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...

Jul 23, 2017

Homemade Spicy Barbecue Sauce, Semi-Homemade Fresh Raspberry Cake

Homemade Spicy Barbecue Sauce-
I bought some nice big boneless country-style (my fave!) pork ribs today. I got home and realized I didn't have any leftover store bought barbecue sauce. I LOVE Bulls Eye sauce, sweet but spicy. So I decided to make some sauce. I combined a few different versions I have made before and this is the basic recipe, tweak as you like. Some add onions, jalapenos, cayenne pepper, etc. I made a double recipe of this today-

1 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons dark molasses
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1/2 Tsp liquid smoke- hickory
1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce (or more if you like hotter)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground oregano
1 teaspoon granulated garlic

Came out great!

Semi Homemade Fresh Raspberry Cake-
We bought some really nice raspberries yesterday. Being overloaded time-wise, and tired, I made up this! I bought a yellow/butter cake mix. Add your own butter, eggs, water, easy. Into the batter I put 1/2 cup fresh raspberries. I lightly crushed them with the whisk. Baked, frosted and added a few berries. Very moist and really has the berry flavor!

You can seen the raspberries!

Jul 16, 2017

Mountain Road Trip & Vintage Store, Garden Food Production Progress

Mountain Road Trip & Vintage Store-
Dave and I needed a break so we took a day road trip to McCall. We had breakfast and headed up into the mountains. Nice and cool and it was a beautiful drive up, still green! The town of McCall itself is at about 5,000 feet, so you drive up gradually-

Open land 

When we got to McCall we had lunch at the McCall Brewing Company, one of our favorite dining spot. Great food and tons of original brews- 

Dave had a brew, not being a beer fan I had iced tea. After lunch we hit a animal shelter thrift store, I bought some baby clothes, and loved this chair- 

Didn't buy it, but cute!

Next we took a side road, that became a dirt round on the backside of  Payette Lake. It was very quiet, and we saw several deer by the road. Huge stones areas by the road, granite?

Washboard in spots

A storm blew in after we arrived, 79 degrees, later the wind came up, little bit of rain

Getting more stormy by the public park and marina

Storm clouds

Water got pretty dark and choppy!

We always stop at Stacy's Cakes, an incredible bakery there. I had a Lemon Curd tart-


After leaving McCall we hit a small antiques store on the road back, pretty amazing stuff! Didn't buy, but it was fun looking round! I REALLY wanted a butter churn below!!! 

Gorgeous bed, with a brass bed behind it!

Cute railroad items

Italian Nardello Peppers, will turn red soon!

Garden Food Production Progress-
Things are going well in the garden, even with triple digit heat! Lots of watering, the soaker hoses and mulch really help. Lots of hand watering too. Basil and other herbs are doing well, tones of Kale and collard greens too. The Pippin apple, Bartlett pear and Peach tree are loaded. I may have to take some time off work for canning yummy goodies. Looking forward to re-filling my jars and making jams again.  My pantry rack is looking empty and lonely. We didn't have much fruit last year. I didn't get shots of the hot peppers or other tomato bed, sorry. Here's a peak at things! 

A volunteer tomato in the beans, unknown variety 

A second volunteer, a squash? It's very healthy!!! A corn next to it as well!

Large volunteer sunflower, happy since my planted sunflower row all failed :(

Bean row doing well all in all a few weeds but they help keep the soil cool

Row of tomatos, growing fast and loaded!

Lemon cukes on the left, then tomatoes, then 2 Italian Marconi Peppers

We are getting more berries and I'm starting to freeze to stockpile enough to make a pie, jams, etc.-

Blackberries, Marionberries and Raspberries

Jul 11, 2017

Rain Water Harvesting in the Desert, Ideas and More!

Rain Water Harvesting in the Desert, Ideas and More!
I was re-reading some of this last night. While I don't live in desert (high desert) there are such great ideas out there! I wanted to share just a few resources if you do. This is really part of the Permaculture philosophy. This is a great website in Tucson-  They started doing "curb cut ins" years ago, allowing rain water to go inside the curb area instead of down the storm drain, literally. They shared their results with the city, it was legalized and is now incentivized. Here's shot below-

Curb cut-ins gather water

Before shot of a sad corner-

Curb cut-ins added, and landscaped below-

 Harvesting cactus fruit-

Building community with food!

More landscaping added-

The BEFORE again

Another website  has tons of ideas/photos. More here-

This is hands down on of the best integrated layouts I've ever seen. If more people would work with nature, see what they could do! Rock on!

Jul 8, 2017

DIY Cheap Wheelbarrow Rehab, Thrifting Scores!!! Master Bedroom Potential Wall Color

After shot

DIY Cheap Wheelbarrow Rehab-
It is HOT. 103 yesterday, 102 right now at 6:00 p.m. We're been watering a lot, but we always mulch everything well. Dave just planted 2 more tomatoes and 1 pepper, and spread more manure. The hot weather veggies are doing great, with tons of berries this year! The Blackberries, Marion berries and Raspberries are LOADED. We're going to pick/bag/freeze as they ripen so I can make some pies, jams, etc. It's easy to eat a few here and there, then they're all gone. With the heat we are thankful we have good A/C in the house and cars. We use ceiling fans a lot, have insulated curtains, and dress for the weather. I'm keeping the chickens cool as well. So here's how we....

We've had this wheelbarrow so long I'm not quite sure how old it is? Dave said about 22 years? It had some rust but mostly needed a rehab to preserve it longer. Here's a DIY guide to doing this yourself! Our cost was about $15.00 for paint and replacement nuts/bolts. The color for the paint that I suggested was green, instead of the old blue-

Before picture, 

Dave did this while I was at work so I couldn't get a shot of the inside, mostly just beat up, scratched, etc. The wood handles were in really bad shape, dried out and varnish worn off. First get out the tools you'll need, mostly a screwdriver and crescent wrench. Take it all apart. About 1/2 of the nuts and bolts shattered when Dave did this, pretty rusty-

Set aside to count later and replace with new-

From a big box store

Dave bought black Rustoleum paint for the handles and braces, used a canvas tarp. Wire brush and lightly sand the bad spots. Make sure you get all the angles, and he did 3 coats on the handles- 

2 coats of paint later! All green :)

Tires still fine!

Underside back together

I think we're good for another 22 years! You can buy new handles, which we tried to do, but couldn't find the right size. 

Thrifting Scores!!!
Speaking of saving money... I hit Goodwill today running some errands. Boy did I score! Here's the haul (except the baby clothes and a blouse) all for a little more than $20.00 bucks-

Still had the new tags on it, about 8" wide, $2.00

French Country HEAVY ceramic bread box, $4.00!


New home :)

Whale Welcome sign, I fixed the broken string

I really miss the ocean after moving to Boise, so I put out beach things in the summer. Brings back memories! We're hoping to go to Portland and maybe the coast, but we have to see how it goes...

Love the twigs and small boards!

Deep Oak frame, glass on 2 sides with beach items, you can rotate for a different look!

Stainless steel lined, new, had a small dent on the cup

I bought 4 baby shirts, a pair of baby short, and a work blouse for me. What a score!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Master Bedroom Potential Wall Color-
I am planning on painting our master bedroom this next Labor Day week, since I have the week off. Dave showed me how to Photo Shop the potential wall color, a light gray. While it's a little darker/green than I want, it's close, and I'm a visual person-

It gives me an idea to work off of. We really love the white/gray color in our master bath-

I may use the exact same color, but I will get paint chips when it's closer. Dave has adamantly vetoed painting the bedroom set. So it's wall paint, maybe rotate/ relocate some bedroom art, etc. What do you think??? I can live with the furniture, just wanting something lighter. 

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