Well, I love being a Nana. Gabby is doing great. She sleeps at times up to 5 hours. And only really cries when it’s time to eat or we change her diaper. She has kept us on our toes. 🙂
I need your help. I am looking for a knitted soaker pattern ( cloth diaper cover). A friend gave us some all in one cloth diapers, but I have a lot of the old cloth diapers so I need the soakers for them. And I’m getting ready to start knitting my first sweater (baby sweater). For some reason I have a fear of knitting a sweater. So someone said to start with a baby sweater. I’ll let you know how it turns out.
The farm is doing good. The house is ok, I rather spend time with Gabby than clean. 🙂 TommieLynn and I are getting ready for school to start, and looking forward to something new. So we have been busy.
I am still looking for new ways to stretch money and make more things at home. More people are cutting back on extras ( turning off: cable, phones-home and cell, internet, etc.) and winter is not here yet. And I have just started preparing for winter. Having put so much information on stocking up and preparing last year on this blog, I am not sure what else is need. So if you don’t tell me what you need, I will just write about what I am doing now and about things that come to mind.
Things I need to make/do before winter:
*knit: soakers, baby sweater, house socks for all
*cut and sew more napkins/tissues/baby wipes
*keep a check at thrift stores for wool sweaters on sale, to take a part to make wool socks and soakers. Most times I can get a wool sweater for $1 and it will make 2 pairs of socks plus. And flannel sheets to turn into napkins/tissues/baby wipes.
*look for ideas/items for Christmas gifts ( that time of year again)
*looking for sales at the grocery stores to keep stocked up. I only buy items on sale. I need to get stocked up on bath paper(not using homemade yet, but can use the flannel napkins if needed).
*need more fire wood. I have a small stock from downed trees in yard. I’ll use for an outdoor fire for cooking if needed, power goes out and I’m out of gas. If not needed, will use for fun fires( roasting hot dogs and marshmallows in the summer).
*I am sure there is more to do but I’ll start here.
Ways I save money:
*I try really hard to go to town no more than once a week, it was every two weeks. But with Gabby doctor appointments it’s once a week now.
*Hang clothes outside to dry. Wash in cold water. Wash only full loads of clothes..
*Turn off everything not being used. TV’s, computers, etc. Lower hot water temperature. This has dropped my power bill by over $70 a month.
*When we do go out to eat- have to have a coupon.
*Only buy on sale items.
*See if I can make it before buying it. Even better, can I do without it.
I’m off to see what I can get into today.
Happy 4th of July. Have a great weekend.
Tommy has asked me for many years to write a book about what we as a family have been through, the ways we live, the ways the Lord has worked in our lives, our up and downs, how I cook and canning , run a farm,etc. Something to leave the kids. And I have had a few comments asking me to write a book. I have been writing a daily paper journal about our family lives for years now, 12 + books are full.
Well I found a place that will turn your blog into a book for you at a reasonable price. So as a first step to please my husband, I am working so doing that. The only draw back is that the site only uses Blogger blogs. So I am transferring the post there and all the comments from here. It will take me a while to type in all my journals, to be able to get them in book form. And I will set up a different blog on blogger to do this. Am I trying to sell the books? I am not sure, this is new to me. So for now I’ll do them for the kids and see where the Lord leads. I would have never dreamed of writing a book. So I am not sure where this all will lead. Do any of you have any thoughts on this? I would really like to know your very honest answers. Would you want to buy a book about Jordan’s Farm and family life??
I have been looking ahead and trying to make a plan before Spring and Summer gets here. There has been a lot of changes in my life this year – some good and some not so good – little and big. I am not very good at change. Some changes are good for us, some hurt really bad, some don’t last to long. My family is smaller in size now, needs are changing from a few years ago, and I’m getting older. We loved are full farm and all it gave us. But now there are not as many hands as before working the farm. And it’s finally hit me, I can’t run the farm by myself. Don’t get me wrong the girls help all they can. But a farm is a lot of work year round. And I really would like to spend more time with my family.
So here is some of the ways we are going to down size some:
- I am selling my milk cow as soon as I can. We love the milk but thinking ahead there is no way I can keep the fence lines weed eat or all the fields mowed and do a garden. And come fall, the thought of loading and unloading a 100 bales of hay for winter use, is not a good picture. And we no longer drink 4-5 gallons of milk a week. So it’s time to say good bye to milking.
- The Black Angus Bull now running in the field, will be fatten up and put in the freezer as fast as we can. And while we are eating his meat, I’ll put some money back every month to buy a half cow for meat. I know where I can do this cheaper than store prices and the cows are feed the way I feed mine. ( I’ll also be able to buy half a hog when needed). So we will still be able to get great meat without all the work. I worked the price out, it’s only 50 cents more a pound if someone else raises it. Which is about $1.09 a pound, cut and wrap and fast froze. Still cheaper than the store meat, and better tasting too.
- My husband is selling his big tractor. We will not be mowing the fields any more or having a great big garden. We are switching to raised beds for most, and making a fenced in area for potatoes. We no longer need a big garden to feed us. I still will be able to get apples and pears off the ground from friends. So I think I have our food planned out.
- We will keep our chickens for meat and eggs. And sell chickens and eggs. They are very easy to care for. And I HATE STORE BROUGHT EGGS.
- We have 3 freezers that I would like to get down to using just 1 or 2. Which means canning more meat.
We will be growing a few more vegetable and I’ll can every thing I can get my hands on. This new life is going to be really different, as we have lived this way for 10 + years. And it has kept us feed well. But changes are here like it or not. The Word says there is a season for everything, I guess my season is changing again. Time to learn new things, new and different ways.
Tommy and I are not looking forward to selling the milk cow or his tractor, we worked long and hard for both, Tommy and I together broke the milk cow to hand milking and she was born here on the farm, and Tommy has wait years to be able to buy the tractor: but now it’s time.
This blog will still be about farm life, now just a mini farm life. And I will still share all I have learned and will be learning here.
Well for now we will be down sizing to fit our needs better. Will I ever have a full farm again, only the good Lord knows that and He’s not told me yet. So for now it’s one day at a time, going where the Lord leads us.
Change is in the air,
Peaches milk cow, bull meat
We received a big box of apples, oh what a blessing, thank you Carol. I did get all the onion sets planted. Pulled up my garlic to dry. And the Lord sent a light rain last night. We have built a new chicken pen for the young chickens to go into.
We pulled up the hallway carpet (to many dog messes), and I scrubbed the tile that was under carpet. Now I looking for washable rugs to put down in the hallway. If I can’t find what I want then I guess I’ll start sewing them.
Our daughter came by yesterday and brought us lunch. This was a treat, thank you Sissy. Hamburgers and milk shakes, mmmmm.
I have also been weeding out the house. Throwing things away I no longer need or use. Tommy wants to take photos, as he says I never throw away any thing. But I’m tired of all this stuff getting in my way. We have an old school bus, that we use for storage. I have gone through things in there too. I already feel lighter. Some called it fall cleaning, I call it weeding the house.
I have frozen more eggs, canned more potatoes and milk. I’m not sure how much longer the chicken will lay and the cow give milk??? And winter seem to be coming a lot faster this year.
I am working on knitted socks for this winter. And making gifts too. I think this would be a great year to start a nothing but homemade Christmas. With money so tight with everyone, maybe this will happen. And it’s so much fun, even my 11 yr. old is thinking up things to make. But my job is to find her what she needs or come up with something else to use.
I have started cutting down on how much meat I put on the table for dinners. And this hit my 11yr. old hardest last night. As we had what she loves most, fried chicken. She usually eats 2-3 pieces, she really likes fried chicken. But I had to tell her it’s 2 nights of chicken not 1 night. I told her she could have more vegs. She was not to happy, but she handled it pretty well. Her dad and I tried again to tell her about hard times coming and making things stretch so they would last longer. Our frozen chicken is very low and the chickens in the yard are not big enough yet to kill. This is our first time of stretching food, as I use to put 3-5 lbs of meat on the table. We ate a lot of meat when the other 2 kids were home too. We always had enough, and even left overs. We have always lived pay check to pay check. But I have never before had to watch/cut back on meals. All this mess with high prices and no jobs, how do you get your kids to understand??? She never gotten everything she wanted, but even a trip to the park in town cost more with gas prices up. She is use to the simple things in life, but now the simple things cost more too. Yesterday, her little friend came over for the day. Do you know what they came up with, and had a blast doing? They filled up two 55 gallon steel drums with water, and played in them for hours. You could hear them laughing in the house. I really love the simple life.
I have stayed busy. Tommy has had a bad week but thank God, I think he’s getting better. I have canned more potatoes, froze more milk and cream and eggs, and made a big batch of mozzarella cheese for the freezer. The mozzarella cheese photos and recipe, I will post in a few days.
I have 3 lbs. of onion sets that need to be planted. I could not get any this past spring. So hopefully they will have enough time to grow this fall. I have never grown onions in the fall, so this is my something new this year. We eat a lot of them. And two weeks ago at the store they were $2.?? for 3 lbs., used to be less than a dollar.
I am at the point were I hate, hate going to the store (any store). The prices on everything are up to unbelievable. Enough to make all sick. Thank God for my food barn, milk cow and chickens. I know a lot of you don’t have these things, and I am racking my brain on tips and hints for you. For right now, my tips are buy very wisely and learn to cook from scratch. I’ll be posting some easy from scratch recipes soon.
The chicken are slowly slowing down on their eggs. But I’m freezing a lot too. The milk cow is down to 3 gallons a day, and should keep going down now. We have a cow in the freezer. Chickens to kill this fall when it cools off more.
Winter is on the way. And I’m almost ready, or should I say as ready as I can get. This summer has flown by. There are leaves all over the ground here. At times, I would love to put a hold on the winter coming, Saying I need a little more time to get ready. But the good Lord knows what’s He’s going, so I pray I’m putting up enough for the winter. And if not, He’ll find a way to supply what we need, not want. I have felt like the ants in the Bible, more this year than ever before. And we have lived like this for years. Does anyone else feel like the ants this year?? I feel we all are in for the longest, hardest winter world wide.
I would like to thank everyone for all your comments and your prayers. These blogs have been such a blessing to me in more than one way. To be honest, I didn’t think I would be able to help any one. But the overwhelming numbers are unbelievable. The canning potatoes post has reached 497 hits. Are there any potatoes left out there? Thank you all again. I am just here to help you all any way I can. There are so many people looking for ways to make it through all this mess. And my heart goes out to you all. I wish I could give you all a big hug.
Well it’s time to start another day. May God bless you all to overflowing today.
I have not harvested my garlic yet, but soon. I found Michelle’s Garden blog. She does a post about how to braid garlic with photos, which is great. Here’s the link: Braiding garlic with photos. I have always wanted to do this, but well I’m a show me person ( that’s why I post so many photos, photos just help). I can’t wait to braid my garlic.
Super friends of ours, Scott and Ann, came over last night. They bought me a really big box full of seeds. Seeds: vegs , herbs , and flowers. What a blessing, thank you Scott and Ann. I’ll have the prettiest yard next year and loads of vegs. Getting that box made me want to plant them now but well I’ll have to wait till next year now. Oh what a great blessing.
Scott and Ann told us they will be moving for a while. You see this area has very,very little work. So they are going where there is work, about 5 hours away. They will come back, when they can. I wish them God speed, but boy they will be missed. Since Tommy has been sick they have been a blessing to us. They are good friends.
This was just a cute photo. Not often do you see cats and chickens getting a long or even sharing food.
Hope you all have a great day.
I remembered I had all these Tupperware hamburger holders,
well they hold two eggs each. And stack so well, no freezer bags to buy now.
These are 4 oz. cups I found at Wal-Mart, 4 for a $1. They hold 1 egg each. I’m still looking for the rest of my Tupperware hamburger holders, so these will do for now. I usually freeze butter in them.
Just poke the yolk, no stirring.
Add your sugar or salt.
Then freeze it. These to take up a little more room in the freezer, but for now it’ll have to do. I can use them to fill in holes. Or when their froze I put them in a freezer bag.
Eggs all winter long. Happy freezing.
This year is hard on everyone with the recession : high gas prices – high food prices – job cut backs – no jobs – etc. I wanted to share how we are making it on just a disability check of $996 a month for 3 people. This is our second month living off of it, and it was a little hairy last month but better this month.
With this check, we first pay the rent, power and phone bills. And we are left with $ 211. The $211 is used for: food, gas for the truck, truck ins., soaps and etc., and animal food. And this can be tricky and overwhelming, but so far we are doing it.
The rent bill, we can not lower.
The power bill: is high in the summer due to having to run a AC in the food barn (which holds a years supply of food) , in the winter: we use gas to heat with so power bill will drop but then we have to add back the gas bill. Everything is turned off when not in use.
The phone bill: is a little high but it includes- free long distant and a toll free number ( for family and friends to call), and our Internet which is used for school and to find new ways to save money.
Some ways we are saving money, not spending money, doing without wants, new ways of doing things:
- We started last year storing and stocking up on food and other house hold goods. Which I am so thankful we did because we would be having a hard time now if I had not. And we put a beef cow in the freezer a few weeks ago. So our meat is good and will last 1 1/2 to 2 years.
- Our milk cow is giving us 21+ gallons of milk a week, chicken give us eggs ( 80+ a week) and meat, and vegs from the garden. You can do a lot with milk and eggs including feeding cats and dogs.
- We only go to town twice a month. I’d like to get it down to once a month but I’m not there yet. A trip to town cost us $30 in gas round trip.
- Bought power strips to plug in the TV, VCR, etc., so as they can be turned off all the way when not in use.
- Lower watt light bulbs
- Home school books left over from older kids, another 4 years worth left before I need to buy more.
- We do not eat out, and our sweets are homemade. I do buy cereal as I have not learned yet to make it. The good, low sugar kind- the good for you kind.
- I make a lot of my cleaners, clothes soap, monthly pads, dish clothes, cloth napkins, socks ( I buy wool sweaters from the thrift store, and take them apart for the wool.)
- I do use my dishwasher but I don’t use my clothes dryer. I chose to give up using the dryer so I could use the dish washer. And it is only ran once or twice a day.
- I chose to have Internet over dish/cable TV. We have air TV and get 3 channels (ABC, NBC, CBS), we think that is enough for us.
- We fix things when they break not buy new. I love DUCT tape, but hubby does not. Oh, well I still sneak it in once in a while.
- We save for things that are needed. We don’t rent to own, where you end up paying twice. Now there is nothing wrong with people who choose this, as I know it’s their only way. But we chose not to.
- When I go to the store, I only buy things on sale. I plan my menu on what I have on hand. And at times it’s been hard, as you ladies know sometimes you just want something you don’t have on hand.
- You really have to learn to give some things up but not everything. We have all of our needs meet and still have a few of our wants. It’s hardest on the kids. But I have been giving mine a choose of things. I just don’t say no. I ask her, “Would you like this or that? or Do you want to do this or have that?” Recently she wanted to go to the pool, well we did not have the gas money. Which I told her, she said ok and went out side to play. She came back in a while later and asked,” Mom, can I use that big roll of plastic to make a water slide?” I said sure. She found a way to have fun with out spending a penny. I am so proud of her.
- Read a lot. There are so many ways to learn something new.
- Pray a lot. Count your every blessing both big and small.
- Remember this earth is not our home. I say, Earth and living here is our boot camp for heaven.
I know it’s going to be a long hard winter for everyone. And we might have to give up some things for a while. But the sun will come out again, this I know. I know some of you are working with a income lower than ours. Some of you may not be able to pay your rent or buy food. And I’m really sorry, I wish I could be of more help to you, but I’ll pray for you. Maybe some of my ideas will help you, at least I pray they do.
I will list more things as they come to mind on saving money, etc. And I’ll let you know when I find great web sites, too.
Well I better go for now, work to do. Hope you all have a blessed day.
You can use garden or store potatoes to can. Our potato plants died to soon, so we did not get the crop we usually get. So when potatoes go on sale, I will buy a bunch and can them.
These are our new potatoes dug this year. The small ones, I wash really good and can. These are good when it’s cold outside.
The above canned potatoes are from this year. The below are from last year. The starch (the white coating on potatoes below) is just washed off, and potatoes are good. The chopped potatoes are used in : beef stew, put in a pan and fried with butter and onions, in a pan and eaten as boiled potatoes, drained over night and used in potato salad, and more.
To pressure can Potatoes:
(are a low acid food and must be pressured canned to destroy all bacteria and etc.)
Small ones: just wash well and pack loosely in jars.
Large ones: Peel and cut into a brine water ( 1 teaspoon salt to a quart of water) , then rinse and pack loosely in to jars.
Then add 1 teaspoon of salt per quart and fill with water.
Process 40 minutes for quarts at 15 lbs.
For those of you who do not have a pressure canned, the potatoes can be froze, put in the cool part of your refrigerator. But please do not use a hot water bath canner as it is not safe.
See comment #25 below on how to freeze potatoes.
( more answers can be found in the comments here)
With the list below and our garden food, cow meat, our milk cow, chickens(meat and eggs) will give us over a years supply of food. I’ll buy things here and there, but not much. I cook from scratch, so you may or may not use what’s on my list. Over the years I have found lots of ways to make different things, with a little in store. Example: elbow noodles can be used in soups,mac and cheese, spag. I have other things stored, but this is our MUST HAVE list. And I have been stocking up now for over a year, so please don’t let this overwhelm you and you feel it’s to late, because it’s never to late. Just start slow and easy, buy a few extra things here and there. Some stored food is better than none.
Yeast: 3 lbs. ( this should last us over a year, used to make bread)
Flour: 35- 5lbs. bags ( we don’t have a grain grinder yet, but it’s on my wish list, so for now I buy flour. And I will most likely need to buy more before years out, due to not lasting for more than a year.)
Sugar: 42-5lbs. bags ( yes, this is a lot of sugar, but not really when you start making jellies and will most likely need more before the year is out.)
Lard: 50 lbs.
Salt: a full 5 gallon bucket ( we try and keep extra, in case we need to salt down meat to keep it good. I would like one more bucket, well it’s on list.)
dry powered milk: 10 big boxes= 50 made gallons (there is so much you can do with this, and we LOVE the hot cocoa mix.)
instant oatmeal packets: a full 5 gallon bucket (you say instant? Well they were on a great sale and well mine like a little flavor now and then)
rice: 60+ lbs.
elbow noodles: 30 lbs. ( use this for mac &cheese, soups, spag.)
fruit cocktail: 10- #10 cans ( these were a blessing from someone)
tomato sauce: 15 oz. cans- 30 ( used in homemade spag. sauce, chili, pizzas, soups)
lemon juice: 9- 1qt. bottles (use in making cheeses, putting fruit in, making jams)
mixed vegetable: 14 oz cans=30 and #10 cans=4 ( we love beef veg. soup, so in late fall I make big batches of soup and can it for the winter. I use our beef ribs as meat for soup, as we like the pork ribs better. And the beef ribs take up more room in the freezer. I use these veg’s. to save a little time, and it still works out cheaper then buying soup in cans.)
tomato juice: 18= 46 oz cans ( for drinking and adding to soups)
pork and beans: 20 cans
kidney beans: 24 cans ( just for chili, hubby is only one who eats it.)
molasses: 6- 12 oz jars ( cooking)
cocoa: 8 lbs.( for homemade brownies, hot cocoa, cookies, cakes)
cans of fruit(peaches, pineapples, etc.): 29 cans
tomato paste: 2-#10 cans and 6 little cans ( used in soups, spag. and sauces)
bisquick: 16 lbs.( I know a boxed a mix, but hubby makes breakfast and he like using this for only pancakes and a chicken coating. And if I can come in from milking to hot cakes, it’s ok.)
ketchup: 4 bottles
pancake syrup: 9 bottles
rolled oats: 25 lbs. ( used for baking, eating and cookies)
peanut butter: 17 jars ( life is good if you have enough PB&J)
spag. noodles: 20 lbs.
baking soda: 15 lbs.
corn starch: 12- #10 cans ( someone gave us, but stores just about forever, I will not use this much in a year, maybe not even 5 years.)
powder sugar: 8-#10 cans (someone gave us, and will not use this all in a year, but stores a long time.)
BBQ sauce: 15 bottles ( on sale at $ .50 each, this was all that was left. Used for BBQ – Ribs.)
honey: 3 qts.( cooking and eating)
can potato slices: 24 cans ( if you drain them, then fry in butter and onions, on very good. a good sale on them.)
pop corn: 10 lbs.
grits: 5 lbs.( should last a year, hubby is the only one to eat them.)
barley: 2- #10 cans ( used in soups, and side dish)
spag. sauce: 15- 26 oz cans ( this is the smaller can and we always doctor it up and add more, it’s used a a base.)
pizza sauce: 9 jars ( time saver. I make the Mozz. and crusts for homemade pizzas. The jar is only a dollar and makes 3-4 pizzas)
hash browns: 4-#10 cans
instant potatoes: 2-#10 cans
chocolate pudding instant: 4- #10 cans ( someone gave us, and it’s ok)
can peas: 10 ( the only way to get my family to eat peas is in soups and to make cheesy peas( using my canned cheese sauce).
mayonnaise: 5 jars
sweet relish: 3 jars
can mushrooms: 7
evaporated milk: 18 cans
both vinegar: 8 gallons
veg. oil: 10 bottles
shortening in cans: 6
vanilla: 6 bottles
baking powder: 6 cans
onion powder: 8 bottles ( we use powders instead of those mixed with salt, you get more for your money. And we use them daily. I might have to buy more. To spice up a grilled cheese add the onion and garlic powder, it’s a great change.)
garlic powder: 8 bottles
cinnamon: 8 bottles
seasoned salt: 5 bottles
spray Pam bottles: 6 ( don’t usually buy, but they were on a great sale)
Hershey’s syrup: 5 bottles
dried potato slices, instant mashed potatoes: 14 boxes ( used on busy nights )
box cake mixes: 15 ( these were on sale too)
tubs of frosting: 6 ( I have not master this from scratch yet, and will need to buy more)
powdered Gatorade( big cans, makes 6 gallons each): 7 ( this is so great for everyone, for when their sick or out in the sun)
Between these two list, has help me to really see what we have and need. And it’s been a while since I done it. For some reason if it’s on paper it goes in brain better than just looking around. Please only stock what your family will eat, even if it’s a great sale. And the more you can make from scratch the better and will save you more money. Try and learn to cook at least one new thing a week from scratch. Happy stocking.
Hope this helps.