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...

Mar 26, 2016

Spring Independence Days, Easy Easter Decor

Spring Independence Days-
It's getting busy here on the little homestead, so here's an update!

1. Plant Something-

Soon, with some pansies for my window box, and maybe some cool weather starts. We'll get out our mini-greenhouse when the nights get out of the 30's.

2. Harvest Something-
Lots of eggs and chives.

3. Preserve/Store Something-
Still making water kefir, adding more freezer items.

4. Manage Reserves- Get a Good Deal/Barter/Stock Up/Prep-
I scored some great deals at the Grocery Outlet last night- frozen foods, gluten free granola bars I love in a 10-pack for $4.00! Also hair conditioner, Ben and Jerry's (OMG!) Strawberry Shortcake ice cream, and a 2 rake set for $10.00 for our new homeowner kids-

I also found 2 big, new pinwheels for the garden!

5. Eat the Food- Try New Foods/Recipe-
I saw this On Annabell Langbein's website, Tuscan Beef Ragu, and I'll be making this for dinner tomorrow night, looks yummy! I found her marathon showing of all her episodes on PBS today, what a treat!!!

6. Build Community Food Systems-
Still giving excess eggs to my kids, I may start selling some soon.

7. Recycle/Re-Use-
I'll be putting out my 3 thrifted wood, yard art flowers. I bought them in the winter, and stashed them-

We have some scrap cedar and I may have Dave help me build some planting boxes.

8. Skill Up-
Dave is doing research on how to repair our fascia above our siding. He's prepping the house to paint. We're taking some time off work in early May to paint, who hoo! I am so sick of beige, and now that's it's time to paint we'll go with gray, sage green or something with some color. I got an app for my phone from Home Depot where you can take a photo of your house then overlay a color and see what it will look like, cool! We may build a small shed so we're looking at designs we can build from scratch.

9. Regenerate What is Lost/Salvage Something-
Prepping the house for painting, scraping, patching, etc. We'll landscape an empty area from where we had to take down our nectarine tree last year. I'll do some nice pollinating plants for that area.

Easy Easter Decor-
Here's a peek at my very simple Easter decorations, simple simple-

Bunny watching the yard

From Mama Pea's giveaway, my fave Spring mini quilt

Some eggs in my French clock


Mar 22, 2016

Severe Wind, Lightning and 2" of Hail- What a Difference a Day Makes!

Severe Wind, Lightning and 2" of Hail~ What a Difference a Day Makes-
After 63 degrees Sunday we were treated last night to 45mph (or more!) winds, 2 " of pea-size hail and the longest lightning storm I've ever seen! Maybe 2 HOURS, it was WILD!!! I saw the storm coming, with a black sky and put the hens in early. We had no major tree damage and the rain barrel is full, after I righted it after getting blown over. Luckily I flipped our glass topped patio table upside down. That would have flown across the yard or through a window :(  Crazy Spring weather!!!

 4" of hail up against the sliding glass door-

Not much left this morning, lots of unsettled weather today- sun, rain, clouds, snow. It will be about 35 tonite, so we'll bundle up. Right now kitty and I are sitting in the sun~~~

Mar 20, 2016

Vegetarian Greek Salad, 63 Today!!!

Photo From Growing a Greener World

Vegetarian Greek Salad-
Recently I was watching on of my fave PBS shows Growing A Greener World and they featured the recipe on the link. I make chicken Greek salads for dinner once in a while, but this is vegetarian and requires no cooking on a hectic work night. I left out the avocado and store bought tomatoes, and used a red bell pepper instead. I served Kalamata olive bread from Trader Joe's and it rocked! Try it and you may love it too, and hey, it's healthy!!!

63 Today!!!
We had a beautiful, warm Spring day today, just glorious! Dave did a lot of yard clean up, while I did my inside cleaning stuff. I did get out and do a few things, but with all the window open I felt like I was outside all day.  A storm is coming in now but more rain is a good thing. We did the outside of our windows yesterday with my Fave Windex kit, not I can actually see out! Kitty Poesy from our neighbors took naps outside all day long. Is it spring when you are???

Mar 13, 2016

A Simple St. Patrick's Day Celebration

A Simple St. Patrick's Day Celebration- 
Being part Irish I always enjoy St Patrick's Day. I keep it simple with both food and decor. We have an American but somewhat traditional Irish celebration. I'm making a wonderful corned beef brisket (uncured from Trader Joe's) right now in the crock pot. We'll have carrots, cabbage and baby fingerling potatoes tonite. Since the holiday is on a work day this year we'll celebrate today. As usual I got a nice "flat cut" cut. I always use the seasoning packet, adding a tablespoon of pepper corns, some smashed fresh garlic and bay leaves. Simmer for 1 hour per pound, and it will come out really tender! I keep the decor simple as well with a few touchs in the house-

Translates to "Ireland Forever"

More green

a few shamrocks for good luck!

my favorite wall hanging I got years ago, wood and rust :) 

bunny is wearing the green too, sort of


Mar 6, 2016

Road Trip- Chinese Gardens, Ikea, A Finishing Touch, Spring is Here! Front Yard Food


Road Trip- Chinese Gardens, Ikea, Front Yard Food, A Finishing Touch-
This winter I was so ready for a mini-vacation, so Dave and I decided to take 3 work days off and go to Portland to see his family. We were able to stay with some family and that really helped stretch our $$$. We left Wed. and just came back last night (Sat.) Our middle daughter Michelle went with us, even more fun! The weather wasn't bad, wet, but mild, typical spring Portland weather. The shocker was so many flowers were in bloom! It was gorgeous!!! We decided to go to the downtown Chinese Garden, especially beautiful with the Camellias on display. We had tea in the tea house and I had my first "moon cake" and was treated by live Chinese fold music. What a treat...

Mimicking Chinese mountains and rivers

I love the pebble pattern

very fragrant

It's the year of the Monkey!

Another "mountain"

I love the metal tiles!

Love the moss

a large waterfall inside the "mountain"

the structures against the skyscrapers

sun trying to break thru

an abundance of plants, flowers and trees

I had planned to go to Ikea and Michelle needed some things for her new apartment, so Dave decided to pass. Three hours later we emerged, we did take a lunch break, so it really wasn't THAT long. I found a few things I had planned to buy then a few other things-

some fun green dishtowels

sponge/cloth wipes, I LOVE these! 4 for $2.00

2 enamel pitchers, dishcloths (red ones were .79 cents each!), like grain sack stripes, kinda farmish :)
Got a new stainless steel skillet, $10.00, nice and heavy

A finishing touch for our bathroom makeover, finally!- 

Ikea finally had some GREEN heavier towels for sale!!!

Not sage, not moss, not olive but GREEN, love them!!!

I got this smaller, much-needed cast iron baby at Goodwill for $5.00, score! Nothing beats it for baking, frittatas, etc. If you know me from this blog you know I had to hit a thrift store! 

Speaking of green, it looks like Spring is here!

grass greening up

Rhubarb is up already and blackberries too

Volunteer violas in the turf

From Google, summer shot 

Front Yard Food-
I spotted this house on the way out of Portland and asked Dave to go back. The top photo is from Google since I wanted to see the full front yard. You can tell it's in summer. My shots below show the amazing way the home owner's use their space to grow food, quite inventive!

Little greenhouse and removeable roof

Simple trellises

cold frames, nice ground covers

Espalier fruit?

looks like leeks :)


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