Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sharing Links

I’m still here… Grim has been home the last few days and we have been running to get stuff done. But I always have time to look for new things and when I find them they need to be shared… LOL!

Mushroom Barley Soup (can’t wait to make in the winter)

3-1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
3 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
3 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
Stir together. Make a well in center and add, in order:
1 c. vegetable oil
4 whole eggs
1 1/2 c. canned pumpkin
2/3 c. apple cider
1/2 c. thick applesauce
Mix everything until smooth. Pour into greased and flour pan. Makes
two 8 1/2 x 1 1/2 x 2 1/2 loaves. Can also be baked in one-pound
coffee cans. If baked in can, fill 2/3 full. Makes 3
Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.
Recipe Source: A Bakers Delight yahoo group, submitted by *name has been omitted for security reasons*

We are going out of town next week so there has been a lot that has needed to be done. Bills to pay, shopping to be done and of course during all this…. The county fair started today. You know where we were all day. I have pictures to share later.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

No rest for the wicked

Oh, there ain't no rest for the wicked
Money don't grow on trees
I got bills to pay, I got mouths to feed
There ain't nothin' in this world for free
I know I can't slow down, I can't hold back
Though you know I wish I could
Oh no, there ain't no rest for the wicked
Until we close our eyes for good

chorus from Ain’t no rest for the wicked by Cage the Elephant
With that being said I was running around like a chicken with no head yesterday. I don’t know why… It almost seemed like I was nesting. Strange! I cleaned the top of the fridge…. there will be no pictures as the mess could make me look very guilty… LOL! Oh, well! I had intended on cleaning the rest of the kitchen, you know the nasty stuff like the ceiling and the walls but I made dinner instead. Homemade hamburger helper.It couldn’t have been easier. Pasta, hamburger and cheese sauce from Gordon Food Services. If you wondering it is stock rotation time. I never made it back to cleaning. I did however start to do other things. I got all the zucchini, yellow squash and one eggplant out of the fridge and cut up for the dehydrator. The sourdough ended up becoming waffles and blueberry breakfast bread, with enough left over to live another day. I am just happy that I was able to use so much of it up. Even in the fridge and weekly uses it still grows. I got the pickles in the fridge, so we will soon see if they turned out. I have never had pickles turn out so, keeping fingers crossed.
I forgot to tell you we were without sinks for two days. The pipe that runs into the kucky stack, rusted. It had a hole in it before and we patched it will epoxy. Good thing we had some leftover. Grim got it all taken care of. We will be replacing it as soon as payday comes around again. It brought back days of old as I had to use a glass of water to brush my teeth. I know that I really need to get a pitcher and bowl. It would have made getting cleaned up easier then leaning over into the tub. Now that job is all done. We got some tape stuff to fix the whole thing. The guy at the store said that it should last 5 years. I hope to be out of here way before then.
I got the cherries jarred up. They look really good. Once I can clean off the sticky I will take a couple of pictures. Picky monster and I made Grape Soda tonight… We adapted it from here. We didn’t have any basil so I just left it out. In a couple days I will give you all an update. Oh, I also made the monsters jello popsicles. They absolutely love em’.
Real quick does anyone know if my pumpkins will survive or if I should just pull them. Thanks!


You know everyone has bugs in the garden. Especially, if your on a farm or have a farm close by. But I live in the city…. There is no farm any where near me.  My noisy neighbor only grows tomatoes. So where did the bugs come from that have eaten most of the leafs off of the bean plants. 

And where the hell did the bug come from that did this damage. I mean really… Do they fly 30 miles to eat my pumpkin vines. I was so looking forward to having my French pumpkins this year. Now I need to find out if I can save them or if I have to rip them all out. Man o man am I pissed right now.  There is a ton of new growth. So I don’t know… Anyone have any suggestions. For those of you that don’t have a clue what I’m talking about here is a great explanation of the Squash Borer Bug.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Science Fair Explosion

Everyone is fine… Though my dining room table looks like a science fair had a melt down. I have the sourdough out of the fridge proofing (so I can make waffles for dinner), I have the pickles that need to be vented all the time (as I don’t want the jar to blow up) and I have zucchini seeds sprouting in wet paper towel inside of a plastic bag. The date on the seeds is 07, so I figure I need to check the viability of them before I just toss them in the ground and hope for the best.

As you can see I have been making some changes to this theme. I really like it but the sizes didn’t fit my taste so I spent a couple hours changing things around. It has been awhile since I messed with HTML. I use to do it all the time. So it came back pretty quick. Just still not sure what some of the coding is for. But I guess that if I keep messing with it I will get it all figured out.

Today I pulled out some of the carrots. One of them is xxx rated. You will see a picture in a minute.


I also got some watermelon radishes, a cucumber (they have stopped with the heat), some beets, 2 vine ripened roma tomatoes. Oh, since one of the storms knocked over the potato plants I have been waiting for the right time to dig them up. Remember I used store bought potatoes to see if they would work. They did, I wish I could have left them longer but with them hanging down I was afraid of blight. Not a bad haul for 12 seed potatoes.

I also started cleaning out the garden. I pulled all the lettuce I left to bolt, pulled all the green beans, up came the swiss chard that I was to get seed from. Well, the seed all fell out of the pods. So next year I should have a ton of chard…. This year was the year of dill. I need to get everything ready for my first fall garden. And it needs to happen before the tomatoes come in. Because I can see it now. We have plans to go out of town for a couple days and the tomatoes are going to pop just as we are leaving…. as the new seedlings are needing the most attention. AHHHHHH! Everything will work out at least that is what I keep telling myself.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Using the Links

The other day I posted a few links. I post them to share but I post them because I save them here on the blog so that one day I can get back to them. Well, I didn’t wait to long to get going on a couple of them.

Here is my rendition of  Maple boozy sweet cherries


I added the rum to it today. So tomorrow I will can it up! The little jars will be Yule gifts.
I also had some pickles to use up so I thought I would make fermented pickles from here.


A couple weeks ago some one commented that all we ever show is the clean happy part of home processing foods. So here in all its bloody glory is my mess.

I said bloody because of the cherry juice that is splattered everywhere. But I will say I love my cherry pitter. It works way better then the little hand pitter I have. Once I got into a rhythm it went really quick.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Clean up

We have been in the basement all day. With the heat index being higher then I can count... LOL! We decided that we didn't want to be baked or broiled. I finally got around to cleaning off my desk and rearranging it. Then the monsters discovered that one of the Wii controllers was missing. Which led to them cleaning the area up. In turn, made me get off my butt and make some hard decisions. The main one was that the futon cushion needed to go. See it was piled with boxes, and behind the boxes the cats were using it as a spray area. No wonder I never could find the source. It is out of the house and the basement smells way better. There is still a ton of stuff that can be done but I am done for the night. 

I would love to being doing other things but I just can't handle the heat. Since I have made the couch my bed until this heatwave breaks, I have noticed that my hip is giving me problems. I'm thinking that it has something to do with there is only like 2" of foam and then plywood. LOL! It was my grandmothers living room set and I just never got around to having the cushions redone. Oh, if I didn't mention before I have an allergic reaction to the a/c. It causes me to have summer colds. So I avoid it whenever possible. With Grim's job he needs to have a cool, dark place to sleep ~ day or night ~ especially with noisy neighbor less then 30 feet from our bedroom window.

Tonight is the first night I have watched tv in ages. And of course the little monster was watching Wall~e when she went to bed so that is what is on as I type. It was such a cute movie. She and I watched it when it first came out on DVD. 

I'm not looking forward to most of tomorrow. Grim and I need to help a friend move his extra large tv. Then we have to make arrangements for another friend to bring back his cherry picker.... It is this huge thing that helps to pull an engine out of a car. Show his mom how to use the printer that we installed for her last weekend. Then to round out the day we are getting together with other friends to celebrate our friends dads 88th birthday. This part is great... It will be at the Moose Lodge and they are hosting a fish fry. They have perch, cod, shrimp and lots of other items. Can't wait as I don't like to cook fish in the house.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wordless Wednesday!


Grim, got this for me! Since it is the type of tractor that I really want once we get a bigger farm!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Back to Smokin'

Yep, I’m smokin’ again… But not cigarettes…. Pork Loin~

I got this smoker a couple years ago from a neighbor that didn’t want it anymore. Since then it has just occupied one area of the yard or another. So Grim and I got the brilliant idea to use it finally! We have a gas grill so we didn’t have any charcoal on hand. Off to the store we go and get this BBQ Bag. I will never buy it again. It stunk so bad of lighter fluid. Next time I will just stick with the good old fashioned stuff.


Here is the pork loin all seasoned up with Famous Dave’s Rib Rub. Yummy stuff!!


As you can see we got a nice coal bed going, and the chips are smoldering well.


Here is a picture of the loin on the grating.


No pictures of the final product. It took way longer to cook then we had anticipated. It is a tasty thing though.

I think Grim has been bitten by the smoking bug. Look out meats of all shapes and sizes! LOL!


Monday, July 18, 2011

We’re back

We were back Friday night but I just didn’t feel up to sitting at the computer this weekend at all. Here are some pictures that I took!
Embroidered Sampler
Barn Quilt
One of the stores
This was in one of the parades
Buggy through the windshield
My loot!


Friday, July 15, 2011

Gone to visit the Amish

We are taking the day to spend with the Amish. We love going down there. They have so many items that I can only dream of purchasing. Things I would never find here at home. The one hardware store has all the parts to fix the oil lamps. There are crooks in every size with lids to match. If its non electric they have it. I will be lusting after the ginormous cooper kettle. Even though I have no room or real reason to have it. LOL!

What I will be getting is some staples at the bulk store in town. I am running low on spices and flavorings. I’m still good on clear jel, but there are baking supplies, such as baking powder that need to be bought. I think I am going to get some of the pudding and gelatin mixes. Oh, I need to get nuts, they always have a discounted nut section, usually pieces.

They sell green salad dressing, sweet mustard and baked goods galore. All of which we will be getting. I might even splurge and get some fabric…. But then again, do I really need it?!? Probably not… LOL! But I will be picking up more half gallon jars. They are a god send. I use them for everything. I have two that I switch out for the sourdough. And since I am going to start sprouting my flour I need a few more.

The drive is long but it is scenic. We will eat at the huge restaurant there. And enjoy the company of family. I love outings like this!

I will have picture up later.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Full Moon Rising


These are a couple pictures I took of the Buck moon. I couldn’t get a shot around the trees. I think that it looks kind of creepy this way. Much cooler… LOL!


Hope every ones intentions come to pass! Keeping fingers crossed for mine.




This little one showed up in my front yard the other day. Yes, I know how to dead head…. I just haven’t had time. But anyways, this is the second dragonfly that has visited my house this year. The first one was all black and this one gold. They are so very pretty in a land before time way… LOL!

What little darlings are making their presence known in your neck of the woods?


Do You See What I See


This is my cucumber trellis… the cantaloupe trellis is in the background


That is a slicing cucumber that is hanging out with the dill down near the bottom.


This little one is growing on the inside of the supports. Its funny how its not pointing down but out!


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

First of the season!

Cherry Jelly

Yep, I did it again…. This time I had sweet cherries to use up. And nowhere I looked had a recipe. So I made one.


4 cups of juice
4 1/2 cups of sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 box of pectin

Then I water bathed it for 5 minutes.


8 ~ 1/2 pints that all set…. Yeah!

Then with the juice that I had left I made the monsters more popsicles. They haven’t gotten to them yet as we had running around to do today.


Luckily, I still have some of the peach and now cherry juice…. These monsters are eating them like crazy. But in their defense it has been in the 90’s.


The new and improved

Like I said before I am going through some things that need to taken care of. First of all, I am tired of dreaming of one day. That day is now. I have been wanting to live like others who have real homesteads… or even like the ones that have hobby homesteads. Well, I have done enough to be a suburban homesteader (wanna be type). And that is where I start as of today. One day I may have my dream of living in the country… It might even come sooner rather then later. But now is the time for action. This is who I have been working on becoming for years now. I was even told recently that we (the family) are very simple people…. WoW! Talk about a revelation… Didn’t realize anyone was looking. You could have knocked me over with a feather.

Grim Wytche Farm is the name that I have been saving for the day that we actually did get a farm. But there is no time like the present to use it and to make it real. Tomorrow might never come and I want to be a part of something bigger. That is what this is going to help me accomplish. I’ve got big plans for this little space so get ready to see a huge transformation. I just hope I can keep up….. LOL!

So let me welcome you to my home!

Grim Wytche Farm

Where the deed may be small but the accomplishments are huge!


Monday, July 11, 2011

Bits and Pieces

It has been terribly busy here. First we had a yard sale this weekend, complete flop! Come to find out that it is against city ordinance to post signs up at the end of your street. $60 fine for each one. Found this out when the police showed up at my house. The officer was very nice and explained everything to us. Good thing we just put up arrows with no address… LOL! But with no signs no sale. I bought the permit, signs, and ice for the water. I spent more to host the flop then I made. But we went out and searched for sales. We commiserated with others…. and go some really kewl stuff in return. I got a hand crank Sears meat slicer, a 15 count glass spice jars and rack, and a set of 4 stackable tin canisters with the name of the item (flour, sugar, tea) written on them.

Then Sunday was Picky monsters 14th birthday. That kid is really starting to come into herself. What a great thing to see happen. This morning I had to go into my bedroom for something, I leaned my hand on the bed and reached. Well, I got a surprise….. Something was hiding in my bed and bit or stung me. It was the worse pain ever. So I had to go to urgent care since I couldn’t find what it was that got me. My had where the fingers meet was all swelled up all the way across. Benadryl and a $20 co-pay later…. All of my bedding was taken to the laundry mat and washed and dried there…. I wish I knew what it was that got me. My grape tomatoes are turning red… So tomorrow I should have 4 or 5 to eat! Yeah!!! Oh, the sourdough did better today…. the best one so far!

Here are a few links that I wanted to share:

Today was a strange type of day….. Grim and I got some disturbing news, but were told not to really worry about it. Its one of those things that I can’t really talk about online right now. And everyone is healthy it has nothing to do with that… don’t want to scare anyone. I can’t share details… One day soon I hope to be able to. Until then I have had to start to really evaluate what I want and how it is going to be made real… Because life is never what you expect it to be. One change will be to the blog…. It will be getting a facelift and a name change. This is something I have wanted to do for awhile and just never got around to doing. I think there will be a lot of changes. Change is good…. it is only bad if you resist. And here I am pushing for it… Rolling on the floor laughing

Gotta Run,

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Just to let you know I am starting this post at night and will finish up in the morning.

Tonight I used my steam juicer again. Really love the thing. This time it was for an over abundance of peaches and nectarines. We them in our weekly box. Since we are not huge fans they have just been multiplying in the fridge. So out came the juicer and I made jelly.

4 cups of juice
4.5 cups of sugar
1/4 cup of lemon juice
1 box of powdered pectin

I will let you know when I finish the post if it set. This is the first time I didn’t have a step by step recipe to follow. I looked through a couple different books and just kind of went for it. Now I’m fairly sure that this is a standard type but it felt good not to be step by step behind someone else.

I took 1 cup of juice and 1/2 cup sugar and made 6 popsicles for the monsters. Next time I may use less sugar or even use honey instead. Since it was the first time I just winged it… Smile with tongue out They are very excited to try them. I’m keeping fingers crossed that they turn out. That way when I want to make something else out of the ordinary they will be receptive.

There was another 2 cups of juice that I put in the fridge. I thought that I could make a simple syrup, add some juice and soda water to make a refreshing drink. Could even add a bit of white liquor. Then again I could add some white wine to the juice and make a spritzer. Hmmm, the possibilities are endless. But in all reality the monsters will probably have it gone before I’m up in the morning… Confused smile

I had to go and get a planner for this year as mine expired in June. I got a nice purse sized one that wasn’t a lot of money. and I went to the school website to get all the practice and competition days. From this point to the first week in November we are tied up with band. My calendar is already filled and it is nothing for me but a dentist appointment. Just kidding

We did manage to get the time off work for Grim and we are taking a few days and going up north for some very much need R&R. We will be camping and going to all of the living history museums. The monsters will get to go swimming and Grim will get to go look for ghosts… LOL! There are couple of places that have a history to them. It aught to be fun. I will have to face on of my fears…. a ferry! Yep, scared to death of water so in turn no boats. But where we want to go I have to buck up and just do it for the sake of my family.

Gotta Run,

PS... It set!!! Yeah!!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Extreme Coupons

I know what your thinking… Nope it isn’t that TV show at all. 100 years ago, my gram was widowed with 2 growing boys at home. My mom, an aunt and an uncle were already married and another aunt had already moved out. So here was my gram left to raise these 2 growing boys and sometimes me. She was one of the most resource full people I have ever known.

She would take the boys on the back roads and look for bottles in the ditches. She would go to yard sales and then sell her findings to art dealers. Books would be bought cheaply at one place and sold some where else. This is all before it was common place. And way before EBay and the like.

See green stamps and things like it created store loyalty. But coupons created brand loyalty. Or so they thought?!? Gram, would cut any coupons that she could get her hands on. She would use as many as she could afford to. She raised those boys and was able to still take me with her. Of course I helped all that I could. It was fun being with Gram!!!

Fast forward about 20 years. I started using coupons not long after Grim and I got married. I remember going to Kroger once a month, coupons in hand. We would have over $300 worth of food, 2+ cartful's, for less then $80. One time I had a receipt that was over 6 feet long. The cashiers and customers hated to see me in the store. The managers on the other hand loved me. Why, I’m not sure, but they did! They would even open a special lane for me. LOL! Try getting that type of service nowadays! I kind of got away from coupons as the deals became less and less.

The reason why I have regaled you with this story is because I didn’t go shopping for razors, shampoo, soap, toothpaste and the like for over 8 months. And within the last couple of weeks we have been slowly running out of things. Friday I went shopping to stock back up on what we needed. I was absolutely shocked at the prices.

Sunday I went and bought 2 papers and compared them with the deals on line. I went to CVS and got:

2~Oral B toothbrushes
2~Aussie flex hold hairspray
1~Gillette Men’s razor
1~4 pack refill kit for the razor.

With coupons and ECB’s it cost $9.96…. But I got $9 in ECB’s for a future visit. So in reality I only spent .96 cents. Not a bad haul for the first time back in the big time!

There were a couple of other items that I had to pass on. The Coppertone was almost $11@ and the head and shoulders was buy both a shampoo and conditioner and get the same free. It would have been like $32 and only getting like $9 or $10 back. Not worth it for things that I don’t normally use anyways.

I have garden tales to tell but that will have to wait for another post!

Gotta Run,


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Welcome to July

Today is suppose to be off the charts hot! I need to get out to the garden to water it. But it already feels bad. I need to think of the plants in pots, they are probably screaming for a drink as I type. So I will be back in a bit after I do the watering.

I got out there and watered. My poor flowers in pots are just about dead. Hopefully, they will come back to life. Other then that the garden is looking really good. The grass needs to be cut and trimmed. Maybe I will get out there Monday and do it. Teenage monster had to help me put up a piece of fencing to help the pumpkins climb. I have no idea what I am doing with the pumpkins, cantaloupe and watermelon. I am trying to train the watermelon and cantaloupe. And I just keep watering. I think I am going to end up with more food then I know what to do with. If I end up with 1000’s of pounds of pumpkins I will donate to the local food bank. They will be more then happy to take my extras.

We got hit with major storms here tonight. I didn’t think to take pictures the sky was orange. Of course the power went out. With it being so hot today the air was on in most places, but then the rain came and the rest put on the air. (we only have window air…. and that only goes in so that Grim can sleep…. Noisey neighbor). So we were in the dark for about 3 hours. Not to bad… I lit some candles, and the monsters read and colored. I got in the mail today Organic Gardener and Hobby Farms Home. I got all caught up on my reading.  Thoroughly, enjoyed the power outage! Yep, I like being able to shut down once in awhile.

Tomorrow I will be out picking my green beans. They are all ready and then the plants will come out. I planted a 1/3 of the 4x4. They did really well. Maybe next year I will do a whole box. All of my lettuce bolted. The rabbit will just be getting a bolted head everyday. Oh, and he loves dill. Good thing I let it go to seed last year and it is everywhere in the garden. I will try and get pictures.

Gotta Run,