Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Old Recipe Books - WWII "Forward" Challenge

(p.s. my mom made corn meal mush - I hated it!)

As much as I love looking at Pinterest, there is nothing like researching old cook books.  My mother-in-law is downsizing, so that we don't have to do it...she is healthy, but wants to go through her stuff while she still can.  Pretty wise on her part. 

She has been working in her basement, packing up a few boxes each week or so.  She then has been "donating" them to me and my business.  

She is an excellent cook!  Her cook book collection consists of hundreds of books!  She has parted with a few to date.  This one is one of them.

I think the last picture, the "forward" to this cook book, speaks volumes.  I wonder, in this day of drive through, fast food, I want what I want, "have it your way" - generations since....could we do with less or even with out?

Here is a challenge, let's try to think of ways to make do with less.  What can "I" do in my own little world to conserve, reduce, reuse or repurpose?

I will post about the changes I make or do - in a monthly or biweekly series called "ReUse, Use Less, ReDo."  Feel free to leave a comment and share your ideas with the rest of us.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Monday, March 30, 2015

Chocolate Milk Pancakes

Chocolate Milk Pancakes

I hosted a youth project night at church and had some chocolate milk left over.  I don't really buy chocolate milk as I have been known to guzzle down the whole gallon.  

I don't know where this idea has been all my life...chocolate milk pancakes with chocolate chips.  

I always have on hand a bisquit mix - a simple staple.  I added the chocolate milk as liquid for recipe.  Then sprinkled chocolate chips on top.  

I know this is usually my Motivational Monday post, but today, honestly, I can't think of something more motivational than these chocolate pancakes with real Wisconsin maple syrup.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Marvin & Martha - Let Your Rooster Strut

I so enjoy watching my chickens.  I do have a favorite hen, it is Martha.  I love her independent, free range spirit.  She is very smart and cunning.  Martha, really has never had a need for a rooster...it is funny to watch the young roosters try to "catch" her.  Oh, that's the last thing they try to do again....she just runs at them and fights.   Well, a girl can only take so much....

Last year, Martha sat on a clutch of eggs.  I knew not many of those eggs could be her own, as she never lets the roosters come near her.  Sure enough, that batch had brown speckled, black and a few white ones.  She didn't care, she just was their mama hen.  

Sometime during last summer, Martha started liking this rooster.  I named him Marvin.  She would let him "catch" her and she sat on another clutch of eggs.  When those hatched, most were white like them.  Now that they are bigger, you can see that they were Marvin and Martha's chicks.   I guess, she figured out, if I want fertile eggs, I better be "nice" to a rooster.  For some reason, this tickles me...I love that in her.

I come from a long line of independent, strong women.  Most of which had and have a hard time submitting themselves to their rooster.  First, you need a good rooster - some of the roosters my family picked, turned out to want to have other hens, so I understand not submitting.  However, if you have good rooster, be nice to him. 

The other day, I was watching Marvin and Martha.  They usually are by themselves on the other side of the barn yard.  They have figured out that the birds kick out lots of seeds on the ground and I see them under the bird feeder everyday.  I usually throw them out a slice of bread or another treat.  It was while watching Marvin, I thought about this post.  He did the sweetest thing, he broke off a piece of the bread and "clucked and clucked" to get Martha's attention.  He then fed her - picking up the bread and holding it in his beak for her.  She ate it and pecked on the ground.  Marvin, I swear, looked so proud of himself...he strutted around the yard following after her.  I can imagine he was thinking..."yep, I took care of my hen."  

If you happen to have a good rooster, and you are an independent old hen, think on this little story.  Every rooster wants a chance to strut once in awhile - let him know you appreciate his providing for your coop and chicks - don't forget be "nice" to him every once in awhile.  Everyone knows, that a behind a happy hen is a happy rooster.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Sew Much Fun

I offered a 4-H sewing clinic at my studio today.  I had a 4-Hr from a different club call and ask me if she could come too.  Her mom said "but, we aren't in your club."  I said "I don't care, 4-H is about learing a skill - it shouldn't matter who teaches it."  When they came, I figured out that it was my niece's husband's aunt and cousin...what a small world.   This was Emily's first sewing project.  She made pajama bottoms.  The cloverbuds made a pillow.  I didn't get a picture of it tho... :(  

We had sew much fun.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

The Hobby Farm - Penny Rug Mug Mats Class

I had my 2nd class last night.  I decorated the studio with Easter stuff.  I plan to continue with the classes on the 3rd Friday night of each month.  I am having fun - I think the ladies coming are too.  I was thinking I would offer a 4-H or student discount.  Here is my studio.

Thanks ladies.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Thursday, March 19, 2015

An Eggcellent Day

My little hens have been busy.  They lay small light brown eggs.  Farm fresh eggs, can't beat it.    

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Chores or No Chores?

I was watching the news this morning and the subject was about chores for children.  The study states that over the past few decades, the trend to let your children be involved in "everything" and your running to do it "all" has been the demise to household chores.  Limits in time, stress and just not having the patience to teach your kids...has created a generation of poor workers.  This is even reflected in simple problem solving.  I know many millennial that do NOT know how to accomplish the simplest tasks.  

We all want our children to succeed in life.  Spending and investing in things that we feel will help them achieve their dreams and goals.  However, the study shows that the one proven predictor to success is doing household chores.  

The study shows that those children who were given chores, starting out as young as 3, benefits them academically, emotionally and eventually professionally.  

You are not hurting your children by making them pick up their own toys, make their own bed and take out the garbage.  Rather, you are helping them become independent, selfsufficient adults.

If a child spills a glass of milk - don't yell at them - hand them a towel and tell them to wipe it up.  Even 3 year olds can do this.  I can guarantee you that the next time they will be more careful with their glass.  Don't do it for them either - when they are working their first job and a customer breaks a container of something in aisle 1 - you are not going to be there to clean it up.  Recently I was shopping and something similar happened...the boy stood their looking at the customer...duh...what do I do...?...?  I had all I could do to not yell, "go get a mop!"  Simple tasks...

Our daughters are millennials.  We expected them to do their household and barn chores at home.  We did not pay them an allowance, as this is part of being in a family and owning animals.  They also were not in need of any basic necessity - we provided that for them.  When each of my girls were in 6th grade, they were hired by the same farm to work their cattle and do their chores.  This was a job, they were paid for that.  They earned that money and paid for the things I didn't feel were necessary, but they wanted.  I did NOT have to replace any fancy phones or electronics - because they paid for it and took care of it.  

They each quickly learned in college and working part time jobs - how other millennials lacked a good work ethic.  Recently, they each have told me how thankful they are that we "made" them work.  Taught them how to work.  

Success isn't always reflected by material things...it is a feeling of accomplishment in a job well done, not giving up and an understanding that I can do it for myself.  

I feel strongly about this and this "old mama hen" could "cluck" about this all day....  Young mamas heed to my advice - any strong structure has deep roots and a solid foundation.  Teach your children to be strong, by giving them household chores, starting at a young age.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Motivational Monday - Welcome Spring

We have been treated to some really nice weather here in Marathon County, Wisconsin.  It has been in the 50's for daytime highs and low 20's overnights.  Perfect temps for maple syrup time.  Many of my family and friends have tapped their trees and the sap is running.  I love seeing the pails or bags hanging from the trees this time of year.  Maple syrup production is a large part of Wisconsin's agricultural contribution to the rest of the United States and beyond.  

We still have some snow on the ground, but for the most part our yard and fields are clear.  I saw my first Robin on Friday morning.  The Kestrels are back to their nesting box/house attached to our barn.  We love having them here each year.  The fields and woods must provide plenty of other prey as they seem to leave my chickens alone.   

My hens have been giving me an increased supply of eggs.  Martha has picked a fight with the cats that have taken over "her" bench on our porch.  So far, the cats have won.  She was clucking up a storm, but they did not move.   I'm sure she will find another hiding place, I have to keep watching her.  

I spent most of the day Saturday, cleaning and organizing my shop/studio.  I have been digging out inventory and this was getting messy.  I am teaching a class Friday night and a 4-H project meeting Saturday, now the area is all clean and ready to go.  I am so happy - I've wanted to have a work area in here for years.  I have had it empty and clean numerous times over the past 1o years, but it tends to be my dumping ground.  Not any more - I LOVE it now and am actually excited to work out there!    

I know it is March, I live in Wisconsin, so I'm sure we will have a few more snow showers before I can say Spring is officially here, but I am enjoying this now.   

Warmer and longer days sure can motivate me.  I love Spring's promise of rebirth and renewal.  The activity around our farm is an indicator that nature is motivated as well.    

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin

Friday, March 13, 2015

Re Purposed Bird Food Bag

I saved all my bird food bags thinking I might make some of these totes.  These were easy to make.  Here is how I made them.  

Start with the bag.  

Take out the stitching and turn inside out.  Wipe down the inside of the bag.  

Sew the end back together.  I stitched 2 rows one 1/8" above the other to make extra secure.

Then pinch the corners together.  I made a mark at 5" from the tip.  Cut off the excess bag leaving enough seam allowance. 

Stitch the seams together.  Again a double row.

Fold down the top and stitch to the bag. 

 I found this sturdy trim in the upholstery department of the fabric store.  I bought 1 yard per bag I want to make.  Figure out how and where you want the strap to go and stitch it to the bag.  I reinforced the stitches where the strap meets the bag.  I did an additional top stitch toward the top of the bag.  That way the strap is stitched several times to secure it.

That's it.  Really easy, anyone can do this.  The bird food bags are so tough that this tote should be able to hold many treasures at the next flea market.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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Monday, March 9, 2015

Motivational Monday - Facing Giants

I co-teach the preteen and teen Sunday School class with Reggie.  We decided to do a series of study on teens/youth from the bible and how God used them.  I teach about the girls and Reggie the boys.  

I liked what Reggie did yesterday.  He passed out a sheet of paper to each student and asked them to write down some of the things they feel are their greatest accomplishments thus far in their life.  He asked each one to read off the things on their list.  He also asked us to write down all the words we think of when we think of David.  He then read the story of how God told Samuel to go to the house of Jesse and he would tell him which of his sons to anoint as the next king.  As each son stood before Samuel, God told him no not that one...this went on till Samuel asked Jesse "do you have any other sons?"  When David was brought in from the field, God told Samuel that he was the one to anoint.  As Reggie read this story, we were to cross off the words we had on our list from that story.  

Many of the words on the lists were:  sling, rocks, giant, Goliath, king, Psalms...etc.  Reggie pointed out that those words we think of were from events that happened to David after he was anointed.  We really don't know much of David's "back story."   

I thought about Reggie's lesson and how I could apply it to my Motivational Monday post.  At many points or stages in our life, we face change or even challenge.  What has happened to us before that change is our "back story."  Not everyone will know these things about you, what has lead you to this stage or point of your life or the life lessons you learned up to it.  Your "back story" in any stage of life is an important tool in moving forward.     

David learned how to protect his sheep from predators with a rock and a sling.  With that ability, along with God's anointing, David picked up that stone, wound up that sling and knocked down the giant.  His faith in his ability to protect his sheep with the rock and sling, were key to his using it against Goliath.  

Facing "giants" in life, whether they be a change or challenge can be tough.  All of us have faced them.  My motivation to us is that we encourage ourselves looking at our "back story."  Make a list of those things that you have learned about yourself thus far.  Use the life's lessons to your advantage.  Having faith in yourself is the key to moving forward.  

Look that "giant" right in the eye, pick up that rock, wind up your sling and throw it.....knock down the challenge, move forward in the change....take note to the lessons learned.  To be successful you must "want to" and have faith in yourself.  

"This too will pass" is something my Mom use to say to me.  Wise words that I now understand after facing my "giants." The lessons learned are priceless.  

Now go out there and face your "giant."  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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Friday, March 6, 2015

The Blue Pitcher

This is the landing at the top of our stairs.  My mom gave me the little oak stand years ago.  The blue pitchers came from an auction.  What you can't see in this picture is a story behind the open top blue pitcher.  

Anna, our youngest, loved to sleep in her older sister's bedroom.  Justine would "let" her camp out for nights on end.  At times, they had villages of Barbie or Polly houses and there Anna was sleeping in the middle of all that.  One day, Justine had enough of Anna and told her it was time for her to move back to her room.  One was throwing items - the other "catching" them....guess which one was which.  Well, in the middle of all that, the antique blue pitcher fell and broke.  
I was actually was mad and threw it in the garbage.  I usually sell the good stuff I buy and keep the imperfect pieces.  However, this piece was one of my favorites and decided to keep it.  Well, that was that it and it was in the garbage.  

Well, Christmas morning rolls around - like months later.  I had a box under the tree that said, To:  Mom From:  Justine and Anna.  I had no idea what it was.  I was so surprised - shocked actually to see this blue pitcher all glued back together.  I now LOVE it!  It is one of my favorite things.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin