Skills… another list to be made.

After going round and round… I have decided I need to make a list of skills we would love to have! So that means I can consistently learn and have a goal to reach towards. I do know how to crochet slightly, and Sheldon does also. So I think we will start making time to up our skills. Sheldon is very good at watching youtube and crocheting and making things. But I do need to advance my skills. I can make a square, but I forget how to finish it off, mostly I just work on how tight I am, I have no consistency with my stiches. But I do want to make the egg apron out of yarn! So that is a goal for right now, to work on the skills so I can eventually make one!

I do know how to sew and I prefer to sew by hand. Sheldon has a sewing machine, I need to learn how to repair/use it. I can use a sewing machine but can’t change the bobbin or anything. She is slowing working on her sewing skills. I need to work with her more. I have some awesome projects in mind!

Poor Tooty gets left out because her hands are so small, she gets frustrated and she has no attention span right now at 6.

Sheldon and I are slowing working on a project for Tooty. She wanted to start it, but she can’t do the work. I can’t wait until it is done, Sheldon is having fun with it.

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I am very crafty, and I love painting. I just don’t take the time to do it. I like working with my hands- although I think I am getting carpal tunnel from work- so please pray that is not the case! So here is to more working with the hands, and doing something crafty/useful and skill building with my spare time. (Do people really have spare time? Time management is on the skill list! I need to work on that part bad!)

So I will be making a list of skills we are working on, and as I work I will post the projects. I am a list person, so I am making the list now. And a home made Christmas may be in our future this year!

What skills do you have? It doesn’t have to be just crafting! What have you made lately?

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DIY- Compost bin.

One of the first projects we got completed was the compost bin. It sits behind the shed at the back of the property. By the way- that sits about 300 foot or less from the back door.

We are lucky- hubby brings home pallets from work- that would have otherwise gone in the landfill where we work. So all this cost us was the 2- 4 x 4’s. We had screws laying around from various other projects. We will be adding another section next to it. I like the open front so I can turn it. I do use a pitchfork, and it lives by the pile.

Hubby measured out the back pallet- and then we dug the holes with an auger a friend let us borrow. It was much easier than with the shovel- it was rocky- clay soil back there. Once the poles were in- he screw the pallets to the 4 x 4’s. A very easy project!

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DIY- Compost bin.

 

I have been a bad compost mom, not turning or watering as much as I should. Which is why I have potatoes growing on the bottom. I turned it all over today, added the chicken coop shavings from the clean out- and then it rained. I am going to make sure at least once a week, I go turn it. I am sure it needs more turning- but there is a bunch of hay in it, and I believe it needs more of something else as it is not decomposing that well. I asked the girls to add some hay because there wasn’t much at the bottom at all- and they placed a whole bale in it. So of course I had to take some out. See below for my potato evidence! If you have any tips for me- go ahead and share. We really don’t have much food waste to go in right now. I need to figure out what else it needs- besides turning and watering a little more often!

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See the potato growth on the left? And also note I didn’t shred the newspaper- my bad! This was before I added coop shavings from where I cleaned it out.

And the sickness halts the plans..

We all know sickness has been going around. I have tried to prevent it as much as I could. But it just hit Thursday night. I was so cold that I had to use 3 blankets to get warm and shivered for an hour before I fell asleep. So I got up to go to work- put on my Ugly Christmas Sweater and headed in. I almost fell asleep 4 times at work before I found out the boss would let me go to the doctor. I was trying to make it- but I knew I couldn’t. They worked me in pretty fast- I was only there for an hour and half, and part of that was a breathing treatment. 4 Meds later- which luckily they gave me a coupon for my inhaler so I wouldn’t have to pay for it- and I went home to rest. I fell asleep and still feel like crud. Upper respiratory is kicking my butt. I did get a steroid and antibiotic shot so hopefully in the morning I will feel much better. This weekend we planned on finishing the Quail Coop, putting up the outside lights, baking some cookies, visiting Santa one last time at Bass Pro Shops and finishing shopping. I don’t know how much I will get done. I’m going to take the time and rest so I can be up to par for Christmas so my girls don’t have miserable Mommy.

Here’s to hoping you don’t catch the sickness! What are yall doing this weekend?

Book Review- The Weekend Homesteader

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I have been researching and reading for over a year planning for our homestead-this is one of the books I started with. We are Weekend Homesteaders right now as in order to get a little more savings established, I am still working the 9 to 5.

Anna Hess did a great job with this book- it is not necessarily a do this on this month book. You can pick what tasks you can complete- and there are some great, quick projects.

She breaks down projects by the goal, cost, time, difficulty and if it is kid-friendly or not. We can get the whole family involved! There are pictures to walk you through the tasks also. There are 4 “projects” listed for each month- and plenty of good advice to go with it.

This is a great book for anyone starting out and great for the part timers like me right now!

For instance- there is a project on surveying your sites- yes something that may not cost anything but does take some time and is completely necessary. I knew planning was a good portion of homesteading- because without proper planning- you may run into some problems. No big deal on that- because that is how we learn- and you can’t fix a problem without encountering it. It talks about mapping your yard and mapping the sunlight. It talks about mapping your paths and then how to use the maps. It is great information- and did bring up some things I never would have thought of.

Topics in the book range from- planting, gardening, seed saving, planning, composting, freezing and drying food, rain barrels, chicken coops, budgets, essential tools, stocking up, setting goals, and more! I suggest you check it out!

I did not get paid to write this review- I just wanted to share my findings with others because I love expanding my mind and love reading.

Want me to review your book? Shoot me a message! I love editing too- I am a grammar and spelling freak!

And here comes Fall.

Fall just happens to be my favorite time of the year- I just love fall. Tooty decided to start decoration for Halloween- and we have so much more to decorate! With fall comes pretty flowers-

wp-1474413264743.jpgMums that the elementary school sells for music every year- so now that we have the house I can’t wait to find a space to plant them to keep them coming back every year! They are so big and are beautiful!

wp-1474413248605.jpgThe lonely Geranium I saved before the dog got it- and have been trying to nurse back to health- it will be planted some time soon…

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Front door décor- I painted and sealed the monogram- and that stays up year round!

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Part of the front porch- we do happen to love the birdies- and love leaving food out for them- I do have a little more work to do- but here is the start of the front porch decorations.. I am so happy I just had to share. So watch the progress- and look out for some more updates,

Do you have any Fall friendly plants, share some pictures in the comments? What is your favorite part of Fall?

More weekend fun…

I bit the bullet and bought one…

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So I bit the bullet and bought a chicken coop- I am going to use this for babies after the big coop is built- this is to test to see how Dixie- who has some kind of hunting dog in her- will do.

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The girls had so much fun helping Daddy build it- and we can’t wait to finish it off next weekend by adding a few chickens.. They are so proud of it!

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Some weekend fun…

Weekends sure do come fast when you work in the rat race…they just seem to fly by, and I certainly do wish they were longer. Here is to one day I will be a full time homesteader not working the rat race..

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The dog and the kid are a bit wiggly- so it is very hard to get good photos- I have to use my phone right now and it is just not fast enough for my friends..

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We bought and built a nice dog house for Dixie, she is so old she deserves something nice, which yes I could have built one for cheaper- but this was on sale from $149.99 to $54.99 and I just couldn’t resist. It is cedar and smells oh so wonderous, and the kiddo wants to use it for a club house. It has taken Dixie a few days to get used to it- but it will be much warmer in the winter- as she is graying and I can tell the cold is bothering her more every year. It did not take long to build- and I just hope she enjoys it.

DIY- frugal clothespin bag…

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Project this weekend- took me about 15 minutes total to make. This is an afterthought of my clothesline- who doesn’t have a nifty little bag to store them in?

Can you guess what it is made of? It didn’t cost me a dime! It was everything we had on hand! I love frugal quick projects!

My string is a too short shoe lace from my daughters shoes. I am going to use it as a bag for over my shoulder, and it pulls tight to close and becomes a drawstring. I carry it over my shoulder while I use my line.

The bags is actually part of my yoga pants leg. I cut them down to make board shorts, and decided to keep the legs for a project- not knowing I would be making a clothespin bag. It was perfect one side is already sewn- so no need to hem or worry about it. I just turned the leg inside out and sewed the bottom shut- the bottom of my bag was the uncut part- so I didn’t have to sew a hem. Work Smarter, Not harder, right? The top part was perfect because the edge of the pants was hemmed with enough space for me to cut a slice down the hemmed part. It became my hole for my drawstring! Genius!

The nice thing about this- it is washable- and didn’t cost a dime! What kind of frugal projects have you done lately? Let me know!

Project Homestead- clothes line

wp-1473104758449.jpgDon’t mind the roof- that is my outside porch- it is in the works to tear down and fix! Project Homestead- Clothes line

One step to saving some money- especially while it is soo daggum hot still down here- is to decrease my dryer usage. I can definitely take advantage of the heat. This is our quick fix until I figure out what kind of permanent fix I want. What I like about this one is that it retracts so I don’t- pardon the pun- clothes line myself on the clothesline! I do eventually want to get the best of both worlds- retractable and a pulley system- we will have to think on that one! I do want to give a big thank you to my hubby for “installing” my system- by the way the retractable cord is about 3 foot too short- so we had to rig up a rope that we had on hand so I can hook my line to hang it up. I love the smell of fresh dried laundry on the line- and it didn’t take long to dry either!

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Besides I like seeing the cute hello kitty sheets floating in the wind! Do you use a clothesline? If so what is the best part about it? Or if you don’t want one, why not? Share with me!