Category Archives: Home Front


Welcome to the Simple Homestead Blog Hop!

 

We’re so glad you’ve stopped by for a visit! Every week we get together here for another hop and I hope you’ll join us. The Hop runs from Thursday morning to Sunday evening. Have fun exploring all the great ideas that have been shared, and add your homesteading, homemaking and homeschooling posts with us if you’re a blogger. I’m sure you’ll be blessed and inspired by all these great ideas!

Meet Our Great Co-hosts

 

Kathi at Oak Hill HomesteadFacebookPinterestInstagram

Nancy at On the HomefrontFacebookTwitterPinterest

Sandra at Clearwater FarmFacebookPinterestInstagram

Leah at Busy Gals Homestead and Leah’s Lovely LopsFacebook
PinterestTwitter

Dash at Bloom Where You’re PlantedFacebookInstagram

Featured Posts

Each week we’ll feature the most-viewed post from last week’s hop. Each host also features her own picks from the posts linked the previous week. Visit each of our blogs to see if you were featured this week.

This week’s featured posts:

Most Visited:

How To Make Disinfectant Wipes/ Reuse DIY Clorox Wipes
My Favorite:
How To Stretch Jarred Pasta Sauce

 

 

 

 

Please stop by to congratulate the featured bloggers this week.

If you were featured be sure to pick up your Simple Homestead blog hop button below. Just highlight all of the text in the box and paste into your blog sidebar; the button will show up automatically.



Nancy On The Home Front

The Rules

You are invited to share your original homesteading, homemaking, and homeschooling posts. We have a few little rules:

  • Family friendly posts only!
  • No links to blog hops or posts dedicated to advertising products.
  • Share up to 3 posts.
  • Please share posts that you haven’t linked up within the past six months to keep the hop fresh.
  • Please visit other bloggers and let them know you found them here.
  • Please follow us by email! You’ll receive notice when the hop is open for business.
  • Only share content and photos that you have created or have permission to share.
  • Please note: By linking to this hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post and share one photo if you are featured; no additional permission is required.
  • Posts that don’t follow these few little guidelines will be deleted.

Let’s start hopping!


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It’s been a cold spring here in Vermont. In fact it feels more like winter and it just doesn’t want to let go. Our evenings have been well below freezing and in the morning the ground is often dusted with snow. However there are signs of spring if you look closely. The roads are finally clear and although there are still signs of snow in the woods I am able to walk on bare ground once again.signs of spring

 

My rhubarb is beginning to make an appearance. My rhubarb is one of the first signs of spring in the garden. Shoots will begin to poke up through the ground even when the nights are still chilly.signs of spring

 

With the freezing nights and warmer days comes maple sugaring. As you drive through the countryside you will notice the smoke coming from the sugarhouses, they are making maple syrup. We are so lucky to have neighbors that make maple syrup. We love to buy local! This week is pretty much the end of sugaring season. We have one friend who has made more than 1000 gallons of syrup this year!signs of spring

 

The days are longer. We are finally able to take a walk at the end of the day and not have to worry that we will run out of daylight. If you’ve been following my goal setting you know that I am working on getting 10K steps in at least five days out of the week. I have not been doing very well at this goal at all. I come close but never seem to quite hit it. As the days get longer and the roads less muddy I look forward to daily evening walks.signs of spring

 

As we get closer to spring the snow showers will be replaced with rain showers another sure sign of spring. We need the rain to melt the snow piles everywhere. Of course once the snow is melted the yearly chore of raking the gravel out of the lawn will take place. We love our plow guy and he does a great job but there is always that one late snow storm where gravel ends up in the lawn!

 

Looking out at the mountains this time of year it’s hard to imagine that in just a month or so the hills will be green. Signs of spring may be hard to find but it’s coming and I can’t wait!signs of spring

 

Does it look like spring where you live? What are the signs of spring in your area?

My first goal was to update my goal list each week.  I have to say having a post on goal setting has helped me to stay focused on what goals I want to accomplish this year. The biggest drawback is to remind myself that I have the whole year to work on accomplishing these goals. Hopefully you, my faithful readers will remember this as well and not get tired of reading about my progress! I tend to get a little stressed when I realize just how fast the year is flying by. However, I am making progress!goal-setting 13

 

      1. Find a new hosting site for my blog and make the site secure. Done!! So excited after all this time I finally have a secure website! Still working on getting a few more items updated and then I can finally move on to goal #2.
      2. Monetize my blog.  Still on my to do list. Time to put this goal on the forefront! It would be nice to have some money coming in for a change. No progress yet on this goal.
      3. Create a cookbook! One step at a time, get the blog running smoothly, increase readership and then I’ll be working on the cookbook!
      4. Be diligent about getting 10 K steps in 5 out of 7 days each week. After a really miserable week last week with freezing rain and snow, we had a beautiful, sunny weekend! Might not of gotten 5 walks in but did manage to get three walks in this week! I’ll tell you a day of sunshine makes everything so much better!Goal Setting
      5. As we continue to prepare for an eventual house sale, continue to de-clutter. Get rid of at least 250 items from the house this year!  More decluttering, I just focus on one area each day and it’s amazing what I can find to pass along, this week it was 15 items  to be exact, out the door! 165 items to go!Goal Setting
      6. Read more  25 books this year! Managed to get two books read this week! Saving Simon, all about a donkey and the lessons the actor learned on compassion. A true story and so delightful. Also read Bob Goff’s new book Everybody, Always: Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People. I love Bob Goff, his book Love Always is one of my favorite books. I enjoyed his new book so much we’re now reading it out loud every morning. Still keeping track of the books I’ve read on Good Reads, what a wonderful app. I can keep track of all the books I have read, the books I want to read and the books I am reading. I listed on the app that I want to read 25 books this year, 12 to go! Beginning to think my goal here should have been a few more books!Goal Setting
      7. Have a consistent meal plan each week and prepare ahead! I am enjoying just thinking ahead for the week regarding our meals. We live a good distance from the grocery story so I like to have a well stocked pantry. I’m finding that planing a week out saves on waste as I can use up everything we purchase. Enjoyed some good meals this week, our meals usually feed four which means we can enjoy a meal for diner one night and then again for lunch.Goal Setting
      8. Finish 4 2 knitting projects. Second project finished! I am loving this mobius infinity scarf I’m working on. Like I mentioned last week setting it up is a bit tricky but once you’ve got the first two rows done it goes very quickly.Goal Setting It is almost like magic as you are knitting from the outside in, if that makes any sense. To see what I’m talking about check out this YouTube video.

    9. Clean out our freezer. Such progress! Freezer is well under control now. Downstairs there is just some tomato sauce and one more container of frozen blueberries! Making progress!Goal Setting10. Take a few road trips and visit family and friends on the east coast that we will not see so often once we make a move to the west coast. We came up with a list of three people that we would like to visit while we’re still living on the east coast. Now to take a hard look at the calendar and plan these trips. Recently contacted our friends in North Carolina and an aunt in upstate New York. I foresee a road trip in our future! Well into planing this trip to North Carolina, it’s quite a drive so we’re trying to figure out who else we can visit and how long we should plan to be away.
    goal setting

 

So we’re now into April and I’m continuing to think about my goals every week. I think having them on paper and reviewing them each week is really helpful! This might be the first year I actually complete the majority, if not all, of my goals!

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Two weeks ago we received a letter in the mail from our granddaughter’s first grade teacher. The class was reading a book, Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown. In the story Stanley is flattened, but not hurt, when a bulletin board falls on him. His parents take advantage of his flattened condition and send him in an envelope to visit relatives in California. Inspired by this idea each child in the class made a flattened version of themselves and mailed it off to their relatives. We had the wonderful opportunity of exploring Vermont with Flat Alma!

 

April in Vermont is not the best time to visit, the weather is unpredictable, you may get rain or you may get snow. Regardless of the weather we had fun exploring Vermont with our “Alma Doll”.exploring Vermont

 

The first day I drove into Woodstock, Vermont, which is the neighboring town. We drove over the covered bridge that was closest to our house. I’m pretty sure they don’t have covered bridges where Alma lives!exploring Vermont We ended up at Billings Farm. I was really hoping the young cows would be outside but the only animal we saw was a white horse.exploring Vermont

 

Luckily our neighbors have a farm with alpaca’s and sheep and horses. Flat Alma was able to stop and visit those animals!exploring Vermont

 

At the end of the visit my husband had a chance to visit good friends in the Northeast Kingdom. They have a large maple sugaring operation there.exploring Vermont It was a drive but all in the fun of exploring Vermont! Flat Alma was able to view the whole process of making maple syrup, from the sap coming out of the trees to boiling it down to pure maple syrup.exploring Vermont

 

On the drive home they drove by the state capital building in Montpelier, Vermont.exploring Vermont They even drove by the Ben & Jerry’s factory, but no time to stop for ice cream.exploring Vermont

 

I thought this was quite an inventive idea for the teacher. They will be studying their maps to see where each flattened first grader went. It was a fun week for us exploring Vermont with our Alma Doll! We sent back numerous pictures of all the places Flat Alma visited as well as several postcards.exploring Vermont

 

It was a short visit but we thought we did a pretty good job of exploring Vermont with Flat Alma.


Welcome to the Simple Homestead Blog Hop!

 

We’re so glad you’ve stopped by for a visit! Every week we get together here for another hop and I hope you’ll join us. The Hop runs from Thursday morning to Sunday evening. Have fun exploring all the great ideas that have been shared, and add your homesteading, homemaking and homeschooling posts with us if you’re a blogger. I’m sure you’ll be blessed and inspired by all these great ideas!

Meet Our Great Co-hosts

 

Kathi at Oak Hill HomesteadFacebookPinterestInstagram

Nancy at On the HomefrontFacebookTwitterPinterest

Sandra at Clearwater FarmFacebookPinterestInstagram

Leah at Busy Gals Homestead and Leah’s Lovely LopsFacebook
PinterestTwitter

Dash at Bloom Where You’re PlantedFacebookInstagram

Featured Posts

Each week we’ll feature the most-viewed post from last week’s hop. Each host also features her own picks from the posts linked the previous week. Visit each of our blogs to see if you were featured this week.

This week’s featured posts:
12 Things I Do Not Spend Money On

 

 15 Items I No Longer BuyItems I No Longer Buy

 

 

Please stop by to congratulate the featured bloggers this week.

If you were featured be sure to pick up your Simple Homestead blog hop button below. Just highlight all of the text in the box and paste into your blog sidebar; the button will show up automatically.



Nancy On The Home Front

The Rules

You are invited to share your original homesteading, homemaking, and homeschooling posts. We have a few little rules:

  • Family friendly posts only!
  • No links to blog hops or posts dedicated to advertising products.
  • Share up to 3 posts.
  • Please share posts that you haven’t linked up within the past six months to keep the hop fresh.
  • Please visit other bloggers and let them know you found them here.
  • Please follow us by email! You’ll receive notice when the hop is open for business.
  • Only share content and photos that you have created or have permission to share.
  • Please note: By linking to this hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post and share one photo if you are featured; no additional permission is required.
  • Posts that don’t follow these few little guidelines will be deleted.

Let’s start hopping!


Our weather has been cold and rainy for the last several days. It was the perfect weather to cook up a batch of spicy kielbasa soup. The red pepper flakes give it a little zip. If you have any leftovers don’t worry this spicy kielbasa soup is great reheated, after the flavors have had a chance to blend. I served this soup with some bread and a salad and it was the perfect rainy day dinner.spicy kielbasa soup

 

This recipe was adapted from a recipe I found on the Taste of Home website.

 

Spicy Kielbasa Soup

 

Ingredients:

 

1 pound turkey kielbasa, sliced

1 medium onion, chopped

1 medium green pepper, chopped

2 celery ribs, thinly sliced

4 garlic cloves, minced

4 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade

1 can (15.5oz) can white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 can (14.5oz) can stewed tomatoes

1 small zucchini, sliced

1 medium carrot, shredded

1 Tbsp. dried parsley

¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

¼ tsp. pepperspicy kielbasa soup

 

Directions:

 

In a nonstick skillet, cook kielbasa over medium heat until slightly browned. Add the onion, green pepper, celery and garlic. Cook and stir for five minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Transfer to a 5-quart slow cooker. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low heat for 8-9 hours. Makes about 5 servings.spicy kielbasa soup

 

This spicy kielbasa soup recipe is even better the next day when the flavors have blended a bit. I’m sure it would be one of those soups you could freeze as well. We enjoyed it for diner one night and lunch the next day and there were no other leftovers!spicy kielbasa soup

 

We are really looking forward to the arrival of spring and being able to enjoy salads out on the deck. However with the cold rainy weather we’ve been having this week spicy kielbasa soup seemed the perfect choice!

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