Thursday, April 7, 2011


It's really a lovely day here so this post, yet overdue, will be short - hopefully.

    We have been tons busy around here - like always. I have peas, carrots, garlic, and lettuce planted. I have 250 tomato and pepper plants seeded in the greenhouse, still have more varieties to seed. We also have over 100 marigolds and other flowers that I love but find it extremely hard to buy full grown from a nursery.  Our cabbage plants are growing and hope to get them in the ground when the moon allows. Our seed potatoes are ready for the moon also. All the fruit trees are getting leaves and blooming.So right now I think I am on track. NOT.

   I have SO much more to do. My list seems to be getting longer as we get projects done. we did get one strawberry bed re-vamped and still have another to do. the pond needs cleaned out and relined. The chicken run needs to be bigger. Not to mention all the other seeds that need seeded in the greenhouse. I still have more tomatoes ( as mentioned above), rosemary, chives, and flowers to get started. Also the onions need planted.
    So right now when someone asks about how the gardening is going I have to chuckle and say " It's Lovely" although its tiring and alot of work its "just Lovely"

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Our friends over at Homestead Revival have a great giveaway. If you are preparing your family for a disaster and worried about a water source. They are giving away a barrel and a pump!!!

Have great fun reading other posts as well! Have a blessed day and good luck!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Creamy Homemade Butter

 It took many days for me to finally try to make homemade butter. I always thought , I won't be able to mix it long enough, or what if I get tired of shaking it. Well on a rainy non- productive day I finally put all my fears aside and just jumped in head first, so to speak.  Boy am I happy I did.
  Although, during the shaking, I thought I would be stuck with 6 cups of whipped cream but at last it started turning into butter. It's so creamy and yummy. If you never have made homemade butter before please try it you will be glad you did. All you need is a jar with lid, heavy cream, and two strong arms as you will be shaking it for a little while.  After the butter forms drain off the buttermilk and I rinsed the butter under cool water to make sure the buttermilk was out, if you dont the milk can sour and ruin the taste of the fresh butter.
 Have fun and have a Blessed day!!
butter (left) buttermilk (right)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Balancing act

   When going into homesteading, having a family,a home, animals, and a garden,  how do you keeps things running smoothly?
   If you are just starting homesteading or working your way to self-sustain your family one must have a idea of what needs to be done and when. Without a idea you could feel overwhelmed and more likely to throw in the towel.  The plan will take a while to really get control of but when the schedule is consistent you will find more time and you will also be a little bit more relaxed. Remember to make one for each season as the chores change from season to season. I also leave at least 30 minutes a day as free time, this can be taken for yourself or have it to get another chore done that needs tending to.  We also have family time everyday which usually starts around the dinner table and overflows in to evening hours.
   As for me my schedule not only changes season to season but from day to day. Most of it stays the same but on days its raining and after all the feeding is done I will spend most of the day in the house getting caught up on inside chores doing some extra cleaning, menu planning or baking.  When it's nice outside I tend to be out all day long.
   If you are feeling run down try a timeline schedule. This will help you stay on track and hopefully you will stay strong on your way to becoming more self- sustainable.

   Have a blessed day!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Chicken venture

  I can't believe I how busy we have been here. Sorry for not posting this week but busy is really not the word. This week we were hard at work building a rabbit hutch, getting the new chickens settled in, getting the greenhouse done and Spring cleaning.
  We are gathering 4-5 eggs per day now. This morning we awoke to the chickens wondering around the yard.  mind you , I would rather have our chickens free range at all times but our neighbors have dogs that don't really care to stay in their own yard. So for the safety for our chickens, they must stay in the coop and run or the tractor. But sometime yesterday our daughter had the coop open and somehow bumped her head and in all the commotion forgot to latch the door. Oh well -  chickens were happy as could be in the new garden area - thankful nothing planted yet.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Weekend Refresh

We have had a busy weekend. We celebrated our 12 wedding anniversary this weekend with some time alone visiting the big city near our home. We found some great stores which has helped us decide that adding on to our home is the right thing to do for us.
If you have a HFH( Habitat for Humanity) Restore store near you, I urge you to go and take a look if you haven't already. At the one near us they had everything from kitchen cupboards, furniture, appliances, doors, windows, tile,and sinks. They are used but still in good condition items that are donated to the store and then sold for HFH. With our plans to add on to our home in the near future we were excited and pleased to have found things we could use and are Eco - friendly by not letting them go into a landfill.

3 day old chicks (bantam)
This weekend we also acquired a few more animals that we were planning on getting. We now have 2 more rabbits and 8 more chickens. The rabbits are a month old and the kids were grateful to have them. Five of the chickens ( 6 weeks) are bought for eating and 3 other chicks are 3 days old for a birthday gift.

Bottle fed lambs we fostered
The lambs are no longer here, they were reunited with their other brothers and sisters and moms. They were a real great pleasure to have fostered ( even though we lost 2 due to pnuemonia - the temps here went crazy on us) during their bottle feeding days and hope to have the opportunity to foster again next year.

  Today our cat ( Fuzzy) is at the vet having surgery. I did cry when I had to leave him but plan to go pick him up later this evening. I will post an update later this evening.

 Have a Blessed day!!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Sunday breakfast

Awwww homemade donuts - yummy

Forever and a day

Yup that's how long it feels like I have waited for this. Although its more like 3 years but at last we finally have it. We worked hard on finishing it last night, placing panels and windows. Now that its up my potting bench and some shelves will be placed inside. We got this from Harbor Freight, originally priced $799 went on sale for $699 and with a 20% off coupon we paid $530. Gotta love saving money.
Have a blessed day!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Winter winnings

This winter has been long and truly tiring. We had a lot of snow that fell throughout the state and really cold temperatures. We had many long nights and more long days when outside the temps were too low to got out. So what is the family to do? Well the kids loved playing games and well just being kids, with a lot of snow days from school. I taught my self how to crochet. To date I have made each of the kids scarfs that have come in handy this winter,my mom a scarf, my niece a scarf for next Christmas, and I have started on a blanket that will be given at Christmas also. So I have managed to beat the winter blues by working with some vibrant colors and get a bit of Christmas gifts made. Its a win win in my book. Winter is almost over and we have a bit more snow in the forecast for Friday but Spring is coming.... I hope.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Just a little update

As of 2 days ago we have been putting up the new greenhouse. But I wanted to let you all know that I have tons of pictures and tons of posts to upload. Its supposed to rain this weekend so hopefully I can get caught up with my blog - THANKS to all those following me now we are up to 8. Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Ready for Spring?

I am. With this winter coming to an end my anxiety tends to get up. I love Spring but with so much to get done I get nervous about what gets done and when.

The garden plots have been plowed for the season when the weather was in the 60's this past week. Now the temps are back in the 40's. Our cabbage, broccolli, and brussle sprout plants are about 2 inches tall. We have vegetable plants every where in our house. Which brings me to our next step. This weekend we will go pick up our greenhouse. I have been waiting for them to go on sale before we use our 20% off coupon to save more money. They are on sale now so Im really excited to be getting it. Can't wait to get the rest of our plants growing.

Our chickens or shall I say one of our chickens seem to be laying an egg a day. They are just about 6 months old. The chicken tractor is done and they have been enjoying sunny days in the yard.

What are you doing to prepare for Spring?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Our first on this homestead

This year we have been having alot of firsts and its only the second month. Lambs are a first for out bit of soil - as is our first egg - Yup, we were surprised that on the first nice 60 degree day we were blessed with the most beautiful egg ever seen. The best part is that our daughter, that had been checking on them for days, is the one that found it. We all have been checking on the nesting box for weeks knowing it was getting close. We are pleased to beable to put eggs on the harvest tally now!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Learning new things

Through this very difficult winter I have managed to be snowed in just enough to teach myself how to crochet.Something I have struggled with. I guess you can say I have crocheted my way through winter. Scarfs are the crocheting project of choice right now and it seems something I have mastered. All my kids have one, my mom, and I have been working on another for my niece. Hopefully by next winter I will manage a afghan.
Have you learned any new things this winter?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A friend

is doing an awesome give-away. The prize is a personlized Ramsign Enamel Sign, just follow the link -> to Homestead Revival and enter for a chance to win!">

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Self - Sufficient part 1

For us here self sufficiency is a big priority of ours. Of course being self sufficient is a lot of hard work. From day light to dark there is something to do, from feeding, checking on animals, digging in the dirt, or playing with seeds. So where does one start on the road to self sufficiency? Well let me start by saying the road is long - don't try to get it all done in one year, it takes time. Its a learning experience. you learn by trial and a bunch of errors.
Our first 6 years here we concentrated our energy on the garden and building the soil. we experienced some great harvests, and some not so great. From there we introduced fruit trees onto our property. Now we have 5 apple trees, 3 peach trees and 2 cherry trees all well established and thriving. we also learned how to make laundry detergent and dishwasher detergent.
This year (Year 9) we are concentrating on animals and the greenhouse and maybe some alternative heating source. Getting animals is a given- everyone is on board and ready to learn and help. the green house should get done within the next month - just in time. The heating source we are doing some research on and trying to figure out which would be best for our needs. On one hand the outdoor wood stove will heat the home and our water but wondering if wood, to use in the stove, will be readily available. On the other hand we have been also looking at solar panels but will the sun be enough here in the winter months to keep our home warm. This will be an exciting venture to see how it turns out, stay tuned.

Monday, January 31, 2011

2011 Homesteading To-Dos

Our homesteading To-Dos are what we have on our list of , need to be done, in the 2011 year.
Our list is as of follows:
1. finish greenhouse
2. get wood stove for greenhouse
3. plow another garden space (as the kids are growing)
4. raise veggie plants for family members as well as for us.
5. get calf and 2 dairy goats
6. reduce grocery store dependency by 5%

Friday, January 28, 2011


When things change around here they really change. The lambs are really growing and pouncing all around. They are fun to watch as they play. We received another one tonight - its a GIRL!! As of now we have 3 boys and a girl. They have also started trying hay.
Our chickens still have not laid any eggs but hopefully Spring is right around the corner and we will receive some then. This morning while feeding the lambs we heard what sounded like a wounded dog. With further investigating we discovered one of our hens is a rooster and he was trying to find his crow! Its still weak but in due time I am certain he will find it. I stood out on the back porch this morning listening to him, it was entertaining to say the least. Seems to me one of the kids must have picked out of the wrong box when choosing their chicken last Fall. All is good though we are happy to have a Charlie in the group. I think the hens are happy also.
Planting seeds starts soon and we are gearing up for that. We have a lot to do in a short amount of time. Lots of prays are being prayed for the hopes that the seedlings do well and the garden thrives this summer.
Well hope all is good on your piece of land, Have a great day!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Chicken coop

Like I promised here is a picture of the coop. The ladies love it. They have a run in the back but tend to stay in the fenced in area just under the coop. I still have a few finishing touches to do on it but for now its live able. The weather changed quick so spring it will be finished painting and letters.. Enjoy

And then there were 3

We have been very busy here on our bit. Raising lambs that have been orphaned due to either the ewes having too many( 2 are from triplets the other is from quads) or the weather getting bitterly cold. We have been having fun taking care of these boys' every needs. The one in the front left is named Biscuit, the black one is named Ace, the one in back well we named him Gravy. The boys in front will be 2 weeks old this weekend while Gravy will be a week old this weekend. They are fun to watch as they now are strong and run and play. The cat has no where to hide when the lambs are on the lose.
The weather plays its toll on these babies. With us having temps in the 40s for the last 2 days we are now having temps in the low 30s and snowing like crazy, Its hard to keep them warm. We are using a heat lamp light over their pen. Now we wait for others to be brought to us. We pray all the ewes will be able to take care of their young and keep them all warm but if they can't we will be here.. waiting.... with open arms to take care of these little bundles of joy.
Have a great day!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Winter Blast - again

At eight o'clock this morning it was -1.5 degrees outside. That's cold! No wait that's frigid. We have another 3-4 inches of snow on the ground and more expected for Monday evening. This has been a winter to remember. Now with 60% of the winter still to come we have had more snow then we get all year. I do hope this makes for a good growing season.
It always amazes me that no matter what the weather the chickens always act like its a perfect day. Cold - nah - just right all the time for them.
I do hope wherever my friends are they are warm. Have a Happy winter.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Let me introduce you to

BISCUIT!! He is 4 days old today. He is 1 of 4 lambs born to the same mother. She was unable to take care of all of them so our neighbors asked us to take care of him. Hes a very sweet addition to our family and we have really enjoying this opportunity. Here on our Bit of soil its really hard to determine what we will get into around here. I think that's what keeps us going in these lazy snowy winters. The kids are also enjoying the lessons being learned by helping us take care of him. Its alot of work, just like caring for a newborn. But work that I enjoy and I have raised many animals on bottles. Horses, kitten and goats to name a few. can't wait ot show you more pictures as he grows.
Do you have any bummer babies ( bottle babies)?