Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fit as a Farm Hand week 4

Here is the permalink if anyone else wants to join in.

Sorry this is late.... I forgot to post it!

Weight Loss..... None... But I am ok with that as I didn't gain anything either!

Exercise..... I didn't get on the treadmill but I did go out walking with Grim a couple days this past week.

Diet.... No real changes but I did buy a veggie steamer so I can start cooking broccoli!

I really did get to do more canning last night. I had to wait for the kitchen since Grim was making an Irish Red. He made the Stout on Sunday. They will be ready for St. Pat's. He also has a Scottish Ale that he is going to be making. I know your thinking why all the beer. Well, it blooms much better in the cool weather and it will last up to 1 year. So might as well, put this weather to good use!

On to the canning, I did take some really nice pictures with the camera. But since I still can't upload them, here are the camera phone pictures. They didn't turn out to bad with daylight behind them.
Lemon Jelly

Canned Clementines

I even ironed out the fabric and cut out all the pieces for my first apron. It is actually for Grim. But it will count for the merit badge. Now I just have to figure out how to put it together. I don't know if I have ever said this before..... I really don't know how to sew. I mean I have always had a sewing machine, and I can thread the bobbin and make the machine go. And it is mostly making a simple stitch to make a blanket or put a patch on. This is a pattern that I need to figure out?!? I have to go out and get bias tape? not sure what that is but I'm sure I will know before this day is out. Oh, and I have fabric leftover so I am going to make a couple of pin cushions. Here is a great site for a pattern for them.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Witty Topic

No witty topics... LOL! I just couldn't come up with a title. In my little correspondence box it says that today is a good day to write. So here I am. Since I did the jelly, I was feeling a little bit energized to do more canning. It is like tattoo's, it gets in your blood. So off to the market I went. I found another 5 pound box of clementines. And I found a great way to preserve them. Marisa at Food in Jars has inspired me to try out her recipe for Canned Clementines.

I also have a few lemons that I need to do something with. So I will be trying my hand at Lemon Jelly. I found a recipe here. I will be water bathing them for 10 minutes for 1/2 pints and 15 minutes for pints, as paraffin wax is no longer an recommended method for preserving food. And have no fear I will be taking pictures with my crappy camera phone. *reminder to self buy a cord for camera*

I got my sprouts all cleaned up and in the fridge. Now if they will only eat them. That is ultimately the question. I also started some mung beans to sprout last night. Then they will have a couple of different types to choose from. Worse comes to worse at least I know how to do it if I ever get animals, then they can have greens in the winter. But I'm not giving up hope just yet, it is still a very new concept.

I have now officially become a paid member to the Mary Jane Farms. So I will be working on my merit badges. One of the first ones that I am doing is making my own cleaners. I have wanted to do this for a long time, just never got around to it. Last night I made up an all purpose cleaner. I will post the recipe for it later when I have the magazine in front of me. Don't want to give any bad information. But I did find a site that has a great deal of recipes that you all might be interested in. Homemade Household Cleaners.

Gotta Run,

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Well, I got around to juicing the oranges and the clementines that I had. I used an old fashioned glass juicer, as I don't like the electric one I have..... Way to much pulp gets in. Last night I made up the jelly.

3 3/4 cup of juice
1/4 lemon juice
7 cups of sugar
2 pouches of liquid pectin

Warm juices in the pot. Then add the sugar. Bring to a boil stirring continuously. Then add the pectin. Bring back up to a boil while still stirring.

Remove from heat, skim foam and fill jars. Process in a water bath 10 minutes for a half pint and 15 minutes for a pint.
Gotta Run,

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Mother Moon's Message Giveaway

Mother Moon is at it again.... She has another fabulous giveaway happening for Imbolc! Go on over and enter for a chance to win this wonderful gift! Just click on the picture to take you to her blog!

Gotta Run,

Friday, January 22, 2010

Happy 101 Award

I would like to thank Viggies Veggies for this award!

If you were awarded and would like to play along, just post 10 things that make you happy and send the award to 10 bloggers who brighten your day.

My 10 things are:

  1. My Monsters
  2. Grim
  3. That Grim has a job and some security
  4. That Grim is not traveling for work as much anymore
  5. My Pantry
  6. Carb's
  7. Finding a new source for local foods
  8. Planning my spring garden
  9. Having the knowledge of preserving food
  10. Being able to knit
I am Awarding this award to:

  1. Self Sustained Living
  2. Domestic Witch
  3. OctoberFarm
  4. The Ward House
  5. Bogaman's Blog
  6. My Freezer is Full
  7. Saving Money 101
  8. Memoirs of a Crazy Witch
  9. Two Frog Home
  10. ~Serendipity~
Gotta Run,

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Fit as a Farm Hand week 3

Here is the permalink if anyone else wants to join in.

Weight loss.....
2.2 pounds, Still don't know how that happened...

Must have tossed and turned an awful lot in my sleep. Cause, I didn't do any exercise this week. My ankle is doing better from the rest. But where did the weight loss come from....hmmmmm! I am hoping to get back on the treadmill this week sometime or at least the Wii.

I am eating whole wheat bread, and I did add wheat germ into the hamburgers I made the other night. And I ate bean soup for dinner last night. Maybe the grains and fiber are helping?!? Only time will tell for sure.

I have joined up to be a Farmgirl on MaryJane's Farm Website! And soon I will be a paid member so that I can partake in the Merit Badge Program. A lot of the things I can get badges for I am already doing but there are a lot of things that I want to learn and now have an incentive to do it. I am very excited to do this. I always wanted to be a girl scout and couldn't. Put the older monsters into it and they did well, until we had a run in with a crappy troop leader. But this will be for me and them. The way I see it, is that when I am learning new things they will want to be involved so they will learn also! As I learn these things I will be posting them here and showing off my badges!

Gotta Run,

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Little Things

I was sitting here knowing that I needed to write something... For my own creative mind! But I felt a bit disappointed in the fact that the more I try to do to get away from the dependence on chemicals and poisons I'm still not doing it right. I just found out that the vinegar that I'm using is possibly made out of petroleum. Seriously, I mean here is a simple product that has been around for, forever and big business doesn't want to use the right stuff to make it. It is not cost effective to make it with fruits?!? Am I the only one who this this is BS. I know I'm not, if I were I would be a crack pot on the internet. But I'm not, I am part of something bigger. I am part of a movement to bring our way of life back to something sustainable, something that we can be proud of, something to strive for. More and more people are joining this movement even if they don't realize it. They may be planting a tomato plant because they see the First Lady planting a garden. They may be learning how to knit or crochet to make a hat or scarf for the needy. No matter the little things it will create a huge thing and we can all benefit from that. Ok, jumping off the bandwagon, but not for long. :O)

One of the things that is my sidebar to learn about this year is cooking on a wood stove. Now mind you I don't have a wood stove. But I plan to one day and I feel that this is knowledge that will benefit me later in life. And as usual I have stumbled on a site (Our Plain and Simple Life) that talked about using a wood burning stove and also gave some great sites to check out. Granny Miller: Cook Stove Basics
Cooking on a Wood Cook Stove
Here are a couple of sites that I found to add to this also
Cooking on a woodstove
Good Time Stove Co.
Three different (and delicious!) woodstove recipes

I went to the Health food store last night. I got several things. I picked up a package of wheat germ, tapioca, millet, tahini, zesty sprouting mix and Co-Q-10 for Grim (per doctors orders). I have never used any of these items before. I bought the wheat germ to add to ? wasn't sure until I read the package. I can use it as a filler in hamburger as well as in baked goods, lots of possibilities. Picky monster had asked when I was in the cupboard moving around the puddings if we had a tapioca, since we didn't I bought some to make for her. The millet I bought because I saw this yummy looking recipe at "A Home Grown Journal" for millet loaf with onion gravy. Since I need to get more grains into our diet. I figured that this would be a great start. The tahini I bought so that I can make homemade hummus. I have been putting it off for so long, I figured it was time to try and make it. The sprouting mix I bought because I really don't want to have to buy iceburg lettuce from California all winter. I'm trying to stay close to home with the majority of my shopping. It's not the 100 mile diet but at least I am conscious of my purchases. And the doctor told us that he has heard really good things about taking Co-Q-10 with the cholesterol medication, so we are going to give it a try.

Gotta Run,

Friday, January 15, 2010

Healthy New Year

January has always been the month for doctors around here. And since we have already made a trip to the ER this year is no different. As you know mouthy has had to go to the pediatrician after her burn. She also has to go back to get her last set of vaccinations, before the end of the month. Teenage monster has an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon to see what he is going to do about the screws in her leg.... Can you believe that it has been just over 6 months since she broke her leg. I have my yearly exam that I have put off for the past couple of years..... Yes, I know better, but at least I'm going.

This month is no different for Grim either. I don't know if I have ever mentioned that Grim has heart issues. He has damage to the upper quadrant and he has a 30% build up of plaque in his arteries. The damage we aren't sure what caused it because he doesn't have high blood pressure and he isn't diabetic. That is all irrelevant really, the damage is done and now we have to deal with it. Since we found out about the damage we have been seeing a cardiologist. The last time we went to see him, he basically said that you need to do this and this or die. The this and this was take this high dose of a cholesterol med (they make Grim sick) and go vegetarian. Neither was an option, so we have found a new doctor for Grim. We went to see him yesterday. He wants Grim to go for tests so that he has a make current evaluation. He took the time to talk to us and answer all of our questions. Grim had blood work done yesterday and has to go today for an echo cardiogram. He will also be going for a sleep study, nuclear stress test and a weight loss program. I really like this doctor, he at least seems concerned about the same things that we are concerned about. And he was cool with the vitamins that I have gotten Grim to take. As a matter of fact he was like I would have told him to take the vitamins if he wasn't already on them..... Yeah! Another plus is this doctor is right out of the hospital that is in town.

Now that he will be all taken care of I will be making an appointment with the foot doctor. My ankle is still no better. But it really isn't like I can kick my feet up all day and heal.... Or can I?!? Hmmmmm! LOL! I had to go around this time last year also. That was for a sprained big toe..... now isn't that the funniest thing.... I did it on the treadmill and that's how I think I did this injury as well.

Gotta Hobble,

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Fit as a Farm Hand week 2

Here is the permalink if anyone else wants to join in.

Weight loss..... None

Exercise Plan..... I was doing really well with the treadmill and the Wii until I developed a bump on the back of my ankle. I don't know if I sprained it or what I did. It is really sore and I am stepping down wrong to compensate, so I haven't been doing anything. I know no excuse....

Diet.... LOL! I'm just going to laugh now. With a little one home all day for the past few days we have been eating on her schedule not mine.... So we have been eating all types of stuff I would generally not eat.

But she is back at school today. The doctor yesterday said she is right as rain and back to school she went..... YEAH!!!! And even the doctor said that keeping her home was probably the smart choice since the kids are pretty physical at her school.

We did homemade chicken noodle soup last night with store bought noodles. Tonight we are going to have roast with carrots, corn and mashed potatoes. I am suppose to make bread tonight. I need to see if I have enough white flour. I have started to switch over the wheat but to make the transition easier for them I am doing 1/2 white and 1/2 wheat flour in the bread. I figure by spring we should be on to full our wheat flour bread.

I have a question for those that do make your own bread. Can I use whole wheat flour in place of white flour in everything? Such as cookies, cakes, biscuits, french bread, sourdough? Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.

I have been going through boxes. You know I thought that I had shredded everything. But apparently I didn't. So I am thinking that I will have Picky monster start shredding stuff for me. It will be fun for her for the first 15 minutes. And let me tell you there is way more then 15 minutes work there. LOL!

Gotta Run,

Thursday, January 7, 2010


We finally have snow! It has been coming down since around 11am with no signs of stopping. We have gotten maybe 4 inches. But that makes me so happy. I love the sparkly, clean, bright white snow. Everything looks wonderful. Now I know for those that have to drive in it, I feel bad. But the monsters are hoping for a snow day tomorrow. And if it happens I won't have to leave to go anywhere until 5pm. Then the plows and the salt trucks should have done a great job clearing the roads.

Thank you all for the well wishes for my littlest monster. Her nose has already started to heal. Grim changed the bandage today and said it looked a lot better. I can only change bandages if no one else is around. I get so sick to my stomach. And it's not just a family thing, anyone's boo boo's make me sick. I know you all wanted to know that nasty tidbit about me.

I need to really get cracking on this basement. I have some really high hopes for it. But can't do anything until I get off my arse and get rid of stuff. Cleaning is the easy part. Going through stuff to see if I absolutely still might possibly one day down the road need it. LOL! I went through the house a couple of years ago and tossed out and gave away so much stuff the garbage men were leaving me hate notes and friends stopped answering their phones when I called. I was a pack rat, on the verge of being a hoarder. Due to some personal problems, I had the opprotunity to take a good hard look at my life and see where some desperate changes needed to be made. And I made a ton of them. As with anything the clutter creeps back into our lives when we're not looking. So game plan and lists here I come.

Gotta go and hang that last load of laundry for tonight. And maybe empty out a box or two.

Gotta Run,

Irish Rose Creations Giveaway

I just love this site.... She does such beautiful work! Even if I don't win her work is gorgeous to look at!


The drawing will be held February 2nd.

Gotta Run,

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Blogs and Answers

I had a thought that as I go through all of your wonderful blog that if I come across something that I will post my response or answers here. Plus it gives me stuff to write about when my life has one of those uneventful days.

Kathie, over at Two Frogs Home asked "What moments are you enjoying?" And of course I still have to go through Grim's computer to upload pictures (that is why there haven't been any recently). But I digress.... I am enjoying:
  1. having a full pantry (so I don't have to go out in the snow)
  2. having two big bags of yarn that will keep me busy
  3. having lots of big, heavy blankets to crawl under at night
  4. having taken off the whole month of January from Bingo
  5. having animals that want to cuddle when it is cold
Yes, most of what I am enjoying is about warmth.... LOL! I love the winter and the snow, but I dislike very much the cold.

Barb over at The Big Red Barn was talking about growing hops. Well, that got me thinking. I talked to Grim about it and since he is a home brewer this is one of the first times he has been really excited about this whole farming thing.... (he has always wanted property not all the farm stuff that goes with it, that is my dream). So we are going to sit down this week and start to plan how to make it happen. Grim at the earliest can retire in 14 years. That way he can still work as we get the farm set up. So we are thinking that we if set up a 5 year plan, we can make it happen.
  1. Make a list of debt
  2. Pay off debt outstanding debt
  3. Stay current with all current bills
  4. Create budget
You know stuff like this. I mean we have been working on this stuff but without a formalized plan it has been willy nilly at best.

Phelan over at A Homesteading Neophyte has said that if you live in zone 5 or 6 it is time to get the cold weather seedlings going. And since I am so new ( wet behind the ears.... LOL) I am going to take her advice and get them started. I need to go to the dollar store and get the aluminum pans with the plastic lids. I used them last year to start some seeds. They worked really well. And of course where they went, I can only guess.

Did I say uneventful earlier.... I so know better.

And of course right as I am writing this blog, shit hits the fan... I had to take my youngest in to the ER. She's fine, she bumped her sister and had a cup of hot chocolate dumped in her face. Luckily, we got her into the shower right away and then off to the hospital. She has mostly 1st degree burns with a spot of 2nd degree burn. They gave me cream and bandages to come home with. I have to take her into the doctor on Monday. She was a trooper, she never even cried. The er doc said that there shouldn't be any scaring. It is just like a really bad sunburn..... Woooooooh! I was scared wittless. But thank the Goodess, my baby won't be scarred for life!!!

I am off for the night!

Gotta Run,

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Fit as a Farm Hand

Edited* I forgot to add the Permanent Link to the post that the challenge is on..... So here it is Fit as a Farm Hand at Ship full of That should do it :O)

I figured I better sign up for this one! I haven't been doing very good this past 2 weeks. At least with the treadmill. I have been playing with the Wii... I got the Biggest Loser for the Wii and after I did the first workout I couldn't move for 3 days. I hurt so bad, even sitting was painful. But with the monsters back in school and my life getting back to some type of normalcy. I did manage to get on the treadmill for about 15 minutes last night. But then Grim came home early from work so off the treadmill I came.

I will have all of my chores done so that I will have time to watch Martha. Then I am going to try out my new protable DVD player. I asked Santa for one so that I could keep it in the living room and do my exercising where it is warm and I have plenty of room to move around. Yeah!!! I bought the flat diet exercise video months ago. But I forgot I gave my brother my DVD player from the basement.... I thought I would get a new one.... Really I don't know what I was thinking... LOL! So I have been waiting to try it out.

As far as my weight..... Haha, like you thought I was going to post that on here.... Not on your life. Grim reads this and he doesn't need to know how much I weigh.

But I did want to let everyone know that I did walk for most of the month of December and I didn't loose the 20 pounds.... I don't think I lost anything. My diet hasn't changed. But I have noticed that I am firmer. So maybe it is a muscle -vs- fat, thing!!

Gotta Run/Walk

Monday, January 4, 2010

Jumbled New Year

Well, where has the time flown already?!? With today being the 4th, I didn't feel like I have accomplished anything. Maybe cause I haven't.... LOL! At least nothing substantial. I have been out reading blogs since I have been very lax about keeping track of what is going on in blog land! I stumbled across a few new blogs...

All Natural Mama
A Gardener in Progress
Blueberry Hills Homestead
Viggies Veggies
Burbs and the Bees
A Life Full of Blessings
Tigress in a Jam
Mama Craft
I am so looking forward to more of their posts.

I have also come across a few ideas.

The first one comes from Deep Inside my Broom Closet. Now I know that this has been re-posted on a ton of sites all over the net. But this is the one that most of them link back to, so I will use it.

This is direct quote from Anastasia's blog:

"One Little Word was started by a Ali Edwards in 2007 on her blog. You can go to One Little Word 2010 by clicking on the link."

"Essentially the idea is to choose a word (or let it choose you) that has the potential to make an impact on your life.
Maybe you want to invite something or maybe you are hoping to subtract something. Maybe your word will be practical or hopeful or creative or fanciful. Maybe you need a big word, something in-your-face that will challenge you everyday. Maybe you need something smaller and quieter that will whisper gentle tidings as you make your way throughout the year.
Whatever word you end up with, make sure it is your word (not your sister's, mom's, partner's, child's, etc). You can share it publicly or keep it close to your heart." by Ali Edwards

Normally, my word is Possibilities. But this year I am going to try for "FREEDOM". Freedom from anything that is weighing me down; debt, weight, material objects and so on!

Over at The Ward House, Annette was talking about learning things from someone before it is to late to learn them. In her case the realization has come from her husband hurting his back. Which got me thinking of stuff Grim does around here that I really have no knowledge of. So I started a list of things that I would like for him to teach me. He is gone for work way to much for me not to know what to do if I need to.

  1. Change the furnace filter
  2. Light the pilot on the furnace
  3. How to shut off the water from the main
  4. Start the chainsaw.... Even if I never use it, at least I will know how to.
  5. Light the pilot on the hot water heater
I'm sure that there is more that he does but I think that list is a work in progress.

I also stumbled across a couple of things to do with the monsters.
The first on is The Pooka Pages for Pagan Kids
Coloring Pages, stories, crafts, spells, herbal lore and seasonal Magic for little witches!

The second one is The Great Back Yard Bird Count. It is going on February 12-15, 2010. It is a great way to teach your children about the birds in your yard or neighborhood.

Gotta Run,

Friday, January 1, 2010


I am actually typing this early in the day on New Year's Eve! I just wanted to make sure I was able to wish everyone a Happy New Year! I know that I won't be in any condition to be on here.. LOL! I have never thought tipsy typing was a good idea.... But anyways.

We are going to the post for about 6:30. Once there we are going to order our NY Strip steak dinner. Then we only be there until about 10, then will be going to another club. And that is where we will stay until after the new year! And to answer the question, yes, we do have a DD. If she wasn't able to go then I would not be drinking.... But thank the Goddess for DD's and all it will cost me is a steak dinner. Not a bad deal!

On New Year's Day I will be hanging out in my room folding clothes and watching tv. The monsters will be going to their grandmothers to spend the night. So I don't know if I will make it down here to get on the computer.

Oh, I made it over to Michael's. They have yarn 1/2 off. So I got 20 skeins. 4 are going to be used for a shawl and the other 16 will be used for making hats. And then the left over yarn will be used to make squares. Then one day when I'm bored I will sew them together to make an afghan.

Here are a couple of Simplicity links. 50 Simple Soups and 45 Homemade Foods You Can Make Yourself (but never thought you could). I am going to try and share a couple of links every post.

Gotta Run,