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...

Jul 25, 2023

100 + Degree Heat and Independence Days Challenge

100 Degree Heat and Independence Days Challenge- 
Like other parts of the country it's been very very hot here lately! It was 106 or 107 last week. At this point we're just trying to keep our garden/yard and our chickens alive. We're very lucky that we have excellent air conditioning and a very low water bill compared to other parts of Boise in the surrounding area. We're part of a very small water district and so no matter how much water we use the bill is the same. Having said that we do try to remind ourselves that we need to mulch as much as possible as we live in a high desert. Some people just worry about their bill and not how much is in the water table. Luckily we did have a wet spring so hopefully it's not as bad as usual. Hoping for some relief on the way! Some summer decor is up, nice and cheery-

Beach table

Our lovely daughter Tami gifted us with a gorgeous crystal paper weight from her recent Oregon Coast vacation, Moon Jellyfish-
Here's what we've been up to here at the Little Homestead...

Independence Days Challenge
1. Plant Something-

Too hot this time of year just keeping things alive. Garden is looking good though!


2. Harvest Something-

About one egg a day. New veggies coming along-


Radishes, a few carrots and green onions from seed, added new soil
 Swiss Chard and herbs-

Been getting a good amount of cucumbers,  mostly lemon. Starting to get some decent sized green cucumbers for slicing. It's been too hot for the tomatoes to set fruit, but there are a few small tomatoes. Peppers are coming along as well, no squash yet. One of our chickens Luna has not been laying for about the last month. Really odd to only be getting about one egg per day. Debbie still looks slower, but is hanging in there. The vet I took her to months ago said she had a mass and had a lot of edema. She seems to be holding her own! I'm surprised she's lasted this long. I definitely don't want to lose two chickens! Luna looks pretty healthy and seems okay otherwise so I increased her, and the flock's, protein content by getting them some dried meal worm mixed treats. They love them! Hopefully egg production will start up again. This is why I dehydrated lots of eggs last year when we have a over abundant supply. We use a mister in their shade area to keep them cooler, cheap and effective, also water down their run daily and cool treats like cuke slices-

3. Preserve/Store Something-

As always with food prices been watching for good deals. Found some really good deals at Trader Joe's recently. One of my favorite quick fast/work dinners is Trader Joe's non-cured pepperoni pizza. I top with whatever vegetables we have at home like olives, peppers, onions and then bake. It's a quick dinner for the two of us. Four good slices (for two of us) for $5.00.  Serve with some veggies or salad. Lots of apples, pears, and peaches on the trees will be doing lots of canning this year! I haven't made my chunky applesauce in a few years so will be making some this year-



Pollinators helping out-

4. Manage Reserves- Get a Good Deal/Barter/Stock Up/Prep-

Working off of our freezer, used a pork roast to make for pulled pork, etc. Went to the Grocery Outlet, got some great deals: organic cereals, canned chicken chili, baking mixes, fresh fruit and I even bought a Jade plant! For six bucks it was really healthy and will live a long time. Bought replacement pair of sneakers on Amazon for 30% off. I bought some used books/DVDs on eBay and a few other things for the house. Working on using it more of the freezer foods including some fruits and vegetables. Got some items at Costco-

$8.00, for 2 dinners plus extras 

Great for pasta, lasts a long time!


5. Eat the Food- Try New Foods/Recipe-

Bought some Asian noodles and tofu at a local Asian store and made stir fry! Use lots of fresh ginger, Hoisin sauce and vegetables. On the noodles did Tamari sauce and sesame oil. Topped with sesame seeds, excellent!


6. Build Community Food Systems-

Haven't made it out to the local farmstead place yet, a little bit early. It's also quite a lot of gas to drive out to Caldwell, so putting that on hold for now to keep our expenses down. No eggs to give away right now.


7. Recycle/Re-Use-

Went through my clothes  and craft closet. Donated some decorative things for the house that I just don't really use anymore. Sold my old Peugeot bike for $175.00! Dave's old one is for sale too. We bought two newer used ones, much easier to ride. Went to Goodwill and found some great stuff recently! Bought some used music CD's on eBay as well as a couple of tops. We went to two different Goodwill stores and found some really great deals. I got mugs that match my earlier one (except gray) and a really fun French Chateau clock that I repaired. The top of had a hole. Got a fun snowy yard sign that's folk art looking for winter. Got some sidewalk chalk for the grand kids. Stopped at Hobby Lobby and got a nice welcome sign, summer clearance priced-


$3.00 for two

 Goes with my previous thrifted blue ones!
Mini farm animals to go with thrifted toy barn, $1.00, grand kids love it!
Ripley putting the animals away!
Cute thrifted clock, $6.00
Hole on the top

Used light weight spackle, took 3 times to fill

 colored with a black magic marker, all done!
works great! 
 Gravy boat with dish, $3.00
 Beachy shadow box $3.00


Thrifted sign $3.00, about 12" x 8"

Clearance from Hobby Lobby, $6.00 for front door 

Painted last month's thrifted Fleur de lis a flat cream, will distress soon, maybe. 

Some of our bird houses were shot, so Dave got out some spare lumber and built some new ones-
 The local birds love this size-

New recycled roofs, bought at yard sales. Will paint with leftover house paint and decorate. More soon!

8. Skill Up-

Still learning lots about my new-er job and doing well. Excellent benefits working for the Federal government! A bit of a bureaucracy however but that's the way it is.

 9. Regenerate What is Lost/Salvage Something-

We have our blue towels from Ikea that we really like. We went through the second time where the set of towels is in pretty good shape but the washcloths were getting really scratchy. Because we have really hard water and the washcloths are wet most of the time they get pretty icky and discolored after a while. Since I had a hand towel I had not used yet as part of the set I decided to make two washcloths. I basically measure them out against an existing washcloth hand them on the sewing machine and added a loop to one of them. Much softer and thicker! And didn't cost anything-


Old washcloth as a pattern

Sorry, already in use!

I have been debating for years washing one, or both, of my Grandmother's Depression Era quilts. One was in much worse shape than the other so I decided to wash the better one first. The main problem with it is the edging was pretty well shot. We have a setting on our washer that's called Deep Water that basically fills the whole washer up. We rarely use this setting, but I decided to use it for the quilt. I read when washing really old quilts to wash them, then stretch them out on the grass in the sun to dry. You wouldn't want to do this right after you mowed however! So I washed it and dried it and wow what a difference, used warm water, mild soap and Clorox 2-


 Bow Tie quilt

I don't think I'd washed it in about 20 years or more, was afraid to. I started thinking about what grandma would think and she probably would think that I should watch the other one too! So I did. The one in better shape I think I'm going to go ahead and buy some binding for her and do the edges-


The one that's more worn I may go ahead and try to buy some matching fabric for some of the squares that are pretty well beat up and replacing those. Time will tell but I'd like to preserve them as best as possible. All clean #2!


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