Archive for the ‘House & Home’ Category


  • Three kinds of dry beans
  • Bush beans
  • Pole Beans
  • Potatoes
  • Yellow onions
  • Summer and Winter squash
  • Garlic
  • Nasturitum
  • Two kinds of peas
  • New herbs: Hyssop, Valerian, Ginseng, Goldenseal
  • Many varieties of loose leaf salads.

I am so pleased with how everything is going despite my not getting a greenhouse until later int he season. I feel like I am better prepared for this season because my garden is more organized and it is bigger than it was last year. Since some of the seedlings died, I am able to pay more attention to the healthy, living plants.

New pets

I kept three of Alley’s five kittens. I named them Basil, Iris, and Trinket. Basil has stripes and spots all over him, he will be quiet a fetching sight when he gets older. He looks like a little wild cat. Iris has a long black coat with some coloring throughout. She has a brown spot on her head. She is the smallest one, she has the shortest tail and her eyes are a little close together, so has such a sweet face. Trinket kind of looks like Iris, but her coat is smoother and she has more spots and streaks through. Her most noted characteristic is a brown stripe down her face. When she was a newborn she reminded me of a little bear. 

Now that the weather has turned each Monday I use my clothesline, except today it is rainy. 😦 But since we have so little laundry I will either wait until this evening if the rain lets up, or I will do it on Tuesday.

My goal as to living more modestly is going well, I would like to downsize my wardrobe. I still have stacks of material waiting to be sewn into garments and stacks of white and off-white cotton waitingt o be sewn into bloomers.

Aaron has an appointment on Wednesday for his arm, please pray for us!

That’s all for now!


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Yes! I finally made some! Even though grating the bar of soap made my arms ache a little, it is well worth it!

  1. 1 bar of Fels-Naptha grated
  2. Add to two quarts of water on the stove top, stir until melted. Be attentive to it!
  3. Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full with very warm water.
  4. To the bucket add 1 cup of washing soda (Arm & Hammer) and 1/2 cup of borax (20 mule). Stir until dissolved.
  5. Add the melted soap mixture. Stir together. 
  6. Fill the rest of the bucket with warm water.
  7. Cover and leave it to sit over night.
  8. In the morning it should be a lemon pudding type texture.  

That is what I did on Friday. On Saturday I didn’t have time to fill up my empty Tide and Wisk detergent bottles. On Sunday my eagerness got the best of me and I began to fill them up. Since my soap had the consistency of Jell-O instead of lemon pudding I decided to fill my bottle half full of soap then fill the rest with very warm water.

Yesterday was spent experimenting on with my concoction and I was rather pleased with it. With every use I shook up the bottle. The consistency of the soap was marvelous and when my clothes came out of the dryer they didn’t smell like anything but clothes. The only load that really had a scent still on them was the towels but it wasn’t too bad. The only thing I didn’t experiment on were Aaron’s dirty clothes, which require at least three cycles, along with pre-soaking and hot water. If I can’t use my detergent on his clothes I can still use them on mine and it will still save money.

Under my laundry sink sits 10 gallons of laundry soap in used Tide and Wisk bottles. Each time I pass them I am happy to know that I have made a fulfilling dent in our grocery bill.

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This past weekend I suffered from a mild case of food poisoning. Now I am over it and I have been up and at ’em ever since.

Yesterday morning I woke up at around quarter after six in the morning. Full of energy. I decided not to stay in bed after the alarm went off. I told Aaron I was going to take a shower. After a short shower I got dressed, and with a bowl of Life cereal and coffee, I sat in the armchair and read a chapter in my Bible.

I rinsed my dishes in the sink and looked around for something that I could do that wouldn’t disturb Aaron, who had been suffering from pain and not having a good night’s rest. I couldn’t vacuum, I couldn’t make the bed yet. Then I remembered  had a load of Aaron’s work clothes in the dryer. I began to fold his work shirts. I found I needed hangers for his pants and jackets. So I quietly went into the bedroom to get them. I told Aaron that I didn’t know what to really do since I couldn’t vacuum “You can.” He replied quietly. “And I really can’t make the bed.”  Aaron’s voice broke through the mound of pillows, “You could make breakfast.” What a novel idea! On regular days we usually have cereal in the morning together. I asked him what he wanted. “Maybe pancakes.”  “Oh, yeah I can make you pancakes.” 🙂

So off I went, knowing that I could finished putting away laundry later. I looked through my Healthy Choices Cookbook and found a recipe that I thought wouldn’t yield 20 pancakes. They were just the right amount. And they were thick. Knowing that three pancakes might not be enough I went back in the bedroom to ask him if he would like it if I cooked up some sausages for him. Upon putting my hand on his back I realized I woke him up out of a somewhat deep snooze. I asked him about the sausages. He told me how good it felt to actually get some sleep. He was pleased with his breakfast, and I was pleased with how my day was starting.

Naturally, I do not have good managing skills, and was not raised to be a KAH or a SAHM. So, in planning my days I have come to the conclusion that I must be maticulous and particular almost obbessed, since I know that everything is not going to fall into place on it’s own. Why did my school day run so smoothly? How did I know where I needed to be and at what time? Why did it feel so awkward to have an inturuption in the flow of the day? Because I had a schedule.

Once I read that children thrive on order. One of the gifts I can give my children to be raised in an orderly, clean, steadily paced home!  Now I am not talking about having every minute of everyone’s life under control. The kind of home I am talking about has having a place for everything and having everything in place, having an orderly enough schedule with time for interruptions of someone drops by or there is an unexpected errand to be run.

And another thing, I think I owe it to Aaron (as well do married women owe it to their husbands) to take care of our home to thouroughly. Besides, he works so I can stay home. 🙂

I cannot tell you why I woke up so ready to go on Tuesday, must be a God thing. 🙂 That night I thanked Him as a drifted off.

Is there anyone else out there that struggles with management skills? If so, how do our combat with them?

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What I love about our house,

It’s OURS.

Although it does present it’s challenges, it is such a pleasure running your own home. It gives you a sense of comfort and accomplishment when your husband tells you that he feels loved when he comes home.

Furnishing our home with things that I have made or collected, putting up food, even something as simple has making the bed gives my a little spring in my step to move onto my next chore whether it is an enjoyable one or not.

A few days ago, I harvested what I assumed was the last of the herbs. I am giving them a rest and when the frost becomes heavy I will be covering my more tender plants, such as rosemary, to try to winter them over. I brought in my stevia and the sweet marjoram that Betsy bought for me for my birthday. Though they might peter out because they are annuals I plan on seeing how long I can keep them. There is something about having herbs that is so enjoyable. They are forgiving plants, and they love you right back.

Aaron put up shelving in the closet of the unoccupied, unfinished front bedroom. It felt good to organize the filled jars. I told him that I loved his quality of being so handy, he warned me that I might not think so at times when he wants to fix everything. As of now I think that it is much better than being lazy, leaving projects unfinished or things falling apart. Along with the shelving, he fixed a wood horse shaped swing that my Grandpa made, and a bench that has been begging for his attention for a long time to be repaired. I am really looking forward to spending more time with him this winter.

Alley and Tuxedo have been well. They love goats milk. I give them  a small bowl full when the milk is close to a week old and is getting a more goaty taste. This is nice because I don’t feel bad for having it go to waste. Aaron only has milk on his cereal in the mornings, and I am not a big fan. The last few samplings I have had have been goaty. When I taste it I immediately think of Merry, the ‘boss’ of my brother-in-law Brian’s small goat herd.

I haven’t been online in nearly four days. I like this release, it’s freeing.

Happy Tuesday Readers!

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Monday after doing my bags of corn, I began to develop a sore throat. Ugh, not what I wanted!

Yesterday I didn’t do anything productive, I rested and napped. I was also popping horehound candies, and I was amazed at how much mucus my nose was producing! Which was a good thing because I could blow my nose to get rid of the junk. I also sipped on a tangerine drink mixture and before bed I tried to clear my nose with the steam from chamomile tea. Ahh, I love herbs.

The second day of being sick is not fun either. I feel sluggish, lazy, tired. The house is a mess because we haven’t been home much these past few weeks so all we do is drop stuff off and run. I don’t feel like doing anything, but there is so much to do!

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When we have too much to take care of our lives are simply overrun. We continue to spread ourselves too thin and begin to neglect things. We run around stressing over all of what we have to take care of. I have never been the Queen of “Throw it Away” but right now. I need to be before I give up completely for my house to be controlled by mountains of nothing. The more stuff you have, the more it has you. This has happened to me and it has got to change.

My Living Modestly List

  • Clothing, not only in style, but quantity.
  • Organization, “Does this have a home?”
  • Saying “No” to certain things.
  • Do I honestly need three of “____” ?
  • Make a gift box to put good unneeded items to give to others
  • Use it up, wear it out, make do, or make without

A list of sudden life changes can be very hard for a person so I will have to make baby steps into this way of life so I don’t burn out.

How have you simplified your life? Do you find ourself in a similar dilemma?

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Two days ago I was pleasantly surpirised by a black raspberry bush that I found growing amoungst a lilac bush. The berry bush in taller than I am so it has been there for awhile. Today I thought about cutting back part of the lilac bush so I can access those sweet berries better. I would have to ask Aaron though. Any pointers on berry bushes?

I have been blessed to live outside of the city in a house that is 100% ours that we have to make no payments on which is a praise within itself. There is so much I want to learn and do!

Growing our food from salads to corn to watermelons to cabbage.

Canning, drying, freezing our harvest.

Making my own jams, jellies, relishes and other condiments.

Buying pantry staples in bulk.

Using hand powered kitchen appliances.

Planting and using culinary herbs like Basil to make fresh pesto and Tarragon to put in vinegar for salad dressing.

Planting and using medicinal herbs from harvesting wild plantains for postpartum relief to making white horehound lozenges and cough syrup to echinacea tinctures.

Digging a root cellar

Having a home library versus a video game collection

Cloth diapers hanging on the clothesline.

Going to pick…anything blueberries, apples, blackberries, strawberries, cherries…

Using my wood stove for more than just heating the house.

Patchwork quilts and crocheted afghans for everyone.

Home birthing


Family devotions.

Little girls running around in home sewn dressies with little lacy headcoverings and little boys running around with ‘spa-menders’


🙂 What would you like to learn?

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