Friday, September 30, 2011

Still Producing

So far we have not had a frost and the tomatoes are still going strong. Strangely enough, the Charlie Brown tomatoes in the straw bales have decided to take off and are producing the largest fruit I have collected in my own garden attempts yet. Nice surprise.

Pulled out one of my newer canning books to throw together some salsa as I had a few jalapeno's and a basket full of tomatoes that needed to be used before I lost them to spoilage.
It was a rather comical event as I had already blanched the tomatoes to peel and started the salsa when I realized I did not have enough vinegar. Had to try a FB call out and then text another neighbor with the promise of a jar a fresh salsa for a cup of vinegar.  Since I had things already started on the stove I couldn't just run out.

After giving one jar away for the vinegar and another to one of my teen's friends, I ended up with 4 jars from the one basket. Not too shabby.

Now if the frost will just hold off until the big tomatoes ripen it would be great. I can do a whole 'nother batch.

Friday, September 16, 2011

On My Mind

Joining Rhonda at Down To Earth in a On My Mind post:
Spur of the moment Road Trip! Be back in a week or so!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Happy Homemaker Monday

Joining my friend Sandra at Dairy of a Stay at Home Mom in a Homemaker Monday Post

The weather in my neck of the woods:

High 80's for the beginning of this week but then 70's and even some 60's later on. Waiting around for maintenance to come fix the air conditioner (call #3) today.  It's not fun when your air is out and you are allergic to cut grass and the whole neighborhood is mowing. Doesn't really matter that its in the 70s....the house needs to be closed up not all windows open!!

Things that make me happy:

The feel of fall in the air. I'm enjoying this one extra in case we end up relocating back to the desert and I don't have this anymore!

Book I'm reading:

Operation China on the nightstand (a book about all the different nationalities in China)

Tarzan of the Apes in the car
Gargantua and Pantagruel on Kindle

What's on my TV today: 
No TV.  Patiently waiting on Walking Dead to start in October.

On the menu for dinner:

Looks like breakfast for dinner. Was supposed to have that yesterday but hubs made hummus and I made flat bread so we didn't need dinner after eating that!

On my To Do List:

Wait on maintenance

New Recipe I tried or want to try soon:

Made Naan flat bread with the recipe from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. Total keeper. We just cut our grocery bill by finding this one as hummus and flat bread are a staple snack around here.

In the craft basket:

Nothing currently started. Want to do some of the cute dish drainer towel/clothes for leaving out to let your glasses and stuff dry on the counter instead of the ugly dish towel. Also have a couple of quilts to start but I'm taking a break on those for a bit.

Looking forward to this week:

Air Force Marathon this weekend. Sounds silly but our street gets blocked in and I won't try the bike path as the spectators park in the way and are down right ugly about getting out of the I look forward to a day of knowing I'm not going anywhere and just chill at home and catch up on things.

Tips and Tricks:

Before boiling potatoes, rice or pasta, rub margarine around the top inside of the pan to keep them from boiling over.

My favorite blog post this week:
The Reality of War over at Sgt and Mrs. Hubs

Blog Hopping (a new discovered blog you would like to share with the readers):

No words needed (favorite photo or picture, yours or others you want to share):

(from the tivate website)

Lesson learned the past few days:

That even though I am trying to draw down and be less involved due to coming changes, I cannot go only half way with my girls (Girl Scouts). I love them too much. Its a full-on relationship and I will be full-on involved until the very end. Makes for a busy schedule when I should be leaving myself more time....but what's more important? The time I pour into these girls, or how organized my stuff is when the movers come???

On my mind:

The future and what it holds.

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:

"Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him."
Daniel 2:20-22

Friday, September 9, 2011

On My Mind

Joining Rhonda over at Down To Earth with a On My Mind post.....

Instead of one photo with a caption, I have a few photos that tell the whole story...

Zombie face....she is so her mother's daughter.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

So Random

See that collar? With tags still on marked $3.99 at the thrift store. was half off day.  I'd show you the picture of the one exactly like it Hubs bought for $25 to start obedience school.  But - he returned it and has $23 in his pocket now.

So don't understand people that won't shop at thrift stores. LOL!

For the faint of heart...... This is collar number 4 for the beast otherwise known as Cinder. One a leash she is a force to be reckoned with. Her collar leaves her too powerful. A choker, just chokes her. A gentle leader does fairly well...until she wants to fight and then she still has too much control.  This bad boy, high on the neck makes her as easy to walk/run as a 6 pound Chihuahua. No joke.  And besides...the obedience school HIGHLY recommended hubs switch to it. LOL.

Now, I might go another year before I find a buy as good as that, but its still worth checking out those second hand stores ladies. You never know what you will run across.

But I will admit that almost 100% of our clothing comes out of Kohl's Dept. Store. It is what it is. And it is coupons and discounts and clothes for the whole family. One stop shopping. It's not about being freaked out or squeamish about thrift clothing...I just don't happen to have much luck in that department.

But I've bought sewing machines for $15 to give to new sewers.

And its the best place to find cloth napkins if you are switching over....most of which will still have the tags on them. Makes it cheap to switch from paper to cloth. 

I recently found a $4 drying rack that I had been holding off buying because they are $30 at the retail store.

A gel bicycle seat slip on cover for $2.

And always lots of candles if you are a candle burner. We use candles around here so its my first place to look in many cases. Good for those times with no electricity.

So I'm you buy at thrift stores? If not, why not? Just curious!
(And if you are in my area, what are your favorite ones????)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Autumn Asks: Do You Can?

The Canning Queen of the Desert from Etsy on Vimeo.

Can I just say that I want to squeeze her??? Can you imagine if more of the empty lots in large cities were utilized for food growing? Give the teens and older kids something to tend to and get their hands dirty in? We would see sure a revival in young people learning to cook. (There is alot of this going on all over the states and if you Google the subject you will meet some amazing people.)

Since my garden has been a success this year canning has been on my mind. But. Always the but. We are also looking a move in the face so its just not a good ideal to be storing food when we should be depleting it. Trust me....pantry items weigh too much....and our household goods were over our allowable when we got its downsize time.

(By the way...remember me making fun of my Charlie Brown tomatoes in the straw bale??? Well, all of a sudden they took off when it started cooling down this month and became a jungle. Now lets see if they will produce before it frosts.)

I did manage to do my peppers and jalapeno's.

Those will be gone before we move and I didn't plant enough of them to make much more than what you see here.

So I'm really, really, really looking forward to owning my own home and being able to actually have a real garden and get back to canning. So glad through the last few moves I did not get rid of all my stuff to do so.

So how about you? Do you can? Do you have a great canning recipe? I'd love for you to share if you do. Mostly I've just done salsa's and jalapeno's.  I wonder if I could can my green chiles instead of freezing them? Think I will check on that!

Friday, September 2, 2011


So enough already, right?

Last one! I promise!

After making quilts for all my friends, I made one for myself.  Using the scraps from the other quilts. Up until the very end I had no ideal what I was going to do for my own.  Along the way I did try a few blocks that I had seen on the internet that looked like good ways to use up scraps.

I found a pattern a couple of years ago that was a book case. So cool. It was very realistic looking and I had it in the back of my mind to make one for myself one day.  But realistically I knew that would never happen. So I decided I could make a smaller version in the middle of my Frankenstein. LOVE IT!!
I also made a few string blocks using the scraps of the other quilts while I was working on them. After playing with a few and seeing how easy they were to make I decided I could add some of those in also.  After playing with it a bit I finally made alot of those blocks to make up the front.
The back is mostly made up of these spooky purple trees...which is actually a halloween fabric.  I loved them -- guess I'm just weird like that.
Separating the trees from the blocks I tried my hand at some crumb blocks. They look like roses to me. After playing with it for awhile I had enough to run this border down the quilt.
My flaming purple pony. For the actual quilting I just did a meandering loopy line all over the quilt.
The other blocks consist of a spider web set...a block I wanted to try. No I will never do it is not easy. Of course mostly that is because I used tiny scraps and most people are smart enough to make large blocks.

There is also a block with the state of Texas and the top one is a material I tried to design. I wanted a purple pony fabric and couldn't find one so I tried to design my own. Fail. But I kept the piece I had made and added it to the back.  This fail is what resulted in finding the horse paper piecing so each of us would have a purple pony.

All the random borders on the front and back are actually the extras cut off of the other quilts when I was squaring them up.  The binding is also all the tails from the other bindings that I sewed together to make mine.
And let me tell you this is one heavy quilt with all these fabrics.

So there you have it. The fruits of my labor from November to August.

Now I just have to figure out what to do with all these purple left-overs.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Enter Into Joy

The next to last one! I'm sure you guys are probably rather sick of purple quilts at this point. I have to admit that after working with so much purple I will be glad to use up the scraps and not ever do another purple quilt again! LOL!

Enter into Joy.....I could not pick a better description of my friend. To be in her presence is to be joyful. Every encounter leaves me wanted to know her even more. She is a drink of cold water on a hot day.  Her's is a friendship right there at the top with my other besties. Most of us are lucky if we find one friendship in life that we can actually label as "soul satisfying". I have been blessed  by a couple of these - of which this friend is.
She also has elegance and style. She is very much a girls girl and as sweet as they come.
The back of her quilt is full of words that describe her. Words like gratitude, kindness, laughter, precious.....
Whenever I need prayers, she is one of the two top people I let know. Even  if the answer to my prayer isn't what I was looking for, just having her in my corner praying with me is comforting.
Her pony is a lovely satin look print.

Bound together in a batik hexagon fabric to compliment the "snowballs" on the front.

Loving know you. Loving the fact that I will know you to the end of my days.

But you still think too much.