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...

Dec 14, 2017

Embracing A Simpler Holiday/Christmas Season

Embracing A Simpler Holiday/Christmas Season -
I was talking to someone the other night. I mentioned that I'm getting better to saying "no" during the holidays. No to- too much stuff, too many expectation of something perfect, too much shopping, too much rich food, too much stress. I am saying "yes" to- more quiet, more simplicity, healthier foods, more down time. I was overwhelmed this last weekend trying to decorate. I realized I still have too much stuff. So... I have one box ready for donation, and #2 is in the works. Works for me! I really liked this article, lots of thoughtful ideas- Embracing A Simpler Christmas

Dec 8, 2017

Independence Days Challenge, How I Beat Cold/Flu In 4 Days!

Independence Days Challenge-
It's been a couple of crazy weeks with Thanksgiving, my birthday, then the flu (more below). Now we have an inversion, cold polluted air pressed down by high pressure. Gray, cold and bad air, yuck. BUT we still got some things done! Grand baby Oliver has just started walking! Now we have two grand children up on their feet, wow how time flies! I'll be putting out winter decor this weekend, photos coming. It was really nice to take a breather between the holidays. Thanks to those of you who have joined us at Facebook! Nice to see some of you migrating over, and no worries if some of you aren't interested. So here we go...

1. Plant Something- Sadly wrong time of year here. I did get the new Baker Creek Heirloom Seed catalog! Seeds galore!

2. Harvest Something- Herb box still has survived the cold! Love fresh herbs in recipes.

3. Preserve/Store Something- I read this article and never had thought of How To Can Water For Emergencies, great idea and a way to use empty/extra canning jars. 

4. Manage Reserves- Get a Good Deal/Barter/Stock Up/Prep- Bought some items at Costco. Been getting good monthly deals at the Natural Grocers Store with their monthly sales- organic free range eggs ($1.99), Dave's Killer bread ($2.50) , and organic apples ($1.99 lb). My lousy hens are still on strike! No eggs sadly. Babies in the spring will take care of that! I got a couple of calendars, one for a co-worker (Secret Santa) and one for my desk at work, huge selection-

5. Eat the Food- Try New Foods/Recipe- I bought some cranberry/orange scones/biscotti at Costco yesterday. BIG, more like a sticky bun/scones. Great flavor! I made some more French style baked Eggs with french bread and veggies for dinner. Great on a cold night and cheap! I'm doing more egg recipes now that I have a good source. 

6. Build Community Food Systems- Not this time of year. 

7. Recycle/Re-Use- Re-used some cardboard boxes for mailing eBay items. We donated my used monitor to a high poverty school near Dave's job. They were thrilled to get it! I will be going through more winter/holiday decor to see what to give away. I just keep downsizing "stuff" and it great not to have to store so much. We actually have EMPTY SHELVES in the garage now :) 

8. Skill Up- I've been reading an ebook I bought about building up my blog. I want to start reorganizing it, with tabs at the top for easier access, maybe a address, etc. You'll see some gradual changes over time, and feel free TO MAKE SUGGESTIONS!!! I'm thinking tabs at the top for things like- DIY, Recipes, Chicken Keeping, Food Preservation. What do YOU think?

9. Regenerate What is Lost/Salvage Something- I was having trouble with my steam mop, not sending out quite as much steam as normal. I did some research online, took off the head, sprayed with Lime Away and let sit. I rinsed, filled up the mop and boy did it steam!!! Worked great!
Dave's light weight boots are now coming apart a bit at the soles, so I will break out the Shoe Goo. Works excellent. I even used some to reattach a corner on a silicone Purse Gummy, they work great, but mine got a bit loose, all fixed. These gummies are awesome, put them on my purses, no more slipping off my shoulders!

Click on photo for more info!

How I Beat Cold/Flu In 4 Days!
It's that time of year, cold and flu season. We have patients in our clinic coughing all over practically every day, then we're all exposed out in the rest of world. Germs are everywhere. There's that gray area between a cold/upper respiratory infection and Influenza. You actually need a Flu "test" to determine what you have. I have learned over the years to take vitamin D3 year round to boost my immune system. Because I have asthma I can get NASTY bronchitis, closing the airway and making for a terrible time. A few years back a friend started to teach me about using essential oils. I started using her "recipe" as soon as I felt any symptoms coming on. I mix 2 Tbl of a plain "carrier oil", I use sweet almond massage oil, and 16 drops of Organic Tea Tree oil. Mix well in a little bottle. The massage oil was about $10.00 for a big bottle, Tea Tree oil about $8.00, enough to last a few years. Monday at work I started sneezing really badly all day, glands started to swell, nose was closing up. That night after I showered I rubbed the oil mixture on the pads of both feet, including between the toes. I also rubbed it into my throat glands and under my nose. I slept really well about half the night. I woke up really headachy about 3 a.m., tossed and turned until 6 a.m.then called in sick. I slept until 10, got up, no energy, still had the headache, no appetite. I always keep some Boiron Oscillococcinum for Flu-like Symptoms on hand which has helped both Dave and I many times. I also have Boiron Homeopathic Cold Calm Tablets for Colds always stocked in our hall closet. I decided to do something different and I took BOTH, not together, but spaced out a bit. I rested, drank liquids and parked with kitty Anya in front of Netflix. By dinner time, I was able to eat a light dinner and sinuses had backed way off! Slept much better hat night. Since I couldn't quite tell if it was "flu" vs a "cold" I had treated both. Homeopathy is such a great blessing to health. Read up on it if interested and I HIGHLY recommend you keep these on hand during flu season. No side affects, works great, just do your own research before using.  Be responsible. As of today, Friday I feel like I'm back to 90% normal! No antibiotics or steroids as in the past. Happy dance!

Dec 4, 2017

Because It's Just Too Cute!

Because It's Just Too Cute!
I just had to share this, because it is just too cute! When you have chickens you have lots of eggs. My flock will be replenished in the summer next years since mine have gone on strike. But I digress... I always wanted a Boiled Egg Set and when I saw this is was just too darned cute not to post. Sometimes presentation is such a great part of eating and what a fun way to present eggs! And 5 star reviews, $27.99 and FREE shipping-

Dec 3, 2017

My Birthday Wintry Mix & "Supermoon" Tonight, Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding w/Almond Milk, Solar Charger Review, Mini Sink Makeover

My Birthday Wintry Mix and Super Moon Tonight-
Today is my birthday and I woke up to a very wet day- 34 degrees, rain and snow mix. It must have poured all night from the look of the fencing. It's really windy, but the sun is coming out this afternoon. I put out extra wild bird food for the local critters and they're eating. We had a gorgeous sunset a couple of nights ago- 

Dave wanted to get me something for my birthday. I really couldn't think of anything, but the one thing that would make my life easier was a new monitor, mine was pretty small. With aging eyes, it's harder. Dave found a 75% off deal and I love it! My old one was 18, new one is 22", here's a side by side-

Big difference, much easier to use!

I just found out that tonight will be extra special, CBS news said-  "The supermoon" will illuminate the night sky on Sunday, December 3, when the moon will appear about 14% bigger and 30% brighter than other full moons. This is the first of three supermoons in a trilogy that will continue on in January." via Twitter. Cool!

Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding w/Almond Milk-
I had some Brioche bread (Trader Joe's) left over from Thanksgiving weekend, bittersweet chocolate, walnuts and lots of eggs. So... it was bread pudding time! Since Dave has developed a sensitivity to too much dairy, I used 1/2 Almond Milk. Next time I will use 100% since it came out amazing, just perfect for a cold night.

1 loaf Brioche?Challah bread, cut into 1" cubes, about 8 cups
10 eggs
2 cups Almond Mix
2 cups milk
1/2 sugar plus 2 TBS
1/2- 1 cup Guittard bittersweet baking chocolate, chopped, love that brand!!!
1/2- 1 cup chopped walnuts
2 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch salt

Butter 2 qt. baking dish, fill with bread cubes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In large bowl beat eggs, salt, liquids, 1/2 cup sugar. Mix in choc chips and nuts into bread cubes- I put about 1/2 in the middle and 1/2 on top. Slowly our egg mixture over bread. Let sit overnight (for best results). Sometimes I bake right away, if so, push liquids into the bread gently. Sprinkle bread with remaining sugar and put in oven. Bake 1 hour, remove and cover with foil, bake an additional 25 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean. Cool and enjoy! If you're a real chocoholic, add coarsely chopped gourmet dark chocolate! And double the nuts! Enjoy! You can also sub chopped apples, cinnamon, nutmeg for a fruit version.

Solar Charger Review-
I recent bought a Floureon Cell Device Solar Charger  It comes with one USB cord, a LED flashlight, and SOS flasher. Waterproof and small, the size of a cell phone, but a little thicker-


Back, has clip and compass/keyring

You can charge up to 3 devices simultaneously! I did 2-

I have to use a wireless charger as my plug-in port died, worked great!

VERY bright LED flashlight, can also flash SOS in Morse code, handy!

There are so MANY applications for this- keep in your car on trips, hiking, hunting, cross country trips, emergency preparedness, you name it. You might not have a cell signal if there's a real crisis, but there might be info on your phone you'd still need. A great deal, $16.99, I LOVE IT!!!

Mini Sink Makeover-
All of this was less than $10.00 and I like it! love our white cast iron sink we bought a few years back, during our kitchen re-do, but I don't like this, the side sink strainer, hard to keep clean and I rarely plug this sink. This just kept bugging me-

I was on Amazon buying a belt for Dave and I found this- NITO Stainless Steel Sink Strainer, it's effective and simple, $5.00-

It has a depression, is easy to lift and empty. The garbage disposal strainer, ditto- this was the 2nd one I'd bought, kept staining-

I spotted this Danco Garbage Disposal Strainer, $4.00, black, domed, and antimicrobial-

Nov 25, 2017

Winding Down/No Christmas Yet, Now on Facebook! Chicken Sun Room In Action

Anya winding down

Winding Down, No Christmas Yet-
I was thrilled to get off work at noon Wednesday, since I had the afternoon to prep for turkey day. I LOVE 4 day weekends! After a whirlwind Thanksgiving day here, it was nice to have yesterday to myself. Sadly Dave had to work. I worked on various projects, including my blog. I'll be putting away the Autumn and Thanksgiving decor this weekend. Next weekend I'll put out some Winter decor. It's my birthday weekend too! I REALLY don't like the American emphasis on binging on shopping, putting up Christmas decor after Halloween, and radio stations are the worst. A week before Thanksgiving I was hearing Christmas music. Sad and aggravating. Christmas, when I was a kid, was a tree, simple gifts, going to church and time with family. No black Friday, no knocking people out of the way for gifts. One possible GOOD side affect of Internet shopping is maybe the stores will do away with that. Maybe. I really appreciate the simplicity of the way Europeans celebrate holidays, bringing nature inside and less materialism. So I'm not putting up anything Christmas-y for at least another week or two. With lows forecast in the 20's at night this week, we put on our flannel sheets and plugged in the heated birdbath (thrifted). The coop is done, Dave raked more leaves today, cleaned the mower for the season and stores. I put away the garden bench tools and covered it with plastic sheeting for the winter. It sits on our deck year round, next Spring I'll repaint it to freshen it up.

Now on Facebook! 
I decided recently to take the plunge and start a Little Homestead Facebook page. I'll be adding extra content on a regular basis. Please hit the sidebar to follow to see what we're up to! Thanks!!!

Chicken Sun Room In Action-
After a heavy rain Thursday night, the girls really enjoyed the drier sun room yesterday and today! Dave added pine shavings later today for odor control. It's made from recycled materials, Dave built the frame, and we just dis-assemble each spring and store. Nice and dry, with a great view. There's a door inside the coop that goes into it. Sturdy and a great extra space for the girls!

Neighbor kitty Posey stopped by for a pet

Better shot

  I found my photo of Thanksgiving in 2014, snowy!

Sun room covered in snow, but dry and warm inside for the hens

Girls came out for some rolled oats, a fave treat, from the left- Rosie, Gwynne, Ellie

Heated birdbath ready for winter! Herbs still hanging in there :) 

Nov 24, 2017

Record High Thanksgiving, Anniversary Road Trip, Planting Fruit Trees

Record High Thanksgiving-
We had a really fun, busy Thanksgiving at my house yesterday. It was 65 degrees! Four years ago we had 2 feet of snow on the ground. Usually it's nice and cool, instead I had all the kitchen windows open, and the ceiling fan on in the living room. Looks like the East coast had the cold. My 2 grand babies had a great time playing together, and our kids brought lots of yummy sides dishes. Babies were falling asleep heading home from all the food and activities. A fun time was had by all! Sorry no pics, I was busy! I'm really thankful that we could all be together this year. You never know what the future will bring.

Anniversary Road Trip-
Dave and I went to McCall, Idaho for our 24th anniversary last weekend. It was gorgeous, cold and clear! Due to a variety of things we've haven't had a real vacation in over 2 years. We went up Saturday morning and stayed the night. We came home Sunday afternoon. We stayed at the historic McCall Lodge right near Payette Lake-

We had a really nice room, and my favorite features was the very deep jetted tub. My aging bones appreciated a very hot soak! It was really quiet, with a king sized bed. We had time to drive around the area, had a great dinner out and fun breakfast. It was really nice to have a rest break. Since they had cable I found a really cool show- Homestead Rescue The 3 person team, Dad, son and daughter help off-grid folks. Pretty interesting "rescues".

Here's some nice shots near the lake-

Brundage ski runs at the top

So calm!

A bit of snow

Sweet little moss

Boats docks covered with snow

Ski runs still thin

Planting Fruit Trees-
I was looking at my lovely frozen organic peaches and canned apples that we grew this year. It's great having bumper crops and knowing how to preserve them! I knew I wanted to plant fruit trees once we moved into our small house, with our standard city lot. We had a few fruit trees at our last house, which was a 1/3 acre lot. Here at this house we started with an apple tree and a nectarine tree. Oddly enough I couldn't find one stinking peach tree in this entire town that spring! Go figure. A few years later we later planted a pear tree. After we lost our nectarine tree we decided to plant a peach tree, finally. It's such a small investment of money for the eventual long term harvest you will have. What a great investment. It's take some planning- where will it go, how high will it reach, how will you harvest, what exposure do you have, what variety do you want, etc. There's a ton of material online, but I found two great little books with lots of ideas from planting to pruning, if you want to plant some fruit trees!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...