Life on a little urban homestead in the making, with ideas for self-sufficiency, Permaculture, DIYing, organic gardening, food preservation, chicken keeping, cookery, crafts, thrifting and more...

Aug 9, 2020

Independence Days Challenge

Independence Days Challenge
Here's what we've been up to! It's been water, water water, at least we're out of the tripe digits!

1. Plant Something- Nope, past that time. 

2. Harvest Something- Yellow Gypsy/bell peppers, Lemon cukes, tomatoes, yellow squash, pickling cukes (just eating, not enough to ferment), slicing cukes, Blackberries, no pears yet, small amount of apples soon-  

You can see why they call them "Lemon" cucumbers!

3. Preserve/Store Something- Will be drying some yellow squash. Have been buying low priced chicken parts and freezing. 

4. Manage Reserves- Get a Good Deal/Barter/Stock Up/Prep- Bought some Elderberry syrup to stash for the upcoming flu/Covid season. Buying sale price chicken, sausages. I realized I didn't have a summer twin quilt for our bed. After Grandson River spent the night I got a great deal, $20.00 at Walmart, light teal, basket weave design, but what's that lump?

 Anya burrowed down, taking a nap!

5. Eat the Food- Try New Foods/Recipe- Tonight I made a BBQ Chicken Salad, see recipe below. I bought Orange Poppyseed dressing, used breasts with ribs (more flavor) and used regular bacon. Yummy, sorry no photo! This is from a recipe I saw online and modified- 

Part 1-

Part 2-

6. Build Community Food Systems- Contacted a local peach farm to find out about buying some ripe peaches. I'm looking for some to eat, freeze and make some jams. 

7. Recycle/Re-Use- I deep cleaned/recycled/donated old DVDs, CD cases, and freed up quite a few really nice baskets! My daughter is taking them home to use-

The space freed up in our one entertainment cabinet now has room for our emergency lighting- candles, batteries, oil lamps-

I found this at a thrift store, love it!

Love the basket of eggs on the cork screw tail-

8. Skill Up- Found an easy/cheap way to solve a tech issue, more later ! 

9. Regenerate What is Lost/Salvage Something- Last year Dave got an old free metal bookcase from work going to the dumpster, we adopted, a good size for the grand kids toy, etc. in our spare bedroom-

It's probably about 40 years old. I decided once the weather warmed up to paint it. Dave had bought some wholesale industrial spray paint (Ford blue) and we had it in our stash. I thought it would work well with our decor. Dave took it outside to paint and set up saw horses for me. I washed it down with Dawn and hot water first, rinsed well-
Two shelves


 I started spraying!

About four cans of spray paint later-

I love it!!! I bought 2 bins at Lakeshore Learning for $8.00 each, great storage-

Dave built some bird houses in the winter, I finally finished this one. He started with used cedar fence boards we had-

  I tried spray paint, not enough coverage-

I bought a small can of white house paint in a sample isze-

 Much better coverage-

I used our blue house trim paint we already had for the accents- 

Ready for some birds!

Re-painted part of my winter snowman sign-

pretty beat up from the weather, was thrifted

Since I can't draw I decided to touch it up, as much as possible-

I went around the buttons

 I realized after closer inspection there had been red cheeks and a mouth, re-painted that as well as I could. Come November I'll buy some red and green Christmas holly fabric to replace the strips that were on the arms. Otherwise all done and ready for winter!

Aug 4, 2020

Updating Home Office/ Adding Desk Extension

Updating Home Office/ Adding Desk Extension-
When I started working from home in late March I didn't know how long it was going to be. We had a nice little desk in our spare bedroom that Dave mostly used. I decided to start using it. It faces the front yard, facing East and has a nice view out the window-

Previously in my office at work I had two monitors, which I really needed. Since they were moving out a huge amount of staff at once I only got one monitor, which was frustrating but I got used to it. This week they gave some of us second monitors, and some extra equipment since it looks like we'll be working from home permanently. Permanently is a loose term since who knows how long that means? Anyway I picked up my second monitor and this weekend Dave built me an extension for my current desk to have room for it-

2nd monitor waiting

End of desk

Luckily I saw the keyboard tray that I had Dave remove from the desk on the floor. I had a eureka moment thinking that we could basically use the keyboard extension as an extension on the desk to hold the other monitor. Dave used some heavy brackets and added a pine leg for stability-

works great!!!

I also wanted to update some of the decor as the walls are a light sage green, but is a cooler color. Some of the art on the walls were dark blacks and grays, which seemed too dark. So I swapped out some prints that I already had with white or light backgrounds. Then I bought a few things at Big Lots. I got a really cute little faux wreath, a white faux mini farm door and little wooden sign that says Live Simply with a white background. The sign was $5 and the wreath was $6, door was $20-

I transformed my previous home office into my full-time work office with a little bit more pizzazz. I also decided to reorganize our canning and storage rack so it looked a little bit nicer. Those little things to tweak. When you're working in a home office 8 hours a day and 5 days a week you notice all the little annoying things,  messy rack-

Before, messy desk shelves-

 After shelf shot-

 Also cleared off  small organizer with drawers-

I also re-purposed my thrifted frame/ home printed sign I had in my old office-

Now in my main hall with my lemon topiary I made!

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