Friday, September 30, 2011

The Soon-to-be Newlyweds

I'd started a sign for Mom's porch, but decided to make one,instead,for my niece's upcoming wedding. It is a very informal wedding,out in her Mother's yard,well really on the barn porch, so I didn't figure it needed to be real fancy. If it had been a Black Tie affair, I wouldn't have made it quite so colorful.These were the colors of the letters I had begun for Mom's porch railing, so I continued on with them as they were.During the Honeyfest, I saw a display that really struck a chord with me. The letters they had displaying their business were painted up in a similar manner, and hung by a cord of some type. I can experiment with that later, but for now, I decided to use a flat board as my background. I used Liquid Nails to adhere the letters to the board.Then I trimmed my background board, leaving a quarter inch lip all the way around. I rummaged through my stash of trimmings in search of something that might work for a trim, and low and behold, I had just enough black lace.I painted the quarter inch trim around my board with black paint, and when it dried, I hot glued the lace all around the edge. It is hard to see in the picture, but I then glued sparkle sprinkles around the edges of their names. Now all I need to do is attach a couple of hooks for hanging.Hopefully,it will look really good, hanging somewhere in the wedding area.I'll try to get a couple of pictures to post after the wedding tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Rednecks Utilize Everything

redneck planter

We ,Rednecks, catch a lot of flack over our ways, but most of our ideas usually work great.This type of planter has been around for years,but I doubt those folks using it back then had an inkling they were being classified as Rednecks. It is just another frugal way to utilize something that is no longer usable in it's intended manner.It works great as a planter. I have a couple of these old tires, and we use them to mark our septic tanks,so we can find them easily, when and if they ever need attention.So while they were sitting there, I figured I'd make them as attractive as possible.If it has to be shoved aside some day to work on the tank,it'll hurt a lot, but so be it. I have lots more flowers to put back later.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Bunch of Scared Chickens

Remember my Potting Place? It was a 16 X 16 foot abandoned dog run where Pop once kept his prize Beagles. He has had a Beagle most of his life until a couple of years ago.He was always an avid hunter and enjoyed the dogs and hunting tremendously,but now that he is much older,he feels there is no use keeping dogs penned up if he isn't going to take them out to run and hunt occasionally.It is costly to feed them, plus he can no longer do that much walking in the fields that it requires.Nevertheless, I converted the dog run into my Potting Place.I got it finished too late in the season to start my seedlings, so I have been using it as housing for my quail and a few baby chickens at times.The quail are enclosed in a second pen within the main enclosure, so they do not run free,but for now, Pop has been letting the Mother Bantam Hen and her babies run free.They come and go in and out of my Potting Shed, either looking for bugs,or just reminiscing over the good times they had spent in there.Regardless of their reasons,the chickens had gathered up inside the Potting Place for a few minutes yesterday, and I happened to be outside and heard an awful lot of squawking coming from the older chickens pen. I dropped what I was doing, and ran to see what was happening. As I turned the corner around the garage, I was almost hit in the face by a huge chicken hawk which had entered the Potting Place,attempting to catch another chicken. He had already caught one this past week,or so we assumed. One was missing and the hawk has been hanging around our chicken yard,but who would have dreamed that it would have went inside the Potting Place after another. He was really big.I.m guessing he had a wing span of at least 4 feet.They look big enough,way up in the sky, but up close, right in your face, they are enormous.
Our older chickens are enclosed in a pen with a really high fence,which we hope would make it hard for the hawk to swoop down inside,grab a full grown chicken and then fly almost straight up to get away.At night, we close the adult chickens up in a smaller pen and chicken house with mesh wire over the top of the pen.There are lots of other varmints that try to get in at night,to kill and eat chickens.With the chicken pen being up close to a wooded area ,the chances of that happening, are greater.
Needless to say, the Mother Hen and her babies are not roaming free today.We both hate to see them housed up in a coop, but for a day or two, until we can rearrange things, they will have to be content where they are.I would think it's better than the alternative.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Dr. Oz Would Be So Proud of Me.

our 2011 sweet potatoes
I like to watch Dr. Oz when I can, and he is teaching me many helpful things on improving our nutrition and diet. Not that I hadn't heard most of it before,but it just reinforces all that I have read and studied over the last 30 years. I love to read anything pertaining to improving your health through nutrition. There are so many myths circulating about different foods,nutrients,supplements,etc.,you don't know who or what to  believe. I tend to believe a lot of what Dr. Oz advocates. I like the fact that he tells what he believes no matter what the medical profession tells about a product or procedure. He does the research. It is my opinion that the medical world sees only the dollar amount they can get out of you,and no amount of persuasion will change my mind on that.
Nevertheless, these are three of the products he stresses, and I am learning to use them to enhance our diets, more and more each day. We raised our own sweet potatoes again this year, and today, I sliced up a big potato and cooked it just till tender, in a teaspoon of olive oil, then sprinkled it with the least amount of raw sugar. Not that it was not sweet enough, but Pop likes candied sweet potatoes like his Mamaw use to fix,so I figured I could wean him off of the super sweet dish and teach him to love them with much less sugar. Sweet potatoes are one of the foods at the top of Dr. Oz's list in nutritive value, and one we have easy access to. Many of the foods he promotes,we do not.The sweet potato is a very versatile food and can be used in so many ways.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

My Bumblebee

my freehand bumblebee
Have I mentioned my latest project. Of course, I have. I am sure everyone is sick of it, but I am enjoying it immensely.If you click on the picture, I think you can get a close up view of some of the latest embellishments I have added. To a real quilter or appliquer, I'm sure this is no big feat, but to me, I am ecstatic with what I have done. This is my first project to use appliqueing, and I love it.I have never really enjoyed quilting per se, since it takes so long to finish an entire quilt,although I do make small quilts. Baby quilts or wall hangings or maybe an occasional table toppers,as I call them.Something that is finished quickly. I figure I must have a slight case of the adult form of ADD.If I get bored with any project I am working on, I simply jump off of that onto another project or even another aspect of the same project, then I'm good to go in a few minutes, and I can proceed.That's what I have been doing with this little wall hanging project. When I tire of appliqueing, I find other embellishments to add to this same project.
I spent a good portion of my day indoors yesterday, because of the rain,although I did work a couple of hours out in the early morning drizzle,to pull weeds and undergrowth from various flower beds.I cut and hacked and pulled for two hours in the rain,before I decided to come inside.The rest of the day, I spent with my sewing and minor house chores.One task was sorting through my embroidery thread box.Organizing my many threads. Now that was a job and I am not real happy with it yet,but that's another rainy day's project.
My latest addition to my mini quilt is the bumblebee. I am so proud of how he turned out. I did it freehand,no pattern.I got the idea while visiting a small restaurant this last week.The owner is a lot like myself. She has so many cute little decorations that she uses in her restaurant for every holiday or occasion.A lot like I use to do when I managed the school cafeteria for many years. I think it makes the place look a bit more like a home instead of a business. I feel it puts folks more at ease to be surrounded with homey type decorations.(There are some folks who consider it clutter, but what do they know. If they were all that smart, they'd be somebody.)(Sorry! The devil made me say that.)
Nevertheless, the restaurant owner had a picture on her windowsill,with a bumblebee in it.The Honeyfest is going on this week, and the folks in that small town, go all out,and they do put on a fabulous fest.I only wish our little town had a celebration as nice. The bumblebee is everywhere in that town.Well, really their bee is suppose to be a Honeybee,but I think the bumblebee makes a better picture. The Kelly Beehive Factory in this small town is the reason for the name of their celebration.I hope the rain doesn't hamper their efforts today.If we don't have a real heavy downpour,I am sure it will not slow things down that much for them. They are a determined bunch when they get their celebration going.They are like the postman quote,in that respect."Neither,rain,nor sleet,nor gloom of night...."  Choose the one you like, but it describes the Clarkson Honeyfest.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Moving Right Along and Lovin' It!

Americana side

Fall side
I posted a few times on this project, but I wanted to give an update on my progress. I have decided that appliqueing is fun. I had never done enough of it before to really know if I liked it or not, but since I began this little project, I have decided, I do like it.I still have quite a bit to do on this piece before I am finished, but I seem to want to work on it every spare minute I get.With other responsibilities around the home place, I am forced to wait until just after supper and before bedtime, to work on it. I carry it with me,when going to doctor's appointments and such,so I do get to work on it a bit more at those times.This piece is nothing spectacular, but since I have decided I like appliqueing, I want to make it as nice as possible. I think of other embellishments to add to it as I go along. I guess that's how all crafters do, simply because their minds are programmed that way. Constantly thinking,thinking,thinking, of new ways and things to do.I don't know how much longer it will take me to finish this piece,if I ever do,you know how a work of art is to an artist, hardly ever seems finished exactly to the artist's liking,but hopefully I will find a stopping place and call it done. At that time, I will try to hang it on the wall and compose a post showing my finished piece.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

An Angel Visits Mom While She was Making Quilts for the Soldiers

The story behind this picture is as sweet as the lady in the picture. My Mom. She has lost quite a bit of her eye sight in the last few years. So much so, the Association for the Blind has called to see if she needs assistance in any way.One of her eye doctors gave them her name, so you know how bad her eyesight must be.It's hard to believe, a year or so ago, she was making quilts for the soldiers.Her church has always contributed  all sorts of hand made items in times of need, for different groups, but Mom heard about this project through other channels, and decided it was something she would like to do. They wanted small lap type quilts, and that was even better. With her eyesight failing, and the constant numbness in her arms and hands,it would be difficult, at best.The small quilts would be an excellent project for her.I believe Dad would have been so proud of her. It was always his wish that she would take up quilting like his Mother. Mom would never be able to make the beautiful decorative quilts like Grandma did, but her quilts were just fine for the purpose at hand.I would have loved to heard from the soldiers who received her quilts. They were not perfect, but I hope where ever they ended up,that each and every lonely soldier,felt the kind of love in their little quilt, that they once felt when they they were wrapped in the arms of their own Mother.

It was about a year ago, maybe two, when the lady in charge of taking pictures for the Clarkson Day Festivities,was going around town, taking pictures of the yard displays for the upcoming contest.When stopping at Mom's yard to snap a picture of her yard arrangement,she spotted Mom on the porch working on one of her little quilts. The lady was so taken by the sight of this little old lady ,sitting there quilting, her heart told her she simply must take her picture.She spent several minutes there, talking with Mom about the quilts, and taking snapshots of her.We were amazed to hear the story which Mom told us later, but even more amazed when she brought back, a few days later, enough snapshots for  Mom and each of us nine children to have copies. What a wonderful gesture. We were so pleased and thankful,we went straight to town and picked her up something nice to show our appreciation. We got her a lovely Fall arrangement for her table.Isn't it wonderful to know there are still good folks around,and many times they are like angels who appear when you least expect them.

Rolling in the Dough!

After reading Brendie's experiences with bread making, I decided to write about some of mine.

Many years ago I had an opportunity to work in a tiny restaurant in our town where they served the most fabulous yeast rolls known in these parts. The lady that ran the restaurant was an excellent cook.Everything she cooked was delicious,but the rolls were her trademark.She or her sister, would make the rolls on a regular basis, and no one was allowed to see her make them.Well, the sister was not as protective of the process as was the restaurant owner.As I got older, I learned that yeast rolls were not that hard to make, but the whole process was tedious if done correctly,and you know me, I like to take short cuts.Taking short cuts in yeast bread making does not always work. It takes time for the dough to do it's thing, and no amount of trying will hurry it up.Nevertheless, on a few occasions,when the sister was making up the bread dough, I tried to keep some mental notes of what she was doing,without her knowing.Years later, I spoke to a part time waitress that had worked in that same restaurant, who had done the same thing.We got together and compared notes, and came up with a recipe that was pretty close to the owners. Not that I ever used it that much,in my home. We love the rolls, but they don't sit good on the hips.

Awhile later, when I went to work at the school, they had a yeast roll recipe that they used, that was real similar. Yeast rolls are a pretty basic recipe.No matter who makes them. We always had lots of wonderful compliments on the rolls we made at school.There is just something about yeast rolls that folks love. They are not an every day bread,for most folks anyway, so when you do get to enjoy one, it tastes wonderful.

I use to make the yeast rolls for the school kids in a huge dish pan, when I first went to work for the school.We had no mixer back then.I would begin making the rolls while the school children were present, eating their breakfast, and they were simply mesmerized, watching me make up the dough and cut out the rolls,but then a lot of the procedures we went through in their presence,fascinated them.They loved to spend time in the cafeteria, just to watch us going through our daily routine for preparing the meals.Our school was very small. The kitchen,where we prepared everything, and the tables where the kids ate, were all in the same room.And it was a small room at that.We only served approximately 100 kids on a daily basis..

Before I retired, the entire county of 20 some schools got their baked goods from a central location. One school in the north end of the county and one in the central section of the county, had a night shift of workers who came in at 4 PM and worked until 9AM,and did all of the baking for every single school in our county.They called it centralized baking.Each school would send in,a monthly list of the baked good needed for every day of that month, the crew would bake that all up, and divide it up by schools,and it was delivered each morning by a couple of delivery trucks,just before serving time.It was a geat system, but I,personally, did miss the making of the rolls and the cinnamon rolls.The teachers,kids, and the parents,all raved about the cinnamon rolls. I dare say, they were the biggest hit of all the foods we prepared during my 27 plus years working at the school.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Close Kin to Kudzu?

I have spent the better portion of my day today,pulling down these beautiful but invasive morning glories. They are one of the few things that bloom in the heat of the summer without complaint. I am beginning to believe they are a close cousin to Kudzu.They have taken over the biggest portion of my wrap around porch. I let them grow, since so little seems to be able to withstand the drought and the heat, but now they are going to seed, so I knew I must get them down and in a hot fire.I'm sure there are plenty of seeds that have already escaped and will be invading the flower beds next season if I don't mulch them heavily.

It was also a good day for washing down the vinyl siding on the house,although I stopped with one wall today. There is no use killing myself trying to do it all in a day.I offered to go and get Mom to help, but she wasn't falling for it.She's 85. you know.She's usually ready to help me tackle any kind of job necessary, but evidently,this didn't sound like her cup of tea today.The weather has cooled down a bit, so I turned on my music,drug out the garden hose, a long handled brush, and the purple cleaner, and cleaned away.I'll tackle another section tomorrow.

I'm so glad supper was already fixed. A big crock pot of vegetable soup.I have a feeling I'll be in bed early.

What do a refigerator and a flower bed have in common after a long busy summer?

(A lot of interesting stuff hidden inside.)

I think I'll have enough Hen's Nest Gourds to do most anything I take a notion to do with them.They were every where. It was like pulling a string of Christmas lights out of the overgrown flower bed.They kept coming.

I found several Praying Mantid, and they are huge.I have been  calling it a Praying Mantis my entire life, but the site says  it's Praying Mantid.

This is a seed pod from a plant from the woods that I carried in and forgot about.I also forgot the name. I think it may be a Jack in the Pulpit.I will be doing more research on this one,too.

 a Walking Stick.
I have always called this a Fly Catcher, but noit sure yet what the true name is. I'm still looking.

               Thank goodness there were no snakes, and no ticks that I have found on me so far this morning..

Check out this wonderful site for bug identification which fascinates me.Very Interesting reading.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Making memories for someone.

My Grandparents-Ed and Mary Wise 

Grandma and Grand daddy to us kids
I have a new blogging friend. Her name is Kathleen of Yesteryears Embroideries. I stumbled across her site, as many folks do, while browsing through someone else's followings. What is that saying,"Birds of a feather, flock together."
Kathleen had pictured an embroidered spread very similar to one that I had just purchased at a consignment shop. I generally don't pay too much for such items, but this particular spread,spoke to me. I could not leave the shop without it. I don't really know what the draw of the spread was. The colors,probably.The flowers,it's possible.The basket,another possibility. The crocheted edging,could be.But all in all, I had to have it. I paid $3.99 for the spread, and it was worth every penny of it to me. It's possible that the little spread  evokes feeling for me, of an earlier time in my life,where I felt loved and safe and pampered. No doubt, it was in my Grandmother's home. I spent a lot of time there, as a child, and she would spend a lot of time,sewing me clothes, teaching me to make fried apple pies,cutting,sewing,and pressing her little quilt blocks,getting them ready for her next masterpiece. My Grandmother made so many beautiful quilts. They were nothing like the thrown together quilts that my Mom and I make. They were like the fine, meticulous ones made by my sister,Vicki, of My Favorite Things. Vicki inherited the quilting gene,as you can see on her blog. She has made so many over the years, but I am sure she didn't think to take pictures of them all before sending them along to the lucky recipient.She presently has some medical issues that keeps her from doing a lot of the meticulous quilting she once did, but she has pictured a few of her latest quilts on one of her last posts.

If you have not checked out some of Vicki and Kathleen's posts,hop over and take a peek.They are both truly artists in their own craft.

Monday, September 12, 2011

New Plans Needed

This is the fabric Leah chose for her bedroom curtains. Pink camouflage with peace signs stamped all over.

Leah's Initial for her wall, in progress

I think my Grandchildren are going through a similar stage,to the one in Terry's story. When they were very small, I was their number one playmate. We use to play a lot, but not as much lately,since they are getting older, and they have quit coming every Sunday.If they are coming over, they usually call between 7 and  9 o'clock to let me know, then I pick them up around 10,but here lately, they have been spending more time at home on Sundays. Not sure what is going on, but their Dad has changed shifts,so they could be doing some fun things together at home. This past Sunday, they had not called, so we had given up on them coming, and planned our day without them, when Leah called around noon , saying she was bored, and wanted me to come and get her.We did so, and went on with our plan to go to town.While we were shopping,I stopped by the fabric department for some Pellon, and Leah spotted some fabric that she just had to have.She could envision something made from it, but she wasn't sure just what.A blouse or possibly curtains. Yes, that sounded good. Curtains.So I gave in and bought enough to make her two pair of curtains for her bedroom(which she never uses).Hopefully,this would encourage her to spend more time in her own room. She has everything a little girl her age could possibly want in that room anyway.Now that she is ten, hopefully, she is beginning to take interest in her own special space.She was as nervous as I was, maybe more so,when I began cutting the fabric.She called home and had her Dad to measure the windows.She was ecstatic over the curtains. She wanted them done that day,which didn't happen,but I did get up early Monday and finished them, all but the hem.I want to wait until they are hanging to be sure of the length.They are very simple curtains, although I did line them,but I think she will be pleased with them. I made long tie backs for them, so she could tie a bow with each one, and a throw pillow with the tiny piece of fabric that was left over.She says she thinks a matching quilt for her bed would look nice.I told her it would depend on how she likes the curtains,as to whether we tackle a quilt.I ran across the letter L in my wood scraps, so I decided to make her a little extra surprise in decorating her initial for her wall.Not decided yet as to whether or not I cut out the EAH to finish her whole first name.Since it's so short, I may.

I plan to take the curtains over while she is in school and hang them up, and hopefully get them hemmed before she gets home from school. I hope to stop by the store and pick up two sets of louvered blinds to go on the windows,too.

I'll need to look John's room over while I'm there. I believe he has one window. so I'll pick him up some camouflage fabric for him a set of curtains, a set of louvered blinds, and make his name in camouflage for his wall.I doubt he would want a pillow, but surely fellows use pillows.Maybe a regular pillow case for his bed pillow.He may like that better than a throw pillow.I may find myself making  two quilts in the near future.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

So Much Pain!

This day, ten years ago, will linger in the minds of all who lived,on that day. For my family,only six days earlier,we had suffered what we thought was the worst pain possible.We had lost our Father. I am so glad he did not live to see that horrific act. As great as was the pain and heartache from loosing our Dad, I am sure it pails to the sadness felt around the world from the loss of so many. The thought of all of the folks who were hurting as we were, was a common thread among us.Pain is pain,no matter who it touches. I have healed  somewhat,from the loss of my Dad,although it is hard to say you ever heal over the lost of a family member,but we knew his time was near. He was 83 and in poor health there at the end, so death is inevitable,but for all of those who died so unexpectedly,with no prior warning from such a horrific act,must be unbearable.We pray that those who have lost friends and family due to that act, have healed to some degree.I heard on the news just yesterday, that others are still dying,due to circumstances related to that day. May God's comforting presence be with them all.

Are you making memories for someone?

My Grandparents-Ed and Mary Wise 

Grandma and Grand daddy to us kids
I have a new blogging friend. Her name is Kathleen of Yesteryears Embroideries. I stumbled across her site, as many folks do, while browsing through someone else's list of followings. What is that saying,"Birds of a feather, flock together."Pop has a saying that means the same thing, but a little cruder in verse."There is no horse so scruffy, that you can't find a scruffy bush to tie it to."I think it means the same or close,but he usually uses it when someone marries or teams up with another person of the same caliber,and that's usually not good."But in this case, I am glad to be associated with the caliber of folks whom we find blogging with similar backgrounds, likes,dreams,wishes,and aspirations.Kathleen had pictured an embroidered spread very similar to one that I had just purchased at a consignment shop. I generally don't pay too much for such items, but this particular spread,spoke to me. I could not leave the shop without it. I don't really know what the draw of the spread was. The colors,probably.The flowers,it's possible.The basket,another possibility. The crocheted edging,could be.But all in all, I had to have it. I paid $3.99 for the spread, and it was worth every penny of it to me. It's possible that the little spread  evokes feeling for me, of an earlier time in my life,where I felt loved and safe and pampered. No doubt, it was in my Grandmother's home. I spent a lot of time there, as a child, and she would spend a lot of time teaching me to make fried apple pies,cutting,sewing,and pressing her little quilt blocks,getting them ready for her next masterpiece. My Grandmother made so many beautiful quilts. They were nothing like the thrown together quilts that my Mom and I make. They were like the fine, meticulous ones made by my sister,Vicki, of My Favorite Things. She inherited the quilting gene from our Grandmother.Dad use to bring home lots of fabric from auctions he would attend, in hopes that Mom would take up the art of quilting like his Mother. Little did he know that you must have the gene inside of you to do that. It is next to impossible to produce those beautiful works of art, without it.I don't really remember Grandma doing that much embroidery work, but something about it, brings back a lot of special feelings inside of me.I have done a little of it myself, and it is a peaceful, relaxing hobby and the finished piece brings you so much pride in knowing that you have created such a beautiful masterpiece for someone to cherish.
Stop by Kathleen's site and see all of the wonderful memories she is making for someone in her family or circle of friends.

My spread has this pattern on both ends,with a crocheted edging all around.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Farm Life

How sweet it is!
Good night Mary Ellen,Goodnight,John Boy,Good night Elizabeth!

Bored people are usually boring people.

I find this to be true? Folks who are constantly complaining of boredom are usually boring people to be around. I think if the word bored and all of it's derivatives were taken out of the English language, I would never notice.I never have time to be bored. Sometimes I wish I did.

This is a scrap of wood that begged to be made into a pumpkin. It was from an old piece of aged 4X4 wood, and when I finished it, it appeared too rough to suit me, so I took some Spackle and smoothed out the surface a bit, and repainted it.Now, all it needed was a leaf and a curlicue.The leaf is the project that made me think I might have an illness. I began to paint the stem, and I noticed the green paint I was planning to use, had dried up. I dug around in the little bottle, and got the dried paint out, and made a little ball with it.It was a little drier than clay,but I got to thinking. What can I do with this ball of dried paint? I took it outside to the sidewalk, and battered it with my hammer until it was flat.Then I trimmed it with the scissors.Wallah! A Leaf! Now that's what I would call a Sickness or an Obsession .What ever it's called, I have it. I hate waste.
The little leaf turned out to look more like an apple leaf than a pumpkin leaf.I may try my hand at making a new leaf,but not just now. I have too many other irons in the fire.

 I'll save my little leaf awhile and I'll just make a wooden apple for it. Now that's a thought. I need to make some wooden apples.Isn't it amazing how one thought will lead to another, then another.and so on. That is exactly my point. How is it, some people cannot find anything to keep them selves occupied, and others are covered up with ideas galore.

Friday, September 9, 2011


I do love Okra.I learned to like okra many years ago from a family friend who had moved to Kentucky from Mississippi.Their family raised it every year, and when I would stay with them occasionally, I would help them to harvest and cook it. Mom was raised in South Louisiana, where folks used okra quite often, but since she did not do that much Cajun cooking for our family,here in Kentucky, and she disliked okra's slimy nature anyway,I had not learned much about it.Mom did make one dish using Okra that I learned to love and do to this day. She would slice the young, tender okra into small pinwheels, smother it down in a skillet with a wee bit of oil.Then when it was smothered down to suit her, she would add other ingredients.She always swore the frying down would lessen the sliminess of it. I never really saw that it helped, but nevertheless,after frying it down a bit, she would add onions, peppers,tomatoes,lima beans, and some form of meat for flavoring, and season it to her liking.After all of this had simmered a bit, she would cook up a huge dish of rice. We ate loads of rice while growing up.We would then ladle a heaping helping of the okra mixture over our bowl or plate of rice.Now that was some good eating.

This summer I planted a few hills of okra, but since it gets too mature really quickly, if not picked daily, I lost a lot of mine.I hope one day,to find some other use for the dried pods of okra still standing in my garden.Crafty people can find something to do,with most anything.I am even considering saving the dried up seeds to use in cooking. I think I've read somewhere that you can do that.

Nevertheless, I was able to find a peck of young okra, at the Amish Produce Auction, so I had a couple of bags for the freezer.Later in the season, when I needed more freezer space, I took the 2 bags of okra out and cooked it down like Mom did, and canned 3 jars of the okra mix.Well....I have already opened and eaten 2.When I fix a dish for just myself, it's such an easy dish to prepare when you have it canned up that way.

I was at the store yesterday, and decided to buy a couple of bags of frozen okra.That's what I'm canning today. I had several bags of frozen peppers which were taking up space,so now they're gone from the freezer.Now when I open a jar for another meal, I only need to add the meat, and cook the rice.I have freed up some more space in my freezer as well as prepared some quick and easy dishes for later.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Eyes Have It!

Wearing glasses is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I wear them more and more now, but I treat them just like my shoes. As soon as I possibly can, I take them off. Pop swears that is a big part of my eye problem, but of course, I refuse to believe that.He thinks spending time on the computer harms them too, but I can't quit now. I'm addicted to blogging.

Yesterday was my one year appointment with my regular eye doctor. My eyes had not changed enough for new lens, but the doctor saw something he thought needed further exploring, but by a specialist.Their office set me up an appointment with the specialist and I visited their office today. With my Mom having Macular Degeneration in both eyes, and loosing 90% of her sight in one, and the other one declining fast, I was frightened. Pop and his daughter cut their regular Wednesday visitation short,in order for him to drive me to and from my appointment. My eyes would need to be dilated once more, and it is next to impossible to drive for several hours.They recommend bringing a driver along.They took several tests using strong lights and those dreaded drops, but the entire session was over very quickly. Luckily the outcome was nothing near as bad as I had imagined. It appears I have a wrinkle in the lining of my retina wall. The Doctor talked like it was something that could be corrected with surgery,when and if it got worse, but it is not that bad right now. Evidently, it is something that occurs sometimes with the aging process. Mom is 85 and has a wrinkle or fold in her good eye lining, but her age prohibits her from having the surgery.Hopefully, if mine does get worse,and  it does so in the next 10 years, they may recommend surgery for me,too,but for now, he recommends eating more green leafy vegetables and wear sun glasses or a visor when I'm out in the sun.Thank goodness, it was not worse. I can't imagine living without my eyesight.

There is a lot of very helpful information on WebMD pertaining to Eye Health. It is a neglected area, for many of us, but it would be in our best interest to read up on some of the information provided and not continue to take our eyes for granted.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Tale of Two Sisters!

Long ago,around 40 years or so,there were two sisters who parted ways,due to the root family moving away.Eight hundred and fifty miles to be exact..One sister was 13 and the other was 24.(these numbers are rough guesstimates)The two sisters lived far apart for the most part,ever since, only to visit occasionally, but their visits were very few.After living apart for all those years,they finally begin to communicate on a daily basis,
via the blogging world. Each and every day we learn something new about each other, and we are finding that we have more similarities than anyone would have ever suspected.More similarities than any of the other 7 siblings.We both love crafting of all kinds. We both loved gardening at one time, but her situation at the moment, doesn't allow her to do much of that anymore.She lives with her daughter and I'm not sure if it's possible to plant a garden there.I am interested in natural healing and home remedies ,as is she.We both enjoy cooking.The list goes on and on. Today, I am mentioning all of this, to say one thing.She has posted a picture of a project she is working on,not knowing that I am working on a similar project.She has painted hers white, as have I. With her reclaimed curtain rod,she has made a paper towel holder.I will use mine to hold  banners and flags which I will working on this winter.Some weird things are happening with my blog tonight. I only hope it is readable, when I hit the publish button.

I found a blog discussing leather britches.

After Annie commented on my Leather Britches post, I decided to do some more research on the beans myself. I got lucky and found this amazing blog.

The author is trying Leather Britches for herself and plans to keep us posted on the out come. It is a fascinating blog, and I will be following it on a regular basis.

Leather Britches???

First and foremost,these are not Leather Britches.They are Roma beans which I planted late. The weather has been so dry, they have not done good. The bugs got to them, and they are tougher that I like my green beans to be. While I was working on these beans, cutting off the bug bites, and fretting so, over the fact they are not as nice as I would have liked them to be, I was wondering how folks were able to eat the beans they call Leather Britches. I may not have the true information on them, but from what I have heard, folks would pick their green beans, string them up on a string, and hang them up to dry totally out,and they would last forever dried that way. Then when you wanted beans for a meal, they would soak them in water to revive them to a point, then cook them as usual.I have fretted many times over some of my beans being tougher than I liked.If there is one thing I hate,it is to get a mouthful of tough green beans.So that is what I would love to know. Has anyone ever dried their beans this way and cooked them up later? If so, I'd like to know how the finished product turned out. Do they really eat the hull and all? I have always assumed that was the point,to cook the hull and bean and all. How could it be possible to eat those dried hull, when I fret so over them getting the least bit tough.Hopefully, someone has dried and eaten the Leather Britches, and can enlighten me.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Terry has inspired me once again.

Leah's apron(one pocket is lower than the other, but she'll never notice)

My friend,Terry, with Uranias Inspirations, has inspired me once again. I shouldn't tell this, but Mom and I,on our day out yesterday, stopped by Trader Baker's which is now a huge peddler's type mall,housed in the old Walmart building.The old building has had several tenants, since Walmart relocated to the new Super Walmart,just down the street,but Trader Baker seems to have it going on there now. That building is jam packed with really nice booths, and the building is full to the brim this time. In the past, the tenants were never able to get enough takers to fill the entire building, and they always ended up closing it down.Nevertheless, we browsed through the building for about an hour. That was about all Mom could take, but we didn't even begin to see all of the booths. I picked up a couple of remnants of fabric fairly reasonable,I thought. That was the part I shouldn't tell. Me, buying more fabric,when I am inundated with fabric already.But it was so pretty.One piece was only 1/2 a yard and my initial thought was to make more hot pads, but when I read about Terry's new apron, I decided to make Leah an apron. She doesn't take a lot of interest in cooking yet, but I keep hoping she will try it more as time goes by. Her father is an excellent cook as was her paternal Grandmother,whom she only knew for about a year or two,before she passed away.Min was a great cook and she liked to collect pretty dishes from yard sales and flea markets, much like myself.We had quite a bit in common,she and I.She loved to cook up lots of different dishes for big family gatherings and use her pretty dishes that she had collected.Leah helps me a little with cooking, at times, but I'm afraid her mother's lack of interest in cooking,instead of her Dad's love for cooking, will carry down to her,but I keep trying.I think she loves having dinner parties just because she loves to decorate the table and the house, using all of the prettiest dishes and knick knacks she can find pertaining to the occasion.She's a lot like me in that respect,even though we don't have the same blood,which worries her at times.Maybe, by me exposing her to various things that I love and do, a little of  my ways and interests will rub off on her.I can only hope.