An Inside Look at the Life of a Homesteader [GUEST POST]

Homesteading Life

If you've ever wondered if homesteading is for you, than read on! Over the past couple months I have had so much fun getting to know Abbie more! I love it when God brings together like-minded sisters in Christ to encourage one another, and Abbie is one of those women who I am blessed to have had an instant connection with. I am so excited to share this post she previously shared on her own website "The Gal Down the Road." (It is, of course, shared with permission)


Homesteaders? This isn’t the life we pictured for ourselves having. But we wouldn’t change any of it. It happened little by little and now it feels like we’ve been doing the homesteading thing our whole lives. This is us.

How are ya doing? I pray this finds you doing well.

And if you are still here after reading the title I’m pretty sure we could be friends. Or already are! Homesteaders are a unique, a little less rare, breed nowa days. There’s a whole blog in that sentence alone, but for the most part people are making this shift because of the way our world feels. Everything feels unsteady, uneasy, unprepared, unreliable. Am I right? I think the shift is happening for some people because they need to feel the safety of knowing, the safety of feeling prepared. And to that I would give ya a fist bump if we were sitting down having a cup of…ok I would totally be drinking a soda, but I would totally make you whatever you’d like.

Homestead Vs Farmstead

To sum it up simple and from what I’ve gathered for myself, farmstead is for income, homestead is centered around becoming self sufficient. Homesteaders concentrate on raising, eating, cultivating everything for self sufficiency. So as of right now we fall into the homestead category. For several different reasons.


For one, truth be told, I’m not the best gardener. Another confession, I suffer from gardener envy. For real. I’m sure there will be an acronym for it soon enough in some medical journal. I want a big garden. I plant a big garden. And I can grow some Jack and the Bean stock size weeds. Yup that’s my talent. When it comes to gardening. I grow amazing weeds.

To that I raise my fist at Adam & Eve in frustration. Seriously!!!! (Genesis 3)

And weeds are my archenemy. I mean swollen, itchy eyes. Faucet running nose and sore throat. I’m talking Quasimodo here! So when those weeds get away from me I literally need a hazmat suit to work in if I don’t want to be in an allergy coma for the next few days.

So with that said what we harvest from our weed infested garden comes straight into the farm house and we consume it ourselves. I wish we could share it with the world but for real…I have some serious work to do.

And I would love to say we try to save said infested garden, but I’ll be real with you. Sometimes ya just got to let it go. And by go I mean, give up. There’s no shame in that.

Give up until next year of course. We salvage what we can and out source what we can’t. I have a father-in-law and uncle who always seems to plant enough for the entire county and are more than happy to unload some of their produce on us. Much obliged!

That’s just proof you can been a homesteader no matter where you live. My gal Jess over at Write at Home is one of my favorite town homesteaders. She’s an amazing writer too. Head on over and check out what tips and tricks she and her hubby’s got. Getting their chickens ok’d in town is quite the story.


We’ve made this shift about five years ago to make an effort to pay attention to what we eat and what we cook with. And by we I mean me. It’s the main reason why we became homesteaders. My dad is the lynch pin when it comes to our livestock. This is an area on the farm where there are a lot different things happening. And thank the Lord we are better at this part of our homestead than any other.

Our livestock is really the gem of the Quaint Little Farm. We raise our own beef and chicken. We get our Holstein’s when they are just a day old and feed them really well. I mean these guys are pampered like no other. They turn into 1200 lb pets more than anything.

Huge Difference

We’ve learned that there is a huge difference between store bought meat and meat you raise yourselves. There is a huge difference in how the cows are treated, nourished, loved on, and fed. All of this contributes to how the meat will taste. A happy cow is a good steak. If that’s too harsh…I don’t know what to tell ya. I’m convinced that if you truly knew anything about the meat you buy in the grocery store you wouldn’t be buying it.

We’ve also noticed that we don’t have the allergies we used to. This is a life changer for me. Thank the Lord! There is something to be said about raising your own livestock, close to where you live. God just works things out that way. Isn’t that amazing?!?!

Bess Not to Name the Livestock

We don’t usually name our Holsteins but there always seems to be a dominant one that gets named. Can you tell which one is Superman? Our last bunch had a Bill. It stuck because my niece named him when she was visiting the farm one day. She was three. She looked at our big, black steer and said “He looks like Bill.” So there ya go.

In our newest bunch we have a frisky one that has inherited the name White Knight. He made himself known with my husband quite aggressively. So that’s how he got his name and for the fact he’s almost all white.

Homesteading with Holsteins and Jersey Cattle

Not all of our cows are beef cows. Meet Lucy and Bella, our Jerseys.

Abbie- the Gal

Lucy has been with us the longest. She has taught us soooooo much. And these two girls are nothing alike.

Lucy is ornery and curious. She will literally take your phone out of your back pocket or off your belt if you don’t watch her. This girl loves to be brushed, scratched, called from the backdoor. She’s an attention hog if you get my drift. She’s bossy too, she’ll move the Holsteins or Bella out of the way if she thinks they’ve gotten enough attention so she can soak up a little more.

Bella on the other hand is shy. Protective of Lucy’s calves, which we’re praying means she will be a good momma too, and snobby. She doesn’t come when you call her. The stinker won’t even look at ya unless you’re holding some cubes (snacks) in your hand. She does get a little brave when you put said cubes in your hoodie pocket.

At the moment they are both expecting. We’re pretty excited about that. In the mean time that gives us a dead line to get our barn built. Once their calves are weened we will begin milking these two girls. I can not wait to start making our own butter, yogurt, cheese and what not.

This is much more exciting to me than a garden, if ya can’t tell.


Now that I think about it, chickens were probably the very first source of livestock we had out here on the farm. And by far the easiest to care for. We have free range, cage free, natural forging birds. Which means, they go where they would like, they eat what they would like, and they put themselves to bed when they would like.

Keeping Homesteading Simple

Our coop isn’t fancy. Just a regular old coop we moved from a farm down the road. They weren’t interested in using it for anything. So we loaded it on a trailer and moved it a mile.

When I see all the pretty painted coops, with the chandelier feeders it makes me tired. Cause birds are messy, they poop everywhere. Their water never stays in the container you cleaned out for them… don’t shy away from keeping them though. Keeping chickens is one of the easiest meat sources you can add to your homestead. I’m sure this is where a lot of homesteaders start.

We just make it a point to make our chores and buildings as easily cleaned and maintained as possible. Don’t make it harder than it needs to be. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Just keep to the basics. All the responsibilities on a homesteaders life is already enough.

We don’t name our chickens either, our roosters get named but not the girls. To us they are just the girls. Every year we order more layers and broilers to replace the hens that are slowing down on their laying and broilers to butcher to restock our freezer for the coming year. When we order broilers we order one for every week of the year and a few more just incase nature takes it’s course.

Raising Chickens on your Homestead

If you’re interested in learning more about farm fresh eggs I’ve written a few little tidbits HERE & HERE


We also have ducks. For no other reason than to eat stickers and entertain us. Our first go around with ducks our daughter named all of them Sarah. They were all white and looked identical so she just named them all Sarah to make it easy.

At the moment we have a batch of four. Only one has a name. His name is Kenya. There is a story about how these four came to reside out here at the Quaint Little Farm. It involves my best friend and a trip to the farm store. STAY TUNED FOR THAT STORY.

The homesteaders life is far from easy. There are a lot of early mornings. Two day bottle feedings. Breaking ice in tanks. Pitching hay and grain into feeders. And a lot of poop. No sugar coating that. It makes for some amazing fertilizer in that garden I was telling ya about earlier. Your livestocks needs come before your own and there are no rainy days or snow days off.

But we wouldn’t change it. Not one bit of it. It’s not for the faint of heart. But it softens your heart to the slower, sturdier, basic ways of doing life. You appreciate your meals more. There’s joy in simply brushing your Jerseys to make their milk sweeter and keep their demeanor sweet as well. Having a 900 lbs steer eat out of your hand is something we celebrate and smile at. This is us.

We thank God for our Quaint Little Farm everyday and strive to be good stewards of what He has given us.

Until Next Time,

the Gal,


Abbie, AKA the Gal, lives with her husband and two out of four kids (two have flown the coop) on a homestead in Nebraska. They work the farm together with their extended family making it three generations doing life together. Abbie is a jewellery crafter in her spare time, not to mention she is a homeschool/ farmschool mom, and scheduling genius as she works to keep order between school,  farm, and home life. You can read more from Abbie on her website The Gal Down the Road.

Like Grandma Did

Paleo Eggs Benedict (Plus Bonus Guacamole Tip)

Paleo Eggs Benedict

I cannot think of a time in my life when Eggs Benedict wasn't a favourite. When I was hit with an autoimmune a couple of years ago I had change my diet in a hurry and relearn how to make my non-negotiable menu items. This was at the top of my list! 

While figuring out how to do away with the English muffin, the second problem I had was the eggs. I LOVE eggs, but too many and my body was once again spiralling into a state of inflammation. So, my problem-solving skills in the Eggs Benny department became: 

1.) What is a reasonable substitute for an English muffin?
2.) What can I use instead of hollandaise to cut down on the egg content in a heavy eggy dish?

After a few failed attempts, I ended up keeping it simple by using sweet potatoes for my "muffin", and putting some good ol' fashioned guacamole on top instead of hollandaise. Side note: keep reading for a guac recipe that will make your guests want to lick the bowl. Seriously...sometimes I just make it to eat!

But because I don't believe every recipe needs an's the quick and simple, let's get 'er done directions...


  • sweet potatoes (see directions to determine how many you'll need). Choose the fattest ones you can find as you will be slicing them like a loaf of bread for your base.
  • bacon strips...because strips are always better than back I right?! I use 1 slice per benny)
  • 1 bunch of asparagus 
  • 1/2 lemon worth of zest
  • eggs (one per benny)
  • 2 avocados 
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1/2 lemon worth of lemon juice
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • Olive Oil
Because I'm pretty sure at least some of this will be a no-brainer for you, I've broken down the directions in pieces. Skip over what you know, and use the rest to walk you through the process.

Directions for the sweet potatoes:

  1.  Preheat your oven to 425F
  2.  Peel your sweet potatoes and cut them about a half an inch thick. 
  3.  Lay your potatoes on a baking sheet (single layer, don't overlap) and brush them with a generous layer of olive oil.
  4.  Put them into the oven and bake for 20 min. before flipping. Once flipped keep an eye on them. The goal is to bake them until the edges start to caramelize (AKA- turn brown), at which point you can take them out and plate them. 
**Each potato slice will be the equivalent to half an English muffin, so you'll need to use as many potatoes as you need to get however many "muffin halves" you need.

Directions for the bacon:

  1. Once your potatoes are in the oven, place your bacon on a tin foil lined baking sheet and also place in the oven, flipping halfway through the process. 
**bacon is tricky to include in a recipe in the oven. Cook time can vary depending on bacon thickness. I just make sure to check on it every 5 minutes or so, and flip it after about 10 minutes.

Directions for asparagus:

  1. Snap the ends off your asparagus and steam for a few minutes until tender soft (either in a pot with a little water, or in the microwave). 
  2. Once cooked, toss in a little olive oil and the lemon zest and set aside until assembly.

Directions for eggs:

  1. You could poach your eggs, but it's rather time consuming and fussy, so I usually just cook our eggs into a frying pan with a little olive oil until they are over-easy. We like our yolks to drip onto the plate for extra flavour.

Directions for best guacamole ever!

Here's the key to the best guac ever...roast your garlic first! Here's how...
  1. Cut the top of your garlic off and peel back the loose layers of the bulb leaving only the inner layers to hold the bulb together.
  2. Drizzle on some olive oil over the exposed cloves and then wrap your bulb in tin foil. 
  3. Put on the bottom wrack of your oven as you cook your sweet potato and bacon.
  4. Once your potatoes are cooked, your garlic should be done too. 
  5. Remove your garlic cloves from the head and mash (and yes, I use the whole bulb when I cook...I LOVE garlic...thankful so does my family so we can all smell together!).
  6. From here it's just standard guac...(2 mashed up avocados, lemon juice, all the garlic from the bulb, salt and pepper).

Directions for assembly:

You really can take liberties in whatever order you like here, but I layer mine in the following order: sweet potato, bacon, 4-5 pieces of asparagus, egg, guacamole.

Enjoy your eatin' folks! 

Do you have a old favourite that you've revamped for your dietary needs? Want to share it? Email me at and I'll include your recipe in a future magazine edition. 

All my love,
Like Grandma Did

What I Wish Younger Me Knew [GUEST POST]

Dear Younger me

Part of what I love so much about writing, is the opportunity to meet fellow bloggers and writers. By God's beautiful providence, I have had the blessing of meeting Tammy. This is letter she has written to her younger self now that she has reached the stage of being "Grannie". May us younger-in-years moms draw from her wisdom as we focus on our priorities this new year.

Letter from my (now) Grannie self, to my (then) young wife/mommy self: 

Dear wife/mommy who tries so hard to be perfect, 

Believe it or not, There are some things you will never regret, but you will have regrets. You will never regret specific kind words or patience towards your husband, sweet efforts to get him to read books to improve, or words spent to encourage him or build him up. Key words sweet and kind. It all is worth a try... 

You will never regret time spent cuddling your babies, or toddlers, or tweens or teens. You will never regret doing your BEST to provide for them, protect them, nurture them, train them. You will be AMAZED at how the minutes of chaos turn into years, and in a blink, your children are grown and gone. Key word gone. 

You WILL have some regrets, because despite how near perfect you think that you are (talking to myself in my 30s and 40s)- your 50s are all about increased self awareness and benefitting from the wonderful hindsight perspective. In your 50s you can look back and see some glaring and embarrassing weaknesses and flaws, some that your husband tried to give you a clue about, but YOU JUST COULD NOT SEE IT. Maybe try listening a little more, praying more, and being quiet more with him. 

You and he are different individuals, so it is natural that you have different perspectives and ideas… but be careful… I’m telling you now, that in the future you will see that HE WAS RIGHT on a few things!! 

So just live humbly. Honor your husband. 

That little boy that you birthed, whom you know… the one that you love more than anything in this world… He grows up. He makes you proud. He finds a wife. His wife becomes his world. His wife and his children…You...are...a…GRANNIE!!! 

You LOVE being a Grannie, but guess what? There is an empty place left in your heart, since your son left your home. You don’t live with him everyday. Your minutes with him are few, but almost unfathomably, you love him no less than when he was an infant, a toddler, a tween, a teen…. But he is, yes, a grown man and he lives away from you as is fitting, and makes you proud. 

Guess who is still in your home, loving you as always? The same one who you kinda gave left-over time crumbs to when you were raising those kids. Yep, your husband! 

Go give him a big hug and a kiss. Tell him you love him, appreciate him, and that you want to be a good wife. Ask him what three wishes he would ask of his wife. Try to oblige. 




Really is a good order of priorities. 

I know it is tough. 

While you are in the trenches, doing your best, trying to serve, God, your husband, the kids, sometimes church and others…. Do remember a few things: 

1) Perfection is God and Jesus’s job, not yours. Give yourself and others some grace, like God and Jesus give to you! 

2) Do take care of yourself. Practice boundaries, and learn to say NO. 

3) Keep eternal perspective. What will matter in the long run? What matters to God? Will this matter a year from now? 10 years from now? This perspective can help you make decisions, plan, and set priorities for time management… 

4) Again, love that husband. When the kids are gone, it’s only going to be YOU and HIM. 

Lastly, I want to encourage you. Do not lose heart. Yes it is tough raising the kids. It is tough letting go of the kids. Sometimes it is boring, just you and your husband, but being a GRANNIE is totally AWESOME. You for sure will find, that when you travel with God, Bible lighting your path, there are sweet pauses and breathtaking surprises in every stage of life and for Christians, “The best is yet to come,” always.

Tammy Dunlap 

Tammy and her husband were together for 3 years before tying the knot and have been married for 25 years. As Tammy says that has been "28 years of love and learning together." With one child grown, launched, and starting his own family, and one daughter still at home, Tammy has been able to look down the road ahead and see that the life of empty-nester isn't too far in the future. 

You can read more wisdom from Tammy on her blog "Grandma Mary Martha."

Like Grandma Did
[name=Sarah Slanzi] [description=Old-fashioned homemaking steeped in God's grace] (facebook= (instagram= (pinterest=