Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Old Ways vs Technology

   I am a firm believer that the old ways are the best & we'd be much better off as a society if more people knew how to take care of themselves, but I must admit I do have a love/hate thing going on with technology. I spent most of yesterday getting Windows 10 on the computers. From the reports I had heard there were issues. I really didn't have too many problems, except one of my software programs that was only 3 years old won't work with it & so you have to buy the newest version. A money maker to be sure.
  As the Mom of a young child I really try to keep up with all of this, but the problem is that I am close to retirement age & so I don't always understand what all the new terminology means. I was not born in the time of computers or smart phones & have no idea what in the world a Gateway is so telling me to reboot it sends me into a panic.
  I use to be into Social Media, but it lost it's charm awhile back. People can be very hateful when they know they can sit in their jammies & give an opinion. Also, when did we start to abbreviate everything? For the love of  Pete - the word people is not spelled ppl. How are we suppose to teach Children the real spelling of words if they never see them?
  The real issue is finding a middle ground with all of this. I do like the ease of finding information or connecting with someone who has the same interest, but sometimes I need to reboot  myself & make a batch of wine or wash laundry in a bucket with a plunger or get my hands dirty in the garden. Fresh air & sunshine are much more interesting than finding out what Kim Kardashan did last night. It's time to get a grip.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

I Am Thankful

      It's very easy to forget on a daily basis why we need to be thankful. Everyone is always rushed & pulled five different ways. This morning while  my Family is sleeping I want to tell you what & who I am thankful for.
     First, without a doubt - My Husband. He chose to go on this roller coaster ride with me almost 25 years ago & has never let me down. He is my "Once In A Blue Moon".
     Then we have Little Chicken Chick - Our reason for life. The one that keeps me on my old toes & either keeps me young or wears me out depending on the day. A lot of days it's both.
     My Parents
     My Mother -In -Law (yes, you read that right)
     Last, but not least my BFF ( she knows who she is) We have been best friends for almost 35 years. We went for a long time not seeing each other but when I needed her most she was there & has not left my side. I don't tell her enough how much I love her, so I am saying it now. I trust this Woman with my life.
     A warm, dry  home. A garden to grow our own food, & the knowledge to do it & knowing that if we need to we can pretty well take care of ourselves.
     I have spent alot of time resting the last week & seem to be getting stronger & have had time to think. Tell  or show the ones that you love that you do. You never know when it will be the last time. Be kinder - To yourself & everyone else. Everyone needs to chill out a bit. Happy Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 20, 2015


My surgery went well, now the healing begins. I'll be back on here soon as soon as I feel a little better.

Monday, November 9, 2015

The Start of Our Married Life

      My Husband & I married at the end of the last century. We were in our 30's & 40's then. He lived in an almost 100 year old house that had seen it's better days. It had started out as two rooms & then had been added to at some point. Floors sloped to the point of having to level furniture, there was mold, parts of the porch were caving in & it was drafty, but it was our home.
      We had a neighbor who owned an Emu. The stupid thing got out one afternoon & came to our place to terrorize the dogs & ended up chasing me around the yard & it got it's foot caught on the gas line running to the propane tank & tore it out of the ground. Thank God for the wood stove, we were going to need it.....
      There were also the wild cats. I guess I should say that we are not cats lovers, but they do serve a purpose. Since our house had structure issues cats could get into the walls & have litters of kittens. I walked into the front bedroom one day & up on the closet shelf  there were yellow eyes looking down at me. Good Lord, I thought I was going to have a heart attack. One of the cats had somehow gotten into the house.That was the last time that I saw it.
      By this time we had started planing our new house. All we needed was something small & comfortable, a house we could live & work in for the rest of our lives. It was just the two of us then. We told ourselves it would be fairly easy. My Husband Jim & I would do most of the work ourselves & anything that we hired out would be overseen by me since I was home all day. Jim was still working in town at the time so every evening & weekend he was in the house. We were fine, until "that winter" hit.
      Bitter bone chilling temps & deep snow lasted all winter. It took all we could do to keep warm in the old house. I sealed off part of the rooms with plastic, but we still had frost on inside walls. The wood stove had to be tended to all day & night & we had three dogs camped out in the kitchen trying to huddle around a kerosene heater. I spent alot of time under an electric blanket. I never seemed to get warm.
     Work on the house was slow, but we could see progress until the sheet rock we ordered was delivered, or should I say attempted to be delivered. Jim told the driver that our driveway was long & packed with snow & there was an area not to drive in because he'd get stuck....well he got stuck. A tow truck was called, the truck got unstuck & left...with our sheet rock. It would be another 6 weeks before he would attempt to come back.
      In the meantime life went on in the old house. Our water pipes keep freezing & since the house was on logs & rocks there was very little crawl space for Jim to get under the house. He finally busted a hole in the floor where it kept happening so he could deal with it. We ran out of wood once & the bitter cold continued. By this time the hot water heater was on it's last leg so I would heat water on the stove & we'd stand in the bathtub & pour hot water over ourselves to bathe. We were so ready to get moved.
     Spring finally came & went & by the start of summer we had moved in & started to settle. Now all of these years later we're still not done, but we don't seem to mind. We're comfortable & WARM! There are now three of us & a dog & we are happy. We have had times of profound grief & times of great joy in these years. We found out in those first couple of years we could get thru almost anything as long as we were together.
    We left the old house standing for awhile & then finally had it torn down. I actually cried. We finally saw how the old place had been put together. I found old pieces of wallpaper, broken dishes & other things that I have used in projects over the years. We kept the foundation rocks & logs & built flowerbeds with them. We used what we could.
     We'll always remember sitting in front of the wood stove, our feet resting up close listening to music, having a cold beer. We had some really good times in that old place. I do sometimes miss it.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

November 3rd 2015

       The sun is out, it's 50* & it's quiet for the moment here. I've been mega cooking the last few days. I have surgery coming up & I need to make sure that there are plenty of meals ready that we can just pop in the oven or crockpot. I always buy in bulk so cooking  15# of chicken or making 5 meatloaf's is not a big deal. I also made lasagna, chicken pot pie, twice baked potatoes, breakfast casserole, pancackes, waffles,& breakfast sandwiches. Now, when I don't feel like cooking I can thaw something out & have a meal ready.
         I always feel relief this time of year. There will not be so many outside chores & my focus can shift to getting things done in the house. Canning season is done. But there always sewing, housework or baking to do. Oh & the laundry. It never seems to go away. I feel like we live out of the basket.
         I have been in a rush for the last month getting things done so I can take some time off to recoop. I'm always thinking at least one season ahead, sometimes two.....

Thursday, October 29, 2015


  I thought I'd let you know what this site is going to be about. We have spent many years learning to slow down a little. Neither one of us is young anymore so we have had to adjust our lifestyle to fit what we can or cannot do on our property. Gone is the 1400 sq. foot garden, now one half that size with raised beds is more than enough. We have a very small orchard, an empty chicken coop (wild dogs) that will be re- stocked in the spring. I can, dry, ferment, quilt, brew wine, make liquor, reuse, recycle, make due. We have a full pantry, full freezers & supplies to make it thru any zombie  apocalypse, social breakdown, winter storm or hard times. Small scale is what we do. For us there is no reason to make 6 gal of mead or wine anymore. I can make a gal. at a time. Not everything has to be done on a large scale to live a simple lifestyle.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Check Back Often

Check back often over the next month. I hope you'll like the blog, photo's & info that I will be adding on a weekly basis. If you have any questions or comments let me know.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Summer 2015 Yard Beauty

There's alot of good information here.

Mid Fall 2015 Doing Laundry

 This is my favorite way to do laundry believe it or not. It is amazing how clean I can get our clothes. I bought a hand wringer & it takes very little time to do a small load of light laundry. I also have an old wringer washer & double tubs that I can set outside to wash dirty work clothes. Drying racks are set over the vents in the kitchen in the winter.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Loaded Mac & Cheese

bacon, cheddar & jalapeno mac ‘n cheese

bacon, cheddar & jalapeno mac ‘n cheese


how to

  • Pre heat your oven to 350 F (175 C) and grease a medium baking dish. (I used a large pie pan)
  • Melt 2 tbsp of the butter and in a small bowl toss it with the bread pieces then set aside.
  • Cook the bacon in a heavy bottomed pot.   When cooked, remove it to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
  • Remove most of the bacon grease from the pot, but leave any bits that are stuck to the bottom.
  • Add the 4 tbsp butter and jalapeno and cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes, scraping up the bacon bits.
  • Whisk in the flour, and cook - whisking constantly - for about 3 minutes.
  • Slowly whisk in the milk and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and just about to simmer - about 5 minutes, then remove from heat.
  • Generously add salt and pepper and stir in the white cheddar and two cups of the sharp cheddar - stir until melted, then fold in the bacon and the pasta.
  • Pour the pasta into the prepared dish, toss the bread pieces with the remaining 1/2 cup of sharp cheddar and spread over the top.
  • Bake for about 25 - 30 minutes, until bubbly and the breadcrumbs are golden brown.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Soup Weather

                          Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Serves 4-6
  • 4 large baking potatoes
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated, plus more for garnish
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, plus more, as needed
  • 1/4 cup green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400ยบ F and place potatoes in oven. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until fork tender.
  2. Once cool enough to handle, scoop out insides of potatoes and place in a bowl, then set aside for later use.
  3. Cook bacon until crispy in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat.
  4. Transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain, leaving drippings in the pot, then whisk in flour to create a roux.
  5. Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until mixture is smooth and paste-like, then whisk in milk and heavy cream.
  6. Stirring occasionally, cook for 10-15 minutes, or until thickened, then add in scooped out potatoes, cheddar cheese and sour cream.
  7. Mix everything together, breaking up the potato with the back of your spoon, and season generously with salt and pepper and cayenne, if using.
  8. Take your bacon strips and crumble them into bits.
  9. Pour soup into serving bowls and garnish with more cheddar cheese, green onions and crumbled bacon.
  10. Serve hot and enjoy!