For someone (me) that loves the simple life, this is easily the most wonderful time of the year! Finally, we have had a week of warm weather (broke heat records) without rain. My strawberries are in full bloom. If I get as many strawberries as I have blooms, I will have a bumper crop of berries! The blackberries are starting to bloom!

This week of nice weather allowed me to get so much done in the yard and garden. I weeded the iris bed in front of the house. I planted the iris last fall and some of them have buds and are ready to bloom. On the other side of the front deck from the iris, I mulched an area and planted dianthus, marigolds, and petunias. For a real playful eye appeal, I placed little plaster gnomes and mushrooms. (The gnomes and mushrooms came with the bricks I bought at the auction the week before. Frugal use of materials that came with the bricks I wanted. Better than going to the landfill!)

The garden area dried enough for me to set out my grown-from-seed tomato plants. I also planted green beans, beets, lettuce, kale and corn between the aisles of cardboard and grass clippings. If everything grows, I will have wonderful fresh veggies for a very inexpensive price.

The onion sets I planted earlier died in all the rain we had, so I need to get more sets and replant. I also need to replant the corn for the same reason. My bell peppers will soon be large enough to set out and the peas and brussels sprouts are growing well.

I saw some finches in my backyard this morning. They were perched on a low crosswire of my dog run, eating dandelion seeds. That makes me happy! I still have to put together the timbers for the small raised bed in which I will plant flowers for the butterflies and bees. All of my projects take time and energy but very little money. My goal is to grow food for me and the wildlife, and, by doing so, also contribute to caring for the planet. This, to me, is what living the simple life is all about.

My wish for you is that you find the simple things in life to make you happy and that also contribute to a better planet. God Bless! See you next week…


Just to let you know, it’s raining again today!

However, between rains, my rain barrels have been installed. I now have the capacity to store 100 gallons of water which I hope to use next summer to water my garden (if I ever get much planted). The peas I planted between rains in a raised garden are growing and looking good. My strawberries in another raised bed are blooming, but I spied a wild rabbit eating a snack of strawberry plant in the rain this morning so I will probably have to fence that now too.

Last week in the rain, I bought several useful items in a local on-line auction. For a total of $25 I bought: an electric skill saw, an electric sander, an electric drill, two big boxes of sheets, blankets, and afghans (I’ll use these for quilts for the homeless next winter), 25 construction bricks, a card table and 4 nice folding chairs. Of course, there was a lot of junk that came with these good things, but for $25 it was worth it. Much of the “to me” junk, I have found other owners for, so stuff was saved from the landfill. I love finding items I need for such a bargain!

My auction purchases, the rain barrels, and my wet garden set me to thinking about how happy I am with such simple pleasures. I really enjoy living my simple life, which led me to spending time on the internet looking for simple life blogs, which led me to discover the Farm Wife Blog and Podcast. I really enjoyed reading her posts and listening to her podcast. I get nothing for advertising her locations. I just thought you might enjoy her input as much as I did.

In a crazy, mixed-up, busy world, I find the action of living a simple life is calming and nurturing to my mind, body, and soul. Simple-life living has allowed me to find a level of peace and contentment that I didn’t have before. I don’t want to keep up with the Joneses and don’t care what they think. I work physically harder sometimes but the work is something I want to do and will benefit me. I am far from being monetarily wealthy, but, as Dolly Parton sang, “I feel rich as I can be”. As I have written in earlier posts, most of my possessions are good, used items. Living a simple, frugal life has enabled me to buy and furnish my home. I have fun, caring, positive friends. I enjoy interacting with my church family. Honestly, I can’t think of anything that I need or want that would make my life any happier. I think that says a lot for living a simple life!

I wish you a Happy Mother’s Day and a blessed week! Until next time, may you enjoy a happy, simple life!


First, I want to apologize to all of my readers for not posting last week. If you have been following my posts, you know we have had rain, rain, and more rain in Central Missouri! Last week we actually had four days in a row without any rain so I worked outside as hard as a 78-year-old lady can work! I mow my own yard with an electric, self-propelled, walk-behind mower and I finally was able to mow the low places in my yard for the first time this year without mowing water! It takes me longer this year to mow because I am collecting my grass clippings for compost in my garden. The garden is new this year, tilled from part of my lawn. Consequently, I am having to battle grass and weeds! I have devised a system of laying down strips of cardboard between the garden rows and putting grass mulch on top of that to smother the grass that tries to grow back. I will eventually put some sand on top of the clippings to help amend the soil when my compost strips decompose.

After I mowed the grass, which takes me two whole days, I began really working in my garden. I used hoops and an old sheer curtain and clothespins to cover the brussels sprouts. This is an experiment to see if I can keep the white moths from laying eggs which hatch into voracious little green worms that devour brassicas. (I’m always trying an experiment to frugally solve a problem.)

Next, I “mudded in” a row of potatoes, a row of onion sets, and a row of corn. I meant to plant two rows of sweet corn, but I got too tired. I also planted three rhubarb roots in the mud. It will be interesting to see if any of it grows.

I had planted edible pod peas earlier in one of my raised beds and they are all up. I will need to create some type of trellis for them to climb on in a few days (when it stops raining again!).

My strawberries that I planted last summer are blooming, so that’s exciting news to me! The blackberry stalks are all leafed out and look good. Maybe I will get some berries this summer! The gooseberry bush that I set out in the rain a few weeks ago has not done anything yet–I hope it lives. I have an elderberry bush to plant whenever it stops raining again.

Most exciting of all for me — the man who is going to set and hook up my rainbarrels to water the garden this summer (hard to believe as wet as it is now) came this morning in the light rain to look over where I wanted the barrels. He took the barrels and all the connectors home with him to start working on them in his dry garage! It is supposed to not rain tomorrow, so maybe I will have a garden watering system installed by tomorrow night.

In between all the yard and garden work I did this week, I also helped my quilt ladies set up and then helped run a Quilt Bingo. The money we made will go to help various charities to which we contribute.

AND I bid and bought some useful items from a local on-line auction, but that’s a story for another time!

I wish you all a happy and blessed week. Until next time —


As I write this I woke up to snow on all elevated surfaces this morning. Just a few days ago it was 70+ degrees. Missouri has always had temperature swings in all seasons. Because I am so intuned to climate change that I weigh almost everything I do by how it affects the climate, I wonder if this drastic temperature shift is just Missouri weather doing its thing or if this is due to climate change. On the chance that it is climate change in action, I will continue to do everything I can to leave a smaller carbon footprint. The weather is reinforcing my determination. I hope you are being conscious of your carbon footprint as well.

Since the temperature was forecasted to be cold last night, I used the hoops I bought to deter the cabbage worms, covered them with plastic, and protected my newly transplanted brassicas from frost. It is still cold today. The forecast is for another freeze tonight, so I will leave the brassicas covered until this cold snap is passed.

The brassicas made it through that frost. I have uncovered the plants and the brussels sprouts look great. I am not sure the cabbage plants are going to make it–not because of the frost but because of so much rain. The soil in my garden area needs amending with compost, I have decided. It may take several years to get the soil to have a better friable quality, so I need to get started working on it. If the rains would just slow down so I can get a load of compost into it! Old timers in this area tell me that the lot on which my house was built was a buffalo wallow back in the day. I think the condition of the soil here supports that information.

I just heard the weather forecast is for rain on Easter Sunday. My Dad used to say, “If it rains on Easter Sunday, it will rain on the following 7 Sundays.” I hope this does not hold true!

I wish a happy and blessed Easter to each of you!

See ya next week.


Whoot! Whoot! I have my brassicas in the ground! The ground is still too wet for ideal planting, but the plants were ready to be set out, I was itching to get my hands in the dirt, and the weather was warm. I could resist planting no longer. I also planted my edible pod peas as well. Their location was a little less wet, so they should be in fine shape.

I still have to place the hoops over the brassicas, but it is forecasted to rain again for several days, so that is out for now. I have plastic to go over the tunnels, but my plans are to buy some sheer curtains at a thrift store, sew them together and use them to cover the hoops over the brassicas to keep little white butterflies from laying eggs which become little green worms which voraciously consume the brassicas. It’s still too cool for butterflies, so I have time to wait before setting that up.

As I look out my window toward my garden I can see a rabbit eating grass in my yard between the house and the garden, so my “old lady” fence of chicken wire, electric fence posts and t-posts is keeping the brassicas safe! That makes my heart happy!

I will be planting my garden rows about 2 1/2 feet apart. My plan is to cut 2 foot strips of cardboard boxes to cover the ground to keep weeds from growing. On top of the cardboard, I will put the lawn clippings. I think the clippings will weigh the cardboard down on the ground and as the two decompose they will enrich the garden soil. Each time I have to go to the grocery store, I become more determined to grow and store more food from the garden!

The second rain barrel arrived over the weekend. It’s brown while the first is tan, but they look okay together. Now I just need to buy concrete blocks for the base to raise the barrels higher and a diverter for the downspout and then put it all together. I am feeling more like a city homesteader day by day!

I am feeling more like a city homesteader with every passing accomplishment!

I wish all of you a blessed week! The homestead saga will continue next week.


Life is full of ups and downs and that certainly was my life this last week. In the first place it rained a good portion of the week. I know rain is good for the earth, but we have had more than enough in this area for now. Next July and August these rains will be very welcome.

Then one of the two rain barrels I had ordered got lost in shipping and the supplier doesn’t know when they will be getting more product in. At least they refunded my money on that barrel, but now I hope I can find another barrel that will be compatible with the barrel that I already have. I plan to use rainwater from the roof to be stored and used to water my garden this summer by gravity flow. One barrel will not hold enough water to irrigate what I need it to do. I know I can use city water to irrigate, but plain rainwater is better for the plants and will be much less expensive considering the rain barrels are an investment to be used over several years. Guess I will have to wait and see what happens.

My church had an all church garage sale this week, which took much of my time helping set up the All Purpose Building for that sale. Walking on that concrete floor made this old lady really tired each day, but at the sale I scored a roomba and an airfryer and several pint and half-pint canning jars. The church made a nice amount of money to be used for good purposes. Job well done.

I also have to tell you that I now have a working clothes line (my Quickcrete was successful!). I washed three loads of laundry last week and used solar and wind power to dry them! Woot! Woot! I am looking forward to getting my next electric bill so I can see the amount of money I am saving.

I am hoping that we have a small dry spell of weather in the coming weeks so that I can spread some mulch on my garden and get some early garden plants in the ground. My brassicas are ready to be set out. It’s about time to plant my sugar peas and potatoes. I received a gooseberry plant, some rhubarb roots and an elderberry bush from a nursery that need to go into the ground very soon. I think the next reasonably warm day I will fence the garden plot to keep the rabbits out of MY food and I need to find time to harvest the red wiggler worm castings so I will be able to fertilize my garden as I plant the area.

I love spring. I love being frugal. I love being as self-sufficient as possible.

I wish all of you a frugal spring week! To those of you who have commented, I am happy you are enjoying my posts!


Gardening brings me closer to nature in many ways. The last few days have been sunny and pleasant to work outside, in spite of the wet land conditions. I finished reclaiming wood from the neighbor’s raised flower beds and then hauled the rotten wood to the city compost site.

The next project to be tackled was to build a fence around my garden plot to deter the plethora of wild rabbits from enjoying my food crops. I purchased 4 steel posts 5 feet long for the corners of the plot and I will use 6 metal electric fence posts to hold the fence in place between the corners. I think I have enough chicken wire to fence the perimeter so I don’t need to buy any of that. I justify these expenses knowing I need the fence to deter the rabbits in order to be able to harvest food for myself. Any extra food I grow will be given to neighbors and the local food bank. The fencing materials will last several years, thus making the cost a long-term investment.

I then tackled the next item on my to-do list — setting up my umbrella type clothesline. This was definitely a learning process for me. I watched a video on YouTube which told me what size the hole needed to be dug, so I dug the hole where I wanted my clothesline to be located. Then off I went to the hardware store to buy the QuickCrete to use to make the concrete to anchor the clothesline post. As an old lady, I find it really sad that I can’t just do all the things I used to do. So, after locating the QuickCrete (and finding it weighed 60 pounds), I located a salesperson to lift the sack and load it into my truck for me. Now, I didn’t know there are different kinds of QuickCrete, did you? I thought QuickCrete was QuickCrete. After driving home, I called my younger sister to come help me get the sack to the hole I had dug. While I waited for her, I filled a bucket of water to have on hand to stir into the QuickCrete in the hole.

When my sister arrived, we two old ladies pushed, pulled, and tugged the sack onto a borrowed dolly and rolled it to the hole. Then my sister tells me I had bought the wrong kind of QuickCrete. The kind I bought was for mortar and I needed concrete. After all the work of getting the bag to the hole, I decided to just use it and see what happened. We poured it into the hole, added water and placed the pipe in the center for the pole. Then I just needed to wait until the mix dried to see if worked. Now today it is raining, so I don’t know if the stuff cured as it was supposed to, or if mortar won’t work for my purpose, or if the rain came before it dried and prevented it from curing. Live and learn! At least if I have to redo the project, I will know to look for the “right kind” of product!

My point in telling you this tale is: Don’t be afraid to tackle projects even if you aren’t sure what you are doing. The sack of QuickCrete may have been $7 wasted, but I learned a valuable lesson, and if I have to do it over, I bet I get the concrete kind next time! I was still outside enjoying the fresh air, sunshine, and birds singing. Yes, I was tired at the end of the day, but it was a good tired. I accomplished starting my garden fence and a real-life lesson about installing a clothesline!

Have a Blessed weekend! We will see what I get into next week.

Help Fight This Climate War!

My brassica plants are about six inches tall and growing really well. In a few weeks it will be time to plant the warm weather seeds — tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash — so they will have time to get a good start before being transplanted to the garden. I try to stay focused on the hope and wonders of Spring, but with the disturbing news out of Ukraine, I find it difficult to stay focused and in a positive mood. I feel so sorry for the Ukrainians, such anger at Russia, but also I feel such admiration for the grit and determination of the Ukrainians. To combat those negative feelings, I have been doing a lot of research about climate change. While I can’t defeat climate change either, I can study it and learn ways to help combat it.

I came across an article, A World at War, that compares fighting climate change to another World War. I found the article to be interesting and informative. It was first written by Bill McKibben August 15, 2016, and republished by The New Republic on March 9, 2022. The war of which Bill McKibben speaks, affects the whole world and is even more urgent than the current conflicts between Ukraine and Russia or, maybe, they fit together. The article points out the effects of current climate changes are nothing compared to the effects we will see if we (Earth’s inhabitants) don’t truly make war on the causes of climate change. I found the article to be a call to action to the entire world’s population.

While this blog is not written to be political, I think we must all respond to climate change as if we are fighting a war. My garden, my water barrels (more about them in a future post), my involvement in climate change activism are all my part of fighting this war. I encourage all of you to become involved in the war about climate as well, because it appears this is the only way climate war is going to be fought. If you can afford solar panels, invest in them. Support community efforts to install green energy. Join organizations forming to fight climate change. Become involved in solutions. None of us have the power to win this war alone, but together we can do as Ukraine is doing — David fighting Goliath!!

I hope you look for ways to fight Goliath!


It has been unusually warm this past week in mid-Missouri, one day breaking the record by hitting 82 degrees. Climate change worries me!

I know I am in a hurry for spring to arrive, but I wish things from Ukraine to climate were more “normal”. I am staying positive and doing things that I know are good for the Earth. I can’t control anyone else but I try to encourage positivity by my actions.

Early in the week I ordered a pair of overshoes. I haven’t had overshoes since I was a child on the farm, in fact, I didn’t even know if overshoes were still manufactured. I found them on Amazon! Overshoes came to my mind when I was looking out the window at my yard and garden thinking of how badly I wanted to be out there doing things, but the ground was so wet that I knew I would just get my shoes all muddy. To be honest, I never have liked mud. In Missouri mud is a regular event every spring. I know the soil needs the moisture, but mud is so — so muddy! So messy! If I had gone outside off the sidewalks, my tennis shoes would have to be run through the washer each time I came inside. That’s using entirely too much water.

That’s when the overshoes of my youth came to mind. A quick search of the internet found that, indeed, overshoes are still made. The ones I ordered are made from rubber which should last a long time and will easily save their worth in water not used.

For those of you that are wondering what overshoes are: Overshoes are just what their name says. They are made to be pulled on over your shoes. Their purpose is to keep your shoes clean and dry. One pulls on overshoes before going out in the mud. When one returns to the house, the overshoes are pulled off and left in the mud room until one is going out in the mud again when they are again pulled over shoes to keep them clean and dry. It’s an old fashioned item, but it’s very practical.

And now I think I will pull on my overshoes and go help my neighbor tear out her raised flower bed. If any of the timbers are in decent shape, I will bring them home and construct a small raised bed. Maybe I will plant flowers for the bees and butterflies!

Have a good week!

Build Up Your Garden Soil

I will begin todays post with a current event topic: As I write this, Russia invaded Ukraine last night. The sanctions the NATO countries are imposing on Russia will have an impact on all of us. Gas prices were already very high and this move is expected to cause gas to become even higher. If gas becomes more expensive, the cost of everything else we need to buy will rise as well. As a result, our frugal ways and our gardens become even more important. During WWII Americans were encouraged to grow Victory Gardens. The gardens we will grow now will be called something else, but will be equally as important to us.

Being frugal at any time requires us to be creative in problem solving. I believe that skill will be even more valuable in months to come.

As winter becomes spring, many of us will start our own seeds in order to have our own plants to transplant into our gardens. This is also a good time to consider making our soils as fertile as we can. Fertile soils produce healthier plants to produce our vegetables. There are a couple of ways to test our soils. One way is to buy a soil testing kit at a garden center. The other way is to take a your soil sample to your County Agricultural Extension Office to be tested. Either method will tell you what additives your soil needs. There are any number of commercially produced chemical fertilizers to be purchased at garden centers once you know what your soil needs. Being the ecologically frugal person that I am, I prefer to no use chemicals. I choose to use natural ways to enrich my soil. For example: worm castings (worm poop) are excellent natural fertilizers. The castings can often be purchased at farmer’s markets. Being the independent person that I am, I have my own red wiggler worms in two bins in my garage that are producing the castings I will need while they are eating raw vegetable and fruit waste from my kitchen. If I throw banana, apple, squash, etc. peels in the garbage and they are taken to the landfill, the rotting peels produce methane gas which damages the atmosphere. If I feed the peels to my worms, the worms produce castings which are excellent natural fertilizers for my garden — a win for me and a win for the Earth.

Most manures are good fertilizer (goat, sheep, cow, horse) but those manures must age and break down somewhat before being used on plants. Fresh manures will burn the plants. That is not the case for worm castings and rabbit manure. Those two will not hurt your plants if used fresh.

I also make compost from dried leaves, grass clippings, the peels that either can’t be fed to the worms or are too much for them to consume. Mix in some soil and let it all decompose. The process takes a while, but the results are good for the garden soil.

I also save coffee grounds and crushed up egg shells and sprinkle them on my garden area all year long. These grounds and shells are enriching the soil and would otherwise be dumped in the garbage. Once the ground thaws, I will bury more of the vegetable peelings in the garden area. Once they decompose they will add nutrients to the soil. If you decide to bury waste in your garden, do not bury meat scraps and oily leftovers because they will attract rodents and other pests.

In addition to these ideas, I have learned that the city where I grocery shop has compost they make from yard waste. This compost can be purchased at a very reasonable price. My pickup will be useful in hauling some of it for my garden and plants. Maybe a location near you does the same thing. It’s worth investigating.

Use your creativity in all things that you do. Even if prices do not rise astronomically, actions like the ones I have discussed above will be valuable to the wellness of the Earth. I always feel better psychologically when I am doing positive actions rather than stewing about the conditions of the world in which I live.

Until next week, keep the Ukrainians, world leaders, and our Earth in your thoughts and prayers–