Category Archives: chores


trying to get the two freezers combined into 1 downstairs.  So got all the fat out of the freezer to make lard.

two crock pots full

IMG_0347Let that cook down to a liquid


it takes a while to cool


I should have enough lard.  More than enough.  Might have to give some away.


Butterfly bush

IMG_8735This was the butterfly bush after the last winter icy storm.  I decided it was going to cut it back.  So I did.

IMG_8772We are going to get on spring cleaning with getting rid of the leaves and getting them into the garden.

Happy New Year!

We I have been missing in action here on the blog.  Middle of 2015 we decided to start a little business, and as it happens with us, we go all in.  It takes over all of our down time.  Mix that with our failed garden and a chicken attack blogging became hard.  I dreaded trying to come up with something to talk about.  Lacking creativity just posting pictures of chickens.  Everything else seemed easier and more fun than blogging.

Here we are 2016, seed catalogs on my end table, a catalog from McMurry Hatchery and my best intentions.  When gardening is good, there is plenty to talk and post about.  You know I love taking pictures of seedlings. Farmers Markets start back up  in April, that’s sure to inspire a couple posts a month.  Baby chicks in march.  Chicken days at Bramble Hollow. I will have reasons to post here, and plan to do my best to keep up with the blog.

Here’s to 2016–the year of good intentions.

Looking forward to spring

We had a few warmish days. I have been trying to find out and figure out where were going to put our asparagus patch. Fence line, few trees, sunny spot.



This is in the very front of our property. It is the least likely place for deer. We will also put artichokes up there as well.

Now in the back where we have the to small gardens, we are trying to connect them to make a huge U. I would rather have the narrow sections that I can work, without getting all muddy. We moved the leaves that we had sitting in bags by the shed.



We tossed a few pallets on top to add weight and hold the leaves down. Little rain and snow this week and we might be on the way to new additions in the spring.

But for now, I plan, I knit, I cook.

PAUL — my hopes for 2015

It has been a few week since I have had any quiet times alone, without Madigan, or a holiday, or a dinner or an event, where I could just reflect.  In that spirit, I have some ideas for 2015.

** Produce.  Produce more food on our own.  Bigger garden, more flowers, maybe try to raise a few meat birds, can more. We do 90% of our own cooking, using very little prepackaged food.  I want to try my hand at making some breads for Madigan and I.  Maybe learn how to make pasta.  Lower the number of boxes or bags of pre-made stuff.

** Appreciate. I would like to take more time to reflect, soak in, appreciate where we are, even in times of struggle.  Be more thankful for things we have accomplished, how far we have come and what we have done right.  We are fortunate in so many ways, and sometimes we forget how much we do have because we get sucked into others view of success, wealth or riches.

** Unafraid. This is all me, I am afraid of things I know nothing about.  Maybe it is because I was single so long and the buck stopped with me.  Since I do not consider myself handy, and would rather pay someone to fix something than try and do it myself.   My fear is the problem when it comes to changing out the mailbox or replacing a flapper in the toilet.  Boomer literally has to do these thing when I am out of the house because I am a super worrier NUT.  It’s not that I don’t think he can do it, it’s that I know *I* can’t.

** Learn.  Continue to learn. Read more books.  Talk with people who do stuff we want to do.  Try more things.

In addition to all that, get back to pod casting, keep a tidier home, get rid of junk we don’t need. Stay off our smart phones and away from TV.


What are you doing?

Sometimes when my mom calls she asks that, yesterday I said everything and I wasn’t kidding.

Pepper and Onion Relsih

IMG_6150 IMG_6151

Getting the chicken broth strained and put in the freezer.

IMG_6152 IMG_6153

Making spaghetti  sauce

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And when I had 5 minutes to sit, I was knitting.  A friend is having a baby and I am knitting a blankie.  I just wanted to see what pattern I was going to do.  I think I am going to do the checker board…making each square about 16 stitches wide.  Should be cute without getting to fussy about it.


You might think I have today to relax, but its a chicken day, so again no rest for the wicked!

Great problems to have

Too many cucumbers.  I have given them to everyone at work. Shared some with family.  I have made cucumber something every day to do my part.  I have 8 sitting in my fridge right now.  That is just from the weekend.  Those are the slicing cucumbers.  I have a dozen or so if the pickling cukes.  I am going to make another batch of fridge pickles.  I pulled all the greens out of the raised bed up front, cooked those up last night, got 8 cups of cooked greens out of it.  I froze half for later.  Not sure how frozen greens will taste but enough salt and butter makes shoe leather taste good.  The tomatoes are starting to turn.  I suspect I will be canning those babies next weekend.  Another great problem to have, no rooster so far.  We buy 6 chickens at a time, because that’s how they sell them and because we expect to lose a few.  So we are living with 10 chickens.  That also seems like too many chickens.  We have a couple we could process for meat birds that are certainly market weight, but it’s a long time till chicken days in the fall and we never know what can happen with those crazy birds.


Remember how green the pictures were on this site. I worried that maybe all that green would be off putting. Well, welcome BROWN.




Instead of raking it all, Boomer got after it with the mower…you know to mulch it up. Still left piles and piles. It is a LOT of leaves, More still coming down. We will have to deal with this till December 1 at least.



it looks a little better. We piled on the garden, will do more on the weekend.