January Flood…

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Around here, on January 11th, it’s pretty rare to have 57 degrees in the morning!!!

And when it happens, and we have snow on the ground…  it melts.  And then you throw in 12+ hours of rain and you have a flooded homestead.   Not much you can do about it, but hand out life preservers to the livestock and hope the sump pump doesn’t fail.

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At least you can see that my cottage chicken house is still above the flood water!  This is really the worse flooding we have ever seen.  Thankfully, by late in the afternoon it was starting to go down.  Our ditch does work, but this was just too much too fast.  A good gully washer that is hard and fast will go through and lightly flood us, but when a big, weird system just parks over us and drops several inches, it’s gonna be a real mess.

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The whole county was pretty much underwater.  We were not the only flooded for sure.  So many fields were simply lakes!  This is rare that our front yard even flooded badly.  We installed a secondary sump pump last summer and that was one of the best $50 investments we have made in the long time!   When the primary, big pump started to get overwhelmed and was running constantly, the second, higher pump started to assist.  It was just like a fancy dance to watch those two machines working together to keep the basement just to an inch or so of water instead of 4 feet.  Honestly, I think we might get another one to sit in a box just in case!  It’s cheap insurance.  If we were loose either during a bad storm or series of heavy rain days, we could immediately hook up the third instead of having to go out and head for a big box store.  All of those are at least 30+ miles away and a 60-70 round trip all said and done.  And in bad weather, who wants to do that?   We have twice in the last 10 years that we have lived here.  I think it will go on our list of things to watch out for at garage sales and if we see them go on sale brand new, we might grab one more.

It’s only a matter of time that one will wear out.  Ours run a lot for many months out of the year.  Our basement is something called a Michigan basement which is dirt floored and just about always wet.  It’s no fun.

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When we get too much rain in a hurry, the main calverts along the road start to back up and fill onto our property.  I have put a call in to the county and we hope that this year they might come and clean them out.  One time they had neglected to do so and about 15 years ago the place flooded up about 5 foot on the house!  And it flooded out the whole major route in front of our house near our railroad crossing.  It was a dreadful mess as we understand.  And the previous homeowners got a sizable settlement for all the damage from the county.  I certainly hope to never have to go through that.

We are very watchful of the weather and levels of flooding.  We have also made some new berms around the shop and house to help divert the flooding.  So far, the shop has flooded a wee bit, like an inch or two.   The house has never flooded.  Thank goodness!!!  We have a plan in place, so it should be okay, even if it gets really bad.   Another investment we hope to make is a small trash pump.   These pumps will move great amounts of water, even yucky yard water with junk and trash in it.  They generally have openings of 2 to 3 inches to move water through.  And they run on small gas engines so you don’t need electricity.  In the case of a bad storm and we lose power, we should be able to keep a few areas of the homestead clear, like the house and shop and the big barn in the back.

Thats the plan.   Hopefully, it will never need to be put into action!!!

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Dinner Prep…

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Do you dinner prep?  We do…

Not all the time but we do love it when we do!

Dinner prep is just the act of making up larger batches of stuff that you can use easily.   One thing we love to dinner prep with is ground beef.

You can brown a bunch of it, several pounds and then once cool, pop into reasonable amounts for some of your basic dishes.  We make some smallish ones for taco meat or sloppy joes, maybe for spaghetti sauce.  They can be about a half pound or so for the three of us.   We can always use two baggies if we want to make something bigger like chili or goulash or perhaps doubled up for guests.  IMG_5270 IMG_5272

Another thing we love to do is make up a bunch of meatloafs!  We love meatloaf.   We will usually make up one nice large one so we can have dinner and then leftovers and then we will also make some smaller ones just for lunch or maybe to slice up for snadwiches.   And the little muffin ones are great when we don’t feel like making a big dinner and someone just wants to pop one in the microwave for their own dinner plans.  IMG_5273

There are lots of great websites out there that talk about meal prep.   We love it.  We often do sausage crumbles as well that are great for dinner dishes like our favorite Miss Earlenes sausage and noodles or for making breakfast burritos!  Even quiche!

It’s just so nice to have half the job done and waiting in the freezer.  When we don’t meal prep, I notice that we do a lot more carry out and that is just expensive if you do it too much.  And I think it’s just healthier to cook from scratch.  It’s lovely to eat out now and then, but too much and it’s a little boring and way too expensive.    And you tend to just get too much of sugar and carbs, just not the best for people in general, if you ask me.

Give it a try!   Google dinner prep ideas, once a month cooking and other sorts of helpful ideas for making dinner EASY!!!

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