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 that calls The Gathering Place Bed and Breakfast and Retreat Center home is out and about

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!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Feeding the Wildlife...

I've been throwing out birdseed all day for my little friends. My favorite bird is the woodpecker and one flew right up to my front patio to eat. They're usually a little more skittish than that.
And cardinals have alway been a joy to watch. How can you not love a bird that wears red all the time?

Jim said there was a goose down by the pond that had some health problems. Maybe a hurt wing and can't fly. So he threw out some bird feed last night and I drove down today and threw out some more. Bad time to be wounded. Hope the wild animals don't find it. Wonder if there is a way to catch it and put it in a safe place? Or is that illegal? He took off walking across the frozen pond when I got too close for his comfort. Hope he comes back to eat the bird seed and makes it through the night.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The weather is frigid here...

It's cold outside and so my son moved his dog's house into our entryway where it would be warm. We're suppose to get to -3 tonight.
Proverbs 12:10 says " a righteous man cares for the needs of his animal" so if your animals are out in this cold, my advice is to take care of that right away!

And I'm not even an animal lover! My friend Vicki who loves her dogs would be glad to know I'm finally showing compassion for animals. Ha. Ha.

Here's where I'm spending my night. Snuggled up in my recliner next to the fire. We have a fire going upstairs in the fireplace and a fire going downstairs in our little wood stove and I still heard the heat kick on today.

I can't even get Odie to go outside for a potty break. He's not budging!

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!!!