Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sniff, Sniff, Aa-AAH--CHOOO!!!

Yuck! I've had a cold this past week. I just want to say, I'm not enjoying being sick. Maybe if I could spend all day, in bed, with a cup of hot tea and a good book, then maybe. But not when I really want to be outside with the kiddos or sewing or crocheting.

Back later, when I stop sneezing. And sniffling. And coughing. And complaining.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

South Carolina State Fair 2010

I love the South Carolina State Fair! I remember going to the fair with my parents when I was a little girl. We would leave as soon as my father got home from work, arriving at the fair in time for dinner. It almost always involved corn dogs from the Lion's Club booth, right next to the grandstand.

We would spend time in the buildings, looking at agriculture exhibits, home and craft, and all the business booths selling things like siding and insulated windows. The baby ducks have been a consistent hit at the fair. And, when I was young enough, I would ride a few rides.

Now, I go to the fair with my children. We love the animals best: cows, chickens, rabbits and, of course, the baby ducks.

The fair has also taken on a new excitement for me in the past ten years. I've been entering my home canned jams, jellies, and fruits, as well as crocheted and sewn items. My children have also entered their artwork. There's nothing more exciting than seeing our work on display at the fair.

Well, this week is the last week to get our entries registered. We've got a long list this year; I'll let you know how we do.

Friday, August 20, 2010

First Day of School

We started our homeschool year on Monday. It's really different this year; my oldest just graduated and the next oldest is in third grade. (Quite a spread, I know.) It's practically vacation time for me!

My son is in third grade and his little sister is starting kindergarten this year. What could possible go wrong?

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Okay, suppose you are in one of the most exciting cities in the world. Added to that, you are staying at a fabulous hotel in a very fancy part of that city. Further suppose you have the opportunity to be in that hotel, in that exciting city, with your husband of 20 years and your recently graduated-from-high-school daughter.
Now, what would you do in the evening?

Why, of course you would watch Phil "The Power" Taylor win the darts championship at Blackpool!

What were you thinking?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

I love this book, as much for the inspiration it gives me as for the information. It is very much a how-to book on self-sufficient living and is filled with practical chapters on everything from growing grains to baking bread to butchering hogs.

It has a section on how to plan your garden for a full year, making good use of each season. It has diagrams of homesteads from an urban garden to a 5 acre farm. I've poured over this book many times over the last 5 years or so and dreamed of a "simple life". Turns out, the simple life is a lot of work. I'll keep dreaming.

The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live it by John Seymour

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Filling the Pantry

Canning season is in full swing around here. Just yesterday, I put up 29 jars of blueberries--blueberry jam, blueberry jelly and blueberry butter and there's more than a gallon of blueberries left!

I'll use the jams and jellies to make lots of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches this winter, as well as for Christmas gifts.
Lots more to do; I'd better get back to work!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Canning Applesauce

I started with about 3/4 of a bushel of apples and ended up with 9 and 1/2 quarts of applesauce. First, I cut up the apples (saving the cores and bruised spots for the chickens) and cooked them until they were soft.
Next, I ran the apples through the food mill. It's amazing--just put apples in the top, turn the handle and voila'! Peels and seeds from one side, perfect applesauce from the other side.Then, I heated the applesauce on the stove.
Finally, I put the applesauce into the jars, processed it in the water bath canner and, presto! Applesauce for the winter.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

My Baby is Five!

I can hardly believe that my little girl is turning five years old today. She came bee-bopping into our bedroom this morning around six, just like Christmas. We sang "Happy Birthday", let her open her gifts and choose her breakfast (she went with a fried egg and apple juice).

We'll have a special dinner tonight (chicken nuggets and mac and cheese) and "white cake with sprinkles" (her choice).

Happy birthday, Pumpkin Pie!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Teaser Tuesday--Foreign Influence

Foreign Influence by Brad Thor

"As the bus pulled even with the ancient arena, a spotter on a rooftop half a mile away removed a cell phone from his pocket and dialed the number he had been given.

Six seconds later, an enormous explosion rocked the city as the motor coach erupted in a billowing fireball."