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Community Home Around and About the House Homestead Update
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oklamouse
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Joined: 22 Jan 2007
Posts: 2162
Location: Oklahoma


PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 8:37 pm    Post subject: Homestead Update Reply with quote
Today was alot of fun. Abbie and I played alot this morning. She was in her backpack-style carrier while I took the ewe & goat from the stable. They ran out to go finda spot to graze, so I ended up just letting run loose instead of putting them on a tether. Well, after awhile, I realised that I had to tether the ewe, Angel, as she was getting into stuff too much. Cloe, remained loose, but stayed near Angel.

I went out and picked a 5 gallon bucket full of squash from the garden. All the zucchini is shredded and in the freezer. The yellow squash was canned. While I was picking the squash, I found one that looked like the side had been scraped. Well, I found the reason why. Under one of the squash plant leaves, sitting close to a large zucchini, was a big turtle! Evidently it had gotten in there when it was a baby early in the spring, found a nice supply of fresh veggies to eat, and decided to make a home for itself. I am leaving it there since they eat alot of bugs also.

I finally had someone show up from Freecycle to pick up our old washing machine. The couple - bless their hearts - have 7 kids! In talking with them, I found out that they needed beds for some of their kids as they were sleeping on mattresses on the floor. Well, I about fell over!!! I asked them to let me show them something in the storage room. We had a wooden bunk bed set and a white twin bed frame that we don't need. What a blessing to have them take those home with them!!! Joe and I are needing that storage room emptied to that we can make a bedroom out of it. The Lord is blessing us so much. I have been trying to figure out how to give those away and a family comes to the door who can put them to use. I feel so humbled at how that worked out. What a blessing to have the beds out of here. The couple are really sweet people too. I was glad to be able to see them get the beds.

On Sunday, I had other blessings arrive. At church, two of the women know that I try to place working, unneeded sewing machines into the hands of young moms who are wanting to sew for their families, but cannot afford to buy a machine. One of them also said she had something for me. She handed me a serger/overlock machine that she no longer needed! I have been needing one for using on my sewing orders, but they are too pricey. I was in tears. What a surprise & a blessing this is.

I found a home for one of the sewing machines. The family is one I have traded baby things with previously. They have needed a sewing machine for quite some time. I was thrilled to be able to give them one. I am still trying to find someone to receive the other one.

I finally got my new dress pattern drafted and just have to make a copy so I don't cut the original. It is a Cape Dress, but altered abit so that I can wear it throughout the pregnancy and afterwards. I can't wait to start working on it.

I checked online to see what fall garden crops can be grown. It is surprising to me to find out that I can plant in our gardens right now everything that you would normally plant in the spring. This is great since the spring & early summer rains ruined our garden. I did a web search using "fall vegetable garden Oklahoma" as the search terms. One of the references brought up was for the state's cooperative extension service. Now, I just have to get hold of the seeds that I need in time to plant. Most stores quit selling the garden seeds at the end of spring. It will be great being able to make up the losses.


added by admin: please place comments in a separate post. I am sticky'ing this post as a journal of sorts for those who enjoy reading the homestead posts.


----
May the Lord's Blessings be with Thee,
Paula



"Lord, Keep Your arm around my shoulder,
and Your hand over my mouth!"


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oklamouse
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Joined: 22 Jan 2007
Posts: 2162
Location: Oklahoma


PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Today was slow starting for me. I hadn't slept well. I took Abbie to her Grandparents for her "Wednesday at Grandma"s". I ended up visiting for awhile before coming home. When I got home, I tended the animals, then took a hour long nap.

Once I got up, I did some laundry and started canning more squash. I ended up canning some carrots and shredded up & froze more zucchini.

It is pretty hot out today, so I have been taking a "lazy day" indoors. I am finding that the morning sickness gets alot worse when I get over heated outside. As soon as the house cools off tonight, I am going to be baking more bread. I mix enough dough for 4 large loaves. After it has risen the first time, I shape it into loaves & wrap up 3 of the loaves to freeze. I bake the 4th loaf. I think that I may make some cinnamon rolls also. My MIL had made some while I was at their house and they were really good. It has been quite awhile since I have made them.

I am keeping an eye on the prices of fruit at the store. I like to can my own pie fillings. I make little pies throughout the year. Roll ping pong ball sized balls of pie crust and roll them into 5-6 inch diameter circles. Put a couple of spoons of pie filling in them & fold over, sealing the edges with water. Then you bake them until they are golden brown. Joe loves taking these on the truck whenever possible.
We also use these to take to church pot lucks and such since we live too far out to take a covered dish.

I am finishing up a batch of quilt blocks tonight for my quilting circle. I mail them out the end of the month. Once I am done doing the embroidery on the quilt blocks & get them ready to mail out, I will be able to start working on clothing.


----
May the Lord's Blessings be with Thee,
Paula



"Lord, Keep Your arm around my shoulder,
and Your hand over my mouth!"


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oklamouse
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Joined: 22 Jan 2007
Posts: 2162
Location: Oklahoma


PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hello everyone! I am going to try and check in once a week. (Can't stay away from ATW too long!)

Over the past couple of days, I have slowed way down on the types of tasks that I am doing. Spending more time sewing and crocheting instead of doing the heavy work. My in-laws are coming by to help. Dad carries the buckets of water & feed sacks for me. Mom helps with the feeding and with any heavy work that seems to be causing my stomach pains.

I am still canning about every day. Today, I am canning more squash. I only have to do 2-3 canner loads per day, so it isn't too bad. I am also canning some beef & beans for Joe. I will include the recipe in this post. Basically, it is the navy beans or northern white beans canned with cooked ground beef and a molasses & brown sugar syrup. We love it much more than the typical pork & beans. I got the original recipe from the USDA website, but added abit to it to improve the flavor.

Joe is having a grand time right now. His Mom noticed when I was at their house 2 days ago, that I am already starting to show. I am amazed. I have lost 7 lbs, but to see my stomach, you would never know it. Mom & Dad are now joking around about "twins". Rolling Eyes I showed early with Abigail also, just not quite this early!

Yesterday, I got stung by a red wasp on my arm when I was outside. I used to be highly allergic to insect bites, so I took Abbie & went to a neighbor's home in case I had a bad reaction. They had some benadryl liquid like the local hospital uses on stings. We used that and it helped abit. I have a very large, swollen area (about the size of my hand in surface area) just above my elbow on the back of my arm. There is also pain in my elbow & wrist form the sting, but the reaction is still alot less than I used to get. When I was a kid, any insect bite or sting involved me having to go to the ER because of breathing problems. Our neighbor said that the Raid Yellow Jacket bait/trap is great for the wasps. It lures the queen, which then causes the rest of the nest to leave. Their brother used it at his home and it got rid of all the wasps. Joe is planning on getting 2-3 of them to put on our front & back porches. We have a huge nest of them in our attic crawl space. We will also be using the fogger again in hopes of getting rid of the entire nest.

Other than that, things are going well. I am making myself a couple of maternity-type dresses. I also was given a maternity smock pattern that a Mennonite friend drew. The smock is sleeveless and worn over the dress as a apron when working around the house.

Joe is coming home the end of the week. I can't wait to see him again. It will be funny to see his expression when he sees me. That man took so much pride in my pregnant belly with Abbie. He is already enjoying hearing about it this time. On the way home, he wants to stop at a store and get some maternity clothes. Embarassed Knowing him, it will be things that make the belly really stand out - like things that tie in the back. Funny fella.


Beef & Beans recipe for canning:

Sort & rinse a 1 pound bag of dry navy or northern white beans. Cook in water, boiling for 15 minutes, then turn off heat & let soak for 1 hour. When done, drain off the water & rinse. This step is important as the water has all the "gassy" stuff in it.

Brown, drain & rinse 1 pound of ground beef.

Put the beans into pint or quart size canning jars, filling them about 3/4 full. Add some ground beef, leaving about 1 inch headspace.

For the sauce:

In a saucepan, mix together:

4 cups water
3 Tbsp. molasses
1 Tbsp. vinegar
2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. dry mustard
*Brown sugar, to taste. (This is the ingredient that I added to the original recipe)

Heat up the sauce until all dry ingredients are dissolved. Pour the sauce over the beans, fully covering them, but leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe the rim clean. Put on the lid & ring.

Process the jars in a pressure canner - at the pressure recommended for your elavation -
Pint jars - 65 minutes.
Quart jars - 75 minutes.


----
May the Lord's Blessings be with Thee,
Paula



"Lord, Keep Your arm around my shoulder,
and Your hand over my mouth!"


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oklamouse
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Joined: 22 Jan 2007
Posts: 2162
Location: Oklahoma


PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 1:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


----
May the Lord's Blessings be with Thee,
Paula



"Lord, Keep Your arm around my shoulder,
and Your hand over my mouth!"


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Ladyt
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Joined: 22 Jan 2007
Posts: 4608
Location: TN


PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 5:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
The moth balls keep spiders away.

----
Tammy

I live in my own little world, but it's okay they know me here.


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oklamouse
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Joined: 22 Jan 2007
Posts: 2162
Location: Oklahoma


PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hello to all,

Things are going well. Joe has been home since Friday. Since he was out for 5 weeks, he took the extra day off, so will be home until Friday morning. He found a new co-driver (no more trainees!) right away. He put up his ad last Friday and by the time we got home, there were 2 messages from the same guy waiting for us. He is a fairly new driver, but less than 6 months OTR experience. He loved that Joe had put in his ad that he would take a driver that had little experience & was willing to help them to learn whatever they may need help with. Sherwin is really nice. He is 51 yrs. old. We brought him to the house on Sunday for a BBQ so that we could spent a relaxed afternoon with him. This guy as a great attitude. He does need alittle help learning to dock & trip plan, but it is stuff experience will take care of. Joe & Sherwin have similar goofy personalities, so they should get along great. Before he left to go back to OKC, Sherwin asked me if I trust him to get Joe home safe each time. Of course, I said Yes. He even took the time to talk to Abbie & promised to get her Daddy home safe & he would take good care of her Daddy while on the truck.

We decided not to build a larger chicken tractor. Instead we officially have "free range" chickens. We opened up their door and let them run loose. Each morning, they are let loose & at night they go back into their coop & we close the door to prevent preditors from getting to them.

On Saturday night, Joe and I saw a large cougar coming from our property & crossing the road. We hurried to check on the critters, but they were all fine. We now have to take the attitude of not going outside after dark unless absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, this cougar is huge and even if it is attacking our lifestock, it would be illegal to shoot it. As a habit, I don't go outside to the animal pens after dark anyways because of the preditors.

The garden is beginning to slow down on it's production. The new seeds have been started. I am really curious as to how well the late planting will work. I read the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service's report about late planting in July - September to get a fall garden crop. According to the research paper, I should be able to grow everything in the fall garden that I would normally plant in the spring. Just have to protect the small plants abit more from the intense summer heat. I have the seeds started in the little peat pots & have them in a partially shaded area. They are getting plenty of warmth & sunlight, but during the hot afternoon, they have shade. If this works out, I am going to plan for 2 full gardens next year. Between expanding our garden area to triple the space, then planting once in the spring, then another full garden in the summer for a fall harvest, We should have a wonderful result. I would love to be able to sell the surplus produce next year. I am already having people contact me for organic vegetable plants. They know I have limited plants available. At this point, I have enough orders that I may not be able to take any more.

I have been getting alot of canning & freezing done. Joe and I are going on a supply run today to get the groceries for the month. What a blessing! I will only have to go after the perishables,, like the goat milk, while he is out on the truck. We are going to try and get into the habit of doing this. That way, as the pregnancy progresses, I won't have to be getting out and driving so much.

Once we are home, I am going to get started doing up Joe's meals. He likes for me to wait until he is home so that he can help with it. We are going to can enough that I will have meals here also for those days when I don't feel like cooking. It will also build up our pantry for winter.

Talk to you all soon.


----
May the Lord's Blessings be with Thee,
Paula



"Lord, Keep Your arm around my shoulder,
and Your hand over my mouth!"


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oklamouse
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Joined: 22 Jan 2007
Posts: 2162
Location: Oklahoma


PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2007 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Joe is back on the truck now. We drove him out to Oklahoma City yesterday. What a week! The first morning after he got home, Abbie let go of him and started walking on her own. He was thrilled! He misses so many things that she does, so it was extra special that she did it as soon as he was home.

Today, I am declaring war on the insects. All that rain we were blessed with over the spring brought a huge amount of spiders, fleas and other insects. The fleas are in the grass outside, so everytime you go outdoors, you bring them in on your shoes. Thank heavens we don't have carpeting! I still am getting bites from them but they are easier to be rid of when we don't have to worry about them being in a carpet. Joe got some "Home Defense" insecticide that is made for both indoor and outdoor use. Because I have chooks running free outside, I can't spray the ground around the house. I am spraying the window frames and doorjams though on the outside of the house. Inside the house, I am going to ask my inlaws to spray the baseboards, windows and doorjams, and also the fabric on the furniture later on in the week. Basically all the areas where the insects may be getting in or hiding. This spray has no nasty odor, but I am being cautious anyways.

I am having to pull all the furniture away from the walls so that the baseboards can be sprayed. Also am doing a very thorough cleaning of all floors. Joe had planned on helping with this, but other larger projects needed to be dealt with.

The chooks (chickens & guineas) have been having fun catching the crickets and other bugs. We let the chooks run loose during the day and at night they go into their coop on their own. I have the door open just enough that they can get through. I have it tied so that the cougar can't get in there to them.

Now that Joe is back on the truck, I am having to "reclaim" the house once again. Each time he comes home, he leaves things in quite a disarray. I know that he doesn't intend to make more work for me, he is actually very careful about that. What usually happens though is that he decides last minute to leave some of the things at home, or starts on a project that, though well intentioned, he doesn't have time to finish before we have to leave. This time around, the kitchen is a mess because of some last minute canning we did. Also, he left my sewing table heaping with stuff that needs to be put away.

The garden has pretty much finished producing the yellow squash, zucchini, and tomatoes. I still have eggplant producing. My acorn squash is doing great but won't be ready to harvest for about a month yet. My fall garden plants are growing well. I still have them in containers to be able to keep them from the afternoon heat. Soon, I will be putting them in the ground though. I am really looking forward to seeing how they manage to do.

I have started working on Christmas projects. It is a tradition with us that all gifts are handmade. Joe loves putting together gift baskets so will buy much of what goes in them, but also adds some of my handmade things to them. Whenever Joe has time, usually in the winter or bad weather, he will work on making homemade gifts also. I buy the supplies while he is gone and he works on the stuff when he is home.

My MIL loves to bake, so I am making her a large bottle of homemade vanilla extract. Very easy to do, just has to have at least 3 months to set before using.


Traditional Vanilla Recipe

(Makes 8-ounces)

1/2-pint Vodka
4 Vanilla beans
Seal tight bottle or container
Decorative bottle

1. Using a sharp kitchen knife, cut a lengthwise slit down the middle of each vanilla bean.
2. Cut vanilla beans into 1/2-3/4 inch pieces.
3. Pour vodka into your container.
4. Add vanilla beans to container and shake.
5. Wait and shake. It will take 30-days for the vanilla extract to mature. Once each day, vigorously shake the container for 30-seconds.
6. Once the 30-day cycle has finished, strain the liquid through a colander or coffee filter and place in decorative bottle.


Storing Vanilla

Keep vanilla extract in a cool, dark place, with the bottle tightly closed, to prevent evaporation and loss of flavor. Vanilla extract will stay fresh for two years unopened and for one year after being opened.


----
May the Lord's Blessings be with Thee,
Paula



"Lord, Keep Your arm around my shoulder,
and Your hand over my mouth!"


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oklamouse
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Joined: 22 Jan 2007
Posts: 2162
Location: Oklahoma


PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 10:36 pm    Post subject: 15 Aug 2007 Reply with quote
Over the past few days, Abbie has been getting SO much better with her walking. She actually tried to run alittle bit today for the first time. I am so proud of her. By the time Joe gets home in early September, she will be ready to just take off and go to him on her own.

I finally found a good home for Tank. He was the runt of that litter of puppies we had last December. He is a really sweet dog but loved to chase the chooks too much. He wouldn't try to bite them, just chased them alot. One of the guineas flew off because of it and hasn't come back. He is a really shy dog. The other pups in the litter of 10 were very aggressive with him and gave him a hard time. When he was very young & just getting weaned, I would have to catch him and feed him separately in the house because the other pups would not let him around the food.

After I got rid of all the other dogs (12 in total) I was training Tank - trying to socialize him better. Just as I was making good headway, a neighbor of ours shot at him and scaring him pretty badly. He never allowed anyone near him again. He would walk beside you but never allowed touch. Wouldn't even come to me if I were offering him some hamburg. So, I found a gal with a couple of sons (ages 9 & 11) who loves dogs. She has worked with problem dogs before and asked if she could have Tank for her boys. I took him a couple of days ago and it is working out great. He was very accepting of the kids and even went for a walk with them. His tail which was constantly tucked tightly between his legs after being shot at, was all perked up and wagging. It brought tears to my eyes to see him so happy. Though I will miss having a dog at home, I am thrilled that he went to such a good home.

Before I left their house, they gave me a large air conditioner to put in our house. What a blessing! They wanted me to have it right away, then just make payments to them. It is an older one, but is large enough to cool the front room and kitchen. Today, during the hottest part of the day, I was actually very comfortable. I even had to turn it down abit as it cooled the room too much.

The animals are surviving the heat really well. They are finding plenty of shade to rest in. I also have about 8 water containers scattered throughout the front & back yards. I have large oversized dishpans for the ewe & goat. The chooks have a few large kitty litter pans so they can drink or use them to bathe in.

All the hot weather has taken a toll on my health. I have become sick from it. It was bad enough that for a couple of days, I have had to use ice packs behind my neck and back when driving. The truck overheats whenever the A/C is used. So, I have had to drive without it. Abbie stays with my in-laws on those days so that she can stay out of the heat. My running errands is done now though until next week when I have to go for more of the perishable groceries.

I canned a pint of goat milk. I wanted to try it out. I will open it in a few weeks when Joe is home. If the milk does good with the canning, then I will start buying an extra gallon each week so that I will be able to can it. I want to have a supply of it in the pantry so that if we have bad weather, like last year's ice storms, I won't run out of milk for Abbie. The canned goat milk is just like the stuff you buy in the cans at the store. The high temperatures from the pressure canning process kills any bacteria. It does change the flavor abit, but it will be better than running out of milk. It will also be good for using in recipes.

Hope all of you are doing well.


----
May the Lord's Blessings be with Thee,
Paula



"Lord, Keep Your arm around my shoulder,
and Your hand over my mouth!"


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oklamouse
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Joined: 22 Jan 2007
Posts: 2162
Location: Oklahoma


PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 12:42 pm    Post subject: 26 Aug Reply with quote
This week has been interesting....to say the least. My morning sickness increased dramatically and I was unable to hold anything in my stomach. It also made my emotions get pretty raw. I was teary more often than before. As I posted on the pregnancy forum, my midwife suggested that I had a protein deficiency and that was causing alot of the problems. Well, since I don't eat meat, except on the rare occassions, I went and got some organic, grass-fed beef. I have been eating alittle of it each day for the past 2 days and my morning sickness is much improved and with that, my emotions have leveled out. Protein deficiency can cause the worsened morning sickness and also it contributes highly to diabetic issues. Mainly because of the increase in eating carbs that many vegetarians do. Anything high in carbs/starch in your diet - such as potatoes and breads - can raise your sugar levels. So, you have to either increase your meat proteins or drink a serving of a high protein shake each day to help balance it out. I don't know if this works for eveyrone, but I feel wonderful after only 2 days.

On the homestead, I have been cleaning out the garden area. Pulling up all the plants that are no longer producing and trying to clear it out abit in preparation for winter. I have 2 of the Acorn Squash plants still producing so they are remaining for now. I planted, just for fun, a few seeds that I had left over to see if they will produce anything before the first heavy frost. It is cutting it close, but a nice experiment. I have put out some seeds & plants a couple of weeks ago, but the last storm dropped 15 inches of rain and damaged the little plants.

We have lost one of our chickens. Something got to it during the night. Joe is due home in 2 weeks. When he is home, he hopes to be able to build a larger coop with nesting boxes in it. We have a cement slab near the back of the house where a shed once was located. He is going to build the coop there so that they will be near the house this winter. If they don't start using it by winter, I will have to catch the chooks in the evening when they are roosting in the bush next to the house and take them into the coop. Once they are in it for the winter, next spring, they will keep returning to it at night and to nest.

I am making my homemade soups and stews now to can for both here at home and for Joe to take on the truck. Today, I am make some taco soup. I make a very large triple batch of it, save out enough for a couple of meals, then can the rest. It is one of Joe's favorites.

I often am getting asked about recipes and such, so I am going to start incorporating into this journal a weekly tip or recipe idea. Most are simple to do and great time savers. This week, I am including my bread recipe.

Whole Wheat Bread

2 Tbsp. dry active yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 Tbsp. sugar
12 cups whole wheat flour (you can mix the flour half wheat & half white)
2 Tbsp. Vital Wheat Gluten, optional
4 Tbsp. ground flax seed, optional
2 Tbsp. salt
5 cups hot water, from tap
2/3 cup Olive Oil
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup molasses

Mix together in a small bowl the yeast, 1/2 cup water, and sugar. Set aside until mixture has turned to foam, about 15 minutes.

While yeast is activating, in a large bowl mix together the dry ingredients. Make a "well" in the center. Pour in the hot water, olive oil, honey, molasses, and yeast mixture. Blend the ingredients thoroughly. Dough will be abit sticky.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Start kneading the dough, adding more flour alittle at a lime, until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Place dough into a lightly oiled bowl, turning the dough once to oil the top, cover with a cloth and let rise in a warm, draft-free area until the dough has doubled in volume. Punch the dough down and divide into 4 equal parts. Shape each part into a loaf and place the loaf into an oiled bread pan. Cover and set the bread to rise a 2nd time. Do not skip the second raising as this is what gives even the whole wheat bread a very light texture!

Once risen, bake the bread at 350* for about 40 minutes. Bread is finished baking when the crust is golden in color and the bread slips easily out of the pan.

Makes 4 large loaves.


BREAD MAKING TIPS:

* I have 4 large loaf pans that I use ONLY for baking this or similar recipes. I have found that when I used the same pans for other things, such as meatloaf, quick breads, or anything else that can stick alitle to the pans, it affects how easily the yeast bread comes out of the pan. After having several batches of bread come out of the pans with small peices breaking off and sticking to the bread pan, I went out and bought new bread pans and use them exclusively for yeast breads. Ever since, I have never had the bread break apart or stick to the pan. The only yeast bread that I do not bake in these pans is cinnamon swirl bread as the cinnamon & brown sugar may leak alittle out the ends and cause the bread to stick.

* If you can't use 4 loaves of bread at once, here is an idea for you. Make the bread as directed. After it has risen the first time, shape the loaves. Place as many as you will need into bread pans and let rise the 2nd time. The remaining loaves, I wrap in plastic wrap. I wrap again in butcher paper, label, and freeze. This is a simple way of making your own frozen bread dough. To use, just unwrap & place the forzen loaf into a bread pan. Cover with a towel and let thaw in the refrigerator to prevent it from drying out. Once thawed, put in a warm draft-free place and let rise until doubled then bake as directed.

* You can use the extra bread dough to make pizza crusts. One loaf will give you a large thick crust pizza. I usually make about 4 small thick crust pizzas. I shape the crusts on a prepared pizza pan, prick the dough with a fork if you are making them thick to prevent the dough from getting the large bubbles. I then bake the crust at 350* F. for about 10 minutes. This is long enough to cook the dough without it browning. I then let the crust cool completely, add all my toppings, then wrap in plastic wrap. I stack several of these pizzas on a pizza pan and freeze them. Once frozen, I remove them from the freezer, wrap each one againin butcher wrap, label, and return them to the freezer. This is great for a quick meal. The pizzas are baked just as you would the store-bought frozen pizza. Best part is, I can make smaller ones for Abbie using the soy cheese since she is lactose intolerant. You can also customize your toppings any way you want.

* Another use for the bread dough is to make dinner rolls. Just shape balls of dough into rounds and place in a baking pan. Let rise until doubled. Bake at 350* F. for about 10 minutes or until tops are a golden brown. To make freezer rolls, shape the dough and place on a waxed paper lined cookie sheet, leaving alittle space between them. Cover the rolls with waxed paper and freeze the dough. Once fully frozen, place the rolls into a large freezer bag or container & label. To use, pull out as many rolls as you need and place on a baking sheet. Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled. Bake as directed above.


Enjoy!


----
May the Lord's Blessings be with Thee,
Paula



"Lord, Keep Your arm around my shoulder,
and Your hand over my mouth!"


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oklamouse
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Joined: 22 Jan 2007
Posts: 2162
Location: Oklahoma


PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2007 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Ugh!!! Today is just one of those days. You know, when there is alot of work to do, but you are struggling to keep up.

My in-law's called me after midnight night before last to let me know that sine the ragweed is starting to bloom, they won't be coming to help anymore until the ragweed is either gone or has died off from the cold this fall.

Then, the cougar came at night and killed/carried off all but 4 of my chooks. I have 2 guineas and 2 chickens (1 hen, 1 rooster) left out of my little flock.

Yesterday, when I was coming home from Shawnee, I ran into abit of rain. It wasn't raining at home yet, but the storm was heading our way. I could hear the thunder, so hurried to put Abbie down for her nap. Next, I took the ewe and goat back up to the stable so I wouldn't have to go out in the rain later. Then, I saw the antique vanity, still on the back of the utility trailer with the hay bales also still on the trailer. I didn't have a tarp to throw over the vanity, so I hooked up the trailer to the pickup again. While I was lifting the trailer tongue to put onto the hitch, the weight of everything in the trailer caused it to shift (I was standing on the down grade side) and I was knocked down with the trailer tongue landing on my leg. It took a few minutes to pick it up enough to ge tmy leg out from under because of the weight. After I stayed on the ground for a few minutes to take stock of any injury, I got up and finished hitching up the trailer. I drove it to the front of the house as close to the front porch as possible. I took the drawers out of the desk cleaned them & sprayed them with spider spray since it had been stored in a storage building. I then did the same to the vanity. The storm was still approaching, so I had to lift & carry the vanity onto the porch. The vanity was built in 1893 and is solid hardwood. I got it as far as the porch and had to put it down. By this time, my lower back, stomach and leg were really hurting. I put all the drawers on top of the vanity and left it there for the night. I ended up taking a soak in the tub and then laid down.

This morning, I am still very sore, have nausea, and am just plain not feeling well. So far, I haven't had any spotting, so I am taking that as a good sign. Unfortunately, at this stage of the pregnancy, if anything were to happen, nothing could be done to stop it.

I am so irritated with my in-laws. They KNOW that I need help with some of this stuff, yet they won't come by. It isn't that I am not sympathetic to the fact that they get hayfever. I get it from the ragweed also. It is just the idea that they knew I had to get that vanity indoors and that I need help with some of the heavier work. They have particle masks that they wear at their own house when the ragweed is in bloom so they can work on anything that needs done outside. Yet, they can't be bothered here. Maybe I am just being insensitive and rude.


----
May the Lord's Blessings be with Thee,
Paula



"Lord, Keep Your arm around my shoulder,
and Your hand over my mouth!"


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oklamouse
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Sept 6, 2007

Today has been a busy day. I cooked up and canned ground beef today. I had 2 large trays of the meat, so I browned & drained the meat really well. I don't like canning raw hamburg or any meat that has fat on it. I don't like the excess fat, so I precook the meat enough to remove most of the fat before canning it. Then, I put the meat into some jars with diced onions, bell peppers, minced fresh garlic, and diced celery. I put water over it all, then canned it. The meat finished cooking and provided enough broth that when I use the meat later on in sauces or other recipes, it will be very flavorful.
Some of it was canned in half-pint jars so that Joe can add them to his homemade soups and such when he cooks on the truck.

I also got 3 orders of sewing finished. It feels so good to be caught up on the sewing. Being laid up for so many days last week really set me behind. I have my sewing table set up in the front room so that Abbie can play in the front room or her bedroom and still see where I am at. It will also make it easier this winter when we have the wood stoves going. The front room is one of the warmest in the house.

I noticed today that even though I still haven't had any weight gain (have lost weight so far) my belly is definately growing and my dress bodices are no longer modest. I am making a few maternity smocks to wear like an apron over the dresses. The smocks are sleeveless, so have a vest-like appearance. They are made loose enough that I can wear them both during the pregnancy, and then later on for modesty when nursing the baby. It is very similar to the smocks that Mennonite women wear over their dresses during pregnancy.

Joe was supposed to be home tomorrow, but is not going to be here for another week. It is really affecting me alot this time. Maybe it is pregnancy hormones. I just miss him so very much and feel very lonely without him here.

Abbie has been a joy. She has been very clingy lately. The poor sweetheart had a horrible reaction to some new cloth diapers that I was given. The diapers worked so good at holding in all the wetness overnight that you didn't even smell the diaper when she woke up. I changed her right away and it was like an ammonia bomb when I opened the diaper. The poor little princess developed a terrible diaper rash from it. It has taken a week to get rid of the rash. For the first 3 days, she would cry whenever she sat down. I let her play in a bath with Epsom Salts in it several times each day. her rash had hurt so much that I was unable to put cream on her as she would fight and kick at me when I tried. I re-washed all her cloth diapers in Arm & Hammer laundry soap since I know that it doesn't cause reactions just in case she can't handle the homemade soap being used on her diapers. Tonight, the rash is nearly gone. She finally doesn't fight me when I put cream on her bottom when changing her diaper. She began to, but when she realised that it didn't hurt, she relaxed completely.

Tonight, I can't sleep. I have been cleaning alittle bit, but my back is still painful when I over work it. I ended up sewing instead. I am taking breaks either at the computer or in a more comfortable chair and crocheting. I am finishing up yet another shawl. Also making a batch of dish cloths to sell.

I made a long string of walmart grocery plastic bags. You lay the bags flat, then cut straight across to remove the handles. Then you cut each bag across the bag's width strips of about 1/2 inch wide. Then you connect the loops to make a long strand. When you have enough of these, you crochet them into a pot scrubber that you can use on teflon-type pans that the metal scrubbers are too harsh for. The link with illustrations is at: http://www.myrecycledbags.com/category/tips-and-instructions/


Enjoy!


----
May the Lord's Blessings be with Thee,
Paula



"Lord, Keep Your arm around my shoulder,
and Your hand over my mouth!"


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oklamouse
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Yesterday & today have been going great. My back pain has finally subsided. So, I am able to take care of everything again without worry.

I have been winterizing the garden beds. I pulled up all the dead plants in the vegetable garden. I tossed the plants into the compost pile. The chooks have found that to be one of their favorite places to scratch. I put peelings and other plant-type food scraps out there and they love to pick at them. They are doing a great job of keeping the soil turned. LOL

I dug up some of the herbs from the herb garden also and put them in containers to bring indoors. This will give me year round fresh herbs for my cooking. Also an early start next spring when I put them back into the ground. I had enough plants that I could share some with a few neighbors.

Since Joe is going to be home tomorrow morning, I am finishing up today on the preps for his homecoming. Abbie and I always try to do something special for him. This time, Abbie is doing more fingerpainting. I have some cold weather gear that I made for him that I will be giving him to take out next trip. They give him alot of northern & mountain runs, so the gear will be helpful.

I came up with a new meal idea for him to take out on the truck next time. I am canning chicken with broth in pint jars. I also have 1/2 pint jars of gravy, sandwich baggies of stuffing mix and baggies of instant mashed potatoes. All he has to do is pour the stuffing mix into a foil pan, pour the chicken & broth over to cook it in his little cooker. The potatoes can be made in a small thermos with hot water from in the truck stop. The gravy goes over both the potatoes and the chicken & dressing. After Thanksgiving, I will be canning turkey meat the same way. I will have half-pint jars of candied yams to go with that instead of the potatoes. Joe is going to love it!


----
May the Lord's Blessings be with Thee,
Paula



"Lord, Keep Your arm around my shoulder,
and Your hand over my mouth!"


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oklamouse
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 9:07 pm    Post subject: Bloomers & Long Dresses Reply with quote
Okay, several of you guys have alot of fun with the idea of my wearing bloomers. Tongue Well, I have also had some contact me abit curious about them. So, here is a little info for you. The actual old fashioned name for underthings is "underpinnings".

For religious reasons, I wear only long dresses. If anyone has a real curiosity to the specific reason why, feel free to email me and I will give you a more detailed explanation. Anyhow, my dresses that I wear are ankle length. For days when I am doing something that the long skirt of the dress can get in the way (such as when I am using the lawn tractor) for safety reasons, I do have a couple of dresses that are short reaching just below the calf muscle of my legs, or about 4 inches above the ankle. For most things though the ankle length works just fine. The skirts are abit full and flowing to make moving around easier.....especially when dealing with the animals. I have found that there are no farming or household chores that I cannot do in a long skirt. I wear a basic cape dress, sometimes with a vest instead of the attached cape. It is best known as a Mennonite style dress, though more than just Mennonite women wear it.

For both modesty (wind insurance on windy days), protection to my legs, and also added warmth in the winter, I wear pantalettes or bloomers. Here is a link to the ones that I make: http://www.buckaroobobbins.com/page10.html The pattern is called "Frillies". I make the "closed" style of pantalettes. Bloomers are exactly the same with the addition of elastic near the bottom hem of the legs. I also wear the sleeved camisole & petticoat. In the winter, I make the camisole and pantalettes/bloomers from heavy flannel for warmth. Abbie also wears these under her dresses.

The dress that I make for Abigail is the dress pattern called "Nicole" http://www.buckaroobobbins.com/page14.html and also a McCall pattern, #M3531 http://www.mccallpattern.com/item/M3531.htm?tab=infants_toddlers_children&page=8
Her underpinnings is a McCalls pattern, #M4505
http://www.mccallpattern.com/item/M4505.htm?tab=infants_toddlers_children&page=7

It is funny to me how many times people are surprised that I handle the animals, plus do all my homestead & household chores in the long skirts. I can't think of any time that the skirts have gotten in my way or been a problem. When doing the chores, I usually have a long full coverage apron on over the dress. If I am doing outside chores or something messy, I wear a black or dark blue apron. If I am baking, I wear a white one --- one reason why......FLOUR! LOL

Of course, there is also my prayer kapp (head covering) that I also wear. Again, I usually wear either a dark one for times I am doing chores or a white one when baking or when I am away from home. I am currently working on our website, so will let you guys know when it is updated with pictures.

Yeah, we have been told that we are very "Little House on the Prairie" by alot of people who know us. We take that as a compliment. LOL


----
May the Lord's Blessings be with Thee,
Paula



"Lord, Keep Your arm around my shoulder,
and Your hand over my mouth!"


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oklamouse
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
What a week I have just had. WAY too much drama. Joe was home all week, leaving out today. I hate it. For the first time, I can actually say that I HATE his leaving. It isn't that I enjoyed watching him leave before, but this time is very different.

His first day home, we came home to a note taped to our front door by his parents. His parents had stopped by, knowing we were not home, and checked on the ewe & goat. Now remember, they had stopped coming and helping me with the animals because of the ragweed. Well, since we weren't home, they came and then tethered out the gals. Then, proceeded to say in the note that the animals looked too skinny - that I wasn't providing them with enough food. ARGH!!!!!!!!!!! Needless to say, the note upset me very much and had me in tears. Joe & I have explained many times to his parents that grass-fed livestock do NOT get fat like grain-fed livestock do. These animals graze all day - every day and are naturally lean. For his parents to not lift a finger to help me when I am home, then to come when they know I am gone and leave a note stating their opinion, just hit me wrong. I felt horrible for this. We are told in the Bible to honor our parents. Yet, this really has tested my limits. Shortly after getting home, Joe's mom came by to check on the gals again. Joe talked to her at the door and when she said that she hoped that I didn't take the note wrong, he took her outside for a chat. She left, looking like he had kicked her puppy, but this chat was long overdue. He brought up the point that she would never tolerate alot of interference from HER parents, so why did she and dad do it to us? We are adults, not teens or early twenties, needing alot of advisement from parents. A couple of days later, he was at their house and the 3 of them decided that his parents would have no further contact with me until after the baby is born in late March. Then, Joe will re-evaluate the situation and see what we should do.

On Monday, I found out that our insurance won't cover the midwife. This is highly upsetting as the doctors I now have to go to are the same ones I saw when pregnant with Abigail. I am going to schedule the appointments for when Joe is home, hopefully that will avoid their giving me a hard time about my age, their opinion that because of my age I am destined to have a genetically defective baby (their words), and trying to force me to allow invasive testing that is against our beliefs.

On Tuesday, I went out and started mowing the back part of the yard and the field. We have a lawn tractor, so I got to have abit of fun with it. I mowed a wide path around the back field to give me access to the wild persimmon trees. I have several clusters of wild persimmons and plums, in addition to blackberry thickets. I may go out and mow more to get closer to the trees. The brush is pretty high near them, but the trees are loaded with persimmons. The poor mower gets a workout when we use it to mow the field. Unfortunately, a farm tractor with a brush hog is WAY out of our budget, so the lawn tractor has to suffice.

I am getting my seed order for spring ready. I buy everything in seeds, then have to plant the seeds in the middle of winter to give the plants time to grow large enough to transplant when frost danger is over. Last year, I was also able to sell many of the surplus plants to other organic gardeners.

We got the wood stove back into the house and tested it out to be sure that it was ready for cold weather. We also got the firewood left over from last winter all stacked on the porch so that I will have easy access to it. Our neighbor that cuts & delivers the wood to us will be bringing 15 ricks of wood this year to stack up on the porch. This will give us plenty for a hard winter with some left over for early fall next year to start off with.

This week, after I take a day or so to put the house back to rights from getting Joe ready to leave out again, I am going to start working on my jams & spiced fruits. I remember my Grandma making what she called her "Christmas Pears & Apples". She would add a cinnamon stick to some of her apples and pears. Sometimes, she would color a few of the jars by adding green food coloring to a few of them and red food coloring to others. These red & green cinnamon spiced pears & apples were a traditional treat at the holidays.


----
May the Lord's Blessings be with Thee,
Paula



"Lord, Keep Your arm around my shoulder,
and Your hand over my mouth!"


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oklamouse
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
As I posted already in the orum, I did some outdoor plumbing for the first time, all on my own today. When I was a kid, my Dad - who was a trucker - was my biggest hero. I loved spending time with him when he was home. That usually meant that I would be with him when he made repairs around the house or property. I watched and learned from him. Actually doing the work on my own today felt SO good. It did much for my confidence right now.

The girls (my ewe & goat) are now running free. No more tethering the ewe. She had been tethered to a large tire that prevented her from going too far. The tether got caught on the outdoor water valve and she broke it by pulling against it.

It is so fun to look out the window and see the ewe and goat running and chasing each other across the yard. When I am giong in or out of the house, I have to be careful as the goat tries to sneak into the house when the door is open. She is such a big baby.

Now, I have a batch of stew simmering in the slow cooker and am getting the housework caught up that I couldn't do while I had the water shut off over the weekend.

I have a batch of hair coverings to cut out and sew up. This time, I am making some lightweight snoods. I am also making some aprons. I am making ones that have full-coverage. I find as I am baking or working about that I have a tendency to wipe my hands on my hips, so these aprons will wrap around towards the back so that my dresses stay cleaner.

I still have to get going on my holiday sewing. I am feeling SO far behind. I am making new linens for autumn and winter. I have placemats and cloth napkins. I had to do some maintenance the sewing machien and now have to work on the serger to be able to get the projects done. I am looking for the tech manuals for my machines so that I am able to do all repairs & servicing on my own machines. I have also considered learning to do repairs & service on the old fashioned (non computerized) machines. There is no one within 35 miles of my home who does the repairs, so I may be able to turn that into a little business.

I may be getting a new addition to the family in a day or two. A retired guy has a dog that got "caught" and has 5 month old German Shepherd/Black Lab mixed puppies. Depending on what I find out today, I may be going and getting one. I really miss my dogs. I had to give away my last one because a neighbor shot at him and ruined him around people. The family that took him have 2 yr old twin boys and Tank just went silly over the twins. He is doing great there. If I do get a pup, it will be raised to be an indoor dog since my chooks are free-range. I'll have the pup outside whenever I am so that it will get used to the other animals. I will have to train it though to not see the livestock as "food".


----
May the Lord's Blessings be with Thee,
Paula



"Lord, Keep Your arm around my shoulder,
and Your hand over my mouth!"


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oklamouse
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Homestead Update 2/10/08

Hello again from the Jones Homestead! Isn’t it amazing that winter is nearly over? Our winter here has been fairly mild with the exception of a few storms. So mild on some days that I seem to want to be outdoors preparing the gardens for planting. I may plant some onions and garlic soon if I am able to get the sets. Usually, you can plant the sets in late fall just before frost and the sets will remain dormant until spring thaw. It is a great way to get a jumpstart on the gardens. Another good crop to plant just before frost or as soon as the ground thaws is potatoes & sweet potatoes.

Over the winter, I have been going through the seed catalog and my own seed collection to plan our gardens. In all, we will be planting 71 varieties of seed this year. We are working towards the goal of growing all of our own food. I will be canning much of the harvest to be stored for winter.

My parents always had a large garden to provide for the family. Each season, we would grow nearly every vegetable that we ate. As the plants were ready to be harvested, we would get out the canner and put up the vegetables in the jars. By summer’s end, we would have a pantry room in our basement lined with shelves filled with jars of various home canned foods that along with the meat from the steer, pig and deer we butchered, would provide us enough food to last a year. The only grocery shopping that actually had to be done during that time was for the non-food items or cooking supplies & seasonings that we did not grow. What a blessing it was to have the security growing up of knowing that we didn’t have to depend on a store to supply our needs!

This year seems to be the year for making that goal even closer to being attainable. Our garden area is being expanded nearly a full acre when you include the large vining plants. A neighbor is going to “borrow” a portion of our land to plant potatoes & sweet potatoes. He is retired and his family supplements their income by growing large patches of potatoes, and melons to sell to local stores. In exchange for the use of our land, we will be receiving a portion of the harvest for our own pantry.

This spring, we are adding 100 chickens to our homestead. Half of the chickens will be the broiler/roasters that are fast growing meat chickens. Of these chickens, 2 roosters and about 24 hens will be “pardoned” and kept for breeding stock. The others will be butchered, as we need the meat. The other 50 chickens that we are ordering are brown egg layers, which tend to be a large size chicken also. Of these chickens, all the hens will be kept for their egg production and breeding with enough roosters to have 1 rooster for every 15 hens. Surplus roosters will be butchered to prevent the roosters from getting too territorial and fighting over the hens.

In the fall, we will be breeding both the ewe and milk goat for the first time. They were alittle young yet last fall, even though they went into heat. The ewe is a breed that has twins quite often, so waiting the extra year was important. Next year, the lamb will be raised for meat when fall comes around. The milk goat’s baby will most likely be kept – especially if a female – to provide another source for milk. It will be nice to be able to have fresh milk each day from our own goat!

With all these expansions in the homestead, Joe and I will be getting closer to the ultimate goal of producing all of our own foods and being more self-reliant. We are making plans for ways to earn an income from the homestead which will allow Joe to be home more often, maybe even be able to work from home one day instead of depending on a job off the homestead to support the family.

We may never have the higher income that an outside job would provide, but with our growing our own foods and being debt-free, we won’t need as much income each month. Many have told us that they love the lifestyle we live, but could/would never do it themselves. Others seem to think that our children will be deprived by not having the fancier things in life. We love this lifestyle though. We have what we truly need and have found that many of the fancier things in life are not really necessary to have a happy family. Maybe it is the influence of the Amish & Mennonite families I knew growing up that has brought this attitude to my thinking. I just know that I am very blessed to have a husband who shares that way of thought, even though he was never in as close contact with the Amish & Mennonite as I had been. I have had the fancy things in the past and found that without the close bonds of love & respect within the family, the fancy things meant nothing.

Now that I know that the baby is a boy, I am going to work on his quilt. I also have a lot of other baby sewing projects to make for him. I have been working on a Sunbonnet Sue quilt for Abbie. She also needs new sunbonnets and such for the upcoming summer. She is growing so fast that I seem to always be sewing for her to stay ahead of her growth spurts.

Yesterday, Joe was home and working outdoors all day. Abbie went outdoors with him and as he was cutting the dead tree limbs into pieces short enough for the cookstove, Abbie would take the wood and put them into a tote. In all, she filled 2 totes (18-gallon size) with firewood for the cookstove. To her, helping is a game and she loved spending the time with her Daddy. She helps me a lot in the home. She will help to load and unload the clothes dryer, puts her folded clothing into dresser drawers and likes to stand on a chair in front of the sink to “wash” dishes.

Abbie chatters nearly non-stop some days. She is such a funny little girl. She loves to imitate others. We heard her grunting when she stands up and realized that she was imitating her Grandma! She also keeps climbing onto my lap and wanting to rub my belly. A few times, Micah has kicked her and she starts giggling. I can’t wait to see her with him once he is born.


----
May the Lord's Blessings be with Thee,
Paula



"Lord, Keep Your arm around my shoulder,
and Your hand over my mouth!"


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Ladyt
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
So like you are doing with the homestead. It is good hearing about Abby. Your kids will appreciate the things they have more than some kids do. Give Abby a hug from her ATW aunts.

----
Tammy

I live in my own little world, but it's okay they know me here.


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oklamouse
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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 3:18 pm    Post subject: Lots to Update! Reply with quote
It seems like forever since I have been on the computer. I am actually feeling like I am having to re-learn how to do everything. We ended up having to buy a new (rebuilt) computer. The one given to us last fall was so out-dated that the software was too much for the computer to handle.

Life is getting into a new routine. Micah (born April 4th), is such a happy and content baby. He is doing great. Already has gained 4 pounds since his birth. Abigail loves being a big sister. She is often stroking his head while talking to him or kisses him on the top of his head. A few days ago, Joe had Micah laying in Abigail's lap. She had a little book and was "reading" to him.

Joe is no longer driving OTR. He left the company in mid-February after I was put on complete bedrest. I had gone back to the hopsital for the 3rd time to stop labor. He is currently working for a grocery store about 10 miles from home but will start a better job June 2nd.

We have been getting alot of work caught up on the homestead. The garden is being planted for the 2nd time since the rains drowned the seeds from the 1st planting. We are trying a different way to plant, raising the rows up about a foot above the walk area between them. The rows are wide enough to do a "double row" planting.

We have 2 new animals since I last wrote. The first is a stray that someone dropped off. He looks like a twin of a tomcat we used to have about a year ago. The cat is very freindly towards us, especially hangs around with Abigail when she is outdoors. The second animal is also a stray.....a male peacock! Heavens! This bird makes a loud racket day and night. It belongs to a neighbor about 1/2 mile south of us but now that he has come to our homestead, he refuses to let them catch him to take back home to his hen. At night, he roosts up on top of our roof.

I am now baking and selling bread to neighbors. A local community action office that helps out low-income families has also asked me to teach a series of cooking classes. The first will be next month, teaching how to extend your grocery budget. The next class will be the first of several on cooking from scratch: making your own conveniences foods, bread baking, canning & food preservation, etc. I am abit nervous about teaching the classes, but the lady in charge of the office is excited about it.


----
May the Lord's Blessings be with Thee,
Paula



"Lord, Keep Your arm around my shoulder,
and Your hand over my mouth!"


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gunnergypsy
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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Dance You guys are doing so wonderful. I am so tickled. Love ya.

----
Christee AKA Tooters

In the 60's people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world is weird, people take prozac to make it normal.


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oklamouse
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
What a weekend! After the fiasco with my in-laws and having to return their garden tiller, we had no way to till the garden to prepare it for replanting. The seeds we had already planted had all drowned in the rains, except for one pumpkin plant. Well, our friend up the road came by with his tractor and tiller and in a few minutes, did what would have taken Joe a full week to do with the garden tiller. We now have our garden ready to plant again. During the week, we will be mounding up the rows and planting everything again. This is so important for us. We depend on our garden to help feed our family. We sent the friend home with a couple of loaves of fresh baked bread to take to his family.

I did our monthly grocery shopping over the weekend. Joe had both kids at home with him. He loves having his "Daddy time" with them. While I was out, I got a baby carrier at a thrift store so that I can have Micah in it when I am busy about the house or outdoors. It is sure to get alot of use.

Don, our friend who tilled the garden, came by on Saturday with his brother. While they were here looking at the garden area, they noticed that our mulberry trees were filling up with ripe berries. Good heavens! I have heard of mulberries but I had never seen the trees before to know what they looked like. Joe saw them once when he lived in Virginia. Turns out we have quite a few of them on the property and all are producing really well. Now, I am searching for canning recipes for making jam and maybe pie/cobbler filling that I wll be able to can in jars to stock the pantry. We may even get alot picked to sell. I guess I got the baby carrier just in time! Wink

Just a quick addition to this morning's post:

Tonight, I got a phone call from the guy that ordered 8 loaves of bread last week. He is now ordering 6 loaves of bread plus 6 fruit snack pies to be picked up Wednesday evening. I will be checking email, but will otherwise be offline until after I get the order finished.


----
May the Lord's Blessings be with Thee,
Paula



"Lord, Keep Your arm around my shoulder,
and Your hand over my mouth!"


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