Tuesday, September 3, 2013

It's here!

That would be the first day of school.  Off to start the 2013/2014 school year:-) 

This little poem was in our bulletin Sunday.

Mary had a Little Lamb
His fleece was white as snow.  And everywhere
that Mary went the Lamb was sure to go.
He followed her to school each day.
T'wasn't even in the rule.  It made the children
laugh and play, to have the Lamb at school.
And then the rules all changed one day, illegal it
became; to bring the Lamb of God to school, or
even speak His name!  Every day got worse and
worse, and the days turned into years.
Instead of hearing children laugh, we heard gun
shots and tears.  What must we do to stop the
crime, that's in our schools today?  Let's let the
Lamb come back to school and teach our kids to

Praying for a good year and that my testimony will show in all that I do.

I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever;
with my mouth will I make known
thy faithfulness to all generations.
Psalm 89:1

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Only Four Days....

Where has the summer went...only four days before school starts again.  I have been enjoying my summer and it is a little hard to think of going back to work.  I love my job working as an aide with the Special Education, but it always takes a while to get use to leaving home everyday again.

The tomatoes have been a little late in ripening this year so right now when it is time to go back to school the tomatoes are starting.  Yesterday I picked a 5 gallon pail.

There is still a lot of tomatoes on the vines that are almost ready.  Canned my first batch.

The rest of the tomatoes in the pail need to finish ripening.  There will be plenty to do next week after school.  If only school could start after the garden is done...wishful thinking.

Looking forward to a fun weekend.  Tomorrow my DH is taking me to the fair, love looking at the animals, produce, quilting, and all of the 4H displays, along with hopefully finding a caramel apple.  Saturday our daughter is coming home for the weekend, in her words she needs some of her mommies cooking.  Already put in a request for a couple of her favorites, this mom is more than happy to oblige.  We have a shopping trip planned to the Mennonite store and a couple of other places.  I always look forward to having my DH home for a few days.   It will be a fun ending to summer vacation.

Enjoy the last official weekend of summer!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Fermenting Update

As I had posted earlier I have been trying some fermenting this year.  I have been using the Fido Jars and they have worked great for me.   Last night for supper we used some of our first sauerkraut and the fermented dill pickles.  They were both very good.

I have another jar of sauerkraut going along with a jar that has cabbage, carrots, sweet potatoes, and some caraway seed.  Along with four more jars of the dill pickles.  On two of my jars I am trying an air lock, will see how that works for me.

  I start the fermentation in the Fido Jars and when they are ready to go into the refrigerator I take the vegetables from the Fido Jars and put them into canning jars, this way I can reuse them.  I still have some more cabbage to make into sauerkraut and am doing some reading on other vegetable combinations to ferment.  Really like how healthy fermented food is for you. 

To every thing there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time 
to pluck up that which is planted;
Ecclesiastes 3:1-2

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Kitchen Time

I spent most of my time in the kitchen today.
Had a few pickles that needed to be canned up, along with some summer squash to freeze.  

Then it was on to baking...
Batch of Blueberry Muffins in the large muffin pans.

Carmel Apple Scones

Last Cinnamon Rolls for my DH who just happened to mention last night that we haven't had them for a while.  So I thought they would be a nice surprise for him after work today.   As you can see he got to the pan before the picture was taken.  

I get joy out of spending the day baking for my family...it is a good thing.

Thou wilt show me the path of life: 
in thy presence is fullness of joy;
at thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 16:11

Monday, August 12, 2013


Two signs of teenage grandsons spending the night....

More dish washing...

Empty Chocolate Cake Pan...
But do I mind...not at all!

Random picture

The Petunias in my window box are almost touching the ground this year.

For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace:
the mountains and the hills shall break forth before
you into singing, and all the trees of the field
shall clap their hands.
Isaiah 55:12

Friday, August 9, 2013

A new driver in the family and more pickling.

Where does the time go, it seems like yesterday I was holding our first grandson in my arms, today I took him driving.  On Wednesday our oldest grandson got his temps.  They are spending the weekend with us and he wanted grandma to take him driving, this would be his second time out (he got to drive home from the DMV).  I had some books that had come in at the library in a little town about six miles from us, so he drove.  This could be nice having a grandson to drive me around, seeing I can't keep them little forever.  We have entered a new stage in life...it is exciting to watch them becoming young Godly men.

He did think our van was a little easier to drive, his first time driving was with their twelve passenger van.

 Saw a post on Simply Homemaking for pickling peppers, so gave it a try today.  I had some Banana peppers, along with some that are suppose to be mildly hot, put them all together and made up just 3 pints.

They were very simple to do.  Pack the peppers into pint jars, add one teaspoon salt and one teaspoon pickling spice to each jar.  Then add 1/4 cup water to each jar, fill the rest of the way with white vinegar.  Put on lids and process win hot water bath for 15 minutes.  These will be a Christmas gift.

Also started one jar of fermented dill pickles.  Will let you know how they turn out...

The other night I was reading through a 1917 canning bulletin that I had found on line. Very interesting to see how things have changed over the years in canning.  They talked about oven canning and how you were to put a piece of  asbestos in the bottom of your oven.  Another page said to put the asbestos on the oven rack and set the jars on it.  They even told you that you could get the asbestos from your local plumber.  We have learned a lot since then.  Thankful I am not canning with asbestos!

Enjoy your weekend!

Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord:
Psalm 127:3a

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Sauerkraut and Garden Update

The cabbage is doing good this year so I am trying to make sauerkraut.  I tried a couple of years ago and things did not go well, but after visiting Simply Homemaking and reading her posts on fermenting I am trying it again.  I was able to get some Fido Jars and they have made a huge difference, no mold on top of the jars this time.  These jars have been sitting on the counter for about 4 days now. 

I did learn a lesson in fermenting!  DO NOT open these jars when you still see little bubbles.  I thought they were not fermenting like they should, was only seeing a few little bubbles in the jars, so I went to open one of the jars to check on it.  Not a good thing to do I had juice and pieces of cabbage all over me and the counter, stove, and cupboards.  There is a lot of pressure in those jars, as soon as I started to loosen the clip the top sort of blew open was a mess.  I will make sure there are no bubbles before I open them again.  I am anxious to see how it turns out.

You can tell we are getting closer to fall, the garden is changing so much, it no longer has that look of lush green plants.  The potatoes are starting to die back, onions are tipping over, once again my tomatoes are showing blight....

This is the first time that I tried planting something in a container in the garden, the zucchini did not do well at all.  I have gotten a few zucchini from it, but won't be one of those years where everyone locks their doors because you are trying to give them your extra zucchini!  After doing a little research, which I should of done before planting them, the things I read said they do not do well in containers.  

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Canning & Peach Icecream

I love this time of year when the garden starts producing more and the canning starts.  I enjoy seeing the shelves starting to fill up in the canning room for winter.  It is a big savings on the grocery bills.  The peaches and blueberry's are from the Amish store.

Blueberry pie filling and  peaches

Dill Pickles

Basil Pesto
This is a first for me, now I need to find some recipes.

I have just a few bean plants this year, canned enough last year.  Was given a package of purple bean seeds, this is the first picking along with some yellow beans.  Cooked them last night for supper, it would be fun if they would stay purple, they were very good.

Saved out a few peaches and made some Peach Ice cream.

Farmer's Market Peach Ice Cream

4 large ripe peaches peeled, pitted and finely chopped
1 tablespoon  freshly squeezed lemon juice ( I used bottled lemon juice)
1/2 cup sugar
3 cups half-and-half
4 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine half the peaches with 1/2 tablespoon of the lemon juice and 1/4 cups of the sugar.  Cook stirring, until the sugar dissolves and the peaches are just heated through, about 3 minutes.  Do not let the peaches disintegrate.  Put the peaches into a bowl.

Put the remaining peaches in a bowl and sprinkle with the remaining lemon juice, toss to coat.  Cover and put in the refrigerator until ready to use.

In the same saucepan over medium-high heat, bring 2 1/2 cups of the half-and-half to a simmer and remove from the heat.  In a metal or glass bowl, whisk the egg yolks, salt and remaining 1/4 cup of sugar until blended.  Gradually pour the hot half-and-half into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly.

Return the mixture to the sauce pan and decrease the heat to medium-low.  Cook stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, about 5 minutes.  It should leave a clear trail when a finger is drawn through it.  Do not let the custard boil.

Pour the custard into the reserved cooked peach mixture.  Working in batches, puree the mixture into a food processor or blender until smooth.  Add the vanilla and the remaining 1/2 cup half-and-half and whisk to blend.  Refrigerate for about 1 hour.

Put the custard into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacture's instructions.  When nearly frozen and the consistency of thick whipped cream, add the remaining uncooked peaches.  Stir just until mixed.  Transfer the ice cream to a freezer safe container, cover and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours before serving.  

She is not afraid of the snow for her household:

Proverbs 31:21a

Sunday, July 28, 2013


Our camp fires became fire camps when the grandsons were little, not sure why they ever started calling them that.  When they were little they wanted to come to grandpa and grandma's for a fire camp, sleepover, and chocolate cake:-)   As teenage boys they still come for the same things:-)  

After getting the yard work done up north and a few other things this past weekend, We had a chance to enjoy a camp fire. We didn't put a lot of wood on the fire, wanted to keep it a little smaller so it wouldn't put off quite so much heat, it had been a hot day upper 90's.  Even with it being so hot it is still nice sitting around the fire.

I love to sit and look up into the trees by our camp fire.

We sat and watch the moon rise through the trees, there are no street lights or yard lights from neighbors to give off light.

Looking up through the trees as the night grows darker.

It was a fun relaxing time with my DH, I always enjoy getting a way and being able to spend time together.  When this house sells I will miss our times spent here.  This house holds many wonderful memories that will always be with me.

To show forth thy loving-kindness in the morning,
and thy faithfulness every night.
Psalm 92:2

Thursday, July 25, 2013


 After a refreshing rain tonight  there was the prettiest rainbow in the sky.

Then we had two rainbows, they were so beautiful.

I do set my bow in the cloud,
and it shall be for a token of a covenant
between me and the earth.
And it shall come to pass when I
bring a cloud over the earth, that the
bow shall be seen in the cloud:
And I will remember my covenant,
which is between me and you
and every living creature of all flesh;
and the waters shall no more become a 
flood to destroy all flesh.
Genesis 9:13-15

Monday, July 22, 2013

Can She Make A Cherry Pie....

This past weekend we had to go up north to the house we are still trying to sell to mow the lawn and do a little work.  A couple of years before we moved I had planted a cherry tree.  The tree has grown over the years...we moved seven years ago.

But we never saw any cherries on the little tree.  When we planted the tree I couldn't wait until it would have cherries and I would be able to pick them and make a cherry pie.  I was out in the yard and my DH was mowing the lawn when he came by me and pointed to the cherry tree...this is what I saw to my delight!

Little red cherries!  It was so much fun picking the cherries...

I picked every cherry on the tree and had two cups of berries, just enough for my pie recipe. I was very thankful that the Lord allowed me to get cherries from the little tree at least once...then my thought was ok Lord I got my cherries now could the house please sell.

My cherry pie recipe comes from this little book that my mom gave me years ago, I was in high school at the time.  Decorating ideas for my first kitchen when we were married came from the cover of this book.

The little book has only twelve pages...there is a picture on one page and a recipe and poem across the page. Over the years I have made the different recipes and still enjoy reading the poems.  The little book brings back memories of my sweet mom when I am reading or baking from it.

This morning I pitted the cherries and made a pie.

Ready for the oven...today when my DH asks whats to snack...we will have a slice of pie.

Through the Kitchen Door

The lights of home...they bring us
A sense of warmth and peace.
They promise untold loveliness,
Rest, laughter and release.

They are like hands that beckon us,
Like arms that draw us near...
The lights of home! They whisper words
Of comfort and good cheer. 

                                      Author unknown

Friday, July 19, 2013

Blueberry Bulk Foods

This week I got a call from the Amish Bulk Food store that my peaches were in.  I have always enjoyed reading about the Amish, so when we moved to this area I was very excited to find out we have a lot of Amish community's around here.  It has been so fun getting to know some of the families. I have taken a couple of ladies to rummage sales and strawberry picking, one mom and her daughters quilted one of my quilts for me.  So I headed to the Blueberry Bulk Food Store to get my peaches.  The store is only about five miles from our house. Meeting a buggy is something that happens quit a bit on certain roads around here, this is just down the road from the store.

A customer

 The store isn't very big but they have a nice variety of things.

I love all of the hats!

I like to get my spices and other bulk foods from here.  We also have a couple of Amish Green Houses in the area and a big Mennonite bulk food store about twenty miles from us.  It is so nice having access to fresh produce and foods in bulk.  It is a young couple that run this store, when I picked up the peaches she showed me her garden behind the house.  It was beautiful, three little boys were playing in the yard and a little one was sitting on the ground playing by the garden.  Would love to have taken a picture of the garden but a friend was helping her weed and the little boys were in and out of the garden, so no pictures.

She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Prov. 31:27


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A Little Warm

 A little warm here in central Wisconsin today and humid.  Turned the air on this afternoon to get the house down to 79 and bring the humidity down.  Garden will be needing some watering in the morning if no rain moves in to our area.  Yesterday they got a nice rain just ten miles from us, maybe it will be our turn today.

I had been wanting a trellis for between the garage door and the service door into the garage in front of the house.  We looked but couldn't find a tall one so my sweet husband bought some cedar and made the type of trellis I was looking for.
He also made me a Baltimore Oriole feeder yesterday (holds grape jelly) that was a surprise for me.  I love it when he makes things, so much more special than buying it. Hoping some of the Orioles from the neighbor two houses down come to our yard, he has up to 20 at a time.

I have always loved window boxes and this year the one in the front of the house is doing very well. I have finally found the flowers that do the best on this side of our house.

For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green...   Jeremiah 17:8a


Monday, July 15, 2013

Sweet Peas Are In Bloom!

This is my first year of growing Sweet Pea Flowers.  They are now one of my new favorite flowers.  I planted them in a barrel on our patio around some geraniums my thought was that they would cascade over the sides of the barrel.  I think they would like to take over the barrel and I have to keep pushing them over the edge.  But I still love them.

I just love all of the different colors.  Next year I will find somewhere else to plant them so they can climb!

When I was a freshman in High School my parents moved to a new farm that had some Wild Rose Bushes, they were so pretty.  When we moved up north the house had a spot with Wild Roses was so happy.  When we moved to this house I transplanted a piece of one of the bushes, this year it is really blooming.  The little buds open up very fast and fall, but the smell is so good.  The bush takes me back to my childhood.

The Scarlet Runner Beans are in blossom, very excited to see how they do.  The red blooms are so pretty.

Has anyone tried to use one of the upside down tomato growers.  Fleet Farm had them on sale this spring for $1.00 so thought I would give it a try.  The one I got you could grow the tomato on the bottom and herbs out the sides.  Mine is not doing well at all, I have been keeping it watered and have even used fertilizer which I normally don't do for my vegetables.  The picture shows the outcome!

We are still enjoying lettuce from the garden, with our cool spring was able to plant later.  Just transplanted some starts in between some tomatoes and peppers where they get a little shade.  This time of year is so fun with the garden starting to produce, so nice having fresh items from the garden.  So far we have had lettuce, radishes, onions, zucchini, and herbs (parsley, basil, dill, thyme, sage)  for cooking with.

We are having some hot and humid weather this week, hoping for a little rain.

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork
Psalm 19:1
Enjoy your evening. ~Cheryl~