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.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Take Me to the Water


Before Sunday School, Alex and Madelyn talking about being baptized.

After Sunday Service, they were baptized in the wonderful name of Jesus.  They had already visited with the pastor, their Great Grandfather, Rev. Mickey Shields.  What a privilege to have your sins remitted. It was also a privilege to be baptized by your great grandfather and baptized your great grandchildren.
First batch of jam made this spring.  Raspberry freezer jam.  YUM!
Someone special put their order in.  Sigrid has learned if you ask, you shall receive!
Nothing better than homemade.  


Saturday, May 21, 2016

Tiller fixed and running like a charm.

Our tiller broke down...Doug priced a new one and we quickly decided that was a no go!  So, he broke it down completely.  The gearbox was the problem. He priced new a new tiller~$600-$800. New case halves~  It was a chore~$100/half.  He decided to break it down and see if he could fix it.  Several hours and $5.00 later, here is what we have.



video

Just wait....this was a work in progress.  I helped a little today by reading the schematics for him.
Here is the end product.
video


My chickens wouldn't cooperate and let me take a picture. Maybe tomorrow.
Yesterday was Julianna's birthday. She turned 32. I don't know where the time has gone.
Happy Birthday, Julianna.


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Rain = No Chicken Picture

I was going to go out to the chicken condo and take pictures to everyone could see how the ladies and gentlemen are growing.  But due to the rain, I didn't make it out there.  I will do this as soon as I can.

The garden is coming along quite nicely and I am excited to see what we are going to harvest.


This is my sweet niece, Morgan.  She graduated from Green Forest a couple of years ago. She had a grand mal seizure this morning and is in need of much prayer.  She is facing brain surgery in the morning due to a cyst on her brain.  I will be posting of God's great works tomorrow.
I love this kid so much. I'm thanking you for prayers in advance.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Winding Down

The end of the school year is quickly approaching.  My days are swifter than a post as Job stated.  I don't know where the time goes to.  Children can't wait to be out of school only to wish they were back in.  I do believe they run out of things to keep themselves occupied.  If they would learn hobbies then they would know what to do with their time.

Well, the tiller went on the blink today.  Doug has it torn apart trying to salvage it for one more year.  He has pieces every where.  He is very blessed with mechanical knowledge, so hopefully, he can get it back together and it will be good to go.  The garden does need tilling, but we will just have to wait and see if he can fix it.  I don't think we need to spend the money on a new one right now.

I fixed a country stir fry for everyone tonight.  John loved it....he texted and said he wanted the recipe. :)  I invented it out of fresh veggies and Polish sausage.  It was good even if I have to say so myself.

Chickens are getting so big.  Tomorrow I will try to get a picture of them to post so everyone can see how the flock is growing.

Finished the day with a glass if iced tea and a cookie.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Swamped!

I didn't post anything this weekend because I felt swamped all weekend.  Talk about overload. Between gardening, cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, we had the twins' birthday party to celebrate. They are precious and worth more than money can ever buy.  I am so blessed.
Happy Birthday to these two. 
They had a wonderful party.

Went to the beauty shop today and they made me look human again. Came home and fixed Chicken Artichoke with onions and mushrooms.  Pretty good stuff.
Garden is coming along nicely.  I will try to post pictures tomorrow since it is raining today.  It is rather cool today and cloudy.
If anyone is interested in the chicken recipe, let me know and I will post it.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Walking....

After lunch we usually take a walk for about 15 minutes each day.  My walking buddy was not with me today, so I debated whether or not to go.  I decided I shouldn't let me talk myself out of going.  I walked two laps and decided ok I will go a third and then call it good. (We usually walk four).  I got around the third time and just about talked myself out of the fourth time and while talking to myself, I decided I had come to far to quit.  So, I walked on.  On the lat time around a gentleman was walking and I spoke to him.  In less than 3 minutes, he cried and shared some prayer request.  I felt like God let me go ahead and walk on just so I could be an encouragement to this man today.  I do believe that God orders our footsteps. I reassured him that he is not alone and I've never seen the righteous forsaken nor his seed begging for bread.  Please join me in prayer for this gentleman that his prayers will be answered according to God's plan.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Old Car

Our car is getting on up there in age and I have just refused to break down and buy another one.  Zach has been driving it back and forth to Little Rock and guess what it decides to do? Yes! Break down on him.  Doug had to drive to LR to work on it because he is very talented that way. Thank goodness.  It is running and he is driving it home right now as I am completing this entry.  Hopefully, he can crip it home and be able to look at it tomorrow and really fix the problem.  I am not wanting to be in the market for a newer vehicle.  I was just speaking today how it has been a wonderful car and I don't want a newer one with all the foo foo stuff on it.  Well, life on the homestead it just what it is.  Nothing new, all is used, and we take good care of it so we don't have a lot of out going payments.  Payments get old real quick.  I use to want something new and my Dad would tell me to wait until I had enough cash to pay for it.  I just knew they wouldn't have it when I got the cash.  He would always say there will always be another sale.  You know, he is right!  There is always a sale going on and now I know that is good advice.

I am studying the book of Hebrews and find it interesting that when slowing down and really studying the Bible, I learn so much more.  The book of Hebrews presents Christ as the Author and Perfecter of our faith.  We are warned to pay attention in chapter 2...I am enjoying studying this book so far.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Keeping an Eye on the Weather

Today has been pretty uneventful other than the weather.  It is suppose to move in this afternoon. I hope it misses us!


These are photos from last year around this time. May 25, 2015 It was a wall cloud that moved right over our house. It was a bit scary to say the least.
I don't care for storms that are this violent.  A little thunder and lightening doesn't bother me, but that is as far as it goes.  You won't find this ole gal being a storm chaser ever!

The chickens are growing and I am looking forward to eggs.  I delight in watching them forage.  I'm thinking of making our own chicken food.  I have been doing some research in this area and wondering if it is more beneficial to make our own.

The garden is coming along nicely, so soon, I will be showing some of my harvest and preservation of all our hard work.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Peasant Bread

Here is my recipe for my Peasant Bread. This is an easy bread recipe that is delicious and I haven't met anyone that doesn't like it.

Ingredients
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour (do not use bleached all-purpose)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 cups lukewarm water (around 110*)
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons sugar (I use 2, my mom uses 3 — difference is negligible)
  • 2 teaspoons active-dry yeast
  • room temperature butter, about 2 tablespoons

    Instructions
    1. Mixing the dough:

      • If you are using active-dry yeast: In a small mixing bowl, dissolve the sugar into the water. Sprinkle the yeast over top. There is no need to stir it up. Let it stand for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the mixture is foamy and/or bubbling just a bit — this step will ensure that the yeast is active. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. When the yeast-water-sugar mixture is foamy, stir it up, and add it to the flour bowl. Mix until the flour is absorbed. 

      • If you are using instant yeast: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, sugar, and instant yeast. Add the water. Mix until the flour is absorbed. 
    2. Cover bowl with a tea towel or plastic wrap and set aside in a warm spot to rise for at least an hour. (In the winter or if you are letting the bread rise in a cool place, it might take as long as two hours to rise.) This is how to create a slightly warm spot for your bread to rise in: Turn the oven on at any temperature (350ºF or so) for one minute, then turn it off. Note: Do not allow the oven to get up to 300ºF, for example, and then heat at that setting for 1 minute — this will be too hot. Just let the oven preheat for a total of 1 minute — it likely won't get above 300ºF. The goal is to just create a slightly warm environment for the bread. 
    3. Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Grease two oven-safe bowls (such as the pyrex bowls I mentioned above) with about a tablespoon of butter each. Using two forks, punch down your dough, scraping it from the sides of the bowl, which it will be clinging to. As you scrape it down try to turn the dough up onto itself if that makes sense. You want to loosen the dough entirely from the sides of the bowl, and you want to make sure you've punched it down. 

      Then, take your two forks and divide the dough into two equal portions — eye the center of the mass of dough, and starting from the center and working out, pull the dough apart with the two forks. Then scoop up each half and place into your prepared bowls. This part can be a little messy — the dough is very wet and will slip all over the place. Using small forks or forks with short tines makes this easier — my small salad forks work best; my dinner forks make it harder. It's best to scoop it up fast and plop it in the bowl in one fell swoop. 
    4. Let the dough rise for about 20 to 30 minutes on the countertop near the oven (or near a warm spot) or until it has risen to just below or above (depending on what size bowl you are using) the top of the bowls. (Note: Do not do the warm-oven trick for the second rise, and do not cover your bowls for the second rise. Simply set your bowls on top of your oven, so that they are in a warm spot. Twenty minutes in this spot usually is enough for my loaves.)
    5. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375º and make for 15 to 17 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and turn the loaves onto cooling racks. If you've greased the bowls well, the loaves should fall right out onto the cooling racks. If the loaves look a little pale and soft when you've turned them out onto your cooling racks, place the loaves into the oven (outside of their bowls) and let them bake for about 5 minutes longer. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before cutting.
  • This is really a very easy recipe to make and it turns out delicious everytime.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Mother's Day

Today was a very interesting day to say the least.  Enjoyed my morning cup of coffee made by my dear friend, Terry then on to finish state testing.  As the day rolled on, I had my lunch, walked and had some one on one time with Jesus.  The afternoon led to many events that kept the day beyond crazy.

I came home and what to my wondering eyes did appear....

these beautiful ferns for my Mother's Day gift from Doug.  I just love it and am so grateful that he did this for me today.  It was a beautiful surprise to the ending of a (let's just say) well ok, one of those days!  I love the look that it gave my front porch.  Come on over and sit with me and we will have a cup of coffee and a piece of homemade pie.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Family, Friends, and Memories

Today I received a phone call from my sister-in-law in Idaho and had a visit with her. Visited with
my Mom and Dad and kids.
We didn't go to Alex's game tonight, but he called and said he hit a homerun.  Way to go Alex!

Laura and I had a nice walk today.  It was a bit cool but we built up some warmth by picking them up and putting them down.

This picture is of my Great Uncle Millard.  He passed at the young age of 94.  This was my grandad's oldest brother who raised him. Uncle Millard was 10 years older than my grandad.  Uncle Millard was 15 and my grandad was 5 when their daddy was shot.

This is Aunt Bill (Millie) who is Uncle Millard's wife.  They married when he was 17 and she was 15.  They were married 76 years I think.  Wow, a lifetime.  Aunt Bill is still living and is now 103 years young.  A remarkable lady.  She is a twin and was born in February in Indiana in a log cabin 103 years ago.  They weighed 7lbs each and she is the oldest.  She told us she was born boss and still is.  :) Her twin's name was Lillie.  They loved each other and Aunt Bill was always taking care of Lillie.  Aunt Bill is called Bill because her dad nicknamed her that.  But at the young age of 92 she ask that she not be called Bill but Millie.  Old habits are hard to break....all my life we have called her Aunt Bill.
I'm thankful for such a heritage and the stories, and memories that I have of such wonderful people.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Sunday Best

 
Dressed in our Sunday Best.  They were so cute they wanted to get their picture taken Sunday Morning.  Alex's suit coat was given to him by Laura's sister.  Thank Erin for sharing
the wealth.  It fits Alex perfectly.  Thank you Laura for thinking of him.
Alex looking so handsome.

Madelyn posing...Alex not so much. lol

She was so cute deciding how to stand. 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Weekend

I didn't get to post anything yesterday because the day was full of one activity after another.
First of all, we got up and had breakfast then checked on the gardens to see how they did after so much rain.  I am glad that they fared so well.  One squash plant was under some dirt that washed down but I think it will be ok.  Doug noticed one tomato plant that washed completely down two rows.  He picked it up and replanted it.  Other than that, both gardens looked great.  We needed the rain and glad that God supplied it and we didn't have to water using the hose.

Next, I went to the Kroger (my favorite grocery store) :) and bought groceries for the week.  The grand-kids met us there and were ready to come spend the day/night with us.  Of course the rest of the day was like I said one activity after another.  Helping unload and put up groceries, checking out the gardens, four-wheeler rides, feeding the chickens, swinging, sewing, going to Big Mama and Big Papa's.....the list goes on and on.  It has all been fun.  They are always so much fun. They keep life happy and light.
  
Here is a photo of their sewing adventure.  They each made a potholder for their Grandma Darlene for Mother's Day of whenever they want to give it to her.  They designed, cut, sewed, and artwork for their gift.  I think they turned out really sweet.  They are two smart kids.
  
These two are our heartbeat.😁