Thursday, December 14, 2017

Blueberry Soda!

   Madi arrived home from work last night with a big smile and announced she had a surprise!  She opened up a grocery bag and pulled out 10 bottles of this:

  
   Best Daughter Ever!!  Love her so much!
It tastes as good as I remember!
 
   You may remember me mentioning this soda in a previous post if not well, I did!  ;-)

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge




1. What title would you give this current chapter of your life? What Day Is Today?  I have been busy and I have actually asked this question and checked my phone to see the date too many times to count lately.  I go to the calendar everyday to see what is going on that day and to plan for the next day. It will get better...I think? :-)

2. December 6 is National Microwave Oven Day. Who knew? Besides popcorn and coffee reheats, what's the most common thing you microwave? Could you get along without a microwave?  I can easily get away without a microwave because we don't have one. We haven't had a microwave for quite a few years.  I don't miss it one bit.  I had a hard time softening butter but I have learned how to do that with the toaster oven or actually put it on the counter to soften. I wrote about it before. If you have any interest in reading why check it out.  People still look at me funny when I say that we don't have a microwave.  They just don't understand how we can "live" like that!  HaHa!

3. If you could insert yourself into any Christmas carol and experience the lyrics in real life, which Christmas carol lyric would you choose and why? The Christmas Song....I would like to roast chestnuts over an open fire! Don't know why but it just seems like it would be fun!


4. Describe the most beautiful drive you've ever taken. I would say driving on our road after a heavy snowfall.  Sometimes the trees are absolutely beautiful! I posted some pictures from March that you may enjoy!

5. What's something on your Christmas list this year? (an actual list or figuratively speaking, either one) Personally, I'm not a gift-y person so trying to come up with a gift to ask for is hard.  I have so much and I honestly don't need more stuff! However, I did see a water bottle and tumbler from Pioneer Woman that would be nice to have.  I like to drink out of pretty cups, mugs and tumblers!

6. Insert your own random thought here. Tomorrow marks our 21st wedding anniversary.  I am amazed at how God has blessed us through those 21 years. Thank you Jerm for walking beside me through it all.  Lots of love and happiness to another 21.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

What Was That Crash?

  In keeping with my childhood Christmas memories, I decided to tell you another one.  Yep, you got lucky!  As you can tell from my previous post my grandparents and uncle loved to get us to believe in Santa. I'm not sure how old I was, maybe 11-12 when this incident happened but I remember it pretty clearly.  I was past the "believe in Santa" stuff but my younger brothers were still little enough to try to convince.
   This particular Christmas Eve brought us an ice storm.  My grandma had made ham potpie for our dinner. The electricity had been going on and off all day so she decided to make a simple fare for us. We ate and were relaxing a bit when the electric went out for good- no more flickering lights.  Grandma lit some candles and a couple oil lamps. We all sat around the dinner table and played cards and games. 
   My grandma told us she needed to go to the spring to get some water. We were content playing games and didn't pay much attention to what was going on outside.  The next thing we heard was a crash in the front yard.  The ice had built up on a large pine tree branch and it broke off with a loud crack.  We all ran to the front porch to see what happened and saw the branch laying in the yard. 
   My uncle was a little overly concerned with where grandma was? Why? She was going to the spring. It wasn't in that direction... My dad and uncle were calling out for her and getting their boots on to go check for her. We headed back into the house and grandma came up through the basement with a startled look on her face.  My uncle and dad were huddled around grandma asking her if she was ok and did she get hurt.  Now, why would they think that??  I couldn't figure that out.  Again, she went to the spring not the front yard????  She assured them that she was fine and that it was just slippy outside. 
   Apparently, grandma went to the front porch to set up the Santa gifts while we were distracted with the games.  She was headed back to the basement when the branch fell barely missing her.  No wonder they were worked up over where she was! The funny thing is, we were so concerned with the limb falling that we didn't even notice the Santa gifts sitting on the porch! Once everyone was calm again the doorbell rang and grandma sent us kids to see who it was. THAT'S when we noticed the gifts! 
   Good memories!  Oh, how I love remembering those times.  I miss my grandma and grandpa on both sides of my family.  Grandparents are awesome!  My dad has one brother and he and his wife didn't have any children so Christmas was a quieter time than at my mom's home.  Christmas with mom's side of the family was loud and super fun. My mom is third youngest of 12 kids and we always had someone to play with. Both of my grandmas supplied us with thousands of hugs and kisses! You knew you were loved by them.  My grandpa on dad's side was a candy giver. He always had sweets around.  My mom's dad had a stroke when I was young.  I don't remember him doing much with us but he was always there, you know, just calmly there watching us play.  I'm sure he wished he could do more with us but his body didn't allow him to do that.  You could see the kindness in his eyes though. 
   Memories! Such sweet memories! I hope that you have a blessed holiday season making new memories with those you love!
  
   

Monday, December 4, 2017

I Believe Santa, I Believe!

  When I was a little girl, about age 9, my grandparents and my uncle would go to great lengths to get my brothers and I to believe in Santa. I had finally hit the age that I figured out Santa wasn't real no matter how much my grandma insisted he was! 
   This particular Christmas my grandma was going all out to get me to believe again.  She had us write out our Christmas lists so she could get the "right" gifts. We didn't ask for extravagant gifts. She was probably pretty happy about that! :-) Grandma had my uncle rig old sleigh bells to the clothes line and hook the doorbell up to ?something? in the basement way.  I'm not sure how that worked but I know that they pulled on rope or twine to make the sleigh bells jingle.
   So Christmas Eve rolls around we have our dinner and followed up with the gifts from my grandparents and my uncle.  The house became a bit on the quiet side when we (children) heard the sleigh bells... Yes! We heard Santa's sleigh!  We ran to the back patio, as my grandma directed, and there were the gifts that we asked for.  I was so excited and my grandma told us that they were from Santa. 
   Well, here's where it gets interesting.  I asked for a chalkboard.  Santa delivered the chalkboard but forgot to bring the chalk.  I "knew" it wasn't from Santa and told my grandma that Santa, the real Santa, would never give half a gift.  I wasn't convinced.  Well my uncle decided that he would call his girlfriend (who later became his wife) and ask her to send Santa back with the chalk. Yep, that's right, SHE could get Santa to come back.  It went about a 30 ish minutes and I heard the sleigh bells again. My chalk was on the patio with a bandana parachute and a note that said "Sorry I forgot your chalk!  Santa"  That did it!  I ran out into the yard and yelled at the sky, "I believe Santa! I believe!" all to the delight of my grandparents and uncle.
   As I grew older of course, I reverted back to my old ways of not believing in Santa.  My family loves to tell the tale every Christmas about how I believed.  My mother-in-law loves to find little knick knacks, mugs or small items that says "Believe".  She picks them up to tease me and I DO KNOW that she isn't being mean! Honest! As we were decorating this weekend, the kids found some of those items and brought them down to display. 
 

  Personally, I am not a fan of the Believe stuff.  I am obviously NOT a big fan of Santa.  Ok, I don't want any hate comments but I really don't like Santa.  Maybe I should be in therapy due to this childhood "trauma". 😊  My parents weren't ones to make us believe in Santa just my grandparents and uncle.  My parents thought it was innocent fun.  
   Jeremiah knew how much I disliked Santa and he was fine with us not making Madi or Ryder believe in Santa.  I never had the kids pictures taken with Santa or anything like that either. I didn't dress them in the little Santa outfits at Christmas. Our Christmas cards, ornaments, decorations, stockings, even wrapping paper is Santa free.  If it has Santa on it...I'll pass.
   Madi and Ryder don't feel like I took away some big part of Christmas.  They are not upset that we did not "do" Santa like their friends did either so please don't think we were horrible parents.  ;-)  They are fine, normal, well-adjusted kids.  We do celebrate Christmas but our focus is on Jesus. We put up lights, a Christmas tree, decorations and we do buy gifts...but they know that they are from Mom and Dad. We spend good money on those gifts! I want full credit! HaHa
 
I actually like this mug though!

   I enjoy the family rehashing my story every year though.  It made for some good memories.  I "believe" that when I'm gone from this life, my family will continue to tell the tale of a little girl yelling, "I believe, Santa! I believe!"
  

Thursday, November 30, 2017

My Favorite Appliances and Updates

   I can't believe that tomorrow is D.E.C.E.M.B.E.R.!!  Really?? Time has been buzzing by.  We had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. We spent a lot of time with family and did very little shopping!  Jeremiah, the kids and I ran out and got a few items like bird seed, bird suet and then ran to Wal-Mart and got Christmas cards, a calendar and the boys picked up some hunting supplies.  Madi got a few little items she wanted but nothing we got were Black Friday special items. 

   Jerm and the kids have been battling some head colds.  Nothing serious but tissue use has been up!  :-)  Jeremiah was able to go to work but Madi had to call in sick on Monday.  I have been drinking lots of water and staying consistent with my vitamins and so far I haven't gotten sick.  I have two diffusers and I have been diffusing essential oils.  I ordered another one on Monday because I didn't have enough for each of our bedrooms.  I diffused two different kinds of oils.  One was for respiratory and the other blend was to boost the immune system and fight off the germs.  I also put some lavender in to help with sleeping.  I also put the oils on the bottoms of the their feet and behind their ears.  I'm not going to say it "cured" them but it helped their symptoms.

 
   Since everyone has been feeling icky I have decided to stick with easy foods. One of my favorite appliances is my crockpot.  I have quite a few of them.  I'm thinking like 7/8 or so- maybe a few more.  I really don't know. I like how easy it is to throw some simple ingredients in it and let it cook!  I end up with a healthy dish to serve and I know what ingredients are in there. I use my crockpots for soups, stews, whole chickens, roasts, meat and to keep foods warm like pasta dishes.  I think the crockpot is pretty versatile so I try to use it often.


   I use my bread machine weekly also.  I make my own pizza dough and we eat pizza frequently.  I prefer homemade pizza to store bought or the local pizza shops.  As you can see in the picture I also use it for bread.  I have a bread recipe that I found online years and years ago.  I made quite a few changes to that original recipe until I finally got one my family likes.  The kids can eat half a loaf as soon as it's cool enough to slice.  Ryder likes butter and strawberry jam on his slices, Madi likes butter (the one and only time she likes butter) and I will occasionally eat mine with butter and honey, otherwise just butter. 
   
   I need to get some stuff ready for tomorrow and finish loading the dishwasher. I had to let the crockpot cool and the insert will go into the dishwasher and the leftovers need to go into the fridge.  I will have some leftover chicken to make into something for lunches for tomorrow.  Have a great evening!  

 
 
 
  

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge





1. What takes you out of your comfort zone? Teaching Ryder math. I hate math and There is just something really wrong when you mix the alphabet and digits!  I did ok with Algebra in high school but this isn't pleasant.  I'm really glad I have a good math curriculum that helps aide in teaching him. 

2. Your least favorite spice?  I would have to say sage or nutmeg.  I like the smells of those spices but as for flavor a little goes a LONG way!

3. What's a small change you'd like to make?  I would like to do better at using up leftovers.  I don't like having to pitch food to the chickens but my creative juices at using up leftovers is waning.  I need to do better with that.

4. Do you enjoy visiting historic homes? If so, of the homes you've visited which one was your favorite? What historic home near you is open to visitors? Have you been?
Southern Living rounded up eleven of the best in the southern part of the US and they're as follows-

Monticello (Jefferson's home in Virginia), Nathaniel Russel House (Charleston SC), Swan House (Atlanta), Ernest Hemingway's home (Key West), The Biltmore (Vanderbilt home in Asheville NC), Mount Vernon (Washington's home in Virgina), San Francisco Plantation (Garyville, Louisiana), Windsor Ruins (Port Gibson Mississippi), Longue Vue House and Gardens (New Orleans), Whitehall (Palm Beach FL), and Pebble Hill Plantation (Thomasville GA)

Have you been to any on the list? Of the homes listed which would you most like to visit?  I haven't been to any of these homes.  I would like to go to Monticello from this list.  One of my favorite homes to visit is at a historical center.  They have a 1830's Farmstead cabin.  They have some really awesome buildings there.  I am into history so this is a happy place for me. The kids even enjoy going there! 

5. What's something you think will be obsolete in ten years? Does that make you sad or glad?  I figure land line phones will be gone. I'm not sure how I feel about that... Last night we had company and we were talking about when credit cards came about.  I worked as a secretary/receptionist at a local animal hospital and we accepted credit cards.  I had to place the card in a holder and slide an arm over the card to make a carbon copy on the CC forms.  Madi just looked at me like I was crazy!  She also had a hard time comprehending that the stores were closed on Sundays and you couldn't get gas on a Sunday either! I can remember that some stores started to open on Sundays when I was around 10 years old. 

6.  Insert your own random thought here.
Ryder has been learning some new guitar songs so I have been serenaded daily for several weeks.  The latest song he's learning is Eric Clapton's Tears in Heaven.  He plays it beautifully.  I'm am truly blessed with some talented children!

Monday, October 30, 2017

First Snow of 2017

  Last night we received our first snowfall.  When we got up this morning our little forest was covered in the fluffy, white stuff.  The sun hadn't come out yet and the world still had the dark, forlorn look from the storm. 

   The wind picked up and blew some of the remaining leaves from the trees all around.  I didn't think to take a picture this morning to document the first snow.  I just looked at it and enjoyed it from inside. 

   Both kids went out and enjoyed it.  They rode the golf cart and 4-Wheeler around in the snow.  It wasn't much but they enjoyed the little bit we got.  There is more to come! 

   As I write this; the wind is gusting around 40-50 mph. The sun is on "full shine" 😊 and the snow has pretty much melted.  The temp went from the 30's last night to the mid 40's. 

   I had been using the oil furnace to keep the house warm but this morning called for a wood fire.  I started a fire and the house is toasty warm again. 

   I decided that I needed to put something in the crockpot to give the house a savory smell.  I put chicken breasts in with some small, whole potatoes, corn and some seasonings.  I have some homemade bread to go with it also.  I may make another side dish and/or serve it with some red beets.  Depends on what we want to eat tonight.

  I used to menu plan on a regular basis.  I found that I didn't want to eat what I had scheduled for that day.  I decided to just have a list of foods handy that we all like and could be make rather quickly.  This system seems to work best for us.  I keep the freezer and cabinets stocked with all the basic items I need to make those meals.  This is the way my mom cooks so I guess I'm just used to that style.  Plus, I don't do so well following recipes.  I like to change things up and add in leftovers.

   That's it for now.  I started this post to talk about the first snowfall and ended up on a rabbit trail that has me talking about menu planning!  Oh, this will make Madi happy when she reads it.  She says that I write like I talk and apparently, I don't stay on subject!  HaHa!

   Have a blessed day and enjoy the weather you are receiving today! If you don't want to enjoy the weather, make a menu!  😊

  

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Pumpkin?? Fall Only??

   Are you a person who only craves pumpkin in the Fall?  I enjoy pumpkin all year long. I have a pumpkin sheet cake recipe that is so good you have to eat it whenever you want, no matter what season it is!  I understand the whole eat in season thing but I don't care when there is canned pumpkin on the shelf!

   Jeremiah requested pumpkin gobs back in the middle of summer.  I made two batches of those gobs!  They ate it them so quick that I only got two out of both batches.  I found that recipe when the kids were little and I wanted a recipe to supplement our Thanksgiving studies.  They were called Pilgrim Pies and I couldn't pass that up. Perfect!


   Since I am a person who can eat pumpkin any time I am all about eating Aldi's Pumpkin Tortilla Chips!  Oh! My! Gosh!  They are so, so good!  I could eat them anytime.  I got this bag two weeks ago and I ate almost every single chip myself!  I don't even feel slightly guilty about eating all of them either. I wish they had them more often than in the Fall but I will get them when I can. 
 


   Do you like these chips?  Have you ever tried them?  I hope I'm not the only one. 
 
 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

From My Front Porch

I haven't posted a Front Porch post in a bit.  I feel like its kinda like a repeat from last year but... here it goes!  ;-)
 
 
 The leaves have stared to turn.  I took these pictures last week so the leaves have changed a bit more since then.

 
A local farmer made some round bales this year.  I snapped this picture late in the evening to capture bales and I am so glad I did. 
 
 
The farmer came back early the next morning to load them up and haul them to his farm.  I tried to get a couple pictures of that but I was facing the rising sun and it was just too bright to get a good photo.  They used a red and blue twine this year to secure the hay.  I like it.  It matches my house!  :-) 

 
Well, that about sums it up for today. Have a great day!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Where, oh where has the Johnson Family been?

   Oh boy!  Have we been busy.  Crazy days for us.  I'm not sure when I posted last but we started school for the new year in August.  I was really sad about the thought of starting this year because it is the last year of homeschooling for Madilynne. However, I am enjoying this year because when you have older kids you can really have some good discussions about the topics they are studying. They have some really good thoughts and sometimes challenge my thinking! 


View of VA Beach from our room balcony.

   We have been traveling a lot lately also.  As much as I like getting on the road and being together making memories, I am so glad the traveling is done.  The last trip was to Virginia Beach, Virginia.  I loved the trip even though I am not a huge water fan.  I loved waking up every morning to seeing the ocean, the surfers and dolphins while drinking my tea!  I was really surprised at how well Madi and Ryder got along.  When you have two teens, well, they can kind of get on each others last nerve.  Both kids were awesome to travel with....most of the time!  ;-)  The trip to the beach took us 7 hours to drive to.  That's a long time in the car.   

   We were at the beach while Hurricane Irma was bearing down on FL.  My brother J lives in FL and he hightailed it out to safety in NC.  I am so glad that he was safe and as far I know right now, his home didn't sustain any damage. 

   I have been busy getting the produce from the garden canned for the last month.  Our garden gave a lot of produce but the wildlife around here ate their fair share this year.  I was able to can several batches of salsa and some jars of green beans.  I froze some zucchini and green peppers too. I bought some carrots and my mom helped me can 29 quarts today.  That was a lot of chopping!  Jeremiah grew two nice pumpkins.  He brought them to the front porch to use as fall decorations. 

   Speaking of fall... some of the trees are starting to show their colors!  My dad has a saying that "The colored leaves are the flowers of fall." 

    I think that I will finish with that for the evening.  I hope to post more later! Blessings to you all!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge



1. Growing up, were you close to your grandparents? Tell us one or two specific things you remember about them. I was close to my grandmothers more than my grandfathers.  My mom was one of 12 kids so there were a lot of us grandkids running around.  I think there were 33 (?) grandkids.  My grandma always made us feel special though.  I went to visit my grandma before she passed of Alzheimer's and I was prepared for her to not know who I was.  I walked up to her bed and I greeted her and asked her if she knew who I was.  She looked me and said, "Yes, I know who you are.  How could I ever forget you?"  She proceeded to tell me who I was and different things about me.  I forgot about that day until I started to type this. Now I have tears streaming down my face so hard I can hardly see to type!  
On my dad's side; I never knew my biological grandfather as he passed several years before I was born.  I was close to my grandmother though.  She had Parkinson's disease and I helped my dad and uncle take care of her until she was too sick for us to take care of at home.  I spent a lot of my growing up years with her and my grandpa (her second husband).  I can remember one time when he took me fishing and I caught a brook trout and thought that it was the biggest fish of my life!  I don't think he got much fishing done that day! 

2. What's an item you were attached to as a child? What happened to it?  I don't think I was ever attached to any particular item.  I had several dolls that I played with though.  I kept those dolls and thought that Madi would like them when she was little...nope! She wasn't into my old dolls so they are currently in storage! :-)

3. When you look out your window, do you see the forest or the trees (literally and figuratively)? Explain.  I see a forest and trees!!!  I try to see the whole picture in things and I also know that in every situation there is two sides and the truth.  :-)   I also like to look for the light at the end of the tunnel!

4. Do you like sour candies? Which of the 'sour' foods listed below would you say is your favorite?
grapefruit, Greek yogurt, tart cherries, lemons, limes, sauerkraut, buttermilk, or kumquats 

Have you ever eaten a kumquat? What's your favorite dish containing one of the sour foods on the list?  I do not like sour candies!!!  Of the foods listed I will say lemons.  I really like a slice of lemon in my water.  I have tried kumquats before and I can't say that I particularly liked them.

5. July 1st marked the mid point of 2017. In fifteen words or less, tell us how it's going so far.  It has been a rollercoaster ride but I love it!

6. Insert your own random thought here.
   My mom came over to visit yesterday afternoon and we flipped through some old photo albums I have.  I am so happy that I have those photos and not just pictures on a computer.  It has encouraged me to print off more and fill some more albums!  I am so excited to print more photos.  Am I the only one who likes to look at actual photos instead of digital ones? 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Peek Into My Life

   At church several weeks ago before starting his sermon one of our pastors announced that the church cleaning crew found a note where a lot of the teens sit. 
 
 He read, "If you keep staring at her, you'll go blind."

   I personally loved this!  My "romantic heart" thought this was so awesome.
 
 Teen boy smitten with the lovely teen girl... Ahhh....  
  
   When we arrived back home I teasingly asked Jeremiah if he ever stared at me while we were dating?

Jeremiah: Yep, all the time!
 
Me: All the time? You must not have stared enough because you aren't blind.
 
Jeremiah: I stared enough. I wear glasses now.  ~wink~
 
   Let me tell you, that was one of the sweetest things he could have said to me! Yes, it falls into cheesy but it melted my heart!  ~Dreamy Sigh~  
 

Friday, July 7, 2017

Flowers and the Garden

I went down to get the mail and I saw this pretty little flower right beside the driveway.  Not sure how it got there but it is pretty. 
 
 
The snowball bush is quite lovely this year. 

 
The red beets are doing really well.  There are also several tomato plants and onions planted in this garden.

 
The peas and tomatoes are doing great.

 
Onions and lettuce.  There is also kale, celery and broccoli in these rows. 

 
These are the vining plants. Cucumbers, pumpkins, spaghetti squash, zucchini and I think cantaloupe and a watermelon plant.

 
The zucchini are doing great.  There are 5 or 6 squash ready to eat.

 
Another view of the zucchini.

 
Broccoli!

 
Spaghetti squash and this one has several smaller squash coming on also.

 
Baby cucumbers! 

 
Our Grape arbor!

 
It's loaded with grapes again this year.


Thursday, July 6, 2017

From My Front Porch

It's time for another set of photos from my front porch. This post is pretty photo heavy.
 
 
  The hanging baskets that Madilynne picked up from the store are doing great!


I couldn't decide which picture to use here so I added all three!
I know a bit of overkill....
 



 
This photo is the roses that are in bloom across the road from the house.  I went over and took some close up photos of them so you could see more clearly.  These blossoms are starting to get old.  Some of the pink color is leaving them and they are turning pale pink.
 




This is a row of tiger lilies that I can see from the porch.  It is to the left facing the road and honestly there isn't much to look at except for field so I hardly take pictures that direction.  I went to the edge of the yard and took these and then decided that they were so pretty that I would also take a couple closer shots. 
 



Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

I haven't posted for a bit so I decided to answer some questions for the Hodgepodge! Hope you enjoy reading today.


 1. When and where were the best fireworks you've ever seen? Speaking of fireworks...do you know your hot buttons? The things people can say and/or do to set you off? When was the last time someone pushed one of your hot buttons?  Many years ago we attended a fireworks display that was set a record for the most fireworks set off within a specific time. I can't remember many of the details anymore but it was fabulous! 
My hot buttons: my family can tell you very simply...when I am hot and/or hungry.  People don't do much that make me angry except the things that would make anyone upset like child abuse/neglect.  I have come to the realization that a lot of people are quite honestly stupid and are lacking a severe amount of commonsense. Ok, I guess that is a hot button too! HaHa!

 2. Have you hosted any outdoor summer parties this year? Attended any? What makes for a great outdoor party?  I haven't attended any parties.  Would picnics count?  I have been to several picnics so far.  We have done several campfires also.  For us a campfire is family sitting around a big fire pit roasting marshmallows, hotdogs, making mountain pies and S'mores.  In our family a great party has to have FOOD and lots of it! :-)

3. What does freedom mean to you?  I come from a long line of veterans.  Freedom wasn't free.  Someone paid with their life, blood, sweat and tears for us to be free. Families were affected when that loved one was taken from them for our freedom. We are free to worship as we want, vote in politics like we want and make decisions for our families as we want like whether to homeschool/private/Christian/public educate our children.  We are free to think and act upon our thoughts as we want. We are able to post blogs that have our views expressed pretty freely also...even if they are written with out any commonsense! ;-)  I guess that is a bit along side my answer to number 1.  I also feel that folks need to realize there are two sides to every story.  Pros and cons to every hot button issue out there and we have the freedoms to express those due to our veterans ensuring our freedoms.

4. July is National Cell Phone Courtesy month...what annoys you most about people's cell phone habits?  What annoys me the most about cell phones is that people talk way to loudly into them.  I don't feel that I need to hear your conversations so use your inside voice on the phone; even if you are outside.

5. What's your current summer anthem?  I don't have one.  I don't think I have ever had an anthem.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.
  I am trying to enjoy summer to its fullest this year.  Usually I am ready for summer to turn into fall but this year has been so different.  I am just loving summer.  I am not ready to turn in the sandals for boots anytime soon!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Life With A Teen Boy??

First thing: this was posted with permission given from Ryder.
 
What happens when you have a
 
Teenaged boy and add in
 
A treadmill on high speed and
 
An 8lb weight
 
!
 
!
 
!
 
!
 
!
 
!
 


 
 Ryder truly thought that the weight would just roll down the treadmill.  Well, THAT didn't happen!  HaHa!  Everyone is safe and no harm was done except to the window.
 
 
 
 
 

Friday, June 9, 2017

Strawberries and Peaches

  
Our neighbors went to the lovely state of GA last week for their oldest granddaughter's high school graduation. They would be gone for a week and needed us to take care of their beef cattle and to feed the cats while they were away.  We are happy to help them out so they can travel see their children and grandchildren. 
 

   They always bring back a thoughtful thank you gift and this time they brought a gallon of strawberries and a peck of peaches.  They were so flavorful, fresh and brightly colored. 



   After eating some fresh; we decided that it was just going to be too much to eat before they would go bad so I made 9 pints of strawberry jam and froze several quarts of peaches.  The peaches will be a wonderful addition to a smoothie.
 
 

 Ryder eats toast with butter and jam every morning.  I have even had some on toast...yeah the "bad gluten kind" too!  I didn't get sick and it is so delicious!  Madi made some parfaits with vanilla yogurt, granola and fresh peaches!  They were delicious also.  Ryder ate two, maybe three, that evening.  There is just something about fresh fruit that is awesome!

 
   I had to put more pictures in here to show how bright  the colors are! I love it!
 

 
The jam is a brighter red color than these photos show. It is bright red like the strawberries but for some reason my camera didn't feel like making them red! 
 
 
    Not really a big deal though as the taste is what is more important than the picture. 


   I used the recipe in the Ball canning book.  It is a very simple, easy recipe.  I did choose to use the pectin recipe.  After having these strawberries Jeremiah decided that he wanted to plant some more strawberry plants.  Our plants died out several years back and we just never got around to planting more.  I ran to the local greenhouse and bought 14 plants.  Jeremiah was happy that they still had some and they were marked down to $.75 a plant!  They are rather large plants with blossoms and two of them have strawberries starting!

 
That's a wrap from the Pine Tree Forest!  I think I may need to eat something with jam this morning!  I need something with my tea! 
Have a blessed day, y'all!