Friday, April 30, 2010

doing laundry

I have a lot of laundry to do on a regular basis. A husband that works with chainsaws and trees all day, an adventurous 12 year old boy, 2 toddlers who think mud is their good friend and a baby that eats a lot (we all know what that means.) Not to mention my clothes, towels, sheets on 4 beds, 1 cradle, etc. Since we sleep on these things, wear these things and just generally have them in contact with our skin I want to know that what I'm washing them in is as chemical free as possible. Do you know that a bottle of laundry detergent purchased say, from Wal-Mart, doesn't even have a list of ingredients on it? Kinda scary.
So a while ago I decided to make our own laundry detergent. I researched it (because that's what I do) and found a bunch of different recipes. Some were liquid and others were powder. I decided to go with a powder. I spend enough time cooking things, I don't need to be "cooking" laundry soap too.

This soap goes together super fast, especially with the help of your 12 year old. (Wyatt makes it as one of his chores around the homestead.) Plus, it works great.
1 bar, grated, Fels Naptha Soap or a bar of homemade soap (I like homemade soap the best since you know what's in it)
1 cup of Borax powder
1 cup of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda (not baking soda)

Grate the bar of soap with your cheese grater (homemade soap grates up super quick since it's softer than the Fels Naptha)
Mix grated soap and powders in an airtight container.
Use 2 TB per load.
I keep a table spoon in my soap so that it's easy to spoon into the washer.

Under the "Recipes" tab on my blog you can find this recipe along with other useful household recipes. After all, recipes aren't just for food!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

which one isn't the same?

Here are 3 pictures. 2 of them are alike, 1 is not.

Can you tell which one is the odd one out?

Yep. That's Timber. Give her more than 5 minutes outside and the boots and the socks are thrown off and she's barefoot!

The kids and I were outside this morning moving the turkeys and chicks into the coop. They are separated for now and will be for the next couple of weeks. I'm hoping that by doing this it will allow for two things; 1. for the big hens to get used to the turkeys and not be so aggressive towards them 2.for the turkeys to get big enough that the hens don't even want to mess with them due to their sheer size!

Coaster Winner!

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:

Timestamp: 2010-04-29 14:50:28 UTC

So the winner is Heather!! No, not me Heather, this Heather....
Heather said...
So generous! I love those fabrics and the coasters are adorable. Let's see - something fun... let's see. I was addicted to knitting, but now I love sewing so much I'll let my son play with balls of yarn so I have more time to work with fabric :)

Hmmm, she even sounds like me. :) Anyway, congrats to you Heather!
I need you to contact me so that I can mail these out to you. If I don't hear from you by Sunday night, another winner will be drawn.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

mini me

I had some leftover fabric from the skirt I made for myself and thought, "Wouldn't it be neat if Timber had the same skirt?" (I never thought I would be one of those moms who makes the same clothes for herself and her daughter but apparently, I am.)
This went together super fast (like, during Mason's nap) since I did it from memory and didn't have to go back and read the pattern 150 times. I also did a couple small things different and was pleased with how it turned out!
Timber kept saying, "No, me,me" as Layton was trying to get in on the photos, knowing that I was taking special pictures of her.

Monday, April 26, 2010

all things new

Some shots of a few of the things growing around the homestead.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Heather Ross Coaster Giveaway**NOW CLOSED**

Are you a fan of Heather Ross fabrics? Do you love the out of print ones? 3 great fabrics, including the oh so popular pink camper, were used to create these coasters! I purchased them on Etsy with a purpose. Then it changed. Now I have coasters....and no coffee table or any other type of table that may require a coaster. So, I'm giving them away!
6 really cute coasters to the lucky person that gets picked from on this coming Thursday (April 29th.) To enter, leave a comment on this post and tell me something fun about yourself!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

the Rowe homestead

One of my very best friends lives only 10 minutes away. She and I have a lot in common and one of those things is our love for homesteading. Her children are older than mine (except for Wyatt) and are active in 4-H. They have pigs, chickens, and goats on their property. Their horses move back and forth from a pasture to their property, depending on the season.

Their milk goat had twin baby girls last week and so the kids and I went over to visit the new additions.

They were so sweet- I just wanted to take one home. The thought crossed my mind (again) to get a milk goat. I didn't even bring it up to hubby though because I know what he would say. And he's right- we need to wait. We've got our eye on a ranch in Santa Rosa that breeds miniature Jerseys.
But I sure wouldn't mind cuddling one of those little cute kids again!

Friday, April 23, 2010

fun with friends

My, my, I have about 1 million things to do today and about 1/2 the time to do them! Plus, it's beautifully sunny outside and all I want to do is get into that garden!
We did get to enjoy some time outside with some of our good friends yesterday. My friend, Holly, snapped these pictures of the kids having fun.

O.k. now I must get back to, granola making, dishes, laundry, sweeping, organizing, tortilla dough making, bread making, baby nursing, and if I get time, some gardening and sewing.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

buying local

When you live where we do it's not always easy to buy local. Our local area doesn't support a whole lot and once you go beyond our area, you're driving at least an hour and a half to anywhere else. So I started thinking about the things I buy in respect to food. Where is it all coming from? I was pleasantly surprised to see that most of the things in our home actually come from either California, Oregon or Washington!

Brown Cow- Antioch, CA
Nature's Path- Blaine, WA
Annie's Naturals- Napa, CA
Muir Glen Organics- Sedro-Wolley, WA
Pacific Natural Foods- Tualatin, OR
Kettle Chips- Salem, OR
Lundberg- Richvale, CA

Our meats come from local farmers or farmers in Eureka, CA. Our milk comes from Organic Pastures dairy in Fresno, CA and a local dairy in the next town over. Our eggs are our own. Our grains come from Azure farm in Dufur, OR. Our cheese and butter, from the local cheese factory.

So while not everything comes from right here in our little part of the country, I'm glad to know that at least they're in our broader local area!

Where does your food come from?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


O.k., I'm doing some spring cleaning and I want all of the quilts in my shop sold. So, 50% off every quilt in the shop! Convo me through Etsy (or leave me a comment here) and I'll be glad to set up the listing for you.
I'm also destashing a bunch of fabric. If you'd like some for free and you're local, you can come on over. If you're not local and would like to pay the shipping, I'd be glad to mail you a bunch in a flat rate box!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

tuesday randomness - in pictures

This is my husbands creative redneck side at work...Wyatt in the garden My husbands ornery side at work. This was my to-do list. He thought he'd add a few "groceries" to the list... We really did need yogurt though. Mason So-cute Scott

Monday, April 19, 2010

quick change

From this yesterday:To this:
Note: the storm picture isn't mine, I found it on the net

and this today:Welcome to spring- one day sun, next day rain!

gamma seal goodness!

Amy over at Homestead Revival is hosting a giveaway of 6- yes 6! gamma seal lids! The lids are generously donated by USA Emergency Supply! I don't know about you, but I could seriously use these! Keeping my fingers crossed for this giveaway. Head on over and check it out for yourself!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

making cream cheese

Cream cheese, even organic, from the store has been heated and does not contain any live enzymes. Making your own cream cheese at home is probably easier than you thought!Take as much raw milk as you'd like, pour into a jar and let it stand on your kitchen counter for 1-4 days (until it separates.) Once separation occurs, pour the milk over a dishcloth-lined strainer that it placed over a bowl (Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of that step!)
Let the cultured milk strain. This will remove the whey from the milk. Put your whey into a jar and keep it in the fridge to use for things like soaking grains, additional whey for your kefir, etc. Whey helps in the digestion of food.Then take your dishcloth and tie it up over a wooden spoon. Place the spoon over a large bowl and let sit until the last of the whey stops dripping. You want to make sure all the whey is removed. Once it has stopped dripping you can pull the cheese out and place it into a jar- and viola! ready to use cream cheese!

Friday, April 16, 2010

in over my head

Ah, the saga of the turkey.
It all seemed like a good idea. The chicks accepted it into their little clan. The turkey was doing fine until about day 2 when our full grown hens decided that they didn't approve and attacked the turkey. Now, it is normal for the older hens to establish the natural "pecking order" and once in while a chick ends up with a bloody head. But it all works out and life goes on as normal. I have never seen an animal as beat up from hens as our turkey was though. It was awful- just awful. So, separation needed to occur.
Gavin then said, "You'd better get another turkey so this one has a buddy." "Good idea" I thought. After all, when we do go back to introduce them into the coop it would be nice if s/he had a buddy.

Well, I went to the feed store, had to buy a younger turkey because they were out of the older ones, and thought that maybe getting another chick would help too. That way they'd be "friends" with a chicken when they re-entered the coop. All day long though the new chick seemed quite distant from the 2 turkeys. Maybe this was a bad idea. To make it all better, we got ANOTHER chick so that the new chick would have a chicken friend. Did you follow all of that?

So what originally started this spring as ,"Let's get 6 Buff Oprhingtons" turned into 5 BO, 2 Marans, 2 turkeys, 1 White leghorn and 1 more BO (to keep the leghorn company.) Thank heavens my husband loves me because anyone else might just think I'm crazy!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

up a tree

Layton has tree climbing in his blood- that's for sure.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

tom or tomasina?

This is our newest addition as of yesterday afternoon; after our trip to the feed store when my 3 year old convinced me that we needed a turkey. I'm glad I take 3 year olds to the feed store because we'll now have a nice, organic, grass fed turkey for Thanksgiving. Why didn't I think of that sooner?S/he (the chicks are straight run so we're not sure what we got) fit right into our newest little brood of chicks without a problem. I wish I could have captured the expression on the chicks faces when I put the turkey into the coop. It was something like this, "Who are you and what planet did you come from?" They were a tad bit scared. But little turkey just pushed (in a friendly way) itself right into the bunch and they all got along fabulously.
We've also decided to live like it was 1840 and do away with all the windows in our house. It really gives it a nice airy feeling. Although when it storms, the rain does come right in which is a drawback. O.k., no not really. We just replaced the kitchen window- finally, after over 3 years of living with it broken and patched up with duct tape! What can I say? We're frugal. (Well, almost.)

Monday, April 12, 2010

easy spring lunch

Spring time here is full of sunny days and rainy days. It's like a box of chocolates- you never know what you're going to get. (Thanks Forest.) This lunch is perfect for spring because it celebrates one of the best gifts (Asparagus!) and is a quick hot lunch to put together if the rain clouds roll in.

My mom gave me this recipe and I adapted it a little. I don't follow the recipe very well but thankfully this is a recipe where you just kind of throw it all together and it turns out great!
You'll need:
1lb asparagus
1 pint cherry tomatoes
a sprig of basil
a couple cloves of garlic
some olive oil
chicken stock (homemade or store bought)
whole wheat penne pasta
Parmesan cheese (the shredded kind, not the powder)
Cook about 8oz of penne pasta in boiling water until done; drain. Place in large serving bowl.
Cut garlic cloves up small; chop up your asparagus to a size that suits you. In a large saucepan, add about 3-4Tbsp olive oil (or however much you want.) Heat the oil and slightly cook the garlic. Then toss in the asparagus and cook for about 2-3 minutes on medium heat. Pour in 1/2c-1c chicken stock; again, determining how much is good for you. Cook together for about 4-5 minutes. Toss in the pint of cherry tomatoes. Cook for another minute or two.
The original recipe said to cook until the tomatoes burst, but I don't like them flat and soggy so I cook them just enough to warm them.
Cut up basil. Take your bowl of pasta, dump in the asparagus/tomatoe mix, add basil and parmesan cheese to your liking. I add about 1/2c. I also add it a little at a time and then stir in between so that the cheese doesn't get clumpy.

If you'd like, after you serve it into individual bowls, you can sprinkle a little more cheese over the top. Enjoy!

*Note- the original recipe also called for peas but the thought of sticking frozen, soggy peas in this made me gag. If you have snow peas that are currently ripe then they'd probably make a great addition!*

Sunday, April 11, 2010

2 extra

I ordered this cute little apron for Timber from Moda Home. It's their Dairy Fresh Apron. The catch though was that I had to order 3. Before I listed it for sale elsewhere, I thought I'd ask you if you'd like to buy my overstock. This is a child sized apron. The wholesale on these was $5.50 for each apron. I then paid some paypal fees and shipping on top of that. So, if you'd like one, I'll be glad to sell them for $6 each. The shipping will depend on where you live- probably only $2-3 if you're in the US and I ship it First Class.
The other 2 aprons are not exactly like this one. The print is slightly different. It still has the same milk theme but each little milk label isn't exactly the same. They're all really cute though! If you have any questions feel free to comment or email me. Thanks! :)
Here and here is the apron retail.

Friday, April 9, 2010

skirt success

I've been working on this skirt for a couple days. Let me say that while a few people have been in awe of my quilts, no one is ever in awe of my other sewing abilities (or lack there of.) I've made quite a few aprons in my day but have never ventured into making clothes. It was always too intimidating. I just knew anything I made would probably turn out awful. So for this skirt I bought my fabric at Wal-Mart. I usually never even look at the Wal-Mart fabric because it's not the highest quality stuff. I wasn't about to spend $8/yd though on something that may turn out yucky. Now I wish I'd spent the money because it turned out great!I would have to say that the result is probably only because of how simple this pattern was! A fellow farmgirl from the MJF Chat Room shared it with me and I'm thankful she did! Here's the link if you want to try it yourself- even someone with minimal sewing abilities would be able to do this one!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

what it's supposed to be about

Ya know, this blog is titled "Mountain Home Quilts" and at first, that was all it was about (well, for the most part.) Since it seems that my life gets busier and busier with each passing year, I don't hardly have as much time to quilt as I used to, or as much as I'd even like to.
I did however just finish this...

Lately, I'll admit, that I've been all about whatever is easy. And this quilt was a cheater. It's a panel; it even had fake quilting on it (little lines that made it look like it had been hand quilted.) So I took it, actually quilted over the lines and put a binding on. Oh, and the binding fabric is from the Mary Jane Butters Farmgirl collection!

This is going over the electrical panel in our eating area. Because it's just weird and unsightly to have an electrical panel right next to your dining table.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

making room

If you grow raspberries then you're already aware of the fact that you can start with 5 plants one year and by the end of the next, you've got 20. They're like wildfire. Well, at least where we live they are.
Last year I think I dug up and gave away about 30 plants. Our little patch just couldn't handle the volume. This year we're a little more prepared. Gavin has expanded our patch to about 15'x24' or 360sq ft. I'm hoping to be able to dig up more plants this year and plant them back into the patch in a different location. We'll probably still have some to give away. I'm looking forward to the first ripe berries this year and some yummy homemade jam!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday

Lisa posted this on her blog today and really, it's just too true and too good not to share. Simple things that we can always be reminded of.....

Who Do You Serve?
I serve a REAL God.
I serve a RISEN God.
I serve a PERFECT God.
I serve a MERCIFUL God.

Happy Good Friday to you!

Thanks Lisa! :)
And thank you Lord for being all those things and more!

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Kefir shakes are quickly becoming a morning favorite in our home. Probably because of the yummy fruit in it more than the health benefits.

We add frozen strawberries and blueberries, flax seed oil, 2 grass fed egg yolks, about 1/4 yogurt (just to add a little sweetness) and some whey. What do you add to your kefir? I'd love some yummy suggestions on what else we could add! I had thought of coconut oil but I wondered how it would do with frozen fruit? Would it just clump up?

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