Sunday, September 30, 2012

Founding Father Quote

"Those who pay no regard to religion and seriousness in the persons whom they send to the legislature of any state are guilty of the greatest absurdity and will soon pay dear for their folly."

- John Witherspoon, Signer of the Declaration of Independence and President of Princeton University

Do not lose hope. We have to take the first step for our tomorrow.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday Feel Good Moment

My son is my world right now. I love watching him learn and grow. He looks forward to our future. He longs for the animals and the land and climbing trees. He wants a big tree house and a horse of his own. He wants a blue bedroom and a swimming pool. Hes a dreamer like his mother!

I enjoy watching him with our chickens and dogs. They are the animals we have been blessed with at this time. He likes to help gather the eggs and throw greens out for them to eat. He enjoys watching them roam the yard when we give them free time at night. And the dogs... they are his moveable jungle gyms, his bed mates, his fetch partners.

I look at my son, the child I love so dearly, and have to smile. He's a child after my own heart. He is pleased to use his hands, to be outside and get dirty. He enjoys working with the animals God has given us. He dreams and hopes for his future. He is innocent. That is something to smile and feel good about.

This Blog is connected to:
Homestead Barn Hop 81
Homesteader Blog Carnival 27

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Got Stink Bugs? New to Them? Get Tips!

Falls here and the stink bugs are searching for a warm spot to over winter. Stink bugs have been on the move since they landed in Allentown, Pa. Being from Pa, I saw my first stink bug about 13 years ago. And have just about hated them since!
What they look like.
First and fore most, if you find a stink bug in your house or on your property, there are many more around. Take your air conditioners out of the windows! They will sneak in by the hundreds through those amazing inventions. Put your screens in your windows and make sure they sill tight around the edges and have no holes. Stink bugs can squeeze in to the smallest cracks and holes. Double check the doors and make sure they shut tight and have no gaps around the edges. More or less, make sure everything is tight.

Second, storage areas... attics, sheds, chubby holes, ect. They will get into your storage areas. Make sure any valuable or very important/personal items in storage are properly stored.

How to catch them when they do get in. Before you start squishing these nasties....DO NOT! They will stink horribly. Don't waste time trying to get them in a tissue. They can release their stink and it will go through your tissue and on to your hand....then you stink! The best way to get rid of the bugs is water. Now, if they get into your house you will find them mostly around the windows and doors early on. But as winter welcomes itself and the cold arrives with a vengeance, they will start looking for warmer places to call home. They can be found in the nooks and crannies of curtains, furniture, closets (yes in your clothing!)... any where that can keep them warm and away from drafts. So, the way I find to be the easiest to catch and kill... I use to get a glass with water and swish them into the cup. After you get them all, dump the cup into the toilet and let them enjoy the water slide! But, till you were done catching all of them the smell coming form the cup is horrid. So, one night I got a glass and happened to fill it with hot, very hot water. The stink bug dies in seconds and most of the time it doesn't leave off any smell. Sounds mean, but wait till you get ready to go to bed and find over 30 of the suckers in your bedroom!

Thankfully this year has been mellow. Very mild indoor invasions so far. However, we lost most of our garden to them. You can read this post for some helps with the garden and keeping the nasties out!

If you have no idea what I'm talking about in this post, then please count your blessings. If you know what I'm talking about, then you most likely know what I'm talking about when I say, the side of the house had so many stink bugs on it you couldn't see the siding or window the one summer! That said, this bugs are making their way across the country. This isn't stink bug proof, but it may help you! I've heard traps you can make out of lights to draw them into it. But, haven't tried them.

And if you can't beat them... eat them?!?!? Life isn't that hard and I pray doesn't become that hard!!!

This blog is connected to:
Homestead Barn Hop 81
Homesteader Blog Carnival 27

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Friday Feel Good Moment

It's a bright, sunny day. There is a soft breeze and the temp is around 75. Fluffy white clouds roll across the sky. The chickens are clucking about their yard. The laughter of a child can be heard in the backyard. Peacefulness is in the air.

Across the yard are freshly washed sheets, dancing on the line. They soak up the sun as summer comes to an end. As if knowing the next time they see the sun they could be met with a chill. The last ounce of moisture evaporates and the sheets suck up the scent of earth, the fresh scent of freedom. It holds it close to every fiber.

At night when you climb into bed, your body weary from the days work and longing to relax and slip into dreams of peace, the scent enclosed in every fiber of the sheets wafts up to your nose. You breath deeply in to savor every part of it. Instantly every muscle in your body relaxes. Your mind becomes silent and a freeing feeling comes over you.

It is as if you can see yourself being beckoned to a different world. A world where you can lie beneath the warmth of the sun, surrounded by cherry blossoms. A place where no chores, mess, or burdens can reach you. For, right now, in this moment, as your sheets hug your shoulders, all is well.

This Blog is connected to:
Homestead Barn Hop 80
Homesteader Blog Carnival 26

No More Fruit Flies

Ever get hungry for a nice, fresh, juicy piece of fruit only to find all those tiny flies covering it. It can take away that mouth watering goodness in a matter of moments! I have read a number of post other people have written about trying this and trying that. I found little results when I tried them. So, being the smart blond that I am, I decided to mix them together. And guess what... It worked!!
All those dark specks are fruit flies! Gross!!
What did I do? Well, first I found a cereal bowl and put 1/4  cup of apple cider vinegar and 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar in it. I then added one squirt of dish soap and filled the rest with water until the suds reached the top of the bowl. I placed it in the middle of the fruit fly buffet and as if on cue, they swarmed it. In about 5 minutes there were a dozen flies floating in the sudsy pool party. The picture above is after a few hours of sitting. Once the suds deflate (like in the above pic) just dump and remix.

Next time those flies get to be a bother, give it a try. Besides it doesn't get much harder than dumping stuff in a bowl and walking away.

This Blog is connected to:
Homesteader Blog Carnival 26
Homestead Barn Hop 80

Mmmm Dinner Anyone?

I love salads. But they tend to leave me feeling hungry in a short time. I managed to come up with a salad for dinner that was so yummy and left me feeling full. I even got my dad's approval. However... Z wasn't so impressed. Z loves veggies, but not so sold on salads. So what was in this yummy salad? Have a peek.
Sorry, photo's a little dark....
So what's in it. I started with a nice bed of mix greens. Added some tomatoes, radish, scallions and avacodo. I cooked up some chicken breast chunks and added it to the top. And last, but not least, included a nice dose of feta cheese. (Mmmm love me some feta!) Finally, I made a really yummy Dijon mustard dressing.

Dressing Recipe is:
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


This blog is connected to:
Homestead Barn Hop 80
Homesteader Blog Carnival 26

The Girls are Happy

We have been letting the coop door open at night when we are out in the yard. The girls love it. They go nuts running the border between the grass and the woods. At the rate they are working we will regain the 6 feet of yard we lost to the weeds over the last 20 years.

To distracted to smile!
This is, however, a very stressful situation for Big Boy. He gets himself all worked up trying to keep an eye on the girls outside and the girls in the fence. He runs back and forth like a (no pun intended) chicken with his head cut off. I on the other hand enjoy watching him. The girls are so excited over freedom they could careless about his cackling. And with the way he can treat the girls sometimes, I think he deserves the small moment of stress.

This blog is connected wiht:
Homestead Barn Hop 80
Homesteader Blog Carnival 26

Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday Feel Good Moment

Feeling alive. Feeling like you can conquer the world! Remember that feel we got when we finished high school. We were getting ready to go to college or find our first BIG job. Or maybe get married and start running our own house and family. We felt like we owned the world, like we were in charge. We could do anything and nothing would stand in our way......until reality showed up. How many of us quieted our dreams? Some of us may have even given up on our dreams all together, stuck them in a box to never think about them again.

I was starting to give up on my dreams. Holding tight to my biggest dreams and trying to push them into being. That doesn't usually work so great. But I just couldn't let go of dreams I forged at the age of 13. Just over half my life has been held in these dreams. I planned my future in them. Some of them came to be...but only lasted a short season. I still hold on to them hoping they come back around.

Well, I've started a new phase of my life. I'm getting a fresh chance and I'm dreaming big again. A lot of things have not turned out as I hoped, but I'm not giving up. I'm standing back up, dusting off my jeans, lifting my chin high, taking a deep breath and starting over again. With more defined dreams and visions ahead of me, I'm moving forward again. But this time, I'm not going to force things to happen, I'm gonna just let my dreams fall into place.

Don't stop dreaming. Maybe you need to regroup and redefine you dreams, but don't stop dreaming. With out a dream what would we become? Who would we be? America was formed with the dream of worshiping God freely. The west came to be with the dream of land, farming, and maybe a bit of greed for gold. We all know Martin Luther Kings dream. If we stop dreaming we are nothing. We lose our hope, our joy, our desire for life. Keep dreaming, encourage your friends to dream. Help you kids dream. Don't silence the dream of the babes.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Stink Bug vs. Garden

This summer the stink bugs have not been too bad.............around the house! The garden is another story. Indoors, we have collected maybe a dozen a day. Really quite wonderful given past years where you could gather about a dozen an hour. We always keep a glass of water on hand for dropping them into. Then down the toilet they go...they seem to love water rides! (Okay, we enjoy seeing them on the water ride!)

The garden on the other hand has been another story. For every tomato we picked for the table two more went to the chickens. They have destroyed our cucumber bounty. We went from over flowing with cucumbers to sorry looking shriveled up fruits and vines. I have read articles where apple farmers have lost 90% of their crop to these enemies. These despised bugs are in the Bible somewhere, I'm sure of it! look really hard in the fine print of the 10 plaques and you will find the not often mentioned 11th plaque of stink bugs!!!

So how do you get rid of them? Seems to be anyone's guess. They aren't easily killed by pesticides, don't have many predators.... except Joy Bells, who will then loving pant in front of your face... and are amazing at getting in to any area they are not welcomed. They break the skin of the fruit and then funguses and other diseases invade and kill the plant. What a tag team they play! However, some people are saying that hot peppers are not on the menu for these guys.  They have tried home made sprays to keep the beast at bay. At this moment I too have a batch brewing. I will let you guys know if it works the wonder we hope for. If it does, it will be written down for next years arsenal defense!

They recipe calls for:
1 quart of warm water
1 TB Cayenne Pepper powder
2 TB vinegar

Stir/shake well.  Let sit a spell then spray down the plants. Reapply every couple days or after rain. Apply first thing in the morning.

I will let you guys know how it works!