Monday, April 30, 2012

Thank You - & - Welcome



I wanted to take this opportunity to welcome Modern Day Redneck .  Thank you for joining my blog.  Hey Blogger friends, check out Modern Day Redneck's blog, you won’t be disappointed.   Glad to have you following my blog, please sit back and enjoy the ride.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Thank You - Hubby Down - Garden

When I have time to slow down, I so look forward to just sitting down in front of the computer with a cup of hot tea or coffee and read posts from friends, or shall I say my Blogger Family. I always look forward to hearing about their trials and tribulations.  I’ve learned new things about being self reliant/prepping.  I’ve picked up tips on gardening, canning, making bread, and the use of certain tools and equipment.   I’ve found myself in awe….viewing pictures of their children, dogs, cats and farm animals.  I find myself laughing so hard at times with (not at) my blogger friends when they write about the stubborn, independent-minded farm animals; especially when you want the animal to move or go somewhere and the animal has other thoughts.   I also feel their pain when dealing with medical issues, financial situations, hardships and death.  I also commend you for taking on issues and standing proud for America, the Preppers, and the Farmers. 
This weekend, we accomplished very little.  First and for most my muscle, Bulldog Man (hubby, the man I love), is down and out with a massive migraine.  These migraines have been occurring more often lately.  His primary physician has referred him to see a neurologist. So I tried to make Bulldog Man comfortable and I tried to sneak around the house and property without making noise. 
This weekend, I purchased a new tomato and green pepper plant with vegetables already growing and multiple flowering buds.  I also picked up materials to cover my garden from those pesky little birds.   I spent some time outside weeding and then had to come in out of the humidity. 
I went through my coupon book and cleaned out all the old coupons and restocked it with new in preparation for the next grocery run which will be sometime real soon.  Planned the next two weeks of meals and set aside money for the trip.  Then I decided to finish work on our laundry for the week. 
Below are some pictures from the weekend.  Where did you spend your time for the weekend?  In the garden?




















Blueberry Bush, growing really good.


Birds ate all the leaves off of celery.




Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Bread-Hot Dog Rolls-Tree Clearing-Tank-Salve

It’s such a beautiful day today, worked outside for a while until it became too hot to be outside.  That’s when, I decided to make some bread and hot dog rolls.  I made two loaves of Traditional White Bread.  The recipe is from my friend Amy @ http://theprairiewife.blogspot.com/2011/10/recipes.html
The recipe is easy to follow, and the bread is absolutely excellent.  If you are looking for a recipe for good White Bread, I suggest you go to Amy’s blog and try her bread recipe.


After making bread, I decided to make hot dog rolls.  I did this because we are having hot dogs for dinner tonight.  It was an experiment that turned out fabulous.  Now, I have one more recipe to add to my collection of items to continually make and freeze.




Bulldog Man and I worked on the property clearing some trees, many more to clean/clear out. We cut the main trunks off the trees and cut it down into fire wood and stacked alongside the house.  The remaining small branches we stacked for hauling off later.   We have this monster of a mess pictured below to clean/clear in the next couple of days in between real work that pays the bills.
A Dead Evergreen to Tackle
On a real positive note, our son Tank was hired on in town at the local house and ranch supply store part time, working in the garden and agriculture section.  He’s trying to save up money to buy a truck for himself after graduating school.  In the meantime, Mom is his limo service to and from work.

***UPDATE, Several of my blogging friends requested updates on the Salve I made for Arthritis.  I am going to thin out the Salve to make it easier to use.  I believe I placed a little too much bee’s wax in the mix.  I did however, use a little on my husband’s back and he liked it, stated it made his back feel warm.  So come the next several weeks, I will update you in full regarding the end result on using the Salve.
 




Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Lettuce Galore!!!!

What to do with the over abundance of lettuce?  Harvest it, make salads after salads.  Time for a brief change, let’s talk juice.  Yes, you heard right, I said juice!  Have you ever juiced lettuce? It actually tastes really good.  Bulldog Man and I harvested three big bowls of romaine, bibb, mesculin, leaf and arugula.  Washed the lettuce thoroughly and then spun the water off with a lettuce spinner.  Washed 2 apples and disposed of the seeds.  Peeled several cucumbers and a small piece of ginger.  Ran all the lettuce, apples, cucumbers and ginger through the juicer and wa….la…..you have green delicious juice.  Occasionally, we juice as a meal, especially if it’s hot out or we just don’t feel like a meal. 

Bulldog Man helping wash lettuce.

Apples and cucumbers to add for juicing

More apples to add to lettuce for juicing.


Juicing machine and juice.

Final product, bottoms up :-)
 
My favorite is juicing a couple of carrots and adding 1 apple and a handful of fresh parsley, OMG…..talk about being in heaven!!!! 



Saturday, April 21, 2012

Zuppa Toscana - Key Lime Pie - Arthritis Salve

Yesterday was chilly, so I decided soup was going to be for dinner instead of salad.  I started thinking, instead of the typical chicken noodle or beef vegetable soup; I was going to make something different.  I had a craving for Italian sausage and kale.   So, I figured Zuppa Toscana would hit the spot.  Bulldog Man and Tank enjoyed the soup; I made enough to have the next day for dinner.

Zuppa Toscana
1 ½ pounds of Italian sausage
½ onion chopped
3 white potatoes - diced
1 garlic clove
3 cups chopped kale
8 ounces of chicken broth
1 quart of water
1 ½ cups of heavy whipping cream
½ cup of cooked bacon pieces
Directions
Remove sausage from casing and chop into small pieces and brown.
Place onions, potatoes and garlic in pot. Add broth and water. Cook until potatoes are done. Add bacon, salt and pepper (to taste).  Add kale and cream, cook for 8 – 10 minutes, and serve.


I also made dessert, Key Lime Pie.  It was so good and a favorite for Bulldog Man.  He doesn’t eat many sweet things but when I make this he can’t help himself.  Usually, I would make a homemade graham cracker crust but I had a store bought one in the pantry and needed to use it.



                                               Key Lime Pie
1 (9 inch) graham cracker crust
½ cup key lime juice
1 (14 ounce) can of sweet condensed milk
5 egg yolks
                 
Directions

Beat egg yolks.  Add sweet condensed milk, lime juice to egg yolks and mix well.  Pour into unbaked graham cracker crust. Heat oven at 375 degrees and bake for 15 minutes.  Allow pie to cool and top with heavy cream whipped topping and serve.



I also made an arthritis salve for our first aid kit.  Both Bulldog Man and I suffer from arthritis and would rather use something natural instead of something commercially made.  This salve contains Ginger Root, Echinacea Herb, St John’s Wort, Boswellia Serrata, Olive Oil, Bees Wax and Vitamin E.  You can purchase this Herbal Mixture from http://www.bulkherbstore.com/ like I did.  Place Herbal Mixture in a pint mason jar (2/3rds full).  Fill jar will oil (olive, coconut or sweet oil), 1 inch from rim.  Tighten lid, place a wet wash cloth on the bottom of your crock pot, place the pint jar on top of the wash cloth, add water to crock pot just at the top of the jar before the rim of the lid,  place lid back on crock pot, set cooking temperature on low.  Cook for 3 days straight on low.  Make sure to constantly add water to crock pot to ensure the water level is at the top of the jar before the lid.  After cooking, remove from crock pot; strain your herbs out of your oil.  Place a sauce pan on your stove, poor your oil into sauce pan.  Add chopped/grated bees wax (approximately 2 oz for every 8 to 9 oz of oil) in sauce pan and melt.  Once melted, add a drop of vitamin E oil for every ounce of oil.  Pour the oil mixture into a large mouth container.  Let sit over night until salve is solid. Place lid on tight and label.  An instruction on making this salve also comes with the Herbal Mixture.



















Vitamin E added to melted bees wax and the strained oil.

Completed oil poured into jars to solidify.


Oil solidified overnight into salve (Arthritis Salve).


 


 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Welcome & Thank You

I wanted to take this opportunity to welcome Kymber @ *Framboise Manor* .  Thank you for joining my blog.  Hey Blogger friends, check out Kymber’s blog, you won’t be disappointed.  She’s a master gardener, chef, loves Mother Nature and loves life. Glad to have you following my blog, please sit back and enjoy the ride.

P.S. Thank you for the Sage tea suggestion, I can’t wait to try it!!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tea-Shampoo-Rolls-Sugary Mess

I will never….. again, have a glass of ice tea (no sugar) at 6:30PM.  When it was time to go to bed, I was wide awake.  At 1:00AM still wide awake, 2:00AM came, and went.  3:00AM came and went, then at 3:20AM; I finally laid my head down on a pillow and started to fall into a sound sleep.  At 3:30AM, I had a tickle in my throat, causing me to cough continuously.  Now I’m back out of bed, drinking a hot decaf tea to kill the tickle in the throat and I’m wide awake.  Unable to go back to bed, today I feel like a walking zombie.
So much for doing yard work, I just don’t have the energy.

I did however, have the energy to do the following:
~ Make Shampoo (Recipe provided by Money Saving Queen)






Recipe   1/3 Cup Castile Soap, ¼ Cup Coconut Milk, ½ tsp
of vegetable or olive oil.  Mix well (I use a mason jar and shake), place in an old shampoo bottle.


~ Make rolls to go with dinner (Recipe borrowed from Hickery Holler Farm)


~ Dropped my sugar canister on the floor, losing ¼ of my stash.  Beans (the dog) loved it; he jumped off Bulldog Man’s chair, ran into the kitchen and was trying to lick it up as fast as he could because he knew I was going to clean it up.  I had to drag Beans out of the kitchen, put the baby gate up at the doorway to prevent him from eating himself into a sugar high.  You should have seen the look Beans gave me.  You would have thought I had just killed his best friend……SUGAR….SUGAR…SUGAR.  I hate having to cleanup a sugar mess.  First it’s the broom, then the vacuum and finally the mop (so much for not having energy).  The rest of the afternoon Beans didn’t want to have anything to do with me, MEAN MOMMY!!!!


See the dog prints in the sugar.



Monday, April 16, 2012

Prayers and Updates

From Friday through Sunday tornadoes hit Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska.  6 people lost their lives, and over 29 were injured.  Prayers are being sent to all families affected in these storms.

Thank God, this stormy weekend is over! 

Some Garden Updates:
Tomato plants looking good, some of the pots will need to be thinned out.


Onions and Lettuce growing like crazy.
















Potatoes popping out of the straw.



Corn, has a good running start.


Green Chiles and Peppers are not doing too well.




Carrots moving slowly need to thin these babies out.








More garden seeds coming along, I will update on these later.

The rose bushes love the weather and Epsom salt.

I received the new catalog from the Bulk Herb Store, looking forward to making some Oils/Salves in the next several weeks.  When I do, I will make sure to take pictures and post this to my blog.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Water Filtration

Since my dental surgery ate a hole in our budget for buying the Big Berkey water filtration system, we decided to make our own water filtration system.  We started investigating blog posts and anything we could capture off the internet on making your own water filtration system.  When we came across a blog post by Mike Yukon at http://livingprepared.blogspot.com/, he wrote “Gravity Fed, Safe Drinking Water Filter” dated January 28, 2011.  His post provided a brief instruction, a list of all the materials, and the sources needed to create your water filtration system.  From there, we ordered the materials and within 1 ½ weeks we received everything.   Bulldog Man finished this project in less than 20 minutes, including cleaning all the buckets and filters. He also went ahead and placed water in the black bucket (raw water). This will take approximately 12 hours to filter through the ceramic filters into the blue bucket (safe water).  Of course we want to run water through the system several times before using it.  I have provided several pictures below of the process and final product.


Supplies





Drill holes in the bottom of raw water bucket for filter attachment.




   
Attaching Filters

Attached Filters


Safe Water Bucket Lid, Marked Where Filters Will Sit, Bulldog Man Drills Holes



Clean Up Holes

Bulldog Man Drills A Hole In The Safe Water Bucket For Spigot

Bulldog Man Placing Spigot Into Safe Water Bucket With Beans Watching

Spigot In Safe Water Bucket

Final Product, A Water Filtration System!!!!

With completing this project, we saved $200.00.