Category Archives: Blog Posts

Chiggers: Separating Fact & Fallacy Plus Crazy Remedies

by Tammy Taylor~

Summer is here for sure in NE Texas y’all.  It’s HOT!  Now I love Texas, but we have some pesky things to deal with here.  The heat & humidity are certainly something to contend with.  And some of the bugs & pests are too.  Out here on the Homestead I’m constantly on the lookout for copperhead snakes, stinging wasps, scorpions, fire ants and to me the worst offender – the tiny chigger.

Oh the chiggers are brutal this time of year.  You stroll out into your pasture to check the cows and before you know it you’re covered with maddenly itchy red bumps.  This discomfort can stay for 2-3 weeks in some cases.  YIKES!  There are many home remedies for chigger bites, and much misinformation as well.  Today I thought I’d address the chigger and its tormentious bite.

Chiggers - we've all dealt with them, right? Oh the misery of their itching which can last for weeks. I've heard some crazy cures, most of them WRONG! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Throwback Thursday: Solar Light Feature Using Cedar Posts

by Tammy Taylor~

Let’s celebrate Throwback Thursday, shall we?  Today’s share is one of my favorite projects too.  You see, last year I was so saddened that a huge cedar tree that had died in our barn pasture and had to be cut down. I loved that tree!

We used one of the larger limbs for my Clothesline Pole and while I loved that, the rest of this massive tree was just hauled to the burn pile.  I couldn’t stand that soon the bonfire would be lit & it would be gone forever.  So I asked RancherMan to go out to the burn pile & cut some of the thicker parts of the tree into 3 separate lengths.  Puzzled, he placated me anyway.  I absolutely love what we made with them.

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Adding A Lovely, Peaceful Outdoor Living Space

by Tammy Taylor~

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RancherMan & I spend a lot of time on our back porch.  A LOT!  Oftentimes we sit on the porch in the mornings and enjoy our coffee together as we watch the sun rise.  And when we’ve been bustin’ it in pastures in the hot summer sun we take a break & cool down with an icy-cold beverage in the shade of the back porch before hitting our chores again.  Plus almost every night after supper we once again return to the back porch to end our day.

But I’d always hated how our back porch was a long, thin 8-ft-deep cement swath.  It just lacked character to me.  So RancherMan arranged for a porch addition to be built to add an outdoor living extension. Come see!

We wanted an outdoor living space added to our back porch. Come see some of the things we added to make it our own little oasis. #TaylorMadeHomestead

 

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Do You Get What You Pay For, Or Pay Extra For Nothing?

by Tammy Taylor~

RancherMan & I have been talking about the true costs of staying with a company or product not because it’s the best fit or best financial decision, but solely because they’re in our comfort zone. Thankfully we are both in agreement.  Part of the reason we can both live & work right here in our NE Texas paradise is because we both make sure our money is always spent wisely.

We know just going the cheapest route is seldom a good idea.  Sure, you may initially save a few bucks. But if the product isn’t of high enough quality to give you satisfactory performance, it’s really not that good a deal is it?  It’s true you oftentimes get what you pay for.

BUT, (and this is important) it’s also oftentimes true that by being complacent you could very well be paying much more for a brand name or just to stay in your comfort zone, but NOT for a product or service that is the virtually the same elsewhere for significantly less.

Money To Burn? Don't get stuck paying much more than you should! Don't go with the status quo because that's the way it's always been. A little research can pay off BIGTIME! #TaylorMadeHomestead
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Healthy, Cold, Sweet Treat ‘Ice Cream’ Using Bananas & Fruit

by Tammy Taylor~

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It’s hot, hot HOT out there, y’all! I mean hot as in temps at 100 degrees or HIGHER several times this week.  WHEW! Here in NE Texas it seems we went from winter to summer with nary a mild spring day between!  So I’m focusing these days on cooler foods and cold desserts.  But I wanna keep it healthy too.  RancherMan loves, loves, LOVES ice cream, especially when it’s this hot outside.  But it’s just not healthy to indulge in such a high-fat treat too often.

I’ve written before about making a mock fat-free ice cream using frozen bananas and pudding mix.  The pudding makes the ice cream more creamy and less icy.  But I was looking for something even a little healthier.  So I started making our ‘ice cream’ using the frozen bananas for the sweetness and frozen fruit for an extra punch of flavor.

Now that it's hot outside I whip up a frozen sweet treat. It's like healthier ice cream using frozen bananas and berries. Delicious, cheap and healthy. #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Homestead Hack: Propping Tender Seedlings

by Tammy Taylor~

It seems vegetable-gardening planting is finally going on all over the US now.  Aaaaaahhhhh the veggie garden – how I love it.  Here in NE Texas (zone 8) I typically plant heirloom seeds in my ‘Indoor Greenhouse’ in February and transplant those heirloom seedlings into my garden after the danger of frost is done.

But this year I had a naughty bull jump our garden fence & decimate all of the tender seedlings.  I had to start over.  I did replant many of my heirloom seeds but I ended up buying a jalapeno plant.  It was so small that the winds were pretty rough on it.  So I needed to find a way to protect it from the wind.  Use Whatcha Got, y’all!

I needed a way for propping tender seedlings to protect them from the wind.  You know my battle cry: "Use Whatcha Got!" Come see this Homestead Hack #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Wearing Sun UV Protective Clothing

by Tammy Taylor

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Summer’s HERE, y’all!  We’re experiencing above-normal temps and have once again gone from winter directly to summer with no delightfully-cool spring temps between.  RancherMan & I work our homestead every day, so much of our daily activity involves being outside.  Sun protection is important but we both hate the feel of sunblock.  Plus I don’t like the thought of slathering chemicals on my skin every day either.

So we’re careful to protect our skin by covering it instead – wide-brim hats (helllooooo cowboy!) and long-sleeved lightweight shirts are often worn while mowing the yard or doing hours of tractor work.  But c’mon – although it helps, that’s not much actual sun protection.  I need to find clothing that protects us while keeping us comfortable.

I hate slathering sunscreen on my skin every day. All those chemicals! But we work outside each day & sun protection is important! I've opted to protect my skin with sun-protective clothing. #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Garden Update: May – Bull Damage Recovery

by Tammy Taylor~

Y’all remember last month the bull hopped the garden fence & tromped around the wet soil decimating my newly-planted garden?  Well I smoothed down the soil best I could and basically had to start over.   Because of this damage my garden was now waaaaaay behind schedule!  But I’m hopeful I’ll be still be able to harvest lots from my garden this year.  Come see the damage recovery report for May.

Last month the bull decimated my newly-planted garden. There has been some recovery, yet some failures. Come see my May vegetable garden update: Bull Damage Version! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Solar Cooking: Hard-Boiled Eggs In The Solar Oven

by Tammy Taylor~

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I love my solar oven.  I’ve said it time & time again, I hate to fire up my electric oven during the heat & humidity of our Texas summers.  Not only does it cost fuel for the stove to operate, but boiling eggs adds even more heat inside our home.  That requires our air conditioning to work overtime cooling it back down, therefore costing even more money.

Several years ago I bought a solar oven and I absolutely love it!  What a great item in your Emergency Preparedness toolbox! Then at a Mother Earth News Fair I attended a few years ago, a solar-cooking seminar presenter told us how easy it was to cook ‘hard-boiled’ whole eggs in the solar oven without even using water.  Color me intrigued!

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