Friday, September 09, 2016

And the finances settle in

We have been here a year.
The oldest car was sold
a new one came home.
The motorcycle was sold,
a tiny car came home.

We built a workshop
which is well loved and used.
Garden is in.

We still need to redo the bathroom
but most everything else is done.

Our budget now has lots of "envelopes" of savings.
These are all virtual accounts.
Since the interest rate is near zero- we don't worry of there isn't enough for interest.
They are:
Car replacement (at zero right now)
Equipment replacement
       one never knows when the dishwasher will die.
Doggies and propane (they seem to alternate)
Taxes
Gifts
Insurance
Clothing
Allowance
This and that for the house
Grandchildren's education
Travel

We have our regular bills-
cable/internet/phone
electricity (we pay about 1/2 of what we paid in Kansas)
Amazon books
Gas and maintenance for the cars

It is nice to finally be in a time and space where the income and out go are close to the same.
At this point, although we are not near seven figures in savings,
I think we will be fine for the next twenty years.
Knock on wood!




Ancestry.com

What a trip!
The days have been blooming hot here lately.
Had a heat stroke when I was 18, inside is my safe zone.

We have hit the zoo and lots of the parks this summer
My confession is
Ancestry.com comes in a high second to canning these days.
There are so many interesting stories in my family tree!
 My husband's great grand mother. The plural LDS wife to a man who was also married to her sister.
 My husband's great grandfather - from his mom's side. A Canadian who helped found Utah.
My mother's grandmother. She died in childbirth. Her story seems to begin and end with her. She left no real trace. Thank goodness someone took two pictures and put them in the family bible!


I love the names! Granville, Juliathea, Kassiah, Ambrose,Ursula, Marion, Hyrum and so many more.
Farmers, stone cutters, ship captains, merchants (no kings or queens).  Priests, nuns, Quakers, Mormons, Episcopalians, Catholics. Most all of the family tree is from the Ireland and England with a healthy dose of German, maybe some African Americans and at least one---who knows who the father was....

Puzzles!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Dehydrating, Canning and Summer. Oh MY!


I am not known for my homemaking skills.
Quick and easy.
Meals, cleaning, painting, dog care
Fast is better.
The only things I knew how to make when I married were:
Mac and Cheese, Brownies and hamburgers.
My menu did expand in the next 33 years,
but not much.

Moving to Delaware we found ourselves living close to
one of the largest producers of fruit in the area.
First we bought the pies.
Amazing.
 Blueberry Lemonbrickle.
Then my daughter wanted to pick strawberries.
Have you seen the price of freeze dried strawberries?













Decided to use my husband's jerky dehydrator
and save some for winter..


It became an obsession!
At home my husband was building a deer and mole proof garden for me.
Tomatoes have been grown every summer of our marriage.
This year they will be safe.



Then blueberry season hit!
Blueberries do not dry well.
Maybe I can make jam? Compote? Preserves?
The obsession began.
 The water bath was purchased from the commissary.
The canning of jam began- strawberry and blueberry.
Finding recipes with little sugar was key
since my grands will be the ones enjoying them.
I thought, "Good summer" and put everything away.

 Then my garden went crazy.
Eating spinach every morning
waiting for the tomatoes to come on.
Come they did!
Out came the canner
And dehydrator for the zucchini and squash.

The local orchard had peaches and finally apples.
Canning went into full swing.
 Here is a very small part of what was canned this season.
We cannot wait to open the Bozzy Peaches.

Summer is closing

And the horned worms are eating my tomatoes now.


Hibiscus are putting on their last blooms.

Slowly I am excepting that canning season is coming to a close.
This should be a wonderful winter of goodies.
From a city girl,
that is a very big thing.

Friday, August 05, 2016

Ten things I do not regret doing before now.

Following Cindi's blog,


1) Had children young. My kids were born when I was 24 and 26.  They are grown now and I am LOVING being a Grandmother. Was worth stopping my great career.

2) Marrying the man I did.  Luck, pure luck that I found him.

 3) Getting to know my elders.  I spent a lot of time with my Nana and my Step Grandmother and learned the family stories. I try to do the same with my mom and her sisters.

4) Moving and traveling. I don't mind moving, but my hard core travel days are over. From The Stone Forest in China to the Empty Quarter in Saudi, Van Gogh in Amsterdam to temples of Thailand, From Alaska to Hawaii- Florida to Maine, we have seen some pretty amazing things.  We still may travel, but it will be a different type. I suspect this is not our last house.
5) Being passionate about making sure people are heard- even if I do not like what they are heard for. I may not like the political people, but I will go crazy if you put words in their mouths! That started early and often in my life.

6) Going into teaching. A vocation, not a job. I am no longer patient enough to do it full time, but I loved the students.

7) Learning about my religion early and my faith when I got older.

8) Being open to those who do not have the same faith as me. I was taught this by my father. That lesson has been one of the most valuable ones he ever shared. Every person puts their undies on in the morning and hopes that they and their family have a good day.

9) Being true to those whom I love.  I do not have many life long friends. Those I do have, I have been loyal to them until the end.
10) Putting every found penny into paying off the house!  This is actually the third house we have owned outright. Each house had their own flavor- Flagstaff mountains, Kansas grasslands and now Delaware waters.  After sixteen years of a different rented house every two years- it was good to plant money into a place of our own. With the ownership of our house- worry about being homeless has slipped away.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Summer treats

Canning has become a passion.
If it is a fruit, it can be canned.
Canning provides the opportunity to know exactly what my family is consuming.

 Low sugar jams- strawberry, blueberry, cherry and combinations of each
Compot (fruit in their juice) Blueberry
 Cherry Pie filling
 Salsa
Syrup, pickles, full sugar jam

 Drying peach slices. Apple slices will be here next month.
Most veggies are either dried or frozen.
Next year they may be canned as well.
Maybe
I really like eggplant chips!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Like 1968?

My nephew linked this article on Facebook.
"...Why 1968 was so much worse then 2016."

1968. Dad was a news junkie
even way back then.
Being his sidekick
my evenings were spent watching
the war,
riots,
and assassinations.
Funerals of friend's brothers.
Being eleven,
it was burned into my brain.
And the music
lots of "ungodly: music
which we listened to
on the radio
on the way to school.

The young man who wrote the article
is correct
this does not even begin to compare to what it was then.

He is a bit far fetched when comparing "the Donald"
to George Wallace.
The man who stood on the steps and did not permit a child to enter school,
is way different then political roderick.
The hate in his eyes
The dogs he had released.
Obviously, he did not live that era.

Now if he had compared Nixon to a different liar,
maybe,
but this really isn't about that.

The nation has it pretty darn good.
People have gained rights
We are pulsing forward.
One step forward, two back?
I think the opposite is true.

Not even close to 1968.

Monday, July 04, 2016

Fourth of July

We have experienced the 4th in more settings then can be imagined at times.

When I was young we would meet up with my Grandparents
Eat watermelon
and watch the fireworks at "the club".
I can still smell the wet grass
since it was in Phoenix
and one of the only places with expansive lawns
wet down for fireworks
that were so close we could watch them set them off!
Several years were spent at Girl Scout Camp.
Camp Mariposa was in the hills of Prescott AZ.
In the late afternoon we would climb the hills
sip on orange and peppermint
And enjoy the works from the side of the mountain
Going back to camp was always a trick
My first overseas 4th was in Germany. 
Scott and I had just met. 
We lived in a town that had five military bases
and each one put off their own fireworks.
We sat on the Main River and watched them all.
When the children were babies 
we had moved to Washington DC
And braved the million person crowd
Spectacular!
Yes, I am borrowing all of these pictures.

Fireworks over the Flint Hills were next.
We would sit on the parade field and watch them go off overhead.

Monterey Bay was next. 
They would shoot off the fireworks over the bay!
From our house we could sit on the front lawn and watch the entire thing.
Sophie Summer


At the American Club in Hong Kong
was the wildest.
No pictures allowed.
It was SO hot and we took the bus with lots of littles there.
Crazy celebrations.
Embassy people do it right.
Hawaii at the Hale Koa
Disneymike
Our last overseas 4th was in Saudi Arabia.
No pictures again.
Nothing like sitting in the crushing heat
with a black abaya on 
but is was well worth it.

We did seven years in Flagstaff
with hardly ever a firework 
parade, yes, fireworks, no.
It was fireseason and we did not belong to the club.

Back to Kansas

and now on the East coast again.
Today is in downtown Dover.
Parade
hotdogs and 
fireworks at sunset! 
Happy Fourth!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Changing gears

Delaware brings a completely different lifestyle then we have ever lived before.
We have lived in agricultural areas before, but it was not accessible.
Here we have constant access to farm fresh foods.

Haass' Butcher has meat that is locally grown
and processed in the market
behind a windowed, refrigerated room.
The owners are not Amish,
but all of the workers are.
We have enjoyed some of the best meats ever
through their work.
We are finding that a little meat goes a very long way
when it is local and fresh.
There is also an Amish market in town.
They bring most of their things in from Lancaster,
but the baked goods are done on site.
We no longer eat a great deal of bread, but this is the place to go if we wanted some.
We also buy the majority of our plants at the Bazaar outside.

The best find of all is Fifer Farms.
Learning how to can and dehydrate foods has become my hobby.
Something I have always wanted to do.
Fifer Farm makes it easy.
Today I cut up a flat of "old seconds" strawberries.
They are the end of the crop and super cheap. 
Drying half and making jam out of the rest.
I am on the search for the perfect berry jam recipe.

Here is this week's bounty from the Fifer CSA.

Starting my tart cherry pie filling
Right now!