THE BEST EGG SALAD SANDWICH RECIPE EVER:

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TURN THOSE EASTER EGGS INTO GREATNESS:

Now that Easter is over, most of us have A LOT of eggs in our refrigerator right now. That’s where this recipe comes into play. It’s simple, delicious, and it helps clean out the fridge of all those leftovers. It’s the BEST HOMESTEAD EGG SALAD SANDWICH YOU WILL EVER EAT!!!!!

INGREDIENTS:IMG_0725

6 Hard boiled eggs diced
4 Tbs of mayonnaise
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Dill relish
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 a green onion (sliced)
6 – 8 Pieces of fried bacon
Baby spinach
Cocktail tomatoes
Oatnut Bread

EGG SALAD RECIPE:

Mix together in a medium bowl:
6 diced hard boiled eggs
mayonnaise
mustard
relish
salt & pepper
green onion

GARNISH SANDWICH WITH:

Baby spinach
Cocktail tomatoes (sliced)
Fried Bacon (2-3 pieces)
Serve on Oatnut Bread

MAKES APPROXIMATELY 3 SANDWICHES

ENJOY AND HAPPY HOMESTEADING!!!

DIY AFTERNOON PROJECT: BEARD BALM

12642466_794389184020822_6765067228773192936_nAS A PROUD OWNER OF FACIAL HAIR, I’ll be the first to admit that when working on the homestead I tend to let my beard go with the “ALL NATURAL” look. However, there are times when I (and my wife) wish that my beard was a bit more under control and had that “GROOMED” look as well.

Here is an ALL-NATURAL, HOMEMADE beard balm that not only smells great but will TAME even the WILDEST OF BEARDS on any MOUNTAIN MAN.

12644945_794389150687492_5342604065320721900_nINGREDIENTS:

2 1/2 Tbsp of beeswax pellets
2 Tbsp pure shea butter
1 Tbsp cocoa butter
1 Tbsp jojoba oil (Non-GMO)
2 tsp pure walnut oil
1 tsp coconut oil (Non-GMO)

essential oils – Young Living

3 drops of Tea Tree Oil
2 drops Northern LIghts Black Spruce

ADD all the ingredients except the essential oils into a clean recycled soup can. Double boil ingredients by placing soup can in a large pan and add water to pan half way up the soup can. Heat over medium heat until all ingredients are thoroughly melted in the soup can. Stir with a disposable skewer or wooden chopstick. After everything has melted add essential oils and stir until well mixed. Pour the balm into a glass jar of your choice and allow to cool.

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Once cooled and solidified, take a small amount into your hand and rub into both hands until balm is mostly melted. Then rub thoroughly into your beard, using a comb if you like to tame any unruly hairs.

By using the above mentioned essential oils, this beard balm takes on a mountain woods scent. However, you can add any type of essential oil to gain your own preferred scent. As a happy user of this BEARD BALM, I will say that my wife loves the smell of my beard which means she leans in more frequently for kisses. ‘NOUGH SAID!

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DIY AFTERNOON PROJECT: HOMEMADE COUGH DROPS

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It’s still cold and flu season and when you’re under the weather, nothing feels better on a cold day than the morning sun warming your face, a cup of hot tea, and a homemade cough drop to soothe that sore throat.

12687907_795824337210640_1118293495374360843_nINGREDIENTS:

3/4 cup of simmering water
favorite tea (we used the “Echinacea Plus” from the tea sampler box from TRADITIONAL MEDICINALS TEA)
3/4 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of pure honey
8 drops Thieves essential oil – (If you wish to change the flavor, you can replace Thieves with lemon, peppermint, orange, or lavender essential oil)
Powdered sugar for cough drop molds

 

DIRECTIONS:

First make 3/4 cup of your favorite tea. While your cup of tea is steeping create your candy mold.12645146_795836973876043_6630549643133772273_n

To make the candy mold, start by filling a 9″ x 13″ cake pan with a 1/2″ layer of powdered sugar. Using the back side of a round measuring spoon, or your thumb will work as well, make 60 or so small indentations in the powdered sugar to pour your hot candy into.

Now that your tea is ready, measure out 1/2 cup of that favorite tea. Combine the tea, sugar, and honey into a deep saucepan and mix well.

Clip your candy thermometer onto the side and place pan over med-high heat and cook until candy reaches 300 degrees F. Your mixture will “foam up,” but avoid stirring if possible.

Remove from heat, stir in essential oil of your choice.

Carefully pour hot syrup into powdered sugar (candy molds). Try using a heat proof glass measuring cup for this step.

Once cooled, roll each candy piece into the powdered sugar fully covering each piece to prevent them from sticking to one another.

IN THE END, we placed our cough drops into a canning jar for storage. Hopefully, we never get sick, but at least we can rest easy knowing that we have lots of cough drops to help with a sore throat.

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AN ALTERNATIVE TO TOMATO CAGES:

12821343_816346098491797_3035324761450344653_nLast year we grew quite a bit of various tomatoes plants. Instead of spending a lot of money on a countless number of metal cages, we cut up some scrap lumber we were hanging on to for a project just like this. By driving the the stakes ( 33 – 36″) into the ground around the tomatoes and running a string line around each of the stakes several times we had a great set up for the tomato plants to climb. Last fall we were able to reclaim the stakes as well as the string to do it again another year. It turned out great while saving us money, and we always love that.

DIY AFTERNOON PROJECT: BAREFOOT SANDALS

1934743_822338377892569_4936716767857921334_nI saw this picture of some barefoot sandals and I promptly showed them to my beautiful wife and said, “These are cute, you should buy some.” My wife’s response in true homesteading fashion was, “Why buy them when I can make them?” Immediately these barefoot sandals went from cute to SEXY!!!

With the “EARTHING” movement growing in its popularity, these barefoot sandals are a great way to keep the earths electrons flowing, while making your feet looking cute as hell.

MATERIAL LIST and TOOLS:

1. Sparkle elastic cord (57m)
2. Crochet hook size 6
3. A collection of your favorite beads.
4. Scissors
5. Lobster clasps

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FOR A SIZE 5 FOOT:

1. Cut elastic 44″ (for each size larger add 2″), fold in half and make a 1/4″ loop, making a double knot.
2. Put one bead on both strands to begin your beading. Separate the two strands and bead both of the strands as seen in picture.
3. Then crochet 32 chains (you may want to add more chains for a larger foot). End with a pulled knot.
4. Go to the 1/4″ loop and single crochet in loop. This will begin your toe loop. Chain 25 for a size 5 foot (chain more for a larger sized foot). Slip in first single crochet in loop. Knot.
5. Pull the toe loop through the large bead to fit on the knot, at toe.
6. To wear, put the toe loop on your second toe first, then either tie the two strands in the back of your foot just above the heal, or a clasp can be added for easy on and off.

 

RABBIT HUTCH WITH AUTOMATIC POOP COLLECTOR:

IMG_2503IMG_2501So many of you have asked for plans to our RABBIT HUTCH w/ AUTOMATIC POOP COLLECTOR. Finally, we have had the time to answer your requests. With some minor repairs needed and a timely “vacancy,” we decided to take the left half of our hutches apart and REPAIR, UPGRADE, and DOCUMENT a HOW-TO with lots of pictures and step by step directions. Hopefully, this will answer any questions you might have, but if not please don’t hesitate to ask and we can walk you through the process. This project is 2 identical hutches placed side-by-side with a common roof. The hutches house a total of 4 rabbits (2 per hutch).

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First, we started with building the base or sub-floor out of 2×4’s. As you can see in the pictures we have written the dimensions of each piece in order to make the building process much easier and understandable. The rabbit “DEN” was given cross members in the sub-floor that only measured 3″ tall. This was to allow the 1/2″ plywood floor to sit flush. Over time the rabbits urine and poop in the den will rot away the floor so we included these easily removable floors to make our life a little bit easier down the road. After the sub-floor framing was done, it was time to cut out the 1/2″ x 1/2″ wire mesh that came in a roll 24″ wide. Originally, we built the hutch with 1″ x 1″ wire mesh because it was all we had at the time. However, this 1″ x 1″ mesh can be hard on the rabbits feet. It also has large enough openings for a baby to squeeze through. Using a simple construction stapler and a pair of wire cutters, the wire mesh floors were complete.

 

 

Next, we flipped the sub-floor upside down to install the legs. We cut the 4×4 wooden legs to 36″ in length. The legs were screwed in place with 3″ screws. With 2 members of the family being under 5′ tall it was important to keep the hutch at a height that was manageable for everyone in the family. (It’s important to know that the taller the hutch, the easier the poop will roll into your bucket.) Once the legs were firmly secure we flipped the hutch back on its feet to begin construction of the “SKELETON” or walls.

***THE BASIC SKELETON IS WHAT MAKES UP THE RABBIT HUTCH. YOU CAN ACHIEVE ANY LOOK YOU WANT BY HOW YOUR DECIDE TO COVER THE SKELETON. THIS WAY YOU CAN MAKE YOUR RABBIT HUTCH TRULY YOUR OWN AND A ONE OF A KIND***
The SKELETON is made up of 2×4’s that we cut apart to make 8′ 2×2’s. Each wall was nailed together with a framing nailer, however each wall was “SCREWED” to the sub-floor and each adjoining wall for easy removal or repair if needed. Once again, check the photos carefully as each 2×2 piece has its length written on it. We started with constructing and installing the back wall first and then built and installed the side and interior walls. Finally, we finished with the front walls and roof supports. This completes the structural interior skeleton of the hutch.
Next it was time to add some plywood walls to separate the den from the eating area and a center wall was added to create the 2 different living areas.
The plywood roof was added next, and covered with tar paper which was stapled down. We gave the hutches a tin roof. However, you can only see it on the final product because the 2 hutches share the same roof. The roof can only be installed once the hutches are in their final location to insure the roof is straight and square. To avoid any cuts from the roof edge a 2×4 was notched out and laid over the edge of the roof, thus covering any sharp edges.
After the roof was installed as much as it could be, we started the siding. We used 1″ decking material to give the hutches a “CABIN” look and feel. Being new to Missouri when we originally built the hutches, we had no idea how “truly cold” it got here so we wanted thick walls to keep the cold out, warmth in, and also to protect the rabbits from predators. Because the weather “normally” approaches from the SW, we placed the hutches on the EAST SIDE of our shop in order to protect them from the wind and rain. Also, we wanted the rabbits to get the direct morning sun during the winter and shade after noon during the HOT, HOT, SUMMER.
Finally it was time to build the doors for each den and install them. We used the same 1″ decking wood and connected them with 2 strips of wood on the inside of the door that opens downward by use of a typical interior door hinge you would find in your home. These were re-used from our house as we switched them out with nickel hinges. Two thin decorative strips ( the by-product of ripping a 2×4 apart to make 2 qty 2″x2″s) of wood were nailed into place using a finishing nailer and is purely decorative.
Now that the hutch is finished, it will be moved into its final resting place. There are several ways to install the hutch. We buried the legs of ours into the ground to keep them from blowing over in the wind or a predator pulling it over. Another way, would be to put “SKIS” on the bottom of the 4×4 legs. This will give the hutch a wider base and a lower center of gravity. This newly remodeled hutch will get some SKIS. We will then move our 2 rabbits into the new hutch while we remodel the right side. At that point, they will both be installed into a permanent location.
AND FINALLY FOR THE BEST PART….. THE POOP SHOOT!!!
Only when the hutch, or hutches are in there final resting place would I install the AUTOMATIC POOP COLLECTOR. You want to be able to make sure that the poop ramps are both at the same angle should you choose to make 2 hutches. And there are just too many variables to take into consideration when installing it. This is why is just best to wait and install it last. The last thing that you want to do is to take apart your hutch to because something doesn’t fit. By waiting you save yourself time and effort.
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The poop ramps were originally made from plywood which we painted with a rubber based paint. However, after a year the paint began to break down and prohibited the poop from rolling completely into the bucket. Once the paint broke down, then the plywood began to rot. Ideally, I would like to use a sheet of aluminum to avoid rust and corrosion. Sheet metal would work, but I would recommend painting it well, as rabbit urine has a very high acidic value to it. One option we have for the ramps is to staple “SCREEN DOOR” mesh to the 2×4 ramp frame. This will allow the poop to roll into the bucket while allowing the acidic urine to fall straight through. Of course plastic sheets or acrylic sheets will also work great with our humidity. Whatever we decide to use, I’m sure we will make it work.
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We hope this helps you in your quest to build your own rabbit hutch. Don’t forget to ask us if you have any questions about this project or any other. We are here to help anyway we can. Thanks again and HAPPY HOMESTEADING.