Outhouse is Done

Or well almost. We’ve got it mostly done. Aarron has worked really hard on it. And is rightfully so proud of it. He got caps from a solar farm that was going in. These are basically just square pieces of wood made out of two by fours.

They are probably about a foot tall each and they’re 4 x 8 as far as the inside area. Which, when you stack them together and nail it all together makes for a really good little room.

At the moment it is just a bucket with a toilet seat on it. Which works really great other than having to empty the bucket, so he plans on putting an actual toilet in that will use the bucket flush system into the septic tank.

He’s going to put in a pedestal that the toilet will sit on. It’ll have a couple stairs going up to it and they’ll be of a coffee can or a bucket or some thing sitting next to it with water for flushing.

I want to decorate the inside a little bit to make it a little more lol I guess.I’m thinking kind of a Celtic Type decorations and things in the outhouse just to make it look nicer.

There is a black tank behind it, which is the septic tank. The waist goes into it, as well as like a Rid X or some sort of treatment that helps to keep from having to empty it constantly.

The next project is a bathhouse. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Do you have an out house? Do you want an out house? Is this something that you would be willing to consider leave me a comment below and let me know.

Have a great day!


Problems Do Come Up

It seems that no matter how hard you try or how well you plan, problems do come up from time to time. However, it seems that we keep running into one problem after another. It really does suck, but I guess when things finally work out, hopefully they will be that much better.

We have yet to make the goat pen so they cannot get out. The wind out here is no joke and the fence lines keep getting knocked down. So at the moment Aarron is using the neighbors fence to hold ours and he blocked the goats in so they are not able to get out right now, but they are so rough on things so who knows how long this will really last.

Then the neighbors got a survey done on their property, but their surveyor removed all the markers from our property, which he was not surveying. A survey is costing around $2500 right now and we cannot afford this so we had to find another way to figure out our property lines.

Regrid was perfect for this. It will give the property lines and you can map out your property with it. It will not stand up in a court of law but it will show you where your property lines are. It appears the previous owners of the neighbors property changed all the fence lines and they are no longer correct. However, we were able to find our property corners with Regrid. It is a paid app, but it has a 7 day free trial which is what we used to be able to do this. After the trial, I just canceled the subscription and didn’t have to pay for it. However, it would be a great app to pay for because it’s only $7.99 a month on the Iphone.

So even though problems do come up, there is usually a way to solve them on the cheap. When homesteading, (at least for us) this is an important aspect because we don’t have a lot of money right now. So the cheaper that we can do something the better it is right now.

Are there problems that you are having a hard time solving? Let’s chat about it and maybe come up with a solution that will work for you. Leave a comment below to get the conversation going.

Have a great day!


New Branding

I have some exciting news to share! There will be some rebranding going on. I have been doing this blog for almost 10 years and it started out as just mine. As a way to show others that you can slow down in this life and get more out of it at the same time. However, it has come to a point now that it is more about our homestead/ranch and we feel the name and branding needs to change along with that. So over the next weeks, you will see changes to the website and our social media sites to match the new branding that will happen very soon.

Our ranch

We are going to be changing from Home and Loving It to ARF ranch. At first Aarron was a little off put about asking about this, because these are his initials. However, I told him my name also starts with R so instead of his middle name, the R will be me, making the long version of the new name Aarron and Renee Franklin Ranch, or ARF Ranch for short.


I hope everyone is as excited about this as I am! I am so looking forward to this new face for our new start. I look forward to sharing the process with you as we start to change things around here. I will continue to update on our home as we make the changes and I hope that I won’t have to have the website down at all during this transition, but we shall see what happens.

Have a great day!


Make Your Own Garlic Powder or Salt

Did you know that it is super easy to make your own garlic powder or salt? It really is. It takes about a day to do, but that is only because it takes a while to dehydrate your garlic cloves. There is only about 20 minutes or so of active time. The rest of the time your garlic will be in the dehydrator or in the oven.

The first thing you will need to do is to cut your garlic down into slices. This will allow your oven or dehydrator to work at drying them more effectively. I was told you could do it by just smashing your garlic, but when I tried it that way it took about 2 days for it to dry out completely so for me it makes more sense to slice the cloves down so they don’t take as long in the dehydrator.

Garlic in the dehydrator

Once you have your garlic in slices place them on your dehydrator trays, or on a cookie sheet if you are going to use your oven. I set my dehydrator at 200 degrees for 12 hours and that was pretty good. They were all dry. To check the dryness of the garlic you just try to bend them. If they bend, they need to go in for longer. If they are dry, they will snap.

Dried Garlic

When it’s dry, you put it in your food processor or blender. I use a nutra bullet to grind mine into powder. You will blend it until it’s all a powder. You don’t want any chunks in it.

Garlic Powder

It should look about like the picture above when it’s done. Then you just put in your shaker. I saved one the last time I bought and used store bought but since I have been making my own, I haven’t used store bought since.

Garlic Powder

If you need garlic salt, you add a bit of salt to the powder and mix it in. It’s so very easy to make that store bought is no longer an option for me. I love the way this smells and the way it tastes does not compare to what you buy at the store. I just can’t wait until I can get my garlic growing so that I don’t have to buy that at the store either.

Have a great day!


Goat Pen

First thing I want to say is that I love my husband. He works so very hard for us to have what we need. I love that I can tell him what I need and he can usually make it for me. This is true with the goat pen as well. He finished the goat pen this week and I am in love with it as I would imagine are the goats. They now have about an acre to roam on with trees and weeds and so many other things for them browse as the wish to.

He made the pen from mostly pallets. There are poles in the ground to help keep it sturdy so the goats can’t just knock it down. He used some metal straps to tie the corners together and keep them strong. The gate is a wrought iron pool door that he had here already.

Of course goats will test the strength of any fence and they did this one as well. They couldn’t knock it down, but a funny thing did happen the night we put them in for the first time. I have one goat, Astra, that is always very vocal. Well she was throwing a fit about the new home. After a little while she calmed down and went to bed down (or so I thought).

I go out in the morning to see the goats and how they did in their new home and I only see 4 of the 6. I can’t find Astra and Diamond. Now mind you Diamond and Astra do not get along in the pen. So we go searching the 10 acres looking for these two goats. After about an hour we are heading back to the house when Aarron sees them in the neighbors yard! They are together and they are getting along just beautifully.

They follow me all the way back to the pen with absolutely no issues. However, the moment they are back in the pen, Astra tries to head butt Diamond and they are back to normal. So if you have or ever get goats, just remember they will test your building skills every day. We ended up finding a couple pallets that were missing boards. So Aarron remedied that quite quickly and so far they haven’t been out again yet.

Of course because this is a new pen we still expect a few jail breaks but we will see. They seem to be enjoying the new pen though with all the new area to explore.

Have a great day!


So much to do

Right now there is so much to do that it feels as though nothing is actually getting done. Things are getting done though, and I do know this, it just feels like.. well, overwhelming.

For starters we got the house moved to where it will stay. We have the power sort of worked out. We have the water sort of worked out. However there is the well that still needs fixing.

We still are working on the goat pens.

They will be on the other side of that fence once it’s done rather than half way across the property. I’m looking forward to this happening because then feeding and watering will be easier again.

Aarron just got a whole bunch of pallets which will be used for the goat pens. So hopefully they will be done soon. I would love to have the goats closer to the house so I can hear them if anything happens.

Well that’s what’s going here right now. A lot of work and not much rest. I’d love to hear some positive things going on for y’all. Leave me a comment below and tell me how things are going for you.

Have a great day!


Knuckle Duster Ring

This is a sponsored post. To see my full disclosure click here.

This knuckle duster ring is very pretty. It’s made with highly polished H59 Brass. It comes with a lanyard of sorts that makes it easy to hang it where you will use it. What is it you ask? It’s a bottle opener.

Knuckle Duster


I guess it could be used as a brass knuckle ( I know that’s what I thought at first), but I believe you can get in a lot of trouble by doing that so just use it as the bottle opener that it’s intended to be. It will easily open most beverage bottles with just a tug.

Knuckle Duster


It has a bit of heft to it as well. I would say it weighs a couple of pounds pretty easily. If you would like to purchase this bottle opener just click the link: https://www.edcweapon.com/collections/one-finger-brass-knuckles/products/knuckle-duster-ring

Knuckle Duster


You can your very own brass knuckle duster bottle opener. Do you already have this? What are your thoughts on the product and how well it works? I would love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment below and let me know what you think about this item. The first thing my daughter said about this is it’s so shiny! I had to laugh.

Have a great day!


Avigator Coffee Maker

Avigator Portable Coffee Maker

This post contains affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase, I will recieve a small commission at no cost to you. To see my full disclosure click here.

So I had been looking for a way to make coffee without electric since we don’t have it yet. This is the solution that I was able to find: The Avigator Coffee Maker plugs into the cigarette lighter in your car. I have been using a percolator coffee pot on the camp stove, but the wind here gets so bad at times that stove won’t stay lit.

Avigator Coffee Maker

This makes one cup of coffee at a time and the instructions claim you can have coffee in about 3 minutes. That is a lie! It actually takes at least 10 minutes. But I get my coffee so that is a plus. It does work well and the only thing I don’t like about it is that it does a take a little bit to get your cup of coffee in the morning.

Avigator Coffee Maker

However, that said, it is a hot cup of coffee. It has a permanent filter in it when it comes that you just rinse or wash between uses. It holds a little more than the cup that comes with it so I recommend using the cup to fill the water  to make sure you don’t over fill the cup. I imagine that would make a mess and in your car no less.

Avigator Coffee Maker

The cup is a decent size too. It holds a little more than a regular coffee cup. So all in all I am happy with this coffee maker. The only down side I find to it is the time it takes to make the coffee but everything else is as described.

If you would like to see or order this coffee maker you can do so on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/3ok9I51

I would recommend this maker for camping trips or the like. It works well and puts up with my abuse so it has to be good.

Have a great day!


First things first

I hope all is well with everyone. We are slowly getting things going here. Things could be better, but they could be a whole lot worse too. We still have no electric and no running water. We are hauling water in right now for us and the goats. We finally got the goats separated. So that’s a plus.

The girls are so much more happy now that they aren’t with the boys. The yearlings, both does, kept getting into the other side with the boys so here’s to hoping there’s no early pregnancies. We shall find out soon enough though.

Aarron got the girls pen finished today so we were able to move all the girls to another pen.

It’s bigger than the one they were in so there is more room for them since Desi is trying to knock Astra around. I’m hoping this will help with that. So far it seems to be helping but I guess the next few days will tell for sure.

So all is mostly well here and will better once Aarron’s truck is up and running again. That should be very soon because we got the engine for it and he is working on switching it out.

Have a great day!


New Adventure

So we have been here for about 2 weeks or so and I have to say that I am really in love with our new property. I have so many ideas on what I would like to. We both need to find work which sucks but what you gonna do about it. Fact of life I guess.

I am hopeful that once we get things going again we should be able to be here full time but for now that is not the case.

The goats are in a small pen right now which I don’t like but it’s what we have at the moment. We have plans for their new open but we need to unload trailers first.

To unload the trailers we need to get the shed up. To get the shed up we need to move a few of the trailers around. To move the trailers we need Aarron’s truck running again. So that is where we are at right now. Trying to get Aarron’s truck back running.

We have the engine and he is working on getting it in now. It’s almost there I think but it just seems like everything is slow going right now.

Once that is done I will be able to begin unpacking things from the trailer and putting them either in the house or in the shed. Once we are more settled we can actually start working on getting things done. I am looking forward to that.

Have a great day!



So we’ve finally made it to our new place and I am in love! We are now on 10 acres in a small town in southern Arizona. The views are breath taking because it’s so open.

The view from my house

We are in the process of getting the house set where it will be for the time being. The goats made the drive but didn’t like it one bit. They are happy that we are here full time now and let us know by telling every time we step out of the house. Lol.

More of the land

There is a lot to do and not enough hours in the day to get it done but we are loving every minute of it so far.

For the first few weeks I will publish at least once a week ( or try to anyhow) but there is so much to do. I hope you enjoy and will join the adventure with us.

Have a great day!


Feeding on a Budget: Chickens

This week I am going to take a break from the What’s happening posts because it’s very early in the week writing this and not much has been done since I wrote the last post. I’ll return with that one next week to show everyone the new property.

Chicken  feed from the feed store can get pretty expensive quickly if you have more than just a couple chickens so let me give you some tips to help keep that feed bill down. First off, I only feed scratch in the winter time when they need the extra to help with warmth. So this is my first tip, only buy scratch in the winter time. The rest of the year they really don’t need the extra because it’s like a treat to them and they will fill up on that and you egg production could drop because of this.

Baby Chicks

I know a lot of people will tell you this is wrong and I am only going over what works for me. If someone else tells you they need it, I can tell you that I have not fed scratch other than in the winter for about 6 years now and I have not lost a bird to malnutrition.  The second tip is to feed kitchen scraps. I have given my birds everything from the kitchen from vegetables and fruit to meat. I wouldn’t feed meat all the time, I try to only give meat a couple times a week but 3 or 4 times would be ok too because I have done that. I just wouldn’t do it all the time.



My next tip is to give them everything you take out of the garden. When you trim you plants give them the trimmings. When you weed your garden give them the weeds. While working in your garden, give them any bugs that you remove from your garden. The chickens will absolutely love this. If you are able let them free range for a little while during the day so they can get the bugs in your yard. Just make sure that any plants you don’t want them to get at are protected because otherwise they will find it.



I do not know if these are recommended tips I am only sharing what has been working for me. I don’t lose birds very often and it’s usually from old age rather than anything else. I am just saying this is what I have been doing to keep the food bill down for my chickens. I hope this is helpful for you.

If you have any other tips I would love to hear them. Leave a comment below and let me know!

Have a great day!