Thursday, January 29, 2009

Red Cross volunteers on stand-by mode...

I've been put on a list to be on stand-by to go to Southeast Missouri or to Northern Arkansas to help with sheltering after their ice storm. Thankfully most of it missed us but others were not so fortunate. Please keep those dealing with this ice storm in your prayers especially all the volunteers that have went to help however they can!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Quote for the day...

I was sent an email by a fellow facebook friend this morning thanking me for what I do as a Red Cross volunteer and I think it speaks for all volunteers everywhere so I am making it my quote for the day today. I thank all volunteers everywhere for giving of yourself in behalf of others!

"the work of the volunteer is similar to a soldier who is not in the limelight, but rather does what has to be done, time after time, with little thanks except by the people directly impacted." Paul Brockman, fellow facebook friend

Thank you Mr. Brockman for those kind words!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Shelter Training Class

We had a great class today for our Red Cross Shelter training. So we now have 26 new volunteers trained and ready for the next disaster that needs a shelter set up for. Which I see we have a large ice storm suppose to be coming into our area Monday.
Here's my friend Jackie from our chapter office who came down to help with the training.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Tim-Bob, the Mighty Hunter...

Notice you can see the smoke from the firing of the gun. Pretty good camera shot! This is my son trying to test out his gun which had been jamming or something like that. As a mother, I am glad to see he always wears ear protectors. He never did like loud noises even as a little boy. Hated the sound of fireworks. Would put his hands over his ears and run. Even wears these ear protectors when he mows the yard. Good practice to get into.

He passed his POST test and has an interview with our local police department this coming Tuesday. Future policeman. Better never stop me unless it is something really BIG though!

New shelving!

Tool Belt Jim went to Sam's Club and bought me some heavy duty steel shelving for my canned stuff. I love it! Now I can keep track of what I have and what I still need to can. I recommend everyone have some of these handy-dandy shelves! I can see how many tomatoes I have, and there's my pear honey, and my canned ham, and my brisket, and my chicken and my hamburger I canned and the list goes on.

And I have room for my bread machine up on top as well as my toilet paper and paper towels. Great space savers. And they only cost $60.00 each. I got two for the space I needed to fill.

I think everyone should have a pantry area they can put their "stuff" in so you will know what you have. I keep a list on the back of the door of items I need to buy. What I found was I was buying things I already had because I just didn't know where it was. So when I put everything in one place, I found I had been duplicating myself.

I realize not everyone has this much space but clean out a closet and build shelves in it instead of hanging a clothes rack. Works great too!

Our Heron

He (or she) thinks I can't see him.

There's ice on the pond and it was cute to watch it try to walk on the pond.
I guess I wasn't quiet enough. I'll do better next time.
I think Blue Herons are beautiful. Not sure how excited I am about it fishing for fish in the pond I stocked last year though. Guess everything has to eat!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Recovering from the shower...

We had a delightful baby shower today for little Kaden Shiloh Wallace Stinson who will be born on March 13th. He received many wonderful gifts.

We had decorated the table the night before and Mark especially liked putting out the confetti.

His two older brothers helped me host the shower and they were a delight to watch. They showed no jealousy at all over baby brother getting all those presents.

Here's Rachel showing off how big she is and she still has several weeks to go.

Before the shower I set my punch bowl up on the counter and had put the sherbet in to thaw. For some reason the bowl broke shattering glass and punch everywhere. So I grabbed a towel and started mopping the punch that was now running pink down my cabinet doors. So much for mopping the floor late last night. And not another punch bowl was to be found in the house.

So now I'm making punch in a plastic bowl. Notice my expression. I've now went into "I've got to pull this together some way" mode.

Thankfully, my sweet friend Mary had given me a red pedestal bowl for Christmas one year and we made it work.
Here's my grand-daughter Abbey getting some punch out of the red bowl.

Rachel reminded me of her wedding where there was some kind of problem with the cake and the fountain and my friends Jane and Mary wouldn't let me into the reception area so I wouldn't know what was going on. The balloons that we had aired up the night before were all lying on the floor also. Some things are better off not knowing. Anyway, I digress.

My sister and I moved the couch so we would have more room for chairs and even though it had coasters under it, there are now scratch marks on our hardwood floor. So some day we will need to re varnish them. Oh well. Life goes on.
This is my sister Shirley cutting the cake. Cool, calm and always in control of the situation. Couldn't throw a party without her help. And thanks goes to Angie for mopping my floor after we moved the couch. You'd think I would have mopped under the couch!

Sisters! God love them!

How I enjoy getting together with old friends. Many of the girls were Rachel's friends from childhood and it was great watching them talk and enjoy being together with one another.
Remember my motto "faith, family, friends?" Still believe those three things are the most important things in life.

Here we are catching up on each others lives .

This is Rachel's friend Jamie who also is going to have a little girl in May. They are thinking maybe their kids will grow up and get married someday to each other. They have been friends since they were little girls living across the street from each other. Jamie's keeping track of who to send thank you notes to.

Don't you love this belly to belly picture. I did the same picture with one of my best friends when I was pregnant with Rachel many years ago!

And here we are together. Mother and Daughter!

Speaking of friends. These three girls have been inseparable since they were born. Don't you love this picture?

Took the opportunity to snap a all girls family picture. I'm pretty proud of this picture. How sweet is this? My daughter in law Jennifer and her three daughters, Emmy, Katrina and Abbey. What beautiful young ladies!

And here's our friend Linda with her daughter Sarah.

It was a wonderful and very special day. I can hardly wait until March 13 to hold this newest little child in my arms. My 13th grandchild to be born on the 13th. Cool!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Tomorrow is the big shower for Kaden Shiloh Wallace Stinson

Tool Belt Jims sawmill and shop...

Shot a couple pictures of Tool Belt Jim's shop. He moved a recliner in the other day,
and it already had a pretty durn nice wood stove, if you ask me. Guess all that is lacking is a bed. You know where he'll be when company starts invading. He's anti-social. Although he does like taking Mark and Koda up here on Sunday afternoons and fixing them hot chocolate on the wood stove.

Here's some working pictures of Tool Belt Jim's "Mighty Mite" sawmill powered by a 20 horse electric motor which is powered by a 20 kw diesel generator. Here he is cutting up a big Red Oak that blew over last Spring in a storm. He got 16 1x12's and 2 1x6's from the tree and they are 10 foot long. We're thinking about building a chicken house.

Removing a sawn board from the cant.

Lumber is expensive if you have been to the lumberyard lately and having your own sawmill makes it more cost effective to build things on the homestead. At least anyway, you get the satisfaction of sawing lumber that you can't get at the lumberyard.

The lumber has to be stacked so air can flow and this is called "stickering" so the lumber can air dry. You can't use green lumber because it shrinks when it dries.

The power for the sawmill is housed in this little shed located about 70 or 80 feet from the sawmill.

Here's a close up of the generator that runs the sawmill.

The tractor is used for skidding the logs out of the timber and moving the slabs to the trash pile. Slabs can then be cut up for firewood. Called recycling by city folks.
Tool Belt Jim is cutting "stickers" which separate the layers of lumber so they will air dry.

You turn the logs with the "cant hook".
Here's a not very good picture of what a "cant hook" looks like. This one was bought at a flea market and has probably gotten much use in its lifetime.
Learning how to build your own buildings is knowledge you won't regret having when hard times hit us. Which may be sooner than we've ever thought.
Reminds me of my favorite show "the Walton's". Remember how they made a living with their sawmill. Who knows!

Freezing Hamburger and Sausage together...

Since I have a beef coming and need freezer space I decided to take out some packages of sausage and hamburger and cook them. I mixed them half and half because the sausage you buy at the store now a days, doesn't taste like the old-fashioned sausage we had as kids. It's too strong for me. And because sage doesn't can well and the sausage I bought had sage in it, that ruled out canning it. So I cooked down about 15 packages of sausage and several packages of hamburger and mixed them together. After draining the meat well, I still put it through a collander and rinsed it with hot water. I'm really trying to rinse out some of the spices from the sausage. And it helps to get as much fat out as possible, especially if you were going to can it.

Using clean canning/freezing jars, I filled each jar about 3/4 full. I'm experimenting on this so I didn't want to overfill. And I am not sure if I need to add liquid or can just leave the jars with the hamburger mixture in them only. So, I did half and half. Would appreciate any advice at any time on canning, so feel free. Because I do not want my jars breaking, I did only fill them half full with liquid. Water with beef bouillon cube mixed in would have been best, but I didn't have any so I just used plain water. And I will drain the liquid out before I add it to whatever I am cooking anyway.

I wiped the jars down, added lids and bands and put them in the freezer. Then when I am cooking soups, or chili, or even need some hamburger to add to pizza, I'll just go to the freezer, pop the lid off and have instant hamburger/sausage.

My advice on all this canning and freezing stuff is to do it a little at a time so as not to burn yourself out because it is a lot of work. Same advice for stocking your pantry with canned stuff from the store. Go to Aldi's and buy a little extra canned goods each week. Or whatever is your favorite and cheapest grocery store. We have to drive an hour to get to an Aldi's now and I do wish it was closer. But if you have one in your town, take advantage of it! That's my advice for surviving hard times today!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Survival Games in 1984

A friend sent me this picture of Tool Belt Jim in 1984. Man has time flown! Paint ball has been around longer than you thought!

Remember our "Super Heroes" in your prayers!

I received this email from my good friend Vicki and ask also that you keep all our soldiers in your prayers. When we went to visit Dustin a few years ago on his base , my little grandson seen all the men in uniforms and said "look at the super heroes". Out of the mouth of babes.

Here is a picture of our son-in-law, Chief Warrant Officer Dustin Davis, in Baghdad, Iraq, taken in the last two weeks. Please remember him and all our soldiers in your prayers. Vicki

To soldiers everywhere: We Salute You!!!

Why I Won't Fly...

Airline Announcements:
"There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 4 ways out of this airplane"
An airline pilot wrote that on this particular flight he had hammered his ship into the runway really hard. The airline had a policy which required the first officer to stand at the door while the passengers exited, smile, and give them a "Thanks for flying our airline." He said that, in light of his bad landing, he had a hard time looking the passengers in the eye, thinking that someone would have a smart comment. Finally everyone had gotten off except for a little old lady walking with a cane.
She said, "Sir, do you mind if I ask you a question?"
"Why, no, Ma'am," said the pilot. "What is it?"
The little old lady said, "Did we land, or were we shot down?"
As the plane landed and was coming to a stop at Ronald Reagan, a lone voice came over the loudspeaker: "Whoa, big fella, WHOA!"
After a particularly rough landing during thunderstorms in Memphis, a flight attendant on a Northwest flight announced, "Please take care when opening the overhead compartments because sure as hell everything has shifted after a landing like that."
Overheard on an American Airlines flight into Amarillo , Texas on a particularly windy and bumpy day: During the final approach, the Captain was really having to fight it. After an extremely hard landing, the Flight Attendant said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Amarillo . Please remain in your seats with your seat belts fastened while the Captain taxis what's left of our airplane to the gate!"
"Your seat cushions can be used for flotation; and, in the event of an emergency water landing, please paddle to shore and take them with our compliments."
Heard on Southwest Airlines just after a very hard landing in Salt Lake City .. The flight attendant came on the intercom and said, "That was quite a bump, and I know what y'all are thinking. I'm here to tell you it wasn't the airline's fault, it wasn't the pilot's fault, it wasn't the flight attendant's fault, it was the asphalt"
After a real crusher of a landing in Phoenix , the attendant came on with, "Ladies and Gentlemen, please remain in your seats until Capt. Crash and the Crew have brought the aircraft to a screeching halt against the gate. And, once the tire smoke has cleared and the warning bells are silenced, we'll open the door and you can pick your way through the wreckage to the terminal."
Part of a flight attendant's arrival announcement: "We'd like to thank you folks for flying with us today. And, the next time you get the insane urge to go blasting through the skies in a pressurized metal tube, we hope you'll think of US Airways"
Heard on a Southwest Airline flight - "Ladies and gentlemen, if you wish to smoke, the smoking section on this airplane is on the wing and if you can light 'em, you can smoke 'em."
A plane was taking off from Kennedy Airport . After it reached a comfortable cruising altitude, the captain made an announcement over the intercom, "Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. Welcome to Flight Number 293, nonstop from New York to Los Angeles . The weather ahead is good and, therefore, we should have a smooth and uneventful flight. Now sit back and relax... OH, MY GOD!" Silence followed, and after a few minutes, the captain came back on the intercom and said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, I am so sorry if I scared you earlier. While I was talking to you, the flight attendant accidentally spilled a cup of hot coffee in my lap. You should see the front of my pants!"
A passenger in Coach yelled, "That's nothing. You should see the back of mine!"

I would rather live my life as if there is a God, and die to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there isn't, and die to find out there is.

(Author Unknown)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Just Call Me Jo The Plumber...

My daughter called me tonight in a frantic needing me to bring a mop to her house. Apparently her dishwasher decided to baptise the rest of the kitchen. And so off I went to do my Jo the Plumber routine.
We first turned off the electricity to the stove and dishwasher and then moved out the stove and mopped up all the water and then pulled out the dishwasher (by the way do you know some of those things are screwed in?)
A plastic tubing had came loose and I am assuming it needed more than just being stuck back in the hole. Like maybe a clamp. So we scooted the dishwasher back into the slot it lives in and will wait till Tool Belt Jim can fix it for real tomorrow. Of course every good homemaker knows you have to mop the floor since the appliances are out anyway.
Of course my clever daughter grabbed her camera thinking these would be good shots for "the blog!" Now I know why plumbers are skinny or either have helpers that are skinny!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Home-made Cinnamon Rolls

It's cold outside and I have been wanting to make home-made cinnamon rolls. When I was little my mom would always make these big, beautiful and yummy cinnamon rolls from scratch. But, today I don't have time for that, but I have an idea that should work.

Last night, I let a roll of bread dough from the store sit overnight in the frig. Today, I took it out and let it come to room temperature. Maybe I was suppose to let it rise first and then punch it down, but this is quick rolls so we'll see what happens. Sometimes I cook by the seat of my pants! So I rolled it out until it was pretty thin.

And I melted a stick of butter in the microwave and spread this melted butter over the dough. Next I sprinkled brown sugar, maybe a little over a cup, over the butter. Then, I just shook some cinnamon over that. Now, nuts would be great and I think my mom always added walnuts because we always had those. But I have a grandson who is allergic to nuts, so I will leave those off. I may add some to half of the rolls after they are done cooking and before I drizzle on the icing. That way we will know which side has the nuts.

Then, I slowly rolled up the dough and mixture and sliced with a serrated knife , and then added these rolls to a pan sprayed with PAM.

Notice mine are not all the same size. I planned it that way. Ha. Ha. I good chef would probably make sure all the rolls were the same size, but hey, this is the quick way. And the little ones can be eaten by the little kids.
Now, I lightly cover my pan of rolls and put them in a warm place to rise. We happen to have a wood stove so what better place than beside it? Let rise until double.

Then put in a pre-heated oven and bake until done.

Here's a good icing recipe from Alton Brown on the Food Network:

2 1/2 oz. cream cheese, softened (approx. 1/4 cup)
3 Tab. milk
5 1/2 oz. powdered sugar (approx. 1 1/2 cups)

While the rolls are cooling slightly, make the icing by whisking the cream cheese in a mixing bowl until creamy. Add the milk and whisk until combined. Sift in the powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth. Spread over the rolls and serve immediately.

Now knowing me, I make tweak it a little bit. I haven't sifted anything in years. I think my mom just use to use powdered sugar and milk and dribble over the rolls while hot because we never had cream cheese growing up. And I added twice as much cream cheese as the above recipe called for and also added a cap full of vanilla.

Anyway, drizzle your favorite topping or use the one above over the rolls and eat while warm. Yum, Yum....

Now about those hard times. Didn't someone once say, "It's the best of times, it's the worst of times"? Both could come from the days ahead! We just may have to spend a little more time cooking instead of eating so much fast food. And we just might have to start sitting down to the "family table" again and really enjoying having a meal with family and friends. Just like on the Walton's! What would be so bad about that?