Thursday, June 30, 2011

Grinding Wheat

Since I have just started grinding my own wheat, I thought that there might be others who have questions. So I will do my best to go over a couple points.


First of all I keep a 2 quart glass container handy with hard red wheat. This way I don’t have to lug around the 5 gallon bucket.


Next I fill the hopper of the grinder. Yes, it is a manual grinder, we thought that it best if we were to loose power. It takes me about 20 minutes to grind this amount. That is also because I have to switch arms and take breaks. Sorry I have girly arms that just aren’t use to doing this type of work.


Once the wheat is ground you will want to sift the flour from the germ.


Here is the sifter!


You will want to put the flour in the hopper like I have shown here. Then sift. What you sift out will be your flour ( you will need to refrigerate what you don’t use right away as it will go rancid pretty quick.) What you have left in the sifter is the germ. This needs to be put in the fridge as well. You can use this in place of bread crumbs in almost any recipe.

Gotta Run,

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Little Bits


As you can see here are the berries we picked a couple weeks ago. 54 pounds!


They were the best berries that I had tasted in years!


Like I said I was going to make strawberry flavored vodka! So far I have only strained out the berries. Still haven’t had time to try it out yet!


I got the bug to make pop tarts. So I bought pie dough. I know I should have made it but time was short. I used the strawberry preserves from this year. It was the jar I had to put in the fridge.


Everyone liked the burnt ones… Not really burnt just really cooked! I was even going to make the frosting but my powdered sugar was bad. It had an off taste. Who knew! Next time, since the family has requested that these be made weekly.

Gotta Run,

Monday, June 27, 2011

Fear Not

I am still here. I just was really busy this past weekend. In my area they have a classic car night and following day. All of us that have classic cars get to cruise them up and down the road. People come from miles around to see all the old cars.

The unofficial start is on Friday night.
We went out for a bit, then picked up friends and cruised around for quite awhile.

Then we were back out there on Saturday.

Here are few more pictures that I was able to get.


Here is the best shot of the day!


Yep, it’s a hearse!

Of course I didn’t get one picture of our car to show you. Next year! Cause it will look a lot different then. We will do a comparison!

Gotta Run,

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Lazy kind of day

When I weighed the peas we had 9 pounds. Good thing, because the monsters didn’t want to stop eating them. We snapped them to get the string off, then I blanched them for 3 minutes and plunged them into ice water. We let them dry on cookie sheets with towels and the fan going. Once they were dry we put them in to zip bags, about 1/2 a bag for serving size. Then we put them into big freezer bags. We ended up with 24 1/2 bags. I think there would have been more but those monsters really liked the peas. I guess next year the whole family will have to go and pick. I think a bushel will be enough.  Sorry, no pictures. I was enjoying the fact that all 3 monsters wanted to help.

Today is a cool, rainy kind of day. The monsters all have an appointment to get their teeth cleaned. One more thing off the to do list.  I need to feed the sourdough today. I think I have enough flour. I hope I do… I don’t want to have grind any more today. Oh, by the way….. After you grind wheat you need to sift it to get out the wheat germ. Make sure you put the wheat germ in the fridge as it will bad really quick.

I still haven’t gotten back to finishing the dress. I will be working on it today though. I need for it to work or it goes into the pile of lets make something else. I am also working on another knitted hat. Plus, I still have to finish the project with the Cold Antler Farm wool. Lots of projects, just need to sit down and finish them.

I have a ton of Black Swallowtail Butterfly Caterpillars in my dill. They don’t eat to much and since all the dill in the garden is volunteer it makes me happy to see. I am glad that my garden is helping to proliferate a life form other then my own.

Gotta Run,

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Another Busy Day

When I got up this morning, it was still overcast. So I waited a bit and got the monsters up. I took Picky with me to go and get peas. Of course when we get there I am told that they are sugar snap peas…. hmmm! So we only picked a peck. Now I have a peck of peas and not really sure what to do with them. I am going to head over to Punk Domestics to see if there are any ideas. I really don’t want to freeze them if I can avoid it. We had a nice time picking though, it was cloudy with a nice breeze. We were almost done and the sun came out. No complaints!

I pulled in 5 heads of romaine today as they were showing signs of bolting. I caught it in time before they went bitter. I still have 20 more heads out there. Luckily, we eat about 5 heads a sitting. They aren’t very big or tight. I love being able to pull from the garden. I think I would need an entire greenhouse full of lettuce to actually save money with the way we eat. Every little bit does help.

Like that video about victory gardens. It said that 1 bushel equals 12 quarts and that each person in the house needs at least 20 quarts. For us that would be 100 quarts. I do about 1/2 that and a 1/4 of that comes from my garden. I am hoping this year that my yield will be much improved with the spacing of the plants. I need to fertilize them but it keeps raining. I’m afraid that if I fertilize them now the plants won’t benefit.

Took the monsters to the library today. I was hoping to find some books on fermenting. There is an on-line class about fermenting, I just don’t know if I want to spend the money right now. So I thought I would use a free source. Of course, no such luck. But I was able to find some good books on preservation. I hope to learn a lot from them. The one I think I need to purchase for my home library is Stocking Up III. It is full of tons of great information. They even talk about what to do with Kefir grains.

I have a couple of links to share with you today!

Gotta Run,


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Productive Solstice!

It was overcast most of the morning. I took the monsters and went for a walk and paid the car insurance. Yes, I am aware of how funny that sounds. It was a nice walk and just getting muggy when we got home. Grim got up, he worked afternoons yesterday and we went out to Cabela’s. He needed to pick something up. Guy stuff… LOL!

Then once we got home I thought I should check on the garden. Good thing I did. As everyone of the tomato plants had fallen over. So I tied them up and got the trellising up for the cucumbers. By this time it was so hot, I had sweat rolling into my eyes. The garden is in the best shape ever. I am so happy that I got out there and got it going again this year. From the looks of it, I might actually know what I’m doing. Go figure!?! I still need to figure out how and when to harvest the Swiss Chard seeds. I am amazed that in just 3 short years I have become a gardener… yes, half a$$ed but one none the less. So far no blight, bugs or powdery mildew. This year I didn’t crowd my plants. I think that is a learning experience, though. In the beginning I tried to get as much into the space as I could. The of course nothing grew right as the competition for water and nutrients was huge.

I was able to pull some French breakfast radishes today. They were still on the small side but I was very curious about them. Grim liked them. I am still waiting on the watermelon and icicle radishes to do something. They are growing nice greens but there are no bulbs. Still waiting.  I figure that in about 2 weeks I will be picking green beans. The tomatoes have all either set fruit or are blooming! Should be a good harvest. I need to get out and start pulling the romaine lettuce as I think it might decide to bolt this week.

Its raining again. And suppose to continue tomorrow also. If it lets up there is a you pick place for sugar peas. I think that I will take the monsters out there and get some peas to can up. Last year I did corn and it didn’t turn out. I found out later that it was because I used a really sweet type. The year before that I canned up green beans but they turned out really soft. So I figure that I will work on the peas this time. I might just dehydrate them though…. That’s a thought!

Gotta Run,


Monday, June 20, 2011

Stitch and Rip

I made mention about 7 months ago that I knew I needed to start walking the walk. I knit, crochet, can, dehydrate, and a lot of other handy things. But the one thing that has scared me has been making clothes. You know the stuff that dreams are made of.

I figured that since it was the summer solstice it was the perfect time to try out the simplicity dress pattern. I used a pink and white polka dot. First, I apparently can’t figure out what size I am to start with, to big. That being said, I also can’t read directions. I cut out the pattern but from there it is a lot of head scratching and looking at the pattern again and again.

I think I can fix the to big part by taking it in at the waist. But the neck part, is going to be a bugger. I need to rip it all out and see if I can adapt to something better. I guess if I followed the pattern it would have turned out fine. But leave it to me to have to change, overcome and adapt…. LOL!
At least I know I don’t like this dress. So the material that I bought to make more of these ugly things can be used to make other ugly, non fitting clothes… LOL! I will figure it out one of these days. I just need more practice.

If only I could find a mentor to help with all of this stuff, in my area. That would be awesome. But since I don’t know a soul who could help…. Remember *shy one here*! I will keep looking to the “net” for support and directions!

I will post pictures when I finish the dress. It will either stay a dress or it will become part of a quilt. Waste not, Right?

Gotta Rip,

All Over Time

 I got one of those feelings last night.... You know the one..... Its coming, have I done enough to prepare? Yes, No, Maybe!?! So without further ado.....

Here are 26 Money-Saving Tips @
Depression Era Cooking @
Depression Era Bread @ Busy Mommy Media
What we can learn from Depression Housewives @
Depression Era Skills @ Squidoo

Gotta Run,

Sunday, June 19, 2011



I am so happy that my girls are the way they are. All three helped out yesterday with the berries. It was such a blessing to have them there through the ordeal…. LOL!
After we got them all cleaned we dried off the water and froze 10 pounds in 30 bags. These will be used for smoothies and shakes. I like the convenience of single serving sizes.

We got 8 pint jars of a soft set strawberry jam. I have never had a strawberry jam set up the way it’s suppose to. That’s fine…. it will be used for topping on Angel Food and Pound cake… Yummm!

9 pints of jelly… Grim is eyeing them, so I don’t think they will last long. Its all good because I jarred up 7 1/2 quarts of juice. That enough to make 23 more pints of jelly. I love my steam juicer. It made fast work of them berries.

Oh, almost forgot I have a pint of strawberries in vodka. Man o man, does it look tasty! It will be a nice treat later in the year!

All of the berries that we picked are processed. I have few more from the csa that I am going to process into Banana Split in a Jar.

Strawberry season is officially over! Black and Blue berries are right around the corner. My baskets are washed as is the canner, I’m ready to go!!!

Gotta Run,

Saturday, June 18, 2011

54 Pounds

Strawberries that is…. Grim and the Monsters went berry picking with me yesterday! 10 pounds go into the freezer for shakes and smoothies. 5 pounds for jam…. 1 pint for Strawberry infused vodka….. and the rest will be juiced for jelly! I got the steam juicer for Christmas and haven’t used it yet…. So excited.

Oh, then with the pulp left from the juicer I am going to mix with some sugar and make fruit leather for the monsters. Hope it turns out! LOL! If not nothing is really wasted.

Gotta Run,

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Krazo Acres Giveaway

Carolyn, over at Krazo Acres is doing a Girly Giveaway!!! Go on over and check it out....

Gotta Run,

Monday, June 13, 2011

Link Love

Ok, since I was left to my self yesterday…. The family has decided not to let that happen again. As almost every blade of grass in the backyard is now a pretty color….other then green! I will have pictures soon of it. I need to do some more painting first.

Here are few links

Gotta Run,

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Reflections 6-12

Outside My Window...
twilight is setting in

I am thinking...
That tomorrow 40 years will have pasted by... I really need to stop blinking!

I am thankful for...
the love of my husband and children

From the learning rooms...
Getting stuff ready to do algebra, grammar, penmanship and basic math

From the kitchen...
trying sourdough again

I am wearing...
knit shorts and a t-shirt

I am creating...
knitted dish clothes

I am going...
to watch TV with Grim

I am reading...
Backyard Homestead again

On my mind...
What else can I paint

Around the house...
got the planters done, planted the marigolds, geraniums & tomatillo, painted the birdhouses, cleaned out some of the canning jars

One of my favorite things...
sitting in my garden

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
clean out more canning jars, see if we can trade our car for a different one... hopefully, more on that later. We really need to take Grim's phone in to the shop, something is really wrong with it.

Gotta Run,

Left to my own devices

That’s right no one is here but me and the animals. Grim, is at work and all the monsters are with my mom. You would think that this would be a welcome retreat. Nope, I’m bored out of my skull. I did some work out in the garden. Planted the marigolds, moved some of the pots into the garden. I don’t know why I never thought to put pots in between the boxes before. I knitted a new dishcloth and straightened up a little bit. I have played all my games on facebook and read my email.

Now what!

The worse part is that I’m not expecting Grim for at least another hour. The monsters will show up when its dinner time.

I thought about sewing, to much trouble to pull everything out. I thought about cleaning, that can be done tomorrow. I really should do laundry, maybe I will. I tell ya, the blahs have me today. I guess that’s what happens when I was so busy yesterday and nothing to do today!

Gotta Run,

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Why I was so tired today

These are the boxes that Grim built for me.


Here is the first one marked off with painters tape (a roll free from some promotion. Worked pretty good too)


Here are the boxes painted…. Didn’t the little monsters do a good job?


Here the boxes are in place with cardboard down as a weed barrier. Way cheaper then the roll of stuff.


Here are both of the boxes waiting for dirt. Good thing I got some yesterday.


Here are two views of my lavender! Band monster was nice enough to help me do the planting.


And this is the new and improved 2011 garden!


Do you think Grim would mind these colors for the house? LOL!

Gotta Run,

Rainy Days and Fridays

Or something like that… LOL! Today started off great Grim let me sleep in. He took the monsters to school. When I got up, I noticed why I slept like the dead… The temperature had dropped from the 90’s to the 60’s. The day never really got much warmer then that. I did some computer work. Then I got up off my duff and folded all the clothes. I hate folding my clothes. But that is a complaint for another day… LOL! I even folded some of the blankets that were dumped off in my room for lack of a better place for them. So I pulled out the space bags. That job is now sitting on the couch… patiently waiting.
Grim and I went to Lowes today and picked up a couple of boards so that he could make me 2 raised flower beds outside the garden fence. I have 14 lavender plants that need to be out of the little plastic pots. We got dirt to fill the boxes and I got a horseradish bag to plant for $1.25… clearance. I don’t think we like it but I figure that someone might like it when I tell them I have it in the garden… Like I have said before…. Crazy…. LOL! The girls will help me paint and plant them tomorrow if the rain goes away.
The other day I was out in the garden and decided that it needed some sprucing up. So out comes the weed whacker. There is a reason that Grim and Band monster do most of this type of work. Yep, you guessed it…. I broke the darn thing. So today since we had some time and the garage was open. We figured it was time to try and fix it. Luckily, we were able to get it running again. I am so happy…. no money to buy a new one and I don’t want to use the old hand clippers.
I was able to get out and get the beds weeded tonight. I am so happy that my green beans are budding up. Most of the tomatoes have flowers or tiny tomatoes. Still waiting for the Swiss chard to seed. I check everyday. But it is still just flowering. Something has been taking a snack break on the pole beans that I planted. Almost every leaf has a hole in it.
I don’t think I told you, I got a lemon, lime and orange tree from Meijer. They seem to like being outside. They are growing pretty quickly. I just need to make sure I have a place for them this winter. I can’t wait…. I have wanted these for years and never had the money to send away for them.

Gotta Run,

Completely Spent


I have been working outside all day. I am just spent. So I will taking the rest of the day off to rest and relax…. That is until I get my second wind… LOL!

Here are few links that I wanted to share:

Hard Work Homestead ~ Glass straws

Hitchhiking to Heaven ~ Apple Earl Grey Almond Jelly

Simple Bites ~ How to plan ahead for your fall garden

Tend ~ Garden Hand Scrub

Homemade Simple ~ Paper Butterflies

Gotta Run,


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Never a Dull Moment

First let me say I did not get pictures. I had my hands full.

It is finally bearable outside. So off I go to water the garden. I figure that even though it was a warm day not super hot my plants needed a drink. Good think I went out there. I water 3 of the beds and go to water the fourth. And to my surprise, yep I yelped.... there was a robin trapped in the netting I put around and over the strawberries. I called for Grim. We were able to get a hold of the bird and he cut out a huge section of the netting. The poor thing once caught twirled itself around, so Grim had to cut the netting string by string as I held it. The whole time praying that I wouldn't break something or accidentally kill it. And of course two of the monsters were right there watching.... No pressure! We were able to completely free it. Once I let it go it was able to fly to the fence... It didn't put any weight on the foot. But that's ok, it can fly... Job well done.... and the netting is gone. It was suppose to keep them out not trap them.

I got my first batch of jars washed out yesterday. I still have a lot more to do. These are the remainder of the first year canning adventures. With each success, I made more and more. Yep, just a little compulsive... LOL! It is bittersweet. I hate to see all the food wasted, but I'm glad that I had it in the first place. We ate quite a bit out of the pantry while Grim was laid up. I have a better idea now what works for us and what doesn't. This year I think will be an easier year. I have the steam juicer. I can't wait to start canning again. Yummm!

Oh, I have some exciting news. Last year I got a warty pumpkin... You know the kind Judy... They are french.... ohhhhh lala. Anyways, while I trying to prepare them, my pyrex blew up in the oven.... So I never even had a chance to try one. But I was smart and saved the seeds. Since I have never saved seeds and used them, these were the Guinea pigs so to say. I planted a handful of seeds in each of the 4 holes. I didn't count as I really didn't think I dried them right (so nothing was going to grow anyways, right?) Wrong, I have 14 plants, I am scared to thin them as they all look so healthy. Remember half-a$$ed gardener here. Mind you they are all in a 4x4 raised bed. I know your shaking your head laughing cause you all know what is going to happen.... right around harvest time these plants are going to eat me... LOL! One day I will tell you about my first garden. It put me on the path to never garden again. I figure my yard is going to be completely over run and I will have 18 thousand pounds of pumpkins..... and seeds galore to dry and give away.

On to other news from the garden. I really do have grapes growing. I have only had the vines for 3 years and have never seen grapes start out itty bitty. They start out like a little cluster of green pods.... tiny though.... then those pods turn into a type of flower again very small. Then the flower fades and there are these very small green round ends.... sorry I have no idea what any of the technical terms might be. There is very little information on line for grapes at this stage. The blueberry plant that I bought this spring has a ton of berries growing. The other two I have had are just growing, no sign of berries, maybe they are late bloomers. Almost forgot I got a fig when I bought the blueberry. It has two little pod things.... I don't know if they are flowers or if they are the fruit. Will keep you updated on this. All of the pear blossoms fell off and died, except for one. Keeping fingers crossed. My apples all look like something attacked them. They have small scratch looking marks on them. Like I said before I am in no way a master gardener.... half the time I wouldn't even consider myself a gardener.... I just get things to grow... sometimes to my own detriment..... Attacking Pumpkins... LOL!

Gotta Run,

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tuesday already

Good Morning, yep I am up and about already marking things off the todo list. The half-a$$ed gardener strikes again. I filled my little watering can and watered all of the plants up front. Then I got the hose and watered the plants in the back.... The hanging baskets were very happy to get a drink. I forget to water them every day. So by the time I think hey they might need to be watered they look half dead. Luckily, they come back after a nice long drink. Then the garden needed some water also. It needed to be done before it hits 92` today. At least watering them early they have a chance to soak it up before it sizzles in the sun.

Yesterday, Teenage monster cut the grass in the front. What a chore it is getting to be. The bag fills up to quick and the shooter thing gets clogged. But it is cut and that is all I care about. Cause it ain't purdy! LOL! I must have picked up a nail or something in my back tire, cause its flat..... Grim had to work last night so he couldn't fix it. He has the tools to plug holes in tires. It is way convenient for him to do it verses having to take the tire off and take it to the shop. I had to take the monsters in Godzilla this morning.... 1999 Dodge Ram. The thing is a tank, we have put it through its paces and it still rumbles to a start every time.

I pulled some potatoes out of the box that had started to eye up and got them in the ground. I know I said I wasn't going to plant potatoes this year but it was plant them or toss them. So I planted them. There were 12 of them. If I get 12 new potatoes then I didn't waste anything... LOL!  I still need to toss out some sunflower seeds. I have been very neglectful of my gardening duties. In my defense it has been hot and when it isn't I have been spending time with the family. They grow so fast I don't want to miss anymore of it.

I watched a video yesterday about Victory Gardens. I can't download it here... but you can go here and watch it. It is a great, eye opening watch!

Gotta Run,

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Reflections 6-5

Outside My Window...

is a hot, hazy kind of day

I am thinking...

That I need to get out there and water since we aren't getting the rain as promised.

I am thankful for...

for my wonderful children. Without them life would be so boring!

From the learning rooms...

I learned this week that I don't understand sourdough as well as I thought I did... *Smiles*

From the kitchen...

Nothing to write home about

I am wearing...

knit shorts and a t-shirt

I am creating...

a puddle... I'm melting!

I am going...

to go to think about some peaceful times

I am reading...

nothing, waiting for the monsters to be out of school. Thats when I truly enjoy reading

On my mind...

how tired I am... It has been a very busy past couple of days

Around the house...

took bike for 1000 mile tuneup, had a bonfire & made smores

One of my favorite things...

Baby birds

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:

Clean out the old canning jars, take Mouthy to living history museum for field trip, cut the grass

Gotta Run,