Rockin’ Salsa

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Rockin' Salsa

Ingredients :

1 red onion, chopped
1 white onion, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
6 pounds fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2 banana peppers, chopped
3 green bell peppers, chopped
3 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
1/2 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 cup brown sugar                                                                                                                                           1/4 cup white sugar
8 pint canning jars with lids and rings

Directions :

Combine red onion, white onion, yellow onion, tomatoes, banana peppers, green peppers, tomato paste, white vinegar, garlic powder, salt, cayenne pepper, cumin, brown sugar, and white sugar in a large pot. Simmer until thick, about 3 hours.

Sterilize the jars and lids in boiling water for at least 5 minutes. Pack the salsa into the hot, sterilized jars, filling the jars to within 1/4 inch of the top. Run a knife or a thin spatula around the insides of the jars after they have been filled to remove any air bubbles. Wipe the rims of the jars with a moist paper towel to remove any food residue. Top with lids, and screw on rings.

Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then carefully lower the jars into the pot using a holder. Leave a 2 inch space between the jars. Pour in more boiling water if necessary until the water level is at least 1 inch above the tops of the jars. Bring the water to a full boil, cover the pot, and process for 10 to 15 minutes.

Remove the jars from the stockpot and place onto a cloth-covered or wood surface, several inches apart, until cool. Once cool, press the top of each lid with a finger, ensuring that the seal is tight (lid does not move up or down at all). Refrigerate after opening.

 

Simply Grateful

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One way to simplify our lives is to simplify our attitudes.  When we look into our hearts and begin each day being grateful for what we have that’s good and positive, we rid our lives of the stress that negativity creates.  Below is a partial list of things that I am grateful for (I continually add new things as they come to mind.).

  1.     First and foremost, my salvation.
  2.      My intimate, personal relationship with Jesus.  Without Him, I would have no hope.
  3.      God’s Word (Bible)…my instruction manual; my words of wisdom and comfort.
  4.      God’s mercy.
  5.      My birth family, because without them I would have no life.
  6.      My adoptive family, because they are the ones who raised me.
  7.      My amazingly wonderful husband, who is my best friend and partner in  this journey.
  8.      My five amazing children, ranging from 46 to 13.  They have been my source of pride, joy, laughter, and some tears.
  9.      My  numerous foster children, who taught me to love someone through the midst of their pain, and then to let them go.
  10.      My grandchildren…8 living and 3 who are in a heavenly nursery.  They are the legacy that we leave behind to validate our lives.
  11.      My siblings:  3 living; 3 not.
  12.      My source of enjoyment; my five senses:  sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste.
  13.      My best girl friend Prisca.  I love her laughter, her wisdom, her common sense,  her honesty, her friendship, and her cooking.
  14.      President Donald J. Trump!  I know there are a lot of liberals who don’t agree with him…even some who hate him…but, I think he is a true Christian man who is good for America.  I believe he is God’s answer to long-time prayer for a better America.  I believe he wants to rebuild its wealth through debt reduction and by bringing jobs back home, to rebuild our military strength and to give our military and veterans respect through giving them the benefits  they deserve and need. I believe he loves America and truly cares about its future.   (Please don’t comment in hate.  You are entitled to your feelings, as am I.)
  15.      The ability and freedom to homeschool my children.
  16.      White, fluffy clouds.
  17.      Gentle rains.
  18.      Quiet moments.
  19.      Fresh water.
  20.      Christian movies.
  21.      Good police officers.
  22.      Homeopathic treatments.
  23.      Money in the bank.
  24.      Baby giggles.
  25.      A baby’s hands.
  26.      Laughter.
  27.      The four seasons.
  28.      Hot showers.
  29.      Sweatpants.
  30.      Daytime dreams.
  31.      Nighttime dreams.
  32.      Prayer partners.
  33.      Sweater weather.
  34.      Good books.
  35.      Blanket forts.
  36.      Puppy kisses.
  37.      Family traditions.
  38.      Creativity.
  39.      Farmers’ markets.
  40.      Coffee.
  41.      Family vacations.
  42.      Freedom.
  43.      Rainbows.
  44.      Light jazz.
  45.      Forgiveness.
  46.      Sleep.
  47.      Homesteading.
  48.      Second chances.
  49.      Holidays.
  50.      Entrepreneurial opportunities……..

Homesteading

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I love the simplicity of a homesteading life.  Simplicity doesn’t mean that it isn’t hard work; it is.  Simplicity is a frame of mind…that sense of peace, joy, and happiness that comes from doing what you love; what you are called to do.  And I am called to teach my children to love the Lord and to live a life that is centered on Him, rather than the world.

Homesteading includes not only making a self sufficient living off the land through growing your own food and raising animals, but it includes teaching those skills to our children (homeschooling), and our children’s children, so they can continue living that life.

There are many ways to monetize a homestead.  One of our favorites is to raise chickens.  Farm fresh eggs are a really big, growing market.  The eggs can be sold from home or at a farmers market.  We can sell chicks to other farmers and homesteaders.  We also use the chickens for meat.  (You can do the same thing with ducks.)

Chickens

We have raised  rabbits.  They can be sold as pets, or for 4H projects.  They can be processed, or sold, for the meat.  The pelts are sought after for coats, accessories, or even for crafts.  Angora rabbit fur can be plucked and spun into very valuable yarn.

IMG_0434

One of our favorite animals to raise is goats.  We have raised Nigerian Dwarfs, Nubians, and Boers.  The Nigerians are a small dairy goat, that gets about knee-high at their shoulders.  They give about a quart to a half gallon of sweet milk a day.  The Nubian is a larger animal, and gives a gallon, or more, milk a day.  The Boer is a meat goat, rather than dairy.  All three breeds can be butchered for the meat though.  They can be sold for the meat, milk, for breeding, or as pets.  But goats are a herd animal and you need at least two, to keep them out of trouble.  Not only is the milk great for drinking, you can use it to make cheese, cheese curd, butter, yogurt, cheese cake, and soap.

Nubian goats
Nubians Enjoying the Sun

Beekeeping is another great way to make money.  You can build beehives to sell, or to rent to other homesteaders, or farmers, to help with pollination.  You can process and sell the honey.  You can make and sell beeswax candles, or just sell the beeswax.

And then there is the garden.  We have had to make a few changes in our gardening.  Rather than the regular garden in the ground, we have changed to raised-bed gardens due to the fact that I am confined to a mobile chair.  My husband built wonderful raised beds that measure 3′ x 3′, and are at just the right height for me to sit in my chair and be able to work the soil and harvest the plants.  Not only do we have a wonderful variety of food on the table, but we can sell young plants and the produce at farmers’ market.

Raised Bed Garden

In order to monetize your homestead, it is important to “Brand” yourself.  You need nice packaging and labels for your products.  Your homestead needs a name.  You need to reach out to your community so they know who you are, and the quality of your products.  Our homestead is called the Rocking Bar M Farm.  Our logo is a bar and M over a rocker…

Rocking Bar M Logo