Thursday Thankfulness

Three things I’m thankful for around our suburban homestead today:

New bunnies (1 day old): One of them wandered away from the nest today, I had to dig around to find him. I’m so glad I counted them yesterday and I’m also glad I’ve been checking on them semi-regularly. The miscreant is now back in his nest, safe and sound.

 

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New growth (yellow, white, and cream rose bush): We planted five of these in the front yard last month. They are starting to get new growth, we might even see some flowers in a few months.

 

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And lastly, I am thankful for all of the laundry I have to clean, dry, and fold today. It means that my family is healthy, active, growing, and busy.

 

Life is so good.

 

What are you thankful for this Thursday?

 

 

 

 

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The Polymorph Juniors have arrived.

My now-4-year-old had a fantastic birthday treat this afternoon… Our doe, Polymorph, gave birth to her kits. She was 31 days pregnant. They were all in a little pile, and sufficiently covered with fur. I checked her at 11am and there was nothing. I checked her on a whim at 2pm and she had given birth to 6 kits. I think she is going to have a few more, so I hope I didn’t piss her off too much when I was out there. At least I gave her an apple slice as a peace offering. Aren’t they they ugliest cute things you’ve ever seen?

 

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I learned why it’s so rare to see good pictures of newborn kits. They wiggle. They pop around like they are giant pieces of flesh colored popcorn. They stretch. They squirm around as close to each other as possible. And, to top it all off, their mom is usually in a nip frenzy trying to protect them. So, yea. I will have to try to get better pictures later. I’m going to check on them in an hour or so, to see if there are any more. (Really, I just want to look at them and pest them. Babies are so cute.)

 

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Speaking of babies. I was a little upset yesterday. My baby is turning 4 today. He is always going to be my youngest, and he is already so big. Just as I was starting to feel sorry for myself, my nephew and his wife asked if I would spend 8 hours babysitting their 5 month old. About 3 hours into my babysitting gig, I decided that I am most certainly and gratefully glad that my baby is 4. Four year olds are so much more fun than 5 month olds. I love my grand-nephew to pieces, but I was very glad to send him home with his mom and dad and get 8 hours of sleep last night.

 

 

Bountiful Baskets 2/23/2013

Here is my bountiful baskets food co-op order for February 23, 2013. Bountiful Baskets is a food co-op that we started to use last year. We usually get two baskets, and it costs us a total of $31.50.

For the fruit portion of our two baskets, we got 2 pineapples, 16 bananas, 5 grapefruits, 10 apples, and 8 oranges. We also had an additional 6 apples from volunteerting this morning, but I didn’t put those in this picture.

 

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For the vegetable portion of our two baskets, we got 3 five pound bags of potatoes, 3 heads of brocolli, 4 bunches of leeks, 2 heads of romaine lettuce, 2 eggplant, and 14 assorted rainbow carrots. I gave one 5 pound bag of potatoes to our neighbor. We still have some leftover from last week. I guess I’ll be making potato and leek soup again this week. Ignore the plate of sweet potatoes on the counter, I gave a small piece to each rabbit this morning as a treat and I forgot that I left the extras out when I took this picture. I’m a hardcore photographer like that. (har har)

 

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Here is everything together.  I think I’m going to have to switch to 1 basket a week soon, our spring garden is doing well, and I’m hopeful that we will have lots of produce from it this year.

 

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As for extra add ons this week. I did order the tortilla pack again. It’s $10 for 7 dozen assorted tortillas. I got them last November or December and we loved them, so I decided to get them again this week. I took a picture of them the first time, but did not take a picture of them today. They look the same, so here’s the old picture, just for reference. There are 3 dozen large burrito wraps (13 inches), 2 dozen corn tortillas (6 inches), and 2 dozen flour tortillas (6 inches). The are par-cooked, so they do need to be cooked for a minute or so on each side before eating. It’s worth the extra few minutes it takes, they are delicious. This is the first time in my life that I’ve loved corn tortillas. After having these on hand, store bought tortillas taste bland and stale. Tortillas are something that I can learn to make myself, but I have carpal tunnel and it really hurts my wrists to roll out more than a few at a time. So, until I get a tortilla press, I will keep buying them from bountiful baskets.

 

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My Mom is visiting my sister out of state, so my Dad let me be his date to the Dallas Summer Musical “Catch Me If You Can” show last week. It’s nice to spend time one on one time with my Dad. I don’t get to do that very often. We went to the afternoon show, and I think we were two of the younger people there. We were an island in the middle of a sea of huge shoulder pads and flat slip ons. The show was great, I liked the song, ‘Seven Wonders’ the best.

This coming up week should be fun. My 3 year old is turning 4. We sold one car and are looking to buy a new-to-us-but-gently-used work truck  (with cash!). One of the rabbits is due on Thursday (I hope the babies fare better this time than they did last time).  I’m going to start decluttering, cleaning, and packing up things we can live without for 6 months. I’ve also got/want to knit a baby hat for an expectant friend.

I’ll try to post a rabbit update later this week. I hope I have good news.

 

 

 

Bountiful Baskets 2/16/2013

Here is our Bountiful Basket order for Feb. 16, 2013.

We did not volunteer this morning, as one of the kids is sick. This week was vegetable heavy, so the tomatoes are actually counted as a fruit for once. Here is the fruit portion of our order. 12 bananas, 12 pink lady apples, 14 clementines, 2 containers of cherry tomatoes, and 2 pineapples that I donated to our local fire department (not shown).

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Here is the vegetable portion of our 2 baskets. As you can see, the baskets were filled with veggies today. In my two baskets, I got 2 five pound bags of white potatoes, 2 heads of brocolli, 10 green peppers, 3 avacado, 3 heads of iceberg lettuce, 2 bundles of spinach, and 4 large leeks.

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Here is the money shot – all of this (plus the 2 pineapples not shown) cost just $31.50. Tonight we had salad and baked potatoes for supper and I’m going to make a batch of potato leek soup another night this week. The avacados are going to become guac. and I might try a new stuffed bell pepper recipe as well.  It’s really easy to plan dinner around yummy produce.

 

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In rabbit news, we bred Polymorph and Pretty Boy at the end of January. I palpated Polymorph today and she is pregnant. Her due date is 2/28. I hope she doesn’t eat them this time! The other doe is not interested in our buck. I’m going to try to switch their hutches later this week to see if she is more interested in him after a night of hanging out in his pad. We’ll see…

All of the rabbits have ear mites, a common problem in outdoor rabbits. Ear mites are little bugs that nestle in warm comfy rabbit ears. It causes the inside of the ears to become red, crusty, and scaly. Luckily, there is an easy fix. Olive oil! I put just a few drops of olive oil in each ear tonight. I’ll have to repeat it daily for the next week, then weekly for the next month – but it should get rid of the mites without any problem. The rabbits hate it though – here is Pretty Boy trying to figure out if I have a yummy treat for him. Doesn’t the inside of his ear look painful? Poor guy.

 

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In worm news – I checked on the wormies this past week, and they are alive and kicking! I never expected them to make it through the winter, especially in my novice care, but not only did they make it – they seem to be thriving. Woohoo. I’ll post some pictures of the creepy crawlies as the weather warms up.  I hope they keep reproducing. I want to take some of them fishing with me this spring….. 🙂

 

Yay! My first blog award.

I’m super excited! I was just nominated for my first blog award by my new homesteading buddy over at http://sundaydinnerfarm.wordpress.com/.

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Rules

This award is given to new or up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers…the award is then passed along to other bloggers in the same category to help spread the word and support one another. What to do:
1. Each blogger should post 11 random facts about themselves.
2. Answer the questions the tagger has set for you, then create 11 new questions for the bloggers you pass the award to.
3. Choose 11 new bloggers (with less than 200 followers) to pass the award to and link them in your post.
4. Go back to their page and tell them about the award.
5. No tag backs.
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11 Random Facts about Me.

1. My favorite color is purple.

2. I like reading and I almost always have a half-finished book sitting around.

3. I can grow vegetables with no problem, but I can’t seem to keep any other plants alive. I’m currently landscaping my front yard with kale and rainbow swiss chard.

4. I grew up by the beach in Florida and I really, really miss the ocean.

5. If I count my stepson, I had three kids before my 20th birthday. Crazy, eh?  (The other two are my now 14 year old twins.)

6. When I was little, I wanted to be a vet. I also wanted to marry a farmer.

7. My wedding ring was my DH’s late mom’s ring. I love it, but I very rarely wear it.

8. When I met my DH, I worked as an auto technician at the same shop he still works at.

9. I’m highly allergic to mangoes, cashews, and pistachios. They are all in the sumac family, just like poison ivy and poison oak.

10. I don’t wash my hair with shampoo or conditioner. I use baking soda and ACV. I only have to wash my hair every 4-5 days, and it never gets oily or greasy.

11. I’ve got Ambliopia – you’d never know it just looking at me – but my depth perception sucks.

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11 Questions for my nominees:

1. What color socks are you wearing? Handknit socks that I just finished yesterday. They are so comfy, it feels like I’m wearing hugs on my feet. This is a picture of the pair I made for my sister. I used the same pattern and the same yarn on the ones I am wearing right now. Handknit socks are the best. socks. ever.

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2. What is your favorite book. Why? The Bible. Everytime I read parts of it, I look at life from a fresh and new perspective.

3. Can you drive stick shift? I could get from point A to point B if I had to, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable about it.

4. Name your most embarrassing high school memory. Good question, but I got in way too much trouble as a teenager, and I’m not sure I want to write about those days when my now teenagers might read this…  (lol)

5. Have you ever had a “free” fish? Was it still alive a week later? Yes! It was a beta. I expected it to die by day 4, but the thing lived for 3 years. It was the most stubborn fish alive. I have no idea how it lived for so long, we were horrible fish guardians.

6.If you could choose to vacation by yourself for a week, with unlimited funds, where and what would you choose? Norway, but I wouldn’t want to go by myself. I would want my family and extended family to come with me.

7. I dip my pickles in milk. What bizarre food choice/habit do you have? I like mayonaise on my grilled cheese sandwiches.

8. What is the most important advice you would give to your 18 year old self? Listen to your parents better, they have your best interests at heart..

9. Have you ever sung karaoke? Yes, I sang a flat version of Wind Beneath my Wings at Wet-N-Wild in Florida one night with some high school friends. It was fun, but I’m not sure I would do it again.

10. What is your bowling average? 140, Huzzah!

11. Who killed JR.?  I had no idea until I googled it and read the Wikipedia article about it. Ha.

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11 Questions for my nominees:

1. How many and what kinds of pets do you have?

2. What is your favorite bread, cake, or cookie recipe?

3.  Are you on track to complete your New Years Resolution?

4. What is the strangest thing you’ve ever found in your purse/car?

5. What are you reading right now?

6. How many loads of laundry do you have to do each week to keep up?

7. What is your guilty pleasure?

8. Name the first three things that always seem to be on your computer desk.

9. I was born on April 1st! What day were you born on?

10. What’s for supper tonight?

11. How did you decide on your blog’s name?

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11 Blogs I nominate (in no particular order)

 

http://operationhomestead.blogspot.com/

http://letsgetrealjeremiah2911.blogspot.com/

http://adayinthelifelifeofafarmerswife.blogspot.com/

http://www.coopandcottage.blogspot.com/

http://wearemovingtothecountry.blogspot.com/

http://homegrownlifestyle1.blogspot.com/

http://beautifullifeofjoy.blogspot.com/

http://thewelcominghouse.blogspot.com/

http://backyardfarmyard.blogspot.ca/

http://mymaplehillfarm.blogspot.com/

http://aspiringtosimplicity.wordpress.com

 

 

Bountiful Baskets 2/9/13

Here is my Bountiful Basket order for February 9, 2013. I bought two baskets and no extras, so everything in the pictures below cost me a grand total of $31.50.

 

For the vegetables, we got 3 heads of cabbage, 3 spaghetti squash, 2 bunches of spinach, 3 English cucumbers, 2 giant sweet potatoes, 2 heads of cauliflower, and 3 containers of cherry tomatoes. My spinach was muddy, and I’m sure someone, somewhere is complaining about it; but I don’t mind. I washed it really well and took the stems off for the bun-buns. They enjoy them and it cuts down on their food bill. I’m really happy about the cabbage. I bought a few packages of ramen to make a ramen, cabbage slaw. I think I’m going to make it for lunch today. Yummy.

 

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Here is the fruit that came in our two baskets. There were 2 bags of apples, 6 additional apples. 10 pears, 10 bananas, and 24 blood oranges. I might juice the oranges this week. The bananas are most likely going into the dehydrator, and the pears and apples are going to be used in lunches and for snacks.

 

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Here is everything together.  This was a pretty decent week, there is a lot of food there. I’m going to have to replan our meals so everything will get used before it goes bad. I’m most excited about the cherry tomatoes and the apples. I’m least excited about the cauliflower.  I hope that bountiful baskets offers the olive oil again next week. I’m kicking myself for passing it up.

 

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Dehydrating and Canning

Let me start with the biggest news first – – We have decided to put the house on the market this spring!  Houses in our area are taking a long time to sell, so we might not be able to move for another year or so – but every step forward is a step in the right direction. I’ve got a laundry list of things to do to get the house cleaned and ready for the realtor in a couple of months. I also have been preserving like crazy. I love getting Bountiful Baskets every week, but sometimes we just don’t get a chance to eat it all. My mom went out of town last week, and before she left, she brought over her excess produce as well. ACK!  My dehydrator has been running for the last few days. Here is one batch of fruit that I was drying earlier in the week. The apples and bananas go quickly around here, but I’ve still got almost all of the pineapple and strawberries ready to be snacked on. These make wonderful snacks for the kidlets.

 

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See the few sacks of potatoes in the background of that picture? I used my pressure canner and turned them into 5 quarts of canned potatoes.  I cheated and just cut the skins off instead of peeling them all. These will be great to use in soups or for instant mashed potatoes. All I need to do is open them and drain them before I use them. It’s my suburban homestead fast food.

 

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I also canned some salsa this week. Out of all of these, we only have 7 left. We’ve gone through 5 pints in 4 days. Wowzers. My kids really, really love salsa. I think my 3 year old has a jalapeno allergy, so some of these are made especially for him. He has eaten 2 pints by himself in the last few days. I can’t wait for tomatoes fresh from my garden this summer! I’m going to have to can salsa by the quart if I’m going to have any chance of it lasting us through the winter months next year. 2 quarts a week should be plenty. I’m going to need to buy more canning jars….

 

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I’m doing pretty well on my goal of canning more this year. It was unrealistic to think that I can preserve all of our fruits and veggies for the year, but I’m doing my best and I’m loving the results so far. It’s also making me realize just how much I will need to grow if I’m going to grow all of our veggies for the year. My 450 sq foot garden is no where near big enough. After we move, I’m going to have to double it, double it again, then triple it, then double it again…. *Deep breath*  I need to remember to take babysteps. This is not an overnight process. It takes cultivating and practice. We will get there at some point though. And, I’m looking forward to it.