Scheduling Time for an ADD Backyard Homesteader

Here I am re-writing my list
School is out for me until October 1st. Yeah, I know it seems late, but this is a late start-hybrid program.

My rental house has been sold, and Steve is at work. What shall I do with all my time? Hopefully I won’t get into too much trouble. Steve likes to say that he keeps me out of jail. He says “no” to a lot of my ideas. But that just gives me the time to research before I finally get him to say yes.

Being the ADD lady that I am, I have learned to self treat.

I hear from a lot of my backyard homesteading friends, that they believe they are ADD. They cannot seem to finish a project, their house is a mess (so they say), their kids are unruly, and dinner is fast food because they did not seem to have the time to get anything done. At the end of the day, they tell me that they ran in circles all day and have nothing to show for it.

So, I thought that I would share my self help ideas, incase it helps someone else.

I write lists and carry a notebook with me everywhere I go. The wild schemes and thoughts that I have throughout the day go into this notebook. It is later transcribed into my list of goals. This list of goals includes everything from scheduling time for personal care, to future farm project research. Though I am a pen and paper girl, I am learning to put my goals on the desktop. I hyper focus on that list, so that I do not stay distracted for too long.

After visiting my animals, feeding and milking my goats; I spend one hour in the garden. This is done before the drip system comes on. This time also doubles as prayer time for me. Not that I am trying to multitask my communion with God, it is just natural to give Him the glory for this garden that I love so much. I pull weeds, move compost around, inspect leaves for insect damage and sing to the plants that need encouraged (don’t judge).

After that, I limit myself to one hour on the computer to organize my Facebook and blog; I honestly do not know how others spend all day in that chair and get anything else done. Being ADD, I have very little patience for sitting.

I then dedicate an hour to cleaning my house.

During the lull of the afternoon, I spend an hour at the gym (well almost every day). This is a big help for all the pent up energy that I have left over from sitting at the computer for that hour.

I tick away at that life controlling list that I love-in between all these other things.

I have talked about eating elephants. I know that if I work a little at a time on each project, it will eventually get done. I no longer stress about unfinished projects, as long as I can see the progress being made. I do however celebrate a completed task. I love any reason to celebrate.

You all might have much more to do than I have. I no longer have children living at home. But I developed this treatment as a single mom, working full time and keeping a year round backyard “farm”, even before it was in vogue to do so. Ask my kids, they remember the list(s). It kept me sane. (Well, Steve might have something to say about that!)

About an hour before Steve gets home, I start dinner, take a shower and am playing on the computer when he arrives. I am ready to hear about his day and share mine with him. Though he is curious about what I have been up to, he is half afraid to actually hear about it.

 

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Miss Abigal says: Teach the Kids to Plan a Square Foot Garden For the Fall.

Square Foot Gardening

Square Foot Gardening

Ms. Donna plants intensively in our backyard. But as I have watched her, I realize that the best way to teach your chick(s) to garden would be to use the Square Foot Method. You moms are probably very familiar with it. It seems that almost every garden blog has a post or two explaining this idea. But have you thought about teaching it to your offspring?

This quick lesson can help you teach art skills, math skills and is something that will stay with your chick for years. Hopefully it will help develop their own passion for gardening and eating their vegetables.
Continue reading

Posted in Abigail says, Classes, Grandkids Growing Goodies, Miss Abigail, Teaching Kids to garden, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Garden bugs- Friends and Foes

 

Ugly things, well maybe not to a mother squash bug.

Ugly things, well maybe not to a mother squash bug.

My friends who are learning to garden ask lots of questions. Yay! They want to learn. I love it!

One question that keeps coming up this time of year is “what kind of bug is this, should I squish it?”

Sometimes the answer is “No- that is a good bug” Sometimes the answer is “yes, do it now, before it is too late!”

So I thought that I would start talking about pest identification.

The first pest that comes to my mind is the evil squash bug. Usually by the time you see it in your garden, it may be too late. I hate these bugs! They creep me out. They are little vampire bugs. They suck the juice out of the leaves and  stems.

I have dealt with these little demons quite a bit, so I will share what I do.

First, the season prior to planting squashes,  cucumbers or melons; I plant onions, scallions, shallots or garlic. Those plants seem to send any squash bugs running for the hills.

Second, after planting the squashes, cucumbers or melons; I check the underside of the leaves every day. The day you skip or go on vacation is the day that the bugs will magically appear.

One second, they are eggs and the next second they are just creepy.

One second, they are eggs and the next second they are just creepy.

The eggs will be found on the underside of the leaves. If you see the eggs, squish them immediately! Once while I was looking at the eggs, they all hatched at the same time in front of my eyes. It looked like a science fiction movie. I had nightmares for a week.

If you are unlucky enough to spot some adults, put some onions in the blender with water and dose everything! They will run.

You can lay down cardboard in the evening, at the base of your plant and under the vines. The bugs will hide under there at night. In the early morning you can pick up the cardboard and toss it in to the chickens. What no chickens? (Then burn the cardboard!) You could use a spatula to scoop the bugs into a plastic zip top bag and seal it and then  toss it in the trash.

Lastly-

Never plant squash, cucumbers or melons in the same place two seasons in a row. You are just asking for trouble. If your garden is smallish, just skip the next year.

Here is hoping that you never have to deal with these awful things!

 

 

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Chicken in the Shower

Miss Prissy on a rest-cation

Miss Prissy on a rest-cation

 

If you come to my house and ask to use the bathroom, do not be surprised by what you may see in the shower stall. That is my chicken infirmary. If I see that a chicken is struggling, I bring her home and put her in the shower stall. The downstairs bathroom in my house is like a cave. Dark and cool. Think wine or cheese. It is also a convenient place for me to remember to check on my girl. After a day or two of cool rest, the hen is ready to go back to her daily living.
The summer months in the desert can be difficult for the chickens. It is just too hot here. The chickens also eat scorpions, they love them. But sometimes; just as in the antacid commercial, their food can bite back. The chicken gets through it all right, but it can make them sick. I just want to make them as comfortable as possible.

The shower is a great place, because once they have re-coop-erated. I can take them back to their pen, and sanitize the shower.

During this time of year, make sure that they have plenty of what I call “green shade”. The shade from a block wall is not as cool. A tree is much better.

Misters are another way to keep them cool. Be sure to clean up under it though. It can get pretty stinky.

Dishpans full of water will also give them a way to cool off. Like a dog panting, a chicken’s  legs/feet help them to self regulate.
If they do not like to stand in the water; put a brick in the dishpan. It will soak up the moisture and give them a cool place to stand.

I have a small dog igloo that I put a frozen milk container into. It cools off the little room.

Though I do not lose chickens to the heat, I have had a hen go down now and then. I believe that this time, it was scorpion related.

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Miss Abigail Says: Teach the Kids to Grow Sprouts

She is finally ready!

She is finally ready!

Miss Abigail knows that depending on the age of your child, the attention span may not be very long.

For those of us who want to instill in our children a passion for gardening, we may need a lesson that takes only minutes to work on, but has rapid results.

Here is the lesson that Miss Abigail has prepared for you. If you read the lesson out loud (with a prim, school teacher voice) you will begin to understand the character of my new friend and logo.

In July- at Abby’s Garden we do not have any fresh salad greens to harvest, so we grow sprouts in jars-in the kitchen- on the counter-where we can see them. We do not have to go outside to do it, we do not even have to get our hands dirty. Ms. Donna tells me that the sprout is the form in which the plant is the most nutritious. I do not know where she gets her information. My concern is that she merely makes it up. However; we chickens just instinctively know that sprouts are very good for us.  Continue reading

Posted in Abigail says, chicks, Classes, Grandkids Growing Goodies, Miss Abigail, Teaching Kids to garden | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

I Am Trying Out Some New Things.

I say "Blog" for now

I say “Blog” for now

I started blogging just for fun.

I was right, it is fun. I have met some wonderful new online friends through my blog and Face Book fan page. Now I am being encouraged by them to stretch myself a bit.

I am a natural networker. But it has to be fun, or I loose interest really fast. I have too much life to live and only 100 more years to do it in.

When the opportunity came up to join in on some awesome giveaways; it was really fun and I got to watch some very good people win some great products. So I will continue joining in on those.

Now I am learning to link up with other bloggers. You will know by looking at the bottom of a post and see their little thumbnail picture. That means that the post was part of their link up party. So far, I am developing some sweet relationships that way too.

I am also applying for affiliate spots with some sponsors.  I will choose wisely though. I do not wish to clutter up my page with all sorts of stuff. They will only be companies that I believe in and would use myself. But it would be nice to earn some cash to pay for seeds and animal food.

My first affiliate partnership is with U.S. Wellness Meats. You will see their button on the right side of my page. It is easy, just click on the button, do your shopping and I get a little something for my networking with you. I eat local grass fed when I can, but when I can’t, I order it. The meat is wonderful.

I will also do product review on gadgets that I use in my own home. After I let you know how they work for me, I can show you how you can order them through my Amazon store. Even if you have prime,  I will get credit.

Miss Abigail has her very first class for the kids coming up tomorrow evening so keep an eye out for that too.

If any of this stops being fun, then I will not continue, but I have a feeling that it is just gonna get better.  I welcome your comments.

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A Contract on My House in only 10 Market Days!

My little house will soon have another family take care of.

My little house will soon have another family take care of.

This is turning out to be a very sweet story.

Though the house has been on the market since July 1st, Steve and I continue to go over there a couple of times a week to water, move the trash bins out to the curb and back to the backyard. I sweep, mop and polish windows and sinks. Steve brings a tool box and walks around looking for little things that might need tweaked or tightened.

One night, we walked into the house and I saw two little hand prints on the mirror. I loved it! It looked as though a child about 3 feet tall had placed her nose and two spread out hands on the mirror. I pictured a child playing, maybe singing to herself in this big mirror in my kitchen. Steve mentioned that I should clean the prints off. I told him that I had decided not too. I felt that the house had received a blessing. They would stay, at least for now.

That night, I dreamed about a mother and a daughter dancing in my kitchen infront of the mirror. The next morning, I got a call from my realtor. There had been about 10 showings and a serious offer was made the night before. My realtor guided me through coming up with a good response to her offer. Negotiations had begun.

Speaking of dreams, my own daughter told me that she was dreaming that I had called her to have her and her handsome hero come with me to visit a farm property that we were considering buying. She was woken up by my text to her that an offer was made on our house.

The buyer accepted my counter offer and now the wait begins for us until closing. Here is the magical thing. The buyer is a single mom, with a little girl. (The prints on the mirror?) I am pretty excited about the possibility that this little house in the big city will once again have its very own single mom headed family to bless and to take care of.

This new single mom has no idea, but Steve and I will continue to go over there to maintain and keep this place spruced up to make her life easier when it comes to moving in and taking care of this home.

Soon this mother and daughter will be dancing in the kitchen in front of the big mirror, just as my kids and I used to do.

Mothers and daughters love to dance

Mothers and daughters love to dance

Posted in Journey to the farm, Uncategorized | 8 Comments