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Showing posts from August, 2015

August Scenes From The Homestead

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Ahh...August. August is one of my favorite months. Everything is green, growing, blooming, ready for harvest, and/or starting to die. The kids start back to school and activities are already in full swing.
These pictures would be a day in the life and what is going on around the homestead in August.
First of all, it was the first day of school for Paige and Dane. Paige starts 9th grade and Dane starts 5th grade. Shali and Jordan also started classes at UNI the same day!

These are my bell pepper plants that starting to flower. Hopefully, I will have peppers soon. I had some planted in the garden, but something ate them. So I planted more in buckets in a sunny spot beside the house.

I also planted some herbs in buckets. From left to right is: chives, lavender, mint, and lemon balm. It appears that I need to be picking and drying them soon!

This was an experiment for me. I planted four sweet potato plants in a former feed tub. Hopefully, at the end of the season, I will be able to just dig th…

Fajita Vegetable Packets: A Great Way To Use Up The Garden Bounty!

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Looking for a way to use up the summer produce from the garden? Scored a good deal on onions and peppers at the farmers market? Let me introduce you to one of my favorite ways to use onions and bell peppers!
Fajita vegetable packets! 
I love fajitas. Love isn't a strong enough word. Fajitas would be my last meal in prison. Yum!
However, I don't always dig the price of bell peppers in the winter. Talk about sticker shock! One summer I had a abundance of both bell peppers and onions and decided to make some of these up! 
I also love having ingredients ready to use in the freezer. Who wouldn't?
First, slice your bell peppers in to strips. 

I did red bells and green bells. You can use whatever colors suit you.


Put the bell peppers into quart size bags or whatever containers you have on hand.

Slice up onions and add them to the bags too. 


If you want to add other vegetables or peppers, feel free. This is what I use in my fajitas. Seal and label the bags and freeze.


This is how I use them…

Don't Throw Away Those Old Bed Sheets: 22 Ways to Reuse Old Bed Sheets!

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Do you have this problem - a pile of old bed sheets that for whatever reason are not suitable for your bed anymore? Or your kids are not into Barbie anymore? Or the dog decided to play tug of war with them while drying on the clothes line? (Real story!)

What to do with them? I hate to throw them out. I tried to give away the kids' sheets to friends or family when my kids outgrew them. However, I still have a pile of old sheets that I keep around just in case.

I am huge believer in reusing and recycling whatever I can. I know people who throw away their old sheets which seems like a huge waste to me. Those sheets have at least twenty-two ways they can be reused!

1. Make cloth napkins. Cut the sheet in fourteen inch squares and hem the edges.

2. Cut them in quilt squares. Just make sure to label them if they are 100% cotton or cotton blend. According to my mother, you want use similar materials when making quilts.

3. Use them as paint drop cloths, either under you or the project as you p…

Friday Thoughts - Week of August 14

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The Friday Thoughts might give you the impression I am obsessed with certain things, but then again maybe not. Many people ask what I think about things and I am not a very good talker. I will start trying to put my thoughts here every week and see what happens. I am going to keep it to five things that have been on my mind or heart, but I am not making any promises. 

1. I am really looking forward to this weekend. I will be kid-free for the weekend. As much as I love them, as a single mom, I need this once in a while. I need the mental break. Maybe I can get organized again too with my planner and my calendar!

2. If you are inclined, please say a little prayer or send some good vibes for Shali. She is having an MRI on Sunday for her ankle and will probably end up with surgery. We will know more after her follow up appointment on Thursday. She injured it playing sports in high school and, at 20, is in constant pain. Too young for that!

3. Wow, did you all see that explosion in the port o…

Preppers and Homesteaders Need To Eat Healthy Too!

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I have been thinking about healthy eating and diets a lot lately. I hate diets. I hate the idea of depriving myself of something that can be good for me if I eat in moderation and make wise choices. I have been following a modified low-carb diet lately because Rob needs to for his health and I know I need to cut out more sugar in my diet. 

However, I refuse to cut out any fruits or vegetables out of my diet. Ever. I like them way too much! I just don't understand any diet that tells you something grown in nature is bad for you. 

So you will get a rare post from me on healthy eating. I truly believe it is important and crucial to being in good health. Prepping, homesteading, parenting, and just daily living become easier when you are eating healthy. Eating healthy also lead to other good habits, such as exercising and sleeping well, because you have great energy during the day and actually feel tired when you go to bed.

Everyone has a different idea of eating healthy. We do the best w…

Friday Thoughts - Week of August 7

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The Friday Thoughts might give you the impression I am obsessed with certain things, but then again maybe not. Many people ask what I think about things and I am not a very good talker. I will start trying to put my thoughts here every week and see what happens. I am going to keep it to five things that have been on my mind or heart, but I am not making any promises. 

1. I did not watch the presidential debates last night. I could care less about the debates unless they are really going to talk about the real issues. And although I think Donald Trump could contribute a lot to this country, I really don't think he is presidential material. I like a few other candidates and will just wait to see how they do.

2. In a couple short weeks, I will have two kids in their own apartment at college and two kids at home. That just seems so strange. I love them so much, but life has more in store for them and I can't wait to see the adventures they go on in their lives.

3. In relation to #2, …

Is It A NEED or a WANT? What Should You Spend Your Money On?

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One of the hard lessons in life that I had to learn was distinguishing between needs and wants. Sometimes I had a hard time knowing which was which. Sometimes, when I ignored that little voice in my head telling me I didn't need that item, I got myself in to some financial hot water. 

Lessons learned the hard way will stick with me the best!

As I mentioned in the 13 Ways To Save Money In The New Year post, I had to learn to commit to spending no money for anything not on the goals list, that was frivolous, or unnecessary. I had to understand that unless it was a need or on my goals list, I was not spending the money on any unnecessary purchases. 

I have my monthly goals and my homesteading goals. I have my goals built in my budget. I am also working hard at being debt free as well as getting my emergency cash fund back up to where it should be (my monthly income times three months). I also have a small blogging budget and goals that I use to pay for this site and buy materials to exp…

August 2015 Goals Update

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My Goals For 2015

1. Clean, de-clutter, paint, re-carpet, fix the ceiling and organize Paige's room. This room is an unorganized disaster that needs some serious help. Plus she is at that age where she is growing out of everything: clothes, toys, books, etc.

2. Clean, organize, paint, and re-carpet the office. This is where I work at home (most of the time). It doesn't work for me. It doesn't really work for anyone.

3. Purchase a handgun and learn to use it well.

4. To blog much more consistently and to learn to use social media to my advantage. To me consistently is at least 3-5 times a week. That doesn't happen right now.

5. To make a homemade gift for each birthday. I have lots of ideas that I am not using right now so this should be easy to do.

6. Add 1-2 beehives to the homestead. I would love, love, love to produce our own honey.

7. Lose 20 pounds over the year. Unbelievably, I love 20 pounds last year and would love to lose 20 more this year.

8. Finish six unfinished pr…