Friday, January 30, 2015

Week 4 Food Storage Challenge

6 pounds of Shortening or oil / 10 pounds dry Beans

6 pounds of Shortening, Lard, or oil. Shortening has a longer shelf life then oil, so you may want to consider shortening over oil. You can store oil but be sure to rotate so you don't have any go rancid. I store Lard since that is what I cook with, I just try to make sure and rotate.

10 pounds of dry beans. Get what your family will eat no point in storing something that they will not eat. We eat a lot of pinto beans so that is what I try to store the most of.

Keep putting back your water. Just think of all the places that have had their water contaminated. Wouldn't it be nice knowing if that happened where you are you have some back up water, and don't have to depend on the store or someone else.

Put a little more money into your money stash. Even if it is only a few dollars as I say every little bit will help.
How are the sewing skills coming along?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

How To Build A Natural Medicine Chest

There is a very informative and great article over at Deep Roots at Home on how to build a Natural Medicine Chest. I don't normally post a link to another post instead of doing my own post, But I feel the information here needs to be shared. A lot of the things  she uses are things I use and some are things I am trying to incorporate into my own medicine chest. 
Here is just a small sample of what is in the post 

What Ails You?


Vitamin D3 This power vitamin can often reduce your risk of getting sick in the first place when taken properly. It is estimated that 25 to 50 percent of any healthcare budget could be saved with adequate vitamin D serum levels. The best way to get Vitamin D is outdoor sun, but in winter that is often impossible. For most adults, the daily Vitamin D maintenance dose is above 5,000 IU per day, and for children it is 35 IU per pound of body weight per day.
We keep powdered Vitamin C or Advan-C Capsules around at all times. At first sign of illness, we take 1000 mg. every hour until stools are slightly loose (bowel tolerance) and then continue taking but reduce dose to half. Often, the cold or flu never develops, especially when in combination with elderberry.
Elderberry - Antiviral elderberry has gained significant attention lately as an effective preventative and treatment for flu. You can MYO elderberry tincture or elderberry syrup with dried elderberriescinnamon, and raw honey. A good brand if buying is Nature’s Answer. Both taste great. If flu does strike, large doses of this syrup can chase away the flu in a day or two or noticeably lessen the severity with no side effects.
Chelated Zinc - we take extra zinc first thing when our immune system needs a boost, we are under stress, or on a deadline.
Defense Plus Tablets (grapefruit seed extract)- we use this when a cold or cough goes into the chest and shows signs of becoming entrenched. Defense Plus and Oreganol Oil-P73 (between 3-4 drops in an empty capsule, 3x/day) are my go-tos for anything more serious than a cold since I can’t use traditional antibiotics. We have been fortunate and have had to use antibiotics only once for one of our children, so that is saying something about these products!
Give Fermented Cod Liver Oil to build the immune system and overall robustness like my grandmother used to give. We give up the old ways too easily!
I wrote a post on Honey and Cinnamon ~Powerful Duo Knocks Colds and More.
Garlic is a powerful, natural antibiotic. Odorless Garlic softgels are easily taken by children or adults, but fresh is best. When not going out, take 1 big fresh clove, 3 times a day (crush and expose to air for ten minutes before consuming in V8 juice, etc).
In this post, I write about making my own cost-effective, immune-boosting blend of Thieves® Oil. Diffuse it or take it orally.  

As you can see there is a lot of information and this is just a small portion of the post.
So if you have a chance go on over to Deep Roots at Home  and check it out. By the way this link just goes to her home page so just scroll down to find the article.

What Natural Medicines do you use?


Monday, January 26, 2015

300 a month challenge,Menu, Goals

A little late getting this out been helping Joleen with her FFA record book. Have to have it all done by Thursday so she can put for her state degree. Some of the records are missing the AG shop was under remolding for the last two years so a lot of things were misplaced so having all kinds of fun getting it all figured out.

I didn't get a picture of what I bought. Joleen helped bring stuff in and we just put it away with out thinking to do a picture. So here is what I bought, Head of lettuce, coffee, Stir fry Vegetables ( I paid 5.98 for I, after looking at buying the stuff fresh I think the frozen was a cheaper way to go, Need to do the math on it.)Spinish,2 gallons of Ammonia, Dish soap (need to start making my own),Bath tissue and I splurged and bought a dozen donuts ( the girls had been wanting some and I can send them for Andy's snack a couple days)I spent a total of 30.24.
Last weeks total was 125.09 for the month add 30.24 for 155.33 for the month. I have 144.67 left for the month.
Was at 3444.67  left for the year now it is 3474.91 left for the year.
Not doing as good as I was hoping. I do need to start ordering bountiful baskets again so I have more fruit and vegetables on hand instead of having to buy them.

This weeks menu.

Cream of Wheat /toast
Scrambled eggs
yogurt/ fruit
Cereal / toast
cheese omelets

French Toast
Chicken Potato soup
Fish sticks / H.M. fries
Grilled Cheese
Macaroni & tomatoes

Will have what ever kind of fruit I have and crackers with the soup.
For Andy's lunch he will have leftovers from the night before.

Mexican Steak
Stuffed Peppers
Sausage cheese pie/ potato crust
Chili Rellenos  casserole
Cheeseburger pie

Will have a veggie of some sort and bread with each meal.
Saturday or Sunday we will have leftovers.

 Goals for the week
Haven't been doing very good about sticking to my to do list.
The only thing on last weeks list that I got done was work on quick books.
I wasn't feeling real great the first part of the week so didn't really do any thing. Then this weekend we cleaned out one of our sheds and got rid of a bunch of stuff and organized it. When we got married it ws a quick move so I put a lot of stuff in the shed planning on going through  it in a few weeks which turned into months then years so now ten years later we are finally getting to it.
The mice got in to a lot of stuff which was real nasty so I had to throw out a lot of stuff. The girls lost a lot of their stuffed animals and some baby clothes. But we got it done.Although I had to bring in about 10 boxes of stuff that I have to go through (not sure where I am going to put it all).We hauled a trailer load of stuff to the trash.

So this weeks goals will pretty much be the same as last weeks
I have to get the oranges and grapefruits done before I lose them.
Work on potatoes
Dehydrate the cottage cheese.
This is all I am going to try to get done this week so maybe I can get it done.

What are your goals for this week?

Friday, January 23, 2015

Food Storage Challenge week 3

10 pounds of Powder milk/ Baking Soda, cream of tartar, Baking Powder
10 Pounds of powder Milk be sure to put it in an airtight container when you bring it home.

Baking Soda, Cream of tartar. As I have mentioned before you can buy baking soda in bulk at the local feed store. You can use it to cook with and in your homemade cleaners. Get cream of Tartar to add to your baking soda to make baking powder.

Baking Powder

1 Teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon corn starch or arrowroot (this is optional it acts as a anti caking agent)
Mix well makes 1 Tablespoon baking powder

If you want to make a little more at a time.
¼ c. baking soda
½ cup cream of tarter
¼ Cornstarch or arrowroot (optional )

Mix well store in an air tight container Makes one cup.

Keep putting water back

Add a little more to your money stash,

Keep working on your sewing skills and finding alternate light sources

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Make your own Green Powder

I love the idea of green powder but hate the price. So like everything else I just make my own. It may not be as full of vitamins as the store bought but I figure it's better then nothing.
You can use it in smoothies, soups, or anywhere you can hide put it. This way I can get everyone to eat a few greens with out them even knowing it :).
First start with your dried vegetables, If I have lettuce, 
Spanish, kale or any sort of green that is starting to wilt or I know I am not going to get to, I throw it in the dehydrator. Then when I have a fair amount of dried greens I make powder.
Start with your dried greens.
Put them in a food processer or blender and process.

It will be larger pieces. Then I run them through a coffee mill. Just a little at a  time.

Grind it to a powder.

I go ahead and put through a sieve to shift out some of the larger pieces that are left. When you use celery beware it is hard to get all of it powdered that is where shifting it helps.

Most of these larger pieces are the celery.

Put in a jar and use as you would green powder.
Would you make and use your own green powder?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Making your own herbal capsules.


Making your own capsules are very easy a little time consuming but well worth it for what you can save by doing your own. You do need a capsule maker, most health food stores sell them, and the capsules. They are cheaper if you can go online, I get mine at starwest. You can make up a pretty good size batch at once and you can use any combination of herbs that you need and not only is it cheaper this way you know exactly what is in your capsules, and with no added fillers.

A capsule maker will cost around 20 dollars and the refills depending on what size around 10 to 20 dollars for a 1000. There are 4 different sizes of capsule makers"3" "2" “1” “0” “00”
You can go to   for information on the different sizes and how much they hold,
here is a little of the information that they have.

Capsule Sizing Information"00" holds about 735 mg. "0" size holds about 500 mg. #1 holds about 400 mg. #2 about 300 mg. #3 about 200 mg.

One teaspoon will fill about 7 "0" capsules and about 5 "00" capsules. The weight depends on the density of the powder you are using. Some powders are much denser than others. It also depends on the fineness of the powder. The only way to be sure is to check the weight of each individual material. On a scale accurate to within one-tenth of a gram or even to one-tenth of an ounce or even to a gram, you can weigh 24 empty capsules and then compare with the weight when full. If you only want a small amount of active ingredient, then you can mix with a material such as milk powder or rice powder as a filler. That way you can use "0" or "00" size capsules with various weights of active ingredients.
You can go to my cold and flu pills here HERE to see exactly how to fill the capsules.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

300 Month Challenge, Menu, Goals


I am a little late getting this out, Andy and I were gone for the weekend so trying to get everything caught up.

City Market had cheese and cottage cheese on sale. We use a lot of cheese and as expensive as it is getting, I am going to have to cut back and use about half of what I use now :( .  They also have rennet tablets so I got 5 packs at 1.99 need to  to try and make hard cheese. So I spent 84.70 at city market. At Wal-Mart I needed a few bags and I cheated and bought some French bread to make pizzas with. At Wal-Mart I spent 10.24. My cousin gave me 3 dozen eggs since my chickens are not laying very well. All in all I spent 94.94 
Last weeks total was 30.15 add 94.94 for 125.09 for the month.
I have 174.91 left for the month. and 3474.91 left for the year.  I am wanting to make some reusable bags so I don't need to use as many plastic bags.

The menu this week is


Cereal and toast
Yogurt and fruit
Scrambled eggs/ toast
Oatmeal / fruit


Chicken Noddle
Peanut Butter and Jelly
Macaroni and Cheese 
French toast
Macaroni and Tomatoes

Will have what ever kind of fruit I have and crackers with the soup.
For Andy's lunch he will have leftovers from the night before.


Baked Raviolis
Crock pot Meatloaf
French bread pizzas
Swiss steak
Stew / with the leftovers from the Swiss steak
King Ranch

Will have a veggie of some sort and bread with each meal.
Saturday or Sunday we will have leftovers.

Well I still didn't get the oranges, grapefruit and Tangerines juiced and canned.
I think about the only thing on last weeks list that I did get done was pour up the vinegars.

So this week I will try to get everything from last week done.
Get the oranges, tangerines and grapefruits taken care of.
Work some more on the quick books.
Start getting the potatoes taken care of ( freezing, canning and dehydrating).
Can some chicken potato soup.
Can some pinto beans.
Try to work on Joleen and Katie's quilts.
Make breakfast Burritos to put in the freezer.

Also need to add some mending to this week.
Dehydrate the cottage cheese that I bought.

I was over at Pint Size Farm the other day and she is doing a Homesteading on a Dime Challenge She goes to 5 different moneymaking sites and spends about 40 minutes  a day on them and has a goal of making 5 dollars a day. I am going to try and see if I can find the time to do this.( In all my spare time lol) She has done a great job of explaining it all. Go check it out if you are looking for a way to make a little extra money. I know 5 dollars a day doesn't sound like much but every little bit helps and adds up. If you do it 5 days a week that is 25 a week and 100 a month.Go here to check it out.

Well have a great week. What are your goals for the week?

Friday, January 16, 2015

Food Storage Challenge Week 2

I am going to start posting  the food storage challenge on Fridays this way when I post the daycare happenings I will be able to post the Fridays also. So Fridays will be food storage challenge and Saturday's will be the daycare.

So for this weeks food storage challenge.

50 pounds Wheat or flour/ Canned milk

Wheat will store longer then flour, but if you don't use wheat or don't have a grinder there is no point in storing wheat. If you live in a cold climate you can store the wheat or flour in buckets out in a shed where they will stay frozen all winter this will kill all the little critters that are in them. I also like to add some spearmint gum with the flour (someone told me years ago that that will help keep out the bugs). If you live in a warmer climate you will need to store in airtight containers and use oxygen absorbers in them to kill all the critters, or put in the freezer for 48 hours. I like to buy my flour and wheat in the fall so that it will sit in the cold all winter long. I have flour from 08 that is still good.

Canned milk you can buy this, or can your own, or a little of both, go Here to see how to can your own milk.

Add a little more to your money stash.

Keep putting up water, you can't have too much.

How is the sewing coming along? And are you finding some alternatives to lighting? You can make your own candles put of tallow and beeswax to put back.

Have a great week and remember if you see something on sale that you use a lot of try to pick up some extra for your storage and to use.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Make Your Own 57 Steak Sauce

I think this taste just like store bought without all the extra ingredients. It is pretty easy to make also. Plus one less thing to have to go to the store for.
MYO 57 Steak Sauce
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup water
1 1/3 cups white vinegar
1 cup tomato paste
2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 Tbls. prepared mustard
2 tsp. apple juice, frozen concentrate
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. turmeric
Start by putting the raisins and the water in a blender (or a nuti bullet ) blend until smooth. Measure out 1/4 cup of the puree.
Pour into a medium sized sauce pan, add the other ingredients, mix well, heat on a medium high heat to a good boil.

Reduce heat and simmer for 1/2 an hour or until thick. Let cool and refrigerate covered for at least 24 hours before using.


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Herbal Teas

Herbal teas are one of the easiest and the most popular way to use herbs. Teas have the gentlest and slowest effects on the body and are usually the best way to treat infants and children under three.

You can grow, harvest from the wild, or buy your herbs. If you buy them it is cheaper to buy in bulk, if you are going to be using a lot. I am always on the lookout for plants that I can use when we are out in the wild, in addition to growing a lot of my own. You can use them dried or fresh, if you buy your herbs, if at all possible make sure they are organic, as organic will not have pesticides on or in the plants. When harvesting from the wild do not gather close to the road. Always rinse fresh herbs before making tea, lay on a towel to absorb the extra moisture after rinsing.

Almost any edible plant can be used to make tea, the leaves, stems, flowers and seed pods. As we go along we will learn what herbs are best for what aliments. Teas are not as potent as other herbal remedies such as tinctures and capsules, they are good for long term and chronic conditions.

You can use a combination of several herbs to make your teas or just one. I use a combination of peppermint spearmint and Mormon tea that I grow and harvest myself, to make a iced tea that I drink during the day.

Herbal teas can be drank hot, iced, or at room temperature. If you are wanting more then a cup during the day you can brew a picture of tea and keep in the fridge, it will keep several days when stored in the fridge. Some herbs make a bitter tea you can use these in a combination of other herbs or add a little honey to take the bitter taste away.

Always use a nonmetallic pot to brew your tea in ( you can boil the water in a metal pan or kettle.) before being poured into the brewing vessel. Do not use a metallic tea ball for brewing medicinal herbs as the metals can leach out and cause unknown reactions with the herbs. The pot needs to have a tight fitting lid. Place the recommended amount of herbs in the pot and pour boiling water over herbs allow to stand five to ten minutes with the lid on strain then drink.

Usually an ounce ( about 3 teaspoons)of dried herbs to 1 to ½ cups of water or 4 to 8 tablespoons per quart, if using fresh herbs double the amount of herbs. You can also place the herbs in a pan of cold water and slowly bring to a boil as soon as it boils take off the heat strain and drink. This method is especially good for roots seeds and barks. If you want a stronger tea let sit after you take off the heat for a few hours or overnight. Teas can ferment after a few days even in the fridge, so if you tea has bubbles ,an odd odor or odd taste throw it away .

What kind of herbal teas do you like to drink?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Making Tallow Candles

I tried making these some time back and wasn't real happy with them, so I tried again, only this time I added a little bees wax and braided the wicks. I am very happy with them now.

First I rendered the tallow and strained it.
I put it through a colander to get the larger pieces out
them pour it through a knee high to strain out the smaller stuff.
After I strained it I added 2 oz of beeswax to every 2 cups of tallow (when we clean up our beeswax we pour it into ice cube trays and the cubes are approximately 2 oz each) I also added some cinnamon essential oils to help with the smell.  
I have tried to make my own candle wick but haven't had any luck yet so I am using store bought wick right now till I can work on making my own wicks. I use a small washer to put in the bottom of the jar.  Then tie three strands of wick on it, then braid them together.
I pushed a pencil  in the middle of the braid to hold the wick at the correct height
Then pour the hot tallow and wax into the jars be sure to keep the wick straight and in the center.
Let cool until set up. You can put them in the fridge to speed this up. After they are set up cut the wick about a 1/4 of an inch from the candle. Then they are ready to use.

I have three candles here in the one on the far right I just used a single wick as you can see it didn't burn very well.

The one in the center I added some steric acid I wanted to see if it would make it harder and burn longer. It burned the same as the candle with just the wax and tallow. 

These are after nine hours of burning they weren't quite half way burned down.
I will be making a lot more of these.
Have you tried making tallow or lard candles? If so how did they turn out?

Monday, January 12, 2015

300 A Month Challenge, Menu,and Goals

Had to run into town Saturday to go to the library so ran into Wal-Mart while I was in town. I picked up some bath tissue, corn and flour tortillas, lettuce, chicken base, anchovies, and they had scotch tape half off so picked one up.
I got some anchovies so I can make some Worchester sauce. The flour tortillas are so we can make breakfast burritos I don't like using homemade tortillas for these. I went ahead and bought the corn tortillas so I can make some chips I haven't tried to make chips from the homemade corn tortillas (need to try soon). I haven't bought bountiful baskets in close to 2 months so I am out of lettuce and fresh veggies so picked up a head of lettuce.
All together I spent 30.15 for the month.
Have 296.85 left for the month and 3569.85 left for the year.
The Menu this week is
Cream of Wheat and toast
French toast
Cheese omelets and toast
Oatmeal and fruit
Fish sticks h.m. French fries
Macaroni and tomatoes
Mini pizzas
Grilled Cheese 
Chicken soup with potatoes
Will have what ever kind of fruit I have and crackers with the soup.
For Andy's lunch he will have leftovers from the night before.


Pork Chops Baked Potatoes
White Chicken Hamburger Enchiladas
Stuffed Peppers Mash potatoes 
Swiss Steak with Cheese Potatoes 

Will have a veggie of some sort and bread with each meal.
Saturday or Sunday we will have leftovers.

Well I didn't get the oranges, grapefruit and Tangerines juiced and canned.
Or the vinegars poured up.
I did get the beef stock made and 12 pints canned, 10 pints chicken chipotle canned, Got this months daycare lessons put together, got started on getting last year entered into quick books.

Things I got done that were not on my list. I made some candles from tallow, dry packed some candy, Oreos, and trail mix that were in the cupboard and needed to have something done with them.   

This weeks goals
Get the oranges, tangerines and grapefruits taken care of.
Work some more on the quick books.
Start getting the potatoes taken care of ( freezing, canning and dehydrating).
Vinegars poured up.
Can some chicken potato soup.
Can some pinto beans.
Try to work on Joleen and Katie's quilts. 
Make breakfast Burritos to put in the freezer.

Hopefully I will be able to get a big portion of all this done.

Have a great week.
What are your goals for the week ?


Saturday, January 10, 2015

Food Storage Challenge Week 1


Well as with several things last year this is one more that I started and got busy and didn’t follow through on so I am going to give it another try. I really think it is important to get some food storage in place. I think things are going to start falling apart soon and it will be so much easier to go through if you have a few things set back.
I will try to cover all areas of preparedness and will try to make it more affordable with a lot of make your own, and some tips on how to save money on your food storage .

Every week I will have two items. Try to at least get the first one the amounts are for two people so if you have more you will need to double or triple the amount. The second item will add some variety to your storage. The second item will not normally have and amount just get what you think your family would use in a year ( A good way to figure that is to think about how much you use in a week and times that by 52 or how much you use in a month and times that by 12)

Every Month I will have an item that if you can you should get.
There will also be an action item every month that you need to try and do.

This months item is a wheat grinder you can find a nice hand grinder for not to much I think I paid about 70 dollars for mine.

The action item this month is alternate light sources.
Obviously, lots of candles would be extremely useful. You can often find used ones for free or next to free at yard sales. If you have bees you can make your own .Save the wax from old candles and broken crayons to make new candles from.
Oil lamps are great to have too. I’ve been picking these up at yard sales for really cheap as well. The larger, outdoor style oil lanterns would be handy as well as the more decorative indoor lamps.  Lamp oil is expensive; kerosene is cheaper and works just as well, although it may produce a little smoke. I’ve also read that you can burn olive oil in lamps… something I want to experiment with.
We plan on picking up some solar flashlights on top of these other things.

They have battery powered lanterns now that are real nice. If you plan to use flashlights or any battery power item make sure to have lots of batteries on hand maybe even a solar battery charger.
Use your daylight wisely. Go to bed soon after the sun goes down, and rise with the dawn. This way you won’t use up your resources “burning the midnight oil”.
Keep a supply of lamp and candle wicks, oil, and matches on hand

Something new this year is I am going to add a skills challenge. Try to learn a new skill or at least read up on how to do it.These will be things that will come in handy during hard time and they are also things you can use now.

This month skill is to learn to sew at least be able to do some mending. If you know someone who sews I am sure they would love to teach you. Once you learn the basics it is easier to move on to other things. When my kids were young I made a lot of their clothes to save money. And I am starting to do a lot more sewing now.

This week’s Food Storage Challenge is

1. 10 Lbs Pasta / Dry Soup & Crackers

10 pounds pasta whatever you use the most of.
Dry soups & crackers Dry soups are easy to make with you if you need to be away from home for a while. You can make your own dry soup packs which I will cover a little later on. You can make your own crackers go here to see how when you store crackers be sure to keep them in a dry cool place. If they get to warm they will taste like the package. Also be sure to rotate.

Every week you need to also put back water you can fill empty containers with water (Do not use milk jugs they do not last

long and it is hard to get them clean enough) Juice and soda containers work great.

Every week you need to try and put back a few dollars just whatever you can afford ever little bit will help.

Have a great week.