Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Wordless Wednesday - Fragrant Fence Roses

The Fence Roses are bursting into bloom this week, here at Two Farms One, and filling the air with the intoxicatingly scrumptious aroma of Old Fashioned Roses!

Tightwad Tuesday - Helping Others Save Money with Coupons

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Sometimes being a tightwad and saving money isn't just about saving yourself money, but helping to save other people money, too. How? by sharing your coupons.

I was in the grocery store last week and ran across some cake mixes that were an unbelievable deal. (No, I don't usually ever purchase cake mixes, but these were an exceptional deal and I thought I would take advantage of the quick, sweet treat). Not only was it a great price, but if you purchased 4 of them, then you got even more of a savings, making them come out to only 50 cents each!

I got up to the register with them and asked the clerk if I had read it right, "Are these really 50 cents each if I buy 4 of them?" She said, "Yes, but you have to have a coupon to get that deal." My excitement sunk as I said, "Oh, I don't have a coupon." and instantly decided that I would just get one mix. BUT, the woman ahead of me that was still trying to organize everything back into her purse before she left excitedly said, "I have an extra coupon for them and I don't need it. Here, you can have it!" WOW! Thank you! What a sweet and wonderful gesture!  So last night, thanks to this generous woman, we enjoyed some yummy strawberry pancakes made from a strawberry cake mix. Our total cost was about 70 cents!

Over the years I have shared many coupons to help other people save money. I have taken extra coupons that I didn't need and laid them on their matching product in the store. I have also found some like that that other people have done the same with, and it was a great help that was greatly appreciated. For our hobby store, I have printed off full sheets of their %off coupons, used what I needed, then passed the rest out randomly to people in the store. To see the excitement and grateful smiles on so many of them is so warming and makes the time taken for the effort more than worth it. It was when I had once forgotten to bring a coupon in with me to the hobby store and someone gave me one of theirs that I thought to do this. That one little thoughtful gesture not only saved me several dollars, but enabled me to get the other item I had come to get but didn't have quite enough to get both. Once I gave one to a young girl in the line behind me and she got super excited for the same reason, she was spending her birthday money and she could then afford both items she was wanting to get!

Just a small gesture of sharing your coupons could make a huge difference in a person's day, or maybe even their life. So the next time you are clipping/printing off coupons and you start to leave the ones you don't need, consider clipping/printing them, also, and pass them out to someone else that might benefit from them.

Thank you for reading our post.... Have a fantastic day!

NOTE: Yes, it is actually Wednesday that I am making this post. During the time I had allotted to write this post, a bad storm came up and I could not get to the computer, but wanted to get it posted this week anyway. Sorry for the delay.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Pharmacy Friday - is now Farm-acy Friday

After much thought, discussion and pondering, Dave and I have decided to change the name of our Pharmacy Friday segment to Farm-acy Friday. We hope this doesn't confuse anyone.

Why are we doing this? Our biggest reason is our own safety. It absolutely burns us up that we, as American's, are losing one freedom right after another, and we certainly don't want to succumb to it. We also: however, want to keep us and our blog 'safe'.  Even if you have done nothing wrong, are completely within your rights and freedom of speech, to have to battle the "powers that be" if/when you get hit with 'trouble' for wording 'they' don't approve of, would take far more time, money and energy than we would care to put out. So . . . . we have decided to change the name of this segment to Farm-acy Friday.

Not only will this ensure a little more safety for us (you would not believe what that key word "pharmacy" has been drawing in to our site every time we make a post in this segment of our blog), but it will also expand this segment into a broader topic for us to talk about. We have been wanting to talk about natural and home remedies for farm life as well, but it just didn't quite fit into this segment. By changing the name to Farm-acy Friday, it will greatly broaden our abilities to talk about all aspects of and around the farm on this topic.

If you disagree at all with this or have any feedback, positive or negative, we would love to hear from you in the comments. For now, we will leave the ones we have already written as they stand, but from here forward, we will be calling this segment, Farm-acy Friday. We hope this isn't confusing to anyone. But if it is, please let us know.

Thank you for reading and have a terrific weekend!

Farm-acy Friday ~ Composting Toilets and Your Diet - part 1

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So many people are turning to composting toilets these days, us included. It's all part of that getting back closer to Nature living and reducing our footprint on the Earth, movement. You took it out of Nature, used it/consumed it, then put it back into Nature for that natural cycle of life style of living.

For those of us that are composters, be it just an average compost pile for our garden, or to also include the composting toilet, we are very careful as to what goes into our compost pile. We would never purposely pour a bottle of chemicals into the compost, nor dump in a bottle of pills, insecticides, hormones, or any other hazardous material. How horrifying! We don't want that stuff in our soil. It would leach out into our garden veggies, into the ground and into the ground water, etc. So why eat foods with all that stuff in it?

Think about it, you just got up and took some pills this morning, you use the composting toilet all through the day, then dump the 'compost' into your compost facility. All that medication passes right through you and into the composting toilet! Well, maybe not all of it, but quite a bit of it, and some medications and vitamins have been proven to pass all the way on through without ever dissolving. Just ask someone that cleans out those port-a-potties for a living. NO, I am NOT suggesting that you stop taking your medications if you are using a composting toilet, but I am asking you to give some thought to what you are doing and possibly look into seeing if there is a natural alternative to what you are taking if you are going to compost your waste.

Then there are the foods you eat. Are you dining out at all? Are you eating pre-packaged foods? What is in that stuff?! Do you read the labels before you eat it? Are their hidden pesticides on those fruits and veggies you are eating? Would you pour pesticides into your compost pile? Then why are you eating all that stuff that has been sprayed with them? It's going to go into your composting toilet and then on into your compost pile. What is all that stuff on that label that you can't pronounce? If it goes into your body, it is then going to go into your composting toilet and then on into your compost pile. Think about it . . . . really think about it.

Changing over to a composting toilet system has truly made us look much more closely at what we eat and put into our bodies. Even though we thought we were eating a lot more healthy (and we are) when we look at our diets more closely in relation to the fact that it might be going into our compost, we realize we still have a long way to go in making our diet more healthy. We want to eat as healthy as possible, and we are striving every day to eat a much more healthy diet, but this thought has made us realize that we just aren't there yet and need to continue to make healthier choices at the store, and further reduce what we are purchasing at the store while we increase what we grow on our own to eat.

Just thought I would give you something to ponder this week. It does give you food for thought, literally. Thanks for reading my post and have a fantastic day!

It's an Ear Mushroom!

 We just love these Wood Ear Mushrooms! For one thing, they are so fun! They look just like a person's ear, and feel like thick jelly.  As the weather begins to warm up and the spring rains begin to fall (although we are still on the dry side right now), these beautiful little jewels are beginning to pop out. Dave found these on a limb hanging out over the chicken house. He saw the dead limb and was thinking that he needed to cut it off before it fell off on top of the chicken house or pen, then saw the mushrooms. Needless to say, cutting that limb off became a much more tedious chore as we tried to make sure we saved all the mushrooms from harm.

The Ear Mushrooms you see in this picture (plus a few more from another limb) have now been dehydrated and are carefully stored away for future use. They dry very well and very tiny, yet rehydrate to nearly their original state.

Boiled up, these mushrooms make a great flavored broth for anything you need broth for. They are loaded with nutrition but are a bit tough to chew. Some people love the texture, but most just use the broth. If you dehydrate them, then process them to a powder, they can be easily sprinkled into soups and other dishes to give your food a wonderful flavor and a burst of great nutrients. Since we learned that these funny looking things growing on our trees are not only edible, but healthy as well, they have quickly become a basic staple in our diet. When we use them to boil down and make broth, we never have to worry about tossing the boiled mushrooms out. There is always a dog around, excitedly waiting to be handed one for a treat. They absolutely love them! We don't give them more than a bite, though, because I don't think mushrooms are something you are supposed to give dogs much of. But our dogs rank them right up there with steak!

Thanks for reading our post and have a fantastic day!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Our New Barn Yard Cat - Tater

This is Tater, our new Barn Yard cat. Yes, I know, I already have several "pet" cats, but they have been house cats most of their lives and are not "wild wise" so cannot have the full run of the farm. But more on them in a future post.

It is interesting how, when you truly need something, it just pops up out of nowhere sometimes. David and I were sitting by the heater, taking a break with our coffee one day and started talking about how we needed a good, rodent catching cat to keep the rodents out of the feed barrels. It seems that no matter how tightly we try and keep the feed closed (critters and ours), that those varmints just keep getting into it all. We agreed that none of the cats we have could do the job because they just don't have enough fear of dogs nor the wilds. They have pretty much always lived inside and most of them are used to sleeping and playing with large dogs. Just turning any of them loose to have the run of the farm just woudn't be wise. They would never survive.

As we sat there, talking and dreaming, we said that, ideally, we need a cat that wants to hunt his/her own food, is scared of dogs and wild animals, won't bother the chickens, goats, etc. and is friendly and gentle with us .... a pretty tall order for a cat!  Amazingly, about two days later, Tater showed up! We have no idea where she came from, she just showed up and started calling/meowing to us. She would come up somewhat close to us, but not close enough for us to touch her. I gave her a bit to eat and she thanked me by catching a rodent next to the feed barrel! Within a few days, we could pet her, hold her, and she now wraps herself around our legs loving on us and purring contentedly. She likes to have just a dab of "crunch" each day (a bit of dry cat food), but she much prefers to catch her own food! She spends her days hanging out at the feed barrels, in the garden, and next to the chicken pens in anticipation of catching anything rodent that tries to get near them. She eats what she catches and doesn't catch more than she can eat. She has now saved us much more $$$ in feed than what it costs to give her that dab of "crunch" she likes each day. What a true blessing, gift, and answer to a problem she is!

Thanks for reading! Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

TIGHTWAD TUESDAY - Free Garbage Bags!

There are lots of things that annoy me, but one of the things that annoys me the most in life, is buying something for the sole purpose of throwing it away! Yep, I am talking about trash bags. It just doesn't make sense.

I have pondered ways of solving this problem for a very long time, now. One way of course, is to drastically reduce the amount of trash that you generate. Personally, I think that that is the best way. We, ourselves, are striving every day to reduce the amount of trash that we generate, but, unfortunately, we do still have a little that we have to dispose of. That brings us back to needing to acquire trash bags to dispose of that trash.

About a year ago I discovered a way to get many of those trash bags for FREE!  How? I go to furniture stores and ask them for the plastic bags that are wrapped around the furniture cushions during shipping. When the furniture arrives (such as sofas and easy chairs) and is put out on the showroom floor, those bags that were wrapped around the cushions during shipping are then taken off and tossed out into the trash. When I discovered this I thought, "It just doesn't make sense for these plastic bags to be tossed out into the dumpster, empty, while I am purchasing empty plastic bags to put my trash into!"

So .... I stop into the nearest, local furniture store every chance I get and ask for the plastic bags that were wrapped around the furniture cushions during shipping. So far, they have always been glad to let me have them. Not only does using these bags save me money, but it also gives those bags one more purpose before they hit the landfill.

Have any of you ever used these bags for trash bags? Or for any other purpose, for that matter?
Have any of you ever found any other types of  "free" bags to use as trash bags and if so, what were they? I would love to know!

Thank you for stopping in and reading this post. Have a FANTASTIC day!

Already Hot & Dry

What a difference this Spring already is as compared to last Spring! Last spring we had rain ..... after rain ...... after rain. Yes, we usually do get a lot of rain in the Spring, but last year was a record breaker. If you set aside all the damaging flooding, it was great for many gardens. You ran out, planted a few things (especially for people like me that had been using the no-till method of gardening), then it rained and watered it in.  What didn't flood or wash away (I think my okra ended up in the next county), grew like crazy! It was such a great year for those crops that need lots of water and it is usually too dry for them.

All that rain also greatly interfered with getting my farm (Granny Annie's Farm) moved. My driveway (and the road going to my house) stayed so wet and muddy that there was one long stretch after another (sometimes weeks) that we could not get a vehicle/trailer in to move my stuff out with. Although all that rain was great for growing stuff, it really cost us in personal possessions.

Now I am here at David's, we are starting our first garden totally together but ..... where is the rain? Even today it was supposed to rain but has now been pulled out of the forecast. The lack of rain is great in the sense that we still have mountains of my belongings outside, covered over with plastic and tarps (which the wind keeps blowing off) until we can get enough storage space to organize it all, but the garden and fruiting trees and bushes badly needs rain to produce food for us. A good balance would be fantastic right now!

I think this has been the most yo-yo weather I have seen this early in the season. Our last possible freeze date has always been about April 1st, but we had a really hard freeze just a couple of nights ago, followed by another light freeze the next night, then hot during the day. As I type this post, it is in the mid 80s! Yet another problem all of this creates is that, although some of the trees are beginning to leaf out, not all of them are and the ones that are are just starting to leaf out. This means that in the hot, dry sunshine, there is no shade for anything to escape the heat in the middle of the day! So I am finding myself dragging out every old sheet (and some not so old) and large pieces of lightweight cloth I can find to try and create some shade for all of our critters (and us). I have to wonder how much of this odd weather is created by Mother Nature going through changes . . . . and how much of it is created by man's stupidity.  I have read that, even though El Nino is pretty much through, it is supposed to get worse in our area before it gets better, but then I also have to wonder how much is blamed on that to shift the blame away from man's stupidity. We may never know. I think we need to just make sure, now, that we are always prepared for ANY kind of weather, any time of the year.

Thanks for stopping by and reading our post. Have a FANTASTIC day!

Friday, April 1, 2016

PHARMACY FRIDAY - Gotta Do Some Checking

 Howdy, Everybody! As you have seen this week, we are back and trying extra hard to get back on track with our blog. I absolutely love doing this Pharmacy Friday segment, but lots of things can change and happen when you are away for even a short time, not to mention a long time.

There seems to be a lot of crack downs all over the net and in person (here in the USA) as to what we can and can't say .... talk about .... claim .... etc, when it comes to discussing anything in the way of natural and/or self healing. Personally, I think that is a HUGE violation of our Freedom of Speech, but there just aren't enough people fighting it, so until then, they are getting away with it.

It angers us (to put it mildly) that this is happening, yet at the same time, we do not want to end up in jail, lose what farm we have, etc, so before we continue this segment of our blog, we need to research and catch up with how we can/can't word our posts on this subject (grrrrr.....!!!!), what we can and can't discuss, etc. UNBELIEVABLE!

Basically, it looks like it is all in how you word it. (yep, another freedom lost) But I will continue this segment of our blog .... continue to bring you great posts filled with ideas and information that you can use for yourself. For crying out loud .... last week I was told by a friend that I can't even reference sites that have done scientific studies on an item and say that it was scientifically proven to have "the following" benefits. Anyone know more about that?  I am not liking all of this. It is just wrong!

Thanks for reading and have a fantastic weekend!