Be true to who you are…..

And the family name you bear……

Monday, March 5, 2018

Stand By Your Man....

Not too long ago I bought a milk cow from a young dairy farmer. He was selling out and moving.  His farm was beautiful rolling hills dotted with Holsteins.  I had my choice of probably a hundred cows.  As we walked, I imagined his kids flying kites, catching frogs and coming home dirty and tired every night right before dark.  A hundred cows take a while to walk through so it wasn't a quick trip.

His wife joined us while we were walking and as we talked the conversation led to why they were quitting...

He shook his head and looked off into the distance.. "I need to drive truck for a while, to pay a few bills, and she just doesn't want to help me anymore."

She stood there, arms folded tight against her chest, staring at the same unknown spot on the horizon..  she didn't deny it but simply said.  "This was his dream, not mine.  I'm going back to my career."

There was a deep, hurting sigh from the farmer and I stood there feeling like an intruder as I watched an unspoken conversation take place between the two.  After what felt like an eternity of silence I asked about her career choice.

"I have the chance to become a manager at McDonald's and I am going for it."

Ladies, this is going to show you what a horrible excuse for a Christian I am... because I simultaneously wanted to give her a big motherly hug and ....I also wanted to slap her upside her head....hard.... the battle was real.  I did neither. Go Shell!

Then it was my turn to let out a big sigh... I couldn't help it.  This man sitting in his field with his hopes and dreams laying in a crumpled heap all around his feet.  And her.  We can give her some excuses.  It's just the age she's been raised in, her lack of biblical knowledge.. her will.  Maybe he is just a big, fat jerk.  Maybe she doesn't like cows. Not one of those excuses lessens the pain she is causing her family.  Not one of them validates her behaviour.

We stand around and lament that men aren't men anymore... good heavens, ladies, let's give them some real women and see what happens.

 In an instant I watched those same tired, dirty kids move from sitting in the cow bunks to sitting on the couch at some daycare, playing video games and popping pills for their ADHD  while she handed greasy fries and overpriced burgers to strangers who didn't even bother to look up from their phones to say thank you.

Would my opinion have changed if she would have said Lawyer? Doctor? ... No.

and I know there are some men who ask their wives to work outside their homes.  I'm not talking about working at home or away.... I'm talking about vision.


My man.

Your man.

Her man.

they were created for greatness.  It. Is. In. Them.  It's in you.  And while each person can achieve a certain level of greatness on their own.  When a man and a woman enter into a covenant relationship together, they become one flesh.  One team.  Every good team has a team leader and teams only win when they work together towards the same goal.

Don't punish your family.

To be drawn and quartered was a punishment ordained in England for treason. They would take the condemned person, tie him to horses and send those horses running in different directions thus ripping his body mercilessly apart. It is considered the epitome of cruel punishment.  Ladies, we draw and quarter our families when we pull against our man.

Let's contrast that with the words of our Lord in Ecclesiastes,

The fool foldeth his hands together, and eateth his own flesh.
Better is an handful with quietness. than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit.
Then I returned, and saw vanity under the sun.
There is one alone, and there is not a second; yea, he hath neither child nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labour; neither is his eye satisfied with riches; neither saith he, For whom do I labour, and bereave my soul of good?  This is also vanity, yea, it is a sore travail.
Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.
For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.  Again if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?  And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.  Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king.

Stand with your man.  It is better to live a quiet and poor life at your man's side than it is to have the best career in the world,  live like a king and leave your children to their own devices.  Money is temporary and replaceable.  If you took all the money you have and burned it today, tomorrow you could earn more. For all that matters, you can steal more (please don't) or find more... money is always available. always somewhere. That man that lays beside you each night and those children across the hall?  They are irreplaceable.  They are God's gift to you and your gift to the world.

Do you ever wonder why in Proverbs 31 when the Lord is extolling all the character qualities of a virtuous woman one of them is  "Her husband is known in the gates"?  Because she put him there.  She freed him to be a leader by lifting instead of dragging,  by praying instead of nagging, she stood on her own two feet and became a woman of strength by becoming the woman of her man's dreams.  He owed her everything, and he knew it.... and a few verses down we find he praised her for it and so did her children.

Did the Lord give you a business mind? Skills?  Talents? Why would you ever waste them building a stranger's empire?  Get behind your man... square your shoulders, my dear, and boost. See his vision and give it all you've got.  Oh, it'll be hard work,  I know.   Some of it isn't going to be any fun.

We will be exhausted and some days reduced to tears.  But let's give that man of ours a wink even through the tears. Give our children the ultimate picture of a strong woman by filling their lives with peaceful joy.  That trail that our fella is trying to lead us down? Let's jump on it with both feet, girlfriend, and let's keep trusting in God because he has great things planned for us.

Crown Up.

~Proverbs 12:4   

Friday, March 2, 2018


We have been praying for the Lord to give us an additional piece of property for several years now, so far He has been asking us to wait. 

I hate waiting but wait it is. 

I decided that while I wait I can prepare though.  The piece has a spot on it that will be perfect for another orchard the only problem is is that when He finally gives us the green light we will be so broke paying for it that I won't have the funds to buy the new trees.  I don't want to buy the trees now because I have no place to store them until we get it... it's a mess, really.  So I decided to use the fruit trees that we already have and love.  I will graft branches from them to rootstock in preparation for the property.  They will be small so thus easier to stash until the Lord sees fit to bless us.

Grafting is a lot easier than it sounds.  first, you need rootstock.  you can find them online for a fair price and buying them ensures that you can control the height of your tree. Or you can buy seeds to grow grafting stock here.

The cheapest way is to just plant seeds from the fruit you are eating.  The girls and I are constantly throwing fruit seeds and pits in random pots of dirt and forgetting about them until they are big enough to graft... or in some cases bear fruit. don't laugh, someday you may be eating a Holverson apple and lovin' it.   The only drawback to this is most of them are standard roots so they will be tall. It doesn't bother me, I figure I can either trim trees or my husband's wallet and I would rather trim trees, the trimmings make good grafting starts.  Yes, it's a never-ending cycle.

Today, I am grafting apple. I grab my rootstock.

A dormant plant is ideal but today, this is what I had. Life is full of compromises, girls

full.  of.  them.

I  also grab a fresh limb from the tree I wish to duplicate... at least one of them is dormant.  You want the branches to be as evenly matched in size as possible... if one has to be bigger make sure the root side is the bigger diameter. A small root cannot support a large tree.

I then cut the root and the limb at an angle to expose as much cambium as I can.  Cambium is the green layer under the bark and before the wood.  That is the part that grows so you want to line up both layers of cambium touching as much as possible.

yes, I have pulled my rootstock out of the pot.  This is a much more graceful process when you don't have to photograph the entire thing with your cell phone, I promise.  

It helps to cut a second groove into the backside of the branches this will allow you to slip them together like tongue and groove. Giving added support.  I had to recut this branch after I pulled it apart to show you the slice.  It should not be this dramatic just a thin strip to wedge together.

Gently slide the two pieces together until they are well matched. 

When the cambium matches up as best as possible wrap it tightly with a rubber band (it will weather and crack off).   On the last wrap tuck the tip under the loop and it will hold itself.

Next you will want to heat some bees wax.  If you don't have bees you can get some here for a good price.   I use a dessert dish in a pot of boiling water like a double boiler.

once it is melted I can lift it out and pour it over the rubber band to seal it, unless I am grafting a branch onto a mature tree and then I use a paint brush to brush it on.

make sure both sides are coated.  This will all crack off and weather over the next year.  Don't pick at it for at least twelve months and then if it is growing well and you feel that you need to you can help it a little but it is really not necessary.

Then replant it being careful to keep the graft above the dirt line.

It is important to graft several trees even if you only want one.... any time you are dealing with living things you should expect a certain amount of failure. Having to find another spot to put a tree is much easier to swallow than not being able to dig a hole for any.

And that is just another easy way to fill your paradise with safe, wonderful, food.  Have a great weekend!

Friday, February 16, 2018

MYO Yogurt

We have milk cows.  Our last house had two acres with it and we had milk goats.  The house before that had three city lots, plenty of room for pygmy goats behind a privacy fence.  In some towns that is illegal, it was in our town... so I may or may not have had pygmy goats behind a privacy fence... that's not the point.  The point is, we can produce our own dairy and for relatively cheap.

Pygmy goats are small, they can live in a dog house. I will give you a goat in the city tip... you need two.  A lonely goat is a noisy goat, besides you only get milk if that little gal is bred. So two it must be.  A pygmy goat only gives about a quart of milk a day but because it is whole milk you can water it down and make it stretch farther in cooking or on cereal.

Dairy animals can be fed grass, hay, garden produce.  Summer squash and sunflowers are a fast growing food in the summer, feed the sunflower leaves and keep the seed heads for winter.   Winter squash, carrots and beets store over winter providing free food year round.  If it's goats, they love leaves and tree prunings. Super easy to store and super cheap.

Well, I really should get on to the blog post, shouldn't I...

Yogurt is super easy and so very good for you.  Even if you need to use store-bought milk. Making your own ensures that you are giving the best you can to your family.

Step 1: Heat your milk to 180 degrees, I use a meat thermometer.  They run double duty and are cheap.  you can pick one up for less than five bucks here. My yogotherm holds a half gallon so that is the amount of milk I heat.

Step 2:  You are going to need something to incubate your yogurt in... I picked up a yogotherm when our oldest was a baby so 25 years ago...  I like that it doesn't require electricity and after 25 years I can truthfully say they last.  Amazon has them here or you can use a jar wrapped in a towel and placed in a cooler.  Some instapots have a yogurt setting, mine doesn't but I'd check. maybe make use of an old thermos.  Or you can buy a fancy electric one. (sorry, I couldn't recommend a brand)  There are many choices out there.

Once your milk is heated it needs to cool to 112 degrees.  I know, why heat it that high in the first place? ... it's supposed to kill out competing bacteria.  To be honest, I rarely make it to 160* before I tire of babysitting it and dump it in the therm but the recommended temp is 180* so that is what I recommend you should do.....

So now, the moment of many choices.  What to use as a starter.  I recommend Rickie's  Y5 direct set culture.  You can find it here.  They messed up one time and sent me the Y3... it's good too.  If you purchase a yogotherm it will come with a culture sample.  Unless they have improved it in the last quarter century do yourself a favor and toss it.  It will not set.  I had to make lots of smoothies for the kids out of unset yogurt before I realized it wasn't my fault but the cultures.  

*Money saving tip:  once you make a batch of cultured yogurt you can use a teaspoon of it to set another batch and so on for quite a few batches before it becomes sour and needs to be replaced.  The package of Y5 or Y3 both come with five starters in them so they last for a long time this way. Store culture packets in your freezer.

Okay so your milk is at 112* and you are going to sprinkle the starter over the top and let it sit for about five minutes... again this is a preference, some days I need to get outside and I make it a minute or two and just stir the puppy in.  But for the rest of you patient people who can wait five minutes then gently stir the culture to ensure it is mixed throughout.  (Somehow I missed a picture of this, probably too impatient.)

Place the lid on and let sit undisturbed for 12 hours and then refrigerate.  I usually make it in the morning then toss it in the fridge just before I go to bed...close enough.

and for breakfast, you will have rich creamy yogurt that you can feel good about serving.

It can be flavored in many ways. Jam or honey are two of our family's favorites.  Maple syrup is good.  I am hoping to do an extra credit post for using it in desserts... we'll have to see how this weekend goes.

But that is it gals, feeding our family less. Less additives, less sugar, less human contact.  Less.

Now make more of your day and spend it loving on that family!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Vanilla Extract

I love cooking with real food.. and real food is expensive if we are talking money.
Real food is fun if we are talking saving our money and providing for our own.

Today, I am making a new batch of vanilla.  I made the old batch eight years ago and I have just been adding to it as the years come and go.  This year the beans are finally getting weak enough to justify buying some new ones.  And by justify I mean justify.. they have gotten so expensive.  The tall slender beans that you see in my old bottle, I paid ten bucks for.  This time,  I paid an arm and a leg for these little ugly beans.  However,  when you average it out over the next eight years, the savings is there.

What you need:

1)  a bottle of vodka

If you use ibotta they are offering some really good kickbacks on vodka from Walmart right now.  If you don't use ibotta, it is free to sign up here, They are awesome at supplying rebates on everyday purchases.

2)   vanilla beans

That's it.  oh, and about five minutes of your time.

I like to use bottles with the flip top lid, they last longer than the metal screw on.

Any bottle will work though, even a decorative one from the dollar store.

 unwrap your vanilla beans.

use a sharp knife to slice them open.

Drop them in.  set it on your counter and every so often give it a good shake. Or don't... vanilla isn't picky about the amount of attention it receives. In about 6 weeks you will have oodles and gobs of vanilla extract. As you deplete it add more vodka to the beans.

Simple and basic.  Easier than getting that stupid sticker off my new bottle anyway.  Now, what other plans do you have for the rest of your day?

*I have been asked if you need to let the vanilla sit for an additional six weeks when you add vodka.  If you add to it regularly and in small amounts the answer is no.  I knew my beans were wearing out so I have not replenished this bottle in a long time.  If I were to add to it at this stage, yes, I would let it sit at least a couple of weeks.

Have a great day, Ladies!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Sowing in Winter...

Sowing in the sunshine, sowing in the shadows
Fearing neither cloud nor winter's chilling breeze;
by and by the harvest and the labor ended,
we shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.

She does not fear the snow...hate it maybe, yes, but no fear.  In fact, winter is an excellent time to get caught up on all that went lacking during the summer.  Seeding being one of them.

The frost/thaw action of winter is the perfect time to plant tree and perennial seeds.  It softens those hard exteriors and allows for better germination.  On our farm, we are creating silvo pastures. Multi-storied, tree-lined, alleyways for the cattle to graze in.  We don't plant just any trees, they must meet at least two, preferably three farm needs.  We look for trees, shrubs, and perennials that provide nectar for our bees, nitrogen for our soil and a food source for one or more of the animals living on our place (including us).

Trees are expensive and creating tree-lined alleyways takes a lot of trees so I have had to get creative with my accumulation.   Seeds, cuttings, grafts, layering are all ways that I have acquired treelings.  I am also very familiar with my conservations website that offers native seedlings in bulk for great prices.  If you don't have a lot of space but would like to order native seedlings from your conservation office a quick ad on craigslist will provide you with more than enough people willing to share your order.

For winter sowing you just need to acquire containers that will act as little mini green houses... milk jugs, juice jugs, deli containers, ice cream containers.... if you don't use many of these things ask around there is always someone willing to save containers.

I have dropped some pretty heavy hints on wanting a cold frame like this one for a couple of years now. It would eliminate the need to scrounge containers from other people and stop my back porch from deserving all the "Clampett comments" it receives..  If you don't like it then you know how to fix it. 

This year, my winter sowing includes a tree I am so excited about, bitter orange,  Every year I buy a box of organic oranges and the price was painful to pay, $22 for a half bushel. While I have several indoor citrus trees they don't provide enough for my crew especially when I make my Vitamin C powder.  I need peels and a lot of them. This year the price jumped to $29 because there is a shortage and it finally spurred me to start looking for another source. 

I am that source.  

Some experts say bitter orange is hardy to zone 5 others that it is only hardy to zone 9-10.  I live in zone 6 and I have seen them here so I'm carefully picking a sheltered spot for my new adventure.  The tree it's self is ugly and thorny, the fruit is super sour like a lemon.  The rind is good in marmalade. I bought my seeds off of Amazon

winter sowing is easy because this is just temporary housing for them so spacing isn't an issue just toss the seeds in the dirt, lightly cover and mist a bit. Put your cover on and place outside in the dead of winter.  The constant freeze/thaw will push the seeds down into the dirt and bring them up close to the surface.  it will crack the hard exterior and also insure that only the strongest survive.... look at my lil citrus babies getting ready to provide me with organic vitamin C for my crew.

Watch them as the weather begins to warm and soon you will see tiny starts, once they are a couple of inches high you need to separate them out into individual containers....

Winter Sowing is a great time to seed perennials as well.  Remember the Echinacea root you needed for  the elderberry elixir?  Get those seeds in the dirt. but only use the leaves and flowers the first two years.  I add a new group of flowers to my patch every year. harvesting the old and growing the new.

I also put in some milk weed for the girls as well as Sage.  Healthy, hardy seedlings for a fraction of the price.

What could your kingdom use?  Here is a few ideas from our list this year...

Jujube Dates




Roman Chamomile

Catalpa ~ around my pond for fish food

Chaste tree

American Cranberry

Autumn Olive

Siberian Pea Shrub

I could go on and on..but you've got this.  Just look around, find the need and get it filled.  Seeds are very inexpensive compared to trees and plants, Winter sowing allows the jump start that they need to be large and healthy by the following fall plus eliminates the need for hardening off because they have been outside the entire time.  This also works for tender garden annuals like tomatoes and cukes but wait until the end of Feb and cover if you are expecting a hard frost after they have sprouted.

Please make this a family affair.  Littles love sticking seeds in the dirt and growing things creates ownership.   This way when summer is taking you out at the knees you can ask little Joey to water "His" trees and know he will water and weed them with care because he understands the time that has been invested in them.

Now, girls, let's get our hands dirty.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Vitamin C powder *Extra credit

Vitamins can be a tricky thing. The problem is you don't really know what is in the pills you are popping and while I am not a conspiracy theorist, I do know that vitamin companies are not making pills because they love your family.  They are making vitamins to provide money for their own and they are going to source the cheapest resources available.  I hate to cut them out of a sale but when it comes to nutrition we can provide our own.

Vitamin C is essential to our health and it is found in so many sources.  There are a few that it tends to be concentrated in.  Rose hips, Highbush Cranberries, Seaberries, and citrus peels.

Throughout the year, I think we will cover all of these but today we will make Vitamin C powder from citrus peels.

First, we need to get our hands on organic citrus.  Oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit or a combination of them would be great.  I believe if you have to buy food it is best to make it organic.  I am also a realist and have raised six children... you can't always afford organic. Here, however, organic is necessary because we are dealing with the peels and the peels receive the majority of the spray in a conventional orchard.

As your family eats the fruit save back the peels and toss them in that handy solar dehydrator (that you have an envelope started for, right?)  Until you get it you can place them on cookie racks but it's going to take up a lot of counter space.

Check the peels daily and when they are good and hard drop them in your blender a few at a time.

grind until it is a fine powder.  Store in the freezer.

1 tsp provides your daily need for vitamin C.  Sprinkle it over your coffee in the morning. add it to your cereal or smoothie.  Soups, stews, be creative.  You can even pack it into glycerin soft gels if you feel you are missing something by not popping a pill.

this batch is waiting to be added to my elderberry elixir.

Wow,  we just made health food out of trash.... how did we ever let corporations convince us that we needed them?

Elderberry Elixir

Winter and I have never really appreciated each other.  I'm solar powered and without the sun I run dim.  Without heat, my body tries to hibernate.  I feel bad for our livestock, I feel bad for me.  The cold, the ice, the lack of green growing things just makes me cranky.   It's pathetic really, but true.

You know what else winter brings?  Colds and Flu.  I'm telling ya, nothing good comes out of winter.

I have been hesitant to write this post because I don't want a debate over vaccinations. We have kicked this dead horse enough.  Look, ladies, we have got to get out of each others space.   If you have time to start running someone else's life I promise that you are letting something very important fall apart in your own.  Tend your own backyard, sister, and let's give each other some grace.

If you decide that the flu shot is a safe precaution for your family I am happy for you.  In our home, it is not.  Not giving my family flu shots, however, does not mean that I pretend the flu doesn't exist.  Nor am I nervously wringing my hands, fearful that it is going to devour them right before my eyes.  Remember, the prudent wife?  She provides for the future.

In August the elderberries are ripe in Missouri, and in August I make my first batch of flu-fighting elixir.  I will make several more throughout the winter from dried berries but I always have the first batch in the fridge long before I need it because if you wait until you are sick to make it, you won't feel good enough to do it.

First, you need a source for elderberries.  They grow wild in a lot of states if you can beat the squirrels to them.  When we lived in Idaho I bought them here.   

Elderberry Elixir:

2 cups fresh or 1 cup dried elderberries
4 cups water
2 cups raw local honey
several pieces echinacea root  (if you don't grow your own you can find it here)
1 Tbsp organic orange powder  this is the extra credit post for this week
few slices of raw ginger (optional)
few slices of organic lemon (optional)

put water, elderberries, echinacea root, orange powder, 
cinnamon sticks, ginger and lemon slices in a pot.

bring to a boil.

reduce heat and simmer until liquid is reduced by half.

strain through cheesecloth to remove bulk material. give the cheese cloth a good twist to get the last of the juice from the berries.  Careful it's hot.

Allow to cool to room temperature.
This step is important because raw honey*  provides many antibacterial properties and if you cook it, it will be of no use.

When cool add honey and transfer to a jar.  Store in fridge.

for preventative, my crew takes one tsp every day.

If they feel a tickle or have been exposed to someone ill they take a tsp every 2-3 hours.

And that is it. 



Now join me in front of the fire and let's pine for Spring......

*the USDA does not recommend feeding raw honey to children under the age of 1 or to people with compromised immune systems.  Again, you are the one qualified to make choices for your family.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Don't Waste Your Teaspoons..

Houses and riches are the inheritance of fathers: 
and a prudent wife is from the Lord.
Proverbs 19:14

Prudent: wise or judicious in practical affairs.
               discreet or circumspect.
               careful in providing for the future; provident.

When we first got married one of Shane's little grannies told me 

"don't be the kind of woman who throws her husband's earning out the back door with a shovel while he is working himself to death trying to put it in the front with a teaspoon."

That image has stuck with me. Man, has it stuck.

And there are days that life drags it out by the shovel full and there is nothing I can do about it.  But the things I can control.... those things, I had better be about the business of controlling.

I want to be a prudent wife.  I want the Lord to teach me to use my resources wisely.  So today as teaspoon-y as it will be we are going to talk about trash.

Think about what leaves your house as trash on a weekly basis.  Now think about the boundaries of your domain and think of where they can be used as resources...  In the near future we are going to be mapping that domain but for now, just picture it in your head.


My junk: cardboard boxes because I do most of my shopping online and also junk mail.  

My need:  the pumpkin field... It has poor soil and lots of rocks.

My solution: flatten the cardboard and chuck it in the field just before it rains. I don't toss it out any other time because we have dogs that drag it off but once it is good and wet it begins to break down into the dirt and they can't move it.

My solution for junk mail is a bit different.  I burn it then spread the ash in the pumpkin field.  I don't want my credit card offers accidentally getting into someone else's hands and ash is excellent for bugs and acidity in Missouri soil.


My junk: egg shells.

My need: my garden.

My solution is to place a cookie sheet on top of my fridge and train everyone to toss their shells up on it. When the shells are dry I either put them in the blender (this has proven time-consuming)



double bag them and set the bag in a high traffic area of my house.    (Hey, I haven't lived through 25 years of broken items without knowing how to use it to my advantage..  just sayin')

The nicely crushed shells are spread on our fields during the winter and used in our garden around plants to ward of snails and add extra calcium during the summer.


My junk:  coffee grounds

My need:  again my soil.... I live in Missouri, this is going to be a never-ending theme.

My solution is to save the grounds and like the eggshells, they are put on the fields in winter and our garden in summer. BUT NOT the filters, those go in the compost bin for while they will break down and are excellent for the soil they do not break down quickly and I'm telling you from experience you will find yourself on the other side of winter looking like there is a bunch of used toilet paper strewn all over your field...not a pretty sight..

As a side note if I need to make a trip to the big city I am always on a lookout for the coffee shops and when I pass them I pull in and check their dumpsters.  I have brought home huge garbage bags full of coffee grounds in the past and my land is always thankful to have it.  Just be respectful and don't make a mess of their area.


My junk:  food scraps.

My need:  very little.  we have pigs and chicken that eat most of our scraps but there are a few things that I cannot feed them such as potato peelings, avocado pits, pineapple tops, hair either from shaving the dogs or the boys, stuff like that.  

My solution:  I took a lick tub, you can use a bucket, and knocked a few holes in the bottom. Then someone from my crew carelessly ran it over with the 4wheeler.  The last step added no benifit except to raise my blood pressure.

 I simply toss the trash in my beautiful lick tub and forget it. One year the boys had a few worms left over from bait and I tossed them in there too.  But honestly, it is completely neglected until I need it.

 Then I just scrape the unprocessed stuff to the side and scoop out as much as I need from the bottom to dress my tomatoes or add to a hole of a newly planted tree.


My junk:   scrap metal, broken parts from the tractor, trucks, cans... it is a joke around here to use a "mom" voice and say "is that recyclable?"

My need:  money

My solution:  designate a spot for recyclables, keep it as tight and organized as possible or my man will make "Clampett comments" Watch your metal prices then make a trip to town when it's high (or when the pile is making you crazy) and claim your money, honey.

*Note: there are no pictures of my Clampett pile.... a girl has got to have her pride,  ya know.

Well, there are a few ideas to get you started.  Get the children involved in looking for teaspoons and see what fun you can have.