Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Well I had another post, but it went away

So you're stuck with this one(smile).  So how's everyone today?  It is a glorious morning with clear blue skies and gonna be up to around 80 today.  Yours truly has been out already this morning watering my garden in my housecoat.  Yea we southern folks are crazy that way.  Anyway, I had another post all excited about how my garden was finally in, but apparently the computer knew it wasn't really and so lost my post.  By "not in really" I mean I discovered this morning I am going to have to replant some beans.  Thats all.  It will take me just a few minutes to stick them in the ground.  Then the garden will be in.  As soon as we get a new memory card for our camera, I will take a pic and post it.  I had planted 66 tomato plants in my garden this year and was hopeful that the other 52 plants would survive transplanting so I could sell them.  Alas, not all survived.  The ones that did survive will more than likely go back into the garden because there isn't enough to make it worth my while to sell.  Instead I will plan to sell the produce from the extra plants.  The good news is that I have about 5 or 6 more blueberry babies.  I will cut these away from their mama and let them stay in her shadow until fall.  In the fall they will get moved to their own spot.  That will give me a total of 14 blueberry bushes.  Once they are all producing I will be selling blueberries as well. 

Oh!  And I am announcing here today the future sound of the pitter pattering of little feet.  No I am not expecting( Heaven forbid!).  We are getting chickens!  Finally!  We have a great couple at church, who we get eggs from right now, and they are gonna get us started with four little ones.  We have worked out housing.  It is just a matter of getting it done.  4 hens should give us about 8 dz eggs a month.  Also we will have the benefit of chicken manure and pest control for the garden.

So on the docket today is 1) planting the bean seeds 2) grinding wheat to make flour 3) trying a new batch of no knead bread ( i'll let you know how it turns out), and hopefully sew.  Other than that, not much else.
Have a great day!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Brace yourself. I may go on a tangent...you were warned.

Heirloom seeds.  They are aaall the rage.  I don't see it.  Seriously.  I really don't.  I understand the concept, but here are the holes I see:

1)  If, I choose to use Heirloom seeds, but my neighbor does not, my more expensive seeds can be cross pollinated with my neighbors non heirloom variety.  Know why?  Wind and bees don't know the difference.  So then my heirloom seeds are no longer heirloom.  See?

2)  I have heard over and over at nausium that the only seeds you can successfully save from year to year are heirloom.  Tell that to my watermelons, marigolds, potatoes, peanuts, lima beans and now spaggetti squash.  How did I end up with spaggetti squash, you may ask (probably not, but I can dream can't I ).  A friend of mine from church (Jimmy) gave me an over grown spaggetti squash last year.  I was going to harvest seeds from it, but couldn't get to it and so just chucked it into the garden.  Fast forward to today (and you'll get the reason for this post) and I find 5 spaggetti squash plants in my garden.  Anyway, so what if the germination rate is less (I haven't noticed a difference, but it is an argument they make) than heirlooms.  I get so many seeds I could plant a huge amount to make up for it and still spend less money than I would planting Heirlooms.

3) The non heirloom seeds are greated in such a way as to breed in disease resistance.  I have to have the tomato seeds bred to resist wilt.  Heirlooms would not last in my soil. 

To me, and this is just my opinion, the seed producers in the country have discovered a greatway to get you to part with more of your money in the effort to be organic, all natural etc; Heirloom seeds.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Okay, now we are making some gardening progress. Beam me up Scotty

Woohoo!  Okay.  The bad news, for me, is I lost 4 brocolli plants from ants #$$^&(%&^.  But!  The beets are happy.  My lima plants are finally getting bigger as well as everything else.  Just about every single tomato seed I planted has germinated and is up.  I have at least 60 plants now not counting the ones I bought.  In addition to that, though I have planted not one peanut, watermelon, or potato, I have 6 watermelon plants, 13 peanut plants, and 10 potato plants volunteering to grow.  Everything is planted that I can plant except corn  I still need to get that ground turned under to plant corn.  Blueberry bushes are covered, blackberry bushes are getting ready to bloom, and I have little baby peaches.  The problem with the peaches is there is a bird who has built thier nest for baby birds in my peach tree.  I can't decide if I should still spray again or just hope for the best and wait til birdie mama is done.  The herbs are flourishing.  I have already cut some to dry on my new (to me) rack.  I bought this as a dusty rusty thing at an antique store for $5.  This is what I became after cleaning and covering with 2 coats of clear polyurethane.

The color is the natural wood color.  No stain.  The pic is a little off, but then again so am I.  LOL. 

Today we are off to see the new Star Trek movie(Yay).  In celebration of the newest release, and because we are unashamed trekkies, we(Dh, myself, Einstein, and Rubic)all settled in over the past week and watched all of the Star Trek movies to rate them from Worst to Best.  Here is my list:

1) Wrath of Kahn- could do without the bug in the ears.  YUCK!
2) Search for Spock(gotta have the 1st before the second so they go together.  See)
3)Star Trek (2009)- although I am a little bothered about a Spock that would be influenced by his lady friend.
4) Voyage home-I liked the crew interaction and the phrase "Doc gave me a pill and I grew a new Kidney!"
5) First Contact
6) Undiscovered country
7) Insurrestion-the Pioneering side showing.  Rubic hates this one
8) Generations
10) Final Frontier
11) Star Trek the motion picture.

So now that I have my Geek on, I am going to get ready for the movie!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I come by my tendencys...naturally

My dad has been bitten by thje blogging bug.  If you want to know how I am the way I am, just click on this link http://oldibmce.blogspot.com/.  You can read about our adventures and my "raising" along with a little political commentary.  Enjoy.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Spice of Life! (make your own recipes)

Good morning everyone!  It is a glorious spring morning and in just a bit I will be outside playing in the dirt.  But until that time, I wanted to share a post I thought of this morning....

Okay, show of hands (and be honest), who here buys cinnamin sugar in the spice section of the grocery store...come on, you know who you are; Taco seasoning?  Season Salt?  Chocolate syrup?  Well after todays post you will never have to purchase those items again.  Make your own!  And it is sooooo easy!

Taco Seasoning

1/3 cup of onion powder (or 3/4 cup dried onion flakes)
1/2 cup chili powder
1/4 cup salt
3 TBS garlic powder
3TBS of corn starch
3 TBS cumin
1TBS-3TBS cayenne pepper (depending on how hot ya wants it)

Mix all in a bowl and store, or you can do like I do and put it all in a mason jar and shake, shake, shake. 
*** Frugal tip.  When making your tacos, use 1 lb ground beef, 1 cup black beans, and 1 can corn in place of 2 lbs ground beef.  Stretches the meat and makes a healthier taco.

Season salt

8TBS Salt
3 TBS Pepper
2 TBS Paprika
1/2 TBS Onion Powder
1/2 TBS Garlic Powder

Mix all in a bowl and store, or you can do like I do and put it all in a mason jar and shake, shake, shake.

Chocolate syrup

1 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup boiling water
1 tsp vanilla

In a sauce pan, mix the cocoa, sugar and salt well.  Add the boiling water.  Cook 5 more minutes stirring constantly.  Cool slightly.  Stir in Vanilla. 
What I will usually do, cause I am lazy and don't like washing more dishes than necessary, is;  instead of adding boiling water, I will just add hot tap water.  Stir it once really well.  I bring the whole shebang to a boil and then turn the stove off, letting the syrup cool on the burner.  Add your vanilla then and store in the fridge.  Makes about 2 cups.  *** personal tip.  This is great served with fresh strawberries for a cool healthy treat, or have fun and have chocolate milk or ice cream sundaes.

Oh and it seems I forgot to add cinnamin sugar.  Uh real easy.  1/2 cup sugar to 1- 2 TBS ground cinnamin.  Shake. 

These three little things, made by you instead of bought at the store, add significant savings to your grocery budget which can be used to buy more of the staple items on sale.  See?  There is a method to my madness.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

I love you mom,

This is my mom.

Little bitty thing ain't she.  Don't let her size fool ya.  She is my super hero and the small size is her secret identity.  My mom was a stay at home mom and raised 5 kids.  My life has been a life of Buggie boos, Mini Ha Ha Lunches, Foo Foos, and Whoop de Doo's.    My memories include my mom teaching me the proper way to wrap a blanket around my baby doll so she would be snuggly and warm.  A lesson I used when I had real babies of my own to raise.  There was a panty hose doll made from old panty hose.  She made it in about 5 minutes.  The top of the panty hose was the head.  She put a rubber band around the top, leaving some of the waist band out to make hair.  The legs or the hose became the arms and legs of the doll.  She was great. There were beds made on the couch if we were sick so she could care for us.  To this day if  I am sick the first thing I want is my mom.  This woman worked in a garden far larger than mine could ever think of being, and a lot of time it was alone.  We kids hated working in the garden.  Ironic huh.  When we first moved to the country, our house wasn't finished so we lived in our pop up camper for about 6 weeks until the house was "dried in".  She canned and made Jelly on a coleman camp stove!  She was the kisser of boo boos, nurse, cook, maid, gardener.  She was the voice on the line when I needed advice, or just to hear her voice.  You know boo boos change as you get older.  They become more internal than external.  She is my rock, my life line. 

Mom, I can nver tell you enough how much I love you.  I am the most privalaged of children in that I got to be your daughter.  You are the reason I am who I am.  So mom, Happy Mothers day!  I love you!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Finally finished! Well at least that one.

I finally finished the gown and bonnet for my moms doll.  Here is the final pic.

I made this as a gift for my mom, but this is something I enjoy and so will also accept orders to make clothes for other people's dolls.  This dress and bonnet will go for $30 all total.  I will be posting pics of other basic outfits in a few weeks that will be alot cheaper.  Just FYI.  Here are some examples of other work I have done.  In case you are wondering the doll below is the same doll as above.  This doll was reconditioned  by me as a Christmas gift for my mom.  She needed a new outfit in a different color so Voila! enter new dress.


The little doll in the yellow dress is my baby doll from my childhood.  She looks pretty good for being 41years old.  The dress isn't her original.  In fact I believe she came in only a diaper.  This is another example of my work.  Hey, I have to toot my own horn if I want to do this as a side business.

In other news, I can say my strongest crops this year so far are my blueberry bushes, beets, herbs, and my spinach.  I have to say though, I had to replant the spinach in a window box on my deck.  For some reason they didn't come up in the raised bed.  The tomato seeds(at least 40 little babies) and onion seeds ALL came up due to the large amount of rain we have had.  I am thinking I will be potting these guys and selling off some of them; the tomatoes that is.   I have no room for all of the tomatoes.  I bought seedlings( 16 plants) as well in order to make sure I had tomatos this year.  I was afraid if I relied only on tomato seeds, I might end up with no tomatoes.  That is not an option.  I will be out of tomato sauce soon, so need to make sure I am able to make more.   Anyway, because of that I will have too many tomato plants.  So maybe I can recoup some of the cost of my tomato seedlings.  On the negative side of rain, about 8 of my tomato plants (purchased) had to be moved because the area I had them planted got flooded.  Poor things looked so pitiful.  I moved them yesterday and am hoping they bounce back now that they can breathe!  Lol.  I am going to have to put a raised bed in that area to keep the plants out of standing water.  I still need to move my squash plants.  They are not happy where they are.  Not sure why.  I am getting little to no growth and instead of lush green, the leaves are a greenish yellow.  It is risky moving squash plants.  They do not like to be moved, but I think where they are is too wet, so I have no choice.  I always tell my plants that have to move "I am giving you the only chance you have, what you do with it is up to you".  After that, it is all on them.  If you ever have to move a plant, try and do it  on a cloudy day or in the evening.  That way the plant can get its roots situated before the sun comes up again.  It is also a good idea to keep the newly moved plant covered with straw for a few days to block full sun.  It helps it adjust without all the transplant shock.  Not a lot of straw, just enough to protect it from the sun. 

Chance of rain today, so will probably be inside in the kitchen.  I need to make bread and a goodie to take to church tomorrow.  I also want to make some granola.  If I get a chance, I am going to try and do some doll clothes sewing.  So far I have two outfits ready to sell; a little bunting and bonnet set, and a little pair of jeans with a little pink summer top to match.  They are so cute!  Once I get a few more outfits, I will post them on here for those who may wish buy them.  

So my coffee cup is emptyand I hear my Dh stirring around.  It is Saturday morning and so we will  drink coffee, eat breakfast, and be lazy for a bit. Then it will be time to get started on my day.  You guys have a great day!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Store bought wheat bread can not compare...at all

Yesterday was the first day I got to use freshly ground wheat flour for bread making.  I was needing to finish up the flour I had already bought at the store.  I am amazed at how different the texture and taste is compared to the store bought wheat flour. 
Now there are two differnt types of wheat berries, hard and soft.  Soft wheat or spring wheat is the kind you use to make whole wheat pastry flour for things like cakes, cookie, etc.  Hard or winter wheat is what is used to make flour for any type of yeast bread. Hard wheat comes in either red or white.  The red makes a darker,  more dense loaf, and the white makes a lighter loaf.  The flour you buy at the store, unless specified otherwise, is red.  Now it was good, but I needed to mix half regular flour and half whole wheat flour to get the right lift in my bread.  Yesterday I tried the white for the first time.   It is the best of both worlds.  You get the texture of bread made with regular bread flour, but the benefits of the whole grain.  Plus the taste is wonderful. 
I still used the half/half ratio of flour because I wasn't sure what it would do, but my next batch will definately be 100% whole wheat flour.  I already use 100% whole wheat(pastry flour) when making my cookies and such.  This should not be a big stretch. 
Those in my area who want to have the benefits of fresh ground flour, but don't have a grain mill, Nora Mill is where I get my wheat berries.  They run the mill on Saturdays til noon.  You can request something fresh ground I am sure.  I get my wheat germ there as well.  Some stuff is more in cost, but not the wheat germ and not the wheat berries I buy.  I get them by the 50lb bag.  For those of you not in my area, do some research to see if there is a granary or mill in your area.  Mean while you can do like I did and troll thrift and antique stores to see if you might happen on a grain mill for your home.  It is so worth it.