When our Airbnb guest house flooded, the insurance unsurprisingly gave us peanuts to redo it. Hiring someone else would have left us with crappy flooring, crappy fixtures and a crappy laminate countertop. We of course decided to just redo the house ourselves and put in quality work.
To do it yourself or not do it yourself
One of the big expenses was the countertop, which we priced at thousands of dollars. I don’t believe I found anything for less than two grand. So of course I called up my big sister, Tashelle, and said I have an idea for countertops and I have no idea how to do it so Read More
I woke up early before the sun was up to get some beautiful pictures of the sky and enjoy the quiet of the desert before the farm animals wake up. I wish I’d had more time as the sunrise was extra beautiful and the weather extra perfect which is rare in the extreme desert. But alas, I had to teach my psychology class at Victor Valley College.
After a super interesting class on false memories and cult methods for brainwashing members, I headed back to the ranch to keep working on our renovations. The bathroom is Read More
I haven’t posted much about this even though we’ve been struggling with it since january. I was walking past the farmstay guest house and noticed water leaking out the walls.
I ran inside and there was just inches of water covering the entire first floor. Disaster! I was so upset.
The hot water heater’s heating element had shorted out and water was just Read More
I have been making caramels like crazy here in preparation of heading out to the Farmer’s Market and once again I have run out of vanilla extract. The local market here sells little dinky bottles of vanilla extract for nearly 8 bucks and I’d have to drive an hour to Costco to get a decent price and by then I’ve wasted all those savings on gas.
What a conundrum for a cheapskate like me!
At the same time, I pulled out an oldish bag of vanilla beans and was heart broken to see they’d gone stale. I can’t cut those up for putting into caramel. They were hard as a rock.
So why pay a gazillion dollars for beauty products? Like just about everything else the industrial machine charges an arm and a leg for, when you make it yourself it’s not only way cheaper, but generally healthier and more effective.
Here’s the first home made beauty product I ever made. More of a health product, but health and beauty really go hand in hand in my opinion.
This is so simple it’s unbelievable, it’s not even technically making anything. All I did was take baking soda and put it in a mason jar. Then I dampen my fingers and wipe a little of the soda under my arms. This simple and Read More
I hate ants. If there is one thing that we aren’t always exactly organic about, it’s dealing with ants. Mostly we break our organic rules with fire ants, but those little suckers can cause just as many problems. I searched the net to find some ways to deal with ants and here’s a few methods. Anybody have any other methods for ants? Do you have any suggestions for dealing with fire ants naturally?
- Baby Powder: You can dust this directly on to the ants when you see them and at all entry points where you think they might be entering.
- Cucumber Peelings: Leave cucumber peelings in the areas where ants appear, these Read More
I found some awesome plans online for homemade fly traps. These come from a book published in 1915 back when people still did things for themselves. The book is Shop Projects based on community problems. What a concept! It does make sense though considering the time period. This was the age of American Functionalism, an early movement in psychology that said we should apply the ideas of psychology towards making a better society and teaching children to be good citizens. These ends were to be achieved through hands on, practical tasks.
So here’s the basic idea. I will update this as Read More
Making homemade ice cream is so easy and so much fun. Well, it does take a little bit of exercise if you make it how we do with an authentic 1920s antique hand crank machine.
However, you can cheat and use an electric machine. We don’t think it tastes nearly as good, but it’s still way better than store bought. Here’s the recipe we use for basic vanilla:
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
a dollop of vanilla (probably like a tbsp)
a pinch of kosher Read More
Well, I spent yesterday dragging wooden pallets and setting up a fence only to have the wind blow it down today.
The hay pallet fence was a great idea. The pallets were free and just laying around providing a home for lizards.
I wired them together and drove wood stakes into the ground for support. I guess it wasn’t enough though. I’m going to try driving in more stakes before I give up.