Monday, February 8, 2016

(mis)Adventures Mondays Blog Hop #57

Welcome to the (mis)Adventures Mondays 
Blog Hop!  


This party is a 
Rules Free Party!!!

Share anything you want!!! We love seeing what you are up to! Be it recipes, DIY, giveaways, hops, crafts, funny stories... they're all welcome here!

After you share, don't forget to take minute to check out what everyone else is up to! You might just learn a thing or two, find a great new recipe, or get a giggle!

Each week's feature(s) will be pinned to our (mis)Adventures Mondays Blog Hop Board over on Pinterest! Features will also be shared on Facebook, Google +, and Twitter! 
This week's feature(s) is.....

Sunday, February 7, 2016

A Week of Homestead Photos January 31st - February 6th

One day it is winter, the next feels like spring. Snow, mud, snow, mud. I honestly wish Mother Nature would make up her mind! At this rate I don't know if we will be able to make maple syrup this year or not. *pout*

Grumpy Goldie has been taking her meds like a champ for her "girly" infection. Who knew it would be so easy to give a chicken antibiotics with a syringe! And egg production is up this week as well. None from Goldie (she will probably never lay again) but the other hens are becoming more consistent again.

This week I have something special for you all. It isn't a photo, it is a video! I know, I know, it says a week of homestead photos, but I managed to catch Ester laying an egg and it was just too cool not to share with you all, so enjoy.

So what made me smile this week?

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Simple Saturdays Blog Hop February 6


Welcome to the Simple Saturdays Blog Hop. We can't wait to see what you have to share this week!

This blog hop is brought to you by a group of wonderful co-hosts committed to the Simple way of Life and learning to be Self Reliant in all they do.  Simple Saturdays Blog Hop is a way for each of us to share the various ways we are learning to be more Self Reliant in our homes and on our land. This is all about building community, learning new skills and growing more self-sufficient!


Please join us, submit YOUR Self-Reliant post (maybe even 2 or 3), browse around, visit a site or two and learn some new Simple tips or Self Reliant How'To's!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Cave Tools Wood Chip Smoker Box Review

A couple of months ago I was contacted by a company called Cave Tools asking If I would be willing to review one of their products and give you all an honest review of it. Of course you all know me, I am about as honest as they come, bluntly so at times. They gave me a choice of products and we decided since we like to BBQ and smoke meats to preserve them, we would give their wood chip smoker box a test.

When the wood chip smoker box arrived I let my hubby (the grill master) open it up. The first thing we both noticed is the quality. This is not your standard, run of the mill, flimsy box! We both oooed and ahhhed at the thickness of the metal used to construct the smoker box. Okay, so far so good. I was impressed with the construction and materials of this grilling accessory. Now how to test it?

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Grumpy Goldie Goes to the Vet

Recently I had to take our Alpha hen, Grumpy Goldie to the vet. Now some people giggled at me, taking a chicken to the vet and all, but it had to be done. This isn’t the first time we have taken a hen to the vet, but sadly the other two times it was due to predator injury and those hens could not be saved. But Grumpy Goldie, luckily, was only battling an infection. I had high hopes that with some antibiotics, we could help her out.

So how do you take a chicken to the vet? Well I guess a normal person would use a pet crate or a cardboard box, but being the odd folks we are, I pulled out our chicken diaper and put it on her. Yes, we own a chicken diaper. The country kids like to bring a chicken or duck in on occasion to hang out or watch cartoons and well I am not one for poultry poo on the floor and furniture.

Monday, February 1, 2016

(mis)Adventures Mondays Blog Hop #56

Welcome to the (mis)Adventures Mondays 
Blog Hop!  


This party is a 
Rules Free Party!!!

Share anything you want!!! We love seeing what you are up to! Be it recipes, DIY, giveaways, hops, crafts, funny stories... they're all welcome here!

After you share, don't forget to take minute to check out what everyone else is up to! You might just learn a thing or two, find a great new recipe, or get a giggle!

Each week's feature(s) will be pinned to our (mis)Adventures Mondays Blog Hop Board over on Pinterest! Features will also be shared on Facebook, Google +, and Twitter! 
This week's feature(s) is.....

Sunday, January 31, 2016

A Week of Homestead Photos January 24th - 30th

What a crazy week. Stress, humor, joy, you name the emotion, I have been through it this week. Our alpha hen, Grumpy Goldie has a girly infection and it weighed heavy on my mind till we managed to get her to the vet. She is our oldest hen and I would so hate to lose her.

The country kids have been going stir crazy with the weather, which can't decide if it is winter or spring. It is either slick ice sheets or mud, mud, and more mud out there.

I will warn you right now, I did a LOT of smiling this week. I normally don't share this many photos, but I had to. I just couldn't narrow it down anymore then this!

So what made me smile this week....

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Simple Saturdays Blog Hop January 30


Welcome to the Simple Saturdays Blog Hop. We can't wait to see what you have to share this week!

This blog hop is brought to you by a group of wonderful co-hosts committed to the Simple way of Life and learning to be Self Reliant in all they do.  Simple Saturdays Blog Hop is a way for each of us to share the various ways we are learning to be more Self Reliant in our homes and on our land. This is all about building community, learning new skills and growing more self-sufficient!


Please join us, submit YOUR Self-Reliant post (maybe even 2 or 3), browse around, visit a site or two and learn some new Simple tips or Self Reliant How'To's!

Friday, January 29, 2016

What is a Lash Egg?!?!

Let me start by saying, a "lash egg" is NOT an egg at all. Oh no. Some may be more egg shaped then the one I found in my coop the other night, but trust me, this alien looking thing is far from an egg and an indicator that something is really wrong in the reproductive tract of one of your hens!

Lash eggs are pretty gross and are the result of an infection and inflammation of the oviduct. Medically it is called Salpingitis. If you are squeamish, stop reading now..... There is yucky stuff ahead. Like gagging descriptions and photos that might make some squirm.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

White Chocolate Rum Chata Pudding (for stressed out moms!)

I am not a big drinker by anyone's standards. I maybe, MAYBE have a half dozen drinks a year. I am not a fan of beer, even though hubby brews his own, and I don't care for a lot of liquors on their own. I also don’t care for mixed drinks where there is an over powering liquor taste. You know what I am talking about, when you drink, exhale and it burns. Yeah, not my cup of tea. However, over Christmas I had the chance to sample an adult pudding that not only tastes good, but goes down WAY to easy!

This simple to make adult dessert has only four ingredients, keeps well in the fridge, and can also be frozen to make adult popsicle. *high five* I know what I’m going to have to hide from the kids this summer. *wink* So grab your mixing bowl and a bottle of Rum Chata and let’s get to “work.” Oh who am I kidding, this is way too easy to make to be considered work.

Monday, January 25, 2016

(mis)Adventures Mondays Blog Hop #55

Welcome to the (mis)Adventures Mondays 
Blog Hop!  


This party is a 
Rules Free Party!!!

Share anything you want!!! We love seeing what you are up to! Be it recipes, DIY, giveaways, hops, crafts, funny stories... they're all welcome here!

After you share, don't forget to take minute to check out what everyone else is up to! You might just learn a thing or two, find a great new recipe, or get a giggle!

Each week's feature(s) will be pinned to our (mis)Adventures Mondays Blog Hop Board over on Pinterest! Features will also be shared on Facebook, Google +, and Twitter! 
This week's feature(s) is.....

Sunday, January 24, 2016

A Week of Homestead Photos January 16th - 23rd

It has been another frozen week of winter here in Michigan, but that's winter in Michigan. LOL Believe it or not the littlest country kid LOVES playing outside, even if the temps are freezing. Cold, fresh air help him sleep better too. *wink* Don't worry, I never let him stay out too long for fear of frost bite. But oh how he cries when he has to come in, even though ever exposed piece of skin is deep pink from cold.

Even though we are in the grip of winter, we are already looking towards spring. I am getting some serious chick itch and can't decide what breeds I want to add to our flock. I just hope Betty doesn't decided to try and hatch another brood of ducklings. *smacks forehead* Have you ever tried to re-home a boat load of ducks? It's not easy!

So what made me smile this week.....

Friday, January 22, 2016

Henny & Roo Subscription Box Review (and Giveaway!)

You might have seen those boxes you can subscribe to for your dog, meals or beauty products. Well now there is a box just for use crazy chicken (poultry) people! It's called Henny & Roo and I was recently asked to take a look at the first box and tell you all what I think.

I have never been keen on subscription boxes, seeing as I have a limited about of "disposable" income. I mean if I need something, I go to the store and get it, why would I want a mystery box of stuff that I may or may not be able to use, right? What the heck, I would take a peek at this subscription box and I am so glad I did!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

So What Ever Happened to Betty's Brood? (A Duck Update)

It has been a long time since I did a Duck Tales post. The last time I shared was this spring as Betty’s brood of babies were hatched and growing. Time flies on the homestead and I never updated you all on how they did. So here is the rest of the story……

Sunday, January 17, 2016

A Week of Homestead Photos January 10th - 16th

The cold weather continued to grip us this week. Can I say, I am just not a fan of frozen waterers. I mean I seriously dislike having to get my hands chilly trying to break ice out of water dishes. Inevitably, I get water on my hands and touch something metal and well, ouch!

Despite the cold temps, like zero and below, we did spend a lot of time outside this week. Why? I really have no clue! None what so ever. But it made for fun times and great memories.

I also tweeked my chocolate chip recipe this week, much to the worry and fear of the natives, because, well, I make really great chocolate chip cookies, so why was I messing with perfection?!?!? I am happy to report they turned out just as good, if not better then the originals!!

So what made me smile this week.....

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Mind blowing, Taste Bud Rocking, Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recently in the kitchen, I performed an act bordering on treason in my family. You see, they all LOVE my chocolate chip cookies. In fact, I am know throughout my extended family as the one who makes the most awesome chocolate chip cookies. My hubby once said, mine were better than his mom's! So when I started playing with my recipe, there was fear and anger.

Why mess with the best? Well I wanted a softer chocolate chip cookie. Have you ever had a Soft Batch cookie from the store? Yeah, I wanted something like that, only better. A chocolate chip cookie that was thicker and softer.

But why, when my original chocolate chip cookie kept the crowds happy, would I mess with perfection?!?! Well, because I want what I want! So I set off on a quest that ended in magic, but angered the towns folk along the way. I am happy to report, not only was I not burned at the stake, but by the amazing vanishing act, this new version is just as amazing if not BETTER then my original chocolate chip cookies!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

How to Homestead Where You Already Live

When I say the word homestead, what pops into your mind? Is it a vision of vast land, large gardens, and critters everywhere? For some, that is what homesteading is, but I want to let you in on a little secret....

Now this is just my opinion of course, but homesteading is a lifestyle, that can be practiced anywhere. *gasp* Yes I did just say that. My motto is “It’s not the amount of land you live on, but what you do on that land that makes you a homesteader.”

Sunday, January 10, 2016

A Week of Homestead Photos January 3rd - 9th

Winter finally decided to show up in Michigan this week. We didn't have a white Christmas, but we do have a white January, much to the delight of the country kids! The howling winds however are making enjoying the white stuff slightly miserable for both kids and critters.

We, like most of America, Have been buying a lottery ticket for the power ball. As of this morning, we are still poor. LOL But that's okay, I wouldn't know what to do with that kind of crazy money. Though the country kids have put in a request for a tree house if we should win this week. They have their priorities straight! *wink* Better then asking for electronics or something crazy, don't you think? I would have asked for a baby elephant myself. I have always wanted one! I'm just kidding about the elephant. I mean I have always wanted one, but the poo they make.... never mind!

So what made me smile this week.....

Sunday, January 3, 2016

A Week of Homestead Photos December 27th - January 2nd



Hello 2016, you vixen you, with your promises for a better year. In all honesty, it is just another day on a calendar to me. I don't expect a magical awakening of good luck or a windfall of fortune just because the last digit of the year has changed when I write a check.

What I do expect is that life will go on, and there will be plenty of opportunities to smile, no matter what is going on in the "big picture" of life. So for saying farewell to 2015 and hello to 2016, this is what made me smile this week.....

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Top 20 Posts of 2015

It is hard to believe 2015 is already coming to a close. I feels like it was all just a big blur! He have had new adventures this year, like hatching eggs in an incubator and under our duck, and continued some of our favorite activities, like making our own maple syrup. There have been ups and downs, sorrow and joy......

I know I have my favorite posts from this year, but it is interesting to look back at the end of each year and see which were our most popular posts here on our blog. You know, the stuff YOU guys liked! I must admit, a few of my favorites made the list too! So, without further ado and in no particular order...... Check out of top 20 of 2015!

Drum roll, please.............

Sunday, December 27, 2015

A Week of Homestead Photos December 20th-26th

After being down in the dumps last week, I decided to take my grandmother's advice. When ever I call her and ask her how she is doing, she responds "Great, I got up, put my feet on the floor and pulled up my bootstraps." So this week, I pulled up my bootstraps!

It was a little hard as there was no snow, and well it just didn't feel like Christmas in Michigan. I mean the temps were in the 50s! But I forced myself to pull up those bootstraps, get things ready, and find joy in doing so.

I hope you enjoy the small things in life that made me smile this week.....

Sunday, December 20, 2015

A Week of Homestead Photos December 13th- 19th

I would love to shower you all with things that made me smile this week. I really would. I mean it is right before Christmas, you would think I would have a ton of festive photos and holiday cheer to share with you. But being the totally honest person I am..... This week was the biggest pile of poo I have had in a long time.

There were martial issues, rotten kids, crappy cold temps and a broken toilet just to name a few of the reasons why this week sucked the big one. BUT, I did have a few, just a few bright moments this week, and here they are (well minus a picture of my toilet after the Roto-rooter guy got it working again LOL) .........

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Turn a Simple Placemat into a Fabulous Throw Pillow!

I love throw pillow! Tapestry throw pillows are just so "fancy." I don't however love the ridiculous price of those fabulous little pillows. I have seen little tapestry throw pillows from $20 and up?!?! That is SO out of my budget. But guess what? My house is filled with tapestry throw pillows and I am going to tell you how I make them for just a few dollars each!

You don't have to spend a lot to have the finer things in life. Okay, well at least when it comes to throw pillows. LOL If you can sew a straight line (or sorta straight) you can whip these out by the dozens! The key is to use tapestry placemats to make them!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

A Week of Homestead Photos December 6th - 12th

Last year at this time, we had below zero temps, which is normal. This year? It was 62 degrees yesterday?!?! I am a little freaked out by this, and while I shouldn't be complaining, it does worry me. We need the ground to freeze in order to have a good maple sap run in the spring and at this rate, I don't see us making maple syrup this year.

With all this warmer weather here in Michigan, it also makes it harder to get into the Christmas Spirit. I am so used to trudging through the snow! We did finally get our Christmas tree, but it is still not decorated. LOL Maybe that will be today's task if the country kids aren't outside playing in this amazing weather.

So here's what made me smile this week.....

Sunday, December 6, 2015

A Week of Homestead Photos November 29th - December 5th

Another week has come and gone and of course I found things that brought a smile to my face. The snow has melted and while it is still around the freezing mark, at least we aren't trudging through snow!

We have been busy, busy, busy with homeschooling, setting in feed and supplies for the critters for the coming winter months, and actually getting out and about to activities.

Of course with Christmas looming ever closer, I am feeling the crunch to finish up my handmade gifts. I think making gifts just adds an extra ounce of love to them.

So enough of me rambling, let's get to what made me smile this week....

Saturday, December 5, 2015

DIY Christmas Ornaments

When it comes to our home and Christmas decorations, well, you will never see my humble abode gracing the pages of Better Homes and Gardens. Our Christmas tree is far from Martha Stewart perfect. And ya know what? I am so totally fine with these facts! Why? Because while none of our ornaments may match, they each have personal meaning to us. Be it the totem pole from our honeymoon in Alaska, or the Three Stooges whom my hubby likes, there is a little “something” behind everything on our tree. And to me, memories mean more then perfectly matched balls of color.

Since homesteading has become a way of life for us, we decided that some of our critters needed to grace our tree too! I came up with this super simple ornament idea the oldest country kid could help me make. Now you don’t have to use farm animals of course, this will work with any photos you have! Be creative! Photos of family, friends or even just things you find catch your eye can be used in this project to create one of a kind ornaments or make them as gifts!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Week of Homestead Photos November 22nd - 28th




I totally dropped the ball this week when it came to taking photos. I was too busy living life! And that is the way it should be, in my opinion. With fun times to be had in the snow, Thanksgiving to host, and the four day weekend our family had, I was too busy enjoying my memories instead of taking photos of them all. I did manage to find a few photos on my camera and phone that I wanted to share with you this week. While I may not have taken a bunch of photos this week, there were MANY things that made me smile! These are just a few....

Monday, November 23, 2015

Maple Tapping Gift Ideas and Giveaway

As you may or may not know, we have been tapping our maple trees for a few years now. It is a wonderful outdoor activity that the whole family can be part of. Not to mention, you end up with some super yummy syrup!

Over the years, we have improvised and made our own equipment for tapping because, well, equipment can get a little pricey. For the most part, our homemade equipment served its purpose. But I have always longed for something that could keep the bugs out of our sap as it collected, you know, “REAL” equipment. And as with any hobby, you are always looking to upgrade what you use as time goes on.

Last year I contacted Maple Tapper about their equipment….. but it was flying off their shelves so fast, they were backed up on orders. That’s a good problem to have if you’re selling maple tapping equipment! That means more people are tapping and that they obviously carried affordable, quality supplies!! I also might have waited till it was a little too close to tapping season to try to get my hands on new equipment. *hangs head* So I suffered through yet another tapping season with ants getting in my sap collection buckets. Those little buggers would just shimmy down our homemade taps, jumping right in the sap on their quest for the sugars in the sap.

Maple tapping season usually starts anywhere from mid-February and can last through mid-April, depending on where you live and the weather. This year, I didn’t wait, and my taps showed up last month in preparation for our 2016 tapping season. I cannot wait for the ground to freeze this winter! I am so looking forward to tapping this coming year!

Now is the time to start thinking ahead for the tapping season. It is also a great time to think about giving a unique gift to someone you love. Tapping can be a family affair and Maple Tapper has kits and equipment for folks of all ages. That's right, tapping is for kids too! Our oldest country kid loves collecting sap every year, boiling it down and of course eating the results!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

A Week of Homestead Photos November 15th - 21st

What an incredible and diverse week we have had here at the homestead. You could feel and see fall slipping away quickly. The temperatures took a downward turn the wild birds began heading South in mass.

We always put Thanksgiving before Christmas, but my sewing might have had a more winter theme this week. And I may have broken down and already bought a Christmas gift or two.

Homeschooling and enjoying nature, even with the first snow fall yesterday, continue to be moments of growth and delight for the country kids. What a magical week we have had! So what made me smile this week? A LOT of things!! Here are just some of them....

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Super East DIY Pillowcases!!

Super easy do-it-yourself pillowcases….. Sure, if you are a professional seamstress, right? Nope! I am no professional, in fact, I am self-taught. Well, unless you count that half a semester back in middle school home economics class when I was supposed to sew a nightgown. Yeah, that didn’t end well!

Seriously folks, I didn’t start sewing till I was pushing 30. I bought a second hand machine and decided to just sit down and go for it. Recently my hubby bought me a new machine and what an amazing thing that is. It does stitches I don’t even know what I would use them for! I never buy patterns, I am more of a “wing it and see if it works” kind of girl.

But fear not, I have learned how to come up with my own patterns and simple ways to make things without all the technique jargon and know-how and so can you. If you can sew a semi-straight line, you can totally make these!

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