Friday, November 30, 2012

Good morning Friday & I won a Little Giveaway

Well, I am reading my blogs and my emails this morning-so nice to do with a cup of coffee and being retired now don't have to rush off to work-love that. and from the Eat Boutique I won this book. I rarely win anything so this was fun.
I signed up for Eat Boutiques posts by email because they aways seem to have good recipes, and I noticed they did allot of really nice giveaways. They are always featuring different companies too here is what they say on their blog:
Eat Boutique discovers the best small batch foods by boutique food makers. We craft seasonal, regional gift and tasting boxes for food fans, and sell individual items for home cooks. With our global friends, we share recipes, maker stories and city guides to eating boutique. We host tasting events and markets for food makers, cookbook authors and food fans.
I needed to look up the book I won, cause I had entered for another one that was all for canned things and homesteaders which would have been really nice. We don't eat much sweets, Larry can't any more-but I do like to make a few things thru the holidays and January's winters-for fun  My candy books are all ancient so this will be nice to read thru.
    A little sore this morning from the wood stacking. We haven't been able to keep up with the firewood constant-so my body needs to readjust each time.
   Late yesterday afternoon, I picked up Miss Calico kitty and we took a walk to the furthest of our ponds. She used to take walks with me all the time when we first got her about 8 years ago now. When we got to the pond she was anxious to get down and not be carried, so we had a nice walk back together. I think my furry family members have always kept me motivated to take a walk every day.
   It's friday already. this week has flown by for me. I will be making another batch of the christmas soap today-the guest soaps with peppermint and red and green and white highlights on top. as I had sold the first batch I made. and I will be working with more wood this afternoon too, and I need to get back in my craft room and make my swaps.Hoping most of saturday I can devote to my swap projects.
     and I guess I need to think about maling out some of my homemade fruitcakes too-to beat the holiday rush in the mail.  Have an awesome Friday!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Brrrr Very Cold This Morning

  It was in the teens this morning, that's pretty cold, especially since we have been spoiled with excellent weather. Not to worry though the 60s are coming back in a few days. I love that about Missouri.

   I made up my hand lotion of goat milk and honey-and it whipped up really nice-really like it. However, me and shrink wrap are not getting along too well. I still do not have the hang of that. I like to put that around the jars-helps to seal them during shipping.

   Nikita surprised me, and was ready for a walk today. She hasn't wanted to go for 3 days-so was thrilled she wanted to. I am keeping her on 3 times a day the cosequin ds pills-they really do seem to help her allot. I am also giving her bayer plus asprin twice a day. Its a buffered asprin that is for sever arthritis in us humans.

  So did any of you shop til you dropped?? lol  I am not much into crowds, and I really have no one to buy for anymore. I do enjoy making a few of my handmade crhistmas cards to mail out to a few family members, and I enjoy the craft-art swap-which I am doing with some of my blog friends.

  I did however, buy a book about stones for myself. I have been getting interested in the different stones and crystals and how they can help us-kinda like aromatherapy.That's how I look at them anyways.  So I asked someone that sells these stones and crystals-she is also native american, if she could recommend a book-and she did. So am anxious to get this now. I also have coming on pre order another book about quilts and the civil war by Barbara Brackman-she is a leading authority on the subject, and I have learned allot from her books. She has several blogs going on about different times of history and quilts-see my blog list to the left.

  Well, I better back to my shrink wrap-lol have a great day all


Monday, November 26, 2012

Made Another Christmas Soap Yesterday

This one is also with peppermint stick fragrance and made the soap with all natural shea butter in several color layers.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Good Morning Sunday

  We are waking up to crisp cold mornings now-in the 20s, but here where I live in the ozarks it is also gradually warming back up to the low 60s with sun and no wind-so actually pretty nice weather for us.

   Our Nikita is managing, sleeping allot, sometimes knocks on the door for her morning food-like always, other mornings she sleeps in. Yesterday was a sleep day for her-she got up and moved around a bit, but did not want to take a walk-even though I asked her different times thru out the day. This morning was one of those days she was up at her normal time. She still looks like herself-a very happy soul, most of the time. so we are just enjoying the time we still have with her. Taking each day as it comes.Below are a couple photos I took of her this past week.

   I had made soup stock from the left over organic chicken we had on thursday, and made soup from the left over meat, and added big chunks of potatoes and shredded cabbage-Turned out really well.

   Last night I made my homemade pizza and used my own made venison italian sausage-it was excellent! very happy with the sausage-

    The new soap I featured in my last post are now sold-Yeah love that. So today I will make another batch to have on hand. and I got two repeat orders from previous sales-so perhaps my soap business will survive for a bit longer. I enjoy making soap, and I also love creating hand dyed fabrics-had gotton very discouraged over no or very few sales-so will see what occurs thru the holidays. The shea butter moisturizer is a favorite for everyone that uses it, so I need to make another batch of that too-today or tomorrow.

  Have an awesome Sunday everyone

Friday, November 23, 2012

Just Made a New Soap with Lavender and Vanilla

I am really happy with these guest soaps. I never would have thought to put vanilla and lavender together, but it was a request of a friend. smells fabulous. 

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

    A Couple Holiday Recipe Favorites

      I am making up a few things today, my cranberry side dish, pumpkin pie for me, and am going to surprise Larry with one of his favorites-raisin pie. Thinking of making up some deviled eggs too, and we were given a huge round squash-so think I will steam that-and see if we like it-can mash it up for tomorrow.
       One thing I do miss about moving here after retirement from Illinois-is our thanksgiving feast. Our familes were a long distance away-and we worked many hours back then, and we had allot of friends that were going thru the same. So it became a tradition that I provided the turkey and a few sides, and everyone brought something homemade. Usually ended up with at least a dozen of us or more.
      Here where we live, all holidays here seem to be family only-no friends or outsiders-which I can understand, so it has been just the two of us here the past 9 years. I always do go all out and make a traditional feast for the two of us. It was always tradition when I was a kid at home to watch the parades on tv-and I do still have those on in the background.
      So anyways this years I found a large organic whole chicken in the freezer-so am going to make that. I usually don't make stuffing as I never liked it-I could do gluten free with cornbread-but probably won't make that. I wanted to share with you my cranberry recipe-made this recipe up about 20 years now-and is always a huge favorite when ever I served it. I love pumpkin pie and hubby doesn't-but I am going to make me one-wow a whole pie just for me-lol-good breakfast food later in the week. 
       When I was in Indiana at the amish store I bought a bag of gorgeous huge plump raisins-mixed yellows and regular. I think I will use a cup of those and a cup of sunmaid raisins for Larry's pie. This s a pie my grandma on the farm always made too-back then it was also called a funeral pie as it always seemed to be present then, but it was also enjoyed at thanksgiving and christmas too along with her fresh mince pie.
       Here is a link to the pie recipe I use-and I think its the one my grandma followed too here
          Kathy's Cranberries
    I always so disliked those sliced jelled cranberry circles that came out of a can-yuck-sorry but I so dislike that-no wonder allot of people don't like cranberries-lol  This is my version-we like fruits sooo
    1 can of good quality whole berry cranberry sauce
    3 cups fresh cranberries
    2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
    1/4 cup mandarian oranges
    Place a very very small amount of water in bottom of pan-if you add too much your sauce will not be thick. Add the cranberries. Keep an eye on them, over low heat, and stir once in awhile-til the start to pop. I like them to get soft, with some really smashed down, but most of them still holding their shape. Add the blueberries, stir gently just to mix, add the canned whole berry-and stirl til just mixed. Turn off heat. Place in pretty bowl, cover and place in the frig.  enjoy-- Oh and we like ours tart not sweet, so the canned adds just enough sweetness for us-feel free to sweeten as you like.

    Happy Thanksgiving

    A thanksgiving card for you

    Monday, November 19, 2012

    Another Monday has Rolled Around-and our Nikita

    This has been a rough weekend for us. It has been up and down with our family wolf pet-bad days where she doesn't move for 24 hours and then this morning-she is back to her morning routine-her pork neck bone and then a walk-although our walks are much shorter now. I would like to see if we can take another walk in the afternoons-but depends on her now.
       This morning she was more herself-always smiling, sniffing to see what critters have visited the pond, wagging her tail this morning too.
       I did have a good talk with our farm vet, I asked about different things and they are against steroid shots as that causes other problems, she has been on cosequin for probably 8 years now-asked about uping the dose-more times per day, and she said no that would really not help either at her age. I have done allot of crying over the past few days-I take long walks in the woods and then I am ok til the next time.
       She has been such a loving sweet spirit-I didn't realize how much I will miss her til we went thru these past few days. Larry and I have been married 30 years, and we always have had just one pet, which are usually german short haired pointers. Our pets are part of our family and treated as such. I did cry when our Lance had her heart attack-in fact Larry was down in Missouri at the time-and when i talked with him one morning-I did not want to tel him about Lance til he got back home-but he heard it in my voice-and said what's wrong-when I told him, he dropped everything and drove home (10 hours)  I was very sad, but I am more closely connected with our Nikita-so this time is so much harder for me.
        I know this is the cycle of life-but that does not help the pain.
      I understand now, how much we love each other, she knows too how much we love her-and I understand she will now be having good days and bad days. When she has more bad days then good, and if she starts to suffer too much from pain-then out of love for her  I will call the vet.
       I would love to hear her talk to the coyotes at least one more time-I so much love hearing her howls.

        I was so down about Nikita all weekend that I decided not to can the last of the venison. also Mr. L did not cut the doe right-he was to leave large pieces for me to cut into stew meat, and he cut it all up to grind. He did keep the cuts of the real young deer-and I decded we will enjoy that as fresh roasts and hams-too nice a meat to can. So of the ground we got another 18 pounds total to split. I decided to spice it up without adding pork-which we didn't have-and its a distance to the store. I made a spicy italian which I fried up a little and tastes really good. I added hot pepper flakes to the italian sausage spice, and for the rest of the meat I used the last of my veniosn spice and a few tablespoons of the breakfast sausage spce mix. The italian I wanted mostly for my homemade pizzas, so it will be fine on the dry side. for the other-if too dry can add in ground hamburger or pork. 
      we both ended up with around 40 pounds ground-sausage and plain, and probaly 25 to 30 pounds of roasts, loins, and hams-so yep we got meat in the freezer now. Love that-in fact my freezers are full to the top now.
      I need to rethink thanksgiving dinner for us now, as Mr. L and his wife will be going out to dinner with family-originally he didn't think he would be.  We love turkey-but  don't know if I want to make a special a trip into town just to buy one-need to think on that.

    I found this site online-spirit of the wolf here  found it interesting reading

    Saturday, November 17, 2012

    Update on Venison and Art Sunday Yellows and Orange

    We ground and froze the buck Larry got the other night. I packaged up 30 one pound packages-so 15 pounds for Mr. L and 15 pounds for us-I like that-no need to buy hamburger in the stores for quite awhile now.
       They butchered the big doe this morning and another young one. So the young one will be cuts-roasts, loins, etc. and the large doe I am going to can-both ground and beef stew chunks. I did allot of reading online and went thru books I have here, and decided on the hot pack method. I know it will take more time, but I think I will like the results better. I dug out my Stocking Up book by Rodale and read their information too.  They were concerned about getting all the raw meat heated thru well, and I read that in an article online too-so that's the way I am going to go this time. Will probably take me a couple days to prepare and process. This will probably also give us another 30 pounds of meat-but canned this time. Good feeling that we will have meat now, and won't need to depend on buying much at the stores thru winter. With the can we will have more than enough venison for a year.

                                               ART SUNDAY


      Friday, November 16, 2012

      Canning Venison

        I would like try canning venison again this year. I tried a few pints one year and was not happy with it. I had cut it in slices instead of chunks and it was tough which I thought was odd. So I am checking the net on information on canning venison.

        Found this video, which I like-the meat is in in chunks-that's it. 

      I like this article it explains both hot and cold pack method for canning the meat. After reading this I like the hot method better-you brown the meat a bit, pack in hot jars with boiling water. article here

      More information here too and explains how to can ground meat, which I thought would be nice as well. I liked these instructions for canning ground venison too here

      and I found this venison chili recipe that looks awesome-good recipe to use our home canned ground venison in. recipe here

      Any of you that can venison or beef-how do you can yours?

      Thursday, November 15, 2012

      Holiday Shopping Begins Soon-ad for my shops-and Update on Nikita

      I was so involved with deer camp, that it did not occur to me that next week is Thanksgiving already. It should have dawned on me sooner, cause I am already getting flooded with commercials for the big shopping day on the friday after. Internet christmas sales usually had their big kick off on monday-cyber monday, but I am hearing they are kicking off on friday too.
         Soooo I have been going thru my etsy shops and adding international shipping to my listings, I have also added a holiday coupon for 5% off total purchase. Just type in holiday for the coupon code.
         In my soap shop I have christmas soap-peppermint bark soap, a gift set of 3 bars of fish soap, pumpkin salt scrub, gardeners soap with pumice, shea butter moisturizer-which i have gotton rave reviews over so far, several bath teas, and of course lots of soap choices too. I still have a goat milk moisturizer to make as well-will do that this week sometime.
        In my fiber shop, I have vintage tins, vintage deer hide leather scraps, hand dyes, rust dyes, weaving books, quilt books, mini lavender sachets, little pillows using my hand dyed and sun painted fabrics, quilt fabric and more.
        This link will take you to both of my shops here  You can also find my etsy shops thru my web page here
        Still working on getting found over on my pages, I am also putting a few items on ebay.
      This may be the first year ever I do not go out and buy a turkey-we love turkey too, but with all this venison-that we are blessed with in the freezer now, I may just serve us up a tenderloin instead.

      Nikita update:  In my last post I mentioned I was up most of the night with her, as she could not get up off the floor. Her two back legs are getting so bad that they stiffen up on her. She finally made it up yesterday around 6 am. I fed her the morning treat she always gets, bayer plus asprin, and she went in her corner of the fenced in area that she loves-and slept there all day and night. We were not sure what to expect this morning-but at her usual time she knocked on the door to get her food and water and her morning treat. I am going to go out in a bit and see if she is up to a short walk or not. I also decided to add half of one of Larrys pain pills in the  morning and evening, along with her cosequin.  So it will be a day by day now seeing how she does. I felt good that she was able to visit everyone here at deer camp-they have become her friends as well. I am blessed to have our Nikita in our lives all these years-she has a special soul-

      Wednesday, November 14, 2012

      Venison from the hunt in the freezer

      This has really worked out well-team work with Mr. L  He used to be a professional guide so he has processed allot of deer for people-and he is fast-really fast.
         We don't eat the venison unless all of the sineu is cut out-and it takes forever-it really does, but Mr. L knows how to do it. So he takes the butchered venison home-gets it all prepared then soaks it in ice cold water and stores in buckets in an old frig. for this. and he works all the blood out of the meat, changing the water allot. It takes him 2 days and when he brings it over -its gorgeous meat.
         We had purchased a commercial grinder when we first moved down-so the guys ground all the meat-and I spiced it up and froze. Ended up with 46 pounds of one pound packages of brat sausage, breakfast sausage, italian sausage, and venison spice sausage, along with plain ground. we each will get 4 or 5 bags of each of the four sausages and 6 bags of plain ground. we added in 10 pounds total of fresh ground pork to the sausages. I use 2 parts venison to 1 part pork. So we split it all in half.
        So my back is aching but its finished yeah!! there was so much of it, I needed to spread out all packages in the different freezers we have.  We also split a young deer-so we each got hams and loins from that-so doing good on the venison. Would like to get one or two more to process.
        I was up all night long with our Nikita, her back legs have been giving her troubles for 5 years now, and this past 2 weeks it is getting harder and harder for her to get up off the floor. Last night there was poachers out in the woods-shots went on for 2 hours-I hate cheaters like that--anyways Nikita was upset and came in so I stayed up with her, fell asleep on the couch, and then about 1 am I woke up with her crying. she tried off and on to stand til 6 am when she finally made it up-I feel so bad for her. She is large and 14 years old now-but she has not had any strokes-so will see what develops and what we can do for her. I massaged her legs this morning, and she seemed to like that-as long as I did not touch the really sore area. she kept a close eye on me-lol
         The guys went back out hunting just now-til dark. I want to go out this week too. I am treating myself to the last shot I found in a pricey bottle of scotch. I need a nap-lol
        Oh, and I know most of you will think I am nuts-but I have always wanted the balls bag from a big buck so I can tan and make me a soft bag to put my porcupine quills. I remembered this, so Katie walked me out to find the remains-and yeah we found it. so thats in the freezer til we have time and Larry can show me how to do this. 

      Thursday, November 8, 2012

      Today is a New Day-My Thoughts After the Election

      Yesterday was a rough day for me. I am in my 60s now, have voted every election since turning of age to vote-and have always taken voting very seriously.
      More so last election and even more so this election. My mind just has not been able to get a handle on the changes going on in the voting population for it to come to this outcome. a dictator in the white house-it makes me puke.
      Especially too that so many young people let themselves get convinced by one view point instead of looking at the other side as well and really understanding what America stands for.
      I really came to this conclusion even more so after watching PBS and listening to the stradegies of the democrats for O both the last election and this one. They had a list of names of latinos and when they turned 18-they sent people out to them to recruit them for their party. I was amazed that 50,000 latinos turn 18 every month-and so this grassroot campaign of theirs has been going on for 4 years. Thats hard to beat.
      I don't remember any party doing this-to this extent. they had over 20,000 members knocking on doors and driving people to the poles with cars that said O all over it;for days in Ohio.
      The republicans need to change their thinking-to get the message out of what freedom stands for-it does not stand for government hand outs for everything.
      I am not whining about losing an election to the other guy, I am seeing things more clearly now. If one is not aware, and does not keep themselves informed about what is happening-this is how a dictator gets elected-
      Hoping this is a wake up call for all Americans before it is too late. When all the higher taxes come, the realitys of the healthcare act, and more come to light-perhaps more will understand.
      I was sooo upset yesterday, I was beside myself with grief. A dear friend wrote me and said  We don't understand all this, but God is still in control--not O, though he's under the impression he is. Y'all hang in there.   So that is what I am doing today-hanging in there.

      While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
      Let us swear allegiance to a land that's free.
      Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
      As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer:

      God bless America, land that I love,
      Stand beside her and guide her
      Through the night with a light from above.
      From the mountains, to the prairies,
      To the oceans white with foam,
      God bless America,

      My home sweet home.              from here

      Wednesday, November 7, 2012

      A Very Sad Day-America as we Know it-is no Longer Free

         After last night's results, I want to be the first to welcome you to the USSA The United Socialist States of America. Our country will never be able to recover from this. (Unless we wake up soon enough and declare a revolution-but I am thinking by then it will too late)


      You that voted for Obama have no idea what you have done-there is no way to rid us of Obamacare now-extreme taxes in this bill, death panels-yes they are real, and so much more in this bill. Redistributing the wealth and destroying small businesses-You have no idea what you have done to our country-as it is no longer free.
        Our only check to this  president and his agenda-yes he does have an agenda to destroy our free society, is a more republican house of representatives, but that can't stop this wanna be dictator's executive orders-which he continues to write. 
         I am in mourning for my beloved country-I never thought I would live to see a day like this-So Sad-you have no idea what you have done

        Saturday, November 3, 2012

        Art Sunday Wet Felting

          I love all things wool. I just bought a book about different forms of felting. Wet felting is something I have not tried yet, but gotta try. I have alot of wools around, better wait til spring or summer though-so the water mess will be outdoors.

        original, naive welsh landscape, fibre art, textile art, wet felted wall art, deep edge canvas sea view

        from here is a cool wall hanging-photo was too large to bring here

        How to wet felt-the basics

        Alot of crafters wet felt slippers, scarves, hats, and more-fun!

        Friday, November 2, 2012

        It Smells like Peppermint in my Kitchen

         My new peppermint bark soap, just cut into the 6 ounce squares.

        A Little Catch Up

           Been busy trying to finish up with some projects before deer camp here arrives-on November 9th-which will be an influx of friends arriving from Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana. Needless to say I need to get a move on so I can get our home in shape. It's always more difficult as our house is still under construction, and I need to re arrange things as well-always a good time though with good friends and good eats. We always look forward to this weekend.

           I experimented with flours for my gluten free fruitcake. This is so loaded with fruits and nuts, that I just needed a dough that would hold everything together well and would slice-so I think I achieved that.

           It was also time to bottle my homemade mixed berry brandy (fruits sugar and vodka) and also my homemade triple sec-which turned out so well-I will definately be making this again. This one was made with lots of fresh orange juice and orange zest infused in vodka and sugar-it tastes like orange liquor.perfect for making up my margaritas.

           I have just a few more new items to make for my soap shop-see link to left on upper corner. I made up a bath tea with European spa salts and herbs and flowers for a muscle rescue-when we overdo hard work. 

          and the last photo, our wild turkey flock still visits us each day. This scene was too funny. I had just put out corn for the deer, as the turkeys had left already after eating their corn. They must have been in the woods and seen me put out fresh corn-as they came out soon after I got in the house. The deer had also come to eat-but if you look real close in the bush to the left-they had just shoooed off this deer. They were actually flying at the two deer to spook them off. It's amazing how being in a crowd gives you the advantage. lol

          Today, I will be making my peppermint bark soap. yesterday we brought in a truck load of firewood. We have been having trouble with our wood splitter, so hubby  has had to revert to hand splitting-slow going as he is nearing 70 and not in the best health. He found a perfect downed tree-very aged, so perfect for the wood stoves and for hand splitting. 

            I have heard from all of my online friends that were in Sandys way, except for one friend that is in Pennsylvania. She was worried before hand about losing her electric so was getting her family prepared. My prayers go out to all of you that were in Sandy's path. 


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