Life on a little urban homestead in the making, with ideas for self-sufficiency, food preservation, thrifting, cookery,
gardening, crafts, vintage stuff, and more...

Mar 26, 2015

Road Trip! Big Thrifting, Ikea Trip, Mini-Greenhouse

Heading into Eastern Oregon near Baker, not much snow!

Road Trip!
It was Spring break this week for me, so Dave took the week off too. We went to Portland, Oregon this Sunday and got back last night. Dave has a relative who's very ill, the main reason we went. We also both needed a break! The weather wasn't too bad, rain off and on. We saw some sights, discovered a few new eat out spots, and drove down memory lane. Our one daughter traveled ahead of us, and then we met up mid-trip and had some fun time together. We visited the amazingly beautiful Veteran's cemetery, where both our parents, and my Grandparents, are buried. Both my parents were in the Navy in WWII, and my beloved Grandfather served in the Army Air Corp in WWI, and the Army in WWII. It was really peaceful there.

Sadly Portland has MUCH more traffic than when we moved here 15+ years ago. There are sea lions in the Columbia river now which separates Washington from Oregon. We had lunch out at a place that overlooks the river with Dave's brother. He mentioned that the sea lions that eat a lot of the salmon, not so great. When I saw big black heads I knew what they were. Odd, but that happened after we left. They used to be in the ocean. They've migrated inland. One of our daughters babysat our cat and the chickens, worked great. While I enjoyed the trip, I was glad to get home to my own bed. I was so tired by 3 pm today from running errands I laid down to take a nap. Dave was banging around a lot so I got back up, never a dull moment! It's 65 today, 75 forecast for tomorrow, so we'll try and get a lot done out outside the next 3 days before the work week starts again. Dave's currently blasting out the gutters. Yummy :) Here's some shots from the trip...

Going over the Columbia into Washington

View from brother-in-laws home

Columbia river in the distance

Getting into Portland

Union Station train depot, gorgeous!

Love the ceilings!

Sea lions out there...

The former Governor's mansion?

Multnomah Falls- 


Visitor's center



Big suncatcher

Big Thrifting-
I asked Dave (more told him) that we HAD to go to the Goodwill Superstore in Portland. I think it's the largest on the West coast (or used to be). It's HUGE! I found some fun things, and scored a beautiful coat. I found an Italian-made ceramic Olive oil bottle (new sticker marked $25.00) for $2.99, a sun catcher, same price. My BIG score was a JJill plum corduroy coat (lined) marked $20.00 but was 1/2 off. Like new, knee length, fitted waist, with big buttons. Really cute!

Is that a chicken I spy???

 From Ikea.com
Ikea Trip-
We had to make our road trip Ikea pilgrimage! My daughter had never been there before and loved it! Since we had broken 2 small plates and 1 bowl of our set I bought there, time to re-stock. Luckily they had "open stock" and we bought our replacements, and 1 more set (for 6). Our extended family is growing for holidays, etc. so we also bought another set of flatware too. They have so much cool stuff! I bought a new comforter cover, a blue ticking fabric. I learned the hard way their duvet covers run a bit small, but a King sized worked perfect for our thick Queen set. Great deal, better than anywhere else-


Also got some foods, organic pear cider (OMG it's good!), glass containers for food storage, bath mat, some small vases, and bird curtains (above) for our bedroom. I'll be painting it soon and we'll ditch the venetian blinds, cheap and a pain to clean. I LOVE the fabric! At $14.99 I can't buy fabric that cheap to make my own. While I enjoy sewing curtains are a pain. We'll buy a small rod and hang them inside the insulated curtains for privacy and to let light in. It's the start of a bedroom makeover:) Waiting til summer for that!


Mini-Greenhouse-
We had thought about buying a small greenhouse, but decided on something smaller with my idea of using it to start seeds. I did some online research and we found the above at Home Depot, $35.00. I'll tie wrap the shelves for better stability, and I'll find some scrap wood to put underneath to keep it warmer at night. It's a good size for us, and will be easy to store inside in the winter. I bought a bunch of seeds and some starter trays. I have some other random ones I can use and potting soil. I may set it out in the garden and tie it down for the wind, or put on our deck. Might be more stable there. I'm trying to buy less plants at the store AND get a head start on the growing season, so I think this will fit the bill! I'll be more self sufficient and will start saving more seeds...

Mar 20, 2015

Happy Spring!!!



Happy Spring!!!-
The birds are singing, the grass is green, the trees and shrubs are budding! And my neighbor has his windows open and is blasting music way too loud. Happy Spring!!!





Mar 16, 2015

Independence Days Challenge, Happy St. Pat's Day!!!



Independence Days Challenge-
Here's an update of the last 2 weeks:

1. Plant Something- Too early but will start some seeds soon!

2. Harvest Something- Eggs, and more eggs!

3. Preserve/Store Something- Started some more fermented veggies, radishes and carrots with dill-



4. Manage Reserves- Get a Good Deal/Barter/Stock Up/Prep- Got good deals on more LED lights for the house. I think we'll buy this to start seeds in, finally, and a good deal! Gardman Mini-Greenhouse

I think it's a good deal for $38.00 and free shipping

 5. Eat the Food- Try New Foods/Recipe- Been eating a lot more fruits and veggies and much less wheat. I'm shrinking :)

6. Build Community Food Systems- Selling excess eggs at work.

7. Recycle/Re-Use- Made donations to thrift store. When I buy more, I donate more.

8. Skill Up- Learned some things about electrical after Dave installed 2 new dimmers this weekend.

9. Regenerate What is Lost/Salvage Something- Moved 3 rhubarb plants to a sunnier/part shade spot. More room and should grow better.


Happy St. Pat's Day!!!-
In honor of St. Patrick's Day I made an early Irish dinner last night. Corned beef and veggies. I got out my BIG vintage biscuit cutter and made big buttermilk biscuits too!!! Yummy...

Just add a grainy mustard and horseradish

I used 1/2 unbleached and 1/2 WW flour


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