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Jump Rope Songs and Rhymes

One of my first memories of singing jump rope songs were in elementary school jumping rope to “Down in the valley where the green grass grows there sat Tracy sweet as a rose…” 

What I also remember is my white knee high socks falling down and being so mad at them I took them off and jumped rope in my bare feet.  When recess was over, I got in trouble for taking my shoes off and got a note sent home to my mother. Oh…the simple days of jumping rope and recess!

This past weekend I had my granddaughters, and I was trying to teach them to play jump-rope.  I was also teaching them some of those old-time favorite jumping songs.  I had to look a few of them up, but they came right back to me, and it took me back to 1970. 

I sure hope the young girls of today find as much joy in a simple game of jump rope as I did was when I was a child.  If you have little ones in your life, please take a moment to teach them some of these old fashion jump rope songs, you will be making wonderful memories for them!

Johnny gave me apples,
Johnny gave me pears.
Johnny gave me fifty cents
To kiss him on the stairs.
I gave him back his apples,
I gave him back his pears.
I gave him back his fifty cents
And kicked him down the stairs.

Laura and David
Sitting in a tree,
K-I-S-S-I-N-G
First comes love,
Then comes marriage
Then comes Laura
With a baby carriage.

Down in the valley
Where the green grass grows,
There sat Tracy Sweet as a rose.
She sang, she sang,
She sang so sweet.
Along came Craig
And kissed her cheek.
How many kisses did he give her?
One, two, three, tour, five…

I went upstairs to make my bed.
I made a mistake and bumped my head.
I went downstairs to milk my cow.
I made a mistake and milked a sow.
I went in the kitchen to bake a pie.
I made a mistake and baked a fly.

I love coffee.
I love tea.
I love boys.
And the boys love me.

Cinderella dressed in yellow
Went downstairs to kiss her fellow.
How many kisses did she give?
One, two, three, four, five…

Do you have a favorite that you remember?  Please share it with us, and maybe we can pass on this old time favorite game to some young children of today!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tracy Lynn

P.S. Do you like what you are reading? Are you looking to slow down and live a simpler life?

I am so happy you’ve landed here and I can share some of the simple living principles that have made a huge difference in our lives. 

To give you a place to start I have created a 5 Steps to Simple Living Guide that I am offering to you free.  

Along with this free download, is included a complimentary subscription to our weekly Our Simple Homestead Newsletter. Each week you’ll receive simple living tips, homesteading ideas, old-fashion recipes and every once in awhile a touch of the Amish lifestyle.
 
Click here to receive your free download of 5 Steps to Simple Living today!

DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation from affiliate and sponsored posts on this blog.

Here is a list of some of our favorite 70’s toys:
(Contains Affiliate Links)

Connect Four Wiffle Ball & Bat Jumbo Jacks
Slinky Green Army Men Giant Pick Up Sticks
Operation Game Lincoln Logs Tiddly Winks
Jacob’s Ladder Pot Holder Loom Etch A Sketch
Barrel of Monkey’s Chinese Checkers Checkers
Tea Set Cabbage Patch Doll Radio Flyer Red Wagon
Pedal Fire Engine Pink Pedal Car Banana Seat Bike
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When life makes a complete circle here on the farm …it’s time to make beef bone broth.

Our freezer is once again full of grass-fed beef and with it always comes plenty of beef bones for beef broth.  It’s one of the many staples I always like to have on hand. It’s easy to make I don’t mind at all spending a few hours preparing it for a great tasting homemade beef bone broth.

Simple step-by-step instructions for making bone broth:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil.
In a single layer place soup bones on a baking sheet.
Lightly sprinkle soup bones with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
Bake for 1 hour.

After removing bones from baking sheet, deglaze the pan with hot water, scraping the bottom of the pan for browned particles. Add deglazed particles to large stock pot.
In the same large stock pot add; bones, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, garlic powder.
Cover with water.
Bring to a boil and then simmer for 2 hours.

Strain vegetables from broth and let cool to room temperature and freeze in quart jars. (See instructions below)

How to freeze beef bone broth:

I always store my homemade broths in the freezer.  It saves me time from having to dig out the pressure canner every time I need to make a batch of bone broth. It’s quick and easy to pull a jar out in the morning to thaw when I need broth for a supper meal.

  1. Cool beef broth to room temperature.
  2. Leave a small layer of fat in broth to create a seal between lid and broth.
  3. Using clean quart size canning jars fill jars 3/4 full. Leave more than enough room for the broth to expand when it freezes.
  4. Once all of the jars are filled, wipe jars down with a clean cloth, paying particular attention to threads around the jar.
  5. Dry threads completely before placing lids on jars. Use solid tops and not two-piece banded lids.  Hidden moisture here can cause breakage later on when the liquid freezes and expands.
  6. Place the jars in the freezer, with ample space between each jar so that there is no chance of condensation forming between jars that could potentially freeze the jar to the surface.

Beef Bone Broth
Simple rich beef broth recipe.
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
3 hr
Total Time
3 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
3 hr
Total Time
3 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. Approximately 5 pounds beef bone with meat
  2. 1 1/2 whole onions, skins left on
  3. 2 cups chopped carrots
  4. 2 cups chopped celery
  5. 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  6. 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  7. 2 teaspoons pepper
  8. 1 teaspoon salt
  9. 3 bay leaves
  10. Water to cover all ingredients.
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil.
  3. In a single layer place soup bones on a baking sheet.
  4. Lightly sprinkle soup bones with salt & pepper.
  5. Bake for 1 hour.
  6. After removing bones from baking sheet, deglaze the pan with hot water, scraping the bottom of the pan for browned particles. Add deglazed particles to large stock pot.
  7. In same large stock pot add; bones, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.
  8. Cover with water.
  9. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 2 hours.
  10. Strain vegetables from broth and let cool to room temperature and freeze in quart jars.
How to freeze beef bone broth
  1. temperature.
  2. 2. Leave a small layer of fat in broth to create a seal between lid and broth.
  3. 3. Using clean quart size canning jars fill jars 3/4 full with broth. Leave more than enough room for the broth to expand when it freezes.
  4. 4. Once all of the jars are filled, wipe jars down with a clean cloth, paying particular attention to threads around the jar. Dry threads completely before placing lids on jars. Use solid tops and not two-piece banded lids. Hidden moisture here can cause breakage later on when the liquid freezes and expands.
  5. 5. Place the jars in the freezer, with ample space between each jar so that there is no chance of condensation forming between jars that could potentially freeze the jar to the surface.
Our Simple Homestead https://oursimplehomestead.com/
 
Thanks for stopping by!

Tracy Lynn

Are you looking to slow down and live a simpler life?

I am so happy you’ve landed here and I can share some of the simple living principles that have made a huge difference in our lives. 

To give you a place to start I have created a 5 Steps to Simple Living Guide that I am offering to you free.  

Along with this free download, is included a complimentary subscription to our weekly Our Simple Homestead Newsletter. Each week you’ll receive simple living tips, homesteading ideas, old-fashion recipes and every once in awhile a touch of the Amish lifestyle.
 
Click here to receive your free download of 5 Steps to Simple Living today!

DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation from affiliate and sponsored posts on this blog.

Want more? Read on.

The post Old Fashion Jump Rope Songs – Memories from the past! appeared first on Our Simple Homestead.

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My home canning supplies list

I am in the midst of canning season, and while  I was looking through my canning cupboard I realized just how much I have collected over the years. Most of my home canning supplies came from second-hand stores, yard sales or passed down. I enjoy canning so much I would be lost without some of my tried and trusted supplies. I remember the first-couple years of canning I had to borrow everything from my mother, but over the years I have added to my collection and now have everything I need.

I was very fortunate to grow up watching my Mom can, so I had a good idea what I needed. I was digging through all my supplies I got to thinking that beginner canners may be at a loss to know what they need so I took an inventory of everything I had and compiled a basic canning supply list.

If you are new to canning don’t feel you have to go out and buy everything new. Watch for yard sales and pick up one piece at a time, or better yet go in and share supplies with a friend. Most of these canning tools are only used a few times a year so they are perfect for sharing. When I was younger I had a friend that I would can with. Our kids were all the same age so we would plan a day where they could play together and we spent the day in the kitchen. I have very fond memories of those canning parties and would highly suggest new canners to look for canning partners. 

Many of the big box stores carry home canning supplies so you can just about find them anywhere.  I found everything on my list at Amazon just so I could show you a picture of each item, but shop around and don’t be shy about asking seasoned canners if they have supplies they no longer use.  Many of my canning tools came from older people who no longer had large families to feed. 

Here is a list of everything in my canning cupboard:
  Steel/Porcelain Water-Bath Canner with Rack, 21.5-Quart – I have two canners that get a work out from May – September every year. I can so much that it helps speed up the process by having both of them going at once. This canner holds 7 one-quart jars, 9 one-pint jars or 13 half-pint jars.
   
 7 Piece Home Canning Set
It is the little things that make canning easy and this canning set provides the essentials needed for canning at home. Steel canning rack holds 7 pint- or quart-size jars; sterilizing rack holds 12 lids. Also includes 2 stainless-steel funnels, magnetic lid wand, jar lifter, and cheesecloth.
  Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
I do not know what I would do without my canning book.  I have been canning for years and always refer to my book just to refresh my memory each time I start a canning job. Ball Home Canning Products are the gold standard in home preserving supplies and the experts at Ball have written a book destined to become the “bible” of home preserving.
  Food Strainer and Sauce Maker
Canning tomato sauce is a big job every year, and I could not do it without my food strainer.  This sturdy one-piece heat resistant hopper, stainless steel screen won’t rust and resists wear. A must for sauce canners!
  Ball Jar Heritage Collection Pint Jars with Lids and BandsI added these vintage jars just because I love them! Any canning jar will work but I just love this vintage color and ordered some for myself just because I like to make canning fun! This new vintage blue color comes with embossed logos and a brushed silver lid.
  Ball Wide Mouth Quart Jars with Lids and Bands, Set of 12
Ideal for preserving jams, jellies, sauces, fruit and anything else makes its way to your kitchen. These time-tested sealing compound helps ensure a quality seal with each lid.
  Ball 8-Ounce Quilted Crystal Jelly Jars with Lids and Bands, Set of 1
Ideal for preserving jams and jellies. I use this size for my fig butter every year. Custom time tested ceiling compound help ensure a quality seal with each lid.
  Tattler Reusable Wide Mouth Canning Lids & Rubber Rings – 12/pkg
BPA Free! Indefinitely Reusable.  I have been using these reusable lids for three years now and other than the lids that come with the ball jar sets I have not bought a normal disposable lid in years.  I can see where I have saved money over the years by using Tattler Lids.
  Grips Food Mill
I cannot can enough applesauce to last all year and couldn’t do it without my food mill.  It makes processing warm apples into the sauce a super easy job! This food mill includes 3 stainless-steel discs for preparing foods of fine, medium, and coarse textures.
  Canning Accessories Jelly Strainer Bags
We make a lot of blackberry jam in my kitchen and these jelly bags make straining out those blackberry seeds super easy. This strainer bag has an elastic band around frame opening. Ideal for soups, sauces, jams, and jelly making.
  Stainless Steel Canning Ladle
A  must for every canner! Dual spouts pour from either side. 3/4 cup with 11-1/2-inch handle. Take the mess out of putting food where you want it to be. Dual spouts pour from either side.
  Ball Pickle Crisp 5.5 oz. Jar
I wish I could say I have good luck with making pickles crispy, but I just have never had good luck with making them crispy, so I rely on Ball’s Pickle Crisp to help me. One jar makes 80 quarts of pickles. Easy to use measure and add to jar.
  Ball RealFruitTM Classic Pectin I love that they now have a reduced sugar recipe for healthier jam. It has been reformulated for improved flavor and performance. Capture the freshness and flavor of handpicked fruit anytime. Up to 22 half-pint jars per package.
  23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker
The only method recommended safe by the US Department of Agriculture for canning vegetables, meats, poultry, and seafood. Doubles as a boiling-water canner for preserving fruits, jams, jellies, pickles, and salsa; Handy as a large capacity pressure cooker. I have to admit when I first using a pressure canner I was nervous, but ever since I started to can meat it is a must and I could not preserve without it now. For a step-by-step tutorial on using a pressure canner please visit The Homesteading Hippy.

Have I missed anything?  Please share with me your favorite canning tool!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tracy Lynn

Are you looking to slow down and live a simpler life?

I am so happy you’ve landed here and I can share some of the simple living principles that have made a huge difference in our lives. 

To give you a place to start I have created a 5 Steps to Simple Living Guide that I am offering to you free.  

Along with this free download, is included a complimentary subscription to our weekly Our Simple Homestead Newsletter. Each week you’ll receive simple living tips, homesteading ideas, old-fashion recipes and every once in awhile a touch of the Amish lifestyle.
 
Click here to receive your free download of 5 Steps to Simple Living today!

DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation from affiliate and sponsored posts on this blog.

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It’s Vegetable Garden Planting Time

There is something magical that happens in the spring, things that I can count on every year. The birds sing louder, the sky seems bluer, the grass is greener and I love planting a garden.

I have an old book that I devour every year, and I especially pull it out for vegetable gardening tips. My favorite part of the book is reading about old-time planting lore. 

How many of these vegetable gardening tips and old-time planting lore have you heard of?
  1. Plant corn when the oak leaves are the size of a squirrel’s ear.
  2. Sprinkle plants with wood ashes to keep the bugs off.
  3. Bury a piece of rhubarb in the row when planting cabbage to protect it from club root.
  4. To keep cabbage heads from splitting, give each young plant a half-twist in the ground.
  5. When planting corn, be generous. “One for the woodchuck, one for the crow, one for the slug, and one for me.”
  6. Plant beans when the elms leaves are as big as a penny.
  7. When you see growth on green ash, grapes, and oaks, it is safe to plant tender vines, annuals, and perennials.
  8. Wrap tape around your hands’ sticky side out to remove aphids from your plants.
  9. Make measurement marks on the wooden handle of a rake. Use it as a measuring tool in the garden.
  10. Use sandpaper to scratch off old plastic gardening labels in order to use them repeatedly.
  11. Make your own garden labels using painted rocks or roof tiles.
  12. Cover plants with an old plant pot at night to shield them from frost.
  13. Use a spray bottle to keep your plants hydrated.
  14. Drill a few holes in the cap of a water bottle and cut the bottom out. Turn it upside down and use it as a plant waterer.
  15. Keep all your extra water from cooking and use it to water your plants.
  16. For seeds with tough outside covers like peas, soak them in warm water the night before planting.
  17. Use flat rocks around peppers as mulch. Rocks heat up during the day and will keep plants toasty at night.
  18. Go around to your local coffee shops and ask if they would save their old coffee grounds and filters. It makes excellent compost.
  19. Plant your potatoes under only half an inch or so of dirt, then cover them with a few inches of straw or grass clippings. When it comes time for harvest, you only need to rake back the straw and brush the dirt off your potatoes. 
  20. Learn your weeds – many of the most common are edible (usually extremely nutritious) and/or medicinal.
  21. Before you plant anything, watch the sunlight in your garden. Depending on what is around your gardens like trees or your house etc, you can have a garden space that is fairly open, yet receives either too much or too little sunlight throughout the day. 
  22. Composting is totally worth the time and effort — your kitchen scraps are gardening gold.
  23. Learning crop rotation and cover cropping is a high investment in time learning and implementing, but it keeps the soil healthy and also helps keep bad insects out and good insects in.
  24. Be prepared to water. A lot. Every other day in the summer. 
  25. Soil ph level is very important and worth testing.
  26. Bonus: For those really tiny seeds use a tiny seed dispenser like this one. It pays for itself by saving you seed and time.

These are a few of my favorites and what is so special about them is I remember my dad telling me some of these as I was growing up and learning how to garden.

Do you plant your vegetable gardening tips you use that you can share?  I’d love to hear them!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tracy Lynn

P.S. Do you like what you are reading?

Are you looking to slow down and live a simpler life?

I am so happy you’ve landed here and I can share some of the simple living principles that have made a huge difference in our lives. 

To give you a place to start I have created a 5 Steps to Simple Living Guide that I am offering to you free.  

Along with this free download, is included a complimentary subscription to our weekly Our Simple Homestead Newsletter. Each week you’ll receive simple living tips, homesteading ideas, old-fashion recipes and every once in awhile a touch of the Amish lifestyle.
 
Click here to receive your free download of 5 Steps to Simple Living today!

DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation from affiliate and sponsored posts on this blog.

Want more? Read on.

The post 25 Vegetable Gardening Tips + Old-time Planting Lore appeared first on Our Simple Homestead.

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Homemade Pancake Recipe

You know it’s the weekend at our house when you smell bacon and hear the sizzle of homemade pancakes hitting the griddle.  I’ve made more pancakes than any other breakfast food and have picked up a few tips along the way to make the perfect homestyle pancake just like my Grandma made.

Here are some of my favorite tips for making homemade pancakes:
  • For the fluffiest pancakes substitute club soda for the milk, it will make them lighter and fluffier.
  • Heat the griddle until drops of water dance and evaporate immediately.
  • Use only a 1/4 cup measuring cup full of batter for each cake.
  • Let the pancakes cook until the edges start to look dry and bubbles form on the uncooked surface.
  • If you’re looking for more tips for making the perfect pancake I encourage you to visit my friends at Chew the World where they answer the all-important question …What temperature to cook pancakes?

Homestyle Pancakes
My families recipe for homemade pancakes just like Grandma made.
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 3 tablespoon sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon salt
  4. 1 1/2 to 2 cups of milk or club soda
  5. 4 teaspoons baking powder
  6. 2 eggs
  7. 5 tablespoons oil
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients and drop 1/4 cup of batter on hot griddle.
Our Simple Homestead https://oursimplehomestead.com/

Thanks for stopping by!

Tracy Lynn

P.S. Do you like what you are reading?

Are you looking to slow down and live a simpler life?

I am so happy you’ve landed here and I can share some of the simple living principles that have made a huge difference in our lives. 

To give you a place to start I have created a 5 Steps to Simple Living Guide that I am offering to you free.  

Along with this free download, is included a complimentary subscription to our weekly Our Simple Homestead Newsletter. Each week you’ll receive simple living tips, homesteading ideas, old-fashion recipes and every once in awhile a touch of the Amish lifestyle.
 
Click here to receive your free download of 5 Steps to Simple Living today!

DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation from affiliate and sponsored posts on this blog.

Want more? Read on.

The post Homemade Pancakes Recipe & Tips for the Perfect Pancake appeared first on Our Simple Homestead.

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My Favorite Homemade Stain Remover

I’m one of those homemakers who loves to do laundry.  I know …crazy right?  I’m constantly looking for new ways to make my families clothes last longer and I’m always up for a challenge to get a new laundry stain out.  Over the years I’ve had fun learning how to make homemade stain remover.  I’ve even replaced so many cleaning products with all-natural or homemade, that I never go down those aisles in the grocery store anymore.  I don’t know about you, but those last few aisles are the ones that usually racked up my grocery bill and I am glad to walk right past them now.  

My kitchen pantry has now become my go-to source for almost any stain my family throws at me.  With a little know-how and a cheat sheet that I keep taped to the back of my laundry room door, I can tackle anything stain my family throws at me. 

Here is a list of my all-time favorite homemade laundry stain removers: 
  • Fresh Grease = Salt – Salts absorbent quality is the reason you can treat fresh grease. Sprinkle enough salt on the stain to cover the entire spot. When it dries, brush it off, and you will brush most of the stain with it. You can loosen an old stain by rubbing salt into the stain before washing as usual.
  • Fruit Juice or Rust Stains = Lemon Juice – Diluted or straight, lemon juice is a safe treatment for juice or rust stains.
  • Milk, Blood or Chocolate = Meat Tenderizer – To treat a fresh stain, sprinkle enough tenderizer on the stain to cover it and let it sit for an hour. Brush off the old tenderizer and wash as usual. For a set stain, make a paste of 2 to 3 drops of water and 1 teaspoon of tenderizer and work into the stain. Let it sit for an hour and then wash as usual.
  • Wine = Club Soda or Seltzer Water – Pour club soda seltzer over the stain, then blot it with a clean paper towel. Wash as soon as possible.
  • Soda = Rubbing Alcohol – Soak the affected area immediately in cold water, apply rubbing alcohol to the stain and launder as usual. 
  • Ink or Lipstick = Hair Spray – To get rid of the lipstick stain on the fabric, coat the area with hairspray. Let it sit for a couple minutes, then carefully wipe off the excess spray and lipstick.
  • Ring Around the Collar = Chalk – When you get those dark lines around the collar of white or light-colored cotton shirts just rub a piece of white chalk into the stain and let sit overnight. Wash as usual the next day. The chalk will absorb most of the stain.

What is your favorite?  Do you have one you can share?  I would love to add to my arsenal of homemade stain removers!


Thanks for stopping by!

Tracy Lynn

P.S. Do you like what you are reading?

Are you looking to slow down and live a simpler life?

I am so happy you’ve landed here and I can share some of the simple living principles that have made a huge difference in our lives. 

To give you a place to start I have created a 5 Steps to Simple Living Guide that I am offering to you free.  

Along with this free download, is included a complimentary subscription to our weekly Our Simple Homestead Newsletter. Each week you’ll receive simple living tips, homesteading ideas, old-fashion recipes and every once in awhile a touch of the Amish lifestyle.
 
Click here to receive your free download of 5 Steps to Simple Living today!

DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation from affiliate and sponsored posts on this blog.

Want more? Read on.

The post Homemade Stain Remover appeared first on Our Simple Homestead.

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Are you drawn to a simpler homesteader way of life? 

If so, you are like so many other Americans tired of this crazy busy life and are yearning to slow down to a simpler way of living. 

Homesteaders today are not concerned with climbing the social ladder they are learning to live on less and gaining a deeper satisfaction of being able to take care of themselves.

For us, we remember while we were still working our corporate jobs we spent our days dreaming about building our homestead and were so over measuring our success by the size of our office. All we wanted was to be a homesteader and homemaker who spent our days getting our hands dirty and returning to our roots. 

Now, most times when people think of homesteading they think of the pioneers. Those pioneers lived in areas far away from formed communities and were forced to live a self-sufficient lifestyle. Today homesteaders can live in the city or the country and homestead anywhere.  They have backyard gardens, chickens, raise bees, milk goats and gather fresh eggs. They strive to spend more time with their families and are turning their back on stressful living.

That’s the look of today’s homesteader!

You do not need a farm to homestead.  All you need is the desire to live simple, learn how to be more self-sufficient and provide your family with healthy alternatives to the pre-packaged lifestyle you are accustom too.

Today’s homesteader is taking the time to enjoy life’s simple pleasures.

  • They are cooking from scratch with foods that have a story.  Potatoes from their garden, eggs from their chickens, and meat from their rabbits….they know where their food comes from.
  • They are finding value in becoming a skilled homesteader or homemaker.  Learning to do for themselves instead of hiring someone to take care of their basic needs. Mending clothes, giving haircuts, repairing instead of replacing and changing their consumer-driven mindset to reuse…recycle… or make do.
  • Loving their homes. – Finding joy in snuggling in front of a fire with a good book, taking a stroll through the woods, playing games with their children and relying on entertainment that keeps them home and saves them money.

So are you ready to give homesteading a try?

Take a walk out your back door and see what changes you can make to start a garden, add some backyard chickens and get in touch with the simpler side of you!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tracy Lynn

P.S. Do you like what you are reading?

Are you looking to slow down and live a simpler life?

I am so happy you’ve landed here and I can share some of the simple living principles that have made a huge difference in our lives. 

To give you a place to start I have created a 5 Steps to Simple Living Guide that I am offering to you free.  

Along with this free download, is included a complimentary subscription to our weekly Our Simple Homestead Newsletter. Each week you’ll receive simple living tips, homesteading ideas, old-fashion recipes and every once in awhile a touch of the Amish lifestyle.
 
Click here to receive your free download of 5 Steps to Simple Living today!

DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation from affiliate and sponsored posts on this blog.

  Want more? Read on.

The post The Look of Today’s Homesteader appeared first on Our Simple Homestead.

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There’s something special that happens when I open the drawer, pull out my favorite blue apron and tie it snugly around me. 

Not sure how I can explain the transformation that the power of the apron has.  I know once I put it on the emotion I feel is something like being caught in a time warp.  The yearning for a simpler life mixed with the memories of my mother and grandmothers wearing theirs always brings me to a place long ago but in this day and time.

Long forgotten was technology that had just consumed me for the last two hours, and with the house quiet I set to work on my chores. While humming to a song on the radio I started to daydream of what life might have been like for my grandmothers. 

Both of my grandmothers were full-time homemakers and even though my own mother worked I can still see her putting her apron on every Sunday to make dinner.  I tried to imagine what my grandmothers’ days would be like.  Both had large families so I’m sure it was filled with plenty of laundry, canning, cooking, and cleaning.  Would they find it odd, that today most women have to work outside the home, or that a home cooked meal consists of pre-packaged quick-cooking foods or that some women have to hire other women to tend to their children?  Whatever they would think I’m thankful my own mother taught me how to take care of my home and family.  In return, I have taught my own daughter how to do the same.

My favorite bib apron. Click on the picture to get one of your very own.

If you have a love for aprons like I do, I would highly recommend The Apron Book I downloaded it to my Kindle and I enjoyed reading it. It celebrates the great American icon and reminds me of what I loved about the people who wore them.

With all my daydreaming my morning went by quickly and before I knew it I had the house cleaned, laundry started, supper in the crockpot, eggs gathered, and I was off to the feed store for scratch and straw.

I was halfway down the driveway before I noticed I still had my apron on.  I had to smile at myself thinking how comfortable I am in it that I didn’t even notice I still had it on.   Wouldn’t I have gotten the funny looks had I left it on while stopping at the feed and grocery store?  It’s a shame that times have changed so much that a woman in her apron is not acceptable attire any longer.

With all the apron talk I got to thinking that it’s time for a new one so I dug around in my fabric stash and found just the right pattern for a new one. I might just go cut it out right now and unleash the power of the apron inside of me.

Do you own an apron?  How does it make you feel when you put it on?

Thanks for stopping by!

Tracy Lynn

P.S. Do you like what you are reading?

Are you looking to slow down and live a simpler life?

I am so happy you’ve landed here and I can share some of the simple living principles that have made a huge difference in our lives. 

To give you a place to start I have created a 5 Steps to Simple Living Guide that I am offering to you free.  

Along with this free download, is included a complimentary subscription to our weekly Our Simple Homestead Newsletter. Each week you’ll receive simple living tips, homesteading ideas, old-fashion recipes and every once in awhile a touch of the Amish lifestyle.
 
Click here to receive your free download of 5 Steps to Simple Living today!

DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation from affiliate and sponsored posts on this blog.

Want more? Read on.

The post The Power of the Apron – An Icon from the Past appeared first on Our Simple Homestead.

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If you are new to gardening choosing what to grow the first time can be overwhelming! 

Nothing will discourage you more than planting a garden and have it not grow.


Be assured that we all were in your shoes at one point!  Over the years, I have learned that no matter what you do there are a few easy to grow vegetables that anyone can grow with great success. 

But first…there are a couple things you need to do before you put one seed in the ground.

  1. Test your soil. – Often people think they don’t have a green thumb, but it could be bad soil. Adding the right nutrients to your soil will always ensure you have a successful garden.  Over time, you can continue to improve your soil by adding organic fertilizers and compost, but this very first soil test is vital for a healthy crop.
  2. Figure out your growing season. – Know what your predicted last frost date is and what growing zone you live in. Most seed packets will tell you when to plant according to your last frost date.

After you have amended your soil, and you know your last frost date, you are ready to plant your first garden with these easiest vegetables to grow.

Here is a list of fail-proof veggies to plant:
  • Garden Grow Potato Bag

    Early Spring Planting

    • A blend of salad mix lettuces and other salad greens are a must.  Plant small patches a couple weeks apart to have fresh greens for months.
    • Potatoes grow from sprouting spuds and can be found online or at your local garden center. Mulch is a potatoes best friend! Keeping your potatoes hilled and covered in straw will always produce a good crop.
    • Radishes are easy to grow and they take just 20 days to reach full size.
  • Late Spring Planting – Plant after your last predicted frost date.
    • Green beans adapt well to any soil conditions.
    • Cherry tomatoes and a slicing tomato like “Early Girl” are good choices for a first-time gardener.  Tomatoes like to be watered at the ground level. Water deep to encourage good root development to help support the vines as they mature.  Place a tomato cage over your plant at an early age.  If you like basil, it is easy to grow and loves to be planted next to tomatoes.  The basil deters bugs and adds a nice flavor to the tomatoes.
    • Summer squash is always a hit!  Plant at least three plants for good pollination and start getting creative on ways to cook it…you will have plenty!
    • Cucumbers if given enough water will grow like weeds. It is not summer around here if I don’t have a big jar of Refrigerator Pickles going.

Start planning your garden now…and don’t forget to test your soil!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tracy Lynn

P.S. Do you like what you are reading?

Are you looking to slow down and live a simpler life?

I am so happy you’ve landed here and I can share some of the simple living principles that have made a huge difference in our lives. 

To give you a place to start I have created a 5 Steps to Simple Living Guide that I am offering to you free.  

Along with this free download, is included a complimentary subscription to our weekly Our Simple Homestead Newsletter. Each week you’ll receive simple living tips, homesteading ideas, old-fashion recipes and every once in awhile a touch of the Amish lifestyle.
 
Click here to receive your free download of 5 Steps to Simple Living today!

DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation from affiliate and sponsored posts on this blog.

Want more? Read on.

The post Easiest Vegetables to Grow appeared first on Our Simple Homestead.

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Learn to Simplify Your Life

We live in a fast-paced world and trying to find ways to slow down can be a real challenge.  I have spent the last few years putting into practice things to make me stop and enjoy the life around me. 

Here are 5 ways you can simplify your life today!

  1. Spend some quiet time alone – We are programmed to have lots of friends, to spend time with those we love and to always have people around us, but what we need is alone time. You may be uncomfortable being alone and it may take some practice getting used to, but it is important we learn how to sit quietly and let our brain rest. Sitting outside or in a quiet room, close your eyes and just take the time to let everything in your mind drift away. Take in the sound of the birds, the tick-tock of a clock or whatever you hear and enjoy the peaceful simplicity of quiet solitude.
  2. Turn off all electronics – I know it may be hard, but take an hour every day and live without your electronics. Shut off the TV, turn the radio off in the car, turn your cell phone off and get up away from your computer. Facebook is not going anywhere and you won’t die if you miss a tweet or two, so go on an electronic fast every day. Our minds were not meant to have so much stimulation and in order to find balance and peace in our lives, we must give time for our mind to rest.
  3. Leave enough time to drive slowly – Before we even start our day most of us are stressing about our morning commute. By leaving just 10 minutes early, you can take the time to drive in the slow lane and enjoy your surroundings. Life passes us by so quickly and if we do not take the time to enjoy it, are we living? Leave the honking and frustrated driving to someone else and just enjoy the ride.
  4. Empty your email box – There is a sense of accomplishment when you know that your email box has been cleaned and organized. First, go through your box and delete all unwanted emails. Next, respond to all emails that will take less than 30 seconds to answer and finally set a time limit for working on your emails. When your time limit has passed shut off your email and go to your next project.
  5. Learn how to say no – The fastest way to simplify your life is by learning how to limit your commitments and knowing when to say no. The word no is such a simple word, but it also can be a hard word to learn to say. Often we say yes to avoid letting someone down. I know first hand that the day I started saying no to projects that would stress me out was the day I started living simply.

Which of these steps can you apply today, so you can start to slow down and simplify your life?

Thanks for stopping by!

Tracy Lynn

P.S. Do you like what you are reading?

Are you looking to slow down and live a simpler life?

I am so happy you’ve landed here and I can share some of the simple living principles that have made a huge difference in our lives. 

To give you a place to start I have created a 5 Steps to Simple Living Guide that I am offering to you free.  

Along with this free download, is included a complimentary subscription to our weekly Our Simple Homestead Newsletter. Each week you’ll receive simple living tips, homesteading ideas, old-fashion recipes and every once in awhile a touch of the Amish lifestyle.
 
Click here to receive your free download of 5 Steps to Simple Living today!

DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation from affiliate and sponsored posts on this blog.

Want more? Read on.

The post 5 Ways You to Simplify Your Life appeared first on Our Simple Homestead.

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