Thursday, September 27, 2012

My Big Brother To The Rescue

Did you ever have one of those days when nothing is going right?  Like today for instance...I had a flat tire.  I was working at my friend's farm, while they are at the World Beef Expo, to find my car had a flat when I went to leave.   What to do...who to call?  My big brother the rescue.....(tatada...that's my trumpet sound).  Thanks for picking me up and taking me home Frank - I love you for that and many other reasons!  He has a blog too.  It's the button on the sidebar with a toad riding a motorcycle. 

Blessings from Wisconsin.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Homemaking Made Easy?

This is my home.

I'm linking up with today with several great blogs.  Check out the buttons at the bottom to link back to them.  The subject is homemaking.  I had an awesome example of a homemaker in my Mom.  Talk about resourceful, Mom was doing that my whole life.  

My Grandpa and Grandma Kincaid (her parents) were the happiest people - despite their financial limitations.  My Mom grew up learning how to sew, mend, bake, cook, can, forage, refinish and reuse.   All Americans were doing that...knew how to do that...due to rationing during WWII. 

Those skills she learned carried her through even to today.  I learned from watching her.  I know not everyone was blessed with this type of an example.  However, we all can learn.   

I thought it would be helpful to share some of the things I do to save time and money.  Here are my top 10 food/kitchen ideas:

1.  Buy a pressure cooker.  Do NOT be afraid of it.  A pressure cooker is my favorite tool in my kitchen.  You can take a frozen piece of meat (a cheaper cut even), put it in your pressure cooker and in a less than an hour have a flavorful, tender base for your dinner.

2.  Grow your own garden.  If you can't do that, go to the local farmer's market.  Learn how to can.  Again, I use my pressure cooker (I have like 4).  Canning is NOT hard to do.  Take a class at your local extension office, ask someone to mentor you or look on the internet.  If you are not into canning - freeze your produce. 

3.  Watch the sales ads.  I always buy local from a regional grocery store.  When they have their "in store" specials - take advantage of it.  I watch the 10 for $10 items.  I have a pantry and shelves downstairs to store extra food. 

4.  Buy in bulk.  Not everything is a "deal" this way, so watch your prices.  Invest in plastic storage containers with good lids.  Find a place to store extra items like toilet paper, which I always buy in bulk. 

5.  Raise your own meat (invest in a freezer).  Now, I know not everyone can do this.  However, you can go to a local butcher, ask if they know a farmer who raises or sells their own animal (whatever the species).  Craigslist is a good resource to find this too.  If you do raise your own, raise 2 - one to keep and one sell.  The one you sell with pay for the one you keep.  If you are unable to find a local farmer - watch for 1/2 a hog or beef bundle packages at a butcher plant.  These are really good deals!

6.  If you cook - then really cook.  I did a whole blog post about this:
Invest in a Nesco, I use mine weekly.  I don't always cook this way, but when I do, it sure saves time and money.

7.  Cook real food, made from scratch.  Prepared mixes are often times more expensive and filled with higher fat and calories.  One exception I still buy is cake mixes.  These are a tool and staple in any pantry.  I take advantage of the times when these are on sale.   You can always make your own mixes - check out pinterest or google recipes for this.  My Mom use to do this too.  It will be expensive at first to buy all the ingredients to do this, however, it will save you time and money later!

8.  Buy quality cookware.  Go to Goodwill, thrift shops, estate sales - look for the good brands.  Don't get caught up in the fads - nothing beats a Kitchen Aid mixer!  I got mine from an auction over 15 years ago - it is sunflower yellow - I'm sure from the late 70's - works great!  Look for a Nesco or pressure cooker too. 

9.  Use your left overs.  Eat them for lunch, re-create them into a new meal for the next day.  Be creative when you cook.  Dice up left over meat or veggies for the next day, make a simple white or red sauce and serve over rice and noodles.

10.  ALWAYS eat together as a family.  This time is so important!  Catch up on what your kids did that day in school, share what you did at work, what your husband did, talk about future plans, CAN NOT get this time back.  I feel Americans have forgotten how to do this!  

I hope you find some of these tips helpful.  Remember, dirty houses, laundry and a sink full of dishes will always be there....little ones won't!  Children grow up too fast.  When they are grown and gone - you will have a clean - but empty - house full of wonderful memories. 

Blessings from Wisconsin.

Growing Home
Down Home Blog Hop

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What I found in Stillwater, MN and Junk Bonanza

I LOVE this.  "When you are kind no one notices your imperfections."  I'm hanging this over my desk in my studio/work area.  It just makes me smile. 

I LOVE C.J. Robb (Christie's) art!  Last year I bought a witch in a shoe and this year I bought the witch on the owl coo coo clock and Santa on old ski.  Her work is super nice!

Of course, I did some Christmas shopping - those pictures aren't on here - but SUPER cute one-of-a kind items.  Made by real artists that you actually could talk to....this is how I am going to shop for many of my Christmas presents!


Blessings from Wisconsin.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Junk Bonanza 2012

Junk Bonanza 2012 - had a blast!  Beautiful booths, great ideas, one of a kind finds - a must on your "shows to do" list!

We were in line at around 7 a.m. for the Early Bird Sales - tickets are only $25 and well worth it!  While in line, we had free coffee, mini donuts and several free samples of products.  As long as this line was....2 of these girls were right in front of me...they are from like 45 miles from my house...truly a small world.  The other lady was from Kalamazoo, MI.  I heard some ladies say they were from Montana and drove 18 hours to get here.  

Ki, is the editor of Flea Market Style and the event founder.  Here she is getting her picture taken for the magazine.  She was very nice and walked the early bird line and talked with the shoppers. 

This is Tim Luke from HGTV's "Cash in the Attic."  He came over and was talking with us - so I had my picture taken with him and the lady from Kalamazoo, MI.  Tim is very nice and told me he is an auctioneer - (I went to auctioneering  school and have conducted a few on my own estate buyouts).   Super nice guy and great personality. 

Awesome booths with creative ideas.   Can't wait till next year - they are having a Spring and Fall Show. 

Blessings from Wisconsin.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Two Diners, Drive-ins and Dives Stops

I am a "foodie."  I love watching Food Network.  One of my favorite shows is Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.  Guy Fieri is an excellent host and I love his one-liners and humor. 

I went to Minnesota this past week.  So, I knew I was going to eat out - so, why not cross off some of the Diners, Drive-ins and Dives on my list.  I actually ate at 2.

Smalley's Caribean Barbeque, Stillwater, MN.  This little town is gorgeous!  Adorable shops - nice antique ones too.
I ordered the pork tacos - they were good, but I thought the "jerk" rub was too salty.   I would try this again, the order came with 3 tacos - next time I would share one order. 

The next day I ate at The Nook, St. Paul, MN.  Their claim to fame was the stuffed burgers.  This was delicious!!  The fries were the best I've eaten - possibly ever.  It was easy to find with other cute shops on the same street. 

I want to go back and take Al.  We want to plan a Diners, Drive-ins and Dives field trip to Minneapolis/St. Paul - someday....

Blessings from Wisconsin.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Jefferson Wisconsin Wool Festival Photos

Anna showed sheep, we played with some super cute Shetland sheep, saw little lambs in birthing area, kissed a few fuzzy lips...not Al's - overall wonderful family day!

Market class - 137#

This is Dottie - no Grand Champion Ewe today....she is such a sweetie!  Next week, off to Vliestra farm for breeding.   

She actually had triplets. 

Wrong end little one.

Blessings from Wisconsin.
Farmchicks Farm Photo Friday

Friday, September 7, 2012

Are You a Part of the Sandwich Generation?

Sandwich Generation

"The generation of middle-aged individuals who are pressured to support both aging parents and growing children. The sandwich generation is named so because they are effectively "sandwiched" between the obligation to care for their aging parents and children, who require financial, physical and emotional support. "

That's me.

My dad passed on 3 years ago and my mom is still with us.  She is blessed to be living at home, however she requires 24 hour care.   The hours "we" can't do - a hired care provider is there.  When we have staffing issues, this requires family to fill in those extra hours - often on short notice.  

Life here is really short.  The time we are given to share with and learn from our elderly loved ones is so precious.  

I've learned that my time is really not my own.  Choosing between what I  would "like" to do rather than what I "have" to do.  

Today is one of those days.  I will not be able to do the flea market at Grand Repeats.   

"Honour thy father and thy mother that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy god giveth thee." Exodus 20: 12.

Blessings from Wisconsin.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

September Interesting Facts


Flower:  Aster
Stone:  Sapphire

National Chicken Month
National Honey Month
Better Breakfast Month
Self Improvement Month

Boni Fulgham

Days of the Month:
 1.  Emma M. Nutt Day
 2.  VJ Day
 3.  Labor Day
 4.  1st Day of School
 5.  Cheese Pizza Day
 6.  Read a Book Day
 7.  Neither Rain or Snow Day
 8.  Date Nut Bread Day
 9.  Grandparent's Day
10.  Swap Ideas Day
11.  911 Rememberance Day
12.  Chocolate Milk Shake Day
13.  Positive Thinking Day
14.  Cream Filled Donut Day
15.  Felt Hat Day
16.  Women's Friendship Day
17.  Constitution Day
18.  Cheeseburger Day
19.  Butterscotch Pudding Day
20.  Punch Day
21.  POW/MIA Day (3rd Fri.)
22.  International Rabbit Day (4th Sat.)
23.  Play Checkers Day
24.  Cherries Jubilee Day
25.  Comic Book Day
26.  Johnny Appleseed Day
27.  Crush a Can Day
28.  Native American Day (4th Fri.)
29.  Confucius Day
30.  Mud Pack Day - Facial Day

"September morn, do you remember how we danced that night way, two lovers playing scenes from some romantic play, September morning still can make you feel this way."  Neil Diamond's Song

"By all these lovely tokens, September days are here with autumn's best of weather and autumn's best of cheer."  unknown

Blessings from Wisconsin