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...

Dec 17, 2016

New Grandbaby! More Snow, Cold & Holiday Cheer, Another eBay Find!

New Grand Baby!
Well, here is our new second grand baby boy named Oliver. We was born last night, 9 lbs., 4 ounces. Big boy!!! We met Oliver this morning and he was resting nicely along with Mom and Dad. He's eating well and they will go home late tomorrow. My son in law loves children and will be awesome parent along with my daughter! It's amazing to have our first two grandchildren in one year. River in May and now Oliver. Just in time for the holidays!!! And do you like my new header at the top? I wanted something new, time for a change!

I love snowmen!

More Snow, Cold & Holiday Cheer-
Tonite's it's going to be in single digits again, brrrr. It was sunny today, with a high of about 22. It was 7 this morning when I woke up. We had another 2 inches of snow Wed., really pretty. Longer commutes, but the roads are getting a bit drier, but still icy. We've had three rounds of snow storms so far, more then usual. This "deep freeze" nationally has hit us too. We've added more pine shavings to the coop, kept the heat lamp on at night. We use a ceramic heat disc for reptiles and a hard wired in red bulb. Helps some, but not "warm". The hens came out today in the sun and have started laying again, not that their molting is down. The extra protein seems to have really helped! We got our holiday decor up, I will finish the Chritsmas tree tomorrow. Since we have a new grand baby we were out today more than usual! We're feeding and pottying their dog and 2 cats. My oldest daughter had her 30th birthday this well. Busy week! Here's some pics of this weeks weather and some inside shots-

Fresh snow on our outdoor lights

Mr. Troll is buried this time!


Front porch

Santa's of the World, USA left, Norway right


My faux tin house

Love the birds, from Target years ago

More birds :) 

My chalk painted table with more snowmen, all thrifted

Another eBay Find!
I really scored last week on eBay!!! I changed jobs a year ago and was no longer needing a REALLY heavy, bulky winter coat for morning bus duty. I am keeping that coat, but I needed something more medium weight, rain and weather proof. I LOVE L.L. Bean, but new their coats are more spendy than I can afford right now. Lots of medical bills with my hand surgery and other things. I looked at thrift stores, local retail stores and eBay. I went to a store to find a "sale" coat, and it turned out to be an online sales only, of course :( I went back to eBay and bought this L.L. Bean parka coat instead. I saved $45-$75., but it's also MUCH heavier construction. More features- pockets, flaps, lined collar, has a detachable hood, which I love! If I'm going to buy something I want it to last. It was warm and toasty this morning and less bulky, I am loving it!!! Thanks eBay!!!

Dec 12, 2016

Comfort Food For A Deep Cold Winter's Night!


Comfort Food For A Cold Winter's Night!
With single digit temps coming this weekend it's COLD! It's WINTER! More snow coming too, yay. When the deep cold sets in cold dinners are out. Time for something hearty and hot! I ran across the crabmelts recipe a year r 2 ago, and made them healthier. I used 1/4 of the mayo, eliminated the butter on the bread, lessened the olives. I have also added  roasted red peppers on ciabatta rolls. Much less fat and great flavor! I can buy a large, 2 cup can of crab meat for $8.00 and that makes 4 good sized servings. Preyty affordable! I served with little cornichon pickles and veggies. Might be good with hot soup too. Recipe here-

Yesterday I thawed out some garden tomatios, added some Italian sausage, mushrooms, herbs and made a very hearty sauce, cooking thru the afternoon. I tossed with whole grain penne pasta and cubes of feta. Add hot bread and salad, it's all good! 

Dec 8, 2016

First Snow!!!

Backyard Coop

First Snow!!!-
We had our first big snow today, about 2-3" during the day. Another 1-3 " coming tonite, then changing to rain tomorrow. My 15 minute commute home was an hour! Lukcily everyone slowed down and I didn't see any accidents, but I heard the sirens in the distance. Some people just won't slow down, sigh. It's pretty and this is what it looked like tonight when I got home-

Mr. Garden Gnome

Dec 4, 2016

How To Unshrink A Wool Sweater, Turkey With Sour Cream Noodles, COLD!

How To Unshrink A Wool Sweater-
Dave had a minor laundry mishap yesterday, putting his new-ish (last years Christmas gift from me) L.L. Bean lamb's wool sweater in the dryer. Only for a few minutes. I gasped. I held it up, he tried it on, it shrunk about 1- 2 sizes  :( Oh no!!!  Being the avid DIYer selfer, I went online. I had seen this trick before and figured it would work I followed the directions, soaked the sweater-

Then I had Dave squeeze all the water out (still in my wrist brace) and rolled in 2 towels til damp.

I used another sweater as a template and gently stretched-

It worked! I moved it to a card table with a towel to dry overnight. I had Dave VERY gently try it on while damp. Sweater saved, Dave's happy, me happy! No more wool sweaters in the dryer!!! I wish I had known about this years and years ago. I had a couple sweaters I could have saved...

Turkey With Sour Cream Noodles-
What do you do with three or four cups of leftover turkey breast? Last night I was thinking of sour cream noodles and had a "ah ha" moment. For my basic sour cream noodles I cook extra large egg noodles and toss with sour cream, salt and pepper, till nice and hot. Serve! Great as a simple side dish. To use the turkey I cubed it, used a full large bag of noodles, 1 container of sour cream, a bag of peas, 1 cup of sliced baby carrots, salt and pepper. Cook noodles, drain add rest of ingredients, cook until carrots are soft, about 10-15 minutes. Easy peasy and pretty frugal!

It was 17 degrees last week,  first really cold weather of the season. That morning there was a very heavy frost, all sparkly!

We've gotten quite a bit of early winter snow in the mountain, with more coming tonight! I started to decorate with my generic winter goodies today, since it seemed appropriate given the temps. We got our winter things out and I have most of the non-Christmas things out. We did set up the Advent wreath last week. We like to put up the tree a bit later. When we put away the Christmas things new year's weekend, we leave up the winter things. we like celebrating the seasons and bringing nature in. Today I spread things out across the house and we turned on the outside lights last night for my birthday! Here's a peak of some winter decor, pretty simple, eh?

In my kitchen

Nov 27, 2016

Bye Bye Autumn, Hello Winter!

Bye Bye Autumn, Hello Winter!
It was warm yesterday, almost 60 degrees! We were vacillating about when to put up the outdoor holiday lights, and with a very cold week next week Dave decided it was a good day. The temps this next week are supposed to be in the 20's at night, 30's during the day. The temp is dropping already and it's 12:30! Cold gray skies, I think winter is here! We have a little snow in the forecast, we'll see how much we get. Coop is winterized, garden is put to bed. Dave mowed and raked Friday. I'm putting away my Autumn/Thanksgiving decor today, tossing the pumpkins. I may roast some for the hens. I washed our winter hats, gloves and added snow scrapers and a blanket to each car. We're ready! Our flannel sheets and thick quilt is on our bed, nice and cozy.

We had a blast here with our family potluck for Thanksgiving. My Grandson River was here and eating his first meal in front of us! He just started on homemade, organic baby food recently and he loves it!

What a big boy!

Yum yum sweet potatoes!

I went to Jo Ann's fabrics today to replace some buttons and found these 2 fun items, both to go over my dining table-

A fun snowman, $10.00, I really like it!

Snowflake, about 16" wide, $2.00, I will paint with chalk paint

I may get out a few generic winter things today if time allows. Advent starts today, so I may get that set up if I can find it. My hubby was raised Catholic and he like to celebrate that. So, happy winter!

Winter 2012

Nov 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!
I'm home today prepping for one of my favorite holidays, and happy snow is in the forecast this weekend. Bring on the white stuff! With our kids being grown we now host a potluck. I'm doing the turkey (free from hubby's employer), dressing, gravy, drinks, snacks and a (shh) chocolate almond tart (gluten free). Since our bird was a bit smaller I'm buying a large turkey breast for extras. No pumpkin pie interest this year, go figure. Pumpkin has never been my thing, so it's chocolate this year, and no one else wanted to bother. Works for me! I hope you all have a restful holiday, no black Friday shopping for us, just sleeping in, maybe a movie and RELAX...

Nov 19, 2016

U.S. Winter Is Here Forecast, Ocean Themed Baby Shower

U.S. Winter Is Here Forecast-
It's that time of year, leaves are almost completely off the trees here, nights into the 20's and 30's. Brr, baby it's cold outside! From some of the long range forecasts I've read it will be an interesting winter. I read this and they were right with the early storms in the N.W. We had our first big one last month. More to come I'm sure! Here's what our backyard looked like this morning-

Our huge maple tree is almost bare

Our cold weather gear is out, Today Dave mowed up all the leaves, put the mulch in the compost pile and flower beds, and deep cleaned the coop. Tomorrow we'll run the cord out to the coop to keep the waterer from freezing. Our freezer is full with produce from the garden harvest and our small house is warm and snug. This year I have the day before and after Thanksgiving off work to have a nice family gathering and enjoy our company. Next, I'm dreaming of a white Christmas :)


Ocean Themed Baby Shower-
My youngest daughter Angie and her husband Chris are expecting my second grandchild (another boy!) next month. They just moved into their first home and are nesting away. I was too busy last weekend to blog, but took some fun photos! I got the crabwiches idea from Pinterest and everyone loved them! I stuffed them with a real crab meat mixture, very tasty. We had lots of food, including shrimp, a pineapple upside down cake, and more yummy. My daughter Michelle and Angie's friend Katie helped with the living room decorating, with lots of oversized balloons, etc. I brought out my "beach table" things for the dining room table. I did this on a tight budget getting lots of wrappings at the dollar store. We ate, laughed, play Baby Jeopardy and opened gifts. We gifted a new white 4 In One crib and mattress for the baby. Dave had made a solid wood cradle for the girl's before they were born, and now Angie will use it for her son Oliver. Time just circles back sometimes doesn't it?

Lots of foods!

For flowers I bought Eucalyptus and Baby's Breath, reminded me of sea foam

Mr. Turtle

Dave's handmade cradle full of gifts, Jeopardy game board, our crib under fabric.

My daughter Michelle's original art for the nursery, cute!

Nov 6, 2016

Easy Faux Tin House Lantern For The Holidays, Removing Odors From Thrifted Clothing

Easy Faux Tin House Lantern For The Holidays-
It's autumn and winter will soon be here! My big left wrist cast is coming off tomorrow, then a small hand/thumb splint for five weeks. My thumb is healing up nicely, from surgery. I didn't have a of of joint left for the thumb to rest on, so they removed the bone below and created a stable space for it now. Pain will be gone for good and thumb will seat correctly. Happy dance! The garden is put to bed, and leaves coming down, it's really pretty outside. Still too warm for our heavy comforter, but nice and cold in the morning. So...
I saw this easy project last winter and this rustic metal look goes great with the farm-ish, vintage decor I love. This is a low cost DIY version since real tin houses/lanterns can be really spendy. In the winter I couldn't paint outside, then I forgot over the summer, but had a good day today! It's 62 degrees, unseasonably warm, and a light breeze. The link above shows the project, it's easy peasy. I started with this medium sized $5.99 Hobby Lobby paper mache house. I decided to do one house, and it will be great for a small table display for the holidays.-

Roof comes off!

Using a well-shaken can of Krylon Silver Hammered Paint ($10.00) I painted the inside and outside of the house-

1st coat, looking good!

I will do a 2nd coat later today, but it's looking great! I may paint some other holidays things with this, like ornaments or? Can't get much easier :)

The stinky shirt that kept on giving

Removing Odors From Thrifted Clothing-
Well, I had an educational week with my used eBay Eddie Bauer corduroy blouse! I got this beauty on eBay for $10.00, really pretty colors for fall and nice weight for work. I saw the gorgeous fabric thru the plastic bag and excitedly opened it. The odor coming out of the blouse was unfreaking believable!!! OMG, the smell! It was like really bad perfume/chemicals. I always wash all used clothing before wearing, so I threw it in the washer, no worries. It still smelled coming out, so I washed it two more times, more soap, still stunk. I used cold water and our regular laundry soap. Time to do some research, since I wanted to keep the blouse. I went online and found some great ideas here- Thrift Store Clothing Odor/Stain Removal I tried the hot water/baking soda method and it took out 90% of the odor! Eureka!!! I will wash again today and I think that will do it. I did send an FYI letter to the seller, just stating how bad the odors were and what I had to do to remove it. I'm not sure if they applied something or the previous owner did, but it was the WORST I ever smelled on a used piece of clothing. They did apologize and offered a full refund. I declined and I'm happy I salvaged it.You can learn so much online!

Oct 31, 2016

Happy Halloween From The Hand!

Happy Halloween!
My actual left hand looks like this-

I had much-needed thumb surgery this last Friday, as my left thumb joint was pretty shot. I'm home today and off my pain meds, and back to work tomorrow. I'm getting around slower, but better each day. Next Monday I will get a much smaller, removable splint, then 5 more weeks to heal. We had a dark and stormy night last night, perfect for this time of year! Life goes on, so Happy Halloween!

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