Happy Friday, Lifers!  For a short week (some of us had Monday off for Veterans Day), I feel worn out.  Frankly, it feels like I have dead batteries in my power pack.  I don’t know what it is.  It is a target rich environment for dead batteries and low energy. Here are some thoughts right off the top of my head:

  • The sun setting around 4:30 PM each day
  • Staying up later at night working on projects
  • Completing quite a few presentations and driving many miles this week
  • Some life drama that is going on behind the scenes

It could be a combination of things as well.  Life happens, and it can wear on even the most optimistic and high energy folks.  Frankly, my dead batteries were low enough that I just didn’t have the energy to produce a podcast this week.  Sorry, folks.  That’s the way it goes sometimes.

Dead Batteries. Kombucha and Cranberry-Jalapeno Jelly

The Cranberry-Jalapeno Jelly and the flavored DomBucha Kombucha are excellent! November 2019

While I don’t feel incredibly high energy right now, I have been pretty productive and busy this week.  I completed a number of tasks including:

  • Successfully fermenting and flavoring my new batch of kombucha (this batch tastes delicious)
  • Brewing my biggest batch of kombucha yet (4 gallons of kombucha is brewing right now)
  • Canning 4 quarts of tomato sauce from tomatoes I grew in the garden
  • Canning 4 pints and 5 jelly jars of my favorite Cranberry-Jalapeno Jelly
  • Reading about the history of tribes in Germany in the Roman era
  • Painting and restoring furniture
  • Repainting the back bedroom
  • Going to a great live show of Joyann Parker Band at the Crooner’s Lounge with Julie last weekend. Truth be told, this was an AWESOME show!  Look for a little discussion about this one in the near future.

As you can see, I haven’t been idle!  It has been one of those weeks when you just have some dead batteries, and having some down time this weekend will help recharge them. 

Latest on Small Scale Life – Lots of Updates

Believe it or not, there has been a lot going on in the background at Small Scale Life.  I know folks see the blog posts and the podcast episodes, but sometimes I just have to brag (or at least mention) what is happening behind the scenes.  Small victories help recharge those dead batteries, and we have had some nice little wins for Small Scale Life this week!

Small Scale Life is on IHeartRadio!

IHeartRadio; Small Scale Life Podcast

The Small Scale Life Podcast is now on IHeartRadio – November 2019

As announced on the Small Scale Life Instagram, Facebook and Twitter feeds today, the Small Scale Life Podcast is now on IHeartRadio! Click here to listen and SUBSCRIBE to the podcast on IHeartRadio. I realize that folks have different ways that they listen to the podcast, and I want to make sure they have an option that works for them.  Mainstream radio shows, music artists and big name podcasts are on IHeartRadio, so I decided earlier this year to get on that platform.

It took some doing, and I am not going to lie: some of the errors were due to your loveable host.  All in all, I am really excited to be IHeartRadio platform, and I have my sights set on Pandora next!


iTunes Connect

The Small Scale Life Podcast has been on the iTunes platform for many years.  Unfortunately, I was not keeping as detailed notes as I should have when I signed up on the platform, and I was not able to see analytics and trends from iTunes.  Given some changes to Apple IDs and two-factor security, I have to make some adjustments to the Apple ID for the podcast.

Long story short, I was able to adjust my Apple ID and get access to the analytics for the first time ever!  I had access to the analytics through my hosting service, but it is nice to get the trends from the horse’s mouth (so to speak).

iTunes Reviews

Speaking of iTunes, we have 21 reviews right now, with 7 written reviews.  It would be great to get a few more from our audience.  Feel free to follow the steps below to leave a review for the Small Scale Life Podcast.

Reviews on iTunes

How to Complete an iTunes Review

We love reviews!  It helps us grow the show.  To leave a review of the Small Scale Life Podcast on iTunes, please follow these simple steps:

  1. Click on this link or the image above.
  2. Go to ratings and reviews.
  3. Click on the number stars.
  4. Subscribe to the podcast (optional, but appreciated)!
  5. You can also write a quick review or some words of encouragement (optional, but GREATLY appreciated)!

You can also write a longer review, though it’s not necessary.  Again, thank you for listening and your review!

Ratings and reviews help us grow the podcast and the blog, and I appreciate your reviews.  I will be reading reviews out on future episodes of the Small Scale Life Podcast!

kombucha class; importance of mentoring

Kombucha and the Importance of Mentoring

Small Scale Life

Last week, I posted my thoughts after a GREAT kombucha brewing class taught by Bryan Deane Bertsch.  Click here to read the post and listen to the episode.  Bryan started brewing kombucha at home in a 2.5 gallon crock in 2006, and now he has 30-30 gallon barrels (900 gallons potentially) that are busy brewing Deanne’s Kombucha, which is a brand available in the Twin Cities market.

Learning from Bryan, asking questions and talking after the class last weekend made me think about something Greg Burns had said in our Homesteading for Beginners Podcast: start with the why and get a mentor.  Click here to listen to the podcast episode.  It was great talking with someone who was just like me once up on a time:  sitting in a chair, trying to start something, and making more mistakes than successes at times.

Find a mentor, learn from them and practice/execute.  Your learning curve will be steep!


I have to leave a shout out to Brew Dr. Kombucha for leaving a nice comment on this post.  I appreciate your comments!  You can check their website by clicking on this text. 

Additionally, I have been chatting with some nice folks from All About the Booch Kombucha down in Maricopa County, Arizona. They just became Maricopa County’s first commercial kombucha brewers, and I sent them my congratulations and questions about going commercial.  It was an interesting discussion to be sure, and perhaps I can get them on the Small Scale Life Podcast to talk brewing, business and all things kombucha.

Kitchen Thrifty Thursday Tips; Financial Freedom; Budget

10 Kitchen Thrifty Thursday Tips

Small Scale Life

For the past 9 months, the Small Scale Life Facebook Community has been providing money-saving advice, tips and hacks on Thursdays. Click here to read the post and listen to the podcast episode. These tips were part of an overall effort to help people save a few dollars by being wise stewards of their limited resources: money, energy and time.

As I went through the old posts, I found that most of the posts were focused on our grocery shopping and activities in the kitchen.  I compiled the list from real posts from the Lifers and added some personal stories to each one.  Take a listen.  My goal is to educate and entertain you at the same time.


It was really nice to get some comments and discussions going in the Small Scale Life Facebook Group about this post.  Local Lifer Chris Kowalzek sparked a nice discussion about the podcast episode, and we will be getting together in the near future to exchange bottles for Dombucha and have a conversation.  Should be a lot of fun, and it is something that I want to do more with Lifers as I travel.

Tom’s Picks

Barn in Appleton, WI

Barn and railroad crossing in Appleton, WI – November 2019

Even though my energy is a little low, there are some updates and other new podcast episodes out there that fit in with the theme of this week.

InstaGram @racer787

Brian Holzhausen

This is an update from last week’s News from Around the Bend.  I had an opportunity to find and take the photo of the barn in Appleton, WI, that Brian Holzhausen posted last week.  I found the barn and took the photo (see the photo above)!  It was pretty cool to communicate with another “IG Personality” and recreate a shot that he had posted last week.  Hopefully there will be more opportunities to collaborate like this in the future!


Pulling Irons from the Fire

Contrary Farmstead Podcast

Greg and Susan Burns

Captain Lumbersquatch Greg Burns and his wonderful wife Susan are back and talking about what is happening on the Contrary Farmstead.  Click here to listen to the podcast episode. Topics include the house addition project, getting really busy in life and on the farmstead, reducing obligations (ie, the cows, Sugar the Goat, pigs and some of the other animals).  This was a great quote from the podcast episode that hit home:

“Dreamers have lofty dreams in their heads, start them and have a hard time buttoning them up.” – Susan Burns

Finish what you start.  I tend to be a dreamer, and Julie is the organizer and the get stuff done person in our house.  Sounds like things are similar over at the Burns’ house.  It is a great conversation, and this podcast episode fits right in with projects and obligations that suck up your time and energy and leave you with dead batteries.

Make Your Money Stretch – Download Our Free Budget Bundle

Quickie Monthly Budget Free Download

How do you live this kind of life?  Aren’t you curious how?  Would you like to try?

It really comes back to taking control of your life, your stuff and especially your finances.  Do you think people just sell everything and hit the road?  No, they do not.  They have a plan, and they have a budget.  I guarantee it.  They need to be ready for disasters on the road: cars break down, equipment needs repair, and of course they need to eat.

It is time to take control of your life and your spending.  Set up your budget using our free budget bundle tools available on Small Scale Life.  We will show you how to set up and track your budget and track your expenses.  You can do this; we are here to help!  Use this link to go to Small Scale Life and start budgeting today.  Click here.

Simply Canning School with Sharon Peterson

Tomato Sauce; Simply Canning Academy, Sharon Peterson

I made tomato sauce out of my ripe tomatoes and canned them this week – November 2019

Sharon Peterson sent me an e-mail and raved about the participation in her free canning meat workshop.  I know from my analytics that more than 40 people from the Small Scale Life Audience used my link to visit her site and attend the workshop.

That is AWESOME!

Did you know that Sharon has that workshop inside her Simply Canning Academy?  Even if you missed it; it’s still there.  You can get access to that workshop and a whole lot more by clicking on this link.  


FREE Pressure Canning Workshop

This month, Sharon is showing you the do’s and don’ts of pressure canning. Have you ever done that?  Are you too scared to try?

Sign up for the FREE Pressure Canning Class today.  If you like it, you can purchase the classes from the Simply Canning School.  Sign up and take the class now; it is only offered for a limited time.