Me and My Tractor…

It has almost been a year since we bought our tractor and we are not regretting it one bit.  This purchase brought us back into debt, but the benefits to having a tractor far out weighs the debt.  The fact that we are in debt for seven years and can make additional payments to shorten our years in debt puts the light at the end of the tunnel very obtainable.

As I was mentally gearing up to clean our chicken coop this past fall, I was not looking forward to the back breaking event.  Usually when I am done cleaning the coop, I have a sore back for many days after.  Then I remembered Clementine!  I thought, having her take the loads to the compost piles behind the coop would totally help because for the past 6 years I had used our wheel barrel.

vlcsnap-2018-02-16-19h07m07s948I waited for a nice sunny cool day after my garden was all harvested, had my husband unhook our generator from the tractor’s PTO, placed my chickens in the garden to eat all the garden scraps and Clementine and myself set out for a girls day on the Homestead.  I loaded the bucket up with everything I needed to clean out the coop, parked Clementine in front the the chicken coop door and began dumping all my chicken’s droppings and pine shavings into her bucket.  Once full, I drove Clementine around to the back and dumped the load.  After doing this many times, I noticed that my back was not totally sore and feeling like it was about to “go out”.  By having those driving breaks, I think that this allowed my back to relax and recoup before shoveling and filling the next load.   Also as a bonus, I had fun driving the tractor myself and going at my pace and learning how to use the bucket, different gears, and driving speeds.  I have to say cleaning out the coop was kind of pleasurable!

vlcsnap-2018-02-16-19h11m28s013A side note:  Before this video, I had never really used or drove the tractor all myself.  My husband had shown me the basics and taken me out a couple times, but to operate it all myself, this I had not done.  So, you are seeing in this video, my first attempt at driving and operating our tractor we have named Clementine!

May you enjoy this little video: Girls Day on the Homestead!

Pauper’s Candle Company December Winners!!! – Our Off Grid Business

It is December and we want to congratulate the winner for our Free Candle Give Away. Wait, this month we have 3 Winners!!!  Each winner is receiving one of our Christmas Candles.  Merry Christmas Everyone!

Each month Pauper’s Candle Company, our Off Grid Homestead Business, picks a name from our Email Family List and that person receives a Hand Poured Soy Wax Candle made on our homestead by me, Krista, using the solar power we generate.  How fun is that?

If you would like to join, you can go to and click the Join Our Email Family button in our top menu. Just fill our the form and you are entered. We send a monthly email announcing the winner and also fill you in on what is going on with Pauper’s Candle Company.

Behind the Scenes:  I shot the video one afternoon before my son and I decorated the house for Christmas, but I wanted our video to have a Christmas touch to it.  So I decided to wear my red star shirt, that I bought in 2006 at the Gap outlet, and use our advent tree as a prop in the video.   Even though we had not decorated our house, I had the advent tree ready for our son on Dec. 1st. I also lit a couple of our Pauper’s Candles behind me to add a little glow.  Despite the lack of decorations, I think there was a nice Christmas touch in the video. Nothing like improvising.

Thank you for watching and if you would like to hear about Pauper’s Candles once a month we would love to have you join our email family.

Blessings to you this Season 🙂

Cooking with My Wood Cook Stove- Pioneer Pumpkin Pie from Scratch: 4/4

Welcome to Part 4/4, the final video/blog in my video mini series, Cooking with a Wood Cook Stove – Pioneer Pumpkin Pie from Scratch. My final video will show how I maintained my wood cook stove while cooking my pumpkin pie and will show you my Pumpkin Pie all cooked and ready to eat!

I hope these videos encouraged you that you can cook in your wood cook stove and that it is not that difficult. It is like anything new, you just need to use it and practice.

From talking with others, each wood cook stove is a little different. It is my hope that these videos will give you an idea of how to use a wood cook stove and then you can modify as you need for your specific stove.

One tip: Check the wood in your stove and make sure your fire box has the right amount of wood in it to create the temperatures you need. Typically, I keep the wood in my fire box pretty full with a good wood ember base. This keep the temperatures up and for the Kitchen Queen Wood Cook Stove this works great.

Enjoy and Happy Wood Stove Cooking!!!

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An up close shot of my Pumpkin Pie.  It tasted awesome!

Behind the Scenes:  While I was filing the last part of this video I was running out of time.  My husband and I were needing to pick up our son.  So While I was off camera, I was cleaning up the kitchen and praying that the pumpkin pie would cook in time.  To my delight the pie cooked in time and we were able to pick up our son.

Thank you readers for your interest and may you have a wonderful day.

Cooking with My Wood Cook Stove – Pioneer Pumpkin Pie from Scratch: 3/4

Welcome to Part 3 in my series, Cooking with a Wood Cook Stove – Pioneer Pumpkin Pie from Scratch. In this video you will see how I make pumpkin puree from a sugar pumpkin and how I make my pumpkin pie filling using the pumpkin puree. Also you will see how I maintain and use my wood cook stove to do this. How fun is that? May you enjoy part 3!!!  Part 4 will be coming soon!

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Homemade pumpkin puree!

Behind the Scenes:  While I was filming this section of the video, the background noise you hear is from our plow truck. My husband was working on it out in our meadow and he finally was able to fix it and moved it to the front of our house, where he finished prepping it to be ready for when the snow falls here at our homestead.  As an extra tid bit;  As I am writing this we still have no snow on the ground, which is very unusual.  We may not have a white Christmas, which would be very unusual.

To all our readers:  Here is a sneak peek at my finished Pumpkin Pie from my final video, Part 4.

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My finished Pumpkin Pie! Mmmm!!!

Thank you for watching and may you have a wonderful day!


Cooking with My Wood Cook Stove- Pioneer Pumpkin Pie from Scratch : 2/4

Hello and welcome to Part 2 of my video / blog series, Cooking with a Wood Cook Stove – Pioneer Pumpkin Pie. In the video you will see how I make a pumpkin pie crust from scratch. Additionally, I pull out my sugar pumpkin from my wood cook stove and show what it should look like and what you do to test it to make sure it is done. Enjoy and Part 3 will be coming soon!

vlcsnap-2017-12-08-15h52m03s178Behind the Scenes:  When I was making the pie crust, I sure had a difficult time with the crust.  That seems to be the way when I am wanting to put something on video.  What do we call that, Murphy’s Law?  The amount of “patches” I had to do with this crust was starting to make me laugh.  Anyway, the crust turned out great and tasted awesome!

Also, I really like to use coconut oil in my pie crusts.  It gives a nice little flavor to the crust.  And I love using the pumpkin spices individually versus using “pumpkin pie spice”.  I think this adds a better flavor as well.

In part three of my video series you will see how to make the pumpkin puree for the pumpkin pie filling.

Enjoy the video and thank you for reading and watching!!!

Cooking with My Wood Cook Stove – Pioneer Pumpkin Pie from Scratch: 1/4

I am making a 4 part mini video series and therefore I am making a 4 part mini blog series: Cooking with My Wood Cook Stove – Pioneer Pumpkin Pie from Scratch: 1/4

This is part #1. In this series.  In my videos, I am going to show you how to totally make a pumpkin pie from scratch. You will see how to make your own pumpkin puree from a sugar pumpkin to use in your pumpkin pie filling, make your own pie crust, make your own pumpkin pie filling and use your own spices, all the while seeing how I use my wood cook stove to cook my pumpkin pie! How fun is that? Let’s get started!

In part 1, I show how to prep the wood cook stove for baking and show how to start cooking your sugar pumpkin to be able to make your pumpkin puree. How fun!, Fun!!, FUN!!!


A sneak peek for our bloggers!  In Part 2 of my series you will see how to make a pie crust from scratch.  How Fun is that!

Behind the scenes As I was making this video, I noticed that it was very long, almost 29 minutes.  Most people will not sit through a YouTube video that long, my husband had the idea of cutting the video into pieces and then releasing the different parts just days apart.  What a fun idea I thought.  As I was writing, I thought that it would be fun to call this my 4 part mini series.

Also what you do not see in the videos is the fact that my kitchen became very warm and I had to open my windows.  This is because I baked by pumpkin for the puree and then had to keep the stove hot for the pumpkin pie.  I typically do not do both of these tasks all at one time.  I usually make the puree one day and then make the pie on another day.  The puree will last in your fridge for up to a week.

I hope you enjoy my 4 part mini blog and video series: Cooking with my Wood Cook Stove – Pioneer Pumpkin Pie from Scratch:1/4

November Candle Give Away Winner is…

Thank you from Pauper’s Candles to all who are part of our email family.  We appreciate all of you!!!

The harvest is all in here on our homestead and Pauper’s Candles is busy making our Fall and Winter candle scents.  This month we are happy to give our Harvest Moon Soy Candle to our winner.   Enjoy watching our video where we announce this months winner!

If you would like to join our email family you can join by going to our website, and sign up.