Wordless Wednesday

2015-07-23butterflya

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Been Busy…Scattered Update

It’s been a while since I’ve updated, we’ve been pretty busy.  On top of that I don’t sleep well so I’m also exhausted.  Between the two I am almost overwhelmed.  But still pressing onward.  Here’s a quick rambling update:

2015July28beans

Kentucky Wonder Wax Beans

The green beans are in full production and I’ll be getting ready to can some tomorrow.  This is the first year of using raised bed and I think next year that the spacing for the pole beans should be farther apart.  The Provider Bush are doing great this year, but hubby says that the White Half Runners we have growing taste much better.  The Kentucky Wonder Wax beans are just starting to turn yellow.  The McCaslan Pole beans are just starting to produce.  I also bought 10 lbs. of blueberries and 20 lbs. of organic carrots over the weekend and I’ll be canning those as well (the carrots I planted didn’t come up at all.)  All the tomato plants are flowering and have green tomatoes so it shouldn’t be long before we start seeing them start turning red.  The volunteers that came up from last year turned out to be mostly Romas, but a few are Marglobe.  I’ll be saving the seeds from the nicest ones.  We actually have cucumbers this year! Last year we didn’t get one flower, this year we have lots and lots of flowers, and I should be harvesting the first cucumber this week. The peas are almost done, I’ll be planting a fall crop of here soon.  Didn’t get enough to can or freeze since hubby and son ate most of them.  Note for next year, plant twice as many.  Hubby and son finished the third raised bed, we filled it enough to plant a fall crop crop of broccoli.   After lots and lots of rain that flooded the bed, the seedling have poked through so I hope they make it.  The white onion tops have fell and are starting to brown, so I’ll be harvesting those here shortly, but they are really small.  Onions usually do well, I’m wondering if all the rain stunted them.  The yellow and red onions are still going so hopefully they will be bigger. Speaking of rain, we haven’t had any for over a week now. It actually seems weird that it isn’t raining almost every day. And for the first time this year I had to water the garden (not counting when I planted seeds.)  To top it off, this morning I knocked my plastic watering can down and it cracked when it hit the ground.  Glad I have a spare.

I can’t believe that July is almost over.  Public school with be starting in another week and I need to start planning for our upcoming homeschool year…11th grade.  Seems like it was just yesterday when we were ordering kindergarten materials and starting out on our homeschool journey.  Now we’re not only planning for the last two years of high school but making college plans as well.

I guess that’s it for now.  I’ve got laundry to finish and housework to catch up on.  Since my dryer is just barely running I’m glad to have rain-free days to hang laundry outside.   I’m glad dinner tonight is simple…blueberry pancakes and sausage.

Hope you are doing well!  Grace and peace…

Romans 8:38-39 – For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Happy Birthday My Friend

beckieweddingIt’s hard to believe that you are celebrating yet another birthday in heaven, and we are celebrating yet another year without you.  I miss talking to you on the phone, hearing about all the things you were up to, and your honest bluntness about everything.  I wonder what you would think of everything that is going on today.   I miss laughing with you over silly stuff and teasing you about your boiled peanuts.  I’d like to think that if we can have pets in heaven that you are probably known by all as the crazy cat lady.  One day we’ll get to sit together and catch up, but until then I hope you know how much you are missed down here.

So, What Do I Think??

mybibleThere is just so much in the news these days available to comment and write about, and so many people doing it.  Opinions for, opinions against, praises for this, complaints on that, support for this person, backlash against that person, it goes on and on and on and on…

Personally I could post pages and pages of my opinions about all sorts of news from politics to celebrities…but I’m not sure it is going to do anything but draw flies.

In the end, my opinions on popular news items matter very little.  What does matter is what God thinks, and to find that out all your need to do is read His Word.  Not just a line here and a line there but chapter by chapter, cover to cover.  Too many people today who claim that they are Christians have no idea what the Bible REALLY says about ANYTHING, but rely on what they have heard that it says.  I can understand non-Christians not knowing, but it is inexcusable for a Christian not be a student of the Scriptures.  God has so much to say about what is going on today, you just have to be willing to find out for yourself.  We should be more focused on knowing and sharing what He thinks, than sharing what we think.  If you don’t have a Bible, I’ll buy you one.

So, that is what I think.  I’d love to hear what you think.  Grace and peace….

James 1:19-20 – So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

Recipe: My Granola

OK…I really don’t have a real recipe.

I typically use whatever I have and just mix it together. But I do have a ratio I go by.  I have found that 8 cups dry ingredients to about 1 cup wet ingredients works the best. But you can play around with the ratio and find what works the best for you.

For dry ingredients I usually start with at least 3-4 cups of rolled oats. Don’t use quick or instant oats…they don’t work well for granola. From there you can add dry ingredients like your favorite chopped nuts like almonds, walnuts, pecans etc.; favorite seeds like sunflower, sesame, pumpkin, ground flax etc.; coconut (I use unsweetened); wheat germ etc., you could even add cereal like rice krispies if you like. Add more oats if needed.  For wet ingredients I like to use honey, maple syrup and/or molasses with a teaspoon of vanilla (or your could use almond extract), and a generous pinch of salt. You can add a 1/4-1/2 tsp. of your favorite spices like cinnamon (it is easy to over spice, so less is more to start!)  1/4 cup of your one cup of  wet ingredients should include your favorite oil (or you could use butter if you like). Coconut oil is my favorite for granola.

Mix together all your ingredients and bake on a large cookie sheet or other baking pan. I use a big roasting pan. The lower oven temperatures work the best…about 250-300F. Bake about an 1 hour until granola is lightly browned, mixing every 10-15 minutes or so.  Let it sit for a while in the oven to cool.

Once your granola is cooled you can add about 2 cups of your favorite dried fruit like raisins, apples, cranberries, etc. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks…if it lasts that long!

Do you make your own homemade granola?  If you do, I’d love to hear how you make yours.  And if you’re trying it out for the first time, I’d love to hear how it comes out!

Recipe: Grandma’s Chocolate Cake

ggma

Our birthdays were a few days apart so we celebrated together…she even wore our homemade birthday hats! I adored her and she remains one of my favorite people of all time.

Grandma was a wonderful baker and I was glad to have been able to spend time with her when I was younger.  I got my love of cooking and baking from her.  While I don’t have the frosting recipe she used, I do have her cake recipe.

Grandma’s Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
6 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Chocolate Frosting

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Butter and flour two 8″ x 1 1/2″ round cake pans.  Line the bottoms with wax paper.  In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.  In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar with 2 cups of water.  Bring to boil over high heat and stir until the sugar dissolves; then pour into a large bowl.  Add the chocolate and butter and let sit, stirring occasionally, until melted and slightly cooled.  Stir in vanilla.  Beat eggs into chocolate mixture at medium speed until combined.  Add dry ingredients all at once and beat at medium speed until smooth.  Divide batter evenly between the pans and bake for 25 minutes, or until top springs back when pressed lightly and toothpick comes out clean.  Cool the cakes in pans for 25 minutes then invert onto rack to cool completely.  Set one cake right side up on a plate.  Spread 1/3 of frosting evenly over cake.  Top with second layer and frost the top and sides with the remaining frosting.