Thursday, April 28, 2011

~ My Garden ~

I grew up in a large family. We lived in the country, grew and preserved our own food, sewed our own clothes, milked our cows, made our butter, cheese etc., raised animals and all the rest that goes with living on a country farm.

While I've never enjoyed sewing....(my other sister's do though), I love to garden and can or freeze  (I am wanting to try drying next) most of my family's food! I love to look at all the shelves filled with canned goods, knowing I did my part in keeping our little family fed!

I love working in my garden......
   ..........but, I haven't always loved it!

You see, my garden would always start out nice.... with long straight rows of veggies. I did a really good job (with hubby's help) at keeping it weeded too. It looked something like this;

Then about the time that the plants started producing -the garden would get out of control!

Overnight it turned into a great big patch of weeds!!! -sorry, no picture, (I never let myself take one 'cause I didn't want anyone to see it look so awful!)

 It was so bad, that by the time late summer got here, I'd refuse to pick veggies in it and we'd just plow it under..

The other thing I did NOT enjoy about having a garden was all the MUD!!!! It seemed I was always weeding and picking vegetables in the mud! And I hate cleaning muddy shoes!!!

I thought maybe I could make little square beds and leave the grass to grow as the paths .....Big Mistake!!!

The grassy/weedy paths just grew into my little beds, so that you couldn't hardly see where the paths stopped and the bed started!


Until.......a few years ago!

I decided to do something about it! I drew out plans, and measured everything off (again with the hubby's help).

Hubby made raised beds 4ft. x 8ft......


We filled all the beds with horse manure, put down Landscape fabric (25yr.-commercial) and topped the whole thing with wood chips (Thanks to my Sister for the help!)  -that was a job! 


Every spring and fall we add more horse manure to the beds. Our goal is to keep adding layers on top until the beds are raised approximately 2 1/2 -3 ft. high.

This year we are adding the last bed to it - I am planning on having it be an additional herb bed, raised like the rest of the garden beds.

We are also planning on putting another thick (4-5") layer of wood chips on too. Here is my current Herb Bed:

                     
I am wanting to make a glass frame to go over one or two beds so I'll have my own hot-house/greenhouse for growing early vegetables.

                        Now I love my garden!



 With the wood chipped paths, there is no more mud -even right after a rain!

The paths are wide enough (3 ft. with some bigger) to get a wheelbarrow, or wagon between each bed. -the kids even ride their bikes on the paths.

The rich compost in the beds produce more veggies than my previous large garden with long straight rows. In fact I can get enough green beans off one 4 x 8 bed to feed our family of five all year and we go though a lot of green beans (it's our favorite canned vegetable.)


I let the kids each have a 'garden of their own' in two of the beds. They choose what plants they want to grow and weed and harvest. (I help the 4 yr. old)

Last year I planted blueberry bushes on the north side of the garden. They are very small and don't show up good in pictures, but hopefully they'll start growing soon. We planted three different varieties -early, mid, and late.

In one corner of the garden, I have black raspberries and have red raspberries in the opposite corner.

To the East side of the garden is our strawberry bed.

In our old (previous) garden, our strawberry rows grew together and it turned into a large patch with weeds everywhere. We were stepping on berries while we were trying to pick them.

So, we dug out all the new runners ( I dug over 300 plants out that I counted ) and tilled the old plants under when we redid the rest of the garden.

We used the runners that I dug out to start our new patch and also gave some to my Parents and Brother & Sis-in-law to start their strawberry beds.



Now, my Strawberry bed has three long rows. They were mulched really good  when we planted them, then I use the straw that covered the berries in the winter between the rows. The plan is that every year, I replace one row of old strawberries with new runners. Thus each row will yield for 3 yrs before it's replaced. 

It's been our experience that strawberry's yield really good the first three years (with the biggest yield the second yr. -which I put 38qt. in the freezer and made lots of strawberry jam.), but not well the fourth year!  

I have a bed of rhubarb - both the Victoria and the Crimson Red. I like them mixed, but they are needing divided again, so need to find another spot to plant some. I love to freeze rhubarb.. it is so easy and it makes great rhubarb crisp!

I currently have two varieties of asparagus (the Martha Washington and the Jersey) I want to try the purple variety sometime soon, as it is supposed to be sweeter and better for freezing.

And since I love perennials, I have a small perennial bed in a corner and a border bed on the south side of the garden. I have a small bench that goes in the perennial bed, so that I have garden seating.

We also have a small orchard in the making, complete with nuts and grapes (still waiting on the grape harbor) but that will be a post for another day!

Right now, I just give all our excess veggies, and berries to family and friends. However, I'd like to start setting up at a farmers market in the next few years. 

I'd like to sell our farm fresh eggs, soaps and homemade cheese with the milk from our dwarf dairy goats.

I am a 'nut' when it comes to perennial plants, grasses and shrubs so would like to pot the extras to sell. And, I like croqueting and  making crafts that we could sell.

Pair all that with our Shaklee Business and that would make quite a booth for people to stop at! Plus, it's all stuff I love to do!!!

Do you have a garden?? What do you love about it? What don't  you love about it?

I'd love to hear from you!
  

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Pampered Chef




.......And I am lucky enough to have an Aunt who sells it!

 Not only does my Aunt sell Pampered Chef, but she is also an amazing cook!!! Her house always smells so good and everyone feels welcome in her home! You can't go wrong with Pampered Chef! 

 Here is just a few of my favorite Pampered Chef Products that I use on a daily basis:      

My newest Pampered Chef  products were a complete set of TPC Executive Cookware ( both the 7 piece & 5 piece )!!!  -a Christmas gift from my wonderful husband!!! You see, we had bought a Teflon Pan set as a wedding gift, but after 5 yrs., the coating was coming off in our food and the handles were braking off.

I absolutely LOVE my pan set!!! I show them to everyone who comes over for a meal! Some of the things I like about my TPC Executive Cookware:
  • Hard-anodized aluminum reinforced with titanium for superior durability
  • DuPont™ Autograph® 2 nonstick coating inside and out for effortless cleanup
  • Flared rims for drip-less pouring
  • Flat bottoms for keeping food and oil from running to edges
  • Thick bottoms for even heat distribution; thinner sidewalls for faster heat transfer
  • Riveted stainless and silicone handles with stainless cast hanging loops for a cool, comfortable grip
  • Tempered glass lids for a clear view while cooking
  • Oven-safe to 400°F
  • LIFETIME GUARANTEE
I also got the Mix ‘N Chop , which is a must if you fry a large amount of hamburger. The Stainless/Silicone Sauce Whisk  -which won't scratch my pans and the Cookware Protectors to keep my pans looking nice when they are stacked in the cupboard.




I also recently got the complete Color Coated Knife Set -these are sharp!!! (-And are the best knives I've ever had!)


Another Item I couldn't live without is my Pampered Chef  Large Round Stone with Handles ! I have three of these and many times they are all in use!
They are perfect for homemade pizza, cookies, cinnamon rolls, fruit pizza, biscuits, rolls, and all sorts of other things! They cook evenly and the bottom of the food doesn't turn dark or burn. They are super easy to clean.....NO SOAP NEEDED! Just wash with warm water.... if something is stuck on hard, I like to use my Pampered Chef Nylon Pan Scrapers .

The Nylon Pan Scrapers are also good for getting the stuck on flour off the counter when you are done making bread, rolls, pie dough etc.

Other products I love are the Biscuit Cutters -perfect for all sizes, but especially if you enjoy a nice big plump biscuit!
Here is my family's favorite biscuit recipe:  -(which actually came from this very same Aunt!)

Cornmeal Rolls 
1/3 cup cornmeal, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup butter, 2 tsp. salt, 2 cup milk, 1 pkg. dry yeast, 1/4 cup warm water, 2 eggs, beaten, 4 cup flour or more (as needed), melted butter (for on top rolls), extra cornmeal (for on top rolls).

Cook cornmeal, sugar, salt, butter and milk in saucepan till thick (like cooked cereal). Cool to lukewarm, add yeast that has been dissolved in warm water, then add eggs. Beat thoroughly. Add flour to form soft dough. Knead well. Roll out to 1" thickness; cut with 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter. Brush with melted butter; dust with cornmeal. Place on un-greased cookie sheet. Cover; let rise. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Dough will keep in refrigerator for several days. Yield: 18 rolls.

These are so very good and easy to make! Please leave me a comment below, and let me know how you liked them!!!

Chef's Silicone Basting Brush -use to brush butter over the above rolls. I will never again use a reg basting brush! (My Mom even loves this brush and bought one for herself too!)

And while we are talking about my Mom, she buys each of her girls (5 of us), daughters-in-law, and also gives as wedding gifts both the Mini-Serving Spatula  (I have three of these, they are so handy) and the Mini-Whipper  (you will never have lumpy gravy again, if you use the mini whipper to make your gravy....it is also great for whipping up homemade salad dressings and dissolving yeast or jello.

I love the Adjustable Measuring Spoons 
-they are great because you don't have to get out multiple spoons for one recipe. It is also very handy for my daughter when she's cooking in the kitchen with me!

Small Batter Bowl ....I like to melt chocolate in the microwave in this. I add a Tbsp of Crisco and stop it to stir a few times, and the chocolate melts perfect! We also mix pancake batter in it too!

The Small Scoop - is the only scoop we use for making cookies! ( smaller cookies stretch farther, are better for little ones and look really cute!

and last, but not least....

  The Suds Pump® - this is a MUST have if you have kids!!! You will save enough money on soap to easily pay for the pump! 
Use the Suds Pump with Shaklee's Basic H2 or Hand Wash Concentrate and you'll save even more money! And you'll keep your kids safe as Shaklee is all natural and safe!
   

There are many other Pampered Chef products that I use and love.... 



Keep all your Pampered Chef Products clean and looking there best with Shaklee's all natural, super concentrated, Get Clean Dish Wash Concentrate and Dish Washer Automatic Concentrate!

If you have never tried Shaklee's Get Clean Products before.... here is your chance! Get a Healthy Home Kit ($110 value) with a FREE lifetime membership.


Tell Friends and Family or buy as a gift and put membership in receiver's name! 

Shaklee has a 100% money-back guarantee......you have nothing to lose, except some dirt and a whole lot of toxins!!!



Please Note: This is my own personal view. I was not in any way compensated for this post!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Teaching Kids....

You know, these days you hear so much about 'Green' Living and keeping our earth clean! I am not a tree hugger and I don't necessarily believe in 'global warming'!! 

However, with that being said, I do think it's important to take care of the earth and the things around us. God has given us these things and I believe its our job to take care of what he has blessed us with.

We teach our children not to litter with their trash, we teach them to recycle plastic, glass and paper. We teach them to recycle motor oil, we teach them to not waste electricity, water or food. We tell them smoking is bad for their health and for those that breath the air around it. 

There is a lot that we teach our kids about keeping our part of the earth clean! 

Why then do we not teach them to use clean products in our homes! First of all the home is where we spend most of our time. But, it is also where we come into contact with the most hazardous materials. For more info click here! and Here!

Your home should be the safest, healthiest, cleanest place in the whole world!


~ Special Shaklee Earth Day Healthy Home Pack ~

For a limited time, starting on Earth Day (4/22), you can buy a Shaklee Earth Day Healthy Home Pack- consisting of a very special selection of Get Clean® products at a very special price:

Basic H2 (16 oz)

Two Spray Bottles

Get Clean Super Microfiber Cleaning Cloths

Get Clean Dish Wash Liquid Concentrate

Get Clean Fresh Laundry Concentrate (32 oz)

Shaklee Energy™ Chews


Consider this: one family deciding to convert to our non-toxic biodegradable household cleaners keeps the equivalent of 5,000 bottles of conventional "ready-to-use" glass cleaner out of landfills. What would it mean if 50,000 families did the same? A great big thanks from the planet, and from people all over the world who share this wonderful home we call Earth.

As a Shaklee Members, they also will get …
15% discount (off retail prices) on all product purchases 
Special promotions, offers and discounts 
Unconditional money-back guarantee 
Access to MyShaklee.com, Shaklee’s center for health and wellness news and information from Shaklee’s Health Sciences Team, and product experts 

For the Shaklee Family, every day is Earth Day.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tagxedo .......


I was messing around the other day and found this website! It was so fun. You can create almost anything that you want with words!

I made this one for our Business: 
 We are an Shaklee Independent Distributor. Shaklee is Always Safe. Always Green and Always Works! They specialize in Healthy Nutrition, Healthy Weight loss, Healthy Skin and personal care, and a Healthy Home with 'Get Clean' laundry, and cleaning products! Click Here for some amazing specials from Shaklee!

The next one I made was for our family: I tried to put most of our names in it (including animals) and things that we like to do. I'm planning on putting this in my photo album/scrapbook.


The last one I did was with my love for all things plants!
I especially like perennials, ornamental grasses, flowering trees and water gardens.
I don't spend money on shoes or clothes..... I spend money on plants!! I love my perennial beds!
Anyway..here it is:




If you get a chance...check it out. But, I am warning.... it is a time eater, but oh, so fun!

I'd love to know what creations you come up with!

Motherhood.....

Above Rubies posted the following on Facebook this past week:
"I LOVE MOTHERHOOD! Every mother loves her children, but not every mother loves motherhood. This is the secret to entering into the joy of motherhood for which God created us. Motherhood is not something to run from as the liberalists advocate but to EMBRACE! Start off every day confessing out loud, I LOVE MOTHERHOOD. You will be amazed how this attitude will change your mothering and your whole household!"

Which got me to thinking.... do I really love Motherhood??


       I Love my kids and would do anything for them! I want them to be the best that they can be for God, so he can use them! I want them to succeed in life. I feel sad when they are sad or are hurting. I laugh when they laugh and rejoice when they are happy........... but do I really love motherhood?


     Motherhood for me does not come natural. It is something I struggle with. I hate doing dishes and keeping a clean house isn't on my top 'like' list either. I often don't show patience when dealing with the kids. I loose my temper too often. I find it hard to spend time with the kids, doing kids things. I don't go outside in the winter to build snowmen, or go sledding with them (thankfully, their Dad loves to do that with them!) I don't enjoy reading stories to them. And I don't like the headaches I get from all the noise! -Somedays, I find it hard to have a joyful attitude in my journey of motherhood!


     However, with all that said, I really do love motherhood! 
I love holding my sleeping baby girl. I love listening to their giggles. I love the sound of them playing together. I love to bake and cook, and watch them eat. I love doing the laundry. I love Sundays and the busyness as everyone gets ready for church. I love to spend the day outside with them in the summer. I love it when they give me a hug and say "I Love You Mom"! I love watching them help and play with their dad (wanting to be just like him when they grow up!) I love the funny things they say. I love that I am able to stay at home with them. I love watching them when something I'm teaching 'clicks' and they finally 'get it'! I love the talks I have with my oldest daughter. I love it when we cook and clean together. I love it when we sing together. I love tucking them into bed at night.




This week and in the future, I am going to embrace motherhood with joy and thanksgiving in my heart!

I am so thankful that God has given me the blessing of being a 'Mom' to three ornery, but very precious kids!

What about you......do you LOVE motherhood????

Thursday, April 7, 2011

'MY HUSBAND ROCKS'

 I was visiting a new blog today,and loved her "My husband ROCKS Friday" posts. I may borrow the idea..... Thanks Randomissus !

Here are my answers:

1. Where did you meet?
We met through a mutual church friend. At the time, my life was great! I was really involved in doing God's will for my life and wasn't really wanting to date a guy, but they insisted he was perfect for me and said they'd invite him to church so 'no pressure' (he lived in a different state).

2. How long did you date before you were married?
We dated for 1 yr. & 3 months total. He proposed at 11 months. so, we were engaged for two months.

3. What does he do that surprises you?
 Alot and sometimes nothing all at the same time. He is a very steady plodder, so when he does surprise me ....it's usually pretty big and totally unexpected!

4. What is your favorite quality of his?
Too many to mention! His dedication to me and the kids, providing for us, being honest, the respect he shows me, always doing what is right, taking care of his things, helping me around the house, his wisdom, the way he loves me......the list goes on and on!

5. What is your favorite feature of his?
Do you really want to know!!!!  I would have to say -his smile! He has the cutest smile!

6. Does he have a nickname for you?
Yep, he calls me Baby or Love

7. What is his favorite food?
Strawberry Delight, Tuna Lazonia, Homemade Chicken pot-pie, choc chip cookies....he likes most anything homemade!

8. What is his favorite sport?
 I don't know if he really has a favorite sport. He like watching football and sometimes Nascar, but he's not really into sports that much.

9. When and where was your first kiss?
I think it was at the nature center, we stopped along the trail to rest. It was about 4 weeks after we started dating, (I think)!!!

10. What do you like to do together?
Everything...the only time we're apart usually is when he's at work. But, our favorite is taking walks or sitting by the fire pit at night.

11. Do you have any children?
Yes, 2 beautiful girls and 1 ornery little 'big' boy!

12. Does he have a hidden talent?
He has a lot of hidden talents. I married one awesome guy! Most people don't realize that he loves crunching numbers and architect drawing to scale and that he is super good at it!

13. Who said "I love you" first?
He did, and I remember that like it was yesterday. I made him wait two weeks after that before I told him that I loved him!

14. What is his favorite type of music? A little of everything. Contemporary Christian, Christian Rock, Oldies, Country and Gospel. -depends on his mood!

15. What do you admire most about him?
His honesty, his character, the way he loves me.....too many to choose just one!

16. Do you think he will read this?
Nope! He doesn't get into the whole blog thing! 


 I truly do think that 'My Husband Rocks' !!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Shaklee - Join Now Free

SHAKLEE - Join Free with a $30 Order - April 1 through May 20, 2011 & Help Create 50,000 Healthier Homes
For the Shaklee Family, every day is Earth Day. But this is a great time of year to tell our environmental story, and to teach how easy - and thrifty - it can be to make a difference for yourself, for your family, and for the planet. One healthier home at a time.

Consider this: one family deciding to convert to our non-toxic biodegradable household cleaners keeps the equivalent of 5,000 bottles of conventional "ready-to-use" glass cleaner out of landfills. What would it mean if 50,000 families did the same? A great big thanks from the planet, and from people all over the world who share this wonderful home we call Earth.

In honor of Earth Day, over the next 7 weeks, Shaklee will be offering everyone a world of savings, some great ways to make an impact for the planet, and a nice way to make a healthy living.


Through May 20, 2011, when anyone new purchases at least $30 in Shaklee, the $19.95 Shaklee membership fee will be waived!
As a Shaklee Member, you also will get …
  • 15% discount (off retail prices) on product purchases
  • Special promotions, offers and discounts
  • Unconditional money-back guarantee
  • Access to MyShaklee.com, Shaklee’s center for health and wellness news and information from Shaklee’s Health Sciences Team, and product experts
 What are you waiting for? Join FREE today  to start saving $$$ and enjoy a greener, cleaner, healthier life and home!

Take your shape in a whole new direction with Shaklee!

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