Winter arrived!?!

Here in the Appalachian mountains of Maryland, the snow arrived. Usually we will get a few dustings before a major storm, but not this year. We got over 10 inches between Thursday and Friday!

FF370ADC-71D6-4058-8868-DADC931984AE
Lots of snow and ice to clean up! 

And did I mention that the Mr. enjoyed using the tractor to clear the driveway? It was like watching a little boy play!

E3F79B22-4687-41BF-8F38-D91F9279DAF1
Clearing lots more snow! 

Since we had school cancelled for 2 days, due to the snowstorm, I was able to put up the student’s artwork around town for the holiday season! Those are the Santas that my students made!

CAF1DD0C-E954-4A09-AF88-E8E1EB0D115C
Small town decor! 

And because I wanted to use my time well, I finished a lot of projects that had been needing finished! There were lots of patches that needed sewn on uniforms and hooded towels to finish up. And they are all completed!

On Facebook, I was tagged in a post about making a crown earwarmer. It was a quick project that was fun and easy! I don’t have a little girl, but it seems like many like this sort of thing!

76A10684-712B-4C82-B037-E31C45CF91FA
Crocheted crown earwarmer

I have also been wanting to learn how to do some brush calligraphy and just started with some crayola markers around here. I think I’m kind of getting it! I need something to do since the weather is so cold!

9501970B-31EE-4544-B933-69EB36F2EF4B
Just reusing the back of my boy’s worksheets! 

While sitting on the couch yesterday, I noticed that the cactus that I received as a gift 4 years ago is back to blooming!

AAC5E7FD-0C72-4A62-A7FE-10DDF19B7804
Beautiful! 

Im not sure if it is a Christmas or Thanksgiving cactus, so chime in if you know!

Hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy time with your families!

Busy but back!

We have been crafting and Blacksmithing every hour of the day that we have had available for weeks to prepare for a craft show. It’s the main one that we do, so we wanted to have a decent selection!

E719428C-6506-4B66-AF6A-7EDF85D79D4A
Our little bit of everything! 

We almost sold out of the different forged items that the Mr. made!

E739A1DF-76A0-4785-B9BA-BCC9807EFC67
All kinds of handles! 
12D1650E-7C08-4FDE-BE9F-0CD216C2BA5E
Railroad spike pulls 
FD41DE8C-702A-4C00-A502-A85D0690D85A
Business card holder
F504319B-FACF-410C-942B-C79C6742B579
Park bench business card holders 

And I managed to make a few different items this time too!

53091AB3-CA84-44FF-9722-BC3593A24CC0
Luffa soap 
2E5AD2AE-47D6-405F-B8C8-5718E1E8FF6E
Beeswax lipbalm 
780B1601-4E49-44A1-9B9B-88044CF62ACC
Crocheted cotton dishcloths 

We also sold some of our homegrown goodness!

8186A927-A20A-4682-A83B-C2B2394AD58E
Birdhouse gourds and glass gem corn 

And if you are looking to win some of the seeds from plants that we loved growing this year, head over to the homestead Facebook page and take a chance!

59BB461E-AFE8-4CFA-B1D8-1A9AC75B6E96
Giving away on Facebook until the end of the month! 

This weekend is dedicated to finishing up our son’s Halloween costume! Hopefully he will be the best looking 5’ 6 inch jawa!

Keep blooming friends! 🌱💚🌸

July Goals Update 2018

Hello August! This summer has been an adventurous one with some more to come! And, the garden has been producing lots of food for us too!

And here’s how the goals are going:

1. Expand the garden– ✅it happened! Everything is growing pretty well and I’m hoping that I continue to get great harvests!

A124B59B-2966-4025-BDFA-06604966EB0B
From May to July! What a transformation! 

2. Fix the camper– ✅We fixed up our camper and loved using it on a trip of a lifetime! This month I found some bins that fit nicely under the second bed (for clothes) and crocheted a handle cozy for the skillet that we keep in the camper!

3.Travel out west- We did it and enjoyed every single stop! We are still talking about our fun trip and I love hearing the boy talk about what he saw and what he learned!

4. Create a certified wildlife habitat There’s a grass patch in front of the garage that is begging to be returned to nature. There are lots of critters enjoying the new area given to them! I actually saw a brand new monarch caterpillar emerge from its egg!

5. Reduce garbage– Last year we made 7 bags of garbage and we want to make less than 6 bags this year. We are still filling bag 3!

6. Volunteer/Donate/Do Good Every month- This month I did a giveaway on my Facebook page for a zero waste kit. I also spent most of a week volunteering for the master gardeners. I’m trying to get all of my hours in over the summer!

7. Repurpose, remake, mend, repair- this month we didn’t remake anything big. We did, however, turn a large chunk of bamboo sitting around here into a post for the wildlife habitat sign!

0E71A2EE-5C3D-43AF-ABEB-547E401C2BB4
Bamboo post! 

8. Paw Paw trees– These native trees have grown near here for such a long time! The little sprouts are starting to look like trees, and we have 2! Now I’m thinking about the perfect place to plant them!

9. Build a pizza oven– ❎ we are not doing this one this year. We are trying to figure out how we are going to change up the backyard next year!

10. Grow different produce-I found my first Apple melon this month!(top left) ate my first ground cherry (bottom left) I’m enjoying the bushel basket gourds growing (middle) and there are lots of spaghetti squash growing (right)

11. Continue tracking the solar panels- May was a nice solar month, despite lots of rain! 1.72 mwh and just the connection rate for an electric bill! (It’s around $5)

5C4E0168-D62B-4555-B9D6-AC938B31FCDF

12. Work on garden cart sales– We have held a couple garden cart sales this month! I’ve sold a few zucchinis, cucumelons, garlic cloves and even some birdhouse gourds!

FA7DB7BF-824D-41F3-A12C-9EC5449918FD

Last month just flew by! We are looking forward to creating more memories before school starts back up! 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!

C6934D78-CCF7-43C9-9159-3CC08FBECBAE
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!

8EB9E6DF-0347-418C-9C21-3649FF45E64B
He even did the brickwork on his forge 
37C3E9A5-06EE-433B-BE1C-BE2ADB7EFDED
Dinnerbell in the works! 

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

IMG_8658
Our main garden. 
IMG_8725
We ❤️ Tomatoes

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

9A13635F-7EC5-4DAE-BEDD-99E126689C4E

IMG_8671
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!

IMG_8734
Our state flower: black eyed susans!!
IMG_8882
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!

BC33EAE0-D5A6-4244-B50E-A6B82E79502D
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!

F4D07124-D4D3-40D3-923C-80E17F8D2693
Recycling for the staff! 

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

DF35757F-6148-4C57-8C49-2995A94FE50E
Crocheting! 

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

404A9B22-BB10-4CA3-AB1D-4F97702292FD
Upcycling and sewing! 

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

88B37DD1-CA50-485A-AF31-CDA7ADE14738
Less waste! 

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

00AC2F83-3712-4CAC-87D1-A4531A2E672C
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!

IMG_9384
My cinnamon rolls
IMG_8546
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!

Weekend working!

This beautiful weather awoken our working spirits this weekend. We came out of our hibernation mode for a bit!

My cousin is having a baby boy very soon and I made her a homemade gift, along with the wrapping paper that I upcycled from a paper bag! I even made a little card and bow from that single bag!

404A9B22-BB10-4CA3-AB1D-4F97702292FD
Homemade hooded towel! 

I also was able to enjoy some crocheting and finished off projects that were almost completed!

57D2125B-5C10-433A-B74A-800A533E6E15
Crocheted dishcloths

The boy and I whipped up a large batch of lip balm. We are going to use the profit that we make from selling them to buy food for the Union Rescue Mission. Good deeds are being done! ✅

DD35AFF5-41E9-4793-900E-DAE4D9EA0C9A
Beeswax lip balm 

The boy and Mr. helped to measure off the area of the garden that we are going to expand and I’m going to start planning where I’m going to plant everything! And I also started putting some planning into our pollinator garden area!

6DDFEBB7-497E-47E5-85A4-E32A38A0BDDD
Pollinator Area planning! 

The Mr. was busy in the garage working on the camper, and doing other projects.  I’m excited that he put together our bat house and that he even painted the Batman logo on it! I love it!

1B55E05F-DB75-44EB-9112-33465E27F8FD
Bat House!! 

He also up cycled the mount from an old satellite dish into a holder for a flag. He’s been wanting to put a flag outside of his garage!

58D69A42-48B2-44C6-917F-9549683C464D
America! 

And now to brag on the boy! He made this  nice trivet in shop class last marking period! I think he did a great job!

96D1AE99-4734-4432-8814-F6491B9EAAD2
Made by the boy! 

I’m going to enjoy this beautiful weather while it lasts! Are you all starting to plan out your garden?! 🌱💚

Baking/cooking and not spending $

This weekend is a continuation of below freezing weather. I’m really missing those warm summer days and growing my own food! However, I have been enjoying making soup with the tomatoes that I preserved and eating my own pickles, catsup, garlic and green beans!

I have been making most of our meals from scratch, and made some awesome cinnamon rolls earlier in the week and then a pizza that was perfection today!

95A9A77D-0AB5-4811-9D05-28B1E311D71E
Cinnamon rolls! 
A32C2CDA-1932-40E9-8BE8-DF262BA16F4E
Best pizza I have ever made! 

To keep busy, I have been crocheting lots of messy bun hats!

DF35757F-6148-4C57-8C49-2995A94FE50E
Crocheting away! 

I also made this matching set for an adorable little girl and her beautiful momma!

9551077A-F07A-4192-AF4C-AC3445DF0B08
I love the way they turned out! 

While I have been crafting, the mister has been out pounding on the anvil! This is a bottle opener for a friend out of a railroad spike!

0AC189D5-7F39-4BDA-9898-C65E59727BE4
Bottle opener! 

And the only extras that we have purchased so far: a McFlurry for my birthday boy and another for a neighbor that shares his day!

55A8CABB-058D-4B24-87B4-5148F9CAB09D
McFlurry x2

And we also bought the boy an ice cream cake for his day! It was a great deal at 1/2 off because it was a Christmas cake! I added some extra frosting, some sprinkles and put the 13 on it. No one knew it was a Christmas one!

C3C00B31-F8DA-4045-950A-F6E6DBA8D58C
Happy birthday to my big teenager! 

And I will continue to sit around and enjoy my footed pajama pants (feejays) and dream about warmer weather!

11D37DB9-0CB5-4795-A57C-6A2B7D189822
Love these pants! 

Is it so stinking cold where you live?! Stay warm friends!

 

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.

62189AF2-73EA-4F22-BAA4-0DF2BC09D0A6
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:

D62D565F-D743-46A0-83C4-2F7F561A0938
Strawberry, vanilla and chocolate! 

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

65ACACA5-0CC0-42EF-BEFC-EA334DDA9D8F
10 finished last week! 

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

CA871F56-A146-4FC7-9133-89EED0429C44
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!