Blog Header

Blog Header

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas is Coming!

I am getting excited about Christmas, now that most of the shopping is done. I still have a few stocking stuffers to get. And one more present for Dixie. Whew! Glad that's almost done! I will be off the 23rd through the 1st. Then I will finish up getting ready!

Saturday will be cleaning day. I have to get the upstairs cleaned and ready for the kids when they get here. It looks like I will have a treatment on Tuesday of the study drug and then go back to the old drug after the first of the year.

Wednesday, I will go do the last bit of grocery shopping and gift shopping and then the rest of the day will be spent on baking.

This is my list of cookies:
Icebox cookies
Chocolate Chip cookies
Oatmeal raisin cookies
I will also make fudge and a chocolate/pecan/marshmallow log.

Then I will have to make whatever is needed to take to Louisville for Christmas eve.

We usually do a traditional Christmas ham on Christmas day. I usually make homemade mac & cheese, zipper cream peas, green beans and corn. This year I think I will make rice pilaf. I am still not sure about the desserts, Pecan pie is a given, then maybe apple pie, and a recipe I just found Caramel-Pecan Chocolate Dessert.




Looks really good doesn't it. I might give it a try. It is on Betty Crocker's website if you are interested.

I will be glad when Daniel & Larissa get here. I do look forward to spending a little more time than we got to spend at Thanksgiving with them.

Have a wonderful Christmas.



And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Luke 2: 9-14

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thanksgiving

I am getting excited about Thanksgiving. I get to go home this year. We are driving to GA on Wednesday and staying through Friday. Then on down to FL to spend the weekend with our Son and his family. They will be in GA when we get there and we will all drive back to FL together.

We will be having Granddaughter Dixie's birthday party on Saturday and the our son Daniel is being ordained as a deacon on Sunday evening. It will be a great weekend.

I am off work from Monday through December 2nd. I do have a lot to do on the days I will be at home. I have to get my house all decorated for Christmas before we leave for GA. I am hosting the Ladies' meeting at my house on the 5th and I want everything to be all decked out when they come. It usually takes me almost 2 weeks to get all the decorations out, I just don't have that kind of time this year. I really will only have 4 days to get it all done in.

We are having Thanksgiving dinner at church this Sunday. I have to make a turkey, dressing, green beans and a dessert. Tonight I will make the cornbread for the dressing and decide what dessert I will make. Tomorrow night I will make the dessert. Saturday I will cook the turkey, dressing and green beans.

I love Thanksgiving dinner. It is one of my favorites. This morning on the radio on my way into work, they were talking about ordering out for Thanksgiving. The lady DJ was saying how she slaved over the stove all day, then had to clean the house, then the dishes. She didn't get to spend time with the family, and then she HAD to go shopping on Friday to buy Christmas gifts. I say that she is doing it all wrong. Why isn't it a labor of love to cook a Thanksgiving dinner for our families? Why can't all the women get in the kitchen and spend time together? Sure, I always clean my house before people come, but how important is that really? Do we live in such a pigsty that our everyday clean isn't good enough? And come on nobody HAS to go shopping on Black Friday! I usually do, but because I enjoy it. If you aren't doing it because you enjoy it, that is one day you should STAY HOME.

Something has happened in my life time to make women think that it is slavery to lovingly prepare a meal for your family. Trust me, one day they want need you to make a meal for them and if you aren't careful, they'll just stay home and order out on Thanksgiving day, too.

Mae

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Family

I come from a very large family. Mama and Daddy had seven children, 4 girls and 3 boys. There are 16 grandchildren and 24 great grandchildren. Mama and Daddy have been in heaven for several years now and we still seem to be a very close family still. I see other families that just aren't as close as they should be and wonder why we are so different. And we really are, people who marry into our family are always amazed at how different we are. Their words, not mine.

We grew up fairly poor. We always had the things we needed, but not much else. As the older kids got married and moved out it made it easier on us younger kids. But I know when I was left at home by myself for 4 years with only mama & daddy, I would have rather had my brothers & sisters home than more things. I really missed them. I now live far away from them all and still miss them.

We learned from our parents to pull together when things got hard.
To be happy with what we had.
To be there for each other.
To love one another.
To accept each other as we are.
To stick up for each other.
To love ourselves.
To accept our in-laws and love them as if they are our brothers and sisters.
To love our children and each other's children.

We don't have birthday parties and don't buy gifts for each other very often. But we still play together. Every 4th of July we all get together and we play. We usually have a theme and plan games around that theme. This past year it was the wild west. We dressed up like cowboys and Indians. We played poker, had a shoot out at the OK corral, and plenty of other games.

When we lost our parents we were there for each other. We still are.

I really don't understand how families fall apart when the hard times come. But they do. Even families that profess to be Christians, can't seem to pull together and depend on Him to see them through.

Maybe some day, I'll understand but I truly hope not.

Mae

Matthew 5:24Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Night Alone

Tonight I have the night to myself. Greg has gone to Louisville to check on his parents. His father has been in the hospital all week and is being released to a rehab clinic for a while.

It has been a really long time since I have had a night to myself. What shall I do?

I could clean and get the house in order so I don't have to clean tomorrow. Or maybe, I'll do some baking. There are several things I would like to make that I haven't had the chance to bake for a while. Maybe relax in front of the TV, take a long hot bath, read, get on the computer and do some work that needs to be done. Get the church bulletin printed for Sunday, do laundry, spend time upstairs putting summer things away.

It really seems odd to have an evening to myself. I can't decide what to do, maybe I'll do a little of all of it. Clean, bake, do laundry, put summer things away, watch a movie, take a bath and go to bed.

Sounds like a good plan.

Have a great weekend.
Mae

Monday, November 2, 2009

Start the Week Full and Empty...

I am making a new resolution. Yes, the New Year is still a couple of months away, but if I start practicing now, I may have it down by then.

I am going to attempt to start my week off full or empty. Here is my plan:

Linen closet—full of clean towels, washcloths, hand towels, and bed linens
Bathroom—Soap dispenser— full, toilet paper basket—full, cabinet—full of, soap shampoo,
conditioner, toothpaste, shaving cream
Bedroom—Drawers & closets full of clean clothes
Kitchen—Fridge & pantry full of food for breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Soda can dispenser
full, dish towel basket—full of clean dish clothes, Napkin basket—full of clean napkins
Salt & pepper shakers—full
Drawers & cabinets—full of clean dishes and utensils
Garbage can—empty
Sink—empty
Laundry basket—empty
Living room—empty of clutter
Menu planner—full of menus for the week

I figure if take the time over the weekend to make sure these things are done, the rest of the week should be a lot easier. A lot of these things are already being done, it’s just the little things I haven’t been doing that should make a big difference.

Little things like having the soap dispensers full, mean that DH will not take a bar of soap out of the shower and lay it on the sink. This makes a big mess on the sink that will not have to be cleaned. There are a lot of these little things that I don’t take the time to think about sometimes and they can just really throw a monkey wrench in things at the last minute.

Here’s hoping I can stick to it.
Mae

Friday, October 30, 2009

Stewardship...

I have been thinking about stewardship for a while now. I have wondered what it really entailed. Does it just mean that we are to tithe our money or is there more to it than that? I have decided that there is much more to it.

I think that whatever God has given us we are to be a good steward of. He has so richly blessed us and we should take care of what we have.

Our Husbands should be:
  • Well loved
  • Honored
  • Well fed
  • Well dressed
  • Well cared for

Our Children should be:
  • Well loved
  • Well dressed
  • Disciplined
  • Mannered
  • Clean
  • Well fed

Our homes should be:
  • Clean, in order and used for His purpose. Entertaining His family, providing a safe haven for your family, meeting the needs of your family
  • In good repair
  • Lawns kept clean & mowed
  • Porches swept and in order

Our vehicles should be:
  • Kept clean and in good repair

Our pets should be:
  • Cared for properly
  • Fed

The land we own should be replenished and cared for.

Our jobs should be done as if He is our boss and we are working for Him. We should be loyal, diligent, prompt, efficient, and just plain hard working.

Our finances should be guarded, our tithe should go to our local church. Even our time should be well spent. No, I don't mean that we should always being doing some great thing, even He rested on the 7th day. Getting rest is part of being a good steward. Because He gave us these earthy bodies and eating right and rest are 2 of the things these bodies need. But do we really need 3 hours of TV a night? Maybe one show a week would be good enough.

These are all things that God has given us and we should do our best for Him. That includes

Even as I sit here typing this blog I am being convicted of things that I am not being a good steward of. Things God has blessed me with that I am not taking care of. And it has really come to my mind that I don't have time to take care of some of the things I own like they should be taken care of. So I am thinking that maybe I don't need these things. If I don't have time to take care of them, do I have time to use them? Our camper is one of the things that comes to my mind. I have a 1977 Avion, it is really cool and I like the idea of having it; but we have used it once in the last 6 years. I really don't enjoy camping as much as I did when my children were little, so why am I keeping it? Surely there is someone that would get much more use and enjoyment out of it than we are.

There are so many other things that I have that aren't really important and aren't being used or cared for as they should be, so why do I have them? I think it is really time to get rid of some things.

I know that sometimes money is tight and things can't be repaired as soon as they break and sometimes your trash is going to blow over on the neighbors lawn. Things happen. But I feel as God's children, people are going to find as many faults with you as they possibly can, why give them more ammunition?

So if you're interested in 1977 Avion, let me know. I think I will be getting rid of a lot of things in near future. Getting my house in order, spending more time taking care of fewer things, working on being a good steward.

I wish you well,
Mae

Friday, October 23, 2009

1 Timothy 2: 9-10

These verses seem to be hard for younger women to grasp. They have been raised in the time after Women's Lib. I really don't think the older women have done us any favors and I believe women in general are more unhappy since we have become so "equal." I personally believe that we would all be much happier living as the Lord intended for us to live.

9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; 10 But (which becoming women professing godliness) with good works

This verse does not mean that we should go around looking drab and unkept. It just means that we should be modest. We are not to dress to make other women jealous or men other than our husbands notice us. It doesn't mean that you can't wear jewelry or have a nice hairdo. We should all look nice, clean and well kept. We just shouldn't have things hanging out that make other women's husbands see things they shouldn't. When I was younger my mother would not let me out of the house if skin was showing anywhere between my neck and my knees. It would drive me crazy. I had this shirt that I loved, but when I sat down my back would show. My back, not my belly button, or cleavage, my back. I couldn't understand this at the time, now I do. Men's eyes are naturally attracted to skin. It makes their minds wonder, and we should not dress in a manner that attracts that kind of attention.

We should also not dress to make other women envious. Gold and pearls do not add anything to my person (I do like gold and pearls and I have some) but, when I wear them, it is not to make others jealous. I know some women who always have to have new jewelry or the latest most expensive clothes they can find, and sometimes it is just to make other women "eat their hearts out." You know, we have all heard it, "So and So will just eat their heart out when I show up in this." Trust me, self respect is much more rewarding than so and so eating their heart out.

When we start dressing to make others envious, it means that we are envious of others and what they have. The "green eyed monster" isn't attractive on any one. It really turns us into the most unattractive people on earth. How can we be beautiful if we are caught up in jealousy?

When you get dressed for the day it is a good idea to look in a full length mirror. Bend over, sit down make any movements that you will be doing while you are out, in front of the mirror. If things are hanging out, maybe it would be better to change clothes. I personally can't stand clothes that I have to fiddle with all the time straightening bra straps, pulling shirts down or up, drives me crazy.
I am not one to wear dresses all the time, I do wear pants and jeans. My point is, no matter what you wear, you should dress decently. Dress in a manner pleasing to God, professing godliness.

Mae

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What Do You Deserve?

In our struggle to save money, cut back and be frugal I have noticed and enemy lurking about. The feeling of entitlement. I work hard, so I should be able to buy what ever I want, when ever I want it. Where did that feeling come from? We all know where it came from. Marketing. That is what good marketing does. It makes you feel like you deserve what ever you want. I can't begin to number the ads that I see on TV that tell me I deserve the best. I deserve a certain product, because it will make me feel better about myself or at least look better. I have lately even heard people I know saying "I felt like I deserved it, so I went out and bought it." It really took me aback to hear that come out of some one's mouth who by their own mouth admitted they were having money problems.


I work with people who stop at Starbucks 3 or 4 times a week for coffee, go to the dollar store on their lunch hour and spend 20-30 dollars on junk and then complain because they need money before the next pay day. They go get a pedicure during lunch hour (I really like pedicures but one a year is all I allow myself and not always even that one). Managing their money is the furthest thing from their minds until they realize they've spent it all and don't know what they will do until pay day rolls around. These kind of habits cause us to be slaves in a sense. Slaves to money and debtors. Is that what we all deserve, or do we deserve something better? Freedom.


Freedom of knowing that we have a warm home, a loving family, good food on the table, practical clothes on our backs, a dependable car that gets us where we need to go, and enough money in the bank to tide us over if something happens. Freedom from worry, a little peace of mind, some tranquility in our lives, when we don't have to worry about what material things we think we deserve. How about a saviour who loves us and meets all our needs. Could we find more security anywhere? I don't think so. The one thing we deserve the least is the best thing we have and the last thing we turn to fulfill our needs. He offers peace of mind, tranquility, love, comfort, security and best of all it is all already paid for. Jesus paid for us all to have these things, all we have to do is accept his free gift of salvation. What more could we want or need.

Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. Proverbs 31:30

Friday, October 9, 2009

Getting Ready...

for the weekend. My New Years resolution a couple of years ago was to quit wishing my life away. You know, wishing it was Friday on Monday. So far I have been able to, for the most part, stick to that resolution. I am still happy when Friday rolls around and today is no exception. I am ready for the weekend. That is when I get to stay home and nest.

Women have it their make-up to want to nest. God designed us that way. The best time of my life was when I stayed home with my children and watched them grow into the fine young adults that they are now. And I can't wait until I can retire and stay home again.

This weekend I plan to cook some chicken in the crock pot. I want to make chicken & dumplings and have enough left over to make chicken and rice or a chicken casserole later in the week. We will have left over chicken and dumplings for our lunches next week. I think I may make some honey wheat bread in the bread machine and do some baking.

Tomorrow morning will be spent cleaning and doing laundry. I hope we have a day without rain, it would be nice to hang the sheets on the line.

I need to do the throw rugs this weekend. Every other weekend I wash them and hang them on the line to dry, then on the off week I throw them in the dryer of fluff to beat the loose dirt out of them. This method sure saves on the wear and tear and keeps them nice and clean.

Winter clothes need to be brought downstairs and washed. Summer clothes need to go upstairs. Sandals need to be put up and winter shoes and boots bought out of storage. I usually clean and polish my shoes before storing them for the season. But the ones that have been stored will need to be dusted for sure.

My office has an herb garden and a few weeks ago, I picked some rosemary and dried it. I have a pint of rosemary leaves. Today I cut some more to use fresh and some sage, and it looks like unless we get a frost I may be able to get more. It is a wonderful feeling to get fresh ingredients for free.

I hope you enjoy your weekend.
Mae

She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. Proverbs 31:16

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Fun Day

Even though it is a rainy, yucky day, it has been a fun morning this morning. Our office is putting on a program called Farm Frenzy. It is a program for Teachers of 2nd and 3rd graders to bring their class to and they are taught where their food comes from. It has different stations they go to for a lesson, i.e. Dairy cows, Beef cows, Pizza Garden (all the vegetable ingredients for a pizza), Poultry, Sheep, Goats, Pigs, and then on a hay ride to the Farmers Market where they are taught about other vegetables and given an apple. This morning when I got to work, some of the volunteers were not able to make it, so 2 of us secretaries got to go down and be tour guides. We took the children from the bus to the different stations. It was a lot of fun even if it was cold and wet.

We are expecting about 3 inches of rain today and tomorrow. Hopefully, it will pass by the weekend and we can get some things done outside.

Gas and oil have been ordered and should be delivered in the next couple of days. My thermal window curtains for the bedroom came in and are hung. I keep the heated mattress pad on my bed all year. I get cold some nights even in the summer. It has been used every night for the past several nights. I think it is one of the best inventions I own. It keeps your feet warmer than the rest of your body and it's better than an electric blanket. It warms your bed before you ever get in it and then if you get a little warm in the night you can throw of you blanket and still be warm. It is a wonderful thing.

My son has finally started his own business. He is a plumber and it has taken him a lot of work to get incorporated and his license all done. We are very proud of him and pray that his business will be a success.

She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. Proverbs 31:15

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Once Again

It has been far too long since I blogged. My treatments are going well, except they seem to give me a headache that last about 36 hours. Oh well, I guess you just can't have everything.

The weather here is starting to turn cooler, and I am getting the house ready for winter. I ordered some heavy curtains for the bedroom windows. We still have older windows in our bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. In the past I have used the plastic film over them that you blow with the blow dryer until it shrinks. But by the middle of winter it seems to start peeling off. So this year I have decided to put thermal curtains on the ones in the bedroom. The bathroom window, I am thinking of trying to put some heavy material on the back side of the curtains I use for that window. I usually only have a valance on that window, but I do have curtains that match. I think I might just make them heavier by adding another layer of fabric to them. I haven't decided what to do for the kitchen window yet.

I need to get a new rug for the living room. When I got the new furniture, the one I had didn't look very good with it. I moved it into the dining room. Now I am afraid that the floor will be pretty chilly in the winter if I don't have something on it. So I am shopping for a new one. I would like one that is very plush and warm.

This weekend I need to remove the cushions and pillows form the furniture on the front porch and give it a good sweep down, before winter. We need to get the pool cover on and the umbrella and cushions from the back patio put away.

I hope you are enjoying your fall.

Mae

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Update on Treatments

I had my first treatment on Tuesday evening using the new drug for Gaucher's Disease. The treatment went really well and we were given a lot of good information. I did however experience a headache the rest of that night and all day yesterday. It feels much better today. I still feel just a little ache, but I can at least deal with that. The enzyme should be out of my system in 48 hours so I am thinking I shouldn't feel any thing after today.

We learned that there is only one or two treatment centers that will be able to offer this enzyme during the time that the old enzyme is unavailable. That means there are over 2000 people out there that aren't going to be able to receive any treatment. I couldn't believe how fast I went downhill with out any enzyme and really am fortunate to be in an area where the treatment is available. Please pray for all of the people out there that will not be given treatment, I know that some of them are in much worse shape than I am in, and can't imagine how they will be able to function in 3 more months.

Thanks,
Mae

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: Philippians 1:6

Friday, September 11, 2009

Apple Pie Filling

Here is a link for canning apple pie filling: http://www.pickyourown.org/pdfs/applepiefilling.pdf
It explains the whole process very clearly.

This year I am using Cortland, Macintosh, and Gala apples. It is best if you use a mixture of apples. Some cook apart easier than others and this way you have some that are still big and chunky, and some little pieces, in the filling.

I used this filling last winter to make some of the best dump cake I have ever had. I used the traditional recipe

1 box cake mix (yellow cake mix)
1 jar of pie filling (your choice of fruit)
1 can of crushed pineapple (slightly drained)
1 stick of butter
1 -1 1/2 cup of crushed pecans

Preheat oven to 350.

Lightly grease bottom of a 9X13 pan
Pour pineapple in pan, spread evenly
Pour pie filling on top of pineapple
Sprinkle entire (dry) cake mix on top of fruit.
Sprinkle desired nuts on cake mix.
Cut butter into chunks and dot all over cake mix
Bake for 45 mins to 1 hour.
Or until slightly browned.

This made the best dump cake I've ever had.

Enjoy
Mae

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Where Did It Go?

I am talking about the time, of course. I didn't realize it had been so long since I had posted. But after checking the blog today, I see that has been a while.

Things have been pretty busy, we are finally having church in our new building. And that has been a real blessing. The fire department was great but it is wonderful to have a building that is ours and has tons of room to spread out and grow in.

Hopefully, things are working out with my treatments. I will have one on Tuesday afternoon. It is not the enzyme that I use to get, but a new still experimental drug. I am a little nervous about that, but I am getting to the point that I am just about willing to try anything. I am getting very fatigued and my hips are starting to ache. It makes me realize how much things have changed for me since I started treatments about 9 years ago.

Over the holiday we went back to the apple orchard that we discovered last year and they were running the same special as they did last year. Pick 1/2 bushel and get another 1/2 free. So for $17.50 we got a bushel of apples. I intend to make more pie filling than I did last year as we ran out of apple pie filling sooner than I would have liked. But I won't get to that until the weekend after next.

I have started decorating for fall and as I said before I really am looking forward to it. It's just too bad that it's followed by winter. We went to the commissary on Friday and bought some of the things that I thought I was only going to be able to get when we went down to Georgia. Mary B's Open Kettle Dumplings and House of Autry Chicken Breader. The dumplings make some of the best chicken and dumplings that can be made without getting out the old rolling pin and making a big mess. It makes it easy to make chicken & dumplings and takes a lot less time. The chicken breader, I use to make chicken nuggets. I don't use it to make fried chicken, but it really does make good chicken nuggets and it's pretty good on fried pork chops. For the chicken nuggets, I buy whole, skinless chicken breast and cut into bite size pieces, I salt them and use garlic pepper on them instead of regular pepper. Then drop into hot oil and fry until golden brown. They are better than any restaurant nuggets out there.

Have a great day and enjoy the fall.

The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. Proverbs 31:11

Monday, August 31, 2009

Monday Update

This was a very busy weekend. We have finally found a building for our new church. It is an older church building that is empty. We cleaned for about 6 hours on Saturday, and still have a lot to do. The basement is full of spiders and crickets. But it at least smells a lot better than it did when we went into it.

Sunday the men went about 2 hours north and bought pews for it. We were there until about 10:00 last night unloading the pews. We will have our Wednesday night service there and do more cleaning and setting up. Then our normal services will start there on Sunday.

I put 7 quarts of tomatoes in the freezer and 7 quarts of corn. I really am getting ready for a pot of soup. The weather is starting to turn here and I am anticipating Fall. I didn't start decorating for fall because we are still painting the dining room. The china hutch is empty and in the middle of the floor. All of it's contents are all over the dining room table, so it just wasn't a good time to decorate. I will do it soon, though.

We have an herb garden at work so Friday I cut a bunch of Rosemary and Sage and a little Basil. I have them hanging in the kitchen drying. I love to put a whole chicken in the crock pot with an onion, some garlic cloves, a couple of sprigs of Rosemary & Sage in the cavity. Salt & pepper on the skin, some red potatoes and carrots underneath the chicken and let that cook all day. It is a great thing to come home to after a long day at work.

Mae

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Autumn

I know it's only the end of August, but I find myself looking toward fall. Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. It's a time when things are winding down. The grass doesn't grow as fast, and doesn't need to mowed as often. Gardens are dwindling, leaves are falling, the air turns cooler and things seem to become more simple and relaxed.

I am already thinking of decorating for fall...pumpkins, corn, leaves. I start thinking of the soups and hearty meals that go so well in the fall. I can't wait for the first pot of chicken soup! It's always nice to come home to a hot meal already prepared and a warm, cozy house.

We are going to the commissary soon, to stock up on things. We haven't been to the commissary in 2 years I think. It will be a nice trip. I am really kind of excited about going. It's always a pleasure to be back in a military environment.

I think I will look at all my fall decorations this weekend and maybe even put out a few. Start changing things around a little just do some general cleaning and puttering about the house.

I hope you have a great weekend!
Mae

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friends

I recently joined Facebook and I have to say that it is truly amazing how many people want to be your "Friend". People that you forgot about long ago, until you see their name pop up, cousins that you didn't know how to get in touch with, class mates from high school, and friends from churches you no longer attend or have moved away from.

It is really good to reconnect with some of them, but not all. Some just want to see what you've been up to, not really be your "friend". In just a matter of weeks I have 80 friends, I forgot that I even knew that many people. Of course, a lot of them are nieces, nephews and sisters. We have always kept in touch because we have a very close family. But it is really nice to be able to jump on FB and keep up with how everyone is doing on a daily basis.

My sister has been really sick because of our disease and it was very convenient for us to leave each other post about her condition and read the post her daughters left for us.

I even have one friend that I met from reading her blog. I treasure her friendship. I know that seems odd since we have never met, but when you read some one's blog you really get to know their soul. Their thoughts, concerns, priorities and loves. My blog friend has a very sweet soul. I always enjoy reading her blogs and get concerned when I don't see post from her on a regular basis. Not that I think that she should blog every day, but I always hope she does. We all have lives outside of the Internet.

I really want to think about friendship today, friends come into our lives when we don't expect it and sometimes go out of lives just as easily.

One friend we have sticketh closer than a brother, our Lord. He is there always and forever. And best of all will always love us, even when we are unlovable.

The bible also says that to have friends we must show our selves friendly.

Treasure your friends and be a friend today.

Mae

A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.Proverbs 18:23-24

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

It Seems Like Forever...

since I've posted. We have been through a lot and doing a lot in the last few weeks which has left me little time to post.

I've had a sore throat for over a month now. Hopefully this time will be the last time for a while. I have found out that I probably will not get another treatment until the end of the year. Keep me in your prayers, because even when I get them regularly, I get very run down and tired before the next one. I can't imagine what it will be like to go four months without one.

I feel like I haven't been doing anything to write about, even though I've really been doing a lot. Most of it just wasn't in the garden or around the house.

Work has been busy, we do a lot for our county fair, and now that that is over it's time for school to start and that means the 4-H work gets busy again.

We really didn't do much in the garden this year, our weather would not cooperate with our work schedule, so I have been buying some things from local farmers to put up. I've put up corn, and will buy more to put up, blackberries, from my bushes, blue berries, really cheap at Kroger, and peaches from Georgia.

I still have a lot of vegetables leftover from last year so I am not really worried about putting up too much. Maybe this is my year for a break from canning as much as I did last year.

We are thinking about selling some of our chickens, we have soooooo many eggs. We sell a few but can't keep ahead of the chickens. They are little factories that put out way too much product. We eat eggs almost every day. I usually boil 2 dozen on the weekend for use during the week and we eat fried or scrambled eggs almost every morning for breakfast.

The little chicks that hatched are mixed breeds and they are really kind of ugly. Still cute in a way, I don't know what they will turn out to be, but 2 of them look like they may be green egg layers (if they aren't roosters). We will just wait and see how they turn out.

Have a good day.
Mae

Monday, July 20, 2009

Busy

Things have really been busy at work. We had camp for the 4-H kids and Fair coming up within 2 weeks of each other. Both involve tons of paper work. The kids left for camp today so things have slowed down a bit for now.

I haven't been sleeping very well and that combined with all the work I've had and my treatment is due this week is leaving me very pooped!! My treatment will only be 1/2 of what I normally get due to the contamination, but I am thankful that God has allowed me that much. I hope this will only be for 2 months then back to normal.

Our garden isn't doing so well this year. It's just too cool at nights for the tomatoes to ripen. I have picked on mess of green beans and frozen 1 quart of blackberries. I have another pint or so picked and more to pick. I will decide later if I am going to make jelly or not.

We are overflowing with eggs. The chickens are great layers. We have been selling some and giving some away.

We will go to see April and Lily tomorrow night, if all goes well. We are trying to spend one evening a week with them. Lily is a very sweet baby. Last week I rocked her to sleep. There is nothing better than a sleeping baby in your arms.

I hope you have a great week.

Mae

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Home Again

We made it home after a long and wonderful vacation. We went to Florida and spent a few days with Daniel, Larissa and Dixie. We had a really good time with them. Dixie is so smart for a 3 1/2 year old. She can be pretty funny, too. Hopefully, I'll have some pictures to post after this weekend when I finish unpacking.

Then we went to Georgia to my family's reunion. Our theme this year was the Wild West. We dressed up like cowboys and Indians and played all kinds of games. It was a blast!

Last night we got together with April and Lily for my birthday. Lily is growing so fast, she has her first tooth and is starting to crawl.

When we got home Monday night we had 7 baby chicks that hatched while we were away. This is the first time we have ever had chicks hatched on our farm. One of the hens started setting so we left her to it. She seems to be doing a great job at mothering. I hope that they all make it. I really don't know what to do for chicks that have a mother. We have always ordered ours and had to keep them under lights so I am not sure what to expect. I guess we'll learn as we go, which is how we've learned everything so far.

Our garden isn't doing as well as last year. It's been really wet here and the weeds are loving it. The blackberries are coming on good. They are really big and some of them are starting to turn black.

I am going to try my hand at elderberry tonic this year. I understand that it's really good for colds. I have been fighting a really bad one this week and that makes me even more determined to make it. The berries are just beginning to set on the bushes. They should be ripe in just a few weeks.

We bought peaches and watermelons while we were in Georgia. I plan on putting up some of the peaches this weekend. I usually make jelly form the leftover peelings, but I still have so much left over from last year that I don't think I'll make jelly this year.

Have a great day!
Mae

Friday, June 19, 2009

Vacation Time Again

We are getting ready to go on vacation again. We will be going to Florida to see Daniel, Larissa & Dixie. I am so excited to see them. Then we will go back up to Georgia for the family 4th of July bash. It is always a lot of fun. We enjoy this time we get to spend with so many nieces and nephews, their children and of course my sisters. There is no telling what we may get into, but the the theme for the 4th this year is the Old West. Should be interesting.

My treatment is tonight (thank God for that.) My treatments will be put on hold until further notice after this one. It seems the plant that makes the medicine has been contaminated by a virus and so no one will be getting their treatments. Pray for the people in the world that has Gaucher's disease. The treatment that we take only reverses the effects of the disease. It does not cure it. Going without the treatment allows all those effects to build up. There are people who have much worse cases than I do (my sister for one) that need their treatment to desperately. I hope they make it through without too much pain.

Tomorrow night we pack, get the bills ready to be mailed while we are on vacation, clean the house, etc. Saturday morning at 4:00 a.m. sharp (we've never left right on the dot) we are Florida bound!! I do dread the drive...we aren't getting any younger, ya know. But, it will be a fun time.

My grocery shopping this week cost a whole $12.23.
6 2 liters Diet Pepsi buy 4 for $5.00/get 2 free-3/$1.50 coupon when you by popcorn & soda = -$2.00
6 3 pks Orville Reddenbacher Popcorn $1.99 had 2 coupons for .50 doubled off= 9.94
4 pkgs. Oscar Mayer hot dogs $1.38 had 2 $1.00/2 coups = 3.52
Kroger was doing $3.00 off 10 items =11.46 + tax, of course.

I am trying to keep better track of my coupon savings so I will be posting those here.

My grocery spending went from $92.00 a week in May to $51.00 in June. Hope I can keep that up, but I know I will have to buy more meat next month than I did this month.

Mae

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Couponing

I have been using coupons for almost 28 years now. This is the first time I have ever really kept track of how much I am spending/saving. It is a real eye-opener. Since the week of May 15Th I have saved 40% on my groceries. I usually buy health & beauty items, paper goods, and sometimes even make-up (if it's cheap enough) at my grocery store. I have compared the items to the items at Wal-Mart and I know that I could get somethings a few cents cheaper at Wal-Mart, but I can't go in there for just what I need, and can't seem to walk out of there without over spending.

This week I have spent less than $35.00 on groceries. Today at Kroger, (my normal grocery store) I spent $11.91. I bought 2 Purex Complete 3-in-1 (on sale for $4.99) 2 Kraft BBQ Sauce ($1.08) 2 A-1 Steak Sauce-10oz. ($2.99) 3 Keebler Cookies ($2.69-2.75), and 3 McCormick's Spices (10 for $10). I had a coupon for everything I purchased. My total before Q's came up to 29.31 (sale price) I saved 14.17 using my Kroger Plus card and another $18.00 using coupons.

Here is the breakdown of what I actually paid:
2 A-1 Sauce $.99 ea=$1.98
2 Kraft BBQ Sauce $.08 ea+$.16
3-McCormick's Spices Free
2 Keebler Cookies $1.25 ea= 2.50
1 Keebler Cookies$.69 ea= $.69
2 Purex 3-in-1 $2.99 ea=5.98

Grand total $11.31 +$.60 tax=$11.91 that is a 73% savings!

I know there is really nothing to eat on this list, but it is all things that I use and since every penny counts, I saved quite a few pennies today. $32.17 worth of pennies is nothing to sneeze at.

I have always looked at coupons as money. Now that I am keeping track of my savings it is really helping me realize what I am saving and spending. My goal is to keep my grocery budget to $75.00 a week. It is getting time for me to average out the last month's spending and see how I did. I think I'll be close.

I would like to encourage you to use those coupons!

Mae

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Job

I took a temporary job last week. It was designing a Play Bill for a local theatre. It took me almost 29 hours to complete it. I worked on it all weekend and every evening for a full week. Last night I delivered it to the general manager and I am done! It was fun, but it took up a lot of my time. It was worth it, I made some extra $$$ for vacation and got 2 tickets to see Guys & Dolls. That should be fun.
This week I made a flower arrangement from my flower garden. I could not believe I got all of those flowers from my own yard. When we lived in the south I didn't have much luck with my flowers. They all seemed to swelter in the summer and I got tired of spending money on new ones. Since living here I have only planted perennials & herbs and I actually am getting some pretty flowers. I cut yellow, pink and deep red yarrow, lavender, mint & roses from my wild rose bush. It really turned out pretty.
Here are two of the prettiest things going:

Lily







Dixie

They are so beautiful! I just love them both.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Stay at Home Moms

I was a stay at home mom until my daughter (the youngest) was 12. I have never regretted one minute of that time. I have regretted some of the times that I was at work and my kids were home by themselves.

My thoughts are:
1. No one will ever love your children as much as you love your children.
2. You are the one who can instill in them, during the most
impressionable years, the values that are important to you.
3. Whether you stay at home, or go to work, you are making sacrifices.

I really believe that children benefit from having their moms at home with them. I think it builds confidence and a sense of security in them. I also understand that that is not an option for everyone. My daughter works days and her husband keeps Lily. When she gets home, he goes to work while she stays with Lily. She has the benefit of having a parent with her at all times. I am thankful for that.

Being a stay at home mom isn't just about taking care of your children. As women, we must remember that their father is more important. The relationship you build with him has to be strong enough that when the children are out on their own the relationship between the 2 of you will be there. Many people let their children come first and when they are gone there is no relationship between mother and father.

You must look at your marriage as a partnership. Both parents have equally important jobs. The working spouse has the job that provides financially for the family. He/She is out in the world all day, a world where no one really appreciates them the way they should be appreciated. So as a stay at home parent, it is up to you to make sure that when they come home, they feel as if all the hard work they do is appreciated.

But the stay at home parent has the hardest job of all. It should be that parent's job to keep the house clean, prepare meals, do laundry, run errands, shop, and take care of the children. And there is no way you could ever be paid financially for what you do.

There are other ways of being paid that are even more priceless. A husband/wife who is happy to be home, because you have made a sanctuary for them away from the troubles of the outside world. A spouse who is contented to be home with his family.and children who grow up to adults that you can be proud of.

I don't think that every room in the house should be spotless, but which ever room the at work parent walks into first should be clean. No toys lying about, an ideal spot to relax in for a few minutes before dinner. The children should be excited to see that parent. Make a big deal about that parent coming home. Run a comb through your hair, brush your teeth, freshen up a bit before they come home. If you are excited to see your spouse the children will be, too. If you are a stay at home mom, make sure your husband comes home to a woman, not just the mother of his children. Remember that he works with women all day who are dressed, have on makeup, and look nice. We all know what that can lead to. You should look nice when he gets home.

Sure the parent that works outside the home should pitch in. Everyone needs a break and in our home some jobs were my husband's responsibility (When he wasn't on deployment.) He usually took out the garbage, mowed the lawn, and still does most of the painting and repairs around the house.

I know this sounds pretty old fashioned, but isn't it old fashioned to stay at home with the children. Isn't that the point. Our mothers stayed home for decades and seemed to live a happy fulfilling life. Your life can be very fulfilling as a stay at home mom. Don't get discouraged while you are being a stay at home mom. You have one of the most important jobs there is. You are raising our future, being a constant in a world of uncertainty for your spouse and children. There are so many benefits to being a stay at home mom. Don't let anyone make you feel like a second class citizen. Just make sure you do your job well and you will be appreciated more than you can ever imagine. You may not realize it for several years, but one day you'll look back with no regrets if you've done your best.

Mae

Friday, May 29, 2009

Financial Woes

In the past we have had our share of financial woes. We have made poor decisions that have cost us more than we expected and we have also had times when no matter what we did we just couldn't get ahead.

When we were first married, my husband was in the military (Navy) and we lived below the poverty level and we had some financial woes.

If you are going through a financially tight period, it is very easy to get depressed and frustrated. I hope to give you a few tips that will help you make it through those times with your sanity intact.

1. Remember God is in control- He will bring you through the hard times. He will provide your needs. Ps. 37: 25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. Have faith in His word.

2. Get up-It is really easy when you are not working to stay in bed for a little while longer than usual. Don't fall into this habit. Get up at your normal time, get dressed and start your day. If you don't it will get easier and easier to get lazy and idle. When you get lazy and idle depression has a way of creeping in.

3. Keep your house clean-I know this one sounds odd-but even if I didn't have money, my house was going to be clean. Nothing is more depressing than a dirty, cluttered home. I think this is especially true for women. This is a time when extra things can be done (deep cleaning, organization, etc.)

4. Listen to music that makes you happy-Do this every day even if it is while you are cleaning the house. Music speaks to your soul-happy music=happy soul.

5. Get some sunshine-Take a walk, do some yard work, just sit in the sun. I believe that sun warms the heart. I never really thought much about that until I moved north and went for weeks in the winter without the sun, now I know how much the sun can change your mood.

6. Play-Spend some time every day playing. Yes I know you are an adult, but even adults need to play. You can play a board game inside or play outside with the kids. It is important to the children to get all of their energy out during the day. This will help keep them from getting on your nerves.

7. Find free things to do-I use to take my kids to "Story Time" at the library, then we went to McDonald's so they could play in the playground. They would get a small ice cream cone (not free, but still cheap) and that was at least 2 hours of fun. Take a picnic to the park and let the kids play as long as they want and go down the slide or swing yourself. Get in the kiddie pool in the back yard with your kids. Have some fun.

8. Eat well- I realize that food is one of the things that can cost a lot of money, but you still need 3 squares a day. It doesn't have to be expensive, mac & cheese, beans, pbj, eggs, there is a lot of things that you can eat that doesn't have to cost a lot.

9. Get plenty of sleep-Keep to your old schedule, go to bed as early as you would if you were going to work. It is very easy to get irritable if you don't have enough rest.

10. Look for ways to make extra money-If you are out of work, look for work. If you are laid off, look for jobs that will tide you over until you are called back. If you've lost your job, look for a new one. Don't get down on yourself if you have to look for a long time. In the times that we are living in, it is going to take a while to find a new job, and you will be competing with a lot of people. Just remember if a company doesn't hire you at least they hired someone and that is one less person you have to compete with for the next job.

11. Remind yourself daily that you are doing the best you can, that you are a worthy person, that God loves you and will take care of you.

12. Give your family (each member) 7 loving touches every day- We all need 7 loving touches every day. If you are giving to your family they will be giving them back to you and if you are dealing with depression and frustration, you will definitely need them.

13. Remind yourself if you have young children that they are not going to remember these hard times, unless you make them miserable during it. And if you have teenagers, pull them close, let them be part of the solution, instead of part of the problem. They will more often than not step up to the plate and help the family out.

14. Love yourself. Love your family. Love God. (not necessarily in that order)

15. If you have a specific need let people know about it. I am not saying you should ask for handouts but there are a lot of people in your life that are willing to help, if they know you need it. There are also real prayer warriors out there that can and will help you pray for that need.

16. List your blessings-every day try to list at least one blessing, one thing that you are thankful for. Look on the bright side, even when it seems there isn't one, there is always, always, always something to be thankful for.

Have a blessed day.
Mae

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

It has been a really nice, busy weekend. We managed to get most of the garden planted, the pool is open, flowers are planted and laundry is done.

We drove to Frankfort on Saturday evening for dinner with Greg's brother and SIL. It was a nice ride and we really enjoyed the visit. Sunday was church. We had nursery duty and that was fun. Then we came home and planted the garden. It was so hot we thought we'd get in the pool. We made if for about 15 minutes but the water is still pretty cool. Maybe by next weekend it will be warmer.

I am trying to do some un-cluttering. I am a clutterer at heart. I do get emotionally attached to things. I have a hard time letting go. But I am showing some progress. I have 2 things from my kitchen that I am going to get rid of. I can't believe it. I am also going to go through my china hutch and get rid of some of the stuff in it. At least 1 set of dishes has to go. I think it will be the china that I bought at a yard sale years ago. It is a nice set but it just isn't my style.

I hope you all have a great Memorial Day. Thank the military that you come in contact with. Go Navy!

Mae

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Few More

Believe it or not I thought of a couple more.

25. If you do use the dryer and you use fabric softener sheets, cut them in 1/2. You want be able to tell the difference.
26. Cut back on laundry detergent. If you fill your washer with nothing but water and let it agitate for 5 minutes and there are bubbles, you are using too much detergent. I usually use 1/2 of what is suggested. The same for liquid fabric softener.
27. Make a menu for the week and stick to it. I try to include every thing that we will eat. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and even snacks. If they are planned ahead of time you make less trips to the store and really do tend to stick to the menu. You can be a little flexible after the menu is made. Maybe on Wednesday you decide to cook what ever you planned to cook on Thursday, just make sure you cook on Thursday what you were going to cook on Wednesday. If you plan to eat out one night, put that on the menu too.
28. Make your shopping list after the menu is made. Check to see what you have in the pantry before you make the list so that you can use what you have on hand first. Then only buy the things you need.

Mae

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

More Money Saving Tips

I have thought of a couple of more tips today. I am going to keep this list going for as long as I come up with more tips. If you have any to offer please leave a comment.

22. Kick the habit: the disposable habit. Paper towels and garbage bags are two of the things that absolutely hate to buy. You buy them with the intent of throwing them away. What else do we buy just to throw away? I haven't figured out how to live with out them yet but I am steadily working on it. Now instead of grabbing a paper towel I reach for a good old rag. I still use paper towels but a roll will last me more than a month now. Garbage bags last a lot longer too. Things that don't have to go in a bag, don't. 2 liter bottles, milk jugs, laundry detergent bottles, and the like take up a lot of space in a garbage bag. I just put them in the outside can now, no bagging.
23. Fix leaky faucets.
24. Use it all. Shampoo, body wash, ketchup, anything that can be, turn it upside down to drain it completely of it's contents. I washed my hair 3 times this week from a bottle that I thought was empty. This is one reason I dislike bar soap. You have all these little pieces that you just throw away because you don't know what to do with them. Little, rubber spatulas will help get all the mayonnaise and other condiments from the bottle or jar. Wooden Popsicle sticks will get some pressed makeup from the container after you get all you can with the sponge.

That's all I have for the night.

Mae

Monday, May 18, 2009

For Daniel

Daniel is my son who lives in Florida. We are really proud of him. He has been a licensed plumber for at least 5 years. He works for a large construction company and his hours have just been cut in half. This is going to be difficult for him and his family. I am attempting to post some ways to cut cost. Some will be ones that I use and some will be some I've only read about, but thought they would be good to practice in hard times.

1. Use coupons on everything you can find them on
2. Turn down the heat/air
3. Eat at home
4. Use leftovers
5. Don't waste anything (even garbage can have a purpose, compost, recycle, re purpose, get creative)
6. Place a 5 gallon bucket under the tap in the shower, while you are running the water waiting for it to get warm. Use this water to flush toilets, water plants, wash the floors, etc.)
7. Use a slow cooker (you can cook a complete meal in one pot without adding very much heat to your home)
8. Buy meat that is on sale and stock up (if you can only afford 2 pounds of hamburger, buy two and freeze one for later)
9. Look for ways to get food for free (neighbor has a peach tree and has too many peaches for his family, offer to make jam and give him a couple of jars, pull weeds in a farmer's garden for a some corn, in the south blackberries grow wild, pick some)
10. Make meals that will have leftovers that can be reheated
11. Don't pay full price for anything
12. Shop yard sales, consignment shops, thrift stores for items that you need (something used can get you through until you can afford to buy it new, if you decide to)
13. Only wash full loads of clothes
14. Use a clothes line
15. Keep things clean and in good repair (yes cleaning can make things last longer, motors run better when they are clean, air conditioners are more efficient when the filter is clean, things last longer when they are cared for)
16. Change your own oil in your cars (old oil can be used to paint fence post with to protect them from the weather)
17. Wear clothes more than once before washing them
18. Buy large cuts of meat and then cut them for whatever you want to use them for (The meat dept. at your grocery will cut most meats to your specifications without charging. I usually buy whole pork loins for $1.78/lb and have it cut into 1 inch boneless chops, these usually cost considerably more. A whole chicken is $.88/lb, chicken parts are $.99 for legs and thighs and up to $3.00 for boneless skinless breast. learn to cut up a chicken. A cheap roast can but cut up for stewing, etc. I have even had the meat manager cut a turkey in half so I could freeze half for later)
19. If you have empty space in your freeze, fill it up. (milk jugs full of water work well, it cost less to run a full freezer than one that isn't full)
20. Try as hard as possible to pay your bills on time even when you are struggling, late fees really add up. If you do get charged a late fee, call the company and ask that it be refunded. Most companies will refund one in a 12 month period.
21. Use your computer to pay bills on-line (this is one that I am just starting to implement. I saved $1.32 tonight by paying bills on-line and $1.68 last pay period, that doesn't sound like much, but over time it adds up and the post office has decided to raise postage annually.

I will post more as I think of them or learn them. I am always looking for ways to save money. I work to hard for it to give it away.

Mae

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Returning

It's been a really long time since I have posted. I guess I have been busier than I thought. We made our trip to Georgia to visit the family and had a wonderful time. It is always great to spend time with my sisters and nieces while our husbands take a fishing/camping trip. Everyone has a really good time.



We have been redoing the living room, taking down the old wall paper border, painting, and we bought new furniture which arrived yesterday. It is really nice to have the new sofa and chair.

I hope we will get to plant the garden next weekend. It has been too wet here to plant and the hay is getting ready to mow. Hopefully we will have a dry week this week. It suppose to get down in the low 30's tonight, so I guess it's not a bad thing that we haven't planted yet. I must remember to bring in the tomato seedlings tonight.

There is a turkey breast in the oven for Sunday dinner, the washer and dishwasher are busy at work. I must get to work myself. I have to get ready for church.

I will try not to wait so long between post, but we have lots to to in the summer.

Blessings.
Mae

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter

What a wonderful day! The day or Saviour conquered death and sin! It was a great morning at church; Sunrise service and a big breakfast. Then I came home to cook dinner for Pete and April and Greg stayed for the second service.

The Sunrise service was beautiful. We enjoyed our time with Pete, April and Lily. She is just the sweetest baby. She is starting to laugh and smile. I really enjoyed my time with her today.

I hope that everyone had a great day with their families.
Happy Easter!
Mae

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Planning the Garden

I have ordered some of my seeds, zipper cream peas, and corn. The tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers have been started and are sprouting up pretty well (this were left over from last year’s seeds.) The yin yang beans I saved from last year’s crop.

Potatoes, zucchini, squash, and some herbs still all have to be purchased. Pumpkins and watermelons will be planted in the garden. I did get some seeds and 10 strawberry plants free from work, sugar snaps, beans, watermelon, cantaloupe, jalapeno peppers, and some flowers. I never have much luck with lettuces, radishes or carrots, but I think I will try them in planters this year.

I am really getting spring fever. We are to have a few days of nicer weather but our ground is still so wet we can’t get into the garden yet. Hopefully next weekend.

This weekend will be busy with Easter happenings. We are going to Louisville on Saturday to be with Greg’s family then April is coming over after church on Sunday for Easter dinner.

I hope everyone has a nice Easter…eat lots of eggs!

Mae

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Updates

I finally did the test that the Doctor ordered and will hopefully find out for sure this week that all is well. He doesn't seem to think that I have cancer and that was a great relief! I pray the test proves him right.

The weather here has been really cold this week. We even had snow flurries...brrrr! Hopefully that is the last of it for this year.

I hope that it hasn't killed my cherries for the year. The blossoms were just starting to pop open. I am really looking forward to a cherry pie.

Our new chickens are starting to lay and the older girls are picking up again too. We are getting about 2 dozen eggs a day now.

The baby goats are doing well as are the rest of the goats. Garden plans are being made, if it ever gets dry enough to get in it to till and plant.

We are getting ready to re-do the living room. I am ordering new furniture, the first in a long time. I am so excited to get it. I'll have to post pics when i get it.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Canning

Canning is an art passed down from our ancestors that has died out in the recent past, but with the economy, it is becoming more popular.

Since our mothers and grand mothers were canning, there has been a lot of research and progress made. We now know more about the bacterial changes that can occur in food that was not processed correctly. What worked (didn't kill any one) for our mother's is not necessary the way things should be done today.

When I first learned to can jellies and jams, you just cooked them according to the recipe and put them into your sterilized jars and waited for them to seal. Now we know that bacteria can grow in that jar and you might not even know it. It is now suggested that you water bath the jelly. Also, we always stored our canned goods with the ring on the jars, now it is not good to store the jars with the rings on. The reasons for this are, you can see the top of the food to see if mold is growing on it and if a lid is loose it is easier to tell.

Some things can now be frozen with little to no processing; strawberries spaced out on a cookie sheet until frozen and then put into a freezer bag, tomatoes can be washed a placed in a freezer bag, and there are others that I can't think of now take very little processing.

When you follow canning recipes, check with your local extension office to see if there are new ways to process the recipe.

I love to collect cookbooks and books on canning, but those old ways of processing should be looked at carefully. When you find an old canning recipe that you would like to try, check with your local extension office (most have a website that you can look these things up on) to see if the processing suggested in that recipe is still the way to go.

I'll be the first to say "That's not how my mama did it!" but that doesn't mean that we should not always be searching for safer ways to do things. Mama knew best, but times have changed and now we know more.

Plan your gardens well, so you'll have plenty of fun canning this year.

Mae

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Stocking Up-Cleaning Out

I have been stocking up on meat lately. There have been several really good deals here the last couple of weeks. I will be hitting the grocery on the way home tonight to get some London Broil on sale for $1.99/lb, whole chickens $.69/lb and pork chops 1.69/lb, OJ and milk $.88 1/2 gallon. I will have to stop in a couple of times this week because the store never has enough out at one time for you to really stock up. I guess they figure the more they can get you in the more you will spend.

I will be cleaning out my food cabinets and canning shelves this weekend to get an idea of how much I have on hand and also, how much canned things I have leftover before the garden is started.

We took soil samples for the vegetable garden and hay fields last week and should get the results back soon, then we will know how much fertilizer and lime to add. This is a way to save money. Our local Extension office sends the samples in with no charge to the client. Sometimes you find out that you really don't have to add as much fertilizer as you would think. We are also going to spread some goat compost on the garden and black berries.

The weather has been so nice the last 2 days. It really gives me a lot of energy to get things done. I do love opening the windows while I am cooking dinner and cleaning. I can't wait until Summer!

Blessings
Mae

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Basics

It seems there are an awful lot of blogs out there posting about getting back to basics. It got me wondering how we ever left the basics. It seems the basics were good enough for a lot of generations.

I personally think that it all started with instant mashed potatoes. That is the first convenience food that I remember and maybe the only one that ever entered my mothers kitchen. After that came boxed mac & cheese then the microwave. We became a society that wanted everything instantly.

When young people get married these days, they expect to start out with everything that it took mama and daddy years to accumulate. We want it all and we want it now.

Why did we fall into this trap. Because it is easy. It's easy to take all the credit that is offered, it's easy to go through the drive through on the way home, it's easy to go out and buy new clothes when the old ones get torn or a button falls off.

I keep hearing on the TV what we deserve, we deserve the best, we deserve only good things, nothing bad should ever come our way. To one extent I agree with them, we do deserve the best. But, the best isn't always easy. Sometimes the best takes work. Those instant mashed potatoes could never compare to mashed potatoes that were dug from you own garden, peeled by you, diced, cooked and mashed by you.

Growing your own food, cooking real (not instant) food, mending your clothes, hanging clothes on the line to dry, these are all things we never should have left in the first place. So I guess I think we should all get back to the basics, too. Not just because of the economy, but because we deserve the best!

Mae

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Prayers

Sunday Greg asked that the church pray for my medical problems. I really wasn't quiet ready for that. Mostly because I really don't know what to tell people when they ask about it. But now I have such peace about what is going on, it is truly amazing.

I have done more research and that has helped but if it had not been for people praying I don't think I would have done anymore research.

It is a powerful thing to think there is even the smallest chance you may have that dreaded thing. The thing every one dreads. To be told that you have a SPOT is very sobering. You realize that the most important thing in life is that the people you love know how you feel about them. That you make the most of every moment with them. There is no time for arguing or feeling sorry for yourself.

I know that this makes it sound like I am dying. I am far from it. I will see a specialist within the next week or so, but I am sure that this will be nothing. I have a spot on my adrenal gland that we have been watching for a while. This year when I had my MRI and CT scans they show that it has changed. I will stay positive about all of this and I know that all things work together for good.

Mae

And we know that all things work together
for good to them that love God,
to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28

Monday, March 9, 2009

New Old Stove

This is what we bought over the weekend:



It is a 1940's Magic Chef stove. I think it's really cool! This is the one that we will be using in our Egg House/Canning Kitchen. It is a lot dirtier than it looks. There is about 6 inches of grease on one side of it. I am looking forward to getting it cleaned up for use. The best part is we only paid $20 for it. This is all we have spent on the project so far. I hope to keep a total of the expenses here. Since we plan to pay cash for the whole project it's the only way I can keep track.

We have 2 new baby goats. They are so cute when they are so little. We had one boy and one girl. They have learned to jump today. It's really funny to watch them hop around and flip their ears around to try to see what they are. They throw their heads sideways to try to get their ears to flop in front of their eyes. It's really cute.

Mae

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Egg House

We are still working on plans for our egg house/canning kitchen. Tomorrow we will go look at a couple of antique gas stoves. I have always wanted an old gas stove and we have found 2 for sale by the same person. They also have an old sink with the drainboard attached to it. I think it might work well for the egg house, too. The best part about them is they are really cheap. If we could make this happen for a couple of hundred dollars that will be really nice.

We do not intend to put any new appliances or cabinets in it. We are only looking at used things now. We hope to even find a used, gas, hot water heater. The windows need to be replaced and we will probably buy new ones and a new door so that it will be sealed up better than it is. It will be so nice to get all of my canning supplies in one space and not have to wash the eggs in the house.

I have ordered some of my seeds for the garden, but some of them were on back order. I hope they arrive soon. In the next two weeks I will start my seeds in containers so that they will be ready for the garden by May.

We are taking soil samples this weekend. We need to fertilize and lime our hay fields and get the vegetable garden ready. Taking a soil sample will let us know how much fertilizer and lime to put down. It cost too much to put down more than is needed. We may not even put down as much as is recommended, but at least we will know how much is needed.

Our goat herd has dwindled. We sold 10 and 2 died. We are expecting babies in the next couple of weeks and we still have one young buck that is almost ready to be sold.

The chicken flock is doing pretty well. The roosters are crowing like no body's business. We really must decide what to do with them. I will try to spend some time with them this weekend.

I have mixed feelings about the time change. I hate to loose an hour of sleep, but I do look forward to still having daylight when I get home in the evenings. I will be able to spend more time outside and I really need that.

I would like to ask for your prayers regarding my health. I may fill you in on that later. I know that God knows what He has in store for my life and He will give me the grace to make it through. Thanks in advance for your prayers.

Mae

May God grant you always...
A sunbeam to warm you,
A moonbeam to charm you,
A sheltering angel,
so nothing can harm you.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I Made Bread

I am excited that I acutally made a loaf of bread without the help of a bread machine and it was really good. I have enough dough left over to make 2 more loaves. I am going to make another one tomorrow night. I would do it tonight, but I have my treatment tonight.

I did put a pot roast in the crockpot so it will be done when I get home and Greg will not have to worry about cooking dinner. I know he appreciates that, he doesn't like to cook. He usually does make something really easy (hamburger helper) and I am gald he does. I just thought I'd give him a break this time.

We are changing my treatment a little this time. I will not be pretreated with benedryl. I will take Claratin 30 minutes before the treatment. I was having a reaction to the benedryl. I am hoping that the Claratin will not make me so sleepy and I can actually stay awake for the treatment instead of passed out on the couch. I also hope I feel better in the morning.

Have a great night!

May you have warm words on a cold evening,
a full moon on a dark night,
and the road downhill all the way to your door.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Whats Going On

I have been pretty busy at work this week, so when I get home I really don't feel like being on the computer. I have also not been doing very well at staying on top of the house work this week. This week end I intend to do a lot of cleaning, baking and cooking.

We do have to go to the court house this week end and see about getting a tax ID # to sell at the farmers market. This may be a deal breaker for us selling at the market. We will have to see what all this entails. I think we can still do well selling the eggs from home.

We sold some of our goats and have had one that isn't doing too well. We have given him shots from the vet so now we just wait and see.

I ordered the book "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day". The recipes look really good and I am going to make up a batch this weekend. I have tasted 2 of the breads from this book and they are really good. There is no kneading involved so I am excited about that. I just don't have the patience to knead bread for 10 minutes.

Maybe I'll have more time, and energy, to post more this week end.

Mae

“May flowers always line your path and sunshine light your day.
May songbirds serenade you every step along the way.
May a rainbow run beside you in a sky that's always blue.
And may happiness fill your heart each day your whole life through.”

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Egg House

We have decided to take one of the sheds and turn it into an egg house/canning kitchen. We are going to rip out everything in it. Dry wall the walls, put cabinets in it with countertops, a sink, refrigerator and a stove top.

We will use it to process the egss before we take them to the farmers market and to do all of the canning in. I am really excited about it. I will be able to keep all of that out of my kitchen in the house.

We are looking on craigs list for the things we need. We are going to look at a gas stove top tomorrow. I will be able to use my pressure canner on the it, I can't use it on my smooth top in the kitchen.

It does mean rearranging my freezers but I think that will work out better too.

I'll try to post pictures as we go.

Mae

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Weekend is Here!

Finally, Friday! I decided a few years ago that I would quit wishing away my life. You know, not start wishing it was Friday on Monday. I have been able to keep to that decision pretty well. However, I still get really excited when Friday rolls around.

At my old job in Florida, my FedEx man pointed out to me once, when I told him the week-end wasn't long, that there are 48 hours in a week-end and I only have to work 40 hours in a week. He was right. Why is it then that I get so excited when the weekend rolls around? It could be because I get to spend so much time with my sweet husband, or that I get to be home (the most wonderful place in the world), that I get to have time to work around my house, cook, and do whatever I want. This weekend I get to babysit Lily, that is exciting, too. I will be glad to see her.

I think being excited about the weekend is healthy, but I still refuse to wish my life away. I hope you all have a great weekend and a happy Valentine's day!

Mae
May the grace of God’s protection
And His great love abide
Within your home-within the hearts
Of all who dwell inside.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Depressing News

When I got home from work today, there was a letter from our insurance company. I guess our doctor has gotten tired of our insurance company and dropped them. We have to find new a doctor and the worst part is, there aren't any that are really close to us.

Most of them are in Ohio. I really don't want to drive 64 miles to go to the doctor. There are a couple that are only about 40 miles away, but that is still a haul. Every time I need to go to the doctor I am going to have to take at least 1/2 day off work.

Oh well, I guess it could be worse. At least Tricare makes my share of my treatments really small. Tricare is billed $95,000.00 each month for my treatments and I only pay around$70.00. The problem is they don't pay the doctors very well. $45,000.00 of that is written off as non allowable charges. You know with the doctors it's all about the money.

Just had to vent. I'm all better now.

Mae

'Tis better to buy a small bouquet
And give to your friend this very day,
Than a bushel of roses white and red
To lay on his coffin after he's dead.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Housekeeping Journal

I didn't do so well with the housekeeping journal this week. It was the week of my treatment and I was tired so I didn't get as much done.

I am finding that I really like it, even if I didn't follow it every day this week. It's really nice to have a menu planned for the entire week. Cooking doesn't seem to take as much time and meals are planned with leftovers for lunches. That kills 2 birds with one stone.

Today was shopping day and the menu helped with that, too. I knew what I had and what I needed. I wound up saving 32%. That is a lot lower than I use to do, but not bad for just getting back in the swing of things. I had over $20.00 worth of coupons and Body wash rang up wrong, so I got 1 free and then had $1.00 coupon on each one so I got 2 for $1.00. That was a deal.

I love it when Kroger sends me coupons for free stuff. Today I had one for free tomatoes and one for $2.50 off beef, when I bought $10.00 worth.

Add all of those savings to the money I didn't spend buying things I didn't need and I would say today was a success. Thanks to my housekeeping journal!


May you have the hindsight
to know where you've been
the foresight
to know where you're going
and the insight
to know when you're going too far.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Farm

We lost a goat over the weekend. I know that it is going to happen, but I always hate it when it does. I hate it for Greg, he really hates when one dies. He feels as if he is to blame, but sometimes things just weren't meant to be. Some animals are just not as strong as others and their immune systems are not the same. Some animals look very healthy and they are not. I guess it's the same with people. The worst part is, it always seems like it's the prettiest ones that die. We are still trying to sell some of them and need to be more proactive in that.

The chickens all seem to be doing well. I still haven't figured out how we got 3 roosters, but I think it will be fun to put one in with the older chickens and see what happens. I hope they will accept him. When it gets warmer we may start putting him in the coop at night and taking him out in the morning. We had a chicken that they almost killed when they were younger. (Chickens definitely have a pecking order.) When I talked to the UK Extension Poultry Specialist he said that if we put her back in the coop at night they may eventually accept her. So after she recuperated, we did that and they did finally accept her. Her name is Reba (because she is a survivor). Chickens are a different sort of creature. Greg says that they only think 2 things. 1-Can I eat it? 2-Can it eat me? I think he's right. Sometimes they almost seem loyal. They'll follow you around the yard like dogs, then you realize they are only following you to see if you'll give them something to eat, or stir up a grasshopper or other insect.

We have had so much snow this week that it seems hard to think about a garden so I haven't done any planning yet. I must get started this weekend.

Have a great day!
Mae

May God grant you always...
A sunbeam to warm you,
A moonbeam to charm you,
A sheltering angel,
so nothing can harm you.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Free Day

We have another free day. Our church was cancelled because of the snow. Our roads here are pretty bad for older people to be traveling on. But the great thaw has begun. It sounds like it is pouring rain. All the icicles are melting and falling from the roof and all the dripping sounds like rain.

I guess this means I will get all the house cleaning done that I didn't do yesterday because I was babysitting Lily. Of course, I did get a few pictures. She is just so stinking cute! Forgive me for the grandmother babblings.




It was nice to spend the day with her and to help April and Pete at the same time.

I guess I should get back to the cleaning and preparing for next week.

Mae



MAY YOU LIVE AS LONG AS YOU WANT
AND NEVER WANT AS LONG AS YOU LIVE

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snow Day

Today was a snow day. We have about 8 inches of snow and right in the middle is 1/2 an inch of ice. It snowed 4 inches yesterday before it turned in to sleet & freezing rain and did that for the rest of the night. About 9 this morning it started snowing again and snowed another 4 inches. It is really beautiful. This is looking out my front door.



And this is the woods on our property:

Since I was home I made a pot of soup. I am calling it Calico soup because it looks like Calico. I also made Honey Wheat Bread. We haven't eaten the bread yet but the soup is yummy. I am going to give the recipe here so that next time I want to make it I can remember what I did.
1 package ground chuck
1/2 onion
1 celery rib, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
1 Bay leaf
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 cup orzo
peas
corn
salt & pepper to taste
3 pints tomatoes
Boil ground chuck until it falls apart and is no longer pink. (if the ground meat has a lot of fat you may want to drain the meat, but I didn't). Add the onion, celery, bay leaf, garlic, carrots, and tomatoes. Simmer until vegetables are tender. Add corn & peas. Simmer until corn & peas are cooked. Add orzo and cook until tender. Remove bay leaf before serving.
I add peas from my left over container in the freezer (about 3/4 cup) and the smallest package of corn in the freezer (about 1/2 quart). Serve with biscuits or hot bread for dipping.
Have a great week.
Mae
May the grace of God’s protection
And His great love abide
Within your home-within the hearts
Of all who dwell inside.



Sunday, January 25, 2009

Happenings

Today it is snowing. It looks like we may have a couple of days of snow this week.

Last weekend I created a Homemaking Journal. I think I am really liking it. It made it so much easier to get up, look at the journal and see what I need to be doing that day. I made a list of chores for the morning and the evening. They have to be things that can be done quickly, before I leave for work or after I get home. I work 7.5 hours a day and drive an hour each way. That makes 9.5 hours a day that I am away from home. You would think that my house wouldn't get messy since we aren't home. But we are home just long enough to make a mess. This week the house stayed fairly clean.

I also am planning a menu for the week and am doing a lot of the prep before I leave for work. That is really helping, also.

The new chickens are growing fast. We think we may have a few roosters in the bunch. We ordered only hens so I think I will have to call the hatchery. Maybe they can replace them when we order again.

I am attending a class on Photo shop tomorrow. I am really excited about that. Also, it's a day out of the office. There has been a lot of tension there lately. So that will be a little break.

Next Saturday we are going to take Lily home with us for the day. April is painting the inside of her house and needs us to watch Lily. That will be fun for us. I am going to make sure I have the whole day free so I can just sit and hold her. I haven't seen her for 2 weeks and I am really missing her.

Mae

May you have the hindsight to know where you've been

the foresight to know where you're going

and the insight to know when you're going too far.