Friday, March 30, 2012

Like a rollercoaster

The past week has been quite crazy around here.

I will be back in a day or two with some exciting news for David, the kids and I. We are just waiting on a couple of final bits of information before we can share.

Keep an eye out!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

So I jumped the gun

In my previous post here, I told you that my celery and onions were not re-growing.

Obviously, I just hadn't given them enough time.

They are looking great and I am so excited!

The sourdough starter. Deader than a doornail.

Monday, March 26, 2012

DIY Projects for the Self-Sufficient Homeowner: 25 Ways to Build a Self-Reliant Lifestyle

I purchased DIY Projects for the Self-Sufficient Homeowner: 25 Ways to Build a Self-Reliant Lifestyle this past weekend. It has been on my wish list for several weeks, but I could resist no longer.


WOW! Is all I can say! So many interesting ideas! Most of which are quite easy to make and expense range varies by project.

The first project that drew me into this book is the strawberry planter made from a plastic barrel. Guess what?! There were two of these barrels here when we moved in last I know what to do with them.

I also plan to build a compost bin, cold frame and chicken tractor using the instructions in this wonderful book.

More projects include a cold frame, outdoor food dehydrator and many, many more.

I am so glad I went ahead and purchased it before some of the others on my wish list. You'll so enjoy this book, I am sure.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunday Share {Week-3}

Today starts off a really crazy busy week for me, nice to have a pleasant Sunday visiting before the madness starts.

This was the sunset on Friday out our front door.

Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars -  Colletta's Kitchen Sink

Make Your Own Half Slip -  Candle on the Hill

Build Your Own Goat Milking Stand - Fias Co Farm

Fruit Peel Jelly - Country Blessings

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar - New Life on a Homestead

Here's wishing you a wonderful week!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Meet Miss Nellie and kicked crook neck butt

The little American Barred Holland pullet with crook neck now has a name. I have named her Nellie, as in "Needy Nellie".

If you haven't watched my video from 2 days ago showing how bad Nellie had crook neck, you should view it before you read further. The post is here.

For 56 hours straight, Nellie has not been out of my hands, except for brief times that Felicity took over. She sleeps with me at night, in the small of my neck buried in my hair...all.night.long. She has been to McDonalds, W*lmart, Lowes, Tractor Supply and to the lot where we are looking to purchase a new modular home.

I decided that today I would start grinding up chick starter food and putting the powder in her vitamin/yogurt mixture.

We put all of our other biddies outside in the yard this afternoon for sunshine and fresh air. I was sitting on the ground, watching them scratch around and climb all over my lap. Then I decided to put Nellie on the ground to see what she would do. She did amazingly well! She even ate some chick food from in front of her!  She held her head up wonderfully, though it would get tired and start to crook again some. Her legs are also weak from not being used much.

Now I know I have cured her of crook neck and it's on to physical therapy to strengthen her neck and legs.

Enjoy these photos I snapped while she was outside today.

You can see that she was getting tired. She is back in my hands and we will have more biddy "pt" tomorrow.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Treating a chicken with crook neck

Our shipment of American Barred Holland biddies arrived today. I so love this breed! They are critically endangered and make a wonderful choice for small farms.

To learn more about this breed(and many others), head over to the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.

This is the direct link to Hollands.

One of our new babies has crook neck. Here is my video to show you what I have learned in treating this condition.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

New Serama addition and a friend

Sadly after Roosevelt and Victoria returned home last week, the following day Victoria was killed by one of the dogs we had at the time. The dog already had some issues and I had planned to re-home him or take him to the humane society if I couldn't get him re-homed. It just happened sooner than later, the day after my Seramas returned home to us.

Roosevelt had never been alone in his 27 months of life and he was so lonesome. I found a pretty little girl on a new auction site and was able to buy her and she arrived today. We have named her "Dolly" because she has crazy "blonde" hair, much like Dolly Parton.

Enjoy this video I shot today after we arrived home with Dolly from the post office.

Triple fail

This week I have to start over on my sourdough starter, celery and onion re-starts.

I completely forgot to feed my sourdough starter twice in a row. Gotta toss it out and start over.

The celery re-start has a few tiny leaves showing in the center, but they have done nothing in a week. I have kept it watered, its in sunlight outdoors, but just not doing anything. I will try this again, eventually.

Green onions...I was afraid they wouldn't do anything and they didn't. They have shriveled up and died. I cut them off much shorter than any of the tutorials suggest. A definitely do-over, too.

When David gets home on R&R in May, we will be making a trip back to our hometown of Leesville, LA again. I will likely wait until I return from that trip to do these projects again.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sunday Share {Week-2}

What are Sundays good for? Worship. Family. Resting. Sunday drives. Visiting!

Have a nice cup of tea or your favorite beverage and enjoy these links.

Homemade Shampoo Recipe - Passionate Homemaking

Sour Cream Sugar Cookies - Delia Creates

Make a Rag Quilt Purse - Up the Rainbow

Make Your Own non-Petroleum Jelly - A Delightful Home

Crochet Daisy Square Tutorial - My Rose Valley

Have a beautiful Sunday and a great week!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Food scraps. Flowers. Herbs.

I shared this photo on Facebook on Sunday. Quite a curious photo, eh?

I am making an attempt to regrow celery and green onions. After I cut off the end of the celery and the ends off the green onions, I put them in a bowl of water for 24 hours. Then I planted them in pots with potting soil. I probably should have used top soil, but the only bag I had was potting soil.

You can see that I buried the celery a bit in the dirt, I wanted to have a little space to add dirt if I needed to once it starts growing and needs more support.

According to all of the other places I read about this, I think I cut my onions off too short. We will see.

While I was in planting mode, I planted the Peony tuber and basil and rosemary plants that I got the other day.

I am so ready for everything to begin to grow. I am more ready for spring this year than I have been in a really long time.

Here's a few links for the celery and green onions.

Chickens in the Road
Dream State Inspiration
Garden Swag
Veggie Gardener
She Hearts It

So what about you, are you gonna give it a try with the celery and onions?

Monday, March 12, 2012

My sweet babies are home!

Some may remember back during the winter, when everything started with my separation/divorce, that I re-homed all of my chickens. I missed my Seramas so.darn.badly. Remember this from last summer?

They were given a new home by a friend that lives only 45 minutes away. Once I decided I wanted chickens again a couple of weeks ago, she told me that I could bring my babies back home. We went today and picked up Roosevelt and Victoria!!!!

I am so glad to have them home!!!

Do you love Jane Austen?

Then I know you will love this!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sunday Share {Week-1}

What are Sundays good for? Worship. Family. Resting. Sunday drives. Visiting!

I grew up in the South, so I love Sunday visiting! I decided to start a "Sunday Share" weekly post. I always have so many blog posts that I bookmark to come back to and make the project, re-read the post or cook the recipe. Now, I will share those links with all of you.

How to make liquid hand soap - The Farmer's Nest

Upcycled blue jean baskets - Trash to Treasure Decorating

Cabbage Buns - The Prairie Homestead

Stay put kitchen towels - Pin.Sew.Press

How to hard boil fresh eggs - More Than Four Walls

Enjoy these and enjoy your Sunday!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Laundry Soap - Update

You can read my first post on this subject here.

I made a batch of homemade laundry soap this week. Well, actually 1 and 2/3 batches. I already had on hand partial boxes of ingredients, and wanted to use them up.

I used my friend, Sandra's recipe that you can find here. I did not use the Purex crystals, though. I prefer to stick with vinegar for my rinse and wool dryer balls in the dryer. My clothes come out smelling....clean. That's all. Just clean.

Please do visit Sandra's blog (you will love it!), but here is the recipe, also.

4 lb 12 oz box of Borax
4 lb box Arm & Hammer Baking Soda
3 lb 7 oz box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
3 bars of Fels-Naptha soap (or Zote), grated
3 lb container of Oxy Clean, or two of the smaller ones, to make about 3lbs
1 container Purex Crystals

I like this recipe because it uses the entire containers of the ingredients, so there's not a bunch of open boxes sitting around in the laundry room.

I purchased a two pack of coffee scoops at the dollar store that are 1/8c. They work perfectly for scoops for this. Probably a bit over the 1-2T recommended use, but that is ok.

The tub that I got for my laundry soap cost me $5.47 at W*lmart. It has a locking lid, so there shouldn't be any accidental spills. I got a second one to keep my wool dryer balls in and a larger one to keep...well haven't decided

So I love this homemade laundry soap. It's so much better on the budget, better on your clothes and so much better for the environment!

As I mentioned before, for the rinse I use a *glug* (probably around 1/3 cup) of vinegar in my rinse. LOVE IT!

My first grandchild - Madeline Jeaux

She is now 10 days old and I am finally posting about her. Goodness, that's not a very good start to being a Grandmother, is it?

Presenting Madeline Jeaux, born 2/29/2012 (12:15am), 6lb 7oz, 18.75" long. She is so beautiful!

My daughter, Katie and her husband Matthew. Right after Madeline was born via c-section.

Just a few minutes old, in the nursery being cleaned up.

Here's Maddie with Katie the morning she was born.

Maddie with me on the day she was born. I am still trying to decide on what name for my grandchildren to call me. Don't want's too typical. Feel free to leave any suggestions in the comments :-)

Matthew and Maddie. I just love this shot. He didn't even know I took it.

Felicity and Maddie.

Madeline Jeaux

This was taken on Monday.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Once a chicken Momma

it's so hard not to be a chicken Momma.

I completely caved! After re-homing all of our chickens during the winter, I said there would be no more.

Well maybe I meant until spring...

There is just no sense in fighting it, I love having chickens. They are so fun as biddies, and the fresh eggs are to die for when they start laying.

Tractor Supply is now having their "Chick Days", as they do this time every year. Friday, I just couldn't resist stopping to see the precious baby chickens they had.

I wanted egg layers, but Felicity wanted bantams (pets, of course). The minimum chick purchase is 6, so I got three "red pullets" and she picked three bantams.

I am so happy to have chickens again. I must keep myself within limits, though. These will be it for new baby chickens, at least for a little while :-)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Wool Dryer Balls

I have wanted to make some of these for quite a long time.

Again, Sandra beat me to it; even with a tutorial on her blog.

Last night, I pulled out the wool yarn and started creating.

Here are some before I felted them.

And here's the ones I have already felted.

I had a bunch of leftover wool yarn on hand, so I just made wool balls until I thought I was done, then I found enough more wool yarn to make probably 15-20 more!

Now, I tried something a little different than Sandra didn't do in her tutorial. For the center "core" I wound the yarn very tightly for the first 1/4 of the ball on some, others I didn't. I found that the ones with the tighter wound core were a bit heavier (and bouncier), so I think they may do better in the dryer. Also, I used panty hose, and instead of tying with string, I just knotted the hose very close to each ball as I put it inside the hose. After they were felted, I just cut the hose to get them out. You will likely find some of the wool balls stuck to the hose when you attempt to remove them. That is fine, just pry the hose off and it's ready to go.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Homemade laundry soap

I know that there are many, many recipes on the internet for homemade laundry soap.

Here in the Texas panhandle, though, I am not able to use homemade laundry soap. The water is awful and everything ends up gray after a few weeks of use. I DO NOT blame the laundry soap, I know for sure it is our water.

I have tried the powder (dry) one on a couple of occasions and liked it just fine.

Then last summer, once I moved into this little place, I tried the liquid(aka: gel) recipe used by Michelle Duggar. Her recipe is here. I really liked how far the liquid formula makes the ingredients last.

When I was home in Leesville, LA a couple of weeks ago, I was telling my oldest sister about it. She wasn't certain about the washing soda (NOT baking soda) so I told her I would send her photos. So instead, I am doing this post for her :-)

I often see comments that Zote works equally well, if you cannot find the Fels-Naptha.

I took these photos at W*lmart. All four locations here in Amarillo carry these items now. I guess there was finally enough requests for them. Hopefully all locations nationwide now carry them.

Some add O*yClean or other whiteners or boosters. I have never added them. One of my main reasons for using homemade laundry soap is to save money. By adding those extra items, it drives up the cost of ingredients.

If you plan to use the liquid recipe, if you cannot locate a 5gal. bucket for free at a food establishment, W*lmart has them (be sure to grab the lid) in the paint department for around $4.00.

For rinsing, I use *gulg* of vinegar in each rinse. How much is a glug, you ask? I would estimate about 1/3 cup or so. I love how the laundry feels and is soft using vinegar (and there is NO VINEGAR SMELL on the clothes at the end of the rinse/spin cycle). Either white or apple cider is fine.

 I plan to return to using the homemade laundry soap very soon.

Sourdough starter - here I go again

My dear friend, Sandra has found another recipe for sourdough starter. I started mine today. She has already made bread and cinnamon rolls with hers.

You can join in the fun and get the recipes that Sandra is using over on her blog, Full Bellies Makes Happy Kids. They will be posted soon.

Friday, March 2, 2012

I got my break

Back in November, I posted about needing a vacation-a getaway.

Well I got my wish!

Five days in Dallas then a week later, six days in my hometown of Leesville Louisiana.

Image Credit

I will share more about my trip very soon.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I'm staying here

You know, once I came up with the name for this blog, I was ecstatic! I just love the name!

Once the divorce issues began, I felt like I was leaving behind my "farm wife" dream and lifestyle, so I needed a different name for my blog. I even started a new one, with a different name. While the name of it has sentimental meaning (I will explain in another post), I just didn't want to dump Heritage Homemaker.

I love everything old, antiques, history and the like. Because, to me, everything old has a story to tell. And...technically I will always be a homemaker. Even if I have a part time job or have a WAHM(work at home mom) business out of my primary focus will always be my family.

So, here I am and I will continue on here at Heritage Homemaker.

Be sure to share my blog with your friends! The more, the merrier!