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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Keeping Rabbits - Things I Wish I Had Known Before Getting Rabbits

Midnight the 2nd, Jonah, Monarch, Patches, Snowball & Dragonfly  
Over the years we have had quite a few rabbits, and if I really tried I could probably name everyone. Don't believe me? Well, let's see there is Rabbs the 1st (I know very imaginative but hey we were little!), Rabbs the 2nd (ahem), Sugar, Caramel (We had a sweet tooth when we named them), Midnight, Smokey, Shadow, Thumper (like the bunny in Bambi), Monarch, Patches, Midnight the 2 (OK what can I say? Black rabbits just get named Midnight around here), Jonah (it had a wale or a big fish over its eye), Snowball (she was an Albino), Dragonfly (can you guess why she was named that?), Hazel and Bluie (OK for the record it's fur was a bluish tint and I didn't name it),  Told you there were a lot!

Jonah (See the whale/fish?)
Rabbits are ESCAPE ARTISTS!!!! Make sure your cage has plenty of ventilation but that they can't get their heads or feet stuck especially if you have a small baby bunny or a mini rabbit (gee that sounds funny). They are also very fragile, so make sure if you are buying a bunny for the kiddos have an adult around just to ensure they don't get smashed. Their backs are very easily broken, they can even break it themselves if they are flipping around. So be careful with them, they are adorable yes but treat with care.

Be careful not to feed them veggies or fruit, trust me it's cute to watch them eat it but it will save you a lot of heartbreak and save their lives. They are very susceptible to diarrhea so stick with alfalfa pellets.

Rabbs the 2nd, Caramel & Sugar 
Water bottles with a special spout fastened to the outside of the cage. Make sure the rabbit has water at all times. They dehydrate very fast and get overheated easily. Especially on hot summer days.

Rabbits are active little things and yes if left to their own devices they can get into trouble. We always bought chew toys for ours so they could grind down their teeth while playing. They also liked a cardboard box (We cut a door out of it so they could go in and out).

Midnight, Patches, Shadow, Hazel
Rabbits can be litter box trained like a cat. Rabbits are super smart and are trained for this very easily. I had all five of our babies trained in just under a week. 




Hazel & Brianna
Have you ever owned rabbits? What were their names? What kind were they? 
Leave us a message in the comments below.  
Do you have a question about them? We love to hear from you. :)

#advicefromthecottage #Farm #Rabbits #Bunnies #homestead 

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Cottage Charm Part 8 - Table Manners

Ok, the next installment on our manners post is short and sweet.  Table manners.

I had a friend that made a point to remove all of the food from her plate that she disliked and literally tossed it across the table. We would dine out, and across the table would go the tomato slices followed by the lettuce and the pickles and anything else she didn't like as she disgustedly announced how much she hated these food items. I was shocked, this was a grown woman! And well, I was embarrassed.

Related Post: Cottage Charm 9 - How To Treat Other's Homes - 

 If we are in a situation where we don't like what is served to us just let it sit to the side on your plate. If you are ordering a meal it is fine to ask for no lettuce or tomatoes, etc. If the meal is burned, too salty or cold that you ordered it is ok to tell someone. But. If you are at someone else's home it is not ok to tell them the food is bad.  And please! Do not throw your food on the table! Act your age, not your shoe size (wink).

Ladies, do not put your purse on the table.  It can go on the next chair, hang on your chair or on the floor by your feet but keep it out of the way of the waiter or waitress.

Please, no elbows on the table and no electronics.  Enjoy your dinner and your family and be present in the moment.  Unless it is a life and death emergency, keep your electronics stowed away.

When you are finished eating put your silverware across your plate diagonally telling the waitstaff that you are finished with your meal.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

I Have Refined You...


                                      Waves that seem unending...


                                                                                            A thousand little pieces...

Spread like sea glass on the shore.

                                                         Polished smooth and corners rounded.

                                                                                                      Like driftwood from a far away shore.

Sanded clean.


                Like a never ending hurricane season...

Storms that seem to batter that same shoreline...  again and again in rapid succession
You seem to have forgotten what the sun looks like. What it feels like to feel the sunshine on your face.

Unwanted phone call from your doctor....

The Officer At Your Front Door....
                                                                                                                       Broken promises...

See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. Isaiah 48:10                                                         


Monday, April 27, 2015

Lessons From The Farm | Weeds

Over the years, we have struggled with keeping crabgrass and wild blackberries out of our flower beds and garden (we try not to use poison on them because of the animals). These two plants grow like a wildfire, turning the best-started gardens into a weedy mess after a good rain.

Let it go for one day and they have popped their nasty little heads above the soil and through the shade cloth and mulch (sorry Elsa but letting it go won't help this time). It's annoying on the best days heartbreaking on the worst, and pretty much impossible to get rid of.  Try to pull it out and you quickly find it's easier said than done. If you aren't careful to get the root out too, its back poking through the mulch again with a vengeance after only a few days. Grab a handful of wild blackberries and the thorns will tear your hands up (trust me it hurts) and leave you picking thorns out of your skin.


The blackberries and crabgrass remind me of the sin in our lives, left unchecked it will ruin our lives. We have to make an effort to weed it out to weed it out the sin in our lives. It's not easy- just like pulling blackberries out of the garden it's going to hurt. As you weed out the "crabgrass" and "blackberries" in our lives it's going to be uncomfortable, it's going to hurt. It's going to take work every single day. But when it's out you can again enjoy the beauty of the garden.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Crate Coffee Table Thinking Outside The Box

Mr. Cottage brought home a large crate that a friend gave him.  Poor thing, he thought it would be used to store stuff in outside. :) Well sometimes you have to think outside the box with design and that is what we did here. 

The crate gives a rustic look to the slip covered white couches with their ruffled pillows and breaks up the white on white in the room.

I love it paired with this large flower arrangement that Mr. Cottage bought us on Valentines Day.

Here we have it with simple 1/2 Gallon Mason Jars filled with sand and candles and a small footed glass bowl with sand, shells, and a candle.

The pillows are covered with a blue and white striped pillow slip (tutorial here) that give it a simple nautical look that is understated.

I love these simple candles.  They make me long to walk by the shore with the sand between my toes

Home Decor, Beach Designs, Nautical, Ikea, Slipcovered Couches, .

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Carnton Plantation

The Carnton house 

The Carnton House was built in 1826 in Franklin Tennessee by Randal McGavock (the 11th mayor of Nashville). It was named after his ancestral home in Ireland. Originally on 1,400 acres (500 of which was used for farming)  Among the many people entertained here was Andrew Jackson. Randal McGavock's daughter Elizabeth married William Giles Harding owner of Belle Meade Plantation. Randal died in 1843 and by 1860 his son John & daughter-in-law Carrie took over.

When the American Civil War broke out John McGavock was too old to enlist but he helped outfit and organize groups of Confederate soldiers while Mrs. McGavock sewed uniforms for family and friends.

Related Post: Belle Meade Plantation

As the war grew closer John sent most of his slaves to Louisianna. When Union troops took middle Tennessee and learned what the McGavock's had been aiding the Confederate soldiers they took thousands of dollars of grain, cattle, timber and horses from the plantation.

November 30, 1964, Carnton Plantation became the biggest temporary field hospitals for treating the
wounded and dying of the Battle of Franklin.

Related Post: Civil War Battle Of Spring Hill

The wood floors within still bear the blood stains of those injured and dying. More than 1,750 southern soldiers lost their lives at Franklin. On the back porch of the Carnton, the bodies of 4 southern generals were laid out after the battle. The McGavocks tended as many as 300 soldiers inside Carnton though at least 140 died that first night. Hundreds of others were scattered across the plantation. After the Union soldiers moved towRd Nashville the citizens of Franklin were faced with burying 2,500 soldiers.

John and Carry donated 2 acres of their property to be used as a Confederate Cemetery After the war McGavock continued to farm Carnton under share crop arrangements with his former slaves until his death in 1893.

Related Post: Sam Davis Home

For more information on the Carnton Plantation see their website here:

Civil War, History, Plantation, Tennessee

Monday, April 20, 2015

Organic Blackberry Turnovers


1 Cup Organic Flour 
1/2 Teaspoon Celtic Sea Salt
1/2 Cup Organic Butter Divided
1/4 Cup Ice Water 
1-2 Cups Blackberries 
1/3 Cup Raw Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Tapioca Flour (or 2 teaspoon Cornstarch)
1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice 
2 Tablespoons Organic Free Range Egg (beaten)
1 1/2 Teaspoons Water
1/2 Cup Organic Powdered Sugar
1 Teaspoon Water


In a small bowl, combine flour and salt; cut in 1/4 cup butter until crumbly. Gradually add water, tossing with a fork until a ball forms. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 12-in. x 6-in. rectangle. 

Cut remaining butter into thin slices. Starting at a short side of the dough, arrange half of the butter slices over two-thirds of the rectangle to within 1/2 in. of edges. Fold unbuttered third of dough over middle third. Fold remaining third over the middle, forming a 6-in. x 4-in. rectangle. Roll dough into a 12-in. x 6-in. rectangle.

 Repeat steps of butter layering and dough folding, ending with a 6-in. x 4-in. rectangle. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate for 15 minutes. Roll dough into a 12-in. x 6-in. rectangle. Fold in half lengthwise and then widthwise. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the sugar, tapioca flour or cornstarch. Add blackberries and lemon juice; toss to coat. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5-10 minutes or until blackberries are tender.  Remove from the heat. 

In a small bowl, combine egg and water. Roll dough into a 12-in. square; cut into four squares. Brush with half of the egg mixture. Spoon about 1/4 cup filling on half of each square; fold dough over filling. Press edges with a fork to seal. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush with remaining egg mixture. With a sharp knife, cut three small slits in the top of each turnover.

Bake at 450° F. for 17-22 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to a wire rack. Combine glaze ingredients; drizzle over turnovers. Serve warm. 

Yield: 4 servings.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Installing Cabinets With Mr. Cottage

Well, Mr. Cottage is wonderful! Just thought I would let you know. He took our plight of having a small kitchen with not enough cabinets for our dish collection to heart and went to Lowe's to buy us some more cabinets. He used a stud finder for the wall to find the studs to secure the cabinets. Mr. Cottage decided not to make a toe kick for them but bought legs so that they will look like furniture instead.

RELATED POST: Remodeling The Kitchen (Week 1)

He bought some golden oak stain and we stained the legs and he attached them to a piece of plywood.

He measured the base of the cabinets as we wanted them and then put that measurement onto the plywood cutting out a base. Then he used a drill and predrilled the holes for the screws to secure the legs to the plywood. He then screwed the plywood to the base of the cabinets and the cabinets to one another building as he went.

RELATED POST: Kitchen Remodel (week 2) 

Next, he added the shelves and the doors and Yeah! We have cabinets!

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Monday, April 13, 2015

Thick Crust Pizza Dough


1 Cup Water
1 Free Range Egg
1 Teaspoon Celtic Sea Salt
2 Tablespoons Raw Sugar
3 Cups Organic Flour
3 Tablespoons Dry Milk Power (I used dry goat milk)
11/2 Teaspoon Yeast 


If you are using a bread machine add wet ingredients to the bottom of the pan then add flour. In separate corners add yeast, salt, sugar and dry milk. Turn bread machine on dough and press "start". Leave it alone until It beeps and turns off. Then pull it out sit in an oiled bowl with oiled cling wrap over the top and let rise again until you are ready to use it.

If you don't have a bread machine get a big bowl and pour the water into it. Follow with dry ingredients. Mix until elastic and then cover with oiled cling wrap to rise in a warm place for about an hour or until doubled in size.

Roll out to desired size and bake for 8-10 minutes, add sauce and whatever you want on top and bake until cheese is melted.

For more of our pizza recipes click here & here. You can find our pizza sauce recipe here.

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Monday, April 6, 2015

Beef Taquitos

Picture of Taquitos


Leftover pot roast shredded
17 Corn Tortillas
Can of black olives
Sour Cream
Diced Tomatoes
Organic Cheddar Cheese
Coconut oil (Refined if you don't want the coconut taste.)


Take your cooked pot roast and shred the meat using a fork to pull the grain of the meat apart.
Set aside.
In a small pan put your small amount of coconut oil.  Set to about medium heat and cook until tender.  Remove from heat and place a small amount of beef down the center and return to heat cooking until crispy.  Place on a tray in your oven to keep warm. Continue until all have been done.

Remove from oven to a plate or tray and then serve with  cheese, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, olives, sour cream, salsa, and guacamole.  Enjoy!

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Saturday, April 4, 2015

A Day At The Cottage - After The Ice Melts

 We finally got out to do some much needed yard work today.  The ice was so bad! We had several ice storms and our big cedar tree really took a beating. This is one of the big limbs that fell during the last storm.  It was sure beautiful, but deadly. I am glad no one was under the branches when it fell.

We put up some arbors up for the climbing roses that we transplanted last fall. This is the area that we are putting together in memory of grandma. Man, it is so strange having her gone.  

A beautiful bowl of eggs from our girls sits on the table.  The girls are starting to lay a bit more now that the days are getting longer and warmer and that all the ice has melted.  

Beautiful pear trees are all in bloom.  I hope the weather holds up and these don't experience anymore ice or freezing weather. 

 The chickens before the storm.  They are enjoying the sunshine.

 Mr. Cottage starting up the chainsaw playing with his toy. Our poor tree died in the ice storm so it is going to have to go. 

Sun going down... Brrrrrr It is getting cold.

Gathering Eggs for the day. 

A few left over cherry blossoms. 

 What better way to end a day? Some family time. 

Bonfire time!

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