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

Oct 29, 2013

It's National Cat Day!!!

It's National Cat Day!!!
Thanks to Carolyn at Krazoacres! I almost missed it! Here's our cats, past (Tinkerbell)  and present, Anya. Missing you Tinkerbell, sniff...

Tinkerbell on the left passed from cancer a few years ago. Samantha on the right, ditto

                And now the resident cat....Anya!
It's warm in here Mommy, don't bug me!

I'll make sure no one bothers your foot Mom

Dang, I can't fit in that box!

Ah, a new table runner to lay on

I have my own blankie thank you...

If I sit in your chair will you stop blogging and give my some love?

Oct 27, 2013

Walking Thru History, Halloween Thrifting Decor, Independence Days, Storm's Coming & Autumn Colors

Walking Thru History-
We had a gorgeous, perfect fall day yesterday- 65, clear, sunny. We drove to Idaho City, an old mining town for lunch and toured a few spots-

Old Penitentiary

Too bad the Chinese mining museum was closed, we want to go in there next time

Crow hanger, with a little Autumn pick

Halloween Thrifting Decor-
Every year when I open up some of my seasonal decor totes stored in our garage I laugh! As I find things thru the course of the year thrifting, I stash them. Then forget about them! Here are a couple of my fall and Halloween scores from last year-

Halloween kitty

I bought this on Etsy for $10.00, how cute, and handmade in the U.S.A.-

Great packaging!

                             My little "Live Simply" pillow, with rusty bell and pin

Independence Days-
1. Plant Something- Planted some crocus bulbs for next spring, in the backyard where I can see them. I LOVE them in the spring, make me smile. Added some pumpkins to my kitchen window flower box-

Thanks to Mama Pea for the inspiration at a A Homegrown Journal I had thought of it, 
but was undecided til I saw hers on her header! 

 2. Harvest Something- Last of herbs will be cut after the rain, then dried. Waiting til the bitter end! Dave cleaned the coop ans spread all the old shavings our into the garden. Coop is nice and clean and ready for winter!

3. Preserve/Store Something- Added more misc. stuff to the freezer.

4. Manage Reserves- Get a Good Deal/Barter/Stock Up/Prep- Stocked up on soups for quick lunches, and rolled oats. I love to keep several gallons on hand for the hens and hot breakfast. I love mine with raisins and some cinnamon! Chunks of apple are great too. Making sure all of the flashlights have good batteries, have kero on hand for lamps and heaters. We rarely lose power in the winter, but I'd rather have these items on hand and not need them.

5. Eat the Food- Try New Foods/Recipe- Bought my first persimmons today. Never tried them, will tatse tomorrow. Lots of leftovers this week- extra pork chops, roasted chicken, and pasta. Great for quick dinners after work. Had our first fondue with a gift certificate from our daughter. We helped with her wedding and what a gift! It was at the The Melting Pot, a great Friday night out after a very hectic week at work. Great food, service and nice and quiet. No screaming kids!

6. Build Community Food Systems- Bought local pumpkins, squash, persimmons, and corn stalks for the front entry from a place down the street-

ready for Halloween!

7. Recycle/Re-Use- Will take the corn ears off the stalks for the hens. Getting rid of various stuff to charities- Halloween, clothes, purses, kitchen stuff. I do NOT like being a pack rat. Reused pine shavings from coop into the garden.

8. Skill Up- Installed another computer at home. Got a great deal with a refurbished HP from Best Buy. Has Win 7. The newer the computers, the easier it gets I will say! Work bought me a Galaxy Tab 2, 10" screen, so I'm getting started with that. I need it for my job, sigh...

9. Regenerate What is Lost/Salvage Something- Cleaned up my thrifting finds, repaired more fall, winter clothing- loose buttons, etc. Good thing I can sew!

Storm's Coming and Autumn Colors-
Another big storm is coming thru tonite, almost 65 and sunny today, then the wind started. Temp's dropping clouds rolled in, rain about to hit. I took some photos before all the leaves start coming down-

Probably the last rose

Happy Halloween!


Oct 21, 2013

French Apple Cake, Homemade Creme Fraiche, My Stats

French Apple Cake-
I was looking around for an apple recipe to make with our left over wedding centerpiece apples. I saw another version of this French Apple Cake Recipe on a blog. I made this yesterday and it was so easy! You just make a simple batter (no mixer needed) and toss the apples in. It's very moist, and I did follow the suggestion- if you have no brandy triple the vanilla. Next time I might add a smidgen of cinnamon. I loosely covered wit parchment paper overnight, and it was super moist.

Homemade Creme Fraiche-
I decided to make some Creme Fraiche, after seeing ti listed with the apple cake. I used the recipe on the link below. I had made it years ago and it's really simple! Just heavy cream and sour cream (or buttermilk). Homemade Creme Fraiche If you've never had it think whipping cream meets cheese. It basically a tangy product that's great on top of, oh, French Apple Cake! Ooo la la, yeah baby! You can cook with it and it won't separate either. It's sitting as we speak.

My Stats-
I found this really fascinating. I get an email every week from the free Stat Counter program. It tracks who's looking at this blog. It's easy for me to forget that there's a LOT more people reading this than just my Google Friends, etc. 234 first time visits just this week! WOW, that's a lot to me :)


Unique Visits
First Time Visits
Returning Visits

                                                                 Happy Autumn!

Oct 19, 2013

Independence Days, Lighting A Coop, Facebook- No Thanks

Fall garden

Independence Days-
I've been getting over a bronchitis-y bug, but am still getting some things done. The weather has been great! Mid 60's during the day, mid 30's at night, clear and sunny.

1. Plant Something- Done for the year

2. Harvest Something- It's "goodbye garden"! All the tomatoes are now ripening on my kitchen counter. They'll be great four soups and pasta sauces. I picked the last bucket of basil and peppers.

3. Preserve/Store Something- Made fresh pesto and froze it all except one jar. Used that for dinner!

4. Manage Reserves- Get a Good Deal/Barter/Stock Up/Prep- Got a refurbished HP Windows 7 hard drive/CPU, $178.00 on Computer #2 was dying. We had all the software we needed to set it up. Works great so far! I scored lots of higher end, brand new clothing at two thrift stores- winter sweaters and blouses. I've noticed if the Goodwill stores have new clothing in one store, they'll have it at the other as well. Score times 2!

5. Eat the Food- Try New Foods/Recipe- Made a wonderful pasta dish with my fresh pesto. Threw in ripe tomatoes, and other veggies. It was heavenly! Bought some local whole wheat pizza dough- used fresh tomatoes, peppers and fresh mozz. Wow, really good. Will try this this weekend, hopefully French Apple Cake, as I saw something similar on a blog, but then couldn't find it. I like the big chunks of apple.

6. Build Community Food Systems- Chickens are still being lazy, not many eggs. We increased the light that's helped some. Hope to sell some, but winter's coming on soon.

7. Recycle/Re-Use- Bought the re-furbished computer.

8. Skill Up- Had to do some research on buying a wireless "bridge" for a desktop to access wireless here. I get it now! Our old one died, along with the PC, new one is installed and working!

9. Regenerate What is Lost/Salvage Something- Mended clothing.

Lighting A Coop For Better Egg Production-
Our hens really cut back on egg production when the days got shorter. With bad weather, Dave researched cheap, remote lighting set ups. Here's what we used, for $20.00, and I love the remote!!! We used this GE Outdoor Lighting Kit and Dave plugged the existing coop lamp into the timer. We had used the old fashioned timers before, but they don't work when it gets too cold. Now we just push a button to turn the lights on then off later. No going out in the bad weather, and dead timers!

Facebook- No Thanks-
I started setting up a Little Homestead Facebook page a couple of days ago. Then I read why you shouldn't do that- you lose control over your content, especially if it's all uploaded automatically. Not being a blogger, with ads everywhere, writing full time (must be nice) I decided to pass. Since I do this I couldn't afford to have someone set up a commercial page for me. When I feel like I'm making significant money off this, and am willing to give away the control over what I write, I'll let you know...

                                                                Bye, bye garden...

Oct 12, 2013

Anya & The Box, Cute Fall Display

It's a box, what do I do? (all cell phone shots)

I can chew on it

I can stick my head in!

Can't get all of me in

I can sit on top of it and wrestle it

Time for a rest break

What does it smell like?

Now what do I do?

Cute Fall Display
I saw this out this morning, a local store front-

I LOVE the wooden Paris suitcases!!!

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