Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Homesteading is really rough on work gloves. All of our recent gardening efforts have really taken a toll on our current set of gloves. I couldn't resist showing you a picture. 

(Click image for larger view.)

As modern day homesteaders we just don't think it's right to deep six something that can be patched up and used a little longer.

Bob's (on the left) are especially beat up! He's just about ready to retire this pair because there's only so much duct tape you can use to repair them πŸ˜‰

Mine (on the right) still have a little life in them yet – only one thumb and the tip of a finger that's patched so far. Good thing too because it's really hard to find work gloves in my size (small). I'm always checking the racks where ever we go.

Fortunately we both have several spare pairs as back ups.


Read Full Post »

I was fooling around on the computer last night trying and played with some new wallpaper for my PC desktop. Hey! I could only look at the Microsoft default for so long πŸ˜‰

After playing with several of the photos that we've taken here on the homestead… this is the one I chose.


If you like it too, you can download it here or choose from some of our other free wallpaper images.

Read Full Post »

Back in December we posted about out new Freeplay Energy Eyemax WB hand crank radio! Let me tell you when there's no TV you really rely on a radio for your entertainment. But after awhile you get tired of listening to the same ads and, let's face it, there's only so much high school basketball you can handle πŸ˜‰ Especially when you don't have any kids on the team.

One of the reasons we chose this radio was because we could use it as a "no power needed" speaker for our MP3 player. So we ripped over 800 songs, synced them to the player, but try as we might we couldn't get them to play right through the radio. The songs would play but they were constantly cutting in and out. 

Arrrgh! Technology is wonderful… when it works!

Initially we thought it was the cord that connected the player to the radio so we went and bought a new cord from Radio Shack. The songs still didn't play right.

Then we thought it might be the player so we went to the manufacturer's site, updated the clock (not sure why we had to do that but we did), made sure we had the latest firmware update, and STILL the songs messed up.

By now we've returned the spare cord to Radio Shack because we've determined that the issue is with the input jack on the radio.

Indigo-green-small We've really loved the radio and we also have one of their LED lanterns that works really well but this was bumming us out!

So as a last effort we called customer service at Freeplay Energy and explained our problem. They sent us a new radio (free of charge of course) and it works fine! YEAH! Problem solved!

Thanks Freeplay Energy! (www.freeplayenergy.com)

Read Full Post »

GrapevinesPlanting on the homestead continues….

We got our blackberries, strawberries, and grapes in the ground. The blackberries (3 plants – Chester Thornless) weren't too bad because you only had to dig a 4 inch hole for them.

The 50 strawberry plants β€” 25 Ozark Beauties and 25 Tributes β€” went into  two of our 4×8 beds. Everything I read about planting strawberries said you HAD to plant them at the right depth or they wouldn't be happy but I think I did ok on that ;) 

BUT… we had to dig a 12" x 12" hole for each of our Reliance grape vines.  YIKES! Fortunately we only ordered 2 vines for this year. We plan to train them into an arbor instead of trellising them (like a vineyard).

It's sad to think that it will be several seasons before we reap the full benefits of today's work but we knew that homesteading was going to be a long term commitment.

BTW… if you're thinking about planting any berries or grapes you should definitely check out Louise Riotte's book β€” The Complete Guide to Growing Berries and Grapes. It's one of my favorites!

I want to give Miller Nurseries, the company we ordered our plants from, a pat on the back. They're family owned and operated (always a plus in my opinion), their prices are reasonable, they offer a good selection of trees, berries, ornamentals (and more!), and they have an easy to use web site (http://millernurseries.com/).

I initially found them online and placed my order. The order arrived in good condition at the correct time for planting. They included a current catalog and a printed guide with good planting instructions.

If you're still in the market for something special to plant this year you should go check them out!

Read Full Post »

Hey! We're still alive and kicking here on the homestead just in case you were worried. Sorry we haven't posted in awhile. Chalk it up to the end of the winter blues. When the weather was yucky we  didn't feel like making the trek into town and when it was good we were working.

Anyway… we've had quite a few comments asking how Blaze was doing so I thought I would give you an update about her.

First of all, she's grown quite a bit. We're hoping she grows into her ears!

Blaze at 11 weeks. (click image for larger view)

Blaze at 6 weeks. (click image for larger view)

Blaze has become quite the chow hound. While we are feeding her puppy chow we are gradually introducing any and all appropriate "people food" to her diet because that's what she'll eventually be eating exclusively.

Most of the food, like eggs and meat, she considers a TREAT but getting her to eat raw garlic has been a challenge. She finally does it without having to shove it down her throat like medicine. Eating raw garlic has many benefits but mostly we do it for flea control.

Her favorite treats are pig ears and ham bones… go figure!

She's completely housebroken, or in our case – tipi broken, now. She runs to the door and barks to let us know she needs to go outside. YEAH! She will also come, sit and speak on command.

She's still doing a lot of chewing – mostly on us! – but she should grow out of that soon.

Blaze is really getting into exploring more and more of the area surrounding the tipi. She goes a little further each day. She's been spending a lot of time with us as we're working in the garden. I'm hoping that she becomes very territorial about it because it's going to be her job to run off any critters that want to eat our plants.

However… just when you thought she sounds like the perfect homestead dog I need to let you know that she was not interested AT ALL in waking up at 2:00 am to chase the mouse that was scurrying around in the tipi this morning. Looks like we have some more training to do πŸ˜‰

Read Full Post »

We received this poem from one of our new friends here and wanted to share it with all of you. Hope you enjoy receiving it as much as we did.

(Click image for larger view)

Here's the text for the poem:

Every name's a touchstone
That leads to a place and time,
Where God has used another's heart
To reach out and touch mine,

It may have happened years ago
Or even yesterday,

But every person on our list
Has changed our lives some way,
Through simple conversation,
A warm hug or shared meal,

Every person on our list
Has helped us grow or heal,
Or laugh or love or learn or smile…
The blessings never end
As God Allows our paths to cross
As family and friends.

So please know that this greeting
Is more than a Christmas wish
It's a "thank you" card to God
For putting on our list
Each and every one whose name
We've come to hold so dear…
Those who've shown us Christmas joy
Each day of the year.

Merry Christmas and best wishes for a Happy New Year from Bob and Susan at Hickory Hollow Homestead

Read Full Post »

Thank you all for the kind words regarding our recent accident. I thought you'd like an an update about how we're getting along. We're both still pretty banged up. Just about the time we thought we were feeling better we both overdid a bit and that made us settle down and do some more healing. It's going to be some time before we're back to 100%!

We had a good, but very quiet, Thanksgiving holiday and believe me when I say we had plenty to be thankful for.

Fortunately we had already planned a simple dinner. We had Ham and Beans, Cornbread, and Cherry Cobbler. All cooked in our dutch ovens, of course! Not necessarily the traditional Turkey Day fare but it was still mmmm-mmmm good!

What did you have? The traditional or something different? Let me know. Enable me with new recipes! 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »