T.J. Stewart

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since Sep 17, 2017
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food preservation homestead medical herbs
Home educating, permaculture homesteading, wife to 1, mother to 11.
Zone 6a
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Recent posts by T.J. Stewart

Welcome to Permies, Tyler.  :)
20 hours ago
If you have the ability to watch a short video Ruth Stout (and "her method") was featured in before she died, here's the link:

Ruth Stout no work method: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNU8IJzRHZk

Those bales of hay are like having "garden silver" (with composted manure or worm castings being "garden gold").  :)
Inspiring!  Thanks for taking time to post pictures of it. :)  
2 days ago
Our traps arrived today (gotta love Prime, even if you hate the machine lol).

My soon to be 16 year old son unboxed the traps. There were 6 of them.  They didn't look especially strong or effective, but they were here and we were going to try them out.  But first, my son had to do the "finger test".  Yes, that means that he wanted to see what it would feel like if the trap snapped his finger.  We all looked on in anticipation...well, actually, first I told him that I didn't think he should try it because it might really hurt, but his hands are pretty big (he's a farm boy after all) and he wanted to try it, so in the end, I said "go for it." lol

SNAP.  It looked like it didn't hurt AT ALL and my son confirmed through his laughter that it didn't.  Okay.  Hummmm.  Oh well, I thought, maybe they'll still work.  We didn't have anything to lose by trying them since we had already bought them.  I told the boys to set some and put them in place.  They must have decided on using peanut butter because as I left the room, I saw them spooning it out.  

Fast forward a couple hours later when everyone had retired to their rooms.  SNAP.... screechhhh screechhhhhh (ah ha!  We got one!)    10 minutes later:  SNAP....... screechhhhh   1 hour later:  SNAP....... Screechhhh  

I really can not believe it, but these things really work!  Thanks for the recommendation, David! :)  

BTW, another thing that we like about them is that they are reusable and super simple to set.  
2 days ago

That is really good to know! I'm sure our old rice cooker is about to bite the dust and I love it - so I'll definitely look into your recommendation!
Oh wow! We're only a family of 5, (hopefully soon 6) and I'm really only homeschooling my 8 and 4 year old. (my youngest just turned 1 last week :) )
Can I just sit at your knees and learn for a bit?
I feel like my life is constantly divided between either cleaning/cooking/teaching and rarely can I get all three done the same day.
I'd love to see how you organize your days!
Right now we're using mixed curriculum but mostly Christian Light Units and All About Reading, my second eldest is working through her kindergarten books, but loves sitting and doing "school" with her big sis! Lol ;)

I doubt that you'd be all that impressed with how I organize my days.  We are very much a little here and a little there type of home educators.  We go year round, sometimes hard at the books, but most of the time pretty soft.  I'm a back to basics type of lady, so I mainly just teach the 3r's and let them follow some of their own interests.  I use Rod and Staff as a base and I also really like Phonics Tutor and Readmaster Plus (ACE).  We do a lot of homesteading and farm related stuff.  Cook mostly everything from scratch.  Promote reading and working with your hands (sewing, woodworking, building fun things like tree houses, etc.).  Provide them with instruments (which they teach themselves to play) and we have group singing.  My husband has a talent for singing and music, so it's an "inherited" blessing that they are musically talented.  Anyway, we are really eclectic in our approach.  I have four sons who have already "graduated" (you never stop learning, right???).  Two of them are carpenters (foremen), one is a professional cabinet maker (he works for a small company that does custom builds, but wants to have his own shop one day), and the youngest is an electrician.  They all make good money, but most important to my husband and me (as far as working is concerned) is that they all have really good reputations for being excellent, hard workers, with great attitudes.  :)

I'm sure you are doing just fine.  Just keep on encouraging a love for learning and being available to them when they need help.  Try to have a good attitude and try to include them in almost all of your adventures (Instant Pot cooking is an adventure, no? LOL).  :)  That's all the advise that I have... told you that you wouldn't be impressed lol :)

Back to the topic at hand...

A few years ago, my crock pots were my best friends, but  I actually very rarely use them to cook in these days.  I only use them to transport cooked (in the IP) food places for carry in meals or if we are having a lot of company and I need to use my IP to make more than one thing, I'll empty the contents of the IP into one of my crocks to keep it warm.  Oh and I use them to make apple butter.  :)

@Dan I really liked my 8 qt (when it was working) but if IP started offering a 10 qt pot, I'd buy one today. :) It was nothing for my crew to eat their way to the very bottom of the 8qt at times, especially if chili was in the pot. :)
2 days ago
I'm not the OP, but David, upon your endorsement, I'm ordering The Better Mousetrap(s) from your affiliate link.  (Michael, I looked at the link that you provided, but I'm in The States, so I can't try that one).  I'll try to remember to come back here and report how it goes for us. :)
4 days ago
If I were on a stranded island that some kind of way had electricity and I could only take one thing, it would be my Instant Pots.  Just teasing, lol, but they really are some of my favorite things that I own.  My only complaint is that they have not really lasted very long for me.  I have had 2 quit on me, both just a little after the warranty.  I have had all 3 sizes, now I'm down to the 3 qt and 6 qt.  I'm really bummed that my 8 qt quit on me a couple of months ago.  There's almost never a day that goes by that I don't use one, or both of them.  

The other kitchen appliance that I wouldn't want to live without is my SS rice cooker.  https://www.amazon.com/Aroma-Simply-Stainless-Uncooked-Cooked/dp/B007WQ9Z56/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=stainless%2Bsteel%2Brice%2Bcooker&qid=1579047437&sr=8-3&th=1  I had wanted a Miracle SS Rice cooker https://miracleexclusives.com/miracle-stainless-steel-rice-cooker-p-157.html for years, but it was never in my budget.  Finally, I came across the Aroma brand about 4.5 years ago.  Amazon had some returned ones selling for like 23.00 (with free returns), so I decided to go for it and it has been one of my best buys (appliance wise) ever!  This is used daily in our home (sometime two times a day) and it's still humming along.  

Ginny, I also home educate my children (seven of them right now) and we have a family of 13 all together, so you can imagine how much time the IP saves me (and why I have more than one lol)! :)
4 days ago
We use sticky traps sometimes they work good, sometimes, the mice start to learn what they are.  We bait with katsup.  The bucket trap that Keith posted a youtube link to has not worked all the well for us for some reason (might just be us though).  I would have to agree that cats work the best.  We had cats outside last year, and hardly any mice, but we got rid of most of them.  Out of the two that we kept, one was stolen (YES! we think it was our pizza delivery lady... who does that??? I didn't want to call her boss because I didn't want her to get fired, but we weren't too happy about it... anyway, I digress), the other one, poor little thing, he got out on the road and was hit.  After we gave up the ones we had and lost the other two the mouse population in our house exploded!  I'm not really an indoor cat person, but I'm really REALLY not an indoor mouse person, so I think we are going to have to get a cat.
4 days ago
If you need them to last the whole season or longer, you can make them from recycled cans.  

Edible Acres has a tutorial on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPS5W_h_5jY

I also buy used venetian blinds really cheaply from the thrift store and cut them into labels.  One set of blinds makes hundreds of labels.  
4 days ago
Welcome back!  I hope you find some solutions to your drainage (or lack thereof) issues.  :)
4 days ago