Country Living & Penny Pinching

Getting back to "Little House on the Prairie" living

Category: Me, Myself, and I (page 1 of 3)

The joys and woes of Me

Cutting Back on TV

OK, so I might not know this exact science of how much to cut back or if you should. This is all a personal decision, but I do know that practically every child research center has made the statement of no TV for kids under 2. Now I have not been one to follow that advice. I know, shame on me, but I LOVE TV! One of my favorite things to do is lay on the couch and binge a show with some ice cream and chocolate and….you get the picture. Not a very productive, healthy thing to do is it?

This is seriously how I felt almost every time a series ends and I would try to scrounge around for another series to fill my time…..Not that great but totally legit feelings.

Well I have a friend that does no TV, uses the Waldorf methods of play and education, eats super all natural and was part of my inspiration for moving to our town because I could see how it was going to be living up here. Almost six months ago she told me about putting a blanket on my TV in order to deter me from wanting to watch it, especially with the kids. This is how she stored her TV until she got rid of it and there were also chairs NOT pointed directly at it. I thought that was super strange but it made sense since she never used it. So up went a scarf/wrap that I never wore and it sat on the TV for about….a couple days, maybe a week. It started to get annoying having to take it off the TV every time I wanted to watch something once the Littles went to bed, so eventually it got folded and placed next to the TV. That still counts right?

Six months later that wrap is still next to the TV, but that is more because the wind keeps blowing it down 😀 The last three weeks we decided that enough was enough we were going to start cutting out TV. Now I cannot go cold turkey, it’s just not in my DNA to give up something I love so much. So instead we came up with a goal with an awesome reward. Some might say it was counter-intuitive reward but this seriously worked.

We were going to do no TV from Sunday at 5 pm-Friday at 5 pm. Therefore weekends they could watch Saturday morning cartoons and we could still do a family movie night on Fridays so that is why we had the weird hours. At first the Littles were not very happy about this but then something changed… We told them what the reward would be if we could go THREE weeks with no TV during the week.

KUNG FU PANDA 3!!!!!!!!! in the theater!!!!!! opening night!!!!

We did it!!!!

We did it!!!! This was the only sign and my camera and the light did not work well together.

 

I am not a super Kung Fu Panda fan, I like the movies every now and again but Po (main character) will always have a special place in my heart, Po and I go way back. The Hubby and I first hung out together (in a group) after my high school graduation party where we saw the first Kung Fu Panda movie. Remember we were in a group but even so just him and I shared a popcorn and drink (sharing a straw is like kissing right? haha), and our friendship just continued to grow.  OK, I know, I know, enough about our relationship. I just wanted to give you the back story.

So any time a Little would ask about watching TV during the week we would remind them of going to the movie theater if we could just stay away from the TV. Were there times that I just wanted to let them watch something because then I could get more stuff done??? Of course, but instead we thankfully had great weather and I made it a priority. They would wake up, eat breakfast, get dressed and run outside to play!

The first week I still watched TV at night-time because this was just a goal for the kids. But then something happened…as I couldn’t watch TV during the day with the kids I was on social media less, I was becoming more productive, our house was a little bit cleaner…and I was losing my desire to watch TV. Now don’t get me wrong, I still love a good movie and I catch up on the few shows I watch while I am cleaning. Also a lot of date nights around here involve cuddling on the couch with snacks and a movie. But now I use my TV time wisely and I only watch during certain chores (dishes and laundry) because they are not my favorites.

This goal started because I felt like I was relying on the TV too much as a babysitter. Now I will not condemn ANYBODY who does this because I have done it for five years now and we are finally taking the actions that align with our family priorities. How are we supposed to get back to the basics of life if we are relying on a TV to entertain our children? Laura Ingalls and other children in the pioneer days did not have a television when they were growing up. They had sticks and rocks and maybe a doll or a couple of things their dad carved. They had good childhoods filled with many adventures. We want that simplicity for our kids. Being content in what they have, an imagination with no limits, a healthy body, a love for the outdoors, coloring and reading more, a love for animals, an understanding of how and where our food is made/comes from, playing from sun up until sun down, doing chores as a family, and sitting at the table for our meals. As old fashion as those sound, that is exactly what we are striving for. A life that has gone back to the basics.

 

 

 

Caring for a Preemie Goat

P.O.F. What does it stand for????? Prison of Farming!!!!!!!!!

That is kind of, sort of, maybe, exactly how I felt this last week and a half. With having Bucky born two weeks early he is as slow as they get for goats. Normal kids (goat babies) start standing within hours of delivery, and can nurse off of their mom. This little dude couldn’t put any weight on his back feet for a solid 24 hours. We were holding him up to his mom to try to nurse and his mouth just wasn’t strong enough. So now we were bottle feeding him. Since the goal is to have Dam raised babies, before every bottle feeding I was trying to get him to nurse and then I’d finish him off with a bottle.

Mama kept knocking him down

Mama kept knocking him down

By day two he was standing all on his own and trying to take steps. But he was not fast enough to keep up with mom so here I was chasing the mom with her baby trying to give him a chance to latch on. Yes I could have tied her up but every time I tied her up the cats got curious and would come to see her and the baby. Which meant one mad head butting mama and that is not an ideal situation for nursing either. So chasing her around was what I did.

this was followed by me getting a whole body shock because I reached down to push him off the fence

this was followed by me getting a whole body shock because I reached down to push him off the fence

Day three he could walk!!!! But he was still not very smart. Instead of running away from the electric fence he would run into the fence and that made me even more of a prison to the farm. Any time I heard him squeak we would have to run outside to make sure he was OK. If we had to leave the property I had to lock him in a kennel to make sure that he wouldn’t get electrocuted to death. Which means he couldn’t eat and I had only a couple of hours before needing to come home.

so stinkin' cute

so stinkin’ cute

Day Four-seven he was trying to jump and scratch his ears 🙂 Oh I was one proud mama!!! Everything was starting to get better. He was just too cute.  He was also getting a better chance at nursing but getting the teat in his mouth was still a bit difficult.

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a Rubbermaid tote with a blanket draped over it and he calls it home

Day Eight he is running!!!!!! He is eating all by himself 🙂 I am no longer such a prisoner of farming!!!! 😛 Bucky is also getting better and respects the electric netting now, no more worrying every time I hear him touch it. He will go back to his little cave when he is tired and his mama and the other almost mama will lay next to him and they all cuddle.

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storing, filtering and warming the milk

Since this was not a normal delivery for Incantation her body did not get a chance to produce the milk supply we were hoping for. In order to try to increase her supply I am milking her every three to four hours. So far I do not feel like her supply has increased at all 🙁 Only time will tell and hopefully Bucky and I can get her to start producing way more milk.

Little wanted so badly to be with Bucky haha kept giving kisses and hugs

Little wanted so badly to be with Bucky haha kept giving kisses and hugs

Now I chose this life, I really did. I knew that this bottle feeding was not going to last forever (well at least I hoped haha) Honestly I am becoming such a home body up here on the mountain that I really didn’t mind not going anywhere. Also I now know that if I ever want people to come visit me, I just need to get baby goats! I had so many visitors within the first three days of his life that I felt like I was hosting an open house. Unfortunately my house wasn’t clean and I constantly smelled like milk and goat and I didn’t have any good appetizers haha but it was all fun. It’s like having a human baby 😛

The next babies are due at the end of February so mid February I will become another prisoner of farming until those babies get here and are up and healthy!

Ta-ta for now 🙂 Have a great day and have you ever become a prisoner of something?

 

Rain on the Homestead

It’s raining……..do I write the clothesline post………it’s raining………write about the rain instead haha

That was my mentality while writing this post. Here in sunny Southern California we have RAIN. Not a sprinkle but it is puddling and flooding all over the property :/

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I parked…stepped into the puddle…pulled my car forward more and then got the Littles out

Now the most rain I remember getting while growing up was back in high school. It rained for a week straight and all of the walkway drains got backed up and there were huge puddles across the paths and single file lines next to the buildings to try to pass in the few feet that were not inches deep with water. You always knew someone was going to be in big trouble if they got to class late because they went straight through the puddle that was at least mid calf high.

OK, I know, enough down memory lane! All of that is written to express how much I am not used to rain where we live. If and when it does rain, it is normally during May/June and its one good down pour then it sprinkles. Since we moved out to the country last year we have been introduced to hail, snow about twenty minutes away, thunder storms, rain in the summer (yes I let the Littles play in it), and now down pour after down pour. It is said (by who I am not really sure but everyone keeps saying that, I’m just kidding haha some weather person must have said it but I do not really follow the weather channel, I know what the weather is like by looking out the window haha anyways…) this year will be a crazy el nino year. Oh My Gosh! I am not ready for this much rain!

the chickens aren't ready for this much rain either. Hiding under our back covering.

the chickens aren’t ready for this much rain either. Hiding under our back covering.

Don’t get me wrong I love chai tea and sitting on the couch to read a book with a blanket and cuddling with my furry babies and husband and listening to the rain with the window open a tiny bit all the way.

haha totally staged :P look at the rain drops on my sweater.

haha totally staged look at the rain drops on my sweater, but there really was tea and this is my favorite book

But that does not happen here on the homestead! I mean seriously that is in fantasy land. With three Littles under five, a puppy, chickens, and now pregnant goats this mama is not getting to sit on the couch any time soon. I know it sounds like it but really I am not complaining, I love having all these animals and I love my psycho kids but those days of relaxing  and listening to the rain are about fifteen years away, (5475 days), haha not like I am counting.

don't mind the shopping cart the littlest Little loves to leave out his toys

don’t mind the shopping cart the littlest Little loves to leave out his toys

OK OK back to the homestead. So our goat shed/chicken coop thinks that when it rains it needs to absorb all of the water and keep it in this massive puddle under all of the bedding! Seriously! Just look at the water!

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inside the shed/coop

So while I was checking on all the animals I decided while wearing my flip flops I should jump over a massive puddle……what was I thinking? It was only by the grace of God that I did not fall backwards and land in the said ginormous puddle. Stepping stones just might be in my future, and if you read along with the blog then they will be in your future too!

the water is up to my toes

the water is up to my toes

Now, one should never complain (again not complaining just sharing my thoughts on the topic) unless one has a way to fix it. I was relieved to see this article that someone posted on a Facebook group stating where to find free sand bags. Just google free sand bags in your area. Turns out during crazy weather fire stations will provide sand and bags and all you need to do is show up (preferably with a buddy) and a shovel and make your own, do call ahead to make sure. Fill the bag about half way with sand and instead of tying them just fold over the top and place it flap side down. This way they are nice and flat and will fit nicely together.

she knows how to keep dry :)

she knows how to keep dry 🙂

Since it is raining right now and I have all the Littles by myself, I am not getting my sand bags today haha but hopefully once it all dries out I will go fill quite a few sand bags to place around the shed/coop and be more prepared for the next rain. Also rain gutters or a roof extension will most likely be in the shed/coops future. So stay tuned.

Staying cozy together

Staying cozy together

All of the above was mentioned for fun. The main point of this post is to let you know that rain is a battle that we must conquer. For me it is fighting to keep home base dry for the animals with sand bags and a longer roof. Duel accepted! Rain you are going down. (haha I crack myself up!)

What does your rain battle look like? 🙂

Building the Compost Pile

Calling all pallet lovers! This compost pile is for you. Gather up those pallets, look behind stores and Craigslist. They are out there and ready to be found. Thankfully we have great neighbors who lent me their tools and coached me on using them. Five pallets, long screws, a power screw driver, and helpful neighbors is a recipe for success.

all set up

all set up, as you can see I was not concerned about them being different sizes

We made a three sided square with three pallets standing up so the slats were horizontal, screwed the corners together. Then added the other two pallets to make two, three sided squares that shared a side. Look at the picture and it will all make sense. Once we attached them, that was that, the next step was to add material that needed to be composted.

this is the back of the pallets where the screws were put

this is the back of the pallets where the screws were put

Now there are two compartments to work with. All of our compostable material goes in one side and when we are ready to stir it, the compost gets moved from one side to the other. Added benefits are that it’s on concrete so I know I’m getting just compost when digging it out and the chickens get immediate access to all of the food scraps and bugs. But dirt is always good to because its easier for the bugs to just crawl straight from the ground into the pile.

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Remember…NO PROTEIN or DAIRY! We keep a bin on the kitchen counter for scraps and take it out every morning when we let the chickens out. I found this awesome picture on pinterest, the link is in the description.

great list of what is and isn’t compostable

Now with all the compostable materials the chickens LOVE the compost area. My only problem is the spread it out super fast. IMG_3752

The next addition to the compost structure will be a board at the front blocking the chickens from spreading the waste everywhere. For now though this is them enjoying their compost heap.

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she does looked peeved though haha she is the only one who really sits still for a picture

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Also if you do not have much waste in your house ask for friends and relatives to help out. Make them buckets for them to keep outside with a list on the top saying what can and can’t be put inside. Then once a week stop by their house and collect all of the scraps. Then offer them a share of the compost when spring comes around. There are always ways to find stuff for the compost bin.  Have fun making black gold and saving the landfills from our excess.

What does your compost pile look like? Or what plans do you have for making one? Even people in an apartment can have a compost bin. More on that in another post though 🙂

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