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...

Nov 30, 2014

My Spatchcock Turkey

My Spatchcock Turkey-
Knowing that we wouldn't have a lot of leftover bird from our main Thanksgiving night dinner, and getting a 2nd turkey (free), I decided to try this- Fastest Roast Turkey  It was very simple and fast. And oh the juicy bird!!! I made more mashed taters, dressing and gravy. We did have some leftover cranberry conserve I made and Indian pudding. Round 2 for us tonight! Next year I going to buy a BIG bird! Maybe 25 lbs. :)


Nov 28, 2014

R&R/No Black Friday, Another Turkey, More Weather Changes

R&R/No Black Friday-
Anya has it right, rest and relax today! After a long, productive day of roasting, baking, eating and enjoying our family our extended (including 1 new boyfriend) and playing board games, I crashed! Today it's relax and enjoy the day. Being more of a voluntary simplicity, frugal/smart shopper gal, I skip the craziness. When I see throngs of people knocking each other down on the news I think it shows the worst side of Americans- greed. Really sad that people are that materialistic. I blogged about this 3 years ago, and I think it's just gotten worse- Materialism in America I also plan ahead! Most of my shopping is already done, long ago, and the few things I still need are easy to find. No worries. Why go crazy when you can relax? A Canadian friend of mine said their Thanksgiving is more of a harvest/Oktoberfest kind of thing- no shopping involved. Lucky her!

Another Turkey-
We were happy to be gifted with a free turkey from hubby's company. Since it was a 15 pounder (small) I qualified for a "free" turkey at the grocery store a few days ago. I grabbed one, a smaller 12 lb. one was a good size for us. I'm thawing it today for more leftovers and to freeze. Since I gave away most of the leftovers to the 3 girls, there' wasn't much left. On to round two! I'll thaw it today and roast it tomorrow. Here's a fast roasting method I found, which I'll try  Fastest Roast Turkey Looks great for general purposes... then more gravy, mashed taters and maybe dressing :) I made a flour-less chocolate almond tart instead of a pumpkin pie yesterday and everyone raved! I also made Indian Pudding, so there's some of that too :) Yum, yum...

More Weather Changes-
The weather was crazy-warm the last couple of days, 60 yesterday! I had the sliding glass door open late in the day in the kitchen. A few raindrops, but very mild. That's about to change. Dave was restless yesterday so I told him if he wanted to rake some leaves he had a good window yesterday. Rain and possible snow is on the way, with more normal cold weather after that. High tomorrow of 47, then next day high of 31! A 30 degree drop. The back to a more normal 40's/30's weather. It's so weird to see so many leaves still on the tree! We need a good windstorm, which may be starting to happen now. Breeze is picking up and leaves are coming down a bit. It was so mild early in the month, then 8" of snow, and 4 degrees. We never had the normal leaf-falling weather. We always rake the leaves into the flower beds and then into the veggie garden. We did protect the plants, but the garden is still pretty empty. It's next. Fall leaves, come on already!!! Rain is coming on the radar, so hoping for some wind!

Nov 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!
I hope everyone has a thankful and fun day. We'll be enjoying food and guests, and relaxing. I did lots of prep yesterday and the rest today, will sleep in tomorrow. Enjoy!!!

Nov 24, 2014

Simple Amish Kitchens

 First 5 photos from

Simple Amish Kitchens-
I was browsing around online today and saw some photos of typical (relatively) Amish kitchens. Very clean, simple and (of course) no electric appliances to be seen. Propane and gas can be used. Helps me to remember how little I really need! As part of their faith photos and pictures are not allowed to be hung and windows are either uncovered, or they use simple, plain fabric. Here's a little inspiration...

the rest from Google search-

More of a modern-looking Amish kitchen from, good post there too

From Pinterest

From the movie "Witness":

The summer kitchen

These are from

For elderly parents, note the small table...

Nov 22, 2014

What A Difference 40 Degrees Makes!

What A Difference 40 Degrees Makes!
Monday the low was 4 degrees, right now it's 44, a tropical heat wave!!! The rain started last night, and it was pretty heavy. This morning it's all melting, and there's actually green grass still. The snow came down hard and fast on top of the grass, so it never went dormant. Looks pretty weird with a lot of leaves still on the trees. The snow came so early in the year they never really fell. Well, they're falling now! A big wet mess. Hopefully when it dried up this next week we can get everything raked. I let the girls out earlier and the attacked the green grass! I always give them fresh greens when it's really cold- spinach mostly, which they love! I just gave them some grains and put them into the coop to dry out. Poor girls had very muddy feel. They seem to not mind the cold mud as much as my earlier chickens. They LOATHED wet feet. These 3, not so much. I'm leaving them in a bit to warm up a bit and dry out.

Muddy girls!

Lots of leaves to rake :)

A HUGE yellow jacket nest the snow and rain blew down. About 12" across!!!

Last week- 8" of snow

Nov 18, 2014

And Now For Something British... Record Cold

And Now For Something British...-
I looked all over Boise (sort of) to find a new tea pot. We drink a lot of iced tea year round. With the holidays coming too, I needed a bigger one. After getting very frustrated I found one online! It's BIG, 75 ounces/9 cups and I found it here-  It arrived today, perfect, well packed, along with a few other goodies- 2 big mugs, with the corporate logo ($2.00 each), some Scottish breakfast tea, and a pack of English cookies. I really like different black teas, so this is a new one. I LOVE the tea pot!!! It's no-drip and has an extra loop (on the left) to carry the heavy pot-

Anya liked Dave's choice of cold beverages :)

Record Cold-
This morning it was 4 degrees, a record low for this date. Thankfully no wind at all. I was dressed in thick socks, a warm sweater and cord slacks at work. Toasty! Other people complained about the cold in very fashionable, thin clothes and warm weather shoes. Really? I guess you can't tell people- dress for the weather. And driving? The road has what I call crap snow- hard packed, icy s**t that's not level, but lumpy bumpy. Lots of fun to drive in to work :) The HIGH today was 14. It's supposed to warm up a bit over the next 3 days, with another 2"- 4" of snow Friday night. Once it hits the upper 30's this will hopefully melt. I'm off on a furlough week all next week, so whatever happens I'm good! Now if I could just scrape the frozen chicken poo off the roosting area. Pretty gross looking, but at least they're laying!!! I have so many fresh eggs, it's great...

Nov 14, 2014

Record Breaking Snow Day! The Birds

View from the living room

Record Breaking Snow Day! 
Wow, we had almost 8" inches of snow today, even in the lowest elevations! That was a record for November. We had an inch or so last night as well. I'm so GLAD school was closed. Roads were terrible this afternoon, really icy. I'm getting over an eye infection, right after the bronchitis. I was so spent, energy-wise. I didn't get out of bed until almost 11, just exhausted. I started on some antibiotics, so that should clinch things. It was so pretty today, but I'm glad we did all the winter prep too. It all helps before things get ugly. The low for tomorrow night is supposed to be 2 degrees, so the snow won't be melting anytime soon.... 

Here's some snapshots of the homestead, and check out the chickens pics, of the sun room in action. Perfect example of why we built it. I gave the girls lots of treats today, and they seemed content...

Look at the snow on top of the mason jar solar light!

Snow on the sumac stag horns

glad I brought my geraniums in!

I put out some extra bird food today 

sun room in action, the girls enjoyed it!

Girls digging in the sun room, 3" of pine shavings and a roosting perch in there

When will it stop???

My herb pot, nice and tucked in. I had put some leaves on top...

Solar light, reminds me of a gnome :)

The Birds-
The oddest thing happened Wednesday night- I got home and there were 100's of crows at the very top of the tree across the street. It was cold and the sun was hitting just the very top of the tree. Within a couple of minutes, and camera still out, they all flew off. I wonder if they sensed the polar plunge coming and took off to places unknown??? Very odd...

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