It’s Garden Time

The tomato seedlings are doing good.  So far so good.  In the past we haven’t done well with seedlings and have had to use already established plants from our local nursery.  There isn’t anything wrong with that except it’s not as cost effective as starting your own.  In a mode of uncertainty I planted extra thinking that if some died off then we still had a chance.  Looking at them now, if all of these seedlings make it we are going to be up to our ears in tomatoes this year.

I ordered our seeds from Burpee this year and I got all organic and some heirloom varieties.  I got roma, san marzano, heirloom slicers, and black cherry tomato seeds. I’m especially excited about the black cherry tomatoes.

If I’m being honest, I have to admit that in years past I’ve been guilty of not enjoying our gardens.  I get so wrapped up in the process of canning and putting up the harvest that I forget to enjoy the seasons of fresh picked, sun kissed, sweet vegetables.  Not this year.  While I still intend to put up the harvest, more importantly I plan to enjoy all the fruits of the Z Man’s labors to the fullest all summer long, and I can’t wait!

This weekend we planned the layout of the garden and we’ll start putting stuff in the ground this week.

Oh, and on another exciting note we ordered our two piglets this weekend too.   They were just born 4 days ago so it’ll be a bit before we get them.  I love this time of year and just love our life. 🙂

Have a great day!

Till Next Time,


What’s Cooking 4/6/16?

It’s been a little over a week now I’ve been weaning off the Omeprazole and honestly the first few days I thought it was going to be a walk in the park.  I even mentioned to the Z Man that I wasn’t having any problems and I wanted to “hurry up” the weaning process.  Patience is not one of my strong points.   I’m glad I didn’t rush it because I began to feel the effects of lowering the Omeprazole dosage after about 4 days into the process.   It makes sense that while lowering the dosage, the first few days would have remnants of the higher dosage still in my system.   It was on Wednesday of last week when  I began to feel a little burning and a little reflux, but it wasn’t too bad at all and it wasn’t continuous.

When I felt a little discomfort I chewed one of my Slippery Elm lozenges which made it very manageable.


Here is a little information on Slippery Elm…

What is Slippery Elm?
The slippery elm tree is native to eastern Canada and eastern and central US, where it is found most commonly in the Appalachian mountains. The trunk is reddish brown with gray-white bark on the branches. In the spring, dark brown floral buds appear and open into small, clustered flowers at the branch tips. White elm (U. americana) is a related species used in a similar manner.

What is it used for?

North American Indians and early settlers used the inner bark of the slippery elm not only to build canoes, shelter, and baskets, but as a poultice or as a soothing drink. Upon contact with water, the inner bark, collected in spring, yields a thick mucilage or demulcent that was used as an ointment or salve to treat urinary tract inflammation and was applied topically for cold sores and boils. A decoction of the leaves was used as a poultice to remove discoloration around blackened or bruised eyes. Surgeons during the American Revolution treated gun-shot wounds in this manner. Early settlers boiled bear fat with the bark to prevent rancidity. Late in the 19th century, a preparation of elm mucilage was officially recognized in the United States Pharmacopoeia.

Slippery elm prepared as a poultice coats and protects irritated tissues such as skin or intestinal membranes. The powdered bark has been used in this manner for local application to treat gout, rheumatism, cold sores, wounds, abscesses, ulcers, and toothaches. The tannins present are known to possess astringent actions. It also has been known to “draw out” toxins, boils, splinters, or other irritants.
Powdered bark is incorporated into lozenges to provide demulcent action (soothing to mucous membranes) in the treatment of throat irritation. It also is used for its emollient and antitussive actions, to treat bronchitis and other lung afflictions, and to relieve thirst.

When slippery elm preparations are taken internally, they cause reflex stimulation of nerve endings in the GI tract, leading to mucus secretion. This may be the reason they are effective for protection against stomach ulcers, colitis, diverticulitis, gut inflammation, and acidity. Slippery elm also is useful for diarrhea, constipation, hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome, and to expel tapeworms. It also has been used to treat cystitis and urinary inflammations.

I have noticed some foods that triggered some discomfort.  Raw onions, cooked and raw cabbage, bananas, and raw green peppers.  No big deal, as these foods, for me won’t be difficult to manage.  Actually, it gives me a reason to not feel guilty about really not liking bananas.  Hand count, who out there honestly really likes bananas?

This week I begin a week of a little lower dosage, and it will be very important to maintain a meal plan, and portion control, otherwise I know I’ll have some discomfort.  I do expect some discomfort, but what I don’t want to do is to cause more damage to my esophagus and stomach lining in the process.

During the summer months I work longer hours and six days a week at my “job” which makes it difficult to get a lot of other stuff done.  I get especially busy when it’s time to harvest and “put up” the gardens.  I’m hoping to use the blog as a tool for meal planning, a food diary, and hopefully a tool for my grocery budget.  We’ll see how it all plays out as it goes along.  That’s the idea behind “What’s Cooking”

So, What’s Cooking 4/6/16?

Breakfast:  overnight oats – oats soaked in milk with a few walnuts, dried cranberries, drizzle of maple syrup and a sprinkle of cinnamon.


Lunch: leftover vegetable stir fry from dinner last night.

Dinner: chili and cornbread

What’s cooking for you today?

Till Next Time,



The Right Tool For The Job

Last week I was whining about being a frugal fraud because I had made quite a few purchases lately.  And I do need to rein it in and focus more on making do instead of adding to cart.  But one of the purchases I made was a meat slicer, and I’ll now be adding that tool to my list of must haves on the homestead.




I had reservations about buying a meat slicer and bringing another appliance into the house, but I’m so glad I did.

We raise our own pork, which means we also process and smoke our own bacon.  However, no matter how hard I tried I could not slice the bacon thin enough and consistent enough to get the texture of bacon.  I mean come on, one of the best parts of raising and processing your own pork is the bacon.  I was meticulous about processing and curing the bacon, so why would I not be meticulous about the finished product?  I don’t know.

What I do know is that now I have a lot of perfectly sliced bacon packaged and in the freezer just waiting for us anytime we want it.  Bacon that is homegrown and free of nitrates, steroids and antibiotics…  the best bacon I’ve ever eaten.

Having the right tool for the job can make the difference between good and great, and it can make the job a lot easier.

Till Next Time,