August 31, 2009

When It Rains....

well you know the rest of the saying!

It Pours!

Number 1: Woke up this morning and sent my husband and J off to work and Kindergarten. I noticed that my kitty Dirt Cat (he earned this name by sleeping in flower pots when he was little) was nowhere to be seen. He's usually doing figure 8 loops around my chins with his tail up my gowntail as I try to wave goodbye to 2 of the men of the house. Went out back to hang out some towels and heard a weak "meow". He was under the back deck. I called him out and he could barely walk, stumbling and falling, all the while trying to love on my legs. Poor guy. I called the vet and they said bring him in and plan on leaving him, sounds like he's gotten into something poisonous. I left him there this morning and still haven't heard anything.

Number 2: They guys putting in our heat and air had to crawl under our house, way in the back part to install duct work and apparently the ice maker on the fridge has been leaking for years. They joists in the floor are rotted. Well now that just made my day! Can you hear the sarcasm dripping from that one!? The insulation is all wet and 5 joists are of them completely through. We live in a log home with hardwood floors so this should be a whole lot of fun to have repaired...still hearing that sarcasm? We had this house inspected 2 years ago before we bought it and this was not mentioned......I think someone failed to do their job!

Number 3: My husband called and said there is a confirmed case of swine flu in the business building next to his. He's a nurse practitioner so if there are cases going around, he will be exposed to them sooner or later.

Send some prayers and hugs my way today! I definitely need them and thanks for letting me vent. It's been one of those days already!

p.s. I am still making my apple pie tonight and I'm having it with a big scoop of ice cream!

Pie Crust

I am posting the pie crust that I use for all of my pies. I also use this one to make those fried apple pies I mentioned a few posts back. I will be posting my Apple Pie recipe later with pics because I have promised my boys I would make them one and when it comes to food, they never let me back down on a promise.

This is really easy to make, plus it tastes much better than those thin store bought ones!

Pie Crust
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 T. sugar
6 T. butter
6 T. shortening
6 to 8 T ice water

Set butter out on counter to get nice and soft. I usually set it on top of my stove while the oven is preheating just long enough to make it soft but not melted. Mix 2 cups all-purpose flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Cut in 6 tablespoons of butter, 6 tablespoons of shortening and 6 to 8 tablespoons of water with a dough blender. Form a ball with your dough and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to chill. Cut ball of dough in half and roll out crusts.

August 26, 2009

Not a Wildflower

but hopefully this will do!

I still need to "weed" (ha! ha!) through pics and find the good ones so I'm sharing my butterfly on zinnia photo that I took in my garden yesterday when we got back from our ride!

And just one more. I have cosmos taller than my head this year!

I hope you enjoy them!

August 25, 2009

A Morning of Wildflowers

My mom called this morning to see if Luke and I were going to make our daily trip to visit Papaw. Work was trying to get a hold of him to drive the delivery truck which he does when needed. Guess who she calls when she can't reach him?? Yep, me! But that's okay. We like to take the 4-wheeler and cut through the fields and the woods to Papaw's house. I just happened to leave my camera there this past weekend so I grabbed it as we headed back home. The wildflowers were yelling at me at every turn, "Take my picture!" "Over here!" know how it is so I started snapping. Luke was a great tour guide, he was pointing out the flowers for me.

I am researching each of these wildflowers to find out their names. This is a Pink Wild Bean also known as a Pink Fuzzy Bean. The blooms remind me of my purple ones on my Hyacinth Bean plants.

This is a Field Thistle (my Dad always called them bull thistles). Sticky little boogers! My mom had to pick a few of these stickers out of my hands, feet and other various body parts while growing up!

I believe this is a Long Bristled Smart Weed. If I'm wrong please let me know!

and this guy, I took a pic of from across the field with my zoom lens. I've been seeing it lately but we have none of it growing on our property. I stole a pic from Curious George's land.
It is called Tall Ironweed.

I have more! Check in tomorrow for the 2nd Installment of Kentucky Wildflowers!

August 24, 2009

Southern Fried Apples

My boys have found a new favorite dish. Our apple tree is loaded this year so we've been canning and dehydrating. I decided to make some fried apples like my grandmother used to make and they were a huge hit around here. They are usually served as a side dish. We had them for supper the other night and then the boys wanted them for breakfast. They had leftovers with their toast Sunday morning.

8-10 apples
1/2 stick Butter (I prefer the taste of Country Crock instead of butter but both are good!)
1/4 c. Sugar
1/4 c. Brown sugar
1 tsp. Cinnamon

I didn't measure any of this just threw it all in so these are approximate. You can adjust it to your tastes.
Peel, core and slice your apples into about 1/2-inch slices. Place apples and 2 cups water in saucepan. Bring to boil, cover and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until apples begin to get tender. Drain off water.
Put 1/2 stick butter (or margarine) in skillet. Add apples, sugar and brown sugar. You can use 1/2 cup of either of the sugars but I like to mix them.
If apples are very dry add 1/4 cup water). Turn down to simmer and let cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking/burning. Cook until apples are very tender but not falling apart. Remove from heat, sprinkle with cinnamon, stir just enough to blend cinnamon into apples and serve. I like to add an extra dollop of margarine to mine after they are cooked....I know I'm bad!

You can also roll out some dough (or store bought biscuits) fill with cooked apples, fold over and press edges with the tines of a fork to seal. Fry in skillet with a little hot oil or butter and you have awesome fried apple pies.

August 20, 2009

Imagine Adoption

One of the women that joined us on the Get Away was going to be a grandmother and then this agency filed bankruptcy. She shared this video with me today and I want to share it with my readers.

Her daughter and son-in-law are one of these couples awaiting the outcome of their adoption. This has really devastated their family and they are continuing to pray that these adoptions will be fulfilled and finally make their dreams of being parents come true.

You can show your support by visiting Families With Hope.

Ben and Amanda, I am praying for you and your family.

I have added this video to the bottom of my blog for readers who may miss this post.

August 19, 2009

Homemade Pimento Cheese x 2

We were at my SIL a couple of nights ago and she had homemade pimento cheese sandwiches. I make my own pimento cheese spread but hers was a little spicier so of course I asked for the recipe. We love serving these with homemade chili.

Here's my recipe:
Homemade Pimento Cheese Spread
1 (2 lb) bock Velveeta cheese, grated
1 c. Miracle whip
1 lg. jar diced pimentos, drained
1/2 c. milk
1/4 tsp. sugar

Grate Velveeta. Add pimentos, milk and sugar. Add Miracle Whip (I use approximately 1 cup, can adjust to get right consistency).

If you like things a little spicier, here's what Ta' (short for Tammy - she's Aunt Ta' around here) uses:

Ta's Homemade Pimento Cheese Spread
1 block American cheese, shredded (she used Velveeta)
1 block hot pepper cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp sugar
2 jars diced pimentos
Shred cheese and mix together, add pimentos and sugar, blend. Add mayonnaise until you get the consistency you want for your spread.

These are so good and easy

August 18, 2009

They Grow Up So Fast!

I cannot believe that yesterday was J's first day of Kindergarten. What happened to that little bundled up baby boy I brought home from hospital 5 1/2 years ago? What happened to that dirty faced little boy running around here in diapers? He grew up on me while I wasn't looking! I looked through my camera lens yesterday morning and no longer saw a baby, I saw a big boy, soon to be a young man.....where does the time go??

J is attending a Christian private school. He has attended preschool there 2-3 days a week for the last couple of years. He loves it and we love it! They are so attentive and good with the kids and the classes are small (2 teachers/6 kids in J's class and the limit is 10 children per class). He started with 3 of his best friends this year and came home saying he loves kindergarten. It wasn't so hard on me either. He changed buildings and added a couple of days a week. He also has to wear his khaki pants and red blue or white polo shirts as his "uniform". Makes it easy to buy school clothes and to pick out what to wear each day.

I am so proud of him.

August 15, 2009

Touring Downtown Paducah

While my gardening sisters were here visiting, we made a trip into Paducah to the art district. We toured the flood wall. It is so neat to walk along the wall and see all the murals that have been painted.
This is one of my favorites.

There are approximately 30 different murals. Here's a few pics of them. If you're ever in Paducah, KY make sure to drive down by the river and take a look at the wall.
Being a river town, of course there are murals of the many barges and boats that come and go on the river. You can read the story behind each of these murals on a plaque that has been placed in front of them.

Align CenterPhotobucket

The following mural is depicting the year that the river froze over and people could literally walk across it. I have heard my Dad talk about his father telling stories of the river freezing so solid one year that they drove hogs across it on foot to the Illinois side to sell at market.


There are so many shops, art galleries, restaurants to see and enjoy. We spent the day walking and taking in the sites.


We ate at a little hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant and had so much fun chatting and talking about all the things we had seen so far. See that ice cream sign way down there. I had cherry vanilla in a waffle cone in 95 degree weather. By the time I was done I had it dripping of my elbows but it was so worth it!


We stopped at a shop called BB's that feature works from local artists.
They had so many awesome things. Some of the larger displays were mosaicked mannequins. This is one of the many that they had there.

We also made it to the chocolate factory.
This is the counter when you walk in the door.


Very impressive but we all ended up getting fudge from the counter in the back. We all got free samples and that's all it took. I brought home a pound which they let me divide into 4 kinds (chocolate, peanut butter, vanilla walnut and my new favorite key lime fudge...yummmmmm!)
We ended our trip in Paducah by making a stop at the Trader's Mall Flea Market.

Hope you have enjoyed our little stroll through down town!

August 14, 2009

White Family Rotary

This old sewing machine is not worth much when it comes to "antique" value but it's worth everything to me because it was my grandmothers. I mentioned to my mom that I was going to start collecting old things for the loft. She said, did you know your Mamaw's old sewing machine is still in her old house? (They use it for storage). I'm sure my eyes nearly popped out of my head! She said you can have it if you want it. Want it???? Of course I want it!!!! So we loaded up and went to take a look. I brought this little baby home with me. She needs lots of TLC but all the parts are still here.

It's a White Family Rotary Machine and from what I find online this company still makes sewing machines today.

It has the flip top cabinet and the machine itself is worn but beautiful.

The patent dates are engraved on the foot plate. It gives me a sense of happiness to know that I have something so old.

The drawers need to be reattached but they are still in pretty good shape.

and there's a metal box full of bobbins and sewing feet.

Setting the tension...

I love this shot...

The foot pedal needs some oil but the sewing machine still works when you get this foot pedal going.

I need to check into cleaning supplies for this type of wood. I can't wait to get this little gal all dolled up and into the loft. I know my grandmother would be proud and happy that I have it and will think of her each time I look at it.

Even the guineas had to come and get a look at my new treasure...

August 10, 2009

Light Block Winner

according to is Farm Girl!!!


Please email me with your mailing address. You can email me through the contact me link on the side bar.

The 2009 Kentucky GetAway

Oh how can I even begin to explain the awesome, awesome time we had on the get away! I have spent the last 5 days with the most wonderful women in the world. We have laughed, cried, hugged and lived life to the fullest the last few days. From sitting on the front porch of the little two room cottage to riding the ferry across the Ohio river, spending time in Amish country and time in art galleries to making crafts and singing in a cave, we have lived life to the fullest! I vow to never miss another getaway! If humanly possible, I will find a way to see and spend time with these women each year. I could go on forever about the wonderful time we had but this year made me realize that until you have been at this annual getaway you can never fully experience the tight knit sisterhood that has formed between these woman. I created a forum 6 years ago but these ladies have made it what it is....a lasting lifelong friendship. This was the first get away I had been able to attend, living vicariously through pics and videos of the others over the years, and now I know why they meet up again year after year. I am already planning for next years!

This is one of the many gifts they left behind! It is very appropriately called "Happiness" because that is what they have given me the last few days.

Thank you for a wonderful time my sisters!!

August 5, 2009

Light Block Give Away

If you read my blog, you probably already know that this weekend is the annual get together for my gardening forum. This will be the 5th year that 8 - give or take one or two each year - get together for 4 days of absolutely silliness, abandon and laughing so hard you pass gas, snort and pee in your pants fun. Not necessarily all at the same time but it has been known to happen. Hi Linda Curley - Names have been changed to protect the not so innocent!!

In honor of this friendship gathering, I am giving away one of my light blocks. This is the Old Teddys light block. If you collect old teddies, have a child or grandchild who needs a cute night light or just think this little light is adorable and would look good at your house then jump right in and join the contest!

All my light blocks come with this style cord for ease in turning on and off and changing the bulb.

All you have to do is comment and tell me one memory that you cherish of something you and a friend did together! If you blog or twitter about this giveaway let me know and you will get an extra 2 entries for each!

Good Luck!

Contest closes Monday morning at 9:00 a.m. Central time. Drawing will be Monday evening after my friends have left and I am crying my eyes out from missing them already and planning for next year which will be in Oklahoma City.

Photoshop Tip

I use this little technique on almost all of my photos. Sometimes it's the only thing I do to them, sometimes I use it along with other actions. It works on 90% of my photos. It's simple and I love it.
  1. Open your image.
  2. Duplicate your background layer.
  3. On the new layer, apply Gaussian blur at 1.9 (you can do more or less but I like 1.9)
  4. Change the mode of this layer to Soft Light (you can try different modes but I almost always use soft light or overlay).
  5. Adjust the opacity of that layer to get the look you want.
Sometimes I lighten a bit or use my unsharp mask afterwards, I love the "depth" that it gives the photo. It deepens the shadows and makes it appear more 3-D'ish.

Here's an example for you.
Straight out of the camera.

Using my tip.

and of course a side by side comparison....

So go play with your photos!!!!!

August 3, 2009

Today is...

one of those of those perfect days that makes it feel like all is right in the world, well except for my two boys fighting over their bicycle in the backyard but hey that's normal right??!
I have my awesome friends coming to my house for their yearly get together at the end of this week and I am so excited to get to see them.
I have canned green beans and tomatoes this morning. I love using this little book. It's called The Saturday Evening Post: Small Batch Canning and Freezing Cookbook. It was published in 1978. The cover is torn and stained and I got it for 50 cents at a yard sale but I use it every time I can!
I have a load of laundry hanging on the line. I had forgotten how nice sun/wind dried clothes smell fresh from the line. Stuffing my face down in that first towel and taking a big whiff brought back memories of my childhood and the many baskets of clothes we hung on the line and then gathered and folded. There's a breeze blowing and the sun is shining but it's not horribly hot. I haven't even turned the air conditioner on today. Just opened the windows and let the sounds and smells of nature waft through the house.
We've gone a little green around here and decided to put up the clothes line, changed to low flow faucet heads and changed over to the new eco-friendly light bulbs. We have cut our electricity usage by 1/3 already. I have to admit, it's kinda fun finding ways to slow the old meter down plus the extra money we save is nice too!

I also have two loaves of Grandmother Bread rising on the counter! All is well in my little world!

August 2, 2009

Wild Turkeys

Back in April and May, we had a hen turkey that would come from in front of the house, around the pond, across the driveway and into the backyard to eat. I assumed she was sitting on her nest and would make this trip each morning and then head back. She finally decided to show up again yesterday. I watched her take the exact same path she took each morning before and end up at the feeders out back again. She brought some company along with her.
I'm not sure where the other one joined in at but she's getting her a little brunch as well. There are 2 hens and 4 poults. I had no idea baby turkeys were called poults until I just looked it up. I assumed they were called chicks.

Awww, look at the babies!

We also have a wild hen with an injured leg that eats with the chickens at the barn. She's a bit shy and hasn't let me get a pic of her yet.


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All images and graphics on this page were made by me with the exception of that little rooster! He came from Beth Logan's Checkered Chickens at Photos were taken by me and graphics were created using Photoshop CS2.
If you see something you like please ask for permission before using it!
Thank you!