Betrayal Of A Neighbor & A City – Nazi Style

I’m totally heartbroken. Today our little farm lost it’s fearless leader. No, our beautiful, protective rooster didn’t die or runaway from his duties as head of flock. He was targeted and forced out by a complaint driven city ordinance that bans all roosters from our city’s limits.

This rooster was the second generation rooster of our original rooster, Big Red. Our rooster Junior was one of the first to be hatched here on the property and lived here for over 2 years guarding our flock against predators after the death of his father.

Despite having had roosters on our property for over 5 years, this recent action was invoked by a neighbor complaint. We don’t know which one complained or why out of no where us keeping a rooster was suddenly an issue. Honestly it doesn’t really matter. We are devastated by the loss of our wonderful buddy but we are also heartbroken that our neighbor couldn’t come forward and discuss this issue with us first so we could work towards a resolution.

Additionally, we are both deeply upset by the timing of all of this, considering we all spent last week celebrating our nation’s independence and the freedoms that came from it. We as a nation were celebrating ALL freedoms, not just the one we agree with. In a country where people fought and die to protect the sacred right of every individual to have the right to the pursuit of happiness; we are saddened that our neighbor(s) couldn’t see fit to allow us that.

The state of our community needs to be addressed. Adult tattle tailing has become the norm. Here in the Bay Area. It wasn’t enough that our neighbors tattled on us but that the city official that came to our home and demanded our rooster’s departure also demanded that my husband release the addresses of other households harboring roosters. What happens when it’s not roosters but people? Neighbors turned their own neighbors over to the Nazis too and that was all done under city ordinances. So just because ordinances are in places doesn’t mean that they are right or lawful.

We put up with a lot to live here. That’s just our personal stance. We’d rather put up with it than have someone else tell us what to do on my own property. When you or anyone tries to regulate others, ultimately they do nothing more than open themselves to unnecessary regulation. Our gut tells us that this event wasn’t about the rooster, but more about someone else’s ego and their petty need for control. It’s more likely that this was about some other unspoken “grievance” that perhaps wasn’t against a city ordinance.

We hope that the rooster rescue that took Junior in today is truly a rescue and not just some meat factory where he will be lead to slaughter or worse an underground cock fighting ring. We will never know. We do know that roosters are exceptionally hard to find homes for and if he does manage to find a new home it won’t come quick or easy. We wish him the best and hope his story has a happy ending.

We are also now left to fear for the safety and well being of our remaining flock for without him, who will protect them from coyotes, warn them danger or nudge them into bed when it’s time. Our initial flock of 10 was all but one wiped out completely by coyotes in one late night attack and we know it will only takes minutes for it to happen again.

For some he was just a rooster, for us he was a vital part of our family and an integrated piece of our mini farm. He will forever be missed.

Meal Prep: 14 Chicken Crock-Pot Freezer Meals

Our daughter is due in just 8 short days! The home improvements are done, the nursery is complete and the house has been fully deep cleaned. Now I’m switching gear to doing some massive food prep over the next few days.  In the end, I will to have 22 crock-pot ready freezer meals, 36 pre-made casseroles, 24 pre-made hamburger patties, 36 pre-made breakfast burritos, 24 pre-prepped fruit smoothies and 24 homemade granola bars!! I will be using 16 lbs of ground beef, 11lbs of beef, a whooping 18 lbs of chicken and over 10lbs of cheeses! My hope is by doing this, it will make our transition to first time parents easier and at least we will be well fed. Stay tuned for all the juicy details and outcomes!

Note: This post will cover the chicken based crock-pot freezer meals. I will also follow up this post with my full shopping list and estimated total cost.

Disclosure: These are not my recipes. I will try to find the original recipes and link to it for crediting purposes. I have previously made each recipes and can confirm that they are delicious! Feel free to modify to your taste.

Before I jump into the recipes here’s some quick tips and insights to help make this process much easier. Each recipe is designed to feed two adults with little to no leftovers and should be considered more of a main courses rather than full meals in a bag. However, each bag will be referred to as a meal for simplicity sake. I have added suggestions of what sides we serve each recipe with.

Each recipe below will create two bag meals. You can double each recipe to create a larger meal and/or double each recipe to create more than two – two person meal bags. Once frozen, meals will last for up to 6 months in a standard freezer. 

The Day Before Prep:
Step 1: Clean your kitchen and make sure you have a few sets of measuring cups and spoons available to use. You will also need a roll of paper towels, a cutting board, chopping knife and a few spatulas.

Step 2: Review your shopping list and remove any items you already have. Then go shopping to get what you need. For sanity sake, I never do grocery shopping and meal prep on the same day. It just makes for a terribly long day.

Step 3: Clean and organize your freezer and make space for the intended meals. From experience, I know you will need approximately 1 square foot of freezer space which roughly one shelf on a average sized side by side freezer/refrigerator combo.

Step 4: Using a permanent marker, label your gallon ziplock bags with the recipe name, cooking instructions and recommended side dishes. Writing a side dish recommendation on the bag makes meal planning easy since you can just pick which bag based on what sides you have in stock.

Step 5: Lay out all your room temperature ingredients including spices, seasonings and oils the night before along with your labeled bags.

Day of Meal Prep:
I start as early as possible especially now that it’s summer and the days are warming up. Invite a friend over to help, tune on some tunes or open a bottle of wine. I can’t drink since I’m expecting but by all means do whatever makes you the most comfortable even if that means doing this bra-less and in sweats. 🙂

Add all ingredients (minus the chicken) to each labeled bag one by one. If you are so inclined you can figure out how many recipes have over lapping ingredients and chop multiple veggies at the same time. For first timers, I really recommend going slow and completing each recipe one by one. It makes measuring a lot easier too. Clean as you go! Use paper towels to clean the seal of the freezer bags from any splattered ingredients.

Add all room temperature ingredients (plus frozen corn, peppers, ketchup and other minor refrigerated items) to all the bags first! Once all bags are done, add the fresh or frozen chicken last to all the bags at once. I prefer to use frozen chicken breasts. This process can take some time so it’s important that the chicken is the last thing you add so that it’s not sitting out for a prolonged amount of time!

Freezing Tips: Let out all excess air. Freeze each bag flat and fold the bag in half on itself to save space.

Cooking Tips: For best results, the crock-pot should be at least half full with your meals so choose the appropriate size crock-pot for cooking each meal. Also since it’s so hot, consider putting the crock-pot out on the front porch or out back to keep that extra heat out of the house.

Chicken Fajitas
(Makes two bags – divide ingredients evenly between two bags):
2 large chicken breasts
2 green peppers
1 cup chicken broth
2 taco seasoning packets
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp salt

Cooking: Grab from freezer, pour all contents into crock pot and cook on high 3-4 hours or low 6-8 hours. Serve with: Tortillas, shredded cheese, sour cream and refried beans or rice.

Slow Cooker Mexican Chili with Cornbread Topping – (makes two bags)
2 chicken breasts
1 medium-sized yellow onion, chopped (about one cup)
1 pepper (any color), chopped (about one cup)
1 cup frozen corn
1 package of store-bought taco seasoning
10.75 oz can of condensed tomato soup

1/4 pound cheese (we use cheddar or pepper jack), shredded (about one cup)
1 box of Jiffy corn muffin mix + the necessary ingredients listed on the box (Jiffy calls for one egg and 1/3 cup milk)

Split all ingredients EXCEPT the cheese and muffin mix into two bags.
Cooking: Add bag to crock-pot, cover with lid and cook on “low” setting for 4-6 hours, until chicken is cooked through and tender. Shred chicken with fork. Cover shredded chicken chili with cheese and assembled corn muffin batter. Pour batter over chili. Add lid and cook on “high” setting for 60 minutes or until cornbread topping is cooked through.

Honey Sesame Chicken (Makes 2 bags – divide ingredients evenly):
2 large chicken breasts
6 T olive oil
1 Cup honey
1/2 Cup soy sauce
2 T sesame oil
2 T sesame seeds
2 tsp salt and pepper

Cooking: Pour in crock pot & cook on low 4-5 hrs. Remove chicken, shred & pour sauce from crock pot over it. We serve with rice or steamed vegetables.

Sweet & Sour Chicken (makes two bags – divide all ingredients evenly)
2 chicken breasts
1 white onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
½ c. ketchup
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
5-6 tsp. Worchestichire sauce
2 c. pineapple juice
1 c. brown sugar
½ c. flour
1 can pineapple chunks

Cooking: Pour bag in the crock-pot & cook on low for 4-5 hrs until chicken is done. Serve over white rice.

Crock-Pot Chicken Philly Cheesesteak (Makes two bags – divide evenly)
3 tablespoons corn starch
1 cup chicken broth
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 large onion; sliced
3 bell peppers (the more colorful the better), cut into strips
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 clove of garlic, minced

6 slices of provolone cheese

Divide all ingredients EXCEPT for cheese. Divide evenly.
Cooking: Cook on “low” setting for 6 hours, or until chicken is cooked through and peppers are soft. Lay cheese over mixture. Cook on “low” for additional 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve on a fresh, hot roll.
You can use as much or as little of the sauce as you would like, depending on how soggy you like your roll. I also like to serve it on the side and use it as a dip. Best served with homemade sweet potato fries!

Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Chicken (Divide Into Two Bags)
4 chicken breasts
BBQ sauce, 10 oz
¼ cup olive oil
2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
1 tsp garlic powder
salt/pepper (optional)

Cooking: Divide all ingredients into two gallon size storage bag and mix thoroughly. Thaw overnight. Place all contents into a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until done.

Serve with: Hawaiian sweet rolls as sliders, or serve with salad, side veggies or rice.

Hawaiian BBQ Chicken (Divide Into Two Bags)
4-6 Boneless Chicken Breasts
1 Bottle BBQ sauce
1 20 oz. can Pineapple Chunks, drained

Spray the inside of your crock pot with cooking spray for an easy cleanup!
Dump the bag in the crock pot. Cook on High for 3-4 hours or Low for 6-8 hours. Shred chicken with two forks while still in the crock pot so the chicken will be well coated with sauce.

Serve with: Rice or steamed vegetables.

Savings: 5 Ways to Get Fruit Trees For Cheap!


Here’s a collection of 9 fruit trees we purchased for less than $120 on Craigslist

We are always looking for opportunities to expand our orchard. We’ve got a few resources to share in helping you save money!

Here’s our top 5 best places to find cheap fruit trees:

5)  Your local newspaper classified ads –  Print newspaper is dying but people still use the classified ads. This is an easy way to find those with established nurseries and plants to move.

4) – is a social media site for neighbor. You can post a wanted ad for trees or you can check their classifieds section and see what you can find.

3) Local Garden Clubs – Garden clubs hosting frequent plant sales. A lot of the time they are cheaper and your contribution is tax-deductible which is a win – win.

2) Freecycle – This one is a long shot but when you find the right deal you’ll hit it big and for FREE!

And our number one BEST CHOICE for cheap fruit trees is!

Ironically, we’ve had found to be an incredible source for finding affordable one or year old fruit trees. There’s a lot of moving sale ads and that’s the number one reason people sell potted fruit trees. These trees are usually listed for $10-20 a piece which is half of nursery or store-bought prices. Plus these are usually much older and better established than the new store-bought fruit trees. So if you’re looking for your own trees, Craigslist is the best.

We purchased 9 fruit trees on Craigslist for $120! (See top image) That’s only $13.30 per tree! This included one olive, one pomegranate, one orange tree, two tangerine, one lemon, one apple, one mandarin tree and one thorn less blackberry bush. With the fresh fruit these beauties have already produced for us, they’ve already paid for themselves! Now that’s awesome and sustainable!

We will be selling some of the produce from them this year and save the profits for the next batch of cheap fruit trees! Invest and reinvest. Repeat!

Happy Hunting!

Liquid Laundry Soap – 34 Years Worth For Pennies!

Staying clean during the apocalypse has never been easier. If the zombies come, at least you will smell good and maybe even have something to barter with. Make 34 years worth of laundry soap for just pennies!

Supplies Needed:

  • 1/2 Cup of Your Powder Laundry Detergent


  • Large Pot
  • Water
  • Large Spoon or Paint Stick for stirring or hand electric mixer
  • 2 Gallon Bucket with Lid*
  • Liquid dispensing facet (Highly recommended but optional)**

*These frosting buckets are food grade and comes with an air tight seal-able lid. You can acquire them from any local bakery for FREE, just ask for them!


I’ve been doing this for many years, and trust me while it may take up some storage space this is by far the best storage method and you will never have to waste time refilling small jars or remaking batches again!


  1. Add 4 cups of water and 1/2 cup of powder laundry soap to a pot.
  2.  Put the heat on med-high, & stir until completely melted – (10 mins)  
  3. Fill up your 2 gallon bucket halfway with hot water.
  4. Pour in the melted detergent mixture.
  5. Add whatever essential oils you like, 5- 10 drops (optional)
  6. Fill bucket to the top with warm water and stir.
  7. Snap on the lid and let set for 24 hours to gel up. It will be solid.
  8. Stir to the consistency you desire. Use electric hand mixer if preferred. You may need to stir it again in a few days if it solidifies.
  9. If you using another dispensing container, pour into preferred containers and seal for storage.
  10. All done! Enjoy!

Note: Your liquid detergent once set will be completely solid. For a smoother consistency stir it to your liking or use an electric hand mixer. Once stirred your soap will be the consistency of a slime like gel.

Want your soap to go even farther? Some people prefer to dilute it even more at this step (therefor turning it into 5 gallons, if so you’ll need another bucket). They do this by filling the new bucket/container halfway with the gel & then the other half with water. Do the same for the other bucket, then stir. You can do this if you prefer, our family does not. We feel it provides a stronger clean to not dilute it any further.

How Much to Use:

For HE front loading washers, use 1/2 cup for a large load. The same goes for regular top-loading washers. If it’s a SUPER dirty batch of clothes, you can use a full cup. You can use stain removers or oxi-clean with this too if you would like – just the same as you would use them with the detergent you buy in the store.

For easy dispensing,  attach a plastic adhesive hook on to the side of your bucket to hang your reusable laundry cup on it!

Labeling Buckets:

I prefer to label all my buckets with the printed instructions on how to make more. This way when the time comes I don’t have to go searching for the recipe to replace it. I do this for all my homemade cleaning supplies.

To do this, simply cut and paste directions and information into a word document. Print it out, cut to size and tape to the side or back of the bucket. I prefer to use packing tape and cover the entire page with tape. This will give a semi water proof element in case of the occasional splash or mess and won’t smear the ink.

Cost Breakdown & Usage:

If using 1/2 cup of liquid per load of this large batch recipe in liquid form it will render 80 loads of laundry! The powder form breakdowns to less than a penny per load or $.007 per load and this liquid recipe goes even farther than that!

For two of us, we average about 3 loads of laundry per week which means that this batch of liquid laundry soap (2 1/2 gallons) will last us a whooping 26 weeks or about 6 months! And that is using only 1/2 cup from our large batch of powder! If we made all of our powder laundry soap into liquid using this method, it would be 34 cups of powder which would will render 5,440 loads of laundry! At 3 loads per weeks, that’s an amazing 1,813 weeks or over 34 1/2 YEARS worth of laundry soap! Keep in mind that our initial investment was only less than $10 – $15 if you made a dispensing bucket! Now THAT is darn impressive!

I will be documenting our process and see how long it last! We are expecting our daughter in July of this year, so let’s see if I have enough laundry soap to last until she goes off to college or at least high school!!! Challenge Accepted!!

Homemade Laundry Soap – 10 Years Worth for $10!

Making your own homemade laundry soap is cheap, easy and long lasting! We’ve used this recipe for years and I can vouch to it’s potency! I garden and raise our flock of chickens and ducks. My husband is a rock crawling Jeeper that spends his free time fixing and modifying jeeps. Needless to say, we both get dirty… a lot. This soap definitely take care of all of our detergent needs and smells great!

One large batch (see recipe below) will last us YEARS! We then take 1 cup of our powdered detergent and turn it into 2 1/2 gallons of our liquid laundry soap which makes it go even farther.


High Efficiency (HE), Septic Safe & Baby Approved

This detergent is high efficiency (HE) safe, because of it’s low suds. This is also the best laundry soap to use with septic tanks because it contains zero phosphates and zero fillers that cause commercial powder detergents to clog lines. It’s also completely non-toxic so it will not harm necessary septic bacteria like toxic detergents and antibacterial soaps. Since it is non toxic it can also be used for even the more sensitive laundry like baby clothes! Regardless of what type of washing machine you have, you can be sure that this laundry soap is great!

What You Will Need

Here’s a quick measurement note so you can figure out how much washing soda and borax you need to buy depending on which size recipe you use. Each box of Washing Soda holds 7 cups and each box of Borax holds 10.5 cups

Small Batch Ingredients (Small Container)

  • 2 cup (5 ounces) of shaved bar soap*
  • 1/2 cup borax
  • 1/2 cup washing soda
  • Essential Oils (Optional)

Medium Batch Ingredients (Gallon Container)

  • 22 1/2 cups of shredded soap or 4 bars of Zote (14.1 ounce) soap
  • 8 1/2 cups borax
  • 8 1/2 cups washing soda

Large Batch Ingredients (1 – 2  1/2 Gallon Bucket)

  • 56 1/2 cups of shredded soap or 10 bars of Zote (14.1 ounce) soap
  • 25 1/2 cups borax
  • 25 1/2 cups washing soda

Apocalypse Size Large Batch  (2 – 2  1/2 Gallon Buckets)

In emergency disaster some supplies may not be accessible. If you want to stockpile homemade laundry soap now or just don’t want to worry about doing it for a really, really, really long time. This extra large batch can last a couple of two easily 20 years or more. If converted into the liquid laundry soap it will last well into the apocalypse!

  • 112 cups of shredded soap or 20 bars of Zote (14.1 ounce) soap
  • 51 cups borax
  • 51 cups washing soda

*Use whatever soap you prefer. Some suggested choices include a homemade laundry bar, Dr. Bronner’s, Kirk’s Castile Soap, Ivory, ZOTE  (white or pink), or Fels-Naptha. We are using white Zote soap for this batch and have had good luck using Fels-Naptha soap in the past. We usually go with whatever is cheapest.

Supplies Needed

  • Cheese grater (some use a food processor)
  • Large mixing bowl (for holding shredded soap)
  • Container or buckets with lids for finished detergent*
  • Stirring utensil or paint stick (for larger batches)

If planning on making a medium – extra large batch of liquid laundry soap consider making a dispensing bucket. Click link below for instructions.


For medium to extra large batches of laundry detergent, we recommend storing the laundry soap in a two gallon 1/2 frosting bucket. If you are planning on making some of the powder into a liquid you will need one extra bucket to store the liquid laundry soap you intend to make.

*These frosting buckets are food grade and comes with an air tight seal-able lid. You can acquire them from any local bakery for FREE, just ask for them!


  1. Use a cheese grater to shred up bars of soap and place in a large mixing bowl.
  2. In your final storage container or bucket, mix one cup of each ingredient (soap, borax & washing soda) at a time and then repeat the process until the recipe is complete.
  3. Stir together thoroughly for several minutes.
  4. Store in a sealed container (with a small scoop if preferred)
  5. Enjoy your new laundry soap!
  6. Print out and tape recipe instructions to your container for both liquid & powder detergents (optional)

Use 1 Tsp per small load or 2 Tsp for large or heavily soiled loads. If you have really hard water, you may need to use more.

Lesson Learned: After turning on your washing machine, add laundry soap to the bottom of the washer. It will not dissolve properly if added to the top. You can also add it to your powder dispenser if you have one that pushes it out with water.

Cost Breakdown & Saving Money

One large batch (see recipe above) will last us YEARS! We make into a liquid detergent that makes it last 10 times longer than the powder form and the money saved speaks for itself!  Below is the total cost breakdown for the large batch recipe!

To make this the absolutely cheapest laundry soap available, contact all the manufacturers and ask for coupons. I contacted Borax and they sent me 3 coupons good for 3 free full size boxes! You should have no problem getting the coupons, I’ve written to them several times and they are always more than happy to send out some! You can also check online for coupons.

Here’s a breakdown of the money spent (for a medium batch):

  •  Zote Soap – Available at Dollar Store for $50 each. (4 Bars)
  • Borax – Reg. $3.49 – Totally Free! (3 Boxes)
  • Super Washing Soda – Reg. $3.49, $.50 off each. (3 Boxes)

Total Spent: $11.97 plus tax!

For comparison’s sake, a jumbo container of Tide at costs $28.99 for 96 loads, or a cost of $0.30 a load. Using the medium batch recipe, I will have some of the Borax & Washing Soda left over which is why it will be less than $10 for the entire recipe.

Cost Per Load Breakdown

If using 1 tsp per load of the concentrated powder form per load and use the entire medium batch recipe it will render 1,896 loads of laundry! That breakdowns to less than a penny per load or $.005 per load! For two of us, we average about 3 loads of laundry per week which means that this large batch of laundry soap in powder form will last us a whooping 632 weeks or 12 YEARS!

If that isn’t impressive enough, stay tuned for our recipe to turn 1 cup of our powdered laundry soap into 2 1/2 gallons of our liquid soap! At that rate you will definitely have enough to last well into the apocalypse and perhaps give you something necessary to barter with. Enjoy!