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Kyleann33
Interests: I love being a stay at home mom. Alex & I go for walks, visit the library, explore creeks & parks, bake and paint together. I also love sewing- I sew children's clothes to sell in a baby boutique and cloth produce and market bags to sell in a local food store.
Recent Activity
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Our Freedom Ranger meat chicks arrived from Lancaster County, PA on Wednesday. 1 was dead in the box, the other 32 were healthy. (In 8 years of keeping chickens this is the first year we've had dead chicks!!) Eli was very upset the first afternoon, because they were so loud out on our covered back porch, where he likes to hang out. But once they got settled in they don't make much noise, except for the occasional sweet peep. Eli helps to fill their food and water. Alex told us he isn't looking at the chicks until they are bigger,... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Adventures On a Rural Homestead
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Our green pepper plants did very well in the garden this year. I planted many more than I usually do, about 15 plants. We had enough peppers for my salsa canning, my mom's salsa canning, to eat fresh, and now to freeze. We like to cook strips of peppers and onions to have on tacos and rice & bean bowls. This morning after I got a Crock Pot of bone broth started I picked a basket of peppers to cut and freeze. The boys helped me clean out our chest freezers, so we have plenty of room for the veggies... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Adventures On a Rural Homestead
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The boys certainly have their share of tussles and fights, but also sweet moments playing together. Alex helped Eli with his lesson on Monday, something Eli dearly loves! We decided to do our Christmas shopping now, since things might close down again this winter. We loved going to Staunton and supporting locally-owned shops for our Christmas shopping last year. We were delighted to find out that the local toy store there has a great website, we can order and do curbside pickup for our gifts. The boys have had fun looking and making lists together. Alex wanted to do some... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Adventures On a Rural Homestead
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I've been feeling anxious lately, as I prepare for fall/winter with Covid and worry about what will happen after the November presidential election. My homesteading group had a long post this weekend, and many people said that they expect riots/awfulness no matter who wins the election. I've been stocking up again on basic necessities. After a few days of hiding from the garden (I needed a break from canning) I picked a 5-gallon bucket of tomatoes and big basket of green peppers. Alex said he'll help me can another batch of salsa tomorrow. It feels so good to have our... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Adventures On a Rural Homestead
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I've been working on building self-care habits, by doing yoga daily and walking our hilly country roads most days too. Mom joins me occasionally for walks, and we enjoy chatting about books we're reading, cooking, gardening, and the state of things. We had a wonderful 6 mile walk yesterday. We saw beautiful wildflowers, admired cattle, and these sweet kittens at our neighbors dairy when we picked up my milk. I told my mom I'd like to do some long distance hikes, like 13.1 miles (a half marathon), then 20 miles and 40 miles next year for my 40th birthday. She... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Adventures On a Rural Homestead
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We enjoyed a nice long weekend together, and bright sunny days! The weather is deliciously crisp and cooler, we enjoyed lots of time outside. I went for hilly walks everyday, last evening my mom joined me for a walk in town which is always a treat. The boys worked on printing more cards to sell. They've had fun working together and teaching Eli how to print. We harvested and cooked good food from the garden. Nick has been enjoying cooking on the grill, and I do the side dishes like potato salad, carrots in butter, coleslaw etc. Mom and I... Continue reading
Posted Sep 7, 2020 at Adventures On a Rural Homestead
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Politics is not my thing, but I know the upcoming election is very important to many of my family and friends. I heard about Postcards to Voters, and decided it was an easy way I could volunteer from home. I signed up, sent a sample postcard to be an approved writer, and got my first list of 20 addresses. I printed postcards on cardstock and got 20 postcards in the mail today. The campaign I'm helping with is to get registered Democrats in Florida to vote by mail. I enjoy handwriting, and will get 20 more addresses today to work... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2020 at Adventures On a Rural Homestead
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Most days I have a dinner planned ahead of time, and I like to prepare most of it after the boy's morning lesson. Today I couldn't come up with an idea, then on the way home from the library I decided what to make. This easy taco casserole features staples we always have on hand, and was easy to make. We have so many green peppers in our garden right now, one of my jobs for tomorrow is to slice and freeze them so we can make dishes like this all winter. Easy Taco Casserole ~Cook about 1 cup brown... Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2020 at Adventures On a Rural Homestead
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I picked 2 more 5-gallon buckets of tomatoes on Friday, and canned Saturday morning. I canned 7 quarts of whole tomatoes, 9 pints of whole tomatoes, and made more roasted tomato pasta sauce. The sauce is so easy and delicious! Roasted Tomato Pasta Sauce 12 pounds tomatoes, cored and cut into chunks 1 large green pepper 2 medium onions 6 garlic cloves salt and black pepper (about 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper) handfuls of fresh basil and oregano ~Roast in 400 degree oven for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. When cool blend in a strong blender. Makes... Continue reading
Posted Aug 30, 2020 at Adventures On a Rural Homestead
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We picked 2 more 5-gallon buckets of tomatoes Tuesday evening, and I got busy yesterday canning. I tried a new recipe for oven roasted tomato pasta sauce that is so delicious! I chopped up the veggies and roasted them Tuesday evening after dinner, so the kitchen was hot at the end of the day when we didn't need to be in there. Yesterday morning I blended the sauce and put it in quart jar with plenty of space so I can freeze them. Then Alex helped me chop peppers and onions for another batch of salsa. He got his goggles... Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2020 at Adventures On a Rural Homestead
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The boys were looking for something to do this morning, and Eli asked Alex to have a business with him. They decided to have an art show, and spent the day creating things to sell. Alex made figures from Sculpey, paintings and a finger-knitted snake, Eli colored cards and bookmarks. Nick hung lights and moved tables into the garage. The boys got everything arranged and priced, and invited Grammy and Grampa to come see their artwork and shop. It was so fun to see them spending hours making things, and their pleasure in showing others their creations. Eli enjoyed making... Continue reading
Posted Aug 23, 2020 at Adventures On a Rural Homestead
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I picked 2 5-gallon buckets of tomatoes on Friday, and Nick picked a 3rd 5-gallon bucket full on Saturday. I asked Nick to chop the onions and peppers while I did the jar prep and tomatoes. We got to work Saturday morning, and after 5 canners and 11 hours we had 45 pints of delicious salsa. Eli loves to help fill the jars, the funnel makes it very kid-friendly! Alex helped to skin and chop the last few batches of tomatoes, and entertained me with facts about dinosaurs and space while we worked. We have 45 pints of salsa and... Continue reading
Posted Aug 23, 2020 at Adventures On a Rural Homestead
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We walked our back field path Friday evening, on the search for Monarch caterpillars and eggs on the milkweed plants. Another homeschool family was going to buy Monarch caterpillars, we said we would find some to give to them instead. We had fun searching, and watching the dragonflies and other insects. We found about 10 Monarch eggs and 5 caterpillers, then continued our walk. Levi amused us by hunting for voles, we love to see him pounce. It was a wonderful time to be together outside for a walk, every time we are out there I say how thankful I... Continue reading
Posted Aug 23, 2020 at Adventures On a Rural Homestead
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My mom asked me to walk yesterday afternoon. My dad stayed here with the boys, while Mom and I had a lovely almost 6 mile hilly walk in the country. We walked to the slab bridge over the beautiful creek on the gravel roads, one of my favorite walking spots. The gravel road was covered in clouds of lemon yellow Cloudless Sulphur butterflies, I've never seen anything like it! We walked through hundreds of butterflies dancing all around us, it was magical. It was a wonderful afternoon to take in the beauty, to chat with my Mom, and to feel... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2020 at Adventures On a Rural Homestead
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Tuesday is when the local donut truck is in our town, so our day started with a sweet treat! Then we got to work on some food preservation. We got the dehydrator filled with our sweet Seckel Pears, and had lots to give away to friends too. Eli liked to help me by coring the pears, I sliced them and put them on the trays. I got our first canner load of whole tomatoes canned, and the boys helped by working together to pick tomatoes in the garden this morning while I hung laundry out to dry. We enjoy canned... Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2020 at Adventures On a Rural Homestead
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We met my parents in the woods at Paul State Forest yesterday afternoon. Grumpa's still recovering from a thigh injury, so we got him set up with his chair and books a little ways up the trail. It was so lovely to walk and chat, to admire the huge Oak trees and plants along the trail. The boys enjoyed using Grumpa's knives to carve a rotted log. They found insects to examine while Grammy and I chatted on the trail. It was a lovely time in the woods, and we hope to go more often! Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2020 at Adventures On a Rural Homestead
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The boys picked our Seckel Pears this week, and they are on shelves to ripen in the basement. They picked 4 5-gallon buckets, and there are still lots of pears on the trees! I still have pear jam and pear sauce leftover from last summer, so will dry a bunch and maybe can some half pears in syrup. In between pouring rains we've harvested tomatoes and more zucchini from the garden. We let some zucchini get big so we could make zoodles, one of the boys favorite summer meals. They made the zoodles while I cooked beef, garlic, onions, tomatoes... Continue reading
Posted Aug 15, 2020 at Adventures On a Rural Homestead
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I got an early start to more food preservation yesterday morning. After picking apples on Sunday the boys picked 80 jalapeno peppers! I pickled several pints, then chopped and froze the rest. Then my mom came and helped me process more apples. We finished the applesauce and filled the food dehydrator with apple rings to dry. Eli helped to pour the sauce into the jars, while Alex printed more of his bird cards. Then we started processing potatoes. Eli liked to help wash them, it was sweet to have him in the kitchen with us. Eli was super pleased when... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2020 at Adventures On a Rural Homestead
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We had a wonderful weekend home together. Saturday started with buttermilk pancakes and creating. Alex watched a wonderful video on Red Ted Art and learned how to finger knit a snake, and even increased the stitches for a wider head. While Alex made a snake Eli did some beading and made a necklace. The boys were both very pleased with their creations. Alex made a snake for Nick's artwork shelf at work, and Eli made a bracelet. Sunday morning the boys picked apples, and were delighted to get 2 1/2 5-gallon buckets full of apples. I woke up Sunday with... Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2020 at Adventures On a Rural Homestead
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We had a lovely day yesterday. Over mid-day breakfast we listened to Susan Wise Bauer's "The Story of the World," while sitting on the back porch. After eating I read aloud from our chapter book "Sees Behind Trees," and more from the Trickster Tales graphic novel. Then Alex printed some of his block print bird cards, he's making some more sets to sell. It's so wonderful to see him printing all by himself, and he even cleaned up when he was finished! While Alex printed cards Eli played CatStax, a fun puzzle game. The boys had both asked to go... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2020 at Adventures On a Rural Homestead
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We've had some welcome and much needed rain the past week. The beginning of the week we had over 3" of rain in 1 day and night! It's been a nice break from watering the garden and trees. Eli has asked for help doing some baking, and made delicious sweet potato crackers. We've also enjoyed having some inside time and playing games. Playing games is one of Eli's favorite things to do, and he's always delighted when Alex plays with him. Loonacy, Yam Slam and Go Nuts for Donuts have been favorite games this week. I've spent lots of time... Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2020 at Adventures On a Rural Homestead
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We dug more potatoes this week, we now have 4 5-gallon buckets of potatoes! I think potatoes are one of my favorite thing to harvest, it's like a giant treasure hunt. The boys enjoy helping me too, and I treasure our time in the garden together. I hope to have the time and energy to can some, and we're eating potatoes every day. I stored them in the basement in a big laundry basket with layers of newspaper between the stacks. We've enjoyed baked potatoes, oven fries, pesto potatoes, Crockpot mashed potatoes and most recently my Uncle Ben's delicious potato... Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2020 at Adventures On a Rural Homestead
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We spent a few hours at Silver Lake fishing last evening, and besides being too hot, had a wonderful time. We didn't catch anything, but saw lots of small fish. The boys enjoyed catching minnows and frogs with their nets, and watching the Kingfishers and ducks on the lake. We were the only ones there, and had a lovely evening together. It was so nice to be out, and to be doing something so normal. Next time we'll check out the other side of the lake, where there are a few nice shade trees! Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2020 at Adventures On a Rural Homestead
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“The real things haven’t changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and to have courage when things go wrong.” ~Laura Ingalls Wilder⁣ "The earth is not insignificant to our healing" - Paula D'Arcy We spent yesterday morning at Natural Chimneys, where we had the place to ourselves. We were surprised there was water in the river, it's usually dry this time of year. We played in the water, hiked the trail up above the chimneys, and enjoyed the healing time in the woods! Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2020 at Adventures On a Rural Homestead
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The insect pests are very plentiful in the garden this year, and along with the drought and heat wave have made it a difficult gardening season. But we've had plenty to eat fresh and preserve so far~ I've made dill pickles and can green beans every couple of days. We have 85 pints of green beans so far, and I'm off to pick more this morning. I planted beets, carrots, cabbage and peas for the fall, and I hope they'll germinate and do well. Our 7 day forecast is for every day in the mid 90s! Our tomato plants look... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2020 at Adventures On a Rural Homestead