Friday, November 12, 2010

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Feeling Blessed!

Life is good! Country living is the best and I'm so glad to be living out here on Willow Road! I love the peace and quiet. I love watching the hens in the coop. I love listening to the storms when they come rolling through. I love my garden and the fresh berries and grapes that grow out here. I love looking up at the night sky and seeing the stars. I sure wish I could have brought my kids up out in the country.

Life is keeping me busy. I've decided to put together a cookbook and have been having lots of fun with that. I'm so excited about the possibilities and the men in the house are going to like trying out all the recipes. LOL It'll have lots of our family's old favorites and some new favorites, too. Mostly made from scratch but there will be some easy recipes with boxed ingredients included. A little something for everyone! I'm also doing some recipe booklets that will concentrate on just one ingredient each like mint, pumpkins, apples, etc. I'm hoping to have them ready by the end of November so they can be ordered in time for Christmas. So much to do!

And, speaking of Christmas, I'm busy planning presents for this year. I have LOTS of ideas. Just need the time to get them done. I want this holiday season to be full of fun and magic! I didn't even decorate last year. This year I'm going to go all out!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

1950's Kitsch

I have very eclectic tastes when it comes to decorating my home. I love anything vintage. From pretty much any decade. If it calls my name and I love it I will make it fit in. I have collections of lace, Boyds Bears, Coca Cola, brass, baskets and more. I love nothing better than spending the day hitting antique and thrift stores or going to yard sales. I walked into a Salvation Army the other day, saw this and deemed it mine!

1950's magazine rack/ashtray. I absolutely love it! Fun, retro, kitschy!! Oh, yeah! Now to figure out where exactly it will go.....

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Book Giveaway Contest!

Wretha and her husband have lived off grid full time since December 2007, there have been ups and downs, but all in all it's been a great adventure. Now Wretha and her husband have been immortalized in an off grid book, click here to learn more about it.

Sounds like my kind of book! And you could win it free! What's not to like? :)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Chickens In the Henhouse

Here it is! My new chicken coop. Mostly finished and the chickens seem happy. Still have to set up the run, but at least no more chickens in my backroom!! Yay!!!!!!

They have lots of room now and I love just sitting out there and watching them. They all crowd around the door when I go out and feed them in the mornings. Funny creatures!

It's nice knowing that, no matter what happens with the economy, we will always have something to eat. There will always be eggs and chickens can be butchered if needed. Our garden is doing really well this year, too. I need to get more jars so I can start canning when it's all ready to be harvested. LOTS of zucchini, pumpkin, tomatoes and cucumbers. We'll also have soup beans and a few strawberries and plenty of carrots and onions. Plus some sweet potatoes, cabbage and brussel sprouts. We've already been picking blackberries and have an ice cream bucket full of them in the freezer. I know there's more ripe and ready to be picked. There's rhubarb waiting to be cut and I have several bags of asparagus in the freezer, too. And later there will be tons of grapes. Nope, no worrying about going hungry here!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

"The Rose"~Bette Midler

Some say love, it is a river
that drowns the tender reed.
Some say love, it is a razor
that leaves your soul to bleed.

Some say love, it is a hunger,
an endless aching need.
I say love, it is a flower,
and you its only seed.

It's the heart afraid of breaking
that never learns to dance.
It's the dream afraid of waking
that never takes the chance.

It's the one who won't be taken,
who cannot seem to give,
and the soul afraid of dyin'
that never learns to live.

When the night has been too lonely
and the road has been to long,
and you think that love is only
for the lucky and the strong,
just remember in the winter
far beneath the bitter snows
lies the seed that with the sun's love
in the spring becomes the rose.

(The photo is a tiffany rose growing in my yard.)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Chicks Arrived!

The newest additions to the family just arrived 5 days ago. This pic was taken 3 days ago and they look different already. Their wings are starting to feather out and they're so funny to watch when they start flapping them and chirping! Even as babies they're really no trouble to care for and I can't wait to get the coop done so they can be out there in a few weeks. I ordered them from Cackle Hatchery (all 17 of them) and they're all thriving. Buff Orpingtons, White Rocks and Barred Rocks. I have 5 hens of each type and a Buff Orpington and a White Rock roo. Hopefully we'll have a lot of fresh eggs when they're old enough.

I still want to get some rabbits and the landlord was saying he wouldn't mind having a couple of cows. Maybe a mini dairy breed. He's a little older than we are and isn't sure he wants to get up and do the milking, but Earl told him that we could do it if he decides to get them. We all live on the same property and are already planning on sharing the garden and some of our eggs with him. Once in awhile I cook up some extra dinner and Earl takes it down to him. I think he usually eats frozen dinners and stuff otherwise. And he lets us pick what we want of the asparagus, berries, apples and grapes that grow here so it all evens out.

It's definitely my idea of heaven out here on Willow Road! I just wish I could have gotten here sooner!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

On Being Self-Reliant

I'm not sure where the want of being self-reliant started. I remember my Mom baking every weekend and sewing us matching dresses when I was little. Even when I was older she made some awesome garlic dills! But I don't suppose that was being self-reliant so much as doing something she enjoyed from time to time.

When I got into high school I discovered "Mother Earth News". What a revelation THAT was. I didn't know people lived that way. No one I knew did, that's for sure. That's when I decided I wanted to live in a log cabin somewhere in the hills. No running water. Ummm yeah. That didn't happen. I went along with the flow. Lived like everyone else. Hated it. In the meantime I raised three kids and kept wishing I at least lived in the country and not in town.

A few years ago I came across an internet forum called Homesteading Today. Whoaaaa! There were other people out there that had the same ideas I did! So I read and absorbed and learned from all the helpful folks there. What an abundancy of knowledge all those people had and how great that they were so willing to share! I decided that I would try and make my dream a reality.

About a year ago my partner and I found a place in the country that we could rent REALLY cheap. Five acres and plenty of room to have a garden and eventually a few critters. Today I am waiting for my first chicks to arrive. They'll be here in a couple of weeks and I am soooo excited! I have the brooder ready and we'll be starting on the coop this week. I've got 5 buff orpingtons and a buff roo, 5 barred rocks and 5 white rocks and a white rock roo on the way. Soon we'll have farm fresh eggs for breakfast and eventually fresh chicken for dinner and eggs and chicks to sell.

Our garden is tilled and waiting for us to get out there and get planting. I think the weather is going to stay nice now so we should be able to do that soon. We already have a lot of our seeds started. Hopefully everything grows well this year. We'll be planting 4 types of tomatoes, 2 types of beans, pumpkin, watermelon, lettuce, cucumbers, onion, zuchinni, strawberries and peppers. I also have seeds for lavender, various herbs and several types of gourd. I hope to sell the herbs and birdhouses, bowls, etc. that I make from the gourds. There are a couple of apple trees, grape vines and blackberries here already. I made grape jelly and juice from the grapes last year and they were so good. Much better than anything you can buy in the stores.

I'm hoping to do a lot of canning and dehydrating this year. I now make my own laundry detergent, too. Totally chemical free.

I doubt that I'll ever be totally self-reliant, but it's good to know how to do these things. Especially nowadays when going to the store is so expensive and the economy is so bad. I will always have electricity and running water I guess, unless a time comes that they aren't available. Then I will make do. I don't HAVE to have electricity as I have oil lamps to use for lighting and I can live without things like the internet (although I would sure miss it. lol).

So, I continue to learn how to do new things all the time. First chickens and maybe a couple of dairy goats for next year. And I definitely want to raise rabbits again. But, one step at a time. It's just nice to know where a lot of our food will be coming from. Free from chemicals and over processing. Healthy. Yes, life CAN be very good!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Tale of the Happy Pig

Once upon a time (when I was very small) I was given a Lefton china piggy bank. I always smiled when I looked at him and he always smiled back. He was a very happy pig. He jingled and jangled with coins over the years...making a wonderfully musical sound when I shook him. For many, many years he sat smiling on my dresser grinning ear to ear as only the happiest of happy pigs do. One day he got broken. I don't remember exactly how. (I'm sure it was so traumatic that I blocked it from my mind.) But, no matter...the happy little pig was no more.

Last week Earl and I went to a small shop that sells antiques and collectibles. It's alway fun to go there and I almost always find some little thing to bring home. One time it was a set of miniature abc cookie cutters in a tin. Another time a Royal Albert teacup with beautiful pink roses.

I was browsing all the tables in the nooks and crannies of the shop when, all of a sudden, I spied a familiar smile. I smiled back. And now, a happy pig sits on my dresser once again grinning ear to ear and making a wonderfully musical sound when I shake him.