Pots and Pans – DIY Organization Hanger

We have always made eating dinner all together around the table every night, a high family priority. But quite honestly, making yet another family meal/dinner, is not always Michael or I’s favorite thing to do around here, towards the end of the day. Especially when both or either of us are in the middle of work, or some project, and need to stop what we are doing to go cook in the kitchen. But our disgruntled state can go from bad to worse, by the time we get the pots and pans we need out!  Ugh!

I don’t know where you store your pots and pans. But we have had ours in a cabinet on the floor under the counter, for years. Forever, for as long as we’ve lived in this house, actually. So to start, we’ve had to bend way down there, or just go head and get on the floor, to get what we need out. Or, to put clean pots and pans away, for that matter!  They only pile and nest so well, with some being the same diameter as others, but deeper pots. So there’s always a real tipping-factor going on.  And then there are all of the covers!!  So if all of the clinging and clanging isn’t enough to frazzle the nerves, everything falling out of the cabinet onto the floor, or sometimes onto our toes, will!

It’s about that time I remember THE WINE.
I don’t know what it is about a glass of wine, or something a little alcoholic, that makes cooking so much more bare-able. Sometimes even enjoyable, if you drink enough!  Ha haha!

But I had gotten to the point where I had really had it, dealing with the pots and pans cabinet. And for years Michael and I had randomly mentioned getting one of those grand pots and pans racks, that suspend from the ceiling. But you know, time really gets away, when we both hate spending money.  So on a recent Saturday, as I was headed out shopping with my oldest girl, I eluded to our pile of pallets outside by the wood shed, and said, “Just whip out something, please! It doesn’t have to be beautiful! I love rustic.”  (Because this is most always a point of contention, between us.).

By golly, he did it! [Read more…]

The Unexpected Death of Our Rooster

Doesn’t it figure, that not even a week after finding a new home for our over-abundance of roosters from our hatch, did we face the very unexpected death of our rooster, ‘Weymouth’, who we have had for over a year?  We somehow went from having too many roosters, to none, in no time flat.  And it’s honestly left us scratching our heads.

In our last blog post about the flock, in September, we played a fun (and super easy) guessing game, determining how many birds from our new hatch in the spring, turned out to be roosters. Roosters, mind you, that we could not keep, because we already had one, that we never had intended on having, but ended up with anyway. The new tally came to 3 out of 5 more roosters. We knew they couldn’t stay, and we updated at our Facebook Page ( < we invite you to ‘Like’ it) when we did indeed find a new home for them all together.  A nice guy who was very excited to use all three of them for breeding, took them.

Not even a week later, our big, beautiful healthy rooster, who has been the head of our flock, started our day like any other, crowing up a storm. And then in a matter of moments, he was gone.

[Read more…]

Hen or Rooster? Come Play the Guessing Game with Us!

Determining if growing baby chickens are ultimately a hen (female) or a rooster (male) is an age old guessing game of any breeding chicken-keepers and farmers. (A game we’re going to let you play right here with us, today!!)  Some are much better at it than others! Some could probably even be considered experts. But….that wouldn’t be us. We had our first go at the game when, after ordering and receiving our very first 8 vent-sexed chicks, in July 2014.  We had ordered vent-sexed chicks, to be sure we only got females, because there was no-way, no-how, we could have a rooster around here. So the adorable chicks arrived, and we were having a great time caring for them.

But then some suspicious things came about. Like, what sounded very much like a little inexperienced crowing, at only 4 weeks old! That got us worried, and researching, to learn about how to identify very young chickens as a hen or rooster. So we had our suspicions, and in a little more time there was no doubt that ONE bird (blogged about here in “Our 8 Four Week Old Chicks, and One Sad Surprise”), and then a SECOND (just blabbed out on our Facebook Page), of our 8 vent-sexed birds (supposed hens) were indeed roosters.  Two roosters, out of our 8 ordered chicks, vent-sexed to be assure females. Didn’t it figure?

What Became of the Roosters

Although it was definitely a plan to never have a rooster, since we live in fairly close proximity to neighbors, guess what? One of those roosters still lives here. It’s working out so far. He is a very big, beautiful, and traditional looking Welsummer. The other unfortunately had to go, and it broke my heart. It was my favorite. He was an Americauna Easter Egger, that very much looked and acted like the coolest hawk, ever. To see what a stunning bird he was, and find out why he had to go, you can check out this post called “Goodbye, Boston”.  That was his name; Boston. I know. A cool name, too, right? And it was sentimental, as Boston is the big city where our triplets were born. I was so sad to let him go for all of those reasons, but I also knew I was also never going to get any beautiful blueish or blue-green eggs, from a rooster. And that’s why I wanted an Easter Egger in the first place.

Anyway, if you follow us, you know we let the hens sit on some eggs this past spring, instead of collecting them one day, to see what happened. This bright idea was spawn from how terrible I felt for my kids, because [Read more…]

The Kids’ Gardens

After intending to for far too long, I am finally sharing with you our kids’ little gardens, today!

All 4 of our kids help in our family gardens at some point or other through the gardening seasons; although some do with more joy and ambition than others. There is always some weeding, dead-heading flowers, or picking vegetables, that needs tending to. I do much of it myself, but sometimes I could use another pair of hands, and the company is nice sometimes, too.

But just prior to the gardening season in 2013, I pitched the idea to the kids, of having their very own little garden.
I explained that they could plant and grow whatever they wanted, but they were also responsible for keeping it up. That meant keeping it weeded, watered, dead-heading their own flowers, and generally tending to it with love.  Not only that, but after their father built the frame base, they had to be a team and prepare the bed themselves. They all loved the idea, and each have had their own little garden ever since!

It may have been more work than they anticipated, that first year!  Because although we have had loam brought in by the truck full for our other garden beds, we had a perfectly good dirt pile next to the driveway that we didn’t really want there.  It had been overgrown with weeds and grass, though. Basically, it was less of a dirt pile any longer, and more like a grassy hill, riddled with rocks! So they did work hard, like a team. The boys dug the hill up, pulling and shaking out the grass and weed clumps, and putting shovel fulls earth onto the handmade screen on the wheel barrow.  The girls sifted the dirt through, to remove all of the rocks, and then wheeled the barrow over to the garden bed, and dumped the dirt in.

That was the less than fun part. But they made the most of it, and it was good and done for many years to come.
Now let’s look at their gardens, today…. [Read more…]

Photos from Around the Homestead – May, June, July 2015

*Hello Friends!  First, there are a whole bunch of photos to this post here, so you really need to NOT scroll, and just let them load for a minute. Therefore, you might as well just read this brief intro, if you are one who usually just looks at the pictures.  😉

About the title: I always use the term ‘homestead’. So just so you know, yes, we do understand that we do not technically live on a true homestead, by definition. But we still have taken to the word. We are simply referring to our home and the little tiny property we live on. We’re going to keep using it, because it works for us.

Lastly, it’s been quite an unusual spring and early summer for us all.  Kind of tough, but it’s all good. I am finally starting to get around on my own two feet, following my wicked broken ankle and torn ligaments in mid-April. That kept any usual projects and activity off the table. But God has taught me much through it all, as I knew He would. Things like patience, Psalm 46:10, and all of that good and hard stuff. I didn’t realize how much transforming I had to do but, um….I see it in full color now!

Anyway, the photos are probably loaded now. Just some brief descriptions from here on out. Hope you enjoy……
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