Thursday, September 21, 2023

~Remnants of a Bygone Era~

 Hello dear friends~
I recognize there has been a pause here.
It has been wild and crazy as of late.
It is harvest season if you weren't aware :-)
Here that means kitchen work after work,
piles of produce staring at me from every direction,
hissing canners, humming dehydrators, and endless dishes.
I evidently went a little overboard this year planting
so now we have a bounty 
of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and beans.
Actually, I only planted 1 (that's singular) cucumber plant
and have received over 100 cucumbers, and it's still producing!
Needless to say by the time I sit in the evening,
I am whooped.
Last weekend, I had to go pick up something from my folks
who live about 1/2 hour away.
I decided to take a back road 
and ended up stopping at an estate sale.
I found treasures.
William & Cassie 

There were a few shelves of books 
which always draw me to flip through the pages.
Well, I found a few gems from the later part of the 1800's.
They have seen better days, but were family books.
It makes me sad that such things are sold out of the family 
to which they belonged for the past 100-150 years.
Cassie shown above was the grandmother
of the woman who's estate was being sold.
Here, let me share~

Some of the books belonged to this baby's younger brother
who was the father of the woman who passed.
Cassie's book from when she was 10 years old.

This book was from Cassie's father, the great grandfather of the woman who passed.  I can't believe her children didn't want it!

I love that this one has a coarsely handmade fabric cover.

Through the address and the correlating obituary,
I was able to find a short lineage of the family
which I have printed off and will keep with the books.
At least if they are sold off at my estate,
there will be some account of where they came from.

Also among the wares for sale
were these beautiful whites.
(I have not washed or pressed them yet 
as I want to take my time and be careful with them.)

It probably sounds silly to some of you,
but I love the tattered apron.
I imagine it began as the "good" apron
then got demoted with age but perhaps
had sentimental value since it was kept and handed down.
I don't mean for this to be a sorrowful post,
but if you have family mementos,
I would like to suggest that perhaps you go through them now
while you have options.
Talk with family members and find out who might be interested
in protecting the family heirlooms.
Also valuable would be to add a little hand written note
as to the memory of it and its origin.
I sure do appreciate the quality of olden items
and the stories of the hands that held them,
but I can't be a museum for them all.
This might seem a little odd for a blog,
but I would love to hear (read) if you have a special
family item and the memory that accompanies it.
I think those who ponder through this post
might also enjoy reading it.


And if you are interested in my latest YouTube posts:
This is the Utilities: Easy to Extreme series.

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

💰Stop the Paycheck Disappearing Act 🪄

 If you are living paycheck to paycheck,
take a look at your cashflow.
Here's how~

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

🍅 Bounty 🍆

 Oh Friends~
You have to see this!

I know we, each of us, live in different areas,
but if you look, look closely, it's there.
There is bounty all around us.

Summer can sure be long and hot.
The longer days can become wearisome
and our bodies can certainly tire.
Or is that just me?


As many of you know, I grow a garden each year.
It seems by February,
I am raring to get it going and wanting to plant seeds
despite the icy temperatures out of doors.
This year was different.
We had the summer kitchen flood in January,
then the mess to clean up when the roof was repaired in March.
I didn't get much of a break
so by spring I wasn't as ambitious as usual.
My seed starts struggled.
I was lack luster in getting things in the ground,
and I questioned if we would have much at all
by the time harvest rolled around.

The lesson~
There is always a lesson, isn't there?
We are taught, errr well, back in my day anyways - haha!
not to be pompous or proud.
Pride comes before a fall as the saying goes.
It does seem when we are struggling,
we find ourselves most humble.

(Saskatoon berry juice.)

And here is where I must digress for a moment
so you can see the whole picture.
I am aware of the circumstances of our food supply as a nation.
In the eye of world events,
I realize our nation has become dependent upon other
countries for much of our sustenance.  
The area around us is a heavy agriculture area,
and there are a lot of wheat fields in addition to
hay, peas, potatoes and fruits.
Knowing many of the plains states were experiencing
challenging weather and failing crops,
as I was pushing through trying to get my homely little starts
in the ground and wondering if they would even survive,
I looked over the fields and said a prayer not really for myself
but for our collective efforts.
I realize not everyone here is the praying sort.
Stick with me for a minute if you will please.
That was what seems like ages ago,
but in reality was only a few short months ago.

(We lost our canopy, but the bean wall is outrageous this year.)

And here's where the ends meet
with the lesson and the harvest.
They've been pulling great loads of wheat from the surrounding fields.
They harvested peas from the field in front of our house.
The farmer told me to help myself if I wanted any.
I did but didn't abuse the privilege.  
They've began harvesting onions behind our house.
We are able to glean what's left in the field which is substantial.
I am ever grateful.
And those tender little starts that looked like they were
lost of hope,
well they are producing like crazy.
We picked 23 cucumbers from my one plant in 4 days.
Our tomatoes are packed and just coming on.
I have never seen so many tomatoes grow on 
individual plants.
Nearly every plant is loaded.
The "regular" tomatoes are the size of baseballs to softballs.
The Romas are the size of tennis balls.
Hubby said they will probably all turn ripe
about the time he leaves for hunting.
He's probably right!
The grass hay in the field to the side of us looks amazing.
Critters need food too.

The point of all of this is to put a little nudge of inspiration
in your heart.
When you are feeling like you are wilting and might not make it,
remember also, you might just pull through and have 
an abundance, a great bounty.

And just one more little testimony to how bad it was,
in case you don't believe me,
and/or if you just need a laugh~
We had to leave for a couple days shortly after I got things planted.
My folks came to take care of things while we were gone.
My mom, who I joke can plant a pencil and watch it grow,
said, "Your tomatoes are dead.  I watered them because you said to,
but I don't think they'll make it."
Thanks Mom (heehee).
For some reason, I couldn't give up on them.
That little bit of faith is now paying off.

Keep you well,
and until next time,
Many Blessings.


Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Do You Know Your Net Worth? (and Blog Update)

 Good Morning All ~

I just wanted to share the next video

which details how to calculate your net worth.

Also, a regular blog post is in the works,

so never fear.

This won't just be a site for video links.

I will probably discontinue after a few videos,

but the blog will remain a blog.

Hope you are all enjoying the later part of summer.

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

A Leap of Faith

 Hello Friends.
I know I've not been present very often around here,
but there is a reason.
I've been struggling.
We are both fine as far as appearances go.
It's been the internal "stuff."
You know "stuff!"
With everything going on in the world around us,
some thinking the world is coming to an end
and others choosing to live in ignorant bliss.
I am neither of those options so have struggled.
After 10+ years of chatting about canning green beans,
chickens in the house, and the annual cycles of the home,
I guess I've not felt the urge to repeat myself.
You can see the canning of corn if you'd like
or what we've done for certain holidays.
I've not discontinued doing any of that.
Well, I don't currently have chickens :-(
I still do my regular life activities,
and continue to recognize the many blessings
all around.
We're currently in blackberry season
so Hubby has been enjoying them on his ice cream,
in cobblers, and next up is hand pies.
But I digress. . . 
So the struggle, yes I that's where I was.
I've been searching internally.
Over the past several months,
I've really tried to figure out what it is I feel led to do.
I've always enjoyed helping people.
I realize at times some folks don't want help,
but the Mama Bear in me just instinctively takes care of people.
As many of you who have been around here know,
things haven't always been easy.
Over the past couple months,
we've encountered a few different folks
who we know and care about 
who are stuck in their situations due to debt
and financial hardships.
These are good people who work for a living
and are still struggling.
Some of you also know, 
I have a degree in teaching.
Even when I was in the schools,
there were things I thought those young people needed,
but the information wasn't offered.
There were so many things offered:
cake decorating, yoga, even basketball class!
but there weren't any classes on how to manage finances
after high school.
Now please don't think I'm blaming young people.
It's my generation that's failed to teach them.
And sadly, even many among my generation are struggling.
I've lived through a few trials to say the least:
single parenthood (with no support for about a year)
while going to school full time and living in a garage
was the toughest.
I managed.
I didn't take any government assistance.
I worked.
Even after Hubby and I were married,
we got it worked out so that we were living on my 
meager income which allowed us to save enough 
to open our business which is where I now work.
I'm not saying any of this in order to "brag."
I'm saying it as encouragement.
I'm just me.
If I can do it so can others.
And here's where I'm going with all this.
In order to help others,
which is what I feel led to do,
I started a YouTube channel.
It's a pretty big deal for me to be on screen
since I really prefer to remain unseen.
(How's that for a paradox?)
If anyone here is interested in tracking 
household finances and taking control of your money,
I would appreciate it beyond belief
if you would watch, like, leave a comment, and even subscribe.
I'm so new at it, I know there are rough patches,
but I'm hoping to improve and smooth things out as I go.
And with that,
here it is

PS: It is not letting me test to verify the video is working as a direct link here so there might be a quick hiccup as I post this.

Thank you all for your kindness.

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

A Porch Swing

 Perhaps old age is creeping up on me.
Though I typically have enough energy
and am plenty healthy,
I've found that I'm okay with not rushing.
I've never been the Tigger of the group,
and as some of you know
have a preference of Eeyore~
so much more my speed even as a youngster.
We have been on the go a lot lately.
We've had multiple family events,
both joyous and grievous.
All serve as a reminder that life is circular,
and we should revel in each day we are given.
Time at home therefore, has been precious.
Last night as I was looking at the few things left
to be put in the ground,
Hubby asked where the broccoli was.
When I replied that I hadn't planted any,
I was met with that sorrowful expression,
"But I like broccoli."
This morning as I was running errands,
I picked up a six-pack of broccoli plants.
I'm not sure where I will put them,
but I will find a place.
My garden outlook is a little different this year.
I am usually rearing to go by garden season,
but not having a real winter break,
I've been a little slow starting.
As I dig and weed and plant, I also think.
We aren't meant to rush through just to finish,
for a garden is never really finished.
My little apple tree that is maybe 4' tall
has 9 apples on it so I've been watering it well.
The weeds I pulled last week seem to replace themselves
before I make it back through.
Just as we think we are to maintenance mode,
harvest will begin and canning season will ensue.
And this is where that porch swing comes in.
We can produce a masterpiece of a garden~
I said "We" like mine is part of that.
I'm a funny one, am I not?
Regardless of what we've created,
we need to take a moment here and there
to sit and absorb all that we've done.
There is health both in the creation of a garden
and in being emersed in it.
My mock oranges are blooming and smell so sweetly.
The honeysuckle is waning but the hummingbirds
have been enjoying it's blossoms.
I fed the first ripe strawberries to Hubby last night.
They too share their sweet aroma with us,
but we must make that brief pause to appreciate it.
It doesn't take long~
but the benefit gained is remarkable.
I headed into this Monday much more at peace
having spent 2 days mostly barefoot digging in the dirt.
If you are unaware, 
being barefoot in the dirt has its own health benefits.
I will leave you to research that and
won't mention making mud in the bathtub in the evenings.

Whatever you have for a garden,
pour a cup of tea,
take your seat on that porch swing,
and enjoy the beauty of the day.

I don't have a porch or a swing,
but we have a couple chairs we drag around to the shade.
They serve quite well.

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

The Way the Wind Blows

They say write about what you know about
thus the title of this post.
There have been some things on my heart and mind lately.
Yes, it is spring,
and I see so many pictures of little sproutlings
wearing that tender green colour.
There is definitely something to the knowing the earth is alive
under the renegade leaves that are still scampering about 
that have been hiding who knows where.
Spring is the time of resurrection or rebirth if you will.
It's almost a relief to begin seeing colours
that the eyes have been hungry for.
I get that, and I feel it too.
I always wonder at what many would call "coincidence."
I have heard or seen in print
"You reap what you sew"
at least a half dozen times just this week.
Maybe it's simply due to being springtime,
but . . . 
I can't help but wonder.
I've also heard the word discernment a lot lately.
It really does make one wonder.

I don't think I've shared, but we've had several things happen
since the new year.
A storm blew threw somewhere in the Christmas to New Year
time frame.
It blew the summer kitchen roof up so everything inside got soaked.
I cleaned everything up and set the furniture pieces
such as shelving and bakers cabinet and harvest table 
up on canning jar rims so they aren't much taller
but up off the wet concrete floor.
That took some doing but was finally done -
all during the cold of January to boot.
This room is like an extension to our house so
that was an event.
It was tarped until the roofers could get to it 
which didn't happen until March.
Our house got a new roof at the same time.
We didn't know that was going to happen until we returned
home from work and there was half a new roof on it.
The summer kitchen was next.  We thought is was just a metal roof
that would be replaced.
Evidently both the house and the summer kitchen 
had three layers of old roofing (so wrong!).
One of the layers of roofing on the summer kitchen turned out
to be probably almost 100 year old asphalt shingles that fell through
the roof boards.
When it's that old, it turns into that crumbled glass-like yuk.
Here, let me show you.
I held it together though I could have cried.
Nobody mentioned that it was there and maybe we'd want to cover things.
So this awful material covered everything.
I took nearly everything out of there and began cleaning.
I can't express how bad it was.  
I had white towels and sheets I use out there and to cover tomatoes
when a frost is predicted etc.
I did 9 loads of laundry (I think) and countless sinkfulls of dishes.
Hubby came home early to help me.
We were both trying to be cautious not to breath it
and mindful of which direction our dust went.
Needless to say it was a bit of an ordeal.
I have a few more things on the harvest table I am hoping
to clean up this weekend.
The good news is that the roof no longer leaks.
Oh, the other thing the wind did was pull up our canopy over
the back sitting area, mangled it and threw it in the front yard.
We no sooner got things cleaned up, and I brought the little green house
into the house to start the early seeds.
We've mowed the lawn twice and have been starting
to prepare the beds for the upcoming plantings.
I was telling a friend,
I'm not quite as antsy for garden season this year,
but I think it's because we didn't really get a relaxing winter
by the fire sipping a hot drink while leisurely reading something pleasant. (Haha)
And now we head into the busy season.

Through all of this, I've cleaned and continued to organize and declutter.
I've tried to remember what's important and that this has all been
a bit of a hiccup.
In truth, I didn't handle it all with grace and ease.
There were other things that tipped the scales a time or two.
I think it's called life.
We are all a work in progress and I'm no different.
Like I said above, that word discernment keeps finding its way to my ears.
Focusing on what really matters has been (yet another) 
good lesson for me.
A mess to clean up is not fun by any means,
but set that next to what many others might be facing
and I'm sure they'd trade me in a heartbeat.
I get it.
But I do have to say, I'm glad to say it's behind us.
We still haven't decided what we will do for a canopy,
but that too will get figured out.
I'm thankful nothing was "really" damaged,
we are well, have plenty to eat, a new roof over our heads,
and we have folks who care about us.
That's what's really important.
And so. 
About the time I finished writing the above, 
we dealt with an unexpected death in the family.
We've had plenty of seat time over the past few weeks.
We attended the service which was good
but extremely sad, only 41 years old.
Then the following weekend a grand-niece's second birthday.
That was joyous - again plenty of seat time,
but at least it was a happy event.
The circle of life is such a wild ride at times.
I do apologize for the lapse in posts.
My heart's just not been in it.
We now have the garden started so are plenty busy.
I'm sorry also that this post is so scattered,
but that's about how my brain is working.
I hope you are all feeling blessed.
If you have folks who are or have been a positive influence
in your life, I'd like to encourage you to tell them so.
Tomorrow is not guarantied.
Enjoy this spring day we've been granted.


Monday, February 27, 2023

Being Dormant

 If you look out in the garden right now,
unless you live somewhere very warm,
you probably see very little in the way of growth.
Now not to get too deep, 
but if you look inward,
it's probably quite similar.
We tend to go and go and go.
Busy, busy, busy.
Many don't give this much thought, 
but we need down time.
February is that time.
It's a time for us to be inside:
both in our homes because it's so cold out,
and in our souls.
I'm not a certified anything,
but I would venture to say,
"We need periods of dormancy if we are to grow."
It's part of the natural cycle of things.

I've seen quite a few folks showing pictures of their
little sproutlings getting ready for the garden.
While I do love seeing them and
I too have been looking at my seeds and planning,
there is a part of me that thinks,
"Wait, I'm not ready yet."
I need this time of dormancy.
The quiet before I get going with the daily chores
associated with taking care of baby plants
as they grow from infancy in their trays and pots
to graduating into the ground to later be harvested.

This isn't a very long post, 
and I think I'm writing it mostly for my own well-being,
but if you're not quite ready for the activities
and bustle of spring,
there is at least one other person out here.
I know by March, I will be ready.
But for now,
I'll stay within.

Monday, January 30, 2023

~*It Usually Works Out*~

Well, the New Year is already a month in.
How does that happen so quickly?
I would like to share a quirky little story
about something that happened to me recently.
~For any of those who are feeling stressed
or in doubt about a pressing matter
or uncertain about a decision to be made.~

I know that's a lot, but I do feel that many folks are struggling
with abnormal levels of pressure lately.

I will even name the incident.
The Spud Basket Incident

Shortly before Christmas, I was in a local thrift shop
looking for something particular.
While there, I saw this wonderfully made, nice quality
and very large basket.
It was probably three feet tall and almost as big around.
It was in great condition and the kicker was,
it was marked at $17.
I wasn't there for a basket.

The first thing that comes to mind with a basket of that size,
of course is a laundry basket.
I already have very nice laundry baskets
that I very much appreciate.
I walked away from that basket.
It wasn't something I needed at the time, and I couldn't think of 
an immediate use for it.
(first strike)
Now that basket sorta haunted my mind for a day or two.
It really was remarkable and a great bargain.
I decided to give it to God as the saying goes.
I thought finally what a nice potato basket it would be.
How many spuds could a basket that size hold?
How many spuds do we eat each year?
That seems like a lot of spuds.
Where could I put a basket of spuds that size?
With spuds in mind, I thought if I went back and it was there,
I would get it.
If it wasn't there, then I wasn't meant to have it at this time.
So Monday morning, I went back.
That's when I discovered they were closed on Mondays.
At that point, I counted it as a second strike.
I went back again on Tuesday.
You can probably guess by now, the basket was gone.
(Strike three)
I knew it was fine and accepted that I wasn't meant to have it.
But to be quite honest,
I was pretty deflated.
Yes, I know.
It sounds absolutely ridiculous - it's just a basket after all.
Go ahead and roll your eyes - I understand.
However, the idea of a basket for our spuds still lingered.
I went about preparing for Christmas.
As I was walking in the spare room for some wrapping paper one day,
I saw it.
You might as well roll your eyes again because here it is.
I had a basket.
Wait. . . what?
It's sturdy with a wire frame and well made.
It has handles for moving and is a much more realistic size.
My mom had given me my baby blankets and clothes
and not knowing what to do with them,
I stuffed them in the basket.
I had purchased the basket because it was so sturdy and a good price.
(Yes, I evidently have a weakness for good baskets.)
I dumped those blankets on the spare bed to deal with later
and examined the basket.
It was perfect!

I didn't have time to make a proper liner for it right then 
as we were heading right into Christmas with plenty to do on that front.
But I did get to it shortly thereafter.
I made a liner of a good quality muslin.
I've not yet made a "lid" or cover for the top,
but I have our spuds in their basket and use them as needed.
It's working wonderfully.
Had I caved and bought that giant basket on impulse,
I would have a great big basket with a small amount of spuds in the bottom
or be tripping on it in our little house, or who knows what else.
It was a really good reminder of how 
even if I want something and don't get it - 
something else better is apt to show itself.
See, it's really not about a basket.
I needed the reminder,
because like many others,
I've had stresses weighing on me too.
That silly spud basket lifted a little weight from my shoulders
by knowing I don't have to have everything figured out all the time.
Trusting that it will all work out is often easier said than done.
Whatever giant basket is haunting your mind,
just know something better will present itself
and that it usually works out.
And with that,
I hope, dear friends, you have a splendid day~