Monday, March 30, 2015

Mason Jar Monday Arizona Ice Tea Mimic

Welcome to Mason Jar Monday!

Today’s Mason Jar Monday is a great mimic recipe. The weather is turning. More of us are out working in the gardens, doing yard work, and having BBQ’s and gatherings. Today I offer you a great recipe to mimic Arizona Ice Tea. I love Arizona Ice Tea, but the cost is a little high for my budget. This is a budget-friendly way to make a very close ice tea that you would be hard-pressed to identify as a mimic in a taste test.

Let’s start with the ingredients. Gather together:
  • 8 cups of boiling hot water
  • 1 Lipton Green Tea Bag
  • ½ cup of Sugar (more or less to taste)
  • 2 Tablespoons of local honey
  • 2 ½ Tablespoons of Lemon Juice (again, to taste. I like a little more)
  • ¼ Tablespoon of Ginseng extract 

How to: Steep the tea bag in the hot water for about an hour. During this time the liquid will cool. After an hour, remove the tea bag and add the remaining ingredients. I make it in a bottle with a lid (I reuse an old Arizona Ice Tea jug). Give the ingredients a good shake (or stir) and then serve over ice.

Store: Store in the refrigerator. It will keep in the fridge for a week or so, but it never lasts that long in my house.

Serve: I prefer to serve my Arizona Ice Tea in Mason Jars with a Slice of Lemon on the rim and sprig of fresh mint.

Cool and refreshing for just pennies, this mimic of Arizona Ice Tea is super easy to make so you never run out at home! 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Tiny House Homestead Podcast #22

Podcast Title: Tornadoes, Creepy Crawlies, and Ice Tea 
Podcast Episode 22 Show Notes:
This episode covers….
Today I discuss the first tornadoes of 2015, 3 more problems with tiny houses, ticks and heartworms, and I give a great recipe for Arizona Ice Tea. Welcome to Tiny House Homestead! 
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Check out this episode!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tiny Houses with a BIG Problem

Not all things in the tiny house community is tiny. Sometimes problems are very large. Here is a great example of what happens when things go wrong. Very wrong, in a big way...
Tiny Houses
Picture Property of Washington City Paper 
D.C.’s tiny houses are the architectural equivalent of that perfect couple you used to envy on Facebook: ultraphotogenic, cultured (they hosted a series of one-act plays last month), and so much quirkier and more interesting than anything going on in your bloated apartment. But now the status has flipped: The tiny houses are divorcing.

click here for the rest of the story

Read this too (this was in the comment section of the article):

I'm the owner of the fourth house mentioned in your article "a fourth house briefly sat on the lot in 2013, but the owner was rarely around and eventually moved the trailer," and it's my tiny house that you've chosen to feature as the photo for your article, the white one with red trim. Pera's house is to the left with the uneven siding and Austin's house is to the right with the charred siding. Levy's house is not shown.
I felt betrayed in my experience at Boneyard Studios, too. When my parents needed some help, I moved from California to Florida to be with them. I offered the folks at Boneyard the use of my house to help promote the tiny house movement while I was unable to live in it. They agreed, and while Pera was building her house, her builder often stayed in my house. Once he moved on to other projects, the folks at Boneyard asked me to move my house off the lot, saying that is was "a bit too small to be useful" to them and they wanted to use the land for something else. I was very surprised and disappointed, as I had thought my house was a permanent part of the tiny community and I had hoped to retire there. I hadn't paid anything for land rental, but neither had Pera's builder paid me for staying in the house. I offered to start contributing to the common expenses but my offer wasn't accepted. Getting the house off the lot was difficult, as their hot tub had to be moved, along with debris that had been piled up by Pera and her builder behind and under my tiny house. In addition, Austin and Pera wanted my house moved only during a weekday and only when they could be present. It was a complicated, expensive, unpleasant endeavor. Had I known my house would only be welcome there for a few months, I wouldn't have brought it there at all. Yet, it's often used as the feature image for articles about Boneyard Studios.
My tiny house is now in an RV park in Florida where it is well loved and cared for by a friend living in it at no charge from me (just paying the RV park owner lot his rent), to help others see that tiny living is possible.
I wish Pera, Austin, and Levy success and happier tiny times. Living tiny, to me, is about more than reducing consumption and use of resources. It's about living in harmony with the planet and each other. Small mindedness is not compatible. It will take big, generous, wise hearts to turn the tide of greed and selfishness that have become so prevalent in America, toward living with a spirit of self-reliance, cooperation, and using only what we need. For inspiration, I'd like to share with you the "My Own Tiny Home, the Tiny House Song".

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Tiny House Homestead Podcast #21

" If people only read about the butterflies and rainbows of Tiny House living (like we did, before we started our build), they will not have enough information to make an educated decision about whether or not building a tiny house on wheels is a good idea or not."   -- Casey Friday

Come along and let's discuss some of the problems of tiny houses. Not everything tiny is ideal. Welcome to Tiny House Homestead.

Check out this episode!

Read why John decided to give up on living in a tiny house here:

I believe that people start with the best of intentions, but communal living has proven time and time again not to work. There are lots of folks in the world, but not one of them is exactly like us. This means we will encounter conflict and those who have not-so-good intentions. Boneyard Studios, a tiny house community in Washington DC, is a great example of a slowly imploding communal living arrangement. Read the cautionary tail of Boneyard Studios here:

Casey Friday and his wife had their tiny house stolen. Read why they have decided to abandon their dream of a tiny house and move on to new dreams:

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Winter's Last Gasp

Three weekends in a row of snow and ice have passed. It appears that Mother Nature has had enough fun with Oklahoma. Spring is just a couple of weeks away and tonight we set our clocks forward an hour. Today the temperature was in the 70's. It is hard to believe that it was snowing heavily earlier this week and temperatures were so low travel was restricted and schools closed for two days in a row. I am sad that winter is ending, but excited about beginning the process of preparing and planting my gardens. Here are some shots of Winter's last hurrah.

I am undecided which season is my favorite at this point. For now, I will enjoy them all. 

Spring forward everyone!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Free Pond Building Classes

When I bought my land I knew there was no pond on it. There is a seasonal creek that runs through the forest that skirts around the side of the property, but no year-round pond. Recently at a Meet Up group I run (Oklahoma Tiny House Meet Up) one of our members revealed she is employed by a pond company and they offer classes on pond building. The entire group was excited at the opportunity to pick the mind of someone who knew the ins and outs of creating and maintaining a water feature. This weekend is the first class our Meet Up group will be participating in and you are invited too.

Pond Pro
7901 N. Kickapoo Street
Shawnee, OK 74804
Class begins at 10 am

Have I piqued your interest? Here is some further information directly from their website about classes and the order in which they will be presenting:

We'll cover pond and waterfall design, choosing the correct pump and filter for your desired water feature, proper techniques to make your pond and stream look natural, and we'll teach you how to care for it once it’s up and running. Topics include: site selection, design, materials, pumps, filters, fish, plants, and much more. Attendees will have the opportunity to puchase items after the class session so they can take their new found knowledge home to improve on their out-door living area.

Classes are approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours in duration and held on Saturdays from March to October. Please see the schedule below for more information. We will be happy to have you join us.

Schedule of Upcoming 2015 Classes
All our classes are on Saturdays. See start time below, all classes are free and open to the public. Classes may be held in our indoor training facility.

done = Completed Class
 Date Time Class Title
 March 7 10:00 am Spring Start Up
 March 28 10:00 am Pond Filtration
 April 11 10:00 am Pond Build
 April 25 10:00 am Pondless Build
 May 16 10:00 am Plants/Fish/Algae
 June 6 10:00 am Pond Build
 June 27 10:00 am Pondless Build
 July 11 10:00 am Controlling Algae
 July 25 10:00 am Other Water Features
 August 15 10:00 am Waterfalls and Streams
 September 12 10:00 am Pond Build
 September 26 10:00 am Pondless Build
 October 10 10:00 am Pond Build
 October 24 10:00 am Winterizing Your Pond

Pond Pro also offers a free monthly newsletter you can sign up for here

I am excited at the opportunity to participate in FREE classes that help me learn a homesteading skill. Being able to have water on your property only increases its value and usability, not to mention how attractive and serene a pond can be. I hope to see you there!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Mason Jar Monday Summer Barbecue Dreaming

It is 19 degrees and snowing today, but that won't stop me from dreaming about summer gardens, swimming, and barbecues. Here is a Mason Jar Monday idea to get you thinking of warmer times to come. These clever barbecue favors save on time and energy running in and out of the house fetching supplies, allowing you a chance to enjoy your barbecue and your guests too. Make one set for the kiddos and another for the adults. Add in napkins, flatware, and a tag for a name to be sure everyone has a drinking glass and utensils. I was thinking of adding salt, pepper, ketchup, mustard, relish, and mayo packets, hand sanitizer, and a wet wipe as well. Easy peasy way to make sure all your guests have what they need to enjoy their barbecue without you making a million trips into the house. Chin up, summer is just around the corner!