Sunday, November 6, 2011

Holiday Shopping

If you or anyone you know would like some simple, elegant, incredibly adorable jewelry...check out this Etsy shop.

http://www.etsy.com/shop/proteales

I love Samantha's things. I think my favorite piece she ever made is the Papillon Large Green Butterfly ring. It's made with a piece of a butterfly wing. It's incredible. I'll try to post a pic here.

Gorgeous, right? So check it out.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Too much bad stuff

We've had a string of bad things happen lately. I must say, I'm tired of it.

First were some really sad personal things. Not going into details, but it broke my heart. Let's hope I never have to go through something like that again.

There have been a few deaths in the family and of close friends. Phoebe and I spent last weekend at my mom's because my step dad's brother passed away suddenly. He was ill, but they didn't expect him to go so quickly. One of my grandmother's sister's passed the same day he did. Then yesterday one of my husband's friends lost his battle with brain cancer. So yeah, it's really sad around here.

Then stupid me, hurt our cat Pete. I was trying to trim some matted hair off of his neck with scissors and cut his neck open. It didn't bleed, I'm shocked about that, but I could see his neck muscles underneath! I nearly fainted, repeatedly. I feel so horrible! DH said it wasn't bad and would heal on it's own, so we put antibiotic ointment on it and waited. It started to look infected yesterday and he was walking funny, like he hurt all over. So I took him to the vet. He needed 7 stitches! 7!!!! My poor Petie Pete. They kept him overnight. We just picked him up. They even brushed and shaved off a few of his really bad dreds for me. Poor Buddy Pete. He has to have antibiotics twice a day. Monkie is freaked out because he smells different. Stupid me.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Giveaway

Crystal is hosting a giveaway over at her blog. I've wanted to try the Shaklee products for ages.

Homesteading Homemaker

Monday, August 22, 2011

Watermelon Mojito

I had a dream recently that I had a drink called a Watermelon Mojito. It was delicious! I looked it up in my bartender's guide when I woke up, but it wasn't in there. So I kept thinking about it, wondering of it really would be just as tasty in real life.

So I tried it the other day. :) Here's the recipe I came up with:

Juice of fresh watermelon
Handful of fresh mint, spearmint and/or peppermint
1 shot clear rum
2 Tbsp sugar
Key Lime juice
tonic water

Place mint in a glass with the sugar. Use a muddler or the back of a spoon to crush the mint. Add the rum and lime juice. Fill glass half way with watermelon juice. Top off with tonic water. Garnish with a sprig of mint.


I used both peppermint and spearmint because I grow both. Next time I will try some of my pineapple mint to see how it tastes. If you don't have tonic water you can use seltzer or even Sprite or Sierra Mist, although they would change the flavor a bit.

Bummer

I went out to pick tomatoes this morning. I was planning to can tomato juice. I use it when I make chili, and we eat a lot of chili during the winter. As I was picking I noticed some moldy looking spots on the fruits and all of the leaves had turned brown and dropped off of the plants. My poor tomatoes have the dreaded blight! I can't use any of the fruits I harvested today. I have to pull up all of my plants, because every single one of them is infected. I can't even compost them because the fungus will spread to the compost pile. I have to burn them.

I called the County extension office to notify them, they need to know for their records. Plus I have to tell the neighbors in case it jumps to their gardens, or maybe it jumped to mine from one of theirs. This is so disappointing. Mike has only eaten two of his Cherokee tomatoes. :( He looked forward to those all winter. From the day I started the seeds indoors to the first bite he took. I think he is even more disappointed than I am, if that's possible.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Canning, Canning and more Canning

Last night we were blessed with a bag of plums from the neighbors. Mike has requested plum preserves. I'll do that later. Right now I've got chicken soup in the pressure canner. I've also got beans on cooking to make White Chili. I'll can some of that too. I'd like to can as much as I'm able to while I'm in the mood to do it. It will be so nice this winter to just pull out a jar of soup to cook when I'm tired or not feeling well instead of having to cook from scratch or order take-out.

The same neighbor also gave me a bag of zucchini. I plan to shred that and make some zucchini bread. I'll give her a loaf, or maybe some muffins. Hmm...

I forgot how loud the canner is when it's going. Goodness.

Phoebe was a contestant in the Little Sunflower Outfit contest for the Sunflower Fest on Saturday. I made her dress, it was cute, but not as cute as some of the others. She won 3rd place in her age group. :) I didn't realize that she would be competing with all of the pageant babies. I thought it was just going to be a little thing with three or four little kids. There were some hardcore pageant kids there. There were babies younger than Phoebe wearing makeup with their hair teased and sprayed. INSANE!


Friday, July 22, 2011

Play kitchen

I finally finished it! Now I just need to decide where to put it in the house.



Before.














After.

The painting is just to give an idea of where I'll put the frame with a picture of an outdoor scene. It looks nice though, doesn't it?



I still think I may paint the cabinet door. I'm not sure I like the fake wood grain.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Canning Pickles!

Phoebe is so excited. She loves, no LOVES pickles. She loves "keybumbers" too. We are fans of Kosher Dills, no sweet pickles for us. No thank you, you can have them.

I only planted 4 cucumber plants. I thought that would be plenty for the three of us. We've been eating them every day for two weeks. One day last week it was so hot I didn't go out to check on them. So they had two whole days to grow. One of them was gigantic! I picked 26 cucumbers yesterday. Time for pickles!












Clean cucumbers ready for processing.
 Sliced cukes and fresh dill.











 First jar packed and ready to go.
Batches one and two. I've still got enough cucumbers to make another batch, but I need to wash more jars.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Work, work, work

It seems like that's what I've been doing lately. My garden has gone INSANE! I never got the tomato plants staked. I'm just going to let them go, I think. When I went shopping for stakes, no one had any. I waited too long and the stores had been bought out. Southern States said they might get more in, to check back later. If they don't, meh, oh well.

I finally got a paintbrush and started priming Phoebe's play kitchen for painting. I used spray paint that looks like stainless steel for the appliances. Then used metallic silver spray paint for the faucet, sink and stove hood. They were a horrible bright red plastic. Now I can prime and paint the rest of the kitchen the aqua color Phoebe chose without it clashing with the red. She also wanted yellow, so I think I may make her little curtains in yellow to cover the "window."

This is the before shot, it's cute, like 1950's vintage cute, but Phoebe doesn't like the red, neither do I. ;) So I let her choose paint chips last time we went to Lowe's. She picked aqua and yellow. I managed to find a can of returned paint in the exact shade of aqua she chose! It was only $5 for an entire gallon of Valspar!!!! It was my lucky day.

We went camping at the farm over the holiday weekend. Phoebe had sooooo much fun playing with her cousins. She got to run and swim and be "outshide" all day long. Her three favorite things. I had a good time too until the chiggers found me. I still have bites and they STILL itch!




I've been canning the past few days. Grandma let me pick blueberries when we stopped to see her, then I bought some peaches at a local market. I made blueberry jam and blueberry conserve and Peach butter. Mmmm.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Happy Father's Day

Mike, you are such a wonderful father. You amaze me every day. Phoebe just adores her "Daddy Dad." We are both blessed to have you in our lives. Wuvs.






Friday, June 10, 2011

Neighbors

One of the best things about being back home is the people. In general people here are friendly. They wave at you when you drive by, even if you don't know them. People smile for no reason, hold doors open for you (especially if you are carrying a wiggly toddler.) It's nice.

Even better are our neighbors. They have all been so kind. They have all fallen in love with Phoebe. In fact she has Deb and Kim, sisters who live across the street from each other, completely wrapped around her little finger. She adores them too and talks about them and their dogs and families ALL DAY LONG. I think she would be perfectly happy to stay with them even without me. She has taken walks on several occasions with both of them without me tagging along. I'm ok with that. It gave me a chance to just sit and stare at nothing. ;)

The garden is really taking off. I need to go buy posts so I can put the fence up around it. I still need to go to Grandma's and get the rest of the plants I need. Not to mention just visit with her. I also need to get stakes or tomato cages. Maybe I'll do a combo and see which I like better.

I just took my first attempt at chicken enchiladas out of the oven. I hope they taste good. I'll make the hubs taste them before I do. :P

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Summer time!

It finally stopped raining! Phoebe and I put out all of the plants and seeds that we had for the garden. Two kinds of tomatoes, green beans, two kinds of lettuce, spinach, kale, carrots, celery, and strawberries. I still need to go to my grandma's and get egg plant, zucchini, cucumbers and basil. Phoebe even has her own row in the garden. It's called "Peebee's Garden." She has two tomato plants, carrots, onions and cucumbers. I'll post pics of the garden when it fills out a little, right not it looks pretty sad.

Here are pics of the herb garden and Phoebe's flowers in the front yard. The herbs are thyme, mother of thyme, lavender, and purple frilly basil. The flowers are nasturtiums, marigolds and pansies. Oh, the bushes are azaleas, they have all ready bloomed, they were the prettiest shade of pale lavender.







Thursday, May 19, 2011

Anderson's Corner

Now has a new look and a shopping cart on the website! Check out the retired Chamilia beads!

Anderson's Corner

Way to go Mike! The site looks great.

Rain, Rain

Go away! It has been raining for days with no end in sight. There is rain forecast every day from now until Tuesday. The rivers and streams are already flooding. I'm thankful that we live far from the river and on high ground, but I'm worried for the people who do live near it.

Since there has been so much rain we've not been able to get the garden plot tilled. Which means I haven't gotten a single thing planted. It's too late for peas now. It may even be too late for spinach and lettuce by the time this rain lets up. Sigh. At least the local Farmer's Market has started up. I'm excited to go check it out this weekend. I don't really have anything in mind to purchase so far, just looking, but if I see something that looks yummy, I'll buy. That's how I first came across the Cherokee tomatoes. I tried one at the Farmer's Market and was hooked instantly. I saved the seeds from that first tomato and have been planting and saving every year since then. :)

I'm itching to get my sewing machine out and finish up some projects. I just don't have the room to do it yet. If we ever get to have a yard sale then I will have the room. Or I may just be tempted to set the machine up on the bar in the kitchen. O.o

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Nothing much doin'

Besides a name change. After years of trying to think of just the right name. I think I've finally come up with one that suits me. After all, I am unconventional and a hillbilly. Truthfully, if you had seen me barefoot and pregnant hanging laundry on the clothesline, you would have had no doubt in your mind about it. :P

Speaking of the clothesline. I need to get a post set in the yard and hang my line. I'm going to run it from the deck to a post in the yard. I have to decide the proper spot though. I need to leave room for a truck to get in the yard for fire wood deliveries in the winter, room for the Phoebester to play and a spot for a garden. So many things to worry about. Too bad the line isn't long enough to reach the trees out back. It's about 3 feet too short.

Phoebe has learned so many new things since my last post. She can now say: Ginger Dog, Beefy Dog, Flo Dog (can you tell she loves dogs?) Phoebe Jane (Peebee Jane) and she can count to three. Oh, she used to call her grandma "Mamaw" but now calls her "Grangran." She's been having a blast going up and down the stairs on Grandma's front walk. Her first Easter egg hunt was awesome. She loved it so much that every day since then I have to hide the eggs for her. She walks around with a basket saying,"Eggy, eggy eggs?" Soooooo cute!

Yesterday was my mom's birthday. Happy Birthday Mom! Last Wednesday was my mil's birthday, Happy Birthday Patty!

Time to go hang some clothes on the temporary line on the porch. :)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Sadness

We have sure had our share of sadness the past few weeks. First my husband's great aunt Mary passed away. Last Tuesday his grandmother passed also.  Then on Friday I had to have my Kitty B Crazypants put to sleep. We're ready for some happy times.

L-R: Aunt Mary, Gram and Phoebe

This was the first time we brought Phoebe to visit after she was born. She was only two weeks old.

Kitty B Crazypants, aka Turdmeister

Double Chocolate Cookies

I'm a bona fide chocoholic. I could not live without chocolate, the darker the better. Mmmm. Yesterday I was in the mood for some cookies, so I fiddled around and came up with these. Enjoy.


Double Chocolate Cookies

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
2 Tbsp dark cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375. Cream together butter, sugars and vanilla. Add eggs. Mix well. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Add to wet mixture, stir until well combined. Add chocolate chips. Drop onto cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes. Cookies will be soft, but crispy on top. Let rest on cookie sheet until cool.

I used a serving spoon to scoop them onto the cookie sheet. I like large cookies. Also, don't try to take them off of the cookie sheet until they are cool, they will just get all smooshed up. Ask me how I know.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Potty Training

I was not prepared for this. Well, I sort of was. A friend gave us a potty as a baby shower gift. Yeah, she was thinking ahead. Which was really cool, she also gave us the baby proofing stuff like outlet plugs and drawer locks. Sweet.

So this week, Thursday to be precise, Phoebe decided she was using her potty. She had peed in it three times while her bath water was running. I know it was just from the sound of water running. It always makes me have to go. ;) I made a big deal about it each time, but didn't really think it would make a difference. She had other plans.

As soon as she woke up Thursday morning she asked to go "pahpah." So I took her into the bathroom and put her on the potty. She peed right away, the potty plays a song when something lands in it, clever, isn't it? So I did a happy dance and clapped for her. She clapped for herself. We dumped it in the big potty then I washed it out and put her potty back together. I tried to pick her up to go get dressed but she threw a fit. So she sat back down on her potty....and POOPED! Holy cow! Where did that come from? I know the biology, thank you very much. I mean the desire to use the potty in the first place? She isn't supposed to be old enough for this yet. Just barely 16 months.

Since then she has done both every morning. Yesterday she even got upset because she peed in her diaper instead of the potty. Poor kid already has high expectations of herself. I don't even have training pants or panties for her yet. I'm not going to waste money on Pull-ups. I'll just use training pants during the day and keep her in diapers at night until she's completely trained.

Wow. That's all, just wow.


This was the day I put the potty together for her. Just so she would get used to it and not be afraid. Guess my plan worked.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Spring, have you sprung?

Please say yes! I'm so in need of sunshine and open windows and going barefoot in the grass.

Yesterday was 76 degrees. It was sunny with a slight breeze. Man, I needed that. I opened the windows as soon as it got up to 60 degrees. I love, love, LOVE having the windows open letting the fresh air in. The cats love it too. They all staked out a window to sleep in all day.

In preparation for my new garden at our new house this summer I have started some seedlings.

Lettuce seedlings.


Tiny herb seedlings. 
Just for fun. This is the hub's bonsai tree. He got it for his birthday three years ago. I've kept it trimmed for him, since he's allergic to pine. He can't touch it, just admire it from afar. :'(


A friend of his gave us a kit to build a raised bed. I'm excited about that. I've decided to go with Square Foot Gardening this year. I'd like to have two 4x4 beds. That way I can still garden, but also have enough room left in the yard for Phoebe to play.

I need to get my tomato seeds started indoors now too. According to the almanac I can plant them outside on May 4th. Woo hoo! I can't wait for that first tomato and cheese sandwich. Mmmmm. I can taste it now.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Maple Valley Off Grid Farm and a Lehman's Giveaway

I discovered Mrs. Angela's blog Living Off-Grid at Maple Valley Farm a few years ago before they actually moved to the farm to live off grid. I am continually amazed and thrilled by their lifestyle as they learn about life on an old Amish farm. I like to think that I could manage living off grid, but I don't really think I could. I'm pretty spoiled by all of our modern conveniences.

You all know that I garden and can. When I heard about the reusable canning lids from a friend I was very excited. I'd love to have a set of my own. This summer I plan to try square foot gardening and hope to have a decent harvest to can. Those lids would definitely get used. :)

Go check out the Maple Valley blog, it's so neat all of the things they do. I think the most fascinating for me was the ice cutting. Just like Little House on the Prairie!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Hello, ello, ello, lo, o

Is there an echo in here? I think there is. Poor bliggety blog got left alone for months this time.

We're in the process of moving again so I have no time at all. I'm making time for you though. Poor neglected blog.

Yesterday I decided I wanted to bake some bread. I've said it before, but it bears repeating...I LOVE baking bread. So I settled on the Pesto Bread from Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads. Of the more than 1,000 recipes I've tried about 6. This is one of our favorites.

I prefer to knead by hand. There is something intensely satisfying in it for me. Push. Turn. Fold. Push. Turn. Fold.

Before kneading.

After kneading.

First rising. 40 minutes.

After first rise divide the dough in half. Roll or flatten into a rectangle. Spread on pesto. Then roll it up like a jelly roll.

Place into greased bread pans. Seam side down. Cover and let rise another 40 minutes.

Ahhhhh. Fresh from the oven. :)


 It is a very soft, tasty bread.