Friday, September 30, 2011

Oh my gosh, what a ride it's been!

I'm so sorry I haven't been here in so long.  Life got ridiculous there for a bit!

Scouts started back up, Awana started back up, 4H started back up and we had some other church and school stuff going on.  Was hard to find time to sleep there for a bit.

OK, lots to fill you in on!

Having a blast with my Scout den.  Small group of great boys and man, are we having fun!  My oldest son's den is going camping in the next month and it's looking like it might be pretty cool weather by then.  That would be nice for them instead of baking in the tents like potatoes in an oven.

I broke a tooth.  Well, it broke is probably a better description.  Best guess by the dentist is that it had a fault, wasn't formed correctly to begin with and it just took this long for it to get bad enough to break.  I wasn't even eating anything hard!  I took a bite of  a ham sandwich!  So I spent a few days with them filing it and figuring out what to do with it and then getting it fixed and they used one of those ring things that go around it while they were working on it and man, did it tear up my gums.  Not to mention they are a bit shot happy at this office!  lol.  They gave me the numbing stuff and then told me they were going to do it again to be sure it didn't wear off.   I'd have rather just had the first set, but, whatever.  The good news is that they did fix it, it's smooth and looks good and I'm happy with it.

I have a relative who was pregnant with twins and she went into premature labor this week and they tried to stop it but ended up delivering her because they couldn't get the contractions stopped and then her water broke.  Both babies are small but are doing OK right now.  One is not quite 4 pounds and one is a teeny bit over 4 pounds, so pretty good weights.  She did get the steroid shots for their lung development, I know that helps tremendously.  As of my last update one was still on cpap but they thought would come off it today some time.  Twin girls!  No names yet, but hopefully soon.

The weather is cooling off here quite nicely.  To the point where I need to check the 10 day forecast today.  I think I may need to pull my green tomatoes and get them in the house pretty soon.

I'm making a small batch of tomato sauce today.  Yay.

I need to do some more reading and researching about making dishwasher soap.  I could not find liquid castile soap around here, only bar castile soap, so I guess I'm back to making powder dishwasher detergent. Will keep you updated on that.

OK, have to get back in the kitchen and check on my sauce.  I hope everyone has been doing well.

Friday, September 23, 2011

What would you do with it?

We have this in the garage.

It's a deer hide from one of the does DH got last year.  It's not a pretty shape as they were already working on her when I went out there and asked them to save the hide because she was so big, body-wise.

It's been salted and tanned but it didn't get 'worked' as well as it should because the guy (a friend who wanted to do it for practice) let it dry too much in that stage.  So it's semi-soft, but not super pliable soft, if that makes any sense.

We are in a rental, so I can't tack it to the wall (and it is an odd shape because two guys were skinning her and they didn't cut the front quarters parts at the same place).


What would you do with it?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Good to know

Apparently the honey bees consider the tomatoes to be theirs.  They do not want to share.

(This is the top of my hand, so I know I didn't squeeze or grab it accidentally.)

(The good side of this is that I haven't been stung by a bee in years and years.  My reaction was:  Oh, will you get Off and I scraped it off.  I know it will die, poor thing.  I want some hives in the future, so good to know it didn't hurt that bad since I really couldn't remember.)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

How's your day going?

It's a busy day around here, but it's good to feel really productive, so I'm not complaining about that.  :)

I'm on my fourth load of laundry right now.  Dinner is in the slow cooker.  I have another batch of tomatoes in the dehydrator, mopped the floors and am waiting on a phone call back from the doctor's office so I can tell them what a horrible job their fill in pediatrician is doing and why we won't be back until next year when the regular pediatrician comes back.

Oh, speaking of laundry, I had to make more laundry detergent this morning.  I came home from errands yesterday (including getting Mawmaw books at the library because she likes to read Westerns but won't go to the library with us) to find that she had used up all of my laundry detergent.  The homemade detergent.  There was easily enough left for another 10 loads or more. :(  First she lied and said she had no idea what had happened to it.  Well, it was there when I left and gone when I got back and you were the only one home, then she said she used it all.

I've explained, shown her, made sure there is a tablespoon in there to measure it with (and shown her) but, still, she 'didn't think it looked like enough, so I just dumped it all in there.'  The real kicker is that she used it all to wash two shirts of hers.  Yes, two shirts.  Only two shirts.  And of course she never changes the settings, so she dug two shirts out of the clothes hamper (knowing I wash daily), put them in the washer, dumped in all of my detergent and then washed it on a large load setting.  Then she ran the dryer for an hour or more to dry them.  You know, because there's no way she's going to go outside and hang them up like I do.  Or even drape them over a chair or hang them on a hanger somewhere.

Before she moved in with us (deemed unable to live alone by her doctor) she lived in low income housing in another state.  She and her late husband had no plans for retirement other than (seriously, she'll tell you this) to live with and off of their children.  Didn't work so well after he passed away and she outlived her kids.  So, when she was in low income housing she paid a teeny tiny rent amount and her utility bills were all subsidized.

Hey, as far as she was concerned, her electric bill was never over $75 per month no matter how many lights she left on and how hot she ran the heater in the winter and her water was around $25, the phone was $15, etc.

When she got bored with watching TV, she'd wash stuff.  A few things, here and there, just to give herself something to do to pass the time.

I've explained it, I've shown her our bills, I've shown her how much water you use to wash one load and how we are very carefully watching our budget and she says she understands.........and yet..............I'm out of detergent.

So, I used the new to me food processor and made some more.  I guess I'll be hiding it when I leave the house now.  I don't know what else to do about it.

I did put a paper with this batch and I'm going to mark every time I wash a load.  That way I can get a true idea of how many loads of laundry one batch will wash for us.  I'm excited to find out how many it is!

I've also been reading about the homemade dishwasher detergent.  I use the powder kind but I'm reading that homemade powder dishwasher detergent doesn't work as well if you have hard water.  We do, so I'm thinking I might try making the liquid type and try it.  I have to get some castile soap before I can make it.  Will report back and let you know how it goes!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Mawmaw-ism for today

It's a wonderful day today.  We got some needed rain and it's cool with a light breeze.

Mawmaw asked me if it was cold outside.  I told her no, it was nice, but if she was going out to walk around, she'd probably want a light jacket as she gets cold easier than I do.

Her response:

Oh, I love days like this.  I don't like it when it's too hot.  I don't like it when it's too cold, either.  I like it when it's just perfect.  I think if everyone felt like I do, it would be a much better world we live in.

There you go.
She just solved the whole not getting along with others issue right there, it's all weather preference related, apparently.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Recycled cooking

That's what I sometimes call 'use up the left overs night' around here.  Most of the time if we have several containers of various left overs from the week, we do a pot luck type dinner where the first person in the kitchen gets the best selection and we clean out the fridge by eating them up.

Since the weather cooled off so nicely, I decided to make a casserole of sorts.  I had about one link of sausage, so I cut that up and browned it with onions and garlic.  I cooked a partial box of stelline pasta I had in the cabinet (left over from when I made soup, which is usually what I use that pasta for) and put it in the skillet with the sausage.  I also had two ears of corn in the fridge so I cut them off and threw them in along with some green peas I had left.  I added a can of reduced fat, reduced sodium cream of mushroom soup and I shredded up a small piece of sharp cheddar cheese and mixed it in, too.  While that was going on I'd used the broiler to brown up some sourdough bread that had gotten a bit stale.  Took the bread out, put the casserole in a dish and threw it in the oven for a bit, made a big salad to go with it and dinner was served.

No left overs this time!

Saturday, September 17, 2011


If I haven't made it clear, we love Mawmaw, but there are times where you cannot help but laugh at things that happen sometimes.

Deer season is coming.  Hubby bow hunts.  It's an old bow, but it's served him well and it works and he's good with it, so I'm all for it.  Fills up the freezer.  :)  He and a few buddies have been practicing in the backyard after work a few evenings per week, getting ready.

On to my story:

Oldest child has been sick and was home from school.  I hear Mawmaw call him over to the back door by the kitchen.

She wants to know "What's that thing out there?  Is it an animal?"

Child says:  Yes, it's a deer target.

Mawmaw:  A deer target?

Child:  Yes, they shoot their bows at it to practice.

Mawmaw:  Why doesn't it move when they shoot at it??!?!!!?????

Mom, look!

That is what my middle child was saying as the door opened from outside.  It was followed by the words:

I caught a stray!

Which was proven by middle child carrying INTO THE HOUSE (upside down, no less) a striped cat.  It looked like this one, only bigger.  This is not a picture of the actual cat, I got this picture off Google.  This all happened in mere seconds, no time for pictures.

So, about the time I looked up from the stove and saw the cat, I said "Oh, no,...." but I didn't get to finish that sentence because the cat saw Patches.  Remember Patches?  Patches saw the cat, the cat righted itself, jumped down and flew out the still open door with Patches hot on his tail (lol).  Didn't know the old man still had it in him!

So, out the door go the striped cat, then Patches, then the child who brought in the cat (trying to catch them), then the youngest child, followed by me yelling for the kids to stop chasing the cats!

(Don't you wish you were here to witness this crazy parade??)

Middle child is crying because 'I lost our cat!'  Youngest is crying because they didn't get to see the new kitty.  (lol)

Middle child just wanted to bring Patches a friend so he'd have someone to play and cuddle with, he says.  Sit them both down on the porch and explain that grown up boy kitties don't like to share their homes (how on Earth did I not pass this info. along before now???) and that's why Patches was running the other one off.  I'm glad the other one ran, honestly, because Patches does have all his claws and I'm sure the other one probably does, too, and it could have been a real mess.  So, I get that explained, tell them that I know Patches will be back, he knows where the food comes from, but I'm going to go see if I can find him in the wood line, so stay on the porch.

I go crawling under the brush (literally, my big butt crawling to get in there, not a pretty sight, glad for no pictures of that part) and see Patches.  Thankfully he'd stopped on our side of a fence line.  I was talking to him and got about 5 feet from him when that other cat came back within eyesight of Patches and off he went again, out of the brush, back through the yard to the other side and back in the brush over there.

Mama is less than amused.  Crawl back out of the bushes, cross the yard, crawl back in bushes.  Oh, thorny vines, yippee!  Finally caught the darn cat and crawled out while keeping a firm grip on him and get him back to the house.

Mommy saves the day, yay!  I bet Patches slept well last night.  That's the most exercise he's had in years!  lol.

I'm sure the cat wasn't a stray, too, just someone's outside cat.  It was in great shape, well fed, shiny coat and friendly enough that my kid could easily catch it and carry it to the house.

Ended the event with this:

The next time you catch that cat (because there WILL be a next time, I know), just bring it to the porch to show it to all of us, OK?

OK, Mom.

Friday, September 16, 2011

What a beautiful day!

What a gorgeous day today!  The high today is supposed to be in the mid 60s.  Lovely!

I'm doing some baking for a bake sale for a group we support.  So far I've baked a strawberry and a lemon cake and I have banana bread cooking now.  Once that's done I'll make a blackberry cobbler.  Yes, I'm using some of my freezer stash of black berries!  I'm going to make some fudge later, too.

It smells good in here and it's so great to be able to bake with the windows all open.  The house doesn't get too hot, the breeze is wonderful.  The Lord truly has blessed us with a great day today and I am rejoicing in it for sure!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Still teasing

And another one

Just teasing

A sneak peek at something I've been working on.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

My find!

Do you remember me talking about the brand new food processor I bought and had to return because it broke the third time I tried to use it?  Shredding cabbage broke it, of all things!

Well, I'm so happy now!

Look what I found at a yard sale the other day!


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

An award??? For me?

I'm rarely at a loss for words, but I just found myself wordless.  As you all know, I'm new to the blogging thing.  I often times think I'm talking (writing) to myself and that's OK.  I have found some GREAT blogs to read regularly.  Some smaller, some larger, but they all reach out to me for various reasons, shared values, interests, outlooks and chaos amongst the list.  I always find myself lifted up after reading what my *friends* are up to, what they are dealing with, how they succeed or fail but determine to continue.

I started reading this morning and found myself, my teeny unimportant blog, mentioned on one of those blogs!  Not only mentioned, but given an award.  Not only was I given an award, but more importantly, what she said proves that there ARE a lot of us out here that are alike.  We seem to search each other out and man, what a wonder the internet is for that purpose!

I'm rambling a bit, I know, but it made me so happy to be considered worth reading by someone who's doing so many of the things I aspire to do eventually.

So, thank you, TinyGardener
You made my day!

TinyGardener bestowed upon me the

"Liebster" is a German word meaning dear, sweet, kind, nice, good, beloved, lovely, kindly, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.

The Liebster is awarded to spotlight up and coming bloggers who currently have less than 200 followers.

1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.

2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.

3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.

4. Have faith that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers.

5. And most of all - have fun!

OK, now to name my top five picks.

1.  Carolyn at KrazoAcres.  Not only does the have one of the cutest kiddos ever, she makes me want to own goats desperately while making me dread the very idea at the same time.  If you have not read about her goat wrestling, you MUST, I tell you!

2.  HardWorkHomestead.  I cannot tell you how much I drool over her new wood fired cook stove.  She gardens, cans, has long term food storage.  She has a solar system, a real ice box and like me, didn't get grapes this year.

3.  FripperyFarm  I love that they head out to go clothes and grocery shopping, end up doing neither one of those, but do come home with a new goat instead!   I've just recently found this blog and am catching up, but I'm loving it so far.

4.  She's in Australia, she makes cheese, she cooks beef tongue and, oh, did I mention the CHEESE?????

5. Garden Now-ThinkLater  If you read her self description, we might be twins except for the pesky fact that I can't knit.  :)  A fellow military wife trying to juggle it all while making it simpler.  We can all use some of that.


What do you do when you have some tomatoes on the counter that aren't being used?  There are too many to be eaten here and there and not enough to can anything.

I dried them.  I've never dried tomatoes before, but it was super easy (basically you just cut thinly and dry until they make a clinking noise when you drop them on the counter top) and now I'll have them to use in soups and stews over the winter.

Cut up and on the trays:

When they were dry:

This is the true color they are but the glare is pretty bad.

Better about glare, but color is horrible.
Can't win with this!


Where to start?

OK, the tenants are ducking the manager, refusing to return his calls or texts and no, they still haven't paid a penny for this month's rent even though the manager confirmed that they do still have some stuff in the house.  People never cease to amaze me, and not in a good way.  :(   Will see what happens.

Scouts has started up again.  New dens and a new pack this year.  I'm a co-leader this year and we plan to have a lot of fun with the kids.

I've got a sick kiddo at home.  He's been running a fever since Friday afternoon.  Straight on, no break in it.  He's also got a very steady cough but it's a dry sounding cough and his lungs sound clear, thank goodness.  Doctor wants to see him tomorrow afternoon if it hasn't broken and he's not better.  Guessing they'll throw an antibiotic at it and see if it does anything.   This is my never wants to miss school kid, so not only does he feel miserable, he's VERY irritated on top of it.  lol.

I think I got the pictures of my dried tomatoes fixed so I'm going to see if I can get them posted.  For some reason the camera was telling me the pictures were not in a recognized format - when the camera is the same one that took them and PUT THEM in that format!  lol.  Who knows!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

There is a fire hydrant near our home

This is what it looks like out there right now.

Everyone is fine.  There is, or was, rather, a small wooden building right down the road.  I've been told it's been empty and unused for years.  As of tonight, it is no more.  

The kids were excited to see them using the hydrant and hooking up the hoses.  It's a small town and volunteer fire department, so they all waved and yelled Hello to us.  They did a great job, knocked it down fast and had someone on traffic duty turning people around to keep them out of the way.  They'll be packing up and heading out soon, I'm sure, as there hasn't been any smoke for a while now and I could see most of them standing around watching instead of doing stuff, so I knew it must be out.

Good job, guys and gals!

How is everyone doing?

I had some pictures I was going to put up of me drying some tomatoes, but for some reason they aren't uploading, so I'll wait and try again tomorrow, I guess.

No word from the realtor yet.  Sigh.

Today I had to take Mawmaw to a doctor's appoint so we drove 40 minutes to get there only to be told that for some unknown reason they had made her appointment in another city another hour away.  At an office we've NEVER been to.  No idea where it even is.  ????????   So, that was a wasted trip.  Gee, thanks for letting me waste that gas, folks.

I've been working on a small quilt today.  It'll be a gift, so I won't show you all of it in case the person reads here.  I don't think she does, but you never

I hope to finish the top tonight and then I can take a picture and show you at least part of it.

We got some light rain today and, while we need it, I can't help but wish it was Texas getting it instead.  Yes, I'm a Texas girl and my home state is literally burning up.  So very heart breaking.   If you've got time for an extra prayer, the firefighters and residents down there can sure use them right now.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Sorry for not posting yesterday, things got really hectic around here.  We own a home in another state that is rented out and our wonderful neighbors there alerted us to the fact that the tenants were moving out over the holiday weekend.  Without notifying us or the management company, of course.  Called the manger this morning and he said they had left him a message on Thursday that they would have to pay rent late but would drop it in the box with late fees over the weekend.


They didn't.

So now I'm just hoping that on top of skipping out of the lease, they also didn't destroy the house.  Manager is going over there later today to check it out.  Thank God for good neighbors!

Then we have Scout drama going on (changing packs due to leadership issues) and just life in general got in the way.

I hope you all had a great Labor Day Weekend!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Hey, lady!

I was working on dinner last night and looked out the side window and saw this:

Can you see the hummingbird on that metal thing that holds my suet feeder?  He/She was staring into the house.  I went to get the camera and it was still there, staring at me.  I took it's picture, then it flew off.

It landed here.  On top of the pole that holds the hummingbird feeder.  The EMPTY hummingbird feeder.
You could just imagine the talk in his head:  Hey, lady!  I'm HUNGRY OUT HERE!

I filled it back up for him/her.  I hope she enjoys it!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Weight update

Or down-date, as the case may be.  Just a quick update to keep myself accountable.

I'm down 10 pounds now.

Yay, me!

Kale chips

Have you made these?  I found this online and thought I'd give it a try because it would be something different when I want something crunchy.

So, basically, you wash and cut up a bunch of kale.  I cut out the big vein running down the center, but the top part where it's small is fine as are the small veins going out to the sides.

 Dry it as best you can and drizzle a little bit of olive oil on it and mix it around to get some on all of the kale.  Then you sprinkle sea salt on the kale, again, mixing it around and sprinkling some more.

Then put it on your trays and pop it in your dehydrator.  I took out every other tray so it would have plenty of room because the kale sort of stuck up a bit but if your trays are deeper, you won't have that issue.

The directions I found said it takes four hours but it was done in three hours, so I guess my Excalibur dehydrator is a little warmer than their dehydrator or something.  It's done when it's crunchy/crumbly.  :)

This picture is a bit blurry and dark, sorry, but this is what they looked like when they were done.

Yummy!  Next time I'll add a little bit more salt, but they were good.  The kids liked them, too.  Always a plus!

Friday, September 2, 2011


Little guy is NOT a happy camper.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Oh! I forgot!

Who, me, forget something?  LOL!

I was looking at the pictures on the camera and realized I forgot to come back and update you on the freezer.  It's all finished.

Just as a refresher, here are the before pics:

The during (just so you know I really did defrost it and clean it):

The afters:

Top shelf is chicken, next is pork, next is beef and venison.  There are a whopping eight packages of venison left in there.  Glad deer season is coming up.  Last year deer season ended here because we ran out of freezer space.

This year I'm going to can some venison, just because I've never done it before.  Plus, bonus!, I have this beauty in the basement that we can fill up.  Right now it's unplugged but I plan to put JUST venison in it, that way everything won't get all mixed up again.  It belongs to the landlord but she doesn't have room for it at her home, so she leaves it here and said we could use it.  Woohoo!