Wednesday, March 21, 2012


I cannot find the words to describe how I feel today.  Sad is all I can muster.  Two of our dogs got into our chicken pen and killed several of our adult, egg laying hens. I feel so many emotions over this and not one of them good.  I want to get rid of these dogs, they are the sweetest pets a person can have, but they are killers and I cannot look at them the same way ever again. All of our other dogs were traumatized from the situation and the entire household is just quiet and depressed.  I have 3 hens left and one rooster and the hens have some minor injuries that I am treating.  I pray that they make it through this, right now they are inside and in my bathtub where I can watch them and keep them warm.  I feel so guilty, as a chicken mom, that this happened.  We really tried to create their pen as safe as possible, but obviously we did not do a good job.  I look at my new baby 2 1/2 week old chicks and I do not want anything to ever happen to them.  I don't want them to live in such a scary, dangerous world with other animals finding them to hurt them or kill them.  I want to keep them in the house and never let them outdoors.  I know that isn't feasible, but right now I just feel like locking them away somewhere safe.  We didn't have many hens, and just started getting our eggs from them, and now we will not have anymore eggs until the new babies grow up.  There just aren't words to describe how my heart aches today, thinking of my chickens and missing them so much already.  I am at a loss, all I can do is put my feelings into one word, Sad.  My prayers and faith in God will help me to understand and learn from this experience in time, but right now I just feel horrible!

Monday, March 19, 2012

The List Grows, yet there doesn't seem to be enough time...

Each day around here, the list grows longer yet, there is not enough time in a day to get it all completed.  Is it because I'm getting older or the tasks require more work?  The garden needs to be weeded, the day I have the time to work in the garden, it rains!  The roses need to be planted, the day I set aside for that something else comes up.  It is one thing after another and what I am praying for is more time.

The weekend was really unused because everyone had something going on, and when I had free time it was pouring down rain.  Yesterday, it was absolutely gorgeous, but most of the day was spent at church, so that time was quality time.  We got home and I was sitting outside deciding how to create a new pen for the chicks and the ducks when it is time, and I had wanted to do this and that but I was exhausted from all the running around I have been doing lately.  I threw my hands in the air I told my husband to finish up what he was doing and I directed the kids to get dressed we were going out to dinner and to a meat sale in another town.  We left quickly and got on the road.  The little restaurant was all country cooking and was fabulous.  We all enjoyed it and that is a rarity, when everyone likes the place.  We went to the meat sale at this little grocery store I didn't know existed in Blue Ridge.  They had can foods 2 for $1.00 and I was able to stock up on my "prepping" shelves with can foods as well as the amazing meat sale they were having.  It is unheard of lately to get steak at $3.98 a pound, so I was doing a little dance.  I got ground beef for $2.28 a pound and I haven't bought any ground beef lately for under $2.98 a pound.  I left the store with my great finds, my belly full of wonderful food and a relaxed, content smile on my face for the ride home.  We haven't had a nice family outing like that in a long time.  We all came home and the family seemed at peace.  There was no bickering or arguing and the night was very pleasant.

Now today, I am back to the daily outlook of look at this list and where has the time gone.  I have so much to do and I need to find a way to get it all done soon!  I hope that I will find enough time in the day every day this week.  Then, maybe, I might feel like I have gotten something accomplished!

Have a Miraculous Monday everyone!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Absence makes the heart grow fonder...or is it thoughts go wilder?

I have been absent from my blog for a couple of days.  My apologies, but I have been deeply diverted into other activities and my mind was focused on getting things done.  I am almost finished with my chair, I'm working on the seat cushion and then I will have it completed.  I am very proud of how it is turning out.  I still haven't touched my shelf that I was unhappy with, but I have been looking at colors and trying to decide what I want to do with it.  I found old windows and lumber on craigslist for free and we went and picked that up yesterday.  My son was grumpy loading the wood, mumbling about it being crap wood and not worth using, however, I was very happy; each piece sending my mind into a whirlwind of what can I do with THIS!  I really just wanted the windows, but the wood was a nice bonus.  I am going to make one of those greenhouses out of old windows when I get enough of them together.  Have you seen them on Pinterest? They are amazing and I get so fascinated with peoples creativity, and wonder "why didn't I think of that?"

I have a very busy day ahead of me today, there is so many things to get done and it seems there isn't ever enough time in the day!  I wish there were 2 or 3 of me sometimes so that everything gets completed on the lists.  Having this little farm we are building seems to increase my things to do list by miles.  Most days I don't mind it, but sometimes I feel overwhelmed and think WHY are we doing this again? haha I have been trying to get that finished, completed look out of my mind and just accept the reality that nothing ever really is completed on a farm.  The baby chicks are growing like weeds and flying out of their wading pool all over my bathroom.  Today is their 2 week birthday and the next 4 weeks are going to be a wild ride if this is how they are at two weeks.  I still think they are cute and adorable but they are very messy little critters.  My last chicks weren't flying all over, I am not sure why these are doing it. Maybe because my last batch I had in the bathroom, were small in number and this is a big crowd so chicky see, chicky do!  I need to get the hay out of the big chicken pen and take it to the garden to get tilled into the soil.  I do the deep litter method and I love it, I'm all about multi-tasking and this system works great for me with the chickens.  I need to get up into the garden to do some weeding with the winter vegetables we planted and I still haven't planted anything in my new log beds we built.  I will get there, it's not like anything is going anywhere!  It's so hard when one person does most of the work, I definitely need to check into cloning!

My older son is having a St. Patricks day party tonight along with his friends 25th birthday party in combination.  They should have a great time, I am going to make a few snacks for them including Rachel Ray's Hot Reuben dip.  I'm sharing her link and recipe in case you want to make it. It's quite tasty.  I couldn't find rye bread squares, believe it or not, at Walmart so I just got a couple loaves of french bread I'm going to slice them up nice and thin and put out.  I am going to make a spinach dip and some cream cheese tortilla rollups too, I'm going to color the cream cheeses and sour creams green for St. Paddy's Day affect.  I got a couple of cute green baskets at the Dollar Tree to put the bread and chips into and I got a couple of oval plastic tubs there as well to put something in, I'm not sure yet what I will put in them.  I think they will have a good time and if the weather holds and remains nice they can be outside with the big fire pit going so that I might get some sleep.  I am an early to bed girl, and when they get together in the winter inside the house, well sometimes I might go to bed but there is no guarantee I'm going to sleep!

Have a Fantabulous Friday Everyone!

Hot Reuben Dip


  • 1 cup Swiss cheese, shredded or chopped, divided
  • 1/2 pound corned beef, chopped
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • 1/2 cup sauerkraut, drained
  • 1 package of rye cocktail bread squares
Yields: 6-8 servings


Preheat oven 350°F.
In a large mixing bowl, mix half of the Swiss cheese with all the ingredients except the bread squares.
Place the mixture into an ovenproof dish and sprinkle the top with remaining cheese. Heat in the oven until bubbly, about 20 minutes. Turn on the broiler and brown the top.
Serve the dip with the bread squares alongside.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I worked on my shelves yesterday, and as I continued on I felt total disappointment.  I don't like the way the colors are coming together, and I have realized that the real trouble is in the base coat.  So, now I'm very unhappy that I have all this paint and I am not going to use it.  I am going to start over and try a different color pallet.  I knew it was a smart idea for me to start this project practicing on the shelves before taking it to the wall.  I'm happy that I didn't get impatient and jump right onto the walls, then my disappointment would be total meltdown.  I have loads of yellow paint now interior satin, I am not sure what I am going to do with it because I'm not a yellow sort of person.  I can maybe paint some old tires that were left in the woods by the previous owners and make a flower pot out of them, I'm thinking if I used the interior satin then polyurethane on them they might hold up to weather or I can donate the barely used cans to our church yard sale in May, to be sold if someone needs almost a gallon of yellow paint.  If you have any suggestions as to what I could use it with, I am very open to them, I hate to waste anything!

My son has a job interview today, all prayers are welcome!  He was laid off from his job in November and has been searching hard for a new job and finally a call came in yesterday.  I am so excited for him, I'm praying hard that he gets this, he needs it badly.  More because he gets very down when hes not working.  He likes to be busy, earning his keep and working hard.  He's been on unemployment and he's bored and just plain unhappy with nothing to do.  His interview is at 9:00 a.m. today and I am going to be eagerly waiting to hear how it went.

This weekend is the church lunch-in again and the theme is Mexican food.  I am so excited about this because it gives me a chance to make tamales.  I love making them but it is so time consuming that I don't do it very often, but since I am going to do it up big, I will have some to freeze for us and plenty for church.  Does anyone make tamales? I love trying different recipes for them. I'd love to know of others if you have them.  I saw one once for chocolate tamales, that might be something tasty to try!  My most often used recipe is:

Required Time: 2 days
Ingredients (using 6 pounds of meat makes about 10 dozen tamales)
3 pounds beef roast
3 pounds pork roast
2 large onions
4 cloves garlic
1/3 cup chili powder 
8 cups masa harina
2 cups shortening or lard
Corn husks 2-3 packages
Day 1:
Cook meat in separate pots of seasoned water (or in a crockpot filled with seasoned water) with an onion, 2 garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon of chili powder, salt and pepper. Cook 4 hours minimum. Save the broth. Place the broth in the refrigerator over night and skim the fat off the top before using.
After the meat is cooked and falling apart, remove from pot, set aside to cool, and use a blender or food processor to puree the onion and garlic with the broth. Season broth mixture to taste with chili powder and salt.
Shred meat finely and store covered in refrigerator, not with the broth!
Soak corn husks in water overnight.
Day 2:
Drain the corn husks well and pat dry.
Season shredded meat with chili powder, salt, and cumin to taste. As you season the meat, add a small amounts of broth to moisten meat, but don't let it get soupy or runny.
For every 2 cups of masa, add ½ cup of shortening or lard, 1 tsp. of salt, and chili powder to taste.  Add broth mixture a little at a time to masa and mix with your hands to get a smooth, spreadable consistency. If you run out of broth, you can use hot water. 6 pounds of meat should yield about 8 cups of broth.
Assemble the tamales: spread masa about 1/8 inch thick on corn husk with fingers, leaving about ½ inch border along the sides and 2 inch border along the top and bottom of husk. Use about 2 Tbsp. of shredded meat to fill the tamal (like a cigar). Fold sides until they just overlap, fold narrow end under, and place tamale folded side down.
To cook, steam fresh tamales for 15 minutes or until masa is no longer sticky and looks firm.
Eat fresh or store in freezer. 

I hope that if you make these your family loves them as much as mine does.  It is a long process but it's not that hard to do, the first day is mostly just cooking the meat, the next day is just putting them all together and steaming them.  I'm excited to make them for next weekend!  I'm off to start getting things done today, and go out to get new paint!  You all have a Terrific Tuesday!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Misfit Monday

Normally I am excited about Monday!  A day to get the house in order from the troops taking over all weekend and time for me to take that big sigh of relief that I have some time to do what I want to do.  But, today I'm not that excited about Monday.  I had a big mess in the kitchen that hadn't been cleaned up like I was told it would be, and I have a pounding headache.  That hasn't stopped me so far, but it may slow me down!  I watered all my seedlings and they are doing well. I am excited about my tomato seedlings, they are getting that next set of leaves on them now.  I cleaned up that mess in the kitchen my son didn't do, and I got things sorted and organized for today.  I found the best rustic shelf at a thrift store Saturday.  I got the paint I need to do a faux pine finish on my bead board wallpaper we put up, and I thought I will practice on this, if it turns out YAY and if not well I can just do it another color.  Its turning out pretty good so far.  I primed it, put on the base coat a colonial yellow and then started with a dark brown putting the wood grain on using a small artists brush and dry brush.  So far its looking good!  I'm almost finished with my yard sale chair I just have to finish around one arm and do the seat cushion.  I bought some jute to trim it all out with the fake leather fabric I think it will look really cute and rustic.  Once I get my shelf finished and my chair I am starting my walls to get all that wallpaper to match the other half of my room that has real bead board in pine.  I hope it all matches when I'm finished.  It seems there is never enough time in the day or week for that matter to get all the things done that I need to do around here, its a living project, always evolving!

I need to get up into the garden and hoe a bit and do some weeding, I noticed I had the weeds starting already the other day.  It's cloudy outside with showers threatening but I'm not sure if it is going to rain or not, you stand out there and say make up your mind please.  The chickens will be happy if it doesn't rain, they want up to run around and I was holding off this morning.  Speaking of running around, the baby chicks are scurrying all over everywhere.  I took them out of their cage and just let them loose in the kiddy swimming pool in my bathroom.  They seem to love that but they sometimes fly out and we have to capture them and put them back into the pool.  At least if they get out they chirp like crazy so I know what they need and can go right to their aid!  They sure are growing fast, one week old and have most of their wing feathers in really well and have gotten so tall with their legs growing long.  They are going to be very pretty ladies when they get all their feathers grown.

Normally I would have some sort of yummy tidbit to toss out, but I don't today.  I'm doing a standard pot roast for dinner tonight, nothing spectacular and well, to be honest I haven't thought past the meat at this point.  My headache seems to blur my thought process!  I will be a better blogger tomorrow!  Happy Monday everyone!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Busy Bees...

(This is the yard sale chair, it's a terrible photo from a phone, but that's all I have to work with right now)

I didn't get a chance to post an entry yesterday, I was a busy bee.  I got that chair from the yard sale on Facebook and I was determined to get started on it.  I went to Walmart Wednesday night after church to get the fabric I wanted, and started working on my chair yesterday.  The day was flying by with me busy working on it all day.  I think its turning out quite nice and I'm excited to get it finished.  I posted a photo of it before, a terrible photo, but at least it shows the idea of what I'm working with.  I bought a fabric that feels like suede and looks like it with a paisley pattern in black on the chocolate brown fabric.  It's really turning out pretty, sort of western looking.

My orange trifle was a hit at church and I didn't bring much home but a few tuna sandwiches that we had left over.  I only took those in case we needed them, and we had plenty but most of them still got eaten! I really enjoy the solemnity of the Wednesday night Lenten services.  They really put me in a reflective and thankful mood. I will miss them when it's over after Easter.

The baby chicks are doing well, they have doubled in size it seems, and all their wing feathers growing fast.  I love to hear them chirping happily, I think they are content, they have warmth, food and water and seem to be very active and healthy.  I just love those little birds, the ones I think are Ameraucanas are so much more friendly and curious they don't seem to be afraid of my hands in the cage and will hop onto my palm.  Today is there one week birthday!  Happy Birthday Baby Chicks!

My son bought a new bed, and he gave his sister his other bed.  So, now I have a twin bed and trundle in my dining room.  I'm going to put it in my office and make a daybed out of it.  It will give us some extra space if we should have a guest.  I am thinking I might paint it and spruce it up eventually.  But not right now I have enough on my plate.  Some of my seeds I planted last weekend are sprouting, they are mixed flowers and herbs.  I have them all planted in cute bowls, and a sugar and creamer set, and I can't wait to see them grow up and bloom.  I put all my roses I bought out on the back porch last night.  It started raining and I wanted them to get some of that before I plant them. The weather is warmer but its wet and rainy.  I hope it clears up after today, I have a lot to get done outdoors.

I have been reading a lot of blogs and I love them all, it is so nice to get other peoples ideas, opinions and thoughts on things.  I love all of them that I read and gain something from them every time.  I am seeing my followers growing and I'm so pleased and excited.  I have had my blog for sometime, and have been on and off about posting on it.  But, to see people wanting to share in my thoughts and opinions, that just makes me feel happy!  Welcome to all my new friends, I look forward to sharing and learning from each of your blogs too!

I should be off and getting busy with things, I want to work on my chair more this morning before I have to get busy with other things around the house.  I hope everyone has a wonderful Friday!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Time Flies...

(Wednesday Reminds Me Of A Long And Windy Road)

Here we are again, yet another Wednesday!  Another long day for me and I am running on little sleep today, I didn't sleep well last night.  I don't know about other people, but if I get something in my mind it plays on and on and I cannot go to sleep.  I get excited when I get something I like and then want to think about it nonstop.  I got an old school, I wouldn't say vintage because I don't think it's old enough, swivel rocker from my facebook yard sale page.  I love the barrel shape of it and the height of the back is perfect for me.  But, it is blue, and blue, although a lovely color, is not my color. So, at Walmart last night, I found some fabric that I can cover the chair with that is my style.  A faux, older worn looking leather fabric that would be very rustic and perfect and only $4.97 a yard.  However, if you have a Walmart like I do, then you know that it was virtually impossible to get anyone to assist you and I had the chair in the back of the truck and didn't want anyone to take it so I had to leave.  I will go back this week and see if I can't rustle up someone that will help me.  I will need a lot of patience and a lot of time when I go back.  They have all these departments, sporting goods, paint, fabric but never anyone around to help you with what you need.  It gets so frustrating.  Anyway, enough about my Walmart rant, I got the chair and a bunch of rose bushes yesterday.  I couldn't stop thinking of any of it and daydreaming my flower beds planted and my chair recovered and of course there are my chicks in my bathroom.  Every time they peep, it's like a newborn baby crying, I wake up to listen to see if they need help or if they are just peeping to peep.  I know I will sleep well tonight after last nights lack of sleep and my long day and evening.

I have our church supper and service tonight.  I didn't sign up to take food this week, although I'm helping to set it up and clean it up after.  I am going to take a tub of tuna salad that I will make this morning and a couple loaves of bread and I'm going to put together a trifle that is a family favorite. Just in case, because last week more people than I signed up to bring sandwiches, and I was the only one that did, so had I not, we would not have had any.  I think someone that signed up ended up ill and didn't come.  So, just to be on the safe side, I'm going to take a couple of things.  It's not like they won't get eaten either at church or at home! haha

My husband is bringing home pallets from work and I am so excited with all the things we can do with them! First we want to do our ceilings, I love this look, it's so rustic and warm. There are a million and one things to do with pallets.  I can't wait to start making things around here with them.  Doing a floor in them is another amazing idea! I just want everything made out of pallets these days! haha

I'm off to trudge through this Wallowing Wednesday, but I shall leave you with one sweet reminder of happiness, my trifle recipe!

Orange Trifle

One vanilla or yellow cake mix, prepared according to the directions on the package
2 tubs of cool whip or one large super size tub
2 cans mandarin oranges

Bake the cake according to the package directions in a 9 x 13 pan.  Let cool.  Mix all the oranges with the juice into the cool whip.  Break up the cake and crumble a layer on the bottom of a large bowl.  I use a clear bowl so the layers show through.   Add a light layer of the fruit mixed cool whip over the cake, repeat until all the cool whip is used.  I like to spread cool whip or use spray whip topping over the top and then with a reserved hand full of cake crumbles just lightly dust the top.  You can add an additional can of mandarin orange slices over the top for garnish as well.  This is a family favorite.  It is light and tasty and just the right amount of sweetness after a meal. Enjoy!

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

How I Love Thee, Baby Chicks, Let Me Count the Ways!

The baby chicks are doing well so far and I just adore them!  I could sit all day long just watching them play and scurry around.  I love peeking into the bathroom early in the morning and seeing them all quiet, and sleeping.  Just like newborn babies they just melt my heart!  I can't wait to start seeing them growing into chickens, watching their colors evolve and finding out who is the "top dog" in the group!  I think I'm already finding my little favorites, the ones that love to see me as much as I do them.  Of course, I will love each and every one of them, you can't help yourself.  I love to go out and sit and watch my adult chickens every day.  They are so entertaining watching them interact with each other like chickens do in their little world.  A lot of people think chickens are dumb, but when you really watch them, they are really smart and crafty.  They have their own set personalities and you can get a good laugh every time!  I'm just in love with my chickens, and I suppose there are worst things to be than a crazy chicken lady that lives on a mountain, haha!

I had all these things I wanted to do yesterday, but it was so windy and the cold just cut threw me, there was no way I was spending time outdoors unless I had to, which was to feed the animals and run right back inside. I did clean out all my saved two liter bottles.  Today, I will fill them with fresh water and store them in my darkened pantry that I have for water storage.  I am shooting for 6 months of water for the family, it might be a stretch to find places for all of those bottles, but I'm working on it.  My daughter asked me what do you do with it in 6 months, when she saw me writing the fill date on the bottle.  I said "use it in the gardens and start over".  She nodded like she was showing interest for my sake, because she had lost interest  before I finished my sentence.  I just love teenagers, they do keep us in constant wonderment.  I am obsessed with my  sprouted seedlings and hoping for seedlings to sprout that I'm watching often waiting to see them pop out of the soil.  My tomatoes are starting to get tiny little sets of second leaves on them and finally, after talking, demanding, praying over them, my eggplants are starting to sprout. I'm excited to see how they grow, I've never grown eggplant before.  My peppers are sprouting too, and my tomatoes and broccoli are growing big and tall.  I cannot wait to get them into the dirt in a few weeks.  I'm leery of the weather it has been so strange this winter so I'm not going to let it fool me and plant too early, but I certainly want to right now.

I have been on facebook for ages, and other than checking the birthdays to wish someone a happy birthday or sharing photos with family, back when my camera wasn't my enemy, I really had no use for it.  But, as of late, I have joined some yard sale groups, and livestock groups and gardening groups, and now I honestly could sit here all day reading this and that.  It could be a real time eater if I allowed myself that privilege.  I found a swivel rocker yesterday and am going to pick it up today.  I can't wait, I have been searching for an old school swivel rocker for my living room for a long time now.  They are hard to come by, and when I saw the post on the local yard sale page, I was like a girl invited to the prom, I was so excited!  I can't wait to go and get it this evening.  I plan to recover it, it's the old traditional blue and that is not my favorite color, but I will have something pretty that goes with my decor when I get it all finished.

I am making a pork loin for dinner tonight, and there is a recipe for Napa Cabbage salad that shows up at church from time to time that I adore.  I broke out my church cookbook and found the recipe and I am making that today to go with dinner.  I just love all the flavors and the crunchiness and I'm already wanting to eat it, I could eat it for breakfast!  I am sharing my new found favorite salad recipe with you, I hope you like it as much as I do.

Napa Cabbage Salad

1 head Nappa Cabbage
1 bunch green onions chopped

5 T butter
4 T sesame seeds
2 packages of ramen noodles, the seasoning packets removed
1 oz sliced almonds
1/4 cup white vinegar
3/4 cup oil
2 T soy sauce
1/2 cup sugar

In a skillet brown crunchy noodles in the butter add sesame seeds and almonds and finish off browning. In a saucepan, combine vinegar, oil, soy sauce and sugar. Bring to a boil for one minute. Cool and stir well.  Fifteen minutes before serving, toss cabbage mixture, noodles, nuts and seeds mixture and vinegar, oil sugar, soy sauce dressing. Toss well.  This serves 12 but can be altered depending on the amount of Nappy Cabbage you use.

Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Monday, March 5, 2012

What A Surprise!

(An Old Liquor Bottle Would Make A Great Terrarium!)

Deep into a dead sleep, I hear this sound in my dreams.  At least I thought it was my dreams when my hubby said "hey, the phone" and I jumped up and ran to the phone it was 5:14 a.m. The robotic voice on the other end started talking about shipping and calling the post office, Oh my chicks are coming! I mumble to myself that I have to get in touch with the post office on Monday as I crawl back into bed.  We get up and start preparing to get ready for church, it's a little after 8:00 a.m., the phone rings.  I joke, it's probably about the chicks again, and I say hello and it is the post office.  They have my chicks already and what a surprise that was on a Sunday morning.  First, I wasn't expecting them to even ship until today, and then finding out they shipped on Saturday, I certainly didn't expect them until today.  For them to have arrived at our post office the very next day, well that is incredibly impressive. Way to go McMurray's Hatchery, you are the best!  My husband jumped in the car and ran up to the post office to retrieve our new babies.  I wasn't completely prepared, we were going after church today to buy an additional brooder light and medicated chick feed.  My other lights are being used and all I had on hand was laying pellets.  He gets home and we open the box to see the cutest, most adorable, colorful, peeping chicks.  My heart melted instantly, I fell in love and they are just precious.  I started giving them all a dipped beak of water and we packed them back in the box and put a heating pad around them with the oil heaters on in the bathroom, and left for Tractor supply straight away.  We had to miss church because of our unexpected surprise, and I hated doing that, but I really needed to get feed and heat on these babies.
Needless to say, I spent most of the day sitting on the floor watching these darlings play and eat and drink and chirp.  My son popped in on a break from work and said "you've been sitting here all day haven't you?" I laughed and said "no, I've done other things today!" He laughed and mumbled "yeah, right!" as he closed the door and left me to my maternal bliss.

I have come across a nice glass liquor bottle, and I am thinking of making a terrarium out of it. I just need to figure out what sort of plants to put into it, they will need to be small.  I look at it every time I walk into the kitchen where it is awaiting a good soak and cleaning.  I think the next time I go to town I will take a peek at Lowes to see what little plants they have to make my terrarium.  I am picturing a few of these bottles together on a shelf to really set it off. I need my drinking friends to save bottles for me!

 My flower bed is coming along nicely, my husband worked all weekend in the cold, getting the logs just right, and it's really going to be pretty when I get it planted.  We had some scary storms on Friday night.  I know there was a lot of devastation with storms and tornadoes recently, and my heart goes out to all that have suffered.  We didn't really have any damage, but I lost a lot of sleep sitting up worried and scared during the night Friday.  The storms and rain brought with it very cool temperatures and a lot of wind for Saturday and Sunday.  It was a hard adjustment after two weeks of warmth and sun.

Some yummy fun in my kitchen this weekend included:

I made a pork chop recipe Sunday that turned out quite well.  First, I marinated the pork chops in Worcestershire sauce and beer after rubbing them down with garlic powder, salt, pepper, and onion powder.  I let them sit overnight.
I put them in a glass baking dish and covered them with chopped onions and 1/4 cup of water.  I put foil over the dish and put them into a 350 degree oven for one hour.  They were so tender they were falling off the bone.  They turned out so well, I'm going to do them like this more often.

I also made a coconut custard pie type dessert.  That turned out really well too, I didn't feel like making a pie crust, so I mixed up 2 cups of graham cracker crumbs, 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 stick of butter and pressed it into a 9 x 13 glass dish.  I put 4 1/2 cups of milk, 1/3 cup of flour, 1/2 a bag of coconut (that is all I had), 2/3 cups of sugar and 1/8 teaspoon salt into a saucepan and brought that to a simmer where I added 6 beaten eggs and a good splash of vanilla, probably a tablespoon.  I mixed that well over low heat and then poured it over the graham cracker crust and baked it at 350 for one hour.  I let it sit for an hour before we even thought about eating it, and it turned out so well.  Really easy, simple and delicious for quick throw together dessert!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Mother Nature, You Can't Fool Me!

It has been so pretty and sunny and warm that it is hard not to get fooled by it all and run to the nursery to buy bedding plants. But, I have fallen for it more than once in my lifetime and I know better. Mother Nature is not going to fool me this time! I have been working on my two beds and the pathway I'm making on the side of the house. The big hole is going to make such a lovely Koi pond and once I have it all finished and planted I am going to have hubby build me a nice arbor from down trees to set the pathway off beautifully. I took the chairs and glass top, faux-granite based table from the deck and put it under a shade tree at the beginning of my little garden bed, pathway paradise and it looks so relaxing and I just want to sit there all day. I can't wait to plant flowers in the beds. I am going to put in some rose bushes and some herbs and pretty, colorful flowers and I want to line the empty side behind the one bed that isn't against the house with forsythia bushes to give it a back drop and balance the space. I will plant climbing roses against my arbor that I have eventually. It is going to be so pretty, I can see it in my mind and I just love how it is turning out.

Our church has a praise band, and I started last night with them at practice. Now I am far from a guitar player and I haven't played in years! But, I was asked over and over to give it a try so I broke down and started practicing. I am so rusty and have so much trouble changing chords again, I know I will get there if I keep practicing. I am such a perfectionist that I get frustrated when I can't do something just right and last night at practice was a trial in my patience that is for sure. I hope that I can get this down and not embarrass myself. Although, it is nice to have something to do with the kids that are in the bad too, my daughter sings, my oldest plays the mandolin and banjo and my middle son plays the guitar and sings. Maybe dear old mom will get back into the swing of things eventually.

I threw together dinner with a half made up recipe last night that turned out really tasty, and even my hubby, Mr. Picky said it was good. I thought I would share it for those that need a quick dinner.

Sweet and Sour Sausages with Onions and Peppers

3 packages of polish sausage, cut in bite sized pieces
1 onion chopped
1 bell pepper chopped
1/2 small jar grape jelly
1 bottle chili sauce

Chop onion and pepper and start sauteing in a skillet. When tender add the sausage and jelly and chili sauce. Mix well. Put on low and let simmer with a lid on the skillet until ready to eat. The longer it cooks the better it gets.

I diced up some potatoes added a couple tablespoons of butter, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder to taste and put them in my microwave dish with a lid. Microwaved for 15 minutes until tender. (This is an easy side dish that is a family favorite at our house)

This dinner went over well and took no time to prepare, it worked out well with everything going on last night and it held well for those who ate later.  Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Re-purposed Treasures...

I am so tired today.  I have been going and going and just trudging along, working, cleaning up, cooking, digging dirt for my flower bed, caring for the animals etc., and I think it's all caught up with me today.  Life never stops at 6 o'clock, wouldn't it be nice to have bankers hours with a family, farm and job?  I am happy that I don't have a long list of things to do today, but I do have things I want to do!

Oh what a joyful treat I received yesterday! My oldest went into town to pick up some goodies from a free listing that I see everyday.  I was elated when he returned with things I didn't know were coming home.  I was very excited to get some old coffee cups and bowls to plant flowers in and set outside on my porch.  But, he brought home an old particle board and metal tubing desk and a lovely round wicker, glass top table and 4 chairs that I can put outside under a lovely shade tree. I was just beside myself with happiness over my free treasures to re-purpose and give new life.  Now I am on a mission to get busy with my new "toys"! Getting something free is wonderful and being able to bring an old thing back to life again, well that is a big adrenaline rush for me!  I am going to figure out how to do a mosaic on the desk to give it some color and I think I'm going to make it an indoor sort of potting bench for flowers.  At least for now that is where my mind is going with it.  I have a bunch of broken white tiles that would be perfect to use on it and would  change its appearance dramatically.  Broken white tiles, mastic and some grout and a little time to put it together and I will have a lovely new addition for zero cost.  Who doesn't love that in this down economy!

Last nights dinner and church service was wonderful and although I was so tired by the time I sat down in the pew, I was very thankful to have this quiet, serene service to share in worship during lent.  We had some very tasty soups and all of my sandwiches turned out well and were all eaten and everyone loved my cheesecake. I am happy that all the food and fellowship turned out well.  I was so thankful that my oldest was able to help me get it all together, otherwise things would of been less than perfect with me doing it all alone and trying to be on time.  Note to self, never sign up for soup again, I was wearing some of it by the time I got to the church! Live and learned that lesson haha.  Pumpkin soup meets denim equals the look of baby spit up all over.  I had to get it all off in the restroom at church and I still had "dark stains" all over, I'm glad I opted to wear jeans last night.

I'm hearing things about March clean-up challenge, I think I may undertake that and see what I can get accomplished in 31 days.  I think today I will start with my living room, something easy to work on when I would rather plant myself in the recliner and watch DIY network all day!  Happy Thursday everyone!