Monday, November 8, 2010
About a week late my husband threw his back out and was in a lot of pain for a couple of days. He went to the doctor and got a couple of shots and some medicine and he is doing much better.
Then on October 22 I got a call saying if I wanted to see my sister (Nell) I should come home. She also had Gaucher's disease and had recently been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Her body was just not strong enough to fight the cancer. She had been scheduled for surgery on November 5th. But she passed away on October 25th at 9:45 p.m. All of her sisters and 2 brothers-in-law, her twin daughters and her husband were there. Not all of us in the room with her but all there. Pretty much our whole family had been together that week-end. It has really been hard for us. We are all so close, I'd even say unnaturally close for these days. Our children are even very close. And this was kind of expected but we really didn't have time to adjust to the fact that we were really going to lose her. God is good and he will heal the hurt. We won't stop missing her, ever. She was number 3 of 7, the oldest girl, my second mother, my big sister and one of my dearest friends. She loved life, loved to have fun, loved to laugh, and loved her family. She was a wife, mother, grandmother, and sister.
Last April when all of us girls got together we had an award ceremony almost every one in the family received an award. Nell gave her acceptance speech and in her way she told us all good bye then. We all knew that was what she was doing and she had everyone in the room (including the wait staff) crying. She had given us instructions then for her funeral and then she told her husband and daughters the same instructions.
We carried out her wishes the best we could. She wanted us to wear bright colors, she only wanted graveside services with only one song, "I'll Meet You By the River" and she wanted my husband to perform the ceremony and read the 23rd Psalms. That's what she got.
She was very special to me and I will miss her greatly.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Over the weekend I made onion soup mix and taco seasoning mix, put more tomatoes in the freezer, cleaned out my food cabinets and did some major cleaning.
This weekend will be spent doing some more cleaning, the fridge and freezers need to be cleaned out and organized, and canning a few more tomatoes. We pick a 5 gallon bucket full every time we go out to the garden. There are also peas to pick and freeze. I plan to buy 120 ears of corn and get that in the freezer, also.
It looks as if the elder berries are almost ripe and I plant to make elder syrup for medicinal purposes. It is said to be really effective on colds and sinus problems.
The upstairs bedrooms need to be straightened and I plan to rearrange the office area. We have gained a new book case and file cabinet. The old file cabinet needs to be cleaned out and everything needs to be reorganized.
We are having friends to dinner tonight. There will be barbecued chicken, parmesan potatoes, peas, corn and dump cake for dessert. Yum!
Shopping this week has been really good. This week I got all this for FREE:
40 Sobe drinks
A $23.00 bag of cat food
A Netti Pot
2 Purex 3 in 1 (sample size packages)
The list just keeps growing, and the pantry gets fuller.
I am very thankful that God allows me to find these deals and has allowed and continues to allow me to learn how to stretch the items and the money.
Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
I tried to make my own spaghetti sauce this week. I am not sure that I am going to like the taste of it. It seems kind of bitter now. Maybe if I mix it with store bought spaghetti sauce it will be fine.
One tip I'll share about store bought spaghetti sauce is to keep a large baggie in the freezer. When I use a jar of spaghetti sauce, I turn the jar upside down in the baggie and let it drain. It takes a while to get enough to use, unless you use a lot of spaghetti sauce. But you will be surprised how much sauce is left in the jar after you use it.
Zipper cream peas are doing well. I have another mess (as we call it in the south) to shell and get in the freezer. The raccoons ate all of our corn so I am having to buy corn to put in the freezer. And something is killing our chickens. We lost one of our prettiest older hens last night. It is pretty upsetting when you've had a chicken for so long.
It has been pretty hot here in Northern Kentucky, it reminds me of Florida this week. The good part of that is it doesn't last long.
We have been cleaning out my mother's in law home this summer, they have moved into assisted living, and I have been bringing home lots of cook books. I have an addiction to cook books. I keep getting more and more, so I have decided to try to make at least one recipe from each book. This will probably take the rest of my life. But this week I made a recipe from an old cook book on potatoes. I think it was called Terrific Taters or something like that. Here is the recipe and it was delicious.
Seven Layer Dinner
2 cups sliced potatoes (I used red unpeeled potatoes)
1/4 cup chopped celery (I omitted)
1 lb ground beef (I used ground chuck)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup sliced carrots
2 cups canned tomatoes (I used fresh and added a little water)
1/4 cup rice (next time I will put the rice under the tomatoes)
Layer in order in a 1.5 quart casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for 1.5 hours. I had to put it in the microwave for about 6 minutes to finish cooking the rice. I don't think there was enough liquid to cook it very well so next time it will be under the tomatoes.
Did I say this was yummy!
Have a great day!
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
It is also harvesting time. Our peas are coming in faster than I can get them picked, shelled and frozen. The tomatoes are starting to come in. And the Lima beans and green beans are probably ready to be picked again.
So far I have put up 6 bags of corn, 5 bags of green beans, 4 pints of blackberry jelly, 3.5 quarts peach pie filling, one bag of peaches and 3 bags of tomatoes. That really isn't a lot, but we have been eating a lot of what we are picking. I have more tomatoes ready to be canned and some zucchini I need to shred for the freezer. I think I will make chocolate zucchini bars for the freezer, then when we want them we can just thaw them and ice them.
This summer has been really busy and we haven't had a lot of time to put into gardening and canning. We have to go to Louisville this Saturday and then I hope the rest of the weekends in August can be spent at home. There is a lot to do to get ready for winter. Fields need to bush hogged, the garden needs to be finished, flower beds need to be weeded & mulched, and blackberries need to be trimmed and trellised. And I need a few more days to float around in the pool. Oh well! That's life.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
The potatoes in barrels aren't turning out as well as I hoped. I emptied the first barrel and only came out with about 20 potatoes. Bummer! We still have to empty the other 3 barrels which I plan to do this weekend.
We are swamped with zucchini and the squash and tomatoes are beginning to come in. For lunch today I had a salad made completely from things I had grown. It only had tomatoes, cucumber and lettuce in it. I could have added onion and peppers but I am still waiting for them to get a little bigger before I harvest them. This is the first time I have had any success with lettuce and I am growing it in a planter. I intend to plant some more in another planter soon.
The corn, peas and beans are coming along and looking really healthy. Blackberries are being picked on a daily basis. I think I will make jelly this year, I haven't made it in a while.
We went to Georgia for the 4th of July and brought back peaches. I made canned some pie filling, but was a little disappointed with it this year, it is a little tart.
We also brought Daniel, Larissa and Dixie home with us for the week. April and Lily came out and stayed most of the week with us. We had our home full of our children and grand-girls. We had so much fun, swimming in the pool, eating and just hanging out. We did take a couple of day trips, one to Natural Bridge and one to Louisville to see the great grandparents. We were all wore out by the end of the week. But it was well worth it.
I had a major birthday this year and the kids and Greg threw me a surprise birthday party. It was a lot of fun and meant a lot to me to have my friends and family around on my birthday.
I am feeling very blessed this week.
Have a great week.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
The potatoes in the barrels are starting to die back. I hope that is because they have made lots of potatoes, however I haven't been able to scratch any out yet. I am thinking of making the wooden bins for next year. You can remove some of the boards from the bottom and have access to the potatoes. You can't really do that with a barrel.
I have one tomato on a plant that I planted in a container. The container is a wine barrel ( a whole one). It came with an insert made of styrofoam and lined with a plastic liner so you could use it to ice down sodas. I took out the plastic liner and poked a few holes in the bottom for drainage planted 2 different kinds of basil, onions and a tomato in the middle. Greg came along behind me and planted 2 more tomatoes. I know there isn't room for 3 tomatoes so I think I will try to transplant 2 of them. The rest of the tomatoes are blooming and look really healthy.
The squash and zucchini are looking good and so are the peas and beans. I am going to try to plant some lettuce in the flower bed on the shady side of the porch. It's too shady there for most flowers, I do have a couple planted there, but I thought that since the summer is turning out so hot maybe some lettuce and radishes in the flower bed would be a good idea.
I have really become more and more intent on growing food. I have two huge flower pots that I usually plant with flowers to go one either side of the front steps, this weekend I am going to plant some peppers & lettuce and maybe even a cabbage or a couple of radishes in them. Vegetable plants are pretty, too. They offer different shades of green and peppers can have lots of color to add to a pot.
Our vacation is just around the corner. We will be going to Georgia for the 4th of July weekend and then Daniel, Larissa and Dixie will follow us home and spend the rest of that week with us. We are planning a couple of day trips, one to Natural Bridge, and one to an orchard. We are also planning to spend at least one evening catching lightening bugs and one evening on the back of the farm watching stars. I am also sure that lots of time will be spent in the pool.
My sister and husband will coming for a visit next week and we are looking forward to that. On the 26th we are having people over from church for a cookout. We are suddenly getting really busy, that's what usually happens in the summer and then it's over so quickly you wonder where the summer went.
I hope you enjoy your summer.
Monday, June 7, 2010
I don't know about you but I think I am still capable of making a decision about what I want to serve my family and I don't know why the government thinks fresh milk is so terrible. People have been drinking it for years.
I want get into it any more, Kendra has done a wonderful job on her post. Please read it.
Friday, June 4, 2010
Monday April and Pete came over and we were actually able to get in the pool. The water has been so nice for this early in the year. We got a little sunburned, but that is getting better.
We grilled flank steaks on the grill and Greg made his famous home fries and corn on the cob on the grill. We cooked the whole meal on the grill and then ate it outside. The weather has really been great! Most people here think it's hot, but I LIKE it!
Our garden is pretty much planted. I still need to get some squash planted. It turned out I didn't have any seeds. I'll try to pick some up this weekend and get them planted.
The potatoes in the barrels are getting huge. I have stopped adding soil to the barrels. Last night I dug down to see if I could find any potatoes, but didn't find any yet.
Daniel called me last night to learn how to make blackberry jelly. They have been picking them in Florida and they should be making jelly today. I hope it turns out well for them. Our blackberries are coming on nicely. We even have a few that have turned red.
There is a tomato blight spreading through Northern Kentucky so I need to get copper to put on them. It is a very bad blight and seems to kill the plant within just a couple of days. Ours still look healthy, but I don't want to lose them.
I pray you have a good productive or lazy weekend. Whichever you'd like. I'd personally like a little of both.
Friday, May 28, 2010
In the first 3 barrels, the potatoes are starting to bloom. My daddy always said that means they are making potatoes. I am really excited that this seems to be working so well.
I have planted a bush bean in each of the 3 barrels, I read that this keeps away the Colorado Potato Beetle. They haven't sprouted yet so I am not sure how that is going to work.
Last night I picked the last of the cherries from my little tree and I think I have enough for 2 pies. I will make one pie and can 1 quart of pie filling for later in the year. If I could find more cherries I would make more. I don't know anyone with cherry trees. There is a house down the road with one, but I don't know them...maybe I should introduce myself. Hi, I'm Mae and I want to pick your cherries. Do you think that would make a good first impression?
We are still trying to get our garden planted. We planted tomatoes and squash last night, but now it is raining again. Not sure when we'll be able to get back in the garden. Oh well, God is in control of the garden and He knows what we need. I will trust that it will be planted when it's planted and grow as He sees fit.
I hope you all have a great holiday weekend. Enjoy your families.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
1. Hang t-shirts from the arm pits area
2. Hang button up shirts upside down at the seams.
3. Dish towels, towels, napkins, wash cloths, anything square from the corners
4. Sheets (I love line dried sheets) I fold in fourths and hang with the fold at the top.
5. Pillow cases get hung upside down.
6. I hang jeans from the waist with one peg at each front pocket,
7. Dress pants get hung folded along the creases of the legs the pegged at the waist.
8. Underwear gets hung just as you would wear them with a peg at each side.
9. Bras get one peg at the snap.
10. Rugs get one peg at each corner (if they are allowed to drape over the line you get a
crease where the line was.)
11. I have an umbrella clothes line so I always hang the underwear in the center of the line.
That way everybody doesn’t see them as they drive by or stop in.
When I take the clothes out of the washer, I shake them a little to separate them from each other, and place them in the laundry basket. When hanging them on the line I take them out of the basket and give them a good snap. This helps to shake out some of the wrinkles. Then hang them. Once they are dry, I un-peg them and give them another good snap (sometimes insects land on the clothes and this helps to remove them.) I usually fold them before I put them in the laundry basket, this also helps with wrinkles.
It is best to hang clothes out on a windy day, all the flapping around helps to soften them a little.
Line dried clothes are always stiffer, but towels and dish towels are so much more absorbent. Have you ever tried to dry a spill with a towel and it just smeared it around? You don’t usually get that with a line dried towel. It will really soak up a spill.
Other benefits of using a clothes line are:
It lowers your electric bill.
It helps your clothes last longer (the dryer is really harsh on elastic and all that lint you clean out of the lint trap are really fibers from your clothes.)
You get fresh air and sunshine while you are hanging them out and taking them in.
You also get a little bit of exercise.
I also get the joy of the peace and quiet of being outside with no noise except the occasional car passing by.
I only use my clothes line in the summer and usually only get to use it on the weekends, but with the weather we’ve been having lately, it’s hard to get them hung out at all because of the rain.
I have tried hanging them inside, but we just don’t have much space for that. If you can’t hang your clothes outside there are some really good accordion style clothes lines that will fit in front of a window, on a porch or patio.
Friday, May 14, 2010
1 spam single
6 bars zest
burts bees toothpaste
1 box Kashi Cereal
King Size Reeses Cup
Cover Girl Makeup
Not bad, so far.
I don’t know why I never tried this while my kids were little, but last year I thought I’d give it a try. It made the best lemonade!! So I thought I’d share my recipe.
For 1 gallon of lemonade you need:
4 large lemons
1/2 cup sugar (you can substitute honey)
Wash lemons and roll on counter to soften (room temp lemons work best. Slice lemons in thick slices and place in the bottom of a 1 gallon pitcher (do not squeeze), pour sugar or honey on top of lemons and let sit for about 10 minutes. Add 4 cups hot water and stir until sugar or honey is dissolved. Fill pitcher with cool water. Refrigerate & enjoy.
Once that pitcher of lemonade is consumed, put the same amount of sugar/honey on top of the lemons and let it sit for another 10 minutes and repeat the remaining steps. The second pitcher is better than the first.
I have only reused the lemons once in this manner, but I think next time I might try for a third pitcher. I wouldn’t be wasting anything but a little sugar if it’s not good.
I haven’t tried this with stevia or other sweeteners. The sugar draws out the juice of the lemons as it sits on them. I know it is still a sugary drink, but it’s better than a lot of drinks that kids get.
This is also, an excellent way to stretch your dollars, and control what you give your children. You can work with the recipe until it meets your needs.
Enjoy a cool glass!
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Here is what I bought this morning:
3 Qt Azalea normally $9.98 paid $2.00
3 Qt Raspberry normally $9.98 paid $2.00
3 Qt Red Currant normally $9.98 paid $2.00
1 Qt Basil normally $7.20 paid $0.36
1 Qt Dill normally $7.20 paid $0.36
2.5 Qt Dianthus normally $12.00 paid $0.67
2.5 Qt Perennial normally $12.00 paid $0.67
I would never pay the normal price for any of these plants. It's just too rich for my blood.
Plus I bought some fertilizer for 5.98. My total spent was 14.88. I got all of those plants for $8.90!!
When shopping the clearance section of the garden center there are a few things to keep in mind.
Annuals only last for one year so if their bloom time is over there is no reason to purchase them. Some annuals will bloom all summer but an unhealthy plant may take the whole summer to revive. I don’t usually buy annuals.
Perennials come back each year so even if they have passed their bloom season for this year they should bloom again next year.
Fruits - You don’t usually want fruits to produce in the first year so you really aren’t loosing production time and they will offer you years of fresh fruit. If a distressed plant has fruit on it when you buy it it is better to prune the fruit off so that the energy of the plant can go into root production.
Herbs—I look specifically for herbs. They usually respond well to TLC and I cut them back to dry at the end of the season and have my own herbs all year.
I take these plants home and give them a good dose of liquid fertilizer. When I plant these plants I add some high phosphorus fertilizer in the bottom of the hole. Make sure they get plenty of water & feed every couple of weeks.
I am not a green thumb by any means but I have never been disappointed in the plants I have bought this way. I can’t even remember loosing one of them. I have paid a premium price for plants that have lasted only one season, if that long.
I think I might stop by every Thursday morning to check out the clearance section...I might even stop again on my way home tonight. They had so much to choose from and they workers were clearing out more racks as I left!
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Today we are going to Louisville to have lunch with Greg's mom and continue to clean out her house. They have moved into assisted living and we need to get the house cleaned out so it can be put on the market.
I want to tell you a little about an experiment we are doing this year. After much research we are attempting to grow potatoes in a barrel. So far it seems to be working. We are at the point of adding more dirt & compost for the first time. I will post pictures and instructions when I have more time. But in the mean time if you just type in "Growing potatoes in a barrel" plenty of pictures are on the web.
Have a blessed day.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
I have said before that when my children were little I did stay home with them. Now that they are grown and on their own, I work away from home. I must confess that I long to be home. But for this season, I will work away from my home. When the bills are all paid off and my retirement is set I will stay home again.
I believe that this verse shows us that even if you are a stay at home mom, you should find ways to make extra money. There are lots for ways you can make a little extra. I am always searching for ways to make extra money. Last year I designed and layed out a show bill for a local theater company, I do surveys on-line, I do rebates, and clip coupons, I sell eggs from our chickens. There are so many ways that you can make a little extra, or save money on things that you have to buy. (A penny saved is a penny earned.) If you can't think of ways to earn money, think of ways to save money.
I have started keeping track this year of the things I get for free. I have only been doing it for a couple of weeks but the list is getting impressive.
2 gallons milk
14 servings of instant coffee
4 full size Olay products
1 Olay sample
These are things that I got for free with very little time or effort put in. I have also gotten $60.00 from rebates and surveys. I know that is not a lot, but it is enough for a little treat or to throw on a bill or put in savings (my number one choice). I am trying to put all of my survey and rebate money in savings this year just to see how much I make doing those two things.
I hope you have a great day!
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. Proverbs 31: 10 - 12
No, I am not claiming to be the perfect wife, in fact I am far from it even though my sweet husband disagrees, I know my self better. I am just hoping to compare myself honestly to God's standards and make some improvements. Looking into God's mirror to examine my true self. It is not easy to pick out your faults and try to improve them, but it must be done. Proverbs 31 is a mirror of what God wants us to be as Godly, virtuous women.
Back to where I left off. So that he shall have no need of spoil. Spoil in the bible is money gotten from some way other than working. Usually it was from a battle, or robbery. These days, it's from credit cards, loan companies and the like. It means living beyond you means. Now I have never been one that loved shopping or had to have the latest and greatest fashion, but I have not always been the best shopper either. I will work harder at living within our means. Try to find ways to cut back more, earn extra cash when possible. I don't want to be living off of "spoils". That word is a really fitting word, women who are spoiled financially, are often living off of spoils.
She will do him good and not evil all the days of HER life. The word HER really struck me as I was typing it. You might think it would say HIS life. Most men die before their wives do. You can do evil to someone even after they have died. I have seen spouses, men and women, who have done evil to their spouses after they died. I know someone that after their spouse died, told their children what a terrible parent the spouse had been, and how horrible their marriage had been. How do you think that made the children feel?
Doing them good and not evil-Since studying this, I have tried to ask myself on a daily basis, am I doing him good. Doing him good means, to me, more than just keeping him fed and clothed. It means helping him to do what needs to be done so that he can concentrate on his work when he is at work. Or helping him to be what God would have him be. I had a pastor once, that said a woman's role is that of the Holy Spirit in the marriage. We can influence our husbands in ways that sometimes we are not even aware of. Make sure you are influencing your husbands in good ways. Pray for him, love him, and care for him.
Until next time.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Monday, January 4, 2010
I still have some of the Christmas decorations to put away and some cleaning to do before the house is back to normal.
We really enjoyed having the kids home. It is always good to spend time with them, but at Christmas it is so much more of a blessing. Maybe one day we won't be so far apart.
The grandgirls were so much fun together. I think our little Lily really enjoyed her older cousin. They laughed so much together it brought joy to my heart. Dixie is such a smart and beautiful little girl. She's growing up way to fast.
It is always sad to see them go, but this year it was sadder than most. I'm not sure why. The house seems quiet and empty now that they have gone. We really miss Daniel and Larissa.
This week will be spent on getting the rest of the house back in shape, more organization in the office and more budgeting and planning. I feel like I have been off track for a while now and it's time to get back at it.
I hope you all have a wonderful year.