Monthly Archives: August 2010


While I haven’t been putting up many actual posts lately I wanted to let you all know that I have been updating the “gardening” and “tour my pantry” pages. I’ve weighed in over 100# of tomatoes already this year!! That is pretty fabulous for me considering I started every single one of my plants from seed and never got around to staking a single one. The weather has been just dry enough to keep them from rotting as they lay on the ground. I haven’t used any supplemental fertilizers or chemicals – just homegrown compost. I mulched with straw once when the plants were still small. I haven’t looked around to see what good yields are per plant. I planted 66 plants so I don’t think my yields are very good when you look at it that way. However, I planted at different times and I don’t think the later plants got the chance to grow as well as the earlier ones. Next year if I time the planting better and stake them I should be able to improve the yields.

I hate mentioning upcoming posts because that seems to mean I never get around to writing them BUT… I’m hoping I find time to write a “Thoughts on Marriage After 2 Years” post. Plus, I treated myself to a new canning gadget this year and I want to share my results. Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about my “Housekeeping Trouble Spots” either. In fact, I’ve been working on one of those spots today so expect to hear more about that soon too. I’m not promising anything else! 🙂

What’s taking up your time lately? How’s your garden and/or canning going this year?


2nd Anniversary Dinner

It’s almost done and it smells sooo good.  Here’s what’s on the menu:

  • Steaks on the grill from one of the steers we raised together.  Delmonico for me, T-bone for Brian.
  • Red skinned potatoes that Brian got from our potato pots tonight, fried with garlic powder I grew and made myself.
  • Homemade cheesecake for dessert topped with spiced brown sugar peaches that I canned last weekend.

I’d say it’s pretty representative of what we’ve been doing the last couple years! 😀

What special meal do you like to celebrate with?

Laundry Area Makeover Pt. 1: Brainstorming

No pics in this post… before pictures to come.  As part of my tackling my housekeeping trouble spots I want/need to makeover our laundry area.  Doing that will solve problems #2 (laundry) and #4 (shoes) and go a long way with helping #5 (basement).  Here’s my plan…

I want to implement an awesome idea I read about in The Duggars: 20 and Counting!.  Michelle Duggar keeps all of her family’s clothes in one room near the washer and dryer.  The clothes are hung and the socks and undergarments are sorted in bins by size.  With their system there is no hauling laundry baskets to bedrooms or fighting with dresser drawers.  Who needs 19 kids to crave simplicity like that – not me!!  I want to keep all of our clothes in the basement most of the time.  Once a week, probably on Saturday night, we would each bring up our clothes for the week along with enough socks, underwear, etc. to get us through.  As the clothes get worn we’ll drop them down the laundry shoot like normal.  Result: no laundry baskets upstairs ever again.  Oh, I just LOVE the sound of that!!

Plus… are you ready for this?  Yes my friends, Mount Shoe in the bottom of Brian’s closet could dissolve in to a beautiful area of empty floor space.  We could bring our cowboy boots up for church and put them back down there for the rest of the week.  Our dress shoes could stay down there – neatly arranged.  Ahhhh.  🙂

Now as we age we’ll obviously want to avoid all that running down the stairs.  For now, though, I’m already down there at least once a day to clean the litter box, feed the cat, or do laundry.  Not to mention check my seedlings or chicks when they’re down there.  So, keeping our clothes down there shouldn’t cause many extra trips.

I’m keeping a mental list of necessities needed for this makeover, as follows:

  • Shelving for shoes
  • Hanging rods for clothes
  • A place for empty hangers
  • 4 bins for each of our socks and undergarments
  • Shelving for laundry soap and supplies
  • A place to sort clean laundry
  • A place to stain treat and soak items
  • Trash can
  • Scissors for cutting rags before holey socks get put back in with good socks
  • Safety pins and post-its for noting what needs mending
  • Bin or basket to hold mending
  • More foam floor tiles
  • Ironing board and iron, and a place for it to be permanently set up

What else would be handy to add in?  How do you handle laundry?  What is your laundry area like?

Dog Fun!

The girls really enjoy climbing up in the hay with Brian.  To get up there in this picture she had to scale a wall 4 or 5 bales high and then army crawl across the top.  Brian’s holding her so she doesn’t jump down to me.  June can jump from the floor and easily land 2 bales high on the wagon!

I got a rare group picture behind Brian’s JD 70 by saying “Everyone COME, everyone SIT… Sam SIT, Junebug SIT, STAY, now everybody STAY!!” and then holding my hand up while I backed up and snapped this.  I ❤ them. 🙂

From L to R: June, Bear, Sam, and Maci.

Here’s one from the other day.

What do your dogs do for fun in the summer?

Garden Update

Yeah… about that mess of weeds I call a garden…

These are volunteer tomatoes growing in with some weeds where I never planted anything this year.  You can’t tell but they’re laying on the ground.

I get one or two decent sized cucumbers off my two plants every day.  That is, of course, unless the dogs find them first.

Can you see the giant garden spider?  There are two of them in my tomatoes and although I’m letting them live I avoid them like the plague and scream whenever I think I accidentally got too close!

Pretty Amish Paste tomatoes.

Squash from 4 plants that a guy at Brian’s work sent home (Jay, I think?  Thanks!)

When I said I didn’t think it would be a problem to keep the potato pots watered I wasn’t expecting these extremely hot temperatures ALL summer long.  They are pretty much dying.  I dumped out one of the small pots and the potatoes are small but good looking.  I’ll probably have to buy a few tubs to get us through the year.

There is some weedy sweet corn in the long garden along with some onions that someone MOWED off.  Sure, the long garden is mostly weeds, but they are my weeds darnit and I don’t know who felt like they could mow them but I was pretty mad.  The green beans did pretty poor at first.  The ones that lived are doing OK now.  I shelled and froze some peas before they dried up.  That’s about it this year!

Cowboy Blueberry Pie

I made this one with some of my home canned blueberry pie filling.  A neighbor invited me down for tea this morning so I took it with me.  It was delicious!  I think I’ll tweak the cookie cutter a little bit next time so it looks more like a boot.  I’ve tried to make good pies for so long and I feel like I’m finally on a roll!

What’s your favorite thing to bake?  What turns out best?