Sunday, August 24, 2014

Exciting Times!

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We've been canning up a storm here, but we've also been planning a wedding!!! Our niece is getting married, and since she is living here for now, I'm getting in on the fun!

I never thought I'd be in on planning a wedding this much since we weren't blessed with kids, but since Abbie lost her Mom this summer and is living here, I get to enjoy the fun planning and shopping trips her Mom should have been in on. She told me earlier today she didn't think she could have gotten married this fall, without our emotional support, because she misses her Mom and couldn't do the shopping trips by herself since that's something a mother and daughter usually does together. I totally understand that, cause it was fun shopping with my Mom when we did MY wedding shopping all those years ago.

I do feel for her though...cause I know I can never "replace" her Mom, and I'd never try to. Hopefully I can help ease her through this sad yet happy time though!

Abbie is just having a small wedding, but we found the venue for it and it's beautiful! If all goes well, it will be an outside wedding, with the reception inside. If it's bad weather then, we can have the wedding right there where the reception will be...but we both are hoping for good weather, and hoping the fall color is popping really GOOD when the wedding date gets here in October!

With canning still in full swing...and the wedding to plan for, needless to say we are BUSY!  Money is tight for everyone, so we are trying to do this in a frugal manner too...but yet still give her as many nice memories as possible.  My hubby (who's Mom used to own a he's had experience with making wedding cakes) will be in charge of the cake decorating.  It's been a few years since he's done that kind of thing will need to do some practicing before he starts on the cake.  LOL  However, that will save some money, AND give her a nicer, larger cake for the money which is great.
I'm going to be the official photographer (poor girl!  LOL) so hopefully I can manage to get a few nice photos for her.  I'm so out of practice we will see.  I warned her she may not get anything GOOD...but she is ok with that, so I'll just do my best.  It's not like when our other niece got married...I wasn't going to deal with her Mother so I said I wasn't going to be the "official" photographer.'s more fun that way for ME.  LOL  However...I know there is no money for a different photographer, so I will pray that God guides my hand and lets them turn out.  If it's nice weather so we can have the wedding outside, there will be a better chance that they WILL turn out, as my outside photos are usually better than the inside photos.  :-))

So anyway, cake is figured out...photographer is chosen *roll eyes*...venue is reserved...and invites are printed.  A little bit of shopping has been done...but still have lots to do as soon as we have the money together.  More plans will be made over the next little over a month, and cake and mints will be made in my humble kitchen.

Exciting times are certainly here!  Now you know what's been keeping me busy...not much extra computer time for me.  LOL  We will see if I can update at all before the wedding date gets here.  And yes...I realize I always have an excuse for not blogging lately!  *snicker*

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Canning Season is well under way!

We've done a BUNCH of canning the last few days...this is only PART of what we got canned up!

The first couple days this week wasn't to bad in the busy department...but then we got hit with lots to can, and we've been busy, busy, busy!!

We've canned 101 quarts of potatoes for Mom and I, 40 quarts of green beans (for our niece Abbie...cause DH and I can't stand the things...but since she loves them and I'm trying to teach her to can too, they got canned this week also) 48 pints of peaches and a few of the left over pickle relish we did last week. Today we are finishing up putting the last of the green beans through the canner...and doing a few more potatoes for Abbie. The photo is only part of what we canned. :-))

Praising God for the bounty we were blessed with this week!!  Love canning season, although this week was kinda brutal...I was tired but so far so good on my foot pain not flaring up so I'm extremely thankful to not be fighting that while getting the canning done.

Gotta get off here...just thought I'd do a quick update, since it's been awhile!  LOL  Life is Good...and we are blessed...and have a good start on our winter's food supply already!  :-))

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Belle turned 1 today!

Belle getting her
Peaches and Belle getting Belle's birthday cake!

Today, our sweet little singing troublemaker (Belle) turned one! She has sure added fun to this house...more trouble than we have had in some area's with our fur babies, but lots of love too which makes up for the trouble. LOL

She loves to play, sometimes it seems she is non stop playing...if she can't get someone to play with her, she finds something to play with. I see her tossing her toy's up in the air, flinging them around a lot and running to get them again. It's so cute, seeing her play by herself.

Belle eating her birthday cake!
Belle eating her Birthday cake. She sure looks like Autumn in this photo since her ears are back.

DH had to run to town today, so he went to the bakery and asked if they had a couple small cupcakes that weren't frosted so we could give our fur babies a special treat since it was Belle's very first birthday. (Peaches 4th is coming up at the end of the month...hard to believe we've had that special little sweetheart for almost 4 years already!)  They enjoyed their cake and it vanished quickly.

Belle has been entertaining us lately by singing.  We started watching Star Trek Deep Space 9 on netflix and when the intro music comes on, she will sometimes sing for us.  Even going so far as to throwing her head back and howling at times.  It's only during one spot in the music...and not near as long as I'd like it to be, but it's so FUNNY!!  LOL

I actually got her to sing with a youtube video I watched this morning, but didn't think to have my phone ready to capture it on video (since I didn't know she was going to do it) was longer that time, and would have been great to have a record of it.  LOL  I did get a decent one of her singing to the deep space 9 theme music...just haven't gotten it off my phone yet.  If I ever do, maybe I'll upload it and share it on here.  Anyway, she has sure been entertaining us with her singing lately.  She talks to us a lot too, when she wants something, not by barking, but with her strange little talking howl that she has.  It's priceless!

All in all, it's been wonderful having Belle in our's always an adventure when you have fur babies!

Happy Birthday Sweet little Belle!!  :-))

Monday, July 07, 2014

A good weekend!

A cat my Dad gave us enjoying the beautiful day!

We had a good 4th of July weekend here on our hillbilly farm. We had some lazy times, and not so lazy times but all in all, it was fun!

The 4th saw us helping get some of Dad's Hay picked up out of his field, before rain came. It wasn't to hard, since it was only part of the field. With us all getting older, I think Dad is planning on doing small bits at a time, so it's not so hard to get done and into the barn. When we do a whole field at once it's a pain to get it all in the barn in one day.

That evening (of the 4th) Mom and Dad came over to our house for an evening of food and fun. We had supper together, then played games, then went out and sat in our front yard watching the neighbor's and people in the nearest town shot off their fireworks. It was actually a decent show, between the fireworks and the cats! LOL We have a kitten that was enjoying playing while we watched and the older cats hung around too...till it got dark enough and the fireworks started anyway.

Gotta love living on top of a we have a decent view to watch fireworks from! ;-))

It was an enjoyable evening and nice to spend time with my parents. We don't seem to do enough of that, even though we now live close to them. We keep busy and time runs away from us all I think! LOL

Abbie and I made some egg rolls to put in the freezer, instead of buying already made ones for a change.  It was so much nicer making these with help...I can do them by myself, but this is one of those times I'd rather have someone distracting me from the boring task of rolling them...not to mention helping to fry them.

Last week, before Abbie went to visit other family, we made some egg rolls. I've made them by myself before, but it was sure nicer having help this time. They were good too! We froze most of them though, to be eaten over the next month or so with stir fry.

I like cooking by myself, some today I am trying a new supper dish, guess I was in the mood to cook since I was here by myself without distractions...but some things is just more fun to do with company around to distract you from the boredom of doing the same thing over and over again. LOL

I do tend to get more "creative" when I'm alone in the house...which could be why I've not really been in the mood to "cook" or try new things lately...with Abbie being around...however since she is still gone I took advantage of my "wanting" to cook by opening pintrest and choosing a new dish to try.  LOL  Love having company...but also love my alone time!

I really need to make cheese...I've not been making it much lately, and GOT to get back to it.  Was going to this morning, but once I got some things done and had time to I wasn't really in the mood too.  *sigh*  LOL

I did however get a batch of my Grandma's Lime pickles started!  Dad planted a bunch of cucumbers this year and they are just starting to produce.  They are really GOOD this year too...nice and crisp and juicy!  Loving eating them raw...and will enjoy getting some canned up too.  I'm planning on making several batches of lime pickles...then making some more dill relish...then...we will see what we do.  I have a feeling, if they produce well, Dad will have them coming out his ears, with the number of plants he said he planted...but that just means we can eat bunches of them raw too, which will be wonderful!  I do LOVE cucumbers!

Before we know it the tomatoes will be starting...can't wait for them either and am hoping we can come up with a bunch of them too!  I'm almost out of salsa, so really need to be making a bunch of that this year...we may have to buy some tomatoes from someone else though for some of that, depending on what Mom and Dad's do.

Nothing major going on here, just the usual stuff...including making butter several times a week, for the freezer, daily use and my Mom when she needs more.  Love having that butter coming in, even if I don't always want to take the time to get it made.  LOL  Least I'll have it this winter, if the cows dry up, although I still have a ways to go to have enough for that.  :-))

Anyway, hope everyone had a good holiday weekend!  Better get off here and finish supper!  ;-))

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Kraut Pounder

I finally used the Kraut Pounder my Dad made me last worked WONDERFULLY!!  So much better than the meat tenderizer I tried using last year for lack of anything else to use...the cabbage got a LOT more jucy with this kraut pounder, and I didn't dent my metal bowl with the corner of the metal meat tenderizer.  LOL  LOVE IT!!

I finally got to use the Kraut Pounder this week, that my Dad made me last fall!! It worked wonderfully well! The cabbage juiced up a LOT more than any of the other cabbage I've used for sauerkraut has when I made it before, using a meat tenderizer to beat it. The metal meat tenderizer made a little juice...but not much, it was however good at denting my metal bowl...which this new wooden kraut pounder didn't do so I'm happy with it for that reason too!

It's so much easier to use...and also helped me pack the cabbage into jars, cause one end fits in my wide mouth jars (the other will fit in a narrow mouth...although I don't usually use the narrow mouth jars for this) and I can push down on the cabbage and fit a LOT of it in to a quart jar.

If you make sauerkraut or anything like that and have ever wondered if a Kraut Pounder is worth getting...let me just say, after using mine....YES!!!  It really does help!  :-))

Thank you for making it for me Daddy!!!  ;-))

Friday, June 20, 2014

Family, Food and Fun!

Our niece Abbie, wanted to make homemade runza's the other day, so I pulled out a dough recipe I got from my Aunt Betty, and we made some.  They were REALLY good!!  Going to have to do that again I guess!  ;-))

I've been (for the most part) enjoying having our niece living here! She enjoys a lot of the same things I do so we get along pretty good. Don't get me wrong, there have been a few times I've gotten a bit irritated...(remember I'm kinda hard to live with at times LOL) and I'm sure she can say the same, *giggle* but thats the way it goes when you are living with someone, no matter who it is. We still love each other and as long as we are willing to talk about our problems...things will be just fine!

Abbie is one of the only people (women anyway) who I can stand to be in the kitchen with! My Mom is probably about the only other one LOL. I've always prefered to cook on my own for the most part...not that I don't like having help on the BIG family meals, but for the most part I'm happy being alone with my cooking. In fact, I at times prefer to have the whole house to myself...not just my kitchen. DH doesn't bother me, although I tend to get more motivated to cook if he is outside  busy with his own thing, but that's just probably cause I know he is busy so I should be too...and if he is being lazy, we can be lazy together. *giggle*

Anyway, I'm not really compatible in the kitchen with most people, but Abbie and I are doing quite well together, even having FUN being in the kitchen together at times! We don't even have to be working on the same thing and still haven't gotten in each others way...least so far...even though the kitchen isn't real huge. (Well...she didn't get in mine anyway...don't know if I got in hers. LOL) That's a big surprise actually to me, cause although I know we've cooked together before...and been around each other, it's not something we've done a LOT I didn't know how it would be with her living here, knowing how I tend to have "loner" days where I want that alone time.

I have to say it's almost like having a daughter come home, cause we finish each others sentences...can interpret each others sign language when one of us can't think of the word we are looking for...and have a lot of fun together when we are both feeling good. Seriously we can have a blast together at times...and talk and talk and talk. Course, it's not a never ending chat fest...we both like our quiet times...but when we ARE in a talkative mood look out! LOL We both can be shy...but not with each other. It's so GOOD to be an AUNT sometimes!! ;-))

The other day Abbie wanted to make homemade Runza's. In Nebraska there is a fast food resturant that serves Runza's that Abbie and DH LOVED. I've never been fond of them cause I didn't like the cabbage in them. However, knowing how they both liked them, I agreed to get out some hamburger (which I'm a little stingy package, which is two pounds, of beef and one package of deer burger a week is all I've been allowing...cause I wanted it to last till we butcher again if possible since the store bought burger just isn't agreeing with me to well.) Abbie mixed up the dough recipe I pulled out that I usually use for dinner rolls...I got it from my Aunt Betty, and it's the BEST!...then fried up the meat mixture for the middle. She even made a pan of it especially for me, without cabbage!

While we need practice rolling them and getting them the right size, they really turned out YUMMY! We are for SURE going to have to make them again sometime...maybe enough to freeze some, for easy lunches. DH and Abbie said they were pretty close to the "real" thing...and I thought they were WAY better, cause mine didn't have that nasty cabbage that I didn't like in the "real" ones in Nebraska. LOL

The photo above was an after thought...I stole Abbie's plate, after she got done taking a photo to send to her fiance, and snapped my own photo of it, so I could share our success story with making Runza's. (although it was mostly Abbie's success story...I just supplied the dough recipe and a little help with rolling them...oh and my companionship for the afternoon of baking.  LOL)  Needless to say, I really can't wait to have them again...cause they really ARE good!  :-))

It's been a hotter week here...a little rain, not as much as "they" were saying we might get, but that figures.  LOL  It's been peaceful for the most part.  Abbie's been working on a late garden...she likes to garden, silly girl... she hasn't done it for a while, so doesn't know if it will produce anything, but least she can get her feet wet (or muddy) this summer and see how it goes. I finally got some salve made, and more started...and need to get back to making soap, but that's for another week I guess cause this week is almost gone.  Strawberry season is finally week we may get a few black raspberries (not enough, thanks to the hail storm we had a few weeks ago *cry*) but least we are done with the first wave of fruit for this year!  Hubby has been running around doing his own thing...I never can remember all he's doing during the week.  All in all I'd have to say it's been a pretty good week.

Praise God for the wonderful gifts of love, family, and food God has blessed us with this week!  :-))

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Miracle's Happen!

I finally managed to go butterfly hunting...didn't find to many, since I won't go out where I can get poison ivy, but I caught a couple with my camera for the first time in two or three years!  Hopefully I can get out more this year and get better at taking photos again...I've gotten kinda rusty!
A butterfly I captured with my camera while out butterfly hunting today!!

Yes, miracle's really DO happen!

It's been several years since I've gone out butterfly hunting. With our move, I fought poison ivy the first didn't venture out to far, even once I (FINALLY) got rid of it. I DIDN'T want to catch it again. I still have that problem...but am trying to stay away from the worst places it's growing.

Also...last summer my foot was bothering me so much I tried to rest it as much as I could. I figured out that even just walking on the uneven ground could cause a bad flair I stopped walking around outside lots, when I had free time. Pain and I don't do well together.

The miracle I'm talking about is, after a year of flair ups...and using special shoe inserts for plantar fascitiis, not to mention the special brace I bought to wear at night (WHAT A PAIN THAT WAS...sleeping happened, just not as well as usual. I'm one who hates to wear socks to bed, so a big bulky brace was NOT my cup of tea LOL) as well as foot stretches with and without an elastic band a friend of mine sent me (THANKS DJ!) my foot pain seems to have slowed WAY down! I'm still skeptical that it's "gone" but...we will see how things go through canning season. If it doesn't flair back up by the time THAT'S over...maybe...I will go out on a limb and say it's better! LOL

Nothing seemed to totally help...I'm not for SURE what finally got me over the major pain. The shoe inserts helped a little, but not a lot...the brace did help some, but didn't stop the flair ups, and major pain. The stretching helped...but still had lots of pain with it. I rested it a lot this winter and not sure if that finally helped...or if my herbal salve worked.

I did start rubbing some of my herbal salve into my feet 2-3 weeks before I finally noticed that my foot pain was better, (NOT to see if it would work...but for a different reason) so I'm wondering if THAT did it...but can't really say for sure, and with summer being here and it being our busy season, i'm afraid to check it out and stop using it, to see if it comes back. So...till canning season is over, I'll be doing what I can to keep it in check...including using my herbal salve on my feet everyday!

I finally managed to go butterfly hunting...didn't find to many, since I won't go out where I can get poison ivy, but I caught a couple with my camera for the first time in two or three years!  Hopefully I can get out more this year and get better at taking photos again...I've gotten kinda rusty!
Another butterfly I caught with my camera while it was sitting on a tree.

I am going to hopefully (when I have time and remember to) start going out walking around, looking for butterflies though...unless I notice my foot pain coming back again, cause it's so fun to capture them with my camera...and I really need the exercise, not to mention the practice at taking their photos cause I'm so rusty now with my camera. LOL

I've been so THRILLED the last 2-3 weeks, since I first realized I wasn't having so much heel pain, and our last shopping trip was so much nicer, cause I could still WALK by the time we got home!  I almost danced into the house, cause of the relief of no heel pain, even if I was still kinda tired after the long day out and about.  There has been several times over the last few weeks that I've not been able to stop myself from chattering with excitement about my lack of heel pain to anyone who happened to be around me.  You have NO IDEA how WONDERFUL it feels, unless you TO, have had to deal with this pain.  Yes, I still have problems...but least I can walk now!  *knock on wood*  I'm still being pretty careful...but will hopefully stop being so careful as time goes by.

I snapped a couple photos of the cicada's while I was butterfly hunting.  They have been loud this year!
A cicada I saw on one of our apple trees while butterfly hunting.

Needless to say, with less pain in my heel, I'm going to enjoy the beauty around us just a tad bit more! Pain dulls everything as I'm sure most of you know. If I'm on my feet a lot, I can still have foot pain...just not (so far...for the past few weeks) that horrible pain I was having a lot of over the last year. I'm so thankful to God for the relief! Praise Yahweh for my own personal miracle, even if it comes back, the break has been WONDERFUL!!

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