Almost the end of October

October 21, 2015|8:00 am

Doesn’t hardly seem possible. Here we are over midway through October. Where has this year gone? Seems like yesterday I was making new years resolutions to not make any resolutions! It has been a busy year with the children and grandchildren. I’m in the process now of reclaiming my house. ALL YEAR long we have gone from cluttered to worse. NOT my happy place at all. This week is the end of all that. There have been many times this year when the house was organized enough to look decent but I have always felt the lack of feeling that it’s good. That it might stay organized for longer than a day or two and that there are systems in place to keep it that way. Mostly due to all the changes in our lives over the last few years. Children moving out and going into the Army (Benjamin) and other children moving in and out with grandchildren and my father moving here from Texas last year. All welcome changes but changes none the less, that have impacted the fiber of our lives.

Yesterday was to be the beginning of the new order and in a way it as. We were going to take care of all the garden produce in our dining room. Some of the older children harvested  the last of the garden ahead of a freeze last week while I was in Utah for a beautiful wedding. Plans were underway to get a full day in and help was at hand as all available people were asked to help. Then we discovered the open freezer! Yes, I’ll just leave the rest to your imagination. We got by with a very small amount of food loss BUT the ensuing rescue required much cooking and de-boning etc. to save the thawed meats etc. The veggies that were lost made a wonderful fall treat for the chickens and the meat losses was truly much smaller than I had originally envisioned with the discovery.

Today I am going back to the original plan of working on pairing down the dining room by removing my tea cabinets, the desk that I have been using and if I am really ambitious sorting through a few cupboards. Much less help available today as many of the ones who had yesterday off must work today.

Something I’ve been pondering lately: Sustainability. Where are you on the scale of living a sustainable life? Do you do lots of things to live towards that kind of life? Or do you just not worry about it? Somewhere in between? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

A whole year..

September 6, 2015|8:50 pm

It’s been an entire year since I posted on this blog. ONE. FULL. YEAR.
It’s time to take back my blogging life or let it go for the foreseeable future. Something inside me rebels at just giving up. So I think I’ll try for the taking control option.

Today we worked on a myriad of projects in our little corner of the world. The 12 beautiful quart jars of homemade tomato soup residing on my counter are very smile inducing!
They are promising us some cool relief from the tremendous humidity and heat we have had this past week plus. Calling for high seventies and low humidity for tomorrow is making those of us MN State Fair bound look forward to the day.

Fair Time and Garden harvest!

August 25, 2013|6:27 pm

Started out to the State Fair on Friday… waited in line on the road for hours and no parking after spending over three hours trying to find parking we turned lemons into lemonade and went to chutes and ladders park. Had our picnic and came home. I was so proud of my older children for making a fun time out of what could have been a really rotten day! They made sure the younger boys had a great time and no one complained!


Garden vegetables everywhere! Made four quarts of pickled peppers and one broke!! So sad. We have tomatoes starting everywhere and every variety. A friend from work told Pat to have us come pick apples and so the children went with Dané and came home with about 4 and a half bushels.

We are trying State Fair take 2 tomorrow so Tuesday we will be making spaghetti sauce and apple butter.

Tonight’s menu is fresh corn on the cob, baked potatoes, sliced tomatoes, cottage cheese and Grandma Ruth is bringing a zucchini casserole and Apple Cobbler for desert.

So has anyone ever…

January 5, 2012|6:47 pm

set the same goal year after year after year? Or the newest version of the same goal? I love the idea of being more independent. Having the chickens and now our bull affectionately known as Dinner around here. He is going to be eaten so no real name for him.

A co-worker of Pat’s blessed us with three little pigs this fall.(fortunately no big BAD wolf followed him!) Two got to the big fat pig stage and are now residing in the freezers. One is still in the barn as he stayed skinny for a while after getting some kind of cold. He is now fattening up nicely and will go in the freezer as soon as there is room. Lovely to know that even though Pat is in his seasonal lay off early this year there is still food “down cellar in a tea cup” as PA Ingalls used to say.

Anyway back to my original question: I have always wanted a garden that produced enough veggies to get through the winter.How do people do that? For the last few years our garden has been a poor excuse for a weed patch despite the work Dané and the other children have been putting into it. I’d really like to have an awesome garden this year. I am just afraid that once again time and money will be poured down the drain on the endeavor. Anyone have any fantastic tips? resources? thoughts?

Peaches revisited.

July 27, 2011|11:11 pm

Well I decided to get a head start on tomorrow so I have about eight quarts of peaches simmering on the stove. I will simmer them for another half hour or so then I will add a bit more lemon juice and throw them in the fridge over night. Tomorrow I will zap them in the blender and add the pectin and sugar so we have more preserves.

Going to read for a bit while it simmers and then get myself off to bed.

Summer time Summer time Summer time!

July 23, 2011|12:27 pm

and the smell of fresh peaches. So Nummy!

Take 60 pounds of peaches minus the amount the children can eat in the day and a half that they sat here. Add in one mama and three girls. Results= 21 bags of frozen peaches in the freezer and 3 and a half jars of peach preserves. Like I said NUMMY! Didn’t take too long either  I’ll try and post a picture or two later.

picture perfect

March 19, 2010|4:30 pm

There are some days that just call for chocolate. Today.. thirty degrees colder than yesterday.. is one.

What could be better than a cup of white hot chocolate filled with marshmallows!

school class 034

I have been doing some reading on the web…

March 1, 2010|4:56 pm

About healthy living, debt free living and sustainable living. I think it is rather naive to assume that everyone who wants to can have live an enjoyable life and provide all of their own home grown food. In today’s day and age who would want to live the kind of life required to provide all of your living from your own hands? Frankly, I love the luxury of having time for myself, to play with my children, read a great book or run to the local craft store and pick out new yarn for a fun crochet project. I also enjoy a great cup of coffee, preferably while reading a great book or the BOOK. But more and more I have the desire to produce as many of our edibles as possible. To that end I have declared the garden a family project of epic proportions this year. In recent past the entire garden has been left to eldest daughter ( her site can be found here ) and she has occasionally conscripted help and even had some volunteered.. some === very little..

Not this year. The plans include EVERYONE being responsible for at least one food item and EVERYONE being responsible for weeding, harvesting and helping to put up! I am sure this will be a source of growth for all of us! (pun intended!)

More to follow on this subject! We started garden planning today.. 9/10th of the fun of the garden according to my dad:>)


|4:32 pm

Yesterday I decided to try a new recipe for pilgrims bread.. of course I never manage to make it according to someone else’s  recipe.. but we were quite happy with the end result. Enough so that I think we have finally found a bread we can make in enough quantity that we will slowly quit buying any store bread. Of course daddy may still have store bought white bread for his lunches when he returns to work.. if he so chooses;>).



As I was waiting for the bread to rise Bethany decided to make her latest specialty:

whole wheat banana chocolate chip muffins

whole wheat banana chocolate chip muffins

We have enjoyed a few batches of these muffins and they will be the first thing put in her own personal three ring cookbook notebook.

For co-op last week Bethany recited a poem she had memorized by William Cole.


I thought I’d win the spelling bee

and get right to the top

but I started to spell banana

and didn’t know when to stop!