Life on a little urban homestead in the making, with ideas for self-sufficiency, DIYing, organic gardening, food preservation, chicken keeping, cookery, crafts, thrifting, vintage stuff, and more...
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Jun 24, 2019

Harvesting Service (Saskatoon) Berries, Thrifting Scores! Goats On Patrol

Harvesting Service (Saskatoon) Berries
Having two nearly recording-breaking months of rain, April and May, made for a huge amount of service berries! Dave harvested about 1 gallon so far. I bagged them in 4 - 1 Qt bags to freeze. I found lots of recipes online, you can check out my Pinterest food page, if interested (link on the right). Lots of info here too about the berries and benefits. There's probably several more Qts. out there. I plan on making syrup to can for sure! Maybe some mini tarts. Time will tell!

Travelog Anti-Theft Bag, $4.00

Thrifting Scores!
I stopped by Goodwill Saturday and really scored! I found 1 new, and 1 like-new, pair of expensive work slacks, perfect! $5.00 each. Then I found all of this- 

Tonka loader and recycled plastic fire truck, $3.00 each, for grandsons

New planter, $1.00, new metal cup, $1.00, 2 new non-stick cake pans $1.50 each, pitcher $4.00

Love the detail on the pitcher, new, very summery!

New corn stalk yard art, $4.00

Great in the backyard!

Goats On Patrol-
Every year the County brings in a large flock of goats on my route to work. They put up electric fencing and go to work. The weeds were about 3' - 4' high when they started. They've made good progress in the last week. I smile as I drive by every morning on the way to work! I took these photos while Dave was driving so I didn't run off the road. Wish I'd have gotten better photos, but there's no where to park. They have water and plenty of shade, and only in the 70's this week. Its a pretty great job they do, and no herbicides! They're used around Boise in different areas and it's a great program!!!

Jun 21, 2019

Happy Summer Solstice!!! Here Comes The Sun

Image from

Happy Summer Solstice!!!
I woke up to 42 degrees this morning, but yes, it's the longest day of the year!  Here's how it all work!

Image from

And for a little entertainment- James Taylor did a tribute to the famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma, whom he had recorded this cover with on Yo-Yo Ma's 2008 album Songs Of Joy & Peace. This video is from when he was awarded the  Presidential Medal of Freedom. Just lovely and a very different take than the original! If you look close you can see actress Anne Hathaway moved to tears! 

Jun 18, 2019

Finishing Planting The Veggies & Flowers, Victoria Sponge Cake with Strawberries & Coconut Cream, Pasta & Peas

Finishing Planting The Veggies & Flowers
I think summer is finally here! I bought the last of our veggies this weekend to plant. I bought a Japanese Itchiban eggplant, three small pots of lemon cucumbers to help out with the ones that are a little bit sick from the bad weather. I bought two red  and 2 green bell peppers, several basil and some flowers for the pots-

My baby Basils ready to plant in a pot

 My Nasturtiums I started from seed have doing really great, they're just not flowering yet-

Unless I see a really great deal into next month or two for leftover tomatoes at the local nurseries I think we're pretty well done. The corn, beans, and small decorative pumpkins we started from seed are doing great-

Dave already harvested (he's taller!) 2 Qts. of Service Berries, many more to come. They loved the wet spring. I may make jam, or some small tarts, or both. Nothing like growing your own food!

More flowers from the front yard-


Pollinator, but can't remember which one!


Red Hot Poker, almost 40 blooms, crazy with the wet weather too!
First berries, Red Twig Dogwood, not edible sadly

Sea Thrift


Victoria Sponge Cake with Strawberries & Coconut Cream
I always wanted to make a Victoria sponge cake with fresh strawberries. There are a lot of recipes out there, but many are with UK measurements which doesn't work very well for me. I finally found a recipe and decided to try it and was really disappointed. Both cakes fell, which is ever happened to me before in my life. I'm not posting the recipe here since it was not a good one apparently. I realized after the fact that 375° was just too hot for cakes, that should have been cooler with a longer bake time. I did try microwaving the one that was still pretty warm for several minutes to see if it would hopefully cook the batter in the center. When website suggested if your cake fails in the middle or falls in the middle to simply serve it in slices or in a cup with the other ingredients. The second cake came out nice and moist. Disappointing for a Father's Day dessert. Sad, will try a different recipe next time. No More Cake Fails ideas here.

This was a success though, making coconut cream! Since Dave can't do dairy I decided to make this for the cake. Basically I followed the directions on the can-
refrigerate overnight (I put in the freezer for 1 hour or so). Spoon out the solid thick cream. I put in as mixing bowl, added 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 1 TBS powdered sugar and whipped. It was very stiff. I added more of the milk liquid until it got to the right consistency. I used two cans of this which was perfect for the cake-

It was nice and fluffy and didn't soak the cake the way cream would. I could see adding lemon extract, etc. next time for another flavor.

Pasta & Peas-
One thing I learned from a more plant-based diet is peas are packed with protein! Who knew! I thought they were pure carbs and felt guilty eating them. I added some to whole grain pasta, and topped with an egg. Add some Parmesan cheese and it's what for dinner!