Monday, July 20, 2015

Piddling All The Time

This is the first year I’ve grown red onions, and wanted to find a recipe on the internet to make a sweet jam/marmalade.  While searching the internet, I came across a recipe from Canning Homemade! Sustainable Living and Preserving the Future!  The recipe is called Canning Red Onions – A Marmalade!  . 

This recipe was very easy to follow, and the marmalade turned out really good.  If you have red onions and can’t figure out what to make with them, I would recommend trying this recipe.

Over the weekend, we went up into the Oklahoma City’s farmers market where I picked up some squash.  My plans were to cook this squash with dinner; instead I canned it and put it up in my pantry.  Over the next several days, I will revisit the market and pickup more squash to can; because, our squash plants failed to provide vegetables for harvest due to the excessive amount of rain and squash bugs.  

We had several fresh peaches, blueberries, and raspberries left on the verge of being overripe, and I decided to make a fruit crumble instead of letting the fruit go to waste.  While the crumble was baking, our house smelled amazing………fresh baking fruit always smells amazing.  Once out of the oven, I couldn’t wait any more I had to make sure and spoon out a couple of bowls to the guys, and myself.  Now, most people will top a fruit crumble or cobbler with ice cream, we didn’t!!!

With our first harvest of tomatoes, several blogger friends said they would be more than happy to take my Sunrise Bumblebee tomatoes off my hands.  So sorry………you’re too late!!!  I made some eggs, with my tomatoes and had a handful of grapes for lunch right after I picked them.

Here’s yet another wonderful harvest of tomatoes (these are already claimed so don’t ask), jalapeños, and beans!!!

Speaking of tomato plants, remember I mentioned a volunteer tomato plant was growing out of my raised compost bin?  Well here it is, doing really good for itself.  Notice, there’s a second plant coming out of the bin.

On to creating things………

While hanging laundry out on the clothes line, my clothes pin holder fell off the line.  Because it’s been exposed to the weather, the holder actually ripped when it hit the ground.  

Instead of buying one, I decided I was going to make one; with some material I had on hand, from a yard/estate sale I went to last year.

I pulled out the material, folded it over, making sure to double the material, and started to cut out the shape I wanted. Once done, I pinned it together, and sewed it by hand.  Yes, I said by hand; that’s because I was too lazy to clear off my old singer sewing machine cabinet to access my sewing machine.   Bulldog Man has been using it as a desk for his computer which is tied to his ham radio; truthfully, I didn’t want to disturb my husband’s stuff, because he had it setup just the way he left it the night before. 
Here’s what the new handmade clothes pin holder looks like, a quick and easy project complete :-)

Ever get annoyed trying to find a coaster to put your drink down on a table?  Well I have, more than once!  Each and every time I go to look for a coaster, there’s none available. 

We had two complete sets of beautiful hand painted clay coasters.

In the move to Oklahoma several of these coasters went missing or were broken.   Instead of buying coasters, I decided to make some out of our son, Tank’s old jeans.

Periodically, Tank will come up to me and say “mom, I have jeans which I no longer can use because they’re too worn, or too big….do you want them?”  Of course I want them! Instead of throwing them out, I will take them apart and use what I can of them.  Now we would donate good jeans but these jeans were worn out; terrible to give to someone. 

I cleaned up each ripped out seam, using scissors to remove unwanted strings and excess material. 

I then put them aside until ready to start the rolling process. After every seam was cleaned, I heated my glue gun, and pulled out two seams to start making my coasters.

To begin the process, take one of the seams and place glue on the inside of the seam, then start to roll the seam up like you would a cinnamon roll.  

Continue this process until you no longer have a seam to roll.  Now add another seam to the rolled seam, make sure the ends are against one another, and repeat the process making a large coaster. 

Once the glue dries, you have a coaster to place your hot or cold drink on.  The coasters come in handy, because they absorb any liquid your cup leaves behind. 

Flowers and Critters………

My sunflowers have started to show their flowers.  As you can see this bee is really enjoying the pollen found on this flower.

Here’s one of my flower beds at the front of the house with gorgeous Zinnia’s growing like crazy.

While working on another upcoming project, which I will share with you very soon, this dragon fly decided to hang near me on one of my clothes lines. 

Finally, I wanted to share a picture of Beans looking at me as if to say, “I wasn’t anywhere near the bird mom………trust me!!!!”  As one can see, there’s a parakeet feather on his nose. Do you believe he wasn’t anywhere near the bird?


  1. I don't know what i love most in this post. The veggies are looking delish! Beans is adorable, in that guilty sort of way dogs have of looking, ha, and your homemade stuff is awesome. I am in love with the jeans coasters. I so what to do that. And dang if I didn't JUST throw away a really worn out pair (like you said about yours, these were too worn out to donate). I am so going to start saving them (2nd Man will think I've lost my mind, ha). Stay cool!!

    1. 1st Man,
      Thank you those veggies were canned up immediately, waiting on more to can. I want a good stash of food in the pantry this year. That may not happen because of all that rain we received which in turn destroyed a lot in my garden.

      The jean coasters were really easy to make, and 1st Man they absorb any liquid which comes off of your glass. This is why I love them so much!!! I hate picking up a glass and wearing the moisture off the glass when you go to take a drink from it.

      Save those jeans!!! Stay cool down there :-)

  2. LOL is the parakeet still alive?

    You should coat that new clothes pin holder in melted beeswax it makes it last longer. I have a couple of local women who make them and get my wax to coat them with.

    We got Zucs and Squash and I still have a few hardy Maters that survived but not much made it through the rains and the brain surgery stay this year.

    1. PP,

      Yes, the parakeet is still alive.......a bit nervous though.......but alive :)

      Great idea PP on the wax, I know I have some around the house....once I find the clear wax, I'll do that. Now where the heck did I put the clear wax?

      The weather really hit many people with gardens destroying plants, and I do understand the surgery part because BDM had surgery too. Next year will be better for both of us, hang in there my friend :-)

  3. Your zinnias are gorgeous! Always loved those.
    As for the coasters, great idea---though I think I would go batty putting those together. Might be a great project for a rainy days for kids---keep em out of momma's hair-LOL!

    1. Sue,

      Thank you, I plant Zinnias every year. I love the multicolored ones. These flowers always attract the bees and butterflies.

      The coasters were very easy to make, just be careful you don't burn your fingers on the heated glue. I had them made in a real short time, and it was raining outside. The project just took a little bit of patience, and I'm not a real patient person, LOL!!!!

  4. Oh look at Beans he does look a bit guilty:) Oh you are one clever busy later. Keep it up. Hug B

    1. Buttons,

      Oh yes, he's guilty!!!! Thanks Sweetie, I'm always busy here :-)

  5. You sure do put together interesting posts! I enjoy them all. How will you use your onion marmalade? As a condiment with meats? It's never more apparent how often I use my oven than when it's too warm (mostly humid for us this summer!) to turn it on. Yes, a fruit dessert baking always smells wonderful. The fabric you used for your new clothespin bag? I have the same piece and have used it in parts of several baby quilts. So cheery! Your zinnias are lovely. I always plant them for indoor bouquets but this year I'll be lucky to see blooms before a frost hits. I planted so many flowers this year that just aren't going to make it. Finally found one little green tomato on my cherry tomato plants. Those may be scarce this year, too! As for Beans . . . you've heard about the cat that ate the canary? :o}

    1. Mama Pea,
      Thank you, sometime I believe I'm all over the page when typing a post. I always wonder if my blogger friends think I'm crazy, LOL......

      I will use the onion marmalade two ways. One way will be over a brick of cream cheese served with crackers as an appetizer. The other way, I will take a jar or two and coat a roast and bake it off. You can use this marmalade so many ways. Even just on bread!

      I love fruit dessert because they're naturally sweet, and easy to make. My favorite is homemade ricotta cheese with fresh berries over the top and some honey drizzled. Makes for a great dessert, and delicious breakfast.

      How cool is that, we both have the same fabric. I actually bought this piece of fabric at a garage/estate sale last year and just stashed it to eventually use. I love the pattern, and it is cheery.

      I'm a Zinnia lover, every year I must plant them :P
      Don't give up on your flowers, they may just surprise you before you 1st frost.
      All that rain, and strange weather has affected gardens across this country.
      I'm hoping you get more tomatoes, and a healthy harvest. My Sunrise Bumblebee tomatoes just keep on producing like crazy. The other tomato plants have blossoms every where but haven't provided tomatoes. I have one large tomato sitting in the middle of on plant, and it's just starting to turn color......but there's no more.

      Yes, I have heard of the cat who ate the canary, lol.......
      Beans didn't eat the bird, he's very inquisitive though and wants to get right up next to the cage. The bird doesn't like that one bit, she keeps flying in the cage. I try to keep him away because he's going to scare he to death.

  6. Great ideas for clothes pin holders and coasters, Sandy. Thank you! BDM's area with computer and ham radios sounds like Frank. He has everything right where he wants them too, just not on my sewing machine. (-:


    1. Fern, and Frank,

      Thanks Fern. I needed something to replace the rotted clothes pin holder, and I refuse to drive into town and buy one when I can make it. As for the coasters, I desperately needed them, my tables were getting destroyed by rings from our glasses.

      Both our men have electronic communication resources setup to use when needed or when they just want to piddle and we don't want to disturb them. Fern, I'm going to have to break down and make or find an inexpensive table on craigslist just for BD Mans radio stuff so I can use my sewing machine.

  7. I absolutely love those coasters & your clothes pin bag! The Zinnias & Sunflowers are beautiful too. I had a dragon fly hanging around me while I was watering trees last weekend. Is that good or bad luck?

    1. DFW,

      Thank you, the coasters and clothes pin bag came out pretty good I thought.
      My favorite two type of flowers are Zinnias and Sunflowers. I believe a dragon fly brings good luck. After reading up on dragon flies, I've learn when they fly around you it means spiritually it's time for a change. Maybe were expecting a big change in our lives, or it maybe telling us to start to make changes ourselves.

  8. Waste not, want not. You have always had a flair for making useful things out of what you had to hand. That's a good skill.

    With all the food you put away, your family will be able to last out a long time if things go bad. I can't can food, so I will have to make an expedition to the scratch and dint grocery store in North Carolina here before long and replace all the food I have eaten up while my wife was in the North visiting our kids.

    1. Harry,

      Amen my friend!!! Both BD Man and myself try not to waste things at all. We try to re-purpose, or recycle when we can.

      You just never know when a natural disaster will occur, or when the SHTF. BD Man and I have always prepared based on our up bringing, and past training with our employment. Every year we plant a garden, some years the garden provides all kinds of food, and other years, like this year it provides the minimum because of weather. Our goal with planting a garden is to can, freeze, or dehydrate our vegetables, and fruits to learn to survive on them throughout the year. Granted we also go to the store, and stock up on canned and boxed goods (only those we use) to supplement with our canned and frozen goods. Making an expedition to the scratch and dent grocery store to prepare is a good thing. They're people who don't grow gardens, or don't know how. They purchase food at the store and make sure to have enough prepared foods to take care of their family. There's nothing wrong with buying your food. You're preparing, that's what counts!!! Now hurry up and go to the grocery store before your sweet wife comes home and realizes you at up her stash food :-)
      Hugs to you and your sweet wife,

  9. I can't get caught up. I need a hard worker like you for a few weeks. I will feed you but can only pay you by taking you fishing.

    I love all your ideas. I think I'm gonna try those coasters!

    1. Gail,

      It's really hard to get caught up when you have a homestead or farm to constantly maintain. You know if I could, I would come over that way and help you without I would love to go fishing :-)
      There's always something going on here or down south dealing with a sick parent otherwise I would be there helping.

      Thank you, you'll enjoy making those coasters they're easy to make and they absorb the moisture from your glass.

  10. Those coasters are brilliant! I don't know - I think Beans is innocent. How could you not trust such a sweet face? I'm hoping that I get some red onions this year, but all my onions did very poorly. There's always next year, right?

    1. Susan,
      I thought so too! The coasters catch all the water that comes off of your glass too.
      Yes, Beans is always innocent :-)
      He always has that sweet little face. We really lucked out when we rescued this dog, he is just amazing. I wish I lived closer, I will give you some of my onions. Susan, this is the first year I ordered my onion slips from Dixondale Farms, a company recommended from another blogger friend, Sandy over at the Texan blog. I'm very impressed with my onion harvest even with all the rain, and flooding we had. I will order from this company again, I highly recommend them. Here's there site:

  11. That was sure a creative way to make coasters, Sandy! I like it.
    Your jam sure looks yummy and pretty to boot.
    Did you make up your clothespin bag pattern or copy your old one?
    I have a cheap one and would like to replace it.

    1. Kimberly,

      Thank you, I remember seeing these type of coasters when I went to a country fair. They were making them on the spot, and charging $10.00 for 4 coasters. I watched how they made them, and made a mental note for making them in the future. Then when I realized we had no more coasters to use for my iced tea, I remembered the coasters made at the fair, and decided I know what I'm going to do with those old jeans of my sons. I was going to make coasters. The coasters were really easy to make, you just need jeans, and a glue gun.

      The jam is really good, it's a great recipe from Canning Homemade! Sustainable Living and Preserving the Future! blog The recipe is called Canning Red Onions – A Marmalade!

      I didn't make a pattern when making my clothespin bag. I looked at the old one, and didn't want the same style. I wanted a bag with a lower front, instead of having the opening all one size like my old one. I took 1 yard of material bought at a yard sale last year. Folded the material in half, then I doubled it, when I got it approximately the size I wanted, I then cut off the rest. Then I took my pins, and pinned it to the shape I wanted, then since my sewing machine was loaded down with my husbands equipment. I decided to sew the bag by hand. I sewed the bottom, and side because I used the fold on one side. When it came to the top, I made sure the front sat lower, making it easier to put your hand in to get the clips. The back was taller, I folded a hem at the top of the back piece, clipped a hole at the top of the fold to work the hanger inside. Before working the hanger inside, I cut the hanger to size, fed it into the hole on the back side panel, folded over the material making a hem, and then sewed in the hanger. It's easy to do, just by sight. I know you can make one by sight yourself.

  12. sweet Gurl - where do i even start??? you've been a very busy bee - i am super impressed!

    i would love to try your onion marmalade...on toast...or a bagel....or with cream cheese and honey! it looks deelish! also your crumble - yummeh! you have been keeping yourself soo busy with your gorgeous new clothes pin bag and those wicked coasters - again, i am impressed! your zinnias and sunflowers are beautiful and i am sure that the local bees are loving them.

    as for Little Beans...he's guilty but he's too cute for a guilty verdict to stick - bahahah!

    you sure have been keeping yourself busy, Sweet Sandy - thank you for sharing all that you have been up to. jam says to get yer butts up here so that he can take you guys fishing...and we both send love and hugs! much, much love and many hugs! your friend,

    1. Swee Kymber,

      Why thank you my friend :P

      The marmalade is so easy to make, you should try making it. I know you'll like the recipe. You can even put this marmalade over your meat before roasting or grilling it. When making a crumble you can use any fruit and it's delicious as far as I'm concerned :-)

      Kymber, you know were always busy here, as you are up there. Never a dull moment. The bee's are every where here with all the flowers around.

      Beans is a ham, he has this innocent but guilty face you just want to hug. It's hard to not to love him.

      I know we need to get our butts up that away to go fishing, and one day we will.

      Count down until your get your sweet little puppy!!!!

      Sending hugs and love to you both.

  13. Sandy, sounds like your garden is much more productive than mine, especially the tomatoes. I love the beautiful produce sidebar pictures.

    That dog is guilty!

    1. Glenda,

      Hey there girl! I bet both our gardens are producing all kinds of delicious vegetables. This side bar picture (you mean the background picture?) if that's what you're talking about you can get this one too for your blog. It's under the formatting section of blogger. They have several pictures you can use for your blog background, free.

      Yes, he's a guilty stinker!!!

  14. I was thinking about making one of those pin hangers the other day when I was hanging out my laundry. I have a barrel right now that they live in and I just grab a handful to put in basket of clothes. I am afraid if I leave this bag out there that the spiders will find it!
    Simple marvelous little coasters! Have supplies will make! LOL!

  15. Sandy, wow, you've been productive! The red onion marmalade sounds intriguing. Our tomatoes are just coming on and happily we got some rain yesterday so everything in the garden looks happy! Love the clothes pin holder. I had the same thing happen and saved it somewhere. I should make one too.