Urban Basics

Getting back to basics in an urban setting

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Rabbit Kits

photoWell my little rabbit runt didn’t make it. I tried so hard and I cried when he passed. I was holding him at the time. I told him I was sorry I couldn’t help him. Not that he understands but I needed to say I was sorry anyway. next time, maybe things will turn out differently.
The other 4 are 1 week old now and they seem happy and healthy! They are getting really cute! Their fur is starting to come in and they are very pretty. I think I may even have one I could take to show.


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Rabbit kits are four days old.

IMG_0545The babies are starting to get their fur. Its going to be some time yet before the can be considered furry though. I can kind of see their color patterns. They are very pretty.
On a very sad note, one of the five kits is not doing well. He/she is very small and is not growing. She is extremely dehydrated and I am very worried. I have started hand feeding but I don’t know what I’m doing. Its very scary. I don’t want it to die! In the picture, you can see how very small compared to the other’s he is.
I contacted a wild life rehab-er and they answered a lot of my questions and gave me a starting point to try and save the little guy. I have to start feeding 5 CC’s of pedialyte every hour. It seems like so much for such a little guy. But he/she is so close to death… I will try anything!! Once it is not dehydrated anymore, then I will restart the goats milk I was trying to give it prior to calling the rehab-er. I really hope I can nurse it back to heath!
Wish me luck!!

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We have babies!!

One day last month I let Willow out to hop around the garage. I try to let my rabbits out a lot so they can get some exercise. So Willow is hopping happily around the garage. I went inside for a little while to make the kids some lunch. I was in the kitchen when all of a sudden, I hear all kinds of racket coming from the garage. I go out to investigate, and I see Charlie out of his hutch, chasing Willow around the garage! I still have no idea how he managed to get out or how long he had been out. So I put him back into his hutch and then put Willow back into her hutch then took note of the date…. just incase… they ARE rabbits after all….
The day was November 13th. Rabbits are only pregnant for 30-31 days. I wrote down December 13th as a possible delivery date. I had Chris make me a nest box and we put that, along with a hand full a hay into the hutch on the 29th day after the little rascal escaped. Most of the time, you can not tell if a Doe is pregnant but putting hay into her hutch usually is a pretty good indication. If she starts gathering the hay into her mouth and putting it into the nest box, more then likely there will be babies soon. So when she started gathering hay into her mouth on the 29th day, I knew there was a pretty good bet we would have babies sometime in the next 24 to 36 hours. I went outside and got a few more handfuls of hay for her. Its been cold, down to 25 at night. They live in my garage and it may not be as cold as being outside in a hutch, but it still gets pretty cold. The extra hay will help keep the nest box warm.
On December 13th, I noticed Willow pulling out her belly fur and lining the nest with it. It must be close to delivery time! This is my first litter of rabbits so this is very new to me!
About 5 pm on December 13th I went to check on her, she was happily munching on her rabbit pellets. I looked into the nest but couldn’t see anything. Then all of a sudden, I see the fur and hay moving a little. We have babies!
Late that same night, I gave willow some apple slices and carrots and took out the nest box to have a look. I don’t want to disturb it too much for fear that she will not take care of her babies with my scent in the nest. But I have been reading a lot and most sources say that I need to make sure they are all alive. From what I can tell, there are 5 kits in the nest and they were all moving around nicely. They look like hairless little rats… hehehe
I cant wait till they start getting their fur. Willow and Charlie are purebred Harlequins and I cant wait to see the fur pattern on the babies. I am hoping there will be one that has the right markings so that I can show him or her. Harlequin rabbits are hard to show because they have very distinct color marking requirements. They have to have two colors that alternate on either side of their bodies. On their face, they have to have each color come together right down the middle of the nose. Willow is a Magpie Harlequin. She has white and grey color markings. Charlie is a Japanese Harlequin so he has tan and black markings. In Charlie’s offspring, we would look for tan on one side of his face and black on the other. The front feet need to be the opposite color. If the rabbits left side of his face was tan, then we would want the left front foot to be black… and the same for the other side of the face. If the right side was black, then we want the right foot to be tan. This color alteration needs to continue all the way down the rabbits back, making a checker pattern affect. Since mom and dad are both Magpie and Japanese, I’m hoping for both types in the offspring. There are many other things that would disqualify a rabbit from a show, but that is as good as I can think of to explain in my very limited knowledge! I have never showed a rabbit so I am learning. I need to have a rabbit that meets guidelines first. I may sell Willow at some point and keep one of her babies. We shall see! I think I am going to like having babies to play with!

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Free kindle books

I love this lady’s blog because she browses for free kindle books on amazon and posts it for everyone to use. These are great information books. Today I downloaded 12 kindle books from amazon that are free today! Tomorrow they wont be free anymore, but others will be. Check back every day. She posts the link on facebook every day so like her on facebook for easy access to these free kindle books.



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Bean flour anyone?

Using Beans for Flour

This article I found on another blog and liked the info so much, I copied it to mine. Article below!


I have said many time, I am a knowledge “thief”, I continually search for both old ways and new ideas so I can assimilate both into my life wherever it fits.  I want to be better, and my life easier, cheaper, and more self-reliant.  Its not easy, but it is definitely worthwhile.

Celiac’s, and people with a gluten free diet have come up with several ways to enjoy breads and other wheat based food items without using wheat.  While I can eat wheat, and have stored a bucket or two of whole wheat berries, I do enjoy having other options.

Bean flour is one of those options.  I was first turned on to bean flour by the “Country Beans” book I have mentioned before.  But in doing some research, I was amazed at how many people already knew about bean flours and their uses.

My first use of bean flour was in making some sourdough bread substituting two of the three cups of wheat flour with 2 cups of bean flour made from navy beans.

There was little difference in the final product, but I did notice some subtle differences, especially in the dough.  The bean dough seemed to have more bubbles formed, and had a firmer, but less dense texture.

I also used some of the flour to make dumplings in a Cajun bean soup I was cooking.  I just mixed the flour with enough water to make dough and divided it up into two lumps.  I fried one like a tortilla (GOOD) and dumped the rest in the crock pot (pretty good).

That’s the extent of my hands on experience with bean flour, but I intend to do more with it, especially since I bought 100 pounds of white beans from my bulk food coop “just because” and now I have a use to justify the purchase…

Anyway, while doing some research here are some other things I found online to use bean flour:

If you’ve been cooking and baking with bean flours, please feel free to share your knowledge in the comments!

  • Replace up to one-fourth of the flour in any recipe with bean flour. Beans combined with grain form a complete protein which is exceptionally efficient nutrition for the body, and best of all, no one has to know they are eating it! White bean flour or fava bean flour generally work best for baked goods.
  • Thickener: Use bean flour to thicken or cream soups and stews. This is a great way to reduce the fat content of creamy soups. White bean flour has a neutral taste and a creamy flavor that could replace some of the heavy cream in vegetable soups. You can also use bean flour to make white sauce, as long as you use a mild-flavored flour.
  • Whisk in bean flour to chicken stock, vegetable stock or milk as a base for a fast, hearty soup. The soup thickens in three minutes, so if you are going to add any vegetables or other meat, do it quick! (Ratio is about 1:5, flour to liquid).
  • Dip or Filling: Reconstitute the bean flours to make creamy dips and fillings for other recipes.
  • I have read several times about using a white bean puree for a dairy-free lasagna filling to replace the ricotta (I am going to have to try that).
  • Use Black Bean Flour as part of your baking mix for chocolate cakes and brownies; try adding a small amount to bread recipes to get that dark whole-wheat look; the Bob’s Red Mill site has recipes for a black bean dip and black bean tortillas
  • Garbanzo Flour:Garbanzo beans are also known as besan, gram, chana, and chickpeas. Garbanzo flour is frequently used in Indian and Southern European cuisines and does not have to be combined with other flours (although it can).
  • Garfava Flour: A mixture of garbanzo and fava flour, garfava flour frequently appears in gluten free baking mixes. Apparently it can
  • Add reconstituted green pea flour to guacamole to lower the fat content and add extra nutrients; use as part of your baking mix for chocolate cakes and brownies; use to thicken soups and stews.
  • Soy flour is used for baking mainly because it is so inexpensive.

Beans Are Good For You:

  • Beans are a great source of dietary fiber, protein, iron, and many other essential nutrients.
  • Black Bean Flour: 120 calories, 0 g fat, 22 g carbohydrates, 5 g dietary fiber, 1 g sugar, 8 g protein
  • Fava Four: 110 calories, 0.5 g fat, 19 g carbohydrates, 8 g dietary fiber, 1 g sugar, 9 g protein
  • Garbanzo Flour :110 calories, 2 g fat, 5 g sodium, 18 g carbohydrates, 5 g dietary fiber, 3 g sugar, 6 g protein
  • Garfava Flour: 110 calories, 1.5 g fat, 5 g sodium, 18 g carbohydrates, 6 g dietary fiber, 3 g sugar, 6 g protein
  • Green Pea Flour: 50 calories, 0 g fat, 2 g sodium, 9 g carbohydrates, 4 g dietary fiber, 1 g sugar, 4 g protein
  • Soy Flour: 120calories, 6 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0g sodium, 8 g carbohydrates, 3 g dietary fiber, 2 g sugar, 10 g protein
  • White Bean Flour: 110 calories, 0 g fat, 20 g carbohydrates, 8 g dietary fiber, 2 g sugar, 7 g protein

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Natural pest control

Natural pest control for your home

Flies – Have small pots of basil growing around your home to prevent flies.

Another option is to put lemon and orange peel into containers around your home, (make it look attractive with some added petals etc to make a homemade pot porri).


  • Leave cucumber      peel on window ledges in the kitchen to deter these pesky creatures.
  • Wash cabinets      with a solution of vinegar and water.
  • Cinnamon or      salt sprinkled around the outside or your doors also keeps ants away.

Weevils – Place a bay leaf in pots containing flour and cereal to keep weevils out.

Moths – Place mint teabags inside wardrobes and clothes cupboards.


  • Plant      peppermint plants around the outside of your home. The scent of the plants      helps to deter mice from entering your home.
  • Keep all dry      goods inside sealed containers.

Natural pest control for your garden

Aphids – the best way to control the spread of aphids is to attract ladybirds to your garden. Create homes for the ladybugs to live in by placing flat pieces of corrugated cardboard in layers on top of each other to create a honeycombed affect, perfect for our little red friends. Plant Parsley, white clover and sweet fennel to attract the ladybirds to your garden.

Slugs and snails

  • Bury a yoghurt      carton into the ground with the lip just above the surface and place a      small amount of beer in the bottom. This remedy has worked really well for      me, the worst part is empting the slugs out every day.
  • Place crushed      eggshells around your plants to deter the slugs from them.

Spiders – Put a few drops of Citronnella in a spray bottle with water. Spray the corners of your room and around door and window frames. I found that the amnount of spiders that came into the house after using this spray reduced to almost zero. It was brillient.

Home made insecticide – A great natural pest control alternative to buying toxic chemicals for your garden is to make your own non-toxic insecticide. Melt a bar of ivory soap in two cups of water over night. Add to the mixture ¼ cup of corn oil and use in a spray bottle at the top and bottom of your infested plants.


Natural planting – A lot of pests are deterred by certain plants, so by planting them around and in between your other plants will provide a natural barrier. Plants to use are:

Mint, Garlic, basil, and Onions