Tuesday, December 6, 2016


I learned a new word today thanks to Astrid and her work at school.  I now want
to research and learn more about locavores.   I am not researching in the correct area
because I am not finding much information about it.  But I now know what one
is and I want to be come one. LOL

  1. a person whose diet consists only or principally of locally grown or produced food.

Did you know about this?  I strive to eat locally but it is truly a difficult thing when
on a limited budget.  I grow a lot of vegetables, buy local honey, get as much
local fruit and berries as I can, and I have had local meat. 
I have come to realize that is about as close as I can get.  I am going to strive
to make a greater attempt to do this.

I am going to continue my research. :) 
My Granny Helen is second from the left.  I miss her so much!  She was always such a classy lady and dressed
to the hilt. I miss her especially around this time of the year because she always made the best
homemade candies that were just as beautiful as they were delicious.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Autumn Where Is It?

Judging by the weather we have been having you wouldn't think that Autumn is anywhere around.
But I'm sure if we hang on we will be wishing the cold hadn't moved in. I remember the year we moved back to Arkansas, 1976, it was just like this and the 1977 came in with a wintry blast.  We were wearing short sleeves and shorts in December then we were making school upon Saturdays in Feburary! Crazy I know but I remember not liking Saturday school!  I do believe my mother loved it. :)

I received some pumpkins today...what a blessing.  I am going to bake them then freeze the pulp for my pies, bread and cookies.  I love fresh pumpkin.  My son's favorite pie is pumpkin so I guess I will bake him one.  If you have a favorite pumpkin recipe, please share.  I would love to try it.
                                                          Image result for pumpkins

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Nice Cold Nip in the Air

With the nip in the air, I felt it called for a good pot of beans to be cooking today.  I love it when I get home from work and the house smells so yummy.  I believe I will make a pan of cornbread and fry some potatoes.  As my Grandad Roger always said...."A king couldn't eat any better than this."  A nice cup of coffee or hot tea will set the evening off.

Image result for beans in a crock pot  
And yes I like my cornbread made in an iron skillet.   I am making myself hungry just thinking about it.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Chicken in the Pot

Well,  I couldn't wait any longer.  I made chicken and dumplings and they were divine!  I had such enjoyment getting to make a wonderful homemade meal and then the pleasure of sitting down with my husband to eat it.  Comfort food is so necessary and I consider chicken and dumplings definitely a comfort food. Next, I'm going to bake an apple pie.  I believe my friend, Laura made an apple pie this weekend but forgot that I was her friend.

This weekend was beautiful and I enjoyed every moment of it.  I only wish it would have lasted a bit longer.  The weather was perfect.  We got a lot of things done around the place to get it prepared for the winter.  I got the rest of my apples put up and ended up with 8 gallons in the freezer.  I will make pies, breads, applesauce, and anything else I can think of to make out of apples.  I bet I managed to make a fresh apple cake too.

Apple Cake
  • 1 c vegetable oil
  • 2 c sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 c flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 c chopped pecans
  • 3 c peeled and chopped apples
  • Frosting
  • 1/2 c butter
  • 1 c brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 c evaporated milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
    For the cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13? pan. Combine oil, sugar, and eggs. Stir in flour and baking soda. Add vanilla, pecans, and apples. Spread in prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes. Cool for 2 hours. Then prepare frosting.
  2. For the frosting
  3. Boil all ingredients in a small saucepan for 2 minutes. Set pan in bowl filled with ice water. Beat icing until of spreading consistency. Spread over top of cake.

Friday, October 7, 2016


I am way behind in posting  on my blog.  UGH!  Life has busy moments and somethings have to take priority.  I have had to play catch up on housework, gardening, and yard work.  Doug is continuing to heal and is now able to do a whole lot more.  He still tires easily and strength/stamina is not where he wants it to be but he is getting there. We give the glory to our Heavenly Father.

I have dehydrated tomatoes and apples.  They are so yummy!  Most of our garden items we put in the freezer or gave away to wonderful friends and family who so willingly pitched in and helped us.

I'm ready for some fall weather.  We have harvested 10 chickens and I am ready for a good pot of chicken and dumplings  
                                          .  Image result for chicken and dumplings recipes

I am working on knitting some dish rags for Christmas gifts.  I know that it may be a little early but I'm trying to get some finished in all my spare time.

Hope this post finds every one well.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Late Summer Babies

They have hatched! My baby birds have hatched and flew the coop!  They were so cute and I enjoyed having them to help they get a start in life.  My fern did suffer from housing them but oh the joy they brought us.

These pictures are hard to see but three of the four hatched.
Doug is doing better every day.  We went back to Springfield for his follow-up visit and got a wonderful report.  The vertebrates are aligned and the ligaments are strong enough to hold the neck in place.  All the praise goes to our God.  We thank everyone for all their thoughts, concerns, texts, and prayers.  It has given us strength for each day.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Hot, Hot, Hot

Today was extremely hot again.  Our grass is quickly dying, which means the mowing has slowed down extremely.  I am trying my best to keep the chickens cool and fed.  I have changed them over to a layer feed and they do not like it.  I told them they will have to eat it or do without.  They are begrudgingly eating it.

The tomatoes are still coming on but have slowed down considerably also.  I am still enjoying their sweetness.  A tomato that actually taste like a tomato is beyond delicious.  Summer will soon given into fall and cooler temps will adorn us.  At this moment, I would take a few cooler temps.

Doug is healing well and recuperating nicely.  He needs to build up his stamina but that will come in time.  I thank God that he has been so blessed.

School is coming along nicely and I am already one week into it.  It is hard to believe.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Summer is Gone

Summer for me is gone....I start back to work on Monday.  I am a little excited and a whole lot nervous. I will be leaving Doug for an extended period of time for the first time in a month. I know that everything will be ok but my human nature is to fret just a little.  I have prayed and know that only God is in control on any given day, so there is no need to worry.

He has made tremendous progress in a month.  I only expect him to keep gaining ground.  God has answered our prayers and is continuing to heal.

The homestead has fared well during this time.  Good people, family and friends, have come and helped pick the garden, mow, and feed.  We have been blessed and able to give a lot of vegetables to sweet family and friends.  I have been able to preserve a few tomatoes, peppers, and pickled some cucumbers.  Our cantaloupe was the sweetest I do believe I have ever tasted. My corn was not the best but we were able to salvage it and dry it for the chickens.  They sure have loved it. :)

Still God is good to us and taking care of us as always.
This is something I would really like to have....just a thought.  Maybe one day.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sunday Blessings

This post will not be long.....Just want to say how blessed we are.  Doug and I got to got to  church this morning! WOW is all I can say.  It was wonderful seeing all of our church family and feeling the awesome power of our Sweet Saviour, Jesus Christ.  I don't want to ever not give Him praise for His miracle working power and healing that has taken place in Doug's life.

One more sweet blessing.  In the photos below a sweet mama bird has chosen my fern to call home and raise her young. How special am I?!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Dog Days of Summer

I haven't been able to post daily due to the fact that Doug still needs my care.  He is getting more independent each day and for that I am thankful, not for me, but for him.  His therapy is coming along nicely.  The OT told us Wednesday that he has made tremendous progress in a week!  WooHoo! We give all the praise to the Good Lord for the healing that is taking place.

In the middle of this, I have gotten to do a little canning and freezing.  Today I froze 3 quarts of tomatoes. Wednesday I put up 8 1/2 pints of Chow Chow.  I hope it taste as good as it looks.

The Dog Days of Summer are here....I looked out the other day and the neighborhood dog was on top of our picnic table taking a nap. I guess that was the coolest place he could find.

It's a hard life, but someone has to do it.  It is hot when you have to nap on the picnic table. :)

Friday, July 15, 2016


I have tomatoes that are absolutely gorgeous.  We have had them every way imaginable and are still loving them.  I was planning on canning tomatoes, salsa, spaghetti sauce and whatever else I could find to do with tomatoes, but those plans have been changed.  Since Doug's accident, we have been able to share tomatoes with family and friends and still enjoy them ourselves.  I didn't know what I could do with the extras!  Doug was watching pictures on the computer the other day and said...why don't you dehydrate them like you have in the past.  So, today I have a full dehydrator going and they will be so good this winter.  Thankful for a helpful husband.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Hot Air

Of all times for our air conditioner to go out....Yes it did...I went out Sunday morning sometime.
I called our heating/air man and he came out today.  They said they would come out yesterday, but it wasn't so bad that we couldn't stand it.  We opened all the windows and doors and turned the fans on us.
Carl came today and a part that starts the compressor exploded.  He replaced the part and has us up and running again.  He blessed us and I know that God will in turn bless him.  So thankful that God smiled on us and gave us a cool day in July!

Doug is coming along and will have therapy tomorrow.  I know that God has this and he will be continuing to gain strength every day.

I picked tomatoes, jalapenos, and banana peppers today.  The tomatoes are so good.  Giving most of the veggies to friends that have been so helpful.  I don't feel that I can neglect Doug and can so next year maybe.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Life Turned Upside Down

I haven't posted in quite a few days. ...

Doug and I chaperoned a group of kids to church camp on June 27th.  I didn't take my computer with be so I could focus the kids and spending time with them.  We enjoyed camp and kids were among the best kids I have ever met in my life.

On Thursday morning, I knocked on Doug's cabin door to wake him for breakfast.  I heard someone fall and thought one of the kids had tripped over something and fell into the door.  I hollered, but no one answered me.  Finally, one of the boys cracked the door and told me that Doug had fell out of the top bunk and landed on his head.  He went from full mobility to total paralysis in less than 10 seconds.  We got medical help and he went to Osage Beach Hospital by ambulance.  Then they took him by med flight to Springfield, MO Mercy Hospital.  He was there for six days.
He received excellent care and is now home and receiving therapy.

It has been a roller coaster of emotions for both him and me.  Mostly him.  This has been one of those life changing events that happens and I know that God has everything under control.

I have not posted details on here because it takes time.  I have to be ever mindful that he needs me at the drop of a hat.  I will share more of God's goodness in days to come.

We are thanking God for the miracle that we have been blessed with.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Sweet Southern Sun Tea

As the days of the summer roll and I am trying to quench my thirst,  I think of how can this be done.

 My mind reminisces to the days when I was a kid playing outside in the heat because the house wasn't any cooler.  Really outside was probably cooler than the house.  With three brothers to go on adventures with, who would want to stay inside.  But there always came a time when drinking from the water hose was just not what you wanted.  My mom would make Sun Tea and sweeten it Southern style.  Oh, boy was it ever good....yes cool sweet liquid sliding down my parched throat was just what the body needed.

So the other day I remembered Sun Tea and bought me a half gallon of pickles from Atwoods.  We  finally ate all the pickles and I washed the jar out with warm soapy water to get all the pickle smell out of it. The next morning, I woke up early and put water and two family sized tea bags in it.  That afternoon, I brought the warm jug of tea in and sweetened it, put it in the refrigerator to let it cool.

Yes, Sweet Southern Sun Tea is in my glass as I'm writing.  Just like I remembered!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Dog Days of Summer

I believe the the dog days of summer are here!  The heat is intense on the homestead.  We have started watering the East Garden because the hubby is determined to have those luscious tomatoes we have waited for so long. We have plenty on the vines, they just need a little more time to ripen.  Our corn is coming along nicely and I can't wait to sink my teeth into the sweet sugary taste as it pops into my mouth....am I hungry or what?

I have tried to fix summer dinners that will appeal to the taste buds even though we have been outside working all day.  Last night I made Iron Skillet Hamburger steak with steamed yellow squash and fresh sliced tomatoes.

I am working at the farmer's market to sell the excess that I have.  The market has several hard working farmers that show up on Saturday to sell their goods. I love visiting with people of the community and being able to provide homegrown vegetables that they can afford.

I have put up 25 pints of various pickles.  I am waiting on the okra so I can pickle some of it. I will also be canning tomatoes, peppers, spaghetti sauce, salsa and anything else I can come up with.

I made two loaves of bread today so we would have fresh bread.  It always seems to be fresh when I bake bread because it never last long enough to get stale.  I sliced it and we had grilled cheese for lunch on it. YUM

Aren't these two the cutest!

Thursday, June 16, 2016


This is a very busy time of the year but a much rewarding time.

I love the ability to be able to can and "put up" what we harvest out of the garden.  This week it has been pickles.  I put up spicy dills and today I am working on bread and butter pickles.  I never did know why they were called bread and butter but any way they have a nice flavor and I love how they smell when canning them.  I guess I will have to research to see why they are called that.  If any one knows, leave me a comment.?

Bread and butter pickles are just a recipe for a sweet sour pickle. They got the name "bread and butter" during the great depression when fresh cucumbers were eaten for lunch with bread and butter, and a cheap source of what was considered a vegetable back in the day. Moms could grow the cukes, serve them fresh as long as they lasted without refrigeration, but then had to pickle them to make them last all the rest of the year. In the summer cucumber sandwiches were very popular, thin slices of cukes on bread with butter- very English. But what then to do with the leftover garden produce?? Pickle it!
While folks back then served what they could grow- and cucumbers were easy to grow in many climates- still the produce outstripped the consumption. Backyard gardens often produced more cucumbers than any family could eat in one season. So they picked and pickled them- adapting and using old recipes that would appeal to their children's pallets, (always a huge concern). While we know now that cooking destroys many of the vitamins in any food product- back then they did not know that. So they used the bread and butter pickle as a substitute for fresh cucumber sandwiches. Which they seriously thought were nutritious. 
~ I gleaned this information from a garden web forum.  I can see this being so true.  I have had/served cucumber sandwiches at a tea and loved them.  I can definitely see the English influence in this dish.  Do you agree?

Monday, June 13, 2016

Mile High Corn

The sweet rain were are getting is making my sweet corn luscious!
Doug on the tractor with the forks raised to show how high the corn really is.

The corn is in the silk stage. Can't wait to taste some of it.

I took this to show how much the flock has grown.
Beans and corn

Kandy Korn!!!
The result of today's canning.  I used Mrs. Wage's spicy pickle mix.  This was the first time for me to use this pickle mix.  We opened one jar and they are good.  They are definitely spicy.  Doug really enjoyed them.  They didn't turn out as crunchy as I would have liked them, but the flavor is good.

Saturday, June 11, 2016


I went to the Faith Keepers Retreat in Alexander, AR and is was wonderful.  Mighty messages were spoken by the messengers and rest for my weary soul was found.  It was wonderful to visit with old and new found friends.  I believe there is no way that any one could have left and not found a renewing of the mind and spirit.  Our Heavenly Father is so wonderful.

We harvested cucumbers and zucchini squash today.  I believe I will have enough cucumbers to make a batch of pickles.  The zucchini we are eating along and I will freeze a small amount of it for bread and stir fry.  I love fresh squash.  I made a salad tonight from veggies from the garden.  It was delicious!

This is a small amount of cucumbers and zucchini that we gathered today.
We have also already put up four pints of blackberries.  Before long, I can make Doug a pie.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Workshopped OUT!

I have not been on here in a few days due workshops.  The other librarians and I went to 3 days worth of workshops and I believe we learned a lot but we are ready for our break.

I will be going to a church conference/camp, so it will be a few more days before I post again.

Started harvesting zucchini today and what I got I gave to our pastor and wife.  I believe in taking care of the shepherd of the flock.  The Good Shepherd instructs us to tithe, so I do my best.  Also, I have always appreciated people who are willing to share their bounty.  I have had a dear friend share so much with me this year, so I know the Good Lord will take care of her and hers.

Top two pictures are the East Garden and the bottom two are the North Garden
They are coming along nicely.  Can't wait til we start harvesting.

Monday, June 6, 2016

More Wedding

Just a few more pictures of the wedding.
The boy cousins

The girl cousins

I thought this was beautiful.

The Bride, Carly, and Madelyn

The Groom, Gus and Alex

All the cousins.
Me, My oldest brother, "Little" Mickey, The baby brother, Josh, and The middle brother, Keen

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Every other Day

We have been so busy that it seems I only get around to posting every other day.

Our nephew's wedding was today so that was our day today.  It was a beautiful outside wedding at Mt. Sherman.  Every thing was perfect.  We prayed for beautiful weather and we were heard.  A slight breeze blew across the mountain and kept the air cool to a perfect temperature.  The bride, Carly Clark, was gorgeous and the groom, Gus Shields, was handsome. The reception was outstanding.  Carly's family did the meal and it was over the top.

The gardens are coming along just fine.  I should be picking zucchini any day now.  The cucumbers are very small at this point but are growing.  My bean plants are huge but no beans as of right now.  We bought bush beans but these have runners, so I'm wondering if I got what I thought.  Any way, Doug says regardless they will make beans.  We shall see. The corn is taller than me.  Wow, I'm excited.  I don't believe our garden has looked this good in a long time. I will post a picture of the gardens tomorrow.  I didn't have time to take a picture today.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Summer Fun Has Begun

Summer fun is here and the kids are having a blast.  We took them fishing yesterday and showed them how a country boy/girl will survive.  They did not really relish the idea of having to bait their own hook, so, I did it!  I didn't get much fishing done but I was there to teach them how much fun fishing can be. 
Madelyn ended up catching four about the same size as this one.  She caught two and said I put my confidence on and I'm going to catch another one.  She did, she caught two more!  She definitely has confidence in herself.
Doug caught a good size catfish.

 Alex caught two fish,  This bluegill was pretty good size.

I love teaching my grands that you can have fun and learn at the same time.  Also, we showed them how to take care of nature.  It was time well spent.  Since we live so close to such a beautiful lake we should enjoy what we have right here in our backyard.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

First Day Out of School

What do we do here on the homestead on my first day out of school?

What else?

Fishing is what you do...just don't depend on us with what we caught today.  It was fun even if they were small.  I always say my hobbies are my therapy and it is much cheaper than a doctor bill.  My philosophy, for what it is worth, is if more people had more hobbies this world would be a better place.  There would be whole lot less anxiety.  

Any way I love to be outside!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Memorial Weekend

Church this morning was beautiful.  The sermon was bring all your needs to the altar.  Your prayers go up and build a memorial before the Lord.  He gave the ultimate sacrifice for our sins.  Then we have wonderful men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.  Marvelous message.

Tomorrow we will be like most and grill out the traditional Memorial Day foods.  Hamburgers and Hot Dogs.

Doug and I bought fishing poles today along with our license so we can fish this summer.  I will be posting pictures of our catch.  Hopefully, we can catch enough that we can also put some up in the freezer for the winter.  This will definitely help our meat supply.  I'm the one that loves fish.
This is my Grandad Gus, my Mama's daddy, he was a Merchant Marine in California.  He helped guard the coast during the WWII era.

This is my father-in-law, Raymond Wade. He was a marine in the Korean Conflict.

Still looking for a photo of my Grandad Roger....verteran of WWII. He served in the army and fought in the Battle of the Bulge
Roger Tillman Shields

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Family, Friends, and Food

Well we definitely made memories on the homestead today....

We started the day off with the laundry. Wash, hung on the line, dry, folded and put away.

This was the best part of the day~
Laura and Sigrid came out to have a day of sewing.  Sigrid designed sewed a flag for her flower garden and made a pillow case for her bed.  She picked out extra material for another flag to sew at home.  We grilled burgers, had potato chips, and a Granny Cake.  What a fun, fun day.

After they left, Doug and I rode the motorcycle to Pottsville to buy some veggies from Vernon Lawhorn.  We bought beautiful cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli. Laura gave me the idea to make egg rolls.  So next week we will be having egg rolls for one of the meals.

Then back home to finish the day with making a batch of strawberry freezer jam, feed chickens, and till the garden.

Oh what a beautiful day filled with family, friends, and food!

The Hog 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

One tired Puppy

Not going to post much because I am beyond tired.  Working 10 hour days right now and that doesn't leave me much time to blog.  Got home tonight and fixed supper, made tomato cages, fed chickens, checked on the garden, fed the neighbor's sheep, and checked on my Mama and Dad.  Yes, I'm tired.  Oh well, I'm still blessed beyond measure because my sweet friend text me today and picked me a gallon of strawberries.  She is  bringing them to me tomorrow.  See how God takes care of me.  I was wondering how I was going to get some. This took one thing off of my list.  I always love local produce.  I am so wonderful taken care of.  It never ceases to amaze me how God works.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

School is Out!

School is out for the kids and teachers.  I am on an extended contract so I have 5 more days!  Oh, well, I do get paid for these days so it all works out.  I will enjoy being out.  The only thing is, this will be the first time in 33 years that Doug and I will have this much time together.  Since he was laid off in September, I have worked.  But now that I will be out, this summer may be interesting.  Hopefully we will get a lot of work done around the homestead and continue to love each other in the end.

This is the small garden and it is coming along nicely. Tomatoes, sunflowers, sweet potatoes, squash, zucchini, and peppers.  It is growing.  Madelyn and Alex watered it yesterday for me.  You will notice the dark spots. :)

This is the north garden.  I should have waited to take the picture until after Doug mowed.   It is doing well and we are proud of it.  We should have green beans before too long.