Category Archives: Blog Posts

Don’t Let Dangerous Mosquitoes Ruin Your Day

by Tammy Taylor~

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Y’all know since we’ve added our Porch Addition, RancherMan & I love to spend our evenings out there.  Aaaaaahhhh – it’s been a hard day, it’s been hot & humid and our bodies are tired, let me tell ya!   So we get together in this lovely outdoor living room, swinging gently, sipping something cold and talking about our day.  This is our comforting routine almost every night.

But, this time of year there’s something threatening to cut short these special evenings together – Mosquitoes!  Dang they’re everywhere!  Their bites can transmit all kinds of nasties!  You really do have to be careful and protect yourselves.  What’s a country girl to do?

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Homestead Hack: Eliminating Ants In Pet Food Bowls

by Tammy Taylor~

I don’t know if y’all deal with ants like we do, but dang this time of year when it gets super dry, the ants will go marching out looking for food.  Every now & then we find that they have invaded Bailey’s food dish! When we adopted her she had bladder stones.  So now her diet is very rigid.  Never human food, only special formula low-oxalate crunchy dog food and lots of fresh water to keep her system healthy.

Knowing how common it is to overfeed pets and to keep her fit, RancherMan researched to find out how much food a dog her size and activity level should eat daily.  We give her half that amount in the morning and the other half in the evening. So there’s typically not food left in her bowl for any length of time, but sometimes she leaves her food in the bowl a little longer.  It’s then that we’ll notice it’s attracted the attention of ants.   Oh how we hate to have ants in the house. And Bailey REALLY hates them to be in her dish!  But we found an easy fix.  Check out this Homestead Hack.

Ants were invading Bailey's dog food bowl. So we turned to a poison-Free Homestead Hack to eliminate them. #TxHomesteader

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Landscaping An Outdoor Oasis On The Cheap

by Tammy Taylor~

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RancherMan & I spend lots of time outside.  Not only for our work here on the homestead, but for pleasure too.  And we love the view from our back porch.  Recently I wrote about expanding that back porch to include an Outdoor Living room – be sure to check that out.

But now that the porch addition has been installed I need to landscape it into the peaceful oasis I’ve got my heart set on.  But I need to landscape it on the cheap, y’all.  It was surprisingly easy to do.  Come see!

We needed to landscape our porch area. But soil and plants are expensive! Come see how I landscaped it beautifully on the cheap. #TxHomesteader

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Eliminate Plastic Produce Bags

by Tammy Taylor~

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I don’t typically use plastic produce bags.  I mean, my veggies can usually play nice without being separated from each other by plastic.  🙂  But sometimes with bulk buying it’s just easier for the cashier to have like items all bundled together.  So if I buy 16 roma tomatoes to make Pico de Gallo for a family dinner, bundling them all together for the cashier just makes sense.

But oh how I hated to use that plastic bag.  I mean, yeah, I’ll make sure it gets reused somehow when I get home, but I’m trying to SHUN plastic aren’t I?

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The Winds Of Change Are Blowing… My Blog Name’s Changing!

by Tammy Taylor~

RancherMan & I have been talking about refreshing the name of my little ole blog for quite some time.  Why?  Well, because I write about all kinds of self-sufficiency things – being eco friendly, raising chickens, cooking, gardening and much more.

I’ve heard some readers saying it would help if they knew where I was writing from.  I’m in NE Texas zone 8, but you may be in zone 4.  How do my garden tips need to be viewed for your own area?  Or what altitude am I talking about in my recipes? It can be confusing to readers knowing how my posts relate to where they reside.

So I’m changing my blog name to Texas Homesteader.  It will be super easy for all readers to see at a glance where I’m writing from!   The change should happen within the next week, but nothing’s changed yet…

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5 Zero-Waste Products I Love – Celebrate Plastic-Free July!

by Tammy Taylor~

‘Plastic-Free July’ is where folks around the world see how far they can go in shunning plastic in their day-to-day lives. Y’all know me, I’m all over that action!

I don’t plan to achieve a 100% plastic free life. But I do plan to use this month to take special notice of the plastic that comes into our home & refuse it for better options when possible.  It’s more about the awareness than attaining perfection anyway. 

So c’mon – join the pledge with me and see what you can do to shun plastic for the month of July, ya wanna??  You might (like me) be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is & what other options you have. To celebrate plastic-Free July I’m sharing the 5 zero-waste products I love most that help me eliminate plastic from my life and from our environment.

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Honey-Sweetened, Smoky BBQ Sauce

by Tammy Taylor~

Y’all know RancherMan’s an accomplished hunter.  And wild hogs are very plentiful & terribly destructive in our pastures.  We pair the two by having RancherMan harvest as many wild hogs as our large chest freezer can hold.  There’s no way to make a dent in the numbers in the pastures but at least we’ve always got pork in the freezer!

If we have the meat processed we get such things as pork chops and tenderized steaks in addition to ground pork, sausage and more.  But if the hog is small we typically process it ourselves simply into roasts & backstrap.

I like to utilize Planned Leftovers by cooking several roasts using my slow cookers.  I often  shred much of the cooked meat to make pulled pork.  (tip: there’s a much easier way than using 2 forks to Shred Cooked Pork)  Then I use that meat for various dishes such as Pulled Pork Enchiladas, Carnitas Tacos or BBQ. When I’m making BBQ I used to pick up a bottle of inexpensive BBQ sauce at the store.  Until NOW.

Check out this super-quick recipe for a sweet & tangy smoky BBQ sauce. It mixes up in minutes and is customizable to your tastes. #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Cooking Breakfast Should Include Hazardous Duty Pay!

by Tammy Taylor~

We typically don’t eat breakfast so enjoying it is a special occasion indeed.  Usually either when we’re on a vacation or every year for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day when our tradition dictates that the honoree get homemade breakfast in bed. I typically opt for fresh fruit, yogurt and homemade pancakes. RancherMan always (and I mean ALWAYS) requests bacon, fried eggs, jalapeno/cheese biscuits and gravy.

But as I crept around the house quietly to keep from waking him as I prepared his honoree breakfast, it almost seemed like a comedy.  How in the world did our grandmothers do it??!!

I treated RancherMan to a hearty breakfast of Homemade biscuits, eggs, bacon and gravy. Good grief - how did our grandmothers do it?? #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Chiggers: Separating Fact & Fallacy Plus Crazy Remedies

by Tammy Taylor~

Summer is here for sure in NE Texas y’all.  It’s HOT!  Now I love Texas, but we have some pesky things to deal with here.  The heat & humidity are certainly something to contend with.  And some of the bugs & pests are too.  Out here on the Homestead I’m constantly on the lookout for copperhead snakes, stinging wasps, scorpions, fire ants and to me the worst offender – the tiny chigger.

Oh the chiggers are brutal this time of year.  You stroll out into your pasture to check the cows and before you know it you’re covered with maddenly itchy red bumps.  This discomfort can stay for 2-3 weeks in some cases.  YIKES!  There are many home remedies for chigger bites, and much misinformation as well.  Today I thought I’d address the chigger and its tormentious bite.

Chiggers - we've all dealt with them, right? Oh the misery of their itching which can last for weeks. I've heard some crazy cures, most of them WRONG! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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