Category: the homestead



I really hate to admit how behind the times I am. Apparently I still live in the past.
Technology and I are on a speaking basis. I can operate my computer and surf the internet. I have even progressed to using Skype, something I love, to chat with family and friends from time to time.
But I have no idea how to do more than run through the channel listings on the satellite box to find a TV channel. I have no idea what many of the options on the remote even do. I could manage quite well when we only had 3 channels and a dial.
I know the TV has buttons to make it do things or change functions for the DVD player. I do not know how to do those things. If I want to watch a movie, I require assistance, usually from a preteen. :\
My cell phone is prehistoric, it makes calls and I have managed to figure out texting, but not ‘test-speak’. It won’t even take a picture. It stays for the most art in the bottom of my purse and reminds me of its existence, most often in church, when it beeps (loudly) to let me know it needs to be charged.
My kids have asked on occasion, that I answer their phones – forget that! They have no buttons or keys, I can never figure out what to do.
Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate technology and many of the things it does.
Instant communication, social networking and millions of choices for entertainment are great, I think I will see if some of the little kids can teach me to use what I have.


Several years back, I did quite a bit of babysitting for family members. It included some ‘Mom, I need some laundry done’ and a parent who worked night shifts.

In order to hang on to some small shreds of sanity, I developed this set of general rules.
We are having lot of guests here, this end of summer time, so I dug out the rules to make sure everyone is on the same page; that page being mine.

RULES

There are other rules enforced, respect for one another, a loose division of labor, (If you can open the bread, get it out and spread peanut butter, you may be on lunch duty.)

It worked quite well before, it will be interesting to see how it works now.


If you read the recent post, “Green beans in a jar”, you know that I had some great help and fun with canning vegetables this summer.
Grandson Erick entered a jar of green beans and one of tomatoes in his local county fair last week.
I proudly add pictures of his blue ribbon winners.
green beans

Erick ribbon


Three gallons of green beans arrived in the kitchen on Sunrise Ridge.
I shanghaied one of he current resident teenagers this morning and demonstrated the fine art of tips, tails and snapping to a more or less willing apprentice. Before long, aid apprentice got the hang of things and we raced through the last half-gallon to see who was faster. ;)
The next part of the lesson involved jar and canner preparation.
While water was heating in the pressure canner, the assistant finished heating beans and getting them properly into the jars.
Soon we had 7 jars of beans in the canner and a respite of time while they cooked.
I regaled my young helper with tales of long ago July days when canning meant keeping the wood stove going, and how glad we were when another was procured and set outside under a big oak tree. There was still a wood fire to feed, but being out where there was a breeze sure beat doing it inside.
Now, I admit, I am pretty sure my helper still has no idea about the wood stove canning and I hope never as to learn how to do that particular thing.
We got the second canner load ready and all finished by 11:30.
That gave us plenty of time to fix dinner and prepare for the second lesson.
We did tomatoes this afternoon, and assistant was pleasantly surprised to find out by dipping the lovely red orbs in boiling water for a few minutes then into ice water, the skins slip right off.
So, now the pantry shelves are filling. A teenager has learned some new things and I have had a very good day. Yes, a very good day!


This week, it has been ‘just the two of us’ here on Sunrise Ridge. Digging through the freezer in search of inspiration, I came across a beef roast. o doubt, I purchased it a while back when there were more mouths to feed, but since we hadn’t had beef in a while, I decided to fix it.
Sunday, it had not thawed, so Hubby cut thin slices and fajitas were the dish of the day.
Monday, I put the roast in the slow cooker with veggies and after several hours it appeared with biscuits and grave as the centerpiece for dinner.
Today is Tuesday and roast beef sandwiches were tasty for lunch as well as roast beef hash for our dinner.
There is still a pretty good chunk of meat left for two people. I packaged it up for a return to the freezer, it will appear again when I feel a hankering for beef. I Wonder what guise it will have then?


Someone asked about the worst kitchen disaster you ever had.
I ran that through my brain and thought of this one: Several years ago, I was getting a ‘company’ meal ready. The dessert was to be a pineapple upside down cake. As I was removing the cake from the glass pan to cool, there was a knock at the door. Startled, I bumped the tray it was on and at the same time dropped the glass baking pan on the floor. It shattered, the cake went down right on top of the scattered shards of glass. Truly the worst disaster. Dinner was late, after the cleanup and I have no idea what I might have served for dessert that night.
The second worst, when I think of it, was one night when there was sleep over at our house. The girls decided to make fudge. You know how fudge is sometimes, this was one of those times. It did not set up. The girls poured it down the sink. You guessed it, it set up in the drain! Hubby spent much of the next day unclogging the pipe.


My beautiful picture
This little fellow was a recent visitor ‘out back’ in the woods east of our home on Sunrise Ridge.


The sun has been shining, the weather much more seasonable and reasonable the past few days. Yesterday, one grandson arrived to help Hubby with some things. The foremost, to me, was replacing a broken stair tread on our porch. It was becoming a bit scary walking down them when it was slick.
Today, three teenage boys are here, the pen for new chicks has been completed, a trailer of junk was loaded and removed.
Now they are finishing the stair railing on the porch steps. :)
Hubby is mentoring and supervising. Tools and training are available.
The reward for all this effort? It is not monetary, hot showers at end of the day, a good meal and being allowed to set up one of the tents in the yard for the night. Well, yes, there is a possibility of a campfire and s’mores.
Sleeping bags and pillows are provided by the management.
There will be more weekends like this coming! It’s time to get he garden ready and planted, school vacation will be coming and then the rewards grow into trips to the river, swimming and fishing.


Sitting here inside, looking out my window. The only signs of spring I see are colorful birds flocking to feed. Sunrise Ridge is covered in icy sleet about 3 inches deep.
Only a week ago, temperatures were in the 50 and 60 degree range. Some outdoor chores were done.
We separated some plants off the ‘mother’ blueberry bush and got them in new spots. Well mulched, hope they survived the weekend storm.
One of the ‘babies’ didn’t have much root, so I brought it in and stuck it in a bucket of water in a south window. Roots are filling the bucket and this morning discovered tiny green leaves coming out. Yes, there is hope!
It has been a long winter, and the return of robins, green growing things even inside) and sunshine is a blessing.
In the not far away future, the snow and ice will go away, as it has for millions of years.
Today, I rejoice in that fact!


I found this pattern in a magazine called Country Afghans back in 2000. Yes, I keep things I might need again, and turns out I do sometimes. I do not know it the copyright is still in effect so I am giving them credit. It is called ‘Blue Skies’ in the magazine and should, if done in the colors the instructions call for look like the first picture below.
granny square 101 part 2 006
You will need: 4 ply worsted weight yarn
30 oz. white
10 oz. light blue
11 oz. Med blue
12 oz bright blue
Size H hook
tapestry needle gauge : Large square should be 13″ at end of border
First large square: starting in center with light blue, ch4, join with slip stitch to form ring.
Rnd 1 Ch 3 for first dc, work 2 dc in ring, (ch2, 3 dc in ring)3 times ch 2, join with sl st in top of ch 3.
Rnd 2 With med. blue join with sl st in any ch 2 space, ch 3, work 2 dc in ch 2 sp, ch 2, 3 dc in same space, (ch1, 3 dc, ch 2, 3dc) 3 times and join to first chain with sl st. Break off yarn.
Rnd 3 Using bright blue, join yarn in any ch 2 corner. Ch 3 2 dc, ch2, 3 dc in ch 2 sp. (ch1, 3dc, ch1, 3 dc, ch1) in ch 1 space. (3dc, ch2, 3dc,) in ch 2 corner and continue in this pattern to end of round. Join to first ch with slip st and break off yarn.
Rnd 4 With white, repeat rnd 3 including an extra 3 dc cluster in the extra ch 1 space on each side. join at end of round but do not break off yarn.
Rnd 5 Sl st over and into first corner ch 2 spthen ch 1, sc in same sp. * Hdc in each of next 2 st, dc (in next st, in nextch1 space work 2 tr, ch2, 2tr)dc in next dc, hdc in next 2st, sc in ch1 space, repeat from * once but end repeqat in corner ch2 sp. repeat from * aonce moer and join with sl st.
Rnd 6 Ch 3 for first Dc, dc in nest 5 st to first ch 2 sp. (2dc, ch2, 2dc)in ch 2 sp, *dc in next 4 st, sk next 3 st, dc in next 4 st(2 dc,ch 2, 2dc) in next ch 2 sp. Dc in next 11 st to ch 2 sp, (2dc, ch 2, 2dc) in 2 ch sp. Repeat from * ending row with only 5 dc, join at top of ch3 at beginning. ZBreak off.
Rnd 7 join light blue to top of 3 ch3,. Ch 3 for first dc. Dc in each dc to next ch 2 sp (2 dc, ch2, 2dc) in 2ch sp, dc in next 5 dc, dk next 2 st,dc in next 5 st. Rwepeat from * around, join and break off yarn
Rnd8 Join med. blue to top of ch 3, ch 3 and repeat Rnd 7 from * except sk4 st, instead of 2. Join as brefore and break off.
Rnd 9 Join bright blue and work as round 8, break off and set aside.
Small corner blocks Make 4 to complete large block. With white yarn, use pattern instructions for Rounds 1 and 2 fasten off.
Sew one small block to each corner of large square.
Border Dc in each stitch around, work (2dc,ch2,2dc) in each of the corner spaces. Join and break off.
You will need to make 20 squares.
Arrange squares in a 4 X5 rectangle and sew together on wrong side through back loops only. Finish with a row of hdc in each stitch around edge and weave in all yarn ends.

I made this for Hubby so I chose more masculine colors, as shown here.
granny square 101 part 2 005
Closer look at the block.
granny square 101 part 2 005A

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 403 other followers