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28 posts from May 2009

mile high biscuits

I bought this book at Borders some time ago on the clearance shelf and haven't made anything out of it yet.  When I made out my menu for the week, I went through my cookbooks and pulled it out.  I can't figure out why I haven't used it yet.

Retro diner

Cooked biscuits

Mile High Biscuits

2 cups sifted flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup shortening (or real butter makes wonderful flavor)
2/3 cup milk, more or less

1. Preheat oven to 425°.
2. Sifted flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl.
3. Blend in shortening or butter.
4. Stir in milk with a fork, a little at a time until dough is soft but not sticky.
5. Dump onto a lightly floured board or clean counter and knead about 20 times.
6. Roll dough out until it's about 1 inch thick.  Cut with a floured biscuit cutter or floured rim of small glass.  Aviod handling dough too much because that makes it tough.
7. Place biscuits about 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet and bake 12-15 minutes.

a treasure given to me

I received an e-mail from someone who wanted to donate some vintage aprons to me.  You can't imagine my surprise and astonishment that a stranger would want to give a treasure such as this to me.

After a few e-mails back and forth the package came in the mail yesterday.


My heart was pounding as I opened up the package.

Taking a peek

Opening the two tissue layers took my breath away to what I saw.


More aprons

As I pulled each apron out I was in total glee.

Apron collage

This is the letter I received on the history of these aprons.

 Click to enlarge to get a better read.


Mom in her 20's-1
Connie's mother Elizabeth when she was in her 20's.

This is Connie's mothers family....Connie's mother Elizabeth is second from the left in the back row.

Tunby Family Portrait cropped
Edward and Olga Tunby family of Houghton, South Dakota.

In my first e-mail to Connie I had inquired as to how she found me.  Was it through my blog?  Yes in fact it was and I found out a little about Connie.  She had just published her first book.  Her book is a non-fiction called SAVING YOUR LIFE-ONE DAY AT A's about coping skills for depression when medications are not working.

When I first opened Connie's e-mail I was a bit skeptic at first.  Who wouldn't be.  But, then I had a feeling after re-reading the e-mail and that feeling was a good feeling, so I acted on it, and I'm glad I did. 

Connie has entrusted me with some really special heirlooms.  When I was looking at each apron I was trying to imagine her grandmother wearing them and then I thought of my own grandmothers.  So I inquired to my mother if she had any pictures of either of my grandmothers wearing an apron.

I feel pretty honored that Connie thought of me to give her precious aprons to.  I will cherish them and had even before they came into my possession.  I'm not sure why I love aprons so much.  I hope when I'm ready to give my collection away, that I find someone who loves them as much as I do.

an idea came almost 8 years ago

Red,white,blue quilt

Quilt collage

I started the idea to make a quilt on the way to our son Jason's graduation from basic training in 2001.  We were on our way to Fort Sill, Oklahoma and stopped at a quilt shop on the way.  I have picked up fabric on our travels over the past 8 years and have stock piled them up for the time when I would eventually start the quilt.  So, July 2007 I decided to start the quilt and have slowly finished a block or two or three since then.  I got the push to get this quilt done when at my last ASG meeting the challenge for June would be a Red, White and Blue theme.  Nothing like a challenge to get a person motivated.  I wanted to finish this quilt without buying any more material.  I dug in the scrap box that I got from my mom and found enough material to finish it off.  The only thing I bought was the batting.

I am very pleased with it how it turned out.  The only thing is when I was quilting it...I felt like I was in a wrestling match.  I need to get one of these babies....sigh...someday.  I never knew it before but quilting is pretty addicting.

Quilting Fever

by Beverly Page, Winthrop, New York. 

I can shop all day
and hardly spend a dime.
But let me in a fabric shop --
I nearly lose my mind!

I see those lovely fabrics
so pretty and so bright
My eyes take on a glassy look
(it really is a fright).
My knees, they start to shaking,
my nose begins to twitch.
As I look at all the colors,
my fingers start to itch.

I picture Dresden Plate
done up in yellows and blue
Oh, look at that lavender
just right for Sun Bonnet Sue!
Across another aisle
it's true I almost ran
For a shade of brown I had to have
to make for Overall Dan.

Drunkard's Path or Ohio Star
pieced in that real bright red
Would be absolutely beautiful
covering my bed.
I gasp, I pant, I simply
lose all sense of time.
As I pick out all the colors
that I have to have as mine!

I hurry home, my purchases
clutched tight beneath my arm,
Dreaming of the quilts I'll make
and how they'll keep us warm.
Housework gets forgotten but
I have no pangs of guilt
As I start cutting and a-piecing,
'cause I'm going to make a quilt!


grilling season

I can't believe that last summer we hardly took our grill out.  Now that we put in the patio door I'm hoping that we'll be grilling more often.  It's much closer to the house now which I like.

The grill

We had a cook-out on Memorial Day.  The meat that we got in February had a flank steak and I've been waiting for grilling season to make it.  I marinated it and then our son Joshua grilled it for us.  It turned out wonderful.

Some of the grand kids had gone to a parade in the morning.  Then they wanted to have a parade of their own, so Lauren helped them with it.

A parade

It's raining and pretty foggy today.  No chance of getting outside at all.  Yesterday I did some much needed cleaning of my cupboards and woodwork.  Today I plan on working on the quilt.  The laundry soap I made the other day is wonderful and so easy to make.  I have seen a recipe for homemade dish soap and hand soap as well.  I think I'll make those too.

You all have a wonderful day today...I hope to be able to show you the finished quilt soon.

i have been sleeping like a baby

All because I'm outside everyday and the fresh air is knocking me out. 

It was a beautiful day to work in the yard on Saturday.  We had a fire going most of the afternoon to burn all the brush that we cut down.  We can still trim more of the trees they have grown in so much.  Usually we do it every other year.

Burning brush

Note: Look how you can't see the clothesline pole with the birdhouse on top in the photo above and you can in the photo below.

All gone

We still have lots of trimming around the yard to do and that can be for another day.  I just love how I have more of my yard back again.  The wild plum trees really can take over a yard if you let them.

Moving what was left of the woodpile we found some leftover shells from an animal who had lived under the woodpile last winter.  I think it was a chipmunk.  All winter long I would see one running along our split rail fence and after all the brush was gone and the wood stacked neatly (at least what was left of it).  The chipmunk came back, I'm sure looking for it's home.  Sorry Chippy, you'll have to find a new home.


I did manage to bake a rhubarb pie after dinner.  I used a different crust recipe called Butter Cookie Pie Crust, and I didn't care for it.  Jim and Lauren liked it okay, but I like my regular pie crust better.

Rhubarb pie

Before the work outside began I quickly finished the baby quilt.

Folded baby quilt

Baby quilt finished

Now I have to finish up the other quilt yet.  I need that one done by next week.

I think I can, I think I can I think I can......

memorial day

Eagle and flag

Memorial Day
by Michelle R. Christman

As we stand here looking
At the flags upon these graves
Know these flags represent
A few of the true American brave

They fought for their Country
As man has through all of time
Except that these soldiers lying here
Fought for your country and mine

As we all are gathered here
To pay them our respect
Let's pass this word to others
It's what they would expect

I'm sure that they would do it
If it were me or you
To show we did not die in vein
But for the red, white and blue.

Let's pass on to our children
And to those who never knew
What these soldiers died for
It's the least we can do

Let's not forget their families
Great pain they had to bear
Losing a son, father or husband
They need to know we still care

No matter which war was fought
On the day that they died
I stand here looking at these flags
Filled with American pride.

So as the bugler plays out Taps
With its sweet and eerie sound
Pray for these soldiers lying here
In this sacred, hallowed ground.

Take home with you a sense of pride
You were here Memorial Day.
Celebrating the way Americans should

On this solemnest of days.

some color in the garden


My petunia basket is doing great and the chives are blooming.  I just love my chives.  They are the only herbs that I have at the moment.  I especially love them added to cottage cheese.


I talked to my neighbor yesterday and they are getting chickens...12 of them actually.  I will be able to help take care of them as they live about a half hour away from here, and I can have eggs.  I'm so excited.  We have been busy around the homestead here this weekend but I will post about that later.

I hope you all have a wonderful Memorial Day.

going back to a simpler life

It seems like everyone is cutting back on something or another and I am no different.  I saw that my DIL had found a recipe for making her own laundry soap.  So yesterday I made some.  I didn't have a bucket with a lid so I will transfer it to one today.  I hope that won't hurt it any.  I used to make my own baby wipes when the kids were in diapers and I can't find that recipe.  When I do I will share it with those of you who use them.

Laundry soap

It was very warm yesterday and I hated to put the oven going, but I made my bread machine rolls and the oven wasn't on too long.  I made them the size of hamburger buns since I needed bigger rolls.

Hamburger rolls

I had taken a roast out of the freezer the other night and the recipe that I wanted to use I didn't care for.  So, I just threw it in the oven and figured I could make something out of it later.  Since it was so warm yesterday I cut it up an threw it in the crock pot with hot banana pepper rings and onions and some seasonings for Italian Beef.

Italian beef

I thought a nice tuna salad would be great with it.  Which is a favorite in our house.  I have never made my rolls this big before and they turned out great.  I plan to make all my hamburger rolls from now on.  This recipe freezes really well too.

Dinner plate

Jim and I did more digging in the garden yesterday and another area is ready for planting.  We got the small brick garden all ready too.

Leveling the ground

Jim wanted to set the concrete blocks into the ground a bit, just so they won't move.

Placing the bricks

Setting the bricks

My friend Niki, has given me so many great tips.  We really want a lot of cucumbers.  We decided to plant them in rows hoping to get them to grow nicely up a trellis, which btw isn't there but will be by the time the plants start growing.  I'm hoping to plant something in front of the cukes maybe peppers.

Cuke bed

More tomato plants went into the ground last night.  These ones I'm staking off the way Niki does hers, with a big stick and knee-hi panty hose.

Big boys

I hung my bed linens on the line yesterday and it was so nice to climb into bed after a wonderful productive day to cool fresh sheets that smelled heavenly.

Now, about those chickens.  I talked to the people at our Village Hall and they tell me that I can't have chicken because I have to live on 5+ acres.  I was very disappointed to say the least.  But, there might be some hope yet.  My neighbor with the horses and ducks that I always take pictures of has 5 acres and only the horses and ducks live there.  He lives about a half hour away.  I'm hoping to ask him if he would mind if I put some chickens there.  Why not hey?  I say it couldn't hurt to ask.  He can always say no...but then again he could say YES.  I just have to catch him now and he doesn't seem to be around lately.  Wish me luck!

do you redeem points you earn or am i the only one who doesn't?

I have a credit card that I earn points with.  I have never redeemed the points and for the life of me I can't figure out why.  So, I decided to redeem some points to get $25.00.  I wanted to get a book and I would only have to pay for the shipping which I didn't mind.  Super...I redeemed my points but had to wait a day to get the code...No big deal right?  Well, it turned out to be a big mess.  I couldn't get the book because I couldn't use the money that I redeemed internationally.  I had this code which was free money to me and I couldn't find anywhere to use it.  So, I went shopping on Etsy.  I went over to Randi's store Fresh Squeezed Fabrics and found something I could buy.  I'm hoping that I have enough fabric to make a quilt since I've been getting into quilting lately.  If not I'll redeem some more points and go shopping again.

New fabric

The baby quilt is ready to quilt now.  I'm going to machine quilt it.  I have been working on two quilts at once.  My other one which I'll call my Red, White and Blue quilt is ready to quilt as well.  I am very pleased with how it turned out but I won't show it to you yet, I want to show you that when it's all done.

Ready to quilt

Between gardening and quilting, the days are flying right by.