Showing posts from 2006

Experimental soup recipe

My favorite part of winter is being able to eat soups, drink hot tea and cocoa. I enjoy these foods all year, but it's just not the same when you are cold and need something to warm you up.

Normally, when a recipe calls for onions, I use half the amount and throw out the leftover pieces, Gasp! I know. What a waste! It's just that when I try to save onions, they taste all bitter, so I end up throwing them out later. Which by the way hasn't happened recently. Better storing methods? I don't know.

I love using small onions and the only way to get them is to buy a bag. I hate having to pick through the ones in the store and be stuck with humongous onions. I know that people think that bigger is better, but I like them small.

But the other day, I took the onion leftovers and stuck them in a tupperware container and froze them. Then later that week, I made some eggrolls and had leftover cabbage. Huge pieces that got chopped and diced but were too tough to save for the eggr…

Recipe for refrigerator rolls

I recently tried a new recipe called Refrigerator Rolls. I've heard of it before, where you make the dough up at the beginning of the week and then pull off pieces as you need it. For some reason, I never would try it. I have no idea why. This recipe is the greatest! I only have to mix and knead the dough once and all week long I can have tasty delicious rolls. You have to remember though to punch down the dough every day until you use it. Also, sometimes when I don't have the two hours it needs to rise, I just roll it into balls anyways, let it sit for the time I do have and bake it. They still turn out good. Ready for the recipe? Here it is:

Refrigerator Rolls- from Farm Journal's Country Cookbook.

2 pkg's active dry yeast
1 3/4 c. warm water
1/2 c. sugar
1 Tablespoon salt
5 1/2-6 c. flour (all purpose)
1 egg
1/4 c. shortening, butter, or margarine. (tastes best with margarine or butter)

Sprinkle yeast over warm water in large bowl; stir to dissolve. Add sugar salt a…

Living more with less

My favorite kind of books have always been how-to's. Normally, I scan through the book and read bits and pieces reading from right to left. This past week, I read from cover to cover from left to right, volumes one and three Tightwad Gazette. I really enjoyed reading them. Most of the information presented I have either already been practicing for years, or have no interest in doing. However, I did find a few new good tips which I will share at a later date.

The book I am reading now is called Living more with less by Doris Janzen Longacre. I have read bits and pieces of it three times, and now I am reading it all the way through. It was written a long time ago but it is still becoming my favorite book. I am hoping to find it used somewhere.

I have been learning more in it than I have any other simplicity living book. I will be sharing some things that I have been learning later as well as thoughts on the book.

Voluntary Simplicity

What is voluntary simplicity? How is it different than frugal living? The best explanation I know of can be found here.

Huck Update

I talked to Huck's new owners the other day to see how he's been doing. She told me that he went off rabbit hunting the other day. She could hear him baying after the rabbit. He came back in an hour. I always wondered if he ran off, if he'd be able to find his way home. I was happy when she said he came back within an hour. Being in a new place, did not stop him from figuring out how to find his way back.

She also told me that the other day, he crossed the highway and found his way to their neighbor's house. They didn't know who he belonged to and brought him inside as it was late and dark. She didn't want him getting run over on the highway. Huck made his way into their house and made himself right at home, finding his way right into their cat's food dish. Ever since then, whenever the owners would go to work, Huck would run over to their house and demand to be let in. (howl his head off, I'm told.)

Well, they found out where his new home was and to…

Plantain salve uses

I have been battling a cold this week and as a result my nose has been sore and red. I put some plantain salve on it before I went to bed and the next day all the redness and soreness was gone! I love that plantain salve I made. I can't wait to make more. My hands always get so dry in the winter and crack so I slathered some salve on them and what a relief that salve is. The cracks which look like mini gashes in my hand are healing nicely.

I am also trying to figure out what to put it in. I had bought some tins but they are hard to open and close. I am hoping to find some little heat proof plastic container to put it in. I prefer jars, but hard to ship without worrying about breakage. I made some the other day in baby food jars, but it is hard to get out.

Everyone that's used my salve loves it. And that makes me very happy. I love helping others.

Don't be sad, It's a treasure.

I titled this after Nick kept telling me this when I would start to cry thinking about Huck.

In memory of Hucky boy. You came into my life 3 years ago. He was my best friend apart from Nick. From the time I woke up until the time I went to bed, I'd talk to him. And sometimes he'd answer me. We'd go for long walks and meet people. People I wouldn't have met otherwise, because it seems the world is a friendlier place when you have a dog on the end of your leash. Especially one as cute as Huck.

When I was sick with the flu, he'd lay beside me on the floor. He'd keep me company and wag his tail. When I had a sore throat and couldn't call to him, I'd clap my hands and he would come running. When I hurt my back and couldn't bend over, he'd jump up and let me put his leash on. He never said no for a walk, no matter how tired and asleep he was. As soon as I'd get my shoes on, grab my keys and ask him if he wanted to go for a walk, he was at the door…

Is that a dog? Nope!

A few weeks ago, we stayed at our favorite campground. I was busy in the camper getting ready for dinner. I happened to notice two girls coming near with their dog. I didn't get a good look at the dog because I just saw him out of the corner of my eye, but could tell he was brown and small.

Well, as they got closer to us, I happened to overhear what they were saying and this caused me to look up and see what they were doing. To my suprise, the leash was a stick and the dog was an armadillo! They were herding an armadillo back to their campsite. Their mom came over and took their picture. They ended up herding him back to the woods before going to the park to play.

I couldn't believe that this armadillo didn't run off. The first time I saw an armadillo up close was when I took Huck for his evening walk. Huck noticed it right away, and as soon as I did, the armadillo took off so fast and ran to hide in a drainage hole. I never saw an animal take off so quickly. So, I'm b…

Live one day at a time. Be content.

Live one day at a time as if it were my last.

Be content in the situations I find myself in.

Dodge the acorns and other fun times

Had one of the best weekends in a long time at our favorite camping spot. We got there late Saturday night and spent all day Sunday out by the campfire laughing and just having a good time. I don't remember ever laughing as much as we did.

It was supposed to rain all day which is one reason we decided to go there, but other than a few sprinkles, and a lot of wind, the weather was perfect in my opinion. With all the wind, it didn't take long for the laundry to dry. While Nick started the fire, I hunted for thin papery bark, perfect for helping start the fire. I went by myself at first and found what I thought was the right kind of bark. Came back with bark, but the wrong kind.

The next time I went out I took Huck along. He loved it. I was worried he would howl while I went into the woods, (I tied him up on a pole right in front of the forest) but he was so good and just waited patiently for me to emerge. I didn't take him in with me, because of all the poison ivy and becau…

Peace found in living with less

Well, we've been in the camper a month now. I just love it! I am excited though about dropping off some things in Milo, things I thought we had room for, but do not. There are also some books and magazines I left in Milo, that I am going to swap with. Once we get all the extra baggage out of the way, things will run much more smoothly.

When Nick is at the office working, I'm normally parked nearby. I spend my days, cleaning and re-organizing the camper, trying to find the best place for things to go. I stamp cards and write letters. I listen to tapes. I read books. I sleep. Life is very relaxed and slow paced. Sometimes, I'll walk to the library or the stores nearby and look around. Now that it is cooler, I take Huck for walks, several times a day. He loves being outside!

When Nick gets off of work, we go and park for the night usually. That's when I get out my fishing pole, wait for the minnows to trap themselves in the cool minnow trap Nick bought and start fishing. …

RV living changes

Well, there have been a few changes made since we talked about living in an RV. The main thing is that we decided not to stay at the campground that we talked about. The lady there "forgot" to tell us of a few fees. We have been staying at the state lake instead for now but we did find another place to stay which is good.

It is a bit more per day to hookup, but there are not any permit and camping fees. We plan to stay there from now on.  I like it better actually. This weekend we are going to Cherryvale to stay at the campground there. Last weekend we went to Bartlesville, OK to stay at a nice RV resort. It was pretty there.

We've seen a nice share of wildlife while we've been out camping. On our canoe trip, I saw a mink. This week, we saw a beaver and a raccoon across the lake. The beaver actually would swim back and forth from the two places we've camped from. Not having our A/C hooked up, I've been able to listen to the owls hooting in the night. I like t…

Future camping

We went to the campground to find out about mail delivery. I decided since we still have our mailbox in Missouri to have everyone write me there. There is one mailbox at the campground that everyone shares. I like the idea of having my own box, thank you. Plus you can't receive big packages there.

While we were in I looked at their books they have for sale. Much to my delight, Nick bought me two of them. The ones I got were called, "Flower Finder- A guide to identification of spring wild flowers and flower families".

There is a whole series of these books. I plan to collect them all. This is the most unique book I've ever heard of. It's going to come in handy during those long sitting spells in the camper. It describes in detail parts of a flower and the different types of families they are in. Then, it has lots of drawings that helps you to determine what kind of family it is in.

You choose the description that fits the flower to be indentified. Then proceed to…

Plantain salve making

Last week I bought some organic olive oil, beeswax from the local beekeeper near where we live and picked some plantain and made salve. I followed a recipe I got off the internet and had a blast! I even had a friend over and we made a batch together. When I made it with my friend, we added tea tree oil (which is a good antiseptic and also preserves the salve), and cedarwood oil (which also repels insects). I made another batch the other day and added lavender oil to it.

I bought two small jars of baby food so that I could have a little jar to carry around with me and so that I could give some away to friends, to sample.

The salve turned out so good! I normally am so miserable when the mosquitos come out that I often will stay indoors just to avoid them and I love being outdoors. But not anymore, cause I know no matter how many times I am bit that I have a ready supply of plantain salve. I am NOT referring to plantain like you buy at the store that looks like a banana, but rather the…

Cherry Tomatoes

These are not the best pictures, but I tried to show how well they are coming along. I counted at least 40 tomatoes from the two smaller plants. One tomato was starting to ripen. From the bigger pot, the tomatoes are bigger and more are found. The pot that looks bare, if you look close enough there are two tomato plants started. I planted those a few days ago. They are coming up nicely. I still have a ton of seeds left over too. I'm going to grow them indoors when it gets cooler. The book I read about tub farming the author showed a picture of tomatoes she grew year round indoors. She enjoyed fresh tomatoes from January till December. Awesome!

I used a package of soil similar to Miracle Gro, called Expert Gardener, but I don't plan to do that again. Hopefully, soon we will be back home and our compost will be ready. Either that or I will just plant it straight into the garden.

Spiny the pest

I've nicknamed him Spiny- which means difficult or troublesome. The name fits! I don't know why other than he looks like skin and bones. He is the neighbor's dog and the most annoying. He comes into MY yard and barks at me! Nick (not Huck) will bark at him through the computer room window and it is absolutely hilarious. He'll jump around so fast and look towards the sound and just start barking back.

He steals Huck's bones, or at least tries to. He digs in everyone's garbage cans including his own. I chase him off when I see him, but he'll either just run around in circles past me, or run home only to come back as soon as I've gone inside. The other day as we were pulling out of the driveway, I saw him sneaking his way over. Like a little kid waiting for us to leave, there he was inching his way into our yard.

Conserving Water.

Washing dishes this morning made me think of something. Right now, I heat my water up and pour it into a dishpan. Then I sometimes have another dishpan full of clean water for rinsing. I used to think your plates would stay soapy using the dishpan instead of running water down the drain to rinse. I haven't had a problem with it yet. But sometimes when I've got a huge pot to rinse, it simply won't fit in the dishpan. So, like today, I had to run the water quite a bit to get the pot rinsed out.

What I'm hoping is when we get back to our homestead, that we can somehow run a pipe from the kitchen and lead it into a barrel. So that all the water that normally goes down the drain can be used to water plants and such. I'm not worried about any soap in the water because I plan to use natural soap, not the petroleum based stuff I am stuck using now. I am just having a hard time finding something suitable.

Did I mention that Nick fixed the plumbing at our home in Missouri? …

Poor Huck!

I took Huck out for a bathroom break tonight and he went over to see
the neighbor's dog, Jack. They normally get along together and the
neighbor's were out visiting. I was talking to them. Huck was playing
with Jack.

All of a sudden, Jack starting growling and Huck walked
away from Jack with his fur all ruffled up. I happened to look down at
him and when I did I saw a few drops of blood. I rushed over to him
and he was covered in blood. I didn't know what happened to him. I
carried him inside and saw his ear. Jack took a bite out of it! A
quarter size piece is now missing!

Nick ran to the farm store and got some quick stop powder and I gave it some light pressure. It finally
stopped bleeding. Huck seems pretty stressed out over the whole ordeal. It was my fault letting him go over there.

Huck and Sadie

Huck had another playdate today. I watched Sadie for my friend while she went to the doctor. It is so much fun to watch those two play. Sadie likes to herd Huck around. At one point, they were running around and Huck just started sliding across the side of their garage. Then he came to a stop and just laid there. As flat as I've ever seen him lay.

I wonder what was going through his mind. Sadie in the meantime, was pawing at him and howling. I suppose to try and get him to play more. Whatever Huck was trying to accomplish must not have worked because he took off running again. At one point, Huck started tugging on Sadie and Sadie turned around and slobbered on him. Then she sat on his head. It was so hilarious!

Huck thinks he's the fastest dog and normally is around Baby Boy and Cider, but with Sadie, she is just as fast as he is. He just runs all over the place trying to lose her, but there she is right up in his face. He was trying a few new dodges today, normally he runs i…

Huck and the harness

Huck and I went over to see a friend and her basset hound, Sadie. I've been taking Huck over there so he can get all his energy out. He loves going over there. They have a huge fenced in yard. They run and romp and have the time of their lives.

Before we left, my friend gave Huck a red paw printed harness. She had ordered it for Sadie and for whatever reason could not use it. I wasn't sure if it would fit him or not, but I was so thrilled. I've been meaning to get one for him but haven't yet. I don't like how collars alone strain Huck's neck.

Now, Huck's never worn a harness before, although I've put shirts on Huck for fun and to see what he'd do. He didn't know what to think of this new contraption. I think he figured I'd take it off, but to take him out for a walk in this thing!?!

The first time we went for a walk, we didn't get very far. Huck just sat there. I'd give him a tug and he'd take a step, and stop. Get tugged, step,…

Meet P.C.

Meet P.C.

He thinks he lives here. He actually lives next door, but I made the mistake of talking to him the other day and giving him a nice scratch. Now, whenever he sees me outside he comes running. He is the most vocal cat I know and quite loud too. He also loves to play with his owner's yellow lab, Baby Boy.

It is funny to watch them play and P.C. always tells Baby boy when it's time to quit. Sometimes, Huck will get right up in his face and try to play with him too, but P.C. will swat him away. Poor Huck, the other day P.C. just pounced on him and started swatting away, as if to get the swat attack over with. Huck just looked so bewildered. He is wary of him now when he trots over.

By the way, P.C. stands for Porch Cat. The neighbors named him that when he showed up at their house one day. The name fits. Only I think he's confused at which porch is his. On the way home from walking the dog, I saw him curled up on the other neighbor's side porch.

This is the bigges…

Our fun day and how to make yummy mint tea.

Today was a busy but fun day. I started out doing a couple loads of laundry. I wanted to get a head start before it got too hot. Then I made breakfast and Nick went and moved the camper onto the truck. We took it down to the state lake and had a picnic of sandwiches. It was so much fun! Then, when we got back, I took all the cushions out and vacuumed it from top to bottom. Scrubbed the counter tops and table. I can't wait to take it out camping.

Yesterday it was so hot. I think it was 100 degrees. Although it was hot, it wasn't unbearable. There is nothing like taking a cool soak in the tub. I wish I had thought of it yesterday, but it would have been a perfect day to make sun tea.

My friend Wini made some mint tea while we visited at her house once. It was delicious. I had to call her for directions. I knew I had made it with black tea in it before but couldn't remember the portions. But it didn't. What I remember doing was using loose leaf peppermint mixed with blac…

Tub Farming and more

Well, since we found out our landlord said we could have a garden,I put off planting all that I wanted in pots except for a few cherry tomatoes. I planted 11 seeds and they all came up. But I ran out of space in pots so I kept the three best ones. They are doing really good. I"ll add a picture of them later. I'm planning on planting more tomatoes and keep them indoors if I have to. The book that I read said that you could grow them year round indoors. You can also grow beets indoors. I'll have to give that a try. We love beets especially pickled ones!

If we don't get a chance to plant anything before summer's over, we are going to have a fall garden. Green beans for sure, squash too. We are wanting more vegetables that we can dehydrate, freeze or can. And a little that we can eat fresh like squash.

I'm going to try and have an herb garden here. There is a patch out front where there used to be a tree years ago. I'm hoping that I can get something to grow …

Embroidered Pillowcases


Napkin Pillows

Huck wanted to try the new pillows out.

Super simple crochet dish cloth pattern

Super simple crochet dish cloth pattern:

Chain as long as you want the dish cloth to be. I like to do about 25-30. Then crochet whatever size you want, whether it be sc, dc, or hdc. along each space. Chain appropriately and turn and go again. To get the nice ridge affect just poke hook into the back loop only. I made this years ago when I first learning to crochet. I did it by accident, but liked the way it turned out, so I kept doing it!



Getting ready for gardening

I went to Walmart yesterday and priced containers for my project this year. I also decided instead to focus on a few vegetables rather than tackle so many as I'd planned before.

I'm going to plant beets, cukes, green beans, and tomatoes- both regular sized and cherry. With the beets, I'm hoping for enough crop to can a few batches, since we love pickled beets so much, but I've found a couple store brands that taste pretty good. So, if I don't get much out of those exept fresh eating I'll be okay. The cukes- I'm planning on purchasing several pots and having one plant per pot. The book Tub Farming that I am reading says that an 8 inch pot is the smallest size recommended. That size seems too small but I'm going to start them in that size and maybe transplant them later to a bigger pot. I'm planning to make small batches of relish, and sweet pickles.
We bought some Dragon tongue heirloom beans, that I may try. I don't know too much about them whe…

Garden Approval

Our landlord said we can put in a garden! I am soooo excited!!!!! We didn't think she'd go for it at first, (digging a big hole in the yard) but she is more down to earth than all our other landlords. Nick called her yesterday and asked and by the time he got off the phone I was jumping for joy all over the house.

Nick mowed the yard yesterday and it looks great! It was getting to be quite a jungle there, with all the weeds and wild onions (i think) sprouting up all over the place. I've got to go and sweep all the sidewalks now, because it's a mess. The weather is so nice outside today, I don't mind a bit.

Been cleaning out the camper this past week. Arranging our dishes in the cupboards and laying down new shelf paper. We got these pretty blue enamel ware dishes for christmas. We were using them in the house at first, but since most of our cooking is through the microwave, we were unable to use the plates. (for the time being) I wanted to buy a set for the campe…