Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Yesterday, after school, we went up into the mountains to forage elderberries, to make elderberry syrup, with my friend and foraging-guide, Mrs. B.


Such a lovely day. 

Today I will boil down the berries with water, fresh ginger, peeled and cut into one inch chunks, cinnamon sticks, rose hips from my rose bush, and some vanilla bean.  When it is reduced and syrupy I will let cool, strain, and add raw honey.  Then bottle it all up.  Yum!  Who knew medicine does NOT have to taste yucky.  

Here is a link I found about the nutrient profile of elderberries:


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Big dog has a home...

No, not our home... No wonder he was such a great pup!  He is an Akbash livestock guardian dog.  Very interesting breed.  Very smart, loyal, protective and they like to travel long distances!!  Obviously!  

He is back to his own farm now, but we will not be surprised to see him again some day. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A dog, a BIG dog, arrived at our farm on Monday...out of the blue!

So, I let the chickens out to free range, went in the house to get the laundry to hang on the line, and in the two minutes it took me to get the wash and come back out, there was a giant white dog on the patio! Giant and super, super skinny. The roosters are a gettin' the girls all behind them; at the same time letting the dog know they don't appreciate him on their turf!! LOL The dog is wagging his tail. Whew!

I walk down the driveway, with the dog following me, to see if there are any cowboys or sheep herders around. Nope. I then tell the dog, "GO HOME" - he sits at my feet, looking up at me with his lovely light brown eyes....melting my heart...."okay, big guy, I'll feed ya." Poor thing was dirty, his hips are messed up, and did I mention super, super skinny? I prayed, "LORD, did you send me this dog?" :)

I called the sheriff's office to see if anyone had reported him missing. No, no one has. He is either an Akbash or a Great Pyrenees/Lab mix. Great with the chickens and us. We already have fallen in love.  Mr. Simply Elegant has been measuring for the cool condo dog house he plans to build.

Will keep you posted...

Monday, October 10, 2011


These pictures were taken on Saturday afternoon, 10/08/2011, from the drive way.  We think this lovely white stuff will be staying until next June!  Brrrr....Some people, in the family, are even getting excited about ski season already. 

Happy Columbus Day,

Monday, October 3, 2011

July, August, September and winter!

Or "June, July, August and winter," as the locals say.  Either way, it has been an entire season since my last blog post on the first of June.  Good thing I don't blog for a living! 

So, just what have I been up to, you might ask? 

June 2011 -  We finished up all our school work for the year and played in the garden.  Which if you were to see the reality of it, I worked at getting compost from the compost pile to the garden beds, while Miss M oversaw the operation!  Miss J came over for a visit and dug the post holes for the chicken play yard, again Miss M "helped" and measured, so the holes were dug to just the right dimensions.

Interesting tidbit of information, if you purchase chickens from your local tack and feed store, thinking you are saving tons of money by buying 79 cent straight run chickens, think again!  Sure you save $35 on shipping and on average about $2 per chicken.....BUT.....the odds of getting twelve out of sixteen roosters is very, very, very great.  Yep, twelve out of sixteen WERE roosters.  Drats.  So on June 6th we re-ordered eight lovely Barred Plymouth Rock pullets.  Even paid the extra 50 cents to make sure they were all girls.  Oh but wait, there is more...Mr. Simplyelegant wonders why I didn't order some of those lovely red ones too.  Well, I am going to take Miss J to the airport on June 11th, so I could run over to Dunlap Hatchery and pick up a couple of the New Hampshire Reds.  Which Miss C and I did, while Miss J and Miss M went to the mall.all.by.themselves!!!!!!!  I asked Miss C, "do you think Miss J will remember to watch, Miss M?"  She replied, "do you think we should go back and get them?"  LOL 

back to the chickens...or shall I say, fast forward to October, five roosters are in freezer camp, two went to live in Boise, one has a harem of hens in Hagerman and four are in le palais de poulet as of this weekend.  Four is still two too many, as I want one Barred Plymouth Rock and one New Hampshire Red.  ahhhh, the joys of chicken farming.  I will spare Aunt Minnie the details of just exactly how the five got to freezer camp!  (future post idea, as Aunt Minnie might actually like to know!!)

July 2011 - Vacation Bible School, swimming lessons, more attempts at gardening, Google farming, the usual.  Note: Google farming is where if you don't know how to do something on your homestead, you Google it! Backyard chickens dot com also has a great forum where, even though I don't post, I can search anything I need to know and within seconds have an answer....pretty cool!

Come to think of it, VBS was the end of June.  This was Miss M's second year as teen helper and our ninth year to attend the same program!  Miss M is great with the children, she is such a wonderful little helper. They all love her, from two to ninety-two!  Of course, those of you reading this blog knew that already!  I was the missionary moments story-teller this year.  I shared the story of George Muller and had a great time.  My mom always told me I was a great story-teller!!  LOL And the amazing story of this naughty, naughty boy who turned out to be a giant man of faith made the story all that more interesting to hear, as well as to tell. 

August 2011 - August was the month I was a personal assisant to one of our clients while they were in town at their vacation home.  Garden and housework at home suffered only a wee bit!  You know, that whole "the cobbler's children don't were shoes" type of thing!  August was also fair week here in town so Miss M had lots of activies with her friends.  We also picked up Miss J from her trip to Hawaii, were she was an intern on an organic farm.  Very fun!

September 2011 - Back to school....ahhh...back to a semi-normal life schedule. We purchase all of our homeschool curriculum in the spring, so all I have to do is plug in lesson plans over the summer and then we are good to go.  We are learning all sorts of great stuff.  This is Miss M's 8th grade year. Can you believe it? 

There you have it....our summer in a nutshell.  Bless you for reading.  *big toothy grin*

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

If you were wondering were I have been...

This is what happens to your husband's Subaru when he gets rear-ended by this:

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  So two pictures are worth two-thousand.    

Right? (you know, to make up for not blogging - wink, wink)

Praise the LORD, Mr. Simply Elegant 101, walked away! Seriously.  Needless to say, our life has been thrown a bit of a curve ball. Although, when we look at what others are going through in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and/or Joplin, Missouri, etc., we feel all that we are having to deal with is small potatoes.

Happy June,

Monday, May 9, 2011

I got a pitchfork for Mother's Day...

And I LOVE it!!

Here are some close ups of the vintage picture Mr. Simply Elegant 101 picked out for the occasion:


Yep, looks just like me.

I also got to talk to all my girls yesterday and my Mom on Friday.  What a wonderful Mother's Day.

Now, I am off to dig in my compost pile,

Chickens out and about

The four friendliest chickens got to go outside once this week. 

Flustard and Speckles the Golden Campines (pronounced cam-peen)

Rue and Herbert Meninger the Barred Rocks. 

Now, if it would just warm up, all 15 could fly the coop and get their vitamin D. 

The buds on the apple tree let me know it won't be much longer now.


Saturday, April 30, 2011

Working behind the scenes here on the blog

You know, in my spare time! 

Here are a few of the projects or affiliate programs I have been working on:

1) ~Mountain Rose Herbs~ see side bar and if you want to buy from them and I will get a percentage of that sale!  No pressure, no parties.

2) ~Amazon-store~  I am always recommending books to friends in real life so here are a few of my favorites right here on the site for you (and them) to purchase and I also get a percentage of the sale!

3) ~Cultures for Health~  I promote kefir and kombucha where ever I go, well Cultures for Health is where I purchased my cultures from, so wanted to link you up from my blog, so you too can purchase from them.  Note: as of  high noon, Saturday, April 30, 2011,  I am still waiting approval from them. I'll update with a link banner on side bar when I am approved.  Here too I will get a percentage of the sale.  UPDATE: 12:12 pm....I'm approved, see sidebar!

I also want you to know I by no means want to get rich by offering these affiliate programs on my blog!  Just wanted a place for you, my friends and family, to a have a one stop shop to purchase items I myself find first class.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

~Palais de Poulet~

aka The Chicken Palace, 

I saw the name ~Palais de Poulet~ on an Irish chicken coop, on a Food Network special, a few weeks ago and think it fits. 

Mister Simply Elegant 101 has worked so hard at building us such an awesome chicken house.  It turned out so nice we truly vacillated between putting live chickens into it or a wood stove and the bunk bed!  Chickens are now five weeks old, quickly outgrowing their second brooder, so I do believe the bunk bed and wood stove will have to stay where they are.

Here are the "girls" at one week:

Here they are this week:

Yep, they need to take up residence in the big girl coop -- just as soon as they get the rest of their big girl feathers!


"Mom, your blog is boring!"

"You really need to just write something already!"  says, Miss M. 

So many things keep going through my mind to write I hardly know where to start...actually I have started a couple of postings; one an ode to my Aunt Minne (names are changed of course, to protect the innocent), another one about how to make your home a lovely place on a tightwad frugal budget, and I even started typing something "kitchy" under the ole schoolhouse post.  But, alas, I didn't hit the publish post button.

Hey, this post is a good start.  Right? 

I'll work on it, now off to school,

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friends Forever

So....does this make up for never calling, Mrs. Brown Hair?

The first post...

One would think, for as long as I have contemplated writing a blog, I might have some idea what I wanted to write on my very first posting!!! So many thoughts, so little time.

I wanted to start a blog for a few reasons:

1) To keep our family updated on our life ~ a bit better than the old fashioned way.  Such as snail mail, phone calls and so on.

2) So my grown daughters could have a place to see how to put nutrition principles into use.

3) Also, so my friends who know how I never call, never write, could keep up with my latest hairbrain great idea.

Welcome and Many blessings,

Now...to figure out how to post photos...