~Loving the Simple Ways of Living~

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Memorial Day Project

One Man's Junk is Another Man's Treasure

This project cost me around $3.00

   This glider was given to me in rough shape, so my wheels started turning. I just love to look at something old and think about how I can turn it into something special. This glider was still in good shape, it just needed a little TLC.
     I started by cleaning it (a good power washing.) Next I sprayed all the metal with a gray primer spray, that I already had on hand. After that, I sprayed the metal with a glossy black rust free spray (had that on hand also.) Last step was painting all the wood with a good extreme weather 
exterior paint (which I already had in the garage.) That finished all the painting, and it looked totally different! 
    Now for a cute little pillow!! I found this idea, and just had to try it. I bought two dish towels for $1.50 each. I sewed them together, leaving one side open for stuffing. Next for the stuffing...I took one wal-mart plastic bag and filled it with about 60 other plastic wal-mart bags. I rolled each bag tightly long wise, and placed them in the outer bag (pressing them down on every tenth bag or so. When the bag is stuffed to your liking, fold down top a couple of times and staple a row from one end to the other. Place in dish towel cover and then hand sew end together hiding stitches. And there you have it!!!! 
     So next time you see something junkie and FREE, take a minute and think what you could do to transform it into something nice. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day

     Hope everyone has enjoyed Memorial Day 2012. We have had a hot one, that's for sure. It's always a blessing to spend time with family, and remember those that have passed on.
     We have been enjoying some yummy garden vegetables  here on the homestead. Here is a snap shot of today's garden harvest.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Herb Garden Boxes

Lucyelizabeth, helping build herb boxes.
       Our latest project here on the homestead.....Herb boxes. We have been using broken wood pallets to build herb boxes. They work great for the project and they are FREE ( my favorite price) Another very good reason to use wood pallets is what we really like to teach around here is Reusing something instead of just throwing it away. Part of the 3 R's Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. The little children have a cute little song they like to sing about the 3 R's.
     More photos of the Herb Garden to come....

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Cabbage Pest

Holes in Cabbage?

Probably means they are being attacked by cabbage worms.

Homemade Organic Spray is great for the problem. This is a very easy and  natural way to get the worms off.

Homemade Garden Spray

In a Food Processor, or blender process 1 onion 3 garlic cloves, 3 hot peppers until they are mushy and somewhat liquid like. Next add 1 quart of water, and let steep for 1 hour. Strain with a cheesecloth or fine strainer. Add 1 T. dish washing liquid, mix well and then add to sprayer. Spray leaves making sure you get the underneath side too. Repeat every week or two.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Pico de Gallo

Fresh Pico
          One of my favorite herbs to grow is Cilantro. It  is very tasty in so many dishes. Pico de Gallo is one that we love her on the homestead!!
       Today we got to pick some fresh Cilantro out of the herb garden, and whip up a bowl of Pico de Gallo.

Here is my recipe for it.

Pico de Gallo

1 1/2 cup diced, seeded roma tomatoes
1/4 cup diced red onion
1 T. diced jalapenos
1 T. minced garlic         
 Juice of 2 limes
 2 T. fresh cilantro
                                                   salt & pepper
Four Steps to Cultivating a Love for the Simple

1. Weed Down Your Schedule

2. Don't Compare to others   -- t.v., magazine,neighbors, etc.

3. Stay Home once in a While.

4. Stop, Be Still, and Enjoy that Very Momement.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


New Compost
      One of our Saturday projects here on the homestead. We finally built our compost area, and we are ready to start composting.
     This was very easy and my favorite price F-R-E-E!!! Just grab some wooden pallets and some t-post and a few screws and you have it..

    We put this one together for a three step compost. This allows plenty of space for the different stages of composting.
     We location to be close to the chicken coop and the garden. Can't wait to get it going, the vegetables will love it.

  I will be adding more composting information soon.

Friday, May 18, 2012

My Favorite Bread Recipe

As I promised, here is the yummy homemade whole wheat bread recipe. This turned out great the first time I made it (always love that in a recipe.) After you make this a couple of times and get it down pat, you'll be able to bake this bread up like second nature.

Whole Wheat Bread

2 C. warm water (110-115 degrees)
1/3 C. olive oil
1/4 C. honey
1 egg
3 1/2 tsp. yeast
5-6 C. whole wheat flour ( I use King Arthur Flour)
2 tsp. sea salt

Needed Items:
mixer with a dough hook
container or bowl for proofing
two loaf pans 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" x 2 1/2"
measuring spoons and cups

bread baking tip: bring all ingredients to room temperature so that a cold ingredient doesn't deactivate your yeast. I keep my yeast in the freezer to keep it fresh and so this is very important.

tip: grease your mixing bowl generously with olive oil as well as the dough hook. This will keep the dough from climbing the hook while you are kneading it! It may get near the top, but it shouldn't go over.

Combine water, oil, honey, and egg in mixing bowl.

Add yeast and then three cups of flour and salt.

tip: if your mixing bowl is stainless steel and the temperature in your room is causing the bowl to be very cold, either heat the bowl with warm water before beginning, or be sure that your water is right at 115 degrees because the cold bowl can bring down the temperature.
tip: measure your oil first and then honey using the same measuring cup. This will help the honey come out easily and completely.
tip: always add the salt with the flour so as not to kill the yeast. I usually add it to the third cup of flour.

Continue adding two more cups of flour. On the sixth cup, add only as needed. Starting timing your kneading process with a timer for 10 minutes. Watch the dough as it kneads and add just a bit more flour here and there as you see it getting too sticky and leaving too much on the sides of the bowl.

tip: several things will determine how much flour you must add at this point Try not to add more than necessary as it will make your bread heavy.It should be a bit sticky, but not as to leave dough on your hands when you touch it. Eventually, the bowl sides should be pretty much clean by the kneading.
   Transfer dough to a well greased container for proofing (rising). Roll the dough over to coat with oil. Then cover and place in a warm location. Proof until doubled in size. I like to turn the oven on 350 degrees and sit my container on top of the stove, covered with a lid or a dish cloth.
tip:  After the bread has doubled in size, turn out, punch down, and shape into two loaves.
tip: cut the dough into two loaves that are about the same size.
 no need for a lot of kneading, but you will need to get the air pockets out. I use a rolling pin and roll the dough into a rectangle and then start on narrow end and roll tightly keeping it from growing longer than the loaf pan.
Place dough into loaf pans that have been lightly coated with olive oil and brush with melted butter.

Proof again letting the loaves rise to just above the top of the pan. Then bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30 min. Cool 10 minutes and then turn out of the pans.

tip:  You don't want bread to rise too high or it will collapse over sides of pans and will be difficult to remove.

tip: bread will be done when you thump on it and it sounds hollow.
to remove bread from pan, use a flat edge tool and slip it around the sides to loosen. When you turn out the bread, lay it on a cooling rack on its side to prevent it from collapsing while it is hot.
Do Not Slice Hot Bread!!! It will cause bread to be gummy!! Allow it to cool completely before slicing with a bread knife.

Tip:  be prepared to hear ....is it done yet??? is it done yet??? because the smell is so good!!!

I plan to add photos of each step soon, in case you are a visual person like me.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Yummy Homemade Bread

As I bake my bread I have to ask myself, why did I ever buy bread from the store??
    Bread baking is very easy, nutritional and delicious!!! Have you ever looked at the ingredients listed on bought bread? Store bread has so many ingredients, homemade bread only have a few natural whole ingredients.
   My family just love my bread, and the smell of it baking makes their  mouth water. 
    Bread baking is a dying art. I have heard my father say that he grew up with only homemade bread in his home. I guess bread making  sort of died down when so many moms were away from their homes, during my generation. I'm so excited about teaching my children bread making skills.
   Coming next......bread recipes.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Happy May

April showers bring May flowers. I'm enjoying the peonies so much. I was so excited when I found them on our new farm. I wish I could bottle up the sweet fragrance. It would make a great perfume.
    Our garden is coming along. We got some more planting done yesterday. Lots more to go! Looking at one busy summer this year.
    We are enjoying the wildlife here, so many beautiful birds. We are so blessed to live in such a peaceful place.
   Lots more to come......