Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Product Recommendation - Navy Bean Soup - Vanilla Extract - Spoiled Pets



Yaktrax, have you heard of them? I swear by them when walking on ice and snow. This handy little device is made with steel coils, and easy to use polyelastomer material making it easy to slip onto any shoe or boot. I’m here to tell you, they’re great for walking with more confidence on the ice and snow.  I picked up a pair of Yaktrax, 2 years ago, and finally wore them out.  Today, I drove into town to go to our local sporting goods store, and bought myself another pair.  For under $20.00, I can walk to my truck with the traction, or anywhere, and not have fear of falling down.  Please check out Yaktrax website here for several available options. 


With our left over ham pieces and bone, I made Navy Bean Soup.  This was dinner tonight. In a pot of water, I threw my left over ham bone, small ham pieces, 2 carrots chopped, 1 celery stalk chopped, ½ chopped onion, ¼ cup of chopped parsley, 1 teaspoon of thyme, 2 bay leafs, salt and pepper to taste, and 3 to 4 cans of navy beans (rinsed).  Most people would use cream as a broth, I prefer a clear broth. 


Because I use a lot of vanilla extract throughout the year, I’ve decided to attempt to create my own.  The process seems pretty easy.  The items required to make vanilla extract:
       1 bottle of vodka (you can use vodka, rum, brandy or bourbon)

                                   Several fresh vanilla beans
                                   Several clean bottles with caps

Split bean down middle

Split the vanilla bean down the middle, scraping briefly, place the entire bean in a clean bottle with any particles from the bean, fill the bottle with vodka (not all the way to the top). 
Place split bean in bottle
Add vodka
Seal the lid, let the bean steep, shake briefly daily, and place the bottle in a dark, cool, cabinet.    After a 3 month period, you have fresh vanilla extract.  This extract can be used for baking, or given as a gift.
Seal lid, shake briefly, place in dark cool cabinet

After standing by the stove and oven while I cooked our Christmas dinner, both of our dogs got tired of waiting for me to give them a little treat. 
This is Bug, she got tired of waiting (she thinks you can't see her)

This is Beans, he got tired of waiting for a treat

Are your family pets as spoiled as mine?

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Share Christmas Decorations

Here are two pictures I wanted to share with you from Harris Methodist Hospital in Ft Worth, Texas.  The entire lobby was decorated with flying doves and white lights, a beautifully decorated fireplace, and a Christmas tree.  This hospital made it feel like home for everyone, staff, patients, and family members.


Saturday, December 22, 2012



Welcome - Join - Thank You

I wanted to take this opportunity to welcome Cottage Dreaming and Flea Market Wishes and BK.  Thank you for joining my blog. I'm glad to have you following my blog, please sit back and enjoy the ride.


Picture: Stanford.EDU


Thursday, December 20, 2012

I'm Back Briefly

Hi blogger friends, I just wanted to say thank you for your prayers, and wishes for my Dad.  Dad had his surgery Monday; we’re waiting on pathology to come back with the identification of where the cancer originated, along with the type.  Last night he was transported by ambulance to a spine and brain rehabilitative hospital for physical therapy.  I’m home briefly, and then I will return to help Dad.  My plan is to update my blog, and welcome several new bloggers in the next couple of days. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Medical Update

I apologize  for the short post.  I just wanted to let all my blogger friends know my family appreciates all your kind words, and prayers for my Dad.  He's in the hospital now.  The doctors are in the process of controlling his pain, and trying to get him ready for surgery on his spine, Monday.  Dad has cancer, the doctors are not sure which type their  dealing with, they've named 3 different types.  After the surgery there will be additional medical procedures required. 

I hope to be back soon with better news.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Family Medical

Monday, December 10, 2012

Welcome - Join - Thank You

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


Pic Source:

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Weekend - Surgery - Rum Balls

Friday was an extremely busy day paying bills, running errands, going to the health food store in town to pick up ingredients for my next project, and putting the garden beds to sleep for the winter.
Picture of some of the garden beds

Saturday, we all were up early and at the hospital first thing in the morning for our son, Tank’s, second surgery on his hand.  The doctors removed all the hardware from his hand and stated his hand looks really good; however, the doctor has restricted the use of this hand.  Over the next several months, Tank will need to continue to visit the doctor for follow up.   I want to thank everyone for their prayers and warm wishes for a speedy recovery for our son.

This evening, I made Rum Balls to place in cookie tins for sending out for Christmas.  OMG, these Rum Balls are delicious…………………. And very easy to make, I got the recipe here from Tidy Mom.                  
Easy to make and delicious!

Store air tight container for a couple of days
to develop the flavor.


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Winner Announced!!!!!

A big CONGRATULATIONS goes out to Country Life!!!!!

Country Life was selected the winner of Rayovac Brilliant Solutions LED Flashlight. Thank you to everyone who entered The Rayovac Brilliant Solutions LED Flashlight giveaway. The winner has been notified and has until Thursday, December 13th, to respond to me with a mailing address. If the winner does not respond by December 13th; I will have no choice but to select another winner.  

My e-mail address is:


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Join - Welcome - Thank You and Give - Away

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


Remember to register for the Rayovac Flashlight Give - Away here.

Join - Welcome - Thank You & Give - Away

Picture Source:
I wanted to take this opportunity to welcome Kelly. Thank you for joining my blog. Hey Blogger friends, check out this blog, Happy Hollow Homestead you won’t be disappointed.  Glad to have you following my blog, please sit back and enjoy the ride.
Remember to register for the Rayovac Flashlight Give - Away here.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Give - Away

Solar / Crank Flashlight

By Rayovac Brilliant Solutions


This flashlight is great for emergencies; auto and outdoors!

Dual powered: Solar and Manual powered crank,

Environmentally friendly, no batteries required.

3 Super bright LED’s never need replacing.

Compact and lightweight!


Entries must be received by Friday, December 7, 2012. The drawing will be held on Saturday, December 8, 2012 in the evening. All entries will be placed in a box.  The winner’s name will be picked by Bulldog Man in the evening on Saturday. If your name is picked as the winner, I will post your first name on my blog site and send you a direct e-mail. You will have 4 business days to respond to my e-mail notification. If there is no response, your entry will be null (void), and another entry will be pulled by computer.

How to Enter

To enter this give-away, just answer the question below in the Comments section of this post:

If you were to lose electric what type of lighting source(s)do you have?


Monday, December 3, 2012

Bones and Salve

Good bye turkey bones, hello turkey broth.  I gathered all the ingredients together to make turkey broth, and threw them in a soup pot, letting them cook for 6 hours.  Before filling my Ball quart jars, I e-mailed Patrice Lewis over at the Rural Revolution blog to get clarification on a few questions I had about canning broth.  After receiving advice from Patrice, I was satisfied and no longer worried about filling all of my jars with the turkey broth, even though I only had room for 7 quart jars in the pressure canner.  If you ever have questions about canning, or you’re nervous, please stop by Patrice’s blog for advice.  Patrice published a series of E-Books on canning (water bath and pressure canning), moving to the country, and creating a home craft business.   These E-Books are reasonably priced and make for great reference material. 


I’m a person that has extremely dry skin; this runs in the family.  I figured; let me try making a salve for dry skin.  This could even be something to potentially give out as a Christmas gift.  So, I figured let me mess around in the kitchen with a few ingredients and see what I come up with.    Here is what I’ve come up with; a salve that feels good, moistens my dry skin, and smells wonderful.
 Grab yourself a sauce pan, poor 1 cup of carrier oil in the pot (olive oil, almond oil, or sesame oil).  Heat, don’t let boil.  Remove from burner and place a cup of buds, blossoms, petals or leaves (such as dried rose petals, dried lavender buds, calendula blossoms, cilantro, and mint) in the heated oil.  Let the oil and buds, blossoms, or whatever you’ve chosen, sit in the sauce pan for approximately 1 hour.  After the hour, strain the oil with cheese cloth or a coffee filter (whatever you have on hand) into a bowl.  Add 1 ½ tablespoons of shredded beeswax, ¼ cup of Shea butter and 10 - 13 drops of essential oil (lavender, vanilla, rose, pine, or whatever oil you like).  Heat the oil mixture briefly until all products are mixed well and completely liquid.  Remove from burner and pour into a container with a wide mouth and a lid for closing later.  Allow the product to cool and turn somewhat solid (note, this salve doesn’t harden completely, like other salves, because you want to be able to rub it in to the dry skin).  If you would like the salve harder, heat and add more beeswax. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Ever Changing Faces of the Moon

Last night’s moon, pictures are a little blurry, we had unbelievable winds last night.