Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Southern Popcorn

After my super duper couponing morning I got busy on this pile of okra. I intended on battering and freezing it all for fried okra but I ran out of steam so I threw some in the dehydrator. I have a friend who is a gumbo/jumbalia freak so I will pass the dehydrated okra on to her, we already have plenty. I think what I did batter and freeze should be enough for us this winter, not sure yet, I will be vacuum packing it today and decide whether we will need more or not. If you have never grown okra before give it a try, it is so easy to grow and you will have more okra than you could ever use. I am using Paula Deen's fried okra recipe, it was a hit for supper Friday night so I should have some happy campers come Sunday dinner this winter. I need to dig around and find more soup/gumbo recipes to use the dehydrated okra in for the winter.

Super Duper couponing yesterday morning was so fun, made the hour or two Sunday night getting it all together worth the effort. I spent $106.00 and saved $149.00. Who can't use $149.00 in free stuff that you will need? I was able to stock up on lots of things at a great price, one of the stores had sugar on sale for $1.99, I had coupons for and additional $.50 off so 4 pounds of sugar was down to $1.49, love that, I use lots of sugar during the winter for holiday cooking. This month will be stocking the pantry with baking and toiletries mostly. We have a freezer full of meats, another freezer full of mainly fruit and some veggies that we don't like dehydrated or canned, the canning pantry is slap a.. full from a summer of canning, other than working with apples for apple sauce, apple butter and dehydrated apples I shouldn't need much more to keep us fat and happy this winter. Other than milk, butter and eggs I won't be doing much grocery shopping in September so I can direct our spending to the baking end of the pantry and begin Christmas shopping.
Oh Lord, Christmas shopping gives me cold chills, our family has gotten so large that Christmas shopping has turned into a real chore and a huge expense, each year we try to cut back more and more but the reality is we keep adding more and more family members. Our spending keeps growing but the individual piles for each of our girls and their families are getting smaller, we are going to have to have a few long talks at Sunday dinner on expectations for Christmas this year with the kids. The madness needs to stop

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sunday paper rocks

Our Sunday paper had over $300.00 in coupons yesterday!! I would normally run right out and pick up 2 or 3 more papers when the coupons are this good but..... we had Sunday dinner earlier in the day as in 11:00 AM, holy Hannah, try and pull that off, started cooking at 7:00 AM. Then it was on to the store with Heather and my sister to return some baby gifts from her shower on Saturday, I had Kara for the afternoon while Mommy worked and Daddy did their yard work, got Bob packed up and on the road with a cooler full of pre-cooked meals, a friend dropped by to see Kara for the first time, pulled the rest of the bell peppers from the garden, then...... finally sat down with the paper at 8:00 PM. Once I saw that the coupons really were good ones and not just cosmetics, hair products and such I ran to our corner store to pick up a few more but they were sold out, hit 6 more spots all were sold out. Looks like lots of folks have joined the coupon band wagon this year, I have never had a problem picking up and extra paper in the past, durn I hate I missed out.
Here is an interesting thing that came up Sunday, I was showing my friend who I haven't seen in way to long our dehydrated food shelf, her response was are you preparing for apocalypse? WHAT???? Na, just trying to eat from the garden or our local farmers market so we aren't eating all the preservatives in grocery store food or taking our chances on salmonella from fresh foods in the grocery store. I think she thinks I am now a certifiable nut case, humm maybe so. Thank goodness I didn't show her our canning shelves or she would have been calling the funny farm for sure!! Now understand before I get on my soapbox that I love this friend and respect her opinions. Have I spent too much time in the sun this summer working the garden and maybe lost some brain cells? Maybe the canner or dehydrator has pickled my brain a bit? Have I been hanging out with too many folks that are proud to be called Bubba?
So this got me thinking am I a nut?
We enjoy having a garden, even if it is a pain in the a..
We love fresh foods, why would I throw away what we can't eat in the summer? So I can or dehydrate it.
I like supporting local farms and the fresh foods they have to offer
We have no idea where our foods are coming from in the grocery store, they are not inspected often enough.
Eating home grown or locally grown food is cheaper.
Having a pantry full keeps me out of the store buying full priced food if I should run out of something.
I have cut my medication of 400 milligrams a day down to 100 milligrams a day since staying away from food preservatives. Savings of $441.00 a month on drug, yearly savings of $5,292, that ain't chicken feed ladies!!
I like to cook, and it is cheaper than hanging at the mall UGHHHH (hate malls)
I think the jars look pretty (Ok, that might be a little nuts)
If we have an ice storm I don't have to fight the crowds in the store, if you live in the south you know what I mean.
When the flu season starts I don't have to expose myself or the Grand babies to all the germs, I have really low immunities to that crap.
The best way to really save money is to stock up with sales using coupons and rotate food.
Sooooo, I don't think I am a nut, I think I am cheap as all get out, like to cook, and like to eat well.
Thanks for letting me vent, I am headed to CVS to play the coupon game this morning, sooo excited, they have some super deals this week and I have lots of coupons to make it even sweeter.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Are you kidding me

Last night just before sundown I took a stroll around the garden, the onions in the square foot garden had finally poked above the ground and were ready to pull. Check out this sorry harvest of onions, the large onion is a standard size yellow onion the others are my pitiful onions that took all summer to grow. The only thing left in the square foot garden is sweet potatoes, I decided to leave them until the first frost and see if just maybe they will increase in size, not likely but will see. I have been replacing everything in the square foot garden with herbs, the herbs seem to be doing fine so I will be adding more as I can find them, not much to pick from at the garden centers right now.

Had a wonderful visit with my dear friend Val yesterday from Charleston, we had a nice lunch and spent the afternoon playing with Kara and catching up, I shared nicely and let Val hold Kara the entire time!! Val is one of those ladies that make your head spin with all the energy she has and how much she can accomplish in one day and her scrapbooks/cards are always beautiful. She is a perfectionist unlike me!! She is also a real live pastry chef as in former Johnson and Wales student, Val like me and so many of my other best buddies love to cook so I of course had to show off some of my new kitchen gadgets to someone who really gets it! Ha

Now off to the freezer and pull out a hunk of meat to start dinner with tonight then whip up something special for desert, Bob will be home for the first time in 2 weeks and will be ready for some home cookin and Grand baby time so the House should be rocking by the afternoon. I made a dent in the scrap room yesterday and should be able to wade through a little more today, lots of things will be going in the garage sale box, enough is enough!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Oh My....

Decided I better do a bit of inventory on the freezers yesterday to see if we had any holes to fill, we do need more bacon and sausage and a bit more chicken but other than that we are set as in OH MY!! I had no idea how much I really had in the meat freezer until I got in there and reorganized it. There have been so many mark down sales over the summer, seems like every time I go to the store the mark down meat section has lots to pick from, makes me wonder if folks have cut down on the meat they are buying with this awfully economy that doesn't seem to be getting any better. I use the top freezer of the extra refrigerator in the garage for frozen veggies and fruits from the garden or farmers market. Not much more room in there but I think I am done with anything else that needs to be frozen from the garden, unless we end up with some fall cabbage and broccoli. The inside freezer is for everyday use, ice cream, coconut, nuts, baking mixes and such. I keep things we use on a daily basis in that one, it stays in pretty good shape. I just have to keep my eye on the ice cream when Bob and Ty are around, it goes pretty fast.

Dehydrated a load of okra yesterday, should be the last of any we will need until next year so the rest will be going to friends and neighbors who would like some, stuff grows overnight it seems like. Put a load of sweet potatoes in the dehydrator last night I picked up at the farmers market, we will still need more of them but not to much more. Also canned 4 quarts and a pint of tomatoes from the market, next year we will need to put out more tomatoes, I hate to spend money on them when I could use my own, I think Rambo man has learned his lesson so ours will last till fall next year.

There are no more excuses not to work cleaning the scrap room today other than that I dread it so much... Kara will be coming for the afternoon so that will give me the motivation to hurry up and at least get a section or two finished before then.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Yardwork and dehydrating

We are having unbelievable weather this week, highs in the 80's lows in the 60's. Perfect for yard work and finishing up in the garden. I have the day off from baby setting the grand babies so I need to cram as much in as I can. Also have lots of okra to dehydrate and want to run to the farmers market to pick up more sweet potatoes to dehydrate later in the week. I might even find the energy to get back in the scrap room and make a dent in the mess I have made.
I love, love, love the fall, I know you ladies from north of the mason Dixon line must think we are crazy to get so excited about 80 degree weather but if you had experienced heat indexes of 105 for weeks on end you would understand how invigorating 80 degrees is to us. Even with the air conditioner on full blast heat will sap your energy.
Bob has found an apple orchard/veggie stand in VA that he has been using during the week. They have apples ready to sell that he wants to bring home for the weekend, seems early to me for apples so I told him to find out what variety they are, we need apples for apple sauce, apple butter and to dehydrate. So far I am not loving the fruit dehydrating, mine still feel a little sticky to me, veggies turn out wonderful, nice a crisp, totally dry. I would hate to dehydrate a ton of apples and have them go bad in a short period of time. I am off to mow, weed, haul away garden compost and play in the cool weather.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Thrill of coupons

Oh what a great day yesterday, I scored big time at the grocery store and CVS using coupons, sale paper and in store savings cards. At CVS I saved $58.11 and spent $54.81 only buying what we normaly use, I was able to stock up on shampoo, nuts (christmas is coming) Mac and cheese to name just a few. OK, here is a sample; Mac and cheese was 10 for $10.00 I had coupons 2 for $.50 off, brought them down to $.85 each, shampoo was on sale $.99 each, had coupon for $.50 each brought the cost down to $.49 each, can't beat that price!! And I earned extra bucks for buying, I now have a $5.00 off next puchase of $25.00 or more in addition I earned $18.00 in extra bucks so the next time I go in I will spend $25.00 and get $23.00 off. Check out drug store game on line to get a better explanation on how cool this is.
Grocery store was even better, I only needed a few things but always check out the marked down meat. I get to the store early when the butcher is just putting things out, many times if he sees you are buying he will have me hang around a bit because he has even more in the back to be taged. Bought $48.00 in meat but only cost $21.00, had a few other things to pick up and most had great coupons ended up paying full price for only milk and eggs (hope they are safe). Total bill $32.17, total savings $63.00, LOVE IT.
It takes time to work coupons, compaire weekly sales ad, make sure you are rotating what you have in the pantry and use the food saver to repakage meat and get in the frezzer but it is worth the effort.
I spent maybe 3 hours total shopping, cliping comparing, and frezzing, works out to about $40.00 an hour in wages if you figure it that way and I didn't have to comute far, the kitchen then the grocery, less than a mile of gas, I get to dress in garden casual and I am my own boss. I would say its at pretty nice deal.
I was able to finish getting the fall plants in the garden and pulling up all the dead stuff yesterday evening when it was nice and cool after spending a few hours rocking Kara while Mommy worked. SOOOOOO blessed. Durn spell check and add photo isn't working on the blog today, sorry for any and all mispelled words, I suck at spelling.

Monday, August 23, 2010


This weekend I saw that the ladies across the street left the tailgate open on their SUV so I ran over to let them know, after a short visit they invited me to see their garden, you can see a bit of it from the road that always looks so nice. HOLY HANNAH it blew my socks off. They have more like a homestead back there, every fruit tree you can imagine they have put in themselves for the past few years at the 1/2 price sale, raised veggie gardens galore loaded with a little of everything, along with herbs and a compost pile to drool over. They gave me the nicest egg plants to take home, they are dropping of the plants they have so many. So along with the sweet potatoes I picked up at the farmers market and few of my own peppers I dehydrated them to use later. I figure I can even sneak them in some soups over the winter to bump up the vitamins etc and the family will never know it is egg plant. In return I took over a jar of bread and butter pickles and dehydrated sweet potatoes for them. We worked out a deal that when they get their bee hive going I will dehydrate some things for them in exchange for fresh honey. Woohoo, fresh honey for free and I don't have to take the chance on getting stung or building a hive for ourselves, Bob is allergic to bees so I'm not sure we need to be messing with them in the first place. Having at this point 3 bee hives surrounding the house should help all of our gardens in the future. I was so inspire I ran to the garden center and picked up our winter veggies for the second time, I hope the fertilizer Rambo man put out has washed away with the 5 inches of rain we had last week so maybe this time I can get the garden going again. I put a few things in yesterday, hope to finish today before I get Kara for the first time, Mommy will be starting back to work today.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Rambo Man Survivor's

Rambo Man thought the Okra plants were weeds so he didn't douse them in fertilizer, they are one of the few survivors of his handy work. They have taken off this week and are putting on a show producing lots of okra just waiting to be fried up, today however they have been washed, sliced and are dehydrating while I kick back for a bit before heading back to the scrap room. Also have lots of baby watermelons that survived the destruction, I thought I had planted cantaloupe in that spot and watermelon in a different bed, who knows at least I still have a few things left. Looks like some of the peppers might be making a recovery as well as cucumbers, hopefully next week I can get back to bringing in a basket of veggies every day from the garden.

With school starting back next week I will have Tyler and Kara 2 days a week so I have been working hard to get a little organizing done, heck I even cleaned under the sink. The final frontier is the scrap room. Normally I am a very neat and tidy person, everything has a place and is in it's place now that our girls are on their own it is so much easier to keep it that way. But something has happened in the scrap room over the summer when I wasn't looking so now I am in the middle of a major purge, what a mess, who in the world bought all of this stuff and why? Hummm, I think I know who. If you have been following this blog for a while you know in the fall, winter and early spring I kick butt getting layouts done, summer... well not so much. Last winter I did over 500 pages, the ONLY thing I purchased was card stock and adhesive, I was working very hard to use up my stash but from the looks of things I have hardly made a dent. I am determined to get a handle on all this excess stuff, in the meantime my room is a disaster zone and I am trying to find any excuse not to have to go back too it, thus I am blogging at 8:44 PM instead of sorting

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

School Supplies Rip Off

I know some of you still have school age children, others have children that are not old enough to be in school and many of you are like me and have finally gotten our children out of school and on their own, YAAA for us!! So you ask why am I doing a post on school supplies? Two of our 3 daughters are public school teachers, every year since they have graduated and entered the classroom we have put together a goodie box of fun stuff for the classroom and a few school supplies for the kids that might not have much. If you are a teacher or have a teacher in your family you will understand what I am talking about. Teachers make next to nothing, they have no classroom budget for supplies, no magical corporate store room they can go load up on for free. They are expected to cover the costs out of pocket and to add insult to injury they can no longer even take the sorry little $250.00 tax write off they use to get.
With the failing economy in the past 2 years more and more kids are showing up for school with little or nothing in their book bags, not even the basics. I know in some cases it is because their parents just don't care, that has always been the case but now days it is more likely that Mom and Dad are struggling to get food on the table and maybe a new pair of shoes and book bag, there just isn't enough money to go around so for the past 2 years we have stopped putting cute little goodies in the boxes for our girls and now load up on only basic school supplies.
Whats the school supplies rip off you ask? It makes my blood boil to see the prices that stores sell school supplies for on and every day basis but for a few weeks before school starts they run over the top sales. When our girls were in school I was always able to take advantage of the sales and stock up for the year, we might end up having to pick up a pack or 2 of note book paper at the end of the year and pay full price, that would make me crazy over the price they were asking but I dealt with it and moved on. We were lucky, we could buy our girls school clothes, supplies and donate a little something to the teachers for the wish list they always handed out on open house night.
Here is what makes my blood boil, how can the stores sell markers for $1.00 now but charge $3.99 for the same markers next week, how can they sell notebook paper for $.50 now but charge $4.99 next week, how can they sell glue sticks 2 for $.25 now but $1.99 next week, the list can go on and on. You know they are still making money even at the sale price or they wouldn't be doing it. Why can't they price school supplies at a fair price all year? For the parents who are just getting by, who have lost their homes, who have been out of work for months on end, who have taken pay cuts just to keep a job, how the heck are they to come up with a little extra money to get in on the deals for school supplies right now? They can't. They are forced to pay the full ridicules prices later when they have a few extra bucks. I know there are places they could go to receive free school supplies in the community from school supply donations that always go on this time of year but the majority of these people have never taken a hand out in their life, they wouldn't even know where to go to get them. So today I am mad as h... with companies that won't set a fair price year round so our kids can at least have the basics to start school with.
If you have a little extra this year I hope you will consider donating some supplies to your local school, the staff at schools know were the needs are and they can give out the aid in a manner that leaves the kids and parents with some dignity. Maybe you have a neighbor who is out of work and has school age children or someone at your church. Pick up a bag of supplies and help them out. Afraid they might be embarrassed? Try this out, " I was at Wally world today and some strange spirit took over my body, I saw all the school supplies and remembered back how exciting it was to load up my book bag with new stuff, heck the sale was over the top, next thing I knew I had a bag full of supplies that I really don't have any need for. I know your kids are in school I thought they might take this and donate it to the school for me and save me a trip. Make sure and have them go through the bag and take anything you might have forgotten to pick up, it will save you a trip to Wally world. You are saving me a trip to the school, I am saving you a trip to Wally world for a forgotten item, I think that classifies us both as going GREEN!!"

Restocking the spices

While cleaning out the spice cabinet I checked the expiration dates on everything, I was pumped to see that nothing was expired!!! Think that's odd? Have you checked around in you spice cabinets, pantry or the dark corners of the refrigerate lately? You might be surprised or even grossed out by what you find!! I try really hard to make sure and rotate our food so I don't have that happen, if I see something is close to expiring it gets moved to the better eat me now to do list, nothing is worse than having to throw food you spent money on in the trash, except maybe paying full price for that food.

So here is the deal on restocking spices, they are high as a cats A...., and it never fails we always run out in the middle of a recipe normally right around the holidays, right? When we are all spending more money than we planned on spending stretching our budgets to the limit and the stores are packed; every Tom, Dick and Harry that has a cold or flu seems to be at the store and in the same line as we are. That my dear ladies is one of the many reasons I keep back up spices in the pantry.

I needed to run by BJ's on my way home from babysetting with Kara to pick up flour (we use a lot), I decided to check out the prices on spices while I was in the store.... It blew my flip flops off, where have I been, why didn't I know the deal they have on spices, maybe the size of the bottles intimidated me so I didn't even check the prices, figured they would be over the top expensive.

OK so here is the rundown on the price. A 20 once jar of Chili powder is only $4.99, the little jars I have been buying at the grocery store are 0.05 ounces for about the same price. That can't be right, how can that be? Who the heck knows but I am telling you it is correct. So that means that if I bought the same amount of chili powder at the grocery store in the little jars I have been buying, same brand and all it would have cost me basically $80.00.

I am still stunned by the whole deal, even if I throw out half of the large bottle I purchased I will still have saved myself $40.00, but I assure you I won't be throwing it out. If I get to the point I know I won't use it all I will have our girls and my girlfriends come over and fill their little jars. Bottom line from yesterdays discovery that left me feeling like a total loser from past spending on spices at the grocery store is this I picked up 5 super large 20 ounce jars for $25.00, if I would have bought the same amount at the grocery store it would have run $400.00. I was so excited about my savings I even picked up a tiny winy funnel to transfer the spices into my small jars while at Walmart picking up school supplies, and that's a whole different post of corporate rip off's

Taking stock and restocking

Do you ever have days when a simple job turns into a bigger job than you planed? When I installed extra shelving in the laundry room a few months back to store more canned goods from the garden I realized that I unintently covered up the electrical box for the house. I didn't figure that was good but then again if we ever needed to get in the box I figured I could just slide the shelving unit out of the way and have at it. We had a small house fire a year or so ago that caused damage to some electrical systems in the house but luckily no structural damage. One of the first things the fire Department did was shut off the power at the electrical box. If you have ever had a fire at your house you know the shear panic you are in trying to call the fire department at the same time as you are using the fire extinguisher to put out the fire. I knew I needed to do so rearranging of freestanding shelving units to get the box uncovered but haven't had the time or energy to get on it until yesterday morning.
I am SO THANKFUL that I decided to tackle that job, I realized when I tried to just slide the unit out of the laundry room it wasn't gonna slide, I have no idea what it weighted, it was stocked full of can goods and a ton of cast iron cookware on the bottom shelf, in an emergency I would have had to totally unload the unit to get to the electrical box, NOT GOOD. We had a shorter but wider shelving unit in the kitchen pantry that I figured would work so I had to unload them both to make the move, one thing leads to another, the wider but shorter unit was wider than I though which lead to having to move and additional unit in the laundry room, unload, move then reload it as well. UGHHHH!! It is all finally done, 7 hours of hard labor but so worth it to have things safe again.
Of course in the process of all that moving I ran into a few things that I decided what the heck was I hanging on to them for so I started a good will box of kitchenware someone will be happy to have. I also noticed how low I was getting on back up spices, so I expanded my job and cleaned out the spice cabnit to see where we stand. That of course turned into a list of spices I needed to restock, which in turn leads to a trip to the grocery store..... See what I mean one job turns into a bigger and bigger job. But I got it all done in time to go over to Kelli's and babyset Karalee while Mommy went to the Dr. LOVE THAT. This post is getting way to long but I want to share an eye opening (for Me) savings I ran into due to all this rearranging, check the next post for that

Monday, August 16, 2010

Square Foot garden

I can finally say that our square foot gardens this year are pretty much a failure. This pitiful sweet potato is just one example of our bounty from the square foot deal. It looks like a sweet potato, it tastes like a sweet potato, heck it is a sweet potato, but it would take a dozen of them to make a side dish for just one person. We are having great success with herbs in the little bugger but everything else has been a total flop. So lesson learned, from here on out we will stick to only herbs in our 2 little square foot gardens.

I played around on the web a bit last night looking at seeds for different herbs that we can plant for the fall as well as perennial herbs, I need to figure out how to fill our mini gardens. I had to stop when I realized how large my bill was in the cute little shopping cart. I would love to grow whatever it is that I could make some teas with. I have lots of dried fruit for flavoring so I am gonna have at it again tonight and focus on only what I know we use in the kitchen and maybe a few extras for making tea.

I am almost caught up from a week at the beach, maybe by the end of the week everything will be back in order, I will be rested up, and we can find some sort of schedule to get back on. A girl needs a dream you know.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Lazy Day's

We continue to do much of nothing other than eat, sleep and read at the Beach this week. The heat index is running around 105 each day so about all you can do is lay on the beach in the shade and enjoy the wonderful breeze, then head back in the house to have a bite to eat.

I have the whole day off today, Heather and Shannon have cooking duties, breakfast, lunch and dinner, yepee for me. Kelli and Nathan will take over maybe on Friday so that will be an additional day off from cooking and cleaning, gotta love that.

We did venture out last night for a round of Putt Putt, it was hot as heck!! You really can't do much of anything other than hang at the beach in this heat

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Fun in the Sun

Papaw and I hung at the beach house most of the day yesterday playing with Kara and cooking!! It feels so funny not having a list of things that need to be done, working in the garden and putting up some sort of veggie, but the Grand babies keep us entertained.

When we came in Sunday there was hardly any traffic, we thought that was odd but since it was a Sunday maybe that is normal, yesterday we hit the grocery store and found the same thing, no crowds, beach ditto. It is nice not to have to fight the crowds but sad, the local economy depends on the tourist industry, we had thought with the oil leak in the gulf more folks would head to the Carolina beaches,....... guess not.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Beach Week

We are all settled in at the beach house for a week of overeating, reading, sleeping late and lots of fun in the sun. Breakfast this morning was 2 doz eggs, 3 pounds of bacon and 2 cans of biscuits, nothing like filling them up before they head out. I am hanging at the beach house with the baby until the afternoon when Papaw will take his turn, looking forward to some quite time, every room in this house has a TV and they think each and every one needs to be on at all times, UGHHHHH. We rarely have the TV on at home, Football of course in the fall and in the evening if we can find anything worth watching, otherwise our one and only, (yes I said one) TV sets idle. I wouldn't mind if the cable went out for a few days, I wonder how the kids would handle not having the constant noise.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Garden Mystery Solved

After talking to Bob this morning I discovered what has happened in the garden. Seems Bob decided the garden could use a little mid-summer boost so he hit it with some 10-10-10, WHAT!!!!! Bob is also one of those folks who thinks if a little is good a lot is better so there is no telling how much of the crap he put on my poor virgin garden. Bob has been out of state for the past 6 months on a project so the garden/yard/preserving/house/kids/errands/home business has been all mine other than weekends when he has Saturday to help out a bit. He has no idea the work that has gone on behind the scenes this year, he just reaps the benefits of a table full of good food over the weekend and a cooler full of meals to take back on Sundays.

I have used no pesticides or fertilizer this year and have had outstanding results with heavy mulching, compost, cow poop and weeding often. Along comes Rambo man and possibly destroys it all. I thought it odd that none of the late summer planting I had done made it and all of the seeds failed but I blamed it on the incredible heat wave we have been having. Bob insists that he told me he was gonna give the garden a Little pick me up but for the life of me I don't remember that conversation, could I have been a little busy working the 2 bushels of peaches we drove 4 1/2 hours to pick up. YA THINK.

I hope that things will recover, maybe it is like drinking a rum and coke only you drink a bottle of rum with a splash of coke, after a day or two you do recover. If all is lost then I will have Mr Rambo man back in the garden when we return from vacation to till everything in and start over again, double ugh!!!!! None of this is going to be an easy task with broken toes, Mr Rambo may be getting to participate in the whole shebang this time, tilling, planting, mulching, the works.

I have a mind to pack a speedo for him to wear to the beach next week to get him back for murdering my pride and joy...... maybe not, the kids and Grand children will be along on the trip, no need to destroy the whole family over this, Thankfully we don't depend on the garden for all of our food, we have two grocery stores right around the corner.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Charlie Brown Bell Pepper plant

Check out my Charlie Brown Bell Pepper plant. We have been getting loads of peppers from the plants up until yesterday, with each pepper I picked more and more leaves fell off until they are now naked as a jay bird. Same thing with the jalapeno peppers, looks like this is the end of the season for both. I went ahead and pulled everything and dehydrated what I could. We should still have plenty for the year but I had thought we would be able to share some with friends, looks like that won't happen now. I just hope whatever the problem is won't spread to the rest of the garden.

Spent the afternoon working on cards for an upcoming workshop (can't post yet) and doing the housework thing. Friday is finish up everything I can before we head out for our family beach trip next week. WooHoo a week with the kids, grand babies and fun in the sun.

My Sunshine

Kara is growing so fast, she has already outgrown her newborn clothes and is into her 3 month things, she is turning into quite the chunky monkey!! YAAAA, finally she is able to retain her body temperature so we don't have to keep her swaddled along with socks, gloves, hat the works. She is very much a snuggler, she just loves to be held, no problem we have plenty of arms willing to keep her happy.
On a sad note my garden seems to be melting away. I picked peppers yesterday, when I picked the first one off the plant bunches of leaves fell off, humm... second one same thing and on it went, they all have the same problem but heck if I know what that problem is. I decided whatever it is ain't good so I went ahead and cleaned off all of the peppers and threw them in the dehydrator, just not sure the plants will survive and I didn't want to lose the veggies. The original cucumber plants are in a sorry state as well so I pulled all of them out so the late planting will have a little more room. Our tomatoes are at a standstill, squirrels are now eating the green ones I guess they have given up on getting any ripe red ones at this point, I had been getting a dozen or more ripe tomatoes each day. The heat has been unbearable for several weeks other than the nice cool break we had last weekend but I just don't think that is what the problem it, seems to be something else going on and for the life of me I can't figure it out. I would hate to lose everything this early in the season, the garden has been over the top productive this year, maybe it just needs a vacation, I hope!!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Passages Workshop on the go

Had the chance to complete a couple of layouts from the passages WOTG kit today, I worked from Bob's family photo album. Shadow was one of Bob's family dogs and our Daughter Heather's first best friend, he deserved a layout all his own, the other layout is of Bob's parents from the 1950's. I will have to get with Bob's sister to work on the journaling, Bob doesn't have a clue. guess it is a girl thing to pass on family memories.

Have salsa ready to can tonight when the sun goes down and it cools off a bit, the heat is back on full blast in the Carolina's today, but what a great cool break we had over the weekend. The garden is looking down right shabby, and not in the cute shabby chic way, the only thing we are getting from it at this point is jalapeno peppers and bell peppers, everything else is looking wore out. The late summer planting I put in is looking pitiful, not sure I am gonna have any luck from any of it. I will start the fall seedlings in a few weeks, hope we will be able to have some success with that. We will also be expanding the garden this fall, Bob would like to double it's size but I don't know if I can keep up with more than we already have on my own. This whole growing your own food ain't for sissies!!

Layouts done

I was able to knock a few lingering items off my list yesterday and even managed to get 3 layouts done for the beach house 4th of July scrapbook. I need to can a bit more salsa today, mess around in the garden and keep working on the pile of unfinished stuff to do. I should be on my own today as all of the girls seem to be entertaining themselves so I should make a dent in some of this ever growing gotta do list.

The best part of the day was getting to baby set Karalee while the kids ran some errands, she is the best little girl in the world, never fussy and loves to be cuddled which I assure you she gets lots of!! I did put her in the bassinet for a little time yesterday so I could get a few things done but, I couldn't stop watching her just sleep. What in the world am I going to do when our new baby girl Kundla arrives? I will never get a thing done!! HA

Sunday, August 1, 2010

2 bushels down 0 to go!!

Bob won, we took at 4 1/2 hour trip to SC. for peaches, plums, and peanuts. We have had off and on rain with a super cool weekend so we ended up driving the car, we even had supper at Krystal Hamburgers so it was a great day even with the back up on the interstate. Bob polished off the peanuts before we made it home (small bag), I dehydrated about 1/2 of the plums (only 1/4 bushel), and canned 18 pints of peaches, the rest are in the dehydrator now. I have had a busy weekend working peaches but 2 bushels are put up for the winter. We even had a peach cobbler for Sunday Dinner that was pretty good, but I am now OVER peaches, don't want to see any more for awhile, we have all we need!!

Tomorrows plan is to get the July 4th scrapbook pages done before the week gets away from me, it never fails by Tuesday or Wednesday the week seems to have a mind of it's own and I am just trying to keep up. The garden has slowed down a bit other than the jalapeno peppers but they are super easy to dehydrate so maybe I can get a bit of a break on that front. Kelli is back on her feet and Kara has developed a bit of a schedule for now so they should not need nearly as much help as in the past few weeks. I am excited to get a chance to tie up lots of unfinished projects for now.