Friday, March 30, 2012

TGIF - Thank You - Pizza - WATER!!!!

Thank you to Abbe @ Chaos, blog name http://abbeflynn.blogspot.com  and Double B Homestead for joining my site. Please sit back and enjoy the ride!!!

On Wednesday’s post I made Italian bread.  Today, I used the same dough recipe and made pizza crust.  The pizza turned out fantastic and the family loved it.  There’s enough to have leftovers for lunch tomorrow.


We received our materials today by UPS to start our water filtration system.  Bulldog Man opened up the boxes and took inventory on the small items needed to complete the job. In a couple of minutes, we will be running into town to hit up Home Depot for the parts (drill bits).  I’m so excited that we will have a filtration system that works.  We were initially going to buy a Berkey (which is gorgeous and a bit expensive since we had to pay for my oral surgery), when we came across a post by Mike Yukon at http://livingprepared.blogspot.com/search/label/Water about building your own filtration system.  His post even identified the items needed to build the water system along with the instructions to put it together.  With purchasing the materials and building the system ourself we will be able to save around $220.00.  Sometime over the next week Bulldog Man will be putting our water filtration system together (I will take pictures and post the finished product to my blog).    

Don't forget about the Give Away, refer to Tuesday's, post.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thank You - 4 Days Left (Give Away)

First, I would like to take this moment to say Thank You to Georgene for joining my site through Google Friend Connect.  She has a blog called http://livingonlessmoney.blogspot.com/. Georgene’s blog outlines numerous money saving tips on how to live frugal in this economy.  I recommend you go check her blog out.

===================================================
GIVE AWAY
********There are only 4 days left to register for “The Backyard Homestead” book give away.  Make sure you’ve registered before the drawing on Monday. ********* 
===================================================


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wednesday




I would like to start out today’s post by saying Thank You to CheriRae and Stephen for joining my site through Google Friends Connect. 

========================================
I also have a recommendation. Stephen (noted above) has a blog I would suggest you check out called Standing Outside Looking In.   Stephen loves to read, and provides us with many book recommendations. He’s a survivalist at heart and as quoted by Stephen, a “Southern Veteran with a big streak of independence”.   ****A little message to Stephen, get well soon Stephen, all your friends can’t wait to have you back on your feet.
========================================

GIVE AWAY
********There are only 5 days left to register for “The Backyard Homestead” book give away.  Make sure you’ve registered before the drawing on Monday. ********* 





Last year during the spring, we had a pair of sparrows nest in my hanging flower planter just outside our front door.  They ended up producing four little baby birds.  This year they’re back, preparing another nest, once again in the hanging flower planter.  I wonder how many little ones they’ll produce this year?  I snuck out and took pictures of the flower planter while they were away from the nest.  I can’t wait to get some pictures of their eggs and the little baby birds once hatched.


Today, I made Cinnamon Crispies from a recipe Suzanne McMinn posted on her blog from the Grandmother Bread Cookbook.  Site reference: http://chickensintheroad.com/cooking/grandmother-bread/
When the Cinnamon Crispies finished baking, I made a vanilla glaze for the top of each roll instead of sprinkling powdered sugar on top.  OMG, talk about being in heaven.
Glaze Recipe
1 cup powder sugar
1 tablespoon milk
½ teaspoon vanilla

Directions
With a spoon mix up ingredients, scoop up glaze and hold spoon over crispies and drizzle.

I also made a loaf of Italian bread (recipe compliments of Chef Glaucia, from Food.com) to go with our chicken cacciatore.   

Italian Bread (Easy)
1 cup water (120 to 130F)
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups bread flour
2 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast

Directions
Place all the ingredients in bread machine pan. Process on dough setting. At the end of the cycle, remove dough from machine, place it on parchment paper (I didn’t have parchment paper, I used my counter top). Punch down dough. Shape dough into baguette shaped loaf about 12 inches long.  Place loaf on cornmeal coated cookie sheet and with sharp knife make 1 deep lengthwise slash in the top of the loaf.  Cover, let rise in warm place for about 1 hour.  Brush loaf with egg white, if desired.  Heat oven 375 degrees.  Bake loaf for 25 – 35 minutes.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

TX & Back, Estate Sale, Breakfast

Saturday we made a quick trip down to Weatherford, Texas to visit my parents and pickup our son, Tank.  He spent his spring break down at the grand parents to help them out with their gardens.  Several hours later, we were back at home.  We had no traffic or weather problems.  The ride was nice and relaxing.
On Sunday, two estate sales were being held at the fairgrounds.  We decided to go over and see if we could find some tools and lamps we need.  Bulldog Man and Tank didn’t find tools but found an old CB radio for $4.00.  I didn’t find any lamps we could use but I did find a hand mixer and electric knife for $5.00, both I can use with crafts.  All items work well, we just need to clean them up a little.  I’m thankful that we were able to help out the families hosting the estate sale.
Items need a little cleaning


Breakfast was the word of the day.  This morning, I made a “Cowboy Hash” mixture with left over steak (use any type of meat), new potatoes, Hatch Green Chiles, fresh parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Cowboy Hash served up with a compliment of tomatoes.

Bulldog Man and Tank worked on the front and side yards of the property for me today.  With all the rain we’ve had, the grass just keeps on growing, so does the weeds (grrrr…..).  I planted more seeds and cleaned out flower pots for tomato planting. Later tonight, when the sun goes down, I plan on planting flower seeds for the front flower boxes and watering all garden boxes.  The herbs, celery, onions, lettuce and peppers are growing. There about an inch in height.  I’ll have to take some pictures and post them this week sometime.
While I dropped Tank off to attend his Church Youth Group, Bulldog Man made dinner.  He made breakfast (the word of the day) for dinner.  Pancakes and turkey sausage, Yum!  Now, maybe I can get him to volunteer to do dishes.  I didn’t have to ask, he’s in the kitchen doing them already (do I have him trained well or what? J). 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Electric Lights

Electric lights, a feature we’ve been using since the creation of the electric light bulb by Thomas Alva Edison in 1879 (patented January 27, 1880).  So many people take electric lights for granted.  What if your light’s source is not available?  Maybe a storm rolls through, or your electric company decides to participate in the rolling black outs to save on electric in order to service all residents without overloading generators and power stations. 
Do you have a secondary means of light for your home and business?  Are you prepared?  There are so many sources out there to fall back on.  Solar, wind and generator are great for power sources, but what about light?  Do you have stored light sources?  Items purchased or made, such as:  camping lights/lanterns, oil lamps, candles, flash lights, solar lights, book lights, outdoor solar lights, matches, and lighters. 
After living through multiple hurricanes (specifically hurricane Andrew with 200 MPH winds, this was the first time I was really scared), power outages and now tornadoes; I’ve learned to make sure all rooms in my house have some form of lighting other than electric. For emergencies, every bedroom has a flash light next to the bed.


As always, with open flame sources of light, extreme caution MUST be used.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Life Is Good

Life is good, especially when there’s coffee cake involvedJ.  Yum, the crumb topping.  Just a little brown sugar, b…..u….t…..t….e….r and cinnamon.  Thinking about it puts 10 pounds on each hip.  Hmmm….. that explains it!!!!  Stop thinking about it, just eat the damn thing!


Coffee Cake
1 ½ cups flour (all purpose)
¾ cup sugar
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup melted butter
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup milk
1 egg

Topping
1cup brown sugar
¼ cup flour (all purpose)
¼ cup butter (room temperature)
¾ teaspoon cinnamon

Directions
Preheat oven to 350.  Spray 9 inch cake pan with Pam or coat with butter. In a bowl, start combining items for coffee cake.  Flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, melted butter, vanilla, milk and egg.  Mix well with spoon until totally combined.  Place in coated cake pan.  In another bowl, make your topping.  Combine brown sugar, flour, butter, and cinnamon.  Spoon topping on top of cake mix already in pan.  Once done, place pan in oven for 25 – 30 minutes depending on your oven.  Remove and let cool for 15 minutes and serve.



Today, for the first time, I’m using the dehydrator Bulldog man bought me.  I cleaned and sliced strawberries and peeled kiwi for the first run. One more hour of dehydrating, and then I will have a final product.  Hopefully, the end result will taste fabulous.   I’m looking forward to dehydrating all kinds of fruit, vegetables, and herbs.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Thank You, Bad Weather, Great Product

A special thanks goes out to Angela at http://foodstorageandsurvival.com/, she had a contest give away on her blog for a Life Straw, from Eartheasy and I won the giveaway.  Angela’s blog, Food Storage and Survival Adventures in Self Reliance is a wonderful blog to follow.  She gives you great advice on survival, preparedness and self reliance.
On to our weather, last night through tonight we are expecting severe storms with potential tornadoes, 100 % heavy rain, possible flooding, hail and wind.  I’ve pulled in all of our potted flowers and vegetables and have prayed that the seeds we’ve already planted don’t wash away.

Map of Weather From Our Local News Channel 9

I would like to introduce you to a product I found at Whole Foods a couple of years ago.  This product can be used full strength for tough jobs or diluted for general cleaning.  It’s a natural citrus cleaner and degreaser.  It’s called CitraSolv. I have used it in the house to clean floors, walls, stove, oven, and on clothes. CitraSolv leaves a citrus orange fragrance throughout your house.  I have also used this product outside to remove grease, paint, and even gum. This bottle pictured below will last me approximately 2 – 5 months.  The cost, depending on the store you purchase it from will range anywhere from $8.99 – 16.00.



Saturday, March 17, 2012

Is The Weekend Over Yet?

Happy St. Patty’s Day to everyone! 
Friday was the start to a busy weekend.  I went into town to go to Sam’s Club to pick up some bulk items needed, did some grocery shopping and filled the truck up with gas for our Saturday trip into Texas. 
While on spring break our son, Tank wanted to go down to his grandparents house in Weatherford, Texas and help them on their property.  So this morning, we rolled out of bed, loaded his bags in the truck, and headed out toward Weatherford.  Interstate 35 was a goat rope down by Marietta due to road construction, picture below. 

We took a pit stop (brief bathroom break) and came across this bus…..go Pokes!!!  I took a picture for all you OSU fans J



The Start of the Arbuckles












We passed by this casino while on the highway (I love listening to Heart, wish I had tickets).


Woohoo, finally in Texas, we also passed the Texas Motor Speedway.




We literally arrived at my parent’s house, dropped Tank off, visited for 20 minutes and made a complete turnaround, back to Oklahoma.  Here are a couple of pictures of the Court House of Weatherford and downtown (quaint, little town).




While coming back on Interstate 35, traffic going southbound toward Texas was a goat rope.   Bulldog man and I were happy we were not part of the parking lot. 


 




Beans is exhausted on the return home, he’s decided to sleep.


Bulldog man bought me a new appliance for the house, a dehydrator.  I can’t wait to use it on vegetables, fruit and jerky.  I know what I will be doing this week.

The onions planted earlier, are looking so much better and my lettuce seeds are now producing (check out the little nubs below).  Tuesday, we will do some more seed planting.  The local weather service is indicating 100 % rain and bad storms for Monday.   


Lettuce peaking through


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Weather, Vegetable Garden, Rose Bushes, and Flowers

Temperatures reached 76 degrees, with a slight breeze and the sun was shining.  Today turned out to be another beautiful day, so beautiful that I found myself outside planting more seeds, green Chiles (Hatch Green Chiles- YUMO!!!!), green peppers, and more lettuce.  I finally planted my celery ends that have been in water for several weeks (keeping my fingers crossed and hope the celery ends like the soil).


Two Celery Ends

Tonight, Bulldog man and Tank (our son wants me to use his football nickname now), picked up more soil, peat moss, and manure, mixed it up, and placed it in the garden box they made for me yesterday.  Guess what I will be doing tomorrow? Planting more veggies!  I’m so excited! Our garden is finally coming together.  I can’t wait until we can harvest our vegetables and fruit, and start canning.  
I’m going to pray that we have a summer that is not “hotter than the seven gates of hell!!!!”  Or a summer where it continuously rains, requiring an Ark be made to get around.
Today was an extremely productive day. I was able to clean the entire house, and get all the laundry done before the weekend. 
My roses have even started producing green leaves, and the branches are getting full.  Apparently, my roses love the handful of Epsom salt I placed in each pot a couple of weeks ago.  I love Epsom salt, but not just for long, hot baths.  Epsom salt is great for tomatoes, garden startup, house plants, trees, and grass. 
New Leaf Growth On Rose Bush
Gotta Love Annuals

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Garden Work & A Bird

The cold and rain has given us a reprieve.  The last two days temperatures reached into the high 70’s – low 80’s. Spring is here, not officially though, lol.  The rain stopped for two days, giving us an opportunity to do some planting and yard /patio work.  We planted Lollo Rossa, Bibb and Mesclun Lettuce in one of the garden boxes with the onions.
In flower pots I planted cilantro, dark opal basil, sweet basil, thyme, lady lavender, heirloom black krim and big rainbow tomatoes.
The last two days, I worked on cleaning up the property and cutting all the grass. 
Bulldog man and Dakota made me another garden box for the garden.  We will put together some peat moss, compost and soil mixture for the new box.  Then I can start planting carrots, more tomatoes, spinach, and green peppers. 
 Bulldog man and Dakota also put together several bamboo surroundings for my experiment with sweet and Idaho potatoes.  I’m trying something new (new for me that is). We placed some of our compost in the bottom on the ground, secured the bamboo surroundings to our fence, placed the potatoes on top of the compost and then covered them with straw. Initially, I was just going to place the potato on the ground and cover them with straw but after reading a friend’s blog, I didn’t want to have unexpected snake friends visitingJ.  I found this experiment from a Better Homes and Garden segment found on YouTube.  I can’t wait to see how the potatoes turn out in the next several months.

Bamboo Surrounding






Sweet Potato Placed On Top Of Compost



Place Straw On Top Of Sweet Potatoes

While working out in the yard today, there was a beautiful male cardinal that kept hanging around. So, I figured why not take some pictures of him. 



Monday, March 12, 2012

Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge

Another great place to take the family for a day trip or a nice camping trip is the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, down in the southwest section of Oklahoma (close to Lawton, OK).  Buffalo roam free on this 59,000 acre refuge.  The wildlife is plentiful--deer, elk, fox, coyotes, prairie dogs, longhorn cattle, all kinds of birds and other little surprises. 
You need to visit The Holy City; a beautiful place that is within the refuge.   The play “The Prince of Peace” is presented at the Holy City every year around Easter time.
There is also a memorial for the victims of the Oklahoma City bombing, the Veterans Walkway and the World Chapel.