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 28, 2015

First Snow Storm, French Country Dishwasher Face Lift

First Snow Storm-
While we didn't get much snow here in Boise this week, an inch or so, we did get a lot more north & east of here. Good for the forests and skiers! I love the way the sun sparkles on the snow! It puts me in the mood to put away my fall decor this weekend and putting up my winter goodies. It was 11 degrees last night, pretty dang cold! The chickens are in good shape with their heat lamp and snug coop. I also bought a "flock block"- Nutrena Scratch Block since one is molting and I thought they could use some extra calories! I put it out in the coop and haven't seen them working on it yet. I put some rolled oats on top to get them started. I laos out out LOTS of wild bird feed as they need some help this time of year. Our heated bird waterer helps too.


Some random snow scenes from our little homestead- 

French Country Dishwasher Face Lift-
I always love a great DIY project and this is one of my favorites! While I'm not a fan of all white, I love the vintage look! Check out the post for more info! It's so nice to customize something, on a budget, that you're not fond of and and come up with something unique! There's lots of other fun junky ideas as well~~~

Nov 27, 2015

My Global Visitors!

Sorry it's a bit blurry
My Global Visitors!-
After I'd been blogging a bit I set up a free Cluster Visitor's map so I could check see who was coming from where. I hadn't checked on it for a while. It's fascinating when I do look at it. Today I saw online visitors from all over the U.S., Grenoble France, and Spain. In the past I've seen people from S. Africa, the Middle East, S. America, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Scandinavia and Britain. It such a big global village and so many disparate visitors for such a little blog! Cool!!! Have a great day, I'm off to work~~~

Nov 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Wishing you a Joyful Thanksgiving from our 
Little Homestead to yours!

Nov 22, 2015

A Normal Winter, First Grandchild Is On The Way!

It snowed!

A Normal Winter-
We're having more of a normal winter here finally after several odd winters.After the drought and horrible fires we REALLY need major snow in the mountains this year. Here's hoping!  It's been cold, leaves are falling, gradual cooling down. Lows in the teens this week, with some more snow forecast. Maybe we'll have a white Thanksgiving? We're having our main meal today at my daughters. With 2 sets of in-laws things get rotated very year. Thursday we'll have just 2 over for a nice dinner but with pork roast and cranberries. My roasting turkey breast is coming along nicely, cranberry sauce made, making a kale salad too with grapes and blue cheese to take. I REALLY miss having Friday off the day after Thanksgiving. I'd love to have that long weekend off, but I'll be working. The first time in 20+ years or more. Most businesses close that day, but not mine, oh joy. No movie and sleeping in for me :(  While I don't do the black Friday thing I do like relaxing, and no more "snow days"!

sorry for the blur, my hardy geraniums

Dusting on the coop

First Grandchild Is On The Way!
Some big news- my first grandchild is on the way! The baby is due in June. I'm glad all my girls have waited to start a family. They finished college and had time to grow up, then grow in a marriage. I wanted to wait a bit to announce things as I really like to protect my family's privacy. Sadly there are people who post everything to their blog, Facebook, etc. and don't stop to think of turning their filters on. I look at it as- do your kids want to see that all in 10 years? I DO NOT like finding out about significant events thru Facebook. Anyway, I'm really excited and thinking about what we'll need to be Grandparents. Luckily, right now, we're down the street 5 minutes. The kids are looking at buying a house at some point soon, since there's a real rental shortage in Boise. They're been married a few years now and will make great parents I'm sure. I think you really get a different perspective on your family history when another generation comes up. Now I'm trying to figure out what we may need for babysitting? Luckily there's some newer inventions since I was a Mom like this, nice, portable and storeable-

Overkill for us, but I love this Ikea layout, good use of space-

Nov 15, 2015

Minestrone Soup w/Garden Tomatoes, Mini Egg-What The Heck???

Minestrone Soup w/Garden Tomatoes-
I had lots of tomatoes from the garden from our last harvest. I needed to use them up so I made some minestrone this afternoon. There's lots of recipes online so I just made a basic one, lots of veggies, add the pasta last. Cheese on top with some bread, oh yeah! We're expecting some snow tomorrow morning, so it will make for a fast dinner tomorrow night. It simmered in the large crock pot all day, great dinner and made the whole house smell good! I froze half for later in the month.I sill have more left so it will be salsa time in a few days. Winter's on the way, lots of laves falling! Soup time...

leaves falling

neighbor cat Posey eyeing the squirrel from our compost bin

Mini Egg-What The Heck???
I found one rather large egg and then one really tiny the same day. How odd
is this???

extra large

tiny egg!!!

Nov 8, 2015

Winter Prep & Last Harvest, Baking With Duck Eggs, Bye Bye Car!

Winter Prep & Last Harvest-
Sorry I missed my blog post last weekend but life's been busy! New later job hours, new car, lots to do! Last weekend, besides buying a car, we were busy with some gardening projects. With 20's/30's at night this week Dave and I harvested the last of the tomatoes, peppers, squash, herbs and cukes-

Tomatoes destined for salsas and soups

 Dave put up the big lower piece of glass on the coop and we stored the screen. It insulates the coop more, but there's still plenty of ventilation. We also added some plastic on the main entry door. Cuts down on the drafts. I keep a close eye on the temps and smell in there. The "sun room" is now also up. The girls LOVE it in cold, snowy or wet weather. We added some pine shavings and a roosting bar since it dried out-

We've had a lot of rain lately, much needed. There was 8" of SNOW in eastern Idaho this week! I'm putting away all my yard tools into the garage and covering my garden workbench with plastic this weekend. It protects the wood and I don't use it anyway in the winter. Dave took my Mazda in for a oil change and we had the "cabin air filters" changes. It's been 5 years and we didn't know they were there, and supposed to be replaced, as nothing was in the scheduled maintenance book. They were FILTHY!!!


Better air flow now and it will cut down on the dust as well. When they checked my battery it wasn't in good shape, but was still under warranty. Dave took it in with the chains for the old wagon we never used. We wound up getting a new battery for free and a $40.00 cash refund for the chains! SCORE!!!

We had a cold Halloween and it was was pretty mellow with our kids grown up. We only had about 15 kiddos trick or treating, but one was an old student of mine! A little boy (K) said "Hey I know you!" when I opened the door. I told him who I was and he was so sweet. I told him to tell everyone I said "hi!" Nice surprise.

Baking With Duck Eggs-
A new work pal was offering up free ducks eggs! Her friend give her tons of them, so I found myself with 12 big beauties! I did some research as I knew they were excellent for baking with some info here How To Use Duck Eggs. They add more rising to any baking recipe. I'm going to try this today- Applesauce cake with duck eggs minus the frosting since duck eggs have a lot more fat. No point in clogging my arteries more! Maybe with some muffins today too :)

Winter outside kitty Posey, who I gave a little food to, being eyed by inside empress Anya

New baby
Bye Bye Car!-
This is our new 2013 (30,000 miles) Subaru Outback we just bought, after we had to retire our old 2001 one. It that had 14 years and 160,000 miles on it. We knew the head gasket was leaking, but then found out oil was getting into the motor and it could seize up at any time. We would have had a dead car and no trade-in value. So we went shopping last Sat. at our local Subaru deal. We had a looked at a Mazda 5, a wagon, since our M3 has been super reliable. Very well rated by Consumer Reports, but it seemed a bit cheaply made, and after seeing the deal on the Outback we were sold. It's taller and wider and a bit more interior room. Much better turning radius too! We heard our old baby is being fixed up by the service department and will be sold to another owner. She'll be recycled!

Not our old car but the same model

We got an excellent deal, we added fog lights (base line model), the dealer added new tires and and an additional key. We got an excellent interest rate, 2%, and some trade-in value. Time well spent and all of our hard work paying down other debts over the years added up to a much high FICO score and a better deal. All in all we're glad we went with the Outback again. Dave's thrilled he gets to drive the new car to work, as he always seemed to wind up with the older one. Since I have a longer commute our Mazda is better for mileage for me. When the snow and ice hits though, I'm stealing her! The only downside is it has the WORST software for setting up the cell phone. Very long and cumbersome. The Mazda was so easy in comparison...

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