I will confess that I had no idea what an elderberry looked like.  I have heard of elderberries however, but having grown up in the "city" I've not seen elderberries, blueberries and thimbleberries yes, but not elderberries.  Well we found some and have made elderberry syrup and elderberry tincture, both have wonderful health benefits.  We also dried some of the berries for later use.

I get so excited when we find things like this and it appears that not many folks around here use the berries for anything, because now that we are aware of the elderberries, we see the bushes all over along the side of the roads here.

time passing by

The summer is flying by, some of our grandchildren have gone back to school this week.  It's been a very busy summer here in the Ocooch Mountains.

The wild coneflowers I planted last fall took and are doing great.  We had the Amish butcher our meat birds last week and we spent the day canning and freezing them and then over the weekend Mr. smoked some in the smokehouse he made.



Canned chicken 2017




Just incase you forgot what I looked like here I am :)  (Playing around with Snapchat)


I mentioned to Mr. yesterday that I didn't even know what day it was, as a matter of fact I was actually a week behind in my mind and totally forgot that I had to volunteer at the hospital yesterday morning and that's not like me to forget, though I have been known to forget something now and again.

I don't know about any of you but I'm so looking forward to fall coming.

it's march

The weather has changed a few times.  No calves born yet, at least not live ones, our neighbor had a calf born too early and it didn't make it, that was sad to hear.  Even though they are not our cattle we see them pretty much everyday and we have gotten kind of attached to them.




Can you believe we are still making syrup?  The sap is still running, slowly but still running.  The 4H group came and had a wonderful time, I'll try and do a post about that.

Sugar bush

I've been wanting to make maple sugar since we starting making maple syrup.  So when our son and dil and the grands came we made some.  I thought I'd give the maple sugar a try and looked for a maple cake recipe and Martha Stewart had a maple cake recipe on her blog.

Maple sugar


I like a bit of cake with my whip cream :)  Instead of frosting this cake I thought I would put whip cream on it...YUM!


I don't know about you but I'm ready to see some flowers blooming again.

my busy life

I am here, I am doing fine.  Vee asked if we have been traveling and yes and no.  I've been traveling back and forth a few times to Illinois.  It's just been crazy busy around here.  My cousin had an estate sale that I helped with and was gone from here 5 days.  We had deer hunters come for about 5 days in November, that was fun, but no-one got a deer.  Went on a quilt re-treat over by the Mississippi river.


Did a bit of Christmas baking with my mom's recipe of butter cookies, and my grandmother's recipe of Finnish prune tarts is next on the baking list.


I am so excited to show you our new mailbox post.  Mr got an old walking plow from an older gentleman who wanted it to go to a good home, and since we were needing a new mailbox post after the plow hit it last winter, I wanted something different and Mr came up with this.  It looked pretty with the mailbox swag and the freshly fallen snow that came overnight.


Heading to breakfast at our favorite spot on Sunday mornings and crossing the Wisconsin river.


I've also been busy putting things in a booth that I've rented in a shop in town.  Our daughter and son-in-law from Spokane were here for a few day right before Thanksgiving, then they left and we headed to Illinois for Thanksgiving.

Whew, I think that pretty much sums it up, I know I've probably forgotten a few things that I've done.

applesauce making day

Mr and I made applesauce the other day, we made 4 gallons of applesauce.


Cooking apples

Cooked apples



Messy sieve


No sugar was added to the applesauce and it tastes just fine.  Our shelves are really filling up with all the full canning jars.


Huh??!!??!?  Not sure I've heard of it either, that is until I made it.  We had just about a cupful of diced rhubarb in the garden, strawberries leftover from the strawberry shortcake and blueberries in the freezer that were still good but need to be eaten.

I love this strawberry slicer, it's much like the egg slicer that's floating around in most peoples kitchen drawers.



So in the pie they all went, strawberries, rhubarb and blueberries.


I made a butter crust pie crust for the first time and just had to take a quick peek at it while it was baking in the oven.


Out of the oven and waiting for it to cool down some before we had a slice.


A slice of pie with ice cream on it....YUM!!!!!!!


Even tho there was a cup of rhubarb in the pie I added barely a 1/4 cup of sugar to the fruit and with the small scoop of ice cream on top it added just enough sweetness to make it so good.  I'm really finding out that one doesn't need to add all the sugar in recipes to have it sweet enough.  I guess with having cut out sugar 99% in our diet that not having sugar or very little sugar in something doesn't make a difference to us, actually having too much sugar in a recipe we can hardly eat it it's too sweet.  Our taste buds are really changing here.

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I'd like to wish all who are celebrating Independence Day a fun and safe celebration.

Happy 4th to you all!!

betty witt's frosting


I've been going through some of my old recipes trying to organize the ones I want to keep and get rid of the ones that I know I'll never make.  Every time I found a recipe I hadn't made in a long time I'd go "Oh, I remember this recipe", and if someone walked into the room they'd wonder who I was talking to.

Anyway, the recipe that brought back a lot of memories is a frosting recipe called Betty Witt's frosting.  That's all I've ever known it as, I got it from my mother-in-law and she said they called it that because they got it from Betty Witt :)  I made this recipe a lot over the years when my children were young, and Mr remembers it I think not only from me making it but from his mother making it as well.

So I just had to make it again and would you believe it tasted just like I remembered.


    Betty Witt's Frosting

2 Tbsp Flour

2 Tbsp Milk

2 Tbsp Butter

2 Tsp Vanilla

1/2 cup Shortening

1 Egg White

1/2 Tsp Salt

2 Cups Powdered Sugar


Mix ALL together in order.


grilling in march

Grilling 4

Grilling 2

Grilling 3

Grilling 6

Grilling 7

Grilling 5

Grilling 8

Grilling 1

A couple of years ago we grilled in every month, including December, January and February.  This is our second time grilling in 2016, and it sure felt good to be outside even if I did have a winter hat and gloves on. 

We get our beef from our neighbor who raises beef and have even picked ours out one year.  I'm not sure how much longer he'll be raising beef as he and his wife are getting closer to retirement age, he does such a great job and the meat is delicious, but we'll face that when that happens.

I hope I didn't make you too hungry.


applesauce oatmeal muffins

Applesauce oatmeal muffins

Muffin and coffee

Lone muffin

Icy tree

Icy porch

Icy bird feeder

Oh my goodness, have a storm happen snow or rain and I get in the baking mood.  I always want to hunker down and bake or cook.  I've done this even when my kids were all at home.  If there was a snow day I'd be making cookies, homemade pizza, or just plain ole comfort food while they were out enjoying the snow on their day off from school.

The day started out fine, no snow but a little bit of rain.  I had a hair appointment in the morning and by the time I got home the rain changed to rain mixed with snow.  So I did what I loved to do on a rainy/snowy kind of day, I baked, and made some applesauce oatmeal muffins.  I don't usually use sugar in recipes so I made a few adjustments.  I used fresh ground pastry flour, whole milk instead of the skim, I cut back on the liquid because I used maple syrup in place of the sugar, and they are absolutely YUMMY!

Well by the time evening came the rain turned to freezing rain and started coating everything.  We shall see if the snow that is predicted to come during the night will have actually arrived. 

A fire going in the wood stove, fresh muffins and a cup of coffee, what more could a gal ask for.