Weekend Links & Updates

My clothespin apron makes a good harvesting apron, too.
In which I share my favorite posts from this blog's Facebook page.

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"Have I not commanded you?
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."
Joshua 1:9

It's been a long time since I've updated you about our mountaintop homestead. There have definitely been some difficulties, but there are blessings (as always), too.

Let's start with the blessings. I am feeling so much better since my surgery. It's a relief to not be utterly exhausted all the time! I'm catching up on work around here, and branching out to begin working on articles for several new-to-me magazines.

And then there's the orchard. It looks like it's going to be an abundant year. Our yellow plum trees produced so much, we've had the blessing of giving away many pounds of fruit, as well as preserving some for ourselves.

In the past, these plums have been tough to preserve because they turn to mush when canned and are not very flavorful when dehydrated. (They do make great jam, but my family eats very little and there are only so many jars I can gift.) Freezing is an option, but the fruit makes them fit only for sweets, and we don't eat those much. So I tried freeze drying them this year. And guess what? I think they taste even better freeze-dried than they do fresh! Plus, freeze-dried food lasts 25 years or more. What a win! (Read about our freeze dryer here.)

Yummy freeze dried yellow plums.


In addition, we had one hen successfully raise chicks to pullets (basically, teenage chickens) and another hen has decided she wants babies, too. Currently, she's sitting on a clutch of eggs in a cage that's separate from the other chickens.
Me in the canning kitchen...another thing I'm grateful for!
All good things.

The bad things are pretty much all financial. I'm still receiving unexpected bills for my surgery, and that expense is a big hardship on us. And because our health savings account is now empty, any time we see a doctor or dentist, it's going to cost us. And then...we accidentally ruined the main telephone/broadband line for our road. I won't even go into details, but suffice it to say we are at the mercy of the telephone company financially. Would you pray for us about that? We'd be so very grateful.

Pickles and blackberries!

* A smart way to help your teens out of bad situations

* 10 Truths for Middleschoolers.

* Many common garden flowers also have medicinal uses...including hollyhocks.

* I recently discovered that a clothespin apron I made years ago makes a good harvesting apron. It's very easy to sew, too. Instructions here.  

* Getting rid of aphids naturally. 

* A cheap way to keep deer out of your vegetable garden.

Oldies But Goodies:

* How to Cook with and Preserve Plums
* How to Dehydrate Zucchini into Zoodles
* Keeping the House Cool in Summer...even without AC
* Eating Maple Seeds

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