I can't believe that it has been almost four years since I have added to my homesteading blog. How the (my) world changed in that time. I stopped blogging when I took a new job that I had to be at work by 4:30 in the morning and working every day of the week without a consistant day off. I just was not able to keep up with everything on the homestead, the job and the blog.

This is my attempt to get back to the mission of documenting the seasons on the homestead.

So, some of the major things that have changed for myself and my family in the last four years. I now have a Monday-Friday regular hour job, well almost. We are doing overtime right now but at least it is only 10 hours per day.

I am also a grandmother two times over. I have a two year old grandson and a brand new granddaughter. Expect that you will hear more about these two special people in our lives.

All of you are certainly aware of the changes that Covid 19 has brought about over the last year. Both my husband and I are considered essential workers so except for wearing masks, screening to enter work and such we both have worked right through the pandemic. Praise the Lord that we did not have to try to make heads or tails of the unemployment benefits during this time.

Not a lot has changed on the homestead because of the pandemic. The changes come more because both my husband and I are getting a few years older and although we never thought we would move our grandchildren live out of state. Because of that in a few years when we are able to retire we will relocate to their state, Texas. It is exciting and daunting at the same time. We have become very established here in Maine and build our homestead over the 30 years we have lived here. The thought of beginning again is fun.

There are a lot of things that we did here in Maine that we will not be able to do in Texas due to the environment. I am used to growing a garden in zone 4 and that will be so different in the Lone Star State. Hopefully what we learned here we will be able to use and improve on when we chose our new homestead.

We have continued to raise laying chickens and broilers. However this year we will not raise any meat birds. We have also not raised any pigs in a couple of years. Turkey raising stopped about 3 years ago when our butcher went out of business. It was not practical for us to butcher these large birds ourselves during the freezing late part of November here in Maine. We have cut back on the meat production due to the huge amount of meat that we currently have in our freezers. Our goal is to use up as much as possible before the move to Texas.

With all the changed in the world it has gotten so important that everyone be prepared to at lease raise part of their own food. While we take the next few years to prepare for our move we will also be focusing greatly on being able to be more sustainable for ourselves. Come back and join us in this journey.



I know it has been a very long time since I've written.  Sometimes that happens in life.  Circumstances change in our lives that don't allow us to keep up with some things, this blog being one for me.

I thought I would just give you a quick "hi" and update from the homestead.  The biggest event for our family this summer has been the marriage of our son.  We have been so blessed with a wonderful daughter in law.  We spent a great week in Dallas, TX with family and new friends.

Spring chicks

Meanwhile on the homestead, early summer was marked by the arrival of our first batch of baby chicks.  These are our broilers at about two weeks old.  They were put out on grass and butchered at 12 weeks old.  Our new batch of hens arrived with these in April and this year are Buff Orpingtons.  The second batch of chicks arrived in early August after returning from the wedding.  This shipment included a second batch of Red Ranger broilers and our turkeys.

This is a year for raising pigs.  We only do it every two years because as I have mentioned before pigs do much better when there are two or more.  Since we can only consume about one per year we raise a couple every two years.  This year we have three we are raising.


Three not so little pigs

I did not have time to plant a full scale garden this year but did a few peppers and tomatoes in the greenhouse as well as some squash in a pot by the front porch. This is the first year we actually have fruit on one of our apple trees, we are so excited about this.  Our pear tree is doing amazing and I am going to have to thin the fruit in order to keep the branches from breaking.  The pigs will enjoy the thinned fruit as a treat.


Our first apples

Abundant pears

I can't wait to harvest and can these pears.  They sure taste good in the dead of winter along with apple sauce and pork chops!!

One other blessing on the homestead is that we discovered some Lady Slippers on the property.  We are now going to take much care around that area in hopes that they will return for us to enjoy again next year.

Lady Slipper

A funny site would have been seen if you would have arrived at our homestead on the day of the eclipse.  Because we are so far north we only has a little over 50% coverage so it was not really noticeable as far as it getting dark.  So out in our driveway was myself, my husband and my dear mother in law passing around the two welding helmets that we have watching the eclipse.  God's creation is absolutely amazing.

I hope this summer has been a blessing for you and your family as it has been for mine.  Enjoy the fall and I hope I can get back with you soon.




French Toast Bake

I was looking in my bread box and realized that I had bits and pieces of different breads that would only be suitable as chicken food in a day or two.  What could I make to use them up?  I looked through a couple of my cookbooks and found a recipe for Baked French Toast in The Pioneer Woman Cooks A Year of Holidays.  As usual I adapted the recipe to what I had available.  So what I had was leftover heals, a couple of hamburger buns and I think even a little bit of corn bread I had made to go with some pea soup we had.  Every time you make this it will be a little bit different because of the breads you use and the additional things you decide to add.

Let me state that you need to make this ahead of time, preferably the night before. The bread needs time to soak up all the yummy egg and milk mixture before it is baked.  This is great if you are having company or need to get out of the house for some reason in the morning.  You just pull the bake out of the refrigerator and bake it while you are doing other things.

First you will tear all your leftover bread into bite size chunks.  If you want to be fancy you can cut them but I like the more rustic look of the torn bread.  Chose a baking dish that will hold all of the bread.  The recipe works best for a 13 x 9 inch dish so make sure you have enough bread to fill it.

Torn bread

As you can see from the picture I have added things to my bread but that is purely optional.  Here I have added dried cranberries and some chopped pecans.  Diced apples, raisins, chopped walnuts, or just about anything that your family likes work well as additions to this dish.

Next you will want to make the egg custard mixture.

Custard mixture

This is where I referred to Ree's recipe for the ratios on the milk and eggs.  As the note implies you are making a sort of custard mixture with eggs, milk, sugar and vanilla.  I have also added cinnamon and nutmeg to my mixture because that is the traditional french toast flavors for my family.

Soaking up

Once the custard mix is poured over the bread mix the whole thing needs to be refrigerated, as I said, preferably overnight.  Make sure to cover it for this part.

Here is the full recipe as I made it this time.  Like I said it is different every time I make it.  It is also really good with blueberries in the bread and blueberry syrup over the top to serve.

French Toast Bake


  • 1 Loaf or leftover pieces of bread (firmer varieties work better but any is good)
  • 8 Eggs (farm fresh are best)
  • 2 1/2 Cups whole milk
  • 1/2 Cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons vanilla
  • 1 Teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon nutmeg
  • Additional dried or fresh fruit and nuts to taste


  1. Tear bread into chunks into a bowl. Add any additions of fruit, nuts etc to the bread. Gently fold together so you don't break up the bread pieces. Put pieces into well buttered 13 x 9 inch baking dish.
  2. In a bowl put the eggs, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. Whisk very well until everything is incorporated. Gently pour over bread in baking dish.
  3. Cover baking dish and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours but better if overnight.
  4. When ready to bake remove baking dish from refrigerator and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes to one hour. The longer you bake it the crispier it will get.
  5. Serve with butter and warmed maple syrup. You might also like to serve with a fruit syrup if your family enjoys that. It is nice to have some sausage, ham or bacon as a side.

I hope you enjoy this little taste of heaven using some of your "going stale" bread. There is not a picture of this baked because the house smells so good when it is baking that I couldn't keep from diving into it.







May 17, 1986
May 17, 1986

I know I haven't posted in a little while.  My husband and I were so blessed to be able to take a cruise to celebrate our 30th anniversary so we were away for awhile. I can't believe that we have been married for 30 years.  I cannot even tell you how wonderful those years have been.  There is nothing like being married to your best friend.  That is not to say that we haven't had our challenging times but with the Lord's help we have always come through them stronger as a couple and I am so grateful for that.  I cannot imagine my life without this wonderful man in it.

So now that you have had a little laugh at the "80s" wedding picture.  It was windy that day and my poor hubby was suffering something terrible from his allergies.  He really wan't crying about marrying me.


My husband planned the entire trip just as he did for our 25th.  We visited the British Virgin Island of Tortola which was very rustic.  They are just beginning to welcome cruise ships there.  The people are wonderful and we got to ride to the top of their highest peak (1700') then hike for a mile around the top.

Then we spent a day at St Thomas and St John which are American Virgin Islands. Here are some fun facts.  In Tortola they drive on the left side of the road but the currency is the American dollar.  In St Thomas and St John they also drive on the left side of the road even though they are American territories.  There is only about a distance of 20 miles or so between Tortola and St Thomas/St John so they are more related to each other than the countries who they are territories of.

After we arrived at St Thomas we took a boat over to St John to explore there.  The island was known for it's sugar production.  We visit one of the old processing plants where slaves were used to cut and work the sugar cane.

The tall structure in the last picture was a windmill.  The top is gone now but when the wind blew it turned the crusher to get the juice out of the sugar cane.  If the wind wan't blowing they used donkeys.  There are now feral donkeys running around the island that have come from the days of using them for the sugar cane.


Feral Donkey
Feral Donkey

When we got back to St Thomas we had a couple of hours before we had to be back to the ship.  They have a sky tram so we decided it would be fun to ride that.  It gave us a great view from the top.  There were a few little shops so we bought a couple of "island" things to bring home.

Finally we stopped for the day at Disney's Private island, yes we took a Disney cruise, Castaway Cay.  We rented bicycles and peddled all over the island.  It is amazing how blue the water is in the Bahamas.

Castaway Cay
Castaway Cay

The great thing about Disney is that although you think of kids when you think of them they do a lot for adults as well.  There is a whole section of their ships that are for 18 and older so if you don't want to be where the kids are you don't have to be. The same thing applies to their island.  We were on the adult side where they have a beautiful beach and this is what came walking up the white sand.


Yes, that is Jack Sparrow.  The guy in white had to keep him from getting too out of hand.  He was totally in character which was fun.  He teased people, pushed them in their hammocks and rolled an inner tube down the beach.  It was a really relaxing day.

When we got back to our stateroom our hostess had decorated for our celebration.


Those are even real rose petals.

We were very blessed to have a young lady be able to stay at the homestead and take care of the chickens,dogs and cat so that we were able to take this memorable trip.

Homesteading takes a lot of time and effort but sometimes you just have to take a little time away.



My wish for you and your family
My wish for you and your family

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Well, I don't see any better way to say it than with these pictures.  I just went around my house and took these pictures.  Until I started looking I didn't even realize how many Merry Christmases I had.  It is a wonderful way to feel.

I thought I would give you just a quick recipe for a treat that you can make for your family gathering, office party or even just to have with a nice cup of tea or coffee on a cool winter evening.

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There are many different versions depending on what type of Hersey Kisses you use but, in my opinion, any would be fantastic.

I started with the regular milk chocolate kisses and my fantastic husband unwrapped all of them one afternoon when he took a break from the work he was doing around the house.

Pretzel and M & M Kisses Christmas Style

You will find that it will take less time for the kisses to get soft if you are using a variety with white chocolate in it. Also these would be great for any time of the year using the regular colorful M & M candies. Use your imagination and have fun.


  • 1 bag Hersey Kisses any flavor without anything in the center
  • 1 bag Christmas M & Ms
  • 1 bag Snyder's pretzel snaps, the small regular pretzels work well too


  1. Unwrap the Kisses and place in a bowl.
  2. Pour the M & Ms into a bowl
  3. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees
  4. Place the pretzels onto a baking sheet. Place parchment under if desired but I don't use it.
  5. Place a Kiss on top of each pretzel
  6. Put baking sheet into oven for 4-5 minutes. You want the kisses to be soft but not lose their shape. At four minutes I attempt to add a M & M to one of the corner pretzel/kiss to see if it can be gently pushed into the chocolate. Put the tray back in for one more minute if you feel hardness still in the middle of the kiss.
  7. When soft pull the tray out and working quickly place one M & M one each kiss and gently push it into the chocolate.
  8. After let the tray cool. I do that at room temperature but if you want to speed things up you can put the tray in the fridge. I just never have that much extra room in mine.
  9. After cool store in a air tight container.


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May this season of celebrating the birth of our Savior the Lord Jesus Christ be filled with blessings for you and your family.  Remember there is nothing more important in this world than to spend time with those that you love and love you.  It is not about what might be under the tree but about who you are sharing those gifts with.  Smile, sing, hug, eat and love.

I wish you all many Christmas Blessings.