Thursday, July 30, 2009

Friday Fill Ins

Go to Friday Fill Ins to "fill in" your own!

1. It's time for a vacation!

2. The deep freezer; it's not a bad place for hiding M&M's.

3. I must be out of my mind babysitting so many kids at one time. (Oh yeah, I am...)

4. Running down the side of huge piles of sand that were pumped out of the river (way back when) is the best thing I have ever known.(that and galloping through the fields on my Dusty at full speed)

5. My manual pencil sharpener is simply not going to make it another school year.

6. The last time I laughed really loudly was when my sister mistakenly typed, "keybork" instead of "keyboard" when we were chatting online while doing a puzzle. From time to time I try to remember to ask her if she has been "keyborking" lately. (Hey, if you are reading this Kimiko, don't keybork too much today, ok? Excessive keyborking causes keybork-itis.)

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to bedtime (when the house will finally quiet down), tomorrow my plans include hopefully working on a new PDF project to sell in my Etsy shop (although my hubby has ideas of painting the kid's bedrooms- yeah, we'll see how that goes with a houseful of kids- ha ha) and Sunday, I want to play some kind of video game and just totally goof off for once (but please don't tell anyone- they will think of things for me to do instead)!

I'm playing around with HTML codes!!!

Bare with me. I'm playing around with html and trying to convert my blog to a three column. It's a miracle I've gotten this far!

I just wanted to warn everyone in case things look a little goofy for awhile.....

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Saturday, July 25, 2009

This Week In Pictures...

The garden harvest total thus far: 3 zucchini squash (was supposed to be yellow crookneck squash but I'm not looking a gift horse in the mouth) and one tiny handful of green bush beans (probably the only handful of green bush beans there will be).

I decided to dump out one of my "scrap" boxes. You people that sew out there, know exactly the box I'm talking about. You know, that box that had odd strips of cloth and teeny tiny little pieces that you can't bring yourself to throw away---that rang a bell---yep, that box.

Dumping the box out accomplished nothing other than me deciding I needed a larger "scrap" box to hold all of these scraps. Project accomplished. I now have a bigger box and less room. I'm not sure that was accomplishing anything or not.....

Hey, all of this went into the compost bucket. That's a good thing I guess.

I managed to make these two jars of fermented salsa from the recipe in my Nourishing Traditions cookbook. What did I learn from this? I need to be educated in the process that when the produce bin says it's one type of "mild" pepper, you need not believe the all... The salsa turned out so hot that, my child that frequently downs gulps of hot sauce (to freak his brother out) actually almost passed out from the "hotness". My vegetarian sister is getting two jars of volcano flavored salsa by the way- in case you were wondering what the fate of these two jars will be.

I snapped this picture of what we call in the south, a "cow ant". You can stomp on these boogers and they just don't die. I didn't even try to kill him- I let him be. As long as he stays far away from Rolly Poly girl it's ok. Maybe Miss Slug will bite him in the mean time.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday Fill Ins

Go to Friday Fill Ins to Fill In your own!

1. Cheer up, it is not the end of the world.

2. Sitting here, listening to the sound of rain falling, I remember living in a house with a tin roof and the sound of rain falling on it would almost put you to sleep every time.

3. A nice, gigantic, homemade brownie tastes so good!

4. Sometimes, putting others first is the right thing to do no matter how you feel about it deep inside.

5. The sunset from Mama's front porch is breathtaking, really.

6. Well, maybe there is a Santa Claus- (I've seen him in my backyard just recently).

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to shopping for some cloth to make my cousin a quilt for her upcoming wedding, tomorrow my plans include organizing some closets, planning some meals, and steam cleaning my poor living room carpet and Sunday, I want to try and contain myself from working on that quilt for my cousin during ALL of my free time!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I think that tomato plants have a since of humor

What do you get from this photo (other than the fact that the cement wall needs to be painted and that there is a poisonous wild strawberry plant happily growing)? Yep, that's right. There is a tomato plant, almost a foot tall, happily growing all by it's lonesome. How did this lone little plant come to be you say? I say that nature has a since of humor. Yeah, that's right- nature is full of comedians. This comedian in particular, seems to be saying to me, "naa naa na boo boo- you are a dummy!"

I've went back and calculated how many flats of tomato seeds I've planted this year. All of the plants that came up died from either my stupidity or nature's wrath. I think I came up with around 100 plants that bit the dust or never came up (no thanks to the chicken manure). That's ok- I'll get over it and try again next year but I have truly been insulted by this plant in the picture.

This happily growing little tomato plant came up- all by itself. Yes, all by itself. I do remember one particularly windy day that I was planting my seeds in my seed tray and one seed "flew" away. I looked for it briefly but quickly lost interest and shrugged it away. That one little seed decided to take up residence not 12 inches from my cold frame and do what comes natural to it- it grew. What makes me sick, is that no matter how much I babied my seedlings- they died. This rogue seed grew like crazy all by itself. Go figure. I'm so disgusted- maybe next year, I'll wait for a windy day, throw my tomato seeds in the air and let nature take it's course!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What's Outside My Windows- Santa's not doing well at all

Maybe the sight of the crocodile eating someone gave Santa quite a scare the other day. I just don't know. He kind of looks like he is moaning, "help me" with his eyes doesn't he? Oh, it's sad.......

Right before my eyes, Santa became quite bloated and rolled over on his back. As you can see, he is staring off into space and clutching his right side. Hey, I'm not a doctor but , you know, it could be an appendicitis. That would explain a repeat attack of whatever ailment he is suffering from. I sure do hope they get Santa patched up this time. There is only 6 months left until Christmas!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

What's Outside My Windows- Crocodiles in South Carolina

Not exactly the kind of Crocodile you were thinking of when you read the title, huh?

I had no idea what this was to become when I glanced out the window.

Well, I had a better idea as to what the flat green critter was to become once it was inflated.

What I didn't expect to see was an empty pair of shoes lying conveniently at it's mouth..........

Monday, July 20, 2009

NT Sauerkraut

Here is my attempt at making Sauerkraut the Nourishing Traditions way. If you are not familiar with Nourishing Traditions, you can find a copy on Amazon or at your local library.

The Cast of Characters:
  1. one regular sized cabbage
  2. caraway seeds
  3. whey
  4. sea salt
  5. quart jar with lid

First I shredded the cabbage and added about 2 teaspoons of caraway seeds. Then I added 4 tablespoons of whey along with 2 tablespoons of sea salt. My measurements were slightly different than what the original recipe calls for because I was leary of the caraway seeds since I had never eaten them before and the last time I made sauerkraut, it needed more salt.

Using my potato masher, I began to pound the mixture. Pounding for at least 10 minutes is fine and it's quite useful at getting out your aggressions if needed.

Here is what it looked like after about 10 minutes of pounding. You will find that there is a lot of juice formed at the bottom of your bowl- this is exactly what you need.

Load the mixture into your quart jar and make sure you leave at least one inch space at the top of the jar.

You want liquid at the top so if you have to gently push the cabbage down under the liquid with a wooden spoon, that is fine. If you still do not have liquid covering the top of the cabbage, add a little water to the top.

There you have it. Let it sit out on the counter for 3 days and then transfer to the refrigerator.

The Verdict:

I detest caraway seeds and felt like they ruined the sauerkraut. If you like a "clove" like taste, then you will be in heaven with the sauerkraut. If you are like me, ponder why you spent $4.00 on a jar of these yucky seeds, and make a mental note to leave those things out the next time you make this. Otherwise, the sauerkraut turned out exactly as it should have.

Just for your info, this sauerkraut is considered "fermented". Which is very, very good for you. You know those yogurt commericals that push that they are good for your digestive system. This cabbage is too because of the whey that it fermented in. You can get more info on fermented foods from the "Mastering the Basics" section of Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A few new items at Minnie Maes Etsy shop

This is a little Precious Moments Tote/purse for little girls. My little model here, had fun trying it out. If you would like all of the details on this cute little bag, visit Minnie Maes for details.


I had enough cat fabric to make this fabric grocery bag. Sometimes I never really know what fabric I have in my stash until I pull it all out and dig through it. Anyway, these kitties are cute and sturdy. Visit Minnie Maes for more details.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Swagbucks- Part 2

Search & Win

Some time ago, I posted about signing up for Swagbucks. When I first heard about Swagbucks, I was leary as to how they could offer "bucks" that you could use as money to purchase items, enter contests, etc., just for using their search engine.

Lots of people were out there in cyber land pushing the use of Swagbucks so I finally took the plunge and joined. Guess what, I made it a point to make at least one Swagbuck every day. You can make more if you search a lot but, time wise, one is all I have time to obtain usually. Eventually, my Swagbucks added up and I chose to trade them in for gift cards. After I had enough gift cards, I found a book I wanted. Guess what? I made my first purchse using those gift cards that I earned from Swagbucks. Guess what else? My book just came- only 4 days later, after I ordered it. Guess what? I'm thrilled. I turned my book over and seen the $39.95 price on the back. Guess what? I only paid $23.00 shipping included. Guess what? I say "guess what" a lot don't I?

Anyway, the moral of the story is, I just got a $30.00 book for free just for using the Swagbuck search bar. Imagine that. Did you catch that? I just got a free book!!! Hey, if you search for things daily or even just every once and awhile, what have you got to loose?

If you would like to sign up for Swagbucks, please click on this link or click on the banner below:

Search & Win

It's easy, it's fast, and after time, you can save up enough Swagbucks to purchase some neat stuff. My next project is to save up for a video game the kids are wanting. I'm fighting my urges though, after getting one free book, I kind of want more. Decisions, decisions, decisions.......

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday Fill Ins

Go to Friday Fill Ins to fill in your own!

1. Peanut butter and jelly make a quick and easy dinner.

2. The 2009 Farmer's Almanac (I know, it's corny) and The Bible are the book (s) I'm reading right now.

3. July brings back memories of eating watermelon on the front porch that my Daddy brought home from work. I can still picture him pulling a watermelon out of the back of his old green pick up.

4. When I saw that humongous fire ant hill near the garden, the forecast of a sting or two for some of us was obvious.

5. They say if you tell your dreams to a bird, they carry them to heaven.

6. When a situation involves something stressful, I really need time to think it over.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to shopping for a pair of shoes for one of the kiddos , tomorrow my plans include (maybe, just maybe) planning my yard sale and Sunday, I want to be more organized than I was this week!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The South Carolina Etsy Street Team's Christmas in July Sale is halfway over....

(Click on photo for a close up view)

Here are just a few great items available from some of the shops participating in the South Carolina Team's Christmas in July sale! Be sure and stop by these shops to see what goodies they have to offer. Hurry, the sales and specials end July 31st!

All About The Buttons : Buy 1, get 2nd of equal or lesser value for 50% off for anything in entire shop.
Carolina Kloset: Offering 20 % off Christmas ornaments
Carolina Girl Bowtique :15% of total before shipping
Curlyfry SC's Collage: 25% off all earrings and bracelets only
Custom Candy Creations: 10% of total before shipping
Ladypippie- 10% of total before shipping
LOL Soaps- Free bar of soap with any order over $15
The Village Star- 10% of total before shipping
Minnie Maes- 20 % off fabric business card holders AND 10% off zippered pouches in stock
Roagom- free gift with purchase [2 pair of allergy free earrings]
Morgan Alexa Designs - Buy a banner and avatar set and receive a free Christmas Banner and Avatar
Nascarnana : 20% off artwork
Stitch'N Love: 20% off
Flutterbees (Lowe40): Free Shipping on Bath & Body products

Just when I thought trees were safe.....

From time to time, we see strange things outside our windows. You might remember the scary snake that Scott saw from the motorcycle. Well, I'm pretty sure I came face to face with that humongous varmint today.

It all started innocently enough. I passed by this tree that happens to have a hole in it. This particular pecan tree has some history with that hole. You see, last year, three gigantic snakes took up residence in that hole. It's for that very reason that I cast a sideways glance at the hole each and every time I pass by that tree. I hate snakes- there is nothing you can say or do to change my opinion of these evil creatures. Sorry, you can't pull the, "they eat pesty rodents" bit with me. I don't care- they also bite and kill people- so there.

Anyway, back to the tree with the hole..... I happened to have my camera in my pocket and snapped a quick picture of the hole in the tree. My intentions were to eventually make up some kind of silly story to go with the hole. My intentions quickly changed when I noticed something strange.....

so, I zoomed in a little bit and saw.......

something strange that was moving and was black and white and....enough can figure it out can't you. Guess who came back this year.

Yep, there he (or she?) is. That tongue was just a flicking around too. Let's just say that this particular snake was quite violent in it's behavior as I found out awhile later once I returned home. I got a call and was told that the snake lunged out of the hole about a foot into the air. Here I have been thinking all of these years that I only needed to watch my feet when walking out in the countryside. Now, I have to watch up in the trees too!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dialog by a French Squirrel......

(read the following to yourself with a French accent- yeah, you know the one- like the skunk on Bugs Bunny)

Squirrel: "I'll just sit here and scratch myself while they eat those delicious, homemade chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting......."

Squirrel: "What did I just say! CUPCAKES! - I can smell them, the beautiful glow of the aluminum foil calls me........They are within sight- Come to me oh, beautiful cupcakes.....I long for you...."

Monday, July 13, 2009

One up on the Fire Ants

Our potato harvest

I try to be an optimist, I really, really do. After all, this world is full of enough negativity and sadness already.

Sometimes, a person just has to keep hope alive. This time, my little form of hope came in a quick trip to the garden to dump my compost bucket on the pile. There was this handy, dandy pitch fork just waiting for me. I gave it a sideways glance and thought- "Naaa, I'd be wasting my time". That little voice inside said, "What have you got to loose- just a little time"

What is this leading up to you say? Well, remember that sometime back, the evil fire ants devoured all of my fingerling potato plants. First they started at the top of the plant and then ate down the stems and into the ground- yeah, kind of like locusts. Most people don't believe me when I say they did this but I have photographic proof- you've seen some of it already.

Potato Hill was the area in which we planted our precious spuds. Potato Hill now sits vacant except with a few mysterious looking mounds and loads of saw briars. Those mounds made me curious. What if, just what if, they (the evil fire ants) missed some of the buried spuds. I couldn't wait much longer and I snatched up that pitchfork and went to the Hill. What you see in the picture above is what was left. A single, lone, little tiny potato that had started it's life but had it's growing season snatched away by some evil ants. I smiled when I found this potato. I was so proud. Not that we had grown it, but that I had somehow triumphed in some strange sort of way over the evil ants that were out to get me and everything I touched in the garden.

Take that you nasty little ants- you missed one- HA!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Bug Stuff

First, he found us...

And then, I found them....

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Garden Update

To a die hard gardener, the sight of all of the grass in the following photos, would emit shame to the garden owner's name. In this case, it's my fault- all my fault. I take the blame. Yes there is grass everywhere but I do have a couple of excuses for that grass. First off, this year has been unusually wet. It rains a lot and when it rains, you can't exactly get out into the muddy garden. 2ndly, our garden isn't exactly nearby our house either- 10-12 miles away to be more specific, lastly, we've been having a little car trouble that has prevented us from transporting the entire "herd" anywhere at the same time. So there you have excuses.

Now, it has quit raining so much, I have wheels again, and I therefore, ventured out to see what remained of the sorry, neglected garden that I had so many high hopes for. Poor Uncle Bubba has been doing what he could when he had time to keep things going but he is limited in daylight hours.

This is a hopeful sight, don't you think? I bought these yellow crookneck squash seeds with high hopes that if I planted 6-8 plants, we would be supplied with enough yellow squash to last us all year long (we don't eat much of them to begin with).

Wait a minute, uh.....isn't that a zucchini? Um, yes it is. It is wonderful that there is a zucchini growing so happily but there is one problem. I didn't plant zucchini. Guess what? I guess that all of my yellow crook neck squash plants are actually zucchini...... hmmmm, maybe I have a bone to pick with the seed company now. Anyway, we picked our zucchini and are quite proud of it. At some point, we are going to cook it up and eat away as the kids can't wait to eat something that they helped grow.

Check out these weed infested pinto bean plants. They are a little dry right now and if we don't get some rain in the next day or so, things may turn even uglier than they are now.

The peanut plants seed quite happy in their little situation (minus the grass infestation mind you). It won't be long and they will be flowering.

Poor Mr. Okra. I almost walked right past him without noticing he was there. Some bug is eating good at night (along with the deer). Look out Mr. Bug- I'm going to get you with some soap spray real soon.....

This is Uncle Bubba's Bloody Butcher corn. (Yes, it's going to be red corn). See the little corn to the left of the big corn? That's our Blue Dent corn. The grass is going to eat it up if we don't get busy this weekend trying to save it's life. Our corn will be blue by the way, if you didn't catch that fact. We have some regular white corn planted but I'm not sure it's gong to make it. Deer are particularly fond of young little corn plant niblets.

Well, there you have it. Here are the totals thus far:

Harvested: 1 single, lone zucchini that we didn't even plant
Lost: Two crops of carrots (deer ate them), lettuce (deer ate them), cabbage (deer ate them), bell pepper plants (drowned in the swamp), chili peppers(drowned), 36 tomatoe plants (thank you chicken manure that washed down the hill and poisoned my poor seedlings), 12 cucumber plants (drowned in the moat that we called the garden when it was raining almost every day) and last but not least, potatoes (thanks to the fire ants).

Hmmm, I guess we need to do some planning for the next garden huh? Those plans need to include a fence, higher ground to keep the garden from being a swamp part of the year, and I need to find some kind of fire ant control for those poor potatoes. It's not over yet and I'm not going to give up.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday Fill Ins

Go to Friday Fill Ins to fill in your own!

1. The last thing I ate was Homemade French Fries and Buttered Carrots.

2. A "Monster's Verses Aliens" Coloring Book is something I recently bought.

3. When it rains, it pours.

4. Roly Poly Girl was the first person I talked to today.

5. Hugs are greatly appreciated .

6. A chocolate fudge cake, a down comforter, and a quiet evening provide extra comfort.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to grocery shopping, tomorrow my plans include doing a few puzzles on an online game to earn someone some much needed "gold" and Sunday, I want to maybe visit some old friends !

Thursday, July 9, 2009

What's Outside Scott's Car Windows- Plant Animals

Scenes from the widest main street in the world........(literally)

The noble lion (and friend)

Barney beware....

Mom Giraffe, baby giraffe, and a flamingo

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Team SC's Christmas in July Promotion

The South Carolina Etsy Street Team is having a Christmas in July Sale!

Each shop is offering sales, free items with purchase, and/or discounts that could save you tons of money and help you get a much needed start on Christmas shopping. To take advantage of these savings, visit the shop or shops of your choice and read the discount offered in the shop's store announcement. You can also type in "XIJ" in the Etsy Handmade category search to find specific items that are included in this sale.

(Click on the store names to go directly to their shops)

All About The Buttons : Buy 1, get 2nd of equal or lesser value for 50% off for anything in entire shop.
Carolina Kloset: Offering 20 % off Christmas ornaments
Carolina Girl Bowtique :15% of total before shipping
Curlyfry SC's Collage: 25% off all earrings and bracelets only
Custom Candy Creations: 10% of total before shipping
Ladypippie- 10% of total before shipping
LOL Soaps- Free bar of soap with any order over $15
The Village Star- 10% of total before shipping
Minnie Maes- 20 % off fabric business card holders AND 10% off zippered pouches in stock
Roagom- free gift with purchase [2 pair of allergy free earrings]
Morgan Alexa Designs - Buy a banner and avatar set and receive a free Christmas Banner and Avatar
Nascarnana : 20% off artwork
Stitch'N Love: 20% off
Flutterbees (Lowe40): Free Shipping on Bath & Body products

A Wordless Wednesday