Friday, June 8, 2012

Boy go away for a little while and everything goes down the tubes.  Apparently the gremlins have been at work "fixing" things and I sure don't like it.  Was nice and simple before, now it took me ages to figure out how to post, why don't they just leave things alone,lol.

Well now it is June and things are in bloom and it is nice and warm , still cooling off at night so pretty perfect. Adding  things into the vegie garden and working on pumpkin patch, also just got order of trees so they will need to be planted.  Looks like we may have some apples on the old trees this year which will be great!!  For the last several years we have gone appleless, missed them as they were so good!

I have some hints for you, one I really love.  I buy lemons for baking and cooking but usually end up with a few that are wasted as they spoil so fast.  Well, I heard a hint that really works, when you bring the lemons home from the store put them in a zip lock bag.  I have two in the fridge right now that are over a month old and still perfect, how cool is that!!!

Speaking of zip lock bags I was speaking to a friend and mentioned that I reused mine and she had never thought of that.  I just turn them inside out and put them in top rack of the dishwasher and they are fine.  When you think of it most of what we put in them is not icky so putting them through wash cycle kills any germs and you have not added to the land fill.

As I work in my flower beds I am using old magazines, papers, feedbags (which I split down the side and open out), shreds from the bank , etc to use as mulch.  Over that I put mulch or straw, which ever I have on hand.  This is another way to refrain from adding to landfill and also kill weeds without chemicals.  I am also using my borax mixture as well as vinegar to kill weeds.

Have a wonderful weekend and I will try to get back sooner.  I am also trying to catch up on my blog reading and seeing what everyone else is up to.  So far none of the blogs are allowing me to comment, not sure what is up with that!!


Monday, April 9, 2012

Things are growing!!

Happy April!! I have things growing and blooming and I love it. Makes me happy to walk out and see something new every day! I even have asparagus growing, how cool is that! Not enough to really make a meal, but in a year or two as it keeps increasing. I have mentioned before how much better the vegetables taste when they are freshly picked. I do not have the words to describe the difference in taste from that bought in the store. Of course the down side is that the weeds are also growing,lol, maybe I need to study and see which ones can be eaten. I do know that the dandelion greens are used in salads and I believe I have read somewhere that the thistle is edible.

I went out to dig up some violets to take to a friend yesterday, she only has white ones and I have several different colors. I ended up having a good laugh, first several of the outside cats followed me to get the shovel and pots. Then as I went around the yard they kept me company, chasing each other up and down the trees. The final stop was out back by the fields where there are a burgundy colored ones growing. As I was digging away a new voice was added, one of the chickens came to help. She was just clucking away and scratching around and then followed me back to the house. Started the day off great! smiles , friends and sunshine what more could anyone want. Our friends live a couple of hours away other then wind the drive was good, had a wonderful meal, good company and a good drive home. The wind up here is something else!!

Hint wise news, I am using my new cleaner and also have a new batch brewing. I do not see any major differences between what is purchased in the store and what I have made. There is still a vinegar odor but it is not strong and you can smell the orange. I have used it to clean the microwave, counters, inside the fridge , the stove top and my mixers. So far so good!

Hope your Easter was good and the bunny brought you goodies!! Enjoy your April.

Monday, March 26, 2012

March is almost gone!

We have had quite a run of nice weather which ended yesterday. Temperatures have been running about 20 degrees above normal. So many of the plants are coming up, the trees are getting leaves and the grass is green. Problem is that there is still the possibility of frost and freezes, even snow. Hopefully that will not happen, if the fruit trees have blossoms then the crops will be ruined. The last couple of years have been a bad one for our apple trees. The tornado hurt them and then cold and wet Springs messed things up even more. The apples are so good I miss them.

So I keep thinking of hints but have not written them down, need to tie a notebook around my neck I think,lol. One thing I discovered was for the dishwasher, I use those little packs with the dawn in them and they kept getting stuck and not dissolving all the way. Turns out if I put them in the compartment with the liquid side down they work fine. Other random money savers, if you grate your own potatoes for hash browns , one potato will make enough for at least 2 servings. I like to also grate some onion in when I make them. I grate several potatoes into a dish of cold water to rinse the extra starch off them, this helps to stop them from turning dark. I will take the extra and make patties and freeze them in zip lock bags. Quick and easy and much less them buying them from store. I found a really neat slicer/shredder at the thrift and it makes it so much easier. Has a fairly large bowl and electric so I can do bunches at once. Also good for making potato pancakes, slaw, carrot salad, etc.

I love the thrift shop, get cool things for cheap. Things you only use couple of times a year so why pay big bucks for them,lol. A fun thing browsing through and seeing what you can find and only spending 5 or 10 dollars. I just found one of those electric pots you can fry in or use like a crock pot, was $3.00!

Hopefully we won't blow away and will be back again! Best to you all,

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Hi just a quick hint I just found. I am going to try this for sure as I already use vinegar to clean with and Jim eats oranges all the time.

Orange peels, vinegar in a quart jar, let sit for 10 days or so...strain out the... liquid and use as an all-purpose cleaner. Easy, cheap, natural, smells good!

Oh and for you gardeners with cats, I am saving my lids from the cat food. Since they have the pull tab and are soft metal I am going to use them for row labels. I am also going to bend the tab over the fence so have markers at both ends of rows. Last year had some problems with peppers as my markers did not last.

Loving this spell of warm weather.

Best to you all

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A couple of Hints

This feels good being back and keeping in touch. I mentioned I wanted to add a dimension to my blog, sharing hints I run across and hope will help others. I learned early about being thrifty and self sufficient from my Grandfather. I have not always followed his good advice, but as I get older it makes more and more sense. Instead of running to the store whenever I need something I do look around and see what I have and how can I use it. In a way the advice I share will be in honor of Grampa's smart ideas.

So my first hint is one I saw on Rachael Ray's show , how to use fresh Basil. Basil is fragile and somewhat expensive to buy fresh. When growing it does not like cold so what Rachael shared makes sense. Instead of putting it in the fridge treat it like fresh flowers, trim the stems and put in a glass of water. The take a zip lock bag or other small plastic bag and place it over the Basil and set the glass on the counter. According to Rachel it will last much longer. I have not tried this but once my Basil comes up I will try it for sure.

There was something else I wanted to share, but can't remember it,lol. I have spent most of the day working on homework and trying to learn tax information. My brain is bruised and not working well,lol.

Best to you my friends

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Still Here

In talking to several people I find I have company with other missing in action bloggers! I promised myself I would get back to it for New Years, hummm that didn't work. So today plopped myself down and here I am. I have been mulling over which way to go with this, I was boring myself . So I think what I am going to do is put in some of the home type things and maybe make a section that is hints. Ways to fix things, reuse things or do things differently. I read constantly and find tidbits here and there so think I will share and see how it goes. I have also thought about having an anonymous blog where I could rant and rage and no one would know it was me,lol.

As I go through the day my mind is constantly churning away with an overload of thoughts. A mix of good, bad and ugly, I have ideas for improving things, making things and complaining. Currently, I am not in the best place, a birthday reminded me that time is flying by and we are not in a good place financially. I seem to be the only one who has any sense of urgency while the other half of the team seems to be content to coast along. All this brought
about a new determination to not wait for help but to surge ahead with my ideas and plans. I have found a handyman to help me build the Adirondack chairs I had tried before and also the yard art I wanted to do. I have lined up people to help me get my shop into shape so I will have space to do my pet treats and teach cake decorating and eventually do catering. I avoided this in the past not wanting to hurt others feeling by going outside the house for help. Now have decided if I don't take the bit in my teeth and go forward it may never happen. There are those that sit and those that do and I have always been a doing.

Anyone reading this who may have some ideas for online marketing, I welcome your input. Due to our location I believe online sales will be the way to go. I am going to try and be better about keeping up with this as I enjoy visiting with everyone.

I have been doing a few things, here is a painting I did last week. I am also learning china painting, when I get something done I will post it. I love the oils as you have instant gratification, the china painting is a long process layer after layer of painting.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

We're still here

It has been so long since I posted, I think of things all the time but can't seem to get them on here. We made it through the winter fine, with the work Jim did on the windows and the wood stove things were much more comfortable. We actually paid off the
last of the gas bill last month, last year we were paying all the way into the fall.

The weather has been very unpredictable this Spring, lots of
still standing in the fields. The farmers were very late getting crops in and my garden is a shambles. I will be harvesting late into to fall at this rate. I have planted tomatoes 3 times and had something just clip them off. I keep working on the fence around them and hope I have it this time. My fence building skills are limited at best,lol. My friend cleaned out her greenhouse so I have plenty of plants so can keep replacing, but they won't mature until late summer. I have taken lots of compost from the piles that have been ripening for a couple of years so hope that will help some. The Raspberry plant I put in a couple of years ago has taken over the strawberry patch and oregano bed and is heading for the horseradish. Time to move the monster, just have to figure where.

The Hollyhocks are rampant and I love it now that they are in bloom. They make me think of when I was small and we lived in UpState NY. There were some
hollyhocks out back and I thought they were so pretty. Then when we lived in WI our neighbor Connie had some so now they make me think of her. A friend brought me some seeds for a dark burgandy Hollyhock, so am going to plant some and see what I get. I have such plans for the yard and property so keep plugging away.

Things are now going to get really crazy, I am going to start some new classes for a new client. I will continue working with AAA until I am sure I have passed everything. The best part of the new client will be that I will not have to work on weekends. So 4 hours a day will be spent in classes and then trying to work the job and take care of Husband, house and critters. Instead of being paid by the call it will be by the hour, so I am thinking money should be about equal. During busy spells could make more with AAA but there are those quiet times when you only answer a few calls an hour. I am also thinking less stress, as I have enough from everyday type things.

So still pretty much at the same point, Jim is working but making less then half what he used to, I am bringing in a bit but not nearly enough. Still moving at turtle speed at getting my shop together. Selling a few more eggs which pays for chickens feed and going to try taking them to farmer's market. I just hate being behind the 8 ball and at this age it is scary also, don't want to be that old lady eating dog food to get by.

Best to you all,