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

Oct 15, 2016

First BIG Storm of the Season, Easy Frugal Autumn Decor, Chicken Molting & Protein Treats

First BIG Storm of the Season-
Sorry no blog post last weekend since there was nothing to exciting to post! Now, here's somne big news! I never thought living in Boise we'd see part of the remnants of a typhoon! Named Songda it hit the Oregon/Washington coast 2 days ago and is moving inland as we speak- Pacific N.W. Storm  There were 2 tornadoes on the Oregon coast yesterday, CRAZY!!! We hope our families in Portland will be okay. I woke up yesterday to gusting winds and 70 degrees, yes 70 degrees, at 7 a.m.! It was a warm front ahead of the cold front. The temperature dropped to about 55 by noon, and with windy rain. Dried out a bit, then cloudy. More breezy rain this morning and now it's 65 at 5 p.m. wind is picking up, with more wind/rain expected tomorrow. We really need it in the mountain, but after our horrible Pioneer forest fire, landslides and mudslides are a risk. I LOVE the rain, it's been so dry since July. We have more rain in the forecast for the next week, so I loving it. I'm washing our flannel sheets to put on today. It's till too warm for our winter comforter. Right now we're using our summer quilt with a polar fleece blanket. Soon though, it will be winter! It did drop into the upper 30's a couple of night ago, with some minor frost damage to my squash,plants, but nowhere else. My basil and tomatoes are fine, go figure!  More about the storm here, with great graphics We'll slowly put our veggie garden to bed and will start winterizing the coop. For now I'm enjoying the Autumn rain and hoping the coming winds won't be too bad...

Monster typhoon

Local forecast

Leaves have been falling all day!

Easy, Frugal Autumn Decor-
I get more minimalistic decor wise as I get older. I used to think more was better, but I like having more accent pieces and less clutter. There's also storing everything when not in use. I like less stuff in general! I have my fall things out, and I will put up some inside Halloween things tomorrow. I wanted to do something with one of my kitchen topiaries that was Autumn-ish. I was at Hobby Lobby and found these, perfect for my idea-

burlap leaves and faux nuts

I decided after seeing those little accents to use them on my sifter topiary.  I made it out of an old vintage sifter, and it's one of my favorite up cycled kitchen decorations- 

Before picture

After picture, simple re-do and easy to change back

I did goof up thinking that the little leaves were a garland, but they're hanging pieces. I may make them into that. Sometimes I like to live with things a bit before changing them.

About 90% of my fall things I have picked up at thrift stores, the rest at lost cost places like Home Depot or Ross. Fresh pumpkins and gourds are always pretty cheap. Here's a few things around our home-

My fave little owl reading his book from Starbucks years ago :)
I'm an ex-librarian, what can I say!

Love my chicken!

Just some fall leaves

Anya is peeking from the other side of the table!


Since it was mild and dry Dave put out most of the Halloween goodies, lights and stakes-

Poor Gwynne!

Chicken Molting & Protein Treats-
This year was an odd one, all my hens started molting at the same time! Our white hen started first, then the other 2-

Poor girls!

With colder weather coming and feather loss I knew it was time for some protein snacks! Feathers are mostly protein so they need more to recover better. You can buy supplements but they can be pretty spendy. I did some research here Raising Happy as well as other places. I started off with some high protein kitten chow "that chickens love!". They looked at me seeming to say "you expect me to eat that!" No luck. Then I tried drained large sardines packed in tomato sauce, broken up and they inhaled it! Problem solved. You can do meats, cooked eggs, fish, etc, but most suggest not more than 3xs a week. Gwynne's feather are growing back already, good news-

 Here's a nice generic Chicken Treat Chart, with both winter and summer treats, good ideas there!

Oct 2, 2016

Solar Powered Generators, Garden Tomato Minestrone, Easy Squash Bake

Solar Powered Generators-
I found this new, fascinating line of solar products yesterday at Costco. Great looking stuff. All solar, and flexible systems. Check it out! No more generators running on fuels that you can run out of, what a great idea!!! Quiet, clean and portable and small items too, for charging phones, tablets, etc.

Garden Tomato Minestrone-
Since I had tons of tomatoes and colder weather was settling in last weekend I made minestrone soup! I used a basic recipe and added lots of home grown organic beauties-

I served cheesy herb biscuits from a Red Lobster mix I saw at the grocery store and decided to try. I added fresh sharp cheddar cheese, then topped with melted butter with the herb packet-

Yummy and good for an emergency biscuit with soup! 

Easy Squash Bake-
Having lots of yellow squash I decide to try this recipe--Peg's Summer Squash Bake I added pepper, thyme and a little salt. Easy and great with the Parmesan cheese! You could use olive oil for a more heart healthy version. Next time I will add some onions and roasted red peppers!!!

Sep 24, 2016

Get Ready For Winter/National Prep Month! My 600th Post!!!

“Part of self-reliance is building a resilient community of hard goods and soft goods (spiritual, emotional, educational) around us, proximate, and relationally-oriented". Joel Salatin

Ready For Winter/National Prep Month!-
Autumn has arrived at our little homestead! WE FINALLY HAD SOME RAIN!!!!!!!!!!! It was the first rain since July. It rained steadily for 2 days, with much cooler weather. Leaves are falling and the high today is 65 and sunny. I'm loving it! 

Anya dressed in brown for fall!

I'm putting away some of my summer clothes and pulling out fall/winter things. I've gotten my fall decor out and will work on that tomorrow. Time flies!

This time of year I start thinking ahead of winter prep along with general preparedness. It's also National Prep Month! I got involved with prepping back in 1999 when there was a lot of fear around Y2K issues. I had extra food, water, cash and fuels. Y2K came and went and we used things up eventually. You only have to watch the news to see how many people are caught off guard in all kinds of situations. Weather, nature, floods, fires, you name it. Given the current political state of the world, it's good to look ahead. What if you couldn't get to a grocery store for two weeks? Or a gas station? No water, now what? Stashing extra food is great but what about OTC meds? TP? Emergency home repair items? There are so many little things we don't think of. Tomorrow when I grocery shop I'm going to stock up on low cost barbecue chicken parts. I freeze them for the winter ans great deals! I' making pesto to freeze and minestrone soup from my garden tomatoes as well. I'm enjoying freezing things for a quick thaw on a crazy work night! I'll be checking our flashlights, batteries and more.

Last year I did a nice blog post about this very topic It's National Prep Month! and this in 2014 Prepping Information Here's a great podcast with lots of info here  It's titled Zero To Prepared – Fast, Simple and Low Cost Part One. Not all of it will apply to everyone, so see what if any might work for you. There are lots of great websites out there so browse around on as well. I discovered this solar light, recently, easy to install, LED and and BRIGHT! MicroSolar LED Barn Light  -

I first saw this on Leigh's post at  I will probably get one for our coop, and some may want to stash a few of those for emergency power outages. I could see running the cord inside (thru a window, etc) and using inside with some creativity! They'd also be great for a tiny house, cabin's, etc. 

My 600th Post!!!
Wow, I can't believe I hit 600 posts! When I changed jobs it cut into my time to blog, but has helped me keep my sanity :) I love writing and it helps me feel connected to the rest of the world out there. It's fascinating that I have readers from literally every continent all over the world! I love my little widget on my blog showing where my visitors are from. Just fascinating! Thanks so much for your comments, emails and encouragement. Love ya guys!!!

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