Monday, January 16, 2017

On A Cold Winter's Day

Oh how poetic that sounds.
Yea Right!
Let's take a looksy outside, shall we.
That be the moon on my way to work.

We have barely made it up to double digits for over a week.
Yesterday, Mr. LB borrowed a neighbor's little tractor so we could
do some snow management.
Our poor snow-blower kicked the bucket a couple weeks ago.
We are running out of places to pile the stuff.
If we get a warm spell, there will be severe flooding down river.

In the last post, I showed you this photo.
This is looking out our kitchen window.

Within the week, this is that same view.

And from the driveway.
Sorry for the headlight interference.  It was snowing and I was leaving for work.
It's like a bad redneck joke:
Instead of mowing the lawn and finding a car,
it's shoveling snow and finding a car,
which is exactly what we did.

The snow has pushed the elk down.
They are nearly to town!
This is quite a bit lower than where we are.

So I just wanted to let you know, I'm still here.
Making it to and from work takes extra time.
Everything is taking extra time.
We just keep shoveling.
I will definitely be welcoming spring.

Until next time,
find yourself a cup of something warm,
and stay in out of the snow.



                                          

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

January, Seed Ordering Time

Aaaahh, it's January.


How refreshing.
In so many ways, it is just a continuum of yesterday.
The same snow sits in piles outside.
The calendar page turns once more just as it did last month.
We face the same short days each morning.
But there seems to be something more about January.
For many it's a new year,
a fresh start,
another chance to begin.
We know we don't really need a calendar to be able to do that.
But January offers just a bit of support that so many need.
Maybe it's the rigid cold.
It is upholding and refreshing putting last year behind us.
We can now look forward.
Looking forward of course is a good thing.
We can see spring just around the corner
though it be buried three feet deep with snow.
There is faith and hope.
We know it will be here before long.
In anticipation, we order seeds.
 It would be interesting to hear how others go about their seed order.
Do you have a process or just go down the list and click as you go?
Around here, Mom and I order together.
She gave me her order - just for a few flowers.
I had my list of what I want to plant, then went through the catalog
and found appropriate varieties.
We have a relatively short growing season so I watch the days to harvest.
After I have my list, I pull out my seed box.
You can see more about it here.
I then cross the seeds I have off the list.
I have been trying to improve my seed-saving skills.
The more I do this, the fewer seeds I will need to purchase.
After all that, I place my order.
Now I just have to wait ~ first for the seeds to arrive,
then for spring.
January indeed brings hope 
and great anticipation for the upcoming growing season.
In the mean time, we will just keep shoveling snow.
This picture is from last week - looking out our kitchen window.
We've had more snow since then.
Now we can't even see the car.
This weekend, we will probably hitch up to it and pull it out
since that can't be good for it.

It's January~ Keep Safe and Warm.

                                               

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Simple Beard Balm (with recipe)

Yep, this one is for the fellas~
or the gals who have a fella with a beard.
This is beard balm.
Mr. LB decided to let his beard grow for elk season this year
for the extra warmth.
Elk season has come and gone,
but the beard remains.
It was beginning to look a little "untamed" shall we say?
I asked him if he would be interested in some beard balm,
and he asked what that was. :)

I generally like to keep things simple so wanted something 
with only a few ingredients that would do the job.
I searched out recipes, but most had a list of ingredients
that was either too long or contained things I didn't have.
Also, many of them were scented which was not something 
we were interested in.
Since getting the block of beeswax,
I am a little less stingy with it, so this has a beeswax base.

Here's what I came up with:
3 parts beeswax
2 parts coconut oil (regular not fractionated)
1 part apricot kernel oil

I weighed out ounces for my "parts."
It takes very little, and this batch should last quite a while.
First, weigh the beeswax and place in clean veggie can.
I set this on the wood stove stirring occasionally until wax is melted.
Option #2 is to place veggie can in a pan with about an inch of water in it 
on med/med-low heat.
While the wax is melting, measure out the two oils.
Once wax is melted, add the oils and continue over heat stirring occasionally until all is melted and consistent.
Poor into heat resistant container to let it set-up.
I used a little old teacup I had.
(A 1/2 pint canning jar would work well too.)
I know that it's not very masculine, but it's what I had.
Such things don't even phase Mr. LB anymore.
He has been using the balm for several weeks now and likes it.
And, his beard looks so much better and healthier!
To use, just get very small amount on finger-tips then work through beard.
You could use 3 parts beeswax and 3 parts coconut oil, but
the apricot kernel oil is so good for skin and hair.
I didn't figure out a price per batch since it is such a small amount,
but compared to how expensive it can be, it's one more way to save.

***Important Notes***
Beeswax is not like "regular" candle wax.  Whatever pans, tins, utensils you use with it will never be the same.  This is why I use a veggie can for melting and a wooden skewer for stirring.  If I were to use one of my regular kitchen pots for the water method, I would first cover it with tinfoil just incase I dripped a bit of wax.  Please be careful for safety's sake as well as for the long term care of your equipment. 



                           

Friday, December 23, 2016

Friday Quick Tip ~ Fire-starter

These are the easiest fire-starters ever.
I thought I was so clever when I figured this out 
only to find out that it is a really old trick.
Oh well ~ they work!
Also, they are keeping just that much more out of your garbage can.
Simply stuff your dryer lint in your empty toilet paper tubes.
It's easy to have a little container or basket of some sort near the dryer.
As the rolls are emptied, that's where they go.
Each time you clean your lint screen it gets stuffed in a roll.
Save these for winter and you're set.


                                                               

May your hearts and homes be warm.
Wishing you each a blessed and merry Christmas.