Friday, December 2, 2016

Conspiracy Of Silence Book Review

For the last few days, I have driven my family nuts by randomly laughing, chewing my nails to oblivion and hiding with a lamp late at night to finish this amazing read! Conspiracy Of Silence by Ronie Kendig. 

I absolutely Loved the story line, the characters are fun and relatable, it's action packed and shrouded in mystery and a thread of history that keeps you turning each page. Truly an excellent read! I could read it over and over. Can't wait to read the next one! 

If you are a suspense fan you are going to love this book. 

Received this book from the author. This post contains an affiliate link.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Kitchen Remodel Week 18 | Oh The Irony

Today our third blind corner replacement arrived- the shrill ringing of the telephone intruding on a pre-caffeinated morning with a rather grumpy UPS delivery guy on the other end. He quickly informed us that we would have to come down and get the "package" because they don't deliver things like that...

You don't deliver packages? Oh, the irony. In the back of my head, I'm wondering when that happened. Seriously? You don't deliver large packages? Our sink, which you delivered to the top of the driveway weighed more than the cabinet.

So we scrambled to get dressed, seriously- why is it every time I come downstairs in my Pj's I end up showing them off for the neighbors. The last time it was chasing neighborhood dogs away from my chicken coops, but that's a story for another time.

Anyway, we piled in the mini-van for the short drive down the hill (he told us to back down the driveway. *Snort* Yeah, no I don't think so. We drove like a normal person and pulled into the street so he could drop it (and drop it he did) in the back of the car. Of course, everyone decided that was the moment that they needed to use our little one lane street with massive drop-offs and no shoulders.

Don't get me wrong, I love our street- it's gorgeous, even when everything is brown and dead because of the drought. In fact, it's my favorite part of our neighborhood, but people like to think they are the only ones on it and anyone else has to get out of the way. One time a friend was driving us home and her daughter seated in the front seat covered her eyes and screamed the whole way to the driveway- did I mention we were in a full-size van?

So after explaining to the elderly neighbor who saw our hazard lights and stopped to see if we were ok (he's always been so sweet to us, we just found out him and his wife are selling their house and moving closer to their daughter. Going to miss them dearly), he got a good laugh from it. The best part of the whole thing was the UPS guy was an hour early- when does that ever happen?

Our dishwasher is supposed to arrive tomorrow, hopefully to the top of the driveway. In the meantime we're going to carry in the corner and put it together so we can finally (fingers crossed) can get the sink put in because we had to turn the water off to the only bathroom sink with a faucet tall enough to wash dishes under due to the fun fact that it's leaking. Doing dishes in the bathtub are so fun... like a tooth ache.

"I don't care," interspersed sporadically with Christmas carols throughout the day.
Over the last 18 weeks (Really thinking it's been longer but for the sake of our sanity we'll stick to that number) we've clung to our paleo diet like a rock climber to a cliff but this week we've had to let our paleo diet slide out the window. Between no sink, no stove for awhile, plumbing issues and late nights working in the kitchen we just haven't been able to stick to no grains, dairy, sugar etc. Today we went to Kroger and bought as healthy as we could find frozen meals that we can make with little to no dishes.

Can you see it- the diet ship sinking, flares shooting into the sky as the lifeboat lowers into the water as the last notes of "nearer my God to thee sound". Dear chiropractor- please no comments about our diet I don't think I could be civil.

New to our story check out weeks 1,2,3,4,6,7,13,1415, 16 & 17

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Homesteader Blog Hop #30

This is the Homesteader Blog Hop Y’all and there are plenty of posts to keep your attention every Wednesday at The Homesteader Hop!
Come on over to the Homestead, choose your rocking chair…a glass of tea and sit a spell! …we are here to entertain you, educate you or make you smile…all day long.
Stay as long as you like; and vote for your favorite!
If you are a blogger you can submit up to 3 articles, visit other blogs, leave comments and enjoy your stay here on the porch…
Here on the Homestead we are all about living a self-sufficient, self-reliant, and self-sustaining lifestyle in as natural, organic & frugal ways as possible.

This Blog Hop is being hosted by:

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Floyd Family Homestead

(Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | YouTube | Twitter) Floyd Family Homestead was established in Central Oklahoma in March of 2013 with a dream to leave the hustle and bustle of busy life behind in search of a simpler more sustainable way of life.


Homesteading with Heart

(Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Twitter) Hello, and welcome to my Blog! I’m a busy Farmers wife, Homeschool mom, chef Chief, Craft Enthusiast, animal loving blogger and homemaker!

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Rosevine Cottage Girls

(Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter | Google+) Hi, we are the Rosevine Cottage Girls. A mother / daughters team, living in middle Tennessee on a "mini" farm. We love sharing our favorite recipes, crafts, DIY projects, travel, hair styles, fashion, reviews, faith, raising animals, and life in general.  

A Chick and Her Garden

(Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter) Hi All! In 2013 my husband and I purchased our home and have been transforming it into our dream homestead. Follow along at A Chick And Her Garden and see how our little slice of heaven grows. I'll be sharing our experiences, animals, crafts, recipes and more!  

Back 2 Simple Life

(Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter ) Welcome to Back 2 Simple Life Farmstead ~ Our journey back to a simple way of life. I am just a mama who just wanted to stay at home and raise her 4 boys in a simple and healthy lifestyle. Join us and see how we learned to live on less, which lead us to discover homesteading!  

This Whole Home

(Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest) This Whole Home is a blog about the simple things in life: homesteading, homeschooling and homemaking. Hi I'm Kirstee, a suburban homesteader in Australia with a passion for helping families live simply and sustainably.     Seperator

Featured Authors From Last Weeks Hop:

One Grace Filled Life


Blogs That I follow & Blog Hops

Want to learn from and network with other fabulous bloggers? Well, get out there and start hoppin’! Read More >>>

Garden Up Green the-ultimate-downsize-system

The Ultimate Downsize System

The ultimate downsize system came about through process of elimination and started here at the farm. This place was pretty sad in the beginning and required attention inside and out Read More >>>

What Can I Post on this Blog Hop?

Anything and everything related to: Homesteading, Prepping, Gardening, Cooking/recipes/food, Livestock of all varieties, Off-grid, Natural Living, Wellness/wholeness and Healthcare, Herbal, DIY & MYO!


Some Simple Rules Y’all

This is a family friendly Blog Hop! Absolutely NO profanity or suggestive material at all – your post will be immediately deleted.
  1. Please link up only posts pertaining to the suggested topics.
  2. No advertising, giveaways, carnivals or contests.
  3. You may link more than one post, original content only, older or archived posts are A-Okay!
  4. Only real-food recipes please…no processed junk in our recipes or our tummies!
  5. Want to know when the Blog Hop opens? Follow us by email & get notified IMMEDIATELY!
  6. Please place a link back to this edition of the Blog Hop in your post. That way your readers can benefit from all the great ideas here on the Blog Hop AND this helps everybody by drawing more traffic to your site.
Get Notified Immediately when our Blog Hop is Live!


How Do I Do This Blog Hop Thang?

If you’re new to blogging OR just new to Blog Hops, (or need a reminder), here’s what you do: (after the hop)
The post that you want to submit to the Blog Hop needs to have a link back to the Blog Hop. For example you might say in your post…”This post was shared on The Homesteader Hop”, or “I participated in the Homesteader Hop” and this would generally go at the end of your post.
Please link the URL of your actual BLOG POST and NOT your blogs HOME PAGE. Most blogging platforms show a URL or shortlink at the top of your post when you are in your dashboard area. Highlight this URL, it is what you will place in the Linky Widget.
Homesteading/Prepping bloggers, please visit other blogs posts and comment…share the love!

How Can I Be a Featured Author?

Every Blog Hop, you the reader gets to “Like” the posts and from those tallies we get the Featured Blogs of the week-of which 2 are chosen! There are a few extra steps to be done, to be considered for Featured Blog of the Week:
1. You must link back to the Blog Hop (any of the host’s sites) with the Button or a Text Link.
2. Visit at least 2 Blog Hop posts and comment letting them know you found them here, don’t forget to “like” their Blog Hop Post Article too.
3. By linking to this Blog Hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post if you are featured. We will also include 1 photo from your post in the interest of sending visitors your way.

Grab Our Button!

Copy and paste the code below to your blog post or to you website's side bar to show your support for The Homesteader Hop!

The Homesteader Hop
Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML
So let’s get hoppin’ y’all!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

My Heart Responds 'I Am Coming'

So picture this... A woman is walking down a street late at night, puddles mar the pavement from a recent rain. Everything in her gut tells her shouldn't be on this street- not by herself and especially not at night. A figure steps up behind her and a hand wraps around her mouth-  she freezes as a knife touches her throat, the umbrella she is holding falls to the ground,

“The last thing you will feel is the tickle of my blade,” a cold voice hisses in her ear, a mental image of a snake plays at the back of her mind. She begs the man to take her purse, but he only laughs.

“Help! Please help!” She screams but no ones around. No one is there to hear her screams. She tries to wiggle free of her attacker's arms but he holds her firmly, the knife presses harder against her throat, she stills,  “I've been hunting you for a long time- now I finally have you," She knows she is going to die.

“Freeze,” suddenly someone stands in front of them. “Let her go. She's mine.” The knife drops away from her throat and her rescuer pulls her away and pushes her behind him.

“Are you ok?” he glances over his shoulder at the frightened lady. Yet she doesn't respond- in fact, it's almost like she can't hear him. He repeats the question but she still doesn't answer. As if nothing had happened she stoops to pick up her purse and umbrella tossing in the small bible that had spilled when the purse had dropped. Then promptly she turns and strides away back up the street leaving her rescuer to stare after her.

Here you scoff- how dumb of her. He just saved her life- rescued her the least thing she could do is say, “Yes I'm OK.” and thank him. She is either crazy or stupid- maybe even a little selfish. Christ died for us, to save us from our sin- so Satan couldn't have us because we are HIS. But how often does He swoop in and save the day and we simply pick up our scattered things and walk away with out a thank you?

 I prayed to the LORD, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears. Psalms 34:4

We pray- often beg Him to fix the problem, when we need something, need someone to save the day when something horrible has happened. When we need to be rescued- but the moment He does - we put the genie back in the bottle and walk away. Only to pull the lamp back out to rub like crazy when we need something else.

My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.” Psalms 27:8

He doesn't want that kind or relationship- He wants a friendship with us, a conversation, not an occasional wish when the world is crumbling at our feet. He doesn't want two seconds here and there.  Just long enough to drop a list of wants and needs at his feet and say have at it. He wants us to spend time with Him.

How long would you stay friends with someone who just dropped off all their dirty laundry at your house and said I'll be back to pick it up after awhile- I'm going out with friends?

The one thing I ask of the LORD--the thing I seek most--is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, delighting in the LORD's perfections and meditating in his Temple. Psalms 27:4

Teach me how to live , O LORD. Lead me along the right path, for my enemies are waiting for me. Psalms 27:11

The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread? When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh, My adversaries, and my enemies, they stumbled and fell. Though a host encamp against me, My heart will not fear; Though war arise against me, In spite of this I shall be confident. Psalms 27:1-3

He wants to be the friend that is always there for you. The one that walks with you on the brightest day and on the darkest. He's ready to hold your hand and face life with you. But you have to let Him. You have to want to spend time with Him. He wants to be the first person you tell about what made you happy.  He wants to be the one you tell your fears to, the one you cry with because as your curled up in bed and feel all alone- He is there with you. He wants to be the one you lean on when life is hard. But you have to make Him first in your life, all of it.

You have to spend time with Him- He is there waiting for you, all you have to do is open the door and be there. Tell Him your coming and then show up. Make the time to spend with Him. I know your busy, trust me I understand. But make it a priority. Carve out the time- it will change your life.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Spaghetti Squash

For those of you who have never heard of this unsuspecting veggie, I will introduce you.  
Friend this is Spaghetti Squash. This is a really easy squash to cook and it makes for a tasty meal.

First, wash the outside and cut in half from the flower end to the stem end and just like a pumpkin scrape out the seeds.

Next get a stock pot and put some water in the bottom of it. We don't need much because we are steaming this baby. Place the squash on end and lean against the side of your pan and place the lid on it firmly.  Now turn on and let it steam.  

Once in awhile I open it up and take a steak knife and attempt to stab it.  When it is done, the knife will glide in easily.  

At this point, I take a fork and remove them to a large bowl and pull the water off of the heat (I usually add this to my soups.).  

Take a second fork and use it to hold the squash still by stabbing into the flesh of the squash.  Then with the second fork put it into the squash just past the skin at the edge and drag down toward the empty center of it where the seeds used to be.  Rotate and do this all the way around the squash until it is all like spaghetti.  Scrape it into a bowl and put the skin into your compost.  Season with some organic grass fed butter, salt, and pepper.  It is great just like this!  Or you can top with your favorite spaghetti sauce, etc.  

Let us know what your favorite way to serve spaghetti squash and what you think of it if you decide to try it!  


Saturday, November 26, 2016

Kitchen Remodel Week 17

What have I learned on this "installing cabinets" adventure?

That I'm a perfectionist, I'm a perfectionist until my shoulder and back are so out of whack that I can't sleep and have a massive headache, until my nails are shredded and my fingers are smashed. I'm a perfectionist to the point that there we've screwed, removed and re-screwed so many times I can't keep track of it. I am a perfectionist- the slightest space drives me CRAZY. I will sit there and glare at it until finally very reluctantly Mr. Cottage climbs the ladder and adjusts it one more time to get it perfect.

I hate the way "cabinet" is spelled.

That taking cabinet doors off before you install is way easier (and lighter), so if you are someone that can't follow the rules and has to try it like me- never mind if you're like me you won't listen anyway. Have fun!

I didn't like 100 piece puzzles when the neighbors gave us one for Christmas -put sticky notes on the cabinet doors before you take them off, having to guess which one goes where after is not fun. Especially when you guess wrong twice before you get it right.

The dog like clockwork wants to go for a *looks both ways* walk at the most inopportune moments- like when you are under a cabinet.

Measure twice, cut once is a sentence to live by.

When in doubt don't try to squeeze between cabinets, trust me your backside isn't going to fit and unless you are a gymnast you aren't getting back out of that position until the family comes to rescue you.

New to our story check out weeks 1,2,3,4,6,7,13,1415 & 16

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thankful Thoughts from 9 Amazing Homesteaders

happy-thanksgiving Through the hustle and bustle of every day life; no matter if you come from the big city or the small homestead we all have been blessed in one way or another. Each year families sit around the table and say what they are thankful for this year. As homesteaders living the lifestyle that we are blessed to be able to live, we have all come closer together as a community. Today, we asked eight (nine including us) homesteaders what they are thankful for and here is what they all said: 
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The two most powerful words thanks and giving and put them together to get Thanksgiving. At Thanksgiving most of us thank about what we're most thankful for and just smile. I am truly speaking from my heart so here goes what I am thankful for. I'm thankful for the simplest of comforts in my own home such as hot water, light and warmth. I'm thankful for finances that allow us to live comfortably and be generous with others. I'm thankful for past adversities that have formed me into the person I am today. I 'm thankful for difficult times that sharpen me and make me better in the end. I’m thankful for the new relationships and connections over this past year both online and right here at home. I am thankful for my partner and my son who has been my rock plus my biggest fans. ~ Tana First and foremost I am thankful to my God above for all that he has done for me and my family. This year I am especially grateful for my Wife Tana, and my children: Kyle, Tristan and Mackenzie, and for the rest of my friends and family. I am also grateful, to all the men and women in uniform or have worn the uniform for your sacrifices so that we all may be free and allow us to live the lifestyle that we do. ~ Shane Shane and Tana Floyd - Floyd Family Homestead


“It’s not happy people who are thankful. It’s thankful people who are happy.” -unknown
In my opinion, being thankful means showing appreciation and gratitude for all that you have been blessed with. I don’t think you can be truly happy without this. We should also be thankful for the struggles we face because, without these challenges, we can not grow or learn from them. Everything in our lives molds us into who we are. I am thankful for my blessings and my struggles for they have molded me into who I am and I am very happy with the person I see every morning when I look in the mirror. I have been blessed with many amazing things that I am thankful for. My kids, who challenge me every day. I am thankful for these incredible opportunities to teach them life lessons. My husband, who has stood by me through all my ups & and downs. My parents, who raised me to be myself no matter what. I’ve also been blessed with a love for our earth and a drive to keep her safe. I am thankful for all of my blessings. I am also thankful for all the unbelievable people on this earth that do good every day. Be thankful and you will be happy. Happy Thanksgiving ~ Elizabeth From
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I am grateful for our farming family. We didn't start out with the goal of being a farming family. We were kids in our twenties,starting out like many others in the mid 1980's. Somehow, the blessings lined up and we had the opportunity to grow our farmstead on family land and never looked back.
I am blessed with a patient hard working husband who knows how to work the land, build, and tend animals and plants. Our grown up children took much of the life lessons we tried to instill and are building good solid healthy lives on their own. Our farm continues to grow and emerge. It may not be a showplace farm. It has the usual working farm messiness, broken parts, and scrap piles. It's even better because it is our place. Looking forward to the future with three little grands who we can share the farm with and watch them become farm kids too.
Janet Garman Timber Creek Farm
As I reflect upon the history of that first Thanksgiving I realize just how blessed we are! The Pilgrims sailed on a ship across the sea, their food spoiled; the fresh drinking water became stagnant. When they finally reached the golden shores of America their bodies were already greatly weakened and winter was fast approaching. In fact, over half the Pilgrims died during that first terrible winter. The living buried the dead at night in secret, in hopes that the Indians wouldn’t know just how few of them were left. However, the Native Americans had pity on the Pilgrims and extended them their hand in friendship. Today my family is thankful for good food, fresh water, our health, our many friends who have helped us along life’s journey, and this beautiful land that God has given to us! ~Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Jamie Homesteading with Heart

“I hope this next year will be a bit easier…Have a few more blessings…” “Honey, God will never bless us with more, until we are thankful for what we already have…” I almost wanted to roll my eyes. On occasion when I am talking to my mother, even as an adult, I still want to say, “Mooomm…” dramatically. But I knew she was right. Until we are thankful, no matter the circumstances, we will never reach a place of true contentment and blessings overflowing. A thankful heart says, “I am so blessed” when the bank account doesn’t agree. It says, “I am so grateful” when hard knocks are so very persistent. Thankfulness says, “I am so relieved my hope is in Jesus.” Because without that, there really is nothing. My friend, never let your circumstances dictate the thankfulness of your heart. Your success, your contentment, and your happiness all hinge on whether you can be thankful right where you are. Delci Heritage Club Stables

Being empty-nesters, my husband and I really miss our kids and grandkids. Our children are spread out all over the United States, and sometimes, the world. One of the things I am most grateful for as this Thanksgiving Day quickly approaches is our family. Even though our kids are far away, we love to remind ourselves that we are blessed that all of our children are out there in the world being productive and responsible citizens. I feel so thankful to be able to spend this Thanksgiving with two of our eight kids and two of our grandchildren. We are really looking forward to it! Our marriage is way up there on the Blessings List, too. We are strong together, and we always turn to each other during troubling times. We are each other’s best friends and biggest supports. We’re also so very grateful for our home and community. The Healing Harvest Homestead is a small place, just 2/3 acre, approximately. But we are able to grow herbs, vegetables, have a few fruit trees, and house our chickens, turkeys, and horses with no problems. The community we live in is filled with great and helpful, like-minded people—the kind you can call on in emergencies! It’s a small but powerful place.
Motivation and Faith are on the abstract list of things we feel such gratitude for. We are so fortunate to be motivated to continually learn and grow as we become more self-sufficient with every year that goes by. Our energy, drive, and commitment are intangibles that are vital to our lifestyle and growth toward self-sufficiency. We both work outside the homestead on top of the daily chores and duties around here. We come home, work on projects, complete animal/garden chores, and try to learn something new every day. I am so, so very grateful for our ability to learn, the fearlessness to try new things—even if they are scary, and the commitment to see things through. We also feel such gratitude to be followers of Jesus Christ, to know that He is always there, and that no matter what things happen, everything will fall into place. Having God in our lives is our biggest blessing of all, for without Him, everything is pretty meaningless.
Blessings, and Happy Thanksgiving!
Why am I thankful? This question, this year, hits me deep. I am thankful for so much! But, I will let you in on my top few. Family & Friends. I have never been more grateful for my family.... ALL my family! Our foundation may have all left this earth, but they are still in my heart. This year, I have learned more than ever, that the word 'family' does not mean just blood. I could not be more thankful for everyone that has been a part of our lives. Family and friends.... Thank you! The love and support you have given during our times of need, I will never forget! I love ya'll! Mother Nature. Our whole holistic homesteading "lifestyle" revolves around her. She gifts us everything we need to survive and thrive. We are what we are, we do what we do.... because of her! Losses. Most losses come with a lesson. Especially on a homestead. Yet, my greatest lessons this year were from losing close family members. They taught me to appreciate what is right in front of me more. That sweating the small stuff is not worth it in the end. I am more grateful now, for what I have instead of what I don't. Waking Up Every Day. Every new day, I am able to surround myself with who I love. I am given another chance to live the life I love. Life is so precious. As we were reminded too many times this year, there is no guarantee how long we will be on this earth. Every day that I wake up, I am given another opportunity to make the best of it.
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This year we are so Thankful for the many blessings He has bestowed upon us, a loving family, memories that will last a lifetime, friends that bring so much joy to our lives. We are thankful for you, the reader who takes the time to read the words we’ve typed. We are thankful for the many adventures we’ve had. The people we’ve met, the lessons learned the fun times and the sad.
For the hard times that make us who we are, for finding long lost friends and the parting with others, for hikes through the woods with cousins and quiet moments with a good book and a roaring fire. For stories around the table, year after year and for long walks, stunning sunrises and warm cups of cocoa with bright stars overhead. We’ve been blessed, way more than we deserve. Happy Thanksgiving, from the Cottage.
Rosevine Cottage Girls. A mother / daughters team, living in middle Tennessee on a "mini" farm. We love sharing our favorite recipes, crafts, DIY projects, travel, hair styles, fashion, reviews, faith, raising animals, and life in general.
Looking back at this year, I have so much to be thankful for! I sat back and made a list and it actually became overwhelming. The year has been so full of positives! I have been so fortunate to have been able to work from home and launch A Chick And Her Garden. A big help to A Chick And Her Garden has been the amazing support of fellow bloggers and homesteaders. I was at a huge learning curve at the beginning of the year and I wouldn't be where I am now without their help! Most importantly I am thankful for the love and support of my husband and family. Without their help and input I know that I wouldn't be able to continue with my homestead life, blogging and taking of them in return! Happy Thanksgiving, and I hope this year has been as full of blessings for you, as it has been for me!
Staci - A Chick and Her Garden
Well I believe I can safely say that one thing each and everyone of us homesteaders are thankful for is... for each and everyone of you; our fans, our friends, our extended family members. Without you supporting each of us every day we would not be able to do what we do publicly, so from all of us who have participated here:

We are Thankful for You!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

[caption id="attachment_29360" align="aligncenter" width="640"]thankful_pin Thank you Lisa[/caption]