Thursday, August 27, 2020

Gearing up for the Ber Months

The seasons are fast changing. The weather has been really weird this year here as it has been in many parts of the country. We have had 90+ down to the 50's it has been ridiculous. With that my garden also did very weird things. I couldn't grow a potato this year to save my soul. But I got cucumbers a plenty. Not one squash but the tomatoes and peppers are doing really well still. Then there was the eggplant and strawberries, they did just alright. All my herbs got powdery mildew. YUCK! My sunflowers never came up and I planted 9 varieties.

I did manage to get strawberries from a you pick. I think it was close to 22 pounds.Those are in the freezer until I have time to process them. When blueberries came into season it was at the 90+. So one of the stores had local berries for the same price as the you pick. So I got 20 pounds. I made blueberry pie filling, blueberry syrup and blueberries in a simple syrup. I had some meat in freezer that I pulled out and pressure canned. I can say that even though I paid a good price for it but once it was jarred and canned, it showed that it wasn't a good quality. Shame really. I'll save it for an emergency or as dog food.

I made beef burritos and breakfast burritos for the freezer. So easy and fast. The beef burritos have ground beef, re-fried beans, cheese and onion. The breakfast burritos have egg, sausage, green pepper, onion, potato and cheese. I also pulled chicken out of the freezer, added dehydrated carrots, peppers, fresh onion and celery, plus spices and made soup for the pressure canner. I am so happy with everything I have been able to get done.

Next month I will be going to the farmers market to get tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, onions, peppers, peaches and apples. My dehydrator and canner will be going non stop for the month of September. Then I can rest.... LOL.... Who am I kidding. There isn't any rest.

I finished the hugs and kisses crocheted blanket I was working on.


It's the perfect size for a twin bed or just to wrap up in!

I've been making candles getting ready for fall also. With all the craziness going on in the world I am taking the business online full time. I'm hoping to be up and running fully for the holiday season.

Smile Loudly
&
Live Blessed

Yart



Thursday, July 23, 2020

Hobbling Along

Welp.....

When I set up all those posts to post in May, little did I know that life was going to throw a line drive right at my head.... LITERALLY!

On May 6th I had to be taken into the hospital er. I thought I was having a stroke or an aneurysm (they run in the family). So they did every test imaginable and said no to both of those... it could have been a TI. Then I speak to my doctor who went over all the results and said no to the TI. Healthy as a horse except for a thyroid condition that seems to have worsened.

With that scare I decided that enough time has pasted us by over the years and it was time to do something about it. So once I was back up and on my feet the first thing that needed to be done was stop wasting money. I canceled our family YMCA membership as they are closed for the foreseeable future. I also canceled our weekly vegetable box from imperfect foods. I know that the food is suppose to be small and imperfect.... but I felt for my family it was a waste of money. The next thing was to finally and once and for all empty the storage unit. I have been paying on it for far to long, just to store stuff that could have / should have gone up to the property long ago.

So with some help I was able to get the majority of the unit emptied and in the process, hurt my leg. I was able to walk it off... sort of. Then it came time to haul said items to the property. Unfortunately, help was not forthcoming. So I ended up having to move 90% of the trailer-ed items by myself. Remember that injured leg.... Well, I really did a number on it. So I have had to spend the last month or so recuperating. The last of the items from the storage unit are being moved soon, they will be out of Grim's garage. And I will have the help of two of my monsters with this move.

Grim and I have come to a compromise. The monsters and I will build a house on the property. He originally wanted to hire a contractor but that isn't in the cards right now. So to be able to use the property we need a solid, secure place to live while we are there. You never know.... I might end up being a carpenter in my old age! I can't wait I have so many ideas in my head I want to do them all!

Smile Loudly 


Live Blessed

Yart

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

What have these You Tubers gotten me into!?!

Let me let you in on a secret...

These You Tubers are such a bad influence on me. Watching them is like watching late nigh television. You know with all the ads for things you need to make your life so much easier, better, more for-filled... You get the picture!

Let me start with Roots and Refuge Farm. Jess, I love you girl.... But stop influencing me!! 😜

See she talked about her Berkey. I have wanted one for forever! Well, once the stimulus money came in I had to order it. I mean if it's good enough for Jess, Miah and the kids.... Then by golly, it's good enough for me and mine! 

We can't forget the potatoes! Jess got them started and I said that I need to make sure we have some food security. I'm waiting on 72 to be shipped from Burgess Seed and Plant Company. They include Yukon, Kennebec, Red Pontiac and of course I can't forget Centennial Sweet Potatoes. Plus a few extra things that jumped into my cart while shopping.

Ope, and Hudson Valley Seed Company. Jess was talking about them and I was interested in the sunflowers she was talking about. Once I was there I found out that they had the HONEYNUT SQUASH seeds.... Sorry to yell but they are the absolutely best squash I have ever eaten and I only got 2 last year. I expected to be able to back and get more before the season was over. So I didn't save the seeds from the yet unknown to me love of my life!!!! 😁


As you can see the packaging is so beautiful. I just had to have them. Don't mind the mess we were in the middle of multiple projects at once.

Now let me tell you about the next Bad Influence on my list.
It's Off Grid with Doug and Stacy. I love watching both of you and going down the rabbit hole to the next video!

You all know I have dabbled with fermentation on and off for years. With the last couple years not so much. Well, in that time I have developed a thyroid condition. So I have kicked around the idea of getting back into it. Well, along comes Doug and Stacy. Making it all seem so easy and delicious looking.

So since I can't find my pickle pipes that I bought years ago and never used. I went with Stacy's recommendation to check out Masontops. I did and bought the Complete fermentation kit and of course 4 pickle pipes just wasn't going to be enough. I had to order 8 more. Then I want to make sauerkraut again after watching Stacy. I didn't have any gallon jars so I had to order them. Luckily when Stacy recommended a book, I was smart enough to check the bookshelf... Whew.... I didn't have to spend any more money cause it was already on the shelf!


Please don't mind the white leg.... I haven't gotten any good sun to tan up yet!

Next up is Living Traditions Homestead. Kevin and Sarah, you both are fabulous to watch!
Let's just say I have 2 books on bunnies and the parts to fix my pressure canner on they way. These items are still on the way so no pictures of them!

And as soon as we relocate out of the city. I want Idaho Pasture Pigs. Watching your girls and piglets has been a joy. Charlie, definitely is a big boy but he doesn't appear to be mean at all. We will also be building chicken and rabbit tractors following your designs. 

All I can truly say is I hope they continue being a bad influence on me. They have helped to get me motivated once again to getting my life back in order. I'm sad it has taken me this long to get my butt back in gear. Now that it is though, there is no stopping me!

Smile Loudly
&
Live Blessed
Yart

Monday, May 11, 2020

Post Apocalyptic Life Skills

A couple months ago my oldest monster and I took a soap making class. Up till that point I had only ever done the melt and pour. This was the big league. It involved lye.

To say I was a bit apprehensive was an understatement. It kind of scared me. But we were to be led by a professional soap maker. It made it much easier to handle.

We purchase kits and were able to make enough soap for 10 bars each. We both really like the natural oils and ingredients. The soap is wonderful, it has a silky feel on the skin and the feeling last for quite a long time.


My daughter choose to go with blue and I choose green. 

Since the class I have purchased 3 more kits to make at home. But the weather hasn't been good enough on the days that my daughter has been off work to make outside. Lye still scares me. I am looking forward to making them. It will be enough for 30 more bars of soap and with all the hand washing that is taking place right now, it's a bonus to have on hand. Another great part is that some of the scents I use in the candles can also be used in soap making!!!

Plus, if we like making it ourselves then we might have to expand My Penny Jar LLC, candle business to carry a few apothecary items! 

Smile Loudly
&
Live Blessed
Yart

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Happy Mother's Day

With having more time on my hand due to the Covid-19. When I say more time on my hands what that really means is I don't have to get up in the mornings to take the youngest monster to school or pick her up in the afternoon. She is really disappointed because she was suppose to start drivers training on March 30th. Now I can stay up and watch youtube! I have been watching youtube on and off for years. But in the last 2 months I have been watching it quite a bit more. 

I have found some NEW favorites.

Roots and Refuge Farm

Off Grid with Doug and Stacy

Fit Farmer

Justin Rhodes

Living Traditions Homestead

The Hollar Homestead

Whippoorwill Holler

One of my all time favorites and one that I've been following for years is

Baker's Green Acres

Now there are a few more that I've started following but I'm not sure if they are favorites yet. So I will amend the list as time goes by.

Smile Loudly
&
Live Blessed
Yart

Saturday, May 9, 2020

5-9-2020

In my last post I talked about not having anything to say. Well, thank you Covid-19, because of you I have a voice again! I know that sounds so stupid doesn't it. Because of a virus I have gotten off my butt and gotten back to doing what I should have been doing all along. I have been dehydrating all types of food. Well, hang on... I know I tend to get ahead of myself. Let me explain.

When the shelter in place orders were looming, I went out and got my normal shopping done and picked up a few extra things. Nope, before you ask.... I was not one of the people who purchased huge amounts of toilet paper or any other items. But I will say I got a big box of those little shelf stable creamers. You know, coffee without cream is like a life not worth living! 😁

I already had potatoes and onions in the basement from the fall. That was what prompted me to pull out the dehydrator out. I was concerned that I would allow this food to go to waste and not have the ability to go out and get more. So what's a poor city girl to do you ask? Well, I'll tell you. I cleaned and cut up all the onions and got them in the freezer. I couldn't dry them as the last time I dried onions the family almost ran me out of town. So into the freezer they went. Then came time to deal with the potatoes. I haven't used my pressure canner in a couple years. So I don't even know if the seal or gauge is still good and I wasn't able to go our and get them checked. So this is where the dehydrator comes into play. I par boiled the potatoes, cooled them and then peeled. I used my hand grater because my grater attachment for the kitchen aid was buried in the closet. It didn't take to long to get that done. Then on to the trays. I honestly don't remember what temp and for how long. I can say it was at a lower temp and for a lot longer then I would have normally done it. Once they were dried and let to cool. I put them into my coffee grinder and ground them up. They are now in the cupboard as dehydrated mashed potatoes!

Since then I've done limes, oranges, pears, kiwi, cinnamon sugar apples. I found a bag of mixed veggies in the freezer and those went into the dehydrator as well. 

Now I have a confession to make. I'm not usually a fad follower, but since the pandemic and so much time on my hands.... I found that people have been buying up every bag of marshmallows that they can find. Almost a shortage situation. I know crazy right? The reason for all this is because they are dehydrating them. Well, let me tell you. I had a bag on the shelf. You know the mini type. Well, I put them in and they are going to be a mainstay in this household from now on. They are so good on there own. But to add to cereal or hot chocolate, they should be considered a food group all on their own!!!

I've got a grocery pickup tomorrow. I have like 8 bags of marshmallows in the order. Not all the same flavor. But 1 of each of 8 types. I can't wait. Especially since it is to cold for me to be messing around in the garden.

Smile Loudly
&
Live Blessed
Yart

Thursday, May 7, 2020

5-7-2020

I know who knew I was capable of it. 2 posts in the same week. LOL!

See the thing is that once Grim and I came to a complete standstill because of the injury, I didn't feel I had anything useful to say or write about. So with that being the case I just stopped. I didn't want to see just how much of our lives we were missing out on. The past several years have been very tough on our family. We have been forced to give up things, simply because we physically couldn't do them any longer. Dreams we had weren't just put on hold... They were put in a box and tucked up on a shelf in the back of the closet. Don't get me wrong. Life went on. We had a college graduation, we will have another one in the next year. We have our last monster heading into her Senior year of High School. We have hit the big 50 milestone, as well as the Silver Anniversary milestone. 

I know a lot of you have faced job loss, illness, death and made it through the other side. I'm not complaining. It has helped build a resilience in me and my girls. It just sucks, its not fair & I want to hold my breath and cry sometimes.

One of those times was when I went to get my middle monster from university! I stopped at the property as its on the way. 




It is all so overgrown! There are so many trees down. All the work we put into the place to get it ready just seems like a waste of time. Can you see the Pity Party happening? Yep, I had one. But luckily I have a great Brother. We got to talking and we are going to combine our efforts with the property. We are going to set it up for both of our families to use. Now that means his sons will be able to come and help with the heavy lifting and he will be there to help me get things up and running.

Never fear Grim, will be part of all of it. He just won't be able to do any of the heavy lifting. He will be our General Foreman... You know, telling us all what to do! 💙🙅💜

Smile Loudly
&
Live Blessed
Yart