Consider how the wildflowers grow....Luke 12:27 NIV
Living small in our 880 square foot cottage and micro farming on approximately an acre of land.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Please Help a Farmer In Need

Dear Readers,

I ask that you take a moment to consider donating to this family farm.  Even if it is just $1.00, $5.00, something, anything, it'll help them greatly.  I grew up just 1/2 a mile from this beautiful farm and went to school with their family.  We all know the farmer in general and farms are under threat, under appreciated and under tremendous financial pressure to just keep going.  Even with insurance, this is a terrible loss and set back.

Our community is banding together to see to it that they rebuild, and as part of the community, I am reaching out to you to please donate.

A fund is set up at:

You can pay by credit or debit card and you can donate anonymously, too either in name, amount or both.

Thank you!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Chicken Coop for the Soul

It started with a dog house and a wooden crate.  I was determined to turn them into a chicken coop and in 4 hours, I did just that.

And it cost me nothing.  I used materials we already had on hand.

My oldest was my right hand man on the job.  Here we are at the beginning of the project.

Here's the finished product!  (I may paint it since we don't have the chickens, yet.)  The kiddos were inside the pen pretending to be chickens.  The coop is just large enough to accommodate 4 hens.

The project started off well.  I was surprised at how well it was coming together.  Mounting the crate to the side of the dog house properly really intimidated me.  I hit a major snag when the one side of the crate proved too rotten to hold screws.  As I tried to shore it up, the whole back, top and side fell to pieces.  It turned into a blessing in disguise because after rebuilding the rotted out pieces, I was able to make the top of the box removable for easy egg collecting.  The crate made two perfectly sized nesting boxes.  The next intimidating thing was making the door.  Thankfully, it came together so well, so quickly, I was surprised.  

This is likely going to be a temporary coop.  We're still hoping for a barn down back which will house the rabbits, chickens, pig and feed (and two goats we may have on loan until breeding time).  I still hope for a goat barn and dairy at the top of our property near where we have electricity.  That way I can have lights for milking and a have a fridge and/or freezer in the dairy.  

Step by step we are getting there.  Building this coop all by myself (hubby was working) really helps me feel better about my own abilities to work hard and get things done agriculturally.  It's so nice to look out the window and be able to say, "I did that!"  

Now, to just get 4 happy, laying hens in there!  

Friday, July 18, 2014

Busy Playing Catch Up

For several years, Mr. Scott was away from home most of the time due to a career change he made that required traveling.  When he made the change, we were convinced he wouldn't travel much because there was so much work locally.  Unfortunately, the organization kept sending him away from home.  During this time, I was pregnant twice.  (Yes, he did come home some of the time...LOL!)  The pregnancies were difficult and we were all in survivor mode.  Because of this, the house and property pretty much got neglected.  Now that hubby's switched back to his old career (in order to be home with us...that is so important to all of us) and we decided to (pretty much have no choice but to) stick it out here for a while longer, we're putting house and property back in order.

The days have been too gorgeous to ignore, so I've been going out and tackling some things.  I scraped and painted the garage doors and trim.  I repaired and painted the patio railing.  I scraped and painted the front door.  And I weeded out our heavily overgrown back patio (and am envisioning a nicer plan for that area in the future).

Sorry, no pictures.  Flickr isn't cooperating today.

We still have many MANY more projects to do, but it is so nice seeing things come together.  Slowly, but surely.

Oh, and I satiated my feelings of coulda done better with the garden and bought more plants, though I'd better go water them.  I found them shriveled up earlier today!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Content With What We Have

I've been struggling with being content with what we have.  Our garden is doing well and harvest is coming in.

Our pig is a joy to keep and getting bigger by the day.

But, as I gather and care, I get this feeling that I could have done more.  I should have done more.  I get upset that those seeds never germinated, or the wild birds got into that patch, or we don't have chickens or goats, yet and we can't afford a barn yet.  

I actually start thinking, "if this were the old days, we'd starve!"  

Well, thank God it's not the old days and I can run to the grocery store!

And thank God for what we have accomplished just this year alone!  Rabbits, a pig, two raised beds, new bushes, plants, an excellent compost heap and a garden that is thriving.  

I need to remember this and times like these:

Helping mommy shell peas.

He calls crook neck yellow squash, "ducks!"

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Recipe Wednesday #9: Salmon Loaf/Patties

I cleaned out the shed this past weekend and I pulled out a Griswold cast iron griddle!  It fits perfectly on my stovetop, so the other day I used it to make salmon patties.  It's a simple, inexpensive recipe for a fish dish.

2 cans salmon, drained, bones removed (I buy my cans of salmon at Aldi)
2 or 3 day old biscuits grated or crumbled
2 eggs, beaten
salt, pepper, seasoning to taste (I tend to use garlic and onion powders, paprika and sometimes parsley)

Blend all ingredients together well in a bowl.  Form into patties and fry on medium heat.  Or press mixture into a greased loaf pan and bake, covered at 350 F for 20 minutes or until set and lightly browned.

The best thing is ALL my kiddos love the loaf and the patties, even my pickiest one.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Cool It!

Today is our first real hot, humid day of the summer...the kind where you're sweating before breakfast is over.

Our cottage is very challenging to keep cool.  I've tried with just fans alone, but it isn't enough.  The small house, many humans, west facing picture window and west facing dark, low pitched roofline and the set up of the house distinctly lacking in a cross breeze all add up to one HOT HOUSE!

So, cooling it inexpensively isn't really on the consideration list.  It's just keeping it cool!

Each of the two bedrooms has an AC unit in the window.  In the doorways of said rooms are fans that blow the cool air into the rest of the house.  This works, but, really, during a long heat wave, we pretty much live in the bedrooms and dining room.

The basement tends to stay cool, so we'll hang out down there, too, if need be.

I try to do my cooking outside because even just one burner turned on the stove makes the whole kitchen unbearable.

I don't cool the bathroom.  I keep the door shut and the window open.  It's on the "cool" side of the house and since we don't actually LIVE in there, only using it on occasion for special business purposes, we don't need to waste energy cooling it.

We installed a retractable awning over the picture window and that helps keep the living room much cooler.

Our daughter's room can really cook, though.  I'd like to get outdoor canvas and sew shades for the outside of her windows.  She has thick curtains on the inside, but once the sun hits glass, it radiates heat into the room, so I need to prevent the sun from hitting the glass.  If it gets to be a long heat wave, we just shut up her room and have her sleep in the boys' room or in the living room until the heat wave passes.  I'd love an AC in her room, but her windows don't allow for one.

Last year was a pretty hot summer here and we only had to shut up her room and have her sleep elsewhere for two nights.

To save money, I try to make do as long into the day as possible, but sometimes if I don't get ahead of the game, it just doesn't cool down enough in the house.  I have to take Mr. Scott into consideration, since he works outside all day long.  He NEEDS a cool house to come home to.

Since most of the family is under the weather today (allergies, and a stomach bug), I decided to get those AC's cranking.  It's just going to have to be a restful indoors day.

As for the animals, the pig has a nice, well shaded pen and has made his own wallow, which I filled with cold water this morning.  The rabbits are moved out of the shed (which can get really hot) and their cages placed in an area of the yard that has constant shade a access to a breeze (if there is one).  I place a muslin cover over part of the mother/baby cage for added protection and shelter, while leaving the other half open to breezes.  All animals' water is checked 3-4 times per day and animals are checked on to make sure they aren't overheating.

Stay cool!