Friday, July 30, 2010

It's a start

Peaches are in big time in the Carolina's now, I put up a few cans but need many, many more. Bob and I are having a controversy over where to get peaches this year, I want to get them from our local farm just up the road but he believes South Carolina peaches are the best. So here is the deal, as the crow flies we are 20 miles from the SC border, hello that's not really that far from our home, however since we are not crows but humans who have to drive a car it will take an hour, more like 1 1/2 hours in Friday traffic one way to get in SC. If we stick to our local fella, we are talking less than 10 minutes.

He has upped the anti on me and suggests we take the Harley with luggage bags to bring the peaches home; less gas and a fun ride but still more time than I planned on spending to just get the peaches in the house. Heck that is the easy part, peeling, canning and processing in this heat is when the real work begins. I do want to try and dehydrate some as well but still need to figure out how to do that sooo..... we will see who prevails in this. I might just let him win this round, a bike ride would be nice and SC has a Krystal Hamburgers which is a real treat for us. No matter where we get them for the next few days it will be peaches everywhere, a real sticky mess, UGH
I have to find the time in the next week to get July 4th scrapbook pages done for the family we rent the beach house from, they have a family reunion each year over the 4th since the 1950's, I made them a scrapbook a few years ago and like to give them pages each year as a thank you gift for renting the house to us. This isn't a typical beach rental property but instead is a family beach house that is loaded in southern charm and so cozy, with 6 bedrooms, a kitchen/family room combo and a great screened porch so we can play games or cards at night and still have the ocean breeze. Lots to do and little time, that seems to be the story of my life

Thursday, July 29, 2010


We love homemade bread, no matter what time of the year this bread is over the top good. Bob and I can never eat a whole loaf of store brought bread before it goes bad but for some reason we can eat a whole loaf of this stuff before it hits the table. There are no preservatives in this recipe therefore it won't last as long as store bought bread but if you hide it and wrap it up good you should be able to hang on to it for a few days. It will slice easier once it is cooled so you can slice it thin for sandwiches or toast if you have a toaster which I do not (still not over the disposable appliance thing so have no toaster). Give this recipe a try it is fast easy and oh so good.

In a ceramic or glass bowl:
2 cups warm water
2/3 cups white sugar
1 1/2 TBS dry yeast

mix and let stand until foamy then add

1/4 cup oil
1 1/2 tsp salt

mix, then add

6 cups flour one cup at a time, knead it a bit in the end to incorporate the flour.

wash out the bowl and oil it, place dough in bowl and turn it one time to oil all sides, cover with a damp towel and let rise, takes about an hour, maybe a bit more

Punch down the bread and knead it a bit, divide into 2 loafs and place in oiled loaf pans, cover and let rise again for 1/2 hour to 1 hour.
Bake at 350 for 30 to 40 minutes.

Not sure what if anything I will get done today, so far any plans or to do list I have tried to accomplish this week have been a bust so I am gonna go by the seat of my pants for the rest of the week and see what happens, sometimes a to do list is over rated. I did put Garlic and Onions in the dehydrator last night so they will need to be put up and I have a load of tomatoes I might throw in, not in the mood to can today so dehydrating will do the trick. I need to replant Busch bean seeds, looks like they have all washed away in the rains we had earlier in the week. Oops wait it is starting to sound like a list, need to stop right now and just do something and stop with the list making

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Frozen Pickles

Yes really frozen pickles, seems crazy to me too, but there you have it I found a recipe for what our family calls refrigerator pickles, some call them cucumber salad I am sure there are a lot of different names to them around the country. Refrigerator pickles were always in my Mamaw's and Aunt Lucille's refrigerator, they were on the table every night in the spring and summer but in the fall when the the cucumbers were gone we would switch over to canned pickles. We have so many canned pickles already that I decided to give these a try, I am going to work on Salt Brine pickles today, the recipe is from my Aunt Lucille and Uncle Fritz, they are nothing more than soaking pickles in a salt brine for a week in a covered crock then moving them into the refrigerator, they have hardly any shelf life to speak of and I am sure are awful for our blood pressure but they are a family treat we like to have now and then in the summer. My Aunt and Uncle always had a couple of 5 gallon crocks in the basement each year of them, they were a favorite of the whole family.
I still have a lingering headache but at least I am able to get out of bed today and no more hugging the toilet bowl, yepeee!! Kelli and Kara will be over for the day to hang out, maybe I can inspire Kelli to help me put up the carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes I dehydrated overnight (not likely). We still need to get some photo's of Kara for her birth announcement, we end up just holding and cuddling her and get nothing accomplished when she is here! Ha
I am so ready to get started on Kara's scrapbook but our local scrapbook store has closed over the summer :(, and I am not crazy with what CTMH has to offer in little girl paper right now. Looks like I am gonna have to do what I should always do and shop from home for supplies, I am sure I have plenty to work with, I am just being lazy and looking for retail inspiration.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Baby Girl Kundla

In case anyone has forgotten we still have one more baby due this year, Baby Girl Kundla is due Oct 31, Dr will more than likely take her a little early, Big brother Tyler came in at 10 pounds 5 ounce's, don't want a repeat of that!!

I should be doing something today but I have a headache from hell going on, hopefully the rain will come in soon so my head will clear up.

Had raspberry tea and dry toast for breakfast to help settle things down, big mistake, durn toaster is burnt out on one side, this toaster is only 4 or 5 years old and a really good brand (as in way over priced) Our original toaster lasted over 20 years, in the past 15 years I can't tell you how many we have had to replace, Stuff like this makes me nuts, why is everything disposable theses days? Now I have to decide... do I go with Wally worlds $20.00 deal or head over to Williams Sanoma and pick up one that cost 10 times that much or maybe just split the difference and see what Kholes has to offer. Better yet I will just stick to saltine crackers for the day and put the toaster on my to do list. Today is my day off, not looking to good so far! Ha

Monday, July 26, 2010

Finally some Scrapin!!

Will I finally got around to making a few layouts today using the Zippidee Work shop on the go. I have had this kit setting on my table for close to 2 months begging to be used but I couldn't find the time. I love CTMH workshop kits, everything you need is all in one kit along with detailed instructions, I need that some days when I want to scrap but just don't have the energy to think.
I'm not sure I will do the cards that are included in the kit, they just aren't my cup of tea. I would rather use the paper for more Disney layouts and Lord knows I still have plenty more pictures of our last Disney trip to get in the scrapbook.
I have decided tomorrow I will take another day off. Today was not a good day off........ have you ever had one of those days when you spend hours upon hours on the phone trying to correct another companies mistake in this case the banks with people who do not speak English? If I were a drinker I would be smashed by now, instead I am healing my wounds with Oreo's and cold milk. I really wish there was some way to boycott American companies who outsource jobs to foreign companies, I would be first in line!!!
Maybe tomorrow with a little luck we will get the rain we need so badly, I can get lots more layouts done, I won't wake up with a chocolate hangover (it can happen) and the un-named bank will get a clue... or maybe not they have lots of bail out money they don't need mine.

Hot, Hot, Hot

We are having crazy hot weather, it was 82 degrees last night at 10:00. Needless to say I did no canning this weekend it is just to durn hot to play around in boiling hot water. I did work on our stock of dehydrated foods, it was time to organize and see how much we have. I have been vacuum packing everything as I have gone along this summer but I needed to get our every day use jars done and keep the rest put back to restock the jars as I need to. This turned out to be an all day and most of the evening job, of course once I got all the jars filled I had to clean out the pantry and reorganize to find a home for it all. We have 27 different fruit, veggies and spices dehydrated!! WooHoo I made lunch and supper Saturday from dehydrated/canned food, talk about fast and easy! We had margarita pizza for lunch, canned pizza sauce, dehydrated tomatoes, dehydrated basil and store bought mozzarella cheese, it was over the top good. For supper I made Chicken and dumplin stew, took all of 5 minutes to throw it in the crock pot and let it go, love that! The only thing I had to add was leftover chicken and bullion cubes everything else was dehydrated. The stew was really good but I am gonna tweak the recipe a bit for our own taste, to many carrots and potatoes to suit us.

Today I have decided I need a mini vacation, it is to darn hot to go anywhere and do anything so I will be spending 24 to 48 hours in the scraproom!! I hit the garden at the crack of dawn this morning to bring in the veggies, the house is plenty clean enough to suite me and I have lots of leftovers from Sunday dinner to keep me fat and happy. I may not even get out of my PJ's, gonna pretend I am snowed in and stuck at home which is sorta true we are just sunshined in and stuck in the house. Brutal weather is brutal weather no matter what end to the thermometer you are looking at.

Friday, July 23, 2010

TGIF I think

I love walking in my kitchen seeing a window seal full of tomatoes, I know it seems crazy to think of tomatoes as a home decor item but there you have it I am crazy. Today is catch up around the house, dusting, vacuum, mop, bathrooms, then a quick trip to the grocery store. I haven't been to the store for so long other than a quick trip in to pick something up for Kelli's family that I am looking forward to it. The only thing on my list is dog food but I will wonder around in one of the electric shopping carts (broken toes remember) and see what kind of deal I can pick up with my coupons. I worked on the freezers this week so I have a little room for more meat if I can find a deal.

All the grand babies will come over in the afternoon to welcome Papaw home from Va., I don't want to miss out on a single minute of the fun so I will put together a crock pot meal. Our temperature should be close to 100 today, I have no intention of standing at the stove in this heat. I am going to make bread for the weekend but that doesn't heat the kitchen up too much and we all love homemade bread, I haven't had the time to make bread in weeks so it will be a real treat.

We will have a weekend full of yard work for Bob as I hobble around giving directions and a round of canning tomatoes along with peaches in the evenings. I need to download pictures, print and organize of the Grand babies so I can get busy on some layouts next week. things will surely slow down for a bit by then!! Maybe.....

Thursday, July 22, 2010

2 posts in one day WOW!!

What a nice quite uneventful day, LOVE IT, I really can't remember the last time the house was empty. After getting the garden caught up this morning in the unbearable heat I spent the rest of the day working on headbands for the babies, catching up on mail and resting. Looking forward to a small meal alone and early to bed with a good book on my Nook.

Wanted to share what 7 1/2 pounds of dehydrated potatoes look like. I originally tried to vacuum back the potatoes but the edges are so sharp they ended up cutting the bags soooo, I switched them into jars with oxygen packs. The jars are going to take up a lot more room than vacuum packs but for now its the best I can come up with.

Here is the really cool part, when I want to fry up some potatoes with onions (also dehydrated)and bacon all I need to do is soak the potatoes in water for a bit then throw it all in a skillet, walla good old fried taters in a jiffy. We love German potato salad but it is a pain to make; boil potatoes, peel, slice, then make the sauce and saute. Now all I need to do is soak potatoes to rehydrate them pour the warm sauce over the potatoes and we have a side dish that I normally only make for special occasions.

Not only is the dehydrator going to save me time putting a meal on the table but it is also saving us so much money. The majority of the food I am canning or dehydrating is coming from our own garden however whatever we don't grow ourselves I buy at our local farmers market while it is in season and the price is low. I can also cash in on sales at the grocery when they run a great sale like they have been running on local taters. Best of all I never have to worry about a veggie being recalled on the nightly news, I know where our food is coming from with no harmful chemicals that I can't pronounce.

I know from e-mails many of you are working gardens this year for the first time, I hope that you will see from the blog this summer that you can take your garden to the next level and feed your family for almost free much of the rest of the year from your garden with just a bit more work and an investment of a few good kitchen tools.

Summer Planting complete

It is 87 degree's with 64% humidity already today, let me tell you that will drain the Mojo out of anyone doing manual labor outside! Thankfully I was able to finish all the summer planting this morning so I can stay in and enjoy the air conditioning and a few more gallons of cold water. Planted; tomatoes, summer squash, zucchini, cucumbers, bell peppers, bush beans, Cilantro, Basil, and parsley. According to the old timers in our area we can get a second crop in before frost this year, time will tell. If it doesn't work out I haven't lost much as the plants were all 50% off, I already had the seeds for beans in my heirloom seed storage, other than more manual labor than I wanted to do this week it is an experiment worth trying.

I ended up with the Grand babies yesterday afternoon so the Mommies could begin returning baby clothes that are not going to work for Kara, baby setting was not on my list of things to do so today I will have to try and get back on track and finish that durn list, I also need to get busy and finish Bob's to do list for the weekend of things I can not accomplish with broken toes.

We have enough tomatoes from the past 2 days to can an additional 10 or more quarts of tomatoes, however my butt is dragging so that may have to wait another day.

The dehydrated potatoes turned out perfect, they look just like the ones you find in Betty Crocker scallop potato mixes and such. When things slow down a bit around here I will put together my own prepackaged mixes of soups and side dishes but for now they are all just being vacuum sealed with oxygen packs and stored.

I walked in the scraproom today and moved a few things around, I miss the hours I could spend in there during the fall and winter, I hope someday soon I can get back to creating. Kelli and Kara are doing so well that they should be able to spend more time at home alone, Kelli was able to fix supper last night for the first time in weeks YAAAA!! I know I will still need to send some meals over now and then but not every meal every day!! WooHoo. Baby Girl Kundla will be arriving a bit early, looks like second week in Oct now, that gives me just enough time to regroup and possibly start scrapbooking again!!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wheeee What a Day

First Batch of Potatoes

Man I crammed a whole lot of livin in one day today and I certainly feel the effects tonight!! Hit the garden at 6:15 this morning, wanted to get as much done as I could before the heat got to brutal, only have 3 more rolls to weed tomorrow before I can get some late summer planting done.

Picked Tyler up at 7:45 for a full day of little boy activity, thankfully he took a nice nap, gave me time to run to the grocery, throw a meatloaf together for Kelli and Nathan and Boil 7 pounds of potatoes (buy 5 lbs get 5 lbs free!)

Kelli and Karalee arrived around 10:00 to hang out for the day. Kelli's first time to drive and venture out with the baby alone, she is still moving a little slow but doing great just needs a little more TLC. Karalee is such a doll baby, good as gold, eats like a little pig and melts our heart with lots of smiles and attempts to coo.

Our DEAR friend Debbie and her Daughter Abby drove 2 hours to meet Kara, we had such a great visit and shared supper but not nearly enough time to catch up like we wanted. We will be coordinating our calenders so we can have a girls weekend of scrapbooking soon!!

Finished off the night getting the potatoes in the dehydrator. I hope to use them in German potato salad, scallop potatoes, pork chop and potato casserole (Paula Deans recipe), and fried potatoes to name just a few things I can do with them. Not sure I want to use them in soups, we like chunks of potatoes in soup, don't think sliced potatoes would go over to well with the family.
Tomorrow might just be a little less busy, Kelli and Kara will be on their own for the first time, not sure I can stand not to see our sweet baby for a whole day. Need to finish up in the garden, get the planting done, mow the lawn, catch up on the ever growing pile of mail, rearrange in the freezers to make more room and tie up a few unfinished projects that have been put off during welcoming our new baby girl. Hummm, might not be such a easy day after all

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tomatoes, Tomatoes, Tomatoes

Our tomatoes have really taken off leaving me busier than ever. Today I was able to can Pizza sauce and Chili starter. Also loaded the dehydrator with Bell Peppers and Cucumbers that should be ready to vacuum pack in the morning.
Now it is back to cleaning up the garden, weeds are an ongoing problem, I need to get another layer of mulch down then do a little late summer planting. We are going to give bush beans, tomatoes, squash, broccoli, cabbage and zucchini a try, hope to get in one more round of everything before winter. We are still waiting for cantaloupe, watermelon, onions, sweet potatoes, okra and jalapeno peppers to come in. Looks like our potatoes are a bust, not a thing came up, one of two things went wrong.. we planted everything wrong or our seed potatoes were bad. I tend to think it was the seed potatoes, next year we will be getting them from a different company and try again.
Tyler is coming for the day tomorrow as well as a dear friend who will be headed down from Mt Airy to play with Karalee, I will do my best to share nicely but it ain't easy!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Back to the grindstone

Had to take a baby break last night to catch up on some canning, got 18 pints of salsa canned, dehydrated parsley and green peppers. This morning we brought in an additional batch of tomatoes, green peppers and of course cucumbers. I will hit canning again in the morning, pizza sauce this time as well as load the dehydrator with cucumbers for cucumber soup over the winter.
Things should be slowing down for a bit, Kelli and Kara are both doing great. Kelli is such a good Mommy, she is a natural, just needs to get more confidence that she is doing fine with Kara. So I should be able to stay around the house and just send meals over at night. I need to get the garden back in order and on schedule for putting everything up. It is going to be a real challenge hobbling around with 2 broken toes, I hope the orthopedic Dr. can come up something that will make getting around a little easier. If not Bob is going to install wheels on my kitchen stool so I can keep up with preserving from the garden. Heck who knows I might even have a few days to start working on Kara's scrapbook. WooHoo!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bad Blogger

I know I have been a bad blogger since Kara arrived, not sure I will be improving any time soon, babies take lots of time and energy. Mommy and baby are both doing great, we moved the party over to our house for the rest of the week. I have been away from home for a week; lawn, garden, mail, bills, laundry you name it has been piling up at home and it will be a nice break for Kelli to get out of the house. Nathan drops them off at 5:30 in the morning and picks them back up at 5:00 when he gets off work.

We had a wonderful time and everything was going great until I got in a hurry and ran into a wall.... had to run to the Dr. while the girls rested, broke 2 toes, UGH will have to go to the orthopedic Monday when the swelling goes down to be fitted for a boot or shoe of some sort, until then just lost of tape, ice and ibuprofen for the pain and swelling. Kelli and I were quite the pair this afternoon both of us hobbling around trying to do what had to be done.

Bob will be in tomorrow so he is going to have to help with the garden and canning as best he can, over the weekend. I have had to throw buckets of cucumbers, squash and zucchini away that had gotten to big while I was gone. Hate that but I need to just move on from here and try to keep up a little better now that Kelli is getting back on her feet

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Having way to much fun

The hours are long helping with the baby but oh so fun!! I really need to get home tonight before the sun goes down so I can get in the garden, I'm sure the cucumbers are as big as and eggplants!! I leave home before the sun comes up and haven't gotten home before midnight since last week. Kelli began having very bad swelling in her ankles and feet today, we are waiting for the Dr. to call back and give us an idea of what is going on. If all is well I think I just might be able to wiggle away early, Kelli and the baby are both doing so well and Dad is scrambling to learn all he can!!

Monday, July 12, 2010


I know many of you follow this blog for scrapbooking inspiration, I am warning you now that I am on baby duty for a few weeks so very little if any scrapbooking will be done!! Mom and baby are both doing fine, Daddy is as proud as a peacock and Nanny is so relived that my girls are both doing soooo good. We have never had such a stressful 5 weeks in all of our years trying to help Kelli and Nathan stay calm, think positive, PRAY and belive in Gods plan.

I am off to the garden to pack up bags of veggies to give away, no canning, dehydrating or freezing will be going on for a few more days, I will be sharing the bounty with anyone I can find who will take it all. Then back to the kids house so they can rest and I can play dress up with Kara.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Karalee Faith Hines

Karalee Faith Hines arrived at 6:35 tonight at 8 pounds 4 ounces, 21 inches long. After 12 hours of very hard labor Mom still ended up with a C-Section. Karalee and Kelli have had an unbelievable time for the past 4 weeks and a VERY scary long day but both are now doing fine. Kelli is very weak and ill from the past few weeks but in a few days she should be fine and able to rejoice in her blessing. Kelli was singing "Amazing Grace" to Karalee tonight while unable to even hold her own head up. Words can't begin to describe watching your Daughter become a MOTHER

Friday, July 9, 2010

Might be baby's birthday

Kelli went to the hospital last night to get the party started, hope to have a baby before the the end of the day!! Lots of prayer for a safe delivery for Mom and baby

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Baby Girl Hines

Dr. decided Baby Girl Hines is as stubborn as her Mother therefore she will be invited to join the world Saturday July 10th!! Kelli and I had a BIG grocery shopping trip today after her appointment, we have our list ready of crock pot and freezer meals, now I just need to finish up the gardening, canning and dehydrating for the week so we can all play with the new Baby Girl!
Also received a shipment from CTMH today, LOVE when the brown truck shows up at the front door. I will be posting 2 WOTG kits in the next day or two, not sure I will include photo's on the layouts yet, may not have the time to sort and print photo's

Catching up

Top shelves are fresh raspberries, bottom shelf are already done.
Finally have the wash and fresh bedding done, the house is back in order and put a few batches of raspberries in the dehydrator. Now on to the refrigerator's to clean out from the weekend, then a Dr. appointment at 2:00 with Kelli to check on slow poke Baby Girl Hines. I still need to get in the garden and see how many more cucumbers grew overnight along with zucchini and squash. I have lots of dehydrating to catch up on and still need to deal with all the cucumbers that are piling up before the baby arrives. We feel sure the Dr. will be ready to move forward this week so things will be very hectic for a few weeks until the kids get use to a little one around. My plan is to help the kids out during the day so Kelli can rest and Nathan can work, I am not much of a night person anymore so hopefully they can handle the night shift on their own, Nanny is toooo old for that shift!! Maybe this time tomorrow we will have our first Granddaughter in our arms, that is if Mommy and Daddy will share nicely!!

Monday, July 5, 2010

July 4th

Papaw and Ty waiting for the Fireworks show on the lake
OK, Nanny Enough with the Camera!!

Kelli, Nathan and Baby Girl Hines
Hope everyone had a great 4th of July and remembered to think of the sacrifice our men and woman in the military are making each day so we have the freedom to celebrate with our loved ones. We had a great long weekend with our family, ate too much and didn't get near enough sleep. Today is catch up day around the house and a good LONGGGG nap is in the plan!! It will take me a day or two to get back in the swing of things. If all goes well we should be meeting Baby Girl Hines finally, Dr appt on Tuesday, she is at 41 weeks now, surely they will get this party started. Things may not slow down any time soon but we have so much to be thankful for I am not going to complain about being a bit overwhelmed and overworked.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Quarts down only 20 more to go....
Finally finished the house, yard, garden and canning for the week, I still have a ton of string beans in the dehydrator but they along with raspberries should be done by tonight so I can vacuum seal them and be done!! The garden has taken a beating the past 2 weeks from the heat and no rain but the tomatoes and cucumbers are lovin it. I have picked enough cucumbers in the last two days to can at least a dozen more pints but how many pickles does one family need?
So I surfed the net and found a recipe for dehydrated cucumber parsley soup that sounds really good. I think I will just slice them up and throw them in the dehydrator overnight, maybe it will be a new family favorite. Also found a freezer pickle recipe that sounds just like regular refrigerator pickles only you freeze then in canning jars, hummm maybe next batch I will give that a try but for now I am ready to just be done with it all.
Bobs Sister and Brother In Law will be in tomorrow and Bob will also be in for the long weekend, we are looking forward to some family time, boating, card playing, fireworks and of course over eating.
Baby Girl Hines passed her fetal stress test today but she had us very nervous, she is a deep sleeper, has to be juggled around a lot before she will react, of course she is ready to rock and roll at night when Mommy is trying to sleep, next testing and Dr. appointment is Tuesday. I am glad they didn't hook this Nanny up to the stress test monitor because I would have surely failed big time. We hope the Dr. will be ready to get this over with next week so we can get our hands on her, I will be giving her a long lecture on driving Nanny crazy so early in her little life.