Beautiful February?!

Last weekend left me tired, but so looking forward to Spring! Here in western Maryland, we should be having temperatures around freezing. Today, it was around 80 degrees. It was very interesting to see the bees flying around like crazy!

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Busy bees! 

I was thrilled that I could even get the blankets to dry outside today!

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We aren’t sports fans, it’s just a comfy blanket! 

And the chickens have been picking up the pace with their egg laying! Our white egg layer has finally started laying again!

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Our first white egg since fall! 

I had to go searching out in the flower bed and I found the crocuses coming up! I love those early risers!

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Crocuses coming up! 

Yesterday we spun honey ( I’ll share all about that later in the week!) and I scrubbed up more birdhouse gourds. They get a mold film over them, so they have to be scrubbed up before decorating them! These are the smaller ones that I’ll be selling to crafty/painting people!

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More birdhouse gourds! 

The chickens are acting more like themselves! They are spending more time outside, instead of freezing their fluffy butts off!

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Fluff butt! 

I hope that you all are getting this beautiful weather where you are living too! Have a great week and keep blooming!

No Spend mid-February Update

Last month we were able to put extra money into our savings and are proud of another major achievement! We are now officially car payment free!! Yay!!!

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The Mr.’s beast is paid off!

I also managed to not spend money on valentines for my students! I used thread and cardstock that I already had to make these:

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Friendship bracelets for my students!

My hubby was so sweet and made me my Valentines gift!

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Pollinator hotel

It was crafted from some old redwood fence posts that were given to us by my dad! The empty shelves will be filled with pieces of cut up bamboo  and will be home to a lot of pollinators to lay some eggs! The total spent was $0 and it is way better than expensive flowers or chocolates!

My boy is such a sweet soul, especially  for a teenager. He doesn’t ask for anything. So, when I saw this pattern for a crocheted poke ball, I made him one! I had all of the yarn already here!

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My boy loved his poke ball!

We did spend a little money on our new lights set up! We like to grow different varieties, and starting from seeds allows us to have our pick of whatever heirlooms that we want!

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Our seed starting rack! Sherman is playing “Where’s Waldo!”

We haven’t been spending money on anything, but when I was in the craft store, these were hard for me to not buy! I loved them!

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I actually didn’t buy them!

So, for the first half of the month, we have been doing a pretty fantastic job! It’s kind of odd not going out to eat or just going shopping for the fun of it. I think when spring arrives, and there’s more to do, it will be easier to be consumed with outdoor living! Is anyone else having a great no spend month?

Camper Update!

My Mr. has been working feverishly on the camper to get it ready for a trial run this Spring!

Do you remember that original sticky note with what seemed like an endless list of tasks that needed completed? Well look at it now:

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Such a hard worker! 

The hot water heater looked like it had seen better days and not cared for properly! But look at that before and after:

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New hot water heater! 

He even decided to blacksmith a nice rack of hooks that is right by the bed. Maybe that will help us to not lose so much!

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Hand crafted hooks! 

The table was an idea of his. This is where you take out the table and put down the other bed. The problem is where would you put the table when the bed is in use?! So, he made it adjustable and it slides down now so that the bed can be put right over it! Such a great idea!

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Changed up the table! 

Next up was what really impressed me! The converter was shot, as in it didn’t power anything anymore! My husband watched countless YouTube videos, questioned both my Dad and brother (both ridiculously handy!) and he was able to rewire it himself! It works perfectly now!

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An expensive and tedious power converter redo! 

I have been slightly helpful as well! The curtains were not in awesome shape and needed some new life sewn into them! So, I got clearance fabric and did just that!

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Before
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After

Next up for me is to make some slip covers for these!

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Slipcovers will be made next! 

Let me just end this by saying that I really appreciate how much time that my Mr. has dedicated to this project! I believe he is just as excited as the boy and myself to travel out west!

And now a question for you all! Where is a good place to visit for a weekend to camp in around western PA, WV or even Virginia? We need to find a place to try out this beast! Thanks all in advance!

Long weekend happenings!

Monday was called off due to the snow. With no school, I planned on getting to work around the house! On Saturday my momma let me know that the Mr. was on the front page of the newspaper. The roads were a mess Friday.

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That’s him on the right. (Everyone was ok, by the way) 

On the weekend I took our recycling plus all of the recycling from school to the recycling center. It closes around 3 everyday! I can only get there on the weekend.

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So many cereal bowls! 😢

While shopping for groceries, I found some butterfly weed! It’s a type of milkweed, so I’ll be starting that along with 2 other varieties soon!

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Milkweed! 

I have some nice blisters on my fingers from where I’ve been scrubbing all of the dried out birdhouse gourds! Then, we dye them and clear coat them! They are going to (hopefully) be sold at the next craft show!

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Birdhouse gourds! 
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I think this one is beautiful! 

On Monday, I was able to hang out with my mom for a while. There is not a day that goes by that I take for granted having her. She is literally the nicest person that I’ve ever been around. ❤️ Her so much!

Then, I sewed new curtains for the camper! (A whole update will be coming soon for the camper reno!)

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So much better than before! 

And I was also able to do my swab for the #bethematch bone marrow donation. I might not ever be matched, but I’m here for whoever does match!

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It’s all sent in! 

And, of course, we spent some time relaxing!

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Sherman with his boy! 

Before we know it the weekend will be here again and we will be working on getting more accomplished! Keep blooming friends! 🌱💚

Who we are!

Hello all! We have had a nice influx of new people to our little blog since Mavis over at onehundreddollarsamonth.com featured my husband’s Blacksmithing hobby!

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I really appreciated my Mr. being chosen! 

1. So obviously, my husband is a backyard blacksmith! He’s pretty awesome and makes all kinds of metal creations, including my favorite dinner bells!

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He even did the brickwork on his forge 
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Dinnerbell in the works! 

2. We try to grow as much food as we can and preserve our over abundance!

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Our main garden. 
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We ❤️ Tomatoes

3. I am a beekeeper! I love having them to help pollinate everything, and also the delicious honey and wax for crafting!

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Baby bees!

4. I also love growing lots of flowers to keep the pollinators happy, and have plans to grow a much larger patch of pollinator friendly plants this summer!

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Our state flower: black eyed susans!!
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My favorite flower: echinacea! 

5. We keep chickens to give us lots of delicious eggs and they help us create less trash by eating leftovers!

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Our ladies enjoying some leftovers! 

6. I’m the eco warrior at the school I teach at. I teach my sweet 3rd graders about caring for our precious Earth and do the recycling for our building! Someone has to do it!

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Recycling for the staff! 

7. I love crocheting and craft everything from toboggans to washcloths to sell at local craft shows!

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Crocheting! 

8/9. I love both sewing and upcycling whatever is headed towards the trash into something useful!

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Upcycling and sewing! 

10. We try not to produce an over abundance of garbage and strive to be zerowaste!

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Less waste! 

11. We have been tracking our solar panels and how they are working out for the past year!

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We are on year 2 of having our solar panels! 

12. We try to eat at home and cook all of our own food! It helps to save money and I know what’s in my food!

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My cinnamon rolls
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My pizza! (Don’t worry, I make lots of healthier food too!) 

So these are a few things that we have going on here on our less than an acre in a small town! We really appreciate anyone taking time to read about our tiny homestead happenings!

January Update 2018 Goals

Welcome to February everyone!! January was a whirlwind of crazy cold temperatures, lots of working on the camper and seed organizing! And, of course, we have been working on those goals that we set!

1. Expand the garden– Not too much to talk about so far with the garden. We did measure it off for planning the layout!

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Garden planning!

2. Fix the camper– The Mr. has been out in the garage most nights working on it! He has starting recaulking all of it, installed a new hot water tank, blacksmithed a hook rack for a cabinet, fixed the table so that it’s easy to lower and raise and started to replace the converter. I was able to get some fabric on extreme clearance and I have all of the cushions pulled out!

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That old hot water tank definitely needed replaced! 
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Such pretty hooks! 

3.Travel out west– That camper is going to be making some trips this year! Our boy is 13 and I want him to see more than I have.
 *If you all have suggestions on what to see and do for around the Great Lakes, through Yellowstone, let us know! *

4. Create a certified wildlife habitat– There’s a grass patch in front of the garage that is begging to be returned to nature. So, that’s what the plan is! The Mr. Put the bat box together and I have seeds all picked out!

 

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Of course the bat box needs a Batman symbol! 
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My basic idea so far! 

5. Reduce garbage– Last year we made 7 bags of garbage and we want to make less than 6 bags. So far we have not filled one, and I’m going to try bokashi composting for meat leftovers and molded food.

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I’m attempting to make my own bokashi sawdust. 

6. Volunteer/Donate/Do Good Every month– I just blogged about what we were able to do last month! We started a local free trade Facebook page and sold lipbalm to raise money for the local shelter. We were able to donate lots of food!

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Our homemade beeswax lipbalm! 
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Our contribution to the shelter!

7. Repurpose, remake, mend or reuse– My husband repurposed a satellite dish bracket into a flag holder!

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Yeah, he’s pretty awesome! 


8. Paw Paw trees– These native trees have grown near here for such a long time! I can’t wait to give it a try to grow them this year, and eventually (maybe) eat one!! The seeds will be finished stratifying in the fridge at the end of the month!

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Stratification is still happening!



9. Build a pizza oven– this is the Mr.’s idea! He built his own Blacksmithing forge, so I’m sure he can do it! I’m definitely looking forward to having a delicious, out of the oven pizza!

 He starting clearing the area where it will be built!

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I can’t wait to use my yummy dough recipe in his pizza oven! 

10. Grow different produce– I was able to pick up a majority of the seeds that I wanted online. I will have quite an assortment of gourds, slicing tomatoes, melons and a few of my favorites from last year!

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So stinking exciting! 

 

11. Continue tracking the solar panels– It was so incredibly cold out, but our electric bill was still less than $6. We are living off of the summer surplus still!

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What a difference from last year! (It wasn’t hooked up until the middle of the month 2017!) 

12. Work on garden cart sales– We are hoping to do some upcoming craft shows, but we won’t have any produce for sale for quite a while!

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Out pretty garden cart! 

Did you set any goals?! We are hoping to have checks next to them all at the end of the year! Keep blooming friends! 🌱💚

Spreading the good (January)

If you have been following me for a bit, you’ll know that I set goals! Actually this is my third year documenting those goals! One goal this year is to spread good. I mainly want to because there is so much good in this world, but good news isn’t as much fun for most to read.

So, for the month of January, we trailblazed a path! It started off with buying ice cream for an awesome neighbor that shares a Birthday with the boy:

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Birthday ice cream 

The next idea slowly fell into place when I saw that the local Union Rescue Mission was having a food drive. I had ordered lip balm containers to make our own beeswax lip balm, but they were lost in transit. After weeks of waiting, we were refunded for them only for them to eventually show up. So, we turned those containers into lip balm, sold them all and put all of that money towards food  for that charity!

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Our lip balm containers 
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Turned it into lip balm 
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Turned it into about $80 in food! 

Our blessing turned into their blessing.

I grew up in a home where we were definitely not rich. I can remember when people blessed us with what we needed. So now that I’m in a place where I can help others, I plan on it!

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I tell my own kid and all the ones I teach this! 

I have no clue what we will do to spread goodness in February, but I’m sure that something will come up! Keep blooming friends! 🌱💚