Saturday, May 13, 2017

The rain left and the sun came out and I went to Wally World!

I never go to Walmart on a weekend but actually it wasn't bad.  I spent the morning on chores and making my list and menu for at least the next 2 weeks or more.  I used to do a menu all the time but with just me it seemed a little overkill.  But I actually missed doing it and when a couple people like Rain and Marsha mentioned theirs I thought I should get back to it so I did and I am!   Also, my new to me cookbook, Apples and Jam, is just full of wonderful, healthy and beautiful dishes which definitely inspired me.

Here's my menu for the month?  We'll see how long it lasts me........

Homemade granola with Almond milk and fruit
eggs with bread and butter
smoothies with almond milk and fresh fruit
white milk bread

Meat and vegetable soup
meatloaf and vegetables
roast chicken dinner  
semolina soup

pecan butter cookies
lemon meringue pie
orange and olive oil cake with pine nuts
mango sorbet

Homemade crackers with cheese 
organic Tostitos with guacamole

fizzy orange
turmeric tea
water (of course)
 coffee in the morning

These are almost all homemade from scratch using as many organic ingredients as I can.  Good news too!  Walmart now has organic lean ground beef and grass fed beef with no antibiotics, hormones, etc.  like their 'natural' chicken which is all I buy.  I did a 'happy dance' in the meat aisle!
I am trying to be as self-sufficient as possible although it is a lot of work and like tonight I am really tired after shopping. loading, unloading and putting away.  I have all this produce to wash tomorrow...I just don't think my legs can handle much more today! LOL!
But my larder is full and I am a blessed woman!
  Tomorrow is roast chicken dinner for Mother's Day and that lemon meringue pie I have been dreaming about!  Happy Mother's Day Eve!
Happy Trails too!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Rainy cozy day!!!

Well, yesterday was nice during most of the day so I rushed outside to get some work done before the storms arrived.  I watered my plants under the eaves as unless it REALLY blows they don't get much moisture.  I then went in the back yard and started working on (weeding) the North East flower bed.  I got it about 1/2 done before my arms gave out.  It was about 85 degrees F so if you were working you got very warm.  I raked up the mess and then planted some flowers in the trough and called it quits for the outside work.  I planted some perennials with annuals hoping the annuals would fill in while the perennials had a chance to get started.
 I tried to blog and read blogs yesterday but the Internet kept going up and down so I finally called them and indeed it was them and not me...PTL!  They must have fixed it because all is working well today.  It put me in a bit of a bind though as I depend on the pc and my tablet for the  weather but I had batteries for my weather radio so I turned it on instead.  I usually only turn it on when I go to sleep.
I went uptown for some mulch, softner salt and a few other essentials, came back home and hunkered down while the clouds moved in.  I finished the foot of my sock but I was so tired I could barely keep my eyes open.  I had done my chores, the cat girls were in the basement and I fed Nitty and Annie but by then the storm had blown in and they couldn't go out which they usually do after supper.  I feel so bad for them but they will turn around when I open the door and they see the rain coming down.
 I had my pj's on by 5:30 and I heated up my Vermicelli Soup with Tomato and Basil.....this soup is phenomenal!  I could not believe how with such few and simple ingredients you could make something taste that good! I am sharing the recipe with you here so you can see for yourself if you so desire..........mind you...I did not have fresh basil so I used dried and I used good old Kraft Parmesan cheese as that is all I had.  Tessa Kiros, the author of Apples for Jam, says this is her 'crisis saver' whether you are tired, sick or just don't feel like cooking this is a great 'go to' recipe.  It is also quick, inexpensive, easy and you usually have these ingredients on hand.
 So here it is:
Vermicelli Soup with Tomato and Basil by Tessa Kiros from the book Apples for Jam
7 cups water or broth
1 Tablespoon of tomato sauce
4 basil leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt (optional )
1/4 (of a 16 ounce package) vermicelli or angel hair pasta broken up
olive oil (to serve)
grated Parmesan cheese (to serve)
Put the water (or broth), tomato sauce, and basil leaves in a pan and add 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt (this shouldn't be necessary if you are using broth).  Bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat for 6 to 7 minutes before adding the pasta.  Cook the pasta until a few seconds before the package says it will be ready (it will continue cooking in the hot broth) and then immediately remove the pan from the heat.  Ladle into bowls, diving to the bottom of the pot each time to make sure that everyone has a fair helping of pasta and broth.  Drizzle a little olive oil over each bowl if you like, but definitely give a good sprinkling of Parmesan (about 1 very heaping Tablespoon for each bowl).  Serve immediately.  Serves 4-6
 Tessa also had a recipe for Cranberry syrup that you could use over pancakes, ice cream and even use with water or sparkling water for a refreshing drink.  I may try this with some other fruit as there are no cranberries, not even frozen, at this time of year.
Her chapters are divided into colors.....I'm on the Red Chapter...can you tell? LOL!
More treasures came in the mail..........this is a book that Joyce of Ruby Moss Cottage had a giveaway for and since the giveaway was over I decided to order it 'used' and I am so happy!  It is by Tiff Fusell (Dottie Angel) and Rachel Blondell (Ted and Agnes).  I can't wait to delve into this book.....right up my 'granny' alley!  If you like this style you would love Ruby Moss Cottage podcasts too.  Tiff does not blog anymore at Dottie Angel but the posts are still out there and you have to be invited to Rachel's blog and her blog where she sells things is no longer in business or she has moved.  But if you Google either one of them there are plenty of 'pins' on Pinterest and people have somehow 'archived' Ted and Agnes blog posts before she went 'private'.
I also received this awesome book that Katie of Inside Number 23 mentioned in one of her first podcasts and I put it on my  'never ending book list'  back then.....did I mention I love bees and all things botanical?  You can visit What Delilah Did here
It's a rainy, blustery day here on the homestead.....a perfect day for curling up with these inspirational books.....just as soon as I clean the tub, do some ironing, make that pie and pay some bills......yeah....right after that! LOL!
I hope you are having a wonderful Friday full of accomplishment in whatever you endeavor!
Happy Trails!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Busy as a bee!!!

With more storms coming tonight and tomorrow I wanted to get the lawn mowed yesterday.  I did but not without some issues.......I had 1/4 tank of gas in the mower and thought I could make it but I didn't.  I ran out about 3/4 of the way through.  So, I packed up my trusty gas container and took off for Ash Flat and got gas and a few other things while I was out.  I came back and finished the mowing and that was pretty much my day.  Oh, did I mention I spent at least an hour picking up sticks and branches from the previous storms.  Oh, and I also primed a lawn chair and a plant stand after I mowed.  I still have to paint them.  It was a beautiful day to be outside and the lawn is done for another week............
The honeysuckle is in bloom and oh what a glorious smell as I brushed past it on the edge of the woods.
Today was laundry......2 loads of it as the rains are coming.....see how the weather dictates my life? LOL!  I also ran uptown for a few things for supper and for batteries for the weather radio.
I got more 'treasures' in the mail too...........some more dye supplies.............
and my book that I am so happy to get............I will be reading it immediately!  I have searched everywhere for the movie and it is not to be found.............
Do you remember when I told I was wanting to make cobbler aprons part of my retirement uniform?  My Aunt used to wear them all the time and they are so handy and they have pockets!  So, I ordered 2 and plan on making my own pattern from them.  I washed them today and they need to be ironed but here's a look at what I am talking about.........I will be wearing a blouse under them..........they have snaps too..............
They were $12 each and cheaply made but I think I can improve on them if I can make my own pattern.  The pockets will be so handy for when I am hanging clothes outside too.  I can stick lots of clothes pins in them.  Room for a Kleenex too which I seem to always need.  I want pockets in everything I wear!
This item was on clearance and it is a quilted pad that goes over a chair seat, back and arms....almost recovered but not quite!  It was only $6 so I grabbed it.  Anything would be an improvement over my green bedroom chair so I will show you after I vacuum the chair and put this pad on it.  The cat girls have shredded the sides and back of the chair.  I need to recover it in steel wool!  I'm wondering if outdoor fabric would stop the shredding?  There is a fabric that resists cat claws but it is very pricey!  So for now this will be a cheap little pick-me-up.
I'm getting ready to make a quick and easy supper from my 'new to me' cookbook Apples for Jam.......I splurged for canned broth but I need to make my own........another thing to add to the never-ending list of chores...............
I am making this recipe..............Vermicelli Soup with Tomato and Basil.......I'll have a couple slices of my homemade bread toasted to go with it.  She called this her crisis meal and I am so tired that I thought it would suit me tonight...once again the lemon meringue pie will have to wait..........
I will curl up in my bed with my new book, some knitting and a few yarn catalogues......heaven!
I hope you had a lovely day and I hope you curl up with the things you love tonight!
Happy Trails!

Monday, May 8, 2017

It's Monday! What are you reading, watching and listening to?

I finally finished all 500 some pages of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire...wonderful!
and last night I watched the movie of the 2nd book;  Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.....the movie was excellent!
My next fiction book is this one which I have already started go along with the Hotel of Bees KAL which I have not worked on all week.....too much outside work to do when the sun shines and when it rains I check for leaks in the roof and put bowls out! LOL!
 For my non-fiction I am reading this book which I have had for quite a while......probably when I had my little farm...............

I also got 'treasures' in the mail this week!  From Thriftbooks....books that have been on my list for awhile and they are all's time to start thinking about...........
Yes, that's right.....Christmas!   Here's another one I've had my eyes on for a while............
and what about this one?
 Plus, this one has been on my list since it was first published but used is so much less expensive!  This is a really thick book about 3 inches!  Probably another 500 pager at least!
I found a copy of the pattern book that has the Karma Throw that I want to make.  Joyce of Ruby Moss Cottage podcast has made it and it is gorgeous!  But from the looks of will be a challenge! It has intarsia although I have done crochet intarsia....remember my Hooky pillow?  So, I think I can handle it but there are some instructions I do not understand.  Maybe Joyce can straighten me out.
If I was in a store I doubt if I would even give a second look to this pattern book as it seems pretty 'blah' ...........
but tucked inside the pages is this glorious throw/ is about 18 inches wide and over 5 feet long!  It will cost a fortune so I can't order the yarn all at once....I'll just have to take my chances.  They don't even make the yarn that this was originally made from but I found a yarn substitute website that is giving me some  options.  Ravelry has had some KALs with this in the past so I am reading over all their notes too. 
I am on Exodus chapter 30 in the New Living Translation Bible and I've been listening to Pastor Rick Warren's Daily Hope podcast.  Other than that just the alternative media news and a few weekly knitting podcasts such as The Grocery Girls!
Tonight after supper I am curling up in bed with my new 'treasures' and devouring them!  Ahhhh.......bliss...a cup of tea and thee!
Happy Trails!