Snow days in March?!

Between Tuesday and Wednesday, Mother Nature decides to spice up life and throw around 7 inches of snow our way! Just look at the difference between the pollinator area from Sunday to Wednesday!

Top is Sunday, bottom is Wednesday! 

The chickens are not big fans of snowy days, so they decided to stayed tucked nicely in their house! But, their egg production is still increasing!

The chickens discussing their disgust with snow!
Nicely cleaned eggs! 

Every year around this time, I get tagged in the meme with the girl gardening in the snow! So, this year I recreated it! 😆

I think I was pretty close! 

My good deed for the month of March is marked off! I went down to school (the one I teach at) and shoveled off as much of the playground area as I could for the kiddos. They really appreciated it today!

Good deed for March! (It was a lot of shoveling!!) 

Im not going to lie and say that I was super productive on the days off from school/work because I wasn’t! I did manage to start making some curtains for the camper!

Curtain for around the ceiling

And below, the Mr. upcycled some spoons into curtain rod holders for the door curtain that I quickly sewed up!

The indoor plants under the grow lights are looking pretty awesome! The only veggies that I have planted are peppers, but I have also started lots of perennials for the pollinator area!

Pepper plants! 

And I will be doing a diy post on fermenting seeds to save them! I had leftover tomatoes in the freezer, so I fermented the seeds. That way I can plant the loads of tomatoes that I need to without spending so much money on plants!

Roma tomato seeds! 

Did it snow where you are? And what do you have growing right now? Keep blooming friends!


No Spend February

We made 3. major achievements this month! 1. We paid off the truck!

No more truck payments! 

So, we are officially vehicle payment free! Of course last month, instead of putting more money towards the house or the solar panels, I needed new tires for my car. They were leaking air constantly and not safe, so that’s definitely a must!

2. On the awesome list is that made another $10K leap on the house! You know, when you look at how much you owe and it is no longer in the $80K’s (for example) and now in the $70k’s!! That’s exciting! That will definitely feel good to get paid off eventually!

3. The Mr. has been doing a great job of packing his lunch! For pretty much ever, he has been a “pick up a snack while working” kind of guy. But after I showed him a quick write up of how much that really costs per year, he changed that habit!

For Valentine’s Day I actually had parent-teacher conference day until almost 6pm. So, it was easy to not go out to eat! But, we enjoyed out weekend and my parents even took our boy for a night. It was very quiet around here without him! 😳

My Mr. made me a beautiful pollinator garden for the special occasion out of upcycled wood. We just need to get the bamboo to fill it, but we have a free source for that! It is quite an invasive plant!

Pollinator hotel! 

We were able to make a few bucks this week too! The dead hive provided us with some honey to sell. We will use that to help buy us another colony! Bees are not easy to keep! (Or cheap!)


And soon I will have a surplus of eggs to rehome!

Delicious eggs! 

Also, the Mr. blacksmithed some beautiful mantel brackets for a beam of barn wood for a customer! They turned out beautiful!

In the garage! 

And now, in their new home!! They loved them just as much as we did!


And the fireplace looks beautiful! 

Our electric bill came, and I was expecting a nice bill because February was pretty cold, but to our surprise it was $0!!


And to save a lot of money, I start my garden from seeds. Getting plants from the nursery is pricy, and you can only get certain varieties, so I save my seeds and use the heirloom varieties yearly! And this year, I got involved in a seed swap to get different varieties! (I did have to pay shipping)

So many different flowers, beans and veggies that I can’t wait to plant! 

It was not a perfect month because we still needed to buy items for the camper, and we started picking up some candy for the boy’s Easter basket. Oh, and we got Chinese out one time, but used the money from our crafting and not the bank. So, we haven’t been perfect, but it’s nice to be able to create a growing savings account and work on our debt snowball!

So, have you been working on spending less?!

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!

Busy bees! 

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

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!

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!

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!

More birdhouse gourds! 

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

Fluff butt! 

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

Who we are!

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

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!

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

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

Our main garden. 
We ❤️ Tomatoes

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


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!

Our state flower: black eyed susans!!
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!

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!

Recycling for the staff! 

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


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

Upcycling and sewing! 

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

Less waste! 

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

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!

My cinnamon rolls
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!

Growing Popcorn

Last summer one new thing that we tried our green thumb on was popcorn. We grew 2 varieties: strawberry popcorn, on the right and a mixed color variety on the left.

We noticed right away the height difference between the 2 varieties! The strawberry popcorn was much shorter than the colored variety. It also seemed like the ears of corn developed faster on the strawberry variety.

Popcorn stalks

I left the corn on the plant to dry as long as they could and when the cold weather started setting in, we pulled the cobs off and brought them in to dry out the rest of the way.

Just now, in January, we decided to shell the corn. At first, we tried to just use our fingers, and that was painful. And then we read where if you rub 2 cobs together, they will come off easier. That worked better with less cut up fingers!

Our popcorn!

We decided to save some of both seeds.

Some of the seeds for next year

We used a funnel to pour all of the popcorn into a mason jar to keep everything sealed up!

Yep, that’s homework still on the table!

And here was how much we got for a very small patch!

Our whole harvest! 

And for the leftover cobs and husks, the chickens enjoyed looking for any kernels that we missed and kicked everything around!

A nice winter treat! 

Now on the the important part, did it pop?! It sure did! They might not be as large as the store bought, but the taste is much better!


Next year I’m going to focus on the strawberry variety because they seemed to pop much better, and took up less room.

So, I consider this new crop to us a success! Does popcorn make your list for the 2018 garden? I’m going to stay under these covers and dream of the beautiful weather that will eventually come! 🌱💚

A sad day at the homestead

Today was one of those days that made me feel like maybe I should have just stayed in bed. I felt some sort of illness coming on last night and woke up with a fever, rash and cough. Weird, right? But, the day continued on.

Then, while feeding the chickens, we found out that a raccoon managed to devour 1 chicken and rip the head off of another chicken. There will be no more blue eggs here at the homestead now.

So many feathers. 😢

Since I don’t like to seem like I’m being negative too much, I’ll end on some positives:

1. At least it was only 2, and not more.

2. The 2 that we killed were my oldest chickens.

3. The following dish cloths that I crocheted up cracked me up because they reminded me of Neapolitan ice cream:

Strawberry, vanilla and chocolate! 

4. I’m so close to finishing all my personalized towel orders!!

10 finished last week! 

5. I have been receiving great feedback about my beeswax lip balm! (And was able to get some more made!)

Lemongrass, orange and peppermint! 

I will miss both of those sweet chickens. The brown girl was the last one from our original 4 “fluff butts” and the Easter Egger was a great find from one of my roller derby friends! Here’s to tomorrow being a better day!

November goals update 2017

November brought the cold temperatures that reminded me that Winter is will be here to stay. It allowed me enough nice days to clean up the garden and chicken coop. So, without waiting, here are how the goals are going:

1. Zero waste our home! We are continuing to enjoy our deliciousness that we canned from the summer and fall including: peaches, apple sauce, tomato sauce and even ketchup! I’m also loving the upcycling that we have been doing here! That’s going to be a focus next year!

Upcycled license plate money box!

2. Declutter 20 items per month. We need to continue cleaning out the boy’s closet since he’s growing like a weed! I’m sure I will find someone here that could use them!

3. Create only 12 bags of garbage per year. Americans are super wasteful. We are going to try to only produce one 13 gallon kitchen trash bag per month. We are still on bag 6, but it’s basically full.

Still only 5 bags thrown out! 

4. Merge crafting and homestead business. This month we have been crafting away! We will be having a sale through our Facebook page and I have been working hard on hooded towel orders!

5. Create a summer kitchen. We will be turning a spot in the garage into a nice canning area. This just won’t be happening this year. #comeonmrllewellyn!!

6. Expand the garden. We are definitely working on this! 

We will be putting up a nice fenced in area next year and driving posts for a better appearance. So, I guess that I need to be selling lots of goodies to help offset the costs!

Putting the garden to sleep

7. Grow some different plants. Luffa gourds were so fun to grow last year, and we are growing more this year! The okra grew great this year. We harvested tons of cucamelons, popcorn, okra and luffa gourds!

The last of the mushroom harvest 

8. Make a chicken viewing area. Yeah, um, I don’t think we are going to do this! We have some other ideas for 2018!

Enjoying a warm breakfast

9.Green up my school. Schools create an absurd amount of trash! My class recycled around 150 pounds of plastic film last year. The plastic bag recycling program has started, and we have recycled 88 pounds so far! I also convinced my principal to buy a zero waste glue stick recycling box and we are also recycling our cereal bowls and markers!

Marker recycling! 

10. Track our solar panels. This month we reached  730 kWh! And our electric bill was less than $6!

Still loving our solar energy!

11. Continue beekeeping. We are still providing lodging for our flying insect friends! I made them some sugar boards to help keep them fed this winter!

12. Travel more with the family! We managed to visit so many places last year and only a few this year. Next year we will be traveling out west!

How are your goals going?! Have you starting thinking about goals for next year? We are hoping to accomplish just as many goals in 2018! Keep on blooming where you are planted!!💚🌱