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...

Feb 15, 2023

I Spoke Too Soon!

I Spoke Too Soon! 
I went out today to give the hens some dried meal worms and found two eggs! The Spring laying has commenced!!! I guess the extra light and protein helped. Happy to have our own again, this is really part of our Permaculture lifestyle.

Feb 14, 2023

Waiting on Eggs, Spring Around The Corner? New Chairs! Happy Valentine's Day


Waiting on Eggs- 
My three lovely hens have been on strike since October or so. No eggs, nothing, nada. This is normal in the shorter months of the year and when they are molting. I decided that even though the days are longer to start turning on a regular light in the coop for an extra two/three hours a day. I'm also giving them some extra protein treats in hope that this will stimulate their hormones to start laying eggs. I told them the other day they need to start earning their keep! So far nothing, but I'm sure the eggs will start popping out soon!
Miss Sunny

Spring Around The Corner?
Spring is around the corner, and Dave has started doing a little pruning here and there. Then we got an inch or so of snow last night! Very icy drive to work, but pretty! All roads melted by the afternoon-

Our apple tree survived the winter snap we had in October!!! Happy dance!  We've seen a lot of trees that don't drop all their leaves die from this kind of thing. Food prices being what they are we are looking at adding some beds in the front yard for annual vegetables. We wanted to look nice so we will do some kind of integrated landscaping with it. We always try to remember that our neighbors have to look at our yard every day and curb appeal is a great part of being a good neighbor! Nobody wants to look at a junked front yard. I have seen some people who put gardens in their front yard that are pretty untidy and look just messy. We like to have things like natural but organized. Too early to plant the summer vegetables so I may start up my grow lights and start some other cool weather veggies. I bought a small windowsill planter to start some lettuces in...
Bonnie approved

 New Chairs! 
We decided to bite the bullet and buy two new chairs for our living room. We had had our two other overstuffed chairs for almost 15 years. I had re-stuffed them, added foam and bought new covers. They were just at the point though of really sagging, so it was time to replace. We wanted to buy two Flexsteel chairs but it was just way out of our budget. We love our Flexsteel couch, worht every penny! We opted for a brand that was a little below that but super durable frame, etc. We found a style that we liked, chose the fabric and ordered two of them. They were supposed to take up to about 3 months but only took about 5 weeks! Nice surprise. They're really super supportive and really like the slightly smaller footprint and clean lines. Great reading chairs. In a smaller house you don't want to have too much furniture in your living room. That can make it look even smaller. It's always nice to have some open space for the eye. We opted to spend extra money to have a fabric treatment done. We did that on our couch and it's really paid for itself. Even if you get something a little oily on the fabric a wet clean cold cloth will take it right off. Good investment! We are thinking about having our couch reupholstered at some point to update it a bit. For now we'll leave as is, but we will probably have to get new foam cores in the cushions since they are getting a little squishy. The store we bought the couch at recommended that and that makes sense after 10 years or so.

Happy Valentine's Day


Feb 4, 2023

Saving Money On Meat & More! Dining Room Refresh- DIY Reupholstered Chairs & Paint


 Saving Money On Meat And More!-
As we all know grocery prices get higher and higher. While we don't eat meat everyday we do eat some. I was recently at a Fred Meyer grocery store. I browsed around and stumbled onto some huge 9 lb. pork roasts. They were $24.00 each. I read down on the sticker at the bottom (we are members of the Savings Club) the roasts were $8.00 each. That's about $1 a pound! 

I decided to buy two for that price! When I got home I cut both of them in half. I created two boneless roasts and two bone-in. I used my Food Saver bags and froze three of them. I roasted one of them with the bone in, low and slow with herbs. The meat came out fabulous! Very juicy and tender. I served one meal with fresh veggies. Another meal with roasted yams. A third meal I did shredded pork with barbecue sauce and Memphis style coleslaw on top, WONDERFUL! Recipe here Memphis Style Coleslaw-

What a deal! Good reminder to keep your eyes open when shopping and try different stores. I have heard recently there is getting to be a shortage of Baking Powder. Buy some! It's cheap and can be used for all kinds of baked goods. This is a really great preparedness item. 

I love Starbuck's Strawberry Acai Refresher, but they are just too expensive. I found a copycat recipe and made my own! Pretty close! Recipe here Copycat StrawberryAcai Refresher

First you simmer white grape juice and strawberries to create a base concentrate, then strain to get the berry juice-

Last I added the powders listed on the recipe, stir and refrigerate. It keeps for about two weeks. You use 1/2 concentrate and 1/2 water. I found some freeze-dried strawberries at Trader Joe's for $3.00 and I topped with those just like Starbuck's (a little darker), but much cheaper! I bought the powders listed on the recipe. Those will last a LONG time and you could use in smoothies. You could play with this recipe and use other fruits if desired. Fresh strawberries here are terrible so I bought frozen. Worked great!

I bought two totes of organic mushrooms at Costco, will dehydrate most of them for storage, $5.00 for a 24 oz-

Not to forget pets, bought a big back of cat food for Bonnie to go in a tote with oxygen absorbers. I still have two extra bags of chicken feed.  Now if they would just start laying!!! Should be any day....

Dining Room Refresh- DIY Reupholstered Chairs & Paint- 
Years ago I bought two used French style chairs for the dining table. The fabric was worn so I had them reupholstered for about $40.00 each. Over the years they got food stains, shampooed them and spot treated them I could never get them really clean-

They were just past the point of no return. I saw YouTube video on how to reupholster these kinds of chairs. I knew that I could do it myself and save a ton of money! I looked around for fabrics, did not want to do plaid/stripes since it has to really aligned to look good. I stumbled onto some denim fabric with embroidered dragonflies at the checkout stand at the local fabric store-

I had planned on getting just plain navy blue playing upholstery fabric. When I saw this fabric I knew this was the right one! To start I used a blow dryer to soften up the glue stick material that the upholsterer had used to attach the trim and removed all of that-

Next I cut out large pieces of fabric to cover the chairs and ironed it. I read it's really important always iron it before you start stretching it to get it really flat. Dave helped me in a few spots and I stapled it around really well. I did this on top of a card table, helped a lot to have it UP-
So clean!

I was not able to find any trim locally so ordered some on Amazon in Navy. I wish I had gone a little bit lighter on the color but it's really hard to see on a computer. After I got everything upholstered, I trimmed off the excess, and then hot glued it all the way around with the trim. It looks so much better! 

Clean and will last for quite a few years. Not perfect but works for me. The total for the fabric was about $25, the trim was about $8.00, I have some fabric and trim left over. I might do some kind of a fun pillow for the summer.

I started thinking that I wanted to repaint my little shelving unit that hangs on our dining room wall. It was a deep blue. With the new chair and buffet fabric it was a lot of blue. I had seen the PBS new series All Creatures Great and Small and loved the green accents in the kitchen. I also liked the green paint on my antique wood-handled kitchen utensils-



PBS All Creatures Great and Small Kitchen shot

It's called French green or Antique green. Previously I had used spray paint but was not able to find this color anywhere. I settled on a large bottle of craft paint at Hobby Lobby, about $6 each. I bought some new foam brushes, wide ones worked really well for the two big shelves. I knew it would take two coats especially on the metal side pieces. I love the color! I wish I could have found chalk paint in this color, but it does have a satin finish which I like. Took two coats-


I finished my thrifted shadow box with the WWII chicken print. I added broken egg shells, wheat and Lavender-

Says "I am a brave little WWII hen, don't eat much but produce a lot"
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