Thursday, July 24, 2014

Ducks, eggs and pickles

Good morning, afternoon or evening depending on when you are reading this. It has been a little while since I have updated you on what is going on here at Keebs Acres Nubians (that is my herd name, cool isn't it?). Last Friday my husband, daughter and I went to Roger's auction with some really great friends and I am hooked! I cannot wait to go back. My husband purchased a box of bananas for 5 dollars which is a great deal! My only problem was what to do with all of those bananas before they went bad! Well, I finally got them all used. First we made tons of banana chips in my excalibur dehydrator. We dipped them in a mixture of part honey and part water and then dried them for what seemed forever, they are a little chewy but taste great! We also ate some bananas of course but you can only eat so many so yesterday I pureed some and put it in the freezer to be used later for banana cakes, muffins, and bread. I also froze some whole to be used in smoothies and shakes. It will be nice to just pull some out whenever we are in the mood for something banana. I also purchased 6 beautiful ducklings at the auction. They are great! I love having ducks. My husband of course acts like he cannot believe I have added another animal but I know he does not mind and likes them also. If I can put up with his calves he can put up with my ducks, lol.

No matter how many years I raise chickens it is still exciting when a new chicken lays her first egg and yesterday one of my younger hens laid her first egg!! I was excited and of course yelled for my husband to come see. I cannot even imagine how excited I will be when my ducks start laying eggs. I am really hoping they are not all boys, lol. The middle egg in the picture below is the new one. Isn't it pretty?

And last but not least I spent the day canning up some of the produce out of the garden. My canning cabinet is starting to get filled up and I think it looks so pretty. Does anyone else like to just stare at their canned goods because of how pretty they look. Here are some pictures of some of the stuff I canned yesterday.

I picked the peas a little too late and only ended up with a dozen jars but that is better then no jars.

The picture below is of some of the pickles I was able to get canned. We are having an abundance of cucumbers this year and have even been blessed with enough to share with friends and family.


 This year I have truly been blessed for the first time with a large garden that is doing amazingly well and I am thankful to God for this abundant blessing!

Have a wonderful and blessed day!!


Shared at Homestead Barn Hop

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Primitive skills workshop

I am back! In case you did not notice I have been missing for a few months. Life gets busy sometimes and you cannot always get done what you want but a few things have changed around here and I have a little more time in my day to get things done. The biggest change is that my husband is now on the daylight shift at work. I find it crazy how much more I can get done with him at work during the day and home in the evening. I am thoroughly enjoying it. 

Now to the topic of my post today. Last weekend my husband Doug, a friend of my husband's whose name is Bob, my daughter Caitlyn and I all went to a Primitive skills workshop at our state park. We had a great time. It was nice making new friends and learning how to do things in a survival situation. 
Caitlyn and I making our spindle

The hardest thing we learned was how to make a spindle, hand hold and fire board to use with a bow drill to start a fire. 
Doug's spindle, hand hold and fire board. Mine was not picture worthy.

No matter how hard I tried I just could not get a fire started so I guess I learned that if I am ever lost then I will probably be dieing from hypothermia, lol. Like Pat (instructor) said now we need to practice so I plan on practicing and perfecting my bow drill skills and hope to be the first to start a fire next year. We also learned how to coal burn, that was fun. 
Spoon made from coal burning

What you do is you take a piece of wood, the size is dependent on whether you are wanting to make something small like a spoon or something big like a bowl to collect water, Pat even said if you had months you could even make a canoe. We did not have that much time so we did not attempt that. After you select the piece of wood and have it cut down to size you take a coal out of your fire and put it where you want to make an indention in what you are making and then just blow on the coal moving it around a little, after the coal goes out you just get another until you have the desired depth and size you need. It was fun. The only part I did not enjoy was sleeping in the tent on the ground. We brought an air mattress but were unable to blow it up so I ended up sleeping in the car. I really enjoyed this workshop though and I plan on attending it next year. They have lots of great workshops at the park and we will be attending an Edible Wild Plants workshop at the beginning of next month. I would suggest that everyone check and see if their state park offers these kinds of learning experiences. 

Have a blessed day!!


This post shared at the Homestead Barn Hop

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

making maple syrup

A few weeks ago my husband and I went to a maple sugaring workshop at our state park. I had just had surgery on my left hand 2 days before but my husband still drug me to the workshop because he said I will be glad I went and of course he was right. I am so glad we went. I cannot say I had alot of fun at the workshop because I was still recovering from the surgery but I did have fun the weeks after the workshop. We decided to tap the maple trees around here. We found 12 maple trees to tap this year. It is harder to tell which ones are maples when there are no leaves on them so in the summer we will be going around and seeing where all of them are while they have leaves. The first thing we had to do was figure out how to make taps because we did not have time to order some and have them arrive before the season is over because there is a short few week window to tap them and get enough sap so my wise husband made me some taps from the casing from some ink pens. They worked great! We hung gallon jugs and 2 liter pop bottles to collect the sap.

This one hung on a tree in my mom and grandma's front yard and it also is the one that collected the most sap. I am pretty sure this is a sugar maple tree but I will know for sure in the summer when it has it's leaves. 

 In the picture above I was having to fix one of the taps that I accidentally broke and I was fixing it in the snow! I cannot believe we are getting so much snow this year. As you can see this was the first day of spring!

Here is a picture of my sister and I emptying one of the 2 liters into a bucket. Those buckets got heavy after they were full.

When I would get the buckets of sap back to the trailer I would strain the sap with a paper towel lined funnel into quart and half gallon mason jars to keep in the refrigerator until the weekend.

When the weekend arrived and after I collected gallons of sap I would then spend the whole day boiling the water out of the sap to get down to the sweet goodness of syrup. It takes lots and lots of hours to boil all of the water out. Next year my husband is going to have a place built outside to boil down the sap so that we don't have to use so much electric running the stove all day and because I plan to have alot more sap. 

The picture above shows when the sap is almost done and made into syrup. We boiled it until the temp was around 220 degrees. My trailer smelled really sweet.

We ended up with 3 quarts of this amazing syrup. I know there is only 2 quarts in this picture but what can I say, we really like this stuff and we already have eaten a quart.  

Isn't it amazing the things God provides naturally? I am going to use some of this to make maple candy and the rest will be used on pancakes, french toast and waffles. Yum!

Hugs and blessings to all!!


Shared at Homestead Barn Hop


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Homesteading Wife's Christian Devotional ebook review

I recieved the privilege of reading The Homesteading Wife's Christian Devotional and favorite recipes ebook and I truly enjoyed reading each page. She shares personal stories throughout the whole book to show us that we are not alone on our journey and how God got her through each day. Along with a heartfelt prayer and delicious recipe at the end of each chapter, she also includes some beautiful illustrations. I have tried alot of the recipes in this book and have loved each one and look forward to trying more. This book discusses topics on anger, hospitality, humor,  family and much more. I definitely recommend this book to all women especially the homesteading wife.

If you would like to order this book (and I recommend you do) then click here Bleesings to all!


Friday, March 7, 2014

Being content

                                                            Being content

                                         Philippians 4:11-13

                      11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be 
                      content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need,
                      and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being 
                      content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether
                      living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me 

Do you find it hard to be content in every situation you are in? I do. I find it easy to be content when things are going the way I want them too and I am comfortable but what about the times when you are not getting what you want? Those are the times when it is the hardest. I am writing this post the day after having carpal tunnel surgery on my left hand, a month ago I had the same surgery on my right hand and I realized that last time I was not very content. I refused to just relax and allow myself to heal. I just pushed myself to try and do the things I was used to doing and insisted on doing them myself instead of allowing others to help me. Instead of enjoying my days of rest I was wearing myself out and wishing the days away. All I could think about was what I could not do and being upset that life wasn't the way I wanted it to be. I was not very content. Not only was I suffering I also was not allowing others to experience the joy of helping me. I was wore out, unhappy, and causing myself unneeded pain. This time I have decided to accept the situation and be content with my circumstances and allow myself to see what God has in store. I know it is going to be great.

Is there a situation in your life that instead of being content and allowing God to give you the strength to get you through you are instead feeling that it is unfair and being miserable about the circumstance? Now is the time to pray and give it to God and allow him to give you the strength. There is no circumstance so big or so small that God does not want to help you through it.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength. 

Have a wonderful and blessed day.


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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Here some updated pictures of some of our goat babies. Are you ready for some cuteness?

 This is a picture of Sophia eating some hay with her mom. She is our biggest kid. I think because she was a single and her mom only has her to feed she is getting all of the milk and growing nicely. Her mom's name is Nellie.
 Here is another picture of Sophia, she is very playful and here she is nibbling on the bottom of my coat.
 This handsome young man is Reggie. A couple days ago I went out to the goat pen and he was laying on the ground in the snow and could not get up. I had some help from a wonderful friend that knew what to do and I gave him some medicine and after a very long night and only 4 hours of sleep for me he is now doing wonderful. You cannot even tell anything was wrong with him. Farm life is hard but the joyful moments make it worth it. I even like the hard work of it and life is never boring. I would not ever want to give this life up.

Blessings to you all!!


 Shared at The Homeacre Hop

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

What do you mean I cannot have chocolate?!

I found out a few months ago that due to some bladder issues I can no longer have caffeine. This was quite an adjustment for me. I did not realize how much caffeine I was consuming until I could not have any, even the smallest amount of caffeine causes me problems so I was on a new adventure to find things to replace some of the things I was having to give up. At first it was very difficult, good golly I was drinking a cup of coffee with chocolate creamer every morning and sometimes in the afternoon also and guess what Chocolate has caffeine in it! Aaaack! How was I going to give up chocolate. Chocolate is a girls best friend for Pete's sake. I felt like I was losing a friend but then I gathered myself and went on a journey to find other delicious items I can enjoy and tonight I am sharing some of the things I have found with you. I am also going to share a great recipe with you of one of my favorite cakes.

1.  Every Sunday morning I enjoy a white hot chocolate. At first it was a nice treat that tasted good but I still wanted my coffee but now I do not crave coffee anymore and I really look forward to this once a week treat.

2. Bengal Spice tea from Celestial Seasonings, this tea is awesome! It is the perfect blend of cinnamon, ginger, cardomom and cloves. Add some sweetener and milk and it is so close to tasting like Chai tea. I also love ginger tea with cinnamon and honey and honey, vanilla chamomile tea. 

3. I also enjoy a white chocolate Lindor truffle once in awhile as a special treat.

4. Water. Good ole H2O, I drink lots and lots of water. It is so much better for me and I am really feeling alot better.

5. Last but not least, one of my favorite all time cakes is a banana cake with cream cheese icing that my friend Cheryl Mitchell shared with me. Below is a picture she shared with me of a cake she made and the recipe. Thank you Cheryl for sharing! I hope you all enjoy.

Blessings!! ~April


1 1/2 cups over-ripe bananas, mashed (I used 5 bananas because I love them!)

2 teaspoons lemon juice

3 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup butter, softened

2 1/8 cups sugar

3 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 1/2 cups buttermilk (or sub 2 tsp white vinegar added to 1 1/2 cups whole milk, set aside)


1/2 cup butter, softened

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar


chopped walnuts


    Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
    Grease and flour a 9x13 baking pan.
    In a small bowl, mix mashed banana with the lemon juice; set aside.
    In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
    In a large bowl, cream 3/4 cup butter and 2 1/8 cups sugar until light and fluffy.
    Beat in eggs, one at a time, then stir in 2 tsp vanilla.
    Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk.
    Stir in banana mixture.
    Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for one hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (it took 1 1/2 hours in my oven so keep checking it).
    For the frosting: cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth.
    Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla.
    Add confectioner's sugar and beat on low speed until combined, then on high speed until frosting is smooth.
    Spread on cooled cake.
    Sprinkle chopped walnuts over top, if desired.

Saturday, February 22, 2014


The good Lord blessed us with a gloriously beautiful day today and I just wanted to take the time and stop to thank him. I am so thankful that amidst all of the cold and snow God decided to remind me of what the days to come are going to be like. It is like that in life at times also. Sometimes just like winter we feel like the hard times are never going to end and then spring starts to show it's pretty head or the bad time we are struggling through finally shows a glimmer of hope and we feel rejuvenated. Remember dear friends that God is always with us in the good times and the bad, the winter and the spring and he loves us and will never forsake us.

Blessings to all!!


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Stuck insede

I would like to say that I have been busy as a bee the last 2 weeks but that would be a lie. I have been quite the opposite. I have been sitting on the couch most of the time. And just like the little goat in the picture above I felt stuck inside. We have been getting one snowstorm after another and I am starting to feel like winter will never end. I know that God is in control and we have to go through each season but I have to admit I am getting a little impatient. Another reason I have been stuck inside is because I had surgery on my right hand for carpal tunnel. This was my first surgery ever and I did not realize how tired I would be and how hard it would be to do everything one handed, especially with my left hand. Thankfully I got my brace removed yesterday and I have a little more freedom with my hand. In 2 weeks I will be getting my left hand operated on but I am thankful to God that I have 2 weeks of being able to do a little bit more, like taking a shower without having to cover my lower arm with plastic and duct tape in order to keep it dry. I still cannot lift anything with that hand but it is nice that it is not in that heavy brace.

The baby goats are doing wonderful. We lost one so we are down to 10 now and they are all healthy and happy. It was very hard on me losing the one, I love them so much and he was such a sweetheart but sometimes that is life on a farm and we have to accept it even though it was heartbreaking. The little one in the lower picture my daughter has become very attached to and she named her Turtle. My daughter can go out in the pen and call her by name, it is really cute. All of the babies will be for sale in a few weeks but we will enjoy them and spoil them while they are here.

And last of all but definitely not least my husband bought me this Excalibur dehydrator for my Christmas/birthday present. I was so excited!! I made banana chips in it and I am looking forward to being able to use it alot more after I have 2 good hands.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful week. Blessings and hugs to all!!


Shared at The Homeacre Hop

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Happenings on the farm

One of the reasons I have not been posting lately is pictured above. I had carpul tunnel surgery on my right wrist and it is hard to type one handed but I have missed sharing with everyone and I have some wonderful things to share with you so I just had to take the time to type a post even if I have to do it one handed. We have had some hard times here on the farm. First my daughter got sick with mono, I felt so bad for her. She felt so awful but thankfully she is feeling better now and being a big help to me while I am recovering. After my daughter was better my grandma got sick and ended up in the hospital for a couple days and I spent most of my time there while my dear husband had to fend for himself. Thankfully it ended up not being serious. And now I have a brace on my right hand for a few weeks and after it heals I will be getting one on my left and I am thankful to God for giving my doctor the wisdom to fix my hand.

On a happy note before I got my surgery I was working on making these beautiful hats. Aren't they cute? They are also very warm and comfy.

And on an even happier note the picture below shows one of the best and cutest things that has happened here on the farm.

Hugs and blessings to all!!


Friday, January 10, 2014

We made it through!!

Mohawk and Nellie saying hello.

We made it through the coldest spell this winter!! It was tough but we are tough too so we just pushed through and prayed for it to be over soon. 2 days of below zero temps with one day that the wind chill went to -30. Happily the animals made it through amazingly well. We gave the goats some more bedding in the goat barn and they spent every minute in there except when they had to come out to eat hay and when they laid inside they huddled up together to stay nice and warm. They looked so cozy. I put alot of bedding in the rabbit pens and we have tarps around them that we pull down to cover the cages when it is cold. The biggest problems we had were the nozzles on the water bottles were freezing as soon as we put them out there so it was hard to keep water for them, so I made many trips out with warm fresh water. I have a friend that told me about a nice way to keep the bottles from freezing. I need to get the supplies to try it. The pig had so much hay in her den that if you did not know there was a pig out there then you never would have guessed and the walls around her den kept the frigid air out. She was nice and toasty warm in her den she made. The chickens also never came out of the coop, it is about 4 inches thick with bedding right now and the dog also had lots of straw and bedding in her box. All of the animals were out of the wind and keeping warm. We stayed warm when we had to be outside by layering and bundling. I do not think my niece recognized me when she saw me, because I was so completely bundled up you could not even see my face. I also made frequent trips inside to warm up my hands while working outside. It was very cold and alot of work but we made it through.

In 13 days I have 6 goats due to have their babies and on the 28th I have a rabbit due to have babies so soon their will be so much cuteness to post about, it is going to be great! Hopefully my rabbit is pregnant this time. The last 2 times it did not take. I do know that both the buck and doe is in working order because they have had babies before. Hoping this time it took.

Have a blessed day!!


Shared at the The HomeAcre Hop

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

saying goodbye to 2013 and hello to 2014

Today is the beginning of a new year and for me that means starting over in a sense. There are things I wish I would have gotten done in 2013 and didn't and there are new things that I am excited about getting started in 2014. I use the end of the past year to think of all of the things I am proud of and some of the things I am not so proud of. December 31st is a time of recollection while January 1st is excitedly a time to put my past regrets behind me and start a new year with new goals and a sense of excitement. Here is a list of goals for this year. First thing I will do is pray over this list and ask God for guidance to make sure I am doing his will.

1.Spend more time in God's word
2. exercise daily (this is on top of my farm work)
3. Eat more real whole foods (like apples, celery, etc. I am aware that a twinkie is real as in it can be touched and felt and it is a whole item but as you know that is not what I mean by whole real food, nice try though.)
4. Eat no more processed food (this goes in step with number 3)
5. Improve upon the pens for the animals.
6. Pay off debt and improve finances
7. Save some money
8. grow a BIG garden and can the produce with the intention of raising as much of our own food as possible

These are the goals I have for now. I will be adding more goals as the year goes on. I am looking forward to sharing my progress and my set backs with you. 

Wishing you and your family a wonderful and blessed 2014!!