Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Quiet Christmas

For the first time ever I think, we had a quiet Christmas at home.  We didn’t go anywhere or even have company.  Just got to lounge around in our PJ’s all day!  We started out the day at about 7:20 with kids waking us up.  We slowly got out of bed to get the fire going…
Super D is standing in front of the real fire while we get the effect with music from the TV.  Smile  Of course next is presents…
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Sassafras got a new hat from her sister. Can you tell she likes Pandas??  It’s an inherited trait, I collected Panda things as a kid too.
We then had a yummy Christmas breakfast of Eggs, bacon, and Cinnamon Rolls.  Bacon was a treat too as we haven’t had Bacon around lately as it is a bit more expensive.  Then we just hung out.  Watched a Christmas movie and played. 
Sugar Bug had all her clothed tried on and toys all played with before the day was over. 
Here she is coloring after working a couple pot holders on the loom, by the end of the day we all had our own pot holder. Smile   And we played her new game together.  It was very funny…
The game is called Hedbanz Act up.. The game like charades, you act out what is on another players card and have them guess. Super D is acting out an earthquake here.

Sassafras pausing to take a picture of us.  With our game headwear Winking smile.  It is a fun game that gets us all laughing!
We didn’t have a big dinner just a simple every day one and that was fine.  We had a family dinner with everyone a couple days after Christmas.  It was nice to just stay home and enjoy the family.

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and Wish you all a Happy New Year!!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Merry Christmas From the Ozarks

I thought I’d share our Christmas Letter with you all with extra pictures…

It’s been another tough year for the S Family.  In July we lost Super D’s  Dad  to cancer.  Super D was able to take time off and spent 3 months in Colorado caring for his dad in his last days and taking care of the estate after he passed.   The girls and I made a quick week long trip up with my sister-in-law and her kids at the end of June.  We were all able to see Grandpa G and say our goodbyes.  It was a very trying trip but we made it, making a quick over night in Tulsa on the way.     

    In April I started working at the local store here.  It is about 10 minutes from home and is going pretty well.  I now know about half the town by name.   We are the only store/gas station/ restaurant for about 30 miles. 
    In June we celebrated Sugar Bug’s 10th birthday at blue springs, her favorite place on the river.  We had a lot of fun jumping into the icy water on the warm day.   In October my mom , sister , grandma E, and grandma B along with a couple family friends all made the trip to visit us and help celebrate Sassafras turning 15!  It was the first trip for any of them out here.  We rented a cabin on the river with a gorgeous view for everyone. 


    October was a crazy month as along with everyone visiting we moved again.  We didn’t move far.  We still love the Ozarks and have expanded a bit.  We bought another 4 acres practically next door with a mobile home on it.   We are all thankful to have running water with working toilets and showers for the winter!   We still have our other 6 acres with 10 acres separating the two properties.   Originally, when Super D was growing up the all 20 acres were combined.  His step dad had split it up to sell.  Maybe one day we will have it all back together.  For now we have put building on hold while we decide where we want to build and our next step. 

   Super D has been working installing solar systems with another guy who has decided to sell his business.  As a result, Super D is no longer working with him and planning to starting his own business in the new year. 

    Despite our crazy year our little farm has managed to grow.  We got a little milk cow named Sweet Pea who gave birth to a bull calf in August.  The girls named him Thor.  Thankfully she delivered with no help as Super D was still in Colorado when she had him.  So I got plunged into learning to milk our cow!  I am so glad she is a sweet thing and has been a great cow and we learned to milk together with no problems.  This was her first calf so we were both new it all!   We have loved the fresh milk and Super D has taken up cheese making.  Our chickens didn’t fare so well while we were in Colorado so we got a new set of chicks that should start giving us eggs again in the spring.

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Here is one of the Christmas pictures of the girls.  I take pictures every year at Christmas our version of school pictures.  This one captures my girls personalities wonderfully!


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Monday, December 16, 2013

A New Tradition

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you look”   To quote the song.   We had a blast getting our Christmas tree this year.  I haven’t had a real live Christmas tree since I was a kid.  When Super D and I got married we didn’t have any extra money for a tree.   We were lucky to have a fake tree given to us and for about 10 years that was what we set us every year.  We’ll when we moved and downsized that was an item that got left behind.  Last year if you remember we didn’t have room for a tree.  So I was excited this year!
And the search begins.  It was a beautiful sunny day with just enough snow on the ground to make it fun.  This was contestant #1,  first tree we looked at and really looked good but we wanted to search a little more.  It was slightly on the short side. 
Contestant #2  nice and full and right height but too wide.  So we keep looking.  By the way we are looking on our 6 acres where we have several smaller cedars growing. 
Gotta play in the snow a bit while looking!  The snowball ended up showering Sassafras as soon as we got the picture.  Trust me she had it coming.  Smile
And the winner is Contestant #3 Good height, a bit narrower, and full branches.  Down she comes.022
We got her loaded up and home.  Sugarbug helped me decorate after Super D got it set up and adjusted just right.  Sassafras make cookies for us while we worked.
Ta Da...  Okay so we learned some lessons.  Cedar trees are a bit more pokey than the fake ones and they tend to grow once you get them inside.  We ended up tying some branches up a bit to narrow it up even more so it fit better and we ended up cutting a bit off as it was slightly too tall for our roof.  The tree wants to lean to one side but I love it’s imperfections and love having a real one that smells great too. Goliath our dog wanted in on the actions and posed for this picture too. 
Hope your having a Great Holiday Season!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Winter Wonderland

Here I was concerned I’d miss snow when we moved.  Well, I was wrong.  Missouri has not disappointed in giving me some snow.  Now it usually doesn’t stick around too long and I like that.  I think I got the better deal.  Ok on to the pictures.  As most of the US is in deep freeze right now we got this yesterday…

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                                              Defiantly a blanket of white.  And it was still snowing. 


002 - Copy             This is about 6” and only the half way mark.  It snowed the rest of the day and we have at least a foot! I even got the day off work as the store                                       closed early.

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                     Prince was cold too trying to stay out of the wind on the porch.  For some silly reason only  he knows he didn’t want in the coop with the rest of the hens.

So… If it doesn’t look too familiar these are all at the new place.  Which I promised.  ;)  Here are some not covered in snow so you can see the land…169



Well, I’m not talented enough to merge these two so you’ll have to use your brain.  But bottom one is by the Hwy which borders our property and then continues in.  You can see the pond in both pictures.  (that’s the dark spot surrounded by trees)  These are taken from our porch.  Here’s one taken from the other side of the pond looking back…


I love the reflection of the trees in this picture! You’ll have to use your imagination for how pretty everything will be in the spring when it greens up.  On this land we have quite a bit more woods.  The border of our land is a couple hundred feet from the tree line in some areas and it borders a property that is just a 2 acre slice of trees it has a rich history that we are trying to learn about.   But that’s for another day. 

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Just so pretty!  Hope you stay warm where ever you are!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Bee’s Honey!

Well I’m still having technical problems but I really wanted to get some posts up.  Sorry if they come out a little jumbled.  We’ve had so much going on and I will get pictures of our new land up next but first…
We have honey! 
So we are not the best bee keepers yet we started with two hives and one was weaker than the other.  The stronger one survived, so we have one hive now.  Our bees didn’t have enough time to make much honey just for us so we took the honey that was left in the weaker hive.
Excuse the messy kitchen. 
194 Super D cut open the comb then set the trays up in a warm oven to let the honey drip down.  I had to go to work so I got out of helping but came home to four beautiful jars of honey.
196 It tastes wonderful. I am excited for next year.  Since we have an established hive I’m hoping we will have a bigger haul. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Technical Difficulties….

      Lately life has been a bit of what can go wrong will go wrong!  We have moved and are somewhat settled in but somewhere in the mess I’ve lost the battery charger to the camera.  Yes, Again!  Plus Super D and Sassafras the in house techies have updated my computer.  To do this they removed all the important files including pictures to a safe place (other hard drive) and they have yet to find their way home.  Me not being the techie do not have access to them just yet. Well, really there is a bit more to that story too I’m just saving you the details as things went a bit wrong again.
      The plus to all this is that I have a like new computer with less glitches and am using a new program to write my blog that I hope will make it a bit easier to post.  We shall see as this means learning a new program but so far I like it.  So once again I put you on hold and promise to have photos as soon as I can. 
     Life really is an adventure!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

BIG Changes!!!

  I'm sorry!  I promise I haven't forgotten about my blog.  Not sure who reads it but I do enjoy writing for it.  It has been a crazily busy month.  Super D made it back from Colorado and we have been trying to catch up and have had new opportunities.  The big one being..........

We moved.  Yes, you read that right.  We moved again!  But not too far.  We only moved about a city block away.  Next door out here.  We have one neighbor  between us and new place.   We moved to 4 acres with a mobile home on it. 
We now have running water, electric on demand, toilets, and showers.  Even a huge bathtub.  Several factors played into our decision but don't worry we haven't abandoned our dreams, they are just evolving with life. :) 

We somehow managed to move, throw a birthday party, and have company in a 5 day period!  I've hardly had a moment to call my own.  But as life is getting back to routine I will fill you all in! 

I have some pictures saved to show you but still need to download them. I wanted to check in though. I will update very soon with all the new news!   What are you all up to this fall??  Anyone have any good adventures?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Lies We Believe....

     So how many times have you been clicking around a blog, Pinterest, Facebook or flipping a magazine while wishing you could live their lives?  I want what they have....

I think we've all done this. But remember pictures, even videos, are just snap shots of what really goes one.  Most of us are putting our best foot forward to share with our readers.  I have been known to move junk out of the way of a picture so you see what I want you to see and not the dirty dishes in the background. 
Today I thought I'd break the mold and show you the bad and ugly side too...

This was taken just on a random day.  Some days the trailer looks worse and some better.   Living in a small space means that surfaces get cluttered and messy quick.   After one meal the kitchen counter is overflowing.  The tight space can sometimes drive me nuts.  I have had to learn to live in the moment, and to look the other way when things can't get done right then. 
Thankfully a small space also means it doesn't take too long to clean up.  Staying on top of everything can be tough with four people using the space.  It seems the second I clear a space someone is putting something in it again. 
Living in small space does have some advantages. I enjoy being close to my family, I like that I can sit at the table, on the couch or even be in my bed and  know what everyone else is up too.  We like the open kitchen and living area and plan to include that when we build. 

I miss having a flush toilet and shower.  I am ready to have some of those conveniences back!  We may have some of them back soon....

I may not have a picture perfect home but it is home and I am thankful for what we have. 
A while ago I posted what I do daily.. Well, it's changed since then so I thought I'd update my day to day activities .
I get up between 7 and 8 most mornings.  By 9 I milk Sweet Pea (our family cow)  That is first thing.  She starts demanding attention the minute she realizes anyone is up an moving. 
Most days include collecting eggs, making butter (about every third day), schooling the girls, and cleaning up the trailer.  
Then each day I prepare the things I make weekly, like granola and yogurt.  I try to do those things on the days I don't work at the store. 
I still love this land.  I love looking out each morning and seeing the beauty and looking up each night and seeing the stars.  I love the feeling of what I do really mattering to our daily life.  If I don't milk the cow, we don't have milk. If I don't collect the cream I can't make butter. 

I know my life is different but It's mine. :)  Any questions?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Hunting again...

A couple weeks ago after all that rain we got we did get a day to go mushroom hunting again.  We checked out a new trail we had never been on.  It's part of the Devils Backbone Wilderness in the Mark Twain National Forest (Which we are pretty much surrounded by). 
We had a fun surprise at the trailhead....

We opened this box to check it out.  It had a paper to sign in on and told what trail we were taking and had two little mice to welcome us to the forest...
  I admit I jump a bit but they were pretty cute, This is Sugar Bug begging to pick one up. I tell you she is fearless!  They seemed right at home and let us borrow a pencil to sign in with.  They were still there when we left. 

On to the hike..

We found two of these cool stick bugs.  These ones were yellow and red but we have seen them to be green or brown too. Like this one we had on the trailer.

We did find some mushrooms too. I have no idea what the one above is but the one below is a puff ball.

  This was our haul for the day.  We've gotten better about not picking everything but just got samples of ones we didn't know what they were.  The girls did awesome coming home and working to identify them..  We did have some edibles and had a good lunch of ramen and wood ear.

We haven't had a chance to get out again but hopefully our weather will cool off again and we can hunt some more before the year is over. :) 

Saturday, August 31, 2013




Born August 16th

Isn't he cute!  Even baby cows are precious.  This is Thor. Sassafras's name was picked from the drawing we had.  Sugar Bug was voting for Coco.  But I think Thor fits him well.  He is a bull.  He is growing fast and doing well.  Sweet Pea is a perfect mama and is a wonderful milker. 
Here he is a couple weeks old with Sugar bug chasing him.  He is quite the runner now and loves to chase other animals.  Mama is never too far away though.  Since we started milking her she has a new halter.
Sweet pea does great milking.  We milk her once a day usually in the morning and she has done well.  We plan to build a stanchion for her to stand in soon.  She does well while eating her grain but shuffles her feet a bit.  Thankfully she has never kicked hard.  Just moves enough that she has kicked over a few buckets of milk. If you have ever hand milked you know that sinking feeling when all your had work is spilled on the ground. She is an easy milker and the girls have helped some too. I laugh because they both cringe when Thor slobbers on them while milking. Right now we share and he usually nurses while we milk the other teats. 
For those who may have never seen a calf nurse.  :)  
We were so happy to have good milk we had to buy cereal for the occasion.
 Her milk is very good.  Sweet and mild.  It doesn't have the least sour taste to it.  I find it hard to describe fresh milk.   I don't think it has as strong a flavor as store bought.  It tastes lighter and sweeter.  At least ours does. The taste of milk varies a bit with the diet a cow is on. We've had milk before that smelled and tasted a bit oniony because mama was eating onions in the field.   We are enjoying our milk and will soon be making all sorts of dairy products. 
Well, cover more on milk later. :) 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Jungle....

With all the rain we've received my garden has grown by leaps and bounds! It looks more like a jungle than a garden. :)

It is green!  At this point I think there is more grass and weeds then my plants but that's ok. I've managed to keep them from choking my plants out. 

My poor cherry tomato plant may not make a full recovery.   It was attacked by these guys...

This is the Tomato Hornworm.  Really it is a caterpillar and it feasts on tomato plants.  I pulled 6 off the cherry tomato plant and they did that damage pretty much over night.  Thankfully I haven't found many more but I have learned to keep an eye out for these guys.  They blend Very well.  The chickens will eat them but even they can't see them on the plant! 

My bush green bean plants have done well.  I have 3 rows and I've harvested a handful about every other day.  I think next year I will plant about twice as much so I can really can a good amount.  I haven't quite had enough to can this year.  We eat them too quickly. :)

Here's my Okra plants.  They have also done really well.  In fact I have many that are too big as they grew too fast for me to pick.  I did pick enough to pickle 4 jars so far.  That will be another post too :) 

I planted squash, zucchini, watermelon, cantaloupe, and cucumbers too.  But it started to rain while I was taking pictures. Go Figure. I hope to feature each veggie or fruit and share some ways we use them, store them, and save seeds as I learn.  

Sweet Pea was out watching me and so cute I had to take a few of her too.  She has enjoyed the rain and thinks that big puddle (half in the picture) is her personal pond.  The problem with this is that this is the end of our driveway so we have to make her move to get out, and she is a stubborn teenager at times.  :) 
No calf yet either.  Her due date was VERY wrong.  We are anxiously waiting to see her little one.

How's your garden growing this year??

Saturday, August 10, 2013

When it rains it pours....

        This post has two meanings.  I started it to tell of hard times we've had with the death in the family, then losing all but 3 of our chickens, me getting sicker than I have ever been in my life, and Super D getting held up in Colorado longer than we wanted.  But really is has rained everyday for 2 weeks now and there is no end in sight.  Every time I look at the forecast it tell of thunderstorms. 

I have never seen so much rain in my life!  Here is Patrick Bridge where we often swim...

This has even gone down the water was up to where I am standing.  The river has even flooded some of our tall bridges.  It is incredible to see.  When this happens it changes the landscape of the river so when the water settles it will be a new place. 
 By the way, I am recovered from my sickness, we've ordered new chicks which should arrive this month, and Super D is progressing with all he had to accomplish in Colorado and will be home soon. 
In all we really have survived just fine, but I am tired.  Running this place with just me and the girls is a handful... plus my other job.  (at the local store)  It has kept us going but we really miss having Super D around.
 I feel as though we just got stuck this summer.  Instead of moving ahead we were only able to maintain what we have.  But we will pick it all back up soon and have some progress of getting things done around here. 
The plus of all this rain is that it is God's miracle grow!  My garden looks more like a jungle and everything is very green.  Quite the contrast to last years drought conditions.

Will do a Garden post next so you can all see how it's going.  Not as well as I had hoped but better than last year!  :)  Happy last days of summer!