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Thoughts & Reflections About Life

Entries in this blog

New Pantry

For some reason, although it's Feb. 14, 2010, the computer won't let me post with the 2010 date. So...I've given the date as day and month in 2009.   ~ ~ ~ ~ ~   Living in a small house has its disadvantages. There never seems to be enough space for *anything*.   At one time there was a basement pantry/ shelf-type thing along the basement stairs, but my husband says it was torn out in the 80's. You could tell something was there, for there was painted space...but sadly, no shelves.  

Crazy4Canning

Crazy4Canning

Making Lemonaide from Lemons...

I now know with great clarity what it means to get up BEFORE the chickens. Yes, yes, I do.   Since my DH had to work a night shift Sunday night, he's getting back to days and was up until 3 am last night. When he did come to bed, he flopped like a fish and snored like a lumberjack. Finally, I just got up. What do I need sleep for anyway? It's not really THAT important to life....   Then I looked at the clock...It was four-freakin'-o'clock ...in the MORNING.   So, I read some e-mails

Crazy4Canning

Crazy4Canning

It's Time for Making Rum Cakes!

I just received word that some close friends were drooling over the remembrance of my decadent rum cake recipe. I sent some to them a few years ago and haven't made it since. I just e-mailed them the recipe, but wanted to post it here so that everyone could share the love because recipes such as this one deserve to be passed on and shared. They achieve nothing by being locked up in a recipe box. This really captures the decadence and complete goodness of the holidays. You have to make it NOW to

Crazy4Canning

Crazy4Canning

Of Strawberries & Garlic

Okay, who would put huge cloves of garlic INTO a loaf of bread and then put said bread next to french, wheat, and sourdough? Fred Meyer. Why am I not surprised? Every time I walk into that store, something stupid happens to me. What am I, flypaper for freakiness?   As you well know, I just finished using up every half pint jar in the house making jam and had 2 cups of strawberry that didn't have a home. Oh well, I just poured it into a measuring cup and will store it in the fridge. It's goo

Crazy4Canning

Crazy4Canning

My First Cackleberries!

The day started out to be stressful and ugly. I was dreading setting foot out of bed. So I'm getting ready and heading out to the coop and I hear a ruckus. I knew they needed crumbles and I figured they had probably knocked over their water.   As I open the door, I see them - 3 glorious eggs on the floor of the coop! They are each slightly a different shade, a different color of lovely light brown. I let out a squeal like a little girl!   Now, I know I might not get eggs every day at fir

Crazy4Canning

Crazy4Canning

The Summer of Running Behind

Well, if last summer was the Summer of Canning like a Crazy Woman, this summer is the Summer of Running Behind.   Last summer, I had come off of a 4-month cleansing fast that, while I was riding-a-broom cranky, I did have tons of energy which I promptly channeled into canning everything under the sun - because I could and needed to. I'm finding that the time was well spent and it has been a good gauge for what we use and don't use, and how often we use something.   This spring, I've had

Crazy4Canning

Crazy4Canning

Chicken Laughter

Well, like everything in the summer, my chickens are growing. The littles that were so tiny and taking refuge in their 'cage' in the coop are now blended in (integrated?) with the larger 6 birds. They were spending more time out of the enclosure than in. I knew it was time to remove the enclosure when the big girls liked sitting on it and the little girls ran out. It won't be long before the Buff Orp Naomi is going to quickly get bigger than the Spotted Sussex Havalah.   All the girls like t

Crazy4Canning

Crazy4Canning

Adjustments in the Crazy Coop

Well, the baby chickies are too big for the brooder and were moved today. I thought if they were all together outside no one would notice being big or small. WRONG. The littles are being picked on by both the middle girls and the big girls. The littles are fine by themselves but once you introduce another larger chick into the mix, it is readily apparent that the pecking order has been established and they DO NOT want it interrupted. The middle girls seem to be particularly vicious and they were

Crazy4Canning

Crazy4Canning

Groomed by a Chicken

We now have two types of chickens at our house; the Big Girls (the 3 Buff Orpingtons named Minerva, Golda, and Shira), and the Little Girls (one White Rock named Tikva, one Black Australorp named Hannah, one Barred Rock named Sarah, and one Spotted Sussex named Havalah.) The Big Girls are now almost 10 weeks old and the Little Girls are almost 4 weeks.   Since our 'miracle' this weekend of the Littlest Girl, Havalah, (the spotted sussex) surviving severe dehydration, the other three Little

Crazy4Canning

Crazy4Canning

Silver Linings

The last week has seen me watch some dear friends pack up their home of 10 years and move to Texas. They got caught in the micro-chip lay-offs a couple of years ago and with a new baby, well, monies have been super tight.   I watched them purge, sort, pack, and purge some more. Not everything fit into the moving van. Those things look huge on the outside but once you start squirreling boxes here and there, it fills up fast.   Suddenly I realized, yet again, how much STUFF we have. I

Crazy4Canning

Crazy4Canning

Never Too Old for Mama Radar

After a fender bender on April 1 (ironic, huh?) I had to take my car into the body shop this week. Just last week, I had removed the studded snow tires and put on all season radials.   An important sidebar: Last year DH got these fancy rims that didn't need hubcaps. He claimed they were cheaper than regular rims with lug nuts that needed hubcap covering. Whatever. He also said that they needed a special tool and that tool could only be used on those particular rims and nuts. Not as easy as a

Crazy4Canning

Crazy4Canning

Yes, I'm a Mother Hen!

So this weekend, the chicken coop was finished. It's not a coop, my husband says, it's a chicken palace. Big enough to house 20 chickens with room to spare. I would have been happy with a simple shed against the garage, but it's HUGE. Big enough to house the chicken feed, bedding, etc. There's even an overhang for my husband's worm bins.   You want to know why it was finished last weekend instead of tomorrow or next weekend? My dad said he couldn't stand watching one of the chickens hopping

Crazy4Canning

Crazy4Canning

Comfort Food – My Encounter with Biscuits & Gravy

One of the posts this week in the food forums was on comfort food and poverty cooking. For a good page or so of posts, people were talking about biscuits, homemade biscuit mix, and even gravy. So, to that note, I share this story.   ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~   When my husband and I were first married, I asked him what he wanted for his birthday dinner. I told him that I would happily make it for him, complete with whatever dessert he wanted.   He was hesitant to reply.

Crazy4Canning

Crazy4Canning

Let Go - Rejoice in the Blessing

With my husband's new job, we've been making a lot of transitions around here. I've been forced to deal with clutter, begin to make lunches again, and adapt to a new schedule. All good things!   Among this adapting, we realized that since the work truck is now his sole vehicle, I get my small commuter car back. We can finally pitch the great huge gas guzzling Oldsmobile taking up the driveway.   Now mind you, I've always had a love-hate relationship with that car.   I've been grate

Crazy4Canning

Crazy4Canning

Silly Valentine's Day Gift

My husband and I aren't big Valentine's Day folks. We might go out to dinner sometime that week and I might get flowers, but nothing too big. You see, as lovely as flowers are and as yummy as chocolates are, I don't refuse them, but I believe they have a time and place. I don't want them just because MOST women get them, I want them to be special…like the pink roses I got over a week ago.   BUT, DH is a romantic. He wants a special day to be special….so…..I really have to fight to get him

Crazy4Canning

Crazy4Canning

Picking Up the Pieces; Resolving Clutter

This was written in response to a friend asking me for advice on how to get organized. At first, I had to laugh...then reality hit....I can do this.   ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~   It hit me around the end of the year how truly messy my house was. For many reasons, things have gotten stacked, shoved, piled, mounded, and shuffled to where I couldn't tell up from down, right from left, let alone in some cases, what was clean or dirty. This is such a far cry from how I wanted things to look, from how t

Crazy4Canning

Crazy4Canning

Tortilla Soup

This yummy, lo-carb, high-taste soup is tasty and can be enjoyed with or without tortilla chips...tho you might want to call it Mexican Soup then. I pulled everything from my pantry and home-canned items. A wonderful use of those jars of veggies!   Ingredients:   Stockpot 2 C tomato sauce 2 C crushed or diced tomatoes 1 C salsa 2 C corn (canned or frozen) 1 tsp basil 1 tsp oregano 1/2 onion 2 tsp garlic 2 C chicken broth 2 C veggie broth 2 cans kidney or

Crazy4Canning

Crazy4Canning

Money-Saving Laundry Soap

I'm all for saving a buck, but this is incredible!   This recipe for homemade laundry soap makes approximately 4.5 gallons.   1 five gallon bucket 1 bar Fels Naptha Laundry Soap (Zote or Ivory can also be used) 1 cup Borax (blue green box) 1 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (yellow box) 4 gallons of water + 1 qt   Grate Fels Naphta bar into about 8 cups of water in a saucepan, leaving about 4" of room at the top.   Melt soap into water. You will know this is hap

Crazy4Canning

Crazy4Canning

Faith & Provision

Originally written in May of 2008.   When bad things happen all in succession, it makes me wonder – it makes me wonder many things - but also realize where my faith lies. It is so easy to focus on circumstance and forget about who our Abba is – that He is the ultimate Provider.   Over the past two weeks, the front and back brakes have needed repairing on one of our cars, we paid thousands of dollars out of savings for our sidewalk construction bill and our washing machine died - just th

Crazy4Canning

Crazy4Canning

Protection & Covenant

This was written in April 2008. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~   It is a Jewish practice to put mezzuzahs up on every doorpost as a reminder that Adonnai watches over us and keeps us. In the Christian world, the equivalent would be to anoint or pray over something or spiritually cleanse a house or property. I recently learned a very tangible lesson regarding this.   Last spring we began having drain issues. The problem would come and go, and we thought we had it licked until last August when I found lit

Crazy4Canning

Crazy4Canning

The Blessing of Poverty

This was written last March, but it remains as poignant as ever. ~ ~ ~ ~ This weekend I had two vendor tables at a benefit for a local organization which supports Israel. It was a lovely thing, great dancing, a lovely lunch, but it was not held where the Jewish population normally resides – it was held across town in a Christian building, for it was intended to be an 'inter-faith' outreach/ benefit, and the building rental was free. Vendors were asked to donate a percentage of their e

Crazy4Canning

Crazy4Canning

Why We Need Hope

This was actually written a year ago, but I found it. It seemed appropriate to post here.   Blessings!   ~ ~ ~ ~ ~   Over the past week, I've been dealing with some pretty intense things. I've had to file legal papers, deal with attorneys, and get ready for a major conference. I've also had to wrestle with words and writing things that will become part of public record and influence someone's life for some time, perhaps forever.   As I was reflecting and writing this week, I knew

Crazy4Canning

Crazy4Canning

Realizations of Clutter and Life

Well, I've been dealing with clutter for a while now and it's a true dichotomy. As it gets better, it also seems to be getting worse.   I've reflected on the fact that when I was single, the problem was different - a more organized approach and one I only had myself to blame for.   When I got married, I could appreciate a mess because we were both working and there just wasn't enough hours in the day to do things.   Now that I've been home for a while, I seem to be the sole clutter c

Crazy4Canning

Crazy4Canning

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