Saturday, January 31, 2009

A productive day around here...

It was a pretty busy day around here on Friday. The tree trimmers were here bright and early working on our biggest tree. I can't say that I was sad to see it go, branches from that bad boy almost went through our house...TWICE! It took the guys the entire day to whittle it down and the yard was completely covered in branches. Our yard looks so barren now so I got out my trusty notebook and have been making landscaping plans. The yard is a blank canvas now and I'm hoping to bring it to life this spring with scalloped beds and perennial plantings!
The boys were dying to watch the tree trimmers, so I took them out back and they played and watched safely from the field. It was such a gorgeous day that I got Doug to haul out my thrift store desk and bookcase so I could paint them.
I found these cool wooden decals and hot glued them to the desk drawers for a little visual interest, then I primed and painted most of the afternoon.
I think the desk turned out really nice.
Not bad for a ten dollar find!

And here's my little sewing nook!
It's bright and cozy and I can finally stop sewing at the kitchen table!
It got finished at the perfect time because I'm getting ready to sew table skirts for Doug's booth at the county bridal show. Lots and lots to do for that event so I may be scarce next week.
Check out his blog and send him some love:
Douglas Creamer Photography

Heard at our house...

Doug has a mild case of laryngitis (he's not sick, just lost his voice.)

JP: "Dad, why didn't you rest your voice today?"

Doug: (jokingly) "Because I have to yell at YOU."

JP: "Dad, just let mom do the yelling, she knows how to do it really good!"

Friday, January 30, 2009

Please pray...

Please say a prayer for Doug's grandmother, Hazel. His sweet Grammy is 94 years old and is battling pneumonia in the hospital. She's a tough 'ol girl, but this illness had hitting her pretty hard. She's also dealing with severe arthritis in her hip that is giving her horrible pain.
Please offer an Ave for her healing and comfort!

(BTW, the above picture was taken in October.
I think she looks awesome for her age!)


Last year we had so many "near misses" with tree limbs almost falling on the house,
like THIS, and THIS.
So today the most wonderful men on earth arrived....the tree trimmers!
It took them all day long just to get one tree!
The brush pile was enormous!
But for John Paul it was better than Christmas!
Give a country boy a big pile of sticks and he is in Heaven!
They'll be back at the crack of dawn tomorrow...I'm going to smile when I awaken to the sounds of chainsaws firing up (my neighbors, maybe not so much!)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Plans in effect!

I laid out the general shape of my medicinal and cooking herb garden today using our garden hose. I like the shape of it and will leave it a few days before tilling just to make sure I can live with it! I'm also going to carefully observe how many hours per day it gets direct sunlight as most medicinal plants prefer shady spots.

The flipside is that most cooking herbs like bright sunny spots,
so I'm not sure I can combine the two into one garden.

I ordered some of my seeds online. Here's what I got:
Evening Primrose
I figure I can get plants of more common herbs at our local nursery because growing everything from seed is incredibly labor intensive. I really only want to grow the rare stuff from seed.
I also found some really great heirlooms for my vegetable garden, so I'll be growing these babies from seed as well:
Listada de Gandia Eggplant
Fish Pepper
Napoleon Sweet Pepper
Five Color Silverbeet Chard
and you can't have heirlooms in your garden without tomatoes:
Amish Paste, Gold Medal, and Italian Heirloom

The rest of my vegetable garden will come from the Burpee seed display at Walmart.
I absolutely CAN.NOT.WAIT for spring to get here!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Get your grill on!

I finally awakened from my coma and have adjusted back to a normal schedule. Doug surprised me not once, but TWICE by making dinner two nights in a row. He is the master of the grill, and once he gets inspired to make something, watch out!
It is seriously good stuff!

Doug often likes to cook with alcohol...

...sometimes he even puts a little in the food!

We'll shred the remnants of this bad boy tomorrow night for BBQ sandwiches
(with some of Doug's *hic* "special sauce" *hic*).
Now that make THREE meals I didn't have to cook this week!
God bless Dougie...and God bless that grill!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Gray and gloomy...

It's gray and gloomy outside this morning, and that's how I feel too after working a weekend of night shifts. There will be no menu planning, baking, or scouring the paper for estate sales until I can become human again. I'm going to bed now....not sure when I'm going to get up....
'Night all!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Beans, beans, the magical fruit...

A common meal around our house is 15 bean soup. It's nutritious, versatile, and best of all CHEAP! You can buy dried beans for about .50-.80 cents a bag (a little more for the organic variety). Combine several bags of your favorite beans in a large bowl, run your hands through them and pick out the nasties, then scoop by cupfulls into ziplock storage bags. For our family of six, a meal is two cups of dried beans. Most bags of beans are a little more than two cups, so that means I can feed my family for less than a dollar!

Beans should always be soaked overnight and preferably with some sort of acid (2T. of lemon juice, whey, or vinegar). Soaking beans gets rid of their phytic acid. Phytic acid interferes with mineral absorbtion. Beans are full of wonderful minerals such as magnesium and zinc and you want your body to be able to absorb as much nutrient as possible! Also, by breaking down those enzymes, it will decrease the gas associated with this 'musical fruit'. Soaking also decreases your cooking time.
After an overnight soak and rinse, I put the beans in my crock pot and add one large can of organic crushed tomatoes. I season with 2 cloves of minced garlic, 2tsp. of cummin, 2tsp. oregano, 2tsp. of chili powder, and a dash of cayenne pepper. Cover beans well with water and cook on low all day. Just before serving I toss in a handful of fresh cilantro and a couple of teaspoons of sea salt.
Stir in some brown rice for a complete protein. We like ours with hot buttered cornbread!
For more information on why soaking beans and legumes are good for you, CLICK HERE.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Steal of the century!

I went to our local thrift store in hopes of getting one of those big metal teacher's desks to use as my garden potting bench. The store usually has one to two in stock a week so I was really bummed when they didn't have any the day I decided to get one!
Instead, I found this awesome retro desk for my bedroom:

It's long and heavy and perfect for crafting and sewing! It's got three deep drawers to store all my crap in.
I got it for a steal at only TEN DOLLARS!

I'm thinking I will paint it and that ugly brown bookcase next week and arrange both pieces so they look like one big wall unit. I was also thinking of decoupaging some cool scrapbooking papers to the drawer faces...but that might put Doug over the edge, I keep forgetting it's his room, too!
Send me a comment if you have any cool ideas for my steal of the century. I'll post pics when I have the project done!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

You won't hear about THIS on your local news...

CNN, MSNBC, and your local news won't be reporting about the March for Life going on in Washington, D.C. January 21 & 22. It's their favorite thing NOT to report on!
There also used to be a yearly address from the President of the United States...I'm pretty sure THAT won't be happening this year...

Even though we cannot be there physically, we are with our brothers and sisters in spirit!

Knitted head scarf

I found this super easy pattern for this darling little head scarf! I think it will come in handy this summer while out in the garden or just as a cover up for those bad hair days....of which I seem to be having more and more of!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ace of Play-doh

At the table for hours...

Very diligently working...

Making hundreds of cakes...

Looks good enough to eat!
Deal with THAT, Ace of Cakes!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Happy Birthday to ME!

Another year, another birthday. I thought it would be fun to get out my photo album and take a stroll down memory lane to visit birthdays past...
Here I am at my aunt's home for my very first birthday party!
Was I a cute kid or what?
Another cute pic at party #2
Holy cow! I had "thunder thighs" even then!
We skip forward a couple of years to birthday #6 and NO, that is not a little boy there in the middle! The haircut was called a "pixie" and people told me it was cute!
Doesn't my dad look thrilled to be having his picture taken?
I was seven or eight in this pic. I'm the cool Jodie Foster look alike in the green print shirt. Those were the good old days, a big butter cream cake and a vat of Hawaiian Punch and you had a PARTY!
Here we are at my aunt's home again with my family celebrating my 19th birthday. You can't miss me, I'm the one with the big 80's hairdo on the left!
Not sure what Dougie and the boys have planned for this year, but you can be sure I'll capture it in pictures to share with you later! I'm just so thankful that God has given me another birthday to celebrate!

Monday, January 19, 2009

On the eve of the inauguration...

We cannot hide the fact that many threatening clouds are gathering on the horizon. We must not, however, lose heart, rather we must keep the flame of hope alive in our hearts. For us as Christians the true hope is Christ, the Father’s gift to humanity… Only Christ can help us build a world in which justice and love reign.
—POPE BENEDICT XVI, Catholic News Agency, January 15th, 2009