Sunday, August 4, 2013

A Family Cow

I have been thinking, for quite some time, about getting a family cow. I am pretty set on the Jersey breed, mostly due to first and foremost, wanting to have fresh milk. Second, meat.

Another reason I would like to have a family cow is to help with the grass/weed control mostly in the corral, but also in some other areas of the place.

I have found four (4) books available on Amazon on this topic. The one from 1976 I have read so many wonderful reviews about, but there are new ones in the arena, which also have great reviews.

Here are the books to which I am deciding between which to order:


Has anyone read any of these? All of the ratings on them are pretty much equal.

There is one more, it is pre-order with no date, so that one is out of the question.

Do you have a family cow? If so, what breed? Any advise?

Not only am I interested in a family cow for the fresh dairy products, but I'd also like to be able to butcher a calf/young cow for meat. I have read that the jersey breed is a good fit for dual-purpose. Do you agree?

Thanks for any information and advise! Have a wonderful Sunday.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Day of Firsts

Today was quite a day here on our little place...

Started out with the first real harvest. I have picked a few items here and there over the past several days, but this was the first *haul*.

Then upon returning from town, picking up the children, we found that Maybelline has hatched her first baby!

Finally, I made the first batch of canned goods of the season this evening. It has been 2 years since I canned anything. Jalapeno jelly!!! It was pretty much a "have to do today" or the jalapenos would have ruined. I had a few I had picked the other day and added them to the ones today to have enough to make a batch of jelly. We love Jalapeno jelly!

So it's been a very busy day here at Eason Acres; just the way I like it!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Who needs a treadmill?

When you have a push mower and over an acre of land to mow???

Honestly it's not so bad. We got a self-propelled push mower (my choice) and it runs so well, I nearly have to run (actually a very brisk walk)! Great exercise for me, though. Felicity learned to mow this week, so having the two of us work together makes the job go quickly.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A freebie I just LOVE

Just popping in for a minute to share this Kindle FREEBIE I found just a bit ago!

I checked this book out of the library a couple of years ago and really hated having to return it.

Now it's mine to keep!

So happy!

I will be back very soon to blogging on a regular basis. Got TONS to catch up on!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

What a difference

just a few days makes!

I am so sad, though, because I hate the "thinning out" part of gardening. It makes me sad to have to pull up those baby plants and just toss them away.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

What's in my garden?

Today I finished getting everything in the garden! YAY!! I haven't had a garden in ummmmm.....30+ years, since I was in high school.

I am so excited! Cannot wait for the next few months to pass and see what all goodies I harvest!

The garden is located where the old house was sitting. In the photo above, you can see the entire thing. The old house was 960 sf. The garden takes up the entire space, with the exception of where I am creating a sidewalk with concrete stepping stones.

I planted things close together (I will probably curse this later in the summer), following the concept of "The Holy Trinity" of Corn/Beans/Squash. It is also called "The Three Sisters". Here's a link with info on this. This is something I found out about on Facebook. I also used this method to help with watering issues. We are in a drought here, and keeping things planted close together helps keep them as wet as possible, as well as keeping it compact helps with ease of watering.

I planted the following. Rows starting at the far left side of photo.
Bodacious Corn
Kentucky Wonder Green Beans
Yellow Crookneck Squash
------->>>narrow walkway here
Banana Peppers/Bell Peppers/Okra
Kandy Corn
Red Beans/Black Eye Peas
second row same as above
Pickling Cucumbers/Jalapeno Peppers/Cantaloupe
Pickling Cucumbers/Purple Hull Peas (Cowpeas)
------->>>narrow walkway here
Peaches & Cream Corn/Tomatoes
second row same as above
Pinto Beans/Black Beans
Lima Beans/Rhubarb
------->>>narrow walkway here
Japanese Popcorn/Bountiful Bush Green Beans
second row same as above

1 hill Watermelon
3 hills Pie Pumpkin

There is a small area on the opposite side of the sidewalk, Glass Gem Corn is located there.

Once harvest is over with the 60-75 day crops, I will plant Turnips, Mustard greens, Collard greens, beets and carrots. I may even attempt lettuce, but we probably wouldn't eat it as fast as it would be ready to harvest....We will see.

Monday, June 3, 2013

With teamwork

We're going to give it a shot.

Even though I posted a couple of weeks ago about re-homing all of the chickens and the goats. About not really being a farmer....

It seems that really is my calling. But it takes teamwork. I cannot do this alone.

I am not a "farmer". I am a mother and wife providing for her family.

Last weekend, I pulled out the seeds from last summer that never got planted because I broke my hand, and decided, since the place where the old house sat won't grow grass and turns into a mud puddle when it rains, that I would give it a shot at being a "front yard" garden.

I was skeptical. I planted a few live plants (peppers, okra, pickling cucumbers and zucchini), and some seeds (2 types of corn, 3 types of beans, yellow squash). I left the tomatoes and lots more seeds un-planted. I decided to stop where I was and see what happened. I was prepared for the worst, for nothing to happen.

Well, to my surprise yesterday, I found lots of baby seedlings that had broken through the ground!!

Here they are this morning!

So today, Felicity and I will plant the tomato plants and the rest of the seeds I have to plant.

Last weekend, the friend that bought the Seramas (trio and all the babies) said it wasn't working out. He said Seramas are too sensitive. Of course, this is after he lost all but 2 babies. Makes me so, so sad, but nothing I can do.

Yesterday, my precious babies came home! Boudreaux, Penelope and Maybelline will stay permanently. I missed them so much more than I thought I would. I love them so much!

The first thing David told me after the laying flock was picked up a few weeks ago is "I'm going to miss those chickens". I knew I would miss them, but wouldn't miss having to take care of them by myself. David pretty much takes care of them when he is home on R&R, that does give me a break.

Well, I do miss them, too!

By hatching so many all within such a short period of time as I did....that was my downfall! Lesson learned, though.

My babies are home. Later in the summer, after vacation, I will either hatch some eggs or order some pullets and we will begin again with a new laying flock.

No goats, now, though. We need to do some modifying on fencing before we get goats again. I do think, though, that I would enjoy breeding the Pygmy goats. So when the time is right, I will buy only registered babies and begin our breeding program. In time.

The children are learning to help me more around the place. Imagine that....taking away all electronics then finally getting help!

With help and teamwork, we can make Eason Acres work :-)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

About Last Night

For the first time ever in my life, I experienced running from a tornado (rather tornadic weather).

The storm sat about an hour and a half away from us for several hours yesterday evening.  About 9pm, the "super-cell" began to move eastward/northeastward toward Amarillo.

I watched and watched, but at 10:15pm, I sent the children to bed, as the cell was headed more northeast and that put us just within the safe-er area south of the storm. We are located approximately where the black arrow is pointing.

At 10:50, a weather advisory came on and the storm was, once again, going directly eastward. I immediately made the decision to leave our mobile home and get to town (Amarillo) to a strong brick structure. A hotel. I went to the hotel that my ex-husband opened here, the one that moved us to Amarillo to begin with. I know that the building was built to and above safety code. I know it is the safest place we could be, if not underground.

It took me nearly 20 minutes to wake up Felicity and Gregory, pack a quick bag, gather the dogs and get into the truck and head to town.

By the speed the storm was traveling at the time I left, I had plenty of time to arrive and get into the hotel safely.

While we were in route, the storm picked up considerable speed and met us at the hotel, which is on the west side of Amarillo.

This is not my video, but it is exactly what we saw heading into town. Felicity recognized the funnel cloud and I did my best to convince her it wasn't so. This was about 1 mile away from our destination. I was terrified!

When we were seeing the funnel cloud, though, there wasn't anything being said on the local radio about it; still music playing. For about a quarter of a mile....then the EBS (Emergency Broadcast System) broke in and that was it....."Amarillo, take cover NOW!"  We heard this over the radio as we pulled into the parking lot of the hotel.

I put the kids and 2 of our dogs out at the entrance door, parked the truck quickly, grabbed the other 2 dogs and ran for the hotel entrance.

Hail had started and beat me (and our Chihuahua, Petunia) in the head as I was running to the door.

We got in, and into our room. Immediately went into the bathroom. All 7 of us (yes, the dogs, too) sat there until the storm had passed. It lasted about 20 minutes until we didn't hear the hail hitting the windows in the room any longer.

Once we were all calmed down, I went downstairs to the truck to get our suitcase and this is what I found.

I have never in my life seen so much hail! Reports north of town were some had measured 12" deep.

There were no reported tornadoes with this storm, but two funnel clouds were witnessed. They say it cannot be officially called a reported tornado unless it touches down.

We had some hail damage to our truck...but nothing that cannot be fixed.

The children, dogs and I got a good night's sleep.

Once I had taken them to school this morning, I came home....we got nothing! Not a single drop of rain, possibly a bit of wind, but that's it.

What an eventful night. Don't want another like that ever!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Every living thing

deserves a chance.

We had a very late freeze here in the Texas Panhandle two weeks ago. Snow, even :-(

I had gone into Lowes for something, and as usual, I went into the garden center.

WOW! So many babies had been frost bit and were reduced at 50-70% off regular price.

This Hydrangea was on the clearance rack. It had really taken a beating.

I saw the branch that was split down the middle and just knew I would have to cut off the entire branch, but I didn't care. I have always wanted an Hydrangea and now I was going to have one at a price I was willing to pay.

So I gave it a few days to see what happened and I couldn't believe it! The split branch was not dying!!! It was generating new growth!

I bought a roll of floral tape today and taped it up good. Now I am hoping it will graft itself back together. Time will tell.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Repurpose and Reuse

I have held on to two old water bath canning pots for a couple of years.  I knew I wanted to use them as planters, just have never gotten around to putting the holes in the bottom (used a screwdriver and hammer).

So yesterday, I just did it!

And I think it's just pretty as can be :-)

I can't wait until the plants are growing and filling out more....going to be gorgeous!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

In Our World Today

Everywhere you's "more", "bigger", "better", "faster".

You can have this and that and the more of it you have, the better.

Then there is the "always have to be quicker, faster and EASIER" way to do things. Fast food, microwaves, quick short cuts....

Gotta have the bigger house, bigger car, bigger yard.....bigger, better, more more more!


These words are terrible in the mind of a person with obsessive personality behaviors. Whether formally diagnosed or not, one can identify if they have obsessive tendencies.

I have them.

I am ready to end them, at least get them under control.

Quilters call their love of fabric and continuing to purchase fabric even if they don't have a specific project for it their "stash".

Knitters and crocheters-the same with yarn.

Along with any hobbies.....there's the books, patterns and magazines to taunt one, as well.

Just think of all the money tied up/invested in thousands of yards of fabric....yes, I have do so many people.

THEN.....there's the collectables. I have seen some people that collect things and OH MY GOSH! I just shake my head. But then, looking at my fabrics, yarn, books, and kitchen things.....I shouldn't be shaking my head..... I am just like those people. But I don't "do" collectables, per se.

I come from a line of women that have this thing for dishes and kitchenware. Now just how many sets of dishes does one household need anyway?  I have three sets. One set was my Mother's (that I have never used since inheriting them in 1984), one was my "good" dishes (that I have never used) when I married my ex-husband 13 years ago. The third is the dishes we use every day. This is INSANE! Not only dishes...but bowls, bake ware, silver serving pieces, glassware. My mother had lots of these things, and my sisters and I have just let it trickle on down the line.

Our genetics just drive us to wanting more STUFF! It has exhausted me. I hate it!


Yes, nice things are pretty, don't get me wrong. But one can have pretty things that they enjoy having around without having SO MUCH OF THEM.

I can so understand those hoarding shows! Hoards like that don't just happen overnight. They take years. It's begins gradually, then grows and grows. I know I could be there easily in a few years. I have been in a position over the past few years, that I don't know where or how to start. That is how, I think, hoarding begins. I look around and don't know what to do first, or next, so I just quit. Then more "stuff" piles up and up and up! Yep, I understand hoarders.

The constant feeling of being overwhelmed is terrible.

It stops now. I have begun to lighten my load.

I am ready for less. Less of everything possession wise. Possessions are just things and things are not what is important in life. All I need is my husband, children, grandchildren, family and friends. Those are the things we cannot live without. Those are the things that are important in life.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Who is Me?

Fair warning....this post will jump around and not make sense in some places. I just had a lot on my mind.

On Wednesday, it was my birthday. No better time to get these things off my mind and start fresh. Well, as fresh as I am able.

Who is Amy?

I have come to the realization that I am not a farm person. While I do LOVE having animals around, I have come to learn that I really don't like having to take care of them day in and day out. I have had chickens several different times over the past few years. While the older "laying hens" are by far the easiest to keep, I enjoy(ed) hatching eggs. I had goats, too. Now I have come to the realization that it ties me down too much.

Ties me down too much why?

I love to travel, love to be able to go visit with family and friends that live miles away. I am always glad to get back home. Who isn't when they travel? Most of my adult life I have been held back from traveling due to circumstances. Now, I have opportunities and I want to be able to take those opportunities and enjoy the rest of my days with my amazing husband, children and grand-children. I relish in the thoughts of my husband and I being able to have the freedom to do whatever we what to do, whenever we decide to do it.....for the most part. Sometimes I just want to be lazy. Well, with mouths depending on you, it's not an option.

I have learned that I can like the "country life" and country things (decor, themes, clothing, etc), but I don't have to live on or run a farm. Does that make me lazy? Maybe, then so be it.

Even though the life of a farmer isn't for me, I do firmly believe in supporting local farmers, etc. I buy "Made in the USA" when I can. I buy local whenever I can. It's just the right, best thing to do in our world today.

I do love being outdoors. I used to love working in the yard. When I was in high school, I so loved working in our garden...for the last 2-3 years, it ended up being pretty much my garden, but I loved it. Flowers! Oh how I LOVE flowers. I could never have too many flowers in my yard. However, living in the Texas panhandle kind of puts a little bit of a damper on that. Droughts can wreck one's visions of beautiful flowers.

Our dogs. They don't tie me down too much. They love to go in the car, and we take them most places when we travel. Of course, we have to find "pet-friendly" hotels, but that's not too difficult in today's times. I love our dogs, they are part of the family.  I have owned at least one dog at any one time, pretty much my entire life. We currently have four dogs.

Over the past several years, I have studied and read things on the internet. Homesteading, homeschooling, homemaking(can you say "Susie"?). religiousness (is that a word?) and have found myself trying to learn to be/do those things. I have wasted WAY.TOO.MUCH.TIME.DOING.THIS.

Well, as noted in the first paragraph, while I do love the concept of homesteading....I just don't know that it's for me at this point in my life. Had I begun when I was much younger, heck yes! Now, not so much.  I read on one blog several months back, that a family had made the switch completely to homesteading. Animals, gardens, self-sufficiency. The whole "shooting-match". Only to find that all they did was work. Working so hard that they didn't have time or energy to just enjoy life. I don't want that for our family.

Homeschooling. Yes I did that. In my opinion, pretty much failed. My fault entirely. I am not a teacher. Never wanted to be. Still don't want to be. I was influenced by my ex-husband to do this and while I was open to the idea and *thought* it would work for us, sadly it did not.

Religion. Am I a Christian? Yes, absolutely. Am I a "holy-roller" (as some would call it)? Nope. Would I like to be? Maybe. I would say that I am a strong believer, but that my faith is private. Private between myself and God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Do I openly talk about my faith, some. There is a lot I don't know and am unsure of on this subject. Honestly, I want to learn more. I am not one of those Biblical mothers that you read about in so many blogs online now. I gave it a good shot, but it's just not who I am.

Homemaker. Bad subject here. I used to keep such a nice, clean, tidy home. Honestly I did. Then during bad years in my previous marriage, things fell apart. Now, I have good days and bad days. My family always has clean clothes to wear. A warm, clean bed to sleep in and food in their stomachs. Do I always cook the meals? No. In my mind I would love to cook beautiful meals for them every single (well, nearly) day....I just don't have it in me anymore. I used to love to cook. Now, unless I have a bunch of people to cook for, my heart just isn't in it. I do love canning and baking fresh bread and the like. Problem is, my younger children are gone to their father's house every-other week and my husband is overseas working. At this point, when I make things, they usually just mold and ruin. Maybe when David is home full time, I will enjoy doing these things again.

The modesty thing. Went there, too. I do enjoy wearing skirts and dresses, but not This gal loves her jeans and shorts, too :-)

I always have been interested in history, antiques and older times. That will never change, I am sure. Heritage. Our heritage. My heritage. It's where we all come from. Maybe that is how I got so off track from my previous years. I just don't know.

I love to crochet and I think I still like quilting. It's been so long since I was really able to sit down and really work on quilting.....I'm honestly not sure anymore. I mostly left behind my crafts and hobbies when I started my online business back in 2003. That business consumed me and changed me. I like the person I was pre-2003 better....but can't change things now. I can, however, try my best to dump some of the things (habits, ideas, etc) that I have picked up on the way in the past 10 years. That is what I really hope I can do. Oh and I really, really want to teach myself to knit socks!

In this time of basically nothing-ness....I found happiness in things. Fabric and yarn "stash" are the biggies. Followed by books and magazines. Especially craft related books and magazines.  How in this world do I think I will EVER be able to make every pattern in those books and magazines? Heck, even a tiny percentage of them? Shaking my head.

Now, I realize it is time to move forward and even then, I am having issues doing so. I have thousands upon thousands of dollars invested in fabric, yarn and books/magazines. I KNOW I don't need it all. I REALLY want to get 95% of it out of my life. However, I am having such difficulties doing so. In my head I want to go sort through it all, list it on Craigslist and Ebay and re-coop some of the money. BUT darnit, I just can't get myelf to do it. Then there's the other side, if I donate it I will be tossing out all of that money. UGH. I am starting to believe that the bulk of the problem is dealing with the past. The last 5 years of my previous marriage were so unhappy for me.  If I just leave it all packed and in storage, I don't have to deal with it.

I have started/dumped business after business, blog after blog, concepts after concepts. I just shake my head when I think about all of it. Time wasted. Time wasted that I will never get back.

I have been through the hours upon hours of blog reading and Facebook reading looking for answers and information....I guess wanting to be something other than me. I have probably worked too hard trying to be things other than myself, even if I have loved the concepts. I have to be me. I have to take my good days and unfortunately take my bad days.

It's time to unsubscribe to email subscriptions, un-like pages on Facebook and delete all but 2 of my blogs(at one point I had 12!). I want to keep everything online related to a minimum, to just reading blogs that I enjoy and get off this computer more and more.

I am who and what I am. Now I just have to put everything else out of my mind and keep moving forward with my wonderful husband and my family.

Thursday, May 2, 2013


Fabric organization and de-stashing has commenced!

I saw this idea on Pinterest a couple of months ago.


I ordered the cards from Amazon in January, (Ultra Pro Golden Age Size Comic Boards (100 Pack))and finally got started yesterday.

So far it is working splendidly!

I haven't even made a tiny dent. This is just one shelf, I have done two. I have used nearly the entire package of 100 boards. Ordering more today. I am putting pieces that are more than one yard on the boards. One yard and smaller pieces will be folded and put into stacks on other shelves. So far, I have cleared out just part of what was in our closet and a cabinet in our bedroom. In the storage shed, there is a line of boxes and plastic tubs full of fabric. The wall is eight feet wide, eight feet tall and the boxes are one, sometimes two deep along the entire wall, all the way to the ceiling.  This is serious, friends. I have to get this all organized, inventoried and get a good bit of it sold off. There is no way in the world I will ever use this fabric all up!

Living in a four month cycle

I go through four different lifestyles in every four month period of time.


Single Mother
Married, with Children
Married, "empty nesters"

When my ex-husband and I divorced, our custody agreement was that our children, Felicity now 12, and Gregory now 9 with autism, would spend a week with Mom and a week with Dad in rotation. Sometimes, the children get off the exact schedule, but then we work to get back on it.

Since that time, David and I married last August.

David is a civilian contractor in Afghanistan and only gets home on R&R every 75-90 days or so, for just a short period of time.

I don't work outside the home because when David is home on R&R, we like to have the freedom to do the things we want to do such as travel. PLUS Gregory is kind of a sickly guy, and I need to be available whenever he has to miss school. This past year has been tough with Felicity, too....strep has been awful, even AFTER having her tonsils removed last fall.

I love, love, love my children so much, BUT I do admit that I enjoy the time alone when they are with their Dad and I can sleep late, don't have to worry about fixing meals on a schedule, etc.

During the time that the children are home with me, and David is home on R&R, we travel occasionally, depending on the time of year and school, the rest of these times we are home as a family.

When David is home while the children are at their Dad's house, David and I are "free birds".

So you see, my life is not any type of the typical realm.

I am not complaining, but I do have such a difficult time figuring my daily life out sometimes.

I have been trying for weeks to figure out how to get back into blogging with this out-of-the-normal lifestyle. I'm going to give it a whirl, though. I may end up taking it more of a journal route, but hey, it's my blog, right? I'm just going to see how it plays out.

I've blogged off and on, but mostly on, since 2008. I miss it when I just drop it....and I miss reading everyone else's blogs.....just need to get myself disciplined again and get rolling.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Because I needed this today...

 Repost from times past...

When we lived in the Houston area, one of Gregory's therapists gave us this story (for lack of a better word). It was soon after Gregory's formal diagnosis of autism, and she knew we could use some inspiration.


"The Beauty of Holland" by Emily Perl Kingsley

"I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability----to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this...

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip---to Italy. You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, 'Welcome to Holland.'

'Holland?!?' you say. 'What do you mean, Holland? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy.'

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guidebooks. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you never would have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around, and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills. Holland has tulips. Holland has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy, and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life you will say 'Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned.'

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever go away, because the loss of that dream is a significant loss.

But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland."

We keep a copy of this on the refrigerator. It's our inspiration on bad days. A reminder that Gregory is, indeed, a very special child.

It is time...

to make my blog what it was meant to be when I started as Crazy for the Country way back in 2008.

Beginning at this point, my blog is a journal. A journal for family and friends to see photos, hear news and see what we are up to in our lives.

We live hundreds of miles away from family, so this is a way for them to keep up to date on what is happening with us.

David and I married in August and I STILL have not updated my "About Me" page. What an awful wife I am. David is a wonderful husband and such a God-send for me.

I, like so many others, have gotten way off track with my blog. Adding affiliate links and the like, trying to make a little extra cash for our family in doing so. They will be removed very soon and not added again without making a notation in the post where one might appear.

However, I am a Pampered Chef consultant, a Scentsy consultant and a consultant for Lilla Rose (Flexi-clips and beautiful hair accessories) and I will have buttons for those businesses in my sidebars.  If anyone would like to do a show for any of them, please let me know! All of them can be done exclusively online....right from the comfort of your home and through websites.

So, with that, I leave you on this beautiful Saturday afternoon.

Have a glorious Easter.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Stretching that chicken into 8 meals

Wow! I never dreamed one while chicken could go this far! Angie really did a great job with this!


Definitely give this a try to see if it works for you. Come back and leave a comment so others know how it works out for you.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Repurposed Feed Bag = Tote Bag

The livestock feed companies have begun using that plastic-y paper for the feed bags now. I have a love-hate relationship with that stuff. It is not easily recycle-able and does not break down well in landfills. BUT with just a little bit of sewing know-how, you can turn them into reusable tote or grocery bags.

Source: Dilly Dollop

I love the Purina Layena bags! Did you know that in October, their blue bag is pink instead, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month? Talk about making into a great bag with that sack!

Any feed sack will work for this, but the plastic-y paper is going to be what you are looking for to make the totes.  Imagine taking these to the grocery functioning as reusable grocery sacks! Turn some heads, eh?

When you make some of these, be sure to head over to our Facebook page and share some photos!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

That Old Potting Soil

I just loved this article. I am so guilty for letting my pots sit around all winter with dead plants.

Source: Old World Garden Farms

Friday, February 15, 2013

Identy Crisis

In case no one noticed, I seem to be having a major identity crisis.

I really like the original name of this blog, Heritage Homemaker.  Just Being Me..... It's just tooooo long for a name, I think.

Now we have named our little homestead Eason Acres, and I want to use it for a name, too.

I eventually want to use our homestead name domain, easonacres(dot) com, but I also don't want to lose followers.

I would love to move to Wordpress, but again, don't want to lose readers....but at the same time I love Blogger, just wish it had a few more options.

I am going to stay put with the name I love for my blog, Heritage Homemaker, and stay put here on Blogger. Sometimes, my posts may seem out of the realm for "heritage" or "homemaker" or for "Eason acres".....just gonna have to be that way.

So, I am going to do something today I enjoy. Re-designing my blog :-)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

How to Determine Gender of Baby Chicks

You can plan on it every year. Toward the end of February to early March. All of the feed stores do it. They call it "Chick Days"!!! I anxiously await that time of year ever year. Yes, I do hatch eggs of my own and yes, I do sometimes order live biddies from a hatchery.

There's nothing more fun than walking into Tractor Supply or some other farm/feed store and hearing the "cheap, cheap, cheap" of brand new baby biddies! When I hear that, I am SUNK!

Source: penywise/morguefile

Great read!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Canning Season Coming Soon

Thought it was a great time to share these!

These are just adorable! Do you share your canned goods with others or give as gifts? These labels spruce those jars right up! Maybe you just want your own canned goodies to look pretty? That is fine, too.

Source: Limeshot
The steps to download are at the bottom of the post. Be sure to read up on the terms of use and directions on how to print and cut them. Have fun!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Shabby Chic Textured Yarn Scaft - Tutorial

I saw a scarf like this on a lady at JoAnn's one day and knew I just had to have one for myself. I took photos of hers and off I went to the yarn department.

Any of you that crochet or knit know how pricey the fun, funky, bulky yarns can be.  Thank goodness, I had some on hand from old projects, just waiting to be used. I still had to buy several, but a having a few on hand saved a little money.

I also used up some of my regular worsted weight yarn. You know, the tiny little bits you don't want to trash, but are not quite sure what to do with them. Fillers for these scarfs! Use it up!

Here we go!

Using a yardstick, I measure two lengths (6 foot) of each yarn. The fancy, bulky, texture-y ones, I use two 6-foot strands in each scarf. The thinner ones I use three 6-foot strands in each scarf.

After cutting the 6-foot lengths of yarn, I lay them out on my bed (great surface because of length and can spread out the yarns).

I continue to measure, cut and lay out the pieces of yarn.

Of the bulky, texture-y, thick yarns, I use two strands. The less thick and bulky ones, I use three strands.

The scarves I make have at least 18-20 different yarns of these textures. This makes for a fun scarf. Remember, that would equal to about 36-50 strands total.

Then I break out the plain ol' worsted weight yarn partial skeins I have stashed for "some day I will use that."

I measure 6-foot lengths of probably 25-30 of the worsted yarns. Then mix them into my texture yarns laying out on the work surface.

Next, I grab the bunch of yarn just below one end, and let the yarns dangle down toward the floor.

As the yarns dangle, I run my fingers through it to make sure none of the yarns are bunched up.

Once all the strands are straight and un-knotted with each other, then tie a knot at the end you are holding. Tighten the knot to leave tails of about 6-8" long, depending on how long you like the tails.

Then divide the scarf into three sections and braid loosely.

Knot the other end

Trim both ends to be somewhat even. Ta-da! It's done!

If you have any questions, or these directions are "clear as mud", please don't hesitate to email me for more information.

All of the chunky, thick, fancy yarns I had left over were cut into 12-18 foot pieces and I have put them together into sets of 15 different yarns. I have them in my Etsy store as "start-me" sets. These are for anyone that would love to have one of these Shabby scarfs, don't want to pay retail price, but also don't want to have to spend a small fortune buying so many different yarns(or don't already have them) to make your own.

A fun way to wear this scarf is to tuck one end into the braid, this also keeps it from trying to shift around on your neck.

Have fun!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Old Fashioned Pound Cake

Grease/flour 10" tube or bundt pan.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Combine together and sift (this creates "Self-Rising" flour):
4 cups all purpose flour
6 teaspoons baking powder
4 teaspoons salt


4 cups (1#) cake flour, sifted (this is what the original recipe calls for)


4 cups minus 8 Tablespoons All Purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups (1#) butter (salted or unsalted either one, but use real butter)
2 cups (1#) sugar
10 whole eggs (1#)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or any other extract flavor of your choice)

Sift flour(ingredients to make the flour "self rising" as shown above) and salt. Place butter and sugar in LARGE mixing bowl. Cream together until light and fluffy. Add whole eggs, two at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Add half of the sifted flour/salt. Beat about 1 minute. Add remaining flour/salt and the flavorings. Beat about 1 minute. Pour into well greased/floured tube cake pan. Bake for 1 hour & 15 minutes to 1 hour & 30 minutes. Remove cake IMMEDIATELY from pan after taking from the oven. Cool on a cake plate or cooling rack.

Original recipe was posted on

Growth and development

of a baby chick as it develops during incubation.

source: Turtle Brule

It is so amazing what can develop inside an egg in just +/- 21 days!  I wonder how this was photographed this way. A big graphic, but very interesting, too.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

One Acre Self-Sufficient Homestead

This is a fantastic article that goes through the guidelines to be successful.

Source: Mother Earth News

Even though I am already on my way with my little homestead, this sure helped me with loads of more information.

If you choose "print" the article converts to "print ready" and will print as a complete article.

Here's some top rated books on Homesteading that you may enjoy!