Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tears and prayers for Alabama

Carpenters tape measure is used for the closure
6X5 Snappy Bag

We are still waiting to hear from some family and friends in AL. The power is out in most area's so without a cell phone they are gonna have a heck of a time making contact, however from the news reports it seems like there was no major damage to any of the neighbourhoods where they live. The news footage from around the state is more than the mind can take in, so many lives lost and the numbers will surely climb as the days go on and the responders can get to some area's that are still cut off. Have heard from a few through facebook that the power may be out for weeks so they are leaving town until power and water are restored, 1/2 a million people are in the dark with little or no running water tonight. So sad....
Kara and I did a little sewing today, put together the Snappy bag above, super easy and uses very little material so I should be able to clean out my scrap pile of fabrics making a few more of these. The odd part was you use a metal tape measure for the closure. After Kara left tonight I ran up to Lowe's home improvement and picked up the cheapest one I could find then finished off the bag. What do you know it worked!! Super cool. The bags are soooo easy and fast to put together it's not funny, quilting the fabric is the only part that took any time.

Garden update:
Lettuce in the flower boxes don't seem to be to happy, may need to find a new home for them, only 6 potatoes have sprouted so far (not giving up hope), Carrots have finally popped up and are looking good, everything else seems to be doing OK, happy to have finally gotten a little rain.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sweet Home Alabama

Sweet little ruffle apron, and I do mean LITTLE
Some yummy new fabric

Our hearts are breaking from the news coming out of Alabama. Rambo man grew up in Huntsville AL, our family moved to the area when I was still in High school, we meet, married and started our life together there. We have many family members and friends who still reside in Alabama, we have heard from most of them but still waiting for news from a few. We are now under a high wind advisory and a tornado watch until 2:00AM, storms have already moved into the Asheville NC area so it looks like I will be up late into the night with an eye on the sky.

Today was my last day of spring break before the babies return tomorrow. I decided to blow off everything I shoulda and coulda done today and treat myself to a trip to the fabric store. I needed to sign up for a few classes I am taking in May and pick up the materials for class, of course I didn't stop there..... Picked up the pattern for the ruffle apron pictured above along with a jelly roll and 2 fat quarters that would make 2 aprons, ya right. Had enough fabric to make one little bitty apron, the length is fine, the ties are OK, but the waistband is 14 inches, GRRRR I thought maybe I picked up a child's pattern but the size says adult small to XXXL. The bib aprons I make most of the time have a waistband of 26 inches, plenty roomy for any size lady. Gonna have to find some skinny A... person to pass this little jewel on to. I will give it another try using bolted fabric, the jelly rolls are to expensive, also plan to change the construction a bit, didn't like what they suggested and of course I will be enlarging the pattern by A LOT!! Have the supplies for 2 classes I will be taking next month and a few extra fat squares for a cute little "Snap Happy" bag I want to make. In all my spare time! HA

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Stainless Steel Goddess

25 tomato plants finally in the ground
Rust is not possible!!

The new Ball Elite stainless steel canner is a beauty can't wait to can some strawberry jam (soon, very soon) without the worry that the bottom may fall out. What a nice surprise to hear the man in brown's truck pull up to the house after busting butt in the garden today. I don't have the heart yet to put the old canner to the curb but it really must go the rust is almost through in 3 different spots.

Finally got the tomatoes planted in the new bed, lots more work to do around the bed to keep the yard from creeping back in and we may need to put up some fencing to keep the critters out but at least they are planted and watered in. I put 25 plants in the back bed in hopes that we will have enough tomatoes to put up this year without having to supplement from the local farmer. We started the new bed by putting down cardboard then adding grass clippings, leaves and compost over the summer and fall last year then just had it all tilled in (when the fella finally showed up) Rambo man did a once over with the little tiller to loosen up the soil a bit more then we just planted without adding anything else. We may not get great results this year since we didn't implement the soil much but I am hopeful. Might take another week or two to get the area looking and working the way I want but for now we just needed to get them in the ground.

Have you read the book " The $64 Tomato" by William Alexander, super funny and so true if you don't watch what you are doing a garden can take over you life and bank account! This super small little garden spot has cost us $170.13 so far (cost listed below) Please, oh please let us beat the odds and make this pay off!!!! Our goal is 12 quarts of tomatoes and 22 pints by the end of the summer along with fresh sliced tomatoes during the season. I might just sneak a few more plants in the larger garden area as insurance!

Tomato garden cost;

2 Garden hoses - $ 33.47 each

1 Sprinkler - $ 34.97

Spigot splitter - $5.97

25 plants - $ 62.25

Sweet rental house

Sandy back yard, perfect for an Easter egg hunt

Our Grands at the Wedding, lovin the hammock

We arrived home from our family road trip to Key West late yesterday just in time for Rambo man to head back to his project. Key West is exactly 908 miles from our home one way, that is a heck of a long way to go in just 5 day's but it's all the time Rambo man could spare this late in the project he is on, we were afraid he wouldn't be able to make it at all so we can't complain!!!

The Wedding was beautiful, our Niece was lovely and her new husband is a doll baby, we look forward to watching them begin their new life together, can't wait to see the beautiful family they will become! I know my sister is need of a long rest after the over the top festivities they planned for everyone, it was a perfect weekend. They started the Wedding off with a tour bus for everyone of the island followed up with dinner at Margaritaville, Saturday the ceremony was held on the beach of the Waldorf Austria followed by the reception in the ball room, on Sunday they hosted an Easter brunch at Mango's on Duvall street. We arrived Friday with an hour to get ready for the rehearsal dinner then headed out after the Easter brunch on Sunday, talk about a whirlwind trip!

I now have 2 day's off before the rest of the family returns from vacation to get the yard back in shape (sorta), thin the onions, carrots, and radishes then get some plants in the regular garden, figure if I work from sun up to sun down I should be able to make some headway and finish up over the weekend.

Weekly spending; Lets not go there! Na, it really wasn't that bad. We were able to get the rental house that was wonderful at 25% off by booking and paying a few month's in advance. We lugged snacks and drinks with us to save a little, enjoyed some sightseeing that cost nothing, rented a dune buggy sorta thing for the family on Saturday that we were able to get at a discount from the front desk at the resort. The butt kicker was of course gas prices, on the island it ran $4.05, total spent on gas for the trip was $480.00, yikes!!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Travel Tips

Ear plugs keeps communication pleasant

Largest Barnes and Noble I have seen, two stories of pure joy

Short post as we need to get back on the road, total spent on gas $205.00 yesterday UGHHHHH. Had a great lunch at Krystal hamburgers, family favorite when we can find one

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Toy Story

Oh how I love a deal! While wondering around in Walmart looking for things to fill Rambo mans Easter basket I found this jewel of a backyard toy for the Grands . Regular price $89.95, marked down to $25.00 in addition to that I had a $5.00 off coupon. Not a bad deal $90.00 toy for $20.00, now if I were a truly frugal Nanny I would put it back for Tyler's Birthday, however I am not so he and Papaw put it together last night while I got the lawn mowed. Instead of using the teeter totter as was intended he was putting stuffed animals on it and catapulting them across the den, hummm little boys just think a different than our girls did at his age.
We are off on our road trip this morning for our Nieces destination Wedding. The truck is packed, snacks and drinks are within easy reach, and I am gonna try as hard as I can not to focus on the ridicules price of gas!! This will be the first holiday in 15 years that we will be away from home. However all of our children and Grands will be meeting us down there so we will still be together. I am such a stickler for traditions it's not easy for me to step out on the wild side and do the whole resort thing during a holiday. I did bake a batch of Easter M&M cookies to take along and we will be finding the time to dye Easter eggs and have a Easter egg hunt for the big and little kids. I have a ham and all the fixin's for when we return to have our traditional dinner, that will have to do for this year!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ya for seeds

Our radish and onion seeds have come up, no sign yet of the carrots but I am sure they will be soon!! Fella came and worked on tilling the garden again today, not sure what he is thinking, he went over the work he had already done and still didn't do the back garden. We plan on planting next week, sure hope he will finish the back garden by then so I can get everything in and be done, at least until the weeding starts up.

Strawberry season starts in 2 weeks, checked on what we have left from last season today, 6 packages of frozen berries (2 cups @) and 7 - 4 ounce jars of jam. We still have 11 jars of asparagus that I need to use up, asparagus will come in around the same time as the berries. AJ our beloved hound dog (beagle) dug up our asparagus bed last year so we will be headed to the farm to make a purchase.

The heat is on now, temp was 85 degree's today, the house is at 79 degrees tonight. Pulled out an extra fan from the attic to use tonight. I am trying to hold off on the air conditioner as long as I can, but if this heat keeps up we won't be able to hold off much longer.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Weekly Spending an a little ranting

Our sweet baby Girls

Kara thinks she is such a big girl now, she loves trying to give Karsyn her pacifier. I have to watch both of them every second, they love to touch each other and giggle. The problem is their touching is pretty rough!

Weekly spending was OK again this week, daughter #3 Birthday nor my new undies come out of the weekly spending budget, thank goodness or I would be way in the hole this week!

Gas - $71.78 up to $3.74 gallon now

Groceries - .00

Eating out - $14.00

Baby gift - $52.00

Post Office - $12.00

Total spent - $149.78

Total saved - $50.00 that went back in my wallet for upcoming family road trip

Update on zero spending for groceries; I needed to pick up milk this week, ours was almost gone and close to the expiration date. I remembered I had some grocery store bucks that will be expiring later in the week so I picked up $15.00 worth of snacks for the trip and our milk all for free. Rambo man needs his snacks for a road trip, they cost a fortune if you pick stuff up and the gas station along the way so I have a super duper supply put back for him. Also picked up M&M's on sale and with coupons for $.97 a bag, part of the grocery cash so they were free also!!

Now for the ranting.....

If you can afford a state of art cell phone, top of the line cable and Internet service, tanning beds, hair salon, pedicure, manicures, and more babies you are not poor!!!!! People who are receiving federal government WIC, food stamps, help with the electric bill and trips to the food pantry should be poor people. If your outrageous lavish life style has you in the poor house so be it. I can't tell you how angry I am about these low life take care of me folks. The fraud and abuse to our government agencies and local church's is sickening. If you know low life scum like above call them on it, there are so many people in our country who are doing without because they are to proud to take help that is legitimately there for them.

We are a loving and giving family, we strongly believe in helping people in need, sometimes the need is no more than a kick in the butt and calling them out on what should be consider theft. Don't expect us to hand over a bag of groceries while you chat on your phone. Don't tell me your sob story while you are looking down at you perfectly cared for cuticles and nails (mine have cow poop under them) Don't tell me you need the cable and Internet to keep up with the world, take your sorry a.. to work, you can hear the news for free as you drive to your JOB. Can't afford the electric bill, how about turning the temperature up or down depending on the season, turn off all the gadgets you have in the house you can't afford then we will talk. Need that deep dark savage tan, plant a garden you will get a great tan and hey some free food to boot. Don't expect me to subsidize your income so you can have your hair styled and touch up the color, I have totally grey hair that I wear in all it's glory because of leaches like you. If you can only do one thing then PLEASE stop having poor defenseless babies who can't help that they are being born into trash. OK, so that is it, I am gonna take my grey haired old self to bed with a bag of free M$M's wearing my 1/2 price bra that make my tata's look 10 years younger.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Quite Weekend

Crappy photo, but really is a cute card Easter card using stamping and blending pen with ink pads, no need to spend money on markers
Leftover paper from the sewing card, stamped the back then turned them into pinwheels, ya no leftovers!!
A few more coin purses from Friday

What a quite relaxing weekend.... I started 3 new books over the weekend, what was I thinking!! Spent Saturday morning in the scrap room playing around with cards, have a few more finished but enough with the pictures already. I hate leftover paper!! When I finished the sewing card I used the leftover dotted paper to make 2 dozen Birthday cards to give to the local nursing home, simple but cute and cost next to nothing to make.

Spent some time orginizing my closet and drawers at the crack of dawn Saturday, pitched some PJ's in the trash, they were discusting, why is it I stick with the same ones over and over until I wear them out. So Pj's and bra's went on the need right now list.

After the terrible storms had passed I ran up to Lane Bryant's about 30 miles up the road, our local store closed last year. After fighting the traffic, using up expensive gas the store had also gone out of business grr, that seems to be an every week thing in our area, always another store or restaurant going out of business. I love Lane Bryant bra's, they hold up great and come in fuller cup sizes for us heavy chested ladies and the price is right. Back home to a good book and in bed before the sun went down.

We decided to hold off on Sunday dinner this week, we were all together on Wednesday for daughter # 3 Birthday and we have a family trip coming up, we love each other dearly but....... Vacation should be enough family bonding time!! So off to Khole's I went today looking for a bra that would fit, priced right and wouldd bring the old gals back up where they belong. Lucked out, the bra's were on sale buy one get one 1/2 off and to top it off they were giving $10.00 Khole's bucks for every $50.00 you spent. Scored some bucks last week when I took daughter # 3 Birthday shopping so I now have a good stack of Khole's bucks to spend next month, I am thinking socks for the family for Christmas, something that won't go out of style by December.

It's to bed for me early again tonight. I have Karsyn and Kara both all week so I need to rest up for the activities, they keep the house rockin!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Tater's are planted

Carrots, Green onions, Radish and Hound Dog Taters, please grow this year I only had Karsyn today, after a 17 hour day yesterday with one or more babies I am just making ends meet today. I refused to take a nap while Karsyn was down, to afraid I would wake up feeling worse than I already did. Her morning nap I made a few cash and carry bags, for the afternoon nap I planted the seed potatoes, carrot, radish and green onion seeds, everything went in some of the new raised beds. The book says to plant 4 seed potatoes to each square foot but we didn't have any luck with planting things that close last year so I only planted around 40 seed potatoes, about 1/2 what the book said to do. Hope the potatoes work out this year, everything I have read says we can expect 1 to 3 pounds of potatoes per plant, time will tell. We still have hash browns and sliced potatoes I dehydrated last year from the farmer down the road, I need to get busy using them. I always forget to pull out the jars/vacuum bags when I am making potatoes. Radishes we will eat fresh, not gonna waste the time to can relish this year. Green onions we will eat fresh and dehydrate the rest, I am down to one jar left from last spring timed that about right. Carrots will be using fresh and lots dehydrated, we used a lot of dehydrated carrots for soups and stews this fall and winter. This will be the first year to give carrots a try in the garden, figure what have we got to lose but a $2.00 pack of seeds. There is a great possibility I will have Saturday and Sunday off this week, fingers crossed!!! If things work out I a headed to my "little room of sin" (scraproom) for at least a few hours. I need to get busy on some cards and would love to do a layout or two (dream on) Need to cook up some meals for myself for next week and do some uninterrupted cleaning and organizing.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

One step closer to the garden

Original Garden, finally tilled!!! See the hill that is all red clay, thats what we have to work with here. Takes lots of compost, cow poop and chicken s... to finally get the nice brown dirt
New 12 inch raised onion bed

While I was out Birthday shopping with Daughter #3 and the babies today the fella showed up to till the gardens. He finished the original garden before his tiller broke down :( sure hope it doesn't take him another month to get back and work the new garden space!! We are going to use the new space for more tomato plants. I would like to have enough of our own tomatoes this year so I don't have to buy from our local farmer to can tomatoes, or at least not buy as many as I have had to in the past. Last summer I could pick up a bushel for $20.00, or only $10.00 for canning tomatoes if you don't mind messing with all the bad spots, no telling what he will need to charge this year. We are down to 19 quarts of tomatoes and 0 pints, that is enough to get us through until canning season this summer. I need to do more pints and a little less quarts this year, lots of recipes we like do not need a full quart. I think the yellow onion bed looks OK that we planted last weekend. We are crossing our fingers that we can get onions bigger than the marble size we had last year! We planted in one of the new 12 inch raised beds and didn't crowd them in like the book suggests. If they do what they should we might get around 20 pounds of onions to dehydrate. Grow baby grow. That would be one less thing I would have to buy. Our Mother Daughter shopping trip was exhausting...... I hate to shop, add to that 2 babies, a daughter who doesn't really know what she wants and prices that are ridicules and you have one frustrated Nanny. Have you been to Victoria's secret lately to get in on their $54.00 bra's? How about with 2 babies one of which did big poo and the other who is having a hissy fit? The $54.00 bra was not for me I might add. I learned long ago if you roll the girls up just right they will fit nicely in a sturdy reasonable priced bra that costs less than 1/2 what Victoria wants for her lacy over priced crap. Who the heck wants a polka dot bra anyway? Can some tomato's in the 100 degree heat of the south in you bra and undies you will be guaranteed a red polka dotted bra and matching panties for no cost at all. Not that I have ever tried this mind you, I always wear a super cute apron in the kitchen.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

No Groceries

Kara 9 Month's

See why I can get very little done around this place when the baby girls are here. How can you not want to just sit and giggle right along with them!

I had a heck of a time staying focused today, I did get a dress cut out for myself that I have decided I am not gonna like, designed a little girls purse pattern that should be cute as a button when I have a few days to work on it and went shopping with a friend tonight that hates shopping for clothes as much as I do. We make a good pair!

Update on the no grocery shopping in April,. This week I didn't need milk or eggs, had enough leftover from last week so zero spending at the grocery store. Dug around in the refrigerator and found a quart of 1/2 and 1/2 that I need to use up, I am thinking cream of broccoli soup one day this week to share with the kids we still have a lot of frozen and dehydrated broccoli put up from last spring. Also pulled out some peaches, cherries and pickled okra from the canning shelves to use. The pickled okra will be gone pretty fast, it turned out sooo good this year. The peaches will be for desert and I think I will use the cherries for a cherry danish. We went out for a bowl of soup after our shopping expedition, they had a cherry danish that looked so good but I remembered the LOADS of cherries I canned, gotta use them up!

I need to take a full day to work on all the pantries, things have gotten out of order with my hectic schedule right now, maybe this weekend I can get some me time to organize a bit more. One of the things I have been able to keep up with a little better is the amount of wheat berries we use. We average 4 pounds a week for bread and whatever else I am baking, we are still mixing white flour with the wheat but I have cut the white flour down to less than 2 pounds a week. We haven't found a single thing that we are out of or running low on yet, that's a good thing! I feel good about what we have accomplished from the garden/farmer last year everything we put back seems to be working out great and we have been able to share with friends and family. I am getting a little nervous about the garden this year, we have added more beds, a new traditional area along with the original garden we have had for years. I am not sure how the heck I am gonna be able to keep it all up when I have the babies. Think I need to keep my eye out for some Geritol coupons!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Weekly Spending

Look closely, Kara has her sweet her arm around Karsyn
She them went in for a big old kiss!!

My girls would kill me if they knew I posted this picture of the babies. They were both still in their PJ's. I don't dress the little girls until after they have breakfast and the big morning diaper. With two little ones I have to conserve my energy!! The Mommies like to keep the baby girls dressed like little dolls at all times but at Nanny's house I get a little slack in the fashion department.

Today was laundry and line drying in the 85 degree heat, UGHHHH It is hot as all get out here. The weather man says we will have a cool down by tomorrow, he better be right cause today I have been sweating my buns off. Karsyn and I took off with a few 40% off coupons and headed to the chain fabric store in search of a reasonably priced rotary cutter. Low and behold they had the $29.95 cutters on sale for $14.99, same cutter as the fancy fabric store had for $79.00 ya me!! After speaking to a friend this AM about the whole get out from under my rock (stop using scissors for cutting) I realized I already had a rotary cutting mat, had several as a matter of fact, I use them in scrap booking classes DUHHHH. Tomorrows job will be playing around with the new tool to get some sewing projects cut out. I was able to finish up 2 gifts tonight that were on the to do list for last weekend and I think I organized my head enough to know what to tackle next. Now to the good, bad, and ugly on spending

Weekly spending

Gas - $66.69 Gallon of gas now $3.71

Groceries - .00

Fabric store - $47.00

Sewing class $20.00

Eating out - $42.00

Under budget by $25.00, but that won't touch the reckless spending Rambo man and I each had Sunday. I used my new walking presser foot tonight on some quilted placemates, oh my, is all I can say!! Have no idea what the heck all the other stuff in the box is for, maybe if I can find the time and read the directions I could figure it out.

Last but not least I recived the most thoughtful gift in the mail today, Thank You so much Val !!! You really shouldn't have but I am so glad you did, LOVE IT. Once I get the gift framed I will share on the blog. Off to bed in the lightest weight nite I can find with all the fans on full speed.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Me Time

Took a little time out for myself today to take a class. I wanted to learn how to put in a zipper using the fancy dancy machine. LOVE the little cash and carry purse we made, it's itty bitty and so cute!! Of course they had us using a super presser foot that I just had to have, don't even think I will post the price on this blog because it was way over the top expensive (Bernina walking foot) Why is it when it comes to kitchen, scrap booking or sewing tools I can justify the cost, but for food or anything else unless it is on sale with a coupon I will pass it up (I think I need therapy).

Rambo man and I did get a little work done in the garden today, he finished filling one of the raised beds and I got the yellow onions planted. I didn't have time to shower again before the class, hope I didn't smell like chicken poop. I don't think they would have cared since they suckered me into making a pretty good size purchase. The budget was blown to smithereens this week from my class and Rambo mans trip to the Harley store, but sometimes you just gotta let loose and spend. Of course it is cash only in our house so we have to pace ourselves on the spending spree's.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Long Green Roll

After the little girls left today I got the rest of the lettuce in the flower boxes, sure hope this works it would be nice to have lettuce this close to the kitchen! Worked a bit in the 3rd raised bed before hunger and rest took over my body. We should have great weather over the weekend so I can finish that bed and get busy planting a few things. Have both babies again tomorrow, don't expect to get much done other than keeping the girls dry and happy

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Easter Time

Should have ironed this first UGH Top opens to put little suprises in for the kido's

Table runner is 62 inches long


I have been busting bootie getting a handle on the Easter table runners, light mobiles and chair bags, sent a set home with Tyler today so he could decorate the house for Easter. It took me forever to get this project going and finished (almost) I wanted the chair bags to open so the kids can get a little surprise in their bags now and then over the month, (sometimes nothing more than a little love note) had a heck of a time figuring out how to have them sturdy enough for little hands but still cute. I ended up spending more than I planned on by adding buttons (27 total) but without them the table runners seemed to be missing something. Let me tell you my fingers are cramped up big time!! I have sewn on 162 buttons total over the past 3 days. I decided today that the chair bags needed buttons as well, Karsyn and I headed to the fabric store to see what we could find. I ended up going with fabric covered buttons because of the price. The large button I wanted to use cost $3.69 each, needed 3 for each chair bag had to pass on that idea and make my own. While at the store 2 ladies offered me $50.00 for the table runners....hummm I don't normally sell what I make but it was tempting, I have put way more money into these little suckers than I should have. Daughter #1 is always on me to sell over at the Etsy site but I am still hesitant to try it out. With the schedule I have right now keeping the little girls I don't know how I could pull it off, I barley keep up as it is, truth is I don't always keep up at all, many days I am just treading water. Maybe once I get caught up on the piles around here I will give it some thought, it would help me re coop the cost of this fancy dancy machine that is a joy to work with!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

April No Groceries Challenge

Strawberry bread and White/wheat bread

My first trip to the grocery store after starting the challenge for the month of April was a flop. Our grocery store is still remodeling, they always have something pretty good on the clearance rack. This week it was canning salt for $.75 regular price is $3.36. With canning season coming up there was now way I could walk away from that deal!! The other slip up was Red Hot candies, I have been looking for them the past few years to use in apple butter but have never seen them until of course Saturday in the stores new candy section. I picked up 3 bags and stashed them away with the canning supplies for this fall. So much for starting the challenge off with a bang! Another thing I noticed that was on sale was Bell Peppers 2 for $5.00, are you kidding me!!! When I make stuffed peppers I need between 12 to 15, everyone wants at least one and the boys usually will eat 2 each. At that price it would have cost us $30.00 for just one pepper each and that's not counting what the stuffing costs. Thanks goodness peppers grow like weeds in our garden!! Karsyn and I stayed in today to work on some sewing I am way behind on, lots needs to be done outside but until I get the sewing project finished I have grounded myself. So far it is turning out pretty cute but I still need to come up with a design and pattern for one additional item, maybe tomorrow during nap time (that is if I don't nap myself)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Weekly Spending

Check it out!!! Finally Rambo man was able to finish up the clothes line and it is a beauty. The cloth's line should help lower the utility bill a little more and there is nothing like crawling in bed with line dried sheets. Speacking of electric bills, we cut our usage by 1,000 kilawatts last month Yahooo!! I think the freeze Yer Buns off chalange is over now that our tempetures are more like summertime instead of spring. The new challange will be to see how long we can go without turning the air conditioner on. I can take cold weather anyday but I get a bit B..... when it's hot, this will be much harder than the freeze Yer Buns off!! Working on the new raised beds this weekend has driven our spending up big time. I am thinking having a garden is and investment instead of spending right? Makes spending all this money feel a little better if I call it an investment so I am going with that. I decided to go with the no groceries in April except milk and eggs. Our pantries and freezers are overflowing, this will help me clean out and rotate a little better. I also need to use up more of our canned goods before the canning season begins again. I found a little rust in the bottom of my canner so a new canner is on the list of must buy before strawberry season starts up. I have decided to go with a stainless canner this time that I found in the Lehmans catolge, the cost is higher but it should hold up better than the old one. I don't want to take a chance and have the bottom fall out of the old one once I have it loaded up!! The weekly spending was OK, saved a little bit but nothing to crow about. Our planned spending was a lot more than I expected, getting the new beds up and running is not cheap! But then again it is and investment right! Weekly Spending Gas - $66.52 Up to $3.59 a gallon Groceries - $18.98 I will explain tomorrow, eggs and milk don't cost this much (yet) Cast Iron pot - $76.00 Buttons - $15.00 Under budget by $ 23.50 Planned spending Garden Center - $33.81 Garden Center - $175.71 Garden center - $62.53 Total spent $272.05

2 Down 2 to go

AJ likes the smell of Cow poop

It took two loads of compost, top soil, vermiculite, and peat moss to fill the 4x4x12 raised beds Rambo built for me last week and it wasn't cheap let me tell you!!! I picked up the first load Friday night after dropping Karsyn off so I would beat the crowds at the garden center Saturday morning. I hoped maybe it would be enough to fill both beds, not a chance, took the whole kit and caboodle to do just one. Saturday night I hit the garden center once again to miss the crowds then finished off the second bed Sunday morning. Adding the new beds this year is really driving up the cost of the garden this year, the good thing is I will have very little weeding to do in the new beds and each year all I need to add is a little more of our own compost. I also filled 8 planters on the deck, gonna give lettuce a try in the containers this year. I am thinking that by having the lettuce on the deck it might cut down on the slug and rabbit problem and also maybe I can stretch the season out a bit more by moving them to a shady area when the heat really starts up in the summer. Not sure if this is gonna work, if it does then that frees up a lot of space in the traditional garden. Also cleaned up the herb bed and added a few things that didn't survive the winter, one more thing done for the year.

Saturday morning after I finished the first raised bed I headed over to Davis feed company to pick up our seed potatoes, after wandering around a little I decided to purchase a new piece of cast iron. Rambo man bought me a huge set of cast iron a few years back but the set didn't include any with the feet to cook over a flame or charcoal, hope we will be able to try this pot out once I get it seasoned.

Ended the day Sunday with a huge surprise, Rambo Man got a couple of days off and headed home. We were all super excited to get to see him again! I had fixed spaghetti for Sunday dinner because I was so durn tired from all the yard work, had I known he was coming home I would have stepped it up a bit in the kitchen and fixed one of his favorites. We did have an over the top desert thankfully, chocolate pound cake with strawberries from the freezer, ice cream, hot fudge and a little whip cream on top just in case anyone was feeling deprived of calories from the spaghetti dinner!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fool's Day

Ms. Karsyn Ryleigh at 4 months

Found this idea over at the Food Storage Made Easy blog, thought what a cute productive idea!! If you haven't checked out food storage made easy blog take a look, it is a great site for recipes and food storage. If you are building your pantry using sales and coupons then you need to learn more about food storage so you don't end up wasting your hard earned money and coupons to expired or poorly stored food.

So here is their idea for April Fools day, Don't be a FOOL and put off what you know you need to do! I think that is sooo cute. One of the things I have been putting off is cleaning out the bookcases, today that project will be done from start to finish. Another thing I have been putting off is making packages of hand made cards for elderly ladies. The older generation still like to send out little notes to friends and family but don't always have the funds or transportation to get out and about to make the purchase. I am determined to get at least 5 packages of cards done today/tonight. I have little plastic card holders that can hold 10 cards each along with cute ribbons to tie it all together. The cards might have to wait until Ms Karsyn goes home but I should at least be able to get the supplies together for some card production. Pick something you have been putting off and get r done today!