galloping, wilty leaves and peeking onions...

this past weekend was gorgeous!

see...didn't i tell you? 

during this very pretty and warm weekend were determined to get a lot done!

beloved added more fencing for the big kids (horse and donkey).  they now have the whole back pasture to graze on.  in the picture above if you look to the left you will see a group of trees, once they are in bloom, they will provide great shade and be a great place for the big kids to hang out in during the hot summer.  the area to the right, in the above picture is the back pasture that they now graze on. 

here is a picture of the fencing beloved worked on, all day saturday.  once the fencing was up and they realized they had more room, they ran and galloped and rolled all over the place.  it was adorable!

on friday after returning from topeka i realized that my broccoli, spinach, lettuce and strawberries were not looking too good. i had been trying to hold off on putting them in the ground because we have had some very cold days here. obviously they had other plans. i saw the droopy leaves and knew i needed to get moving. 


i quickly did my best to draw straight lines in the soil, dig some holes and then drop them in.  it was then that i added some organic compost to the soil.  after a good watering and a night in their new 'home' i came out to see this saturday morning.




needless to say, i was pretty pleased.

and before i end this post i want to update you on my onions.  they are doing good.  they are peeking through and making their grand entrance.  see for yourself!


i know it sounds weird, but i love my growing garden!

i hope this post finds you doing well and i hope you all had a great and productive weekend.

i am linking this post with The Clever Chicks Blog Hop and Homestead Barn Hop.

peace and love to you all!


why dehydrating apples is not a good thing in this house...

so you all know my obsessive love with dehydrating right?  well today i am going to tell you why dehydrating apples in this house is not a good thing.

it starts something like this...

oooohhhh...aaaaaahhhhhh.  a nice full jar of freshly dehydrated apples.  yumm-o!

naturally the next thing that happens is this...

a handful here and a handful there and before you know it, you have this...

no bueno!  they are gone at lightening speed! 

so the morale to the store is this...if you dehydrate apples, do yourself a favor and put them in a super awesome jar and hide them!  hide them from not only the rest of your family, but from yourself too!

i am linking this post to Titus 2sdays, Teach Me Tuesdays, Raising Homemakers, Wise Woman Link-Up

peace and love to you all!


dehydrating corn...

one of my favorite ways to preserve food is by dehydrating, it is simple and sooooo easy.  it requires very little work and even less effort.  well i guess i can't totally say it requires very little work because i guess it depends on what you are dehydrating.  
this time around i decided to dehydrate corn.  we love corn!  we love it a lot!  
i pulled it out of the freezer... 

laid it on the trays...

and turned on the dehydrator. 

in just 24 short hours this is what i had...

pretty simple huh?  no thought, no hard work...just dehydrated corn!

i like to oven can my dehydrated corn/veggies along with beans, rice, flour...whatever else we have in the basement.  if you have never oven canned must!  you can read about it here and here

i am linking this post with The Homestead Barn Hop and The Clever Chicks Blog Hop.

peace and love to you all!


the prepper's cookbook...get it!

i first learned about Tess a few months ago when i stumbled across her website.  i liked what i saw and was very excited to learn more.

it wasn't until recently that i found out she wrote a book.  a cookbook...a PREPPER'S cookbook to be exact!  i heard all about it on Survival Mom Radio.  i listened to Tess's interview with Lisa and knew i had to have it.  as i listened to the broadcast, i was multi-tasking and purchasing her cookbook via amazon.  due to my prime member account, i was able to receive Tess's book in just 2 short days.  i got it today and was all smiles when the mailman handed me my amazon package. 

i didn't get a chance to actually sit down and look through the book until this evening. 


i am barely in chapter 2 and i have already underlined and highlighted multiple pages, bent corners and made notes to myself.

i stopped long enough to write a short but sweet blog post urging you to order her book.  it is so practical and to-the-point. 

the recipes look great and all her how-to info is a tremendous help to this beginner prepper.

so go out, buy it, order it...just get it!

kale chips!

not too long ago i was introduced by a very dear group of friends, kale chips.  i had heard about them but thought nothing of actually making them.

one afternoon a few months back i was at a 'play date' with the keiki and one of the things that we had were kale chips.  i loved them and so did the lil' one.  they are soooo easy to make it is disgusting. 

keep in mind every one's recipe varies but this is mine...

2-3 bunches of kale (organic preferably)
olive oil (you can use other oils like vegetable or coconut, but i found that i like the olive oil the best)
sea salt
seasonings of your choice (optional)

wash the kale and then pull the leaves off the stem.  i put my leaves in a big bowl and then decide if i want them smaller.  if i do, i just pull them apart more or i use my kitchen scissors, either one is fine.  on a side note, remember that the leaves do shrink a bit when baking so take that into consideration.

i then drizzle olive oil over the leaves and then use my hands to mix it.  i like to make sure all the leaves are lightly coated. 

add the sea salt, liberally, and then once again use your hands to mix it all up.  at this time you can add any other seasonings you like, just make sure to mix real well.

dump the leaves on your baking stone, or parchment lined cookie sheets, place in preheated oven at 350 for 20-30 minutes. 

i set my timer for 25 minutes and then i just check every few minutes after my timer goes off. you want them darker and very crispy.

when done, just pull from oven and enjoy!

i like to make big batches of these and then store them in a mason jar to snack on throughout the day.

i really hope you try to make these because not only are they super nutritious but they are super yummy!

i am linking this blog post to Simple Living Wednesdays, Homemaking Link-Up and Wise Woman Link-up.

peace and love to you all!


overcast skies and onions...

so even with cloudy skies and a chilly breeze beloved and i headed back outside yesterday to get a second tilling done on the garden.  before the tilling actually began i sprinkled organic compost, which i purchased at a local nursery, all throughout the garden. 

once that was done, the tilling began.

as beloved tilled,  i spent time raking and leveling everything out.  i didn't take a picture of it right after the tilling/leveling off, but oh-well.
anyhow,  after realizing that i couldn't plant in a straight row without some guidance, beloved quickly threw something together for me, hence the extension cord and t-posts.
don't laugh!  it was harder then i thought to evenly space out and make straight.  i have lots to learn!
after planting 4 rows of onion sets, we had to call it a day.  the weather was getting worse and we were starving. 
before we could clean up, i had to properly water the onions i had just planted.  little did i know that i hadn't left myself a visual clue as to where i had JUST planted.  dang it!  beloved took mercy on me, helped me find my planted onions and then hammered in a few sticks in, in order to help his beginner wife refocus.  he joked and told me that the sticks reminded him of tombstones for a family pet.  i smiled and agreed.
after a quick clean up, we headed inside and called it a day.  i couldn't believe how tired i was from just the little work i had done.  whoever called homesteading easy living had no idea what they were talking about.
fingers crossed that we are seeing the end to the cold/frost mornings here in kansas.  i have more seeds and plants to get going!
i am linking this post with Titus 2sdays and Teach Me Tuesday.
peace and love to you all!


electric fences, a pole barn, tilling and thankfulness...

so here we are.  we had a very busy weekend.  mother nature came through for us and gave us a few great days to work with.  this is a pic of what we have accomplished, so far.  isn't it absolutely gorgeous?  i almost tear up every time i see this.
so, on to our preparations from this weekend.
electric fences...a must here.  now that we are the owners of a jennett and a rescue horse, we knew we needed to provide them with more pasture to graze on, along with a greater area to run and play in.  beloved got off work early on friday, we headed to the local farmer/hardware store, bought what we needed and headed home.  i had some errands to run in town, so after a quick diaper change and a few kisses, mama was out the door.  after running all over the place and hitting every store imaginable, i headed home and found this...

 beloved got the electric fence up in no time and it looks great!  gypsy and salty were in heaven!  it was the first time she had been out of the pen and soon after i got home we found her running...running and prancing and i think i saw a smile or two.  it was great!  what a wonderful reward.  to see her acting like this brought smiles and laughter to both of us.

early the next morning beloved went back to work on this...

pretty sweet huh?  once again i must say, this man totally amazes me.  there is nothing he can't do or build. 

as you can tell, there is still a back wall to put on along with the right-hand side that needs to be finished.  some of the roof is bowing in so that will need some attention too.  but all in all, i love it! i love our pole barn, as so do our animals.

saturday morning once again came very early.  mama headed out to pick up some plants, compost and some other odds and ends.  i couldn't wait to get home.  i couldn't wait to get in the dirt and start workin' it. 

it wasn't long before i found myself there.  in the pic above i am working on a few herb plants that i purchased.  i had considered starting my herbs via seeds, but realized that i was biting off more then i could chew.  hence...the plants!




the rest of my saturday was spent cleaning up and prepping the garden for the following day. 

here is the garden before the tilling began.  here is the garden during the tilling...

(daddy's audience)
this man worked so hard today on my/our garden, even though he had to go into work tonight, without a nap apparently.  we hung out and talked, and i was instructed to rake dirt, or rake dirt that is what i did, along with some earthing!
after all was said and done, he had just enough time to shower, eat and head out the door.  oh how i love that man!  we plan to finish the tilling/composting tomorrow and fingers crossed...get in some seeds and plants.
one thing i do have to admit is that i found such joy in our whole tilling experience.  i knew that for every clump of dirt that was overturned and aerated, it was just one step closer to our plentiful garden.  one step closer to self-sufficiency.  one step closer to becoming the homesteaders/farmers that we long to be. 
it was at that moment that i realized just how thankful i was.  i was thankful for the beautiful property that the Lord has blessed us with.  i was thankful for the sun, the soil and the sweat that goes into preparing the land.  i was thankful for my marriage and for our unconditional love for one another.  i was thankful for my children, my grandchildren, my animals and my home.  i hope i never stop being thankful.
i hope that this post inspires you to try to homestead right where you are.  weather it be in an apartment, a condo or a mobile home.  you can grab a few cheap pots from wal-mart, along with a few tomato plants and what not, some soil and then you are good to go.  experience growing something...anything...even an herb garden that is prepackaged.  put that on your window sill and let it do its thing.  you might be surprised at how easy it is.
peace and love to you all!


why we prepare...

living in "tornado alley" is a new one for this california-born-and-raised-city-turned-country-girl.  i have not experienced a tornado personally, but i hear they can be terrifying.  i am a thrill-seeker at heart, bungee jumping, parachuting and base jumping are all things i would love to do one day...but storm chasing?  eh...not for this girl.  for some people the difference between jumping off a building and chasing a storm are one in the same...well i don't believe they are.  there is something about messing around with Mother Nature that makes this mama run and hide.  i believe that the Lord created this planet for many reasons, one of them being a source of survival for us.  by working the land, we not only become less reliant on the government to provide for us, but we learn to rely more on the Lord.  we learn that sweat and blood and hard work were part of the Lord's plan for His people.  we are command to work, and to work hard...for this brings glory to the Kingdom Of God.

case in point...

(Prvb 12:11)  He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread: but he that followeth vain persons is void of understanding. 

(Prvb 21:20)  There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up. 

(Prvb 10:4-5)  He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.  He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame. 

not only do we prepare because we are instructed to, but we fear that the very government that we are under is headed for financial collapse.  now by no means do i consider myself an extremist, but i am a wife and mother.  i am also an auntie, a grandma and a step mom.  i take those roles very seriously.  i believe that it is my God-given duty to provide, to the best of my ability for my family and my extended family. 

please do not misunderstand me.  i believe that all things happen either because He allows them to, or causes them.  unfortunately our government is very greedy and self-destructive.  we see the direction our country is going and it is not a good one.  we believe that we have been called to not only be good stewards of what he has currently blessed us with, but to also do what we can, within our financial means, to prepare for any uncertain times that may lie ahead...hence prepare.

i believe me that everyone should prepare, regardless of their financial or social situation.  i have seen so many people lose their jobs, or a tragedy strikes their family, and because they weren't prepared in any way, they lost their homes, their cars, they self-respect and all hope.  if they would have just taken the time to stock pile food and water here and there, then things may have turned out different.  i am not saying that because you have extra cans of food or bottles of water in your basement that you will be fine, because i am not.  what i am saying is that by preparing for any uncertain or unplanned event can not only provide one with security and some stability, but it can relieve some definite pressure. 

so getting back to the title of this post...why we prepare.

we prepare in order to be able to take care of our family if an emergency did happen, ie...tornado, flood, economic collapse, emp, loss of a job or any other number of things.

we prepare because there is a sense of security in knowing that you could provide for your family, friends and even neighbors if there is a need.

we prepare because uncertain times lay ahead.

we prepare because it is our job as parents and as Christians.

we prepare because we don't want to rely solely on our government for food hand-outs or protection.

we prepare because God instructs us to, and if that isn't a good enough reason, then i don't know what is. 

i am linking this post to Simple Living Wednesdays, Wise Woman Link-Up and Homemaking Link-Up.

i hope this post finds you all doing well and hopefully dry, as compared to us here in the midwest.

peace and love to you all...


an unexpected rescue...

so last friday started like any other day.  mama got up, made herself a nice hot cup o' joe and was relaxing for a minute when i received a text.  in this next i was asked if beloved and i were interested in a rescue horse, for free.  being the animal lover that i am, i instantly texted my friend asking more information on the horse. 

now let me be clear...i have NEVER owned a horse before.  to be honest, i had only been around a horse once or twice in my life!  i was a little nervous to say the least, but knew that when my hubby heard about was a done deal. 

and i was right!

after a few phone calls between myself and the horses owner, and then between my husband and the owner, the decision was made and they would deliver him the following day. 

saturday morning arrived entirely too quickly if you ask me, and before i knew it, beloved was rushing in to tell me that they were on their way and that they would be here in under 30 minutes.  a mad dash was made by us both to clean up, and before long, they pulled in.

after a few words between the guys, and a quick trial run with him in the pen with our jennett, they headed out and as you can see, hubby and he have already bonded and become buds.

as you can see, he needs some TLC and most importantly...some food.  his current condition isn't due to neglect from the people we got him from, but from the people they got him from.  the story goes something like this...they, the owners, bought him a few years back.  they then sold him to another individual who was wanting a horse.  after some time, i am unclear about how much time, the current owner at the time contacted the previous owners asking if they would be willing to take him back.  after seeing his condition, which at the time was worse then it is now, they agreed to take him back.  he stayed with them for a few months, but they are also trying to put weight back on another horse of theirs who was a rescue, and between the other two horses she already has, bullying this guy, they felt it best to find someone who could give him a little more time and less competition for food.  hence us!

everyone is already in love with him, oh and his name is Salty too.  it is the name he has had for the last 20 years, so we didn't see the need to change it.  he is very funny and quite friendly.  we have him and our donkey gypsy in a pen, but plan to run some fencing along the property so that they can get out and graze.  we have a creek that runs through our homestead and we don't want them to wander into it and fall...that would be bad.  so hopefully within the next week or 2 we will have a bigger area for them.  until then, they will have to get along, share the pole barn and suffer through all the 'extra' treats and fresh brome and alfalfa.  well he gets the alfalfa, gypsy doesn't. 

as we were walking back in tonight from visiting the 'big kids,' as i like to call them my husband leans over and says, 'darlin', we can't  get any more animals until we get the fencing done.  i know you wanted dairy goats but they are just going to have to wait until after the summer.'  i looked at him and smiled, nodded and agreed with him.

want to bet that we have fresh raw goat milk on our kitchen table before the summer is up?  i wouldn't be surprised.  this homesteading thing is so unpredictable isn't it?

i hope you all had a great weekend.

i am linking this post with The Homestead Barn Hop, The Clever Chicks Blog Hop and Titus 2sdays.

peace and love to you all.


sometimes we just gotta slow down...

so when one has a farm, one has to better manage their time.  it is very easy to get caught up in the day-to-day errands that seem to monopolize our life.  vacuuming, laundry, dusting, dishes...the list is endless.  when you add a farm on top of that, not only do you have the mouths of your babes to feed, along with your husband, but now you have animal mouths to feed.  and let me tell you, they eat a lot!  after food and water is checked or refilled, i believe that it is imperative to 'clean' out their living area/pen/coop.  i know that this may not apply to everyone, but i myself take just a few minutes every morning to clean out the coop and the donkey pen, so that they don't walk all over it and spread it around all day and i also want to keep the smell down along with the bugs.  add farm chores on top of cleaning the babes bottoms and keeping their area clean, and you can find yourself overwhelmed! 

if i am lucky, i can get the keiki a bottle ready, make her a little bed on the playroom floor, put on her favorite movie BRAVE and then sneak out to do chores and check the compost. 

sometimes i catch myself feeling guilty.  i remind myself why we moved to the country.  we didn't move here to pop a movie on to get the kids out of our hair while we got more important things done.  (terrible i know but i would be a liar if i didn't admit that i thought it from time-to-time.)  i also think to myself how much faster and easier it would be if i just did it "real quick" without the lil' one right under foot, then the guilt comes, but i majority of the time just ignore the pangs of guilt and run out and get everything done. 

is my child inside suffering because i am  is she inside thinking about how much of a burden she  she is watching her disney movie, enjoying her milk.  she may not understand what she is missing out on, but mama does. 

so this morning i decided to NOT put a movie on, but to dress her, bundle her up, get her water cup ready, grab the blanket for the wagon, grab the chicken scraps, water and egg basket.  after getting ALL this stuff together, putting on some music for us to listen to while doing our chores, we headed out. 

we, or shall i say she had a good time.  mama was busy cleaning up chicken poop while she was drinking her water and laughing at the dogs.  after our work with the chickens was done, we headed to go see gypsy...

gypsy is our jennett, our female donkey.  she is soooo loved it is ridiculous.  i have recently done some studying up on donkeys, and they by far a pretty cool animals.  we got her a few weeks back and she is doing great!

(here she is in a trailer we borrowed in order to get her here.  she was NOT happy!)

(here is daddy trying to calm her before putting her in the pen)
anyhow, back to my post.  
so after we cleaned gypsy's pen and gave her some food, i realize i never let the keiki hand feed her before.  i had grabbed some carrots out of the garage refrigerator prior to coming out so i decided i would let her.  after positioning her on my hip and correctly placing the carrot in her little hand, we moved closer to gyps and waited.  after a few *sniffs* she gently took the carrot and began chewing.  the baby smiled so large i thought she might hurt herself, and it was at that moment that i realized that all this hard work, all this sacrifice and blood and sweat served a much bigger purpose.  our purpose here was not only reconnect to our self-sufficient roots, but to teach our children what was really important.  family, faith and hard work were just a few things that we longed for our children to have, and because i didn't want to take the time to dress her warmly or to walk a little slower due to her persistence of walking rather then riding in the wagon, i was robbing her of the very lifestyle that we worked so hard to attain.  it was then and there that i vowed to S-L-O-W D-O-W-N even more.  i decided to embrace my motherhood and to bring her with me more.  i decided that i would give her every opportunity i could to connect with the animals, the garden, the farm...all of it!  i owed her that, i owed all the children that. 
after a lot more giggles and nose wiping, we headed back to the house, but not before she decided to dance for me.  she loves music, always has, and she lets you know it.
i thanked the Lord today for helping me realize the importance of being right here, right now.  i thanked Him for her, for my family, for our health and most importantly i thanked him for the lesson learned today. 
i am linking this post with...Homemaking Link Up and Proverbs 31 Link Up.
i hope you all have a fabulous day.
peace and love to you all!


for the love of GREEN!

so i have recently embarked upon another natural/green journey, and that journey/adventure is...juicing!  i have always enjoyed a good green smoothie, but i had never dabbled in juicing.  i heard great things about it, but i never really got into it.  i watched Hungry for Change the other night on Netflix and boy let me tell got me thinking.

if i wanted to get healthy, to get clean, and to get my disease under control, i would have to change EVERYTHING about what i eat, drink, put on my sink and so on and so on.  if i wanted to heal, and to live a long, drug-free life, i had to make some changes, and they had to be aggressive and immediate. 

hence, the title of this post.  i decided to take the plunge and after watching and reading multiple success stories of juicers and the incredible benefits experienced by those who do it, how could i not try?  one such great inspirational story is Kriss Carr's.  you can read all about Kris and all her awesome work here.  there are thousand others but for the sake of every one's sanity, i will stop there.

onto the juice...

so i had never made juice before and after scouring the grocery store shelves looking for the cleanest fruits and veggies, and after searching through Kris's book to get some recipes i was ready.  after a few trials and errors with the juicer that i had never used i figured it out.  messy...yes!  lots of chopping and peeling...yes!  worth bet!  my first juice was a spin off of Kris's green juice recipe.  i didn't have some of the things she used, so i replaced them with what i had on hand.  i made it, poured it into my trusty mason jar, put on my lid and got to drinkin'. 

it rocked!  i loved it!  so did the keiki!

needless to say, i have been juicing the last few mornings and i love it!  i haven't noticed any MAJOR changes in health/sleeping, but i hope i do soon.  

i hope that by putting in more good stuff, that i will begin to heal from the inside out and hopefully, one day, get off my medication.

so why don't you join me, join me in the green revolution.  the revolution of eating and drinking good, organic, wholesome food.  rid your home and your body of the crap that the advertising industry tells us we need start a garden, plant a fruit tree in your yard, start composting and allow the earth and soil to heal and then allow it to heal you. 

i am linking this post with The Homestead Barn Hop, The Clever Chicks Blog Hop and Titus 2sdays.

peace and love to you all