Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Got our Jingle on today!!

Tyler loves to kiss the baby girls
Tyler 4 years, Kara 4 months, Karsyn 4 weeks, how cool is that!!!

We were at the photographers at 8:30 AM today with all 3 grand babies, what a JOY they all were!!! No fussing crying or dirty pants, who could ask for more. This is one of the bad photo's so you can imagine how cute the good ones turned out!! Can't post the good stuff until all the Christmas cards arrive at friends and families mailboxes, the girls would kill me!!

We have used this studio for most of our pictures for the past few years, they are very fast and sorta easy to work with until it comes time to pick the photo's, that's when it gets hairy to say the least. They always start out trying to sell you the over $500.00 package and go down from there, of course you want them all so many parents and grandparents by into the sales pitch.

So here is a money saving tip, tell them you want the cheapest package you can purchase and receive the DVD/CD of all the photo's with a full release to use as you see fit. We were able to get out with a $115.00 package and a full rights CD of the entire photo shoot, might sound like a lot but it is a whole lot better than the $500.00 deal and we split the cost by the 3 of us so it was very affordable. We can take the CD to any photo shop, CVS, Walmart wherever and have Christmas cards or postcards made at $.12 each. I do my printing at home but it runs around the same price when you figure in ink and photo paper. Being a scrap booker I like to print photo's out in lots of different sizes and convert them to black and white for free while leaving the original colored photo intact.

Sooo excited to get this project/outing finished up, even celebrated by taking the whole gang out to breakfast when we were done and the kids were dolls!! Spent the rest of the day running all over town trying to find the "right" frames to put on the entrance table for the season, ended up with the wrong frames :( At least now I know what I really want/need and where to get them a a good price so I will hit it again tomorrow.

My house is in TOTAL disaray, the family room is covered in Christmas cards, spare bedroom is loaded down in Christmas gifts, studio is over run in Christmas projects, Dinning room is in final stages of redecorating and for some reason I decided to start cleaning out my closet this morning at 5:30 AM, I need to find some medication for the wild hairs that seem to keep crawling up my (well you know what I mean) As Scarlett would say tomorrow is another day.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Fashion Emergency

Poor AJ doesn't like Freezer yer buns off

So my day of creating was sidetracked by a fashion emergency for the grand daughters. We have an appointment in the morning for our grand children's Christmas photo. The girls realized the baby girls didn't have a hair bow to match the outfits they will be wearing, since it was super cold out and both Mommies had a plate full of must do's today Nanny took off on a mission. Ended up that I could have made the bows in less time than it took to hunt them down. But the emergency has been taken care of, the babies have lots of options for hair accessories in the morning. Hit one of our favorite specialty shops for children while on the trail for bows, sad to say they will be closing their doors as soon as they sell out, they had very little stock left so they may close within a week or so, this economy sucks!!

Decided while I was out to cash in on a few dollar back deals at a couple of stores. Scored a pair of jeans and 2 shirts at Kholes for $2.09 after free bucks. Picked up some office supplies at staples with $48.00 in cash back from ink cartridge returns. Then on the CVS to get in on the $10.00 back if you purchase 3 gift cards this week, need lots of gift cards so I was happy to get a little free money to use for future purchases.

Finally made it home to work on the Christmas cards, I made great progress until I ran out of dimensional adhesive, durn. After the kids photo shoot tomorrow I will need to run to the craft store and pick up enough adhesive to FINALLY finish! Went ahead and got the envelopes addressed and stamps on so the day wasn't a total loss.
Last but least I brought in wood for the stove since we should be getting some rain for a couple of days, but with all the riping and running I didn't build a fire today, poor AJ is freezing her buns off, time to tuck the little beagle in for the night.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Wood Stove Cookin

Decided to give some wood stove cookin a try tonight, so far so good. We have a pork roast slow cooking on the stove top of the wood stove. Another hour and it should be done, the house smells wonderful. Took a peak in the dutch oven a bit ago and it looks as good as it smells! Our poor dog doesn't know what to think, she doesn't like the wood stove any more than she did the fireplace but on the other hand something sure smells good over that way.

Rambo man is loving the new stove, no more freezing yer buns off, in fact the family room is in the 80's, upstairs in the 70's, we have to open the window and let a little of the 20 degree air in to get a good nights sleep.

We have had a heck of a busy weekend, non stop each day but we decided to take the night off although we have more we would have liked to knock out. Today was yard work, baking, and cooking up meals for the week ahead. Also decided to do a little redecorating yesterday that will work better with our lifestyle right now, more on that later (hope I can find a before photo) Re decorating was not on our to do list but when I get a wild hair I just have to go with it.

Tomorrow is my play day, I WILL spend the entire day in the studio finishing Christmas cards and maybe even hitting another project or two that has been waiting for attention. The family has been put on notice, Nanny is NOT avaliable for 24 hours. Not sure how that will work out but I can only hope!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday... Really


Black Friday... now whats that all about? Who thought up the name? Seems to me it should be renamed RED Friday because most people are not working in the black of their budget but instead they are going in the red. I am all about a sale, coupons and % off deals, don't get me wrong I try to get the best deal I can on things we need/want at the best price possible but Black Friday is a commercial holiday I boycott. No way, no how am I gonna physically fight another human being to get in on a sale. Stand in line at 3:00 AM to wait for a store to open, ain't happening when we have a warm bed and a refrigerator full of yummy leftovers at home.

Rambo man and I did go out a few years back to pick up a tool bench for one of the Son-In-Laws for Christmas, we didn't even think about it being Black Friday. The traffic was crazy, the parking lots were overloaded, snotty people were double parking, frazzled and grouchy nuts were everywhere, Moms were mowing folks down with strollers full of crying kids. Who thinks this is fun, worth the hassle or truly saving money? I spoke to a friend today that venture out at 5:00AM. She is normally a very stable lady, she spends within her means, thinks out purchases, shops on sale and sticks to her list. She was exhausted, had spent $500.00 in one store and had no idea what she purchased, had bags full from the second store and wouldn't share the final price she paid. She was headed home hungry, tried, cold and overwhelmed, I might take a fresh loaf of bread over to her later today to sooth her soul. All I can say for those who headed out today is Bless Your Heart, this chunky butt Nanny is home with the fire burning brightly and a plate full of holiday leftovers. I feel a nap coming on, turkey makes me sleepy or maybe its the pumkin pie.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Pies, check.. dressing, check.. sweet potato's with marshmallows, check...Turkey in brine, check.. house cleaned, well.... good enough..........

We will having our meal early in the afternoon at our house then desert and Christmas movies at Heathers home in the evening. The kids have a fancy dancy media room that the entire family can spread out in, should be some great family time. We have soooo much to be thankful for this year, as a matter of fact every year!!

I am spending the evening with my tired feet up working on Christmas cards, with a fire going in the wood stove. Rambo man made it home and fired the girl up, so nice and cozy. Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving and will take the time to remember while the Turkey and fixins are super yummy the real reason for Thanksgiving is to give thanks for all that we have been blessed with.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Baby Cabinet

Durn Mess
Much Better

Baby and Tyler's new spot
Our baby cabinet was a durn mess, the bottom 2 shelves should have been for food, formula, dishes and spippy cups but it also seemed to catch lots of odds and ends. Kara will start on baby food this week, Karsyn is only 3 months away, Tyler has an assortment of sippy cups and dinnerware for whatever mood he is in and of course holiday dishware. A little rearranging of cabinets was the task of the day, hopefully the changes I made will make things a bit easier when all 3 Grand babies are around.
Also got a good start on cutting out more Christmas cards and stamping while Kara played rolly polly all over the studio, now that she has learned how to roll over she is on the move. Figure if I spend the evenings inking, blending, and blinging I might be able to get all the cards ready by the first of December, not gonna make my original Thanksgiving goal.
Tomorrow is all day in the kitchen getting as many sides and deserts done ahead of time as I can for Thanksgiving. Kara will be spending the day with me but no rolly polly play in the kitchen, hope I can keep her entertained and still pull it all off before bedtime.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday Blah's

Getting out of bed was a real struggle this morning (Wood pile remember), fixed a cup of tea and headed back to bed with a multitude of to do lists. Truth is it took two cups of tea and a hunk of cake to get the motor running. I got our to do lists updated and organized so I can be a bit more focused on what needs to be on top of the to do's then headed out.

Made a quick trip to my undisclosed location with more stuff, loaded Rambo man's truck up with a few things that were destroyed in the windstorm last week and various other gotta go items, when he gets home later in the week he can make a run to the dump. Then on to some Christmas shopping.
We are trying to stick with more practical gifts this year, our kids don't need stuff any more than we do, the other criteria is the gifts need to be on sale. For the most part I have been able to keep to the sale items but a couple of things never go on sale so I had to bite the bullet. I was in and out of numerous stores than weren't serious enough about their sales. I have plenty of time to be picky with the spending. We are done with the Grand babies, names we drew for our extended family, one of our girls, Rambo man, and both Son-In-Laws. Only two more girls to finish up and a few homemade things for friends, then we are done!! My goal was to have it all finished before Thanksgiving, I might just make it!! Can't wait to get started on the creative gifts, the supplies have been piled up in the studio for a month or more. Monday has been declared Mom's creating day, the family can figure out whatever they need on their own!

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Rambo man was unable to get home for the weekend so I had the wood pile all to myself, UGH!! Took 37 wheel barrel loads to move it and get it stacked. One thing I can guarantee my missing husband is he never needs to worry that I might run off with a hairy chainsaw toting lumberjack. Moving and stacking wood is for the birds. I will be headed to bed extra early tonight with a heating pad. By the way the nicely stacked wood is what I did, the small messy pile is Rambo mans pile from last year that he moved and stacked last weekend, I think mine looks much more professional. We are still going to need a load or two more but that needs to wait until I have a little help.
I brined and roasted a turkey for Kelli's office holiday dinner Saturday, it turned out golden brown with tender juicy meat, perfect! I used my fancy new roasting pan that I picked up last week with gift cards from my Birthday, love it! Williams Sanoma had them on sale and with the gift cards I was only out $30.00, ya for me. Took the bones and yuck stuff and made a nice turkey stock to use over the winter, it is all tucked away in the freezer for when we are not sick and tired of holiday food, along with some dehydrated veggies and homemade noodles this should be a real treat that costs nothing and is super fast to throw together.
Turned the grill over to our Son In Laws today for Sunday dinner, made a few sides and a Birthday cake for Nathan and called it good. After mowing the lawn, stacking wood, and sweeping the drive I had no energy left to pull off a big meal. Tomorrow is checking the Christmas lists of all the kids, the babies are all done and I think I am ahead of the game with all the rest. I would love to have the shopping done by the first week of December this year so I can stay around the house and enjoy a peaceful Christmas.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Why store food?

Karsyn with "The Gourd Lady"
Kara with "The Gourd Lady"
First off I wanted to share our photo of Kara and Karsyn with The Gourd Lady from our day at the Southern Christmas show. Kara is a super friendly baby and really loves to go on outings, she has a smile for everyone she sees but she wasn't to sure about the Gourd Lady!! She didn't cry or anything just sat and kept looking at her then me, trying to figure it all out, soooo cute. Karsyn had no idea what was going on, at 3 weeks old her only interests are eating, sleeping and filling her pants! So glad I was able to stop in and get pictures with our new girls, the Gourd Lady is in her 90's not sure she will be making many more shows.
Now on to the food storage deal. There has been lots of media attention this week over Glenn Becks shows concerning food storage. It is really interesting to follow along and see what folks think about his views on food storage, you hear everything from the end of the world predictions, environmental impact/global warming, conspiracy's from our government, to he is a total nut job. Glenn Beck is a Latter Day Saint member, food storage is one of the doctrines of their church so it should come as no surprise why he participates in food storage. I think he did attempt to connect the left wing political machine to reasons we should all be thinking about food storage, that along with the whole global economy mess and I can see why people are a bit baffled, confused, and concerned.
As a family who has a very deep pantry I guess we could be considered food storage folks, but I don't really think in those terms. Our pantry/freezer/garden is more a lifestyle decision for us. We like to eat, no doubt about that, with the health issues I have I need to stay away from preservatives as much as I can. Gardening, canning, freezing, dehydrating, and buying from our local farms have had a huge impact on my health and the expense of my prescription drugs in a positive way! Using coupons, buying only on sale and rotating food has made a big difference on our budget. Looking for ways to become more self sufficient in our home will hopefully save us even more money and give us the added benefit of weathering a spring or winter storm in a bit more comfort in our own home and NOT a government shelter. I don't believe the government can take care of any of us in the way we would want to be taken care of in a disaster, no matter who is in the White House, therefore we need to prepare to do it on our own.
I was brought up in a farming community, having a basement full of canned food and a root cellar loaded down is what I remember as being normal. The generation of just running to the store and grabbing what you need for one quick meal is really a new concept, many from my Fathers generation was the first to have this convince, my generation has almost no memories of putting food by and my kids are clueless! Food preservation, gardening and making due are becoming a lost art or for folks running around in the woods with tin foil helmets and guns.
Working in the garden in 100 degree heat is a pain, canning in that heat can get unbearable, chopping, slicing, and dicing can lead to a really bad bobo. Cooking from scratch takes time, giving up store bought bread and making your own takes energy. Rotating food and insuring it is stored safely can be physically challenging but it is so worth it to know whatever happens you will still be able to provide the basics for your family. In a crises situation I want to be one of the people who is able to give a helping hand and not be asking for a hand out.
I know this post has been long and a bit chatty but I think too many people see money as their way of preparing for whatever might happen in the future and have forgotten that education and self sufficancy will never go out of style or be eaten up by inflation. Heck we might all be broke in a year or two, having a little food to share and skills to help others will go a long way and be a blessing for everyone.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Lots of savings!

First cut
Second cut

8 lbs = 1 Quart and 1 Pint of dehydrated onions

Onions are in season at our farmers market right now only $1.50 lb, grocery store has them for $2.99 lb and who the heck knows where they come from. Ours turned out the size of marbles so to the market I went. I use a french fry cutter to make cutting up onions for the dehydrator super fast only took 20 minutes to cut 8 pounds of onions and get them in the dehydrator. I put another 8 pounds in tonight, that should give us enough to get through until onions are in season again next year, better yet maybe we will have better luck next summer in our garden. I picked up our cutter at the local Northern Tool and Equipment store, saved around $20.00 over everywhere else I found them and didn't have to pay shipping and handling, sucker is pretty heavy. Also moved the dehydrator to the garage so I didn't stink up the house so bad, from here on out that's were I plan on dehydrating the stinky stuff!

On to the super duper savings this week. I have been hanging on to coupons for the last few weeks, I knew the closer we got to the holiday's the better the sales would be, hit pay dirt tonight! Spent $214.25 and saved $187.05!!!! Gotta love those coupons, every single thing I bought was on sale and around 80% of the items I had a coupon for. I took me close to 2 hours in the store and maybe an hour working on my list before I went, of course takes time to cut them out but soooo worth it!! I really stocked up on butter that I didn't have coupons for but the sale was really good, butter in our area is up to $4.39 lb, sale was 2 for $6.00, can't believe how fast butter has gone up but there you have it, just gotta get in on the deals when you can. If you are not using coupons and buying on sale you are missing out big time, without coupons/sales we wouldn't have the large pantry/freezer we are able to have. I sleep better at night knowing whatever happens our family will still eat and eat good!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Turkey Time

Getting my ducks in a roll so I don't have to fight the crowds next week in the grocery store. One of the things we tried a few years back was to brine our turkey, WOW!! It was wonderful. We used Williams Sanoma Apple and Spices brine, super good but very expensive. Today I made my own for $2.24 total for all six jars of the stuff, W/S price is $18.95 each , 6 jars would have run us $115.70. That is a heck of a savings! If you have never brined a turkey you are missing out big time, it is the best turkey you will ever have. I used spices we grew and dehydrated over the summer along with Kosher salt, the only thing that I didn't put in that the store brand uses was juniper berries and star anise, don't know what the heck they are (google here I come). Why 6 jars you ask, we will have turkey for Thanksgiving and Christmas, need to make one this weekend for Kelli's office dinner, and we like turkey sometimes for Sunday dinner. With the prices down to $.70 a pound it is the cheapest cut of meat you can get, I pick up a few extra during the holiday sales for later in the year.
1 1/4 cups of Kosher or Sea salt
3/4 TBL Sage
3/4 TBL Thyme
3/4 TBL Rosemary
1/2 TBL Garlic
1 TBL Lemon peel
1 TBS Onion
1 TBS Peppercorn
3 bay leafs crushed
6 dehydrated apple slices chopped
Mix all and store in pint jar

To use:
Add brine to a gallon of water, bring to a boil, stir until the brine is dissolved.
Cool at room temperature then refrigerate until cold.
Combine the brine mixture along with 1 1/2 gallons of water in a larger container (we use a Ballpark cooler)
Add thawed washed turkey with all the yuk stuff removed, soak for 12 to 36 hours. Keep refrigerated.
Rinse the turkey with cold water and pat dry then roast as you normally do.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Stove is in!!

So excited, we got the wood stove installed today. I was afraid with the rain and wind we have today they might not be able to do the work on the chimney but all turned out perfect! We do need some extra repairs done to the top bricks of the chimney, that has already been scheduled for after Thanksgiving by the same fella's who put the stove in. YAAAA, another project marked of the to do list. We went with a Vermont cast iron free standing stove, they have the highest recycling, renewable, and reusable rating we could find and the are made in the USA!!!! LOVE THAT!! This little sucker will heat up to 2,200 square feet and has a small cook top if the power should ever go out we can cook inside the house instead of the outdoor grill, last but not least we qualify for the $1,500.00 Fed income tax write off.

The firewood man touched base today, he will get out this week with our wood, didn't give me a day or time so we will see how that works out, he has until the end of the week or we will be going with another guy. We have been waiting for over 3 weeks at this point, don't plan on waiting any longer. Can't wait to fire the bad girl up and she what she can do, but I am holding off until Rambo Man gets home, figure 2 heads are better than one where fire building is concerned.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Big Day Out

Our girls, baby Grand Daughters, Sister and I went to the Southern Christmas show today, Lord I can hardly keep my head up I am so tired!!! The show is one of the largest in the south, it takes some serious walking, lugging stuff around and fighting the crowds to get through the place add to that a 3 week old baby and a 4 month old baby and you have an idea of what a big day it was. Didn't buy a thing at the show but hit a couple of stores that were having a one day sale I wanted to get in on for Christmas gifts, did pretty good and ended up with a coupon for $80.00 off the next purchase at Khole's to use for a few more things. I will be hitting the sack with a good book and a cup of tea pretty early tonight!!!
What the heck was I thinking...
Before meeting for the Christmas show this morning I got up at 5:30 so I could put up the food I worked on yesterday.
Ended up with a pint of dehydrated celery which started out as 8 bunches, that should get us through the winter.
The noodles filled 2 1/2 gallon bags and are tucked in the new freezer. Realized when I was bagging up the noodles that I have the same problem with them that I do with cookies. The first batches were nice and thin, cut at between 1/8 to 1/4 inches, by the end the noodles are more like 1/2 to 1 inches thick. I do the same thing with cookies, they start out nice size cookies, by the end of all the baking the suckers are the size of a desert plate.
Got 4 bricks of 4 cups each and 6 bricks of 1 cup each of chicken stock from the 2 roasted chicken bones and yuck stuff. Nice deal for free!
I got the roasted chicken meat packed up and frozen last night for some fast meals on days I don't have the time or energy to cook, can't remember how many packages I put back and frankly I am to tired to care.
Tomorrow should be the wood stove installation but we are expecting rain, not sure if they can work in the rain or not. I need to get busy on Christmas cards, I planned on having them all done by Thanksgiving so tomorrow will be a day of creating (I hope)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Noddles everywhere

Today was noodle day, whipped out 12 batches of the little buggers. They are now in the freezer until they are good and frozen then I will pack them up for some hearty soups over the winter. Noodles are not hard to make but they do take time, figured I might as well do a bunch while I was at it and save myself some time later.

So here is how fast and easy it is to get a pot of chicken noodle soup together. Throw 2 bricks of frozen chicken stock in a pot, add a large carton of chicken broth or 4 cups of water with 4 chicken bullion cubes, bring to a boil. Throw in some celery (dehydrated), carrots (dehydrated), garlic (dehydrated), parsley (dehydrated), salt and pepper. Once the veggies are cooked throw in the frozen homemade noodles, cover and cook for 10 minutes or so then add precooked chicken ( mine are vacuum packed and frozen). I like to make the soup then refrigerate it overnight, the noodles will soak up more of the yummy chicken flavor. This is a great meal to send over to a sick friend or new Mommy. Recipe at the end of this post.

We kicked butt on our to do list this weekend of course we still have plenty to do but we made a good dent on the list. The new freezer arrived safe and sound on Friday, it is now loaded to the gills. We will be able to unplug the second refrigerator now and maybe save a little on the electric bill. The baby freezer will be moving to it's new loving home in the next week or so, more room in the garage!! YAAAA

The clothes line should finally be finished next weekend, has taken us forever to find all the parts to build what we wanted, maybe an hour or two of additional work then I can start hanging out our laundry. I plan on throwing the towels in the dryer for a quick fluff once they are dry, we hate crunchy jeans and bath towels.

Rambo man got the fireplace screen and all that jazz taken out so we are ready to receive the wood burning stove on Tuesday if the crew shows up (you can never tell) What the heck, maybe the firewood fella will get a wild hair and decide to deliver our wood this week as well!! WooHoo

1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
2 Tablespoons milk
whisk together
Add maybe 3 cups of flour, mix until you get a stiff dough , add more flour until the dough is not sticky. You can use 1/2 white and 1/2 wheat if you want to kick up the health factor.
Roll out dough very thin using more white flour to keep it from sticking.
Let dough dry for 30 minutes or so.
Loosely roll up dough then cut at 1/4 in or however wide you want your noodles.
Unroll and cut as long as you want your noodles, let dry at least 2 hours.
I put our noodles on a cooling rack to dry.
Transfer to metal tray and freeze until fully frozen, bag and return to the freezer.
I put mine in gallon bags, that way I can just use what I need and return the rest to the freezer.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Should have gotten our new 20.5 cb. ft. freezer delivered today however the fella's dropped and crushed the durn thing. UGHHHH They are gonna give it another try tomorrow, can only hope they have better luck.

Since I couldn't move and organize the freezer I took on Rambo Mans closet. Our middle Daughter moved out last week so we now have a couple of free closets. Mr. Rambo has more Harley tee shirts than most dealers carry in their stores, along with hundreds of tees he has his dress clothes which are vary rarely worn and tons of coats and jackets vender's constantly give him ( if its free it's for me). He now has 2 beautifully organized spacious closets, we will see how long that lasts.

Did a little work in the garden, eggplant is coming along, broccoli has some tiny buds as well as the cabbage. Looks like we will have enough green peppers to have Paula Deen's red stuffed peppers this weekend. If you have never tried Paula's stuffed peppers you gotta give it a try, they are the best stuffed peppers you will ever eat, we use our green peppers instead of red ones and they are still wonderful!!

Have Kara for the day tomorrow along with baking bread, cooking up meals for the super busy weekend we have coming up and maybe a new freezer to fill up, fingers are crossed on that one!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Shopping and Stuff

$154 .89 of food at full price

Did my 1 hour in the scraproom working on recipes, cleaned up in the garden, tad bit of housework then hit the road.

Picked up a few Christmas gifts for Rambo man, got a couple of things for the kids then on to the grocery store for holiday food shopping.
I had some super coupons for things we will need over the upcoming holidays. Everything pictured was on sale and I had a coupon for each item, coupons were doubled so that beefs up the savings. Even had 2 coupons for $4.00 off butterball turkey's that were also on sale. Total cost $56.51 total saved $98.38. The turkeys alone were $48.15 if they would have been at full price. Ya whoo!! The savings from today helped cover the cost of the Christmas gifts.
It is hard to believe this little bit of food would have cost $154.89, but there you have it, groceries have really gone up in price and the cost is continuing to rise. The cost increase is one of the many reasons we have a fully stocked deep pantry, why pay full price when you don't have to. Gonna surf the net and see if there are anymore turkey coupons while they are on sale right now. We like turkey and at a sale price of $1.10 a pound you can't beat that price with other cuts of meat. We have never had to throw out leftover turkey but I would love to figure out something to do with the yuck stuff leftover. I plan on making turkey stock with it but now need to find something we would like to eat using the stock. Google here I come.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Working the plan

One of the many things hanging around waiting to be dealt with are a pile of recipes from magazines, friends, written on napkins and scrap paper. I pulled it all together awhile back and you guessed it, put it in a pile on the dinning room table. Moved it all along with a stack of blank recipe cards to the scrap room today and made a pack with myself to work on it 1 hour each morning. I have no idea how long it will take to get it all done and organized but I do know if I don't start doing something with it nothing will get done. Also need to set down at the PC and print off recipes that I use I have found on line but have never printed, they won't do me any good if the power should go out. I don't have the time to just set for days and do it all but surely an hour a day I can manage.

Got the upstairs hallway back in order after the attic frenzy yesterday, labeled the cartons we will be returning to the attic over the weekend and vacuumed up lots of insulation that has been drug down in the clean out. Need to add more insulation to be installed in the attic to our ever growing list of to do's. After spending close to a month up there I can now see we need to beef up the 20 year old pink stuff.

Spent a little time with the kids getting photo's of Karsyn today. She decided to show off and make poo when we took her diaper off for some of the pictures, not once, not twice but three times. Got a few good shots and left the kids with a loads of laundry where their sweet girl let lose.

Tomorrow is a bit of garden work, need to tidy up some things and check on the progress of others, mow the lawn and tackle the mounds of leaves that need to be moved to the compost pile, thank goodness for nice weather!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Eating the Elephant one bite at a time

Do you have drawers full of instructions, manuals and pamphlets of all the gadgets in the kitchen. Me too, I had all mine stacked neatly with the cook books, worked well until I needed to pull one out then the whole house of cards would come falling down. A few weeks ago I had it with the mess, moved it all to the dinning room table to deal with ASAP. ASAP happened this morning, I needed to get something done from start to finish for a change, enough with the piles of little projects hanging over my head stealing my mojo.
I blinged up a 3 ring notebook with some scrapbooing supplies and a copy of a wedding photo of my Grandparents, added page protectors, then put all the appliance, tools, and gadget paperwork in a protector. This should make finding whatever instructions I need fast and easy, and just as importantly pretty cute looking.

Headed to the attic to tackle more cartons, I am down to 2 more!!!! Now the upstairs hallway is a total disaster. I will be working on that mess tonight, already took a load to my special place to drop off and have the car 1/2 full of an additional load. I should be able to finish tomorrow. I will have to wait till the weekend to pull down the furniture that needs to go, have to wait for Rambo man's help, then put back the VERY FEW cartons we will be keeping. WOW what a job, can't wait till it is finished!!!!!
We need to do a major clean out of the back shed, planned on working over the fall on that but after the attic clean out I don't know that I will have the energy to take that on, It is a 2 man job as far as I am concerned, I know there are spiders and bugs. Rambo man can pull it all out and I will be happy sort and make decisions, he can deal with the critters.

Want to know how to stay warm if you took the Freeze Yer Buns off challenge? Clean the attic, you will work up a good sweat for weeks!!!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

101 Irons in the fire

BLT's with applesauce and pickles LOVE the garden

I am overwhelmed by the amount of unfinished projects around the house right now. With Rambo Man home for only a weekend we spend our time working our tails off but the work keeps piling up, I rarely stop during the week but some things take two people no matter how hard I work. UGHHHHH!! We have so much to do outside before winter sets in that we could spend a week outside alone, the durn attic clean out seems to be dragging along at to slow a pace, our fire wood will arrive soon so that will be a weekend of work to put up, Rambo man needs to take out the old equipment from the fireplace so our new toy can be installed, the list is endless!! I think it may be getting close to the time that he is gonna have to take a staycation for at least a week.
We got very little accomplished this weekend other than running around finding the best deal we could on a new freezer and wood burning stove, NC had a tax free weekend for energy star appliances, that along with rebates from major appliance companies and in store sales we were able to pick up a larger freezer for a really good price, YAAA, we needed a bigger freezer to accommodate all that the garden has provided us this year.
We also wanted to get in on the federal tax incentives that will expire at the end of the year so we had to get busy and make a decision on a wood stove, to qualify for the tax break it has to be installed before December 31st. My deadline was before Thanksgiving, I just don't want to deal with a big mess during the holiday. The stove we went with was on sale a little bit, and I do mean a little bit, but after checking around a 3 state area it was the best deal to be had. Maybe all this spending of money has put me in a foul mood, I will do better tomorrow (I hope)
On a happy note we had BLT's for lunch Saturday, lettuce and tomatoes from the garden, salt brine pickles from the garden and canned applesauce, super yummy, quick, easy and cheap. Heck I fell better already!!
PS: Rambo Man is not happy with the freeze yer buns off challenge

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Cheap Eats

While Heather was in the hospital giving us our 3rd grand baby one of her requests was a cup of hot Carmel apple cider from Starbucks, you can bet the new Mama got one every day!! I decided what the heck no caffeine in the things so I gave it a try, they are really, really good however the suckers run around $4.00 @ of course while there I picked us up a couple of muffins which ended up costing the better part of a $20.00 bill. Now let me tell you any of our Daughters who are willing to give us a Grand baby is well worth a $20.00 bill any day but I knew I could replicate the great warm drink and snack cheaper!
Muffins are a no brainer, I went a little overboard on sweet cherries this spring, need to get busy and start using them up. Cherry muffins are different but pretty good and super cheap.
I thought of going with apple cider for the drink but the problem is we don't drink a lot of cider. We drink it during the holiday's as a warm speciality drink but other than that it would go bad before we could every use a gallon. Checked around and low and behold our grocery store had boxes of hot apple cider drink mix on display!! I have never seen them before, and they were on sale for $1.05 a box with 10 packages in each. I then hit the local Starbucks and picked up a bottle of Carmel syrup for $5.00 and was in business. Bottom line, we will now be having delicious hot Carmel apple cider for $.15 cents a cup this fall and winter.
As I set in our home on this cold rainy night with the heat set at 55 degrees I am LOVIN this drink. Freezing Yer Buns Off challenge is going to be mighty stretch this winter!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Garden Goodness

We are getting meals from the garden again, yaaa!!! The late summer planting is finally coming along. Lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, eggplant and bell peppers. I pulled all the tomatoes that had any size to them a week or so ago when we had a frost/freeze warning for overnight, my plan was to bread and freeze them for fried green tomatoes but I never got around to that with all the activity around Karsyn's arrival. I noticed yesterday that they were getting ripe just setting in the colander, hummm didn't know they would do that. I thought I needed to wrap them in newspaper to ripen after bringing them in, nice surprise. Found some leftover sour cream and black olives in the refrigerator so I decided to go with Taco's for supper tonight, fast, easy and cheap. I need to get back in the garden before the weekend and see what else I can pull out before we have cold weather hit again over the weekend, maybe tomorrow if Kara wants to help.
Had a short visit with Karsyn today for a little Nanny time, can't wait till this crazy cold is over so I can cover her in kisses. Worked a little in the attic but didn't get much done before I had Kara in the afternoon. This nutty cold has taken the wind out of my sails, by the late afternoon I just want to head to bed.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Attic Update and Noodles

Baby Kara

Attic Update!! I think I might be a little over 1/2 way done with the attic!!!!! Got my butt in gear today and was able to take 2 full loads of stuff to an undisclosed location. I plan on hitting it again in the morning and maybe sort 3 or 4 more cartons. By next week I think we will have knocked out that major job, I told all of our girls they should be on their knee's thanking me for taking this project on, otherwise they would have been stuck doing it when they wheel Rambo man and I to the old folks home. I can't tell you how good it feels to unload the excess stuff in this house!!!!

On to the noodles, homemade noodles are not hard to make but they take time, mix them up, let the dough rest, roll it out, cut noodles, then let them dry at least 2 hours. It takes a triple batch to feed our family if all the kids and grand kids are around. This winter when I have both baby girls it is going to be a real challenge to put this much time and effort into noodles. So it got me thinking, could I make them ahead then freeze them until needed? I checked with my buddy Jackie who is a noodle expert between us we decided yep, it can be done. Jackie is a Minnesota gal and Lutheran to boot so you can bet she knows her way around the kitchen. Thanks Jackie for your help!!

Last but not least I signed up for the Freeze Yer Buns off challenge at Crunchy Chicken blog. I set our goal for the heat to be set at 65 during the day and 55 at night, no problem for Bob and I but I am sure our kids are gonna have a fit when they are around. They seem to think the heat should be close to 80 in the winter and the air set at 70 in the summer. We had heating bills over $400.00 last winter, never have we had bills that high, we hope by setting the heat lower this year maybe we can cut the bill down a bit. It is 62 in the house right now and I am very comfortable, Amber just left for the evening and ask if the heater was broken, Ha

Monday, November 1, 2010

Bacon and Soup

Chicken Noodle soup
Made 2 pots of chicken noodle soup last week in a matter of minutes!! The chicken stock was already frozen, bought a pre roasted chicken so only need to take some meat from that, the carrots, celery, onions and garlic were all from my dehydrated jars. Threw it all in a crock pot and let it go. While that was working its magic I made the noodles (more on noodles later) Super fast, easy, cheap, hearty meal for lots of folks!!!
Yummy Bacon

OK, so I know some of you have your hair standing on end just looking at all this bacon. We like bacon and we eat it, my Uncle Fritz ate bacon or bacon drippings all his life, he past away at over 90 years of age this past year. Uncle Fritz believed bacon and its drippings kept your arteries greased up so all that plaque could just wash right out, I am going with his philosophy. We were able to pick up 15 pounds of bacon for $3.05 a pound wholesale this past weekend, we repackaged it in 6 slices per bag, vacuumed sealed it all and got it in the freezer, we ended up with 46 servings of bacon!! Yaa us!
Knocked out a bit of Christmas shopping this morning, ordered our firewood, made appointment to have the gutters cleaned then worked a few boxes from the attic, busy but productive day. REMEMBER TO VOTE TOMORROW!!!!!