Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Gardening and Flowers

My tomato plants in my raised bed garden....also onions, lettuce and beans.

My potatoes growing in the potato sacks that I made out of weed barrier fabric 3 years ago.

Rich mowing the bottom grass.....can't really call it a lawn as it is mostly weeds.

Orange Lilies in Dad and Mae's raised flower bed.

Mae's Grandson gave her a couple of trees in a small container and told her they needed to be put into a larger container. So, she planted them in the raised flower bed. Her Grandson was horrified when he found out she had planted the 2 Bonsai trees he had given her as a houseplant outside.

Pink and Yellow lilies in Dad and Mae's raised flower bed.

Pink lilies...closeup.

Strawberries that we bought at Mary's Garden in Canyonville. They were so sweet and juicy. These are June bearers and starting this week the Everbearing ones will start to ripen. They are a little spendy at $18 a flat.....but well worth it. There was no waste other than the stems on the ones we bought. They start picking them at daylight and only pick as many as they predict they will sell so they are always fresh daily. You can also go U-pick them. We used to pick them ourselves until it started hurting my back and legs so much afterwards. Now we pay a little more and buy them already picked. We enjoyed them fresh over ice cream the day we brought them home. I sliced the rest and put them in the freezer in pint bags. We plan on getting at least 2 more flats soon to freeze and make jam.

Soon it will be time to pick blackberries. I'll post photos of Dad and Mae's blackberries in their backyard later when they start ripening. Dad keeps them trimmed and so they are easy to pick by the bucketfuls. They keep them picked all summer until there are no more berries. I can't tell you how many 5 quart ice cream buckets that we pick off those berries each year. Dad and Mae freezes the berries and juice and then distributes it amongst their families and friends. I go over and help pick as many as possible. I freeze whole berries and can juice from running the berries through my juicer. I don't add any sugar to the juice so we can make jelly out of it later. We like to mix it with Diet-7Up for a refreshing drink.

Rich's co-worker said the sweet cherries should be ready soon! He doesn't use them other than eating so we can pick several pounds. I'm planning on canning and dehydrating them this year. I was fortunate enough to find a cherry pitter (brand new) on Ebay for 99c plus $3.95 shipping. I was the only person that bid on it. I'm still trying to find a French Bean slicer on Ebay for a reasonable price. I've found them but the starting bids are more than what they cost in the store.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

Photo was taken July, 1973.

Today is our Anniversary. It's hard to believe that we have been married for 36 years. It's seems like yesterday that we made the decision to go to Reno, NV and get married. We....or rather my mother-in-law was planning our wedding. They just kept getting it bigger and bigger. Rich and I wanted a very simple wedding......not an event like they were planning. We decided one morning that we didn't want what was being planned.....so we decided to elope.

After we made our decision Rich called his Mom and told her our decision. She wasn't too happy with our decision. Next, I called my Grandma and told her our decision. She said if we were happy with our decision.....then she was. She asked that we come out and see her before we left for Reno. We went out to see her and she gave us some money.

We left that morning for Reno. Rich hadn't been to Reno and I had only been there as a child with my parents. We arrived at the outskirts of Reno about 10pm that night. We were so tired that we decided to get a motel room and find the courthouse the next day. The motel is no longer there as they put in a new freeway exit and tore down all the buildings in the area.

The next day armed with instructions from the motel manager we found the Washoe County Court House. We discovered if we got married before Noon it was $10 cheaper. We could also be married by the Justice of Peace right across the hall. We filled out the paperwork and got our license. Then we waited in the hallway with several other couples to be married for the judge. We were married at 11:47am...we just barely made the Noon deadline.

After we was married we counted our money that we had left. We put aside our gas money and had enough left to have lunch at McDonald's closeby. We couldn't go inside the casinos........Rich was old enough but I wasn't.

After lunch and a little sightseeing we headed back to Oregon. We didn't really have a home because the people we was staying with had been evicted. We ended up spending our Wedding Night at Rich's parents.

We stayed with them for a couple of days. Then my Grandma asked us if we wanted to stay in their travel trailer until we could find a apartment to rent. We moved out to Grandma's and continued to look for jobs.

That was how we started out 36 years ago.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Photo is my Mother and Dad taken in December, 1951......the year they were married.

Yesterday I was reading one of my favorite blogs. The lady that owns the blog was showing how she was able to buy 80 boxes of Pasta Salad for less than $5. She went on to say that all the boxes of pasta was not for herself.....they would be distributed to 7 other family members giving each family 10 boxes.

A lady committed on her blog and told her that she was very rude to purchase that many boxes. She said that she should just purchase enough boxes for her own self. Most of the other ladies that commented didn't find it a problem about the amount she purchased.

It really bothers me that in our day and age.....there are a lot of people who are so self-centered that they think of no one but themselves. They don't think of others.....even their families. What happened to families helping each other....in the past multiple generations lived in the same home. They pooled their resources and took care of each other. When a family member was sick......all pitched in to help take care of them and see that everything was done around the home. It saddens me that this way of life has been pushed to the way side.

My Dad will be 77 years old this August. I try to make sure that he is taken care of when he is sick......he won't admit often to needing help. I find things on sale that I know he likes and I pick them up for him. I take over baked items and other foods to him when I have a chance. I love my Dad and want to see his golden years happy for him......not struggling to survive. If that means eventually moving into my home.....that is what will happen.

I feel sorry for the people that do not have families that care what happens to them.

I will climb down off my soapbox now.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Cowboy Stew

I found this recipe while surfing for frugal recipes. I tried it one day when I had to work late. It was truly a hit with Rich. When I got home he was standing in the doorway rubbing his tummy and giving me a thumbs-up sign.


1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 pounds ground beef, crumbled, browned and drained
6 potatoes, peeled and sliced
16 ounce can red or pinto beans
1 can tomato soup
Garlic Powder

Put chopped onion in bottom of crockpot; layer with beef, potatoes and beans. Spread tomato soup over all. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours.

Monday, June 22, 2009

I love Freecycle!!!!!!!!

I just love Freecycle. Last night a lady listed a Custom Built Sewing Cabinet. I was the first to respond and was able to pick it up this afternoon. The top is 2 x 8-feet. There is 2 sets of drawers on either side of area where sewing machine sits. One of the top drawers is built for spools of threads. The lady told me that she had it custom built 30 years ago. It is made of plywood.....not a piece of chipboard anywhere. Thank goodness that the top comes off and it breaks down into 3 pieces. Her husband didn't think that we could get all the pieces in our van. Rich told him that there would be no problem getting all the pieces in the van. We had room leftover after loading all 3 pieces.

Now I can't wait until we can reorganize the computer/craft room and get the cabinet installed.

Happy Father's Day

Photo of Dad taken when we went camping in May.

Yesterday Rich and I took Dad a card and a loaf of homemade bread for Father's Day. We spent the afternoon visiting with Dad and Mae.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Shelf Reliance Giveaway

Shelf Reliance is giving away a Harvest 72" Shelving Unit on June 26, 2009. There are 5 different ways to enter the giveaway.

I sure would love to win this for my pantry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Claire's Birthday

Saturday was our grand-niece, Claire's birthday. She is celebrating her first birthday. She is so cute eating her birthday cake and getting it all over her like a typical 1 year old. It seems like it was only yesterday when we was celebrating her Dad's (Josh) first birthday. I think my sister made him a Hot Wheels cake. I'll have to go back and look at photos. Rick and I couldn't be there for Claire's birthday so Nancy sent us photos yesterday.

Our nephew Josh has a passion for John Deere tractors. I just love this photo of him and Claire on the tractor.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Our New Pet

It seems we have a new pet. The Deer! Every afternoon it comes down off the hill to visit us. The last few days it has been laying down next to the driveway in the shade to rest. No.....we do not feed it! It is illegal in Oregon to feed the wildlife. Quite a few people have been fined big time recently for feeding deer and bear in their backyards.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Stacy and Florin's Wedding

Today Rich and I attended our neice, Stacy's wedding. It also happened that it would have been Rich's Dad and Mom's 60th Anniversary. Rich lost his Mom in 1975. Also Dad told Rich that 65 years ago he was in England waiting with his company to deploy and land on Utah beach.

I didn't get too many photos as the lighting was really low. Rich, Stacey's Dad was taking lots of photos and he said he would upload them online for everyone. Also, Meagan, another niece said she would share photos with everyone. We will be able to order from the photographer too!

The wedding colors were Chocolate and Red. Most of the flowers were red roses with chocolate ribbons. I was able to bring home some of the silk rose petals that had been strewn down the isle. I will use them on my scrapbook pages. Rich thought they were real rose petals.....he didn't realize they were silk so he couldn't understand why I wanted them.

The reception was lovely. There was a buffet with fruits, veggies, dips and tortilla rolls. They were yummy. They were turkey, lettuce, tomatoes, cream cheese mixed with deviled ham rolled up in flour tortillas and cut into slices. Rich loved the fresh strawberries.....they make him sneeze 3-4 times when he first eats them.

The cake was lovely. It was done in red roses and white frosting. There was red roses in vases on the sides.

Stacy's wedding dress was beautiful It had 3/4 sleeves and a layered skirt with chocolate ribbons down the back. The wedding party ladies was dressed in chocolate dresses and the men was dressed in black suits with chocolate vests.

After a long and tiring day we arrived home this evening around 7pm.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Book Review: The American Patriot's Bible

If you have a thirst for the word of God and American History this book "The American Patriot's Bible: The Word of God and the Shaping of America" was written for you.

It begins with Genesis and goes through Revelation with bits and pieces of American History throughout the pages.

I enjoyed reading a quote from Ronald Regan-40th President that was found in a section of presidential quotes. "Inside the Bibles pages lie all the answers to all the problems man has ever known...It is my belief that the enduring values presented in its pages have a great meaning for each of us and for our nation. The Bible can touch our hears, order our minds and refresh our souls."

The Bible contains a full color presentation page and family record section. It is written in New King James version with large print. In the back there is an extensive Index and Concordance.

Both my husband and I have been enjoying reading how our countries history relates to the Bible.

Thank you Thomas Nelson Publishing for letting me review this book.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Bi-Weekly Grocery Shopping

A couple of days before my grocery trip I make a menu out for 2 weeks. I plan 21 main meals. That way we have a choice and also use some for lunches on weekend. Next I go through my cupboards and pantry to see what I need and add them to my list. I try to keep a well stocked pantry to help cut costs of my grocery shopping trip.

Last Friday was my shopping day. I took Rich to work at 5:30am and then went to the store. It's nice shopping at that time of morning as there are few people to bother you. There are the guys that stock the shelf but they are friendly and try to keep the isles clear. Anyway I'm looking at my list and keeping track of what I'm spending. Its apparent that my grocery money that I want to spend will run out before my list. So, I make a few adjustments within the grocery list.

Finally I get to the checkout and it's not my usual one. I ask the checker how he wants the coupons......he says it doesn't matter when I give them to him. I had some free items so I handed him the coupons for them as I had placed them on the conveyor belt first. He took care of those items and then checked the rest of the items. I handed him the rest of the coupons. My total came to $80.27 before coupons. After deducting my coupons and 30 cents for using my own bags it was $68.03. I stayed under my grocery money which is $125 every 2 weeks. I didn't want to spend all my grocery money as I'm saving part of it back for buying fruits, veggies, tuna and salmon to preserve later.

I did find some jumbo green peppers that were 2 for 79cents. I'm going to dehydrate them. I have some onions that I had bought for 5 pounds for $1 a few weeks ago. I'm going to dehydrate them along with the peppers (separate trays).

We should soon be able to go pick local strawberries. We have a huge truck farm about 9 miles from our home that has the best strawberries. Rich and I love going there to pick them....they allow you to eat berries as you pick as long as you're not a little piggy about it. They also have all kinds of other fruits and veggies that you can buy already picked.

One of Rich's co-workers has lots of cherries and he told Rich he would let him know when we could come and pick them. He is also going to let us have lots of seedless green grapes this fall. I will can and dehydrate both the grapes and the cherries. A friend of ours has apples that we can pick also later this fall. I will make applesauce and dehydrate them. We want to get some apricots to dehydrate, peaches to can, dehydrate, pears to can and dehydrate. Hope to get some Purple Italian Plums from Bobbie this year to dehydrate. They are so yummy! We will also buy veggies to add to our small garden to can and dehydrate. We are waiting for my Uncle Andy to call and let us know that they are selling fresh tuna and salmon off the boats.