Friday, April 17, 2015

I Took the Cottage Food Law Test!

      And passed it! My certificate will be mailed soon and I will be able to sell food from my home! Specific food that is. Such as non hazardous foods that do not contain cream fillings and/or have to be refrigerated. I'm limited in some ways but I'm thankful for the opportunity! I'm really excited about this new direction God is leading me in. The only problem is I don't have any customers! I can't even sell a dozen eggs! I'm trying to get the word out through Facebook and here, but I don't have a large following. The farmer's markets don't get started around here until June, so I can't set up there yet. There are some flea markets I could check into. I need to visit them first and see what's offered there. If ya'll know of an outlet I can try, please let me know in the comments!

      I'm doing real good with my weight loss, exercise and healthier eating. I really love to exercise! I have since elementary school. I just got lazy last year and didn't pursue it like I should have. I also didn't pay as much attention to my eating habits as I should have. Now that I am paying attention, I am losing and shaping! I have only lost about 7 pounds but my clothes have gotten real loose. I'm happy with the results! I still need to lose some more tummy fat. That is the hardest for me to lose. I hate ab work! I may have to do crunches to get those lean abs, but I'm not looking forward to it! I believe I can accomplish my goal without crunches! I'll keep ya'll informed as to how it goes.

      The girls have been coming over more on the weekends than before. I'll have Yasmine and Layla tonight. It's so rainy here and they will have to stay inside. Yasmine won't like that! She LOVES to go outside when she's here! There's plenty for them to do inside though. I may let them help me make play dough. Of course, they look forward to playing with Randy!

      I just cut my own hair! I can't believe I did that, but it was so easy! Haircuts are so expensive and I rarely like the way my hair turns out! I turned my head upside down, brushed my hair forward into a ponytail right at the forhead, held out how much I wanted to cut off, and cut. That was it! It looks like I have some layers. I'm so glad! I wanted that bowl shape taken off and it looks like it is! I didn't know it would look like that! I guess when it comes to saving money, there's not much I won't try! Hair will always grow back! I hope ya'll enjoyed my ramble! Thanks for reading and commenting! Blessings from Bama!


Having fun at Fefe's!

Staring game! Who blinked first?

Smiling game. Guess who smiled first!

Simon says.

Red light game.

My beautiful wisteria!

I made these! With the help of Randy of course. They are for sale on Craigslist.

This cake is delicious!



Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Apple Sticks

      Hey Everybody! I hope you had a wonderful Resurrection Sunday and Easter weekend! We did! Spring is in full bloom here. Thus the reason for my title. I bet ya'll thought I was talking about a recipe! Lol! I am speaking of my apple trees! But they did start out as sticks, as some would say. They are grafts that we ordered and planted three years ago. They have thrived in our zone and are blooming for the first time. They are absolutely beautiful! Some have a lot of blossoms while others have only a few. And they smell like roses! Not a real strong scent but still! I never knew they smelled like that! I am so happy we have these apple sticks, er..I mean trees! I don't know if that means there will be apples this year, but maybe. The older apple tree is loaded with blooms and will hopefully be loaded with apples this summer. Don't be afraid of apple grafts. Research and see which apple trees are suited for your zone. Those will be the ones to order and will thrive and produce lots of apples for years to come. I can hardly wait to see the results of all these blooms!

      The blackberry brambles are already blooming! I guess this is the right time, but it seems sooner this year because last year it stayed colder longer. We have been enjoying temps in the seventies for several weeks, and tomorrow it's supposed to be in the 80's! Yikes! I need to get some tomato plants in the ground! I just need to go ahead and plant my whole garden, as a matter of fact! Surely the snow has melted where you live and there won't be any more until Fall or Winter. I don't even want to think that far ahead! I'm just so glad for the warmer temps! I wished the sun would shine more, though. We've had a lot of cloudy days with a good bit of rain. Some days it was just cloudy with no rain. Blah! I need the sun! Just not the extreme heat! Oh well, that goes with living in Alabama! 

      I've been into baby chicks lately. I am trying to build my flock so that it will be one that produces many eggs. The chicks I want have not been offered at Tractor Supply and I've had to really search for the ones we've aquired. I got some Ameracaunas, but I think 3 of the 5 are roosters! I also got some mixed chicks that I don't know for sure what they are: roos or hens. If you go by the comb, there are probably 4 roos and 3 hens. You can't always go by that especially with mixed breeds. Time will tell. I just want to find out so I can sell them and not have to feed so many I'm not going to keep. If you know of a way to sex young chicks, please share in the comments. I would greatly appreciate it! I still plan on getting some Black Australorps, Speckled Sussex, New Hampshires, and maybe some Barred Rocks. These are supposed to lay lots of eggs. I'm having fun watching the chicks grow and turn into pullets and roos! The life cycle is amazing! How can one say there is no God?

      The girls were here this past weekend and we had fun, as usual. We went to their Meme's (Grandma) who is my sister, for Easter dinner. We all had a great time and enjoyed lots of food. I've been making cakes lately, but my sister made a delicious coconut cake. I forgot to bring a piece home, but that's OK since I have a strawberry cake in the oven. I did use a white cake mix but it has pureed strawberries in it. I will make a cream cheese icing with strawberries as well. I sure don't need to be eating much of it! I had to stop eating the carrot cake with cream cheese icing I made last week, cause I don't want to gain back the weight I've worked so hard to loose! I do indulge in a piece of cake now and then, just not everyday.

      I hope ya'll have a great week and can get in the garden soon! It won't be long and we'll be enjoying those fresh veggies, straight from the ground! Thanks for reading and commenting! Blessings from Bama!

A little morning Uncle Randy love!

They love looking for Easter eggs!

Winn didn't bring her sunglasses! Randy's one man carport for the camper showing in the background.

The blooms look almost like a double blossom!

Another tree.

Cherry blossoms.

Another apple tree.

The oldest apple tree.

Can you see the blossoms?

These are the same chicks in the last post. Haven't they grown!

These chicks are a few weeks younger.

These are the newest babies.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

My Experience Selling on Craigslist

      There was a lot of conversation in the comments of the last post on this, so I thought I would share with ya'll about it. Craigslist is not a bad thing. It is a tool that can be used for good and not so good. Just like the internet can be abused, some people take advantage of innocent people on Craigslist. I just want ya'll to have a heads up if you're thinking about selling on Craigslist. There are people (scammers or spammers) who will contact your contact number or email. They will leave a link that is highlighted in blue (that's the color on my phone and computer). They want you to click on that link. DON'T!!!! If you do, they can have access to your computer and accounts and wipe you out! Thank goodness I never clicked on those links before I knew! Someone my husband knows who knows about things like that explained it to him and then hubs told me. Now I'm telling you. It makes sense! Most of the people who contacted like that had an out of state phone number. Some were in this state but a different town. The last one was even from this area! So you never know! Just use caution!

      Overall, my experience with Craigslist was good. I sold the main thing I was hoping to. My goats! I also sold my older hens. They were gone in 24 hours! I will use Craigslist to sell chickens, but I'm not sure if I'll use it to sell anything else. No one was interested in the piano or pool. But now that the weather is warming up, I may advertise the pool again. I'll let you know how that goes.

      The temps have been in the mid seventies this week, so I've been outside a lot! There's been so many changes in the blooms on trees and the color of the grass. Everything is turning green again! It's so beautiful this time of year! And the fruit trees put off the most wonderful perfume! The only thing, the temps are supposed to drop below freezing Saturday night, and I hope it doesn't hurt the bloomed out fruit trees! For the last couple of years, we have experienced cooler Spring temps and later frosts. But by April 15 we should be able to set out garden plants like tomatoes and such. I can hardly wait! My seedlings are growing nicely. I hope the weather is turning warmer where you live. You could always move further South, in my opinion. Have a great day! Blessings from Bama!

The nectarine tree in bloom.

Blooming plum tree. Smells awesome!

The girls having fun with Uncle Randy!

Love the expression on Yasmine's face!

I love to capture scenes like this!

Americauna chicks.

The tulip tree may be small but the blooms are beautiful!

The forsythia is outstanding!

See the clematis bloom about to open? Blooms are all over this vine!


Do you know what this is?

Future egg layers! Do you see the grey chick?

The BEST lemon cheesecake I ever made!

Pear tree with blooms.

The first time the apricot tree has bloomed. You should smell the fragrance!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Warmer Weather and Rain!


      Hey ya'll! So glad to be enjoying warmer weather! Spring is making it's debut around here. Softly but subtly. At first, the trees look the same. But if you look closer, you'll see hues of red and purple. It's really pretty! The maple tree is dropping little red blooms or something. I noticed the ground as I was walking down the hill to feed the girls. All of my goats are for sale, by the way. I'm not getting milk from them so they are not paying for their keep. I only want farm animals that produce for me; not me for them. The chickens are finally laying an egg or two a day. Yay! I was happy to get two whole eggs today because the other day, they had been eaten. We think the rooster is doing it. Yes, I said rooster. He just started crowing this week! We thought we had sold all the roosters! Surprise! He doesn't have tail feathers like a rooster, but his comb is definitely like one. Got to find him a new home! If ya'll want a rooster, let me know!

      I have had a lot of scammers contact me from my items listed on Craigslist. I even contacted the police, but of course they can't do anything at this time. They told me to ignore them and be careful. That's exactly what I'm doing. I did sell the Silhouette Cameo. Yay! It caused me more stress that it was worth! I'm glad to get it sold and move on. Now to sell the swimming pool, ab bench, and piano. These things are taking up valuable space. I don't use them and hope that God sends the right buyers soon! I am going to be very choosy from now on about what I bring onto the homestead! No more impulse buying! Sometimes, however, you just don't know until you try something. Like with recipes. I am cooking jambalya for dinner today. It calls for a lot of chopped veggies and different types of meat. If it doesn't taste good, that would be a waste. But how will we know if I don't cook it? Most of the time, my recipes are keepers. I hope this one is! All I've got done on it now is the rice or I would show ya'll a picture. I usually post photos on Instagram if you'd like to follow along.

      We enjoyed the girls this past weekend! They were so happy to be here! We always have the most fun together! I'm so glad I get to spend time with them as they are growing up too fast! I hope the snow is melting where you live and Spring weather comes soon! I'm running around in shorts and flip-flops, outside! I'll send you some warmth! Have a great day! Blessings from Bama!

It's so hard to believe we had this much snow!

My four beauties!

Although it may not look like it, this bread is yummy! It's a from scratch pull-apart, garlic, cheese bread.

These are chicken pot pies.

Isn't she gorgeous!

The rain made them droop.
















Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Spring is Just Around the Corner!

      I keep hoping if I say this enough, it will happen! Almost every other day, we have had threat of snow! We actually have gotten a few flakes, but what happens here mostly is ice. Thankfully, that melted quickly! Today was predicted that we would have inclement weather in the form of snow/ice, but alas, only a very light layer on the picnic table and car hoods. It has melted as I write this. We are expecting round 2 for tomorrow. They cry wolf so often that people get tired of it and go on about their way. That's why accidents happen. People don't believe there's any ice until they wind up in a ditch! I prefer to stay in if temps are under 32 degrees and rain/snow. 

      But Spring is around the corner! I saw Robins in town the other day! I haven't seen them in my yard yet, but they are probably out there somewhere! My hens haven't started laying yet, but I'm hoping that won't be long! Before I know it, I'll have eggs running out my ears! Jill Winger from Prairie Homestead helped me with my frustration of not having eggs. She said that she embraces egg laying as a season. Just like harvesting corn or beans. One doesn't expect to get those all year long; and one shouldn't expect to get eggs all year long. At least not from older hens. I quit stressing about eggs after I read this. I will embrace eggs when they come! We will eat lots of custards, puddings, pies, and anything else made with eggs!

      I intended on writing a post last week, but when it rains, the internet doesn't work. Or it is very slow. That messes with blogger. So today, even though there is a light rain, I'm writing before it gets messed up. Plus, I had a bad head cold and felt terrible a few days. I'm so much better now! I got behind with my crafting and cleaning but we've been eating good! I broke down and bought beef this week in the form of a shoulder roast. I cooked it in the pressure cooker, then added carrots, potatoes, and onions and pressured a few more minutes. It turned out delicious! I love using my pressure cooker even more than my crock-pot! I rarely use my crock-pot. The pressure cooker is so much faster! And the food tastes good cooked in it! My grandmother always used her pressure cooker, so I guess that's why I'm not afraid of it. Speaking of pressure cooker, I'm about to can some beans! We are out of black beans, Skylar's favorite, so I ordered those and great northern. I get them from the food co-op. They are organic and I can purchase them in bulk. Makes them cost about the same as the grocery store. If your'e not familiar with canning beans, go to http://www.pickyourown.org/canningdriedbeans.htm or http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2013/04/how-to-can-dry-beans.html They will teach you what you need to know about canning dry beans. That's how I learned; so if I can do it, you can do it! Home canned beans are so much better than store bought. They keep well and all you have to do is reach into your pantry.

      I finally made lotion bars. They are wonderful! They are made with organic ingredients and smell so good! I don't use them to cover my whole body, just dry, chapped parts. Like hands, fingers, lips, toes, feet, elbows. You get the idea. They really helped heal Randy's cracked thumbs. He didn't even need any today. I rubbed it on his dry, cracked feet and they are so much better! I like making something at home that helps our bodies! It's not hard to do. Here's the link: http://www.mommypotamus.com/lotion-bar-recipe/
I also made melt and pour soap that I've been wanting to make for a long time. It was so easy! I had some that I purchased from Hobby Lobby a long time ago and I added some color and fragrance oil to it. It turned out pretty good. I'm going to try making it again as I sets up really fast.

      Have you planted your tomato, pepper, herb, and eggplant seeds yet? If you live in my zone, now's the time. I should have planted them a few weeks ago, but they are planted now. I just hope they germinate and grow. The seed starting mix has a funny odor. I hope it doesn't affect the seeds! If I don't see signs of growth within a week, I'll start over. I hope ya'll stay warm and safe during this unpredictable winter! Remember, Spring is just around the corner! Blessings from Bama!

The roast cooked into a stew!

We didn't get to spend much time with these two this weekend.

I don't mind the drive to get this flour!

Melt and pour soap. I didn't have red color.

Yummy lotion bars!
Randy worked in the rain to put up the last truss for the carport. It's tall so the camper can go under it.
Five pounds each! Waiting to be canned.
I love when the dough is bubbly!
The pizza was the best yet!
Can you believe he washed it in the rain?
Waiting for them to germinate!
We are really enjoying the bread cooked in this Dutch oven!

I made these for these two. I actually cut the crown from wood. The other is a thrift store make-over.