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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thankful Plumbing

I am very thankful for indoor plumbing. There, I said it and I am not ashamed.

I have a passion for things of the Little House on the Prairie era. There are just some things I would like to stay modern about though. When I am at Boy Scout camp each summer, I use non-modern methods of plumbing...which make me appreciate my toilet so much when I get home. Are you snickering at me right now? Go ahead, go without your flush toilet for a bit and see if you aren't right there next to me in being thankful. Are you at the age of getting up each night? Imagine it's winter, or pouring down rain, and you have to walk 25 yards out in the dark just to take care of business.

Yeah, I'm pretty thankful for my toilet.

**To see more of my Thankful Thursdays, scroll down a bit and you will see a link on the left hand side for them**

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Apple of a Day

Apples, apples, everywhere are apples! At least, that's how it was in my kitchen yesterday...and I enjoyed every minute of it.

My dear friend, Alicia, came over yesterday for a lesson in canning. When we talked about getting together, I don't think she really had any idea what she was getting herself into. She was a trooper though. I showed her what to do and she put up 13 quarts of applesauce, filled the dehydrator, made three batches for leathers AND made her very first pie! I'm sure she slept well last night.

Providing for our own needs is becoming a lost art. It's wonderful to see someone get excited about it. Alicia has also re-newed my interest in it. I've been wanting to teach myself to can meat and soups the last couple of winters, I just haven't seemed to get it done. Now though, I have inspiration! Once I learn, then I will teach this to Alicia also. I guess with only having biological sons, I haven't had a daughter at my side to teach these skills to.

If canning/preserving is something you are interested in but don't have anyone to teach you, don't despair! I didn't either. I purchased Ball's Blue Book of Canning at Wal-Mart, watched yard sales for supplies, used the internet alot, and just learned my way through it.

So, dear reader, get out and get yourself some fresh fruit and veggies and preserve away!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Bedroom checklist

A woman on Prairie Homemaker (a wonderful frugal Christian site) was asking about cleaning/organizing her bedroom. This led me to find something that I could also use as the bedroom is a constant trial in my domestic life. This week, I will be working on following this list.

bedroom checklist

 if you don't like something in your closet, you probably won't ever like it, so pass it on
 turn all of your hangars around backward and then when you wear something, hang it up the right way
 make a list of any essentials you need for the holiday
 pack away your seasonal wardrobe so that you have more space in your dresser and closet

flat surfaces
 scale back the number of knick knacks and mementos you keep
 clean off flat surfaces and find homes for the things you tend to just set down.
 sort through books & magazines and give away any that you won't read again

 sort through the piles in your room and find homes for the items
 empty the closet shelves and sort through any long-term storage
 in the guest room, organize and sort through your storage to create an inviting space

 wash mattress covers & replace any old or worn out pillows.
 wash sheets and hang comforters outside to air out.
 dust ceiling fans & reverse fan direction
 dust high shelves, window & door frames
 dust dressers/tvs
 dust shelves/knickknacks
 clean blinds and shades
 clean windows/mirrors/screens
 spot clean upholstery & carpet
 clean under/behind the couch
 wipe baseboards
 vacuum and/or mop

 don't let flat surfaces accumulate stuff, find a home for the stuff
 don't use your master bedroom as a catch all
 dust & clean glass/mirrors weekly
 pass on any clothes that you haven't worn after 6-8 weeks unless they're special occasion items

Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy Autumn!

"It's the most, wonderful time, of the year...."

Yeah, I know, that song goes with winter, but I believe Autumn is the most wonderful time. I love the little bit of chill in the morning and evening with beautiful days. Colors will soon begin to pop in the trees. Farmers are in the fields. Time is spent with good friends around a fire...which means marshmallows!

Papa Bear was busy last night so I sat outside at the fire ring by myself. Mind you, there was no actual fire in the fire ring, but I sat there in the cool darkness just in awe of how beautiful and still the night was.

So, dear reader, I wish to welcome you to the first day of Autumn.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wednesday's Word

I've been spending some time in Psalms this week. I look back over the years and wonder why I've waited so long to have an interest in this book of the Bible.

Those who know you, Lord, will trust you; you do not abandon anyone who comes to you. God remembers those who suffer; he does not forget their cry, and he punishes those who wrong them.
Psalms 9:10,12

I would also like to ask for prayer for a classmate of mine who was in a car accident this morning. Her name is Sherri.

Monday, September 19, 2011

How to fold a shirt

I thought I would give you, dear readers, something to do when you are sitting around being bored. Go ahead, give it a try. I bet you watch this video more than one time.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Goodness gracious, I haven't posted since Wednesday...what ever was I thinking? I do believe I will excuse it with being busy..yeah, that's it, I was busy.

For real though, I have been keeping myself busy with odds and ends stuff. I also received my fruit from the co-op which I needed to start on. The two bushels of apples will wait in the garage a bit as I have a list of items I want/need to accomplish in the home. *Sigh* Isn't a household list something that never goes away?

One day, my yard will be perfectly groomed. My home will be perfectly clean and organized. My cooking will rival that of any chef. My free time...well, I'll HAVE free time.

Oh, sorry about that, I was daydreaming again.

Here goes the menu for the week:

Homemade ham and bean soup
crescent rolls
home canned peaches

Grilled pork chops
seasoned rice
homemade applesauce

Wednesday and Thursday
Working on cleaning out the freezer, so will be cooking things long since forgotten out of it.

Buffet at the Cafe`

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Blue Cheese Burger

I've had a request for my Blue Cheese Burger recipe so thought I would share it with you all. As many of you know, I am not a complicated cook by any means...short, sweet and simple is how I like to go.

I start by mixing some crunched up crackers and a little of my favorite BBQ sauce (of course, only Main Street BBQ Sweet n' Sassy Sauce will do around here) in with the burger. Once this is done, I divide the meat out into burger size portions. Each portion is divided in half. I make a ball and flatten out one half and then sprinkle some dry blue cheese crumbles on it.

I make a ball and flatten the other half, laying it on top the first part, crimping the edges and making it the shape I want for the grill.


Near the end of cooking, I like to spread just a touch of BBQ sauce on top the burger and let it cook in. We also top this with creamy blue cheese dressing on the bun. MmMmMm...enjoy!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Cute cute cute

Is this not just the cutest little thing? I have a family of ground squirrels living in/under my yard. Every day I am able to enjoy watching them eat from under the bird feeder.

Unfortunately, my cat also has been enjoying a snack! Darn cat. He is forced into being an indoor cat, but he very much wants to be outdoors. This is a battle we have fought for the last 10 years when we found him as a little kitten. Anyway, any chance he has to scoot out the door, he takes. To top it off, after he sneaks out, he then feels the need to bring me his leftovers! Darn cat.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Still working the menu!

I am pleased to say I am still (for the most part) working the weekly menu!! I know, I know, I haven't posted the last couple of weeks, but I DID have a plan to work from!

Roast w/gravy
salt potatoes
green beans

Grilled chicken salad

Blue cheese burgers on the grill
steamed broccoli
fresh tomato

Marinated elk steak on the grill
grilled potatoes
fresh fruit

Buffet at the Cafe`

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Where were you?

"Where were you when the world stopped turning?" This song by Alan Jackson, 10 years later, still brings a sadness to my heart.

There are dates in our lives that will always be etched into our minds: the day we are married, the day our children were born, the day the first men walked on the moon, September 11, 2001.

I was sitting in my chair, drinking a cup of coffee and talking to a dear friend while we both watched Good Morning America. I'll never forget the feeling of unbelief as I watched so many people die.

My oldest step-daughter was getting married that day and we had a whole morning of pampering planned, but none of it happened. The wedding took place, but for me, there was a damper on it.

I called my younger brother, who is in the National Guard, and cried.

I waited in line for what seemed like an ridiculous amount of time to get very expensive gas.

Papa Bear and I took Little Bear with us to Aldi and bought two shopping carts piled full of items.

My view on my security has changed since that day. I no longer believe we are safe. I know at anytime, we could be the next target. I've studied survival skills and how we would live without modern conviniances.

102 minutes, 10 years ago. Where were you?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Budweiser Commercial

I have seen this commercial serveral times floating around the internet and with the 10 year anniversary of 9-11-01 soon upon us, I just couldn't pass up sharing it with all of you.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Texas Wildfire

I'm sure we are all aware of the wildfires devestating Texas. This morning I got word of a friends home that was destroyed. All her pictures are gone. All items belonging to her mother, who has passed, are gone. Pretty much anything she owns, is gone.

Thankfully, both her husband and herself are physically fine. Emotionally though, I can't even imagine the pain.

This bad news has me thinking, what would I grab if I had to evacuate my home? Some obvious things would be the computer, my home binder with all my important information in it, money, medications, clothes, address book, the tote with my son's belonging who is now in heaven.

I think about pictures and how they are all over the place around here, not nice and neat in albums (Put that on my to-do list). What about the quilts my grandmother made? All the childhood items belonging to my children?

This leads my brain to thinking, what if my home caught fire and I didn't have time to grab items of importance?

I do believe I will be giving this situation some long thought. Maybe it's time to start looking into a fireproof safe.

My prayers go out to Marilyn and Dale.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wednesday's Word

Do not use harmful words, but only helpful words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed.

Ephesians 4:29

Negative comments only discourage and tear down. Positive comments encourage and build.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Immune Defense

It's the time of year that brings a bit of crispness to the air in the morning, fields are drying and will soon be harvested, and noses start running.

It's the time of year I break out my two favorite products: local raw honey and Emergen-C. I drink this daily in a cup of hot water, sometimes multiple times a day. With my line of work, I am constantly surrounded by snotty little noses. Since starting this drink several years ago, my own personal snotty nose time has been greatly reduced.

If you are unable to find local raw honey in your area, you can use the store-bought kind, I just prefer the local raw type as it also helps with allergies.

So, why not invest in a box of Emergen-C from your local Wal-Mart and give it a try? What do you have to lose...except the snotty nose?!

Friday, September 2, 2011

You grew up in the midwest if...

You know how to polka, but never tried it sober.
You know what knee-high by the Fourth of July means.

3. You know it is traditional for the bride and groom to go bar
hopping between the wedding and the reception.
You know the difference between "Green" and "Red" farm
machinery, and would fight with your friends on the playground over
which was better!

5. You buy Christmas presents at 'Fleet Farm'
or 'Tractor Supply'.

You spent more on beer and liquor than you did on food at your wedding.

You have ever tried to get your city cousins to pee on the electric
You or someone you know was a "Bean/Sugar Queen" at the
county fair.
You know that "combine" is a noun.
You let your older siblings talk you into putting your tongue on a
steel post in the middle of winter.
You think Lutheran and Catholic are THE major religions.
You know that "creek" rhymes with "pick".
Football schedules, hunting season and harvest are all taken into
consideration before wedding dates are set.
A Friday night date is getting a six-pack and taking your girlfriend
shining for deer.
There was at least one kid in your class who had to help milk cows in
the morning... phew.
You have driven your car on a lake.
You can make sense of "upnort" and "batree".
At every wedding reception you have ever been to, the hokey pokey and
the chicken dance have been played.
Your definition of a small town is one that only has one bar.
The local gas station sells live bait.
At least twice a year some part of your home doubles as a meat
processing plant.
You think that the start of deer season is a national holiday.
Pop is the only name for soda.
You actually understand these jokes.