Category Archives: Gardening & Nature

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    Spring & Baby animals, part 1

    Spring & Baby animals, part 1
    I’ll call this post baby animals, part 1, because we’ve got so many more coming yet. 🙂
    Most mornings I try to get in a walk after my first coffee, and before my second.

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    On the topic of health… have you heard about essential oils?

    I believe I’ve mentioned on the blog that I’ve become involved in DoTerra. It’s been over a year now and I’ve just been ‘puttering’ away at it, in my usual ‘slow and steady wins the race’ kind of way. When I decide to get into something, I jump in wholeheartedly, but I don’t jump into the deep end immediately. I like to wade around in the waters for a while, really get to know what I’m doing, and then I make my way over into the deep end. 🙂 It’s just the way I am. I believe it’s because I always have quite a bit on my plate with raising kids, the home, homestead and home business. If I jump too quickly into the deep end, waves would splash over into every other area of my life and some areas would indeed flood.

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    New year rambles, goals, pigs, writing, walking and more

    It’s January 2nd, 2016, er, .. I mean, 2017 and we’ve done so much already. I’m tired just thinking about it.
    But in a good way. In a “I’ve got my list, and I’m getting things done” kind of a way.

    Speaking of lists, in the back of my prayer journal this morning I made up a list of goals I’d like to accomplish each month. I’m not real big on ‘resolutions’, but I’m very big on goals. Not just on New Year’s day though, all the time. I actually LOVE Monday’s even, for this very reason. Monday’s are a chance to start a whole new week with a whole new set of goals!

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    Spring Time!

    Gardening season will soon be upon us!
    I feel the rush of spring heading towards me at full speed. So much to do, so little time!

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    For the love of homemade soups

    When I was first married, I was quite terrified of making soup. Can you believe that?
    My husband grew up living close to both sets of grandparents. I often heard his stories of his grandmothers wonderful homemade soups, her cookies, and not to mention her pies, which I have yet to master…

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    Planting season, part 1

    We finished planting the garden last week, so I thought I’d take a moment to write down all we’ve planted this year. To one who has no interest in gardening, this will seem long and boring. If you are learning about gardening, this may be of interest. This is just our 3rd year planting on the homestead and we are learning as we go.

  • It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Time to think about getting dirty!

    It’s that time of the year again!

    So many are saying winter is lasting too long and they can’t wait until it’s over. I say it’s going by much too fast! There’s so much to do before spring arrives!
    First and foremost on the agenda is planning and preparing for the garden!

  • 24 years, and ramblings from the homestead.

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    Today is our 24th Wedding Anniversary!
    For some reason I woke up fighting grumpiness though, so I told the kids we’d have only a partial school day today and they agreed to make dinner for hubby and I too. We’re not able to get out and do anything special since he’s on 12 hour night shifts at the moment.

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    We have a lot to get done, so we finished up school quickly. While I cleaned, the girls set to work on shucking our corn crop. It grew so much better this year!

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    Elsa had a sweet surprise this week.

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    When we first moved to our homestead late last spring, we saw an advertisement for a mama cat and some kittens. She was all black. Elsa wanted her because her black cat had died the previous fall. So we drove the 1.5 hours to go pick up her and her kittens. We would keep one kitten and our friend wanted the other two kittens.

    Elsa had Ceecee for about 3 months. We were told she had been burned by some teens as a kitten, but her fur had grown back nicely and only her tail showed any evidence of her sad story. Ceecee was a very friendly cat, and a good mom. However, she was scared of loud noises, and didn’t care much for the dogs. One night when our son lit a few small fireworks while family was visiting from the Netherlands, she got scared and ran away. We found her a few days later down the road at some grain bins.

    About a month later, July 2013, she disappeared again. We searched everywhere for her, but never found her. We were sure the coyotes must have gotten her.

    Two days ago Julia pulled me aside and said she was sure she caught a glimpse of a black cat that looked just like Ceecee, near the road by our driveway. We didn’t say anything to Elsa, because we were pretty sure there was just no way it really could have been Ceecee! She had disappeared 15 months ago! And, she really had only lived with us for a few months!

    If we told Elsa, she was sure to spend her days calling and searching, and we just didn’t want to get her hopes up.

    The next day I was filling up the sheeps water bucket when Julia called me from the horse paddock. She called, “Mom! You need to come here & see this!”

    Being the worry wort I am, I immediately started praying, “Dear God, don’t let it be a horse injury!” and headed over to see what Julia needed me to see.

    And there she was, holding Ceecee.

    Fifteen months after she left, she found her way back. Shorter frost bitten ears, and a great big pregnant belly.

    Anyone want a kitten in about 9 weeks?

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    Elsa couldn’t be happier!

  • Stretching the goods!

    Last fall I purchased a tiller at a farm auction for the hefty sum of 5 whole dollars. This past spring I decided to take it for a tune up before it was time to plant the garden.

    I had been given the name and number of a gentleman that our friends recommended. So I gave him a call and brought the tiller over.

    While there, him and his wife chatted up a storm with me about everything under the sun from my SUV & the best products to use to keep it running well, to farming, tractors, gardening to kittens, making buns, lard, and more. I love talking to farmers. There’s so much to learn from them!

    While we chatted about gardening, at one point the wife asked if I had ever had banana potatoes after I mentioned wanting to grow purple Russian potatoes this year. I told her I had never heard of them before!

    She quickly went into her home and brought out a handful of little yellow-ish potatoes for me. She said to cook them for dinner so our family could give them a try.

    I looked at the handful of potatoes, and told her we are a family of 7 and knowing how much my kids love potatoes and trying new foods, would it bother her if I planted her potatoes in my garden, instead of cooking them and having them fight over the small feast? That way we would have several meals of banana potatoes instead!

    She thought that was a great idea!

    When hubby planted all our potatoes, he planted her handful of banana potatoes.

    Yesterday we dug them all up!

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    Her gift of potatoes, stretched into FIVE gallons! Talk about stretching the goods!

    Sometime this week we will cook up a dish of banana potatoes and finally taste them after patiently waiting for over 6 months. I’d say that return was well worth the wait!

  • Reaping what you sow.

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    I’ll be totally honest, my girls do not really enjoy weeding in the garden.

    So…when I decided as part of their school year in the spring they would each grow their own fair sized garden plot start to finish, I expected them to complain!

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    Instead, they seemed excited!

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    It’ll be great in many ways for all of us. This years garden was overwhelming for me, I work full time hours plus homeschool, and the homestead. This will give about a third of my garden size over to them to care for.

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    In turn, they will be free to plant anything they would like, and watch it grow from seed to harvest! After that, preserving, cooking, and eating the foods they grow will also be a part of their learning process.

    I think they are excited for a few reasons, but one is that even though they don’t like weeding, they LOVE harvesting, and they realize the work really does lead to the reward.

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    Even though this is our 20th homeschool year, I can honestly say I’m as excited for this upcoming year as I was on our first year!
    We’re reaping what we’ve sown, in the garden and in our schooling too.