October 31, 2012

i had heard rave reviews about an area supermarket.  with an hour to spare, in between point a and point b.... i stopped in, to check things out.

it was late saturday afternoon.. around 4 pm.  i made a quick observation, how weird it was, that contractors in michigan would be working so late--especially on the weekend.  more unusual in that, very little funds are being spent on facades and other building projects... at least, in this neck of the woods.

in fact, i do double-takes when i see trusses on the ground or when i see a barn or house being erected.
really?  someone in michigan, actually has money to spend on building?  my heart always feels good, because i know someone out there, is stimulating the economy!

it's just not common around here, anymore.

and then, i spotted this sign. 
and i smiled.  i smiled big.... all by myself.
and i knew i had to plow into the owner's office and commend him.
shake this man's hand, if you will.
and, that's exactly what i did.

this owner "get's the big picture."
i knew i was around a successful businessman.
if i wasn't currently employed... i would apply or volunteer to work for this man.  i'd push the broom through the aisles.  and i'd take notes on what he said.  it's true.

in spite of some pretty dirty union bullying, which he shared with me....
 he held onto his integrity. 
one hand washes the other, if you will.

the way it was and the way it should be.
 integrity.  not such a lost art, in small town america.

smile, wink, nod

October 28, 2012

last week in michigan, we had a few good days of positively beautiful weather.
i took advantage and loaded up some of my inventory, headed to my cousin's farm... which once belonged to our grandparents...
and took some really excellent pictures. 

this is my cousin jeff.
he and i... both only children... grew up as brother and sister.

that day, i witnessed integrity.
a lost art, it seems.
but it was alive and well that day.
very alive, indeed.

smile, wink, nod.

October 27, 2012

saturday night at the movies...
we rented the movie, "the grace card."
from netflix
it was...beyond excellent. 
a very moving movie, about forgiveness.
click here for details....
have you seen any movies, lately that "moved" you?

October 15, 2012

i misplaced my blogger password.
thought i'd give the blogger sign-in one more shot.  this morning, at 5:45 am.... i did!!
and it let me on!
so after being vacant, for nearly a month... i'll just jump right in!
This past weekend here in Michigan was damp and dark.  In spite of my head-banging sinus headache, I was able to work in the kitchen and make meals ahead. 
- shredded bbq chicken... for quick meals... pizza and taco's.
-loaves of gluten-free bread... frozen in slices for blt's, club sandwiches and garlic bread
- shredded carrots (4 bags) for this carrot cake muffin recipe for gluten-free and regular (click here).  i printed and attached the recipe to the bags. 
-freezer bags full of butternut squash
i managed to stick a pot roast in the oven, and while the cozy smell filled up the rooms of this little house, i found myself under my blanket... napping.
the weekly outdoor markets, where i sell my treasures, has come to an end for 2012... (although i still have a couple of permanent venues, which keep me on my toes).... and as much as i adore that life i created, i am looking forward to getting to know my home and staying put.  and organizing.
just friday, i took 6 bags of really bad and outdated clothing to salvation army.  i swear, i did the happy dance when the last bag was tossed in the donation dumpster. 
i've eliminated even more stress, by not being involved in a homeschool co-op.  believe me, it was wonderful at the time, when my son needed that sort of interaction.  but, time marches on and it was time to grow in a different direction.
we are still homeschooling and he is involved (by his choice) with Future Farmers of America in a local vocational school.
this seems to be a better fit for his personality.
he has more in common with like-minded teens who enjoy farming, mechanics and ag-science.
well, it sure feels nice to be able to log back onto this blog.
enjoy your monday...
smile, wink, nod.

September 13, 2012

things around this here ranch have been busy-good!
each day i think to myself,  today i need to blog.
and then one day rolls into the next and the next and.....
so, here i am.  first cup of coffee in hand, fox news on the television and a few minutes of time on my hands.
what's new?
politics:   wow.  i sure never remember so much division, hatred and crookedness, both nationally and internationally.  i can only think that the Good Lord is up above feeling great sadness with all of the discord in the world.
social media isn't helping with political anger, either.
i have a business account.  the rage, arguing and outbursts which come across my screen, have reached a manic-state.
it is exhausting.
so i look at the world and see the anger
and i make a conscious effort to move beyond that.. not to get swallowed up in all the negative.
--  homeschooling my son has been a joy. he has a concrete set of plans for his future, in knowing what he wants to do... so i'm able to tweek his curriculum to meet those needs and those needs for him to get into diesel mechanic school. 
it has taken a tremendous amount of pressure off of me.
--our vegetable harvest has been timely.  some years everything comes in at once.  this year the vegetables have timed it just right for me.  yesterday, i had a couple of crockpots of baked potatoes cooking and made several freezer-mashed potato dishes.  when the snow blows and wind whistles... we will be thankful.
-- i canned something new-to-me.  cream of tomato soup.  i'm thinking of you jamie... if you'd like the recipe, i'll link it for you.  it was a messy project.  and lengthy.  and made 11 pints.
but i know we'll enjoy it with gluten-free grilled cheese sandwhiches, in the colder months.
-- i'm finding myself lost in the pages of, "the queens mistake".
well, it's time fill my coffee cup again and start my son on his homeschool lessons... and catch-up on dreaded but rewarding housework.  have a wonderful thursday, friends!
smile, wink, nod.

August 29, 2012

has it really been over 10 days since i've blogged?
it's not because i haven't thought about it... but i have a box full of excuses..
crops are rolling in, canning in the kitchen, attending and selling at markets and organizing homeschooling. 
my boy will be in 9th grade. 
what i'm reading:  tonight, i start phillipa gregory's, earthly joys.
what i'm watching:  i have a netflix movie waiting to be watched, "the five people you meet in heaven."
last thing i canned:  11 jars of pizza sauce.  very easy!  i'd love to do more.
on top of my stove:  a pan of gluten free brownies.. heavy on the walnuts.
tunes i'm listening to:  on the free spotify radio program... willie nelson and john mellancamp
best coupon buy:  12 bottles of xtra laundry detergent at kmart.  $2. a bottle.
toe nails are painted:  red
last thing i bought for myself:  mineral make-up from revlon.. love it.. nice coverage.
the mini bike above in the pictures... is something my son bought of craigslist.  he rebuilt it, repainted it and sold it for a small profit.  we sure had fun riding around on it for a few days...
have a wonderful wednesday night...and i'll be back soon!

August 14, 2012

Gosh.. this blog is turning into a cooking blog Or so it seems.  I haven't planned it that way... But, this is what's happening in my world, lately. Let's blame it on all of the good crops coming into fruition and not wanting to waste anything.

As you can see by the writings in my cookbook... this recipe is one of my husband's favorite recipes. It's gratifying and VERY FUN to make, too... since it uses so much of what is grown in our garden.  My kitchen smells beautfiul, when I'm sautee'ing all of this..........
It calls for bread crumbs... I grind my own, since that husband of mine, is Celiac.  It is equally as delicious with gluten-free bread crumbs.  It's just bread crumbs... when you're cooking for a Celiac, takes on a whole other meaning.  More on that another day....... (wink).

I made enough freezer side dishes up for Fall and Winter meals. I usually serve it with a salad or chicken.
I love freezer meals!  How about you?
smile, wink, nod.

August 09, 2012

this picture needs no explaining.
except that you can't see the cloves of garlic tucked underneath, roasting.

smile, wink, nod!

happy thursday.. we are getting some much needed rain!

August 07, 2012

Outside of Flint, Michigan... my eyes spotted an Estate Sale sign and of course... I had to stop.  Estate Sales are not normally successful for me.  But, this one was!
I found these vintage, bling-a-liscious brooches.... 

and a retro owl necklace....

I love them all!
Happy Tuesday to you!
smile, wink, nod.

August 03, 2012

hash browns for the freezer

this past week, we plucked up gold.  homegrown potatoes, that is!  i had two colanders of these gems... and i wasn't in the mood to pressure can.  so...........

i pulled out my friend.. the food processor and... wait, what's that coffee spoon doing in the picture?  aha!  so, i guess now, there's no denying i made a cup of maxwell house instant coffee and shredded up potatoes into hash browns.

and i added onions to the processor.  and mixed it in with the hash brown potatoes. 

and here we go...  homemade hash browns and onions.. ready to go in the freezer.  the color of some of the bags, lacks eye appeal.  but, i figure... once they're cooked to a golden brown.. it shouldn't really matter.

i did it again...... i ate another bowl of death-by-chocolate ice cream. 

smile, wink, nod.

August 02, 2012

scouring through a local thrift shop last week, what did my eyes spy? this beautiful picture!  no water-marks, no flaws.  just a nice antique picture, in th original frame.  i'm not sure what era this came from?  i love the gladiola's in the vase.. they remind me of my gardens in august. 
well, it's time for my second cup of coffee... and off to hit some thursday morning garage sales.
while proof-reading this post, i realized i didn't tell you the best part of this old picture.
it was just $3.
smile, wink, nod.

July 30, 2012

random monday....

when did my son get such broad shoulders?
he's 14.5 and has a little side business re-building cars in the barn.  he works every night until 11 pm.  plays country music and loves ice cream drum-sticks.  i am most proud, because he bought himself a camo-cross necklace and wears it faithfully.   

my aunt and i are addicted to playing on-line scrabble.  we have 13 games going.  it is something nice to look forward to, and to be able to chat with each other daily.  something we never, ever did.  it's a wonderful bond.

this summer, my mom found a bike and spray painted it a pretty, buttery color.  sure wish it was in my yard!

and, i wanted to share with you.... my mom's love and passion for primitive, east-coast rug-hooking.  she is currently working on this santa... with hand-dyed, recycled wool.  isn't it spectacular?

lastly, my blogging friend lynn has launched a new blog, titled "Dylan's Dresses"...  click here  and follow along.  she has a real eye for vintage dressing and has many similar interests as "us!"


happy, happy monday!

July 26, 2012

just stopping by this rainy morning, to share a few garden pictures with you.  here's me, picking more, and more and yet... more beans.  today, is the last day i'll be canning beans for the season.  i hope to do 6 more quarts.. for a total of 24.  i ask you... what family of three, needs 24 quarts of beans?  the good lord has blessed us with them... so we'll use them and give or sell the rest. 

wasn't it nice of my husband to plant this insane row of tomatoes?  new this year... i'll be canning bbq sauce.  we use a lot of it.  and pizza sauce.  lots of that, as well.

miles.. or what seems like it.... of carrots, beans and onions.  three of four honey bee boxes protect the borders of our property... skunks and opossum have been TRYING to claim the honey.  note, the word trying.  they won't anymore!  wink.

do you see the mister, in the back of this photo?  this is the first official year for our strawberry patch.  this year, i made strawberry-honey jam. it has more of a kick to it then sugar based jam... but knowing 7 cups of sugar didn't go into the recipe, makes it more enjoyable!

this is my little salad garden.  it is home to herbs, different leafy lettuces, cauliflower, broccoli and fennel. 
sadly, this year... due to the weather, we did not get a single apple or pear.  and our daisy's, which blanket our fields... didn't make it either. 


hip, hip horray!  i found my camera!  it was in my glove box!

July 24, 2012

craft wars, canning and romans 12:2

tonight finds me with a bowl of death-by-chocolate ice cream and watching the new TLC show, craft wars with tori spelling. below is the link, which also has a link for a 40% off michael's coupon!  i don't know about you, but michael's is a pretty dangerous place for me!

sure wish i had my camera, so i could share the 18 quarts of green and yellow beans i've pressure canned.  last week, i also canned pickled beets.. my great aunt louise's.  and tomorrow will find me canning, herb jelly. 

how cool is it, when you open your bible and the exact answer you're needing is right in front of you?  that's happening to me quite often, lately.  romans 12:2

hope you have a sweet tuesday night... i'd love to know what you're canning and crafting and favorite scriptures!
smile, wink, nod.

July 23, 2012

dear me... i've misplaced my camera, once again. 'tis not unusual for me to misplace keys, my red camera, sunglasses or cell phone and most recently, my checkbook.  anyway, i borrowed this picture from internet-land... because i dislike blogging unless i have a picture. 
onward to a trusted, tried and true old friend...

"the monday daybook"

outside my window:  darkness, no stars, not even the moon... perhaps they too, have been misplaced? 

i'm thinking:  of the horrific tragedy in colorado, over the weekend.  i'm sending prayers to the murderer's parents.  can you even imagine, if your child did that? 

i'm thankful for:  mr. clean magic erasers and our window-air conditioner.

from the learning room:  i ordered my son's ninth grade curriculum.  NINTH GRADE.  so bittersweet.  and, he's re-building small cars to flip for profit. i count this for education... since he is self-teaching himself on the repairs and rebuilding of parts and also, accounting, shipping, and communication skills....and, thanks to the internet and you-tube, which seems to be able to answer any problem he has.

from the kitchen:  tonight i pressure canned 6 quarts of green beans. for a total of 18 quarts. 

i am wearing:  nick and nora pajama bottoms, a sock monkey and flamingo print and black tee shirt, reading glasses and wet hair, since i just showered.

i am creating:  lots of scrabble games with my aunt joyce.  we play scrabble all the time via facebook. 

i am going:  to bed very soon... and snuggle in to read my latest quirky fiction. 

i am reading:  the three miss margarets... see  my side bar. it's a choppy-hard to follow book and quirky, too.  but, i'm 3/4 of the way through and can't leave now. how about you?  what are you reading?

i am hearing:  gosh, i didn't realize it, but... there's a lot of noise pollution in the house.  husband has a man-show on.. one of the high-testosterone shows and i hear youtube videos speaking to my son, on how to fix something.

around the house:  empty ice cream bowls, dog toys strewn around the floor and a mountain of laundry waiting for me in the morning.

one of my favorite things: death by chocolate ice cream.
a few plans for the rest of the week: find the camera, garage sale on thursday, and start treadmilling again. 

happy monday night!

July 22, 2012

last week, when my boys (husband and son) were out in the barn, doing the father-son thing... i was left all alone, to watch this super-excellent, much anticipated, ordered through netflix, movie...  coco chanel, with shirley mcclain. 
was it fantastic?
was it beautiful?
was it inspiring?
was it historical and educational?
was it a love story?
a resounding, yes!
i wouldn't mind owning it... yes mam, it was that good!  i'm not into high-fashion, nor am i name brand driven... but i am addicted to self-made people, france and history.  this fit the ticket, perfectly.  and then some.  it even made me crave cheese, wine and good french bread and fruits.
i found this youtube video of the movie, so you could get a little sample of how beautiful of a movie it was:

now i must close the laptop, fire up the grill.. throw a couple of steaks on for "those boys," and peel back some corn on the cob.  i hope you have a swell sunday night.

i'll be back, tomorrow... until then!
smile, wink, nod!

you're missing me?
i miss you, too.
and, i miss blogging....
stay tuned... i'll be back within 24 hours to start up this blog again!
happy sunday!
it's already hot and humid, here in michigan!

May 03, 2012

four favorite things around the house:

Now, it's off to take some sinus headache medicine, make a second cup of coffee and head out the door to garage sales!
Have a happy Thursday!

April 28, 2012

late, last summer... when the garden came into fruition, i chopped and diced onions, peppers and garlic.  and froze them in handy little freezer bags.  i labeled them, too.
how happy was i, when i found and plucked them from my freezer, sauteed' them for a garden-fresh pizza topping!
if you could only smell... the freshness that circulated in my tiny kitchen.  why...... i could of ate this mixture straight from the pan!
smile, wink, nod.

April 27, 2012

let's talk about my vacuum.
don't laugh... because i truly love to vacuum.
always have.  always will. 
do it everyday, okay... at least 6 out of 7 days a week.  if not me... then i have my 14 year old plug in and sweep.
there's something about having clean floors, which makes me feel that my house is not as cluttered as it is.
my dyson.
it was a love-hate relationship at the first.
i loved it because my mom picked it up on sale and blessed us with it.  i hated it because i was used to my old one.  and truth is, i found it awkward... it took some time to get used to.  i'm not good with change.  but soon.  soon i fell madly in love with this powerhouse. 
and now, i will live happily every after with my yellow dyson.
smile, wink, nod.

April 16, 2012

Yesterday, Sunday... was a humid, rainy, dark day. 
Just the kind of day, you either chose to sleep and nestle in or clean like a mad woman.  You would think with this killer-sciatica nerve... which radiates and tingles to the bottom of my foot... would of given me a good excuse to enjoy the couch!  But, I pressed on... and cleaned like a mad-woman!
I'd embarrass myself if I told you how many garbage bags went out to the trash!  I tossed craft-junk that I never got around to finishing, expired food from the pantry, etc, etc, etc!!! 
It helped cleaning like a mad-woman, since my boys were gone for the day.  My brother-in-law has a rental home, quite near here.. and it caught on fire... burnt down.... and my husband and son went to help gut the thing out. 

Safety tip:  the resident was using an electric sander in the bedroom, then laid it on top of some fabric (towels? blankets?) and it over-heated.  He left to run to the store and came back and the house was on fire. 
Thankfully, everyone was fine!

Have a cheerful Monday!