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...

Feb 24, 2014

Is It Spring???


Anya enjoying the fresh air

Is It Spring???
With highs in the high 50's yesterday I was opened up some windows, and Anya was so excited! She was mesmerized by the birds, a sunny window sill, and the warm air. I closed the windows for a bit to scrub them down. Dave dragged out the hose buried in the shed. I love my little Windex scrubber thingy, all clean today! Is it spring? I hope not! It's way too early, and the snow in the hills is melting FAST. But Anya is happy, and warm again today...

Where'd the birds go?

this is so relaxing... 

What's that bright thing up in the sky?

Feb 23, 2014

Go See This Movie!!!





Go See This Movie!!!
Yesterday I went and saw the Secret Life Of Walter Mitty. WOWOWOWOOWOW!!! Excellent doesn't cover it. Inspirational, funny, sad, compassionate, thoughtful, creative, AMAZING FILM SOUNDTRACK/FILM SCORE, incredible photography in Iceland and Greenland. Brilliant performance, and direction, by Ben Stiller. One of those movies that you get really sucked into. I may go see it again while it's still on the big screen. It was at the cheap theater, so hey another $3.00. I think my favorite scene has to be the long skateboarding one. No spoilers though.

Feb 22, 2014

Bathroom Remodel Prep

Similar to my color scheme, from Familyreunionhome.com

Bathroom Remodel Prep-
After 7 years of living with an original tub/shower I think we'll finally be able to do a remodel soon. We'll do as much of it ourselves as we can. We have a excellent plumber lined up, and we've done things like this before. Our house is about 25+ years old, and is 1 and 1 1/2 baths. This is our full bath down the hall from our bedroom. The original tub is shot, all pitted and worn from the years. The shower has a glass block window installed above it (love it!), and plastic walls put over the original ceramic tile. Probably some really ugly color, I'm sure. No before photos yet, I'm too embarrased! We have a soft spot under the flooring, so we'll probably have to repair/replace that and find the leak.  We have a very soft, light blue green paint on the walls. Lighter than the paint above. The cabinet is old, and was stained a dark brown. I gave it a coat of white paint, which helped.  Cracks on the laminate counter too.We decided to go with a fiberglass tub/shower, because we both LOATHE having to deal with discolored caulking. Every place I've ever lived has been problematic. I have prepped, scraped, cleaned to no end, and no caulking ever works. It always mildewed. The toilet is newer and okay, lighting's good. We'll add new towels bars, shower fixtures. So here the new shower we're thinking-


We wanted something more jazzier, but the upper window above the tub limits our height. No caulking to deal with though!!! Non-skid floor, and we may have some grab rails added at the factory. We'll do some cool shower curtains. I like to change them once in a while. I've never liked glass doors. 

Possible cabinet-

We'll probably go for some kind of stone top, with a similar faucet below. I like the beachy cottage look, clean lines and lighter colors. Satin finish on the fixtures. I LOVE under counter sinks. No icky wet, mildew spots on the rim. I hope to replace our kitchen counter at some point, same thing- stone counter and under sink. Maybe in the next two years? 


Our flooring we already have, and will try to match.

As you face the sink there's a hall wall on the right. We'll probably add a recessed medicine cabinet, n mirror needed. We may do something like this-


The we'll float a nice mirror over the sink-

From Houzz.com Some of these are actually medicine cabinets

What do you think? Hopefully we'll start in the next month or so.... More coming soon, I hope :)






Feb 20, 2014

What Do You Think???



What Do You Think???
I saw this ad during the Olympics. Yes, I broke down to watch the women's bobsledding!!! Freaking awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Anyway, I like/dislike this ad. My question- when are we going back to the Moon? I mean, hasn't it been a while???

Feb 19, 2014

My New Half Price Helper!


My New Half Price Helper!
I had my eye on one of these carts at Cost Plus since last fall. I got an email that today they were 1/2 price today only! $35.00, oh boy! I called and got the LAST one and they held it for me. I always need to squeeze in a little more storage into the dining area. I can use for seed starts, linens, summer veggies. It's heavy metal, kind of an industrial look.  And it rolls! Happy dance!





Feb 17, 2014

Harness Driving Goats and Dogs with Carts


Harness Driving Goats and Dogs with Carts-
When I ran across the book above today Halter Goats Book  it reminded me of the photos I saw as a kid, with dogs pulling carts in the Netherlands, and also other rural areas. There's also Zonkers!









Cool stuff for sale here, photo from Fidogear.com

And then there's Skijoring!
From BozemanDailyChronicle.com Great shelter dog program there!

Think of the things you could do with 4 legged friends and some training!


Feb 16, 2014

Jet Stream/Polar Vortex Becoming Unstable, Back To Brown, Independence Days Challenge


Jet Stream/Polar Vortex Becoming Unstable-
Really an interesting article here- Jet Stream/Polar Vortex Are Becoming Unstable What's scary is the idea that not only will winter become more severe, as we've seen, but also the summers. More severe summers equals greater heat and drought. Not a good thing for farmers and folks who want to be more self-sufficient like myself. This may be the "new normal". Still thinking I may need to add more rain barrels...


Back To Brown
After being very cold early in the winter (7 degrees), then getting some snow recently, we're in the high 40's. We had lots of rain this last week. I walked out of a building yesterday, and it was 47, windy, with brown leaves blowing around. It looked like November! Right now it's about 46, with a good 25+ mph wind. It should cool off later in the week, but these temperature swings are crazy! I hope my poor yard won't suffer too much. In these kind of temps things can start to bud, then freeze. Not good. I hope things stabilize. At least while the wind was blowing today we had some blue sky!

Girls enjoying some dry, sunny time

Blue sky! No fog or inversion!!!




Independence Days Challenge- 
1. Plant Something- Getting some seeds ready for late spring. Too early to do anything here yet. I was hoping we got get a small greenhouse, but I don't think it's going to happen. Too many other things going on that needs to be fixed.

2. Harvest Something- Egg production is up!

3. Preserve/Store Something- Using the freezer as always this time of year.

4. Manage Reserves- Get a Good Deal/Barter/Stock Up/Prep- I keep loading up weekly with local, artisan, organic breads from the grocery outlet. Great deals there, with other things too! Also got myself some new winter P.J.'s, 80% off yesterday. Cute, red, and polar fleece with little penguins:) My new L.L. Bean coat arrived, loving it! I also got some other clothes last week, all on deep winter sales. I also got a Valentine's Day wreath yesterday, also 80% off. I always try to go to this one store, the day after smaller holidays. Load up and save for next year. While I don't buy a lot of this kind of thing (not into over decorating)  why not get new, cheap?

5. Eat the Food- Try New Foods/Recipe- Using the freezer foods, some canned, etc. I had some huge potatoes last week, so I cubed 2 up, added a huge onion, paprika, garlic, salt, pepper. Cooked in the skillet til done, then added 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese, stir til all melted. Oh man they were good, with some ham and spinach.

6. Build Community Food Systems- Dave got some free, HUGE yellow onions from a farmer customer at work. Delish for various dinners.

7. Recycle/Re-Use- Swapping some frames with newer prints. 

8. Skill Up- I just discovered a new breed of hen my local hatchery Dunlap Hatchery is selling. They're called an Amber White. I'd never heard of them before. The Amber White is a cross between a Rhode Island Red and Rhode Island White. They are a calm, easily adaptable bird with excellent livability. That's from Dunlap's. I may get these chicks in the Spring, since I'm down to 2 hens. I will probably get 3 or 4 total, maybe with some Rhode Island Reds (they're awesome in this climate!). I'm looking forward to getting more chicks!!! I can sell as many extra eggs at work as I want to. Since the city expanded the allowed amount of chickens in the city, I could go up to 8, but 5 or 6 is good for the space we have.

Photos from Amber White  

9. Regenerate What is Lost/Salvage Something- Not that I can think of! But I'm probably forgetting something...



Feb 8, 2014

Baked Eggs With Mushrooms, Bye, Bye Orion! Anya's New Throne, Winter Sales, Spring Yet Snowman


Baked Eggs With Mushrooms-
I found a new recipe recently for eggs baked on top of mushrooms. I made it last week and was excellent! I used thin sliced Italian bread, broiled plain and toasted instead of the flat bread. Recipe hereMushrooms With Baked Eggs & Flatbread It was great with some green salad.

Already melting this morning

Bye, Bye Orion!
Last night was a gorgeous winter wonderland coming back from Dave's birthday dinner out. It was was free! Dave's idea, not mine. A local place gives you a free birthday dinner, on your day. The snow came down and the roads looked like sparkling, white crystals all the way home. Sadly, come morning, it went to rain :( It snowed pretty hard late in the day yesterday ironically, otherwise they shouldn't have called for a "snow day"! The heavy, late morning snow never did hit, it came about 5 p.m. We got a good 3-4 more inches last night...


Girls happy in the sun room


Anya's New Throne-
Last week Dave started calling Anya  Our Little Princess When we were out today I saw a clearance priced bed, lined with pale, royal purple, fit for a princess! It's very plush inside, high walls (warmer) and thick floor. Her old, brown one was getting pretty flat. When I got it home I threw on some catnip, and let the games begin!!! She came back a little later, curled up and took a nap :)




Any grooms herself pulling her hind back paws forward to scratch her chin! 
Never seen that before!



Can I sleep like this?





I know there's more in here somewhere!


Winter Sales-
I was in need of some winter clothing for work, and randomly hit the local Penney's store. What deals- I got 2 v-neck wool sweaters, cord slacks, and a polar fleece top, all 50-60 % off. Time to stock up! While I buy a lot of thirfted clothes, most in fact, I needed a few specific things, sometimes hard to find. My new L.L. Bean clearance coat came, perfect for winter! I love their stuff, extremely rugged, lasts forever. They're worth the investment...



Snowman built by Deerfield librarian Evelyn DeCota to show her grandchildren how much fun it would be if they were here visiting!


Feb 7, 2014

Feb 6, 2014

Winter Storm Orion Heading Our Way, Anya Up Close

Winter Storm Orion Heading Our Way-
Winter storm Orion is slamming Oregon, and moving east towards us. We'll get hit tonite, and it's already cold. The high here today was 22, and the wind chill this morning was 6. It was not too bad outside at bus duty, but I had bundled up! I love the snow, I just wish we'd have a snow day! Everyone at work is either sick with some version of the flu (me too, but just a cold), or too tired to feel very up. We've had major changes at our school, which is always VERY stressful. No one likes feeling like they're under a microscope. We supposed to get 2-4" tonite, more tomorrow, then on thru Sat./Sun., then switch to rain. Winter Weather Watch

From hubby's blog Everyday Art in Boise

Anya Up Close-
I grabbed Dave the other day, and told him to get his camera. Her loveliness was on the couch, in full sun. He got some great shots!


                          I can't decide if I like black and white better?


Great job with the macro lens!

I told Dave, YES, enter them in the State Fair!!!



Feb 4, 2014

Schmaundt Schinken/Creamed Ham, How Do You Like The New Font?

                              Photo from Mennonite Girls Can Cook

Schmaundt Schinken/Creamed Ham-
When I found this recipe I knew I had to try it. Having part of my family coming from various parts of Europe, I knew that there's probably some Prussian in there too! It's here- Mennonite Girls Can Cook It's really pretty simple. I made it last night and it was fab! I served it with sour cream noodles and steamed broccoli. Yummy!!!


How Do You Like The New Font?
Too hard to read or ok? I wanted to try something new and went with "Indie Flower" on Blogger...
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