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...

Jan 1, 2016

Little Homestead Year In Review, Raclette Cheesy Dinner, My Fave Winter Footwear

One of our little winged visitors this year, a Ringed Turtle Dove

Little Homestead Year In Review-
Wow, this year went fast, especially this Autumn . Starting a new full-time, year-round job with a later shift escalated things, with less down/project time. No more school "breaks", but I'm getting used to the way the rest of the world works :)  While I miss my old librarian job this is a new path towards a more positive wok environment, better finances, while I'm servicing patients who need help. There's also lots of room for growth in my organization to move on over time. Anyway, here's a recap of some of our major projects and stuff from this last year, not in any particular order-

Re-did our veggie garden fencing, mostly with recycled wood, and added a new gate (for $10.00!), before it was garden stakes/pig panels/chicken wire. We enlarged the veggie bed too and added more stone.

Dave installed new gable end vents for the attic, in the process discovering they had been sealed with tar paper previously! Nice looking and much cooler! Dave got the 2 cedar vents for $10. each from the Habitat store, usually they're about $100.00 each! We'll tidy up the caulking before we paint.

I made more fermented and pickled foods-

We had a bumper crop of our organic Pippin apples, what a delight! Our first in 2 years-

In prepping for our house painting this coming spring Dave replaced rotting/worn garage door trim and added a weatherizing bottom garage door strip. It's been noticeably warmer in the garage this winter! 

Looks much better too!

Dave also replaced bad siding on the house- 

We bought a new fridge, much brighter LED lighting inside, so I can see what we have-

I ripped out and replaced our kitchen back splash, added a new sink (finally!), faucet and painted. Bye bye old back splash :)

The new, easy DIY back splash made a HUGE difference, makes the whole kitchen brighter!

So much fresher and nicer! I also re-painted the living room, entry way and back hall. A fresh coat of paint always lightens and brightens.

I also recovered my office chair in the kitchen with heavy navy linen, looks much better-

I also re-did the back splash in my master bath-

I added more thrifted yard art in the veggie area to break up all that fencing!

I moved my daughter's college art welding piece to see it better-


I found tons of thrifted goodies, here are some of my faves- 

Our heavy new dining table, with a leaf, $80.00-

Vintage goodies from a junk store In Idaho City- 

Fossil leather purse, like-new $3.00 at a storage unit sale
new lamp for our bedroom, $5.00

table top greenhouse

wall candle holder rack

I turned this into this...

I love it!

Preserved food, with outdoor canning-

Yummy apple slices, added some this morning in another baked oatmeal dish, this time with almonds and currants-

I also froze summer foods, and stayed on top of the pantry closet. We had a great harvest of tomatoes, cukes and peppers. Bought our little greenhouse and I started seeds-

Got our first pears and we planted a peach tree in the front yard-

Sadly we had to cut down our sick nectarine tree as well.

Our 3 girls laid lots of great eggs, tilled the soil, ate bugs and weeds-

Lots of fresh eggs!

Got another used Subaru Outback recently after ours finally got too old-

So that's all the big stuff I can remember, more to come for 2016!!! Stay tuned~~~

Raclette Cheesy Dinner-
A year or so ago I found this recipe and stashed it. I decided to make it for New Year's Eve dinner and it's great, especially on a very cold, 7 degree winter night! I got the Raclette cheese at Traders Joe's, a nice, soft, mild melting cheese. I made the fingerling potatoes, a really amazing dish by itself! I made a 2nd batch for dinner tonite and added more red peppers, yummy... 

Next I sat out our tray, my new thrifted one-

Then I sat out 3 tea towels, sat the hot cast iron skillet on the table and served the potatoes. We ripped and dipped our bread in the melted cheese, and it was divine! 

We topped it off with a TJ's tart-

It was a great hot meal, and pretty simple actually...

7 degrees this morning

My Fave Winter Footwear-
We can have some really bitter cold weather here in Boise. After living here my first winter I bought a pair of snow boots. I still use them, but I found a better option for cold winter weather- 

My Salomon snow clogs, at least 15 years old, water-proof, insulated and big treads, perfect for rain, snow or ice. There are a lot of brands now that sell something similar. I did add a heel cushion, more comfortable for my heels. You can hose them off to clean them!!!

For inside, my 15 year-old boiled wool Stegmann clogs, re-soled at a Birkenstock store, warm and toasty inside and easy to take off and switch to snow clogs. They do last forever!

When I go out tomorrow morning at 5 degrees to open the coop my feet will be all toasty! I sure do appreciate my warm, snug home to come into! All our extra insulation has paid off!!! I think our hens are enjoying our heat lamp for them too :)

Here's a nice little reminder how gorgeous our planet and little slice of the universe is, courtesy Jason Mraz and NASA. I showed this to my students and they all LOVED it! Crank up the music, enlarge it and enjoy!


Candy C. said...

Fun recap of the year! Love all the home improvement projects, we really need to do some "stuff" around here this year. We have lived here for almost 10 years now and things are getting worn.

Anonymous said...

Loved learning about your little much fun and learning! Happy 2016! :)

Mama Pea said...

You write such great posts containing so much interesting material that I have a hard time knowing what to comment on! Nice recap of the past year. Some time I'm gonna have to get organized enough to do that! Can't believe the like-new shape of your fifteen year old shoes! It does pay to buy good stuff.

Hope this new year is a wonderful one for you and yours. I look forward to keeping up with your escapades (!) through your blog.

Pioneer Woman at Heart said...

Loved your year in review! I'll be posting mine in two posts this year, ha ha!

Unknown said...

Thanks all, it's good to look back since it's easy to forget how much we all do! It also gives a feeling of satisfaction to get those things done...

Rose Prairie Quilts and Farm said...

Boy when you look back on a year you have done a lot and what good changes have happened for you. Thank you for sharing. Those shoes sound like something I could use. May 2016 be even better than 2015 for you. Take care

Unknown said...


Jennifer@MyFlagstaffHome said...

Oh, how I love those doves. We used to see them all the time in Phoenix. Now, it Flagstaff, Arizona (where it is really cold all winter), we only see them in the summer. So beautiful!!!

Thanks for always sharing on My Flagstaff Home!


Unknown said...

Yes they're gorgeous!

Valerie Cottage Making Mommy said...

You had a great year. Your home and garden are looking great. Mine needs so much work. We keep competing with the weather. Ughhh.

I really do love your garden. I'm looking forward to more of those posts.

Thanks for sharing with us at Simple Saturdays.

Hugs from Oklahoma,

Cottage Making Mommy

Unknown said...

Thanks Valerie, gardening is always an ongoing process!

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