Sunday, September 29, 2013

Canning Potatoes

Today Ron and I canned 67 pints of red potatoes, just a little over 50 lbs.  Ron said he thought he was in the Army and on KP duty.  Next I will dehydrate hash brown potatoes and then can potatoes, carrots and onions together for when we have roast.  We bought 100 lbs on Saturday afternoon at 50 lbs for $8.99.
We canned about 100 lbs last year as plain potatoes, roast mix, vegetable soup mix and potato soup mix.  I have a few of the potato soup mix left and a a few of the vegetable soup mix left so I won't be making those this year.  Tomorrow I hope to get the hash brown potatoes started and that will take a couple days to do.  Dehydrated hash brown potatoes come in so handy and take so little space.

Friday, September 27, 2013

That Mole Will Never do That Again

Living out next to a field and woods we have moles all the time.  We've tried the stuff you put on your lawn and mole traps.  Traps are the best answer if you use them ALL the time but I am too lazy to put them out and try and catch them.  It's a never ending battle when you are the only one in the neighborhood who tries to get rid of them.  I've come to terms with it over the years, live out in the country and you have to put up with something.
If I see the ground moving which I have several times I have no problem grabbing a shovel and waiting for the right time to plummet it into the ground.  I have a 100% kill rate going doing this.  Today when I was out making my rounds checking on the chickens and turkeys I saw something gray out of the corner of my right eye.  I walked over to it, tapped it with my shoe and there he was a huge mole.  Before I could bend down to get him he was digging his way back into the ground.  I pulled him by his back legs and was successful in getting him.  Before I could make a plan on how to dispose of him he bit my finger.  I told him "OK buddy it is all out war now, no peaceful demise for you."  I threw him in the burn barrel, piled some dried garden items on top of him and the rest is history.  

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Forty Three Years and Counting

Forty three years ago Ron and I said "I do".  We celebrated and had turkey burgers for supper and spent our day and night just like any other.  Out of 3 children 1 remembered it was our anniversary and Ron didn't remember until just this morning.
Maybe I should start forgetting the kids birthdays and anniversaries and see how they feel.  Do I sound a little disappointed with my kids, darn right I do.  Usually 1 or 2 forget my birthday, the same for Ron's birthday and as you can see it's that way with our anniversary.  Kids!!!!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Re Purposing A Wooden Ironing Board into a Corner Shelf

We have re purposed 2 wooden ironing boards and have a couple still in the garage.  I asked Ron if he could take one and make a corner shelf for the kitchen and the below is what he came up with. The shelves are made from a wooden ironing board that was unusable for anything but parting it out. So the whole unit is made from old wooden ironing boards 50+ years old.  My idea, my husbands skills and now I have a very nice shelf to display some of my chicken stuff.
We have 3 more wooden ironing boards and Ron is going to make some more and I am going to try and sell them in my Etsy store.

monday's homestead barn hop

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Busy Week

I've been busy all week trying to get pictures taken and the new items I picked up last week added to Etsy. Before I got 3/4 of it up one of my best customers purchased it.  I have about 50 3 piece Amish/Mennonite dresses left to photograph and list.  I will work on that on Monday.
Today Ron and I did the yard work.  There were more weeds than grass but it needed to get done.  We also pulled the tomato plants up and that garden is not empty.  I will keep adding grass clippings and shredded leaves to it so it will be ready for next year.
Ron also had to take the truck and pull a dead deer that was in the field behind us farther down the field because it was beginning to smell.  I said something to the owner of the field and he wasn't willing to do anything with it but said we could pull it down the field farther so we didn't have to smell it.  It was about 30 feet on the other side of our turkeys and besides the smell I was afraid that a coyote might come up.  I'm not sure what happened to it but it was probably hit on the highway and managed to get that far before he died. It was a 4 point buck.  

Monday, September 16, 2013

I'm Not Sure What's Going on Here

On our way out of Arthur, IL on Saturday I saw this house and had to turn around to make sure I saw what I thought I saw.  Sure enough it was.  I've seen many houses where someone has TPed someone's house and yard but this is the first time I saw where someone's has got this.  There were bras lining the driveway fence, hung in trees, hung in bushes and laid across the hedges.  There was every color and size.  Can you imagine coming home to this.  This was on the main highway that goes through town so this was seen by many people.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Physical Therapy and a Wonderful Video on Pain

I started going to see a physical therapist for my back pain and have learned so much about pain.  My therapist is very understanding, a good listener and very knowledgeable.  He says he is a research nut on pain and tries to find everything and anything to help his patients.  He shared a very good video from You Tube and I wanted to share it with you.  Watch it a couple of times and think about what they are saying, let it sink in.  I've been to physical therapy before and this is the first time anyone has shared so much knowledge about pain.
Go to You Tube and look up:

Understanding Pain: What to do about it in less than five minutes?


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Another Batch of Leather Britches Going

The green beans were done for the year so we pulled the plants up and then picked the beans off.  We got a nice bunch and decided to go ahead and make some more dried green beans.  Last week I got almost 1/2 gallon jar full and they will come in very handy.  The first cool day I am going to make a pot of vegetable beef soup.  I have been wanting some for a while now, I can almost taste it now.  I love soup weather, vegetable beef soup, potato soup, chili, chicken noodle soup, chicken vegetable soup, chicken and wild rice soup, taco soup and beef stew.
I wish I had more dehydrated peas and corn to use for soup, maybe next year I will do more of them.  Just called the hardware, yes hardware store where I get 50 lbs of red potatoes for $8.  They should be in this weekend so I will call again next week to make sure they are in and will be getting 100 lbs.  I will can some, dehydrate small cubes for soup and dehydrated some shredded potatoes.  I have a couple recipes I use shredded potatoes in and making dehydrated shredded potatoes is very easy and they keep forever.  Last time I made some I had them 2 years before I ran out.

1/2 gallon jar of dried green beans that I did last week.

Dried green beans.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Birthday Chickens

My daughter Renee asked the other day if I wanted the rest of her chickens.  She has given me several throughout the season and decided to get rid of the rest.  She is working full time and just doesn't have time to give them.  So today on number 62 they delivered 9 hens and 1 rooster.  She gave me everything she had including her fencing and small coop.  I will use the coop as a brooder and also to put certain hens and a rooster in when I want to make sure that they mate with a specific rooster.  We have the fencing all up except for the fencing on top of it.  It will give the chickens an added 8' X 24' of run space.   We will finish it in the morning so they will have plenty of room to roam around.
So now we have 44 hens and 6 roosters.  We will see how well all the roosters get along and if any problems with that many we will have to butcher some.

Sixty Two

Some days I feel like I'm a lot older than 62 but most of the time I don't feel that old.   The last couple of months I've felt much older than I am.  I have this stupid intestinal infection that won't go away.  Not feeling your best takes a lot out of you.  My abdomen has been hurting for several months and lately it has gotten the best of me and I have just about had enough of it.
Also my lower back has been giving me fits for over 9 months and I finally just demanded the doctor look into it.  Did some x-rays and have severe degenerative arthritis and go next week to see a Physical Therapist. You shouldn't have to demand your doctor do something but most of the time I have to.
It has to be uphill from now on or at least it can't get much worse.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Reagan's Art Showing

Reagan is home schooled and her mom tries to get her involved in many activities.  She had a six week art class this summer and on Friday August 30th they had a showing of their art they did in the class.  We had a nice visit and purchased one of her pieces.
The picture I bought is on the left.

Reagan standing next to the one Ron bought.

This one she gave to her mom.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Labor Day Gathering

On Monday the 2nd we had all those that could make it over to celebrate Labor Day and a wonderful day of visiting.  We ate inside and then we all went outside to visit and play some yard games.  I love to have family gatherings and always dreamed of having a close family.  When growing up this is not something we did and I always wished we could be like other families.  We are not as close as I wished we were, seems like someone is always unhappy with someone.  Life is to short and we only have one chance to go around so everyone should try to not sweat the small stuff and just get along.

Reagan and Renee.

Ilayda and Derek.

Brandon and girlfriend Brittni.

Erin, Hannah's friend and Brandon.

Ian, Brandon and Reagan.

Derek and Ilayda.

Hannah and Brittni.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Leather Britches

I am making leather britches the modern way and have my dehydrator full of green beans right now.   Leather britches were done years ago by taking a nice strong piece of thread.string, tying a knot on one end and sticking the needle through one end of the green bean.  After your piece of thread/string was full you would hang it in an airy spot out of direct sunlight until they were completely dry.  You would then store them in an airtight container until ready to use.
After mine are dry I will put them in quart of half gallon Ball jars and use them in soups.  I also will try them by cooking them just like I would fresh beans and add some onion, bacon or ham and potatoes.  We are not a can green bean family, we eat them fresh or in vegetable soups.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Hen Butchering Day

Today Ron and I butchered 12 old laying hens.  I thought we'd never get done.  Before next season I WILL HAVE A PLUCKER.  Plucking them by hand takes forever.  After dressing the hens we moved 18 pullets to the laying coop.  We put bands on all their legs so we know what year they were born.  I now have 38 hens and 2 roosters.  For a while eggs will be few until the new girls all start laying.  This is the last of butchering chickens for the season.  We butchered 33 chickens this year.  Next year we hope to do more.
After moving the chickens we moved the turkeys to their coop.  We have 2 toms who weight 25+lbs and 3 hens.  We will butcher 1 tom the Saturday before Thanksgiving and the rest will be for breeding for next season and hope to have more turkeys next year than we did this year.  We started out about 8 this morning and by the time we were done butchering, bleaching everything down, feeding everyone, scrubbing all their water containers and burning all the feathers and guts it was 4.  I am dead tired.  Need to get some rest and get up early tomorrow and get the house cleaned for the family gathering.  I'm grilling hamburgers and beef brats, made Ali's Turkish salad, have chips, soda and everyone will bring a covered dish.  It is going to cool down so it will be nice outside to just sit and visit.