About Me

Peach Jam

I spent the last two days making A LOT of peach jam. Like … over 8 gallons of it.

It’s fun and delicious, but boy oh boy it sure wears a person out.

The kids were awesome helpers, and they all pitched in with peeling and pitting the peaches, even after it got tedious, and we treated ourselves with ice cream as our reward.

However, once it was time to start boiling water for canning and cooking the jam, I kicked all the kids out of the kitchen. I worry about accidents, and we had A LOT of peach jam to process. Like … over 8 gallons of it.


Anyway, I’m exhausted right now.

But we won’t have to buy jam for a long, long time.

About Me


The word on the street is that there’s been a surge in the local raccoon population this year.

Indeed, it has been something of a routine to sit out on the porch in the evening and watch the raccoons boldly saunter up the driveway to help themselves to our backyard. Heck, I even asked my husband to accompany me outside one night to finish up a chore, because I was worried about raccoons.

In the neighborhood discussions on what to do about this problem, there’s always that person who says, “Why can’t we live in harmony with the widdle animals?”

Because they kill chickens and cats, ravage gardens, damage property, and carry horrible diseases like rabies.

That’s why.

So, the conversation goes something like:

“Just don’t leave cat food out, so they won’t visit your property.”

“They’re also attracted to fruit trees and gardens.”

“My neighbor had her entire flock of chickens killed by raccoons who then tore their way into the crawl space of her house to build their nest, and it stinks to high heaven.”

“But the widdle animals!”

People who don’t have any real-world experience don’t understand that Nature isn’t a benevolent entity that wants to wrap us in a loving embrace of peace and harmony. Life is not a Disney movie.

But hey, maybe by the time winter rolls around, a few minds will realize what a raccoon infestation actually means.

About Me


My husband signed me up for “Nextdoor,” which is basically Facebook, only everyone posting lives in the area. He was all, “It’s a good idea to know what’s going on around here,” then promptly put in my e-mail address. -_-;;

It’s mostly people telling other people how they should be living their lives, with some lost pets and classifieds thrown in.

I have a pretty strong perverse streak, so when someone posted, “Grasshoppers travel from yard to yard, so if you have them you better treat them,” it filled me with a strong, overwhelming desire to cultivate ours. Feed them. Baby them. Make sure they grow up big, strong, and plentiful.

Then unleash them on the neighborhood.

My own personal plague of locusts.

Because nobody tells me what to do.

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Last year, someone living in the area got some chickens, then told me all about how good they are for gardens. I suspect that she imagined they’d carefully pick their way through the plant rows, eating pesky bugs and leaving fertilizing poop, so I burst her bubble by saying, “They will eat your vegetables.”

Come to think of it, that woman hasn’t spoken to me since, lol.

Actually, they don’t stop with vegetables. When you set up a chicken run, expect *everything* to die inside of it. And if you want to use the poop as fertilizer, then you need to compost it first — otherwise it will burn the plants and kill them.

Chickens aren’t a romantic pet in the slightest.

On that note: chickens are mean.

Really mean.

Our flock has taken to bullying one in particular, and I’ve had to separate her from the rest. This is actually a really common problem, and if left unchecked they won’t stop until the poor chicken is dead. Our little dear had a bloody comb when I pulled her from the coop, and was absolutely terrified of the others.

Interestingly enough, having a rooster prevents bullying, because he will manage the hens and keep them on their best behavior. Unfortunately, we aren’t allowed to keep roosters in our area because of the noise. Personally, I don’t think that they are any worse than dogs, but that’s how it is.

Chickens are fun, though. They’re definitely worth it if you can put up with everything. Just don’t expect them to maintain your garden for you.

Photo by Hu00fcseyin u00d6zen on Pexels.com
About Me


Even my 6-foot tall thistle got et by bugs.

I know this probably makes me a weirdo (I totally am anyway), but thistles are one of my favorite plants. They look so mean, yet the purple flowers are exotic, and they get monstrously huge.

And even that wasn’t enough to save it.

Curse you, grasshoppers, curse you.

About Me


For some time now, I’ve been thinking about loosening my veil of anonymity, but I haven’t done it yet because it’s – well – scary.

But hey, it’s 2020. YOLO?

I live in Utah. Since that always makes people wonder, the answer is: No, we aren’t Mormon. We have five kids because we like having kids, and religion/God never factored into it.

I grew up in Utah with a fairly boring and normal life, until I met my husband and he dragged me around the country on a number of adventures. Our first baby was born during our “off-grid” phase, and when she was a few months old we returned to Utah.

Living off-grid with a baby is flipping HARD. I do not recommend it.

But enough of it got into my blood that I can never return to being a typical suburbanite after that experience. We homestead — and we aren’t the only ones in our neighborhood with backyard chickens.


I hate gardening.

I know. Pinterest has everyone convinced that homesteading revolves around picturesque raised garden beds, but we don’t do that at all.

A few years ago, we planted a bunch of perennial herbs straight into the ground, then let them grow wild and untamed (just like my spirit, lawl). The strawberries and raspberries were also plopped into the ground and left to do their thing, with some maintenance weeding every now and then.

Anyway, the reason why I hate gardening is that it requires an enormous amount of work to set up, followed by endlessly watering and weeding, only to have the end result always be this:


Et by bugs.

Alas, the sad fate of our potato plants this year.

We don’t use pesticides because of the children and animals, and there are an insane number of insects and slugs around our property. We’ve tried a number of organic methods, but they are ultimately ineffective. The bugs always win.

Hence why I hate gardening.

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One of the cats got into the chicken run. Not entirely sure how she pulled it off, but she’s the one we joke about being part liquid, so she probably turned into some sort of gelatinous blob and slithered in while we weren’t looking.

The chickens FREAKED. The cat FREAKED. Every animal involved was terrified out of its mind.

The chickens eventually retreated into their coop, and we got the cat out of the run.

A little bit later, my husband asked for help because one of the chickens hurt the comb on top of its head during The Great Panic. We went out to the coop with a bottle of iodine and a flashlight, because it was getting dark.

My husband picked up the hurt chicken. With the flashlight, we can clearly see that its comb was torn off and quite literally dangling by a thread.

He said, “I’m going to need the scissors.”

I replied, “You’re on your own now.”

True story.