Sunday, December 19, 2010

Comforts of Home!

Mmmmmm! I know this isn't the most gorgeous picture, but it is a very comforting picture. Just think...these are warm out of the oven! Homemade! I sat down with a cup of steaming hot joe, these biscuits and a jar of lemon curd. How much more comforting can you get?! Here's my recipe.

Scratch Biscuits
2 cups all purpose flour
6 tablespoons of shortening, butter or margarine
3 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt

Cut all of the shortening into the dry ingredients until nice and crumbly.

Then, add...
1 cup of milk or buttermilk (I add 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup of either sour cream or plain yogurt)

Stir this all together until the ingredients are nice and wet.
Dump the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead about 6 times. This will make a few flaky layers.
Pat into about a 1/2 inch slab.
Cut with a biscuit cutter or a floured drinking glass.
Place on an ungreased baking pan.
If you have dough left over, gather it, fold it once or twice and pat into another 1/2 inch slab.
Cut more biscuits.
When you don't have enough left over to cut, make a hand-styled biscuit (see top left biscuit).
Bake at 400 degrees until nicely browned.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


My Hubby and I are very very blessed. We count our blessings every day.

We have a decent house with a very warm atmosphere. We work at it constantly to get it the way we want.

We are watching our pennies so we can pay off our bills. However, we had to make a not-so-frugal purchase, lately.

Let me explain. We are working hard to pay off our couple of credit cards. We are whacking at them really hard. Dave Ramsey is my hero. However, even he wouldn't agree with this purchase.

We had Thanksgiving at our house again this year. It is my holiday to celebrate with family and friends. Our old dining set had a very bad set of creaks and cracking going on. It was 35 years old when we received it as a gift. We had it for 18 years, ourselves. We donated it to someone who needed a dining set. We knew our chairs were on their last legs - so to speak. We actually held our breath during the fellowship as we had done some work to shore up the chairs. So we went out to get something more stable. This is really stable. The price was very good. I hope Dave won't complain too much.

We had our first dinner at the table this evening. It was nice and comfortable and romantic. We needed that!

I made a new recipe and we enjoyed it very much.

Take care. I hope all of you are in a better situation than you deserve. (kinda, sorta what Dave says.)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Chicken News

Hubby and I have decided to be nice to our chickens this year.

We live in a temperate zone, so we don't have much snow. Last year was actually the first year we had any kind of snow since we moved to South Carolina. However, it does get really cold here. It freezes at night and gets to a max of 45 degrees during the day over several of the winter months.

Well, last year we bought a torpedo heater to keep the chickens warm in the barn. No...we didn't cook them! The roof is very high in the barn so we really don't know how well it kept them at a decent temperature. Here's the nice part. We bought wood to lower the roof over the inside part of the barn for the chickens. We hope this keeps more heat in their area so they stay warmer. I'm sure it will. We'll set the automatic thermostat to around 40 degrees so they won't freeze. It's actually nice in the barn for humans at 40 degrees when the barn doors are closed.

Yesterday I helped Hubby with the roof framing. Today the yard boy helped with putting the plywood roof over that.

I'll try to remember to keep you posted on how this works.

Take care. Happy farming!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Can't Sleep

HELP! I've gotten up in the middle of the night and can't sleep! I guess it's a sign of getting older. YIKES!

What better thing to do than update the blog?!

Thanksgiving day, we had a bunch of relatives over for dinner. This is my holiday to cook for everyone. We even had a few extra people at our table this year. We had a really lovely time. I also invited the neighbors next door to come over for dessert. They are an older couple and are really interesting to talk to. They are like an extra set of parents for Hubby and me. We keep an eye on them to make sure they stay healthy. All in all, I couldn't have asked for a better Thanksgiving day.

Speaking of desserts...

Here's my Thanksgiving lineup: yellow bundt cake was made into a banana cream cake. Middle left pic is a cherry and blackberry pie, middle right is pumpkin. Top left pie is apple and top right is peach. I also made a banana cream pie, which was in the fridge. They all turned out well and I didn't have too much left over as most people took extras home.

As I shopped for ingredients for dinner, I noticed something. Reddi Whip (cream...not oil...LOL) was a reasonable price for a large cylinder this year. I paid $1.98. Last year, I couldn't touch it for less than $4.99! Of course, I didn't buy any last year. I used Cool Whip. I try not to use too many things laden with food additives because we don't tolerate them too well in our home. So, I was very excited to get the Reddi Whip.

Did you see the afghan in the previous post? Mom loved it! Now, my brother would like one for his home. I am starting on it. It is a coffee bean brown with baby blue stripes. I'll put a pic of it on this blog as soon as I get it done.

Take care and happy holidays!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Having Fun with Food

My Japanese friend and I were discussing Bento and how popular it is becoming. I have been focused on Bento for the past few days and not so focused on our simple life at home. I've been trying to get my hubby to eat healthier and this may do the trick.

Bento is essentially a stylin' lunch, Japanese-style. It's really cool! You can really get involved in the style of it and the planning of it.

I'm not going to say a lot about Bento here, so please check out my blog at You'll get to see what I'm talking about and you can check out my first attempts at Bento...don't laugh.

Have a great day!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mom's Gift

I am a crochet freak. I have been doing this since I was about 8 years old. However, other interests and a rural life kept me away from it until I was 17 or 18 years old. Since then, I've been making and making stuff. Mostly afghans and baby afghans. I've made some clothing items, but they didn't turn out quite so appealing.

During all of this time, I have never...I mean, NEVER...made my mother anything. 35 - 40 years of doing this and not one thing for Mama! I am ashamed of myself. Mom admired this when I started it last year, so this is what she'll be getting in the mail really soon. She doesn't know about it. Her birthday is in early December. I think if I get it to her now, she'll be able to keep warm for a longer period of time. She lives in PA and it's getting cold there, now.

This pattern is worked on the diagonal. It fits a queen-sized bed. What will be funny to see is, my Mom is pint-sized.  I bet she'll have to dig herself out of this one. LOL!

I hope you enjoy your gift, Mom!

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Anyone know what this delicious thing is?

OKONOMIYAKI!!! That's what.

If you never EVER try any other kind of Japanese cuisine, you MUST try this. This has to be my all-time favorite Japanese food. It is very filling and it is very tasty. The best part of it is, it is a rather healthy food.

What it is...a cabbage and veggie pancake smothered with Tonkatsu Sauce (brown stuff) and mayo (white stuff).
It is very easy to make.

Okonomiyaki Recipe

Mix 3/4 cup COLD water with about a teaspoon of Hon-Dashi fish boullion. If you don't have Hon-Dashi, leave it out. It doesn't make much of a difference in taste. It is important to use COLD water or you'll make a noodle dough, which you don't want.

Then add 1 cup of regular flour and 1 egg. Beat this together to make a very loose batter. Set aside.

Slice about 4 cups raw cabbage very fine. You want either hair-like strings or you can chop it in half so it is manageable. Add to the flour mixture and stir together.

Chop some onions, carrots, green peppers and meat or fish into very fine dice. Mix them together and set this aside. You can use almost any vegetable or any meat, except for celery. Celery is not a Japanese flavor.

This is a trick to keep the veggies and meat together. Beat one egg in a cup and set aside.

Heat up a skillet - non-stick works best. I use an electric skillet set to 225 degrees F.

Add a little oil to the skillet. If you use a small skillet, put about 1/4 of the veggie/meat mixture into the oil. If you use an electric skillet, use about half the veggie meat mixture and divide into two. Some on one side of the skillet and some on the other.

Put a little bit of the beaten egg in a cup over each pile of veggies and meat. Just enough so it all kind of looks like a very sparse omelet.

On top of this, put about 1/4 of the cabbage mixture, after you've stirred it to coat the cabbage. Make sure it covers all of the veggie/meat mixture and goes a little over the edge of it. Flatten a bit so it is one thickness the whole way across.

Cook it slowly. When the bottom gets a bit browned and holds together, flip it over. You may want to cover and cook it the rest of the way at this time. This will help the middle get done.

Put the finished pancake on a plate. Lightly schmeer with mayonnaise...the real stuff. Drizzle the bulldog sauce over top. Eat and enjoy!

This takes a little time to make, but, in my opinion, it is totally worth it!

Happy eating!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


It's finally over! The poison ivy, that is.

Two and a half weeks with itching and medicating...I've really had it!

Now, we have another problem - mosquitos. We've been spraying...the county came by twice last week to spray...we have a flying insect fogger and we've been fogging. These things are horrible right now. It hasn't rained much, lately. So, I don't know where they're coming from. We don't have standing water anywhere. Even in the ditches.

Wish us luck with this problem. We need it!

Take care

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Beautiful Day!

I just had to share this photo with all of you. What a GLORIOUS Saturday it was in my part of South Carolina. The weather was perfect!

I love the smell of air-dried sheets on my bed. It makes it really easy to fall asleep at night.

My neighbor calls me 'Matilda the Washerwoman' because I line-dry some of our clothes. Don't say anything, but I secretly think she envies me. She's an older lady and a real sweetheart. I'm sure she's had her days of hanging clothes while growing up on the farm. I'm sure she never wants to do that chore again. Since I'm younger and a lot crazier (see previous post) than her , I'll keep hanging out the wash.

Take care.

Leaves of Three...Let Them Be!

For the past two weeks, I've been suffering with poison ivy. It's one of those 'I never got it, so I'll never get it' things. I won't ever assume this again!

I didn't realize I was rubbing up against it while cutting branches off of trees. Of course, I had a short sleeved shirt on. Of course, I knew it was there. Of course, I consider myself careless and stupid. The rash covered from my wrist to my pits on both arms. I used several creams and anti-itch lotions. I used straight alcohol and some straight bleach. I found Germ-X hand sanitizer gave me the most relief. All of this stuff brought temporary relief, but not any long-term relief.

I was good through the night until I had a hot flash. Then the sweat irritated the rash and I woke up itching. I had to wash my arms and reapply cream. Fun! Fun!

Then I found Benadryl. I don't take ANY medications so I had a good time with this stuff. I always take half doses of an OTC because I don't know what it will do to me. So I took one Benadryl. This is the REAL Benadryl, not a knock-off. It took the edge off of the itching for hours. It took the edge off of me, as well. I call it my 'I don't give a crap' medicine. At least it works.

On top of that, I couldn't shower normally. I had to wash all clear parts first, then do the rash parts...twice a day. For a fun time, try this. I promise, you will never EVER knowingly go anywhere near poison ivy.

OK. This is week three. I'm drying up and I'm still itching. I'm still miserable.

What's a gal to do?!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Camping with Babies

I must tell about our experience of camping with babies.

Our babies are our two cute dogs. They are mixed breed and I have no idea how much mixed they are. Trixie is the black and white one. Angel is the beige and black one. They are two of the most wonderful dogs I have ever known.

Until the camping experience, that is. Trixie had never been camping. She was pretty good. She travels well and sleeps most of the time on the road. Angel travels well and looks out the window a lot. Angel used to camp with us and two other dogs we had.

At the state park campground, they both turned into something else! Trixie was a basket case. She had to look at everyone and everything that went by. Angel found little spots to lay in...with her back to us. She kept trying to pull me away from the campsite when we went for potty break. Luckily, we had to have a leash on both because of the state park rules. Angel would have been on her way home if she wasn't on a lead!

It's funny how changing a routine can change the personalities of your dogs. We'll be taking a few more outings before the end of the year.

Wish me luck!

Monday, September 6, 2010


This past weekend, we went camping!

It was the first time in about 7 years that we cleaned up the RV and went out to the great wild yonder. Well, sort of 'wild', but definitely 'yonder'.

Here is a pic of a motto that I found on a door mat. I just had to have it.

I wish I could live more simply...ahhhhhh! I already do a lot of stuff 'the hard way' as many of my friends and family put it. Hubby is 50% of this union. If I could have my druthers, I'd have NO TV, NO land phone (I'd have a cell for emergencies, though), NO electric, NO internet, etc. I hate noise and this stuff is just plain noisy to me anymore. I think I'm getting old and crotchety. Harumph!

Here is a pic of the inside of our little abode on wheels. This is the dining area. We spend most of our time here. This weekend this is where we ate, talked, played cards, read, napped. Our fold-up chairs are the lumps under the table.

We have a little kitchen, bed and teeny tiny toilet in the RV, too.

We had our usual campfire every night. We sat out under our canopy with our dogs and enjoyed the bountiful  peace and quiet.

Hubby was a little perturbed we didn't have a TV connection. I said 'YEAH!' No racing or golfing on the tube this weekend! Racing was on the radio, which I didn't mind too much.

I hope all of you had a really great Labor Day weekend.

Monday, August 30, 2010


The other day, we had bees. Ground bee yellow jackets, to be exact.

These little buggers (pun intended) attacked my husband as he mowed the ‘back 40’. We don’t have 40 acres, but it’s the back of our 2 acre lot. It seems like a long way to walk back there, if you’re up in age like we are.

He only got stung by 3 bees, but it could have been worse. These little guys will swarm in a heartbeat if they are agitated. The sound of a lawnmower chopping over their little hole in the ground stirs them up. Yeah! My husband was VERY lucky!

OK. Now my husband has a death wish for the bees. So do I.

Hubby’s version to kill: pour gasoline down the hole and light it. Right now!

My version to kill: Wait until dusk. Check to see if there are any bees flying around the hole. If so, come back a little later wearing long pants and a dark shirt. No bees? Then, soak the hole with a stream of foam wasp spray so they don’t fly back at you. Pour a whole quart of high-potency bug killer down the hole. Check for an alternate exit hole. You’ll definitely see them if there is one! Go away. Leave the bottle over the hole for a few days. Keep checking, from a distance, to see if any bees are flying around. If so, make other plans to have this baby professionally killed.

Guess whose version won out? Mine did. It would have been interesting to see hubby do a dance around the bee hole if he didn’t listen to me.

With ground bees, you have to destroy the WHOLE nest. Otherwise, they’ll just move from spot to spot and you’ll never get rid of them.

I’m so glad my Hubby is OK.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

My Noisy Neighbors

This morning I decided to sit outside with my coffee and bagel after my hubby went to work.

At 5:30am, the morning is cool and clear - for a change. The stars are crisp, bright and share the deep black heavens with a little shiny moon which is on it's way to illuminate the next side of the world.

On our porch, I have a black steel dining set...nothing fancy. It's really functional. I put a towel on the damp seat and proceeded to have my coffee and cinnamon/raisin bagel.

NICE! Just me listening to the frogs and crickets chirping. A lone mosquito is buzzing my ear. She should've been in bed!

Then my noisy neighbors started. One after the other they yelled at each other. Don't they have any sense not to make so much noise this early in the morning?! Non-stop they went at it one after the other. In fact, they're still putting up a ruckus out there.

"Ar-a-roo-a-roo!" went my two boys. The farm to the left has a newly crowing rooster, so he was at it real good. The farm to the back had a pretty lazy rooster, young but lazy. He only let go once in a while. The farm to the right rear was going at it pretty good. They have a couple voicing their opinions. Theirs are young, too. The neighbor to my immediate right has two very young roos that crow a little. They weren't even in the picture this morning.

So, I counted. I had 6 noisy neighbors this morning, yelling at each other and trying to wake the world.

I wonder what they say to eachother?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Happy Birthday Hubby!

Do you think my hubby deserves this???

OH YEAH! He's been a really good hubby this past year.

This is his favorite cake - Mahogany Chiffon with icing. This is totally made from scratch and well worth the effort.
He informed me he likes a buttercream icing better than a ganache. Oh well. There's next year.

Happy Birthday, Honey!

Love from your devoted wife,


Sunday, August 8, 2010


What do we have? Chickens! Twenty-some of them!

Here is a picture of my three hens sharing eggs to hatch. The brown one is Mama-Cup. She's a Buttercup who started the whole setting thing. The white one is Mama-Velder. She's a Lakenvelder who decided to help out. And, the one in back is Lana. She's supposed to be a Dominique. She has two sisters so I decided to give them can-can dancer names. However, I think she's NOT a Dominique because of the way she looks. I think she's a Barred Rock from the description in chicken catalogs.

This was a really fun thing to see! My hubby thought it was funny. The people at work were pretty amused at the sight of this picture (which is my desktop background).

No eggs hatched from the efforts of these three. There was a little bit of a problem one night. It seems something came in and ate 4 of the 5 eggs I marked so I would know which were being set upon. It must've been a snake. My chickens are pretty spaced-out when they set, so not much bothers them. A snake could've slithered into the nest easily and done the deed at night. The last egg was not fertile.

The other problem we had was Lana wasn't feeling too well. I think she just wanted to be near the some chickens. She passed away shortly after this picture was taken. I think she was egg-bound. That would not be the way I'd want to go. Sadly, that ends the life of some chickens.

Happy chicken farming to those of you who do!