Thursday, December 29, 2016

New Year New Attitude

 Obviously my plan of keeping up on the blog didn’t happen. In my defense though I have been having some personal issues this past year and a half that I have been trying to deal with, which I might add I haven’t dealt with very well, and have to admit have been having a very long pity party, Been doing a whole lot of soul searching, and praying trying to deal with this. I have decided there are some things just plain out of my control and that I just can’t change (and believe me I have tried). So I have a choice continue in my self-pity and let life pass me by, or pull my big girl britches up and get on with things. Life is way too short to let it pass me by. So my goal for the New Year is get it together in all aspects of my life. Get back to living frugally, I have really fallen off the tracks on that one ( pretty hard to be motivated when you are having a huge pity party). Blogging regular, more sewing and crocheting, doing more with the kids in daycare. Getting the extra weight off that I have piled on the last couple years and getting a lot more fit.

I moved and renamed the blog in hopes of improving it (I guess in order to improve it you actually have to blog HaHa). I look forward to sharing new things with you all.

Mondays I will be doing the 300 a month, goals and things I am working on. (Sewing, crocheting, working out, canning and herbs) I have several projects in mind.

Tuesdays I will be doing post concerning food, (recipes, canning, shortcuts, and things pertaining to food).

Wednesdays will be herbs I want to highlight one herb a week.

Thursdays will be a whatever, I do want to redo some of my older post, update and redo them I will do this on Thursdays.

Fridays will be a recap of the week in daycare, lessons, crafts, music, P.E. and some of the things we have done.

Saturdays I will do the food storage challenge, This year I want to add some recipes for using you storage.  

Sundays I will not be posting, that is church and family time.

So this is the plan hopefully I can stick to it and get out of my rut. Look forward to seeing you Monday and have a great New Years and stay safe.
Hope to see you at the new site Frugal Living on the Ranch.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Yarrow Profile and Uses

I love yarrow, yarrow is another of our globally available, herbal first aid plants like dandelions and plantain. It grows most anywhere, in fields, meadows, pastures, along highways, in town, the country, and many more places.

I have a complete profile and the uses of yarrow on the new blog come check it out, you will be surprised at all the uses there is for yarrow. Yarrow profile and uses

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

I Have moved my Blog

Well the reason I haven't been posting lately is I moved my blog, I renamed and moved it to try and get it to be a little more user friendly It is Now " Frugal Living on the Ranch  "

I will be leaving this blog up and a little later on  may post a little here. The new blog will have the same as this one but with a few added things. It is still under construction, I am working with things to see what works and what does not. So I hope you will hop over and check it out .

I don't have the blogs that I follow and follow me up yet but I will be getting all your blogs up soon. 

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Week 31 Food Storage Challenge

50 LBS Beans / Cornmeal
50 Pounds of beans,  Walmart has Pintos for 13.42 for 20 pounds. Get the beans that your family likes to eat. You can get a variety pintos, kidney, black, butter beans or whatever you like and have easy access to.  
Cornmeal I don’t have a price on this. One way to store cornmeal, if you have a corn grinder you can get feed corn or cracked corn just make sure it is straight untreated corn. I have several bags of whole corn and lime so I can make masa for tortillas and I can grind it for corn meal. If you store corn meal do it like you do the flour freeze and for at least 72 hours. Nothing better than beans and cornbread HaHa.
The Action item for this month is to learn to make soap, if you can make soap then you can use it to make laundry, and dish soap. And it is so nice to know you have soap that you know what is in it and you can custom make it if you like lavender you can make lavender or whatever your favorite is.
The Extra item this month is Alterative clothes washing. A couple things here, you can get a toilet plunger (new would be best J ) and a 5 gallon bucket. You can also invest in a mop bucket that has the wringer for the mop that you can use to wring out your clothes, wringing by hand is not a whole lot of fun. I have seen on the internet little foot powered washing machines they are a little pricey but they wash rinse and spin.
Put back more in your water storage.
Add some more to our money stash.
Have a great week.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Fairy Garden

I have been wanting to do a fairy garden ever since I discovered them. Well this summer I finally got one put together. I had a small section of my yard that I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it. I had planted mint there but the weeds are so bad that they just took over. So with the fairy garden I could put down a ground cover and not have to worry about the weeds. I have several pictures since it is a little larger then most.  
I have a water fall fountain in one corner. The little cabin I got at an action, it was actually part of a pile that Andy had to buy to get the one thing he wanted. Score for me :). I used a lot of slik flowers to dress it up that way I don't have to worry about keeping them all watered.

OK I wasn't going to use this picture since it has a shadow, but it shows the middle way better ( disregard the  bags of mulch to the side ). I did buy the fairy house on the left at Hobby Lobby when it was 50 % off. I also got a few accessory's and a few fairies (can't have a fairy garden with out fairies, right)  to use. The barn I got from Wal-Mart it is a bird feeder but works for  what I needed.  

This is from the other end, I made a stream with blue aquarium gravel and lined it with rocks from the yard.

One more from the other end. Had to put the fencing up to keep the dogs out. Although the cats have found it so I have to go out every now and then and redo it. 

It was so fun to make and it matches my Gnome garden in the front. The little kids love it
Do you have a fairy garden or want one? 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

DoTerra Essential Oil Uses

Photo from DoTerra
As I mentioned the other day I am selling DoTerra oils. I am pretty excited about this since I love using them. I do have to admit I haven't really cooked with them, so looking forward to trying that out.

I wanted to do a post on some of the ways to use them, only I am going to cheat a little. On the DoTerra site they have this post about them you can read the full article  HERE . Here is some of what it has to say.


The sense of smell is a tool that can elicit powerful physiologic, mental, and emotional responses. Essential oils are quickly absorbed by the smell receptors, which have a direct link to the limbic system by way of the olfactory nerve. The limbic system is part of the brain that supports a variety of functions including smell, emotions, behavior, and memory. For this reason, essential oils have an especially powerful effect via aromatic application.
Some essential oils induce uplifting or invigorating effects, while others are more calming. Diffusion is one of the simplest methods for using essential oils aromatically. Diffusers that use cold air or water are ideal. However, using essential oils aromatically does not require any special diffusing devices.
You can achieve the same health benefits by simply placing a few drops of essential oil in the palm of your hand that is then cupped around the nose as you breathe deeply.

I love using oils in my cleaners not only do they help clean they just smell sooo good. I have a couple different blends that I use in my diffuser to make the house smell good or when every one is sick and I need to purify the air or help with breathing.


Topical application is a very effective method for applying essential oils. Because essential oils have low molecular weights and are lipid soluble, they easily penetrate the skin. Once absorbed, they stay in the applied area for a localized benefit.
Although essential oils are readily absorbed, there are many ways to increase absorption. Using a light massage will increase the blood flow to the area of application, in turn improving distribution throughout the body. Use of a carrier oil can also increase absorption, especially in skin that is dry or flaky as it helps moisturize the skin and slow evaporation of the oil.
To decrease the likelihood of developing a skin sensitivity, especially on young or sensitive skin, it is advisable to use a carrier oil (such as Fractionated Coconut Oil) to dilute more potent oils and when trying an oil for the first time. The recommend dilution ratio is typically one drop of essential oil to three drops of carrier oil.
It’s always advisable to use several small doses throughout the day rather than a single large dose. Start with the lowest possible dose (1–2 drops). A topical dose can be repeated every 4–6 hours as needed. Because every individual is unique, the dose will vary for each individual based on size, age, and overall health status.

I do a lot of topical, I make a blend for Katie's migraines, for the girls cramps and muscle aches to name a few. And in a bath with some Epsom salts wonderful.


Certain essential oils have a rich culinary history and can be used as dietary supplements supporting a variety of healthy conditions. When you sprinkle cinnamon on your oatmeal, sip a mug of peppermint tea, or add fresh basil leaves to your spaghetti, you are actually consuming some volatile aromatic essential oil compounds.
Essential oil contributes many health benefits as well as flavoring and aroma properties to foods. When in their concentrated form, essential oils can be used as dietary supplements for more targeted and potent health benefits. Internal use is a very safe and effective method of application because of the sophisticated physiologic processes of our bodies.
When ingested, essential oils directly enter the blood stream via the gastrointestinal tract, where they are transported throughout the rest of the body. Essential oils are lipid soluble so they are readily transported to all organs of the body, including the brain. Then, like all things we consume, essential oils are metabolized by the liver and other organs and are then excreted.
The composition of essential oils is highly complex. Each constituent possesses a unique set of biochemical properties that react with cells and organs in different ways. Although these mechanisms of action are not completely understood, the positive end results have been demonstrated. However, the body is only equipped to handle appropriate doses of essential oils.
Proper dosing according to labeling recommendations and other professional guidelines should be strictly followed to avoid toxicity.

As I mentioned above I haven't really cooked with them I have used them in my water and teas, so looking forward to cooking with them already have several ideas where I want to use them.

How do you use essential oils? Would love to hear the different ways.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Why Wal-Mart

On one of my food storage challenge post I received this following  comment / question.

Do you realize the cheap rice and food stuffs at Walmart are the lowest quality and do not last like better grades of food. What are you doing to replace these stores when they run out? Is the soup from walmart canned in 'cans' or in boxes, the boxes do not store and the newer cans are often lined with a plastic than can leach toxins over time. Just a few notes to watch for.

Thought I would do a post on this to explain.

The reason I use Wal-Mart's prices
I always advocate for making, growing and canning your own. But I realize that not everybody has the time or are able to do that. I also realize  that money is very tight for most people. So some food storage even if from Wal-Mart is better then none.

Most everybody has a Wal-Mart near by.

These prices give you something to compare to especially if you find a sale price some where else. And this is a starting point, you obviously don't have to get your stuff from Wal-Mart.

As far as storing, I have rice from Wal-Mart that has been stored for close to ten years and it is still good. A lot of it depends on how you are storing it, if things are stored correctly they will last a very long time no matter where they are from. And if you rotate  there shouldn't be a problem.

As far as being able to  replace items, two thoughts here.

Food storage can be helpful in a short term crisis like a job loss, illness, unexpected bills ect.

In a long term crisis you will need to be able to live like our forefathers, grow and produce your own food ,be able to preserve it, eat in season , barter and be as self sufficant as possible. Most of which I talk about in this blog. Food storage can hold you over till you can get to point of producing your own food.

I hope this has answered the questions.

Monday, August 1, 2016

300 a Month,Menu, Week Goals.

Been busy this past week helping Joleen move out into her own place. ( It is going to be so strange not having her home.) She still has a few things left to get but for the most part she is moved out. She got a place with a friend not to far from here. I had forgotten how much stuff you need starting out, even just getting the basics. Luckily I had quite a bit of stuff I was able to give her, we furnished her house and a lot of kitchen stuff enough to get them started ( at least I hope).

With that going on didn't get to much else done. Did get 7 quarts of spaghetti sauce canned.

I started selling Doterra oils something I have been thinking about doing for some time now.
As you can see not much done, oh well always next week haha.

Goals for the week
 I want to get more spaghetti sauce canned (have you ever had a word that your brain just refuses to remember how to spell? I swear every time I go to write spaghetti I have to look it up, drives me crazy :)  )

Need to mow the back and front yards and mow down some weeds along the driveway.

Bought 2 cases of fresh corn yesterday so I want to put these in the freezer, I still have several jars canned from last year.

I got several yellow squash in my bountiful baskets so I want to put some of them in the freezer.

Move a lot of the daycare stuff to Joleens now vacated room.

Get flyers made for our upcoming music festival.

Replant the pots of flowers by the front door. Forgot to have the girls water them while we were gone so between that and the grasshoppers, they didn't survive. I found some replacement flowers on clearance sale so I don't feel to horribly bad about having to replant.

I would like to make several crock pot meals for Joleen so they have something to eat while trying to get settled in.

Hopefully I can get that all done along with all the have to do things.

300 a Month Challenge

Well as I mentioned a little while back I have had prepper and frugal fatigue, so I kind of fell off the wagon and bounced very far away from it. But I think I am back in the game again, I am going to have to start over on my 300 a month, pretty sure I exceeded my limit the past few months. I will start with August and that will give me 5 months to go, with 1500 dollars left for the year.

This weeks menu

Cream of wheat
French Toast
Cheese omelets

To these I will add toast or fruit.

Fish Sticks / tater tots
Mac & Cheese
Mini pizzas ( Homemade)
Grilled Cheese
Macaroni and Tomatoes

To these I will add  fruit, crackers, or something as a side dish.

Stuffed Peppers ( peppers from Bountiful Baskets)
Mexican Steak
Steaks on the grill 
Cheesy Spaghetti
Crock pot Chicken Fried Steak

To these I will add a vegetable and appropriate side.


Animal Crackers

Granola Bars
Cheese crackers 

Andy's Snacks
Strawberry Shortcake
Peach Cobbler

What are your goals for the week ?

Have a great week.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Week 30 Food Storage Challenge

20 Pounds Rice / School Supplies

20 Pounds of rice, Wal-Mart has rice for 8.92 for 20 LBS. When storing I just put in a bucket and add some bay leaves then put the lid on and store in my shed. We do get hard freezes in the winter so the rice gets froze to kill all the bugs. You might want to put in the freezer for 24 hours before you put in buckets, if you don't get hard freezes or it wont be stored where it will freeze.

School supplies, even if you don't have kids in school now is the time to get extra paper, pens, pencils, tape, glue, ect. while they are all on sale for back to school.

Have you been able to find very many kids clothes? This is something to keep in mind year around then if you come across a good deal at a yard sale or some where you can pick them up for next to nothing.

Get the rest of the information off the computer.

Add some more water and a little more to your money stash.

Have a great week and keep safe it is getting crazy out there.

Friday, July 29, 2016

This week in daycare,Camping

The theme this week was camping. I got off to slow start so we didn't get to do the letter of the week this week we will focus on it a little more next week.

First off we made some Camp Fires. The kids loved making these, and they were so easy.

I set the tent up in the living room for them to play in. They just love playing in the tent.

We roasted marshmallows over our "campfires" they were so funny, they would pretend it was hot and say oh that's hot and blow off the marshmallows.

I had wanted to do a picnic outside but it was so stinking hot, I figured the living room floor would be just as good.  So I laid out a big blanket and we had a indoor picnic. Plus as a special treat we put a movie on to watch while we ate.

Had two sensory boxes this week the sand which they loved, not to sure that hasn't be the most favorite one yet.

Then we had a water table outside, I was going to make some moon sand for it but didn't get it done so I put aquarium gravel in the bottom and gave them cups and funnels. They did so good I really thought they would get all wet but they stayed dry.

Here are a couple of the books that we read this week.

Next week is going to be castles, princesses and princes, the letter W, and if we have time the color blue.

Making a pretend camp fire.

Our theme this week was camping and you have to have a camp fire when camping. So we made these they were super easy (even the two year old was able to make one) and the kids loved making them.
We started by coloring the outside edge of a paper plate brown

Then we glued yellow, orange, red construction paper that I had cut to fit toilet paper rolls, I just kind of zig zaged them when I cut them. We did a different color on each side orange and yellow and the red and orange one some.

We made 5 per paper plate.

Very easy to make,  we  used these on camping day to roast marshmallows. They had so much fun with them.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

July Sensory Box

This one is super easy and the kids love it. I don't have a real sandbox outside yet ( working on it) So I decided to make a small one in the sensory box, just play sand and a few sand toys.
Katie had to play in it as soon as I got it done. I think she played with it for an hour haha. So it is good for all ages even 18 year olds haha 

The kids played for hours.

It was in the house so I put a shower curtain under it to catch all the sand that got spilled (which wasn't much). I think out of all the sensory boxes I have done this was the biggest hit.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Dehydrating Frozen hashbrowns / Potatoes

Here is a super easy way to dehydrate potatoes and hash browns especially if you are strapped for time or don't have a  inexpensive source of fresh potatoes.

Use frozen hash browns   
Country style for shredded potatoes  

And Southern style for cubed potatoes.

As I said very easy
Just pour the potatoes onto your dehydrator racks.  If you have large holes in your racks you will need to use your fruit rollup sheets. Or make your own sheets to use like I do for small vegetables and fruits.  I get large sheets of screen at the hardware store for not very much, they sell it by the foot so it is easy to get just what you need. Then I cut it to fit my trays.

Dehydrate at 125 for about 12 hours or how ever long your dryer takes. I store in gallon size ziplock bags and in quart jars. When I put in jars I go ahead and dry pack them.

You can use the shredded for hash browns just rehydrate and fry up.
The cubed you an use in soups and stews.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Orange, Pineapple, Mango Jam aka Sunshine in a jar.

I seriously love this stuff, it is one of the jams that I could just eat out of the jar, and may have on occasion haha.

I got several oranges in my bountiful baskets and decided to make up some of this and some Orange chili jam ( I will post that recipe in a couple days).
Start with about 4 pounds of oranges, cut the ends and then half then quarter slice out the pit and seeds then cut the quarter in half then slice into 3 pieces,

Put in pan  add 4 cups water 1 can crushed pineapple ( 1 jar if you have your own canned) 1 can of mangos or about 3 fresh chopped mangos.

cook for about for about 1 hour .

 Add 6 cups of water and 9 cups sugar

Cook down for about another hour then use a hand blender and puree.

 Add 2 packs of sure jell bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add to sterilized pint jars, water bath for 10 minutes.

Orange, Pineapple, Mango Jam 
 4 Pounds Oranges
1 Can crushed pinapple
1 can chopped mangos or 3 fresh chopped
4 cups water
9 cups sugar
6 cups water
2 packs Sure Jell
Cut the ends, then half, then quarter, slice out the pit and seeds of oranges then cut the quarters in half and slice into 3 pieces,
Put oranges in pan add 4 cups water,crushed pineapple, and mangos. Cook down for about an hour . Add 9 cups water and sugar cook down for about another hour. Then use a hand blender and puree. Add 2 packs of sure jell bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add to sterilized pint jars, water bath for 10 minutes.


Saturday, July 23, 2016

Week 29 Food Storage Challenge

20 cans of canned milk/ Flashlights and Batteries.

20 cans of milk, Wal-Mart has it for 92 cents a can. When storing canned milk you want to be sure and rotate. It does have a couple year shelf life but not much longer. As with all your canned goods it is best to store in a cool dark place.

Flashlights and Batteries, Flashlights with led lights seem to be brighter and the batteries last longer, although they are a little more expensive, I do think they are worth the extra price. Batteries, I try to have all different sizes on hand. You might even want to invest in a charger and some rechargeable batteries. Batteries will last longer if stored in dry cool places.

Have you been able to get extra kids clothes or even sewing patterns  and fabric to make your own.

Have you been getting the information off your computer? Even if you spend 10 minutes a day on this you can get a lot off.

Add a little more to your money stash and put back more water.

Have a great week.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Week 28 Food Storage Challenge

5 Pounds Honey / Oats

5 pounds honey, if you an get local honey all the better, I don't have a price on honey. You can also get honey powder it taste just like honey, but it is made from sugar not honey.

Oats, I get mine at IFA ( our local feed store)  30 dollars for 50 pounds. Wal-Mart price is 13.58 for ten pounds in the food storage area or 2 LBs 10 oz for 1.68.

Have you been able to find extra kids clothes? I was able to find a small bag of girls size 9 mo to 12 mo for a dollar. Got them washed up and put back.

Are you getting information off the computer?

Put back more water and add a little more to your money stash.

Hope you have a great week.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Camping up at Haycamp

We were able to go camping this last weekend, so we decided to go up to haycamp, We also wanted to look around and see if we might want to go hunting up there this fall. It was so nice and cool.
We took the jeep out both days and drove  around all over the place. 

So many pretty flowers were in bloom.

The mountains in the distance, You can tell there was a fire here several years ago.

There were columbines everywhere, guess that is why they are our state flower, and the fact that they are so pretty.

A little creek we came on, it was so nice and cool.

Sharks tooth in the distance, we went to it then part way around it.

Jersey Jim lookout fire tower.

I would be very hard pressed to climb that much less sleep in it hahah.

More flowers.

I love  fences like this, they just look so old and rustic. Although I wouldn't want to be the one to have to build it.

This is the spot that we camped in so nice and peaceful.

It was so nice to get away for a couple days, I didn't even want to come home. When we did get back home and it was hot and every where I looked was work to be done I really wanted to just turn around and go back haha.