August 30, 2014

Dishcloths on the horizon...

Found a few patterns I want to make for gifts...

Tulip Lace Dishcloth #022

Waffle Dishcloth

The Almost Lost Washcloth

Flower Power Dishcloth

Love this idea....

from: DIY Show Off

I think I must try this, eh?


Planted Sweet Basil in the 3 green pots, watered my container garden and the dog area (planted grass seed). Can't wait to paint the coop and finish the chicken run tomorrow!!!!

Going to plant these!

Taking a break...watching Yard Crashers!
Pork Chops w/ a Peach Butter in crockpot, almost done. Sweet Potatoes in oven.


One Day!!!!!

Breakfast at my folk's 8/30/14...

Breakfast at my folks day before Dave,Kim, and their dog Keuka went back home to Baltimore.

Kim gave us a jar of her homemade spicy Strawberry Jam....can't wait to try it! Her 7Up and Sour Cream Biscuits were amazing...even if I only had 2 bites (due to my diet).

It was fun to get to see all of them together.
Now, if the rest of the siblings can come visit, that would be awesome!

Terracotta diffusers...

Testing out some Terracotta pendants...if they work I will continue making them into pendants (necklaces) and also ornaments you can add Essential Oils to. The ornaments can be used on your Christmas tree or in your Car or Chicken Coop!!!!

These are the first ones, so not done beautifully...yet. But will serve it's purpose. Once dry I will add a drop of doTerra essential oil (Terra Shield to ward off flies) for the coop and for a necklace I can add a Lavender, On Guard or Cloves or any oil actually and then add ribbon or thin rope and wear or hang them. I will practice on Ornaments as well, adding Cinnamon oils. Sweet!

Blog Hop over at: Chicken Chick

Seven Days of Positivity Challenge Day 4

Day 4:
'7 Days of Positivity Challenge'

#1- Happy for a place to call home.
#2- Love my pets: 1 Cat, 4 Pugs, and 3 Chickens.
#3- COFFEE! Need I say more?
#4- Knitting. A hobby that has been great therapy over the years. I have met so many wonderful people because I knit in public!

August 29, 2014

Seven Days of Positivity Challenge Day 2 and 3

Day 2: 
'7 Days of Positivity Challenge'
(List 2 things. Day 3, list 3 and so on)...

#1- My husband, James can make me laugh over the silliest things. That is one of the MANY things he does for me daily. I totally love this man!

#2- My children aka: 'The Minions'. Well, what can I say? I simply adore all 5 of them! They are my greatest gifts. They have my heart.

Day 3:
'7 Days of Positivity Challenge'

#1-I LOVE my adorable Grand Daughter, Mila Rose and her health and happiness.
She is my 'sunshine'. Can't wait to see her for her 1st Birthday next month!!!
#2- Thankful for the Homestead style life I love and strive to own. Makes me a more self sufficient person/family. It's very satisfying to me.
#3- Today is a wonderful day! Going to say that every day as I wake up. I figure if I put it out there, it'll come true. So today's extra positive note...Put into the universe what you want to happen.

Energy Bites or Bars...

Homemade All Natural Protein Energy Bar Bites

3 1/2 cups Old Fashioned Oats (make into flour in blender)
8 oz. Dried Dates
4 oz. Chopped Pecans
3.4 oz. coconut
6 oz. Dried Cranberries
1/3 of a 40 oz. Jar All Natural Peanut Butter
Honey (about a cup, until it sticks together)

Mix and either press into sprayed pan and slice into bars 
or roll into balls and let dry a little. 
No baking needed.

Got the recipe off Pinterest:

August 27, 2014

Yarn Along 8/27...

I have already watched the entire series of Call the Midwife and really enjoyed it. Now I am reading the book (kind of backwards, eh?) Chummy is my favorite character and I just adore the time period.

Knitting a Super Simple Triangle Shawl using leftovers of The Sassy Skein
from the baby dress, Summer Breeze, I recently made for my Grand Daughter, Mila.
Loving both the easy pattern and the good book!

~Join Ginny for your Yarn Along Blog Post.~

FitBit stuff...

Pay no attention to my messy hair and burnt chin....
getting some walking in on the treadmill, but needed to update my photo since I have lost weight.Hoping to work up to 15 minutes next week and do 5 minutes increments weekly, reaching 30 minutes in 4 weeks.

Syncing new times on my FitBit alarms:

6am- Wake up and do Cardio (treadmill) 
7am- Eat Breakfast: Protein Shake & AM Meds
12noon- Eat Lunch: Healthy High Protein Foods
3pm- Cardio w/ Hubby (treadmill) and Dumb Bells & Stability Ball
5pm- Eat Supper: Healthy High Protein Foods
7pm-Walk Dogs and Take PM Meds
11pm- Get in Bed!

*Drink 64 oz. water throughout the day!

'Seven days of Positivity Challenge'...

I have been challenged by my sweet friend, Nancy Flanagan in the 'Seven days of Positivity Challenge'. 

The Positivity Challenge is this: 
For 7 days you will try to only think positive thoughts. Whatever happens to you will see the good side of it and what positive things you can learn and take away from it. By the end of the week you will have started to discover the very real benefits of a positive thinking, how much negative thoughts there are both in you and the world (you might be surprised) and begun establishing a new habit to replace your old, less constructive one. And then you can continue from there.

I challenge: Liz HaworthJen Cowell Coleman, and Amanda Tyner Ironmonger to do this as well. 

Day #1: I'm thankful for my life and all who are in it. Each day is a blessing and a learning experience. I cherish every little moment.

~Something that popped into my head...the other day when 4 out of 7 of my Mason jars (filled with peaches) broke. The good = I learned about 'Thermal Fractures' and what NOT to do next time.
My Positive note.~

December in August?

Just making some Twinkler star ornaments...for Christmas Gifts

Things I do to be more Self Sufficient...

'Living an Urban Homesteader Life':

1. Knit and Crochet
2. Dye Yarn
3. Garden Organically
4. Make Kombucha-for intestinal health/probiotic
5. Compost-for garden
6. Collect Rain Water (rain barrel)-water garden and chickens
7. Keep Chickens (eggs)
8. Use Essential Oils-for everything
9. Learned to Bee Keep (and one day raise bees)
10. Learning to Sew better
11. Can seasonal foods to eat in winter
12. Bake Bread from scratch (grind wheat)
13. Bake from scratch
14. Re-purpose/Reduce/Reuse/Recycle
15. Barter/Swap
16. Hand make items to sell/give as gifts
17. Dehydrate...


Look what I saw on Pinterest and
now want to make for our Christmas too:
Green and Frugal Living
Reusable cloth gift bags, pattern available at Soule Mama blog. Started making my own stash for Christmas 2011. Great way to use your fabric stash for gifting all year round!

Cute Chicken Tees....

August 25, 2014

14 in 2014 UPDATE...

‘14 in 2014’

1. Learn to Sew (better)
2. Make Homemade Soap
3. Make Homemade Soy Candles
4. Make Homemade Whole Grain Breads
5. Make Homemade Vanilla
6. Make Homemade Cleaning Solutions
7. Dye Yarn to sell
8. Make Handmade Gifts to sell
9. Can and Freeze Fruits and Veggies for the year
10. Get My Etsy Shop up and running again
11. Reorganize Fridges for Healthy Eating
12. Cook & Bake from Scratch for Healthy Eating
13. Find new ways to Re-purpose items

14. Put money into Savings account monthly!

Soooo....before Christmas comes, I need to bake some whole grain breads, dye yarn, sew pants and gift bags, learn to make soy candles and soap, continue making homemade gifts, get my Etsy site running, and start saving money!

One step at a time! 


I really do adore my Mother...

So, I get this message on my cell phone...My Mom aka: Zoe, had called, but she left a message and the tone of her voice sounded a bit uneasy. I call her back and no answer. I started to ponder and worried a bit that something has happened or some ONE has died? (You gotta know my Mom. She can scare the crap out of you because she doesn't just say what she wants and her tone implies something scary).

So, I then called Pop's cell answer. He finally calls back and says; "I was at the Docs and just got back. Your Mother is in the shower. No emergency. She just needs someone to cut the grass and lift a water jug, because I can't do it, I have stitches..."

I asked him to please explain to Zoe to just leave a message. I guess this is a step up from how she used to leave a message:

"Hello? Can you ask Peggy Ann to call her Mother back and let her know it's important? This is her Mother. Thank You. Bye."

Pop had hernia surgery and got his staples out, but had to go back this morning to get some, we are heading over later on to do a few chores for him (I am bringing the Minions and putting them to work as well). And...I am going to just give my Mother a huge hug and a giggle.

Spicy Mayo...on Salmon

Need I say more?

IT'S WHAT'S FOR supper!

August 24, 2014

It's easy being GREEN!

So, I was reading 'Life at Cobble Hill Farm' (Staci's Blog) and came across this. She is talking about making small changes to Go Green.To my surprise, I have done all these things on her list!

10 Tiny Changes You Can Make

  1. Invest in glass food storage {w/BPA-free lids}-Done!
  2. Make your own laundry detergent.-Done!
  3. Use metal or wood cooking utensils.-Done!
  4. Buy local.-Done!
  5. Ride Your bike or walk.-in the process of walking. Planning on riding my bike come Spring?
  6. Keep your refrigerator and freezer at least half full.-Done!
  7. Recycle ink and toner cartridges.-Done!
  8. Compost anything you can.-Done!
  9. Grow some of your own veggies and fruit.-Done!
  10. Switch to stainless steel water bottles.-Done!

August 24th...

Made a new smoothie...YUM!

Canning Peaches today!

Ticked Off!
All the work I put into canning sliced peaches 
and my mason jars busted once I put them in the canner!!!!! Wah!
Oh well....learned my lesson today. Apparently....
Jars break for one of two reasons. Thermal fractures or impact fractures. The first is caused by rapid temperature changes. Usually something too cold getting too hot too quickly. The second is caused by jars knocking into each other, implements knocking into jars, jars falling over, etcetera. Luckily they are easily distinguished and identified.

Impact fractures will run vertically up the side of the jar either in a straight line or lightning bolt pattern. Thermal fractures will run horizontally around the jar, and in my experience only at the very base. The fracture is extremely straight and clean almost leaving no sharp edges.

Thermal fractures are caused by your jar heating up to rapidly. You started with cold jars and placed hot food inside of them, or your jars had hot food inside of them and you place them in a pot that was too hot, or you placed the jars directly onto the surface of the bottom of the pot without having any kind of insert to gain elevation. Or you placed hot liquid in them, and in the time it took to close them and get them in the pot, they started to cool a little. If you are sterilizing your jars before each batch this is generally not an issue. However if you are not, be sure to heat your jars up in the dishwasher or by using hot water before filling them. Always keep your jars off the bottom of the pot.

The thing is, it's science. It's not a mystery. If you have this kind of fracture, it's thermal. So, try to think back to what you did, and maybe make adjustments if necessary. Personally, I know it's happened when my staging got ahead of my processing, and the jars sat full of liquid on my counter for 5 minutes, and then went in the water.

If you are 100% certain that you are the perfect canner, and this can not be attributed to anything you did, just remember.....You are taking a material from room temperature, to just below boiling, to boiling, and then above, with great pressure (if you're pressure canning, then back down to room temperature. And you're doing this again, and again, and again. I think we're lucky to have the low failure rate that we do given the extremes these little jars go through.

I would rather be painting my Chicken Coop, but I still have some peaches left 

and Brig asked me to dehydrate them. 

Good thing we have a Rotisserie Chicken in the fridge..heating that up for supper time!

Made Chicken Stock after I de-boned the chicken

and last, but never least...This made me smile

A Fun Photo of Mila...

eating watermelon in her watermelon dress!

End of an exhausting Sunday, but a good one....well, minus the peach jars breaking.

August 22, 2014

some things I'd like for my Coop...

I'd like to paint this on my coop

This would be a cute dust bath

Great for storing chicken food

A 'must have'!!!

A wonderful RUN for our garden area

To Repell Flies!!!

We can do this...
we have a rain barrel in the garden/chicken area

Sprout Feeder