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Rekindled love affair…

For YEARS I used Dr. Bronners castille soap… for EVERYTHING. Overtime my love slowly faded and was almost a distant memory. Until….

Target had a sale on soaps giving you $5 gift cards for your purchase… and the fact that it’s becoming impossible to find household cleaners at the store lately.

Re-enter Dr. Bronners.

This all purpose cleaner is simple easy to make, and cuts grease and grime like you wouldn’t believe.

All you need is a 32 ounce spray bottle, castille soap of your choosing, baking soda and warm water!

Put four teaspoons of baking soda into the spray bottle.

Fill with 3 cups of warm water. Put the top in and shake well until the baking soda has dissolved. Remove the cap. Add two teaspoons of castille soap and replace cap.

Do not shake but gently swirl to mix.

I prefer a citrus scent for the kitchen, and lavender for the bathroom but you can choose what you want to suit you. Dr. Bronners also offers unscented if that suits your fancy.

Use like any other all purpose cleaner and enjoy a chemical, vinegar, alcohol free cleaner!

Remember when life brings the dirt and grime… keep it simple and make a DIY cleaner!!

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Crossing to the dark side…

So I have been an union worker for almost twenty years at my place of employment, and since before the pandemic I’ve been trying to get a salary position.

I know that “true” union workers find this horrifying, and quite honestly back in the day I would have as well.

Our Union is not what it once was, and over the years it’s become a disgrace. We opened contract more than once. We brought in workers with no pension, and at a lower wage. We have given up a week of excused, unpaid time; have gone to “accrued” vacation time rather than banked. I could go on and on with the losses and not have a word to say about the gains.

Disenchanted with our union is an understatement. For years I was an union steward thinking that I could make a difference, but alas I failed at that.

Seeing the end goal being getting a better wage to get us closer to a farm I started to pursue a salary position. A lot of interviews and near misses later I am standing on the brink of accepting an offer.

To go to the dark side.

I’m not ashamed of my decision, and I am not scared either. Okay that might be a bit of a fib. I’m nervous. What is there to lose at this point? Not a thing, in fact this position is a gain on multiple points. I can flex my hours, the company matches more of my 401k, more pay, I still get paid holidays and paid vacation.

I’m not seeing a down side and with this leap of faith, and soon I’ll make the deal with the devil.

Stay turned for adventures in salary pay, and the hope of getting a farm sooner. So remember dance with the devil when the song is right, and live a simple life.

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2022…

I’ve seen memes everywhere saying how horrible 2021 was… either it’s different circumstances, or location, but for us 2021 seemed pretty normal.

Oldest changed schools. Got on the wrestling team and is adjusting rather quickly. He’s a completely different kid without the stress of the other school. I’m happy for him, and know that this was the best choice for him.

With the new school comes an hour commute… which has led us to pursuing moving this year.

Which will mean a change in schools for youngest….

All in all the prospects for 2022 are looking good. More land means more animals, more garden, more work, more chores and we couldn’t be more excited about it!

If inflation has opened our eyes to anything this year it is the fact that we CAN do more for ourselves than we are currently doing. It’s not a matter of time, it’s all in the effort.

The end of this month we are looking forward to breeding our rabbits, and building a sustainable meat source for our family.

Currently I am eyeing chicken chics ready to ship this month, but am only held back by the freezing temperatures we are currently experiencing.

Deer season came to a close yesterday and we didn’t do as well as we hoped, on my part I didn’t go out enough. When oldest gets his own license and not an apprentice it’ll be easier for father and son to each bring home the proverbial bacon.

We miss our pig. Pigs are entertaining to say the least and added that little bit of cheer we all need. Impatiently awaiting spring so we can get 2 pigs this year.

Building a sustainable empire takes a lot of planning and hard work, but we’re here to do it, and look forward to teaching our boys the same path.

Happy New Year everyone! May we all fulfill our big dreams! And life a simple life.

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I miss it…

It seems like forever already that I was picking fresh green beans, lettuce and tomatoes from the garden. I miss it so much already. Can I make it to spring??!!

Add in another addition we hope to be moving next year so all of my garden plans have blown up. Sadly I still haven’t gotten garlic planted anywhere because I don’t want to leave behind beautiful pounds of garlic that the next owner may not appreciate or let go to waste.

I had intended on planting the garlic at my dad’s but every time I get a chance it rains! So I have a box of unplanted garlic that may go to waste anyways.

I ordered my 2022 seeds already for fear of another wave of pandemic sweeping through and ruining my plans of a garden all together. So the green beans, pumpkins, cucumbers, lettuces, radishes, and the like are on order. It’ll be like Christmas all over again because I don’t 100% remember everything I ordered.

I blame the coupon code and excitement of “add to cart” syndrome. I do remember there are louffa seeds in there. Round 4 maybe 6 or trying to grow these damn things. Maybe the next property will be bountiful and I can have my little vegetable storefront out of the barn.

Big dreams in a small town.

I dream of offering our spices, canned vegetables and fresh veg and in the fall pumpkins from the farm shop. How great would that be? I’m dreaming of making this my early retirement plan or at least the goal of our homesteading plan. With fresh eggs and meats available year round I can’t imagine that it’s a bad idea.

It’s good to dream.

Oh! I remembered I also ordered a bunch of herbs! Talking about our spices reminded me. Ahhhh the joys of being a stressed scatter brain.

So remember when BURPEES gives you a coupon code grab life by the horns, click add to cart as your heart desires, and always remember to live a simple life.

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Excitement

This time of year I get so excited and drive myself crazy with ideas. When the garden is done and the cold frame is slowly growing greens my mind begins to race.

You may think it’s with thoughts of gifts, schedules, gatherings and other day to day nonsense; but alas it is not. Granted my squirrel moments did start with gift ideas for family of fresh eggs, bread, and meats but officially the whirlwind came with…

The first of many seed catalogs!

What to plant, when, where and how gets me excited! As you may remember we are looking to move to a bigger farm setting and that fact changes a lot of my planting plans.

I am in luck that my parents have land and no intention of going anywhere any time soon. So the garlic got planted over there this year. I simply couldn’t risk leaving garlic behind and have the new owners let it go to waste!!!

Yesterday after listening to an “Old Fashioned on Purpose” podcast I got in a panic to order seeds for next year. Merry Christmas to me Burpees had a sale going!

The podcast also rekindled many ideas for me that I want to put into motion at the next farm. SEED SAVING! Most years I will select a little batch of seeds to save, put them away for next year only to be lost or forgotten. Ah the joys of being a scatter brain.

Today my mind is racing with dreams of the next place and what I’ll be able to do there… sell goat milk soap, goat milk, eggs, meats, candles, spices and so much more. I intend on actually being able to have a storefront and workshop at the next farm. How wonderful would it be to make homemade meads, jams and jellies, pies, bread and more for a new community!!?

My heart is pretty set on being the lady everyone goes to for fresh veg, and homemade items. What a wonderful life!

Well until I have news of our new location, and ideas to share I’ll be over here making lists and pouring over seed catalogs.

Have a great weekend!

Remember when life sends you seed catalogs and big dreams… always remember to live a simple life.

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O’Meals! Not your Pappy’s MRE

I’ve been a fan of O’Meals for quite some time. They are an amazing resource of food for all kinds of situations… snowed in, power is out, stranded with a flat for hours, hunting and fishing trips, camping I can go on and on.

There is something for everyone… vegetarians, picky kids, meat eaters, O’Meals come in a variety of flavors and meals for every meal!

Breakfast… say you’re cafeteria at work has a water main break and are closed for the day. O’Meals will save the day with maple oatmeal, or hash browns with peppers!

Lunch… in the dog house and you have to pack for yourself? Oh, the choices!!! Spaghetti, tortellini, southwest chicken, creole, PIZZA, chili you won’t mind the dog house at all when you’ve got O’Meals to save the day!

Dinner / Supper… power out? Snowed in? Don’t want to cook? Trapped at work with a super late meeting? O’Meals to the rescue!!!

Got a sweet tooth? Need a midnight snack with short turnaround time? Trapped at home with the kids and need to hideaway and have a little treat? O’Meals have brownies! Lemon cookies! S’more cookies! Be careful they’re delicious!!!

The amazing thing about O’Meals is how they work. O’Meals only require a small amount of water to cook and GET THIS… it can be toilet water, muddy water, swamp water ANY KIND of water yes, even urine, to cook! How is this possible? The water and heating element is kept COMPLETELY separate from the food! In any situation you can use ANY water source to cook up an amazing O’Meal!

Preparing for the what if O’Meals are there for you! O’Meals store for a long time, are small and compact, and taste waaaay better than your Pappy’s MREs from World War 1, 2, Korea or even Vietnam!

If you have a daughter headed to college, or even just starting to drive O’Meals are a great way to give yourself a little comfort. She gets a flat after dark, is cold and hungry… gets stuck in a snow drift… O’Meals tucked in her go bag in the trunk save the day!!

Out on a camping trip with the boys and sick of jerky and bread sammiches? O’Meals! Your buddies will be green with envy as you chow down on Beef Stew, Chili, Spaghetti, Creole Chicken… whatever you choose you’re going to be the star of the day with O’Meals in your pack!

O’Meals are so amazing I could ramble for days on them! Stock the pantry, the go bag, the backpack even the Fanny pack with O’Meals!! A Simple Farm stands by O’Meals and we use them for not only emergencies but for hunting trips as well.

Place your order today! Available on our website!!! Become a part of the O’Meals fan club!!!

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It’s that time of year!

It’s that time of year where we all struggle to give a gift with meaning. A Simple Farm has what you’re looking for!

From Flippin’ Good Spices, to loose leaf tea blends we’ve got you covered!

Send the gift of warmth with our handmade scarves! Warm and cozy to add some Oooooo La-La to your chorin’ or your everyday wear!

Available by DM, on this site (adayinthesimplelife.com, or on Etsy @ LadyReyCrafts

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The craziness we call life

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted anything of matter… it’s been the craziness we call life. Rooster and Oldest have been hunting and got a doe Sunday night. Currently they are skinning her in the garage.

I’ve been trying to take time to get out into the woods as well, and be a factor of sourcing venison for the family as well. Along with working overtime Rooster and I are just, well busy.

The last couple of days I’m baffled that the year is already almost gone. Wasn’t it just Spring, and I was happily planning the garden? The garden is done, and days are now filled with feeding rabbits, chickens, ducks and the family. All while trying to manage sanity in the brink of the holiday season.

I saw a post the other day that said something along the lines of “as an adult I now realize that the magic of Christmas as a child was actually a mother who cared so damn much”. How true is that!?

Rather than getting the kids the biggest and hottest toy of the year we favor getting them something that encourages spending time together. I will admit one year we did get them a Nintendo switch and I can say it was money well spent. We played Mario cart as a family and the boys all laughed at how bad I am at these games. In the end it created memories and laughter so it was not only a gift for them, but a gift to us.

Every year I get the boys and Rooster a special Christmas ornament that reflects something special from their year. Whether it’s sports, a new interest, or an adventure I somehow find the perfect one. They don’t really go crazy over them, but when they are older and hanging that ornament on their tree it’ll spark a memory. That is the purpose, and the reason for the season.

Since we are a split family we don’t always get to enjoy waking up together on Christmas morning. It sucks, but we work around it. On the last day that we are all together before Christmas we give the boys silly pajamas, a silly board game, and snacks. We get in our Christmas Jammies and play the silly games and eat snacks which is usually followed by a Christmas movie. These are the nights I treasure. Our little family laughing together, and in those moments the arguments over toothpaste in the sink, milk left out to sour, and other piddly thinks are forgotten. In those moments we are together, happy, healthy, and enjoying each others company.

As a child I was blessed with an uncle who held the key to the magic of Christmas. Sadly after his passing everyone felt the magic die along with him. “Unc” is an inspiration to me and how I want our boys to enjoy Christmas. As the boys get older it saddens me that more and more they loose the magic. Although the magic may fade they do enjoy spreading holiday cheer.

Our holiday cheer began on Christmas Eve when we moved out to the sticks. We made a ridiculous amount of cookies, put them in pretty tins, and delivered them to neighbors unseen. The first year it was Rooster and myself as the boys weren’t home. I remember I was wearing those silly reindeer antlers that make your head hurt and a truly hideous Christmas sweater… Rooster would pull up the drive, and I dashed out rang the bell and ran back to the car. Met all the neighborhood dogs that night.

I believe it was last year that both of the boys were home on Christmas Eve and they were the ones running to the door wearing elf hats, and giggling the whole time. Another memory for when they’re old, hey remember that time mom made us run to the door with cookies and those stupid elf hats? Remember that HUGE German Shepherd??!!

That is what we all remember about the holidays. The laughter we shared. In some cases the tears shed; so I can explain that last part. One year, I was probably 12, my mother told my family that I love cats. Truth be known I loathe cats, and I’m allergic to them. So Christmas Eve rolls around and we are at the family Christmas gathering. Everyone is exchanging gifts and it comes time to open mine from Grandpa…

It was the most god awful ugly Christmas sweater covered in cats. Keep in mind this is circa 1990-something and Christmas sweaters hadn’t really become a thing yet. I of course said thank you, but at home my dad draped the sweater over me and took my picture. We all laughed but I eventually cried.

Our Christmases aren’t exactly the tales that The Christmas Story we’re made of, but they are out stories and they are treasured just the same.

So remember when life hands you an ugly sweater covered in cats… live a simple life and laugh until you cry.

Happy Holiday Season from everyone here at A Simple Farm and have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

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Pressure…

The pressure is on as deer rifle season is coming to a close. The freezer is in desperate need of more venison. The only thing left is probably 8 pounds from the doe oldest got during youth weekend.

That being said I am headed out to the woods tomorrow for an evening hunt. My license allows me either three does, or two does and one buck. At this point I don’t even care as long as it doesn’t have spots.

I’m not desperate but I feel the pressure to help fill the freezer. This is only the second year I’m out to help, but to be fair this is the second year any of us have been out to fill the freezer.

With the pressure to fill the freezer I feel like it’s an even bigger pressure to find land of our own. Currently we rely on public land, and I on my dad’s private land. Dads land I feel guilty for hunting because my brother and nephew also hunt there, but this being the first year hunting on my own I feel better knowing my dad is a stone throws away.

Wish us all luck tomorrow… oldest and rooster are doing a 12 hour shift while I only plan on a three hour shift as youngest doesn’t seem too willing to sit out for a deer. So win win he spends time with memaw and papaw and I search for meat for the freezer.