Friday, November 28, 2008

Dispensing Advice???

Looks like my son Kevin may be giving out some advice here. Not sure if they are buying what he is telling them though.

Bob The Builder

Here's my grandson Bob the Builder (Koda) showing us his "dance moves" as he calls it.

Everybody's Concentrating...

Remember playing with Lego Blocks?

Here's my grandson Mark with the "airship" he built out of Lego blocks.

And, his cousin Abbey helped him build the second picture. Not sure what they called it. Looks like a flying house to me.

These are the same Legos my 21 year old son built things out of many years ago. Lego blocks are timeless. And expensive, I might add.

Check out what they are selling for on Ebay now.

Snake Fishin'

Tool Belt Man and soon to be policeman son Tim went out Thursday afternoon to check out an old well we have on the 80 acre homestead. They were thinkin maybe we could get it up and running, since it is a drilled well, without too much expense involved.

They took something to measure with so they could get an idea of how deep it was also.

My daughter-in-law Jennifer went along to capture it on camera for the blog. When Tool Belt Man climbed into the block structure surrounding the well, they met a fellow resident they weren't expecting! Wonder who was most surprised?

So my brave, soon to be policeman son, went and got a fishing pole to reel the offender out. Whatever happened to picking him up with a stick ?

You'll be glad to know they let him loose to find another day. That's for all you snake lovers out there!
Now all we have to do is take the sample of water to our local health department to be tested to see if it is drinkable. And eventually maybe we can get off the rural water network and be more self-sufficient! As long as I have plenty of drinkable water and enough hot water to keep my long soaks in the tub going, I'll be happy.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

First, you bend your knees...

My grandson Luke wanted to teach my son who is going to Police Academy the proper way to "wrestle". Here was his instructions.

He said, First you stand like this.

Then you bend your knees.

Then you run and kick them in the leg. "

Seemed to be working great for a while.

But alas, it's the little man that usually gets it in the end!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!! Tool Belt Man and I had all our kids and grand-kids home but the ones that live in South Carolina and we ate and visited and ate some more. It was a beautiful day for a family get together and I hope you celebrated with your loved ones too.

I cut up my turkey the night before and baked the dark meat that night and saved the breast to put in the oven this morning with some of my grandmother's dressing around it.

Then I baked a ham, made sweet potatoes, homemade noodles, brocolli and rice casserole and the gravy. The rest of the girls made the pies, rolls , scalloped potatoes, corn with cream cheese in it and salad. My little grand-daughters even got in the act and made wonderful, chewy brownies.

My daughter made a special cranberry relish that her husbands now deceased mother always made. We want to keep that tradition alive in honor of her memory every year.

Everyone lined up eager to eat all that good food. And we ate, laughed with one another, and ate some more. That's what life is really all about. Faith, Family, Friends.

Only thing left now to do is TAKE A NAP!!!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Hunting Party...

My son and his brother-in-law and their boys stopped in for a few minutes during their "quest for the elusive deer" this morning. What a great way to spend time together and do those "manly" things that men do. And it gives the fathers time to spend with their sons and teach them things they need to know. Not to mention, the benefits of having meat in the freezer to eat all winter!! I am not a great fan of deer meat, but I do love deer summer sausage. What a great morning to be alive!!!
Fathers, take your sons out in the early morning hours and sit in the woods. Take a camera if you don't like to deer hunt. Spending time with each other is whats important! Faith, Family, Friends....that's what life is all about.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Haulin Gravel

Every winter you need a 4 wheel drive to get in and out of our drive, so Tool Belt Man borrowed a dump truck from some of our friends and headed to our local quarry. I realize not everyone has a friend with a dump truck, but it sure saves money to not have to pay the hauling fee! I had never been to a quarry before so I went along to take some pictures so some of you other "city" people can see how this is done.

First, you have to climb up in that thing, which is no easy feat. And I learned the hard way, you don't want to reach up and grab that tall shiny thing by the door. It is hot!!!

At the quarry they load the gravel with this thing, which might be called a loader. Ha. Ha.

By the way, Tool Belt Jim, was drooling all over the place over this piece of equipment. Don't ask me what it is, I too have never been to one of these places before.

After you are loaded, you drive across this little bridge which is called a scales and you are weighed so the people in the little building can figure your bill.

Then you go back home and drive up and down your drive dumping gravel as you go.

The grandkids thought it was great fun to drive with "poppy" in the big truck.

Bring on the rain and snow!!! I shouldn't get stuck getting in and out this year!!

How to survive during hard times? Use each others resources and save money!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I have been canning so many "meals in a jar" that I am running out of places to store them. I even have boxes of tomatoes under my bed. So Tool Belt Man dug out the ole tool belt and built shelves in my closets. I don't need all those clothes anyway.
My "surviving hard times" advice is to begin going to someplace like "aldi's" and start buying extra canned foods every week. And catch the weekly sales and take advantage of them. No one knows what the price of food will be in the future. Think a little further down the road and have more than a weeks supply of food in the pantry at a time.
And make you a pantry of your own somewhere. We are getting ready to go into winter weather and I am remembering last winters ice storm and how the power went out. Grocery shelves were stripped bare in no time.
Take stock of what you have on hand. If you would lose power tonight and had to live on what you have in your house for a week, how would you do? Got any flashlights? Got any batteries for those flashlights? Matches? Candles? Heavy blankets? Electric ones won't work.
Keep a emergency kit in your car. I like to keep a heavy blanket, flashlight, and a candle in a can in mine. Which reminds me. Your local Red Cross has kits that you can buy just for that purpose. And the money goes to a good cause!! Check it out. But most important of all GET PREPARED!!!

Join the Red Cross in your area

This little tid-bit of info was sent out by my Red Cross chapter today. So now the question is : are you prepared for an earthquake in your community? Join your local Red Cross chapter and take classes on how to prepare for a disaster before one occurs. Especially take a shelter class.

The 400 terrified residents in the town of New Madrid (Missouri) were abruptly awakened by violent shaking and a tremendous roar. It was December 16, 1811, and a powerful earthquake had just struck. This was the first of three magnitude-8 earthquakes and thousands of aftershocks to rock the region that winter.
Survivors reported that the earthquakes caused cracks to open in the earth's surface, the ground to roll in visible waves, and large areas of land to sink or rise. ... Damage was reported as far away as Charleston, South Carolina, and Washington, D.C.
... In the past 20 years, scientists have learned that strong earthquakes in the central Mississippi Valley are not freak events but have occurred repeatedly in the geologic past. The area of major earthquake activity also has frequent minor shocks and is known as the New Madrid seismic zone.
... the San Francisco, California, earthquake of 1906 (magnitude 7.8) was felt 350 miles away in the middle of Nevada, whereas the New Madrid earthquake of December 1811 (magnitude 8.0) rang church bells in Boston, Massachusetts, 1,000 miles away. Differences in geology east and west of the Rocky Mountains cause this strong contrast.
The loss of life and destruction in recent earthquakes of only moderate magnitude (for example, 33 lives and $20 billion in the 1994 magnitude-6.7 Northridge, California, earthquake and 5,500 lives and $100 billion in the 1995 magnitude-6.9 Kobe, Japan, earthquake) dramatically emphasize the need for residents of the Mississippi Valley to prepare further for an earthquake of such magnitude.
Earthquakes of moderate magnitude occur much more frequently than powerful earthquakes of magnitude 8 to 9; the probability of a moderate earthquake occurring in the New Madrid seismic zone in the near future is high. Scientists estimate that the probability of a magnitude 6 to 7 earthquake occurring in this seismic zone within the next 50 years is higher than 90%.
"Such an earthquake could hit the
Mississippi Valley at any time."

That's a lot of crap...excuse me manure for my garden!

I caught Tool Belt Man as he was unloading the second load of manure for my garden. What makes your garden grow? Manure and more manure!!! Once it is spread on the garden and gets plowed under, it will be just right for
next years growing season. But stink.....whooeeee! Not
sure how farmers live around that!!
Surviving Hard Times Lesson: Prepare your garden in the fall by adding whatever nutrients are needed. And add manure to your fall garden so it can decompose down over the winter. Your garden and flowers will love it. I planted lily bulbs one time in a raised bed that had lots of decomposed manure in it, and the next year I had lilies higher than my head!!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Almost graduation time...

It's Sunday evening and I'm doing my son's laundry so he can head back to school. He graduates from the Police Academy on Dec. 11 th. It's what he's wanted to do since he could talk. I'm very proud of him!!

Happy Birthday Kaden!

My niece and Tool Belt Man's brother came out this afternoon to celebrate Kaden's first birthday. That would be my great-nephew. Whew, doesn't that make me sound old!! Anyway, here's some pictures we took .

Don't you just love babies????

My son got a deer!!!

Here's a couple pictures of my son Kevin and my grandson Caleb. They are really excited about the deer they got! I've heard and seen several deer hunters out today around the 80 acre homestead. This one wasn't shot on our property though. Good job guys!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Ready to Roll.....

My youngest sister and I took the Red Cross ERV training today . It was fun, even though I wouldn't drive the ERV. I know my limitations. I have no depth perception nor can I judge distance, so why drive something this big? Think about this, in the event of a disaster in the local area, the "Hicksey Chicks" will be on it!!! My sister can drive and I can direct. What a duo!!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Makin' Pear Honey- Old Family Recipe

Remember the pears that Tool Belt Man and the grand-kids picked a while back? They have been sitting on the porch swing waiting to ripen a bit. I peeled and chunked them tonight and cooked them down. Tomorrow I have to go to the store and pick up pineapple so I can make Pear Honey from an old family recipe. Notice the piece of paper propped up in the pears. Old family recipe. Personally, I've never tasted pear honey, but I ate plenty of pears while I was peeling so I bet it will be good! I probably will have about 10 pints by the time I get done.
Well, I ended up with 36 pints of Pear Honey. That was a lot of work! Here's the old family recipe.
Peel and run the prepared pears through a blender. Add 4 cups pears, 3 cups sugar and 3 cups crushed pineapple, drained. Cook until the desired consistency. Cook in hot water bath for about 20 minutes. Sit out on towel to cool.
To me, instead of calling it honey, it is just like applesauce but it's made of pears. It is very good!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Happy Birthday Mary!!

Happy Birthday to my friend Mary!!! I miss seeing your smiling face in this part of the country. Hope you have a very special day. Choose to live life to the fullest every day!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

What a beautiful day to rake leaves with the grandkids

My grandson Mark and I were talking last night about today being the first day in November and Thanksgiving and Christmas would soon be here. He wanted to know how long that would be, but told me to "don't tell me in weeks Nana, tell me in days. I don't know how long weeks is." Now, that is pretty smart thinking for a 5 year old! I too can relate better when you count time down in days!

We raked some leaves today. One of the down sides of living out here in the woods is all the leaves. I've tried mowing them and raking them both. They get so thick that you can't see all the limbs that fall off through the winter. And you know what hitting those can do for a lawn mower! Just ask Tool Belt Man!

So here we are just enjoying the beauty of this wonderful fall day. Seasons change. Life changes. People change. Choices are made each day, sometimes good, sometimes not so good. Making choices...
Reminds me of the scripture "choose you this day who you will serve, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24: 15b
Will you be proud of the choices you are making in your life?