Tag Archives: organization

Adding on and making room

We have an addition to the family. At least for a few months. Meet our godson, Raven Boy.

He’s 13 years old, can drive a vehicle, is great with electronics and tools, and is a ginormous help around the homestead. He and his family visited for the summer, and when his family went home, it was decided that he would stay here with us for a while to help out with building the house and other projects. 

So, as I looked around our trailer, I realized we didn’t have enough room for another full sized person to sit anywhere when we’re hanging out inside. (He has a separate “bedroom”in our extra trailer that we use as storage.)  And with winter approaching, spending all our time outside isn’t going to be an option for too much longer.

So, Hubby and I had a talk, and figured out that with a little bit of rearranging in the living room, we could build a bench to comfortably seat another person or two. And it wouldn’t take up any more space than was currently being used.

I forgot to get a before picture with all our stuff there, but here’s the area cleared out. We had Scooter’s kennel, a couple of file boxes, and the toy chest in this corner.


We cleared out and cleaned the floor. Then started building the frame for the bench. This is where Raven Boy really shined. He already knows so much about using tools, etc that he cut all the wood for the bench, as well as helped put it all together.


Once the frame was together, and the door in for Scooter’s cubby, we covered most of it in plywood.


The left side was left open and put on hinges so that we can lift it out of the way and still deploy our couch into a bed. It was Raven Boy who came up with the design for that section.



We also left the top plywood unattached on the right side in order to easily access the area underneath for storage (and to be able to clean out the dog cubby when needed).


We bought pillows and pillowcases as the cushions for the bench. And we downsized Flower Girl’s toys to fit in a small tote and put the rest of them and the family heirloom toy chest into the storage unit.


I plan on painting the bench and sewing up the ends of the pillow cases so they look a bit more like cushions.

Overall, though, I’m very pleased with it. And since the weather has cooled off considerably recently, it’s been nice that the five of us can sit comfortably in our living room. We can also go over to Pagee’s (now spelled Pajii) trailer to watch a movie or something.

And Pajii put the full dinette back in his trailer after Bachan passed away, and all 6 of us can sit around the dining table when the weather (or yellowjackets) is not conducive to eating outside.

So that’s one more thing checked off our list of things to do to in order to live comfortably in the trailers for the winter. Next up is heat! Pajii’s trailer has a working furnace. Ours does not. We have several ideas of how not to freeze over the winter. I’ll keep you up to date on what we come up with.

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Daily Life #13 – Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Jalapenos and Organizing the Garage

February 7
Such a lovely day today. We drove home from church with the windows open in the van! Glorious, sunny warmth!

When we got home and had a bite to eat to tide us over till later, I intended to start on my jalapeno poppers for the big game. But there were a bunch of empty jars on the counter which needed to go back out to the garage.

I took them out and got distracted by the chaos. I mean, where was I to put another couple of jars??

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Unorganized chaos

Empty jars on all available surfaces, empty boxes taking up valuable space, filled boxes on the floor in front of the shelves. Yeah, it wasn’t pretty.

After a couple hours of work, it was much cleaner and useable.

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Still a bit chaotic, but much more organized

One of the features I like the most is that I finally have a dedicated spot for my empty jars to go.

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Labeled spots for them so that no one has an excuse for not putting them away where they belong!

I feel so accomplished.

Well, by the time I finished up in the garage, the game was just about to begin, so it was definitely time to get those stuffed jalapenos made.

Now, I’m not a huge fan of spicy foods, but I enjoy the flavor of jalapenos, especially when paired with cream cheese. And bacon? Well, bacon makes just about everything better!

And by carefully cleaning out the seeds and membranes from the peppers, it lessens their kick.

These are a great appetizer for any sort of gathering and I love that there are only three ingredients (ok, well, technically the bacon and cream cheese each have multiple ingredients themselves, but youknowwhatimean.) And depending on where you are in your health journey, you can choose cream cheese and/or bacon that are more healthily made. For now, we use grocery store brands.

So, without further ado, here’s the recipe.

BACON WRAPPED STUFFED JALAPENOS
Ingredients
15 jalapenos
1 (8oz) pkg cream cheese
1 lb bacon

First, gather all your supplies. And if it’s game day, hopefully you can prep things where you can see the game. 🙂

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Slice the stem off the jalapenos and then slice each pepper in half lengthwise. Carefully clean out all the seeds and membranes. NOTE: you might want to wear gloves when dealing with the peppers, especially if you are sensitive. I never need to, but I make sure to wash my hands thoroughly before touching anything else.

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Fill each pepper half with creamcheese.

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Then cut your bacon pieces in half and wrap them around the stuffed jalapenos and place on a baking sheet. Sometimes, I just lay a piece of bacon over the top rather than wrapping it. We buy thick slice bacon, and 1 lb is usually the perfect number of slices.

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Bake at 350° for 20-30 minutes until the bacon is crisp to your liking.

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And that’s it!
Oh, my! These are delicious! Just enough heat, but not enough to send me running for the milk. Usually.

Sometimes one bite is more spicy than the others and has me fanning my mouth and contemplating guzzling straight from the milk jug! But I can deal with it. If you don’t find jalapenos all that hot, you’ll have no problems.

And now for a gratuitous picture of cuteness and silliness from our girls. 🙂

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Maridy

“I lift up my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121

Christmas sewing

Alright, alright! I’ll admit it.

I’m a fabric junky.

There’s a picture floating around Facebook of fabric being stored oh-so-neatly in a filing cabinet drawer.

Here’s what I said about it.

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Yes, I actually chuckled when I saw that picture. There’s no way my stash of fabric could ever be that neatly organized. I have too much. It would take 5 whole filing cabinets! The yardages I have are too big. Some of my fabric pieces would nearly fill their own drawer by themselves. Or they are too small.

And yet, I WISH my stash could look like that.

Oh wait. That’s right.

I don’t HAVE a stash!

At least, not here in Oregon.

And not really in Nevada either.

When we moved into our trailer on the homestead last year, I downsized drastically. My “stash” consists of three boxes (albeit two big ones and a medium one). And you know where those three are?

That’s right. They are in Nevada. Awaiting the day when our house is built and I have a sewing area again.

In the mean time, I have a million ideas running around my head of things I want to sew, especially Christmas gifts.

So, I went shopping. I went with one project in mind.

Here’s what I ended up with:

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I couldn’t help myself. All this fabric was only $15!

Yep, though they are all sheets, it turned out to be about $1 per yard. Pretty good deal, I’d say.

How, you ask?

Thrift store.

And not the overpriced big name ones either. A small, locally owned store in our neighborhood. The type of store where the proprietor is willing to give you a deal on things because she knows that money earned is better than items sitting on the shelf.

So what am I going to make with all that fabric? Well, I can’t tell you. Most of it is for Christmas gifts, afterall. And I know the intended recipients read this blog.

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However, I can say that the purple fleece will become three matching pairs of pajama pants for the girls and I, to be given on Christmas eve. I’ve been wanting matching jammies for us for a long time and almost bought a set online the other day. But couldn’t quite shell out the $32 + shipping it would have cost. And buying fabric from a traditional fabric store wouldn’t cost much less.

So, $5 and a little work, and I’ve got them.

Thrifting for the win!

What about you? How do you save money when it comes to Christmas gifts? Do you make your own?

Maridy

“I lift up my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121

Garden Journal

I think I’ve mentioned it before, but I keep a garden journal.

It’s a journal which helps me remember when I planted, how long it took for things to germinate and produce, how well things did, etc.
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I started my first journal in 2009 and finished it in 2013 (I didn’t garden in 2014 since we moved twice that summer). I started a new book in February of this year. I usually use whatever blank journal I have on hand. (And since I’m a journaler by nature, I always have extras laying around.)
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I don’t like pre-printed journals which have questions for you to answer since I find them too confining. I want to write about what I want to write about. Or more than likely, they don’t leave me enough space to write. I like to use a conversational voice when I write and tend to write a lot (have you noticed? 😉
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So even though I just started a new joirnal this year and it will take me a while to fill it, I bought a new one yesterday at Michaels craft store.

I just couldn’t pass it up.

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Look how incredibly perfect it is for gardening and farming and all sorts of homesteaderly stuff! (Yes, I just made up a new word!) In fact, I’m wondering how I can use it sooner, because I don’t want to wait till my current journal is finished. 🙂

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I know a couple of homesteading friends who might just end up with one for Christmas.

And I have a 50% off coupon!

I’m thinking I see a trip to Michaels in my near future.

How about you? How do you keep track of all your homesteading endeavors?

Maridy

“I lift up my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121