Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words

Does this say it all?

The good news... I'm not nauseated. Oh, how I hate being sick to my stomach!

Today I felt good enough to sit at my desk, make some phone calls, and update some things on my blog, however, the brain just wasn't working enough to write an intelligent post. Too much sinus congestion. Perhaps tomorrow...

I knew this was coming because I wasn't getting enough sleep and I was pushing my body way too hard, drinking coffee to keep myself going. (Okay, I confess... I was drinking Peppermint Mocha Lattes, again! Caffine + Sugar... ) I was wearing down my immunity and doing nothing to boost it.

Reminder to all... it's cold and flu season. Take care of your body!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Barn Hop #38

Welcome back to the Monday Homestead Barn Hop! Wow, am I jazzed! Over 180+ participated last week. Makes me think a Homesteading Revival is going on out there!

Jill, Kendra, Megan, and I have been blessed to have so many participate and link up with some incredibly wonderful blogs and posts. And during this time of Thanksgiving, I hope you all know how grateful I am to be a part of a such fantastic blogging community of friends! Thank you for being a part of it all by participating in the Homestead Barn Hop and for reading Homestead Revival faithfully. For all those who make comments...  you encourage me more than you know! If there were more hours in a day, I'd respond to every single one!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, we hope to have some new "twists" to the Barn Hop in the very near future! So please be sure to keep checking back here for updates and on Facebook as well. If you haven't "liked" Homestead Revival yet, be sure to do so because often I let readers know the latest on Facebook before I can even get a post written!

Join The Barn Hop!
and Amy @ Homestead Revival...

...invite you to link up and share your homesteading adventures!

1. Write a blog post about what's going on at your homestead or a post on something you're learning or an item of interest that will benefit the homesteading community. Be sure to add the red barn button and link back here so others can join in the fun.

2. Come back here and enter your information in the Linky. Please be sure to link to your actual post (click your title and then copy the URL above) and not your home page so those participating later in the week can find your post easily.

3. If you don't have a blog, leave a comment and tell us what's going on at your homestead!

Please Note: As hostesses of the Homestead Barn Hop, please understand that we reserve the right to remove any links that are not family friendly. While this may be subjective, we will err on the side of caution in order to keep our blogs appropriate for all readers. Thank you for your understanding!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Preparedness Challenge #30

Welcome back to our monthly challenge... preparing the homestead for the unexpected. Each month, readers are invited to link up a blog post about what they accomplished during the month to prepare in three areas:

emergencies for times of power outages, natural disasters, and such
food storage for life's unexpected events whether related to long term effects from a disaster or a job loss and everything in between
sustainable living in order to be more independent, both physically and financially, and to live as close to the land as possible given each individual's situation

Here's the update this month at my own homestead...

• I didn't really complete anything in the first category ("emergencies"), but since I did so much of that this the previous couple of months, I'm not going to sweat it.
• I added several food storage emergency meals to our three day meal kits
• I added 3 kinder goats
• I spread the garden with chicken manure from the coop and compost pile

Soon I'll start letting the chickens begin working in the garden for the winter and I also plan to continue researching items that I have on my homestead in order to feed my animals directly from my own resources. It may require planting some items, but if it's sustainable (and better yet, native to the area), then I want to consider it.

Join the Challenge

To join the Preparedness Challenge, just write a post on something you did this week to prepare and then link up below or leave a comment. Even one thing a week adds up and it will encourage you to do even more! And by participating in the challenge, it will get you thinking about prepping on a regular basis. The three areas we are focusing on include: 
• food storage 
• emergency preparedness 
• sustainable living

Please be respectful of our challenge and only add a post on one of these three preparedness topics ONLY in order to retain the integrity of the link up event. I have enabled the "like" button on the linky and I'm asking readers to give a thumbs up to all blogs that are on topic! And be sure to take the Preparedness Challenge picture and add it to your blog so others know you're participating and hopefully they'll join up, too! THANK YOU!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Life of Thanksgiving

Every day should be a day of giving thanks. A lifetime of 24 hours counting the gifts. But today is a day for feasting and celebrating specifically how God brought a small group of saints to an untamed land in order to worship freely as they believed He was leading them.

I find it quite amazing that in this day of political correctness and lack of tolerance, we've almost abandoned this concept altogether. How appropriate for us to stop and reflect on the Pilgrims love of God and passion to live fully sold out to Him!

A couple of years ago I read Of Plymouth Plantation for the very first time (William Bradford's personal account of Plymouth's Settlement by a group of separatists). My own education was lacking considerably since this was not required reading in any public school that I'm aware of (either then or now), but what a pity! I couldn't believe the history that unfolded as I read each chapter. So much that was never passed on to me until that very moment! Our history is rich indeed, but we must take the time to look at it, in context and from original (primary) sources.

Grateful for how God has graced our lives with family!

I pray that today, you will be able to feast with your family around you, recounting the goodness of the Lord this very year as well as in the years past. Your family history. And ours as a nation.

And after the table is cleared, the dishes are washed, and the house quiets down, if you have a few minutes, take some time to reflect on giving thanks all year long. Start a Thanksgiving journal and list your own One Thousand Gifts.

I have... and I've only just begun!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Turkey Preparation Day! (With Recipes)

Today I prepare the turkey for the feast of Thanksgiving. And because it is a celebration, I want my turkey to be the best it can be... moist, tender, and very tasty. There's probably hundreds of ways to cook a bird, but for several years now, I've used Giada De Laurentiis' Herb & Citrus Turkey Recipe along with a complimentary brining recipe. Light in flavor, but succulent and fresh tasting. And it has never failed to perform.
Most of the ingredients are things you might have on hand, but if not, they aren't hard to find. And there is still time to do this before tomorrow. You only need to leave it in the brine an hour per pound (give or take), so unless your turkey is larger than 24 pounds, go for it!

Citrus Turkey Brine

1 lemon 
1 orange
1 onion, cut into thick slices
1 T. dried thyme
4 cloves garlic
4 bay leaves
1 cup salt or 1 1/2 cups coarse salt
1 gallon water
1 very large zip lock bag or similar item

Place 2 cups of water in a saucepan and bring to a low boil. Add salt and stir to dissolve. Cut the lemon and orange into 1/8 pieces. Squeeze juice into pot and add fruit pieces. Add onions and spices. Cool well before pouring brine solution into a brining bag and adding the turkey. Refrigerate and allow to soak 1 hour per pound. Be sure to rinse turkey VERY WELL and pat dry before roasting.

Turkey with Herbes de Provence and Citrus
Recipe from Giada De Laurentiis

1 turkey 14-15 lbs.
1 orange, cut in wedges
1 lemon, cut in wedges
1 oinion, cut in wedges
6 fresh rosemary sprigs
6 fresh sage sprigs
6 fresh oregano sprigs
2 T. unsalted butter
 2 T. Herbs de Provence
1 T. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. pepper
1-2 T. flour or cornstarch

Prepare turkey for roasting. Place orange, lemon, and onion wedges and 2 sprigs of each herb in cavity. Tie turkey legs. Heat 2 T. of butter with Herbs de Provence, oil, salt, and pepper. Rub over turkey and under skin. Place turkey in roasting pan, breast side down. Be sure to flip turkey about an hour before done so that the breast can brown. This doesn't make for a spectacular presentation, but if you cut your turkey in the kitchen prior to serving anyway, you'll find that it allows the juices to settle in the breast area and keep it from being dry.

Roast at 350 degrees until meat thermometer reads 165 - 170 degrees. I follow Shelton's guide for roasting so I don't over cook the turkey and dry it out (something that many cooks tend to do)!


• You might want to turn the heat up for the first 20 minutes to help seal the juices even further, but don't forget to turn it back down for the remaining time.

• If using a roasting bag, place flour in roasting bag, then add the turkey by placing it upside down in the bag along with the remaining herb sprigs.

• For a larger turkey, adjust ingredients accordingly.

• Giada roasts her turkey a little bit differently and I've included her video so you can see how she does it.

Growing up, I use to think that you had to get up before dawn to cook your bird and that it was a great challenge and cooking mystery to get it just right. Not true! If you can roast a chicken, you can roast a turkey, but a couple of extra steps, such as a brine, will really go a long way to keep that bird from drying out.

Happy Turkey Preparation Day!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Barn Hop #37

Well, it's been quite an exciting week at my own homestead as many of you already know! I'll resist the urge to talk more about my new little goats, except to say, they're even cuter and more wonderful than I thought! I'm just hoping a do better with them than I did the bees!

Speaking of which, in about a month it will be time to order bees again, but this time, I'm thinking I'll go with some nucs, which would include several hive frames from a colony that is already established along with the bees and a queen. Our local hometeading group has formed a sub group for beekeeping and I got some great leads on natural beekeepers in Southern California who actually sell nucs. My husband is a bit concerned about my allergies to bee stings, so if I'm going to do this, I've decided it would be best to also spend time this winter getting a prescription for an epipen and take another round of stuff the homeopathic doctor has recommended to help build up my immunity.

The bulk of this coming week is going to be set aside for shopping for the big dinner this week and a few Christmas gifts, Thanksgiving, a trip to work at the Operation Christmas Child packing facility, getting the family Christmas photo taken, getting some goat supplies, and encouraging a daughter to write a 500 page essay before Thursday! Writing it all out like this looks CRAZY, but other than the one paper we're taking the week off from homeschool. And the more I get done BEFORE December 1st, the more I can relax and prepare my heart for Christmas while spending time with my family doing the important things. So I hope to squeeze in a blog post or two, but if not, I'll be back on-line soon, Lord willing!

Don't forget... this Saturday is our monthly PREPAREDNESS CHALLENGE! See you here!

Join The Barn Hop!
and Amy @ Homestead Revival...

...invite you to link up and share your homesteading adventures!

1. Write a blog post about what's going on at your homestead or a post on something you're learning or an item of interest that will benefit the homesteading community. Be sure to add the red barn button and link back here so others can join in the fun.

2. Come back here and enter your information in the Linky. Please be sure to link to your actual post (click your title and then copy the URL above) and not your home page so those participating later in the week can find your post easily.

3. If you don't have a blog, leave a comment and tell us what's going on at your homestead!

Please Note: As hostesses of the Homestead Barn Hop, please understand that we reserve the right to remove any links that are not family friendly. While this may be subjective, we will err on the side of caution in order to keep our blogs appropriate for all readers. Thank you for your understanding!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Meet The New Herd

After 2+ long years of learning about goats and trying to figure out the best way to go about it all, we have finally added three Kinders to our little homestead! I learned the hard way that you really need to be prepared before bringing home an animal, no matter how darling they may seem at the moment and your excitement or motivation to care for them. So I wanted to be sure that we could really do this before I jumped in with both feet. And suddenly, things started falling into place.

 I can tell you right now, I've already fallen head over heals for these three! Their personalities are so sweet and they are very loving. The two black goats are wethers and the tan goat is a doe which we hope to breed in the immediate future.

Meet Fiona Bleu...


 And Orion...

What's not to love about these characters?!

So, I still have lots to learn and feel like a total novice at this (which I am!). But so far, we're all getting acquainted quite nicely... with the exception of my oldest golden retriever who wasn't so sure at first, but after a night to sleep on it, I think she's reconsidered her first opinion of them.

A new adventure begins...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Farmhouse Master Bath

Moving on through the farmhouse tour we come to the master bath. I really like this room, but of all the spaces in my house, it's the most "cluttered" in my opinion and once in a while, I get the urge to purge the excess decor... starting with the silk plants which can be dust collectors if not maintained. Honestly, I should just put real plants in there, but I'm too busy to keep them alive. I'd much rather spend my time out in the vegetable garden.

I have inherited several pieces of furniture from my grandmother and mother, so I wanted to work these pieces in wherever I could. The white hutch in the first photo was from grandmother's kitchen. I always loved this hutch and I've had it for nearly 25 years. It's been a baby changing table for all my girls and now it fit perfectly into a "lost space" in the bathroom.

Hanging artwork in the bathroom can be an issue if the room gets too steamy, so I like to use plates a lot. At $3 each, these T. J. Maxx finds worked great in repetition. Homemade goat's milk soap makes a pretty display while serving a practical purpose. And a little tray on a stand, fills in another space and helps create the garden feel I wanted for the room.

 The bathtub is the centerpiece of the room. I don't like a lot of noise and bubbles, so I opted for a soaker tub without jets. (When I'm sore from working in the garden or on cold winter nights when I can't get warm, it's w.o.n.d.e.r.f.u.l!) Surprisingly, it was very reasonable in terms of cost and yet, gives the room a look of luxury. The overly sized garden candleholders were a great find at about $20 each. The large stretched canvas was also an economical find that filled in a large wall space. I chose this particular photo because so much of what was in the room was mirrored in the print - green plants, columns to match the candleholders, water, etc. A matching shell dish holds my soaps from Anderson Family Farms and Levi's Lye Soaps

I guess I should mention the green walls which match the master bedroom walls. I wanted a soothing color, but didn't want white in this particular space. The spa feeling is perfect for a master suite.

During construction, we realized the toilet area would not accomodate even a pocket door, so we had to improvise and use louvered cafe style doors. I love the feeling it adds to the room and it just goes to show that mistakes can often be the charm that makes one's house special. A little bead board in this area ties it in to the tub across the room. 

Can you tell where we get a moment to read? Sometimes a mom has got to do what she can to get in some time to herself!

After we moved into the house, we needed some doors for an area upstairs which we were finishing off. It occurred to me that I could use the doors from the bathroom on the upstairs and buy a single french door for the closet and main door to the bathroom. So we switched them out and I hug sheers on them. This works fine since our bathroom is off to one side in the master bedroom and you can't see it from the hallway.

It's kind of fun to see my home through the lens of a camera. Somehow it looks a bit different when it's not "live". I've really enjoyed this space, but don't be surprised if a year from now, I post pictures with it decluttered. It's not high on the priority list so it won't be anytime soon.

I hope to do another post this week or next with organizing in the bathroom. But for now, I'm off to pick up three darling little goats who are waiting on me!

Winner: True Christian Motherhood

Congratulations are in order for two Homestead Revival readers who will be receiving a free download of Mrs. June Fuentes new eBook True Christian Motherhood!

Nadine @ Home To Roost

Enjoy your eBook ladies! For those wanting a copy as well, you may purchase it from Mrs. Fuentes site at the nominal cost of $7.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Planning The Goat Barn

The temporary corral is up and the shed is just about finished, so I'm moving forward while my husband gets that little project finished and I'm planning the permanent Goat Barn. Like the fencing, this is something I've thought about for ages. Since I'm only going to get one shot at this, it needs to be right the first time. So I'm humbly laying out my plans before my brilliant readers for any last minute advice and input. 

Obviously, there are more frugal avenues to goat housing. Especially where the climate is more moderate. Here on the mountain, one can expect cold temperatures 8-9 months of the year. Add to that, a steady wind (thus the windfarms here) and snow. I don't really want an outdoor milking parlor and hay needs to be protected from the elements as much as the goats. Finally, add in the age factor (I'm not a spring chick anymore and neither is my husband). We need to be proactive with what we MIGHT need in the future as well as our current needs.

Kim at Life in a Little Red Farmhouse has built my dream barn. We've been talking and I think it's going to be a great solution for our needs. (Be sure to visit Kim; she has a fantastic blog and her Red Farmhouse is darling!! The more I look at her blog, the more I'm sure we're kindred spirits.)

Used by permission - Life in a Little Red Farmhouse

Each area is small, but since I plan to keep only about 4 goats of smaller breeds, I don't think I should need a larger space. A second pen for kidding will serve as an area to separate goats when needed as well as a walk way from the main goat pen to the milking parlor. The back door on the hay storage area will allow us to stack from the outside, but we can access it from the inside and easily reach both pens. A solid wall should help keep out some of the debris from getting into the milk, but I need to decide if I'm going to put a lower roof on the milking palor on the inside as well since the plan has the barn open all the way to the rafters. 

I need some natural light in the barn. Although I have some old windows I picked up at the rummage sale this summer, I love the look of three square windows all running together. And since these windows can be located up high, the goats can't get to them as easily and break them.  I'll probably add an extra one at the peak on the ends as well. At $20 each, they won't break the bank and yet they'll add a lot of charm, don't you think?

Then there is the need for electric lighting. I found these warehouse style lights for only $25 each! I think they'll work really well in this application. (I have antique versions of these in white on my front porch and I love them, although they need dusting once in a while.

The floor will be dirt or crushed granite. Kim used crushed rock on hers and said it works really well with hay on top.

Used by permission - Life in a Little Red Farmhouse

Gaps under the eaves will allow for needed ventilation.

Used by permission - Life in a Little Red Farmhouse

I still need to decide on doors and gates, but I have enough to at least get started and estimate costs, submit my plans to my Homeowners Association, and get the ground graded and ready.

Thanks, Kim, for sharing! I hope your own barn gives you years of joy!

Please share your thoughts and any suggestions you think would make this the best goat barn ever!


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