Wednesday, March 30, 2011

This Old Hymnbook

I love old hymnbooks!  I can remember spending hours and hours… sometimes whole afternoons… as a teenager just sitting at the piano and playing old hymns.  If you come visit the Good Old Days Farm, inevitably you will find at least one old hymnbook sitting open on the piano… possibly two or three.

They aren’t all from the same denomination.  Mostly, I pick them up at junk shops. 

I wonder about the people who used to own these hymnbooks.  I imagine them walking into church carrying their Bibles and hymnbooks… standing to sing from it.  Some of my hymnbooks are so old that the original owners surely must be dead by now.  I wonder about their lives… and wonder what they would think if they knew that I still have … and use ….  their hymnbook. 

Take this one, for example.  I found it for $3 in a junkshop in Farmersville, Texas.  (Yes, there really is a Farmersville, Texas!  It’s the next town over from here.)
 Picture 219
I would say this book has seen better days…  But it has a delightful surprise inside!   A glimpse of the soul of the person who owned it…

The pages are in perfect condition… except two pages.  On two pages, the words of the hymn are underlined in purple ink.  These old hymns have a way of speaking to the soul… and certainly these words spoke to somebody’s soul enough that they underlined them in purple.  What was this person going through when they underlined these particular words?

The words speak to my soul.  If you are going through a dark day, maybe they will speak to your soul, too.

Picture 221 

Does Jesus Care?
Does Jesus care when my heart is pained
Too deeply for mirth or song,
As the burdens press, and the cares distress,
And the way grows weary and long?

Oh, yes, He cares, I know He cares,
His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,
I know my Savior cares.

Does Jesus care when my way is dark
With a nameless dread and fear?
As the daylight fades into deep night shades,
Does He care enough to be near?

Does Jesus care when I’ve tried and failed
To resist some temptation strong;
When for my deep grief there is no relief,
Though my tears flow all the night long?

Does Jesus care when I’ve said “goodbye”
To the dearest on earth to me,
And my sad heart aches till it nearly breaks—
Is it aught to Him? Does He see? 
- Frank E. Graeff & J. Lincoln Hall

Picture 222

Near To the Heart of God

There is a place of quiet rest,
Near to the heart of God;
A place where sin cannot molest,
Near to the heart of God. 

O Jesus, blest Redeemer,
Sent from the heart of God;
Hold us, who wait before Thee,
Near to the heart of God.

There is a place of comfort sweet,
Near to the heart of God;
A place where we our Savior meet,
Near to the heart of God. 
There is a place of full release,
Near to the heart of God;
A place where all is joy and peace,
Near to the heart of God. 
-C.B. McAfee

(I believe these hymns are now in Public Domain. If you know otherwise, please let me know!)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

How to Build a Pole-Bean Teepee (Tutorial)

Somewhere deep inside of me there is a lady who does really unusual things sometimes… and I’m not sure if it’s because she’s a really awesome mother who does fabulous things with her children, or if it’s because she’s a really big kid who never grew up.  I’m pretty sure it’s because she’s a big kid…

Last week I built a teepee for my children… because you know, as a child, I never had a teepee.  If you can’t have a teepee as a child, having one in your 30’s is definitely the next best thing.

Now let me tell you… I have never built anything in my entire life.  So if I can do this, you can do this too!
First, I sent the Little farmhands to gather up the tools:
 Picture 187

(I really didn’t know which shovel I would need, so bringing them all seemed like it would save time!)
The next step was to take a pick and just sort of chop-chop a circle into the ground.  My circle was a bit oblong and I didn’t bother turning over the soil where I wanted the door to be.  (That’s right… we never did use the shovels!):

 Picture 188

Next, I put 4 bamboo poles in the “corners” of the teepee.  I just gathered the poles at the top and tied them with twine.
Picture 190

Then I filled in the teepee by adding more bamboo poles and tying those poles up, around the poles that were already there.

(By the way, if you make one of these, make sure you take the stepladder out of the teepee before adding too many poles.  Otherwise you’ll have a stepladder permanently inside your teepee.  Yes, I learned this the hard way.)
 Picture 192

Then I just wrapped twine around the poles (making sure to leave an opening for the door!).  The idea is that the beans will grow up the sides of the teepee and it will support the beans and provide a really unusual, shady place to hang out during the hot summer months!
 Picture 194

Oh, but guess what.  When Papa the Farmer came home, we made him close his eyes and we brought him around to the side of the house and then said, “Surprise!  We made a teepee!”

Picture 193

And Papa the Farmer said, “Beans will never grow there!”  And he picked the whole thing up and moved it down into the garden.  It will add an interesting dimension to the garden, but when I think of all that time I spent digging up the ground!  

So maybe I will plant sunflowers there instead.  I think sunflowers will grow there!

Do you have anything unusual that adds dimension and interest to your garden?  I would love to hear about it!  Please don’t be shy!  Leave a comment!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Vegan Ice Cream

As the mother of a family on a vegan and gluten free diet, sometimes I just run out of ideas and I don’t know what to make for mealtime.  This morning was one of those days….
So I asked the Little Farmhands.  A more organized mother would not be polling her offspring for opinions, but that’s what I did.

“Let’s have ice cream!” they said.

Being the ever-so-responsible parent that I am, I said, “Yeah!  That sounds like a great idea!”

And it did sound like a great idea at the time!  But you know that inevitably, today will be the day that a grandparent calls and asks one of them, “So, what did you have for breakfast today?” And they’ll say, “Mama let us eat ice cream.”  And I’ll be jumping up and down in the background waving my arms wildly, yelling in a whisper, “No!!  Don’t tell her that!” 

But I didn’t think of that in the moment, so I said, “Yeah!  That sounds like a great idea!” 

Here’s how we did it….

Picture 185Picture 186


Earlier this week Papa the Farmer came home with a couple of large brown bags of really brown, squishy bananas. 

We peeled them and laid them out on a cookie tray.  Then we put the whole tray in the freezer and let them freeze.

This morning, we pulled out our Champion Juicer. 

(Frugal note here!  If you want to make banana ice cream like this, but you don’t have a juicer, you can probably find a used one comparatively cheaply!  These juicers are top of the line so a lot of people buy them when they make a new year’s resolution to juice more or be healthier or whatever…  Then when the phase fizzles out, you see a lot of Champions on Craigslist and ebay, just looking for a new home!  If you want to be even more frugal, you can just skip the juicer altogether and just chop the bananas up and eat little frozen banana slices.  That’s pretty tasty, too!)

Now, are you ready for our very complicated recipe?

The next thing you do is run the frozen bananas through the juicer.  It comes out looking like this….

Picture 202 
 Hey!  Who is sticking their finger in that!? 
Get your finger out of there!  Don’t you know I’m posting these pictures online later?!

Picture 204

We wanted to make carob “ice cream” so as we were running the bananas through the juicer we also added a scoop of peanut butter and about a cup of carob powder.
That’s it.

Picture 203 
It’s important to have good help for the clean up phase. 
I may consider renting out our farm’s Dripper-Licker-Upper for a small fee.  Otherwise you’ll just have to lick up your own drips. 

To redeem myself in the “responsible mother” department, I didn’t just let them eat ice cream for breakfast.  We had air-popped popcorn, too (sprayed with a little olive oil and sea salt!)  After all, corn is technically a grain (not a vegetable).  That’s almost as good as cereal, isn’t it? 
  Picture 208

We have a Winner!

A big “Thank You”
to all who participated in the Dryerballs Giveaway over this past week! 

It has been so much fun to read 
everybody’s comments!


I want to welcome those of you who have found our farm through this giveaway!  I've had so much fun “meeting” all of you!  As spring comes to the farm, I look forward to our posts becoming more about actual farm life and I'm also planning more great giveaways in the very near future!

This morning, our winners were selected via
And the winning entries are…
winner - 24
Entry # 24 - “Luv2Praise”
winner - 14
Entry # 14 - “StrongMamaof5”

Congratulations to you both!  I will be emailing each of you shortly to get the mailing address where you would like Nellie’s All-Naturals to send your dryerballs!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Little Handyman

I had to post this today, because I just thought it was so, so sweet….

For those of you who are new to the blog, Farming is my husband’s dream.  He left a career as a software engineer last summer so that he could farm.  Let’s just say, it’s been an adventure and an adjustment, all at the same time!  Well, we can’t get the farm going if he is commuting an hour each way to and from and the city to work, so in order to make ends meet while we get the farm started, Papa the Farmer does handyman work around the community.

I have always been frugal (although that has been turned up a notch since we started all this!)…  I always dress my children in hand-me-downs.  There is no shortage of children’s clothes in the world!  I don’t see the point in paying top prices for clothes that they are going to outgrow really soon anyway. 
So last week one of Papa the Farmer’s handyman customers sent some bags of boys’ clothes home with him.  The Little Farmhand immediately found something just perfect for him!  He put it on his head and shouted for joy…

Picture 183
“I’m a handyman… just like Papa!”

Now you and I both know that Super Mario is not a handyman.  But come to think of it, he does kind of look like one, doesn’t he?  

Now if you will excuse me, the Little Farmhand is taking a nap.  If I am very quiet, I might be able to sneak into his room get that hat off his head, wash it and get it back on him before somebody wakes up again…

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Nifty Little Laundry Spoon

Yesterday I posted a tutorial about how I make my own laundry soap.  (Click here if you missed it!)  It takes 2 Tbsp of soap to clean a load of laundry.  I never bother to measure because it’s just not practical to keep a measuring spoon near the detergent.  My “system” up until now has been to just leave a small food storage container floating in the bucket of soap and eyeball it.

My friend Kristi from Hip Green Baby sells all kinds of cloth diapers and cloth diaper accessories.  One of her accessories is this nifty little laundry measuring spoon which she sells for $3.50!  One side measures a Tablespoon, the other measures a teaspoon.  In honor of laundry week on the blog, I picked one up yesterday.  I figure that the amount of laundry soap I save by actually measuring and using only what I need will easily cover the $3 I spent for the spoon!

Picture 182

What’s really great about this spoon is those little round dots you see on top.  Those are magnets… So you can store your measuring spoon right on the side of the washing machine where it will always be handy!  (Or on the back of your washing machine, just out of sight if you’ve got inquisitive toddlers!)

Picture 180

If you want a nifty little laundry spoon for your home, you can buy one hereHip Green Baby is a great company run by a Work-At-Home Mom to six children.  It is a great local, home-based business to support!   Of course if you don't live locally, perhaps you could achieve the same effect by gluing a magnet to the front of a measuring spoon! 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

How to Make Your Own Laundry Soap (Tutorial)

“Laundry” seems to be the theme of the week here at the Good Old Days Farm!  I’ve been doing plenty of it!  Last week I posted my good friend Pam’s incredible Laundry System that keeps her from getting behind and overwhelmed by laundry!  (If you haven’t read that post yet, it’s definitely worth the read!).  And of course, the dryerball giveaway ends this Thursday, so be sure to enter if you haven’t yet!

Then yesterday, I ran out of laundry soap.  Not good, because I’ve got a huge pile of dirty (read:  “stinky”!) diapers that need … um… attention.  So today I’m making laundry soap.  It’s so easy, dirt cheap (no pun intended) and it hardly takes any time.  It sure isn’t as hard as loading 3 little farmhands into the van, buckling everybody’s carseat, driving to the store, unbuckling everybody’s carseat, going in to the store, getting laundry detergent, going to the bathroom 3 times while we’re in the store because “I know I went, but I have to go again… really bad!” checking out, then repeating the whole carseat scenario in reverse to get home. 
So, today I thought I would show you how I make laundry soap.

(Now keep in mind that we live on a FARM and I have TODDLERS.  We get crazy-dirty.  These pictures are for mothers of crazy-dirty families who need to make 18 gallons of laundry soap at once.  If you’re just a normal family, you probably can get by making 1/3 of this at a time… so I’ll give the directions in two batch-sizes)

Here’s what you’ll need to make the soap.  I was able to buy enough ingredients at Kroger’s to last our family at least a year (maybe 3!) for under $10.

 Picture 177
(Oops!  I forgot to include soap in the picture – 1 bar for regular families, 3 bars for crazy-dirty families!)
  • Washing Soda (This is NOT the same as Baking Soda!)  1 cup for normal families, 3 cups for crazy-dirty families.  Washing Soda can be a little difficult to find… I was able to find some in the laundry aisle of Kroger’s.
  • Borax (optional, but it really helps to boost the soap’s cleaning power)  1/2 cup for normal families, 1 1/2 cups for crazy-dirty families
  • Soap (use whatever type you have on hand.  Since I make soap, I often just use scraps.  In this case I had some old dried up bars of ivory kicking around from my pre-soapmaking days.  You do NOT have to buy special soap for this!)  1 bar for normal families, 3 bars for crazy-dirty families
  • Water

First, I set a pot of water on the stove to boil.  (4 cups for normal families, 12 for crazy-dirty families.)  While I’m waiting, I grate the soap.  You can see in this picture that the ivory was so old that it crumbled.  Usually you would have long shreds, as if you had been grating cheese.

Picture 169

When the water is boiling (or close to it) I add the grated soap.  Then I let it dissolve in the boiling water, stirring occassionally.

Picture 171

Now, I do the next step in an 18 gallon storage container, but if you are making the smaller batch, you would use a 5 gallon bucket for this next step.  Whichever you are using, fill the container a little over halfway with water.  (Technically you’re supposed to put in 3 gallons for normal families, 9 gallons for crazy-dirty families… but I just eyeball it.)  To this, add the washing soda and borax.  Then, pour the dissolved soap and boiling water from the pot into the main container.  (Be careful!  Boiling water is hot!)  You can see the nice sudsy concoction:

Picture 172

Then put the lid on it and let it sit overnight.  It has occurred to me that a small child might be able to pop the lid off and then flip into this and not be able to get out, so take steps to prevent that.  (I have been known to put a playpen upside down over my laundry detergent bucket).  Wait 24 hours and you will have laundry soap! 

Picture 176
Here’s what it looks like after a really good stir!

I’ve seen many websites that say to use 2 Tbsp of laundry soap per medium sized load… but I rarely have a medium sized load!  I guess I usually use just less than 1/4 cup per extra-large load.
Several women I know have special high-efficiency machines that they can only use low-sudsing formulas with.  So you can judge for yourself, here’s a load of bed sheets mid-cycle.

 Picture 178

For those of you who are more detail-oriented than I am, there is a wonderful blog post over at which is where I learned how to do this.  That post goes through all the math and shows you how much money you are saving.  That guy also has pictures of an experiment where he poured mustard onto two white shirts to show how this laundry soap compares to Tide with Bleach (both cleaned equally well).  Definitely a post worth checking out!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

What Little Farmhands Do For Fun

It got too quiet for a few minutes today.  Way Too Quiet.  So I went to check on the Little Farmhands and couldn’t find them anywhere.  Walking past the front door I suddenly heard Little Farmboy’s voice.  I looked out, and this is what I saw:

Picture 174

“I’m studying about bees,” he said.

They had pushed the porch furniture forward.  Inside that holly bush were hundreds and Hundreds and HUNDREDS of honeybees!  The Little Farmhands were getting a hands-on lesson on pollination.

They sat there for a good half hour just watching the bees buzzing back and forth.  Eventually though, I did hear little Farmgirl say, “I’m finished studying about bees.  Now lets study about peeling paint.”

Excuse me, I think I need to go prevent some vandalism!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sonbeams Preschool Curriculum – Review and Sale

Once in a while I meet somebody who obviously knows God.  I mean really, really KNOWS God.  Remember when Moses came back from Mount Sinai after receiving the 10 Commandments from God?  Being that close to God’s glory had caused his face to shine.  The Israelites couldn’t look at him and Moses had to wear a veil until the glow faded.  (You can read all about it in Exodus 34:29-35.) 

Spending time with God changes people.  Everyone around them can tell that they have spent time with God.
Sonbeams Logo

Mrs. Candace at is like that.  She has such a heart to lead children to Christ!  Her preschool curriculum teaches children their letters, numbers, colors and shapes like any other preschool curriculum would, but she weaves it all together around Biblical Principles.  For example, In week 1, the children learn the letter A.  Their Bible verse is “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”  (Romans 3:23).  They learn the number “0” and it is explained to them that Jesus takes our sins away.  Every sin we ask forgiveness for is gone and zero sins are left!  Our sins are forgiven because Jesus’ blood was shed for us, so the color of the week is red… the color of Jesus’ blood.

Now, did you know the whole plan of salvation could be wrapped up in a preschool lesson like that?  I didn’t!

And of course, Sonbeams offers ABC scripture songs on CD or as a downloadable MP3 file to accompany each lesson.

Our family doesn’t do a lot of the crafts in the curriculum guide, but we have been very blessed by the songs and the way the program integrates letters, numbers, colors and Bible Verses together.

Well, this morning I got an email from Mrs. Candace.  She has been thinking about the earthquake in Japan.  So many souls launched into eternity with no warning.  Tomorrow is not promised to any of us, so, for TODAY ONLY, Mrs. Candace is making some of the the Sonbeams products available to everyone on a donation basis…   That’s right… you pick the price!  And if you are struggling and can’t pay anything, then you repay her in prayers!
Her is her email:

Breaking Down the Barriers!

This is a hard time financially for many of us, and things that we would love to share with our children and families often times have to wait due to other things - such as food, power, water, etc...
After seeing the massive amount of damage and lives (souls) lost in Japan this week, my heart was saddened to know that some of these people didn't know Jesus as their Saviour. Some might have never heard of Him at all!
Sharing the Lord with children has been a calling on my heart since childhood, and for those that just might not be in a position to buy resources which teach your child about the Lord, we are offering you a special today!
I don't want for your family to be denied Christian products due to being financially burdened right now, so this week we're shaking up our prices, and certain products are set up where YOU can select the price you pay.
Please do not hesitate to check out if you have $0 - we'd simply like to ask for your prayer support instead.
There's no greater blessing than knowing that seeds are being planted, and we can trust our Master with the harvest!

All of the sonbeams products are wonderful!  The items that are set up for you to set the price are the 4 individual ebooks that make up the Preschool Curriculum (You need to select each individual ebook, not the curriculum as a whole):


4 Books Image med

And also the MP3 Download of the Bible Memory Verse Songs:


This is a wonderful opportunity to get your children started on Scripture Memory, or extend their current program!

(By the way, this is not a paid post.  I am sharing this because our family has been truly blessed by these products!)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Laundry Quandary Giveaway! (**Giveaway Closed**)

Edit:  This Giveaway is Now Closed.  Thank you to all who participated!  Watch for more giveaways coming soon!

Yesterday I posted about my friend’s laundry system that has absolutely revolutionized how I approach the laundry problem at our house!   (Click Here to read that post if you missed it!)

One of my personal favorite laundry products is Nellie’s Natural Dryerballs.  I stumbled across these in a grocery store 6 years ago and have been using the same set ever since.  I love them!  They bounce around the dryer with your clothes.  Here’s what Nellie’s website says:  “The unique design of the Dryerballs lift and separate fabrics while relaxing fibers. The result is less lint and wrinkles, softer clothes, more absorbent towels and a reduced drying time of up to 25% - saving you moolah! Best of all, it's toxic-free, environmentally friendly, and guaranteed to last up to 2 years. That's equivalent to a whole lotta dryer sheets.”

(Only guaranteed 2 years??? Mine have been through an average of 15 loads a week for 6 solid years and they still look and work great!  Trust me, these are not like the cheapie versions you can buy that fall apart!)

How can you get a set of dryerballs? 

Well, you can buy them at


Win them!
Nellie’s All-Natural has offered to give a set of dryerballs to TWO of my blog readers!

To enter, just leave one comment on yesterday’s post saying what you like about Pam’s Laundry System, then come back here and leave a comment saying you did so. 

Be sure to leave a way for me to contact you on each entry!

Extra Entries!
After you have commented on the laundry post, you can get extra entries, by doing any of the following:

-Browse and then leave a comment here telling me what your favorite product is!
-“Like” Good Old Days Farm on Facebook and leave a comment here telling me you’ve become (or still are) a fan!
-Subscribe to our blog via email and leave a comment here telling me you are subscribed
-Follow us on our blog using Google Friend Connect (link on right sidebar… if you did this in the past, it still counts as long as you leave a comment telling me you are connected!)
-Share about this giveaway on Facebook and leave a comment with the link
-Blog about this giveaway and leave the link in the comments below.  (2 extra entries – leave 2 comments saying you did this)
-Leave a comment on a non-giveaway post (that is relevant to that post) here on the Good Old Days Farm blog.  Then return here and tell me which post you commented on. (Note - Commenting on Pam's Laundry System is your initial entry.  For extra entries, you must comment on a different post!)

Giveaway will end on Thursday, March 24, 2011 at midnight.

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Laundry System that Works!

Laundry overwhelms me.  I love the little farmhands, but they sure go through a lot of clothes!  One time I counted that in only 3 days, Little Messy Farmboy went through 48 different items of clothes (pants, shirts and underwear).  And that’s just one child.  There never seems to be an end to it… No hope in sight…  Poor me… Poor me… All this laundry… This is my life… Poor me…  Ever felt like that?  Then I met my friend Pam.  She has 6 children.  SIX.  Count them:  1 – 2- 3- 4- 5- 6!  The amazing thing is, there is never any dirty laundry at her house.  It turns out, she has a great laundry system that actually works!  She has even learned to enjoy her laundry time!  Someone who enjoys doing laundry for a family of 8?  I’m pretty sure I can learn something from someone like that, so I asked her to share her system.  If you’ve been looking for a way to organize your laundry, this post is for you!  Even if you don’t have 6 children, this post is definitely worth taking the time to read!  Here it is, in her own words:

“The system is pretty simple, but like most things it requires consistency and discipline. I'm a pretty organized and neat person by nature, but I used to have a major laundry problem. Very simply, I hated it!!
My first step was to weed out clothes and really keep only the things we really loved/enjoyed. I was blessed with lots of hand-me-downs, and a great thrift store. I realized that having so many items for each child was allowing me to use them as a crutch. I had a hamper in each closet and they were always full & overflowing and it didn't matter. There were plenty of other clothes! So, I got rid of all the hampers in the house. Now we use the washer as a hamper:

washer as hamper

In the evening when everybody changes into pjs we all bring our clothes down and put them in a clean, dry washing machine. First thing in the morning I open my washer and it is full of the previous day’s dirty clothes.

sorting laundry

I sort the clothes into basic darks, colors and lights, then and begin the wash. This is a pretty light day, but I usually do 3-4 loads a day. Sometimes not so much.   Then, as soon as the laundry is dry, I fold it right there:

folding laundry

Any ironing gets hung up until Monday.  That’s when I do ironing and sheets and towels.  I do sheets on rotation:  Mine one week, Girls’ the next week and Boys’ the following week.

ironing hanging up

By the washer & dryer I have a small wicker basket for each child. When the clothes come out of the dryer, they are immediately folded and put into the appropriate basket:

laundry in baskets

My goal is for all laundry to be done by 4. When I say “done” it must be put away, too. The final step is that all my happy helpers scamper off to put their fresh, clean laundry away.  Now my washer is empty and dry and it’s ready for them to put their dirty clothes in in the evening.

putting laundry away 

I said the first thing I did was weed out clothes, but actually the first thing that I had to do was change my attitude. I have actually come to love laundry. I'm thankful for my houseful that requires all these duds! I pray over the items as I'm washing/drying/folding. It's actually become a ministry for me. It's the first thing I offer to someone who's going through a rough patch, new baby, etc. If you'd have told me that years ago I would have laughed like a crazy woman! Learn to love it and it changes things. Hope this helps!”

I have implemented Pam’s system in my home and I love it!  The one minor change I have made is instead of using the washing machine as a hamper, we have 2 hampers side-by-side in the bathroom.  One is for colors and one is for whites.  Everyone is trained to put their laundry in the correct hamper, so it is like the laundry automatically sorts itself!  I also have one lingerie bag for each member of the family.  Everyone puts their socks into their own bag and then the entire bag gets thrown into the washing machine.  This makes matching up socks so much easier!

Picture 157

For me, the keys to making this system work have been:  1 – weeding out the clothes so that we have just what fits and what we like, 2 – changing my attitude and praying for the people whose clothes I am folding.  If I have a lot of laundry to put away, I will put a ladies retreat CD on to listen to while I work.  Then, my body is folding laundry but my mind is communing with God!

Are you inspired by Pam’s Laundry system?  Ready to make some changes at your house?  To help you get started, we are hosting a laundry-related giveaway:  Dryerballs!  Click here to be taken to the Dryerball giveaway!

A big thank you to Pam Graham for sharing her laundry system (complete with her photos!) with us!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Onion Grass!

We have wild onions growing in our yard! 

 Picture 158

It looks like a weed, but it tastes and smells like green onions!  Not one to let free food go to waste, we went outside with scissors yesterday and cut the tops off…
 Picture 159 
We chopped it up:
 Picture 163
Put it in the dehydrator for a few hours:
Picture 162

And now we have dried onions to use this winter!  They add wonderful flavor to soups and taste delicious sprinkled over baked potatoes!  And in the winter, there’s nothing quite like the smell of opening a jar of “fresh” summertime onion grass!
 Picture 167

Monday, March 7, 2011

Menu Planning Monday!

Last week, I talked about how I sometimes plan meals around an International theme.  Another fun way that I mix things up a bit is to plan meals around various cookbooks.  In the vegan, gluten free world, I find that a lot of cookbooks have a certain flavor or style… The recipes in one book might use a lot of nutritional yeast, while the recipes in another use a lot of nuts.  By using a different cookbook each night we get a variety!

Here’s the lineup of this week’s cookbooks:

Sunday – Vegan Vittles by Joanne Stepaniak
Monday – Ten Talents by Rosalie Hurd
Tuesday – Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure by Lorna Sass
Wednesday – The New Moosewood Restaurant Cookbook by Mollie Katzen
Thursday – The Ultimate Uncheese cookbook by Joanne Stepaniak
Friday – On Friday night I’ll use my binder that is full of recipes I’ve collected over the years
Saturday – The Garden of Vegan by Tanya Barnard and Sara Kramer

Menu Plan Monday is the brain-child of Laura at "I'm an Organized Junkie."  Each week she posts her own menu plan and LOTS of other bloggers link their weekly menus to hers.  Click here to check it out!  Most of the menus are not vegan or gluten free but some are so there are plenty of ideas for everyone!

Thursday, March 3, 2011


We had a special treat today.  Our new friend Jill invited us to her farm to visit some new little babies!  Meet Clara!  Her babies were born yesterday afternoon:

Picture 153

In these pictures, they are  only about 26 hours old.  Clara was so trusting and she let us pet them. 

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Aren’t they just adorable in their little sweaters?

These are called “Baby Doll" Sheep.  Baby Doll sheep were in danger of going extinct, but they are on the recovering list now.  Still, only about 2,000 babies are born in the United States each year.  Jill is doing her part to protect them.  These two were born yesterday and last week another one of her sheep gave birth!

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Today I learned that lambs are born with long tails, but they have to be cut to prevent matting and bugs.  It’s too bad because I think they look so sweet with those long tails!

If you’d like to come visiting with us, please be sure to stop by Jill’s blog "Baby Doll Southdown Sheep" where you can read all about the lambs and even watch a video of the two newest little babies!

Jill is such a neat lady and I really enjoyed my visit!  She also raises the best tiny pigs around!  If you care to visit, be sure to check out her pig blog "Best Tiny Pigs".  Imagine that!  A blog dedicated entirely to pigs! 

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