Saturday, January 26, 2013

And here I was thinking I would have nothing to talk about!

Hello to everyone!  Well first and formost I must say the applesauce bread made with 100% fresh ground wheat was amazing.  Need to cut the sugar back a bit in the recipe.  It was almost like cake, but ya know "hey twist my arm i'll eat the sweet bread".  Yea right!  The whole wheat bread turned out equally well.  It rose about the same and the texture is a little softer.  The only difference is I use a little less flour.  So!  I will continue to do it the right way.

So anyway, I woke up this morning about 6 ish and my mind started wandering(it does that alot), thinking about the garden, the wood pile, outside thingys.  I have to say I make the vast majority of my plans lying in my bed in the middle of the night or early morning.  Just weird that way I guess.  Anyhoo, I finally decide to get up about 7 and make coffee. I am walking into my dark kitchen,across my smooth "swiftlock" floors and suddenly the soft pitter pat of my feet on the floor becomes a louder splat,splat splat as I realize I am in standing water!  I go from being half asleep and lazy to crazy mode.  I switch on the kitchen light and see a good sized puddle around my sink cabinet.  Real quick I grab towels and begin drying the floor, grumbling the whole time.  I don't see any floor damage.  I open the cabinet doors and proceed to pull everything out.  Not just cleaning bottles,no not me.  All of my canning pots, the blancher, my roasting pan, juicer,4 gallons of lamp oil, my camp stove, 4 propane tanks for the camp stove, candle making equipment, the fire extinquisher, and other various small assorted things are now pulled out in my kitchen covering every counter.  Breakfast making will be very interesting. I dried everything up and have a box fan in the cabinet helping to dry things out a bit faster.  The long and the short of it is my sink is leaking.  I know you guys are highly intelligent (otherwise why would you be reading my blog), so I know you already figured that out. I just thought I would state the obvious.  I would love to see myself as the Rosie the Riviter lady and grab a wrench and fix the stupid thing, but nope!  Not so  much.  I will call Mike and get him to come fix it.  He is already coming out to fix the faucet.  I will stick to baking, sewing, gardening and other domestic things.  I will save the home maintenence to people I pay.  Makes us happier.   The closest my Knight in shining armour and I  come to divorce is during "do it yourself" repairs.  So this is in an attempt to keep our marriage on an even keel.  The sacrifices I make.  Lol.  So now I am off to finally make coffee.  Don't really need it now!  But I want it.  Yall have a great day!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Huh! Learn something new everyday!

In fact.....I learned two things today.  First thing is that I needed to run my flour through my grain mill one more time and it would be fine(pun intended).  I have just made two loaves of applesauce bread that are 100% whole wheat.  I had some unsweetened applesauce I needed to use up.  CHECK!  The second thing I learned is to wait a total of 5 minutes to proof my yeast for my breads.  I haven't been doing the whole 5 min.  I would put the yeast in and it would bubble but then sink to the bottom of the mixing bowl.  Today I waited and then the coolest  thing happened.  There were lots of little bursts of yeast as the yeast was really activated.  I only thought it bubbled before.  It was down right foamy after I let it sit the whole 5 min.  I will see if it changes the quality of the bread.  But!  Now I have two loaves of bread rising to bake.  So my whole house has a sweet smell and soon a yeasty bread smell.  Mmmmmmm  yummy!

Full disclosure here....I will probably never be a sz 8.  It is just too much fun baking! 

So now that my baking is done for the week, my plan is to get outside tomorrow and spray my fruit trees, and burn some yard debris.  Rubbing my hands together gleefully in anticipation of the garden to come.  Its a clean slate so to speak.  A new chance to do it right this time; plant the right things, spray when I need to, fertilize the right time. etc.  Plus it is soon to be time to see if my experiments paid off.  The two I am thinking about are my raised beds, and my baby blueberry bushes.   I moved two little baby bushes this past fall out from their mamas protective shadow and in to their own place.  One of them seems to be doing well.  Haven't really had a chance to check the other one.  Also last fall I dug up some beds, setting the dirt to the side and filled the hole with garden debris(weeds, dead plants, etc), liberally sprinkled fertilizer over the debris, topped it with the set aside dirt, then covered the whole shibang with black plastic to a)kill off any weeds there, and b) it warms up the ground allowing the garden debris to breakdown(hopefully).  We will see how it does.  Won't be long now! 

Okay, so for lack of anything else interesting to say, I will say I actually havea kinda sorta menu planned for the next three days.  It isbasedon the realization that I haveitems to use up.  Good thing to do.  Waste not want not.  I have some bread loaf ends that I need to use up so tonight is meatloaf night!  For tomorrow I  roast and corn meal to use up so it is spicy beef and beans and corn bread for dinner tomorrow night.  Wednesday is church and some italian tomatoe sauce so spaggetti is on the menu.  After that I have no idea what I am doing.  It is impressive that I have three days planned! 

Okay, I am out of things to say so.....I know, you guys share some of your things here.  Tell me what wonderful concoctions you will come up with to use up things in your fridge.  Til then, have a great day!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Been up since 4am YUCK!

My beagle dog came and woke me up from a nice sound sleep so he could go outside.  Once awake my mind started racing thingking ofall the stuff I am wanting to do in my yard/garden this year.  Yes it is that time of year.  The seed cataloges are arriving in the mail beckoning me to put in an order.  They temp me with thoughts of lush green plants, colorful healthy veggies, and fresh, sweet fruits just  outside my door.  There should be a disclaimer that says : "warning, purchase of these items will require lots of time outdoors in the heat of summer(sharing space with mosquitos and other buggies), excessive dirt, sweat, callused hands, and hot steamy days in the kitchen as you can the results of seeds purchsed". Hmmm  maybe they wouldn't sell so much.  YA THINK!  But, aside from the work involved, there is s sense of pride when you look on your beautiful garden, and home canned veggies, eat them fresh, and bypass the canned veggie, frozen veggie, or jelly isle.  So I fall for the seed catalogues and pester the poor gardening shops on how soon they will have their stuff on the shelf.  I'm like an addict I GOTTA HAVE IT!  LOL. 
Now in order to feed my addiction, starting tomorrow Dh and I will work in the back yard, pruning my peach trees, spraying all fruit trees, and wood chippin some wood.Yay! 

So what else is going on in my life?....Eh....nothin...rain......Tee Hee!  Have a great day!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sugar free/dairy free granola..IT'S GOOD!

Have I mentioned that my Knight and I are starting a modified Daniel fast tomorrow?  No meat, no dairy, no leavened breads, but we are going to allow small amounts of raw honey, black coffee, and un-sweet tea.  With that thought in mind I experimented with a recipe for an appropriate granola for breakfast.  What I came up with was this recipe:

4 Cups Oats
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup flax seed, ground
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup raisins
2/3 cup raw honey
1 ts ground cinnamon
1 ts pure vanilla extract
dash salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a good size greased (with coconut oil)cookie sheet mix all of the dry ingredients reserving the raisins  In a small sauce pan take your honey and coconut oil and melt together.  Bring to a boil then remove from heat.  Add your vanilla to the syrup mixture.  Pour over your dry ingredients.  Mix well, using your hands when able to do so.  Spread evenly in the pan.  Bake in oven for 20 minutes, removing from oven to stir and re-spread after 10 minutes. After the 20 min, take out of the oven and stir in the raisins.  Let cool without disturbing.  Store in an air tight container.

On the update front, we have patched the tub and it should be ready for use today(Check!), so no need to pay anyone to fix that.  Definitely money saved.  We went to Lowes and found (with the help of Matt at Lowes) a shade for my recessed light in the kitchen.  Now it won't blow cold air on my head when I am cooking (Check!).  Got that info from the guy that came out to fix my leaking faucet.  My biggest news is that my Dryer started working!  I know right!  How cool is that!  My Knight was pulling the dryer out to remove the power cord and he thought to try it one more time to see if it would work.  It worked and so far so good.  So no need to buy another dryer.  What a blessing!  Now you have to know both of use have periodically tried to run the dryer on over the past weeks but to no avail.  Why it worked this time is beyond me unless you want to give credit where it is do.  THANK YOU LORD!  So needless to say I am doing lots of laundry.  Sheets, too.  Now don't let this tell you I shouldn't hang out clothes.  We have come to the realization that to hang clothes in the spring and summer saves electricity, but to dry them in the dryer in the winter actually saves on my heating bill.  So electric dryers have their season, but I can go without if needed. So I am celebrating my dryer.
So anyway, I hope you enjoy the recipe.  And hope you have a great rest of your day and until we meet again.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

First weekend off!

First weekend morning off and I am sitting on the bed with DH watching X Files.  Kind of a pre curser to Fringe for all of you Sci- Fi geeks out there, but then again if you are a Sci-Fi geek you probably already know that.  Actually if I am honest, Dh is watching X-Files.  I have my head down typing this on my lap top; both to update my blog and to avoid the weird carnage on the show.  YUCK!  I am a big fan of Fringe, but in that show the yuck is in the beginning and then the mystery is pretty much solved.  This is on going fun.  But!  I am with DH and that is all that matters.

So what is my plan besides watching some man-eating tape worm on TV?  Well, I plan today on making some bread, washing some laundry, and various other assundry things to run a house.  Nothing too exciting, but i'm here and that is all that matters.  There is a fabric store going out of business a few miles north of here.  I am thinking I might head up there to see if I can get any deals.  Money is gonna be tight over the next few months.  We have knocked one of the items off our to do list and that was putting tires on our car.  I am saving the old tires to plant potatoes.  We had a guy come out to fix the running toilet and dripping faucet and he is coming back this next week to fix the tub in the boys bathroom.  Soooo CHECK!  Once I know for sure what the Uncle Sam tab will be, I am hopeful we can get the AC fixed.  I am still in the market for a dryer.  Might have one in the works thanks to a guy at church.  So little by little things are resolving themselves.  I am pretty sure when all is said and done our emergency fund will be depleted three times over, but at least we will have had the money.  We will just start over again saving the money.  We are going to have to adjust our withholding which means we will have to change our ability to save,  but until I know what our checks will begin to look like with my pay cut, and the  resumption of the payroll tax, I don't want to make any major changes.    

So this is a pretty boring post, but it is a post none the less.  Thanks for reading,      

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Frugalmven's tip of the day err week..or when ever I think of one

Ever used one of those lint removers which are basically duct tape on a roll?  It does fine for the first swipe, but after that it doesn't do much except maybe stick to the clothes.  No this is not an infomercial, but it is an alternative that you may already have in your home.  Enter....the lowly washcloth.  You would be amazed at how a simple, dry wash cloth can remove a slew of lint.  Make sure you only use a dark colored washcloth for dark colored clothes or light for light colored.  Just in case,  ya know.  Now I can't say that this works for washclothes dried in a dryer, as my washcloths are dried on a line, but you aren't out anything if you want to give it a go.
Not much else to tell today. It is spaggetti for dinner tonight.  I did go to the "Y'.  Yay for me, but it is a daily thingand that is where I stumble.  Looking forward though to being able to go over the weekend. Did manage to stay out of the break room at work so no temptation there.
Okay, so I will see you guys later. Have great day!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

My jumpin off place

The title to this post seems as good as any.  Does this mean I am going to list resolutions?  Eh not really.  I will probably never be a sz 10.  I will never be as patient as I need to be.  My finances, though better with the wisdom of age, will always be a thorn in my side.  My house is organized on a seasonal basis.  In other words, organized periodically through the year, but never stays that way so if you want to see it you need to catch me at the right time.  So no really new resolutions will darken my door this year.  I am making changes though.  I started a new job in December and will leave my old job as of tomorrow.  The days of 12 hour weekend shifts are gone for me for now.  Instead I get 4 hour days 5 days a week and no weekends.  What a God send.  This will enable me to still help my youngest with school.  It will also keep me motivated to go back to the "Y".  It is hard to stay motivated when you know come the weekend you will do nothing but sit  and use a computer all day.  So that will help me.  I don't like starting a new job because I don't know what I am doing.  I miss the comfort of being a know-it-all.  Don't shake your head at me.  Everyone feels that way.  I am not alone.  I'm just honest.(smile)
Each year my Dh and I try the Daniel fast.  He does so much better than I do.  Last year I did a week (he did three).  I am going to try for three weeks this year.  The main reason for this fast is to draw closer to God.  I need that right now, and to me, knowing God has made possible my ability to go to church on Sundays again; I want to make sure I am dedicating this time to Him.   A side benefit of this fast is the healthy eating that, to me, seems to be a healing after a month of heavy rich food.  I don't know about you, but by the end of the holidays I have a food hangover.  I think I am not alone.  The sheer fact that people resolve, so often, to lose weight in Jan. is proof enough. 
So what does the future hold for the Frugalmaven?  Well I know, God willing, I will welcome my second grandchild into the world this summer.  We have plans  to get our last credit card paid off this year.  I am hopeful for a productive gardening/canning season, and am looking forward to sharing my knowledge and time with my daughter as she and her husband dip their toes into gardening and other self sufficiency skills.  I am looking forward to the time I get to spend with my sister to "sew".  I am looking forward to spending my birthday with my parents and my family.  I am excited that holidays like Mother's and father's day, as well as Easter are holidays I can now spend with family instead of work.  To pay for that privalege, I took a cut in pay; a pretty good sized one, so Frugalmaven will definately be pulling out her blackbelt again.  The future is in God's hands.  You know the old saying "if you ever want to make God laugh, just tell him about your plans".  God's plan for me is so much better than what I could plan for myself, and I am eager to see what that plan is. 
So!  HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!  I hope every day of 2013 is the better than the day before.