Author Archives: Abi

Free Ways to Organize Your Stuff

This post from the archives is meant to encourage us ALL to find free ways to organize our stuff. It’s something I am still working on, and I have the feeling I’ll constantly be working on it throughout my life- especially my life with young kids! If you are anything like me, read on. Perhaps we can help each other.

The stuff monster lives at my house.

The stuff monster likes to scatter itself all over my living room floor and pile itself behind cabinets. It likes to stack up high on top of desks and counter tops. It has a sweet way of convincing me that no, I don’t need to put it in its proper place right now. It can always wait til tomorrow… or the next day… or the next…

Anyone else have this problem?Free Ways to Organize Your Stuff

Honestly, I don’t CARE all that much about having a perfect house. However, what bothers me is how much stress the clutter creates and how much time I devote to dealing with it. I have animals & kids to feed, homeschool to accomplish, and music to practice. Ain’t nobody got time to wade through piles of junk all day long.

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Sourdough Morning Glory Muffins

I wrote this recipe for sourdough morning glory muffins years ago. While the recipe is old, the taste is balanced and delicious. Let me know how they come out for you!

I was going to make a smoothie, but then my food processor went kaputz. (We think maybe the motor is overheating?) So there I was with 2 cups of almost chopped up carrots. Not being one to waste food, I began rummaging through any recipes that used grated carrots.

Morning glory muffins came to mind rather quickly- I wanted them, but I didn’t want all the sugar. But you know me, I can’t leave well enough alone. I ended up adapting a regular morning glory muffin recipe to be made with sourdough and no refined sugar.


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The Fox is on the Town-O (Or, How to Get Rid of a Fox)

Two weeks ago, I heard a squabbling from the direction of the chicken coop as I took the garbage cans up the hill. The roosters must be having a fight, I thought. But the noise increased and a chicken scream carried out across the yard.

Into the house I ran, slippers off, muckboots on, and back out I scurried. Then I saw him.

A red fox was standing down behind the mud oven in the backyard. A hen’s neck and head were dangling from his mouth. We stared at one another for a moment.

“HEY!” I shouted. He dropped the head in the snow.  “GET OUTTA HERE! THESE AREN’T YOUR CHICKENS!!!”

how to get rid of a fox

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Making Maple Syrup: Tapping, Processing, & Canning

Have you ever wanted to make maple syrup but don’t know where to begin? We were in that same position several years ago. We knew syrup was pricey but we had maple trees on the property. While it seemed daunting at first, the process of making syrup is actually quite simple. It just takes time and a few supplies.

Today, I am hoping to give you a brief overview of how to make maple syrup, or, as it’s often called, “sugaring.” It takes a bit to fall into a rhythm that fits with the rest of your life schedule, but the sticky, sweet, delicious results are well worth the effort.

Making Maple Syrup(Color and flavor variation in homemade syrup is quite normal! We actually prefer the darker, stronger stuff.)

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How Packing Lunch Can Save You Thousands of Dollars

Lunch. You’ve got that hour in the day when some of you work and some of you are home. There’s not really time to cook it. It’s not ever really convenient. But, regardless, most of us get hungry for it. Plus, for some strange reason, even if you send your kids off to school, they still have to eat during the day. Here is the compelling financial reason why you should try packing lunch instead of buying it.

brown bag

Photo Credit

This post contains affiliate links.

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Best of They’re Not Our Goats, 2017 Edition

Happy New Year, guys! It’s that time again: time to announce what readers have judged as the very best of They’re Not Our Goats for this year.

I say this without bragging or fanfare- I know very well that my blog is just a little speck somewhere in the dustbin of the internet world. However, it’s always interesting to me to see what readers liked best each year and helps me to determine what you would like to see more of in the following year.

So, without further ado:

10. Five Ways to Cook Without Power

9. How Can I Tell if My Rabbit is Pregnant?

8. 10 Reasons to Get Meat Rabbits

10 Reasons to Get Meat Rabbits

7. Water Bath Canning 101 

How to water bath can, plus a free printable checklist!

6. One Month of Frugal Meals

5. Distinguishing Elderberry from Silky and Redosier Dogwood

Elderberry or Dogwood

4. How I Afford Being a Stay at Home Mom

How to Afford Being a Stay at Home Parent

3. Apple-Honey Jelly (Made Using Only Peels and Cores) 


2. Tick Bite Prevention (Naturally!)

Tick Bite Prevention (Naturally!)

And, drumroll please……



  1. How to Make a Sourdough Starter

How to Make Sourdough Starter

That’s it! Thanks so much for reading along with me this year, sharing my posts, supporting me and my crazy family, and putting up with my on again off again blog regularity. They’re Not Our Goats would be nothing without its readers.

So, to you my friends, cheers! And here’s to a happy 2018!


How to Plan a No-Spend Month

Have you heard of a no-spend month? Participants may have varying opinions of the ideal length and degree of financial restraint required, but the idea is basically the same across the board. A no-spend month is essentially a month in which you spend no more than absolutely necessary.

“No-spend month” is, perhaps, a misnomer, because there is really spending taking place. After all, your mortgage or rent can’t go unpaid. You’ve still got to eat. And what about the regular expenses of gas, heat, electric, etc?

It is for these reasons that I say a no-spend month is one in which you spend no more than absolutely necessary. You kick into penny-pinching mode, and you know you can do it because it’s only for a short time period.

Join our No-Spend Together community on Facebook for accountability this month! 

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On Badly Behaved Adults & Doing Good to Others

Today, I was leaving the store with my three little kids. It had been particularly crowded with all the holiday shopping, but the kids had been miraculously well-behaved. We survived the trip, cashed out, and steered our cart toward the exit.

As we were leaving, we heard raised voices. An older man and middle aged woman were shouting at each other on the way out to the parking lot. When we walked outside, their voices became louder, and profanity after profanity started spewing from the man’s mouth.

My children gaped at this behavior. They silently stared as our cart approached.

I was feeling more and more offended that they weren’t thinking of my children as we walked past. My kids, who are seeing all the signs and cards that proclaim the season “Merry & Bright.” My beautiful children, to whom I am nearly always repeating myself about not screaming or hitting, being patient, using kind words.

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Simple Slow Cooker Pork and Cabbage

This simple slow cooker pork and cabbage recipe is quick to throw together and delicious to come back to after a day at work. It’s appealing to a broad range of tastes, and perfectly warming and comfortable on a chilly autumn or fall evening.

This post contains affiliate links.

When I was a kid, I wanted nothing to do with cabbage. Even in my college years, I turned my nose at the stuff. I remember one occasion when a family who didn’t have many worldly possessions invited us over for cabbage soup. They were so excited to share their favorite meal. I am ashamed to say that I gagged down a bowl and didn’t accept a second helping. I just couldn’t bring myself to get over the fact that it was cabbage.

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Frugal Gift Wrap Ideas

Brown paper packages tied up with strings- these are a few of my favorite things!  For real. I love frugal gift wrap that is both unpretentious and pretty.


I hate that wrapping a present can often cost just as much as (or sometimes more than!) the gift itself. I cringe every time I actually have to buy something to wrap up a gift. Beyond the cost, the amount of waste that gift wrap creates is incredible- anybody else have 2 or 3 kitchen garbage bags of wrapping paper to throw out after its short-lived purpose was fulfilled?

For the past few years, we started looking for other ways to wrap our gifts. We stared finding free gift wrap all over the place by using recycled and/or reusable material. Here are some ideas for you to try!

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