Gardening

Craziest Spring Ever

Most of us think about spring showers in April then the May flowers. Well it  didn’t start that way here on The Mississippi!!

Rain, cold and periods of snow oh and I almost forgot the Flooding! Levees being built and more rain and cool, so no planting here, this was early March through April.

Now with all this rain we will be right back where the flooding started by two weeks!

This is a picture of where my son works here on the edge of town and has to boat to work daily and this has been for over a month so far!  Its just starting to go down now but we shall see after all the rain the coming weeks they predict!

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Then a break as the waters subsided but the cooler temperatures stuck around. I was so anxious to plant seeds I did anyway and failed! So tried again a few weeks later and now early May I have produce coming up! Sugar snap Peas, green beans, carrots, radishes, Potatoes, Cauliflower and bought some Heirloom plants and planted yesterday also!

Today I managed to plant two rows of green beans in between the rain and still waiting for my seedling plants to harden off, Their not quite ready yet but will be exciting to plant my first raised from seed plants of tomatoes and jalapeño pepper plants!

Garden Boxes

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Thanks to Mary’s Heirloom Seeds!

I’ve never had such a busy spring and excitement!!  Preparing the coop for new chicks, designing the new garden and all the fencing and decorations;  A girl still has to decorate outside even!  Planting flowers in pots for color and to help with insects so I planted the marigolds in the pots for that reason along with the bright colors!

Gardening

Seeds and Seedlings

So finally Spring has Sprung like a Lion as storms and rain continues in between the rain you’ll find me out there with nature and my Ladies ! On my simple living, urban, natural way of life, self sufficient just living like I Love to. 🌱🐥🌻

CHICKENS

Big Day A Long Time Comingj

A country girl at heart living in a small river town I have dreamt of raising chickens for years and this year it finally happened.

 

About six weeks ago I finally went and had a friend hatch me some chicks, But we figured out the rooster didn’t cooperate much, For we only had two chick that hatched and a week later they both died.   So on to a farm supply store I picked my new chicks from ages two weeks to 4 weeks as good as the help could tell.   I was so excited and had been reading up on articles and blogs to prepare myself for this awesome adventure finally coming true!  I know it seems a little silly but since I was a kid I wanted to live on a farm with lots of animals, But I married a city boy and then the kids came and life but my dream never died!  I’am a little bit country a little bit rock and roll as they say.  So back to the chicks;  I purchased ten chicks some Leghorns, Rhode Islands, Bantam and cute black ones I can’t remember what they were called!  So I bought all the food, and containers for water and feed, pine shavings, cages, electrolytes, coop freshener, natural spray for mites and such, snack feed, and a heat lamp then brought my babies home and set them all up in my craft room due to the cold spell we were having which lasted forever!  I lost one of my Bantams I think because it was too hot even though I was keeping it around 85-90 degrees.  The rest were doing fine but then I had to move the older ones the Leghorns (3) to their own cages for they were growing fast plus more active and bossy! I spent a lot of time in with them due to all their scratching a flinging shavings into their water and feeders and because I just wanted to!  I would hold them talk to them and even pet them through the cage, This crazy chick mom even decided to play the piano a couple times and they all would get real quiet and fall asleep!!  Crazy huh?

Chicks inside house

I also would talk to them like I do my dogs and cat I thought it only natural I love them too right!  I know, I know, I’m crazy their just chickens man!!    But they’re MY CHICKENS!

So today was a BIG DAY  today I was finally ready to move those chicks to their new coop for all was completed in the coop with electricity, ceiling fan, heat lamp, bedding, containers, flooring, windows, and fresh paint and decor outside along with fencing and netting to keep the predators out!  We have a lot of hawks and eagles here being next to the Mississippi River!  My son and granddaughter helped with the moving of the chicks and supplies and man was I excited!!  Like a little kid in a candy store!  I tried to contain it so everyone wouldn’t think I was too nuts!!

I will continue to study and ask questions and learn as I go down this path of the chicken mom and all it entails and I’m only in it for the eggs and fun exciting times plus the  work that comes with and not to mention it keeps me more active!

Here is some pictures of the chickens new home.

   Moma Marston Chicks

I will tell you the coop was revamped from  a tea -house then a shed and now the coop!

My son built the gate out of wood he salvaged from the flood in the river along with the metal on the bottom edge of coop and my other son and us built the inside boxes and ramp for the chickens also this past week I put the linoleum on the floor and painted the outside along with some touches and chicken wire along the bottom edge of fence run plus I made to roost areas out on the run so all in all I have had a lot of fun doing work daily and preparing for these little ones and don’t regret  a bit of it!  The Coop Is Done

So if you ever think about getting chickens I hope I inspired you and gave you a little of what to prepare for and any ideas.  Am I crazy?  Yes a little, crazy about animals and would have more if I could so I do what I can on this little urban homestead and love every minute of it a day long time coming and finally here was a success and a dream come true!

So You Want To Be A Chicken Moma

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Thinking Spring Thing Fall also

Seems like springtime and we’re all rushing around planting buying flowers seeds and springy items! But now is the time to think of Fall also. Like what did you plant that maybe didn’t do well or what you would like to try this year.

In the Fall were all harvesting and canning, dehydrating or freezing our good so by thinking of what you want this fall to put up we have to plan for it! Like buying jars, seal bags, freezer bags and don’t forget to check your dehydrator that it still functions! I’m not the only one thinking Fall I noticed all the stores had their canning supplies out so check out your jar supplies and tools you need to do it.

For those of you who never dehydrated I will share a few recipes for you!

1). Dehydrating Jalapeños: First Gather them up wash in cool water , Then Alice them leaving them whole seeds and all you will have a circle , I slice mine about 1/4-1/2 inch thick .

Then arrange them flat on each tray of you dehydrator and use the clear trays so the seed don’t fall into the motor.

I set the heat on med/high and it takes about 2-3 days for mine, then I bag them in a sealer or place in jars being sure they are dry! That’s it! Great for chili or tacos in the winter!

2). Dehydrating Tomatoes, I pick around 2 pounds and rinse them well and slice thin, thin I say and lay the slices flat on the clear tray because they will stick awful to the screen trays!

These take about 2-4 days depending how you sliced them.

Once totally dry I grind mine up with a stone pestle till fine then put into small jar. The powder can be reconstituted with a little water if you want paste or I just dump some into soups and stews, taco meat, roast, about where ever you want some tomato flavor!! Not as much bulk at all and great for small spaces like me!! So that’s it just plan ahead to prepare! Enjoy!

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Family Helping Reach Goals

Family time working together to help with self-sustaining goals.

Still working on the coop and fencing for run area, and must say it was great having family helping us and all working together for a common goal!

I never felt so proud of them all stepping up to the plate helping their parents meet our goal with the gardens and chicken preparations plus we have fun teasing each other, and listening to them teach each other or give guidance and help, makes me smile thinking we did something right! Our Third son made a gate with all refurbished wood and his added little touches! He’s a true junkie red neck!

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The inside coop is done all but a plug in and other son will finish that up this week plus he built the nesting boxes and walk ramp. Everyone had a hand in the projects from first son to last with garden boxes to fencing; A good day for us all and pizza for the hungry crew!

Mamas eggs are still in the incubator and will be hatching .

One hatched 2 Days ago now waiting for some more baby’s to keep my little one company! A few finishing touches and things to get ready!

update on chicks!  My 2 little ones passed and now have 6 new ones waiting to get big enough to move outside and when weather cooperates!

Feed, bedding, water and food containers, light, to keep babies warm for they will be inside house till it warms up more here plus get a little bigger.

This is a new adventure a long time coming for me and I couldn’t be more excited having a little touch of farm life or another step towards more self-sustainment in our little urban homestead!

Back to the gardening; I have starts to transplant to larger containers now and within a few weeks can harden off and transfer to garden boxes!  Thanks to Mary’s Heirloom Seeds!   And I have starts coming up in the garden now from Marys seeds also!

I did plant some seeds this week such as lettuce, sugar snap peas, and one row of green beans.

My goal is to plant only what we can eat, can, dehydrate and freeze! Along with kitchen herbs and some medicinal herbs. It’s a great feeling when you can grow and produce your own food!

What are you all growing this year? Mine will be Tomatoes, Green Beans, Potatoes, Green Peppers, Garlic, Cucumbers, onions, and Herbs.

Having said all this leads me to where are all my supplies to get this all done?! Well I must admit mine are all over!! So it’s time to organized these tools for canning and more in one place and don’t forget the jars and supplies for dehydrating and freezing. It’s so much easier to have these similar supplies together for when they will be needed! Check, goal accomplished plus this way you will know what you need to purchase prior to harvesting your food.

Get Ready to Garden Tips

So planning and setting goals to accomplish makes life a little easier plus when the family comes together to help makes it all worth it and a little entertainment!

New Update!

All electrical in coop is finished all left to do is paint out side, chicks to young and too cold yet to be out but maybe my 3 bigger ones in a week or two . So now more planting to do plus some of my first seeds planted are up such as sugar snap peas, lettuce, green beans and that’s it for now. yard decorations a few to do!

Happy Spring Planning🌱🐓

Home Made Essential Items on an urban homestead, Home Page

Awesome Moisturizing Exfoliant/Mask

All Natural Skin Care With Essential Oils and Dried Harvested Lavender.

 

A great skin care product that uses all natural ingredients and easy to make that you can use as a  Exfoliant and or mask, Plus the skin benefits from the essential oils! which makes this a three for one easy to use regime!

As you know their are so many skin care products on the market and have a list of ingredients that you can’t even produce or chemicals that you wouldn’t want on your face so why not try something natural.  I will say if you look, their are some that are now beginning to use some natural essential oils .  The use of essential oils such as lavender, geranium, neroli, rosemary and rose are none historic anti-aging choices for mature skin, and frankincense, carrot see, and helichrysum rejuvenate skin by encouraging the formation of new skin cells.  Herbs such as Gota kilt and emollient herbs like marshmallow and comfrey.

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Natural Exfoliant/Mask.                             Pkm

Because this lady here is of a mature age I will be making my recipe to us ladies happy and smooth skin!  It is a great product to use for people who work out side a lot  to to exfoliate all the debris and clogged pores removing all the gunk from our face and not to mention exposure to the sun!  With the great essential oils that are so helpful  for skin rejuvenation, promote skin cell growth, help with wrinkles, removes dead skin cells,  skin problems, and the massaging the face as your washing also helps with circulation in the face.  So what do you get a healthy glowing soft clean skin!  I know there are things we can’t stop with aging, But we can at least try our best to take care of our skin plus it won’t be so bad when we really get older!

It’s not  something we have to do everyday but at least 2-3 times a week especially if you have oily skin or out in the environment working around dirt, dust or chemicals,  But my thinking why not at least every other day.  So let’s do this!  It is so simple and fun to make.

Ingredients you will need:   Oatmeal (dry), cornmeal (dry) , essential oils,  a food chopper, glass jars with lids.

  • 2 cups of dry oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup of dry cornmeal
  • carrot seed essential oil
  • 1 cup dried Lavender Buds
  • peppermint essential oil

Mix the oatmeal and cornmeal together  then pour into food blender/chopper and blend till almost fine leaving some chucks of oatmeal,  Pour 1/2 of that into a bowl, Then add the dried Lavender buds and blend together.  Now add that to the bowl and stir all together.

Now it’s time to add the Essential Oils!

  • 20 drops of carrot seed oil
  • 7 drops of peppermint oil

 

Transfer blended mix into clean jars and apply lids!  Thats It!  so easy and smells so good.

How to use it:

Moisten your face and add enough water to a  tablespoon of powder or so and apply to moist face and gently scrub around avoiding your eyes;  You can even leave it on for 10 min for a mask.

 Just play around and have fun with it and you will feel invigorated and relaxed from the oils!

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ESSENTIAL OILS INFORMATION

 

 

 

 

Home Made Essential Items on an urban homestead

Soothing Healing Hand & Foot Salve

Dry rough hands and dry cracked feet try this.

This is a great Salve / Lotion that has natural infused Herb Calendula , Olive Oil, Cocoa Butter or Shea Butter, Bees Wax, And Essential Oils with healing properties, Anti-Fungal, Antiseptic, Astringent, it’s, Scrapes and skin issues Also Healing property’s.

It’s a great skin toner and improves elasticity, moistens skin,wrinkles, dermatitis,eczema,rashes,skin discoloring and used to Treat precancerous skin conditions also used in cosmetics for these reasons so that’s why I include it in my skin care products!

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Great for dry cracked skin and rash or irritated skin.

Out door workers, Gardeners, or Chicken mamas, who constantly wash their hands, Even my hubby likes it! What about sandal weather?  It will soon be upon us and you don’t want dry cracked heels showing!   Great for cold dry winters and warm dirt digging summers! It’s a gold like color due to the herb Calendula no artificial colors or ingredients!  Simple to make and I usually put in small jars or small cosmetic jars of glass. If you keep the glass and re-wash it can be filled again also.

The Ingredients you will need to make :

-1/2 cup olive oil

-1/2 c herb infused oil( OR 1-cup olive oil and 1/4 c of avocado oil or if you like almond oil, coconut)

-4 Tablespoons Bees Wax

-1- Tablespoon Vit- E Oil (Add LAST after you remove from stove )

In a double broiler or small pan in a larger pan of 2 inches of water heat on low then add the bees wax and when slightly melted add the other above oils. Stir constantly till melted then remove from stove. Stir Oils well.

Now add the Essential Oils

Essential Oils

-10 drops of carrot seed EO

-15 drops of oregano oil

-20 drops of tea tree oil

-15 drops of lemon oil

-12 drops of orange oil

-6 drops of peppermint oil

Stir well and pour into small jars or cosmetic containers and when cool apply lids and store in cool dark place.

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Will make great gifts or items in your shop!  And they are all natural and smell good too!

 

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Keep Fighting The Fight

Staying Strong In Your Journey

Don’t throw in the towel! Don’t give in! Believe me I know its tough and their WILL be road blocks and bumps to sway you off course , But you have to stay the course shake it off and move on. You want to reach your goal right? Right! Me too! And I have had plenty of obstacles making my journey rough and rocky! Heck we all have! Food is the necessary evil and it’s everywhere!! The good , The bad and The ugly!! We as humans have to have it to survive BUT its what we have that will sustain and maintain our health, like the right choices, amounts and the ways it is prepared! We’re getting complicated now huh! Yup how our food is prepared can make or break our healthy choices.

For instance

Added Oils, sugar, butter, nuts, shortening, and many more!

This all will make you slip right off your health journey!

I’m not saying their all bad, but we have to plan them in moderation when we do! And eating out can be a night mare for healthy food choices!! How do we know what they add to prepare or addition to! I do know some sit down restaurants will omit oils and such if you ask them too or bring them on the side for you to distribute. Just plan your eating out wisely and ahead of time to do the best you can.

Another warning is the drinks and desserts!! Of course water is the best and safest option and then unsweetened drinks and no wine is sweet! Sorry but like I said you can plan for it! Nothing is ever forbidden if you work and plan for it. One other obstacle that may be rough for you is the company you eat with such as spouse, partner, family, friends, and coworkers! Yup you heard me right! It’s not that they don’t care or love you it’s just they forget , don’t know or that they DO Love you! Crazy huh!

Think about it didn’t a grandma always cook you a scrumptious meal and dessert to show her love for you?! See where I’m coming from? Then theirs some who want to test you or see you fail they either don’t care or want the old fun you to eat everything so they don’t feel guilty or intimidated !!! It happens man!!

Aww come on just this time!!

Well little do they understand that this just one time may just be enough for you to give in AND give up!! Also maybe they need to get healthy and won’t and don’t want you to either!! That’s happened to me a lot! Misery loves company!!

Sometimes we just may have to bite the bullet and BS and just tell them how you feel (nicely) and ask for their support in your health journey, especially if your like me and have done this healthy eating thing millions of times! Let them know your serious and would appreciate their support! It’s your life not theirs and if they love you and want you around then they will get it, and maybe it will be a wake up call for them too!

It was that way for my hubby and some family members. Be strong and fight for what you want!💪

So don’t ,I say DON’T ! throw in the towel!!

You are worth it and anything worth it is worth fighting for!!

Ok so what do we do in a weak moment or times when you DO feel like giving up for any reasons? Birds of a feather stick together!! Right? Right!!

It’s time to re-evaluate your course have you been on cruise control and too comfortable? Well let’s shake this show up!!

Time to tweek your plan, food shopping, your goals, and your Honesty!! How? you might say.

Well it’s a health journey right and you want to stay strong right? well let’s make a plan a mini goal you might say .

Write down the foods you know that you can have or want that will help you reach your goal. (diet) hate that word! But you get that!

Get rid of all trigger or unhealthy foods! Like cookies, candy, anything that triggers you ! You know like the M&Ms where you can’t eat a serving of 6 But eat the whole damn bag!! That’s a trigger food my friend! Mine is those darn frosted soft sugar cookies!!

Inform your significant other and family of your intentions to get healthy and would appreciate their support! Just do it you will feel better and not have to explain your decision constantly !

Go Shopping for your healthy foods!! This is the fun part! You’ve wrote them down now go out and get’em but stick to your list and please don’t go hungry, eat before you grocery shop!

Now if your anything like me once you get home , If your hubby or whoever, is like mine and isn’t on a healthy journey or not as strong as you please keep Your food in a different cupboard! Like your crackers , salad dressing, ketchup , low cal snacks etc because when they get hungry man they WILL eat it!! Of course you both need fresh fruit and veggies and I-either make my own wheat bread or buy light breads oh and I will tell you I did not give up my butter! I refuse to eat that plastic margarine!! Yuk! I just eat a serving unlike in past times 1-2 Tablespoons of it!

I also read and get ideas for recipes on line like healthy girl, WW and health magazines all have good ideas. I include all the food plan choices , meat, veggies, fruits, healthy oils and carbs but I choose to eat those in moderation they tend to bloat me bad! AND Water,Water ,Water! Fruit juices have sugar and or fructose! Pop I rarely do and feel better for it, I prefer ice tea, and occasionally crystal light, and love my flavored waters!! Crystal Ice! All SF also.

I mentioned earlier I plan on times when I want to eat out or have a special treat like a piece of BD cake, Anniversary, things like that! What I do is really watch what I eat the day before and do a few more exercises or longer walk the day before, of and after, I try to work out daily anyway so what’s a little longer! If not daily at least 3-4 days a week! Honestly in the summer if I’m working in the yard hot and heavy and a lot of steps in,then I will not workout, I feel I already got it man!! Little hint I love wearing the i watch and fit bands to help you track your activity. (check this link out lastly for more info and recipes)

Healthy Living At Least Trying

So what are you thinking? You got this! Don’t throw in the towel ! It’s not easy but not hard if you have a plan and some support, sure you will have rough days and rocky road heck we all do BUT stop and think about it don’t you want to meet your goal, lose weight, get stronger, live longer, maybe get off medications, Insulin, new cloths and not to mention Energy!! You get it?? Theirs more reason to do it than not to do it!!! Do it for YOU!! That’s the key folks not him , her, parents, kids, But YOU!! YOU Matter! YOUR HEALTH MATTERS!!

This was my reason! My health and not being able to walk much or do many activities.

My before and So Far!

I have not reached my goal yet for I have 30-35# to go and this last bit of weight has been the toughest for me ! But I’m not giving up I will continue to fight this fight till the end💪

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