In Preparation

I don’t even want to say it, but here it goes……winter!

We have been busy preparing for the winter months ahead of us. I really am in denial about cold weather this year. I find myself doing stupid stuff, thinking that it will remain 70 degrees every day. For example, I left thirty gallons of prepared juice (for wine) in the garage thinking it would start the ferment process because well it still is summer, right?

Yesterday was most likely the last day I will be able to go bare foot so I made sure not to wear shoes whenever I could. (That is not a bruise on Hannah’s foot. She got into some wild berries on the property. They ended up all over her shirt too:))

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I spent some of the day preparing the top garden for the horses who will arrive here this weekend.

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Over the weekend Brook and his brother filled the hay barn for those horses to have some grub this winter. The forts and wild shenanigans have already begun to take place in there.

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Wood has been cut, split, stacked, and covered. I am so thankful for a warm house on these chilly nights.  Not to mention a hard working husband to make sure his girls are warm and cozy.

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The piggies and cows have gone to the butcher. The last of the chickens will soon fill our freezer.

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The last of the canning will commence with sour kraut. That is, if the chickens don’t eat all the cabbage before I tend to it.

Craft supplies were just bought today to stock the art cabinet. This mama has to be prepared as we will soon be spending more of our time in doors.

Such a bittersweet feeling. The tug to come inside met with the pull to be outdoors as much as possible. Oh to find that balance.

Enjoy these last few days of August   I mean October.

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Adventures with Scotty Part II

Two years, a house, and a baby later we are back at it again. Working on the Scotty camper that is.

Do you remember when we bought her?  Oh how I thought we would have her finished by the summer. Well life happens. But this weekend Brook and I had another stay-cation for our anniversary. Our goal was to get the floor finished.

After our camper demolition we had the frame sandblasted and powder coated. If you remember, last Christmas I got wheel wells, wood, screws, and nuts and bolts. What girl would get excited over those things on Christmas morning? Yep, me!

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I know you are wishing you had a minivan to haul plywood!

We went with a pressure treated plywood for the floor. I did the sanding and staining while Brook took all the measurements off the old trailer and cut the wood to size.  The stain is a cherry color. We will coat it with Zar’s wood floor finisher once the floor is complete.

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It was and still is a puzzle putting this camper back together. We kept all the old pieces to take measurements but for some reason they just don’t work on the new camper. It could be that the old one is so deteriorated.

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And this is what was accomplished in a day. I really hope it does not take two more years to start the walls. We are having a family reunion in Idaho this summer. How awesome would it be to take this beauty on a road trip. I think the girls would have a blast. That is if they can stay in their car seats for two whole days.

One day it will look like this. It just has to.

Follow my other visions for the Scotty camper here.

Why I Don’t Make My Own Laundry Soap

There are two things I don’t do around here. One, make my own cleaning products and two, use cloth diapers. There I said it!

I can hear all of you gasping for air…. “What kind of homesteading mama is she?”

One who likes to keep her sanity!

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Believe me, I have tried making laundry soap on several occasions. The truth is, it does not work. My husbands laundry is smelly and dirty. Who am I kidding, mine are too. We work hard and play hard. Plus, that huge bucket took up way to much space in my laundry room.

The reasons I like homemade laundry soap is that it seemed to be the safer alternative for our very old septic system.  The previous owners did a great job of keeping it in working condition, so I really do not want to break it.

My problem…. I could not to find a laundry soap or a bleach alternative that I really liked that was environmentally safe as well as safe for our septic system.

My accidental discovery happened while at the health food store buying Grace and Hannah omega vitamins. The owner of the shop introduced me to the Melaleuca Company. I heard of them before and how great their cleaning products were.  Needless to say I went home and did some research. What I found out about the cleaning agents I was using was shocking. Caustic chemicals in my hand soap, dish soap, shampoo, and so on, absorbing into mine and my families bodies. These chemicals can act as hormones, cause asthma, skin issues, cancer, and infertility.

WHAT!!! I have been trying my hardest to keep my family healthy and safe by raising our own food and eating fairly clean, but I was blind to what we were cleaning our home and our bodies with.

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It was a wake up call for me. We are now a part of the Melaleuca Company. The best part, their cleaning products ROCK! They really work. That little bottle of hand soap has lasted me two months and it is only half way empty. Not to mention I can order everything on my computer and it comes right to my door. That means less trips to Target tempting me to spend more money. Now if Melaleuca only sold diapers.

Home Cheese Making Class

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Fear can be one of those things that cripple us into not pursuing our passions. For some of us, there is a nagging voice in the back of our head telling us that we are not good at _____and we will fail. So today I am going to try and overcome a fear. I am no expert, by no means, but I have been making simple home cheeses and yogurts for a few years. When I was looking for classes I could not find anything local. Yes, I learned from reading, youtube, and through purchasing a kit. But, I still wanted that personal interaction with a real live human being! Something we do not get enough of these days. So after much thought, a practice class with friends, and wrestling with my fear I am offering a basic home cheese making class to you.  If you are local to Lancaster County, PA, join me and another fellow cheese lover for a night of exploring CHEESE!

What you will experience:

  • 2 ½  hours learning terms, making, sampling, and conversing with likeminded individuals.
  • Making ricotta, mozzarella, chevre, and learning about kefir.
  • Sampling what you make and taking your final product home.
  • Small class size. Limit 2 persons per class.

Price: $35.00 per person.

Dates: October 14th and October 28th

Time: 6:00pm – 8:30pm

Special instructions: Please bring a quart size mason jar with lid or something equivalent and two containers for your soft cheeses.

**I do use raw milk from a local farm. I believe it makes a better cheese product.**

 

How do I sign-up?

E-mail me at thefarmhand08@outlook.com with your contact information and I will get in touch with you. I will post when classes are filled and put you on a waiting list for next month.