Saturday, September 27, 2014

((Sigh))...uh....I got nuthin.

Seriously folks.  I am at a loss right now as to what to write.  I have writers block on my own blog!  Mainly this is due to the change of seasons.  The gardening season is wrapping up and the Christmas season hasn't hit yet.  I have picked the last of the lima beans.  They aren't shelled yet, but I should at least get a couple of pounds of dried beans.  I will more than likely dig up the sweet potatoes on Wednesday so they can cure a little.  I found out they need  to have a couple of days at the 80 degree mark to cure.  Did not know that.  Hey this is only my second year of sweet potatoes!  According to the weather man I should only have 2 days of around 80 degrees and then we get some rain and cooler temps (Weeeeeee).  Most of my time recently has been spent putting the garden to bed for the season.  All but my cool crops which are loving the temps and are doing fine.  This is the time of year when I determine what worked and what didn't and where to change things next year.  This year, as the beds are put to sleep for the winter, I am covering them with black plastic.  This should heat the soil up to the extent that weeds and weed seeds should die.  They should break down over the winter and make really good soil come spring.  Hope. 

I have opened up what I call lovingly call the Beckner Country Store.  It is temporary; only open from September to December31st.  It isn't an actual physical store.  I am selling Cranberry Conserve, Blueberry conserve, Apple Butter, Fresh Bread, and Butter Toffee Crunch.  That is all.  I mainly sell to friends, family, co-workers, (ahem..readers).  I have had a few orders so far and am getting excited to start getting the orders filled.  Most of them are slated for Thanksgiving so I have a little bit of time to get situated.  This is fun I have to say.  So for those interested, here is the price list:

Cranberry Conserve- $5 a pint- A wonderful Hearty jam like addition to biscuits/muffins, bread, or even ice cream.  Also a great alternative to cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving dinner.   Made with whole cranberries, chopped oranges, raisins and pecans.
 Blueberry conserve- $5 a pint- Like the Cranberry conserve, this jam is a hearty addition to any breakfast, except expect the wonderful addition of lemons as well as oranges.  No nuts in this one though.
Apple Butter- $3.50 for half pint - nothing feels more like fall than to open a jar of apple butter and taste that sweet spicy spread. 
Butter Toffee Crunch- $2 for 4 oz or $8lb-  Be fore warned this stuff is addictive.  But then you can't put 1 cup of real butter in a candy and it not be.  Reminds me of Heath or score bars, but so much better.  The candy is light, melt in your mouth.  Not as brittle as peanut brittle, but has a nice crisp feel to it.  I prefer it with Walnuts, but many like pecans or no nuts at all.
Fresh Bread- $5 loaf-  100% whole wheat bread made by hand (no bread machine) and with wheat flour ground the day of baking, olive oil, and raw honey.  If you prefer I can use half wheat and half white flour. 

Hopefully my next post will be chock full off all kinds of interesting tidbits.  Not a barn burner this one, but I promise to do better next time.

Monday, September 15, 2014


Ha!  Made ya look!  The U.F.O's I speak of are not your high in the sky mystery sightings.  No these are the crafter/seemstress Unfinished Projects.  Those items you started with all good intentions and about that time the A.D.D kicks in, the kids become ever more demanding, hubby wants quality time, or just life intrudes and they get laid aside.  My problem is I can have multiple projects going on at once ( Ahemm, the A.D.D for me).  To which I end up with a variety of U.F.O's to deal with.  I am happy to say I have managed to complete two of them in the last couple of weeks:

This throw was started just for our own home. I started it about 2 years ago.  I left off of it with only 18 rows to go.  I finally finisheditabout 2 weeks ago.  I am looking forward to colder weather so I can break it out and test it for coziness.

This camo shirt/jacket was originally started for Rubic during his camo phase.  He has since decided he is vegetarian so I'm thinking there won't be any need for hunting in his future.  With a Zombie apocalypes less than likely in the near future, and with the fact he has since grown out of it; I feel safe finishing this for a friend of mine.  Jimmy has given us a deer for the past 2 years each time he hunts.  A camo shirt for him is a small thank  you,  but a heart felt one none the less.

I still have U.F.O's to finished and already know I am wanting to start different projects.  Yea, I am crazy like that. 
So here is a challange!
What U.F.O sightings are in your house?  I would love to see them.  I challange you to finish one U.F.O and post it here.  For those that enter and send me a pic of their finished project, I will send you a jar of cranberry conserve. 
1) Comment here to let me know you are entering.  I will run this challange til Oct 26th. 
2) When finished, send me the pic of your finished project to  I will post the pics here after the challange is over to brag on you.  I would love it if you could include a little history on the project such as how long it took, who it is for, etc.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Winding up and Winding down

I guess you could say my life is in a constant state of tizzy.  For those of you not from the south, a "Tizzy" is craziness.  I have about 2 months out of the year, usually around Jan and Feb, where a lull happens.  Christmas is over and it is too early to plant anything.  At that time I am chomping at the bit, pouring over seed catalogues or websites, perusing my gardening books, etc.  Then we are off with planting season, gardening season, and harvesting.

Now that harvest season is winding down, with the exception of the few scragglers and the cool weather things I have planted, it has dawned on me that Christmas is just around the corner.  I HAVE DONE NOTHING FOR CHRISTMAS!!!!!AHHHH!  And we're OFF!  Dada da ta da da ta da da da da!  Need to start planning gifts; what to make, what to buy.  I already have the space opened up for my tree(s)( yes I have two).  I love this time of year.  I am a Christmas nut!  I love the sights, sounds, food, all of it.  Now I don't like the early start stores have.  I mean seriously, many stores already have Christmas Decorations out and it is still Sept!  I try to not look at it because I don't want to already be burned out on Christmas stuff before the holiday season starts.  Don't get me wrong, I decorate as early as possible I think.  Our tradition is to put the family tree up Thanksgiving night and the rest follows over the following weekend.  I just don't think decorations in the store need to be put out earlier than Thanksgiving.  Just my personal opinion. 

(sigh)  I would love just one time to be able to experience the holiday season like my mom did as a child.  She tells me that there would be no sign of Christmas up until Thanksgiving.  All the stores were closed on Thanksgiving.  When they re-opened the day after, she said it was like a wonderland of Christmas.  Now we have stores competing to open as early as possible Thanksgiving day!  How many people are missing time with their family on Thanksgiving in order for people to shop that early.  I won't do it.  I stopped shopping day after Thanksgiving when they started opening on Thanksgiving.  I realize those people get paid time and a half.  I realize those people are lucky to have a job.  I just believe there needs to be something more important in our lives.  A time to stop for a day and give thanks for what we have.  A time to anticipate what the rest of the holiday means.  Thanksgiving is not about shopping. It is about giving thanks for the blessings we have.   Christmas isn't about shopping.  I love the whole gift giving things, but Christmas is about The Gift.  The Greatest gift.  Not just a babe in a manager,  but the gift He brought of grace and salvation to all who seek Him.

So while my official Christmas starts after Thanksgiving, my prep for it starts now.  Things I may want to make for gifts, can't wait until Thanksgiving.  Money needing to be budgeted, needs to be budgeted now.  3 months 12 days away.  Winding down the garden, Winding up for Christmas.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Garden 2014

I would say " total", but the garden is still in progress.

116 BEETS (Final)
7.5 BAGS SALAD GREENS (Final)(Fall Planting)
8 lb oz  oz Banana Peppers (still coming in)
7 lb   oz bell peppers (Still coming in)
4.4 lbs red cabbage (Final)
7.12 lbs green cabbage (Final)(Fall Planting)
43 lbs pickling cucumbers(Final)
16 lbs green beans (Final)
Pinto Beans (In Progress)
Sweet Potatoes (In progress)
20 lbs franken squash (Final)(what I processed.  The rest went to chickens so not counted)
32 lbs 0 oz yellow squash (Final)
30 lbs 2 oz Blueberries (Final)
8lbs 5 oz Black Berries (Final)
114 ears of Corn (Final)
10 lb White Lima beans (still coming in)
283lb  oz Roma Tomatoes (Final)
83 lb 4 oz Better Boy Tomatoes (still coming in)
7 lbs  8oz Cherry Tomatoes (volunteers)(still coming in)
Butternut Squash (in progress)
6 Watermelon- 140lbs (1 more to pick)
6 lb 2 oz jalepenos
Peanuts (Volunteers)(in progress)
8 oz Potatoes (volunteers)(Final)

Total so far not counting eggs, chicks, beets, salad greens, corn, broccoli, pinto beans, sweet potatoes, peanuts, butternut squash, or herbs:
706 lbs of food.  Please note, many of these items are still coming in.  Total outlay  of money is about $190 ish which counts items like edging for raised beds which will be used year after year as well as the difference in my water bill due to watering some.  So .25 per lb of food or less. 

Herbs harvested
Lemon balm
Lemon Thyme
*** all of these herbs do double duty: Culinary and Medicinal

Fall planted

More Cabbage
Salad Greens

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Yep, even I need to learn a thing or two.

Sooooo this mama had a minor meltdown the other day.  The stress I guess of constantly spinning plates got to me and I found myself .....upset.  Dh, the poor recipient of my er...uh...upsetness,(yes spell check I know that isn't a real word..according to you), pointed out that I need a hobby.  My first thought was I do have hobbies; gardening, canning, baking, etc.  Then it dawned on me (with his help) that I have no hobbies for just me.  Everything I consider a hobby is for the good of the family.  He said I don't read anymore.  Now I do read, cookbooks, savings books, homestead books.  See a pattern here?  I haven't read for pleasure in at least 2 years.  It's an occupational hazard of caring for a household, being a wife and mother, to lose yourself in the process.  I was trying to be all things to all people and that is not possible.  You have to do something that is yours and yours alone.  Now reading is one hobby I love, but others are sewing or shopping for me, and my dolls/doll clothes,  Love my baby dolls.  Always have.  I love reconditioning antique baby dolls.  Dh bought me an air brush painting system last year for Christmas and I have yet to take it out of the box.  I have purchased books (thrift store, I mean lets not get too crazy) that haven't been read, and I rarely shop; well unless at a thrift store.  I do love my thrift stores.  My defense was that I just didn't have time.  Make time was his response. 

So now this mama has turned over a new leaf.  I am allowing myself time to do some of the things I enjoy personally.  My Dh and sons have stepped up to help out more around the house, and I am letting them.  Very important frugal lesson, MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF! 

Now where to start first.......