Friday, November 4, 2016

Food Storage

I have been getting Non-GMO Freeze dried food from   I set up "Q-Shipments so they come each month.  While we were in Utah I was told to go to for a deal of a lifetime.  That site is now gone,  their special of free 72 hour kits is out.  But these deals came from  and you can still order from them at a slightly higher price but you don't have to listen to a spill going on for 10 to 20 minutes for each page before you can order or not before going to the end.  This product is also all non-gmo and all food was grown in the USA.  

I don't suggest buying all your food storage in freeze dried,  I am a firm believer in having a diversive supply.  Having dehydrated or freeze dried supply would be perfect if you ever had to bug out.  Its light weight and easy to pack but it can also be bad to have if you have a limited water supply.  So I am trying to collect 1/3 supply in freezed dried/dehydrated.  I also am aiming at having 1/3 supply in canned goods.  Then the rest in dry goods and freeze/frozen.  I greatly limit my freezer stuff in case of a total power outage that last long term.  I need to be able to use/ can it if that ever happens. 


I am also making sure everything is non-GMO and I am storing grains for those who need GF.  Nothing like facing a disaster only to discover no one can eat the food you stored.  

Have fun and store the things your family loves to eat.   My husband and I have made it a priority to rebuild our food supply now that we are out of debt and can do so.  We are getting enough food for the whole family knowing that if something big ever happens they will be coming home.   They are all living in apartments so we have told them to put aside a 30 day food storage and we will have the rest.   


Friday, September 2, 2016

Awesome 3 cheese Mac and cheese

I just tried a new recipe for Mac & Cheese and it was great!   It was the best recipe I've ever had!  Make sure you read the recipe all the way through before starting.  I made 3 smaller casseroles out of one batch

1 pound Rotini or other pasta
2 cups whole milk
8 oz. Cream cheese
3 Tablespoons Butter
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar
1 1/2 cup grated smoked gouda or muenster cheese

Cook the pasta and make the sauce: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook the pasta following package directions. Strain the pasta, rinse with cold water to cool and prevent clumping, drain well, and transfer to a large bowl. Set aside. Combine the milk, cream cheese, butter, pepper, and salt in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter and cream cheese have melted -- about 10 minutes.
Assemble the macaroni and cheese: Toss the Cheddar and Gouda with the reserved pasta. Add the hot milk mixture and stir until well combined. Transfer pasta to a 3-quart baking dish and bake until the macaroni is set and the top is golden brown -- about 30 minutes. Divide macaroni and cheese among 8 plates and serve hot.

We were having terrible cravings today and this totally took care of it.

Hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Are you suffering from memory loss?

When I went off GMO foods my memory greatly improved.  But of course other things happened at the same time.  A new government study found out they could totally reverse Memory loss.  They call it ICT Protocol.  And its totally natural.  They had their patients avoid all simple carbs, gluten and processed foods.  Increase fish intake.  Do yoga and meditate.  Take Melatonin, B-12, D-3 and fish oil.  Make sure you get adequate sleep.   They reported that 2 weeks to 6 months they totally reversed all memory loss even in Alzheimer's patients.   Here is the best link I found when I researched this.     Most sites have video's and want to sell you this information or their special pills.   No need to endure hour long sells pitches when it is all natural and you can do it yourself.    

I also was told Frankincense Essential Oil used in diffusers and drops under the tongue would cure most cancers.    

Now I know most are not willing to give up their current diets.  I had no choice as my throat swells shut any time I am even around processed foods and GMO products which of course is what all processed food is.  But I can tell you that I have felt so much better since I went off processed GMO foods.  More and more, it's coming out that GMO foods are not good for us.  

I wanted to see if I could help others improve their health by changing their diet.  I hope this helps you!


Sunday, July 24, 2016

Second Dose Of Popsicles

See I am not making you wait forever! Here are the Popsicle recipes I will have to go get stuff for but some of them I just can't wait for! I've been making up my green smoothies for over a year now and I learned that bananas makes them much smoother and creamy so I added them to the berry Popsicle's I made and they were wonderfully creamy too!

Now to make a green smoothie: You need a blender. Add in 2 cups Kale or spinach & 2 cups water. Blend until well blended. Now add in 2 cups of fruit what ever you have on hand and a banana or two. I grow kale and pick it and drop it into boiling water for 30 seconds and then into ice water and pat dry and freeze in freezer bags. I get two tall glasses of this. I drink one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. Its a real pick me drink! When ever we have fresh pineapple I always cut the core out of the middle. Instead of throwing it away, I cut it into small pieces and put into freezer bags and freeze. I use this in my green smoothies with mango or berries or what ever is around. Taste just like pineapple. I confess I hate spinach and dark greens. This is a great way to get them and you can't even taste them!

Now back to those Popsicle recipes! I only have one more can of coconut milk. I use it a lot but haven't been replenishing in case we end of moving real soon. One recipe also calls for cocoa nibs. This is really good dark chocolate with no sweetener or anything else. This is what they make chocolate out of. I've become addicted to getting these little bits of dark chocolate. It also called for Spirulina which is a type of blue-green algae that is rich in protein, vitamins and minerals. Now if you don't have cocoa nibs I would think you can chop up chocolate chips to use instead. In place of spirulina you could add a tiny bit of sea weed. Sea weed is very rich in vitamins and minerals and would have a green color to add to the popsicle's or you could simply leave it out. Chia seeds most people know what those are due to chia pets that use to be heavily advertised. They are very nutritious and most grocery stores carry them. You can make these in the pretty layers or just blend them all together and freeze and eat. I tend to be busy and just want to make them up and be done with.

Lava Flow Popsicles
uthor: One Lovely Life                    


For the pineapple swirl:
  • 1½ cups pineapple
  • 1 cup mangos
  • ½ cup – ¾ cup coconut milk
For the strawberry swirl:
  • 2 cups strawberries
  • 3-4 Tbsp. orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp. honey (omit or use agave to make it vegan)
For the pineapple swirl:
  1. Place ingredients in a blender and puree until completely smooth. Add additional coconut milk as needed.
For the strawberry swirl:
  1. Place ingredients in a blender and puree until completely smooth.
To assemble:
  1. Alternate scoops of pineapple and strawberry smoothies into popsicle molds. Insert popsicle molds and freeze until completely solid.
  2. Tip: If you use paper cups, freeze the popsicles about 30 minutes, then insert the popsicle sticks. The sticks will shift less this way.

Watermelon Kiwi Popsicles

Author: The Pretty Bee                                               

  • 3½ cups seedless watermelon cubes
  • 3 kiwi, peeled and sliced
  • 4-5 tsp. sugar (optional, amount may vary based on your kiwi)I think I'd use ¼ tsp. Stevia instead of sugar

  1. Put the watermelon cubes in a blender, and blend on high until smooth.
  2. Pour watermelon into popsicle molds, filling each one about two-thirds full.
  3. Place sticks in the molds and freeze until watermelon is firm, about 2 hours.
  4. Place the kiwi and sugar in the blender and blend on high until smooth.
  5. Pour the kiwi mixture into the popsicle molds.
  6. Freeze for at least 4 hours.
Mango Chia Popsicles
Author: Jelly Toast                                                 


  • 3 cups mango, chopped (about 2 large mangos)
  • 10 ounces coconut water
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. chia seeds


Place mango and coconut water into blender and blend until smooth. Stir in chia seeds. Pour mixture into 10 - 3 ounce popsicle molds and place a wooden stick into each (or follow the directions of your popsicle mold). Freeze until frozen, at least 6 hours. Enjoy!

Mint Chocolate Popsicles

Author: The Nutty Scoop                           

  • 4 oz coconut cream
  • 1 Tbsp. cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1-2 tsp. spirulina
  • 2 tsp. mint extract
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips, vegan
  1. Place all the popsicle ingredients into your blender and pulse until the mixture comes together. Divide the mixture among the popsicle molds and place a wooden stick in each compartment. Freeze for at least 3-4 hours.
  2. Before serving the popsicles, place the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave-safe dish and melt in 30 seconds intervals until completely melted.
  3. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the frozen popsicles. Enjoy!
*You can either use canned coconut cream, or get the cream from a can of coconut milk. For the latter method, simply refrigerate a can of coconut milk for 24 hours prior to making the recipe. Once you open the can, you’ll see that the creamy white portion (the coconut milk) has risen to the top. Scoop it out and use it in the recipe.

Blueberry Coconut Popsicles

Author: Wallflower Kitchen                         

  • 1½ cups coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup or agave nectar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

  1. Mix the coconut milk, maple syrup and vanilla in a blender until smooth.
  2. Add the blueberries and pulse until they've' been "smashed" but not completely blended.
  3. Pour the mixture into popsicle molds and freeze for at least 5 hours or overnight.

Serving size: 1 pop Calories: 95 kcal Fat: 7.6g Saturated fat: 6.9g Carbohydrates: 6.8g Sugar: 5.4gFiber: 0.4g Protein: 0.5g

I hope you enjoy these delightful healthy popsicle recipes!

Saturday, July 23, 2016


I love ice cream treats but the ones in the stores are full of so much junk.  Most of them I can't even eat because they have GMO wheat and soy in them.  They are also full of sugar which really isn't good for anyone.  So I have been collecting healthy recipes and will share some of them with you today.

I like popsicles because it limits me to one small serving.  If i get a bowl of ice cream, I might settle for two scoops but I am more likely to get six to eight scoops while I'm dipping up.  So making popsicles is better for me.

Creamy Coconut and Mixed Berry Popsicles

Recipe by: Fork Knife Swoon
Yield: 10 Popsicles
  • 1 (15 oz) can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla bean paste or extract
  • 1/4 cup pure honey, divided
  • 3/4 cup blackberries
  • 3/4 cup raspberries
  • I only used 2 Tablespoons of honey and I added a banana to make it more creamy. I also use my frozen raspberry, blackberry and blueberry mix to use it up and it turned out wonderfully!  I dumped it all into my blender and mixed and poured not messing with the 2 layer thing. Also note my can of coconut milk was 13.5 oz and that's what I used.
  1. Whisk together the coconut milk, vanilla and 2 Tbsp of the honey, until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
  2. Blend together the berries and remaining honey, until smooth and combined. Add more honey, to taste, as necessary.
  3. For a creamy pop: Stir together the coconut milk and berry puree, and divide evenly between the popsicle molds. Freeze for 30 minutes, then insert the popsicle sticks, and continue freezing for 4 hours, or until firm.
  4. For a layered pop: Divide the coconut milk equally between the popsicle molds. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes, or so, then top with the berry puree. Freeze again for 30 minutes, then insert the popsicle sticks and continue freezing for 4 hours, or until firm.
Note from Laura
Use any combination of your favorite berries, adjusting the sweetness level as necessary. Remember, the sweetness will mellow once frozen.

You can substitute granulated sugar, agave or maple syrup for the honey, if you prefer.

I choose to use full-fat coconut milk in this (and most) frozen coconut recipes because it results in a creamier frozen texture that more closely mimics dairy cream. You can certainly use a lower fat-content coconut milk, but it will result in an "icier" textured pop.

To remove the popsicles, either let them sit out for 5-10 minutes until soft enough to pull out, or submerge the bottom of the popsicle mold (up to the edge of the top) in room-temperature water for 10-15 seconds, then gently pull to release.

Avocado Lime Popsicles           

Author: Healthier Steps

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 banana
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 1 lime, zested

Cut avocado length wise, remove pit, scoop out avocado flesh using a spoon and place in a high speed blender or food processor along with  coconut cream, maple syrup, banana, lime juice and lime zest. Process until smooth, scraping down sides. Pour into  popsicle mold evenly, insert popsicle sticks and freeze for about 6 hours.

And my last one today is fudgesicles made better!  I used my natural peanut butter as that's what I had on hand.  Everytime we get bananas I take the ones that's getting ripe to fast and peel and up in half in the middle and roll in lemon juice and place them into a freezer bag.  push out the air and seal and freeze.  I use these in my green smoothies and now have them for my popsicles too.   Don't forget to add in your tablespoon of cocoa!  Yum!

Almond Butter Banana Popsicles        

  • 4 bananas
  • ¾ cup California almond butter
  • ½ cup + 2 Tbsp. unsweetened California almond milk
  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until very smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust sweetness as needed.
  2. Pour the batter into 8-10 popsicle molds (will vary depending type of mold used) and freeze for at least 6 hours, until solid.
  3. Enjoy! Store in a sealed container in the freezer until ready to serve.
For chocolate version, add in 1 tbsp. cocoa powder

I hope you enjoy these healthy popsicle treats and when I get some time I will do another blog with the rest of my collection. 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Finding myself some place I never expected to be

This time of year is super busy for me.  I run constantly but last week I got sick.  It started as a pulled muscle but the next day instead of just a tender muscle I hurt every where.  I was sick, really sick.  I couldn't eat.  The only fluids I found I could keep down was tea and coke. I was running a fever and my bones ached horribly.  My belly was completely untouchable.   Finally after 4 days I gave up and made a doctor appointment.   The doctor took one look at me and sent me to the hospital ER as an outpatient.   While there he discovered I had a blood clot.  It wasn't down low in the leg like most are but right in the groin area.   Next thing I know he has me in an ambulance headed for the big city.  

Both places knew more than a virus or a blood clot was happening.   It was an adventure and now I am on a short leash with work piling up all around me.  But while at the hospital I learned something I really hadn't thought about before.   Most people in this country are totally clueless that they are not eating real food.   Genetically modified organisms/food is not real food.   Most people have no clue what GMO is or that they are eating it.   Here is a link to a nearly no basis on what GMO food is: .      

I don't like the article because they mention that this has been going on for thousands of years.   Over the years they learned how to take 2 or 3 different types of a plant and blend them together to make a new plant.  This would help a plant to over come a virus or insects but it always came from a like plant.  Peas to peas, etc.  GMO today has taken on a life of it's own.  They might be trying to find a better wheat but instead of just using other  wheat varieties they have no problems reaching beyond.  They use DNA code from completely different variety of plants and even use animal or insect DNA code.   In my book this is no longer real food.  If you can't plant a crop and save the seed for the next years crop, it isn't real food.   These plants are modified to accept their own herbicide being sprayed right on it.   The plant absorbs this but it doesn't die.   People still don't get it at this point.  What happens to the poison/herbicide that gets absorbed into the plant?    It goes into the food you eat.  So not only can't you grown another crop, you also are eating small amounts of Ready Roundup every time you eat.    Would you bake a loaf of whole wheat bread for your family dinner and then spray a little Roundup on it?  No of course not, but if you used GMO wheat that's what is happening.  Your family is eating traces of Roundup in every meal they consume.  And everyone wonders why the cancer rate is increasing.

All the waste from all these foods are ground into a powder and added to animal feeds.  So animals are being feed GMO's too.  Then there is the GMO animals, birds & fish out there too.   I learned to never eat farmed fish.  They are GMO fish.  Make sure you buy "wild caught"  to reduce the chance of GMO fish.  If they are released into the wild, they have to keep replacing them as GMO fish can't reproduce just like GMO plants can't.  

So today's blog is just to help you see what you are really eating in a new light.   This is not a good thing going on.   We should be aware of what we eat and make sure it is real food.

I hope this opens your eyes today and makes you look at your food completely differently.

Cherlynn Bell

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Life in the country

I sure am happy to live in the country.  While it requires hard work, I know it keeps me active and feeling younger than I am.  If I didn't have the farm to take care of, I know I'd spend most of my time parted in my recliner and reading or watching TV.  When I sit around I tend to eat a lot of snacks.  Being on the run keeps my joints moving and working.  Today I worked in my garden and am reclaiming parts of it to grow crops I discovered over the years that don't grow well in raised beds. So I am removing 16 beds and stacking the cinder blocks in stacks of 10 to use in later projects.  Cinder blocks are not light so I get a good work out every week day.  I also discovered I have to move the dirt from each bed to remove the baby chicken wire and ground cover under it.  I thought it would take all summer but today I started and did two beds in a couple hours.  Yes I also moved and stacked 10 cinder blocks and weeded 2 garden beds.  Reducing down to 17 full beds and 2 small herb beds is making it so I can stay on top of the weeds as long as I tackle one or two of them every day I am working in the garden.

My husband has mentioned that the garden is a lot of work and maybe we should get rid of it.  Then I remind him why I am willing to work this hard.  #1 I enjoy working out in the garden each day.  #2 With more and more food becoming GMO I need to have a food source I can trust that won't kill me.  The last 8 years has been a learning experience for me.  At first I was told I was allergic to wheat and soy.  So I went gluten free.  My family was not happy but everyone felt better once we were off wheat.  A couple years in to this, I had a good friend who lives in California who is just as allergic as I am.  Our throats swell shut and we turn blue and we both cover epi pens with us.  Her husband took her on a business trip to Hungary.  The pastries there are to die for and that was just what she decided to do.  She went and selected the pastry she most wanted to eat and armed with her epi pen at the ready so began to eat it and was able to eat the whole thing with no reaction.  She was amazed and after 24 hours with no reaction she cheerfully ate her way through her two weeks there.  She finally found someone with good English skills who explained to her that eastern Europe has never allowed GMO foods into their countries.  They are growing the same wheat, rye, barley, etc that their ancestors grew.   So we both tried Non GMO wheat and low and behold we can both eat wonderful wheat bread again.  I am grateful to learn the problem for me is GMO foods because now it is all GMO foods including rice and squash and all the other foods they are turning into GMO foods.

#3 If I wasn't gardening I would be quilting all day long.  That fact alone made him happy for the garden.  Our fixed income is already stretched so my buying more and more cotton fabric, batting and all the stuff I need to use quilting.

#4 I love being outside and seeing all the wild life we enjoy here.  The beautiful birds, deer, turkey, coyotes, foxes, insects, snakes and spiders.  I see them all the time but only because I am outside where I will notice them.

#5 While I am currently removing lots of cinder blocks, I am happy we made our raised beds out of cinder blocks.  They are stacked two high and wonderful to sit on while I work in the beds.

The area I am clearing out is 52 feet by 40 feet.  I will be growing sweet corn this year with winter squash, pumpkins and melons mixed in, all growing together.  I will put in a sunflower border around it also.

Growing a garden also keeps my mind active and gives me time to think and ponder and plan things out.

My youngest daughter who got married and couple years ago is growing stuff in containers on her apartment balcony.  I sure miss having her here as she used to work out in the garden with me and was great at it.  I am glad she is putting her balcony to good use.

 Well, I guess I have rambled enough for now.  I recharge my batteries on Sunday.  I attend church and then I deck out and write letters and catch up on stuff.  Monday I am ready to do another week.

Life in the country is great!


Sunday, May 8, 2016

Driving in Today's world

More and more accidents are happening this year.  I was leaving Leavenworth headed back to the Platte City area on Hwy 92 when a car suddenly pulled out in front of me with less then a car length to go.  I thankfully was only going around 40 MPH instead of 55 to 60 MPH so when I T-Boned him no one was hurt, but both cars were very damaged.  I thankfully was able to get home in my car.  The guy that pulled out in front of me got a ticket and had to pay for the repairs.

Then a couple weeks ago two dear friends were headed to Stewartsville and then on to St Joseph when a semi truck driver struck them from behind and they were both killed.

So you need to learn to drive defensively.   Scan the road before you back and forth and check your side mirrors and rear view mirror very often.  It's not only important to drive carefully but you also need to be aware of everything around you.

When you are feeling tired while driving you need to take a break and walk around and revive yourself.  

You may not always be able to stop an accident but if you are vigilant and always know what is going on around you but you should be able to improve what might happen.  

So wake up and open your eyes and pay attention to what is going on around you.   I hope this helps you survive all that's been going on lately.


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Getting headaches to go away

I've been trying out herbal cures and found out if you take magnesium each night as you go to bed it helps you sleep better and it also stops headaches from happening.  Since I started this I haven't had a single headache or migraine.  Now you have to use some common sense also and make sure you are drinking plenty of fluids.  Getting dehydrated just invites headaches and other things.  So make sure you drink plenty of water and fluids throughout the day and take your magnesium each night and see if your headaches go away.  

Happy Easter

Aren't these little guys adorable?   Now if I can just remember to cut those hard boiled eggs the right way!   How are your Eater plans coming?

The way I clean now I don't bother Spring cleaning but with all the company I have coming in for this weekend I am going room to room this week and deep cleaning and making sure I get the ceiling creepy's cleaned off too.  I am spraying as this is the time of the year all the creep crawlers come out ready for Spring.   So far I have about half the house done.  Today I've done the utility room and will do most of the basement and the home theater.  Tomorrow I'll do the kitchen and dining room and Friday I finish up with the bathrooms and the King and Queen bedrooms.  I've been doing food prep as I've been able.  Bread was made and frozen and egg noodles made and dried and packed away.  Now I can get other things made up and set aside and by Easter it will be easy to finish up.

Here is our Easter 2016 menu:
Easter Dinner Menu

Beefy Noodles
Assorted Rolls
Asparagus Cashew Rice Pilaf
Creamy Brussels Sprouts
Twice Baked Potatoes
Easter Peeps
Orange Jello Salad
Classic Waldorf Salad
Key Lime Pie
Chocolate Cheesecake

Ice water

I always do two meat dishes so everyone is happy.  I made the twice baked potatoes up a few weeks ago with cream cheese added to them.  Any time you want to freeze potatoes you must add cream cheese to them or you end up with a soggy mess when they are reheated.  I made them the way I normally do but added in a block of cream cheese too.  Who doesn't love cream cheese!  I froze them over night and then bagged them into freezer bags.  All ready for Easter.  Friday I will make the jello salad and Ambrosia.  Saturday I will make the desserts and Then on Easter I just need to toss the beef cubes into the crock pot and the ham into the roaster and make up the veggies the hour before.   I have lots of help so not worried about anything.  

I totally forgot about those Easter peeps!  If you have farm fresh eggs making Deviled eggs is like Mission Impossible!  If you steam your eggs for 22 minutes and then put them into ice water you can peel them.  I took a safe course by buying a dozen store bought eggs last week but tried this today and it really worked!  So if you have your own fresh eggs fear not but you really need to steam them in a pan with a tight fitting lid.  A colander raised up with water under it works very well.  Just make sure you have enough water so it doesn't boil dry but doesn't soak the eggs.  

Here is a video link to help make your Easter special: Hallelujah

Have a blessed holiday with your family!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Getting my house in order

Ok I have never once been accused of being a great homemaker.  A good cook or good gardener or good quilter or great teacher but well my house has always been a mess.  I could even leave the dishes unwashed for a few days until we were completely out of everything and I had to take matters in hand.

A few years ago I found Sheri Graham's web site.  She had several kids and home schooled and seemed to do all I did but she did it better.  She was organized.  I've tried ever plan that came down the pike but nothing ever took for me.  Until I found This part in her web site:

She divided up her home into short 15 minute to half hour cleaning projects and through out the year everything gets clean.  I worked with it and made many changes and this year I added in two cleaning sessions most days to get everything in my home upstairs and down thoroughly clean twice a year.

I don't bother doing a big spring clean any more.  The way I am doing my sessions I can now be accused of being an awesome house cleaner.  We put our home up for sell a couple months ago and both real estate agents commented that they had never seen a house so clean before.  So I guess I have finally arrived.

I used Sherri's suggestions to start but then changed it to meet my own needs.  I have 4 set in stone weekly chores:  Monday I Dust, clean mop boards and vacuum.  Mondays and Fridays I do the same thing upstairs and downstairs.  Wednesdays I clean the Laundry room upstairs.  Thursday I wipe down the cabinet fronts in the kitchen, scrub the counter tops completely and get the walls in between and then I mop really good.  Friday's I clean each of the bathrooms, change the towels out, replace TP, and I take out the trash in the whole house.   Tuesdays and Saturdays are my extra chore days.  I do things like Clean high in each room, clean pictures, clean the book shelves, pull out furniture and clean well, clean ceiling fans, clean the candle holders throughout the house, clean light fixtures and knick knacks, clean out cabinets, and the list goes on.    

This is the first year I have added in the basement just simply because until this year we could hardly get around down there.  We finally got it cleaned out and got it carpeted and it looks really nice now.  I am moving slowly but these couple of months have already made a big difference.  I reorganized the big storeroom and each of the bedrooms down there.  I am currently working on the exercise/tool room.  2 more days and it will be done and then I can start on that huge wall of books. I can't wait to clean those book shelves!  The first time I cleaned the book shelves up stairs  I was shocked at how dirty all the books were!  It took a long time to clean them so I only got a shelf or two done each session.  Now that they are clean and I do them twice a year I can do a whole section of books as all the need a a fast dusting or little wipe down. The books downstairs are a mess.  I've been dusting them each week but I know its going to be a big chore to get them done but can't wait to clean and organize them all.    

I have discovered over time that I do not need to wash the mop boards every week so my plan this year breaks each floor into zones so that all the mop boards get cleaned well once a month.  The thing is I can do my short to the point chore each day without killing myself and while things might get a little cluttered, its a very clean house so no scrambling when someone comes to visit.

I stopped printing out her calendar pages this year.  I am using a regular calendar like they give out at banks and other businesses.  I can list my daily chores on it and keep it handy to mark off as I get done.  Sherri has lots of other helps on her site so please go explore and see if you find anything that helps you!


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Getting my ducks in a row

My life is changing.  We have this empty nester thing working and we are retired now.  I have discovered that I run out of energy a lot faster.  I have discovered I really don't like cold weather any more.  It makes my bones ache and I can't get warm.   I find myself looking for ways to do things simpler.   Right now I am pondering my garden.  35 raised beds is more than I can handle alone.

I used to get lots of help and now I know it wasn't lots of help but one helper who helped a lot.  Oh how I miss my daughter that loved to garden with me!   But she has flown the nest and gone into her own life.  So now I have discovered I am alone in the garden.  Those 35 beds got the better of me last year and it will happen again this year unless I come up with a plan.

I am thinking of removing the beds at the back of the garden and leaving a large open area.  I can till it up and plant corn there along with those vining pumpkins, squash and melons mixed in. Maybe later today I can go out and look at it and see how I can redo my garden to make things easier for me to take care of.

I guess this mild winter has made it easier to think about gardening and being able to go out and actually look at the garden and think about it.  Most years in February I wouldn't be able to see the beds at all until April or May.  But this year any snow has long since melted and I can see very well.  I also know in another week I might be able to start moving dirt and actually get rid of the beds if they have thawed out.

Now I need to ponder how many beds I really still need.  Four beds are permanently planted, rhubarb, asparagus and mint/tarragon beds.   I have also discovered I prefer bush beans over pole beans.  I have friends who love pole beans and told me they were easier to pick.  I found the opposite to be true for me anyway.  I have discovered it takes a lot of peas to get what we need for each year.  But they have to be planted early or they won't make it.  My carrots leave much to be desired and I can buy heirloom carrots cheaper locally so its not worth my growing them.  So I need to sit down with a clear mind and plan out my garden and what I really need from it.  

So how is your garden plans going?   Are you going through life changes and having to adjust too?  Has your diet changed and you now find you are buried in things you used to run out of and now you run out of things you always had plenty of?  What changes are you making this year?

Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Checking in

Its been a while since I've posted mostly because things have been pretty insane here.  We decided to try and sell our farm.  Our basement was piled higher and deeper and we had our work cut out.  We also finally got rural water which added to the insaneness.  Our home is a quarter mile from the road and the ground was semi frozen and hard to trench.  It was trenched right next to our driveway and what a mess we had!   We had to bring in two loads of gravel just to be able to get in and out of here.  When it got all connected we had no water pressure.  Nothing was working right.  We had waited 12 years for this and what a dissappointment!  Christmas was a nightmare with people trying to take a shower and just getting drips to wash in.  Yesterday we finally got it fixed.  I went to the water office to let them know we still had no water pressure and see if they could suggest a new and hopefully better plumber.  They went and got a new pressure regulator and showed me how to increase the pressure myself.  They gave me the name and number of a plumber too just in case.  I came home and tried what they told me to do and it worked perfectly!  We now have awesome water pressure and all the faucets now work great.

Now for the really insane part we went through everything in the basement and donated tons of stuff to Good Will and other second hand places.  Got our good stuff put away or repacked into more permanent containers in case we had to move quickly.   We also got buried in bags of nonburnable stuff we had to haul to the kids places to dump in their dumpsters.  That's another thing that  didn't get taken care of until this week.

Two days after Christmas I departed with my daughter on a cross country trip.  That meant I had to get all of Christmas put away the day after Christmas and all the food had to be dealt with. We took off early trying to beat a winter storm moving in and made it to west Kansas in time to by pass the mess.  For some reason I saw that it was not going through Colorado so that is where we headed toward.  We went to the Oz Museum in western Kansas and stopped that first night near the border.  The next day we went to the Colorado dunes and then headed to Mesa Verda.  We tried to see the cliffs but it was a 30 plus mile journey on very winding roads and about half way there we realized it would be pitch black before we got there so we turned around and headed back out.  We had planned to stop in Santa fe New Mexico that night and my daughter was head strong about getting there.  We made it but it was really getting late.  Her surprise was we were spending the night  with her twin sister who had spent Christmas In Utah.  Nice surprise even if we didn't have much time together.  We had breakfast and went to the San Miguel Church together and then stopped for hot chocolate before we parted ways.  We Spend half a day in Santa Fe and then drive across New Mexico stopping at several Indian sites.  The next day we headed to the Grand canyon.  We came in a different way then we had ever done before and so I got to see things I had never seen before.  Again we had a late night getting into Lake Powell area.  The next day we stopped at a new national park area The Grand Staircase Escalante Monument.   It was quite exciting to visit this area and a place I would love to go back and explore.   We then headed north stopping in I think it was Zions.  She stopped and wanted to go hiking.  She got me to go places I never dreamed I'd go!  We climbed down into a frozen creek bed and hiked all through the cliffs and canyons.  We meet up with a herd of mountain goats.  It was quite a hike.  We ended up not getting near where we had planned to be.  We ended up in Fillmore Utah that night and the hotel had a train set up overhead going through the lobby and room they serve breakfast in.    The next day we finally got to Provo, Utah just in time for my daughter to move into her dorm.  I went to a hotel very near her.  The next day she had orientation and I had to be out of my hotel by 11 am.  She thought she could pick me up at noon so I just waited in the lobby for her.  We then went to the rest of her orientation together.  Later we went out to eat and then went to temple square in Salt Lake City.  We spend a few hours there going on tours and seeing all the Christmas lights.  Did a little more shopping and I filled her gas tank one more time.  She then dropped me off at the Amtrak station.  My train was suppose to be there at 3AM but it arrived 2 hours late.  I used to take the train from Neosho, Missouri to Kansas City when I was a kid and we took the train once from Kansas City to St. Louis with our boys but I have never taken Amtrak before.   While it ended up running late and they had over booked it I still really enjoyed my 37 hour trip back home.  It was very comfortable and very clean.  I liked being able to get up and move around.  They also had electric connections so I could keep my phone charged up.  I would not hesitate to go by train again.

The day I got home a professional photographer came to take pictures of our home.  I was scurrying around stashing things and trying to stay out of the way.  I knew he was coming so left all my bags in the car.  And until today its been really crazy taking care of one thing after another.

So if our farm sells we will probably move to SE Missouri.  We don't really care if it sells or not as we really love where we are but its really more than we want to deal with at this stage of our life.  Here is the listing if anyone wants to see it:

Feel free to pass the link on to anyone you think might be interested.  We are close to Jamesport, MO(Amish community) and Adam Ondi Ahman, Far West, Garden Grove and Mt. Pisgah (LDS historical sites)  We are the midway point between Des Moines, Iowa and Kansas City.  

So hopefully I will get back to posting more often.  Now that things have settled back down.  

Hope you all have a blessed new year and we all prosper in 2016!