The Homestead Box- May 2018

This month’s box came in and was called Garden Pollinators.

This was an interesting box- I am wanting to learn more about flowers- and being able to cut flowers daily for the house. I want to invite more beneficial insects to the yard.

The Easy Care Flower Garden book- 5 pack of seeds (zinnias, sunflowers, Celosia, Basil/Lemon/Cinnamon, Celosia plume) – Green Support Netting- Jumbo Mason Bee kit- Dramm garden scissors- Sharp Shooter Trowel- Dramm Turner Sprinkler

We love the dramm brand, their tools are so well made- and last! You have to invest in some good tools to be able to last and be able to have a frugal homestead. I definitely don’t want to have to replace tools. We are working on getting a garden shed to hold all of the new tools that we have accumulated!

I love getting the boxes every month and can’t wait to see what June brings!

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Homestead Box- March 2018

This box was called Homestead Essentials. It was a great box- Deep South Homestead helped to make this box. I watch their channel on YouTube occasionally so it was a great box. They helped plan the box. This one got opened and we used it right away!

Contents include-

The Homestead Planner (so exciting- and a great planner to keep notes in)- Georgia Rain Soy candle (this smells amazing)- The Homestead Box rain gauge- a Georgia Soap bath bomb- 2018 Farmer’s Almanac- Indoor/Outdoor thermometer-  a Case Slimline Trapper knife- Davidson’s organic assorted tea (2 boxes)- Jumbo Jacks tin- and Smith’s Rosebud salve

Homestead Box- February 2018

This month’s theme for the Homestead box was Seed Starters-

The contents included –

Heirloom Veggie Lovers Seed Collection- 8 pack coconut coir seed starting pots- dial seed sower- green garden twine- Dr. Earth Zone starter fertilizer- dramm watering nozzle- soil PH meter- the Resilient Gardener book- and a Dewitt Seed dibbler

While planting the watering nozzle and the seed starting pots came into handy. We used the seed dibbler which was greatly made- to make our holes- and then used the seed sower to plant carrots- it works really well for small seeds! The funny thing about this box- is I almost bought the seed sower and the PH meter a week before the box came but held off because we weren’t planting just yet! So useful- see some reviews coming up!

January Homestead Box

So I am not going to take any pictures of the boxes- but I will list the contents. We have been so happy with the Homestead Box- and they have some amazing useful tools. We learn a new skill every month and add to our collection! Don’t forget to look at my past posts- and you can see all of the great boxes since we have joined! We get the Pioneer box- it is 110 a month- and it includes everything- but there are 2 smaller levels if you don’t want to invest that much either. It is such a nice surprise to get the box in the mail and get to open it and see what theme/surprises are in store.

So here is January’s theme- Tree Care.

This box worked out wonderful for us because we planted some fruit and nut trees in February. We started an orchard somewhat. There is a local farm that does a tree sale every year- and I have been saving and planning to buy a package. So we have 2 peach, 2 pear, 2 fig, 2 apple, 2 plum, 2 pecan, and 1 almond tree. We got those in the ground, and they start as bare root. Right now they are starting to grow leaves and we are oh so happy.

The contents in the package were as follows-

A Fanno 8.5 inch folding saw- 24 inch tree circles, the book How to Prune Trees and Shrubs, Monteray Fruit Tree Spray Plus, Monteray Complete Disease control, Falci Pruning shears, 2 24 inch spiral tree guards-  and Jobes Organic tree spikes.

We are so excited to start an orchard and learn more about pruning and care for trees! So this was a great box, and we really enjoyed this since we were about to start an orchard!

It snowed in December-

Before Christmas we got some snow. Now before you make fun of us Southerners- we are not prepared for a lot of snow as we don’t have sand and salt trucks and plows aplenty. They were calling for snow to hit around noon- but it came early- so I got to leave work early- the kids were already home from school that day. We got a good amount of snow- and it was a good amount as in- we were actually able to build snowmen- usually all we get is slush and ice- and it isn’t good for any kind of snow fun!

So enjoy our snow day pictures- and hope the snow they are calling for on today doesn’t shut us down either!

This was earlier on- and the animals, besides Dixie didn’t know what to take of it!

We almost made a whole snow family- the girls had such a blast! Tooty was outside almost all day playing!

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This is such a beautiful picture of our house!

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Our neighbor was kind enough to make snow cream and share! Boy was it good!

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This was average- we haven’t had this much real snow in awhile!

Happy New Year and all that jazz..

We are not missing, November hit and then the busy just got away from me. I am sorry I have not posted in awhile, But I do have some great updates and plans for yall!

See below for our December in pictures- well we will just say that the New Year came in with a bang. I learned from the doctor that I am B12 deficient, so I took a weekly shot for 4 weeks and then asked for the pill since our insurance does not cover the shot. The doctor may be fighting that for me. I am eventually going to a sleep study to see what is going on with my sleep since I am tired and sleepy most of the time, Maybe I won’t have sleep apnea and she can knock me out so I can sleep. Christmas week my gallbladder finally went kaput and I am now in the process of testing to see whether or not it needs to come out. It has been a process, and I hurt every day. I still truck through because no matter how bad you hurt, the animals and family need you.

The girls are back at school and it has been dang cold here in Bama- they are calling for some of the dreaded snow on Tuesday- it has been so cold- as in nights are in the 20’s if not teens upcoming this week. We are dealing with frozen water for the animals- but that solution is coming- I ordered it from Amazon today!

Enjoy some pictures of our holiday and look for some amazing updates on the blog and Hot Mess Homestead this year! Our goals are set and we are hoping to truck along nicely!

20171123_121050.jpgThe cats have been enjoying sleeping with momma at night, and have already killed 2 field mice this year. These are my mouse traps, and as I sit here typing- they are laying at my feet on the end of the bed.

Some Christmas fun, we got a real tree this year and went to see the light show at Shadrack’s again. It has definitely been a busy month!

The animals are doing well- this was before our big freeze- we prepared with new hay for everyone- it becomes a muddy mess around here when it rains!

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We celebrated New Year- well me and the hubby did- with turnip green soup and cornbread- this is a new favorite for me! It has black eye peas- the cornbread and greens all what we needed!

We had so much fun picking out our Christmas tree at a local farm. The only problem was the cats wanted to drink water from the tree stand! I had a friend do my hair for ugly Christmas sweater day at work- what a wonderful fun day that was!

I love my new boots- now I don’t have to steal the hubby’s! And the goats enjoyed the remnants of the Christmas tree! The animals are still going great- and we are still getting 1 duck egg a day and anywhere from 10-14 eggs a day from the girls!

These are some new Christmas presents- it was the year of farm gear- I also got a rooster wind chime and some amazing home quilted placemats and some new towels and a dish rack! I was spoiled! My momma and relatives know me! My hubby surprised with me with my bow- it was a late Birthday present- I got my pistol for Christmas. I am so excited to hone in on my skills and go hunting next year!

Plan up for some more posts and updates- I will be doing some garden planning and goal update soon! Hope you have been doing well!

Turkey Day!

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photo courtesy of google images- I can’t wait to have some of my own in a year or two!

Happy Turkey Day y’all! Gobble till ya wobble!

The hubby and I are home this year. We both have to work Friday and Saturday. So we forewent the trip to Huntsville- since I didn’t want to make the drive.

No turkey for us- I am cooking Turnip Green Soup! The girls are going with my in-laws to Huntsville. They will have such fun.

I hope everyone has a great day- and spends some quality time with those they love!

Small Home Updates and some weekend fun…

Here’s a little update from the past two weekends- we have been trying to knock some projects out, now that the weather is changing and there isn’t much to do but animal husbandry.

I broke down and bought a new salt and pepper shaker set- I have a thing for old fashioned milk bottles y’all.

20171112_133137.jpgThey are so cute- and yes- the mess behind that got cleaned up that weekend. We are still working on decluttering some. It is a process. I do like to live simply I have discovered. We have- pardon my French- too much CRAP!

We did buy some indoor/outdoor porch lights and got them installed. They have Bluetooth speakers- and I will have to show you them at night. They are pretty bright- but since we like to listen to music and grill- it was a nice little homestead addition. Bonus- we discovered last year when we did the Christmas lights that the little metal screw in cup lights work great for hanging lights- since you can take them down ten times easier- so there’s a little tip y’all!

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Not the best picture- but we love them!

Tooty celebrated Birthday Number 7 that weekend, and man I didn’t get any pictures- but we did have fun!

The next Friday- we did make an addition to the house- a cat tree in the hopes that the cats- well one in particular will stop clawing furniture and jumping on my counters and my kitchen table.

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They are still a little unsure of it- and only one of them sits on it at a time. I have some weird cats! But love them just the same!

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We went with my father in law to the range this past Sunday and popped off a few rounds. I discovered what pistol I want to carry for personal protections- and we have been taking Sheldon so she learns gun safety and how to properly use them. We had so much fun- I find it so relaxing- and we do get to spend some quality time with each other.

We have had some fun the past few weekends- so now it is time to crack down on some projects and work! We have had a few warm days- and the bugs still come out- but we are trying to wait for a good freeze to work on 2 particular projects. We are going to be ripping up carpet on the back porch- who puts indoor carpet on a porch y’all? Especially one that is not screened in and gets water all over it. We are also going to be ripping the ceiling out on the back porch- and finishing it off so it is open and looks good. The trim started to come off- and a bunch of wasps were building nests- so that has got to go bye-bye. If I can swing it- we will be replacing the 3 outer doors and door trim as well, because there is some spacing and because of the water situation we do have some rotting on the bottom of the trim.

But all is well- and we keep adding to the project list. What big or small projects do you have for the winter season? Have you had some time to have a little fun lately?

 

More canning and homemade foods…

A friend of mine tried the first batch of pickled okra. It was SALTY- so I adjusted the recipe a little and used the last of the okra and banana peppers from the garden. I am so in love with the blue jars! I can not wait to plan some more canning for next year- and I am working on stocking up on my jars. I still have some nectarines- some strawberries and some oranges that I need to make some jam/jelly with! But the good thing about it- it is slow season- so I have more time to make these. AND they make great Christmas gifts- so I hope my family is prepared to get some homemade gifts this year!

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I have been cooking more from scratch, and the more I cook, the more of a habit it becomes! So this past weekend I made pork chops for one day last week- and I made some chicken for us to eat. One night we had it with mashed taters- and the night I cooked it I made homemade fries. I am getting my cooking groove back! And I am so excited for that!

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Smashing Pumpkins

The girls had some fun- we use our pumpkins to feed the animals as a natural dewormer. The newer hens were not so sure about it- but once they figured it out- then yes- it was a wonderful treat. Tooty and Sheldon got to half and smash the pumpkins with a sledgehammer- they had such a good time. It was warm enough that Tooty even wanted to run the sprinkler- so while we were putting up the sprinklers from the garden- she got to have a little fun.

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