Emergency Preparedness on the Homestead: Solar Oven

by Tammy Taylor~

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Our great state of Texas has been hit hard by Mother Nature.  Hurricane Harvey barrelled onto shore recently, leaving devastation in his path.  Streets were impassable and the damage was great.  Even if a home was undamaged, thousands were without electricity for several days. Some are still without electricity and have no idea for how long.  These natural disasters get me to thinking about emergency preparedness.

Recent natural disasters get me to thinking about our emergency preparedness plans. A solar oven is a must when electricity is out. #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Homestead Hack: Peace Of Mind Before A Trip

by Tammy Taylor~

Don’t you just hate when you leave for the weekend and worry that you’ve forgotten something? Me too!  Our trips are often during a weekend but sometimes the duration is a week or so.  Clouds of doubt circle my head:  “Did we unplug the coffee pot?  What about the garden pump, did we turn it off?  Uuug, I forgot to take the compost outside before we left!”

We don’t travel often but every time we do I feel that familiar “what did we forget” dread, I know most of you are the same. But no more!  Check out today’s easy homestead hack, y’all.

We don't travel often but every time we do I feel that familiar "what did we forget" dread. But no more! Check out this homestead hack. #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Hurricane Harvey Severe But We’re TEXAS Strong!

by Tammy Taylor~

Our fellow Texans to the south of us on the Gulf Coast really took a lashing when hurricane Harvey came to shore.  He powered to shore at 9:45 Friday evening as a monstrous Category 4 hurricane just northeast of Corpus Christi. It looks like Rockport, TX took a direct hit.  Texas Governor Greg Abbott said that his primary concern remains “dramatic flooding” as the storm treks slowly inland.  Homes & business are completely destroyed, electricity is out for thousands. Many roads are impassible and damage is severe.

But Harvey doesn’t know you don’t mess with TEXAS.  We’re all one big family and we’ll band together to get through it…

We’re TEXAS Strong!

Our fellow Texans to the south of us on the Gulf Coast really took a lashing when hurricane Harvey came to shore. But we're TEXAS Strong! #TaylorMadeHomestead

If you’d like to help show your love to those affected by Hurricane Harvey you can donate through the American Red Cross .  At their site you can also find out where to give blood or volunteer.

 

~TMH~

 

C’mon by & sit a spell!  Come hang out at our ~TMH~ Facebook Page. It’s like sitting in a front porch rocker with a glass of cold iced tea.  There are lots of good folks sharing!  And you can also follow along on Pinterest, Twitter or GooglePlus.

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Reducing Plastic In My Personal Hygiene Routines: Deodorant

by Tammy Taylor~

So, if you’ve been reading this blog for any time at all you know that I hate plastic.  Oh don’t get me wrong I think it has its uses, such as in the medical industry for example.  But for regular consumer products I hate it and strive to reduce what comes into our home as much as possible.  Since striving to reduce our plastics, colas & juices have been replaced with delicious icy-cold sun-brewed tea.  No plastic jug and it’s healthier (and so much CHEAPER) for us.  I’ve learned to make my own Face Powder and Dry Shampoo. and even spray Cleaner using repurposed containers. I learned to make my own Powdered Laundry Detergent and also Laundry Scent Booster for a little something extra when desired. It’s been quite a fulfilling and fun challenge for me.

Recently I was thinking about the many ways I’ve cut the waste from our personal hygiene routine.   RancherMan & I have made our own froufrou bar soap for years and I’ve even started making my own minty mouthwash (recipes are below).  But there’s one thing I haven’t shared with you yet.  I dunno, I just figured maybe it was a little TMI.  But it’s my deodorant.  Let’s talk about that.

I've been mindful of the waste in my personal hygiene routine. I'm making my own mouthwash & bar soap. Let's talk about deodorant! #TaylorMadeHomestead

 

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How To Make Whipped Cream Sweetened With Honey!

by Tammy Taylor~

Y’all know we’re newbie beekeepers just in our 2nd year of beekeeping.  We absolutely love it.  Of course we got no honey harvest that first year, but this past July we finally made a small harvest.  Aaaaahhhh, there’s nothing like the taste of raw honey fresh from the comb #amiright?

I’m using honey in my kitchen these days wherever possible.  I’ve never made homemade whipped cream before but this recipe from Real Food Enthusiast looked easy & was sweetened with honey. You know I’m all over that!  I bumped the honey volume up just a bit to suit our tastes.  I found it’s true what they say about making homemade whipped cream. It really IS easy and I love the subtle taste of honey in this recipe.  Come see how easy it really is!

It's easy to make your own whipped cream in minutes. This recipe is sweetened with honey instead of powdered sugar. Delicious! #TaylorMadeHomestead

 

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Repurposing an Empty Coffee Canister to a Cute, Country BreadBox

by Tammy Taylor~

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I’ve been sharing various ways I’m able to repurpose those handy coffee canisters once they’re empty.  I’ve painted them and used them for a Back Porch Planter to hold mint transplants.  (This also makes a cuter way to share plants with friends.)  I’ve also used them to hold large quantities of Dried Rosemary from that beautiful plant outside our back door.  And of course I use those canisters in my Garden to simplify my tasks there as well.  I even (after much trial and error) discovered how to Remove The Print from those canisters so I could use it decoratively in my kitchen.  But this is the first such decorative project I’ve attempted and I’m BEYOND thrilled at how it turned out!  I made a cute, country bread box out of it!

Repurposed Empty Coffee Canister into Cute, Country-Style Bredbox. I'm always repurposing those empty coffee canisters. But this time I've made a country bread box. Love it! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Fall-Back Friday: Environmental Awareness On The Homestead

by Tammy Taylor~

RancherMan & I are tackling our summertime chores during these dog-days of summer.  One of those summertime chores is to mow pastures after the cattle eaten it down & have rotated to a fresh pasture. WHEW!  It’s hot out there, y’all!  We’re very careful about our sun exposure since much of our tasks are done outside (You can read my Sun Protection Post Here).

But y’all know my heart has an environmental bend. And fueling our tractors has always hurt my crunchy-green heart. You see, since the fuel openings on our tractors are at the top of the hood, filling them with fuel always involved spilling fuel.  Always.  I don’t blame RancherMan for this of course.  He had to first hoist a heavy 5-gallon fuel can to the top of our tractor’s hood.  Then he had to tip the can trying to get the spout into the opening before fuel began to pour.  He did all he could to make sure it all went into the tractor’s fuel tank but…

Then we stumbled upon a No-Spill Fuel Can!  That fuel can is probably hands-down my favorite environmentally-friendly item on our ranch.  I’ve heard others say they use it for their riding lawn mowers too.  So if you too hate to try to fill equipment with fuel without spilling, check out today’s Fall-Back Friday post, y’all!

Environmental Awareness On The Homestead - No-Spill Fuel Can. No more spilling fuel when trying to refuel our equipment! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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How We Save Seeds To Save Money On The Homestead

by Tammy Taylor~

I have to have a garden every year.  It’s just in my blood.  My hands must be in the dirt, coaxing that young tender plant. The payoff is of course that home-grown produce to nourish our bodies.  Healthy produce picked right before supper.  Produce that I’m able to preserve for colder months, and share with others around me with my weekly #BlessingBasket.

I try to only grow heirloom plants in my garden.  One of the main reasons behind this is so that I can save the seed to plant each and every year.  You see, saving hybrid seed might not be productive.  That’s because hybrid seed may not come back true to the mother plant the next year.  But heirloom seed will!  You know exactly what you’re gonna get with heirloom seeds. Come see how I carefully put back that precious seed in anticipation of next year’s bounty.

Heirloom Seed-Saving for Next Year's Garden. I save garden veggie seed to plant each year. Come see how I put back that precious seed in anticipation of next year's bounty. #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Breakfast Biscuits Are A Company-Worthy Breakfast In A FLASH

by Tammy Taylor~

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I don’t know about you, but when I’m hosting guests I always stress about what to feed them.  Will I be able to make sure they can eat according to the schedule they’re accustomed to?  How will I know when they’re hungry?  Will I be able to whip up something delicious while not being shackled to the kitchen?  And what will I serve?  What, what, WHAT??!!

If you stress about feeding guests too, I’m about to share one of my favorite breakfast-in-a-flash shortcuts.  I like to have ham & cheese egg biscuits.  My guests call them BOBs (Breakfast-on-a-Biscuit)  The beautiful thing is I can make everything in advance & just assemble & enjoy.

BOB, or Breakfast on a Biscuit - is a quick company-worthy breakfast of scrambled eggs, thinly-sliced ham & cheese on a biscuit. #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Public Safety: Restaurant Repeatedly Blocking Fire Exits??

by Tammy Taylor~

While traveling out of town to visit my aunt & uncle back in March of this year, RancherMan & I stopped into a very popular tourist restaurant, The Big Texan Steak Ranch.    It’s a fun place with lots of energy and the food is delicious.  Oh and they’ll fill your growler with some of their specialty beers.  You know RancherMan is all over that! And their claim to fame is that if you can eat a whopping 72-oz steak with all the fixin’s in an hour you get your meal for free. (YIKES!)  That challenge has been tried (and failed) many times.  A few times someone’s actually been successful!  (again, YIKES!) LOL

But as we were sitting at the table enjoying our meal I looked around the room.  The dining room is semi-dimly lighted and tables are placed end-to-end in long rows.  But right there by our table was the fire exit.  I was shocked to see it was blocked by all manner of table-bussing trash and castaways.  There were chunky high chairs stacked so high in front of the fire extinguisher you’d have to don your Superman cape, fly over and somehow move them all just to get to it.  And the door itself was blocked with chairs, folding trays & menu trash.  Wow. With the layout of this large dining room, this could be a disaster waiting to happen!

The Big Texan Restaurant is repeatedly blocking the fire exit. In any restaurant if you SEE something SAY SOMETHING! The Life You Save Could Be Yours! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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