Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Frost, Finishing Projects and Fruit

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Last night my dearest Bob (hear the sarcasm?) left the bedroom window open. Well at about 5am, it was so cold in the room I thought the sheets were frozen to the bed frame! Talk about shock!

I could not muster up enough guts to crawl out of bed and close the window, so I laid there and froze instead! We had a very heavy frost and since I can look out over the yard from my bed, it looked like a layer of snow on the grass. I wish I could have taken a picture for you but the camera was in the living room and like I said, I just couldn't move from my frozen state.

Once Bob crawled out of bed, I told him to toss me my bathrobe so I could wrap up in it as soon as the comforter came off. Walking into the living room was like walking into an oven. What a temperature difference!

This morning, I had to grab a few groceries and visit my local Goodwill Store (on Wednesdays, the new stock is out). Once the errands were finished, I put away the groceries, threw dinner in the crockpot and headed up to the garage with my bag of knitting.

I had finished up a baby blanket for the craft fair last night so I wanted to start on a shawl that will be given to Pasie for Christmas.

The finished baby blanket.

While watching Bob fixing our four-wheeler and knitting away on Pasie's shawl, I remembered the offer from our neighbor down the road, Kathy who had the wonderful pear, apple and crab apple trees. She insisted I come and pick to my heart's content as she is a widow and will never eat them all herself.

I grabbed a few bags, a water bottle and headed over to Kathy's (Luke decided to join me as he loves her crab apples) and it took us all of about 15 minutes to fill three bags full. I will definitely have to go back and get more before they rot. I would like to make some jelly, freeze some for pies and dehydrate some for snacking.

The pears! The taste is a cross between an apple and a pear. Yummy!

Crab apples! They are just the right amount of tartness.

The apples. Large, juicy and delicious! I already made a single serving of apple crisp this evening for myself!

An abundance. They won't last long around here though!
I don't have to worry about what I will be doing tomorrow. Preserving these will be top priority but first I need to finish my apple crisp and make sure the bedroom window is closed tight tonight!
Have to add that meagan over at is offering a great giveaway. A stainless steel Siggy water bottle! Check out her site. She is a very eco-friendly Mom, making a difference.
Have a great evening everyone! Give your loved ones a hug. :)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Comfort Food for a Cold Day

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Yesterday was a cold, rainy, windy, blustery type of day.

Pasie has been fighting a head cold for the last four days so I thought what better time than to make homemade Chicken Noodle Soup for dinner!

The guys love my chicken noodle soup because I made my noodles from scratch and they are sooo easy to make! Luke actually said that my soup is his favorite meal now.

My broth is saved in the freezer until ready to use. I usually cook a whole chicken in the crockpot with the appropriate spices with extra water. After that meal, I save the broth, add some of the leftover chicken and freeze.

My soup is the broth and I add parsley flakes, onion flakes, oregano, sage, salt and pepper to taste. I either add a garden snap beans or corn to the broth. This broth has been in the crockpot all day simmering away. I make the noodles about 1 hour before the meal.

To make the noodles:

In a large bowl, mix 1 cup of flour, 1 egg and 1/2 egg shell of milk. (I made a double batch) Mix together with a fork until well blended and turn out onto a floured surface.

Knead dough for just a few minutes, making sure all ingredients are well blended.

With a rolling pin....and this is the important part. Roll out dough until very thin. If your dough is too thick the noodles with taste doughy.

Using a knife.....although I use an icing spreader....cut dough into long as you want them. I make mine about 5 inches long.

As I cut the dough into strips, I add them to the crockpot and give a quick stir. This keeps the strips from sticking together.

Let the noodles simmer for about 1/2 hour.

So simple and yet economical and delicious! My guys fight over the leftovers!
I then made grilled cheese sandwiches to go with the soup. Pasie said his sinuses were already beginning to clear up! Perfect for a cold day.

What does your family like to eat on those cold, blustery days?

The Winner!!!

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I am quite technology inept so in order to choose a winner, I did it the old fashioned way! I wrote all the names down on their own piece of paper.....

(I really needed an extra hand to try and take pictures and draw a name!)

Put all the names in a bowl.....

Grabbed a piece...... and the winner is.....

LISA!!! Congratulations Lisa! I will need you to drop me an email at and let me know if you would like a certain colored stripe on your washcloths or if you would just like them plain ecru. I will also need your address so I can send them out as soon as the washcloths are ready! I hope you enjoy your time, soaking in the tub this winter.

I wish I could send each and every one of you something as I really enjoy reading your posts....but keep coming back as there will be more giveaways to come!

Thanks everyone! =)

Update on Giveaway.

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Good afternoon everyone! I will be drawing the name tonight at 9pm and announce the winner tomorrow morning.

Have a great day, I am just spending today crocheting and trying to catch up on some projects. The weather has turned nasty. Cold, rainy and windy so a perfect day to curl up on the couch and keep warm.

I am excited to see who wins! :)

Friday, September 25, 2009


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Another busy day dehydrating, housecleaning and baking. I have been dehydrating onions, onions and more onions. I use alot of onion flakes in my cooking and since we have about 200 onions from the garden, not to mention those given to us by our neighbor Dave, I decided it was the best thing to start with in my new machine.

Laundry, baking and grilling steaks for dinner took up the rest of my day along with a four-wheeler ride with Bob around the property. We like to do a weekly patrol around the fields to make sure everything is still as it should be. The deer have really been moving in lately so it should turn out to be a great hunting season.

With cooler temperatures now here and decreasing daylight, it got me thinking of the things I enjoy once winter rears it's ugly head. One of my favorites is making some time for myself and taking long, hot, soaking bubble baths which is how I came up with my giveaway.

We all need to take care of and pamper ourselves once in a while. So I am giving away a homemade jar of my bath salts. They are wonderful and the smell will remind you of Christmas. I am also including two 100% cotton homemade washcloths in a wonderful ecru color (the yarn is in the picture) that will be made just for the winner. If the winner would like a stripe down the center in a different color to match their bathroom decor they just have to let me know and I will make them that way. Yes, the washcloths will not be made until the winner is announced and has notified me with their decision. I also will include a jar of Raspberry Tart Body Butter to slather on once the soaking is complete.

If you would like a chance to win, please let me know in the comment section and I will add your name to the basket. The draw will be made on Monday, September 28th.
It is my way of making sure that one of my readers will have an opportunity to pamper themselves when the cooler weather hits.
Have a great evening with your loved ones. :)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Gardening and Giveaway

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Today was spend bringing in the garden...very long and tiring day but we are expecting rain and quite a bit cooler temperatures over the next few days so it was time.

The weariness of the busy day spent in the sun is beginning to settle in my body but I wanted to tell you about my first giveaway! I will post a picture tomorrow of the items. I want to thank all of you who read my blog so regularly and post the lovely comments, I really appreciate them.
My 'fall giveaway' is my way of saying thank you! So make sure you check back tomorrow. Off to make myself a cup of tea and watch the evening news. I have to make sure the forecast hasn't changed to snow! :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sammy is Ready

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Stopped at Goodwill today and found the perfect Hallowe'en costume for Sammy......

I don't think he is too impressed with it but he's ready!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Thanks Tammy at!

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I belong to a wonderful site called "Frugal Village". It is a place where you can join to learn more about self-sufficiency, saving money, clipping coupons, making your own items from scratch, knitting and crocheting, crafts and the list goes on and on. Sara and Gabe do a wonderful job in keeping everyone happy and the support system is awesome.

A fantastic lady known as Penascodragonfly - real name Misti...on Frugal Village secretly put my name in a drawing to win a dehydrator from Tammy Gangloff at Misti is known on Frugal Village as the dehydrating queen! She can do magic with hers and has inspired many people at Frugal Village to do the same.

So because of Misti, this showed up at my door this morning...special delivery!

I WON!! I actually won thanks to Misti! It is the 3900 Excalibur Model with 9 trays!! I am in shock and will now be permanently fixed to the website. Tammy has some wonderful videos, tutorials, recipes and helpful hints that are fantastic. She really knows her stuff.

So this evening will be spent not only studying the dehydration guide that came with my new machine but hitting every page on website. I have so much to learn and just in time for when I harvest the garden....and jerky with venison....and baking bread...and making yogurt!!! So many things to do!

Another step towards self-sufficiency thanks to Misti at Frugal Village, Tammy at and Excalibur Dehydrators!

Thank you ladies...I think you have created a monster. =)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Some Preparing for Winter and Planning for Hunting Season

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EEEK!! I saw this today!

See that little tiny tree in the middle of the picture? Do you see the colors of the leaves!!! Yellow!! They are yellow!!

Panic has set in....fall is officially here. So while working in the garden this afternoon and after seeing that little tree with the bright foliage, I began to think of what is to come.

Halloween, Thanksgiving, hunting season, and Christmas....but the snow is what I am most worried about.

I walked around the yard, picking up items and putting them away either in the storage trailer or in the sheds that are no longer needed for this year. When you start seeing leaves change in Northern Minnesota, you have to work fast at getting ready for colder can literally happen overnight.

I managed to clean up quite a bit and was satisfied with my accomplishments so I decided to take a meander over to the deer stand to see how it is holding up for another upcoming hunting season.

I noticed some of the tarp is falling down a little so I will have to make sure either Luke or Bob takes a hammer and nail to it before hunting season begins. Can't have those deer seeing you through the slits! That wouldn't work.

As you can see the stand is quite high up in a tree. Bob built it for Pasie a few years ago and it is used alot. In the winter it is fun to climb up and be able to see for miles once all the leaves have fallen and there is snow on the ground.

It is fun to climb up on a star filled night and feel that you can almost reach out and touch them... some nights it seems like you really could.

With the approach of hunting season comes lots of baking and cooking. We usually have alot of family here that I need to be prepared for. Now is the time that I begin to bake and cook so I can freeze everything. When the men arrive...all I have to do it pull something out and a nice, warm meal is ready for when then head in after night falls. It saves my sanity to be organized. :)

Well, off to make my list. I have already received requests for cabbage rolls, swedish meatballs, and taco dip. It will be a busy time once again but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Give all your loved ones a hug tonight. :)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Few items I have been working on......

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My pastime is crocheting and knitting. I love it. I have been working on a few items during the day or in the evening while sipping a cup of tea. I thought I would share a few pictures with you.

Some will be for a craft fair in December that I am registered for.
Duckie Bib.

Toddler dress.

This is a Christmas gift.

I will be selling afghans at the craft fair as well.

Different patterns and textures.

So cuddly warm on a cold winter night.

I still have many more items to make and I keep busy every day in between housework and yard work.
What do you like to do to pass the time?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Working and Wheeling

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We were blessed once again with beautiful weather today. I am very thankful as I know what will be coming soon weather-wise. Bob has been extremely busy in the shop lately with repairs and the cars are lined up in the driveway waiting to be serviced. So when it is busy like this, Luke and I spend the day in the shop with him to give him a hand with anything he might need.

I always have a bag of knitting with me. I get so much knitting done on days like this!

Tigger likes to help too.

Here is a better picture of Tigger's perch. He just hangs around all day, oblivious to the noise surrounding him.

Sammy is the same way.....oblivious.

Here is Bob diagnosing a car out in the driveway....they are lined up ready to be serviced!
You can tell autumn is here when the cars are lined up in the driveway. Everyone panics once the cooler weather hits...they want their cars ready before the snow flies.
So after a hearty dinner of sloppy joes on homemade buns, salad and homemade apple pie for dessert...we decided it was time to go wheeling again.
So I brought the camera along one more time! :)
When we go four-wheeling off the property, we go riding down the 'grate'. The 'grate' is an old railroad track that the city removed and now it is used only for people who ride four-wheelers. The picture is a little blurry as I was sitting on the back...going about 40 miles an hour!
This track runs for over 20 miles with lots of little stops along the way. Many trails go off the main one ...with lots of little surprises along the way.
I thought this flower was just so cute! As you can tell it was getting dark already.
Stopping for a break.

One spot we found was right along the St. Louis River. I loved the sign.....

It was getting dark and someone, on a previous visit, had left more than enough firewood for a small fire.....who could resist?!
The temperature was dropping quickly after the sun set and I was still in shorts and a t-shirt so I made sure I warmed up well by the fire before we headed for home.

One last picture before total darkness.
As we were driving toward home a very large owl almost landed on Bob's shoulder. It scared us to death and I didn't have the camera ready.... dang it! and then we were driving along, two deer also ran across the road right in front of us....a few minutes earlier and we would have been road kill!
Arriving home safely, we munched on hot chocolate and cookies. A perfect end to a perfect day. We love making memories that will last a lifetime.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Baking and Jars

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Today it had cooled down quite a bit. A perfect day for baking! Baking is something I love doing in the fall and winter. After all the hard work, I have yummy things to feed to my family, the oven helps to keep the house warm and the smells from baking are enough to make you feel all good inside.

This is a standby at our home. Thumbprint Cookies!

Here is the recipe if you care to try making some.


1 and 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup white sugar + 1/2 cup for rolling balls
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup of butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
36-42 Hershey's Kisses


Unwrap the Hershey's Kisses from their wrapper and place in a bowl. Set aside.
Place 1/2 cup white sugar in another bowl and set aside.
Turn oven to 375 degrees F.


Combine all the ingredients (except the Hershey Kisses and white sugar that are set aside) in a large bowl. Mix until dough forms and all ingredients are thoroughly blended.

Using a teaspoon, scoop up some of the dough and in your hands roll into balls. Roll the balls in the bowl of white sugar and place on un-greased cookie sheets.

Bake for 10 - 12 minutes or until edges are a nice dark brown. When you remove the cookies from the oven, immediately place a Hershey's kiss in the center, press down so cookie cracks a little on the edges.

These are extremely easy to make and are delicious! They don't last long around here.

While preparing to bake the cookies today, I had to take a picture of my jars. I love jars. I find them very convenient to use, they are pleasing to the eye and remind me of my dear Grandmother when I was growing up. I fill mine with rice, teabags, sugar, flour, popcorn, dog biscuits...anything that is bought in plastic bags can be stored in tight sealing jars.

Alot of my jars have sentimental value and I don't want them sitting in a china cabinet, not being used. I use all my old dishes. I would rather they be loved and used than sitting in a cupboard ignored and forgotten. My two oldest jars hold my flour and my sugar. They are very special to me as I remember Luke helping me bake cookies when he was just two or three years old. He loved sticking his chubby little hands in them to grab the scoop and usually ended up with more flour on the flour or himself than in the mixing bowl.

Use your special dishes, jars and mementos. The memories of them will continue as you use them and they will reward you with even more memories.

Give each of your family members a hug tonight!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Simple Vacations

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Camping. I love camping. To me there is nothing better than sleeping under the stars with the sound of the loons in the background.

We went camping with Barb and Dave who are close friends of ours. We thought we would do some fishing and catch those tasty Walleyes, swim a little and sit around the campfire talking and enjoying each other's company.

When we arrived at the campground which was approximately one hour north of our home, it was raining lightly. As the day progressed, the skies cleared and we had wonderful weather for the rest of the day.

The tents are up!

Here Bob and Pasie are trying to stay dry before the rain finally quit.

Sammy enjoying all the new smells!

The men decided to try their hand at fishing while Barb and I walked along the shoreline and enjoyed the scenery.

After our walk, Barb and I decided we should get a fire going before the men returned. It turned out to be more difficult than we thought as all the wood was wet from the rain!

The guys returned with their catch! Fresh fish! Yummy.

Luke loves camping and sitting by the fire.

We enjoyed ourselves immensely. I believe camping is one of the best vacations a family can take. Out in the forest, you have to make your own fun...entertain yourself. No televisions, no computers, no razzle dazzle of a big city. Just peace and quiet. Just you and the wilderness. Just you and nature all around. It is relaxing and enjoyable. Simple. Fun. My favorite.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Lazy Sunday ..... and memories.

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Yep, a lazy Sunday. The temperatures today was in the low 80's which is very un-usual for Northern Minnesota. These warm temps lull me to sitt in the shade, crochet or knitt while sipping on an iced tea, which is exactly what I did. While I was sitting there, enjoying the clouds roll by, I began thinking of my Mom who lives in Canada and whom I miss very much some days.

My Mom is of the Dutch heritage. She came from the Netherlands when she was five years old with her Mother, Father and six brothers and sisters. They arrived (I believe) in Montreal on a ship which took a week to cross the Atlantic. They arrived in Canada right after WWII.

When Luke was a year old, we had the opportunity to fly to the Netherlands (Holland) and visit my Mother's one brother who had recently married and moved back there. It was alot of fun seeing the home where my Mother grew up, the town where she was pushed in a stroller by my Grandmother and hearing the native tongue which I grew up with.... (my Mother and Auntie always talked Dutch to each other so us children wouldn't understand what they were saying!). It was the first time my Mother was back to her homeland since she had left.

Yes, it really does look like this in the Netherlands!

Schiphol airport.

We had a wonderful trip and of course it included ALOT of shopping!

I had already been collecting the delft blue for quite a few years before we even went on the trip but my collection grew while we were there.
I keep my collection in our china cabinet.

This spice rack was my Grandmother's and I cherish it.

Everytime I see them sitting there, I remember our special trip together. It is a memory that I hold dear to my heart.
Someday I plan on going back.

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