Monday, June 30, 2008
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Tucker has a girlfriend. Dean, a good friend and colleague of mine, gave us a 9 month old female black lab. Her name is Molly. This is a photograph of Christopher and Molly. It is amazing the difference between genders of the same breed. Tucker is a very rambunctious, play all the time dog and Molly is much calmer and very affectionate.
You don't have to look far to see the many blessings that we have on our homestead....from the natural beauty of the mountains around us, to the funny animals, to breath-taking wildlife that live amongst us. Count your blessings one by one everyday and it will make your day all that sweeter.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
We didn't end up with enough fish to try our hand at canning, but we had a wondeter rful addition to our Sunday night meal. We had salmon croquets, macaroni and cheese, pinto beans, and fruit salad. Everyone really enjoyed the fish and Christopher headed down the road on the 4-wheeler earlier this evening with Michael and Emily in tow to see if they could catch some more.
Today was a work day around the homestead. Last night after we got home from the lake, we made a weekly goal work-list. Terry and the kiddos got quite a few items checked off today. The biggest accomplishment was moving our tractor (in-process restoration - waiting for a part) off the trailer and onto the ground. This allowed for us to utilize the tractor to take down the road to the Kootenai River where we pump water into a 300 gallon holding tank. We utilize the water to water the yards, veggies, and flower garden. We belong to a rural water coop and the last few summers there have been issues with the water, both in pressure and rationing. So last year we made the investment in the tank, a pump to pump water into the holding tank and another pump that pumps water from the tank through the hose and/or sprinkler. This has sure been nice because previously our water bill in the summer would be so, so, so, expensive and still everything wasn't watered as much as we would have liked. So now, it only takes two minutes to fill the holding tank and with very little labor we can water all we want for free.
We are trying to be very productive, individually and as a family, throughout the week and play more on the weekends. It will only be a short time and all the teenagers will be out of the house. This message is really sent home when we think about our eldest daughter getting married this summer. It seems like only yesterday that Woo was having a fit over having to eat a sloppy-joe.... so many memories to remember and so many more to look forward to.
Lindsey and Andres' - Winter 2008
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Sunday, June 15, 2008
We tried to purchase both a western and english saddle but they didn't fit. It seems buying a saddle might be harder than buying a pair of jeans for my teenage son, Christopher. Anywho, I digress. Neither fit the horses. Both were too narrow in the gullet area.
This is a picture of Katlyn, aka the Pioneer Princess, giving Lena a pedicure (cleaning out her hoofs). Please don't miss her perfect pasture footwear - pink suede furry slippers. Always the diva.
So many lessons to learn around the homestead....we are always open to any helpful hints. Feel free to post in the comments section. Looking forward to a new day and a new lesson....
- Know the rock-bottom prices of the food items that you use the most. So when things are on sale, you will be able to know if it is a good price or not.
- Get weekly circulars from your grocery store and buy ONLY things that are on SALE. Plan your weekly menus around what's on sale.
- Wal-mart will match advertised prices, but I decided months ago to stop shopping at Wal-mart. What if everyone shopped at Wal-mart and the small local grocery store went out of business? Our Wal-mart is 40 miles away and I want my local groceries to thrive so that if and when gas is 8.00/gal., I can pick up groceries in town, when I am there for work.
- If something is at a rock-bottom price, stock up. There are certain items that go on certain times of the year. For example, around Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, almost all of the baking items are on SALE.....stock-up. At the before Easter sale, I stocked up on both brown sugar and powdered sugar for .68 cents a bag. If you know your rock-bottom prices, you know that is a GREAT price. I bought six bags of each. Memorial Day and 4th of July is a great time for out-door BBQ fixings.
- LOSS-LEADER. That means an item that is marked down so so so cheap just to get you in the door. I make it my stock-up extravaganza. I recently got flash-frozen chicken breasts in the 4 lb. bag for 3.96. I bought 6 bags. Recently I got pork-shoulder roast for .69 a pound and put them up in the freezer.
- Shop your grocery outlets or Amish grocery stores. They have items significantly below grocery store sale prices and is a great time to buy case-goods. I just bought 40, 32oz. Gatorade for $24.00 (.60 cents a piece).
- Buy in Bulk. You can either buy from a food coop, wholesale club (Costco), or from the whole food grocery. Recently I was buying dehydrated red bell pepper by the ounce and they were getting a little spendy. I spoke with the store owner and ordered a large bag for 17.00. GREAT price and with our short growing season, I could never grow enough red bell peppers to even fill a small ziplock sandwich bag.
- Finally, now is a good time to start gardening. We put in a nice garden last year and we were able to can both veggies and fruit from our fruit trees. Canning has some start-up costs the first year, but once you have the jars and canner, you are set for the next time.
Hope these hints help to stock your pantry and feed your family well. If I missed a tip or you have a good one to share, please post in the comments. We can all learn from each other.....
Monday, June 9, 2008
Sunday, June 8, 2008
We were so blessed this weekend to add not one but TWO, four legged animals. Terry has been dreaming of getting a horse for a long time. This was further encouraged by our best family-friends, The Lobby's, who are total horse people. We have learned so much from them and look forward to learning so much more.
Please meet Lena. Lena was purchased from one of my co-workers, Sharman. Thanks so much for being willing to share your joy by letting us purchase your baby-girl. Lena is very affectionate and loves treats and attention. She is a ten year old registered quarterhorse with nice training in western and trail-riding.
Next is Lena's HOT sexy companion. Please meet Tanner, aka Tanny Man, whose registered name is Tristan. He is technically a paint because of the markings on his belly (underneath and not visible in this picture) but I would call him a chestnut gelded quarterhorse. We bought him locally and feel so blessed to have him join our family farm. He is a ten year old registered paint, professionally trained in both english and western.
We had quite the adventure loading and unloading the horses in the trailer and moving them to our home. Thank goodness they both lived not too far from us because let's just say the least amount of time in the trailer, the better.
We spent part of the day today, grooming the horses, leading them around, feeding lots of treats and introducing them to the calves. They weren't thrilled about having to share their grass with those scrawny cows......but they finally made friends. Emily took the first turn riding Lena, bare-back, while I lead her around the pasture. I think we will give Tanny Man a little more time to get used to us, or is it the other way around???? Either way.....no hurry, no rush, so that everyone can feel safe and confident.
The rest of the day we worked on cleaning up around the homestead. Pulling grass and weeds and weed-eating under the electric fence so it won't let the animals go wild. We cleaned out from under the apricot trees and reclaimed some additional land from wild roses. The gardens, both flower and vegetable, are coming along nicely. We should harvest lettuce, onion, and herbs this week. Keep posted for tempting photos and recipes.....until then
Monday, June 2, 2008
I am married to a wonderful man named Terry or Terdy affectionately called. Besides being a full-time Dad, he is a professional furniture maker. Check out his site, http://www.wrightwoodworks.com/ and send him an email and let him hear from you. Terry is one of those guys that can fix, build, restore, or Southern engineer anthing.....quite handy to have around the homestead. He is currently finishing up a BIG furniture order that he will deliver to Texas towards the end of the month. He has also been busy working on our new land......Wormwood Estates.....I mentioned it yesterday. It can really no longer be accurately called Wormwood Estates because we mowed all the old gray growth down and then have sprayed the field to kill the wormwood. It sounds like we might have a heck of a time gettin' rid of that stuff. Anyway, it looks significantly better. We have had so many neighbors and strangers stop and comment on the improvements we've made so far. That feels awesome when someone notices your hard-work.
We are parents to six children, five of whom are teenagers and still live at home. The eldest is Lindsey and she is a deaf educator in an elementary school in Tyler, Texas. She has recently become engaged and we are so happy to welcome Andreas into our family. Then there are the terrible teens...not really, well at least not all the time. Christopher (16), Martina (16), Michael (15), Katlyn (14), and Emily (13). Pictures to follow....sometime, when somebody emails me and tells me how to fix my pics so that they end up in the body of the blog in proximity to what I am talking about versus at the beginningof the narrative.....somebody, please help. Until next time, I'll leave you hanging wondering how haggard Terry and I must look to have one marrying in a couple of months and five teens........