest.

There is absolutely no sunshine today.  Dreary, dull skies.  It is about 10 degrees warmer and my kitchen is nice and toasty.  We can at least start work earlier today.