Monday, September 1, 2014

Canning, yes in an RV

We've been learning about and doing a lot of canning this summer.  Yes, the RV kitchen is plenty big enough (although I definitely may run the kids out politely ask the kids to go outside). Allen and the kids picked a ton of blackberries all over the mountain.  I lost count somewhere around 60 gallons I think.  So we have a LOT of blackberry jam and jelly, but we saved some in the freezer for pies later on too.  We also tried watermelon jelly, fruit roll-ups in the dehydrator, then popsicles with the leftover juice. And peach butter, jelly, and cobbler.  And cucumber jelly, which is so weird, but super good on ham.  It's been quite a learning process, and mostly yummy!
I mainly used the induction burner, but used the propane one to keep the canner water hot sometimes. It was a small enough operation where I could switch pots back and forth on that one burner. We now have a stove outside that I can use, and I will, once it's not 100° outside.  The idea was to keep the heat out of the RV, but I kinda prefer the air conditioning of the RV to the ridiculously hot heat outside. 
Allen did some juicing for me with a juicer he found at a thrift store, which made things much easier!  He recruited Lizzy to help, who in turn recruited her friend to help.  :)  It's mainly needed to keep the chickens away.
Easy storage in the RV for 100 jars of jelly? Yeah, we haven't tackled that one yet. We just have jelly everywhere. That's a problem for another day. I don't know if they'll last long enough for it to matter anyway!

Hearts, love

Because we're not redneck enough, Allen put the goats out front today.  They are handy (and cute) weed eaters for sure. They do a better job than Josh or Matt with the weed eater!  
The cat climbed the tree, then attacked Lily, who was bored of the dumb cat's goat-slapping game. They're all tired of that game, except for the cat! 
So she finally took a nap, with the chickens. 
Matt just hanging with Lily. 
Look what we discovered under Lucy's chin today. So sweet!  ♥ 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Bubba the chicken duck

Bubba decided to be a duck today and refused to get out of the wagon full of water.  I was gone, and Lizzy knew I would have pics, so she took these.  Good call!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Crazy cat, yummy dinner

Walker Kitty found a squirrel tail. Best cat toy ever apparently!  She threw it around and attacked for hours. 
Dinner wasn't all homemade. Sadly, we're out of lettuce and our tomatoes haven't produced yet.  We did grow the onions at least.  
The jalapenos are ours and I made jalapeno poppers for the first time. They turned out pretty good! 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Josh's bow, garden, chicks

Josh has been working hard and saving up for this Matthews Mission Craze compound bow.  We spent a few (four) hours at an archery shop looking and learning (though Lizzy and I were just killing time). 
One fun part during the long wait, we went to McDonalds (I know, it was ew). Lizzy and I quietly tried to guess what the boys and Allen would want (since we left them at the archery shop), then finally stepped up and ordered 10 sandwiches. The (cute/young) guy said wow, you two must be really hungry. I said oh no, I had a salad, these are all for her. Lizzy then died of embarrassment.
Allen and I have a contest going. He's using well, natural fertilizer (ew). But mine came up first! Of course he thinks his will grow faster. We'll see.

Our first cantaloupe was great! 
The littlest chicks are getting bigger and you can just about see which ones are going to cause trouble.

Friday, August 22, 2014

It's a Jiffy Puff miracle!

Walker Kitty doesn't look so comfy, but she stayed here until Lizzy couldn't stand it anymore. )
Our neighbor stopped to visit, while the chickens examined the crime scene from yesterday's freezer camp. 
Not just Walker Kitty this time, all the animals were napping in the shade on this hot day.
We were really sad one evening at chicken count because Jiffy Puff turned up missing.  This has been Matt's favorite chicken and the one that walks around wanting to be petted like a dog. We hoped he would turn up the next day like Bubba did, but no Jiffy Puff.  But two days later, Matt happened to feed the cat in a toolbox and found him in there!  And still alive even.  It's amazing because it's inside the barn and the days were over 100°!  No water, but possibly a little catfood held him over.  He was stiff and slow for a little bit, but after a long drink of water, he was just fine.  Matt was especially happy! 
Here's the toolbox, just big enough for one.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Grocery University sale!

This Grocery University course is going on sale today!  It's a downloadable audio course with a workbook and price database too. All the info I've been working on gathering independently... done. :)
It comes from MoneySavingMom.com so I'm excited about it and know it will include great info.  A money-back guarantee helps too!  Click if you'd like to know more



This is an affiliate link because I like to share great finds and I also like to get a few cents if you'll be clicking anyway. Thanks! 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Lundy Mountain

The Google maps satellite finally flew over the mountain.  They didn't give us a heads up or we would have picked up a little!  The truck is out front with lumber in the back and we were still working on the back of the barn. As usual, the laundry is hanging on the line, so this means... you can see our underwear - from space!  Our life is complete.  :) 
The land to the right is all wooded, and a steep hill.  At the intersection, the top road goes down to the lake (4-wheelers only).  The other two roads go to two other mountains and the very few neighbors on those.  And all around this is public lands, so lots of hunting and exploring. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Hummingbirds

We also have a bunch of hummingbirds on the farm, although we don't think they'd make a good meal. :)  There's a cool yellow one that I can't seem to catch with the camera, yet.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Best Matt story, so far!

Here is a sneak peek of some chapter of my future book of our shenanigans. The best Matt story ever told. Though I doubt it will hold that honor for very long...
Allen and Matt went out squirrel hunting today. Allen dropped Matt off in one spot and went to another. He told Matt to be ready when he heard the ATV coming back. Since this is Lundy Mountain, they were obviously not going to run into anyone else. So Matt headed into the woods and pulled out his stool and gun to watch and wait. After a while he noticed a chigger on his arm, then another, then a few more. He looked down and realized his pants were covered! He pulled up his pants legs to find more. He lifted his shirt and they were all over him. Chiggers everywhere! So he ran like crazy back to the road, shedding his clothes as he went. Fortunately, right then he heard the ATV, so he knew help was coming.
Imagine his surprise as he stood there, in his undies, as an older couple on ATVs drove by, laughing. Imagine their surprise, as they were driving down a road where they were obviously not going to run into anyone else, as they passed a cute young blond haired boy, with a gun, waving politely at them, in his underwear! They could be at the police station right now filing a report about a wild child who lives in the mountains alone, surviving on squirrels! Hopefully, as it usually is here in these mountains, they’re somewhere assuming the best, telling a crazy tale of a half-naked boy in the woods!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Food, animals, the usual

Mmmmm... peach butter.
After trying some of our neighbor's watermelon jelly, we had to try that!  We made jelly, fruit roll-ups, and popsicles. 
"Little" Marcus Luttrell is getting awfully big! 
 The goats have their back pen cleared about head high. They love the highest leaves best.
Lizzy set the laundry basket down, just for a minute, and found Walker Kitty sound asleep. 
Chick Norris knows there's a little cat food in this tool box and he's trying to get in. 
After being gone overnight, Bubba showed up the next day! 
The cat's still eating with her fellow chickens. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Our mountaintop classroom

For the Not Back-to-School Blog Hop, people are sharing their homeschool classrooms, so I thought we'd join in.  But how do I share it?!  Our RVstead is our classroom.  The whole country was our classroom when we were roadschooling!  So right now as we're RVsteading, it's the farm.  Since we (parents included!) are unschooling, life learning, farming, homesteading, actually RVsteading students, we're all learning the hard way how to live off the land here on the top of Lundy Mountain in Arkansas.  So our learning doesn't really happen in a class room (which is convenient since we live in an RV!), it's more like on a mountain top. 
We all helped build the barn and animal pens.
 
Learning how to raise baby goats has been adorably fun.
There are now animals everywhere! 
Putting in a garden in rock was quite challenging. 
Enjoying the fruits (and veggies) of our labor is pretty nice though. 
 
We're preparing a greenhouse for later on. 
Allen and the boys love providing fish from the lake for the family. 
We're learning how best to prepare our fresh chickens. This was Fred the rooster. :)
 
Some of us the chicken and rabbit eating dog! had to learn which animals we're not allowed to eat! 
 
It's so fun to watch the kids and animals enjoying the land. 
The cat still needs to learn that she's not a chicken. 
We've learned much about the birthing process. What an education, shew.
Washing clothes has been a really not fun chore, but now we have a washing machine to make it easier. We still use the free sun for drying.
It's really a beautiful classroom. 
 We sure enjoy it and are learning a LOT in our mountaintop classroom! 
http://www.ihomeschoolnetwork.com/6th-annual-not-back-to-school-blog-hop-school-room-week/