Trip to King Lumber…

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We learned about another nice lumber shop that is a bit closer to our house and we just had to make a trip over and check them out!  Just a little west of Wauseon!  (And the county fairgrounds!)  They offer all local and native species of wood, milled and processed right there in the shop!

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Maggie was in heaven!  Lots and lots of beautiful lumber to pick from…

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This area was her favorite, however…  a bunch of cut offs and discounted shorter pieces of beautiful wood.  Since she’s not building furniture or floors, she doesn’t need super nice long pieces.  She can work with 2 footers and less.  I think we spent about 2 hours just going through all the beautiful pieces!

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We even talked about harvesting a black walnut tree on the homestead!  Now, wouldn’t that be something…  a beautiful black walnut loom made from actual Windhaven lumber!  It takes up to a year to dry the lumber once it is cut!  We will have to think about it…  it would be something neat to do at some point!

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We also filled up the truck with slab wood to heat the shop!  You can’t go wrong with cheap hardwood slab wood.  It burns great and is easy to handle.  Especially for our two wood stoves.  They are not big stoves, so we can cut the slab wood to just the right size to fit our stoves nicely!

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Since we were over that way and hungry, we decided to stop at one of our favorite places to eat…  Das Essen Haus!  Real good Amish buffet.  Oh my goodness.  You just HAVE to be hungry and ready to eat at this place.  We don’t go too often but when we do, you can count on the fact that you will not eat for the rest of the day and you better be ready for a nice nap!  It’s like Thanksgiving on demand!

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Super yummy salads and soups…

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Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green bean cassarole and all the fixings!  Delish!!!

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And a plate of goodies for desert!  (Jessy and I shared this plate so we could get a little taste of everything!!!)  It was just so darn good and so reasonably priced…  Just a lovely little field trip!

We’ll be back!!!

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French Onion Soup…

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I don’t know about you, but I love French onion soup…  And I always thought it was something hard to make!  Guess what?  It’s not!!!

You need just a few ingredients…  Onions…  some beef broth, a dash of Worcestershire sauce and some butter and cheap red wine!  That’s about it.  Oh, and some spices to flavor…  a bit of salt and perhaps a little garlic or herb mix.

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First thing…  chop up a couple big onions.  I used a sweet variety, but really, just about any will do.   I cut up 4 large ones.  And then you add a stick of butter and sauté the onions until they are nice and soft, slightly caramelized.  The trick is not to rush it all.

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Then, add a cup of red wine.  I thought this was rather fun because of the rooster on the label and the fact that it was $6.  It really doesn’t have to be fancy wine at all.

Then add a dash of Worchestershire sauce…  I put in a couple good shakes of the bottle…  and add in two boxes of beef broth.  One box is 32 ounces, so I guess that means add in 64 ounces!    I added in a little bit of water as well, just to cover up the onions nicely.

And then, you simmer for a good long time.  The longer the better, really.  Not hot at all.  In fact some people like to throw it all into a crock pot for 5 or 6 hours!

When I read about how this was actually a peasant food…  made easily with some beef bone broth, leftover wine and cheap onions…  simmered for a long time and then eaten with older, stale bread and a bit of cheese, it made sense!  It was just delicious!   I simmered my pot on the stove for about 2 hours.

Dressed it up with a few croutons and some shaved Parmesan cheese!    You can use other types of cheese as well…  I think Swiss would be delightful.

Just a nice easy homestead warming soup!  And it smells divine!!!!   IMG_4175

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My Yurt has Arrived!

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As you might have heard, one of my dreams is to have my own little yurt!  Out in our garden pasture, my own little home on the homestead!  Nothing too big, I was thinking about a 16 foot yurt and I have slowly begun to work on it.  I’ve selected a spot and begun a bit of foundation work, but hope to get much more of it done this year.

In the meanwhile, my dear daughters got me something so sweet for Christmas!  And it took a while to arrive all the way from Kyrgyzstan!

So when this most curious and delightful package arrived…  I was so thrilled.

My own training yurt!  Yes, a build it yourself yurt kit!

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They even sent a cute little post card as a thank you!  What a treasure!

And the instructions were in Mongolian!   Haha, no kidding!

However, they had very clear pictures, rather like if IKEA built a yurt…  lots of pictures and so I got started on it!

It was rather easy to build and I loved that it was really well designed and structurally complete, just like a normal yurt!  It really gave me the confidence to really get my dreams in order!  I can’t wait for the spring to come around…  and until then, my delightful little yurt sits on my desk and reminds me to keep my eye on the prize!

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What is so adorable is that my little Cody pony figure is perfectly in scale with my yurt!  The girls got me that one Christmas because I always wanted a pony.  And then a few years later, we got Cody pony!  And it looks so much like him!   Isn’t that so cool!

They thought it would be fun to buy me a yurt…  even if it wasn’t a huge one!  I just love those girls, they are so thoughtful!!!

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Never give up on your dreams.  You can do it.  And you can get there.  Just stay focused.  I sure am trying…  it’s hard but if you want something, you can make it happen.

Stay with me this spring and summer!  I noticed that the side pole pieces are on sale at our local lumber yard!   Many people use standard ship lap 1 x 2″ boards for the sides…  I hope to be able to get them sooner than later!  I just need 80 by my calculations and they are normally less than a dollar a board.  We can start to drill and knot the kanna together before the spring mud is dried up!  I will be sure to document all the activities as they come about!

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